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.

The Most Controversial Olympic Games.

Yesterday was a day of full protein meals. I didn’t plan for it. But when I went to the track for some speed workout, my legs were not happy. I knew instantly I didn’t carb-load enough. So that was a painful run with an unbearable humidity. But I finished.

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I went back home to eat pasta, because it was all I was craving.

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And today I woke up having a hard time going down the stairs, or walking in general. I know it must be the lactic acid on my legs so I’ll be going for a quiet recovery jog/walk at the park to see if I can feel better for tomorrow.

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This is my face when I’m not in the mood for pictures, but I still need one for the blog.

Now, can we take a minute to talk about the Olympic Games?

I don’t know if it’s because I was living in another country by 2012 and the media there had other stuff to talk about. But seriously, these games are the most controversials I’ve seen in my life.

Let’s start by Shaunae Miller. The runner who dived across the finish line during the 400 meter track competition on August 15. Granting her the gold medal over Allyson Felix. I don’t want to be a hater over here, but if that’s a valid way to win then I’ll make sure to dive in across the finish line on my next race. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is such an amazing athlete and I don’t think she did it on purpose. But the reason why she won was because the rule does not specify you need to cross the finish line with your legs. However, you do need your legs in order to run and therefore to compete. So is fair enough to say that you need your legs in order to win.

Too bad for Allyson Felix, though. Today during the 4×100 relay the USA Team dropped the baton as Felix was bumped by a Brazilian runner. They filed a protest and now the Braziliam team was disqualified.

But since the USA team did a final time of 1:06, they can’t just simply qualify for the final. Instead, they’ll be doing the same 4×100 relay by themselves tonight. They’ll have to accomplish a time bellow 42.7 in order to qualify. Replacing China in the 8th place. Since the videos could confirm Allyson was bumped by another runner, then this might have been the fairest solution.

The controversy of this one didn’t last much in comparison to the current scandal with Ryan Lochte.

Locthe claimed he was robbed at gunpoint along with other peers in Rio. But now as his version of the story has changed and there’s no proof of the robbery, the police is suspecting the American swimmers are lying. Apparently, all victims came back with their belongings to the hotel the night of the incident. Yesterday, two of them were pulled off their flight on their way out from Brazil.

I don’t really have much to say about this. I have no idea on what are the basements for stating they were robbed at gunpoint or that they returned to the hotel with their belongings. But, I saw this video that TIME magazine released a few hours ago that now has been deleted from their YouTube Channel. I just realized it as I was looking for the link to post it here, which makes it even more controversial.

I’m pretty sure there are much more controversial stuff about the Olympics that I’m missing to talk about. These are just the ones that I’ve been following the most.

 

Today’s Paleo Breakfast & Favorite Reads.

Today’s breakfast was amazing. I met up with my cousin in this Paleo restaurant because she’s really into all of that healthy eating thing. I had the Protein waffles with my favorite summer fruit combination and lots of sugar-free maple syrup. It looked so pretty I couldn’t resist to take a picture.

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I also had a coffee with almond milk and it was delicious. That’s really weird for me to say because I’m not very much into the Paleo diet or that hype of avoiding dairy, sugar and gluten. I tried it in the past but I felt completely miserable (and I’m not even allergic to any of those foods). That is why I make sure to have my coffee with whole milk these days, because it tastes delicious.

In case you didn’t notice, I read a lot. I’m constantly reading random stuff and I don’t even know how I find the time to do it. So I guess sharing some of that stuff in here might turn all of that slacking time  into a more productive task.

Here are the most interesting articles I read today:

  1.  The IRS to Michael Phelps: “You Didn’t Win That.” Have you heard about how much taxes do athletes have to pay for every medal won in the 2016 Olympic Games? It’s crazy, specially for someone like Michael Phelps. It all comes down to a matter of ethics.  You represent your country in this major event. And after training for a lifetime to be the best, you win. Now you have to give something back for all the effort you did. Is this fair to you? If your answer is yes, then is it fair to you that somebody else decides on your behaf?
  2. How Effective is Treadmill Running Compared to Running Outside? I get that question asked A LOT. And to be honest I have no idea. I run in the treadmill most of the times. But I don’t really notice any difference when I run outside, except for the weather conditions. So, I went ahead and looked up this old article that contains an explanation of somebody who really knows. Apparently there is a difference, but I’ guess I’ll be able to evidence it as soon as the Florida summer ends and I hit the roads more often.
  3. Is Terrorism Getting Worst? In the West, Yes. In the World, No.  Even though this article is merely based on statistic and is not really that much biased as I expected, I do think terrorism is something we need to worry about. Even if we’re facing it in lower scales than previous decades. However, the facts exposed by the author are pretty interesting.
  4. You’re Right, I Didn’t Eat That. How much do women sacrifice for staying thin? Not only to achieve happiness for themselves but to obtain men’s approval. This article shows a really sad reality in ladies of our generation. I you’re a woman and you feel related to this, please reconsider if this is the life you wish to have in the best years of your life.

