Author: Christa

Streak Until You Dash!

Streak Until You Dash!

Happy Monday! I’d like to invite you all to join Sweating Awesome’s #12DaysofChristmasStreak! Starting December 14, walk or run at least 1 mile every day until December 25! This is a great way to stay motivated during this time of the year where the cold weather, hectic schedules, and holiday overeating can give you a lot of excuses not to get out and exercise. This streak will have you feeling less stressed and burn all those extra calories you’ll be consuming!

The #12DaysofChristmasStreak will also be a great way for those participating to start training for the Move More Fitness Jingle Dash 5k! This is a virtual 5k being held December 17-31! If you’re in the Yuba-Sutter area of California, I’d love for you to join my in-person meetup for this event on December 30! Here is a link to the event on Facebook where you can find more information and RSVP: My MMF Jingle Dash 5k.

Whether or not you join the Jingle Dash, I’d love for you to streak with me! Again, the only rule is to walk or run 1 mile every day December 14-25! You can also take pictures and tag #12DaysofChristmasStreak on social media! Of course, be sure to tag me in your photos so I can see all your streaking fun!

You can find and tag me on social media here:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/sweatingawesome

Instagram – www.instagram.com/sweating_awesome

Twitter – www.twitter.com/sweatingawesome

Happy Streaking and Happy Holidays!

It’s All Getting Real

It’s All Getting Real

Happy Friday and First Day of December! I can’t believe 2017 is almost at an end. The countdown to Germany has finally begun. We have dates set for movers and plane tickets booked. It’s finally feeling real – we are moving overseas soon!

The past week has been a series of errand-filled days with a healthy dose of stress. Good thing I have running to keep me sane. Alex and I got to run the Wheatland Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day! This free event was sponsored by my Moms Run This TownΒ group to collect canned goods for the local food bank. A lot of families turned out for the race and it was a lot of fun! As always, I’ll take any chance I can get to run with my MRTT ladies!

Follow my friends on Instagram! Gail @spaceangel92 and Misty @disneyprincess_on_the_run!

Stroller running with my son Alex is more and more fun as he grows up. He sits up and looks around when he used to lay and chill. We talk about the blue sky, the cars, the trees, the crunchy leaves, going fast, going slow, and everything in between. We love to sing songs too! He is definitely the best running buddy I could ask for.

After the Turkey Trot, we spent the day watching the Macy’s parade, cooking, and relaxing! Once my husband Chris got home from work, we enjoyed our tasty meal. Turkey for them and vegan sides for us all to enjoy. Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, and Mushroom Gravy. I used all Minimalist Baker recipes and they were so delicious you’d never suspect they were vegan!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Sliced Almonds given to us by a friend. Very tasty!

Some of you may remember I participated in a #RunChatHunt running scavenger hunt over the summer hosted by @TheRunChat. It was a blast finding new running routes to check things off the list and I get to do it again. @TheRunChat is hosting a holiday-themed #RunChatHunt and I’ve already been hard at work seeking out the new catalog of items! If you’re a runner and have a Twitter account, you should join in on the holiday fun! There’s a whole list of prizes you could win by participating!

Christmas lights, Wildlife (a small owl!), Star Wars decorations, Cup of Coffee – Check!

The adventures of being vegan continue and I’m still feeling great about it! (Wondering what vegan eating looks like? Read this post!) A family member of mine decided to try veganism after seeing me make the switch. After a week or two, they gave it up because they were worried about receiving enough of the proper nutrients. This made me dig deeper into making sure I was getting a good balance of nutrients myself which led me to this article. I was pleased to see that I eat most of the foods listed so I am, at the very least, on the right track. I’ve decided to up my superfood intake and plan my meals out to have a more well-rounded, mixed up diet day by day. That will be my dietary focus this week. I started today by making this quinoa superfood salad. Tasty and filling!

Quinoa Superfood Salad – missing pomegranate seeds because sadly, I couldn’t find any pomegranates.

This weekend I will be attending the Running With The Elves 5k in Marysville, CA! It’s the first time ever (and probably last since I’m moving away) that I’ll be returning to a race I’ve done before. I’ll be stroller-running but I believe I will still set a nice course PR! Here’s a photo of me crossing the finish line last year.

I’ve made literal great strides with running since this was snapped!

On December 16th, I’ll be running the YSTC River Run 5k in Yuba City and I’ll have cheerleaders! My in-laws will be visiting from Mississippi so they, my husband, and son will be there to watch me race!

On December 30th, I’ll be hosting a 5k! As a Move More Fitness Ambassador, I got the opportunity to host a meet-up for the MMF Jingle Dash Virtual 5k! Everyone is welcome to join us, including strollers, kids, and pets! If you’d like a bib and medal to commemorate this 5k, you can register here. Registration closes December 10th. This will be my farewell run before I fly out of California two days later. I hope you’ll join us to walk, run, and jingle into the new year! If you use Facebook, you can RSVP to the event through this link.

