Saturday, June 30, 2012

The time I ran an impromptu 5k race

So last Wednesday I had the genius last minute idea to join Eric in running a local 5k race. The race started around 6:15PM and I made the glorious, thought out, brilliant decision to join him in the race around 5PM.

I had never run a 5k race before so I really had no idea what to expect. The first thing I noticed was that it is so different from half-marathon running! People were like, running fast. A real no brainer that I hadn't considered.

Since about an hour is clearly enough time to prepare for a race I was bound to do well. Some people train weeks or months for 5k races; I defy all of them by going an hour later. I wasn't fully hydrated, I barely stretched and didn't take any Ibuprofin before the run... just setting myself up for disaster.

Despite my lack of preparation I was still excited to run. Racing is always fun no matter how big or small the race is but racing with aching shins is not fun under any circumstance. I felt them ache from the moment the race started. I was able to push through the pain during mile 1 but it just went down hill from there. 

After 1.4 miles I started talking walk breaks. My shins felt like they were about to give out. It was horrible. I'd take a walk break then start up again clenching through the pain and hoping they would go numb but they just got worse and worse. 

I ended up finishing in 28:29 which isn't stellar (for me) but I'll take it. My splits were:
Mile 1: 8:20
Mile 2: 9:02 <---I was actually starting this mile out around a 7:45 pace but then ended up walking a portion of it. Bummer.
Mile 3: 10:10 <---Lots of walk-run-almost-falling-over-in-pain-intervals
Still not meeting my goal of negative splits but I refuse to give up on that. 

What frustrates me the most is that my shins are so moody! I thought I was the moody one around here but apparently my shins took the crown. One day they're fine and the next they're filled with stabbing pains. So frustrating.

Someday I will run pain free again and reach every goal I have. I'm off to foam roll, ice and massage these shin splints away before my next race on 4th of July (a 10k).

I'm still chasing my dreams.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't forget those veggies!

Your D for today is Don't forget those veggies! Here are 5 tips to incorporate more veggies in your every day diet.

1. Throw veggies in a smoothie - You can easily add a handful of spinach to any smoothie! It's a great way to incorporate more greens without the "veggie" taste.

2. Use veggies instead of pasta noodles - You can get a Spiral Slicer or a Mandolin Slicer at most cooking stores. Or you could use a vegetable peeler to create fun noodle shapes out of veggies. Try zucchini, spaghetti squash, and eggplant. Top with your favorite pasta sauce. (source)

3. Make "veggie wraps" - Use large romaine leaves to make wraps. Super quick and delicious! Stuff them like tacos, burgers, etc. I do this all the time!

4. Stuff veggies - Bake bell peppers stuffed with rice, chicken, cabbage, or other delicious healthy foods! There are tons of delicious ways to bake veggies with. It doesn't have to look pretty, it just needs to taste good!

5. Have pre-cut veggies with a side of hummus ready to go - If you've already cut them up, you're more likely to eat them. I know some people even portion them out in serving size containers for an even quicker snack!

Make sure to see what other "D" tips the ladies have for you today!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Clean Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Today is the letter C so of course the first thing that came to my mind was chocolate! I am a huge chocolate girl so when I thought about what to make another c word came to mind - comfort. Chocolate  and comfort had to be accompanied by another c word though...clean! Now we have the best of both worlds!

Here's my recipe for clean cinnamon chocolate protein pancakes!

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 c. oatflour
1 scoop protein powder (I used chocolate flavor)
1/3 c. egg whites
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. water
2 tsp xylitol
cinnamon to taste

Makes 6-8 pancakes depending on the size you make them. If you don't want to use them all at once, don't forget that you can freeze them for later!

Make sure to see what other "C" things the ladies have for you today!
Fit and Healthy with Debbie Reichert
My Think Fit
Sexy Mother Runner
Fit Mama Lindsey

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Believe that you can do it and you will do it!

is for Believe in yourself! Stop talking yourself down with "I can't" or "it'll never happen." Chase your dreams! Fight for it! Why not you? You have the power within you to accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Believe in yourself and do not compare yourself to others. This is your journey - you're the star! You write the story. Every move, every line; its your story to write. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing. This is about you. This is your journey, your path, your fight!

