Saturday, February 28, 2015

1 Sentence Saturday!


I was feeling so free today...




Beautiful day, beautiful flowers....






The family that hikes together...



Chasing butterflies...



This is what Saturday is all about (at least when you can't race for a while!) :)



Josh and Megan decided to race a "marathon"!



Get set - GOOOO!!!!




Runners always hydrate after a race...





And hitch a ride back to their car...




Even though the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 aren't right for my running, they are great for a nature walk/hike!




And when we arrived home I made a protein smoothie with frozen mango, strawberries and peaches!!




Afterwards, some serious core work - I am working on the number of push ups I can do in one set - up to 20!!



I was talking a lot yesterday about gait analysis, how to get a proper full body analysis (not just a quick one at the local shoe store) and how it can save you from injury in the long run (oops! More than one sentence - but this is important).
Go HERE and HERE for all the info!!


Hope your Saturday was fantastic!!

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Last Friday of February and spring is around the corner!

Let's do this!!

1. The girls and I had a quick, super fun trip to Disneyland today and advertisements for the new Cinderella movie were everywhere! The trailer really captured my attention and I am excited to see this movie! Plus, who doesn't love Cate Blanchett?!






2. Really love using this pure dark chocolate cocoa. The kiddos were really jazzed about having hot chocolate tonight and I used this dark chocolate version rather than the regular. In a saucepan, add 2 cups of milk, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, a dash of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar (special treat!). Mix and then warm over medium heat until it is the temperature that you desire. Then add 4 tablespoons of cocoa = dessert in a mug! (I doubled the recipe and it was just enough for the 3 kiddos = none for Mom!). The kiddos were in chocolate heaven and quiet as mice (never happens :)
I also make the yummiest chocolate cake with frosting and I use this cocoa in the recipe! You can check it out HERE!





3. Jerold and I used to go to Napa every spring. We are definitely overdue for a trip, but one wine that we fell in love with while touring their winery (we love our wine!) is THIS one! So, so delicious - apple, melon and pear with a hint of oak spice - YUM.






4.  I have had a lot of people ask me about a recipe I love to make - beet pancakes! Oh so good and a perfect way to to start your day (starting the day with veggies = smart eating). The color is so pretty too! I got the recipe from THIS website - which I love and its one of my go to sources for making quick, healthy meals for my kiddos.




5. The end of February is here and I thought it would be fitting to end this post with a tribute to Black History Month. I saw the movie Selma a couple of weeks ago and WOW - so powerful and a great movie that I think all Americans would appreciate. It is neat to see a film on this subject, where the protagonists move forward in a peaceful, positive manner. Yay for that!
The song Glory (from the film) just won the Academy Award for best original song.
A positive, meaningful, totally cool song...
Enjoy.






Have a fantastic weekend and happy running and racing!!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Let's talk about self defense - HOW TO RUN SAFELY

We talk so much about the details of running...
Speed work, progression runs, farleks, tempo runs, long, slow distance runs.
How to prevent injuries, core exercises, weight training, nutrition, rest days, hydration...

But, it's time to talk about SAFETY.





How much time are we spending thinking about being safe when we are out on the roads?

I think about my last marathon training cycle and how much time I spent outside running. Hours and hours of running outside every week for months on end. I gave a little bit of thought to safety, but not enough. There were definitely summer evenings that I set out on my run when dusk was on the horizon. There were many, many early mornings that I was out on the road  when the sun hadn't begun its rise into the sky.
I think we all know, it's better to be proactive, then reactive.

So, here we go!

5 ways to develop and execute a running safety plan:

1. Always, always tell someone your running route.

By this, I mean in detail. Whether you text it or leave a written plan to your spouse, friend, neighbor or your Mom - just do it!
When I would go out on long or short runs, here is what Jerold and I would briefly discuss:

A. How many total miles I would be running. This includes any warm up or cool down time. 
We also talked about pace - was it a long, slow distance run, recovery run, tempo run, ect.
This way, he would know if I was running a 4 mile recovery run - I wouldn't be gone for 1 hour.