‘Tis the season for holiday races! What holiday-themed shenanigans will you be getting up to this month? Comment below and have a wonderful week!

Vegan Eating

Vegan Eating

About 10 weeks ago I was looking for some healthy eating motivation when I came across the documentary What The Health on Netflix. I thought it would talk about everything I already knew like eating more vegetables and avoiding processed and artificial ingredients. I had no idea it would be promoting plant-based eating and showing the moral, environmental, and health benefits to being vegan. By the end of the documentary, I couldn’t unknow everything I now knew and I was an overnight vegan. Ever since then, it’s been a learning process figuring out where I can eat, what I can eat, and answering a lot of questions from my family and friends. The #1 question I get? “What do you eat?!” It’s a valid question since meat and dairy are such huge staples of the American diet. I decided since I get asked that question so much, I was going to write this blog and show you all! Keep in mind that it’s still a learning process but so far, I’ve been really happy with eating this way and I feel great!

The first thing you need to know about me is that I’m lazy. I get in my cooking moods where I want to try recipes and I get excited. Most of the time though, I want something I can throw in a pan or in the microwave and not have to fuss with it. I’m trying to be better about cooking from scratch more because that’s the best way to get bang for your buck, they always turn out really yummy, and I’m always catching myself staring longingly into the fridge wishing I had cooked something. For now, you may notice more photos of something that came from a bag or restaurant but hopefully that will change in the future!

Breakfast

There are tons of options here! You could have a smoothie, cereal with almond milk, vegan pancakes/waffles, whatever your heart desires! There’s no shortage of awesome recipes out there! However, I like it simple when it comes to breakfast. Give me some toast and fruit and I will happily eat that every day. I use vegan butter which is a blend of oils similar to margarine but most margarine still has dairy in it. I have a small tub of it but I also get the sticks for baking (like when I made the most amazing pumpkin bread you will see later in this post!).

Before becoming vegan, I would eat eggs almost every morning. So, when I first made the switch, I decided to make a “tofu scramble” which used turmeric to make it yellow and it was all crumbly to look like scrambled eggs. It wasn’t bad but I wasn’t exactly a fan. I like tofu but I learned to stay away from things that try to make tofu taste like something else. Tofu tastes like tofu. Side note: For those that think being vegan or vegetarian means eating tons of tofu, it’s not true! I barely ever eat it and I only do so because I genuinely like it.

Every once in a while I will switch up my toast routine and have oatmeal or a bagel. For oatmeal, I cook up some oats and put some agave on it!

This has to be one of my favorite vegan ingredients. I put it on oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, and in any recipe that calls for honey! Even if you’re not vegan, this is a great alternative to honey for health reasons.

You have to be careful with bagels because most have whey (AKA milk) in them. Find one sans dairy, toast it up, spread some vegan cream cheese on there and crack some pepper on top. Yum!

If you’re like me, you love your morning cup of coffee. The first day of being vegan, I panicked a little when I went to make coffee and realized I couldn’t have creamer. Did I have to give up coffee?! Thankfully not! Luckily for me, we had some almond milk in the fridge because my husband is lactose intolerant. So now I put a little sugar and almond milk in there and I’m happy. My Starbucks order? Cold Brew with Vanilla and Almond Milk. YUM!

Who else celebrates coffee day every day?

Lunch/Dinner

So as I said before, I like to be lazy. I like to make big dinners and then eat the leftovers for lunch and dinner the next couple of days. If I don’t have leftovers for lunch, I’ll usually just eat a sandwich. Super exciting, right? The most important ingredient on a sandwich, to me, is mayonnaise. I introduce to you, Vegenaise. I was amazed and very happy to find that it tastes exactly like traditional mayo!

I tried a couple of different vegan “deli slices” because I love sandwiches. I thought they tasted like dog food so…never again. Now, I’ll have different veggies like tomato slices or avocado with some salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Tomato sandwich on toasted bread with balsamic roasted brussel sprouts on the side

A popular vegan brand is Gardein. They use soy protein to make all different meat replacements and I love them. Gardein products are sold at the commissary for only $2.50 and I get 2 or 3 meals out of them so they’re cost effective. They are also delicious and convenient!

Annie’s salad dressings are really good! They’re not always vegan, so be sure to read the label.
Paired here with some simple brown rice and broccoli
Crispy tenders topping a big salad

Let’s discuss vegan cheese. I will be totally honest…it’s…an adjustment. I had a deep love for dairy cheese so vegan cheese doesn’t get me excited. It’s not bad but it I had to get used to the flavor and texture. When I’m really wanting something with cheese, it does the trick!

This plate of way-too-much-quesadilla-for-one-person-but-was-definitely-eaten-by-one-person is brought to you by vegan cheese

Okay now we can get to some food I actually cooked from scratch! There’s no end to delicious vegan recipes online. Some of them have crazy ingredients that would have you finding a specialty health food store. I do my best to stick to recipes with ingredients I can get at any regular grocery store.

