Posts Tagged by Koli

HOTR Puppy Cake

Regular posting will resume tomorrow. But for now…

The HOTR-family Puppy Cake recipe is a long-standing tradition that actually started back with this little girl — our first boxer, Chloe Kath-a-leen (pronounced with an emphasis, of course ;)). Every year, we’d make her a very special cake to celebrate her birthday, and she’d go crazy for it every time.

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Although Chloe isn’t with us any longer, I’m happy to be able to carry on the tradition with my own pup.

And okay, so I admit I may have (unintentionally) misled you. Calling it a “cake” may be stretching it just a bit. But I assure you, dogs will eat this right up all the same!

The “recipe” is extremely simple. All I did was take about 1 cup of his normal food (I feed him Life’s Abundance, which I love because it contains no by-products) and mix it with a spoonful of natural peanut butter and nice big dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

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If I had left it at that, it probably wouldn’t have been too unhealthy. But, I’m a firm believer that birthdays call for something extra special. So I “frosted” it with more whipped cream than a dog should probably eat in an entire year.

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Yes I know, he’s spoiled. But he’s also incredibly skinny, so I figured a little extra fat couldn’t hurt. Plus, how can I say no to this face?

DSCN1800.JPGEager anticipation


DSCN1801.JPGI made sure to dress up for the occasion ;)


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I’ll spare you from the 6:00 minute video I made of the event, which includes my warbling rendition of “Happy Birthday” and him devouring the cake in one minute flat…then proceeding to lick the floor for the next five.

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But I think it’s safe to say he loved it. And I’m pretty sure your dog would too!

So there you have it — The “secret” HOTR Family Puppy Cake recipe. Totally worth waiting a whole year for. ;)

Okay, I promise — this is the last time this blog will be in puppy-overload. Back to normal tomorrow

A Very Special Birthday

We interrupt our regular posting schedule for a very special announcement:

Today is my baby’s 1st Birthday!

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I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. And how quickly he’s grown from this:

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To this:

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When Koli came into my life, I actually hadn’t been looking for a puppy. I’d wanted a dog of my own forever, but always thought I’d adopt an older dog (Boxer, of course!) for my first one. However, once I found out that a family member’s Boxer had a litter of puppies, I just knew I had to have one of my own.

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And although having a puppy has been a lot of work (and at times, very stressful), I wouldn’t change it for the world. This little guy is my buddy. I’ve loved watching him grow over this past year, and am excited for many more adventures together in years to come.

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So today, in honor of my little man’s birthday, I will overload you with puppy pictures. And then I’m going to go make him a “cake” — complete with kibble, peanut butter, plain yogurt, and whippin’ cream. :)

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Happy Birthday little guy!

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Happy Holidays!

This week, I have traded carrots for cookies, and training for time with friends, family, and loved ones. Although I had great intentions about keeping up with my training through the Christmas holiday, once the week started all of that fell a little bit to the wayside.

But to be perfectly honest, I’ve decided not to stress about this fact. After all, Christmas only comes once a year and it’s an extremely important holiday to me and the entire HOTR-family. I have made a vow to myself that instead of focusing on the missed runs, I will choose to focus on spending time with family I rarely see and celebrating the reason for the season.

And of course, getting excited about my fur-baby’s very first Christmas.

So as we enter into my two favorite days of the entire year, I just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Health on the Run! I realize not all of you are celebrating this weekend, but to those of you who are, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday filled with lots of cheer, laughter, great company, and of course, delicious food. And even for those of you who are not celebrating — I hope this last weekend in December is a great one for you, and you are ready to usher in a new year and all the new possibilities that brings!

Have a wonderful holiday!


Back on Track (How to Not Panic When You’ve Skipped a Few Runs)

Training for a marathon is a long-term commitment that requires a lot of planning, flexibility, and sacrifices. Over the course of so many months of training, things are bound to come up — even with the best laid plans.

And I’m not just talking about big things like injury or sickness. Even small day-to-day stuff like having to work late or just feeling run-down can cause you to skip a run here and there. For me, one thing that always seems to get in the way of sticking with my training schedule is travel. When I visit a new place or go to see family or friends, I don’t usually have a hard time being active. Exploring my surroundings on foot or by bike is one of my favorite things to do. But getting in my training runs is a bit more difficult. Because, let’s face it – it’s much easier to convince a friend to join you for a nice long walk than it is to get them to come along on an hour-plus long run.

