Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mixed (Precipitation)

Thats the best way I can describe this post AND the weather in which I ran my 9 mile training run on Saturday.  I left my house around 6am for my long run and it was about 38 degrees with light rain.  I wasn't thrilled about it, but a little rain never hurt anyone, and since we were headed to Maine for Easter I had to get it in.  About 1.5 miles from home it started sleeting...and then snowing.  It continued to snow/sleet/rain/wind the entire run.  My face was frozen, and my fleece pants became heavier and heavier the more wet they got.  Despite all of this, it felt like a really GOOD run.  I really focused on powering up hills and keeping good form the entire way.  My training schedule called for 3 of the 9 miles to be at a 7:15/mile pace.  I had no way to gauge this because I still need to recalibrate my Nike Ipod Sensor, but I do know approximate mile markes during my run and I ran at a very strong pace for those 3 miles.  This was one of those runs where you feel really good and accomplished after.  It left me feeling like I really can meet my time goal. (Running Goals)  Something I always try to remember is that one run does NOT define you as a runner, every single runner out their has good runs and bad runs.  Its the combination of all of those runs that make you stronger, and a better runner.

On the schedule this week (Week 4 of training):
Monday--XT or Rest (I chose to rest this week)
Tuesday--7 miles @ 8:30/mile pace and strength.
Wednesday--3 miles
Thursday--7 miles w/ 3 miles @ 7:00/pace and strength.
Saturday--4 miles and strength.
Sunday--7 miles.

Its possible I may have to swith around a couple of days, depending on Shawn's work schedule, but don't you worry I'll get it all in. :)

Did you all have a good Easter?  What did you do?

We had a great Easter!  We had planned on staying home, but last minute we decided to go up to Maine to my brother Jack's and soon to be sis in laws house.  We went up on Saturday night and colored eggs with the girls.  Then the Easter bunny came:

The girls woke up super early and were very excited to see that the Easter Bunny was able to find them in Maine. :)

We go all dressed up and had an amazing Easter dinner with Jack, Amanda, my brother Pat, my sister Meaghan, my mom, and Amanda's wonderful family.  It was great, although we missed my brother Kevin :(  (He's in Afghanistan)

And then my girls and Baylee (Amanda's sister) had an Easter Egg Hunt:

All and all it was a great day filled with lots of great company! :)

I made a blackbean dip for an appetizer, and thought I'd share the recipe with you all because its always a big hit and it is super easy to make.  And my Aunt Kathy asked me for it a few weeks ago and I completely forgot to send it to her (sorry Kathy!), and now she can get it here!

Black Bean Dip

-2 Cans of Black Beans, rinsed  (I use low sodium)
-1 container of you favorite salsa
-Chili Powder*
-1/3 Cup of 2% Mexican Blend Cheese

Rinse the beans, put them in a bowl, and mash them with a fork. Set aside.  Chop up your onions and garlic, spray a fry pan with cooking spray, and cook the onions and garlic until softened.  Then add the tomatoes, black beans, salsa, chili powder, and avocado.  Cook for around 5 or so minutes, make sure its thickened a bit and everything is warmed through.  Turn off the heat, add the cheese, and mix it in.  Put it in a serving dish and serve it with tortilla chips.  You can always make your own healthier tortilla chips by cutting a whole wheat/low carb tortilla in to slices like chips, brush them with a bit of oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in the oven until they are at your desired crunchiness.  Watch them closely because they burn really easily!

*I don't measure amounts, I just eye it, so you'll have to adjust it by your own taste!

Have a great day everyone!  What is your workout today?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Training Update and a Chocolate Milkshake

Last week's training was great, I got in all my miles (26 miles) and felt pretty happy with it.  I got in my 10-miler on Saturday and 4 miles Sunday. I had started noticing a "heavy" feeling in my legs, that I decided to ignore. (of course)  This week I started out with my XT day on Monday.  I did a bodyrock workout that looked like this:
  • Sandbag Step Ups/lunge Combo-20 sets for time
  • Pike Jumps & Push Ups combo-30 second intervals, 10 rest x 6
  • Crab Toe Touches-50 reps for time
And then I added 3x1 minute wall squats, and 3 sets of 75 bicycle crunches.  Oh and that killer push-up challenge.  I did my push-ups for that too.

Tuesday I ran 5.5 miles at a 6:54/mile pace.  And then I e-mailed Tara about how I could still get my workouts/mileage done, but my legs still felt really heavy and tired just about all the time.  She recommended I take an extra rest day this week, so today I was supposed to run an easy 5 miler and strength train, but I am giving the legs a rest.  This isn't easy for me, I get really antsy on rest days(especially unplanned ones).  I always get nervous I'm going to jeopardize my fitness in some way and I won't be able to run as efficiently tomorrow or something.  This is ridiculous, I know that.  And I also know that it is super important to listen to your body. So I'm resting the legs, and preparing for the rest of the week.  On the agenda for tomorrow is 6 miles w/ 6x100 meter strides.  Oh and just because I can't work my legs, doesn't mean my upper body gets a rest!  I did my push-up challenge (5 sets of 25, 29, 25, 25, 36=140 total), 3x15 bench dips, 3x10 (mostly assisted) pull-ups, and I'm going to get to my abs in a bit.

