Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dusting Off The Rust + Protein Intake!

Last day of September. This has felt like the fastest month of the year for me.
How are you guys on this beautiful Wednesday?!

Yesterday I had a great 4 mile trail run. It was one of those mini break through moments where I felt like I was finally dusting off a little bit of the thick layer of rust on my body. :)
Dynamic stretching and all of my exercises, as time consuming as they may be, are so important for my body right now. I did a really good warm up and was sweating by the time I start my run.
It felt wonderful and smooth. I know it's only been just over a month since I started running again, but this was a sweet moment...

My coach wants to make sure I am getting enough protein each day, so I have been paying close attention to my intake.

I'm grilling this beautiful piece of salmon for dinner tonight!

Eggs have become a regular breakfast item in the mornings...

Greek yogurt and raspberries for snack time..

Protein helps our muscles recover which is why it is so important for runners to have enough in their diet!

Check out two helpful articles HERE and HERE about protein intake!

Alright, friends. I am off to pick up my sweet girl from preschool. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday! 

How much protein do you have each day?

Do you find a difference in your running when you don't get enough protein?

What are you having for dinner tonight?!

Be well, run fast, take chances.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Weekend Update! First 5 mile run and other fun tales!

What's going on my friends?
I hope you are having a great start to the week! Can you believe it is almost October?
Let's catch up a bit!

First, let me say - I am so excited about my first 5 mile run this past Sunday!! Over the summer during my recovery and rehab, I kept dreaming about being able to run again. I also thought a lot about going for a 5 mile run (I'm not sure why 5 was the magic number...). At the time, when I wasn't even walking, 5 miles seemed like a really long way.
My doctor and I talked about it and he told me by October I would be able to go out for a 5 mile (and beyond!) run any time I wanted.
It felt amazing. I normally don't run on the beach, but it was such a beautiful day that I couldn't resist! So the kids got to play with Jerold and I got to run 5 miles.
I ran for 1 mile on the hard packed sand and then headed to a trail for the additional 4 miles. 
Physically, my knee felt good, but I am still dealing with a lot of stiffness. I know it will take time and patience, but I am looking forward to my body not feeling so creaky :)
Anyway, it was a gorgeous run...

Friday brought me the gift of a baby sitter for Elle, the other kiddos were in school and I was a kid in a candy store! I explored a new trail for 4 awesome miles...

Saturday, I took the day off! My coach has me on a Saturday run, Sunday off schedule - but I was feeling tired on Saturday, so I swapped days off :)
I took Megan on a date to get her nails painted! First time ever in the nail salon and she had so much fun. Don't you just love the color she chose?

Pretty in (soft) pink!

I also got a chance to head down to Manhattan Beach and have dinner with Christine!
I love Christine's blog and I'm always in awe over her beautiful yoga photos, so it was such a joy to meet her in person. It's so funny how you can read someone's blog for a while and it feels like you kind of know them. We had such a fun dinner and talked non stop. Runner/blogging friends really are the best!!

So fun!

After my post about drinking 100 ounces of water each day, I had a lot of emails with questions about it. Do I really drink that much each day? Is it hard to get it all in? Do you get tired of the taste? ect.

I wanted to address those questions, so here we go!

1. Do I really drink that much water? Yes! :) My coach has advised me to do it and I have been on board! I have been really diligent about drinking 100 ounces (or 12 cups) of water every day (I only started about a week ago!).

2. Is it hard to get it in?
I find that if I get a good jump on it in the morning, then it makes it much easier. For example, today I was able to comfortably drink 6 cups (3 with breakfast, 3 with snack) in the morning and then I only had to spread out 6 additional cups throughout the day. I went to the gym in the early afternoon for some bike time and I was really thirsty after the workout. I easily drank another 3 cups. This put me at 9 cups of water by 1 PM. The last 3 cups I slowly drank throughout the afternoon and then with dinner (plus a glass of wine!).

40 minutes on the bike today!

3. Do I get tired of the taste?
The taste... so far, I have been great with the taste - but you can also put fruit in your water, or use Nuun or flavored coconut water to make it taste delicious.

4. Do I have to pee a lot? 
Yes, but not a ton. Maybe my body needs a lot of water right now with all of the running and cross training (which it hasn't been used to), but I don't feel like I have been sprinting to the bathroom every 5 minutes. 

So there you have it! Let's all drink (a ton) of water together! :)

CONGRATS to Toni and Lea for each winning a FitBit Charge during the giveaway I co-hosted last week with Lindsay from Fit and Awesome and Katie from Mom's Little Running Buddy!

