A Long Overdue Check-In and a Killer Smoothie Bowl

Wow.  It is safe to say that my blogging activity will hit an all time low this Spring.  I am three weeks into coaching Varsity lacrosse and despite how much fun it is to watch the team grow each day, my stress level is in overdrive which has not been very helpful when trying to kick this cold that has been lingering for the past 2 weeks.

But here I am – a little less stressed now that I am adjusting to my busy schedule, my cold seems to be just about gone, and the weather is looking a bit more like spring which is enough to put a smile on my face.

Since my last recap/half marathon post (3 weeks ago, WHAT?!), I have done a good amount of resting.  My body and mind needed it.

Two weekends ago (week after my half marathon), I had a St. Patrick’s Day 10k.  Despite the brutal beating my body took during the last half marathon, I didn’t want to take the ENTIRE week off after the half and show up to the 10k out of it, so I did some workouts here and there.  In hindsight, I was probably better off just taking the week completely off because every workout I squeezed in just hurt.  It was my first week of coaching lacrosse, every muscle in my body was still sore from the race, and my cold was coming in strong…let’s just say it was a tough week.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past couple of weeks, it is the amount of training you do and how hard you push becomes completely meaningless if you are not taking care of your body.  I pushed through the half marathon on little rest after a brutal workout which resulted in a terrible race.  In the midst of trying to recover from that race, I tried to squeeze in more workouts to prepare for my 10k, hence little recovery.  What do you think happened at THAT race? Another poor and painful performance. My time was 42:20 and I placed 20th female.  I hate to complain and say “ugh I did so bad” because to someone reading this, it could be a phenomenal time.  So I guess I will go with this…I am grateful to have been able to run a 42:20 and I am proud that I pushed through some pretty painful miles, but this was about 2 minutes slower than the 10k I ran in Disney and I am pretty sure it had nothing to do with my training and more on my inability to pay attention and listen to what my body needed. REST.

After the 10k, I did have one more thing I had to take care of… Crossfit Open Workout 15.4.

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I promised myself on Sunday morning after the rough 15.4 open and a day after my 10k that I would take 3 complete days off.  Those three days were just what I needed.  I just needed to get home after practice with not a care in the world about getting a workout in.  I just needed to be home before 6 to enjoy down time.  I just needed to get to bed early and kick the cold.  It was a perfect few days of rest.  I did have that itch to get back into it so on Thursday I was ready to get in a 5am crossfit WOD.

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It wasn’t my favorite thing to set this alarm..but once I was up and had the music blasting with a cup a coffee on my ride over, I was ready to take on the Hero WOD.

imageOh man.  What a workout to come back to. It hurt.  But finally a good hurt. One great thing about WODing in the morning is the great stretch you get before the day has even started.  Despite the sore legs, the rest of your body feels so lose.

Another great thing about Thursday morning was the start of a delicious smoothie bowl kick that I have been.

imageQuick, delicious, nutritious and doesn’t leave the full/bloated feeling that I sometimes experience after eggs.  I used my new Ninja food processor to blend up 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1 scoop Vega Sport protein powder, spinach, mixed frozen berries and almond milk.  The mixed nuts and cacao nibs add the perfect crunch!  It is safe to say that this has been my breakfast for the last 2 weeks and I not sure if that is going to change anytime soon.

Another wonderful meal was our Sunday evening homemade burger night..

imageTrader Joe’s 90/10 ground beef cooked on the grill, chopped and broiled sweet potato fries and homemade tortilla chips with melted cheese.  It was perfect.  

imageThe homemade tortilla chips are something I have been meaning to try but never got around to it.  I guess I didn’t realize just how simple they are.  Sliced Ezekiel tortilla sprayed with coconut oil and sprinkled with Himalayan seat salt, garlic powder and curry powder – baked @ 350 for 8-10 min.

Another great meal was chicken cooked with curry sauce topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, broiled Brussel sprouts and broiled sweet potato fries.  I am convinced that any meal can be made delicious by adding broiled sweet potato fries and covering everything in mushrooms and onions…

imageOn a less attractive note is this wonderful battle wound from another 5am WOD with burpees….

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At least I had a cute little pup to serve me a post-workout smoothie bowl at 7am as I rushed to work..

imageI think I have hit the point where this post is getting obnoxiously long so I will leave you with a couple great pictures.

imageMy Disney Princess Challenge prizes came in!

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..and my babies are enjoying the warm temps just as much as I am! 🙂

Disney Glass Slipper Challenge – Princess Half Marathon Recap

Initially, I planned on writing one giant Glass Slipper Challenge race weekend recap but as I was writing about the Enchanted 10k, I realized that each race is different and amazing in their own way.  It just didn’t feel right to transition immediately into the Half Marathon after I ended a, what I thought was, a well written 10k recap.

