Couch to 5k Series: 6

So who gobbled till they wobbled yesterday?! Or who is feeling “fluffy” and “puffy” today as the instructor of my cycle class said morning?! If either of those apply to you then you are in the right place as we kick off training for the 5th and final week of our Couch to 5k series!! If you are just getting started be sure to check out the warm-up, week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4 to get you all caught up. This week you are committed to about two and a half hours total. I promised you when we got started with this series the commitment would be totally doable and look, I followed through…all the way to the end!

Monday — 2min walk, 3min jog x7

Tuesday — 20min walk

Wednesday — 2min walk, 3min jog x8

Thursday — 20min walk

Friday — Rest

Saturday — RACE DAY!! 3.1miles!!!!

Sunday — Rest

So who is ready to tackle their final week of training and their 5k this weekend?! Comment below if you’ve stuck with it or are planning on getting started towards training for your first 5k soon!

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Just a Few Thoughts: 2

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all! I hope you all have had a happy turkey day full of giving thanks for all of your many blessings. As I have been going through the day, it has made me think about what I am thankful for and I came up with a list of my top 3 things that I am especially thankful for….

IMG_88201. My family. THEY.ARE.GREAT. Really, they are.. Yes they may drive me crazy sometimes (it is in their job description, I know!), but at the end of the day they are my biggest fans and most loyal supporters. Mom, always being their to listen to my every complaint and dry every tear, Dad, guiding me with his vast wisdom as I grow in my career and next stages of life, and Alex (aka Little Brother), always making me smile, laugh, and forever keeping me on my toes. I am beyond grateful for these three goobers that I get to call mine!

2. My Health. It has been over the last couple weeks that I have become especially thankful for this. While running the marathon nearly two weeks ago and the turkey trot today, it has made me feel so lucky to have a body that is healthy and strong. I look around at my brother and dad who are hobbled from cheering me on, and friends and other family members who are battling things much worse than my baby aches and pains and I just feel so lucky and blessed to have my health.

3. My Growth over this past year. This time last year I was one month from graduating college and didn’t have even the slightest clue as to what I would be doing the day that diploma was handed to me. Since then I have had several jobs and I feel so lucky to have learned so much about the big, scary, foreign, real world. I know I still have a ton more to learn and will only continue to grow but I feel so blessed to have a baby start to a career in a field that I love in a city that I am slowly starting to love and call home. Not every second of every work day is perfect but y’all, how cool is it that I get to make money doing what I love. Really, that is definitely something to be thankful for.

I feel like I could go on and on and on about each of these three things but that would put y’all into even more of a sleepy coma than the turkey so I will leave it at that.

What are you thankful for? Please share in the comments below!

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Ideas for Success on Turkey Day

Gobble Gobble Gobble!! Its about that time; time to sit around the table with plates piled high as we give thanks for our friends, family, and all our many blessings. But what if this year, we change things around a bit, still give thanks but maybe back away from the piled high plates and overly full bellies that are ready to pop?! Over the last couple weeks at Jenny Craig we have had a board out for our clients to put their “Ideas for Success on Turkey Day” on and I have to say, they came up with some great tips and tricks!

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Some were pretty similar so I combined them into one but here is a good list to go by on your turkey day!

1. Don’t starve yourself before the meal, eat your typical breakfast.

2. Walk before or after the Thanksgiving meal.

3. Slow down by putting your fork down between every bite.

4. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables.

5. Take the skin off the turkey and skip the gravy.

6. Enjoy the people more than the food! 

7. Plan for no leftovers or send guests home with them.

8. Sign up for a Turkey Trot, 5k or 1mile.

9. Drink a big glass of water right before the big meal.

10. Eat off a salad plate to help keep portions small.

So do you have any other tips for success? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

Couch to 5k Series: 5

Hey Ya’ll! Sorry I am a couple days late, been feeling a little under the weather so I’ve been a bit of a slug after work as of lately. If you are just getting started be sure to check out this, this, this, and this post! This week, you are committing to a little over 2.5hours…YOU CAN DO IT!

Monday — 2min walk, 2min jog x7

Tuesday — 20min walk

Wednesday — 2min walk, 2min jog x8

Thursday — 35min walk

Friday — Rest

Saturday — 3.0miles {2min walk, 2min jog until the entire 3miles are complete}

Sunday — Rest

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving week! Be sure to grab your friends and family for Thursday’s walk!

Things I’m Loving Tuesday: 8

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone has had a fantastic day! See below for a list of my most recent favorite things….

IMG_8802Men’s Nike running tights. Unlike women’s tights they are durable, a little bit more breathable, and they aren’t super low rise!! Not being super low rise, I think is the best part. No one likes feeling like their pants are falling down while they are running. Also, since they aren’t those silly low rise things, the waist band isn’t suction cup tight. Basically what I’m saying is, they are the most awesome and comfortable running tights I’ve ever worn.

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Whole Foods Salad Bar…. I think this picture speaks for itself. Everything is super fresh and delicious. Plus this salad bar has just about everything you could possibly imagine to put on your salad from chicken to pasta salads to zucchini to walnuts. The possibilities are endless!

