Runner Questions Answered!



I was so glad to see yesterday’s post so well received. The comments and emails (which I am still responding to!) are evidence we can all relate to the topic of getting stuck, even if it’s through different life experiences.

Divorce may not be a weekly focal point here on the blog but please feel free to email me if you ever have any questions and, as similar post ideas come to me which I feel we can all benefit from in one way or another, I will be sure to share.

I really do love receiving your emails and I especially enjoy reading and responding to comments!

I thought it would be fun (and informative) if I addressed some of the most popular runner questions I receive by email since some of you may be out there wondering the same things.

I picked three runner questions to start with today and figure I can do this every so often, as the questions come in, so feel free to ask me anything!

1. What time exactly do you run every morning?


My average morning run time is 7:30 am which is immediately after my son leaves for school.

For my long runs, which happen most often on Saturdays, I usually begin no later than 7:00 am. (My son is not home Saturday mornings).

In the summer, I sometimes start a little earlier since the sun is up and shining well before 7:00 am.

I never run in the dark. I always wait for daylight and usually stay inside of my community (off main roads) for most of my runs.

running path


2. Do you adjust what you eat when you run more/fewer miles?


This could be considered a complex question but it’s actually pretty simple:

The more miles I run, the more food I eat, especially in the morning.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and probably the one meal which sees the major increase in size when I run more miles.

oatmeal banana peanut butter

Pre-run and pre-race standard breakfast – oatmeal, banana, and peanut butter. The amounts of each component may vary though depending upon my appetite or if it’s a race/long run situation.

My average routine run is now six miles. Last year, it was more like four miles.

Without even checking old WIAW posts, I know for a fact that I am eating more (especially at breakfast) to make up for what I am burning through those extra miles.

I do not need to lose weight and the last thing I need is to lose my period.

It’s super important to remember to eat more, the more you are running, to keep your energy balanced and your body healthy.

Even if you are looking to lose weight, you still need to eat and eat enough for your workouts because not eating enough will only hinder the process and slowly hurt your body (lowered hormone levels, loss of period, slowed metabolism, high risk for injuries…)

If you forget to eat more, your body will remind you in the form of hunger.

You will be beyond ravenous at some point (and low on energy) if you aren’t fueling properly!

I always eat before I run and then again within the 30-60 minute window following a run, regardless of how many miles I covered.

It’s absolutely essential if you want to feel your best and recover your muscles.

oats in a jar

Post-run is just about always my favorite oatmeal, peanut butter, greek yogurt, and fruit.

I throw in extra of each ingredient when I run more than the average six miles OR if I am feeling super hungry.

Lately, I also add Skoop B Strong (protein powder) to the mix or use it in place of greek yogurt.

I never count calories. I find that just taking a bigger serving of whatever it is I would normally eat helps to balance the whole energy in/energy out the equation with very little thought involved.

And on days where I run less or don’t run at all, I do not eat less than average!

I am still hungry, my body still needs food and I like to think I am topping off my energy stores for the next day’s workout.

3. Which sneakers are you currently running in?


I love my Adidas Energy Boosts, I think I am on my fifth or sixth pair already!

adidas energy boosts

They are my favorite running shoes without a doubt but I do rotate them with the Hoka Cliftons.


I honestly feel blessed (how pathetic am I that I consider this a blessing but I do) to have found two great pairs of running shoes that I can rely on every morning.

The Energy Boosts are my main pair, my go-to race shoe/long run shoe and then have the Hokas come in as recovery run shoes.

I very rarely wear the same pair of running shoes two days in a row which has definitely extended the life of both pairs of sneakers.

What I do want to talk about, perhaps in another post, is which running shoes work best for the treadmill and why.

I do believe there is a difference and we need to talk about it!

If there is anything at all that you wish to ask me or if there is a topic you would love covered or addressed more in detail, please please let me know!

[bctt tweet=”Reader Questions Answered! #running #runningshoes #Adidas #Hokaoneone #oatmeal”]


Do you run at the same time every day?

Do you adjust what you eat when you run more miles?

Are you currently rotating your sneakers? Which do you wear the most?

Thinking Out Loud – Fears


I really like hiding under the covers sometimes.

hiding under covers

Sometimes it’s because I am tired after a long run, sometimes it’s because I need to get all cozy to watch television (at which point I fall asleep in less than three minutes without fail) and sometimes it’s because I am hiding from the things that scare me.


I live in fear that Adidas will completely revamp my Energy Boosts.


So far, all minor tweaks and changes made to the model have either been hardly noticeable or for the better but if a complete model change occurs and my feet no longer like them, the dreaded hunt for the right running shoe would have to start all over again.

I am afraid of peacocks.  

The thought of their feathers spreading out freaks me out a littleOkay, a lot.

Actually, I think most birds produce a borderline fear in me.

It’s not a crazy big fear that you need to come desensitize me by sticking a bird in my face to get me over it or anything but I do not like the look of them or their faces.

I read this article yesterday about turkeys chasing runners in California. I think I will now add being chased by a turkey to my fear list.

Growing up I lived in fear of a plane crashing into my house while I was in the shower.

I think I am still afraid of this happening but I can’t hear the planes flying when I take a shower in my house now so I don’t think about it too often.

I do not like the mail.

I go days (fine, weeks) without getting it.

My mailbox is not at my front door so the actual walk to retrieve stuff I may not want doesn’t interest me.

Like what’s in there? What’s waiting for me?

It all stems from my divorce you know.

The random attorney letters (which were more like stacks of paper they somehow stapled and I never understood how such large stacks were stapled together) that always had the delivery timing of Friday afternoons.

Combine that with thinking one day I would receive a letter written via cut-out magazine letters to form words and yeah, you get the idea.

Who needs mail anyway? I informed the companies who wish to send me a bill that I have gone paperless.

The sad thing is, sometimes I actually get nice catalogs and checks. Even sadder, I sometimes miss RSVP dates to parties. Oops.

I am afraid of running out of peanut butter.

Thankfully the peanut butter delivery is always brought right to my door.

peanut butter

These six haven’t even made it to the pantry shelves yet. Still safe in their box. Do you know about the peanut butter in my pantry?

peanut butter


I am afraid of private callers on the phone.