So here we are with the second race of the Glass Slipper Challenge

The Disney Princess Half Marathon

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After the 10k, my legs felt shot.  I was proud of my 3rd place finish so I tried to remind myself that my game plan was to race the 10k hard and see what I had left in me for the half marathon.  Despite how annoyed I was with my legs not being very reliable, I was still on point with my game plan. But, let’s be honest.  I knew that was a terrible game plan from the start because I have a difficult time admitting when I should back down and rest.  Aside from some sun bathing and a short visit to Epcot, I spent a good portion of Saturday icing, rolling and living in my ProCompression socks…even if they DID NOT go with my outfit.  Saturday was a whirlwind of emotions, there were moments when my legs felt great and I had a surge of confidence and then there were moments when they did not feel so great and the nerves started kicking in.

One thing that really calmed me down was a couple of women my Mom and I met while waiting for our seat at our pre-race pizza place.  One lady was in a boot because she had tibia tendonitis but was still planning on running the half marathon.  I jumped with joy, not because she was injured, but because I finally met someone who was experiencing similar issues.  I asked her if she was worried about being able to finish.  She was so confident with her answer, “No, I know I will finish it just won’t be fast”…so casual and confident even though she was walking in a boot less than 10 hours away from a half marathon!! And here I am, a little sore but no tibia pain..and im freaking out!  Sometimes you just need to chat with other people to help you put everything in perspective.

With another 2:45 wake-up call around the corner, it was an early night for us.

Sunday morning looked very similar to Saturday…coffee, banana sandwiches, nerves and LOTS OF STRETCHING. In my opinion it was more of a ‘last minute attempt/plead for my legs to come back to life and not be sore’.

imageFunny story about my banana sandwich that did not happen on Saturday and was pretty unexpected.  I am walking onto the bus holding my fine dining plate..

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..and the bus driver says, “Ma’am please don’t bring food on the bus.”..now I understand that the majority of people are not runners and probably could not even tell you how long a 10k or half marathon is so I am used to the interesting comments, however, I am NOT going to just casually toss my breakfast in the trash and then go try to run 13.1 miles.  Luckily, Disney does a great job hiring kind and enthusiastic employees so we were able to agree that as long as I take my empty plate off the bus, I could bring it on. Scarfing down a sandwich didn’t seem like a desirable or wise pre-race move.

The morning was pretty funny/interesting in terms of my nerves.  I woke up feeling confident and just told myself, even if I have to walk half of the race, I WILL finish.  I began accepting the idea of having a very slow race, which is a hard acceptance for me.  Meanwhile, my mom was pretty nervous.  I kept reassuring her that she would do great because she always does fine.  Her training was much better than mine in terms of how many miles she has been logging (yup. my 59-year-old mom runs more than me. I am both impressed and slightly embarrassed) Also, SHE WASN’T EVEN SORE! However, as we started walking into the race, that confidence was sucked right out of me.  My calves were tight and sore which pretty much sent me into a panic.  I never felt more unsure of myself. Meanwhile, my mom was beginning to relax and the roles were reversed.  My response to all her positive comments was probably something negative and maybe not always in the nicest tone, I’ll blame the nerves for that, however, I do feel pretty bad…

imageEven though I have done this race before, I forgot how long the walk is to the Elite Corral.  Let’s just say, once the National Anthem starts playing, it is no longer a walk, it’s a run! I finally made it to the Elite corral and realized, wow that little run over here didn’t even hurt.  Could it be that walking hurts more than running?! Well my friends, that was just the case.

And now with a little confidence and a couple of minutes to spare before the start of the race, I managed to snap a picture of just how amazing this experience is aside from all the other nonsense that trickles through my crazy mind before a race.