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup with Vegan Grilled Cheese
Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes
Slow Cooker White Bean Soup
Curried Coconut Quinoa with Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower

I’m sure you can now see why I want to do more cooking. As tasty and convenient the other stuff is, these dishes look and taste so much better!

Eating at Restaurants

My husband and I have a 13 year history of loving going out to eat. It’s basically our favorite thing to do together. We love finding new, awesome restaurants, especially for a special occasion when we can really indulge. This is where the biggest adjustment has had to be made since becoming vegan. Almost every restaurant has a vegetarian option but not a vegan option. I’m thankful for the vegetarian option at the least because I can usually finagle it to be vegan. I’m determined to make any restaurant work because I don’t want to keep my friends and family from being able to eat wherever they want. So far, I’ve been able to do just that!

Veggie sandwich at Subway
Veggie pizza from Blaze Pizza where they have vegan options like Daiya cheese
The Vegan Burger with side salad and wine at Yard House

I’ve been fortunate in that my family is willing to try actual vegan restaurants from time to time! They are always so good and even the non-vegans at the table are really happy with their meals.

Vegan Mac and Cheese at Hook and Ladder in Sacramento, CA – I googled the cheese brand to be sure it was actually vegan. That’s how close/good it was!
Vegan Mushroom Burger with Lentil Chips at Zest Kitchen in Roseville, CA
Vegan Fajitas at El Papagayo Mexican Restaurant in Carmichael, CA

Snacks/Dessert

Vegan snacks are easy! That makes it hard for a snacker like me to not just binge eat chips all day but I’m thankful overall.

Hippeas – Chickpea-based cheese puff type snack.
My favorite flavor is White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Desserts… I learned the hard way that you cannot take a traditional dessert recipe and simply sub in vegan ingredients. I made some cookies that skipped “not that good” and went straight to “trash.” My cookie-loving husband wanted to try them and I did my best not to let him. That’s how bad they were. He insisted on trying them, did, and instantly regretted it. The good news is, actual vegan dessert recipes are SO good! For instance, my husband baked me the most amazing vegan chocolate cake for my birthday this month. It was so good, my son wouldn’t stop begging for birthday cake for a week straight.

I also recently made the most delicious pumpkin bread with a brown sugar streusel on top! I had to pawn off most of it so I wouldn’t eat the whole thing. I’ll be making more for Thanksgiving!

If only you could taste food through the internet

Going Vegan

I will say I believe I had an easier time cutting out animal products because I was already health-conscious with food. However, I truly think anyone can make this change! We live in the age of the internet! You can Google “Vegan ________” literally anything and there will be an answer or recipe. There’s also an ever-increasing number of vegan options popping up everywhere you look, especially in grocery stores. If you’re interested in learning more about being vegan here are some things you can do:

Visit Vegan.org

Check out my favorite vegan recipe website – Minimalist Baker!

Watch these documentaries on Netflix – What The Health, Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, and Food, Inc.

Even simply reducing your intake of meat can greatly benefit the environment and your health so I encourage everyone to research and learn about it! I completely understand not everybody wants to be vegan and I would never try to push it on anyone. I had a happy accident that led to this part of my health journey and I’m grateful. I wanted to answer the question “What do you eat?!” and I hope this showed that the answer is a lot of really delicious food!

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

Hello! I know I’ve been a stranger lately, but I’m back! After my (very first!) half marathon at the Urban Cow Half, I took a little break from blogging. (You can read about my race here!) I also took a break from running for almost a week so there really wasn’t much to blog about anyway. Then, the break continued because I honestly felt a little lost post-half. Having no direction after 8 weeks of training had me feeling unmotivated and wondering what to do next.

My first ever 13.1 sticker to show my half marathon pride!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you know I finally got around to doing some onesie or twosie runs. I even threw some 4 mile runs in the mix. Overall, I feel good running regularly again! On the flip side, I’m still a little lost haha but it’s all good! So I’m gonna break down what I’ve been up to lately:

Moms Run This Town

My local MRTT chapter did a couple of special events this month and we had a lot of fun together! First, we got together for Love Your Body Day and ran in our sports bras to celebrate body positivity! This is something I’m really passionate about since choosing to love my body 2.5 years ago led to me losing over 100 pounds. (You can read about how my mindset changed here!) I love how empowered, strong, and beautiful these women are. We were all so happy to be a part of this event!

Loving our #beYOUtiful Momentum Wraps

Later in the month, we got together again for a Halloween run for the “Live Love Run” Virtual 4 Miler! Everyone dressed in costume – we had a cat, football player, storm trooper, Steampunk Ariel/Little Mermaid, and I was a ninja! I have to say…my costume choice wasn’t the smartest. It was really hard to breathe through that mask. It sure was fun though!