I don’t accept them. If you can’t show me your number then I have no reason to speak with you.


I am afraid to register for a race too far in advance.

This is a pretty new fear, established in April 2014 when I had to drop out during the Fitness Magazine half because I was dizzy and didn’t feel well.

After finding out within minutes why I didn’t feel well (hello time of the month) and knowing that dizziness (and actually fainting) during this time has been a history of mine, I made that decision to never run a race at this point on my calendar again.

If I am going to run a race, I want to give my best effort which cannot be done every day of the month in my case for health reasons.

Half marathons I can sign up for at the last-minute or even plan a month or two ahead  but what if I wanted to plan further ahead?

What if I want to run a marathon one day?  As regular as I am, I am human and things change so mapping it out months in advance is no guarantee.

I thought I was afraid of running out of apples but suddenly I am down to ONE.

How did I let that happen?


What are your fears? Are they bizarre like mine?


Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!





Runner’s World Hat Trick Recap


The winner of the #NYTough P & G Product Giveaway is Amy Laforte!

Congrats Amy and thank you to everyone for entering!

Recap time!

Runner's World Hat Trick

As tired as I was Saturday night after running the 5k and 10k, I made it a point to take out my computer and start jotting down some thoughts from the day, knowing that if I didn’t, I would totally forget some of the key moments I wanted to remember and share with you.

It’s hard enough sometimes to remember all of your thoughts and experiences that occur during one race; try remembering the details from three races that all happen within 24 hours.

topic tuesday running

Before I discuss the races in brief detail….

The access to REAL BATHROOMS at the start of all three races was just an amazing feature.

I did not use one Porta Potty the entire weekend!  

Not only did we have plenty of access to real bathrooms with little to no lines, we had the opportunity to wait indoors before the races began which helped keep us warm and comfortable.


In the Arts Quest building, there was even the opportunity to buy food like bagels, muffins, coffee and other stuff.

Arts Quest

I know I saw Porta Potties scattered throughout the half marathon route but thankfully I did not need one. There were also plenty of water stops with Powerade too (which I didn’t take), some gels available on the half marathon course as well as Twizzlers at some point.

Okay, on to the races….

The 5K:

Was I nervous? Yes and no.

I had to remind myself over and over and over again that this was the first of three races and although I usually start off as if I was shot out from some cannon, I could not do that if I wanted to successfully make it through the weekend.

In my head I kept repeating pressure off but we all know that a start line will still produce that race day feeling.


I am pretty sure I put myself in the 8 minute mile section of the corral rather than in the 7’s.

picky runner

We can ask Sarah if she remembers which pace area we were in because she was right in front of me!

I had a slight side stitch during the first mile which worked itself out by mile two.

Even with the side stitch, I felt as though I had more to give, that I should be pushing and speeding the heck up but I kept forcing myself to hold back in order to conserve.

And this race was over before I knew it.

I know there was a hill somewhere but I honestly don’t remember much.

Runner's World 5k

I didn’t shut MapMyRun immediately and it was off slightly from the official timing but you get the idea.

Finish time: 24:24

Not bad, right? I think this was only slightly over a minute from my last 5k finish time.

I definitely picked up the pace when I saw the finish line on the horizon because as much as you tell yourself this isn’t your typical race because you have a 10k to run in an hour and a half marathon the next day, it is impossible to see a finish line and not run as though you are in a race.

A race atmosphere will always bring out the race runner in you, regardless of how much you try to run easy.

The In-Between Wait:

This got a little tricky.

waiting by the steel stacks

Just hanging around the Steel Stacks waiting for the 10K. There was an indoor area with nice, clean bathrooms too!

I had a little over an hour to spare before the 10k started and my fear in advance was getting cold while I waited.

I always get cold after running so I planned my outfit early that morning for both races accordingly:

*Nike running skirt

*Lululemon Race Your Pace Half Zip with just a sports bra underneath

*Pro Compression Socks – new pair from the expo

pro compression

If you run and do not own Pro Compression socks, please do yourself a favor and order a pair. No need to thank me.

I chose the Race Your Pace Half Zip specifically for these races because I knew it would keep me warm yet not let me overheat and the cuff-over feature for the hands would be perfect while waiting around.

Not to mention, it also has a perfectly sized zippered pocket to hold a packet of peanut butter.

banana and peanut butter

I had a bottle of water and a few jelly beans right after finishing the 5k and then a little while later I had a banana with some peanut butter.

I am so smart, right?

I mean, I knew a banana would not be enough to get through the 10K which started at 9:30 am.

I had eaten breakfast at 5:00 am and I get super hungry every few hours, especially when running is involved.

I needed something besides carbs to satisfy me so a drop of peanut butter on each bite of banana was perfect.

During the downtime, I began getting sleepy and then nervous that I wouldn’t be able to run the race.

No, I don’t mean that. I was getting nervous that I would feel tired or burned out once I started running again.


I think when we finally lined up for the 10K start I put myself back by the 9:00 minute mile sign.

10k start

I kept forcing myself to take that first mile really easy and slow, telling myself to run like it’s my usual morning run through my neighborhood.

I kept saying, just la-de-da yourself like you usually do and ignore everyone else around you.

Forget that it’s a race. Remember that you just ran a 5k and remember that you have a half marathon to run in less than 24 hours.

It worked!

The miles were flying by. I was enjoying myself. It was nice to be running rather than pushing/working. Does that make sense?

I tried to ignore the time clocks because seeing my pace for the first mile of over 9:00 min/mile was weird for a race but I forced my brain to reroute the thought process and let it go.

Runner's World 10k

Once again, slightly off but you get the idea.

The hills weren’t bad. They were gradual and nothing crazy.

Before I knew it, we were at the six-mile mark and yes, it’s that last .2 that gets you.

I was pushing at this point because hello, how do you not when you see the big FINISH?.

Finish time: 53:44

5k and 10k medals

At the conclusion of the 10k, I took my medal for the 5k too.

The Half Marathon:

Of course I remember the most details from this race since it was the last in the series as well as the longest distance.

