Mini Summer Vacation & Eating Clean {Matcha Powder}

I love summer, and now that the school I work at is on break, I have off of work until September which is just a beautiful thing. My plan with all this free time includes lots of running, crosstraining, and strengthening (just exercise in general), continuing to read the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series aka Game of Thrones, and exploring new recipes and foods. I’ll get back to food in a bit at the end of this post. In addition to everything else, relaxation is on the list for the rest of the summer! So to celebrate, we went for a 4 day weekend to Lake George, NY last weekend for some R&R. And a third “R” for running, for me :)

Lake George, NY

Lake George, NY

Lake George NY

Lake George NY

It ended up being cooler up in Lake George than we would have liked and we didn’t really have any true warm days, but it was just so nice to be away that I didn’t even mind that much. We just had to nix some of the bead lounging that we had planned because of the weather. Oh well! Its warm in NY now so I can get plenty of that. But in Lake George there was plenty of mini golf. I mean, we went to town with mini golf and played an embarrassing amount of games.

Mini Golf

Mini Golf

Now, running is more my sport and softball was when I was younger. I am not a golf person nor do I have the patience for putting. But these mini golf courses were super fun and I even got a hole in one! I know people do this all the time but I NEVER do, I really stink at this game. So it was kind of a big deal and I may or may not have celebrated way too much.

Hole in one!

Hole in one!

In addition to mini golf, one day we also rented a speedboat and spent the day riding around on the lake in it. Karl drove for the most part and I held on for dear life. About mid-day we had to stop at the dock and buy some sweatshirts because it was freezing out there on the lake, I totally did not expect having to bundle up on my summer vacation. But that didn’t stop us from hooking up a tube to the back of the boat and doing some amazing tubing! It honestly was warmer in the lake than it was outside of the lake on the boat so that part was fun. But I’m a baby so I thought tubing would be too much for me, but it was SO much fun I went on several times.

I'm on a boat!

I’m on a boat!

Me on the tube!

Me on the tube!

During my stay in Lake George, I also had an 11 mile long run on my NYC Marathon training schedule. The cooler weather turned out to be a blessing for my long run. It was a cool, damp morning with a mist in the air so I got to wear running capris, which I always prefer to shorts. I ran through the town and then down local streets around the lake. Since I was in the Adirondacks it was quite hilly throughout the run but I figure that’s good preparation for all the bridges during the marathon. It was also nice to run in a new place, take in the scenery, and stay cool from the mist in the air!

There weren’t too many other runners out that day so it was me and the roads. Everyone was so polite, too on the streets and the cars stayed out of your way which was a nice change from Brooklyn and Manhattan drivers:)

LG5

It was a nice trip up to Lake George but I’m happy to get to spend some time now in Brooklyn just relaxing and enjoying the rest of the summer. I also have a Brad Paisley concert coming up and another wedding which I know is going to be a ton of fun. So Summer 2014 still has lots in store for me :)

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In addition to lots of exercise and running in prep for the NYC Marathon, I’m also dedicating to eating clean and eating smart. Yes I will occasionally enjoy a hamburger from Shake Shack or some chocolatey dessert, because lets be real those things are awesome. But most of the time I’m sticking to healthy eating and making smart decisions. Recently, I was presented the opportunity to try out Matcha Green Tea powder from Kiss Me Organics to include in my smoothies and I decided to give it a try.

All you need is 1/2-1 tsp a day to get the benefits that are similar to green tea but really amped up, because it is the whole leaf that you ingest rather than green tea where you just brew the water. So just one bag of this stuff will last quite a while since you only need a little bit for a serving.

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea

Some of the benefits reported to come for Matcha include:

-Very high in antioxidants
-Loaded with catechin, which has cancer-fighting properties
-Can boost memory and concentration
-Increases energy levels and metabolism (“It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure.”). Hey runners, don’t we all need more energy?!

And with all these benefits, why not try it in your morning smoothie. You don’t need much to get the benefits and there is no weird taste, since it mixes right into your drink. You don’t even taste it but you get all those antioxidants!

I tried out match in a few of my simple smoothies and have been including it every since. I usually have a smoothie with some milk, Vega protein powder, Kiss Me Organics Matcha, a green such as kale or spinach, and some fruit, either a banana or some cherries depending on what I have in the house. These smoothies are SO quick and easy to make, and are very delicious. I love the energy that the Matcha gives me before a workout or to rebuild after a workout. I don’t use it every day just because I don’t make smoothies every day, but I do a few times a week and so far its great! I feel like I get my energy back and honestly you just can’t beat all the antioxidants. If I start making daily smoothies, I think the benefits would be even that much more prominent.