This past weekend, I struggled with this very dilemma. I took advantage of the holiday to make a trip down to DC to visit 2 of the HOTR-sisters. 16 hours in the car and only a couple of days with my sisters left me with little time (or energy) to fit in all my scheduled runs. So instead of tempo and recovery runs, there was a lot of this:

DSCN0825 Exploring DC

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And this:

DSCN0795 Eating my weight in frozen yogurt at FroZenYo

DSCN07943 kinds of frozen yogurt in one bowl = heaven

DSCN0798As a sidenote: If you’re ever in the DC area, I suggest you hightail it over to FroZenYo – an amazing self-serve frozen yogurt place where you can add all the toppings your heart desires.

And this:

DSCN0802Lots of relaxation

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And sadly — not so much running. I enjoyed every minute of my stay in DC, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a little nagging voice in the back of my mind, reminding me of all those miles I should have run. I can’t change the past — so what’s a girl with 2 big running events coming up in the next two months to do?

How to Not Let a Few Skipped Runs Ruin Your Running Mojo

I know I’m not the only one out there who has ever been faced with this dilemma. So if you’re training for a big race (of any distance) and find yourself in a situation where you’ve skipped a few runs, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to get you back on track.

  • Do not panic. Yes, it’s important to run consistently, build up your mileage, and get in your key runs. But skipping a run here and there is not the end of the world! It’s not going to ruin all your efforts, put you back to square one, or cause you to run an awful race. I promise.
  • Do not try to add those missing miles onto other runs. I’ll admit, my first impulse after skipping a couple of days was to add them to my weekly long run. I wanted to get them in somehow, even if that meant doing it all at once. But if I had really done that, a week that should have been a step-back in my training would have turned into another week of heavy distance…which would then have made me more tired and could affect the 20 miles I’m supposed to run this weekend. When I’ve fallen into the trap of running extra or without rest days in the past, I’ve always ended up injured. Don’t let a couple of missed miles make you do something you’ll later regret.

  • Do try to carry on with your schedule as usual. It may be tough to just forget about a run that you’ve missed, but the best thing you can do is to just pick up where the schedule says you should be. If you can make adjustments and safely re-arrange rest days to find room for an extra run, great. If not, don’t stress! Just get right back into training.

  • Do try your best to run your scheduled long run. This is especially important if you’re training for any sort of distance race. Each week’s long run builds off the week prior, so try to get in those miles – even if it means you have to be flexible and do your long run on the first day of the next week.

  • Do make the miles you do run count. I’m a huge advocate for incorporating easy runs into your schedule, but if you have to do less runs in any given week, make sure each of those runs serves a purpose. Even though my weekly mileage was lower than it should have been, I made sure to do several quality runs last week. On Sunday, despite being tired from traveling and bored from running laps around my sister’s hilly neighborhood, I was determined to get in 10 relatively quick miles. Since I had skipped a tempo run earlier in the week, I pushed for several of the middle miles and made sure that I kept my pace quick enough throughout to average a sub-8:00 min/mile pace. This was still technically an “easy” week because the overall distance was less, but running faster than race pace will help increase my speed and endurance (or so I hope!).

And finally,

  • Do start the new week refocused and ready to run. Training plans last a long time. And chances are, you’ve still got many weeks before the big day. Don’t let the runs you skipped in the past affect those you need to do today, or those you will be doing tomorrow. Just chalk it up as a learning experience, and an unplanned opportunity to give your body some extra rest. Then hit the ground running the next week. Literally. :)

Now if you end up missing a week or more due to illness or injury, your approach to getting back on track will be a little different. In that case, you’re going to seriously have to re-examine your plan to see what you can fit in and how you can safely re-build up your mileage to get to where you need to be. But even then – it’s usually not the end of the world! I won’t go into it in this post, but I missed an entire month of running when I was training for my first marathon. I spent that month in the gym, logging many sweaty miles cross-training on different machines. Was it ideal? No. But I made it. And with a little flexibility and smart planning, you will too!

In other news, summer is coming to a close. And that means it’s time to announce the winner of my extremely competitive Shape Up Summer Challenge! (I know you’ve all been waiting for this with eager anticipation).

After my super scientific pick-a-name-out-of-a-hat drawing of the names of those who commented or emailed me, the winner is…… Alex, who got extra entries for doing the challenge right from the start! Congratulations Alex! Please email me your choice (gift certificate or Larabars) and your address and I will get that out to you ASAP. :) Thanks to all of you who participated by trying the workout!

