Tag Archives: running

Running: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Hey all! I had planned to write up this post last night, but I ended up having a sick baby girl on my hands. 😦 So, here I am tonight!

Now, I’m certainly no expert on running. In fact, I’m still sort of a newbie. I’ve only been running since May. But based on my experience so far, I’ve discovered that running has it’s good, bad, and ugly points.

The Good

  • The sense of accomplishment. Throughout my half-marathon training so far, I have enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that comes from running farther and faster each week, and the sense of accomplishment of running 8, 9, 10 miles before anyone else wakes up.
  • Abs, abs, abs! Running has done more for my abs than all of the crunches I’ve done over the course of my lifetime, combined. Period.
  • Greater food enjoyment. I’ve taken more and more pleasure in eating since I started running. I enjoy every morsel that fuels and refuels me.

Protein oats topped with PB

The Bad

  • Running can be a big time committment. Especially when you’re training for a race. As my training progressed, I found myself getting up earlier and earlier each day to fit in my prescribed mileage.
  • Wear and tear on your body. Running can really take a toll on your joints and your muscles – something I’ve experienced firsthand. I’m currently nursing an IT band injury in the last week and a half of training before my race.

The Ugly

  • Chafing. Eeeeew. I discovered the first time that I ran 10 miles that chafing can be an issue. And I don’t just mean chafing from a sports bra or iPod armband. Chafing just from your own arms swinging back and forth for over an hour.
  • Black toenails. Double eeeeeew. Apparently this is not an uncommon thing. Unfortunately I have experienced this as well. I currently have a toenail that is getting ready to fall off.

All of things I mentioned above (the good, the bad, and the ugly) are things that I wasn’t expecting when I laced up my sneakers for my first run a few months ago. So has it all been worth it??? Heck yeah! Just the sense of accomplishment alone has made it all worth it. 🙂

Injury Update & Product Review

It’s Wednesday – half to the weekend! Woohoo! We are headed to DC on Saturday for the Virginia Wine Festival. Can’t wait! It’s going to be a whirlwind. We’re only going for one night. But it will be fun.

Have you entered my giveaway yet?! You have until Friday!

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I’ve been getting pretty much the same advice from everyone on my knee injury – rest is the best medicine. Now, if I could only follow that advice… I’ve been doing plenty of icing and I bought a compression sleeve, but I can’t say I’ve cut back on my running. I am shuffling things around a bit this week though, partly for time constraints, but mostly to avoid running 2 days in a row.

This morning I woke up VERY sleepy eyed at 4:30 am and contemplated skipping my run. For a brief second, I convinced myself that I should stay in bed “to rest my knee.” But then I popped out of bed, threw on my gear, and headed out the door – but not before grabbing a small scoop of PB and some raisins, my go-to pre-run snack.

Do you eat before running?

I ran 6.2 miles in 58:08, ~9:21/mile. I felt great for the first 4 miles – no knee pain. And then BAM. Just like that, the pain set in. At one point I was literally gritting my teeth. There’s no stopping and walking in the dark at 5:30 am when you’re 2 miles from home, though!

When I got home, I took a quick shower then simultaneously iced my knee, put on my makeup, and ate this glorious bowl of overnight oats.

This horrendous photo doesn't do this bowl justice!

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • ~3/4 cup of plain Chobani
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • raisins
  • walnuts

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Ok folks – time for a brief product review!

Back in early July, I received a sample of the new Clif Crunch bars in the mail. It was the Chocolate Chip flavor, and I split the 2-bar serving with my hubby during our 4th of July road trip to PA. Upon first bite, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh my God – I have to find these and buy some!” It was crunchy (hence the name), sweet without being too sweet, and very satisfying. The 2-bar serving makes you feel like you’re eating more than a typical bar. And a serving is just 180 calories – perfect snack amount.

I hadn’t been into Whole Foods in quite some time, but I had a bunch of coupons so I went in there a couple weeks ago. (Side note: since that trip, I have been into WF every week. It has sucked me back in! Damn you, Whole Paycheck, er, Whole Foods!) To my delight, I discovered that Clif Crunch bars were on sale for $3.00 a box, a special that was STILL going on even last weekend. So I stocked up.

