Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strawberry Apple Protein Muffins

Strawberry season is here! I love strawberries and when I can make them in a delicious muffin, I like them even more!

Here is view of what the inside looked like. So delicious!


  • 2 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 c. egg whites
  • 1 1/2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla flavor)
  • 8 oz. apple baby food (or you could use unsweetened apple sauce!)
  • 1/4 c. xylitol
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped strawberries (1 c. is what I added to the initial batter, I added about 1/2 c. more later)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix ingredients well. If you want to ensure your strawberries are distributed evenly, you can pour the batter first (without the strawberries) into the cupcake tin then add the berries yourself.
3. Let bake for about 10 minutes then sprinkle in some more chopped strawberries. (Clearly I really like strawberries!)
4. Let muffins cook for 10 more minutes for a total baking time of 20 minutes.

*Sidenote - I'd personally try and chop the strawberries a little smaller next time I make these but others preferred the larger "garnish" looking strawberries on top. It's really up to you!

Makes about 14 muffins.

Remember, clean eats tend to have a short shelf life! If you don't plan on using them within about 2 days I'd definitely recommend moving them to the fridge or freezer. You can always reheat them!


For this week's Running and Reading Long post I decided to choose the topic of pacing. This topic has always fascinated me, especially since I'm now a long distance runner. That's right, little me! says,

  • "The biggest mistake you're likely to make in a half marathon is starting too fast. It's crucial that you resist the urge to go out fast at the start because you're excited. "
Um, yes. I can attest to that one. In both of my other races I started off thinking, "man I'm passing everybody!" Then a few miles in they all passed me.

  • Another tip, "If it's a large race, avoid weaving in and out of the runners at the start-this wastes a lot of energy."

Guilty again. Throughout the Tinkerbell I was weaving so much I could have made a basket!

  • "You should have settled into your desired goal pace somewhere around the first mile. Keep things under control until you're past 5 miles, and gradually start picking up your tempo. Do not pick your pace up in a short fast burst-it should be done over a half-mile or more. Speed up almost imperceptibly."
I need to work on this. Last race, I felt like my energy was evenly distributed till about mile 10 when I hit my wall. O2O I'm hoping to pace better, even if it means that I'm overall slower. I don't want to hit a major wall (or at least not at mile 10.)
  • "Try running with a group-this helps tremendously. Sharing the goal and motivating each other reduces your perceived effort. Just make sure the pack is running at your pace."
I think I'll definitely try this during the race. But, the "group" won't know that I  chose them as "my group." Does anyone else notice how about halfway through the race you end up in "a group?" That's one of my favorite aspects of racing - really makes it feel like we're in it together.

Training wise, as horrible as this may sound, I'm not even sure where I'm at right now! Incase you were wondering, yes this is the worst feeling ever. I'm just focusing on getting through Sunday's half-marathon in one piece, enjoying the race, not put too much pressure on myself, then really getting back on track. I'm am, however, learning little things about my body. For example, I don't think my body likes to run every day; especially if I want to do high mileage (aka half-marathons.) My body likes breaks and even though I don't like that mentally, I have to surrender to what my body wants in order to stay injury free. A second thing I've learned is NO DAIRY before I run. I feel like this should have been a no brainer (way to go Danielle) but now I make an effort to be more mindful about what I eat and when I eat it.

Chocolate Banana Soft Serve

This is so simple, quick, and perfect for that stubborn sweet tooth! 

I'll admit, it's not the prettiest treat but it definitely makes up for it's unfortunate look in flavor! 

I also love that it's a cold dessert! Perfect for that hot summer weather.

  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 1/3 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • Xylitol to taste (I used a pinch or two)
  • Splash almond milk (optional - I added a few splashes to mine. Makes it a little more "soup" like, but I'm a weirdo and prefer it that way.)

1. Cut a banana in half and freeze it. Make sure you take the peel off first!
2. Mix all ingredients in a blender (I bet it would work just as well, if not better, in a food processor I just don't happen to have one.)
3. Blend for about 10 seconds or until its a consistency you like. The blend time may vary according to your blender.

This dessert is perfect for me since one of my favorite desserts is chocolate covered bananas! You might also want to sprinkle in some almonds - yummy! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's the life between the miles

O2O is approaching so quickly! For those of you who don't know, I'll be running in my third half-marathon this Sunday. An on going battle with shin splints has continually set back my training but I'm trying to stay positive that I'll finish strong.