Now onto the part you've all been wondering about--a Chocolate Milkshake.....

I didn't really drink a chocolate milkshake, but I promise it tasted VERY similar to one.  Who would have thought that adding egg whites to a protein shake could give it the consistency of a milkshake?  Thats right, I said egg whites in a smoothie, just trust me on this one and give it a try.  One of the girls in the Fit For Life group I belong to on facebook (amazing group of super supportive girls, I recommend it if you are on facebook) mentioned that she put egg whites in her protein shake, and so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was not disappointed.

Chocolate Protein "Milkshake"
-1 scoop vanilla protein powder
-1/2 banana
-1 TBS Cocoa powder
-1 TBS ground flax
-2 egg whites
-water or milk to make it a consistency you like
-2-3 ice cubes

The first time I made it I didn't use any water, and it was super thick(like I could have eaten it with a spoon thick).  It was delicious like that, but it only filled up about half a cup and well I like my smoothies to be bigger that that so the second times I added 1/2 cup of water to make it a little bigger.  It wasn't as thick, but still yummy.  I'm going to experiment with some soymilk or almond milk next time.  It would also be delicious with a scoop of peanut butter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fartlek+the Jogger

In case you are wondering, the girls were in the jogger.  I didn't just push it for fun :) Although it certainly would have been easier without all the weight!  Today was my scheduled 5-mile tempo run, but I was with the girls all day and wouldn't have had time for it after Shawn got home at night, so I e-mailed Tara and asked her what she thought I should do.  She recommended I just do a fartlek for a total of 3 1/2 miles (1 mile warm-up, 2 miles of 2 minutes hard, 1 minute easy, and a half mile cool down)  if I could fit that in.  She also explained to me how to actually do a fartlek, which was extremely helpful because although we did them in high school track I didn't remember how to do them now.   I thought about it and figured, hey why not just take the girls in the jogger so that I wouldn't have to squeeze it in after Shawn got home and before it got dark.  And I'll tell you this, if running fartleks with a jogger doesn't make me a better runner than I do not know what will.  It was brutal and I actually thought I was going to get sick toward the end, which definately meant I pushed hard because I've rarely ever felt like that.  I ended up doing a 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles of 2 minutes hard, 1 minute easy, and 1 mile cool down.   After I finished I felt really great, I knew I gave the run all I had, and that is a great feeling!

Overall my training is going great this week, I've gotten in all of my schedule miles (aside from 1 missing from today) so far:
Tues: 4 miles w/ 8x100m strides
Wed: 4 miles
Thurs: 4 miles, w/ 2 mile fartlek
Friday is my rest day, Saturday is 4 miles, and Sunday is scheduled for 9 but I'll be doing 10 to make up for the 1 mile I was short today.

I've also done bodyrock workouts on Tuesday and Thursday (in today's workout I got to do cartwheels, how fun is that?!?) And I started the 100 Hundred Push-up Challenge.  I figured since everyone else seems to be doing it I didn't want to be the odd ball out. :)  I've done 2 days of it so far, Monday and Wednesday.  Wednesday I had to do 20, 25, 15, 15, and max (I did 26)  I seriously felt like my arms would have given out if I tried to do 1 single more.  I will feel like such a rockstar when I can do 100 push-ups though. lol  So, an awesome workout week overall and I am definately feeling it!  Very glad that it is a rest day for me tomorrow!

As promised earlier in the week, here is the recipe I used for the Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars:

2 cups oats – roasted in the oven without oil for 10-15  minutes
1 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
1/4 cup maple syrup cup (or agave or honey) *
3/4 apple sauce (unsweetened) *
2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips
1 cup whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground flax (or flax seeds or chai seeds)

*the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of sweetener and 1/2 cup of applesauce, if you like it sweet I'd readjust this.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth!

Combine all ingredients and spread onto a cookie sheet or other baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, cut and allow to cool, ENJOY!!

