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Will Run for Lauren! (i’m gonna brag about my coach)

Monday: 20 min biceps, 10 min abs

Well, I don’t feel any better or worse right now, and still can’t tell if i’m dealing with allergies on top of a cold. I’ve been couching it up for the last few days and I want to finally share my thoughts on having a coach alongside my training this time around.

I’ve used training plans before, the kind you download off of a fitness or running website. These have worked just fine, and they do keep me on schedule better than not having a plan at all. But having a coach really has taken training to the next level. Lauren personalized a training plan to my current fitness level, running paces, goals, and how many days and miles per week I could realistically run.

She holds me accountable.¬†Even though we live across the country from each other we keep in touch just like she lives across town. There’s no hiding from my coach! We Skype about once a week, she emails and texts to check in on workouts and has access to my RW Training Log to view the workout specifics. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a schedule and not take extra rest days, but when your coach emails you first thing when a run is missing, it makes you think twice before you skip a run. Haha…Yes she did that, and no she wasn’t mad. ūüôā

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Coach Lauren

She got me out of my comfort zone. I like long easy runs. I like progression runs. That’s about it. One of the first things I told her was that I needed different types of speed work because I was bored and I didn’t know any other workouts except 400s & 800s. <—since I never ran track, lots of terms and workouts were confusing. She walked me through each speed workout and I have a much better grasp on what track work should really entail.

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A coach equals extra support.¬†Distance running is such a solo sport for the most part. I train alone, i race alone and I used to be my own coach. It’s hard to constantly be your own cheerleader, motivator and supporter. Having Lauren gives that extra support of knowing someone cares about you, your training and the racing outcome. It’s a fantastic feeling to have support as a runner. I feel it through the blog community and Cameron for sure.

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Crowd support! (Laura & Cameron waiting at a finish line last year)

My coach is more qualified and experienced than I am. ¬†Which is why I didn’t feel like I was failing or less of a “runner” when I asked for help. When I came to Lauren, I was asking to learn more about the sport I love, from someone who has been running longer than me (and someone who is much faster than me.) It is a scary process, putting your training into another person’s hands, but she’s getting some great results and numbers out of me, so i have complete trust in her plans.

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In the short amount of time i’ve worked with a coach, i’ve safely increased my weekly mileage, monthly mileage, pace and PR’d my 5K time by almost a full minute. I have a better mix of hill and speed workouts in my back pocket and I understand a lot more track lingo! I’m keeping Lauren for marathon training and i’m hoping I can continue learning and growing as a runner in this sport.

If you would like to contact Lauren and see how she can help you with your goals click below!

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Do you use a training plan? Where do you download them or buy them from?

Ever consider a coach?


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Time For a Hike!

I woke up Saturday feeling kinda crappy so Cameron made my favorite, french toast w/chocolate protein powder! After breakfast he suggested going on a hike and I got my shoes on faster than I reach for my A.M. java fix.

Snow was still on the ground here and there, but it was almost 60 degrees which meant melting snow, and we spent a good deal of our hike walking through mud. A ton of people were out on the trails, i guess everyone had the same idea to be outside on the first nice day of the year!

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It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine. We hiked 4.9 miles and took a few breaks just to sit on the rocks, and enjoy the view.

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Tank tops & snow.. Pretty much the best way to welcome spring!

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We stumbled across a bit of wildlife on our hike…

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Sunday I wasn’t feeling any better and my last long run before the half marathon was on the schedule. Just an easy slow 8 mile run. I decided to try and run it, even if that meant stopping early or walking. I did 7.25m at an 8:20/pace and walked the remaining 3/4 mile. That was a strange run. My legs and body felt normal, but my head was just heavy and sick feeling. As soon as I got back from the run I broke a fever and felt terrible for a few hours. Slowly, after green tea, fresh ginger and a ton of water with Nuun and saltines, I felt a ton better!

I’m still not 100%, but i’m very hopeful whatever is clinging to me will go away by race time this weekend! Send some good, healthy vibes my way, i’m going to need it!

