The Road to Recovery – Part 1

I have some very exciting news!!!! I FINALLY have some answers as to why I have such bad hip pain while running. I recently went to Results Physical Therapy here in Sacramento for a run analysis. After testing my balance, assessing my flexibility on both sides and doing some drills the PT had me run for a few minutes on the treadmill while videotaping me. He used a program to watch my run in slow motion and examined every angle from my foot to my shoulders. The results made so…much…sense!

He discovered I have a pretty severe hip impingement on my right side and my left is insanely tight due to overcompensation. This to me, makes total sense. For the majority of my Dopey 2016 training I used my jogger stroller to train during the week. Since I’m right handed, I would always push with my right arm and slightly veered to the left. I think I have been slowly training myself to let my left leg do most of the work. Last Dopey training not only did I run religiously 4 times per week, I also took boot camp classes 4 times per week as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE boot camp however a lot of it has involves running on a treadmill. So ever morning I would run 4-6 miles with a stroller, and then turn around and run on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes of class. This mixed with the fact that I never took the time to foam roll and stretch properly, was just a disaster waiting to happen.

I remember getting off the plan in Orlando and feeling that “uh oh” moment. My hip was fried. I wasn’t even on Disney property yet and my body was saying “NO WAY IN HELL!” As a flood of panic took over my body, many tears came rushing down my face while sitting in Animal Kingdom after the 5k day and Ryan looked at me and said “You had an almost ten pound baby without drugs, I think you will be fine!” but what I couldn’t convey was that with every step I felt a burning, stabbing, paralyzing pain. I tried to mentally block it out as much as possible for the 10k and half and with each step I took I kept telling myself this was fine, I was fine, I will finish. The marathon day started out with nerves as I’m sure most first time marathoners can confirm, and I was pretty much ok with staying in denial and applying Biofreeze at every medic stop. When I hit ESPN zone at mile 17, that was it. Yes, I’m very aware this is also the “wall” but my steps went from a slow run to full on dragging/swinging my right leg and just praying this was over soon. I carried on like this until mile 22 when I found myself in the Hollywood Studios bathroom – LOSING MY SHIT. Tears. Snot. Sobs. Cursing. Not knowing if this was it.

After I realized I just wasted about 10 minutes in the bathroom, I just needed to finish it. I had about 10% left on my phone battery and the texts came flooding in from friends. I wasn’t doing this for me, but for my friends and family, too. Not one person told me to give up. Not one told me they thought I should slow down. All of them kept reminding me of my strength. Because of that, I finished.

So here I sit, coffee in hand and my YouTube videos playing to keep me motivated by watching other runners succeed at something I wish to do so badly again, this time with a smile. My PT has given me some great warm up, cool down, and daily exercises I need to doing to beat this. I had my first real run in the last 3 weeks, not even 3 miles, but I did it. I can’t say I didn’t feel my hip, but it was an improvement and I’m sure I’m just being hyper aware of any little feeling.

If you find yourself with some hip pain, here are some exercises that are really helping me strengthen my glutes and hips:

Single leg hip bridges
Banded clam shells
Side planks
Double leg bridges
Side planks with leg lifts
Ankle band walks

Thank you to my friend, Kathleen, for demonstrating these while we were both exhausted from a 6am boot camp class!

In addition, I’m squatting a lot. LIKE A LOT. I’m dedicating three days out of my week for lower body which include squats, dead lifts, single leg dead lifts, lunges in any way imaginable and step ups. Later on this week I’m going to talk more about nutrition while marathon training and why I may or may not be breaking up with some of my macros….stay tuned!

Just keep running just keep running…
Days until:
The Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 mile challenge – 65
Ragnar Napa – 129
The Dopey challenge: 48.6 miles – 190
The Princess half marathon 22.4 mile challenge – 239
The Tinker Bell half marathon 22.4 challenge – 317

This week’s meals and training updates

This week has been quite interesting for my macros. I had my two top wisdom teeth pulled a few days ago so my life has been mostly greek yogurt and protein shakes BUT I still did get some meal prep done and am able to eat some really soft chicken and these super yummy protein muffins that I made. The protein muffins kind of came out more like souffles than a muffin texture, but they were still really good and chocolate-y! (Excuse the dirty pan, some of the batter spilled before I realized!)

1 scoop (33 grams) of PE Science chocolate frosted cupcake protein powder
136 grams of egg whites
125 grams of mashed banana
1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla
56 grams of kodiak cakes pancake mix

Mix well, bake on 350 for about 40 min or until the knife comes out clean. Makes 6 muffins
87 calories
1g Fat
9.5g Carbs
9.2g Protein

These I obviously didn’t make but bought for on the go, who wouldn’t love a maple donut protein bar?

Next up, we have curry chicken tenders and cauliflower rice for dinner this week. Could this be any easier? I assumed this curry sauce would add a lot of fat and calories, but surprisingly per serving the macros are – 150 cal, 2g F, 6g C, and 26g P. This whole package made 5 meals for me for the week.

