March recap

March Recap: At the end of each month, I’m revisiting my 2012 goal post to track my progress and to record my stats.  I meant to get this up earlier in the week, but had minimal computer time with family visiting.  Better late than never! Here’s March:

Running Related

  • March stats:  running- total 60 miles; 16 spin classes- total 393 miles; 8.75 elliptical miles; 15.5 walking miles; 4200m swimming; and weights 2-3x/week

  • Record breaking: Nope
  • Cross Training Challenge: Had a blast at Power Yoga!
  • Running Buddy: Not motivated to do much here, as I had to take off two weeks for my twisted ankle

Personal and Family Balance

  • Evening quiet time:  Where does the day go? I would love an extra evening hour to read, but it hasn’t been happening lately.
  • Computer balance: Not bad… having family here for a week taught me how little computer time I really need!
  • Reading: Finished “Four Seasons in Five Senses” which I won in Carrie’s giveaway! I have several books I’m hoping to get through this month.
  • Date Nights:  Rodeo night- finally got the full Texas experience

Summary:  The downside of March was twisting my ankle on my 15 miler, and having to take a couple weeks off, which meant missing two scheduled 20 milers, and deciding to pull out of the Dallas marathon in April. Instead, I got in lots of spinning miles!

In place of the marathon, I’m planning to run a few shorter races this month.  I actually won some compression socks from Ali’s Spatula run last weekend, so that was a fun surprise!

Speaking of shorter races, the first one is tomorrow, a 4 miler… I’ve been slacking a lot this week.  That could mean well rested legs ready to run, or sluggish legs shocked that I’m demanding some speed out of them… let’s hope for the former. I’ve never raced 4 miles before, so at least it’s an automatic pr.  :)

I’m linking up with Jill today for Fitness Friday!

Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

Running:  It’s Friday! It’s so nice to be running again.  I’m still a little bummed about pulling out of the marathon, but I keep reminding myself that there will be many more opportunities for marathons.

In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through many of you who are training.  I am especially excited for Kim who has her first marathon this weekend!  Her training has been so solid, and with every new long run distance, she was amazed at what her body was capable of.  I’m sure she’d appreciate a little encouragement if you want to stop over at her blog and wish her the best!

And since Kim is always posting motivational quotes, here are a few marathon quotes for her (and anyone else racing this weekend):

“Pain is temporary; Pride lasts forever.”

“The fastest way to the finish is running!”

“There is nothing to be intimidated about – it’s just another long run where a few more people show up and they happen to wear numbers.”

Eating:  I promised to share the bread recipe from a week ago, and am finally getting around to it. Several of you asked about bread machines: I do not have one, and I prefer to knead it and let it rise myself.  But I imagine it could be done either way.  Let me know if you try it in a bread machine successfully!

Seeded Whole Wheat Bread  (Print recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp wheat gluten (optional)
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour (or ww bread flour)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2-3 c. white bread flour
  • 1 c. ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 c. raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp each sesame, poppy, and chia seeds
  • 2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for five minutes.  Mix in gluten, whole wheat flour and honey, and let sit another 5 minutes while yeast develops. Stir in the oil.   Add remaining ingredients starting with 2 c. bread flour, adding more until it makes a stiff, smooth dough.  Knead about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down, divide dough in half, let rest 5 minutes.  Then shape dough into loaves and place in greased loaf pans or shape into round loaves and place on baking sheet, greased and sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover and let rise another hour.  Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 30 minutes.

*Gluten is optional, but it helps the bread rise and gives it a nicer texture.

Winning:  And finally, thanks to all of you who entered the Nathan handheld giveaway! This was a fun one for me, because there are 3 winners, and I like winners!

The three names were drawn using the True Random Number Generator at, and here are the final results:

#49-  Andrea M,      # 36- Laurel C,         #20- Terzah B 

Congratulations, ladies!  Email me your address, and I’ll get these out to you.


Nathan handhelds review and giveaway

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I celebrated the good ankle news with a few walking/running outings last weekend.  I also used the opportunity to finally test the Nathan gear that’s been staring at me for the past two weeks, taunting me and my inability to run.

On runs longer than 10 miles, I often wear a fuel belt with water, but I’ve never tried a handheld, and was excited to try out two varieties: the Sprint and the QuickDraw Plus.

As the names imply, the Sprint is designed more for shorter distances, so I grabbed it for an easy 10k Saturday morning.

