How Valentine’s Day Can Make You Very Unhappy.

I think I’ve mentioned this before in the blog but, how many times do we make our happiness solely depend on our expectations?

Probably more often than we could even realize.

I remember when Valentine’s day was a full day of expectations for me. I dreamed with the chocolates, the flowers and all of that romantic stuff. Sometimes I got them but sometimes I didn’t. And when that happened, I just pretended it was OK when I was actually very disappointed.

Somehow, expectations can be like conditions –> “I’m happy if I get what I’m expecting.” But attaching on happiness to conditions can be a completely insane way to live your life.

With time, I learned that I was not only doing this in Valentine’s day but in many other aspects of my life. The solution I found was to let my expectations go. It takes a little bit of effort to do so (specially if you tend to control everything like I do), but once you achieve it you’ll be more happier.

Having no expectations makes you happier because it lets you focus on the things you’re not expecting to get. Having no expectations makes you happier because you’ll actually get surprised with surprises.

Once I realized about all of this, I started having better Valentine days.

Now, in this Valentine’s Day I really wish you to celebrate real love. Unconditional Love. The kind of love that has no expectations and is just made to give. Give something to your loved one, your family, friends, and whoever you feel like.

Happy Valentine’s day!

N.

 

San Francisco + Visit To Urgent Care.

Hello friends!

First of all I need to thank to apologize for being MIA in the past week. It’s been so crazy lately that I’m glad to finally catch up with my routine again. Last week actually started with me packing to go to San Francisco.
Yup. San Francisco is a beautiful city, even when it’s gloomy and rainy the whole time. The reason for my trip was because I needed to do something really quick there, but since Florida is so far away from California I ended up staying for three days.

I was planning to do my scheduled training in SFL so I packed running gear. My shoes took half of the space of my carry on bag.  But I did not care because in my mind, that training in SFL was happening.

However, this trip showed me that sometimes life is not what we plan for. Remember I’ve been struggling with my stomach health for the past month? Well… last week was seriously the worst. I touched bottom to the point where all I was able to eat was crackers during my stay in SFL.

Yup. Only crackers.

The only thing I felt like eating was a chicken soup, but I was not able to find one near to where I was.   Apparently, clam chowders and chicken tortilla soups are more popular in the west coast. I even went to a Denny’s where they told me they didn’t have any soup that day.

The calorie deficit made me feel very dizzy the entire time. So, I decided to give food a try in the airport on the way back. Scrambled eggs and a whole wheat bagel sounded like something I could eat. I had half of this plate except for the butter and tomatoes. It was nice to feel like I was able to eat again, but I did feel sick for the next four hours. I was too afraid to eat after that.

Once I got back home I was not feeling any better. So I decided to just give up and go to urgent care.
They slightly changed my medication. Now I’m feeling way better and slowly coming back to eat normally again.
I’m finally realizing that I do have to avoid certain foods, alcohol drinks, and coffee (thank God I’m still allowed run). But to be honest, I don’t care anymore about having a restricted diet as long as I’m able to feel good and have my life back to normal again.
Fun Facts:
– I basically packed my running shoes for nothing.
– I ran zero miles last week and without even realizing it, I took a complete week off of my training plan.
Have you ever spent  a trip being completely sick?

Week #2 of Training: When Your Body Ask You To Slow Down.

Happy Monday Friends!!

As I told you guys last week, I’m following a 10-miler training plan before starting a half-marathon plan to run my first 13.1 mile race.

Remember I said last week was a fairly easy week of training? Well, I can’t really feel the same about the second week. The main reason for this was because my gastritis/reflux gave my a hard time.  However, I did manage (somehow) to not skip any run/workout and accomplish another “successful” week of training. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that.

This is my recap for week #2.

PS Please excuse that I only took like three pictures this week, I was not in the mood this time.

Monday:

Off.

Tuesday:

Easy Run of 4 Miles @12:19 average pace. I took walking breaks after mile two and three.

