Friday, March 29, 2013

Sushi & a Movie

Today's Workout:
8 mile run

Today was a pretty uneventful day for me. I woke up at 3pm (because I worked last night) and quickly went on my 8 mile run. I'm usually tired on my first day off after working, so I usually relax and do what I love to do: Eat sushi and watch a movie!

To be honest, I'm pretty "anti-social" during marathon training. For those of you who are runners I'm sure you understand what I mean. First of all, I've given up adult beverages for Lent, so I can't even go to happy hour. Secondly, I'm running a 16 mile tempo run tomorrow morning, so I need to be rested and hydrated. The bad part is, this routine usually lasts about 3 months until I run the race.

Yes, my friends happen to think I am a weird-o. Their questions to me usually go like this:

  • So, you run 26.2 miles and no one pays you for that? 

  • You prefer going to bed at 10 pm on a Friday night than hanging out with your friends?

  • How could the pounding in your legs and feet bring you "sanity" when after you're done running you go and sit on ice?  
Well my friends, it's difficult to explain. So yes, I am going to be "anti-social" tonight with hubby and we are going to watch a movie and eat some raw fish. No meat for us today because it's Good Friday =)

(Romantic choice of movie huh?)

Oh, and I might shave my legs...Ugh I need it badly!
(I usually wax but I obviously missed my appointment =(

What are you doing this Friday Night?

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

To meat or not to meat?

Today's Workout:
6 mile run

So, here's the debate for today: do you think that endurance runners should eat meat or should not eat meat? Personally, I haven't eaten red meat in over 4 years and just last year, I introduced organic chicken to my diet. I eat organic chicken sporadically, so most of my protein is derived from fish and other sources that most people wouldn't consider "real" protein.

I decided to go the vegetarian route a few years ago after I learned that my liver and kidney functions were elevated. This essentially meant that there was an excessive amount of protein breakdown occurring in my body because my diet was largely composed of meat (I was bodybuilding during that time). So, after my doc told me to lay off the excessive amount of protein, I went vegetarian. Actually I wasn't truly vegetarian; I was pesco-vegetarian. A recent article by Runner's World defined peso-vegetarian as "A sub-classification referring to individuals who do not consume animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, or poultry but do consume fish."

Besides introducing organic chicken to my diet, I am now eating organic eggs as well. So, basically the caveat to my diet is: no dairy, no red meat, minimal amount of processed foods, no fruit juices unless they are fresh and nothing fried. 

Comparing my running performance when I was pesco-vegetarian versus my running performance now, I would have to say that I am actually getting faster. The only difference I feel is the amount of energy I have. Now that I am eating chicken and eggs, I feel more energized; however, there may be other contributing factors to that such as, perhaps I'm resting more now or maybe my body is acclimating to the intensity of my workouts. 

You're probably wondering what other sources of protein I consume to supplement my protein intake, well here it goes:

  • Quinoa (it has 8g of protein per cup!)
  • Beans (such as chickpeas)
  • Nuts & nut butters (such as almonds, walnuts and almond butter; nuts have 9g of protein per 1/4 cup)
  • Vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and asparagus)

What is your protein source?

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sassy & Spicy

Today's Workout:

Howdy Friends and Happy Hump Day!
I was feeling pretty sore and tired this morning from yesterday's 22 mile run, so I took the day off from running and headed over to my friend Marion's nail salon. Like always, she did a fantastic job.
She massaged my legs and feet...
And she painted my nails a sassy shade of red & orange

After beautifying my hands and feet, I decided to go home and try a recipe that I found on Pinterest:

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
1. Garbanzo beans (15oz can)
2. 1 tbs olive oil
3. 1/2 tsp salt
4. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Drain and rinse chickpeas and put them in a bowl.

Drain 'em...
Put 'em in a bowl

3. Add oil, salt, and pepper to chickpeas and mix well. Spread them on baking sheet in one layer.

Put 'em in a baking pan...

4. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

Place 'em in the oven...

5. Remove pan, shake around to ensure that the chickpeas brown evenly, and return to oven for another 15 minutes until brown and crunchy.

Remove from oven & ENJOY!!

6.Enjoy warm or at room temperature!

The chickpeas tasted awesome! They smelled like popcorn and the taste was a combination of salty and spicy. Yummmm!!

Food for thought: Garbanzo beans are high in fiber, protein and potassium!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesdays with Erika- Girl Stuff

Today's Workout:
22 mile long run w/ hill repeats

My day was pretty productive today. I had a much needed day off from work, so I took the time to do my long run and run some important errands.

