Dated.

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Apple Pie, Peanut Butter Cookie, Banana Bread, Ginger Snap, Coconut Cream Pie, Carrot Cake, Pecan Pie, Lemon Bar

Picture that bakery case.  Deeeelicious.

 {and most certainly completely inappropriate for any dreams of a girlish figure … or proper fuel for anything more than a crash and burn}

One of the most common misconceptions of athletes is that we must be able to eat whatever we want.  For some, maybe, but for me, unfortunately not.  What I eat directly correlates to my mental and physical performance and over the years I’ve learned that sugar, dairy and gluten have become some of my worst fueling enemies and contributed to more than a few failed runs.

Accordingly, I tend to center my diet around whole, natural fruits, vegetables, proteins and select grains for peak mental and physical energy.   One of my favorite snacks is the Larabar which comes in all the aforementioned ‘dessert case’ flavors, but built with just a few ingredients – simple. natural. delicious.

I set out to try to create my own version of the Larabar recently via a recipe I discovered in Move Nourish Believe by Lorna Jane. BTW, have I mentioned Lorna Jane is amazing?

Well, So Is This Recipe.

With their natural sweetness, dates form the base of this recipe along with chopped almonds and cinnamon.  I whipped out my handy-dandy As Seen on TV purchase – the Magic Bullet blender – to chop everything up and these came together rather effortlessly.

All I needed was about a dozen large dates, 1/2 cup of raw Almonds, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, a dash of fennel seeds and black pepper

Roll, Refrigerate, Slice, Dip.

Let me tell you.  These things are completely and totally in.a.health.nut.kind.of way DT.  I popped a few before my early morning run today and found them to be the perfect (and stomach friendly) fuel to power me through 8 tempo’d miles.  Will I make them again?? 100% hands down yes – and next time I plan on experimenting with adding additional flavors  like banana, blueberry, cashews, coconut or unsweetened dried cherries.

The only eeeensy weensy problem is that now I’m going to have to buy two Costco size boxes of dates instead of one because I already inhale eat at least one of these every two weeks.

So anyway,  scratch that brownie pie, peanut butter cookie or cherry cobbler – make these pronto. Your waistline {and your workout} will thank you.

{MF Dre}

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Fall for Saint Grace.

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You know by now I’m a little bit obsessed with Saint Grace.

This brand completely fits my laid back, funky, Californian, comfortable, effortless, fashion-with-a-twist approach to style.   Their fall collection is filled with prints and fabrics that will take me from day to night – or in this case an afternoon BBQ to watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

While I’m pretty certain that I own at least 5 similar styles and colors of Saint Grace pants,  I seemingly never tire of them.   The new Mohawk Wide pant in Red is by far my favorite new addition to my closet this season and perfectly suited for a DIY denim vest and wedges or dressed up with boots and a motorcycle jacket.

One of the things I love most about these pants is that they’re super long and you can cut them to the length you want.  On the way up to the BBQ this past weekend, I brought my scissors in the car to cut them –looks like I may need another stripe off the bottom.  These pants are going to go a long way this fall.

{MF Dre}

Run Happy.

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Remember when I said a whole bunch of great things came in the mail?? This box made my brain happy.

And the next box made my feet happy.

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I’ve tried out many, many running shoes. But I haven’t ever tried on a shoe like these.    I used to be a Nike girl and I’m pretty sure I had at least 6 pairs in a row of this shoe.   Then I started to realize that they didn’t really seem to hold as well when my mileage increased and my feet were sore and tired.   So I went on the hunt for something different and in the last year and change, I’ve rotated through 2 pairs of these Asics  which I’ve liked a lot, but find to be a bit heavy some days, 2 pairs of these New Balance – great lightweight shoe though sadly I’ve never been able to track it down in rainbow, and 2 pairs of the Kinvara 2s which I love.  But for some time now, I’ve been dying to try the Brooks PureProject collection.

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I received a VIP discount to RoadRunnerSports.com and couldn’t resist finally taking the plunge and trying these shoes.