Wednesday:

Cross training / Strength workout. I was not feeling good this day so I decided to take it easy. Even though I only spent one hour at the gym, the light exercise really helped me feel better.

Thursday:

5 miles = one mile warm up + 3 miles @ Lactate Threshold Pace + one mile cool down.

This run started TOUGH but after 2.5 miles I finally woke up and started enjoying it.

Friday:

Unplanned rest.

I felt completely awful and decided to move the scheduled workout to Sunday.

Saturday:

Easy run 6 miles @ 12:24 average pace, taking walking breaks of one minute every other mile.

This run felt particularly amazing. I love running outdoors.

Sunday:

Cross Training / Strength workout for one hour at the gym.

This wasn’t a good day to workout. I started feeling very dizzy after the first 20 minutes. Thank God they had candy at the gym’s front desk which made me feel ok after a few minutes.

Total Miles: 15. 

Takeaways from this week of training:

  • When I don’t feel good about my stomach I can’t eat/fuel myself as I normally do. When I can’t fuel myself, I can’t exercise properly.
  • Demanding your body to follow a training plan when you don’t feel good is just not fair. This certainly implicates extra effort and stress that you’re only doing by choice.
  • By judging on what happened to me during yesterday’s workout, I might have demanded too much from my body considering how sick I felt this week.

Even though I’m feeling pretty recovered from my stomach, I think I’ll be taking it easy this week. Plus, I’ll be traveling out of town so I don’t really know how my training will come out.

Sometimes I have to remember myself that I’m doing this just because I chose to. Therefore, it is OK to slow down sometimes.

How was your week of training? 

Is it hard for you to slow down when you’re not feeling good?

It doesn’t come that natural to me, but I’ve been improving.

 

February Playlist.

Hello!!

It’s been a long time since I posted my last music playlist for the month in here. So I wanted to share the one I created for February.

Whoever see this will totally realize that I’m a 90’s Baby, even though not all of these songs are from this decade.

If you could go back to any decade in music, to which one would you go?

 

How I Started Running With The Galloway Run/Walk Method.

What you’re about to read is the result of my own experience after using this running method for two years. The benefits listed below are subject to my genuine opinion. Always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise or increasing the levels of your current physical activity. 

Whoever knows my story with running will agree on the fact that this sport chased me for 23 years, until I finally became a runner. It wasn’t easy, but when I decided to commit to it my Dad became my running coach. At that time he told me that in order for me to run efficiently, I needed to run for one entire minute and walk for two. I thought that’s not really running, but he told me to trust him and to do it. Later on, I could switch it up for two minutes running and one minute walking.

And that is how I basically started to run. I followed my Dad’s recommendations and not too long after that I was running for five minutes and walking for one. Later on, that ratio increased to one mile running and one minute walking, and so on. By taking these short walking breaks, I was able to attain distances I’ve never imagined I could.

But little did I know about the actual method. 

Dad always mentioned this guy Jeff Galloway and the Run/walk method. I wasn’t really interested on hearing about that. I just wanted to run and therefore I followed his advices and instructions on how to do it. It wasn’t until my  last race that I felt curious about Galloway and the method that basically turned me into the runner that I am today.

I saw a runner in very good shape doing a run/walk technique. I tried to keep up with her pace but I ended up far behind. I was really impressed, how can somebody that was running and walking be faster than somebody who was only running?

Of course I needed to do my research. As I read more and more about it, I realized that the benefits attributed to this method are ones that I have enjoyed myself during my running journey.

And what are those benefits?

