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Showing posts from January, 2014

Weekend Reads, Shoes & Socks

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Time to share three links and two local sales that I found!

Up and Down or Sustained Running
Maybe my cut-back weeks, weeks with decreased running mileage, are unnecessary if I recover correctly each week. Food for thought!

What Are Strides? How to Run Strides in 3 Easy Steps
I did some strides at the end of yesterday's easy run. This video gives you the recipe for strides: how to do them and when to do them.

How Stuft Mama Tracks Shoe Mileage
She uses a shoe box plan. Since I don't keep my boxes, I keep a shoe list on Evernote. Every few days, I update the list with the miles that I have run in each pair of shoes. At the top of the list, I keep the date that I last updated the list. Here's what it looks like.

My Running Shoe Mileage List
Last update- 1/28/14 Asics 2170 - 280 Asics Gel-Nimbus 14 - 89

Local Sales

Finding unexpected deals is a modern day treasure hunt! The Asics Gel-Nimbus shoes in my Mileage List are a new-to-me shoe. They're so plush that with nearly 100 miles …

14 Mile Run - Done!

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Yesterday we had a snow day here in southeast Texas. I'm not even sure that there was enough of it to call it snow, but it was fun to watch the tiny flurries fall even if it was only for a minute or two.

Since I'm training for The Woodlands Half Marathon (March 1) and I knew that it might snow on Tuesday, I did my long run on Monday.

The wind picked up about an hour into my 14 mile run. A friend passing by and yelled out to me, "It's windy!" Although it's hard to run into the wind, sometimes it helps. That's what I kept telling myself! Focusing on the good, I pushed into the wind, counting down the miles until I'd eat my next gel or make it to the turn-around point where the wind would once again be at my back.

Towards the end of my run, I ran with 1.5 miles at a hard pace. Like my 14 miler done a couple of weeks ago, I felt like I could have run farther.

While I was running, I heard a noise in the trees so I stopped to get a good look into the woode…

5 Weeks 'til the Half Marathon!

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I'm looking forward to running my seventh half marathon, The Woodlands Half Marathon in Texas, which takes place on March 1. The photo shows the area close to the race start location. I'm using Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach by Hudson and Fitzgerald to prepare. 

Summary of last week's exercise:
Monday: 7 mile run, strength trainingTuesday: 8.46 mile run that was supposed to be a 12 mile run. 23 mph wind and other little things got to me and I stopped. This week, I'll get that long run in!Wednesday: 5 mile ride, strength training. I got out very early and rode before anything could sabotage my ride.Thursday: 5 mile ride, 6 mile run. Windy and raining. Friday: 3 mile run, strength training. It felt like 15 degrees F outside, but I was okay since I wore double layers of nearly everything.Saturday: 6 mile run, 2 mile rideSunday: Rest.
I ran 5 days, strength-trained 3 days and rode 3 days. I was 2 miles short of my 15 mile a week riding g…

Weekend Reads

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Daily Goals

Do a Little Work Every Single Day, on Gretchen Rubin's blog, reminds me that it's easier for me to remember to do things that I do every day than it is for me to remember to do the things I only do occasionally. For instance, since I eat breakfast every day, I never forget. Remembering to do something on the same days of the week works for me, too, like doing strength training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I recently finished reading Gretchen's book, Happiness at Home. It's an easy read and nice to pick up to read when you have a minute here and there.

Pro Nutrition Tips

Pro Athletes Don’t Diet, They Practice These 6 Racing Weight Steps, by Matt Fitzgerald, reminds me to eat high quality food, but not too much of it, not to fear carbs on workout days, to keep track of what I eat, to weigh myself, to eat more earlier in the day and less later in the day and to run easy often.
Blog Business

It's fun to dream about Blogging as a Business (FitFoodieFinds).…

Chia Seeds & My Short Long Run

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Chia Seed Facts
Chia seeds are packed with protein, calcium, iron, essential fatty acids and potassium. Whole chia seeds are more digestible if you soak them in water or another liquid for a few minutes before eating. You don't need a recipe to use chia seeds. You can simply add chia seeds to your favorite smoothie recipe or add them to some water or juice.
Chia Seed Recipes
Chia Seed Pudding
For the pudding in the top photo, I used Chia Seed Pudding (Giada's recipe). All of the ingredients are pictured except for the milk.  It is a good idea to stir the mixture every once in awhile at first to make sure that the seeds are covered with yogurt. 
I liked this pudding and will make it again. If you like a thicker consistency, the next recipe is for you.
Chia Muesli 

In a bowl, stir together the following ingredients. Then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This has a thick consistency.

