Shutting it Down

I am putting this out there so that I have no choice but to follow through.  I am shutting my training down for two days.  Monday is a scheduled rest day, but today is not.  Today I am supposed to run 2-3 miles and go to an intense core class that I adore.  I am really trying to listen to my body, but honestly, I don’t want to.  I want to run.  I want to go to core class. 

Things my body is telling me:

  • Resting HR is elevated despite the humidity coming down
  • Severe allergies or cold (I am leaning towards cold at this point) have left my sleep interrupted, head congested and throat sore
  • Tired

Things my head is telling me to do:

  • Suck it up, Cupcake!
  • No pain, no gain
  • Seriously, you are not going to workout until Tuesday?

It is times like these that I need to look at the big picture.  I need to focus on my goal(s) for the fall:

  • Run 3 half marathons (1 down, 2 to go)
  • Run the Columbus Half Marathon under 1:50
  • Do all of the above injury-free

So for the next two, very long days, I will rest and recover.  The Air Force Half Marathon is coming up on Saturday and even though I am running it as a training run, I would rather do so healthy. 


I am going to refer to this post and this picture each and every time I question my decision to rest.  Perhaps staying in my jammies will help. 

Have you had to force yourself to take time off from something you love?  What helped motivate you to stick with it?

Udi’s Gluten Free: New Products in the Wings

I cannot express how good it feels to be gluten-free in 2012!  Just saying that makes me excited.  Some of you might think I am crazy, and maybe I am, but following the gluten-free diet today is much easier than it was 10+ years ago.  One can argue that if you stick to whole, unprocessed foods it can be relatively easy to follow the diet, and I do believe in that, but it is nice to be able to have readily available substitution foods on the market.  Everything in moderation, right?

I have been a long-time fan of Udi’s Gluten Free products and often have my Friday night pizza on their crust.  As I was making my pizza this past Friday night, I noticed the crust looked bigger.  I flipped over the package and noticed the nutritional information/calorie count had changed, reassuring me I wasn’t just imagining things.  I also noticed that they have included the words “Thin & Crispy” on the front, which after some online research, I found was not there in the past.  Then I took my pizza out of the oven I put it on a plate to see just how much bigger it was.  See the new picture up top and a picture of the Udi’s crust in 2009 below.


And, in case you were wondering, I ate the whole thing by myself and it was spectacular!

Now, onto the fun stuff!  As I was browsing around the internet looking for information on the pizza crust, I learned of several new Udi’s Gluten Free products set to debut in January (baguettes & dinner rolls will be October/November.) 

Udi’s Everything Inside & Mighty Bagels – “We know you have been craving a new bagel flavor, so we combined a delicious blend of millet, flax, and poppy seeds, onions, garlic and salt to create our new Everything Inside Bagel—no messy seeds falling off the outside because we put them inside.  The Mighty Bagel has its name for a reason: it’s packed with nutrients!  Whole quinoa flour, cranberries, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are a few new ingredients you can find in this bagel, so enjoy the new, power –packed Mighty Bagel.”

Udi’s Harvest Crunch Muffins & Udi’s Double Vanilla Muffins – “There couldn’t be a better way to head into fall than with two great new muffin flavors like Harvest Crunch and Double Vanilla?   Paired with warm apple cider or vanilla latte perhaps?  Our mouths are watering already!”

Udi’s French Baguettes – “Whether it’s a sub sandwich, a panini, or homemade bruschetta, our new French Baguettes are perfect for your homemade creation!  With two baguettes per bag, make a one-on-one feast, or share with the family!”

Udi’s Dinner Rolls –“Now we know you have been waiting for these! You may have some gluten free pasta with a side dish, but sometimes you just want a dinner roll!  Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and in case you have a few “practice runs” before Turkey Day, we thought you might want to practice gluten-free! Besides, who doesn’t like a Thanksgiving-style meal every now and then?  But we don’t want to limit you – think Italian, or “mini sandwiches”, or even paired with a big leafy salad and side soup (dunk away!) Bring on the “bread basket”!”


I don’t know about you, but I need to get my hands on The Mighty Bagel ASAP!

What is your current favorite Udi’s Gluten Free product?  Which new product do you look forward to trying the most?

Back-to-School with Udi’s Gluten-Free

School days, school days, dear old golden rule days… ‘Tis the season.  Kids everywhere are either ecstatic or dreading the start of a new school year.  Kids have enough on their plates these days, that lunch should be the least of their concerns.  Thanks to Udi’s Gluten Free and Glutino, those lunches will be tastier than ever!  I have been tasked with creating a week’s worth of lunches and snacks with specific Udi’s Gluten Free and Glutino products. 


In addition to the above products, I also received the cutest Udi’s insulated lunch tote!  Great for helping to keep the lunch you pack for yourself or child cold.  I had a lot of fun creating fun lunches with the products I received. 

Monday – Turkey & cheddar sandwich on Millet-Chia bread, pretzels, sliced zucchini

Tuesday – PB & J on White Sandwich bread, pretzels, grapes and chocolate chip cookies

Wednesday – Tuna salad sandwich on Millet-Chia bread and spinach salad, yogurt topped with granola for snack

Thursday – Grilled cheese (Have you ever cooked this in advance and sent along to school? I learned this trick from a friend!)

