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Welcome to the Official Site of The Y in Central Maryland Turkey Trot Charity 5K! We are excited to have you join us for this Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Adults, children and families from across the region come together to not only run (or walk, jog, stroll), but to raise funds so that children living in poverty in Central Maryland have access to Y programs that will forever shape their lives.

Thank you for being part of something good on Thanksgiving Morning!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Recipe: Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

While we are excited for Thanksgiving morning and all the energy associated with the Turkey Trot Charity 5K, we want to make sure we do not rush full speed into autumn. As a small resistance to the speed of time, we would like to end the summer with a truly summer recipe. The pumpkin recipes will have to wait, today is about zucchini.

(makes about 8 servings)

Main Ingredients:

3 zucchini (1 lb)

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 small egg

Coating Ingredients:

9 cups cornflakes (4 cups crushed)

2 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

  • Heat oven to 450ºF
  • Make the coating by pulsing all the coating ingredients together in a food processor until the cornflakes become crumbs. If you are using pre-crushed cornflakes, just mix the spices with the cornflakes, skip the processor.
  • Trim the zucchini. Cut crosswise in half. Then cut each piece into 1/4-inch sticks.
  • Add cheese to coating mix in a ziploc bag. Shake gently to mix.
  • Whisk egg in medium bowl. Add zucchini. Toss to coat.
  • Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in mix bag. Close bag and shake to evenly coat.
  • Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Repeat with remaining zucchini.
  • Bake for 12 to 13 min. or until golden brown, turning the baking tray 180 degrees after 7 min to encourage even baking.
Enjoy with something off the grill, alongside a sandwich, or over a salad!

Share with us in the comment section how they turn out for you.

Picture from http://everydaymom23.blogspot.com/2011/08/zucchini-fries.html

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fundraising: Who to Ask?

We are back with more fundraising ideas. There are a ton of resources out there about fundraising, so we will help summarize those sources, add in our own experience and provide you recommendations weekly!

Now that you have read and thought about how to ask, it is time for the who!

Grab a sheet of paper or open up a spreadsheet on your favorite device. Write down the names of:

  • everyone in your family that you have spoken with in the last year
  • friends you have donated to in the last few years
  • friends who you speak with regularly
  • coworkers who you donated to in the last few years
  • coworkers who you interact with regularly
Now label each of these potential donors with a "how"; Should you reach out to them via email, letter, phone call, or in person? Choose whichever way suits your connection best. Does your brother have two kids and you can never catch him on the phone? Well maybe an email would be best, along with a follow up text a few days later. Your grandmother may live on her tablet, or maybe she would prefer an actual paper letter.

Using the "ask" you worked on a couple weeks ago, rehearse, take a deep breath, and ask! What is the worst thing that happens? The worst thing is someone says "no". And a "no" is usually accompanied with a reason, but most likely you will get "yes" and "how much?"!

As your first round of asks wrap up and you see the donations, which will help to improve your community, add up, it is time to get started on round two.

Round two includes some people and organizations you may have never thought to ask! Write down the names of:
  • your primary care physician
  • your dentist
  • the supermarket you visit most often
  • the coffee shop/restaurant/gas station you visit most often
  • your hair stylist
  • your insurance agent
  • your car dealer/auto shop
  • any other business you frequent often
Most businesses, not matter how big or small, have a fund set aside for donations, you just have to ask! The best way to ask these types of establishments is with a letter. The letter does not have to be formal, but should state who you are, how you support and appreciate their service, what you are doing, and how you would like them to help you. Include the link to your fundraising page and, to go above and beyond, include a self addressed envelope. You will be surprised how easy it can be!

We really look forward to seeing how these tips and tricks work for you!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5K Training Program Interview with Kelly Albright

Hi, my name is Lindsay Crone and I am the Y of Central Maryland's Online Media Manager and with me today I have Kelly Albright, Group Fitness Instructor here at the Y of Central Maryland. Kelly is also head of our Turkey Trot Charity 5K Training Program and is here today to tell us more about this exciting program. Kelly, can you tell us how the 5K training at the Y works?