You all know I love my crockpot chicken, well…are you ready for the laziest meal ever? Take 6 frozen chicken breasts and put them in the crockpot for 6 hours on high with 2 cups of chicken broth. Once they’re cooked, simply but the chicken breasts in the kitchen aid mixer with the hook attachment, mix until shredded. I added 1 ounce of avocado, and some of the Trader Joe’s light ranch dressing with a couple of stalks of steamed asparagus. So easy and perfect when I come home from work and just need a quick, low carb dinner. You could easily put this over greens for a salad or over bread for a sandwich before a workout.

Extra lean ground beef and sweet potato chili – I’m craving some hardcore comfort food so this to me, sounded perfect.

2lbs of extra lean ground beef
400 grams of sweet potatoes (cubed)
1 red onion
1 cup of carrots
3 cups of chicken stock
2 cans (15 oz each) of tomato sauce
2 cups of diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp of thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp chili flakes
3 big cloves of garlic
1 clove of shallots

I started by browning all of the meat, garlic, onions and shallots and then drained any excess fat. Once the meat is cooked, add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan mix and let simmer until the veggies are cooked through. It makes 8 servings, so when you cook it I would measure it all out by weighing it, then separating into serving sizes. The macros are – 216 calories, 4.1g F, 20.6 C, and 22g P.

Next, again – a SUPER EASY meal! Who says you have to spend your whole day meal prepping? I plan on making some zoodles with turkey bolognese sauce and adding some extra lean ground turkey for more protein.

Lastly, the silver lining to not being able to chew is that I have finally tried something different to keep me full in the mornings. I usually am up by 4:45am and sometimes I’m not home until 8:30pm. Having to stretch out my macros that far has really been a struggle. I started off by just having my protein shake with coffee and then started expirementing with adding in some fats. Here’s my little morning cocktail which kept me totally satiated for SIX HOURS! Yay!

Here are the collagen peptides I add to my coffee, totally tasteless and it adds 10 grams of protein!

All of these meals took less than 30 minutes to prepare which goes to show, no matter what your time constraint is, you can make time for meal prep. I am currently typing this highly doped up on Norco and 800ml Ibuprofen so I can’t really tell you if this is making any sense but here you go LOL! I’m having some serious gym withdrawals and I’m so anxious to get back to squatting!
Tomorrow I’m so excited for my physical therapy appointment, I’m just thrilled to finally take some control over this! I will update later in the week with my results, but until then I’m just walking and trying to help my mouth heal before I start again.
Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to run I go

Days until
The Disneyland Half Marathon weekend 19.3 miles – 79
Ragnar Napa – 143
The Dopey Challenge weekend 48.6 miles – 204
The Princess Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 253
The Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 331

My Dopey training guide and friggin hip

Yes, I know. Yes, you know. Yes, the world know my hip hurts. I complain constantly. I worry endlessly. Now I’m finally ready to fight back.

The first time I trained for the Dopey Challenge, I felt pretty good. I followed by training plan religiously. I was getting plenty of sleep (as much as I could with an 18 month old), and I kept up with my boot camp classes to get in some extra strength. Right around the training point of about 18 miles, my hip was done. The pain was so great that it was hard to lift my leg to put on pants. I noticed my left hamstring and glute were painfully tight so much so that it felt impossible to stretch it properly. Instead of asking for help, I simply thought this was my cross to bare with training for a marathon. Now that I’m having the pain at such an earlier stage in the game, I’m getting help.

Next week I’m going to Results Physical Therapy to get my running form analyzed and hopefully get some help on what I can be doing to improve my stride and posture. I also have an appointment with a physical therapist to get some answers as well. I’m praying it’s just an issue of being overly tight and needing to add some deep stretching, corrective exercises and some yoga into my routine. I’m making a promise to myself to fit in yoga once a week, stretch nightly and make sure to properly warm up before any run.

With that said, I have some training tips for my fellow Dopey Challengers, or anyone currently training for a marathon.

1. Nutrition
Running means you can eat as much as you want, right? Wrong! In fact, a lot of times people gain weight while marathon training because they over eat to “make up” for the calories burned. You want to be sure you’re getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates, but getting enough protein is equally important. I usually take in 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Now, I’m not a doctor so please remember that when changing your diet, but .08-1.0 gram of protein/body weight is a good healthy range to preserve muscle mass. Post run, I normally try to take in 20-25 grams of protein and about 20 grams of carbohydrates. In my opinion, the perfect combo for me is a smoothie with protein, berries, spinach, and half of a banana (potassium). I also sprinkle in some pink Himalayan sea salt to replace some of the sodium lost while running. Sodium, magnesium and potassium are all very important when thinking about hydration. A big, green smoothie is a great idea for a recovery meal because it’s loaded with micronutrients as well.

Try using an app like Myfitnesspal to track your calories and keep your diet in check. Healthy fats are important for hormone stabilization I just wouldn’t consume them directly after a long run. Quick carbs and proteins are your friend after a training run. A Nuun tablet during a long run (in my opinion, anything over 6 miles) is important in the summer months as you’re likely to sweat a lot more.

