Catching Up: Upcoming Race + Injury Update + Training and My New YouTube Channel

Hello friends! It’s been a couple of weeks since I updated you on my current Half Marathon Training status and my hip injury – which now has kept me from running for over a month.

It’s been frustrating and terrifying. My race is on December 9th and I’m not willing to give up on that so easily. I do have some updates to share with you:

– Upcoming Race: Islamorada Half Marathon

For those of you who don’t know, I registered for the Islamorada Half Marathon and I am so beyond excited to do it. The main feature of this race is that the course is literally on the beach. Not that you run on the sand, the race course is a straight line on the old Florida Keys Highway that runners do back and forth for the start and finish line.

One good thing about this race is that the course is mostly flat, which is something positive for my first half marathon. One bad thing about this race is that humidity is going to be savage. However, I do keep my hopes high that this won’t be something new for me, as that is my regular training atmosphere.

– Hip Injury:

As you might have read on my previous post, I’ve been suffering from hip aches for the last month that haven’t allowed me to run like normal. After finding out that I did not have a stress fracture, I went back to running and did up to 6 miles – even though I knew I wasn’t at a 100% just yet.

My hip started bothering me again and that’s where I started going to PT. My physical therapist is the sweetest and she agreed on working so hard to get me ready for that race. At first she though I might have Hip Impingement which means that there is abnormal wearing contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint. Pretty scary, I know.

But after checking on my X-rays results and feeling tenderness on my hip flexor muscles, she concluded I might have Hip Flexor Tendonitis. This being said, she put me on a very strict pre-race game plan which basically consists of two weeks of no running at all, lots of ice, stretching and strength. I’m seeing her at least 3 times a week before work, and on the days I don’t go to PT I do go to the gym to lift weights.

The pain subsided almost completely. I do feel some tightness that goes away with ice and walking – but only once in a while. Because of this, she told me I could go back to running next Wednesday instead of yesterday (you know, I’ve been trying to negotiate the recovery time). That is 6 days from now and I seriously cannot wait.

– Post Injury Recovery / Pre Race Game Plan:

I still haven’t figured out what my training is exactly going to look like after I come back from this recovery time – which is about two weeks of training and one week of tapering. My Dad is recommending me to only run 3 times a week and dedicate the rest of my days to lift weights and do strength training. Honestly, 3 times a week seems short to me but is also way better than nothing.

I do know that if I want to make it to that finish line without hip pain I might have to completely scratch the speed intervals / tempo runs / fartleks. I need focus on distance and endurance instead.

– YouTube.

I did something I’ve been wanting to do for so long: I started a YouTube channel!! In there I’ll be talking a lot about running and lifestyle in general. I’m going to leave a link here so you can check it out.

That is all for today friends! I’ll keep you posted on my come-back and thank you so much for reading!

 

 

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When Injuries Happen…

Hello friends. Just making a quick stop here to report it’s been a solid 3 weeks without running. I wish this was because I took the conscious decision of taking a break, but honestly it was all the way around.

On October 7th I ran my best 10-miler and my last good run in the following three weeks. After that everything started to go downhill.

That next Monday (the day after the long run) I decided to take it off as I knew my body needed some rest. Then the next following two days I couldn’t run more than one mile without feeling a stabbing pain in my right hip.

Kristina recommended me some hip opening exercises which I tried, but to be honest the pain would come back right after just running a mile and last for the rest of the day.

I went to see my doctor and the first thing she looked for was a stress fracture. She also told me not to run until she had my X-ray results back. I’ve never had a broken bone (knock on wood) so the idea of it made me really nervous. Thank God the results  came back normal, and I got referred to PT.

I’m going to attempt to run again tomorrow morning, and I’m really nervous.

I was putting so much hard work on my half marathon training that the idea of being off for 3 weeks is just really disappointing to me. I don’t even know if I’m ready to run a Half Marathon in less than a month.

Maybe if I change my game plan I’d be ready to do it…who knows.

For now, I’m just looking forward to gain some control back. Whenever I spend time without running, everything is mentally and emotionally harder. My husband still struggles with chronic migraines and I’m going through so many changes at work.