Kelly: The 5K program is an easy 10 week training program to follow that you can do with your family and friends. The group will meet and run together once a week. The participants are encouraged to run 1 or 2 more times on their own each week. At the first meeting everyone receives a training program guide that they can follow for the full 10 weeks. If a 5K training participant happens to miss a class they can follow the program and make the run up on their own. Throughout the program there will be advice and education on proper footwear, nutrition, and hydration. This program is really for people of all fitness levels whether you already run but would like to train with a group, maybe this is your first time every trying to train for a race or maybe your goal is just to be able to run 3 miles and you want guidance. Whatever your background is this training program can definitely be beneficial and a lot of fun.

Lindsay: Can you tell us the benefits of joining a group versus training alone?

Kelly: Motivation is key. For most of us it’s a lot easier when we know that we have committed ourselves to being somewhere, especially if we sign up with our spouse, friends, or other family members. You’re less likely to skip a run or not show up to the weekly meeting when you know the trainer and group is expecting you to be there. So many of my past running groups have brought on new friendships and running partners. People that may not have known each other previously are now running together, doing races, and keeping each other motivated. People run at all different paces and especially with this training people shouldn't feel intimidated. I will have people in the training that run really quickly and others who may jog/walk. But the great thing is that there are always others in the group doing the same thing, which helps everyone to keep coming back and trying their best.

Lindsay: Kelly, this sounds like a fantastic program . . . what makes you so passionate about training people for Turkey Trot?

Kelly: Running and just living a healthy and active lifestyle is such a passion of mine. I just think it is so great to see people come out and exercise before they sit down to their family Thanksgiving Day meal. I think it makes everyone feel a lot better. It is so enjoyable for me over these past 5 years of doing these trainings to see people accomplish a 5K, whether they are walking, jogging, or running it is amazing to see people to complete their first 3.1 mile race. Its such a great accomplishment and such a warm and relaxed environment to do that for the first time. I also have people join the group who are working on getting faster or maybe they just want to run with a group and that is always great as well.

Lindsay: Thanks, Kelly! So how do people get involved with this program?

Kelly: This year not only will the Ward Family Center in Abingdon have a 5K training but the Catonsville Family Center Y, Dancel Family Center Y, Weinberg Family Center Y, Towson Family Center Y, and Hill Family Center Y will as well. You can go into any of those centers to sign up or sign up online.

Lindsay: Do you have to be a Y Member to participate in the 5K training program?

Kelly: No, you do not have to be a Y of Central Maryland member to be able to register. Y Members can register 2 weeks prior to the start of the first class and then open registration is available 1 week prior. Registration will need to take place at the center. The cost is $30 for Y of Central Maryland Members, $45 for Y of Central Maryland Youth Members and $60 for the open rate.

Lindsay: Fantastic. Do you know when this program will begin?

Kelly: This will be a 9 week program beginning the middle of September and ending just early November. Check your local center or online for exact dates and times.

Lindsay: Thank YOU Kelly! It has been great speaking with you and we look forward to seeing you Thanksgiving morning in Bel Air!

For more information about when your local Family Center Y is offering the Turkey Trot 5K Training program please contact your Center or visit http://ymaryland.org/online-registration. Click on the “Proceed to online registration” button in the middle of the page. On the next screen select your Family Center Y. For “Primary Category” select  “Health and Fitness”. Under “Keyword” type in “5k”. Hit “Search” and you should see the program for your location!

