Sunday, March 31, 2013

Menu Planning 3/31 & Apricot Coconut Bars

menu planning

Linking up with Jill and Laura for menu planning. Getting better on the meal planning habit as we keep forgetting what our plans were. Tomorrow also marks the start of the sugar detox I am doing with Laura. I decided to take this one step further and also cut out dairy (most if not all animal products) and limit processed foods. Still time to join us, check out this post for details. I love cheese and need to get all dairy gone for my allergies to clear, this will be my toughest meal planning obstacle. With planning I think this can work, my biggest trigger is afternoon snacking so I am going to work hard to keep that under control and have healthy options to quickly grab. What are your on the go healthy options?

Vegan Magnet - We Are Not Ingredients
Very fitting with my weekly goals (Source)

Overnight Oats

Roasted asparagus, mashed cauliflower & lentil loaf - Easter
Spinach & Edamme salad
Spinach Black Bean Corn Salad
Chickpea Veggie Curry
Black Bean/Sweet Potato Burger & Roasted Potatoes
Grilled Eggplant “steaks”
Banana Oat Pancakes

Veggies and Hummus
Core Defender Bars – Pre-run “meal”
Apples with SunButter
Brown Rice Cakes with Almond Butter
Pumpkin Granola
Apricot Coconut Bars (recipe below)

Apricot Coconut “Lara Bar”
½ cup dates
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup almonds
¼ cup applesauce – unsweetened
¼ - ½ cup oats depending on dryness desired
¼ cup coconut- unsweetened
¼- ½ tsp ginger

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth (desired consistency). Pack into parchment lined baking dish 8x8 and place in freezer or refrigerator until set, cut and store in sealed container (mine are still in refrigerator)

How is your weekly menu looking? Anything you want to share?

Happy Easter! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Marathon Monday and share your week in training.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Healthy Easter

Can you believe it is almost Easter and April and there is still snow? Yuck! On Wednesday I sent my girl to preschool in a sweater, complete with the sunglasses she insisted on only to find out it was outdoor day, yep mommy fail! We have just gotten to the point of being done with this and honestly 30s don't feel bad anymore. With the hassle of jackets off and on in the car seat we just opt for a sweater instead. Luckily preschool had a stash of clothes!

Like I have mentioned before we go to a church preschool despite not going to church frequently but she is getting more out of this than sitting through a service (please no negative comments on our choices). The combination is great balance, they not only learned the story of Easter and hammered nails to the cross (brave teacher) but also took part in an egg hunt. I helped with the party and once again had a fun day, until I learned that Easter lilies are delivered that day, by the time we left I was miserable thanks to my allergy to them. The better part, guess how I discovered this: I was in a friend's wedding holding a bouquet of these in front of the church wondering why my chest was itching and I couldn't stop sneezing, ugh!

What is this end for?

Preschool Easter once again involved massive amounts of candy, marshmallows, lemonade and cookies, ugh! So what are we doing to make it healthier?

Some healthier basket ideas:
  • Puzzles
  • Hair bands
  • A small stuffed animal
  • Crayons and drawing paper
  • A small piece of dark chocolate
  • Dried fruit
  • Bubbles
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Pretzels
  • Notes from the Easter Bunny
  • "Jewelry"
  • Clothes (you buy them anyways, right?)
What are you putting in a healthy Easter basket? I think for O it is the joy of finding the eggs not necessarily what is in them. She got a Blow Pop at school, asked to look at it and proceeded to unwrap it, tell me it was red and sticky and walk to the garbage to throw it away saying "I don't like suckers, can I have the chocolate?"

Happy Easter, have a great weekend! Any fun plans? We are hoping it is nice enough to grill Easter dinner. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Early morning workout fuel & Healthy Cookie Recipe

I used to be one of those people who had to eat immediately upon waking and could barely workout without my normal breakfast but a couple years ago I started getting up and on the bike trainer at home for 30-60 minutes at 430am and it went okay, easy but it woke me up. Running was a different story, I rarely ran in the morning because somehow the treadmill nearly kills me before 7am more than usual and getting outside before 5am is short lived around here. When I did run I made it about 30 minutes and was without energy and starving. Last Spring I started the regular morning spin, then boot camp and some running and it has gotten easier but I always wonder if I could have a better, stronger workout with some fuel.

I first want to note I am not talking about long workouts here which is is much different issue. Instead these are the early morning crawl out of bed and go workouts of maybe 60-90 minutes at most.

