Tag Archives: Running

The Big One

You know what makes a Monday better after you’ve spilled coffee all over yourself and sat through the most boring 2.5 hour lecture?

A killer leg workout and a killer salad.

Am I the only one that craves salad?


mmmm chickpeas, tuna, tomato, bell pepper, spring greens, and tarragon vinaigrette. 


paired with carrot sticks, cucumber, and Trader Joes Chipotle Hummus.  Man did that baby have spice!  Whew 🙂


Perfect lunch….wait…did you say “too many vegetables”!?!  Blasphemy!

I’m actually considering buying this shirt:

If you are weird like me, then you should click on the image and purchase one.  :)  They have special sizes for your pets as well, and a fun tote.  Christmas present ideas PEOPLE!!! Your welcome

So,  you’re probably wondering….what’s “The Big One”?

Well, since March 2009, I have raced 5 half marathons.  After a horrible fall out from training with my first marathon (helloooo MONO), I have decided to give the Full Marathon another shot.


May 15, 2011 is the set date for my first marathon.  I have run the half marathon in Pittsburgh the past 2 years.

I PR’ed this past year: 2:00:31…that 2 hour time mark is elusive to me 😦

So, as I get ready, I’ll share my training plan…I’ll probably use a Hal Higdon plan (very doable). 

You’re probably wondering about the knee/IT Band?  Well it’s getting better!  Slowly but surely.  I did some strength training on it today, and I ran on Saturday (3 miles). 


Oh and I ice it a lot.  Yep that’s a bag of frozen corn.  Trust me, for 99 cents, you have instant therapy.


Are you a runner? 

If so, what’s your favorite race?


Shoes…OMG Shoes…

So, I won’t be that girl to show you the new heels I bought this weekend.  Nor will I be the girl to show you the new pair of Jeggings that I’m wearing (maybe I will…still on the fence about these).

Nope, I’m the girl to show you the new running shoes that I just got (for a steal!)


The new are on the left, the old on the right…see a little difference?


how about now?


Or now?  Yep those are the same exact shoes (different colors) just the pink ones are done-zo! I can’t believe how different they look, nor how different they feel.  When I got them, I almost thought I bought the wrong shoes!!

I believe that my old shoes may have had a hand in my IT Band issues.  I’m stretching now every night thanks to a plan from Runner’s World. Plus I’m foam rolling.

IT Band ReliefYou should be able to click the picture and make it bigger  (I couldn’t find it in the RW archives, but it was printed in RW April 2010)

Also, last week, I got myself a pair of cycling shoes.



I really recommend getting a pair if you’re a dedicated cycling class participant!  They have really changed my workout.  I bought them from Hodson’s Bay here in town (Lafayette, IN).  The staff was super nice and informative and even put my clips in for me.  Thanks!


Last, when I went to Chicago, I made Chris trek across town to find Lulu 🙂 I didn’t shop otherwise, because I was determined to splurge on something from Lululemon.

In case you don’t know what Lulu is, it’s an athletic apparel store specializing in yoga, dance, and running wear (or in their words “any sweaty pursuit”).  I’m usually a Nike fanatic, but Lulu is winning over my heart with their fashionable and female specific styling. 

My splurge:


The Define Jacket

This jacket was exactly what I was looking for.  A stylish and super comfy way to get myself to and from the gym, and also a great layering piece (which isn’t too heavy) for colder outdoor runs. 

I found that Lulu products run smaller (I usually wear an XS or S and I actually bought an 8 in the jacket-for extra room for layering)



I highly recommend Lulu products, but I also highly recommend going to a Lulu store.  The staff at the Michigan Ave store in Chicago was very friendly and helpful and willing to look for whatever I needed in the size I wanted.  Although I’ll have to do some buying from the internet, I’ll be making a trip every once in a while to my nearest store 🙂

Still on my wishlist though:


The Run Speed Short in Oasis Plaid…

Although the Run: Dash Tight is obviously more practical for this time of year

A girl can dream though.  😉



What workout gear has got you motivated to workout recently?

Do you love Lulu too?

Recovery and Questions from #FitBlog

I want to extend a big thank you to my legs for running the 13.1 miles even during times of extreme pain.  Thank you for walking my butt around Chicago that afternoon, and then getting me around campus the next day.  I’m sorry that you’re still sore and achy. 


So I’m taking a few days off from running, teaching spin to work out the kinks, and foam rolling.  Later on this week I’m going to pay homage to one of my favorite recovery tools 🙂



What is #FitBlog chat?:  it is a Twitter chat, set up by Katy Widrick on Tuesday evenings at 9pm.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate. 

Every week someone new will moderate the questions, and the community will respond.  Here’s a list of this weeks questions and my responses….

1) When it comes to the holidays, how do you strike a balance between moderation and celebration?

I usually will indulge in what is special during that time of year.  If it’s pumpkin rolls during Thanksgiving or my mom’s chicken parm on Christmas Eve.  If there is a food I see regularly, like chocolate chip cookies, I’m less likely to indulge.  Try to decide what you really want to try and enjoy and what is going on your plate just to fill space.

1.1) What is your favorite October – December Holiday?

I love Thanksgiving because its all about being with family.  It’s not about the gifts or anything, just family and friends.  That’s the best kind of holiday you could ask for.

2) How has social media changed the way you respond to people that say/do something negative toward you or others?

Social media has made me more aware of our differences to be open minded and smart about how I choose to communicate .  I know that people read my blogs, my tweets, and my facebook updates.  Even if I’m only affecting one person, that is still one person, and I want to influence that person in a positive way.  I think I’ve also grown more immune to others negativity as a result.  Being involved in social media, you see a lot of bashing and complaining.  We need to use these tools to help people, share our knowledge, and spread hope.

