Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekends are for...


...spending time with your husband and puppies.

...long walks on sunny days to the park!

...eating Mexican food and ordering sopapillas because you're "carboloading" for your Saturday run.

...snuggling on the couch and watching Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family.




...waking up early on Saturday for long runs with your best running friends!

...riding with the sun roof open.

...Houston blogger meet ups! I had such a great time that no pictures were taken! Ooops :)

...relaxing in Sugar Land with my family!

...laying out by the pool, getting some Vitamin D and exercising my brain (reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

..."sleeping in" Sunday morning and drinking coffee on the couch.

...running errands and feeling productive.

...going to the movies with friends. I loved Divergent!

...spending Sunday evening the same way as Friday evening...Harry Potter weekend on the couch with my little family.

That's right...weekends are for doing whatever I feel like whether it be relaxing or not. For someone who doesn'gt relax very well, I think I did a good job this weekend. When the sun is out and I have no plans, you better believe I'll be in my parents' oasis of a backyard. Come on summertime!

What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?
I would say that mine would involved a Saturday morning long run with friends, limited plans, sunshine and a healthy dose of Mexican food.

Yup this weekend ws bliss. Now let's do this Monday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Zooma Texas End of Training Run Houston

Hey y'all! Happy Friday...cue Friday dance! I'm pretty pumped that I don't have many plans this weekend. It's quite rare for me to "chill" for an entire weekend, so I'm fairly certain that I'll manage to fill up our weekend hours with a lovely to do list :) 

Of course, my Saturday morning will start the same as usual...a long run with my favorite running buds! It's only 2 weeks until the Zooma Texas half marathon (which you can still register for! Use TXAMB1 for 10% off!). That means we'll be tackling a solid 12 miles tomorrow before we take it down the following week for tapering! Speaking of next week, I'm going to be hosting a Zooma Texas end of training run at Memorial Park for anyone in Houston that wants to join in on the fun! I'm planning on doing 6 miles or two loops around Memorial, but you can join and just do one loop if you want! I'm going to have some Zooma goodies (bags, shirts, etc.) to give away, so come out and run. Here are the details:

What: Zooma Texas End of Training Run
Where: Memorial Park Running Loop. Meet at stretching area near tennis courts.
When: Saturday, April 5th at 8:00am
Why: Because we love to run! 
Miles: Planning on 6 miles. Feel free to run more or less. The beauty of a loop course!
Pace: Your own! We'll have our set meeting and finishing location. Who knows, maybe you'll meet someone that runs your speed.
Who: Anyone! You don't have to be signed up for Zooma Texas to come run with us! I'd love to tell you about the awesome race series and share some goodies with you.


Source: http://zoomarun.com/texas/


So if you want to hang out with some fun people, meet new friends and potential new running buddies, get free stuff and tackle your weekend run all at once, come join us! Zooma Texas is sponsoring this group run for me as I am an ambassador for this year's race. I'm a big fan and huge supporter of this women's race series. I even went up to Cape Cod last September to run their race!




And did I mention I PR'ed? Oh yeah! Check out that fancy PR medal

Now come out and join me next Saturday at Memorial Park! If you want to come or have any questions, shoot me an e-mail at acgougler@gmail.com. I'd love to see some new faces!

Have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend! (See what I did there? Alliteration...bam!)

Have you ever joined a group run before?
Do you prefer running solo or with others?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Snack Attack

Hello my lovlies! I have some good info for y'all today! I've decided that since I consider myself a health and fitness/lifestyle blogger and I've gotten back on top of things posting about workouts and my life, there is something missinghere. Something I'm passionate about and something I think y'all will appreciate. Food. I want to incorporate more of the health part of being a health and fitness blogger.

I'll admit that I'm far from perfect and this girl has a huge sweet tooth. But I do want to share some of my secrets and favorite healthy recipes with y'all to give a try! Now I've posted healthy and clean eating before, but I want to get back at it. It's hard work to both lose weight and maintain weight. I want to share some of my secrets and support with y'all. That being said, let's just straight into today's topic: SNACKING!