Friday – Pepperoni and cheddar sandwich, pretzels, apple and snickerdoodles


Turkey & cheddar on Millet-Chia bread


PB & J on White Sandwich bread


Chocolate Chip Cookies so soft that you would never know they weren’t homemade!

Each and every product listed above travels well and holds up to the hands and miscellaneous torture of a child.  We all know that lunch boxes get sat or stepped on.  The bread does not crumble.  It does what bread should do – acts as a vehicle to the sandwich fillings. 

To find the products I used for the above lunches, visit Udi’s Gluten Free and Glutino sites.  I have seen both brands (and all of the above products) available in most mainstream grocery stores. 

*The products mentioned in this blog post were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of creating lunches to share with my readers.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Gluten-Free Lunch Box Spotlight

School is back in session all around the country now and what better way to celebrate on the blog than with a weekly series of Lunch Box Spotlights!  Today I am going to focus on dessert.  Why?  Because it makes me happy!  Enter: Kozy Shack Pudding. 


I have been a long-time fan of Kozy Shack Pudding.  When I first began the gluten-free diet in 2006, Kozy Shack clearly labeled their products gluten-free, which wasn’t the norm at the time.  Being new to the diet and inexperienced at label reading, I often stuck with products that were easy to identify as gluten-free.  Additionally, I have a special place in my heart for tapioca pudding and I fell in love with Kozy Shack’s version.  More about Kozy Shack:

Kozy Shack, Inc. is a family owned company that has been producing quality desserts since 1967. In 1994, we expanded our manufacturing facility and corporate offices by relocating from Mineola, New York, to Hicksville, New York. In 1995, in order to support national sales and distribution, we opened our second manufacturing plant in Turlock, California. In 2000, we experienced international growth and added our third manufacturing facility in Lough Egish, Ireland (60 miles north of Dublin).

We have grown from a neighborhood delicatessen serving homemade rice pudding to a major dessert manufacturer with international distribution. Kozy Shack products are available through popular retail stores: supermarkets, mass merchandisers, club stores and natural food stores. Kozy Shack products are also carried by convenience stores, military commissaries and foodservice distributors.

When Kozy Shack offered to send me samples of their products to review, I was overjoyed!  Not only do I love pudding, but I was interested in trying the new Lactose-Free variety. 


Of course Jon took one look at this and he refused to try it.  I didn’t have a problem with that, because that meant more for me!  I tried these side by side, marked on the bottom, not knowing which was which and was not able to tell the difference.  Jon doesn’t know what he is missing!  It is important to note that not all of Kozy Shack’s products are gluten-free.  The following products are gluten-free:

  • Rice
  • Lactose Free
  • Tapioca
  • Chocolate
  • Butterscotch
  • Banana Cream (Apr – Oct)
  • Pumpkin (Oct-Dec) <- Can’t wait to try this one!
  • Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Chocolate Rice
  • No Sugar Added Puddings
  • Flans
  • Gels

The gluten-free products will be clearly labeled, so there should be no confusion.  It seems that the only products that do contain gluten are the bread pudding varieties.  The single-serve portions of Kozy Shack Puddings are perfect for packing in a lunch box.  Kozy Shack products can be found in stores across the US and Canada

Have you tried any of the Kozy Shack products?  What is your go-to lunch box snack or dessert?

*These products were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Workout Wednesday Motivation

Some days I need a little more motivation than others.  Today was one of those days.  I was excited that my sports doctor gave me permission to do speed work, even though my resting heart rate has been elevated over the past week.  The humidity has been ridiculous lately, I took a complete rest day yesterday and when the humidity dropped a couple of weeks back, so did my heart rate.  I would not have attempted speed work today had I not spoken with my doctor yesterday when I was in his office getting ART on my foot.

Even though I was excited that I could do the prescribed speed work, I took a look at the weather and knew it was going to be tough – check out the humidity:


I got dressed, put on my motivating Bondi band and lined up a motivating playlist.


I headed out and set my Garmin to show me current pace, lap pace and distance only.  The prescribed workout was:

Experienced Half Marathoners – 6 x 2000m at Marathon Pace with 1 minute rest between.

I only had 6 miles on my schedule, so I modified the plan to 4 x 2000 at MP with 1 minute rest.  I made sure to do a mile warm up and cool down, so I ended up with 7.25 miles today.  When this happens I usually modify a shorter mileage day.  It is important to do both the warm up and cool down, not skip them.  My target MP (or for me, half marathon pace) is 8:41/mile.  I have a hard time running exactly that pace because I live in an area with rolling hills.  My comfort zone seems to be around 8:25-8:35/mile or so lately, which hopefully means I’ll be able to run my goal time of sub-1:50 in the Columbus Half Marathon this fall.