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Glutino Gluten Free Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels. It’s like a Christmas Party in my mouth. They are super yummy. One of my coworkers brought them in the other day and wow, we all devoured the bag in a matter of minutes. Another Whole Foods find.

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Adidas Energy Boost Running Shoes. I love them because they provide support and have lots of cushioning yet aren’t super heavy like some of the other running shoes I’ve had in the past. Also, as an added bonus, they stretch a lot which is great for someone whose feet (like mine) swell really badly.

That is it for this week! Anyone else in love with Whole Foods? Or have anything they are super obsessed with right now? I’d love to hear all about it! Have a great rest of your Tuesday!

Pick 5!

Need a little pick-me up workout this week?! Check out this post for a quick full body circuit!

Step 1, pick 5 songs that put you in a good mood. Here are my five:

1. Shake It Off

2. Call Me Maybe

3. All About That Bass

4. Party in the USA

5. Kiss Me

Step 2: Gather your equipment. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a bench (or something you can step up on), and a mat or towel.

Step 3: Complete each of the following circuits, everything is done in sets of 10 and will be completed as many times as possible in a row for the entire duration of that song.

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Circuit 1: Shake It Off — Warm-Up

High Knees March (alternating legs, 10 total)

Straight leg kicks (alternating legs, 10 total)

Butt Kickers (alternating legs, 10 total)

Inchworms

Circuit 2: Call Me Maybe — Cardio

Mountain Climbers (10 each leg)

Jumping Jacks

Burpee

Circuit 3: All About that Base — Lower Body

Lunges (Alternating legs, 10 total) — hold dumbbell in each hand

Squats with Overhead Press 

Step Ups — hold dumbbell in each hand

Circuit 4: Party in the USA — Upper Body

Bicep Curls

Push-ups

Modified Tricep Dips

Circuit 5: Kiss Me — Core

Toe Touches — hold one of your dumbbells for an extra challenge

Supermans

Russian Twists — hold one of your dumbbells

Any questions? I hope you have a fantastic workout! 

ps — singing is encouraged!

 

 

Thunder Road Marathon 4.0

Hey Y’all! How was your weekend? Mine was well….exhausting! I completed my 5th marathon. It was my 4th time doing Thunder Road and to my surprise, the course had changed a good bit and in my opinion for the better (minus a couple little things). To recap the weekend:

Friday, after work, I headed to the race expo. I always love expo, it is exciting to see the other runners and the energy is always great. It is such a positive environment but you can also feel the nerves of all the other runners.Expo is when the race becomes real.

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After expo, I head home to go for my final run, 10minutes and some good stretching and foam rolling. Chase even helped me with the stretching portion. Then, pasta dinner and some family time before heading to bed early. IMG_8790
Saturday starts bright and early…

5:50AM — Wakey Wakey! English muffin and almond butter are a waitin’

6:15AM — Start layering up! It’s a cold one! SO MANY LAYERS!

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6:50AM — Leave for the race. I rode with my brother who felt like I wasn’t quite awake enough…he would put the window down every time I stopped dancing to which I’d start yelling “I’m supposed to be staying warm right now” …. it was 28degrees outside! Needless to say, I was bright eyed upon arrival at the race site.

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7:30AM — Line up in between the 3:40 and 4:00hr pace groups and let the shivering begin. Shivering is a good “warm-up” right?! I don’t think I have ever been this cold at a start line before.

7:45AM — The gun goes off and its like a wave of sweats and trash-bags that people were wearing go over the railings. It takes me about 30seconds to make it to the start line.

Mile 1 — Feeling a little nervous, all the thoughts of “did I train enough,” “can I really do this” hit me but I soon shake them off and just start to think about how lucky I am to be able to run this race in this beautiful city.

Mile 2 — The first place I see my cheering squad. And just in time, I am ready to shed a few layers.

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Mile 3 — The race thins out a bit, fighting for space is no longer a factor.

Mile 4 — I find my stride and am feeling really good.    IMG_8800  Mile 6 (ish) — My cheering squad is back…y’all they are great! IMG_8799

Mile 7 — First Gu of the day. Got to love those slimy packets.

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Mile 8-13 — It’s all a blur. I cannot tell you anything notable that happened in these miles, they all just kind of blend together.

Mile 13– Biggest temptation of all to call it quits. The split for the half and full happen here…in sight of the finish line!! Race directors, this is just rude!!

Mile 13.1-14 — I talk with a couple other runners who also laugh about the cruel joke of getting to see the finish line. One was from Atlanta and the other from the Queen City. They started talking about their goal time and I quickly realized I was running a bit too fast. I dropped off from them at the mile 14 aid station when I take my second Gu of the day.

Mile 15 and 16 —  Another blur. Sometimes when I am running these races I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running…” No other brain activity.

Mile 17 (ish) — Sorry for the “ish,” like I said, minimal brain activity. I approach “the wall” and the Noda Party. And really, they are having a party in the street. It is so much fun and I bust right through the big wall. There are several of these street parties along the course and each one of them just makes you smile and forget about the pain of running for a minute.

