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Winter Wonderland Wednesday!

5 Dec

Happy Wednesday a.k.a Hump Day!

And to help you all get through the hump, I am sharing a little video my husband found (kudos to you, sir) which certainly brought a smile to my face. I would tell you what it is, but that would ruin the surprise. So without further ado:

Hubs found it on The Washington Post via Sarah Kliff’s WonkBlog! You are most welcome world.

Lets give three big holiday cheers for penguins dressed like Santa!!

The cuteness! I just can’t even… 🙂

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Holiday Weekend Recap!

25 Nov

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend. My weekend was full of turkey, family fun, and running. Thursday morning I went for a run around my neighborhood and clocked in 3.5 miles before calling it a day as hubs and I had to hit the road to see my side of the family. It was so nice seeing everyone; it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen my family since my birthday 2 months ago and that for me, was no bueno. I don’t know where the time went! That’s life, I suppose? I definitely plan on going to see them more. Here are some pics from then:

Dad & me!

#nomnomnom

We had so many leftovers – that turkey was huge! 17lbs, sheesh! My mom said the only things left were either really small turkeys or even bigger ones… so she went with the 17lb one. That’s fine with me… I love turkey. 🙂 Afterwards we had the desserts that I brought over – Italian cookies and cherry pie, yum!

Friday was spent doing some minor Black Friday shopping – primarily I was hunting for a gift my niece wanted, but I managed to pick up a few things along the way. The best was doing shopping online – a majority of shopping was done that way (nothing like shopping in your pjs, ha!). Yay for Old Navy and Loft practically giving things away for free!

Saturday, I hit the pavement and completed 7 miles. I went kind of late in the day and running in the park gave me the willies, so note for future reference: not happening again. I think I’ve seen too many horror movies. 😦 Anyway, here is a pic right after my run:

#proof

It was a bit tough – it was super cold and I was running against the wind for a good portion of it. But I got the miles in and I felt great after. Later on hubs and I watched a Star Wars marathon on TV. We are huge Star Wars dorks! I was always a fan of Harrison Ford and ewoks, hehe!  Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I have another 3-4 miles planned for the day before meeting up with classmates for a group project. Be well!

#RacingforRelief & Sunday Happenings!

11 Nov

Happy Sunday! And Happy Veteran’s Day. A BIG THANK YOU to all past, present, & future veterans … your dedication to this country is paramount.  America is proud of each and every one of you.  Today, I was going to run the LIRRC cross country 5k. Husband and I got up bright and early and headed out to the park only to find out that the race was cancelled. So frustrating. I had checked the website last night and hubs checked this morning.  Again, so frustrating.

We headed back home, but I really wanted to run and I was still in my running clothes, so what did I do? I ran, of course. I had signed up for the #RacingforRelief for Hurricane Sandy victims.  I signed up for 3.1 (5K) miles and a quick Google revealed that from my house to our local park and back was 2.7 miles, so I figured I’d take a little detour on my way home to make up the mileage. I printed and pinned my bib and off I went. Well, I ended up doing almost 5 miles!

I know it was only 4.92 and I could’ve done the full 5 but my house was.right.there. #don’tcare

Me after my run with my sweaty bib.

A little slow for me but I was unsure of my route, so there was a lot of jogging in place and waiting for traffic to go by. 1:05 is usually my 10K time.  C’est la vie! I had a great time and felt awesome.  Anyway, now I know the path to the park and can’t wait to go on more runs. It was unseasonably warm (high 50s) and the park was filled with walkers, joggers, and the like. Swans, ducks, and geese littered the lake. I wish I could’ve taken pictures. It was so pretty. 🙂

Shakeology update! Tried a new recipe today; it was good (almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ice, and chocolate shakeology). I still think I found my stride with almond milk, peanut butter, and chocolate shakeology. #nomnomnom

Also, I finally broke out the Turbo Fire DVDs. I did 2 classes for a total of a 50 minute workout last night. It was intense and such a good workout. It was completely worth the money.  So if you can afford it, go get it!  Tomorrow I am meeting with a friend for lunch so I won’t go to my usual kickboxing class. I will definitely be doing a DVD when I get home.

