June 30, 2012

Oh my abs… where are you? 30 days and you’ll appear.

Tomorrow is July 1st

I’m finding it hard to believe that 2012 is half over.

One of my fitness bucket list goals for this year (I’ll post that list sometime. Probably tomorrow.) is to create a strong core. Sure, a 6 pack and flat abs would be nice…  but I want a strong core.
My core is what holds me up when I run.
And since I’ll be running 26.2 in four months, I’m going to need some strength.

Plus, let’s face it. I’ve been telling myself for WEEKS to get going on my core work.
But I slack.
I love working my abs. I hate working my abs.
It’s a bittersweet relationship.

Hate often wins.

So, what better way to start the second half of this year than with another challenge? (Don’t worry… I’m still going strong on my own 25th year challenge.)
One that will definitely do me some good.

For July, Run to the Finish  is hosting a 30 Day Abs Challenge<<

And I signed up for it.

The challenge is based on the Strong Like Susan 30 Day Challenge<< which I had never heard of until I signed up, but now I am extremely excited about it.
Amanda (from Run to the Finish) says that this challenge is super great because you can take it and do it anywhere (just need the internet).
Susan (the coach—meet her here<<) has a YouTube channel<< and all 30 days will be posted there.

Head over to RTTF<< to sign up, follow her Facebook page<< for tips and daily check-ins, and tweet #abchallenge to connect


Here’s what I’m working with people, no airbrushed Spartan 6-pack here.

Come July 31st, they’ll be calling me as an ab stand-in.

Passing the Baton: Have you done any challenges this year? Fitness or otherwise? Where do you stand with your core/abs? Always wanted that 6-pack? Love-hate relationship? Want to tackle this with me?


Mail Call. And no, my grandmother is not a mail-order bride.

I thought about doing a weekend update so far…but I think my Sunday may hold some more excitement, so I can’t spill all the beans today.

Until then… here’s a little teaser.

Envelope 1

These are my grandparents… 50 years ago on their wedding day.

How beautiful is this?!?! 
One of my deepest heart wishes is to celebrate 50 years with Music Man.
If he doesn’t keel over first, I think we’ll make it. I’m stubborn.

Honestly though, my heart is giddy about this beautiful invitation. The end of July marks 50 years for my grandparents, and my mother and her siblings are putting on the ritz for them!
There might even be some pimp my buggy rides going on.

Some days it’s hard to think about what we’ll be doing next week, or where we’ll be next year, let alone the life Music Man and I will have in 50 years. But that’s such the fun of marriage.
Every day proves to be an adventure, but when we walk side-by-side with God at our center, those days seem endless.

My grandparents are such an inspiration to me (as are my own parents married 28 years this year!)  and I know that this day will truly be such a celebration: of them, of love, of their life, and of their legacy.

You can bet I’ll be posting about it come the end of next month.

Envelope 2

Um… I think I may actually give this one a separate post.
I’ve got some ‘splaining to do


Passing the Baton: Am I the only weird one who gets super excited every time I unlock my mailbox? (I think this habit started in college…) Do you enjoy or dread the mail? Anything exciting this week? What magazine should I start subscribing too?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Live Faith.

June 29, 2012

Super FIT links…and why summer is awesome


Guess what? I’ve got links for you. Lots and lots and lots of links.

Ok. Not really. Just three this week.
Cut me some slack. I was finishing my online class this week and training for a marathon. (That’s so going to be my excuse for everything the next 18 weeks. Especially when I want sweets.)

  1. Several weeks ago I mentioned how excited I was about the Reve women’s team<< who would be riding the Tour de France route one day ahead of the men. Did I also mention that only one of the six women is a pro<< athlete? Man would I love to be on the team right now. I dream big, so of course I see myself doing that in, oh, the next five years. Well, no matter my dreams, their dreams are starting TODAY<<. And if you’d like to follow along with their journey, one of the riders, Heidi Swift, will be blogging every night over at Peloton—her column is ‘Swift’<<
This is definitely a HUGE motivation for me. I have always been a huge bike rider-now turned cyclist-and one of my ‘bucket list’ ideas is to cycle across the country (Europe too… but hey, someday). These gals though, they are my heroines!