According to the Brook website, The Brooks PureProject™ collection introduces a unique way to experience your run by promoting a natural stride in an incredibly lightweight shoe. Knowing that simply removing parts of the shoe would result in poor performance, we took a proactive approach to biomechanical needs by developing five innovative technologies that engage the foot naturally, and with significantly fewer parts than a standard shoe. Breathable fabrics, radically flexible materials, and an extremely low profile complete the package to bring you a run for the senses. It’s what we call the “Feel More with Less” experience.

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I picked out the Brooks PureFlow which features dynamic cushioning, a wide Nav Band along the outside that holds my mid-foot in place and really great arch support without the bulkiness of heavy insoles or orthotics.   The sole has a center strike pod and only a 4mm heel to toe offset which easily places my foot into the natural mid-foot strike landing zone so that I can run naked, and on top of it all the shoe is incredibly comfortable – like size 9 purple clouds on my feet kind of comfortable – seriously.

Typically I believe in a ‘breaking in’ period when I get a new shoe.  I’ll run a few miles in the pair at a time while rotating in the tried and trues already in my closet.  These shoes required zero adjustment.  In a matter of 2 weeks I went from 3 miles to 18 miles seamlessly in them – no bigs.  Aaaaand the added bonus on them is that I think they may be the secret sauce in me wanting to run hills.   I honestly CHOSE to run hills 3x this week.  whaaaaat?  No joke.

Anyway Brooks was on to something with their #RunHappy slogan.  I’m digging these shoes, big time, and ready to take them out for another 20 or so miles this weekend.  Is that reason enough to justify having them in all of the colors?

{MF Dre}

DT Alert: Pizza Date with a Pirate.

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Similar to Milestone Monday posts, I’ve started a new themed post.

DT Alerts

For those of you who are new readers or just want a refresher.  The Mr. and I have created our own lingo for anything that is mind-blowing and ridiculously grub worthy…DT aka Delicious Town.  Often we have contests to see who can pick the best restaurant or make the best meal, dessert etc and It begins with something along the lines of  “Take me to Delicious Town”.

***

The other night, I met the Mr. after work for a date at Stella Rossa Pizza Bar.   I walked into the restaurant to find out that the Mr. had really pulled it together for the evening… I had a date with a Pirate.

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{luckily in LA, the grungy I didn’t shower and haven’t shaved in over a week look is pesudo-acceptable}

People have been raving about Stella Rossa calling it the best thing that’s come to Santa Monica.  I’m always skeptical when there’s so much “best” buzz.  So we put it to the test.

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Originally we were just going to order the Salumi and Sweet Corn Pizza, but when the couple next to us were served the Mushroom and Truffle, the overwhelming scent of truffle couldn’t be resisted so we doubled up on pizzas.

The true review:  The Salad was great, light, slightly fruity and perfectly drizzled with a balsamic glaze. Pizzas were good. Not excellent.

We had hoped that the Salumi and Sweet Corn would deliver the perfect Savory & Sweet combination.  Instead it was heavier on the sweet than the savory.  While the arugula tempered the sweet, we both were left wishing there had been a bit more Salumi on the pizza.

The Mushroom and Truffle was an aromatic delight but left nothing else a chance to shine.  For as many mushrooms and herbs that were on this pizza, we wished that the truffle had been paired back so that we could enjoy more than what tasted like truffle crust.

And speaking of crust.  Good, not excellent.  Worth leaving on the side of the plate.

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While this seems like a pan of Stella Rossa, it’s not.  The food was good, not excellent – We liked the atmosphere, the bar, the service was great, the crowd and music was fun and upbeat and showing up looking like a pirate is totally acceptable.  That said,  since we have also been to this place for pizza in Santa Monica – {repeatedly I might add}, I have no qualms saying that Stella Rossa is NOT the best pizza in Santa Monica. Go HERE first.

Walking out, I stopped next door at M Street Bakery {same owner as Stella Rossa} for few sweet treats to bring home.

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12 - 1A hit and a total miss.  Can you guess which one?

{MF Dre}

Textures and Light.

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This past weekend our wedding photographer was in Los Angeles and I took full advantage by taking him by our wedding venue so that he could get a sense of the space, the textures, the lighting and begin to imagine some of how he’ll shoot the evening.   As I relaxed, chatting with some of the venue staff, he snapped this candid shot of me.

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His ability to perfectly capture light, textures and color leaves me with the utmost confidence that our wedding will be as beautiful in print as it is in spirit.