2. Get your shoes checked!
Finding a good pair of running shoes is almost as important as signing up for the race itself. If you’re running in the wrong pair, you’ll quickly notice body aches and pains after your training runs. Here in Sacramento, we have Fleet Feet where they will watch you run and advise you on the right type of shoe. It’s always a good thought to keep track of how many miles you’ve been running in your shoes to see when you should buy a new pair. I always notice the bottoms of my feet get a little bit tired or sore when it’s time for a new pair.

3. Know your course!
I’m a visual person and when I train for a big race like the Dopey Challenge, I want to imagine I’m there in order to really get myself motivated. I love to look up vlogs on Youtube of the races I plan on running. A lot of times you can see the course you’ll be running and get a feel for the vibe. I love to see the excitement in people’s faces and the sheer joy at the end of accomplishing something major. It’s so helpful to find training videos along the way to keep you focused and feel like you aren’t alone. I highly recommend watching Joyful Miles on Youtube! Not only do they show you the course for the RunDisney races by videos and pictures, but it’s set to great music to get you excited. All of the girls (and Rob!) who run have adorable outfits and positive attitudes. Course maps are almost always online as well. It’s helpful to get those out so you know where you’ll start, finish, and of course…the bathrooms!

4. Warm up and cool down

Making sure you are properly warmed up and have properly cooled down is just as important as the run itself. You’re preventing injury and making sure your muscles are awake and ready to work. Here is a video I took of some of my favorite warm up techniques.

5. Practice makes perfect
Always always always always use your long training runs as a faux race day. Wake up early enough to fuel yourself exactly how you would race day. I’m pretty easy when it comes to what I eat before a long run. For me, easy on the stomach foods are what I go with. A banana, some peanut butter and a piece of toast is the way to go. I never train with caffeine in fear of any stomach issues so I make sure that my gels and chews are also caffeine free. In fact, while I’m running I often look forward to that big cup of coffee after a nice hot shower. I practice timing my gels and chews as well in order to not BONK on race day. When running Dopey, you’re not just fueling for one run but four. Because of this, you’ll want to fuel even more during the smaller races. Normally I only eat something around mile 6 and 10 of a half marathon but for Dopey, I try to have a little something every 4 miles. Directly after the race I try to have at least 20 grams of protein and carbs (minimal fat) in order to help my muscles recover quickly for the next day.

When packing for Dopey, I will bring some plain oatmeal, peanut butter and bananas to have in the hotel before we leave for the buses. While Kaitlin and I are sitting the dreaded two hour wait in the corrals, I will have some frosted mini wheats and dried cherries (dry food and easy on my stomach). I plan on bringing a premixed protein shake and 1/2 of a bagel in my race bag to check before the race. This way, I can start my recovery immediately on the bus back to the hotel. (And on that note, ALWAYS BRING ZIPLOCKS TO A RACE-CATION!)

Not only is it important to practice nutrition, but it’s really important to practice running in the outfits you’ll be wearing. Costumes are a no brainer when it comes to running at a Disney race. If you plan on running in some crazy big costume, you need to make sure you can actually run in it. Costumes aside, trying out a new pair of pants on race day could end up in saggy butt syndrome and be incredibly annoying during your race. Make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable and you know all the places you’ll need Body Glide to prevent chaffing.

June training:
Strength training 4-5 x week (focusing on legs 2-3 times per week)
ONLY walking until I see the PT
Core 1-2 x week
Yoga 1 x week

Days until:
The Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 miles – 83
Ragnar Napa – 147
The Dopey challenge 48.6 miles – 208
The Princess Half Marathon 22.4 miles – 257
Tinker Bell Half Marathon 22.4 miles – 335

Remembering Jan

I thought long and hard about when I would write something for Jan. As most of you know, I trained Jan for a few years and I would brag about her constantly. Jan could hold a plank for 5 minutes, a wall squat for 3, she could lunge, she could chest press, and she could do push ups at 80. Jan and I would often workout while listening to Jazz and sometimes I would bring her a coffee just so we could feel a little more energized at 1pm. We would discuss all things Henry the 8th, Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad. Even though she wasn’t too fond of Christmas, we would always have our Christmas session where we would blast the “Charlie Brown Christmas” album, sip Starbucks, and talk about our holiday plans. We always celebrated her birthday with a big vanilla cupcake with sprinkles.

When I met Jan, Emma was still in my belly and she had been with me all the way until I was due with Max. At our last session, she got a little misty eyed saying that she felt it was the last time we’d see each other. I remember looking at her like she was crazy and reminding her that I would be back in 4 very short weeks. Well things happen, as life tends to show us, and one thing after another happened and Jan ended up too sick to come in. Week after week we would check in with each other with kind words and cute pictures of Emma and Max.

A few weeks ago when I got the call that Jan had passed away, I almost didn’t believe it. I don’t understand. She was so beautiful, so full of life, and I would always tell her how jealous of her glowing skin I was. She was funny. She was smart. She was kind.

Her and I told one another just about every dirty little secret we had. Over the years, she was more than a client to me but a friend. I so often looked forward to seeing her just to tell her funny stories and about a new book I knew she just HAD to read. My Tuesdays and Fridays seem a little more dim now that she’s not there. In fact, I keep forgetting. When I remember she’s gone, it’s like a kick to the stomach all over again. I hope she knew just how much I enjoyed being her friend, how I miss her, and how I wish I could see her just once more.