Sometimes I find myself grabbing a small handful of GF pretzels or granola on my way out the door or at most a small breakfast cookie if I have one but nothing more. Barely enough to do more than calm the acid in my stomach. I decided to research this topic and surprise there is a lack of evidence to support either fasting morning workouts or fueling and what that fuel should be. I did find the following recommendations:

-Eat your regular morning meal of ~400 calories with a combination of protein and carbs. (This is my long run plan, but I am not waking up at 4am for a 5:30 spin class!)

-Eat a small snack: banana, protein shake, glass of milk, handful of nuts. (My common practice)

-Grab water for the workout and go, no eating before hand just refuel afterwards. (Or sometimes this)

So what is the answer? Once again another fitness decision one needs to experiment with. Then trying to find that happy balance between enough to fuel but not too much to cause sloshing in the belly or feeling too full. 

Do you eat before an early morning workout? Does it matter cardio vs strength? Do you feel sluggish if you don't eat?

Since I mentioned my breakfast cookies I figured I could share the latest recipe O and I made last week, this is my 3 year old’s idea of a cookie! Also the perfect sweet snack for those taking on the sugar free challenge next week J

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 

2 bananas mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Nut Butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup Oats

1/2 cup buckwheat or WW flour if not gluten free
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins

Mix wet ingredients together, then add dry. Drop by spoonfulls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes Makes 2 dozen small cookies

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sugar Free/ Dairy Free/ Gluten Free - Are you ready?

I have mentioned multiple times my frustration with the high amounts of sugar pushed on us and my many food intolerances, well as I stick with a gluten free diet I have strayed from the strict diet I once followed and can tell. I’m sure it is a combination of this never winter and high carb, processed food intake but I am lacking energy and quite headachey lately L Last weekend I started thinking it was time to get strict again. The gym is offering a 4 week detox but me not working doesn’t bode well with paying to give up foods so I was thrilled when Laura suggested a sugar detox. I am taking it one step further and also giving up processed foods and all animal products, gluten (duh!) and sugar. Sorry can’t do the full thing and give up my coffee, but more power if you can.
Is this how you eat? Do you see any problems with the breakdown? Notice sugar/treats is now missing!
Laura did a great job talking about the The Sugar Addiction so I will focus on the reasons to give up sugar as well as the other ingredients.

Sugar Refined “processed” sugars are found in many foods and can result in obesity, tooth decay, increased blood sugar and high triglyceride levels (Source). We often reach for sugar when hungry and then quickly crash from the spike leading to a sugar-crash cycle. While I avoid refined sugar in my cooking I eat many processed foods and experience this almost daily. Remember alcohol is high in refined sugars.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat and can lead to inflammatory response in many, while it is something that we hear a lot about in celiac most people do not need to give up gluten. Those who have an allergy or intolerance need to avoid gluten but most others should focus on the change to whole grains and avoiding refined “white” grains. I can tell you first hand that a full gluten free diet is tough, but for me well worth it. If you have GI issues, headaches, fatigue or decreased energy you might want to give it a shot? (Source).

When's the last time this was dinner?
Animal Products Dairy is the one animal product I frequently eat, while I don’t drink milk I do enjoy cheese and yogurt but the side effects of dairy in particular are huge; congestion, GI problems (75% of people can’t fully digest dairy), sinus problems and allergies. Our bodies weren’t made to digest dairy and going dairy free can improve sinus problems, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight (Source). While I could go on forever on giving up meat I won’t, but instead just encourage you to think about why you find it necessary to eat and think of other healthier sources of protein. Give it a try, no meat for 7 days, much easier than you would think, it has been nearly 4 years for me (no read meat and minimal animal products for almost 20 years) and I don’t miss it

Are you in? What are you giving up? Make sure to go to Laura’s post and sign up. Take the next few days to plan and be ready to start on Monday morning. Next week come back and share a recipe you discovered and a great resource.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marathon Weekly: Week 9

Week 9 means the peak weeks of training and luckily for me a happy hamstring! Unfortunately it also means I am entering the big weeks of the semester too, yuck! After another week off and lots of rolling, ice, etc I am running again and feeling great. I knew things were looking up when I managed to roll pain free and progressed to the tennis ball (or dog's Kong for lack of tennis ball one day!) for even deeper hamstring massage. 
Photo: Lose yourself in the things you love.
Is there anything better?
Spring is here but you'd never know looking outside: snow and cold continue and I am done with it. It did make not running slightly more tolerable.

