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Happy Trails <3

Monday: 8m easy 8:57/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m easy 9:00/pace

Wednesday: 5 rounds of 25cal row, hang snatches 3 @ 65#, handstand against wall + 5m easy run 8:47/pace after workout.

Thursday: Crossfit

My last post was an ode to coffee, and i didn’t realize until after I posted that I didn’t even mention how coffee is a big part of my pre-race rituals! What kind of terrible running blog is this?! I’ll have to do a “part 2” regarding all the fitness/nutritional benefits! Now we can just talk about another love of mine…

Elise. Seriously, if you have a moment, follow Elise on Instagram, she’s a photographer, a runner and an amazing cupcake baker. Since i’m in the cupcake mecca of DC you know I know a good cupcake. Especially those with homemade fresh marshmallows on top…

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I’m obsessed with marshmallows so of course she sends me fresh homemade ones through the mail…File_000 (542)

and I of course the first thing I do is this..

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I call this masterpiece Fluffernutter Bites. And they were glorious. Elise forever ruined Kraft marshmallows for me, i simply cannot go back after having these. I’m having way too much much fun trying them with everything. Speaking of Whey too much #slapsknee #dadhumor

1 scoop vanilla bean A Better Whey Protein, 1 large marshmallow, 1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, cinnamon & ice. This marshmallowy goodness was a staple last week.

File_000 (549) I’ve put the marshmallows in coffee, hot chocolate, ate them by themselves and last but not least a smores’. User tip: spread peanut butter on the graham cracker for an even better experience. You’re. Freaking. Welcome.

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Okay, so if that doesn’t make you hungry or marshmallows aren’t your thing, I went to happy hour at Society (downtown Silver Spring) with my Crossfit girls, Andrea & Yomery. We had some tasty sliders, sweet potato fries and great conversation. And of course margaritas. 😉 What can i say, it’s rooftop season. Time for long sweaty runs and post recovery burgers and beer!

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And last but not least, but kinda last (minute that is) I jumped on a Ragnar Trail team for this weekend in Richmond, VA! Super stoked that i have a running event on the calendar and they’re providing SMORES!

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Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:53/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m 9:10/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 9:40/pace

Thursday: 13.4m easy 8:40/pace

Friday: 5m easy 9:00/pace, 5 rounds of 6 x 135# back squat, SA DB snatches 30#, 8 pushups

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 1hr upper body

Total Miles: 33.4

Anyone running VA Ragnar this weekend?

Have you had homemade marshmallows?


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Happy Coffee! I Mean Wednesday…

Monday: 1 hr back/legs (heavy DL 5 x 3 @ 225#), 7m 7:51/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m 8:36/pace

How is it already the middle of April!? You’d think that after a half marathon PR i’d slow down a bit, but honestly I’m having more fun that ever lifting heavy and running. Sometimes the best runs are the ones where you’re not on a schedule, every run is decided while out on the run, each pace is determined by what your body wants for the day. It’s kinda nice. The warm weather has been nice too!

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I’m close to running 40 miles per week and it’s a comfortable number to be around while not training for anything specific. My heart is set on another half marathon PR attempt in the fall i just need to pick a couple out that work around a few weddings and other races I have on the schedule (Ragnar DC 2017!).

You guys know I love coffee right? It’s not a secret. It’s written in the About Me section, I talk about it all the time. I pride myself on demonstrating exercises to clients while never setting my coffee down…about a week ago I did a single arm 35lb dumbbell snatch with a coffee in my left hand. I normally hold coffee in my left hand, which is also why i have my tattoo there, in case I forget ya know?

 

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And i’m not a coffee snob, i can’t tell you where the beans are from or name the fruit notes or acid levels or how they were harvested. I don’t necessarily need to have a pour over crafted by a hipster who wants to pair coffee with an album on vinyl that I won’t remember the name of. I just like the plain ol’ Mr. Coffee drip coffeemaker so my house smells like warm heaven.

 

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I love hovering my face over a cup to get the warm goodness and feel all the steam in my pores. I love the social aspect and actually taking the time to make it, sit, relax and be present. Nothing is better than sitting down to have coffee and conversations with people you love.

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I make coffee different almost every day. Some days I do coconut oil with a little almond milk and stevia, other days with cinnamon, honey and almond milk, sometimes just cinnamon. And once in a while, very normal with milk or half and half and sugar. Depends on what’s around to add just a hint of sweetness. When I hit up a coffee shop I order an Americano (espresso & water), or a plain latte or mocha latte depending on how much chocolate i’m in the mood for ;).