Go out and get it! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Anywhere Workout!

There is a very exciting collaboration this week between myself and the lovely ladies from MyThinkFitFit and Healthy with Debbie Reichert, Sexy Mother Runner, and Fit Mama Lindsey. This entire week we have teamed up to give you guys a variety of workouts, recipes and tips to get you moving towards your goals! Every day this week be sure to check all of our pages as we will all be posting something different for you! Each day all of us will follow a certain letter theme. Since today is the first day it only seemed fitting to start with the letter A!

I've heard it time and time again that people have a hard time getting their daily exercise in because they "don't have time" or "don't have a gym membership." While I understand that exercise isn't always the most convenient activity, I bet it can be fit in somewhere nonetheless!  I am very excited to share with you guys an Anywhere Workout! This workout is extremely flexible and could virtually be done anywhere. You don't need a fancy gym for this one!

This short workout should take you less than 30 minutes including a light warm up and post workout stretch! You could even do it while you're watching TV!

Choose 4 different moves from the list below. Repeat the moves in a circuit style workout moving from one exercise to the next for a total of 20 minutes. I love the Metabolic Effect rule of "push until you can't, then rest until you can." Meaning, go through the moves as quickly as possible while still maintaining proper form. If you need to rest, that's okay! Rest. When you feel as though you can get back to it, begin right where you left off.

See how many rounds you can complete in the 20 minutes. Try the same series of moves again at a later date to see how much you've improved!

Workout Model
Exercise 1 
Exercise 2
Exercise 3
Exercise 4 
repeat circuit for a total 20 minutes

Exercises: 10 reps of each unless specified otherwise

  • Push ups against a wall or counter (or standard push ups)
  • Bent over fly (weighted or unweighted)
  • Shoulder press (weighted or unweighted)
  • Chest press (weighted or unweighted)
  • Tricep dips using a chair, counter or bench
  • Squats (modify to single leg or other variations if desired)
  • Lunges
  • Wall sit (30 sec)
  • Hip bridges

Energy Systems Work: 10 reps of each unless specified otherwise

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Burpees
  • High Knees (30 sec)
  • Squat Jumps 
  • Mountain climbers (30 sec)

I let you choose the 4 moves so that the workout is even more flexible! If you want more advanced variations let me know and I will give you some ideas. Every move can be adjusted. Please note that I've listed the exercises "from the top down" meaning that the exercises listed first are more directed for upper body while going down the list work more of the lower body. I suggest incorporating a mix of both for a full body workout.

The last group are energy systems work which should be included as at least one of your exercises. If you are not physically able to add an energy systems portion to your workout, e-mail me and I will help you adjust the workout.

Don't have time to get a full workout in? 
If you don't have 20 minutes to get this workout in, pick ONE move and see how often you can fit that move in during the day! For example, I will sometimes do squats while heating up my afternoon tea and again at night while brushing my teeth.

After you've completed your workout go check out what the other ladies have for you today:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A little info on the dreaded topic of cellulite

Pretty much every woman I know has cellulite; overweight, average and petite alike. "While it's impossible to know just how many women are driven batty by cellulite, John Morgan, MD, a dermatologist in Columbia, S.C., estimates that about 85% of women have some cellulite." (source) I personally think this number is LOW!

According to the wonderfully talented and extremely knowledgeable Michelle LeSueur "cellulite is toxins that are stored in fat cells." Your body stores these toxins in your fat cells as a defense mechanism; your body is trying to protect itself! According to this article, cellulite mainly has to do with your toxin load. The higher your toxin load, the more cellulite you will most likely have. This is also why cellulite is not exclusive to overweight people.

So, where are these toxins coming from? Unfortunately, they're all around us! "They permeate our home, our office, our food, our car, even the air we breathe and the water we drink." We are exposed to 80,000 manmade chemicals in our day-to-day lives. (source) Its unrealistic to think that you can avoid all of the toxins we are exposed to. However, you can reduce your exposure as much as possible once you understand where they are found and the impact they have on your body.

