Stroller miles, Mother RUNNER, Marathon Training

Hey lovelies,

I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!

I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.

My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!

WEEK Day Training with the stroller.

During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.

If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)

And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.

I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.

The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.

Weekend running, long run.

The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.

Week 1- long run 8 miles

Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.

It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.

My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.

1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.

Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.

However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.

I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.

Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.

Week 2- long run 9 miles

Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)

The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.

Week 3- long run 6 miles

Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.

The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.

I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.

Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.

Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.

This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.

It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.

Training PLAN and Apps

The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.

Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.

Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.

So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Well that’s all for now!

Run Happy!
Which marathon are you training for?


Tips for Perfecting your Maternity Photo Shoot

Last monday, I published a blog post on my Maternity photo shoot. Thank you so much for all the kind words regarding the beauty of the photos. I’m glad all of you enjoyed them. Because I highly recommend all mothers to be, to have a maternity photo session of their very own, I thought I would share with you a couple tips.

1.¬†Research your photographer. (I am not a photographer, but have worked closely with some. This is what I know.) Although, most photographers use digital, I have heard of some in the DC area who specialize in film. Some photographers may use a flash, while others use natural light. This is important because it will effect the time of day you will do your photo shoot.¬†While most may¬†edit their photos, there are still some photographers who do not. Most photographers have a specialty. Some may be fashion photographers, who shoot mainly in a studio or on set, while others may actually specialize in maternity and birthing photography. Whatever it may be, prioritize what is important to you in a photographer. ¬†At the end of the day, all photographers are artists, who have a unique artistic style. The best way to discover their unique artistic style is by simply examining their portfolio. So look at their website and social media accounts such as instagram… Do you like what you see? Do you like their work? Also on their social media pages you may have the opportunity to read comments and reviews. ¬†If you do not know a photographer, get recommendations from friends. I highly suggest meeting up with your photographer prior to the shoot. That way you two can get to know each other. ¬†This also gives you an opportunity to seek professional advice, ask any questions, and talk about ideas you may have. The closer you know your photographer, the more comfortable your will be.¬†In my eyes, the most important thing is to find a photographer, you feel very comfortable around. Being pregnant can be uncomfortable at times, but you do not want to look uncomfortable in you maternity photos. I was lucky enough to work with Raiza, from Raiza Vega Photography. I not only fell in love with her portfolio on her website, but she is also a good friend. Because of this, I felt totally comfortable during my photo shoot, and it shows in the photos.

2. Determine what vibe you want your photos to have? This was one of the first questions my photographer asked me. 

Below are ideas of some of my favorite vibes. 

Do you want a fashion editorial vibe?

The photos below of Liv Tyler and Gisele Bundchen are examples of maternity photos that have a fashion vibe. These photos were both taken inside and have simple green backgrounds.

Do you want a nature vibe?

The photos below are examples of a nature vibe. All of these photos were taken outside, using natural light. A nature vibe, can also have a bohemian earthy feel. Dresses that flow, flower crowns, and crop tops are all great prop accessories you can wear during your shoot. The background will be the nature found at the location you choose. The timing of your shoot will depend on what kind of sunlight your photographer feels is best to work with.

D0 you want an urban vibe?

Below is an example of an urban vibe photo. While capturing an urban vibe, most photos will be taken outside, with the busy city in the background. Another option is to capture, urban details, such as cobble stone roads or graffiti art. In my photo shoot, we definitely took advantage of the cobble stone road in Old Town.

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Do you want a sexy vibe?

Kourtney Kardashian defines sexy. Below are examples of her sexy maternity photo shoot. Because of the nudity all of these photos were taken inside, with a simple background, most likely done by a fashion photographer.

Tips for choosing a vibe.

Keep in mind, that the vibe you choose for your photos, will influence the clothing you will wear, and the location you will choose. So once you and your photographer determine the vibe of your photo shoot, you can choose clothing, location, and time. For my maternity photo shoot, a location that could capture both a nature vibe and urban vibe was important to me. I chose bohemian style clothing. I wore a flower crown in some photos and a hat in others.

