birthday shirts

If you'd like to share your advice, I'm looking at a birthday shirt for Nick and I can't decide if it should have his name or "birthday boy" with the number 2. I would want him to be able to wear it more than once, and the "birthday boy" might be silly? but his name on it might invite strangers to call him by name. Maybe just getting the number is the way to go?

Here are the two shirts that I'm looking at (on etsy):
I really like the raglan.

Best of 2011

It has been a great year and we are very blessed!  A happy and healthy 2011 to everyone. A rundown of the year:
Highlight - Kara joins our family
January 2010 - Tell Friends and Family #2 is on the way

February 2010 -Nick turns 1 and faceplants his cake

March 2010 - left Nick overnight for the first time for my cousin's wedding

March 2010 - Ocean Drive 10 miler -freezing

April 2010 - Family 5k!

April 2010 - Florida - Nick's first plane ride at 14 months

May 2010 - Broad Street in 90+ weather. Yikes

June & early July 2010 - visiting Ocean City very pregnant
July 15 - Kara is born! It's a girl!
Bill's 30th b'day

August 10 - Kara's first trip to OC!

Sept 10 - PDR  - I'm not in shape!

October 10 - Nick's first trick or treating!

November '10 -Philly 1/2 - had a fun day!
Dec '10 - Kara's first Christmas - Nick's first fun Christmas. We had a blast!
It's been a great year!

Running: I had to cut back from running and missed about 4 weeks while pregnant with Kara this year.  I scaled it down alot and in the last month took a big break! My yearly mileage is on a downward trend as I get into swimming and triathlon.

2010: 1186.3
2009: 1645.5 miles ran
2008: 1748.4 miles ran

Best recipes that I've found and used

Humnut Sauce - Mae: 2 T hummus + 1 T nutritional yeast + water = great sauce to dip veggies and everything!

Gluten Free/Vegan Pancakes -  Averie's recipe - very versatile

Protein Pancakes - inspired by Sarena
1/2 c ground oats
2 T peanut butter
1-2 T protein powder
1 T maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 c almond milk/milk of choice
1 T flax
 Mix it all together and  let it sit 5 min - cook as pancakes! yum yum!

Hemp Fudge
- Sarena's recipe

Maple Nut Oaties/ Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies - HEAB and Angela - any combination of oats, nuts and maple syrup. My favorite is the nuts ground in the food processor + ground oats + maple syrup till it sticks together = NUT BALLS.

Black bean sliders
: I make this once a week usually.

Best products that I've purchased

Bondi Band - not just for running. I wear them almost everyday because I seem to have grown some weird bangs with the help of motherhood. My favorite one was RUN LIKE A MOTHER. But I lost in training for the half this summer :( I bought some new ones at the expo and my current favorite is a patterned one seen in the Halloween pic.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood - I have this on subscribe and save on amazon and get it once a month. I use it for "hemp fudge" and as a dip for pancakes with coconut oil. I really like it!

VITAMIX!!!  to make nut butter, smoothies and everything in between!

Trader Joe's Hemp Protein Powder and Trader Joe's peanut butter, creamy with salt! : ) 

Run the fastest half marathon that I can!
Actually run with the running group that I joined - make running a group thing
Speed workouts

What were your "BEST OFs" for 2010?  Something that you can't live without that you discovered or favorite things to cook or bake?


we're not there yet

Here's how potty training has gone down in the last 2 days:

First, Nick was telling us and running to the bathroom at least once a day to go either #1 or #2. He was doing great with it.  Yesterday I did the commando method and he went pee 3 times on the floor. Today we did underwear and he peed in that twice. Haha, I don't think he's quite there yet. We'll wait a few weeks/months and see how that goes.
 : )


potty training

Here's where we are with potty training: Nick once a day for the most part will say POTTY! or POOP! and run to the bathroom. Sometimes he sits on the potty seat and goes right away, other times it is 15 minutes of getting up, looking in and sitting back down and he doesn't go at all. He goes most nights before his bath. We started off the whole process pre-bath with m & m's and it was pretty successful. At this point, I'm not sure where to go from here. Just take the rest of the week, stay home and keep him in pull ups or wear nothing and hope that he tells me when he has to go and run to the bathroom?  I feel like we're always out so how can I be consistent with this?

