Monday, August 29, 2011

Race Fueling

I did my first ever ten mile run the past Saturday.  Around mile six, I could feel my stomach growling!  I was not sure what to eat for breakfast before the run.  I wanted to eat something to fuel the run, but not to much that it would upset my stomach.  I decided on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I decided against my usually morning coffee because I did not want to much in my stomach.  It seems like the PB&J was not enough. I chose PB&J because it had a good mix of carbs, protein and fat.  I had several gel packs in my SPI, but could not take one of them during my run.  I did take one right before, but while running I did not feel up for a gel.  I have been thinking about what to eat during a run that would be portable enough to put into my SPIbelt to fuel my next long run.  So far, I got:
Luna Bar
Banana
Granola bar

Do you have any other ideas?  What do you carry with you to fuel your long runs?  What do you eat before a long race?
A dream is a wish…
--Amy

***Congrats to Kim, who won the Shakeology Giveaway!  If you are interested in Shakeology and did not win, please e-mail me with your shipping address (amysmith7@comcast.net) and I can get a sample right out to you!
***Blogorama starts in 2 weeks!  I have a great giveaway lined up for you.  There will be 200 blogs linked, all doing giveaways valued at $75+. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rail Trail Ten Miler

Today was my longest race to date, a 10 miler, on the Rail Trail in southern York County, Pennsylvania.  My day started early at 5am.  I picked up my friend Kelly at 6:15, and we headed to the finish line.  The crazy worrier I am, I was afraid that if we did not get there at the crack of dawn, I would not get a parking space in the small lot at the finish line where we met the bus.  Kelly and I were one of the first cars there.  That gave me plenty of time to stretch and pack up my SPIbelt.  Then it was off to the bus!
I am not a fan of busses, but the ride was not that bad.  Once we got to the starting point there was a long walk up a hill to the porta pottys.  I am not a fan of porta pottys either, but when you got to go, you got to go.  We headed back down the hill to the starting line.  Once they yelled “Ready, Set, Go”, it was back up the big hill again.  The race began in the small town of Seven Valleys.  Many of the town residents were out cheering for the runners at the beginning of the race.  After weaving through the small town for about half a mile, we hit the rail trail. 
The terrain of the rail trail is loose gravel.  I had never run on gravel before.  It was a totally different feeling than the treadmill or the blacktop track around my neighborhood.  While running, as I pushed off with my back foot, it would slip a bit.  It felt like it took a bit more power to push off than running on blacktop or the treadmill.   
The weather this morning was not to hot at about 78 degrees, but the 86% humidity was awful!  It took me a while to get used to breathing in the heavy air.  I don’t think I have ever run in that much humidity before.  I got used to the air after a while, but I feel like it slowed me down a bit.  The humidity had me soaked from head to toe!  By mile three, I was soaked!  My tank was as wet as if I had just jumped in a pool.  My hair was as wet as it is about an hour after a shower. 
The trail was really pretty to run on.  A creek ran right next to the train.  We passed by several farms and lots of country scenery.  Around mile 5, the trail passes through a really long train tunnel.  The tunnel was especially hard to run through because the pavement was very uneven.  The tunnel was dark and shadowy.  Around mile 9, we ran past my alma mater, York College. 
Around mile six, I could feel my stomach growling!  I was not sure what to eat for breakfast before the run.  I wanted to eat something to fuel the run, but not to much that it would upset my stomach.  I decided on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I figured it was a good mix of carbs, protein and fat to fuel my run.  I decided against my usually morning coffee because I did not want to much in my stomach.  It seems like the PB&J was not enough.  I did take a gel right before the start and a few Clif Bloks on the bus ride, but they don’t really fill up the stomach.  I do wish I would have had my coffee too.  The caffeine would have helped.  I thought that the caffeine in my gel would have been enough, but my body is used to more caffeine!  Live and learn…
Around mile seven, my blisters busted back onto scene!  I had really babied my feet this past week, using blister healing products, being careful with the shoes I wore, and not over training.  On my to-do list this week is to take a trip to Charm City Run and see what ideas they can give me. 
Overall the race was a huge success for me.  I finished!  That was my goal going into the race—to finish!  My time was 2:24:02, or about 14:24 per mile.  This time was for sure not my best, but I am happy with it.  I feel like the humidity and a different terrain added to my time, plus I had never run this far before.  At the finish line, there was a group of people cheering me on, including my husband and children.  It was nice to have them there, watching my accomplishment.  My friend Kelly finished one second after me.  It was so great to finish together since we planned and trained for this moment together for months.  Kelly’s family was there too, cheering us on.  My kids’ pediatrician was also there as a fellow runner, as well as two of Andrea’s former NICU nurses.  One complaint I have for the race organizers is the lack of water stations.  There was supposed to be four of them, which seems like a small number for a ten mile race, but water station number three was already packed up when I got there.  Now, I realize I was at the back of the pack, but I was not last and my time was not that terrible!  Besides the low number of water stations, the race was a great experience.  It is one I plan to make an annual run for me.  The best part, after finishing ten, I now know I can do 13.1 and finish the Disney Princess Half! 