After our 4 mile run, we all enjoyed tasty treats! There was a whole spread with coffee, donuts, baked goods, bananas, and water. We got to hang out and chit chat and laugh and I love these ladies so much! I say it so much because it’s true. I can just pack them all up and take them to Germany, right? Our friend Misty (@disney_princess_on_the_run on Instagram!) is famous for her finish line jumps so we all knew we had to get a jump photo before the day was done. Behold, our glorious, gravity-defying leap!

Magnificent

Eating Vegan

I’ve been vegan for almost 9 weeks now! I really like it. I won’t say it’s not trying at times, especially when trying to eat out, but it’s pretty easy! I get a lot of questions about it which I enjoy. (You can read about how I came to be vegan in this post.) I’ve been photographing my meals because I’m constantly asked “what do you eat?!” and I’m going to make a post all about my new way of eating and hopefully show that vegan food is delicious and nutritious because it is!

Germany

After my half marathon, we basically dove into the deep end of Germany move preparations. For those who don’t know, my husband Chris got orders to Germany and we move in January. Time is flying! We had about a zillion appointments, passports, medical, dental, etc. Plus other preparations like buying entire winter wardrobes and overseas house-hunting. I’ve also been trying to learn German? That’s a question mark because I feel like I’m doing a terrible job haha. It’s hard! Plus, I’m using the Duolingo app which I like but it’s not very thorough. If anyone knows a better free/cheap app I can use…I’m all ears!

Shopping

Speaking of winter wardrobes, all of my warmer clothes from last year were too big. That is always like a 70:30 ratio of YAY:ugh. I don’t like having to spend the money on the clothes but obviously, being a healthier me is a great celebration! I had a little “Is this real life?” moment a couple weeks ago in the dressing room at Target because all the size Large tops I had grabbed were all too big. I had to go back and get Mediums! After being overweight since…forever, and previously wearing size 2/3XL shirts, this was like a dream. It still blows my mind! It was a nice non-scale victory!

One of my new medium tops in all its glory

Turning 31

I had my 31st birthday on November 1st! We celebrated a little early during Chris’ days off work. First, Chris baked me a vegan chocolate cake!

It was so yummy, we were all scarfing it down! My son Alex was asking for birthday cake all week long after that haha.

Later that evening, my friend Katharine was kind enough to come stay with Alex while Chris and I went for a night out. He took me to this great restaurant, Hook and Ladder, in Sacramento where they had their regular menu plus a whole vegan menu! I had a couple of tasty cocktails and the most amazing vegan mac and cheese!

It was a delicious dinner and then he took me to see the movie IT…just in time for Halloween! We never get to go to the movies (#parentlife) so it was soooo nice! He knocked it out of the park with my gift too. He got me these Jaybird bluetooth earbuds for running!

It’s great to have these because I was constantly pulling the cord of my old earbuds out of my phone or ears while I ran. He also got me a mobile charging pod for them. He said he was thinking of the future when I train for more distance races and I’m far from home for long runs. I thought that was so sweet! All in all, a fantastic birthday!

Training

It’s hard to find your groove again after being on a scheduled training plan but it’s been nice running little short runs again. I do want to be more scheduled about my workouts and incorporate strength training and speed work more often. I do best when I’m working toward a goal so I want to make a goal of a sub-30 minute 5k but it seems like I’m far away from that kind of time. Speed work would help me get there, it’s just a matter of committing and doing it.

Strength training would not only make me a better runner, but it would tone up my body. I keep hitting this wall with weight loss and I don’t think it could be nutrition because I am doing so well with food. I believe strength training would burn the excess fat and pull in the…for lack of a better word…flabbier parts of me. Women who have had a baby or anybody who has lost a considerable amount of weight knows what I’m talking about! I finally got motivated enough to do a strength workout this week and I’m trying to hammer out a schedule and get into a new routine!

Races

I have a few races coming up! Some shorties to keep me occupied until Germany weather allows me to train for another half. I might be doing the Hands of Hope Turkey Trot 5k but I have yet to hear back if it is a stroller-friendly race. I hope so! I have another Turkey Trot that I will definitely be running on Thanksgiving Day. It’s sponsored by my MRTT chapter and participants will bring non-perishable foods to donate! I will also be doing the Running with the Elves 5k in early December. It was my second ever 5k last year so I’m excited to run it again! Finally, I may be doing the Yuba Sutter Tri Club River Run 5k/10k. My in-laws will be in town so I’m not sure if I will have time to run it but I’m hoping I can! You can take the links I have here or see my Races page to see the events I’ll be running and hopefully join me!

So now you know I’m still here and still working on myself and setting goals and I hope you are too! Tell me what you’ve been up to in the comments below! Have a wonderful weekend!

My First Half Marathon!

My First Half Marathon!

I’M OFFICIALLY A HALF MARATHONER! I couldn’t be more happy or proud of this fact! After running 115 miles during 8 weeks of training, I ran my “victory lap” at the Urban Cow Half Marathon with 13.1 miles!

