Hey guys! Happy Monday. I know I am posting later than usual, but I wanted to compile all of my thoughts for this post before I put it up. It is a lot of word vomit (meaning, I’m going to let my thoughts flow without much rhyme or reason), so there’s your heads up ; )
Some days you kill your long runs, and some days you don’t. It’s normal.
Why am I talking about this? Today was one of those long runs that didn’t go according to plan, and I had to force myself to change my perspective and be happy in the mile that I was in as I was running. Let’s rewind. I woke up at 5am ready to get my long run in early before it got too hot outside. Okay, that went well. I had my pre-run breakfast of cereal and threw in a small spoonful of peanut butter for extra sticking power. Not bad, either. I geared up with my hydration belt, my two Honey Stinger gels, had my house key, phone, and headphones when I headed out the door. Good. Watch was fully charged and picked up a signal before I even got one foot out of the door. Perfect, I’m ready!
Only, my legs didn’t seem to be ready. I have been adding in more hills a couple times per week, and either I was not fully recovered from my hilly run on Saturday or I stretched things too far in yoga on Friday night, but my left hamstring was not happy. “Hmm… Maybe I should turn around and go back home,” I thought. Nope, had to keep going. Something in the back of my head kept telling me not to quit, and so I kept going for 5 miles (or 8km). Well, once I reached that far my hamstring was just plain old sore and aggravated. So, I looped back home (fortunately I was not far from home!) and stretched, foam rolled, and did some laundry. I knew that I wanted to at least try to get out there again, so I spent an hour puttering around before I decided to give the treadmill a shot. It wasn’t the best, but it did the trick, and I took breaks as my body needed.
Here’s the thing. It is so easy to get caught up in the thought that you should constantly be getting better with every single run. And I mean, in some ways you do. Mentally, you get tougher. Physically, you learn to either endure when things get hard or listen to your body and pull back and REST when needed. It is so easy to think that progress should be an upward climb day in and day out, but it’s not true. Progress is not linear. It is not a straight arrow that shoots for the sky and never backtracks or gets tangled up in an obstacle along the way. I am slowly learning to accept this and do what I can with what I am given on that day, but here’s some #REALTALK: I have those moments too!
So, in the end I got the miles done, even if it wasn’t how I had planned. I still fueled with my gels, stayed hydrated, and took things easy, but I mentally had to make the switch and force myself to get into a better head space. Not every run is going to be sunshine and rainbows, and that’s okay! What counts is how you bounce back and dust yourself off.
Post run I stretched, foam rolled, and made a big smoothie (as per usual). I also took an ice bath and snapped that glamour shot at the beginning of the post while soaking in the freezing water. Ryan is fishing today, so unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to refill my coffee whilst ice bathing (#firstworldproblems), but I felt like my legs needed the extra recovery. Around lunch time I had another athletic therapy appointment where she really worked on my hamstring, so I’m hoping that it will be feeling back to normal by the time Wednesday’s run rolls around!
Now, let’s go back to a GOOD run that happened on Saturday.
For the last couple weeks my Saturday run has been 5 miles. This is perfect because I have mastered a 5 mile loop that starts and ends on the trail near my house. I slept in about half an hour past my alarm (story of my life), but still managed to get my run in before the work day. Plus, I couldn’t skip it and do it after work because it was also my dad’s birthday on Saturday and we were going to my parents’ house for birthday dinner right after work. So, I put in work before the work day!
I conquered the same hill I did the week before, and of course had to snap some scenic pictures during my cool down walk home. This trail is exactly .150 meters from our house. I am so thankful to have such a gem so close by!
The best part of this run? I beat my last time by two minutes. YES! I will take it. I posted in an Instagram picture that it’s little victories like this that keep the motivation going. Now, I just have to remember that the next time I try to get down in the dumps about my running! In all honesty though it really is not bad, and I think I am shaking off that funk I was in last week. Hallelujah!
Aaaand the one thing that got me through work on Saturday? Black forest cake. I mean, the thought of it anyway.
Fortunately my dad’s favourite cake is black forest cake, and that is my favourite, too! So I knew for sure I would enjoy the meal ; ) I even had two pieces, because… WHY NOT! We also had spaghetti with turkey meatballs and garlic bread for our main meal. It was a super fun night and some of my cousins from up island came over to celebrate. It is always so much fun whenever we get together, so it was a treat that they were able to visit and celebrate my dad’s birthday with us! : ) My dad is one of the best human’s in the world and he deserved to get spoiled, and get spoiled he did!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is take the good stuff with the not so good, but find the GOOD in everything : ) I hope you all have a great week!
