13.1

Well, I did it. All the training and hard work definitely paid off. 13.1. It was amazing, when it was over with.

On April 22, I ran the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN. I stayed in St. Cloud the night before to avoid having a drive in the morning before the race. The evening before, I indulged in some pasta from the Olive Garden. Any excuse to eat carbs is completely okay with me.

The morning of, I ate a peanut butter and jelly, English muffin, some eggs, a yogurt and banana. I also drank plenty of water and was sure to get a lot of sleep. I ended up wearing running leggings that tied on the top so they didn’t move during the run, an Under Armour tank top and a running light zip-up jacket. I had Brooks running shoes on as well. 18033301_10155627064796874_6654001974034216975_n

As a rookie marathon runner, I figured out before the start–that you want to line up at your projected finish marker, since you will be running at a similar pace as those people.

So, once I decided where I wanted to finish (I choose the 2.5 hour marker), with hopes that I could finish around that time. Once the run started, I was feeling good. There were so many people lined up along the route, with encouraging signs and were cheering as people ran by.

For the first 5 miles, I didn’t have any pain and was running at a great pace. I was using the Map My Run app on my phone, so I knew where my pace was at each mile and what my split pace was. I was keeping up with the starter marker, and I was feeling good.

At mile 6, I started getting some cramps in my stomach and my lower back started hurting. Now before the 13.1, my longest run that I trained for was 10 miles long. When you are at 6 miles, 10 doesn’t seem that far off. When you’re going all the way to 13.1, you’re not even half way there at 6.

After reaching mile 8, my stomach and back started to feel better. There were a lot of people I was keeping pace with, and we just kept going. Once you get to 10 miles, your legs just aren’t all the way “there” anymore. My legs just kept going, although my body was very exhausted.

The last few miles were exciting, but it became hard to concentrate on anything else besides “I’m almost done, it’s almost over. Just a little longer.” The last mile was by far the best. My pace had fallen a bit at mile 11, but I was still doing better than I had originally hoped.

That last mile I gave it my all. My app I was using however, was off from the measured distance the run had calculated. So when I thought I was about done, I still had what felt like forever to go. I started to sprint, which was a great idea–but I did it too early. Knowing I was so close (may .3 of a mile out now) away from the finish line, I just couldn’t give up. I ended up making it over that finish line and just wanting to crash.

It was amazing. I felt so great. I did it. I just ran 13.1 miles, and I did it well under my goal of 2.5 hours. My final time across the finish line was 2:11:10.

My body wasn’t hurting significantly besides my lower back. I took pain pills before the run and when I finished, and the pain went away within 5 hours or so. The evening of the run, I was feeling great and was amazed at how well my body handled it. By the end of the night, I realized I may have injured myself a little more than I had hoped.

My foot had endured a lot of pain and seemed to be getting worse the more I was on it. For the rest of the weekend, I continued to ice my foot and try to rest it as much as possible. It has been about 2 1/2 weeks now, and my foot is still hurting. Unfortunately, I think I may have a slight fracture that is going to continue to need time and rest to fully heal.

I was all ready to sign up for the Tough Mudder which takes place in July, but I may be looking at the Tough Mudder 2018 to ensure my foot heals properly. All in all, I a so glad I tried a half marathon and it has inspired me to do more challenges, like the Tough Mudder.

My overall advice from my experience is to listen to your body. Goals are amazing to reach and it’s exciting to finish what you started out for, but be careful. If you’re in pain, your body is telling you it’s too much. Don’t hurt yourself in the process. Your body is a beautiful thing.

 

Advertisements

What to Wear on Race Day

As race day nears, I have been trying to figure out what I’m going to wear. The weather looks like the perfect running conditions–with a high of 65 degrees and sunny. At the start of race time, the temperature should be around 45 degrees–warming up to 55 by the time I will be nearing the end.

So what do you wear? This article from Cosmopolitan has been my favorite so far!

Which is worse: Heading out for a run and totally overheating, or completely freezing your ass off?

The truth is that both situations suck — but both are entirely avoidable as long as you dress for weather that’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than whatever the thermometer reads, says avid runner and The North Face performance apparel product manager Becky Avila.

When temperatures soar above 80 degrees, go with a lightweight, breathable tank top and shorts made from synthetic fabrics like polyester that help moisture evaporate. Natural materials like cotton absorb moisture and hold on to it, which weighs you down and feels totally gross.

Tank Top, NEW BALANCE, $38; Perforated Great Escape Shorts, UNDER ARMOUR, $23; Zquick Sneakers, REEBOK, $50.