In these last couple days before the race I'm making every effort to drink more water. Last race I think I only focused on my water intake the day before which didn't work out so well. My insides were killing me the rest of the day. Apparently you can't hydrate with margaritas and coffee either. Boo. (I'm joking, I only drink margaritas post-race or days that end in "y.")

Truthfully, I wish I would have trained more. I feel like I say that before every race, but for this one its especially true. I don't think I had enough long runs in. Longest run was probably 9 miles? I wanted to hit 11 or 12 before this race but it didn't end up happening. These two little things called life and shin splints got in the way of that. Mostly the latter.

Enough griping from me, I should be grateful that I have legs and the ability to run. Plus, training runs and races are different. Training runs can get a little "blah" but race running is usually very exciting! Endorphins flowing, adrenaline pumping, fans cheering, Gu's flying, Gatorade spilling. There is so much energy and excitement going on. Another great aspect of races is the huge sense of respect among runners for just getting out there and completing the race. Runners are usually great about cheering each other on! 

And you secretly hope you can outrun someone at the finish line. 
Or be like me and make it happen...
Sorry Mr. 295, I'm coming through! 

I need to remember that this is just one race. Racing should be for enjoyment, not for the sole purpose of hitting a PR every single time! Your family will still love you if you don't PR. Unless you're Kara Goucher and an Olympic medal is on the line. No pressure, Kar! 

Those who come to cheer you on are excited for you and proud of you for putting in the work to finish such a feat! (Trust me, I'm telling myself all of this just as much as I'm trying to convey it to you.) As SarahOUaL says, "It's the life between the miles that counts."

One last positive note, I've successfully avoided catching a cold or any other annoying sickness aka endurance killers before this race. Both previous races were interrupted with sickness so kudos to that!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Turkey Chili

Here's a great turkey chili recipe for you guys! We make this at least once a week at my house.

1 Package lean ground turkey
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with peppers (or without peppers if you like it less spicy)

Add seasonings to taste:
Chili pepper ground
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Dried cilantro
Onion salt
Garlic Salt
Worcestershire sauce
If you don't have all of those, that's okay! Use what seasonings you have handy. We typically mix up the ratios each time (a dash of this, a little of that) to get a bit of a unique taste since we have it so often.

1. Brown the ground turkey in a pan
2. While turkey is browning, add all other ingredients to the crockpot
3. Add cooked turkey to the crockpot and let the chili simmer for about 30 minutes

The cost for this meal is approximately 10 dollars and is definitely kid friendly too!

How could I make this leaner and cleaner?
If you're trying to really lean out I'd use less beans (starch) and add more turkey (protein). I didn't because with my race coming up, I'm not looking to cut carbs right now. You could also used fresh diced tomatoes instead of canned, but for me it was just more convenient.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fit Girl Thoughts

Being "fit" is not simply a physique transformation; it is an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle. I don't believe that "fit" is defined by having ripped abs year round. Fit is not a size nor is it a destination. Fit is being the healthiest "you" that you can be. I believe that on the road to achieving better health you have to work from the inside out. You have to start with the intangible aspects of yourself and get those in line before you can make lasting outward change. Here are a couple tidbits of information to hopefully give you some food for thought.

What you put into your body, shows on the outside
Ever notice how people who eat healthier tend to have a younger, less aged look about them? There are obviously a variety of factors but a huge aspect is due to diet. Whatever constitutes the majority of your diet is what your body is using as building blocks for your skin, hair, nails, etc. I also want you to realize that these same building blocks are going towards your heart, kidneys, liver and other organs. Outer appearance can be a huge indicator of internal health. It's also important to note that your body is probably shoveling the building blocks from your diet to the vital organs much before they even reach your hair.

One of the harder aspects, I think, about this entire process is owning up to your choices. Not many people want to take responsibility for their physique. Yes, I know, some people have hormonal imbalances and other health issues but outside of those cases, people don't want to see the truth. I love that quote, "don't get mad about the results you're not seeing from the workouts you didn't do." Many people complain, "this is hard!" or "I don't have time to workout." Here's my view: reflect on a typical week in your life. Whatever consumes most of your time, whatever you eat, however much you exercise, etc. is what you value. Until you value whatever steps are necessary to reach your goals, you really don't want them that bad.

