Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stranger Danger

A few major bullet points about this run:

It was very, very wet outside
People are still nice (or creepy) around here
It's easy to steam up a car window

When I left work to go run (4 miles), it was already wet outside and I knew it was only going to get worst. But, I decided to brave the rain and head outside anyways. It may be raining on Sunday (for the race), so I have to be prepared anyways.

I parked my car (just a .5 mile away from work, I just don't want other people to start asking me questions around here as to why I run in the rain and so on). When I started, no one was out. It was just me, the rain and a million cars driving by (I run during rush hour traffic). I only hit 2 stop lights on this run (this time). At the first light, I was waiting for the crosswalk sign to tell me to go. Since I just missed it, I knew it was going to be a while. While I was spacing out, a guy drove up (he was making a right hand turn) and rolled down his window. I just thought it was going to be some stupid guy cat calling (only they're not brave enough to get that close). It was an older guy (in his 60's) and he asked if I was ok and if I needed a ride. I smiled and told him I was fine. I haven't decided if this was nice or creepy, yet.

About a mile down the ode, I hit the 2nd light. Again, another guy rolled up and asked if I needed any help. Once again, I smiled and said no thank you (again, nice or creepy?). I think I should wear a sign that says "I CHOSE TO DO THIS". I know I probably looked like a drowned rat, but I was so happy to be running in the rain.

I love running in the rain. It helps motivate me to run faster. The quicker I get the run finished, the sooner I can take a hot shower. I decided to run without a jacket (thanks to my peeps on fb and twitter). It was perfect! If you look close (in the photo above) you can see how wet my shirt is. You can see my pink long sleeve underneath. It was my wettest run of the year. I loved every minute of it!!

When I got back to my car, I saw exactly how fast I could fog up my car windows. I had to wait a few minutes, so they would un-fog and I could drive.

What's your favorite weather to run it? The perfect weather for me is a little misty, about 50 degrees and the sun just peaking out (and no traffic with a ton of other runners out).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 in 4 Days

My internet was down yesterday, so sorry there wasn't a post yesterday. I'm back! On Monday and Tuesday, I ran one of my last few runs until the big day. I have 4 days until my 10 mile race on Sunday. I'm getting excited and also pretty nervous! This was a last minute race plan. So, I didn't get the chance to train properly. I've been running and cross training like a mad woman. All I hope is that I will finish the race uninjured. 

For the last 2 days (plus today), I am running one of my favorite routes (a 5 mile loop). I really hope that I'm doing all that I can, in such a short time) to train. I don't want to run too far too close to race day and cause injury. All I can do is keep going and run my heart out on Sunday. It will be a fun race and will go by so fast! I hope it stays dry until I'm done running. I am confident I will do well on Sunday!

I do like to keep it classy with sheets instead of blinds for our windows!

How have I been fueling for this training (short) cycle, you ask? Well, I have been eating a bunch of filling salads. They're usually filled with tons of leafy greens (of course, it is a salad), chicken, black beans, olives, croutons, and Salba seeds.

If you've never heard of Salba, well they're a great source for omega 3's and fiber (and antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, iron and foliate). Here's how they compare Salba seeds to flax seeds: 

"Here's why: Flax seed has been a popular supplement for years due to its high fiber and Omega-3 fatty acid content (alpha-linolenic acid). Simply put, Salba has more of both. Based on recent research and USDA verified information, we know that Salba has 25-30% more fiber than flax and 30% more Omega-3s (ALA) while maintaining the same ideal 3.5-to-1 Omega-3/-6 ratio.

Salba seeds also have other natural advantages over flax seeds. Unlike flax, Salba is 100% bioavailable when consumed as a whole seed. Flax seeds have a thick husk that cannot be digested and must be ground to release the Omega-3 benefits. And while flax has a powerful, nutty flavor and an oily consistency, Salba seeds have neutral flavor and smooth texture that make it the perfect functional ingredient in any recipe."

They sent me a bunch of stuff. You can't even taste their seeds or even their ground in your food. Their potato chips taste like pistachios (super yum). Jason and I were eating them one day and we were trying to think of the taste. I took a drink of my beer and ate another chip and it came to me...pistachios! Don't worry, I'm going to lay off the fiber stuff as it gets closer to race day. I don't need any unexpected stops!

