*Weekly mileage ~ July 20-26*

Mileage for the week of July 20th – 26th

Total weekly mileage: 21.25

Total July mileage (to-date): 119

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,242.5

Run review:

7/20           No run/rest day

7/21           42:17 min./5 mi./8:28 pace

7/22           34:45 min./4 mi./8:40 pace

7/23          28:54 min./3.25 mi./8:54 pace

7/24          1:15:06 min./9 mi./8:21 pace

7/25          No run

7/26          No run

I’m currently on day of three of my self-imposed running break. My daughter left for 9 weeks of basic training this morning. I’m currently drinking a greyhound.

Okay, it’s not that bad.

The break from running has not been as bad as I let my imagination believe it would be. I’m taking it one day at a time and grateful to find that slowly, the ailments that have been troublesome for months are showing some small signs of improvement. Yesterday, and today, I did get 60 minutes of walking in. The pace is a bit slow for me (HA!) but it feels good to get out and move! At this point, it looks like (due to other obligations) this break will last at least 8 days. So I’m almost halfway there!

I’ve had so much on my mind though the past few days that running, or lack thereof, has been the least of my concerns. My daughter left for boot camp this morning. She is currently on the other side of the country. It’s a bittersweet mix of emotions and my mama heart is feeling a bit tender but gosh I’m proud of that girl and excited to see what life has in store for her. It’s never easy to witness your child begin to spread their wings and leave the nest, and her absence is going to take some getting used to, but I’m confident that she will thrive!

The best distraction has been a visit from my sister-in-law and nephew who are staying with us for a few days. Having a two-year-old in the house is a great reminder to stay present! I’m also excitedly planning a few hiking adventures for the next two weekends and a backpacking trip mid-August so it’s nice to have something, other than running, to obsess over.

That’s the latest in my world. Have a great week!

*Keepin’ it real*

Comparison is the thief of joy.

On any given day, I can open up any of my numerous social media feeds and find images and text from runners, ranging from beginner to elite, that have posted about some great run in which they felt fantastic, flawlessly executed a tempo run, or hit a major mileage milestone.

I am inspired by their stories and their images. On some days, when I am struggling to find my own motivation to lace up and hit the road, I rely on these Instagram feeds to fuel my desire to get out there and make it happen.

But what I’ve been noticing lately is more of a comparison that I cannot live up to. In turn, I feel defeated and frustrated when I cannot match what others are doing. And while I know that each of us are on our own individual journeys, my competitive drive and ambition to push myself makes me think that if so-and-so is out there running 10 miles, then I should be too.

Case in point, earlier this week I came up with a new mantra: get your shit together! (GYST for short.) I’ve been frustrated by my inability to get really focused. I’ve got a fall marathon on the calendar and here it is 10 weeks out, and I don’t really even have a training plan organized. I’ve been beating myself up over the fact that I’m not pushing myself on runs and haven’t hit a sub-8:13 minute mile average run in over a month. (I ran the entire Boston Marathon at an 8:08 pace for crying out loud!) Every run lately has been slow, sluggish, and often somewhat painful. (The usual suspects… grumpy glutes, hamstrings, low back… blah, blah, blah.) The GYST mantra was a feeble attempt to force myself out of the funk I’ve been in for the past few months.

And then yesterday morning, while out for what was originally going to be a 13 mile run but was shortened to 10… then 9 miles, I had an epiphany. I don’t need to push myself harder to break through this barrier. I need a break. Like an entire week off of running kind of break.

The though scares me to death. I haven’t taken more than five consecutive days off in more than two-and-a-half years and that was immediately following the Seattle Marathon in December 2013. But what I fear is, if I don’t take a break, either an injury will force me to take major time off or I hit total burnout. I sense I’m on the verge of one or the other so it seems smart to nip it in the bud while I’m calling the shots!

