Friday, July 20, 2018

Fast Friday

It's time for our fast Friday update! Here are some of the things we've done in the last week.

Saturday morning I went on my long run. And it was a beast. I slept in a little bit and got a later start than normal, it was 68% humidity and it rained a little at the start. My route had lots of stop lights, even though I hate running with stoplights, it gets a little tricky to avoid some when you're going 11 miles solo. I was soaked through and had a blister by the time I was done with the run, but I was happy I got it done.

I ran through a park for part of my run and saw hundreds of baby ducks everywhere.

Later, on Saturday we met up with some friends at a splash pad and played there for a couple of hours before dinner.

Monday night we decided to pick the apricots from our tree. We waited too long to do it this year. Our tree didn't produce much and it's been kind of a pain in the butt this year. And we don't love apricots (if I could choose what kind of tree that was, it would be a peach, but it was there when we moved in). So most of the apricots were overly ripe and Trevon threw them down to me and I caught them in this bucket, and then we threw them away.

Then we decided maybe we should just take the tree down. So we started cutting the branches all down. Then Trevon got a wasp sting on his lip while throwing the branches away. So we stopped for the night and we haven't started back up since. As we started thinking about it again, we realized that there's not going to be an easy way to take that stump out with the fence right there. And we live in an HOA community (never again!) that would just really be unhappy if we ripped the fence down.

Tuesday was a hot day so the kids played with their cousins and squirt guns. 

Also on Tuesday, I got a morning run in. It was another killer and super humid again. I had a terrible side ache the whole time. I'm thinking it might have something to do with this black cat that kept rubbing up against my legs while I was trying to run. 

I'm not really superstitious...

This summer there has been a lot of sleeping in the same bed going on. It doesn't bother me, it just makes me wonder why we bought a bunk bed sometimes instead of a full-size bed for them to share. I know this probably won't last forever though, so I'm going to enjoy them wanting to spend every second together while I can.

Wednesday was a swimming day for the kids. We love that we can spend a lot of time in the pool during the summer.

It was my niece's birthday party so they got to play and have pizza too.

While the kids were partying, Trevon and I went on a date. We went up to SLC and had dinner. Turns out that most restaurants had an hour wait because of several events going on. So we settled for a super fancy meal in the food court. It was just OK, but we still enjoyed ourselves. They did give us each our own chips and salsa, so that was cool.

And then we crossed another thing off of my bucket list by going to Phantom of the Opera. And it was amazing. I've seemed to cross several things off my bucket list in the last few years so I asked Trevon on the way home what was on his list and he said "do stuff that makes my wife happy" (awww). I know, he's pretty cute.

Thursday was a busy day getting ready to go camping! The girls went to my sister's to play for a while and V and I went to get a few things we needed at the store. He was pretty heartbroken that he didn't get to stay and play with "deff" (what he calls my sister) so I got him some ice cream to eat while we shopped. He was really good to share some bites with me :)

My workouts weren't super great this week but this is what they looked like:

Saturday: Long run ----> 11 miles

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 5 easy miles with my sister in law

Tuesday: Tempo run ---> 6 miles. I ended up walking for at least a full mile somewhere in there.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Speed work ----> 2.5 miles

What is something on your bucket list?

How were your runs this week?

Are you superstitious? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How Aaptiv is Helping Me Improve as a Runner

Today I want to share one of my favorite apps that I have on my phone and use almost every day ----->Aaptiv, and how I use it for my running.   I first heard of aaptiv when they reached out to me asking if I'd like a free trial. They weren't looking for a review in exchange or anything, in fact, everyone can get a free month trial on it. They just reached out thinking it would be something that would help my training after they had seen the blog. So I said I definitely wanted to try it out.

At first, my thought was that it would be an app that I could use for strength training but I'd still be working on running on my own. But I was really excited to see that they have programs for runners. So I figured I'd give that out a try for my free month because I was wanting to train for a 10k and they had a plan for that.

They have several different options for running training, outdoor, treadmill, 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon, and then they have running programs from beginner up to advanced, along with a lot of strength training programs, cycling and more. There really is something for everyone.

I was interested to see how it was going to work because I'd done at home workouts on TV and on other apps like Grokker, but I didn't know how it was going to work for running. Here's what I found out. Aaptiv has a lot of awesome trainers who go to a studio and record themselves talking you through your workout with music.  I put my headphones in and do what they tell me to do. It's like having a trainer or running buddy right there with you the whole time to tell you what to focus on next, cheering you one, and helping you stay strong.

