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.

 

The Secret To Productivity.

Last year I posted my 5 Tips to become more productive. The post was much liked on Facebook so I figured I’d speak more about it here. This time, I’ll talk in a deeper way about one of the tips I mentioned at that time. Today, I cannot stress enough how important this is to be a productive person all day, every day of your life.

“If you’re engaged in a particular task, concentrate yourself on what you’re doing. Don’t pay attention to anything else. Don’t multitask. Put your cellphone or any distractions away. Most likely, you’ll finish your task in less time than normal, and with lower chances of errors. 

This really takes me back to my last year of college, which was the busiest and craziest time of my life so far. Taking 6 to 7 classes, writing a thesis, having a part time job, and being part of the MUN team, didn’t leave me much time for slacking and then catch up. The only way I managed to get things done was by paying attention, and keeping myself concentrated on whatever task I was doing at that particular moment.”

At that time, I described this as the importance to “pay attention” to what you’re doing. Now I’ve been experiencing this as the “importance to be present”. Being present on where you are and what you’re doing is the opposite of being distracted. Being present helps you ground your mind and concentrate better on the tasks you need to accomplish. Therefore, living in the present is the key for paying attention and being a productive individual.

I dare to say this is actually the secret to Productivity and the secret to Happiness as well. How many times have you found yourself doing something and thinking on another more appealing activity you could be doing? How many times have you found yourself thinking on the “what ifs” without acknowledging the other positive things happening in your life?

By distracting our minds of the present, we’re not only numbing our productivity but also contributing to our own unhappiness. I was so surprised when I heard about this on a TED Podcast called Simply Happy (I love to listen TED Radio Shows during long runs). Then I realized how powerful the present is.

I don’t know about you but I get so upset and unhappy when I’m not productive, so this is like a vicious circle to me. Being distracted = Not being productive = Being very unhappy because I wasn’t productive and also got my mind focused on the wrong kind of thoughts.

I know there’s a book called “The power on Now”, which I guess it must talk about something like this, and I’m certainly looking forward to read it.

But, whenever you find yourself struggling with being productive or happy just remember the secret, and that is being present and paying attention to what is going on now.

Are you happier when you have a productive day?

What is your secret to productivity?

 

 

 

 

Top Running Songs of 2016.

Well, If you know me very well you’ll guess by this time that music is my life.

I listen to music when I’m running and when I’m driving, and that’s a lot of time in my day already. But not only do I listen to music all the time. I also play the same songs again and again until I get kind of sick of listening to them. Sometimes it happens really quick and sometimes it doesn’t.

When I thought on doing this post, I already had a very clear idea on what my top songs from 2016 were. However, Spotify did the job very easy for me this time. My Top Running Songs of 2016 are:

Mountain Sound – Of Monsters and Men.

Hymn for the Weekend – Coldplay.

Take me Out – Franz Ferdinand.

2 Heads –  Coleman Hell.

Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots.

Faded – Alan Walker.

Make Up – R. City.

Controlla  – Drake.

Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd.

All The Way Up – Fat Joe ft. French Montana.

Plush – Stone Temple Pilots.

Closing Time – Semisonic.

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake.

Wrong Way – Sublime.

Dosed – Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House.

Once Dance – Drake.

For Free – Dj. Khaled.

Back 2 Good – Matchbox Twenty.

If you’re a Sportify user and you’d like to know what are your Top Songs of 2016, just go to “Your Top Songs 2016” in the Home Menu. Click on shuffle and have fun remembering all those little moments of 2016:)

-What was the song you listened to the most during 2016?

Race Recap: 10K Down2Earth. What It Feels To Run Being Sick.

Hello!

As I promised on my Instagram account,  today I’m bringing my Down2Earth 10K race Recap of yesterday.

For those of you who are not familiar with Down2Earth events, they organize obstacle races and trail runs here in Miami. Yesterday we ran on a trail course with small portions of pavements (I run in trails pretty often so I though it would be a fun race to do). The course was a loop of 3.22 miles, so I needed to run it twice for the 10K and my Dad needed to run it four times in order to complete the half marathon.

But first, lets talk about my non-existent prep for this race. The last few weeks were full of stress for me with the end of the school semester. On top of that, I had a very bad cold that did not get better for the day of the race. So, my expectations went down to just make it to the finish line in one hour and twenty minutes.

Having no expectations was actually pretty good, because it took away all the anxiety I normally feel the night before. I went to bed at 11:00 pm and woke up at 05:00 am feeling so fresh and rested. I had a cup of coffee and a Clift Bar two hours before the race.

Time went so fast after that. Suddenly, I was on the starting line and my Dad gave a me hug and wished me good luck. As the race started, I knew from the beginning that it was going to be TOUGH.

