Sick day!

I could feel the cold creeping up all week. My sore throat started right before christmas, then disappeared that weekend, only to return the following monday. I downed clementines, vitamin C cough drops & green tea like crazy. I contemplated asking my boss if I could just take today off to avoid getting too sick, but with staffing, I knew he'd say no. I tried to tough it out.....

Then last night, the stuffy nose hit too. All the Nyquil & afrin in the world couldn't de-clog me. I ended up buying a Neti-pot. wicked gross. It seems to have cleared me a little, we'll see. Last night Kevin came home from snowboarding with a hurt back. I tried some adjustments on him, but he was in spasm pretty bad, so I suggested a trip to the urgent care center for some muscle relaxers. By the time we left there, I dropped off the prescription, tucked him into my bed, went to pick up the prescription, came home to drug him up, it was almost 10pm. That + a horrible night with a stuffy nose = I called out of work today.

So much for my scheduled run. I laid on the couch until 11:30 or so before deciding to shower. I baked a cake for Kevin's birthday (we're celebrating at our party tonight), took down the christmas tree, and did laundry. I ran a couple errands and picked up some booze for tonight. My cocktail of choice will be the neti-pot mimosas. Got to get in that extra vitamin C somehow!

Tonight we're heading to a friend's house for a small low-key party. Tomorrow we're having a chinese lunch with Kevin's family (brother, SIL & nephews are visiting from VA). My goal is a ride on the trainer tomorrow, and my 14 miler for sunday. wish me luck!

2010 review

2010 was a crazy year, with ups and downs. Good times and bad. I can honestly say I am looking forward to 2011 and all that I have planned. There were a lot of memories of 2010 I'd like to recap...

In January I traveled with my brother and friends to Disney!
I was running Half Marathon #3, and they all ran their first half marathons!

Christy, Amy, my brother & I at packet pick up!

The weather was awful, and my brother was hurting, but I stuck with him and we finished just barely under 3 hours.  We enjoyed the rest of the coldest winter Florida had experienced since the 70s with our friends celebrating our finishes!

I also took Kevin to his first Bruins game in January for his birthday 

In february, we went to see Stifler's mom do stand up for my friend Michelle's birthday

Near the end of the month, we had my friend Amy's bachelorette party!
I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and drank a lot to drown out
the country music at the bar!

In March she got married. I drank a ton of champagne and danced the night away with all of our Six Flags friends!

Me & roomie dancing it up!
In April I had my foot surgery! I had waited until after Disney to see the surgeon, then booked my date ASAP, April 19, 2010. I had little pain, and felt so happy to have the surgery over with. It was also probably due to the fact that I had almost 3 months off from work!

Can you see my foot bootie on the left foot?
I was depressed about not running, and dreaming about getting back to it. A week ad a half after surgery I was at the gym on the recumbant bike. Eventually I added a little weight lifting and elliptical. I began dreaming about my next race.

I had so much free time, I used the weight watcher boards more often (did I forget to mention I am a weight watcher?), and found out people had blogs. I wanted to have one too. I wanted to share my struggles and triumphs since I enjoyed reading about everyone else's. My first blog post HERE.

In May, I went to Fenway Park to watch my brother and friends run in the Run to Home base and helped them raise money for War vets. I was super jealous, but I made some fabulous signs and cheered them along!

At the end of May/beginning of June Kevin & I broke up. It was the toughest thing I've ever experienced & I was a wreck. I also had my first post-surgery "run". I made it 4.4-.0 mph for 10 minutes and smiled like a fool the whole time. 2 weeks later, Kevin & I got back on track and heading in the right direction. Life was getting better.

In July, I started looking for a fall 5K to get back into racing. I eventually decided to try a triathlon instead! The Danskin women's triathlon was in September. I figured since swimming & biking were low impact activities, then the 5K a the end wouldn't be too bad on my foot. I started cycling again, and swimming once my incision was healed. I was knee deep in training!

We sat on the Budweiser roof deck at Fenway for the first time in July too!

In August, one of my college girlfriends came to visit & watch the Red Sox beat the tigers!

The next day, Kevin & I left for Mexico!

I also got clipless pedal on my bike & learned how to ride with them

In september I completed not only my first post-surgery race, but my first ever Triathlon!!

I also started doing Blog giveaways, starting with Inspired Endurance!

In October, we went to the last home sox game of the season & got to walk on the field!

I ran the Hartford Marathon 5K & got a badass race shot! Redemption from the bad triathlon shots.

I also decided to do the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. I convinced my college roomate and a couple other friends to join me and started training.

Around the same time, I decided I wanted to do the Disney Princess Half & earn the tiara medal. I convinced 2 of my girlfriends to have a girls only trip to Disney after deciding it wasn't crazy to run 2 half marathons 2 weeks apart.