Some things are black and white. Hormones play a huge roll in fat loss. The "low calorie" model has been debunked time and time again. You can eat 1,000 calories a day of cheesecake and still lose weight but how will you feel? Will your body feel nourished? Definitely not! Stress, diet and exercise all have roles in becoming "fit." The extent of their individual roles vary among people. You also have to get your mental game face on for positive change.  If you don't embrace change, you will always be at the same spot you're at.

"Clean eating" seems to be different for everyone. I don't mean to disrespect or "ding" any books, philosophies, people or Facebook pages out there. I truly believe that most have the best intentions but I think its important that people realize that they too, have a bias and their own version of clean eating. Some pages will tell you that "sugar free syrup is clean" while others say "no way." Some say that you should never used canned vegetables while other's say "its okay."Every page, every person is going to have their own version of so called "clean eating." Is this bad? Is this good? I'm not out to put down anyone's plans but this is where I want Fit Girl Daily to come in and help. I advise people to focus on what is working for them, in their state of life, on a day to day basis, for lasting positive change.

I am not here to tell you to not use canned vegetables. I am here to tell you that using canned vegetables will always be better than not eating vegetables at all. I am here to tell you that any goal you set for yourself has value. I realize that not everyone is trying to become a lean body builder; some just want to be more confident in day to day wear and that's great! Positive change of any sort deserves praise! I believe that praise propels people towards a locomotion of positive change.

If you want to run a 5k, I can help. If you want to lose a few pounds and keep it off, I can help. If you want to kick the habit of smoking, I can help. If you want to completely lean out, I can help you with that too. I want to help everyone no matter where you're at in your journey for change. My style is not to rip you out from whatever emotional eating burdens you're bearing, my approach is much lighter. My style is to give you a platform for change. I can give you tools, go-to's, advice and encouragement but I can't give you the most valuable tools of all: a positive attitude, an open mind, and a yearning for change.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 Tips (so far) for new runners!

So you're thinking about starting to run? GREAT! Welcome to an amazing sport that has so many benefits. I can truthfully say that I love running and never thought I'd be so into it. This coming from the ex-softball player who used to dread the pre-practice warm up lap! Now, I'm running half marathons :)

Here's some of tips that I've learned from my experience to help you get started!

1. Research - I've never seen this tip before but in my opinion, its the most important. You have to make an effort on your part to learn and that most likely comes from doing your own research. Some topics that you may need to research are: what products you do (and don't!) need, proper training plans, race advice, nutrition for training, and injury treatment. Runner's World is great! It's the best way to improve your running, make smart purchases and prevent injury.

2. Proper Gear - You'll find out pretty quickly what apparel is working for you and what's not. First and most importantly, go to a running store (not a generic sports store!) and get fitted for shoes by someone who knows running shoes. I know Road Runner Sports offers this service and it should be free. I am definitely not saying to buy something just because it has a high price tag, I'm saying to do your research and invest in what's right for you and your body. It's better to make the investment now than to pay for it later with injury, blisters, chaffing, etc.
      Basic gear to start with: running shoes, socks, and a quality sports bra

3. Start out SLOW - Okay, so you may know someone who "decided to pick up running again" and plows out 4 miles a day at a 7:30 pace. (Ahem, Eric) But don't risk an injury by jumping into the same running plan that your friend uses. Your body is unique and improvements in running take time, patience, and practice!

4. Hydrate - Hydration is so important for you physically and mentally for running. If you're ever feeling sluggish, first thing you should do is note your water intake for the day (and even past few days!) Always bring water with you on a run or make sure your training route has water fountains. Seriously. Don't try and "tough it out" because it just back fires.

5. Ice and Stretch - If you're serious about running consistently (without injury) these are pretty much unavoidable. I try to ice after pretty much every run on both my knees and shins. Some people even ice their hips. I also stretch for 5-10 minutes and now I'm starting to foam roll. I've also experienced benefits from compression socks.

6. Start Training by Time Then Use a Designed Plan - If you're a complete newbie, start running for time. Say, 20 minutes or so 3 times a week. After that, you can work your way up to longer runs. From there, I'd recommend starting a training plan. A training plan is very beneficial because good plans are designed in such a way that they take into account human physiology and adaptation. (I wish I would have started one from the beginning. I think it definitely would have saved me from shin splints!) There are so many plans out there that will work with your busy life! In my opinion, its best to look for one that will emphasize the quality of the workouts instead of the quantity. You don't need to be running 7 days a week to improve! Plans also give you a source of guidance and accountability to better prepare you for success.