I’ve never carried a handheld before, but the band around your hand makes it very comfortable and convenient.  It was a HOT and humid morning, so I was especially thankful to have water along.

I took the QuickDraw along on my walk with Holly.  It has enough space for both my keys and phone, so it was nice to stash everything I needed in one place.

I used the QuickDraw again on Sunday for my run to spin class, as I would need a water bottle for class anyway, and could fit my keys inside.  It was a bit more awkward running with a full, heavy bottle on the way over, but became more comfortable as I got used to it.

It was the perfect weekend to experiment with the handhelds, as the weather had jumped quickly to the 80’s! I was thankful to have water with me.  I really liked the Sprint handheld for shorter distances as it’s very lightweight, but also loved the ability of the QuickDraw to hold my things.  Here’s more info and a comparison of the two:

SPRINT                                                                   QUICKDRAW Plus

* Moisture wicking, adjustable strap                          * Moisture wicking, adjustable strap
* Holds 10oz                                                              * Holds 22oz
* Incorporated ID, emergency card                           * Incoporated ID, emergency card
* High flow, one way valve automatically opens        * Dimensional zippered pocked

You can read more about these and other products on Nathan’s website.

And here’s the exciting part– Nathan Sports provided me with an additional QuickDraw Plus to giveaway, and two Sprint handhelds to share with three lucky winners!

Here’s how to enter:

Simply leave a comment, letting me know if you use handhelds, and/or which one you would prefer.

For extra entries, leave a comment for each of the following, letting me know if you:

  • Follow Nathan Sports on Facebook
  • Follow Nathan Sports on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Are a follower of Mommy Run Fast

Good luck!!

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, March 29, 2012 at midnight.  I will choose three winners using, and will announce the winners on Friday, March 30, 2012.  The winners will have one week to claim the prize, at which time another winner will be chosen.  I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own.


Weekend Workouts

Thanks for supporting Sarah in her purposeful running story yesterday, and for the interest in the series overall… I’m really enjoying sharing these stories and learning more about you all, and the power of a good run!

On Friday, I mentioned I would be seeing the doctor and would ask him about my sore ankle… I was shocked that he gave me good news!  Because none of the three key ligaments around my ankle are sore, he said I am fine to continue running because the forward-back motion won’t affect my ankle’s healing process.  It is sometimes still a bit tender to the touch on the outer edge of my ankle, but he isn’t worried about that affecting my running.  Hooray!

So I celebrated this weekend with a couple walking/running outings. Saturday morning, I did an easy 6.2 mile run.  It was a HOT and humid morning, so I was especially thankful to have water along.  I finished the run in 54:24, feeling good.

Later that morning, I got to meet up with Holly for a 3 mile walk.  We had a great time catching up and commiserating with our injured status.  I hope we can run together sometimes when we’re both back at it!

On Sunday, I was itching to run again, and had planned to go to a spinning class at 4pm.  I decided to run the 2.5 miles over and back.

After the spin class, my legs were warmed up and itching to just GO.  So I let them, and ran home a bit faster than the way over.

Avg Pace
Summary 38:36.0 5.01 7:42
1 8:31.8 1.00 8:31
2 7:56.8 1.00 7:56
3 7:43.7 1.00 7:43
4 7:16.9 1.00 7:16
5 7:02.1 1.00 7:02

It’s amazing how good it felt to run fast! I’m bummed that I most likely won’t be trained and ready for the April marathon as I planned, but am looking forward to squeezing in a few more short races before the heat overtakes us down here.  I signed up for a 4 mile race on April 7th, and a local 5k on April 14th.  It’s nice to have something on the schedule to look forward to!

Finally, I am featured on FitBlogger today, feel free to pop over there and check it out.

How was your weekend?


Cross training challenge- March

I probably say this every month, but I am loving Kim’s New 2 U Cross Training Challenge.  The idea is to try something new every month for 2012, and I doubt I would have stepped foot into “Ball-ates” or “Chiseled” without this push to do so.

So up this month, as most of you already saw, YOGA!

I”m not entirely new to yoga… my first experience was a pre-natal yoga class, which was gentle with an emphasis on stretching and relaxing.  Not exactly “exercise” but I enjoyed it.  Since then, I’ve tried one or two beginner yoga classes, but I never broke a sweat and knew there was something more challenging out there.  The only other options at our gym are “intermediate yoga” and “power yoga”… I have no idea what the difference is, but I happened to be at the gym Tuesday evening right before “power yoga” began, so I decided to give it a try.