How did this work for you?  Nick seems ready for pull ups at the least, I think?  But diapers in the morning when we're out and work on it after his nap at home?  I need some pointers!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you had a wonderful holiday! 

We had a great time with the kids this year. Nick was a blast. And he is becoming more and more fun everyday. Today he started "How are you? I'm good. Thank you for asking."  Haha.
 His big gift was a Lego table that he really likes so far. When he came down to the tree with all the presents he spotted an old toy - a Thomas train - and went nuts. THOMAS!!! It was pretty funny. He took his time opening the gifts and wanted to play with each thing as he opened it. It was cute. Kara just took it all in.  How was your holiday?

I was able to get out with my sister in the 24 degree weather for a run. Wow. I forgot how tired that makes you for the entire day when it is that cold out. It felt good, considering I have only done 10 miles total in the last few weeks.  I guess I'll be back at it in a few weeks. Hope you are enjoying the week!



Everytime I get into a routine of going to swimming, I develop some kind of ear/sinus infection that lingers on for DAYS. DAYS! I don't know if I'm getting these from kid germs or what, but it's killing me! I went swimming on Monday - this infection started Saturday evening, I just felt awful, run down and sore throat. It morphed into ear/sinus pressure, runny nose, post nasal drip... ugh!  Before kids I never got sick. The last time I was at the sick doctor was 4 years ago!  I opted to skip swimming today after doing some research that it makes it worse. Understandable.

Since I am nursing, I don't want to take much. Last night I tried raw garlic after doing some research on that, and my breath still smells AWFUL! It tasted so, so badly. I was chasing it with cranberry juice and water.  I also picked up some homeopathic medicine at the drugstore.  The worst is my ear/head congestion. Swimming has been going so well since that coffee day and I just love going. Such a bummer to have to miss!  Do you have any home remedies? I might go to the doctor today, I can't be sick for Christmas!


How kids have helped me gain perspective

It was in college, freshmen year when I started to realize that my body didn't stack up to those around me.  I have always had an athletic build with bulky legs and sitting in a college class I realized that I had some blubber and everyone around me just looked perfect.   I can thank Villanova for everyone looking a 10 almost all of the time and my lack of self confidence for thinking/caring that I wasn't thin enough.  During freshmen year I drank ALOT having had my first drink only during the second half of senior year of high school.  I went into sophomore year the heaviest I had ever been.

At that point, things changed - I took it to a new level to lose weight. I started counting calories, I joined the crew team and worked out all the time.  In the years that followed,   I knew the calories of everything I was eating. I stayed away from eating out or brought my own food if I didn't know the nutritional facts on what I was eating.  I turned down party invites, dinners out and social events. In addition, when I was trying to lose weight (I lost 25 pounds in about 6 months), I tallied up all of the workouts I was doing to be sure that I was burning more calories than I was eating.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?  This was a dark time in my life that lasted on an off - not as intense as in the beginning - for YEARS.  I've recently realized that the authors of a good number of the solely food blogs out there with awesome recipes might be suffering on the inside. :(

Before having kids, I wasn't afraid to have kids, but I was resentful that I had to sacrifice my body to do so.  Now I think it's the coolest thing to feel a baby's kick from the inside.  I didn't love being pregnant because you are limited. I feel like people treat you like you are handicapped sometimes. I didn't like that. But it is a blessing.

Fast forward to getting pregnant and having kids.  I was probably a bit concerned especially with Nick about weight gain while pregnant and worked out every day to be sure that I was in shape and not gaining too much weight, but at this point after going through 2 pregnancies, seeing what my body can do, and seeing the results (babies!), it has really given me perspective as to what really matters in life.

