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Friday, March 29, 2013

Breakups, Bonaire, and Bikini Bodies

While we all have our reasons for "why we run"  
I have to say my biggest reason is a little superficial.
I run to work toward that fit and fabulous bikini body.  

I hope we can all remember a time where we were happy and confident about ourselves and the way we looked.  For me, this picture below was probably the happiest I have been with my body and my weight and serves as my goal "image" to get back to.  And I want to do it in the healthiest way possible: through a healthy diet and a lot of exercise.


This picture was taken during a Carnival Cruise in the Bahamas circa 2009.  My parents gave my sister a cruise as a graduation gift, and sent me along with her as a pity gift for getting dumped and to keep her company.    
I would like to say to keep her out of trouble but we all know it is the other way around...... 

I had just gotten dumped after a 2.5 year tumultuous college relationship.  I was infatuated and "so in love" and so very heartbroken when it came to an end.  It takes a while to get over that kind of heard ache... the kind where you feel so helpless and lonely, and feeling like things may never get better.  Of course I got over it and moved on but I did not do it the healthiest way.  I spent a lot of time wallowing in bed watching P.S. I Love You on repeat and not a lot of time of eating or doing much of anything else.  Sadly that break up might be why I look so good in this picture. My parents decided to get me out of my funk after they realized they couldn't even bribe me out of bed with french fries.  
There are very few things in this world I love more than french fries.....

This is my sister Ashley and I with our ""cruise boyfriends"  Mr. Firefighter and Mr. Pilot.  Some good looking men, warm weather and stiff drinks was all the coaxing I needed.  And meeting a very sexy helicopter pilot (featured on the right- look at those abs..)  helps any single gal get over an ex
Hold on while I wipe the drool off my keyboard....


I am trying to get back to that "happy weight" through a healthier diet and lots of exercise.  While I want to be healthy overall and long term, it is nice to have some other forms of motivation.  For me it has been a week long dive trip with some great friends on a little island called Bonaire, located next to Aruba and off the coast of Venezuela.  

I took my basic open water scuba diving class in June and made some amazing friends in the process.  They quickly became my dive buddies and diving 'security blanket" if you will.   We continued to dive (and drink) together and talked about planning a winter/spring trip.  When they planned an inexpensive trip to "Diver's Paradise"  AKA tropical Bonaire I couldn't say no.  

These are the amazing people I met through my new hobby and adventures.  

We are staying at Buddies Dive Resort, a beautiful resort (with a swim up bar!)  that has all inclusive diving and is right on the crystal clear coastline.  As much as I love diving, I love relaxing on a beach or reading in the shade just as much :)  I am hoping this trip is a perfect mix of relaxing and diving. 

Temperatures will be in the high 80's which sounds so fantastic after a long and cold winter.  I have heard the weather is similar to Aruba which I  is AMAZING.  Sunny and breeze every day.  We are going in the "travel off season"  so we got a great deal on the trip. 
April 20-27 I will be enjoying these views! 


The diving is going to be out of this world- and I am so lucky to relax, dive, and share this experience with great friends.  Whenever I am not in the mood to workout I remind myself BONAIRE!  Whenever I think I can't push another mile I tell myself... BONAIRE!
8 lbs down and 21 days to go!   

Motivation is key, in any way shape or form
21 Days until I am swimming in these beautiful waters and relaxing on a beach with a book and a beverage :)

Any fun trips planned?
What motivates you?

Nuun Water Bottle and Hydration Pack – Online Deal

If you know me, 
you know I love to spend my time on Groupon 
spending lots of money but getting awesome deals. 

It is only 10:30 am and I have already bought John Mayer tickets, a manicure, heels, and now the Nuun water bottle and hydration pack.  
Yes I have a problem. 

Head on over to Groupon and Click here to get the deal!

$22.99 instead of $34.95.  