My running top 10 must haves

Running gear, running gear how do I love thee? I watch Youtube videos about you, walk and stare at you countless times at fleet feet, mind stroll through amazon reading reviews and endlessly searching on Instagram for the newest little gadget. Runners are notorious for taking a “cheap” and “easy” sport and turning it into an expensive hobby with some fancy gear but in my opinion certain things are necessary.

10. Sweaty bands. I LOVE headbands. In fact on days when I don’t wear a headband to train my clients say “no headband today?” It’s a bit of an obsession, but I always feel a little bit more put together when I have one, mostly because I spend my days in workout clothes. I love them so much that I always pack them for my RunDisney race-cations to keep my hair out of my face in the parks.

9. Balega socks
I am OBSESSED with Balega socks. I won’t run in anything else. From the cute colors to the cushy bottoms, they are all I will buy. They normally cost 12 dollars a pair, but some I’ve had for years and they have yet to wear thin.

8. Zella running capris
I used to run in really expensive running leggings and I recently found the brand Zella at Nordstrom which has totally changed my workout gear. Most come in a tigh compression, which I prefer over saggy bottoms while running, some have really cute cutouts and colors as well. I, as most runners do, went out and bought every color in the same style in order to not wear mine down. I brought a few pairs to Dopey weekend to wear to the parks as well!

7. Honey stinger waffles, dried cherries, larabars
Ahhhh running snacks. We all have our favorites, right? With that, we runners always think certain flavors or brands make us perform better. Sure some of that might be true, but some of it is also the love of the ritual. Running is all about ritual. What you will and won’t do, eat or won’t eat before a training run or race. The best thing you can do is practice exactly how you’ll eat on race day. If you’re all about chocolate gu, don’t use a race morning as a day to test a new flavor. I personally can only have gels without caffiene and I love going the more natural route like dried fruit and nuts. My favorite combo while waiting for a big race to start (anything longer than a 10k) is to pair dried cherries and frosted mini wheats. When you compete at the Dopey Challenge, you have to sit and wait in the corrals for almost two hours so eating back at the hotel and waiting until the fireworks go off is WAY too long to wait to get some fuel in you. Lucky for me, the full marathon course at WDW will have two banana stops and two clif shot stops so I already know what types of snacks I need to practice my long runs with.

6. Hair bling!
When running, I let my inner child come out for sure! Half the fun is getting into a theme and seeing what others come up with! And hey, if you have to be running miles and miles you might as well feel like a princess!

5. Sparkle Athletic skirts
As mentioned before, running with a theme is 10 times for fun! These little splashes of sparkle are perfect to wear over running capris or shorts. In fact, my Dopey challenge buddy (shout out, Kaitlin!) and I are almost done deciding which colors we will need for our four day race!

4. Nathan Hydration vest
I currently do not have one, but since Ragnar relay races do not provide cups, I’m thinking of finally biting the bullet and purchasing one. They have spaces for water as well as keys and snacks – basically everything you need while running. I love this mint green one so much I texted my husband and mom with a “hint hint” caption. So mom, if you read these – don’t forget my birthday is August 14th.

3. Recovery items
I highly recommend trigger point foam rollers, balls, and the rolling sticks. The balls and sticks are perfect for travel as well and key while training! I love that the rollers come in different colors, because….PINK!

2. Garmin Forerunner 230
This is my second Garmin, and I love it! It’s helpful to see my pace and I love that it records your times so the random runs where you see “personal record!” really keeps you motivated.

1. My shoes! Duh!
I normally run in Asics religously (as seen below). Since I’ve been having so many hip flexor issues I’ve been looking to find any solution to help. A running buddy of mine, Renee (Shout out! Love you, friend!) recommended the Hoka Clifton 3, which I recently purchased. Glad to say so far so good! They are a very neutral shoe and so far, they seem to be helping! I will for sure still run in my first loves, but it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while.

Days until:
Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 miles – 88
Ragnar Napa – 152
The Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles – 213
The Princess Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 262
The Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 340

Back from vacation meal prep and training – Trader Joe’s haul

We are back from our wonderful 10 day Maui vacation! We had the most wonderful time swimming, hiking, lounging, eating, and walking the beaches at sunset. Both Emma and Max could not have been better on the plane and at our fancy dinners and brunches. Not only did Emma color and play with Max on the plane, we didn’t even bring out the iPad once for her! It was nice to see that old school coloring and playing with dolls can keep her entertained for 5 hours on a flight. Hopefully we aren’t too far away from a possible European vacation. Right, Ryan?

(Ignore Emma’s face, she actually DID have fun!)

One treat we made each day in Hawaii was mixing a protein shake we bought from Costco into either some iced esspresso or some lower calorie orange juice. I’m not huge on juices or artificial sugars but every once in a while is totally fine, especially while sitting out in the hot Hawaiian sun! This was so easy to count on as a mid afternoon snack to save calories for our big breakfasts or dinners.

Now that we are back, we have one problem. A big, empty fridge. The first thing we did was to make a big trip to Trader Joe’s for TONS of veggies, some chicken and we even needed milk for our Kodiak Cakes! The horror!

Here are some crazy easy meals I whipped up in under two hours! I have about 16 premade meals sitting in my fridge and I’m all prepared for the week. The trick to losing weight and getting stronger is not to deprive yourself or run yourself ragged. It’s all about consistency and sticking to the plan as best you can. The wonderful thing about meal prep is that once it’s all done, you can basically eat the same thing every day for a few days and you will always know you’re track with your macros and calories. That’s not to say you can’t mix it up, but if you’re someone who needs to have everything organized for a crazy day, it takes out the thinking.

First up is some stir fry veggies, some sauce from Trader Joe’s, mushrooms and some baked chicken on the side. All of this made four meals and I paired it with 5oz of chicken breast on the side.

Next, I baked some butternut squash with a light spray of coconut oil, steamed some green beans and browned some turkey with garlic salt.

I also picked up some premade chicken breast slices for an easy salad, bags of lettuce and these super yummy salad dressings. All of these dressings have about 40 calories per 2 TBSP serving. I even like putting the cilantro one over some rice, veggies and chicken!

Second to last, and INSANELY easy is this – sauteed turkey bacon with cabbage and onions. I need one meal to be higher protein and lower carb because when I wake up at 4:45am or come home at 8:30pm, I don’t need a super carb heavy meal. I like to save my carbs to surround my workouts to keep my energy high before and after. A lot of people are afraid of sodium, like in this dish, but let me tell you that if you drink a lot of water, and you train hard in the gym, you need sodium. Especially now that we are getting into the hot summer months and I’m marathon training, I especially need to remind myself to have some sodium and potassium in my diet.

Last but not least I bought two frozen mashed cauliflower packets and one frozen packet of spiralized frozen carrots to heat up and pair with the chicken I had baked. See how I said I went for simple, quick, and easy? This meal literally took five minutes to thaw and separate into containers. Some weeks you just need to do what you need to survive and if that means buying a ton of frozen veggies and making it into meals, do it! Trader Joe’s is a wonderful resource with a ton of veggies either frozen or fresh that are easy to make quick meals out of. While completely zoning out to “The Real Housewives of New York” while cooking, I forgot to take a picture so the pictures listed are those from the Trader Joe’s website.

I also picked up some of this super yummy seasoning that was perfect on my chicken. I think I’ll even try it on some cod this weekend! I’m not super adventurous when it comes to fish, I usually stick to salmon but I need to broaden my horizons a bit!

I came home to some super happy runner mail. I purchased new Hokas to test out since I’ve been having so much pain. I’m pretty sure my hip pain is due to arching my back while running, thanks to being pregnant. So as I’m trying to strengthen my glutes, core and legs I figure these shoes can help alleviate some of the problem. My Sparkle Athletic sleeves came for my Minnie Mouse running outfit (Dopey 10k day), my blue sparkle skirt (Goofy outfit for Dopey half marathon day) and a gold skirt as well because…sparkles. There really wasn’t a better reason than that!

Now I’m off to train back and get in a quick HIIT session!

Days until –
The Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 mile challenge – 93
Ragnar Napa – 157
The Dopey 48.6 mile challenge – 218
The Princess 22.4 mile challenge – 267
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend – 345

What I pack to stay on track

As I’ve posted before, we are taking a family vacation very soon and as we get closer, I’m starting to stock up on some helpful things to help me stay on track while away. Don’t get me wrong, I will be enjoying a few nice meals and a few glasses of champagne to celebrate our trip for our 5 year wedding anniversary, but I don’t want to fall off the wagon entirely. I’m down a whole 11 lbs since Christmas so I want to keep my momentum going! My problem has always been either going all out as far as completely off my diet, or being strict and missing out on a few indulgences. Now that I practice more of a IIFYM (If it fits your macros) lifestyle, I’m more motivated to live my life but make it fit within my goals.

First things first, I ALWAYS bring my Garmin Forerunner 230. I don’t always track my steps for the day, but I’ve found that having it with me makes me more motivated to go on a run. On vacation, I set a smaller goal for workouts for the week. If I can manage to get 2-3 strength sessions and 2-3 runs for the ten days I’m gone, I’ll be happy. This is a time to spend with my family, so if there are days where laying in the sun seems better for my mental health than sneaking off to the gym, that’s ok with me.

Next, we will hit Costco. Here we can stock up on protein shakes, deli turkey, avocado, yogurt, eggs, fruit, veggies, jerky, and a couple other healthy options for snacks. I’m bringing some rice cakes which are perfect for snacking with peanut butter, avocado with turkey, or even just a laughing cow cheese. That said, I’m bringing a pocket scale so I can be sure to keep my peanut butter portions to what they are supposed to be.

I found this on amazon for 13 bucks! It’s about the size of my palm so it easily fits into my purse or diaper bag. I’m so excited because this makes tracking while away from home SO much easier! Even going somewhere like Chiptole makes it a no brainer to keep your macros on track with having this in my with me.

G2G bars are all natural, so delicious, and very filling. They’re higher on the fat side, about 14 grams, but they leave you very satisfied and feeling full for a long time. I used to really love Quest bars, but got so burnt out on the Splenda-y taste. These will spoil which shows you their ingredients are a bit higher quality than other bars on the market. Larabars are also a favorite of mine along with RX bars.

Individual packets of tuna are CRAZY budget and macro friendly to add to salads, crackers, and you can even pack a couple pieces of Ezekiel bread with you if you prefer.

One of the most important things I’m taking is going to be the app, My Fitness Pal. Everything is trackable. Anywhere you go, you can find the item or something similar. With a mini scale, it’s so easy to weigh it out an item if you are unsure. Now let me end this by explaining that everything in balance. Some days I’m going to weigh my portions and track everything to stay within my macros, and then there are days I’m going to enjoy some macadamia nut pancakes. The pancake days will also most likely be my run days…see, balance! And of course, I can’t leave for a sunny vacay without a good book, my new Bauble Bar chunky necklace and some tea for the flight!

Gotta keep runnin – days until:
The Disneyland Half Marathon weekend 19.3 miles – 115
Ragnar Napa – 179
CIM full marathon – 223
The Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles- 240
Princess Half Marathon 22.4 miles – 289
The Tinkerbell Half Marathon 22.4 miles – 367

What makes a food bad or good? And other thoughts…

We are currently less than 50 days out from our family vacation, and I couldn’t need it more! I’ve never been one to freak out over needing to lose weight for a vacation. This is mostly because I try to eat healthy all year and quite honestly, whoever sees me on a beach in a bikini will never see me again so who cares. Seeing as I had Max 5 months ago, I have my mommy tummy going which is 100% ok with me. I do not consider being pregnant as a “before” status. I grew a baby. This world of Instagram that we live in creates unrealistic expectations, and I try to be gentler to myself mentally. THAT BEING SAID – I still want to be as healthy as can be and lately I’ve fallen into a lazier style for food choices. I’ve done a lot of protein powders, bars, and just whatever I can grab because I’m so exhausted. I still manage to squeeze it into my macros, which is the beauty of eating that way, but I’m not getting in as many whole foods as I’d like.

Max staying comfortable in there too long.

My baby and me, 17 weeks old

So until our trip, on Mondays through Saturdays, I’m committing to my old “bro diet” and then relaxing on Sundays. I really don’t mind eating this way; it just takes some mental strength for eating more whole foods and relying on processed protein bars. Meals have been pretty easy, and I’m learning that new combos can be quite delicious like this scramble I had this morning – egg whites, avocado, butternut squash, and lean ground turkey. I’m still sticking to my usual rule for macros for protein – .8-1.0 gram per lean body mass.

The part that is the HARDEST for me are the mornings when I’m up at 4:45am to teach boot camp. I still haven’t found my grove of fasting, having a small snack, or eating a full meal. I’ve tried all three and each choice leaves me equally hungry at 8am. I’ve tried just simply having tea and eating at 7am, I’ve tried eating Ezekiel bread and eggs with coffee, and I’ve tried just a shake. They all come with the same lame results – starving and tired. It’s still such a struggle for me because I’m not sleeping more than 2-3 hours at a time so literally the second I wake up I want SUGAR. Like bags and bags of cereal/bathe me in chocolate syrup type cravings. This is more proof that when you’re not sleeping, you’re not letting your body reset and get ready for the next day. One day I’ll figure out these early mornings, maybe when Emma is in high school! ☺
The purpose of this experiment from now until Hawaii is to see if macros matter more, or if really being diligent about not eating processed foods matter more. Now remember, calories are KING. I could eat 1,000 calories only of Twinkies a day and lose weight. Will I look and feel like crap? Of course I will. Overall, I’m hoping my old vacation clothes fit a little bit better, I have more energy, and I’m able to increase my carbs a bit to fuel some longer runs. While we are there, I have a goal of running 6-8 times out of the 10 days we will be gone. I don’t plan on running as punishment for what we plan to eat; I don’t live my life like that. I am going to eat some coconut shrimp on vacation, and you can bet your butt I will enjoy it. Running is going to be more of a meditation and a commitment to my long training ahead.
I think a lot of times we put food into categories or BAD or GOOD. Right now high protein is GOOD, carbs are BAD, fats are GOOD. What makes a food bad or good? The main breakdown of gaining or losing weight is a calorie surplus or calorie deficit. You could take a person and give them a serving of pasta at every meal, keep them in a calorie range lower than they need, and they would lose pounds. Am I a bad person for eating pasta? Do you hear that question? We are literally giving personalities attached to food. When you live in constant deprivation, you demonize these foods. “OH GOD, WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I EAT A SNICKERS BAR?” I’ll tell you…nothing. You’re a person. You’re a person with a metabolism, a digestive system, and the ability to make the next meal better. Sometimes you just really need a candy bar. Sometimes you are craving it for reasons other than hunger, and those reasons should be addressed, but that’s a post for another day.
My point to this is that you have to live your life. When you go on vacation, let it be that. A mental and physical break from your daily life when you can look around and not stress about what you’re eating, how much you weigh, etc. Truthfully, you’re already there. There’s nothing more you can do about your fitness level when you’re on vacation. So have a damn margarita, enjoy it, and then work your butt off in the gym when you get home. Don’t come home and regret not sharing an ice cream cone with your kid.
Here’s a look at the menu I have going for this week:
Side note – I am a terrible food photographer. Most of the time these are pictures of me dumping my food onto a plate from a container and saying to myself “Shoot! Take a picture!”
2 whole eggs – I need the fat and Vitamin D for breast milk, 2 slices of Ezekiel bread or oatmeal.
6 scrambled egg whites, 4oz of ground turkey, 1 oz. of avocado, 85 grams of roasted butternut squash. I have just recently started this combo, and let me tell you – it’s amazing!
100 grams of rice, 150 grams of broccoli, 5oz of chicken – How BORING, right? Not for me, I love this combo. I always feel so satisfied and full eating a serving of rice and veggies. Truthfully I probably eat WAY more broccoli than listed because – it’s broccoli. I’m not going to kill myself over it.
Pre workout:
100 grams of sweet potato, 100 grams of green beans, 3 chicken skewers (bought pre-made from Costco, all natural and so yummy!)