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon almonds
1 tablespoon …

My Step-back Week

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I decreased my running miles this last week in order to give my body a break from the increase of miles I've been doing. It was a good workout week. We were blessed with some sunny days even in the dead of winter here in southeast Texas. Here are some exercise highlights from the week.

RunningThe Long Run & the Deer

By coincidence, I ran 14 miles on the 14th. It was almost 40 degrees when I began and it felt great to run in the cold, crisp air. This was my longest run since I ran the St. George Marathon in October and when I was done, I felt like I could have run farther without a problem.

I live next to a park where I often see deer. During my run, I kept seeing a group of three deer. One time, I saw them running just ahead of me so I sped up and tried to keep up with them. Then they stopped and stared at me. I took 10 pictures before I finally left to finish my run.
Pre-run: toast with peanut butter and honey and a bananaDuring the run: 6 dried apricot halves. Six apricots ha…

Weekend Fitness Links

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What Ultra-Marathons Do to Our Bodies Some good and bad news in this post like more breathing problems for runners. After long runs, I've experienced a hoarse voice after my 20 milers, maybe from breathing in the pollen or the pollution.

No More Marathons… For Now. A dietician's take on what marathons do to the body. No matter what side of the fence you're on, interesting thoughts here. I've run 15 marathons and they've brought me a lot of fun adventures, but you don't have to run marathons to have fun running.

3 Ways to Beat Depression Through Exercise You don't have to sign up for a marathon in order to lift your spirits. You could simply go on a walk. This is good to hear if you're recovering from a running injury and can only walk. I did a lot of walking after my last marathon. Yesterday, I rode 6 miles and then I took my dog on a walk to the pond in the photo since she it wasn't a run day for me. She needs her exercise, too!

The Biggest Fitness Te…

Yogurt All Day

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Yogurt is a versatile food. I like to top plain yogurt with fruit or granola. Often, I use it as a substitute for sour cream on potatoes and taco salads. Here are some yogurt recipes that I like.


Smoothie - If you haven't tried making a smoothie before, this is a great way to drink your protein and get in a serving of fruit and vegetables, too. Here's my basic recipe for a yogurt/fruit smoothie. Recently, I made a raspberry, spinach and flax seed smoothie. One of my favorites is a yogurt and pineapple smoothie.

You can make a smoothie before you go to bed and grab it for a quick breakfast the next day. After a long run, it's nice to grab a smoothie that's already made. I do that a lot!

Cheesy Tuna and Rice - Here's a new recipe that I changed a little from the inspirational quinoa recipe I found at Running Escapades because I'm out of quinoa. Using yogurt is a healthy way to make the dish creamy. This recipe makes two servings and is easy to put together.

Mix to…

Half Marathon in 7 Weeks!

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I registered for The Woodlands Half Marathon (Texas), which takes place on March 1. It will be my 7th half marathon and the second time I've run the Woodlands Half. The race is only about 15 minutes away from my house, which is not as exciting as an out of town race, but is nice in it's own way. I'm all for all of the comforts of home!

My goal is to get a PR - to beat 1:50:57. Sounds impossible given the pace I've been running lately, though!

Starting this week, I'm using a half marathon plan from Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach by Hudson and Fitzgerald to prepare. Since this is a step-back week for me, I won't be doing all of the workouts, though. I hope to run some goal paced miles, an easy-paced 14 mile run (with apricots to keep me going!) and some easy runs. Plus, I'd like to bike and to do some strength training.

I like to have a step-back week with fewer miles after three build-up weeks. It's a physical and …

This Week's Exercise

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My Goal for January: Ride my bike more - 15 miles a week.
This Week's Status: I rode 15 miles.

It's getting easier to ride more. Three weeks ago, I was riding about 25 minutes at a time, but now I can ride 50 minutes at a time. It's great to see progress! I haven't signed up for a triathlon. I just like to ride! Plus, I think it will help my overall fitness.

I'm taking part in the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge. In the challenge, you set a goal for each month in 2014. I think it will be good to focus on a new healthy goal each month.

Monday
Arm Workout (Fit Sugar video), Fitness Magazine Videos: Butterfly CrunchPlankPilates Roll-up,
Ride: 7 miles
Run: 5 miles. Unusually chilly 27 degrees feels like 11! After 2 miles of running, I went home to get my dog who likes to run. My toes felt numb from the cold so I went back inside to warm them up. After that, they felt fine.

Tuesday
Core H Routine (Coach Johnson)
Run: 6 miles 

Wednesday
Run: I did a 12 mile run broken …

7 Weekend Links

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I came across some great links this week. Here are my favorites. 

