My Running Fears And Friday Favorites.

Hello friends!

As I told you a few days ago, I’m following the Run Eat Repeat’s Run Camp in which every day we do/learn something different to become better runners. Today, we need to overcome our running fears. Running fears? Really? At the beginning I though I don’t have any fears, but thinking more about it I realize I do have a few.

One of them is pretty silly and the other one should not represent the end of the world. But anyways, I though I could talk about them here because I’m supposed to write them down and talk about them with someone.

My first running fear is to have an encounter with an alligator while I’m running. I know. I know. This sounds really random and very unlikely to happen. However, I live in Florida so it is common to see alligators crossing the street like nothing is going on. This happened just a few miles away from my school.

Once I heard this story about a runner who was attacked by an alligator when she was running around a lake. I totally freaked out after that. Conclusion for Floridian runners like me: Never run around water. In case you have an encounter, run in zig zag. Apparently, alligators are not able to run in zig zag. 

My second running fear is to get injured and therefore not being able to run for months. Have you ever had something you like so much that you get afraid of loosing it? Well, that is basically my case. If you read my post from yesterday you could understand how afraid I am of this.

Running is my dose of relaxation and happiness. It is also my time for nothing else but myself. I don’t know what I’ll do without it. Besides, I care about my body and I don’t want to hurt myself/get injured. Conclusion for hypochondriac runners like me: Injuries are common in runners and that is something we can’t control, so you gotta deal with it. However, something you can control are the chances of getting injured. Take care of your body, stretch, slow down when you feel like you need to, do whatever you have to do to prevent injuries.

Ok. That was really a catharsis. I think I’m doing a good job overcoming my running fears. Now I need to talk about nice stuff –> Here are my Friday Favorites of this week:

1. Power Crunch Bars. I’m not really into counting macros or analyzing every single ingredient in food labels. I don’t know if these are the “cleanest” out there. I eat them because they fill me up when I’m really hungry and is not time to eat yet. Plus they taste delicious which is not common in protein bars.

2. TJ’s Greek Yogurt in Coconut Cream flavor. I’ve tried all of their flavors. This is just the best.

3. A Runner friend recommended me to wear compression sleeves for recovery. I never though about it but it feels so good and relieving. Specially on my tight calf, which is not tight anymore but just sore.

Do you have any running fears?
Are you into protein bars? Which one is your favorite?
What do you think about compression gear? When do you consider it’s best to wear it? 
Thanks for reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend!
N.

When My Calf Is Upset With Me…

Yesterday was just one of those crappy days. I was so tired and didn’t want to exercise AT ALL. However, I recently joined a gym so I decided to force myself to go for the very first time. I immediately started feeling different as I walked in.

I looked up at the huge equipment selection, and of course decided to go to the treadmill instead because #RunningAddiction. I made a tempo run of 4.5 miles. God! that felt so good. Isn’t it amazing how exercise can change your mood and improve your perception of bad stuff in your life?

Anyways. I was cooling down at my last mile when I started feeling something in my calf. It was painfully tight. I decided to continue because: Hi my name is Nathaly and sometimes I have a hard time knowing my limitations.

I thought everything was going to feel normal afterwards but no. When I finished I really could feel my calf being really tight. I stretched and it felt good, but I still couldn’t walk normally.

Despite that, I stayed at the gym exercising my arms and core for another hour. I was feeling pretty enthusiastic with the new gym experience so I didn’t think too much about my calf.

When I walked out, I could feel it again. It was my calf complaining. An hypochondriac Nathaly though: Oh my God, am I injured? I don’t know about you but whenever I suffer from a non-familiar ache, I freak out and tend to think I’m injured.

Got home to take a warm shower, which made me feel better. I woke up the next morning to feel my calf tight again. I think she’s upset with me! (I don’t if its a she or a her, but I refer to her as a she)

I don’t think I would be able to run today. The good thing is that I don’t think I’m injured. It seems to me like is just muscle fatigue.

Any advice on what to for my calf to forgive me?

Friday Favorites.

Happy Friday everyone!

I really hope the first week of 2017 has treated you well. For me it has been a stressful week. It always seems like you have a lot to catch up after the holidays. But everything comes together just with the right attitude, right?

I really love reading Friday Favorites out there. Somehow, it is kind of fascinating to know about what people with the same interests that you is loving. Today I realized I have collected a few favorites throughout this past week. So why not to do a Friday Favorite Post in here?

This Old Navy dress is everything. So easy to put on, so cute, and so comfy. I got this dress a week ago and I’ve already worn it like three times. Yup, I’m like that when I fall in love with a piece of clothe.

