Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turkey Trot 5k and Thanksgiving 2013

It’s the day after Thanksgiving! Did you eat tons of food yesterday?! I did. I love all the Thanksgiving food – so good!

Turkey Trot 5k

Yesterday morning, we woke up early for the turkey trot. I had my alarm set for 6:30 am, but for some reason my body wanted to wake up at 5:45 am.

Danny and Jacob picked up our bibs the day before, so we had everything ready to go. Instead of a typical t-shirt, we got a turkey trot hoodie. Jacob was so excited for his and kept it on for a day and a half.


The race was about a half hour from our house. We got there early and hung out in the car for awhile because it was cold. Seriously cold. I am not used to running in that kind of weather. My toes and fingers were completely numb.



We met up with my dad, stepmom, and her two friends who were also running the race. My dad stayed with Jaden while we ran.

Jaden ran the 100 meter kid’s dash and was so happy to get a ribbon!


After the kid’s dash, we lined up for the turkey trot. Jacob and I started out running together…that lasted about 3 minutes. It was so congested with people in the beginning and Jacob was going fast. I told him to just weave around the people and go ahead.

He took off way faster than I expected and I couldn’t keep up. I was worried at first since he was alone and tried to keep up with him but he just took off. Danny and my stepmom were also on the course and we talked about what he should do if we got separated, so I just let him go.

I saw Danny at the turn around and told him to come back and get Jacob when he finished.

My running was decent. I started out too fast trying to catch Jacob and it caught up to me in the end and I had to slow down. I just ran at a pace that felt comfortable. It was so different running in the cold and I didn’t warm up as fast as I thought I would.

Finally around the last mile, I started to get warm and took off my gloves and headband. I forgot my Garmin at home and didn’t see any mile markers. I found out later that there were mile marker flags at each mile but I didn’t see any of them, so I had no idea of my mileage the whole race.

I ended up finishing in 33:08. I honestly thought I had been going faster but I guess with the cold weather, I was going slower than I thought. Not my best race, but my first race in the cold weather.

My stepmom and her friends finished a few minutes before me and Jacob finished in 30:53! I was so proud of him for doing so good in his first race!! He did start off too fast and have to walk a few times but he still ran a lot faster than I did!


Danny, my speedy husband, finished in 25:01, 5th place for his age group out of 81 people.

I was surprised that they didn’t have water at the finish line. Even though it was cold, I was still thirsty after finishing the race. They did have water and hot cider but it was a ways away from the finish line.

We got some hot apple cider, took a few pictures, and left soon after – it was just too cold to stay outside.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. It was my first race in the cold weather and although I prefer the warmer weather, I think it’s easier to run in the cold than it is the humidity. And I am so proud of Jacob for running his first 5k!

After the race, we came home, got ready, and headed to my grandparent’s house.

Aren’t these cookie place settings so adorable?!


My dad carved the turkey…


…and then for some reason, we felt it was necessary to give ourselves bunny ears.


The food was delicious and I ate so much – cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, carrots, pumpkin roll, cookies.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and I get to do it all again tonight! My mom and in-laws are coming over so we can celebrate Thanksgiving with them!

Have a wonderful day!

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • Did you shop today?
  • Cold weather running or hot weather running?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Race, Working Out

Winter Wonderland

Happy day before Thanksgiving! Who is excited for tomorrow?! I sure am!

We are running a turkey trot 5k first thing in the morning.

This will be Jacob’s first race and I think he is a little nervous. He has had a cold all week so he is nervous about running while he’s sick. I told him that we’d run together and just go as slow as he needed to go. I really want his first race to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Tomorrow afternoon, we’re headed to my grandparent’s house for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Friday, I have to work for a short time and then we’re having some family over for dinner at our house.

I’m going to the store this afternoon to get groceries for Thanksgiving and for Friday. I’m trying out a new cookie recipe for tomorrow!


Yesterday, we took the kids and my niece to Winter Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops.

They have a bunch of activities and games set up for kids, and even a talking reindeer.

Santa came out while we were there and my niece was so scared of him until he gave her two candy canes – then she liked him a tiny bit more.

Today’s Workout

  • Cardio Fusion Class – 60 minutes

BodyPump is my all time favorite class. I love it because it makes me feel strong, but Zumba/dance classes are the funnest classes that I have ever taken.

I have no rhythm and can’t dance but I love cardio dance classes. They are so fun, don’t feel like a workout, and everyone is so encouraging. For today’s class, we did 30 minutes of cardio dance followed by strength training and stretching. I burned close to 500 calories during the hour long class.