Workout Summary

Monday: 35 min Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:35/pace, 15min shoulders

Wednesday: 6.1m treadmill hills (pace ranged from 8:30-7:41), 30 min core

Thursday: 25min chest/triceps, 10 low back

Friday: 4.1m moderate 7:40/pace

Saturday: 4.9m hike

Sunday: 8m easy 8:20/pace, walked the last 3/4 mile.

Total Miles: 28.1

What are your go-to remedies when you’re not feeling well?

Green tea & lots of water, Vitamin C, I try to eat as normally as possible

Ever run a race sick?

Nope and i’m hopefully not going to have to!


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Lotsa Randoms

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:35/pace, 15min shoulders

Wednesday: 6.1m treadmill hills (pace ranged from 8:30-7:41), 30 min core

Hey Thursday peeps! Don’t know how you’re feeling, but i need the weekend to get here. It’s supposed to be 50 degrees so i’m looking forward to an easy, long run OUTSIDE. And I’m officially boycotting winter. (don’t worry i do this every year, just let me continue with my rant) I don’t care if it snows again or the skies turn grey until June!! I’m putting away my winter clothes and coat and pulling out the summer shorts! I’m sure that seeing summery clothes hanging in the closet will make me happy. ūüôā

A few other things that are cheering up the winter blues…

NUUN has a Facebook giveaway going.¬†Prizes: (1) – Entry paid in full for a Hood to Coast team in 2014, plus a team hydration kit from Nuun Hydration. ¬†Enter by Monday and cross your fingers! I’m definitely going to run a relay sometime in the future!

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Next, I finally bought a Blender Bottle, so expect some fun smoothie/protein recipes in the near future. This purple bottle is definitely going to help me take in extra calories at the gym and will come in handy for post run recovery during marathon training.

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I love purple!

Yesterday I got a really fun surprise in the mail. ¬†An autographed Shalane Flanagan card! She sent one because I donated a small amount to her One Fund Boston fundraising page. ¬†I can’t wait to watch her race this upcoming Boston Marathon!

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I was given a Rodan & Fields (makers of Pro Active) mini facial kit from a family member, which included a microdermabrasion paste and serums. I finally got an extra minute to try it out this morning. Results? My skin felt uber clean and smooth afterward. I have sensitive skin, so i could only use a small amount at a time. I’m going to use it once a week for the next few weeks and see how I feel about the product, but so far so good! If you want to check out more Rodan & Fields products, visit Cristina’s webpage!

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I’m leaving you with more random to get us to Friday! Here’s a picture of me and my future sister-in-law on a girls trip, sitting in a giant chair during the day. It was summer and warm and beautiful in upstate NY.

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does last summer count as a Throwback Thursday??

Later that evening we visited a wine bar, that had wine on tap…

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Which then led to another visit to the giant chair…

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The End.

Anyone else out there get cabin fever/spring cleaner fever as badly as me? 

Favorite season?


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Training for a Race, Treadmill Style

Monday: 35 min Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown

I took a quick look through my training log (can you tell i’m tapering) and noticed that at least 50-60% of my runs have been indoors. That would normally terrify me, because i’d much rather be outside, in the elements, getting used to race day conditions, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating. So I’ve had to cooperate with the treadmill.

I don’t know what it is, but the treadmill tends to make me lazy. It’s so hard to be in one place staring at a wall/mirror/clock/pace for any given amount of time. It’s like being put in a corner on a very long time out.

And the laziness i’m referring to is not pushing the pace or challenging myself, because the “slow down button” is really, really easy to to push. It’s also really easy to quit during a run, since you’re not miles away from your house. You just hit the STOP button and jump off.

When we got our first heavy snowfall that covered my normal trails, I had a feeling that i’d be on the treadmill for more than one workout. I made a decision to go into each day on the treadmill just like i’d be running outside, with intent and purpose. I want to prove to myself that rain or shine, snow or ice, treadmill or outside I can handle training however it needs to happen.