7. Intervals - Intervals are extremely beneficial for endurance and can be used by any runner. Beginners can do walk to run intervals. Try something like a 1 min run, 30 sec walk and repeat for the entire 20 minutes. Others may be able to run for 2-5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Advanced runners may do jog sprint intervals. I love intervals because you can mix them up so no workout is the same and anyone can do them!

8. Sign up for a Small Race - Races can be extremely motivating and give you a training "push" in a sense. If you have a race coming up, you're much more likely to get out there and train! Most cities have small races that you and the family can take part in! They're also remotely cheap compared to larger races and less intimidating (in my opinion!)

9. Training Nutrition - For me personally, there are things I cannot handle before a race and even a training run like milk, cheese, and coffee without ending up in the bathroom a few miles in. Sometimes I can feel it right when I start! Again, that's just me, I do know runners who can handle those before a race. The point is to always notice how food affects your body before and after a run. If something doesn't feel right, make sure to change it up. Some people are more sensitive than others!

10. Don't Switch It Up On Race Day - Never ever ever switch up what you're doing on a race day! Don't wear new shoes or new socks either! Stick to what you know on race day. Test out new foods, shoes, socks, etc. on training runs only.

If you have any questions about any of these, let me know, seriously. I've been there so I can help you out or at least point you in the right direction!

Any tips you'd like to offer someone new to running or racing?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2 Weeks Out

So I'm officially less than 2 weeks out from Ojai to Ocean. It's crunch time. As with my previous two races, I'm worried that I didn't train enough - not enough miles, not fast enough miles, not ready for the race. Worry, worry, worry.

Is it just me or the more races you get under your belt, the more pressure you feel to out perform yourself? Granted, I've only completed two races I still feel the pressure. It's like, "come on you need to PR. You need to make it worth your family's time to show up to your 6am race." That's half of me, and the other half is saying, "woman, calm it down! It's just ONE race. You have others."

With those mixed emotions I wonder, why do I race? Well, I race because I enjoy racing. There is something special about the unspoken camaraderie I feel with other runners. The self discipline I gain from the mental game. Testing my will and both my physical and mental strength. Learning to listen to my body. Encouraging myself to keep going. Encouraging other runners to keep going. I try to push hard through all 13.1 miles.

There comes that moment in every race where you ask yourself: how bad do I want this? Then, you have to decide.

I never want to walk away from a race thinking, "I could have ran harder" or "I could have run more."
I need to focus most of the time, but part of the time I need to just zone out during the race - not take it so seriously. In doing so, it doesn't mean I slow down, it just means I soak up the moment. I want to savor the excitement of the racing atmosphere and show appreciation for my fellow runners and whatever family members show up to cheer me on.

My goodness, there are so many elements to a race! I encourage you to try one out, of any length. Make just finishing your goal and I promise you'll see what I mean.
At the end of the day, I need to keep reminding myself: I'm a new runner! This is a journey! It's a process where I learn as I go. Each race is a lesson and as long as I give it my all, there is no need to be disappointed whatever the outcome may be.

How do you mentally prepare for a race?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let me check my schedule...

Went to the doctor today to see if I have a stress fracture or shin splints. He didn't think it was a stress fracture because I have no tenderness in the area and the pain is gone after I stop running. He also said the fact that I had successful runs without pain signify more shin splint like symptoms. Apparently a stress fracture would give me pain right away.

He advised me to watch my mileage increases (I completely agree) and to take my training much slower (than I'd like to). He also told me to foam role, stretch, ice, rest and when I resume running to take it extremely and cautiously slow.

 There goes my hopeful PR. Rats.

MTSS or Stress Fracture?
"A patient with MTSS has pain at the inner portion of the tibia in the middle of the lower leg and in the surrounding soft tissue. A patient with a stress fracture feels pain around the upper outside portion of the tibia. With MTSS, pain usually disappears once the activity that causes the pain is reduced or stopped. With a stress fracture, however, the patient usually experiences pain that does not go away with rest. The pain often persists with walking and increases when walking up steps or during similar moderate activity. The patient often complains of pain at night. A "one-leg hop test" is a functional test often used to distinguish between MTSS and a stress fracture. A patient with MTSS can hop at least 10 times on the affected leg; however, a patient with a stress fracture cannot hop without severe pain."
Luckily, I passed the hopping test.

