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Sunday, January 29, 2012

13.1 Miles: Training Week 5

Week 5 is D.O.N.E. and I can't believe we are already half-way through training for our half-marathon!

*What I've learned most from this experience so far:
  Running long distances really is mind over matter.  

If you would have told me a few months ago I could run 10 miles in one day, I would have looked at you like you had 3 heads.  Every week I surprise myself tackling 6, then 8, now 10 mile runs.  Next week is 12, which means we're almost in the home stretch.

I showed some progress in Training Week 4, but let's talk about how Week 5 went.

Day 17
Monday: January 23, 2012

Miles: 3
Time: 25:34
Speed: 7.0mi/h
Pace: 8:32min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

A big 'ol cup of coffee (mentioned first for importance), sided with a bowl of hot Grape Nuts topped with fresh strawberries, bananas and chia seeds.  Have you ever tried hot cereal? It leaves cold cereal in the dust for me.  Simply add 1/3 cup of milk (preferably skim) to 2 cups of Grape Nuts and heat in the microwave for 5 minutes.  Heaven.

Day 18
Wednesday: January 25, 2012

I was feeling Wednesday's run before it even started!
I tried Dance Trance for the first time Tuesday night (post coming soon), then went to Pilates Wednesday morning.  I guess you could say this was one of those runs I was not excited for since my legs felt like a mix between jello and rocks.  I don't know what that is...but that's what they felt like: weak and heavy.

For 5 miles, I wanted a 2.5 mile pick-me-up, so I took a Mango-Tangerine Drink Chia! with me.

Miles: 5
Time: 45:29
Speed: 6.6mi/h
Pace: 9:08min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

Since I ran later on in the day, it was time for dinner.  Scott made a loaded baked potato, and I was on my own to find something quick and healthy.  This included a sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon, a Morning Star Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burger and a side of peas & carrots. 

Day 19
Thursday: January 26, 2012

I spent most of Thursday morning at the barre, and no my legs were not happy with me at this point.  I gave them a few hours to rest and waited to run in the sunset.

*TIP (and note to self): Cut back on work-out classes during training days.

I'll allow myself a barre class on Thursday mornings, but that's it from here on out while I'm training. 

Miles: 3
Time: 26:57
Speed: 6.6mi/h
Pace: 9:02min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

Call me crazy, but all I really wanted for dinner was a bagel.  I toasted a whole wheat one, spread all-natural peanut butter on it and drizzled it with a fresh, organic Mango flavored honey straight from the Orlando Farmer's Market.  Paired with a perfectly ripe banana, it sure hit the spot. 

Day 20
Saturday: January 28, 2012

Holy toledo, I ran 10 consecutive miles.  It was certainly a challenge, but it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be.  Scott ran right in front of me the whole time, took me on a new route around the neighborhood and the new scenery seemed to make the run go by quickly.

I mentioned last week that I wanted to try some GU products for my long distance runs.  Since then, I picked up a few packets of GU Gels from Vitamin Shoppe and took a Strawberry Banana pack at the 5 mile mark.  That little packet gave me the burst of energy I needed, and I won't be doing anything over 6 miles without some kind of mid-run energy source.

By the way, did you notice my "water bottle"?  My Drink Chia! proves to be the perfect bottle size to fill with water and carry through my runs.  

Miles: 10
Time: 1:29:42
Speed: 6.7mi/h
Pace: 8:58min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

Since I had been standing on my feet for 7 hours - in heels - working a booth at the PGA Merchandise Show, my feet were already barking before the 10 mile run.  After a hot bath, cozy pajamas and a plop down on the couch there was no hope of me moving to make dinner, or do anything for that matter.

Scott got +50 brownie points for running to Chick-fil-A to bring home two Chicken Tortilla soups for us.  It's times like these where I ignore all of the ridiculously embarrassing things he does and just adore him.  By the way...the soup, even without the tortilla strips - phenomenal.

What I've learned this week:
  • GU Gels or some type of mid-run pick me up is a huge help for my long run days.
  • Running with Scott forces me to pick up my pace by at least :30.  Apparently he's Forrest Gump.