Leave a comment if you have any questions about the program.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Recipe: Pizza in a Half Shell

This little recipe is another great weeknight meal, that can be prepped ahead of time to make for an easier and quicker stove-to-table process. It is a great way to enjoy lots of veggies, with lots of flavor.
4 tomatoes
4 large Portobello mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
1 leek
1 onion
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parlsey
Olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Chop the onion and place in skillet.
  • Stir the onion until it is slightly brown
  • Dice the tomatoes, chop the onion, and chop the leek
  • Add the diced tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped leeks, and pinch of salt to the browned onions
  • Sauté until the tomatoes are soft
  • Add one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Add five fresh basil leaves
  • Spray oil on a baking sheet and place the mushrooms on the sheet, tops down
  • Add the vegetables from the skillet into the mushrooms
  • Top with the grated parmesan cheese
  • Place in oven and back for 12 minutes
  • Remove from oven, top with fresh chopped parsley and ENJOY!
Photo and recipe from

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fundraising: How to Ask!

Some people are natural “askers”, they also tend to be the people with firm handshakes who will speak to anyone about anything. Others cringe at the thought of asking. Approaching friends and family, or others in your network, for donations can be intimidating, but we hope we can help make it less difficult.

First, remember you are not asking for donations to support your love of ice cream or so you can purchase a new pair of running shoes, you are asking for the children in Central Maryland who are depending on us to raise funds so that they may enjoy fun, safe, and educational experiences.

Asking comes down to a handful of parts:

Know the need – what is it you are raising money for?

"Children living in poverty in Central Maryland are struggling and I would like to help them enjoy the types of experiences I enjoyed as a child – preschool, before and after school enrichment and camp”

Why is it important?

"These programs provided through the Y of Central Maryland give every child a chance to enjoy safe, caring and enriching experiences.”

What are you doing?

"I am running (or walking) in the Y’s Turkey Trot Charity 5K in ____ on Thanksgiving morning.“

What you are asking for?

“Would you support me in reaching my goal of raising at least $100 and help these children in our community by making a donation?”

Pause there! We tend to get nervous (we are all afraid of rejection) and then fill the air with mindless chatter instead of waiting for a response.
Always lead with the “why”. Far too often we say “I am running in a 5K would you help me by donating?” and forget to tell people why!

That is your ask.

Now who to ask and how? Check back next Tuesday for the who and how!

In the meantime, set up your fundraising page or donate today (you do not have to register for the event to fundraise)!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stretches for Runners: Avoid Injury & Feel Great

Are you the type who jumps off the treadmill and heads right to the next part of your day, not taking time to stretch? If so, please, please, please, stop and stretch! Stretching warm (not cold) muscles prevents injury, combats soreness and can increase your flexibility. There are numerous, if not endless, studies and resources supporting the positive impact stretching makes. Before you hit the mat here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Stretch warm muscle – warm up a little before stretching so you do not strain your muscles
  • Stretch to the point of discomfort, not pain
  • Stretch slowly – at least 30 seconds in each position
Consider alternative ways to stretch – yoga or Tai Chi are great activities in which you move and stretch.
This diagram is a great example of all the basic stretches you should do after your run. Commit to completing these stretches after every run for the next two weeks and we are sure you will feel the difference.

Enjoy the benefits and leave a comment letting us know how these stretches work for you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Recipe: Peach Crisp

August is National Peach Month and Maryland farms are ripe with peaches. Why not head to your local farm stand or pick-your-own farm and make a peach crisp this weekend?

Shopping List:
1 cup uncooked oatmeal (old fashioned, non-instant oats work best)
¾ cup flour (whole wheat flour works perfectly)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup salted butter
¼ cup sugar
4 cups of sliced peaches

How to Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together oatmeal, flour and brown sugar
Add walnuts
Cut in butter until mix is crumbly
In a separate bowl, mix sliced peaches and white sugar together
Grease an 8” square pan (glass or metal)
Spread half of the crumb mixture on the bottom of the pan, pushing down slightly
Pour the peaches into the pan and spread evenly
Top the peaches with the remaining crumb mixture
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Enjoy warm or cold. Pair with greek yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream or milk!
Picture from: amycotler.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let’s Get Together: Team Fundraising

We are excited that so many of you have started fundraising!
Some have reached out looking to form teams and we thought we should commit a blog post to this process. The Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K is a family and friend event, so you are encouraged to get everyone in your life involved and celebrate the morning together. Fundraising together will put even more “thanks” and “giving” into this Thanksgiving!

