July Playlist.

There’s not much to talk about this playlist. Except for the fact that I rediscovered some oldies, and “Can’t stop the feeling” from Justin Timberlake is like the-best-running-song ever.

No hay mucho que decir de este playlist, excepto por el hecho de que re-descubrí algunas antigüedades. Además, la nueva canción de Justin Timberlake “Can’t stop the feeling”, es “que si” la mejor canción del mundo para correr.

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Another Week of Half-Marathon Training.

 

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Hello friends!

Last week I discovered a track at my local park. The funniest thing was that I already ran approximately two miles. But I got so excited about the track that I just had to run all over again.

My phone’s battery was pretty low that day so I couldn’t record any of my training. I don’t know exactly how far or fast I ran. However, I decided to let it go and just enjoy. At the end I ran the track 5 times, doing sprint intervals at a level 9 of difficulty.

I guess all of that crazy sprinting was effective, since I saw a huge difference during my long run on Saturday –> 7.25 miles @ 11:17. That’s 23 seconds faster than last week. Oh! And no energy gel needed this time.

Also, I realized my pace was even faster during my recovery run, where I’m supposed to be slower. I did 3.11 miles @ 11:11, which was completely unplanned. But I was certainly happy when I saw the results. My muscles felt incredible good afterwards so I believed it worked as a recovery run, lol.

When you manage to evidence results so fast, you start seeing tempo runs as something completely awesome. Now, I can’t wait to go for my next one. But this time I’ll make sure to charge my phone before, so that I can track absolutely everything.

 

5 Tips to be More Productive.

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If there’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, is on how to be more productive. Let’s face it; we all deal with productivity issues in our lives. Especially nowadays, when you have so many means of procrastination like your smartphone, social media, or my favorite ones, running and coffee.

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There is however, some things I’ve worked with throughout the years that have made me become a more productive person. And still get enough time to train for a half-marathon race, use social media, write a blog, or just simply fool around with my friends.

1. Do the prior homework.

Concentrating myself is hard when there is something bothering me. And if I can’t concentrate, I can’t be productive. Of course that I can’t control everything around me, but being hungry or sleepy are things I surely can. So I make sure I do the prior homework of eating and sleeping, to at least remove those two distractions out of they way.

If you know there are some things you can control within your environment to make you more productive, do the prior homework of managing them before. Prepare your music playlist if you can’t work in silence. Clean up your desk if the mess won’t let you concentrate. Do anything you have to do in order to ensure you’ll be effective the next day.

2. Make lists.

I used to be obsessed with making lists to the point that my friends would read them out loud while making fun of me. But at the end of the day, I always received compliments on how I was able to get so many things done. Well, I have to give full credit to my OCD lists.

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This year I’ve been adopting these new rules of putting priorities on each one of the tasks, and also assigning a period of time to finish each one. I know it might sound nuts, but my productivity basically goes to the sky when I do it. Especially if I know I have a few hours to do a number of things.

3. Follow up with the list.

Of course that doing amazingly structured lists won’t drive you anywhere if you can’t follow up with it. It’s like a diet: you won’t see results if you’re not constant. The same principle applies to a to-do list. Every time you finish a task, go back to it and see where you are. Check the one you just did and move forward.

4. Pay attention.

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.

5. Don’t underestimate time.

We the normal humans have a tendency to underestimate time. We think we could get things done in an unrealistic period of time, leading to a bunch of procrastination and ending up in bad results. We start studying two days before of the final test. We are convinced we can wake up and get ready for work in 10 minutes. And we swear on Tuesday that we would have that report ready by Friday.

We don’t get surprised, however, when we realize we failed the test, or got late to work, or extended the deadline for delivering the report. If we get more conscious about time, we’ll manage our tasks in a more realistic time frame. Consequently, getting the expected results.

Hope these tips are useful 🙂

What are your tips to be more productive? 

Birthday Run & Weekly Recap

Hello friends!

Last Friday I wrote about this horrible pain I was feeling in my ankles, which made me realize how scared I was of getting injured. I also talked about how running is about facing your fears, which is why I was going for that 7 mile run on Saturday, even if I was not able to finish it at the end. Turns out I was able to finish it, and it was freaking amazing.

It was my birthday on Saturday, so I was feeling beyond motivated to go for this run. Running a long distance was some sort of present I wanted to give to myself. So I did all the usual protocol of eating carbs and hydration. I also had my energy gel and a sport drink ready.