  • Week 5 of training for a half-marathon may not be the best time to try out a series of new workout classes.  I'll be looking forward to going back and trying more once the race is over.
Goals for next week:

By some GU Chomps for next weekend's run.
Get through 12 miles at 1:45:00.  My goal for the entire half is to finish in 2 hours.  My 10 mile run hit right around 1:30:00 (thanks to Scott pushing me).  If I get this goal of 12 in 1:45 I should be right on track to finish the race under 2 hours.

Training Week 5 Playlist coming soon... :)

Friday, January 27, 2012


Wednesday night Scott and I went to the Back9Network's Launch Party.  We got invited by a friend and thought it would be great to finally check out ICEBAR Orlando.  That...we certainly did.


If you've never been to an ICEBAR before, it's definitely something worth checking out.  Beyond the ice, there's a regular temperature bar with seating and a large dance floor area.  Check out the virtual 360 degree inside tour.

The coats you see in the tour outline the actual ICEBAR, which is an extremely chilly 20 degrees, made entirely from ice.  Tables, chairs, decorations and even cups were stone cold.

Don't worry: you don't have to wear a parka here...
They provide one for you.

Or at least a version of that...

The event was great, and we are excited to see what the Back 9 Network is all about.  Look out for it airing in the near future.

There was a variety of talent there and The Voice 2011 Winner Javier Colon kicked off the party off.  Al B. Sure! and Flava Flav joined in and the crowd enjoyed their renditions of "There Goes My Baby."

Here's a talent highlight video:

Contrary to what most people might think about the bar and location, I think this venue would be a great place for tourists AND locals to go out.

International Drive used to scream the word tourist to me, but Scott and I have been enjoying dinners, movies and outings in the area lately.  You're okay, I-Drive.

I'm sure we'll be back to the ICEBAR soon.
We've got a Groupon to use :)

Check it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How To: Budget Beauty Pampering

There's tons of DIY tips & tricks on beauty out there, especially since Pinterest came along.  Although I don't do everything myself, I've figured out some pampering pointers to help you stay on a beauty routine budget.

*The biggest tip I can give is to spread out when you have your services/treatments done.  Although it might be easier to have a "you" day, get yourself on a schedule where you switch out the extra spending.

1st week of the month - spray tan/products + eyebrows
2nd week of the month - toes/nails
3rd week of the month - massage + eyebrows (if needed)
4th week of the month - hair color, treatment or facial

Below, I've outlined 5 ways to budget my favorite beauty services:

1. Manis/Pedis
There's nothing I enjoyed better after a long hard day at my serving job than treating myself to a pedicure.  These days, Scott and I both are in need of them with all of the running we're doing, so I've been skipping the manicures.

To make nails/toes fit in your budget:
Stick to the basics.  Go for the standard (or basic) pedicure, which usually lasts about 30 minutes for under $30.  French polish is usually an additional $5, so when you get there opt for the first color you're drawn to.  Instead of going every 2 weeks, treat yourself once or month or once every six weeks, kind of like getting your hair done.

2. Massages/Facials
The health benefits of a full body massage are often overlooked.  Going in to relax is an obvious one, but loosening up muscles, helping circulation and releasing toxins are even better ones.

*TIP: When scheduling a massage, be sure to include what you're looking for.  Tell them what kind of pressure you need, and if you have areas you need extra time spent.

Massages and facials can be extremely expensive, especially at high end hotels or salons & spas.  If you can't justify spending money on either ask for them as a Holiday, Anniversay or Birthday gift.  That's the only time I get facials, and instead focus more on working out the muscles in my body.

To fit massages into your budget:
Look for companies that specialize in massage services.  They tend to run specials and affordable monthly memberships.  Both Scott and I are members of Massage Envy, paying $40 each a month, which includes a massage and $40 for each additional one.  Whatever we don't use rolls over into the next month, and you can go to any location all over the country! 

3. Eyebrows
I am a huge advocate for eyebrow maintenance and I'm the last person to want to shape my own.  I've been getting my eyebrows threaded since college and haven't really turned back.  If you don't have threading near you, try to shop around for an affordable place that does waxing.

To make sure you get your eyebrows in:
Really do some research.  It may be convenient to get your brows done at your hair salon, but know that good eyebrow shaping can be found other places.  Try out different shops and see where getting yours done makes the most sense.  When I wasn't getting threaded (which only costs $9), I had a few friends in the field that offered to do mine at a discount.

