10 ways to make running fun

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With my marathon only FOUR days away, I’m looking forward to making running “fun” again post-race. Since I’ve been really focused on a strict training plan for the past few months, I’m excited to get back to some of the things that always renew my love for running!

No matter if you’re a marathoner or a first-time 5K’er, running can (and should!) be fun!

10 ways to make running fun

 

  1. Find a new route. Sometimes, all you need to do is try a different route. I have a great, safe park by my house, but when you run it four times a week, it gets old. Be sure to switch it up!
  2. Sign up for a “fun” race. Whether it’s a color run 5K or a costume run, doing something different will make running seem even more fun! I’m really looking forward to the Rock n Roll half marathon that I just signed up for…bands at every mile in an awesome city? Count me in!
  3. Run with a friend. I always thought I liked running alone until I tried running with a friend. When running with someone else, I’m not focused on pace or time; I’m just focused on having fun and enjoying time together.
  4. Remember a mile is a mile. If I end up running slower than I typically do or slow my pace down for a friend, I’ll get frustrated. But, just remember — a mile is a mile, no matter how fast or slow you might go.
  5. Try a different type of run. The Farlek, tempo, Yasso 800s, hill intervals –challenge yourself to try something new!
  6. Treat yourself. You know how I get through long runs sometimes? Oatmeal. Sometimes, I’ll focus my last ten miles on the idea that when I finish, I get to eat a big, hot steaming bowl of oatmeal and peanut butter that’ll taste amazing. No matter what your treat, motivate yourself to the finish!
  7. Do a trail run. I never did trail running before last summer, but I absolutely love it! You definitely won’t be as fast, but it’s challenging and always fun to try a new terrain.
  8. Join a running group (or start your own!). Running with others is a great time to connect while being active.
  9. Try a new distance. Have you done a 5K, 10K, 15K, 10-miler, half marathon, full marathon, and ultra? Even if it’s not a race, tackling a new distance is a great way to keep running fun. (Remember, you’ll always get a PR in a new distance!)
  10. Smile. Yes, I’m serious. It sounds silly, but sometimes when I’m in the middle of a long run or a run I don’t really want to do, I’ll smile. When you think about it, it’s such a gift that you have the ability to run — to be outside, moving, just enjoying the environment. This simple thing can change the whole course of your run!

Scenes from this weekend

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Weekend_lara barMy very first Larabar…to say I loved it was an understatement! I already bought a few more to enjoy this week.

Weekend_saladA wonderfully large summery salad in honor of a warm spring day! In the mix: romaine lettuce, spinach, apple, walnuts, almonds, parmesan cheese, and cucumbers

Weekend_Text

What a text to wake up to! Come on, Pittsburgh Mother Nature, don’t let me down..

Weekend_Journey tshirtsIt was Baptism Weekend at my church…which is my very favorite weekend of the year! It’s a big party, and we had over 30 people baptized — that never gets old!

Weekend_runA lovely afternoon run with a friend! My final eight miles…done!

Weekend_pizzaDelicious white pizza…olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette glaze with roma tomatoes, red onion, spinach, and mozzarella.

And finally, this happened…

Picture 4Rock ‘n’ Roll in Philly with a few friends this fall! 🙂

One goal for this week

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I have one goal for this week: to make it to the marathon finish line on Sunday morning. (That’s only a week from now!!! Ahhh!)

PGH Marathon Ticket

Therefore, I tried to focus on meal planning/prep this week so that I have clean, healthy, protein-filled food ready whenever I need it this week! I normally plan to make about three meals per week (that will get me through with leftovers for lunches), but I got really specific this week and actually planned out both lunch and dinner so that I know I’m getting the fuel I need.