If you wish to read more about the Galloway’s Run/Walk Method and it’s scientifically proved benefits, you can check them here and here. Instead, I’m going to talk about the benefits I’ve experienced myself as a runner in the last couple of years which I also think can be beneficial to others as well:

  • Avoiding injuries. By using the run/walk method, I can happily say that I haven’t had any injures in two years and one attempt of half-marathon training (where I pushed for more miles that I should’ve in weekly basis).
  • Checking in with your body. Taking walking breaks will allow you to catch up with your breath and recover your sore muscles. However, these walking breaks will allow you to connect with your body and to acknowledge how are you actually feeling. Once you’re recovered, you get to start that new lap feeling strong.
  • Honoring your body. Running is about having a better and healthier life. Why would you put yourself in risk of getting injured because you’re pushing too hard? By taking walking breaks and allowing yourself to recover, you’re actually having a sense of auto compassion that honors the true capacities of your body. To me, this makes you a better runner and a better individual.
  • Stay motivated. The more you attain, the more motivated you’re going to feel. Because of all the reasons I mentioned above, I’ve been able to accomplish larger distances and faster paces way quicker than I imagined. Seeing the progress is surely my main fuel of motivation.

I don’t really follow the ratios recommended by Galloway anymore because I like to feel like I’m “flying” through each mile. Nowadays, I take walking breaks every mile or every other miles. Not because I’m tired, but because I believe is good for me. I’m still a beginner in this thing of running. I still want to try other methods for races. However, I do believe that Galloway’s Run/Walk method is a smart way of running. Specially if you’re a beginner, and you think you suck at running (as I used to think about myself once).

Run/Walk Method: yay or nay?

How did you start your Running journey?

Training Plan Update & Week #1 Recap.

Hello Friends! Hope you’ve had an amazing weekend.

The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon race was yesterday. If you ran on of those races, congratulations! Specially because of the weather conditions.

I didn’t raced yesterday but I did go to the expo on Saturday. Surrounding yourself with that energy and enthusiasm is just inspiring. I might run the half-marathon next year.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been running with no clear goal whatsoever. Last week I was discussing with my trainer (Dad) what should I’ll be training for. I seriously want to retake my objetive of running a half-marathon because I could not do it last year. However, my perspective changed a little bit at the beginning of 2017. Now, I don’t only want to just finish the race. I want to finish strong, injury-free, and targeting a goal pace.

But my constant question was –> When am I going to be able to accomplish that? When am I even going to know if I’m ready to start training properly for a half marathon? I had no clue! And so I just started training without any purpose, just intuitively building up my weekly mileage. That is when my Dad came into the picture and suggested me to follow this 10-miler training plan at the beginner’s level.

Ten miles is certainly an attainable distance for me. Besides, this plan is clearly designed to make you stronger, faster, and to build-up you weekly mileage (which was something really important to me). The not so good part of this training plan (at least to me) is that you only get to run three times a week…say what? Yup, because then you get two cross training days and two rest days. Not that this is something bad, but running almost everyday is like my therapy.

Anyways… if this approach of “Run Less Run Faster” will actually make me accomplish my objective, then I’m all for it.

This is my recap for Week #1.

Monday. 

Off.

Tuesday.

Easy Run 3 miles.

Wednesday.

Cross training + Full body strength training.

Thursday. 

4 Miles = 1 mile w/u + 2 miles @ tempo pace + 1 mile c/d.

I had to take one minute of walking breaks at the end of mile 2 and mile 3, which made my average pace considerably lower.

PS Sometimes I hate the average pace indicator because of that.

Friday.

Off.

Saturday.

Cross training + Upper body Strength.

I sprinted for 10 minutes on the treadmill because I needed that runners high.

Sunday. 

Long run = 6 treadmill miles.

Total mileage= 13.

I can say this was a fairly easy/attainable week of training. But of course, the levels of difficulty will be increasing throughout the upcoming weeks.

What are you currently training for?

How did your week of training felt? 

 

How Running Makes You A Better Person.

When people ask me why I love running so much, my answer is always something like running makes me a better person. However, by judging at people’s faces I don’t think they still get what I’m saying. So, I decided to create this post trying to explain how is it that running can make you a better person.

Hopefully, Runners can agree to this or add their own thoughts in the comment section. Non runners can maybe take the courage to start running.

Now, “becoming a better person” through running is not something that happens holistically. I would resume that as a compilation of lessons that will change your attitude towards yourself and the world. Let’s say you experiment these in real life and compile them together, then you could potentially become a better person in many other aspects of your life.