It was windy and colder (like in the 40’s I think at the start?)  so I threw together a slightly unplanned race outfit.

I knew I would wear the Run Inspire Crop II’s with Pro Compression calf sleeves underneath.

half marathon outfit

The fact that I keep sharing these early morning-my-hair-is-too-long-no-make-up-puffy-eyes-from-a-pillow-I -was-clearly-allergic-to-all -night is something I really need to think about or, hmm, not think about and just keep typing.

On top I made a last-minute decision to wear a short sleeve Run Swiftly with a completely random (and yellow) Gap half zip pullover thing which I bought on clearance at the end of last winter.

I can’t even tell you which style this Gap top is but I will say that it worked well for me. Comfortable, breathable, I wasn’t hot or cold and the thumb holes always make me happy.

The gray thing you see over the Gap pullover was my “throw away” thermal hoodie which I took off a couple of minutes prior to the start of the race.

The zipper broke on this hoodie like two years ago. I always save things like this on purpose to use for cold race day mornings since I won’t care about leaving it behind.

I  woke up with a crampy feeling in my right big toe.

I never had such a feeling before and I kept trying to stretch it out as well as hoping (praying) that it went away as I walked around prior to the start.

I kept having a pep talk with myself to remind my brain that PR times were not an option.

That under 1:45 was not happening today.

I had to keep telling myself that I just ran two races and this half was to be run as any other routine long run.

Pressure off.

I told myself to ignore the pacers with their signs if they bob up and down past me. Even if it is the 1:50, 1:55 and the 2:00.

It is mentally confusing to run a race and ignore the times you typically strive for (and strive against).

I did have a loose goal in my head of still finishing at two hours or under but didn’t hold myself to anything other than running where I felt comfortable and okay.

The energy by the way at the start of each race was terrific.

start of half marathon

The music was blasting and totally had everyone dancing.

Anyway, I think I started myself in the 8 minute/mile or maybe the 8:30 minute/mile section and felt great..until my toe was cramping a little bit more around mile two.

It was pretty uncomfortable but I wasn’t stopping. I figured it would loosen up and I really didn’t give it much of a choice.

I was to complete this hat trick even if it meant I had to slow down or walk.

Luckily my toe responded, loosened up and felt normal by mile three.

As for the rest of me, I felt terrific!  I was shocked by the pace I was holding and completely forgot I ran the two races the day before.


I even handled the hills pretty well.

They were gradually inclining on me but I didn’t mind because I knew I would appreciate the downhill that much more.

I knew the 1:50 pace man was behind me somewhere with his sign. At one point he scooched ahead of me during an uphill but I made my way past him during the downhill.

I was so happy during this race. The miles were flying by. I was running faster than I could have hoped for, honestly felt pretty awesome and was just proud to be able to run among the rest of the Runner’s World runners.

I think I fueled really well for these races (more on that tomorrow) and truly appreciated all of the miles I log each week, day in and day out.

It’s all of those random miles, the good ones along with the bad ones that prepare us for these races.

I could not have done this race without doing my routine long runs each weekend.

It’s all of those runs, as fast or as slow as I run them each time, that made my legs capable of handling all of this, including the hills.

Especially that hill somewhere around mile six. Yeah. That hill tried to get me. I thought it was over but it was one of those that just kept going.


But I did it. I made it.

I didn’t really want water but I grabbed sips every so often after mile five. I popped my jelly beans starting around mile six. Sometimes spitting them out, sometimes holding them until they dissolved and sometimes chewing them real fast.

I couldn’t even believe it when I made it to mile ten. It seemed to have gone so fast….but then somewhere around there it started getting to me.

Somewhere around there the 1:50 pace man bobbed next to me with his sign and said, “great job, stay strong”.

My response, “Um,  I don’t know about that. My goal has been to stay ahead of you!”

I let that go though.

Finish time: 1:50:17

It would have been nice to unexpectedly finish this race under 1:50 but I earned this 1:50:17 and words really cannot express how proud I am of it.

In fact, this 1:50:17 which was run on tired legs was even faster than my first half marathon, exactly two years ago to the day, at Hershey Park, where I finished in 1:53 and I believe 37 seconds on a course almost as hilly.

Have I had moments since finishing on Sunday where I tried to find the points in the race where I could have/should have gone a little faster in order to have come in under 1:50?

Of course I did, it’s the runner in me.


And one final though for today….

Thank you to my favorite Adidas Energy Boosts sneakers. You may have been the most boring-looking pair of running shoes seen throughout all three race courses, but you are indeed the best and I could not have done it without you.


With honorable mention to my just-about-burned-out pink pair of Boosts which played the role of understudy for the weekend.

See you tomorrow for What I Ate Wednesday over the weekend!


What’s the next race on your calendar?

What do you eat/carry with you during your long runs/races?

Tell me something random, this post took forever to write and I am out of thoughts!


Taboo Topic- Running Injuries

Are you superstitious? I am.

One of my superstitions is this fear of jinxing myself when it comes to discussing certain topics out loud.

You may have noticed that I shy away from a certain topic in particular….

Running Injuries


Ahhh!  I said it out loud! Time to knock on wood…

Aside from my random-out-of-nowhere-still-can’t-explain-how-or -why shoulder injury which occurred back in April 2013, I am able to run happy 99.9% of the time without any issues or discomfort to report.

And because I have no discomfort to report, I have no injuries to discuss. And because I have none to discuss, I live in fear of discussing that I have none to discuss.

From time to time I do receive emails from readers asking for advice regarding running injuries as well as tips on to how to stay injury free. They want to know what it is I do or don’t do to keep running without being sidelined.

At first thought, I haven’t a clue. I just do my thing.

But that’s not a great answer to help anyone so I gave it some more thought and decided it was time to face my fear of discussing the topic by approaching it with you this morning.

Just remember, I am no expert. Not even when it comes to myself. And really, do the experts truly know what will 100% work or not work every time?

How I Think I Run Injury Free

*The Right Running Shoes*

I know we have spoken a lot about finding the right running shoes for your feet and when to replace them but it is worth mentioning again.

When you are running in the right shoes for your feet, the world is a happier place.

