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An important aspect for any runner is nutrition. The food you use to fuel up prior to a run is just as important as the food consumed after a hard workout to make sure recovering muscles get what they need. I like to keep things simple so a way that I make sure my body is getting adequate nourishment is by filling up my plate with mostly vegetables. I know, I know, vegetables aren’t always the most appetizing foods. A boring bag of frozen veggies used to be the most common way I incorporated vegetables into my diet. However, I’ve found one woman that has made veggies interesting.
So, yeah my spring race training isn’t going so well. I’ve registered for two half marathons this spring and I’m four weeks into my training but it hasn’t been going well.
Injury – After incorporating body weight exercises (yoga and pilates) into my training plan and trying a new brand of running shoes, a nagging pain in the ball of my foot and arch has develop. I’ve been having trouble running. and even walking without pain. It feels like my foot is splitting in two. These nagging, soft tissue injuries can be difficult because it’s not always easy to know what caused it, what the exact issue is, or how to treat it. But I’m sticking to the normal routine of icing, massaging, taping, and repeating it daily. But ultimately my mileage has suffered from not being able to run as many miles as I normally would due to pain and just trying to rest and heal my foot.
Poor nutrition – I’ve allowed myself to get off track with my nutrition. I began to slip off the wagon back around the holidays, and New Years. I would indulge and tell myself that once the New Year started I would cut out the junk food I’d been eating. But then it was my anniversary and we had to celebrate with an indulgent dinner and dessert. Then it was a long run and I deserved a big breakfast, then it became a convenient option to just grab a quick bite for dinner. Because I’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately, I’ve noticed a lack of energy during my runs. I feel sluggish and my joints feel stiff and swollen.
Schedule – I’m not sure if it’s the cross training that I’ve chosen for this round of training, if it’s the cold weather, or that my running routes are routine and boring but I haven’t been able to stick to my training plan very well. Probably another part of the issue is that there has been a major change to my work schedule and I’m just trying to find the rhythm of my new routine and just haven’t gotten there yet.
Things aren’t really working out the way I had planned. But that doesn’t mean my spring race season is going to be a wash. I’m really not yet ready to give up on the pace goals I have for the spring. So instead of giving up I’m going to give a plan/schedule mix up a try. My goals are important to me and I’ve come a long way over the past two years. The song on repeat in my head is Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember”. I know it’s about something completely different than achieving running goals but I love Otis Redding and that line “I’ve got dreams, dreams to remember” is the one that helps me block out all the static and refocus on the goals I’ve set for myself and how important they are to me.
Even though I do have these dreams and goals for my running, I often have to remind myself of the fact that I run for FUN. I don’t get paid to do this. It’s not my full time job. I do it because I love it. Yes, I have goals to that will take a lot of hard work to accomplish but none of them mean a damn if I’m miserable the whole time.
Have Fun – Keeping true to the fact that I run for fun, for fitness, and for a stress reliever. It does more harm than good to be hard on myself after I flop a workout, miss a workout, or don’t hit my mileage goal for the week. I’m doing the best I can and so I need to just have fun with it. Running in different locations to get some different scenery and mixing up my workouts a bit more will help with this.
Sub 2:00 Half Marathon – I have 12 minutes to shave off of my total time but I’ll keep chipping away at it with each race I run.
Strength Train – Based on the past four weeks I have found myself really missing weight training. So I”m going to incorporate that back into my training schedule. Plus, strength training can help me get faster and build other muscle groups so to prevent future injuries.
Improve Nutrition – Meal planning and prep starts back up again this weekend. I may post more about my food here on the blog to help keep me accountable.
Run more with others – I think participating more in group runs will really help me a lot with many of my goals. It will definitely be more fun, it will help me with my speed to run with faster runners and keep me motivated during the winter months that I’m training for the spring half marathons. So it’s basically just an all-around good decision.
In another four weeks I hope to have much better news to report on my training after making these changes.
Pork carnitas are so versatile. They’re an easy and filling meal you can enjoy all year round. Sometimes when meals are cooked in the slow cooker all day they can end up bland and mushy. The chipotle peppers, spices, and juice come together nicely to create a slightly spicy and sweet heat that isn’t overpowering. After the first time I made these, they quickly became a family favorite.
1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed (I substitute pork loin cause I can get those packages of two for one at Sams)
2 chipotle chiles canned in adobo sauce, drained and chopped
Fresh Salsa, pico de gallo, lime wedges, and Carb Smart tortillas for serving
Combine garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place roast in a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle pork on all sides with spice mixture.
Combine juices and chipotle chiles. Pour juice mixture over pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until pork is tender.
Remove pork from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid (if you use pork loin there will be no fat and very little cooking liquid). Combine Shredded pork and 1/2 cup cooking liquid; toss well.
Spoon pork into Carb Smart tortilla, top with salsa, pico de gallo, fresh lime juice. Serve with black beans, brown rice, or a sauté of corn and zucchini.