I am a huge snack advocate. I know there are several different diet and eating plans out there. Everyone is different and everyone's body takes to foods differently, so there is no right or wrong. I personally believe in snacking and eating smaller meals throughout the day to increase your metabolism and keep your blood sugar from plummeting. That being said, in order to snack and eat 2-3 snacks a day, you need to eat the right things. As much as fueling your body with cookies sounds awesome, it completely defeats the purpose of the snacking to begin with  :) Thought I'll admit that I've done it before. I've been trying new snacks a lot lately and here are some of my current favorites.

SAVORY
2 TBS hummus with mixed veggies (celery, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes) 
You can pair this with some grilled chicken cubes. An ounce or 2 is perfect for added lean protein!

Hard boiled eggs
Two eggs is 140 calories. Eat just one and have something else for roughly 100 carlories or go for two eggs! They're high in protein and will keep you feeling full longer!


Source: http://www.babble.com/wp-content/uploads/babble-voices/mr-lady-cucumbersome/files/2012/03/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs.jpg

Tuna fish
Mix it up with some hummus or light mayo. You can also chop up some carrots and celery to mix in some veggies!

SALTY
Dry roasted almonds with Nut Thins
Blue Diamond makes several different flavors of Nut Thins...almond, pecan, etc.
Be sure to see just how many almonds you're eating because the calories sneak up on you! I recommend pre-portioning them ahead of time. 100 calories of almonds and 100 calories of Nut Thins (about 10 crackers) is a great 200 calorie snack.


Source:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_BihBQIG3Ccg/S_7prLrle7I/AAAAAAAAC3g/gfUAWHdtNCQ/s1600/20105027_3290.JPG

Nut Thins and Nut Butter
Take one serving of Nut Thins and a tablespoon or two of peanut butter or almond butter!

Apple slices, Celery sticks and Almond butter
Take 1/2 an apple, a few celery stick and a tablespoon of almond butter for dipping!

SWEET
Protein cookie
You want to eat this snack earlier in the day. Maybe as your mid-morning snack or after lunch. Since these cookies are better for you, they're still high in carbs! You want to eat your carb-ier snacks earlier in the day when you need the added energy. Yes, that means dessert after dinner is unnecessary energy being stored in your body overnight!

Greek Yogurt or make it a Parfait
You can stick to your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt or if you're not a huge yogurt fan, spice it up! Add a bit of granola...a bit, don't go crazy or calories sneak up...a few dark chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, etc.), chopped nuts.
My suggestion: Pick 2 or 3 add ins and limit the amount of each. Be aware of how many calories you're adding to your yogurt!!!


Source: http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/4th-of-July-Yogurt-Parfait.jpg


A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
Fruit and Chicken
Choose two of the fruits listed below and add 1-2 oz of grilled and seasoned cubed chicken to much on!
Options: 1/2 an orange, apple, banana, pear or grapefruit, 1/2 cup grapes



There are tons of articles out there with healthy snacking options. Here's a good one from Runner's World!
http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/25-great-snacks-for-runners?page=single

Do you have any favorite snacks that aren't listed about?

Until next time...
With love and God bless,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Neon Splash Dash!

Tis the season for Spring time races. Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Check your watch to see what your pace is. Fa la la la la, la la la la.
5K, 10K or half marathon. Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Some for fun, some put your game face on. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

In case you don't feel like singing my super awesome racing song to the tune of a Christmas carol, what I'm trying to say is that Spring time races are in full swing. Some are serious. Some are for pure fun! Lots of 5K, 10K and half marathon events flying around left and right. Training is in full force for your goal spring race {hey you can still sign up for Zooma Texas on April 12th 5K, 10K or half marathon. Use code TXAMB1 for 10% off!}, but ever once in a while you just need to let loose and have fun! Enter Neon Splash Dash!