If this is your first time, use this link  too hook me up with some referral cash :) 

The Deal

$22.99 for a Nuun hydration package ($34.95 total list price), which includes:
  • All Day Hydration mixed four-pack, which contains one tube each of blueberry-pomegranate, grapefruit-orange, grape-raspberry, and tangerine-lime hydration tabs ($29.95 list price)
  • 21-ounce sport water bottle ($5 list price)

Nuun Water Bottle and All Day Hydration Mixed Four-Pack

Nuun's team members believe dehydration is one of the biggest obstacles to optimal performance, whether folks are mountain biking, shouldering a full workday, or scrutinizing every article in Highlights magazine. To combat this problem, they developed All Day Hydration packs. Each of these fruit-flavored, sugar-free tabs releases 17 vitamins and minerals and under 8 calories when dropped into a glass of water. Each tube includes 15 tabs, for a total of 60 servings in the pack. Nuun also developed a sport water bottle, so you always have a vessel on hand to drop in a tab and guzzle down some nutrient-laden liquid.
All Day Hydration Mixed Four-Pack
  • Blend of 17 vitamins and minerals that helps support hydration
  • 15 tabs per tube for a total of 60 servings
  • Ingredients such as vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
  • Less than 8 calories per tab
  • Free of sugar and sea monkeys
  • Helps combat fatigue due to dehydration
  • Weight: 0.70 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.75"x2.75"x4"
Nuun 21-Ounce Sport Water Bottle
  • Made for Nuun by bicycle manufacturer Trek
  • Knobby textured grip
  • BPA-free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Weight: 0.145 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3"x3"x8"

Thursday, March 28, 2013

9 Reasons Running Doesnt Suck As Much As You Think

Happy Thursday!
After waking up at 6am to meet the group for our 6:30 four mile run, and having a few issues during our run,  I decided to re-read and share this article by Favorite Run with everyone.  End of the week, before a long holiday weekend... here is a little motivation for everyone to hit the road a little harder to make up for a little extra holiday eating :)

9 Reasons Running Doesn't Suck as Much as You Think.....

1. You can lose weight by drinking nothing but hot water with lemon. Or you can run for an hour, treat yourself to a cookie and still fit into your skinny jeans. One of these options makes you bitchy; the other makes you rad.

2. Take your iPod with you, and your runs suddenly become a safe place to indulge your love of boy-band music. With enough practice, you can even blend in a couple dance moves from ‘Bye Bye Bye’. Don’t lie: You’ve still got that routine memorized.

3. When your boss, your melodramatic friend and your nagging to-do list won’t leave you alone, calmly put on your running shoes and head out the door. They won’t follow you. It’s a safer alternative to storming out with both middle fingers in the air (though you can -and should- still do this in your head, just for spectacular effect).

4. You’ll discover lululemon pants are good for more than just buying tampons and Cheez-its at Target (I know, ladies. My world was rocked with that discovery, too.).

5. Running is the last place you have to “be a lady.” Sweat, snot and sneaking behind a bush to pee is not only liberating it’s fun, in that giggly-childish-naughty kind of way.

6. Getting a run in before happy hour means you get tipsy on half a glass of wine instead of your usual two. That’s not being a lush, that’s just sound economic planning.

7. Studies have shown that runners have better sex. Sex counts as a cross-training workout, which in turn makes you a better runner, which – hello! – leads to even better sex. Really, the whole thing is full of win-wins.

8. Girls are lucky; there’s an entire industry committed to making us look awesome while getting our sweat on. Workout clothes come in all sorts of cool colors and designs. Jockstraps, on the other hand, will always be ugly with questionable stains.

9. Non-runners will sit on the couch and call you crazy. Those folks, sadly, will never learn what their bodies are capable of. You, on the other hand, will die knowing you completely, totally, unabashedly used up the body that was loaned to you. That’s not crazy. That’s freakin’ awesome.
By: Favorite Run

I am sure we can all relate :)  
Happy Running!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fresh pasta- the real kind

I am all for the pasta substitutes, and low carb diets, and being healthy, 
but sometimes you just need a plate of pasta. 
And a big one.  And a REAL one. 
And hey... I am a runner so carbs aren't the worst thing out there.

