Modesto 1/2 Marathon and a little DIY

Hello!

There’s been A LOT going on since my last post! Especially last week…

I started a new job (promotion after 2 long years!), got into a car accident, bought a new car, and crossed the finish line of my 19th (!!!!) half marathon!

My dad and step mom decided a while back to run the Modesto Marathon this year. I still wanted more “down” time after the CIM so I opted for the half marathon instead. I had a much better race than I did 2 weeks ago despite it being hotter this time around. I think my attitude going in had a BIG impact on my results. I crossed the finish line in 2:37:35…not my fastest but it was a course PR over my 2013 finish! I’ll take that kind of progress any day!

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One of my favorite things about the Modesto Marathon is the race swag! This year they had bottles of special made Celebration Red for finishers 🙂 that’s my kind of race!

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I made it across the finish line then headed for food and cold water and a change of clothes. I made it back to finish line just in time to catch the tail end of the women Boston qualifiers. It’s so inspiring to watch these ladies (and men) achieve such an awesome goal…especially seeing them turn the corner to the finish line and realize they can make it to a BQ!

I hung out a few hours cheering on the end of the half and the marathoners until I finally saw my step mom round the corner. She finished with a 26 minute PR! My dad rounded the corner a few minutes later after dealing with a hamstring cramp. He was greeted with high fives and cheers from his girls and trotted on into the finish line.

It was an awesome weekend with the family and made me even more excited for my next marathon! Props to the race director and volunteers for making our race day such a good experience!

In other news I had the day off today and decided to get a little crafty. I’ve been looking forever for something to do with my race bibs and finally found something I liked on pinterest yesterday. Unfortunately I can’t remember what blog it was from to give credit to, but this wasn’t my idea! (So sorry!)

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I grabbed these letters from the craft store, picked a few of my bibs that were important races to me and arranged them out how I wanted them on each letter.

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After I had them laid out I cut slits to make them easier to wrap around the letters. I used mod podge to stick them on, but I had to use hot glue to keep the edges down around the back and on a few that wouldn’t stick over the other bibs. Then I topped it off with a little more mod podge to make sure everything was stuck down well and give a little glossy over coat.

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Finished product! Overall a very simple project but very time consuming since I’m so picky about things. Now I can’t wait to get them hung with the rest of my bibs and medals! 🙂

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Shamrock’n Half Marathon

Hello blog world! Man it’s been awhile…I’ve been slacking! Actually slacking probably isn’t the best word. More like I’ve been a busy little bee between work and getting ready for the half marathon I ran this past Sunday! I definitely need to get back on this blogging train though. 🙂

First off…Happy St. Paddy’s Day! My favorite day to celebrate! 😉
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So after my marathon back in December I decided I wanted to refocus my goals for 2015. Instead of just racing any and every race I wanted to pick a select few and really focus on those as they came. I still want to race a few of my favorites throughout the year, but I don’t want to take the fun out of it by putting a lot of pressure on every single race. I tend to let myself get very disappointed when I don’t see improvement, so I’m hoping the change in focus keeps that from happening this year.

With that being said my first “big” race of 2015 was this past Sunday. It’s a Sacramento-area favorite…the Shamrock’n half marathon. It’s kind of the unofficial kick off of race season around here, and it’s a course I know very well as my marathon training has me spending lots of time on a majority of the course throughout the year. Since I know the course well I was dead set on finally taking down that half marathon PR that’s been standing for too long!

Except the exact opposite of that happened.

I was frustrated BIG TIME by mile 3. I put in extra time in the gym, extra speed work, extra weekly mileage, etc. than I ever have before, but Sunday wasn’t my day. It was the warmest day I’ve ran since the weather cooled off last fall, and I overheated quick. By mile 3 my body was shutting down and I knew my PR hopes were gone. I switched into survival mode and toughed out the last 10 miles to make it to the end. I ended up finishing somewhere around the 2:45:00 mark…not my best but definitely not my worst. It’s okay though. I’ll get that PR eventually, but I didn’t have a PR race in me for Sunday. It wasn’t my day…yet.

Here’s a shot coming up to the last turn into the finish courtesy of a few friends who were out cheering everyone on!
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I’m shocked I don’t look half dead because at that point I was convinced I was done for. Haha!

I definitely handled this disappointment much better than I would’ve this time last year. I know I put in the work to achieve my goal, but it just didn’t happen. I have another half marathon coming up in 2 weeks, so I’m shifting focus over to that one for now. The last time I ran this particular race it was hot, so I’m planning to be more prepared for the heat than I was this past weekend. I don’t think the course I’ll be running at the end of the month is a PR-able course for me personally, but you never know what will happen.

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Our only true failures are the ones we learn nothing from. This past weekend I learned that no matter how hard you work sometimes things just don’t go your way. And the only thing you can do at that point is wipe the dirt off and look forward to the next task. That PR is eventually going down, and I’m not going to let up until I get it!