Sometimes that nagging knee pain, odd hip feeling, shin splints, hamstring tightness and sore heels aren’t really injuries waiting to explode but discomfort caused by the wrong running shoes.

But yes, it is absolutely possible to end up with a true injury if you continue to run in the wrong model or a burned out pair of sneakers.

adidas energy boost

My feet on occasion may talk about needing a change of shoe scenery but at the end of the day, the Adidas Energy Boosts are their true love.

I am on my fourth pair and our time together has been just about seamless.

I used to experience pain on the tops of my feet after my runs which would linger into the next run as well as cause pain in other places because I would run a certain way to compensate for the discomfort.

I was always trying to readjust the laces to relieve the pressure or whatever the heck was going on but it never worked.

adidas energy boost

Once I switched to Adidas, the sock-like fit eliminated my top of foot pain for good. Not once since owning these shoes have I experienced that pain again.

 *I Don’t Push It*

Let’s start with pace:

I do use MapMyRun for every run and I have an idea of where my average/usual pace hangs out but I don’t force it upon myself and never really think about it much when I am finished.

I have weeks where I’m flying in the 8:00 min/mile range, days on the treadmill where I am in the 7:00 min/mile range and feel great dropping under 7:00 min/mile along with PLENTY of days where my best of abilities is averaging around 9:30 min/mile.

I do know for myself that if I clock in too often at a ten minute mile, my body is tired and shouldn’t be running. However, there are days where I feel like running at that pace so sometimes, it’s a judgment call that only you can make.

Sometimes I run knowing that I can push myself a bit more but I don’t even bother.

I am not seriously training for anything and if you asked me to run a half marathon this weekend, I know that I could easily do it and even consider a PR.

Would I like to run a half marathon just under 1:45 which would be a new PR for me? Sure. But I don’t run all of the time thinking about it.

While I do talk often about pushing yourself in terms of motivation to get out there, I don’t think it is smart to overpush your pace.

There’s a difference between running hard, running comfortably hard and overdoing it.

I try to avoid the overdoing it.

Let’s talk mileage:

There’s that 10% rule for a reason. Suddenly going from ten miles a week to thirty miles a week is a guaranteed way to get injured.

You should never increase your mileage more than 10% any given week.

I didn’t wake up running forty miles a week. I didn’t read someone’s blog, take note of their weekly mileage and strive to exceed it.

I slowly went from three miles a day to four miles a day to one day having six miles a day as a routine daily run.

My long run started at three miles. It slowly progressed over months, if not years, to where I am now.

Running too fast and running too many miles too quickly has been known to injure people and I don’t want to be one of those people. If that means I only run forty miles a week with an average pace in the nine minute mile range, I can certainly live with that.

*I Eat*

It’s no secret that I honor my sweet tooth and never deny a craving. However, I also pack my diet with the nutrient dense stuff that my muscles really enjoy for endurance and recovery.

I also make it a point to eat within 30-60 minutes following a run. This window is crucial.

oatmeal and yogurt in a jar

On the extremely random occasion that I miss this window, I feel the difference. I get a headache, my muscles are stiffer and my recovery later in the day and even into the next morning absolutely suffers.

Refueling with a mix of protein, complex carbs and fat is key to restoring your glycogen and blood sugar levels as well as giving your muscles what to work with in order to rebuild stronger for the next day.

You can certainly try to limit your carbs and caloric intake while simultaneously trying to build up your mileage and pace but I cannot see how doing all of that will give you much success, let alone keep you injury free for long.

Your muscles need fuel. Your body does lots of stuff on top of your running and survives on the food you give it.

And you need water. Are you drinking enough water? Add a glass to that answer.

*I Get My Period*

How many times do I need to say that a healthy menstrual cycle is a good sign of a healthy body?

Did you know that not having a regular menstrual cycle leaves you more susceptible to injuries, stress fractures and guess what else – osteoporosis.

Trust me. I understand that life seems easier when your calendar doesn’t run by a 28 day cycle but when your hormones aren’t circulating, rising, falling and giving you a need for tampons, your body is basically telling you things are not okay.

I have dealt with amenorrhea which we have talked about a lot already so I will just give one more point on the subject:

I didn’t need to stop exercising. I didn’t need to decrease my intensity or consider less mileage (not that I ran as much as now when I didn’t get a normal cycle but just go with this for a minute).

The problem came about because I was not giving my body the amount of energy (calories) it required to expend the amount of energy (exercise) I desired.

Even if you think you are fine and it doesn’t matter because you don’t want to have a baby right now, it’s not fine.

Just because you don’t see the effects of not having a regular cycle on the outside does not mean your insides aren’t screaming all out of whack about to snap or twist or fracture or sprain.

I got real lucky back in the day to not hurt myself. It’s not something I would want to toy with again.

I hate being so brutal about this topic but sometimes, until you read it in black and white, you don’t see the severity of the issue.

*Rest & Recover*

Not only do I make sure to lay down for a bit after a hard run, I always recover with my Pro Compression Calf Sleeves.

pro compression calf sleeves

Some products are just gimics and then some products really work. There’s a major difference in how my legs feel after recovering in my Pro Compression calf sleeves compared to the days before I started using them.

I also make sure to sleep a good seven to eight hours a night. Of course some nights are less but plenty are more.

*Ignorance Is Not Bliss*

Sometimes I am all for keeping my head in the sand but not when it comes to my running.

If I feel something…anything…a twinge, a tightness…the start of a soreness….I attempt to find the root of the issue.

Is it my shoe? Is it time for a new pair? Did I run too many days in a row? Did I sleep funny? Did I forget to eat a sweet potato? Do I need pineapple?

I can usually figure out the issue and nip it in the bud fairly quickly.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that I don’t push through pain or discomfort.

I know the difference in me when it’s simply a matter of loosening up and when it’s a matter of STOP.

Other random runner tidbits about me:

I don’t foam roll. Maybe I should but I don’t.

I do stretch but nothing crazy.

I do crosstrain but probably not enough.

Does Pure Barre help to keep my muscles working and injuries at bay? Maybe. I like to think so.

