School Days

This morning marked a milestone in my son’s life – THE FIRST DAY OF MIDDLE SCHOOL! (I feel old now.) He was a little nervous to say the least. My daughter, started 1st grade today. Back to the stressful days of homework, school lunches, projects and dress codes. I think I dread it more as a parent than I did as a student!

Big Man and Mini-Me – First Day of School 2012

Do you have little ones starting school again? Do you dread getting back into a routine too?

-Kiwi

Almonds Have 20% Fewer Calories Than Expected

English: Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) Itali...

English: Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) Italiano: Mandorle sgusciate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are like me, you love snacking on almonds. Almonds and peanut butter (not together) are my weakness. So, when the latest version of “The Weekly Runner”, the newsletter from my running club, I was very happy to see this article!

Almonds Have 20% Fewer Calories Than Expected
Snacking on a 1-ounce handful of almonds might add only 129 calories to your diet – 24% fewer than previously thought. The recalculation by USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists may have implications for the calorie counts of other nuts as well as whole grains. The rigid structure of cell membranes in almonds (and possibly other plant foods) may lock in some fats and keep them from being digested, scientists said. That would explain why, when almonds were fed to 18 volunteers, an ounce didn’t deliver the expected 168-170 calories. Most calorie counts use the “Atwater general factor system,” developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which assigns calories per gram of carbohydrates (4), protein (4), fat (9) and alcohol (7). But if some of the fat in almonds never gets digested, the actual calorie impact would be lower; this would apply to whole almonds, researchers noted, while ground nuts might be more completely digested. The same ARS lab last year reported that pistachios contain 6% fewer calories than previously thought. – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
I think I may go have a handful now! Happy eating!

“All Our Dreams Can Come True If We Have the Courage to Pursue Them”

Sports Mickey cheers at the 1 Mile Kids' Race

“All Our Dreams Can Come True If We Have the Courage to Pursue Them” –  I love this quote.

And for those lucky enough to be running the Walt Disney Marathon the weekend of January 10-13, they’ll have this great quote inscribed on the 20th Anniversary Medal that they will receive upon crossing the finish line. In true Disney fashion, they’ve gone all out with the reveal of this medal, including this video, “The Great Medal Caper“.

The Disney Marathon Weekend includes several races: a 5K, a half marathon, a full marathon and for those that are brave enough, you can even run the half and then turn right around the next day and run the full. Registration is still open for the race so register and save your place at the starting line!

I’m saving up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February, but the full marathon is definitely on my to-do list for 2014!

Want more information about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Check out the Run Disney site at: http://www.rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon/

A new pace PR!

Source: richtaveras.com

 

I changed things up a little tonight and ran at a new community walking/running trail at the YMCA. The trail is 1/2 mile, but was a nice change from the boring oval at the track. I went out with no intentions of pace. I just planned to run between 30-40 minutes. My interval timer is still not working since my phone is dead, but I figured I’d just wing it

Turns out that I have a new record pace! I did 3.5 miles at an average of 10 minute per mile!

That’s 2:05 minutes faster per mile than my assessment mile for the Running School only 3 weeks ago!

I realize I’m not the fastest runner out there, but I am super proud of myself for improving my pace and increasing my distance steadily along this journey. I am truly addicted to running now and love the way it makes me feel.

Just wanted to share.

-Kiwi

A Busy Weekend

 

It’s only 4pm on Saturday and already this has been a busy weekend!

Last night I got the chance to go out with my best friend, Tiffany. With the hubby and the kiddos at the beach, we took the opportunity to have a “girls’ night out”. We had dinner at Natty Greene’s, a fun local brewery.

Natty Greene’s

I had the. best. sandwich. ever. It was the Liberty –  a sandwich with thick slices of turkey breast with granny smith apple slices and a strawberry spread on sunflower bread. I’m not sure the exact makeup of the strawberry spread. The spread was not overpowering and I’m thinking it may have had a cream cheese base. It was awesome and I’ll definitely be heading back for another one soon!

After dinner we headed to another pub, McCoul’s. Tiffany enjoyed my services as DD and I enjoyed not feeling like crap this morning. How’s that head feeling, Tiff? 😉

After some convincing, I agreed to one picture…I’m not huge on having my picture taken. That’s me on the left and Tiffany on the right.

Enjoying a night out

So, after getting into bed close to 1am, I was determined to drag my butt out of bed and make myself run this morning. I got in about 2 miles. Considering my phone died (which means no GPS, no music, no interval timer), I was pretty satisfied.

Then I was off to the farmer’s market. I. Love. The. Farmer’s. Market. Where else can you get all this food for only $32?? And this picture doesn’t include the huge bag of corn I got for $5.

A little Diva shopping at PetSmart and then I headed home to clean the house and push mow the lawn.

So, all in all, a very busy weekend. What do I plan to do the rest of the weekend, you ask? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Happy Saturday!

-Kiwi

 

Just Breathe

One would think that running would be natural. That your feet would strike the pavement mid-foot and roll forward, that your breathing would be controlled and from the belly, and that your arms would know exactly where to be. However, as a new runner, I’ve found that isn’t the case. Most of us have to train our bodies to be efficient while running.

One of the most important components is breathing efficiently. I try to focus on my breaths while running, but realize that I have a lot to learn. I’ve been doing some research and found this great article on tips for breathing while running. It gives concise information about the importance of proper breathing technique as well as some exercises to try to increase your lung capacity.

I definitely found this article blog worthy. Looks like I’ll be going to pilates now too! 🙂

Do you have any tips related to breathing efficiently? I’d love to hear them!

-Kiwi

A New Distance PR!

While on vacation I made myself get up early to run. The first day kicked my butt. The second day I made better time and there was a nice breeze. Each day my runs got progressively farther.

The first day, Stewart and I jogged from 87th St. to 71st St. and back. The second day, I ventured out on my own and made it to 49th Street then walked back. But, yesterday morning I really went all out and made it from 87th Street to 26th Street — that’s 4 miles! And I even did it in the rain! I got soaked within the first 15 minutes of my run, but then the rain stopped. Surprisingly, I wasn’t miserable and the wet clothes kept me cool.

I enjoyed running on the streets so much more than running around in circles on the track. I felt like I was actually going somewhere as opposed to feeling a little like a hamster on a wheel. The only thing that I need to remember is that you have to also make it back once you run so far! I opted for the easier route and called Stewart to come pick me up since my feet were still soaked at that point.

I was so proud of myself and can’t wait to get back out there to run again.

Who knew exercising while on vacation could be one of the highlights of the trip!?!

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