3. Determine what your wardrobe will be, and decide on time and location?

I touched on wardrobe, time and location above. However, I have some additional clothing tips. Keep in mind you don’t have to wear only one outfit. Choose a couple different options, and make sure your location has a bathroom or area you can make a wardrobe change. Decide on whether you will expose your baby bump in some photos. Crop tops and robes with a front opening are great options, to expose your bump. Whatever clothing you choose, make sure you are comfortable and feel beautiful. Your clothing does not have to be maternity. I didn’t wear any maternity clothing in my shoot.

4. Decide whether you want to include anyone else in your photos. 

I chose to have my photos of just me and my bump, celebrating motherhood. However, including your significant other or even your other child/children can be a really beautiful touch. Below are some examples.

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5. Determine the best time during your pregnancy to have your photo taken.

Every woman’s body is unique. Every pregnancy is different. Some women show right away, while others don’t have an established baby bump until later in their pregnancy. Because I am petite I began to show right away. ¬†I had my maternity photo shoot when I was 29 weeks pregnant, in other words, 7 months. This way I had an established baby bump, but didn’t feel uncomfortably huge. Remember, you want to celebrate your bump, but you also want to feel comfortable.

6. What props will you use?

Above I mentioned wardrobe “prop” accessories, such as, a hat, flower crown, or crop top. These prop accessories really help enhance or define the vibe you choose for your photo shoot. However, there is also another type of prop you may want to include in some of your photos. These props will represent your baby. It could be a picture of your ultrasound. It could be a pair of baby booties or shoes, or maybe even a full outfit. But bring a couple cute baby items, nothing is sweeter.

7. Find inspiration and examples.

Your photographer will use her artistic eye, and make your photos fabulous. However, sometimes it is helpful to have some inspiration and example ideas to show your photographer. It is always helpful to show both, ideas you love, and some you hate. But ultimately, your photographer will use her professional judgement to determine what will work for you and what will not depending on, location, vibe, clothing, lighting, etc. All of the examples on this post I found on instagram and pinterest. I highly recommend searching both instagram and pinterest to find inspiration. For more inspiration, check out your photographer’s website, or find maternity blog posts. And don’t forget to take a look at my maternity blog post for ideas.

I hope that helps. Now get out there and celebrate your baby bump!

Have you done a maternity photo shoot? How did it go?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Maternity Photo Shoot

Growing up with a house full of girls, I grew up always knowing “Girls Rock!”

Maybe it is because I am an American, growing up with the idea of the American Dream. But I have always had the confidence that I can do anything- anything is possible, the sky is the limit.

These ideas have also pushed me to be a better stronger athlete. I always try. Maybe I can… run further and faster. Maybe I can… lift heavier and stretch deeper. Mentally, I always tell myself, I can do that, I can do more.

Physically, I see the results in reaching new PRs. Physically, I see changes in my body, stronger, leaner. I always say, ¬†“Just try. You will be surprised what your body can do.”

Now that I am pregnant these ideas have never been more true. Girls Rock!

As a pregnant woman, I really have no control over my changing body. At first this really annoyed me, but now more than ever this female body of mine, continues to surprise me. Everyday, my bump gets bigger, reminding me of what my body is capable of… It shouts, “Look what I can do!”

The female body is absolutely amazing – creating and housing a new life. Once again, physically, I see my body transform, from a once lean and fit athlete, to a now curvy strong mother to be.

Maternity Photo Shoot

I decided a maternity photo shoot would be the best way to document my changing body, while also celebrating the beauty of my next life chapter – motherhood.

For this shoot, I was very lucky to work with Raiza, owner and photographer of Raiza Vega Photography. She is a very talented photographer in the DC and Norther Virginia area.

I knew, I would be dressed in a very feminine bohemian outfit, but I was unsure of the location. Raiza suggested Old Town, Alexandria, because it has different areas, so we could capture both, a nature and an urban vibe. She also chose a time in which she could use natuaral light perfectly.

As for my wardrobe, I had a couple different outfits. However, my main pieces were from Free People Рnote: I did not wear anything maternity in these photos. To go along with my bohemian wardrobe, I handmade a flower crown.  11163792_10102540758381886_7699681482017457825_nWell here you go. Below are some of my favorite photos captured during the shoot. Enjoy!

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My maternity photo shoot was a really fun experience! I highly recommend every mama to be have a maternity photo session of their own. Now is the time to embrace how beautiful you are and celebrate motherhood. You will always have memories of this special time, but a photo makes these special moments timeless. Memories may fade, but photos last forever.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

*All of these photos were taken by Raiza Vega from Raiza Vega Photography, and are protected under copyright laws. 

