Sunday, March 19, 2017

Running Hard or Hardly Running

For me it's been the latter. Hardly running.

There are times to push and times to cut back. Now is a time to cut back but I feel really good about it. I'm running enough to maintain fitness to cover the miles of the Hot Chocolate 15k coming up in April but I'm not pushing my body's limits either.

Honestly, I'm exhausted and all I want to do is eat beef tacos.

Running the Hot Chocolate 15k is still the plan though I'm going to run at a more enjoyable pace rather than race pace. Take in the sights, visit with fellow runners. Besides, I'm guaranteed a PR since this is my first 15k ever, right! ;)


That's enough beating around the bush.

What it comes down to is that I'm really excited to share some news with you all but I'm not quite ready yet. Soon enough!

Until then, just enjoy some beef tacos for me. With crushed Doritos is a bonus.

Hot Chocolate 15k Training Week 4:
03/13-03/19


MONDAY: 

3.17 mi, 00:30 @ 09:27 pace. Due to my fatigue lately, I'm cutting back mileage and down the pace. I figured moving forward slowly is better than not moving at all! I took the kids out for a stroller walk that afternoon because the sun was shining too brightly to resist.

TUESDAY: 

Vinyasa Yoga Flow video. The kids and I spent some time outside sliding around on the ice and climbing trees in the afternoon.


WEDNESDAY: 

3.54 mi, 00:34 @ 09:38 pace. I took the double jogger out of hibernation mode today! The kids and I ran errands in town and back home again. I forgot how hard it is to steer with 2 toddlers, 2 gallons of milk and a load of other groceries. I need to work on my mom muscles!


THURSDAY

Runner's Yoga

FRIDAY:

Long Run: 6.39 mi, 01:00 @ 09:23 pace. I switched my long run for today so I could run without the stroller. The morning was a rainy 36°F and the warmer weather felt so nice. I kept the pace easy and took the dog with for a few miles. Felt great overall minus a little nausea here and there. And thirsty. Always thirsty!


SATURDAY:

3 mi, 00:27 @ 09:06 pace. I'm feeling so tired lately so I called it good at three miles. Definitely looking forward to tomorrow's rest day!

Sunday:

Rest day.

How is your running going this week?



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly & Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dear Mom of a High Need Baby

The first 18 months of our second child's life are still a blur in my mind.

As I was warned, our second bundle of joy was much different than his older brother. Our first was a "by the book" baby and quite easy going. Our second is quite the opposite.

His struggles started with constipation and sensitive skin rashes and then ear infection after ear infection. While I adore all the cuddles from our sweet babies, my little W was very much attached to my hip for a looong time.


We have many special memories together in those early months but we also had quite the challenges as well. I know, I know. Enjoy every second because the years are short but some days feel extra long. Like suffocatingly long. And the nights were even longer.

Everything our sweet second-born did was high-intensity.

All babies are born needy but some are definitely more intense and less content than others. Dr. Sears' High Needs Baby articles cover the topic much better than I can put to words.

The 18 months were filled with frustration, confusion from all of the mixed messages and secrecy because I was embarrassed to share these struggles with others. Frequently wondering "am I doing the right thing?" 

Finding someone that could relate, that truly understood the mess of emotions was rare.
GUILT for not enjoying every second with our new baby. For not being able to give his older brother the attention he needed because the baby was so all-consuming. For feeling like I had done something wrong.

ANXIETY from baby's constant fussing and feeling like this season would never end. Like I had somehow "spoiled" the baby to make him so fussy.

FRUSTRATION with all of the advice and judgement from those who didn't understand the situation or know our baby.

DISCOURAGED feeling like I was a "bad mom" and that I had somehow ruined our baby. Maybe he was better off in someone else's care.

ALONE because sharing these struggles lead to more advice and judgement.
These extra trying months drew me closer to the Lord and He answered my many desperate prayers by teaching me to be patient and praise Him in ALL circumstances. I decided to love my family the best I could exactly where we were, to see the good in these days and to ride out this tough season acknowledging that the Lord had a purpose in it all.

In the course of our trial and error, I learned that the "cry-it-out" method doesn't work with high need babies. That is the truth. We tried and it was miserable.

Baby W had such resilience that he gained momentum as the crying time went on. The poor baby had major diarrhea because of the stress and then he was extra fussy for the next 24-hours to make up for lost time. Though many people insisted "it worked" for them, it wasn't worth sitting by the wayside while our baby was miserable.

That's when I decided it was enough. My mother's intuition told me clearly this was not the way to care for my child.

So what then?

Baby W breastfed for 18 months and during that time, I found the only way to get any sleep was to co-sleep. GASP. Yes, we did and you know what happened? We all got sleep.

At 20 months, I laid him down in the toddler bed, just to try it out, and I sat on the floor bed-side. He fell asleep on his own and slept there. The whole night. I was in shock and a little confused by this newfound freedom.

Since then, W and his big brother have been sharing a room and he sleeps the whole night through. It's an answer to many prayers. He occasionally wakes up extra early and when I tell him it's still sleep time, he calmly goes back to bed.

This was something that we couldn't make him do in our time but that he grew into in his own time.

Now our feisty toddler boy is growing more independent every day and he is still just as full of spunk as the day he was born. High need babies are not easy to parent but they certainly aren't lacking passion in life!

I am so thankful for the children the Lord has blessed us with and their unique personalities.

Dear Mom of a High Need Baby,
I hope you can get some rest and find encouraged in knowing that this season won't last forever. Cling to the Lord for your strength, comfort precious, extra passionate baby and know that you are not alone. It's hard to find someone who understands but they are out there somewhere. Know that God made you mother to this sweet baby on purpose and for His glory. Take it one minute at a time, one day at a time, one month at a time and most of all TRUST the direction the Lord leads you in.
Every baby is a unique and a gift from the Lord.

We tend to say that a baby that sleeps through the night is a "good baby" but it's wrong.
There is no such thing as a BAD baby. 

Sleeping through the night at one month or one year.
Big eater or picky eater.
Contented or extra fussy.
Teeny tiny or top of the percentile.

Every, every, every single baby is a gift from the Lord and God made you specifically to be that baby's mother.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Linking up with Mommy Moments.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Covering All the Bases of Sport Nutrition | Beachbody Review

Disclaimer: I received the Beachbody Performance Nutrition System to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have mentioned before that I am a no-frills kind of runner. I keep my routine, gear and nutrition relatively simple. My pre-workout banana + PB toast, gels during the run and post-workout chocolate milk have served me well but I'm always up to try something new!

As a BibRave Pro, I received the opportunity to try some of the products in the Beachbody Performance Nutrition System as I train for the Hot Chocolate 15k Minnesota in April. The Beachbody Nutrition System is NSF Certified, meaning they have been rigorously tested to meet NSF’s strict banned substance standards when taken at the recommended serving size.

The Beachbody Advanced Performance Stack

Pre-Workout: ENERGIZE

Beachbody's Energize is a pre-workout energy boost without the jittery side effects to be taken 30 minutes before exercising (just mix with water!). The key ingredients are Beta-alanine, low-dose caffeine (100 mg from green tea & coffee bean extract) and quercetin.

As a coffee drinker, I personally don't need the extra source of caffeine in this product. According to the Energize label, it should not be consumed while pregnant or breastfeeding. While I did enjoy the Energize flavor, this product just isn't for me.

Energize IS a great fit for those in need of a jitter-free pre-workout caffeine boost though! I think this product would serve as a healthier alternative for someone who drinks pop (or "soda" as they call it in some locations).


During Workout: HYDRATE

I drink Hydrate during workouts and sometimes even on non-running days because I really like the taste and it helps my body to more effectively rehydrate. I don't like the typical sports drinks sold at the store because they are too sweet but I DO like that Hydrate is naturally sweetened with Stevia and natural flavors.

While water is my main hydration source, Hydrate is a nice change of taste that replenishes the electrolytes lost through all that sweating. This is by far my favorite Beachbody product.


Post-Workout: RECOVER

When Recover is consumed within 30 minutes after exercising, the key ingredients help support muscle glycogen recovery while managing exercise-induced muscle soreness. Recover packs 20 grams of fast-, intermediate-, and slow-release proteins and assures you have a sustained supply of amino acids, the components of protein that serve as your body's building blocks.

I tried the chocolate-flavored Recover (also available in orange) and I like the taste! I have been turned off to protein shakes or similar products because of the funky aftertaste but Recover tastes much better than your typical protein shake.


Nighttime: RECHARGE

The key components in Recharge promote overnight muscle recovery and repair, and help combat exercise-induced muscle soreness. This product contains 20 grams of slow-release micellar casein protein that improves your overnight muscle recover and improves adaptation to exercise.

Especially after a long run or hard workout day, Recharge is a great protein source to prevent a junk food binge one hour before bedtime. That's usually when I crave junk! I thought the vanilla flavor was okay when mixed with water. Blending it with an ice and water combo, making a Recharge "Milkshake", would make the taste better!


The Beachbody Advanced Performance Stack is available for $199.95 plus $23.95 s&h. This nutrition system certainly isn't cheap but I will give Beachbody props for their 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. That really shows the confidence they have in their products!

Hot Chocolate 15k Training Week 3:
03/06-03/12


MONDAY: 

4.28 mi, 00:40 @ 09:22 pace. Easy-effort miles in the morning with our dog. He is a great pacer during the easy runs, as this is the speed he prefers. It's all too easy to run too hard on easy days and too easy on hard days! Saul keeps me accountable.


TUESDAY: 

(Treadmill) 3 mi, 00:25 @ 08:12 pace. I have been feeling very fatigued and nauseated but I managed to pull off 10 x 1:00 on/1:00 jog fartleks on the 'mill. I kept this workout short by finishing the 3 miles and calling it good.

WEDNESDAY: 

Runner's Yoga video (25:29).

THURSDAY

(Treadmill) 3.3 mi, 00:30 @ 09:05 pace. Easy evening miles watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, Season 1. A tempo run was on the schedule but I knew I needed to take it easy.

FRIDAY:

The body says rest and rest I will!

SATURDAY:

Long Run: (Treadmill) 6.64 mi, 01:00 @ 09:02 pace. I took this run indoors at my parents' place as we are back in another cold stretch! Spring will come soon. I hope!


Sunday:

Rest day.

Do you use for pre, during and post workout fueling?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Frozen Energy Bites to Fuel Your Training

It has been quite a while since I last shared a recipe and these Frozen Energy Bites are just too good not to share! My youngest brother sent me this recipe and I had to try it for myself using Once Again nut butter.


I had the privilege of enjoying Once Again's Cashew Butter, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter and Sunflower Seed Butter. Their products are organic and contain minimal additional ingredients, which I really appreciate. Their main ingredient: Nuts!

Now on to the recipe. Because you know you want to try these:


Frozen Energy Bites

  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: add 1/4 cup honey or applesauce 

It really doesn't get more simple than this! I mixed everything together in my Kitchen Aid starting with the bananas and moving down the list.

I did try the recipe with two different nut butters: first with Once Again's Almond Butter and second with the Peanut Butter. They both were great flavor-wise but the peanut butter worked best because of it's firmer texture. The almond butter was a little more runny and didn't hold the oats together well.


After mixing the ingredients, I spooned them onto a tray and simply placed them in the freezer. They "set" for an hour or two and were the perfect afternoon snack.

P.S. How cute is the Once Again raccoon mascot? Meet Rocky. Check out the Once Again "About Us" page to learn the story about Rocky the nut butter mascot!


My brother stored his in an empty egg carton and that was a great idea that saves space in your freezer:

Credit for this one goes to Ryan!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did!

The Cashew Butter would be tasty in this recipe as well but I preferred to eat it by the spoonful. If you haven't tried it before, I highly recommend Once Again's Cashew Butter. SO good!

The Almond Butter and Peanut Butter are also great products. The Sunflower Seed Butter wasn't my cup of tea but I do appreciate its natural ingredients.

Where'd all the Cashew Butter go?!

Connect with Once Again: onceagainnutbutter.com | facebook.com/OnceAgainNutButter | twitter.com/OnceAgainEsop | instagram.com/once_again_nut_butter

Linking up with Mommy Moments.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program (greenmomsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Essential Eye Protection for Runners | XX2i France 2 Review

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i France 2 sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Until the last few years, I rarely used to wear sunglasses. I didn't see them as a necessity and I felt self conscious in them because they just didn't look right on me.

My thinking changed over the countless hours I spent running outside in the elements. I needed to do something to protect my eyes and skin while in the sun to prevent long-term damage such as skin cancer or eye cataracts.

Finding the right sunglasses makes all the difference. I have had some that slipped off my nose during runs, some that wouldn't stay on top of my head and others that scratched easily. Thankfully, I finally found the sunglasses that fit the bill!

As a BibRave Pro, I received the XX2i France 2 sunglasses and I have nothing but good things to say about them. They have exceeded all of my expectations.


I know the rule is to NEVER try anything new on race day but I did it (call me a rebel). My XX2i's arrived in the mail the day before race day and, as a responsible BibRave-er of course, I had to put them to the test. Let's just call it "dedication", right?

My first run with the XX2i France 2 sunglasses was the Frozen Feat 10k and it was the perfect day to break them in. The day was unusually warm for mid-February and it was sunny and a bit windy.


PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS

The France 2's protected my eyes from the wind and the sun. Even in the winter, the sun's reflection off the snow can cause sunburn on your skin and even burn the surface of the eye. When I crossed the finish, the sunglasses did fog when I came to a stand-still but they quickly adjusted to the change in temperature.


STAY IN PLACE

The XX2i France 2's stayed in place as I ran and didn't slip off my nose as I sweat. Believe me, the 40°F had me sweating!

The France 2's stay in place when I wear them on my face and up on my head. I wear my glasses on top of my head while visiting with people and also for mid-run weather changes, such as dark clouds rolling in. My last pair of glasses fell off in that position frequently but the France 2's stay firmly in place. Even when I reach down to tie my shoes!


AFFORDABLE WITHOUT SACRIFICING QUALITY

The XX2i France 2 sunglasses are available for $59.99 MSRP and certainly don't sacrifice quality at the cost of being affordable (just wait 'til I mention the lifetime warranty!).

The France 2's come with a tank protector case, one microfiber soft carrying bag (that doubles as a lens cleaner!), adjustable temple tips and adjustable nose pads. They come in multiple styles, colors, and lens configurations including Polarized, Sport Reader and fully Rx-able lenses. The Tortoise Brown color fit me best and finally I found glasses that look good on me!


LIFETIME GUARANTEE

Now here is my favorite part: XX2i offers a Lifetime Warranty on any breaks or scratches at the cost of only the nominal shipping/handling fee! WOW. That is huge! They also offer a 365-day Return Policy at only the cost of shipping/handling. Two thumbs up for XX2i's customer service!

Use the code "marchbibrave" to take 50% off your XX2i purchase until March 28 at http://www.xx2i.com/ and be sure to join us for #BibChat with XX2i on Twitter on MARCH 21 at 8 PM CST and you will have a chance to win your own XX2i sunglasses!

Hot Chocolate 15k Training Week 2:
02/27-03/05


MONDAY: 

4.15 mi, 00:38 @ 09:13 pace. Our dog joined me for 2 miles of this early morning run. The weather has cooled off again but it's still nice to get outside!


TUESDAY: 

4 mi, 00:34 @ 08:36 pace with 6 x 2:00 hard, 1:00 jog. Early morning fartlek intervals. I really struggle with speedwork in the morning! Especially when it's cold (4 degrees F), my body takes quite a while to warm up.

WEDNESDAY: 

Runner's Yoga video (25:29).

THURSDAY

(Treadmill) 5 mi, 00:39 @ 07:48 pace. Tempo run on the 'mill. My stomach has been really sick lately but running felt fine. I hope hope HOPE I'm not getting a stomach bug. No, thank you!

FRIDAY:

Happy birthday, E! Today we celebrated our oldest turning 4! Lots of cake and fun :) Stretching and yoga in the evening.


SATURDAY:

Long Run: 10.32 mi, 01:30 @ 08:43 pace.


Sunday:

Rest day.

What is your biggest sunglasses pet peeve?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.