A huge CONGRATS to Rashell for winning the grand prize of an Amazon $200 gift card!!!

How much water do you drink per day?

Tell me something fun about your week so far!

Anyone tapering for a marathon?!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

100 ounces + 4 days a week!

Are you as happy about Thursday as I am? Ummm, I thought so! :)
Happy Thursday friends!!
Can you believe Fall officially started yesterday?! Pumpkins, cinnamon and nutmeg, oh my!

Here is my quick lowdown for the week...

She is just the cutest and LOVES preschool! 


Coach has me drinking 100 ounces of water every day (which = 12 cups!). I love putting it aside in a pitcher so I can see my progress throughout the day...

#100ounces (hydrate, baby!)

I know I need to add some fruit and good stuff to make it interesting. I need to go grocery shopping! :)

Coach has me running 4 days a week, cross training 2 days and 1 day off. Six days total of workouts and it's been feeling great so far!

Monday - 40 minutes of stationary bike + all my PT exercises, core and dynamic stretching.

Tuesday - 3 miles of easy running. He doesn't want me pushing the pace. PT Exercises. Dynamic stretching following the run.

Wednesday - 4 miles of trail running. Dynamic stretching after 1/2 mile of running. It always makes me feel so much better!

Thursday (today!) - 40 minutes of pool running. It is such a beautiful day here! I was elated to get in the pool! I love pool running and don't you love that I can do it without getting my hair wet? :) #igotlucky

Mid morning pool running = pretty awesome!

Elle and I have been listening to lullaby music before I put her down for a nap. I love it so much that I keep listening to it throughout the afternoon...

My heart goes out to the families of two runners that lost their lives this week. 
Cameron Bean and Sarah Sumpter were amazing runners. Their families have each set up funds that you can donate to. The money will go to scholarships for runners. Go HERE and HERE.

Enjoy life. Hug your friends and family. Be safe out there on the road.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Where In The World Is Nat + Coach, I'm back!

Well helllo there friends!!

Hello, hello, hello.

I have been writing this blog for 10 months and never once have I gone a solid week without writing.

It was so weird not to be writing every day and I really didn't mean to fall off the face of the earth.

Where in the world did Nat go?

Seriously, I've been here - its just that life has really gotten in the way.

Here is what's been happening:

My running has been great! I mean, I couldn't be happier (I'm still feeling happy!!) about where I am right now with my running. Knee is awesome, I've been running pretty much every day, longest run has been 4 miles and it was so satisfying. I mean on top of the world, Happiness. Joy. Peace.
I feel like a Christmas card...
For the first time since December, I am on track again with my running!!

I am working with my coach again! Woo hoo!! I first "met" him last December and he guided me through 6 weeks of intense cross training to keep me fit to run Boston. When I received the bad news that knee surgery was the only option, we knew that I needed to heal and coaching was going to have to be put on hold for a long while.

Well, I am back! My coach just sent my first week of workouts and it feels pretty sweet. 4 days of running and 2 days of cross training + 1 day of rest. Add to that tons of strength and core  + my PT exercises and I am a busy girl. Monday was a cross training day and I went to PT in the am, did some light jogging and went over all of my exercises. Why we were reviewing exercises? Because my therapist told me he doesn't want to see me for 2 weeks!! That's right - I am now going from twice a week to once every 2 weeks! PLUS, I can run pretty much what I want as long as I feel good. A six mile run - um, sure! 
Well, now I am under guidance of my coach and we aren't quite at six miles yet, but soon. Very soon.

The road to Boston (for me) begins now! #31weeks

My life has been crazy. The kids are loving school. Elle is easing into preschool and she is still only away from me for just over 2 hours each day, which is great for me. I MISS her after those 2 hours.
It is just enough time to go for a run and maybe complete an errand or two.

Also, huge news ----> we sold our house!!! I still can't believe it. We had been talking about it for some time and decided to go for it. It sold in pretty much one day. (!!!)
Our 100 year old beach bungalow is soon to belong to another family. We have had so many wonderful memories in this house - bringing all three of our kids home from the hospital, birthday celebrations, dinner parties, holiday excitement...
After almost a decade of memories, how do you say goodbye?

Needless to say, that has turned my world upside down. Looking for a new home, settling the kids into school, running again, etc. ect.
Every night I started a blog post and would fall asleep in front of the computer, sexy drool seeping from the side of my mouth. 
Thank goodness my husband still loves me :)

Anyway, I have missed this space!! How are you guys?!

