Friday, March 29, 2013

Protein drink genius.

Happy Good Friday!! It's going to be a beautiful day out today and I can't wait to go home and run. Last night I tried to run outside but it was way too cloudy and my watch wouldn't load.  (Stupid reason, I know) I went to the gym anyways.  I worked on speed work and I got to test out my new shoes, which was pretty exciting as well! On my way home I came up with a fabulous idea. Lets start from the beginning. 

I've been getting really bad charley horses in my legs when I sleep.  I think it's from an electrolyte imbalance (because I'm awesome at self diagnostics) and I had another charley horse in my leg wile i was asleep going into Thursday morning.  I woke up screaming from these, I just around room and it's a little embarrassing. My cat thinks I'm crazy. Anyways, I had a pretty good work out yesterday so on my way home I was contemplating how I was going to drink a protein shake and enough water/electrolytes before I went to bed.  Then I came up with my fantastic conclusion, I'm going to add vanilla protein powder to my gatorade. It was either going to turn out really good or absolutely awful.  It was neither. I thought that it would taste like a lemon lime creamcicle, and then I remember that I hate creamcicles. The hope for spring will make people crave things they don't even like. 

So here's the finished product.  I also added a spoonful of ground flax that I thought would make it creamier.  It was really runny because I used the entire thing of gatorade, which was a terrible idea. But all in all it wasn't that bad.  It was bearable and I slept with out waking up to charley horses which was a total success! 
Goals: Tonight-5 miles. Tomorrow- 13.1 (test run) Sunday-rest. Maybe yoga or a walk or something

Have you made any drink concoctions?
How did they turn out? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Shoes.More Snow.

So, as you read yesterday I've been needing new shoes and couldn't find a pair that I liked enough to buy.  I found the style, but they only come in three color with flowers on them, so I didn't think they were that pretty. The gym I go to is right next to a Dick's Sporting Goods store, so I decided that I would go look there before hitting the gym.  I stood there for probably close to ten minutes trying to decide a color.  Obviously they didn't have black or gray(which is my second choice) so I just had to pick a pair. Who would have thought trying to pick a pair of shoes is like a life changing decision?!  So, here's what I picked:
Brooks Ghost 5
They're pink, I'm not big into pink and it did take me out my comfort zone a little because I'm so used to walking in and buying the first pair of black shoes I find, but they're comfortable and starting to grow on me. Today, is the first day that I'm going to test them out on a treadmill because we have three inches of snow outside currently and we're almost a week into spring. 
The bag my shoes came in.  I should not be as excited as I was.

After I bought my shoes I was so excited to see that this was the bag that they came in. It's perfect because I'm pretty much buying them for the marathon. I'm probably the only person that gets excited over things like this. 
Here's some humor for today.
What are your workout plans?
Do you still have snow?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A new pair of kicks.

Yesterday, I dragged my fiance after work to the running store in Pittsburgh.  I wanted to get my feet measured for new shoes and this store is the only store I know of that does it with a computer.  They make you get onto a treadmill and walk with your socks on so that they can get a feel for what your feet do when you run.  I'm having shin splints on the outside of my shins and a lot of calf pain.  The sales rep pretty much knew what was wrong before I even got onto the treadmill.  While you're on it though, they take pictures with an iPad of your feet and what they do while you walk or run.  Once they figure that out, they give you shoes to try on to see how you like them and put you back on the treadmill.  They don't pressure you to buying anything, which made me feel a lot better about the experience. 
These are my current runners.  I bought trail shoes because the guy at the store said that they would be fine on concrete.  Liar. They're really comfortable when you're running on trails (which I barely do) or bike riding, but they are terrible on anything that doesn't have dirt on it.  They were very comfortable at one point but it's defiantly time for a new pair.  My second problem with buying shoes is that I always want to buy black running shoes.  When I bought these, it bothered me that there was a little bit of blue in it.  I think for everything has to match with what I'm wearing. At least, a little bit.  
At the running store I found the Brooks Ghost 5, which I loved but they didn't have any kind of black. They also has flowers on the brooks symbol and I'm not into really girly girl appliqu├ęs. My goal is to make a decision on shoes by the end of this week so  I have something to run in this weekend. 

