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Carlsbad Marathon – Recap

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2013 at 12:53 am

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Carlsbad Marathon Recap

Hills. Hills. Hills. More hills.

That’s about it. 🙂 Ok, but really…my quads still hurt from all the hills I ran on Sunday.

My first two miles, I ran conservative before kicking it to about an 8:45 pace. I felt like I could sustain this pace fairly comfortably. I knew this course had some hills, but I was NOT prepared for just how many. I was able to hang on to that pace up until mile 17 when I had a little bit of tummy trouble and stopped for a potty break. The marathoners mile 17 was the half-marathoners mile 6 and their turnaround. This absolutely killed my mojo I had going and my PR. Realizing I still had to run a mile out and back before I was on my “home stretch” was crushing. We were back by the coast at this point and that helped a little, but I really struggled mentally from mile 17 to about 22. I had to walk a few times and hated that.

But I finished! And despite not PRing, I’m still proud of holding what would’ve been a PR pace for 17 miles. This gives me something to push for. 

I fueled with gatorade (lemon-lime), Honey Stinger products and Craisins. 

Ran in Nike Free 5.0 (which I found out are completely waterproof, which was awesome because the first few miles it was raining). Also wore my Lululemon Speed shorts, LOVE them! 

I don’t think I’ll be racing Carlsbad (at least not the full) again. 

Up next: GCI Relay

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Four Score & Seven Blisters Ago

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm
Four Score & Seven Blisters Ago…
Ran my 4th half-marathon yesterday. Although, looking back I would rather just forget that run/race happened. Terrible finish time, it was 80 degrees and the humidity level was 69% at the start line…what??????? 
Start line view – how gorgeous, right?

So thankful to have had Laurie or I might not have finished. I have never had to walk during a race, even my marathon, but I actually had to stop and walk through every aid station because it was that hot.  No shade, just sun pounding down and sucking the energy from my legs. But honestly, it was run and felt awesome to finally finish, no matter my time.

Nikki, myself, and Laurie
Now, on to the next adventure!! 

13.1 x 4

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2012 at 5:55 am
My new toy, a bike trainer!

I will be running my fourth official half-marathon this weekend. Official, meaning a race. It will be my first race since my full marathon back in June. I’ve felt pretty good, shin splints have plagued me again. But I’ve been able to train through them, grateful for my compression sleeves! 
Logged 21 miles this week and taking the next two days off. Pretty good for a “taper” week. Looking forward to AFC this weekend. Minus the lovely sand blisters from my 5.5m beach run tonight, but this made it al better…
Yummy, greasy, post-run food. Run to eat!

Intervals!!

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 at 4:09 am

Need a kick-butt interval workout? Well I’m about to post one for you.

I have to say though, while speed work is perfect for helping you PR,  make sure you have a good running base before introducing speed intervals. You want to become stronger not injure yourself. 🙂 Warming up is key to interval workouts. You will be all-out sprinting, so you want your muscles warm and loose. This will also help decrease injury. DON’T skip the warm-up. 
The idea behind speed intervals is to teach your body to run faster by well, running faster over shorter distances. I’m starting with the 200meter distance because I’m wanting to work on my PR for shorter distance races. 
Typically I run an 8:00 5K pace. So I pushed myself during each interval at a 6:30 pace.
200-meter  (1/8mile) intervals workout:
1) Stretch/Warm-up – 1 mile easy run.
2) Run 4 x 200 meter intervals at 12-15% faster than race pace. 30sec recovery between each interval.
3) Rest 3-4 min between each 4 x 200.
4) Repeat set 3 times for 1 mile of intervals. Total 8 x 200 meters.
5) Cool down with easy 1 mile run.
Then EAT! Happy speed running!
If you can’t make it to a track, try this HITT treadmill workout.
*These are workouts I use. Please consult your physician if you have concerns before starting a new exercise program. If you experience pain, discontinue workout.

Comfort Zone.

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm
This morning, Taylor and I went on a bike ride up to Point Loma (which is up-hill). I’m still learning how to be a good cyclist. So while it seems Taylor is pointing out everything I’m doing wrong while riding, he is only trying to help me become stronger. My legs may have been cursing me the whole way up, but I welcomed the lactic acid build up and kept pedaling, kept climbing.
I absolutely love the quote above. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. How true are those words? I would venture to say that nobody really enjoys change, especially personal change. This quote can apply to just about all areas of our lives. Some of my greatest/proudest moments in life have been after being uncomfortable. Whether that’s physically, spiritually, or mentally. You really find out what you are made of when you are uncomfortable. As a runner, it doesn’t take long to be out of my comfort zone. But pushing through the uncomfortable and hard runs only has made me stronger. As a Christian, there are times when you might find it uncomfortable to stand up for your faith. People won’t understand.
Yes, it’s much easier to live within your comfort zone. Within the familiar. But where is the joy that comes afterward? That feeling when all your hard work has paid off?
We, as Christians, want to rejoice in God’s glory because that’s an amazing feeling. But in Romans 5 it says:
And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings. Because we know that suffering produces endurance, endurance character & character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us. “