My favorite running trainer is Rochelle.  She has great music and great motivation every time. She breaks the run up into sets and a lot of times while you're running, she will give you one thing to focus on for each set. So it keeps your mind busy and helps you feel the progress of the workout. Sometimes it feels like your workout will never end, and the way she breaks the workouts up helps you feel like you're getting things done.

When I set the goal to run a 10k, I also set a goal to do it in under 50 minutes. I felt like that was pretty average for a 10k. I didn't enter an actual 10k but I timed myself on the treadmill and ended up running it in 48 minutes. So that's not an official time or anything, but I was pleased that I didn't only meet my goal but I surpassed it by two minutes--something I know I wouldn't have done without the help from Aaptiv. And I plan on getting an official time for a 10k in the near future.

After getting injured and not being ready in time for the race I was planning on, I decided to go bigger and do a half marathon instead of a 10k. I've been training for that for a few months now and have used the training program with Aaptiv for the majority of my training. I do try to do my long runs without music, or the app just because the race I'm doing is a USATF race and doesn't allow headphones (though I'm pretty sure they aren't super strict about it). Aaptiv's half marathon training plan and the full both have full training guides that you can find on the app by clicking the "view training guide" at the top of the plan's page. It breaks literally every day up for you so there's no guessing in what you're going to do next.

Another thing I like about Aaptiv is that you can skip workouts and come back to them or you can redo workouts that you really liked. You can also download the workouts which comes in handy this time of year when we go camping but I don't want to miss out on my run. I don't have to worry about not having access to the internet or wifi because it's downloaded on my phone. And as a new feature on their app, you can now search for specific workouts by the trainer, muscle group, type of run, length of the workout etc. It makes finding what you need for each day super easy and takes out that much more work for the prep time in your workout.

If you're looking for a good training plan, an alternative to a personal trainer, or even just new motivation to get going again, I highly suggest aaptiv. They have so many options and so many different trainers to help you out!

Do you have any favorite workout apps?

Have you ever worked with a trainer or coach?

Monday, July 16, 2018

20's At the Park Workout

How many of us take our kids to the park and then just sit and watch while they play?  I am guilty of this.  And there have been several times that while I'm sitting there scrolling through my phone or watching my kids play that I have thought "why am I just sitting here?" Somedays I'm ok with it, like if I'm visiting with another mom, but sometimes even if I've already done a workout for the day I sit there feeling really lazy and start talking mean to myself. While moms definitely deserve some downtime to just sit and relax (and we shouldn't be mean to ourselves for that) sometimes it just feels better to move. So today I'm sharing a quick idea of a playground workout that will help us get some strength training in whether it's while your kids are playing or for when you just feel the need for something different. (Remember that I'm not a personal trainer or coach, this is just something I tried out and wanted to share!)

You do every move 20 times and do the workout as many times as you like. So I'm calling it 20's at the park!

20 jump squats. Find a step or a bench that is high enough to jump on and off of. Make sure you're landing with both feet fully on the step!

20 One legged squats each leg. Stand with one leg on the step and one leg off. Squat down as far as you can keeping good form. Repeat 10 times each leg. If you need help balancing, hold on to a pole next to you as lightly as you can. You want as much weight on your standing leg as possible.

20 inclined lunges each leg. Put one leg up on the step and one leg down in a lunge position. Do 25 per leg (this is pretty easy to understand, I don't need to go into more detail :)

20 inclined push-ups. Find something to hold on to or lean against that is not too high. This little ladder made a perfect inclined push-up spot. Do your push-ups making sure your body stays flat and your chest touches the bar.

20 tricep dips. Using a step or something low to hold on to, you can keep your legs straight out in front of you or if you need to modify bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground. 

20 pull-ups. Feel free to take breaks in between when you need to (I know I can't do more than 5 pull-ups at a time right now so do what you can). Find a spot that you can hold on to above your head. Bend your knees to make your arms hold your weight. Pull up until your chin is above your hands.

Repeat these moves 3 times, or as many times as you can until your kids are ready to go home. You can also add moves like calf raises, sit-ups, plank, cardio by running up and down the steps or around the park etc.

Do you ever workout while your kids play at the park?

How many pull-ups can you do?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fast Friday!