In the meantime I’m just going to enjoy the journey and the awesome running friends I get to share it with.
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Oh and by the way those 2 lovely ladies on the left completed their first half marathon EVER, and I had the pleasure of crossing the finish line right next to that little red-headed one for her first time. So very proud of all my little runner girls…especially since we all had a tough go on Sunday!

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Hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Whole30 Check-in: day 29

I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day finally! I’m so excited to accomplish something that I wasn’t sure I could do on day 1.

It’s helped me refocus and realize how much more important it is to eat good foods versus counting calories so much. Obviously your intake is important to staying on track or losing weight, but eating 300 calories of veggies and good protein is better than 300 calories wasted on a Starbucks drink. I also never realized how much added sugar is in EVERYTHING! I’ve even figured out I can go out to eat and not blow my hard work by ordering junk. There are healthy options, and every place I’ve gone to has been willing to make modifications as they can to help me out. It’s all just a matter of being willing to ask. 🙂

Since tomorrow is Saturday and I’m not sure what I’ll be up to I took my “after” photos this morning.

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I did cheat once. Whole30 rules state no scale, but I hopped on the scale day 15 to see my half way progress. At that point I had lost 5.2 pounds. I am waiting until Sunday to weigh again, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost anymore weight (which is fine because I didn’t do this so much to lose weight). Not a big change, but I am noticing subtle differences that no one else will probably see. My clothes fit better, and I feel so much better. I never got that afternoon burst of energy some people talked about, but I did notice I haven’t had an afternoon crash. I feel like I have a more steady stream of energy all day long, and that’s one thing I loved most about this experience. That’s also what’s encouraging me to stay on track with the habits I’ve picked up this past month.

As a distance runner Whole30 isn’t something I feel I can maintain long term, so I’m planning to follow it with the exception of allowing myself brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat bread. I do want to continue cutting the starchy carbs and watching my sugar and dairy intake, and I plan to allow myself a weekly cheat day. The hardest part of this process was knowing I couldn’t eat something, so I’m hoping allowing myself that cheat will also help me want it less.

One more day of Whole30 eating tomorrow and then an epic cheat day for the annual Super Bowl party! I’m excited to get to eat a few treats, but I know how I’ll feel groggy and stuffed after so it won’t be long before I’m ready to get back to my healthier Whole30 gained habits!

Thanks for following along and helping me stay accountable this month! 🙂

Whole30 Check-in: Day 24

Oh so close!!! This time next week I’ll be stuffing my face with nachos and beer at our annual Super Bowl party, and I’m sure it will taste twice as nice as celebration of my Whole30 challenge coming to an end!

I’m really excited for the challenge to be finished simply because I want so much stuff just for the reason I’m not supposed to eat it right now! I’m very pleasantly surprised that I’ve made it this far (and at this point I know I’ll make it to the end). I was honestly afraid I would get a few days in and then start binging on bad food. I always pay attention to what I eat, do eating healthy isn’t the hard part for me. The hardest part is not allowing myself a cheat day (or two sometimes).

I have quite the list of foods I want to eat once this is over next week. I don’t plan on eating the whole list, but I’m going to choose a few things that I’m really craving and treat myself on Sunday. I’ve discovered when I have a craving writing it down helps it go away. It’s like telling myself “ok. You can eat this on this day since it’s on the list.” I know there are things on there I simply wanted because I saw it and couldn’t have it, so I most likely won’t want to waste a cheat on them. But a cupcake? You better believe I’m hunting one of those bad boys down on Sunday!

I’m not sure about doing another Whole30 challenge anytime soon, but I do want to keep my healthier habits I’ve gained during this past few weeks. I’m planning to stick with the Whole30 guidelines with a little less restriction. As a runner I need carbs, so being able to add back in brown rice and quinoa will make it easier to get what I need. Although I have gotten a little creative on getting my carbs in and been on a major sweet potato kick lately!

Ok enough Whole30.

A little weekend recap: today was “long” run day. Since I stepped back my training a little post marathon my long run consisted of 7 miles today. I ran with a friend training for her first half marathon this morning, so it was a nice change from the usual. Different person, different route…still good company. 🙂 My running partner in crime wasn’t feeling well, so I definitely missed her but happy I had someone else to make sure I showed up this morning and put the miles in.

In other exciting news I bought a new car this weekend! I downgraded from my big ol SUV to a more economical Prius. Ha! I guess that means my Cali girl transformation is officially complete!

Now I’m spending my Sunday evening meal prepping and getting ready to tackle the week ahead. One of the keys to success is being prepared, so Whole30 has definitely got me back in the habit of preparing ahead…not just with food but also just my schedule in general. Who knew a post holiday challenge would make such a big difference? 😉

Whole30 Check-in: day 15

Woohoo! Today is officially the halfway point in my whole30 challenge!

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I must say after my “carb crash” last week things have been so much better! I’m no longer having cravings, and it gets easier every day to say no to things not whole30 compliant.

As I’m getting more comfortable and confident with my new eating habits I’ve been able to eat out with a little less worry this past week. It’s been nice to know days I’m running late I have a cafe at work where I can still get healthy foods and stay on track. It helps take away that “I don’t have time” excuse.