3) Define beauty — what does it mean to you in 140 characters or less?

Beauty is appreciating who you are now.  Right now.  Not who you want to be or what you want to look like.  Learn to love who you are now.  Life won’t wait.

3.1) Do you consider yourself beautiful?

I do now.  I didn’t for a very long time.  But, now I’m meeting so many of my health goals…eating well, exercising regularly, and managing my stress levels.  When I’m doing all three of these things I feel beautiful, and I’m therefore motivated to stick with those habits.

4) Look back at the last 10 months of 2010.  What’s your headline?

Goodbye Undergrad…Hello PhD! 


Choose one of these questions and let me know how you would respond 🙂

The Windy City – A Halloween Race (13.1)

What do I consider a good time for Halloween???

A) A Big Bowl of Candy?


B) Carving Pumpkins?


or C) Running a Half Marathon

If you guessed C, you would be correct.  Carbo-loading, restricting my intake of candy and alcohol, and running 13.1 miles seemed like more fun than bobbing for apples, drinking loads of pumpkin beer, and dressing like a bar maid…if you think I’m weird, you’re probably right 🙂

So on Saturday, Chris and I headed into the city (my first time to Chicago!).  We stayed at the Blackstone Renaissance, which was absolutely wonderful.  I highly recommend staying there if you’re headed to Chicago.

When we got there, we definitely needed to stretch our legs.  So we took a long walk along Lake Michigan.  I loved the views.  Sadly, even though I’m from Pittsburgh, I had never seen a Great Lake (except from a plane).



Sears Tower aka Willis Tower…


Down by the water.  I soon realized why it was called the “Windy City”.  My hair looked pretty bad the whole time. 


We headed to Navy Pier.  But before we got there, we saw a giant noodle….yes a NOODLE!


There was a warning…


“Please don’t climb on the Big Noodle.”

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The Pier was chock full of some pretty fun things, if you’re 5 or have the heart of a 5 year old…as I do.  I loved the fun house mirrors that made me look taller.  Maybe I’ll install one in my bedroom 🙂


Loved the view while we rested our feet.

Later on, before we SHOPPED, we headed to Millenium Park, home of a giant mirror like bean.  Interesting, and everyone was touching it.



“Hello good lookin” ;)  Yep we did split a Venti Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato…gotta keep the energy up!


The view from underneath the bean

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Soooo cool.  I love how these pictures turned out.

We had to walk about 12 blocks to get to Niketown, but I saw some of the most beautiful buildings…my favorite: The Chicago Tribune Building.




Then I found a spot that I’ve been wanting to come to since I was 8!

The American Girl Place 🙂


Then we did some shopping: we tried on Vibram 5 Fingers (I’m still not sure), found a Lucy Store (great workout gear, annoying salesperson), and tried the new Columbia Omni-heat jackets and gear….I was warm and snug as a bug in a rug!

Before our feast of Italian food and bread at Rosebud, we saw a Giant Spider hanging out on the side of building.  Only on Halloween.


We were so exhausted, I think we inhaled our food, watch the PSU vs. Michigan game (which PSU won!), and fell fast asleep.  We dreamt of running shoes, perfect weather, and lots of water and porta potties along the race course hehe




All dressed and ready to go…sleepy faces included.

Many people wore costumes, I just wore bats in my hair.  Disclaimer: wearing bats in your hair will not make you any faster.


I was excited!!


Good morning Chicago!  Let’s Race 🙂


Although this picture doesn’t show it, there was a huge backup at the porta potties, so pre race relief was not in sight!


Starting to get ready and antsy in the pantsy.

We started the race around 8 am and ran along the beautiful lakeshore trail.  I loved the race course.  My run was definitely one of my worst and I had the worst knee pain.  I’m rehabbing it now with lots of ice and Aleve.  But, if you’re looking for a fun Half Marathon, try the Chicago Monster!  Great hotel accommodations, great communication by the race staff (even with the overnight race course change) and wonderful volunteers. 


A stiff but happy finisher 🙂


Both of us were pretty sore and tired, but before we left Chicago for the day, we had to go to the Sears Tower!


It’s known as the Willis Tower now because Willis Group Holdings, Ltd. leased more than 140,000 square feet of space on three floors in 2009.  So it was renamed “Willis Tower” in July of 2009. 


We took a tour of the history of Chicago and the Sears Tower, along with a short video depicting the construction and history of the Sears Tower.  Then we climbed the 110 Stories on an elevator that went 26 feet per second.  My ears popped a few times on the way up!


The top!



It was so beautiful.  Good thing I didn’t have a heart attack in the elevator (a weird thing I’m afraid of).


There are 4 different sky decks which are made of all glass that allows you to feel like you’re floating above the city.  SO COOL!


We actually saw 2 couples get engaged at the top!

Afterward we got coffee at Dunkin, I LOVE DUNKIN, and I had a Fall Munchkin :)  A munchkin for a munchkin.  Chris had the full Fall Donut, I ate the donut hole, a match made in donut heaven 🙂

Considering we did run 13.1 miles that morning, we were still hungry, at least I was.  So we stopped at a hotel restaurant called Cafe 676.


No one else was in the restaurant while we were, so we had the best seats.


Even a view of Niketown!

But the best view came after we ordered:


French toast with orange cream and granola.   Perfection!


I loved Chicago 🙂 and I can’t wait to go back!


Hope everyone else had a wonderful Halloween weekend and had their fill of candy and treats