Friday, January 31, 2014

Fitness Friday: Team Too Vicious & Delicious

TGIF everyone!

This year I will be running The Ragnar Cape Cod Relay as a member of Team Too Vicious & Delicious. We were supposed to run Reach The Beach Massachusetts, but RTB merged with Ragnar and well, there you go!

Today I want to introduce you to our inspirational team captain Katherine.

Katherine and I at BAA Half Marathon Oct. 2013

I first met Katherine when I ran RTB NH in 2011 with Team One Track Minded.

Since then we've kept in touch, often running the same events both in NH and MA.

About Katherine: She is fitness certified – AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America), SPINNING®, Les Mills Body Pump - and is an instructor at a local health club.  She was first ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified at 17 years old and has been working in the fitness industry ever since… even charging faculty at her college $1/ aerobics class while attending Mt Holyoke. She's a wife to a runner husband and mom to 4 adorable kiddos.

And she has been putting her knowledge and experience to work on us! In November and December she created weekly challenges to motivate the team. She even gave out awards!

Katherine has been organizing not one, but two teams for the Ragnar Cape Cod Relay: Team Vicious & Delicious (which ran RTB MA in 2012) and the brand new Team Too Vicious & Delicious! All together, she is managing 22 runners from NH, MA, NY, CT, and MD, planning our legs, ordering our team shirts, setting up the team dinner, and trying to keep us motivated!

Who inspires you?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pin It Party #1

Welcome to my very first Pin It Party hosted by Lindsay. You can find me on Pinterest here.
A Pin It Party is a way for bloggers to show off their favorite posts and hopefully gain new readers! If you're a reader you can help by pinning images from posts and it is a great way to show support for the blogs you love.
Today I'd love to show you a little taste of what you can find here at Running Escapades: running, strength training, events, gear, and food! 
I hope you enjoy and if you're up for more reading, check out the linkup over at Lindsay's.

I keep track of my running with a weekly Training Truths posts. This is my way of keeping myself on track and accountable, even when I'm on vacation.

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 4

30 Day Challenges are super popular and I was hooked when I found these:
Strength Training: 30 Day Challenges

I love running races and even though there are some that I would do over and over again, sometimes I pick races just because of the challenge.

BAA Half Marathon & Distance Medley Recap

I admit that I probably have a shoe problem, but I just can't say no to a new pair of shoes, or any fitness gear for that matter!

Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 17

Eating better took on a whole new meaning when I gave up wheat. Now I'm always on the lookout for gluten-free recipes and when I find a good one, I like to share.

WIAW: Gluten-Free Blueberry Protein Bars

Thanks for joining me in my first Pin It Party!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIAW: Cheesy Tuna & Quinoa

As I continue on my gluten-free diet, I have noticed that I do not crave pasta anymore. I used to make a lot of meals that included some sort of pasta as one of the main ingredients, but lately they aren't the least bit appealing to me.

One of my favorite easy meals to make was tuna and macaroni. Literally I would make a box of mac-n-cheese and add two can of tuna. That's it. Easy and delicious. I used to make this all the time in college.

Now I can make it by substituting a couple of ingredients and it's just as good!

After cooking one cup of quinoa, add about 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese and mix.

Then mix in about two tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt followed by two cans of tuna.

That's it. This is a great recipe for a quick, but filling lunch option. I usually make it on Sunday and then take it to school for my lunch.

If you're not eating quinoa yet, take a look at this great article and this blog post detailing the benefits of this amazing super-food.

Oh yea, it's WIAW and I'm linking up with Jenn. Check out more recipes here:

What is your favorite quinoa recipe?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Training Truths: Braving the Winter

Braving the winter has been a little harder lately with the continued arctic blasts that have been descending on New England. I love to get outside and run in the fresh air, but single digit temperatures and little sunshine make it difficult.

Tuesday - It was barely 10 degrees on my drive home from school, so I decided to do my 4 miles on the treadmill.

Friday - I braved the cold temps and got in 4 miles outside. After being cooped up in the classroom all week, it felt good to get outside and stretch my legs on my easy regular loop. And I finished just as it was starting to get dark.

Saturday - SurfSet is easily my favorite non-running workout. I love the sweat, the challenging exercises, and the energy of these classes. Every class is different right down to the supplemental gear we use.

Saturday - After all the errands and housework were finished, mrC suggested we take the dog for a walk. Taking advantage of the one day heatwave of 30 degree weather, we hit the trail for a brisk 5K. My Athleta polartec tights were the perfect wardrobe choice, keeping my legs nice and warm.

Sunday - I knew the weather would be questionable, and while watching the news they showed a helpful windchill chart. After searching online, I found this one:

I like to run outside, but my rule is that I take it inside when the feels like temp is a negative number. Doing my long run on the treadmill is not ideal, but it's better than not running or getting sick. I took advantage of the ability to control my speed and kept this run at the correct long slow distance pace.