Alright, off to food prep for the week!  Have a great rest of your Sunday night!!!

It’s Movember!

9 Nov

November has another name: Movember.  What is Movember, you may ask?

Well, first off, Movember is a a mash-up of moustache and November.  The charity which was started in 2004, is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer, other male cancer initiatives, and depression in men.

The way it works is like this:  Men (known as “Mo Bros”) start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, men grow, groom, and trim their moustaches (beards do not count, nor do goatees) all while publicly and privately raising conversation about men’s health.  Essentially men who participate become walking billboards. At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate by either throwing their own Movember party or attending a party held around the world by the Movember group.

Why should anybody care? Well, unfortunately, men’s health issues (though this is changing) does not usually warrant as much attention as women’s health issues do.  The truth is that men:

  • have a higher death rate for all 15 leading causes of death and die more than 5 years younger.
  • know less about health and take less responsibility for it.
  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • every 2.2 minutes, a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer and every 15.6 minutes, a man dies from prostate cancer.
  • are less likely to see themselves as ill or susceptible to disease or injury when they are more susceptible.

Anyway, Toms (the shoe company) has come out with a super cute shoe for the Movember cause and proceeds go to the Movember charity:

(source)

How cute are these? I think I am going to snag a pair before my size sells out! But in all seriousness, we have to encourage men in our lives (husbands, brothers, fathers, friends, cousins, etc.) to take care of their health! Women who support the cause are known as “Mo Sistas.” So help spread the word!

This weekend is Veteran’s Day and I will be running a cross-country 5K on Long Island. If you see a veteran, or anyone from the military around, please thank them for all that they do. Even if you don’t believe in war, just remember that they are sacrificing a huge deal for us. Have a happy weekend!

Shake, shake, shake, shakeology, shakeology

5 Nov

Happy Monday peeps! The city is trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Trains are running, businesses are opening their doors, and for me, my gym was back in action (with a limited schedule). It felt so great to be back at the gym and boy was it tough. That’s what happens when you become a major slacker like me and not do anything physical for the past week (and scarf down cookies), with the exception of yesterday. The gym was not as tightly packed as usual, and that was expected. I did find out that one of my gym friends’ home is in The Rockaways which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. She has 5 feet of water in her home. That is a little under my mom’s height of 5’2’’ and I sort of tower over my mom at 5’5’’.  No one expected this storm. It is so upsetting. 😦

That said, please continue to donate and volunteer if you are able to do so. New York and New Jersey needs you more than ever, especially since a Nor’easter is on its way bringing rain and colder weather (and possibly flooding and power outages again). Seriously, mother nature, enough.

I also couldn’t help but think of all the displaced animals as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Our furry friends lost their homes and families too. Shelters are already jam-packed. So donate to the ASPCA if you can.  All you have to do is text PREVENT to 25383 to donate $10 to help ASPCA care for pets displaced by Sandy! You can also donate to the Humane Society.

In other news, today I began a 10-day Shakeology challenge through Team Beachbody. What is Shakeology you ask? Shakeology describes itself as the “healthiest meal of the day.”

yum!

Simply put for 10 days, I will replace one meal a day with one of their shakes (I am doing Chocolate Vegan) and follow their meal plan and as a result I am supposed to have the following results: increase my energy, reduce cravings, lose weight, improve digestion and regularity, and transform my health.  I planned my lunches and dinners for the week and am replacing my breakfast with the shake.

I normally wouldn’t participate in something like this, but I completely fell off the wagon with the lose half-a-marathon challenge, but I need to do something. I haven’t been eating as clean as I’d like and I’ve felt really sluggish and gross as a result. And while I know many are anti-scale, I happen to own one and when I got on the scale over the weekend, I was less than pleased (I know I am more than a number on the scale; my health is my #1 concern and I was pushing it number wise as to where I should be). 