Moderation is key. 
A real plate of pasta once in a while is fine by me.    

Could my portion be smaller?  
Of course... half the size would have been acceptable.
But it looked too good- Pair it with a fresh arugula salad for a green peppery bite and a better balance. 

Guess I will run an extra mile or five next run...

Because I am going to over indulge in a plate of pasta the size of my head,

 I decided I was going to have to work for it.  I made EVERYTHING from scratch: pasta, meatballs, sauce, all from scratch.  This provided a healthier meal with all fresh ingredients from the local butcher or the food co-op.  

I started with the sauce.  
Making my own sauce is key.
Jarred sauces are usually full of sugar and other junk, while my sauce is sugar free and flavor packed.  I used about 4 tomatoes, 8 mushrooms, 1 onions, and 4 cloves of garlic.  Everything was diced and simmered on the stove for about 30 minutes with some olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil. 

Next I formed the meat balls so they would have time to sit before I cooked them.  I used a pound of ground pork from the local butcher.  I figured pork would be leaner than fatty ground beef and was something fun and different.  To the meat I added 1 egg, whole wheat bread crumbs, basil, salt, pepper, chopped onion, parmesan cheese, and grated garlic. 

When it was time to cook the meatballs, I cooked them in a tiny bit fairly decent amount of bacon fat.  
Hey.... no ones perfect.  
It made them super crispy and got some fat into the meat so they weren't super dry and bland.  While this isn't the healthiest decision I have ever made while cooking, it was probably the best one.  These were some of the best meat balls I have ever tasted.  
And they tasted bacon-y.  

Next I made my pasta. 
 I use Pioneer Woman's super easy recipe.
 1 cup of flour 2 eggs. 
 I added some salt, pepper, and grated raw garlic to this and threw it all in the food processor.  The food processor is so great for making dough.  
Easy Peasy and no sticky counters and hands.  
Throw in some extra flour if your dough looks wet.  
Mine needed a lot of extra flour because they eggs were local from the food co-op and were gigantic.  

At this point I decided the meal needed some wine. 
 And no I did not cook with it.  

I cooked holding it.  And drinking it. 

 I thought this bottle was too cute.  
A red wine called cannon ball. 
And on the cork a cute little caption "Dive In"  
Dive in I did.  

I cut my dough into two sections and sent it through the hand crank pasta machine to roll it out and then cut it.  
TIP:  Roll it through a few times on the first and widest setting... this really helps to "knead" the dough and make it easier to roll and cut.  Keep adding flour- wet dough does not go through the roller easily.

The end product is a huge delicious mess.  
When I lived at home, my father would label any cooking session 
"Katie Messy Time".  
This messy time is doubled when I am making pasta.  Make sure you toss the pasta in some flour to prevent it from sticking, or hang it on a rack to dry.   

I threw my pasta into a pot of boiling salted water.  Fresh pasta just takes 2 -3 minutes so keep an eye and don't over cook it. 

Throw everything together,
 top it off with some fresh basil, 
Parmesan cheese and pepper flakes.
Fill up your wine glass, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.... 
or maybe the carbs of your effort.  

Bon Appetit!

The Awkward Late Girl to HIIT

Everyone has experienced this... (I hope)
Running a few minutes late to your class at the gym.   So you show up five minutes after it starts and while everyone is sweating and moaning you have to awkwardly set up your step, weights, and mat.

 IN THE FRONT of the class. 

This happened to me on my Monday night HIIT class. (30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training).  Welll... more like 25 minutes that day.  

It got worst .... you don't set up your bench correctly so the instructor stops the class to fix your step so you don't die while suffering through box jump burpees.