I ran this super fun race with my friends Caitlin from work and my fantastic husband! He's such a trooper and awesome supporter of the sport I love so much!




This was Caitlin's first official race which was an awesome and fun start to her racing career. She's running her first half marathon at Zooma Texas...you can too!

This was a great first race since it was a fun run. No timing chips, no stressing about how fast to go or checking your watch. Just running, skipping, walking, whatever moving forward, getting blasted with fun glowing color for 3.1 miles followed by a glow in the dark black light party!






The race was really well organized. We picked our packet up on race day and didn't have a single problem. We barely even had to wait in line! Parking was super close to the event, so we didn't have an issue walking back to the car to put up our race packet goodies. 

The start line was well organized and we took of in waves. I think the waves were spaced properly, but as always, people have an issue with placing themselves in the proper place in line. They announced runners to the left and walkers to the right. Unfortunately, throughout the race we were dodging all the walkers! Don't get me wrong, I am so glad the walkers are out there. These races are all about getting people up and moving and doing something different/out of their comfort zone. I just wish that people were more courteous and aware of those around them. End rant.




The after party was super fun. We loved the black light photo stations to snap some pics post race!




After snapping several shots we jumped in on the dance party where we got even more color. They had water guns of neon paint shooting out into the crowd. JP backed out while Caitlin and I went in full force! After a few minutes, we had to get out though because it got SUPER claustrophobic up in there! I mean, so many people, all wanted to get color blasted, moving in closer and closer. Count me out. Luckily we had to get to an 80's themed birthday party so we peaced out and went out in Houston in our neon and tutus. Best decision EVER!


Have you done a crazy fun run or would you want to try one? 
What kind...color, neon, mud, etc.?

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Guess where we're going?!

A few Fridays ago, I mentioned that JP and I were planning a big trip for this year. I wanted to wait to spill the beans about it until it was officially booked for a few reasons.

a) It's a really big trip and I didn't want to get my hopes up.
b) It involves other parties and I didn't want to get their hopes up!

As of last night, it is official. Our flight is booked and we are going to this beautiful country...




...to see this beautiful girl and her amazing family...




...to celebrate her momma's 50th birthday Texas style!

That's right, we're going to Norway in June to visit my Charlotte and her family! If you're new around here, Charlotte is my little sister's best friend/practically a sister to me who became one of my best friends this past year when she lived with JP and I for 6 months while she interned in Houston! Charlotte's mom is celebrating her 50th birthday and having a Texas themed party. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than having two Texans show up! {Side note: Charlotte's family used to live in Texas down the street from us actually. That's how Char and Emily became besties. We've known them for 12 years!}

The last time I went to Norway was in December 2007/January 2008. Let's just say it was cold. And dark. Really cold. And really beautiful. I'm excited to see Norway during the summertime, enjoy the beautiful weather and explore with Charlotte now that we're "grown ups". Here are some snaps from last time...




We did it all! From attempting to "snow board" on the hill near Charlotte's house to crazy fast sleds...







...lots of tasty Norwegian cuisine to a real live one horse open sleigh...







...to visiting Oslo, seeing the royal and political buildings and tormenting the guards...







...to skiing the Olympic slopes in Lillehammer. Just kidding. I did the bunny hills. No pictures of that though. Probably a good idea :)

I'm excited to go back, see more of the country and experience it with my husband and one of my closest friends! I can't believe I'm actually going back to Norway! And in only 3 months!

Watch out Charlotte and Vorkinn family...the Gouglers are coming!

Have you ever been to Norway?
What off the beaten path places have you visited?
You know what I mean...like non-traditional vacation spots!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

March Madness Monday Motivation

So what do you think, is that enough M's for you? It's all about alliteration :) Now I'll be the first to admit that I am far from a big basketball fan. I'll cheer for the Rockets since they're in Houston. I love going to games, mostly because I am a sporting event kind of girl. Watching on tv? No thanks. I also cheer for my Aggies, but let's be honest, they suck and haven't been good since they went to the tourney in 2011. When it comes down to it, I don't care much for basketball. BUTTTTTT.....when it comes to creating a bracket and cheering for my teams during March Madness, I care. Mostly I only care because I want to beat JP. I like being better than him. Especially since I pick my teams based on mascots I like or states I've lived in.

