What I've Been Eating...

August 29, 2014

Happy Friday! I started classes on Wednesday and really like my schedule. I switched my training plan around so that I wouldn't have to wake up at 5am to run each morning. I run on Tuesday and Thursday  mornings where I have a class at 1pm. That means, I run at 6am or 7am.

A few good things I have eaten this week:

Berry Smoothie
I normally drink smoothies with breakfast or as a snack. The easiest way for me to find a smoothie recipe is typing into Google what fruits I have and then I can find recipes for smoothies with those ingredients. This one was really good!

1 banana
1/2 cup of milk or vanilla soy milk
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2/3 cup blueberries

Dinner 1 (Pasta)
Ravioli with meat sauce, spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette and pecans, slices of toast.

Dinner 2 (Fish)
Grilled salmon, same salad as previous nights dinner, baked potato, and toast.

Pretzels with muenster cheese- this cheese is smooth and delicious.

Running Safety 101 ( + Flipbelt Review)

August 27, 2014

A few weeks ago we had a scare in our area of an attempted kidnapping of a runner. Ever since then, I have been taking extra caution while running.

1. Low music
I am a running music lover. I know music helps me keep going. However, running without music isn't that horrible (for short runs). I either run with no music or run with my music on low volume making sure I can still hear things such as passing cars or approaching runners.

2. Run with others
Run with a friend or a running group. Having a running buddy helps with boredom, motivates you to keep going, and can be a time to socialize. These past couple of weeks, my family has been running with me. Last weekend I had a 16 mile run where I ran 8.5 miles with my mom then looped back home and ran with my dad the rest of the 7.5 miles.

3. Don't run at night or in dark lighting 
That is self explanatory :)

4. Carry a FlipBelt
Having something that holds your phone, keys, cash, mace, and fuel is the best option.

The FlipBelt makes carrying items easier. With multiple openings, you simply place items in the belt, flip it inside out to secure the items, and carry your items hands free. The width of the belt is approximately 3.5" wide for storing bigger, bulky items such as a phone or gu pouches. I placed my belt lower on my hips but it can be worn any way- higher on the stomach, under clothing, over clothing, low on the hips. The FlipBelt comes in multiple sizes so you can select which fits best. I ordered an XS because of my small waist. The belt can be used for any activity: yoga, biking, running, hiking, etc. You could even wear it underneath clothing to hold your wallet, phone, and car keys without needing a purse when you go out.

The FlipBelt features:
  • No bouncing
  • No chafing 
  • Easy access to mulitple openings
  • Flip items to lock it 
  • Slide items anywhere
I ordered the FlipBelt in Neon Punch. I used it for my long run and it stayed secure - no bounce!- while I ran. As someone who despises anything that bounces around my waist, I was pleased when it didn't bother me. I put my phone, house keys and Gu/fuel in the belt. It has two slits in the front and two in the back. In one slit, there is a keychain hook where I attached my house keys. The FlipBelt was super convenient. The fabric is thick (to secure the items) and can be machine washed when it becomes dirty.

If you order one before September 4th, use the code sweat33 for 33% of your entire purchase at the online store!

Disclaimer: As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I received a complimentary FlipBelt. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Life Lately

August 26, 2014

Just a little update on life, training, etc...

On Running:
These next seven weeks are increasing mileage. I ran 16 this past weekend and have an 18 miler and two 20 milers coming up. I am pretty nervous about the 20 milers. I have only run one in the past but since it was a race it felt "easier" as I ran with others and had adrenaline from the race setting. Now I will be running on my own.

On Cross/strength training:
Since my runs are getting harder, I have been doing easier workouts for cross training and strength training. For my swims I have been doing them not looking at time, just swimming back and forth. I did 10 100s last week and probably won't swim over 1200m for any of the swims. My strength training has been about maintaining strength rather than gaining strength. When I would work out hard to get stronger I would be sore for a few days causing my tempo runs to be slower than they were supposed to be.

On eating:
I have been eating a lot more. 3 big meals + 2-3 snacks during the day. My snacks have been crackers and fruit, smoothies, protein shakes, one sweet snack in the afternoon (cake, ice cream, cookies), and different things like that. Basically, when I am hungry, I eat.

So far, I have been feeling stronger this training cycle. I have had a few bad long runs in the past couple weeks but I know that is my fault with fueling.. I know I need to drink more electrolytes as I sweat a lot. I have been learning a lot!