B. Am I taking my phone? Yes. I always have my phone with me. I would take my smart phone out of the protective case and it easily fits in the back zipper pocket of THESE shorts (my favorite!).

C. Jerold installed THIS (works on Android and iOS) app on both of our phones. It is really cool! He can check in and see where I am on the run. I would have already told him the route (with a couple of scenerios - just in case I changed my mind, I wouldn't be bound to the exact route.), and he would see me - it actually has my name and the box just moves along the route! In an emergency, Jerold could see that I abruptly changed locations or was moving faster than I ever could on foot.

D. That I would try and call him halfway on a super long run. For instance, if I was going 18 miles and he wasn't meeting up with me with nutrition or hydration, then I would give him a quick call or text 9 or 10 miles into the run.

E. That I would never go on a trail run alone. Okay, There is one trail that I have run on alone, but it's a extremely well populated wide trail with runners, bikers and walkers. One time I was running a 7 mile out and back run, and I got to a spot halfway through the run, where it was completely isolated.
I felt a tiny bit uneasy, but it just made me run faster on the way back. That was a time where it would have been great to run with a friend or running group.

F. NOTE: I never run the same route every day. Change things around. Don't be predictable. No one should be able to figure out that you run the same 5 mile loop every morning at 5:30 am.


2. Carry an ID on you. 

Ugh. I wasn't good about this. Brought my phone but not an ID most times. You can get a runner's ID that fits on your shoe. Find it HERE.


3. Don't run with earbuds.

Okay. I don't run with music, but so many runners love their music! The question is: how safe is it out on the road?
From the danger of traffic, to someone coming up behind you - running with earbuds limits what you can hear around you. I am not trying to be a party pooper, but it may be best to leave the ear buds for the treadmill. Running with them on an outdoor track may be okay IF the track is well populated.

4. Carry something to defend yourself. 

Oops. I haven't done this at all, but I think it's time to change that. Mace and pepper spray are two options. This would also come in handy to protect yourself from an angry, chasing dog.


5. Use reflective clothing and lights. 

People and cars need to see you. Whether it is dusk or dawn - both of those times of day are dark and it may be hard to see a runner.


Check out THIS informative article on self defense tips for runners!

Great!! We are all on our way to being safer runners!!

Now get out there and have a great run and please run some extra miles for me!! :)

How do YOU fit safety into your running?


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nat's Runbit #21 - Stunning marathon locations that will make anyone want to do 26.2!

Running and travel. Two of my favorite things in the world!!

My misson for this Runbit was twofold:

1. Find the most captivating, beautiful locations to run a marathon and turn the experience into the ultimate "runcation".

2. An individual or company to organize it all for you (or a group of your best running friends!) and all you have to do is pack and show up to the starting line.

I found an awesome company called Amazing Running Tours, owned by Sue Randolph who started the company in 1999 and is also a runner.





This company seems to have it all for the adventurous runner who wants to explore beautiful, international locations. You can choose from road races, trail runs or even a triathlon! And if you don't want to go further than Alaska, they can arrange that also. You can run the beautiful Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage (which is also a Boston qualifier - bonus!)

Want to run a marathon in the Galapagos Islands in October? Amazing Running Tours has a fantastic package that reads like a dream trip. Also, I love how they give back! If you run this marathon, every runner will either sponsor a local runner and pay for their race entry OR provide their running gear. How cool is that?

From Iceland to Australia, The Cook Islands to Dublin, Costa Rica to Buenos Aires - you have many gorgeous choices to choose from all year long. And this is just the list of marathons!
Sue and her team also have incredible trail races in far flung locales like Patagonia, New Zealand and China. The best part?! After your race is over, you get to rest and then take in some incredible sightseeing for a complete vacation (sign me up!).
Before we sign on the dotted line, we all like to read reviews, right? Well, other runners and running groups have a lot of great things to say about their experiences with Amazing Running Tours- check out the reviews HERE.

You can check out the company and their schedule for 2015 HERE!