2. So, are you drinking water?  Cause I am.

This is my second bottle of the day, on top of a few glasses. I’m proud of myself. I won’t lie.
Plus, when I ran this morning at 6 am it was already about 80 degrees outside, and I sweated out a monsoon.
Not as much as the double monsoon last night when I jogged—yeah  11 min/mile jogged practically—by the bank on my way to C25k. The screen read 100 degrees at 7:30 at night.

I. Love. It.

But, in all seriousness, if you are working out in heat like this, you have got to hydrate. You don’t need to be passing clean out like I did right after we moved to the Texas a couple of years ago.

If you ask, I’ll tell you the story. If you don’t ask, then you get to wonder.
But, there was a great refresher course in my current issue of runners world by Dimity McDowell.

Conveniently, The New Rules of Hydration: What and When to Drink for Peak Performance can be found online just for you.<<

I’m stoked too. I mean, I already down a cup of coffee before I run, I’ve started to ease my way into the whole sports-drink-while-running (so far it just ends up on my hands and shirt), and I’ve got the chocolate milk recovery down pat. Who knew I was such a rule follower. And to think I was just some running genius coming up with these things on my own.

Really though. Drink water and electrolytes if you’re headed out in this heat. You need them. Bad.
And next week, I’ll talk a little but more about hydration. (Or my used-to-be-lack-thereof) if anyone asks.

3. Finally. Ice Cream.

We all know that’s pretty much the main reason why summer is awesome. Right?

Well…in my book anyway. (Sorry Wonder Woman! I’m trying!)  Sure, I like ice cream like the rest of ‘em, but 'I’m trying to go all healthy here people. Plus, I’m not about to let it screw up my colon and/or marathon training.
I’m slowly, slowly, slooooowly learning that too much sugar+milk is not a good thing for me.
Ok, so maybe I know this I just don’t want  to except this.

Enter this goodness<<.
I might have become slightly addicted to Pinterest all for the sheer bliss of the yogurt creations I can dabble with.

Like this one by Girl Gone Healthy

Who knew you could freeze regular yogurt<< and it’d be just as delicious as ice cream?
Don’t answer that. You’ll make me feel silly.

I haven’t tried the cookie & cream fro cho, but I’m going too. It is Music Man’s favorite flavor after all.
But I did have this for lunch every day this week

Vanilla greek yogurt, fresh peaches, a drizzle of honey, and granola.
And you know… my sweet tooth was satisfied!

Plus there was dinner’s desert

Vanilla yogurt, a banana sliced slipped in the middle, and a dollop of Nutella.
And yes, there are a few missing…but only two!
It’s a slightly adapted version of this<<

Frozen yogurt… you really aren’t like ice cream… and yet… you are.

But for now, you have become my summer lovin’  (had me a blast…. summer lovin’ happened so fast)

Tell me the reference and you win my heart.


That’s it people. It’s Friday. Stop working. Read some articles. Go sit by the pool. Plan a pizza party.


Passing the Baton:   So, if I seriously cycle across country, how do I convince Music Man to come with me? Favorite way to hydrate? Water? Lemonade? Some crazy sports drink that I don’t know about? And finally…. FroYo creations? I need them.

Seek Peace. Choose Joy.

June 28, 2012

Thought for a Thursday: Gratitude

So many things this week to be thinking of and thankful for.

I feel that’s one of the reasons this has been such a happy week.

As much as I’m seeking contentment, and learning how to control anxiety, and to just let things go….it’s the thankful aspect that really, truly, helps me to understand contentment and joy.

Without further ado, my thankful thoughts of the week.