What are your favorite shoes to wear when you run?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Luna bar and 40 days.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! My weekend was great other than waking up Monday morning to snow. It defiantly looks beautiful but hopefully this will be the last week.
Last week, I was sent a box of new Luna bars from you beauty.  It's the new Luna fiber bar, and they're awesome! I got the chocolate raspberry, which was a chocolate cookie with raspberry filling.  I eat a lot of candy so I'm trying to hold back the urge and eat more "healthy" options as snacks.  Candy is my biggest diet problem.  I could eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There are 40 days until the Pittsburgh marathon.  I'm getting ready to run my very first half and I can honestly say that I haven't been training like I should be.  I run or workout at least 5-6 days a week but it's more strength training then running.  I have a really hard time running in the cold with my asthma and we're still getting snow, so that threw me off my schedule a little bit.  A few weeks ago I had a seven mile run that did and felt great afterwards.  I'm not as worried about my first run as I should be because this is my first run.  I'm still going to train hard for it.  My goal for today is to go to the local running store and get my feet fitted for a new pair of runners.  My calves have been killing me this past week and I realized that I've had my running shoes for almost a year so It's time for a new pair.  I went running Saturday and couldn't do two miles without so much pain that I couldn't walk. So, after going home and to work a night shift, I decided to try my cross trainers yesterday.  I did 4 miles of hills with minimal pain.  I'm so torn when it comes to buy new running shoes.  I hate new running shoes because I can never tell which shoes are best for my feet and my favorite running shoes are black, all black.  Pretty much all you can find now are colorful. So I might have to make a change.  I am committed to having a new pair of shoes by the end of the week, and my running goal is to do 9-13 miles on Sunday morning.  Happy Easter to me! 

What are your favorite kind of running shoes? Are you picky about the color? 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Half Marathon Thoughts.

Guess what?! There's 44 days until the Pittsburgh half marathon! I'm kind of nervous but kind of not.  I was more nervous after I clicked the "Submit your entry" button.  My thought after I did that on October 3, 2012 was,"Oh, shit! Now I have to do it!" So with this post I want to share my thoughts and advice leading up to my almost one month away from my first half marathon since I posted a few weeks ago here:

1.) Stop killing yourself training. As soon as I start telling myself, "I HAVE TO DO THIS." Shit goes down hill fast and I stop wanting to workout. I started to workout because I want to be healthy and cross this off my bucket list.  Really, 4 or 5 years ago, running a 5k was just a thought totally a reality. 

2.) Don't pressure yourself on your finishing time: When I first started My goal was to finish this in 1:45:00. Then I realized about 4 months into training that my Nike app was completely off. My new goal is 2:10:00 but seriously, if I don't hit that goal, it's not a big deal.  I'm more concerned with crossing the finish line without passing out and needing oxygen. 

3.) Cross-Train: I probably cross train more than I run.  Maybe not. But, I kickbox, do yoga, and also lift weights(not heavy ones)[Just kidding...I'm getting some pretty sick guns]  Always make sure that you're doing something active everyday.  One day of lazy rest makes it a lot easier to quit all together.  

4.) Take rest days: That kind of goes against what I said in number 3. Get over it. On my rest days, I try to at least do yoga or work at my weekend job (I'm always on my feet) If you have an injury or are really sore, take a whole rest day all together.  At least try to do something with minimal activity though.  Go for a walk or do a few minutes of floor exercises. Do something! 

5.) Your diet is just as important: I'm not saying go on some crazy fad diet or all organic, but cut out the fast food cheeseburgers. Seriously.  If you have to have it once in a while, fine. You're in training mode now, no more alcohol, fast food or overly processed food.  Hello water,  fruits and veggies! Let yourself have something small everyday.  It will keep you on track and you won't binge it your favorites all at once. My treat everyday is chocolate. I can't give up dark chocolate, I love it too much.  I usually try to eat a protein bar with chocolate in it to get my fix. Really though, bodies are made in the kitchen.  You'll feel so much better when you eat healthier. 

My best advice to fellow first time half/full marathoners, 5k-ers, 1 mile-ers: Do this for you.  Have fun with it. Don't make it a chore, that's not why you signed up in the first place.  I've learned in the past year of training that the real runners and supporters could seriously care less about your time.  They care that you made the honest effort to finish. That's what I love about fitness and running.