So. Much. Fun! This class kept moving and flowing from one pose to the next, and required more arm and core strength than the others, keeping muscles engaged and challenged.  And I’ve never been asked to attempt the crow before, but as you saw on Wednesday, I was so thrilled with it I couldn’t wait to come home and repeat my trick (and after taking a picture, my husband had to try it, too!)

Conquering that pose was absolutely the highlight for me.  As others have said, there’s something about the Crow makes you feel so powerful and strong!

That was about 3/4 through the class, and I was feeling confident, but it went steadily downhill from there as we moved into inversions.  :)

I can’t remember the last time I attempted a headstand.  I don’t know if I’ve EVER attempted headstands away from the wall!

After admiring the other balanced poses around the room, I swallowed my pride and moved my mat over the the wall and began trying to throw my feet up in the air.  The really sweet Indian man next to me started coaching me and giving me tips (use your core, not the momentum of your kicking, etc) until I got my feet up.  I came crashing back down, laughing at myself, and feeling like a kid at play!  The teacher also came over to help me out, so by this point, the entire class new that I was the newbie who was not getting it.


At least I was having a blast trying! And everyone was encouraging and welcoming afterwards, too.

I’m determined to nail those headstands in time. The only downside to Power Yoga is that it’s offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8:30pm.  Yikes! I’m not sure how feasible it will be to get out the door that late into the evening, but I’m going to try hard to make it once a week.

And thanks to those of you who speak so highly of yoga and manage to combine it with your running… especially Angela, Stephanie and Kelly.  Your blogs inspired me the last few weeks, and I was thinking of you ladies as I made myself walk into that class!

Finally… I RAN! I was given many suggestions to test it out with a walk-run, and after a successful 2 mile walk earlier in the day, I ventured on an easy 3 mile loop last night.  Even though my ankle has moments of soreness some days, it felt fine on the run.  I’m still not confident that I should be back to running, but I’m seeing my doctor today about a lingering cough, and he happens to have a sports med specialty, so I plan to get his advice on the ankle as well.

It’s Fitness Friday, so hop over to Jill’s blog to check out other fitness links!



Grumpy wiaw

It’s a new day.  Thank goodness! After throwing a pity party for myself yesterday and my silly bum ankle, I am ready to make it a better day.

I love linking up with Jen for What I ate Wednesday.

One of the perks is that it motivates me to think about what I’m putting on my plate, and keeps me accountable, which I desperately need in March with both the Vegan challenge and giving up chocolate for Lent.  Unfortunately, even photographing my food failed me yesterday.

I ate well most of the day, and even kept the challenge to go green in mind all day, adding greens to my breakfast smoothie:

A big green salad with leftover lentils for lunch:

Popcorn with nutritional yeast and lemon-flavored fish oil and salt for a snack (probably sounds gross, but I promise, it’s REALLY good!)

And a new black bean burger recipe, with cooked millet in place of the flours, open-faced (I ate a second without bread), with tomatoes and broccoli on the side (my mood was steadily declining all day, and by this point I didn’t even feel like trying to make this look more appetizing, but it was tasty!):

After dinner is when the trouble began.  I decided I needed a date-nut-cocoa ball, and then another.  And then a cookie... (stashing them in the freezer does not mean they are safe!)  And finally two handfuls of chocolate chips from the bag.  Blatant disregard for my challenges, and I didn’t even care.

I don’t usually get down on myself for having something sweet… there’s nothing wrong with a little treat! But my negative state of mind and lack of control were the problem.  When I’m in that mood, I’m so focused on wanting sugar that I’m not sure I even enjoy it.

In retrospect, the fact that I hadn’t moved my body all day certainly played a part in my grumpiness.  (I had planned to swim in the afternoon, but the chance of storms closed our outdoor pool.)  Chocolate is my go-to comfort food when I’m feeling down, so naturally, that’s what my body wanted.  And after two weeks of feeling okay about being sidelined with a twisted ankle, I let myself be upset yesterday.  And I know that’s important.

Those days will come.

Thankfully, the day ended on a better note.  My husband sent me out the door to get out my frustration at the gym, and even though I was annoyed with the elliptical, I came home refreshed and renewed.  It’s amazing what a little exercise will do!

