Friday, November 30, 2012

November Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day!

I had another amazing month of Foodie Pen Pals!  First I'm going to tell you a little bit about Foodie Pen Pals and then I will reveal the goodies!



The Lean Green Bean

Here’s what the program is all about:


-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal 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 penpal! 
-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 Penpals 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.

Things are changing for December. Instead of sending boxes out this month, Lindsay is asking everyone to use the $15-$25 you would normally use to buy your box items and mail them to donate to victims of Hurricane Sandy. There are so many people who participate in Foodie Pen Pals that we can make a difference! To learn more about this and to sign up visit HERE.

Donations will be accepted December 3rd-7th so get on over there and sign up!!!
 
This month I was paired up with Janna from Try It You Might Like It! She sent me an awesome box of goodies!
 
 
It was packaged all nice and pretty!
 
Janna told me in her note that she had been visiting Burlington, Vermont with her best friend and so she chose fun foodie items from Vermont for me! She even sent items for my boys and for my cat Cullen!!! So sweet!
 
 
Here is a run down of all my goodies!
 
  • Organic Spelt Fusilli by Grand Isle Pasta- This was so yummy! I should have taken a picture of the dish I made with it but I forgot. Bad me! I made something we call "Tuna and Noodles" around my house. We use noodles, canned tuna, a little bit of mayo, and mustard and mix it all together for a quick and easy meal. It's the prefect carbing up meal for me before a long run!
  • Distiler's Maple Pretzels- Oh these were soooo good! If you like a mixture of sweet and salty then these are perfect for you! Pretzels with maple syrup on them...sounds like food for those Christmas elves lol!

  • Green Mountain Goodness Maple Rub- This was so good! I put the rub on chicken and it gave it a slight sweet flavor. It was awesome!
  • CinnaMint VerMints- These were amazing! They tasted just like an altoid but were all natural!
  • Recipe for brownies- Yum! I love brownies! Janna said this was her "go-to recipe for brownies adapted from Martha Stewart." I can't wait to make these!
  • Recipe Cards- She sent me my own so I could write down my favorite recipes!
  • Dan's Chocolates- Yes these were the first thing to go...and my hubby ate them all! I didn't get to try even one! But he assured me they were very good!
  • Stash Tea White Christmas and Merry Mint- I'm not a big tea fan (unless it's Southern sweet tea) so I gave these to my sister-in-law who loves tea! She was super excited! Janna did inform me that this was her favorite tea....so maybe I can get the sister-in-law to at least let me taste it! ;-)
  • Toy balls for Cullen- And he loves them! He chases them all over the house!
  • Stickers for the boys- They were so excited to get mail lol! They decorated tons of pictures for me with their new stickers!!!
Thanks so much Janna for such an awesome box of fun food items!!!

QOTD: Are you a tea or coffee person?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Knee Check!

So after all of your wonderful advice about my knee yesterday (can I just say I have the BEST readers ever!!!), I made an appointment to get it checked out. Several of my runner friends recommended the same doctor...a chiropractor that specializes in sports related injuries. So I called Eastern Shore Chiropractic and Sports Clinic to discuss my problem and make an appointment. The only appointment they had for yesterday was at 2:30 and I was subbing until 3:00. So that didn't work. They didn't have any more appointments until Monday at 2:15. I went ahead and booked the appointment but asked if they had any cancellations for yesterday or today to please call me. Well it must have been my lucky day because about 15 minutes later they called me back and said they were going to work me in at 4:00 that day!!! Awesome customer service for sure!!!

I pulled up to the office and immediately got super nervous. And when I get nervous I get weepy. So I prayed that I wouldn't cry in front of the doctor...because I normally do and I hate that! It's so embarrassing! And I prayed that I would get good news.


The office was super nice on the outside! And the inside was just as nice! I loved it from the moment I walked in! And the receptionist automatically knew who I was before I told her! That made me feel so welcome!

