Kelly the Culinarian: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Food That Fuels My Long Runs

Today was my long run at seven miles. Alas, it did not go well. I couldn't get Pandora to play any music, despite trying everything I could think of. So I spent almost seven long, hot miles with just my little thoughts, which included: I should make spa appointments before Rachael's wedding, I'm starving, what should I eat after this, what should I make for dinner, what dessert should I make for my club meeting Thursday, I need to print off the attendance sheet for Thursday, I need to do laundry today to have something to wear Thursday, I AM HUNGRY NOW.

I don't usually fuel on my runs. I'm skeptical of all the GUs, sports beans, shots, chews, etc., so I've thus far just skipped it. I ate my standard banana with flax and almond butter on whole wheat for breakfast only an hour before, but was ready to run to McDonald's before I was even half way through this week's long run. This was a super long and slow run, so I passed quite a few establishments.When I headed back, I made myself an egg with two egg whites topped with salsa, along with watermelon and applesauce with cinnamon.
After showering, starting laundry and having a cup of coffee, I made myself a lunch of Fage with sliced strawberries, a little chopped walnuts and cereal. Along with that I had a peach. Not even an hour later, I was hungry again, so I decided to try a peppermint Luna bar sample that I got at yoga yesterday. It's 80 calories and 4 grams of protein, but I wasn't a fan of this flavor.Finally, for dinner I made grilled hot dogs with onions. I also added broccoli and leftovers from my mom's house: tuna casserole, baked beans and potato salad. I can tell you this, Napoleon loved the potato salad, since he took some right off my plate. Bad boy. The night ended with sweet potato chips and The Next Food Network Star. Have a wonderful Sunday evening!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guess what came in the mail today?

My race medal! At last week's Fitness for America 10K, I placed third in my age category. Because I didn't expect this, I didn't wait around for the award ceremony, so they had to send me my medal. And of course, I was super psyched when it arrived and proceeded to wear it around the house. I don't know what to do with my medal now, but it looks pretty sweet.

Also, the race photos have been posted. Even though I ran past at least three photographers, there's only one photo of me. I bought the download, just because it was $.99, but this picture isn't even worth printing. Oh well, I'll have my shiny, heavy medal to remind me about the victorious race.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Winning Wednesday!

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the Fort 2 Base Race free entry! The winner is:

Congratulations! You have until Sunday to e-mail me to get the details of claiming your prize. Contact me at kellymahoney26 {at} g m a i l com.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Training Tuesday

So here we are in week six of my training plan for the Fort2Base Race. It's exactly at the half way point. With just a few weeks to go, I can say confidently that I could complete the race today if I had to, but it will be a lot more pleasant with the six weeks I have left to prepare. Here are a few notes on the progress:

  • I took an extra rest day this week following the Fitness for America 10K. While this wasn't scheduled, I needed it after setting a new PR!

  • My new shoes are helping, but I'm still nursing a shin splint in my left leg.

  • I realize that I need to add some speed work or tempo runs into my running at some point, but I feel like distance is more important than speed. Maybe next time.

  • Today I tried rollerblading. I got my run out of the way this morning, then hit Busse Woods this evening to give it a try on my $2.99 rollerblades from Goodwill. It was way tougher than I thought I would be. I fell once, but didn't injury myself.
P.S. - If you haven't done it yet, you should enter my contest for a free entry into the Fort2Base Race!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Post-Race Victory Party: An Ice Cream Social

As I mentioned in my race review of the Fitness for America 10K, I spent the last two miles of the race thinking about ice cream. I imagined what I was going to eat and with what toppings. This is what kept me going and helped me push through because I knew there were four gallons of ice cream chilled in my freezer!
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would have a few people over for ice cream, because after that race, I was going to eat what I want. I don't eat like this after every long run, but I really pushed myself at this race, so I'm glad I had this planned in advanced.
I bought vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream and moose tracks ice cream. I then bought a ton of toppings and chopped them up: Oreo cookies, peanuts, gummie bears, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, M&Ms and cherries. I also kept butterscotch and chocolate topping warming in the crock pot, whipped cream and a strawberry syrup topping. I tried some frozen bananas too, but they weren't my finest moment.
Finally, I whipped up a drink station with lemonade, water, white wine and vodka ... because we like to party.
It was super delicious and a lot of fun. As for yesterday, there was a whole lot of icing and a little dog staring at me. It was glorious.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Race Report: Fitness for America 10K in Hoffman Estates

First off, this race report might be more generous and glowing than my other reports, because I achieved a personal record at this race - I ran a 10K in 55:12, which is an 8:54 pace. I was also third in my age group, which means I have a medal coming!