Has the frigid weather messed up your workout plans? How do you deal with it?

Don't forget to enter my Oofos recovery shoe giveaway!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites & {a GIVEAWAY}

Happy Friday running friends!

It's time to share another round of Friday Favorites.

I've had my Nike GPS Sportwatch for about 5 years now, but just recently purchased the Polar Wearlink Heart Rate Monitor to link with it. The data nerd in me loves seeing how much effort I'm putting into my running.

Sometimes it is just REALLY cold. I hate wearing toboggans because I have thick hair and my ponytail is too short to hang out on my neck. I found Athleta's Polartec Beanie Visor that has a hole in the back for ponytails. I know there are toboggans that have ponytail holes too, but I liked the added visor on this one.

I recently tried some audio Treadmill Express workouts from Motion Traxx through an offer for FitFluential Ambassadors. For someone like me who doesn't like to run on the treadmill, these workouts make all the difference. I like knowing that I'm getting a good workout instead of just aimlessly running.

Speaking of FitFluential, have you joined yet? I joined in 2011 (before applying to become an ambassador) because they offered a network of fitness enthusiasts who were dedicated to motivating and inspiring others. Pretty soon, I was also enjoying perks like discounts on fitness gear, invites to Twitter chats, and opportunities to win free stuff in giveaways.

This year, FitFluential wants to hit the road and bring the events to US! The more people you get to sign up from your area, the more likely you are to be visited by FitFluential. Spread the word!

One of my all time favorite races is the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon. The ladies behind ZOOMA really know how to put on a great event in a fantastic locations. Runner's World Magazine has called it one of the best half marathon's in the US and recently Competitor Magazine ranked the Texas Half Marathon as "Best Women's Half" in the South.

Right now ZOOMA is looking to send a blogger and one lucky reader to run the ZOOMA Napa Half Marathon in June. I would love to add California to my list of places I have run a race, wouldn't you? All you need to do is VOTE! Everyday!

As usual I'm spending most of my non-running hours wearing these awesome recovery shoes around the house. I'm bringing them back today because Oofos wants YOU to have a pair to enjoy and has asked me to do another giveaway! Enter using the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 20, 2014

Training Truths: Under-the-Weather

After coming off a runner's high from my latest long run, I spent most of last week feeling under-the-weather. Ironically, it was an awesome weather week here in New Hampshire, but I was dealing with a below-the-neck chest-thingy which meant no running (plus I had ZERO energy to even try).

from Women's Running

Monday - Thursday: All through the January Thaw, the only thing I could muster was some stretching and foam rolling.

Like my shirt? You can find it here

After a brief conversation with my running watch on Friday, I finally put on my running shoes.

Instead of aimlessly running on the treadmill while watching episodes of Friends, I decided to try a new treadmill audio workout via an invitation extended to FitFluential Ambassadors from Motion Traxx. The Treadmill Express workout features special workout music paired with audio coaching that makes you feel like you have a coach right in the room with you.

Workout #1 is a 20 minute workout broken up into 4 stages: a 2 minute warmup, 12 minutes of hills & valleys, 40/20 Tabata inspired sprints, and a 2 minute cool down. It was an intense cardio blast that kicked my butt! Motion Traxx also offers Cycle Express and Elliptical Express workouts.

This week Saturday SurfSet became Saturday Surf and Turf. This split class allowed more people to participate with 25 minutes of #SurfSet and 25 minutes of #BootCamp. The class size increased to two groups of 9 that rotated between the two workouts. They did this because SurfSet has gotten so popular and there was a wait list again. I'd much rather do Surf and Turf than get closed out of a class!

After a very snowy ride home, I jumped on the treadmill to run some #megsmiles to honor Meg Menzies who was tragically killed while out on her morning run last week. I tried another Motion Traxx Treadmill Express workout.

Workout #2 is another 20 minute session divided into 4 stages: 2 minute warmup, 12 minute progression hill work, 6x20/20 sprints, and a 2 minute cool down. This is hands-down HARD work, kids. Get it. If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself on the treadmill, you need it.

My long run on Sunday was a bit of an adventure. It started snowing during the first four miles making the roads too slippery to continue, so I ran the second 4 miles on the treadmill.

How do you decide whether to workout or not when you're not feeling well?

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Run 5K 2014

Finally a recap of my first 5K of the year! Happy Friday!

Once again I couldn't resist starting off the year with a race. mrC and I returned to Lowell, MA to run the First Run 5K on New Year's Day in the bitter cold.

I ran the 10K of this event in 2012 and 2013, but this year I decided the 5K was a better fit since it was a Wednesday and I'm still easing back into my weekly mileage. This year's race was bitter-sweet because my Gpa passed away the day before, so I dedicated the 3.1 miles to him.

