Rock n Roll DC Kickoff-Win an entry to the March Race

Comments 51 Standard

ambo-logo

As the DC “Ambassador of Rock” I get to throw some pretty “Rock”ing parties!

It’s time to start thinking about those Spring races again! Rock n Roll Marathon/Half/5k is coming back to DC on March 14th and you want to be there. If you live in the DC area, The Fall Kickoff Party is taking place Thursday night as part of the Road Runner Sports Adventure Run. Its free! It’s fun! There is free beer and free pizza! We are raffling off an entry into the DC Race!

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Don’t live in DC but would still love to win an entry?? No problem just enter below for your chance to win. Entry is valid for the DC Rock n Roll race location only on March 14, 2015. Winner may choose either the  Full, Half or 5k option. May not be used for any other race.

Can’t make the event? Use this code to register for $15 off:DCFALLRUN15 (good through 11/1)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever done a Rock N Roll Race? Want to come to DC and run with me?

Let Blow Dry Taxi come to you

Comments 42 Standard

Ok Washington area ladies, I’ve got a fun new business to tell you about:

Blow Dry Taxi review

Have a big party to go to? Work event? Date night? We’re busy-we don’t always have time to go the salon to get our hair done. I don’t know about you but my hair always looks better when someone else blow dries it for me. I would probably get it done more often but seriously who has time for that? Enter Blow Dry Taxi a new business that sends the stylist right to your home or office and in about 30 minutes your done and your hair looks fabulous.

Blow Dry Taxi was established in June of 2014 and the owner, Sona, has a staff of 12 stylists on a rotating schedule. You can get a standard blow dry for $50 or a more elaborate up do for $85. Stylists work from 7 am to 9 pm.

I had an early Saturday event on my schedule so I decided to put the blow dry to the test. I scheduled my blow out for late Friday evening. I planned to sleep on it, wake up Saturday morning and not have to worry about doing my hair before the event. Would the blow out be able to last? I put it through the test. My daughter wanted to join the fun as well. Take a look at how it went.

We were instructed to wash our hair and have it wet and ready for the stylist. They arrived 5 minutes before our scheduled appointment. Our stylist, Can, listened to our preferences and began his work. He was able to dry and style both of us in under an hour. Blow Dry Taxi brings all the styling products with them and uses The Kerastase line.

Friday night blow dry

Friday night blow dry

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Friday Night blow dry

Friday Night blow dry

Blow Dry Taxi

I loved how the layers looked in the back of my hair. I then slept on it and woke up Saturday morning did a quick finger comb, added a little hair spray and I was ready to go to my event. No stress!

Hair still holding up

Hair still holding up

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My little niece tried Blow Dry Taxi a few weeks later and loved it too.

Blow Dry Taxi

Why pay a babysitter so you can go to the salon? Have the salon come to you! You can schedule online or with their App free on Itunes.

I’m thinking this would also make a great birthday party or girls night out. Sign up on their website for 10% off your first service. If you live in the Washington area suburbs, you have to try this!

Blow Dry Taxi App

What do think? Something you would use? Ever been to a Blow Dry bar?

(Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary blow dry in exchange for this review however, all opinions are my own and I will be using them again.)

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

Comments 46 Standard

Meatless Monday Button(1)

Meatless Monday! Link up with me and Tina Muir to share your Vegetarian recipe with us. Add your link below.

People do seem to be going a little “Pumpkin Crazy” these days however most of the recipes and pictures I see are for pies, breads and lattes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin bread too but let’s not forget that pumpkin is a vegetable in the squash family with a ton of health benefits.

source goodfoodeating.com

source goodfoodeating.com

I’ve kicked up the health benefits even more by combining Kale & Pumpkin into a yummy lasagna. Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin & Kale lasagna  Pumpkin & Kale lasagna


Pumpkin Kale Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthy kick to an old classic. Kale & Pumpkin lasagna-Meatless Monday-vegtetarian
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg whole wheat no cook lasagna noodles (or pasta sub of your choice)
  • 4 c Kale (washed & cut from stem)
  • 2 C your favorite tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 12 oz part skim ricotta
  • 2 C low fat mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pepper & salt to taste
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Saute kale in a small amount of olive oil until soft (approx 5 min)
  3. In a small bowl combine: ricotta, pumpkin, spices, egg and ½ C of the mozzarella-set aside
  4. spray casserole dish with cooking spray
  5. pour a small amount of tomato sauce into pan to coat
  6. layer noodles, cheese mixture and sauce repeating as you would a traditional lasagna
  7. top layer is sauce and the remainder of the mozzarella cheese
  8. cover with foil and bake 40 min
  9. uncover and bake an additional 20 min or until brown and bubbly
  10. let sit 5 min, cut to serve and enjoy!