Monday: Yoga DVD in morning & 1:15 on elliptical
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & 1 hour elliptical in evening
Wednesday: Speed intervals on elliptical 90 minutes, now this was boring!
Thursday: Slept in a skipped Spin, but 30 min elliptical and weights in afternoon
Friday: Morning Spin
Saturday: Easy 6.5 miles run 1:00:36 & core/weights
Sunday: 14.7 Miles 2:01:10 & 1 hour yoga, this was wonderful and the first time I have truly felt relaxed at the end of yoga.

And what's ahead for Week 10 of marathon training? More being smart and staying injury free and this. I am going to keep an extra cross training day in this week just to be safe. The forecast is for 40s by late week, finally! I need warmth, yes 40 is warm right now, and sun and nice running weather. Bring on the puddles, mud and running in shorts.

Goal: Continue to listen to my body, foam roll, ice and yoga. I hope to start some intervals later this week, maybe even on the track.

Monday: Yoga & 1 hour elliptical or pool running
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & Easy evening Run (coaching)
Wednesday: Morning Run (Speed Intervals- ladder workout)
Thursday: Morning Spin & Afternoon run/weights
Friday: Morning Spin & Yoga
Saturday: Easy run & Weights
Sunday: Long Run 18-20 Miles

How was your week? How Spring has brought better weather and great running.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How soon is too soon after injury?

Painful Calves? Read about important things to watch for. #running #injury #painful #calves #tips
Here I sit in the midst of yet another running concern over this stupid hamstring. It has been nearly 2 weeks off (minus the half last weekend) filled with plenty of foam rolling and icing. I have continued with strength training and cross training (elliptical and spin) and increased my stretching during this time. My other bad habit just behind running through pain is returning too soon. Last year was a great example, I came back a little early to run Boston felt fine but quickly realized I needed to take a little more time and this cycle continued all year.

This time I am taking a new approach and attempting at great work to listen and be smart. This was actually pretty easy when it hurt and then earlier this week considering the 40+ mph winds and temps near 0! But now I am pan free and the weather is looking better, if 30s can be better, so here I sit wondering what I should do. Hamstring issues have a high re-injury rate if the return is too soon.

How do you know when to return? 4 criteria to determine readiness (source)

  • Pain: Pain free not only with walking but also when impacting through activities like one leg jumping. I have been pain free since Tuesday even with rolling.
  • Strength: 4 consecutive repetitions of maximum strength test in knee flexion without pain. Yesterday I managed 3 sets of single leg presses without pain or decrease in strength.
  • Flexibility: Full range of motion at baseline. After a couple could stretching session earlier in the week I am finally back to baseline.
  • Functional Activities: Running specific activities with quick direction changes without pain or limitation. My trainer incorporated side lunges and jumps which I managed.

The good news is I am 4 for 4 on this list although my flexibility still sucks but that’s my baseline. Much different than my previous life as a dancer! So what to do: give it a trial run tomorrow? This is my plan, now to not get sucked into the group’s plan to run long. What is your key to determining return to running? Do you come back too early?

I almost have an easier time returning after a bigger injury when it it s obvious and the return program is slow. This will mean more listening and trying to be smart as I have 7 week until marathon day and plenty of time to build back. I plan to continue to roll and ice post workout. Luckily I have access to a sports medicine doctor who has also given me advice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get Lucky Half Marathon, not so lucky race!

Where to even begin writing about this race, I almost want to skip it and not have record of the worst race I’ve run in years, but how else do we learn but to remember the things that don’t go smooth. After nearly a week off of running thanks to hamstring issues I knew it wasn’t going to be fast but I just wanted pain free. We woke up to yet another cold morning (9F) and more snow making roads icy in places. I once again spent too much time debating what to wear, but this time only regretted my choice for a few minutes. I have never raced anything more than 5K in temps this bad before.

We finally got the car parked after a long line and ran to hit the porta-potty where we learned a new trick. The 2 guys in front of us went in together to make it faster, so Matt and I followed. Why have we never done this before? Seriously there is a urinal and toilet so it works. Okay enough potty talk onto the race…
I get to the start and weave my way up as far as I can and see the 1:45 pace group slightly in front of me. I tell myself ignore the pacers, they only mess with your mind. I hit a good pace and am able to keep 7:30-7:45 for the first 4 miles, as I remember why I don’t race in the winter. My asthma is completely fine unless I push myself in cold air. I have no problem running in cold just can’t race. I’ve had 3 fare ups in the last 5+ years and all have been related to running (or swimming) in cold temperatures.

