Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eating Organic

About two months ago H and I signed up for an organic delivery service. It took a little convincing to get H to buy off on it, but I got him to do it. We get ours from Eatin' Organics. A bin arrives on our doorstep every other week. Doing all this running really has me thinking harder about what I put into my body. It is near impossible for me to run even just five miles on a burger and french fries. Eating organic fruits and veggies has me feeling better overall. Plus, it is fun to try the new type of fruits and vegetables we get in our bin. Here is what our bin looked like this week:
In it we got a head of lettuce, yams, bananas, avocados, oranges, apples, and a red onion. The other nice thing about it is we can make substitutions (like that gross Kale that comes in our bin every now and again. I substituted it for bananas this week). Some of it is locally grown, but others are not (bananas?). The quality is better than what I have seen at the grocery store. This week I am going to use my yams to make candied sweet potatoes for Christmas Eve dinner. I would share the recipe but it is just in the Better Homes and Garden's cook book. Yeah, not the healthiest thing, but at least the yams are organic. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running in Silence

When I first started running I could not run with out my headphones. With out music I was dead on the treadmill. Over the last couple of months I noticed while I was running I had no recollection of what music I had actually just listened too. Then, two weeks ago something extremely annoying happened. My headphones broke.... again. (It actually turns out my iPod was broken, but that could be a whole different post). While I waited for my new favorite headphones to come in the mail, I gritted my teeth and headed out with out any music. I was just fine. Since then I have ran between 3 mile to 8 mile runs. I have not have any issues. There were times I wish I had a high paced song to push me through a hill or a sprint. Now I have my new headphones. I still prefer to run with music, but about 30% of the time it is nice to go with out. Just me and the road. It is a peaceful feeling.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Secret Santa

I spend a lot of time on a health and fitness chat board online and they did a secret Santa exchange through a web site called Elfster. It aloud us to do a gift exchange with girls all over the country. I got my gift this week. I got a Bondiband, gloves, and a delicious looking peppermint white chocolate Luna bar (maybe I will eat it for my after run snack today).


Thanks Secret Santa!

Planned work out this week -

Monday - Ski conditioning with Kelli!
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - 4m run
Thursday - off
Friday - 6 mile run
Saturday - I have time issues this day, I am hoping to squeeze in a 3 miler
Sunday - 3 miler with sprints or hills and lifting

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Workout Blues

This year was my first true race season, therefore I am having my first true racing off season. The next race I will probably do is in February (Valentines Greenlake 5k, if you want to check it out). I am trying to keep my mileage up to make training easier later on, but I am lacking motivation with these dark Pacific northwest days. Running on the treadmill just isn't fun either. My longest run since September has been nine miles. I have been pretty good about at least getting in six milers on the week end.

I am starting to get in my speed work again. I had stopped two weeks before my half marathon and just did not pick it up again until October. I am also getting in more weight training. Since my miles are down I have more time to do at least some strength training.

Here is what I have done this week and what I have planned:

Monday - off
Tuesday - Ski conditioning with my favorite trainer Kelli
Wednesday - 3.5 miles on the treadmill, doing half mile sprints and half mile recovery
Thursday - 1 hour weight training with Kelli
Friday - Either a short 3 miler or an 8 mile run
Saturday - Do what ever I didn't do Friday
Sunday - Rest and Seahawks game

I am pretty tired from the last three days work outs. I might just take Friday off and do my short run Sunday morning before we leave for the game. At least that way I will be doing something to burn off energy before I sit for three hours.

Music to Run to

Here are my latest downloads:

Katy Perry Fireworks
The Black Eyed Peas The Time (Dirty Bit)
P!nk Raise Your Glass
Mumford & Sons The Cave 
The Boys of Summer The Ataris

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweaty Bands vs Bondi Bands

I am a sweat band girl. I can't go out for a run with out a sweat band on. I am the dork that didn't know those elastic ones from work out videos in the 1980s weren't cool any more. I can attribute my discovery of Sweaty Bands and Bondi bands to my friends on thenest.com. I had always wondered where those UW Softball players got those functional and girly purple sparkle head bands I saw on television. For an athlete they also make a great stalking stuffer, which is why I am writing about them today. I have tried out both versions, depending on your needs either one might work for you.

Sweaty bands are a head band with cloth on the top and velvet sewn underneath. Around the bottom is an elastic band that gives it stretch.


Me in my sweaty band
 Bondi bands are made out of a stretchy wicking fabric. They stretch over and around your head and are great for under helmets for you bikers out there.