What are you favorite pumpkin recipes?

What to do with all those Race T-shirts?-Project Repat

Comments 69 Standard

You signed up, you trained, you ran and you got the Race T-shirt. Repeat a couple dozen times and you may have something that looks like this:

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Where to store all of this? Are you really going to wear these shirts? All of my shirts have memories tied to them and I was reluctant to just give them away. First half, first tri, first relay etc. What’s a runner to do? Enter Project Repat

Project Repat logo

Preserve your race memories by turning your well earned shirts into a quilt that lasts forever. The process is simple and fast. Simply select your shirts, pick a size and send them off to Project Repat. There is very little prep involved. If your shirt only has writing on one side, no need to cut it at all. If your shirt has logos or writing on both sides, simple cut in half and only send the side you wish you use. Project Repat will size your shirts to fit your desired size quilt. Quilt sizes range from lap size to king size.

Project Repat Review

Use this guide to determine how many shirts or shirt sides are needed for your design.

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You will have a choice of the fleece color on the back. (Magenta, black, navy, gray, lt blue or red) I chose magenta. I sent my precious tees in and excitedly waited for my quilt to arrive. The website says your quilt will arrive within 2-3 weeks. I received mine just over a week later and tada!

Project Repat quilt

I received my full sized quilt free of charge in exchange for a review, however all opinions are my own. As you can see I am beyond thrilled with my quilt. I love the super soft fleece on the back. The quilt is very well made and I plan to be snuggling up with it for years to come.

Project Repat quilt review

The prices for the quilts range from $59 for the lap size to $239 for the King size. My readers can use code “MotherRunner” for 15%.

The possibilities are endless here really. Create a quilt with your Alma Mater gear, your kids old t shirts or your favorite sports teams. This makes a great holiday gift for any runner or athlete. Attention spouses: Gift cards are also available so you don’t have to decide which shirts to steal from your runner. Now how to keep mine away from the rest of the family?

Preserve those t shirts forever and stay warm-it’s a win win!!

What are you doing with all of your Race T-Shirts?

 

 

Skechers Go Walk-Taking Steps towards Breast Cancer Awareness

Comments 48 Standard

This past summer, I ran my first Race for the Cure and was so moved by all of the strong, courageous people I met that day.
Race for the cure-Aspen

When I was asked by Skecher’s to review a pair of their GoWalk Flash 2 shoes as part of their effort  raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research, I jumped at the chance to do my part to raise awareness and funds. (Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Skecher’s however all opinions are my own).

I didn’t have any shoes specifically  designed for walking so I was eager to give the Skecher’s Go Walk Flash a try. I popped them on for the first time as recovery after a ten miler race. I was immediately surprised by the cushioning. They felt like supportive slippers with lots of room in the toe box.  They have approx 1/4 inch pink squishy lining that is heavenly to tired feet. I’ve been wearing them post run and have been happy with the results. They have much more cushioning than a traditional running shoe and are great for everyday walking around recovery, and running errands. I will definitely be keeping these in my rotation. Bonus: I love the pink and grey color combo with the pink ribbon the back heel.

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Shoe specs:

Skechers GOwalk 2 Flash – Awareness ($69)

Designed with innovative Skechers Performance Division technologies and materials, they are built from top to bottom specifically for walking. Goga Mat Technology comfort insole. Breast Cancer Awareness edition.
• V-Stride technology features unique angled outsole that complements a natural walking gait and promotes fluid stride transitions

• Structured breathable mesh at front for cooling comfort

• Engineered Stability Mesh side panels provide lateral support
• Go sockless – Integrated OrthoLite® anti-microbial sockliner helps inhibit odor and prevent slippage
• Goga Mat Technology cushioned comfort insole
• Resalyte™ Midsole proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
• Independent circular GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a more responsive walking experience
• A multi-directional traction motif helps enhance footing control

In an effort to support The American Cancer Society’s battle against Breast Cancer, Skecher’s Performance Division has created a partnership to raise funds and increase awareness. By purchasing shoes or apparel from their “Awareness” line, you can help raise money for Breast Cancer Research and treatment.

In addition to the “Awareness” footwear and apparel line, Skechers Performance Division is supporting American Cancer Society in several ways:

1. Skechers Performance Division is offering a donation to American Cancer Society from items in their “Awareness” line

2. Skechers is launching a register round-up program in Skechers Retail stores where customers can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit American Cancer Society for the entire month of October. When consumers donate $5 or more, they will also receive a 20% off discount for their next visit. 

