I Threw Out My Training Plan

Well I didn’t physically throw out the training plan as it’s on my computer, but I deleted it. A year ago, I would have never done something like this – I’m someone that will follow a training plan exactly after I make it, but this plan just wasn’t working for me. I found myself unmotivated, having to add rest days because of snow and ice or my knee, I often had to change the days of the week I could do my runs, etc. The plan just wasn’t working and I had to step back from it. And, you know what? It’s totally okay to do that…even if your stubborn runner’s brain is telling you otherwise.

I do have a race in about 5 weeks, so it seems like a weird time to reinvent a plan, but that’s what I’m doing! I’m also using this first race of the year as a stepping stone for the several other races. It will be a way to just get my body and mind used to racing again as the first race of the year always feels a little rusty.

Anyway, here’s the plan for the week. I’ll be making a plan for the rest of this cycle before my race later this week. Until then, I’m just going with the flow!

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Happy Monday!

A Spring Weekend

40 degree weather two days in a row this weekend? Oh my goodness, running was such a blast in the warm weather. After feeling frustrated with winter training that’s exactly what I needed to feel confident again with my training. Annnnnd then today it was back to the cold and ice. 🙂 Oh Vermont….

This week is looking promising weather wise and I’m feeling good about the training plan this week. My first race of the year is always a hit or miss. Sometimes I’m unstoppable and sometimes it’s a learning experience and a way to ease into racing season. I think once I get closer to the race, I’ll have a better idea of realistic time goals, but for now I’m just enjoying getting the miles in.

Here’s the training plan for this week!

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As for the rest of the weekend, I’d love to say I was productive. I cleaned the house quite a bit, ran errands, made some yummy food, and tried to catch up on mountains of school work. To be honest my long run left me exhausted and once I sat on the couch it was game over. Once I start getting to 12+ milers after taking a break from those distances, it takes awhile for my body to adjust and it takes me awhile to remember how to fuel and refuel properly. Finn loved the cuddle couch time though so all is good!

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I’m hoping to catch up today OR maybe just enjoy the sunshine and forget about being an adult for awhile. 🙂

Happy Monday. If you have it off go enjoy it! The sunshine is definitely calling my name.

Quinoa Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Sweet potato quesadillas are a healthy quick meal for one of those nights you just don’t feel like thinking about recipes or cooking. Last night was one of those nights for me and after a long run, I was getting HANGRY  – so it was quesadillas to the rescue! I apologize for the phone photos – I actually did take photos with my camera and then my card reader this morning decided it wanted to stop working. 😦

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Finn was pretty bummed out about it too. I’ll replace the phone photos with actual pretty photos once I get the card reader situation sorted. Until then… on to the recipe!

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Quinoa Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar works great, but I used Fontina cheese last night)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/4 red onion diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 4 handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (optional)
  • Tofu/ substitute chicken product (optional)
  • Chicken or other lean protein (optional)

Directions

1.) Pre-heat oven to 425.

2.) Toss diced sweet potatoes in olive oil and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

3.) In a saucepan add 1/2 cup of water to 1/4 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer 15-20 minutes.

4.) Cook your protein according to directions.

5.) Saute spinach or kale in saucepan and set aside.

6.) Once the quinoa is finished add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder and mix together well.

7.) Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and turn off the oven.

6.) On a baking sheet, lay two whole wheat tortillas flat. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on each. Add spinach, jalapeno, sweet potatoes, quinoa, red onion, and protein on top.

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7.) Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top of both and add a tortilla on top of each.

8.) Place the quesadillas in the oven for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

9.) Cut into triangles and serve with salsa, avocado, plain greek yogurt, and additional red onion.

Enjoy!

 

Just Do the Best You Can

I had every intention of getting up at 4 am to run, strength train, and do some yoga before work yesterday. I even got myself to bed before 9 pm. Then life happened. Our rescue pup decided he didn’t want to sleep through the night or sleep in his crate and he let it be known. So when that 4 am alarm went off, it was mostly definitely shut off. Let’s just say I got to work without those happy running endorphins and looking almost as lost and confused as Finn does during the 5 am hour.

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Mornings are rough.

 

The point of this story is that life happens and sometimes plans needs to change. If I got upset over every time my schedule didn’t play out according to plan, that would be crazy because it happens several times a week. Instead, I just get creative with it and do the best I can.

