Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Progress Update

It's been awhile since I've posted a side-by-side progress update on here!  As far as the scale goes, I'm still hovering around the same number.  I've hit 167 - which broke the 170 plateau finally!! I'm not counting calories at this point and I'm trying to simply eat food that is good for me, and eat when I'm hungry.  Training for a half-marathon makes me a lot hungrier, which allows for a few more treat foods!

One of the things that I worried a little about in starting to date someone was that I'd fall off the wagon with my healthy habits.  That's why finding someone who shares those habits is important to me. Luckily, my beau does!! He played football in high school and college, as well as on a minor league team after college.  He coaches for a local junior high and also spends time in the gym lifting. Just the other night, I was cooking and he requested "something healthy - like salmon".  Music to this girl's ears!!! My fall-off-the-wagon fears have definitely been put to rest, and in fact this guy encourages me to work harder and stay more focused. It's awesome!
On Saturday, I did my long run and it was not my best - just because of some IT band issues and pain I was dealing with.  I ended the run at 10.6 miles instead of my planned 13, and still had to walk a mile home.  I was in tears at the end of the run because of pain - but not because of defeat.  The picture on the left here was taken on September 23 of last year.  It was the first time I'd ever run 3 non-stop miles.  On the right - Saturday...10.6 miles.  There's no way I can be disappointed in myself.  I've come so far (literally!) with running!!  Not all runs are going to be awesome - the important thing is that I listened to my body and didn't push too hard through the pain.  And I still ran TEN MILES. :-) 

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Painful Run! (Half)Marathon Monday

We're less than 3 weeks from the Baltimore Running Festival!!!! I can't believe it! My friends who are doing the full marathon did their last long runs this weekend! I'll do one more long one next weekend.  I'm so excited for this race!!!

Urbanathlon training at the gym.  We ran, did uphill sprints and bear crawls, and then did an obstacle course that involved tires, rolling burpees, tuck jumps, frog jumps, agility ladder plank walks, and some other fun things!  It was tough - but awesome!!

Strength Training at the gym

I took an extra rest day since I'd run my long run on Sunday this week. Plus, I had a junior high football game to watch after school. The guy I'm dating coaches for a local team and they were playing the school where I teach, so I went to watch!

A hilly 5K run (29:59!) followed by a circuit workout at the track with my gals! Reverse crunches, regular crunches, plank walks, push-ups, bleacher runs and more!

Strength program at the gym

Long Run Day!

My goal was to do 13 miles - but that didn't happen.  My right hip flexor/IT band/quad were really acting up Friday.  I iced and rolled Friday night, but they were still cranky when I woke up.  I decided I'd go for around 10 miles and if I felt good, I'd add an extra loop to make the 13.

I did not feel good.

More than 1 time, I almost called my mom to pick me up.  The pain was frustrating. Just as I'd think I couldn't go anymore, it would go away and I'd continue.  Finally, at the 2 hour mark I stopped.  I was at 10.6 miles and still 1 mile from home.  I was actually crying the last 5 minutes of running because it hurt so much - but I really wanted to hit 2 hours. I walked the last mile home, and my leg felt a lot better.

An ice bath, ibuprofen, some chocolate milk, and a relaxing evening helped too!! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I'm a Bits Believer - #PoweredByBits

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I've been singing the praises of these little green algae bits lately.  I have blogged about them here and here, but in the last few weeks I've really seen how these guys impact my training and my overall health!

ENERGYbits® are 100% Spirulina algae, They are called ENERGYbits® because they give you fast and enduring energy – both physically and mentally. They have 64% protein and are equally beneficial for consumers, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, students or anyone who needs more energy and protein.

I take them before workouts, during long runs, and if I'm feeling sluggish and let me tell you - I can absolutely feel the difference.  Just Sunday, I took 30 Bits at mile 7 of my 12 mile long run - about 10 minutes after I took the Bits, I could feel the boost.  It's a great boost too - it isn't jittery or anything like caffeine and sugar can be.  The best way to describe it is clarity.  When I've taken Bits during the day at work, I just feel the sense of mental clarity.  That "brain fog" that comes with being tired is gone.

The real thing that confirmed my love for these algae bits was the long run that I didn't take them for.  I had run out of Bits and my new order hadn't arrived yet, so I ran my 8 miles without them - figuring it wouldn't make a difference.  I spent the whole day after those 8 miles feeling nauseous.  I had run 10 miles the week before, and I ran 11 miles the week after - both with Bits - and I felt fantastic.  I'm a Bits Believer for sure!

If my own experiences aren't enough to convince you to try EnergyBits, check out some of the infographics.  Bits are high in antioxidants, B vitamins, and protein.  They are FOOD - not just a supplement.