What fuels you in the upcoming weeks to race day?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Running Nutrition Clinic

Last Thursday, my gym was putting on a free running nutrition clinic. The speaker was Mary Coordt. She really knows her running. She is a coach, a nutrition consultant and a four times Olympic trails qualifier. She's super fast! She has also won the Napa Marathon four times. She talked about a lot of stuff I already knew, but I also learned a lot! 

Who ever registered and attended the clinic, got a free entry into a local 10 mile race in a week! I've been training for it and am ready!

The clinic was held on the gyms basketball courts. There were a lot of slides and Mary kept it very entertaining. The hour flew by! This picture was taken before all the people arrived (it wasn't empty).

Some of the points that she discussed were:

Searching good information online. Most websites ending in .org or .edu are usually the best info. This is a really good site to check out. So much info here!

Sugar: On average, people should only take in 6-9 tablespoons of sugar a day. Most Americans take in 30 tablespoons a day. I know I take in more than 6-9 tablespoons. I love my sweets!

If you wait about 20 minutes, once you finish a meal, you can tell if you're really hungry still. Some people (I know I'm one of them), have dessert right after dinner, instead of waiting to see if they really need (aka: still hungry for it) it.

Iron: necessary for using energy. It's odd, if you don't have enough iron, you may be fatigued. But, if you have too much, you may be fatigued. I guess it's always a good hing not to self diagnose. You should see a doctor if you think you may have any iron deficiency. Most women only take in 24% of their daily iron. As for men, hey take 224% of their daily iron intake. Strange.

Up to 81% of high endurance athletes have GI problems. I'm, not by any means, an endurance athlete, but I do get GI problems when I go for long runs. Mary suggests that in taking very small amounts of water (or liquid) at a time, will help your GI when it's time to take in a larger amount (when you're thirsty). There have been many ideas going around saying that if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Mary suggests just to drink when you're thirsty, because that's when you need it.

Post workout: Water is water. No need to hype it up with additional vitamins. The water that comes from your tap is just fine (or you can buy bottle if you prefer). After a long workout, you should take in some type of carb within 10 minutes and some protein (40g carbs & 10g protein) within 30 minutes after your high intensity workout. Chocolate milk if the perfect ratio. PB & bread or a smoothie is a good choice too.

When it comes to what to take in, it's all about what works for you. I know that I can't drink sports drinks while running and can only take in small amounts of water at a time. I announced on Twitter that I was eating a hard boiled egg before my long run time last week. Some people were shocked about that. I've never had a problem with eggs before a high intensity workout (knock on wood). Everyones stomachs are different. What works for me, may not work for you (and vice versa). Most of the time, as long as I have my compression shorts and socks and a glass of chocolate milk, I'm pretty good the next day.

What are some of your tricks for recovery after a high intensity workout?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spinning Around

Last night, I met a friend at the gym for my most favorite spin class ever! It was such a tough class. It was pretty cool having someone in class that I know. I live kind of far from my friends that work out, so they don't usually come out to me. Luckily, she likes this instructor, so she made the drive!

Don't be fooled by the smile on my face, the class was tough and I'm exhausted! This was especially difficult since I haven't been to a spin class in months and I had my long run the night before. the instructor expects you to do any stretching before he starts class, so we just into it. There were so many hills and sprints. But, I love sprints and seeing how much sweat I can possibly leave on the floor, so I loved every minute of it!

Before class, I did run a few miles on the tm (a lot more boring than running outside, but I still liked it), and then I headed over to the weights to work my legs. I have to keep them in shape, so I don't get injured. Only 10 days until my race!! I'm ready!

Let's how well I run tomorrow's short run. It'll be hard (but flat)!

Have you ever taken a spin class? Do you like it? This is my favorite race shirt. What's yours?

A compression giveaway may be coming your way very soon. Keep following along!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Long Run & PRO Compression Workout (& giveaway heads up)

Since I have my unexpected 10 mile race in a week and half, I need to boost up my road miles (without injury). I have been so busy with life, I haven't had time to get my miles in. I have been running, but not that far. 

So, after work, last night, I headed out for my first long run of the season. I wore my Garmin, but I made a deal with myself, I wasn't going to look at it until after I got done with my run. I didn't look at it until the very end! I did pretty well, especially for hitting as many lights as I did (I went during rush hour traffic on extremely busy streets).