For more awesome fitness advice, leave a comment or send me an email :) 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bulu Box.

I recently became a bulu box ambassador.  I bought three months worth of boxes last month and I loved them so much that I became an ambassador.  Bulu Box is the first company that personalizes vitamin and supplement boxes with 4-5 samples a month. You pay for as many months as you want upfront and once that subscription is over, you buy more or just leave it go. So you never have them emailing you for more subscriptions.  
Last night I tried my first sample of dream water.  Dream water is made to help you sleep and relax.  I've never taken any kind of sleeping pill or anything to help me sleep other than advil PM so I was a little nervous to take this.  It was awesome! I took it when I got home from the gym because I was planning on taking a shower and going to bed. As soon as I laid down I fell asleep.  I slept well too.  Usually I wake up a bunch of times through the night and last night I didn't.  I defiantly recommend this! 

Enough of that. We're down to 45 days until the Pittsburgh Marathon! I'm freaking out.  I read a blog last night about being "undertrained" and not caring but doing better in a race, so I thought I would skip the gym.  Yeah, that last until 8:30pm. I made it to the gym around 9, which was awesome because there wasn't anyone there.  It also helped that I went during the Pens game and RMU basketball game. I did two miles of speed work, which I did way better than I thought I would. Then I worked on strength training.  SInce I did speed work last night, I think tonight I going to work on speed with hills. 

I'm defiantly planning on going for a half marathon run this weekend. I need to just do it and get it over with so that I'm confident in myself for doing it. 

How long were you nervous for before your first big race?
I'm not going to lie, I've been nervous since I started training.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Yesterday was the Fat bird run/walk 5k at Nemacolin.  It was in the 30s when I woke up in the morning so I was nervous that it would be freezing but when we got there it was in the 50s, so perfect running weather.  My dad took me so I didn't have to go alone, which was really nice because I haven't seen him in a really long time.  It gives you a little extra motivation to get to the finish line fast when you know some us waiting for you at the end. 
This was the first time I was ever a single digit number so I was pretty excited! I ran one of my fastest miles of 9:16 as well.  I still finished around 31 minutes, which isn't the best but I was defiantly happy that I worked on hills friday before I went because it was defiantly 3.1 miles of up hill both ways! 

This run was sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters and 100% of the proceeds went to the organization.  That's usually the only time I like to sign up for races.  If it isn't benefiting something I feel like I can just run on my own. I love knowing that I can help a charity out and have fun as well. Oh, and there was beer. I love beer. That was the first thing I said when I crossed the finished line, "I want beer." It was the day before St. Patrick's day, you have to have beer.  
This is the last race before the half marathon.  I'm still pretty nervous but I think I'm going to go off of my training course and go for a 13 mile run next weekend. After my 7 mile run last weekend, I feel really confident about it. This was the first race that I was concerned about myself and only myself.  This will be my biggest problem during the marathon, I'm always concerned about what other people are doing and how fast they're going because I don't want to be last.  I know I won't be last and my only goal is to make it to the finish line without needing paramedics and oxygen! 

How was your St. Patrick's weekend? 
Did you do any races or anything fun?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Clean Eating.

So I'm two weeks into hard training, like everyday training.   I can see changes in my body and muscle is building pretty well.  Besides training, I'm eating extremely cleanly. If that makes sense? No highly processed food, no alcohol (except for tomorrow because I get a beer at the end of my run. There aren't many more exciting things then that.) The foods that I eat the most of are:
-Greek yogurt
-Peanut butter (a little more then what's probably healthy) 

Those are just foods that I eat pretty much everyday. Something I learn from the years of dance that I've had, I've learned that your "practice" is your rehearsal. When you rehearse, you rehearse the same way that you would if you were on stage, right? So that's what I do. My long runs on on the weekend, so the week leading up to that long run, I'm eating and testing food before those long runs, that way, when it comes to the big day I'm confident and ready to go. 

My breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are consistent daily. I'm not sick of those foods yet. My dinners however, change.  They change weekly, by the amount of time I have to cook, and by how often I get sick of them.  I always eat a meat or fish; rice, wheat noodles, or orzo; and a vegetable.  Healthy portions and no fattening dressings. Here are some examples of my daily eating:
Weekend breakfast: fried egg, brussel sprouts, banana,turkey bacon
Whole wheat noodles with spinach and diced tomatoes
Peanut butter the size of my lunch box
Salmon with lemon pepper, brown rice, veggies
End of day snack: Luna Protein bar
Those are just examples of my eating with training.  My body feels a lot better than it has in a while. I don't eat fast food and usually when We go to dinner, I get really sick.  I don't spend a lot on food either.  I probably spend $150 at the grocery store a month for myself. 

Fact: There's exactly 50 days until the Pittsburgh Marathon! Are you ready?! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why am I doing this?!

So this weekend was the first nice weekend in a very long time.  I needed to get a long run in so I used Sunday for it.  Even though for the first time in a long time I didn't get out of bed until 8a.m, I got ready and went to the park for my first long run before the Pittsburgh Half. My sister was supposed to meet up with me to run a little so I sent her text before I left saying that I would be at the park and to not call until she got there because I would be running.  When she finally got there I had already ran my 7 miles and walked a mile and a half cool down lap.  She's so fantastic that she brought be coffee! I love coffee. 

Once we finished our coffee and she had her bagel, we walked around for a slow two miles.  As we were talking, she asked what brought up all this exercise and why I was so into running a half marathons now. She said it was very admirable but she just wanted to know what conspired all of my ideas.  I told her that there were a lot of things and I could just pinpoint one reason. I kind of held onto her question for the rest of the day and I really started to think about it.  Why the hell would I want to run and work out as much as I do? Currently, I work two jobs, sometimes I work for almost an entire month without a day off but I still find time to run and work out.  As I took the rest of the day to think about it, I came up many reasons. [ Most were my top-of-my-head answers to my sister when she asked] I'm going to share these with you.

1.) As a child I got made fun of so bad for being heavy and over weight that I went home crying almost everyday and when my mom would try to call the school, nothing would get done.  Though I'm only 23 and haven't lived very long,but I don't remember a time when i was so miserable than when I was in the third to seventh grade. I'm not going to lie, seeing the girls that used to make fun of me for being "fat", "ugly", and "over weight", that are now twice my size makes me so happy. It's so mean and cruel but I get a secret excitement when I see them out. They made me ABSOLUTELY miserable.
2.) 4 years ago, I couldn't run a mile without stopping.  I went running with a really good friend after work one day and we were only going to go a mile.  Pretty much every few feet I kept asking if we were there yet.  It was pretty embarrassing but a few days later we found out that  I had asthma and I never want to feel like that again. 
3.) It's supposed to make your asthma better. So, have you seen the commercial where the girl is talking to the guy and she tells him that they can't post anything on the internet that isn't real? And her new boyfriend walks over that looks kind of mediocre and she says she met him on the internet and he's a french model? Yeah, that's me. I believe a lot of things that I see online.  Not everything, but positive motives towards health I do. If someone tells me that running will help my asthma, then I'm running. Now, I'm on a lot of medicine and it's going to be a very long time before I'm off all of it but if it helps me to breath, then I'll do whatever I can. 
4.) One day my sister and I were running together and she said that she thought it would be cool to finish a marathon or half marathon.  At this point in my life, I'm not getting younger. I'm not old either. But, if I don't do this now, when will I? I can't keep saying I'm going to do it.
5.) Though, my gramma was my best friend, I don't want to be like her. My gram had a lot of health problems.  So did the rest of my family.  We were a lot alike too.  I worry like her, we always had the same opinions on things. I love her but I don't want to go through what she went through in her last 5 years.  
6.) There are so many health problems that run in my family and I don't want that to happen to me. When I went to the pulmonary doctor for the first time, they send you a packet to fill out of health issues with your families heart and lungs. Yeah well, I ran out of room writing things down just for my immediate family. Isn't that awful? Almost every person in my family has something wrong with either their heart or lungs. 
7.) I could never understand how those people could run for so long without stopping. I wanted to be one of those people.  I envied them. I I would run a little while and huff and puff a walk. Now they are leaving before I'm finished running.  It makes me happy to know that I am one of "those people".
8.) I feel better about myself. Most people will tell you this.  Working out sucks.  Once you're finished or starting to lose weight, you'll start to feel so much better and energized.  It will help with stress too. 