I’ve tried 3 of the 4 flavors and I’ve enjoyed each one. I definitely favor the Chocolate Chip though! Have you tried these yet?!

Run Recap & a Giveaway!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Summer seems to have abruptly ended here in New England. It certainly feels like fall!

When I stepped out the door at 5 am on Saturday morning for my 12-mile run, it was a crisp 55 degrees. I had mapped out my route the night before. The route took me into a part of town I’m not very familiar with and I ended up accidentally taking a right to loop back much sooner than I should have. The run ended up being short of 12 miles. (More on that in a minute.)

I was a little tentative when I first started out, given that my 3-mile run on Thursday morning was so excruciating. I spent all day Friday icing my right knee in preparation for Saturday. I could tell right off the bat I was pacing much slower than the previous weekend’s 10-mile run, and much slower than my typical pace.

Around mile 6, the pain in my right knee set in. There was shooting pain. Oh no! I kept pushing through, and a couple miles later the sharp pains stopped and it was just sore.

As I mentioned earlier, my run didn’t end up being 12 miles. It was 11.36 miles, at an average pace of 9:51/mile. Still not too shabby, but that’s much slower than the 9:18/mile pace of my 10-miler.

I bought a compression sleeve for my knee today. I’m hoping that will help minimize the swelling and soreness…

Question for all you runners: I am going out of town this weekend. My flight leaves at 8:30 am on Saturday and I’ll be back Sunday afternoon. I won’t have time for my full long run on Saturday. I plan to add additional miles to all my other runs for the week but… What’s more important – getting in a long run or total miles per week?

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And know, for the fun part…

The Giveaway!!!

The folks over at Yoplait & My Blog Spark sent me a package containing a picnic bag, a roll-up picnic blanket, and a coupon for FREE Yoplait Splitz.

From the Yoplat site:

Yoplait® Splitz delivers the dessert flavor kids crave in a wholesome and nutritious yogurt that Mom can feel good about. It has all the goodness of 100% real Yoplait® yogurt with 90 calories, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or sweeteners and it’s a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D.

I’m always leery of kids’ yogurt due to the sugar content. I absolutely refuse to eat anything or feed my daughter anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, too. So it was a big plus that these don’t contain any HFCS. They contain about 12 grams of sugar, which isn’t awful considering much of that likely comes just from the lactose in the yogurt.

These certainly pass the kid taste test – and they pass the mommy nutrition test too. Good buy!

Want to win your own Yoplait Splitz picnic pack?! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Visit the Yoplait site and leave me a comment telling me one thing you learned about Splitz.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway (I want to win the @YoplaitYogurt giveaway from @healthyfitmama) and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted.
  3. If you have a blog, link back to this post and let me know you did so.

You have until Friday at 8:00 pm ET! Good luck!

10 Things I Learned on My 10-Mile Run

Hey all! Sorry for my absence. I have been enjoying the holiday weekend, as I hope you all have, too!

Saturday morning, I ran 10 miles for the first time ever! Here are some things I learned along the way…

  1. I must be a morning person… because I got up at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday raring to go! I used to be a morning person way back when, before there was baby. Maybe setting a goal and training to reach that goal is motivating me to get out of bed!
  2. It takes me about 2-3 miles to get warmed up. I wasn’t uncomfortable running, per se, but it really wasn’t until about 3 miles that I felt like I hit my stride.
  3. There are a lot of skunks in my neighborhood! Ok – not run-related, but damn! I must’ve passed a dead skunk or a skunky smell every 2 miles.
  4. My knees can only withstand about 7 miles. That’s about when they start hurting – the right one in particular. In fact, all of the joints on my right leg were killing me. Hip, knee, ankle…
  5. I’m much more “hardcore” than I thought! For better or worse, I pushed through the pain and completed my run!
  6. Having a time-goal in mind pushes me to run harder. I left the house with a goal of running 10 miles in 1:35:00 – a 9:30/mile pace. Once I passed the 1-hour mark, I was worried I wasn’t going to make my goal time. I wasn’t sure how far I had run (no Garmin here – yet), so I started to pick up the pace. Low and behold, I got back to my front door in 1:33:03 – roughly a 9:18/mile pace! Woohoo!
  7. The girl who couldn’t run a mile in the allotted 10 minutes in gym class (aka ME) is looooong gone! ‘Nuff said.
  8. I have made amazing progress since I decided to start running back in May. Just 4 short months ago, I was running a 12:30/mile pace. I have shaved 3+ minutes off that time. Go me!
  9. I can run 10 miles! Despite the fact that I prove to myself week in and week out that I can push myself farther and farther, I was still a bit doubtful that I could run 10 miles without stopping. But I did it! Watch out half marathon – I’m coming for you! 🙂
  10. Breakfast tastes even more delicious after burning nearly 1000 calories! When I got home, I refueled with this glorious mix of carbs, protein, and fat.