My run was about 7.5 miles. It was challenging. Especially for doing it after a long day at work. I'm use to getting a good nights rest, then heading out in the morning. Plus, I had so many hills on my route. This was a new route, and I was very much out of my comfort zone. That's good to do every once in a while. I'm a little stiff, but I feel good. Tonight's spin class may be a different story.

Since I haven't ran as much as I did before, my feet don't have their calluses, like they use to. My feet hurt so much right now. It feels better to walk, but it still hurts. It kind of feels like I'm I'm walking on big rocks. I can't wait until the calluses build up. I know that sounds gross, but it's for the best. Plus, I love grossing out Jason with my disgusting feet.

My second workout of the day was putting on my compression gear (I'm not going to post a full picture). I put on my compression shorts (which save my upper legs' life) and my PRO Compression socks. I've never had a sock fit so well! When Eric (at PRO Compression) first sent these bad boys to me. I saw the feet and thought they were meant for a child. I never thought I could fit into them. A few minutes of grunting and pulling, I got them on and didn't take them off all night! They comfort my feet just perfectly. They feel so comfy and relaxing on. I LOVE the color!!

You may want to keep watching my blog, I feel a giveaway for these awesome socks coming up very, very soon!! What's your favorite color of compression sock?

Do you ever participate in a race when you haven't fully trained for it? What's the minimum time you've trained for a race? Do your feet hurt when you haven't run for a while?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chilli Cook Off & Get Running

Last week, there was an event that was going on in town and I got free tickets from work. After work, I headed home, to get a few things done before I left for the night. It was a dark and stormy night. What else is better than a chili cook off? I can't think of anything!!

Anyone that is anyone is our town was there. Mayors, fire department, college presidents and about 30 others were cooking their best chili recipes. We were given little cups, filled with outstanding chili to try. Then, once we tried them all, we would cast our vote.

The room was packed! It was for a good cause, too. This event helped support after school activities for kids (it's good to keep them out of trouble).

It was so hot inside that room .I can't believe that they crammed all those people in there. I'm just glad there were a few doors open. Especially since everyone was eating a massive amount of chili! We couldn't stay to see if our choices won, because we still had a few hours of errands to run.

Last night, I ended up going for a medium run (~6 miles). I had planned on going to my ripped class, but I spoke with a friend and she is going to the gym with me for my spin class on Wednesday. I just switched a couple things around. Hey more people, the more fun! The run was a lot of fun and challenging. I need to plan out my 7-9 mile run for tonight. I just hope it doesn't rain!

I have a lot of work ahead of me (but I'll be ready)!

(excuse the re-used photo). How did I refuel when I got home? By pouring myself a huge glass of chocolate milk! Even though it was pretty cold outside, I was still pretty warm (even after my 20 minute drive home). 

St. Patty's Day food was used as left overs. I have a lot of training to do this next week and a half. I have a free entry into a 10 mile race on the 1st. I'm pretty excited about it! It's my first race of the season!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Planting on St. Patty's Day

What to do when your local home improvement store is having an awesome deal on the exact plants you want to plant later on?? You buy them in the pouring rain, keep them on your patio and then plant them the second you have a break between storms. That's exactly what I did (Jason helped too).

On Saturday morning, we got up early and I skipped my morning run to plant all day long. There was a lot of digging, building of mow strips and so much more! I'll save you from the boring stuff and show you the end result. I think it only took us about 6 hours!! Azaleas are on the right and Japanese Boxwoods are on the left.

The second we got done (Jason cleaned up), I headed indoors and started baking. I had a huge St. Patty's Day feast on tap for us. Our appetizer was Irish Soda Bread. I hate raisins, but I love this bread. It was so easy to make.

Our main course was Shepard's Pie!! I love this recipe. It's very time consuming, but so worth it!! I paired it with green wine (we drank the beer earlier).

I was the only one wearing green. Don't worry, he got pinched.

We had a long, hard, muscle wearing day and even Izzie was tired. But, dessert was still to come!

I knew these cookies would be good. Just look at the ingredients (they're all so bad for you). The chocolate mint thumbprint cookies are so good!! I made these double the size that the recipe suggested. I figure that each cookie as about 160 calories. Crazy!!

I'm heading to my ripped class tonight, but before that, I have a 3 mile run on bored (indoors). I just found out that I'm getting a free entry into a 10 miler on the 1st. I have some training to do. A lot more running to come!

How did you celebrate St. Patty's Day?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LaraBar Winner!!

