Wheelchair Rubgy aka MURDERBALL

Weekend Challenge: 30 minutes is all I ask

Friday, June 29, 2012

We are starting to rev up the weekend challenges as summer is in full swing.  This week, please choose 3 numbers between 1 and 17.  Then look in the right hand column of this site for "Labels." Underneath that, click on "quickie."  This should bring up all the quickie workouts I have posted on this site (a new one is featured every Sunday morning).

Find the quickies that correspond to the numbers you selected and put them into one workout.  It should take 30-40 minutes, depending on if you keep in the warm up sections.

You have until Sunday night to complete this weekend challenge.  Make the time.  Without your health, you have nothing.

Get to it!

Women Athletes Rock.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Watch this. Then go out and beat the boys on the pitch, track, or in the ring.

Tomato, Pesto, & Mozzerella Tart

Today I am featuring Priya, a fellow Londoner I met through Twitter (@DietitianUK), but have yet to meet face-to-face.  She has great nutrition and fitness tips as she is a dietitian and pilates instructor.  She offers up fantastic gluten-free recipes and other yummy stuff that is easy to make.

She posted this Tomator, Pesto, and Mozzerella Tart on her blog earlier this month as a healthy alternative to serve at a pot luck or BBQ (serves 8-10).  I think you can serve this warm or cold. Most of the ingredients you probably have on hand. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Dietitian UK

1 roll of defrosted puff pastry (you get 2 rolls in a pack, so keep one for another time)
2 tomatoes, get the tastiest ones you can
1/2 ball of mozzerella cheese
Tomato puree

1.  Spread the puff pastry sheet on a greased non stick baking tray and preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7 (not sure of F temp. Try 350?)  When putting on the toppings you want to keep about a 1 inch edge border free from topping.

2.  Spread a thin layer of tomato puree on it and then follow with a thin layer of pesto.

3.  Cover with thinly sliced tomatoes and dot with pieces of mozzerella.

4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

5.  Slice into bite sized pieces.

Nutritional Info: Per portion for 10 people 130kcals, 8g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 4g protein.

Guest Post: An Introduction to Weight Loss Boot Camps

Monday, June 25, 2012

While the name sounds intimidating, boot camps are a revolutionary style of losing weight and getting fit. Bad habits are hard to break. Usually, efforts to get in shape on our own, be it through a new year’s resolution, or simply being fed up with how we look, fall flat simply because of lack of motivation. The best way to change our lifestyles and what makes us unhealthy, obese, or out of shape, is to simply be forced into changing our habits for the better, while being motivated by both trainers and people who are in the same boat as we are. Boot camps present just that sort of motivation, while offering you innovative ways to lose the weight and keep it off.
It’s no secret that boot camps involve intense exercise. They don’t call them boot camps for nothing. However, what’s usually missed is all the added material that comes along with any boot camp. Ranging in length from one weekend to up to seven days, boot camps are out to change bad habits to healthy ones, whether it’s lack of exercise, bad eating habits, and even self-esteem issues that can seriously wear on your general health. Boot camps offer some of the most all-around advice you can get from any resource with professional trainers as well as licensed physicians and nutritionists to help you evaluate and understand the situation you may have gotten yourself into.
From an exercise standpoint, you can expect that training will be intense, and occupy several hours of the day. There are two key takeaways that get focused on during a boot camp. The first is simply proper exercise. If you’ve tried to go it alone when it came to exercise and weight loss, there’s a good chance that you’ve been using poor form, which can do more harm than good, with the chance for possible injury. Boot camp trainers know exactly how your form should look, repetition counts, and how often to exercise to keep your weight loss maximized, which leads us to the second takeaway. Not doing the proper exercises to maximize weight loss could result in a waste of your time. It’s no secret that the only way to truly lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume, so if you’re not peaking out on how many calories you burn per hour, you could again be wasting your time, and boot camps are out to change that.
Aside from the physical aspects of boot camps, it’s important for people to realize that the way they eat will impact the weight they gain. Foods that are high in fat and sugars have little to no health value. Unfortunately, they are consumed because of how they taste. Nutritionists are always present at boot camps with the tips and tricks to not only start eating healthy, but enjoy doing so at the same time. Healthy food doesn’t need to taste bland, and you need to shake bad eating habits to capitalize on your weight loss exercises as well.
About the Author: Tanya is a frequent traveler, dietician, and writer for New You Boot Camp. To learn if a weight loss boot camp is right for you, visit their website or follow them on Twitter. 