It was a really, really cold race. My legs felt great in my Athleta polartec tights, but I had my hands and face bundled up until about half way. The course is easy with just a couple of small inclines and loops around a busy neighborhood. It's a popular race and since the course is not closed, there are places where you get stuck behind clumps of runners. I wasn't worried about my time, so this didn't bother me at all.

This was my first race since the BAA Half that I ran injured. It felt really good to be running again and I was happy to cross the finish in 29:36.

I'm really glad that I went ahead and ran this race. Although it felt wrong at first, running did make me feel better. Afterwards, I had planned to look for friends that I knew were running, but I just wasn't feeling very "peppy" so we headed home.

This was my first race for the #14in2014 challenge that I signed up for with Jill and Jen. You know me, I love challenges!

Did you run on New Year's Day? How was it?

Monday, January 13, 2014

TrainingTruths: Let the January Thaw Begin!

It's never easy to go back to work, is it? I don't know if it was the 1900 mile round trip drive to Cincinnati or the two full weeks of holiday break, but going back to work last week seemed harder than usual. I was also less enthused about doing my workouts because it was freezing, but I managed to do it. The January Thaw that commenced on Sunday morning certainly helped!

Monday - I can do rain and I can do cold, but I can't do cold and rainy so I hit the treadmill for a 3.1 mile run.

Wednesday - I had a meeting after school and after driving home, I just couldn't muster the energy to bundle up for a 15 degree outdoor run. Instead I opted for another 3.1 mile treadmill run. One positive outcome of running inside is that I spend more time stretching.

Saturday - I waited until Friday night to try to reserve a board for SurfSet class (bad idea), got closed out, and tweeted my disappointment. Good thing I did because in the morning two people cancelled and Christine tweeted to let me know that boards were available. I braved the slippery road conditions to get there and it was worth it!

Sunday - It was long run day and the temperature was a perfect 40 degrees. Only a little black ice (the driveway was the worst) remained from the day before and the sunshine was so refreshing! Not only had I been missing the pavement, but also the Vitamin D. Even though mrC was out of town and my stepdaughter went back to her campus duties, this solo long run was a success.

Did you enjoy the January thaw?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How Runners Can #TurnItGreen and Win $5000!

The following post is sponsored by REPREVE

More and more I'm hearing talk about how we can help the planet through recycling.

In my house we recycle all the time. I live in a town where recycling is heavily encouraged and residents take their trash to a transfer station for sorting. At the school where I work, students and faculty are also encouraged to recycle.

Runners can follow some simple tips to go green too!

#TurnItGreen X Games contest: UPDATED!! Dates: Jan. 17 - Feb. 2.
Grand Prize: $5,000 cash

To celebrate the X Games, REPREVE invites you to share how you "turn it green", or how you live a more sustainable life by recycling or reusing materials, by sharing an image or video on Twitter, Instagram or Vine with the #TurnItGreen hashtag to be eligible.

Once you share the image or video with the hashtag, you will be entered into a sweepstakes where five entries will be randomly selected as the Top Five. Those five will be voted on by visitors to Repreve[dot]com where the image or video with the most votes will win a $5,000 cash prize. The other four video entries will receive a REPREVE Jacket and a Go-Pro camera (retail valued at over $350). More info available here.

**If you submitted an entry before Jan. 17, REPREVE is asking you to resubmit your entry**

How will you #TurnItGreen?

Now let me say congratulations to the REPREVE green beanie giveaway winner: 
Louise Bourque Cunningham 
Please email me your mailing address and I will get your beanie to you right away!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Training Truths: Saying Goodbye

Last week was about saying goodbye.

We closed another year while ringing in the new one.

We bid adieu to our old goals as we made plans for 2014.

Sadly, I also said farewell to my beloved ninety year old grandfather.

Monday - back to Booty Barre. I don't know how she does it, but Becki makes 2 pound hand weights feel like a ton. On top of that, my arms. abs, and legs become a shaky hot mess! It's awesome and I can't wait to go back on my next break.

Tuesday - mrC joined me for a cold, but sunny run to the beach and back for a nice little New Year's Eve 5K. I was feeling festive in my new eggplant Nike running top and sparkly winter hat.

Wednesday - After finding out late Tuesday that my Gpa had passed, mrC and I decided to still do the First Run 5K on New Year's Day. Honestly it felt wrong to be hanging out at a race, but it did feel good to run.

Thursday - We drove to Cincinnati for the funeral. No running this weekend, but I did take a walk at every stop and stretched my legs whenever and however I could.

In the car using the dash as a prop:

In the hotel room using my yoga for runners app:

After the 1900 mile round trip, I am looking forward to a good run. I know that it will feel good on my legs and on my grief.

**I have also extended my REPREVE beanie giveaway for another week as I get caught up. You can still enter here.**