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?

Sunday Run And New Running Goals!

Hey guys!

Hope your week had started pretty well. Last time I wrote here I was pretty disappointed on how bad my run turned out. Well, I decided to go for a second try yesterday and it was just amazing. As you see in the picture below, the wind was crazy.

The temperatures in South Florida are finally going down (yay!). Yesterday it was around 50 degrees, which I think is just the perfect temperature for running. I went out yesterday in shorts and people asked me “hey! aren’t you cold?”. People here in Miami are very sensitive to cold temperatures. 51 degrees and we already think is winter! However, my legs don’t get cold very easily.

 3.20 mile done. I could’ve had gone for more but I had some house chores I needed to get done before the start of the week.

In other news, I decided to participate in the Run Eat Repeat’s Run Camp because my only 2017 running resolution is to run faster and farther. This is a 21 day challenge to run Faster, Stronger and Better. Just exactly what I need.

Our task for today is to enlist my goals.

Last year I started to train for a half marathon, but because I was just starting with running that was an unrealistic goal to me. I still don’t know If I’m making realistic goals or not, but I decided this time that in the next 21 days I want to:

1. Run 8 miles again. It’s been a long time since I don’t pass the 6.25 miles.

2. Speed up my pace to one minute less per mile. That means, speed up from 11:50 to 10:50 per mile.

Number one will be more easy to attain than number 2. I see a lot of track workouts and tempo runs coming in my way!

Any running goals in the short-term? 
How was your running this weekend?

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?