Yogatastic

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting back to an old favorite: Yoga. It started as a way to help quiet my mind in the evenings before bed, but has turned into a great way to help build my mileage back up. Here are some reasons why:

  •  It improves strength and flexibility.  While on the mat, yoga practitioners begin to develop strength in areas, namely core and legs, that runners depend on for injury-free performances. Yoga also helps loosen and lengthen muscles, which reverse the muscle tightness most runners experience.
  • It helps with breathing. Yoga’s main focus is on the breath, so it’s no surprise that many runners find that the breath awareness they learn in yoga class helps them pace themselves and run more efficiently.
  • It can help a runner recover from a workout. Yoga can be both intense and restorative. Some of the best restorative poses are Legs-up-the-Wall Pose, Corpse Pose, Pigeon Pose and Child’s Pose. (See below)
  • It can strengthen the mind. Both running and yoga are activities that must be practiced regularly and that teach practitioners to focus on the present moment. Some find that quieting the mind while stretching and strengthening the body relieves the pain of muscle tension caused by long runs and daily stress.

Poses for Restoration:

Corpse Pose

Up the Wall Pose

Pigeon Pose

For more poses, check out https://cathaircoffee.com/fitness/yoga-poses/.

Guest Post: The Best Running Shoes for Women

Although I’m a die-hard Brooks fan, I’m always open to other brands that claim to help me “get the job done” when it comes to my running performance. Thanks to a recent submission, now you too can explore some of your running shoe options.

Are you a running pro or just someone who loves to run and do some good and healthy workout? Then you will be the first to know that choosing the right running shoes can really make all the difference. They have to provide comfort, stability, dryness and of course, because we are women, design is also very important to us. But how can you look stylish while running and make sure to have all the the comfort that you need? Well, look no further; here are the best 3 running shoes that will give you everything you want and make your running sessions much better. You can get them with coupons to save money!

Nike Reax Run 7

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The first of our list of the best running shoes are these really stylish ones that are perfect for the girl who wants to look fab also when she works out, either by running or going to the gym. The combination of white, red, pink and grey make a really fresh and young design for these comfortable and practical running shoes by Nike. The sole is made in solid rubber with a waffle pattern and a flex groove that will provide a great traction when you go on the road. The upper part is made in synthetic and mesh that will make your feet breathe as you sweat, keeping them fresh and dry. In the inside there is an abundant cushioning for really soft landings and maximum comfort. Available at Finish Line for a super deal of only $39.98 (previously $69.99).

Adidas Energy Boost

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These running shoes in a really aggressive and powerful design come in 4 different versions, either black, pink, blue or electric green, to meet the individual style of every woman. This shoe combines all the technology offered by Adidas, especially in the midsole, which has the innovative energy-returning boost technology that will provide an endless supply of energy to your run, keeping you energized and active throughout the whole workout. It is a shoe worth investing in thanks to its high-wear durability that will make it last for years and years. It is also lightweight and really flexible and it has an external heel counter that will provide maximal heel fit and running comfort. The ideal shoe for long runs that you can buy now on Adidas.com for $150.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 15

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This colorful and punchy shoe comes in 3 different sets of colors: wine, flash yellow and white, grey, red and orange or grey, hot pink and mint. It has a heel counter for improved support and heal fitting and also the upper fit is improved for maximum comfort when you are running. A combination of bounce back and cushioning will provide for your extra comfort and energy boost and its anti-odor property will keep your feet fresh and dry. It has also an extra feature for women’s health, as with its 3 mm of additional height it helps relieve Achilles tension. Get them now on Asicsamerica.com for $145. For more savings, don’t forget to get free shipping coupons when you buy them online.

What Happened to Spring?

So a few weeks ago, I was expressing my longing for warmer weather. I just wanted to be able to pack a bag and run after work. Not a big request. I kept dreaming of that perfect 65-70 degree weather that spring brings and how I would achieve nirvana by way of the rail trail. Boy was I wrong. Instead of transitioning to a moderately warm temperature, we’ve gone into a full-blown heat wave. Couple that with a ridiculously high humidity level and you’ve just created the weather I absolutely despise: mid-summer.