Quickie Workout #17

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Today's workout will target the hips and bum- just in time for summer!  You can use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime. 

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up-1 min of jumping jacks/star jumps, 1 min double high knee jumps (jump up and bring both knees up to hit the palm of your hand. Elbows at 90 degrees, palms facing down), 1 min of jumping jacks/star jumps

1 min- Push/press up on knees or toes

1 min- Forearm plank

1 min- Crab dips

1 min- Forearm plank

1 min-
Stationary lunge with left foot forward (Leave feet planted and just go up and down)

1 min-
Turn 90 degrees to right and do squats

1 min-
Turn 90 degrees to right  and do stationary lunge with right foot forward

1 min-
Turn 90 degrees to right and do squats

Bonus minute-

Remember if you are feeling good at the end of this workout, repeat it again!

Weekend Challenge: On Like Donkey Kong

Friday, June 22, 2012

The last  few WC’s have been less about physical excursion and more about focusing on other aspects of your well-being aside from fitness.  This week, I am bringing back a physical challenge to keep you on your toes.

First, answer a question for me.  How many times a week do you work out (accumulate more than 30 minutes of physical activity)? 
Then take a look at the chart below looking for your number in the left hand column.

# Times                #Miles

0-1                                   1

2                              2

3                              3

4                              4

5                              5

6                              6             

7+                           7

I challenge you to run the above number of miles.  It doesn’t have to be a fast pace if you are new to exercise.  Summer is here and it is time to get up off the couch and out the door. 
For an extra challenge, time yourself.  Then post your distance and time below in a comment. Bring it.

French Onion Soup

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This recipe is from Delia Smith's online website. French onion soup is delicious and can be easily modified to be vegetarian. It is yummy on a warm winter day and as an appetizer or main meal. It can be prepared ahead of time too. I found this when looking for a low-fat yet tasty meal. Using the Gruyere gives taste but a lower-fat option (even though it is a bit more expensive).


1 1/2 lb (700 g) onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 level teaspoon granulated sugar
2 pints (1.2 liters) good beef stock
10 fl oz (275 ml) dry white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
salt and freshly milled black pepper

French bread or baguette, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) diagonal slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

To serve
6 large or 12 small croutons (from above)
8 oz (225 g) Gruyere, grated


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.

2. Make the croutons by drizzling the olive oil on to a large, solid baking-sheet.

3. Add the crushed garlic and then, using your hands, spread the oil and garlic all over the baking sheet.

4. Place the bread slices on top of the oil, then turn over each one so that both sides have been lightly coated with the oil.

5. Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes till crispy and crunchy.

6. Place a large saucepan or 6 pint (3.5 litres) capacity casserole on a high heat and melt the oil and butter together.

7. When this is very hot, add the onions, garlic and sugar, and keep turning them from time to time until the edges of the onions have turned dark – this will take about 6 minutes.

8. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and leave the onions to carry on cooking very slowly for about 30 minutes, by which time the base of the pan will be covered with a rich, nut brown, caramelised film.

9. Pour in the stock and white wine, season, then stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the base of the pan well.

10. As soon as it simmers, turn down the heat to its lowest setting, then go away and leave it to cook, very gently without a lid, for about an hour.

11. All this can be done in advance but, when you're ready to serve the soup, bring it back up to simmering point, taste to check for seasoning – and if it's extra-cold outside, add a couple of tablespoons of Cognac!

12. Warm the tureen or soup bowls in a low oven and pre-heat the grill (broiler) to its highest setting.

13. Ladle in the hot soup and top with the croutons, allowing them to float on the top of the soup.

14. Sprinkle the grated Gruyère thickly over the croutons and place the whole lot under the grill (broiler) until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.