Anyhow, Tim and I signed up for the Fitness for America 10K a few weeks ago. This is in nearby Hoffman Estates at the AT&T complex. This race cost us around $79 for the both of us and we went to pick up our race packets the evening before. The packet pick up was quick and easy with a few vendors hanging around, but nothing I was really interested in. The packet included a bright green technical T-shirt that again I feel was too big despite being the smallest size, a water bottle and a few racing-related coupons. My pet peeve with water bottles are screw tops, because it means they're absolutely useless when engaging in physical activity, so this water bottle will be something I use at work or in the car.

This morning, we headed to the AT&T complex and arrived around 7 for a 7:30 a.m. start time. There was plenty of parking, but the start wasn't well marked. We hit the port-o-potties and there was a line, but it moved quickly. There was a significant storm the night before, which left the course wet and gravely. It was raining for the entire race and half an hour previous, so everyone was waiting in a tunnel until minutes before the gun.

We all lined up and looked for the Dick Pond pacers, which were a lifesaver. As soon as I located the 1:55 pacers (which was the time for the half marathon), I made it my goal to chase that guy to the bitter end. When the gun went off, I was super focused and stayed with the pacers. Around mile 3.5, I lapped the pacers when they stopped at the second of three water stations. They caught up to me in the next half mile, which was when I started to hit a wall. At the five mile, the 10K and half courses split, so I had to pace myself for the remaining 1.2 miles. It was tough and I dreamed of ice cream as I pushed myself to finish strong.

I finally crossed the finish and was so proud that I made the time I had targeted. My shoes were squishy and I was soaked and dirty from the rain. Tim and I wondered where the water was post finish as there weren't any volunteers at the finish line. We wandered to where we thought the post-race party was and stopped to get stretched out by a group of chiropractic interns. The woman that worked on my shin split immediately identified some areas for improvement and suggested a few stretches, as well as icing my shin, but no ice was available on site. We stopped and got a few samples of sports drinks, but there really wasn't any swag to be had. And the food/water was in a separate area than the vendors, so we had to ask another runner where she got her food. Also, it was set up weird in that we had to cross the 5K course to get to the food. There were bananas, cookies of different kinds, grapes, pretzels and crackers with peanut butter.

I would have liked more water, specifically, bottles of water, and the food and vendors in the same place. Also, more freebies would have been nice considering the cost of the entry. There weren't any clocks anywhere on the course, which would have been helpful. I can't say enough great things about the pacers, which helped me reach and awesome goal this morning.

Price: $40

Time: 55:25

Swag: Water bottle, technical T-shirt

Pros: Easy course, awesome pacers, plenty of parking

Cons: Strange post-race set up, not enough water, no on-course timing, not enough signage, no ice available post-race for icing sore spots

Would I race again: Maybe, if the layout after the race was changed

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New Shoes Edition!

I've been meaning to get myself new running shoes for months now. There was a Groupon a while back for $50 at Dick Pond Athletics for $25, which I've been holding onto for a while.

On my long run Sunday, it was very evident to me that the time had come for new shoes. I was starting to get matching shin splints in the exact same place on both legs and some faint hip pain.
So last night, I headed out to the Dick Pond in Carol Stream. I'd been meaning to get there anyways to drop off information about the Fort2Base Race. I definitely needed a GPS to find this place, despite being pretty close to the house, because it's in an inconspicuous industrial park. It's a tiny little store front, but it's packed floor to ceiling with everything running: clothes, fuel, shoes, hydration belts and socks.