3. Skechers Retail stores are offering a gift with purchase for customers who purchase a pair of limited-edition Awareness shoes. The gift with purchase will be either a breast cancer awareness canvas tote back or a pink water bottle.

We all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I always take this as a reminder to think about the “Steps” I can take to live healthier life and remind the women in my family to schedule their yearly mammogram appointment. We all get busy and put off making that appointment but early detection is the key.

I take “Steps” by eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and keeping up with my yearly exams and self-exams. I take “steps” to model a healthy life style for my children and family.

What “Steps” do you take? Have you tried Skecher’s lately?

 

 

 

 

Army Ten Miler

Comments 32 Standard

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I had been waiting for this day for a long time. I ran this race last year and it had become one of my favorites. After missing all of my spring races due to a stress fracture, I was nervous and excited to run a big race again. I followed Dr.’s orders and slowly upped my mileage over the past 8 months. Despite a couple of routine aches and pains, I was ready to go. I had decided that I really wasn’t going to set a time goal for this race and that all I wanted was to be able to run 10 miles again without stopping.

Coco

Coco @got2run4me

I spent Friday working at the expo on behalf on Rock n Roll marathon. (more on that soon). For the most part it’s a fun, yet tiring, experience. It great to run  into friends and also fellow blogger friends who I rarely see in person.

 Army ten miler fun

I had a little fun on the way in with some of the Army activities.

Army Ten miler fun

You know what they say about a man in uniform? Well it’s true-these guys were not hard to look at. When one of them challenged me to do drop and give him 10, I happily obliged.

 ATM Flat Mama

I was so nervous for this race. I have done so many 10 milers and half races the past few years but this was different. This was my first post injury 10 miler. This was my comeback 10 miler. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I hurt my shin again? I had these and a couple hundred other worries. I set out my “flat Mama” and made race day plans with my MRTT mamas. I honestly could not have made it through the day without these ladies and their support. My co-Chapter Leader, Alexandra, actually planned her long run that day to end up at the finish line to cheer me on. Love them!

ATM photos IMG_3429

Standing in the Pentagon waiting for the race to start with 35k of my fellow runners, it’s hard not to feel patriotic. We were surrounded by hundreds of Army personnel doing what they do best: protecting and serving. Hearing the National Anthem while standing amongst military personnel and wounded warriors really puts things into perspective. Living in the DC area, it’s easy to become jaded and take for granted all of the iconic symbols we see everyday. There is something very American about running down “Independence Avenue”. This race, always reminds me of all that we have to be thankful for.

And we were off and running! I planned to stay with my friend, Holly, as we are usually the same pace. I could tell after the first mile that I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with her today. Some days you have it and some days you don’t. I kept reminding myself that my goal was to finish without walking and my time didn’t matter. Easier said than done. This was the first time that I ran for so long without music and without talking to a friend. I forgot how long ten miles is.

It took me 2 or 3 miles to feel warmed up and I felt ok until about mile 8 where I just felt tired and my hip started to hurt. It was one of those races where you start asking yourself what you are doing here.  I tried to absorb some of the great energy from the crowd. Looking around I saw military personnel running in full boots and gear, soldiers running with huge American flags and wounded warriors walking the course. Inspiring indeed.

A very cool fly over with parachuters

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I finally found myself in the home stretch and was so relieved to see that finish line. This was a tough one for me. I am so glad to be running long distance races again pain free and I know I will eventually get back to where I was. Mentally, I needed to do this to prove to myself that I could. I would do it again next year in a heartbeat but right now I’ve got a date with my foam roller.

Army Ten miler IMG_3443

Ever have a race that you had to get through mentally to prove to yourself that you could?

 

“Souper” Foods Soup

Comments 56 Standard

Meatless Monday Button(1)

I’ve got a great Meatless Monday recipe for you all today. So please join Tina Muir and I to check out all of the fabulous link ups below.

