Friday, August 29, 2014

Changes and feeling great! Are you ready to change?

I usually don't post like this, so open. And I am for sure not one to take selfies! I've struggled with how my body responded after pregnancy and now especially with all the changes over the past year: back to full time work, quicker meals, big running injury, etc. But here it is...

I was ask yesterday about Beachbody and why I started the programs and why I became a coach and thought I'd share with my readers as well and show the progress I have made in just two short months (2 very busy months with long work days, travel and O's activities).

I joined the Team at Beachbody because I was an injured runner who had gained weight due to lack of workouts. I had spent so many years in my run and lifting routine that I was lost with ½ of that and no longer seeing positive changes. I felt like I’d even hit a plateau on my lifting, I wanted strength and definition and it was coming! I had become frustrated with running the past year and was not enjoying it, heck I was actually happy with the need to stop running. In June I heard about PiYo and that it sounded like something worth trying. At the same time I was convinced (very reluctantly) to try Shakeology. I mean, I don’t jump on these supplement bandwagons I want my food! But these carb cravings and afternoons filled with processed food were killing me so why not.

I think the turning point came in one of my first runs back, it was hot, so I decided to finish my run in only a sports bra. I looked as I was running and nearly cried as I saw the bloat and lose belly over the top of my shorts. What had happened? I used to have abs! Now I looked like I did 5 months pregnant. My pants were all feeling tight and I was just frustrated!

I have seen huge changes both outwardly and in my running. After almost 2 years with a nagging, worsening injury I spent 2 months not running and going through intense PT with slow results. After 1 month of PiYo/P90X3 combo my PT was shocked at the progress in my glute strength, core strength/stability/balance and flexibility that I was allowed to increase mileage and speed! I also saw results I haven’t seen in years. After 2 months I no longer have my belly and am finally seeing the return of pre-baby (almost 5 yrs) abs! I am down 7lbs and feel great! While I have gained inches on arms and legs, I have lost on my waist and hips!

As a coach I have been able to share these great workouts and more with others, I’ve had a passion for fitness, nutrition and running for years and feel that this was a perfect way to tie it all together! I have seen friends lose weight, gain energy and reset their fitness and nutrition through the programs. P90X has helped runners knock time off their PRs and become stronger on less miles. And Shakeology has saved me, every afternoon I pass on the pile of processed carbs and have a shake and maintain my energy all day!
Left: June 20th Right: Aug 22nd (Sorry I'm not great at selfies!)

With all this said I’d love to have you join me starting September 6th for a Back to School Challenge Group! You pick the workouts, I’ll provided support, coaching and resources and as a group we will encourage and hold each other accountable. Who wants to join? Make sure to buy your challenge pack before August 31st to make sure it arrives in time. Ask me anything and make sure to order here

What was your turning point to make changes? What is your biggest struggle?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Enough Protein? WIAW

After my ER visit and continued issues with hyponatremia I decided to get back on top of my food tracking and logged in to my Fitness Pal account after almost a year. I will admit I usually go at it expecting to stick with it but quit after a week. This time I needed to focus on making sure my protein, fat and sodium intake were enough for my activity levels. It has been almost a month and I'm finding my carbs are still higher than needed meaning I need to focus on the other two more.

Since we are talking food, I decided to get back into the What I Ate Wednesday posting...

My lunches/dinners (frequently dinner becomes lunch in some form)
  • Vegan Pepper Mac n "Cheese"
  • Quinoa black Bean/Veggie Bowl
  • Tofu Pepper Curry
  • Artichoke/sundried tomato bean stuffed zucchini
  • Fajita salad (from leftover fajitas)

I've also been loving lemon water! Whay did it take me so long to discover this? I needed to either cut back to 40-50 ounces a day to control the hyponatremia or add salt, so sea salt/lemon water it was. Share your favorite water additions.

So it looks like I am still lacking protein, ugh! No matter how hard I try this is just low for me. As a vegetarian this has always been a struggle, I refuse to start eating meat again when I know I can do this without, I have added eggs back in What are your favorite protein snacks? 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week? My goals...

A new week and new goals...I decided to change up my Monday posts a little and instead of listing my exact workouts I'm focusing on the goals for the week.

  • 3 Days strength training & 2 additional core focus days
  • 4 Days running: long run, hills, speed & easy
  • 5 Days Piyo/Yoga
  • 1 Day other cardio
Non Fitness Goals:
  • Clean 1 room
  • Finish assignment 2 for fall semester
  • Fun family time this weekend
Last week I finally got my mileage up and ran 20 miles on Saturday! Best part I felt great until mile 19 then just tired and Sunday felt completely fine. I'm seeing huge changes both in my physical appearance and how I feel from the changes I have made over the past couple months. Last Friday I celebrated another year older and I have decided that this is the year I maintain my focus, no deviating from the goals I will achieve.

What are your goals for the week ahead? What did you accomplish last week?

I have picked a new winner for the Spartan Race entry: Michael Shaw you are the new winner! I will be emailing today but you are welcome to email me as well. Please contact me before Wednesday at 8am CST.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2 Sides of running: Who have you met?

