Category Archives: Running

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Happy Monday!

It sure was a long weekend! Back to normal life today and the countdown to Christmas starts!

Since the holidays are quickly approaching, I put together a gift guide for that active person in your life. There are so many great gift ideas that involve health, fitness, and exercising and hopefully you can get some gift ideas!

Holiday Gift Guide

This post is sponsored by FitFluential FFC on behalf of Koss.

  • Heart Rate Monitor

I have the Polar ft7 heart rate monitor and I think it’s great. It measures your heart rate as well as calories burned and lets you know your time in the fat burning and fitness level zones. I bought mine at Sports Authority for around $100, but  know they’re a lot cheaper on Amazon.

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  • Water bottle

Water bottles can be fairly inexpensive and are quite handy. I always bring a water bottle with me to the gym. If you have a runner that you’re buying a gift for, a hand-held water bottle or a water belt make great gifts.

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The amphipod is great for long distance runners because it clips around your waist and sits on the small of your back. Easy to grab a drink and go!

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  • Headphones

You can never have too many headphones! Mine are always getting lost, or I forget them, or they break. I love having multiple pairs of headphones. And sport headphones are great for that active person in your life.

I recently received the Koss headphone and I love them. Koss worked with gold medalist, Dara Torres, to create the world’s first pair of headphones for women made by women. They come in either FitBuds or FitClips, and they come with three different size ear buds.

The best part? You get them for only $19.99 this holiday season at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart, or Sears.

  • Shoes

Shoes always come in handy. Always. If you happened to know the correct shoe size, they make a great gift!

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  • Magazine subscription

There are so many great health and fitness magazine available. I have tons of magazine subscriptions and you can usually find them for a great price. A few ideas – Fitness, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Self, Runner’s World, Shape.

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  • Compression socks/sleeves

Compression gear doesn’t only benefit runners. Sometimes I wear compression sleeves while exercising because I know my calves get tight and they help with blood flow. Also great for wearing after exercise and running for recovery.

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  • A gym bag

Danny got me a gym bag from Athleta for Christmas last year and I love it. If you get a quality gym bag, it can last for a long time.

  • Clothes

Who doesn’t love new workout clothes?! Tanks, shirts, pants, capris, shorts, jackets, hoodies. There’s lots of clothing options. Or make someone their own personalized shirt…

  •  Spi belt

Great for runners – it goes around your waist and fits lots of stuff.

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  • Race entries

A couple of years ago, my dad and stepmom got us an entry for one 5k of our choice. They made a cute little gift card and then we just let them know which 5k we wanted to run and they paid for it.

What is on your holiday list this year? What gifts are you getting for other people?

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Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Running, 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

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?

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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!

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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!

Breakfast

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 :)

Giveaway

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.

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

Walk Breaks

I was going through the books on my bookshelf yesterday looking for something to read and I came across my Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Training book that I bought years ago.

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I bought this book years ago before I even started blogging. I guess I have always had a desire to run a half marathon, it’s just that my body doesn’t like being cooperative.

Galloway’s method is to incorporate scheduled walk breaks into your running – including during the actual race. The ratio is depends on your speed – so, for example, you run ten minutes and then walk one minute.

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I personally have mixed feelings on walk breaks. Of course, I do take walk breaks while running especially when my hip/glute start bothering me. I take them when I need to, not exactly scheduled.

But here’s the thing with me and walk breaks – I might be running for awhile and then take a short walk break. I’ll start running again and get tired. Then I’ll think well, I’ve already taken one walk break, I might as well take another.

Then I’ll start thinking, well, I’ve already messed up my running with a few walk breaks, I might as well take a longer break. And before you know it, I am taking too many walk breaks.

For me, it’s better to not even take the walk breaks in the first place – my mind gives up before my body does. It’s all mental. I feel like I need to walk even though I’d be fine if I kept running. Running has always been hard for me and something that I struggle with, so sometimes I’m ready to throw the towel in early.

I have to get through that mental place that tells me to walk and just keep running. But like I said, I think walk breaks are great and really can work for some people. For me, they just give me an excuse to keep walking.

