October Goals

This morning I woke up to rain. Normally, I love running in the rain, but this morning the sky was gray and the rain was slow but heavy. So I decided to skip my morning run, and get a little extra shut eye. And as long as skipping a workout only occurs at irregular intervals and doesn’t become an everyday excuse, then go right ahead, take a rest day.¬†Sometimes, your body just needs it.

Anyway, yesterday, I said goodbye to September and welcomed October.  It is a new month, a new beginning. It is a perfect time to set some new goals. As you may know, I had started my journey of exploring a more forefoot/midfoot stride in April, by switching my running shoe to the Newton Distance U.

I have never had any running injuries, so when I told people, I was experimenting with the Newton shoe, and working on changing my stride, they asked, “Why? Why fix something that is not broken?” Honestly, I was just bored and wanted to try something new. I had read Born to Run, and was ready to try to work on running form.

In the beginning of September I purchased my second pair of Newton shoes, and I am now running more regularly in the Gravity. On my vacation, at Martha’s Vineyard, I finally had the opportunity to finish reading the book, Natural Running. This book made me even more sold on the idea that a more minimalist shoe is the way to go.

And then in mid September, it just clicked.  I had a break through and I started to run with a natural running stride, landing on my forefoot/midfoot.

OCTOBER GOALS

I want to continue practicing my natural running stride by continuing to land on my forefoot/midfoot.

  • However, I really need to work on running posture. I tend to lean back when I run. So I need to work on slightly leaning forward. Leaning back when you run is a stopping/halting position. You will most likely heel strike when leaning back. It is important to slightly lean forward, because the momentum will automatically help you land on your forefoot/midfooot, and make you a faster runner.
  • Cadence.¬†Cadence is how many times your foot hits the ground per minute. It is very important to get your running Cadence around 180 or more. A Cadence of 180 helps prevent injury and increases speed. Mine is all over the place. My garmin measured mine around 100, once at 120, and then 160. But this month, I really want to work on trying to get my running Cadence around 180. It will really help improve my running.
  • I am also thinking about playing around with shoe rotation. Instead of just throwing on one pair of shoes. I want to wear the right one depending on the type of running I am doing.
  • This month, I also really want to work on strength training, whether I am boxing, lifting weights, or just doing running form exercises. Now that I am running differently I need to strengthen everything.
  • In order to fit all this in, I also want to change my sleeping habits so I can wake up earlier. I’m hoping to wake up at 6:00 am instead of 8:00 am. I love my mornings.
  • As for Attitude, I am really going to focus on me, and my running PR.

As for October plans, I really don’t have any except some upcoming races. In October, I am running the Army 10 miler, and then in December I am running the Annapolis Half Marathon.¬†Do you have any up coming races?

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge in something? It has been a goal I have been contemplating on trying to set. ¬†I have been thinking about a …

  • 30 day running challenge
  • 30 day blogging challenge
  • 30 day sleeping challenge

I’ll let you know if I decide on one for the month of October.

Well those are my October Goals…¬†What are yours?

© 2012

Gisele Bundchen and Yoga

I don’t know why, but randomly I started searching google images for Gisele Bundchen’s yoga pose that was published in a 2010 Vogue issue. I actually came across this wordpress blog post about the beautiful super model’s ugly yoga pose. This post is super funny and sums up how I feel.

From Vogue 2010

The image above is the one found in Vogue, and this is what I have to say about that…

When I first saw this vogue issue 2 years ago, I actually got really annoyed. I thought Vogue had a lot of brilliant people working for them, but I guess I was wrong. It is clear that they don’t really know their shit, because if they did.. they would tell gisele to LOCK her KNEE!

always remember lock your knee, kick back and up, reach forward.

me doing yoga in yellowstone

me doing yoga in my mom’s living room

© 2012

Pay it Forward…

I once saw a woman in Starbucks that must have done cross fit or something. She had an amazingly fit body, that obviously she worked really hard on. I automatically went over to her and said, “WOW! ¬†You look like you could be a fitness model.” Her face lit up with the biggest smile I had ever seen. She thanked me, and said, “You just made my day!”¬†

Complimenting people is beyond a nice gesture, and it is important to do. A simple compliment can strengthen any relationship. It shows you  care and have noticed the little things.

Being a hair stylist, I compliment people everyday. I help change the way people physically look. By doing this I help my clients express themselves. I  help them reveal their true identity. I help them change the way they see themselves, bringing them confidence.

Questions for You:

  • Have you complimented anyone today?
  • Have you ever received a really amazing compliment?

 

© 2012

 

Results or Excuses.

You can have Results or Excuses not both…

I came across the above picture on a running tumblr blog, and I literally lit up. This quote is exactly what a friend and I were talking about the other day. Everybody can relate to this idea. Most people don’t see results… why? because they make excuses.