A dream is a wish...

--Amy

***Don't forget--one more day to enter my Shakeology giveaway!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet ups?

Ok ladies…we are about a month and a week from the Disney Princess Half Marathon!  As any Disney regular knows, it time to finalize your ADR’s (advanced dining reservations.)  If you are not a Disney regular, I will fill you in on something very important—if you plan to eat at the sit down restaurants or character meals of your choice, at the times you would like, you must make reservations 180 days in advance.  I have mine all planned out.  Do you? (If you need any help with this, please facebook me!  I am a fountain of Disney knowledge!)
Since it’s almost reservation time, I wanted to ask you all—would you be interested in getting together for dinner while we are in Disney?  We could do it the evening before the race or race day after the race.  I am up for anything!  What do you think?  Any ideas of a place to meet up?  My favorite place and the place I plan to hit for dinner the night before the race is ‘Ohana.  Cost does not really matter to me, as we will be on the dining plan. Is price a concern for anyone? We could also meet for lunch the day before.  I was thinking about Wolfgang Puck’s Express in Downtown Disney.  That way, we don’t need a reservation, and it’s one of the cheaper places to eat. 
I can’t wait to meet everyone in person!  I have learned so much from you already, I can’t wait to see where the next six months brings us all.  E-mail me or comment below with your idea! 
A drea is a wish...
--Amy
P.S.  How do you like my new banner?
Have you entered my Shakeology giveaway yet??? Only a few more days!
The Blogorama is coming up in just 3 weeks!  I hope you all win some great prizes!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wondering what all this talk of Shakeology is about?

video
I have been talking about my new Beach Body venture and Shakeology on Facebook, but it is because I BELIEVE in the message, to help people achieve their goals, and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
One of the Beach Body products I use and believe in is Shakeology. To put it simply, this is the most delicious shake I’ve ever had. It comes in two flavors: chocolate and greenberry. To be honest, I haven’t thought about trying greenberry, because I love the chocolate so much.  Shakeology is so much more than desert in a cup.
Shakeology is made of 70 natural ingredients found all over the world. Shakeology includes whey protein isolate, an easily absorbable source of high-quality protein that's ideal for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. It also helps keep your blood sugar steady, reducing hunger and junk food cravings. Essential amino acids, found in protein, help the body repair muscle tissue and heal wounds; support the brain to promote calmness and alertness; and reduce hunger pangs. The whey protein in Shakeology provides a highly bioavailable source of essential amino acids.
Shakeology’s benefits include:
·         23 Vitamins and Minerals
·         Get a wide range of essential nutrients
·         Protein and Essential Amino Acids
·         Help build and repair muscles
·         Reduce hunger and food cravings
·         Help keep blood sugar steady
·         Support brain function to help promote alert thinking and reduce anxiety
·         Promote healthy skin, hair, and nails
·         Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes
·         Aid digestion
·         Help boost the immune system
·         Increase absorption of nutrients
·         Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
·         Get rid of harmful free radicals
·         Help decrease inflammation
·         Help boost your immune system
·         Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases
·         May even increase longevity
Most of us don't get the complete range of essential vitamins and minerals in our daily diets. Some important vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they're flushed out of your body after a short time and need to be replenished regularly. Others, like vitamin E, can be difficult to get enough of in food. Shakeology provides all these nutrients in an easy-to-take, easily absorbable form, so you never have to worry about dietary deficiencies and you’re sure to get your necessary vitamins every day. My favorite part of Shakeology—I lost three pounds in the first week I used it!
What does it cost? There are two options. If someone would like to buy Shakeology monthly retail, the cost would be $4 a day. This isn’t bad if you're going to replace it with your morning Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks/fast food breakfast stops. In fact, this is a fantastic opportunity to jump start your health! The other option would be to join the Beach Body team (message me for details and assistance!) and pay just $3 a day, or make a profit from selling it yourself and helping others get their fitness on the right track.