 

Army Ten Miler (Race Recap)

If you want honesty…

The truth is I totally forgot how much I love this race. 

Because I normally run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM,) and it falls two week after the Army Ten Miler (ATM,) I usually skip the ATM. I skip it because it is taper time during my marathon training, and there is no point to race a 10 miler, when I should be running at my marathon pace. Different race distances are run at different paces.

THE COURSE

However, the running community definitely sets up the ATM with the idea that many marathon runners will run it in prep for MCM, and many marathoner do run it for that reason. The course is very similar to MCM, both start at the pentagon, and both include, the street along the waterfront under the memorial bridge, the national mall, and the 14th street bridge.

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The Washington, DC area has tons of race, however after, 7 years of running races in the area, they all kind of feel familiar. This can be to my advantage because I know the roads I am running on, however it can also get boring.¬†I love MCM’s race course, because it feels different from all the rest. But, ATM’s race course is a little bit similar to MCM, so it is no shocker that I love ATM too.

THE EXPO

The Expo is two days long. You can either pick your bib up on Friday or on Saturday. I normally go on Friday – it is best to get there early so you have more option on merchandise. This is a big big race, close to 30,000 people, so stuff and sizes go quick. Unfortunately, this time I got there late on Saturday, and a lot of stuff was already cleared out.

One of my favorite vendors is ONE MORE MILE. They are known for their funny quotes. I followed my tradition and got a comfy long sleeve running T- shirt from them. This time I got the one that said, WTF on the front, Where’s the Finish on the back. ¬†It fits my personality perfectly, because you can find me saying that out loud during the last mile of almost every race I run.

I don’t get why anyone would skip the expo or rush through it. The expo gives you the opportunity to find some great running gear at a discounted price. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about new products or new races and running organizations. It also is you last chance to get anything you may need on race day, including gu, sports beans, socks, etc.

So my advice, never skip out. Go to the expo, and take your time shopping around.

THE NIGHT BEFORE ATM

I didn’t eat a pasta dinner like most runners do before a race. It was only a ten miler, so I wasn’t too concerned about carb loading. Instead, I made Indian. I have been making Indian recipes in my slow cooker. I’m pretty obsessed so I will be sharing recipes in future posts.

Before bed I set up my race outfit. I am not a morning person, so this has become my night before race ritual. I get everything ready, so I can easily make it through the dark early morning hours. I got a new outfit from lululemon.10481988_10102054543061286_547142070513935778_n This is normally a big no no. Every runner knows never to wear anything on race day that you haven’t run in before. But again it was only a 10 miler so I wasn’t too concerned, plus I have the shorts and tank top already in other colors, so technically I have run in them before.

RACE MORNING

I woke up at 5:30 am right before my alarm went off. I was ready to get up early and hit the pavement. L came to pick me up right at 6:15- she is never late. We parked at pentagon city and walked over to the start.

At the pentagon, we stripped down, checked our bags, and headed to our corral. L and I were in different corrals, but I stayed back with her, so we could start together. Raiza hung with us too.

1554459_10102055070229836_5761266037558468694_nLina and I at the start.

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Wounded Warriors sky diving to the start.  The sun was rising and it was breath taking.

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Shoes are very important to a runner. Lina, Raiza, and I, we run in Newtons. I’m wearing the orange Gravity. Lina is wearing the purple Motion. Raiza is wearing the yellow Distance.

GAME PLAN

Before my wedding, I was working out like a crazy person. After, I was mentally and physically drained. I was burned out from being so competitive with myself. So I needed to relax this summer.¬†¬†I didn’t have a running watch most of the summer, because my garmin forerunner 50 died. So all summer¬†I was running whenever I felt like it, for fun.¬†¬†So for this race, I didn’t have a game plan, honestly, I had no clue how I was going to do.