Protein bars are not a regular part of my diet; I like Skoop but don’t drink shakes and smoothies as my recovery meals.

I rarely eat pasta.

I don’t get sick often at all (knock on wood again!) but on the rare occasion that I do, if it’s more than a slight cold, I don’t push myself to run. If I don’t feel well, how the heck could I possibly run?!

I am not a big drinker. A glass or two of wine on occasion but it’s not on my regular menu.

I fuel with jelly beans or raisins during my long runs but truly wonder if they help or just taste nice.

Could it be genetics?

I don’t really know.

I mean, my dad was a runner. A three-time New York City Marathoner along with a crazy amount of random Long Island races and half marathons.

He also has terrible-horrendous-awful-need-to-be replaced knees and a runner’s toe (we still don’t know what that means but we let him say he has one) and did the absolute opposite of everything I have listed above.

I really don’t know if there is a tried and true way to stay injury free.

I think it’s more of a routine to follow for yourself. To know your limits. To know what is healthy and probably what’s not such a good idea. To not look to be some hero and not care so much about hitting a pace before you are capable or hitting it too often that you are overdoing it.

And then maybe walk around with a rabbit’s foot or a crystal in your pocket to bring you some extra luck.

If you ever have a question, please feel free to email me, I may not have the answer but I do love to ramble on and chat anyway!


Are you superstitious?

Favorite post-run recovery meal?

Do you do anything in particular to help prevent injuries?



Random Issues and Birthday Banana Crisp

I may have an insatiable sweet tooth but when it comes to the roasted vegetables from the Whole Foods food bar, I have zero will power.

whole foods food bar roasted vegetables

I was at Whole Foods over the weekend just to pick up wild-caught salmon to cook for my mother’s birthday dinner (she loves salmon, me not so much at all unless it is carefully hidden in sushi) and I just couldn’t resist making myself a small box of the roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli to eat as I walked to my car.

If you spot someone eating Brussels sprouts with a fork from a box as they walk, you might as well ask for their web address since it is clear they are a healthy living blogger.

Before we get to my mom’s birthday dinner highlights from last night, we have some important things to discuss first.

red mango

My parfait is in the above boring little cup because my local Red Mango had the nerve to tell me yesterday that they will no longer be carrying the clear, tall plastic parfait cup.

Like, what?!

How the heck can I make a proper parfait without a parfait cup?

It’s bad enough that the price of Red Mango yogurt these days exceeds the price of three slices of specialty pizza, more than a manicure and even more than a ginormous lunch-sized salad from The Cheesecake Factory but now they want me to layer my parfait hidden inside of a small cup?

If you are sitting there thinking I am a bit insane about my yogurt, try talking to me about running shoes and my feet.

I don’t sneaker shop much at all since I am hooked on the Adidas Energy Boosts and once I actually find the right shoe, I try to leave well enough alone BUT my feet are once again maybe possibly looking for a change of scenery.

Maybe. I don’t know.

running shoes

I was headed into Trader Joe’s which is next to Incredible Feets so I went in to browse.

The innocent employee asked if he could help me and I went on a long-winded tangent of what I might be looking for in a running shoe.

He just stood there with his mouth opened unsure what to say to me.

I assured him it was okay to think I was insane, I am a runner after all.

My insanity is often put to good use though when I need to throw together a birthday dinner.


Quite often I would skip straight to dessert if I could.

If you recall, my son and I made a delicious birthday dinner back in December for my father complete with a chocolate fudge cookie dough layer cake.

Last night’s dinner was just as tasty only we made a completely different menu for my mother’s birthday.

birthday dinner

Aside from making wild salmon, a simple chicken dish and a chickpea recipe I will share soon, the real stars of the show were the side dishes in my opinion.

I roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and diced apples with a drizzle of coconut oil, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.


I may not be ready to give up summer but I have no issue welcoming the fall flavors.


My fancy rice mix is actually just a microwave pouch of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley mixed with Tricolor Quinoa which cooks in no time.


They blend so nicely! Great texture too.

Normally when I cook a few servings of quinoa for the week, I cook it in plain water just so I can add it to whatever type of dish that I want.

Not that it needed anything for flavor but I added a spoonful of maple syrup to this quinoa and brown rice serving bowl and mixed it around just to enhance the fall feeling.

And look, I finally tried making my own onion rings!


Recipe not ready for sharing but I am really excited about how simple it was!

I know that birthdays normally call for a layer cake but I came across a recipe for a banana crisp and I just could not resist.

banana crisp

My mother really appreciates a dessert that I can make on the healthier side so I knew I had to make this banana crisp in place of a traditional cake.

The concept of this banana crisp is similar to an apple crisp only it is a layer of sliced bananas mixed with chocolate chips (I used mini Ghirardelli dark) then covered in yummy crumble topping.


I followed the recipe except I went lighter on the brown sugar, probably heavier on the chocolate chips and added a spoonful of Mighty Maple peanut butter just because life is always better when peanut butter is involved.


Oh yes.

My dad doesn’t like bananas (he would if he would stop being so picky and just try it) but since it wasn’t his birthday I just figured I would appease him with a cookie.


Sometimes my pinterest boards overwhelm me. I have a bazillion pins on my cookies board yet most of the time I just end up creating my own thing.

I made an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie using both semi-sweet chocolate chips and a chopped up chunk of a dark chocolate truffle bar from Trader Joe’s.

I feel my best in the kitchen when I don’t follow a recipe.

It’s feeling like fall outside today which the runner in me should appreciate yet instead is reminding me that the super cold days of winter running in layers is slowly approaching.



Don’t forget to enter the Stur Giveaway, winner to be announced Wednesday morning! 

Do you need to follow recipes or do you prefer to create your own?

Anyone currently running in the Brooks Glycerin 12’s? I tried them on, I own the 10’s but I just don’t know.

What healthy food do you have zero will power around?  

Yesterday’s Run & A Stur Giveaway!


If you are trying to build on your endurance and extend your runs, I am going to guess that one of your biggest struggles sometimes is getting through the first few miles.

Making it through those first three miles, loosening up, working out the kinks and finding your groove is key to going longer.

I often feel my best somewhere around mile five or six but sometimes getting to that point is half of the battle.