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Pretty much me in the morning.

Got a cold brew from Starbucks yesterday- they put way too much cream in it, i’ll ask for less next time, but it hit the spot on that 80 degree day after 2 workouts. At least they got my name right?

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truth

I think coffee is on my mind this morning because A Better Whey just sent me a few samples of their newest protein “Java” which is their caffeinated coffee protein. Can’t wait to try it and report back.

Happy middle of the week – drink coffee and make it through to Friday!

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Last Week

Monday: 7m tempo 7:03/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.8m easy 8:10/pace

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:05/pace, barbell practice (hang snatches @ 65#)

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 8m easy 9:05/pace

Saturday: 5.6m easy 9:25/pace

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 37.4

How do you take your coffee?

If we were sitting down with a coffee right now what would you want to talk about?


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A Better Whey, Organic Protein Review!

Monday: 6m fartlek 8:54/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9m easy 9:25/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 8.6m 8:19/pace

Disclaimer: I was given A Better Whey Protein in December and have been using it consistently. I offered to do a review based on my own personal opinions and was not compensated (other than free sample) for this review. I am not a licensed nutritionist, these are my opinions. Please consult with your doctor before changing your diet.

I posted an article regarding dairy intake to Facebook recently and oh man, did it cause a scene. I tend to see nutrition articles as a whole, not one part. The big takeaway, is that dairy is in (and hidden in) a LOT of products the same way wheat and sugars are. Which means generally people are getting dairy in their diets without even trying.

The problem is you don’t know where the dairy source is coming from, whether the dairy is organic or if it’s from a farm that pumped their cows full of hormones. This is the big reason i’m picky with dairy, try not to eat packaged products, and preach to clients about consuming high quality dairy (and meat products).

After being a person that over the years has tried plenty of diets, shakes, and bars I am a firm believer that a well rounded, balanced, high quality everything included nutritional diet is the best. I try to choose quality over quantity to get as many nutrients packed into meals as possible in order to recover workout to workout, race to race and day to day.

Doesn’t mean i’m not gonna eat junk, let’s not get too crazy. Just means that 80-90% of the time, my meals are on point. Which brings me to something I’ve been crazy happy about. An organic, grass fed protein powder. I was given A Better Whey organic protein to try, and i’m in love with it.

 

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The texture of the powder is phenomenal, super fine and mixes well. The flavor is perfect (and i’m picky with chocolate flavor anything) and it’s been an easy way to up my protein intake which has been crucial after my heavier lifting days for recovery.

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chocolate protein, almond milk, chocolate chips. boom.

I like blending protein powders with ice and milk to make it creamy. This powder tastes excellent blended with just almond milk.

Favorite shake recipes:

8 ounces Silk Almond Milk, 1 scoop A Better Whey Vanilla, 4 ice cubes (tastes like vanilla ice cream)

8 ounces Silk Almond Milk, 1 scoop ABW Chocolate, 1 tbs Peanut Butter, 1 banana, cinnamon, 3-4 ice cubes (thank me later)

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drinking it plain in the shaker post wo

Another thing I’ve been proud of are my protein ball creations. I don’t have perfect recipes down yet, but it’s been fun trying different flavors to keep my sweet tooth and protein needs satisfied.

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some ingredients I use for the protein balls

I first add dry ingredients, A Better Whey protein powder (1 scoop), steel cut oats (1/4 cup), sometimes coconut flour (1 tbsp) then start adding in peanut butter until you get some texture (about 3/4 cup). Slowly and little at a time (very little) add wet ingredients to bind the mixture. I use almond milk (1 tsp), sometimes honey or vanilla extract depending on what flavors i’m going for. The combined ingredients should still be somewhat dry before you start rolling them into balls.

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chocolate pb protein balls

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vanilla honey pb protein balls

If i do the vanilla Better Whey protein with vanilla extract, they come out tasting like cookie dough. It’s been a big hit around the gym and in my house. The treats taste incredible because of the high quality protein I’m using. Plus it makes me feel good knowing the main ingredient is giving me nutrients my body needs to recover and get ready for the next workout!

You can read more about why organic protein is important here and you can purchase A Better Whey at https://www.proteinorganicwhey.com/ 

Have a great weekend!

Last Week

Monday: 8.4m easy 9:00/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 3.2m trail run 

Wednesday: 9m easy 9:11/pace, Push Presses + Overhead Squats

Thursday: Crossfit, 6m easy 8:19/pace

Friday: 4m easy 8:51/pace

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 30.6

How do you recover post workout?