Racing in my Bondi band
I haven't had slipping issues with either product. Both stay in place on my head. The two head bands also keep sweat out of my eyes, but the Bondi bands work slightly better. For this reason I like the Bondi bands more for running. They are also easier to wash. The Sweaty bands are supposed to be hand washed, but I still put them in the wash and air dry them. They don't look so great now because of it, but not terrible. Bondi bands also have fun sayings on them. It may be odd, but they motivate me not to slack off. If I am wearing a 13.1 on my head, no one better see me walking.

I like my Sweaty bands more for cross training. They keep the hair out of my eyes. They don't work so well for the poring sweat when I am running. Sweaty bands are also stylish, so on days I don't have time to dry my hair or if I go straight from the gym to go out I still look cute. Sweaty bands are also more expensive than Bondi bands. There is more to them, so I can see why. There is a grab bag option on their web site, where you can get some at a slight discount.

So which one do I like more? Defiantly the Bondi bands. I get way more use out of them and they are easier to wash. They are less expensive, so I can afford one for everyday of the week. They also keep the sweat out of my eyes more when I am running.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ethleteco: Shirts for Social Change

Ethleteco is a company owned by a friend of mine. It is a great company and I think she is on to something big. Her designs are cute and send a message. They are working on more designs everyday, so make sure to follow Ethleteco on Facebook or Twitter for the latest. Anyone would be proud to wear one of the shirts. Instead of me explaining the message I am going to let them explain it. From their web site:

"Ethleteco Clothing Company was formed with the purpose of promoting positive social change by building local economies that are not dependent on "big business".  Not only are we "sweatshop free", but our shirts are made in the U.S. by employees that are provided with a healthy work environment and benefits such as retirement plans, paid vacations, and health and dental coverage.  We're helping the environment by using the most sustainable materials that we can source.  We offer organic cotton, bamboo/cotton blend and 100% recycled shirts.  All printing is done with environmentally-friendly water based inks, and even the normally toxic clean-up solutions are safe for our streams.

That's all just dandy, but we wanted to go one step further.  The current global economy is really hurting the people of developing countries and the practices of U.S. clothing companies are a big part of the problem.  Overseas and "overborder" production of the clothes and other goods in free trade zones, maquiladoras, and sweatshops contributes to the continued poverty of the people in the countries where these facilities are located.  We wanted to help them break the dependence on under-paid jobs at foreign firms by helping them to start their own businesses.  We've partnered with Kiva to fund microloans for entrepreneurs throughout the world so that they can build their own local economies and reduce their reliance on foreign jobs and foreign imports.  Kiva also funds microloans in the U.S. for entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional financing.  We think that helping people to start their own businesses, no matter where they are located, will help us all.  A portion of profits from absolutely everything that we sell goes to this important cause."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NYC Celeb Marathon Results

I know I said I was going to do product reviews, but this is something I just find interesting. Eventually when I pull the trigger and run my first marathon, I want to say at least my time is faster than (insert celeb here). So here is a list of celebrity finish times for this year's 2010 NYC Marathon.

Al Roker 7:09
Robin Quivers (Howard Stern's sidekick) 6:09
Meredith Vieira 5:59
Edison Pena (the Chilean Miner) 5:40
Jared Fogle (Subway) 5:13
Ethan Zohn (Survivor) 4:16
Bobby Flay (my favorite) 4:01
Ryan Sutter (from the bachlorette) 3:20!!

Just think, if Al Roker can do it, I am sure we all can do it too. I think I will try to beat Jared and try to close in on Oprah (her time from years ago was 4:30).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product Review: My Precious, Garmin Forerunner 405CX

With the holidays coming up my new couple posts plan to be product reviews. Hopefully it will give you some ideas on what to add to your own Christmas lists.

About six months ago I made the investment and purchased a running watch. REI was having sale and Garmin had a rebate going on. I was able to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 405cx for just over half the normal retail price. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

The Forerunner 405 has since been replaced by the 410. The 410 has enhancements helping to increase the length of time you can go between battery charges. It also has increase effectiveness of the touch bezel, especially in poor weather conditions. I know on mine it is almost possible to change screens when it is raining.

What I like about the 405 is it holds me accountable. I can see how far I am running, pace, and heart rate. I LOVE the Garmin Connect web site. It really helps to see how far I have improved. I can also see I have run 326 miles with my Garmin so far this year and burned 41 thousand calories! That is just since May when I bought it. Having the GPS capability is the main reason I chose the 405 over the 100 series. Garmin just gave the 110 a face lift this year. It has GPS now. It is cute, pink and it is made for women! (There is a guys model too that is blue.) If it had GPS back in may I probably would have looked into buying that model instead. One of the biggest complaints I have about the GPS watches is their bulkiness. The 405 fits on smaller wrists and isn't as bulky as the older models, another reason I picked it over other GPS watches.

The 405 is still bulky though. The heart rate monitor strap that came with it was also too big for me, so I had to spend more money to order a smaller one online (Amazon.com has them, if you have the same problem). The battery life also isn't very good. I can get through two to three work outs with out having to charge it. Sometimes one long run drains it. This would be really irritating if I was trying to train for a marathon. I have noticed turning off the GPS helps lengthen the time between charges, but it isn't much.

I named my watch My Precious. It really does remind me of Lord of the Rings. It is easy to get obsessed over it. It knows so much! It is hard for me to leave home or do a workout with out it. If I do break myself from its hold, it is very freeing. Every once in a while it is nice to run for the sake of running and not having to beat myself up over going a slow pace.

So buy or don't buy? I think it really depends on what you are looking for and what your goals are. I am happy I bought, but mostly because I bought it on such a great deal. I would say if you are starting to train for half marathons you should at least get a stop watch with a heart rate monitor. If you don't have time to map out some runs ahead of time, the GPS might be worth it. The Garmin Connect site tracking is also a huge advantage over the Polar devices. It is definitely a great little tool if you want to spend the money.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Half Marathon Training Programs

This blog is a special request of a friend of mine. Below are links to some half marathon training programs. If you know of any more you really like, please post it in the comments.

Hal Higdon
This one is a favorite on a lot of the running and fitness chat boards I visit.

Cool Running
This is the training program I have used for my two half marathons. I liked it and I was successful, even though in the later weeks I was not very good at getting in the longer week day runs. I also substituted one of the running days for a cross training day. That day usually included some time on the elliptical and some lifting.

Runner's World
Runner's World magazine has had some really good ones. Especially for those who have run a couple half marathons already and are looking to train for a specific pace. I will probably look for one of these next.

Jeff Galloway's Plans
Jeff's is another popular plan. I am not familiar with it, but here's a link.

Things you want to consider before picking a plan -
1) How long do you have to train? Is it 8 weeks or 6 months? You want to pick a plan that meets your time limit. Be realistic too. If you can't run the first week of the training program pretty easily, you aren't ready to sign up for a half yet. Try a shorter distance training program first. Also, if you have a long time until your half, like 6 months, try a 12k training program to build up the first three months and then start a half program. That is what I did for my first half and it worked really well.
2) Does it fit with in your normal work out schedule? This is important. If you like to mix things up, pick a plan that has more cross training in it. If you only have three or four days a week to run, find one that meets that. Just remember, don't skip your longest run days and one day during the week should include some speed and hill work.

If anyone out there reading this has some more tips please include then in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipes for Healthy Eating - Squash Spaghetti

I have always been a pretty healthy eater since leaving my teenage years. In college my breakfast did consist on strawberry Poptarts every morning, but they were the low fat ones so I figure it could be worse :) ... Any how since I have started running so much I have taken things to the next level. I have been trying to eat more vegetables and eat cleaner (less processed foods and more organic fruits and veggies). I find I just feel better, my belly is a little flatter, and I have more energy for my runs.

This is a recipe I got from one of my good friends while I was in Colorado. Too bad I will probably never get my husband to eat it. It tasted great and I could not taste the squash at all. It would be a good recipe to try to get kids to eat their veggies too.

Spaghetti Squash:

Ingredients -
One Spaghetti Squash
Ground Turkey
Your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and brush olive oil over the inside. Place on cookie sheet inside the over. Cook for 30 minutes.

While Squash is baking, cook turkey and heat up the sauce. Once squash is cooked take a fork and scrape out the squash. The Spaghetti Squash becomes the "noodles" of the dish. Cover the squash with meat and sauce.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vacation Run Colorado

I spent this past weekend in Colorado Springs visiting a friend from high school. I really learned to love Colorado while I was over there. It is so cool to have so many trails and parks. The idea of just taking off every weekend to climb a mountain or mountain bike is just so romantic. By Sunday of this past week I was itching to go for a run, after three days off. My friend took us up to a park that has 360 degree views of Colorado Springs. You can see downtown, Garden of the Gods, and of course all the mountains. Below is video of the view and a picture.
video
By Sunday, I was feeling pretty used to the altitude. (Colorado Springs is at an elevation of 6,035 feet above sea level). My three mile run felt great. I got a little tired towards the end. I attribute that more to the trail running rather than the thin air. I wish I could run here again. I guess I will have to wait for my next visit.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Race Report: PACE 10k Kirkland

This past Sunday I ran in the PACE 10k in Kirkland. It is a race to raise awareness for prostate cancer and had about a thousand people participate between the 10k/5k runs and walks. It was probably the smallest race I have done so far. My official time was 39:55. That is a pace of 9:40 per mile over 6.2 miles. I do not consider it bad considering the first two miles are up hill and I have been having trouble with my right hamstring. I did not want to push it too hard and injure myself. Lesson learned - I will not do speed training the week of a race.

The course itself was nice. It is hilly to start out, but you get all your hills out of the way early and I found it to be a good challenge. The turn home is pretty too, since it runs right along Lake Washington Boulevard.

The weather held out for us too. It was pouring rain when we got there. I was prepared to get drenched. As soon as the race began, the weather changed to a nice misty rain. It kept me cool, with out getting soaked.

I did not have a race photographer for this event, but if there are any good photos posted online from the official race photographers I promise to post them here. T

Thanks to Hubs and a friend for running it with me. I do not have another race scheduled right now. The soonest will most likely be December.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tips for Running Beginners

I am not a natural runner at all. I had to work really hard to get where I am today. I hated running the mile in high school. I was always one of the slowest ones. After I finished college, I decided I wanted a challenge. I figured I would try to run a 5k, so I slowly started running. It was more a combination of running and walking, but eventualy I could do three miles straight with out stopping. I would run three miles twice a week in addition to my cross training. I liked how running made me feel and the way it made my body look so I kept with it. There are some things I wish someone would have told me then, that I know now and I would like to share with you. Hopefully you will find it helpful.

Have a training plan - There is a program out there called Couch to 5k (C25k). It is a gradual introduction to running and a structured program to follow to make it easier to start running (It is never easy though) and to help prevent injuries from going to fast into it. You can just search for it on the Internet and one will come up. There is also a podcast you can download.

Get fitted for shoes - This is probably the most important rule. Go to a running store and have someone size you, look at your feet, watch you run and get you shoes with the proper support. You will be able to run more efficiently and be less likely to injurer yourself. Do not go to a department store or even those large sporting good stores. I like Everyday Athlete, Road Runner, or Super Jock N' Jill.

Clothing - This is not a requirement, but having the right clothing sure does help. Make sure to get something with wicking fabric to get the sweat away from your skin. Nike Dri-Fit is my favorite for tops. I also love Adidas Supernova tights. Moisture wicking socks are also really nice.

Now you are ready to make your way into becoming a runner.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Music to Run to

I plan to share the new music I upload to my iPod. Often people look for new music to keep them motivated while running. It really helped me today on my eight mile run. So here we go:

1) Florence + The Machine Dog Days Are Over
2) Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory
3) Phoenix Lasso
4) Vampire Week End Cousins
5) Adam Lambert If I Had You
6) Enrique Iglesias I Like It (feat. Pitbull)
7) Ke$ha Take It Off
8) Usher DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
9) Katy Perry Teenage Dream
10) Rihanna Only Girl

I have to admit I am a little embarrassed by liking Adam Lambert's song, but it really gets me going. I am not going to apologize for it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So this is my blog...

It took me a while to decide if I wanted to start a blog. Once you start you can't stop. I am now forever committed to my followers. As a loyal person by nature I plan to at least give you guys some update once a week.

Since I got married earlier this year, I realized I have been talking about my races and giving advice in all different places. I would email friends, post it on Facebook, and talk about things online with friends. I figure it will be much easier for me to post it all in one place. Hopefully I can help out some other people as well.

Anyhow, a little about me. I am 28 and have been married for six months. I would say health and fitness for me has been a hobby since I graduated from college. I always ran about six miles a week, but this year is when I seriously became a runner. Two half marathons later, my husband would say I am obsessed. I love to do it. I enjoy other sports too though. I have been known to swim, hike, play tennis and basketball, and lift weights. I do not know why I never thought of myself as an athlete before now, but I would say I truly am. If it means I get to get up and get moving, sign me up.

I have also learned a lot about food this year. I have always been a healthier eater. I haven't eaten fast food in years. With all my training, I have really learned to try to eat the best options available to fuel for my runs. I do not know anyone who can say they had a great work out with a cheeseburger in their stomach.

I am not expert by any means. I have no degrees in training or nutrition. I am simply going to share my experiences and things that have worked well for me in my blog topics. I am just an average athlete and I hope to learn things from my readers as well, so please share your experiences in my comments.