Something Unexpected

Let’s just get this out of the way- yep, that Packer game was quite ugly. My family and I are die hard Packer fans so it’s hard to watch such a mess at home. Crossing my fingers our players get better soon {namely, you, Mr. Rodgers} so we can get more W’s!

Saturday morning started with good intentions, with a 5 ish mile run in mind. I’ve set my goal for this month at 40 miles {part of the Pile on the Miles Challenge via Run Eat Repeat}. Unfortunately, as I got about 4 miles into my run, something very unexpected happened. I felt pain, SHARP pain, on the outside of my left knee. I have never felt pain like this before. Being the resilient runner that I am {albeit stupid after the fact}, I tried to run through it, but surrendered to walking after only a short distance. After some research and my prior knowledge on running injuries, I know it’s my left IT band that’s the problem.

nov9

What went wrong:

  • Didn’t take my own advice about Too Fast, Too Soon, Too Much, Too Often
  • Wanting to complete my monthly goal quickly and not having a set plan, I’ve run too many miles this month
  • I took up my training where I left off after my half marathon in September
  • I ran too fast out of the gate 

My plan is to take a short break from running for 3-5 days, depending on how I feel. I’ve read that IT band syndrome is one of the few injuries that heals well with stretching. I’m planning on some QT with my foam roller, yoga, and core classes. I’m considering adding more weight training to my fitness routine, as I’m sure my lack of hip/glute strength is not helping the cause. I’m not deterred by this– I’m  determined to allow myself to rest and heal so I can get back at ‘er. I’ve had hip pain in the past, which I believe was also caused by my IT band. It’s just never felt like this before. Luckily, I’m not in the mist of training for anything major- just the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Im going to give my body the rest it needs from running, while still continuing other forms of exercise.

I could worry and fret, but I know other runners have endured much worse. Im listening to my body instead {and my hubby who told me —>REST!}. So, no worries that I’m going to make it worse. I had this encouraging fortune this weekend, which I’ll take as a good sign. {by the way, the only sport I do is running :)}

2013-11-09 06.54.40Saturday night, hubby and I went to watch some hockey. I’m not super familiar with the sport, but I love that it’s fast action. We spectated the Green Bay Gamblers and it was a pretty exciting night. I got to “chuck a puck” and watch for flying sticks/pucks. I told my hubby if I suffered a TBI from a flying puck I was going to blame him.

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2013-11-09 18.38.17Before the hockey game, I had my first drink {besides wine} at a restaurant in a LONG time. I’m just not a big drinker, as normally I would rather have water with my meals. But I was feeling a “go for it” night, so a Hot Apple Cider {Goldschlager, Pucker Sour Apple schnapps, apple juice & a cinnamon stick; served warm} was my drink of choice. Just one, but it tasted really good!

hotciderI could tell I drank and ate differently than normal. I felt bloated and gassy most of the night. I wasn’t comfortable, but I’ll take it over stomach pain. Once in a while I can handle a stomach like this, knowing it will subside after a night of sleep. That’s the thing with IBS-C, I just have to wait it out and see how I feel. I knew alcohol and some of the food I ate wasn’t FODMAP friendly, so I was prepared to not feel the best.

Sunday morning, the sun was shining {finally} and hubby and I headed to the gym. Sunday morning Centergy is the best way to start my week. It felt especially good considering my IT band issues.

2013-11-10 07.55.54Hope you had a great weekend and took time to recharge for the week ahead! 

Were you a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior? Have you suffered any running injuries? What did you do to recover? 

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Cold Weather Running Gear Must Haves

runninggearAs the weather has made her switch to colder, frosty mornings, I have had to change up my running gear. This is my first fall/winter running, as I’m still a newbie. After reading up on cold weather running gear “must haves”, I’ve come up with my own list. These are the items I swear by and run with religiously in the cold!

1) Asics PR Shelter Headwarmer

In my opinion, a headwarmer is the way to go since it keeps your ears warm while allowing heat to escape through your head. Even though the air feels chilly when you first step out the door, your body warms up quickly and you don’t want to be sweating 2 miles into your run.