Also, try tweezing the strays between waxing/threading.  You can extend the need to go a week or so with a little at-home grooming.

*TIP: While grooming at home, keep the shape the professional started and only grab the strays.

4. Spray Tans/Products
I haven't gone into this yet on my blog, but I am an avid artificial tanner... and no, I don't mean going to "fake bake."  Tanning beds are horrible for your skin, not to mention your health.  If you care to have an extra glow or need to darken up for a light outfit, get a spray tan or invest in your own personal line of tanning products.

To save on a spray:
Leave the $30 a spray tan for only a few times a year.  In between those "sprays" I lean on my Loreal Sublime.

This stuff is a Godsend.  It comes in all types of shades, as well as an Instant Action intense color and when I found out about it a few years back, I swore I would never visit a tanning bed again.

The darkest "self-spray tan" I've seen is Sunbrushed, and it's a liquid solution you wipe on with a wash cloth.

 I'll go into all of my favorites DIY tans in another post, but for now know there's other alternatives out there.

*TIP: Love these products? Order online from sites like for a fraction of the price!  

5.  Hair coloring/Treatments/Products
If there's one beauty regime I know I'll be stuck with for the rest of my life, it's hair coloring.  I just don't see myself in the mousey-brown hue I was born with.  With coloring, comes a much needed Hair Care & Products routine to keep your locks healthy.

To avoid spending your paycheck at the hair salon:
Invest in quality hair products, but don't get them all at once.  Aim to spread out re-stocking your products between a few months, or even a year.  Every time I get my hair done I am tempted to buy the new "it" product my stylist shows me.
Don't do it.

Take time to research, or even ask your stylist what you really need.  Get on a product line that works best for your hair and only by a product at a time.  Eventually, you will get everything and the products will usually run out in the same order you purchased them.

I hope these tips help you to plan out your beauty days and budget.  If you have any questions, comments or additional tips feel free to comment below or message me personally.

Happy Pampering! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Training Week 4 Playlist

This Training Week flew by with a heck of a finale run.  Every week my mileage increases by two and this time I had a challenge of creating a playlist to last right under an hour and a half.

Just for fun (and in honor of my battle to get over the sniffles)... I had to include at least 2 songs for why I got them in the first place: running in the *rain*.

Get ready to channel some 80's favs... 
I had to dig a little deep for this one! ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

13.1 Miles: Training Week 4

This week's training went pretty smoothly, except for getting caught running 5 miles in the rain.  Although I was tempted to call a friend for a ride home, I think the rain motivated me to knock it out as quick as possible, since Day 14 is one of my best paces yet.

At this point, I'm confident that I can get through the rest of my training program and the race, which is a good feeling.  My body has been starting to question my motives, however, and I've been trying to stretch, ice and soak in hot baths as much as possible.

First, have you caught up on last week's Training Re-cap?
Great... glad to see we're on the same pace page. ;)

Day 13
Monday: January 16, 2012

Today was an easier run.  I usually enjoy Monday mornings with the goal of 3 miles...ha. It's funny how that seems like a piece of cake these days.  On the way in from the neighborhood I noticed some Fall leaves in Florida, which was a pleasant surprise.

Miles: 3
Time: 25:23
Speed: 7.1mi/h
Pace: 8:28min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

I made another version of healthy, happy waffles using Kashi 7-Grain Waffles.  This time I topped them with fresh blueberries, drizzled them with all-natural honey and finished it off with some chia seeds.  The smiley is made from one of my favorites: Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon.

Day 14
Wednesday: January 18, 2012

I started working on some articles and posts early Wednesday morning and didn't stop until everything for the day was finished, which meant around 3:30pm.

What do you know...this is just about the time of day that is notorious for rain showers in Florida.  

Scott and I decided to face the rain anyways, since we had 5 miles to knock out.  It finally started letting up on our way back inside, and unfortunately I think we both caught more than this picture... a cold. 

I guess that's what you get for running in the rain!