I feel like running allows me to understand better that God is in control. Running keeps me centered and motivated. It keeps me with a high drive. I totally function better when I’m actively training.

All of this just made me understand that injuries are physically and mentally hard and I can’t wait to be running like normal again.

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Week 9 of Half Marathon Training Recap.

Hey friends! Happy Tuesday! I’ve been wanting to stop by and write a weekly recap here since yesterday, but I’ve been so distracted with work.

First things first. I cannot get over the fact that Janae from the hungry runner girl ran a sub 3 marathon. I literally shed tears reading her recap. She is so incredibly inspiring to me, and this achievement of hers got me completely over the moon. It made me feel more enthusiastic about my own dreams too. It made me believe I am more capable of what I think I am. Thank you Janae<3

Last week was number 9 of my Half Marathon Training. If you follow me along on Instagram you’d known that this was a hard week, because a mild episode of shin splints forced me to take 2 days off. But even so, I’m proud of myself because I didn’t miss any important runs, and I hit the goal paces on each one of them.

My week went like this:

Monday: 5 miles @ easy pace. I always feel good during the first run of the week.

Tuesday was speed day: 1 Mile warm up, 5 X 1K with 2 min recovery between each lap & 1 Mile cool down. 5.5 miles in total.

Wednesday: Unplanned Rest Day.

Thursday: 3 miles @ tempo pace. Cut this run short because my legs were not having it.

Friday: Unplanned Rest Day.

Saturday: 5 easy miles.

Sunday: 10 miles as my long run @ 11:29 average pace. That was so hard.

Total miles: 28.5

That long run really zapped me. Mainly because I tired to imitate my race pace (one that’s going to be more competitive that my usual long run pace) Luckily, I’m still two months away from the race and I still practice this distance so that my body takes it easy.

I also realized that my shoes have over 300 miles in them and that might be the reason why I’m lacking support and getting the shin splints. But getting new shoes is basically a priority to get done this week.

That is all for today my friends!

How was your past week of training?

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Friday Favorites #01

Hello friends! Happy Fri-YAY!

Today I had a few favorites that I wanted to share in here, but first I would like to mention a few things:

  1. Training this week hasn’t been my best. I’ve had a very annoying pain on both of my ankles that has obligated me to take two days off. Luckily they weren’t consecutive and I’m also feeling better by now, which means I’m getting ready to go for a run when I finish this post.
  2. My Dad saw one of my running pictures on Instagram and told me that it looked like I was leaning  backwards – and that is not very effective when it comes to running posture. He then added that running in such posture might be bad for my joints. For those of you who don’t know it, my Dad is an experienced marathoner. So I really do listen to what he says (well…most of the time), and no wonder why my ankles were so sore. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my posture now. Thanks Dad.
  3. KT tape has been my friend this week. I don’t know why it took me so long to start using it. Love that thing.
  4. Even though I posted many Friday Favorites posts by now, I’m going to be identifying them with number starting from today so that I can identify them better.

All right! time to talk about some Friday Favorites shall we?:)

Running

– I know I’ve said this already but I’m OBSESSED with my new Garmin 235. This thing has really boosted my training motivation in the last couple of weeks. And it’s also so much more easy to check on my wrist every now and then, than to check on my running app in my phone.

– Upon a friend’s request, I’ve created a Spotify Running Playlist!  I’ll leave the link in here if you’re in need of some new music.

Beauty + Fashion

– I recently discovered the magic of hair spray to control my hair frizz in the crazy south Florida humidity. I don’t know why it took me so long. But it all started with me using the Big Sexy Hair Spray that I’ve had for year and never used.

– I’ve mentioned these sandals here before. But I’ll mention them again because I keep buying them in different colors. So far I’ve bought reds, beige and silver. Blacks are probably the next ones.

Around the Internet

– Currently loving the tutorials from the Preppy Kitchen. If you like to bake, let me tell you that THIS is a YouTube channel for you to watch.

– Following that baking hype, Chelsweets tutorials are ones that I can’t miss.