The first months with a new baby you learn that you cannot do everything that you want to do when you want to do it. This continues when you have kids of any age. This means you might have to skip a workout. You might just shove a meal down without thinking about it because you are overtired and starving.  There is a loss of control. My life before kids was all about control.  Then I had the kids and learned that I do not have the control anymore - their needs do.  This has created a sense of balance for me. Instead of counting calories, I have turned into a healthy eater seeking out healthy snacks and all natural foods. Instead of logging calories burned during workouts, I've finally realized that I need to do what makes me enjoy the time and gives me a high.   I'm still in the process of working on the running and making sure that I enjoy it and not just posting junk miles, but I'm getting there.  I'm not sure that I love running, I think it is more of the high that I get from doing it?  I think I love swimming with the group.  Maybe the running group will change this for me! Having to stop running at the end of pregnancy #2 (at 34 weeks) really helped me to see that I don't need to run to be fit and in shape.  Now I realize that my body is a pretty cool thing that grew 2 babies in there and now they are 2 special little people that I love to death!  My body and diet shouldn't be something that determines my happiness or be in my thoughts all day long. I think this is an issue for many people and it is sad. I've suffered from it and I'm glad to be coming out on the other side. I have my kids to thank for this.

And just to be honest, I can't say that I never think about my weight or how I look or get down about feeling like I need to lose a few pounds - who doesn't? The difference is that I don't have the time or energy anymore to devote to thinking about how many calories I am eating or a pouch on my belly that I want to go away.  I'm doing my best to eat the best things out there and working out to stay fit and that is the best that I can do.  I have the two little ones who depend on me for everything.  I really want to be a good role model of them and picture of fitness and health.

Share your story!


Goals 2011 and software

Ok - I realized on the software, the training center is where I was and it was TERRIBLE! You have to download software for the cool thing and once I figured that part out, it made sense. I knew something was wrong!!

I've been thinking about my 2011 goals. I've also been thinking about how I like the no pressure of meeting a mileage goal each week, so I might continue my running break as long as I feel like it. I'm in the midst of deciding where to go from here running wise, but I do have running goals, so I just have to decide when to start getting serious again.

My goals - 2011 - running
I am going to focus on short distances.  I'll decide in the summer whether or not I will do a fall marathon. It's addictive, I want to do it and I want to break 4 hours. A goal is also to qualify for Boston and run it again but probably not in 2011.

5k  - sub 22 (current PR is 23:14)
10k -
break 47 (current PR is 47:47)
10 miles -
I'll be happy with a 1:18. (1:18 is my PR)
13.1 -
break 1:45. Current PR is 1:53. I didn't get a chance to do a half the spring I was in top shape.

Next challenge is to figure out how to get there. If anyone would like to give me some training ideas or help guide my training or give advice, let me know. I'd love to hear it. Perhaps I'll seek out a coach and go from there. I have to make sure I'm 100% committed to my goals - I'm putting them here for accountability!  What are your goals for 2011? 

Planned races (thanks Bethany) to hit all those distances:
March - Ocean Drive 10 miler
April - pool swim triathlon & 5k
May - Broad Street!! 10 miler, Kennett 10k
June - Philly Oly Distance Tri
September - Philly half
Possibly a fall marathon


GARMIN 405 software - WTF

Christmas came 2 weeks early with the Garmin 405 last week. I ran outside both Saturdays and checked it out. Now, trying to download the runs has been a little iffy. The system - I think the basic one they have you download and can transmit wirelessly - was it made in the 1980s? When I was in gradeschool we used computers and I remember the computers were black and white and we had these little turtles where we learned keystrokes about them. I can't remember exactly what was going on, but what I am trying to say is SERIOUSLY? I can't even understand how to look at my data on this thing. It tells me the time of day that each mile was completed.  Can you tell me if you have a Garmin what you use to upload to the computer and how you analyze your runs? 

Sneaky Pancake Sunday and other recipes

Pancake Sunday

We've been celebrating Pancake Sunday for a while now following HEAB's lead. I thought it was a cute idea to have this, especially with kids!  The recipe that has stuck for pancake Sunday is Averie's gluten free vegan pancakes. They are so easy to make and I'd like to call them a superfood - they have just about everything you'd want in your breakfast in there!  It is difficult to get toddlers to eat veggies so I decided to throw in some carrots to this recipe. You totally cannot taste them and Nick LOVES these pancakes. He eats about 10 mini ones - about 1/2 the recipe. They are super easy to make and taste delicious with peanut butter or maple syrup. Hope you will enjoy them!