How to Tie Your Shoes (and other shoe tricks)

In the spirit of learning new tricks, today I want to talk about tying shoes – more specifically: how to do it. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Ummm..Lauren. Like most well-accomplished 4 year olds, I learned how to tie my shoes in kindergarten. And after 20-some odd years of doing it, I’d like to think of myself as an expert.” But before you roll your eyes and move on to the next post, hear me out. There’s a way to tie your shoes for everyday wear…and a way to tie them when you’re running (or walking).

I know we’ve all seen these people (or been them!) — the runner who has his or her shoes laced up in quadruple knots in order to keep them from coming untied during a run or a race.

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Unless you’re like my 10-year old self — who would purposely lace her shoes as loose as possible so that she’d have to stop and rest re-tie them multiple times during her 1-mile jog around the neighborhood — having your shoes come untied during a run is pretty annoying. Not only that, but it can be down-right dangerous. You don’t want to trip over a loose lace and end up flat on your face.

So at first glance, the double (triple or quadruple) knot may seem like your best insurance against these accidents. But what if I told you there was an easier way that not only looks better, but will guarantee that your shoes will never come untied again? A lofty promise, I know, but I’ve tied my shoes like this for every run for many many years now, and I have never once had them come untied.

The Runner’s Magical Double Loop

I’ll admit that I don’t know why this method works – I just know that it’s fail-proof. And the best part is that it’s incredibly simple.

1.) Start out by crossing your laces around each other to form a base as you would usually do:

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2.) Take one lace in your hand and form a loop. This doesn’t have to be a fancy loop with the loose end going in a certain direction, etc etc etc. Just form a normal looking loop and pinch it between your pointer finger and thumb. Nothing too fancy yet – this is something you’ve been doing for years.

how to tie shoe_2 Notice the dog paw in the upper left-hand corner?

2a.) Take a quick break to yell at said dog who has run off with an old pair of running shoes (no doubt to practice the trick for himself):

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3.) Take the other lace in your opposite hand and wrap it around the loop that you’re currently holding.

And now for the trick: keep wrapping that lace until you’ve gone around the loop twice.

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Notice that I’ve made 2 circles around the loop

4.) Pull that lace through and tighten. The finished product – a clean and secure knot.

runner knot

This method really couldn’t be more simple. You basically tie your shoes the same way you always have (unless you’re still using the two loop-bunny-down-the-rabbit-hole method), but you make an extra circle before pulling the lace through. That’s really the only thing that takes some getting used to. Now that I’ve been doing this for so many years, it’s become a habit I don’t even have to think about. Every time I lace up a pair of shoes – for running or otherwise — I tie them like this.

Still have doubts that something so simple could be so effective? Give it a try! I promise your shoes will not come untied, and if they do, I’ll give you your money back you’re probably doing something wrong let me know – because then I need to re-think everything! ;)

For a different method, you can try the Ian Knot recommended by Runner’s World. It takes a little bit of practice, but can be a super fast, secure way to lace up those sneakers.

Support Those Ankles

Another shoe trick I’ve been experimenting with for the past few weeks is one that I learned from my youngest sister. This method supposedly provides you with more ankle support, which is key for someone like me who is a huge overpronator (which basically means that my ankles roll in when I walk/run). It does this by keeping the top sides of your shoes tight.

1.) Take your untied laces and pull them back through the top hole – you know, the one that is set back a little ways that most people leave unlaced. Leave a little extra lace hanging out between the eyelets so that it forms a small loop.

running shoe_extra loops 1 running shoe_extra loops side

2.) Pull your left lace through the loop on the right side of the shoe, and your right lace through the loop on the left. Tighten.

tying shoe for more support

2a.) Take another quick break to yell at your bored puppy who has now decided to pass the time by chewing on the doorstep.

bored puppy

3.) Proceed to tie your shoes like normal (don’t forget your double-loop!).

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With that, you’re all laced up and ready to hit the roads! Like I said, I’ve only been experimenting with this method for the past couple of weeks. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge difference, but my ankles do feel a little more secure, so I’m going to keep testing it out.

running shoes laced up

And that concludes our lesson for today. How do you tie your shoes?

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And to all my readers in the good ole U S of A –  Happy 4th of July (weekend)! Hope you have a fun, relaxing, and patriotic celebration!

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