*Weekly mileage ~ Sept. 5-11*

Mileage for the week of September 5th – September 11th

Total weekly mileage: 68.25

Total September mileage: 88.75

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 971.25

Run review:

9/5     2:36:08 min./18 mi./8:41 pace

9/6     No run/rest day

9/7     39:49 min./5 mi./7:58 pace

9/8     55:32 min./7 mi./7:55 pace

9/9     1:13:23 min./8.5 mi./8:38 pace

9/10   30:44 min./3.75 mi./8:13 pace

25:42 min./3 mi./8:34 pace

25:15 min./3 mi./8:25 pace

9/11   2:57:07 min./20 mi./8:51 pace

Two long runs, spaced only 6 days apart, made my mileage leap into the upper 60-mile category last week. My legs and lower body staged a protest yesterday and didn’t really want to have anything to do with the run. Why is it that either you’re mentally in the game or physically in the game but both can’t cooperate and be in the game at the same time? Hmph. I also made a minor error in calculating the mileage of my route. What I intended to be a 19-mile run turned into 20. That’s not such a bad thing but leaves me with the new challenge of figuring out what to do the next two weeks. Run up to 21… 22… or drop back next weekend and run another 20-mile run the following week prior to taper? Decisions, decisions.

Also, I mentioned in my last update that I was going to play with my diet a little and adjust my macro nutrient intake. Essentially, carb cycle. If you’re unfamiliar with carb cycling, it’s basically a way to trick your body into burning stored body fat instead of using carbs. It’s a very popular method for cutting (a.k.a. getting lean) in the bodybuilding world. My experiment was pretty low-key. Basically, on the days that I ran more than an hour, I ate a moderate amount of carbs, as is normal for my diet. On the other days, I restricted my carb intake slightly and added more protein and fat.

I can’t say for sure if I really experienced any noticeable difference in performance or body weight (I don’t own a scale so I really had no way of tracking this except for by look and how my clothes fit… which seemed to me to be the same as usual). It did however, force me to try a few new meal/food combinations and I think breaking the norm can be beneficial since it keeps the body guessing.

This week, I’m back to my typical diet which works for me and that is the key to the whole diet thing in general. You need to figure out what works for you. Experimenting is the only way to know what works and what doesn’t but once you find a diet lifestyle you can live with, one that allows you to eat what you enjoy in moderation, provides your body with essential vitamins and nutrients, makes you feel good and fueled to be active or whatever it is that drives you, and does’t make you feel deprived, then you know you’re on the right path.

I should disclose that I’m by no means an expert or qualified to provide dietary guidance. I can only speak from my own experience and it is because I’ve done the work to figure out what foods fuel my body best.

Anywho… rest and recovery is also on the forefront of my training plan and my bed is calling.

Have a fantastic week!

*Ridiculous insane obsessiveness*

I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.  ~ Will Smith

This quote found its way into my Instagram feed earlier today and something about it made me say YES! It summarizes my own obsessiveness when it comes to running because what I lack in talent or ability, I make up for it with my passion for working hard to achieve my goals.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time “running.” It’s true. While I only spend maybe 30-60 minutes a day, on average, actually doing the act that is running, I spend many more minutes, er, hours each day thinking about running, reading about running, planning my next run, fueling for a run, recovering from a run, hydrating before a run, talking about running, daydreaming about running, writing about running, researching races to run…  you get the idea, right?

While I was (you guessed it!) out running this morning, I was thinking about how I organize my life and it occurred to me that I plan my days, weeks, and months around running.

That all said, don’t dare think that I neglect my family or other responsibilities (unless you consider the laundry basket of clean clothes that I should fold but am ignoring instead). I was reflecting back over the past week and found myself satisfied with my mileage and my ability to structure my days around the things that matter most to me.  Especially since it was a busy week with the real job, the writing job, and another endeavor I’ve taken on (which I’m not quite yet ready to talk about publicly).

My priority this past week was spending as much time with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking as possible before he headed out on his next adventure, a separation spanning several weeks. I still managed 41 miles in spite of moving my long run to tomorrow to maximize the little time we had this morning before he headed to the airport.

So back to my point, which is this: preparation is the key. Planning, organizing, and tweaking (as needed), I believe, is what makes us successful in achieving whatever it is that we want. (The practice part is right up there too but in order to get to the practice part, we need to prepare for it, no?)

