Banana Orange Avocado Protein Smoothie Recipe

March 30, 2015

As a runner, I have to get in a lot of nutrients in order to keep up with training. One of my favorite treats when the weather is warmer is a smoothie. There are so many different recipes for smoothies, you can never go wrong. Smoothies are great with a meal or as a snack. I like to add in protein powder to get extra nutrients and recover quicker from workouts. Check out DailyBurn's protein page for all the benefits of protein. 

1 cup of milk
1 banana
1 orange
Small spoonful of avocado
6 ice cubes
1 scoop vanilla protein powder 

(Makes 2 smoothies)
1. Place ingredients in blender and mix until desired consistency 

There are also a lot of variations to the smoothie you can make such as using water or a fruit juice instead of milk. The avocado makes the smoother creamier. You can use more or less of it. 

Race Recap: Alamo 13.1

March 26, 2015

This past Sunday I ran a half marathon- Alamo 13.1. This is my favorite race that I have done for the past three years (previous recaps here and here). Saturday afternoon my sister and I headed downtown to pick up my race bib and swag. The swag this year was the best so far- a duffle bag, tech shirt, and car decal. It was pouring rain so my sister dropped me off and drove around the block to avoid paying for downtown parking. I walked in, grabbed my gear, and was finished within thirty seconds.

I was very nervous before the race because I wanted to do well but wasn't sure how I would do. I haven't raced since October, I haven't done a lot of speed work, etc. I knew I wanted my time to be in the hour thirties. The race started at 7:45am and my parents and I got downtown at 7:15am. Before the race they have prayer, national anthem, and a cannon blast start. Quite the scene!

My coach told me to stay in zone 2 for the first four miles (HR at 155) then after that I could run whatever I wanted for the last nine miles. I listened to what she said... I just may not have followed it. I started off the race at a pretty easy effort but I was already out of zone two (HR at 165). I wasn't about to slow down so I ignored heart rate and ran my race.

The first couple of miles were flat as we weaved around the Alamo and downtown streets. At mile three there were a few rolling hills. I shortened my stride up the hills and cruised the downhills. The course this year was adjusted due to construction downtown which meant less hills but more trails. We ran along trails for about two miles and through a muddy patch.

First 6.55 miles 7:39 pace

I kept my pace pretty consistent throughout the whole run. I would speed up to see how it felt and if it wasn't good then I would settle back into pace. 7:30s felt easy so I stuck with that.

At mile ten my goal was to be between 1:08- 1:15 which would ensure a time below 1:40. I had my playlist set to have faster songs when I got to that point. When I reached mile ten I was at 1:14 which was cutting it close. I listened to quick songs and picked up my pace a bit.

As I neared the finish, we were running along the riverwalk. It was beautiful but it felt like it lasted forever. My pace was slowing as I was getting tired but I focused on keeping up with the few people in front of me. When I passed a guy he told me I was seventh female. I used this as motivation to try and get to the next girl in front of me (I never did). We weaved through the streets and finally I recognized the end. I picked up the pace, turned off my music, and listened to everyone cheering.

Last 6.55 miles 7:27 pace

I haven't raced in five months and I was worried that I had lost speed. However, I finished two minutes behind my PR, was under 1:40, and had a negative split. I'll take it!

Mile 1- 7:39
Mile 2- 7:28
Mile 3- 6:51
Mile 4- 7:24
Mile 5- 7:35
Mile 6- 7:38
Mile 7- 7:38
Mile 8- 7:50
Mile 9- 7:45
Mile 10- 7.47
Mile 11- 7.38
Mile 12- 7.43
Mile 13.1- 7.45

Finish time: 1:38:55 
1st in age group out of 54
 7th female | 35th overall

With being seventh female I didn't expect any first place awards. I was surprised I had won my age group! My dad and I stuck around for the awards where I received the 20-24 age group winner.

Even with the change of course, this race remains my favorite. It was challenging but very fun.
Thank you to my family for coming and supporting me! Thank you Alamo 13.1 for the free race photos and awesome volunteers. You guys rock!! See you next year!

Alamo 13.1 race ready

March 21, 2015

I have my playlist in order, packet pickup finished, and race outfit picked out. Here is the final decision:

Lululemon Think Fast Tank
Lululemon Speed Shorts
Wave Rider 18s
Ipod, Sweaty Bands headband, Garmin Forerunner 620

It's my first time racing in five months, let's go 13.1!!!

Race Week: Goals & Music

March 19, 2015

It's race week!! The most exciting week when it comes to training. After time off, getting back into training, and starting with a new coach, I am excited to see what I can do at the Alamo 13.1 this Sunday. My goal for the race is a 1:30ish half marathon. My PR (and time from when I ran it last year) is 1:36. I would be happy with any time in the 30's.