HOW I DID

Whenever I run a 10 miler I always try to get under 1:30. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good. I decided to just run whatever I felt. Turns out the first half I was running around an 8:30 min/mile, not a bad pace at all. The last half I wasn’t as consistent. I looked down at my watch and it ranged between 8:30 and 9 min/mile. I was still feeling pretty good though. By the time I saw the finish line, I sprinted as fast as I could. I made it with official time 1:29:24. It’s not a PR for me, but I kept it under 1:30. Once I was finished, I thought to myself I could keep going. I love that feeling. I am definitely a distance runner.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

Before my wedding I was working out like a crazy lady. I was lifting and running 5 days a week. This summer I got really busy with life, something had to give. I have to remind myself that although running is a passion of mine, I have other passions too. Plus running is not a job – It doesn’t pay my bills. Sometimes I need to focus on other things. So this summer, I did focus on other things. I ran casually to have fun and stay in shape. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do during this race. I didn’t really train, I just ran shorter runs a couple times a week – WITH OUT A WATCH. Turns out I felt amazing during this race! There wasn’t one time during the race where I felt pain or wanted to stop. I just kept running and it felt good. I am really happy with my time, even though it wasn’t a PR. This race, definitely lit a fire in my heart, I think I got my running Mojo back! ¬†It was also great to run with my running buddies Lina and Raiza.

What fall races have you run? Have you ever trained with out a watch?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

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After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Island Running in Thailand

I woke up early, right when the sun began to rise. As my fiance peacefully slept, comfortably sunken in a bed, hidden by blankets, I snuck out as quietly as I could. Tiptoeing around the hotel room, grabbing my iPod and garmin. Heading to the beach isn’t hard when your resort is ocean front.

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After spending five days in Bangkok and four days in Chiang Mai where I struggled to get a workout in, my legs were craving a hard run. I couldn’t wait, finally it was time.

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When I was on Ko Samui, I ran three out of the four days I was there. The first two days I wore my Newton shoes. The third day I didn’t have time to run because we spent the day deep sea diving in Ko Tao. The fourth day I ran barefoot.

The beach was not a long beach like you would find on the East Coast of the USA, where you can run for miles and miles. Instead it was very unpredictable. When I ran to the right of my resort there were times when my beach disappeared and just turned into deep water. However, when I went the opposite way I was able to get more than 2 miles in before I turned back. My runs were short and fast.

Because it has been such a snowy brutally cold winter, here, in The States it took me a little bit of time to get use to the heat.

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However, once I got use to it, I loved it!

On the last day on Ko Samui, I saw the cutest thing.

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It was so early in the morning that I saw a couple dogs sleeping on the beach. As I went over to snap a photo this one began to wake up – all sleepy eye with sand on his nose. If I were him, I would sleep on the beach too. What a beautiful, peaceful place.

Once we left Ko Samui, my fiancé and I headed to the beautiful Island of Phuket. There we met up with my best friend, Mariana, and her husband Chris. I was very excited when they both agreed to run with me. They are new to running, but open to the idea, so we met up and ended up doing a total of three morning runs. I alternated running barefoot and with shoes. We mainly ran on the beach but there was a time we ran on a street that went along the beach. I was proud of Mariana and excited she was so interested in running.

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In the end, I really enjoyed running on the Islands of Thailand. It was a beautiful place to run. It was peaceful running along the beach totally alone in Ko Samui. I had good company running on the Island of Phuket and was happy to inspire my good friend to begin running. Phuket was also full of other runners it was fun seeing us take over the beach in the early morning. Not all the runners on the beach were human.

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I’ve already missed the feeling of running barefoot in Thailand. As I deeply inhaled the salt water air, sweat dripped down my tan skin. The wind blew through my hair. Waves crashed at my running feet. Sand stuck in between my shoes. I was quickly reminded how lovely it feels to run barefoot in shorts.

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Are you ready for some Thailand foodporn…

Okay lovelies! I am finally home from Thailand. My plane landed in the States last Saturday. Although, I have been home for a whole week, I was jet lagged, and just had to take some time to get back in gear. However, I have plenty of posts that I wrote while I was in Thailand, that I wasn’t able to post because of lack of wifi. So I will be updating you now!!¬†

I’m writing this blog post on a choppy motor boat from the Indian Ocean. So far on my trip to Thailand I have spent days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and now I am in Phuket visiting the Ko Pi Pi Islands and Monkey Island. I have stepped foot in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

If you have been following my Instagram and Facebook pages you have seen everything I have been currently doing. Unfortunately, wifi here is really slow so it has been hard for me to blog. So I apologize for that and promise I will update you.

