Saturday, December 10, 2011

HBBC Update #3

Has it already been 3 weeks?! This challenge has encouraged both of us to keep up the mileage and stick to our fitness goals throughout the holiday season. We're still holding out for some free stuff too:)  

Here's how we did this past week (3 December- 9 December):

3 December - HITS Series Sprint Tri (750m swim, 12.4 mi bike, 5k run)  (7 pts)
4 December - One hour of ice skating! (3 points)
5 December - One hour spin class, 3 mi run, CrossFit class (11 points)  
6 December - 5 mile run at lunch, CrossFit class, 2 mile run home from CF (9 points)
7 December - 3.18 mile run at lunch (w/8 x 20s striders) (3.1 points) 
8 December - 12 mile bike on the trainer (4 points)
9 December - 15 mile bike on the trainer (5 points)
5 days of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables (5 points)
Weekly Total: 47.1 points


3 December - Ran 3.1 miles (3 points)
4 December - Rest Day
5 December - Ran 2.02 miles (2 points)
6 December - Ran 3 miles (3 points)
7 December - Biked 22.1 miles (7 points)
8 December - Ran 5.12 miles (5 points)
9 December - Ran 3 miles (3 points)
Weekly Total: 23 points

Friday, December 9, 2011

Race Recap: Merry Fitness 5k

On Saturday, December 3rd, several Stroller Warriors (myself included) participated in the Merry Fitness 5k in Jacksonville, NC. This race supported Girls on the Run, a great program that "encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running." It was a great event and there were so many children (boys and girls) donning capes and jingle bells.

I had planned to jog with my stroller, but my friend Kelley offered to watch Reagan while she waited at the finish line with her camera at the ready. I rarely get this opportunity, so I jumped on it. She caveated with this statement: "If I watch her, you better run sub-22." My most recent non-stroller PR was 22:11, and after nursing the calf injury I recently sustained, I was doubtful that I could accomplish this task.

Baby-sitter, photographer, cheerleader!

The run started at 9am and there were quite a few racers. We lined up close to the front and took off at a faster pace than I expected trying to get out of the crowd. I ran part of the first mile with my friend Jessica, but soon enough, she pulled ahead and stayed there. We ran around a familiar look (we often do our group workouts at the site) and were happy to see a familiar face at the halfway water station. I had been warned by our group leader that I should not be surprised when a child beat me. I didn't really take that seriously, but I'm glad for the warning, because around the 2.5 mile mark, an 11-year old girl running with her father, sailed past me as though we were sprinting through the playground. She continued to pick up the pace and won first overall female! Jessica followed shortly after and I pulled in 10 seconds later at 3rd overall female (10th overall) in 21:43. This was by far my best race since I left the Marine Corps.

Paige Horvath (age 11) finished in 21:17!

Thrilled to see a 21 on the clock, I was happy to finish!

Me and Jessica post race...sucking wind!

Trisha Keegan pushing her son

This was my friend Amanda's first 5k and she rocked it!  Already looking for her next race:)

Amanda and I way were these antlers staying on while we ran.

Steph Geraghty, our fearless Stroller Warrior leader, in her Santa attire

And of course, my little reindeer!  Can't have a post without including her:)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food Prep: The dreaded chore

For anyone like us, you're incredibly busy from Monday through Friday.  The last thing you want to do after a long day on Tuesday is prepare a healthy meal for yourself for Wednesday's lunch!  If you're reading this blog, we know you are very active and HEALTHY and a quick trip to the McDonald's drive-thru will NOT cut it for you.  This leads us into the dreaded chore....Food Prep.

I'm notoriously terrible about planning ahead, but when I remember, I build in an hour on Sunday to prepare a dish that I can take in my lunchbox all week.  It's never anything fancy and it has to be something that doesn't need to be microwaved...MIL continues to warn me of the dangers of the microwave!

Here's an example of what I make:

Start with the base of the dish, which for me was quinoa.  A quick 20-minutes on the stove and I have a HUGE helping of quinoa to last all week.  Then I choose some vegetables to add, this time I went with mushrooms and green beans (I picked up the beans at one of the local farmer's markets!).  I like the veggies to stay crunchy, so I quickly sauteed them in a tiny bit of sesame oil, which adds a great flavor!
As a vegetarian, I also like to ensure I add a protein to my lunch.  For this dish, I went with some delicious tofu!  I'm a huge fan of all those fake meat products, but I am trying to avoid them - it takes a LOT of processing to make a soy bean taste like turkey...

