Weekly Recap – RnR NOLA Training

Mother nature is a fickle thing in Boston. If it’s sunny and beautiful, chances are the ground is covered in 2 feet of snow and anything that cleared up, is frozen into black ice. If it hits 50 degrees, well then you better prepare for pouring rain. 45? And sunny? Guess what, you better watch out, there’s 25MPH wind coming straight against you. But worry not, at least that wind may help you in the opposite direction. Of course, chances are by the time you turn around to make you way home, the wind will have changed directions to continue your battle against you.

New England winters… they never get boring.

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – 8 Miles
Incline 2, 7:39 pace. I was still in full on Sinus infection mood, but luckily, all I need to do is run for a little bit before my sinuses clear up.

Wednesday – 8 Miles
Incline 3, 7:52 pace. I don’t know how I was able to keep up the speed while on incline 3. Must be the rest for not doubling up on runs.

incline 3

Thursday – 10 Miles
Incline 2, 7:42 average pace. Once again, with lower mileage, I was able to hit up faster speed. Killed 8 miles just under an hour and cooled down with 2 more easier miles.

Friday – 4 Miles
I was planning on running 9, but with the stress of my missing phone, I ran an easy 4 miles in the evening at home at about 7:45 pace. I was drained and dead after the 4 miles.

Saturday – 13.25 Miles
It looked dark and misty outside. Weather was approaching 50 and humid. Actually, it was amazing to run in a tshirt and capris. I didn’t know how many miles I would get in before I would have to turn out to go home from the rain. It was also the first time in almost half a decade that I left my house without a phone. No music, just me, my garmin and my breathing. I was going to try to hold out for 10 miles, but the 13 came easier than I thought. I wanted to go for 15, but decided to save some energy in the tank for Sunday. Before I even got a chance to shower, it started to thunder and pour outside. Average pace was about 8:05 as I tried to main comfortable effort.

Saturday Run

Sunday – 20.2 Miles
Tony promised me a long run on Sunday so we set out. We ran together for about 9 miles at about a 9 minutes pace. He got cold and went to finish his run on the treadmill. I on the other hand had no desire to miss out on the 40s weather. 40s is a heatwave in my book, even if it did come with 25 mile winds. Instead, I gathered up my ancient Ipod with my awesome new headphones and headed out for 11 more by my lonesome self. Rocked out to Glee cover songs and tried to pick up some speed. However, after being on on my feet for 90 minutes, it was definitely harder to run faster. I don’t think I believe in negative splitting, no matter what I read! Average speed came to 8:38 for the 20 miler.

Ipod SUnday

Total – 63.45

Total Feels – A little sore

I’m not sure if it was picking up the pace on tired legs on my 20 miler that made me tired or the double back long runs. Either way the quads are feeling a little sore today.

How did your weekend go?

Core Power Fitness Kit Giveaway

And within a blink of an eye it’s Sunday night! I haven’t gotten my cell phone back, nor a replacement yet but to be honest, I’ve enjoyed my disconnected weekend a little bit. I went on two long runs this weekend. One in complete silence and one with an old ipod. It was old school, but I survived back then and I’ll survived the next few weeks.

I also got some fun mail this weekend! A fitness kit from Core Power just in time to start making those 2014 fitness goals. I’ve been asked to be an ambassador for Core Power and of course accepted it.  Core Power has been named the “Official Protein drink of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic .” If it’s good enough for Olympic elite athletes, it’s good enough for me!

Core Power

What exactly is Core Power? A Chicago based protein drink that launched nationally in Jul 2013. Core Power is a real milk protein drink made from fresh, lowfat, lactose-free milk and real honey. It’s optimum protein to carb ratio and nutrient-rich profile make for the perfect last stage of every workout. From endurance sports and bodybuilding to running, yoga and cross-fit, Core Power helps you recover faster, build lean muscle and stay at the top of your game. No matter which game you happen to play whether you’re an Olympian or just trail the back of the pack.