How To Deal With Offensive Messages.

Hello! I had a well deserved rest day yesterday and there’s some anaerobic exercises waiting for me tonight. So, I’m not here today to talk about running but to tell you a little story about racism.

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Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University: Martin Luther King Jr. spoke here in October 2, 1962. I took this picture last year on my visit to North Carolina for the Summer Seminar organized by the Institute for Humane Studies.

 

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m hispanic and I come from a country that has all the problems in the world except for racism. Even though people there discriminate depending on people’s social class, it is really hard to see a discrimination act by race. Therefore, discrimination by race is really foreign to me. I know it exist but  I didn’t know what it was because I never experienced it until last week.

I don’t like to call myself a “victim” cause I don’t considerate myself one whatsoever. But the point is that last week a crazy lady on the street verbally attacked me and my friends with a racist message. She came out of her house as we we’re walking on the street, pointing her middle finger at us  and with a mocking voice she yielded:

Hey! Do you know how to speak English?“, (we assumed she asked this because we were speaking in Spanish)

As we answered “yes” being completely confused.

Oh yeah? Well then go back to where you come from!” she replied.

I think she even used the F word, but I honestly don’t remember cause I was in shock. Funniest thing is that I’ve spoke to here in the past. We’ve engaged into full conversations in English. So, definitely she must have some sort of a mental disability.

Anyhow, I do think there’s an important lesson in here. When I tell this story and people ask me how I feel, I can’t say I feel humiliated. Yes, I’m shocked. And no, I don’t want that lady to speak to me ever again. But I don’t feel humiliated.

This whole story just make me rethink about what fairness really is. Is it fair for me to feel humiliated when another person was offensive to me for no reason? Of course not. If she was upset with life and decided to retaliate against us to get even, that’s her problem not ours. That’s her crap, not mine.

Having this perspective of fairness has helped me deal with many offensive people in the past. When you learn how to recognize the crap in other people, you acknowledge that is not fair for you to feel bad for a crap that is not even yours. If you feel bad for it, then you’re recognizing. It means that is somehow true to you, and you’re automatically entitling yourself to it.

So next time somebody throws you their crap, ask yourself if you want to catch it or not.

Today I came across with this quote Murray N. Rothbar (If you like political theory I strongly recommend  you to check him out).

IMG_6909And I could only thought that when you live in a country where everyone is judged equally by the law and everyone has the same rights, not even a stupid offensive message should be a reason for you to feel humiliated or less than somebody else. And even if this wasn’t the case and you live in a country where there’s no rule of law, you should still feel free to stick to your rights and make them worth.

You’re the only one responsible for your own reality, and that’s it.   

I know this might sound really cheesy, but God! Love is so much easier than hatred. Try to love a little bit more and accumulate less crap.

Speaking about love, did you know that today is Elvis Presley’s birthday? I’m going to leave one of his songs here, just because I listened it today and it just made my whole morning. So pretty, I love Love.

 

Interval Running: My Experience. Tips and Benefits.

Hi there! it’s been three weeks since I’ve been doing interval running on my local track and so far I have to say that they are tougher than any other runs, even the long ones. They also had taught me a different perspective of running, hence I’ll be talking about those in here today!

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For those of you who don’t know, Interval running consist on running at different heart-rate capacities during a set of distances. Distances and speeds can vary depending on your level of physical endurance. However, upon my trainer’s advice (Dad) I started with the following one:

– 1 mile w/u

– 200 mt jog + 200 mt sprint @ 80% to 90% capacity X 10.

– 1 mile c/d (which normally ends up in 400 mt because at this point my legs are begging me to stop)

– Stretching session.

