Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Month, New Challenges

It's time for new goals and new perspectives. Make the last part of the the year even better. Remember those 2015 goals we made last December?

Today was pretty uneventful. Just the way my introverted self likes it. I did go to the gym this morning and joined a cycle class. It's been over a year since my last class. I did so much better than I thought and I can't believe I stayed on beat and with the instructor about 95% of the time, ha ha. I guess it helped that this class seemed somewhat on the beginner's level. I want to continue going. It IS a good exercise for runners. I also feel like my weight has plateaued so it's definitely time to break it up. My body is used to running and I don't burn as many calories as I used to from it.

I stopped by Walmart on the way home for some snacks for my upcoming road trip. Among the items I bought was more Greek yogurt for my smoothies and for this new healthy toddler treat idea I saw on Pinterest, yogurt drops. They're hardening in the fridge as I type, so I'll have to report on how this different texture tastes to me and most importantly to my son. He's the pickiest eater ever.

Good to the last drop. Ingredients were: berries, banana, & vanilla Greek yogurt
On to the next! If you follow me on Instagram, you may of seen that I joined a challenge calling "Jumping Into June Challenge". We were to jump rope a certain number throughout the week. It was going well for me the first couple days as far as completing the reps, but on my runs that followed, I experienced fatigued legs and what I hate most of all...SHIN splints! So yeah, that challenged ended in less than two weeks for me.

Checking through my e-mail today, I noticed FitFluential started a new challenge for this month called the July FitFluential Challenge (search hashtags #FF100 & #FFChallenge for motivation). There's a calendar with one type of exercise for every day in July that you should complete 100 reps. I think that's doable, right?  I'll incorporate this with whatever other workouts I decide to do even after Saturdays 10 k.

Check it out! Maybe you can join me.
So as I mentioned above, today was pretty uneventful. There was rain in the forecast, which meant I didn't want to risk taking the boy anywhere and getting caught in it trying to hold him and an umbrella...again #disaster. So I decided this was the perfect time to get half way through packing for our upcoming trip. It. took. forever with this little one throwing my shoes everywhere, re-wrinkling clothes I'd already ironed... ugh. I finally finished after about 2 1/2 hours and a lunch break.

Did I mention how much I love summer break? At home with so many options, getting so many things done. No? Well I do! I have about 4 more weeks to go and I'm so trying not to think about it. Life is about to get real hectic around here plus grad school, too. Lord help me.

What did you do today? What are your goals for part 2 of this year?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fueling for a Stellar Performance!

This post idea couldn't of come at a better time as I am preparing to run a 10k this Saturday. I can definitely tell a major difference during my workouts or my runs when I eat properly and when I don't. I look at choosing the green smoothie over that scrumptious warm looking chocolate chip cookie as an incentive.

For one, if I'm going to choose the cookie I may as well not work out. I'm wasting time and energy. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been super perfect in the nutrition lately. But I can say I've done about 70% well and I can still tell a difference even then. I have a general rule for myself and that's just not to eat too many fatty meals in a row. My problem can be the unhealthy snacking in between those healthy meals.

So with that being said, I feel my best when I am consistent, eat less fatty meals, and DRINK WATER.

Before Workouts
If I work out in the morning, I don't eat anything. If I have to have something it's oatmeal and/or a banana. I tend to eat late at times and I feel too full if I try to eat before my morning workouts. If I turn in early the previous night or are half marathon training, then I'll have something light for breakfast like a banana, eggs, or sometimes a green smoothie.

During Workouts
My normal workouts are usually an hour and a half or less, so I'll have water and that's it. If I'm half marathon training, I like to bring water or the sports beans (something with sugar). I usually hit that mark of needing something around 8-9 miles out.

Post Workout
Post workout I'll usually have a carb (green smoothie w/soy protein powder, plain banana, occasionally bread) and a protein. My protein usually ends up being eggs.