What kind of running or other workouts are you planning for the weekend?

 

 

 


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Rock N’ Roll DC 2017 Recap!

Monday: 40 min legs (back squats/deadlifts for volume), 5m easy 9:31/pace

This was a big one. Bigger than I expected or hoped, way beyond a time PR.

The week of the race was typical. I was antsy, nervous and my training log concerned me. Pacing was all over the place and some workouts were scaled down and adjusted. Extremely different from how marathon training went last fall, where I hit almost every running workout and every pace to the T.

So I started examining the log as a whole: I put in all the miles, 45-51 miles per week, and did each workout to the best of my ability, all while increasing strength training days from 2x to 3-4x weekly, which meant getting used to training 2x a day (or two-a-days as it’s called). The work was there. The power from lifting heavy should translate to the run as long as I tapered well.  And with that, I put the log away and told only two very close people what my goal was. 1:33.

The forecast was rough in the DC area that Saturday. Cold and 25 degrees at the start, and lots of NW winds 10-15+ mph. Fortunately nothing new to me. If you’ve been following my blog the past year, i can’t seem to get away from the wind.

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info from my Garmin that day

But the freezing cold on top of it lead to wearing a lot of layers and we were all so happy the sun was out. It was the only thing keeping the weather bearable. I hopped on the Metro with Brian & Betty, a few runner friends I met at my Gold’s Gym.

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Brian & Betty 

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We had plenty of time to use the bathrooms, get hydrated and get into our corrals. The first miles were flat, so the plan was to hold back until after the big hill between miles 6-7 and then start speeding up.

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The flat miles weren’t incredibly easy for me. My left shin was tight and i was hoping it would shake out in the first couple miles but it didn’t. I felt it tighten every step of the way. I felt good otherwise, almost bouncy in a way and had a ton of energy.  I was afraid of pushing too hard in the beginning in case the shin/calf muscle became more of an issue later in the race, so i was running on feel for the first half.

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The big hill came and went. Once I felt recovered enough to push a little I did just that. The grade change helped stretch my calf and loosen up my shin. The uphills actually felt better than the flats and I could almost relax a bit on the downhill portions. Almost. There was no time to relax, i had work to do.

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This half was not easy. Mentally I was having a great race, I was doing well going on effort while still keeping my goal time in mind. When it got tough and i felt like slowing down, and that happened several times, i just repeated a short piece of a pep talk I got that morning.

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You’re going to fly. Over and over I said that to myself. And you know what, it made me feel fast and weightless. And focusing on the finish kept me sharp.

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The last couple miles were hard. I don’t remember much because I was focused on a quick leg turnover, and pushing through muscle fatigue, especially while on a few short & steep hills that had my legs screaming. But when you only have a mile to go, you go. Proud of that last mile.

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official 1:33:47

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3 Big things happened for me in this race, which is why I said it was major and so much more than a time PR.

  1. I started in Corral #1. When i first ran the Rock n Roll DC 1/2 back in 2013, I believe i was in Corral 5 or 6. I made it a goal of mine 4 years ago to make it into #1. It was a special feeling having my bib read #1.
  2. I PR’d at my heaviest racing weight to date, in the coldest temps i’ve ever run in and the most clothes i’ve ever worn. I’m about 7lbs heavier than the marathon last November and 16lbs heavier than my first marathon. I’ve been consistently gaining muscle mass and running faster year after year. To PR with all that additional weight, on a windy, cold, hilly course reinforces that my training is on point and I’ve got faster times ahead.
  3. I broke into the top 100 females at a major half marathon. This was the big one. Bigger than the actual time I finished in. It has been a goal of mine to break into the top 100 of a major race for years. When i found out I was 67th, I got teary and overwhelmed with happiness. It’s been a long time since i’ve been able to let myself enjoy these victories and allow myself to be proud.

Til’ next time kids.

Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:05/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 6m easy 8:46/pace

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:41/pace

Thursday: 3m easy 9:22/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 13.1m Race 7:10/pace 

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 33.1

What goals besides time goals have you set for yourself?

What are your current goals?

 

 

 


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Confederate War Strategy: My New Motto.

Monday: 5m easy 9:05/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 6m easy 8:46/pace

Is the title confusing? Don’t worry we’ll get there.

Taper week has been, well, taper week. Easy runs feel harder than normal, i’m questioning why I like running, wondering how much foam rolling is too much, if carb loading this early will help or hurt Saturday’s race or if i’m just stress eating, wondering if the tickle in my throat will turn into a cold, if the weather will be on my side, combing my training log for anything positive to hang onto for dear life! You know, the usual taper mini-panic attacks.