  1. Music Man is home. Yes, he’s got another away stint next month, but that’s next month. This week is this week, and despite work and class and just plain busyness. He. Is. Home.
  2. I’m thankful that Music man is willing to work an outrageous amount of hours and like a little peon to provide for us while I’ve started summer school. Someday, we’ll be looking back and thinking “remember when we did those ridiculous things like sling around boxes and wait tables to pay rent?” Our future kids will thank us.
  3. Fruit. ‘Nuff said.
  4. Tomorrow is my last day of my online class and then I'm home free for two weeks. I WILL conquer my stack of free reading books. I WILL write. I may paint our bedroom.
  5. Tuesday may have been my last day running with RB since she’s moving this weekend, but I’m thankful for her encouragement. I signed up for my first marathon because of her. I even got up early and ran on my own this morning because of her. She helped me realize the importance of a running buddy, and how sometimes, we all need someone to push us.
  6. JJ. He’s crazy and maybe sick right now, or just getting old, or just dealing with a bout of some feet issues but no matter how much pain he is in, he knows how to love.
  7. Running. I’m thankful to move. To choose to move. To want to move. To enjoy moving. To get to train in the mornings and to coach ladies in the evenings and to run with a group on the weekends.  I love falling in love with running again.
  8. Finally, this.









I know. People probably think I’m crazy, and it hurts my heart that this kind of weather is causing so much loss in Colorado, but I do love summer.

I love the sun. I love the heat.
And it reminds me of Texas.

Thought for your Thursday: If you had to list, say 7 things, you were thankful for this week, what would you say? Would those things already be in the forefront of your mind or would it take you awhile to discover them?

Choose Joy.

June 27, 2012

Winner winner….

Gnu fiber bars dinner!!!!!
(Ok… so I’m lame with the jokes.)

Congratulations to Kathy S!!!!!

A box of Carrot Cake fiber bars will be on your way shortly!

Thank you everybody for all of your comments. Keeping reading Enduring and maybe they’ll be some more giveaways this summer!

June 26, 2012

Vaca at the beach

Remember that one time I was soliciting  beach vacation ideas.
Well, due to the overwhelming response, I decided to stay close to home instead of venturing out.
The hubs and I (and one of his buddies) headed off to good ole Illinois Beach yesterday.
aka a lake with some sand
I really had no idea if I was going to be able to handle all of the beauty.
But I did. All $1 worth.
The boys did too.
Look at them… sunbathing like a bunch of coeds on the quad
Why yes, I did plan that fancy-frame shutter work.
Not really.
I tried to sneak one of the goofball, but he sleeps with one eye open.
Must be the army training.
However, I’m much stealthier.
And smarter since I figured out how to fix my lens.
It’s all from my Nancy Drew training.
You think I kid?
It may not have been Hawaii, San Diego, or the Carolinas, but it was a nice day in the sun regardless.
And who knows, if we collect enough change, we may be adventurous and have another beach day this summer.
That’s us.
Passing the Baton:  What are some of your most memorable vacations? Trips far away from home? Stay-cations? Are you more of a beach or mountain person?
Choose Joy

June 25, 2012

A weekend in pictures

I haven’t mentioned Herby in awhile….That’s my garden. I named him in the hopes that it would help me nurture him better.

Despite the little drought we’ve got going on here in the Midwest, he is growing like crazy!

Anyone in need of cilantro? Because I’ve got plenty.

My favorite part is this little guy.

Indeed, that is a pepper.

And no, this one isn’t sick. It’s a purple pepper plant (say that 5 times fast). They are supposed to be slightly sweeter than a green bell pepper which we consume to no end around here.

No pictures, but I think my thumb is indeed starting to turn green.

What else, what else this weekend…. Saturday was a good workout day as I put in 6 miles that morning, then headed out to coach the third session of C25K.
I used to think that I’d never sleep in again what with all this morning running, but on beautiful summer mornings like Saturday, I don’t mind it.

Oh yeah… and then there’s the whole fact that MUSIC MAN CAME HOME!

He was supposed to get in Saturday evening, but he surprised me Friday night. So we had a nice little pizza date.
Gotta keep with tradition and all.
Though, he he did wake up at 3:30 the next morning to head to the guard unit to finish up some paperwork, but he was home before noon.

I spent most of my weekend craving these, so grocery day came at a good timing.

I doubt lemonade is all that good for me what with the sugar content and all, but after I down a gallon, I just tell myself I’m hydrating.

Sunday started a little rainy and gloomy, but the sun came out for a beautiful afternoon. And it’s a good thing because us old fashioned kids headed out to the community band concert in the park.