Here's some tips to prevent shin splints and stress fractures:

1. In starting an exercise program, be conservative.  Outline the training regimen based on valid criteria and plan progression appropriately. Human physiology adapts at a fairly set pace so increasing training beyond that rate does not make
sense. Stick to the plan and monitor results.
2. Use good equipment.  Wear shoes designed for your particular style of running and your biomechanics.
3. Monitor calcium intake.  If necessary supplement 1000-1200 mg/day to ensure that adequate calcium levels are maintained.  Since calcium is only absorbed in
500 mg quantities, smaller supplements should be taken more than once daily.
4. Employ good nutritional habits. 
5. If excessively sore, allow more recovery time.
6. Test for muscle imbalances and use resistance training and flexibility exercises to correct these deficiencies.
7. Train on forgiving surfaces. Hard uneven surfaces can be problematic.
8. Treating shin splits: Rest from high-impact activities is usually the recommended treatment, along with using ice packs, warm soaks, protective wraps, and anti- inflammatory medications.

I thought maybe, if you're guys aren't doing anything, you'd want to go check out the Olympics in London. No biggie if you can't make it or don't enjoy free airfare and accommodations and tickets to the games. If you wanna pick up your own tab, that's cool too.
But just incase... Click here to enter the sweepstakes!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

R&RLong post 2

Right now I'm reading Kara Goucher's book Running for Women with Running & Reading Long. So far, I am really enjoying it! I love the bullet point style of the book so you don't feel like you're reading a novel.

Kara's love for running shines through the entire book as does her dedication, competitiveness and strong will. Unlike Kara, I didn't grow up running but playing other sports instead. Although our sports were different growing up, I see a lot of myself in Kara's personality; competitive, spunky, and somewhat stubborn. She'd train through injuries and I am guilty of that too. Not because I don't care, but because its very difficult mentally to accept and deal with an injury.

I love the various inspirational quotes she has throughout the book like "If you're getting out there and running, you're a runner." This empowered me, seriously. I guess I always had the mindset that unless I ran the entire run, had quality times, and had nice running gear I wasn't a runner. That's completely false. I'm a runner every single time I hit the asphalt.

I'm still learning, I'm not afraid or ashamed to admit that. You are really never done learning.

 Since Kara and I are sooo similar, I'm sure I'm right behind her in winning some Olympic medals. Call me Kara!

Training Wise...

I'm having my ups and downs. Some weeks I have no shin pain and other weeks I can't make it 2 miles without my shin throbbing. Today's run was one of those "shin pain" days so I ended up walking the majority of it. So frustrating when I have a race only a few weeks away.

Any advice on how to get through a few more weeks of this? I'm going to try and compress, ice and biofreeze a lot. I'm also looking into getting a foam roller too.

Salad talk

So yesterday was my day off today of both work and running. What did I decide to do? Try out Quiznos of course. I've never been there before! Is that Un-American? I'm not quite sure.
The whole idea sparked from a commercial of theirs I saw on TV. I am such a sucker for influential commercials and delicious looking salads.
When I walked in the door I had an image in my head of the exact salad I wanted: some kind of steak, egg, banana pepper, olive creation. But then I didn't see a steak salad on the menu! Did I dream up this salad for nothing? So I went with a Honey Mustard Chicken salad sans honey mustard.
I'm not a huge fan of cheddar cheese, but it worked. 

I can do some serious damage at a pepper bar. I really wanted to take a few more cups but I think the owner was staring me down. If you can't tell, those are stuffed full!

As you may or may not know, salads can be calorie dense and fat heavy depending on the ingredients and most importantly the dressing! One strategy I use to avoid to a lot of dressing or using any at all is loading my salads with a lot of flavor. For this salad, flavor happened to be peppers and pickles. High salt? Probably, but much better than loading on the ranch.

This is another salad I ate a few weeks back. This one was loaded with turkey, lentils, banana peppers, bell peppers, avocado, some provolone cheese, broccoli shreds and carrots. No dressing needed as long as I load up the flavor!

So sum up of advice: load up your salads with flavors you like and watch the dressings you use. There is no "right" way to make a salad so go crazy with foods you like. You may be surprised as how many veggies you can fit in there and how satisfied you'll feel after!

I'm still not quite sure I understand Quiznos. Are their really only 5 salad choices? Can I "make my own" salad? How fast can I plunge my face into their jar of banana peppers?