Did strength training and yoga happen today? Absolutely not. Did I throw my running gear in my bag and do speed work during lunch? Yes. So I’m going to call that a win.

Some days yoga and strength training happen in 5-10 minute increments. Some days I sleep 5 hours instead of 7 or 8 and skip morning workouts.Some days my running clothes are the most ridiculously mismatched colors because I put the outfit together at 4 am (Green, teal, neon running shoes, and purple polka dot socks totally go together, right?). Some days I get so busy at work trying to help others that I forget to hydrate, eat, and take care of myself. I accept those moments, try to figure out a solution to the situation, and alter my plan accordingly.

 

If you’re not a professional athlete who can dedicate their life to training, then don’t beat yourself up that you can’t pull out the same mileage or fitness routine as them. Do the best you can.

Happy Wednesday!

Winter Running: Getting Out the Door

It is SNOWING! What a fun snowstorm! 🙂 My partner and I ran around in the snow and walked down to the lake late last night. No one else was outside and the snow just kept falling and falling. It was so much fun. We had the best intentions to bring our cameras out early this morning, but sometimes the electric blanket wins. 🙂

As an all season runner living in Vermont, I know it can be a struggle to get out the door and get your mileage in during the winter. There have definitely been days where I procrastinated until the last possible second. Here are some tips that make it easier to get out the door:

1.) Have everything ready to go. If my running clothes are ready, my watch is charged, etc then it makes it that much easier to get out the door.

2.) Sign up for a spring race. I’m running a race at the beginning of April. Winter seems to last through April in Vermont so I have no choice, but to train in the winter.

3.) Make an AWESOME playlist. I rarely listen to music when I run, but sometimes the only thing that can get me out the door is knowing I can space out and listen to music. So I made an awesome playlist and have it ready for those days I’m struggling.

4.) HAND WARMERS. Oh my goodness! I went too many years without hand warmers, but in the last couple years they have made winter running so much more tolerable. I hate when my hands are cold on a run.

5.) Run your routes differently or drive some place new. Winter running sometimes bums me out. I can’t be out on the trails and my routes are VERY limited. So when I’m getting insanely bored, I run my route differently. Or I pick a main street and turn down different roads during my run and see where it leads me. Sometimes just a little change can make it that much easier!

6.) Warm up first. I have a rowing machine, some strength training equipment, and a yoga mat so on days where it just seems too cold, I do a quick warm up before I head outside.

7.) Wear proper layers. It definitely is a lot of trial and error about what works for you, but wearing the proper amount of layers is key to winter running.

8.) Have fun with it. Running with snowflakes falling around you and hearing the crunchiness under your feet can be pretty magical! Enjoy it! 🙂

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After a long run on Saturday, I was unable to get out yesterday due to the snow. I used to run in any conditions, but am finding running in snow and ice really hurts my knee. I’ll try to get out there today so I can stick to my plan, but we’ll have to see what the weather does. I might just have to switch Friday and Monday up.

My plan for this week is as follows:

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How do you get out the door during the winter?!

Starting New After a Tough Week

Happy happy Monday. It’s a new week! Can we just hit the refresh button on last week and start new? I had a pretty difficult week with training, life-balance, and just feeling healthy in general, so I’m looking forward to a fresh start this week.

I felt really sluggish in training all last week. It could be numerous things so I’m trying harder this week to get a full nights sleep, fuel properly for training, and reduce stress so that I can focus on feeling stronger. My pace was really all over the place and my knee was irritated almost every run so I’ve decided now that Sunday absolutely needs to be a rest day after my long runs on Saturdays. If the knee keeps hurting then I’m going to cut down to a 4 day running/3 day cross training plan temporarily. For now, this is what the fitness plan looks like:

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As for sleeping – I just need to stop staying up to do schoolwork, photography work, wellness work, etc and accept that things will get done at a later time. So my goal for this week is to get enough sleep in hopes that sluggish feeling will go away. I’ll also be meal prepping for the week (check out a meal prep post later this week) so that will allow me to fuel properly and not skip snacks and meals.

The great thing about having a tough week is it really allows you to take an honest look at what happened and how you can make it better. I let myself get too overly stressed and overbooked. My work schedule had me out of the office and I skipped meals. My school work was very intense this week and had me working past my bed time. In the end my running definitely suffered and I didn’t get around to the strength training, yoga, or rowing. Now I know what I need to do this week to get myself back on track!