That is not to say that I’m going to be sitting around on my ass for an entire week eating pad Thai and drowning my sorrows with a Netflix marathon. When I began really considering this break yesterday, I realized that this coming week would actually be good timing… I have family coming to stay with us for a few days, my daughter departs for basic training, I will be traveling towards the end of the week and was already planning on doing some serious hiking… it just seems like a natural time to do it. My intention is at least 7 days but if I’m going absolutely crazy after three days off, then I can decide at that point how I wish to proceed.

My plan is to stay active and cross-train throughout the week by walking, hiking, biking, hitting up my yoga mat, etc. There will be mandatory physical activity each day. (Except for today because I totally blew off my run this morning! So rare for me but my body was screaming for a rest day.) Ideally, I’d like to walk at least 60 minutes most days and then add another activity on top of that unless it’s on those hiking days. Also, I thought it would be a good idea to have something to look forward to after my break is over so I’m going to scrounge up a few bucks and buy myself a much-needed new pair of running shoes and perhaps even a new piece or two of running apparel.

I’ve never wanted to give the impression in this space, or anywhere really, that I’m perfect and I always love running and it always loves me. I have my insecurities about my abilities as a runner and about myself as an athlete in general. I’m sharing this here because this blog has always held a space for me to be accountable. Not to you, but to ME. And I know I’m not alone in these struggles so I find solace in knowing that when I do share things with my readers, we connect even deeper. Even the messy, I-can’t-get-my-shit-together sort of stuff.

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Determined to find my joy again.

Rest assured that I’ll still be posting throughout the week. In fact, I think it will be healthy for me to do so. This may challenge me more than the hard runs and self-doubt I’ve been experiencing lately but I’m ready to find my joy again and run for the love of running, not because I’m trying to keep up with anyone else. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Have a great weekend!

*Green, lean, and full of protein*

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David Cascadden, the creator and owner of Left Coast Raw. I connected with David earlier this year while I was training for the Boston Marathon and shortly thereafter, started using his three super shake blends for post-run recovery during the remainder of my training. One PR an a BQ later, and well, I’m a believer! These shakes ROCK!

During our conversation, David explained to me that they’ve made a few tweeks to the original shake blends I was taking this spring and have made them even more nutrient-dense. Not to mention, higher in protein! I was drawn to them in the first place because of their high nutrient values but also because all three blends are vegan, raw, and gluten, soy, and dairy free.

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Special delivery! Nutrient-dense super shakes for the win!

One of the cool things about the upgraded blends is the addition of some amazing super foods. And I’ll be completely honest here… while I’m a serious holistic health nut that loves learning about new and unique super foods, I had never heard of sacha inchi or baobab. If you haven’t either, let me enlighten you!

Sacha inchi is a seed that grows in the mountains in Peru and is praised to have some of the highest levels of essential fatty acids, proteins, and amino acids over all other recommended sources. According to www.undergroundhealth.com:

The Inca Peanut is one of the few nuts (though they are actually seeds) that offers a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as protein, vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol vitamin E (the most beneficial form of vitamin E), while being 96% digestible and 100% irritation free.

It is said to help improve circulation and blood pressure, as well as strengthen the cardiovascular system, reduce inflammation, and improve your mood!

Baobab is derived from a tree that grows in Africa and contains some of the highest levels of vitamin C known to man. It is said to be a powerhouse of minerals and is considered to be beneficial in the support of liver function, weigh loss, preventative treatment for heart disease, and can assist in the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that support the skin.

So how cool is it that LCR is using these amazing and very beneficial super foods in their blends?

Yeah, I’m pretty excited and so grateful to be partnered with a company that is helping to deliver these amazing, nutrient-dense ingredients to the masses. I love the passion behind these products and their mission to help you maintain a vigorous lifestyle through whole-food, nutrient-rich shakes that are portable and made for an active lifestyle!

These shakes offer the perfect post-run recovery fuel! Full of protein, vitamins, minerals… and they taste so good! Bottoms up!

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Green goodness! Post-run fuel at its finest!

