Wonderful Wednesday and a Swirly Goodness Surprise

The HelpHappy hump day! I hope everyone had a great day and are already looking forward to the weekend. I stayed up way too late last night engrossed in The Help. This book is absolutely amazing and very thought provoking. The first book by Kathryn Stocket, this book quickly became a national bestseller. It is based in Mississippi during the heart of integration and the race riots. The book links three ordinary women one one great journey. Having grown up in the South, three decades later, many of the roots that are explored in this book are still in place today. I highly recommend picking this up at your local library or downloading it for a long run via iTunes! Having stayed up too late reading, I gave into the snooze button this morning and decided that I would make evening yoga at Equinox a priority tonight. I am so glad I did! Tonight’s yoga was a hilarious but wonderful experiment. Due to it’s proximity to my office, I have visited the 54th and 2nd Equinox location for all my weeknight yoga classes thus far. I like that the studio is removed from the rest of the gym so there is no stereo or weight room noises leaking through. This evening I was able to leave work in time for the 6:30 Vinyasa Yoga taught by Jay Johnston. I was excited by his resume/yoga theory which is always posted below the teacher’s name on Equinox.com: “…Additionally, he has run three New York City Marathons. Jay teaches Hatha, Hot Style, Vinyasa and Gentle to accommodate all students. He asks his students to focus on breathing and relaxing in the poses no matter how challenging as he believes that deeper results will come when the body is ready to open. ” My hopes were answered and he definitely focused on poses that are often found in yoga for runners routines. We did multiple hip openers, runner’s pose, pigeon, shoulder stands, and downward dogs. His aditude was very different from any other teacher i’ve ever had. He didn’t turn off his cell phone and therefore it proceeded to ring during class, he promoted his band’s upcoming gig shamelessly, and his chant was “everything’s alright.” But, regardless, there was something very real about him and his practice. In addition, he moved around the room constantly adjusting and motivating his students. Regardless of his cell phone and odd demeanor, I think i’ll be back next Wednesday night!

Tonight’s Dessert

As I left Equinox tonight I spotted a Pink Berry. Having never tried the cult yogurt chain, I headed inside to have a taste of the tart delight. The first thing I noticed was the atmosphere. The inside was bright and welcoming, filled with tables and chairs. Many of NYC’s yogurt hot spots such as TastiDLite are dark, dismal, and lacking tables and chairs. The next highlight was the topping selection. I was in disbelief as I saw they had healthy toppings such as kiwi, raspberries, and fun ones such as cocoa pebbles and carob chips! Everything looked fresh versus artificial which was a change. Their pride themselves in the swirly goodness that is packed with live cultures, calcium, nutrients, and quality ingredients. The pomegranate I sampled was a bit too tart, the original was smooth and much like Oikos or Chobani, but the coconut captured my heart! I was hooked! It is amazing! One main difference between Pinkberry and it’s competition is the topping prices. For $1.25 extra you can enjoy unlimited toppings. I packed my coconut with strawberries, pineapple, grapefruit, carob chips, and two animal cookies! HOW FUN! I’m so excited I finally tried Pinkberry. Their fresh ingredients and natural flavors please my palate far more than the artificial flavor of TastiDLite.

Attention NYC Lululemon lovers: Between now and February 14th Equinox has a 20% sale on all items in their gym stores. This means that a beloved $52 Lulu tank is just $40!!

Hop on over to Krittie’s site to win some great chocolate milk and Amazing Grass!!

Whats your favorite Chobani super bowl recipe? http://runnerwifelife.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/its-giveaway-day/

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Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day and welcome to any new readers who have headed over due to the giveaway!! We’ll see what he has to say but i’m doubtful the North’s winter is over. We’ve only had two snow showers to date in NYC and it would be an odd winter if we didn’t have a late February or March surprise. As much as i’m ready for sunshine and warmth again, I really do love nights curled up on the couch in warm pj’s, a cup of tea, and staying toasty with a blanket and the heat.
This morning I listened to my body and ran instead of spinning. Bo and I both felt like doing our own thing versus spinning. This also allowed us enjoy an extra 25 minutes of sleep. I did a speed workout on the treadmill and then completed Fitnessita’s Week 3 workout for the winter shapeup! My speedworkout looked like this:
Warm-up @ 4.5 5 minutes
6.0  5 minutes
7.5 2 minutes
6.1 5 minutes
7.5 2 minutes
6.2 5 minutes
7.5 2 minutes
6.2 5 minutes
7.5 2 minutes
6.2 2 minutes
4.5 cooldown 5 minutes
I really enjoyed this workout as it kept things changing and pushed me a bit. The Winter Shapeup was great as well and I was able to complete both of these in about 75 minutes!
This morning I decided to take a quick picture of the breakfast i’ve enjoyed at my desk for the last week. It’s pure comfort food!
1 banana
2 Tbsp flax
1/2 c oatmeal
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp PB2
Don’t you love that super cute mug? 🙂
Have a great day! Don’t forget to head on over to Missy’s site for her weekly giveaway! I would LOVE to win some TLC!!