SNEAKY PANCAKES Adapted from Averie's recipe
Into the blender goes:

1/2 c milk of your choice
1 T flax seeds
1/3 c oatmeal
1 apple cut in pieces

1 banana broken into 4 pieces
10 mini carrots  (roughly)
2 T flour of your choice
1/4 tsp baking powder
cinnamon and vanilla

Blend until smooth and cook on a skillet. Mini ones work best because these are pretty moist! I use coconut oil on the skillet so they don't stick. I serve with pure maple syrup & sometimes peanut butter!

bitter chocolate cake in brown - the rest are single lady muffins
A few other recipes I tried this weekend are below. Basically I wanted a single serving muffin
Single Lady Cupcake adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Single Lady Muffin
This makes only one but I could eat about 3. I made 6 with different variations

  • 3T flour or ground oats. I tried peanut flour also. My favorite was with the oats.
  • 1-2T. pumpkin or apple sauce
  • 2 T+ more if needed any milk or water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 T flax
  • 1 T or more or less maple syrup or sweetener of choice
Directions: Preheat the oven to 330 degrees. Mix the ingredients and pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Cook until firm (about 15 minutes)

Bitter Chocolate Muffin adapted from Alex's recipe.

I made this as 2 muffins also to add into my muffins above. It was bitter and definitely needed the topping! It is moist and soft but delicious!
  • 1 T ground flax + 1/4 cup water - let sit 5 min
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of squash puree, like pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    add more water if needed at end
  • Necessity: chocolate for topping. I used melted chocolate chips + coconut oil


workouts; running skirt; 5 months

I'm kind of enjoying the lack of pressure to run alot of miles and do what I feel like. It gives me time to have some variety and also the miles that I run aren't junk miles. It has me questioning whether I should do shorter races next year and not have the added time commitment of long runs for marathon training. I guess time will tell - I have time to decide this, as I'm planning on waiting until the fall to do a marathon. I want to be in top shape if I do a marathon in the fall and really get my time down, so I have to be all in if I decide to sign up  - please remind me of this come the spring/summer!

Yesterday, following Nancy's advice, I did a 15 minute jog warmup, then superset #1 of lifting. Hopped back on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, then superset #2. Then back on the treadmill for 10 minutes, a few abs and 5 more minutes running. The running miles were at a good pace, and it felt good. I ran out time at the end and would have liked to do more abs. 

Wednesday before swimming = no coffee. It was a decent workout. Today I had coffee and it wasn't as good as Monday - somehow I was on FIRE on Monday, but it was still good. I think I'm just getting back into shape and I can work hard and go fast.  I loved reading what everyone else does with coffee and experiences. My goal is going to be to try it out before shorter races and swimming whenever I have time.
I was on runningskirts and noticed skirts on sale so decided to get one for myself and my sister. It was my first order there, and they don't show the pictures of the ones on sale!! This is called aquatreuse. Huge risk here picking a color and when I googled it I was really nervous about the puke color on the sides. I googled it after I decided to get one for my brother's girlfriend too who just started running. I was like CRAP!!! I picked out the ugliest skirt ever as gifts! Turns out it's more like a neon green and isn't too bad.  Why not put the pictures on the site?!! That was kind of annoying.
 I'm unsure of this thing though. The uncertainty comes from the brief.   I feel like many of you have running skirts so I will ask you:

What about chafing? Do you have one? What has your experience been?  Maybe the sports skirts might have been the way to go. Stay tuned - I'll let you know how it goes when it isn't 20 degrees out and I can wear it.. maybe in May... : ) If we all like them it will be cute if we ever do a race together and match. Now I just have to get a matching shirt. Or maybe white or black would do.

Kara turned 5 months this week - I can't believe how quickly that went.  Around 4 months I think, I was able to lose all of the 'Kara' weight. Now I'm working on the 'Nick' weight that was still around after he was born and when I got pregnant w/ Kara. I feel I was about 2 lbs away around 4 months after Nick and then started gaining weight. I have to be careful not to overdo it, my biggest thing is NUTS and making nut balls (nuts + maple syrup + sometimes coconut oil).  Such a yummy snack.

5 months!
Nick brainwashed by Thomas on TV holding Kara's hand
I love helping to mold the sibling relationship, hope they will be the best of friends!