God knew us endurance runners and athletes would need a few verses that relate to us. 😉 Suffering produces endurance. Pretty powerful words. But how true it is, as I was climbing that hill this morning, I could only think about the suffering and how I had to keep going to gain the endurance.
Life isn’t going to be easy, but we can rejoice knowing that our suffering won’t be pointless. It’s creating in us endurance, character, and hope. Even more so for Christians, because we will be blessed for persevering under trials. 
So challenge yourself, push yourself, get out of your comfort zone. Because that’s where you will find unspeakable hope and joy. We only have one life, live it!

Fitbook.

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I get asked all the time “what my secret is” or “what did I do” to lose weight and keep it off. This has been a big motivator in pursuing my personal trainer certification. So I can “officially” help people make lifestyle changes, I truly love doing it. I thought I would share one thing that has really helped keep me accountable…the Fitbook.

It helps you create a 12-week training and nutrition plan and is very detailed. Here are a few samples from mine this week…
Weekly training plan for Monday-Sunday. Has strength training, cardio, & flexibility.

This is an example of 1 day. This is mine for today. I added in my strength exercise and cardio, rated my workouts and recorded my time. The next page is for nutrition. 3 meals, 3 snacks, and it lets you rate how you feel about each meal. Tracks fruits/veggies and water. It really helps keep me accountable. 
I love being able to fill out each page, it gives me almost as much satisfaction as doing the workouts and eating healthy. I highly suggest keeping a workout and food journal. This is just the method I use because it’s already thought everything out for me. Target carries these awesome little books, in their exercise aisle. A little pricey at $22, but for me, it’s totally worth it. 
I also love sharing good food and drinks that I find. I’m extremely picky and I want something that is prepared, or is easy and quick to prepare. Which is sometimes hard to find and it still be healthy. These are my go to drinks for after exercise:
Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus and SmartWater

 I use liquid because sometimes solid foods can upset my stomach after a hard workout.

The protein shake uses soy and whey protein.

Nutrition label (most important). Keep in mind, if you are limiting your sugar intake, this has 26g per 8oz serving. But the good news is it’s a natural source of sugar. It uses Agave nectar. It is gluten free and has no genetically modified ingredients. I love the chocolate, and I love this because you can get so much more protein than just regular choc. milk. It has a very smooth texture and is easy to swallow (big plus in my book). It does have a strong protein smell, but I find it doesn’t bother me while drinking it.
Remember, small and consistent changes will help you achieve your goals. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, so don’t skip it!! But remember, like everything, moderation is key. Too much protein can stress the kidneys and also keep in mind meat is a primary source of saturated fat. Another reason to control protein intake is, excess amounts of it are turned in to fat, not muscle. With all that said, I’ve found that drinking my protein does help keep me full and snacking less throughout the day. An easy way to calculate how much protein you should consume is:
1. 115 (body weight) x .45 = 52 kg body weight
2. 52 kg x 0.8 = 41.6 grams of protein per day
Disclaimer: Keep in mind, I am not yet certified nor am I a nutrition specialist. I’m just sharing what works for me and what I’ve learned along the way. Always consult your physician with medical or diet questions. 

Worship.

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2012 at 4:21 am

I’ve never quite experienced worshipping like the way Rock Church does it. Sure, they sing awesome songs and a most I recognize. But it seems a lot of songs are really repetitive. Maybe that’s just worship songs nowadays?  One song (the video above) I had never heard but they sing it a lot. And I would find myself singing it throughout the day or week and I got to thinking that there isn’t much to the song.

It repeats over and over and then I got to thinking that a lot of the worship songs they sing repeat over and over. I couldn’t help but think that is what worshipping in Heaven will be like. Just singing over and over, we won’t notice if we sing the same sentence, we’ll be worshipping in the presence of King Jesus.

Just a thought for today. Enjoy the song above and maybe it’ll become a favorite for you.

Psalms 150 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

My Trader Joes "clean" chicken quesadillas.

