Lucy Cut For Me Legging (Product Review)

I was recently contacted by Lucy to try one of their products, the popular "Cut For Me Legging."

From the Lucy.com website:



Product Information:

  • The Cut For Me Legging features flat-locked seams and trim lines for you to cut the legging to your specific leg length—plus the slimming, moisture-wicking strength of lucy powermax™ fabric.
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Jersey knit 87% supplex nylon, 13% lycra spandex
  • Machine wash cold, tumble dry low
  • High-tech Supplex®/Lycra fabric providing maximum compression, moisture management and four-way stretch.
  • Body-Hugging: Form fitting for peak performance and muscle support; ideal for high-intensity activities

I was super excited to try these out. I rarely wear pants/tights when I run since I'm indoors most of the time I get way too hot. However, I do wear pants or capris when I have my kickboxing class. So... I tried them on (pictures courtesy of A, so sorry for quality):



First impression? Oooooh so comfy! Super soft (not "compressiony") waist band, yet it is wide so it didn't feel like they were going to slide off my waist. Not too snug around the thighs (a good thing!)


Immediately I knew I was going to have to cut these puppies down! So I watched the video... 





and cut them down. (Which by the way made me VERY uneasy... I really didn't want to do it wrong!) I cut to the tiniest inseam I could do and headed off to a night at the gym of turbo kick box and the stationary bike. Unfortunately the shortest inseam was still a bit too long. As a result of them not being quite tight enough around my ankles, I had a bit of sagging and bunching around the ankles. It got to be a bit annoying when I was jumping around, but it was a non issue once I moved to the bike. 

So... other than the length issue, these were fabulous. If you are taller than me (5' even), these would work GREAT for you.

(Keep in mind that 99% of the clothing I wear is too long. Just about everything I own is hemmed, so this is NOT a brand-specific issue).

Brown Tuesday: Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cookies

There are people I know for whom Black Friday is like a religious experience.  They start out at midnight, armed with sales flyers and coupons and large mugs of coffee, determined to get their holiday shopping done, and they post Facebook updates along the way, as if on a pilgrimage.  It's tradition.

Me, well ... I make cookies.

At least, I usually make cookies.  Somehow, as I mentioned in my Black Forest Cake post, I'm way behind on cookie-baking this year.  I've been thinking about why this might be, and decided that despite my participation in the upcoming Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, maybe it's because I don't have as many people to bake for this year, and I'm having a hard time getting motivated.  I'm the kind of person who goes to the gym if I'm enrolled in a class ... you know, because if I don't show up I'd be letting the instructor down.  (I realize that this is bizarre logic, but it works.  Yes, I was raised with a healthy guilt complex, thank you very much.)

I started to make a list of people who might need cookies.  The woman down the street with a new baby.  The gluten-free piano teacher and her daughter up the block.  (Do you need cookies?  Why yes, yes, you do.)

In the middle of my list-making, I got an email from Mel, who mentioned that her family bakes for a shelter during the holidays.  That was enough to send me over the motivational hump.  Baking for other people somehow defines the season for me, and with newfound purpose, I found myself getting excited about the holidays, feeling less beleaguered by the anxiety of having to search for expensive gifts (which is something my family argues about every year, because I prefer homemade gifts with meaning); less depressed about the fact that my husband is embarking, starting today, on three weeks of business trips.  So today, on a rainy, unseasonably warm, anticlimactic Tuesday, I fired up the oven.

The thing about having a food (or even a food-and-life) blog is that you feel this weird pressure to one-up yourself every year.  Sure, you can make the things you've already written about, but you'd better be prepared to come up with something new and even more spectacular to post.  It's almost like preseving anti-tradition.

I came across a recipe for these last year around this time, when I already had too many chocolate cookies on deck, and bookmarked it to try later.  They are chewy, fudgy, decadent, and a safe bet for your gluten-free friends (though you'll have to find something else for vegans and friends with nut allergies!) and they come together in a jiffy.  You could even whip them up on short notice if you find out that you're about to have company.  They remind me a lot of the traditional Chocolate Crinkle cookies; a quick sprinkle of powdered sugar would make them even more festive.  Most of the fat comes from the almonds, and they're full of antioxidants because of the dark chocolate.  So they're practically healthy, right?  Er ... right.

Tell us: what are your favorite cookies during this time of year?  Do you have any holiday baking traditions?

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cookies

6 oz. dark chocolate chips or chunks (preferably 60% or greater)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature (this is important!)
1/8 t. cream of tartar
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. almond flour (or ground blanched almonds, not roasted)

Melt 5 oz. dark chocolate in microwave at 30-second intervals on 70% power until smooth, stirring after each interval.  Add the last ounce of chocolate (if you have time to chop it, do so) and stir until they're just mostly melted, so that you get very small pieces--these will turn into micro-bursts of chocolate when the cookies are baked.  Set the chocolate aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment (or lightly oil them if you don't have parchment on hand).  Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Continue beating, adding in sugar and vanilla slowly, until mixture forms stiff peaks.

Gently fold in chocolate and almond flour until fully incorporated. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving one inch between cookies.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies are done when there is a light crust on the outside, but they are soft on the inside.

:-)

thnk u

thnk u 4 yr comnts

werds all used up

more l8r

Chewy Caramel Apple Chip Cookies

I know this is a training blog but get over it.  Cookies are just as good as GUs for energy.  Plus cookies taste better.  (And people like to comment on cookie posts for some reason)


I love this t-shirt
IMAGE SOURCE

I found the recipe for these tasty cookies from Eat, Live Run.  I made them for Thanksgiving and they were GREAT!!.  I love chewie cookies and these were REALLY chewie.  I think next time I would like to make them a little more cake like by substituting either cake flour and/or some table sugar.


It's traditional to have a beer while making cookies.
Yes, it is a pink beer and yes I will drink a pink beer.
And yes I am still a man.
  
And yes it does have
MAPLE SYRUP and SMOKED BACON in the pink beer.
Yes it was great.

Chewy Caramel Apple Chip Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies
Recipe Source from Eat, Live Run blog

Ingredients:
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 apple
1 bag mini caramels (or regular sized caramels, cut up into small pieces)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and continue to beat until combined.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in another bowl.

Grate the apple with a cheese grater and squeeze out all liquid with paper towels.

Add shredded apple to the flour and then add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and mix until combined.

Then, add the caramel bits. Dough will be a little dry.

Roll small balls of dough out and bake on a lined baking sheet for 12-14 minutes.

Let cookies completely before attempting to move them off the baking sheet or else they will fall apart!

Time: 30 minutes



I could not find the mini caramel bits so I used these instead.
Sorry I can no get the image to turn for some reason.
 
Fresh out of the oven



Close up shot
  
My new favorate beer.  It is AWESOME.
I had it on Black Friday after all the shopping nightmares.
It's a brown ale made with YAMS, MOLASSES, MAPLE SYRUP and SPICES.
Not very sweet and well balanced. 
Much better than all the bad pumpkin beers that are out this season.


Cyber Monday Deals!

Headbands, Socks, Tutus...

Free shipping - use code CYBERFREE
Additional bonus - spend $50, get a free glitter headband, no code necessary

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Running Skirts, Newton Running shoes

Free shipping - no code necessary
Pretty much everything on sale
I have had luck with these two codes working ON TOP OF the other discounts for an additional 15% off...
fatty
fitmepink

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Sparkle Skirts!

Buy one skirt, get a second for 50% off! Use code CYBER MONDAY
(Excludes the Showgirl and Special Orders - in stock skirts only)

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30% off, free shipping over $50. Use code HUGECYBER

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30% off many items. Discount applied at checkout.

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Cute running/yoga tops

30-40% off. Discount applied, no code needed.

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20% off. Use code RUNWITHJESS

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Amazon Goldbox deal of the day! $149.99!!!!!

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I'm sure there are more deals out there, but these are the top ones that I am aware of. Hope your wallet fares better than mine! Happy Cyber Monday!!

Lester Young - Countless Blues (9/27/38)

Pure beauty from Prez on the clarinet. Thanks to Richard Tabnik for recording this solo on his amazing "Solo Journey" album.


Space Coast Marathon 2011 in Pictures

Space Coast Marathon in Pictures

Here is last years review  It was a great race again this year.


Bonnie and I before the race


Bonnie and I after the race. 
I'm in my Super Hero pose.


Mr HalfTRIing before the race


Decorations. 
It's sad we will never see the shuttle again.


Decorations.
Hopefully we will see more of these.


People dressed up. 
Sadly, there were very few this year.


ZURG!!
Sadly very few volunteers at the aid stations dressed up.
I was looking forward to the "I Dream of Jeannie" girls.


The Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics


The cops showed up!!


The Half Fanatics


The Ronnie James Dio pose.


Wow, that guy is hot.


Another hot guy.

I'm sexy and I know it.  LOL




The sunrise on the run.


Great Food.  They also had pizza


Volunteers cooking the grub.


The cool bling.
A 40th anniversary medal.
This is the oldest marathon in Florida.


Amphipod Vs. Ultimate Directions Race Belts (Product Reviews)

*I paid for these products, they were not given to me for promotional purposes*

So I'm super annoying when I race. I am obsessed with running with my iPhone. I like to take pictures before, during, and after races. I'll pretend THAT is why I'm slow... In order for me to race with my phone, I need to have a belt that is big enough to hold it AND doesn't bounce around. One would think that wouldn't be too hard to find. During the summer, and when I train longer distances, I run with this belt, and I love it:


The above is called the "PR10" and it is made by Ultimate Directions, retailing for about $25. However, there are some times when I really don't want to run with a bottle. The way the PR10 is designed, is that the bottle holder is "stiff," so even if I don't have the bottle in, it is... bulky. I know, I'm being picky.

Pros:

  • I can rotate the belt around my waist without my number moving around or anything bunching up
  • The zipper pocket holds my iPhone
  • Pouch holds a 10 oz bottle
  • Adjustable waist
  • Snaps to hold race bib in place
Cons:
  • A bit bulky to travel with, even if the bottle is removed

So, I was on a mission to find a smaller race belt (yes, even a belt with one bottle is bulky when travelling) for shorter distances, or when it is colder and I don't need the extra fluid. I came across one from Amphipod and I decided to shell out the money for it:


This one is called the "Race-Lite Go" and retails for about $20, but I got it on sale at my local running sale for about $15. I LOVE IT. It fits comfortably, does NOT bounce around, holds my iPhone, and still holds my bib in place. The only complaint that I have is that the zipper pull is a bit hard to use, but I think with a little bit bigger of a tab on there, I can open and close more easily. Really happy with this purchase, and it is a LOT smaller than my other belt.

Pros:

  • Small and compact. Great for shorter distances and travelling
  • Zipper pocket will hold iPhone (and probably other stuff with it, but I typically don't store anything other than  my phone)
Cons:
  • If I rotate the belt, the pouch is not attached so my bib can get messed up. Try not to do that.
  • Zipper a bit difficult to open and close if I leave pouch at my back
I've tried other belts in the past. I tried one that I could add/remove bottles, but I didn't like that the belt itself closed by Velcro. I ruined a few tech tops because of that. I've tried two other smaller race belts where my phone bounced around like CRAZY. Nothing more annoying that spending a whole race messing with a belt.

The above two have been tried out in half marathon distances (or longer) and have not annoyed me. I recommend them both!

September Sunsets

What happened? How did it get to be nearly December already? I am so behind on my blog posts and I have heaps of things to record.

These are some beautiful sunset photos I managed to capture on our outing to North Pine Dam back in September. There was a control-burn fire somewhere in the hills and the smoky sunset colours changed in depth and density almost every minute as it progressed.

Here's Possum being my model while the sun begins to sink between the trees and behind the hills.
This was taken a few minutes earlier .....
.... and I snapped this shot a few minutes earlier again.
Here's a collage of some more of the sunset photos.

Black Friday - Ultra Training Style

Most people that were up around 3:15 in the morning on Black Friday were out shopping. Me? I was on the treadmill in my basement, getting in the first long run of my new training program. So how far did I have to run?


Did you know that I watched Gone With the Wind all the way through and it STILL didn't last my entire run? That's a LONG time on the treadmill. How did it go?

Basement Treadmill = INFERNO. Never been so hot and sweaty in my life. Had to change clothes halfway through my workout. Went through three towels, 1 32 oz powerade zero (orange), 1 GU (plain, nearing expiration date), 1 pack chomps, 1 pack Honey Stinger chews, 1 small Luna bar (white chocolate macadamia), 2 17 oz bottles of water and a 12 oz diet wild cherry Pepsi.

Goal - 20 miles @ MP+30 (10:54) 
Actual - 24.08 miles @ 10:51

There were some stops in there - bathroom, clothes change, dumping water on my head, feeding A, letting the dog out...
The nice thing was that I finished early and A and I were able to go out and do a little shopping at a reasonable hour. By the time we went out all the crowds were pretty much gone, and everything I had hoped to pick up was still available.

CSA Fail, Thanks-givings, and Vegetable (Beef Optional) Barley Stew

One of the reasons I've been posting less often of late is the lack of inspiration in my kitchen.  It's not that I'm not cooking; rather, it's that I'm dealing with the same head of cabbage and the same husk cherries and the same sugar pumpkin for the SEVENTH week in a row, and I hit the cruciferous wall somewhere back around week four, when my family threatened to stage a coup.  I have been bravely soldiering on nonetheless, but I'm not going to shoulder you, dear readers, with yet another week of cabbage stew.  (If you're having the same problem I am, please do feel free to peruse the archives ... that's what I've been doing.)

It was a pretty bad CSA year for us.  Our farm was feeling its way through a new program, and though we'd heard great things about their produce, and had seen them at our farmer's market last year with lots of great fruits and veggies, every week we got a box that was half full of rotten--or on their way to rotten--items.  The things that weren't rotten were the things that we couldn't stand to think about eating any more of.  I know I whined and moaned about the chard last year, but I would have given my left arm for some chard this year: at least chard is something you can do things with.  Our Thanksgiving box had no sweet potatoes, no arugula, no dinosaur kale, or radishes, or anything else you'd expect to find at this time of year.  Really?  I thought when I saw it.  And because our farm was not very good at communicating with us about what has happening, we're left to wonder: was it just a bad year?  a bad program?  bad luck?

Between that, and the fact that our own garden was decimated by rabbits, groundhogs, deer, and all manner of other woodland creatures who are reclaiming suburbia one squash, one tomato at a time, it would be easy to throw in the towel and decide that it's easier to drive to the grocery store than to live off the land.

The weird thing is, I'm not. The season is officially over now, and we're back to meal and menu planning on our own.  But I'm already scoping out CSAs for next year, and my husband is collecting and browsing seed catalogues.

The experience got me thinking.  For some people, 2011 was a year of prosperity, but for many more it was marked by uncertainty, hardship, despair.  People are out of work, in debt, in distress.  We're supposed to be grateful at Thanksgiving, but it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all that we didn't harvest this year.

Still, though we may not feel much like we have blessings to count, it's pretty likely that we're still holding on to hope for the next year.  By the end of November, we can see the new year approaching, and we project ourselves into a happier future, another chance.  If you got to break a wishbone with someone, I'll wager that you made a wish for something to change for the better in the year to come.  And it seems to me that especially when life throws us against a wall (cruciferous or otherwise), hope is itself a blessing that deserves to be counted.

Here's to the harvest, such as it was, with gratitude for our capacity to sustain the hope that what is needed is on its way.

This body-and-soul-warming stew is full of the vegetables of the late fall and early winter (and is adaptable for vegetarians and non-vegetarians), the barley stretches your dollar a little father, and it doesn't even have leftover turkey in it.  If you use a slow cooker, combine everything except peas and cook on low for 8-10 hours; stir in peas during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Vegetable (Beef Optional) Barley Stew

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. tempeh or beef stew meat
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. sliced celery with leaves
4 c. low-sodium beef stock or broth
1 bay leaf
¾ c. hulled barley, rinsed. drained
4 c. peeled sweet potato chunks, 1-inch squares (about 1½ pounds)
2 c. sliced carrots, 1-inch rounds
1½ c. cubed parsnips
½ T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. dried oregano
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice, broken apart
1½ c. frozen peas (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium-high. Add tempeh or meat and sprinkle with flour, stirring well to coat. Cook until browned. Stir in onions and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add stock or broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 (if you're using tempeh)-1½ hours (if you're using beef).

Add barley, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, Worcestershire sauce, and oregano. Cover and simmer 50-60 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in tomatoes and peas. Reheat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Louisville Turkey Trot (Race Recap)

Louisville, CO
Thursday, November 24
Weather - Sunny, WARM




We were originally going to do a Turkey Trot in Arvada. But. We waited too long to register (Hey, it's Colorado. If it's 5 degrees outside and snowing, I'm not running). Luckily, there was another option. And this one was FREE. Yes, you heard me. FREE. The Louisville Turkey Trot was FREE with a donation item (either clothing, shoes, toiletries, blankets, etc) for the local homeless shelter. So. Louisville it was.


I'm never quite sure why I sign up for short distance races. I really don't like them. I am slow, don't pace well, they just aren't fun. But. Free.


Starting Area
We were able to park about a block from the starting area, got our bibs and timing chips (yes, even though it was free, STILL TIMED), and went through the bathroom lines. Twice. We actually got recognized. A lady said, "Hey, are you the two girls that dress alike and ran the Bear Chase?" Why, yes. We are. Hilarious. Went through the bathroom line again, and literally the race starts as we are headed to the start line. Which meant we ended up behind dogs, strollers, walkers, kids. Blech.


The first quarter mile or so was a lot of dodging, but on a city street so it was ok. Then we entered the trail area, and it really narrowed out. I did ok for about the first 3/4 mile and then pretty much crashed and burned. It was HOT (relatively speaking, this IS Colorado), in the upper 50s. I was ROASTING. My calves were ok, but my thighs were burning. Probably not a good idea that I did a tempo run the day before. I ran with L until just past the first aid station (there were THREE).


I started my unplanned walking around 1.2 miles in. Really? I can run a whole marathon without walking, but not a 5k? There is something wrong with me. the course was on trail, so I was getting lots of dirt/pebbles in my shoes. And it was crowded. Plus, the course was short. The turnaround should have been about another .1 out. Even with all THAT, I still ran a disastrous race. I barely ran sub 30 (officially 29:54...), and keep in mind the course measures 2.91 miles per my watch. Bleh. I doubt I'll ever PAY to run another 5k. They are just no fun.


Grabbed a candy cane and Clif bar at the end, took a picture:




and headed out. We had lots planned for Thanksgiving!




Quick shower and lunch at home. Then I took L's boyfriend to the airport. Took A and H to the park, went to the Muppet Movie (which was AWESOME), and then family Thanksgiving dinner. Stuffing and chocolate cheesecake are MY favorite Thanksgiving foods :) Relaxed at home, watching Megamind in the recliner. I got to go to bed early since J is one of the crazies that went out for Black Friday shopping at 9 pm.


So. What are YOU thankful for? I'm thankful my MS is still in remission, having a biopsy that was negative for cancer, my awesome family, and RUNNING.


Happy Holidays!!


PS - I never heard from Anais, so the new winner... 




Yay, Lisa J, contact me! I can email you the code or mail you the physical card. Congrats!!

Black Friday Deals!!


20% off from 12:00 am MST to 10:00 am MST only on Black Friday. You better believe I'm stocking up on SOCKS!! Good for all items on their website!! USE CODE BLACK20


ALSO... VISIT RUNNINGSKIRTS.COM!!!


Everything on sale, FREE shipping, gift with purchase AND use code "fitmepink" for an even BIGGER 15% savings!

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Williams Route 66 Half Marathon Pictures
Pre-Race - the giant guy next to me also ran White River the day before
Look, Dave is in red right behind me!
Completion of State #43, Half #51
Dave Spotting #1
Dave Spotting #2