There are two sides to running and both a necesary in their own ways:

Social: Are you are social runner? Run with groups/friends? Others can hold us accountable to meet and get in those tough workouts.

For me this is my MRTT friends, running buddies, those who I have met through coaching who inspire me with their stories, the professionals I have met that are so real and down to earth to still share their stories with someone like me and my online running friends to support from afar. I have met and been able to do so much through the simple thing being a runner: meeting Meb, traveling to multiple states and countries, showing my daughter a great lifelong sport, meet others who are amazingly strong and inspiring.

Social runs motivate, are great for anything from easy to the hardest workouts you've ever done! I need these when I either need an extra push or just need to chat with my running friends. Plus why else would I want to run at 5am or in sleet or in 0 degree weather?!

Individual: And then there are some days when there is nothing better then being along with nothing other than the pavement and your thoughts. I'm sure to some it makes me crazy that I enjoy running for hours by myself some days. I guess as a mom with a stressful job I need this time to not think or worry about what is heading my way next. I can just soak up the world around me instead of solving a major crisis.

Which are you? Social or individual runner or combination? Who have you met through running?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are you a Spartan? Giveaway

Do you love watching the obstacle races, seeing the strength and endurance of these athletes as they complete obstacles? Now is your chance to give it a try too!

If you aren’t familiar with the Spartan Races, they’ve been around globally since 2005 and have been voted #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine. They also offer individuals and groups the chance to fund raise for various charities.

Recently Spartan Race also partnered with Runner’s World Magazine.

Runner’sWorld, the largest and most influential media brand in the running space, has signed a partnership with Spartan Race™, the global leader in obstacle racing since 2005, that includes custom digital content, racer-focused benefits, training plans and event activations.The collaboration between these two premier fitness brands kicked off in the July issue of Runner’s World magazine, which reaches over three million people monthly in print. Highlights of Runner’s World’s involvement in Spartan Race events include: Customized Spartan Race training plans designed by Runner’s World experts as well as exclusive stories and videos to be available only on; Runner’s World content on; and a Runner’s World presence at select Spartan Race events.

What is a Spartan Race?

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

Our events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone! At Spartan Race, we do this everyday and it shapes everything we do.

Having experienced many different racing events, we wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible’, as our events have a challenge for everyone’s needs.

Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race.

Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.

Here is your chance to win a FREE entry just for my readers! 10% off race entry with code SPARTANBLOGGER

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to check out the Spartan Race broadcast on NBC and enter the national contest for a trip to Spartan Race Cruise this March and have put together 2 giveaways for 2 including airfare and the cruise out of Miami (US residents only). One giveaway will be for any of your readers who add their info here:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marathon Monday and Challenge Week

Week 8: How the heck did it get to be mid August? Finally in the midst of what I am used to for marathon training!

21 Day Fix Upper/Lower & 5K MRTT Run
Tuesday: Piyo Core. Evening run 6 mile hill run
Wednesday: Piyo Drench, Weight lift at gym and 30 min elliptical
Thursday: 8 miles with running friends. Piyo Core
Friday: 21 Day Fix Upper & 10 Min Abs, 4 mile run/walk to get O from preschool
Saturday: Work! 3 mile walk & Piyo Core
Sunday: 18.5 miles (2:43:14) follow by 21 Day Fix Yoga

Week 9: Another crazy, busy week could mean lower training and more off days.

Strength in afternoon
Tuesday: Piyo Buns. Evening run 6-8 miles
Wednesday: P90X3 Upper/Lower
Thursday: Run 8 miles and Piyo Core
Friday: Bike & weights. P90X3 Yoga
Saturday: 20 mile run
Sunday: Work! Piyo Drench

Tell me about your best workout last week, goals for this week?

Today is the first day of my birthday week challenge, make sure to follow on my Facebook page for the daily posts or join the group for more support and challenges. Come back tomorrow of a giveaway!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Birthday Challenges: Join my group

Sorry for my absence over the past week but busy as usual and every time I sat down to write something got in the way! The past few days I've been thinking about turning 1 year older and crossing that hump to being closer to 40 than 30 (1 week, yikes!). For me birthdays are more the time to look back on the year than New Year's, so here I am looking back on a year of huge changes and figuring out what I want for the year ahead. I love doing fun, active things to celebrate like running 200+ mile relays, biking wine tours, etc.
My first thought as I drove to work yesterday was sharing with everyone else the thing I enjoy most, so why not hold a week long Healthy Lifestyle Challenge? A couple weeks ago I hosted a 7 day clean eating challenge that was a great success. This one is going to be broader, incorporating my favorite exercises, healthy eating tips and fun all while supporting each other. I mean aren't birthdays one of the toughest times to stay healthy? I tend to indulge as I eat out to celebrate, have some wine and enjoy dessert.