The longest race I have ever run was a 15k – 9.3 miles. I wasn’t particularly fast, but I was so proud of myself because I didn’t take one single walk break. I had never done that in training and was happy that I was able to run the whole thing. That’s a pretty good accomplishment for me because running is hard on my body and I usually have some kind of pain or injury.

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I didn’t even walk through the water stations because that would give me an excuse to add more walk breaks.

I know that some people can run far distances without walking or even maintain a fast speed and be fine, but I can’t. I have definitely improved my running over the last couple of years, but I will never be fast. And honestly, I don’t think that’s what truly important. For me, it’s more about getting off the couch, being active, having fun, running races with my family, and enjoying it.

Of course, I would love to be faster (who wouldn’t!) but I have accepted that I am doing what my body lets me do!

Wow! That was a lot more thoughts and feeling than I planned on typing :)

Today’s Workout

  • 5 miles treadmill
  • Stretching

This morning, I ran five miles on the treadmill. I ran three and then had to add in a few walk breaks for the last two miles.

However, they weren’t walk breaks because I was mentally giving up, they were walk breaks because I haven’t ran five miles in quite a while and my hip was hurting and I knew I needed a little break.

After I finished five miles, I made sure to stretch my hips and glutes.

Between running and stretching, I burned over 700 calories.

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BodyPump

Tomorrow morning, I am teaching my first BodyPump class. I am nervous beyond belief because it was last minute and totally unexpected. The normal BodyPump instructor hurt her back and I am the only one available to teach the class.

So, I will be teaching completely alone and I don’t even know how to work the CD player and mic. Should be fun times. Wish me luck.

Have a great afternoon!!

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Elf on the Shelf

Good afternoon! I feel like I haven’t talked to you guys in forever even though in reality, it’s only been a couple of days!

Saturday

On Saturday night my sister-in-law, Crystal, turned 30 and completed her first half marathon.

Congrats, Crystal!

Even though we weren’t able to be in Florida with her, we were able to track her on Facebook. On the Disney website, you can sign up to receive updates on a certain runner, so we were able to follow her progress all night!

My brother, sister-n-law, and niece are still in Florida having fun.

I miss my niece so much and I am counting the days until she gets back. I might be overly attached.

Crystal has inspired me to find a half marathon of my own to run! I am looking at local races in the spring so I have lots of time to train. I am going to train slow so that I can hopefully avoid injury this time.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Ab work, burpees on Bosu, balancing on Bosu
  • Cardio Fit & Tone Class – 60 minutes

The kids had off of school yesterday, so I went to the gym in the evening. I did a little bit of a workout on my own before going to cardio fit and tone class.

Today

I had two clients a couple of hours apart at the gym this morning, so I worked and ran errands in between and after clients.

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I was excited to find gluten-free Puffins.

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Too bad they’re not peanut butter.

And Amy’s gluten-free lasagna.

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For the most part, I try to eat fresh and whole foods like fruits, veggies, salads, fish, etc, but sometimes I am pressed for time and just need something I can eat quick – which is where the cereal and lasagna come in :)

Random Purchases

I have finally given in to the Elf on the Shelf hype and bought one for Jaden.

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I am now an Elf on the Shelf Mom.

If you don’t know what Elf on the Shelf is, it’s a book and stuffed elf. You read the book to your kids about how the elf watches over them and reports to Santa about their behavior each night. Then each morning, the kids wake up and have to find the elf (but they’re not allowed to touch him).

There are so many websites dedicated to ways the kids can find the elf in the morning – hanging on the Christmas tree, drinking from the syrup bottle, rolling down the stairs in a toilet paper tube, baking, making flour angels. Honestly, it’s a bit crazy.

We will open and read the book on Thanksgiving and then the fun will begin. I already have a Pinterest board with lots of Elf on the Shelf ideas. But I’ll tell you this – if that elf were to go report to Santa today about my kid’s behavior, they probably wouldn’t  get a Christmas present for the rest of their lives.

