#THSGetsFaster Week 8

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Jul 272015

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk as as part of my participation in the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week eight.

Monday July 20 – Sunday July 26
Total Miles Planned: “put on my shoes and run some miles, at least once before the weekend and at least once during the weekend.” – #THSGetsFaster Week 7
Total Miles Ran: 3.3 ran // 3 walked // and I made my goal of running once before the weekend and once during the weekend, too.


Favorite Run: Sunday I did a half mile walk for both my warm up and cool down, with 2.3 miles of wogging intervals. I kept with 5 minutes jogging to 2 minutes walking and ran each interval as prescribed.  It was hot and sticky, and I got sweaty in about 37 seconds of running, but there was a slight breeze as I ran that definitely helped the experience.

Least Favorite Run: Thursday night I walked two miles and then REALLY had to talk myself into running one, too.  I just ran steady to get it over with and when it was done, I was DONE.  Some times when I set out just for one mile, I end up finding my groove and running a few before calling it quits.  But other days you just aren’t having it, ya know? Thursday I wasn’t haven’t it.

Other Workouts: Post run stretching on Sunday and a few walks around the neighborhood, but only one on Thursday was fitness-focused.

Listening Notes: I have a long backlog of all my favorite podcasts after having house guests this month.  I was catching up on Extra Hot Great and Pop Culture Happy Hour while I ran last week.

easy as breeze

Fueling Notes:  It’s no secret I love fall running, but running in the summer heat has become a much more manageable habit now that I’ve found some things that work well for me. One thing that helps me on my quest to cool down is my post-run smoothie.  It’s key for me to keep these SIMPLE and the recipe below totally fits in the “Easy as Breeze” celebration Almond Breeze is hosting this month.

After talking with Melissa about whey protein powder during our Protein Partners podcast episodes [you can find them here if you’re looking: #1, #2, & #3] I finally purchased a few small packets I found at CVS when looking for something to get for Nick’s Mom, Kathleen, to use in her daily breakfast smoothies while she was visiting.  I was pleased to see that my local CVS had four flavors in individual serving packets – chocolate, vanilla, cookies & cream, and strawberry.

I only use half a packet of the powder in this smoothie, because paired with the protein in the Chobani, I hit my goal of 26-30 grams without needing to use the entire packet.  I also like to add a Stok Espresso shot if it’s a weekend smoothie and morning run, as I prepare to kick-butt on my To-Do List.

Post-Run Pre-Productivity Smoothie


  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 6 ounces Greek yogurt of choice [I used Chobani 0% vanilla with these]
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1/2 serving of chocolate whey protein powder
  • Chocolate Almond Breeze


  • Break frozen banana in 4-5 pieces and place in single serve blender cup.
  • Add yogurt, espresso, and protein powder.
  • Add Almond Breeze to fill line.
  • Blend until combined. 
  • Optional re-blend: I find that once everything is blended I can add a bit more liquid and re-blend for a thinner, smoother consistency. 


#THSGetsFaster Reflections: I did get around to writing out a #THSGetsFaster Phase 2 training plan for the next eight weeks. The truth is, I know I do better when I have a plan laid out with the intention of “crossing off” each run as I conquer it. 

I’m keeping things pretty low-key with week one, looking at 9 miles total spread through four runs.  I’m sticking to the 1 long run, 1 race-specific speed training run, and 2 “easy” runs each week.  I definitely want to add strength and yoga, too, but know that piling on too many goals can totally sabotage my motivation. 

Loving Lately

 Posted by at 6:00 am  review
Jul 242015

“This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds as part of my participation in the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Lately I’ve been loving my own version of summer adventure.  Let’ call it an anti-adventure…lazy summer evenings on the back porch!  I’ve needed a break from the EXCITEMENT of unexpected “adventures” these days and am fully embracing the slow-down and sit-back attitude this month.

When Megan came to Scotia for part of her summer vacation, I took the opportunity to stay-cation all weekend long.  Long talks about the future, catching up on the present, and laughing as we shared stories about the past, it was my favorite kind of relaxation with one of my very best friends.  We took a lot of time on the back porch, both just the two of us and with other friends, too. 


Megan’s first night in town my friend Tia joined us as we started the celebration with local butter smeared upon bakery rolls and some tastemaker freebie goodness: Blue Diamond Almonds in two of my most favorite seasonings they offer – Roasted Salted and Low Sodium Lightly Salted.  It was the perfect low-key and casual snack for our low-key and casual summer weekend kick-off. [I keep a can of the Low Sodium Lightly Salted in my office desk drawer at all times for mid-work day snacking. My serious-favorite for keeping hunger, and mid-day sugar cravings, at bay.


Lately I’ve been loving spending time with the cats.  Benson spent a week in emergency treatment earlier this summer [speaking of unexpected adventures…]  I really thought we were going to have to put him down at least four times during a two week period of time and am so thrilled about the progress he’s made since first returning from the hospital.  [The bottom photo of him is very recent, which shows him looking like himself again!]  When Benson first came home Trouble seemed a bit ticked to not be flying solo anymore, but after a couple of weeks things seem to have returned to normal.


Lately I’ve been loving simple, inexpensive Starbucks indulgences.  It had been quite a while since my last trip to Starbucks when we decided to stop in during a day of running work errands in Albany a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to gift cards located in my wallet, we treated ourselves to summery Frappuchino flavors and when I saw the above pictured Frappuchino Sugar Cookie, I couldn’t resist the cuteness in pairing it with my beverage.  It was perfectly sweet, and the chocolate icing was a nice addition to a traditional sugar cookie with vanilla frosting. 

After the great in-store experience, when I found Starbucks Iced Coffee bottles on sale buy one get one free AND happened to have a coupon for the same product, I pulled out some quarters and got 2 bottles for 50 cents total!  WINNING! I got one bottle each of the vanilla and caramel; both were sweet and smooth.  I definitely want to try the unflavored version of bottled iced coffee, too.  I think I would prefer a bit less sweetness in my coffee and removing the flavor may give me just that.


Lately I’ve been loving to take the time to document the time I spend with this guy.  Recently we noted that we don’t have very many photos – selfies or those taken by friends – of ourselves together and I’ve been trying to take a few seconds to stop what we’re doing in our normal day-to-day lives and capture the moment every so often.  Nick and I recently passed our four year anniversary and it’s really fun to create a collection of memories of how we’re living our life these days.

Lately I’ve been loving this Pilot Elite commerical. Every time it comes on the screen while I’m watching Hulu+, I’m all smiles. And maybe I take it as an opportunity for a bit of a sing-a-long, too.