Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I want to be a part of it...

I can't believe I haven't blogged in over two weeks! This summer is flying by. There hadn't been too many exciting things to write about until very recently. Since school is out for the summer, my days really just consist of running, working at the cafe, and applying for teaching jobs for the fall.

About two weeks ago, I burned my finger pretty badly at work. It looked okay for the first few days so I didn't treat it (rookie mistake), and then suddenly it BLEW UP. My managers insisted that I see a doctor, so I did. What I thought was "nothing" turned out to be a second degree burn and an infection. I'm just glad it isn't something that will affect my running!

About two weeks ago, I shared a photo of my race medals hanging in my apartment on the Facebook page of a NYC running group I'm in. After sitting in a box in my closet for three months, I finally got around to hanging them! Some of the group members were curious about my medal racks, which I actually make myself. I had a few requests to make personalized racks. Here are two that are ready to be shipped!

Finally, the most incredible thing has happened. I have been in touch with my mom's cousin, who works for Foot Locker, and she recently asked if I was interested in running the New York City Marathon this year. The company receives a few guaranteed entries each year since they are a sponsor, and she said that she could recommend me for an invitation. Of course I said yes! Last Friday, I received an e-mail from New York Road Runners, stating that I was invited to run on behalf of Foot Locker. I can't even describe the emotions that overwhelmed me upon receiving this e-mail.

The NYC Marathon was the first 26.2 race that I ever attended when I volunteered at the mile 25 fluid station back in 2013. I swear it was the best spot to volunteer, because I got to see runners just over a mile from the finish line, and it was so inspiring. Early on in the day, I witnessed the elite runners moving on tired legs, hoping to reach the finish line first. After that, I saw runners of mixed abilities and emotions passing through Central Park. Some were feeling strong and passing right by the water tables, while others in tears BEGGING for fluids. There were runners carrying their nation's flag, and even runners recording the entire race using videocameras strapped to their hats. Last year, I attended the marathon as a NYRR employee. Most of my time was spent distributing radios to other employees and volunteers, but I did get to spend a good half hour in the finish area. I never imagined that I would be a part of the race itself.

This race could not have come at a better time. For the past two months, I've been experiencing a really bad running funk. We all have those days where we don't want to run, or where running feels hard both physically and mentally. This has been more severe than that. The most frustrating part was that I wasn't even sure why it was occurring. After filling out the application on Friday (and paying the registration fee $$$), I put together a training plan. I decided to go with the Nike plan created for the Chicago Marathon (Advanced Plan). Since I got in to the race 14 weeks out, I started on Week 3 which is fine because I have a pretty good foundation (despite the funk). I would post an image of the plan, but it was about 4 pages long online so for those interested, click here to see what my running schedule looks like for the next 90+ days.

Fit Approach's #1MillionMinutes campaign is still going on via Instagram and Twitter, so be sure to check out their website for the latest prompts and other news! The campaign is going through August 21st.

That's all for now. Hopefully I won't go another two weeks without updating!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Celebrating #1MillionMinutes with Puritan's Pride!

Some of you may have seen me using the hashtag #1MillionMinutes on both Instagram and Twitter. The one #1MillionMinutes campaign kicked off on Fit Approach's 4th birthday (June 21), and will continue through August 21. This campaign motivates people to get moving this summer, and track their activity on the Fit Approach website. We're hoping to hit one million minutes by the end of summer!

Each week, Fit Approach announces prompts for members of the community to follow as they continue to stay active and share their activity. There are also some contests just for Sweat Pink Ambassadors like myself! This week, Fit Approach is teaming up with Puritan's Pride for a Mad-Lib style blog prompt. Without further ado, here's my version of the Mad-Lib!

I’m so stoked to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to crush my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my running adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on healthy carbs and protein to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my good ole water (and coffee) to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try Dastony Organic Hazelnut Butter and NoGii No Gluten Super Protein Bars from Puritan’s Pride because they look fan-freakin-tastic'.

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is melatonin. I think it might make me extra sleepy, because it's supposed to help you fall asleep faster. I lay in bed wide awake for hours every night!
Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

I hope you enjoyed my Mad-Lib! Have yo been participating in the #1MillionMinutes campaign? There's still time to share your activity today for the "free Friday" prompt! Be sure to participate this weekend using the following prompts:
  • Saturday: What's your food philosophy? Show us a day in the life!
  • Sunday: #SundayZenday: How are you relaxing and recharging today?

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Updates, and a recipe!

Note to self: Don't start a blog the week before one of the busiest weeks of your life.

I feel like I've been on autopilot since starting this blog last week. Here's a few exciting things that have happened.

I started my summer job last week. The cafe I work at serves Starbucks beverages, so my co-workers were pretty fired up that they didn't really have to train me since I was a barista when I graduated college. I memorized most of the recipes! I am new to cold brew coffee though, and it is AMAZING.

I took my first yoga class last week! A few weeks ago, I bought a Groupon for one month of unlimited yoga classes. Just $17! Fitness classes can be pretty expensive, so I feel like I pretty much won the lottery. I've only attended two classes so far, but I really enjoyed it. And let me tell you...YOGA IS HARD. The classes are for yogis of all levels though, so there is absolutely no intimidation. I can't wait to go back!

A Wegmans opened up in my city, right across the street from the yoga studio! If you've been to Wegmans before, you understand why this is a huge deal. If you've never been to a Wegmans, you haven't really been living.

On June 21st, Fit Approach kicked of the #1millionminutes campaign in celebration of their fourth birthday. The Sweat Pink community is coming together to achieve one million minutes of activity this summer (through August 21st). The goal is to inspire and encourage EVERYONE to get moving. We've racked up over 100,000 minutes already! If you'd like to join us, visit fit approach.com to sign up and track your active minutes. Then, log those minutes and share your progress towards helping the Sweat Community reach their goal of 1 million minutes. You can also win prizes! Share your progress on Twitter, and follow the daily prompts to upload pictures on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #1MillionMinutes and #SweatPink to show how you're staying active this summer!

#WeRunSocial is a fairly new online community of runners. Started by some of my favorite bloggers/social media runners, the community is described as "a crew with the sole purpose of running all the miles and winning life on the interwebs." When I first saw that this was project was launched, I knew that I had to join. While experiencing a running funk during the month of June that kept me from meeting my goal of 100 miles (see below), I decided to order a racerback from Pavement Runner. I swear this shirt is magical. On Sunday, I had set out to run 16 treadmill miles. I walked one. On Monday, I received the shirt in the mail, took a quick selfie with the TimerCam app, uploaded it to Instagram, and then banged out 7 miles on the treadmill like it was my job. I am so thankful for this community.

100 Miles Per Month
My goal every month is to run a minimum of 100 miles. Some months, I shatter this goal and run almost 150 miles. Other months, I just squeak by with 100-110 miles. Last month, I ran just 79 miles. I struggled a lot with motivation, and I think a lot of it had to do with nutrition. My nutrition was on point during the month of May (which resulted in a 13+ minute PR at the Vermont City Marathon), but I got off track during early June. I'm not sure if it's because my parents came to visit and took me out to eat three times, or because I watch the Food Network every night. Regardless, I started my training plan for the Dumbo Double Dare (September 5-6) this week, so I have really high hopes for July!

Speaking of July, did you know it's National Ice Cream Month? Since I'm usually training for a marathon, I do watch what I eat, and can honestly say I don't even remember the last time I ate ice cream. BUT...during the month of May, my diet was really consistent. I figured out that what works best for me is consuming all or mostly raw foods for breakfast and lunch, followed by a high-protein dinner. I had a lot of energy, slept better, and looked and felt leaner. I also felt really great during my workouts. Just about every morning started off with "nice" cream. For those of you who don't know, "nice" cream is "ice cream" made entirely from fruit, with optional milk and protein powder. The best is that this concoction tastes just like ice cream, but does not contain any added sugar or fat. I love it so much that I've decided to share my recipe with you! You can eat this any time of day, but I prefer it in the morning because it gives me so much energy and keeps me satiated (and who doesn't want to eat ice cream for breakfast???).

I use my shovel spoon from the Ben & Jerry's Factory to "dig" in!

Non-Dairy "Nice" Cream

Makes 1-serving.
-half a banana, sliced and frozen
-1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced and frozen fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mango, or even the other half of your banana...feel free to mix them!)
-1 to 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, coconut)
-*1/2 to 1 scoop plant-based protein powder (optional; I use Vega One in French Vanilla)
-**Optional toppings: chopped nuts, chia seeds, granola, more fruit.

-Place sliced/frozen fruit in a food processor or blender, and use the "chop" feature to break the fruit down into smaller pieces.
-Add milk, and puree. You may need to stop and mix the fruit with a spoon so that all pieces are being pureed.
-Add protein powder, if desired. Stir the protein powder in a little bit so that it does not stick to the top of the food processor/blender.
-Scoop nice cream into a bowl. Add desired toppings and enjoy!

*Protein powder is recommended if you are eating this as a meal, as it will keep you satiated. I once forgot to add the protein powder and was starving two hours later!
**I'm not into toppings, but you do you!

Be sure to comment and let me know how your "nice" cream turned out! I seriously loved this recipe!
Also...what are your fitness goals for July?

Note: This post was not sponsored by Vega, and I was not compensated in any way. Also, remember that I am not a health professional. Please contact the appropriate health professional before making any changes to your diet.