1 – 10:05.3 warm up

2-  08:37.0

3 – 08:31.3

4 – 08:26.6

5 – 08:30.2

6 – 08:27.6

7 – 09:12.7 first .25 miles was still part of the speed work

8 – 02:26.7 last .25 of cool down

My average HR for the run was 161 – Zone 4.  The AVG HR per mile was higher than I would have liked it to be, but given the humidity, I am not surprised.  The key now is properly refueling, hydrating and stretching.  Active recovery tomorrow with a couple of easy miles.

My gluten-free fuel for today:

Pre-run: Organic Honey Stinger – Fruit Punch

Run: Gatorade

Post-Run: So Delicious Almond Plus Vanilla, Meijer Gluten-Free Waffles with Skippy Natural, Blueberries, Peach & Plum

What do you do to motivate yourself?

Plank Challenge & Menu Plan

Welcome to September!  Sure doesn’t feel like September here yet, but hopefully it will soon!  Yesterday I started a new month-long challenge that was organized by a running friend of mine – Plank A Day Challenge.

My PR plank

The challenge is this:

A strong core is essential to efficient body mechanics when running and cycling. Take the plank a day challenge. Every day in September, start your day with planks, including prone and side planks (on both sides). Record your time at the beginning and end of the month to see how far you have progressed. When you complete the challenge, you will receive the satisfaction of knowing that you got stronger!

Anyone is welcome to join – just visit the page on Facebook and join!  It is important to note that this challenge is about improving yourself, your core, your body.  This is not a competition with anyone else.  I shared the video above only as a glimpse into what I have worked towards – what I have achieved as the result of lots of physical therapy for my lower back, hamstrings and IT band.  The point of this challenge is to get a baseline time for you and then to continue to work towards making yourself stronger.  If you are unsure of proper form, there are examples posted on the Facebook page or don’t hesitate to ask for help.

What’s on the menu this week?  Jon has been complaining that we eat the same meals all of the time.  He is tired of tacos.  Tired of burgers.  funny coming from someone who will only eat 3-5 different things.  I love to cook new things, but both of the kids are very picky and don’t welcome change.  There are many nights where I am making them very basic versions of what I am eating or something different.

Sunday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs and salad

Monday – Italian grilled chicken Alfredo, brown rice fettuccine, green beans and salad

Tuesday – Easy Enchilada Bake, corn and salad (on menu plan last week and went with tacos instead due to time issues)

Wednesday – BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked potatoes, broccoli and salad

Thursday – Lasagna and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take out

Weekly Recap:

Enter to win a free sample package of Cascal Fermeted Soda.

Some amazing new gluten-free bread: Goodbye Gluten

My new favorite trail mix from Navitas Naturals

Caribou Coffee – I finally tried the Iced Pumpkin Latte

Meijer stores add lots of gluten-free products to their selection!

Emerald City Half Marathon Recap

Last Sunday I ran the Emerald City Half Marathon for the second time.  Last year I tried to set a PR (personal record) in this race, this year I set out to do it as a training run, as I have 2 more half marathons coming up this fall.  Normally I run my long runs in the neighborhood of 10 – 10:15 minutes/mile.  I wrote a post last week about setting different types of goals that goes into this in much more detail. 


Before the race I met up with some friends from our Columbus Daily Mile group, Run DMC.  It was great to see so many from the group running this race!

The race started at 7 AM on the dot.  I was a little chilly before the race, but I knew that wouldn’t last.  The first half of the half was relatively cool and the sun wasn’t up yet, so it wasn’t too hot.  Melissa and I tried our best to run slower than 10 min/miles, but found that we were consistently running slightly faster.  We slowed down when we noticed the pace was faster as to not overdo it.  The second half of the race was definitely hotter and a touch more challenging with some hills.  It certainly didn’t help that there was no shade and the sun was beating down on us.  By the time we hit mile 11, I knew that we could keep the current pace (9:35 or so) and Melissa would PR.  We did just that and picked it up a little after we hit 12.5 miles and finished in 2:08:08 – a PR for Melissa by 2 minutes! 

This was my 8th half marathon and I managed to keep my average heart rate for this run in Zone 2, which is where is should be for a long, slow training run. 

Avg. HR = 145 (zone 2)

1 09:53.9 HR 127 z1
2 09:54.6 HR 134 z2
3 09:54.7 HR 138
4 09:49.6 HR 144
5 09:58.2 HR 145
6 09:41.6 HR 145
7 09:49.5 HR 145
8 09:45.5 HR 147
9 09:38.9 HR 150 z3
10 09:39.1 HR 146 z2
11 09:29.5 HR 151 z3
12 09:33.8 HR 152
13 09:04.5 HR 159 low z4


This was when I was wishing for a little shade, breeze, something!  Roughly around mile 9-10.  Form doesn’t look too bad here, at least in my foot strike.   


We mean business!  Mile 11 or 12.  A little heel striking going on here – shame, shame, Kim!  I have got to stop that!


I love this picture!  LOL! 


Dad and me after the race.  Loved the icy towels!  I was thrilled to see my Dad before the race as we lined up to start and then again once we were done!  Thanks, Dad, for the support!! 

A great day and a great “race!”  We didn’t do too horribly bad at running this as a training run.  We showed restraint and averaged 9:40 minutes/mile.  We felt good and listened to our bodies = win! 

Related Posts with Thumbnails