That being said, I thought it would be fun to create a workout inspired by March Madness. Or more specifically, the bracket itself. Take a look, give it a try and let me know what you think!





Feel free to do all or just one of the regions from the around of 64 down to the Final 4. Here's what you'll need for each set:

South: Nothing! All body weight exercises. 
EastNothing! All body weight exercises. 
West: Dumbbells! Need for overhead presses and lateral raises. 
Midwest: Dumbbells, something for pull ups & room to run (or a treadmill)
- Pull ups out of the question? Use you Dumbbells and mimick the pull up move to work the same muscles. 

Now jump in and give it a go! 

Do y'all enjoy watching basketball?
What about March Madness? Any bracket-era out here?
I've got Arizona winning the whole thing! Crossing my fingers that it actually happens :)

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

My little man turns ONE!

Last July, I decided one day at work that I wanted another dog. I had been wanting one for quite some time, but JP and I had only discussed it here and there. Of course, that was until the day I spent hours looking at rescue pups that clearly needed me to be their mom. I was texting pictures to my sister, Alison and Ashley and they all agreed that I needed to go see some of these pups. Next thing you know, e-mails are being sent and a few days later I was going to visit Issac and his brother Felix...




JP was working the night shift at the time, {he was still supervising at the plant} so I went to Friends for Life by myself. I played with both of them and for some reason fell in love with little Felix. By the way, who names their dog Felix? Felix is totally a cat's name. {Sorry to everyone out there with a dog name Felix...} And before you know it, that little guy was in my car ready to spend the week with us to see if he was a fit.




Of course, I told JP that we were just fostering him for a bit. I knew that JP would fall in love and want him too. Little Felix became Moose before the first day was even over. We fell in love and let's just say that he was very comfortable with us!




To make things even better, turns out Maggie loved him too! They were destine to be siblings.




Over the past nearly 9 months, Moose has grown so much both physically and in his personality. He is the most chill, cuddliest pup in the whole wide world.




He loves...

  • playing with his sister
  • driving his sister insane
  • pouncing from the couch/chair/any elevated surface onto his sister
  • snuggling any human around
  • burrowing in blankets
  • chewing bones
  • EATING!!!
  • swimming in his grandparents swimming pool
  • running around like a little crazy pup








He does NOT love...
  • waiting for his food
  • large vehicles driving by while on our walks
  • being sat on or leaned on while he's sleeping on the couch
  • baths
  • wearing costumes
  • posing for pictures







So thankful to have my little man and that I decided to trick my husband into getting a new dog last July. Happy Birthday my Moose! I love you so much!





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Monday, March 17, 2014

Keith Urban and the reverse mullet.

4:00am came quickly this morning. Monday also came quickly after this weekend. A wonderful weekend it was indeed. A busy weekend. Which explains why 4:00am was just not my favorite time of today.

One of my oldest friends...old as in Ilve known her since 4th grade not old as in she's old. She's not old...anyway back on track. Kristin came into town on Friday just in time for us to get ready for a fun filled evening. It started with drinks and pizza at Russo's, which is currently JP and my favorite pizza place around us. Then we were off to Reliant for the Houston Rodeo! I can't even tell you how much I love the rodeo. I've been every year since we moved to Houston except for 2011 when I was up in Pittsburgh. That's about 15 years worth of rodeoing and most years I'm there more than once! Friday we went to see Keith Urban! We made sure to get there early so we could do a little shopping for Kristin's horse Slider before watching the actual rodeo. We caught a good amount of the rodeo: bull riding, barrel races, calf scramble, mutton busting, and a few others before Keith Urban came on! Keith had a great performace, but a few too many guitar solos. Maybe not too many guitar solos, but a few of them were too long for my taste. I will say that my favorite part of his performance was Kiss a Girl where he interacted with the crowd and then kissed a little 2-3 year old girl on the check. So precious!

P.S. I don't watch American Idol so I hadn't been up to date on Keith's hair style, but what is with his reverse mullet? It's like business in the back and party in the front! I mean, he has bangs. I think he likes them for swinging his head around in guitar solos. I dunno, I know some people like the style, but it's far from my fave. In fact it makes me giggle! I can't stop thinking about it...hence the post title. Lucky for him he's incredibly attractive even with the reverse mullet.




Saturday we "slept in" until 8:00am. I mean that's sleeping in for me especially after going to bed the night before at midnight! We started off the day with Top Golf! I love Top Golf. It's a driving range with a bar and awesome targets so that even if you don't like golf you can have fun. You really don't even need to know how to swing a club! We played for two hours and had a few mimosas before brunch at Cyclone Anayas. 




Once we made it home, we decided to rest for a bit before heading to my parents for dinner. Kristin hadn't seen Frozen and I'm obsessed with the movie, so it was the perfect chill out movie. I was so exhausted that I was in and out of sleep for most of it. Oooops...my body really needed it though! Then it was time to head to Sugar Land to see my family...really so my family could see Kristin. They love her like a daughter :) The dogs were excited to run around in the rain and hang out with their grandpa. He's the dog whisperer as you can see below!




Sunday I was up bright and early for my weekly long run date with Chandra. I must say there is nothing better than having a best friend that you can run with. Not only are we similar paces (Chandra is a wee bit quicker than me), but we both enjoy getting a long run in every week. It's more fun with a friend than by yourself. I always run longer or harder when I'm with her! 

Then I was headed back home for a big cup of coffee and breakfast with JP and Kristin before Kristin had to get on the road back to Dallas. Luckily, I get to see her again this Friday! So saying goodbye wasn't so bad at all. The rest of our Sunday was spent cleaning, watching tv, playing with the pups and reading. Perfect relaxing end to a fun filled weekend!

Do you like your weekends to be jam packed or laid back?
Have you ever been to a rodeo? If so, where?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rodeo Friday Shenanigans

Oh hey Friday, thanks for joining us! It's finally time to link up for Friday Five!

1. Kristin is coming! And it's March which means RODEO!!! It's kind of a tradition. This year we're going to see Keith Urban...and it's tonight! I am super pumped because I love Keith and I've never actually seen him in concert before!


2012


2013


2. Planning bachelorette parties is fun. Bed and breakfasts...limos and wine. Sold! Come on May, I'm ready for a girls weekend in Fredericksburg!


3. These two. No words. Just love.




4. I taught 10 classes this week! Considering I only teach 3 on a weekly basis, I'd say that's pretty awesome. 4 alone were on Tuesday and my legs have been screaming at me since! Running hasn't been a priority, but I'm itching for a long run. 9-10 miles Sunday morning....bring it!


5. This has felt like the longest week ever. Blame it on daylight savings? Or maybe all the classes I'm teaching. Or maybe because I'm just excited about the weekend. Who knows. At least it's Friday!





Happy Friday y'all! Hope you have a wonderful weekend sunshines.





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Thursday, March 13, 2014

what's goin' on now...

So with my lack of blogging creativity and a blog full of weekend recaps, Disney posts and some workouts/running posts thrown in, I haven't really blogged about me. Or what's going on. Or how things are going. That being said, today is about what's goin' on now...you know, just like the title says...