2) Asics Women’s Quinn Jacket

I ordered this jacket a while ago from Amazon when it was on sale. It’s really warm, but not heavy feeling. I have been loving it for chilly morning runs.

3) Flipbelt 

FlipBelt_NeonYCThruHiRes-300x300

(under my jacket) Not necessarily a “cold weather” accessory only, but it’s a product that I truly love! I’ve had one since last spring and I never run without it. I’m weird about having too many things on my wrists and arms, so the fact that this allows me to have my arms free is awesome. I also love that I don’t have to worry about it falling down. I had a hard time finding an armband that wouldn’t slide down because my arms are kinda small (workin’ on it 🙂 ). This is the perfect solution. It comes in lots of fun colors and fits my phone, money, FOB for my car, and fuel for long runs. (P.S. Fashion tip: Please don’t wear this over your clothes. It looks hideous that way. It’s meant to mimic the band of your pants or a belt people!)

4) Garmin Forerunner 10

A must have for any running weather really. I love my Garmin Forerunner 10. It’s simple enough, yet tells me exactly what I need and want to know! It does take usually 2-3 minutes to find the satellites before a run, but I’m usually warming up then anyways. This has been essential in improving my pace. When I started seriously running this past spring, I remember thinking I was “comfortable” at a 10:30 min/mile pace. Now my “comfortable” pace is around 9:00 min/mile. It’s amazing what training with a GPS watch can do for you!

5) Nike Women’s Epic Run Tight

I absolutely love these running tights. They’re so comfortable and keep me warm in cold weather. I can picture myself logging many miles in these tights. I see they’re $85 now. Believe me, I love running gear, but did not pay that much!

6) Fingerless Gloves

I picked up fingerless gloves at the Dollar Tree for the Fox Cities half marathon in September, thinking I’d toss them along the way. However, I ended up really liking them! I tend to get hot then cold, then hot again so these are perfect for cold weather running. They keep my palms warm while letting some heat out of my fingertips. And if I lose them or toss them, I don’t care because they’re so cheap!

7) Mizuno Wave Exlixir 8s

These are my very first pair of running shoes. I curse the day I will have to retire them. We’ve been through a lot of miles together and hopefully there are a lot more miles in our future. Unfortunately, I forsee myself needing a new pair in the spring. I’ll continue to love them this winter while I still can, as they’ve been discontinued. 😦

I could ramble on about my favorite running things for hours, but I’ll spare you and leave you with this- Invest in yourself this weekend. Be a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior. Be thankful to MOVE, SWEAT, and just BE. {have a great weekend!}

What are your running must haves in the cold?

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Thankful Thursday

thankfulthurs

I think it’s important to take reflection time each day; each week to remember what we’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is approaching which usually spurs these thoughts, but taking small moments throughout the year has value as well.

Relaxation- 

I’ve noticed lately how much my mind races throughout the day. I’m constantly thinking about something that already happened or something that’s going to happen. It’s not too often I take time to live “in the moment” and relax. The last 5 minutes of Centergy class is one of the few moments throughout my week that I just sit and breathe. It is namely referred to as the “restore” track. I never knew how hard it is to not think. I have to picture my mind as a chalkboard and any thought that comes into my head, I simply erase. I am thankful for those 5 minutes to just be.

4Sweat-

I am thankful to be able to sweat. The actual being sweaty part I could do without {obviously}, but I kinda love it when sweat pours down my face. It’s a reminder how much my body is capable of and how much injustice I do my body by sitting during my day. My body was made to MOVE, to WORK, and to SWEAT. I am thankful to finally understand this.

