Monday, March 31, 2014

One hell of a workout!

Today's Workout:
6 mile run with 6 sets of 20 second strides on the last mile

Hello my friends! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. My weekend was great. On Friday night, my hubs and I entertained a few guests at la casa over some tuna tartar, brown rice and wine. I spent Saturday running a bunch of errands, including watching an episode of Scandal (I'm so addicted!). On Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and met my running coach for a much dreaded progression run. I hadn't done a progression run in almost a year, so I was terrified of feeling the pain. Anyway, the workout called for:

6 miles warm up, followed by
4 miles at a 7:00 minute pace

First, let's define what a progression run is: a run that starts off slowly, then it gradually gets faster and it ends at a marathon or interval pace.

Progression runs are beneficial because they get you stronger to run faster. It also helps with leg-turnover and it's just a good quality workout. It also conditions your heart, lungs, muscles, ligaments and tendons for fast speed.

So my run went something like this:

Mile 1: 8:30 min pace
Mile 2: 8:20 min pace
Mile 3: 8:11 min pace
Mile 4: 7:40 min pace
Mile 5: 7:23 min pace
Mile 6: 7:23 min pace
Mile 7: 6:57 min pace
Mile 8: 7:01 min pace
Mile 9: 7:03 min pace
Mile 10: 7:06 min pace


The 7:00 minute pace doesn't sound too difficult, but since I'm working on gaining my fitness back, it was quite breathtaking. I actually did my first mile of the 4 miles at a 6:57 minute pace, which completely took me by surprise. I thought I was going to trip on one of those last miles. My legs were turning so much that I could barely keep up with them. Needless to say, I was breathing heavily and practically moaning. Thankfully I survived and by the end of the workout I was very pleased with my performance.

I'm very excited with the fact that I've progressed so well in my training. After taking 3 months off (because I was pregnant), I began running again 2 months ago at a 10:00 minute pace. I'm looking forward to my training and to racing very soon. 




Have you ever done a progression run?


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I am grateful for the people that surround
me on a constant basis. 
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Put Yourself in My Shoes

Today's Workout:
3.5 mile warm up
12 x 200 meter sprints, followed by a 200 meter jog
3.5 mile cool down

Hello friends! 

I'm so excited to say that I recently bought a new pair of Newton MV3s for my track workouts. I gave them a try today and they are awesome! Besides the cool neon yellow tone of the shoe, they are super light weight and comfortable. They felt like I was wearing a pair of socks. The shoes are also mesh-like, so they have tiny holes all throughout the shoe. I particularly like this because I don't wear socks when I race. I like my feet to breathe, which makes this shoe perfect for my sockless feet.


Like my new shoes?

It was raining while I did my track workout, but due to the fabric of the shoe, my sneakers did not get filled with water nor were they heavy and soggy.

The Newton MV3 is similar to the Newton Distance model in that they both have log-like heels. This helps with running form and gives running a natural feel.

See the logs underneath the shoe?

If you want more information about these shoes click here Newton Mv3 Womens, Yellow/Pink, 6.5 M US  - that's where I bought them. You will fall in love with these shoes!!!


What shoes do you race in?


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I am grateful to be stepping
out of my comfort zone.




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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rules to Live By

Hello friends! In celebration of the International Day of Happiness, I wanted to share some ideas on how to live a happier life. Of course, these are purely the rules that I live by, but I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

1. Be the hero of your own story. Don't try to be someone that you're not.

2. Don't be resentful.

3. Forgive others.

4. Be kind to others and yourself.

5. Have faith in yourself.

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." -Bruce Lee

6. Accept people for who they are no matter how different they are from you.

7. Be open to change.

8. Be grateful for everything that you have and don't have.

9. Be positive.

10. Don't have expectations of others.

11. If you want something to get done DIY.

12. Be present. Forget about the past and don't worry about the future.

"Find your eternity in each moment."-Henry David Thoreau

13. Treat money as a tool; don't get consumed by it.

14. Limit vanity.



What makes you happy?

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I am grateful for all 
the experiences that help me grow.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Lace Cookie

Hello friends! Hope you all had a great St. Paddy's Day. It's been a while since I've posted a recipe and I thought today would be the best day because March 18th is National Oatmeal Lace Cookie Day. My recipe will skip the "Lacy" (the lace part means the cookie is made with butter- I'm not a fan of fatty butter) part thus making it a super duper healthy oatmeal cookie.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour (I try to avoid all-purpose flour)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp od baking soda
1 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs milled golden flaxseed
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil (the butter was replaced with coconut oil)
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Place a tablespoon (you could add more it just depends how big you like your cookie) of batter about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden on the sides.

5. ENJOY!!



Do you like oatmeal cookies? 

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I am grateful for new opportunities.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Hello everyone!!

Just dropping in to say HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

I'm lucky to have you all as friends =)

A little St. Patrick's cheer from Myles


What are you doing for St. Paddy's Day?