Sunday:

Monday:

  • Lunch: Leftover shrimp quinoa
  • Dinner: Leftover white pizza + veggies

Tuesday

  • Lunch: Turkey, spinach, Laughing Cow cheese, and red onion on brown rice wrap 
  • Dinner: Leftover white pizza + veggies

Wednesday

  • Lunch: Eggplant parm (I have individually wrapped from when I made a big batch a few weeks ago) + whole wheat pasta + broccoli
  • Dinner: Turkey, apple, and cheddar baked wrap with veggies 

Thursday

  • Lunch: Spinach and romaine salad with turkey, onion, cucumber, pickles, carrots, almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing and TJ’s quinoa lentil chips
  • Dinner: Mexican Sweet Potato Bowl 

On Friday, I’m heading home to meet my mom and then it’s off to Pittsburgh! My snacks for the week include Chobani greek yogurt with almonds/puffed wheat, Larabars, fruits, and vegetables. A week from today, I hope I can say I’m an official marathon finisher! 🙂

Now I’m off to do my final eight mile training run…happy Sunday, everyone!

Fit Friday Find: 4.26.13

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Fit Friday

 

I know it’s been a while, but I have a Fit Friday Find that I can’t wait to share with you today!

I stumbled across this article this morning and immediately knew I needed to share it: “Eating Disorders Make You Skinny…and other Popular Eating Disorder myths debunked.

Our society is so focused on “being skinny” that we forget about being in love with our bodies and with ourselves. We’ve become obsessed with the wrong things — calories, scales, weight, pants sizes — that we’ve forgotten about the important things — love, confidence, and beauty.

Eating disorders aren’t about food.

They’re about control.

They’re about perfectionism.

They’re about filling a hole.

“Just eat” is never, ever the answer to someone who struggles with an eating disorder or, more prevalent, disordered eating. (Yes, they’re different.)

You can’t “just eat” until you let go of needing control.

You can’t “just eat” until you let go of some utopian version of a perfectionism you think you can achieve.

You can’t “just eat” until you let go of the idea that you can fill a void in your life with food.

Today isn’t the day that I’m going to dig in and dive into my own relationship with food. But, it is the day I’m going to encourage you to read that article and realize that if you struggle with control, perfectionism, and filling a void — you’re not alone.

Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re beautiful — because you are.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Healthy pizza dough: no patience required

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It’s What I Ate Wednesday, and this week, I’m bringing you one heck of a pizza recipe that doesn’t require any patience.

That’s right, people — a no-rise pizza dough that’s delicious, wholesome, and ready in less than ten minutes. Are you in?

We’ll get there, I promise. But first, a big thank you to Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for hosting and a quick tour through my eats leading up to the miracle no-rise dough. (I’m really overselling it here, I know. But, it’s pretty darn awesome!)

My day started off with a big bowl of egg white oats (1/2 c. oatmeal, 1/2 medium banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 tbsp. ground flax, 1 egg white, + crunchy peanut butter). So delicious! I’m not sure why but I just recently discovered my L-O-V-E for crunch peanut butter. I may or may not have finished an entire jar in a week…

WIAW424_breakfast

When snacktime rolled around, I was all ready for 1/2 of a leftover apple and the other 1/2 of my leftover banana from breakfast. Unfortunately, the banana was quite brown so I stuck with the apple…

WIAW424_fruit

When lunchtime rolled around, I had a small turkey burger with homemade chipotle dressing and spinach on a slice of whole wheat bread with carrots on the side. (It was no bacon stuffed cheeseburger, but it was still pretty good!)

WIAW424_lunch

For my afternoon snack, I stuck with my usual: 3 oz. apple cinnamon CHO + 3 oz. plain CHO with puffed wheat and oats.

WIAW424_yogurt

And, then it was time…

Healthy no-rise pizza dough

Healthy No-Rise Pizza Dough
Makes one large pizza

  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (or one package) 
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 and spray a cooking stone with some cooking spray. 
  2. Meanwhile, combine your cup of warm water and yeast, and allow it to sit for five minutes. (Yes, you have to be a little patient.)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flours, olive oil, and salt and blend well. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchenaid.)
  4. Add water/yeast mixture to flour mixture, and mix until well-combined. Use your hands to knead and form a ball. Allow that ball to sit for five minutes.
  5. Next, lay out a thin layer of flour on your counter and roll out your dough. When it’s even, place it on a greased pizza stone.
  6. Cook for about ten minutes, remove, and add your toppings. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
  7. Enjoy!