15. Serve immediately – and don't forget to warn your guests that everything is very hot!

Guest Post: Colon Massage

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nowadays with our busy lives we are finding more and more people are suffering from and being diagnosed by their GP with IBS - irritable bowel syndrome.  If we analyse the lifestyle of the sufferers we generally find that stress is a reoccurring factor in all of them.  Stress can cause so many ailments and physical stresses and often our stomachs suffer as a result.  Having a colon massage / deep abdominal massage can help your colon to work more effectively leaving you feeling less sluggish, with an improved skin condition, and toned, also helping with stretch marks and cellulite.

Colon massage aims to help you to relax and promote the body's natural ability to heal itself by cleansing the colon of toxin build up.  This is done in a safe comfortable and relaxing manner, predominantly based on Swedish massage techniques and specific deep abdominal massage. The aim of colon massage is to encourage and remind the colon how to work efficiently.  It also helps with constipation and to re-balance the emotions and release tension. It is a wonderful therapy that promotes relaxation and well-being, as well as aiding the elimination of toxins and waste products.
During a visit to a therapist for a colon massage you receive a thorough consultation which is confidential. Your therapist will go through your food consumption, protein, carbs, fibre, your levels of exercise, water intake and other social habits such as drinking and smoking.  During the treatment you may experience the feeling of "waste" moving along your colon and perhaps the feeling of gas being moved to the exit point. Don’t be embarrassed or worried about passing wind, your therapist will have encountered this before so nothing is a shock or a surprise.  It is to be expected and good for you! Clients report that the experience is deeply calming and relaxing, leaving them feeling energised, revitalised and better able to concentrate.  This is known as the healthier alternative to a colonic irrigation and has been widely promoted on the TV show “Supersize Superskinny”.

Sarah Brookes Ba Hons, PGCE, D32, D33, D34, Reiki MT, VTCT, GHR, GHSC is the owner of IsisTherapy Training, which offers therapists the chance to train in the deep abdominal massage.  This is a one day course, £120, multi-accredited and comes with 14 CPD Points.  You must hold a body massage certificate or equivalent to enrol on this course.

Quickie Workout #16 - BUM-mer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Today's workout will target the hips and bum- just in time for summer!  You can use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime. 

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up- 2 minutes of squats with feet hip width apart. Keep weight in the heel. Stick bum out as if sitting in a chair.
1 min- Clams with left side down.
1 min- Clams with right side down.
1 min- Kneel on all all 4's. Raise left knee up to side while keeping knee at 90 degrees (think of a male dog marking his territory on a fire hydrant).

1 min- Kneel on all all 4's. Raise right knee up to side while keeping knee at 90 degrees (think of a male dog marking his territory on a fire hydrant).

1 min- Roll ups
1 min- Kneel by sitting on feet.  Lift bum so it is barely off feet.  Swing hips in little circles clockwise for 30 sec, then counter/anti-clockwise for 30 seconds.  Keep hips low!

1 min- Stand and hold onto the back of a stable chair or counter.  Arabesque with the left leg by keeping the leg straight and toe pointed.  Raise leg with little pulses will keeping the chest high and back straight.

You can hold on to a chair if you 
need to. No need to be on tip toe.

1 min- Arabesque with the right leg by keeping the leg straight and toe pointed.  Raise leg with little pulses will keeping the chest high and back straight.

1 min- Continue to hold on to chair for balance.  Left knee should be raised at 90 degree angle.  Make small circle clockwise for 30 secs then counter/anti-clockwise for 30 seconds.  Smaller circles are more effective.

1 min- Continue to hold on to chair for balance.  Right knee should be raised at 90 degree angle.  Make small circle clockwise for 30 secs then counter/anti-clockwise for 30 seconds.  Smaller circles are more effective.

Well done!  Be sure to stretch your booty when you are finished with the workout.

Weekend Challenge: Get Some Sleep!

Friday, June 15, 2012

In today's world, with technology connecting us to every corner of the earth, we tend to work longer hours and over commit to extra responsibilities.  Usually what suffers is the precious amount of sleep we should be getting.  Getting a good night's rest (about 8 hours for most people) helps us be more focused and less irratable.  Sleep also helps you loose weight (as you don't need to eat more calories to provide your body with energy).