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I'm grateful for uncomfortable situations. 
They keep me out of my comfort zone.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sledding in Miami

Hello everyone! Do you all remember when I posted about tire pulling as an unconventional form of strength training? Well, I got my dad to create the tire and rope contraption for me and I must say he did a great job. I took the big 'ol tire to the Key Biscayne Bridge today and I walked up and down the bridge for one hour. Click here to read the post on how to create your own tire sled.

I bought the weight-lifting belt at Sports Authority. It's 4" in width. My dad drilled a hole in the middle of the belt in order to put the hook that pulls the rope. * Nevermind the weird tan lines. That's what happens when you run in Miami =) *


My dad picked up the 12" in diameter tire at a junk yard. He drilled a hole in the tire in order to put the rope through it. The rope is 10' long.


Here I am on top of the bridge tire pulling and catching some rays.


That's the Key Biscayne Bridge. Yes, it's huge! 


This exercise is great for strength training because it targets the glutes, quads, hamstrings and abs. Tire pulling simulates hill repeats and it helps with running form and posture. This is a great way to gain strength in your legs and core, which will inevitably help with power and speed. Make sure to read the post on how to create your own tire sled and why tire pulling is a great workout for runners ---> click here


Have you ever pulled a tire?


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I'm grateful to be living in Miami.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Product Review of the Week: Roll with It!

Hello friends and happy hump day! 

As you guys know, yesterday I spoke about the pain that I have been feeling on my left ankle (click here to see what I'm talking about). Thankfully, it's gotten a lot better after performing some self-massage, icing it, sleeping in compression socks and lathering Tiger Balm on my legs. There is one other thing that I have been doing as well and that's the Roll Recovery (click here to see it Roll Recover - R8).

I've been using the Roll Recovery for a couple of years now and I particularly like it because it's very convinient and easy to use. I like the big foam rollers too (click here to see it Black High Density Foam Rollers - Extra Firm - 6" x 36" Round), but they are bigger and more annoying to carry around.

Here's why I love the Recovery Roll:

1. It flushes out toxins from your legs.

2. It stimulates blood flow. 

3. It's a free massage.

4. Easy to take anywhere.

5. Improves recovery time.

6. Removes lactate acid from your legs. 


I have to admit, sometimes I get lazy and I don't use it as much as I should, and that is why my ankle hurts! It's important to massage your legs frequently because the pounding on your legs creates lactate acid, which needs to be removed. You also need to rest your legs and allow them to recover and heal properly. If you want more info about this roller click here Roll Recover - R8

How often do you roll your legs?

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I am grateful to be 
feeling better.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Strained ankle or over-trained?

Hello everyone! It's been a few days since I've checked in but I've been quite busy with the little man. Besides being occupied with the daily mommy tasks I have also been nursing a strained ankle. I went on a 14 mile run on Friday afternoon and by the end of the run my left ankle was swollen and aching. I was so upset! It was the same feeling I have had when I have over-trained. Ever heard of over-training?

The first time I heard that concept I thought it was impossible to "over-exercise." Anyhow, I've been putting in about 60 miles a week, so I wasn't sure if my swollen ankle was a result of running too many miles too soon or if it was simply strained from one of my workouts.



Over-training

Let's first define what over-training is: "Physical condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual's exercise exceeds their recovery capacity."

There's usually some signs to indicate that a person is over-training, such as

1. You fail to complete workouts because you're too tired.
2. You feel restless when you're on down time.
3. It's difficult to sleep.
4. You feel sluggish.
5. Your joints and limbs hurt.
6. You get sick with a cold.

Strained ankle

A strained ankle is characterized by inflamed tendons. There are two tendons that protect the ankle and they are usually strained when there's a sudden trauma or force to it. The tendons may also tear, which causes tendonitis. 

So which one of these two do I have? Well let's see, I haven't stopped working out because I'm tired; I don't feel restless; I sleep just fine; I don't feel sluggish; my joints don't hurt (just the ankle); and I haven't gotten sick. It's very possible that I have a strained ankle. 

Remedies

As much as I hate to take time off, I took Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. I iced my ankle each day and smothered Tiger Balm on my ankle and calf muscle. I also slept in compression socks. After three days of following this procedure, I ran today and felt much better. 



After years of training I have learned to listen to my body. As much as I didn't want to rest for 3 days, I knew that if I continued to run it would have aggravated my pain. Sometimes we have to succumb to our injuries and learn from our past mistakes. 

Cheers to overcoming adversities! 

Have you ever strained a muscle?


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I am grateful for new beginnings. 
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Running to Build Strength

Hello friends! As you may have noticed, it's been a couple of weeks since I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. This is largely due to the fact that I've been running high mileage and my legs have been feeling a bit sore. I always suggest doing some kind of strength training during the week, but it can become cumbersome when you're tired and fatigued. There's no reason to fret though.

Did you know that you can build strength in your legs by running? This might seem like an obvious thing, after all, the pounding on your feet and legs should build muscle right? Yes and no. You will get somewhat faster and stronger by simply running everyday, however you will not reach your maximum effort by just running.