Proving time and time again that I am no photographer! :-/

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 mashed ripe-beyond-belief banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • raisins
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (+ 1/2 cup of water)
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs vanilla brown rice protein powder
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter (which I later mixed in)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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I continue to learn more and more about myself the farther and farther I run.

What are some things you’ve learned about yourself through exercise?

Ch-ch-ch-changes (and a winner!)

Hey everyone! Well, looks like I have some work to do building my readership back up… Not too many entries for the giveaway. Good news for those who entered though!

And the winner is…Leianna! Congrats! E-mail me your address and I’ll make sure your prize gets sent out ASAP: healthyfitmama@yahoo.com.

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So, when I posted yesterday I forgot one of the most interesting parts of my day (second only to my 8-mile run!). I chopped my hair off! I had about 8 inches in total length taken off. I decided that with all the other changes I’ve been through recently (new job, etc.) it was time to make a change to my appearance. Plus, I was looking back at photos from high school and I realized I looked exactly the same – same long hair. So, without further ado, here’s the new hairdo:

Thoughts?

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Food:

I only photographed one meal today – breakfast, of course. My favorite meal of the day! Today, I tried something new-to-me. Chobani on top of my oatmeal! I believe I first saw the idea of “yoatgurt” on Janetha’s blog.

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 mashed banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • a few raisins
  • 1 Tbs of vanilla rice protein powder
  • 1 Tbs of PB mixed in
  • ~4 oz of vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt

It was good! Didn’t rock my world, but I did kind of like having something cold on top to counteract the hot oatmeal. It sure was filling too!

Let me just take a moment to profess my love for Chobani! I definitely think I should be their “spokesmommy.” The people in the grocery store look at me like I have a serious problem when I’m at the checkout every Saturday with a large tub of Chobani, several individual cups, and a pack of Chobani Champions for the little one. I’ve tried several Greek yogurts out there, and Chobani is by far my favorite! So thick and creamy, packed with protein, and oh so filling. I may or may not have eaten two servings today… 🙂

Chobani – If you ever need a mommy & daughter pair to hawk your yogurt, give me a call. You can pay me in yogurt!

Fitness:

My workout was pretty lame today. It was about 90 degrees today, so it was well over 90 in our shoebox of an apartment. I tried to get a workout in without over exerting myself. I did an at-home weight routine from the newest issue of Self.

The hotter-than-usual temps this summer have defintely affected my workouts. I’ve definitely not worked out as hard. It’s supposed to be back up in the 90s here all week, so I plan to do all my half marathon training in the morning before work. Getting up at 5 a.m. will be worth it so I can work out in bearable temperatures!

How do you adjust your workout schedule/routine in the heat?

8-Mile

Hey there! Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend. I started my day bright and early. My half marathon training schedule called for 8 miles today, so I got up at 5 a.m. to head out for my run. Saturdays are always filled with grocery shopping and other errands, so it’s most time-efficient if I just get my run out of the way first thing in the morning.

Prior to today, the longest run I had ever done was 6.2 miles. Today, I ran 8.2. It was a perfect temperature for running – about 50 degrees. I started out a little bit slow so I didn’t wear myself out. I started to pick it up a bit more around the 2.5-mile mark.

When I reached about 5.5 miles, my right hip and knee started to bother me a bit. But I kept going. I completed my 8.2 miles in 1:17:40 – roughly a 9:30/mi pace. Not too shabby. It may not seem too impressive to all of the hardcore runners out there, but it is certainly an accomplishment for me – something I never thought I could do!