Creating a team through our easy-to-use fundraising site, just takes a few clicks.
  • After you create your personal fundraising page by going here and clicking on the red “Become a Fundraiser” button on the right-hand side of the page, you are ready to create a team
  • Go to your personal fundraising page. On the right hand side of the page, in the middle you will see a big green button that says “Create or Join Team” - click that.
  • You will be asked if you want to create a team or join an existing team. Select “Create Team”
  • Just fill in the blanks, one of which is a team name. Let your creativity shine!
  • That's it!
You can personalize your team page with photos, craft your own message and invite others to join your team.

Happy fundraising!
For more answers to your team fundraising questions, please visit here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Running’s Impact on Your Health

We love to run. And if we do not love to run at the moment, there will most likely be a time when we cross over that training threshold and we surprise ourselves by thinking “wow, this makes me feel great”, as our feet pound the pavement. That love of running is a real thing and there are physical and mental reasons for it.

Running . . .
  • builds a strong heart (aerobic exercise)
  • clears your mind, whether you run solo or with a group
  • lowers your stress level by releasing feel-good endorphins
  • makes your skin glow thanks to the sweat removing toxins from your body
  • encourages you to eat healthier. You just ran, why “ruin” that time with a doughnut?
  • strengthens your bones, thanks to the “stress” created from your feet hitting the ground
  • increases your self control. Accomplishing a run puts you in control of that moment, which improves your confidence, which only improves all other facets of your life.
  • sheds the pounds
  • can help you drop bad habits. Instead of participating in whatever vice you choose, go for a run
  • brings people together. You will always have something to bring up in conversation, you will recognize people from the trail or treadmill and you may start running in festivals.
  • changes lives. It will make you feel better both physically and mentally and you will most likely find yourself paying it forward.

We wish you happy and healthy running!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Recipe: Weeknight Maple-Glazed Salmon

Weather here in Central Maryland has felt more like September than August, but do not cover your grill up yet! Summer is a great time to grill and this simple Maple-Glazed Grilled Salmon is a great way to enjoy a protein full of flavor and “good” fat. This recipe only calls for five ingredients, pairs well with many different sides, and is ready in 30 minutes!

Maple Glazed Salmon (Angela Simpson)
Shopping List:
  • 4 raw salmon fillets (aim for 5oz each)*
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

*salmon fillets with the skin on will be easier to grill, try to pick those
How to prepare:
  1. Combine the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a resealable gallon plastic bag.
  2. Add the salmon fillets to the bag, seal it, try to gently cover the fillets with the marinade, and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes. If you plan on leaving them for longer than 10 minutes, place the bag in the refrigerator.
  3. Lightly oil the grill and preheat to medium-high.
  4. Carefully remove the salmon fillets from the bag and place on a plate. Save the marinade.
  5. Sprinkle the fillets with sea salt and black pepper. Place fillets skin-side up on the grill.
  6. You want to cook for two to three minutes.
  7. Flip each fillet  so they should are skin side down and cook for another six months (if your fillet is thicker than an inch, cook for a little longer)
  8. Brush the fillets with the maple-balsamic marinade.
  9. That’s it!
For a complete, tasty meal, like the one seen here, serve with your favorite seasonal vegetables and  a starch (sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice).

Enjoy and let us know in the comment section how it turned out.

This recipe is from http://greatist.com/health/maple-grilled-salmon-healthy-recipe and can be adapted to suit a single diner or a full table.

Photo credit: Angela Simpson

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

You've Started Training, Now Start Fundraising!