We hosted a fabulous Halloween party at my house and dressed as Ghost Busters

In November, I won myself a Garmin! I couldn't wait to use it with my training. I also had my 28th birthday, and PRd my 4.5 mile Turkey Trot with my fastest mile EVER!

In december, I PRd at the Jolly Jaunt 10K &  Hot Chocolate 5K in 1 weekend!

Me & Barbie at the 10k

Barbie, me, kevin & brother after the 5k

My knee started acting up, Christmas came, and went, and here we are! Kevin and I still had our ups & downs after getting back together. When trying to plan our wedding, we found our venue only had one date available for next year and his brother would be away at sea (in the navy), all summer/fall. Since I hate winter, we had to decide to put our wedding off until 2012, which was really tough to handle after being together for 6 years. Good news is, we decided that Kevin will move in after the holidays, and he is happy to have more time.

Thanks for reminiscing about my memories with me!
Next up are my 2011 goals!!

Zensah leg sleeves & giveaway!

A little while ago I was given the opportunity to try out some Zensah compression leg sleeves. From my previous review of CEP compression socks (review HERE), you know I'm a big believer in compression for athletics. I was on a quest to find out what made Zensah different.

What I learned about was the fabric that Zensah uses. 
  •  Zensah fabric contains silver and helps to regulate body temp and fight bacteria. Sounds good! Especially since bacteria loves to grow in sweaty warm environments. 
  • All of their products are seamless, which helps to eliminate rubbing & chafing. 
  • They use graduate compression & pinpoint compression to target areas that need the most support. That means, in the leg sleeves they target the calves and shin for support.
How hot are these pink ones?!
I used the black L/XL I received to review for recovery after my awful 12 miler for 3 days with my messed up shin. I was in serious discomfort, and I truly believe that these helped to reduce the painful spasm, decrease the swelling, and reduce the pain I was having. As you all know, I didn't run at all last week in between and was nervous to run again, fearing my calf or shin would tighten up, and my knee pain would return. I decided to wear my Zensah sleeves on sundays 10 miler. What you may remember is that I had absolutely no pain during or after that run. Only a little calf tightness, which worked its way out. Then I found this on their website.....

"For example, the Zensah Calf/Shin Leg Sleeve provides Dual Action Support to both the calf and shin, the two hotspots for pain in the lower leg. The Chevron Ribbing on the sleeve is the exact same taping schematic that athletic trainers use to help prevent shin splints, making the Calf/Shin Sleeve ideal for post-exercise recovery to prevent the onset of painful injuries such as shin splints. The big idea is the uniqueness of our seamless approach makes Zensah products one level above all other compression products in the market." I had previously had my coworker tape my leg, now the zensah sleeves were mimicking that same feeling. 

Rocking my Zensah for sunday's long run
What did I think? The fabric was incredibly soft, and they were easy to get on (much easier than my CEP socks). My only critique is that they don't feel as tight as my CEP socks, I wonder if I should have ordered the next size down, or if they are supposed to fit a little looser. I like the pin point compression technology, clearly that has helped with my recovery. I think they are a nice option opposed to a sock since you can wear them with a sandal for post race recovery. Although, with my history of foot trouble, I like the support a sock gives me for during a race. These sleeves have become my official recovery wear!

Want to know more about the science of compression? Check out this link on Zensah's website HERE to learn about the increased oxygenated blood flow to muscles, reduction of muscle fiber swelling, and more. They also have a whole sports medicine line HERE to speed recovery. I am seriously considering the knee sleeve & the 3/4 length capris.

Want to try a pair of leg sleeves for yourself & see the difference they can make?
You can even choose from one of the 12 colors they offer!

How to win
please leave a separate comment for each entry
1. mandatory - be or become a follower of my blog
2. Visit Zensah HERE and tell me what product you love
3. Be friends with Zensah on facebook HERE (let them know I sent you!)
4. Like Running to Health on facebook HERE
5. Add me to your blogroll
6. Post this to your blog, facebook, or twitter (1 for each)

You have until 1/11 to enter, good luck!

peanut butter and chocolate is a deadly combonation

I got my run in today. The eating, however, is a whole other story. I am still eating like garbage. peanut butter trees & snowflake peppermint patties, funfetti cake (although I did make it with egg whites). The run this morning was good, I cut the last interval a little short when I felt my IT band start to tighten up. My knee felt awesome the whole time. Tomorrow I am planning for a little elliptical and some lifting. I am also planning for a healthier day of eating. wish me luck. I feel like my stomach is chubby & fluffy again, gross. 

I started to think about all I have accomplished over the past year, and what I am looking forward to in 2011. I want to have a little more time to dedicate to that post, so look for it by friday.