Caffeine versus no caffeine

image from baltimore sun
Sorry to continue to belabor the same topic here, but I am kind of in awe about the caffeine awakening that I have just discovered. This morning right when I woke up to pump and go swimming, Nick was up crying. I've been suspecting he's either getting a tooth or an ear infection is coming, and he was standing up in the crib jumping (this means he's not going back to sleep). I read him a book and rocked him and by the time I got to swimming I was late and didn't have time for coffee. Totally different experience!   I was about 1/2 the energy/speed as Monday when I was seriously rocking the workout.

I don't think that I want to get into coffee every morning. I've never been a big caffeine person. I have read studies that coffee is actually good for you (in moderation), but I think my biggest concern is that if I start drinking it routinely, I will need it and have headaches if I don't drink it.
What do you think?  I think I'll try to save it for before hard workouts and races.  The thing is though, that might be 5 days a week. At least for swimming - it is 3 and then in the new year when I get back into running, that adds 3 more days. Hmm.

I've always thought that coffee just smelled so appealing and when I'd watch shows where people would be drinking a cup of coffee all curled up, it just looked so warm and cozy.  I started craving coffee when I was pregnant with Kara and while pregnant had about 2 cups of decaf coffee. Otherwise I've always been a tea drinker, but while pregnant, tea wasn't all that appealing to me and I haven't been drinking it as much since. Maybe it's time to join the masses and become a coffee drinker? Yikes!!

Do you drink coffee everyday? How much? How do you take your coffee?  Do you like flavored or straight up?  What's your favorite flavored coffee?

 I think I like it latte style. Half milk, half coffee. No sugar needed if I use almond milk. I think a gingerbread flavor might taste yummy!

By the way, I'm negligible sore today from body pump. I can feel it a little bit. Like the idea to add more weight - I think that would have made a difference. Tomorrow's plan is compliments of Fancy Nancy who gave me a great idea to do supersets with 10 minutes of cardio in between. I'm going to do 3 supersets with 10 minutes of running in between.  I think maybe 10 minutes on the bike to warmup, then superset 1, run 10 minutes, superset 2, run 10, superset 3, run 10. I'm excited for this!   Thanks Nancy!! Love the idea to switch it up a bit.


Body Pump - have you done it?

image from movefitness.com.au
On my non-running kick, I decided to pick a class at the gym to go to this morning. I have wanted to try out body pump for a while. I was a few minutes late and the class was packed. Everyone was decked out with steps, weights, bars - totally overwhelming at first glance. I grabbed all the stuff, had no clue what weights I was using (they were in kg) and got going. The weights were way too light. It was a whole bunch of reps of your basic lifting exercises - rows, squats, lunges, shoulder press, triceps, biceps, pushups, deadlifts and then abs. 

I didn't sweat at all. I didn't try hard at the lunges because my poor quads are still super sore, but I was kind of disappointed that I wasted my hour doing this class rather than doing my own lifting routine and then some cardio.  As I looked around, I kind of thought, I bet anyone could do this class. Anyone couldn't run for an hour.  I should be running. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow.  I ended up leaving the class when the stretch part came and running a quick 1.5 miles on the treadmill. That's all I'll have time for today and it's doubtful that I'll return to bodypump on Thursday but maybe I'll try it again after I see how I feel tomorrow! Have you done a class similar to this? What did you think? Maybe I'm underestimating it?  What is your lifting routine?


Rudolph Cookies

Christmas is 100 times better when you have a little person to share in the fun. Last week Nick and I did gingerbread cookies and this weekend Rudolph cookies. I saw the idea in the December Parents Magazine issue.  It called for the Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix, but unless I'm totally rushed, I like to bake from scratch.  We were taking these to a kid's party so I skipped the peanut butter idea and did sugar cookies instead for allergy reasons. I feel so bad for anyone who might have a peanut allergy. I'm not sure how I would survive.