I have good stuff for you...

1. I am having an AWESOME GIVEAWAY on my Instagram account!!

I am excited to announce I will be co- hosting the @Source4Women Instagram Takeover this week with Lindsay (@LTsurf) from Fit & Awesome! Source4Women is a community created by United Health Care and throughout the next four days she will be sharing healthy tips, recipes, and favorite activities with you. In honor of this fun Takeover, we're going to be giving away a #FitBitChargeHR for you and a friend (two total) and one grand prize winner will receive a $200 Amazon Gift Card! To Enter: 1. Follow all giveaway host pages by going through the giveaway loop (@source4women @LTsurf @MomsLRB @Natrunsfar) 2. Tag a friend who you would like to win the #fitBitChargeHR with you. By doing this you both will be entered to win 3. Earn additional entries by tagging us in your active or healthy food photos using the hashtag #Source4Women 4. Like and comment on the photos on @source4women over the next four days. Leaving a comment automatically enters you to win the grand prize of a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Winner must live in the US and you must follow all rules to qualify to win the grand prize. This contest is not endorsed by IG. Good Luck!
A photo posted by Natalie (@natrunsfar) on

Lindsay from Fit and Awesome is hosting and Katie from Mom's Little Running Buddy and I are co-hosting. The giveaway is FitbitCharge HR (for you and a friend) + the grand prize is a $200 Amazon gift card! Check out my INSTAGRAM for details!!!!
One fun tidbit about how Lindsay and I met - Jerold met her a couple of years ago when he ran his first Ragnar - they were on the same team! He came home and told me all about his fun Ragnar experience and all the great people he met. Fast foward a couple of years later and Lindsay and I finally met in person at Blogfest! 
Also, Katie is training hard to run the NYC Marathon (Team Asics!) on November 1st, be sure and check her out!!

2. Congratulations to Cassi for winning my Freekeh Foods giveaway!!

3. Check out Amanda's new podcast series - great interviews from some awesome runners. I've really been enjoying the series!

4. Check out Tina's Runners Connect podcast with Janae from Hungry Runner Girl!! A really great interview ---> an elite athlete (I love Tina!) interviewing a great runner who is getting ready to try and run a sub 3 marathon in a couple of weeks. I have been reading HRG's blog (love her blog!) for a long while and I have no doubt she'll grab that sub 3!! Super exciting!!

5. I loved reading Lauren Fleshman's post about her achilles surgery in Sweden. There is so much about this article that I could relate to.

6. And then check out Lauren's husband Jesse's post about winning Ironman Wales!! Talk about inspirational! I was on pins and needles when he talked about the marathon portion of the race (how do you run 6 something minute miles after a 2.5 mile swim and 112 bike?!!!)

7. Check out my girl Sue and her progress to run a sub 4 hour marathon at the end of October. I believe she can do it (you can DO IT!!) and she kicked butt in her half marathon last week. Way to go my friend!!

Okay, I think this is getting wayyyy too long, so I'll end it here. I hope you have an amazing Tuesday!

Tell me something fun about your week!!

Be well, run fast, take chances.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Update: I'm Getting My Groove Back!

It's still so, so hot here. Much hotter than July and August and I don't know why that surprises me.
Every year I get excited about Fall and then... yeah, no. We have about 2 months left of summer.
It's not a bad thing - believe me, I love going to the beach in October. And it doesn't stop me from making pumpkin everything. I keep saying to Jerold that one of these years we are going to have to take a fall foliage trip back east, (probably to Vermont, because that is another happy place for me) because that is what I truly miss. The gorgeous colors of the leaves changing is a sight to behold. Being from Ohio, I grew up with the distinct season of fall - tumbling, beautiful, bright red, yellow and orange leaves. The crisp fall air and the euphoria of jumping into a huge pile of freshly raked leaves.
My kids have no idea what that is about. They go boogie boarding in November and think that is normal...
Anyway! So sorry to go off on a Fall rant! :)
Let's talk about running.
Friends, I am getting my groove back! It has been a really fun, but rusty few weeks since I started running again (hooray!!!). I almost felt like I didn't know HOW to run anymore. Constantly out of breath, tired legs, awkward gait, foreign arms. It was strange...
I knew I would feel normal again, it would just take some time. Heck, I've been patient all of these months, surely this is nothing. And it's been great!! It's like riding a bike, you never truly forget...

If it makes you happy...