This whole eating clean thing has been pretty easy all week. But now the weekend arrives and you’re about to partake in one of the best fall pastimes Oklahoma has to offer. You’re heading to a tailgate for your favorite Oklahoma football team. Here are a few simple tips so you can enjoy the tailgate and not derail all of the hard work you’ve put in the previous week.
Never Arrive Hungry – Showing up to a tailgate with an empty belly only spells disaster. I know it sounds counterintuitive but if you fill up with a healthy snack before you leave the house you’ll be far less likely to over indulge in the beautiful glorious junk at the tailgate that will ultimately make you FEEL junkie. So make sure you eat a snake that contains a protein and a complex carbohydrate before leaving the house. Something like turkey and a whole grain cracker or a protein shake like Shakeology with fruit blended in.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – You’re at a tailgate. You and I both know you’re likely to indulge in an adult beverage or two. Make sure to alternate water with your beer, wine, or cocktail. This will cut down on alcohol consumption and empty calorie intake as well as keep you hydrated. Besides no one like that sloppy fan.
Focus on Lean Protein – God bless a good tailgate that offers delicious protein packed foods such as lean beef, poultry, and beans. Try to avoid the refined carbs that go along with those proteins such as the white buns. And don’t be fooled by imposters like the processed meats such as hotdogs and cold cuts.
BYOV – Tailgates are not really known for their wide range of vegetable selections. So Bring Your Own Veggies.You can disguise your veggies as a delightful salad side dish like this Classic Cucumber & Tomato Salad from Skinny Ms. Since most people steer away from the veggies anyway, there’ll be plenty left for you to fill up on.
Pick Your Favorite – You’ve done so well with sticking to your plan and then… the desserts get rolled out. If you MUST have a sweet, there’s really no need to sample all of them. Zero in on your favorite of the options and allow yourself to indulge in one.
Good! You’ve navigated your way through the tailgate. Now go cheer on your team and burn some calories with all that jumping, screaming, and high-fiving.
Wow! What a summer it has been. Posts to Run Oklahoma have been few and far between lately because I have a job that has some seasonal aspects to it. The summer months tend to be the busiest where workloads increase by almost double. So I’m so excited that my job is starting to slow down and come to a much more normal pace, meaning that I can use my spare time to work on things I love, like Run Oklahoma! Yay!
Even though I wasn’t posting much to Run Oklahoma, that didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about running. If you follow my Instagram account I’ve been diligently training for the Tulsa Half Marathon. Training has been going well. I’ve been able to remain injury free and even though I have to make adjustments to my training schedule due to LIFE I’m getting my miles in.
Other exciting news is that I joined Oiselle Voilee. Oiselle is all about helping women run free and fast! Currently Voilee has 750+ women from across the country who represent the Oiselle brand as they train and race toward their running goals. I’m lucky enough to be one of them! Above all, the team is about seeing running not just as a sport, but as a life philosophy. I’m so excited to be connected to such an amazing group of women (and some “bro birds” too) and encourage and support each other in our running endeavors. I’ve recently received my racing singlet and am sooooo excited to wear it to my fall races!
Last, but certainly not least, this summer was a moment of reckoning for me in terms of my nutrition. As my running goals get a bit more aggressive I was continuing to take short cuts with my nutrition. I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to. Obviously, I’m not 21 anymore and I can’t continue to put junk in my body and hit my fitness goals. So I decided to take the plunge and give the 21 Day Fix a try. One of the reasons I decided to give it a try is because it is NOT A DIET. But rather a simple, no-fuss eating program that uses a portion control system to help determine how much of each food group you should consume daily. Besides, who doesn’t like the brightly colored tupperware that comes along with it! I’ve seen great results and have actually enjoyed the way I feel and energy I’ve received from using the program. I don’t want to give too much away cause I’ll have separate post on my 21 Day trial coming soon.
Pheeeewww! A lot’s been going on this summer. What have you been up to? Training for upcoming races? Taking a break with pool parties and cookouts? Just starting out as a new runner? Whatever you’ve been up to I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re anything like me, you graciously enjoy the 5AM drive to the gym each morning for a little “me time” while the rest of your family sleeps. But hectic schedules filled with work, family, and errands make meal planning difficult. So the hard work put in at the gym is thrown away with less than ideal food you choke down throughout the day out of convenience rather than nutritional value or even taste.
That’s how protein smoothies became my savior. They are easy and help to meet your nutritional needs in only 5 minutes. Better yet, getting the right mix of protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of a workout or race can help with and replenish glycogen stores to help shake that tired, zombie feeling.
My favorite smoothie right now is a chocolate, strawberry, banana concoction. I like to think the strawberries are helping with inflammation of my sore muscles, but really I just love chocolate and strawberries together. I find that drinking one of these after my intense workouts prevents me from becoming ravenous a few hours later and regretfully finishing off whatever snacks or junk food I can find.
In a blender, mix the following together until smooth:
1 scoop of protein powder
2 oz almond milk
2 oz chocolate milk (for an extra chocolate flavor, otherwise you can use just almond milk)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup of ice
In addition to a smoothie like this, it’s important to drink plenty of water after your workout. I personally aim for drinking at least 8 to 16 oz right after my workout.