If you like what you have heard but are still not sure, please remember that Shakeology has a bottom of the bag guarentee!  That's right--you can get all the benefits of Shakeology for 30 days.  If you are not 100% thrilled with the results, you can send back an EMPTY bag and get you money back.  Don't forget to order Shakeology on automatic delivery!  You will always get free shipping and the first two months you will get some awesome gifts--think FREE workouts....
So now that you have heard all the great stuff about Shakeology, here is a great offer I have for you!  I am giving away a three day supply to one of my blog readers.  Here are the rules:
1.) You must be a "follower" my blog. (Click to the left)
2.) Watch the vido at the top of this page.
3.) Then go to My Beach Body page and click on join.  You will be taken to a new screen.  Click on  the "free membership" box.  (or, if you join as a Club level member, I’ll throw in 2 more packets!) Fill in your info--you are now a Team Beach Body member!
4.) Then leave a comment below telling me you entered the contest and how many entries you get.
5.) For a bonus entry, share this blog post with your Facebook friends.  (Click the link to the right)

Contest ends August 28th, 2011!
Good luck to everyone!
A dream is a wish…
--Amy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Full Moon Run

Last night I participated in the Full Moon Run held by Falls Road Running Store.  The event was a last minute one for me.  My husband has a friend whose wife was doing the run and the guys wanted to hang out together, waiting for us ladies to finish at the after party.  The run on my training schedule for the day was a 6 miler, so I figured I would this run a try. 
The weather for the day was heavy rains.  Most of the day, I was not sure if the run would happen or not.  The running store kept runners posted throughout the day on their Facebook page, saying that the rain was supposed to pass by evening and the run was still on. 
The event was planned as a night time run on the white crushed limestone surface of the NCR Trail under the light of the full moon from Ashland road to Sparks road in Hunt Valley, MD.  The runners carried brightly colored glow sticks so they could be seen in the dark, but the moonlight was supposed to be our main source of light on the path. Mother Nature did not cooperate.  Due to the heavy rain earlier in the day, the moon was mostly cloud covered for most of the run. 
Everyone made the best of it and the run went great.  When we first arrived, I went to the tent to register, get my bib and pick out some glow sticks!  The store had a great selection of glow stick, glow bracelets and glow necklaces.  I picked out a few in different shades of pink (of course) and did my stretching.  Then it was time to head down to the trial.  After a few announcements, it was time to “Go”! 
The race started without much out a bottle neck at the start.  Runners found their pace quickly and the race was on!  It took some getting used to for me to run in the dark around lots of other people, all wearing lots of varies amounts of glow sticks all over their bodies.  At first it was very disorienting to me, but after a few minutes my eyes adjusted and I was having a lot of fun.
 The crowd really started thinning out by the time I hit mile one.  The wooded trail twisted and turned through the night.  The sounds of the Gunpowder creek and varies forest creatures could be heard.  There were plenty of times when I could not see another runner ahead or behind me.  That was actually kind of creepy at times.  Due to the rain, there were some muddy spots on the trail.  As clumsy as I am, I almost feel a few times, and I think I step on a dead frog.  Ewww! I hit the turnaround and started back strong.  About half way back, I met a new friend (hi Jennifer).  We will be meeting up for a 10k in September. 
The organizers of the event made the finish line look amazing.  For about the last quarter mile, the trail was lined with all the glow sticks the runners had dropped along the trail.  It felt great to run the last leg of the race in the dark of night on a trail of glowing lights.  I run through the finish line and it was off to the after party.  Mike and Andrea were right there waiting for me to finish.  I hugged them and ran straight to the water coolers. 
The Full Moon run was a great experience.  I will be doing it for sure again next year.  I bet the experience will be a lot different when Mother Nature cooperates and actually gives us moon light to run under.  Thanks Falls Road Running Store for putting on a great event! 
A dream is a wish…
--Amy