How to level up this recipe:

  • For added flavor, add 1/2 Tbsp. oregano and basil to your dough. 
  • To keep this as light and healthy as possible, pile up your pizza with veggies! I used a little sauce and cheese and piled it high with spinach, broccoli, and red onion.

How to level up this recipe:

  • You can easily use all white flour instead of wheat. 

For my dinner, I enjoyed the above slice of pizza x2. I didn’t capture my nighttime snack, but I enjoyed one of my banana cinnamon mini-muffins!

What’s your favorite pizza recipe? 

A post about something other than running

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I know you’re skeptical — you’re going to talk about something other than running?! I didn’t think it was possible until my marathon training was over, but it seems like miracles do happen! (Check back tomorrow for a true miracle…healthy, wholesome, no-rise pizza dough!)

Welcome to a post about something other than running.

Remember when I used to post great strength and HIIT workouts? It seems like many ions ago, BUT with my marathon training coming to a close, I’m excited to get back to creating fun new workouts!

I wasn’t feeling my 12-mile training run on Sunday afternoon, so I opted for a 20-minute arm strengthening circuit and then decided it wouldn’t hurt to do some cardio as well. Little did I know that this quick, 15-minute burst of cardio would leave me sore even three days later!

Bookmark this baby because when you’re short on time but still want to get yourself moving, this “Quick ‘n’ Dirty Tabata Circuit” is your answer!
Quick n Dirty Tabata Circuit

What are your favorite workouts? (P.S. This may even help you work off that bacon-stuffed cheeseburger!)

Bringing home the bacon, baby!

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So, today’s post was going to focus on yesterday’s quick and dirty tabata workout that left me laying on the floor and sore as can be, even though it was only fifteen minutes long. Now, don’t worry — I’ll get you that kick-butt workout later this week, but first, I have to share this one-of-a-kind recipe with you…

Bacon-Stuffed Cheeseburgers

 

Today’s recipe is a collaboration (or more accurately, a solo show!) with my husband! He doesn’t cook or bake often, but when he does, you better bet it’s delicious! He is always coming up with “concoctions” and today’s was bacon-stuffed cheeseburgers.

He typically wouldn’t touch half of the healthy recipes I make, but I promised him I would feature his concoction…and provide a few ways to level it, of course!

Andy

 

Step one: Take about three quarters of a pound of ground meat (we used 92% lean) and divide it into four even patties.

Bacon-Stuffed Cheeseburgers 1

Step two: Season liberally with salt, pepper, and your favorite grilling blend. (We used a mesquite grilling seasoning blend from McCormick.)

Step three: Take one slice of bacon and chop into small pieces. Lay on top of two of your patties.

Bacon-stuffed cheeseburgers 2

Step four: Lay a piece of cheese on top of the bacon. Place second patty on top and press together.

Bacon-stuffed cheeseburgers 3

Step five: Place on grill, and let it do its thing! (Yes, we have a little George Foreman…I imagine this is even better on an actual grill!)

Bacon-Stuffed Cheeseburgers 4

 

Step 6: Put it on a roll, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Bacon-stuffed cheeseburger final

 

Bacon-stuffed Cheeseburgers
Serves 2

  • 3/4 lb. of ground meat (We used 92% lean.) 
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 2 slices of cheese (We used Sargento Ultra Thin Cheddar.)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Mesquite grill seasoning
  1. Divide your meat into four even patties, and season liberally with salt, pepper, and seasoning of your choice.
  2. On two of your patties, add one slice of cooked bacon, chopped.
  3. Lay a slice of cheese on top of your bacon patties. Place second patty on top and press together.
  4. Place patties on a pre-heated grill, and cook until cheese is melted and meat is well-done.
  5. Enjoy!

How to level up this recipe:

  • Simple! Swap ground hamburger for ground turkey and use turkey bacon (I like TJ’s nitrate-free) instead of regular bacon. 
  • Instead of bacon, stuff your turkey patty with mozzarella cheese, a slice of tomato, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Mmm! You could also stuff it with a slice of avocado, red onion, and some cheese.

How to level down this recipe:

  • I don’t think there’s many ways to level “down” bacon and burgers! 

I’ll see you guys later this week with my quick ‘n’ dirty tabata workout and, of course, What I Ate Wednesday!