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.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

img_6737 img_6199

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.

img_7712

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?

 

No affiliated links used.

What Happened With My Half-Marathon Training Plan?

image-1

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.

fullsizerender

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Capitol Hill.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

By this time I already knew I loved the city.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Washington Monument.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

The White House.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Image-1

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.

ips-B1FC65D3-101F-49E5-95AF-B9F1993D8F67.mp4

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.

IMG_7228

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.

IMG_7231

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

FullSizeRender

Hope you’re all having an amazing long weekend:)!

Running Away From Your Problems Vs. Running To Be a Better Person.

 

 

DSCN3606

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.

image

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.

image

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

395046_3093479742687_1588045682_n

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.

404488_3093471622484_665062884_n

Hugging my Dad after I found out he finished the Marathon hitting his PR.

388755_3093475982593_738944895_n

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?

394757_3093480462705_575205107_n

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.

FullSizeRender

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.

IMG_6957 (1)

This pup seriously melts my heart.

IMG_6997 (1)

Tried Sasha Fitness’ Peanut Butter Whey Protein for the first time. So good!

IMG_7008 (1)

And then Sushi! because why not…

IMG_7010 (1)

I found an Orange Juice with my name on it 🙂

IMG_7024 (1)

Nothing like receiving your loved ones with flowers at the airport.

IMG_7023 (1)

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.

IMG_6937

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

IMG_6938

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.

FullSizeRender

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.