Love Affair.

Wednesday morning run: 5 miles in 41:05, 8:13 pace
Today’s run was humid and sticky, but still a good one. I am so happy to report that all of my post marathon soreness is now gone! It feels good to be back to my happy running self. I have found that my recovery is better and I’m able to bounce back quicker after each marathon that I’ve completed. This morning I was feeling mentally strong and ready to bang it out, and I did. I followed it up with some stretching and then went to work.
In honor of Valentine’s Day (apparently I’m still celebrating) I’ve decided to give you my list of reasons why I LOVE to run.
I borrowed this from my friend RunGiaRun…I especially like the part about stopping to smell the endorphins.
Running helps me clear my mind.
No matter what is going on in my crazy life, I can always turn on some good music and just rock it out and hit the pavement. This morning it was Pitbull on my Pandora Radio.
Some days I like to run with music, some days I don’t. There are always those mornings where I would just rather listen to my feet hit the ground, the birds chirping, watch the sunrise.…just me and God’s artwork.
Running sets the tone for my day.
This is especially why I like to run in the mornings before work. I think it sets a precedent for how the day will go. I can definitely tell those days when I go for a run in the morning from days when I don’t. It is like my hot cup of coffee. It revives me, and energizes my day.
Running is my “ME” time.
Typically my weekdays are so busy with work and errands (oh the joys of adulthood), leaving very little time to tend to myself. Running allows me to just get out there and do something for myself. For my health, for my sanity.
Running is time with good friends and running buddies.
Although typically during the week I run solo, I love when I get an opportunity to run with others. I feel that running in packs helps to hold you accountable and keeps you motivated. Running with a group has really added a lot to my life, and I love being able to share my love of running with others that have that same passion.
Running allows me to test and push my limits.
I think it’s funny sometimes how when you first set out for a run, you tend to doubt your capabilities. To this day, I still surprise myself with how far or how fast I can go. Take this morning for instance. I rolled out of bed, and fleeting thoughts of staying under the covers til 7:30 am crossed my mind. But no, I got up…6 am. As soon as I hit the pavement I knew I wanted to run strong today. And I did. I think that challenging yourself and getting outside of your comfort zone is so important.
What are some reasons why you love to run?

Kale Chips and Ladies Nite.

Monday morning workout: 4 miles in 33 minutes – Rainy and breezy
So much to catch up on! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was filled with running, cooking, and a night out with the ladies! I went to Gloria’s with some of the girls from my running group. Gloria’s is a Latin restaurant that has salsa dancing on Saturday nights. They always have a live band and it is always a blast. We danced and laughed the night away.
Saturday was also the first day back since the marathon coaching my running group. I logged a total of 7 miles and we also some drills. It was pretty chilly out…28 degrees – wind chill was 15! After the run, I warmed up with some coffee. Overall it was a great run…I think I am finally getting my running mojo back.
This weekend I also experimented with some new recipes! I made some kale chips. What are kale chips, you ask? Well they’re the most delicious alternative to Doritos! Okay not quite, but they really do make a great snack and are easy to make. All you need is fresh kale, a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Break up the kale and bake them in the oven on 350 for 10-15 minutes til they are light and crispy. Yum yum!! I loved them so much I even made them this morning to go with my turkey sandwich for lunch.
On Sunday I also made some garlic crusted salmon, roasted asparagus, and potatoes. Eric loves my asparagus and always asks me how I make them so tasty…I am slowly getting him to eat lots and lots of veggies.
We spent last night resting and watching the Grammys. I kept going back and forth between that and the Atlanta Housewives on Bravo.
I will end with one of my all-time favorite Whitney songs…may God rest her soul.
Did you watch the Grammys? What is your favorite healthy snack?

Something New.

