Archive for the ‘cardio’ Category

Today I have a challenge for all of you.  A physical challenge (a la Double Dare!) And there may even be a great prize for one lucky reader who completes it.  It’s not hard. And I know you can do it!
Are you ready?
I want you to get up and get moving for 30 minutes of physical activity before Christmas!
Can you do it?
You can walk, jog, run, bike, rollerblade, lift weights, take a group exercise class, throw the football…just get MOVING!
So many of us wait until January 1st to attack our New Year’s Resolutions, many of which include weight loss and working out.  
Why wait?  START TODAY!

Sign up for a 2012 race to get motivated.

You will feel so much better and better about yourself if you do.
That’s my challenge: 
         30 minutes of physical activity before Christmas.  Comment here on the blog or on my Twitter @CarissaAnneB and tell me what you did.  If I can get 25 people moving then I will give away a Target giftcard to one lucky reader.
I also want to encourage you to get your family moving.  Most of us are together with relatives right now.  Maybe you are someone who commits to fitness, but your family doesn’t.  Take Mom or Dad on a walk to look at Christmas lights.  Sit down with your cousins and plan out a fun 5k you can walk together in the coming year, then go for a jog.

Fitness is more fun in a group!

Wouldn’t that be fun? Sharing your love of fitness with your family and making them healthier in the process?
Get MOVING! Get them moving! And you could win big!

Can you tell I’m motivated today?  Could be my endorphins.  I just finished a 10 mile run as part of my half marathon training.  Long runs come much easier when you’re training for a race.  You simply know that you HAVE to get those miles in.

While I ran Kyle lifted high-intensity style in the garage.  Check us off for our 30 minutes of activity!
I have a heavy-duty full body workout scheduled tomorrow and 20 minutes of high intensity sprints for Christmas Eve.

I encourage you to take on our challenge and share with us how you got active.  Don’t wait until 2012 to get moving…do it today!

Would we call that good form?

To enter my Get Moving Giveaway just do physical activity for 30 minutes any day before Christmas.  Then:
– Comment here on what you did
– Tweet ” @CarissaAnneB got me moving before Christmas and I could win a giftcard! Can you get moving before xmas?”
– Comment on our facebook what exercise you did.
– Email me what exercise you did.

Let’s celebrate Christmas by burning calories!
Love and seasonal sweat, 
Carissa & Kyle


Haha! When I first typed that title it said, “9 miles or busty”! Well – that’s not true!  
Today I had a nine mile long run on my half marathon training agenda.  I have missed a few key runs due to a busy schedule so I was a little nervous about this one…
If you were wondering I made my 9 miles and I didn’t bust…nor was it busty, blustery, busy, or any other typo I could come up with!
My goal pace was over 10 minute miles.  I just told myself to stay slow and keep running at a comfortable pace so I could make my mileage.  

I kept having to fight nagging thoughts that I was “too slow”.  I’ve never tried to train to make a goal pace in a half marathon and it is playing some head games with me.  I just keep telling myself to being able to run 9+ miles in any time is a blessing and a great achievement and I’ll just give it my all on race day.  How does that sound?  I’m aiming for positive yet realistic? 🙂
Here are my splits:
Mile 1- 10:07 (I never feel warm until about 1.5)
Mile 2- 9:41
Mile 3- 9:36
Mile 4- 9:52
Mile 5- 9:44
Mile 6- 10:18
Mile 7- 9:46
Mile 8- 9:27
Mile 9- 9:20

I fueled up with cereal before the run and some sport beans at miles 6 and 7.  

Since I just finished my nutrition for exercise class I’ve been very aware of the need to get adequate carbs before and after my runs.  
If you are someone out there who watches your calories, but runs make sure you are getting enough carbs.  I wasn’t at all so I’m actively working on that. Basically it’s 5g of carbs a day per kg of body weight on a training day and 1.5g of carbs per kg of body weight after the workout.  Post workout meals are SO IMPORTANT!  Your body is craving food in the form of carbs and a little protein.  Give your body what it needs!

After the run I had a Gatorade Recovery drink.  It’s 130 calories, 14g of carbs, and 16g of protein. I also added a banana for more carbs.

I’m thinking a sweet potato smoothie will be a good lunch.  Did you know sweet potatoes have WAY more potassium then bananas? True story!
I’m in a great mood today…not just because of my endorphins but Kyle’s clients are taking us to a DALLAS COWBOY game tonight!  Excited and nervous all at once!

How do you fuel up after long runs?

