Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Five: Why I Am Thankful

 
Happy Friday! I know that for many people today is a day off and an opportunity for tons of shopping, but not me!  It's just another day back at work...but I wa so happy to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with delicious food!  It really has become one of my favorite holidays.  In honor of the holiday season, I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed For What, and Mar at Mar On the Run!  This week we are talking about gratitude. 
 
 
Grateful for this homemade Thanksgiving feast!
 
 
Reasons Why I Am Thankful


1.  I Am Healthy.  I am very blessed to be in good health.  The reason why I started this blog was because I was returning to running after my stress fracture injury.  This year in particular, I've finally made my way back and was able to run my first half marathon in nearly 2 years.  Thanks to my physical therapists and running coach Kristy for getting me to where I am now! 


2.  My Family is Well.  I am really happy to see that my family is doing well.  We are in a very good place, and I hope that our bond continues to deepen.  There were a couple of health scares, so I am grateful that everyone is okay.  I have a brother and a sister, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.  And I'm very happy that my parents are in good health. 


3.  I Got Love.  If you read my blog regularly, you hear about Bret all the time.  We have been together for nearly 3 years now, and it's just been a wonderful experience...of course with a lot of fights in between!  He's been an amazing running buddy and support system when I was studying the PE.  Okay, no more gushing about him.

4.  I Love to Cook!  I know this sounds silly, but I'm really grateful that I've found a love for being in the kitchen.  It's where I can be creative and really just lose myself for awhile.  It's been great trying new things and finding inspiration from other bloggers.  Thanks to the holiday, I won't have to cook dinner for awhile!


5.  I Have This Blog!  I am extremely thankful to have this blog, and to have you as a reader.  It's been an amazing journey and I have so much more I want to do and plan to do in 2015...I'm hoping to take things to the next level!  I love writing, I love sharing this part of my life, and the running/fitness/blogging community is just awesome!  Thank YOU for being amazing!

What are you thankful for?  I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Get Fit Before the New Year: Join the City Fit Girls Shift Program!


Hello, and happy Thanksgiving Eve eve!  Let's take a moment to talk about New Year's Resolutions.  Aren't they the worst?  People have the best of intentions to lose weight, eat better, and quit those unhealthy habits, but without proper planning and support, so many Resolutions end up left by the wayside before February 1.

This year, I'm looking to get ahead of the game.  The City Fit Girls are hosting SHIFT, a 4 week fitness and nutrition program, starting on December 1, and I've signed up! 


city fit girls shift
 

 
The SHIFT program is broken into three levels:  Goal Setter, Goal Digger, and Goal Crusher.  All three programs include a meal planning guide and a 4 week fitness calendar.  When you move up to Goal Digger or Goal Crusher level, you get extras including workout video demos, an assessment, access to online support, and even weekly one-on-one coaching!  All the details are in the graphic below, including the price, with more information on www.cityfitgirlsonline.com



I've signed up for the $20 Goal Digger program!  If you've followed along in my fitness journey, you've probably noticed that I'm not where I want to be when it comes to strength and flexibility.  You may have also noticed that I'm not cooking as healthy as I used to (I miss my weekly meal planning posts!)!  The Goal Digger program should provide me the tools to get back on track, so I can start 2015 on the right path!  Maybe it can help you reach your health and fitness goals too!

If you sign up for the Goal Digger or Goal Crusher programs, let them know that Janelle at Run With No Regrets sent you! Let me know if you have any questions!


Again the program begins on Monday, December 1st!  Join me and hundreds of other women in the movement, sign up today!  Let's support each other as we work to reach our goals!


Disclaimer: I am a City Fit Girls Ambassador and could potentially receive compensation for the number of referrals I bring in for the Goal Digger and/or Goal Crusher Programs.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekly Recap: Philly Marathon and DC Running

Happy Monday!!  I am still in denial that Thanksgiving is 3. Days. Away.  I don't even have a turkey or a menu planned yet!  Anyone else as lazy about this holiday as I am this year??

But anyway, I had a pretty great weekend which I wish didn't end!  I was actually feeling a bit under the weather much of last week, but now I'm feeling much better!  I spent time with my sister down in DC and got to enjoy the Philly Marathon as a spectator!
 
Philadelphia Marathon

In 2011, I watched my friends run the half and full marathon and fell absolutely in love.  In 2012, I ran the half marathon.  In 2013, I watched my friends and boyfriend run the half and full marathon.  This year, I went out to support the City Fit Girls running the race!

As much as I have lamented lately about being bored by races in Philadelphia, I don't feel the same way about this race.  I love the course and the energy is great!  Even though my half marathon performance was THE worst that year, I was glad that I was able to get through it with the help of the crowd and my friend Sonya who ran it with me!