 NoDa Wall

Mile 18-21 — Feeling good. My stride is still feeling strong. Another one of the street parties tries to get me to have a beer but I just couldn’t do it. Instead I opt for another Gu.

Mile 22 — Hello Hills! This is the first place I start to feel my “wall.” The lower part of my right quad starts cramping then when I stopped to stretch it out, my hamstring cramps. So I just had to walk this one out. I walked to the top of that hill before finding my stride again.

Mile 23 — I’m starting to feel better. I see my family which always gives me a little pep in my step. I also take my final Gu at about this point.

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Mile 24 — I have really hit my “wall.” I am hurting pretty bad at this point. My hips are so tight I feel like my stride has diminished to nothing.

Mile 25 — Holding on with all that I have left. All I can think of is one foot in front of the other. I am also talking to my legs, “please don’t cramp, please don’t cramp.” I cannot say they are listening at this point. Each step is a bit of a challenge. Also being on the greenway, my least favorite place ever to run, is not helping the cause at all either.

Mile 26 — Or as my watch says, mile 26.22. Super frustrating! I know I do a little weaving on the course but come on…I should be done by now and trust me, my legs are telling that as well.

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Mile 26.2 — Which reads 26.48miles on my watch, I’m done!! Thank goodness! Three hours, fifty-eight minutes, and one second.IMG_8813

Hugo, the Charlotte Hornet’s Mascot gives me a high five and some nice volunteer congratulates me and puts a big shiny medal around my neck and a space blanket around my shoulders. I’m then shuffled down the finishers chute where I am loaded up on water and gatorade and attempt to grab a couple things to eat but somehow that didn’t happen. Again, runners brain, I’m not thinking clearly at all. Just outside the chute my family greets me with open arms.

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After sitting for a couple minutes and accomplishing the daunting tasks of getting my shoes untied and a dry shirt on, pictures are taken and my dad buys me a super awesome shirt. It says “Don’t think of them as hills, think of them as mounds of opportunity. FLAT IS FOR SISSIES.” If you’ve ever run Charlotte you’d have a great appreciation for it. It is a deceivingly hilly city.

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Finally, it’s time to head home. I’m shivering pretty bad but my awesome papa bear keeps me warm all the way back to the car. Sticking with tradition, we stop by California Pizza Kitchen to pick up a couple of my favorites, BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad and BBQ Pizza on the way home. Yumm!

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After a beer and a belly full of food, an epsom salt bath and a hot shower, I collapse onto the couch for some college football and a nice long nap! BEST. FEELING. EVER!

Then, sticking with tradition again, mom and I head to the nail salon for a mani pedi and some girl time. I love our girl time but getting my feet rubbed after a long day of running may have topped our girl time today (sorry mom! love you!).

Finally, a good steak and shrimp dinner (and maybe a couple more beers…I deserved them right?!) then back to the couch I go where I fall asleep by 9:30! I’m such a party animal, can’t you tell?!

So now, the off season is here! I will take the next couple weeks pretty easy before hitting the gym for some off season training. I’m sure I’ll fill you in as I create that plan of attack. I do know I will be focusing on a bit more strength training this time around as I am feeling pretty weak at this point. But that talk is for another day.

So do any of y’all have any upcoming races? What about my couch to 5k-ers, how are y’all feeling going into week three of training? Have you picked your race yet?

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!

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Couch to 5k Series: 4

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Howdy! How is your week going? Who is ready for their 2.0miles tomorrow?! If you’re just jumping on board, check out the the warm-up, week one, and week two‘s post to get you caught up. This coming week, week 3 of training, you are committing to about 2.5hours. TOTALLY DO-ABLE!! Think about how much time a day you waste on Facebook, Instagram, twiddling your fingers, procrastinating your next task… you have two and a half hours in your week to spare to put towards doing something productive for your health.

Monday — 3min walk, 2min run x5 {25min}

Tuesday — 20min walk

Wednesday — 3min walk, 2min run x6 {30min}

Thursday — 30min walk

Friday — Rest

Saturday — 2.5miles {3min walk, 2min run repeating till you complete the entire 2.5miles}

Sunday — Rest

Have a great week!! Please let me know how your training is going!

Happy Running Y’all!

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce with a TWIST

As colder weather sets in I don’t know about you, but I crave warm, hearty meals which unfortunately aren’t always the healthiest. Here, however, is a spin on a traditionally high calorie, comfort food to make it a good bit healthier but still just as delicious.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND TURKEY MEAT SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil (tiny amount)
Salt and Pepper (tiny amount)
A low sugar pasta sauce — Prego that has a few that are pretty low
Lean ground turkey — I usually get the 97% lean

Directions:
Preheat over to 400

Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half long ways. I promise this is the most difficult part of the entire meal.

Scrape out the guts….the seeds and stringy parts.

Coat with a a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place face down on a cookie sheet (they should be laying flat)

Bake about 40min.

Brown turkey.

Add sauce to browned turkey and simmer.

Remove squash from the oven and very carefully turn them over to cool for a few minutes …. WILL BE VERY HOT!!!

Once you can safely handle it, using a fork scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash. It will start to look like noodles.

Serve just as you would regular spaghetti.

Enjoy!