Clearly, I may need to try Quiznos again someday to answer all of these life changing questions.

Do you eat a lot of salads?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I refuse to get sick

Workout yesterday - 1.3 mile sprint intervals

Workout today - 5 mile run

Since I'm about 3 weeks out from the race I'm really making an effort to stay on top of my health. Not that I usually eat from a garbage can or sniff snotty tissues, but I am being a lot more conscious as the days dwindle down before the race.

One (maybe pointless, maybe not) effort I've been making is to eat more spinach. I am trying to eat a bowl about this size every day in addition to one of my meals or snacks.
Spinach is one of those "why isn't everybody eating this because its so insanely good for you that you should bathe in it" types of food. It's a great source of iron (women are usually lacking in that area) and of vitamin K to name a few benefits. Vitamin K helps promote healthy bone growth. It also has a ton of other benefits.

I've also been really diligent about taking my Women's multi-vitamin, L-glutamine pre and post workouts, and glucosamine.
I am really loving and seeing benefits from L-glutamine!

Not only am I taking good care of my health to prevent any kind of injury but everyone around me is sick right now! Is it like that where you are? O2O is just around the corner and I refuse to get sick. Did you hear that germs? I REFUSE!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I found a pacer!

Workout - rest day

After my 7 mile run yesterday, the Fit Girl Daily fam packed up and headed to the Fun Fit Clean Eating Family Reunion. Okay, not so "fit" and "clean" but totally fun. I definitely ate my weight in tri-tip and baked beans.

I didn't take a picture because I inhaled it too fast but just imagine Texan cooked tri-tip and savory slow cooked baked beans.

This pic wasn't at the actual family reunion (but pretty much the same people so you get the idea.) It was actually taken at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party a few years back. It's also when a few of my cousins and I were baptized (hence the white robes.) Can you spot me?

This was the first family reunion where I was able to talk to my collegiate athlete cousin about running. He's one of the insane aliens athletes running 70+ miles per week. He can run 5 miles in about 25ish minutes. To some that may be "normal" but to me that's insane.
Guess what! The running stud of the family (second from the left) agreed to pace me in a race! I'm so excited! We're looking for a race near his hood in San Diego for this summer. Do you know of any races in the SD area? I'd prefer a smaller one, but really I'm just looking for something to run in! I told him my goal pace is somewhere north of an 8 min mile in a half marathon. He laughed and said he could do it NBD.

My goals are first and foremost, to stay injury free. Second, continue to improve my endurance and third increase my overall pace. So....basically continue my journey in becoming a better runner.

Have you ever used a pacer in a race? I really like the idea because it allows me to think less but I'm hoping it doesn't backfire and cause me to be in head too much. That's clearly a dangerous place to be!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm irresistible

Today was the long run - 7 miles. I pumped out the first 4 NBD (no big deal). Then 5 was tough and 6 and 7 were challening but I still finished strong. Now this is how I'm feeling:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Own These Truths and Become Unstoppable

I am going to straight forward with you when I say that I absolutely love meeting people who want to change something in their life. Whether it be overcoming a battle of emotional eating, training to run a 5k, or just simply wanting to adopt healthier habits. 

When I follow other Facebook pages or blogs I always wonder: what's their story? What fuels them? What planted the seed?

For whatever reason that is personal to them, these people have decided to change something in their life. I admire that. They don't settle. They have overcome obstacles. These people should be celebrated. 

As we celebrate these people it made me think: what separates them from the rest of the pack? Why did they succeed? Why can't I succeed?

It's a hard pill to swallow realizing that I don't have it all down but its the truth; I don't. But, what I do realize is even more valuable: the truth is I can succeed. I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I am the only thing standing between me and my goals.

There is no time for excuses, only improvements. Own these 5 truths and become unstoppable:

Truth 1: No one is going to do this for you
  • Sorry, but there is no "app" for this. There is no "easy button." You could hire a personal trainer, a running coach, or a personal chef but it doesn't matter. You're either going to do it or you're not. Here's a little hidden truth about motivation: the sweetest successes are from personal perseverance. 
Truth 2: You are where you're at
  • You are not the same person you were 5 years ago. Don't dwell on how you got to where you're at. I don't care where you're coming from or how many times you've failed in the past: IT DOESN'T MATTER. You are where you're at. Pick yourself up. If you want this, you will do it. You will make time. You will plan, struggle, fight and do.
Truth 3: Don't aim for perfection, aim for improvement
  • How many people do you know that are so-called 'perfect'? Small improvements build confidence in yourself. Utilize that confidence to fuel you. Progress is the sum of small efforts day in and day out and progress is a sure way to success. 
Truth 4: You cannot change the cards you are dealt, only how you play the hand
  • You cannot change the fact that your neighbor eats dessert every night but doesn't gain a pound. You cannot change your genetics. There is absolutely no point in pointing out what others can and can't do. How is that going to get you to your goals? It's not. Focus on you and how to be the best that you can be.
Truth 5: No one has ever said this wasn't worth it
  • No one completes a marathon and says, "wow that was a waste." No one defeats the demon of emotional eating and says, "man I miss that guy."No one wants to go back to the start. This doesn't mean that they don't have set backs, it just means that they have the desire to keep going after they struggle.

"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." 
- Babe Ruth

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PRO Compression Product Review

When I knew I wanted to try some compression socks I made sure that I did research before I did anything. Compression isn't cheap, but if you invest in the right products, they are definitely worth the price! I was in the market for quality and a "cool look" would have definitely been a plus. Lucky for me, PROCompression has both! 

PROCompression gave me the opportunity to review both the Marathon Socks and Trainer Low Socks

Marathon Socks
I wore these before runs, during runs, post runs, through the night and even when I was just hanging around the house. Truthfully, I found them most helpful pre-run, post run and when I wore them over night. I woke up with that "fresh legs" feeling which I love!
I didn't see a huge advantage for myself during runs, but they didn't bother me at all either! My longest run in them was about 5 miles. I think if you're putting in serious miles though, they could definitely help during runs. Especially if you're susceptible to any type of calf pain!

Speaking of calf pain.... A few nights ago I was having throbbing lower leg pain in my right leg. Like so bad I wanted to cut my leg off cry. Not shin splints pain, just a really bad ache throughout my entire lower leg. I decided to wear the marathon sock to bed instead of taking Ibuprofen. I woke up and the pain was seriously gone! It's a MIRACLE QUALITY COMPRESSION!

These socks are very tight. Not uncomfortable, just tight. In my opinion, they should be very tight; it makes me feel like they're doing their job. If they weren't, I think they'd qualify as really long socks. I'm not in the market for just a pair of really long socks.

I will definitely end up wearing them a lot as I increase my mileage. Also, since I've already had shin splints, I feel very susceptible to shin pain. Fortunately these socks have been helping me recovery properly. I truly believe they have really helped not only get rid of my shin splints but prevent future ones from popping up and ruining a run.

Another bonus, I legitimately enjoy wearing them! They make my legs feel good.
I am already guilty of wearing them on a date or two!
Me rocking some compression at Coldplay last week

Trainer Low Socks
First of all, this pink color is super cute! I know, I know, its not the most important aspect of the sock... but it definitely doesn't hurt! I've worn them running, over night, around the house and even wore them to work since I'm on my feet so much at my job!

These socks are thick in the right areas, very tight and light weight. Every woman's physique dream! But really, they're probably one of the most comfortable socks I've ever worn.

I really like how snug they are yet they're breathable at the same time. My foot feels both supported and protected.

I hate when socks don't protect my toes and these definitely offer protection! I also don't get that weird "lump" near my toes when I put them on. Know what I'm talking about? I've experienced that with other socks before.

I love this padding in the heal too - I used to get pretty rough heels but this extra padding has helped with that a lot!

Another huge plus for PROCompression, the Facebook support was awesome! 

I had a question and they responded to me the same day. I'm a huge fan of quality customer service and this is it my friends!

If I had to just pick one to buy, initially I would have definitely gone for the Marathon sock first but now that I've had more experience with the Trainers, I'm so torn! I really love both products. I definitely see myself investing in some of these guys soon. And I probably need to because my boyfriend Eric keeps trying to steal my socks!

PROCompression really is a stand up company who makes their products right here in the US. I know that they've recently sponsored a  RAGNAR team by providing them with Marathon socks.

I feel great about supporting such a wonderful company. They have a monthly newsletter with special offers that you can sign up for here! Thank you again PROCompression for letting this awesome opportunity to review a few products.

