It Finally Happened! And Pumpkin Pie Granola

After 6 years of running 5K road races, I finally finished in under 23 minutes tonight!  I actually did it in 22:30. :)

I feel like my best races happen on the days when I have zero energy and don’t wanna move at all.  Does that happen to anyone else?  Maybe my brain is too tired and it keeps me from over thinking about my pace?

Anyways, I knew I could either plop on the couch all night and kick myself in the butt for not racing or I could suck it up and run.  So I quickly ate a bag of sports beans (which I’ll be eating before every race!)

and drove down the street for the 6:45ish pm start time.

There was about 50-60 runners there tonight and we took off right as the sun was setting.  

I pushed it as hard as I could and just kept thinking about how the sooner I finish, the sooner I’ll be back in my warm car and on my way home to a warm shower and wine.  Wine is always a great motivator. :)   And it worked; my splits were 7:18, 7:21, and 7:11 with an average pace of 7:15.  Even though I wanted to puke when I finished, it was well worth it.

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Now it’s time for a delicious, healthy pumpkin recipe.  I, like everyone else, looooove pumpkin season aka ‘Fall’.  I’m all about pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin beer, etc. so this evening when I was about to prepare a batch of almond butter granola I decided why not just make pumpkin granola?

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • couple dashes of cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2) Combine the oats, flaxseeds, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, sea salt, craisins, and chopped walnuts in a large bowl.

3) Add the pumpkin puree, honey, and vanilla and stir well, until all oats are completely covered (I used my hands).

4) Spread oats on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stir, and bake for another 10 minutes or until slightly brown.

5) Set the baking sheet on a rack and let it cool completely.  Store in the fridge. 

**You could also switch up the ingredients and add slice almonds, pecans, raisins, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, etc.

Though this granola tastes delicious on its own, I’ll probably add it to my greek yogurt or a bowl of almond milk with fresh fruit.  

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Any one else trying to PR at a race?

Are you lovin’ pumpkin season or you over it?

Bring on the hills

Do you know what’s a hard workout?  

Hills.

And more hills.

As soon as I arrived home from work yesterday, I changed into running gear and ran 1.5 miles towards Breakheart Reservation.  I’ve run the 3 mile loop around Breakheart many times but yet those hills always get me.  They don’t look crazy at first but as soon as you reach the top of a hill, you realized, oh there’s another one just waiting for ya.

Thank god it was a gorgeous weather – 60’s and sunny – and the route itself is always so nice and peaceful.

There were multiple times when I wanted to stop and the bad part of me kept thinking ‘hey, it’s a Monday.  I’m tired.  Walking is better than nothing….. ‘   But the better part of me, pulled through and repeated positive mantra’s to keep me going (<– seriously, they work!!)  Besides my usual ‘NO REGRETS’, I also repeated this one:

And I kept thinking about….

How AWESOME I’ll feel after completing a hard workout!

Dinner

After my run, I stretched, showered, and hung-out with this lil’ stud before making dinner. 

 Lately, I just haven’t been in the mood to cook much for dinner, plus Mike was away so I quickly threw together a tasty bowl of pasta.  In the mix: whole wheat penne pasta, frozen green beans, crumbled feta cheese, EVOO, and ground black pepper.  Done and done. :)

And this is how I really eat dinner 85% of the time:

Plopped on the couch in my sweats while watching the nightly news (or celebrity gossip depending on the time).

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Do you run hills?  How often?

What’s your easy, ‘go to’ dinner?

Top 10 Reasons to do Yoga!