Today marks five weeks out until the Portland Marathon. And because sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, organize, and tweak, you still may find yourself off track… ahem… as is my current situation. I’m two weeks behind on my long run mileage because of the knee debacle. But instead of allowing it to completely derail me, I’m back at the obsessive preparation stage and planning out the next few weeks leading up to race day. I’m ready to work hard.

The first task at hand is preparing for my long run tomorrow which will be an attempt at 18 miles and I really, really, REALLY need it to go well. (And I say “attempt” because I am basically skipping past 16 and 17. Eek! ) Preparation today includes TONS of water (because when your Mister is leaving for 6 weeks you live up your last day together!), clean eats and slightly increased carbs, no wine/alcohol, a midday siesta and an early bedtime this evening, stretching, planning and making a quick, easy breakfast of overnight oats, checking out route options, charging my watch and getting my gear in order. Wish me luck!

And just because I saw this the other day at lunch and it made me smile…

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See? It’s all running, all the time!!

*Weekday long runs*

Busy summer weekends has required that I rearrange my training schedule around a bit. With a race last weekend (speaking of, I moved up to the 7th place, overall female spot!), a backpacking trip this weekend, and traveling home to Oregon next weekend, I’m going to have to get creative in order to stick to my plan and get those long runs done.

I’m very fortunate that my work schedule is part-time and allows me the option to get it done before I work later in the day. But that said, I realize weekday long runs can be a huge challenge for anyone working an 8-hour day or is juggling the demands of a family and responsibilities at home.

While I was trying not to look at my watch every 10th of a mile this morning, I came up with a short list of suggestions to help make the occasional long run during the week manageable.

  • Plan it a week out, minimum. Don’t expect to just wake up one morning and decide to do it. Being mentally prepared is a huge part of the battle so schedule it, put it on your calendar, and make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare. Also, don’t schedule it on a super busy day… like say when you have a presentation to give at work first thing in the morning.
  • Prepare in advance. Don’t wait until the night before to restock your fuel. I’m bad about keeping a supply on hand so I’m either trying to track something down the day before or realize the morning of my long run that I only have two Clif Shot Blocks left in my stash. (Yeah, that was this morning.)
  • As you would for any long run, get your gear in order the night before. Make sure you have clean socks, all of your gadgets are charged, you know where the lid to your water bottle is…
  • Calculate how long your run will take and add a few minutes so you’ve got some wiggle room if you get delayed or have to stop at a trillion traffic signals. Set a departure time and stick to it.
  • Plan to get up early enough to allow yourself the time to do whatever it is you need to do to prepare. Coffee, a light breakfast, Chakra cleansing meditation, whatever. It might mean you have to get up at 4 AM, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s not a regular occurrence so suck it and set your alarm.
  • Make sure you allot enough time to cool down and refuel before you need to get ready for work or whatever activities you have planned.
  • If the mileage you need is pretty high and you truly don’t have enough time before work or you get stressed at the thought of trying to squeeze it in, there’s nothing wrong with breaking it down into two runs. Split it up and run half in the morning and then the other half during lunch or later in the evening.
  • Don’t skimp on a post-run reward because you’re pressed for time. You earned that decadent smoothie or stop at Starbucks!
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Reward yourself for those hard-earned miles!

*Fuel Friday: 30% off your order of Nuun!*

L O V E is in the air! With St. Valentine’s Day this weekend, show the ones you love that you care – about their hydration that is – and hook them up with some new and improved Nuun!

I was so stoked to hear about the upgrades that Nuun made to their already stellar hydration products. The new formulas for both the Active and Energy lines are now certified gluten-free and vegan and are entirely plant-based. You can learn more about the new and improved ingredients HERE.

Being that I’m gluten-free and eat primarily plant-based, this is such great news! I know the team at Nuun has been working for a few years on creating these new formula’s to help enhance athletic performance by way of proper hydration. I love that Nuun is a conscious company that not only cares about their customers by making products with high-quality ingredients but is taking care of the planet too!