Well, I am off to the grocery store! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and if you’re going shopping on Friday – stay safe!

  • What are you looking forward to eating tomorrow?
  • Favorite exercise class?
  • Are you going shopping on Friday? What stores?


Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Mizuno Wave Rider 17

The following post is sponsored FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

Look what came in the mail just in time for me to get my butt running more and for the Turkey Trot 5k!


The brand new Mizuno Wave Rider 17s! They are the lightest Wave Rider shoe and are available to the public on December 5th, 2013.

For those of you that don’t know, I have been running in Mizunos for a couple of years but have only worn the Inspire 9s, so I am really excited to try out their new Wave Riders.

I even flew to Georgia this year to film a short commercial for the Mizuno website.

(I’ve only watched that video once because I can’t stand hearing my voice on camera)

I really think that Mizuno’s shoes speak for themselves – they are a quality running shoe for a variety of runners.

The Wave Rider 17 is great for neutral runners but also has support and cushioning for high mileage runners.

Some of the shoes’s features:

  • U4ic midsole delivers lightweight, resilient cushioning.
  • Dissolving upper fit with new DMF execution and soft, supple mesh materials.
  • New sockliner with increased resiliency and responsiveness.
  • SmoothRide Engineer for a Brilliant Run.
  • Lateral Forefoot Sculpting for smooth touchdown and transition.
  • Blown rubber forefront with deep flex grooves for optimal flexibility and cushioning.

Of course, once these shoes came, I had to get to the gym to run.

I laced up my Mizunos and jumped on the treadmill.


Today’s Workout

  • 4.2 miles – treadmill

I loved that these shoes felt light, yet still supportive. I always buy my running shoes a size in a half to a full size larger, so I got the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s in a size 11 and they fit perfect.

They were comfortable with lightweight cushioning and I enjoyed running in them – definitely a great shoe to add to your Christmas list! And I can’t wait to wear them for the turkey trot on Thursday!

  • Did you workout today?
  • What kind of running/exercise shoes do you wear?
  • Favorite color shoes to wear?




Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

Under The Weather

Good afternoon!

Thank you so much for all the encouraging words about my BodyPump certification. I really appreciate all your support!

I feel like I have finally found something in life that I love doing as a career. I love fitness and although teaching and training make me really nervous sometimes, it’s something that I really enjoy doing. I feel like it helps other people feel good about themselves and improves their wellbeing which makes me happy.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and I feel like I can only improve as time goes on. So thank you for all your kind words!


The winner of the My Race Ragz giveaway is…

Please email me at runeatplay(at)hotmail(dot)com and I’ll give you the info on how to get your shirt! Enjoy – I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

There is a cold going around my house. The kids had it first and it quickly made its way to me so now I am feeling a little bit under the weather. Is anyone else sick around the holidays every single year?!

I debated running this morning but woke up really feeling the cold in my chest and I didn’t think running would be the best idea.

Do I say that all the time?! I debated running…but then I didn’t. I really need to get my butt running more. I did run two miles at the gym on Saturday after I completed a full body workout so that’s something :)

I took BodyPump instead and the nice thing about BodyPump is that you can adjust the weights to your level of fitness and since I wasn’t feeling the best, I just went a little lighter than normal and I still felt good about getting a workout in!

There’s no school this week, so Jaden went to the kid’s room at the gym.


He gets more marker on his hands and face then he does on the paper.


Breakfast this morning was Kashi oatmeal topped with peanut butter.


I buy crunchy peanut butter every once in awhile and every time I do, I remember that I don’t like it. I should stop buying it.


It seems like Thanksgiving is a bit late this year and Jaden has been dying to put out Christmas stuff. He’s just like me – he loves Christmas. So, we got out a few boxes of Christmas decorations and started putting some up around the house.

PicMonkey Collage


We won’t put our tree up until December so it’s nice to have some other decorations around the house. We always go as a family to cut down a Christmas tree in the beginning of December.


Have a great afternoon!

  • What are you plans for the week?
  • Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?
  • Real tree or fake tree?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

I Passed and a Grain Brain Review

I passed my final BodyPump certification!!

I am so happy! After months of practicing, going to training, more practicing, teaching with an instructor, and even more practicing, I finally passed! I am now a certified BodyPump instructor!