Yesterday was one of those days. My feet felt weird as if my socks were too thick even though they are the same socks I wear every single time.

My legs weren’t dead or heavy but my feet really felt interesting.

Was it really the socks? Was it the shoes? The laces? Was it the humidity? Was it in my head?

At mile four or so, I ran into my house to switch my sneakers from my beloved Energy Boosts to a pair of Brooks Glycerins that I have stashed in my closet.

I needed to do something to remedy the situation and this was what I came up with.


Please note that I didn’t even untie my sneakers. I never just slip them off but hello, I was kind of in the middle of the run and this was a rare rushing occurrence.

Switching your sneakers mid-run is an odd feeling, sort of like taking off your ice skates and then putting on shoes to walk around.

I ran a mile in the Brooks and decided I wasn’t happy so I went back home again to switch back to the Energy Boosts.

I felt much better at this point, don’t ask me why but it worked itself out… and it usually does, after you get through the first group of miles.

I didn’t quit the run because I don’t do that unless I have a real reason. Some runs take time to adjust, some runs are bleh compared to others but if you feel fine overall aside from your socks feeling weird, you figure out how to keep going.

So remember last week when I was raving about using Stur to flavor my water which I discovered at the Healthy Brand Showcase?


I’m so excited to give away One Stur Multipack!!!

(Multipack will include five flavors…..5 flavors = 100 drinks)

So what exactly is Stur?

Stur is the leading ALL-NATURAL liquid water enhancer made from only the best natural fruit and stevia extracts without containing any artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

Stur does NOT use artificial or chemical sweeteners commonly found in other water enhancers and bottled beverages, such as Sucralose, Aspartame, and Acesulfame Potassium.

And, which makes someone like me super happy, Stur does NOT use artificial or chemical flavors or colors such as Yellow Lake 5, Blue 1, Red 40, etc.

What you will get is a yummy taste and a boost of Vitamin C.

Did I mention it is wheat and gluten-free?


So where exactly does Stur get its flavor? I know I wondered.

At the Healthy Brand Showcase, I had the pleasure of speaking with the owner and inventor of Stur.

He told me all about how he came up with this product in order to provide his pregnant wife with a healthy flavoring for water so that she would drink enough to be hydrated.

Stur is naturally sweetened with NATURAL stevia leaf extract.

The stevia is gently steeped in warm water (hence the great taste), never with methanol! The sweet leaves of the stevia plant have been safely used as a sweetener in South America for centuries, and are recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the general population, including pregnant women and children. As always, please consult with your physician about taking any products in conjunction with your medications or allergies.

You can read more about Stur  and their flavors here.


I have never liked soda or carbonated beverages but sometimes plain water can get a little bit boring.

While I have enjoyed my Fruit Infusion pitcher, the price of fruit lately has prevented me from using it all of the time and squeezes of lemon can get old too.

I shy away from Crystal Light-type things because of what’s in it so having a product like Stur, free from the artificial stuff, has been a fun little treat and terrific way to keep me drinking.

I currently alternate between the Fruit Punch and Coconut Pineapple flavors but there are lots more varieties for the taste buds.


If you check out their website, you may see flavors for appetite control. I have not tried those nor do I believe much in things like that so I cannot vouch for them. But maybe they taste good?!

In my opinion, stayed hydrated controls your appetite. Sometimes we think we are hungry when in fact, we are thirsty. You would be very surprised to learn that getting enough water throughout the day is enough to curb the appetite in order to understand your hunger cues better which naturally leads you to eating less.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me which flavor you would like to try. Winner will be announced Wednesday morning!

Giveaway only open to US residents – sorry out-of-area friends, I do apologize.


I received free product at the Healthy Brand Showcase but was not compensated in any way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you ever switched your sneakers in the middle of your run?

At what point in your runs do you normally feel all warmed up and in a groove?

Do you add anything to your water to make it taste yummy?

Running Shoe Confusion


I walk really slow.

I didn’t realize how slow until fairly recently. Whenever I walk with other people, I am a few steps behind.

So what though, right? I mean, I run fast so I am allowed to walk slow. At least that’s how I explain it.

I hate walking. Ask me to run? No problem. Tell me I need to walk from the car through a shopping center or even worse, from my car with my beach belongings including a chair to the sand?

Forget it. I am tired just thinking about it.


Notice how far I am from the ocean? I couldn’t walk anymore.

Saturday turned out to be not much of a beach day but I was there after my long run anyway with one of my favorite friends.

Everyone, this is Dina. Dina, this is everyone…


I totally told her to wave to you and she respected the need for the photo even though she rarely reads the blog but how can we fault her, she is the friend with the last blackberry in America which means she is behind on things.

Now, since she is one of my favorite people, I gave her the opportunity to try Pure Barre for free on Friday.

For the rest of the summer, Fridays at Pure Barre are considered “Free Friend Friday” which allows me to bring a friend for a trial class.

I hadn’t planned on going to Pure Barre two days in a row but she wanted to go and I am sucker when it comes to free things and doing nice things for my friends.

I actually did really well in the class considering I had not only attended class both Tuesday and Thursday BUT had also run a few miles Friday morning before the class.

However, I wasn’t sore at all nor were any of my muscles tired or fatigued more than usual.

In fact, I swear to you that overall I feel better than ever; all stretched out, limber, loose and balanced.

Don’t ask me exactly what balanced means in the above sentence, it just seems to make sense to use the word but I don’t know why.

My issue right now though is my new running shoes which is exactly why I never talk or rave about a new pair of sneakers too soon.

adidas adistar boost

Similar to when you are dating someone new. You never jump to say things are all sunshine and unicorns. Of course it might seem that way but it takes some time to really see, you know?

Anyway, the first few runs  in the Adidas Adistar Boosts seemed lovely. Until Saturday’s long run.

I felt the bottoms of my big toes burning. Hot spots on the forefoot they seem to call it, at least that’s what my google searches produced when I tried to find others possibly having the same issues as me.

You know you are insane when you are spending your time reading running shoe forums.