Have you entered my Allied Steel giveaway yet? Check it out HERE

Be on the look out for another fabulous giveaway popping up soon....

and watch out for my next race announcement soon which is a fundraising race. I have a lot of awesome things in the works, and will share a little more shortly!

Ryders sunglasses winner!!

Recently I posted a review & giveaway on Ryders sunglasses HERE

The lucky winner was #9....

email me at sgrigely at hotmail dot com and I'll get you in touch with Scott @ Outside PR for your prize!

Thanks everyone for entering!

Don't you hate it when....

You leave the house only to go to one specific place and its closed.

Someone is walking away from a place (store, gym, place of business), sees you, and knows that you are going there too and DOESN'T BOTHER TO TELL YOU IT'S CLOSED!

This has happened to me before at the gym. There was a freak power outage, and they didn't open. I passed a woman who I thought was just leaving the gym, but was someone who just couldn't bother to open her mouth and tell me it was closed. Yesterday, I decided to brave the afternoon roads to head to UPS to ship out a few things. I get out my boxes, and am carrying an enormous piperlime box, a large amazon box & a small box with Rev Abs for amber. A woman carrying a box leaving UPS smiles at me, I assume she just picked up a package. I slosh through the snow with my huge boxes, only to see a sign on the door that they are closed due to weather. WTF!?! That woman reallllly couldn't let me know? So rude!!

No workout this morning. I'm still feeling sickish. Wicked sore throat, a lot of coughing. My throat feels raw. I downed about 20 vitamin C drops, and a cup full of robitussum. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow. My eating has been crap today. Candy, muffins, etc, YUCK! Tomorrow I will run and eat better, I swear. I need to! I'm drinking green tea with honey in attempt to soothe my throat & cleanse myself from all the junk I've put in my body today. Good night!

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins & a giveaway winner!

Today, I already had the day off. Since hospitals don't close for snowstorms, it was kind of weird/nice to be home when everyone else had work cancelled. I slept in a little, worked on some bloggy stuff, then set out to make my favorite pumpkin cranberry muffins.

The Master Your Metabolism CookbookSome of you may know about my love for Jillian Michaels. After reading Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!, I was hooked. I started eating mostly organic, switched to whole foods, and worked toward cutting processed foods from my diet. Not to say that I never have a peanut butter cup, or frozen meal in a pinch, but I'm a lot more conscious about it all. When Jillian came out with her cookbook The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook, I was in heaven. I loved the recipes, and am still working my way through it, but I have a few favorites. The pumpkin cranberry muffins are my #1. My other favorites include almond crusted chicken, smashed sweet potatoes, lemon chicken, almond-chocolate blondies, and the blueberry banana muffins.

fresh from my oven!

olive oil spray for the tin
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I don't have this, so I never put it in)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I usually use more!)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 425 deg F. Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin with olive oil, or line it with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, olive oil, coconut milk, and vanilla until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg & salt. Add the dry mix to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin (I usually end up with more than 12 muffins). Place tin in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 deg F. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. Serve warm.

YUM! I usually make a double batch & freeze them, so they last me awhile. I always heat them up in the microwave because they taste sooooo good warm. I definitely encourage you to buy Jillian's book, there are so many great recipes and even a preface on the master your metabolism plan.

While they baked, I jumped on the trainer and did about an hour while watching bridalplasty and the price is right. I'm getting ready venture out into the snow to ship back some items at UPS, and send out some prizes to giveaway winners. And speaking of giveaway winners....

The Bondi Band & Sport bean winner is Darlene @ My first 5K and more!
Send me your address at sgrigely at hotmail dot com & I'll ship it out!

I had won a new Road ID from 5k Rae a little while back, but I had a tough time deciding which one to get. I finally decided on the black wrist ID elite in the interactive model. I wasn't even aware that this new interactive model existed! It sets you up to make an online profile with information on yourself, your medical history, emergency contacts, insurance information, etc. First responders and MDs can access your information by the website or by phone using a special serial number and PIN on the back of the road ID. How brilliant! Now the information can be updated as it changes! If you don't have one yet, use coupon code: ThanksStephanie1707437 for $1 off!

That's all for now! Don't forget my Ryders giveaway HERE ends tonight! And my Allied Steel Medal Hanger giveaway HERE ends 1/6!

Allied Steel Review & Giveaway!

I admit, I have been lusting over medal organization & display hardware

Allied Steel Fabricators

My medals had been sitting in a pile in my office, collecting dust. Over the years, I played with the idea of shadow boxes, but really wanted something special to show off my hard work! When I came across Allied Steel HERE, I was head over heels. I HAD to have one! So when I was kindly offered to review & giveaway one of these fabulous pieces, I was in heaven!