So, those are most of the reasons I have as to "what brought up my exercise addiction". I'm sure I can't find more, but those are the first things I think of when someone asks, what brought this up. I wasn't always athletic.  I was in a lot of sports and I kind of looked athletic but I wasn't athletic. At all. I'm finally happy with my body and proud of how far I have come and will go. 
Your turn! 
What brought up your "reason to run or workout"? 
How do you feel now?

Friday, March 8, 2013

A good doctors appointment and some goodies.

Yesterday was my 3 month appointment at the pulmonary doctor.  I was surprised at how well it went.  I'm still currently on all the medicine that they put me on the last time, but I'm feeling better.  I remember times when I was absolutely miserable in the heat and cold because I couldn't breathe and I'm not feeling that anymore.  It probably helps that I'm on 4 different medications twice a day, but hey, whatever makes you feel better.  I even got a prescription changed to the another brand for a little bit of a cheaper price a month.  That was pretty exciting! Since my appointment went well, I don't need to go back until September.

Since I got to leave work a little early, I finally got to go to a store near my doctors office that I never get to go to because they're always closed! Where I live, we don't have a Whole Foods or many "natural" or organic stores.  I live in a small town that has been taken over by bars, pizza shops, churches, and newly developed dollar stores.  I hate dollar stores. So when I finally got the chance to visit Nature's Way, I took it.  I went in with a list of sale items: Chia seed($7.99) Chocolate macaroons ($3.79) Tea (2/$5).  What did they have out of all of that? Nothing. The sale ad that I was looking at was for every store so I knew that they may not have what I was looking for.  I still found some goodies though! 
Organic buckwheat pancake mix,
organic flax seeds,
wild raspberry hibiscus tea,
banana nut bread Clif bar
I bought the buckwheat pancake mix for my fiance to try since he love pancakes and waffles.  Since I went in originally for chia seeds and they didn't have them, I thought i would try flax seed.  The flax seed was a quarter of the cost of chia seeds and I've heard there isn't much of a difference so I thought I would try these first.  The raspberry hibiscus tea was on sale and I've never had raspberry tea before, but I had it with my dinner last night with some Splenda and it was great. I usually buy Clif Bars at Walmart or Target but I haven't been able to find banana nut bread anywhere so I was pretty excited to find these. This trip was pretty successful and I'll defiantly go back whenever I can for more finds! 

I need advice!
What do you prefer, flax seed or chia seeds?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

First Training Run.

Like I posted yesterday, my 5k on Sunday kicked off 9 weeks until my first half marathon.  Yesterday was my first official day to my training. I've been training since last June, a little harder in the summer time so I've been taking it pretty lightly since November. I know I'm not the fastest runner, but I am shooting to run without needing to stop in less than 2:15:00.  

I was defiantly feeling Sunday's 5k yesterday. Not in my legs, but in my lungs. I have defiantly decided that from now on, it will be completely unnecessary to run outside when it's 25 degrees. It may not sound cold to some people, but when you have a pulmonary disease that isn't well controlled, it's okay to hold yourself back in some cases. I was so congested and couldn't stop coughing all day.  It was an awful cough too, one that wouldn't stop and made a terrible wheezing noise every time I coughed or took a deep breath in.  In my day yesterday I took my advair twice (morning and night as prescribed) two breathing treatments, my inhaler twice, and my evening asthma pill.  That's a lot of medicine for one breathing condition if you ask me.  Since yesterday was my first day of my training, I wasn't taking a rest day. After work, I went home, ate dinner, put some laundry in, and got ready for the gym and went.  That was the hardest 3.25 miles of my life.  It took me almost 37 minutes, but I finished it.  After finishing, I did my usual stretching with 200 crunches/ side crunches.  After I stood up, I felt so much better than I have been.  The pain in my calfs was almost gone from the days previous, and my chest was starting to feel a little more lose and less congested. 