Running on Tuesday felt just like I was fast forwarded to the end of June. Honestly, you could have flipped the calendar ahead two pages and had me fooled. Now all of you boat folks were probably having a smashingly good time, but us pale folk were not amused by this cruel spring joke. I swear being out there for 30 minutes started to freckle me. I guess I really can’t complain that much (she says after a two paragraph rant). I did ask for trail-appropriate weather and I do anticipate the heat backing off a bit over the next few days, but still I can’t help but wonder if this is what the rest of my life will be like. I’ll hold my global warming spiel for another day. 🙂

Other than the humidity, I can’t really complain about much. My car still amazes me every day. In fact, I went to the store on Sunday for some groceries and managed to fill my entire trunk without even putting the backseats down. It’s a deceptively deep little trunk!

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I also filled up my car for the first time in seven days this week and only paid $26 for a full tank. That’s $22 less than I normally paid to fill my Beetle up for around four and a half days. Wow! Right now I’m averaging around 40.3 mpg, but as I become more aware of tips and tricks to save, the numbers keep climbing. I’m hoping to be up to 41 by the end of the weekend.

Ok, that’s enough Prius smut. On to the Healthy Tip.

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by Dr. Oz: Eat most of your carbs early in the day and reduce them as the day goes on. Try to end your day with more protein. This will better your chance of burning off carbs during your day so they don’t transform into fat.

Training

So far my 10K training is going well. I’m about to finish Week 4 Day 3, which looks like this:

  • 5 minute warm up
  • 3 minute run
  • 90 second walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 2.5 minute walk
  • 3 minute run
  • 90 second walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 5 minute cool down

As I’ve said before, even though I used to run 30-40 minutes straight, I would often get burned out. Training with a set plan that eases you back into running is a great way to prevent this. Never underestimate the power of simply slowing down to get ahead. So far I’m a little behind schedule. I have about 30 training days left and only 45 days left until the race. I haven’t checked ahead to see what the next few weeks will look like, but there is a chance I may skip a day or two if I encounter repeat days. It all depends on how I feel, though.

Aside from training, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. Well, not this week, but in weeks past, I’ve definitely been making more of an effort to cool. First there was my homemade apple butter excitement.

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I think it’s safe to say I’ll never buy apple butter from the store again. This recipe was FAR superior.

After that, I really got into avocados. I took an avocado, sliced up about half of it, then added some feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and dumped it on 1/2 cup of brown rice. Delicious.

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Of course we can’t forget about the many faces of my omelets.

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I think the middle one was my favorite.

Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with this neat graphic I found yesterday.

10 Benefits of Running Infographic

 

Let’s just call that my Healthy Tip of the Day. 🙂

TTT: Why I Want My Cats to be the Next Internet Sensation

I’ll be the first to admit that if I thought I could get my youngest cat Grace to let me photograph and video her more, I’d happily exploit her oddities so she could become the next cat internet sensation. For instance, her basketball skills, if captured, could definitely put her up there in the running. Plus, her wacky fear of hot cocoa and OCD tendencies make her the perfect candidate for internet cutedom. Until she reaches the top, here are a few of my favorite internet cat personalities.

Lil Bub!

Have you ever see a more precious baby? Here’s her story via her Facebook page. (Follow her!)

BUB has many unique characteristics that make her a very special one of a kind critter. Please understand that she was NOT bred to be this way. BUB was the runt of an otherwise healthy litter from a stray outdoor mother, and was born with several genetic mutations that make her special. She is just one of nature’s happy accidents. Her foster family had a hard time finding her a home, but she now l

ives happily with a dude that feeds her only the best food and treats her like a queen.

BUB is a “perma-kitten”, which means she will stay kitten sized and maintain kitten-like features her entire life. She is also a dwarf, which means her limbs are disproportionately small relative to the rest of her body. She has very short, stubby legs and a weird, long, serpent-like body. Her lower jaw is very short compared to her upper jaw, and her teeth never grew in (yes, that’s right, she’s toothless!), which is why her tongue is usually hanging out. Don’t worry, BUB has a very healthy appetite and eats dry and wet food with no problems. Additionally, BUB is a polydactyl cat, meaning she has extra toes, and in her case, one extra toe on all of her four paws. Her front paws each have two opposable thumbs. And then of course there are her big, bulging, wonder-filled green eyes. Some think she can see into the future with those things.

BUB squonks, squeaks, gurgles, snorts, hiccups, purrs and sometimes even growls. She also occasionally meows, but even those sound kinda funny. 