When temperatures hover in the 70s, go with a lightweight tank, and shorts or capris. No, you won’t sweat your ass off in the latter: If you prefer the coverage and support of cropped tights, go for it. Just choose breathable mesh fabrics or styles with vents to let in the breeze and help sweat evaporate.

Marble-Print Tee, GAP, $30; Cropped Leggings with Mesh, SOLOW, $84; Response Boost Techfit Shoes, ADIDAS, $100.

Temperatures in the 60s might just be the perfect running weather. A lightweight T-shirt lets in the breeze, while mesh-paneled capris made from nylon and spandex provide awesome coverage, but still let your legs breathe.

Stella McCartney Barricade Tee, $60, ADIDAS; Plum Stardust Crop Pant, MICHI, $129; HKNB Sneakers, NEW BALANCE, $100.

When temperatures are in the upper 50s, you really don’t need any base layers. Go for shorts or capris (your choice!), and wear a sweat-wicking long-sleeve shirt right over your sports bra. You can push up the sleeves when you get toasty — it’s more convenient than removing a whole layer and then having to hold it or tie it around your waist while you run.

Motion Long-Sleeve Top, GAP, $45; Legend 2.0 Tight Mezzo, NIKE, $65; Gel-Nimbus Sneakers, ASICS, $160.

In the low 50s, capris, a sweat-wicking undershirt, and a long-sleeved shirt will keep you warm and dry. Make sure your bottoms are made of technical materials that wick away moisture so you don’t get the chills when you sweat. And if you run in the evening or before dawn? Look for reflective detailing to help vehicles see you. (It’s a good idea in any weather.)

Fit-Sana Rib Tank, $30, ASICS; Women’s HeatGear Alpha Capri, UNDER ARMOUR, $35; In a Flash Long Sleeves Shirt, LULULEMON, $98; Zoom Terra Kiger Sneakers, NIKE, $125.

Mesh-Back Tank, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $37; Apex Light Jacket, THE NORTH FACE, $130; Speed Tight II Leggings, LULULEMON, $108; Pure Boost Sneakers, ADIDAS, $120.

Accelorate Tank Top, NEW BALANCE, $24; Pria Excel Zip-Through, LORNA JANE, $90; Thermoball Vest, THE NORTH FACE, $149; gFast Marble-Print Leggings, GAP, $54, Fleece-Lined Convertible Mitts, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $25; Z Dual Ride Sneakers, REEBOK, $70.

In the winter you want to wear just enough layers to stay warm, but not too many, which will leave you sweat-soaked and freezing. In the upper 30s, that means a sweat-wicking tank top, a windproof, fleece-lined zip up, leggings, a synthetic-fabric headband that covers your ears, and gloves. (Opt for tech-friendly ones so you can skip around your playlist without peeling off layers.)

Racer-Back Tank, GAP, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Compression Tights, REEBOK, $50; Fleece-Lined Headband, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $17; ColdGear Infrared Gloves, UNDER ARMOUR, $40; Zigkick Wild Sneakers, REEBOK, $50.

When temperatures hit the low 30s, you’ve got to start layering up. A hybrid jacket with a vest-like body and stretchy sleeves helps promote flexibility and keep the bulk to a minimum. Underneath, all you’ll need is a tank top and long-sleeved shirt. Wear brushed leggings, which feel fleecy inside. They’re designed to keep heat in and wind out, and will be your very best friend this winter — you actually lose a lot of heat from your legs and butt, Avila says. Add a headband and gloves and you’re good to go.

Chi Tank Top, ATHLETICA, $44; Infrared Crew, UNDER ARMOUR, $50; Animagi Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE, $150; Speed Tights, LULULEMON, $108; Printed Thermal Run Gloves, NIKE (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $22; Winter Warrior Head Wrap, LUCY, $15.

LAUREN AHN

In the high 20s, you’ll want to run in a tank top, light long-sleeved shirt, an insulated jacket, brushed leggings, gloves, and a hat. Make sure your headgear is made of synthetic materials to keep your hair dry when you sweat. And no pom-poms, which will bounce around when you run.

Seamless Tank, Under Armour (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $26; Long-Sleeved Top, H&M, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Thermal Run Tights, SWEATY BETTY, $155; Run With Me Gloves, LULULEMON , $32; PureProject Running Beanie, BROOKS; $30; Free Flyknit Sneakers, NIKE (Available at Lady Foot Locker), $120.

