The Dark and Silence

July 29, 2016

Davis is getting on a decently predictable schedule these days, at least since the last week or so. I’d say that is as predictable as a newborn really gets. He goes to bed at 7, then wakes up between 12-1, and then again between 4:30-5:30. When he woke up at 5:15 on Thursday morning, the idea came into my head to stay awake and get out for a run.

Since being on maternity leave, I’ve had no reason to wake up early to exercise. I can always get out first thing in the morning, so I really didn’t have a reason to get up before the sun. With sleeping in (which of course is all relative since sleeping in means sleeping until 6:30) comes a lot more heat. It also means I have to push the stroller as I run, which is no easy feat ever, not to mention when you are getting back into shape. Put a double stroller into the mix and an easy 3 mile run just turned one heck of a workout.

I was able to convince myself to go ahead and put on my running clothes instead of climbing back into bed once Davis finished nursing around 5:40. I quickly headed out the door and got started on my 3 mile loop in the complete darkness and utter silence.

Running in the dark

It had been months since I woke up to run the dark. When I was pregnant, I would just hop on the treadmill at work and get my run in to stay away from the heat. I also opted for the extra sleep since I knew just what was ahead of me in the coming months with a newborn baby. I enjoyed running in the dark far more than I ever remembered. There is something unbelievably calming and therapeutic to hear only your footsteps around you and not have the sun beating down upon you. I don’t wear headphones in the morning for safety reasons so it was just the time I needed. Most days, I may have 5-10 minutes to myself, and usually that is just rushing through a shower or using the bathroom. Starting the day with 30 minutes all to myself was just what I needed.

Once I was done with my run, I walked in the door to a crazy 2.5 year old calling from his crib, “Momma, mommmmmyyyyy!” and I knew I had made the right decision to focus on myself for just a few extra minutes that morning. Those 30 minutes made me that much more ready to take on my day, which included a sick toddler, a couple of diaper blowouts, and even same late night puke all. over. the. place.

Yep, I’d say I deserved those 30 minutes.

See you again soon early morning running!

Tex-Mex Turkey Scramble

July 27, 2016

Happy Wednesday! I have a super yummy recipe for ya’ll today! We gave it a test last night, and the recipe passed with flying colors.

Mexican food is one I just don’t get sick of. I can have it for dinner one night, and then turn around and have it again for lunch the next day – rinse & repeat. I love the flavor combinations and how you can make so many different things with virtually the same ingredients. Here’s a yummy combo for your next taco night turned scramble night!

Tex Mex Turkey Scramble_1

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1.25 lbs ground turkey meat

1/2 large sweet onion, diced

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup green onions

1 Avocado

1 jar of salsa

Saute sweet potatoes over medium heat until tender. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add ground turkey and cook thoroughly. (If you have a higher fat meat, cook separately and then add to the skillet.) Once the turkey is about half way cooked, add the taco seasoning. Turn heat down to medium low, and then add the black beans. Cook for about 10 more minutes. Stir frequently so the spices spread throughout the dish.

Tex Mex Turkey Scramble

To serve, add your favorite toppings. We added Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), salsa, cilantro, green onions, and fresh avocado.

Tex-Mex Turkey Scramble 2

This is an easy recipe to substitute any type of meat you like or add other toppings. If I had peppers on hand, I would have added those as well. I just didn’t feel like another trip to the grocery store was necessary. The possibilities really are endless!

I hope you like it!

The Fit Foodie Race in Tampa

July 25, 2016

There’s a new race coming to town here in Tampa! The Fit Foodie race series is a new road race hitting the streets of a few cities around the country, benefiting the American Diabetes Foundation. We are lucky enough in Tampa to be hosting both a 5k and 15k race September 16-18 in downtown! I was chosen as an ambassador, so you will be seeing some more details on the blog leading up to the race!

The Fit Foodie weekend has a few different events to really make it amazing, including a Friday night cocktail party at Fly Bar, the 5k and 15k road races on Saturday, and a Sunday morning sweat session. To find out more details on the weekend, check out the website here. The theme is Calories Burned. Calories Earned. Sounds like I’ll be eating and working my way through the weekend – woo hoo!! Cooking Light and Health Magazine are both sponsoring the event, so we an expect a lot of amazing food and perks along the way!

A few things to make the event a bit more extraordinary are cooking and fitness demonstrations, appearances from Bill Rodgers and Ryan Hall, a beer and wine garden, and more fun activities. The weekend seems like it is going to be a blast! The biggest question is which race to run – the 5k or 15k?? I am going to make my decision on which race to register for in the next 4 weeks or so. I am hoping to be able to run the 15k, but if I can’t increase my mileage gradually and safely before then, I am going to just run the 5k. A great perk is strollers are allowed in the race, so I plan to bring the kiddos along for the ride! It’ll be a family affair, as long as they are up for it! Both races are on Bayshore, aka the best place in Tampa to run. The courses are flat and fast, so come take advantage!

Here’s the 5k course:

FitFoodie5kTampa

And here is the 15k course:

FitFoodie15kTampa

If you are going to be in the Tampa area and would like to take part in the Fit Foodie race weekend, please use my discount code of FOODFUNRUN to get 10% off the 5k and 15 races and John Hancock Vitality Village registration. I hope to see you there to kick off the fall racing season!

Too Much Too Soon

July 22, 2016

I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of plan I want to create to get back into running. I’m not 100% sure as to what races I want to commit to this fall since Davis isn’t on a predictable schedule, but I do have a couple in mind. He is doing ok with his sleep, but not great. Sleep is the most important thing to me these days, so waking up to run is taking a backseat. I’m still on maternity leave, so I am able to get in some miles during the day, but it’s summer in Florida. AKA, super short and slow runs are all that’s possible right now.

Anyhow, last week I went for a run on Sunday morning. I went by myself – no stroller, no friends, and no music. It was just me and my running shoes- glorious! I set out for a few miles and just started running. My first mile was around 9:30, and ended up coming down by about 15 seconds each mile thereafter until I hit the 30 minute mark I had set out to do. It was hard – the heat, humidity, and general lack of fitness had me huffing and puffing. I cooled off, got in the shower and just went on with my day.

Later that evening, I started having some GI issues and began to cramp up. These cramps weren’t just little ones – they were the spitting reflections of ones I experienced in labor. Yes – that bad. After struggling for a couple of hours, my mom encouraged me to call my OB. I took her advice and per the doctor, it turns out I pushed myself a little too hard too soon. My body was saying no way, hold your horses.

All I could think was really… 3 miles? I’m having issues after just 3 miles at 9ish minute mile pace?!

The pain was enough to make me realize I have a very long way to go and the slow miles are where it’s at for a bit. The cramps were a good reminder that even though I was in great shape last summer, it’s going to take quite a bit for my body to get back to normal, both inside and out.

While I may have a few races on he calendar in upcoming months, I sure won’t be setting an records – my body will make sure of it! I’ll be listening to my body and giving it the rest and attention it needs to take care of this little guy.

Davis 6 week smile

That is, after all, the most important part of life right now!

Anyone else have a nice hard dose of reality set in when getting back into shape?

Skin Cancer and Runners

July 21, 2016

All of my most memorable runs happen outside. I can’t think of a single run in a treadmill that left me smiling and wanting more. 😉

With all of the running outside comes a lot of sun exposure. Even when I start at 5am, a 3 hour run lands me finishing up at 8am in the sun. I have super fare skin and burn crazy easy. I don’t actually burn that early in the morning, but my skin still soaks up the rays, which isn’t a good thing.

I have my 6 month dermatologist appointments right on schedule during the year to do my very best at staying on top of catching any a-typical skin spots. Living in Florida, I’ve been in the sun way too much over the years and haven’t always been good about sunscreen. I’ve had many spots removed before, so at this point, I know what to look for. I had two spots in question, and knew it was time to get to the doctors office.

At my appointment, I pointed out the two little spots I had been watching. They were both no larger than the tip of a q-tip and looked like little scratches. There was one common denominator about the spots – they weren’t healing like a normal scratch does. I had the same issue on my forehead 2 years ago, and it turned out to be basal cell carcinoma. One spot is on my upper lip, which I have pictured below. See that tiny red spot at the tip of my finger – that’s it.

Basal cell cancer

The two spots, along with 4 others, were biopsied and sent to the lab for testing a couple weeks ago. I received the results yesterday, and just as I suspected, those two spots in question are indeed basal cell, and need to be surgically removed. Luckily, the other 4 spots in question came back with no issues. Not that someone would ever want skin cancer, but if you have to choose, basal cell would be the one – so says my doctor. It’s not as invasive as squamous or melanoma and can be treated quickly.

I’m telling you all this to remind you to get to the dermatologist to get your skin checked regularly. My doctor has increased my frequency to every 4 months now. He told me it’s only a matter of time before I get melanoma, which is the worst form of skin cancer you can get. Catching it early is key, so be sure to schedule your annual, semi-annual, or whatever frequency appointment that is recommended for your skin.

As runners, we are significantly more susceptible to skin cancer, just due to the amount of time we spend outside. Wear sunblock, hats, and protective clothing when you can, and try to run when the sun isn’t at its  strongest. Your skin will thank you!