I'm starting to feel like summer (at least summer break) is slipping away from us. Why on earth to my kids, well J, have to start school so early. I swear it starts earlier every year. and once July hits my panic to get in every second of fun starts. So here are some of the things we did this week.

We started out by making a chore chart for everyone in the family. My kids are starting to get old enough to chip in on the cleaning a little more, and V will just not remember the difference.  Ever Sunday we spin the wheel and that's our chore for the week. Last week J had bathrooms and it was probably my favorite. I feel like her chore alone made our house feel a whole lot cleaner.

We went swimming at my parent's house and my mom always makes sure to have some kind of treat for the kids after swimming. Have you ever noticed how hungry kids are after swimming?? It's like they haven't eaten all day. Anyway, she made these awesome cookies. I made sure to get the recipe because they were super soft and tasty and J even liked them. 

Swimming really wears V out too. Naps haven't been all that consistent for us this summer, but I don't fight it when he takes one. 

We also made a fort out of a box this week. The kids entertained themselves with the box for several hours over a few days.  Can't beat free. 

Trevon even poked holes in it to make it look like a stary sky.

We got all of our library books read and will be taking them back to exchange next week sometime. I love it when my kids, especially J, will sit down and read. It's something J has always enjoyed but as she gets older she enjoys less and less. THIS book is one she read in about a half hour and it's a beginner chapter book. 

Monday I got to go on my evening run with my sister in law. I'm sure I said before, but these have become some of my favorite runs. It's always really relaxing for me and fun to visit. Plus we get to see some awesome views around sunset. 

Evening walks are one of my favorite things to do in the summer. While the girls are playing with the neighbors, Trevon and I will walk around the block with V.  We get the chance to talk and spend more time together, it helps V wind down for the night and it's super nice and relaxing to spend the evening that way.

The same night V decided he would play in his bed until 10:00 and Trevon and I caught him still awake. He had taken a really good nap that day and just wasn't tired. 

The kids are outside as early as they possibly can be in the mornings. They get dressed right when they get up and as soon as breakfast is done, they want to be outside. This is something I'm sure won't last but I'd love it to.

The girls are really into playing board games lately which gives us one more thing to do when the "I'm bored-s" start. The nice thing is that they are old enough to play games that are a little more fun, and they can play together if I'm not in the mood to play with them, or if V needs my attention. This week we played Monopoly Jr. This is my game from when I was 6 or 7. J won. 

Thursday we spent all morning at a splash pad close to us. We haven't been to one for quite a while but this one was pretty great. There were quite a few people, but it was also big enough that it didn't seem overly crowded. The kids played for over 2 hours there and then they got hungry for lunch. I'm sure if I would have been smart enough to bring lunch we would have been there all afternoon. I'm sure we will be back.

Here's what my workouts looked like this week:

Saturday: Long run. I didn't get out early because Trevon had some stuff going on. So I went in the afternoon instead and did it on the treadmill. It sucked. For some reason, my feet cramp up after 9 miles on a treadmill no matter what, plus it was super boring. But I did it! ----> 10 miles

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Recovery run: ----> 4 easy miles 

Tuesday: strength training--->Leg day

Wednesday: Tempo Run ---> 1 mile warm up, 4 miles fast (8:22, 8:13,7:47,7:57) .75 mile walk to cool down. I was so happy to see that progress! 

Thursday: Strength training: Upper body. My legs needed a break! 

Friday: Speed work: 3.5 ish miles on the track

Total Mileage: 19

Have a fantastic weekend!

When does your summer break end?

Who feels like it's too short??

What was your favorite childhood game?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Refueling After a Workout: Why and How

How many of us get done with a workout and either don't refuel at all or refuel with something that isn't helping our bodies?  There are a lot of reasons for both of these things: we don't have an appetite after we run, there's nothing that is convenient to grab quickly, we are too concerned about gaining weight... I'm sure there are thousands of reasons out there. But besides all the excuses, it is really important to refuel, especially after a hard workout. (Please remember that I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, or anything except for someone with experience. If you're having bigger issues or if you're looking for more than experienced advice, please contact your doctor or nutritionist.)