Wellness 

To my Christian friends: I share this a lot on Instagram, but I’m currently loving the Whole Magazine app on my phone. It has daily devotionals to read every day, and notifications that lead you to read them everyday. If you feel like you need to be reading the scriptures more often, this is certainly a sweet reminder.

Eats.

I made this flan last weekend for my In-laws. This one reminded me why I love flan so much. I mean… I grew up with it so I guess it makes sense. Let me know if you would like a recipe for this;)

We currently have an obsession with bagels and creme cheese at the Eckman house. I made the mistake of giving Luke a bagel with this Jalapeño one, and I’ve created a whole new thing for him. He can’t stop and I do really believe he won’t stop. I personally prefer the Garden Veggie one, which means there are not going to be arguments about who ate what creme cheese in this house.

And that is all for today friends! Hope you enjoy your weekend 😉

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Running Fears I used to Have But Not Anymore & Pinneaple Clothing Review

I was thinking the other day about all the running fears I used to have when I recently started to like running. Those who kept me from committing to my goals at a 100%. However, it’s incredible how much my body and mind changed so that these things never bothered me anymore. I laughed as I remembered them though, and so I had to share some of them today. 

1. Getting Injured: If you’ve been here long enough you’d know how terrified I was of getting injured, to the point where I would quit on tempo runs just because something was feeling a little off. I still don’t know where the fear came from. But it certainly went away when I got my first episode of shin splints on January 2017 and I literally could not even walk without feeling pain or discomfort for two weeks. This made me realize that injuries can happen, and if they do, everything would usually be ok after a couple of weeks off.

2. Loosing a toenail: I’m not going to lie, this one kind of terrifies me a little bit still. Not as much as before though. I used to be completely grossed out by the idea of it. Right now I’m not sure at what point this fear disappeared, or if it actually did. But I do know that if it happens, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

3. Coming to Hate Running: Do you know when you eat something so much that you end up being sick of it? That is more so the idea behind this one. I was afraid that I would push myself so hard that I would end up hating the sport. However, 3 years running and a whole blog dedicated to it and it still has not happened. So this one vanished a long time ago.

4. Having a Doctor Tell Me I Shouldn’t Run Anymore: Back when I was in Texas, I used to get massages every week. One time I went to get one having a stabbing pain on my hip, and the lady who was giving me a massage told me maybe I shoul talk to a doctor and maybe the doctor would tell me I shouldn’t run anymore. This was very bitter to hear, but it made me remember how terrified I am from hearing these words come out of a doctor’s mouth. At the end the stabbing pain went away and my hip didn’t give me any more issues. But man! People can scare you off sometimes!

One thing I’ve learned of fear over the years – you can’t let you stop you from doing the things you love, or else you’re going to miss out on so much.


I wanted to include in today’s post a short and honest review about Pinneaple Clothing as they contacted me a couple of weeks ago trough Instagram to try out their clothes.

On my initial research of the brand, I loved the fact that they are a local Miami brand and that they create matching outfits for mothers and daughters. I also thought their prints were the cutest, and I honestly really liked the whole concept of their business.

I decided to give their leggings a try because “legging season” is going to be coming soon for me once temperatures get under the 70s here in South Florida. Trying to pick one was kind of hard because I liked more than one, but at the end I went for these blue ones.

One thing I usually don’t love about running in leggings is that I’ll get a limited range of motion on my legs. However, I was pleased to notice that Pinneapple leggings are like if I had nothing on. The fabric is super flexible and it does allow me to move comfortably.

They do run on the thin side, which is perfect for Miami weather. But I wouldn’t use them to run in the real winter – unless you do wear something underneath.

Lastly, these sizes run on the bigger side too. I ordered a Small and it does fit me a little loose on my waist area. But that’s totally ok with me as I really do not like tight clothes. If that’s not the case for you, I would recommend you to order a smaller size.

They were so nice that they set me up with this link right here.

And a discount code: nateck for 20% off of your first order.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

What is one running fear you used to have but not anymore?