This morning I got my first rush of endorphins since the marathon!! An hour of sweaty spin class at 24 Hour Fitness. It felt so good to get the legs going again. I was feeling super sore and achy the past few days and then I went to my massage therapist for a 90 minute massage on Tuesday after work. I tell you, this man’s hands are made of gold or something because I felt like a new woman the next day.
The power of massage therapy. It's a beautiful thing.
Typically, after the marathon I really pay attention to what my body is telling me. It is different every time depending on how hard I push myself in a race. Doing so has helped me to avoid injuries (Thank God, no injuries in all of my years of running thus far.) Galveston took a toll on my body, and I believe sitting in a car for the 4 hour drive home didn’t help much either. So the past few days I made sure to take it real easy on myself and focus on recovery. I always make sure to schedule an appointment for massage therapy…it aids in getting me back to my normal happy running self.
This weekend I will be hitting the pavement with my friends over at Luke’s Locker. I will be back coaching my half marathoners who are doing 6 miles, plus some running drills. I am so excited for them to totally dominate some of their upcoming races, one of which will be the Rock N Roll Dallas half marathon at the end of March. That is one of our benchmark races. This will be my third year running the RnR half. Definitely looking forward to it.
Rock N Roll 2011
So after a race I also like to assess what my goals are for upcoming races. It’s not something I talk about a lot but I definitely do have goals. They tend to change from time to time. As of right now, I feel like I am in a good place with my running. I have yet to feel a sense of burn out, which I know runners tend to get from time to time. I attribute this to the fact that I do a LOT of cross training. I love to dance. I love spin. Kickboxing. Bodypump. Yoga. I just love to MOVE. It helps me to mix it up and never grow tired of one thing.
I am definitely in a place where I would like to try new things. I would LOVE to try a Barre class. I have made it one of my goals to check one out soon. I want to get back into my yoga groove. Yoga makes my body and mind happy, at peace. It makes me feel flexible, it helps me feel challenged. I want to shock my body with change. I want to continue to run happy. I want to try new foods, incorporate more fresh foods into my diet. Now that I am not restricted with a marathon schedule, I am able to try some new things outside of my comfort zone. And that excites me.
Speaking of food, I got a fun blog post/email from my friend over at Foodimentary. Did you know that today is National Bagel and Lox Day? Me neither. Sounds yummy though…
What new things are you wanting to incorporate into your diet and or exercise routine? 

11 Things.

So I thought we’d have a little bit of fun today. My friend Amanda over at Miles Gone By tagged me in her 11 Things post the other day so I thought I would play along. Here’s the rules…

The Rules:

#1 You must post these rules.
#2 Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
#3 Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

Are you ready? Let’s do it…

11 Things About Me
1. I sang in the choir all throughout middle school, high school, and then Gospel choir in college. I’m an Alto.
2. I’m an only child. Spoiled rotten and I love it.
3. I worked at a gourmet deli/wine shop in college. Not only did I learn how to properly make a deli sandwich, I learned a lot about different types of wines from all over the world. It was a lot of fun.

4. My favorite wine is Argententian Malbec.
5. I am allergic to penicillin.
6. My first job was working at a local movie theater making waffle cones in the café. Hated every minute of it.
7. One of my favorite holidays is Mardi Gras. Me and my boyfriend go to this local Mardi Gras parade every year, it is so much fun.

8. If don’t have a cup of coffee in the morning, I’m a total zombie.
9. I am horrible at keeping up with jewelry, especially earrings.
10. I am addicted to Pinterest. How else would I know how to cook, pick out my clothes and decorate my home?
11. I do not know how to roll my tongue. It really made for some awkward times when I took Spanish classes in school.
Amanda’s Questions
1. What was the first concert that you ever went to?
I went to see Dru Hill & Immature back in the day. I had a thing for R & B boy bands. Anyone remember Sisqo?
I still have nightmares about the "thong song".
 2. If you were on Death Row, what would you choose for your last meal?
Sushi and red wine.
3. What was your most favorite Halloween costume that you have worn?
I borrowed my friend’s Southern Belle costume a few years ago…it was super cute and hoochie mama-fied.
4. Which actress would you like to star as you if you had a movie made about your life? Sanaa Lathan…or Zoe Saldana. I have a girl crush on them both.
5. If you could open any type of business what would it be?
A boutique that specializes in running clothes and accessories for women. Because who doesn’t love running in loud colors and skirts?
6. You have a free plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, but you can only stay there for 24 hours. Where are you going?
Somewhere tropical and sunny, umbrella drink in hand.
Ahhhruba...would love to be there right now.
7. What is your favorite TV series, past or present?
The Real Housewives on Bravo. It’s my guilty pleasure; I watch them all. Housewives drama all day every day, I love it.
8. When did you first feel like a runner?
When I ran my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, back in 2010. There was something about checking that 26.2 off of my bucket list that made it feel official.
9. What is the last thing that you splurged on? Probably a race entry.
10. Night owl or early bird? Definitely an early bird. There’s nothing more beautiful than a sunrise, a new morning to start fresh.
11. What is one thing that you wished you would have learned to do? Play the piano. I tried to learn when I was younger but it just didn’t stick.
My Questions
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
  • What is your favorite time of year?
  • Would you rather go to the mall or go shopping online?
  • What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
  • What one thing would you like to accomplish in 2012?
  • What is your most valuable possession?
  • List 3 must haves in your purse/handbag.
  • Tea or coffee?
  • What is your favorite dessert?
  • Describe yourself in 3 words.
  • What inspires you?

