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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Booty Firm With Mark Ballas

Life bucket list:
- Work as a fitness model on National TV - Check!
- Dance with a celebrity from Dancing with The Stars - Check!
- Look like a crazy cheerleader...welp it wasn't on my bucket list, but it happened!
If you follow me on Instagram then you might have an idea of what I'm talking about.  Last week I was given the opportunity to appear on Home Shopping Network as a fitness model with Mark Ballas from Dancing with the Stars for the Booty Firm workout machine and DVD.
The cast with Mark.
I've been on HSN before as a fitness expert, but this was my first time dancing acting a fool.
Before the shows we had a rehearsal with Mark.  It was really neat to learn choreography from such a talented dancer.
Mark was so down to heart, kind, and wonderful to work with.  He's pretty darn funny too and showed us some pics from his high school prom.  Note - he had a massive curly haired afro. He also talked about DWTS, the pressure, and how competitive they really are.  He's proud of his mirrorball trophies as he should be!  He didn't know who his partner would be for Season 12, but they start rehearsals the last week in February.  He may have shared some other "secrets" but those are staying off the blog.  (I'll tell you Grandma!)
On the day of the performance we had three performances throughout the day.  Each one was an hour long.  There were 5 models and we rotated through dancing and working out our "booties".  Note - We all had lengthy decisions over how awkward it is to say "booty"...alllll......dayyyyy...long. Can you think of another word that works in place of booty? We couldn't.
Car driving dance move, duh!
Our final show of the night was at 8pm and some of my friends tuned in.  My best friend Bree snapped this pic to highlight my big day.  And ro remind me that, "Once a high school cheerleader, always a high school cheerleader." Love ya Bree!
Overall it was an amazing experience and reminded why I love the fitness world so much! I can't wait to finish school, be an RD, and be able to focus on more appearances like this.
In honor of "le booty firm" I've created an at home workout that I'll be sharing Monday.  Get those tushies ready!
Do you watch DWTS? Who's your favorite dancer? Celeb that's been on the show?

Love and the Jive,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Healthy Banana Pancakes

Something about Sunday mornings makes me want a comforting breakfast.  The typical oatmeal just wasn't doing it today, but I still wanted to be healthy.  I had 2 overripe bananas and a giant tub of cottage cheese staring at me.  Healthy banana pancakes were destined.
I based this recipe off my Protein Pumpkin Pancakes recipe.  Minnie was quite interested as always in the cooking process.
Healthy Banana Pancakes
Serves two (makes 4 medium-sized pancakes). 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Handful of pecans
  • 10 drops liquid stevia (optional)
Directions:
  • Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to a medium heat
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until fully mixed. You can also use an immersion blender.
  • Pour batter onto the warm pan to form 4 medium-sized pancakes. Add pecans if desired.
  • Allow to cook until edges start to harden, about three minutes
  • Flip pancakes and allow to cook until batter is no longer runny, about two more minutes
  • Top with syrup, nutmeg or desired toppings and enjoy

I topped mine with peanut butter (just a little) and sugar-free syrup.  What I loved was the sweet banana taste, plus you would have no idea that there was oatmeal inside them.
Yesterday I set out for a very windy 9.5 mile run.  
I've been reading Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon (now added to my Amazon store) and was interested in the talk about developing slow twitch muscle fibers.  I have good short distance speed, but I "peter-out" in longer runs.  I always feel like I have to "go fast" to "be fast", however the book says different.  I tried to maintain a 10 minute per mile pace for my training run and ended with a 9:58 pace.  My lungs and energy felt good after, but my hips ached.  We'll see if there's  difference at my next half marathon in March.
After my run, Kyle brought me home a BBQ chicken cornbread salad from local hot spot 4 Rivers.
Then we watched Lawless.  I liked it.  I wasn't sold on Tom Hardy before, but maybe I'm a fan now.  Ladies?
What's your favorite Sunday morning breakfast?