This weekend I would like you to schedule in 8-9 hours of sleep each night.  A lucky few really don't need that much to survive but most of us do.  Go to bed when the kids do (the dishes can be done tomorrow). Head home rather than out for last call.  Treat yourself to sleeping in like you were a teenager again.

Your body needs sleep as much as it needs food and water.  Learning to say no and take time to rejuvenate is important for staying alert and responsive.  It also has physical benefits such as improved skin tone, better immuno response, and improved coordination.  So tuck in early tonight and get a good night's rest.

Rotelle with Chicken in Basil Pesto and Bell Pepper Coulis

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This recipe was contributed by James Dangler to The Athlete's Palate Cookbook.  It has fantastic ideas for all meals, includes nutritional info, and suggests which meals are best for training vs. recovery.


Rotelle are "wagon wheels" which makes this a fun meal to prepare for kids (ok, adult too!).  Coulis is a "smooth, thick sauce" according to the BBC.  This meal is for best served during training and serves 4.

     5 ounces fresh basil
     3 cloves garlic
     2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
     1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
     1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Bell Pepper Coulis
     1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
     1/4 cup water
     1 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
     1 teaspoon jarred, grated horseradish
     Pinch of sugar
     Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken and Pasta
      4 chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into pieces or strips
     2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
     2 cloves garlic, minced
     3/4 cup white wine
     1 pound rotelle
     1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
     1 tablespoon basil, sliced into thin strips
     2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

     1.  Place all ingredients into a food processor and puree.

Bell Pepper Coulis
     1.  Puree all ingredients in a blender.
     2.  Warm the mixture in a saucepan.
     3.  Remove from heat and place in 4 pasta bowls.

Chicken and Pasta
     1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.
     2.  Heat oil in a skillet.  (You may want to start step 7 here)
     3.  Add the chicken and minced garlic and cook through, about 8-10 minutes on each side.
     4.  Add the white wine, scraping the pan to loosen any brown bits.
     5.  Simmer to reduce the liquid by half.
     6.  Add 5 tablespoons of the pesto and mix together.
     7.  Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and toss with the wine-basil sauce.
     8.  Add the toasted pine nuts, basil, and grated Parmesan.
     9.  Place the pasta into the bowl over the bell-pepper coulis.

Nutrition info per serving: 
760 calories
46g protein
92g carbohydrates
19g fat

Summer Family Fitness

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Head on over to Health Your Way Online to see my contributing article on summer family fitness.

Guest Post: Recharge With Reiki Sunshine

Monday, June 11, 2012

Imagine. You’ve just finished your third triathlon in as many weeks. And you’ve achieved a PB. Mentally, you’re buzzing. Physically, you’re dying. So what do you do? Rest for a week until you can walk without wincing? 

If you’re like an athletic mate of mine, you come to me for a Reiki treatment and leave feeling as if you’ve had a week on a sunny beach.

So what is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced ‘ray’, as in ‘ray of sunshine’, and ‘key’, as in ‘key to greater wellbeing’) is a healing system from Japan.

Mikao Usui, a Buddhist, founded Reiki in the early twentieth century as a way for people to heal themselves. In the West, however, Reiki is mostly used to heal others.

Reiki is offered in the NHS. Heart surgeon, Dr. Oz (‘Oprah’s doctor’) ranks it as his number one complementary therapy. And celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie are said to be fans.

So why is Reiki so popular?

I’d say because it works.

Reiki could help you:
·        Feel better inside and out
·        Be healthier, happier, lighter and brighter
·        Have more zest for life
·        Bounce back from overtraining

Did you notice I didn’t mention any specific illnesses? That’s because I’m not a doctor.
Reiki isn’t an alternative to Western medicine. So if there’s something medically wrong with you, please visit your doctor.

But Reiki does work well with conventional medicine. It’s also suitable for everyone.

And, in my experience, it gets to the core of issues – not just the symptoms.

It also helps you harness your own inner healing abilities.