Miles: 5
Time: 42:22
Speed: 7.1mi/h
Pace: 8:28min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

Can you tell I'm trying to use up that Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon?  Even though it was the afternoon, I made a power sandwich scrambling eggbeaters with turkey bacon, cherry tomatoes and low-fat shredded cheese on whole wheat toast. 

Day 15
Thursday: January 19, 2012

Thursday was another exciting day for me at barre.  Scott came to class and for the first time I taught the warm-up through three thigh exercises.  Let's just say he has a new found respect for what I do. ;)

*In case you missed it, I pitched a Get Active & Stay Active in 2012 challenge this week.

Oh look...there's a guy in that picture!  
*TIP: Don't let being male or female decide what classes you attend.  Every sex gets full benefits from any class I listed in my post above.

Miles: 3
Time: 25:37
Speed: 7.0mi/h
Pace: 8:34min/mi

Post-Run Meal Snack:

Since I had to run later in the afternoon, I just needed a light snack to hold me until dinner.  I have been in a very Strawberry mood lately and satisfied my cravings with a Strawberry Citrus Drink Chia! and a small side of fresh strawberries.

Day 16
Friday: January 20, 2012

*NOTE: I ran the dreaded 8 miles last night (which is supposed to be a rest day) instead of today because I have a full day of barre training ahead of me and wouldn't get to run until late.

At the last minute before getting ready for a bowling party, I decided to go ahead and knock out my long run of the week at sunset.  I really like running during a sunrise or sunset. I wouldn't say running 8 miles was enjoyable, but at least there was a view. ;)

Miles: 8
Time: 1:16:22
Speed: 6.3mi/h
Pace: 9:28min/mi

Post-Run Meal:

You might have noticed my paced slowed down an entire minute for this run.  For 8+ miles I'm going to try to stay somewhere in the 9:10-9:30 range for now, until I feel completely comfortable running that long of a distance at once.

When I got home I needed something quick, filling and easy.  Luckily, I had leftovers saved from my Lean Beef Burrito Bowl I made the day before.  YUM.

What I've learned this week:
  • Healthy leftovers really come in handy after a long run or intense workout.
  • Running in the rain isn't the best idea.  *Crossing my fingers* it doesn't rain on race day!
  • Although the distance isn't long, I think Thursdays have been challenging for me because my muscles are already sore from barre training and classes in the morning.
  • Stretch, stretch and stretch some more....then ice, ice and ice some more.
Goals for next week:

By some GU Chomps and/or GU Gel packs for next weekend's run. 

I've heard those really help keep you fueled and give you energy for long distances.  Other goal?
 Tackle the 10 mile run next Saturday. I feel if I can do that, I can do 13.1!

Training Week 4 Playlist coming soon... :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lean Beef Burrito Bowl

Last night I was looking for an easy recipe to whip up quickly after an evening run.

The first recipe I thought of under the "quick & easy" category is something similar to the burrito recipe a friend of mine sent me.  We had almost all of the ingredients already in our pantry, so I just had to run out for the meat.  I prefer going "tortillaless" and habitually order burrito bowls, so I figured I'd give it a try at home.

Lean Beef Burrito Bowl

1 lb lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 can Rotel tomatoes & green chilis
1 can black beans
1 cup sliced black olives (optional)
4 cups shredded lettuce
1 box Spanish rice
2 tbsp salsa (each)

Pin It
serves: 4
cook time: 20 minutes

To make bowl: Boil water for rice and brown ground beef.

Stir in Rotel, black beans and taco seasoning mix.

 Stir well, then turn down heat to simmer while you finish preparing the bowls.
*TIP: You can also use this recipe in a crock pot as well.

While waiting for rice to cook, wash and prep the lettuce and olives (optional).

When the rice is done, start your bowls with a cup of lettuce and a 1/2 cup of rice per bowl.

Add meat mixture and top with olives (optional) and salsa (optional).

*TIP: If you want to make a regular burrito: I recommend using these La Tortilla's Smart & Delicious low carb, high fiber whole wheat tortillas.

Serve your Spanish rice on the side of the burrito and Enjoy!

Did you notice I didn't use any shredded cheese?
(You don't need it!) ;)

Artistry Light Up Lip Gloss

Last year a friend introduced me to the coolest, smartest lip gloss.