Post workout/Dinner:
5oz of salmon, 100 grams of asparagus, 100 grams of roasted brussel sprouts, 1 cup of berries.
If I’m still hungry before bed, I have a TBSP of PB to keep me satiated. I also pack a quart size bag of veggies (peppers, snap peas, and cucumbers) and am sure to snack on those while I’m cooking to stop myself from snacking while hungry.

Remember that carbohydrates feed the brain and muscles. If you’re keeping track of calories and serving sizes, carbohydrates are very beneficial when working out and building muscle. Fruits and vegetables also have natural sugar and carbohydrates, but with that they have vitamins and minerals as well as an abundant supply of fiber to help keep you full. Until next time! I’m off to run!

Race countdown:
Disneyland Half Marathon – 154 days
Ragnar Napa – 218 days
Dopey Challenge – 279
Princess Half Marathon – 328
Tinkerbell Half Marathon – 406

Life and training updates

I realize it’s been PAINFULLY long since I’ve posted anything, but it’s time to get back in the swing of things and start journaling my training. I have many updates, one being the most important, and that’s MR Wentworth himself, our baby Max. He has managed to come into our lives and make it so full of joy and happiness we can’t seem to remember life before him. Emma says he is her best friend, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Thank you, Kathleen Curto Photography!
Thank you, Kathleen Curto Photography!

My pregnancy with Max was much easier the second time in terms of staying active and eating healthy. Having a two year old running around left me little couch time so we tried to make all of our activities active ones. Fortunately I craved pretty much the same things as I did my first pregnancy – bananas, plain oatmeal, and apples. Well….and the occasional mint chip but that was mainly left for the last few weeks. I was able to keep running until about 8 months, which really helped keep me strong. I even did a 22.4 mile race with my little nugget at about 17 weeks! My friends and I completed all three races for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in 2016 – the 5k, 10k, and half marathon over three days.






Now I sit here, 4 months postpartum, I am registered for a long list of races and challenges this year and next. I have many strength goals I need to hit because I lost a lot of It while pregnant, which is extremely normal but it kind of sucks at the same time. I somehow find myself registered for the Dopey Challenge again, and those of you that know me will laugh because we all know how THRILLED Ryan is about that! I joke, but he is the most supportive husband and without his faith in me, I don’t think I would have the courage to do it! On top of Dopey, I have the Disneyland half challenge, the Princess half marathon weekend (all three races) 2018, the Tinkerbell half marathon weekend (all three races) 2018, and the ultimate challenge – Ragnar Napa with 11 of my friends scheduled for this November.
Could there possibly be any more or better reasons to document all of this running? Tips and mistakes that I find along the way will be passed on to you as well. My goals are to keep my body as healthy as possible to avoid any injury, and have a blast along the way!
When Max was about 4 weeks old, I started back up with some heavy lifting (heavy at the time for being 4 weeks postpartum – nothing crazy!). Twice a week, my husband and I would take a class to focus on back squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and bench press and increased the weight each day. Once I felt strong enough with this class, we added in a third day and I started very slow jogs around the park by our house.

After having Emma, I had to use the Jeff Galloway method of running where you run for an amount of time and then take a walk break. I actually improved my best times overall by running for 2 minutes and speed walking for 30 seconds. I almost never get sore joints or overly fatigued too soon. Around 4 weeks after having Max I started by running a minute and walking a minute and just trying to go slow in order to really protect my joints. After having a baby and while you are nursing, your body is so pumped full of hormones it’s really easy to injure yourself, so be careful!
Since I only have until October 3rd to submit a proof of time for the Dopey Challenge, I really have to try to up my intervals and work on speed. Right now I can do about 8 miles with my 2:1 intervals (2 minutes on, 1 minute off) but as this week rolls around I’m going to try either shortening my walk break, or running for 3 minutes instead of 2. A lot about running is trial and error so if you feel yourself not being able to keep going or if you feel too tired too soon, play around with your intervals.