Reiki does this by promoting a greater flow of ‘ki’ or ‘life force energy’ (known as ‘chi’ in China or ‘prana’ in India). This helps balance your energy and improve your health. Think acupuncture without the (ick!) needles.

What’s it like to receive a Reiki treatment?
One of my clients says receiving Reiki is like a massage – only better.
As with massage, you often lie down on a massage couch. But, with Reiki, you’re fully clothed and there’s no physical manipulation.

Instead, you’ll feel the hands of your Reiki practitioner gently placed on areas of your body, like your shoulders. Or, if it’s not appropriate to touch, your practitioner will hover their hands above your body. (Interestingly, you’ll probably feel the Reiki even without physical contact.)

So what does Reiki feel like?
Imagine. You’re outside – and it’s bitterly cold. Then, suddenly, the sun comes out. That’s what Reiki feels like. It’s a delicious warmth throughout your body. Or a tingling rush. Or a black mood shifting to sunny optimism. Or a blissed out calm. It feels divine. 

Everyone experiences Reiki differently, so you won’t know what it’s like until you try it for yourself.

But most people are surprised by how relaxed and revitalised they feel afterwards. It’s like a mini vacation. Passport not required.

Photograph by Susie J Stavert 
About the author
A London Reiki Master, Victoria Crump is known as Little Miss Sunshine. In 2010, on the twentieth anniversary of her father’s death, she started sending free Reiki sunshine worldwide.

Sign up for a free monthly bask at www.freereiki.co.uk or follow her on Twitter for free Reiki sunshine each day @free_reiki

Quickie Workout #15

Sunday, June 10, 2012

You can use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime. 

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up- 2-3 minute brisk walk or jog (you should break into a light sweat, if not keep going!)
1 min- Step ups on a curb or step. (Step up with your right foot, then your left foot. Step back down with your right foot and follow with your left foot. Do this for 30 seconds then switch to left foot leading.)
1 min- Triceps dip on the curb or step. Keep hips close to step and only use arms to go up and down. 
30 sec- Side plank with left arm on the bottom. Keep hips up (don't let them sag).
30 sec- Side plank with right arm on the bottom. Keep hips up (don't let them sag).
1 min- Calf raises on low step or curb.
1 min- Shuffle to the right for 3 steps (keep low in a squat) and then punch across your chest with left hand.  Go back the other way (shuffle left for 3 steps and punch with right hand).
1 min- Feet hip width apart, squat so bum is out and weight is in your heels. When you go to stand up straight, raise your hands above your head. Repeat.
1 min- Pretend you are hitting a speed bag (from boxing) with alternating hands that is just above your forehead. You don't need to extend your arms fully.  Keep the feet moving too by bouncing on your toes.  Be quick!
1 min-  Run in place and get your knees up high!

This workout is a bit more cardio than the others.  Enjoy!

Fast Girls Premiere In London!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Me on the red carpet with my Goddess II
bag. It was a busy day.
Ladies and gentlemen- I experienced my first red carpet last night,  although it wasn't your typical red carpet.  For one, it was soaked through from all the London rain.  And it looked like a track.
The stripes should indicate the athletic film Fast Girls (out in England Friday June 15).  Set in London, it follows Shania (Lenora Crichlow,  from Being Human) on her quest to win big after a tough upbringing.  What she doesn't have in monetary support, she has in drive and determination.

The cast was further along on the red carpet but surrounded by security telling us to "keep moving."  Because of the rain, I was looking down trying not to step in any puddles.  It was all a blur!  Soon, we were inside.
Cast on the red carpet as we
wait for film to start.
Once my friend, Ama, and I entered the theatre, we made our way to our reserved seats.  There we found 2 bags of Propercorn (yum!), a water bottle from the sponsor (Love Film), and a Skinny Cola drink (haven't tried it yet).  There was a lot of energy and excitement in the room.  Live film and interviews from the red carpet were being shown on the screen (which made me wonder if I looked like a big idiot on the carpet.  Must practice my walk and not carry a gym bag the next time!). 

