Friday, April 29, 2016

5+ for Friday

I thought that since I completely missed yesterday's post I may as well extend the fun to today and add in a few more randoms!  Plus it's Friday so let's start the happy dance!

Standardized Testing...Yes I'm a teacher...yes I love my job...yes I can't stand standardized testing!  I fully inderstand and support the concept of testing students to make sure that they are making benchmarks and that all students across the country are getting equitable education (don't get me started I may just get my soapbox out) but these tests are KILLING me!  We have started this week with practice tests and then I will be administering them ALL MONTH LONG!!!  4 weeks of this lady sitting is not pretty!  I'm predicting a lot of runches in May!

Overthinking...As hard as I try, probably as a result of me being a teacher, I overthink EVERYTHING with our children developmental milestones.  I remember when our youngest was just starting to talk.  She started trying to say things and then all of a sudden....wouldn't say a word.  I fretted for about 2 weeks that she was delayed.  Then one day she just started talking...and honestly hasn't stopped since!  This week is has been our youngest....I've fretted about her speech and whether or not she was forming her sounds right.  My background in linguistics has me showing her where to make certain sounds...to a 3 year-old!  I finally asked out speech therapist at school and she kindly told me to have a glass of wine!  Am I the only one here?  Do you find yourself fretting even when you know it's ridiculous?

Newport 10 Miler...Training is going well for the 10 miler coming up in June.  I have been getting in about 3 runs a week and then my long run on the weekend.  I'm trying to be smart and increase my mileage slowly so that I am staying away from any injuries.  My back has been acting funky lately and I'm certain no one has time for any back injuries around here!!  I know I need to work in more hills to get ready for this race.  The first chunk is pretty flat but the end is riddled with hills!  I'm not sure what my goals are just yet for this race but I know I want to be able to charge up those bad boys with strength!  Are you a fan of hills?

Your Worst...The fabulous and fierce Allie from VitaTrain4Life posted this "What was your worst race day ever?"  Some of the posts people did had to do with weather or the course, while others posted about how they bonked or was sick.  I thought about when I ran Boston....in a Nor'easter (yes they almost cancelled the race)...in a plastic suit!  While it was the most amazing experience, it was also everything that could go wrong weather wise.  I was also a newer runner and had zero clue what to do!  I had a friend be in charge of my fuel and then that said friend was keeping a pace that hurt my body so I ran ahead and left my fuel behind.  We had said we would use walkie talkies to communicate but I got too far ahead of them and lost contact.  No fuel...plastic suit...and a world of hurt waiting for me at the top of Heartbreak Hill.  Yeah that finish line was earned!!!  The time I ran the Gloucester 25k with my brf Jill came a close second...if not won the title.  The only redeeming part of that race was that I got to run with Jill!  What was your worst?

Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting...I figured I would give you an update on this round of Carb Cycling with Amanda!  Almost one week down and I'm already feeling the benefits of this program!! Round 1 I learned so much but I didn't realize how much I really needed the support and accountability of the group.  You can rationalize any decision but I was already starting to fall into old habits and really feeling cruddy!  This time around we are shortening feeding window and using a 7 day plan as opposed to 5.  So far so good...I'm a little nervous for my long run tomorrow to see how I am going to feel but I'm trusting the plan...and then I'll enjoy all the carbs of Feast Day!!

Bonus....
Podcast Fun...I love me a good podcast but lately I have had the AMR and the No Meat Athlete podcasts.  However I heard a fun fact that Runner's World is launching a new podcast series for all of you!!  Here's the skinny on the new podcast....

Each episode will be approximately 30 minutes and will feature conversations with some of the most interesting and newsworthy people in the running world; originally reported pieces on running culture; expert tips on training, nutrition, injury-prevention, and gear; a buzzy roundup of the week's news; and other segments that bring print and online stories to life for a listening audience.
“The show will take listeners behind the scenes at RW HQ and delve into the things runners talk about with their friends when they're out running—and we want it feel that way, too. Fun, smart, worth your time,” said Willey.
Special guests of the first episode of “The Runner’s World Show” include Ryan and Sara Hall, two of America’s premier distance runners. Ryan, the fastest American marathoner ever, surprised everyone by retiring from competitive running this past January. His wife, Sara, is still competing and hoping to make the 2016 Olympic team on the track. The couple adopted four sisters from Ethiopia in the fall. Episode two, timed to the Boston Marathon, will include an interview with Roberta Gibb and Amby Burfoot. Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and is one of the notable runners profiled in Amby Burfoot’s new book, First Ladies of Running (Rodale Books, April 2016). This year’s Boston Marathon marks the 50th anniversary of Gibb’s historic run. Future episodes of “The Runner’s World Show” will feature Deena Kastor, Paula Radcliffe, and Dave McGillivray, among others. 
Runner’s World will also launch a second podcast, “Human Race," which brings the magazine to life with original long-form storytelling. Hosted by RW Contributor Rachel Swaby, each episode will feature a single story. The podcast will launch later this spring.

I can't wait to check it out!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WIAW....After the Long Run

Most days I fly through the door after the gym, hitting the ground running prepping lunches, breakfasts, and guzzling down a cup of coffee.  Within an hour's time, I need to have everyone fed, clothes laid out, lunches packed, and my sweaty self in the shower in order to be ready to leave the house on time.  Seriously I need this shirt from Another Mother Runner!!!
However, Saturday's are my long run day and while I still am up and out the door early, I have more time when I get home to refuel.  I'm able to think a little bit more about making sure I have a good, protein packed snack to both feed my muscles that were out climbing the hills around my neighborhood and keep the eating monster at bay!  I know that everyone is different but I crave salty and sweet wicked bad after a long run, so I try to have snacks that will satisfy both and thus keeping me from eating everything in the cabinets!  Here are four of my go-to snacks after heading back in the door from a long run.

Cottage Cheese with Almonds (nice and salty ones)
I get a protein punch from both the nuts and the cottage cheese while also satisfying that salty/sweet craving.  Drizzle some honey or sprinkle in some cranberries or other berries for some added sweetness!

Green Monster Smoothie...This is one of my favorites!

I throw a frozen banana, protein powder, coconut milk, a little almond butter, and a couple of handfuls of baby spinach!  Blend up and enjoy!  Yes it looks very daunting at first but it tastes delicious!  I like to play with the ingredients too depending on what flavor powder I use!  I love these too because I can walk around the house and get things done while sipping...although it tends to get stolen by little hands!

Brown Rice Cakes with almond butter and banana!
This is another awesome salty/sweet combo for after a long run!  I love these brown rice cakes and they're even better loaded up with almond or peanut butter and sliced bananas on top!  In the summer I love crushing sweet raspberries on it too so it is like a pb&j!!!

Bar....If I am pressed for time when I get home, like if we have lessons or a game to leave for, I love to grab a bar as I'm walking toward the shower.  It depends what we have on hand but I love Quest Bars and Lara Bars.  I keep saying that I really need to make my own....a lot like the recipes found on Nuts.com.  They have a fabulous page with suggestions for high-protein snacks along with some great recipes that I really need to try out like their no bake granola bars....yum!!  They have even more recipes and suggestions on their healthy snacks page.  Looks like I'm going to need to get into the kitchen and kick up my snack game!!

What is your go-to snack after a hard workout?  Do you make your own bars?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Motivation

Adding miles back to my weeks and long runs has been hard lately.  Mentally I find it hard to motivate myself to lace up and go out there for the time it takes.  It has been hard...physically and mentally, but I have done it.  Each Saturday I have added gradually to my miles getting ready to run Newport in June.  I have made it a slow increase and it will continue to be that way but I am doing it...doing what needs to get done so that I am ready for race day.  Discipline has been something I have learned since I was young as a child and then college athlete.  It isn't always the thing I want to do but it is what needs to get done.  In the end, it is always worth it!!!  Flex your discipline this week...you will thank yourself later!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Marathon Monday Tradition

It's hard to believe that another Marathon Monday is behind us...even though I'm sure there are many runners out there that are nursing sore legs who can believe it!  Going to the marathon with our girls is a tradition that we look forward to every year!  We go to our same spot year after year in Framingham, just ahead of mile 7.  My husband's grandmother lives just a few miles from the route and we can use it as a time to see the race and her!!  Since it is so early on the race route, we need to get there early before the road closes.  We set up camp and proceeded to try and entertain the ladies with games and snacks.



After a little time in the sun the helicopters went overhead (the security has increased by so much since the bombings....helicopters overhead, undercover police as well as military and police all over, as well as an SUV full of swat members before each elite wave) and then the wheelchair division was flying down the street!  We had fun cheering for everyone....always something that makes me tear up!  The natives began to get restless and so off they went to Mimi's house while I watched for my friends to pass!





Then the rest of the elites...




Many hours and some brutal tan lines later, I had a blast watching everyone make their way to Boston.  The race is never short of funny outfits and amazingly inspiring stories!





Random guy in a bikini!
My friend Mary!!
Do you do Marathon Monday?  What do you like best about watching a race?


Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Motivation

This weekend I was out running my long run and listening to the AMR podcast about finding your finish line.  It was talking with ladies who were part of the Hyland's group who were to be running Boston.  There was one part in the podcast when they were talking about the finish line at Boston and before I knew it I found myself running along with tears streaming down my face...there is no other place like the finish line at Boston.  I can remember it so vividly...turning the corner and seeing it there in front of me....walls of people on either side.  My body was tired and sore but I was a runner.  Today thousands of runners will take that same turn and see that same finish line....months or years of training will flash before their eyes...they made it!  Best of luck to you all out there...not just running Boston but finding your own finish lines...your own dreams come true!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting Update

6 weeks ago I went way out of my comfort zone and tried out a program by Amanda Tress at FitParenting.  For those of you who don't know Amanda, head on over and check out this fabulous mama of 2 absolutely adorable littles!  I had reached a point where I was tired of trying one thing after another and really not feeling all that better and just feeling like I wasn't ever learning how to do best for the body I was given.  Amanda's program went on the premise of Yuri Elkaim's book The All-Day Fat-Burning Diet which follows a 5 day food cycling program.

This program for me was out of my comfort zone on many fronts....no distance running (ummm yeah this I thought would be the hardest part), more carbs (this actually was the hardest), and one 24 hour fast day.  However, I went in with a clear and open mind knowing I really had nothing to lose.  In honesty I did struggle with not running distances....more of a fear of missing out as I saw my Instagram feed fill up with you fabulous people out there training for marathons and races...but I also missed the release that I get from running.  I did however enjoy the extra time on my hands...although I would have thought my house would be cleaner seeing as how I cleaned it multiple times each weekend!

I also struggled mentally to consume the amount of carbs that Amanda had recommended for us...some days were 50% carbs and our feast day was 250 carbs....far more than I had had in years!  I discovered foods that I had ruled out of my life years ago like sweet potatoes and oatmeal thinking I couldn't eat that many carbs.  I also discovered that I can in fact fast for 24 hours and not die or pass out...it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I actually was far more focused at work and in getting things done than when I ate regularly.

So I know what you really want to know....did it work?  Throughout the 6 weeks we didn't weigh in (eeeek!)...we didn't measure ourselves...we were to focus on non-scale victories instead like how clothes fit and our energy levels.  Getting dressed in the morning is a lot easier now that clothes are fitting much better...but yes I was excited to weigh in and do my measurements....so here's the results:
I lost 5lbs
I lost inches 
Bust-2" down
Hips-6" down!!!!
Waist-4" down
Thighs-1.5" down
Calves-1" down
Biceps-1/2" down

My reaction....I can't lie...I wanted to lose more lbs but I am THRILLED with the inches that I lost!!! I feel stronger and more energetic than I did 6 weeks ago!  I also feel in control of my eating....which was something that I really struggled with!  I can't wait to do round 2 in a few weeks with Amanda and see what I can do!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to change the way that they are eating and feeling!  Amanda is having another group go this month if you want to sign up!!! You won't be sorry!  I will post before and afters after the next round....I had someone yesterday ask me if I was pregnant so I am not feeling all that awesome to put it out there on here!  BTW NO I'm not pregnant!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Motivation

This morning was one of those mornings where I had to peel myself out of bed!  After a weekend of playdates for kids and us adults, parties, and cleaning, I was really loving my soft pillow.  I grabbed a blanket to cover my legs for my drive to the gym since winter won't go away, and in just 15 minutes I was standing on the treadmill ready to press start.  A mile into the run and I was so glad I had fought the voices in my head telling me to hit snooze!  The day always seems so open to anything when I start it with a good soaking sweat!  It makes whatever is waiting at home with lunches to be made and toddlers to tame completely doable!  It does far more than my morning cup of coffee....well let's not get to ahead of ourselves!  Whatever you do to start your day in a sweaty way don't put it off...do it for you...do it for whoever you will come across today...start the day on a high note!

How do you start your day?