Friday, November 30, 2012

Olè! Recipe Friday & Nature Box review

Our visit to Parkesdale this past weekend helped me score not only an abundance of Christmas gifts, but also some super awesome produce! That morning I ran out of salsa verde, a.k.a. Green salsa - I eat it almost daily - and decided to try to make my own. It ended up coming out super spicy awesome so I thought I'd share! (You guys know how I like simple and easy ;) And I thought it was a great way to help me participate in Recipe Friday with my pal K over at Candyfit!

Easy Salsa Verde Recipe

1 lb tomatillos
1 lb green tomatoes
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup minced garlic (I used jarred)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped (you can use whole for more heat, it's what I did!)
Salt to taste
Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well along with tomatoes. Cut the tomatillos and tomatoes in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 10 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Place tomatillos, tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and peppers in a blender/food processor to pulse until all finely mixed/chopped. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator. Makes about 2-3 cups of salsa for cooking, dipping, anything!

This recipe is also Hubs-approved. It was almost gone the moment I made it. Horray for homemade goodness!

Speaking of healthy foods, NatureBox was kind enough to send me a box of snacks to try! I've heard of this concept of monthly subscriptions, such as Kona Kase and Bulu Box, but wanted to try Nature Box because they offer a wide range of treats that aren't loaded with sugar etc. For every NatureBox sent out, NatureBox donates one meal for every box to feed the over 14 million children in America who go hungry every year. Hello, good deeds.

November's box came with Carrot Chips, Chipolte Maple Almonds, Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds, Country Ranch Peas, and Cinnamon Spiced Granola.

I haven't tried the granola just yet, and hubs took dibs on the almonds since he loves anything with a spicy kick. The others? I mixed them into a yummy trail mix for work!

I will definitely be leaning towards getting Nature Box monthly! It's a great concept and way to try new snacks I might not otherwise know about.

Wanna give them a try too?
The promo code CARROT may be used for 25% off your first month's subscription (please note that the 25% discount is only applicable to the month-to-month subscription. 6 month subscriptions receive 1 month free and 12 month subscriptions receive 3 months free).

What new healthy recipes or snacks are you giving a shot this time of year??

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shocking, isn't it?

I ran a whopping 9 miles the past 2 days! Hallelujah for feeling better! Speaking of feeling better...


Ooh, wanna meet my new best friend? I named him Doc Oc.



Through some running blends like Skinny Runner, I started researching TENS or EStim machines and soon discovered that $300+ was not going to fly...especially not on a newlywed budget. Through a friend, I took to the lovely and found Doc Oc. Roughly $30???! I was willing to try it for that price!


After my 4 miler last night, I made sure to read the instructions carefully (K was on hand via text should I accidentally shock myself), used an alcohol wipe to clean off both upper leg areas and gave Doc Oc a try. I followed the directions to start with lower intensity and then increase it to a comfortable level to start out on the first try. I planned to sit for around 15 minutes ... and did it in 2 sessions. The instructions said 10-15 minutes at a time, 1-2 times a day. It just felt like a vibration in my muscle, my right leg even jumped a little crazy..twitchy, twitch!



To give you more specifics on Electronic Stimulation therapy for muscle recovery:

An electric muscle stimulator is a device that sends low-level electronic pulses to your muscles in order to halt atrophy or reduce spasms. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is the most common type of e-stim used by physical therapists, particularly for back pain.



So, does it work? I won't know yet for sure. I took the run nice and easy and this was just the first session, but I'm sure it'll help with recovery based on all of the lovely things I've heard about TENS/EStim treatment, especially for runners and recovery time. I figure it doesn't hurt! I'll definitely keep you posted through recovering between all of these races!


Have you tried EStim treatment or would you if you haven't?

Don't forget the December #HOLIDAYADAY Photo Challenge starts Friday!! T minus 2 days!

Need a Facebook event as a reminder? We all know you're there all day checking out the ol' newsfeed ;)


And there's still a Happy Feet Giveaway going on!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kickin' it old school

'Cuz I'm an old fool that's so cool....

So, after a semi-kind-of-slower-than-I'm-used-to 5 miler yesterday, I decided to take it easy once again today and do 2 miles steady this evening after working on some strength training. Plus, I had to listen to my body's cry for a tad more 'recovery' time.