I didn’t suffer on the elliptical for too long, I decided to push myself and try a new class… and had a blast!  More on that later but here’s a hint:

Have you tried anything new lately?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets in a funk and falsely believes chocolate is the cure!




Cycling, Chia, Cookies and Crackers

Cycling: I was hoping to try my first run back on Saturday, but I don’t think my ankle is ready yet.  It still feels stiff when I wake up in the morning, and is no longer painful throughout the day, but isn’t 100% either.  I’m giving it a few more days…

In the meantime, I’ve been on a spinning craze, and hit 127 miles last week with one day of swimming and several days of weights.  L even requested yoga one afternoon, so we found a video on Netflix and did it together, something I’ve been meaning to incorporate more into my week.  I really want to get in a trial run by Saturday.  C’mon, ankle!

Chia + Cookies: After reading Born to Run with more discussion of chia seeds (on top of the blog world’s obsession with them), I decided to buy some.  Over the weekend, I did some experimenting and made Vegan Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, using Earth Balance in place of butter, and a chia/water mixture in place of eggs. They turned out surprisingly well!

The non-vegan version has become our go-to family chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Dark Chocolate-Sunflower Cookies (print recipe)

  • 3/4 c. flour (I use whole wheat pastry)
  • 1/2 c. oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c (one stick) butter or earth balance
  • 1/2 c. sugar or honey
  • 1 egg (or  1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c mix of chocolate chips and raisins
  • 1/2 c chopped cashews or other nut
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  • (optional) 2 scoops chocolate soy protein powder

Combine dry ingredients.  Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Then add in chocolate chips, raisins, cashews and seeds.  Drop spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen medium sized cookies or 3 dozen small cookies.

Crackers: I’ve also been bookmarking a number of homemade cheese cracker recipes, and  a friend sent me another homemade cracker recipe this week that I decided to try.  I used half whole wheat, half rice flours, and needed a little extra water, but other wise followed the recipe pretty closely.  We don’t buy goldfish crackers (although L loves them at friend’s houses) so this was a treat for her.  We had them for dinner with red lentil-squash stew.

Addicted to running

There’s nothing like forced rest to make you re-consider your relationship to running.  I’ve been struggling this week, wanting to be out there, knowing my ankle is not ready, but simultaneously realizing I’m handling this time off better than I have in the past.

I took two months off this fall for a shin stress reaction, and those first few weeks were hard.  I was afraid I would lose all of my running fitness, and would be starting all over.  I was nervous that I would have trouble staying positive and upbeat (that anti-depressant effect is powerful!) Plus, I thought I’d be terribly bored on the bike and in the water.

As it turned out, I managed okay… I ran my first 5k just a few weeks later, and surprised myself with how quickly my endurance and speed returned.  I loved my spinning classes and decided to keep them in my routine.  And I found that sweating hard in other ways, though not as good as the runner’s high, could definitely boost my energy and mood and get my through the week.

So I’m hanging onto the lessons learned just a few months ago, and trying my best to enjoy the opportunity to get back in the water and try a few new things.

On top of the physical and mental effects, taking a break from running reminds me that I can survive without running.  I’m kind of kidding, but if you run, you know what I mean– you get to a point where it’s such a part of your identity, you can’t imagine not running.  I found several articles about running addictions or obsessions, and it’s no surprise that running attracts the addictive personality.

I think having a non-running husband helps keep me fairly grounded, but to my non-running friends I’m sure it looks like running is an obsession of mine.  And there are times when it feels like it, too:

  • I get giddy about making up a race schedule and training plans
  • I plan my weekly schedule with L around my running
  • I track everything in a hand-written journal
  • I blog about it  :)

I’m throwing around the terms ‘addiction’ and ‘obsession’ in a very light-hearted way.  Most runners I know could be considered somewhat obsessed with the sport, but I found questions in this article to help determine at what point running becomes an addiction. I’ve never reached a point where it was a ‘real’ addiction, but it was a good reminder to strive for balance in all areas of life.

Have you ever wondered if you’re obsessed with or addicted to running? Do you have to work to keep a healthy balance, or is it a non-issue?

Rodeo, Swimming and WIAW

We had our first real taste of Texas this week, as we got to check out the Rodeo Monday night!  This is a massive two-week event with an evening Rodeo and concert every evening in Reliant Stadium, where the Texans play, as well as a huge carnival, petting zoo, dozens of food vendors, shopping, you name it.