So let’s talk about my two favorite things food and fitness. The food here in Thailand has been absolutely amazing. However, I will admit I am feeling a tiny bit fluffy, (maybe I’m not actually fluffy, but I feel that way.) It may be water weight that I have been holding on to, because the food is so salty, heavy, spicy. This is definitely a love hate relationship I am having with Thai food. Don’t get me wrong I love it, but I hate that I have to eat out for every meal. I also hate that I am not able to eat 5-6 small meals a day, like I had been doing at home. I am on vacation in Thailand so I am enjoying my meals, and pretty much eating my way through Thailand. But hey, it’s only three weeks of my life, and I need to take advantage of being in this foreign land, because the opportunity may never arise again. With that being said, l am definitely not feeling as lean as I normally feel when I am back home. Let me explain why?

There are fruit stands with fresh fruit and juice bars everywhere. I love it and have been drinking tons of watermelon juice. (But too much fruit means too much sugar.)

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Yummy watermelon juice!

I have been hydrating with mainly coconut water straight from the coconut, bottled water, and tea, lots of tea. This isn’t making me feel fluffy. But although it is fun to drink coconut water right from the coconut, I will have to admit it taste exactly the same as Vita Coconut water.

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Also I have come to the conclusion that most locals get their meals by eating street food. The street food vendors literally line the streets like sardines in Bangkok.

In Chiang Mai, our taxi driver grabbed lunch from a random street food stand on the way to dropping us off at an Elephant camp – yes I played with elephants I’ll tell you more about that later. Also Chiang Mai is known for their night markets. They are every night, and are full of street food vendors. One vendor made us Pad Thai right in front of us. Other vendors already had their food prepared. It tasted amazing, but was a tad cold.

I love authentic street food, the only problem I have is that I don’t know exactly what is in it, what they use to cook with. Where the food came from. This is a major problem. How am I suppose to count my macros? Plus, I love to cook and prepare my own food. I am really starting to miss cooking a home cooked meal. By cooking my own food I can control what is in it. In Thailand I let go, took the risk, and just trusted the restaurants and street food vendors.

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As an American, we are told while traveling, never drink the water and never eat the street food. However, Thailand is known for it’s street food, and they take great pride in that. So I trusted the street food vendors, plus all of the locals eat it. Many locals have their favorite street vendors, and become regulars, just like we have regulars in local bars in the the States.

In Bangkok, it has been very difficult to communicate. This shocks me because it is such a huge city and I expected more people to speak English. Turns out the island areas are more touristy where most locals speak English and speak it well. In Bangkok, it was even hard to ask for a knife. It took a lot of hand gestures and pointing to pictures or names of meals on menus.

Food in Bangkok

Although, the Islands are very close, I would have to say Chiang Mai is my favorite place in Thailand, and it has the best food by far. Although, there were tourists, these tourists were very bohemian, (I saw tons of dread locks.) Chiang Mai has a very authentic vibe. There were tons of locals driving mopeds. The restaurants were so authentic that at one of them the owner through on apron and cooked our food barefoot in her kitchen. She also teaches Thai cooking classes.

This photo is by far my favorite photo I took while in Chiang Mai. It just reveals how authentic and beautiful Chiang Mai is. Look at the street food vendor grilling corn on the cob. I captured her smiling. Look at the local traffic in behind her. Mopeds speeding on by. Look at the beauty of the gold Buddhist temple in the back ground. This defines Thailand.  

Chiang Mai corn ladyThese photo belongs to me. Do not use or repost with out my permission.

Chiang Mai street food

Above is a photo of the night market in Chiang Mai. It is crowded and authentic. People selling art, food, etc.

Food in Chiang Mai

On the Islands, where we are staying, beach front, it is less authentic and more touristy so there are more bars and restaurants and less street food vendors.thailand island meat lady

Also surprisingly, our hotels have had really amazing breakfast. So I have been waking up and eating a pretty big breakfast everyday. This is way different from my eating habits at home. At home I am not a morning eater. Normally, I’ll have a hard boiled egg, latte, protein shake, possibly oatmeal, occasionally a greek yogurt, maybe a piece of fruit. I always have a latte every morning the caffeine helps jump start my metabolism. Here in Thailand I have only had coffee twice, and I have been here for almost 3 weeks.