I only waited about two minutes in the waiting room before they called me back. They took me to a room and the nurse asked me a few questions about my injury and how it happened and my pain scale. Then the doctor came in...Dr. Justin Southall. He introduced himself as Dr. Justin! I thought that was pretty cool! He asked me more questions about the fall I had and looked at my knee. He decided he wanted to take a few x-rays. He took me into the x-ray room and administered the x-rays himself. Then I went back into the patient room and it took about 30 seconds and my x-rays appeared on the computer screen!!! I just LOVE technology!!!



He said my knees looked great and were identical. That was music to my ears!!! No fracture!!! But he did say that sometimes it takes fractures three weeks so show up...and it has only been 12 days since I fell in New Orleans. But he didn't seem to think that would be my case since the fall wasn't a huge trauma.

After looking at the x-rays he took me into another room and started moving and rotating my knee. You could hear the patella bone seeming to get stuck when he was bending my knee. He adjusted it somehow and it stopped doing that! He said my patella seemed to be a little out of alignment which could be causing some of the pain.

Then we went to a different room and he hooked me up to a machine called E-stim. Basically it sends electrical currents through electrodes to your muscles to make them contract. It felt like the muscles were pulling and pushing. He put a heat pad on top and I got to lay there and relax for about 15 minutes that way!


After the E-stim, I went back into another room and he taped my knee with KT Tape (he apologized for not having any pink tape!). He wants me to keep the tape on for a few days but it was already peeling off by the time I left. He said it was probably coming off because of lotion on my legs. But my awesome friends Paige and Andrea use KT Tape all the time so I may see if they will retape me...on non lotion legs!


Dr. Justin doesn't want me to run this weekend. He says he thinks I should be able to run in about a week. And my half marathon for next weekend is a GO!!!!

In the meantime, I have to go see him two times next week. He also offered to tape my knee for the race. I also have to take a 15 minute Epsom salt bath and then ice the knee for 15 minutes each day. And he wants me to apply Biofreeze two times each day. And of course.....stretch! Dr. Justin also said I could cross train on the bike or anything that doesn't hurt the knee.

So that's my road to recovery...and I am pretty pleased with the route! I am so thankful that this isn't a serious injury!!! Thank you so much for all your prayers...please keep them coming just in case! I won't really know how well the knee is until I run on it again.

So for now I am going to be using a lot of this:


And doing a lot of this:


And let's not forget the Biofreeze!
 
I want to say a special thank you to Dr. Justin for making me feel so welcome! I really liked his office and staff and feel like I am in good hands! Dr. Justin understood my situation as a runner and that made it much easier! Here's to hoping my knee recovers quickly!

QOTD: Have you ever seen a Chiropractor for an injury?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Injuries are a Pain!!!

Literally! Remember when I told you about my knee starting to hurt on my 18 mile run a week and a half ago? Well, I rested all the next week so I could run my 10 mile long run the next (last) weekend. My knee felt better about two days after my 18 miler but I still didn't try to run. I had 10 miles scheduled for Sunday morning and didn't even think about my knee hurting...until I started running. I didn't even make it a quarter of a mile and I could start to feel it. But being a runner (we just don't stop do we) I kept running and made it my full 10 miles. No it wasn't horrible pain...just felt like my knee was bruised. And the run was awesome (other than the knee)! After the run I stretched, rolled, and iced my knee. I took Aleve for inflammation. And it was killing me. Still felt really, really bruised.

The next day...same thing. It didn't feel any better. And the tears started flowing. Because I am realizing that I may be injured. And I'm frustrated. I only have 2 more really long runs (20 and 22 miles) left in my marathon training. The marathon is January 13th. And I was just starting to get my groove back and feel really awesome during my runs. And my hip that has been hurting since the beginning of October is feeling much better. And now this...another pain arises. WHY??? WHY now when I am so close to marathon taper time?

It's weird because the knee feels bruised and when you look at it there is a red area that has some heat to it and is where the bruised feeling is. My husband looked at it and said, "It's bruised." I took a few pictures but I'm not sure if you will be able to see the redness very well.



After a couple of days the red area goes away. And it starts to feel better. But as I found out on Sunday...it will hurt again when I run. So far I haven't run any this week...because the knee feels a little better but is still hurting. This weekend I am supposed to run 20 miles.