The lucky winner for the fabulous LaraBars is:


Email me you address and I'll get the goodies out to you as soon as possible!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Celebrating 500 with a Run!

It's time to celebrate!! This is my 500th post!! My first post can be seen here (I was testing the waters with something easy to blog about). I can't believe how fast time has gone by! I started this blog, as many of us did, to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. Putting things out there for everyone to see, will help motivate ourselves to keep to our word. I started this blog to hold myself accountable to train for my first half marathon last year. 

Well, it was such a nice day, I celebrated with a run outside. I'm glad I did, it's suppose to pour all week long. My plan was to go 6 miles. The only thing is that when I run, I usually space out and just go. My legs were on auto pilot and turned too early Turning too early on this route, meant only going 5 miles. 

One reason I wanted to go 6 miles was because I just found out that I may be getting a free entry (the only way I can afford to race this year) into a 10 mile race on the 1st, so I need to start logging more miles. Either turn I made, my legs were happy, and so was I! These (below) are happy legs!!

I'm looking forward to 500 (+) more posts. Please keep following me on my journey to logging more miles and staying in shape (especially so I can eat all the yummy foods I love). I love running, with or without a race on my schedule. It has become a habit and a necessity of my life. Happy 500 to Runner Fuel!!

What have you celebrated recently?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Been Fueling my Legs (in pictures)?

Crockpot meatballs

Salba chips (try them if you haven't, yet)

Dijon crusted chicken 

Panko crusted salmon

Mushroom turkey burger 

What has been fueling your legs, for any type of workout?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fabulous Friday Giveaway & Sweet Tooth Part 4

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going for a run, no matter what the weather had in store for me. Well, I got lucky. It was nice and sunny, but the winds were a little crazy. They weren't the absurd 50 mph, like we had the day before, but they were blowing. I only went for a 3 mile run, because my stomach has been acting funking lately. The run seemed more difficult than the 6 miles I ran last week.. 

To finish off Sweet Week, here is a picture of some red velvet cupcakes I made for Valentine's Day. I loved the butter cream frosting, but the cupcake itself didn't turn out that great. If it didn't have the frosting, it would have been so plain, I would have cried. It look pretty though.

The wonderful people at LaraBar have offered to giveaway some of their yummy bars. We're celebrating that they were featured on The Biggest Loser the other night! Click here to see the clip. One lucky (sorry US residents only) winner will win 2 Peanut Butter Cookie and 2 Cherry Pie LaraBars. I love the Cherry Pie flavor! I think that must be my favorite, so far. 

To enter:
-Become a follower
-Like Runners Fuel on Facebook (use panel on right side)
-Like LaraBar on Facebook
-Follow Runners Fuel on Twitter (use panel on right side)

One winner will be announced on March 14th, so you have until Tuesday to enter!

What's your favorite flavor of cupcakes? I'm always looking for new ideas to make.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sleep & Sweet Tooth Part 3

A couple weeks ago, I received the best package at my door step! A big box of cookies were sitting there waiting for me from Lovely Liz Cookies. I couldn't wait to open these up. I loved their green packaging material. The bubbles wash away with water and they do not contain any harmful chemicals. I was playing with these for hours! It was fun putting one in my hand and watching it magically wash away with just water. I still find them around the house and play with them!

Lovely Liz cookies is a certified vegan bakery, and everything is made from 100% natural ingredients. Once I was finished being distracted with the packaging material, the first cookie I tried was the Cowboy Cookie. This one has oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate. Look at the size of this cookie. They are all that big! Each serving about 1/2 cookie and has about 180 calories (per serving). It is so worth the calories. I'll run a million miles to eat these!

A couple nights later, I paired the Snicker Dudes with some chai tea. They wet perfect together! This was so so thick!! The cookies aren't dried out and brittle. They are soft and they melt in your mouth!

The other day, after my ripped class, I was so tired, I crashed out on the chair. Sound to sleep with a cat in my lap. It was only 9. I'm not getting up at 4 am anymore, so 9 pm bed time is pretty early now.

Well, I have my bag packed and I am going out for a run tonight, after work. I'm going to go if it's raining, if it's cold or even if it's windy. Let's see what type of weather I get to run in tonight!

What's your favorite cookie flavor? I prefer just plain chocolate chip, but I'll eat anything that has chocolate in it (or on top).