Now is the perfect time to try the newly formulated Nuun Active and Nuun Energy because you, my friends and family (hi, Mom!), can save 30% off your order at www.nuun.com/shop. This offer is only good through February 16th. Use the promo code below. xo

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*Fuel Friday ~ Baked Apple Oatmeal*

For the second week in a row, I’ve been plagued by some sort of illness or ailment. Last week it was a pinched nerve in my shoulder (which is still giving me some grief). This week, food poisoning.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I was really excited to hear ultrarunner Krissy Moehl speak on behalf of her new book, Running Your First Ultra, this past Wednesday. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and I made an afternoon/evening of it and ran some errands in the city before the event, including a stop at a well-known Mexican restaurant for a little happy hour treat.

The fish taco was a bad choice.

Not long after Krissy began her presentation, I began feeling ill. It progressively got worse and I turned to my husband and whispered that I wasn’t feeling well (hot, sweaty, faint, nauseous) and had to leave, asap. I needed some air! So we quietly got up and left before she finished. Without getting my darn book signed!

The ride home, the rest of the night, and all day yesterday were pretty unpleasant, to say the least. And, it’s my third bout of food poisoning in 7 months! WTH? (My Mister didn’t have a taco, fortunately.)

So you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about food poisoning on a Fuel Friday post, right?

Well, because I feel a ton better today but I’m still feeling really depleted and low on energy. I’m carefully bringing solids back into my diet because I need to get some nutrients into my body. I whipped up a delicious late breakfast this morning that I thought I’d share.

Baked Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1 serving (1/2 cup oats) oatmeal, cooked

1/2 an apple

1 egg

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Cinnamon to taste

Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the oatmeal and set aside. Chop the apple into small, uniform-sized pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients then stir in the cooked oatmeal and apple. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray, top with a little additional cinnamon (optional), and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

I added another little drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of almond butter to mine. Such a treat!

Baked Apple Oatmeal

Baked Apple Oatmeal

Have a happy (Fuel) Friday!!

*Simplicity in 2016*

S I M P L E

It’s my theme for 2016.

Instead of resolutions, I set intentions. Often times in the form of a single word or short phrase that encompasses multiple aspects of my life. This year I’ve settled on focusing on simplicity with a healthy dose of self-love.

manifesto 2016

Less is more and doing more of what I love. My 2016 manifesto.

As far as running goes, as you may see above, I’d like to switch to predominately trail running but still include shorter distance races focusing on speed. Hence, trails and track. Given that desire, I kicked 2016 off with 8 glorious (albeit slightly hungover) miles on one of my favorite nearby trails with my favorite boy.

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Me and my mister.

As we prepare to dive back into the regular routine, which is terribly bittersweet, I’m so grateful for these past few weeks. I had an awesome holiday with what matters most: my family!

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#teamridenour

Whatever your goals, resolutions, or intentions are, I wish you a wonderful 2016! Happiest of New Year’s and let’s kick some ass!

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Starting my year with what I hope to do LOTS of in the coming months!

*Fuel Friday ~ National Cookie Day*

Did you know that today, December 4, is National Cookie Day?

In my world, it pretty much ranks right up there with National Wine Day, National Margarita Day, and National Peanut Butter Day! Oh, and I can’t forget National Chocolate Day!

But back to National Cookie Day. Like we need an excuse, right? This time of year we can’t avoid seasonal favorites whether it be at the office, holiday gatherings, or leftovers after Santa has had his fill.

I do love a good cookie but I also prefer to indulge in the cleanest variations I can find. I’d like to at least think that there is some nutritional value in whatever I’m popping into my mouth. More often than not, I look for recipes that include oats, almond, or almond flour (meal), dried fruit, and natural sweeteners. Good fats… coconut oil, eggs, and peanut or nut butters that add some extra punch are nice too.

I have a couple of go-to recipes but this one is a favorite. I’ve shared it on Fuel Friday before but it pretty closely meets all of my criteria in a cookie, minus the brown sugar. Though I’m sure that if I played with it a little, I could find an alternative sweetener that would work. (It is the holidays after all so a little indulgence never hurt anyone… in moderation!)

National Cookie Day Almond Oat cookies

Almond Oat cookies

Almond Oat Cookies

I’ve also “pinned” a couple of recipes that have caught my eye…

Bourbon Maple (Bacon) and Pecan Cookies (minus the bacon for the vegetarians, such as moi.)

Fourless Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Vanilla Chai Energy Cookies

Happy *Fuel* Friday and National Cookie Day!