Tag, you’re it!

Marathons N Martinis

Mom’s Gotta Run

Hungry Hungry Hippie

Happy Runner

Sprinkle Massacre

Want in on the fun? Answer any of the questions and/or tell me some fun facts about yourself.

Galveston Marathon Recap.

Well I am finally getting around to writing this review. The past couple of days have been reserved for much needed R & R after a whirlwind adventure in Galveston! Thank you for your kind words and support and encouragement…all of the tweets, blog comments and Facebook notes. I appreciated them all.
Eric and I decided to road trip it out to Galveston on Saturday afternoon. We rented a car and left Dallas close to 1 pm. Traffic wasn’t too bad since it was the weekend…it’s a straight shot down 45 to Houston so time seemed to just fly by. We made it to Galveston in record time, close to 5:30 pm. As I expected, it was dark and cloudy when we got there. I took photos anyways because that’s what I do.
We went by the Fit to Run store to grab my race packet before they closed, then put our bags down at our hotel, the Beachcomber Inn. Basically it’s like the Super 8 of Galveston. All good, wasn’t complaining…can’t really beat $70 for a one night stay. The rooms were super nice and cozy.
Once we settled in I had to take pics of the race packet swag. I got a super cute Brooks technical shirt, backpack and even a hat…love when races give you lots of loot.
My dad and his girlfriend stayed at the Hotel Galvez & Spa down the street…aka the Ritz Carlton of the island. It’s pretty much amazing..the hotel has been there forever and it is beautiful. We were going to eat at the hotel but decided to go next door and have dinner at Miller’s Seawall Grill. I had grilled shrimp, mashed potatoes, green beans and 2 ginormous buttered rolls the size of my head. Carbo loading at its finest.
After dinner I set out my clothes and was out like a light by 10pm.
I woke up around 5 am to get ready and have breakfast. Of course, it was raining. I was prepared since I had been watching the forecast the past few days, but still a little disappointed. We set out and met up with my buddy Gerardo who came down from Houston to run the half marathon. We took some pre race photos and headed to the start.
I lined up and put my headphones on. I was feeling mentally there and ready to go. I had a windbreaker jacket since I had forgotten to get a poncho. By then the rain had slowed a bit but was still coming down and it was super windy. The race started right at 7:30. I started off maintaining about an 8:30 pace. I felt really good and it was nice to run on the Seawall right by the water. The course is super flat, almost no elevation at all which definitely helped with the wind. The wind was pushing against me almost a majority of the time. My favorite part of the course was the East Beach, which kind of sits away from the town. The beachfront property there was just beautiful.
The race circles back and starts over at the half marathon point. I finished the half around 1:54, pretty good considering the conditions. At the half point I caught up with the 3:50 pacer and stuck with her for a few miles. It was nice having someone to run with and talk to. She started the race at the half marathon point so she was running super strong. Around mile 18 or so, I had to let her go. The winds were picking up and it started raining a little harder. I just kept telling myself to KEEP GOING, no matter if I slowed down. I never felt like I really “hit a wall” which was rare, but the wind was so unbearable I physically didn’t feel like I could run faster. I kept going and circled back around into town. Around mile 25 I saw the 4 hour pacer pass me. My heart sunk in disappointment. I had stopped looking at my watch and figured oh well, at least I’m finishing this thing.
Then I looked ahead, and saw the finish line. The clock still had a 3 in it. I really didn’t think I was going to finish in under 4 hours but I made it. 3:56 and some change. Not a PR, but my goal was to knock out another sub 4 and I DID IT. I was ecstatic. I fought the entire way. Wind, rain. Overcame all of the obstacles.
Placed 3rd in my age group. Not bad.
After the race I took a couple of photos and went back to the hotel to shower and get in some warm clothes. The nice part is that the island is so small so basically anywhere you stay is close to the race site. After I got dressed we had brunch at the Hotel Galvez. Their brunch was amazing, fresh shrimp, crab, omelet and waffle bar…post marathon paradise.
definitely staying there next time.
We didn’t stay around long after brunch. We took some silly photos and got back on the road to catch the tail end of the Super Bowl.
So that was it in a nutshell. Overall it is a great course, super flat, great amenities and such a fun themed mardi gras race. This was their 2nd year putting on this race and it was very organized. I would definitely do it again. With great weather this would be an ideal course to set a PR. Plus, fresh seafood, beautiful places to stay in the area and running on the beach. Doesn’t get any better that that.