The lights dimmed as the producers and director came up on the stage.  The cast was then invited to join them with cheers from the crowd.  Finally, it was time for the movie to begin!
The soundtrack had a lot of upbeat songs (some you hear on Radio1) that are great to workout to.  This movie is suitable for the entire family with almost no sex, drugs, or rock-n-roll.  Just lots of running (and Adidas).  For the non-Brit readers, the accents were all easy to understand too.  :)  We ended the evening bumping into the lovely Jeanette Kwayke (Team GB) in the lobby.  Ama was lucky enough to have her picture taken with Jeanette. 
I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Coach Michael and everyone at Sportmakers for allowing me to attend the film.  It has inspired me to get out and run, even in the rain (which is good because I have that half-marathon looming).  I am thinking about running a 400m to see how long it takes me (sub 00:23 was the goal in the film).  I might even make it a Weekend Challenge, so start practicing now!

Weekend Challenge: Embrace the Runner's Commandments

Even if you are not a runner, this list provides excellent guidance on being more active and a competitor. When I lived in Michigan, I had this hanging on my bedroom wall above the light switch of my bedroom. I highlighted the ones I thought were most important to me and my fitness goals.

I challenge you to print out this list and hang it someplace where you will often see it (desk at work, refrigerator door, bathroom mirror). Highlight the ones you know will get you off to the gym when you need a push.

You will see I highlighted #36. That is because it seems to have been raining for 3 months here in London (yes, there was 1 sunny week. Where did the sunshine go?).  For those in rainier climates, my extra challenge to you is exercise in the rain this weekend.  Don't let Mother Nature limit you!

The 53 Runner’s Commandments
by Stephen Auker 
1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
18. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don’t always run alone.
20. Don’t always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well.
36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

Product Review: ARK Nutrition

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nutritional supplements marketed to athletes is a big market.  Just like food fads, different supplements go in and out of fashion.  Some are approved by the FDA and other governing bodies, while others are not regulated.  It is always important to consult your doctor before adding any supplements into your dietary regime.

With that said, I was curious when ARK Nutrition contacted me.  They offer ARK1 ("the pink drink"), ARK2, and Xcell purple pills (ARK3).  We agreed that for a proper test, I would try out their products for 30 days.  I went with ARK1 and Xcell pills.  When Ark Nutrition originally reached out to me, I received their info about what the products would do for me.  However, I have not looked at them since then until now.

Claims for ARK1: It offers energy boosting properties, has the ability to lower blood pressure, raises an athlete’s performance by up to 2% (That’s a lot when you gain this over a competitor that isn’t using the product, the difference between winning and not!) and can assist with stamina increases of up to 20%.  In addition to:
·         faster muscle recovery
·         increased energy and alertness
·         muscular pump
·         fat burning benefits with some clients reporting up to 0.5 of a stone lost in just 12 weeks

Claims for Xcell: The product works as an anti inflammatory supplement thus assisting the body to repair and recover from training and exercise much faster.  Due to this property the product can again help in a medical sense with inflammation of joints in arthritis suffers or deal effectively with injuries and muscle repair for instance.  Some people have reported that their muscle recovery after intense lifting sessions is much faster than when not using this product. Some go on to say that Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is drastically reduced and in some cases removed altogether.
My Views
ARK1 tasted a little like bubble gum at first (they describe it as tropical flavor).  Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would be able to get passed the taste and continue the trial.  However, after about a week, I came to enjoy it (especially when I diluted it to the correct ratio).  I took it once a day while at work (label says to take 2x/day).  Because it contains sugar, I usually didn't have a second serving after 7pm so my sleep patterns weren't interrupted.  With ARK1 I felt energized throughout the day and didn't require my occasionally afternoon Diet Coke.  I also lost about 5 pounds and 2% body fat.  For full disclosure, I did add additional strength training and an additional indoor cycling session to my weekly routine during the trail, so I am not sure if the chicken or egg came first.

Two weeks after I started the AK1, I began taking the Xcell pills.  I delayed this because I consulted with a dietitian on whether the Xcell would interfere with my daily diet and vitamins (I take daily vitamins, iron, folic acid, and aspirin for various reasons).  The biggest thing I noticed with Xcell is that I wasn't sore the day after big workouts (such as my long runs or sprint triathlon) or even my conditioning sessions.