Core Power® is available in two varieties: the CORE version has 26 grams of protein and 240 calories, and the LIGHT version has 20 grams of protein and 150 calories. Core Power® CORE is available in vanilla, chocolate and banana while Core Power® LIGHT is available in chocolate and strawberry banana.

5 Olympic Bottles

Our household favorite flavor is Vanilla. It tastes just like melted down vanilla ice cream. In fact, at first we couldn’t figure out how they got all that protein in there! It tasted so creamy and delicious that I forgot I was drinking protein! We couldn’t believe how it turned out to be so delicious, so I asked!

NO powdered protein added – Yup it all comes from fresh milk!

80% Casein 20% Whey – The same combo that’s naturally found in milk

Lactose Free – Most lactose is reduced through a filtration system and the rest converted to sugar through enzyme process

Real Cane Sugar – As far as I could tell, no HFC, or corn sugar or whatever they call it nowadays

Combined, it makes for a lovely treat after 3 hours of running! So while I may never compete in the Olympics, I can sure train like one with my new kit!

Get Fit

Included in the kit is a Camelbak insulated water bottle, workout towel, stability ball, really awesome duffle bag with enough compartments for even a triathlete, and yoga mat.

Also, for the entire month of January you can get $5 off a case of Core Power on Amazon

And be sure to check out their blog for some great recipes and a New Year workout.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sad day

Tragedy happened! I lost my phone. Somewhere between leaving my house when I remember tweeting, to falling on a patch of ice, to getting on the train when I looked for it to play candy crush.

Worst case scenario, it’s broken in a snow covered ditch somewhere.

Best Case Scenario, a kind person/soul NEIGHBOR is going to turn it to the police or respond to one of the gazillion text I sent it today.

So far, I’m tracking it through icloud and work (they can locate it when it connects to their servers) and it has been offline all day even though it was fully charged this morning.

I’ve only had it for 7 months and we had a very deep maybe too strong of a relationship.

I’m still having phantom urges to go into my purse and grab it. To check the weather, instagram what I just ate, or jam out to some tunes.

I’d post a photo of me looking really sad, but I don’t have a phone to it with.

Inle Lake – Visiting the shops and the view from the top

Even before landing in Heho, the airport closest to Inle Lake, my camera was already filling up with photos.

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The taxi ride (about 25 USD) was a breathing taking hour ride through the mountains of the Shan state. We switched around as we made our way down to the lake.

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We drove by part of the lake, but only a small tease of what would see over the next few days.

We decided to try to bike around the lake, but the road doesn’t so much go around the lake, as it does around mountains, and vineyards and country roads. Sounds lovely, right? Only you’re still in a developing country, so your bikes are old cruisers, the road is an old country roads half crumbling, and you’re sharing it with trucks and tractors that blast past you. O and it’s really hot. It was lovely, but after a few hours we got tired and hired a boat man to take us around the lake.

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Tony negotiating. I tried to convince him we should just continue biking, but luckily he won. For $15 we had a boat for the rest of the day.

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Since we also had a full day of boating the next day, with ruins and markets, we decided it would be okay if we visited some tourist traps, I mean factories/shops.

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The first shop was a lotus making facility.

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It was actually a pretty cool sight to watch.

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Next we stopped by a metal works and watched some silver making.

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Afterwards we made over to the boat making shop where the tourist friendly price for your own boat was $3,000.

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Our final factory/shop was the Kayan women silk factory, which I found a little creepy.

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There are many ideas regarding why the coils are worn. Some anthropologists suggest the rings protected women from becoming slaves by making them less attractive to other tribes. Contrastingly it has been theorised that the coils originate from the desire to look more attractive by exaggerating sexual dimorphism, as women have more slender necks than men. Kayan women, when asked, acknowledge these ideas, and often say that their purpose for wearing the rings is cultural identity (one associated with beauty). However, when it comes to Inle Lake, I think a large part of it has to do with the tourist revenue.

Final Tips

Boat rentals are easily negotiable, especially after 10AM when most tourists are already out on the lake. I heard people pay anywhere from up to 60USD for the day. We paid 15USD for a boat from 2PM til past sunset with just me and Tony.