I like to keep my diet as simple and natural as possible. I don't judge for using artificial supplements, but personally I would only use those if I need to save time or can't get to my an actual supplement and NOT a total replacement as some folks I know work out on a regular do.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Hopefully my post helps someone. If there's any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to post them below.

Before I end, today was my rest day, but I decided to have a little fun with my sister and try some core work using my stability ball. I realize my form was a little off, but this won't be my last time.

Photo credit: Pinterest

How do you 'fuel up'? Share the link to your post or comment below.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Today's Run Was Awesome!

Despite my blog title, I woke up feeling the monthly miserable, lethargic, and unmotivated. I didn't feel like moving out of my nice comfy bed, dressing my child to drop him off, OR driving the 45 minutes to the safest place to run solo. On top of that I got to that side of town and I could now tell it had been raining. I was praying I wouldn't get caught in the rain or maybe I wanted it to rain so I could use that as an excuse not to run? Hmmm? All #firstworldproblems, yes.

Anyhow, I got to the park and was preparing to run when I realized not only had I lost my armband, but my second set of earbuds weren't working. So a run with no music it was. This is where people watching and listening to my breathing really came in handy...because fast forward to the end of my run, 5 miles later. It. was. awesome!

Without all of my gadgets readily available to look at, I wasn't distracted by how fast or slow I was running. I just ran and listened to my breathing. I was very surprised at my splits.

The last two miles were super hilly as you can see.
What I was most surprised at was that I worried for nothing. If you read my last post (I'm getting the vibe that I don't give myself enough credit), but I mentioned I was worried that my slower pace while running with the jogger would slow me down on my next solo run. It didn't. 

Despite this route being super hilly, this was my fastest time around it in a looooong time. So yeah, I'm pleased with only 6 more days until race day. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adventures in Potty Training

And so a new chapter has begun...potty training. My son is 20 months today. Judging by developmental signs, I thought it would be okay to get a head start on potty training before we both head back to school in a few more weeks. So after asking for advice from family and friends, I thought I'd give it a try.

The method I used was to keep him bottomless, set the timer for 15 minutes and have him sit until he pees. He peed in the potty 5 times and had 3 accidents on the floor. I think that's pretty good, right? Here's the text I sent to the hubs after the first time my son went pee pee, lol. (Oh and sorry if using "peed" or "pee" is un-lady like or offends you :-))

Meanwhile, for some reason I didn't have much of an appetite as the day went on and that probably contributed to my evening headache. Despite that and considering my race is NEXT WEEK, I made myself get up and go to the gym.

My training schedule called for cross-training. I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 5 and 20 minutes on the stair climber, running intervals up to level 17. I was a sweaty nasty mess. Sorry no pic ;-)

I know, bad form. Shame on me.

I still didn't feel like the gym workout was enough so when I got home I chose a 15 minute Nike+ Training Club workout to do. It was a full body strength workout designed for runners. I was about to say I love Nike+, but right now I'm kind of upset because yet AGAIN, another GPS watch is broken. The screen stopped displaying. Just in time for my race next week right? I won't have time to call customer service for a replacement, so I'll have to deal. I have my eyes set on a Garmin for my birthday in September. So no calorie count tonight.

I have a 3 mile run scheduled for tomorrow. I'll have to run it pushing the jogger stroller again since the hubs works too late. I've made significant "gains" running solo in the past few weeks. Was feeling like my old self actually. I hope that running with the stroller this week and a little of last won't negatively impact my performance. Reality is, running with a 30 lb boy plus however much the stroller weighs, add on the hills on ALL GA routes, I repeat ALL GA routes (well except Silver Comet Trail, maybe) causes me to walk/run. My average pace while running with the boy has been between 13-14 minutes per mile. Good news is I'll have a chance to test my theory on Saturday morning because I'll have a sitter and won't have to run with him. Crossing my fingers I haven't regressed.

Well anyhow, I'm glad I worked out today. It makes me feel content about ending my day.