The sugar cookie recipe - adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
1 c sugar
1/3 c maple syrup (current addiction)
1/2 tsp baking powder
14 T butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 T ground flax & 1 T chia seeds mixed with 1/4 c water - or 2 eggs - let sit 5-10 min
1 1/4 c white flour
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour

Cream sugar, syrup and butter till fluffy. Add in vanilla, flax, chia + water (after having let it sit). Mix until combined and then let sit about 20 minutes - mixture should puff up a little bit.  Then add in flours and baking powder. Mix until combined. Roll into balls and cook for 10 to 12 minutes at 350. Don't let them brown on the bottom - you want these to be soft and chewy, so they might look a little undercooked - that is perfect. They will cool and set. 

Then you need red m & m's, brown mini m & m's and chocolate covered pretzels. Use the pretzels (2 per cookie) for the ears, the red m & m for the nose and brown or any color really - mini ones for the eyes. I used frosting to attach them (butter, milk and 10x sugar not really measured).   Nick and I had a blast! At first he was totally concentrating and into the job. Then when I let him eat one m & m, it was all over!  I like this age so much.  My little helper!

Caffeine high

Mondays are usually hard to get moving since I sleep in on Saturday and Sunday (sleeping in means 7/7:30am) so this morning I made a cup of coffee. I would say it was about 3 oz coffee and the rest was milk, so I guess it was a latte. Then I went swimming. Holy cow! I was FLYING. I was beating everyone. Last week was my first full week with the faster people - finally made the move back to the faster lane - it has been a YEAR since I've been there! 5 months post Kara.  Usually I go last. I'm still getting into it. Today I was going first or second and felt like I was on fire. Was it the caffeine? I think so! Whoa!  What a good feeling. I am not a coffee drinker so I have a cup maybe once a week or once every 2 weeks. Maybe I'll save it for when I want to go fast? Those of you that drink coffee every day pre-workout (anyone do that?) does it enhance your performance? I was shocked with how I felt this morning.   I did a post on this recently but do you drink caffeine before you run? for a race or training? I'm not sure if I should get into the habit of this. Is it banned for professionals? It's totally a drug!

RUNNING - to run or not to run
Lifting last week kicked my butt! I did lunges and squats using the BOSU ball and I'm just still hurting. Lunges always kill me. I think I'm never doing them again. My quads are a mess. I am thinking about skipping running this week, but I'm not sure that I can. It will be nice to rest for the next 2.5 weeks and start fresh in January --- maybe? I might check out body pump classes and just swim and bike and see how it goes. I feel like my legs could use a fresh start.  What is the longest time you have taken off from running? How did you feel when you started up again? 

Stay tuned for this fun idea from Parents Magazine.

Happy Monday - only 12 days until Christmas. Wow!


Christmas early

Today I was going for an outside run and saw the package come in the mail from a company that piqued my interest - the only thing I really wanted was a Garmin this year so I did some research and knew Bill got me it - oops, such a party pooper! I tried it out today - the 405, and it's awesome! Too bad I was going so damn slow that I was getting mad seeing my pace, ugh! I am looking forward to using it and getting speedy again hopefully soon!   What did you ask for this holiday season?

This week I finished out with only 14 miles. As hard as I am trying not to track my mileage or care, that seems so low!  My body is tired from switching it up this week and I definitely felt it in my legs. After sprinting the 5 miler on Sunday and pushing myself, I went on to swim with the faster lane people this week all 3 days. I also did yoga and lifted so every muscle in my body just feels sore. I don't even feel like I worked it THAT hard but I guess all of the different muscle groups were woken up again!

Running so slowly today has got me nervous and wondering how I'll get some speed going come January.  I hope to make the speed sessions with the running club weekly - what else can I do for speed?

Recipes - have you seen this list of runner recipes? Great recipes - top 100 listed here! 

The second Galloway video below- have you used this method? It just gets me excited to see Disney world in the background.

Description: Proper running and walking form is essential to reduce the risk of injury.  The Jeff Galloway method teaches runners to stay upright, maintain a short stride and eliminate bounce.   


My sweetener of choice and marathon training

In the past few months, MAPLE SYRUP has become my favorite sweetener. I don't really measure it out, but it is so good with peanut butter first off and to sweeten anything really! I have been using it in baked goods and my morning oats! My recipe inspirations are from the non-dairy queen, Sarena.