Let me share a small experience I've been having with this. I used to be a nighttime runner all the time. It's just when I had time to do it. I was in a really good routine of getting my workout done, coming home for a really quick refuel snack and then cleaning up and getting ready for bed. In the last year or so, I decided to switch my workouts to morning workouts and I'd have plenty of time and options to refuel after those. Well, when I started training for this half marathon I switched 2 of my morning workouts to evening runs so that Trevon would still have a time to workout on his days too (we switch off who gets to do a morning workout). With three kids and getting home around bedtime after the evening runs, I got out of the refueling routine and I forget about it by the time the kids are in bed and I'm ready to shower.  I neglected that part of my workout routine every evening run.

I started to notice that the nights I had been running I was waking up feeling weak, sweaty, and not being able to fall back to sleep because I was just all around uncomfortable. Panic attacks came a little more frequently (although not as strong as they were before, thank heaven!) and I spent a lot of time a night going through my calming tactics instead of sleeping. I honestly believe that all of this could have been avoided by just one thing ---> fueling.

Why does fueling make such a difference? Well, when we workout we are depleting our storage of carbohydrates which is what your muscles use for energy. Carbs help your body give off big amounts of insulin which helps our bodies repair protein (you guys wouldn't believe how many years it actually took me to understand all of that haha), and protein is what our bodies use to build muscle.  Without these post-workout snacks or meals, our bodies won't have the energy we need to repair our muscles in order to be ready for the next one. You also won't have the energy to do just about anything else for the rest of the day because your body is using every ounce of energy it can find to repair those muscles. This is especially true after a really hard workout.

Now that we've talked about the why let's spend some time talking about some ideas for quick and easy refueling. I have a lot of things that I love to eat right after working out. Food just somehow tastes better after a workout. But what I decide to eat usually depends on a few things like what time of day I'm working out, how much time I have after, and what type of workout I did.

For my morning strength training workouts, I look for something with lots of protein, some good fats, and carbs. A lot of times this will include something like Kodiak Cakes, a breakfast burrito or some eggs with toast and fruit, and almost always a protein drink to go with it. I use THIS protien drink (added to some chocolate milk) and THIS blender bottle to mix it.

Granola is a great post workout snack for just about any time. I eat this after a morning run or strength training workout. I eat it with a lot of yogurt and then pile on the fruit. It gives me a good mix of protein, carbs, and nutrients from the fruit.

When it's an evening run, I look for something a little smaller and quicker. I don't want to have a huge meal before bedtime, I feel like I sleep better when I'm not overly full and I try not to eat much after 7:00 at night in the first place. So for these runs, I reach more for fruit.  I don't think that anything tastes better than a cut up fresh orange after a run. Especially when it's hot outside. Seriously, if we could grow orange trees in Utah I'd plant one today.

If you're in a situation where you're working out on a lunch break, you could refuel with a good lunch afterward. Granola works great again here. Or make yourself a salad with lots of toppings like eggs, cheese, nuts, raisins, ham or chicken.  Even a sandwich with protein (from nut butters or from meat).

If you're someone who doesn't have an appetite after a hard workout, focus on refueling with liquids. A protein shake or chocolate milk will help your body absorb the protein quickly and start rebuilding just as quickly.  And if nothing else, PLEASE, PLEASE remember to hydrate with water until you're ready to eat! Water is so important for your body to function.

What is your favorite way to refuel?

Do you prefer to eat or drink after a workout?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Avoid Stopping at Stoplights on Your Run

I heard (or read) somewhere that the difference between runners and joggers is that joggers bounce or run in place at a stop light and runners just stand there looking ticked. I relate to that on a high level haha.  In high school stopping at stoplights was never something that bothered me. We made our running routes around the city because that's what we had to work with but as I got further into running I realized that it was hurting my endurance to have to stop at every light because once I'd stop, my brain wouldn't want to start back up again and the mind games were so much harder to fight with. Now, stopping at lights is something that I try to avoid at all cost. If this is something that bothers you as a runner too, but you don't know how to avoid lights, here are a few ways that I use to avoid stoplights as much as possible and sometimes altogether.

I plan my route in advance. This is my biggest tip for avoiding stops on your run. I have an app on my phone called Footpaths that lets me trace my route and it tells me how far it will be. I can also see any stop lights or busy intersections on there and plan accordingly.

I run in neighborhoods. This is something that I do often. I know the area well, I don't have to deal with stopping at lights, there are sidewalks to run on when there's a busy road, (there are a  lot of reasons I like to run in neighborhoods).

You can also avoid stopping at stoplights by running on trails and paths. I don't do this as often because I don't feel as safe running alone on trails as I do in neighborhoods or streets. But it's definitely a good option if you're running with others and I'm hoping to do more of that soon, especially for long runs.