I was very pleased with the results I observed with the ARK products.  There are a few other things I think increases the credibility of ARK Nutrition:

1.  Being a science nerd, I love that Exeter University has done a study with ARK Nutrition and found positive results about the product. 
2.  HFL Sports Science certifies each batch. 
3.  The World Anti Doping Association also certifies each batch.  If you are a competitive athlete, this is very important!

For me, I saw the results ARK Nutrition promised their products would give me.  It was easy to incorporate the pink drink and purple pills into my daily routine too.  It is important to do your research when selecting supplements, and as I said before, talk to your doctor before starting a new regime.

ARK Nutrition did not pay me for this review. They graciously sent me these products and all opinions are honest and my own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me mollie@ptmollie.com

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today I thought we would combine a bit of naughty with nice, as we hide some vegetables in a delicious chocolate cupcake. I found the recipe on the BBC website and you can see it here.  This recipe is perfect because it only makes 12 cakes.  Can you say portion control?  To make it a bit healthier, you can eliminate the icing sugar, use whole meal (wheat) flour, and dark chocolate powder.

75g/2½oz cocoa powder or powdered drinking chocolate
180g/6½oz plain flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
250g/8½oz caster sugar 
250g/8½oz cooked beetroot 
3 large eggs 
200ml/7fl oz corn oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing (powdered) sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F. Arrange paper muffin cases in a 12-mould muffin tin.

  2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the sugar, and set aside.

  3. Purée the beetroot in a food processor. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and oil and blend until smooth.

  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the beetroot mixture and lightly mix. Pour into the muffin cases.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is firm when pressed with a finger.

  6. Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Product Review: Icebreaker

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Being an Aquarius, I have poor circulation.  I am always cold, unless it is 30°C/90°F.  A few years ago, I discovered merino wool and have never looked back.  It is light weight, soft, warm, and easy to care for.  I wear it skiing, walking around cold Michigan, and today in England when it is damp and 13°C.

"Merino" is the breed of New Zealand sheep found in higher altitudes and colder weather..  Icebreaker is a brand from New Zealand that was founded in 1994.  The company believes "nature is better than plastic" and embraces sustainability.  Each piece of clothing has a 'Baacode" which links you to the actual sheep back in New Zealand your wool came from.  Pretty cool, huh?

Icebreaker recently launched their GT line for technical sports (such as running) which are designed to be "itch-free, odor-resistant, breathable, adaptable to any temperature and protect you from harmful UV rays."

I was lucky enough to receive the LS Pace Zip, Rush V, Quantum vest, and SS Quest crewe to product test (note, the colors I received might not be available in all areas).

 Let me start with the LS Pace Zip.  This is a fantastic mock turtleneck.  I found it versatile, wearing it both as a base layer for a chilly evening spring time run and as a mid-layer over a t-shirt and under my rain coat.  It is extremely soft and has perfectly situated thumb holes.  The zipper has material behind it (I am sure there is a technical term, but I don't know it) to prevent a draft and material over the top of the zipper to avoid chaffing/cold metal on the skin.  I loved the color (sort of a berry) and it stayed bright after many washes.  The cut was flattering with a little bit of shape in the middle, but not so much that it was tight on my midsection.  The top was also long enough to cover my waistband on shorts, jeans, and running tights.  Nothing is worse that your belly flashing others in a workout (both the sight of it and the draft of cold air!).
Note the zipper
Thumb hole

LS Pace Zip on me

Back of shirt w/ mp3 pocket
Next, we have the Rush V which was also pink and just as lovely as the Pace Zip.  I wore this shirt for 3 sweaty workouts one week without washing it.  I wanted to see if the anti-stink would hold up (plus I was too lazy to empty my gym bag).  I taught two 45 minute indoor cycling classes, a 2 hour fitness instructor shift at a gym, and an one hour Legs, Bums, and Tums class.  The shirt was fantastic in indoor cycling when the weather was over 20°C outside.  I thought maybe I would overheat with the merino but it kept me cool, absorbed the sweat and stayed light on my skin (sometimes cotton becomes heavy when wet).  Also, there was barely any stink at the end of the week!  The side panels are a different texture, which helps with ventilation.  There is a touch of reflective material on the front and back, making it safe for nighttime use.  It also has a neat-o mp3 player pocket on the back right side.