Bring on the layers in the low 20s — you won’t regret ’em. Start with a tank top, heavy long-sleeved shirt, and light jacket up top, wear brushed leggings, gloves, wind-resistant mittens, and a hat to seal the heat in. And while standard sweat-wicking socks and your favorite sneakers generally work for cold temperatures, special insulated sneakers can keep your toesies extra warm. (A note about the socks: Don’t be tempted to switch up your regular ones for fleece or other warm-looking socks. They’ll trap heat, all right, but that’s not a good thing. When your feet get hot, they sweat and swell, which can cause blisters, Olzinski says. Choose moisture-wicking socks year-round, and always avoid puddles to keep your feet dry and warm.)

Run Swiftly Tech Tank, LULULEMON, $48; Long-Sleeve Crew Neck, THE NORTH FACE, $50; Vidali Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE (Available at Urban Outfitters), $120; Hyperwarm Leggings, NIKE, $70; Runners ETip Gloves, THE NORTH FACE, $25; Runners Overmitt, THE NORTH FACE, $35; Coffee Run Beanie, UNDER ARMOUR, $25; and Climaheat Rocketboost Sneakers, ADIDAS, $110.

In colder temperatures: If you’re smart, you’ll take your workout indoors. While you can technically still run outside when it’s clear, the air can be extremely dry in the winter, so you have to cover your nose and mouth. And because it’s so freaking cold, you should also wear leg warmers or calf tights, slip on an even heavier jacket, and wear trail-running shoes with extra grip to avoid slips. In other words, it’s a real schlep to sweat in tundra-like conditions. Spare yourself and stay warm with a cardio workout you can do indoors.

Pin the entire guide to reference later!

LAUREN AHN

The Right Way to Carbo-load Before a Race

Carbo-loading can help you race without hitting the wall—as long as you do it right.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2011, 12:00 AM
Most runners know they should eat pasta, rice, potatoes, or other high-carb foods before a half or full marathon. After all, carbs are a great source of energy, and you need a lot of energy to cover 13.1 or 26.2 miles. But many runners are far less clear on how many carbohydrates they should eat and when to start loading up.
“When I go to marathon expos,” says Monique Ryan, R.D., author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, “I’m amazed how many people haven’t carbo-loaded properly. Runners train so hard and then arrive with a huge handicap.” Here’s what every runner needs to know about carbohydrates, so you can toe the line fully fueled and ready to go.

Carb Science
When you eat a bowl of spaghetti, most of the carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is your body’s most easily accessible form of energy, but it’s not the only source, says Ryan. During a half or full marathon you burn both glycogen and fat. But the latter is not as efficient, which means your body has to work harder to convert it into fuel.

When you run out of glycogen during a race you hit “the wall.” Your body has to slow down as it turns fat into energy. Benjamin Rapoport, a 2:55 marathoner, is intimately acquainted with the wall. The Harvard M.D. student (who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT) hit the wall so hard at the 2005 New York City Marathon he decided to study how to avoid it in the future (his research was published in PLoS Computational Biology in October 2010). “Proper carbo-loading—or filling your muscles to the brim with glycogen—won’t make you faster, but it will allow you to run your best and, if you race smartly, avoid the wall,” he says.

Choose Wisely
Which carbs should you load up on? “I’m very utilitarian,” says Rapoport. “I eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” But runners don’t need to be so restrictive. Tortillas, oatmeal, bread, pancakes, waffles, bagels, yogurt, and juice are all easy-to-digest options. Many fruits are high in carbs but are also high in fiber—and too much can cause stomach trouble midrace. “Bananas are a low-fiber choice,” says sports nutritionist Ilana Katz, R.D. “And you can peel apples, peaches, and pears to reduce their fiber content.” She also gives her clients permission to indulge in white bread and baked potatoes without the skin since both are easily digested.

Ryan suggests steering clear of high-fat foods—like creamy sauces, cheese, butter, and oils—as well as too much protein. Both nutrients fill you up faster than carbs and take longer to digest, she says. Pick jam—not butter—for your toast, tomato sauce in lieu of alfredo sauce on your pasta, and frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for dessert.

How Much?
You can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, “which is why you should start carbo-loading two or three days before your race,” says Ryan. Since you’re running very few miles, the glycogen will accumulate in your muscles. At this point, 85 to 95 percent of your calories should come from carbs, says Katz. Ryan recommends eating about four grams of carbs for every pound of body weight (for a 150 pound runner that’s 600 grams—or 2,400 calories—of carbs per day).