After walking on their treadmill for a few minutes, the employee there noticed I slightly pronate, but not enough to justify getting a large shoe to correct it. She also wanted to know about my mileage level, training goals and any injuries or issues. She recommended several shoes and brought out three pairs for me to try one. One I immediately discarded, the other felt great out of the box and the third I wanted to try in a different size. I ended up taking home the second pair, Asics Lady Gel 1160, in raspberry, which was unfortunately the only color option.

And for those of you who go into a running store and assume you're going to pay a ridiculous mark up because of the quality of service you receive, let me point this out: Amazon's price for this pair is $92. Dick Pond's price was $85 before I used my groupon. I ended up paying a total of $66 with socks, which I had a got a certificate for in my last race goodie bag.

I celebrated the occasion by taking out my new shoes for a 3.5-mile run this morning. I'm still feeling a bit of shin pain, but not nearly as searing as what I felt two days ago. I'm super happy not only with the purchase, but with the service and price. The salesperson even told me that if I went for a brief run and didn't like the shoes, bring them right back.

P.S. - Have you entered my Fort2Base Race entry give away?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Win it Wednesday: Get A FREE Entry to the Fort2Base Race

Being an official ambassador of the Fort2Base Race has its perks, namely, that I get to give away a free entry!

The Fort2Base Race is a 3- or 10-nautical-mile race that's taking place Sept. 11. That's 3.45 or 11.5 regular miles. It starts at Fort Sheridan and ends at the Great Lakes Naval Base, the home of the United States' only naval bootcamp. This fall is the first race, which will be held on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
If you want to be part of this inaugural race for FREE, here's your chance.

All you have to do is leave me a comment answering this question:

Why do you want to run the first Fort2Base Race?

I'll use next Wednesday and publish the name of the winner. You'll have one week to contact me to get your free entry!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Training Tuesday

I'm in my fifth week of training and I started my day today with a green monster shake and a 3.3-mile run. I was supposed to make it to 3.5 miles, I had a side stitch and shin splints, so I threw in the towel a little short of my goal. I had to get up super early to finish up this run mostly because we're under a heat advisory and I wanted to get this out of the way before I would inevitably lose 10 pounds in water weight from my run. Still, it was sweaty. Here are some highlights from the last week of my Fort2Base training plan:
  • I have yet to miss a single training session. Yay for consistency!
  • I ran 23 miles in the past week. Thanks, Runkeeper, for saving my stats.
  • Instead of a two-mile run that's called on for Wednesday, my husband and I went to my favorite running spot and I did a slower, but consistent, 7.5-mile run.
  • I found a great tool for the general "strength" workout that's called for once a week. Sparkpeople has quite a few videos on YouTube that are full-length strength workouts for free. I did the ab workout and butt workout along with an improvised arm workout with great results in around a half an hour.
  • For cross training last week, I went to the lululemon Oak Brook store for their free run group and yoga. It was my fastest overall run last week at a pace of 8:57 for four miles and it totally rocked.
  • What wasn't fun was my Sunday night long run, which was scheduled at five miles. It was so hot that I waited until nearly 8 p.m. to leave the house. This meant it was dark before I got home and I had my slowest run in a long time. On the upside, I did have negative splits, since I started at 12 minutes and ended at 10:30 per mile.

Cooking with Kelly: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alton Brown, I heart you. Your food is amazing, your shows are inventive and your style is humorous. I was seriously heartbroken when he decided not to continue with Good Eats. I'm almost positive that I've watched every episode and enjoyed many of his recipes.

My favorite recipe so far has been AB's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It is amazing - moist, chewy, tender and chocolately. And I'm one who knows my cookies ... I didn't need to start losing weight because I enjoyed vegetables too much.

The only annoying thing about this recipe is that it requires bread flour. I already have whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour in my kitchen and didn't really want to buy another five-pound bag of something, but what Alton says goes, so I bought the damn bread flour. Worth it!
Make these cookies. Now. And give me two.

2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup white sugar

1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg white

2 Tablespoons milk

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 and 1/4 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix together everything up to the vanilla in a stand mixer on low with the paddle attachment until creamed together. Swift together the flour, salt and baking soda, then slowly add to the wet ingredients. Add the chips and mix to combine. I refrigerated the dough for an hour, then used a large scoop to dish out six cookies per cookie sheet and then baked for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Next time, I will only make one cookie sheet worth, because I ate like six cookies in two days as a result.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cooking with Kelly: Easy Mini Apple Pies

I've had an awesome and productive Saturday so far. I got up early and headed to lululemon Oak Brook for its weekly group run and yoga combination. It's amazing how motivating running with others is for me. I keep going past my usually quitting point because I don't want to slow other people down. We went just more than four miles with an average pace of 8:57, which has been my fastest run this week. We then headed in for an hour-long yoga session at the store. I left feeling sweaty and sore, but stretched out and accomplished.

Then, I gave this little guy a puppy bath. Napoleon hated it and probably hates me for it, but he looks like a pretty boy now. And he smells like apples instead of dog, so I'm happy, even if he isn't.

Next on the to do list was cleaning and caulking the bathroom and doing laundry. Man, home ownership is just so glamorous.

Finally, I whipped up some treats for later tonight. My dear friend Rachael is tying the knot and we're celebrating her bachelorette party tonight. I'm sure there will be lots of giggling, embibing and debauchery, but I'll never tell. As part of the celebration, we're surprising the bride with a comfort food buffet (don't worry, this is autopublishing after the festivities are underway. Thanks, blogger!).

For my contribution, I started with standard PB&J sandwiches using grown-up ingredients, including my absolute favorite peanut butter, Trader Joe's organic peanut butter, along with strawberry preserves on top of honey wheat bread, no crusts. My kitchen looked like I invited over an entire preschool for a snack.

In order to keep up my reputation, I made mini apple pies. My husband loved these things, so I think they'll go over well at the shin dig tonight. Here's the recipe for these individual apple pies:

2 cans of extra-large biscuits, eight biscuits per can

2 apples, peeled and diced

1/4 cup raisins, chopped

4 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

butter, as indicated

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease two muffin tins with a cooking spray and set aside. Mix the apples and raisins in a bowl, then sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Assemble these by flattening and rolling out the biscuits until they're about 1/4 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. Top with a small spoon full of filling, then add a sliver of butter on top of the filling before sealing the edges together in the same way you would a potsticker or wonton. My mini apple pies opened during cooking, but I kind of like that look. Place the packets in the muffin tins. If you haven't overfilled the pouches, they should sit comfortably in a regular muffin tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the filling begins bubbling at the top. Start checking the desserts around 12 minutes for doneness, as your oven may vary.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cooking with Kelly: Whole Wheat Pizza

When I was in Seattle, I had the most amazing airport food in my travels thus far. I stopped at a pizza and sandwich place and picked up a personal sized chicken pizza. It had a red sauce, grilled chicken, spinach and cheese. I don't know what it was about that thing that truly hit the spot, but I resolved to remake it at home, except with a whole wheat crust. This thing turned out so tasty that I'm adding it to my regular repertoire. The pizza from the airport is on the left and then my pizza is on the right. This crust recipe makes two pizzas:

1 and 1/2 cups warm water (it should feel like lukewarm bath water)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Place the water in the work bowl of a stand mixer, then mix in the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and allow it to sit until it begins to froth, which takes about five minutes.

Add the olive oil, then start adding the whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time while mixing using a paddle attachment on low. Add the salt in the middle of this process, then start adding all-purpose flour. Once all the flours are added into the mix, turn out the dough onto a floured surface. It will probably be a shaggy dough, so knead by hand until a smooth dough forms. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel, then allow to rise until doubled. If you let it sit at room temperature, this will take about an hour. I put mine in the fridge and waited until the next day.

Next, roll out and knead again, then divide into two pieces and from the dough into pizza shapes. Cover a pizza stone with cornmeal, then place the dough on top and cover with a damp towel for 45 minutes. Add toppings, then cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until the dough is crispy.