Just call me the Comeback kid...or Slow Mo Jones

I'm havin' to kick it old school up through my next race.


I know that there was a time when I was doing super fast speedwork and chuggin' along on tempo runs. Buuuuuut, I can't do that right now. I went to see my LMT after running yesterday and he said I wasn't in bad shape. [Sigh of relief] However, I need to take it easy on the speed so that my legs just maintain their fitness between races and then on race day I can push harder. He said there wasnt really anything I did wrong per say; I just ran my first half - when he did his first he couldn't walk for 2 days. Ok, Chief. My hammies and abductors needed some ultrasound love, which I did not complain about and I was told to stretch like a madwoman.

Maybe it's because I pushed the dickens out of myself in the Women's half, but I didn't quite bounce back like I thought I would. I know my right leg was hurting going into the race so that didn't help. On top of that, I have never ... and never thought I could ... run that fast for that long. Like I've said, I'd run the half distance just never the actual race.


Questions, my friends:

Am I an old fogey? Is grandma going to make it through this season of halfs??

How do you handle "recovery" and make yourself take it easy?

How many rest days do you give yourself a week?

December's #HOLIDAYADAY Photo Challenge!

After spin yesterday, my leg feels magical! Could I have the first run I've had in over 3 weeks with no hip/glute pain?! Did spin class yesterday realign me?? No more questions, just time to hope for the best and not go out to fast today!

For the month of December, I'm joining these lovely ladies (a.k.a. blends or blogger friends!) for a photo-a-day challenge to celebrate the holidays!

Visit them, they don't bite....except after midnight ;)

Abby from Back at Square Zero (IG/Twitter: backatsquarezero)
Gina at Noshing on Asphalt (IG/ Twitter: AsphaltNosher)
Mindy B at Road Runner Girl (IG/Twitter: roadrunnergirl)
Mindy A from Mindy's Fitness Journey (IG/Twitter: mindyartze)
Beka from Rebecca Roams (IG/Twitter: RebeccaRoams)
Sarah from Mom Running On Empty (IG/Twitter: momonempty)
Kate from Run With Kate (IG/Twitter/ runwithkate)


Join us and follow us on Instagram to count down through the month of December as we post pictures thoughout our day using the clever key words above related to the season of giving....and candy canes...and peppermint Frappacinos...and give to others of course ;)

Follow me as I test my creative Instagram skills for this fun and spectacular (yea, it's that serious) challenge!

Will you be joining us??!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Motivational Monday: Featured Sneakers! #10

I find it cruel and unusual punishment to make someone go back to work after 4 days off. Yes, I'm whining...and yes, I'm done now ;)

Despite my Grinch-like morning vibe, I snapped into a more Elf-like vibe and headed to spin class with Pete and Kathy at 5:45 this morning. Yes, 5:45 a.m. Pete is a friend of mine who I met through Ben at his monthly fun 5ks for charity, and know of as a kick-butt cyclist and triathlete. I got to class early at 5:30 to pick out a bike and before I knew it, class was in session! I really enjoyed Pete's witty humor and choice of 80's hair band music - seriously, nothing is better than Motley Crue before the sun comes out! The Keiser bikes, new ones I hadn't tried before, were super smooth and comfortable - a lot could be said about the magnetic resistance and mini-computer that read your resistance and cadence for you. A great way to kick off this week! (along with the nap I took afterwards ;)

Another Monday means it's time for another pair of Featured Sneakers and this week they belong to my buddy Beka over at! I met Beka at a Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers meet up and we quickly grew to being pals and were running together during our weekly runs & hang out quite often - she's on the recovery path from a hip injury - she's BACK! Check out a little more about her here!

Name: BekaBlog:

What is your favorite way to workout/exercise: Running is my go to, but I've traveled out my comfort zone and now love spin and boot camp/circuit style workouts on the days I'm not running.

What is your #1 cheat food: FRENCH FRIES. I can't stop.
What advise do you have for those starting on a fitness journey: Move every day! Even if it's just 15 minutes of jumping/dancing around your living room to Pandora. Push yourself harder than you ever have, and on days you feel down or unmotivated, look to those around you - find and be a part of a community that you know will motivate you! It works wonders!