It felt as though my calluses were all gone from the bottoms of my feet and I haven’t had a pedicure in two weeks which was well before I began testing out these sneakers.

feet in the sand

Ever try Essie’s Play Date? Love the purples.

I felt the burning on the bottoms of my toes I think from the beginning of the run but it was worse in the last few miles.

I wanted to stop. But I didn’t.

I realized my stopping was more mental than anything else. My toes were burning a bit, yes, but I knew I could finish out another twenty minutes.

I convert miles to minutes when a run starts to feel endless.

A little over two miles sounds like a lot until you say, “What’s another twenty minutes?”

Everything else felt fine so I just wouldn’t allow myself to stop and felt that for mental purposes, I needed to continue.

I thought of Janae who finished a marathon with burning feet (a side effect of so much pool running softening all of her calluses) and how her sister jumped into the race to run the last five miles in flip-flops to get her to the finish line.

If someone can run in flip-flops, I can certainly run in super fancy cushioned and foamed Adidas sneakers for two more miles.

I don’t really know what I will do now about the shoes. My feet were fine since taking them off and I am kind of afraid to put them back on.

I have a few more days to return them. I may try them again or pop back over to Runner’s Edge to tell them the problem to see what they think and if they can perhaps recommend a different shoe.

Or maybe I will go back to the Energy Boost which has been updated to the Boost 2.0 with a touch more support to the heel which I do need but I still think I need some more in the arch support.

I hate when this happens. I hate when I swear by a running shoe and then try to wear a different one, become unhappy and confuse myself.

This is why I never order anything different in my favorite restaurants.

Seriously, it’s bad enough when running shoes disappoint me, I am not about to have a meal upset me too.

cheesecake factory bbq ranch salad

I will never deviate from my favorite salad at The Cheesecake Factory.  Lots of onion strings Saturday night which made me happy since they really tie the entire salad together.

Sometimes I deviate on the chocolate cakes but no matter which one I choose I know I will be satisfied.

lindas fudge cake

Have you tried Linda’s Fudge Cake? You should. Just not when you go with me unless you are ordering your own slice.

So my plan this week is to take Pure Barre classes on Tuesday and Thursday but last night I decided I wanted to go this morning. I just love how I feel after the class, it’s really terrific.

I guess everyone else feels the same way I do since the only class time I can make this morning is full which means I have been added to the wait list.

That’s one thing about Pure Barre- you need to sign up in advance to secure your spot, especially if it is a popular class time.

I think I would have heard by now if there was an opening for me so maybe I will try the sneakers again instead.

Have a terrific Monday!


Are you a fast or slow walker?

What mental tricks do you use in order to get through tough or long runs?

Best thing you ate all weekend?







Running Too Many Days and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe


I am going to try to force myself NOT to run this morning. I can’t make any promises because I often do what I feel like doing rather than what I should, or really shouldn’t in this case, be doing.

I have woken up each day this week wanting nothing more than to run each morning (six days in a row now) when usually I cross train or take a rest day somewhere in between.

It’s all in the new shoes. I swear it. Blame them.

Yes, there is a downside to a fresh pair of running shoes.

I knew I needed a new pair of sneakers but since I have princess feet, sometimes I question how dire the situation really is.

adidas energy boost

Having now worn the new pink Adidas Energy Boost for ten days (and over sixty something miles), it has become clear to me that the yellow pair were more burned out than I even thought.

Over the last little while, I had been experiencing slight left hip pain throughout the day. Nothing major at all. I didn’t think about it or worry about it and just sometimes felt something. I noticed it randomly and attributed it more to an increase in mileage than anything else.

My heels, both my heels – they were an issue. Since it was both feet, I was confident nothing was seriously wrong but they were bothering me at the start of each run as well as walking after sitting (or sleeping) for extended periods of time.

Enter the new sneakers. No more aches and pains. In fact, I have been walking around with that overall feeling of having not run AT ALL.

You know what I mean, right? Even after a great run or workout, you somehow know you did something? Later in the day you are fatigued somehow? The next morning you have a general awareness that you ran ten miles the day before?

Feeling nothing can be a problem actually because one cannot run every single day. You just can’t.

And if you think you can, which subconsciously sometimes I do, out of nowhere the cumulative effect hits and you are burned out, tired, dead legged, overtrained and left severely injury prone, or, dare I say, actually injured.

Tomorrow is my long run so I really don’t need all of this catching up with me in the morning. I know it will catch up at some point. It always does.

I wish I wasn’t so stubborn.

runner ecard

Do as I say not as I do please.

The one place that I actually do feel sore lately is in my neck and upper back when I wake up because I need new pillows.

I kind of knew for a while that I needed new pillows but I have been putting it off because I would rather spend pillow money on frozen yogurt and running shoes.

Speaking of frozen yogurt, I won the battle of the ice cream man last night.

Not only do I have to compete with a musical truck riding around full of overly priced popsicles, my child feels that warm weather, extended daylight and no homework for the remainder of the school year means every evening should be out for dessert night.

I wasn’t spending the money when I knew I had a perfectly good carton of ice cream in my over-packed freezer.

I had to get creative really quick though last night because he was in one of those moods where everything I offered him was a terrible disgusting idea. As if.

graham cracker ice cream sandwich

Enter the graham cracker ice cream sandwich. Just place a big giant scoop of ice cream, frozen yogurt (or whatever frozen concoction you have in your freezer that you pass off as ice cream) on top of a graham cracker square, throw in some chocolate chips and close it up like a sandwich.

graham cracker ice cream sandwich

Go ahead and spread some peanut butter on those graham crackers too.

Voila. Graham cracker ice cream sandwich.

When I have cool whip (Trader Joe’s House Whip actually) in the house, I like to make cold smores in the summer which I know I posted about last year.

Here is a link to that recipe which is so super simple – all you need is cool whip, chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers.

I haven’t been food shopping all week (been living out of my freezer) but it is time to restock the kitchen and will now remember to add House Whip to my list.

The trick is to remember to bring the list with me.

Have a terrific summer weekend!


Are you a stubborn runner?

Favorite quick dessert recipe?

What’s one thing on your weekend agenda?