My ankles were not completely recovered from the pain when I started to run, so my expectations were pretty low. My Nike running app did the same stupid thing of not recording my distance for the first 12 min, which of course pissed me all over again. Thank you so much, Nike.

Time went by and I was already in mile 4. According to my plan, it was time to take my gel, but I felt like I didn’t need it and so I continued. Everything after that was a journey of magic. I had one of these runner highs that made me feel incredibly happy. My friend Lina was laughing at my euphoria, lol.

Without even realizing, I did 7.21 miles and it wasn’t even hard. The pain in my ankles went away after that run, which is absolutely incredible. I’m sure I could’ve gone another couple of miles, but I knew I had to stop if I wanted to wear high heels on my birthday celebration.

I was so happy I decided to take the risk, face my fear and go for that run. The rest of the day was such a blast.

The translation in this picture is: Hi! I look like a normal person:) (Since I finally put some makeup on).

We went to eat amazing pasta and I completely forgot to take a picture of the plate, lol. My friend did take this picture while they where singing happy birthday to me.

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Now, back to business… Here it is my weekly recap:)

Monday: rest.

Tuesday: 4.01 miles @ 12:26

Wednesday: Yoga.

Thursday: 1.82 miles @ tempo pace (one mile w/u @ 11:20 min, 0.82 miles @ at tempo pace 9.09). I was in real pain so I had to stop.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 7.21 mile @ 11:40 min.

Sunday: Biking. I was not planning on exercising at all, but my friends convinced me. We went for 2.5 miles approximately. It was so fun that I feel like need to do it more often.

Total miles: 13.04 miles.

Goals for this week: Be good with my sleep. Try to beat that 4-mile tempo run next Thursday, and feel good enough to go for another 7 miles on Saturday.

 

How My First Tempo Run Made Me Deal With Pain and Fear.

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So I had a 4 mile tempo run scheduled for yesterday. My plan was very simple, 1 mile w/u, two miles @ 9 min run and last mile c/d. I kind of knew that my body was not completely recovered from those 14 miles of last week. So I prepared myself mentally and felt genuinely optimistic.  But the reality was that as soon as I stood on that treadmill I knew it was going to be really hard.

Everything started with pain in my ankles. I’m basically always in pain when I start running. But pain will eventually go away after my body is warmed up and everything. Well, that just didn’t happen this time.

Then I realized my Nike running app was not recording my first mile, which really pissed me. Thank you so much Nike.

Despite all of that I still decided to continue. But before mile two the pain on my ankles was so bad that I had to stop. I was so afraid I was going to get injured, that I just went back home and did a long stretching session.

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This experience made me realize how afraid I am of getting injured. And given the fact that I’m a beginner in running, I don’t even know where’s the line between listening to my body and being hypochondriac, lol. But I guess facing your fears is just another challenge that running puts you in.

Now that I think about it, running is all about facing your fears. Things like not finishing on time, suffering more than enough during that long run, getting injured, or being attacked by gators, snakes or zombies in the middle of the road are fears that all runners have to face every day. But, are we going to quit running just because we’re afraid? Hell no!

This basic principle applies to every other aspect of our lives. Without noticing, I’ve become a better person through running because I’ve had the chance to face my fears and move on. Even in the worst case scenario, I’m sure that everything is going to be OK at the end of the day. Unless, of course, I get attacked by zombies in the middle of the road.

I’m still dealing with that pain in my ankles. I really hope I feel good enough tomorrow for my long run. Because not even trying to do it is not an option for me. Am I being too irresponsible?

 

 

 

An amazing long run and weekly recap.

Hello there!

I don’t really have much to say about this week of running, because it was absolutely amazing. It’s wonderful how you learn to listen to your own body, when it comes to preparing yourself for overcoming tough trainings.

Which reminds me… can I just take a minute to talk about my long run of the week?

I ran 7 miles (my longest distance ever), in a pretty decent amount of time. I only programmed my running app to 6 miles, cause I though I was not finishing seven miles that Saturday. But as long as I left my house I knew I was going for those seven miles that day. I just felt good, and did everything I had to do before in order to finish successfully.