Dream destination race/location: San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon (yes, the full!!)
Favorite inspirational fitness personality/trainer: Jamie Eason/Kara Goucher
Workout apparel must have (+brand): My absolute favorite piece I own is my UnderArmour Armour sports bra! Completely worth it - they keep my girls' supported!
Motivational motto/quote: It's not the most prophetic, but KEEP RUNNING. It goes on repeat on those grueling running. :-)


How have you come back today after a holiday weekend?
Any questions for Beka or myself?

If you're interested in being a Featured Sneakers email me:!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Supporting Small Business Saturday!

Many of the businesses and restaurants, especially, that I like to frequent are small businesses. Small businesses that are run by individuals and families are the epitome of good service because they genuinely care to do the best they can to make their customers happy. Saturday, we decided to venture out to Plant City to visit my pal Xio at Parkesdale Farms to taste some of their fruits and other homemade goodness! - since I was enjoying an actual FULL rest day, shocker, I know!


Xio was sure to have out an assortment of pickled goodness, yummy jams and preserves, along with dips and dressings! Good thing we had a small breakfast! My favorite were the dill pickled brussel sprouts....yea, I said it. They came home with me along with tons of produce, picked artichokes, and coconut butter! (Tastes like the inside of an almond joy and all natural!)



Hubs had to sit on the strawberry throne: The Game of Berries.


We even got to try the pumpkin shake, yum! I've already tried the strawberry one, but hubs was a virgin...and drank it up in approximately 5.3 seconds. We ran into a few Tampa Bay Lady Blogger friends; Caroline and I super-shopped for our families for Christmas!



I've been wanting to visit my friend Cynthia over at The Corner Store for some time now, and thought today was the perfect opportunity since we were right down the road! We met Cynthia and her husband back at the Outback Yelp event and immediately knew they were cool peeps. They moved here from San Francisco & now own The Corner Store, which is perfectly located in the heart of downtown Plant City. She'd told me that they sell independently owned merchandise and also serve breakfast and lunch - consider my interest peaked!



I really dug the atmosphere and vibe inside The Corner Store! There was a very 'homey' feeling from the wooden walls and labels made from natural paper. The jars of spices and seasonings were all in apothecary jars which made the store feel like an old general store which fits perfectly in the downtown area of Plant City! The area where the kitchen was happened to be separate to look like a little wooden shack, which was also super cute. I could have stayed and hung out all day ;)




The Chicken Greek wrap I tried was fantastic! It even came with pita chips and grapefruit!


Food made with love!


We had a great day with great food and awesome people at Parkesdale and The Corner Store - y'all know we'll be back! ;)


How do you support small businesses?



Weekly Workout Roundup - the past 2 weeks

Writing a Weekly Workouts Roundup last Sunday proved a futile attempt, so I finally have my feet back on the ground and am ready to review the past 2 weeks in workouts!

The calm after the storm has finally come post-Women's Half aches. My right leg is finally feeling better but it took 3 days off of running for that to happen. Slowly, today, I started to run wit K and P-Funk since in was their recovery run anyway. After about a mile or two I was able to find a groove; I warmed up and my glute/hip flexor thingie felt better. Ice and heat will happen today, before we head to my parents' for a day with family, but I am very happy with the progress! Also, I'm super glad I decided to not race next weekend.

Week 1 (Week of 11/12)

I am so proud of my first half! I did well working up to it the weeks beforehand and met my goal! Week 2 I felt it for sure.

Week 2 (Week of 11/19)

This week I had to take it easy. I should have taken it easier Wednesday but since I didn't I ended up with 3 rest days at the end of the week. I also wish I'd done a recovery run of at least a couple of miles on Monday. We live and learn ;)

My Plan for these 2 weeks leading up to Half #2? (Yes, there's been a change of plans.) This week I need to slowly get myself back to my happy pace. I plan to probably do 9-10 miles for a long run the day before the Brandon Half (yay for spectating.) Then, the week of the Holiday Halfathon take it easy so that I'm ready for that race! Strength training will be my friend and lots of stretching and recovery!

Feel free to link up with Meghan, Genna, and I anytime this week!

How was your week in workouts?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful Saturday - Happy Feet GIVEAWAY! (closed)

This giveaway is closed

Most who know my story can recall my day where I had "meaty feet"...sorry, there's no PC way to not gross you out or talk about this.

I've learned how to treat my feet right and take care of them so that I can not only run, but I can wear open-toed shoes proudly and not scare off hubs.