With two babies being at home with me, some days going to the gym feels like packing up and leaving for a European vacation. I’ve started to do the one thing I truly hate the most – HOME WORKOUTS! I’m thrilled to say I’ve actually come up with a few that are not boring, keep me focused and make the time go by so quickly! All I used were 20 lbs free weights.
Run around the block once – roughly 2-3 minutes
45 seconds on, 15 seconds off of:
Split lunge with a shoulder press
Bicep curl to a shoulder row
Single leg dead lift to a reverse lunge
Tricep exstentions
Goblet squats

I did 4 rounds and finished with 5 minutes of abs.

I was extra lucky that day because I also managed to squeeze in 6 miles that morning. FOAM ROLLING….LOTS AND LOTS OF FOAM ROLLING!

Race countdown:
Disneyland half marathon weekend – 163
Ragnar Napa – 227
Dopey Challenge – 288
Princess half marathon weekend – 337
Tinkerbell half marathon weekend – 415

The Dopey Challenge – Half Marathon Day!

Day 3 rolled around and I very reluctantly rolled out of bed. It’s not that I wasn’t excited to complete this race but the early wake ups left me more tired than I had ever been. I think because I couldn’t really fall totally asleep out of fear of missing my alarm left me restless and anxious. I was also extremely upset and disappointed with how injured I felt. My hip flexors had been giving me trouble, probably from over training a bit, and each step hurt. Like a sharp twinge each time my knee would come up in my stride so of course I was so fearful that this would either be very painful, or that my legs would just give out.

Today’s corrals were far away from the first two days and as we all walked like “The Walking Dead” all the way there , I started to pep up a bit. There’s nothing quite like hearing the announcers and music to lift your spirits. Hannah and I got there early enough to be in the front of the corral and take a little snooze on our mylar blankets before the race started. Whispers of the humidity had started and so when we checked our phones, it already said 90%. I really noticed it because the announcers kept stressing that we need to take it easy and drink tons of water.


Corral G crossed the start line about 5:45 and we made our way past the few freeway miles heading to Magic Kingdom. I was SO excited to make it to the entrance of Magic Kingdom to see finally hear “Caution runners, speed bumps ahead.” That’s when it finally hit me, “Oh my gosh, we’re doing this!”

They did provide some entertainment on the course which we skipped but did see this cool hot air balloon while waiting for the bathroom. As we stood there, being at mile 2, we saw the fist place runner go by! He was already at mile 11! The whole crowd lit up screaming “GO GO GO!!!!” It was so inspiring!

Running through Main Street either in Florida or California is about as magical as it can get. It’s from this point on I don’t even bother with music and just soak it all in. The crowd couldn’t be more supportive or excited for each runner, and the smiles couldn’t be brighter! To make it even more amazing, the Christmas decorations were still up!


We ran through Main Street to Tomorrowland and as we turned a corner in Fantasyland, we saw Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff waving to up from the balcony.
This is usually where a bottleneck starts to happen so I was pretty prepared to slow down and just look at the beautiful lights.

As you can see, the sky behind the castle looks like a green screen! The air was so thick and dense, I felt like I could chew it.

Fortunately, we were careful with our electrolytes and water that so far, we felt pretty good. My hip was starting to scream a bit so I made sure to keep my stride small, use my intervals, and try to run slower than normal. We passed through Frontierland, by Splash Mountain to end up looking at a dead end with a dazzling float from the Festival of Fantasy parade.

When you leave Magic Kingdom, you start to run past the golf course on your right and the Grand Floridan on the left, which is a pretty long stretch but we were happy to see a character stop shortly after.
Donald had just walked away so we just got Goofy alone, maybe Donald needed a port o potty!

The second half of this course is a bit boring to be honest. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how Disney World halves are “WAY” better than Disneyland. As someone who has done both, I would say California has them beat, and mostly because since Disneyland is so small, you start there for the first 4-5 miles. It takes a good 3-4 miles to get to Magic Kingdom alone so it’s a bit of a treck. They did have a few army men who spotted us walking while eating our gu and told us to “quit being sissies!”
At least he didn’t make us do burpies!

The course winds you back to Epcot where we noticed you couldn’t even see the top of the Epcot ball because the air was so thick! We did meet a new friend670caf95-df2e-4c78-bf8f-90404f9fddad though!

We finished this very muggy day proud, tired, and a little nervous for the next day. After a stop at the medical tent for ice, we proudly displayed our medals and went back to the hotel for a full rest day.

I highly recommend to take this day easy. A nice, slow, active rest is probably the best way to go. We ended up at the hotel, relaxing, walking around, and somehow back at the Kona Cafe for that amazing coffee! My cousin took an ice bath while I totally chickened out. I remember texting a good friend asking her if she does them after running and all I got back was “OH GIRL, NO!!!” Needless to say, I’m not as tough when it comes to that! In bed by 8, clothes laid out, trashy T.V. on, and we were ready for what was to come. 26.2 or bust!