Preventing and getting rid of cellulite is not just about looking better in a bikini, its about getting rid of cancer causing toxins in your body. The article states: "Throughout our lifetimes, toxins and carcinogens build up in our systems and can eventually cause the spontaneous ignition of cancerous growth cells. People are suffering from cancer at an all time high. According to the American Cancer Society, over the course of a lifetime, men now have a one in two chance of getting cancer and women a one in three chance. This year alone 570,280 people are expected to die of cancer—almost 1500 people a day!"

So, what do we do? Dieting is not the answer. In fact, dieting could make things work. Look at the diagram to the left from LeSeuer's page. (If you click on the picture, it will become larger.)

LeSeuer states, "this is why healthy weight loss is so important.  As we reduce our body fat, those toxins have to be eliminated via some kind of elimination system such as lymphatic, kidneys, liver, etc. If to many enter the system at once the system becomes overloaded and you see problems, for example water retention or swollen lymph nodes."

LeSeuer continues by saying, "cancer treatment still focuses mostly on cure, not prevention." 
Some of the most important preventative measures you can take include:

  • Eliminate smoking and alcohol intake
  • Control your weight (especially true for women)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Control and limit stress
  • Adopt a positive mental outlook (which is important in controlling cancer)
  • Eliminate toxic substances from your life
  • Feed you and your family organic foods
  • Use lotions and potions that are toxin free
This article by LeSeuer goes into more detail about what to look for on labeling, tips on lowering your toxin load, how to go about cleansing, etc.

What about the "magic pill" approach to getting rid of cellulite with creams, pills or ointments? 
"Cellulite creams are pure hype," says Alan Kling, MD, dermatologic surgeon specializing in liposuction surgery. "People need to remember that the beauty industry can make claims based on anecdotal evidence that have no scientific or medical backing whatsoever." (source)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just a quick update

So life has been full of highs and lows lately. My brother's graduation was a high, and my grandmother having open heart surgery was definitely a low but that turned into a high because she is up and poppin'

Another high is that I've been running...
.....I'm totally going to jinx myself, I just know it.... 
.....wait for it.... 
shin splint free!
I guess there is something to that whole taking care of your body thing. Who would'a known.

I also had to let the world know that I got this super cute Lululemon top. It was worth the ridiculous 45 minutes I sat in traffic to get to Santa Barbara. It's sad how happy new workout clothes make me.

With all of the festivities going on I apologize if I delay getting back to e-mails, questions, showering, etc. I should be back to my boring blogger self soon!

Just A Head's Up
**I have some exciting collaborations coming up so keep an eye out for that!
**I am still working on my post for the One Lovely Blog Award given to me by the wonderful Amy!
**I am also is the works of writing a blog about every woman's favorite topic: cellulite! I can hear your groans from here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Learn a little something from my experience

I am in love with running. This coming from the girl who played softball all her life and hated running to the fence and back to now pumping out half-marathons is huge. If you would have told me a year ago I'd be in love with distance running and I would have laughed at you. I hope to share these tips and encourage you that you can be a runner too! I am so proud of what I have accomplished (running entire half-marathons) and look forward to what my future in running holds (one day running a marathon)!

One thing I will say about running is that patience and persistence are key. I keep working at it even if I have a bad run. Running improvements take time; there is no "easy" button to running but every day, every run adds to your ability and furthermore, your success.

I am no Kara Goucher or even SR but here are a few things I've learned in my experience with half-marathon racing and just racing in general:

1. If you are just starting to toy with the idea of racing, I recommend following a designed plan. There are literally tons to choose from! I recommend choosing one that fits your lifestyle and fits what your body can handle. These plans are designed to work with your body and progress it in physiologically advantageous increments. This is best to train smartly and prevent injury (aka what should be your top two priorities!)

2. Start hydrating 3-4 days before the race and drink as much water as you can the day before. Seriously, drink a lot of water. Once you think you've hydrated adequately, drink some more. Your muscles are mostly water so it makes sense that if you want to be on top of your game race day, they'll need to be fully hydrated. If you need to mix it up, flavored water works well too.