If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have been using this protein powder for a while now. I wanted to give you guys a review of how I am liking it so far, how I’ve been using it, and a new smoothie recipe that includes this protein powder.
First off, I want to say that you do not need supplements in your diet every single day. For me, this is something I use to enhance my smoothies, as I believe it is important to include some kind of protein in a smoothie if you are using it for a meal replacement. Smoothies are an excellent way to get in a ton of fruits & veggies all in one swoop, but you can use protein powder in a post-workout shake mixed with water or milk of your choice if you are not a fan of “liquid meals.” That being said, I am quite happy with this protein powder and how it has been making me feel over the last week and a bit, so let’s get into it!
I picked this up from Costco for $39.99. It is a 1.02kg container and includes 34 servings. This breaks down to $1.17 per serving. I picked up the vanilla bean flavour, though it also comes in chocolate. Leanfit Complete Green protein powder is a plant based protein powder that is GMO free, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. It contains 20% of your daily fibre intake and is perfect for those who are vegetarian and vegan, or those who may have allergies to things like soy, dairy, and gluten. I was drawn to this because I felt like whey protein did not agree with my stomach and made me feel heavy and bloated after drinking a whey protein shake (yes, the isolate whey, too!).
This contains a blend of pea, hemp, flaxseed, brown ride, and chia seed protein. It is sweetened with stevia and does not contain any weird fillers or ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Bonus: it only contains 1 gram of sugar and has 19 grams of protein per serving. It contains essential amino acids to aid in muscle recovery and repair, and also has 100mg of potassium and 35% of your daily iron intake in one scoop (which is a 30g serving).
So, how have I been using it?
The first time I used this protein powder was in a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and almond butter. This was like a blueberry dessert bowl! It was super tasty, but I also wanted to try it blended into a smoothie. I must say, the smoothie is my favourite way to use it! Last week I had a smoothie almost every morning for breakfast, and I felt satiated until lunch time rolled around at work.
Here is my go-to smoothie recipe:
Vanilla Berry Protein Smoothie:
1 1/2 cashew (or almond) milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp spirulina/chlorella (optional: I buy mine as a blend)
1 tsp maca powder (also optional but is good for balancing hormones & increasing energy naturally)
1 tbsp chia seeds (for healthy fats and fibre)
1 scoop Leanfit Complete Green plant-based protein powder in vanilla bean
As much spinach and greens as you can fit!
Blend, blend, blend until smooth and enjoy!
If you are in the market for a plant-based protein powder, I would highly recommend this one. Next I would like to try the chocolate flavour and see how it compares. I mean, how can you go wrong with chocolate? Again, I found this at my local Costco but I’m sure you can find it online : )
What is YOUR favourite protein powder? Any that I should try?
When I first started running I could barely make it to the end of my street. We lived on a dead end street, and my goal was to run to the sign at the end and call it a day. I would try to go a bit further every time, maybe even making it part of the way back home. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was setting me up for a lifelong journey of miles, pain, heartache, and joy. I was maybe 12 years old, struggling to find where I fit in this world. Although I was in that awkward in between phase, I knew deep down inside that I was capable of so much more. I was working my first summer job at the local baseball concession, and while that was fun and all, I couldn’t help but wonder what else was out there that I could accomplish. For someone who was only 12 years old, I had big ideas, and I was fortunate enough to make the decision to try running which helped open those doors for me.
I touched on my running journey in yesterday’s podcast, so you’ll know that I truly started running (or at least running a bit here, walking a lot there) when I was in highschool. Or rather, that’s when I dabbled in it, as I was almost always the last one back to the gym after our road runs in PE class. No, I was not a talented runner at the time, mostly because I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe that I could go further or faster. I thought, “This is it. I can only run for a few minutes at a time, and I should be okay with that.” But as you’ll know, I wasn’t okay with that. Like I said. I wanted more. I truly had the desire to at least TRY and better myself, and that happened through running.