Week Recap: August 18th- August 24th

August 25, 2014

This was the longest training week (so far) and my legs definitely felt it. I can usually handle between 23-28 miles per week. I had a lot of harder runs this week- hills, tempo, 16 mile run. 

Sunday: Recovery day
Monday: 65min hilly run
Tuesday: Strength training + Cycling
Wednesday: 6.50 mile tempo run @ 7:30 pace

On Wednesday, I went to lunch with a new friend. We met through a mutual friend and ended up having a lot in common! She wants to go into nursing, goes to the same college, and is training for her first half marathon. We grabbed a bite to eat then went to check out the newest ice cream shop where they make ice cream using nitrogen- it was crazy! Thursday evening I went to dinner with a friend from Bible study. We went to a nicer restaurant which I have never been to.

I found new books to read from upcoming movies. I enjoyed Maze Runner but it definitely wasn't what I expected it to be. I started the series a few days ago and have already finished them. 

Thursday: Strength training + Swim (1050m)
Friday: 40min run
Saturday: Long run - 16 miles

My weekend long run was 16 miles. I started off strong around 8:30 min/mile pace but slowed down to late 9 min/mile paces for the remaining 5 miles. I think it was because I didn't fuel properly with enough gatorade and water in the beginning miles. I took my FlipBelt in the beginning miles (more on that later!). I planned to run two 8 mile loops where I wouldn't need to wear my fuel belt - it has been annoying lately, bouncing the whole time I run- but realized that was not a good idea to run that far without liquids. Anyone know how to get the belt to stop bouncing??

After church, my family and I went out to dinner. 16 miles= burger and dessert. We saw the "Mountain High Mud Pie" on the menu and my sister and I knew we needed to split it.

This next week my senior year of college begins and my older sister and brother-in-law are coming into town!

9 weeks left till the marathon.

This week was:
7.07 hours of training
33.12 miles of running

Lululemon End- of- Summer- to- Fall Must Haves

August 22, 2014

I haven't bought new running clothes in a couple months and Lululemon has gotten a lot of cute, new items in. Even though some of the tops are for yoga I use them for running and have no trouble.

Also, have you seen the run braid? I wanted to try it out but I can't french braid so I had my sister help me. She did a great job and it looked so good! .. but I forgot to take a picture of it.

1- Power Y Tank ($52)
    These are my new favorite tanks (mostly because they are light weight and have a built-in-bra). They come in a lot of different colors and patterns.
2- All Tied Up Tank ($52)
    This tank is interesting- it goes up high in the front but has a very open back. I don't think I would run in it but maybe for yoga.
3- Power Y Tank ($52)
     Same as #1 but a different color.
4- Love Tee ($58)
    This would be perfect for running and for wearing to class. The fabric is soft
5- Speed Shorts ($58)
6- Run Swiftly Tech ($58)
    I love the color and the fit of this top. I have one in grey from a few years ago and it isn't a scoop. This is more breathable for running and other activities.

Week Recap: August 10th - August 17th

August 18, 2014

I thought this would be a rough week but it ended better than it started. I finished up the nannying job on Wednesday and spent the rest of the week doing girly things- getting a facial and manicure, shopping.

My new shoes came in!!

Monday: 60min run 30min run

Tuesday: Cross train + Strength train

Wednesday: Tempo run

My tempo run was 3 sets of 8 minutes in the orange (somewhat hard) zone. My times per set were 8:30 - 7:45 - 7:00. My legs felt tight at first but once I got to the speed sets it felt good to run fast.

Thursday: Cross train + Strength train

I slept in Thursday, made a big breakfast, went to the gym for my workouts, got a facial, went shopping, and celebrated my sister's birthday.

Green smoothie, coffee, cinammon bagels, fruit assortment, eggs

My sister sent me the recipe for the green smoothie that she calls "Green Monster." Her and her husband drink it every morning. I started drinking it often too, it's delicious! 

1 cup almond milk
1 cup spinach
1 banana
Handful of blueberries

I stopped at Target for new face washes and a birthday present for my sister. I have heard these hairbands are good for your hair because they don't pull as much as the rubber band kinds do. Plus, they come in cute colors. 

I found this new swim workout online. I find that I swim better when I have a workout to follow. I finished 1200m in the 30mins I had.