Combine it all in an air-tight container and VOILA - you have a ready made lunch for the week!

While we were at the farmer's market, I also picked up a spaghetti squash.  So easy to make and very delicious.  This was going to also go with me to lunch this week, but Sean and I were hungry when it came out of the oven...and ended up eating 2/3 of it.  I have a little bit left, so I'll use this for dinner one night this week.

Other things I make sure to have on hand for lunch packing:
-Raw mixed nuts
-Bananas and Apples
-Celery and carrots
-Small packets of almond butter

Do you pack your lunch for work?  Is it a daily process or do you prep your food on Sunday?  What's your favorite "Take to Work" Dish?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Race Recap: HITS Series Triathlon - Palm Desert

On Saturday, 3 December, I ran the first HITS Series Triathlon in Palm Desert.  Normally I don't travel to far to race, but I wanted to squeeze in one more tri before I deploy, and this one was close enough (La Quinta is only 2.5 hours away from Carlsbad).  In order to ensure I didn't forget anything, I made sure to print out a checklist of what I'd need and I packed with it by my side!  This was the first race I did without my good buddy Leonie there to make sure I didn't forget anything.

      Friday afternoon Sean and I packed up the car and hit the road.  After a beautiful drive through the mountains, we made it to packet pick-up 30 minutes before the pre-race brief.  After a quick drive by of all the booths at the expo (hunting for free stuff of course!), I grabbed my packet.  They actually had a biking jersey instead of the normal T-Shirt, which was awesome!  Sean and I grabbed some dinner and headed straight for the hotel because we had to be up at 0400 to get to the race for the transition opening.

     Saturday morning went very smoothly.  The transition set up was great - pre-marked spots were placed for every athlete.  The only downside was that my spot was about as far away from the swim in/bike out that you could get!  Each spot also had a little stool, which made it easier to get in and out of each pair of shoes.

      The swim was pretty cold, water was probably somewhere between 55 and 57 degrees, so I went in with a full wetsuit.  Aside from the mass start of 250+ athletes off of the beach, this was the standard tri start of total chaos in the water!  The cold water was a bit of a shock, but after about 100m, I was warmed up and going strong.  Once I hit the beach, my feet were pretty numb and I was able to run to my bike without feeling anything!

       The bike course had a lot of turns, but the police were out in force ensuring traffic didn't interfere with the riders and directing the athletes.  We had an awesome tailwind on the way out, so I was able to average about 20mph...unfortunately, this meant that when we turned around, we had to deal with the headwind...which slowed me down to 15mph.  After struggling back to the transition area, I was ready to hit the run.

      The run is traditionally my nemesis.  Post bike, my legs feel like jello and it takes me about a mile just to start running normally.  Not this time!  I made sure to spin out before getting to transition and I felt great!  This was by far the strongest run I've ever had in a triathlon.

    Overall this was a great race!  The weekend was really neat because it included a sprint, olympic, half, and full IM distance, but it also added a beginners race, called the Open.  This event had a 100m swim, 3 mile bike, and 1 mile run!  Since triathlons can be intimidating to a newbie, this was a great way to get people started without overwhelming them!  Great job to the team at HITS for a fantastic event!

Final results:
Swim: 14:35
T1: 3:47
Bike: 42:12
T2: 1:42
Run: 23:58
Overall: 1:26:17
3/28 Females 30-39

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome to the New You

We were recently invited to become FitFluential Ambassadors and we are super excited about it!  We've been into sports since we were little.  Our mom was convinced that we should try a little bit of everything.  Here are some of the activities she got us involved in: gymnastics, ballet, horseback riding, soccer, cheerleading, basketball, cross country, and track.  We loved the competition and team environment!  Once we went off to college, we each continued on our own paths.  Jen rowed for the University of North Carolina, and I continued to run, which I found a love for.  

Additionally, we both received Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships to attend college, which meant that we would commission into the military upon graduation.  Physical fitness is a huge part of military life, especially the Marine 
Corps, which is where we both ended up!

Although Jen has left the Marine Corps, fitness is a huge part of her life.  She's a relatively new mom and she works hard to set a solid example for her beautiful daughter, Reagan!  I'm still on active duty, and am lucky to be able to workout during working hours quite often.  We both love to run and keep our passion going by signing up for local races and writing this blog, of course!