So, I woke up this morning at 5 o'clock and headed to Key Biscayne to run. It was 58 degrees with about 15 mph winds-freezing I tell you!! You might think that's warm, but this Miami gal wasn't bred for any weather below 75! Anywho, while driving to Key Biscayne, I encountered this massive traffic jam on the highway...I nearly started crying, but after 30 minutes of this, I was on my merry way.

I began my workout at about 6:15 am and 2 1/2 hours later I was done and feeling refreshed. Ok, so I was actually sore and with stiff hands from the cold and come to think of it, I kind of looked like Harry from Dumb & Dumber with frozen bugers from the cold. But nevertheless, it was a good workout and the scenery was fantastic! When I was done, I ate a Clif Bar and drank lots of agua.


After my run I hurried home and ate a nice big breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts and hard-boiled eggs. Yum! I relaxed for about 2.5 seconds and then I headed over to my cardiologist in the Cleveland Clinic. Because I'm an endurance runner and my training is so intense, I like to check my corazon ❤ every 6 months just to make sure everything is in check. Dr. Wolinsky told me I had a great heart and that I was ready for Boston! Check my doc out.

Fun fact about my doc: he was the cardiologist for the NY Giants when he worked in New York.

I figured I would do some "girl stuff" so I went shopping! I got myself an adorable Spring dress and a pair of Jessica Simpson wedges. Love love love em!! Now I gotta find a place to wear my new outfit!!

Ok, so technically I should be resting since I ran so many miles today, but I had no choice but to run my errands today because mañana I'm back at work.

To end the evening, I will be going to my brother-in-law's, Dax, house for dinner. Fish is what's for dinner, mmmmm!

What do you do on your days off?





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Monday, March 25, 2013

Just Do It

Today's Workout:
8 mile run

Today is definitely one of those days where not even all this coffee will wake me up!

It was a long week at work with many exciting adventures. My friends at 7/11 have been teaching me French and I have been teaching them Spanish in return.
Sentence of the week: Je suis une princesse. (I am a princess) Hey, they said so =)
Sometimes I really wonder how I manage to work 50+ hours a week at night and then put in between 70 to 80 miles a week of mileage. Call it crazy or call it being determined, but I prefer not thinking about that too much--I Just Do It and git-er-done!
As long as I have these
(Yes, they're really dirty!)
And some good food after my run, I am all set to go! Find what motivates you to exercise and Just Do It...No Excuses!!
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Challenge

Today's Workout:
15.5 miles @ the track

I declare that this is the season for a new challenge! I don't particularly like doing things when they're "supposed" to be done, so I have created a list of challenges/goals that I would like to accomplish this Spring season. This is sort of my "New Year's Resolution" list, which I deliberately failed to write out at the beginning of the year.

So, after much thought, this is the list I put together:
(Art is not my forte)

As a typical runner, it's difficult for me to do anything else but run. The reality is, that runners actually benefit from weight-lifting and cross-training.

Both strength training and cross-training help by:

1. Balancing muscle groups: it will strengthen your non-running muscles while you rest your running muscles.

2. Improve cardio-vascular fitness.

3. Helps avoid injury because you're not focusing solely on your running muscles.

4. If you're injured, you could still train while letting your injury heal.
As for Yoga, well let's just say that I am as flexible as a piece of 2x4 wood. I've heard a lot of good things about Yoga like it stregthens your muscles, increases flexibility, increases whole-body movement and it can alleviate the stress that runners feel when they focus on the big PR.
So while I may never be able to do this

I can definitely do this!

As for #4 on the list, resting and relaxation are probably the most mindful of things on that list. Let's just say I have to think about relaxing--it doesn't come naturally. I love being active and busy and always doing something, but I've realized that my body NEEDS time off. So, I will try (operative word) to relax perhaps by getting a massage, facial, long walk on the beach, blah blah blah...
Can anyone suggest a good book (NOT 50 Shades of Grey!) and a good vacation destination for me and hubby?

