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.

 

Interval Running: My Experience. Tips and Benefits.

Hi there! it’s been three weeks since I’ve been doing interval running on my local track and so far I have to say that they are tougher than any other runs, even the long ones. They also had taught me a different perspective of running, hence I’ll be talking about those in here today!

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For those of you who don’t know, Interval running consist on running at different heart-rate capacities during a set of distances. Distances and speeds can vary depending on your level of physical endurance. However, upon my trainer’s advice (Dad) I started with the following one:

– 1 mile w/u

– 200 mt jog + 200 mt sprint @ 80% to 90% capacity X 10.

– 1 mile c/d (which normally ends up in 400 mt because at this point my legs are begging me to stop)

– Stretching session.

Basically my experience with these runs can be summarized into random notes that I like to describe as a “tips and benefits list”. Just keep in mind that this is what works for me and might not necessarily be what works for you. So, here we go:

* My average pace per mile is becoming faster. I noticed a huge difference on my last long 8-mile run, where I ran the 6th mile at 10:06 and an overall average pace of 10:53. This was supposed to be an Easy Run but I ran at my old tempo pace without the effort that used to implicate. Last month I was at 12 min per mile (average pace), so this is pretty big for me.

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* I’ve been giving much more importance to adopting a proper running form. Not that I didn’t pay attention to that in the past. But now I’m more concerned on how my feed are lading, the 90 degree angle in my arms, the length of my strides and all of that. YouTube videos has been very helpful. Specially the ones by Sage Canaday from V02Max Productions.

* These interval runs boost my hungry levels to the point where I’m basically always hungry during the next day. So I get mentally prepared that interval runs are equal to a very hungry Nathaly the next day, and a very happy one as well:)

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* If you’re looking to loose weight, this might be an amazing cardio workout for you. I’m personally not looking to loose any, so I make sure to listen to my body and basically eat whatever I crave (which is normally a pretty balanced meal + a lot of dessert). But I still feel like I’ve slimmed down a little bit.

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This chocolate-chips cookie, tho<3

* Speaking about food, not eating for four hours prior to these interval runs is key for me to not feel sick during the sprints. But coffee however, is always a must-have about an hour before. Oh, and I also double up my water intake that day.

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* Stretching afterwards has become even more important than it was before. It really (really) help me release all the tension and pain accumulated in my muscles. That is why I take my time to stretch, and I have to say it feels so damn good.

Overall this must be the toughest training for a runner or at least for me. But the feeling I get afterwards is incomparably rewarding. I now count the days for my next interval training, because the fact that my pace is becoming faster just got me extremely motivated.

How do you feel about interval runs?

What do you do before and after it?

 

August Playlist.

I must say that music is such an important aspect of my life. Specially when I’m running because it gives me a motivation that makes me feel like I’m flying. Here are my favorite running songs that I’ll be listening throughout the month.

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Socialism Is An Idea Of Evil Not Faith.

Disclaimer: This post right here is to communicate how frustrated I feel about socialism and everything related to it. So, in case you’re sensitive to this kind of stuff please scroll it down, or go to the running section of this blog or just don’t read this blog whatsoever.

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For those of you who don’t know me, I was born and raised in Venezuela. Even though free markets economy is something that my country has barely known, I always rejected intuitively the ideas from the left. And when I discovered Libertarianism back in the day, I felt instantly related. I became a libertarian and never changed my mind. End of the story.

But the worst part of discovering the ideas of liberty is that when you become more conscious about your rights, the injustices of socialism start affecting you more. It happened to me while living in there and it continues to happen as I read the news about Venezuela every day.

In case you don’t read the news, everything that could possibly go wrong in a country is going amazingly wrong down there. Scarcity of food and medicine, increasing poverty and debt, lack of individual rights and private property, electricity shortages,  and growing levels of violence in the streets are only a few of the problems that Venezuela faces at the moment.

As if that wasn’t enough, the border with Colombia is closed for Venezuelans. So, they’re basically unable to go there and get food or medicines. No wonder why 35,000 Venezuelans walked desperately to the border with that same purpose, when they opened it temporarily last month. Watching those images was painful enough to me, but not as reading this article today.

Nicolas Maduro enabled an executive order of conscripting Venezuelans to do up to 60 days of forced labor on farms, with the aim of producing more food “if circumstances merit”. Let me put this in other words, the government closed every single window that could slightly improve the situation in the country. Instead, they force to implement the less viable and more retrograde option to produce food, bypassing the judgment of the Congress. Just like Glenn Garvin wrote today in the Miami Herald:

“Venezuela resorts to slavery to feed people, the slaves”.

But the best part of this article wasn’t this incredibly accurate quote. It was actually this one:

“Now that Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is finally over, maybe he’ll have time to read the news from Venezuela”

Some people believe that socialism is an idea of faith. Something that starts with good intentions and end up being poorly executed. Well, I’m convinced that socialism is the pure idea of evil. If you don’t think so, then it’s because you haven’t been close enough to it.