Mile 5 and the ache is returning, pretty sure all the hills aren’t good. I slow a bit and start to 
see the runners heading back as I near the 6 Mile mark. Almost time to turn around, I can do this.

Turnaround: 52:00 (Ugh, 5 minutes slower then my goal oh well it wasn’t a goal race day) and time to walk a bit to avoid a fall on the sheet of ice.

Now the fun part, at least for a few miles, I head back and start to hear my name as I pass probably 10 friends running the half. A little motivation to keep moving. Then Mile 8 uphill and icy, what?! Each mile I am slowing as the pain increases, nothing horrible but hamstring is angry! Now working on convincing myself that this is my race, ignore everyone else and do what is comfortable. I just keep running, slow and steady and letting my music push me along. Mile 12 and almost done, finally the finish line noise is near so I ask myself: what do I have left? I give a little push and done! Yikes, 1:47:22 haven’t seen a time like that since I was pregnant. Half 1 of 13 in 2013 done.

While I shook off my disappointment I realized I did what I could and now the year can get batter. I had a few minutes (and they continue) where I think no, I can’t deal with another bad racing year like 2012. Taking it all into account I am stronger, healthier and all around in a better pace than I was a year ago, so I can do this with a little time to fix the hamstring I know I will be better. Sorry, I have to work really hard to convince myself and try to not be too hard on myself for not doing as I hoped so you all get to read it here. Like I said yesterday I am taking more time off running, rolling, icing, and working on strength now.

I decided sitting was the last thing I needed so I slowly ran back and met a friend running her first half and ran her in before deciding I was too cold and headed to the car to wait for Matt. We headed to the post-race party to meet some people from our running group and then to lunch at a new Mexican place where I had great sweet potato, black bean tortillas which were veg and gluten free!  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Marathon Week 8

Week 8 means halfway through this training cycle. After a few good weeks I am even more frustrated than I was a year ago with my less than stellar 2012 in racing. Well my first injury of 2013 marathon training has decided it will be hanging out for longer then I hoped. This has meant limited running and plenty of time with the foam roller, ice and cross training.

Monday: Yoga to start the day & 1:15 elliptical
Tuesday:  Slept in and skipped spin. Weight class (trainer cancelled), Easy 2 miles (morning) & Easy 5.5 mile Run (coaching)
Wednesday: 1:15 Intervals on elliptical (not as fun as it sounds L )
Thursday: Morning Spin & weights with trainer
Friday: Morning Spin
Saturday: Half Marathon (report tomorrow) + 2 miles to help friends finish. Not close to my goal but it was not the day for this
Sunday: 1 hour spin + 1 hour elliptical & Weights

And what's ahead for Week 9 of marathon training? More being smart and getting injury free and this...Can you believe it is March 18th and we have more snow coming? Even worse it is 20+ degrees colder than average. This makes not being able to get out and run a little easier.
Goal: Continue to listen to my body. Now is the time to not be stupid. I am foam rolling like a crazy person and did yoga, taking a more time off running until this hamstring stops.

Monday: Yoga to start the day & elliptical or pool running
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & Easy evening Run (coaching) if leg feels okay
Wednesday: Morning Run (Speed Intervals- ladder workout) as long as the leg feels fine otherwise pool running
Thursday: Morning Spin & Afternoon weights
Friday: Morning Spin & Yoga
Saturday: Easy run pending leg
Sunday: Recovery Run & Weights

I am hoping to get in for ART with my sports chiro but thanks to my insurance was told I am only covered if I have a referral from my primary (I don’t have one now that I switched insurance, ugh). What a waste of health care resources and money! Luckily, thanks to my years of running injuries, I have a regular sports medicine doctor who would count, hope I can get his advice on the phone. Deep breath, stay calm and be smart. What is your favorite non-running activity when you are injured?

How was your week in training? Have a training post of any distance, then link up and share stories, encouragement and concerns.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A new approach to injury management


As I mentioned in my race recap from this past weekend I started having hamstring issues well that soon migrated to my calf leading to a failed run attempt on Sunday and then time off. The last I ran was An easy run Tuesday with my team which included walking. A similar calf issue crept up last winter while I was training for Boston and my approach was to keep running and just complain about it, not such a smart idea but I know every runner has done it! This resulted in a tibial stress fracture and continued calf and hamstring issues all year. This time I am taking my own advice and a new approach: no running!