Sooo - grab your passport and GO!

Have you ever run an international marathon?
I have not yet, but can't wait!!!

Travel and happy running = 

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A big injury update - hoping for a huge pot of gold in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Today marks 11 weeks (yes weeks!) since my last run.

Wow oh wow, this has been a roller coaster ride. A ride filled with a bag full of various emotions: shock, frustration, sadness, hope, determination, happiness, shock again and then steely resolve.

If you are new to my blog, you may not know that I am dealing with a big injury. You can read a little bit more about it HERE and  HERE.

This is what my injury in my right knee looks like (As of the mid January MRI):




A quick summary...

- Trained hard in summer 2014
- Ran the Ventura Marathon in Sept. 2014
- BQ!
- End of September, knee started hurting
- Month of October, took a bit of (2 weeks was the maximum) time off - went to   see doc and get MRI
- Month of November - more time off (off and on)
- Month of December - Another MRI and now 6 weeks off, with hopes of healing
  and training for Boston.
- January 20th - 6 weeks elapsed. No signs of healing. No Boston and left with            the idea that I would have surgery to heal the injury.

Question: Why would I have surgery to heal a stress fracture?

Answer: This isn't your typical stress fracture. What is happening in my right knee is called an Osteochondral Defect. Basically what has happened is a piece of the cartilage and a piece of the bone in my knee has died. In addition, it isn't getting the blood flow that it needs to heal.
It think it is pretty interesting! You can read more about it HERE.
This type of injury is very rare. My doctor told me that there are millions and millions of runners in the world. This type of injury happens to only a few. A few.
I am one of the few.
The solution from my doctor was that he would take stem cells from my hip bone and insert them into my knee. This would allow blood flow and healing to the injury. 6 weeks of crutches and 4 months total of recovery and I would be back to running again.
After I initially left the doctor's office in January, I was gung ho to go ahead with the surgery and there was talk of having it done within a week.
Then, I went home and thought a lot about it. Was there another way for this injury to heal besides having surgery? Would more time off do the trick? Should I get a second opinion? Do more research?

Question: What causes this type of injury?

Answer: The jury is still out on a definitive answer. But several doctors (more on my talking to other doctors in a moment) have told me that it can be a number of things:

1. Overuse (lots of hard running)
2. Genetics
3. They don't know!

I felt that I needed to get a second and even third opinion before I made my final decision on the surgery. I realized this is pretty serious, and could effect my knee and my running (so important to me!!!) long term.
Today I was very fortunate to talk to two different doctors about the situation.
Both are family friends - one is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in elbow and shoulder injuries. He studied my MRI results and consulted with another doctor who deals with knee injuries.

1. He said to me that although this was not his area of expertise, he felt like surgery would be my best option. BUT - there are different surgical approaches and he wanted to make sure that I am taking the right approach. One concern was that if I took approach #1 with my current doctor (who he said he heard great things about!) - taking stem cells from my hip bone and inserting them into the knee - he was concerned with the cartilage replacement. He felt like stem cells alone may not hold up for my knee in the long term. Cartilage replacement needs to come from somewhere - my own cartilage or from someone else.
This doctor felt like I should definitely get another opinion and gave me a name of a fabulous ortho surgeon in San Diego. 
His question: Would I be willing to go to San Diego to meet with this doctor?
My answer: Of course!!!!
Course of action: Calling this San Diego doctor and taking a trip to see him ASAP.
Happiness point: A trip to San Diego!

2. The second doctor that I talked to today was another family friend who is a radiologist who has about 40 years of experience.
He is not an ortho surgeon, but he has a good friend who heads up an ortho dept. (and specializes in the knee) in New Mexico and will be a wonderful resource to talk to. He is going to going over my MRI results with the New Mexico doc and I hope to have an answer next week.
What he did tell me is again - the Osteochondral Defect means the bone and cartilage have died. Surgery is most likely the best option to heal the injury. Wants to see what the New Mexico doc says and what his plan of action would be.