Here’s to clean eating and marathon training…

Smoothie ingredients!

Smoothie ingredients!

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Are you training for a race? How is it going?
How do you eat clean?

2 Comments

Filed under 2014 NYC Marathon, food, NYCM, product review, summer running, weekend

Running on a Rainbow {Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9s} & More Wedding Fun

First lets talk about running, because its been a while and this IS a running blog after all. As you know, I’m currently training for the TCS NYC Marathon which I’ll be running this November. I had a minor set back a few weeks ago and experienced some curious pain in my shins, which I couldn’t at the time tell whether it was shin splints or a full out stress fracture. So to be safe, and since it was still early on in the training cycle, I stopped running for a little over a week, iced, and wore my compression socks everywhere. I mean everywhere, and I resigned to that fact that I’m that weird runner wearing tight socks everywhere. Whatever, runners rock!!

And then I slowly eased back into running, at a gentle and slow pace. I did light cross-training while I wasn’t running (cycling, swimming), just to keep my legs fresh!

NYCM_logo_CMYK_full color_primary_horizontal_a

With some time off and a serious dedication to cross-training and strengthening, I am back to running according to my initial training plan. Every week the mileage gets higher and higher, but nothing too too much as of yet. I have to tell you though I’m soooo NERVOUS about those 18+ mile runs when they arrive! I’ve never run more than 16 miles in a day before so its pretty darn anxiety-inducing to think of anything over that. But I think that with a good playlist and some (maybe lots) body glide I think I can do it ;)

What kind of shoes am I training in?

I also recently made a change in my running shoes because, although I do like the minimalist approach, I don’t think my body can run in minimalist shoes (as I was doing) more than about 4-5 miles. So for longer runs I’m sticking  with a neutral shoe but one with a little bit more support to hopefully prevent some injuries. I love the Saucony Ride but I also wanted another shoe to add to the rotation just to be sure.

So in perfect timing with my shoe shoe-changing thing, the awesome people at Asics contacted me and offered to send me a new pair of shoes to try out. Of course I agreed.. what a perfect way to get shoes with more support for training. Plus, Asics is a main sponsor of the NYC Marathon so that makes it kind of even more awesome for this marathon training runner to have even more of a connection to the biggest marathon in the world!!

asics

Disclosure: Asics America sent this complimentary pair of shoes. I chose the type and style of shoe myself.

After doing lots of searching, using the “Running Shoe Guide” on the Asics website, and debating with myself because I can’t make decisions by myself, I finally found my Asics: The Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9. I of course ordered them in the most awesome color they had, which was tough because there were SO many cool color combinations to make a runner stand out in the crowd. But these were the top awesome pair because they look like I’m running on a pretty rainbow. Here they are…

A little background about these beauties. The Gel Noosa Tri 9s are:

-Relatively light at 8.3 oz
-Updated Seamless Construction to reduce irritation and friction caused by traditional stitches and seams
-Open Mesh Upper and Perforated Sockliner to improve breathability and moisture drainage

They are made very well in just their general construction and I can tell they will last quite a while. I also love how comfortable they are, I didn’t have to break them in at all before taking them out for a 4 mile run followed by some strength training the first time I wore them. They just felt great on my feet and didn’t cause any discomfort or irritation. Plus they look cute :)

Love these kicks.

Love these kicks.

The one thing I did notice about them is that they do run a tad bit small. Not so small that its an issue, but it’s worth considering ordering a size up just to be safe for us runners who get swollen feet.

I’m really into these shoes and how cute they are. Most importantly though, they have held up great on several training runs and provide just enough support for me without overcorrecting or being too heavy. No, they are lightweight and just supportive enough! Asics has also done an amazing job with the color selections on this shoe… runners LOVE cute shoes! The Gel Noosa’s are getting me even more excited for the NYC Marathon in November!!

Top view of these cuties :)

Top view of these cuties :)

I’ve also been wearing these during cross-training workouts, of which I’ve been doing a TON of to keep my body healthy and injury free. I’ve been cycling and using the elliptical, as well as doing lots of strength training. I’ve been alternating days from leg days to arms, and have been doing a ton of core almost every day. So far so good and I have to keep this up for the whole training cycle so I can run that race in the fall!