I am still early in the year and I can not deal with another poor racing season. So my plan this year is to Be Smart and Listen to my Body. I have been sticking with elliptical, strength training and biking instead, had hoped to do some pool running but the deep pool hours are terrible and often too early or during naptime. My plan...

Rest: No running but still staying active with any other activity that does not cause pain
My workouts this week
Ice: Not as great on this, but 1-2 x day but should be up to 4

Compression Socks: I put on my socks and the relief is wonderful :) I even decided to order a new pair since they are 40% off at ProCompression this week (code MARCH). Now to decide on blue or orange since the green is out, what color should I get?

Yes, I have cold feet and wear huge socks all the time.
Massage: The foam roller has become my companion again. But I have my own little massage therapist at home. 
I started foam rolling and O says "Mommy I need to "lift" (stretch) your leg then "push on it" (massage) when you are done." Raising a runner or massage therapist! 

 Someone also suggestion epsom salt which I haven't tried. I talked to sports doctor yesterday at my clinicals about kinesio tape and he gave me his opinion to avoid it since there is minimal evidence to back it up and no biomechanical benefit. Good to know. Any other injury suggestion before it turns into a bigger deal?  I am hoping this is enough to run pain free in the half tomorrow, I think I need to throw out my goals and just run. Meaning I'll likely have my iPod, Any song suggestions? I haven't updated in months. 

Linking up for Fitness Friday with Jill. Remember come back here on Monday for a weekly training link up
Don't forget the Spring to Fitness Giveaway  ends on Sunday, lots of prizes to win!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raising my determined, social child and surviving

I saw this saying the other and day it pretty much sums up my daughter's behavior and gives me as a mom another way to think of the underlying reason. I know I am not the only one out there raising a child who is a drama queen and social butterfly and so determined to be independent, know all the answers and insists she can do everything on her own. Like I have mentioned before from early on there was every indication that my child had taken after me in my stubbornness and inability to relax, great! Now add to this the one personality trait I lack: being a social butterfly and you have a tough parenting role.

How do we survive...
1. Keep routine!

2. Make sure she naps: this is huge for us, time to reset and shut her mind down. No nap means miserable mommy, daddy and O!

3. Encourage quiet activities throughout the day: The combination of her energy level and outside stimulation builds without these little "breaks" we get to the point of no return. Throughout the day encourage time drawing, reading, anything quiet they enjoy. One of O's favorites is washing dishes, the water is calming for many kids.

4. Encourage time with other kids: Foster strong social interaction and teach appropriate skills at the same time. Right now we are in the ask or say anything stage! O walked up to an older woman and asked about her "skis" (crutches) and wanted the whole story about why she had them.

5. Choose your battles: It just isn't worth the fight to wear matching clothes when you know more important things are ahead.

6. Give small tasks: O's goal is to be "the helper" but her choices are often things beyond her level, so we always have small tasks for her even if they result in extra work for us in the long run it is worth the lack of fight!

7. Watch for signs of impending melt downs: Learn these signs and intervene early with quiet time not a punishment. Allow some control over the situation by "suggesting" she go read, take a deep breath, etc.

A few weeks ago at the review conference it was all reinforced in the child development talk when I was shocked that it is not until age 4 1/2 that most kids "draw a person (no torso) and understand how to fix a situation (hungry then eat). Well this was what my 37 month old did yesterday...
Photo: Ophelia's drawing of me! Oh my, not sure what she thinks of me!
Looks just like me, right?!
So now I have this child who is too smart for her own good, wants to know everything and has the skills and social personality to ask and learn it all. Guess I better get used to the nonstop talking! I know this will benefit her as she grows but tires me out when the physical and mental energy are nonstop.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

100% Yuck 10 Mile

Okay, not truly the race name but how I felt much of the race! The weather was bad but not as bad as predicted, rained all night and we had the fun opportunity to dodge puddles and ice until the rain returned about 5 miles into the race. Now add to that wind, belly pain and the start of a new sport of tackle running and you have my race!  

I made a stupid choice on Friday and ate a pile of cinnamon tortilla chips (good thing they are only a holiday item and no longer available). The belly pain started shortly after this and returned a few miles into the race.