Love and Romo-licious,

Carissa & Kyle

Half Marathon Training Begins

Posted: November 21, 2011 in cardio, race training

First of all…there’s a lizard in my house.  Under my fridge.  I am not amused.
I came back from my run and I had let my cat onto the screened porch.  Came home and there was a new, black, eeewwwweeeie friend in my kitchen.  Again…not amused.  Hopefully it will stay behind my state of the art trap until Kyle gets home.

Today I began my half-marathon training officially.  I had been upping my mileage slowly, however because I actually have a goal for this race I decided to put a little more focus into my training. I am running the Clearwater Half Marathon in January and I really, really, really, really want to finish with a “1” in front of my time. 
According to the Clearwater Half’s website it is, “the most challenging half marathon in Florida with 4 bridge climbs.” Oh joy.  

But I knew that.  I ran the race in 2008 in 2:14 and at one point I remember running up a windy bridge and not moving.

Pre “lived” in 2008

Not one to balk at an impossible goal here I am again.  Bridge climbs and all. 
After doing some research and having one awful training run where I decided to try to increase my mileage, in the sun, at my race pace…I have a training plan. It’s modeled loosely after Marathon Madman’s blog.  You can read his plan here.
I say “loosely” because I am only doing 2 runs a week.  Yes, that’s bad, but I have a crooked spine and neck and that is what I know my body can give me.  I’m also stubborn and won’t give up my butt-whooping’s with Kyle in the gym.
Each week I’m doing one long run and one either tempo or interval run.  This week it’s 6 x 1:50 400’s and 7-10 miles with an over 10min pace.

After the Holiday Halfathon 2010

I just finished the 400’s and they went very well. 
I did a 1 mile warm-up at a 10 minute pace.  Then I did 6 400’s and I basically went as fast as I could.  The workout was supposed to be done on a treadmill, but I was already home.  So I just figured “as fast as I could go” would do.  After each 400, I walked for 1:50.  That was great to get my energy back up.
On Saturday morning I’ll do my long run and I need everyone to collectively tweet, facebook, and call me to make sure I do it!  I’m notorious for not wanting to get out of bed…bad, bad runner!
This will be my 5th half marathon and the only one I’ve ever planned out my training for.  Let’s do this!

How do you plan out your race training?

Love and inclines,
Carissa & Kyle

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Posted: November 10, 2011 in cardio, recipes

Hello from Southeastern Virginia!  It’s so gorgeous here…there are trees…and they’re not palm…and they have leaves…and they’ve turned beautiful colors!  It’s gorgeous! The weather isn’t too shabby either!

I’m rushing off to do some shopping and movie watching but I wanted to share a wonderful recipe for a fall soup that I love – Pumpkin Black Bean Soup! I found the recipe on Courtney’s blog and have made it twice now. You can see her recipe here.

I love that it’s so healthy and nutritious.  Full of fiber and Vitamin A. The pumpkin adds a lot of the vitmain A and a nice creaminess that you don’t find in most healthy soups.  

My sweet Kyle is not a soup fan, but Mom surely is so I knew she’d like it.  I paired it with a spinach, strawberry, goat cheese salad with a lime basil vinaigrette.  Talk about a nutrient packed dinner!

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

  • 1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (or more, to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrots to hot pan and sauté until vegetables have softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.
  3. Pour red wine over vegetables in the pot and let simmer until the wine has reduced by about half.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 25 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This morning I set out with a goal of slowly increasing my mileage so I can possibly run that half marathon at the end of January.  I set my Garmin to 7 miles with a 9:30 pace and set out in the beautiful autumn lined streets of Virginia.  
I made it back home at 3.64 miles for a water break and I really doubted if I could hang for 7 miles.  I told my mom that my legs felt like lead.  She said I needed potassium. Then she said that it was probably because I had red wine last night.  Dang it!  That whole “one cup for the pot, one cup for me” theory really back-fired.

After my water stop I felt better and decided not to let a little vino drag me down.  So I pushed through and made it! 7 miles baby!

I’d like to thank Selena for pushing me through mile 5. Yes, I love you like a love song baby…and if Pandora let me I would play you on re-peat-peat-peat-peat.
Also a big hand clap to Ke$ha’s help on mile 6. Why I am “hot and dangerous” and I thank you for noticing.
Here are the splits:
Mile 1- 9:33
Mile 2- 9:15
Mile 3- 9:24
Mile 4- 9:47
Mile 5- 9:44
Mile 6- 9:42
Mile 7- 9:01
I finished with an average pace of 9:29! Boo-yah!
Now I’m off to enjoy this day off!

Are you a soup fan or do you prefer “no soup for you”?

Love and laps, 
Carissa & Kyle

ps- I’d also like everyone to raise the roof for Mom who finally has wireless internet! 🙂 Makes bloggers everywhere happy!Pin It

Colder weather, faster runner

Posted: November 5, 2011 in cardio

Wow! Running outside in cooler weather…AMAZING! I am uber jealous of you Northerners, because we only get a handful of beautiful days like this.  I’m usually running a squiggly path as I dive from tree shade to tree shade.  If I had weather like this all the time I’d be a sub-3 marathoner! Ahhh haha!  Nope that’s totally not true…but I would be a happy girl! <p> </p>

Today’s run was 5 miles and I was very happy with that distance.
The splits:
– Mile 1 – 10:06
– Mile 2 – 9:31
– Mile 3 – 9:59 (small walk break here to text husband)
– Mile 4 – 9:13
– Mile 5 – 8:35
– Total 47:24

The tunes:
– I started the run and my Pandora automatically was on the “Usher” channel.  I enjoyed some smooth R&B for the first part of my jog.  I also enjoyed “Duces”, “Bottoms Up”, and that Shawty snaps song. 🙂  For the last 1.5 I went back to my usual Britney Spears Pandora and I firmly believe that accounts for my speed increase.

The style:
I rocked two of my birthday presents today.  My new Livestrong Nike shoes and my Livestrong Nike capri tights. I love my tights!

My husband laughed when he gave me all the birthday gifts, because he knew even with Coach and Michael Kors in the mix, I would still love my Livestrong tights the best. And it’s true.  I’m totally “sporty spice.”
I also rocked my checker headband from Claire’s circa 1991. They just don’t make them like this anymore! 🙂

Yup, kinda scary.

I’m off to fuel up with a banana and get some chili in the crockpot.  Also Kyle & I may be adding a new kitten to the house today.  We are going to visit one we like at a rescue today. Wish us luck!

I also want to give a shout out to all my friends and fellow bloggers tearing up the roads in Savannah at the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon: Michelle, Maia, Julie, Meghann, Megan C, Kelsey, and Tina

What kind of exercise did you get today?

Love and gorgeous weather, 
Carissa & Kyle

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Posted: September 25, 2011 in cardio, recipes

Have I been on a pumpkin kick or what?  My Vitamin A and C levels are skyrocketing!
This week I’ve made pumpkin black bean soup, pumpkin spice cupcakes, and had pumpkin ale.
Finally, on a Sunday am I had the time to make the pumpkin protein pancakes I saw on Julie’s blog.  We woke up at a leisurely time, I got in a 2 mile run with 8 sprints, and with NFL Live on in the background we cooked up some pancakes!

Here’s what my run looked like:
-1 mile jog – 9:30 pace
– 15 second sprint, 45 second recovery x 8
-3 min cool down

I love fall, I love pumpkin, and I love lazy Sunday mornings!  I love coffee too which I made a special way too.  I added cinnamon to my grounds, which is something I saw on Tina’s blog.

Julie did some great work with this pumpkin recipe.  We doubled it since both of us were eating. It turned out amazing!  The pumpkin flavor was subtle but there and the texture was perfect.  It was like warm, pumpkin pie for breakfast.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Serves one (makes three medium-sized pancakes). We double it this am.
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (optionall)
  • Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to a medium heat
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until fully mixed. You can also use an immersion blender.
  • Pour batter onto the warm pan to form three medium-sized pancakes
  • Allow to cook until edges start to harden, about three minutes
  • Flip pancakes and allow to cook until batter is no longer runny, about two more minutes
  • Top with syrup, nutmeg or desired toppings and enjoy
My pumpkin looks like an apple!
Today’s plans are to clip coupons, intently watch my fantasy team (we’ve had A LOT of injuries), and head to Kyle’s cousin’s house for the 4 o’clock games and dinner.

Love and orange vegetables,

Carissa & Kyle

Feels Like Home

Posted: September 15, 2011 in cardio, cat pictures

Quick – relate this blog title to a special event in our life?  Andddddd…..go……  
I’ll give you the answer on Monday.

Anyway~ the blog title means I am SO HAPPY to be HOME!  I had a short 3 day training trip for work, but I’m always so happy to get back home.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I miss most when I’m gone:

This guy.
Bought me Autumn Flowers 🙂
This girl.
And this furball too.
My coupons.
My Garmin.
Healthy cooking.

Today was busy, but I was so overwhelmed with “I’m so thankful to be in my own house” feelings that it didn’t matter.
I have an exam tomorrow that I need to go study for (difference between denaturation and coagulation anyone?) but I did get time to grocery shop.  Saved $80, spent $92. Are you guys out there still couponing?  I used 12 Yoplait coupons, 6 Met-Rx bar coupons, and 4 V8 coupons! 🙂

I also got in some wonderful interval sprints.

-1 mile warm up
-6 x 30 second sprint, 60 second recovery
-3 minute cool down

I also fixed a healthy dinner full of nutrients!  Lemon caper chicken sauteed in coconut oil with roasted red potatoes and zucchini.  And a dessert of Quaker Rice Cakes blueberry pomegrante. They were on sale! $1! 

I used BirdsEye Chef‘s Favorites for the potatoes.  I recieved them a while back as part of the FoodBuzz Tastemaker program.  Kyle really enjoyed them and they had a good parmesan flavor.

What do you miss most when you’re away from home?

Love and sparkly red shoes,
Carissa & Kyle

ps- any idea about the title of the post????

Hallelujah its football season! I am rocking my bedazzled Tony Romo jersey right this second!

The house that Jerry built

Kyle and I closely followed the NFL draft and last night we I drafted for our fantasy team. Im not sure I did great. Yahoo had a major malfunction and locked me out of the first 2 rounds. So here’s what team “Teflon Don” looks like: Tony Romo, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, Antonio Gates, Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, Austin Collie, Mike Tolbert, Sebastian Janikowski, Detroit defense.  What do you think?

Do you play fantasy football?

Here are my tips for a successful football season. And by successful I mean maintaining your weight, enjoying the games and food, and not getting mad at your husband for his temper tantrums!

1. Always try to fulfill your workout goals as the week goes on. Burn as many calories as you can when you can. Getting in interval sprints on the morning of a tailgating party is a touchdown in my book. You’ll burn more calories all day with your EPOC
 Try this sprint routine: 
4 Quarter Sprints
– Warm up for 5-10 minutes
– Sprint 15 seconds
– Jog 15 seconds
– Sprint 30 seconds
– Jog 30 seconds
– Easy run 2 minutes (halftime)
– Sprint 45 seconds
– Jog 45 seconds
– Sprint 60 seconds
– Jog 60 seconds
– Sprint 15 seconds (overtime)
– Cool down 5 minutes

Tomorrow am I’m going to spin class with my friend Taina so we can get our pre-Gator party calorie burn on!

Garage workout

2. Eat before you go to the watch party.  Yes, eat more.  Eating 200-300 calories of a high protein/low-carb snack before hitting the social scene will help your waistline.  You’ll be less likely to be starving and eat more “unhealthy” foods.  Try a hard boiled egg, cheese stick, protein shake, or Greek yogurt.

3.  Use a plate.  Sounds simple, but for me personally I am bad with mindless eating. I will nibble and nibble chips until somebody physically takes them away from me.  (Are you thinking what I’m thinking Easy E?)  Portion out an acceptable amount of food onto your plate and just eat that. 

4.  Gobble the lower calories bites.  If you can’t fight fun, mindless eating choose healthy, low-calorie foods or even bring them yourself.  Go for raw veggies, popcorn, or a small handful of nuts.

5.  Pick your poison.  You can have beer.  You can have nachos.  You can have cake.  But you can’t have all three. (ok you can, just don’t blame me if you feel guilty after).  Pick your “poison” and make healthier choices for your other nibbles.
I am making my FIRST EVER try at homemade cupcakes!  I’m even making them Gator colors (Blue and Orange) which is hard for this Florida State girl.  I’m using a recipe from Courtney’s blog so wish me luck. The cupcakes will be my splurge tomorrow, because I know we’ll have healthy chicken chili to eat and veggies to nibble on.

Rocky stomping on the Gator cupcakes!

This is the start of my favorite time of year! Even if it’s still 100 degrees here in Orlando it feels like fall to me.

Are you ready for some football????

Love and the SEC,
Carissa & Kyle

Somedays I wear many hats.  Saturday I wore many shoes…and more make up than usual. But no actual hats.  That’s a metaphor. Here’s how my day went down.

5am wake up call to host Track Shack‘s Celebration of Running 5k.  The start of the Track Shack Running Series.  As always it was an amazing event with a great group of Central Florida runners.

10am home and time to hit the streets.  I had to get some cardio in this body.  Kyle and I had BBQ for dinner on Friday and a date at Everglades planned for the pm.  So into the heat I went.

It wasn’t a bad run.  I stayed in the shade and put in a good 3 miles.  From sneakers to sweat.

Next it was glam time.  Yup- afternoon glam.  Kyle and I were excited to be asked to judge America’s Perfect Junior Teen this weekend.  Don’t judge, but we both are pageant aficionados. Kyle’s judging success is well documented.

The pageant is 3 days and the competition is intense. These girls are beautiful, well coached, and the wardrobes are amazing!  Amazing! I didn’t take any competition pics, because I think it would be weird for a judge to randomly photograph a contestant. Right?  But I will share photos once I can.

Judges View

After we finished judging the prelims it was off to dinner.  We love Rosen restaurants at Shingle Creek so we were intrigued by Everglades $35 prix fixe menu.  $35 for a salad/soup, entree, dessert, and glass of wine!  Any entree on the menu!  Most entrees are $30-$35 so this is a “steal of a deal” as Kyle says.

The food was well done, but not as amazing as Cala Bella or Land Remembered.  I had a melon and goat cheese salad and grouper with grits.  Kyle went with French Onion soup (very good) and the NY strip.  The best part of the dinner was just spending time with Kyle and not having to do dishes!

We didn’t eat all of these- just the plate we picked our choices from.  I swear!

It was a wonderful day from sneakers to sweat to stilettos!

Love and variety,
Kyle & Carissa

My Mom is faster than your Mom.  No really.  I’m not trying to start a rumble.  She is.  And she has 5 National Masters Track Titles to prove it!

Go Mom!  We love to shout out our favorite clients on the blog (Pati,Craig, Adam) and my Mom deserves some love too. 

Since turing the ripe old age of 50 my Mom has been very active in masters track & field.  I think it’s fantastic!  It keeps her focused, in great shape, and out of trouble!

Mom recently competed in the 2011 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Ohio.  As I said before she took home 5 National Titles!  Mom’s a beast.

Here’s a little run down of her accolades:

Women’s 50 Pentathlon :  National Champion : events are 80m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, 800m
Women’s 50 American record setting 80m  Shuttle Hurdle Relay, National Champion, third leg, 108.75
Women’s 50 long jump National Champion
Women’s 50 high jump National Champion
Women’s 50 4 x 400 relay, National Champion, third leg 

Her team, TNT International, also took home the Team Championship!

Mom is on the far right.

Mom may be fast and apparently agile, but she puts in lots of training time too.  Here’s a look at her weekly training schedule: (sorry- my formatting here is kinda messy. I tried..and failed…to clean it up)

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Track Practice
3 hours
Warm up, Ply metrics, Speed drills sets of 3 x 3, 3 x 200 or 300m, Javelin practice, Shot put Practice, Long Jump, High jump, hurdles stretching
Morning:  Resistance bands 5 positions, 15 min walk, YMCA at lunch, triceps and Back 2 arms on cable, 15 minute walk on break, Evening: 50 Marine style sit ups while PC boots Morning: weighted leg work out 8 pounds, 15 minute walk, Lunch YMCA Legs on Cybex 250 pound leg and calf ( 3 directions), Ab-Aduction, leg press, leg extension, resistance ab work, stretching,  15 minute walk, Evening: 50 Marine style sit ups while PC boots Track: warm up, speed drills and endurance laps, hurdles Morning:  Resistance bands 5 positions, 15 min walk, YMCA at lunch, Single arm work and abs, 15 minute walk on break, Evening: 50 Marine style sit ups while PC boots
Morning:  Abs with medicine ball, planks and push ups; 15 minute walk at pace; YMCA at lunch, challenge muscles with new sets, 15minute walk at pace.  Evening: 50 Marine style sit ups while PC boots Morning:  Resistance bands 5 positions, 15 min walk, YMCA at lunch, errands YMCA make up day, 15 minute walk on break, Evening: 50 Marine style sit ups while PC boots.  Track: warm up, speed drills and endurance laps; hurdles Day off plus track if chore list allows

She also keeps a keen eye on her diet making sure to take in enough clean foods to offset her caloric deficit created by training.

Mom is one tough cookie, but it just goes to show that no matter what age you are, you can find some form of fitness and fall in love with it.  

Some older adults run, my mom sprints, others do Zumba, water aerobics, run marathons, or bike.  The important thing is that they do something!  There are so many studies linking the positive effects of exercise on aging, dementia, and overall health.

So how about a big hand clap to Mom and let’s all try to squeeze a little extra sweat into our weeks.  Cause why?  Cause Momma says so! 🙂

Mom also eats cookies while at Disney.

Love and good genes,
Carissa & Kyle