How many layers of clothes do you use when running during winter time? 

 

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Best Life Update in a While.

Hey friends! Long time no see. Hope you’re enjoying the start of your week.

I wanted to check in here to give you a quick life update – because lots of things changed since the last time I posted. In fact, last time I posted here I was an emotional wreck. Thank God that’s not the case anymore.

I’m very (very) happy about everything that’s been going on in our lives. If you follow me along on Instagram you might know some of these already. After the hard months that we’ve been through, Luke and I are beyond excited that everything is getting back to normal.

1. Life

Luke is back home! If you’ve followed along for a while now you’d know that he spent almost 3 months in Texas for medical treatment. I was traveling back and forth to stay with him. Last time I came back to Florida I found out he was being sent back home in two weeks. Well, turns out he was discharged a week after that. It was surely a very happy Saturday when he arrived back home.

I also had to get back to work after a few months.  That means my trainings are now happening in the early mornings again, before a crazy hour and a half commute.

2. Running & Half Marathon Training.

I’m still running anywhere between 24-30 miles a week for my half marathon training. I’m still trying to build up that weekly mileage. However, I’m very happy with my progress.

I’m beyond obsessed with my new forerunner 235!! This little thing has literally motivated in ways I cannot even explain. I don’t really know why it took me so long to get one!

Lastly, I picked my Half Marathon race which is going to be on December 9th. This wasn’t one of my options from when I was trying to decide whether I should run a race in Florida or in San Antonio. BUT this race seems to workout so good for me. Plus it is so much closer to where I live. More on this soon.

And that my friends is my happy life update for now. I’m still trying to figure out blogging in my crazy routine. I mean crazy compared to the one I had in Texas, where all I did was running, blogging and going to medical appointments. But bare with me as I try to post more fun content and keep you posted on my training here.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Weekly Running Recap: A Very Long And Emotional One + My Current Race Situation.

Last time I checked in here I was telling your all about my stress, lack of sleep and how that was affecting my running. Well, I didn’t think the worst was yet to come in my Week 4 of Half Marathon Training.

First of all, let me say that all is good. I didn’t miss any days of training and everything in my life is fine  despite the uncertainty that now me and my husband are going trough around all of his current medical treatment process and the extended stay away from home that we did not anticipate. But man! this week was mentally challenging. Not because of the mileage or the intensity of the workouts, but because I was not in the best place. I’m telling you, dealing with uncertainty is really hard for me.

My blogging last week was pretty short. To be honest, I did not have much inspiration or desire to write. I knew that these are the moments where I’m more prone to be inconsistent with my training, and so I tried to keep all of my energy focused on that – which I actually followed to a tee.

Luckily I’ve found my center back, and feel pretty positive and confident about week 5 of Half Marathon Training.

Now, let’s jump into a very detailed weekly recap:

  1. Monday: I took a very much needed rest day, after a full week of running and exercising.
  2. Tuesday: After a very bad night of sleep, I pushed myself to run 5 miles @ 11:57 min average pace. I was only happy when I was finished. 
  3. Wednesday: Another sleepless night. I was also dealing with aches on my right foot and ankle. Took my day off just like the training plan prescribed.
  4. Thursday: Finally a good night sleep. But on a not very positive note, my right foot was swollen and I could feel a string of pain that went from my toe to my ankle. Immediately knew this was extensor tendonitis because it has happened to me before. But guess what… this stubborn lady went for a 3-mile run keeping it slow and steady @ 12:00 min average pace. I wondered if my decision had been a very poor one, and needless to say, my foot was not looking or feeling any better afterwards. So it was time for some KT tape.
  5. Friday: 3 miles @ 11:43 min average pace. My foot and ankle were completely back to normal. I remembered what my Dad tells me all the time “running is a healing sport, not only because your body is in better shape to heal faster, but because your mind puts a lot into it was well” And that could never made more sense to me.
  6. Saturday: 5 miles @ 11:56 min average pace. I did not want to run at all, but literally forced myself into it. I had a weird ache on my sciatic nerve the entire time and had to really push trough it. I did not enjoy any second of it, except for when the run was done. 
  7. Sunday: Woke up in the worst of my crankiest stages, because running was the last thing I wanted to do. Six full miles on that horrible treadmill seemed totally unachievable. I was beyond ready to skip it, but Luke didn’t let me. This time it was him who had to push me into it. I was not happy, but he promised I was going to feel way better afterwards. The result: 6 miles @ 10:18 average pace per mile. Yes! you read that right, 6 full miles in under 11 minutes each. That huge accomplishment made my entire day. Specially because the pace wasn’t as uncomfortable as I would’ve imagined. Of course, I had to go back to my husband and thank him for telling me the truth that wasn’t really pleasing to hear at first.