What’s one thing you have done that you didn’t think you could do?

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Have you entered my giveaway yet?? This is your last chance! I will be randomly picking a winner in the morning. Your chances of winning right now are pretty darn good.

I still ow you some product reviews – 3 to be exact. Unfortunately I only have 2 here! One more item to try, and I’ll review it when I post the winner.

Health Valley® Granola Bars:

No beating around the bush here. Sorry Health Valley – as soon as I saw the nutritionals on these, I knew they weren’t for me. The ingredient list is a mile long! I took one bite… WHOA! Holy sugar! These were soooo sweet. My daughter likes them, of course, but I won’t let her have more than 1/2 of one at a time. And I certainly wouldn’t buy them. Sorry to be harsh on a product that’s included in my giveaway! The rest of the products make up for it though. 😉

Garden of Eatin’® Multigrain Blues:

These are a new product for Garden of Eatin’. They actually weren’t even included in the initial giveaway picture and description I was sent.

I ripped open this bag tonight specifically so I could review these chips in my post!

I’m not really a big chip eater, but I was pleasantly surprised by these. They had a great taste to them (almost nutty) and just the right amount of salt. These would be great for dipping in salsa or guacamole. I bet they’d make some mean nachos, too! I would definitely buy these for a party.

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Well, off to veg for the rest of the night. I already feel the soreness setting in to my legs. No big plans tomorrow – just more errands. What about you?

My First Maranatha…and Time-Saving Tips

It’s Thursday! You know what that means? Tomorrow’s Friday! 😀

Today was not a good day for me at all, so I’m just going to focus on a product review and a time-saving tip or two.

Have you entered my giveaway yet???? You have until Saturday at 11:59 p.m. ET. And if you win, you’ll get (among other things) a jar of this:

I have read rave reviews on many a food blog about Maranatha No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter, so I was pretty pumped to try this.

I typically eat regular, all natural peanut butter made with nothing but peanuts and salt. This peanut butter has added palm oil and cane juice. After an intial stir and some time in the fridge, the consistency is much like that of shelf-stabel peanut butters, like Skippy and Jif.

Being the classy lady that I am, I taste-tested this with my right index finger. My reaction? Eh, it’s ok. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat it all, eventually. But after eating peanut butter with nothing added other than salt for so long, this didn’t even really taste like peanuts to me. If you grew up on Skippy and still miss the taste of it, then you will love this. I wouldn’t buy it for myself, personally, though.

I’ll review the final few products in the giveaway tomorrow and Saturday. Check back in!

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Now that I’m training for a half marathon, I have to save time however I can. Training takes up a lot of time! My training schedule called for 5 miles on Wednesday. I had been doing my runs in the evening after my baby girl went to bed, but it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier. So I decided on Tuesday night that I would get up at 4:45 a.m. and run before work. I’d rather run when it’s dark, but getting lighter instead of when it’s light, but getting darker!

Getting up that early to run took some planning ahead. Here are a few things that helped me save time in the morning (and make sure I had no excuses NOT to run!):

  1. Packed my lunch the night before. I typically do this anyway, but I can’t stress enough how much time this saves me in the morning. I hem and haw sor far too long about what I want to pack for lunch. I would spend my whole morning trying to decide!
  2. Laid out my workout clothes. This eliminated any fumbling around in the dark. I laid out my gear, including shoes and iPod, right next to the bed. That way they were staring me in the face when my alarm went off at the ungodly time of 4:45! No excuses.

    Look what just came in the mail!!!

  3. Prepped my breakfast the night before. Until I discovered the world of food blogs, I never would have thought to do this. What a time-saver! I tend to eat a pretty extravagant breakfast, spending about 15-20 minutes making it in the morning. Tuesday night, I made Overnight Protein Oats.

This bowl contained:

  • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • 2 Tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder

In the morning, I popped it in the micro for 1 minute (I have eaten it cold before though). I topped it with a few raisins, some walnuts, and a drizzle of TJ’s maple/agave blend.

This bowl didn’t satisfy as much as a piping hot bowl of protein oats, but it did the trick – and saved me a ton of time in the morning.

What’s your best time-saving tip??