I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes. I don’t know what was going on in my mind when I picked these up at Starbucks. I think I was craving something crunchy but didn’t want regular potato chips. Anyways. As soon as I tried the first chip, I was surprised on how incredibly good these taste. I think I like sweet potatoes being salty and crunchy much more than being sweet and soft. Indeed, I will be having these chips again very very soon!

This Trade Joe’s Salad is LIFE. They have a very large selection of pre-made salads at my local TJ. The only reason why I decided to try this one in particular was because it had many ingredientes that I normally wouldn’t add to my salad. To adjust it a little bit to my taste, I added some chicken and took out half of the amount of  the cranberries. I ended up loving it.

I think I will have to stock up on these before the end of the season. This is the second box of the TJ’s Chocolate Mint Flavored Black Tea that I go through in less than a month. I’m drinking a cup of that tea at this precise moment, so I couldn’t help to mention it. Last year I was obsessed with the TJ’s Green Tea Candy Cane flavor.

This is definitely the song of the week, because I’ve been listening to it non-stop. I tend to discover new music everyday thanks to my Shazam app. Every time I’m at some place or listening to the radio and catch a song I like, I’ll Shazzam-it. The app will recognize the name and artist of the song, and will saved it on my timeline. Later on, I’ll look it up on Spotify and voi la!

I discovered this song by Jimmy Eat World trough this Radio Station, which also one of my favorites.

Hope you’re enjoying the rest of your Friday.

What are some of your favorites of this week?

Love.

N.

 

Getting Sick Before the Big Race + Music Playlist.

Hello! I’m back. I finished my semester (finally) and now have some time to relax and of course, write more in here.

I have nothing much to say more than I’m very sick and I have 10K a race on Sunday. I don’t know exactly why, but I was noticing my body felt weird and tired since I came back from Texas. And suddenly yesterday, boom! I had a very bad cold. What exactly do you do when that happens and you have a race coming up? You just run with the cold?

I’m taking lots of vitamin C and preparing myself “Golden Milk” or Tumeric Tea. I’ve heard it is very good for your immune system. I’ve also heard that you can run as long as your symptoms are above your neck. So if that’s true, then I’m going to pray for the best and keep drinking that tea which is not among my favorite flavors.

If I get better I promise to post the my personal recipe in here.

Now, in music news. I brought a new playlist today with some of the songs I’ve been listening to the most lately. It is so funny that I realize about this just when I post my playlists here, but my music taste is so weird. Not because of the kind of music I listen to but because of the combinations I do on my playlists. I mean, who puts Mariah Carey, Pearl Jam, and Dr. Dre together? Well, that’s me.

Also, I realized that I’m a sucker for 90’s music and I will always be one.

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What do you do if you get sick before a race?

What is your favorite type of music?

Post Hurricane Run + Friday Faves.

Matthew listened to my prayers yesterday. He passed fast and smooth, at least in the South Florida Area(My prayers are with people from Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and all the other affected areas). I thought the weather conditions were not going to be the most ideal ones. However, the weather today was perfect for an outdoor run. It was cloudy but not raining. Warm but not too warm. Windy but not at Chicago levels. Of course that I didn’t miss that chance of going for that outdoor run.

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3.11 miles at 11:50 average pace. I made sure to make this run a really easy one.  I didn’t want to burn my legs since I have a longer run scheduled tomorrow. By the way, I feel like I haven’t had a long run in like forever. So I’m pretty excited about that!

Now on to some of my favorites.

I know that putting together a list of your favorite stuff and post it on a Friday afternoon might sound kind of a cliche. We’re all used to that Friday Faves post from our favorite blogger. But, I do have some favorite stuff that I want to share with you! Cause when you like something too much, you just need to talk about it.

  1. Favorite eat: With time I’ve been realizing that I’m a sucker for Peruvian food. And this Lomo Saltado is something that the most I eat, the most I love. I don’t know how the heck do they cook that sauce but it tastes like heaven. Try one out next time you go to a Peruvian place.Processed with Snapseed.
  2. This week’s read: This is not something that I actually enjoyed reading. I’m putting it as “This week’s read” just because it really caught my attention to the point I stopped doing everything I was doing just to read this. The reality reflected in this article really impacted me and got me thinking about it for a few days now. The fact that this is only one portion of the terrible reality that Venezuela is going through just breaks my heart. So if you’re a believer in socialist ideas, please read this and reconsider your position.
  3. Favorite Music: It’s been a while since I haven’t posted a music playlist here. So when I took all the songs I’ve been listening to the most and put them together, I realized two things: 1. I really really like Drake. I don’t know what it with his his songs but I like every single one of them. 2. From times to times, I systematically listen to old music. Apparently I’m in one of those stages.img_7874

Any long scheduled for this weekend?