I still have to talk to my gym, but I think the plan for now is to teach every other Sunday and sub for other instructors. It won’t be a lot of hours, but I’m happy that I passed and can officially teach now. Yay! :)

Grain Brain Challenge

Thank you to FitFluential on behalf of Grain Brain for letting me be part of this challenge. I was compensated for my time and participation. All opinions are my own.

About a month ago, I started a grain brain challenge based on the book, Grain Brain, by Dr. Perlmutter. His book explains the negative effect carbs and grains have on our brains and bodies and proposes a four-week plan of taking vitamins, eating low carb and gluten-free, and getting the recommended amount of sleep.


My Thoughts

I did as best as I could during this challenge, but I have to admit that I wasn’t perfect. Eating low carb and gluten-free can be tough and require a lot of planning, but once you do it for awhile, it gets easier. Meal planning also helps a ton.

For me, I tried to stick to more of a gluten-free diet.

I ate tons of eggs, salads, fish, yogurt, fruits, and veggies.



I also ate some packaged gluten-free foods.

I think packaged gluten-free foods should be used in moderation because they are still processed foods and aren’t necessarily good for you, but when you’re hungry and need something fast, they are great!

I ate gluten-free Amy’s burritos.


And Udi’s gluten-free bread.


For a quick snack, I grabbed a Larabar or a Kind bar.


I also was able to get creative and come up with some great gluten-free recipes including gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free muffins.



Eating gluten-free and low carb food can be really benefcial, it’s just about finding foods and recipes that you enjoy. Or taking your favorite recipe and making it healthier.

Like I said, I didn’t do perfect and sometimes I messed up on the weekends, and I can tell what a difference I felt when I ate bad on the weekends. Okay, not necessarily bad (I don’t think foods should be labeled good or bad) but rather when I fell off the gluten-free wagon.

When I was eating gluten-free and lower carb, I felt better – physically and mentally. It might sound weird, but I felt lighter. I felt a lot less bloated and that made me feel awesome. When I went a little overboard on the weekend, I felt sluggish and bloated.

I think eating gluten-free and reducing carbs in the evenings can really help you feel better and aid in weight loss.

I am glad that I participated in the grain brain challenge and felt that I really learned a lot about my body but at the same time it was very hard to eat perfect all the time. Although, I think after this challenge, I will stick to eating  a lot of gluten-free foods. They just made me feel better.

A lot of people have gluten intolerances and may not even realize it. A gluten-free diet is great to try just to see the positive effects that it can have on your body.


Well, I am off to the gym with Danny and the kids this morning! Have a great Saturday!

Don’t forget to enter the My Race Ragz giveaway - ends Sunday!


Filed under Book Review, Fitness

Ab Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

Only one more work/school day until holiday time! My kids are off of school all next week and Danny has a few days off too, so I am really looking forward to it!

Next week will be really busy – I have parent teacher conferences, a little bit of working at the gym, errands and cooking to get done for Thanksgiving, and we have a second Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Friday that I have to shop and cook for. I can’t wait!

Today’s Workout

  • Ab Workout
  • Trifecta Class – 60 minutes

I was debated running or taking a class today. I finally decided to take a class because my calves and hip were sore from the cardio class on Wednesday so I was a little nervous about running. It turns out that I should have ran because that Trifecta class kicked my butt!

I have taken the Trifecta class before at my old gym, but at the new gym it’s a different instructor and it’s killer! My hip and glute are sore, but I got a great workout!

Before Trifecta class, I did an ab circuit workout that I put together.

PicMonkey Collage

Click here to see how to do an ab roll-up and here for how to do a wood chop sit-up.

Between the ab workout and trifecta class, I burned a little over 600 calories.

After my workout, I had an almond cashew with flax Kind bar.


After the gym, I ran a few errands before picking up my niece. I am trying to get Christmas shopping done here and there so I can be done early this year and start wrapping! I love shopping but I don’t love the wrapping so much. Luckily, Danny is an excellent wrapper, so he helps out a lot.

I picked up a cheap headband and gloves to wear to the race on Thanksgiving. Right now, the weather is showing a high of 31 degrees, so I am sure it’s going to be freezing in the morning.

--- 003

The headband and gloves are cute enough that I’d wear them again, but cheap enough that I don’t mind tossing them if I need to (only $2 each!). This will be my first race in such a cold temperature so I’m not sure how my body will warm up. I tend to warm up fast while running but I am also the type of person that is usually freezing if I’m not working out.

When I was at the store, I saw these ninjabread cookies that I am thinking about getting for the kids.

How funny are those?!