We all know we are supposed to eat the so called “super foods” but how to fit them all into a balanced diet is the question. Well, wonder no more friends! I’ve combined them into one delicious, steamy, healthy bowl of soup. It’s “soup”er easy too! (Couldn’t resist that one). Perfect for a cool fall day and hearty enough to please the whole family.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
"Souper" Foods Soup
 
An easy, hearty, super foods soup to please the whole family
Author:
Recipe type: lunch, dinner
Ingredients
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 20 oz package of Butternut Squash-diced
  • 1 large Sweet Potato-skin on, diced
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of Black Beans-rinsed and drained
  • 1 Red Pepper-diced
  • 48 oz. V-8 juice (spicy or regular)
  • 2 Cups of Kale-chopped
  • ⅔ Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Avocado
Instructions
  1. Simply add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
  2. Alternatively, add ingredients to a stock pot, bring to a boil reduce to simmer for 2 hours
  3. Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper
  4. Garnish with Avocado & serve

5 Healthy Vegetarian Meals to Fuel Your Workouts

Comments 70 Standard

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It’s Friday! Time for the fabulous link up with the DC Trifecta Cynthia, Mar & Courtney

DC_linkup

We all have our go to healthy foods that power us through our workouts. I am a vegetarian so I try to really make sure to eat a well balanced diet with enough protein and carbs to power me through my workouts and my day. Here are 5 of my favorite recipes. Hope you enjoy them!

1. Breakfast-Eggs are my go to for breakfast. I frequently make a fritatta or Breakfast Casserole that I cut into individual portions and eat all week. I typically pair that with a piece of Ezekiel bread.

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This was so good. Cut into individual portions take out daily and microwave for a quick breakfast

Kale, mushroom & tomato fritatta

2.Lunch I’ve been exploring with Tempeh lately and this is one of my favorite lunches-Tempeh w Asian Rice Noodles

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3. This Corn, edamame & Jicama was one of my favorite lunches this summer. Make it once and eat it for a few days.

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4. Snacks-  These Chocolate Protein muffins are the bomb! Pair with a Greek yogurt for a filling pre or post workout snack.

 

Chocolate Protein Yum!!

Chocolate Protein Yum!!

 

5. Dinner-When I am running a lot I always crave pasta (don’t we all?!) but I try to restrain myself. One of my go to meals is Grilled Eggplant Parmasean. So easy and so satisfying.

Grilled Eggplant Parm

Grilled Eggplant Parm

What’s your go to meal?

Fall for “Food Should Taste Good” Giveaway

Comments 100 Standard

FoodShouldTaste1  IMG_3361 IMG_3360

I am always looking for new healthy snacks to add to my rotation so I jumped at the chance to review a sample pack from Food should taste good“. I received Sweet Potato, Blue corn and limited edition Pumpkin chips along with 2 types of Brown rice crackers.

What I like about these snacks:

-They are made with real ingredients you can recognize

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-No trans fats

-No cholesterol

-All chips are gluten free and many varieties are Vegan as well

-low sodium

-many varieties do not have added sugar or have very little added sugar

So what to do with all of this yummy snack food? I created a multi layered dip with all of my Mediterranean faves. I prepared to do a full taste test. It was a tough task but someone had to do it!

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The Limited Edition pumpkin chip was so good-I may have to stock up on a few of those myself. The Sweet Potato and Blue Corn are great everyday flavors. I really enjoyed the rice crackers. I have been trying to cut out regular crackers a bit. These are light and airy but very flavorful and the perfect companion to my dip. Check their site as well for great recipes.

Don’t take my word for it! The fine folks at Food Should Taste Good provided me with a sample pack to give away to one of you. Enter below to win a gift pack of Tomato Basil Brown Rice crackers, Pumpkin chips and Sweet Potato chips. All are GF and Vegetarian.

(Disclaimer: I was provide with free samples in exchange for a review-All opinions are my own)

What flavor would you like to try most?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn How Elite Athlete, Tina Muir, Fuels for a Marathon

Comments 108 Standard

Ever wonder how elite athletes eat and train before a key race?  I certainly do. Over the past few months, I’ve gotten to know Tina Muir through our Meatless Monday linkups and she’s agreed to answer a few nutrition and training questions before she heads out to take on The Chicago Marathon this weekend.

Tina Muir

Tina Muir

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Can you give us a little background about you?

I am 26 y.o. born in England, but I have been in the states since 2007 living in Aliso Viejo (CA), Big Rapids (MI), Philadelphia (PA), and now Lexington, (KY). I run for the Saucony Hurricanes team, and I have PRs of 16:08 (5k), 33:24 (10k) and 1:14 (Half Marathon). In 2012 I finished 3rd in the Great Britain Olympic Trials in the 10k. My other passion is cooking! 

How do you change your diet leading up to a goal race?

In the 6 weeks prior to a goal race, I try to make sure getting the right fuel is a priority. This means eating the foods that will help my body recover, and stay healthy. Rather than obsessing over what I shouldn’t be eating, I make sure I fill my body with what is good for it. This tends to crowd out most of the bad stuff, but I still enjoy my sweet treat every day. You work hard, so you earn some of the foods you love! I also use this time to try out all my race day foods, so my body is used to digesting it when it comes to the race.