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I felt a little lazy after the gym Monday evening, so on my way home I grabbed an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the store and quick sautéed some veggies when I got home. I managed to eat all of the chicken for dinner this week and didn’t even have to cook! I just pulled the skin off because I wasn’t sure what all was used on it. It feels good to finally be finding the balance of eating out or grabbing something quick on my way home and still stay compliant with the challenge. This should definitely help my long term eating habits (which was exactly what I wanted going into it!).

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One of the toughest parts of this last week was on Sunday. I ran my first race of 2015 which just so happened to be the Hot Chocolate 15k in San Francisco. It was pretty tough passing up all the chocolate goodies along the course and waiting at the finish line, but I came in with a 7 minute PR and let that be motivation to stay focused on my plan.
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So far I still haven’t gotten this energy burst so many people talk about, but I have gone without coffee most days this week. I haven’t felt too tired until the end of the day, so maybe it’s giving me more energy than I think. 😉

Well meal prepping is underway for this next week, and then I’ll be into the home stretch!

I’m glad to see the halfway point today, but I’m ready to celebrate with the Super Bowl (and hopefully watch my team play!) and a nice cold beer!

Whole30 Check-in: day 8

Woohoo! I officially survived week 1 of the Whole30 challenge! This has been quite an interesting experience so far. Even though Whole30 isn’t too far off my normal diet I’ve learned quite a bit this week. So here’s what 7 short days has taught me:

1) Preperation is key. I chose to start this challenge at a time I knew there wasn’t a lot in the coming month to distract me. The holidays are over, the Super Bowl is in February, no special occasions to tempt me…so I’m definitely glad I planned that far ahead. Also meal prepping and making sure I had plenty of food on the go has been great at keeping me on track this far.

2) I eat when I’m bored. I’m definitely learning to ask myself if I’m really hungry now before I just grab something and start eating.

3) A support system is key. I’m so glad I’m not doing this alone! If I were in this alone I would’ve already caved. Yesterday (day 7) was the hardest day for me. It was my “food meltdown” day. Thankfully my 2 ladies stuck on this adventure with me made sure I stayed on track because they knew I’d regret it today if I didn’t. Also I’m very thankful my boyfriend is being so supportive of my crazy idea. I’ve been able to go out to dinner a few times this week and make choices that follow my plan because he’s been patient and helped make sure I make the right choice instead of ordering the things I really want (like a burger!). It has definitely made this week a little easier.

4) I can make good choices while eating out. this is good to know for once I’m done. It’s so easy to get off track with healthy habits, but I’ve already proven to myself I have the willpower to make a healthier choice eating out. It’s good to cheat and treat yourself on occasion, but I can’t let myself get into a habit of cheating anytime I’m eating away from home.

My hopes going into this challenge was to get my eating habits back on track after the holiday goodness I indulged in. So far I think I’m learning even more than I expected to, and I hope to keep these lessons in mind long after I complete my challenge.

I have a busy weekend ahead, so I’m currently multitasking and meal prepping as I type. I decided to make crock pot beef stew loaded up with plenty of veggies for this coming week. My house is starting to smell so yummy….can’t wait to eat it!

I hope everyone is doing well with their New Year’s resolutions this far!

Whole30 Challenge: Day 1

Happy 2015!

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One of my goals for this year was to start it off by completing the Whole30 challenge (see my previous post if you want to know more), and today officially marks day 1 of my 30. After doing my grocery shopping yesterday I think this is going to be a little easier than I thought. It’s definitely going to be a challenge no doubt, but I’m not feeling as nervous about it as I originally was.

I don’t plan to blog everyday of the challenge, but I do think this is going to help keep me accountable. When I meal prep I prep for the week, and I typically eat the same meals that whole week. Basically it would be really boring seeing the same boring food photos daily, so I’ll spare you the blah-ness! 😉

For the first week I chose to keep my meal prep fairly simple. Breakfast consisted of two eggs, two slices of turkey bacon, and a banana. I haven’t felt hungry in the few hours it’s been since I had breakfast, so I feel like my breakfast choice will work well for me.

Lunch this week is going to be a sauté consisting of sausage, asparagus, mushrooms, and onions. Dinner is pretty basic with a chicken breast (flavored with Mrs. Dash lemon pepper to stay compliant) and a roasted veggie mix of squash, zucchini, and carrots.

I also bought grapes and apples to keep handy in case I need a snack or feel any of my meals need something more to get me through the day. Whole30 is geared towards eating only 3 meals a day, but my schedule between lunch and dinner may be too long to not have a snack. I’m going to try it out and see how I feel, but I’m not going to stress over eating an apple at 2 pm instead of noon if I need to.

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With all of my meal prep finished I actually feel pretty excited to see how this goes! I’ll be tracking my daily food (no macro counting, just what I ate and water intake), and I’ll be checking in a few days to update my progress!

Whole30 is obviously a short term goal, but I hope I find some ideas for incorporating long term changes in my eating habits. As for my 2015 long term goals:

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