As for toppings, I grilled two chicken breasts earlier that afternoon and shredded them. For sauce, I drain a can of Italian diced tomatoes, then topped that with baby spinach, the chicken, provolone slices and shredded mozzarella. It rocked!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I'm not sure why, but running makes me super freckle-y. It might be because I'm exerting myself or because I'm in the sun, but I look like Annie or Pippy Longstocking at the end of a long run. In kindergarten, my classmate counted my freckles, but then got bored with it at 106.2. I'm loving the Runkeeper app. This thing rocks. It's uses GPS to track my running path, speed, distance and pace, then plots my splits and elevation changes of a graph for me to check out. Running data really motivates me, and this app is accurate.

3. Apparently, my Walmart has many mysteries I've yet to discover. Is this particular location concerned about patrons stealing the $6 champagne?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scenes from Seattle

Yes, this post is a photo dump. No, it's not because I'm a narcissist or lazy, but instead, I wanted to document and share my trip to Seattle. It was a great city filled with friendly people and amazing food, as my weight in today would tell you. I'm super pissed that I managed to gain five pounds in a week. Seriously, who does that? It's taken me months to lose that weight, so I hope I'm not back at square one. On a lighter note (you know, back last week when I was lighter) ....

On the first day, I ate at a place called Local Color in Pike Place Market. I had a caprese panini, and it was both delicious and reasonable (I think $7.50). Don't we look adorable at the market? My coworkers and I had a great time there checking out all the stalls, trying food and eating our way from one end to the other. Hmmm, maybe that's where the poundage came from ...

While in Pike Place Market, we made an obligatory stop at the first Starbucks. Surprisingly, this was difficult to find simply because of the sheer number of Starbucks locations in Seattle. On one of my Fort2Base training runs, I saw no less than six Starbucks shops in three miles, plus a ton of other retailers. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I bought my husband the Pike Place Blend, which is a coffee only available at the first Starbucks.

My favorite place in the market was The Confectional, a cheesecake shop that's been featured on the Travel Channel and is cheap and tasty. They offer cheesecake truffles for $1.75 in a variety of flavors. Over the course of the trip, I tried peanut butter, white chocolate Kahlua and mochaccino. They were all awesome and featured a thick chocolate exterior. It's a good thing I don't live in Seattle.
One of the best meals we had in Seattle was at Taphouse, by far. They offer custom flights of beer for $10.95, and I went with one of their premade local brew flights. So tasty! I also had an awesome hummus plate that came with tapenade and a roasted tomato salad topped with gorgonzola. I'll be replicating that one at home. I also had a turkey club that was toasted to perfection with some delicious fries. This place also had a cute feel, great ambiance and the best service I received on my trip, hands down. Oh Seattle, how I love thee.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Food Find: The Treasures of Pike Place Market

I love traveling. It gives me a chance to see new things, try new flavors and get away for a while. Alas, I am in Seattle for business, but I still have had a chance to see some great things.
I'm staying in downtown Seattle, which totally rocks. This city is very walkable with everything you could possibly need just a short stroll away. Pike Place Market is an awesome tourist destination that melds together a farmer's market with a fish monger, craft fair and bake sale. You can taste organic raw honey, see fish being thrown, buy handmade jewelry and enjoy amazingly delicious cheesecake, which deserves and will receive its own post pretty soon.

I was amazed at the produce that I've never seen before. I saw elephant garlic that was the size of an apple, golden raspberries that glowed like peaches, petite grapes no larger than a thumb tack and fish the size of my dog (not an exaggeration at all).

But, the market is exhausting. By the end of my tour around the place, I could really relate to this guy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stunning Seattle

Hey party people, I hope you had an awesome Fourth of July! The past two years, I haven't had a chance to celebrate because I've been working. No worries, because this year, I'm in Seattle and it rocks. Contrary to all the movies, urban legends and stereotypes, it is not perpetually drizzling here. In fact, it has yet to rain since I arrived Sunday and rain is not in the forecast for the next week. Instead, I'm loving the mild weather of 70s and sunny every day. It's down right perfect. You know what else is perfect? The dinner I had last night at the Mexican Cantina.
Admittedly, I'm a bit addicted to Mexican food. My coworker and I wanted to eat outside because the weather is so perfect and we spotted this patio seating while we were eating at a less fabulous, completely not worth mentioning establishment the night before.

