I’m in DC and ready for my fifth half-marathon. I’m excited and I’m nervous, which is kind of funny since it’s not my first race. My friends tell me after their first races they all sleep well. I wish I could say the same.
I’ve trained steadily, I’m faster than I’ve been and I know what foods work best for my body. Still there are outside factors you can’t control and just have to roll with. I certainly did not expect to fall at the last race but I got up and finished – bloody knee and all.
I have a stomach bug that I’ve been fighting on and off the past few days. It’s never fun and I am a bit worried how I’ll feel tomorrow. I know to eat early and on the lighter side since I run best if I have some food in my system. I’m also hydrating with plenty of water and some coconut water for electrolyte replacement.
I am running with my teammates which is exciting. It’s great to have company for at least part of a run. I can’t wait to post pictures but, of course, I forgot the cable to sync my camera! I did pose in front of the We Run Sign when I picked up my bib and shirt. The shirt is a great berry color, which can only happen at a women’s race!
I will let you know how the race goes in next week’s blog. In the meantime I’m leaving you with a recipe that I use instead of Gatorade. I dislike both the taste of Gatorade and its ingredients. There are better choices like this one from David Jubb. I use an apple instead of a pear and sometimes throw a banana in as well.
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I hated running when I first started out. It hurt, seemed boring and the thought of running for 13 miles seemed like sheer ridiculousness. So why did I stick with it? I signed up with Team in Training and committed to a half-marathon. If I say I’m going to do something I do it.
I made friends on the team which made the long runs seem not so tedious and let me commiserate with others when the speed and hill work sucked. I slowly got to appreciate the sights around me rather than focusing on how much I didn’t love what I was doing.
And then one hot and muggy Saturday I had a really great run. While everyone else was bitching about the heat and humidity I felt good and, oddly, it was one of the easiest runs I had. The weeks after that went up and down but I still had the memory of that great run in my head.
Still I didn’t start to like running until I finished my half-marathon. There was something so empowering about being able to run 13.1 miles on a ridiculously little amount of sleep that made me think I could do anything.
Now running gives me time to think, time to plan and dream. It was while running that I decided to go back to school and change careers. There are days when I curse the run, but more often than not I love running and the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. Now if I could just get someone else to do the laundry!
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I’ve been speaking a lot about food the past few blogs and this week I’d like to talk about moving your body. I don’t want you to think about exercise as punishment or something you have to do. It should be something that makes you feel good, you enjoy and look forward to. The only way that’s going to happen is if you pick something that you actually like to do.
A friend of mine recently completed a 90 day body challenge and she looks fantastic. Truth be told I wouldn’t do her routine, to me it feels like punishment. Trying to fit that in or make it work with my running schedule gives me a headache. My running mileage has her saying I can’t; I think she could and she thinks I could do her routine. But if you don’t like it what’s the point?
You don’t have to have a major goal in mind. In the beginning the point is just to get you to start moving. Catch up with a friend on a walk, go for a bike ride with your kids, try roller skating again or put on fun music and dance for a while.
What did you enjoy doing as a kid? You’d be surprised at how much fun it still is to hula hoop, play tag, have a pickup basketball game or to play handball. Bring a friend or borrow some kids if you don’t have any. You’re body will thank you and you may surprise yourself with how good you feel after.
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I meet some of my clients at Starbucks, it’s convenient and a neutral place to meet. I generally order a soy latte, a decaf iced coffee or an iced unsweetened green tea. While I wait I can’t help noticing what people are ordering and how many of the patrons are kids and young teens.
I understand the appeal of a sweet creamy treat. What makes me crazy is how many kids are starting their day with a sugar laden drink, topped with whipped cream and a pastry. It’s a lot of mostly empty calories, but it’s also a lot of sugar. (between 8 – 10 teaspoons on average for a medium size latte drink).
Yes, there are better choices available but they aren’t generally being ordered. Again as a once in a while treat it’s not bad but when the barista knows your name and your order it’s not a once in a while treat.
A balanced breakfast that’s low in sugar is a better option so that kids (and adults) can be alert and focused throughout the day. A homemade smoothie (get the ingredients into the blender the night before to minimize morning chaos), sunflower or nut butter with fruit on 100% whole grain toast, oatmeal or yogurt “sundaes” are some great ways to start the day.
- 4 or 6 oz plain yogurt
- almond or sunflower butter
- toppings: unsweetened coconut, nuts/seeds, cacao nibs
Place yogurt in a bowl or container and let your child choose his topping to custom make his own yogurt sundae. I like this for breakfast or a snack too.
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