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 at 4:54 am
Look yummy right?
I have to admit, there is nothing incredibly special about these. But if you have a Trader Joes (or another organic food market) you can easily clean these up and they are still just as tasty and less greasy. 
Products:
TJ Whole Wheat flour tortillas (the best ever)
TJ individually wrapped organic chicken breast
TJ block cheese (I used mild chedd. and colby jack) – shredded myself
TJ EV olive oil (to cook chicken in)
TJ Authentic salsa
I also seasoned the chicken with Goyo Adobo (red cap) seasoning.
Put cheese and chicken inside tortillas and cooked over high heat in skillet, just a few minutes each side. 
I topped with TJ’s authentic salsa which is only 10 calories a serving! You could also do avocado’s/guacamole as well. Also, you can easily add whatever you like to them, onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc… I just keep it simple. 😉
I think I’m going to post one Trader Joes meal a week. So keep checking back!! 

Champion.

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2012 at 2:21 am

So I’ve had this thought several times while watching the London Olympics and then it was brought up during a devotion yesterday morning before our run…

These athletes train for months and months and maybe even years to compete in an event that at most will take a few hours to complete, like a marathon. But just watching Michael Phelps give it all he has for those few minutes compared to the time that he has put in training, man, that’s something. Can you just imagine the training time he has put in since before the Athens Olympics? All for maybe 6-8 races that only last a few minutes.

Today while watching the women’s marathon the announcer said something to the effect of “What makes a good marathoner is the willingness to sacrifice for training and how much you are willing to suffer to achieve greatness.” But I think that can be translated in to all sports. How much are you willing to beat up your body for just a few minutes/hours of greatness? But always having a lifetime of knowing that you did achieve it.

I can only relate on a very small level as I trained for my marathon about 6 months and ran well over 800 training miles just to run 26.2 miles. Kind of incredible to think about.

But thinking about life in general, it’s kind of the opposite. We are only here on this earth a few fleeting years compared to what eternity will be. A blink of an eye…

We have to give it everything we have in this life because it’s the only one we have. No do-overs. Our lives could parallel to the Olympics. Are we training and running in this life as to obtain the ultimate prize, being eternity in Heaven?

Ashamed.

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2012 at 4:46 am
Earlier today, I had typed out a blog entry out of anger and frustration. I hit save, but wanted to come back to it tonight to see how my feelings lined up with it. Of course, I realized a lot of what I had typed out was in anger and I’m definitely trying to approach it from a more understanding point of view.

Today, thousands upon thousands of ‘Christians’ turned up in droves in support of Chick-Fil-A. In what I thought was supposed to be a support for our first amendment right, but by the posts on Facebook, it was really more about supporting a Christian based company. (Nothing wrong with that.) What I have real issues with is the way it was approached.

It really saddens me that such a HUGE group of believers can rally around a multi-billion dollar franchise basically just to say “we showed you”. I just can’t, at all, find it in me to think that is what Jesus would do. What saddens me more is, Christians were so ready to prove a political point that they waited in long lines for hours today when most of those can’t find the time to attend an hour long church service on Sunday mornings. Or to even volunteer of their time to church ministries. Or to volunteer in the community, reaching the people, taking Jesus to them. But, let’s all gather to support a fast food chain, to “show” those non-Christians, to stick it to them! Did you know that 1/2 the world lives on $2.50 a day? That 1/2 the world lives in poverty with no adequate shelter or food. No safe drinking water. That roughly 29,000 children will die today, before ever reaching the age of 5 because of their living conditions. Those are all statistics from April of this year. Just 4 months ago. People in this world need us, they need the salt & the light. And the best we have to offer is rallying around a fast food joint. That’s what gets us worked up. What about the BIG picture??

This isn’t about Dan Cathy’s first amendment rights, he doesn’t need us to support that. I’m fairly certain CFA will be just fine. This is about Christians who let themselves get so worked up because the culture that we live in today, didn’t agree with his stance. Jesus didn’t have the “I’ll show you” attitude when people criticized, mocked, & persecuted Him.

I know many people will disagree with my opinion and that’s ok. These are just a few thoughts I’ve had. I think Jesus expects better of us. We will never reach a generation or culture when all they hear is condemnation.

So by all means, continue supporting Chick-Fil-A if you feel you need to. Or don’t, that’s the beauty of being in America. But before we say “I’ll show you” to those that disagree with us in the first place, let’s step back and ask what Jesus would really have us do.

*I wanted to edit my post and say that I still love Chick-Fil-A. My cousins operate one and I’ve always admired the way they handle their store and treat their employees. You couldn’t find two better people for the job. Chick-Fil-A has always given me top-notch service, good food, and have always gone the extra mile to make sure my experience is enjoyable. And that’s why I will continue to eat there. I’m not buying their politics, just their food.  My issue has never been with the restaurant itself and didn’t want it to seem like I was criticizing the chain. I will never give up my cookies n cream milkshake. 😉

Also, this article says it much better than I.
http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=7515