So, today’s shake included Vegan Chocolate shakeology, 1 cup of unsweetened almond-coconut milk, 1 super ripe banana, and 1 cup of water blended with ice. It was really good and kept me fueled until about lunch (not including having my mid-day snack of a banana pre-workout). I plan on continuing my workouts and races as normally scheduled. Let’s see how this works out – it is only 10 days after all.

How are you jumpstarting your week?

P.S. – I think I have super cool news, but I am just waiting on the official word. Stay tuned! Have a great start to your week! 🙂

Sandy’s Still Around

1 Nov

Movember November 1st. I can’t believe it is November already. I will say it again and again, 2012 has certainly flown by and it certainly will be one for the record books. Hurricane Sandy may have dissipated but her effects are still being felt in New York and the neighboring states.

Breezy Point, Queens, NY

(source)

I have been incredibly fortunate as has my family. My family in Brooklyn and Staten Island have power and are safe and sound. My in-laws are without power, but they are safe and sound. However, other people are not. People are going through trash for food and others are stealing gas from others. People are impersonating FEMA and Red Cross officials and are going into people’s homes and looting. It’s horrible and thinking about it makes my heart hurt.

“The storm was blamed for more than 80 deaths in the United States, including the 38 in New York City that was announced on Thursday, updating Wednesday’s toll of 24 dead. In the region, there were at least 8 in New Jersey and 4 in Connecticut, and numbers are expected to climb as rescue crews discover the full scale of the damage to buildings and infrastructure.”

(source)

Right now the Red Cross is accepting donations to help those impacted by Sandy. You can donate here. Additionally, those wishing to donate to the relief effort can text the phrase “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 contribution for every message sent.  Other text for donations include:

  • STORM to 80888 to give to the Salvation Army
  • HUMANE to 80888 for the American Humane Association
  • UWHC to 52000 to the United Way of Hudson County, N.J

The New York City Marathon is still set for Sunday. While I am disappointed with the choice to continue the run, I still plan on working the expo.  There is limited train service from Long Island and I expect more lines to be up by then, so I should be able to make it. I will watch the Marathon come Sunday (and hopefully my race set for Sunday on LI is still on). Until then, I am home watching the news, praying for everyone impacted, and hoping life will soon return to some sort of normalcy.

Daylight Scaring Time!!

24 Oct

Daylight savings time is quickly ending – November 4th, to be exact. It’ll be time to fall backwards (keep this in mind NYC marathoners!!) and gain an extra hour of sleep. As much as I love sleep, I rather have the extra hour of daylight. It’ll be dark out when I go to work and come home from work. 😦

And with it getting darker, it will be getting colder. I really want to ramp up my running mileage and between me growing broke shopping like a madwoman at Lululemon and my husband buying me tons of new running gear for my birthday/our anniversary, I want to be able to put my gear to use. There is no “end” running season here. After the NYC marathon , the New York Road Runners continue to put on awesome races afterwards.

Truth is, I’ve never run in the dark before. I am not “new” to my area, but I’ve only lived in my neighborhood for a little over a year, so I am not exactly comfortable running solo. There are also no “real” sidewalks (thanks, Long Island – note the sarcasm) and I won’t lie, I am terrified of getting hit by a car. It happens all to frequently, as evident in the tragic case of Elizabeth Dinunzio. So, with that said, I am looking into reflective running gear that would help me feel better about running in the dark – safety first and always! A quick google search for “night running gear” brought me to a ton of websites that sold well, night running gear. Here are a few of my faves (you can stay chic and be safe – but keep in mind, safety is always #1 – I rather look like a glo stick and be alive, than cute and well, dead):

(Synergy Hat)

 

(Safety Light)

 

(Run Bright at Night Crops)

 

(Brooks Pulse Lite Gloves)

 

(Asics Reflective Vest)

  (Reflective compression sleeves)

For more tips on running in the dark, check out Krissy’s posts here and here as well as this other post, filled with tips and you’ll be running safely at night in no time. Also, finally, one of my favorite bloggers, Meghann (a Brooks Ambassador) blogged about trying out some of the Brooks’ nighttime running gear, which you can read all about here.

Any tips on nighttime running for a newb like me? Let me know!1