I know in my heart that I need to rest this weekend and NOT run the 20 miler. And that kills me. I REALLY want to run!!! But I also don't want to injure the knee worse and not be able to run the marathon at all. I'm hoping the rest will heal it. And I'm really praying that I will still be able to run my marathon on January 13th. Please pray for me too! I would greatly appreciate it!

And you know I have to share a picture of myself after my 10 mile run Sunday (because I am a dork who likes to take self portraits apparently)! It was super chilly on my run so I was all bundled up!

 
 
QOTD: Have you ever had knee pain like this? Do you think I'm making the right decision to rest? Do you think I should go to the doctor for my knee?



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#HOLIDAYADAY Photo Challenge!!!

I don't know about you but I LOVE taking pictures! Instagram makes it so easy and is the BEST thing ever! And what better time of the year to take lots of photos than Christmas time???

Well some of my awesome blogging buddies and I have come up with a December photo-a-day challenge! Make sure to check out their blogs also!

Abby from Back At Square Zero (our awesome graphic designer!)
Beka from Rebecca Roams
Gina from Noshing on Asphalt
Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints
Kate from Run With Kate
Mindy from Mindy's Fitness Journey
Sarah from Mom Running On Empty

Are you ready for the prompts???

 
So how do you play? Just take a photo a day using the prompt for each day as your inspiration. For example for day 29's (aka Dec. 29th) prompt "Furry Friends" expect to see a photo of my kitten Cullen from me!
 
What if you miss a day? No problem! Just pick up where you left off....or if you're a perfectionist like me then you can take more than one photo that day to catch yourself up! ;-)
 
After you take your photo...post it for all of us to see! You can post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog, or anywhere else you'd like! Just be sure to tag your photo with #holidayaday! And if you're posting on Instagram I would LOVE it if you'd tag me (@roadrunnergirl) because I want to be sure and see all your awesome photos!!!

QOTD: Are you going to participate in the #holidayaday photo challenge?



Monday, November 26, 2012

The Weekly Chase...Back At It!

I didn't get to write my Weekly Chase last week...and I really missed it! I love how this post keeps me accountable. I felt a little lost last week since I didn't have my goals written down. So I am back at it this week!

If you haven't linked up with us for the Weekly Chase yet...well here's your chance! You won't regret it! Melissa at Live, Love, and Run started this and I am so grateful!


Here are the goals I set two weeks ago:
  • Goal #1: No snacking after dinner. I did a little better with this but I still need to work on it. This is so hard for me!!! I always want to snack after the boys go to bed!
  • Goal #2: Stretch and foam roll every day. Yep yep! But I still want to keep this as a daily goal!
  • Goal #3: Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. I was about 50% successful with this. I have GOT to stop drinking sweet tea!!!!
  • Goal #4: Plan dinners for the week. Yes! I did this and it makes dinner time so much easier!
  • Goal #5: Do better with cleaning the house and doing laundry this week. 50% success! Still need to work on this one! Especially since the kids were home from school all last week!
So here are my new goals (and recurring ones) for this week!

Goal #1: No snacking after dinner.

Goal #2: Stretch and foal roll every day.

Goal #3: Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.

Goal #4: Restart the 100 pushups program. I really dropped the ball on this and for no reason. It is something that only takes about 10 minutes 3 times a week. There are no excuses to not do this!

Goal #5: Take it easy with running. My knee got better last week but then after Sunday's 10 miles it started hurting again. I am going to rest another week. Right now the most important part of marathon training is getting the long runs in so that is what I am focusing on. I have 20 miles this weekend. I am going to attempt to do some cross training on the bike at the gym this week to make up for missing my short runs.

So there it is! Goals are written! Wish me luck! Feel free to keep me accountable by asking me on Facebook or twitter how I'm doing with my goals! 

QOTD: What are your goals this week?



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Runner Spotlights #15

I hope everyone has had a Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I had a wonderful time with my family! And I got some Christmas shopping done and my house decorated for Christmas too! It's been a fun weekend!