Friday: 40min run

My mom, sister, and I ran together. I went to the spa for a manicure. I had a friend's wedding Saturday and needed fresh nails. Then I had an epsom salt bath to relieve aches and spent the rest of the day at home. 

Saturday: Race sim workout

9 miles- 5 easy (9:08), 3 moderate (8:15), 1 hard (7:22).

Then my sister and I went to our friend's wedding. I have never been to a wedding (I have been a bridesmaid twice but never a guest) and really enjoyed it.

Sunday: Rest day

This week was:
4.40 hours of training
21.07 miles of running

9 miles & A Wedding

August 16, 2014

I had a shorter but harder run to do this weekend. My training plan has a few race simulation workouts where I run a certain distance then end the last mile or so at a fast/hard pace. 

This run was 9 miles going from easy pace to race pace. The distance was broken up of five miles easy, three miles moderate, one mile hard. I didn't want to have to carry a fuel belt or water bottles (sometimes it makes me feel like I am being weighed down therefore running slower). I ran a five mile loop around my house so I could stop for water/gatorade. 

Five miles easy- 9:08 pace --- stopped at my house for quick hydrating. 
Three miles moderate @ 8:15 pace
One mile hard @ 7:22 pace

My pace for the last mile was around a 6:45 but then I slowed a bit as usually my hard miles aren't below seven minute miles. 

After the run, I had some time to relax before getting ready for my friend's wedding. 

How to: Recover from bad workouts

August 15, 2014

Every runner has them. Don't lie.

There are multiple days where training is going perfectly, all is well, and you could run forever. But then there is that one day that makes you rethink everything. Can I really run that 5k? Should I really complete the 26.2 or just downsize to the half? The first thing I would say is don't give up! However, it is easier to say to others than to yourself. Running really is mostly mental.

1. Rest or recover

A bad run usually means you are tired and/or aren't recovered from your other workouts. If there is a bad training run, take an extra rest day to give yourself time to recover.

Note: foam roll, stretch, ice bath or epsom salt baths

2. Don't dwell on the bad

My 13 miler two weekends ago was tougher than usual. I cut my hour long run on Monday down to 30 minutes because my legs just wouldn't work with me. I began to think that maybe I'm not strong enough. I began doubting myself but when Coach emailed me telling me that my training is going great I felt better and realized that bad runs happen. You have them then you get over them and keep training.

Note: talk with people who will encourage you.

3. Easy workouts

If you start a run and you don't feel right, run a shorter distance. Make your next few training days easier than you would if you felt strong.

Note: Going easy doesn't mean losing fitness.

And there's my tips! Here's to hoping I will actually listen to my advice..

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 Review

This is my third pair of Wave Rider 17s and I am in love! They are my absolute favorite running shoe. They are so comfortable and easy to break in. I have tried different brands, types, etc. But with high standards and odd feet, I need a specific shoe that will work with me. They have many features including: traction, durability, security, comfort, and cushioning. 

How do they fit?

How do they look?
Super cool. I mean, check out the color options. I have them in white with purple and yellow and in the pink and yellow. All the options are so cute. These ones are especially my favorite (not because they match my blog or anything). 

What do they feel like?
Comfortable. Before I knew about Mizuno's the first thing I looked at in running shoes was comfort. I need shoes that will take me on 4 mile runs and on 26.2 mile runs and never differ in comfort. My younger sister introduced me to Mizuno's after I was becoming irritated in my older brands (they were Saucony and didn't work well with my unusual high foot arches) and I have never looked at any other shoes. Besides Nike's for cross training.

Thank you to Mizuno for creating awesome shoes. That is all.

Week Recap: August 3rd - August 9th

August 11, 2014

This past week has been busy! Here is the most random paragraph as I attempt to catch you up on my week. Once we got back from visiting our sister, my family and I have had a nannying job of taking care of two little boys for 8 days. It is fun but kids are tiring! I (finally) registered for my fall marathon. I also ordered new shoes since mine are starting to hurt my feet. My long run for the weekend was 14 miles. I felt way better this weekend than last weekend. Besides training, I have been shopping for a dress to wear to my friend's wedding next weekend, I am signed up for more classes in the fall, and I am enjoying the last couple weeks of summer.

Here's how training went this week:

Sunday- Tuesday: 

Read the recap of our mini trip -- here.