In last week’s post, I told you how I was having some serious hamstring problems in my right leg. My 8 mile long run was cut down to 3.5 and all my efforts to release the tightness were unsuccessful. Thankfully, a few days before the race, I tried a lying down hamstring stretch and felt it release! I was excited but still worried about it affecting my performance at the race. I continued doing this stretch a few times a day along with my usual rolling and stretching.

Because I was part of the Moms Run This Town HERD (team) I was invited to a special, early VIP packet pickup! On Thursday, I headed down to Fleet Feet Sacramento for this event and it was fun getting first access to all the special apparel and goodies created for this race! Plus, I got to bump into my friend Lisa who was there to pick up packets for almost our whole MRTT chapter!

Here we are with Howdy the cow!

After getting my bib packet and stocking up on gels and hydration powder, it was time to rest up for the race. On Saturday, I gathered everything together and laid out my Flat Christa.

Sunday morning finally came and although I was nervous, I was so ready and excited! My dad and I rode down to Sacramento together while my husband and son were going to meet us later.

Walking up to the event, the first thing we saw was the big She/Moms Run This Town tent! 12 Sacramento area chapters were represented at this race! We gathered for this awesome group photo.

I also found some ladies from my chapter and we all walked around sharing our excitement for the race.

Lisa, Kitty, Francine, and Gail – just a few members of my awesome running tribe!

We made our way to the start line but stayed aside while the first wave of the half marathon started. The first wave was for runners who could complete the race in less than 2 hours. While we waited for the second wave to line up, my friend Stephanie surprised me! She wasn’t intending on running this half but joined at the last minute. I was so happy to see her and feel her support!

Follow Stephanie on Instagram! @runstrongrun

Wave 1 finally cleared out and our wave lined up. My MRTT ladies all stood together and exchanged “you got this!” cheers and then they sounded the horn. It was go time!

Lisa and I ran together for the first 7 miles or so. We had so much fun chatting and checking out all there was to see! Costumes – like a man in a multi-color spiky wig and yellow legwarmers and the people running in full cow costumes! How did they not pass out from heat stroke in those things? Live bands jamming every few miles – we would dance, cheer and clap! Sights – like the famous yellow Tower Bridge and the Sacramento River!

My legs started to feel really tired around the 7 mile mark. I blame too much rest trying to avoid aggravating my hamstring before the race. I told Lisa to go on ahead because I was going to take an extra walking break. At that point, I honestly thought I’d rest a little and catch back up to her. Unfortunately, my legs never recovered and I started feeling a lot of pain in my feet, particularly on the soles. Lisa slowly crept further and further into the distance until I didn’t see her anymore.

But it was fun while it lasted!

I was kicking myself for sure but tried to remember everyone’s advice to me to just have fun at my first half. I did walk quite a bit more the last half of the race because my feet were in serious pain. Around mile 10, I had that thought that I think most runners get during a race like this, “Why did I do this to myself?” There were also some thoughts like “How do people do FULL marathons?!” haha! I just kept pushing on the best I could.

Howdy greeted me at mile 10!

During the final mile, “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga came on which ignited a small burst of energy that had me running more. I came around a corner and was met by this arch with a great cow pun and the excitement of knowing I only had a half mile to go.

That last half mile was quick, intermittent spurts of running – walking – running – walking. My feet were screaming stop but my will to reach the finish line kept me moving! I finally got to where the end was in sight and I pushed harder. Lisa had already finished and she came back to run me in. I sprinted as hard as I could and raised my arms in victory as I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:52!

Words can’t properly describe the feeling of accomplishment that washed over me. I was handed my awesome cowbell medal and then looked for my family. My dad found me first, gave me a big hug, and I started crying. While we were hugging, I saw my husband pushing my son up in the stroller with a big smile on his face. My son gave me a big kiss and my husband gave me a hug and said “You did it!” Seeing my family proud of me felt so good!

That’s Alex’s proud face

I went to the beer garden to enjoy my complimentary Lagunitas beer but, sadly, I had forgotten my I.D. My dad then told me he’d buy me a margarita at lunch. Thanks Dad!

I could barely walk so I sat down to change into my OOFOS recovery sandals. I took off my shoes and found one of my Pro Compression socks had a small spot of blood on it. I was cracking up and making jokes about being a “real” runner now. I took my socks off and found 9 blisters on my feet. This was weird because I didn’t get blisters on any of my training runs and I wasn’t wearing anything different. Also, my foot pain started at the 7 mile mark so it wasn’t because I was running further than I ever had. It’s a mystery.

We slowly shuffled back to the car and went to the Mexican restaurant El Papagayo. I wanted to give them a shout out because they have a whole page of vegan options on their menu AND their food is really good! Maybe it was because I had just run 13.1 miles, but I’m pretty sure I had the best margarita I’ve ever had there!