Don't just take my word for it either.  Here are a few links to other bloggers who've reviewed EnergyBits!

"I’ve got no doubt that the ENERGYbits® helped me not only run all of the miles I was targeting for the weekend, but to run them fast and feel good."

"Overall my first experience with Energy Bits was a success and I am going to continue to use them before running."

"The energy that you receive from the bits is not as much a rush as it is a sustainable type boost; the more you push yourself, the better they work!"

"I was amazed at how clear my mind was and how great my body felt" 

Convinced?  Visit the EnergyBits website and use the discount coupon code GetBusyLiving to get 30% off of your order.
 I promise - they are worth every penny!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On the Dr. Oz show!!

If you happened to catch last Wednesday's episode of Dr. Oz - you saw me on TV! 

(see me?  On the left!)

One of my running pals somehow heard that Dr. Oz was looking for people to fill his stage for a fitness segment.  Since many of us are teachers, and filming was the week before school started, we jumped at the chance for an overnight girls trip to NYC for this!  We had no idea what we were getting into.  We joked the whole time that they might make us Prancercise.

Instead of Prancercise, we ended up with a "dance" fitness segment with choreographer Stepp Stewart.  He was a riot, and did a great job considering he was working with mostly runners - not dancers!

Our dance turned out to be to the song "Low" by FloRida - you know, "she had them apple bottom jeans..." - and it was hilarious!!!  We had a great time laughing at ourselves! 

You can watch the segment by going to the Dr. Oz website or click here!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Giant Hills and the Rope Beast - (half)marathon Monday

Last week went by fast, but I'd classify it as a "long week".  This is mostly because I was up past 11:00 every night - oops!  By Thursday I was pretty much running entirely on caffeine and EnergyBits.  It was not pretty!

It was also a pretty tough workout week.  Trying to fit in training for the Urbanathlon along with my regular lifting program and half marathon training is tough!  But, I also like the fact that it keeps me on schedule and doesn't let me slack off!!  

So here's the week in summary!

5K run (decided to try to run this as fast as I could and ended up with a 5K PR at 26:55!!)
41 climbs up and down the rope jungle gym at the park 

Strength Training Program

Urbanathlon Group Training (circuit workout)

3 mile run (relatively easy pace)

Strength Training Program

This was supposed to be long run day, but I was not feeling it so I made it REST day!

Long run day!  I tackled 12 miles and some serious hills.  I felt good overall, but almost all of mile 8 was down a fairly steep hill (you can see it in the elevation map) and that HURT.  I was almost in tears.  Downhill is so much harder on my knees!

For fuel:
Before - Ezekiel muffin w/ honey and almond butter, coffee, 50 EnergyBits
During - 6 dried apricots around mile 6, 30 EnergyBits at mile 7, a Honey Stinger Gel at mile 9 (plus 4 8oz bottles of water w/ Nuun that I dropped at miles 3, 6, 9, and 10.5)
After - chocolate milk :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

(Half)Marathon Monday + Roller Coaster Recovery Day!

Oops - sorry I disappeared for 2 weeks!!! I could use the "busy with back to school stuff" excuse, but the real thing I've been distracted by is...dating.  Yup - as in, multiple dates with the same fantastic guy (who I did not meet online - see posts here and here about my thoughts on that!) So anyway - that's all the info I'm blogging about it right now, but it's going well so far and I'm happy! :)

Now, onto the training update.

Last weekend was a "step back" so I ran "only" 8 miles.  I didn't take any fuel with me on the run because I was thinking "it's only 8 miles".  I did the first 4 on a relatively flat route, and the last 4 all up and down hills.  Then I spent the rest of the day feeling nauseous.

So this week, I didn't risk it!  I took EnergyBits before and at mile 7.  I dropped bottles of Nuun at miles 3, 6, and 9.  I carried a baggie with me of 3 cut up dates and 3 cut up dried apricots, and a Honey Stinger gel in case I needed it.  I set out for 11 miles of country roads and rolling hills. 

I felt FANTASTIC.  Seriously - every mile felt so good!!! I couldn't believe it.  It was probably the best run I've ever had.  Even at the tough end miles, my legs still didn't want to give up.  I almost kept going to 13.1 just because I could!  I had a great average pace, so I was really happy!

Then I came home and did a nice ice bath - that was super cold since it wasn't a million degrees outside.  But it helps my legs feel so much better!!

Sunday was rest/recovery day - which I spent most of walking around Hersheypark - the "sweetest place on earth"!!  We rode lots of fun rides, ate some good food, and toured Chocolate World.  It was tons of fun!  It was an "active recovery" day!