We even rode our bikes.

You will notice that my face pretty much stays the same in all of these pictures….if only someone would smile the first time…

But, at least we have a fun photo album full of memories.

I’d share more pictures, but besides some homework, lots of reading, a little Downton Abbey and X-Men, we pretty much just relaxed.
You know, the boring lame stuff I usually do.

Needless to say… it’s good to have him home.

Passing the Baton: How was your weekend? Any exciting things happen? How did you spend it?


Ps….Kindly enter my GIVEAWAY as I extended it and you still have a little over 24 hours to win some Gnu Fiber bars!!!!
Seek Peace. Choose Joy.

Motivating Monday: The marathon

Well people.

This is happening.

I registered.


Talk about some motivation for my Monday morning.

My running buddy signed up weeks ago for this race, and I’ve been putting it off 1. for monetary reasons, and 2. because honestly, I’m plain scared.
26.2 miles is a LOOONG way to run. And I’m not always sure if my body can do that.

So, I found a 16 week plan  a couple of weeks ago that I think I can handle, and I started “pre-training” two weeks ago to get my body used to running more than 2 days a week.
I wanted to see if my leg could take it, (honestly, I wanted to see if I could take it) and so far, I’m falling in love with running again.

I had some IT band issues last week, but I’m resting, and icing, and foam rolling to help it.
And I’m not going to let it get me down.

And even if my running buddy is moving in a couple of weeks, I’m not letting that get me down either.
I can do this training.

Because this morning is HUGE for me.
I just signed up for my first marathon EVER.

Yes, I’m still a bag of mixed emotions.
I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m scared.

But I’m ready.

And I think after the journey my life has taken over the last couple of years, and now that I’m here, now, at 25, seeking peace and joy, I’m ready.

And my injury, whatever the heck it is, despite flair ups and crazy days, it’s not going to stop me.
(Now, I’m not going to be stupid and run in tremendous pain…I’m monitoring it and acting smart.)

Because even if I want to try and qualify for Boston with my running buddy, I know full well that I might not make that goal time.
Doesn’t mean I won’t try though.

Because ultimately, this race is to test my heart.
I love running, I always have.
It’s time to clear my head, to breathe, to think, to pray, to wonder, to seek, to find….and my heart, it’s ready.

And this year…it’s the right time. It’s the time to train for a marathon.

Passing the Baton: Have you done a full 26.2, yet? If so, do you remember your very first race? What advice to you have? Any good motivation tips for the next 4 months? What is something huge you want to do this year that you’ve been scared to step out and do?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy, Find Strong

June 22, 2012

Yesterday I conquered…

my closet.

I know. Not that exciting, but it kind of was for me.
I stopped being lazy and mopey and it worked to my advantage.

This was the before.

And, that’s only one shot but I figured if I took pictures of my entire closet, you would fill my comment section with all sorts of metaphors about how a messy closet says “this and that” about me.

So you only get one messy photo.

Because the after is what’s really impressive


I know. It doesn’t even look like the same closet.
And yes, I organize my workout clothes by sport and sometimes by color.
Don’t judge me.
Because see, I also do this

Those are all going away, somewhere.
Need any fashion from oh, about, 5 years ago? If so, I’m your go-to girl.

On the up side, I’m finally documenting my growing scarf and cardigan collection

20 scarfs and counting, and I have 11 cardigans, and 6 tiny sleeve cardigans for spring weather.
Oh… does this mean I’m an old lady or fashion forward?
Or perhaps hipster librarian?
I’m going for that one.

After the hours of hard work though, I thought about rewarding myself with something like this again

But because I didn’t want my colon to revolt, I went for this instead.

And yes, Baker Queen, it has taken me this long to jump on the Downton Train but with school and a husband who isn’t that into period pieces, I have to be sneaky. Though, I think he’d enjoy this, just like he’d totally love Rock of Ages. (Don’t tell him I said that.)

Time for some more house upkeep. Music Man will be home tomorrow. I have to make it look like I did something while he was gone.

Me. Lazy? Never.
Though I have read about 5 books already this week.
And that is definitely NOT lazy.

Passing the Baton: Any good places to find good scarves or cardigans? Input on Downton Abbey. Should I have been on the train before now, or is it a good way to spend my summer? Best period piece ever or not so much?

June 21, 2012

Thought for a Thursday: Gratitude

It’s been an interesting 3.5 weeks.
Sometimes I take for granted that my husband is still a soldier, and so, when he has to leave for training, it really makes me think about the life we have together.

And yes, it’s far from perfect.
And yes, we’re back to being poor, married, college students with a dog for our kid.

And I may or may not be going through a quarter life crisis because my “life plan” has changed.
And there are many, many days when I wish we had a house of our own, we were settled in careers, or we could vacation in Hawaii.

But now that I’m learning to breathe, I stop and realize that all that wishing/wanting can sometimes make me forget the great life we do have.


We have a roof over our head  that’s a place for our youth group kids to come and hang out at and we have neighbors who are the most wonderful women.
We may not be headed to Hawaii this year, but I have plans for fun… you just wait.
We may not have careers yet, but we’re both pursuing our passions. And I’m writing.
And we may not be rich monetarily, but we are truly rich: in Grace, in love, in friends, and in family.


This past weekend I got to escape to visit my family for the weekend, and of course I took the kid with me.

And it was such a nice little getaway from my hermitness.
I spent time with my mom and dad who I celebrated on Dad’s day, and I got to visit with my brother and talk about his upcoming wedding and first full time job he just landed.
But the best part might have just been movie time with Wonder Woman.
I mean… I’m not a huge Cruise fan, but for almost 50, he sure rocked it out.
















I’ve firmly decided that if my own Music Man ever becomes a Rock God, I’ll definitely be his groupie.
I am a musical NERD, and it’s something I share with Wonder Woman. We had a ridiculous amount of fun, and I contribute that to her and my dad, because if it wasn’t for their musical taste, I wouldn’t have grown up with this music.
And I LOVE sharing in things with family.
Both my nuclear and in-laws. There is so much debt to Music Man and I’s family, and someday when we do bring children into it, they will be the most loved and weirdest beings ever.

I’m learning that it’s the small things.
It’s not the fancy vacations, or the two story, blue shuttered home, or the career or even having my blog overflowing with comments that brings gratitude.
It’s the things and people and passions and love I have in my life that are constant and unchanging that bring an outpouring of gratitude.

Because those things last.
And Hawaii, well, pictures only do so much.

Passing the baton: What are you grateful for this week? Have any little things just brought an overabundance of joy to you this week? What made you smile?

Seek Peace. Choose Joy.

June 19, 2012

Gnu Food fiber bar review + GIVEAWAY!!!

Fiber is my new homie, courtesy of the Gnu Foods fiber bar.
A couple of weeks ago the company contacted me about trying their fiber bar because they thought it would be a product my audience would be interested in.

And after snacking on them for a couple of weeks, I’m hooked.
See, I’ve mentioned before how a lack of fiber diet is sort of a huge issue in my family.
My dad has IBS, and occasionally I’ve been known to have a spastic colon.
I’ve tried upping my fruit and veggie intake, as well as nuts and grains, but it takes a lot to reach my daily fiber content of 25g-30g.
So, while I was in college I tried taking some fiber supplements but I had a hard time jumping on that bandwagon.
I mean, I’m 25 years old, and I’m just now learning to take my vitamins on a regular basis.
After the pill-popping fiasco, I tried some of the crazed fiber bars that started to hit the market: Fiber One, Kashi, Kellogg
They were good, but each bar had about 9g of fiber which was way too much for me to handle at once.
Not to be gross, but they tore my colon up in the sense that it cramped a lot, and I’m so not about eating food that causes me pains.
So... I decided to stay away from tons of dairy, eat smaller meals, and stick with fruits and veggies and the occasional LUNA bar that had a tid bit o’fiber.
But I still knew I wasn’t getting enough.
Because here’s the thing about fiber.
It’s a complex carb that is super great for your health. It’s not digestible and has no calories. It moves through your digestive system without being absorbed, improving digestion and promoting natural regularity and intestinal health. Some of the benefits of fiber include reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, lower cholesterol, and diverticular disease. It’s also a proven tool in preventing weight gain.  (Fiber 101)
AND it helps with IBS symptoms: Many IBS sufferers have reported that eating fiber soothes their symptoms. Dietary fiber helps regulate bowel movements and create softer stools, resulting in less strain and discomfort on the sensitive colons of IBS sufferers. Increasing dietary fiber gradually can help avoid excessive gas or bloating. (Combat Digestive Disorders)
I mean, running does wonders for cleaning out and keeping a healthy digestive system, but despite that, we runners still need fiber. It’s imperative to our health.
Enter the The Gnu Foods Flavor and Fiber bar.
  • They were launched in 2004
  • Contain 12g of fiber (which is 48% of the daily intake!)
  • About 130-140 calories each.
  • Made with 6 whole grains and organic whole wheat and kamut flavors
  • Loaded with both insoluble and soluble fiber
  • Fruit juice sweetened
  • Soft, chewy, homemade texture which is HUGE in my book
There are 9 flavors: Banana Walnut, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Brownie, Orange Cranberry, Peanut Butter, Espresso Chip
3 of which are recently launched dessert-inspired flavors: Carrot Cake, Blondie, and Blueberry Cobbler
Can I just tell you how much I enjoyed every. single. flavor. ? Even after my leeriness at eating 12g of fiber in one sitting?
I honestly wasn’t sure how my colon would handle all of the fiber because after the other bars I had tried at 9g each, I’ve honestly not been able to eat a lot of fiber at once.
But for the sake of a review, I gobbled a whole bar down.
And I had no issues.
My colon was happy.
I firmly believe the difference is because the Gnu flavor and fiber bars are entirely natural.
Meaning there is NO high fructose corn syrup, NO refined sugars (except the chips in the brownie, blondie, and espresso bars), NO hydrogenated oils, and NO dairy (except in the blondie) or Whey.
And that has made all the difference.
The company sent me a sample box of 16 bars, and I’ve been snacking on them morning and afternoon, eaten a few for breakfast, tried them for pre-run fuel and post-run recovery, and even crumbled one in some Greek yogurt.
I love them and recommend them all ways!
Flavors (In order of favorite)
  • Chocolate Brownie: This one definitely has the chewy brownie down, and the chocolate is rich in flavor without the guilt. And it tastes great crumbled in some Greek yogurt for a nice dessert.
  • The Blueberry Cobbler  and Orange Cranberry  are a tie for second. Both have very strong fruit flavors, and the fruit juice really adds to the layers of taste! The blueberry is bursting with berries and tastes almost like a honest cobbler. The orange-cran smelled citrus-heavenly the minute I opened the package and it reminded me of Fall.
  • Espresso Chip
    I love espresso flavored treats, and this one proved for a delicious breakfast paired with a cup of coffee. As a warning though, if you aren’t a coffee-flavored person, this isn’t the bar for you. It’s very bold in flavor.
  • I have yet to find something that out does my family's banana bread recipe, but  the Banana Walnut is close. This was the first one I tried, and I was in heaven. It’s soft, and chewy, and I bet if I warmed it up it would taste exactly like banana bread. It has a nice, non-overpowering banana flavor and the walnuts are generous.
  • One of my wedding cake layers was a carrot cake flavor, and my sister-in-law Baker Queen is an amazing baker, but the Carrot Cake bar might just be creepin’ up on her. It’s full of raisins, carrots, walnuts, and spices. I really wanted to spread a little cream cheese icing on top, but I figured that would detract from the health factor. It did, however, make a lovely lunch dessert one day.
  • I’ve been known to scoop peanut butter out of the jar every once in awhile, but I often stay away from peanut butter flavored bars. There’s just not enough real flavor in
    them for me. But, the Peanut Butter was a success. It has a deep, nutty flavor, and out of all the bars, this one reminded me more of a protein bar than anything. I may or may not have added a little slab of PB for some extra pre-run fuel.
  • Like the banana bread, the whole cinnamon raisin flavor is sacred to me. I blame Grandma Goldie’s oatmeal raisin cookies. The Cinnamon Raisin bar was good, and very strong in cinnamon flavor which I like, but just not my favorite of the bunch. I’d eat it in a variety pack, but personally I would order other flavors over this one.
  • I am not a huge Blondie fan in real life, so that’s probably why this was my least favorite bar. Gnu definitely has the flavor down pat, with some plums for added flavor, but I just find the blondie flavor to be too bland for my taste buds. It was still good though, and if you’re a fan of the sweet treat, you’ll really like this one!
These are a very strong believe ‘em product and overall they get a 10* These are strongly becoming a staple in my life and my pantry. If you have issues with not getting enough fiber in your diet, or complications where fiber can help, I highly recommend these bars. Not only are they full of fiber, but they are a healthy, low-calorie treat that tastes really good.
Honestly, there was no stick tasting, full of wood flavor that I often associate with fiber. These taste like they just came out of my oven.

Gnu foods offers a store locator to find the closest products near you, but you can also order online.
  • Single bars are $1.99
  • 5-packs are $7.89
  • 16-packs are $23.99
  • AND they offer a JOY of Fiber club where can order 30, 45,60,75,90, or 120 variety packs delivered to your door every month with free shipping.
GIVEAWAY TIMEThe fun part is that Gnu has graciously offered to ship one lucky reader a free 16-pack of flavor and fiber bars in YOUR choice of flavor!
All you have to do is
1. Leave me a comment telling me which flavor you’d like to try, AND your favorite way to spend summer!
For extra entries you can
2. Follow @gnufoods and me @RnnrCait on twitter and tweet about the giveway linking to Gnu and me
3. Like Gnu Foods on Facebook
Just leave extra comments telling me you tweeted or liked!
The giveaway will run through Tuesday, June 26th, and I’ll pick a winner via random.org. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning via blog post!
A HUGE thank you to Gnu foods for the samples and giveaway sponsor!
Passing the Baton: Have you tried Gnu before? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?
* Disclaimer. I was not paid to write this review. I received the Gnu bars, fair and square, from the company.  All of the thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone based on personal tasting of the product. 100% honesty. Gnu was not promised a positive review, they just happened to get it.

June 18, 2012

Motivating Monday: I’m a distance runner

I never, ever thought I would say that.


See. I ran sprints in high school. I HATED the mile warm ups.
Then I got to college and realized I wasn’t really athletically special, and with all the “free” cafeteria food, I wasn’t about to gain a billion pounds. (Which is why I cold turkey’d soda and I’ve never looked back.)

So one morning I went to the gym on the first floor of my dorm, stepped on a treadmill, hit the 5k trainer button, and ran 3 miles.

I did that for a million days in a row and eventually headed outside.

And then I finished my first half-marathon that Spring.

And now,5 years later,  I’m a triathlete, contemplating my first marathon, joining a running club, starting up a beginners running group, maybe organizing a 5k, and purely addicted to the miles I can tally up in a week hoping to sometime hit 50.

Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

It’s taken awhile, but I’m learned that it’s all in the name of endurance.
Nothing comes easy and nothing comes fast.

But it always comes at the right time.

And because in all honestly, I don’t know how to give up.

In running.

Or in life.

Just ask Wonder Woman.
I was the world’s most stubborn child.
I can’t even count how many times I got locked in my room.

If only she knew how much running calms me she could’ve just taken me to the track and made me run lap after lap.

Last week wasn’t the best pre-marathon-training week for me, but I didn’t give up.

I like Spring running.
I love Fall running.
But Summer running… I sort of love-hate it.

It’s the heat. It kills me.

But I’m determined. Even if I don’t have a running buddy to train with this fall. I want the marathon.
I want relentless forward progress to the finish.
Because that’s such a beautiful metaphor for life.
It’s not easy. It’s ridiculously hard, and it hurts at times, but there’s a finish.
Someday there is going to be a beautiful finish, and I want to be told “Well Done.”
I want to have run the race.