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In addition to all my exercising and running, it has been the summer of weddings for us. Not my wedding, but being a guest at other weddings. Not that I mind, I absolutely love going to them and always have a blast. Can’t beat lots of food and an open bar :) I also like being able to dress up and wear some cute outfits. And having some photoshoots with my fiance!

All dressed up at a wedding last weekend.

All dressed up at a wedding last weekend.

How darn cute.

How darn cute.

All these weddings are getting me excited for my own, which has been officially booked and scheduled for late spring/early summer in 2016! Since we have time, no details have been planned yet except the venue. But I guess that’s the most important part, isn’t it? So any recent brides, send your advice my way. I’ll need it!!

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Are you running a big fall race? How is your training going?
What type of shoes do you do long runs in?

5 Comments

Filed under classes, Maryland, music, NYCM, synergy, Wedding

Running Gear is Fun: currexSole Insoles Review

As you know, training for the NYC Marathon is in full swing and I am enjoying training in the summer. Thankfully the weather has been relatively mild for NY! I am trying very hard to not get injured so I’m taking all the steps to avoid pain.

I am crosstraining, doing strength workouts frequently, and am running at a slower pace since my body doesn’t handle fast pace very well. I’ve resigned to that and I’m okay with it, just as long as I stay healthy I’m a happy camper. Another way I’m trying to stay healthy is through my running gear. But what I wanted to introduce you all to is one of my newest pieces of gear that I am loving: RUNPRO currexSole insoles!

Einfaches RGB

Recently I have been rotating between two different shoes when running. I tend to wear more minimalist shoes for shorter runs, like the Saucony Kinvara 4s, and more supportive shoes for longer runs. My more supportive shoes are the Saucony Ride, and its in these that I’ve been wearing my new currexSole inserts. I love how they fit me just right and provide me just the right amount of support, but not enough to be overcorrecting. I really love them and they are a huge improvement from the standard insoles the shoe companies send, which don’t do much of anything.

My favorite part about these soles is that they are new to the US, but have been around in Europe for some time. In Europe, they have a different perspective on insoles. They are designed to move with your feet instead of traditional insoles that forcefully stop them from pronating. currexSole’s are flexible, not stiff like traditional insoles, to allow your foot to move naturally. But provide enough support to do their job amazingly!

currexSole High Profile

currexSole High Profile

The product:

I have a pair of ‘High’ currexSole RUNPRO insoles. These come in three styles (high, medium, and low), but all three have similar outstanding technical features:

-Deep heel cup for a better in-shoe fit.
-Triple layers for optimum moisture wicking and fewer blisters.
-Dynamic arch technology made from silver Nylon 6 composite.
-PROPO+ for maximum rebound  and dynamic propulsion thanks to special forefoot material.
-Outstanding performance cushioning during initial foot contac
Weight: 40g / 1.41oz. (size M).


These insoles are light, dynamic, and supportive. There is less fatigue in your feet and calf muscles when using them due to transfer of power to the ground and the support they provide. You can wear these in minimalist shoes or in a more cushioned shoe. These are thin and comfortable! 

So thin!

So thin!

Sizing:

In order to pick the right insole for you, currexSole has numerous factors that you take into account about your own body, including your foot print and whether or not it overpronates as well as your leg axis. Leg axis means whether your legs are straight, bowlegged, or knock-kneed. They have descriptions of all types of soles as well as a handy chart to see which one is right for you based on these two main factors! Honestly it couldn’t be simpler.

Insole Guide

Insole Guide

Foot Guide

Foot Guide

Summary:

I’m a big fan of these insoles and I LOVE how flexible they are. In the past, I’ve had insoles that have been heavy, big, and bulky so I didn’t want to give them another try. But I gave it a shot with currexSole because of their philosophy on insoles that work with your foot instead of against them.  currexSole’s are light and airy while still providing enough support to keep your feet safe and happy. Its actually amazing how they do it with these insoles, but they are fantastic. Plus there is a style for everyone, which you just can’t beat. I highly recommended you give these a shot!

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Also, I wanted to share a fun contest with Runner’s World and Chocolate Milk with you all.

Snap and upload a photo of how you recover right after a tough workout and you could win great prizes including a trip to Run 10 Feed 10 in NYC! Contest started July 1st  and runs through August 31st. Visit this link for more info on how to enter!

chocolate

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What is your favorite piece of running gear?
Do you wear insoles?

2 Comments

Filed under product review, running tips, TCS NYC Marathon