Are any of you training for anything or shooting for a goal, share them with me, I love comments!!! :)

One last thing, Jen@Why I Run has an AMAZING giveaway (a Garmin is one of the items!) going on, go check it out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flexibility Not Failure

Wow, a whole week without blogging!  Don't worry I've still been trying to keep up with the blogs I read, but haven't had time for my own post.  Over the weekend the girls and I went to visit my family in Maine, we had a great visit. My soon to be sis in law Amanda and I got to spend a ton of time together and we brought the girls dress shopping with us, and got them to try a bunch of super cute flower girl dresses, they looked adorable and are going to be the cutest flower girls EVER!!  Devin also got to go on a little Toys R Us shopping spree with her gift cards from her birthday (Thanks Grandpa Jamie!)  She even shared and bought Cori a new Dora lounge chair (along with herself).  Here's Cori lounging away:

I learned something really important in regards to my training over the past week.  I must be FLEXIBLE.  Life is going to get in the way, that does not mean I failed.  No matter what I just need to find a way to switch things around or make up for it.  As you know last week was my first week of training for my next half marathon, and I was really excited to get started.  I had run my 8 miles on Sunday, Monday was a XT day and I did a bodyrock workout, and Tuesday was my first tempo run.  Well during the day on Tuesday it became apparent I was not going to get in my tempo run.  It rained all day (and I couldn't take the girls out, nevermind that is going to be hard to do a tempo run at the correct pace with a jogger, something else I will need to adjust) and then Shawn had to work on his truck when he got home from work.  This left me with a very slim window to run, with no way to fit in 5 miles. This left me feeling like I was failing already.  I was down on myself about it for much of the day.  It was my first scheduled training run and I was already going to miss it?!?!  After a while I realized that this thinking was getting me no where except stressed out, its not the end of the world that I couldn't get in a scheduled run, why not just switch around a couple of days? So I decided to just run one of my two easy 3-4 mile runs of the week and run my tempo run on one of those days.  And this worked out just fine.  I ended up getting in my tempo run on Saturday.  I also had to switch around my Thursday and Friday workouts, but I still got it done.  The only dissapointment of the week was that I came up few miles short on my long run, and there was nothing I could do about it.  Since I was visiting family I had to do it on the treadmill and Cori was exhausted after the busy weekend and she wanted me, we tried a bunch of times to distract her, but in the end I just had to stop early.  It stinks, but not much to be done and it doesn't make me a failure.  I will be following my training plan as closely as I can, because I really want to succeed in meeting my goal for the race. (And not to mention the amazing Tara put a lot time into creating it for me)  But negative thoughts will bring negative results.  Life is always going to get in the way during training, exercising, etc., feeling sorry for yourself is not going to help that.  You just need to find a solution and a way to fit it in, and remember to be flexible.  If you miss a day, don't give up, just pick it up tomorrow.

Saturday after my 5 mile tempo run (1 mile warm-up, 2 3/4 miles @ 7:13, 1/4 mile @ 6:30, 3/4 mile cool down, 1/4@ 6:30) the girls each wanted to "run" on the treadmill.  It was really funny, and I love it that they already want to run like mama.  :)

On the agenda today:

New Bodyrock Workout:

  • Ninja Jump-5 reps

  • Elevated Bridge Leg Lift-10 reps on each legs

  • Dynamic Push Ups-5 reps

  • One Arm One Leg Bridge-20 reps total

  • One Leg Burpee-5 reps on each leg

  •  Repeat 5x, for time.

    4-mile run with 8x100 meter strides, it will be done with my two little ladies in the jogging stroller.  Whats on your agenda for today?

    I'm going to try a new recipe for Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars (thanks Jen!) today, I'll post the recipe later and let ya know how they turn out!  Have a great Tuesday!!! :)

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Game on!

    This week I officially start training for my third half marathon!  YAY!  I am so excited.  I'm taking on a challenging training plan, it will be the hardest I've ever trained, and I'm going to love every minute (ok, maybe I'm gonna hate 800 repeats....lol)  My amazing new friend Tara, who is a running coach and super rockstar runner herself  (3:27 is her marathon PR, ya I told you she's a rockstar!) developed the plan for me.  I'm going to start using my blog to journal my training right up to race day.  Here is what my first week looks like:

    Monday: Rest or XT
    Tuesday: 4 miles including 6x100 meter strides
    Wednesday: 3-4 easy miles
    Thursday: 5 miles, including 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at 7:15 pace, 1 mile cool down
    Friday: Rest or XT
    Saturday: 3-4 easy miles
    Sunday: 8 miles at a slow pace

    Total: 23-25 miles

    Yesterday I did another bodyrock workout (of course), it was the 550 Rep Fat Massacre:

    -backward lunge and kick-up (25 reps each leg)
    -walk over push-up (50 reps)
    -mountain climber (50 reps)
    -sumo squats and knee up (50 reps)
    -one leg bridge leg lift (25 reps each leg)
    -side to side squat with leg lift (25 reps each leg)
    -one arm tricep push-up (25 reps each arm)
    -star crunch (50 reps)
    -diagonal touch down (25 reps each side)
    -side plank lift (25 reps each side)
    -one leg wall sit and leg lift (25 reps each leg)

    I definately felt the burn after that workout!