22 Miles in total for Week 4 of  Half Marathon Training.

This week started so bad and ended up so incredibly good. It ended up showing me how capable I am of what seems to be impossible at first. I am so glad I fought through it despite all the emotional obstacles, the sleepless nights, the physical fatigue and all the other adversities. I am so glad I didn’t give up. I am so glad my husband didn’t let me give up.

Back in July 28, I ran a very fast 10K at 11:41 average pace per mile. The fact that I could run 6 miles at 10:18 minutes per mile in almost a month later is such a HUGE progress. Probably something I wouldn’t have believe 4 weeks ago.

All right my friends, this post is getting too long already and I still need to update y’all about my current race situation.

I keep talking about my Half Marathon Training without revealing the name of the race I’m actually training for. The truth is I’m still trying to make a decision on the race.

On December 2nd there’s going to be a race in Florida and another one in Texas. The only thing I’ve decided so far is that I’ll be running a race on December 2nd, that is for sure – even If I have to pay more money for that. But I was hoping to know how the next few months are going to look like for us to make the final decision. As nothing is set in stone yet, I’ll have to wait a little more time to formally sign up.

Thank you so much for reading this incredibly long post, friends!

I can’t wait to start my week of training today and to get back to my regular blogging routine.

Happy Running!

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Dealing with Stress.

Hey friends! I had prepared a blogpost for yesterday (in my mind) but I never got the chance to write it. It was a rough day for many reasons I won’t talk about much here. The only thing I would say is that I’m struggling with a lot of stress right now.

Let’s rewind to Tuesday were it all started with a tough 5 mile run. Seriously the only thing that made me happy about this run was he fact that it was done. Everything was hurting, I was mentally tired and after a very bad nigh of sleep, running was the last thing I wanted to do. But I did it – and I don’t know how.

Later that day, Luke and I had gyros for dinner. First time I had one and it was delicious. Luke said the feta cheese was overpowering. As you can see they had a lot of it. But I love feta cheese so much I ended up eating all of mine. Give me all the feta cheese!!

We then went to the Warriors And Families Support Center to get massages. Yes, we signed up for those again this week. Turned out my quads and harmstrings extremely tight. But the massages left me with a smile from ear to ear.

Unfortunately, that night was another rough one for me. I remained awake from 3 am to 8 am, then managed to take a nap for a couple of hours. But after waking up, I can’t say I was feeling good at all.

Thank God my Training Plan calls up for rest days on Wednesday. It was a blessing. Because I wouldn’t have been able to complete a run in that zombie state.

The only bad thing about this is that I would have to run on Sunday, which is something I was trying not to – but you gotta do what you gotta do.

The rest of my day was pretty uneventful, except for weird aches in my knees and shins. I suspect this is all related to my stress and sleep deprivation more than it is to my running. I’m just praying today’s run goes well.

On a happier note, yesterday was my 8th month wedding anniversary with Luke (Yes, I count and celebrate each month). So I did cook a special dinner for my hubby. What you see in the picture: Skirt Steak (my favorite), Caesar salad (his favorite) and roasted potatoes (our favorites).

That is all for today my friend. Hoping tomorrow I can bring you a less boring blog post. Hoping also that I can sleep and have a decent run.

Thanks For Reading!

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Creamy Sausage And Peppers Pasta.

We love pasta at the Eckman house. Well, I love pasta in any shape or form and Luke likes it only if meat, creaminess and spiciness are involved.