*My Adobe Flashplayer has been acting up, so if yours is too:
Check out my video out over at Youtube:

As I mention in the video, there's two things built-in components that really set this line of gloss a part from the rest:



The glosses come in a few different shades and is perfect for a girl-on-the-go like me.  Restaurants, taxi cabs, or nights out on the town is an ideal time to show off your Artistry.

You can get your own here for $15.30 and are sure to be the beauty tip talk of the night.

I know it was a hit for the girls at my Bachelorette Party. ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get Active & Stay Active

We all do it...every year: New Years Resolutions.

I would bet the majority of you who read my posts made at least one fitness/weight loss related goal for 2012.  That's great and good for you for having goals!

My question to you is this:
How many of you actually follow through the entire year of what you've promised yourself?

I'm just as guilty as most are for slacking off during certain parts of the year - cough...October through December...cough - but my goal this year is to keep my resolutions going year round.  I haven't quite listed them on here yet, but for this post I'm going to stick with the Fitness category.

I'm challenging YOU to take on 5 easy ways to
Get Active & Stay Active in 2012.

1. Take Classes

You don't have to have a gym membership to take group fitness classes.  Yoga, pilates, barre, and Dance Trance are all great examples of specialty studios that offer specific workouts.  When I had a gym membership, I usually preferred taking a challenging cardio or toning class over doing a workout by myself.


Some of my personal favorites include:

Boot Camp
Group Power
Awesome Abs

If you do have a gym membership, find out what classes they offer and take advantage of them!

2. Fun in Numbers

source: Sweaty Betties

Occasionally, I like to do my own thing, but most of the time I think working out is more fun with a friend.  I spent the last 3 years of dancing in the NBA working out with at least one if not more girls before every practice and we really killed that hour of time.

*TIP: if you're a group of 2 or 3, try super-setting exercises and switch back and forth.


Person 1: 1 min plank hold, 100 jump ropes, 25 jump squats.
Person 2: 100 jump ropes, 25 jump squats, 1 min plank hold.
Person 3: 25 jump squats, 1 min plank hold, 100 jump ropes.

Super-setting workouts is a great tool if your the type of person who only goes to the gym or takes a class if someone asks you to go with them.  Need some motivation? The Sweaty Betties are hysterical, inspirational and informative!

3. Healthy Food Motivates.

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn't mean you have to be ON a diet.  Just be sure to include foods that fuel your body pre and/or post-workout.  Eating healthy and exercising go hand in hand, so one usually motivates you to do the other.

Here I made "happy & healthy waffles" with Kashi Blueberry Whole Grain Waffles smeared with homemade apple butter (gift from a co-worker), topped with sliced banana and sprinkled chia seeds, with a side of Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon.

I make sure to eat a meal like this after each training or workout. When you're working hard to stay fit, you start to crave what's actually good for you and leave the fatty starches and sugars in the dust.

*For more post-workout meal ideas, check out my Half-Marathon Training Re-caps.

4. Sign up for a Race or Community Event.


I'm on Week 4 of training for my half-marathon in March and that program has me running my booty off four days a week.  Since this is my first half, it's has been a challenge for sure...but I'm doing it.  Having an end goal while training keeps me motivated to get out there every other day and push through it.

Not a runner?  There's TONS of events you can find out there. 

source: Texas Daily Photo

Try researching "race" or "events" in your area online.  Here's a list of a few events Scott and I are looking at around the Central Florida area:

Unfortunately, we thought we were going to be out of town for our first choice and missed the deadline to sign up by a DAY!
The Warrior Dash - January 22.

Excuse me while I pout... sigh.
Here are the other ones we are choosing from:

Monster Bash Dash - April 14th in Kissimmee
Monster Challenges - April 21-22 in Clermont
Mud Crusade - April 21-22 in Tampa
The Highlander - September 22

5. Tell People About It.

And by this I don't mean tweeting every time you step foot in a gym.  I encourage you to tell whoever is close to you you're mission to get active.  When going towards any goal, you can use whatever support you can get so don't be afraid to share the good news.

Writing this blog works wonders for me. 

Off to run! :)

Are you up for the Get Active & Stay Active in 2012 challenge?
Any additional motivational advice?
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