2013-09-28 08.34.49Language-

I found this quote at the beginning of the school year and it sums up how I important I feel my job is.

quote-the-limits-of-my-language-are-the-limits-of-my-mind-all-i-know-is-what-i-have-words-for-ludwig-wittgenstein-355418Who would we be without words to express ourselves? I think about this every day as I treat kiddos with severe cognitive disabilities. I am thankful to have found a job {speech language pathology} I am passionate about. I am thankful for my education, my upbringing, and that I have the opportunity to make a difference; to help kids with such a basic need- to communicate. It kind of gives me chills. 🙂

Produce-

farmersmarketThis summer I frequented the farmer’s market practically every Saturday morning. I am thankful to be able to buy fresh, local produce. It’s not really surprising how much better fresh food tastes and how much better I feel when eating clean. I used to eat a lot of processed foods, not really thinking about what I was putting in my body (i.e., chips, crackers, pretzels). At that time, I didn’t care. I’m much more conscious of what I put in my body now. I want and need to supply my body with nourishing foods to sustain energy for my day and exercise.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge on Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

Think about it-

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

pile-on-the-miles-2013

Pile on the Miles update: 12.5/40 miles

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I Scratched the Itch + WIAW

2013-11-04 19.50.51On Monday I spoke of my race envy. As you get to know me better, you’ll find out I don’t sit on something like that for too long. Hubby and I tend to make decisions really quickly, which in the case of races is probably a good thing. No chance to second guess ourselves!

As I was searching through spring races, the St. Pat’s 17K caught my eye. It is 10.5 miles and a dress up race! At least I have plenty of time to plan a fun St. Pat’s running costume. So, I sent off my form today! I also decided I’m all in for the Cellcom half marathon in Green Bay. It’s May 18th and I’ve heard a lot of positive aspects of the race (running through Lambeau, great crowd support)! So, even though I’m jealous of all those who are racing now, I’m super excited for upcoming races. It will really help to motivate me through this winter!

On the food front- today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! I had an especially good food week. I’m trying to mix up my meals more (yah alliteration :)). So far, so good. Here are my favorites from my week!

Favorite Baked Good:

cookiesI made an extremely good batch of chocolate chips cookies. Of course I don’t do “normal” cookies, so I tried Zucchini Applesauce Oatmeal cookies  from Two Peas and Their Pod. I love how the zucchini keeps the cookies moist. They’re very tasty even 5 days after I made them.

Favorite Breakfasts:

2013-10-31 06.23.09Gluten free toast topped with Laughing Cow wedge, sliced avocado, and 2 egg whites with a side of kiwi and coffee.

pboatmealPeanut butter and jelly oatmeal. It’s made just like it sounds- mixed in pb and jelly (and chia seeds) into my oatmeal. How have I never thought of this before?! Sooo good.

proteinpancakesMy Banana Cinnamon Protein pancakes topped with Peanut Butter Co Bees Knees and lots o’ cinnamon.

Favorite Lunch:

2013-10-30 11.44.32Salad with hard boiled egg, spinach, kale, cucumber, shredded carrot, feta, sunflower seeds, and yogurt dressing. I never get sick of salads because it’s so easy to change them up!

Favorite Dinners:

quinoabowlI spread one tortilla with laughing cow and filled it with cooked quinoa, veggies, and chicken sausage. I also added some shredded cheddar cheese and topped it with avocado.

2013-11-01 18.20.44Quinoa with avocado, a wedge of laughing cow, sunflower seeds and the veggie/chicken sausage mixture from the previous meal.

It will be hard to top these eats from this week. So many good things! Enjoy your Wednesday, friends!

Are you planning on running any spring races? Which ones? What are you favorite salad additions?

pile-on-the-miles-2013

Pile on the Miles update: 9.5/40 miles

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Race Envy

Good Monday morning to you! I hope you had a terrific weekend! I’ve been getting race envy from seeing so many people on Twitter and Instagram racing these past couple weekends! I have the thirst for another half marathon, but I know I have to be patient as winter is not the best time to run a half marathon. Next spring though, for sure!

Even though I don’t have any major races coming up, I did sign hubby and myself up for the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. I’ve never participated in one before so I’m really excited! It’s a 5 mile run which won’t be a problem since I’ve continued to run after the half marathon in September. In fact, I ran 5 miles on Saturday and it felt great!