Now it's time for another runner spotlight! If you are interested in being spotlighted please email me at mindy@roadrunnergirl.com! I'd love to spotlight you!!!

Today I am so excited to spotlight my friend Regina from Life's Run! Regina only lives about an hour away from me and we were blessed to be able to meet each other at the Pensacola Half Marathon! She is an incredible woman with such an inspiring story! Keep reading to learn more!



Name: Regina Faura
State: Florida

When and why did you start running? I quit drinking alcohol in 2010 and realized I had gained over 40lbs. I decided to try the Couch to 5k in November 2010 and have not stopped since.

What is your favorite race and race distance? I have only been running races for about a year so I don’t have a favorite race but the 10k is my favorite distance now.

What is your race day routine? I get up early enough to get dressed, have a cup of coffee and head to the race.

What is your most favorite piece of running gear? Right now it is my Amphiphod handheld water bottle.

Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running? I do not diet or take supplements. I made a lifestyle change in my eating habits 2 years ago and continue to eat that way now.

What do you wish you’d known when you first started running? How good it was going to make me feel and I would have started a lot sooner!

What is your fondest running memory? Running my first 5k and wanting to sign up for another race right away.

What is one thing that most people do not know about you? Sometimes I snort when I laugh!


Here are all the different ways you can connect with Regina!

Instagram: rfaura13

Thanks so much for sharing with us Regina!

QOTD: Did you brave the crowds and go shopping on Black Friday?



Friday, November 23, 2012

Top Gifts for Runners!

It's getting close to Christmas time...the most wonderful time of the year! And today is Black Friday...and yes I am out with the crazies doing some shopping! I love it! And what's great about it...me and my hubby shop Black Friday together every year...and have a blast! His sister watches our boys for us so we can shop 'til we drop (thanks Katie)! Believe me...this is the ONLY time of the year that I can get Andy to shop lol!

So with shopping on my mind I thought a post about the top gifts for runners would be appropriate!


Now keep in mind that these gift ideas are my opinion....and things I need like as a runner! ;-)


  • Medal Hanger. All runners need a place to display their most prized possessions...those race medals! I am in need of another one..mine is full! 
  • GPS Watch. All runners need a way to check their pace, time, and distance! I absolutely love my Garmin! It's pretty old and I would love one of the new ones! Other brands include Polar and Nike+ but I can't steer away from Garmin.

  • Running Clothes. All runners need the right running clothes. In the winter we need tights, pants, and long sleeve shirts. In the summer we need running skirts, shorts, and tank tops.

You know I LOVE my skirts from runningskirts.com! I have my eye on the Chevron Athletic Skirt!

  • Socks and Compression Socks. Socks are an essential need for runners. You can never have too many socks! My favorite brands are Swiftwick and Pro Compression. And compression socks are awesome for running in AND for recovery.
  • Headbands. Runners don't like hair falling in their eyes or face while running. And sweat is another factor...it's not fun getting sweat in your eyes. So some kind of headband is a must. My favorites are Bondi Bands, BIC Bands, and Sweaty Bands!
  • Fuel. Those packs of GU, Sports Beans, Sharkies, or Gummy Bears are perfect stocking stuffers for the long distance runner! 
  • Lifeproof iPhone case. There have been many times I've been on a run and a rain shower has appeared out of nowhere. Then I am freaking out because my iPhone can't get wet. This case is waterproof, shock proof, dirt proof, and snow proof!



In my opinion I would be happy opening any of the above gifts and I'm sure the runner you're buying for would too!

QOTD: What running item is on your wish list?


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks!

We are headed about 3 and a half hours away to my sister's house for Thanksgiving today! We are having a sister/brother Thanksgiving. That means my two sisters and one of my brothers and our families are all spending this Thanksgiving together today. I can't wait!!!

I want to wish all my awesome readers a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am soooo thankful for you and that you care enough to read my blog! Let's remember how blessed we are and try not to forget all those blessings not only today but every day!


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

QOTD: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Knees, Toes, and 18 Fabulous Miles!