It’s the first time since moving to Texas that we’ve seen people wearing their cowboy boots in the city! I would have been entertained enough with the people-watching, but it was fascinating to see the bull riders, horse-wagon races, and other stunts, followed by an Eli Young concert (for which we lasted about 3 songs, mostly because we’re getting old).  But it was definitely fun!

Moving on to food, Jen is challenging everyone to “go green” for March:

I’m one week into the Vegan Challenge, and it hasn’t been too challenging yet, other than the few times we were eating with friends or served foods by others.  It’s not necessarily always “clean” so I can’t say it’s healthier than my usual eats, I’ve just swapped in almond milk and soy yogurt and am successfully avoiding cheese.

Yesterday, Lily woke up requesting oatmeal for breakfast (as usual), so she and I had our oats made with almond milk, while daddy made eggs for himself.  I really love that we can eat breakfast together.  I know there may come a day when it’s not an option.

We did have some green in our lunch today, a vegetable we rarely cook with: fennel.  We made a White bean-Artichoke-Chard ragout with fennel relish Monday night, and had leftovers today.  It’s a very mild-flavored dish, but the fennel relish on top adds a lot.  We ate our leftovers over whole wheat couscous with veggies and hummus on the side.


While L napped, I had my snack (apple, pb, and date-cocoa-cashew balls) and started getting ready for a late afternoon swim.

I’ve been bummed about my ankle this week.  It was nice to swim, but nothing can replace a good run.  I swam a mile and wanted to keep going, but that’s about my max for the pool… it didn’t help that it was a super windy day and this (outdoor) pool had debris flying in, so I had several startling moments when a leaf or twig would skim along my shoulder or ankle.  Confirmation that I don’t have what it takes for an open water swim!

After playing on the playground outside the YMCA for another hour, then came home to crock pot black beans.  I mashed some avocado for guacamole, and made tortilla “chips” in the oven from wheat and corn tortillas.  We also topped our beans with cilantro.  Yummy.

Have you ever been to a rodeo? Do you like fennel? What will you eat that’s green today?!

For the love of running

Today was supposed to be my 5k report… instead I’m nursing my ankle and jealously watching other runners pass by the window this weekend.

After a painful ending to Wednesday’s attempt to run, I finally decided to take this ankle seriously and began researching what to expect in the healing process.  I found a helpful article about returning to running after a sprain, and it sounds like it could be up to four weeks of recovery for a mild sprain.  Which mostly likely means no marathon in April.  Of course, it could heal more quickly, but then I still need to come back slowly to make sure my ankle is strong enough and ready for the pounding.

I’m definitely disappointed, but am still hanging onto hope that anything could happen.  For now, I’m taking it one week at a time.  Corey thoughtfully sent me an article on recovering with MICE (movement, ice, compression and elevation) as opposed to only rest, which confirms my plans to continue biking and swimming and weights.

In the meantime, I also got sucked into “Born to Run” which was up next on my nightstand.  Maybe the fact that I’m not currently running has magnified the impact of this book, but I’m completely captivated and am soaking up the stories of the Tarahumara (“Running People”) from the deep canyon wilderness in Mexico.

I especially enjoyed some of the musings about what “it” is that makes a great runner, and how we know it’s within us-

How do you flip the internal switch that changes us all back into the Natural Born Runners we once were?… Remember? Back when you were a kid and you had to be yelled at to slow down?… Half the fun of doing anything was doing it at record pace, making it probably the last time in your life you’d ever be hassled for going too fast.

And again, reflecting on what the American marathoners had a few decades ago:

Back in the 70’s, American marathoners were a lot like the Tarahumara; they were a tribe of isolated outcasts, running for love and relying on raw instinct and crude equipment…Tigers were just a flat sole and laces, with no motion control, no arch support, no heel pad.  The guys…didn’t even know enough to worry about “pronation” and “supination”; that fancy running-store jargon hadn’t even been invented yet.

What I love about this book, besides the incredible stories of the hidden tribe of the Tarahumara, is the inspiration to run for the love of running… trails, pace, distance of our choice, as opposed to our strict running schedules and training plans.  I know my Type A personality thrives on a plan, but I’m already looking forward to my first run back in hopes that I can start fresh and remember to appreciate the simple pleasure of a run.

As I was writing, I realized this fits within the purposeful running series… we run because we can, because we love it, because we are re-claiming our childhood urge to sprint and go and be free.

Run for me this week… and be grateful to be out there! Hope to join you again soon. :)