Thursday Thoughts: Waiting for Hurricane Matthew.

Hello everyone! How are you doing today? I’m stuck at home with no school and work.

In a regular normal situation I’ll be so happy because that would mean a lot of free time for going to run. However, I’m here waiting for hurricane Matthew to pass by.

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This situation makes me realize how much of an hyperactive person I am. I seriously can’t be at my house without doing anything. And the fact that I’m here right now doing absolutely nothing, makes me want to go for a run even more.

Dear Matthew: Please make your visit fast and smooth.

At least I get the chance to write in here while killing my non-running anxiety.

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My day yesterday consisted in a light hurricane prep. Even though I wasn’t really alarmed, I did want to get some water, non perishable goods, and some gas in my car. Because that’s what people recommends you to do when hurricanes are coming.

I stopped by the supermarket to get bottled water and found empty shelves. I went to two gas stations to get gas and all pumps were closed. At the end of the day, and after making lines of few minutes I managed to get all I needed for the hurricane prep. But I gotta say this experience was some sort of a bitter deja vu. I fell back home for a second.

Don’t get me wrong. The scarcity in Venezuela is juts the result of evil socialism. The very light scarcity of water and gas I witnessed yesterday was only the result of an over demand due to hurricane conditions. I really can’t compare both situations because they’re completely different. However, nervous people shopping around me was the thing that really brought me back home.

And then I realized how uncertainty can affect the behavior of human beings in a way that you can see similar effect in two completely different environments. I guess the sense of survival is something we all regular human beings have, no matter your ethnicity, race, or culture.

This can only make me question one thing: is there such thing as a relative truth? What is bad for one individual can be good for another one? I’m a huge believer that there’s an absolute truth, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

Wow, I guess this is what happens when you give me free that I can only use writing. I start rambling too much.

Have you ever been in a hurricane before? How was your experience? 

Race Recap: 5K Zoo Miami

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Running 3.11 miles is never as exciting and fun as running a 5K race. Now I can understand why my Dad tells me I need to race more. The experience of racing is completely different to the one you get from going on a regular run.

On Sunday I ran the 5K Zoo Miami. Although we had an unfortunate surprise that I’ll tell you more about at the end of this post.

I had no time expectations for this race when it came to finishing times. Running a 5K distance is something I do all the time. But I was still kind of anxious. I still wanted to do things right and have an amazing race.

Me and my cousin woke up at 05:00 a.m. In the morning for our fueling. One mini bagel with almond butter, black coffee, and lots of water did the job. By 7:00 a.m. we arrived to the zoo and met up with the rest of our team.

In this race, runners were separated into the categories –> tortoises, kangaroos, rhinos and cheetahs depending on their pace. Since I was a Kangaroo I needed to go to a different corral than the one my cousin and friend needed to go.

The race was delayed by 10 minutes. And by 7:40 we heard the gunshot and started running. My initial strategy was to start slow and then run really fast after the second half. Well, I did all the opposite.

I started running and right after the first mile I checked my clock and realized that I had run that first mile in 9 minutes. Say what!?

I’ve never ran a mile that fast in my life. So I slowed down immediately in order to not be suffering further ahead. Then I knew something was wrong when I saw the sign for mile 2 just five minutes later. There was no way I could run a mile that fast. Five minutes later I passed the sign for mile 3. At this point I didn’t know what the heck was going on with the course distance, but I kept running. I finished with a sprint in 22:51 minutes, realizing that I didn’t really run 3.11 miles.

Runners were disappointed since the real distance of the course race was of 2.1 miles. No wonder why I got to the finish line as a Cheetah and not a Kangaroo. Despite this unfortunate surprise, I did better than I expected. Running the first mile in 09 minutes and 20 seconds set up a new PR for me. My splits of 09:20 in the first mile and 11:08 in the second mile, projected a 29 minutes 5K. The fasted one I’ve ran has been in 31:02 minutes. So, I was happy afterwards.

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I don’t know how I managed to be so fast that day. I think the energy from other runners really got me motivated. Also, seeing the animals around the zoo cheered me up a lot.

