You know the last thing I want to do when it’s 7 degrees outside with 10mph winds? Leave the comfort of my heated room wearing spandex and nylon to run on icy surfaces for an hour.
BUT I DO IT ANYWAYS. It helps to have a buddy or an iPod although nothing can really cure the bitter harsh cold on your face and hands. But if you are committed to a healthy lifestyle, weather cannot be a barrier :)
Let’s be real. In a perfect world, every day would be a glorious 75 degrees with gorgeous, not-too-harsh sunshine, a light breeze and and no humidity. Now wake up! If you’re fortunate enough to live in a snow-prone region, then you already know that it is an unavoidable part of life. Meaning we can stop complaining & just figure out a way to work around it. Snow is not an excuse to be lazy :)
Whether its 107 degrees or -7 degrees, there are ways to overcome external factors and accomplish your workout. First step: plan your workouts ahead of time and make “skipping” one a non-option. Remember my good ole’ long-run motto?? Let me remind you…..
I had to remind myself of this last weekend. I had a 13-miler on the calendar Sunday morning. My running buddy cancelled on me. It snowed the night before. But I had to get those miles in for my training so it was non-negotiable.
If you’re a college kid… USE THE COLLEGE GYM! No one wants to be stuck in their tiny bedroom 24/7 and the gym is a great place to go to stay warm, be active and offset some of those extra Christmas goodies ;) Plus you can take advantage of how less crowded it is because of everyone else hiding in their room 24/7. Sure it may sound great to stay bundled up and watch Netflix. But you can do that in the OTHER 23 HOURS of your day!!
Yesterday evening I had a 6 mile run that I planned to complete on a treadmill so I could sport some shorts & a tank top. When I got to the gym, SURPRISE the gym closed 4 hours early that day! Those miles were not going to run themselves so I grabbed some warmer clothes for the brisk 20-degree air. I got in my six miles outside in the dark and I felt like a (snow)beast afterwards. Trust me, the discomfort at the beginning of your work out will be well worth it at the end. When your brain says, “Stop, this is cold!” I say SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP.
Exhibit A: Post-snow-run adrenaline high.
***It helps to know a hot, fresh pot of coffee is waiting when you finish. ;)
I also want to start a new feature with a song at the end of each post from my marathon training playlist :) Each song is motivational in some aspect. Current Song of the Moment:
“Never let the darkness hold you back, no fear of getting lost.” “Everything you’re ever gonna dream, I pray that it will come.” “Wish that I could make the road easy, I wish that life was fair.” “I hope you don’t forget this, you were born for better things.” “
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Before I go on about my long run energy experiment let’s rewind a little bit…. we passed a major holiday here!
Our Thanksgiving meal was typical for this family: all brand-new recipes that were a hit!
Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Jam from Caroline @ Chocolate & Carrots
Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(of course) Turkey
& a not-at-all-healthy Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust for dessert
YUM. I’m still full. (That’s a lie. I’m always hungry. ha.)
Now onto Christmas…Happy Holidays!
While the crazies were out Black Friday shopping, I opted for a morning run with my best guy friend from high school!
Cardio > Sales (blasphemy coming from a 20 year old girl, I know.)
We had a KILLER run we call “Kingdom Loop.” The first 4 miles are a gradual incline, until you get to Kingdom Dr. Then its a steep steep climb to the top, about 3/4 mile. You know the hill gets serious when the conversation stops ;) After that it’s a downhill coast to home, a decent start at working off this monster of Thanksgiving (and the next day, and the next day’s….) dessert:
My marathon training plan is roughly following this plan from Boston Athletic Association: Beginner 16 week program. (I fast-forwarded to week 9).
This morning I cranked out my 15-miler first thing before it got too hot (yes “too hot” in December….SoCal probs.) With my dad by my side, of course!
I started a little bit of an experiment. On the actualy Marathon Day (50 days and counting!) I will be needing some edible energy on the run to keep my glucose levels up and active. My mom hooked it up on her last trip to Sports Authority and bought me just about every type of energy product on the shelf.
- Jelly Belly Sport Beans (4 different flaves)
- Clif Shot Bloks
- GU energy gels (regular and Roctane) *Bonus for this one, there’s Peanut Butter & Espresso!!!!
- Power Gel energy gels
- GU Chomps energy chews
- Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews
I’m starting my experimenting now so I know what works best by January 19th! Today I took along Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews in Pomegranate Passion (I promise I’m not affiliated with any of the companies and this is not some cheesy sales pitch!)
- Tasted delicious and fruity
- “Organic” (if you’re into that sort of thing)
- No stomach ache
- You have to eat 10 for one serving…..considering I’ll be needing 4-5 servings, I don’t want to be eating 50 chews!)
- Non-resealable package
- Says “contains protein & fiber” on package…… 1 stinkin’ gram! That barely counts.
I liked the flavor of the Stinger chews and they didn’t have any horrible side effects but the fact that I would be eating dozens of them for energy doesn’t sound appealing. Next week I’ll try out a Gu or PowerGel. One gulp and DONE. To be continued…
Are you sipping a glass of orange juice? (I think it goes without saying that my morning mug is filled with coffee.)
I’m all about oranges. (Navel, not those weird Valencia ones. Who wants to deal with seeds?) My favorite grocery store Sprouts had a huge display of navel oranges this week, 3 pounds for $1. So obviously I bought as many as I could fit in my basket and have been slicing up a couple every day! They are so juicy, and citrus fruits in general just smell so fresh :)
Now that I’m overflowing with oranges I thought I’d do a little research into what these little guys are doing for me!
My go-to site for all nutrition information is nutritiondata.self.com (seriously, I look up the calorie/fat/sodium serving size info on almost every food without a label. Fun fact: a whole zucchini is only 30 calories. #goodbecauseicaneatfive)
So the COLD HARD FACTS:
A small orange is only 60 calories.
One contains about 85% of a day’s worth of Vitamin C. (Though the body can’t actually store Vit C so eating a dozen oranges won’t make you extra Vitamin C-y.)
An orange is also about 85% water.
They are naturally fat-free!
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. It helps repair and build tendons, ligaments, skin and blood vessels.
The vitamin also helps form scar tissue and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth.
(Source: National Health Institute)
Another fun fact (lucky you!) The city I grew up is historic orange grove territory. My high school is built right next to what’s left of an orange grove, and our school colors were even (BRIGHT) orange & green. Not ideal uniform colors. We were called “jailbirds” on more than one occasion…. clever.
Sometimes in high school when the oranges on the trees were ripe, we would pick a few to eat as a post-workout snack. Sticky hands – yes. Totally worth it – yes.
We even invented “orange grove tag” for off-season workouts. Instead of a 4-5 mile run, we would congregate on an acre of orange trees and play hide and seek until we all got hungry. <3
Don’t skimp on that Vitamin C. Your bones/teeth/skin/immune system will be extra thankful for the extra boost. Or go for the “cuties” (clementines) to get your fill of Vitamin C in an adorable fun-size fruit. I always try to peel them in one spiral piece, it’s my own competition with myself ;)
And that Hi-C or Tang crap does NOT count! Pulp is GOOD.