3. Cut out foods that give you any issues the day before the race. For me, a huge culprit is dairy. It does not agree with my stomach before running at all. I've also heard that some people can't have too much fiber the day before the race. Remember that the longer you run, the more stress you are applying on your body and specifically your GI tract. The more stress on your GI tract could lead to increased food sensitivity so really pay attention to what you fuel your body with! On the other hand, I know some people with iron stomachs. This tip is truly unique to the individual but I still think its worth mentioning to pay attention to your diet. You do not want stomach issues during the race, trust me.

4. Make all outfit decisions and electronic preparation the night before the race. Before you go to bed try having your outfit laid out, ipod charging (if you run with an ipod), any energy gels, headbands, Garmin, etc. all set out and ready to go. You do not want to be frantically searching for your socks race day morning! Some typical things I will lay out are: race top, race bottoms, any throw away jackets if I'm bringing one, sports bra, socks, shoes, BIC Band, ipod, Garmin, GU gels, Clif bar and a water bottle. Make it as easy on yourself as possible race day morning!

5. Arrive to the start line early! You're already stressing enough! Make it easier on yourself by planning on getting to the start line 45 minutes early. Granted, this does depend on the size of the race, parking availability, shuttle times, etc. Have a game plan before race day of what time you plan on arriving. Plan for traffic too! If you end up getting there "too early" (doubtful, but you never know) it gives you first dibs at the Porta-Potties... that's a win in itself! Getting there early will also give you enough time to warm up, stretch and use the restroom as many times as you might need.

6. Once you arrive to the starting area make sure your shoes are tied, bib secured and outfit positioned comfortably. Seriously, check your shoes. I've made this mistake before and had to stop at mile 2 to tie my shoe! What a time killer! Make sure that your bib is positioned so that it won't bother you during the race. I usually forget mine is even there! Also, choose an outfit for the race that you feel comfortable running in. I don't recommend trying a brand new outfit race day. You don't want to risk chaffing or outfit discomfort during the race!

7. Go to the bathroom before the race! Even if you don't think you have to go, go. Make yourself sit in the pot until something comes out. You do not want to get a few miles in and start to feel a rumble in the jungle if you know what I mean.

8. Don't start out too fast! - I know you hear this everywhere but there's a reason: everyone does it. You're excited, it just happens naturally! But, try your best to start out conservatively and pick it up to your desired race pace gradually. You don't want wear yourself out too early in the race. Been there, done that. Not fun.

9. Drink water and some electrolyte drink during the race. The longer your race, the more fuel your body will need for optimum performance. An electrolyte drink does not necessarily have to be gatorade/powerade. I know some people's stomachs can't handle the sugar in those drinks. If you are one of those people, I've heard Nuun is great. I take water at every station and an electrolyte drink once. You'll figure out what you need the more races you do. Staying hydrated is really important, especially if its a hot race! You can"pinch" the cup into a funnel to prevent spilling everywhere. I wish I would have known that earlier; it would have been nice to not have gatorade all over my face and shirt.

10. Take energy gel's before you feel your energy drop. Don't wait until you're tired to take them! This is key to utilizing them! For me, they take about 15-20 minutes to "kick in" so I try and plan them accordingly. Last race I only took 1 Gu at about the half way mark. Whatever energy gels you decide to use, experiment with them to make sure they don't upset your stomach before race day. Some races will hand out gels during the race but I prefer to bring my own since I know what gels agree with my stomach.

11. Savor the race! Yes, it is a "race" but I encourage you to soak it all in. There is SO much going on and I hope you'll take the opportunity to embrace it. Trust in your training, encourage runners around you, push yourself, feed off of the fans, listen to your body, soak in the scenery, embody the energy. Don't let yourself cross the finish line without feeling like you gave it everything you had.

Sometimes its crazy to think you could put 12 or more weeks into training for one race! ONE RACE! With all of that preparation you'll want to make sure you give it everything you got and that definitely starts before race day. If you have any questions please contact me! I'd love to get you moving in the right direction!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ojai to Ocean Race Recap

Since I was going into this race with little expectation and a lot of anxiety I really had no idea what was going to happen. No idea why I feel so anxious before every race; it's not like my life depends on it or I'll get fired if I don't PR. I even get pre-race nightmares where I forget my shoes or can't find the start line! Do you get bad dreams before races or am I just a weirdo?