Today was supposed to be an off cardio day since I’m weaning my way into more run days… but I woke up early out of habit and I headed out.
3 miles in 25 minutes… not too bad in my book.
And I finished the miles, which is what counts.
Summer running’s got nothing on me this year.

So one day of training done for the week. Running group starting tomorrow. The Lincoln Running Club kicks off Sunday. Music Man comes home in 5 days.
It’s going to be a beautiful summer.

Passing the Baton: What’s on your docket this week to kick start summer? Starting a training plan? In the middle of one? What’s your next race? Should I be totally giddy and happy when Music Man comes home, or throw him off and act like it’s no big deal, then surprise him with something?  Ideas people! I need some crazy ideas!
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Find Strong.

June 15, 2012

Fitness Link Love!

My body revolted against me this morning, and I firmly believe it’s because I confessed to wanting to fall in love with running again.

I ran the hardest, slowest, longest, crappiest four miles this morning.
I may or may not have walked some blocks.

I am entirely disappointed in myself, but I’m moving on.
As a runner, I’m bound to have a bad day here or there. But I just can’t let it get me down.

Especially on a Friday.

Here’s some reading links for your weekend (I know, finally!)


1. Are you entirely STOKED about the Olympics this summer like I am?  If you are, then I’m sure you have the date (July 27th) already blocked out on your calendar so you can sit at home to watch the opening ceremony, and like me, may or may not be having a gigantic viewing party complete with Olympic themed food. Music Man may or may not know we are doing this.
Well, just yesterday Nike unveiled the track and field team uniforms, and I have got to say, I’m impressed and curious all at once. I feel they made a good choice going with red instead of blue as the dominant color this year. It’s fierce. The uniforms are based off of this turbo speed suit that  has a3-D dimple surface. Supposedly the suit “flickers” and will be very eye catching for the audience. Um… Katniss, Girl on Fire, anyone? I’m just hoping the speed suit won’t give the athletes an unfair edge against everyone else. Not to say that I’d rather all the runners run naked, but come on, the Olympics is supposed to be about pure talent, not aerodynamic advantage.


2. Since I love my hamstrings so much, I’m on the constant lookout for workouts to help improve them. Ok, so I hate my hamstrings because they are so ridiculously weak and tight, and honestly, I just need some new ones. But, why not try to make them a little happier than they are? This Runner’s World page not only has a good 4-exercise workout, but there’s a series of videos to check out too. If you’re looking for some Happy Hammies, this might be the place to find them.


3. New to running? One of the best things for you to maybe do is to join up with a running club. I’m telling you, the motivation will kick your butt! I’m trying to get one started around here, and even jus the thought of running with some other ladies excites me. If you haven’t seen anything posted around your city, or in your local newspaper, one really good resource is Running Club USA. You can scope out your state to see if there are any local clubs in your area.

4. Have you heard of the Mezamashii Project? I hadn’t either until I read Faster Bunny’s post this past week. I was all in the minute I

watched the video.  I’m a huge Mizuno wearer. Anyway, “Mezamashii” means brilliant or eye-opening in Japanese, and Mizuno believe that it is a word that “captures the spirit of the fantastic run.”  The premise of the project is you can sign up (only once) for their weekly sweepstakes, and if you’re drawn, you win a pair of Mizuno shoes for you and one to giveaway. It’s running through October. I am hoping and praying my name clears the surface sometime. I always over-run my shoes, mainly because I believe in a good, solid pair of shoes, but my pocket book never does. So… I’m been running in the Wave Nexus style because 1. I love them. and 2. They are the Mizunos I can often afford. But boy would I love my feet to be pampered in some  Inspires or Nirvanas. Both of which I found out would be perfect for me from the Precision Fit Analysis the website offers. However, that wasn’t too much new info for me since I test my feet just about every time I get new shoes. They pretty much stay the same.


Alright everyone, I’m off to finish a project for my online class, and then road trippin’ it to family for the weekend. My last one before Music man gets home.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Passing the Baton: What sort of reading do you have in store for me this weekend?  How do you feel about the USA uniforms? Are you happy about your hammies? Part of a running group? A Mizuno wearer? What do you paper yourself with?

Choose Joy.