The race prep was filled with multiple clothing debates and changing way too many times. It was low 30F, windy and rain on the way. Finally got dressed and headed to the race start with minutes to spare, decided to skip the port-a-potty and figured I’d be fine once I was running (stupid move!). I had high hopes until the gun went off! Less than ¼ mile in was an ankle deep puddle covering the entire road, up on the snow banks and hopes of not falling. ½ mile in I decide I need that port-a-potty before my bladder gets too upset, so time is wasted again. As we headed around Lake 1 there were areas of clear road, puddles and ice.

A few miles in I realize I over dressed and need to get rid of my inner fleece jacket. This was a process, but my timing was good. I saw Matt about 1 mile later and got rid of the jacket I had annoyingly tied on my waist. I got a boost as I heard a little voice “that’s my mommy. Go mommy.”

Now on to the Lake 2 as we run the one hill on the course. I near the water stop and briefly notice a yellow blur coming from my left as I am nearly hit and I jump to the side. Wow, that man was in a hurry to get out of the port-a-potty! When did running become a contact sport? This near collision and quick, unsteady movement on cold legs resulted in an ache in my leg that only continued to hamstring pain causing me to skip Sunday’s run L

Mie 5 and I have never been happier to be this far in a 10 Mile race. Perfect timing to see a running friend run by out on a training run and give me a short burst. That was short lived, cue belly pain. 4 miles to go and I want to curl up on the side of the road, too bad the puddles are too deep and the rain has returned.
Only here do race volunteers and police officers build snowmen in the middle of the road during a race!
Mile 7 last hill and a final lap on Lake 1. Time to dodge more ice and puddles. Seriously, where is spring? I am tempted to quit and end ½ mile in Lake 1 near the post-race stuff but convince myself to just go on and keep moving. Mile 9 and catching up with the 5K walkers and dodging the massive group taking up much of the road. And there it is, finally I see the finish. Done! Honestly no idea on time I know under 1:20 but I guess closer to 1:15 based on clock. Time to take my frozen wet feet home to warm up but coffee first!
Not the race I hoped or the resulting hamstring issue which still lingers today. I guess it was a free entry so I can’t complain too much. Next time don’t eat a pile of chips the day before and stop being a weather wimp and lose the extra jacket. I am really trying to not think of this as the race of excuses but I seem to be filled with them, don't I? After my disappointing 2012 race season I need a better year and my first thought is one of Not Again! Alright time to snap out of this and grab my foam roller for yet another running rest day and think about how I can be a stronger runner.

exceed your own expectations

Monday, March 11, 2013

Marathon Weekly: Week 7

What a week! First a snowstorm (2 feet+) with cancelled school, then rain and wind. Come on sun and warmth! Early week runs were great considering the conditions but that all changed when Saturday turned into a puddle jump/ice skating race. 

I tried a new pre-run fuel this week and not sure what to think. My trainer gave me some Generation UCan: a starch based fuel that sounds great, no GI issues, and can get someone through a marathon on nothing else. I mixed up the packet for Wednesday and tried, I really did, but could only drink maybe 1/4. It was like it said, starchy. I can only compare to what I assume drinking corn starch would be like, yuck! Anyone else try this? Tricks to get it down? My issue is I either have too much in my stomach or not enough fuel to get started. How is it after 20 marathons I still haven't figured this out?
Not too appetizing!

Monday: 9 Miles Hill intervals on the treadmill
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & Easy evening Run 5.5 miles
Wednesday: Morning Run 12.5 miles of attempted speed, but snowy roads kept it slower
Thursday: Afternoon weights/Easy 4 Mile run (slept in a skipped spin)
Friday: Morning Spin
Saturday: 10 Mile race (last minute free entry!) with 1 mile w/u & c/d in cold, wind & rain. Not as I hoped and many issues (more about this later) 

Sunday: Run fail thanks to hamstring pain, instead gave up after 2 miles and finished with 8 miles on the elliptical & Weights

And what's ahead for Week 8 of marathon training? My first 1/2 marathon of the year! 

Goal: Listen to my body. Now is the time to not be stupid. I am foam rolling like a crazy person and did yoga, taking a couple run days off until this hamstring stops. Race goals: sub 1:34, but will be happy with sub 1:38 (or that's what I tell myself)

Monday: Yoga to start the day & elliptical
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & Easy evening Run (coaching)
Wednesday: Morning Run (Speed Intervals- ladder workout) as long as the leg feels fine
Thursday: Morning Spin & Afternoon weights/possible easy run
Friday: Morning Spin & Yoga
Saturday: Half Marathon (+ 1-2 mile warm up)
Sunday: Recovery Run & Weights

How was your week in training? Have a training post of any distance, then link up and share stories, encouragement and concerns.