Anyway, I woke up at 4:30am, got dressed and put on make up because there were race photos and I do not want to look like this again:
I have a little more pride this time. Who is that zombie?
It's my own personal opinion here but I'd rather be looking a little cute while shoving bananas and Think Thin bars down my throat post race.

Here I am in all my glory eating a Clif Bar before the race
Along with a clif bar, I try and drink about 16oz of water before the start. My pre-race hydration was spot on this time in my opinion.

Got to the start line. Pinned on my bib. Used the luxurious Porta-Potti. Waited to start.
The race was supposed to start at 6 but didn't end up starting until about 6:15. Kind of annoying but I was chatting with my friend so I forgave them for starting late.

The first few miles flew by. I was surprised at how fast the time and miles were ticking! I think it was partially because I was so excited to see my friends and family along the route. I kept telling myself, "okay, a few more miles, then you'll see them cheering you on!"It's amazing how much a great support system can bring you up in a race!

I kept checking my Garmin and trying to maintain a pace that didn't feel like I was "pushing it." I took note of how hard I was breathing too which I'd never really paid attention to before. A "why-didn't-I-think-of-this-before" moment.

At mile 5.7 I saw a sign that was put up for me by one of my customers! It was so thoughtful and brought on an ear to ear smile! I wish I had a picture of it.

I did, however, live up to my "terrible race picture"theme.
I cannot take a decent picture for the life of me! How the crap do you guys look good in these pictures?
This one isn't so bad.
I'm the girl on the left struggling. I think I was staring at all of the post race food.

At mile 6 I decided I better take one of my Gu's. I carry 3 with me just in case I need them. Always take the Gu before you think you need it since they take 15-20 minutes to kick in. Mile 7 came and went during which I saw Eric! Once I hit mile 8 I saw some of my friends and "family." They cheered and high-fived me. Total energy booster!

Miles 9-12 I was by myself. As I was running I started thinking about how surprised I was. I felt pretty fine! No huge aches, no pains, legs felt pretty good! I felt slow, but it wasn't stopping and wasn't in pain. To me, thats huge progress from the limping mess I was last race.

Mile 12.5 I saw my "cheering section" again that made me finish strong. Oddly enough when I crossed the finish line all that felt "bad" was my stomach. My stomach started bugging me after I had some gatorade around mile 10. Need to fix this for next race.

Now number 3 is in the books! Can't wait for my next race. I am still working on the blog about my half-marathon (or general race) tips! I want to make sure I get as much info in there as I can so I'm taking a little bit longer.

What races do you have coming up? 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Half-Marathon #3 is in the books!

Half-marathon number 3 is now in the books!
Finish time of: 2:11:47
68th in my age group
419 overall (1,000 runners)

Although I didn't PR or anything, what I'm most excited about was how well I paced throughout the entire race! My overall pace was slower this race but I wasn't in any major amount of pain at the finish line and I rarely stopped. Last race I thought I was going to die the last couple miles and ended up walking more at the end than I had intended to. I was in so much pain everywhere! Not a great feeling when you feel like your calf muscle is peeling off the bone, ribs are throbbing and toe blisters forming.

This race I didn't take any walk breaks (about 5-7 seconds are my "breaks") until mile 6.5. Then I maybe had a few more "breaks" in miles 10, 11 and 12 but that's really it! I hit my "wall" where things got really tough around mile 12. Not too bad for my "longest" training run being 7 miles!

My favorite part of the entire race was how much support I had on the course. My family, friends and even some of my customers showed up throughout the course to cheer me on! A few customers set up signs along the course with "Go #896!" I feel so blessed for their encouragement and support. They seriously kept me going!

I will cherish every race memory that I have. For me, there is nothing like it. Thank you to all who left me messages of support! I am so grateful for each and every one.

I will post a race review and more pictures in a few days.
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