After lunch, we headed home and I prepared my first ever ice bath. I was scared and for good reason. It was terrible haha! I dunked my lower half in the water, lasted one whole second, said NOPE and got out. It was wayyyyy too cold! So I swapped it out for an epsom salt bath instead. That was much more relaxing!

On race day, I thought “I’m not doing another half for a long time!” The next day, I was looking up half marathons in Germany haha! It’s seriously an addiction! I’m not sure when my next half will be since it will be cold and snowy over there but I’m looking forward to the next round of training and the fun journey that will come with it!

Beginning of The End

Beginning of The End

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today marks the beginning of the end…of training! Today is week 8, day 1 and one week from today, I’ll be running my first half marathon at the Urban Cow Half!!

In last week’s post, I left off feeling really invigorated from a successful 11 mile run up and down hills around beautiful Lake Natoma. My body was really feeling the effects of that run for a few days, especially my right hamstring thanks to the hills. I did a lot of hydrating, stretching, rolling, and massaging all week trying to work it out but the tightness wouldn’t release.

On Wednesday, against my better judgement, I did a speed run of 2 miles. I was feeling really good and just felt like going fast, what can I say? I ended with an average pace of 10:38 per mile which is much faster than I’ve gone in months.

The next day, I had 5 miles on the schedule for my training. One of my Moms Run This Town friends, Jenna, decided to pair up with me for this run! She is, in general, a faster runner than me. Although I was setting the pace for our run, I was subconsciously running faster than I thought I was and we ended up going an 11:34 average pace.

So here we have an already sore hamstring combined with two runs at 1-2 minutes faster pace per mile than what my body is used to at this point in time. Not good!

On Friday, I rested and prepared for the 8 miles I had on the schedule for my week 7 long run. I was excited to “only” run 8 miles which is just such a funny concept to me! A few weeks ago, that number was scary. Proof that consistency and pushing your limits can bring about such wonderful change!

On Saturday, I met up with more MRTT ladies for our long run. After 1 mile, I told my friend Lisa, “My hamstring hurts.” At mile 3, I had to stop and stretch it. At 3.5 miles, my hamstring had had enough and started cramping so I immediately called off the rest of my run. I walked back and when Lisa got back to me, we talked it out and I had to re-strategize my treatment. I had been rolling and stretching the entirety of my legs but really focusing on my hamstrings. My new strategy is to focus on my quadriceps. Additionally, I’ll rest, soak in epsom salt baths, and just stay positive that come October 1st, I’ll be primed and ready to take on 13.1!

Today I am resting.Β I have very few miles on the schedule this week to rest up for the race so I’m feeling really hopeful that my leg will be better!

I wanted to talk a little bit about food because I’m going on 4 weeks or so of eating right again. It’s been so nice! I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how easy making the switch to eating vegan has been. I’m so thankful for that!

No weight loss so far but I can tell I’m getting slimmer and you just can’t beat how good you feel when your body is getting the nutrition it needs! My goal this week is to heal, enjoy the rest, and prime myself mentally for my half! I can’t even put into words how excited I am for this race! What are your goals this week? Comment below! Have a wonderful week!

Runner Rebooted

Runner Rebooted

Happy Sunday, everyone!

In last week’s post, I let you all know that I’ve been taking control of my eating after slacking all summer. That evening, I was looking for inspiration for making healthy choices so I decided to watch the Netflix documentary What The Health. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into but after watching it, I was an overnight plant-based eater AKA vegan. In years past, I would always tell my husband how I wish I could be a vegan or vegetarian but I always thought it would be too hard. Turns out, it’s a lot easier than I always thought it would be and I’m thankful!

Noodles & Company Japanese Pan Noodles – YUM

I’m not saying everyone should make this change or anything like that. Part of this blog is me talking about my nutrition and what helps me fuel for running or lose weight so I wanted to share this change in my diet. If you are interested in finding out more about plant-based nutrition, there is a wealth of information online. I watched these documentaries on Netflix: What The Health, Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, and Food, Inc.

Fajitas with sauteed mushrooms instead of meat – you can’t really mess up fajitas, right? So good!

Making this change put me out of commission for a few days due to withdrawal. I woke up with bad headaches like a hangover for 3 days and had no energy to exercise. So, I took 4 rest days after last weekend’s 9 mile run. On Thursday, I was feeling back to normal and joined my Moms Run This Town group for a 5 mile run!

This was one of those runs that just felt good! Eating well for 3 weeks, getting more sleep, and all those extra rest days had set me up for a great run. My first 2 miles were my normal 12:00-12:30 per mile pace but then I was trying to keep up with these speedy ladies for the last 3. Keeping up with them pumped up my adrenaline and those 3 miles were a 10:30-11:00 pace! I didn’t feel tired or worn out at the end either. I just enjoyed the runner’s high!