Is it possible to make excuses without even being aware you do? I never thought I made excuses. But the other day I found myself venting to a friend about reasons why I couldn’t fit in a run. It wasn’t until then that I realized I too make excuses.

Some of the most common excuses I make…¬†

  • It is too hot outside.
  • It is raining.
  • It is too dark.
  • It is too cold.
  • I am way to busy at work, and just can’t fit it in.
  • I will run tonight.
  • I will run tomorrow morning.
  • I haven’t had a chance to fuel up.
  • My iPod is dead.
  • My Garmin is full, needs a new battery.
  • I didn’t wake up early enough, it is too late.
  • Or my favorite… I want to go for a run, but I already showered today.

When I train for a marathon, I always follow Hal Higdon’s¬†training program. This is an amazing plan, because it gets you out there running 5 days a week, cross train 1 day, and rest the other. Having a disciplined running plan like this one, makes it easier for you because it is all written out. You literally don’t have to think about anything, you simply run the miles it tells you to run that day.

This summer, I did train, but in a different way. I didn’t have a plan and just went out and ran shorter more faster runs, focusing on form. And although, my form has successfully improved, I don’t think I was as prepared for the 10 miler as I could have been. ¬†When it came to this race, my excuse was… “I’ve run marathons, this is only a 10 miler… no big deal.”¬†

Well I have another 10 miler coming up. On October 21st, I will be running the Army 10 miler, and I want to take my training to a different level. No more excuses. I am going to get organized and write out the milage I will complete daily. It is that simple. I need to set goals for myself.

Another interesting idea is to do a 30 or 60 day challenge. My bikram yoga studio does this, and I have seen on some other running blogs, runners doing this challenge as well.  The idea is to choose 30 or 60 days, and make it a goal, to run everyday for the amount of time you choose, even if it is just one mile a day.

Every day counts!

Look forward to seeing more motivational pics in the future. I will also be posting  a recap on my race the Annapolis 10 miler, and a training plan for my future race the Army 10 miler.

Questions for you…¬†

  • What is your biggest excuse?
  • What motivates you?
  • Which training programs or plans have you used in the past?

7 Mile Morning Run

This summer is the first summer in three years that I have NOT been training for a marathon. So instead of working on slower longer runs, to build endurance, like I have in the past, I have been focussing on speed, natural running, and proper form.  As you may know, form earlier posts I have also switched my running shoe to the Newton Shoe.

On August 26th, I will be running the Annapolis 10 miler. This will be my first race I will be running wearing my Newton shoes. Honestly, this race will be the ultimate test. ¬†I do feel that these shoes have made me faster, or let me rephrase that… when wearing these shoes I run faster, but have they made me a faster runner over all? ¬†Honestly, I do not know, because I have not run in any other shoes (since April) to compare them to. Sometimes I wonder, what if I ran in my Asics or Brooks, would I run as fast? Has my over all speed improved?

These are all questions that have come to my mind lately. ¬†I am hoping after this race I will find some answers. And although, 10 miles is not that far, sometimes I wonder if these shoes will support me when I go farther distances. ¬†I have had some really awesome runs in these shoes, where I feel light on my feet, and so fast I felt like I was flying. ¬†But I have had a few really bad runs, in these shoes as well, where I just couldn’t wait to be back to my car. Are the shoes inconsistent, or me?

After writing this blog post, you are probably thinking, that if I trained properly for this 10 miler then I should have all of my questions answered. Well the fact is, is that I have been training, but in a different way then I am use to, working less on distance and more on speed.  I am using this 10 miler as a test to see my progress. I also have another 10 miler in October, and a half marathon in November. After this 10 miler I am going to take it up a notch, by adding strength training and cycling into my weekly workout mix.

By running in the Newton shoes, I have begin to see physical changes in my legs. They are longer, leaner, and more muscular, especially in the calf area. But I still need to work on high knee exercises and strengthening my ankles.

Daily Workout:¬†As for my 7 mile morning run, it went really well. At 7 am, Lina and I hit the Mount Vernon Trail, south of Old Town. ¬†The weather today was 70, over cast, with a slight drizzle of rain, perfect running weather. Unfortunately, my Garmin’s memory was totally full. This is the first time in like 5 years that I didn’t have my Garmin working,¬†but Lina had her’s and there were mile markers along the trail. I counted mile markers, but I have to admit, I missed my Garmin.

Anyway, the tail was gorgeous and hilly. It was beautiful to run along the water. And Annapolis will be hilly, so I am glad we did a hilly 7 miler. Plus I love hills. I can’t help it, I live in a hilly area, so it is something that is hard to avoid.

Overall my 7 mile run was pretty fast, pretty challenging, pretty delightful all in one. And my Newton shoes did just fine.