But anyway, the City Fit Girls were taking over the Mile 1 Cheer Zone for the race, and we had to get there before the 7 am start.  Security was just as heavy as last year, but not crazy.  Several other girls were there with awesome signs!  I brought a cowbell to bring in the noise!   
 


Cheering at Mile 1!


The awesome band at our Cheering Zone



It was great to be there and to high five the girls.  I planned on getting brunch at Sabrina's after cheering, so I separated and went to the ever-so-popular spot to get some grub.  Bret and I ended up feasting together after a very long wait...but tell me the eggs benedict and French toast special don't look to die for!

Amazing French Toast at Sabrina's

Weekend in DC



Beautiful view of Washington Monument


I was excited to be heading down to visit my sister on Friday.  It has actually been quite some time since visiting since I so busy studying for the PE during the weekends.  I actually ended up crashing her ASHE conference in DC and spent time at the open bar at the Penn networking reception!  I was able to meet/catch up with some of her educator/PhD colleagues and just have a good time. 
 We actually stayed at a hotel overnight, so on Saturday morning, we went to the gym for a little bit, but since I had to move my car, I realized that it was actually good running weather!  Sure it may have been barely 30 degrees, but we could handle it!  My sister was a little reluctant at first, but I think she enjoyed it!  I've never run in DC, and it was fun seeing the sights. 

Me and Sis at the White House

It's still on my bucket list to run a race in the Nation's Capital!  I'm thinking of putting in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom Run in April.  Maybe I could get my sister to join in too--tell her what a great idea it would be!  ;)

Weekly Workouts:

Monday 11/17:  I can't even remember!  I think this was a day off.

Tuesday 11/18:  Boot Camp Class, the first in probably 6 months or so.  Some exercises were fun, but I've rediscovered my weaknesses--

Wednesday 11/19:  An abrupt Core and More Class at lunch since I was stuck working out in the field in 20 degree weather.  Still appreciated those 10 minutes!  Then I had a brief group run with City Fit Girls...I was a few minutes late so I only made it through part of the run.  But it was still fun! 

Thursday 11/20:  We had playoffs for Kickball.  We had our first win of the season, which meant we had another game right after!  Unfortunately we weren't able to come up with the win.  But I was so glad we ended the season on a high note!  

Friday 11/21:  Day off, just did a short yoga class for immunity from yogadownload.com.  I think it may have actually helped!

Saturday 11/22:  2.66 miles running and sightseeing through DC, plus I did spend about 15 minutes on the recumbent bike at the hotel gym. 

Sunday 11/23:  No workouts besides walking to and from the Philly Marathon!


Trust me, I wish I was wearing full pants!


Did you have any races this weekend?  Where's the best place to run in Washington, DC?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekly Recap: Active Week, Productive Weekend

Happy Monday!  Here we are, 10 days away from Thanksgiving.  Say WHAT!  I don't have anything remotely set in stone.  And after Thanksgiving comes Black Friday Christmas shopping.  I need to start getting my lists together!

This past week, the weather was all over the place.  Some days were in the 60's and others were in the 30's.  You gotta love it.  As much as I enjoy running in the cold, I really would like to avoid it as long as possible!  

Fun Times With Friends
I had lot of fun with friends this week and weekend, which was definitely a treat.  Back on Monday night I was able to catch some of the Eagles blowout at a bar with friends.  Then on Friday I got to watch a fun rom-com and get my hair done by my self-proclaimed "ultra-natural" pal, then head out to catch up with a dear friend from Villanova who was in town for the week.  On Saturday, Bret and I went to the burbs with friends for dinner and drinks at Forest and Main Brewing Company.  The place is literally like having dinner at an old lady's house.  It's our kind of hipstery place!   


Delicious carrot cake at Forest and Main
  Meat and Produce at the Reading Terminal Market

Sundays tend to be when I take care of various errands.  Since I was in a particularly non-lazy mood, I decided to get some long overdue fruits, vegetables and meats at Reading Terminal Market. 

I love shopping there because the food is fresh and of high quality and the prices are great.  I'm one of those weirdos that loves grocery shopping in general...it's just a space where I can relax and get inspiration on things to cook.  I bought a butternut squash, pineapple, grape tomatoes, kale, red lettuce, spinach, onions and peppers of various colors, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and who knows what else!  When I checked out, one of the cashiers really wanted to know what I was planning to make with all my food.  I told him "I don't know, but I'm going to figure it out!"  At the meat market, I got chicken breast, ground beef, and a second ground meat mix that I look forward to experimenting with.  Yay to cooking healthy again!  Now to find some recipes!