Their products are great. Their service is great. Their styles are great.
Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy a pair compression socks from PROCompression! If you're on the fence about compression, PROcompression really is a great place to start - make sure to sign up for their newsletter and keep an eye out for deals too!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ending the semester, beginning a running program

This weekend was a real busy one! Lots of work and lots of homework. I literally sat at Barnes & Noble for 6 hours today. Ridiculous amount of work to do! Ridiculous.

This week is finals at my college so its kind of a high stress week coming up but I'm determined to stick to my plan. The Running & Reading Long Program starts this week and I'm super excited! I have been studying the training plan and everything looks pretty great. However, I may have to adjust some due to my race in 4 weeks.

Here's my plan:

Monday - run at 6:15am for 30-40 minutes
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - run 30-40 minutes
Thursday - long walk
Friday - rest
Saturday - long run **I may have to adjust this long run due to a family reunion that day, but we'll see!

How are your workouts looking for the week?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Coldplay Concert

Wednesday evening Eric and I headed down to LA to see Coldplay at the Hollywood Bowl. It seriously took two rounds through my closet and a trip to the mall to decide what to wear. I don't know why it was such a difficult decision!

What's really cool about the Hollywood Bowl is that you can bring in your own food to eat. Like, people bring picnic baskets with full on meals! My uncool self had no idea but Eric filled me in on all cool Hollywood Bowl secrets.

We decided to stop at BJ's in Glendale before the show to pick up our dinner. I was able to place our order for pick-up from Eric's iPhone during the car ride down. They really do have a app for everything!

On the walk back to our car Eric spotted a coffee shop and forced me to go in.
Then he forced me to drink a delicious coffee. I just can't tell the man no.

And he bought a kit-kat bar.
He was very proud of that kit-kat bar.

So then instead of parking at the Bowl Eric had the brilliant idea to park at the Los Angeles Zoo where they offer a shuttle to the Hollywood Bowl. I think it was $10 bucks for both of us? Not a bad deal since parking at the Hollywood Bowl is a complete nightmare.

The only bummer was that since it took about 30-45 minutes to get from BJ's to our seats in the stadium, our food was somewhat cold. But, it definitely beats paying for overpriced sushi and popcorn!
As we were walking into the Bowl they gave us these wrist bands to wear during the show.

 This was what it looked like
It was pretty awesome!

At one point during the show Coldplay ended up coming in the middle of the crowd to sing. Guess who ran over and snapped pics!
We weren't exactly close enough to smell his sweat, but we were definitely pretty close!

The show was great overall. Lots of audience interaction and they played all their big hits. I hate when bands don't include their major hits! I'd definitely recommend the show to anyone no matter how much of a Coldplay fan you are.

I spotted a celeb at the Bowl

 and then Eric spotted my compression socks
Dang, I guess I am a runner now!

** Also, if you want a win a pair of compression socks for free Yo Mama Runs is giving away a pair!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Call me crazy

Workout - 30 min run with a few hills (NO PAIN!)

All you need in life is PVC piping. Really. Call me crazy, but I really don't like spending a bunch of money on a piece of plastic that I could make at home. Maybe its a side effect of being a college student? I guess it just makes me feel like I'm outsmarting the corporate world. I think that is also a side effect of being a college student.

There's this stick, called The Stick
It retails for about $20

yes it seems cool. yes it has soft handles. yes it has pink on it (usually my weakness)
But I think I could save some dinero by making something comparable myself.

So what did I do? I made my own version from Green Thumb.
It may not work exactly the same, and it may not have any pink (sigh) but it rolls on my calf muscles and bottoms of my feet quite well! If I want more concentrated pressure I'll use a golf ball.
Take that corporate world!

Today I make the rookie mistake (really, when do I not make rookie mistakes?) of not checking my garmin before I stretched outside, warmed my legs up, and started jogging down the road. The screen kept flashing "Bezel Locked". 

Do I know how to unlock it? Nope. Do I want to turn back home and google how to unlock it? Double nope.
So I just kept jogging without my trusted garmin. It actually turned out to be a great run because I really had no care about distance. I was just focusing on my breathing, noticing my terrain, and thoroughly enjoying the run. I guess runners can survive without their garmin!

Most importantly, I haven't posted my picture in 3 posts, which is like, 3 post too many. Whose blog is this?.
Much better.

Tomorrow after I get out of class Eric and I are heading down to the Hollywood Bowl for a Coldplay concert! I've never been there before. Have you? We've had these tickets for literally months, I almost forgot we had them! Should be a great time.
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