Overall, if you have some extra time to kill, visiting the tourist factories/shops is a fun way to kill an hour or two, but the prices there are definitely 5 times higher than the normal tourist price you would get at the market.

Check out my other posts on Myanmar (with many more to come!)
Yangon –  Airport Rides and Botataung Pagoda
Mandalay – Mandalay Palace & Mandalay Hill

Weekly Recap – Snot and Miles

I often say, do as I say and not as I run. Because in the end you’ll end up sicker, with a full on sinus infection doped up like a mule on antibiotics and sudafed. Yea, I start the new year with a rest day. Why? No reason, just wanted to take a day to lounge around. I felt great, but lazy and I haven’t had a full on rest day without work in a while. So I rested, ate some food, and napped some more. Read a ton of Game of Thrones and went to bed. Well apparently, every time I take a break I get sick. Lesson is, I should never take extra rest days.

Thursday I felt meh, and it just continued through the weekend. I’m used to feeling meh and running. Running comes more natural to me than breathing and therefore, it’s what I did.

But regardless, I got my drugs and I got my soup!

Chicken Noodle

Another one of those recipes where I rounded up what I could find in my house. Replacing egg noodles with whole wheat pasta instead.

The other theme of this week would be treadmill, not just any treadmill, but my basement treadmill that I don’t really use beyond shorter runs. Well me and this treadmill, bonded. We bonded a lot.

You see it snowed a lot in Boston, enough that our office closed early on Thursday and all day Friday so I worked from home. So I was pretty much snowed in. With my sinuses all icky, I was being more antisocial than usual and basically spent four days not leaving my house. It was also cold beyond a tolerable level. In fact, only time my sinus would clear up would be while I’m running or taking a hot shower.

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – 14 Miles
8 earlier at 7:42 pace and 6 a little later at 7:52 pace. I don’t remember anything eventful about this run besides trying to fit them in before the end of day 12/31/13

Wednesday – Impromptu Rest Day 

Thursday – 13.1 Miles
Learned something new about my treadmill at home. My time resets after 99 minutes! I also reached a new distance PR on my home treadmill. 7:47 average pace, but I did take a small drink break after mile 10 before finishing my last 3.1 miles at an easier pace.

Friday 8 Miles
I took some NyQuil Thursday night and slept through almost the whole winter storm and Friday. Yes, almost all of Friday and that will be the last time I take NyQuil. I felt a little better so I ran 8 miles in my basement at 7:37 pace.

Saturday 10 Miles
I still felt pretty tired so I napped all day and then in the evening stupidly decided to see if I could do my 20 miler. I didn’t stopped at 10 miles at 7:47 pace before I returned back to my sleeping position.

Sunday 20.2 Miles
If I count my running time alone, my average pace was 8:30 with a net time 2:52 but I know my total time was much longer. With no more days of the week left, I knew I had to do my 20 miler today. Plus I skipped my long run the week before and with New Orleans marathon less than a month away, I was in mild panic mood. The weather was a nice warm 40 degree but sadly all my running paths and sidewalks were still covered in snow. So back to my dungeon I went. Back to the basement. By Sunday, I was almost as sick of my treadmill as I was of being sick. I have spent almost 40 miles on it, which is more than I run on it in a month at times.

I resented every mile on it. At mile 10, I started tweeting for motivation and inspiration. That got me only so far.

Treadmill

After an hour and 46 minutes of watching the seconds tick and Scandal on HULU, I just couldn’t bare to listen to the sound of my feet pounding the treadmill. Mentally, I broke. I changed into outfit number 3 and went outside. It was nice being outside, for about 1 minute before I landed into a slush mountain. That’s okay, I hopped around a bit and just did repeats on a main street. And slowly, very slowly for me, I made my way through 7 miles and only had one close call with a car. Don’t hate the runner y0, hate the snow.

Outside

It was done and I was one step closer to being ready for New Orleans!