More: Get the Runner’s World Cookbook—150 recipes specifically for runners

During his research, Rapoport developed an even more precise formula, which runners can access at endurancecalculator.com, that factors in variables including age, resting heart rate, VO2 max, and predicted finishing time. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re most likely not eating many more calories per day than you were during the thick of your training—it’s just that more of those calories are coming from carbs.

If you step on the scale while you’re carbo-loading, be prepared to see a number that’s at least four pounds more than your usual weight. The extra pounds mean you get a gold star for carbo-loading properly. “With every gram of stored carbohydrate, you store an extra three grams of water,” says Katz. That means your body will be hydrated and fueled as you start the race, ensuring you cross the finish feeling strong.

Good Eats

A day of carbo-loading for a 150-pound runner.

Breakfast
1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
1 medium banana (27 g)
8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
8 ounces orange juice (26 g)

Morning Snack
2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Granola Bars (29 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

Lunch
1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
1 sourdough roll (40 g)
8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)

Afternoon Snack
1 Clif Bar (42 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

Dinner
1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)

Carb Total: 611 g

Perfect Timing

What to do before race day to ensure your tank is full.

6 Weeks Before: Practice loading
Two or three days prior to your longest run, start eating more carbs and less fat and protein. “You’ll get a sense of what foods agree and disagree with your stomach,” says Katz.

1 Week Before: Make a plan
“A plan is especially important if you’re traveling to a race,” says Ryan. Pack plenty of snacks, like sports bars, pretzels, and crackers. Check menus online and make restaurant reservations.

2 or 3 Days Before: Switch to carbs
From now through your race, 85 to 95 percent of your diet should be carbs. Eat after taper runs. “That is when muscles are primed to store glycogen,” says Rapoport.

Night Before: Don’t stuff yourself
Dinner should be relatively small but carb-heavy. Eat on the early side so you have lots of time to digest.
“You want to wake up race day hungry—not full from the night before,” says Ryan.

Race Morning: Have breakfast
Three hours before the start, eat 150 grams of carbs, like a bagel and yogurt or sports drink and oatmeal, says Ryan. Early race? “Get up at 3 a.m., eat, and go back to bed,” she says.

Repost from from Runner’s World. Click here for full article.

Baked Caprese Chicken Recipe

Last night I made this baked caprese chicken recipe and it was AMAZING. I can’t wait to give this one a go again. It was quick and easy, without a lot of cleanup. We made, ate, cleaned up and watched a movie after work–all before 9 p.m. rolled around.

I paired this recipe with a garlic and olive oil couscous. Perfect for a light and tasteful side. Image result for garlic couscous Baked Caprese Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
-3-4 chicken breasts (or however many you wish to make)
-1/2 cup fresh basil (1/4 c will be chopped, other 1/4 will be laid on top in full leaves)
-2 roma tomatoes (you can also use chopped canned tomatoes)
-2 tsp fresh garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar)
-1/4 c balsamic glaze (1/8 c to brush on chicken before baking, 1/8 c to top off recipe at end)
-8 ounces fresh mozzarella (cut into slices)
-1 tsp dried oregano (I used an Italian seasoning with the basil and oregano in it)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line the bottom of a pan with aluminum foil. Then spray the foil with nonstick spray.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, 1 chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil, oregano; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  4. Combine the garlic mixture on top the chicken and around the sides. Sprinkle any additional seasonings you wish.
  5. Place pan of chicken into the oven and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and top each piece with a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf and a tomato slice.
  6. Return to the oven until cheese is melted (you may choose to broil until cheese is melted).
  7. Serve immediately, topped with tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic reduction and garnished with basil, if desired.

    image2
    My finished product on a bed of garlic and olive oil couscous. 

Protein Peanut Butter Muffins

If you enjoy or love peanut butter like myself, then I have a very scrumptious and super easy recipe for you! This has been the most recent muffin obsession of mine and I have been making it for work snacks for about 3-4 weeks straight now! That is how freakin’ delicious they are. They are not too overpowering, fluffy and moist. The perfect muffin combination! Plus, because the flavor isn’t too strong, you can add a little more peanut butter on top for some extra flavor and extra healthy fats to keep you fuller longer! This is my favorite way to eat them, and I normally eat 2 for a snack. Another bonus to these muffins is the nutrition facts! They are packed with protein and low in sugar, fat and carbs. Read on to find the specific nutrition stats!

new-muffin-tin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of old fashion oats
  • 2 scoops of vanilla…

View original post 165 more words