New Strengthening Routine + New 5K Race!

Remember I told you I was starting a new training plan this week?

Well, yesterday was a strengthening day. However, since the plan does not indicate exactly what on to do on strengthening days, I went ahead and did my own research. After a few articles on Runner’s Word I realized that all the basics for runners strengthening exercises relies on squats, push-ups, bench dips, and planks.

So, I came up with a pretty nice strengthening routine that I was really curious to try — >which leads me to the following disclaimer: I’m not an expert or fitness trainer or anything like that. I designed this routine for myself and according to my needs and physical capacity. Do not try this without talking to your Doctor first.

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By the time I got to the 6th rep my arms were sore, which made me feel proud of my own routine.

In other news. I registered for a ZooRun5K today!

It was something completely spontaneous. One friend told me this morning about the race for this Sunday and we decided to run it together. I feel so anxious yet excited. I haven’t run a 5k race in such a looooong time and I’m curious to see how this one will turn out.

I don’t even want to set up a time goal because I don’t want to end up disappointed. I just want to enjoy the experience and RUN!!!!

The race course will be inside the Miami Zoo, so that must be a really nice atmosphere for a race. Another great thing is that those 5K will not collide with my training plan. What else could I ask for?

 

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Outdoor Running + Recent Eats + The Cutest Pup.

Being back to school always means having less time for everything that you do in your life (and that includes blogging). For those of you who don’t know, I’m a full time student currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management. So yeah, for sure that means less time to do anything else.

However, having a restricted schedule gives me more discipline for going to run. I basically realize that I have a specific time of the day where I can go for a run or otherwise I won’t be able to do it. And so I go to run. Plus, the fact that I get busier and more stressed makes me want to go running at the end of the day even more. So, I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to run at all. I guess being back to school can be positive for my running routine.

The other day I went to my local park and had the most amazing run I’ve had in a long time. Within the last few months I got used to only run in the treadmill, which was very effective to my performance but not so much to overall experience of “running joy”.

Don’t get me wrong, I can feel really good after a treadmill run. I actually do. But the feeling after an outdoor run is out of this world.

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I think that being in contact with nature is so good for your mind. The fact that I was looking at people (and not a wall in the gym), was incredibly therapeutic. I can’t wait for the summer to be over in South Florida, so that it gets easier for runners to run outdoors at any time of the day.

In other news. I’m currently into protein shakes after my runs because: 1. they taste delicious, and 2. I feel like my muscles recover way faster. I will usually blend some vanilla protein powder, almond milk, stevia, and peanut butter. So good.

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I also discovered the best salad I’ve ever had at Panera: The Green Goddess Cob Salad with chicken. I skipped the bacon cause I’m not a huge fan (yup, you must think I’m weird). But the dressing and the combinations of textures and flavors was heavenly.

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And last but not least, Isn’t this the most cutest dachshund ever? Like… How could you see this and not feel like your heart is melting? <3

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Hope you’re all having an amazing long weekend:)!

Running Away From Your Problems Vs. Running To Be a Better Person.

 

 

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Life is good but it also can be really hard sometimes. One minute you’re ok and the next minute you feel like everything is crumbling apart. Probably you’re not even aware of the fact that you are going through tough times. Or probably is somebody you really care about who’s going through a hard time.

Life can be tough.

The other day I saw somebody who I really care about break into cry over a situation that I also went trough in the past. I felt bad when I saw it. But it made remember something really important, and that’s why I started running.

I’ve always been a very active person, but it wasn’t until last year that I felt in love with it. I’m not sure if I was trying to run away from the difficulties. But I do really know is that I needed something that made me feel better, and so I ran.

When overcoming bad stuff in life, I believe in expressing your feelings but I also believe there’s a limit for that. There must be braking point where you actually decide to do something for making yourself feel better. And without even plan it, running was that breaking point for me.

Running represents a mental challenge because it teaches you how to deal with pain. It also teaches you how to be resilient when you’re feeling the magic of a runners high and suddenly you hit the wall. When you feel like you can’t continue, you slow down and take a deep breath. Suddenly, you managed to get to that finish line after wanting to give up during the first mile. The sense of rewarding will always be the same, but the most important thing is that you’ll end up being stronger than before.