Use effort AND pace together.¬†Whatever type of run you have on the schedule, make sure to run not only based on numbers the screen blinks in front of you, but note your effort! If I felt like the belt was doing the work for me and i was dragging along, i slowed down. You should feel in control of the treadmill, don’t let the treadmill do the work. I want to feel like i’m the one putting my foot in front of the other even when I’m sprinting.

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Treadmill’s actually help you run. You take the a step forward and the belt will turnover your leg for you. Which means that it’s easier to run on a treadmill.¬†I’m running a hilly course in 11 days, I can’t afford to have workouts that aren’t really as helpful as they should be, just because i’m using the treadmill to turnover my legs. I tried my best to go a little faster (even if it was only 5-10 seconds faster per mile) or run a bigger incline for a hill workout, that way I would feel more prepared for outside running. I also keep the incline at 1% on my easy runs.

You get out what you put into running. Treadmill running for me is a real easy way to sit back, relax and zone out, but not this time. I was in control of my workouts, pace, incline and effort. I have done a few big workouts outside which are helping me trust treadmill training. I did a 5K time trial & a 9 mile long run. Both of which were hard, yet I felt in control of my breathing, legs and pace. Which gives me decent confidence going into this half marathon. 

Last week’s workouts– Forgot to post!

Monday: 4.2m easy 9:12/pace, 15 min back/shoulders, 10 abs

Tuesday: 7.6 tempo (3m easy, 2 @ 7:41/pace, 2 @ 7:24/pace, .6 cool down) 

Wednesday: 45 min chest/biceps, 10 abs

Thursday: 6m hill treadmill workout 

Friday: 4m easy 8:02/pace

Saturday: 9.4m long run 7:54/pace

Sunday: Rest

Mileage: 31.2

Do you find treadmill running easy or harder?


15 Comments

WARNING: Do Not Read This Post on an Empty Stomach!

I’ve covered a lot of ground in the 7 months since this blog started, but one thing I kinda failed to talk about is the food I eat. There’s a few reasons behind this and yeah i’m gonna share them with you. Sit tight, this is a long one and enjoy a day in the life of my belly!

1) I am a creature of habit and eat very similar things each day. To me this seems boring and not blog worthy. But I’m coming to realize it’s one of the reasons I can keep my weight in check and might be helpful to some of you.

2) I’m not the biggest fan of reading a blog that only shows recipes and amazing looking food. It’s probably just a me thing, but when i see delicious food it makes me hungry and jealous all at once.

3) I don’t cook. I used to joke that I would learn when I have kids because it takes up a lot of time and energy that I don’t have because of running. But in all honesty, Cameron’s taken an interest to cooking and he’s brilliant in the kitchen with spices and flavors. He’s so good in fact, i don’t see the point in trying. Seriously, not because i’m lazy, but because he’s Just. That. Good.

9:00AM- Breakfast:¬†If you haven’t heard, it’s the most important meal of the day. If you’re skipping breakfast you’re slowing your metabolism down, storing fat and are crazy because breakfast is delicious! (and it’s the only meal I can cook to perfection btw).

I start my mornings with 2 eggs (yolks included, they contain the majority of nutrients in the egg), spinach/kale/mushrooms or whatever vegetables can be thrown into eggs, a piece of whole grain toast, sometimes bacon or turkey bacon & coffee. I also chug a tall glass of water and take my vitamins.

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Lunch: I run about an hour after breakfast (to digest) and once I get back to the apartment and shower it’s close to lunch time. I try and eat close to the time I leave for work because I generally have 4-7 hours without a long break for food. I try to keep lunch simple and grab leftovers, throw it on a salad, or have a quick bowl of cereal with a banana or a protein shake. (Also, I’m trying to find a better protein powder source because EAS is whey based and i’m beginning to realize i’m slightly lactose intolerant..any suggestions for an organic, dairy free, good tasting powder would be excellent!)

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Afternoon Snack:¬†Clif Bar, Luna Bar, PowerBar<—some sort of protein bar with at least 10g protein, a piece of fruit, or a type of nut and lots of water. If I find my energy waning it’s almost always due to dehydration. I’ve been really good about having water on me at all times.