And one last thing... Speaking about accomplished goals, I wanted to say how proud I am of my husband Milo (and the company he works for "Acousti Engineering") for winning the CISCA & INTEX award (Building) Contractors of the Year (in America!!!)!!
Milo is on the left

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Friday, March 22, 2013


Today's Workout:
6 mile recovery run

Howdy friends and Happy Friday!
Ok, I must admit that I'm a little jelly (jealous) that I have to work tonight, as a matter of fact, this whole weekend. But that's ok because it's still Lenten season so I can't even partake in happy hour or in any adult function since I gave up adult beverages for Lent.
Anywho, if you read yesterday's post, I was rambling about not drinking enough water, which I desperately need, so I got myself this nice, Barney-colored, to-go, thermos cup...
The BUBBA cup is super cool because it keeps cold liquids cold for up to 6 hours and warm liquids hot for 12 hours.
But wait there's more!...
The BUBBA cup has multiple functions too! It's got a can opener at the bottom of the handle. Let's see, I could use The BUBBA cup for water, coffee, beer juices, etc... Now I have no excuses not to drink water on the go.
But wait that's not all...
The BUBBA cup is totally fashionable. It matches my nails =)
I wonder what BUBBA would say about my BUBBA cup??
What do you think about my BUBBA cup?

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spruce it Up

Today's Workout:
22 mile long run

Since Spring time is the season to dust off cobwebs and start things anew, why not re-vamp your refrigerator with goodies that will make you feel good? Yes, I'm talking about healthy food substitutions. Most people dread hearing the word diet, so do I! I hate that word because no one should ever be on one. I prefer using the word lifestyle.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be a pain--it could actually be fun. Take me for example. I don't drink as much water as I should. Call it laziness or forgetfulness, but here's a trick I use to drink more water: Add mint leaves and cucumbers!

Just add a few mint leaves and half of a cucumber.
I'm not a fan of products that contain synthetic sugar like Crystal Light, so I go the natural route.
Here are some other ideas you could use as food substitutes:
1. Applesauce instead of butter or sugar when baking
2. Nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo or sour cream (depending on the recipe). Or if you feel inclined to make your own mayo, that could be an option too. All that's needed for healthy mayo is eggs, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and sea salt.
3. Nuts in salads instead of croutons
4. Rolled oats instead of bread crumbs (for breaded chicken, etc.)
5. Whole wheat flour instead of white flour
6. Ezekiel English muffin instead of a bagel
7. Zucchini ribbons or spaghetti squash instead of pasta
8. Almond milk instead of whole milk
9. Frozen natural fruits with cinnamon on top instead of ice cream
10. Baked apples with cinnamon instead of apple pie
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated--you just have to think outside of the box. =)
What's your favorite "substituted" recipe?
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Be Motivated!!

Today's Workout:
8 mile run

I was recently approached by a guy who told me, "I'm usually lazy but every time I think of being lazy, I just think about all the miles you put in during the week." I was extremely flattered when he told me that, but by no means do I believe I am Wonder Woman. I am just as normal as anyone else. I too get tired and stressed out from running too much. Sometimes, when it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I have just woken up from working the night before, all I want to do is sleep and be lazy.

It's easy to make excuses and blame your lack of inactivity to being tired, working too many hours, not enough time because you have children, etc. The truth is, anyone can accomplish what they want, as long as, you find the motivation to do it and stick to it consistently.

You might wonder what keeps me motivated to run. There are actually a few things that inspire me to run everyday.

This inspires me:
This motivates me:
This demands me:
And this makes me:
Here are some tips to stay motivated to exercise:
1. Create a Habit
Be consistent when you workout because chances are you won't want to ruin the healthy pattern of exercise you have created.
2. Be strict with yourself
Don't feel bad for yourself or make excuses. Demand yourself to get up and do something whether it's walking, running, cycling, whatever!
3. Establish a goal
It's easier to find motivation when you have a goal to accomplish. It could be any goal. Your goal could be weight loss, health reasons, build strength, etc.
4. Get a group of friends together to exercise
Chances are that if you exercise with other people, you will feel a sense of accountability, so this will keep you motivated to workout.
5. Listen to good music
Music can actually distract you from feeling pain while you exercise and it may also distract you from noticing the time you're putting into a workout.
What motivates you to exercise?

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heel Striker

Today's Workout:
10 mile run @ the track

Have I ever mentioned how much I love heels? Of course I have! I was rambling about it the other day when I wore my black stilleto heels to happy hour. Anyway, I must confess that I am completely obsessed with high heels; the higher the heel, the better!

Unfortunately, I've had to set aside my collection for a few years now. So, to Mr. Louboutin, Ms. Simpson, Mr. Kors, Ms. Wang and my other No-Name brand heels, I must let you go while I rigorously train for the Boston Marathon. I just want to say though that....

