Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I love Hemp Hearts!

I have always loved hemp hearts.  They are such a healthy addition to so many recipes and foods I already eat.  Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts are a staple in my fridge.  Check them out at manitobaharvest.com

These nutty little seeds are packed with protein and Omega 3s, and taste delicious sprinkled on just about everything, from salads to toast, to soup, to smoothies to oatmeal. 

Lunch is served!  Avocado Toast on Ezekial Bread with Hemp Hearts!

I love pumpkin soup with Hemp Hearts!  Recipe here

Want some additional inspiration? Manitoba Harvest has some AMAZING recipes here

I want to share the love, so I am doing a giveaway for a bag of hemp hearts! 

Giveaway restrictions: 
  • Open to US and Canada residents
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 
Enter the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

@ManitobaHarvest (IG and Twitter), #hemplove, #sweatpink

Monday, November 2, 2015

Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon

This year was my 3rd running of the Marine Corps Marathon.  This year was made extra special as I connected to a fantastic organization to honor Marines who lost their battle with PTSD once they returned home.  I signed on and was matched with a Marine that I would run for.

"Their pictures on our backs - Their names in our hearts”

Approximately 22 veterans a day take their own lives, a report released in 2012 by the Department of Veteran Affairs shows.

There are a number of reasons for this startling statistic, among them: post-traumatic stress (PTS), the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the negative stigma in the military community around seeking help.

Through athletic events, 22 Too many seeks to serve as a living memorial, increase public knowledge and awareness of PTSD to help reduce the stigma, share helpful resources, and provide support and comfort to the grieving families left behind.

          Our goal is to see 22 reduced to 0. 

We started the weekend with the expo on Friday night.  I kept my MCM metro card from last year and used it to get down to the expo.  I thought it was very fitting! 
The expo this year was at the convention center downtown which made it much more convenient than going to the Armory as in year's past.  I have heard next year the expo will not be at the convention center, but will move to National Harbor.   We got to the convention center and made our way to our first stop, picking up my daughter's packet for the kid's race to be run on Saturday morning.  She was so excited!  Then we picked up our packets for the marathon.  We had to take a group picture as all three of us had bib numbers! 

The Expo is large!  So many booths to visit, free samples, and official gear to buy!  You can definitely spend a good while there.  

We headed home at closing on the expo on Friday night.  Saturday we were off to the kids race (a separate blog post and review on the kids race here), errands, picking up my in-laws at the airport and marathon prep.  The night before, I had a very difficult time picking out my race outfit!  I knew that the orange was more unique and easily visible in a crowd, but the maroon and black won out after I was reminded that this 40th running of MCM was the ruby anniversary and the shorts were perfect fit for the occasion! 

We woke up early, hopped on the metro from our house and rode in with a lot of other runners and we all chatted on the ride about the course and our goals.  Jim and I are both members of Montgomery County Road Runners and they had arranged for a hospitality suite before the race as a place for bathrooms and to leave our gear and then walk to the start line.  We dropped off our things and then left earlier than the rest of the group to walk over.  I am glad we did because we encountered quite a security line!  From everything I have heard/read of others accounts a lot of people were late to the start line! 
Running in Honor of Fallen Heroes.  22 Too Many Veteran Suicides Per Day. 

It was lightly raining as we walked to the start.  Humid and warmer than I would have liked.  I was not cold at the start except for my hands.  Luckily someone tossed their gloves in the corral and I ran over to grab them!  I wore them for the first two miles.  Score.   I had my strongest training cycle to date but didn't want to get ahead of myself goal wise.  I just told myself all I wanted to do was go sub-4:00.  I started out slow as was my plan since the first 4 miles of the course are pretty hilly.  I also wanted to start slow to conserve my energy for later.  My early miles were in the 9:30s much slower then goal pace, but for some reason these early miles felt really hard.  I started to doubt how I was going to make it all 26.  I had a feeling this wasn't my day.  At mile 6 I got a painful side cramp.  I never get side cramps and honestly can't remember the last time I had one.  I tried deep breathing, running with one arm in the air, etc.  It finally went away around mile 8.  Around that time, my stomach began to feel very acidic.  I keep feeling like I had to burp but each time I would, stomach acid would come into my throat.  It was very unpleasant.  Each time I felt I had to burp I tried to suppress the feeling...that was hard to do.  I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable.  I stopped at the Medical tent at the end of Haines Point to ask if they had Tums.  They said all the had was saltine crackers.  Looking back now, I should have accepted those. 
Not feeling good, but faking it for the cameras.  I couldn't even fake it later on. 

