What Happened With My Half-Marathon Training Plan?

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As many of you might have already read, I started writing about running right after I decided to run a half-marathon race. I used this space to document all my weeks of training. However, as I started to increment my weekly mileage I started experimenting a lot of pain.

My personal trainer (Dad) really convinced me of slowing down and reconsider this thing of running a half-marathon on my beginner stage. He basically stated that my muscles need to create more memory and that in order to stay injury-free, I needed to wait one year more to do it. Changing my running shoes in the middle of my training plan was also a key factor for me to experience more pain and difficulty. So, I just decided to take my Dad’s advice because if I moved forward with this training plan I was going to end up not enjoying the experience at all.

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However, without a structured training plan (plus beggining a new semester at school) I started running less. I don’t know about you, but I need structure in everything I do in my life and with running is no different. So, I decided to adopt a new and more reasonable plan which I’ll write more about at the end of the week.

I know I won’t have any problems with running in the days I have to run. The real challenge will be sticking to all of those strengthening, stretching and cross training days. The reality is that I kinda have to force myself to do them since I will always prefer to run (I would run every day if my body was able to but I’m just a beginner). So my mentality will be literally: Accomplishing my low-impact trainings = running with less pain and more joy.

Overall I feel pretty enthusiastic so let’s see how it goes.

I also feel very enthusiastic of seeing these beautiful sunsets more often. I don’t know if it’s this time of the year or if I haven’t noticed before, but sunsets in South Florida have been to die for lately. The one in the picture above was #SeenOnMyRun last week and I just can’t get enough.

 

D.C. in 48 Hours.

I was fortunate enough to visit Washington D.C. for the very first time, and I can only say one thing: historical sights + intellectuality + incredibly good food + Runners all day everywhere = What else could I ask for?

I find just think is amazing how the culture of a population can shape a city into that beautifulness that D.C. actually is. Probably this is something that everyone will tell you, but you never imagine what D.C. really is until you go there. It made me love this country even more.

Plus, the fact that you can access museums / monuments / the national zoo without having to pay for a ticket, will be equal to a very high quality trip at a lower cost compared to other cities (if you’re looking to travel on a budget, of course).

Now, without any further ado…here are some pictures of the trip.

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The wing of the plane was saying “Howdy!” as the light went on and off. My friends photobombed this picture making it a very bizarre one.

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This is what I love the most about capitalism. Unlike social democrats think, you do have a lot of options in the market. For instance, you can chose to flight with a luxurious airline or you could just pick one that will only charge you for want you’re willing to pay for.

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Capitol Hill.

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By this time I already knew I loved the city.

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Washington Monument.

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National Air and Space Museum. I’m kind of obsessed with planes. I’ve always been. My father used to be a pilot and therefore I grew up around helicopters and flying objects. Being here made me feel like a complete kid again.

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A plane made by the Wright Brothers…How incredibly cool is that?

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If you’ve ever asked yourself how people was recruited to go to war, here it is the answer. A poster that seemed to be made for kids, shows the benefits that soldiers could obtain if they volunteered to join the Royal Air Force. But also, showing the evil reality of war in a very colorful and “cute” way (I guess?). Really bizarre.

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The White House.

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Probably the best burger I’ve ever had at the Bluejacket Brewery. They serve it with a huge pickle on a side which is heaven for me. If I had to make a life or death decision between this burger and one from shake shack I’ll pick this one. And that’s a lot to say.

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Biking around the National Mall was one of the most exciting parts of the trip. It also made up for the runs I skipped that weekend. Cheers for enjoying a city while doing physical training.

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Out the small portion I saw from the National Art Gallery, this paint really captivated me. I don’t remember the name of the lady in the portrait. But her pose, her dog, and the colors she’s wearing (which were really uncommon to wear for ladies of society at that time) made me think she had a free spirit. To me, she was not afraid of showing off a strong personality and a spoiled behavior. Who nows if she really was like this in real life, it might be all in my head. But my perception of her is kind of inspiring, so I chose to believe in it.

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My beautiful friends pleased me by coming with me to visit the Library of Congress.

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The National Zoo is all about Pandas. And if you think Pandas are cute, watching them play in real life is 10 times more cute.

48 hours are more than enough to fall in love with D.C. but a really short time to go to all the places I wanted to go. I can’t wait to be back.

This is not a sponsored post. 

A Healthy Pancake Recipe Almost Anyone Could Eat.

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you’re all having a wonderful long weekend.

I never thought I would share a recipe in this blog but today I tried something I needed to share: Two ingredient pancakes. And no, this is no the Banana + Egg white recipe we all now.

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My cousin Maria Laura is into this fitness eating thing. She is so creative when it comes to creating healthy recipes that I get really impressed and inspired by her. She wanted me to try some of her pancakes but the truth is that I was a little skeptical because I like traditional pancakes. Those made with all-purpose flower and buttermilk. Oatmeal pancakes don’t have the consistency I like. So I don’t even bother to eat gluten free pancakes anymore.

However, this morning she made me a the best gluten free, paleo, vegan {insert all kinds of healthy adjectives here} I’ve ever had. The best part is that its only two ingredientes:

– 1 cup of Gluten Free all purpose flower, made out of Garbanzo beans.

–  3/4 cup of Almond Milk, or any kind of milk you like.

You just have to whisk it together and add whatever else you like (cinnamon, stevia or fruit), put it in the pan and that’s it.

The consistency really impressed me. They have a certain softness and gumminess to it, that you’ll never think you’re eating gluten free pancakes. And the garbanzo flour certainly adds some nutritional value.

I’m definitely looking forward to cook this recipe again! And if you’d like to be inspired by more o her healthy recipes, follow her Instagram account here.

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.

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.