On Friday, I prepared for my week 6 long run of 11 miles (I’m training for my first ever half marathon at the Urban Cow Half!). I stretched and rolled all of my muscles and psyched myself up mentally for all of those miles. I even felt excited about it which was a nice change after my long runs had been feeling a little overwhelming before.

My MRTT group met up and carpooled out to beautiful Lake Natoma for our run! My friend and unofficial running coach, Lisa, ran with me the entire 11 mile loop.

This trail had a lot of hills! I’m used to running on flat ground so any hill is a lot but we climbed about 500 feet in elevation! Our legs, especially our hamstrings, were really feeling the burn. Lisa had to pep talk me during mile 8 because the hills were getting to me and I was feeling tired. She worked her magic, gave me tips, and reinvigorated me to finish this run! At mile 10, I was the one telling her “come on, let’s go!” so we did a bit of a switch. It was so fun and we finished strong with a 12:37 average pace!

That makes me so happy and excited to do my half at that pace, if not faster. Pace isn’t the goal of the race but I can’t help my competitive spirit and need to push myself πŸ™‚

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Today begins week 7 of my training! I can hardly believe that this journey is almost over. It’s taper time meaning less intense exercise to rest my body before my half marathon. I’m pretty excited about the fact that my long run on Saturday will “only” be 8 miles haha! That is such a foreign way to think!

My goals this week are to rest up from this run (my hamstrings and shoulders are super tight today!), keep eating healthy, keep making myself go to bed at an appropriate time (I’m a night owl so it’s not always easy), and have a great 8 mile long run maybe with a slightly faster pace.

What are your goals this week? What is one healthier choice you could commit to making this week? Comment below! Have a wonderful week!

Runner Rebooting

Runner Rebooting

Happy Sunday! I’m a few days behind on my weekly post so apologies! Things have been hectic in our household because the Germany move is coming up fast and we had a few appointments. Juggling those, regular mom duties, and running took all of my time πŸ™‚

I’ll start by talking about how on September 4th, I celebrated my 1 year running anniversary! I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity and encouragement to start running last year because it has changed my life immeasurably! Long story short, I’m healthier, more fit, more self-confident, and more ambitious. I feel so fortunate that I’m able to run!

In my last post, I talked about how my 7 mile long run hadn’t gone all that well thanks to tummy issues. My week 4 long run on Saturday Sept 2 went much better! I skipped my morning coffee and ran 8 miles fueling with a peanut butter GU gel. I did 4:1 intervals (run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute) and it helped a lot! I was able to run more consistently with set walking breaks. I ran it with my Moms Run This Town group and I was able to pull a 12 minute per mile pace so it was a great run through and through.

I love these ladies!

I also used this run as my #RunForTexas Virtual 10k! The ladies who started it (Follow them on Instagram! @moremilesmorefun and @live.love.run.repeat) did so hoping to raise a few hundred dollars and ended up raising over $50,000 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey!

Here is a rundown of my workouts for Aug 30 – Sept 9:

For my short runs this week, I had a really random mental block. The thought of running 5 miles was overwhelming and I struggled with both runs. I still don’t understand where it came from but thankfully I was able to muster up the mental fortitude for my week 5 long run. I had 9 miles on the schedule so my strategy was to set my Garmin watch for intervals and then I wouldn’t look at my watch again until I thought I was at my halfway point (to turn back). I ran totally based on feeling and my strategy worked! I had some toe pain that I had to keep stretching out in the last 2 miles so that slowed me down and I ended up with a 12:54 average pace. I’m glad because my goal is to keep my pace under 13 minutes for my half. I’m feeling confident that I can do that!

I had done a couple of test runs in the Asics Pursue-3 shoes I’d gotten but the toe box was definitely too small so I returned them. An employee at Fleet Feet Sac re-measured my feet and we tried several pairs of shoes and I finally ended up with the Brooks Addiction 13’s! The difference is amazing and nothing beats having the right pair of running shoes.

After slacking on my eating this summer, I was finally able to summon the motivation to crack down and get my nutrition back on track. I’ve been doing well for about 2 weeks now so I’m hoping for some weight loss soon. After my half marathon (I’m running my first half at the Urban Cow Half Marathon!), I’m planning to reduce my mileage, cross-train more, and really zone in on fat-burning and weight loss!

What goals are you currently working on? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe as well! Have a wonderful week!

Run Y’all

Run Y’all

Happy Wednesday! I left you last week with the goal to actually cross-train on my scheduled cross-training days. (I’m training for my first half marathon at the Urban Cow Half!) I’m walking on those days for now but I may try some strength training at home this week.

Here’s a breakdown of my workouts this week:

On Thursday, I met with my Moms Run This Town group for 5 miles. This run was awesome in that I ran more without walk breaks than I had in almost 2 months! That was definitely a result of running with my MRTT friends. They always find ways to push me past what I’d do on my own! (Find a chapter near you at momsrunthistown.com!)