I'm thankful for the svelte look you give me:
But the truth is, you've got me walking like a cowboy the next day:
(Walking on the sides of my feet is what I call the cowboy walk. Ladies, you know exactly what I mean! It's when the balls of your feet hurt so bad that you have to walk on the sides of your feet like a cowboy. Yeehaw!!).
I'm also thankful because you make me look like I have legs for days:
And, thank you for making me feel sexy when I sashay my way to the dance floor:
However, we will have to part ways because Discovery said so....
As per a study that was conducted at Iowa State University, researchers found that high heels:
1. Adds pressure to the inside of a woman's knees
2. It alters the muscles and the tendons of a woman's legs
3. It changes women's posture
4. Causes ankles to tilt inward
5. Causes stiffness in the calf muscle and the achilles tendon, which
6. Causes women to be less effecient in flat-foot activities, such as running.
Hey, #6 is a good enough reason for me to seldomly wear high heels while I train. Just some food for thought Ladies (and gentlemen too, if that's your thing ;)
Do you wear high heels and how often?
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Awkward Moment

Today's Workout:
8 mile run

Howdy Friends!!
In celebration of Awkward Moments Day, today I will share the most awkward, disgusting, humiliating, too-sensational-not-to-tell story that occurred to me  my friend while running. Get ready because this story will either make you fall to the ground from laughter and/or it will make you puke!
Awkward: (áwkwərd) embarrassing and requiring great tact or skill to resolve.
Have you ever been out for a run and all of a sudden your stomach starts rumbling and making all sorts of noises? As you keep on running your stomach continues to bounce up and down and then you feel something start to creep out? This is what I call a turtle-head. Anyway, you continue running in hopes that the awkward sensation will subside, but to your dismay, it only gets worse. Now, you're starting to sweat profusely and your "Oh, my God's" sound like you're having an episode of Tourette's. You begin to wonder, "What if I run faster so I can get home quicker?" But you soon find that this is not the best option because gravity will pull down everything you have in your stomach. What to do, what to do? This is the "Oh Sh*t" moment I my friend had one day when she went out for a run.
It was 4 o'clock in the morning when my friend (we will call her Ms. Deuce) went out for an 18 mile run alongside the beach by Bal Harbour (in Miami). The morning was cool and just perfect for a Sunday run. Ms. Deuce decided she would try a new performance/energy drink that was recommended by a friend. Her friend told her that the drink was fantastic and would give her tons of stamina throughout the run. So, Ms. Deuce decided to try it. Gulp, gulp, gulp she went and moments later she began running.
At mile 5, Ms. Deuce began feeling an awkward sensation in her stomach. She didn't think much of it, so she kept running. Then, it got worse. She started jogging and looking for a place that might have a bathroom. It was too early so none of the restaurants were open. She then sees an apartment building and pulls on the door to enter. It's closed! As she looks inside, the front desk lady looks at her and nods with her finger. "You can't come in." Ms. Deuce began pleading with the lady and shouts, "I'm not a weird-o, please let me in! Look, I'm a runner (she swings her arms like she's running)." The lady says no again. "Please let me in" yelped Ms. Deuce. Finally the lady gave in and opened the door. Ms. Deuce ran to the bathroom and thanked God she was able to come in. After she was done, Ms. Deuce thanked the lady and she continued running...
About 3 miles later, Ms. Deuce began hearing the rumbling and tumbling in her stomach again. This time, it was twice as worse as the first time. At this point in the run, she's running on the beach with absolutely no buildings around her. "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, what do I do? I gotta go!!" "But where," she asked herself. As the pain grew in her stomach, Ms. Deuce stopped running and she "pinched a penny" while she contemplated where she could use a bathroom. There were no toilettes in site! Ms. Deuce began sweating and praying, but there was no way she could hold gravity back. "Oh my God" said Ms. Deuce and her Tourette episode began. God could not even save Ms. Deuce, or so she thought. Then Ms. Deuce looked towards the east and there, right before her eyes, was the largest God-given toilette: the ocean! Yes ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Deuce took off her running shorts and released her pain right in the ocean!!! She was even able to clean herself with the water! After she was done, she put on her shorts and continued running. "That was one determined runner", I thought.
By mile 13, Ms. Deuce met up with a friend along the beach who decided to run with her. Ms. Deuce thought her nightmare was over, but she thought too quickly. As she and her friend ran, Ms. Deuce began feeling the pain again. "Oh no! Not again!" cried Ms. Deuce in her head. This time however, she was closer to a hotel, so she shyly tells her friend that she needs to use the bathroom. "We are getting close to one," says her friend. By that point, Ms. Deuce was "pinching a penny" again while her all-too-familiar sweating, praying and Oh my God routine were once again repeated. From a distance Ms. Deuce sees a lavish, frou frou, five-star hotel and bee-lines it to the pool area. Without asking for permission, Ms. Deuce opens the pool gate and sprints to the bathroom as she barely defeats gravity. "Ahhh, thank you God!" said Ms. Deuce.
Luckily there was no 4th time for Ms. Deuce. She successfully finished her 18 mile run and happily went home after her running debacle.
Ms. Deuce learned two things that day:
1. Don't try new products on long runs &
2. Sh*t happens, just make the best of it =)
What has been your most awkward running moment?
Happy Runnings!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just My Luck

Today's Workout:
8 mile run

This St. Patty's Day weekend has been full of surprises for me. First, my husband Milo returned from Tennessee two weeks ahead of schedule. Milo was building the Music City Convention Center in Tennessee and was finally able to come home this weekend.

Music City Convention Center
Milo at work =)

Then, on Friday night, I celebrated my friend Frank's birthday at Tarpon Bend with many friends. I should have known that this rendezvous was a jammed-packed happy hour, which of course was spent standing up. Needless to say, my feet were not happy! Note to self: Don't ever ever ever wear 6 inch stilletos to a standing-up function (ugh!). Anywho, my night was saved when I was approached by two people who are readers of my blog. I was so thrilled to meet my followers and to hear that I have inspired them in some way. That was actually a really neat experience :)

The stilleto escapade

After my stilleto escapade on Friday night, I ran a 15 mile tempo on Saturday morning and you could imagine what that felt like... I'll give you a visual: like two anchors strapped on my feet :( To my surprise, the run went well and my feet survived!

Fast forward to Sunday morning... Happy St. Patrick's Day! I got up bright and early and ran 8 miles, which was followed by Sunday mass. When Milo and I left church this is what we found:
This totally blows (no pun intended!). But Milo saved the day :)

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Friday, March 15, 2013


Today's Workout:
8 mile run

I don't consider myself to be a whiner when it comes to work, but last week definitely took a toll on my body. In my "perfect" world, I would work less so that my body could have more time to recover from the high running mileage I put in. Even though I love challenges, working a 12-hour night shift has been rather taxing on me. In my attempt to juggle work, married life and running, I have tried all sorts of natural supplements for energy. You name it, I've tried it.

Here's the laundry list of energy supplements I have used:

This is nature's superfood, which contains minerals, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, carbs, enzymes and fiber.
An algae that contains vitamin B12.
An Asian supplement that stimulates the central nervous system and increases resistance to fatigue.
But nothing compares to...
The Energy I get from Massive-amounts of Caffeine to the 2nd power!
Yes, coffee makes me very happy!
However, I must admit that the best remedy for tiredness is Rest, Rest and Rest! The body has an amazing way of signaling when it's had too much stress to endure. Sometimes, this is reflected by getting sick, injured, abnormal sleeping patterns, crankiness, etc...
So I'll be doing myself a favor and chillaxing as much as possible from now until the Boston Marathon!
How do you get your energy fix?
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Today's workout:
22 mile long run

Happy Hump Day Friends!
My mother-in-law, Terry, sent me an interesting article a few days ago which addressed the importance of CHIA SEEDS in one's diet. I've been consuming those black little seeds for about 3 years now and I never knew just how important they are.
You're probably singing "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia" as in, the Chia Pet  figurines that were totally cool in the 90's....
Yes, that's it!!
They even come for real-life dogs!! (Where have I been? Helllll-o?)
Anywho, if you're thinking about the Chia Pet seeds then you're close enough because they are from the same family. However, these are the chia seeds I'm talking about:
I typically eat 1 tablespoon a day with my protein shake. They are flavorless and you could add them to any meal.
Here's what I discovered about the benefits of the chia seeds:
1. It's a superfood with 11 grams of fiber per serving. That's 41% of your recommended daily value for fiber.
2. They are loaded with omega-3 and omega-6, which are the essential fatty acids that are needed in one's diet. If you're not a fish-eater, then you could supplement that with the chia seeds.
3. The seeds provide 6 times more calcium than milk.
4. They are high in anti-oxidants, which protects our bodies from free radicals.
5. The seeds are considered a "complete protein." This allows you to perform better in sports because your muscles will get the nutrients they need to be stronger.
You could add those little ant-looking seeds anywhere, I mean anywhere! You could add 'em to your smoothies, cereals, yogurt, water, etc...
Have you ever heard about the chia seeds? If so, how have you consumed them?
By the way, I officially got my bib number today for the Boston Marathon:
#2737!! First wave!!!!!! Wooo-hoooooo =)


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