That is the basically the foundation of this concoction, although the original recipe comes from Joel and Heloisa, a very good friends of ours. I tried it the first time when I was invited over to their house for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. Their recipe includes onions, peppers and sausages mixed in bow tie pasta.

One day Luke and I were debating on what to eat for dinner as he said “I want pasta, spicy sausage, and onions and peppers with Alfredo sauce” and that’s how I remembered Joel’s incredible recipe. I just needed to add a touch of cream to get the Alfredo effect.

And that’s how this recipe became one we loved!

Ingredients

1/2 white onion.

1 pepper.

3 cloves of garlic.

3-4 links of Spicy Italian Sausage.

Two servings of Linguini Pasta, or any other your heart desires.

1 cup of Half and Half.

Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Directions

1. Boil pasta on a large pot. I like my pasta water to be very salty.

2. Peel the sausages and cook them on a large frying pan, no oil needed.

3. Once sausages are cooked, add vegetables and cook until sautéed.

4. Add half and half, salt and pepper and let it reduce for about 2-4 minutes on medium heat.

5. Mix in the pasta and the sauce in one pan until fully incorporated.

6. Serve with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

I wish I could plate linguini in a prettier way, but that’s not very much important once I start eating this deliciousness.

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Weekend in Pictures + Weely Running Recap.

Remember my post from Friday where I said I was getting ready to run a 5K with the Army and their families? Well… turned out it wasn’t a race. It was a physical training (PT) circuit and I didn’t find out about it until 5 minutes before it started.

Me and Luke arrived to the place at like 6am in the morning. I was one of three civilians who showed up. The rest were Army soldiers and some Marines wearing PT uniforms.

I’m not going to lie. I felt quite intimidated.

Then the organizators showed up to explain that we were going to workout on a circuit. We were told to run one lap, make it to one of the 6 stations, review on of the Army values, and then perform 2 minutes of a predetermined exercise. Then repeat the whole process again until we finished all 6 stations. The exercises were burpees, squads, push ups, lunges, crunches and planks.

At the end, I had so much fun doing this. And it did feel relatively easy. Until next day came and my body was screaming at me. Everything hurt so bad. Specially my quads. See? This is why I don’t do lower body strength when I’m running 5 times a week.

One highlight of this workout was that I did it with Luke. He wasn’t feeling good that day AT ALL and he still completed the entire thing.

Later that Friday I knew I needed to replenish some carbs for my long run next day. So me and Luke went on a little date to a local Italian Restaurant.

I ordered a Greek salad that was beyond delicious.

And then Luke ordered a pizza to share with me. This one had pepperoni, bacon and pineapple. Not a huge fan of any of these toppings. But he really wanted them and I didn’t mind removing them from my slices.

The rest of our weekend was pretty chill and uneventful. We literally relaxed and did nothing. Except from when I went out for my runs.

Saturday was a 5-mile long run day on extremely tire legs. After that Friday workout, I don’t know how this happened. That last mile was a test for mental strength. I was really tired and everything hurt.

On Sunday my legs felt way better, and so I ran 4 miles. Again, that last mile was a test of mental strength. I was really tired.

This doesn’t surprise me since I exercised all 7 days of last week, which is something I never do.

My recap for week 3 of Half Marathon training looks like this:

1. Monday: 4 miles @ 12:05 average pace.

2. Tuesday: 4 miles @ 12:25 average pace.

3. Wednesday: 30 minutes upper body workout to take a day off from running.

4. Thursday: 4 miles @ 12:01 average pace.

5. Friday: Army PT circuit. Unplanned day off from running.

6. Saturday: 5 miles @ 11:52 average pace.

7. Sunday: 4 miles @ 11:50 average pace.

That was 21 miles in total in 5 days of running plus 2 days of strength workouts that were not part of the training plan.

Looking forward to start this new week with a well deserved day of active rest. Let’s see what the day brings, but one thing is for sure—> I’m not doing squads in a long (long) time.

What was your highlight of the weekend?

 

 

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