Future Goals: So as I said before I am hoping the Annapolis 10 miler will answer my questions about the Newton shoes, and my summer training. Before I run my 10 miler in October I want to continue working on Natural Running, but I also want to Strength Train. Because at the end of the day, it is not the shoe that injures you, it is your body’s weaknesses that injure you. When you body has weaker areas, the stronger area’s over¬†compensate for the weaker ones, and therefore, gets overused, causing injury. I also want to get on my bike. Cycling is great cross training, and the fall time is the perfect time to go cycling. If I had to choose between the two, short speedy runs, vs longer endurance runs, I would have to say I just love going the distance. And I actually miss running really really far. So I want to pay closer attention to my milage, and in the end, up my weekly milage.

Questions for You:

  1. What do you like better speed or distance?
  2. Do you have any races coming up?
  3. What shoes are you wearing?

 

© 2012

 

Recipe: Chicken Soup

When I originally started this blog, I really wanted to focus on my daily work outs. I wanted this to be my work out log. I wanted to write product reviews and race reviews. Although, I will still be doing this, I must say, I am just way to interested in too many things to just focus on just that. And I travel to, too many beautiful places, it would be a shame not to post where I’ve been, especially considering that my favorite thing about running is how I can easily do it anywhere in the world.

However, I will try to somehow relate my other posts to running in someway. Lets start with my Chicken Soup recipe. I have always loved cooking, but before it was such an annoying hassle because of my old apartment’s pathetic kitchen. But in late May my boyfriend and I bought and moved into our very first home. One of the best things about our vintage 1950s duplex is the amazing updated kitchen.

My beautiful Kitchen, that I can’t stop cooking in. And I clean it everyday, so it sparkles!

This last weekend was cold. Well it is summer and if you live in the DC area you would know that the summers here are like living in a hot swamp. Last summer was a heat wave. There were days that reached 105 degrees, but because of the humidity, it felt like 115. This summer has not been as bad, but there still has been some record breaking days. So when last friday rolled around and it only reached 86 degrees, it was pleasantly cooler. It also rained a bunch, which made me happy – I love summer storms. So with the cooler, breezy, rainy weekend, I decided to make Chicken Soup.

This Chicken Soup recipe that I am going to tell you about is actually from one of Rachel Ray’s cookbooks. But I have made it so many times that I know it by heart. It is loved by my family and friends, and is my “go to” meal. I love this soup for so many reasons.

The first reason why I love this soup is because it is NOT your traditional Chicken Soup. It’s secret is the combo of sweet potatoes and chipotle in adobo sauce. I would have never thought to put these two ingredients together, but boy is this mixture of sweet and smokey hot, tasty. ¬†I also love this soup because it is simple and quick to make, but also hearty, healthy, full of flavor, and extremely satisfying. ¬†Here’s what you do.

Ingredients List:

celery, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper, chipotle in adobo, chicken stock, chicken, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, bread, sour cream.

Directions:

1)Use a big soup pot and fill the bottom with about 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Place over medium heat.

Soup pot, with evoo, on medium heat.

2) Cut 1 large onion. Add to pot. If onions start to brown or burn add a cup of water and lower heat.

3) Cut carrots as many as you like. I usually use half a bag of the small baby carrots.

3) Add celery as many as you like. 

4) Add sweet potatoes. I usually add 2 large sweet potatoes.

5) Add chipotle in adobo sauce. This can be tricky. You have to determine how much smoky hot you want. Always remember that the spice is in the seeds of the peppers. I usually use 1 large pepper chopped. But if one is too spicy, then remove the seeds from the inside of the pepper. 

6) Add garlic chopped, dried thyme, dried bay leaf.

7) Add a cup of white wine. Let it boil for one minute, reduce for 5 minutes.

8) Add Chicken Stock

9) Add chicken.

10) Bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked well done, and veggies are soft.

11) Serve hot. Top it off with a spoon full of sour cream and cilantro. Dip crusty bread in it for additional flavor.

cilantro!

Eat, Enjoy, Yummo!

So there you have it! My favorite soup!

Running or Flying…Was it the Watermelon or just me?

This week I had some really amazing runs. Lets talk about today’s…

This morning I hit the Mount Vernon Trail. On average I run this trail a couple times a week, so I guess you can say I am a regular on it, or lets put it this way, normally if I am on a trail, I am on this one.  The Mount Vernon Trail is my favorite because it runs along the Potomac so it has beautiful views of DC. It is also refreshing to run by the river. Another great thing about the trail is that it is surrounded by trees, so it has some shady areas, which is nice on hot summer days.