Whew! A lot to digest, but here is the plan of action:

1. Get down to San Diego as soon as the doc can see me and consult with him.

2. Wait to hear back from the New Mexico doc and my friend.

3. Talk again with my original doc and ask additional questions.

The surgery is going to happen, now I just have to make sure I am getting the procedure that is right for me.
Also, I want to lay out my long term plans (lifelong runner, marathons are important to me, fast marathons and running is important to me. I have a lot of goals yet that I have not achieved.) to the doctor that I choose to perform the surgery. Ortho surgeons that specialize in athletes understand that for an athlete (even if the athlete isn't a pro - which I certainly am not) their sport is super important and the doctor's focus is properly healing the patient, while still getting them back to their sport.

My goal is still to be back to running by this summer. 

In some ways it feels like such a long, long time and yet I know summer will be here in a blink!
I just have to keep cross training and building strength and focus on what's to come.
A lot of great running is in my (near) future and I can't wait!!

I will definitely update on the blog what is happening and when the big surgical date will occur. Really hoping that we can finalize details and make it happen in early March! But mostly, I am so thankful for the wonderful friends in my life who are doctors and can help lead me in the right direction and give me solid advice (thank you!!).

Sometimes I chuckle at the irony of life and timing. I started this blog to talk about running first and foremost. Yes, its about healthy food and healthy living - but the main focus of this blog is running.
I am not running right now, but the blog's main focal point will be about running and how to juggle (and enjoy) it all with a busy life. I do truly love food also! Love healthy recipes and I know that what we put into our bodies is so important.

I definitely had a sad moment (okay sad 30 minutes) with Jerold tonight. I am so, so thankful for him! He always knows what to say and when to say it. He basically told me to keep pushing, keep working hard and focus on the end result = getting back out there! It will come.... it will come.

Have an excellent Tuesday and happy running! 
Run some extra miles for me!!! :)

Have you ever had a severe injury from running? How did you get through it?

What is the longest amount of time you have been sidelined from running?
This has been the longest for me (other than pregnancy) - 11 weeks!

Happiness is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Recap!

Well, I made it through the Prana 12 day yoga challenge! I had such a blast participating in this challenge and  I am looking forward to continuing with yoga regularly to become a better, faster runner!

Let's catch up on the last 3 poses (and the weekend!), shall we?

Wednesday's pose was the Anjaneya Variation Twist (Hold opposite side leg)...





Thursday's pose was the Camatkarasana (better known as wild thing!)....


Whoa! This was quite a stretch and I am looking forward to eventually getting both hands on the ground for a full back bend. This is where I am now, so... baby steps!! :)

Friday's pose was the very last one! It was so relaxing and easy. This is called the Tadasana pose (Mountain pose) with hands in Lotus Mudra. Love this!!



Friday was also a fun food day! I went to Whole Foods and bought the most beautiful purple cauliflower...


The kiddos and I were so excited about it and I decided to make a yummy stir fry for our Friday night dinner! Here is the quick and easy recipe:



Shrimp Stir Fry with Purple Cauliflower



  Author: Natrunsfar
  Prep Time: 10 minutes
  Cook time: 18-20 minutes
  Total time: 28-30 minutes
  Serves: 3-5


  Ingredients:

  ~ 1 head of purple cauliflower
  ~ 1 bag of frozen shrimp from Trader Joe's (cooked with tail                removed)
  ~ 1 organic yellow bell pepper
  ~ 2 organic broccoli crowns
  ~ 2 organic carrots
  ~ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  ~ 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper 
  ~ 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  Directions:

  1. Start cooking brown rice. I use Trader Joe's organic quick cook           brown rice (cooks in 12 minutes).
  2. Wash broccoli and cauliflower and cut into medium sized                   pieces.
  3. In a large wok or skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to                         the pan over medium heat. Heat oil for 30 seconds.
  4. Add broccoli and cauliflower to the wok. 
  5. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked, but             not over done (the broccoli should still be bright green).
  6. Add bell pepper to the wok and cook for two                                       minutes.
  7. Add shrimp (thawed) and cook  for another 2-3                                 minutes.
  8. Serve hot over brown rice.