 So awkward, so embarrassing, and so rude.  I felt awful. The instructor was really nice about it and being in the front row wasn't as miserable as I expected.  The class had a different instructor than Wednesday so I really enjoyed the different workout.  Of course it was insanely hard and of course my legs still felt like bricks from Saturdays 16 miler.

Some of the new workouts

Box Jump Burpees

Bench Corner Reaches
one leg on the corner of the bench, jumping up and reaching up with a weight, coming back down into a squat

Bench Jump Squats 

Some of the oldies

Push ups

Bench Mountain Climbers

Weighted Crunches

Bicycle Crunches

Bench Squats

Weighted lunges

Despite being really awkward, I got a great workout in in 30 minutes.  I learned some new moves and 2 days later I still feel the burn.

It hurts so good.  

Please trick your body and go find a HIIT class!  It is perfect for switching up my running routine and getting a full body workout in.  My muscles do not know what to expect and I am far more sore from this 30 minute class than my 2+ hours of running. 

I have always heard that the repetition of the same type of workout will cause your body to "get used" to the exercise routine and your body will consume less energy.  Changing up your workout routine will force your body to be challenged and hopefully provide me with the change I am trying to achieve.  

Tuesday morning I met my running group for a run at a new spot near Tracey's house in East Hampton.  The three very hilly miles was another attempt to trick my body and get a good hill workout in.  Tuesday afternoon I met to hike a few miles to tire out my crazy dog.  Who ended up being a filthy crazy dog.  

Wednesday morning Olive and I went on a 2 mile walk to loosen things up after all of the riding, running, hiking, and HIITing.  

Today is a rest day for sure.   

Hopefully I have tricked my body into burning more calories. 
 Just in time for my trip to Bonaire in 24 days.  
Details to follow :)  

My Other Workout

Hello friends!  Hoping everyone is surviving the week!
Here is a quick recap on the rest of my weekend.  Non running related but we will call it cross training.  Anyone who has ever ridden a horse knows it is a serious full body workout.  And no. the horse doesn't do all the work.  And yes it takes a lot of lower and upper body strength to stay on these animals. 

Sunday I took my sisters horse Bradley to a horse show.  Being 17'3 he is basically an elephant and if he doesn't want to do something... he wont.  Like loading on to the horse trailer.  It took about 20 minutes and four candy canes but we loaded up and were on our way. You could bribe me to do many things with food... glad we could agree on that.

Pony loaded, the Armada fueled up... Fairfield bound with one bad pony and one happy Katie. The horse show was over an hour away so we left at 10:00 am to leave plenty of time for a warm up and to tire out Bradley the beast (pictured above).  He is only about 8 years old so he has a lot of energy to spare.  The class I was showing required him to be quiet and well behaved so we spent about an hour getting rid of all of that excess energy.  

The Fairfield Hunt Club is a beautiful place, with two heated indoor rings, viewing areas, tennis, swimming pool, club house, and possibly my rich future husband.  Well, no luck on the husband search but Bradley was a super star so I guess I will take what I can get.  He won the Medal Class that we really wanted to win and he was such a good boy.  I rode really well (even after running 16 miles the day before).  It was a wonderful way to wrap up the weekend.  

Please ignore my awful outfit... unfortunately it is required for the type of classes I was doing.  I was showing in Hunter and Equitation classes that are judged on how nice everything looks.... how the rider looks and controls the horse and how the horse carries himself, with nice fluid even movement.  All while jumping over a 3' course.  

When I got home Sunday night I enjoyed some cold chard that I obviously bought for the label and no other reason.  Being the middle sister and a smarty pants ;)  I figured this wine was made for me.  It wasn't the best wine I have ever had but it hit the spot.  

Anyone ever been horse back riding?
What are your thoughts and how sore were you the next day?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I am now one of those people......

Today marked my fourth half marathon, 
as well as 16 miles on the marathon training schedule.  

As we all know prepping for the race is just as important as the race day itself.  I started off Friday (day before the race) with a ham egg and spinach sandwich.  I chugged about 3 cups of coffee and tried to chase it with water to stay hydrated.  Lunch was a chicken Cobb salad at the Griswold Inn with a Guinness and a few glasses of water. Lunch Dessert was a black bean gluten free brownie I have been wanting to try.  It was choclatey and rich without being too sweet and too rich.

After lunch I did a little bit of shopping and bought Olive a new neon orange collar and reflective vest. Black dog running on black asphalt is hard to see so this should help.  She looks so cute and it feeds into my obsession with Neon.  
It will also be great for hiking in the woods. 

By the time I ran my errands, headed back to work, and returned home I saw my new camel bak waiting for me :) 
It would be a little risky to use it tomorrow so I will save it for another race.
Can't wait to try it out on short run.

I ended the day with a trip to the state's capital to watch the New England Whales hockey team beat the Hershey Bears.  I had a two beers (carb loading?) at the game- 2$ drafts and 1$ hot dogs?  Girl can't say no.  Well , I said no to the hot dogs- they were questionable and I didn't want dollar hot dogs to ruin my stomach and my race.  I substituted a grilled salmon sandwich with sweet potato fries for dinner.


I was in bed by midnight and up by 5 to get in a run before my run.  
Being a slacker for most of my running life, I always laughed at those people running BEFORE the start of a race, or running to and from races.  
Warm up? 
What a waste of energy.  
13.1 isn't long enough so you are going to keep running?  
Over achiever   
Well today, I became the person I made fun of.  
The pre run runnner. 

What's next... am I going to turn into my mother?

I was at 16 miles for my marathon training schedule, but had also signed up for this half marathon to break my 2 hour time goal for 13.1  After getting my sub 2 hour half marathon during the Colchester half marathon last month, I decided to run 3 miles before and treat this is a 16 mile training run for my marathon training (with Gu, Gatorade, water and motivation along the way!)

The course was gorgeous, 
4 miles flat along the water, 
5 miles residential rolling hills, 
4 miles flat on the water again. 

I got there at about 7:10 to stretch, sign in, use the bathroom, and get my 3 miles in before the start at 8:00.  There was a beautiful sunrise when I got to the beach and it really put a smile on my face.  Running along the water was sunny with a nice cool breeze.  

I wore my Newtons with my new Hot pink lock laces, Hot pink Pro Compression socks, running capris, long sleeve shirt, Lulu Lemon reflective coat, gloves, and my head band. I was a little warm but glad I had the coat to block some of the wind coming off the water.

Sarah ran her first half marathon in 1:47.  The girl is crazy. Good job Sarah!  What an amazing accomplishment!  I ran 16.1 miles without falling over so I took that as my accomplishment for the day.  I also felt pretty good during the entire run.  With the exception of the top of every hill.  While I really did well on the hills and passed a lot of people, I felt like I might die at each peal while I tried to catch my breath and regain feeling in my legs.  I started the race too slow, at 9:40 minute miles, but ran the last 5 miles between 8:20 and 9:00 minute miles. I decided not too be too hard on myself because I was running 16 miles... not 13.1.

To feel good over the distance makes this wanna be marathoner very happy.
I decided to run in my D&Gs (obsessed with them) because it was so sunny. Time to invest in some running/athletic sunglasses.

Has anyone used these fuel belts before?  They just buckle around your waist and two little elastic snap things allows you to securely wear your number without putting safety pin holes all over your expensive running clothes.  $160 jacket doesn't need pin holes all over it so this made me happy.

I celebrated my new longest distance with some pasta, water, and chocolate chip cheesecake italian ice.  I don.t know if I was starving,or delusional, or anything would have tasted good at this point but this was so so amazing. 

Another medal for the wall and another long distance run out of the way.  

16 miles you are my bitch 

 I am so happy its all over by noon, but not so happy to spend the rest of my day and night working behind the bar.  Thankfully my knee icer came in so I can do a little icing before I head to work!  

What are your plans this weekend?
And what do you suggest for post long run recovery?