    On today's agenda is my 4 mile run with 6x100 meter strides and another bodyrock workout.  What is your workout today?

    And I may have found a new favorite breakfast:

    Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal

    1/2 Cup soymilk
    1/2 Cup of water
    1/2 banana
    1/2 Cup of oats
    1 Tbs of peanut butter
    sprinkle of cinnamon

    Bring the soymilk and water to a boil, add the banana, oats and pb.  Then cook until the oats are how you like 'em.  I don't like mushy oats, so I don't cook it too long.  This was so yummy I literally wanted the bowl to never end and when it did I though about licking the bowl clean, however I did manage to refrain (this time)!

    What is your favorite breakfast?

    Have a great Tuesday!!! :)

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Above and Beyond Running

    So I started this post SEVERAL days ago, but then my daughter went ahead and turned FOUR on April 1st and well life got in the way.  So, here's her at her Birthday Party:OAnd now I will continue with my post from the other day.  :)

    Of course I love running, you've seen me write about it a lot and share my goals with you.   But, I think there is a lot more that goes in to being a good runner than JUST running.  Of course you need to keep up with your mileage, temp runs, long runs, and speed work (something I'm just beginning.)  What else do you need to do you ask?  Well let me tell you.

    Strength Training
    Yes, strength training will definately improve your running.  Why?  Because you use so many different muscles in your body when you run, especially your legs and core.  Do you need to spend hours in the gym?  Nah.  You can if you want to, but I recommend you find somthing you enjoy and can stick with.  For me its lots of short intense interval training, lots of body weight workouts, and functional conditioning.  I like to do workouts that target your entire body.  And I like to change things up a lot. I get many of my workouts from bodyrock.tv.  I will share with you one of my favorites. 

    300 Rep Workout(from bodyrock.tv)

    This workout is a time challenge, so you complete it is quickly as you can.  You can keep your time so that you can compete against your own time every time you do it.  They also have a 550 Rep workout that I love too!
    • 1) Side Lunge Knee Tuck (left leg)30 reps
    • 2) Side Lunge Knee Tuck (right leg)30 reps
    • 3) Plank Jump Push Up & Roll Over30 reps
    • 4) Side Crunch 15 reps on each side
    • 5) Sandbag Swing 15 reps on each arm
    • 6) Pull Ups 30 reps
    • 7) 1-2-3 Up One Leg Half Squat15 reps on each leg
    • 8) Hanging Knee Raises30 reps
    • 9) 3 low jacks & Jump Up30 reps
    • 10) Triple Knee Tuck & Side Step Push Up30 reps
    Another super important component is the fuel you put in your body.  I don't only think eating healthy is important to improving your running, but also to improving you overall quality of life.  It is important to eat the right foods before you set out on a run or a race, but I think its important ALL the time.  Does this mean I don't think anybody should ever indulge?  Heck no.  I believe in moderation.  I'm not about to go into a big lecture about healthy eating, so take a deep breath.  I just think its helps to be aware.  So, just think about it, what are YOU eating?  Do you feel good about it?  If you have a tough time eating good, make small changes.  Focus on drinking water instead of sugary drinks, replace all your grains with whole grains, increase your protein, try and eat x number of vegetables per day.  Don't do it all at once, just remember small changes can have a big impact.

    I'll share with you a typical day for me:
    meal 1: 1 TBS Peanut butter and half a banana on low carb/high protein pita pocket.

    meal 2: Green Monster Smoothie (scoop of protein powder, 2 cups of spinach, half a banana, 1/2 C soymilk, 1/2 Cup of water, 1/2 plain greek yogurt, 1 TBS ground flax, sprinkle of cinnamon and a few ice cubes)

    meal 3: An omelette with 1 egg, 2 whites, 1/4 C salsa, 1/4 black beans, spinach, mushrooms, avocado, and a sprinkle of 2% chz.

    meal 4: One of my Homemade Granola Bars.

    meal 5: 4 oz meat, fish, poultry with a salad and light dressing with a side of broccoli or spinach (or some other veggie) and maybe a small sweet potato.

    meal 6: Protein shake with 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tbs pb, 1 tbs cocoa, 1/2 plain greek yogurt, 1 cup of water, and a few ice cubes.

    I don't expect anyone to eat the same way as me (and I don't eat the same things everyday), but its a good base to get some ideas from. :)


    “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”

    William Arthur Ward

    Believe it, if you think you can, you can.  If you don't, than you won't.  Its true that hard work plays a big role, but even if you work hard if you don't believe in yourself, it won't happen.  Think big, dream big, work hard.  You'll get there.  Need a cheerleader?  Ask me, I'll believe in you and you'll believe in me.  We'll make big things happen.  As Nike would say..."Just Do It".  I'm going to!

    What is your biggest goal?