I’m feeling great about the week ahead though – it’s going to be a good one! What’s your method for getting back on track after a tough week?

 

 

 

 

Weekly Fitness Plan: January 29

You probably (or maybe you didn’t and that’s cool too) notice that I’ve started running my hill running group again. It’s such a difficult running group, but keeps me in shape and helps improve my speed. For some reason it never gets easier. Ever. I can’t quite figure out how that works. If someone figures this one out, please let me know!

In case you’re wondering how the hill running group works (and also the majority of the hill runs I do on my own) – we pick a very steep 1 mile hill. The first loop we run 1/3 of the way up, the second loop we run 2/3 of the way up, the third loop we run all the way up. After this, we run to another steep hill that’s about 1/4 mile and run a few repeats. I always total about 7.5ish miles for this run (I run to and from my car as well) and it always takes it out of me. This group has been incredible with helping me improve my speed though! My hope that is by incorporating this group every week and pushing myself to be comfortable with uncomfortable, I’ll be able to crush my half marathon PR this year.

Here’s the fitness plan for the week!

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Happy Monday!

 

Practicing Gratitude

I used to be great about writing in a journal when I lived overseas. I wanted to document my experiences and have these great stories to remember for a long time. After I got back to the States, I didn’t keep up with the daily habit. Lately I’ve been wanting to journal again and more specifically write down what I’m grateful for every day.

Practicing gratitude can be such a helpful way to relieve stress and appreciate what you have around you (which unfortunately many of us can lose sight of during our busy days).

This week hasn’t been pretty. Like many weeks my schedule has been booked solid from 5am until I go to bed. The stress from that, work, commuting, school, training, and recovering from an ill-timed cold got the best of me. Last night I was stressed beyond belief crying about how I’m coaching people in life balance and not practicing it in my own life and my partner made me point out things I’m grateful for. He kept making me point out things until slowly I started feeling better.

Though I’ve encouraged practicing gratitude with my own wellness coaching clients, I haven’t been practicing it as much as I should in my own life. I’ll be the first to admit, wellness coaches may know exactly what to do for a better life balance, but we also have trouble following through with it every week (we are human after all)! So this week, I’ll be starting a gratitude journal. Additionally, I’ll be trying to incorporate little moments throughout my day to do a quick relaxing yoga session, walk in the fresh air, and definitely schedule some much needed me time before I go absolutely crazy!

In case you’re wondering, today I’m thankful for:

1.) A loving, supportive, encouraging, sweet, inspiring, and all around amazing partner.

2.) A cuddly, sleepy, and often adorably grumpy puppy that loves to love and only wants to be loved.

3.) The weekend – even though it’s busy, there will be pockets of time to practice self-care, run, spend time with the pup and my lovely partner, and sleep a full 8 hours each night.

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Should You Run Through a Cold?

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Homemade orange, carrot, lemon juice to knock this cold out. 

Part of training for races or even just having a fitness plan is sticking with the plan, but also accepting and being open to changes in the plan. This week has already been a bit of a bust with running as my Sunday run just couldn’t happen. I came down with a nasty head cold on Saturday and any weekend running was just out of the picture. I rescheduled Sunday’s run for Tuesday, tonight’s run will likely be Friday or just taken out of the calendar completely, and hopefully then I will be back on track ASAP!

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I generally run through colds if I don’t have a fever or if it’s not in my chest. This weekend unfortunately, I was barely moving off the couch so I made an executive decision that running would harm my training rather than do any good. A hard lesson learned for me over the years is – it’s always good to figure out if the miles you’re going to run will be beneficial or if they’ll just be junk miles. Pushing yourself to run can be good especially if the lack of motivation is mental, from slight fatigue, or a slight cold. However, if you’re really sick and exhausted, running or pushing yourself through a tough workout could make you much worse.

This week marks the first week of training (ha! – off to a good start with the first two days out of commission)- I’ve just been maintaining/building mileage up until this point, however, now I will start increasing mileage and adding tougher workouts. It’s crazy that it’s time to train again – this winter flew by pretty quickly!

For reference, if you’re paying attention to my training plans – I’m running half marathons through May and then a half ultra in June. Likely July and August will be for recovering and then maybe a couple more races in the fall.