I had an Amy’s gluten-free burrito for lunch along with a new chopped salad that I picked up at the store to try out.

--- 007

I love chopped salads - I like the chopped lettuce so much better than regular lettuce. I didn’t eat the tortilla strips and threw on some pumpkin seeds instead.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Favorite ab exercise?
  • Any cold weather running tips?
  • Do you like gingerbread? I don’t like gingerbread cookies but I love the coffee!
  • What are you most looking forward to eating on Thanksgiving?



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

My Race Ragz Giveaway

Good afternoon!

I hope you’re all having a great day. The weather here in Chicagoland is getting cold and I am getting kind of nervous about the 5k coming up on Thanksgiving!


For breakfast this morning, I had a raspberry Greek yogurt topped with granola and pomegranate arils (seeds).

I haven’t bought a pomegranate in forever (basically because I am too lazy to cut them) and I had to refer to the post that I wrote almost two years ago on how to cut a pomegranate. They are easy to cut and get the seeds out, it can just be a tiny bit messy, but then you’re rewarded with delicious sweet pomegranate seeds!

Pomegranates are so good for you because they’re high in vitamin C and potassium, contain fiber, and are low in calories. I topped my yogurt with about an 1/8 of a cup of seeds and it was only about 16 calories.

Last Night’s Workout

  • 3.35 miles treadmill
  • Stretching – 10 minutes

Today’s Workout

  • Cardio Fusion Class – 60 minutes

I went on a field trip with Jacob’s class yesterday so I wasn’t able to workout in the morning. I went to the gym last night and ran on the treadmill. Then this morning, I took the cardio fusion class again. I think I’ll be taking this class on a weekly basis – it’s so much fun.

My Race Ragz

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I was recently given the opportunity to make my own custom running shirt from My Race Ragz.

My Race Ragz is a cool website that lets you pick out your style of running shirt from long sleeved to racing singlets.

From there, you can chose a pre-made design from their website, upload your own design, or just add text. You can even add text to the back. They have tons of pre-made designs to choose from including 5k, 10k, half marathons, marathon, barefoot running, maternity, motivational, Ironman, trail running, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Sometimes I get a bit of anxiety when faced with too many choices, but I had tons of fun browsing the website trying to find the perfect shirt to make. After trying to customize a shirt for two days, I finally decided just to add my own text to the front of a shirt. I just wanted to keep it simple. I went with the women’s energy singlet shirt and added text to the front only.

Here’s how it turned out:

I loved how it turned out. I love the pink color and how the pink looks against the white. This shirt is loose but not too loose. I tend to warm up really fast when I am working out so I love that it’s sleeveless and made out of 100% microfiber mesh. It’s moisture wicking and treated to inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria.

I am on the taller side and have a longer torso, so I felt more comfortable putting on a tank of my own under this shirt. I love how the pink words on the tank look with the pink tank underneath. Maybe I’ll ever wear it to the store :)


Of course, there was to be a great giveaway for one of these fun shirts! One winner will receive they’re very own customizable shirt from My Race Ragz.

To enter:

  • Comment below and let me know which kind of shirt you think you’d order. You can tell me the style shirt, the text color, the graphic you’d pick, anything!

Extra Entries:

  • Like My Race Ragz on Facebook or Twitter. Comment below and let me you that you did.
  • Follow Run Eat Play on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Comment below and let me know you did.

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

Giveaway will run through Sunday, November 24th at 11:59 CST.

Thank you to Jenny from MetamorFit and My Race Ragz for providing me with a customizable shirt to review on my blog and for sponsoring the giveaway. All opinions are my own.


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Giveaway, Running, Working Out

National Geographic Kids Books

I have always loved to read. Always. Even as a kid, I was always reading. I think that it’s important for parents to encourage their kids to read things that they enjoy. Kids will learn to love reading more if they read things that they want to read rather than something they’re forced to read.

I believe in encouraging kids to read what they enjoy whether it’s a book, a comic book, or the sports section of the newspaper. When Jacob was younger he used to love to read the dictionary and medical books. He still loves reading now, and we often read a lot of the same book (I’m not really sure what that says about my reading level :) )

I always make it a point to take my kids to the library, book store, or let them pick out a book from their book club orders at school.

So, when Mom’s Meet approached me about reviewing the National Geographic Kids books, I was happy to take the opportunity.

I received a big box of National Geographic Kids books in the mail.