On Friday, I got to go on one last walk with my mom before she headed home. It was so nice being able to exercise with her! Plus we got a quality 2 week visit with her before we move to Germany later this year. It’s going to be hard to be away from our family, especially with Alex!

AND THEN…it was Saturday. Long run day! I was feeling really good for my scheduled 7 miles.

The first 3 miles of my run were great. I’d headed out with my MRTT group to run on a nice, paved river trail and it was really pretty. I’ve been testing different energy gels to fuel my runs in order to figure out what flavors I like for my half marathon. I tried the GU Pineapple Roctane and my run very quickly went out the window. It didn’t agree with my stomach and I couldn’t really run without pain. So I walked…a lot. When I walked, I felt okay so I’d try to run again but my body said no way. I was upset after I finished the 7 miles but as the day went on, I accepted that it’s just part of the journey. People have bad runs all the time and I’m no exception. I have 8 miles on the schedule this Saturday so hopefully it will go smoothly!

Speaking of Saturday, I’ll be using my long run to run in the #RunForTexas virtual race! This race has a 5k or 10k option and 100% of the cost is going straight to the American Red Cross and Texas Diaper Bank to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please take this link and register or donate!

On Monday, I hit up Fleet Feet Sacramento and got some new Asics running shoes. I tested them on a 4 mile run Tuesday and then felt good except I think the toe box may not be wide enough. I had some toe pain on my left foot halfway through my run so I’ll be testing them again tomorrow. Thankfully, Fleet Feet has a great return policy so if they’re the wrong shoe, I can simply exchange them!

My goal this week is to keep up on self-care with stretching and rolling like I have been. My shin splints have barely bugged me since I kicked that up an extra notch. What’s your goal for the week? Comment below! Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to register for #RunForTexas!

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

Ending week 2 and going into week 3 of half marathon training feels like a nice turn around! I was having increased shin pain last week (you can read about that here) which led to me taking 2 unscheduled rest days before my long run on Saturday. I wasn’t looking forward to doing 6 miles because of the pain that I was sure would follow. Except it didn’t.

Last week, I wrote that one of my goals was to be extra diligent with stretching and rolling. I kept true to that goal, especially on my long run day. There was a lot of extra calf stretching and shin massage. I think it made all the difference because I had zero pain. I’m going to continue this extra self-care and hopefully it will keep the shin splints at bay.

Speaking of my long run, I headed out with my Moms Run This Town group for my 6 miles. Almost all of us are training for the Urban Cow Half Marathon which is really nice so we can all train together! What’s better than running with friends on a long run? Not much, except maybe brunch together after!

In case we hadn’t had enough fun together, that evening we all met up again. It was Misty’s birthday! (Follow her on Instagram! @disney_princess_on_the_run) We grouped up and walked the Gone For a Run’s Run Now Wine Later 5k!

The birthday girl was kind enough to let me use her pictures!

It was fun strutting around town, chatting and laughing. At the end, we headed into a local bar and shared a drink and some great conversation! I told the ladies how glad I am that I pushed aside my shy feelings and fear of running too slow back in March and joined MRTT. If you have a running group you’d like to join but you’re worried about something like that, don’t be! Join! It has been such a gift to interact with these awesome women who inspire and motivate me.

On Tuesday, I had 4.5 miles on the schedule. I woke up feeling really energetic and had a good feeling about my run. It was overcast and cool outside, so even though I didn’t run until 9 A.M., it was perfect weather! Normally, it would already be way too hot. I don’t know what else to say except I just felt good! I hadn’t had a run that good since my “Best Run Ever” that I blogged about back in July.

Yes, I had to take walking breaks. Yes, I went “slow.” However, I can sense my endurance rebuilding and it feels great. Also, I’ve been making an effort to post my average pace for my runs since I’ve gotten back into it.

I feel like I’ve seen and heard a lot of runners lately worrying about how “slow” they are. One person’s slow is another person’s dream pace. There is too much negative self-talk floating around about speed. My runs have been averaging about 12:00/mile lately. I want to be faster like everyone does, but I’m not in a rush. It takes time. I just ask you to be okay with where you’re at. Don’t compare yourself to others or let self-doubt creep in. Just keep working and you’ll get to where you want to be!

Now I need to have some real talk about cross-training. I know that cross-training is incredibly important for a lot of reasons including strengthening muscles and helping prevent injury. I also know that I have been severely lacking in this area for many months! It’s just so much easier to walk out the front door and go run. I had decided, for my half training, that I was going to swim twice a week to cross-train. Out of 5 swims that should have happened by now, I’ve gone swimming twice. I hated it both times. I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and keep at it. That didn’t happen haha. What happened was that I did nothing on my cross-training days and I am not happy with that! So basically, I need to get my crap together and figure out another way to cross-train. I like yoga but I’d like to do something that makes me break a sweat. That will be my goal this week!

What are your goals? What’s your favorite way to cross-train? Comment below!

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