That is all.

 

What Running Feels Like After One Week Off.

Helloooo!

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So, I’ve been MIA for the last two weeks because I was feeling really sick. I don’t know exactly what it was but I was just feeling with no energy whatsoever. Even carrying my normal routine without running was tough. So I just decided to take the week off from running and it did certainly have a positive effect on me, as I came back fresh and full of energy. But, even though I took a full week off of running I still have some updates I’m sharing today.

1.       New running shoes. 

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Remember I was complaining of pain in my legs? Well, I discovered I needed new running shoes. According to my Nike Running App, I ran almost 300 miles with my good old Asics shoes, which is long enough to get new ones. And upon my dad’s recommendation, I decided to get these Brooks Ghost 8.

I didn’t have any idea on how the impact was affecting me until I started running in new shoes. And these guys are not only so comfortable but also so pretty, love these colors. At the beginning I felt so weird on them, but after 1-mile-trial run on Saturday they felt like my shoes.

2.       Longest distance ever. 

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Speaking about new shoes, on Sunday I killed it with an 8 mile run. That was my longest run ever and it felt like almost like piece of cake.  My legs were completely free on any pain. But I did hit the wall at mile 6, nothing that a GU gel couldn’t fix though.

3.       New GU gel flavor. 

My favorite GU gel flavor has always been the chocolate outrage. But I’ve gotten many recommendations on the salted caramel one, so I tried it on that long run. The truth is that I couldn’t even feel the flavor. I guess that when I hit the wall I hit it so hard that even something as sweet as a GU gel tastes flavorless in my dehydrated mouth.

4.       Interval running. 

I also started my interval trainings –> 200 mts sprint at a 90% capacity + 200mts ER (which will normally end up in walks) X 10. I’ve only done this twice, one before taking a week off and the other one yesterday. And I can only say that those runnings make me feel really sick. I’m not going to lie, I always have to stop at round 4 because I feel I’m going to faint or vomit, or both in the middle of the track. I guess this is normal, and I really hope I get used to it.

Fundraising Campaign: Marco & Adolfo For a Liberty Cause to Venezuela.

Meet Adolfo Chacón and Marco González. They both work for Liberty in Venezuela.

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I met Adolfo in 2013 at one of the summer seminars of Cato Institute for Latin America, held at Dominican Republic. We were both part the small group of Venezuelans who were starting their journey towards defending the ideas of liberty. Nowadays, he has grown professionally to become the coordinator of CEDICE Joven, which is a division of one of the most important think tanks in Latin America (Ironically located at Caracas, Venezuela). Yup, I’m a proud friend.

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Marco is also an integrant of CEDICE Joven and Student for Liberty for Latin-America. As a libertarian, he believes that the all intellectual changes that Venezuela needs are possible trough political action. They both have an important work on educating young Venezuelans towards the ideas of liberty.

Today, the community of libertarians at Venezuela has increased ten times in comparison to what it was three years ago. This is the result of pure hard work coming from these people and all leaders from CEDICE. Let me say that this has not achieved though coercive action. Not though any source of violence, but trough knowledge, books, and substantial debates.

Unfortunately, Socialism has been destructing the country at an unstoppable pace. The scarcity of basic resources like food and medicine has forced all Venezuelans to live just exactly as Karl Marx pictured The New Man. The average population keeps becoming poor as the value of bolivars keeps going down. But becoming the Soviet Union/Cuba of this century is not enough, given the fact that problems of gangs and violence in the streets has gone to levels never seen before in Latin America.

In other words, every single aspect related to Venezuela has become a catastrophe. That is all.

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Ironically, this devastation started with a bunch of people who was disappointed of a big government. Of course, they decided that the right solution was to bet for a bigger government, where a model of central planning called socialism of 21st century was going to be implemented. A nasty version of pure scientific socialism.

Duh! how come we never though about this before? Was exactly what the Latin-American Idiot thought.

Hence why is super important to keep defending the ideas of Liberty. Venezuela is not only a country that needs to be saved out of this misery, but is also the perfect example of what not to do when trying to get better results out of a government. An example that all U.S. democrat voters should take into account before even considering social democracy as a way to go.

Now, back to Adolfo and Marco. I started this post mentioning them because they were recently awarded with a scholarship for taking a summer program at Fundación Para el Progreso in Chile, (which is another very important Think Tank in Latin America). This is not only the perfect opportunity for them as leaders to bring back some quality knowledge to Venezuela, but also to speak up about what’s really going on in there.

Even though this scholarship is for the program itself, it does not cover any transportation expenses. Therefore, they started this fundraising campaign in order to afford the plane tickers to Chile.

When they kindly asked me to post this link on my blog, of course I was not going to say no.

So I’m going to leave the it here in case you’d like to donate. And in case you can’t donate but still want to help, spread the word and share it on your Social Media so that more people can see it. They’ll be beyond grateful.

Think about it. You’d be making a small contribution to liberty with just one click.

Thank you so much for reading!