I met up with my running buddy, Abbie around mile 19 to give me the support to get over the 14th street bridge.  For some reason that bridge just gets me.  It killed me in last year's MCM and I had to walk part of it.  It got me during the Army 10 miler and in my splits you can see that is where I was off pace.  I just don't like that bridge!  I told Abbie about my stomach issues and she so graciously offered to run to a CVS and get me some pepto or Tums...something to quiet my stomach.  I figured we would never find each other again if she left.   The thought of more sugar in the form of Gatorade or Gu or Cliff Shots made my stomach want to turn.  I had a similar issue during my very first marathon and my stomach pain brought me to tears during that race.  Once we got to Crystal City, the stomach pain was pretty overwhelming and I had to stop twice to walk.  I needed something, anything to balance out all the acid I was feeling.   A spectator had a giant tray of goldfish crackers and I grabbed a handful.  I was trying to eat them while I was running and it was so difficult since my mouth was dry and they stuck to the roof of my mouth!  It did help the stomach a little bit!   I kept checking my watch and even with the slower pace then planned, I was calculating that I would be very close to 4:00.  What I didn't plan on was running long.  I didn't realize how far off I was from bring accurate to the mile markers and that in turn made my own calculations be pretty far off.  My watch beeped for Mile 26 but the finish line was no where in sight!  I finally came upon the final 90 degree turn and up the final steep hill to the finish.  My watch finished at 26.7 miles.  That extra half mile adds almost 5 minutes unfortunately.  I know that it is impossible to run the tangents in a race this large, but I need to get better at attempting it.  It can make a big time difference.   I ended up crossing the line with a 4:10 finish.  It was a 3 min PR over last year, but the training I put in this cycle should have carried me to a much stronger finish so I still felt very disappointed. 

I walked through the very long finisher's chute and saw my husband and our friend Jamie Corey.  We all shared our race stories and I learned my husband was over ten minutes off his sub-3:00 goal too!  He threw up on the 14th street bridge (see I told you that bridge was EVIL!).  He considered a DNF, but since we were both running in honor of fallen Marines and sending our medals to the families', he knew he had to press on to get his.   For some reason, for both of us- it just wasn't our day.   Better luck next time.....

The marathon distance is such a fickle beast.  It's tough on the body for sure and I feel like things have to fit together just right sometimes.  The weather wasn't ideal and obviously something within my own body wasn't ideal either. 
Wasn't the race I imagined, but every finish line is a victory! 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Five Bosu-Ball Based Workouts To Do With Kids!

Five Bosu-Ball Based Workouts!
My daughter and I were so excited when our very own Bosu-Balls arrived in the mail.  I have been a long time lover of the Bosu ball as a fitness instructor but was only able to use them while at the gym.

1. Incorporate the Bosu into an obstacle course!  My daughter and I love taking the Bosu outside and using it to jump off of as part of a race through an obstacle course making fit, fun! 
2.  Bosu Planks.   The Bosu provides a soft surface for the forearms for a plank, but also is slightly unstable unlike the floor providing more of a challenge for your core. 
3. Bosu Pushups.  These can be done with the dome side up or with the dome side down.  The use of the Bosu during this exercise provides and extra stability challenge. 
4.  Balance Exercises.  My daughter likes me to tell her different things to do and see if she can maintain her balance.  Such as "lift one leg", "reach out an arm"...It's a lot harder than it looks!  Balance is definitely a challenge developmentally for young children. 
4. Ski jumps.  We will jump sideways onto the Bosu, propelling off and landing lightly with both feet on the opposite side.  This plyometric exercise is so beneficial for kids (and adults)!
If you Purchase a BOSU Sport and you will get the BOSU Sport-Kids DVD for FREE by using code BOSUSWEATPINK15, full of many more exercises to do with your kids!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Race Recap: Nations Triathlon 2015

I decided to do the Nation's Triathlon after completing the race last fall as my first triathlon.  You can read that recap here.  I had a great time last year and surprisingly walked away with first in my Age Group.  I wanted to see if I could recreate that this year so I stuck with the sprint distance.  We made it down to the expo at the Washington Hilton with my hubby and little in tow.  It had been raining all day and I was starting to get nervous that they would cancel the swim again this year, or worse that they wouldn't and the water would be really bad.  Got my packet and posed for a picture with my tiny cheerleader who always has my back...."You've got this mom.  Don't be scared".  