Despite her weird looks and numerous “deformities”, BUB is a healthy, happy cat. She may not be able to jump on and off stuff, but she manages by climbing using her 22 claws. She also can’t quite run or walk very well… but she is a fantastic waddler. Even though she has no teeth, she has a fierce appetite, and can take down half of a bowl of dry food without any problems (the other half winds up scattered on the floor). Just like other cats, she poops and pees in the litter box, likes to chase bugs and is always cleaning her luxurious coat and sometimes even her dude’s beard.

Colonel Meow
What a face! This cat is guaranteed to make me laugh on a crummy day. Here is his Facebook bio.
I was abandoned on the side of the road and rescued by the Himalayan and Persian Society. I went to the doctor and was cleared for adoption through Petco where I met my Master, Anne Marie Avey. She cuddles me and feeds me and even sings to me which makes me happy. So happy I fall asleep.
Colonel Meow loves scotch and calls his Facebook followers “minions”. His sidekick Boots, a golden retriever, acts as his body guard. Hilarious!
Maru
Maru was the first internet cat sensation I discovered, via YouTube. She lives with her owner in Japan. Maru is an adorable Scottish Fold who loves squeezing into boxes and other tiny spaces.
If you’re a cat fan, I highly recommend you check out these fabulous personalities. They’re so much fun to keep up with!
My Healthy Tip of the Day: Make your phone background a picture of your favorite place to run or exercise. This way you’ll be reminded of why you keep pushing pavement (or trail) every time you check your phone. Here’s mine.
How could I not want to run on this every day?!

Running to Rome Update: Buffalo

Ok, so I’ll be real for a moment: I’m nowhere close to where I should be in my challenge. I’ve accepted it and I’m fine with it. In fact, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to better plan for my next running mission. (Haven’t picked a destination yet.)

So as you can see, I’m right outside of Buffalo, which is a little more than halfway to my destination. Not a good place to be when you have around two months left. Not to be a dead horse, but I can pinpoint the exact timeframe where I fell behind: the holiday season. I lost at least two solid months of running between December and February, directly causing this scramble to the finish.

The bright side? I’ll be able to say I ran around 400 miles in one year. Not too shabby for my first time tracking! At the end of this challenge, I’ll post an average for each month for you to see. Not sure if I’ll be able to find any useful information in this data, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

So, for imagination’s sake, let’s pretend I’m actually running on interstate 90 into the town of Buffalo. What would I do?

  • Hit up Niagra Falls! I’ve always thought this would be the coolest vacation. I’d definitely have to board the Maid of the Mist like you always see in the movies.
  • I might visit the Japanese Garden of Buffalo. According to the tourist site Visit Buffalo Niagra, in December of 1962, the city of Buffalo joined the United States Sister City International initiative by connecting with Kanazawa, Japan and a wonderful history of sharing resources has grown. In 1996, Kanazawa was largely responsible for the major renovations to the Japanese Garden of Buffalo providing us with trees, shrubs, paths and the unique stone lanterns.

  • I’d definitely make my way down the Niagra Wine Trail. Apparently this region consists of unique geographical characteristics and a micro-climate which is suitable for the production of fruit. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Riesling are grown in this region. All within the area, a tourist can enjoy the town, restaurants, historical sites, farm markets, and antique shops. Sign me up!
Now that you’re updated, on Running to Rome, I’d like to ask you to please help me make the decision where to run next!

New Drinking Game

I think I’m going to encourage everyone to start doing a shot every time I miss a Running to Rome goal. Once again I’m about 20 miles shy of where I needed to be for the beginning of May. I could blame the fact that I moved last week, or I could own up to my own lack of planning. So this is me owning up.

In other, more successful news, I’m unpacked, have a bed frame for the spare room on the way, and have two very settled girls waiting for me every day when I get home. As some of you may or may not have known, I recently had to move into a pet-friendly apartment complex to accommodate my fuzzy roommates. The place is twice the size of my last and has a washer/dryer! I can finally stop going to the carwash for change every other week! The only hiccup I seem to be encountering in the new place is its lack of decoration (and my lack of motivation). You see, I was encouraged to avoid putting holes in the walls for pictures and such due to the complex’s weird patch fee. (I feel like its $25 per wall they have to patch!) Luckily I have a ton of those little plastic hooks that actually support quite a bit of weight. Now I just have to settle on a couch cover color and then I’m on my way to surfing Pinterest for ideas.