What a road trip looks like ^

On our way back home we stopped at a small airport to watch my dad fly/land his plane. He got his flying license a couple years ago, bought a plane, and is working on building his own plane.

Wednesday: Interval run 

Thursday: Cross training + Strength training

Kathleen did both of my workouts with me. We went to the pool to swim laps then later in the afternoon we did a circuit strength training routine that she put together for us.

Friday: Easy run

Friday evening I laid out my clothes and went to bed at 9:30pm to get ready for...

Saturday: Long run

...a 6:30 alarm for 14 miles. 8:55 pace. Jumping because it was a good run!

Afterwards I went to the gym to pick up lunch for my sister and I. The food is so good! Especially the mocha madness smoothie :)

Sunday: Rest day

This week was:
6.07 hours of training
29.75 miles of running

Scenes from Oklahoma

August 8, 2014

My mom, sister, and I took a quick trip to Oklahoma to visit our oldest sister and brother in law. We have had a busy summer and could never find a weekend to go. Finally, we found an opening Sunday through Tuesday to go see her.

We drove all day Sunday and we got to the hotel late. We were tired so we checked in and went to bed. We had early morning training to get in. Anna trains early each morning so we met up with her and her friend after she swam laps. Everyone's run varied from 35 minutes to 65 minutes. Anna and her friend ran short while my mom, Kathleen, and I went longer.

  hotel selfies 

There is a gluten free bakery that we stopped at to grab some goodies. We bought: cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and other pastries. Usually gluten free doesn't taste as good but everything was delicious.

flavors: chocolate, root beer float, raspberry, butterscotch, chai, and lavender 

During the day, we mostly just talked and spent the day at her apartment. We hung out by the pool in the afternoon/evening.

On Tuesday morning we worked out at the hotel gym, talked with Anna, then left for the drive back home. 

It was a quick trip but it was great seeing our sister.
Next time we see her will be at her Ironman in November!

Warm Ups & Cool Downs

August 7, 2014

The most important parts of working out, specifically running, are warming up and cooling down. These two actions don't take very long and, if done properly, can change how your workout goes.

Before I got a coach, I would get up, run, and then be done with working out. Once I began working with a coach I noticed each of my workouts in Training Peaks had a warm up and cool down included with the workout along with flexibility exercises. As I train hard each day and work on increasing my endurance, these things become more and more important in order to avoid injury and be stretched and ready for the next days training. 

Warm Up
A warm up should take about 5 minutes. My warm up consists of stretching and walking. Once I wake up, I get dressed and head out to the driveway. I hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. I stretch my arms, legs, and calves.

Warming up raises your heart rate, increases blood flow to the limbs, and increases breathing. The steps before I run are: walk - speed walk - run slow - settle into easy pace. I do these steps for 3 to 5 minutes to get warmed up before running.

Cool Down
After I finish my run, I walk for 5 minutes (or however long it takes me to get back home after I finish the run). This is to transition into normal breathing and decrease my heart rate.

I spend between 10 to 15 minutes stretching and foam rolling. I also wear compression socks around the house to make sure there is no tightness in my legs.

Week Recap: July 26th - August 2nd

August 2, 2014

This was my view this past weekend:

With a lot of traveling, my training has been off a bit these past few weeks. I have been getting in my weekend long runs which are important but have been missing some cross training and tempo days.
I had a strong run last weekend but this weekend was slower. I haven't been feeling super strong in my training lately and I think it is because I haven't been on my usual schedule.

Sunday, Monday- Off days

On Sunday night, my family and I got dressed and went to dinner on the bay. We walked around a bit afterwards and looked at different shops. The beach is pretty, fun, and relaxing. I already want to go back.

Tuesday- Easy run (ran 2.5 miles easy when we got home)

Wednesday- 30 min cycle + 30 min strength

Thursday- Tempo run

Friday- 30 min swim + 30 min strength (15 mins)

My sister and I went to the gym to swim laps. When we were done we got lunch and ate by the pool. I had strength training to do but I was feeling tired/weak so I cut it short.

Saturday- Long run

13 miles. It wasn't the best run but it's over and that's all that matters.

Annnd more traveling! Tomorrow my mom, sister, and I are headed to Oklahoma to visit Anna, our oldest sister! We can't wait to see her!

This week was:
4.31 hours of training
19.93 miles of running
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