NovrunWho was a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior with me this weekend?? I received my Road ID in the mail this week and remembered to wear it for my run. I know my hubby will feel better if I have ID on me.  I ran in the morning on Saturday and then headed to the gym for Group Core. It really kicked my butt on Saturday, more than usual, but in a good way!

2013-11-02 07.22.56I got back into eating a banana with peanut butter before my run. Since September, I definitely have relaxed on running higher mileage. However, since I joined Run Eat Repeat’s Pile on the Miles, I find myself thinking about running more often again. Plus, a half marathon in May isn’t that far away, right?

Something else that will help keep this Energizer bunny going? A TREADMILL! After a botched Craigslist deal, we decided to bite the bullet and buy new. We were all set to purchase one from Sears, when I thought about checking out Dick’s Sporting Goods. They ended up having a better deal with lots of extras! We purchased the Epic A30T treadmill and I know I’m going to love it. It comes with a year of iFit, but I have yet to set that part up. My plan is to get a couple miles in before work most days, especially if I’m not planning a workout later in the day, and do a longer run on Saturday or Sunday. I definitely have been getting the “sitting blues” lately. On Friday, I couldn’t shake this sadness and couldn’t pinpoint why I was feeling that way. I believe it was because I sat and did paperwork most of the day without any exercise. It kinda drives me nuts. So, another reason I am ecstatic we have a treadmill of our very own now.

EpictreadmillSunday morning I ran a little over 2 miles on the treadmill and then headed to the gym for Group Centergy. I am conquering that bird pose, slowly but surely!

2013-11-03 07.07.43We put the treadmill in our unfinished basement. It’s near a window, so it doesn’t feel too closed in. However, as you’ll notice, the walls are bare cement. I am going to add inspirational quotes to the walls with chalk to keep me motivated!

I need your help! What inspirational quote(s) should I add?

My favorite is “Every mile earned, never given.”

Pile on the Miles Update: 7/40 miles 

Have a great week! Do something today your future self will thank you for!

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Be a Weekend Workout Warrior With Me!

Friday happy dance can commence! It’s a half day for kiddos today, so I’m looking forward to an easier day. More time for paperwork…actually, on second thought, I’d rather spend the day with my kids.

Did you have good Halloween? Eat way too much candy? No? Just me?

2013-10-31 16.23.40It unfortunately poured here the entire trick or treating time. Despite the rain, we had a lot more trick or treaters than I was anticipating and ran out of candy an hour into it. Whoops.

Murphy was a load of barking. He hates doorbells in general, so Halloween is particularly bad for him. At least we kept him away from the door, as last year he sprinted out after the kids. I was by myself last year so I blame my husband.

2013-10-31 16.24.00I thought of a ridiculously easy costume this year, a cow! I bought this Nike Dri Fit shirt earlier this fall and it reminded me of a cow so I based my whole costume on it. I definitely didn’t “go all out”, but a) I don’t have kids and b) we couldn’t dress up at school. I work at an elementary school and the kids weren’t allowed to dress up because of the distraction factor. Didn’t stop the kids from being hyper all afternoon though! I can imagine the sugar hangover they’re going to have today….

2013-10-30 06.47.25I will probably be snuggling with this pup for most of this weekend. He’s just so darn cuddly all the time! Especially when I’m headed out the door on my way to work.

On the fitness front, I’m planning on getting a longer run in and going to Group Centergy and Core. I’m joining Run Eat Repeat’s Pile on the Miles challenge this month. I love the idea of setting our own goals and keeping ourselves accountable. Plus, you can win some great prizes! My goal is to run 40 miles this month.

2013-10-19 08.43.10Have a wonderful weekend! Be a weekend workout warrior with me!!! Use #WeekendWorkoutWarrior to tag any awesome workout accomplishments this weekend!

Side note, we’re getting an exciting delivery today! I will share all the details come Monday! Hint: it’s something I’ve been considering getting for a while and it’s fitness related!

What was your Halloween costume? What’s better- candy or chocolate for Halloween? Work out plans this weekend?