Love and Jack Johnson songs,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon took off for its second flight with over 14,000 runners on January 20, 2013.  The excitement around the inaugural race in 2012 was huge and the sophomore event did not disappoint.  The RunDisney race held in DisneyLand celebrates women, sass, and a love of running.
Photo stolen from SkinnyRunner.
As one of the race announcers for the RunDisney series, I flew out to Anaheim for all the weekend's events.  The big "finale" was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  
My wings are ready.
At the start line Rudy and I bantered with the guests, counted the tutu's, interviewed Sean Astin from "Lord of the Rings", and sent off 5 waves of runners.  The race had a very early start time of 5am, but most athletes looked ready to go.
At Disney races if you're not in costume, then you're in the minority.  Almost as fun as race training is figuring out what costume to wear for the race. Before the start I met up with Kelly from According to Kelly. She stayed near the Tinker Bell theme, but creatively dressed up as Mr. Smee who is also from Peter Pan.
There were tutu's and neon green galore.  Before the race I gave a shout out to my Mom saying, "Look for my Mom out there.  She's the lady wearing a green skirt." See how's that's funny...because there were about 5,000 green skirts...yes...no....moving on.....
In my 9 years as a RunDisney announcer, this gentleman takes the award for the most creative costume.  He dressed as Walt Disney!  I had to stop announcing on stage to get a photo.
Once the runners were off, Rudy and I headed to the finish line.  I picked up some coffee and a snack and snagged a picture with my co-workers.
We were just "goofing" off. 
But in actuality this is a very busy time for Rudy and I. Usually before the finish we are scrambling to get information from the course on who the leader is.  We want to make sure we triumphantly shout the right name!  The 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon winner was Angela Escay who won it in 1:24:10. She also set a course record.

Another record that was set?  I think you already know...MOM HAD A PR! 
My Mom ran her 3rd half marathon and scored a shiny new PR of 2:33:37. (You can read more about Mom in this week's motivation post).
Rudy and I really enjoy "celebrating" in all the runners as we call it.  
Rudy and I.
If you're not a runner maybe you don't realize it, but the victory at a half marathon isn't just for those first few runners.  I always laugh when I tell someone I did a race and they ask, "Did you win?". There are so many victories at a Disney race. First finish, fastest finish, first finish in costume, first finish with a friend.  Winning has so many definitions and Rudy and I get to cheer in all of those victories.  
I was standing in the finish chute and I watched two girls hugging and crying at the finish.  I asked them how they felt and they told me that they were sisters and that 10 years ago one sister was diagnosed with cancer. They didn't think she would live, let alone run a half marathon.  Well she did and crossing that finish line together was a moment those girls had been dreaming of for years.
There's so much magic at a RunDisney event.  Our next race is the Princess Half Marathon on February 24, 2013.  Look for a blog giveaway this week to help with your race costume preparations...hmmmm....

What's the best race costume you have seen?

Love and pixie dust,
Carissa & Kyle

Related posts:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Inspired By Mom

What inspires you?

Some people are inspired by the great.  Pushed by the excellence of others that they dream to achieve.
Some people are inspired by competition.  Those who are close to their equal who they strive to overcome.

Others are inspired by those with unremarkable talent.  Fueled by those with determination who push beyond the odds and limitations.

Recently my running has been inspired by my Mom.  And here's why:

When my mom was young things were different then they are today.  My Mom is a child of the 60's and in her town girls in school couldn't play sports.  I think she could play field hockey, but she didn't want to.  She wanted to run.  And she couldn't.

When I was in high school I ran.  And cheered. And did gymnastics. I played 3 varsity sports in one season and competed in regionals in all three. Mom was there.  Never missing a game, meet, or a trip down the track. I can't imagine not having that experience.

When I finished my first half marathon and then my first full marathon Mom was there.  Ice bag and jelly beans in hand.
Once she was in her 50's Mom finally started running.  She entered master's track meets and eventually became a National Champion. But that's not the part of the story that inspires me.  I'm a distance runner.  Mom is not.

In August of 2012, Mom lined up at her first half marathon start line.  It was the DisneyLand Half Marathon and she was running for the medal...for the bling. She just wanted to finish.

What's remarkable is that a little over a month before she was in the hospital having major abdominal surgery.  And now she was going to run a half marathon with very little distance training.  Mom was instructed by me and Jeff Galloway on the importance of the run-walk-run strategy and off she went.  She finished in 2:45:25.

Then in November 2012 she did it again at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in a nearly identical time of 2:45:28.

As you'll see in my Tinker Bell Half Marathon recap next week, Mom ran Tink. And Mom Pr'd....BY 12 MINUTES!
Did she train harder?  Nope.  Run longer distance?  Nope.  Mom spends each week in the gym with weights and on the track with her master's team.  There's speed, but not a lot of distance running there.

So how'd she PR?
Heart.  My Mom has heart.  And she never, ever, ever gives up.

So now when I'm out logging my miles and I feel my body getting weak, I think of Mom.  I think of how at Mile 10 I'm sure she thinks this distance running thing is crazy, but she never stops.  She has heart.  And thanks to her I do too.
If you're running the Princess Half Marathon in February come say hi to my Mom.  She'll be the blonde lady dressed like Belle.
Love you Mom.

Who inspires you?

Love and corazon,
Carissa & Kyle