This morning I woke up and did my 5:30a.m yoga for breathing and stretching. Tonight I'm going to go to my kickboxing class to do my cross training of the week. As I posted last week, I wrote out a schedule for training but it has already been a little off schedule.  I'm making sure to get all my work outs in during the week that I need too, they might just get switched from day to day.

Monday, March 4, 2013

5k Sunday.

I had a pretty busy weekend.  I'm a human resource manager and on the weekends I also work at the local Dairy Queen. Saturday I had to baby sit my managers daughter and then work night shift.  That left a lot of stress for being up at 6:30 a.m on Sunday for my 5k at Schenley Park with Steel City Road Runners.  I was nervous and excited.  I know I need practice with racing since my first half marathon is coming up and I really haven't been training like I should be, so when I got the chance for a cheap race I took it.  Saturday night it snowed really bad where I live and while I was working I kept talking myself out of going Sunday morning. I was also extremely nervous that I would be the slowest one there. I always feel so stupid when I have to stop to take a quick break to breathe. I told myself when I got home from work that no matter what, I had to go. So I got everything ready and Sunday morning my fiance and I left on our 45 minute trip to the race.  There were more people there than I thought would be and I felt a little bit better knowing that it wasn't just the running club there. It was about 25 degrees so I bundled myself up to run. 

I always start towards the front so when I get passed up I'm not too far behind. For the past few weeks, leg has been having terrible cramps in it when I run, so I was extremely nervous about that as well. As we started running I tried staying up front with some really fast runners from CMU.  That lasted about 5 minutes.  I started to stress out as I was getting passed up by people that look like they've ran since junior high school.   My chest was also bothering me since I was stressing out and not worrying about breathing.  Since I bundled myself up to go, I had on spandex with sweat pants over them, a long sleeve shirt that covers your mouth and a hoodie.  As I was running, my pants kept sliding down and I had to keep awkwardly hiking them up as high as I could.  I hope I gave whom ever was behind me a good laugh. I'm not going to lie though, seeing other people walking made me feel a lot better knowing I wouldn't be the only one needing to stop for air.  I finished in 31 minutes, which I don't think is an awful number judging my circumstances.  While I was on my little scenic 3.1 mile jog I started contemplating if I'm going to be able to run a half marathon in two months. Thinking about it now, I have too.  It's going to be hard and training is going to be hard.  My lunges are going to hate me some days they'll love me, but I've made it my goal to finish the two half marathons coming up.  My goal for my Pittsburgh marathon is in less than 2:20:00. 

After completing my morning 5k I went home to get ready for Sushi night with my sister.  My sister has never had sushi and this was a learning class on how to make it.  It was so interesting! There's a local restaurant that does Sunday evening classes and this one was worth taking.  One of my new years resolutions was to learn something new and so far this year I've learned two new things: 1.)How to do yoga. 2.) How to make sushi. Honestly, I'll probably never need to know how to make sushi but that's okay, it was still a lot of fun. My sister even learned that she really likes sushi.

This was the sushi that we both made. It was so fresh and tasted so good!

Your turn!
How do you keep your positive thinking going while you're racing?
What would you like to try or have tried since the new year before next year?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Half Marathon Training Schedule

This weekend kicks off this year's races. I get the chance to run with SCRR for the second marathon kick off race.  I'm pretty sure it's just a practice 5k, but I'm still excited! I'm going to get ready by running outside tonight and tomorrow because it's supposed to only be about 30 degrees and I haven't really ran in anything under 40 degrees. 
This Sunday is also a 9 week count down to my very first half marathon! Since my training has been in kind of a slump, I have this awesome chart to get my workouts in. 
I'm not out of shape, so I'm not starting from scratch but I am going to make sure I get enough runs in along with strength training, and yoga at least twice a week.  I'm using Friday as my rest day because usually my friends want to go out on Fridays and I will have yoga and strength training or a long run on Saturday and Sunday. 
This is just a basic layout to make sure I stay on track.  I think it's also a chart of beginners to get started. I start my workout weeks with my actual work week, that way it's like I'm starting a new week for everything Monday morning. Happy Monday!! So, if you decide to use this as a beginning training chart, just change the miles to a little lower until you work your way up. 

Your turn!
When is your next race?
What does your training chart look like?