The Quantum vest also has reflective piping all along the zipper and on the back of the neck collar.  I love that the zipper has plastic-covered pulls and be adjusted from the top and bottom.  On bike rides, this is great as it helps avoid buckling in the front.  Like the LS Pace Zip, the zipper top has material over it to avoid rubbing against your skin.  Zippers also are featured on the side pockets to keep your things from falling out.  The pockets are large enough to put in your entire hand or hold a wallet and phone.  The vest is heavier/thicker than the LS Pace Zip but I like that as it is meant to keep your core warm with layering.  My test vest was grey and had a fabulous hot pink zipper for a touch of color (I do love pink!).

Finally, we come to the SS Quest Crewe.  This color is vibrant and help up after many washes.  It has a pocket on the back that zips shut.  I went for a run after work one day and put my id card and keys in the pocket.  I worried that the pocket/shirt would stretch out with the weight of the keys.  The shirt did bounce on the run but did not stretch out.  There are ventilation panels under the arms. Because of the pockets and ventilation panels, there is a seam that goes across the back.  This can be bothersome when cycling as the seam lays across your back.  It just feels weird, but doesn't chafe.  Otherwise the cut is very flattering and the shirt is long enough to cover up your tummy.

Overall, merino wool is wear it is at.  After trying out Icebreaker, I am a convert to these technical pieces.  Normally, I wouldn't spend very much money on a t-shirt to sweat in.  But the temperature control, anti-stink, vibrant colors, and great cut of fabric make the GT line worth every penny.  An added bonus of being machine washable (line dry though) makes it easy to incorporate into your fitness regime.

Icebreaker did not pay me for this review. They graciously sent me these products and all opinions are honest and my own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me mollie@ptmollie.com

Help Rod's Racing Win a Spot at Ironman World Championships!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recently, I have become involved with Rod's Racing, an American-based charity that raises money for orphans with Down's Syndrome with Reece's Rainbow Adoption Ministry.  Each year, they sponsor one child in the hopes of raising $10,000 to offset adoption fees.  I have become a team member and you can too if you are interested.

Today, I received a letter from Brad Murray, the founder of Rod's Racing, with an update about the charity winning a spot on the Ironman World Championships.  This would mean HUGE press opportunity for the group.  Brad is asking you to click on the video as much as you can before June 18th. You simply need to donate your time to help this amazing cause.

Brad and his son, Nash

Here is the latest update from Brad:

My Dear Family and Friends,

As you may already know, Nash and I recently made a 90 second video to raise awareness for Orphan with Down syndrome.  We entered this video into a contest sponsored by Ironman.  I'm excited to announce that mine and Nash's video has made it to the final round of voting!  Out of 105 videos, we are part of a group of 15 finalists!  Starting TODAY through June 18 public voting takes place.  Winners will get to race in the Ironman World Championship as a media athlete which means this will be an opportunity for our story to be shared on NBC's nationally televised Ironman broadcast this year.  This is our opportunity to tell the story of the many orphans with Down syndrome desperately waiting for a family to find them!

We need your help!  Please help us in the following ways:

-Vote as much as possible each day from an many devices as possible, home computer, work computer, laptop, phone, etc (only two short weeks for voting)(you can vote as much as you like each day by refreshing your browser after voting)

-Regularly share the video link to your wall on Facebook asking your friends to Share and Vote daily

-Forward this email to as many people as possible.

This is so much more than winning a competition. This is our chance to literally have these children's story reach millions of people!  This is our best chance to help as many of these children that are in urgent need.

Here's the link to the video:

I genuinely thank each of you for taking the time to Vote and Share this message!  I'd also like to share a blog post I recently made talking about the circumstances of these kids.  This is why I'm so passionate about helping:

I'll keep you updated as to our progress!  Have a great day!

Brad Murray