Basically my experience with these runs can be summarized into random notes that I like to describe as a “tips and benefits list”. Just keep in mind that this is what works for me and might not necessarily be what works for you. So, here we go:

* My average pace per mile is becoming faster. I noticed a huge difference on my last long 8-mile run, where I ran the 6th mile at 10:06 and an overall average pace of 10:53. This was supposed to be an Easy Run but I ran at my old tempo pace without the effort that used to implicate. Last month I was at 12 min per mile (average pace), so this is pretty big for me.

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* I’ve been giving much more importance to adopting a proper running form. Not that I didn’t pay attention to that in the past. But now I’m more concerned on how my feed are lading, the 90 degree angle in my arms, the length of my strides and all of that. YouTube videos has been very helpful. Specially the ones by Sage Canaday from V02Max Productions.

* These interval runs boost my hungry levels to the point where I’m basically always hungry during the next day. So I get mentally prepared that interval runs are equal to a very hungry Nathaly the next day, and a very happy one as well:)

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* If you’re looking to loose weight, this might be an amazing cardio workout for you. I’m personally not looking to loose any, so I make sure to listen to my body and basically eat whatever I crave (which is normally a pretty balanced meal + a lot of dessert). But I still feel like I’ve slimmed down a little bit.

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This chocolate-chips cookie, tho<3

* Speaking about food, not eating for four hours prior to these interval runs is key for me to not feel sick during the sprints. But coffee however, is always a must-have about an hour before. Oh, and I also double up my water intake that day.

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* Stretching afterwards has become even more important than it was before. It really (really) help me release all the tension and pain accumulated in my muscles. That is why I take my time to stretch, and I have to say it feels so damn good.

Overall this must be the toughest training for a runner or at least for me. But the feeling I get afterwards is incomparably rewarding. I now count the days for my next interval training, because the fact that my pace is becoming faster just got me extremely motivated.

How do you feel about interval runs?

What do you do before and after it?

 

August Playlist.

I must say that music is such an important aspect of my life. Specially when I’m running because it gives me a motivation that makes me feel like I’m flying. Here are my favorite running songs that I’ll be listening throughout the month.

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Socialism Is An Idea Of Evil Not Faith.

Disclaimer: This post right here is to communicate how frustrated I feel about socialism and everything related to it. So, in case you’re sensitive to this kind of stuff please scroll it down, or go to the running section of this blog or just don’t read this blog whatsoever.

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For those of you who don’t know me, I was born and raised in Venezuela. Even though free markets economy is something that my country has barely known, I always rejected intuitively the ideas from the left. And when I discovered Libertarianism back in the day, I felt instantly related. I became a libertarian and never changed my mind. End of the story.

But the worst part of discovering the ideas of liberty is that when you become more conscious about your rights, the injustices of socialism start affecting you more. It happened to me while living in there and it continues to happen as I read the news about Venezuela every day.

In case you don’t read the news, everything that could possibly go wrong in a country is going amazingly wrong down there. Scarcity of food and medicine, increasing poverty and debt, lack of individual rights and private property, electricity shortages,  and growing levels of violence in the streets are only a few of the problems that Venezuela faces at the moment.

As if that wasn’t enough, the border with Colombia is closed for Venezuelans. So, they’re basically unable to go there and get food or medicines. No wonder why 35,000 Venezuelans walked desperately to the border with that same purpose, when they opened it temporarily last month. Watching those images was painful enough to me, but not as reading this article today.

Nicolas Maduro enabled an executive order of conscripting Venezuelans to do up to 60 days of forced labor on farms, with the aim of producing more food “if circumstances merit”. Let me put this in other words, the government closed every single window that could slightly improve the situation in the country. Instead, they force to implement the less viable and more retrograde option to produce food, bypassing the judgment of the Congress. Just like Glenn Garvin wrote today in the Miami Herald:

“Venezuela resorts to slavery to feed people, the slaves”.

But the best part of this article wasn’t this incredibly accurate quote. It was actually this one:

“Now that Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is finally over, maybe he’ll have time to read the news from Venezuela”

Some people believe that socialism is an idea of faith. Something that starts with good intentions and end up being poorly executed. Well, I’m convinced that socialism is the pure idea of evil. If you don’t think so, then it’s because you haven’t been close enough to it.

That is all.