It totally relaxes me when I am surrounded by nature, and even though, the trail is a paved path, I sometimes feel like I am on a trail run, through the woods. ¬†When running on this trail keep your eyes open WIDE, ¬†you don’t want to miss the Wild Life.

The Mount Vernon Trail has many different entrances, and each entrance has a different vibe. Today I drove to the entrance south of Old Town. I parked at the Bell View parking lot and ran 2.60 miles south and then headed back.

Running 2.60 miles south is a mix of up hills and downs. It is mainly shady on the trail. In a couple places you have to run over wooden plank bridges that carry you over some swampy marshy areas. It ends in a residential area, with some gorgeous houses.

Today, my run was amazing. I ran a total of 5.11 miles in 41 minutes. That is super fast for me. I don’t know if my speed is because I have been running in my Newton running shoes since the end of April, and I am just getting faster. ¬†Or maybe it is because it has been 100 degrees the last couple weeks and today was a refreshing cool 79 degrees. Or maybe it was the Watermelon I ate for breakfast. Whatever, it may be, it felt cool, breezy, and I was running, but it felt like I was flying.

During this run I figured some things out…

If I am going to run some serious distance like 10 plus miles, I usually eat a bagel with peanut butter, because it is a good source of calories, fat, protein, and carbs.

But today my pre run meal was Watermelon. And this was a  fabulous choice. I recently saw on Dr. Oz that watermelon is a super food. Why?

  • Because it cleans your arteries. Dr. Oz says swap your morning glass of water with watermelon juice, because it reduces body fat, lowers LDL cholesterol, cleaning heart -threatening plaque from arteries. I juice mine fresh with my Breville Juicer.
  • It drops blood pressure and boosts circulation. It is one of the few foods that has a powerhouse protein called citrulline. Citrulline produces powerful stuff called nitric oxide, that opens and relaxes arteries. It helps heal wounds and divide cells. It helps with blood flow enhancing circulation to all your vital parts. (just like Viagra does)
  • Watermelon is loaded with lycopene, which fends off heart disease and cancers (other than prostate.) Tomatoes are considered lycopene superstars, but watermelon has 40% more.
  • It makes you think faster.
  • It is low cal.
  • Another great tip: Always keep your whole watermelons out of the fridge. Watermelon stored at room temperature delivers more cell-protecting antioxidants. They continue to ripen and build antioxidants even after they are picked.
  • It is also made up of mostly water. So before my run I was pretty well hydrated. I literally had to pee 2 x before I hit the trail. I also sprinkled a little salt on my watermelon chunks before I ate them. I just like the taste, a little salt won’t hurt an athlete, its actually¬†good for electrolyte balance.

Picking a Watermelon: A common question I have always asked is, How do you know which watermelon to pick? Well this is what I have discovered. When picking out a watermelon, always look for one that has a flat yellow side. This side is where the watermelon was sitting on the ground, and if your watermelon does not have this, then it was picked too early.

My boyfriend’s grandma once said, “The way to find out if your watermelon is sweet is to look for bug bite marks.” Every time I look for bug bite marks on my watermelon, it ends up being really sweet. I promise.

This morning I ate watermelon cut up in cubes with a little bit of sea salt sprinkled on top. Right now as I type this I am sipping on some fresh watermelon juice that I just juiced with my Breville juicer. I added a hint of mint fresh from my garden. Add cucumber for additional flavor.

Watermelon the Superfood! Great for pre run meal.

The Breville Juicer is amazing. Buy it and then try juicing watermelon.

Crush ice, pour juice, top it off with fresh mint.

Enough about watermelon… more about what I learned on my run…

While running I really got into my music. Music for me is a tool I use to enhance my running. Sometimes when I run I use my music as background sound, and when I am done I realize I am barely listening. Today I listened hard and found a rhythm.  Sometimes it is really nice to get lost in a run, in your breath, in your music.

I also became one with my hills. That may not make since to you, but I’ll try to explain.¬†Hills bring me variety, a total flat course makes me bored. Just as I use music as a tool, I use hills as a tool as well. I take them one at a time. Sometimes it hurts running up, but it feels amazing running down. Sometimes I feel slow running up, but boy can I fly running down. After a down hill I try to use that momentum on the next up hill.¬†Some hate hills. I actually quite enjoy them. Some think a flat course is a fast course. I think the opposite.

I know I was a little all over the place in this post, but I had a lot on my mind. I hope you learned a little bit about watermelon, and juicing with the Breville juicer. I look forward to sharing more juicing tips and recipes.

I also hope I motivated you to run a little further, a little faster, a little harder. Today I ran an amazing 5.11 mile run in 41 minutes in my Newtons. This isn’t far for me by any means but it was super fast. It was cold today, 79 degrees, but should be even colder tomorrow. So take my advice: Get out there. Don’t hold back. And just run… run as fast as you can.

©2012

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