This is how running made me a better person:

Adopt a resilient attitude: How many times have you started to run feeling completely miserable and then ended up feeling way happier? This happens to me like 90% of the time. If I decided to honor this negative stage and stop, I wouldn’t be able to complete any of my runs ever. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to feel that happy stage afterwards. So instead I decide to adopt a resilient attitude, meaning that I don’t think about the negative stuff and just keep running. When dealing with tough situations in real life this helps me to not think about the negatives and just keep doing what I need to do. Eventually, I’ll se the light at the end of the tunnel.

Be patient when things are not feeling good: Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel requires resilience (because you need to go through the darkness before you can even see the light). However, resilience also requires patience. I remember when I started running it didn’t feel good at all. Everything hurt, and breathing was so difficult. I remember thinking “Ok. I want to run for five more minutes. I’ll be patient. In 5 minutes this will be over” Later on, five minutes turned out to be 10, and then 20 and so on. Being patient has now become a virtue for me.

Let go of control: The only things I can control when running is my training plan and my mind. However, I can’t control how my body is going to feel. I can’t control the weather or many other external factors. Therefore, when my runs don’t come up as I planned I just don’t have any other option than let go of control. When I get sick the day before the race, it’s ok. When I didn’t run that last mile at my goal pace, it’s ok. When I didn’t wake up early that morning because I was too busy studying for my finals, it was also ok. Because there’s will be always a tomorrow to try again. There’s always a way to get around things and solve our problems.

Believe in yourself: I’ve always been a very confident person. But if two years ago I though I was going to be able to run as much as I run today, I would’ve laugh instantly. Now, I believe I’m capable of running so much more and accomplishing many other things I used to see very far in my life.

I can’t say I’m the same Nathaly I was two years ago, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. These life lessons that running has taught me could go on and on. I think I learn a new one every day, but overall these ones made a huge difference in my life.

Tell me about you: how running made you a better person? 

 

 

Getting My Life Back Together & Weekend Recap.

Hello friends! Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. 

Mine was pretty darn good. Even though my gastritis gave me a hard time last week, my recovery has been steady. I finally came back to running. Yay!

I’m also slowly coming back to my cups of coffee in the morning. These ones used to get my stomach pretty upset, which frustrated a whole lot because I can’t really start my day without a cup of coffee. I’ve never though I was going to feel grateful for being able to do drink coffee! Something that used to be extremely normal for me. Ironic huh? You never know what you have until you loose it.

It felt so good to be back at running that I preferred to hit the treadmill on a Friday night instead of going out. I’m telling you. Nothing like getting your life back together.

After 4.3 miles on Friday Night, I went for 6.25 miles on Saturday Morning. Lastly 3.2 miles on Sunday night. That’s what I call a good weekend.

After having a slow appetite during the week and then running the distance of a half marathon throughout the entire weekend I was pretty hungry all the time. For that reason, I completely forgot to take pictures of my food. Except for this one:

What you see in here is an arepa stuffed with scrambled eggs and a little bit of butter. If you don’t know what an arepa is, please check on this video. PS I’m 100% team Venezuela;)

I also spotted the prettiest tulips. Like… aren’t these the prettiest you’ve ever seen?

What were your highlights of this weekend?

How many miles did you ran?

Friday Favorites.

Hello friends!
First of all, thank you so much for your nice and positive comments on my health update post. Even though I’m not at my 100% normal stage, I’ve been feeling way better now and really hope it keeps going that way. My runs/workouts have been practically inexistent this week, but I’m SO ready to squeeze in some miles during the weekend.
Now, on to nice stuff… It’s Friday and that means today I’m sharing my favorites of the week!
1. Favorite Quote. I found it walking around Wynwood Walls last night. There are all kinds of quotes painted on the sidewalks. I loved this one in particular.

