Thursday, August 15, 2013

NYC Marathon Update, Week 5

So, as always, a lot has been happening!  My husband had to travel for work last week, and it just so happened to be within an hour of my sweet cousin's wedding.  Score!  We spent the last half of the week visiting family and staying insanely busy.  BUT I managed to fit in all of my training runs and do pretty well.  My long run in particular was fantastic!!  I set out with my incredibly supportive husband at 5am on Sunday in his hometown, and we went to the Riverwalk area to get in our miles.  He's training for his first half, and he's way ahead of schedule already.  He got in the first eight miles with me, and we did a great job of gradually increasing our pace throughout.  When he finished his portion, I was afraid that my motivation would lull a bit.  Fortunately, I'm very good at make-believe and I just pretended he was still there.  I didn't actually speak out loud (I'm not THAT crazy!), but I did constantly tell myself in my head that he would be saying not to give up.  It was working wonders, and as I was getting tired at mile 13.5 of 16, he showed up on a rental bike to finish the run with me!  How sweet is that?!  He pushed me through the last little bit, and I managed to hit my goal pace and finish strong.  Tired as shit, but strong.  He had even run my previous tempo run with me a few days earlier and had hit up the local YMCA (if you have a membership at one, most others will give you a few free visits/month while traveling!)  for an upper body weight session the day before.  You know you're jealous.

At my cousin's wedding.  Man, we're a good-looking family!

On another note, we're getting ready for the oldest to start back to school, eeek!!!  She'll be in the first grade, and we have our Meet the Teacher night tonight.  I'm more than nervous to meet her, and I'm hoping she's as fantastic as the teacher we had last year.  If so, we're all good.  My daughter will also be testing very soon for her blue belt in TaeKwonDo, which is super badass in my opinion.  The kid is so pretty, we need her to be tough so she can help me fight the boys that come around!  I'm also seeing about getting her into her school's Girls on the Run program a year early since I MAY be coaching it this year.  It appears they're in major need of more help, and I was planning on doing it once she was old enough anyway.  Let's hope they make an exception for the coach's kid, I think it'll be a blast!  If you have an elementary-aged daughter, you may want to see if you have the program at your school.  It trains the girls on not only running but also self-esteem and healthy living, culminating in a fun little 5k at the end of the year.  I adore the program, and it's spreading like wildfire.  Look into it, you'll be glad you did!

As for my youngest, we're getting him started in soccer soon.  Because we're apparently not busy enough.  But the poor little guy just sits and watches sister's activities so much that it's time he has his own now that he's old enough.  He's over the moon that he'll be on a soccer team, and I think he'll kick some major butt at it.  He's already better at dribbling than big sister!  I also plan on getting in some good mini hikes in with him and the pup during the lovely fall school days.  If I didn't keep him active, he would be content to play video games all day long.  He's already in nerd-boy training, but at least he'll be a healthy nerd like the rest of the family!

I've been working a bit and studying when time allows.  I think I'll be able to test for my Group Fitness Instructor certification by early October, and then once my marathon is over I can really dive into teaching.  I'm trying to get a small bootcamp class together at my studio presently (PT's can teach classes of 6 or fewer) and it'll give me some great practice for the future.  I'm stoked!  Now I just need to make my schedule allow for me to remember everything I have going on and allow for house-cleaning time!

How is your school prep and/or race training going?  I'd love to hear what this Fall has in store for you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Marathoning Update, Week 4

I have been pretty bad about updating everyone on my training progress....fortunately, I've been MUCH better about training!  So far it is going quite well.  I did, however, miss my long run this past weekend.  Between Air Force drill and traveling, it was just too much to get a 17 miler in!  I did have a short run with some friends at drill though, and that's always nice.  And yesterday I made up for the loss of the run by doing absolute lower body destruction after my interval training run.  Lunges and squats and dead lifts, oh my!  My booty is killing me, and I love it.  The only runs I've struggled with so far would be my mid-length tempo runs.  They're still a little under my goal times each week, but I'm trying not to get too distressed about it.  I've been mostly blaming it on the heat in hopes that cooler weather will fix everything.  It will...right.....right?

In awesome news, I'm now officially studying to become a Group Exercise instructor!  I've been all talk for a while but I'm ready to dig in now.  I'll be doing most of my studying at the gym after workouts and while the boy is still in childcare.  No better motivation to study fitness than a good workout ahead of time!

I'm also seeing some fantastic improvements on my strength, just like I was hoping.  I've added in a lot of strength training, mostly for upper body since my legs are taking a beating anyway.  I do two days each of shoulders/back and arms/chest.  Sometimes the week gets hectic and I spend an extra long time pushing them all into one workout.  But I'm trying to make sure that no matter what the order, I always do at least twice/week for each muscle group.  I've also greatly increased my protein intake (and my everything else intake, due to added miles, hehe) and can really see some new muscle definition.  I'm so stoked!!  After my big race is over, I think I'll work even harder on focusing on the strength aspect.  But I'll never give up my cardio. 

Speaking of food--in an attempt to have a cheaper and super easy way to pack in more protein right after my workouts, I set out on an adventure to make no-bake protein bars.  I see them being boasted about everywhere, and I wanted to just make something out of what I already have.  I just ate my first one, and they are SO delicious!!!  I don't have a recipe because I'm more of a "just throw shit in there" sorta girl, but here are all of the ingredients I used for you to decipher as you will:

almond butter
protein powder (I use Raw Protein in vanilla by Garden of Life)
flax seed
maca powder
shredded coconut, pecans, and goji berries I put into the food processor
a dab of unsweetened cocoa powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
water as needed

I simply mixed everything together until the consistency looked like something that would harden well.  I got a brownie pan (8x8) and covered the bottom with parchment paper.  I dropped it all in there, smoothed it out, and put it in the fridge.  A few hours later I cut off a chunk and it was delicious!!!  I'm still working on how to get it less soft (I'm worried it'll loosen too much when I travel with it), but I'm guessing it won't ever happen since it's a no-bake recipe.  That's okay though, I think that if I wrap a chunk in parchment paper and put it in a container or baggie, it should be totally fine as long as it's stored indoors.  But it's honestly so much cheaper and tastier than any of the crap from the stores.  Other ingredients that could go great in there include oatmeal, PB2 powder, any sort of nut, and raisins.  Mmm!

And on one last note--if you live in the Charlotte area and want to do a 5k for FREE, check out a giveaway put on by one of the lovely coordinators of the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Rock & Read 5k.  She's giving away TWO free race entries, and her blog is just too cute.  Check out Arden's giveaway on Lipstick Makes Everything Better, and then check back here in the next week or so for another set of entries!  And if you don't get one of the free entries, register anyway.  The race is for a great cause, it'll be a blast, there are tons of activities for the entire family, and if anything the coordinators are awesome. ;)

Have a great day, and go do something active!