Hello, hello!  Did you guys watch football yesterday?  Did you see the Pat’s win? Not their best game but I’ll take it. :)

So remember how I said I tried a new yoga studio on Saturday morning but had to leave since it was f’n hot yoga?  While I was there I signed up for their emails and they sent me one over the weekend with the top reasons to do yoga.  It was such a great list that I had to share it with you guys {and make it look pretty… }

Top 10 Reasons to do Yoga: 

1. Be kinder to yourself and others.
2. Tackle challenges with creativity and calm.
3. Enjoy an easy relationship with food and feel comfortable and confident in your body.
4. Increase your energy to do the things you really want; take on things you’ve been meaning to do.
5. Sleep soundly.
6. Feel more engaged with those around you and smile more with your children and/or partner.
7. Improve flexibility and strength.
8. Delight in simple things and experience a sense of possibility in your life.
9. Play with your grandchildren on the floor and ski, bike, run, golf, and play tennis better now and later into life..
10. Create the BEST LIFE EVER. 

Thank god I finally got into yoga….  Better late than never, right?

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Workouts for the Week:

(loosely based off this marathon training plan)

Monday: Yoga —> maybe this one:

Tuesday: 5 mile run w/ hills

Wednesday: 8 mile run

Thursday: 5 mile run + strength training

Friday: Off or yoga

Saturday: 18 mile run!!!

Sunday: Off

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And before logging off, here’s some motivation for the week:

Latvia?! And Monday’s Motivation.

Groeten uit Amsterdam! <– Greetings from Amsterdam!

I’m currently typing away at the Amsterdam airport while waiting for my connecting flight to Riga, Latvia.  In case you’re wondering it’s 3:24 am Boston time or 9:24 am European time so my blog post might not make much sense (nothing new).  Somehow a 14 mile run + 3 glasses of wine still equats to 0 hours of sleep on the overnight flight?  Hmmm so not right.   CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TEACH ME HOW TO SLEEP ON AIRPLANES? :)

Enough rambling,  you guys ready to learn something?  Wanna know where the hell Latvia is located?  It’s conveniently located next to the Baltic Sea and/or to the left of Russia, which is right here:

How cool would it be to see the Baltic Sea on my trip?  Fingers crossed it’s near my hotel.

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Moving on to this weeks Monday’s Motivation….

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Workouts For The Week:

(Since I’ll be in a hotel room until Friday, I’ll do a modified version of Week # 8 from this marathon training plan)

Monday: Off (Plane, trains, and automobiles all day (minus the trains))

Tuesday: Yoga in the hotel room (I’ll most likely follow a YouTube video – I’ll keep ya posted if it’s a good one or not)

Wednesday: 3-4 mile run on the ‘mill + strength training

Thursday: 3-4 mile run on the ‘mill + strength training

Friday: Off (traveling all day)

Saturday: 4 mile run

Sunday: Long run = 15 miles!

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Have you traveled lately?  Where to??

What are your workouts this week?

Do you plan your wkly workouts or just wing it?

 

Want Some Motivation??

You guys need some motivation for the week?  Yup, me too.  Once again, all I did was check out Pinterest to find my 4 favorite quotes for this week’s ‘Monday’s Motivation’.  These quotes already got me PUMPED UP and out the door for a 3 mile run this morning so hopefully they help you as well. :)

And some fun ecards to get you through this lovely Monday:

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My workout plan for this week:

(based off Week #6 this marathon training plan)

Monday: 4 mile run DONE! (Well, technically I ran 3 miles & walked 1 mile – it was humid as hell this morning and I couldn’t push it all 4 miles… )

Tuesday: Cross train  + strength training (maybe a spin class? Or this workout again :))

Wednesday: 5 mile run + core work

Thursday: 4 mile run w/ hill repeats

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Long run = 11 miles

Sunday: Rest

What are your workouts this week?

Do you search Pinterest for workout motivation?

 

Need energy? Go for a run

Hi guys!

After a fun-filled Saturday spent at the beach followed by a long happy hour(s) on the Cape, I figured yesterday would be a good chance to get my life back in order.  But first up, I needed to run.  On days when I’m tired/sluggish/hung-over, the only thing that gives me energy is going out for a run.  Even a Dunkin’s coffee with a turbo shot wasn’t cutting it for me yesterday.  So I dragged myself off my comfy couch, changed into running gear, and headed to the lake. 

Trust me, this is sometimes the hardest thing to do but I just think about how good I’ll feel once I’m done running.  