So who is with me? This group will have two components: 1) a closed FB group for those interested and committing to posting daily (anything simple as "did it" to sharing advice), interacting with others and increased resources. 2) open access to all challenges on my Facebook Page so make sure you are following me Marathon Mom

What's next? Sign up here 7 Day Birthday Challenge the group begins Monday Aug 18th! Sorry this is slightly last minute. Best part, the group is FREE!

What is your idea of a perfect birthday celebration?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Unanswered questions: My issues with hyponatremia

I will be the first to admit I am a terrible patient, after hours of intense pain on Saturday Matt drug me to the ER. I was pretty sure I'd be leaving my gallbladder behind. The night got long, lots of tests and minimal answers but I was starting to feel better. After 12 hours of this intense pain I could finally stand almost upright and move again. But as we left we had even more unanswered questions. The gallbladder, well only a polyp and maybe some sludge but no stones.
During the workout I first freaked out the doctor with my low heartrate on EKG which was not 40s (had been 88 when we got there) along with some small changes that could indication heart damage, so more labs…luckily the cardiac troponins were negative so we were off. The main question now sat why am I walking around with a sodium of 129 (normal 135-145)? I mean I could understand if I had just done a hard run in hot weather but none of that had been happening.

I continued some tightness in my chest, mild abdominal pain and just tired over the next few days and Tuesday repeat labs showed an even lower sodium, at this point I had done my research and knew some possible causes so we added other labs (all normal). Despite being vegetarian and the first question being enough protein, wrong I was fine. Thyroid fine for once. Ugh! Even when I was hardcore training 70 mpw I never had hyponatremia, nothing has changed I drink the same water, eat slightly better and run less and do more strength training. So what is the deal?!

Time to pull out myfitnesspal again! I start tracking and everything appears fine. Okay, my carbs might be a little higher than I need but I’ve always known that was an issue and am slowly working on it. I bought some sweet potato chips, went out for wonderful GF/Vegan pizza on Wednesday and tried to soak in some salt. So now we wait and watch. I was told no more than 60 oz water, what?! Any runner knows that is not happening. I did throw a little sea salt and lemon in my water to help since I can’t limit to that point.

The good to come out of this: I found a primary doctor (okay PA, we advanced practice people stick together!), left with an inhaler and because of this I can breath and my run last night was much better! It is amazing what lung capacity and easy breathing does for running. I’ll keep updated as we continue to follow and run out of veins to draw blood from but anyone else ever experience this? I hate to throw my whole healthy diet and bring back processed junk by the ton again but I need to fix this!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 7 and more unexpected changes

What a week! Week 6 started great but proved to end challenging! More on that still ongoing saga later but let’s just say it involved hours in the ER, strange results and missing answers.

Monday: 4.5 mile run (35:24) & 21Day Fix 10 Min Abs in morning & Strength in afternoon
Tuesday: Piyo Buns. Evening run 6 miles last minute work event
Wednesday: 8 mile run in morning and P90X3 Upper/Lower
Thursday: Piyo Core and 6 miles hills in evening
Friday: Walk with puppy, 21DF pilates in morning and P90X3 upper & yoga
Saturday: Run half marathon and 21 Day Fix Yoga Failed run and ER visit
Sunday: Bike and Piyo Drench 7 mile run walk and PiYo Core

I am putting last week behind me and refocus on me. This is the week of the 7 Day healthy eating group so that will be on top of my list daily. Healthy eating this week, listening to my body and getting fully healthy.

Monday: Strength and walk
Tuesday: PiYo Core and run
Wednesday: Bike and P90X3 Upper/Lower
Thursday: Piyo Core and 8 miles hills in evening
Friday: P90X3 upper & yoga
Saturday: 16-18 miles and strength
Sunday: Bike and PiYo Core

I’m really being thrown out of my training mode this summer and having to accept that things are not going as planned. Time to breathe deep and accept that I need to deal with yet another bump in the road to marathon #26. How do you deal with set backs?  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Running recovery: Compression

I have talked before about my love of compression but this past week I tried it out for more than assistance with leg fatigue and recovery. Since traveling my left calf has been strange: tight, achy and after I was tortured by Graston wow! I decided to run with one compression sleeve for a hill workout. This was 24 hours after I hobbled out after my Graston/acupuncture session wondering why I decided to mention that new issue!

Immediately I knew I was happy! My calf felt much better, the achiness (okay at this point pain from Graston) was gone, it was looser and I could run without issue! Nice, another great use for my ProCompression!

As usual the socks were my staple on the weekend long run! I love how much they help with leg fatigue, tightness, muscle cramps and support. I typically continue to wear my socks post run while I drink my post-run shake (Shakeology of course) and foam roll. A successful 16 Miler on Saturday after months of injury was wonderful. Legs felt great, compression helped me through!

Compression can offer great benefits to athletes during and after long workouts. 
  • Increased blood flow
  • Reduced muscle fatigue
  • Reduced soreness
  • Improved recovery 
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Support

Do you use compression for recovery or workouts? ProCompression is offering 40% off to my readers using code PINK check out all the great colors and prints!

*I was given the product to try but all opinions are my own