Always keep your heart filled with love for yourself and others. Suddenly, you’ll start to notice love everywhere around you.
2. Favorite Video. Did you know Running hasn’t always been considered a sport? Did you know treadmills were invented as systems for punishment in jails? I discovered this video that blew my mind and I think every runner should watch. Who would’ve though our beloved hobby was a considered a torture back in the day?

3. Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen. They were giving away free skincare consultations at my local Sephora the other day. I was recommended to wear this sunscreen, which I felt really skeptical about. I’m extremely picky with face sunscreens because my skin can get very oily (and sometimes breakout) by wearing them.

I got sample because I was not ready to commit without fist trying it out. Well, so far I’m loving it. It feels so light on my skin and my makeup last as usual. Besides it is very affordable for an SPF 50 that Sephora sells. This is always a plus to me.

4. Favorite Running song. 

This song from Ed Sheran is very good. I predict this will sound one million times a day on the radio to the point where I don’t like it anymore. But I will love it while it last.

5. NYX Lip Pencil in Mauve. 

This one is actually not a new favorite. It’s been months since I’ve been absolutely LOVING these NYX lip pencils because you can apply it all over your lips, and you’ll basically get a super pretty and affordable lipstick. My favorite shape is Mauve, and it looks like this in the picture. I’m about to purchase another one, that’s how much I love it.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and that your long run (if any) goes amazingly!
What’s your current favorite running song?
Wear any face sunscreen for going out to run? Which one?

Hair Confessions From A Female Runner. 

Hair is always something that concerns women since they are little girls. My mom use to cut it too short when I was a kid. I used to HATE that so much that I ended up not cutting it ever when I grew up. My hair has been long for the last 10 years and I don’t think I will change that in the near future.  Not even because of the fact that now I run. This is my simple and convenient routine to keep my hair healthy and pretty, without skipping my runs.

I don’t die my hair and a I cut it myself twice a year.  My hair is naturally black, and won’t get greasy too easily, which facilitates my life a whole lot.

When I started running my hair suffered. In the past, I used to wash it every five days because that’s how far I can go without washing it (TMI, I know). But once I started running, that cycle had to be reduced to three days. The frequency of washes increased and I also needed to style it more often (because hair tights will leave a mark on your perfectly straightened hair). This only caused dryness and damage in my hair.

So I started doing Olive Oil masks. Whenever I get home from a run and it’s a “third-day hair”, I soak it in Olive Oil and put it in a high bun while I do my stretching. Twenty minutes later, I’ll wash it twice to remove the oil. The result is a much more soft and moisturized hair. I only do this once a month or when I have enough time.

I like to have my hair styled at all times. So I would normally blow dry it after it’s washed. I’ll apply a hit protector that I believe is pure placebo. And lastly I will flat iron it, because my clean hair won’t hold curls. I know the flat iron is not the best for my hair, but I’ve been doing it for years now and is the only thing that will really help me control my volume.

If I came back from running in the night and had to wash my hair, I’ll feel very lazy and won’t style it at all. I’ll literally go to bed with my hair still wet. Next morning when it’s all dried naturally, I’ll flat iron it and wear it like that for the next three days.

I do use different hairstyles for running depending on the day. First and second-day hairs are pretty simple. My hair is freshly clean and straightened. So I’ll do a low pony tail for running, which will help me keep my hair styled afterwards. When I finish, I’ll normally re-style it a little bit with the flat iron and dry shampoo if necessary.

Third-day hair is when I normally wash it. So for my run I’ll do a french braid because: 1. I love braids and It’s easier for my hair to hold on to a braid when it’s dirty. 2. It is comfortable to not have my hair jumping around my back. I’ll come home afterwards to repeat the process I’ve mentioned before.

This could be the least fancy hair care routine you’ve ever read, but is pretty real for sure. Female Athletes will normally cut their hair very short. However, this is might not be the rule for female runners.

It is not easy to maintain your long hair when you’re feminine but still want to run who-knows-how-many miles a week. So hey, you gotta find what works best for your hair and running routine.

What is your personal tip with Running and Hair?