Total Weekly Mileage – 65 Miles

Total Feelings – A little sore, I think the double digit, faster treadmill runs are starting to catch up with me

How did your weekend go?

Did you get snow?

Repreve #TurnItGreen and Feel a Little Less Guilty

I generally like to avoid plastic as much as possible, but sometimes, you can’t avoid it, you’re on the road, out and about, and you’re thirsty and a water fountain is not in sight. So of course, you cough up the cash and buy bottled water (what a conspiracy) in a plastic bottle. And of course a recycle bin is never around, so I end up dragging the empty bottle home to recycle. But I’ll end the negativity there, this is post isn’t a rant about the lack of recycling I’m constantly see, or the bottled water conspiracy (buy me a coffee and I’ll tell you all about it). Instead, I want to focus on what happens to said bottle after you or I recycle it. Sometimes it becomes another bottle, or a bag or something else like repreve.

Repreve

What is Repreve? Repreve is a recycled fiber that is helping to create a reprieve for the planet. Because Repreve contains recycled materials, including plastic bottles, it helps conserve precious natural resources. Making Repreve uses less petroleum and emits fewer greenhouse gases.

Repreve is an essential ingredient in many of the products you buy. Simply, it’s what makes recycled fabrics—well, recycled. Beware—not all recycled fibers are created equal. Our recycled fibers are “first quality,” so they look good, and feel soft and comfortable. They’re also certifiably sustainable. So when you shop, remember: It’s what’s in it that counts.

Repreve Hat

For example this cute hat I got in the mail today!

Many popular brands use Repreve such as:

  • The North Face
  • Ford
  • Volcom
  • Polartec
  • Patagonia
  • Beija-Flor
  • Lauren Conrad’s XO (eco)
  • Swiftwick Socks

It pains me to see recyclable goods in the trash. In Malden, we have a unique trash program where we pay for the amount of trash we generate while all recycling pick up is free. I hope other cities try to find more ways to promote recycling, like placing recycle bins next to trash bins.

Furthermore, besides educating about recycling, we need to get everyone excited for it as well!  Fun products like this hat made from recycled bottles got me all excited! I can’t wait until I stop being sick to run with it outside!

Do you recycle? What does your town do to promote recycling?

Easy Simple Lentil Soup

It’s snowing and snowing and will be snowing for days, okay maybe just two days, but it feels like DAYS! I’m working for home, and with the car snowed in (okay I’m just lazy), I’m trying to figure out how to feed myself in comfort and warmth. One problem, my fridge is pretty much empty since I’ve been living of leftovers for a while. So I busted through the cabinets to see what I can find. Behold, Trader Joe’s Green Lentils!!

And that’s when I knew, I was all set. A perfect excuse to whip out the dutch oven.

I looked through a bunch of recipes and none of them appealed to me, so I went with my own based on what I had around (not much).

Easy Simple Lentil Soup

Lentil SOup

Ingredients

3 Yellow Onions
5 Garlic Cloves
1 Orange Pepper
About a cup of cut up baby carrots
1 Pack of Trader Joe’s Green Lentils (About 1 pound and only 1.69!)
1.5 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Can diced tomatoes (6oz)
5 Cups of vegetable broth

Lentil soaking – I’m not an expert but I read somewhere that any soaking is better than no soaking. Therefore, I rinsed and let them soak for about 40 minutes while chopping vegetables and gathering what little ingredients that I had.

Lentil Soup (2)

I sauteed the chopped up onions and garlic with spices and olive oil for about 15 minutes, and 10 more minutes after adding chopped up carrots and orange pepper. Added broth, diced tomatoes, drained lentils and waited til all reached a boil. I lowered the heat, closed the lid and let it simmer away for 45 minutes.

Lentil Soup (3)

And then proceeded to eat 2 bowls!

Is it snowing where you are? Boston is expected up to 14 inches!

Favorite Dutch oven recipe? I’m looking to try more real recipes, so link me up!