Do you keep track of calories, protein or carbs?

I do not keep track of specific numbers, but I definitely make sure that I increase my protein intake during the 2 months before the race. This helps lessen recovery time from the intense workouts. I am pretty good at getting in enough carbs, so that has never been a concern for me!

Do you “carb load” and if so, what does that mean for you?

I do carb load, but not in the structured way a lot of people do. I just significantly increase the % of my diet that comes from carbohydrates. In the week before the race, I almost completely cut out fibrous food, and reduce my protein intake. During this time I would say that 80% of my food intake comes from complex carbohydrates such as breads, grains, pasta, rice.

You mentioned you had some nutritional issues last time you ran a marathon-What do you plan to do differently this time?

Yes, in Philadelphia I did not consume enough carbohydrates or water during the race to sustain my effort levels. Combined with an overdose of caffeine, my body shut down. At Chicago, I will be taking on a carbohydrate drink every 5k, and I have changed my pre race meal to oatmeal and a banana to fuel with lots of slow burning carbohydrates.

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What liquids do you normally consume or avoid? Caffeine?

I am not a coffee drinker, but I do have either a Chai or Green Tea with a little Stevia every morning when I wake up. I drink Body Armor after my runs, and drink Genucan or Skratch during long runs.  I try to avoid “fizzy drinks” as we call them in England (Pop/Soda), but I do make sure to drink almond milk for calcium.

source bodyarmour

source bodyarmour

What is a typical day before a race menu?

I do not know exactly I will eat as Chicago provides a pre race dinner for the elite athletes in the host hotel, but I will stay as close as possible to the meal I have been practicing with. This is typically pasta with marinara sauce, and bread. My stomach can be very temperamental, and the last thing I want to happen is the need for a bathroom break halfway through!

Morning of race breakfast?

I will cook ¾ cup oatmeal in milk, add ½ tbsp. honey, and a banana 3 hours before the race. I will then have a second banana with an hour to go before the race.

Do you consume anything during your race?

I have tried out a variety of different fueling sources for this marathon, and my favorites were Skratch and Genucan. I will be using Genucan during the race to replenish my glycogen stores, and ensure I have enough fuel to sustain 6:00-6:20 miles. Since my last marathon I have completely stayed away from caffeine, but I know a lot of other elites who use coffee the morning of the race.

nutrn-lemon   Skratch-Labs

What is your go to post race meal? How do you rehydrate/refuel?

Post race fuel is very important, especially if you are going to continue training, or have other races coming up. I make sure to consume a protein bar and some kind of carbohydrates (banana, bagel) within 45 minutes of finishing the race. I will rehydrate with Body Armor and water immediately. As soon as possible, but depending on awards/interviews, I will eat a full meal. My favorite post race meal is pancakes with lots of syrup.

How long do you rest before your next run (after the race)?

After Chicago I will take two weeks completely off all exercise, and I will enjoy every second! If you work hard, and you commit yourself to your training, your body needs that time to repair itself, not just from the race, but the entire segment of training. For me, it is more mental than it is physical, but it is critical to moving forward. Your fitness will come back quicker than you think!

Do elite runners get nervous before races?

Oh yes, even if I am in a small race where I am confident I will win, I still worry about being beaten, stomach upsets, not feeling good…. all the usual things runners are concerned about. In fact, I would say I am often more nervous than most people, as I know I do not get many opportunities to prove myself, and if I do not race well consecutively, I may lose my sponsors. I try to just remind myself to have fun (as that is why we do it after all), and let the result take care of itself. That usually works for me.

Tina is currently sponsored by Saucony, Enduropacks, Body Armor, and Primal Sport Mud. This will be her second marathon. She doesn’t like to have a goal time out there for Chicago but she does plan to crush her 2:49 time (from Philadelphia).

 

Thanks so much for your time and answers Tina. It is always so helpful to read about what “real” runners eat and do before a key race. I hope this will be beneficial to others out there training at all distances.  I will be running right there with you (virtually of course!).

I’m linking this post up with my friends Erika, Patty & April for their Tuesday’s on the  Run so please make sure to stop by and check out all the great link ups on their blogs as well.

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What other questions do you have for Tina? Please ask them here and also visit her at TinaMuir.com for great recipes, training tips and awesome motivation. Then join us each week for our Meatless Monday link up. Go get ‘em this weekend Tina!