I also found these cute milk and cookies plates at Target for only $1.99. I got one for my kids and one for my niece.

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I am getting excited for the holidays!

One of our neighbors already has their whole house decked out in Christmas lights. It’s funny because the house right across the street still has Halloween decorations up! We usually put decorations up the day after Thanksgiving.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you ever done Elf on the Shelf?
  • When do you decorate for the holidays?

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Filed under Christmas, Race, Running, Working Out

Mother/Son Run

Good morning!

Good luck to my sister-in-law, Crystal, who is running her first half marathon in Florida tonight! She will turn 30 years old  at the stroke of midnight while running – a very Disney Cinderella moment :)

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Ran 1 mile – Treadmill
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I am slowly getting in my miles for Pile on The Miles! I ran one mile before BodyPump yesterday and I burned over 600 calories!

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Today’s Workout

  • 3 miles – outside

This morning, Jacob and I ran together for the first time outside.

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His first 5k is coming up on Thanksgiving and he is used to running on the treadmill so I wanted him to run outside a few times before the 5k. I think he realized today what a big difference it is running outside vs. the treadmill. And it didn’t help that today was really really windy.

We started out running for awhile and walking when Jacob needed to. For the last mile, we ran two minutes and walked one minute. The wind made running so hard, but we finished three miles in about 35 minutes.

Hopefully, we can run outside a couple of more times before the 5k!

After running, we stopped at McDonald’s for mother/son coffee and chocolate milk.

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I love the holiday cups!

Breakfast

For breakfast, I made an egg and cheese sandwich on Udi’s gluten-free bread.

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I really like the gluten-free bread – it’s even better that regular bread and I plan on continuing to purchase it. It’s expensive but it comes frozen so it’ll last a long time.

The breakfast sandwich was so good and even better than my beloved bagelwich.

This afternoon, we’re going to my dad’s for lunch and maybe seeing a movie.

Have a great day!

  • What are your plans for the day?

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Running, Working Out

Randomness Tuesday

Good afternoon!

Today’s post is going to be about a bunch of random things :)

First up, my workout.

Today’s Workout

  • 3. 5 miles – outside

I think today was the first time I have ever ran outside in November in my life and the first time I have ran outside in a month. It was tough. The weather was about 50 degrees which was perfect. I started out a bit chilly but warmed up quickly.

The wind was the toughest part and my nose was runny the whole time. I ran 3.1 miles (with a couple of walk breaks) and then walked .4 miles. I haven’t been running lately and my hip still hurts so my time wasn’t the best.

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I’m just trying to run outside a little more to be ready for the 5k on Thanksgiving!

Kind Bars

A few weeks ago, Jaden and I went to Whole Foods and they had a few kid’s Halloween activities set up around the store. One activity was a photo booth with props.

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If you took a picture and tagged it on Instagram, you were eligible to win a case of Kind bars. Well, I just found out today that Jaden’s picture was one of the lucky winners! Yay!

Books

I go through phases with reading. Sometimes I’ll read a whole bunch of book in a row and then I’ll go a long time without reading anything.

I just finished reading Allegiant (from the Divergent series).

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I thought the book was okay - I wasn’t really happy with the ending and thought there was so much time between books so I had a hard time remembering what had happened in the first two books. It’s a must read if you read the first two in the series, but overall slightly disappointing.

I am currently reading Ender’s Game (I seem to like young adult books if you can’t tell).

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Ender’s Game is actually an old book from 1991. It was recently made into a movie that just came out. Jacob read it on his Kindle, so I decided to read it too. So far, it’s really good. It’s about a young boy who is sent away to Battle School to train for a war against an alien race.

It reminds me of another book I recently read where kids are sent away to train as soldiers and I just can’t remember the name of it!

Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was an Amy’s gluten-free burrito. I also had some apple slices.

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Ugly Sweater Coffee

While I was at Target, I came across this Ugly Sweater Crème Brulee coffee.

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How fun is that? Last year, we had an ugly Christmas sweater party, and this coffee would have been perfect.

Last year:

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Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • Tell me something random about your day!

