Monthly Archives: January 2013

january foodie penpals reveal

Arms and core with a trainer at LA Fitness.
30 min. on elliptical

I met with a trainer yesterday that was 10x better than the trainer from last week. I’ll chalk it up to a bad day. Everyone’s entitled to one of those, right?
Anyway, my trainer today was awesome. She seemed like she loves her job and knows what she’s doing on top of that.
We did some circuits using both hand weights and machines and then did some abs and legs on the mat. After a short round of torture I was given some homework-30 minutes of cardio-and told what to do on my own the rest of the week.
I was starving so I grabbed dinner at Panera before heading home to finish my cardio “homework” on my apartment’s elliptical.


Last week I got another package in the mail full of goodies from my foodie pen pal. I love this program from The Lean Green Bean because it gives me a chance to discover products and recipes I normally wouldn’t or couldn’t purchase on my own.


Jackie sent me this package all the way from northeastern Pennsylvania. So cute!

You can’t see them in the picture very well but she also sent me homemade cranberry granola bars and peanut butter granola. They’re propping up my beautiful card. I told her I LOVE peanut butter. Guess which one was gone within a few days?


She also sent me a vinegar-based local marinade called Spiedie sauce that I used on some chicken this week, Honey Stinger energy bites and waffles (used at ING Miami) and a cupcake potholder and towel set (so fitting).

I found a Team in Training temporary tattoo under the box after I took everything out and I it confused me for a minute. Then I read her letter saying she was a TNT coach. I ran with TNT for the Disney Wine and Dine in 2011 so that was pretty neat.

Everything was so good. I haven’t been disappointed by any of my boxes and can’t wait to see what goodies will come in the mail next month!

Here are the rules if you’re interested in participating.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your pen pal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
 -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your pen pal!
 -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
 -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
 -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
 -Foodie Pen Pals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

Click here to sign up by the fourth of the month to be included for February.

Until next month!

Have you ever been a Foodie Pen Pal?

ing miami half marathon recap

The day started like most other race days.

It was dark.


Really dark.


For some reason I woke up 45 minutes before my alarm so I made the best of it and got dressed and ready to go anyway. We got to race start with plenty of time to spare which was nice for a change. I’m usually frantically trying to find a parking spot.

I drove down to South Florida from Orlando on Saturday morning and was lucky enough to have my wonderful mother to drive me to and from Miami on Sunday.


I hate driving south of Broward County with a passion.

Almost as much as I hate Spirit Airlines which I thankfully did not have to fly like Monica over at Run, Eat, Repeat. Don’t fly them if you can avoid it, seriously.

I set out with three goals in mind. I was really hoping/crossing my fingers/wishing on shooting stars for a 2:15. I even took a 2:15 pace bracelet with me to see how close I could come.

Miles 1 to 3 had no aid stations. Zero. There were 25,000 runners and the crowd never thinned out the entire race. I’m not sure where the promised Gu/gels were because I brought my own. Maybe the medical tents? I never saw them.

We did get to see a pretty east coast sunrise though.


I took a Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chew at Miles 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12. Those things are so darn good (get the cherry flavor)!

Somewhere around the two-mile mark I saw a man’s junk because there weren’t any Porta Potties until Miles 3 and above and he really had to go. Also at the two-mile mark I felt a twinge in my right knee when I landed a little funny.

I hadn’t run more than three miles since the Hollywood Half Marathon on Dec. 2 because of my knee. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and kept going.

The bridges started early on and they were KILLER. I’m sure for a non-Floridian they were nothing but there were SO MANY BRIDGES.


We ran by The Miami Herald building which was pretty freaking cool.

At Mile 7 I tweeted while running. I had yet to see the promised pineapple and Cuban coffee. I’m not sure if that was just for marathoners but I was really looking forward to it and it never came. I used #ingmiami which announcers kept promoting before the event but no one ever answered.


At the 8-mile mark I was still able to see that 2:15 pace flag even though I lined up somewhere behind the 2:30 pace group. I calculated I would finish at around 2:18 if I kept up that pace because I was well-ahead of the 2:30 group. I felt good.

Pineapple-less and coffee deprived, the 2:20 flag started to get further away at the 10-mile mark.

Just before getting to the marker for Mile 11 the flag was gone and I was absolutely exhausted but the 2:30 pacer had yet to pass me.

It was getting harder and harder to push the pain from my knee to the back of my head but I figured I’d already run 11 miles, why stop now?

Miles 11 and 12 were brutal.

I can honestly say this has been the most painful race I’ve ever done.

I realized I wasn’t hitting my second goal time of 2:20 during Mile 11 and I slowed down while telling myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I passed a girl slumped along a wall being helped by paramedics. She was wearing a mask and seemed unresponsive. The medics were trying to detach her bib to get her information. I prayed she was OK.

I thought about how hard J is working at basic. I’d gotten less than four hours of sleep but he’d gone 48 hours without any sleep at all and was still going strong with plenty more sleepless days ahead.

Mile 11 was soooo long.

I thought about walking.

And then, just in time, I ran past one of the many, many cheer squads along the way. A marching band added some pep to my step for a little while.

I really needed it.


I kept going and remembered I had my phone that I’d been holding the whole time but forgotten to turn on because I’d been entertained the entire way with a myriad of running personalities.

There was the guy in the kilt, some guy dribbling two basketballs while running and outpacing the heck out of me and more guys’ junk.

I wished I had someone to talk to while I was running about all the junk I saw.

I put Pandora on and Missy Elliot got me through Mile 12. Slow and steady.

After turning the corner at Mile 13 I stuck my phone in my pocket for the home stretch. All I wanted was for the pain to end. My knee. My feet. Everything hurt.

I could see the finish line and I ran like someone was chasing me.


While I didn’t hit my first two goals I did hit my “ultimate” goal and I’m happy to say I have a new PR!


As they say in Miami, dale!


I switched the layout tonight. What do you think? It’s cleaner, right? Now I just need a header.

What did you do this weekend?

ing miami expo

It’s 3:45 a.m. and I’ve slept almost four hours tonight. I’m not sure why I’m awake at this ungodly hour but I’m up a full 45 min. before my alarm.
I dreamt that one went off and then started getting ready for the day in a panic. I guess I’m really excited for this race?


We left for Miami from Hollywood at a quarter to five yesterday.


The ING Miami expo was one of the largest I’ve ever been to but we got there at 5:30 (closed at 6) so we didn’t get to do much.
Event sponsors Publix, Baptist Hospital and Chobani had booths set up with freebies but we only got there in time to get wrist pouches from Publix and a sample of liquid melatonin from a company called Dream Water.
A foot relief company was taping up people’s legs to showcase the benefits of athletic tape other than matching your race outfit.
I did manage to snag some much wanted (by me) pink yurbuds that I plan on running with today.
I know, I know. Don’t try anything new on race day. Oh well, I’m doing it anyway. These are just too cool for school. See you on the other side of the finish line!

Anyone get anything from the Chobani mobile? I’m sorry I missed it. Were they giving out free yogurt?