I was very excited to see the variety of the books. I have four kids at home in the afternoons (my two boys, my niece, and another girl I watch), and they range from ages 2-12. The National Geographic books are great because their geared at kids of all ages and reading levels. There is something for everyone!

National Geographic books are full of photos, fun facts, and offer the perfect educational balance.

Jacob (my 12 year old) loves The Ultimate Weird but True and First Big Book of Why books.


He is the type of kid that craves knowledge and knows more random facts than anyone I know.

Jaden (my 6 year old) loves the animal books, especially the Meerkats book.


These books are great for me to read to him and my niece and for Jaden to practice reading on his own.

The pictures in the book are fantastic and really hold a kid’s attention.



National Geographic books provide visual stimulation, active engagement, and are great educational learning material.

All in all, National Geographic Kids are great books that would make any kid want to read. I really like that National Geographic focuses on how to make kids enjoy reading more.

They have four main goals:

  • Get kids super excited about reading
  • Build reading focus and stamina
  • Encourage kids to higher reading levels
  • Empower kids to learn more about their world

You can learn more here. National Geographic definitely met these goals with my children!

  • Do you like to read?
  • Did you read as a child? What were your favorite books?

I was provided the National Geographic Kids books by Mom’s Meet to review on my blog at no charge. All opinions are my own (and my kids!).


Leave a Comment

Filed under Book Review, Family Fun

Kind Snacks and The Dinner

Good afternoon!

How was your weekend? The weather was crazy here in Chicagoland yesterday and there was even a tornado nearby.

Jaden is afraid of storms and spent some of the aternoon hiding under our coffee table.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Taught BodyPump – 60 minutes

I taught BodyPump again yesterday morning. Although, I wasn’t perfect, I was a lot more comfortable teaching than I was on Friday. On Friday, I was just so nervous and it’s nice to have that first class out of the way.

I worked at the gym this morning, so if I have time tonight, I am going to try and squeeze in a workout.

This morning, the goodies that I won from Kind were delivered!

I received a variety of Kind bars and Kind granola.

I was excited to see that the granola (and bars) are gluten-free! I opened a bag to top my Greek yogurt with for breakfast.

It was a hard choice deciding what flavor to open first, and I finally decided on the Blueberry Vanilla Cluster with Flax Seeds.

Of course, this afternoon, I had to have a Kind bar as a snack. Can you guess what flavor I opened?

I opened the Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein with Peanuts.


Each bar has 10 grams of protein. And I love macadamia nuts!


I just finished reading The Dinner by Herman Koch.


I’m not even really sure what to say about this book. I am still trying to process the craziness of it. It was definitely a book that draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. I finished the book in a day, but I felt like I had so many questions about things that had happened that were left unanswered.

It’s a book that I would recommend reading just because it really leaves you thinking – how far would you go for the ones you love?

I’m off to pick up my niece! Have a great day!!

  • What were you scared of when you were a kid? I was scared of the dark
  • What’s your favorite nut? Mine is cashews!
  • Have you read The Dinner? What’s the last book you read?


Filed under Book Review, Breakfast, Working Out

Teaching BodyPump

Happy Friday!!

I am feeling pretty Christmas-y today! The radio just started playing Christmas music 24/7 and I love it! Danny thinks its too early for Christmas music, but not me – Christmas music makes me happy :)

I also had a gingerbread latte from Starbucks this afternoon.


So good. If Christmas music and holiday lattes don’t put you in the Christmas mood then I don’t know what does!


Last night, I was reunited with my niece after not seeing her for a week!


I missed her so much. I’m glad that she had so much fun at Disney, but I’m glad that she’s home.

Today’s Workout

  • Taught BodyPump – 60 minutes

I taught Bodypump on my own for the first time this morning. I was so nervous. I hardly slept last night because I kept having dreams about all the stuff that could go wrong. I had never used the sound system before, so I was a little nervous about getting it up and running.

Luckily, everything went smoothly. I got the sound system to work and I taught my first BodyPump class. I had never taught the triceps, biceps, and core tracks before so I was a little nervous about those.

I wasn’t perfect but I wasn’t horrible either. I knew all the moves and chorography, just my timing was a bit off a few times. But I figure that I can only improve from here!

I burned just under 700 calories teaching. I definitely burn more calories teaching the class than just taking the class!


After BodyPump, I had about an hour and a half to kill until I met with a client. I did a couple of errands and then headed back to the gym.

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 3oth birthday!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you think it’s too early for Christmas music?
  • Do you have any plans this weekend?



Filed under Fitness, Working Out