Work.
I'm still loving my job. I love the health club I'm working at. I love the people I work with. I love the members. I love my clients. I love teaching classes. I love a lot about it! I don't really love waking up at 4:00am every day. I don't love teaching spin on Tuesday nights at 5:30 after already working for 8 hours earlier in the day. I don't love feeling exhausted at 7:00pm. But all of the loves outweigh the don't likes. It's not perfect, but pretty close! I have my ups and downs. Days where I feel like I'm making a tons of progress and days where I feel like I haven't gained enough clients, but such is life. It's not all rainbows and butterflies! After 3 months, I have several clients that train with me twice a week and I'm teaching 3 of my own classes. Even though I have 3 classes, most of the time I'm teaching more each week because I've become the go-to sub. Yay! Speaking of classes, one of my goals for 2014 was to learn a new class format and I can officially teach combat cardio! I'm loving the kickboxing class. I take it each week and now I can sub when needed. SCORE!


Our TRX contraption with some cardio equipment and the basketball court in the background!


Health.
My tummy troubles come and go. I have good days and bad days, just like with everything in life. My good days come more often and I am so thankful for that. I think my bad days are my own fault. Eating something I know will irritate me or eating far too much just because it tastes good! *tisk tisk*

On another note, I'm doing the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge for Lent. Obviously Lent is 40 days, but the 21 day challenge is a kick start to making healthier choices and eating less sugar. My Fit Foods is currently in Texas, California, Oklahoma, Arizona and Illinois and the food is delicious, portioned properly with lean proteins, low glycemic carbs and healthy fats. Our gym has a partnership with the My Fit Foods in the Houston tunnels, so I thought I'd try the challenge to encourage my clients and students. I've just completed my first week and I'm feeling great. At first I was pretty bloated from the increased amount of protein and less carbs. After a few days, that subsided and I was feeling great. You get one cheat meal a week and I was a bad girl and cheated most of Sunday. You know what? It was awful. I felt like crap after that. It's amazing how putting good foods into your body can really make such a difference in how you feel, your energy level and confidence overall. Let me know if you have any questions about the challenge. I'll keep y'all updated on how I'm doing!


Running.
Don't worry, I'm still running! Of course I ran the Disney Princess half just a few weeks ago and the next race on my agenda is the Zooma Texas Women's half marathon in April. Registration is still open and you can get 10% off with the TXAMB1 discount code! It's at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop and I am so pumped.  There is also a 5K and a 10K for those of you not quite ready to tackle the half marathon distance. The Austin area is pretty hilly, so I've been knocking out some hill workouts which isn't always each in crazy flat Houston. Chandra and I have been doing some workouts at Spott's Park and I'm hoping to talk my husband into heading out there with me later today. {It's supposed to be a pretty day babe!}


Sweaty selfie during a track workout at the gym!



Pups.
Maggie and Moose are doing great. They love that their Mom comes home around lunchtime every day so they can escape the confines of their kennels. They're also big fans of daylight savings time because they generally get more walks and time outside. It also means it's closer to summer...lots of time at gramma and grampa's to play outside and in the pool like little hooligans. I keep saying that I'm going to send them to doggy boot camp and I need to crack down and do it. They just need a little extra training that apparently I can't give them. I have jumpers y'all. They love to jump and are easily excited. They could use a little work, but overall they're pretty fantastic. If you every need to feel loved, get a dog. They truly love unconditionally. It's amazing :)




Travel.
JP and I have a few trips on the agenda for this year. We have weddings to attend in Colorado and Illinois...both in August! We're also planning a super awesome trip for this June. I'll spill the beans once it's been finalized and plane tickets have been purchased!!!

I have my race in Austin in a few weekends which is a mini girls getaway! I mean we're staying at a nice resort and we'll be gone for the whole weekend, so it's traveling to me! I'm also planning Chandra's bachelorette party in May. We're doing a Fredericksburg, TX wine tasting weekend and I'm so pumped!


So there you have it. Things are good, but nothing too exciting. I said at the beginning of the year that 2014 was going to be a good one. So far, so good. I'm still feeling awesome about it and can't wait to see what each new week brings. :)


So what's going on with y'all?
Is 2014 treating you well or was last year better?

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