Saturday

Lots of core work and a P90x workout today! A great workout!!

Also, Jerold found this beautiful flower in our yard and picked it for me (so sweet!). A sign that spring is near?



Josh and I had a lot of fun making a video cheering all of our runner friends on for their long runs on Sunday morning! NOTE: Click the video to start and then click it again to stop (otherwise it will keep playing!!) :)





Sunday was a lot of lazy fun with the family and a big 2 hour NAP for me!!!

I enjoyed watching the Academy Awards - Love Julianne Moore, so that was definitely a highlight...







I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Do you like to watch the Academy Awards? Do you watch the show with friends in a party type atmosphere or at home?
I was in my jammies at home!

Happiness Is Running Life!


xo,
Natalie

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Seriously, wasn't it just Friday?!

Let's get to it!!

1.




When Jerold and I first got married, one of the best dinner parties that we had was an Hors D'oeuvres party. We bought this book (I love Martha - Jerold...not so much!) and made like 10 of the appetizers from this book. It was so, so fun!! Love this book! The photography is beautiful and there are some amazing choices for you to wow your guests (or yourself! :)


2. 

Cashmere Duster in Snow

This cashmere duster from Calpyso St. Barth!! I live in this sweater. If I could sleep in it,  I would. It is so nice just to throw on with leggings or jeans. It is super soft, well made and luxurious. LOVE.


3.


Bear Naked® V'nilla Almond Fit Granola

If I don't have time to make my own granola, I have been loving on THIS lately! YUM!!


4. 


Anchor Tote


I am in love with this beach tote! I carry it everywhere and throw everything in it!! It comes in a few colors and designs. My bag is this navy color with a white anchor. :)


5. 

Light As Air Thong


THIS underwear!! No fuss, no panty lines... enough said!


Weekend plans?
Lots of sleep, a birthday party and a hike!


Anyone racing this weekend?
I can't wait to race again!!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Let's talk about trail running - US National Park style...

I have a huge problem with wanderlust. 
Ask Jerold. 
He will tell you that I readily jump at the chance to travel...



I love the entire process of getting ready for a trip - from planning all the details and putting together our itinerary to getting on the plane (or in the car). I love exploring new places!

One big (Okay, huge) portion of our trips always revolves around running. I factor in how I will get my run done plus it is an amazing way to explore our new location. WIN!

Jerold and I have made wonderful running memories together from the spectacular trails in Kauai, to the quiet streets of Paris at dawn. From cobblestone roads in Puerto Vallarta (I ran a lot on these PV streets this summer while he stayed with the kiddos at the hotel) to high altitude trails in Ethiopia. From trails over looking the Golden Gate bridge to steep, challenging hills in Berkeley. From beautiful bike trails in Ohio to rolling hills in Tuscany. I have a fond memory of running hill repeats on a gargantuan hill near UC Berkeley when I was training for a race - Jerold cheering me on at the top (note that he had no desire to run the hill repeats!).

I came across a great article from National Geographic on ten top trail runs in US National Parks. I immediately scanned this list to see if I had run any of these trails (two!) and I am itching to run all of them. I think this is a pretty neat list and am excited to share it with you. Maybe you have run some (or all) of these trail runs. If not, they are great bucket list ideas!

Top 10 Trail Runs in US Parks


Photo: Runner on a trail in Channel Islands National Park
Photo from National Geographic

1. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

2. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC

3. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

4. Channel Islands National Park, California

5. Valley Forge National Historic Park, Pennsylvania

6. Muir Woods National Monument, California

7. Cape Hattras National Seashore, North Carolina

8. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

9. Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Oregon

10. Acadia National Park, Maine

You can read all the details about this awesome list HERE!

I have run parts of #2 (Golden Gate) and #6 (Muir Woods). Number four (Channel Islands) is pretty close to home for me so I will definitely check that out soon.

One of my bucket list items on this list is to run Acadia National Park at sunrise as that is the very first place to see the sunrise in the United States (pretty cool!).