Recently my mother-in-law, Dorothy, started her own running journey.  She used to be very active and she missed it.  During her recent trip out to visit us in California, we got to go running together and she even went to her first CrossFit class!

As we near the season of resolutions, here are some suggestions for how you can get started on your OWN fitness journey:

1) Establish realistic goals.  Gauge your current fitness level and set some goals that are achievable in a 30-day period.  For example, if you've never run before, set a goal of being able to run one mile straight at the end of the 30-day period.  You can achieve this by combining running and walking until you're comfortable with running the entire mile.

2) Find a group or a friend to workout with.  If you're anything like us, you feed off of the motivation of others.  Having a friend to workout with also helps keep you accountable for scheduled workouts.

3) Get a lot of rest.  Your body is being pushed to new limits and rest is a critical factor.  Treat your body well and strive to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  

4) Drink lots of water.  You have to keep yourself well hydrated and your body LOVES water!  Even when it's cold out, you will sweat during a workout.  Make sure 
you have water on hand while you are working out and throughout the day.

5) Track your progress. Keep a log of your total mileage, time spent running, route, and how you felt during the workout. Include cross-training and strength-training workouts as well. This will give you a way to look back and see how far you've come on your fitness journey. You can use an old notebook, or take it high tech and use on of the many FREE online tools (Runner's World offer's a great one here.)

6) Plan your workouts. This one is key for sticking to your fitness goals. We all have days when we'd rather loaf on the couch and snack on some chips, but if you have a schedule, you will be more likely to stick to it. Even on those days when you don't feel like running, just tell yourself, "I'll go for 10 minutes." Most likely, you'll start and realize you just needed to kick yourself in the butt to get out there and you'll go longer. And if, after 10 minutes, you're still not feeling it, at least you did a little bit to maintain your current fitness level.

7) Get the proper workout gear. Running isn't an expensive sport compared to lots of others out there. That's one of its main draws. However, go ahead and invest in a good pair of running shoes. Take the time to go to a specialty shoe store (Fleet Feet, TrySports, etc) and have someone analyze your stride and recommend the right shoe for you. Purchase a good pair of shorts and a nice sweat-wicking top. We all have old soccer shorts and cotton t-shirts, but when you're running on a regular basis, you'll want the right gear.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ho, Ho, Hold Up...What Happened to My Workout Routine?!

It's holiday time and that typically spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R for workout routines and eating habits! Well, not this year. Last year, my goal was to run the Beach to Battleship half marathon in early November, just 3 months after the birth of my daughter. Once that race was over, I quit running and just ate whatever was within arms reach (one of the perks of breastfeeding, right?). When April rolled around (yes, I realize the holiday season was well over by this point), I joined a running club and realized just how badly I needed to get back in shape.

Feeding pre-half

Making a detour to tell my baby hello

So this year, I have a plan. It started off with a Turkey Trot on 19 November and I have continued to stay true to my workouts. I've already signed up for a few more races (5ks and one 10k) to keep the motivation level high. I think this is key. If you stop having events to look forward to, then the monotony of running takes its toll. Additionally, I'm going to make it clear to friends and family that staying in shape is important to me. Whenever I lace up, inevitably, someone says, "Can't you just skip today?" My first instinct is to respond, "Sure. Bloody Marys for everyone!" But at the end of the day, will I be happy with my decision? Not a chance. If people around you know it's important to you, then they will be supportive.

With regard to eating, I'm not the best giver of advice. However, this year that changes. I will not attend parties on an empty stomach, or sabotage my early workout plan by drinking one too many champagne cocktails (this isn't really a problem any more since becoming a mom...Reagan makes sure I'm up bright and early EVERY day). I will not make cookies for the neighbors and sample one or three from each batch. I'll make cookies with coconut so I'm not tempted:) And when the big dinner on Christmas Day arrives, I'll give myself a break and just enjoy, but not eat to the point of gluttony. Seriously, no one needs a third helping of mashed potatoes, no matter how delicious they are.

I've also got a secret weapon. My husband is coming home after a 7-month deployment and I plan to look my best for his arrival. That's motivation enough to steer clear of the chips & dip at the next Christmas Open House!

Reagan and her daddy at 2am the night he left

So how do you plan to hold yourself accountable this holiday season?