My medals have their first home!
I selected the female runner display and loved the clean cut design, the ease to hang up, and of course the fact that I now have a stylish place to display my medals! I hung it up in the hallway outside my bedroom so I can see it on my way to the gym in the morning as motivation. After it was hung up, I noticed that the only way I could put on more medals, was to take out a nail from the wall. When I looked at the website, I noticed that the pictures showed an opening in the middle to put race medals on more easily. I emailed Joel, and found out that they had recently changed the design. He sent me out the new design so I could compare the two.
Look at the size difference!

The first thing I noticed was the size difference! While the pricing hasn't changed, you now get much more medal space on the female runner display. I found it to now be about the same length as the dual runner display. It also felt more heavy duty. The lettering was a little thicker, and the new design of the female runner looks much better. She really looks ready to run right off the display. Best of all, I can now add my medals easier than before!

My medals' home on the new design!
Kevin hung it up for me (although I could have myself, I just needed the use of his drill). The new design has screws to hold it in place, as opposed to the thin nails on the previous design. I assume this will help keep it anchored, despite the weight of all the bling I add. I smile every time I walk by it. There are a ton of amazing designs to choose from on their website, or you can pick a custom piece that is unique to you! Want a hot gift idea for your dancer, cheerleader, or soccer player? They can accommodate it, to make an amazing display for your son/daughter, nephew/niece, etc!

I'm even more excited, because Allied Steel has given me the opportunity to spoil one of you, with your very own fabulous medal display! I picked this out for one of you...

How to enter
Please leave a separate comment for each entry
1. Mandatory - Be or become a follower 
2. Visit the Allied Steel website HERE and tell me what you LOVE 
3. Like Running to Health on facebook HERE
4. Like Allied Running Medal Hangars on facebook HERE (let them know I sent you!)
5. Post about this giveaway on your blog, on facebook or twitter (1 entry for each)

Contest will be open until 1/6! Good luck!

Christmas wrap up

It's snowing! Even though I really can't stand snow, from inside my house it looks nice and I really can't complain since this is the first big snow of the year. Not typical for us New Englanders! They say we're getting between 8-12 inches, which means I cleaned my house, avoiding going anywhere.

The past 2 days have been wicked busy. I made it to the gym Friday morning, which was my first workout since the horrible 12 miler last weekend. I got out of work early, and even had time for a much needed nap. I went to Kevin's house & we made pizza with his family before heading over to his aunt & uncles party. After there, we went to my house to exchange presents. Good news? He got me the running skirt & triathlon bag I wanted. Bad news? When I told him I wanted a size 5 running skirt, he didn't buy me the running skirts size 5, he got me the womens 4-6 which is a running skirts size 2. Never in my life have I been that small!

Kevin laughed at me, because I bought him the same pair of pants I had bought him a few months ago. But he did love the snowboarding gear & red sox cycling jersey I got him. We went to midnight mass, so I didn't get to sleep until almost 1:30am, which means....

No morning ride on the trainer like I was hoping. I had to be at Kevin's at 9am for breakfast & presents. Somehow I ended up making the breakfast for everyone, when I was invited as a guest. Not sure how that happens, but oh well. After that we headed to my mom's house for breakfast round 2 (or lunch) and more presents, then to my dad's house for dinner & presents. We were exhausted, and relieved to finally make it home at the end of the night. It was great to see all of our families, and spend time with some we don't get to see too often.

I even did all my errands & shopping in my
running skirts ensemble!
Today, I was scheduled for a 10 mile long run. I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous. I hadn't run all week. When my long run partner called to confirm for today, I told her I was nervous about my knee. I wasn't sure if I'd make it, and didn't want to hold her back. We decided to do our own thing. The next part for me was to decide treadmill or outside? The snow had started, but I was really itching to run in it for some reason. But I was nervous that my knee would start acting up & I would be stranded, or worse yet, I could slip & fall and hurt my knee even more. I decided on the treadmill, and headed to the gym. I decided to wear a christmasy outfit, since it's only the day after. My plan was to run 3 miles to start. If the knee started acting up, I would get off, do a little lifting, then do 3 more miles. I really wanted to make the 10, but I told myself I'd wait & see how I felt. I hit 3 miles, and had no knee pain. I really tried to pay attention to my form. I hit mile 4, got off to get more water, then back on, and I just kept cruising until I made it all the way to 10. My knee never hurt. A couple times I felt a little pulling in my calf, but I slowed to a walk, and it never made its way to my knee. That run was the best christmas present ever!

Today I've been going crazy cleaning, throwing crap away, and putting stuff in bags for goodwill. I think so far I've managed 3 full bags of trash & 2 bags for goodwill, and there's still more work to be done! I have the day off tomorrow, so my plan is to keep up with the cleaning, make some muffins, and get a fabulous workout in. I hope this snow stops soon!

Don't forget my giveaways!
The Bondi Band & sports beans one ends tonight! Enter HERE
My Ryders giveaway ends tomorrow! Enter HERE