Yummy veggies at Reading Terminal Market


Workouts for the Week:

Monday 11/10:  It was our last day in Bucks County and it was the only day we didn't work out! 

Tuesday 11/11:  I originally planned on doing yoga but was so busy I didn't get around to it...

Wednesday 11/12: Core and More Class at lunch, fun as always. Since it was my night to make dinner, I passed on the City Fit Girls Group Run and instead practiced 45 minutes of yoga on yogadownload.com.  I really need to get back into it, my form and strength is not what it used to be...

Thursday 11/13:  I went for a 2 mile run at lunch, 10:27 pace.  It wasn't the best though...my shins were really bothering me, which I'm not used to.  I'll have to keep an eye on things.  Then we had kickball that night.  It was raining, so I knew it was going to be a sloppy game.  What I didn't realize was that we'd get our first snowfall!  It was so picturesque out on the field with the tiny snow flakes falling! Didn't stick, but made for a fun game.

Friday 11/14:  Another solid Core and More Class.

Saturday 11/15:  No workouts!  My body begged for rest!  

Sunday 11/16:  I went to a yoga class hosted by the Society of Women Engineers at University of Penn.  Great workout, but I'm realizing my upper body strength and core need serious work!  But I was able to meet some new people, which was nice. 

How was your weekend?  Did you have any races or health and fitness accomplishments? 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five: How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Happy Friday!  Somehow we are almost halfway through November...seriously, how has this happened? ! Christmas commercials are playing and you know the Black Friday shopping deals are already online!  I guess I can't deny it anymore--the holiday season is on its way!

I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What, and Mar at Mar On the Run for the Friday Five!  The theme this week is Cold Weather Running Tips, be sure to check out everyone's posts!  I recently wrote a post on cold weather running here, so instead, I'm going to write about last week's Friday Five theme:  How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays. 



Prepare Healthy(ier) Dishes

If you have a family that cooks like mine does, there is no such thing as a "healthy" dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!  You've got rich, heavy sauces, lots of butter, and lots of sugar at every turn!  So if you're responsible for a certain dish, try making some healthy substitutions.  For example, at last year's Thanksgiving, I made sweet potatoes with Greek yogurt, and overall they were well received.  And Christmas I made Brussels sprouts  (yes, I'm that girl...haha).  But here's my advice:  don't advertise that your dish is healthy to the family...or you may have more leftovers than you wanted!

Dishes from last year's Thanksgiving...check out those healthy sweet potatoes!

Watch Your Caloric Intake

You know you're heading into a situation full of SO many delicious temptations, so you have to have a plan of attack ready.  Keep your portion sizes portion sized.  For example, one serving of turkey should be about the size of a deck of cards.  Go easy on the gravy.  And if you've got egg nog or punch at the table, limit the amount of glasses you have.  You can still enjoy all the fixings at your holiday dinner, but don't make it your goal to feel as stuffed as a turkey by the end of the night!

Fit in Some Fitness

With the busyness of the holidays it may be hard to find time to take care of yourself, but don't neglect!  Be sure to find time for your favorite fitness activities during this time of year, be it running, spinning class, or P90X.  It'll also help with the potential guilt from indulging during the holidays.  Right now I am doing a 21 Day Yoga challenge at yogadownload.com in preparation for the holidays.  It's been great to get connected to yoga again...I've missed it terribly.  I'm also signing up for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day!  Why not burn a few hundred calories in the morning before the big feast that night?


One of the yoga videos I've been practicing!

Keep Yourself Accountable

Your friends and family can be your allies.  Let them know that your goal is to eat healthy, and they can slap your hand when you reach for seconds at the table!  I'm kidding...mostly.  Maybe you can even encourage them to re-evaluate their habits, if only for one day!

Manage Your Stress

Last but not least, it is so important to take care of your mental health as well!  Shopping for gifts, preparing for family visits, and getting your menu planned can be so stressful at this time of year.  Use whatever methods that work for you to manage your stress, be it by meditating, watching mindless TV shows, or hitting a punching bag!  Seek out help from a loved one if you're feeling particularly troubled or overwhelmed.

A Few Blog Announcements!

I wanted to share that I've made a couple of tweaks to the blog.  You may notice I have a new header!  I first created this for the new Facebook page, and then after getting some advice I realized, "Duh, I can use that same header over here to help identify the blog better!"  So there it is, I hope you like it!  The other thing is that I now have social media buttons on the right sidebar of my home page!  Be sure to like and follow, and I'll do the same! 

Hope you have a great weekend!  Share in the comments: what are your surefire ways to avoid holiday temptations?

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