TGIFriday Faves.

The happiest of Fridays to you! I am getting my day started with some hot coffee and Erykah Badu on my Pandora Radio. Always nice to have coffee and some soothing music in the office on a rainy day.
coffee + music = love.
Last night I went to the Thursday Night Social Run at Luke’s Locker for a quick 5K run…my last little run before the Galveston Marathon this weekend. I ran at an easy and relaxed pace – no Garmin, just a little shakeout run. Much needed since I’ve been a little antsy about it raining on Sunday. My friend Gerardo, who is coming down to run the half marathon with me, works at a local news station in Houston so he’s been my little weather watcher…
Aside from that I have a few faves for ya since it’s Friday. So here’s what I’ve been digging as of late.
Pandora Radio – Calvin Harris station
So I have discovered my favorite high off of coffee and running radio station. I love the new Calvin Harris song ‘Feel So Close’, and the song ‘Barbara Streisand’ by Duck Sauce. Both songs are in the ipod shuffle to rock out to during my marathon on Sunday.
Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes
These little face towels rock my world, especially after a sweaty workout. They are all natural and hypoallergenic which is great for my sensitive skin. They also have a soothing cucumber scent which I love. I always keep the travel size in my purse for after a run or gym workout. I really need to get a family size pack, they are awesome!
Sparkly bic bands
Okay so I am definitely a fan of the sparkly bands that stay in your hair. I tried both the skinny and the wider bands that I ordered and I will definitely be ordering more! I wore the pink one during a run and the purple one while teaching dance on Wednesday night. I am seriously debating on ordering the entire collection. You can get yours here.

Target Champion compression shorts
These shorts are great especially for wearing under a running skirt or tutu. I have decided to switch these out and wear these this weekend instead of the long neon green tights. I figured it would probably get too sticky and humid, so the compression shorts should work just perfect. Really anything with the word “compression” in it is a winner in my book. Plus they are $14.99. Definitely can’t beat that! 

Secret Wonderland body spray and lotion – Bath and Body Works
This is my new skin candy for sure. I actually received this as Christmas gift but I plan on going back for more very soon. The scent is fresh and floral, with hints of amber and jasmine. It is soft and feminine without being overpowering. I spray this on any time during the day for an instant pick me up.

That’s all for today! Off to run a marathon this weekend! Have a good one!
What are some of your favorites lately?

Buffalo Chicken Dip & Super Bowl Survival Tips.

Happy Thursday! I hope your day is gearing up to be a good one. Time is ticking by slowly over here…so looking forward to my trip to run the marathon in Galveston this weekend, even if a little rain is expected. I have been keeping my mind distracted and getting much needed rest this week. The past couple of days it was SO nice just to be able to sleep in – something I do not always get a chance to do since I typically get up so early for my morning runs. Last night I taught dance class at 24 Hour Fitness. Fun times as usual. Lots of calories burned and buckets of sweat took place. It was a packed house too which I always like to see.
So since Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching, in honor of that special day of treats and eats I figured I should share a recipe with you all that I found from my friend Stephanie over at Running in the Kitchen for Buffalo Chicken Dip. I have tweaked it a bit but it was still delicious and my mom and I finished the pan I made in 2 days! Yeah, we like to eat around here.
My recipe serves about 4-6 people but you can increase the ingredients depending on how many people you are serving.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 container of light cream cheese, softened
1 can of canned chicken breast, drained
A few sprinkles of crumbled blue cheese
1 wedge of light swiss laughing cow cheese
1 cup of chopped green onions
1/4 cup of buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce)
Carrots, celery sticks, and tortilla chips to dip in the yummy goodness
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Place in an oven-safe dish and bake until browned and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve hot with tortilla chips and veggies. 
yummy yum yum!
Did you know that the Super Bowl is one of the biggest calorie-fests of the year for many Americans? The average football fan eats about a day’s worth of calories during the game, and the U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips on Super Bowl Sunday.
Here are some great alternatives to enjoy for the big day.
Are you having a Super Bowl party? What foods do you plan on serving/enjoying?
What team are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? Giants? Patriots??