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Minute Run

Hello Everyone!  I signed up last minute for a “Full Moon Run” tonight at 9 PM.  It looks like a fun run of about six miles.  It will be held on the NCR rail trail in Hunt Valley, MD.  The terrain is crushed lime stone, which they say will glow in the dark.  No lighting will be allowed on the trail, but all runners will be wearing a glow stick around their neck.  The moon light will shine off the limestone, lighting the path. There is also an after party!
So, I need your advice!  I have never done a night time race before.  What will be different?  Should I do anything differently since it will be dark outside? 
If you are in the Baltimore area, come out to the race!
A dream is a wish…
--Amy

Friday, August 12, 2011

Heel Blisters: Solved

I have been getting the worst blisters on the inside heels of my feet.  It seemed to be getting worse with each run.  The longer the run, the worse the blister.  I tried some new wicking socks, but they did not help.  I even got new shoes, but was having the same problem.
I could feel my feet moving in my shoes as I was running.  I needed to do something to fix this!  At Dick’s Sporting Goods this past weekend, I found a really cool pair of socks just sitting on top of a rack.  They were black Under Armour Grippy II for women.  What is so different about these socks is that they have little grippies on the bottom to keep your foot from moving—think footie pajamas.   I loved the socks instantly and had to find more of them!  I searched the store and then found an associate to help me.  There was not another pair of theses socks in the whole store.  Black socks are not really my thing, but they looked like just the thing to help me, so I got them anyway. 
Before I left the store, I also stopped by the shoe section and picked up some Body Glide.  The makers of Body Glide promise it will prevent chaffing, so I decided to give it a try.  I also picked up some Sport Beans, review to come later.
Tuesday was a fast run day for me, so I knew that was the day to try out my new stuff and see if it works.  I am happy to say, the combo worked great!  I love the socks!  They fit perfectly and the grippies kept my feet in place while I ran.  My only complaint about the socks is that they only come in black!  Once I found that they worked so well for me, I checked out the Under Armour site, and they are only offered in black.  The good thing is that the socks are the no show, low cute type, so you can’t really see them in my shoes anyway.  The Body Glide went on really easily.  It was not sticky and did not feel wet.  I am so glad I found this combo and even more happy that I don’t have to deal with heel blisters anymore! 
A dream is a wish…
--Amy

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Electrolyte Recommendations

On my race calendar, I have two longer races planned—a ten miler in three weeks and a 10k at the end of September.  The ten miler is a local race put on by my local hospital.  It is a timed race, but is also small and friendly to beginners. The race is run along a rail trail. Many of my daughters former nurses will be there running, which is what got me interested in this race to begin with.  My September race is a much larger race.  It will be run on the streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  It is a Caribbean themed race—complete with Caribbean music and costumes.  Sounds fun? Check it out!  With these long races coming up, I have been trying out different electrolyte replenishment options.
On my run today, I experimented with GU Brew, an electrolyte replenishment tablet.  Today was a long run day for me.  I did a 10 K (6.2 miles) in just under 80 minutes.  Not a PR, but I was happy with it.  The GU Brew comes in a plastic cylinder and has twelve tablets in it.  The tablets are about the size of a quarter.  I unscrewed the lid off of a bottle of water, cracked the tablet in half, and put each half in the bottle.  The mixture lasted me though my whole run, but I have to confess, I was not a fan of it.
I have tried a few other electrolyte drinks, Gatorade and PowerAde. I am not really fans of these either.  I feel like the taste of both is over powering and not refreshing while to drink while I run.  I chose the GU Brew because they say the taste is light.   I will agree that the taste was light, but still not refreshing to drink while I run.  I guess I am a water only girl. 
That leads me to a question for you—are there any electrolyte drinks you recommend that I have not tried yet?  I have been trying some other non-drink electrolyte options, and will be doing some reviews (and giveaways!) of them soon.   Or am I destined to be a water drinking only runner?

So—for the Luna Bar giveaway!  The winner is runningonwords!  Please e-mail me your name and address so I can forward it to Luna.  Congratulations!   (amysmith7@comcast.net)
More giveaways to come--stay tuned!
I would love to get to know you!  Facebook friend me!

A dream is a wish…
--Amy

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Turbo Fire!