Running is transformative. It has completely changed the way I see life, myself, challenges, triumphs, and setbacks. When one run doesn’t go according to plan, or the way I expect it to anyway, the ones that do stand out tenfold. While training for my first half marathon, I learned about my own independence. I learned that running can be incredibly therapeutic, and sometimes incredibly necessary to just RUN and simply clear my mind. I also learned that I do not need to rely on anyone else to do the job, because I am perfectly capable of completing it myself. Whether I knew it or not, when I took those steps towards the end of my dead end street when I was 12 years old, I was setting myself up to be a stronger, more determined woman.
The funny thing about running is that it can be whatever you want it to be in any given moment. If I need to relieve stress, I can look towards my morning run to help bust through any energy blocks I am feeling or to clear my mind. When I am happy, I can celebrate with a fast run where I feel like I am flying, unstoppable, free. I often talk to my friends, family, and coworkers about running, and I know they ask questions like, “Why do you do it?” because they don’t understand. Yes, I have a love hate relationship with running, and while more often than not it is hard as hell, I come back time and time again because I feel incomplete without it. Running has changed the way I perceive myself and what strength means to me, and although climbing hills and sprinting until I feel like my legs will fall off is undoubtedly difficult, I welcome the challenges. If I didn’t, how would I get stronger? How would I feel alive with my heart pumping so furiously inside my chest? Sure, running leaves me breathless, but it also leaves me better than I was before.
Running has opened doors to opportunities I never thought I would be part of. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be running a full marathon the year I turn 25, I would’ve laughed in your face. “Me? No, I’m not a runner.” I would say between rolls of my eyes. I have been a part of so many races where the energy is buzzing, hundreds (if not thousands) of people are excitedly waiting at the start, and my loved ones are cheering and anxiously waiting for me at the finish line. Looking back, I am so thankful I gave myself a chance. I am thankful that I even dared to try, dared to be better, dared to (literally!) run into new-found confidence and joy for my life. I am not here to be stagnant. I am not here to make excuses for my life and not make the most out of my time here in the world. Running can truly transform your spirit, and you bet I will be running my way through the high times and the low times until I can’t run anymore.
After running my first half marathon
I touched on this in yesterday’s post, but last week I had some great runs. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt on top of the world. Saturday morning’s run was no different, and I wanted to share what changed in the latter part of the week for me.
Near the beginning of the week, my runs were OK. They weren’t wonderful, and they weren’t anything to shout to the top of the world about. I had a good long run, Wednesday’s 6 miles was not so great (split between my lunch and afternoon), and Thursday’s speed workout didn’t go as planned, despite me making it work anyway. However, I mentally made that shift on Thursday to make running FUN again. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers of running, but in order to truly enjoy it, you have to consciously make the effort to at least *TRY* to like it, you know? Perspective is everything!
In other news, I came home to some blooms on Saturday after work:
And we had a busy weekend! I have been volunteering, so from 10-2 on Sunday I volunteered, then spent the day catching up on household chores like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. All that fun stuff. I even made coffee at 4pm to help wake myself up! As soon as I came back from volunteering, Ryan made us a late brunch of eggs benedict (soo good), and I crashed on the couch after. The busy morning coupled with a full belly and a warm house made this girl TIRED!
I also planned out this week in training. While I am following a training plan, I wanted to write it into my journal to help me stay accountable. That way I don’t have to go fumbling online for my training plan and can just open up my journal to see what the workout is. Convenience is key!
I have a bit of catching up to do for documenting yesterday’s long run, but you get the picture. Journaling is a great way to keep yourself accountable and on track. I know when I was first starting my weight loss journey I would keep track of my workouts and food in a journal. Physically writing it down and putting pen to paper really solidified those choices! Plus, there was less temptation to grab an extra cookie when I didn’t really want one.
This week we don’t have any plans, really. I mean, it’s my dad’s birthday on Saturday and I’m working on a special little project for him, but that is about it! It feels like we have been busy every week for the last few months. I know I say that a lot, but it’s true! When I flipped the calendar to August at the end of July, all we had on the table was our cousin’s wedding week. Well, with volunteering, family things, errands, marathon training, house renovations AND both of us working full time…. Aye! It has been busy. That being said, I am super happy and can’t wait for what September has in store!
I am going to stop my rambles here and get ready for the day. Happy Tuesday everyone! Catch ya in a new episode of the podcast tomorrow ; )