Friday, August 31, 2012

Off to run Half-marathon #4!

This scenario can only mean one thing: Disneyland Half-Marathon Weekend!

I'm off to run # 4 with Mickey
Wish me luck! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm not ready. Why should I even show up?

Say, for whatever reason, you're not exactly ready for the next race that you have. It could be due to personal problems or this little thing called life that rudely gets in the way of your training time. Don't just throw in the towel because you think its a lost cause; it's not.

Each race is a lesson for the next. If you view races this way it won't be such a hard pill to swallow if you don't PR.

  • Prepare for the race the same. Even though you know you're not entering the race with the most preparation, you should still prepare the same. Still hydrate beforehand with lots of water, bring your energy gels, and get a full nights rest. Be prepared to run as much as you can. You don't have to kill yourself to make up for lack of preparation! Maybe this should be the race where you don't care so much about time. Focus on your form, your breathing, or try interval running.
  • Don't give up before the start line. Bring a positive attitude. If you've given up before you even start the race could end up being pretty miserable. If you have an awful time, you may not want to bounce back racing anytime soon and this is not what we want! Do more than just "show up" to the start line. Just because it may not be your fastest race doesn't mean you can't run well and have a good time.
  • Have fun. Remember the time when it was just fun to get out there and run rather than staring at your watch the whole time? Just run without worry! Enjoy the race. Cheer others on. Listen to your favorite music. Make the race as enjoyable as possible!
  • Reflect on why your training didn't go as planned. Maybe you had a family emergency, a few stressful weeks at work or maybe you're just burnt out from running. Identify whatever the cause was and make your own person decision about how to move forward. Maybe you need a few weeks off from running or maybe you just need a kick in the butt to get back out there.
  • Make a realistic plan moving forward. Many people will take their frustrations out by punishing themselves or making unrealistic promises. I've heard it before, "I'm going to wake up every day at 4AM and run 10 miles and I'm not going to let myself go home until I reach the 10 miles. I swear it!" That's not realistic. There's nothing wrong with a little fuel to get you moving and motivated but your training shouldn't be punishment. Focus on just getting back out there!
  • Write down your plan. Write it down so that you can visually see it. Seeing it on paper puts it in a different perspective. Is it realistic to your lifestyle and capabilities? 
Don't have a plan? You can find different plans online that tailor to your goals, lifestyle, etc. or contact me and I'll point you in the right direction.

How do you go into a race you don't feel prepared for?



Monday, August 27, 2012

So efficiently inefficient

Okay, it has been a ridiculous amount of time since I published a blog. It's not even that I wasn't checking the blog, blogging (I have articles that just aren't published yet), or doing site stuff... I've just been in a funk lately. There's no point in holding back so I'll just get straight to it: I've officially decided to take this semester off from school so that I can really hone in on what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I really had a tough time making this decision but now that I've made it, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was rushing through school to become a dental hygienist or dietician because I felt forced in that direction (for many reasons that I won't get into.) I was trying to be so efficient and start a career as fast as I could in one fell swoop without really considering, "do I really want to do this?" As my dad told me last night, I was trying to be so efficient that I was actually being inefficient.

I plan on taking these few months to actually go into the career center (not just pass by it) and talk to people, shadow in different careers and study what I like (aka personal training and nutrition books. I know, I'm a loser.) I have so much faith that this will help me in the long run.

Unfortunately, I let mental distractions of the past few weeks interfere with my training. I hate to admit that I am not ready for the Disneyland Half-marathon this coming Sunday but we'll see how it goes. My longest run in the past month was 6 miles! Bad, bad, bad. But, it's more of a fun run anyway (at least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself!) I'm using the Disney as a stepping stone race for my races in October, December and January anyway. That's where I'll really do some damage!

Other than that major decision I've just been doing what I do best: hydrating, eating and drinking coffee. Oh, and taking pictures of myself.

Look for more updates this week!