The pictures below were taken 6 days apart… I have no clue how running in warm weather then running in possible snow will translate come race day. As of now Saturday looks to be COLD. And i put most of my winter gear into storage… of course.

But you know what I always say, play it as it lies. Like I’ve been doing my hair. Dry shampoo might be the best invention ever.

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Okay enough with the tangents, last weekend I went downtown with my girlfriend Yomery to visit a few museums she’d never been to and grab lunch. When I say “girlfriend” i always feel like my mom, cause she used to say that ALL the time when I was younger. Now there’s a distinct connotation so when I say it, i just feel super old school. Dang it, another tangent. Sorry!

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We rode down on the Metro, the only way to travel to DC, and our first stop was  the American History Museum. I think I found my race day outfit…

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I thought this jack in the box was pretty amusing…

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And finally I found my new motivation. Yomery read this out loud and was like, “am I missing something?” No, she wasn’t missing anything. This was the gem of the day.

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Then we went on to lunch at  Zaytinya to get mediterranean, specifically falafel and it was outstanding. We did the $25 lunch special which included 4 courses including dessert and we added Turkish coffee cause apparently we can’t go 4 hours without coffee.

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turkish coffee

We decided to walk off lunch and finished up the museum tour at the Air and Space Museum. Hey guess what? Thrusters aren’t just used in Crossfit! haha

See ya on Saturday morning DC!

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Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 8:40/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m interval ( 6 x 1m @ 6:40/pace)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 9m tempo (6 @ 6:53/pace), 30 minutes of (SA snatches 30# and handstand practice)

Friday: 5m easy 8:58/pace, barbell clean and jerk practice

Saturday: 7.1m easy 8:57/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 9:01/pace

Total Miles: 41.6

How do you make new friends as adults? Crossfit helped me :)!

Other than running did you anything fun or new last weekend? 

 

 


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I’m Doing Everything Wrong This Time. #ThePeakWeek

How am i already at another peak week?? Seems like yesterday this was Philly’s marathon peak last November. I can full heartedly say as much as i love running, i did not care for this training cycle. I’m gonna be honest, this was one big experiment after another. From counting calories/macros, adding and removing foods, trying to find balance with strength training and napping whenever I had the chance… Every aspect was challenging and it started off on the wrong foot for me.

Hansons Marathon Method & Half Marathon Method training plans are 18 weeks long. Both of them. I assumed for some reason the half training plan would be either 12 or 16 weeks. And after my happy-go-lucky base building in December, I dove into training early January and realized I was already several weeks behind! I started at the week I was already supposed to be at (week 9), thinking i was ready mentally and physically to jump in and handle it. For the record I kinda was, but it was mentally tough to skip weeks. I don’t recommend it.

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From Saturday’s 11 miler!

I should have started from the beginning of the plan and adjusted for an earlier taper, not the other way around by playing catch up. It was physically tough hitting 50 mile weeks. Again, i assumed volume would be less in the Hansons half. Turns out the half plan is extremely similar to the full. Paces are where it differs and for a half marathon and long term goal of breaking 1:30, the pacing is tough on top of the weekly volume.

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That all being said. This is the hardest i’ve trained for a half, but my heart isn’t fully into it with the passion I felt during the Philadelphia training. I think it’s because i’m having so much more fun with the weightlifting and Crossfit right now. I’m a newbie at Olympic weightlifting so I’m gaining strength quickly and get to see PR’s almost every week. It’s so fun, challenging and rejuvenating.

The half marathon has been my favorite distance, but also a tough distance for me. I want the sub 1:30 badly, but I know it’s going to be work. It might be work for the fall when my mind can wrap itself around a hard half. I’m hoping that the Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2 will bring either a course PR (under 1:37:07) or an overall 1/2 PR (under 1:35:36). As long as the taper goes well I think i’m more than capable of these goals.

Now let’s talk about nutrition. I mentioned a few times that my energy had been zapped. For a quick moment i thought i was overtraining, but that wasn’t the case. I just wasn’t eating right.  I wasn’t taking in enough carbohydrates.

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Sup Carbs? #missedyou

I think the 50 mile weeks caught up with the 2-4 days a week I was lifting and when I was hungry my face was in a jar of peanut butter. It was funny at first, like haha I can eat 2 jars (big jars) of PB a week because I’m a runner… yeah no. All the peanut butter was not helping me with performance. Yes, it was helping eliminate the calorie deficit and is delicious and should be it’s own food group, but all the fat was not helping replenish my glycogen levels so i can hit workout after workout hard.