Now that I can say I overcame that situation, I realized that I didn’t scape from my problems through running. I found a way to become a better person instead. No other sport or physical activity makes me feel like running does and I’m so happy I found it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I Got My Knee Hurt & New Favorite Coffee.

I’m the worst when it comes to wake up early to go for a run. I’m more of a sunset runner than a sunrise one. What I love the most of running at that time of the day is that I’ll get a hearty dinner and good hours of sleep afterwards. The negative side of it is that sometimes you have to decide between your runs and your social life.

Well, I have to admit that my social life has been winning in the last week. And know I’m at the point where my body is begging me to go for a run.

Last night Bandit was really tired so I decided to carry him instead of making him walk. I was also carrying my laptop and a bunch other stuff, which made me break into sweat after a 2-minute walk (this moment really made me appreciate toddlers moms). I bent down to put him on the grown without paying attention to my posture at all. And this morning I noticed my knee was hurting.

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So now I’m facing a huge dilemma: should I go for a run or shouldn’t I?

My knee is good by now, so I’ll just probably end up going.

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The hot weather in South Florida is seriously making me do something I almost never do -> drink iced coffee. I’m pretty classic when it comes to coffee (a double espresso Macchiato wet has everything I want). But yesterday I discovered the Starbucks Skinny Iced Vanilla Latte, upon my barista’s recommendation. And I gotta say is pretty good. In fact, I might just go and get one of those later.

Are you a sunrise or a sunset runner?

What’s your favorite Starbucks drink for the summer?

 

Running: Your Body vs. Your Ego + Weekend Recap

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One of the best things of having a marathoner Dad when you’re a runner, is that you get to witness the overall experience of running and training for races before you even consider to become one. You get familiar with failing and succeeding in your PR. You know what’s the meaning of terms like “hitting the wall”. And of course, you learn a lot about injuries and risks of getting injured.

Although my Dad has more than two decades running, he doesn’t get injured really easy. He has gotten more injuries from biking than from running. Four years ago my Dad felt down his bicycle having a cheekbone fracture and some other serious injuries on his face. He wasn’t really concerned by that except for the fact that he would be forced to stop his training for the Disney Marathon, which he had plan to run in two months after that. He was already registered for the race and we had everything planned for our trip to Orlando. So he decided to just show up the day of the race and hope for the best. It turned out that two months without running or exercising whatsoever resulted into the fastest Marathon he had ever ran by that time.

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Hugging my Dad after I found out he finished the Marathon hitting his PR.

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I’ll never forget this experience because it made me realize how wise the human body can be. Through muscle memory, my Dad was able to run 26 miles after two months of not running at all. Of course that you can’t pretend to run a race without having previous training, but I can’t help myself wonder what would’ve happened if my Dad wouldn’t have felt off that bike?

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Under-eye concealer game going strong…

Probably the biggest lesson here is that your time of rest can be as important to strength your body as your training time. Even if we believe all the oposite.

Last Thursday, when I couldn’t even walk decently given the pain in my ankles and calves. I was supposed do a recovery run assuming that once I started running the pain was going to go away. Arrived to the park and started limping. I saw other people running and felt jealous. And then I wondered: “Is it me that is jealous or is it only my ego?.” I knew of course it was my ego, cause my poor legs where suffering. So, I decided to listen to my body and go for a walk in order to move that lactic acid. I started limping and ended up walking like normal person.

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The thing with running is that the more you do it, the more stronger you feel. You’ll get to a point where you feel unbeatable. Or maybe you just get addict to the runner’s high. But then you get injured and you’re forced to rest. I haven’t had a running injury, but I do have my father’s voice constantly telling me that I need to slow down because resting for a couple of days will not affect my performance.

I’m also kind of terrified of injuring my body and if I can avoid it, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Even though my Dad was not injured by running he did have to take a two month break. And it all ended up in a great lesson. I’m pretty grateful I have him and his lifetime running experience. But if you don’t, learn from other runner’s experiences! Resources are unlimited and there’s a million of running blogs out there.

It’s because of your body that you’re actually able to run. So take care of it, listen to it, and respect it. Next time you feel like you’re forcing yourself too much, ask yourself

“Can my body do this or is it just my ego telling me to do it?”

Now, here are some pictures of my weekend.

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This pup seriously melts my heart.

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Tried Sasha Fitness’ Peanut Butter Whey Protein for the first time. So good!

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And then Sushi! because why not…

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I found an Orange Juice with my name on it 🙂

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Nothing like receiving your loved ones with flowers at the airport.

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Aaaaand nothing like having your favorite candy/snacks from home.