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Welcome February and Winter Weather Giveaway!

Happy February!
How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you haven’t seen my latest posts from this weekend, i’m excited to say that I achieved my January goal of focusing on workouts and pushing my body. January looked like this for me from a workout standpoint:
Worked out @ Equinox 27 days

Stretched and lengthened my body during 6 yoga classes

Kicked my butt in 9 spin classes
Completed two long runs- 6 miles and 7 miles (in freezing weather)
Participated in Gena’s Winter Shapeup
My biggest area of opportunity is in yoga and running. My body reacts very well to yoga especially after long runs and my spinning on Monday and Tuesday. My goal is to practice two times a week formally in classes and then one time a week at home. My running goal in February is to complete two NYRR races, the first of which is the Gridiron Classic 4M this weekend (So excited for the blogger brunch and to meet Meghann) and to complete one long run OUTSIDE and one speed work session each week. I focused on speed a lot when I trained for my second half marathon and it really made a difference. I love some of the workout’s i’ve seen on other sites and this great workout from Runner’s World:
 First Workout: 15 Fast Seconds

Warm up by walking for three minutes, then running easy for eight minutes.
Run comfortably for 10 seconds, increase your speed for 10 more seconds, and speed up again for five seconds. At no point should you be running all out. Walk for two minutes. Repeat the series two more times.
Cool down by running easy for eight minutes, then walking for three.

Second Workout: (four to six days later) Two Sets

Do the same warmup and cooldown as in the first workout.
Do the same acceleration drill followed by two minutes of walking, but instead of doing the series three times, do it four times.
Then run comfortably for 10 seconds, increase your speed for 10 seconds, then speed up again for 10 seconds. Walk for two minutes. Repeat the series two more times.

Third Workout: Two Sets and More
Do the same warmup and cooldown.
Once a week, repeat the second workout, adding two repeats to the first set of accelerations (work up to 12 repeats) and adding five seconds (work up to 30 seconds) to the length of the last segment in the second set of accelerations. Example: Week three you’d run six accelerations in the first set and extend the last segment of the accelerations in the second set to 15 seconds.
In honor of my cold weather long run that I completed and my belief in the importance of running outdoors, I am excited to present the February Winter Weather giveaway! This weekend, I learned first hand that running outdoors, even in freezing cold weather, can be a great deal of fun and provide some much needed Vitamin D. However, layers are key! There is a great article over at Fit Sugar which I referenced this weekend in preparation! The article refers to base layers and fleece layers as being important for sweat wicking and warmth. Therefore, I am excited to announce that I will be presenting TWO winners with either an awesome base layer or fleece layer. The base layer is an awesome black and pink Gracie’s Gear  tank (size L). This item normally retails for $42 but was donated by Gracie and is complete with tags!

Her site describes it as follows:

Gracie’s A-Line Tank

Finally have that hands free workout with Gracie’s A-line Tank. Wear as a bra or tank top. This version will keep you covered ladies. **This top does not ride up your waist!
Stop carrying your iPod, cell phone, energy gels, and car keys and finally have a “hands free experience” ladies!! POWER POUCH
The other item, is a Womens Nike fleece lined running zip up in Medium. A gorgeous white jacket that is perfect for running this unfortunately runs a bit small and therefore has only been worn once. This is a great mid or top layer since it is warm and fuzzy due to it’s fleece lining but has a windproof layer on the outside.

1) Tweet about this giveaway “@Healthierhappierbear is giving away two great running tops! Check out her site!”
2) Leave me a comment with a suggestion for the blog and your favorite training tip.
3) Follow Healthierhappierbear on Twitter by clicking the link on this site.
4) Become a fan on Facebook of Healthy, Happier Bear
5) Post this giveaway on your site and let me know.

You will gain one entry for each. I will pick a winnner on Friday night! 🙂

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