*Sidenote: I always use My Fitness Pal to log food when something feels off, whether its energy, tight pants, breakouts, migraines, anything – log food for a couple weeks and look for patterns. My recent pattern was a PB overload.

Couple changes I made immediately were adding a mini whole wheat bagel to breakfast, 110 calories, 22g carbs.

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1/2 regular bagel (similar macros), similar breakfast everyday

When i’m craving excess calories or reaching for the pb jar i’ve been making protein shakes and adding a little pb to the shake. And on days i’m doing more than an easy run (like two-a-days where I Crossfit in the morning and run in the afternoons) I make sure to eat carbs like potatoes or rice the night before and I either have a Picky Bar or Rx Bar about an hour before my second workout (22-28g carbs).

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I’ve been eating a low carb/high fat/high protein diet for the last year and a half and it’s been working just fine, until i started seriously lifting heavy and running volume on top of it. It’s just not a feasible diet anymore. I’m trying out a pseudo-carb cycling plan where I have 3-4 higher carb days (specifically for two-a-days) and a couple lower carb/higher protein + fat days when I’m not doubling workouts or long running.

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higher carb- cup of rice, veggies, chicken, peanut sauce 😉

I think the key here is to plan for nutrition changes when starting a new training cycle. I’ve made this mistake over and over, forgetting to increase overall calories as my mileage increases or even changing up the type of calories i’m eating. Again, I’m going to do a better job at logging food and hopefully i can train smarter not harder. Also-i’m not a nutritionist or a dietitian. I’m just changing some stuff up based on what myself and a few dudes discussed in the gym. If you have questions or comments feel free to ask away, but i’m not an expert in this area!

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higher carb dinner

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lower carb dinner. 

Just these few changes over the last two weeks have made a huge difference in my energy levels and i’m finally feeling some speed in the running workouts. Now I gotta grab some carbs for my run later 😉

Last Week

Monday: 9.5m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 6:44/pace)

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:14/pace

Wednesday: 3m easy 9:00/pace, 5 x 5 front squats @ 115#, 2m cooldown 9:30/pace 

Thursday: Crossfit, 10m tempo (7m @ 7:03/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Crossfit, 11m long 8:03/pace

Sunday: 8m easy 9:23/pace

Total Miles: 48.5

How do you increase overall calories during training?

Do you count macros or try to eat a certain high fat/protein/or carb diet?

 


8 Comments

Cupid’s Undie Run!

Monday: 9.5m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 6:44/pace)

This weekend flew by. I had way too much fun, with too many cool people. Our box ended up raising over $18,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation! Big thanks to my friends and family who donated! screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-7-10-52-pm

Before I headed to DC for the Cupid’s fundraising event, i started Saturday with a 14.1 mile run. And I can honestly say, it was the first in a string of really crappy runs that felt somewhat normal. Normal easy pace, normal tired, but not too beat up legs, normal weather, etc. Normal, I needed that. Let’s hope the last month of this training cycle goes well!

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The rest of the day went by quickly. Got home, showered, ate breakfast, hopped on the train to meet up with Yomery (one of my very strong 6AM Crossfit friends) and met up with the rest of the CF Silver Spring peeps.

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me and Yomery

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We had a table. And open bar… so lots of fun ensued!

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I don’t believe I was part of the dancing…

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Josh, Marcos & Katie (my coaches!)

A couple hours into our open bar, we flooded the streets and ran.. what seemed like a half mile. I found out the night before it wasn’t a 5k (i can’t remember why i thought it was) I don’t even think it was an actual mile or anywhere near one, but it didn’t matter, everyone was having a blast & raising money for a good cause. Plus the alcohol helped us stay warm ;).

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Left: Shaved heart Right: Pearl necklace. Gotta love these guys.

Till next year. Guess it’s time to start thinking about breaking my Beer Mile record. ❤

Last Week

Monday: 7m easy 8:59/pace, shoulders + handstand practice

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.2 interval (6 x 1m @ 6:55 pace)

Wednesday: 6m easy 9:20/pace

Thursday: Crossfit, 5m easy 10:00/pace

Friday: 9.5m tempo (7 @ 6:55/pace)

Saturday: 14.1m long 9:04/pace 

Sunday: 1hr strength/barbell skill work

Total Miles: 51.8

How was your weekend?

Ever done a Cupid’s Undie Run?