I have had some days where I wake up and my muscles are angry at me! My body is angry at me, and it's not fun. At. All. 
I talked to my therapist and he says if my muscles are sore, it's normal and fine. If my knee is hurting, let's discuss and make a new plan. 
So far, so awesome. My knee feels just fine! I gotta schedule some time for a massage...
Friday I ran 1 mile only, logged some good time on the bike and did a lot of core and strength work at the gym.
Saturday I ran 2.1 miles on a trail and felt good.
Sunday I ran 3 miles and felt really good (pics are from my 3 mile trail run). It's clicking and my body is remembering...

Stretching routine, core, weights, PT exercises... still at the forefront of my life. I must do those things first. Running comes afterwards (or running first and then the other stuff - but it has to happen).
My quad muscle in the right leg still needs a lot of work. I know I have to have strong quads to carry me through a marathon...

Notice the loose skin of my quad muscle here - this is the knee that I had surgery on. Working hard to build that muscle back to where it was.

We are a family of runners...

Watch out, it won't be long before Elle catches up (she's got runners legs!!)

I finally tried an Acai bowl!!

My new obsession.

Another breathtaking mountain sunset...

This never gets old...

Deena Kastor had her running retreat this weekend!! It looks amazing! I love Mammoth so much - I have gone to cross country camp in Mammoth and skied there as well. I need to think about going to this running retreat next year - who wants to join me?!

Kara Goucher has her running retreat at the end of October! I am not able to make it this year, but it sounds awesome!! Anyone going?

You have to read Kara's recent article about being a marathoner. Such great reminders...

Check out Amanda's (aka: Miss Zippy) podcast! She interviews an amazing marathoner/ ultra marathoner (he even ran a marathon in flip flops!!!).

Yes, I know all of this - because this is what I do on a Saturday night!

The Ventura Marathon was this weekend!! I can't believe it has been one year since I ran it!! :)

Congrats to Lauren on winning a month's supply of Siggi's yogurt!!

Don't forget about my Freekeh giveaway!!

.... and lastly, Boston Marathon registration begins this week!!! I'm so excited!!

Tell me one fun thing about your weekend!!

Have you ever been to a running retreat?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Settling Into Running, School Days + Freekeh Foods GIVEWAY!!

After an amazing, fun filled summer, at last my kids have gone back to school.
For 8 1/2 years I have had a baby or a toddler on my hip, so it is really crazy to think that my babies are all in school.

They are growing up!!

Elle is growing so quickly! I feel like it was literally yesterday that I was pregnant with her and now she is off to preschool. The last two days have been so joyful for her - she loves playing at preschool! She has only been away from me for two hours each day, so it has been an easy transition for both of us. 
I didn't know what to do with myself today. Zero kiddos with me meant I could go for a mid-morning run, which is a total luxury. I enjoyed every moment...

Stretching with the palm trees #lifeisgood

I gave an mini update on my Instagram, but I am now able to run completely on trails and soft surfaces!! My therapist says I can keep slowly increasing mileage, incorporate small hills and play with pace. He warned me I would be tired and if I need a rest day take it. Active rest is generally the way he wants me to go i.e. slow jog, go for a walk, swim or bike. 
I am now feeling some real running freedom and it's pretty awesome :)

Breakfast. Let's talk breakfast for a moment. My family is back to our early morning routine and breakfast needs to be quick, tasty and hardy. When Freekah Foods sent me some of their delicious roasted green wheat (a great alternative to rice or quinoa!) and asked me to make a recipe, I immediately thought of making something tasty for breakfast...

Although I went big this morning and made homemade pancakes (loud cheers from my kiddos!!), we normally have hot oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Why not try a hot cereal made with Freekah?
Let me tell you, it was a total hit. My son Josh has become a bit of a picky eater, and he loved the Freekah hot cereal. Look at all that goodness...

What is Freekeh?

Freekeh is a process which means "to rub" in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and "Eureka!" Freekeh was created. (source)

This recipe is super easy and you could even make it the night before and heat it up in the morning for a quick, nutritious breakfast! I also love that Freekeh is a good source of protein and fiber, completely organic and non GMO. 

Warm Breakfast Freekeh

1 8 ounce package cracked Freekeh (approx. 1 cup) original variety
2 1/2 cups water or milk (I used milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Pour the Freekeh and liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, and butter. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Serve with fresh fruit, nuts or even yogurt!

I have great news for you! Freekah would love for you to give their product a try, so they are sending one lucky reader a package of Freekeh!! (US Residents only)
There are 3 awesome flavors to choose from: Original, Rosemary Sage or Tamari

Go #getyourfreekehon! Good Luck!