imageFrom the second I crossed the start line, I promised myself that I would just have fun. And that is exactly what I did.  I kept a strong pace but I made sure to take in every moment.  I just kept flying through the miles pain-free and comfortable.  It felt amazing.  I did not care about my pace, but I knew it was pretty darn decent. I did not care about my place, but I knew I was up front. I just ran MY race.  I surprised myself with each mile.  I truly was on cloud nine.  I DID NOT expect to feel and do as good as I was doing.  I remember at mile 6 saying to myself “you are doing amazing, keep it up, you have what it takes to finish this strong”  I even surprised myself with that comment.  I am always so hard on myself and my performances.  I aim to be great at everything I try and rarely give myself enough credit for the small victories.  At about mile 10 I started feeling my legs wanting to slow but my pride in what I had done thus far was enough to keep me moving. I passed some security men on bicycles and turned to them to let them know that I was ‘very jealous of their means of transportation’.  I quickly put my ear buds back in so I did not catch their whole response but I did hear, “We are actually jealous of you…”.  At the time I thought to myself, ‘they must be crazy. what in the world could they be jealous of? Being tired? Still have to run 3 more miles?’ Looking back on it now, I still don’t know why they were jealous but I do know  that they were right, they should have been jealous.  I was given the opportunity to run through Disney.  I was just about to complete something I doubted only an hour prior. I had the ability to run 19.3 miles in two days.  I had the ability to run.  Yes.  That is something to be jealous of.  And something I should never take for granted.

And with that ability, I trucked through the last 3 miles to finish an amazing weekend with some solid times and amazing memories.

image10k – 40:22 and Half Marathon – 1:32.39

Scratch that. WE finished the weekend with some solid times and amazing memories.

imageI can’t thank her enough for booking this trip, for running this challenge, and for just being such an amazing person.

It is safe to say, we left Disney limping and with some pretty hefty bling.

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Disney Glass Slipper Challenge – 10k Recap!

Here it goes…

After getting home at midnight on Monday and a 6am wake up for work, it has been tough getting back in the swing of things and even harder to get on here and put the whole experience into words.  So here I am..about to attempt to put such an amazing, fun-filled, exhausting and memorable week into words.

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This was the 2nd time my mom and I took on the Disney Princess half marathon but the first time we took on the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge.  I have been battling some tibia tendonitis and have not been able to run longer than 7 1/2 miles since Thanksgiving so it is safe to say that my nerves were pretty high just thinking about the upcoming races.  I knew the 10k was doable and was probably my best shot at placing so I decided to make that the race of the week and really give it all I had.  And if I made it out alive then I guess I would attemt 13.1 miles the next day…

imageAnd a pre-race Southwest Burger was exactly what I needed…wanted… in order to make it happen. I usually do pizza or pasta before race day but vacation time and Disney is all about having fun and doing what you want even if you have races on the schedule.

A couple things that DID stay consistent with my normal pre race routine were…

1.) COFFEE…There was no way we were getting through a 2:45am wake up without a couple of these.

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2.) Pre race Selfies..never on a pirate bed though!

image 3.) Banana and almond butter sandwich..the best sandwich a person could ever have.

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And once all that is done, MAKE SURE TO CATCH THE LAST 4am SHUTTLE BUS TO THE RACE! And then when you get there…make sure to snap a picture with your Mom because despite all the nerves, these moments don’t happen often, so when they do…capture them and hold them for as long as you can!

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Lets talk about the race.  I started out strong and held that comfortable yet difficult pace up until mile 4.  The excitement of leading the race in addition to the beauty of running through Epcot was helping me remain strong throughout mile 4 despite some tired legs.  By mile 5, I was really starting to feel it and as soon I saw the second female coming up behind me, it became a fight against tired legs as well as some negative thoughts.  I did my best to hang on but it just did not happen.  I finished strong and still can’t think of anything I would have done differently.  I can’t say I started off too fast but I guess I just couldn’t hold it.  Though it is easy to get wrapped up in the “what ifs”, you need to step back and celebrate simply crossing the line.

imageI will proudly take 3rd place and am beyond happy with my performance.

imageAfter the race, my calves completely cramped up and I had little time to celebrate my finish becasue the pain lead to immediate stress and fear of the half marathon I had in less than 24 hours!

But once again, even in the midst of stress and pain..don’t forget to capture the moment when you meet up with your Mom after the race.

imageAlso, don’t forget to raid your free goodie bag to find some random but delicious snacks..

imageLemon Zest Luna bar and some Krave cereal..sure, why not

These races are always well-organized and with the 10k only being 10,00o runners (no big deal)..the bathroom line was super short and almost non-existent.  As all you runner know, that’s a rare and special moment. And for you hardcore racers like us, it means you can stay clear the woods and start the race with some dignity 😉

I didn’t plan on splitting this recap into two separate 10k and Half Marathon posts but seeing as I’ve spent an hour just talking about the 10k, I think I need some sleep before tackling the half marathon.  I now know why it takes bloggers a few days to post race recaps..they are no joke! You just want to spill all your emotions into the post but it’s exhausting trying to find the right words to describe all the emotions on race day. It is hard enough just to tame them let alone describe them!