 

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Sunrise Shuffle 5k 2013

Good evening. I am posting a bit late tonight :)

This morning, I ran the Sunrise Shuffle 5k with Danny, my stepmom, and my sister-in-law. We also ran this race last year. It’s nice because it’s literally about 5 minutes away from our house.

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The race course is the mall parking lot which is a pretty boring course but I usually don’t pay too much attention to the course anyway. I am more focusing on not falling over while running.

Jacob checking out the Hot Wheels Camaro. Can you believe that he’ll be driving in only four years?!

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The morning started out pretty chilly, and I debating running in my jacket. I tend to warm up fast when I am running so I decided not to wear it and that ended up being a good choice.

My right leg hurt everywhere - my quad, my hip, my glute, so I went into the race planning on doing what I could. I just wanted to run to run. My quad burned a lot the last half of the race and I really wanted to give up in those last 5 minutes but I pushed on. I ended up finishing the race faster than I did last year! 31:38. That’s 11 seconds better than last year.

I was very happy with my time especially with an injury. My sister-in-law also did great and Danny and my stepmom both placed in their age groups and won medals!

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I also ran into one of the other athletes from the Zooma half marathon, Tiffany, at the race. She did awesome and placed first for her age group!

It was a great morning to run and I really enjoyed the race. It’s a smaller race, but it’s fun and well organized.

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Afterwards, I had to stop for some white chocolate pumpkin coffee from Dunkin Donuts. So good.

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In the afternoon, we went to my grandparent’s house to watch the Bears game – unfortunately, they lost. Now we’re home, relaxing, and getting ready to watch Once Upon a Time and The Amazing Race.

  • What did you do today?
  • Do you watch any Sunday night tv shows?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Race, Running

Current 5k Playlist

Good afternoon!

Can you believe that today is the last day of September?! I can’t believe how fast the year is flying by! I think that October 1st might be one of my favorite days of the year. To me, it’s the day that kicks off the holiday season.

It’s October, which means that it’s the month of Halloween fun (my family does a lot of Halloween related activities), then Thanksgiving isn’t too far away, and finally it’s the Christmas season! I absolutely love this time of year.

Yesterday

Yesterday morning, we stopped for a quick last-minute breakfast at Panera. I had my heart set on a pumpkin bagel, but then I saw their new steel cut oatmeal with apple chips and toasted pecans and my dreams of a pumpkin bagel went out the window.

A little blurry but at least it tasted delicious :)

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The oatmeal was definitely a good choice. But I will have that pumpkin bagel one day.

Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I plan on running Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday (5k) of this week but my quad is killing me today. I am going to see how it is in the morning and then will decide if I should run or not. I don’t want to push it before the 5k but I also want to stay on my running schedule.  I guess my other option would be to run Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll see how my quad and hip feel.

After BodyPump, I had a caramel fudge thinkThin bar.

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I like caramel but I don’t love it. The bar was good, but I still prefer the peanut butter flavor.

Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was a bagel thin with egg whites and provolone cheese, carrots and hummus, and pineapple.

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5k Playlist

I have been working on playlist for the 5k on Sunday. I am the kind of person that can run with or without music. It doesn’t really bother me to run without music but I do notice that I tend to run a bit faster when I am listening to music.

I hate wearing an armband though so I just use Danny’s old iPod shuffle and clip it to my waistband. Even then, I sometimes end up ripping it off and carrying it in my hand by the end of the race.

Here’s my playlist so far:

  • Lady Gaga – Applause
  • Scooter – Black Betty
  • Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail
  • Sam & The Womp – Bom Bom
  • Nero – Crush on You
  • Scooter – J’adore Hardcore
  • Lorde – Royals

The Royals song by Lorde is currently by favorite song. I love it. Sometimes I listen to it on repeat over and over…which means I’ll probably be sick of it soon, but as of now I love it.

A few of the songs are from the new BodyPump release, but they make good running songs. :)

Have a great afternoon!

  • Caramel, chocolate, or peanut butter?
  • Favorite holiday?
  • What is currently your favorite song?

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