{MF Dre}

Milestone Monday.

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18 Miles checked of the training plan yesterday and the longest run so far of this training cycle. I’ve got two more super long 20 milers planned aaaand then, I can promise I’ll be pretty excited to taper.  This long running in the hot, humid summer is really much more difficult than training for a winter or spring marathon.

I’ve run a total of 1393 total miles run this year (619 left to meet my goal). It’s safe to say that if you’re interested in going for a run, I’ll probably say yes.  Maybe not a let’s sprint and run really fast because it’s really awesome “Yes”, but a yes nonetheless.  So go ahead and ask me. Because running with other people has become waaay more fun. (xxoo RP)

This week’s another step-back week in the training plan. If you’re training for a marathon – I’ve posted it as a guide – feel free to use it, adopt it, modify it, etc.

  • Monday:  Yoga
  • Tuesday: 5 Miles Easy
  • Wednesday: 5 Miles — 1 mile w/u, 3 miles at 7:30 pace, 1 mile c/d
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: 8 Miles
  • Saturday: 13 Miles (swapping Sat and Sun this week because RP is headed out-of-town Sunday)
  • Sunday: Rest

I had a mini-injury scare last week with my right hip, turns out my hip flexor was strung mega-tight .  Evidence that I’m not doing enough stretching.  So I dug in and have been making some progress. In the process of “digging in” I found some pretty legit pain trigger points on the outside-middle of both of my calves.  So I went out and spent a whoppin $10 on a set of lacrosse balls to roll on – a trick this girl swears by.  They are NO JOKE. and since she’s a HARD CORE athlete, I listened.

I did a little research on how to use them – according to Livestrong, Self Myofascial Release Technique is a form of treatment that uses gentle pressure {side note, I do not think lacrosse balls feel gentle, but anyway} on specific locations of your body for alleviating pain and restoring range of motion to painful joints. Read more here.  Myofascial points, also referred to as trigger points, are located on specific spots on your body on your muscles and the area surrounding this tissue.

Here’s a demo of some random dude doing what I’ve been doing all week.

 I was too busy to do a video, but let me tell you, its painful – that this.is.so.painful.I.want.to.cry.but.it.feels.so.good.kind.of.way. 

If that even makes sense at all.

That’s the fitness part of the milestones.

The creativity and inspired piece – that’s on frickin’ overdrive.  I need a shut down on that part just about now.  How many DIY projects can one do for wedding, bridesmaids, friends weddings, household, homies (yes, seriously) and just because.  Well, the answer this week, ZERO, except for design these.

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But the planning, the thinking, the ordering and the how.the.hell.am.I.gonna.get.it.all.done part, yeah, that’s begun.

Anyone want to come over and craft?  I’ve got vases, candles, plants, paints, glitter, twine, music, and plenty of wine.

I’ll host you and toast you. Pinky Prom.

{MF Dre}

Willpower is a Muscle.

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Willpower is a muscle.  The more you use it, the stronger it gets…

I’ve been battling with my long runs lately.  Big time.  I get all geared up mentally during the week — often fueled by some pretty frickin awesome speed and mid-length (8-10 mile) runs.  I finish them and am immediately overwhelmed by post-run bliss –  mentally thinking I am some sort of run goddess or queen or something…

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hardly, but I’ll take the post-run high.

 Then I get to Sunday and I just wonder how I’m going to make it.   Except for a mini injury scare last week where my right hip was acting all geriatric, I’ve finished them all, but not as mentally strong and confident as long runs past.

Chicago is 7 weeks out which means I have 4 weeks of strong hard, training to go before I taper.

So I’ve started talking to myself on the LR’s- the in my head talking to myself kind of talking to myself.

I Can. So I Will.

Believe in Yourself. Don’t Stop.

Dig Deep. Never Ever Give Up.

Mentally Tough, Physically Strong.

What I’ve learned is that willpower is a muscle and can be strengthened.  Strengthening it is a key predictor of success.  There is a great article in the Boston Globe here that details some of this – it’s a really good read if you have a moment or need a little kick in the rear.

Anyway, how about today’s LR?!?!?!

18 miles.  2:47.

hot hilly and humid, smiling with SUPER dead legs at the finish.

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Boom.

{MF Dre}