When To Replace Running Shoes And My Favorite Salad

I received a few questions yesterday regarding how to know when it’s time to replace your sneakers.

They say your running shoes should last you anywhere between 300 – 500 miles, with lighter-weight runners supposedly getting to the upper end of the recommendation.

I always laughed at this concept because as a pretty light-weight runner, I usually notice my shoes wearing out closer to the 300 mile mark. Princess feet, total princess feet.

On average, if you run let’s say 25 miles a week, you should be looking to replace your sneakers every three to four months.

But go by how you feel.

If you are suddenly experiencing random aches and pains, if your feet suddenly feel lack of support, the loss of cushioning and comfort, it may be time for a new pair of running shoes.

My feet are so sensitive that suddenly I will notice the fronts of my running shoes feeling a bit worn, that the cushioning is not there or lately in my last pair of Adidas, my heels just felt a lack of support and slight pain.

When these symptoms occur, I do a quick average mileage count since owning (and wearing) the running shoes and usually find myself somewhere between 300-350 miles.

The Adidas Energy Boost are known to give you more miles than other shoes which shockingly, was the case even for me.

I have been able to get more miles out of these sneakers but I am still on my third pair since November. ecard

Running in worn out sneakers can cause injury. I don’t need that. And neither do you.

I know it can get pricey, especially since the more you run, the faster your shoes wear out but it’s worth it.

Your health, fitness and the mental stability you receive from working out is worth paying for. ecard

If you find a sneaker model you love, keep an eye out for the sales and then stock up. Only on rare occasion have I had an issue where the exact same shoe didn’t feel the same.

Regarding finding the right shoes for you, click here for a previous post on the topic. This post also includes some good running tips which we discussed a few months ago. Sometimes even I benefit from rereading my own posts.

Moving on….

cheesecake factory salad

Yes, I had my salad once again last night. And look, the universe heard my craving for corn this week and blessed me with a big portion.

I had to take my son shopping for a suit yesterday afternoon which was the opposite of fun. I knew it wouldn’t be fun so I purposely planned our shopping to take place in the vicinity of The Cheesecake Factory.

I know we shouldn’t eat our emotions but knowing I would have my salad topped with onion rings once we were done shopping was motivation to stay smiling as we tortured some store employees looking for the suit.

Can’t begin to tell you about the experience. Let’s just say that the store employee was taking my son’s measurements and he was busy texting around the measuring tape. I was mortified and grabbed the phone but he was texting a girl and I try to be cool and understanding but oh the embarrassment.

I love that today is Friday. Tonight I will be having dinner with two of my friends from high school.

I was informed last night that our plan is to meet at The Cheesecake Factory.

Good thing I always say I could eat this salad every day for the rest of my life.

Before I go get my day moving, I must share one more ecard with you this morning: ecard

This would be me. You want me to run? No problem. Fold the laundry? I just can’t today, no energy to do it.

Have a great weekend!


How often do you replace your running shoes?

What restaurant could you dine at every day and never get tired of it?

What do you hate more – folding the laundry or emptying the dishwasher?      

Thinking Out Loud – Did I Tell You…


I talk and text with so many people in a day and I consider my blog writing a form of communication as well therefore I often forget who I tell what and in what form I tell it.


Did I tell you…

That Lulu Lemon has an in-house tailor? You can even have your work-out tops shortened if you find that they are too long. I didn’t know this so if you did and didn’t tell me, that isn’t very nice.

I decided yesterday that walking into Lulu Lemon is like being in Disney World and walking into the Disney gift shops. You are immediately brain washed into thinking you need everything when in reality, you just don’t.

I don’t need this bag just like you don’t need the Minnie Mouse beach cover up with matching sandals to coordinate with the Disney dish towel set which pairs nicely with the Mickey kitchen utensils.

Ugh but the bag is cute and functional and water proof and did I mention cute.

Did I tell you that asking a girl out in the fifth grade and her saying yes really just means your instagram profile will now include your “girlfriend’s” name with a heart next to it? Welcome to the social media generation.

I decided it’s not fair that kids today have their own cell phones and never need to stress over calling a boy’s house and having the mother answer where you choke and hang up due to fear and embarrassment.

Did I tell you that I got a new pair of running shoes?


Clearly I have a color theme which is so not done on purpose.

I burned through my latest pair of yellow Adidas Energy Boosts fairly quickly but that’s what happens when you run a lot of miles each week, especially when those miles are taking place outdoors.

I got lucky that the Energy Boosts were left in my size in dark pink this time around.

As I said in Tuesday’s post, proper running shoes are crucial. You can’t wear poor fitting sneakers and you certainly cannot run in worn out, too-many-miles-on-the-soles sneakers and expect to run happy.

Sometimes your knees hurt, hips ache, calves burn, heel hurts, hamstrings pull to the point where you think you are injured or just not made for running when in reality, nothing is wrong other than you trying to run in the wrong pair of sneakers.

Did I tell you that I am contemplating giving away my pink jean shorts?

I am not ready to graduate to mom shorts but I decided the pink ones are the shortest and maybe need to be retired to someone who can wear them age appropriately.

My friend’s daughter would like them. She is nine. Makes sense.

Did I tell you that I am currently obsessed with corn and recipes that contain corn? It started last week when I kept eating my favorite salad.

Corn. I just want corn.

I spotted roasted corn on someone else’s table the other night at Rosa Mexicano and became sorry we ordered the roasted plantains as a side dish. Although those plantains were good. Like really good. I need to start buying plantains.

Here are the corn recipes I recently pinned and need to make:

Farmer’s Market Skillet

Sweet Corn and Quinoa

Black Bean And Sweet Corn Guacamole Dip

And while on the topic of recipes I need to make, now that I have an abundance of blueberries, I must make Davida’s Roasted Rosemary Brussels Sprouts with Blueberries.

It would help if I had Brussels sprouts in the house. Why can’t I ever have every ingredient that I need at the same time?

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Do you suddenly crave random foods for days on end?

Did you used to freak out calling a boy’s house (or a girl’s house) when you were a kid?

How do you usually tell you are due for a new pair of running shoes? I can usually feel the front  of the shoes are worn through and this time around, I had heel pain in both feet.





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