Breakfast in Ko Samui, Thailand, resort The Blue Lagoonthailand islands breakfastBreakfast in Phuket, Thailand, resort The Malisa

Food on the Islands

The cool thing about Ko Samui is that there was a larger variety of different types of food. We went to The Larger, which was owned by a British guy or Aussie. We also went to an Italian restaurant which was owned by an Italian guy. There were restaurants like these where the owner loved Ko Samui so much that he eventually moved to the island and opened a restaurant.

So there you have it, that sums up what I ate on my three week vacation through Thailand. I am excited to say, that I also  brought home some Thai spices and curry pastes, so I can play in my kitchen and make some of my very own thai food.

I am also proud to say that the DC area has some pretty good Thai restaurants. I don’t think our restaurants are too Americanized.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you been to Thailand?
  2. What is your favorite Thai dish?
  3. Do you cook with Thai spices?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

Bangkok is not a runner friendly city…

Thailand had been an unforgettable trip. So far I have spent 4 days in Bangkok and 4 days in Chiang Mia. Now I am island hopping. I am starting in Ko Samui.

I was hoping to get a run in while I was in Bangkok, but honestly it would have been impossible if I tried. The streets are covered with vendors. Most of them selling homemade street food. The sidewalks are way too narrow. Many of them have dips and curbs. So I would have been hopping all over the place. Also the streets have too much crazy traffic, and the side walks so crowded that when we walked we walked single file.

Another thing that worries me is that no one spoke English, so if I were to get lost I would have been totally screwed. Plus my phone wasn’t working. So no GPS or maps for me. I feel like this sounds like excuses but it is the truth. Bangkok is not a runner friendly city. I didn’t see one runner when I was there.

However, while I was in Bangkok we did tons of walking. And I did squeeze in one of the exercises that I wanted to from one of the Under Armour ambassador, I follow on Instagram. The first week of February was all about burpees.

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I will keep you update you on my runs and workouts while I am on the islands. Today was my first day squeezing a run in. And I plan to get many more in. Running on the beach is my favorite plus I got to take advantage of the warm temps while I can. If is still brutally cold back home.

Jim Thompson’s House in Bangkok, Thailand

I am writing this post while sitting in traffic in Bangkok. Wow, and I thought DC traffic was bad. But this is comparable to LA, but honestly it may be worse.

So here we go…

Yesterday, was my first day touring around Bangkok.

We woke up and relaxed on Elissa’s balcony taking in the view and getting familiar with our new Bangkok neighborhood. Shockingly the city was quiet in the morning time.

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Once we got ready, we headed for breakfast. My friend, Elissa new an amazing brunch place.

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I ordered a savory crepe with egg, spinach, mushrooms, onion, and feta.

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We sipped on coffee and drank down fresh juices. I got watermelon juice of course.

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After breakfast, we headed to the embassy to convert some American dollars to Thai baht. While Elissa was converting the money Erik and I hung outside strolling down a side street that were lined up with street food vendors (similar to our food trucks minus the truck part.) Everything smelled amazing but we ended up getting refreshing bubble tea. Of course I went with Papaya.

After our tea time we headed for a pedicure while Erik got a massage. The pedicure I got is the best I have ever had. Next time I might go for a massage.

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After our spa services we headed to the Jim Thompson house. We took the BTS which is their metro system. It was packed so we had to squeeze in.

We saw a rally of protestors on the way.

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The election happened on the day we arrived, so the protesting has significantly died down. A lot of people back home were scared for my safety because of the protesting and political issues in Bangkok. Protestors and political issues are not scary to me (I’m from Washington, DC – I can handle politics.) It is strangers that are too kind, that make me suspicious. ( I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.)

Anyway we made it to the Jim Thompson house and it was gorgeous. Jim Thompson was an American architect who fell in love with Bangkok, later making it his permanent home. His home was right off of the canal. He had beautiful traditional Thai decor and gorgeous gardens. Here are a couple things I found unique about Jim Thompson.

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Later we ate in the restaurant there on the property. The curry was very good.

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Erik and I also got to drink his favorite Thai Iced Tea!

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Tonight we are heading to the night market. Because of the Jim Thompson house I am inspired to find some silk yarn.

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

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I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

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Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

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