Don't forget to enter the Spring to Fitness Giveaway lots of prizes!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Running in the rain

Not just any rain here, but freezing rain! I love running in warm rain but this no way! I am registered for a 10 Mile race tomorrow and the forecast is for upper 20s/low 30s and rain, seriously? Finally not terribly cold and we get rain, come on mother nature. There is already talk of cancelling the race if the conditions on the roads are icy but better be prepared. I have run in similar conditions one other time; a half marathon years ago and the result- my only DNF. It sucked, I was cold and miserable and and about mile 7 had enough and headed back to the hot tub at the hotel.

I found it funny that someone actually conducted a study on running in cold rain and there results: Running in cold rain is miserable! Really, didn't need a study to tell me that. The results did find that with the lower body temperature there was higher oxygen consumption and higher plasma lactate levels meaning an increase in energy demand (Source). Not a reason to skip a cold rainy run, but reason to know that race performance will likely be decreased.

Ways to make running in freezing rain better:

Dress in layers: Stay warm and dry with a wicking inner layer and water resistant outer layer. But don't overdress or you will overheat and just have multiple wet layers covering you.

Wear a hat: You hair/head will stay dry and a visor will keep the rain out of your face and make it easier to see while running.

Wear a garbage bag: To stay dry at the start line (especially if it will be a long wait) cut a head hole and wear a bag that can be easily ripped off once the race starts.

Prevent chafing: Te water will only add to the problem so make sure to use that BodyGlide, Aquaphor or AntiChafe. And don't forget the feet especially between the toes, wet feet will get sore and blisters without something, yes I know this first hand :(

Warm up in old shoes: Change into dry shoes right before the race so you feet can at least start out dry.

Have warm/dry clothes ready for afterwards: You will only get colder from the rain and sweat if you stay this way. Make sure to have something warm and dry to change into and don't forget new socks and shoes. Take a sock, fill it with rice or dry beans, microwave until warm, then wrap your clothes & a towel around it and put the whole bundle into a cooler or a thick blanket.

Don't forget a warm drink too. 

After the run Dry your shoes: Take out the insoles and set aside, stuff the shoe with newspaper. You may need to change in a time or two when it gets soaked but your shoes will be dry and ready to go for the next run.

Run for fun and to feel tough but skip the PR goal: Te run will take more out of you and is unlikely to result in a perfect race so just have fun and accept it will likely not be the best race.

Are you motivated to get out there and run in freezing rain! I'm working on convincing myself this will be fun, but honestly crossing my fingers that the race is cancelled! Maybe I will pin on my bib and hit the nice, dry treadmill instead. Okay enough negative talk, I can do this (maybe the forecast is wrong). Any other advice for running in freezing rain?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday And don't forget to check out and enter the Spring to Fitness Giveaway. I teamed up with 10 other heath/fitness bloggers and we have some great prizes.

Spring to Fitness Giveaway

I teamed up with 10 other health and fitness bloggers to put on a health and fitness themed group giveaway for you all! It's March, and everyone is waiting for Spring, I know I am!. Well, we can't do much to hurry along Mother Nature, but why not enjoy this time between winter and spring with some health and fitness goodies? With lots of great prizes and friendly blogs to check out, this is a post you'll want to bookmark Wink
Jennifer from Metamorfit is giving away a pair of Feetures Elite socks.You all know how much I LOVE my FEETURES socks, "when I put these socks on they gripped my foot, like a mother holding her child's hand through a busy parking lot. They grabbed on and didn't let go. It was awesome. Normally in Spinning I am always messing around with my toes in my shoes because the top of the socks bunch up, and by the end of class my socks are just drenched with sweat. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. But guess what...IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE!!"    
group giveaway
Kelly from Leafy Not Beefy is giving away 3 Tractivity bundles. Kelly likes Tractivity because, "A small, noninterfering way to keep track of calories, steps, mileage, and more, and anyone can use it"
group giveaway

Cheri from Fitness Shake-Up is giving away Shakeology samples, a booklet, and a blender cup. She says "*I'm a Diamond Beachbody Coach and I cannot say enough positive things about Shakeology. It's a delicious shake full of super-foods, vitamins and nutrients that you replace either breakfast or lunch with daily. It curbs your appetite, increases your energy and helps you live a healthy life."