I just finished a sixteen week cycle of Turbo Fire. Turbo Fire is hard core and very challenging, but I have really enjoyed it. Chalene is very motivating. It seems like whenever we hit a partially challenging part, Chalene says something that picks me up and keeps me going till the end! I have been a fan of hers for many years now, since I tried my first Turbo Jam DVD.

Over the sixteen weeks, I have done all of the workouts several times. Included in the Turbo Fire system is 10 workouts. The “Fire” workouts are intense cardio classes, ranging from 30 minutes to 55 minutes. The DVD’s also include stretching, toning and sculpting. The genius of the Turbo Fire series is the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. These HIIT workouts range from 15 to 25 minutes. Yes, they are short, but affective. Chalene promises that the HIIT sessions burn nine times more fat than a regular aerobic workout. I can believe it! The HIIT workouts are just that…high intensity! After a brief warm-up, the intensity builds quickly. The routine is one minute of high intensity, followed by a minute of low intensity cool down. They are hard work, but doable.

The program comes with an eating plan and a workout schedule. I have not been following the included eating plan, as it is to restrictive for me. I really like the workout schedule. It seems to alternate Fire classes with HIIT classes, with a little stretching and toning mixed in.

I am very happy with my Turbo Fire workouts. The foot work is fun, but not to challenging--even for someone as clumsy as me. It’s like going to a dance party every day in my living room. Chalene keeps it fun and she makes the time fly by. I am not sure if I am going to do another round of Turbo Fire next, or move on to ChaLEAN extreme.  The best thing about Turbo Fire—I have lost about 25 pounds since I started!  You can do it too!  Here is a link to find out more and to order Turbo Fire for yourself.

A dream is a wish your heart makes......

--Amy


Don’t forget to enter the Luna Bar giveaway!  Its ends Saturday!

Blogorama is just one month away!  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What do you eat?

The other day, a friend I and were discussing losing weight and our training plans.  I was telling her that I have lost about 30 pounds since the beginning of the year.  She told me she had not lost much and then said “Amy, what do you eat?” 
That got me thinking.  Am I eating the right things to lose weight, but also eating enough to have energy to train and recover properly?   I looked over my food journal and discovered some very interesting thing. It seems I eat mostly the same things every day.  I am not sure if this is good or bad, but I am very much a creature of habit.  I like having things planned out.  This is what I repeatedly found in my food journal:
Oatmeal
Brown rice
Fresh veggie
Salad
Chicken
Shrimp
Yogurt
Almonds
Luna Bars
Fresh Fruit
Shakeology
I eat a packet of oatmeal every morning, usually the sugar free kind.  I tend to eat smaller meals throughout the day, so having quick, healthy snacks is very important.  For snacks my go to’s are yogurt, almonds, fresh fruit, Luna Bars, and Shakeology.  Right now, I am really hooked on Chobani Greek yogurt.  I love how thick and creamy it is.  The 100 calorie packs of almonds are also super convenient.  It is very easy to over eat nuts, but the 100 calorie packs prevent that.  We always have fresh fruit at my house, usually apples, bananas and whatever is on sale that week. The fiber is fresh fruit is filling, while the sweetness is satisfying.  Luna Bars are also a great option.  They make you feel like you are cheating, but with about 180 you can’t go wrong.  My new favorite is Shakeology!  I drink it almost every day when I get home from the gym.  It has protein for muscle recovery, plus it has a whole days’ worth of vitamins, so no need to take a multivitamin.  The best part is that is tastes like a Hershey’s chocolate milkshake.
 For lunch and dinner, my go to’s are usually salad with chicken or a stir-fry.  I love to just through a lot of ingredients, whatever I have in my fridge, into a pan and see how it turns out.  I usually start with chicken or shrimp and then choose a sauce.  My favorites are teriyaki or Italian dressing.  I let the chicken or shrimp cook, and then add my fresh veggies.  Some of my favorites are broccoli, carrots, snap peas and squash.   I usually add a bit more sauce with the veggies.  I cook in chicken broth to add a bit of flavor and usually add some garlic.  To finish up, I sometimes I add some brown rice.  Everyone in the family loves my stir-fries and I love that it is healthy for everyone. 
What do you think of my list?  What do you eat?  Do you have any pointer on how to eat better? 
A dream is a wish….
--Amy

Don’t forget to enter my Luna Bar giveaway!