Have you ever tried Freekeh?

What do you normally have for breakfast every day?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend Update: Trail, My Love - I've Missed You.

How is it Labor Day already?
It seems just a couple of weeks ago, it was Memorial day (I made my traditional flag cake) and summer was just beginning. 
September seemed a million miles away, and yet here we are.

I'm ready.

I'm ready for Fall. 

For me Fall equals running once again (Yay!!!!), back to school (and although I adore my kiddos to pieces, we are all ready for school to begin tomorrow), the smell of pumpkins and nutmeg, the thrill of selecting Halloween costumes, the anticipation of Thanksgiving and the allure of Christmas. 
My kiddos are already asking if they can start writing their Christmas lists, so go figure.

Summer is (unofficially) over.

So I have news. Exciting news! 

No, I am not moving to Europe. Although we do have some friends from Josh's old preschool that are moving to Paris. Very cool indeed.

My news is that I got to run on trails this weekend!!! Hooray!! Friday morning, I got my butt kicked in PT (I couldn't even muster up the energy for a picture.). Then my therapist told me I could start running THREE miles total, and one of those miles could be on a TRAIL! 
I was shocked, as I thought it would be another 1-2 weeks...

Hello, trail!!

Let me back up a bit. I began on Friday late afternoon. I was itching to get out there. I ran on a flat park trail above the beach and it was heaven. I picked up the pace and by the time by Garmin beeped 1 mile, my lungs were burning and I was beat. Tired. Wondering a bit why 1 mile beat me up so badly. Oh yeah, I've been injured for like - forever.

Saturday, I woke up tired - my legs were fatigued and even though I rested most of the day, I knew I should take the day off from running. So I did. I did a bunch of stretching, core and PT work, but zero running. 

Sunday, I felt incredible! The rest was good for me.

The crunchy sound under my feet = perfection

It has been 9 months since I've run on a trail!!! Elle was more than happy to celebrate with me...

I love this little girl!!

This trail and I have been through lots together. Girlfriend runs, solo runs, the 17 mile long run that Jerold and I embarked upon last summer during my marathon training (I wasn't blogging then, or you would have see tons of footage!) - he on the bike, me on my feet and a babysitter at home. The ultimate afternoon date. Ha ha... :)

After my 1 mile glorious run, we got to see an amazing sunset...

I love the beach, but this is pretty amazing. #mountainsunset

The track is great, but the trails are my heart...

I have an article for you! Want to be a faster runner? ----> strength work is important!!!
Check it out HERE!!

Something else for you: Have you entered to win a MONTH'S supply of Siggi's yogurt?! Go HERE for details!! Contest ends on Wednesday!!! :)

Have a wonderful holiday!!

What are you doing to celebrate Labor Day?!

Did anyone race this weekend? Who ran long this weekend? Give us the details!

Be well, run fast, take chances.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Siggi's Yogurt Giveaway!!

My first taste of Siggi's yogurt was this summer when I attended Blogfest. Siggi himself came to speak to us about how he started making this amazing Icelandic style skyr out of his NYC apartment.
His story was so compelling, that I was super excited to try a sample of his yogurt.

I haven't stopped raving about it since that day! If you haven't tried Siggi's yogurt, try it!!! You will be so happy that you did! 

What is skyr?

Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. So to make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3 - 4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process skyr comes out with 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt. 

Sounds awesome, right? 
I ran 2.5 miles at the track yesterday (1/2 mile warm up + 2 mile run = first 2 mile continuous run since December!!) and as soon as I finished I inhaled a cup of this fantastic yogurt. Runners ---> perfect for a post workout snack!

From traditional flavors like blueberry, strawberry and raspberry to exotic flavors such as Lingonberry & Strawberry, Pumpkin & Spice and Pomegranate & Passion Fruit - there are a delicious selection of flavors to choose from...

My favorite flavors!!

I love the creamy texture and delicious flavors of this yogurt, with a lot less sugar! It makes me feel good knowing I can give my kiddos a cup of Siggi's and they aren't eating a ton of sugar. #win

Go HERE for great recipes to make with skyr. Pop on over HERE to find out where you can buy Siggi's yogurt in your city! 
My whole family is love with Siggi's yogurt! I had to snap a picture of Jerold enjoying a cup as a appetizer before dinner...

And now the moment we have all been waiting for!! Siggi's has generously offered to give one lucky reader, a MONTH's supply of yogurt! How awesome is that?!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share this image on instagram and spread the love!

Good luck!

Be well, run fast, take chances.

Happiness Is Running Life!