Strides
There are different kinds of running workouts that will help you build strength, for example, today I ran 10 miles with strides on the last mile. Basically, I ran easy for 9 miles and then on the last mile I ran 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds easy. These are called strides. Strides are 60 to 100 meter "pick-ups" that runners do to simulate the last haul before finishing a race. They are also performed to improve neuromuscular coordination and to make your running form more fluid. The end result is to get you to run faster!

Hill Repeats
Another way to get stronger is by incorporating hill repeats. For example, one of my workouts this week called for a 10 mile run with 8 sets of 45 seconds hill sprints. So, I ran about 4 miles to warm up and then I went to Miami's Key Biscayne Bridge (it's the only "hill" in Miami) and performed the 8 sets of sprints on the bridge. Hill repeats are great for building strength because they improve VO2 max and the contractions caused by the lifting of the hips, glutes and quads is similar to doing plyometric exercises.

Tempo Run
These types of runs are usually dreaded by many runners because they are painful and exhausting, but they work incredibly well for speed and strength. A tempo run is begun with an easy warm up and an easy cool down. The tempo is done in the middle of the run at an effort outside your comfort zone. Here's a sample workout: Run 1 mile repeats at 5K pace. Complete 3-6 one mile repeats at that pace. The recovery time in between each mile is your 5K pace divided by 2.

Intervals
These are short intense efforts followed by equal or slightly longer recovery time. For example, run at a hard effort for 2 minutes and then recover for 2 minutes. During the interval, your effort should be hard, but not that hard that you will pass out. It's a controlled hard run.

These are just a few workouts that runners do in order to get stronger and faster. Like I said before, I think it's important to perform other kinds of strength training, such as weights, circuit training, plyometric exercises, etc, however these are just some ways that runners strength train during their season to get stronger.

How do you strength train?


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I am grateful that running provides
free therapy and a natural high. 
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm not giving up- I'm giving MORE

Hello everyone! 

As you may or may not know, today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent in Catholicism. Lent is basically a religious observance that lasts 40 days. Most people tend to fast or give up certain luxuries. The "giving up" reminds us of the sacrifices that Jesus made for us. In any case, last year I gave up adult beverages for 40 days.

This year however, I am not going to give up anything, instead, I am going to add something. After careful thought I have decided that I am going to volunteer my services to charitable organizations during this 40 day period. I will try my hardest to volunteer at least once a week.

I think that, we as humans, tend to forget the real purpose of life which is to love and help others. We are naturally self-serving beings and so we focus mostly on ourselves without thinking of others. I would like to humble myself a bit and give back as much as I can. It's a reality check that I need every now and then.

I thought about giving up running, but I haven't quite reached that level of humility yet- I NEED RUNNING IN MY LIFE! Anyway, I invite you to follow me throughout these 40 days as I will post all the volunteering I will be doing.



Have you ever given up something that was meaningful to you?

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I am grateful for celebrating 
my dad's 65th birthday yesterday. I'm happy
that he's alive and well!
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Product Review of the Week: Compression Socks

Hello friends!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I did the usual, hung out with some friends on Friday night, track session on Saturday morning, baby shower on Saturday afternoon, long run on Sunday morning and then hung out by the pool on Sunday afternoon. Nice and relaxing.

Ever since I began running about a month ago, I've made it a point to run with compression socks on my long runs. Because I have been off my feet for a few months I wanted to avoid swelling and discomfort in my legs. Ever seen these before?


These are my "2XU" compression socks (click here to see more options on 2XU socks 2XU Men's Performance Compression Run Sock, Black/Black, Large). When I first started running with these they felt weird on my legs because of the tightens around my calf muscle, but then I realized that the compression they provided on my legs avoided swelling and discomfort. 

So why do compression socks work? 

a) Blood Flow. The idea is that the compression of the lower legs increases the blood flow thus allowing oxygen to flow more efficiently through the muscles. Additionally, the constant movement of the blood will allow your body to get rid of toxins in your legs. 

b) Muscle Vibration. This theory states that when we run our legs vibrate as they hit the ground. The vibrations, theoretically, is what causes the delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). Researchers believe that the compression socks limit the vibrations and provide leg power. 

Whether these theories are true or not, I surely feel relief when I run with them. I also use them to recover from long runs. Sometimes I'll put them on after a long run or I will sleep with them to avoid the dreaded swelling that may occur after running for 2 or 3 hours. If you've ever experienced swelling in your legs after a run, then you know that the tingly feeling could hurt so bad that you can't even fall asleep at night. That's why I wear these. 

Why this brand?

I enjoy wearing this brand 2XU Men's Performance Compression Run Sock, Black/Black, Large because they are a) comfortable, b) ventilated, c) tight enough to feel the support in my legs and d) they actually have SPF on them so that the sun won't burn your legs. 

This is another must-have as a runner, trust me, you won't regret it! 


Have you ever ran in compression socks?

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I am grateful for change. It's the only "constant"
in this unpredictable world. 

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