Eating

Snacking Your Way to Better Health (with nuts) "In study after study, the more often people ate nuts, the leaner they tended to be." Great news because I like to snack on nuts, often with an apple. I heat nuts in the microwave to bring out their flavor. 

Running

Sally’s Secrets: Top 3 Tips for Leaner Abs Do some running on water only, drink lots of water and lift heavy weights.

Your Ultra-Training Bag Of Tricks: Taking Progression Workouts To The TrailsI did a 12 mile progression run this week. You don't have to be an ultra runner to benefit from these tips. 

The Top 8 Fitness Trends of 2014(Outside Online) - Spotlights new products like the Recon Jet  ($599), which projects your pace and heart rate onto the lens of your eye glasses.

Boston Marathon Treadmill (ProForm) You can control the speed with a ring on your finger. Is it my birthday yet?!

Technogym: Google Glass Controls Treadmill You control your tr…

Healthy Roasted Chicken

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Sometimes simple is best! This is one of those times. Easy Roasted Chicken is a simple and healthy meal that I made for dinner last night.

In my new Dutch oven, I put in some carrots, celery, olive oil, salt and pepper. I put the chicken on top of the vegetables, brushed olive oil on the chicken and sprinkled salt and pepper on top. This was easy to put together and it was delicious.

With the leftovers, I can make some of my old favorites like Picky Palate's Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole (I reduce the cheese and it's still great) and my Healthier Chicken Pot Pie.

Here in SE Texas, it hasn't been cold enough to keep me from running and riding my bike outside. It's in the 20's and 40's when I'm exercising. Lately, I've picked up the pace a little when I run - something that's been out of reach for awhile. It could be that more riding is helping my overall fitness or maybe it's because I know that the faster I run, the sooner I'm done…

My Weekly Recap, Garmin Tip and Piano Playing

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Best Workout Day This Week: That would be Saturday. I went for a short walk through the nearby woods with my husband and our dog, did an abs workout, ran 5 miles and rode my bike for 50 minutes. It's cold here today, but on Saturday, we had some perfect 60 degree sunshine in SE Texas. 

Running Total: 28 miles

Riding Total: 18 miles

Strength Training: Get Killer Abs is a hard workout with exercises like V-sits & Reverse Crunches. Doing these exercises reminded me that I need to do them more often.

What I Wore During Outside Exercise: Everything from shorts to a hat, gloves and a scarf!

Healthy Eating: Knowing that I need to eat right if I want my body to carry me through all of the workouts that I want to do is a good incentive to step away from the peanut M&M's jar and to pick up an apple and some walnuts instead.

Tip for Garmin Users: On Garmin Connect, you can manually upload all of your exercising including strength training onto the calendar.Garmin Connect says I burned …

Favorite Web Links

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Here are my favorite links from this week.

Money Saving Mom's 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge! I'm doing this one. January's goal is to exercise more. In addition to running and strength training as usual, I'd like to ride my bike more: 15 miles a week. I rode 16 miles last week.

Ultra-distance Runner Breaks Record Kim Allen, 47, finished running 500km (310.7 miles) in 86 hours, 11 minutes and 9 seconds without sleeping.

World Record Runners - Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68, ran 366 marathons without a single day off. 

Gym Pact App- Participants are paid for keeping healthy goals by the folks who don't meet their own goals. This might be helpful for those who need an extra incentive and it might be an expensive idea for others!

Should You Try Fasting Before Running? (Jenny Hadfield) - Sometimes I eat before I exercise, but not always. If it will be hours before I exercise and I'm hungry, I'll eat. If I wake up and want to exercise right …

3 Fitness Goals for 2014

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2014 Fitness Goals

Running: In 2013, I ran 1500 miles. To run at least 1500 miles in 2014 would be great. That's an average of about 30 miles a week. So many runners have their races planned out for the year already. That's amazing! Hopefully, I'll register for a race soon, too. Strength training: I want to continue to strength train 2-3 times a week. Biking: I want to add something new: more riding! I'd like to ride at least 15 miles a week or 60 miles a month. I'll keep track of my riding miles like I do my running on Garmin Connect.My 2013 Races

No PR's, but I had a lot of fun racing this year!
10/5/13 St. George Marathon (Utah) 4:35:01- Beautiful course! 5/26/13 Bob Potts Marathon (Pennsylvania) 3:58:11- Rail trail race!  3/2/13 The Woodlands Half Marathon 2:00:34 - 1st race close to my new house (in SE Texas)! 1/13/13 Houston Marathon 4:00:29 - My 7th running of this race! I used to live a few blocks from the course.

Longest Run This Week

I ran 11 miles yesterday…