group giveawayLaura from FitRunningMama is adding a RunningDiva's grey size M long sleeved "Marathon Mom" shirt. She says, "Running Diva's is a great company that makes clothing for women who enjoy living and flaunting their active lifestyles. Their tops are all soft and extremely comfortable. (American Apparel). 

group giveaway

Debbie from HealthyRunningMom is showering some sparkle on someone with a glittery gold headband. "An adorable gold sparkly headband 3/8" thick with adjustable band. The headband has velour inside so it won't slip while wearing. It's gold & glittery to make you feel great while wearing!"
group giveaway

Allison from Aphalicious Bliss is giving away some EnergyBits. She says, "They are a very healthy snack to add to your meals for added protein and after a workout. They are only 1 cal per bit."   
group giveaway

Maralana is giving away a 2-wk supply of Body By VI shakes. "BBV is a nutritional shake that can be used to lose weight, gain weight, nutrional support and so much more. It helped me lose 65lbs this past year. We are helping to battle obesity with the 'Shake that Taste like Cake"   

group giveaway

Joanna fom Sports Bras and Sippy Cups is contributing a $100 Gift Card. " is by far my favorite place to shop for supplements and even my specialty food items! They have all the top brands for discount vitamins, supplements, whole foods, health foods and sports nutrition online. With, you get such a wide variety of products to choose from at super-low prices.There is no need to shop around, with Vitacost you have everything at your fingertips literally! They offer over 2,000 of the top, most-trusted natural brands, diet foods and healthy living essentials-the very best nutritional supplements, whole foods and sports nutrition-at discount prices, up to 50% off. And they deliver them right to your door for FREE if your order totals $49 or more. Otherwise, shipping is just a small, flat-rate fee of $4.99, no matter how big the box. More than just vitamins has the best selection of health foods and snacks, bath and body products, natural household supplies, baby care essentials--plus, of course, discount vitamins, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition supplements and other formulas for your nutritional needs. You'll find nearly 40,000 products that help you care for yourself, your family, your pets and your home. Get up to 50% off health and beauty products, vitamins, nutritional supplements,health foods and whole food products. Be sure to check out their exclusive Vitacost brand discount vitamins, CSI skin care line and Best of All healthy snacks--featuring the same or better quality as leading brands, without the high price tagsVitacost takes the cost out of healthy living.
group giveaway

Cerissa from CerissaBFit is gifting someone with the Beachbody workout program Hip Hop Abs. She describes, "Hip Hop Abs is a 30-day, dance-based in-home fitness program designed to help you burn fat and sculpt flat sexy abs with workouts built on dancing and having fun. Defining head-turning abs without a single crunch or sit-up."

group giveaway

I am donating a 5k/10k 8-week training program to a lucky winner! (can upgrade to any program for 1/2 price). She says, "Working with a running coach is a great way to have extra motivation and push yourself to do more then you thought possible. I have coached 100s of runners at all levels since 2008 and am RRCA certified and NASM CPT. I want to share my love of running with others and being a coach allows me to do that."

melissa@melissarunningitAnd Melissa from Melissa Running It is giving away a $25 GoSportID gift card plus 1 Motivation Pack bands. "I love my Go Sport ID. It is a customizable bracelet that provides first responders with critical information while serving as a visual motivator to help you dig deep when you want to quit. Why is my Go Sport ID my non-negotiable item every time I head out? A few years ago, I had a friend who went out for a swim and died when she suffered a massive heart attack. It took officials a day and a half to identify her. It seems like we hear more and more about runners being hit while out on the road. I do what I can to stay safe. I usually bring my phone with me, let the hubs know where I'll be running and who I'll be with. My Go Sport ID may not keep me out of harms way, but if something were to happen, medics would know my blood type, my history of asthma, and how to reach my family. On the fun side, since you can customize your bracelet, it's great to have a phrase to focus on when you want to quit. Also, with interchangeable bands, you can match your bracelet to your outfit and they just came out with sparkly bands & a their limited edition motivation pack that you can win! A girls gotta have her priorities in order when she sweats pink, right? Run hard, but be safe."
(click the rafflecopter link to enter!!)
*Must be 18 or older to enter. US only.
**Just because I am co-hosting this giveaway does in NO way, shape or form mean that I endorse any of these products EXCEPT for my training plan :)**