*Weekly mileage ~ July 13-19*

Mileage for the week of July 13th – 19th

Total weekly mileage: 37.75

Total July mileage (to-date): 97.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,221.25

Run review:

7/13           No run/rest day

7/14           31:51 min./3.5 mi./9:06 pace

7/15           43:41 min./5.25 mi./8:19 pace

7/16          1:24:40 min./7.75 mi./10:56 pace

7/17          33:53 min./4 mi./8:28 pace

7/18          46:32 min./5 mi./9:18 pace

7/19          1:36:31 min./10 mi./9:39 pace

Unintentionally, last week became an easy week. No pushing the pace. No clear training plan. I just ran. And I even got out for an awesome trail run before work one morning!

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I’m realizing that I should probably put some sort of formal, more organized training schedule together for the Portland Marathon, considering that it is 10 weeks away. Yikes! Does anyone else have trouble getting motivated to train for a marathon during the summer like I do?

*Runner’s feet*

When was the last time you thought about your feet? Like, really thought about them?

Do you know that our feet each have 26 bones in them? I find it pretty incredible that such a small structure supports so much weight and activity. Especially for us runner’s.

Us ladies are usually a little more on top of our foot care game. With sandal season in full swing, you’d be hard pressed to find ten toes that haven’t been pedicured to perfection.

I for one, however, have been avoiding professional pedicures like the plague. Mainly because I’m a do-it-yourself kinda chick and would prefer to save my money for other things. But the other reason is, well, my runner’s feet. I’m always either missing a toenail or will be soon. I’ve feared that, in the case of the latter, I’d freak the poor pedicurist out should one fall off while they where tending to me.

That all said, every once in a blue moon I like to splurge. And in this case, the motive behind going for a pedicure wasn’t a selfish one because I was planning to treat Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking to one too! As part of his birthday gift, I scheduled pedicures for both of us to be enjoyed together. (And just so you know, it wasn’t his first pedicure!)

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Listen up, guys! There is no shame in treating yourself to a pedicure!

The point I’m trying to make is, that regardless of gender, I think foot care, whether do-it-yourself or professionally done, is really, really important. As runner’s, we place so much demand on our feet. Hundreds and hundreds of miles can take their toll so I think we need to give more special care to protect them and keep them healthy so we can continue to run and enjoy doing the things we love!

If, like me, you are at risk of losing a toenail, I would suggest that you let your pedicurist know before they get started. The gal that did mine took caution and was careful and gentle. It definitely helped me overcome my fear of freaking them out… I’m sure they’ve seen worse, after all.

This website has some great tips, for men and women, on the subject.

I would also recommend that you take some time to massage your feet once in a while. Or better yet, have your partner do it for you! My favorite way to self-massage is while in legs up the wall, a fantastic yoga pose for runners that can allow for easy access to your feet. I wrote a post about it here. If you bend a knee and place your ankle on your thigh, you should be able to easily massage your foot while the other leg rests against the wall.

Another option I like is using a golf ball to massage my feet. Just put the ball on the floor and roll it around under the sole of your foot. This is a great technique for dealing with little nagging aches too.

So, I made it through my pedicure without a toenail falling off. Yay! Aren’t they pretty… even post-hike? ; )

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My feet in all their glory!

 

 

 

*Friends and family*

Ya’ll know I LOVE Nuun so I’m pleased to spread a little bit of the Nuun love with 20% off to my friends and family. Yes, YOU! are a friend (and/or family) so please feel free to take advantage of this sweet discount. My gift (well, Nuun’s really) to you!

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Spreading #nuunlove one friend at a time!

Obviously, being that it’s summer, hydration is so important and not just when you are exercising! Staying hydrated helps support healthy body function and can increase energy. Speaking of, if you need a little energy boost, check out the Nuun Energy line. (Cherry Limeade is my fave!)

Visit www.shop.nuun.com and save 20% on your order, good off most items! This offer is valid until July 23rd. Use the code: NuunSummer15 when you checkout to get your discount. Stay hydrated, friends!!