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Pasta the night before, and a PB&J English muffin for breakfast are stuff that I always have before a long run. But this time, I also had Gatorade and a chocolate Gu gel to be used. My plan was to have a small zip of Gatorade every mile, and the Gu gel whenever I felt like I really needed it after the halfway point. I hate to admit this about the Gatorade, but it worked. It worked to the point I notice a huge difference in my performance.

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Lesson of the week: I’m pretty sure that water by itself is not doing it for me during long runs.

So… Without any further ado, here it is my running recap!

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 4.02 miles @ 13:02. + Strengthening routine.

Wednesday: Rest. I was really sore.

Thursday: 1.55 miles @ 10:39. I was short in time that day, but I still went for a tempo run.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 7 miles @11:18.

Sunday: 2 miles @10:41. This was supposed to be a recovery run, but the average time per mile was pretty good.

Total miles: 14.57.

I’m so happy that I can’t wait to go back to running today. My only goal is to nail those seven miles again this next Saturday and of course… to survive my first tempo run on Thursday.

Later:)

Learning more about dehydration & Last running week recap

Running can sometimes make your life very difficult and put you through a lot of pain. Some other times, it can be rewarding and your body will very thankful. After a painful start of June, this last week finally paid off. And I´m so excited to share it.

As I commented on my previous running recap, I wasn’t going for long distances this week. My goals were to focus on my strength workouts and cross training to relieve pain, and catching up with my pace (which was much more slower two weeks ago). So, here are the results:

  1. Monday: Off.
  2. Tuesday: ER 4.01 Miles @ 11:25. I was so happy after this one.
  3. Wednesday: Strength workout.
  4. Thursday: Strength workout.
  5. Friday: Off.
  6. Saturday: ER 5 miles @12:20.
  7. Sunday: ER 4 miles @12:31.

Total miles: 13.01.

Post run happiness.

Even though I saw some progress this week, there were a couple of factors that affected my training. The first one was the dehydration. I’m not very much a fan of Gatorade or crazy colored isotonic drinks. I’ll only have water and maybe an energy gel if I’m feeling extremely tired during long runs. On Saturday, I felt like I was passing out and I had to stop at mile 5. When I figured out it was only dehydration, I decided to try some Gatorade the next day and saw a huge difference. I might be trying another form of electrolytes later on.

The second thing that really affected me this week was pain due to lactic acid. On Sunday, I felt like I was being stabbed at my abdomen. Thank God, I already knew what was it so I just focused on my breathing, and it slowly faded.

I’m grateful for this amazing week of running, and really looking forward to see the results of this one:).

 

 

New running goals & Weekly recap.

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I always say there are two types of people in this world. Those who are normal people and have hobbies just for fun, and those who are not so normal and can’t settle down just for the fun of their hobbies. Well, I’m pretty sure I fall in the second group.

It’s been almost a year since I started running and three months ago I decided to train for my first half-marathon, because why not. I picked a training program that seemed pretty reasonable and just started to do it.

I expect to successfully complete a Half Marathon race by next year, and when I mean successfully, I mean injury-free.

Since I didn’t want to stress my body more than I should, I decided not to increase my mileage weekly as the plan indicates. Instead, I’ve been increasing my long runs every other week, or every three weeks. This method has been working for me really well, as I feel that I’m listening to my body and enjoying the process.

In May, I ran a total of 33.2 miles @ 11:33 pace average, not that bad considering I’m totally a beginner. Also, I achieved my longest distance of 6.25 miles, which is almost the half distance of a half marathon. Huge accomplishment for me.

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Now that June started, things are getting pretty damn hard. Even though the difficulty of my training hasn’t increased, my body is starting to experiment new aches that I’ve never felt before, like in my hamstrings (so weird). The impact of my strides is really starting to hurt too, affecting my overall pace and distance.

This first week of the month wasn’t the best one of my record, for sure. But I’m happy I still went for it. Here it is my running recap of last week:

Wednesday:  3.12 miles @ 13:41 pace. – Celebrating the Global Running Day:)

Thursday: 2.01 miles @ 12:53 pace. / Strengthening workout.

Friday: Rest. My hamstrings and ankles where very sore.

Saturday: 5.3 miles @ 12:28.

Sunday: Strengthening workout (recovery).

10.4 miles in total.

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I’m still enjoying this process, though. Even though it gets painful and rough, after finishing you get that sense of accomplishment that really makes the rest of your day beautiful. After my long run on Saturday, I had the most amazing afternoon with my friend.