Another great tidbit about these National Parks is that they are gorgeous locations for a family or couples vacation.

Enjoy and happy trail running!!

Have you had the pleasure of running on any of these trails? Which ones?

Have you started thinking about summer travel yet?
I definitely have and can't wait to run in a couple of (undecided) locales this summer. I know this will most likely involve borrowing or renting a jogging stroller for SBG. :)


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A peek into marathon week + more yoga (really?!)

I am still doing the Prana yoga challenge. Day 9 of 12 total days! I have never done a challenge of any kind before and it has been a really fun experience!
Let me catch you up on the last two days of poses...



This is Monday's pose (day 8) which is the Anjeneya Shoulder and Heart Opener



Tuesday's pose was the Anjeneya variation and this was a great stretch! I need to definitely work on getting the arm above my head wayyy back even more. Progress. It will come!

We are deep into winter marathon training for spring races and I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at the week directly before my last marathon: workouts, carb intake, rest etc. + one new tweak that I changed for the last meal before the race.
I hope this will help you get pumped and ready for your marathon as well as dissecting what really should happen in the all important last week of tapering before the big day. Of course everyone has a different training schedule, so your mileage or workouts may vary. This is just a look from the training program I used.
You want to feel great when you toe the starting line and be ready to run like a champ!

This week will start on Sunday and end on Sunday - race day.

Sunday August 31st: 8 miles at 1-2 minutes slower than race pace. This is the last longish run before the race. I was saving the speed for next Sunday. I ran at a nice and relaxed pace - letting my mind wander to race strategy, nutrition (Started slowly carbo loading. Fruits, veggies and grains was the main focus Everything I put into my mouth had a purpose. Lots of fluids also.) and reminding myself of all the hard work I put in over the 18 week training cycle. 
The hay is in the barn as they say. I am ready!

Monday September 1st: 3 miles super easy pace. I also had the option of a total rest day. Note: no cross training or a long time on my feet. Rest was the key word. I woke up early and did 3 miles mostly for my mental sanity, and took a nap later in the day. This worked out perfectly because it was Labor Day and Jerold could take over while I slept.

Tuesday September 2nd: I went back to the track for a quick session. 4 x 400 meters at 5k race pace with a 2-3 minute jog in between. The purpose of the workout was to loosen me up.
As I've said before, I was following Hal Hidgon's Advanced 2 Marathon Training Plan.
Here is what he had to say about today and the week:
    Track workout: 4 x 400 meters, jogging or walking 2-3 minutes between. Stick with 5-K pace. You barely want to break a sweat doing this workout. Its purpose is merely to loosen you up. Maintain the same quality of the workout, but drop the quantity. I want you to walk away from the workout knowing you could have done much more. And mind what you eat this week, as I write in Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide: Begin carbo-loading seven days in advance. Forget what you read years ago about depletion and three days of a low-carbohydrate diet before switching to a diet high in carbohydrates. (The theory was that the depleted muscles--'starved' for carbohydrates--would then be able to suck up even more carbos than normal and thus provide the marathoner with even more energy on race day.) Stick with a high-carbohydrate diet throughout the week. You don't need to eat spaghetti all seven days: Focusing on fruits, vegetables, and grains will keep you above 60 percent carbos even if you have lean meat as a main course. If you haven't eliminated between-meal junk snacks, do it now.
    Pre-Activity Comments: You may still be feeling sluggish during this period of low mileage. This is normal.
Wednesday September 3rd: 3 miles easy. The advice was to watch what I eat for the first 3 days to avoid weight gain. I really listened and was super careful about that. I didn't want a bunch of extra weight on my frame for race day. The last 3 days are to eat a little more than normal with a huge emphasis on carbs.

Thursday September 4th: As the last 3 days are critical to the taper, this was a total day of rest. I napped this day and went to bed super early. My carbo loading really ramped up today - pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals and fruits. I cut back on my intake of overall calories while still getting the carbs in my body.