We picked up everything we needed and then headed down to the tidal basin to rack my bike to be ready for the morning.  When we were down there I ran into Sarah of @AthleteMoms (IG).   Was good to see her and let our girls play.  We stayed for a long time because the girls did not want to leave!  

We went home, had dinner and it was time to lay out all my things and make sure I was ready for that very early alarm clock.  I kept checking the updates on social media regarding the cancellation of the swim and nothing.  It must be on was my thought.  I also kept checking regarding water temperature to see if it would be wetsuit legal.  Since I dont have a wetsuit anymore (got rid of my one from my San Diego days) I was hoping that the water temp would stay warm.  Packing for a triathlon is so much work!  So much more "stuff" that a running race.  I was very excited to wear my SOAS racing kit that I had bought online just a few weeks earlier.  

Race Morning:  The whole family woke up early and drove downtown for the race.  On the drive down, I checked for updates again.  Swim was definitely on and overnight they made the race wetsuit legal.  Oh well, I didnt have one and no way to get one now.  I knew the water was still warm enough that I wouldn't freeze but the wetsuit does give a bit of a performance advantage.  Last year, I had my hubby drop me off right in front of Lincoln Memorial in the morning and then I walk over to the transition area.  He went off to park on C street and Virginia.  That plan worked out perfectly again this year.  What a gorgeous morning for a walk!  

I got into transition and laid out all the gear that I had packed.  I hung out outside the transition area waiting for my family to arrive to hang out with them.  My race wouldn't start for a while since I was the sprint distance.  We found each other, took a quick picture and headed down to the waterfront.  Since this would be my first swim (it was cancelled last year) I wanted to go down and watch the waves start into the water.  I had no idea how that would all work.  Watching it happen gave me a little bit more confidence, but I was still terrified.  

We watched from the waterfront as the sun began to rise and the first elite waves took to the water.  As the sun came out, a rainbow appeared between the dark clouds!  It was amazing and beautiful!  I started to get ready to get ready for my own swim start.  I was still very nervous.  Everyone around me seemed to have a wetsuit and I didn't.  As we were heading closer to the start, Jim and Avery took my picture.  Here goes nothing!  

Once I was in the water, Jim was able to get a picture of me during the swim.  I am the one with my arm coming out of the water just above the end of the kayak.  I am amazed he was able to get that shot.   The swim was interesting.  The water was nice and warm and very comfortable but the visibility was very poor.  It was hard to see anything in front of me or to the side in the water.  With the swim being so crowded, there were times that I would not realize I was swimming on someone until I was touching them.  The black wetsuits were very hard to see in the water.  The crowded conditions and the choppy water made for a tough swim.  I got too close to another swimmer who was doing the breastroke instead of front crawl and since the frog kick has a lot more push back power, I got a forceful kick right to the chest.  It knocked the wind out of me a little bit and I swallowed some water.  I had to take a break and tread water for a minute to cough out the water, catch my breath and get back in the zone.  Since the Potomac does have a current, cutting across the river was also difficult....I kept drifting and had to lift my head to get the buoys in my sights and get on track again.   I got excited as we got closer to the end of the swim because I knew that we were moving into my much stronger legs...the bike and the run.  I excited the water of the swim and ran as fast as I could into transition to make up some time.  I was able to pass a lot of people on this run to transition!  I threw on my helmet, changed my shoes, drank some nuun, grabbed my bike and I was off. 
 I warmed up and dried off from the swim pretty quickly.  The wind made for a pretty rough headwind during the bike.  A few of us were talking as we were riding and saying how we felt like we weren't going anywhere!  What a difference from last year were I felt like I was flying on the bike segment.  I still need to work on my bike positioning because my hands get numb when I ride for more than 10 mins.  

I was pretty happy once the bike was over and I could just run.  I racked my bike, drank some more nuun and a gel.  Changed my shoes and threw on a hat to try and hide the terrible swim cap and bike helmet hair.  The run felt good.  I always feel like I am going much slower than I am when running after coming off the bike.  I was able to pass a lot of people here.  I kept looking at people's calfs to see their age group.  I crossed the finish line feeling happy about my performance.  I was hoping for a podium placement, but it wasn't meant to be.  I got 8th this year.  The swim portion really set me back.  Time to get stronger and work on the swim!  

In the finish area, I met up again with Sarah of AthleteMoms who ended up getting first overall in the sprint distance.  She is a rockstar!  We also ran into Cynthia of YouSignedUpForWhat.com and she had finished the Olympic distance.  Another rockstar!  

We watched Sarah get her award and then went over to transition to pick up my bike.  I hadn't gotten podium this year, but I was still very proud of myself!  We went out for a celebratory brunch, then home to relax in the hammock with my feline friend!
After Nations Triathlon, I was on a tri high.  I just kept looking for other triathlons I can do. (IronGirl Tri, Lobsterman Tri)  I am excited to get stronger in the swim and work on that this next year.  I much prefer swimming in a lake to a pool, but here in DC- pools it has to be!  Looking forward to more visits to New England next summer to get in more open water swimming in the beautiful lakes.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Weekly Menu October 12, 2015

I've had questions about how I feed my family and what we eat during the week.  I've had questions from those just entering into vegetarianism and looking for advice.  So I figured I would share my family's weekly menu.  Enjoy! 

MONDAY:  Eggplant Meatballs and Spelt Spaghetti topped with nutritional yeast.  Side spinach salad.  

TUESDAY: Pizza fundraiser night for my daughter's school at Ledo's Pizza.  Cheeseless pizza topped with avocado, spinach, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos and lemon olive oil. 

WEDNESDAY:  Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Avocado Toast topped with hemp seeds and sprouts. 

THURSDAY:  White Bean Salad over Arugula.  We still have so much parsley growing in the garden I want to eat this salad once a week while we are still lucky to have fresh parsley!

FRIDAY: Spicy Pad Thai with organic tofu.

SATURDAY: Buffalo Quinoa and Cauliflower Rice with Organic Tofu and Carrots. Served over spinach.  

I don't eat meat and avoid dairy for many reasons that involve world hunger, animal welfare and environmental concerns.  If you get a chance, watch Cowspiracy on Netflix directed by Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Race Recap: Navy Air Force Half Marathon

Fun at the Expo!
Location: Washington, D.C.
Registration:  Price varies on when you sign up. 
Course: Relatively flat course starting at the Washington Monument, taking to Haines Point, up Rock Creek Park and back to the National Mall.
Expo:  The expo is held at the D.C. Armory.  It was relatively small and easy to navigate.  We went during the afternoon on Saturday.  I was very excited for this race because my friend Kara was running with me and would be staying for the weekend!  Always a joy to run with Kara!
We love the GEICO Geiko!
Race Morning:  They highly encourage runners to take the metro to the start, but with reduced trains on weekends, it could make it very tight coming from many locations.  We have run this race for 3 years and for 2 of the years, have just driven down early and easily found street parking. 

VIP Tent

Navy Air Force Half Marathon has always been my half marathon PR.  I think the combination of the relatively flat course, the training over the humid summer to have a cooler race day always agreed with me.  I was very excited to see what could happen after having just PR'd in the half a month earlier at SeaWheeze!
The race did not go as planned.  I knew something was up when I went to the bathroom a lot more than normal before the race.  My stomach was just off.  The weather was warmer and more humid than it had been in the past and I am sure that played a role too.  Half way through the race, my stomach started to really hurt.  I slowed down the pace and anytime I tried to push it faster than an 8:30 pace, I felt like I had to throw up.  I saw some people I knew on course which gave me a temporary boost of speed, but my stomach knew it and I pulled off to throw up.  That has never happened to me.  I spent the rest of the race trying to go as fast I could to be done, but not going any faster than an 8:30mm.  My mantra become, "Don't Puke, Don't Poop, Bring It Home, Bring It Home".  I just kept repeating this to the rhythm of my feet.
The race didn't go as planned, but "fake it until you make it"! 
Finish Line:  The finish line is a nice slight downhill finish which is always nice.  Afterwards, there are food boxes for the runners full of yummy goodies.  We stayed for a little bit to hear a friend of ours get presented with an award for designing this year's shirt and medal.  The drive home was miserable and as soon as we pulled in the driveway, I sprinted into the house and straight to the bathroom.  It was not my day.   Better luck next year.

BOSU #FitFamily Challenge!

For the last four weeks, the Sweat Pink community teamed up with BOSU to show the

world what it means to be #BOSUStrong. One thing that makes me BOSUStrong is my
family because they inspire me to be my best. And I hope to inspire them
to be their best.
The hubby, daughter, and I love to work out together! We
run on week days, and take advantage of the weekends to hike and do yoga together! I introduced
Avery to bootcamp and we make our own circuits!
Any time we work out together, Avery amazes me! A family that
sweats together, sticks together!
Our favorite #FitFamily BOSU workout is creating an obstacle course because it's fun and a good workout!  Plus we all have a competitive streak!  And I am
loving the BOSU Sport and the BOSU Sport-Kids DVD because its a great workout for my kid
and has helped with her balance which is very developmental for 5 and 6 year olds. 
We are so excited to have the opportunity to try the new BOSU Sport, a smaller version of
the BOSU Balance Trainer (the Sport is 50 cm while the Balance Trainer is 65 cm)  that’s
absolutely perfect for kids.  Now, the whole family can “BOSU” together!
That’s why we are a #BOSUStrong #FitFamily!
The new BOSU® Sport-Kids DVD encourages kids to have lots of fun while they get fit,
strong and flexible! This total body fitness program, created by renowned trainer Brett
Klika, targets 6 – 12 year olds and teaches kids that when you exercise your heart, lungs
and muscles every day, you can be fit for life. The 60 minute DVD includes five BOSU®
workouts, plus warm-up and cool-down, focusing on different components of fitness.
Segments can be used individually or linked together for longer workouts. Check out the
BOSU SPORT-Kids DVD: http://www.bosu.com/bosu-sport-kids-dvd. Get it for FREE when
you purchase a BOSU Sport using the code: BOSUSWEATPINK15.
Lastly, get excited because BOSU just launched two new workout DVDs: BOSU Total Body Basics
http://www.bosu.com/bosu-core-basics-dvd. Get ONE of these 2 these downloads for FREE when
you purchase a BOSU Balance Trainer using the code: BOSUSWEATPINK15.

Want to win a BOSU of your own?  Participate in this instagram challenge!  At the end of the the challenge, we will be giving away a BOSU Balance Trainer to an engaged, active participant (I encourage readers, friends, family, everyone to participate for a chance to win! Chances to win refresh every single week!)
● Monday, 10/12: We want to see you and your kids #jumpjoymonday - whether
you’re escaping lava, or jumping back on your surfboard, let your imagination run
wild! Let’s kick off this #fitfamily challenge with a whole lotta fun! Just remember,
nice soft knees. @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach
#sweatpink #bosustrong #ad
○ Bonus: #moveitmonday! Show us how your kids MOVE their feet! We want to
see how they can have #fasterfeet - running on their #BOSUSport and of course
have fun while doing it! #FitFamily #BOSUStrong #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness
(IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach #ad
● Tuesday, 10/13: It’s #toneituptuesday. We want to see your kids best “ski” moves
(“no snow required”). Whether they’re speeding downhill on the slopes or jumping
the moguls! @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach #sweatpink
#bosustrong #ad
○ Bonus: We want to see you and your family inch worm together! #fitfamily
● Wednesday, 10/14: It’s #workitwednesday! We want to see you and your kids
doing airplanes! @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach
#sweatpink bosustrong #ad
○ Bonus: A family that balances together….has the most fun together! We want to
#bosustrong @bosufitness @fitapproach #ad
see your kids do their best Bird Dog (refer to http://www.bosu.com/bosu-sport-kids-
dvd for tips!) #FitFamily #BOSUStrong @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness
(Twitter) @FitApproach #sweatpink #ad
● Thursday, 10/15: It’s #fitfamily plank day! Show us how you and your fam plank it
out & maybe even exchange some high fives! @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness
(Twitter) @FitApproach #sweatpink #bosustrong #ad
○ Bonus: Show us a #tbt to one of your favorite #fitfamily activities! #FitFamily
#BOSUStrong @Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach
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● Friday, 10/16: #FreeFriday. What makes your #fitfamily #bosustrong? Show us!
@Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach #sweatpink
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○ Bonus: Happy #forearmfriday sweaties! Are you dolphins, crouching crocodiles
inch worms or maybe even downward puppies? Show us! #BOSUStrong
@Bosu_Fitness (IG) @BosuFitness (Twitter) @FitApproach #sweatpink #ad

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.