We made reservations, thinking it would be busy, but the restaurant was a ghost town, save for the balcony seating, which we had to wait for. I also tried to order a beer that the waiter said was pouring strange, so he brought me a Mac and Jacks beer instead and it was divine. Seattle, you've got some good brews.

We started with the El Trio Platter, which included mango salsa, guacamole, ceviche and grilled provolone on top of a fried eggplant disk covered in garlic and spices. This thing totally rocked. The provolone was deliciously seasoned and the textures of the melty cheese, chewy garlic and crispy eggplant were awesome. I enjoyed the ceviche a lot too because of the texture with both shrimp and white fish marinated in a bold blend of citrus and cilantro. We also split chicken tacos and topped off the meal with churros, which were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. A seriously divine meal.

To make up for all that indulging, I hit the streets this morning and ran from my hotel to the Seattle Space Needle. There were quite a few homeless people along the route, but in all, I was never concerned for my safety. I've also realized it's a lot easier to run when it isn't a million degrees. I kept an easy 9:30 pace for more than three miles without feeling like I was going to die.
I heart Seattle.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Runner on the Road

This morning, I'm making my way to Seattle. I'm really excited because it's a city I've never been to that I hear has both awesome food and plenty of opportunities to be active outdoors. A combination for greatness, in my opinion.

To make sure I stay active on this trip and also ensure that I don't have to eat crappy buffet breakfasts or packaged doughnuts, I've planned ahead. Besides the standard work clothes and supplies for my event, here's what's in my bag:

These healthy oatmeal breakfast bites started as a recipe for oatmeal cookies. When it was abundantly clear to me that they were nothing like cookies, I rebranded these as a breakfast food and decided they totally rock. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup raisins

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk the remaining wet ingredients together until incorporated, then combine with the wet ingredients. Chill for at least a half an hour.

Using a large metal scoop, portion onto a cookie sheet or into a muffin tin. Using my scoop, this recipe makes 11 portions.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 18 minutes or until the tops are golden. With this recipe, the bites don't really spread out when baking, so you'll end up with a three-bite breakfast that's perfect with a piece of fruit or a yogurt, which I plan to purchase when I get to the Emerald City.

As for my carry on, I've stashed enough reading material for two round trips to Seattle. I've packed away several issues of Bon Appetite, Fitness, Competitor and Shape. I also have a water bottle so I don't end up forking over $4 for a drink at the airport. They get you good there for everything, so hopefully I can avoid all the fees until I get to Seattle. Blog you soon!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Change of Plans

Tomorrow, I leave for Seattle for a business trip. This required me to switch up my Fort2Base Race training a bit. Normally, I rest on Friday and do a long run on Sunday. This week, I did my cross-training Friday with an Insanity DVD. I wish I had a heart rate monitor, because I wouldn't be surprised to learn I torched 500 calories in the 40 minutes of the Pure Cardio tape.

As for today, I learned another important life lesson: don't wear make up while running. It's vain and stupid, and you end up with shirts that look like this after you've wiped your sweaty little face on it. This was the result of the free running group and yoga offered at lululemon Oak Brook. I've never ran with anyone other than my husband, and this was a great experience. The lululemon employee has an established route and you can decide how far and how fast you want to run. At this location, most of the ladies take it a little slower than myself, so the group leader ran with me for three miles. It was super tough because it's about the temperature of the surface of the sun here today and not a cloud in the sky. Fun. Anyhow, it took us around 29 minutes and I was sweating in a very unladylike fashion. I didn't use an app to pace myself, but I figured if I could still talk, I was doing OK.

After that very sweaty run, I headed back to the store for a yoga class. It felt really good after the run to stretch out and concentrate on my breathing, but I was itching for a shower. Three cheers for cross training that just happens to be free, my favorite price point.

To refuel back at home, I went with an apple with almond butter for some carbs and protein and rounded it out with pickles and watered-down orange juice to help replace some of the electrolytes I lost during my massive sweat session.

By the way, did you know that Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical is giving away an Allied Medal Display? I have yet to pick up some race bling, unlike my very speedy husband, but I'm looking forward to claiming my first medal at the Fort2Base Race. I'm planning on picking up something like this medal display to motivate me to fill it up with finisher's medals!