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I won’t keep any distance goals for this week since my expectations are pretty low. Instead, I will keep up with my strengthening routine and include some more cross training to see if I can get over the pain for now.

 

What is the pain that affects you the most when running/training?

Playlist del mes – Monthly Playlist

Entre muchas de las cosas que amo, la música no sólo es una de ellas, sino que también es un elemento importante en mi rutina diaria. En un día promedio, paso al menos el 10% de mi tiempo escuchando música, mientras hago cualquier otra cosa. Por lo que todos los meses hago un playlist con música que he ido descubriendo, o re-descubriendo. Cuando se trata de música, no tengo prejuicios. Es por ello que tener un playlist todos los meses no es tarea dificil para mi.

Este mes, he decidido compartir my playlist en el Blog.

Among many things I love, music is one of them because is a big element on my daily routine. In average, I spend 10% of my day listening to music while I’m doing any other stuff. For that reason, I set up a playlist every month, with music I’ve discovered or re-discovered. When it comes to music I don’t have any prejudice. I like almost any kind of music, thus having a new playlist every month is not a hard task for me.

This month I’ve decided to share it in the Blog.

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Miami Diaries: The Culture of Cuban Coffee

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I was stunned the first time I saw how people make Cuban Coladas. You might think is just a regular espresso with tones of sugar, but the process of preparation is as beautiful as strange. They start by brewing a very strong coffee on any espresso machine they have.  They’ll took the first little dash that comes out, and whisk it with at least 1/4 cup of sugar. By the time they’ve achieved a beige meringue, the rest of the coffee should be completely brewed. They stir everything together dissolving the sugar paste in the rest of the coffee, and there it is, the Cuban Coladita.

The result is a dark and thick liquid of the size of two long espressos. They’ll divide one Coladita into five tiny shots that will wake you up faster than a Red Bull. Tough coffee-drinkers at Miami will often prefer one of these over a Starbucks or any other kind of coffee. Plus, being able to have one at almost any gas station makes the situation a little worst.

My Brief Story on Cuban Coladas.

I remember the first time I had one of those shots, oh yeah. I was feeling miserably sleepy and cranky, wanting desperately to go back home. It wasn’t until I had my first shot of Colada, that I immediately started to feel different. I became happier, and saw the world in a brighter way. Of course I had to post it on Instagram asking: Who needs Red Bull when you have Cuban coffee?

Even though I’m an avid coffee drinker, I can’t do a full Colada by myself. At some point, that extremely sweet coffee flavor is something I can’t handle any more. I was kind of disappointed at first, since I saw myself as the ultimate coffee-drinker. Therefore I started cutting out the sugar later on. I also decided to share my Coladas instead of having the full cup. By doing this, I discovered that giving away these shots could be the perfect opportunity to start a conversation, even with a complete stranger.

The Culture of Cuban Coladas.

One of my coworkers, on the other hand, can do a full sugared Colada by herself. It’s weird if you don’t see the empty cup on her desk. She actually dislikes the flavor of my sweeteners, so we can’t split coladas for real. However, since her love for coffee touched me from the beginning, I make sure to get her one colada every time I’ll get one for me.

One day I got to work with two Coladitas. One made without sugar for me, one with full sugar for her. I was planning to offer shots of my Colada to whoever wanted, as a complete stranger offered me once. What I did not know was how many people would benefit from those two Coladas I was bringing in. Apparently I was not the only one who needed a pick-me-up that afternoon. Six people in total, took their shots of coffee. My coworker ended up sharing hers as well. They called me a lifesaver, because they needed those Coladita shots to keep up with work that day. Right after that, they got back to work re-energized.

I just felt incredibly fulfilled.

This experience made me realize that Cuban Coladas are more than a technical process on how to make certain coffee. Cuban Coladas are in fact, a cultural tool for interpersonal relations, because they’re designed to be shared. For some unexplained reason, everybody jumps out of their chair when they see a Coladita coming in. Specially at Miami’s workplaces, where bringing in Cuban coffee is almost like a sign of cooperation between you and your peers.

What started as an attempt of reconciliation between that coffee and me, ended up as a weird tradition. Nowadays, I won’t have a Colada if I’m not able to share it with somebody else. From that moment, a Colada was never the same for me anymore.

Is there any interesting experience you’ve had with coffee? Share your thoughts down below!