What's your bed time? I've been staying up until about 11 lately. It's kind of nice to have a real life and be able to hang out with Jason and not be a zombie all the time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Getting RIPPED & sweet Tooth Part 2

On Monday night, I headed out to the gym after work. I made myself go there. I really wanted to run outside. It was sunny and 72 out there. But, I knew that I would really prefer being indoors sweaty while I got ripped. 

Since I had an hour before my class a started, I got warmed up by running a couple miles on the lovely tm. I know the tm doesn't treat some of you they way it treats others. See, the tm treats me very well! I love it and it helps me keep pace. After that, I went over to the weights. I worked every leg machine there was, except for one. These teenagers were all sharing it (about 7 of them). Oh well. With all that I was about to do in my ripped class, my legs were thanking me for not using that last machine. Since I didn't use that other machine, I went back to the cardio room and used the elliptical for about 1 mile. It was tough, but I did it. See, I hate the elliptical. It doesn't treat me well. 

6 o'clock came, and it was time. It was time to get RIPPED!!! I love this class. It hurts so good! More and more sweat kept dripping off my tired body. I think I lost a few pounds, just in sweat. I was so happy (to be done) with this class!! I heart this hurt (that I've been missing)!

As I posted on Twitter, I love my compression shorts, but I always feel fat in them (sorry to be such a girl here). I feel so good while in them and never want to take them off (plus, it's really difficult to get in and out of them). I stayed in them for about 4 hours.

Now, I love sugar! If you've been reading my blog, you know this. I'm always eating something sweet (or something that tastes oh so good). A couple of weeks ago, Pamela's Products sent me some stuff to try out. You know how I love to bake. Well, they sent me a cookie mix to try out. I only needed to add a couple of items and I was set. Here's all the details.

They were so easy to make. They were ready to be inhaled in no time! Pamela's Products makes so many products that are gluten free.

Sometimes, with mixes, they can tastes dry. These were so good!! Jason said they were one of the best cookies he's ever had. When I told him they were from a mix, he was really surprised. He even stashed a few at work (so I wouldn't eat all of them). The chocolate chunks were a natural tasting (and they were)!

They also make a mean pancake mix. I had Jason makes these one morning, since I'm not allowed to any more (because it just turns out too horrible).

Do you prefer cookie mixes, store bought, or from scratch cookies? I normally prefer from scratch, but I may buy a couple of these mixes, to have on hand in a pinch!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Tooth Week Part 1 & Sweaty bands

On Saturday morning, I got up early and headed out the door. My new routine, on the weekends, is to go grocery shopping, come home, go for a run, then unload the car. That's exactly what I did. On my run, I saw some stuff that you only see in the movies and I'm not proud. I saw a guy driving an older bmw, get out and walk over to a homeless looking guy, in the park. They didn't act friendly to each other. They got pretty close to each other, exchanged "something" and walked away. I just continued running, like I didn't see anything. 

It was a great morning for a run. It was cool, but sunny. One of the things that I always have a problem with, is my hair. I'm always fixing it in the middle of a run (inside or outside run). Haley, over at Sweaty Bands, sent me a cool headband to try out. I've always tried the cheap ones, from Target, and they've never really done what I needed them to do. Sweaty Bands did the job. I never had to get my hair out of my face or anything. And, it's really cute too. They have so many designs, it's hard to choose which one (or 5)to get!

(never mind the pile of groceries or the dishes in the dishwasher, in the background)

Once things got put away, I enjoyed my post run bagel (as seen on Twitter), and I lazed around the house, just like this squirrel in our backyard. A little sun bathing does the trick for a happy day (I didn't sun bathe).

 After relaxing for a bit, I needed to go pick something special up. Cameron at Nothing Bundt Cakes (don't you just love the name!) let me try out a little bundt cake.

They have so many flavors to choose from. They had a sample of their lemon cake. I tried that while trying to think of which flavor I wanted. I just wanted more lemon. I am a chocolate girl (especially after my morning run), but the lemon was so refreshing, I wanted more. Isn't it cute!

This was a single serving size, they also have bigger sizes, if you want to share (I'm not good at sharing anything, especially something this moist). It didn't last very long. The frosting wasn't over powering, at all! The cake did give me the energy I needed to finish some projects around the house! I liked going into the store, their staff was very friendly and helpful!

I have such a sweet tooth, I'm starting a full (almost full) week of reviewing yummy sweets I've been trying out.

Do you have a sweet tooth? What's your favorite?