Maple syrup morning oats or pancakes: 1/2 c oat flour (processed oats), some maple syrup, 2 T protein powder, 1 T almond butter, cinnamon, and 1/4 to 1/2 c almond milk.

Hemp fudge:
2 T protein powder, 1 T water, some maple syrup

"Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony

1.5 c rolled oats, ground
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cashew/walnuts - ground
1 c chocolate chips
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c maple syrup
2 T water
2 t vanilla

Mix all together - dough will be crumbly. Form into balls and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 min. Sorry for the lack of a picture -we ate them way too quickly. Next time!

I've been thinking that maybe I should focus on shorter races like 5 to 10 milers. Then I can train hard without having to put in as many miles. I want to do another 26.2er but maybe this spring I'll just focus on the short stuff?

For marathoners, have you heard of the Galloway method? used it? I will be posting a series of videos on it. Check out the first one below!  Let me know your experience with it.

Description: Proper running and walking form is essential to reduce the risk of injury. The Jeff Galloway method teaches runners to stay upright, maintain a short stride and eliminate bounce. Let’s get training with Jeff Galloway.



So far my month of doing whatever I want consists of taking a break from running. I did the 5 mile race on Sunday and the shin splints came back. I never used to get them before, but I think my out of shape sprinting self makes that happen. Other than that, my body felt good from that race. I took the Recovery e21 after the race and forgot on Monday but did yesterday also. I am going to do a 30-ish day trial and report back to you. Has anyone else tried it?

Monday I swam with the faster people. My shoulders and back were sore! Then yesterday I lifted for the first time in ages. I feel like it had been so long. My quads, arms, shoulders and back are now all sore. Today I swam for 20 minutes and then got out to do a yoga class.  I didn't really want to stop swimming but my flexibility is so bad right now. I can't touch my toes.  I was glad that I went. Sometimes -depending on the class - it can be such a waste. I think this one helped me though. I like doing the triangle pose and basically anything that I can really feel my muscles stretching. What are your favorite yoga poses? I don't know half of the names. We did a twist and then elongate and put one arm up and one down - it started with one elbow up and one towards the ground. That one felt really good!  After lifting yesterday, I ran and decided that I could run faster than I have been going so I amped up on the speed on the treadmill and had a nice run. I had to break it up because I had to get home, but it was a good short running day. Tomorrow I may lift and run, bike or just run. I figure if I do one speed day a week that I can keep my speed going at least a little bit going into the new year.  All I can say is that I'm sore today. Love that feeling though!

December - I love December. Everytime I look at the Christmas tree, it makes me feel warm and cozy.  I just did a post on gifts for runners on examiner. If you feel like it, check it out and let me know if you'd add anything.

What are your goals for 2011?



So, on Friday morning I went swimming. I talked to a few of the girls that I swim with - one in her 50s  or 60s who has done a handful of triathlons and one in her 30s who I know has done them. There's a bunch of swimmers who do tris. I told them I was nervous about the open water and getting mangled and drowning or something like that and they made me feel better mostly by telling me I am a strong swimmer (and they've seen me swim) and that I could get out in the front. Now I'm not so sure about getting out in the front, I feel like I will linger behind until I can get my own space, but we'll see. Anyway, that night I signed up for the Philly tri and the pool swim one (actually outdoor) that I was looking at. Philly tri = so expensive, I feel like I got ripped off, but I can't really travel, and my sister is doing it also. So there ya go. 2 tris lined up.

Yesterday I did a 5 mile race about 10 minutes away. Oh the feeling of not being in top shape running in the cold - like you can't breath and your throat is going to close up! My first mile was about 8:02.  The next one maybe 8:15-8:30. I held an 8:30 average pace so I did slow down. It was a challenging hilly course and I was hoping for a 45 given my recent performances (but secretly wondering if I could pull off a 40:00. I ended up with 42:20 or something like that.  I was happy with it. Races are so addicting. I'm just dying to get back into shape and actually be able to *RACE* but don't want to put in the time.  I've decided the rest of this month I do whatever I want and don't count my miles. Then, starting January 1, kick it into high gear and work on speed and the triathlon training. 
Goals for 2011 are getting my speed back and finishing the triathlons!   I started today moving over to the fast lane and getting a** whooped. I'll swim with them either once a week or all the time so that I can get back into swimming shape. I'm thinking maybe yoga, pilates, strength in the place of running, maybe.  I'm not sure if I should run when I feel like it or at least try to obtain a minimum mileage each week (that might be against the point though).