Weekly Recap

So it dawned on me that I missed my weekly check in since I’ve been more or less updating daily on fb and twitter. In fact last week seems so far away. Some might even say last year? ;). Anyways last week.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 15.2 Miles 
Average pace was around 8:09 pace. A large portion of my normal path iced over cause of the melting snow, so I had to find alternatives. Between the houses that don’t shovel, and the iced over snow melts, I basically was reduced to this one .75 mile trail that I did over and over and over.

Wednesday – 10.2 Miles
Pre-christmas jog. 7:56 pace. My path was still iced over but since there were no cars on the street, I just ran on the roads and prayed no sleep deprived parent still Christmas shopping would hit me.

Thursday – 10 Miles
8:02 pace. I was going to only do 8 but went for 2 more since I was on a roll. Okay, that roll was an episode of Arrow I wanted to finish. 8 at incline 3 and 2 at incline 2.

Friday – 5 Miles
Decided to keep it short because I was planning on doing a long run. 7:43 pace.

Saturday – 15.2 Miles
I haven’t figured out a way to be time efficient yet. It was dark and cold so I didn’t start my run on time. By then I was waiting for some house guests so I ran on my treadmill at home. Got in 10.2 miles before my guests came. 7:44 pace. After my visitors left, I ran another 5 before I had to meet friends for dinner. My plan was for 20 but I’ll take what I can get.

Sunday – 5 Miles
7:43 pace on my home treadmill. Had fun brunch plans and by the time I was free, it was absolutely pouring outside. Since I already spent 15 miles on my treadmill on Saturday, I couldn’t bear to spend any more than 40 minutes on that thing. I decided to excuse myself from the 20 miler.

Total Miles 60.7

Total Feelings – I miss being able to run outside without constantly watching out for ice patches. I was trying to amp up my mileage to 75 but without the long runs, came out a bit short.

I’m also taking baby steps to building my core.

My planks in the AM ended up being a failure cause I’m always running late, so instead I’m doing them before bed. I’m always looking for an extra 5 minutes before bed! I can’t say I’ve been doing it daily, but the 10PM alert on my phone does get me to do it most nights, so far.

Do anything last weekend? Run? Take a class? Swim??

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014, and listening to myself

As many people strap on those running shoes, laces up those shoestrings, throw out the cookies, and start their calorie counting, I’m using the first day of the year to take a break. I ended 2013, with 2,650 miles. 2,655.28 if you want to be exact of running alone. I found a formula error in my spreadsheet that understated my totals by 5 miles. Oops. 14 of those miles were forced in last second, last night. That number does not include biking, swimming, walking or anything else.

It’s for this reason that I decided I can take the first day of the year for a real break. No work, no running, no worrying. Time to recharge and take one of those full on lazy days.

Although regardless of mileage, you should never be afraid to take a break. Everyone’s body is different and we need to recharge sometimes for different reasons.

Cat book snuggle

2013 was ended on a fun note. Besides the 14 miles of running that I smuggled into my day to round of my year, it ended with a great meal and great friends. Although, I really wish to one day spend New Years somewhere warm. I don’t ever remember a year where I haven’t been cold and either sick or almost sick.

We started the evening with dinner at La Voile. A cozy french place on Newbury that I actually have never heard of before. However, the food was amazing!

It was also one of the few places in the Back Bay area that doesn’t force you into a crazy overpriced prefixed meal. I like keeping my options and prefixed meals drive me crazy.

dinner

I ordered the lobster/scallop combo with risotto and Tony got the duck, but we both agreed that my risotto dish was so amazing, that it was the best choice.

lobster

I also ordered a spiced bourbon cocktail that was served warm, perfect for the cold weather!

Ice Sculptures

After dinner we went to check out the ice sculptures that are in Copley. There’s plenty more all around Boston and since the temperature is not going above freezing any time soon, I think I might have time to see some of the others later this week.

Max Brenner

After freezing outside for about 30 minutes, we went back inside to Max Brenners for fondue, hot chocolate and margaritas!

To be honest, I’m a little grouch when it comes to New Year’s. I don’t like being cold so a nice low key night is my preference.

How did you spend your end of 2013/start of 2014?