They had all kinds of refreshments at the finish line. Including ceviche from a famous restaurant in Miami. However, ceviche was too much for me at 08:00 a.m. So I just had a mini cinamom roll and coffee, which was absolutely delicious.

The experience of this race taught me I need to improve my ability to control my pace in races. I was lucky enough that this was a shorter 5K. Nonetheless, when I start racing for longer distances I won’t be as lucky if I start running fast, as I did this time.

Now I want to make a shoutout to my wonderful team. To my friend Carla for inviting me to run this race and picking up the material for me. To my cousin Ana Claudia, for waking up at 5 a.m. when she could’ve stayed sleeping. And to our friend Gustavo for listening to my non-stop anxious talk just minutes before the race.

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I’m defiently looking forward to the next one!

Have you ever got to the finish line and realized you didn’t really run the distance they told you the race course had?

 

 

Thursday Thoughts: National Coffee Day + What Socialism Does To Your Human Capacities.

Happy National Coffee day from the biggest coffee lover you probably read on the internet!

This day really made me think about what is my absolute favorite coffee in the entire world, and I got to say is the espresso macchiato. Surprisingly, I haven’t had one today but you know what? I don’t need a day to celebrate coffee. I celebrate it almost every day.

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Since today is Thursday thoughts, I plan to talk a little bit about something I’ve been thinking within the last few weeks. It’s about how our human capacities and the resources that we have to exploit them.

The other day I remember how much I loved baking, and how often I used to bake. My family was very supportive by eating everything I prepared. However, as the scarcity of basic products started in Venezuela, my mom asked me to stop. Products like All purpose flour was really hard to get in the regular market, and they became very expensive in the black market. So in consequence, it was easier and cheaper to buy a cake already made than the flour itself. And then I stopped baking.

Years passed by and I forgot how to make a single cookie. How awful is that? Unfortunately, in socialist countries people have to work with the extremely limited amount of resources they count on, to the point of loosing (or forgetting) some capacities in the way.

Free markets on the other hand, are free because people are able to trade goods and services without an artificial intervention of the government or its institutions. If one day you decide to produce mason jars because you like them and you think you have a talent for it, then you’d be able to buy all the materials and tools you’ll need in order to produce one. Nevertheless if you don’t have access to the resources you need, most likely you won’t invest your efforts into exploiting that talent you have.

Of course that I started baking again since I realized that I was capable of doing it, which leaded me to my next thought: In a country where you only pay a few bucks for a batch of flour and where you only have to invest 5 minutes to pick it up from the shelve and pay for it at the grocery store, there are no excuses to limit your talents or capacities.

In fewer words, if you look around you and see a wide range of resources to exploit your capacities, then your limitations (if any) are only set by your own mind.

If you feel related to what I’m talking about then start today to do something  you love, and cherish the fact that you’re free enough to do it!

 

New Strengthening Routine + New 5K Race!

Remember I told you I was starting a new training plan this week?

Well, yesterday was a strengthening day. However, since the plan does not indicate exactly what on to do on strengthening days, I went ahead and did my own research. After a few articles on Runner’s Word I realized that all the basics for runners strengthening exercises relies on squats, push-ups, bench dips, and planks.

So, I came up with a pretty nice strengthening routine that I was really curious to try — >which leads me to the following disclaimer: I’m not an expert or fitness trainer or anything like that. I designed this routine for myself and according to my needs and physical capacity. Do not try this without talking to your Doctor first.

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By the time I got to the 6th rep my arms were sore, which made me feel proud of my own routine.

In other news. I registered for a ZooRun5K today!

It was something completely spontaneous. One friend told me this morning about the race for this Sunday and we decided to run it together. I feel so anxious yet excited. I haven’t run a 5k race in such a looooong time and I’m curious to see how this one will turn out.

I don’t even want to set up a time goal because I don’t want to end up disappointed. I just want to enjoy the experience and RUN!!!!

The race course will be inside the Miami Zoo, so that must be a really nice atmosphere for a race. Another great thing is that those 5K will not collide with my training plan. What else could I ask for?

 

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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?