So on that note I will end it with a picture describing the hour I had between getting back to the room and the pool/hot tub opening at 9am.

imageJust some classy ice buckets on the toilet in the hotel room..haha

Just Kidding. I will end it with how my mom and I celebrated 6.2 done and 13.1 to go.

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Hello from Disney!

Hello from Disney..and more specifically, the “Pirate Room”

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Yup.  We thought paying a little extra would land us an ‘upgraded’ room, but we should have known that here at Disney, an upgrade means more animated.  So here we are..just two adults hanging out in pirate beds 😉

And I mean that literally…we have been napping and watching T.V for the past 2 hours and will probably call it bedtime as soon as I am done here.  The pouring rain and the early morning flight put a bit of a damper on our plan to hit Epcot tonight.

However, the rain did hold up so we could get a short run in around the resort.

imageI forgot how awesome it is to run in just one layer and without worrying about frost bite taking over my toes and fingers.  I have been wanting to run in the warm weather for so long so I will not complain about the heat..but I will say that this long-sleeve was not the smartest decision.

imageThe high winds convinced me that it was chilly… and I am not sure why the ‘YOU ARE IN FLORIDA’  logic didn’t kick in.

Before I sail away in my pirate ship for a good night’s sleep before an early morning rise for Crossfit, I must talk about some great finds at Trader Joe’s that made packing meals for this trip  extremely easy.

imageIf you have ever been to Disney, you are well aware that, although there are some amazing restaurant options, they are not always healthy or cheap.  Last year I individually sealed and froze 16 meals and ate them despite how soggy and gross they were.  This year I made it MUCH easier on myself and my sanity.  Instead of packing individual meals, I just picked up a variety of nuts, greens, fruits and protein to have on hand to avoid eating out every day.   A carton of liquid egg whites, a bag of oats, some cacao nibs and goji berries is less than $25 and will give me a fulfilling and hearty breakfast everyday.  That’s a little better than a $20 one-time breakfast buffet…

4 more days until the Disney Princess Challenge calls for a #TBTuesday

imageTime to rest up. Goodnight 🙂

7 Miles Never Felt so Brutally Awesome

Happy Hump Day!

For all you workers..two days until the weekend!

For all you teachers..two days until vacation!

For all you Disney Princess 10k and Half Marathon runners…10/11 days until race day!

There is a lot to be excited about over here!

What’s also very exciting but not too enjoyable was this run..

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It may not look like anything special, especially not the pace, but it is huge for me!  Since November, I have been battling some posterior tibial tendonitis.  My running has been limited however, I am thankful that it hasn’t been an issue in yoga and crossfit.  Since January I have been working my mileage back up but I haven’t been able to get past 6 miles without some pain.  And all this snow is NOT helping.  Running through the slippery and slushy snow just exacerbates the pain because stability and form fly out the window when your just trying to move through the slush.  On a positive note, my hips are getting much stronger with each snowy run!  Today was the first run in a couple of weeks with clear roads and NO PAIN.  My legs were super sore from yesterdays 3 mile morning run and afternoon WOD consisting of 200 double unders, 80 box jumps and a strength component,  but my mind wanted to make this run worthwhile.  These days my runs just go as far as my tendon will let it and today, it was willing to go far. My sore legs had to call it at 7.35 but I am confident/hopeful that a rested body could handle longer. Which is kind of needed seeing as I have a half marathon in 11 days!

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It wasn’t a bad day but it certainly wasn’t a good day in terms of my body feeling strong.  Regardless, I gave it all I had and am happy I pushed through the soreness!

I wish I also had a quote that said, “On good days I eat bananas, and on bad days I eat them covered in almond butter and dark chocolate”…

imageI just had to snap a pic of the casual plate of frozen bananas that I always have on hand.  If there is one thing I never get sick of, it’s bananas.  Especially frozen bananas with almond butter.  Every single day after school and before my workout I have a frozen banana with some almond butter.  It is a perfect and delicious pre-workout.  You get your carbs, your fats, and your protein without being too full. And as you can see by the little piece just rolling around, I also sneak little bites with some dark chocolate when the sweet tooth attacks 🙂 I haven’t attempted banana ice cream which is just frozen bananas blended together to form an ice cream consistency but I have a feeling that will make its ways into my desserts soon..

Another thing that never gets old is steak..especially topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

imagePart of me felt bad that I made such a delicious meal while my boyfriend was sitting in a cold snow plow BUT the steaks were going to go bad so it just had to be done.  Tip: one way to score leftover steak is to overcook the other person’s steak so that they don’t want it anymore 🙂 Steak two nights in a row sounds good to me!

Well I think that is enough running and food talk for now! Have a great Wednesday and congratulations for making it halfway through the work week!