What is your career? 
How did you decide what you wanted to do?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

L-Glutamine

A few months back I decided to try supplementing with L-glutamine as recommended by the extremely knowledgeable (and my idol) Jill Coleman. I told her that I was aiming to improve my endurance and recovery time from running workouts. Jill recommended 5 grams of L-glutamine pre and post workout. Because Jill is kind-of qualified (and I do everything Jill says) I headed to the store right away.

Truthfully, I wasn't expecting to see that much improvement. There are so many supplements out there that it makes it hard to really know which ones are beneficial vs. a waste of time. Call me a negative nancy if you want but I just wasn't fully on the supplementation bandwagon yet.

What is L-glutamine?
L-glutamine is an amino acid; amino acids are building blocks of protein. L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle and is associated with immune health, protein synthesis and anti-catabolism. Preventing protein catabolism (break down) is hugely important for athletes. You don't want to start pulling from your hard earned muscle!

According to an article on bodybuilding.com, "during intense training, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. Glutamine levels can take up to 6 days to replenish." Hence why Jill recommended I supplement with it as my workout intensity increased. Jill had me take glutamine before and after the workout so that my glutamine levels wouldn't have a dramatic drop.

Other benefits of supplementing with L-glutamine:

  • Glutamine has been linked to protein synthesis. It prevents your muscle from being catabolized (eaten up) in order to provide Glutamine for other cells in the body.
  • Glutamine helps maintain cell volume and hydration, speeding up wound and burn healing and recovery.
  • Glutamine benefits you by replenishing declining Glutamine levels during intense workouts.
  • Research has shown Glutamine can help you produce growth hormone levels. A study has shown 2 grams of L-Glutamine increased growth hormones by over 400%.
  • Glutamine may serve to boost your immune system. For bodybuilders, this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels. (Glutamine is a primary energy source for your immune system.)
  • Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients for your intestines. It has the ability to 'repair a leaky gut' by maintaining the structural integrity of the bowels.
Did it work?
I have to admit, I had my doubts but was pleasantly surprised. I felt "better" during my runs. By "better" I mean more energetic, alert, focused, fatigued less quickly and overall just felt good. I could definitely tell the difference during runs where I didn't take the glutamine. I understand there are other factors to take into account (hydration level, mindset, diet, etc.) but I truly think it worked for me.

I purchased the pills from my local Lassens and they were about $20, I think. Not the cheapest things but I chose the (more expensive) pill form over powder for my own convenience. I knew I'd be much more likely to pop a few pills than to add powder to a protein shake.

Do you guys supplement your workouts or runs?


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tina Steinberg Designs Winners!


I sincerely apologize for the delay. Thank you, again, for your patience and understanding. Congratulations to these lucky 12 people for winning the Tina Steinberg Designs bracelet giveaway! Please e-mail me at danielle@fitgirldaily.com ASAP to claim your bracelet.

I used an online random number generator to select the winners:

1. Heather (The Menu Mama)
2. Liz McClain
3. Martha Smith
4. Mayuree Lee
5. Kjones123
6. April Rollason
7. Jaime
8. Casey Divane
9. Danielle @ Work it Wear it Eat it
10. Amie
11. Marley Decker
12. Valford68


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to survive your daily coffee shop trip

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it before but I work at a coffee shop aka a huge non-clean-eater friendly environment. I literally hand out insulin bombs in the form of croissants, muffins, scones and bagels. Maybe someday we'll figure out how to make calorie free, nutrient filled, fluffy croissants. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Along with the people like me who work in these places, coffee shops are a part of many people's daily lives. Obviously this must be true since Sbucks is the third largest fast food chain right now. Instead of telling you to avoid coffee shops all together I think its best to know how to navigate the menu.

First off, let's just start with the basics. Whatever the calorie count on any pastry, drink, etc. says... it's most likely low. I can't say that for sure, but I'd bet my next paycheck that they're low on average.