What's the "secret" to running faster with a jogger stroller? Any potty training tips? Do share.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Where oh, where have I been?

I'll keep this brief. Well let's see. I have honestly been too busy with life that blogging took a backseat. No, not a backseat, but it got locked in the trunk and never thought of until ... now. Lately, I've been feeling like writing so I decided to pick back up where I left off.

Running/Weight Update
Yep...still running. My last post was my last race recap, the Hot Chocolate 15k. For the last 9-10 weeks I've been training for the AJC Peachtree Road Race 10k coming up on the 4th of July. The physical part of training has been going well, but the nutrition part, not so much. I actually gained the 10 lbs I lost while training for the last race plus 1 lb WHILE training for this race. :-) So yep, I keep losing and regaining the same 10 lbs. Story of my life....

Summer Break Is In Effect!
I'm on summer break (I'm a teacher), so I thought I'd periodically share some of the activities my toddler and I have been getting into while we're on vacay. I want to also break up the monotony of the running post, IF I'm going to return to regular blogging for a while. We'll see. Well at least while I'm on summer break anyways.

Atlantic Station has something called Tot Spot for kids 5 and under. It's free activities for the little ones. 
I posted this on my IG... "Blow child, blow". He was so determined  to make a bubble.
There's plenty of adventures ahead to post about. I have about 3 more weeks I think until race day. I'm kind of nervous because my average paces haven't been consistent. Some days I've been slow (due to leg pain/fatigue), some days I'm fast, and then some days I'm in between.So who knows. I practed a portion of the route on my last long run Saturday and it was bomb.... so I guess we shall see. Until then... Thanks for reading. :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta

Hello, readers!

Well, I guess I'll BRIEFLY explain my absence on my blog (again). I'd started training for what was supposed to be my "comeback" half marathon in September, but with my work schedule, my son being sick from daycare (ugh), and life, training just got away from me. I was up to 8-miles with the jogger, but skipping a long run is not a good idea for me because it was hard to get back into the groove of things, including blogging. I continued working out and going to my classes, while eating not so great. I actually gained about 10 lbs (I've loss 6 of those so far). That 10 lbs was motivation to actually put money on another race, so I decided to sign up for the Hot Chocolate...I was chasing a new medal, and this was perfect since now the Hot Chocolate race series gives medals AND jackets for 15k participants. Was that brief? :-)

I enlisted an old running buddy to help motivate me to run OUTDOORS after work while I had childcare and we ran long on Saturday mornings. FYI, the 15k is 9.3 miles. He had me become comfortable with 9.5-10 miles to be sure I'd be comfortable...well, so I thought (not his fault).

On to race day... I ran the 5k last year (first race 3 months postpartum/no recap) so I knew what to expect. This race is very organized with start corrals according to pace. You know not everyone followed the rules, though. I did. :-)

I'd had the flu (along with my son) a few days for the race. By mile 3, I had coughed up ALL of my mucus and could finally breathe! I actually had to stop a few times I was coughing so much. That's never happened to me during cold weather running and certainly not during a race.

Miles 3-6 were easy, I ran a steady pace, trying to make sure I was conserving energy up the hills. Oh, but when I got to the gi-NORMOUS hill at mile 7, I mentally gave up. This basically set the tone for the remainder of the race for me. And when you're NOT running with your buddy on race day, I had no one to push me. So I walked/ran the rest of the race. 

I was so disappointed that I had only 2 miles or so to complete and I gave up. I'm sure I could of finished faster, but no. 

I don't know if I'd do that race again next year because of the course. But then again, that's how most Atlanta races are. Atlanta is very hilly. I just felt like they put even more hills in the race to be funny. Seriously. 

After finally reaching the finish line, which I did run the last 1/2 mile, I think. We were greeted with our medals, plenty of water and sports drink, banana, hot chocolate, fudge, and other little treats. Oh and my jacket I had picked up at the race expo is of decent quality.

I was happy to be back in my car because it was coooooold!