You have registered for your Y of Central Maryland Turkey Trot Charity 5K, you have pulled your running shoes out from the closet, and now it is time to start fundraising.

By the time this year wraps up, the Y of Central Maryland will have provided financial assistance to over 600 children. In 2014 we hope to serve thousands of disadvantaged children in our region, thanks to your help. We are challenging all of our Turkey Trot runners and walkers to raise $100 each. If every Turkey Trot Charity 5K participant raises at least $100, the impact on our community will be incredible. More children in Central Maryland will have safe, caring and educational places to spend their days, with access to preschool, camp and before and after school care.

So, how do you start? We have made it really easy. It only takes two steps to start your online fundraising page here

Then share it with your friends and family. You can share it on Facebook through the page you have just created and email it, just by adding your friends’ and family’s email addresses to the pre-written email message. Everything is formatted and prepared for you, you just have to activate your account!

The easiest way to raise $100 in a jiffy? Ask ten friends for $10 or five friends for $20. Call them and say something as simple as “Hi, I am running in the Y’s Turkey Trot Charity 5K to support disadvantaged children. Would you be willing to donate $20 to help me reach my goal and kids in need?”. It works! People care. People care about you. People care about children in need. You just have to ASK.

We cannot wait to see your fundraising page come alive! Keep checking back for more fundraising ideas.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mix It Up!

Even though we are all focused on completing a 5K in November, you should not limit yourself to running as your only form of exercise. Cross training is important as it causes muscle confusion, meaning that you work more and different muscles and you are less likely to plateau. When you continuously do the same type of exercise, without much variation, you are prone to injury from overusing muscle groups and joints. Why not try some of these ideas?

  • Join your local Family Center Y for group fitness classes like yoga, boot camp, dance, BodyPump, and more!
  • Try some workouts from Pinterest
  • When was the last time your played basketball or tennis?
  • Ask your Facebook friends what they are doing to stay active
  • Find workout plans specifically for runners, like yoga for runners or cycling for runners
  • Work out at your local playground – chin ups, crossing the monkey bars, dips, and more
  • Run around with your children (or dog) – lots of lateral movements which counteract your running stride
  • Swimming! In the ocean, the Bay, lake, or pool

Share with us how you plan to mix it up in the comments section!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Special Invitation!

As you know, the Y Turkey Trot is a charitable event. The proceeds (about $12 per entry) help children throughout Central Maryland whose families live in poverty, enjoy enriching Y programs.

This year we are giving you an easy new way to help us put more "Thanks" and "Giving" into Thanksgiving!
Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassador Invite

Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassadors will:
  • be given all the easy tools they need to get the job done
  • be a part of a super special elite group of kind people
  • get a really snazzy, long sleeve Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassador performance shirt
  • have an easy and fun way to live the tradition of giving which Thanksgiving is all about
Interested? Ready to go? Wanna know more?

Contact Lindsay Crone at lindsaycrone@ymaryland.org or call 443-322-8031.

On behalf of all the children you will help, THANK YOU!

Team Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Friday, August 2, 2013

Recipe: Post-Run Blueberry Recovery

Blueberry Smoothie Cups

Want a recovery shake but don't feel like pulling out a ton of ingredients? Keep these smoothie cups in your freezer. They contain everything that your body needs postrun—just blend one or two with your liquid of choice. Feeling adventurous? Make them with tangy goat's milk, which contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fats than cow's milk. It's also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. "These minerals work together to improve bone strength," says Tara Gidus, M.S., R.D., a sports dietitian and marathoner. Ricotta cheese is rich in whey protein (ideal for recovery), while blueberries fend off inflammation.

Cool Down: In a blender, combine 2 cups milk, 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup ricotta, ½ cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup almond butter, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend till smooth. Pour into a 12-cup muffin pan and freeze. Unmold cups, place in a bag, and store in the freezer. To make a smoothie, blend 2 chopped smoothie cups with 1 cup milk.

Picture from: http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-grow-blueberries.html