What’s a good color for a beige and peach living room?

The couch I have now is blue and cream, which Alex seems to like; however I despise the plaid-ish pattern. Here are some options:

 

I think a beige or light brown would be cute too, but I would definitely need tons of accent pillows.

Anyway, tomorrow I start back to running club, which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’m hoping I can do at least 4 miles to leave me with only an extra 16 to catch up on. Here’s to hoping!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: I recently saw a bumper sticker on Pinterest that I thought would be a perfect reminder for my fresh start back to running.

That ice cream does look killer though…

I Have Issues

Well this Easter weekend came and went almost as quickly as my cavity-free teeth did. On Saturday, I decided not to wait until sun down to indulge in some major chocolate gorging and ended up making myself sick in a matter of 30 minutes. I recuperated just in time for dinner, which was followed by another round of indulgence. (Hello, brownies with peanut butter chips.)  When Sunday morning came, I knew I’d have to refrain from starting off the day with another pound of chocolate, so I did…until the car ride home. I hit the dark chocolate eggs harder than [insert inappropriate Chris Brown/Ike Turner joke here]. By the time I got home and settled, I was four slices of pizza in (got home late and didn’t want to cook) and looked like I should be fully dilated. Ayi-yi.

Fast forward to this morning when I arrived at work to find my wonderful coworker/friend had put together an AMAZING Easter bowl for me. Good. Lord. So, starting this evening, I am going to be on my best behavior. I am going to eat my veggies and do my push-ups. I am going to drink lots of water and stretch properly for my LONG run tomorrow. I’m thinking 4-5 miles is a must to work off these sugar buns.

Have you ever indulged to the point of sickness?

To my defense, I have always maintained that I have a chocolate problem. I do not try to hide it and I am not ashamed. Some people run to live, but I run to eat. No shame here.

aww yea candy - Best Of The Awwwww Yeah! Meme.

Oh and sorry for the lack of Three Things Thursday last week; I was preparing for my trip to Kentucky to visit my family. Congratulations again to the University of Kentucky for their big win last week. Much like West Virginia, you can’t walk into a restaurant or store without seeing a sea of university colors. I think it’s one of the many reasons why, although a Mountaineer, I do have a little blue blood in my veins.

Had to do it. Made me laugh too hard not to.

Hope you enjoyed your Monday!

PB 2 Convert

Sunday marked the day I discovered the single, most deadly substance known to man: PB 2 with Chocolate. Now before you all collectively give me a “Girl, no you didn’t,” remember that I can have chocolate on Sundays (and I do take full advantage). So on Sunday I decided to give the PB 2 a whirl.

As soon as I smelled it, I was convinced this was what heaven must smell like. After the first bite, I actually began eating it with a spoon. (I’ve been known to do worse.) After I contained myself, I prepped a big bowl of oatmeal by dumping the powder straight in. I combined this with almond milk for possibly some of the best oats I’ve ever had. If you haven’t tried this stuff, you’ve been warned. Not only is the calorie content shockingly low, but there are only 3 grams of sugar in each serving. Huzzah!

Gorging aside, my end of the month running goal is rapidly approaching. I’m to have 228 miles logged by April 1 and so far, conditions look perfect to wrap up that mileage just in time. As of today, I’m at 221.10 with at least two more scheduled runs to come. Wish me luck! We’re only 243.9 miles from Rome!

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:

Foods aren’t good or bad.

A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.

The Shoes are Here!

Well I arrived home from a viciously painful run to find my Brooks shoes had arrived!

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Yesssss. Not only did I find my shoes, but the lovely Brooks company had thrown in a little leftover St. Patrick’s Day goody.

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It’s shaped like a little jersey! I love it. Anyway, it took me about 30 seconds to get the shoes out of the box and on my feet (which is where they stayed for 15 minutes).

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I can’t wait to try these bad boys out tomorrow at my group run. Ok, sadly that’s all I had to live for this week, so now I’ve got to find something else to be excited about.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Try a minimum of two 20-minute sessions per week that include exercises for all the major muscle. Using compound moves such as lunges, squats, dumbbell presses and pull-ups, which work several muscle groups together, can make your gym time more productive and multiply your results.