Here's what the first half of 2011 is looking like:

early March- MAYBE - Wilmington 1/2
end of March - OD 10 miler
April mid - 5k Butterfly Run
end of April - pool swim triathlon - weird distance
May 1 - Broad Street Run
June 26 - Philly Triathlon - oly distance

May need to add in a few more runs!!



#23 random.org :Elizabeth who said "so many choices! I would use it to buy christmas presents! We have a gift swap and I need a kitchen gift so this would be perfect!"  

Elizabeth you have till Tues to contact me at tosha25italia at yahoo. Congrats!

Our Santa pics:  HAHA!!


Nanner Bread!

I saw Heather's post on Banana Bread and have been looking for something to do with some bananas I have had in the freezer for a while and one that was pretty ripe left on the counter.  I was pumped to check out this recipe and it did not disappoint!! I made it and about 30 min later between Bill and I, what is pictured below is all that is left.

Click above for Heather's original recipe - below are some of my changes.
  • 3 bananas (2 frozen and thawed - extra sweetness!)
  • 1/4 C almond (or any) milk
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 C ground oats (oat flour)
  • 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Peanut Flour
  • 1  T. flax + 1 T. chia seeds + 1/4 C water  - let sit 5 min.
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 handful chocolate chips
  1. Combine the chia, flax, apple cider vinegar and 1/4 C water - let sit 5 min.
    Alternately use 1 egg.
  2. Mash the bananas.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Pour into a greased/cooking sprayed loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.


Thank you for the feedback on the triathlon. I want to do one but maybe Philly isn't for me. I didn't mention that my sister is doing it and I really want to do a race with her. I keep dragging my feet on it.

In good news, I'm back in the pool. I took a good 3 weeks off where I just couldn't motivate.

In bad news, I did so many squats over the weekend that my knees are killing me and I'm not feeling the running. I made myself run this morning but I'm thinking maybe I'll take some time off. I don't want to burn out as I did after I had Nick. I have to get my goals together and some sort of schedule to reach them. The only thing is that there is a race in town this weekend and they have a diaper dash. I really want to get Nick to do it and I'll run the race after. Races motivate me - just not in shape to "race" them.  I'm not sure where I am headed. I want to be in shape to race the races but I can't get myself together to get back in top shape. Maybe wait till January 1 and get into business?  How many miles a week so that I maintain some running fitness? The problem is if I skip a day, I think about the weekly total and force myself to run... help!


Tri Anxiety

I've been on the Philly triathlon site about 10 times, filled out all the information, and then never finished. I keep thinking about 1- the Fran Crippen incident, which I know was high water temperature, high outside temperature and poor safety, and 2- the swimmer who died in the sprint tri in Philly last year.  I'm a strong swimmer - in the pool. But triathlon swimming doesn't even sound like it is the same as pool swimming, especially if you are swimming in the Schuykill?  I'm guessing you have to swim with your head up to see where you are going?  The water isn't clear.  I'm doing a pool one in April but I just can't click SUBMIT on this tri registration. (Also it's over $200!)

 I'm putting together my race schedule for 2011. Trying to save money and so signing up for key races seems to be my goal right now.  Last week post 1/2 marathon, I ended up running through soreness on Tuesday because I had alot on my plate and just *needed* to run. I did 2 miles. I ended last week with 18 miles. This week my legs are tired and I'm getting back into the swim. I might start my run training at the beginning of the year and just get in maintenance miles until then. I don't want to slip below about 18-20 a week but it's tempting to take a running break.  I'm working on my goals and where I want to go from here.

I have these 2 cute pictures of the kids for xmas cards but cannot get one of them together. So frustrating! Maybe I should just get over having a picture of them together? This is what happens when I try to sit them together: 

 Nick starts saying "BEING MEAN" and gets up or kicks Kara away.
Or he says "PLEASE?" because I say Please sit there and smile.
Or he takes off his pants and gets up and walks around.
: )