Secondly, if you're trying to lose weight you don't want to drink away your calories with a 500-1,000 calorie blended mocha. I think many people underestimate the calorie content and hormonal impact of their morning coffee. Too much sugar tells your body "store this." This is not what you want if your goal is to lose weight. Your morning latte may be the reason your pants are getting tighter despite the fact that you're eating a clean breakfast.

Remember, I'm all about meeting people in the middle and slowly coming to the cleanest lifestyle that they can maintain. If a coffee run is part of your every day routine and the cold turkey method does not work for you, start by making small changes. You have to know yourself; some people need the cold turkey method (aka staying completely away from certain foods and drinks) others cannot handle such an immediate and drastic change long term and both are fine. Figure out which one you are and work with that method the best you can!

Here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction...
  • Ditch the whipped cream. Whipped cream can add so many unnecessary calories its ridiculous.
  • Get your favorite drink in a smaller size.
  • If you typically get both a food and a drink item make yourself a deal: you only get one or the other, not both. 
  • Try drinking coffee with cream and sugar. It may not be perfectly clean, but its definitely not as bad as a 400 calorie drink.
  • Don't be afraid to customize your order because it is just that, your order. The menu is just a guideline to get you moving in the right direction but your drink is made to order. "Non-fat, half the powder, no whip cream, etc."
  • Bring your own sweetener packets. I make a non-fat latte every day for a woman who has us add her own stevia packet to the drink for her.

To get even cleaner and essentially leaner, here are a few more pieces of advice:
  • Drink coffee with cream, or black if you can stomach it, no sugar
  • Choose coffee with cream over a latte
  • Drink hot tea
  • Go for black iced coffees (or with light cream) and plain iced teas
  • Snack on mixed nuts or fresh fruit if they're offered
  • Oatmeal if it's offered (no toppings)
Stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true because well, it probably is.

Do you drink coffee?
Is a coffee run part of your normal day?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tina Steinberg Designs

I am so excited to introduce to you Tina Steinberg Designs! I love finding hard working women who follow their dreams and Tina is a prime example of this. Tina literally turned her dream into a reality creating her first piece of jewelry within 24 hours of having her life changing dream. From the website: "self-taught since the morning after that dream, Tina has created a special niche based on an intuitive perception of what her customers covet: simple, yet unordinary personal jewelry. " Tina's collections are filled with beautiful and empowering pieces. I love so many of them!






This necklace is one of my favorites. It's a new product of Tina's titled, Amelia Adventure Necklace. I love jewelry with  quotes so this immediately caught my eye. It reads, "I want to do it because I want to do it." It's found here in the Spirit Collection.




This piece is another one of my favorites. It's called the Little Love Charmer Three Tier Necklace and it can be found here. What's so neat about this piece is that it is "customized with a fingerprint on the front and a short inscription on the back." You are sent a kit to do the impressions yourself. What a sweet gift for a mother or grandmother! 
Check out these silicone bracelets from Tina's collection! They were featured in Women's Running Magazine last summer. Yes, that's Olympic medalist Deena Kastor wearing one of these! These bracelets may or may not make you run a 2:19 marathon just like her. 

Guess what! Tina wants to give away 12 of these awesome bracelets to you lucky people! They read "I am not afraid. I was born to do this." 


How to enter:
"Like" Tina Steinberg Designs on Facebook and
"Like" Fit Girl Daily on Facebook
Comment this blog post telling me that you're a fan of both to be entered! 

**Earn a bonus entry by sharing the contest on your Facebook. @Tina Steinberg Designs and @Fit Girl Daily must be tagged in order for me to see it. Leave a separate comment for this entry.

Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

12 Different winners will be chosen at random and announced Friday, August 10th. Last entry must be made by Thursday, August 9th at 11:59pm. 

**Tina is also giving away free shipping on all orders placed through August 10th with the code FITGIRL. Do yourself a favor and order one of these
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