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I create my own trail mix with whatever nut and seeds are on sale that week. And i’ll throw in dried cranberries or dark chocolate chips for the salty sweet combo. It is much less expensive to create your own mixes. You get exactly what you want and you don’t have all the added sugar trail mixes are generally covered in!

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dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and peanuts

Dinner: This is where Cameron steps in. I work until about 8PM and we eat late at night, because of that I forced encouraged Cameron to make healthy meals.. which, in turn, are now AMAZING because he uses spices and herbs to flavor meals instead of butter and oil. Our dinners include vegetables, a protein & a small carb (if any). Here are some pics of his latest creations.

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cod w/ grapefruit pico de gallo, red pepper & onion on a bed of fresh greens

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Garlic crusted chicken thigh, homemade garlic mashed potatoes with a red wine balsamic glaze over a bed of fresh greens

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Teriyaki beef with zucchini

After Dinner Sweet Treat: If you guys follow the blog, you know I have a massive sweet tooth. I love chocolate and I keep dark chocolate in the house at all times. Sometimes it’s a couple cookies, sometimes it’s candy like Sour Patch Kids or craisins, and on occasion it’s ice cream or sorbet. Chocolate’s my thing and I need a little each day.

Alcohol: I save my ‘drinking days’ for Friday or Saturday and I’ll have 2-3 glasses of wine or beer. Any more and I’m sick the next day. I talk about beer a lot on the blog and I LOVE my draaanks, but in all honesty If i drank alcohol every weekend all weekend I couldn’t do what I do for a living or love what I do with running. I treat booze like I treat my long runs, once a week at an easy moderate pace ūüėČ

beer tasting @ Revolution Chicago

beer tasting @ Revolution Chicago

Here are the rules I follow daily to keep my waistline a waistline, to not starve myself or feel deprived.

The 80/20 Rule. I eat 80% as healthy as possible & 20% of the day is a little less healthy. My 20% consists of sugar (real sugar) in my coffee, a few Starbucks a week and my nighttime snack.

Hydrate.¬†I was NOT drinking enough water until recently and now I make a large effort to drink half my body weight in ounces each day, more if I’m running/lifting/sweating.

Volumetrics.¬†For those of you who eat but are constantly battling hunger pangs. I read this article–> Eat More, Weight Less on Runner’s World a few years ago that changed my way of thinking/cooking/eating. Adding bulk to meals using vegetables and fruit without adding a ton of extra calories and fat can be the difference in losing additional weight, staying full and getting in your daily recommended servings of produce.

Eat Whole Foods. If you eat real foods: produce, meat, eggs, etc you won’t have much to worry about when it comes to calories/fat or weight gain. It’s the junk in between the aisles at the grocery store that are stuffed full of sugar, salt, preservatives, chemicals, unpronounceable words and nutrition-less foods.

I’m not going to preach about clean eating here because I obviously eat packaged stuff, but the majority of my day is not spent eating from a box. If you eat real, whole foods that are nutrient dense, it will help you will stay full longer and lose weight or maintain weight the healthy way. Here’s a glance in my shopping cart so you can see what’s in our fridge during the week.

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One treat a day.¬†Whatever you do, whatever meal plan, diet, low-carb, cave man, gluten-free, no sugar or dairy cows yada yada you follow, DO NOT DEPRIVE YOURSELF. Deprivation will set you up to binge on whatever just went “off limits.” Try to keep your treat small, in the 100-200 calorie range, and enjoy it! If you ate well all day, (80/20 rule!) a small treat will not ruin your hard work. Just don’t let the “small treat” turn into a pint of ice cream. Sometimes big calories come in small packages.

I’m going to try to make a better effort in documenting some of my food choices and give you guys some tips on how to eat better throughout the day. Cameron is also willing and excited to guest post from time to time and share dinner recipes.

We’re having yet again, another snow day. What’s your go-to workout when you can’t get outside or to the gym? (And you SoCal’ers just stay out of this, i don’t want to hear about the rain or mud. haha.)