How do I avoid this monstrosity now that I've been running longer and harder?

- Moisturize: I make sure that my feet aren't dry or what I love to call "ashy" - insert LOL - so I use lotion all over daily and before bed I use a foot lotion so that my feet are happy at night.

- Clear your feet of calluses: I make sure to use my ped-egg in between regular pedicures so that I don't have calluses build up. When that happens, I develop blisters underneath that are ruthless to heal and get rid of.

- Wear synthetic socks: Cotton, no more. I really love Balega and they are my go-to brand. Any synthetic sock is best to wick away moisture that can develop blisters on your feet.
- Make sure that you buy athletic shoes that are 1/2 size bigger than your other shoes: Your feet need room, namely the toesies. Not too much and not too little. My shoes are a 7.5 and I usually wear a 7 in heels or flats ... 'regular' shoes.

- Keep toenails short: They shouldn't have the ability to dig into the shoe as you're running.

- 1 Scoop per shoe of  2 Toms Blister shield.

* this is not a paid post, I honestly love this stuff and regularly buy it & live by it

Back when I ran the Gasparilla Race, a friend recommended this powder that I should use to help prevent blisters. All of us have different ways we run and our toes sometimes rub against one another. I happen to have an issue with my inner top of the foot & also the 2nd toe on each foot. Blister shield is a powder that you put into your sock (1 scoop in each) to help absorb excess moisture and prevents blisters by keeping your feet dry.

What makes Blister Shield different from other products?
Other “all natural” blister prevention products on the market are derived from plant and animal fats, and function similarly to greases and ointments. Most inorganic powders absorb moisture and reduce friction; however, as they absorb moisture, their effectiveness in reducing friction declines. BlisterShield’s technologically advanced blister prevention formula never loses its effectiveness…. from start to finish.

Want to give Blister Shield a shot?
I contacted the company and raved about how much I loved their product and they were kind enough to help me with a giveaway and not issue a restraining order instead!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your Foot Love ingredients or ways to keep feet happy??

Vitacost's Cyber Monday Sale!

For those of us who are fitness nuts, we know that supplements are the key to fueling our bodies with nutrients we need aside from our food intake!

These are the usual supplements I take daily and why:
* I am not a registered nutritionist or dietitian, these are just my regimen of what I personally choose to take; I make no nutritional recommendations to others.

Lecithin: memory and for skin health.
Women's one-a-day multivitamin: overall health an nutrition.
Dandelion root: immunity, energy, water retention
Super B complex: energy (seeing a theme? I don't drink coffee ;) total body functioning
Vitamin D3: maintain calcium levels, bone health
Vitamin C: overall health
Glucosamine: joint health

What vitamins/supplements do you take and why?

Keep in mind we're ALL different and have different nutritional needs and goals - some of us don't need any more than a one-a-day vitamin or would prefer to get all of our nutrients from food. I'm not a nutritionist, just someone trying to be fit and beat the aging clock .. somewhat ;)

Vitacost is having a super big sale going from today through tomorrow to help you stock up on your vitamins and supplements!

Start Date: 11/24/2012 Time: 9:00AM EST - End Date: 11/26/2012 Time: 11:59 PM EST
Supplements...vitamins...teas and flours...protein...oh my!

"With, you don't have to choose between stores that sell products you don't really want at super-low prices, and stores that sell the better health and wellness products you want at crazy-high prices. We offer over 2,000 of the top, most-trusted natural brands, diet foods and healthy living essentials-the very best nutritional supplements, whole foods and sports nutrition-at discount prices, up to 50% off. And we'll deliver them right to your door for FREE if your order totals $49 or more. Otherwise, shipping is just a small, flat-rate fee of $4.99, no matter how big the box."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Deals + December decisions

Thanksgiving this year was very low key. Hubs just got back from being out of town on business and I was still 'recovering' from Sunday's Women's half. So, we did a gym workout in the am before our plan to head to our good friends' house to indulge!


Thankful for my strength!

This girl was a tad lazy on the cooking side, but was sure to contribute a lovely shrimp tray and spinach dip with bread. The crowd was pleased ;) The boys enjoyed an afternoon...and then evening...of football and grunting.

Blessed to have awesome friends!
Death row
When the evening of football became inevitable, Syl and I decided to brave the crowds and seek some 'Early hours' Black Friday deals....Gray Thursday? I saw a few items I had my eye on but nothing worth getting into a knife fight over.