Friday September 5th: Josh started school this week, so there was a lot of excitement about starting 2nd grade. Again a day of rest for me - zero running, still carbo loading and getting plenty of fluid in. I took another nap today (woo hoo!) late morning, then woke up and we were off to Ventura that afternoon.
That night I could feel the butterflies in my stomach and I listened to classical music and took a nice warm shower. Since this would be my most critical night of sleep, I went to bed at 8:30 PM.
The kiddos were with me, but Jerold and my Mom were also there so they were able to handle all the kid duties. I am so, so grateful to my family - they always support me!! From my Mom screaming my name across a cross country field in high school and college to helping me so much with my kids for race weekend, I am so Thankful for her. She is such a gem and always gets into my big goal races. She likes to know about my workouts, etc. 
Thanks Mom!

Saturday September 6th: I ran just 2 shake out miles today with 3  - 100 meter strides at the end. Nothing hard, just shaking the legs out after 2 days of total rest.
One thing that I want to talk about is my food on this day. Normally I would have a nice sized pasta dinner the night before the race. I switched it up a bit this time. We went out for a big pasta LUNCH - I ate bread, a good portion of pasta and more bread. For dinner, I had a turkey sandwich, an energy bar, a banana, water and sports drink. I napped in the hotel in the afternoon while the kiddos watched a movie in the other room.
Bed at 8:30 PM

Sunday September 7th: RACE DAY! 
2:30 am - Early wake up for breakfast (race start time was 6:30 am!) - a bagel, banana, water and a GU. I had practiced this before my 20 mile runs and knew this was good for my stomach.
Back to bed (with 2 wake ups calls!)
4:30 am - Out of bed and had the last of my water. I didn't want to be going to the bathroom a ton before the start, so I was finished with my water intake by 4:30 and wouldn't have any more until the race.
5:00 am - my race outfit on, Garmin ready, sunglasses ready, 2 back up GU in my back zipper pocket, sweatshirt on until the start and I was off.
5:15 am - went to the bathroom just to make me feel relaxed and empty my bladder. Slow stretching and warm up exercises plus a very light jog just to warm up - I didn't want to waste any extra energy I needed before the race.
6:20 am - reminding myself not to start too quickly!!!! Don't blow the race by making this critical mistake.
6:30 am - The moment has come - let's do this!! You can see how the race went HERE!


One thing that I want to share with you is Hal's advice about travel for races:


    If possible, I prefer to travel at least two days before the race, not the day before. Travel fatigues me, and I prefer to get to the race city early. For international races requiring an overnight jet flight, I need to arrive much earlier. For a short overseas track race, I will sometimes arrive a couple of days before I compete; for marathons I need nearly a week to adjust. One rule of thumb is to arrive one day early for every time zone crossed, if the cost of hotel rooms is not prohibitive.
    Pre-Activity Comments: Ask yourself: How important is this race? Then plan accordingly.


Do you do anything special in your ritual to get ready the week of a race?



What is the furthest you have traveled for a marathon?
Chicago!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nat's Runbit # 20 - Play that funky music!


I haven't done a Nat's Runbit in a while. I thought it would be fun to post some funky, fun, electrifying music for your workouts! Whether it's oh so cold (Hi, my East Coast friends) outside and you are on the treadmill OR working on your core, PT exercises, etc. It's always nice to have some great music to pump you up!!
Boom! Let's do it...

1. I have never listened to music when I go for a run (!) - I prefer silence, my own thoughts and the sound of nature around me. But, I love this song by the Black Eyed Peas...



2. Check out this video - talk about working the treadmill! Love this song! Whoop!



3. Boo ya! This song is sure to get your heart rate pumping on that treadmill!



4. I love this one! You need to be a maniac in your workouts sometimes...




5. Just lose yourself in your workout...




6. This just makes me want to jump around!




7. Girl Power!! Run #Likeagirl




8. Try this out while you are lifting weights...




9. A good warm up song...




10. Nice for the stationary bike, baby!





Have fun and have a kick butt Tuesday workout!!

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie