Marathon Training Week 8

My husband and I have been preparing for our family vacation to Pennsylvania for the past few days. We have been doing laundry, folding, packing, writing lists and basically trying to think of everything for the flight and trip. This will be the first flight and cross country trip the twins have been on, and to be honest I’m kind of nervous.

We have 3 Disney movies downloaded on our tablets, we have 3 books packed for each kid, each kid will bring their favorite toy, I have a few colors and a pad of paper packed and we’ll have a lot of snacks. Is there anything else I should pack for the flight?

Here are a couple of cute kissy pictures. Elena is giving herself a kiss on the camera.

Elena Kiss

Sam is blowing me a kiss.

Sam Kiss

I can hardly believe I’ve been training for 8 weeks. Time is going by so fast. I always think time goes by too fast, but since I have a bum knee it is kind of making me nervous.

I don’t want to run the marathon on a sore knee and I definitely don’t want skip on the race (which won’t happen). I’m going to keep working on strengthening my quadriceps and hopefully that will work.

I skipped one of my runs and cut the other one in half. I did manage to get in some HIIT workouts and my scheduled long run.

Monday- Off

Tuesday- Home Workout: Killer Tabata

Wednesday- HIIT workout on my facebook page

Thursday- HIIT

Friday- Off

Saturday- Easy 3 miles in 29:56

This run was meant to test my knee. Yep, it hurt.

Sunday- Long run 15 miles and I’m not even going to list my time

This run started off really well despite my knee pain that started to hurt at the half mile mark. It had rained the night before my run, so the temperature was cool and the humidity was high. I wasn’t bothered by the humidity, but definitely did not like the swarms of bugs that were flying near the trees. I was covered in bugs. It was disgusting.

My body felt great. I had plenty of energy and my breathing was right on. I was running a slower pace than normal to try and save my knee. My knee was sore from the beginning, but really started hurting around mile 7. At that time, I wanted to test out a thought. I decided to run up the mountain to see if using more of my quadriceps would relieve my knee pain. It worked, but it took a lot of energy out of me. From that small experiment, I decided to add hills to my training plan every week instead of every other week. Once I got back on flat land, my knee continued to hurt, and I had to run/walk. I hate having to walk.

I’m torn between thinking that a.) I ran a crappy 15 miles and didn’t push myself enough and b.) I was smart to run at a slower pace and for walking some.

Yes, I have crazy thoughts like this and unfortunately they get even crazier. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you.

Relax and accept crazySource

This week will have a few HIIT workouts, a hill run, a negative split run and a long run.

Hope you have a great day.

Red heart

Any recommendations for taking toddlers on trips?

How to Make Medium/Large Gum Paste Roses and Rose Petals

Happy Friday! I was torn between posting on gum paste roses and the cookie dough recipe. I decided on this post because I promised it first. I will post the cookie dough recipe soon.

The medium and large gum paste roses are made the same way except you will use a different size 5 petal rose cutter and circle cutter.

You will need a 5 petal rose cutter (I used Ateco Rose Petal Plunger Cutters 4 1/2” for large and 3.2” for medium), rolling pin, ball tool, medium ~1 1/4” circle cutter and large 2 1/4” circle cutter, thin foam, thick foam, tooth pick, bowl of sugar glue or water, small paint brush, rack to hang roses, something to hold rose when done (I used a small bowl with foil) and ~20 gauge floral wire.

How to make gum paste roses

I cut out 3 five rose petals and 5 round circle from the gum paste. You could add another row of petals if you wanted your rose bigger and more full. If you cut out all of your petals before starting your rose, keep the gum paste under a vinyl mat or plastic wrap to keep the gum paste from drying out.

How to make medium and large gum paste roses

The first thing you want to do is make your rose buds. It is similar to how I made the rose buds for the small gum paste roses except I used a 20 gauge floral wire and I measured my rose bud vertically inside one of the petals of the plunger. Once you have your egg shaped rose bud, you want to take the floral wire and bend the tip to where it has a small loop on the end. Dip the loop in sugar glue or water and stick it into the fat end of the rose bud. Pinch the bottom of the rose bud to seal it around the wire. Let the rose buds dry for at least a couple of days to be on the safe side. I let mine dry for a little over 24 hours.

How to make gum paste roses (2)

Cut out a circle of gum paste and lightly thin the edge with your ball tool. The ball tool should be half way on the circle and half way on the thin foam.

How to make gum paste roses (3)

Lightly brush a small amount of sugar glue or water over the gum paste circle. Cover the rose bud with the gum paste circle tucking one side under the other side. The bottom part of the rose bud does not have to be completely covered.

How to make gum paste roses (4)

Lightly ruffle the edge of your petals with a ball tool. Brush a small amount of sugar glue or water on the inside of two opposite petals (the petals with the asterisks) and up the sides of the other petals similar to the small rose.

How to make gum paste roses (5)

Poke the wire through the center of the petals and through the foam. The fold on the rose bud needs to face the center of one of the completely sugar glued petals.

How to make gum paste roses (6)

Cup the rose bud with the two completely sugar glue petals. Tuck one side of the petal in and keep the other side out.

How to make gum paste roses (7)

Wrap the other 3 petals around the 2 petals. Keep one side of each petal tucked under the next petal while keeping the other side out.

How to make gum paste roses (8)

Hang the rose upside down while you prepare the next row of petals.

How to make gum paste roses (9)

For the next two rows of petals, complete the following steps one row at a time. Use the ball tool to ruffle the edge of the petals then take a tooth pick and curl the petals like the below picture.

How to make gum paste roses (10)

Turn the petals upside down on the thick foam and thin out the center of the petals with a ball tool.

How to make gum paste roses (11)

Lightly brush up the sides of the petals with a small amount of sugar glue or water.

How to make gum paste roses (12)

Poke the wire through the center of the petals and foam. Tuck one side of each petal under the next petal while keeping the other side out similar to the first row of petals.

How to make gum paste roses (13)

Again, hang the rose on a rack while preparing the next row of petals. Don’t forget to complete the third row of petals.

How to make gum paste roses (14)

Cut out 5 medium or large (depending on the size of your rose) circles with your circle cutter. Ruffle the edge of the circles and form the petal on a spoon. Look at the third picture below this paragraph to see an example. Once you’re done with the last petal, brush a small amount of sugar glue or water on the bottom edge of the first petal and place it on the bottom of the rose between two petals. The asterisk on the below picture is a circle petal that was placed in between two petals. Repeat with the next four petals, working on one petal at a time. You can make another row with 7 circle petals if you want a larger rose. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the last step to making a full rose.

How to make gum paste roses (15)

After I sugar glued the last row of petals, I placed the rose on a foil covered small bowl to allow it to dry. I also place small scraps of paper towel in between some of the petals to help shape the rose. The ruffle flower tutorial I posted a few weeks ago shows an example of this in the purple flower picture.

How to make medium and large gum paste roses

I wanted to also go over how to make free standing rose petals. Cut out a couple of 5 rose petals with my Ateco plunger from gum paste. Next, cut the gum paste petals into a tear drop shape with a knife and formed the petals on a spoon.

How to make gum paste rose petals

The below picture shows the bottom of the 5 petal rose plunger.

Ateco 5 petal plunger cutter 2

Ateco 5 petal plunger cutter

Allow your petals to dry on the spoon for at least 24-48 hours.

How to make gum paste rose petals 3

How to make gum paste rose petals 2

I hope I explained the steps clearly enough. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or email them to me.

Have a great weekend.

Birthday cake

Do you have a favorite gum paste flower you like to make? –I like any type of ruffle flower.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Balls

One of my favorite places to shop is Amazon. We have a Prime membership, so everything we buy is 2nd day free shipping. I have bought a treadmill, TV, wine fridge, baby stuff, food, cake decorating supplies, toiletries, books, kindles, music, movies, running/workout gear and home goods. The prices are good and I don’t have to leave the house, which is a huge plus for me.

Last night, the UPS lady delivered 2 huge boxes of diapers, face lotion and two jars of PB2 (peanut butter powder) from Amazon. You’re probably wondering why I’m explaining my love for Amazon, well, it’s because you can find things like PB2 without having to drive all over town. And this stuff is amazing.

PB2 Yum

PB2 is powder peanut butter that has 85% less fat calories than traditional peanut butter. The ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar and salt. The chocolate peanut butter powder has the same ingredients as well as cocoa powder.

Back of PB2

The regular peanut butter has 45 calories, 1.5 gm of total fat, 5 gm of total carbs and 5 gm of protein in a 2 Tbs serving size. The chocolate peanut butter is the same except it has 1 gm of total fat, 6 gm total carbs and 4 gm of protein.

I spent about $4 for each jar, ya kind of expensive. I definitely won’t use this peanut butter to make the kids sandwiches, mainly because they need the fat. I’m planning to only use PB2 in protein drinks, oatmeal, small amount in certain recipes and banana soft serve.

Earlier today, I made two delicious energy ball recipes. I’m always trying to find tasty recipes to make for my family and I think I finally found a winner. The energy balls are similar to a homemade larabar recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Balls (adapted from chocolate covered katie)

  • 1/4 c and 3 Tbs raisins
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • ~1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs PB2 with premium chocolate (if you don’t have PB2 try 1 Tbs peanuts and 1 Tbs cocoa powder or 1 1/2 Tbs peanuts 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder. I haven’t tried this substitution, but it should work.)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor. Once mixed, form into balls and store in the refrigerator. I didn’t weigh the balls, so I don’t know how many servings I made. The kids and I started eating them straight from the food processor. They are absolutely delicious and my kids loved them.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Ball Dough

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls Yum

I’m planning to make another batch this weekend when my chocolate protein powder arrives. I’ll let you know how it works out.

I have a Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Energy Ball recipe to share with you soon. It is out of this world tasty.

Red heart

Are you a fan of Amazon?

Have you ever made homemade larabars? I’m always looking for new recipes.

Home Workout: Killer Tabata

I think I might have found an exercise to strengthen my quads and relieve my knee pain. Earlier today, while brushing my teeth, I did 2 minutes of squats with my heels raised and immediately afterwards my knee felt better. I’m going to do 2 minutes of these squats 2x’s a day.

It is unbelievably hot today. Right now, it is 111 degrees with a high of 114. Crazy!!!

Hot Day

Today’s HIIT workout is really hard. The tabata method is 20 seconds of maximum work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. This comes out to a 4 minute workout. These workouts are effective at burning fat while maintaining muscle. You will need an interval timer for this workout. There are 5 separate exercises for a total of 20 minutes. Complete the exercises as fast as possible while maintaining proper form and record your results in your workout notebook.

Home Workout Killer Tabata


Red heart

What is your favorite season? –I love the Fall with its cool weather and football.

What are you favorite exercises to strengthen your quads?

Marathon Training Week 7

Happy Monday. My mom left this past Saturday, and now it is time to get back to normal. I have put off my chores for too long. I hated to see her go, but it is also nice to get back to our normal routine. This post will include some rambling and my marathon training week 7 recap.

My rambling:

  • I finally signed up for my first two graduate classes, Food Writing for Professionals and Phytochemicals in Reduction of Chronic Diseases. Sound interesting and awesome, huh? If I can maintain the work load, I’m planning to graduate in ~ a year and a half. This depends on my husband’s graduate class schedule.

  • Speaking of phytochemicals, I started taking a chlorophyll supplement. I don’t take too many supplements, but my friend recommended this one to aid in my running. The package states chlorophyll will help build red blood cells, for those feeling fatigued, maximize lung function and other neat things. The information I was able to research states chlorophyll acts as an internal deodorant (great for colostomy patients), improves wound health (I wish I would have know this when I was a clinical dietitian), may block carcinogenic effects and decrease the risk of liver cancer in high risk population with dietary aflatoxin exposure. Chlorophyll also has a similar structure to heme in hemoglobin except it has a magnesium center instead of an iron center. I’m going to research it more in the near future and will post the information I find as well as any improvement I notice from taking it. I have only been taking it for a week. Here is a link to some information on Chlorophyll--- Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin.

Chlorophyll Supplement

Chlorophyll Supplement 2

  • The inside of my left knee is killing me. I don’t know what happened. It has been hurting since last week’s long run. I haven’t started freaking out… yet. I’m going to take the next three days off from running, ice my knee, stretch my hamstrings and work on strengthening my quads. I’m even considering running only easy runs this week with my long run on Sunday. If it continues to hurt for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment. I absolutely will not miss the St. George Marathon in October.

  • During my long run last Monday, I had the pleasure to run into a group of cross country high school girls. The girls were finishing their run back to the high school. I don’t know why, but for a split second I felt old/frumpy, awkward (probably because I had a ton of running gear on) and inadequate. Then I thought about all of the things I have accomplished in my 32 years: served in the military, deployed to 3 different countries, successful marriage, graduated college and starting graduate school, carried/birthed/breastfed twins and have a healthy body that is in the process of running 13.1 miles while training for a marathon. Yep, I rock. And I would NEVER want to be a teenager again, even though those girls are cute, young and could probably kick my bootie in running.

Marathon Training Week 7:

Monday- Long run 13.1 miles in 2 hrs and 11 min.

I didn’t eat or drink during this run and I felt great. My body waist up felt strong, but my legs were tired. I also started having knee pain after this run.

Tuesday- Off

Wednesday- Tempo run 5 miles in 47 min and 38 sec and an HIIT 12 min

I ran 1 mile warm up and cool down and 3 miles (9:05) at tempo pace.

Thursday- Off

Friday- Hill repeats 4 miles in 39:43

I ran 1 mile warm up and cool down with 10 hill repeats for 2 miles. This was a tough workout. I originally planned to run 7 repeats, but decided to push a little more.

Saturday- Off

Sunday- Long run 10.22 miles in 1 hr 48 min.

This was supposed to be a 14 mile run that ended up being 10.22 mile run. The pain in my left knee kept getting worse, so I decided to end my run. I felt great and the weather was cloudy and cool, which made quitting suck even more. It drove me crazy all day that I couldn’t finish. This was probably my slowest run in a long time.

This upcoming week, I’m planning to fit in 2-3 HIIT, probably 2 easy runs (short and moderate distance) and hopefully a 15 mile long run.

Red heart

What area would you like to learn more about in nutrition?

Are you taking any supplements? If so, what supplements? – I take chlorophyll, fish oil, vitamin D and protein powder.

How do you handle pain and/or injuries?

My Favorite Running Mantras

Lately, I have noticed myself saying several mantras during my runs. Some runs I will only say one and other runs I need to say several. I repeat them during tough runs when I need the extra motivation and push to finish strong.

Mantras meaning “instrument of thinking” are often used to focus the mind and mentally keep you on target with your goals. They should be positive and short statements, instructing you on how you want to run and/or feel. Below are some of my favorite and most commonly used mantras.

Speed Run/Long Run:

  • “The faster you run, the faster it’ll be over”

The Faster You Run

Hills/Hill Repeats:

  • “The harder I push now, the easier it will be during the race”
  • “Strong and steady”

Strong and Steady

Long run:

  • “Keep going”
  • “Run strong, think strong”
Strong and Steady

Overall running:

  • “Strong legs, strong lungs, strong heart, strong mind”

Red heart

Do you have any favorite running mantras? Have they helped you during your tough runs/races?

Marathon Training Week 6

Happy 4th of July. Today’s high is a cloudy 92 degrees (awesome) with 22% humidity (not awesome). I’m secretly hoping it’s going to rain today. I love rain and it has been a long time since we had any.

We’re having grilled steaks, baked potatoes and salad for dinner tonight. I’m so excited. I love steak night.

White Wine

There will also be a few of these.

And of course we’ll be celebrating with a couple of silly kids.

Silly Hats


If it weren’t for me writing down my workouts/runs, I would not be able to remember a single one. Last week, came and went quickly. I got in all of my runs except for my long run. When I woke up for my long run at 6:15 am last Sunday, it was just too hot outside. I decided to push it off until Monday.

I’m definitely not in the “honeymoon phase” of my training anymore. I think it is more the heat that is bothering me than being burned out with running.

Monday- Off

Tuesday- ZWOW #23 Burpee Torture My time was 21 minutes.

Wednesday- Negative split run 7 miles (3, 3, 1) in 65:46 minutes

Thursday- Off

Friday- Off

Saturday- Speedwork 3.37 miles in 30 minutes

I didn’t have too much time to get this run in. I ran .5 mile warm up and 4x800’s 4 minutes for each 800’s. I ran 2x400 recovery in between the 800’s.

Sunday- HIIT 24 minutes. Putting off my long run was probably not the best decision.

Week 7 will include at least 2 HIIT, a tempo run, hill repeats and 2 long runs.

Have a great 4th of July.  

Red heart

July 4th Cupcake Toppers

Happy Tuesday.

My mom is visiting this week, which means we finally have a babysitter. It has been about 6 months since my husband and I have gone on a date. We are excited. So far, we are planning to go eat dinner, see a movie and hopefully catch a show.

I made chocolate chip cookie dough chocolate cupcakes to celebrate the 4th of July. The cupcakes are absolutely delicious. I will post the recipes and more pictures soon.

These star cupcake toppers are quick and easy to make… just the way I like it.

4th July Cupcakes A

You can use homemade fondant or pre-made colored fondant to make your star toppers. I used homemade white and blue (Americolor Royal Blue) fondant and the red fondant was purchased at Michael’s. I’ve also seen it at Wal-mart. I almost always purchase pre-made red and black fondant instead of trying to get the color right. I also mixed in a small amount of tylose into the fondant to help speed up the drying time and make it stronger.

4th July Cupcakes B

I rolled out the fondant (a little under 1/4" in thickness) and used my star cutters to cut out the different size stars. I allowed the stars to dry for about 8 hours on a sheet pan with a small amount of corn starch to keep the stars from sticking. It’s probably a good idea to give the stars at least 24 hours to dry. My white stars weren’t completely dried when I decorated the cupcakes.

If you only have a couple of hours to let your stars dry, you might want to knead in more tylose into your fondant to make gum paste or of course use gum paste. It also helps to put the stars in front of a fan to speed up drying time.

4th July Cupcakes C

I pushed the stars into the frosting… and that’s it. Quick and easy cupcake toppers.

I hope you all have a great 4th of July.

Birthday cake


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