I made out like a bandit with some $5 memory foam bathroom mats, a $4 mini crockpot, and Nikon CoolPix 14MP 21x zoom camera for $100 off! And no bruises!

Maybe shopping was a distraction from how I've been feeling. Nothing terrible, but hurting nonetheless. Since Sunday, and especially after going out a little too fast Wednesday, my right glute/leg (per B.o.B. "dumb butt") has been super mad at me. I've been icing and heating and on deck for today....but yesterday I turned the wrong way just walking around the house and was limping most of the day. Stupid clumsiness. So, I've been debating and debating what to do for December....take days off of running and then just do the Brandon Half next SUNDAY (poor planning on my part) and quite possibly hurt myself worse OR achieve this lovely medal a week later at the Holiday Halfathon in Madiera Beach.



Beach you say? A week more to recover and then ramp up you say? It seems like a no brainier. I just have a tad bit of OCD and planned December 2; while not thinking it was a mere 2 weeks post-A race.

Call me silly, but if I take off tomorrow from running that's the longest I've taken off...a whopping 3 days... So I have been thinking "oh no! I'll lose what I've worked for!" When I've been told I won't and know I won't. I need to chillax and just remember that if I want to tackle 6 in 6, adjustments should be made where needed. The rest of the races are well spaced apart, a good 4 weeks apart, so I should be fine there.

I need to be smart!


Have you had to make last minute race decisions to reach your goals?

Today we should all hug those working in retail!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Elf! The Musical! and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday night, my pal Denise arranged for us to see Elf! The Musical at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa - I've seen the play when were in NYC 2 years ago and loved it! Besides, Elf is my favorite Christmas movie to watch on repeat every year! "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color??!"
We met up at Taps for a pre-show dinner and were then on our way to start the Christmas season right!

The gang - Photo courtesy of Caroline

Caroline and me - friends squeeze the love out of one another!

The Straz Center not only is amongst easy-to-find parking but is equipped with snacks galore!

Syl was my date ;)

“Elf The Musical.” Photo by Joan Marcus.

Matt Kopec as Buddy the Elf and Gordon Gray as Santa - Photo by Joan Marcus.

Yes, this was the same script as the play that we saw in NYC a couple of years back, but who can ever get enough Elf?! Of course, there are parts of the movie that aren't in the Broadway play but there is no absence of laughter or giggles at the expense of the human-Elf. Matt Kopec did a wonderful job being animated and playing an obliviously cheerful Buddy. The entire cast had the audience, including many happy kids up past their bed time, in a roar of Christmassy cheer. I would definitely recommend this play to anyone wanting to enjoy a lighthearted night out on the town; those with kids can enjoy time out with the family while enjoying random innuendos placed neatly in the script.

Elf! The Musical plays at the Straz between November 20-25th.

I will now commence enjoying Thanksgiving with my half Hubs/half pug family & friends and will be sure to avoid the 4 basic Elf food groups (if possible):

Candy...candy canes...candy corns...and SYRUP!

"Smiling's my favorite!" - Buddy, the Elf

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! xoxo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photo Frenzy Wednesday

Recovery is a wonderful thing! I'm still resting and slowly coming back to running ... Frankenstein style....but coming back nonetheless ;) My heating pad has been by bestie since Sunday's triumphant events - thank you for all of your cheers and congratulations!


Squirrel! Did you hug a runner yesterday? And are you planning a Thanksgiving race tomorrow?


My pals Jason and Ben happened to be on-the-course cheerleaders and simultaneously photographed the race too. Here are some of my favorite shots I thought I'd share!


K's deuces made many photo ops. So did my half-wave.
I'm like a bird!

We wake up at 4am for this ish!


Sean and his infamous skirt. Thunder, stolen.

It's a family affair: (in front of the Dali museum) Seeing my Dad and Hubby at the finish was the best feeling ever...besides finishing SUB 2! (Give me 3 days and it sinks in.)
"We thought you said RUM!" takes FIRST place for teams overall! The first 5 finishes counted towards the team score....alas my time was not in there...these chicks are rubber burners!
Yesterday I proudly sported the Women's half shirt I got at the expo. It may take a couple of weeks for me to come back down to Earth ;)