I had a super busy weekend this past weekend with the Twilight Marathon and The Color Run! But I'm still marathon training. And 18 miles was on the schedule. I wasn't sure how this run was going to go. I didn't get a lot of sleep Thursday night due to the Twilight marathon. And Friday night I was in New Orleans and don't sleep as well in a hotel as I do at home. But still I was up at 4:15AM Sunday morning to run my 18 miles...yes crazy I know!

Luckily the girls were all meeting at my house to start the run! I love it when all I have to do is walk outside my front door! The first 3 miles were torture like always. And it was cold so that didn't help. But once I got warmed up I felt great! We had lots of laughter during this run which makes it go by a lot faster!

Here we are at mile 8 during our stop for water! (Sorry for the blurry pics...that's why I have a two picture rule...which I didn't follow on this day!)



Yes that's Paige...my special friend! Lol! 

Surprisingly I felt great during this run! I thought having such a busy weekend was going to make this run super hard but it wasn't that bad. Sure I got tired but I never felt like I wasn't going to make it. I didn't need to walk at the end. It could have been that I was very carbed up for this run. Friday night I ate pizza and Saturday I ate Chinese fried rice and bourbon chicken and pizza again for dinner. So not healthy for me but it really helped me during this long run.

At mile 12 we stopped at Paige's house for water and a bathroom break. And we picked up two other runners that were going to run the last part of the route with us. Here are me and Sally!


We got going again (and it's so hard to get going once you've stopped for a few minutes) and knew we only had 6 miles left. I was feeling great except for tired and achy legs but knew I was going to finish strong! Then around mile 14 my knee started hurting. It felt like a bruise on the inside part of my kneecap. I figured it was just due to the extra mileage and kept running. I was feeling so great I wasn't going to let anything stop me! Plus I am used to having little aches and pains throughout long runs. They usually go away.

At the mile 16 water stop I looked down at my shoe and saw blood. I knew exactly what it was (it's happened to me before). My toenail was too long and was digging into the side of my other toe. Nope I didn't feel any pain at all. But I MUST remember to cut my toenails before these long runs!!!


With only two miles to go I finished strong! But the knee pain lasted until I finished. I felt sooo accomplished with this run! I hated that my knee was hurting!

I went inside and grabbed my Premier Protein shake for recovery while waiting on the last of the girls to come in.


Yes I am not happy with these pictures of me...don't you just LOVE the boob sweat??? Ugh!!!

But I AM happy with my time! I looked back on my past marathon training and I beat my 18 mile run time by 3 minutes!!!


After everyone left I went inside to inspect my poor toes. This is what I found when I took off my shoe.


And here's what it looked like when I took the sock off (skim down really fast if you don't like to see blood!!!). Oh and don't mind my ugly half painted toenails...it's winter time now lol!


It was exactly what I suspected...my toenail was too long and dug into the side of my other toe. Cut your toenails people! Keep them short!!!

I then took an ice bath...hoping it was going to help the knee pain. And I took some Aleve.


I'm really not sure why my knee started hurting. But it hurt ALL day that day. It hurt to walk or bend. It hurt when I touched it...it felt like I had bruised it. Later that night I pulled my pants leg up to look at it and I saw a red area where it hurt. It was a red circle and that's where the bruised feeling was. I'm not sure what caused it. My shoes are good. All I can think of is this...when we were in New Orleans Friday night I fell because I didn't see a step. I felt my ankle twist but didn't feel anything else. I was a little worried about my ankle but it was just sore on Saturday when I woke up. And during the 18 miles it didn't hurt at all. I'm wondering if when I fell I hit my knee too? Is it possible that happened and the bruised feeling didn't occur until Sunday while I was running? 

The next day (Monday)...it still hurt although not as bad. I can still feel a tiny bit of the bruising feeling now. But it's better. I've been playing it safe and not running this week. I have 10 miles on the schedule for this weekend but I'm going to see how the knee is. I do not want to risk hurting it any further and not be able to run my marathon. So we will see. 

QOTD: Have you ever had a weird pain happen during a run that you've never had before? Did you rest some before you ran again?

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