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October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Happy HalloweenThis month I participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program hosted by Lindsey at the Lean Green Bean. Thank you so much Lindsey for putting this together! It’s a great opportunity to share the local eats of my city and receive new-to-me eats from another part of the country!

2013-10-24 19.37.16Wanna hear about something not so scary? I received some great treats this month from Becca in Pennsylvania! I’ve never been to PA , nor do I know much about the food out there, so I was up for anything!

box1What was in the box:

  • Southeastern Mills Cheddar Garlic biscuit mix
  • Beaver brand Hot Cream Horseradish
  • Wos-Wit Pumpkin Butter

box2

  • Little Debbie Pumpking delights cookies
  • TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
  • Organic Mint Chocolate bar

I opened the Kandy Kakes right away. OMG they’re so delicious. They’re a small cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. It’s so simple, yet I don’t think we have anything like it that’s similar around here. I want more! I was very happy to see pumpkin butter in the box, as I recently ran out of the pumpkin butter I picked up in Door County. Becca included all things I am looking forward to trying. I am especially glad I participated, as {most of} these are local foods to PA. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to try these foods without the Foodie Pen Pal program!

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Try not to pass out from a candy coma. 🙂 I’m hoping we have lots of trick or treaters because I do not want all that chocolate and candy just laying around the house!

The Lean Green Bean

I Heart Squash Season

Happy middle of the week my fellow health & fitness nuts. While most bloggers hold up their kids for photos, I like to hold up my dog. Don’t judge. 🙂

2013-10-27 16.26.20I’m linking up today to What I Ate Wednesday via Jenn at Peas and Crayons. I take back what I said last week, WIAW is my favorite link up!

2013-10-29 06.19.51I’m trying to mix up my breakfasts more, however, I’m pretty stuck on oatmeal. I love how warm it is for these chilly mornings and it never fails to fill me up. I’ve “tried” to mix up my oats by adding Skippy Dark Chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter (I know, huge change). I definitely have some searching to do for good oatmeal add-ins! Some fruits I can’t add because they’re not low-FODMAP (like apples/pears). I’m thinking of joining in A Dash of Meg’s November breakfast challenge (i.e., different breakfast every morning). I could really use it!

2013-10-27 16.32.37My snacks lately have been fruit filled. I love greek yogurt topped with frozen berries.

spaghettisquashAfter putting off this dinner a couple times last week, I finally made Skinnytaste’s Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese. At the last farmer’s market, I picked up two huge spaghetti squash. The bake turned out really well, but I thought it could’ve used more “crunch.” With some of the leftovers I added cut up peppers, more spinach, and sunflower seeds. I love being able to buy local squash and make a great dinner from it. It just makes me feel good to support our local farmers.

2013-10-29 18.25.56Are you sick of seeing my feet yet? I hope not! Better than my sweaty face. I got in a couple miles on the treadmill last night before Group Centergy. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve obsessed with Centergy. I will never, ever, ever give it up. Never. You can’t make me. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful day and do something that your future self will thank you for!

What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins? Have you been cooking with any seasonal veggies? Favorite workout this week?

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Too Fast, Too Soon, Too Much, Too Often

2013-10-23 18.31.43Last Wednesday, hubby and I attended a free presentation called “Running One Step At a Time.” It was put on by ThedaCare’s Orthopedic Plus. I was unsure of what to expect, but the description indicated we would be learning about common running injuries and how to prevent them.

The presenters included two doctors and two physical therapists. The presentation was heavily medical for the most part. I gleamed information on IT band syndrome, shin splints, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. I’ve heard of many of these injuries, but thankfully, haven’t experienced any myself. The doctors were very knowledgeable about the variety of injuries and were runner themselves which I think makes a difference.

I took away from the presentation that most injuries are “down stream effects from higher up,” meaning most places we feel pain are simply the “victim” areas and not the cause of the problem. Most often injuries happen from running:

  • Too fast
  • Too soon
  • Too much
  • Too often

The presenters emphasized listening to your body which I highly recommend. It’s important to not be so rigid that we completely forgo our intuition. We know our bodies that best. Who else is better qualified to take care of ourselves?