Mile one was the fastest and the hardest one. I ran it at my regular race pace. I remember feeling a headache, and difficulties to breath as I normally would. My body yelling at me “hey! I’m still sick and you’re making me run this stupid 10K”.

At that point, I knew I needed to run considerably slow if I wanted to make it to the finish line feeling like I was going to die. So by mile 2, I managed to lower down my pace. By mile 3 I was still feeling pain in my neck and chest, so I had to slow down even more. I remember there was a killing hill to get to that water station.

Something magical happened at mile 4. All my pains went away and I started feeling great. I remember thinking “wow, my body is finally surrendering to the endorphins”. But the magic didn’t last too long, as I started feeling bad to my stomach in mile 5. By mile 6, I didn’t know if I was hitting the wall or if the wall was hitting me. I was struggling with my whole body to get to the finish line.

Dad passed me at some point and he told me “You’re almost there! And you have a good pace”. That really cheered me up to beat the wall.

When I crossed the finish line, I was hyperventilating more than usual but I was happy I did it. Even with the fact that I was not at my 100% and that the trail reduced considerably my pace. My time was 1:18 minutes. Twenty minutes later, Dad crossed the finished line being the second one from the half-marathoners. He got a medal and I got a big hug!

Takeaways from this race:

  1. The mind is such a powerful tool. It makes you do incredible things even with stuff you can’t control.
  2. Running might be good for colds. I’m not sick anymore.
  3. I’m not sure how I feel about Clift Bars before races. I need to give that a second try.
  4. I met an old lady who finished the 10K with her son. She’s so sweet and awesome and I want to be like her at that age. BTW She’s turning 80 today. Happy Birthday!
  5. Running is such a rewarding sport and I think I love it every day more.

I’m definitely looking forward to next one!

 

 

 

 

The Best Fitness Advice for Being Consistent.

Even though I haven’t been a runner for my entire life, I’ve always been kind of an active person. During my college years, I used to go to the gym and even practiced CrossFit for a few months. Yup.

I gotta say that people used to think that is very easy for an active person to actually stay active: “It comes natural to you because you are genuinely an active person”, they used to tell me. But the true is that you can be whatever the heck you want to be in your life. Therefore, that argumen of “exercise comes natural to you” is not quite an accurate explanation of why there are more active people than others.

The key is not having the natural ability of being active, but the consistency to get active and stay like that. I know this might not be something new to you, and you probably would think that being consistent is easier said than done. However, the fact that this is coming from an active person doesn’t mean that being consistent is easier to me than it could be to you.

Once my Dad was dropping me off at a CrossFit class, as I was telling him how lazy I was feeling and how much I didn’t want to exercise that day. My Dad, a marathon runner, instead of judging my statements he said: “I know. I’ve been there. There are days were you just don’t want to do anything. But the key is not letting that moment win over your training and your goal. Just don’t think too much about it. And when you’re exercising I promise you’ll feel way better.”

Probably that’s the best advice I’ve ever received in this matter. Once I realized about this, I think I mastered the art of being consistent. This is something that works for me in other aspects of my life, beyond exercise.

So next time you want to start a new project or a new fitness routine, just don’t think too much and do it.

What is the advice for being consistent with your runs/exercise?

 

 

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.

IMG_0138

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

What is your favorite type of music?

My Post Run Power Bowls.

Hello! how was your weekend?

Mine was full of Christmas prep, school prep, 10K prep, meal prep. Yeah, that’s a lot of preps. Sometimes we keep our lives busy with preparations for just a few minutes of glory, isn’t that ironic?

Yesterday I went for a run with zero expectations. I was feeling pretty tired and not really in the mood for running or doing any kind of motion. The fact that I have to make myself go out for a run is not very common in me, but it happens once in a little while. Now, with a 10K race coming up I can’t really afford to skip my training sessions. So I just followed my Dad’s old advice on how not to skip your exercises.

img_0064

I ended up running 5 miles which was not that bad considering how tired I felt, and how sunny it was. The most important thing is how good I felt afterwards, and how hungry as well.

I’ve notice that I do get hungry right after a long/tough run, but is not as bad as it gets a few hours later. Normally during dinner time, I will be so “rungy” that I just want a bowl with many stuff in it. So this is how I came up with my power bowls, which are not much than white rice, some sort of protein, two types of vegetables, avocado and a runny egg on top.

img_0065

The most amazing thing about these is that they never have to come up equal. You can always adjust this basic formula to what you’re craving the most. Sometimes I crave beans, cheese, and/or hot sauce. But yesterday I worked with what I had, and it was still delicious.

img_0066

The most important thing about these power bowls is that they don’t only satisfy my cravings, but they also seem to be very nutritious and will usually provide me with the macros that I think I need. And I say “I think” because I don’t really count my macros.

What do you crave the most after long runs?