Some parks have great trails to run on. When I don't want to deal with traffic lights and need something different I love finding different parks that I can do some laps around. I usually don't do my whole run around a park if I'm doing a long run but I'll do a couple loops to add extra miles or I'll use parks for my shorter runs.

Don't stop. If you come to a light that isn't on a busy street and there are no cars, you can keep running. Just remember the safety rules that you've learned your whole life to look both ways before you cross the street. Make sure you're paying close attention to the cars around you, though! People get distracted so easily and some may not see you.  This is something I don't encourage strongly, but if you're careful it's doable. You need to always take your safety first and be smart about running on busy roads. But it is an option.

Choose an alternate route. If I know I'll be hitting lights I try to find the which side of the street has the least amount of lights. When I get to a light that I have to stop at, I cross the street the other way if I can and then Cross again the other way to keep running as long as possible. You could also cut through parking lots as long as you are being careful.

What it comes down to is that if stopping at stop lights is something that bothers you, and you're running in an area that it's hard to avoid, planning is the best key for you. Plan out your run so that you know how many lights you're likely to hit and how to avoid them if possible. Always be careful when you're running around traffic. Run without earbuds in, and look both ways.

How often do you get stopped at a stoplight?

By that definition, are you a runner or jogger?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fast Friday: Our fourth and other stuff.

Happy Friday! How was everybody's Fourth? We had a really great day, but first, let's talk about the rest of the week.

Friday night we needed to get out of the house. We've been trying to get out and do something fun with the whole family once a week, or at least a few times a month this summer. We went to the duck pond and park for some outside time.

One of the duck ponds close to us has a cool little forest to explore. I remember one of my grandma's taking us here all the time and taking our pictures so I can't help but take pictures of my kids when we are here.

On Saturday we found out that my family was going to go spend some time at the cabin. We haven't been up there all summer so we decided to go with them. M spent most of the time riding on the four wheeler with my grandpa. 

And then they decided to spend some time swinging on the rope swing he made. We had a different rope swing but it broke (it wasn't super safe) so he made a better one with a harness and everything. I went on it too and it was way more fun than I remembered. 

Sunday was a good restful day, I dressed up in my fourth of July colors because it's always a special Sunday for me. No one else sat still long enough for a picture, but they were dressed in American colors as well.

On Monday we visited my dad's office because I needed a cleaning (he's a dentist). The kids took pictures with my phone to entertain themselves. 

 Then Monday night my sister in law and I went on a good run. I kept saying how perfect the temperature was and how great we were feeling, and then I saw this sunset and I'm pretty sure I said how pretty it as about 10 times and then stopped for a picture haha.

Tuesday we needed to get out of the house again. We have this need a lot in the summer because we all like to be busy doing something. So we went to my sister's house to play for a while. V took his bear on a ride on the swing before playing with the trains. 

I got the next book in the Bayern series by Shannon Hale a while ago and finally started reading it. So far it's as good as Goose Girl and I recommend it. 

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday! So we usually party pretty hard on the Fourth. This year we partied but not as hard as normal. We started the day off with a big family breakfast! 

We stayed around playing spike ball and visiting while the kids swam for while. V wanted to run through the sprinklers at first but insisted on wearing goggles too. Then he decided to swim with the others. 

We all went home so V could nap for a little bit. It turned into almost a 4-hour nap. I'm not much of a napper except when I'm not feeling well so I read while they rested. Then we went back for dinner and went to visit Trevon's dad. From there we went to a spot where we could see the jets fly over. This is seriously one of my favorite things about the fourth. 

At first, we didn't think we were going to see the jets because it was later than usual, but then the surprised us with a double flyover. 

We ended the night by watching fireworks with a huge group of people at my uncle's house. He does a big firework show every year. 

Thursday was pretty low key, we took some time and went to the library but then we just relaxed for the rest of the day. We all needed some good rest. 

Here's what my workouts looked like this week:

Saturday: long run ---> 9.5 miles

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: easy run ---> 4.5 miles

Tuesday: speed work ---> 2 miles

Wednesday: Rest day/Playday

Thursday: Strength Training

Friday: Tempo run ---> 3 miles

Total miles for the week: 19 

What is your favorite holiday?

If you could only have one breakfast food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Are you reading any great books lately?