When training for my half marathon last month, I tried to stick to my training schedule as much as possible. I wanted to be fully prepared for 13.1 miles and all in all, I felt I was. I gave myself enough time to increase my weekly mileage without over doing it and causing an injury.

That being said, I have felt some hip pain lately when I run more than 6 miles at a time. I spoke with the PT after the session (and have consulted with a PT after my training runs last summer) about my concerns. She postulated that the hip pain may be from my IT band flaring up from the repetitive motion of running. She suggested hip strengthening exercises, including the use of resistance bands. I had learned of my weak hips this summer and have been trying to incorporate more hip strengthening exercises. I regularly do planks and yoga. I picked up some resistance bands this weekend and am planning on doing consistent exercises with them as well. I’m hoping to see a difference in my running as my hips get stronger! I also recommend checking out Jacqueline’s hip exercises that I’ve bookmarked!

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Other exciting running tidbits I learned:

  • As we transition to winter running, gradually change the surface you run on. If you’re taking all your running indoors, alternate between road and treadmill running for a while to get your body used to the surface change.
  • You can grate your calluses with a cheese grater– no lie. You try it and let me know, mmmk? 🙂
  • Losing toenails it usually due to ill fitting shoes. Either your shoes are too small or too wide in the mid-foot allowing the foot to slide forward. (I’m currently losing my second big toenail :()
  • 15 miles/week is sufficient to stay cardiovascularly fit and prevent injury.
  • Sharp pain is NEVER a good type of pain.

We were also given a packet with hip/knee/leg stretches and strengthening exercises. I was happy to note that many of the exercises in the packet are included in my twice weekly centergy class. I was also happy to note how many people came out for the presentation. I know there are runners in our community, but it surprised me how many people showed up! Yah for running. 🙂

Do you currently have any injuries? Do you take into consideration whether you’re running too fast, too soon, too much, or too often? 

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Weekend Workout Warrior

This weekend included cool, but beautiful days here. My weekends lately have been similar, including workouts, shopping, and relaxing. I’ll take more of that please!

Oct26Saturday I dragged hubby to the gym with me. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill before we took Group Core. The wind was pretty wicked here on Saturday, so I opted for an indoor run. I’ve been thinking more about getting a treadmill at home lately. We definitely have the room for one and I’d love the option to get a run in before work or later at night when I’m less likely to run outside or want to drive to the gym.

Saturday afternoon hubby and I headed our for some shopping. We perused the treadmills at Sears. The salesman were very knowledgeable about treadmills and we ended up trying some out, but not making a purchase. After, we grabbed some lunch at one of our favorite places, Panera.

panera1026I am in love with their Thai Chicken salad. Holy yum. The smokehouse turkey panini was quite good too.

2013-10-27 14.08.39My new BOBS shoes came in the mail on Saturday. They’re sparkly and tree like. I love them.

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And they’re Murphy approved.

2013-10-27 07.58.28I’m still obsessed with Sunday morning Centery. I’m making some good progress with bird pose! Not quite as shaky as I used to be.

roadid

Sunday nights are always better chatting with fellow runners on #runchat! A week from last Sunday, I won a pre-runchat gift certificate for Road ID by tweeting. Originally it said I won the Supernova light, however, the email I received indicated I could use the $15 for anything on their site. I decided to purchase a Road ID Wrist ID Sport instead of the light because I thought I would use it more often. I don’t usually carry any kind of ID on me when I run (probably not the smartest…). Reading more about the ID got me thinking about what could happen during a run. I’m usually alone with my phone and that’s about it. If I were to get hurt, there’s really no way for someone to identify who I am. I know my hubby will feel better once I start wearing one. You just never know.

I’ve now won a Designer Whey t-shirt and $15 for Road ID website. Not too shabby for being a newish tweeter. It pays to participate!

Make your Monday Marvelous! And check out other Marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats!

Do you have a Road ID or carry ID with you when you run? What’s your favorite fitness class? Bobs or Toms?

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