I am still working on my race outfit but I have it narrowed down to two different tanks. Now to decide which one..

A few top songs from my playlist:

Chains by Nick Jonas
Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
Sugar by Maroon 5
All songs Katy Perry :)
Can't Stop Dancin' by Becky G
Dance With Me by Kelly Clarkson
Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars) by Mark Ronson

Spring Break '15

March 16, 2015

Spring break is spent in one of three places: skiing, the beach, or home. This year my family and I spent our break at home. My oldest sister came into town on Sunday and spent the whole week with us. My other older sister could only come for two of the days but we were happy she was able to come down.

The week started off pretty chilly and rainy hence the boots and scarves in the above picture. Towards the end of the week it was beautiful with 70 degree days and sun. Finally!

When you go to a cookie stand, you have to get the biggest size they offer.  

We spent the week shopping, running errands, and having a semi-spa day with haircuts and manicures. 

Saturday we got our workouts in, ran a quick errand before church, then went to dinner after church. My younger sister had a track meet and did great. Her coach gave her a goal time and she hit it right on the mark. (Way to go Kathleen!)

cotton candy clouds

It was a fun, relaxed week and I am happy all of us could spend the week together!

Week Recap: March 8th- 15th

March 15, 2015

Training has been going along great! I haven't written much about it but my schedule is basically:

Monday: off
Tuesday: run + weights
Wednesday: track workout 
Thursday: cycle + weights
Friday: run 
Saturday: cycle + weights
Sunday: long run

I have been building mileage and I have been feeling strong. A few months ago I wondered how I would ever start running long again and now I am back in the double digits. 

I have been running at zone 2 where I keep my pace at 8:30 and heart rate at 155. My heart rate monitor connects to my Garmin so I have it vibrate to alert me once my heart rate reaches that number. Once my heart rate goes up I walk to bring it back down. Lately I have been running at 7:30- 7:50 paces while having my heart rate stay at 155. 

And, for the first time in five months, I have a race! This Sunday is Alamo 13.1 which is my favorite race of the year.

This past week was spring break and I spent the week with my sisters and mom doing all girly things. I'm posting more about it soon. It was a fun week!

Thursday evenings I go to Bible study. After a day of shopping, my sister, mom, and I grabbed dinner at Whole Foods and then I headed to church. I got to catch up with a friend who I haven't seen in awhile. 

One of the things I bought that I am super excited about is my new Lululemon outfit. It is the comfiest outfit I have ever run in. The top is very open and breathable. The shorts have slits all the way up the sides with a built in liner. It will be perfect for marathon training this summer. I'm already thinking ahead.

I ended the week with a 10 mile long run (outfit repeating the shorts). I'm looking forward to next week- race week!

Life Updates (February- March)

March 8, 2015

You know you haven't blogged in awhile when you forget your blogger password. Oops! I figured an update post would be the perfect way to come back. 

First, as I continue to pursue my dream of being a nurse, I signed up for a nurse assistant (commonly called CNA) course. I learned basic care in order to work in a nursing home or hospital. I have very little experience because my whole college career I was doing a lot of other things such as racing, orchestra, nannying full time. 

The course was fast paced for five weeks. We learned 30 chapters in 3 weeks, had four tests, and practiced the skills needed to attend two weeks of clinicals in a nursing home. I loved it. I finished the course last Friday. I applied for three different jobs at two hospitals in my area and I GOT A JOB! I will be working as a patient care assistant in a hospital. It is 3- 12 hour shifts per week and I am so excited to start. With the CNA course, I have a state exam I take to be certified. So these next couple of weeks I will be buying scrubs for work, studying for and taking the state exam, and starting a new job. 

I applied to three different nursing schools which I am supposed to hear back from in two weeks!

 First pair of scrubs!!

I have been keeping up with training with mostly green boxes in training peaks. Yay!
These past few weekends were 10 miles -10 miles -12 miles -8 miles. My paces are faster (around 8:00-8:30) than I used to train at (around 9) but feel easier. 
And, I have a half marathon coming up on the 22nd. I am excited for it! I already have my race outfit picked out. 

In other news, I have been attending a Bible study at my church, celebrated a friend's baby shower, and got a snapchat. Follow me at: sara-hoffman :)

Last week was a lower mileage week. I had an eight mile run to do this morning which it poured rain the entire run. When I finished the run it stopped raining, of course. 

This week is spring break. My two older sisters are coming into town tonight and it is girls week: hair cuts, manicures, shopping, and relaxing are on our list of things to do. 

Life is good
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