And 3 miles later I felt GREAT! :)

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I also really needed to hydrate yesterday so I chugged down an orange flavored coconut water.  These drinks are awesome post-workout and also for helping with a hangover.  Win win!

I love these drinks even more after reading the back and seeing ‘no fat and no cholesterol (means big hearts and small butts)’ Ha! :)

Dinner

After my run, I did a bunch of errands, laundry, cleaned, caught up on blogs and finally around 7:30ish, I sat down to a delicious dinner prepared by Mike.  In the mix: grilled chicken kabobs (with mushrooms, tomatoes, and red peppers) on top of whole-grain quinoa. Perfect-O.

And for dessert?  A couple handfuls of dark chocolate covered almonds – my new ‘go-to’ treat.

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Workouts for the Week:

(Loosely based off my marathon training plan)

Monday: 3 mile run w/ hills

Tuesday: Cross-train (elliptical, stairmaster, or bike)

Wednesday: 5 mile run

Thursday: 3 mile run + abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Long run = 9 miles

Sunday: Rest

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Do you workout when you need energy? 

Any fun/exciting workouts this week??

 

{Monday Motivation} Positive Things…

 

love quotes about positive thinking!  Positive thoughts turn into positive results.  It’s that easy, people. :D

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Workouts for the week:

Slightly based off my marathon training plan

Monday: 3 mile hill workout + Tracy Anderson Arm Workout on YouTube. 

Tuesday: 5 mile run + strength training (squats, push-ups, etc.)

Wednesday: Rest or power-walk + Tracy Anderson Arm Workout on YouTube

Thursday: 3 mile run + core work (planks, mountain climbers, etc.)

Friday: 8 mile run (I’ll be on the Cape this weekend so I’m gonna squeeze my long run in Friday before work)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

 

RUN HAPPY

So it’s July and yeah it’s probably going to be f’n hot and humid everyday.  But you know what?  I need to stop caring so much and start enjoying my runs my again!  No more bitching about the weather from me; I swear.  As Brooks always says, Run Happy…..   and that’s exactly what I’m going to do during my 7 mile run tomorrow morning. :D 

Have a good night, everyone!

Monday Motivation: CONSISTENCY!

A lot of the marathon training plans I’ve come across talk about consistency.  It’s one of the most important and also one of the most over-looked elements of training.  You have to be consistent with your training in order to do well and to stay injury-free.  This means getting out and running 4-5 times a week {if you’re training for a long race}.  Even if it’s just a short run or a painfully slow run, you’re still out there running.  Be consistent and keep going! 

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Workouts for the Week

(loosely based off Week #3 from my marathon training plan):

Monday: Easy day = Power-walk + Tracy Anderson arm workout

Tuesday: 4 miles + ab workout (planks & mountain climbers)

Wednesday: 3 miles + strength training (squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.)

Thursday: 3 miles with hills + ab workout

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 7 miles

Sunday: Rest or power-walk

 

Enjoy your Monday!

(well, as much as you can for a Monday) :)

Monday Motivation & Work-Outs for the Week

Hi friends!  How was your weekend?  Did you enjoy a Sunday Funday? :D

I saw the quote above on Pinterest and loved it so much I decided to make my own version (which is also my FB profile picture :)).  It’s so true that it takes MOTIVATION to get you started but it’s HABIT that keeps you going!  You have to make it a habit/priority of getting out there and breaking a sweat as often as you can!  Once you start working out a couple of days a week, it  soon becomes a habit and eventually something you’ll actually look forward to.   For real!

Workouts for the Week:

(Since it’s Week #2 of Marathon Training my workouts will be based around this training plan)

Monday: Run 3 miles plus a Tracy Anderson arm workout from YouTube (gotta tone the arms!)

Tuesday: Rest or power-walk

Wednesday: Run 4 miles

Thursday: Run 3 miles plus strength training (planks, squats, push-ups, etc) 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 6 miles

Sunday: Rest or power-walk

What are your workouts this week? 

Which one do you look forward to most?  The least?