Thursday, September 6, 2012

We've Moved!

See ya later Blogger...Wordpress has won my heart!

Continue to follow us at

I'm re-focusing my blog to a health and fitness one, so save the new link and continue to follow me.

Much love,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Four Score & Seven Blisters Ago

Four Score & Seven Blisters Ago...

Ran my 4th half-marathon yesterday. Although, looking back I would rather just forget that run/race happened. Terrible finish time, it was 80 degrees and the humidity level was 69% at the start line...what??????? 
Start line view - how gorgeous, right?
So thankful to have had Laurie or I might not have finished. I have never had to walk during a race, even my marathon, but I actually had to stop and walk through every aid station because it was that hot.  No shade, just sun pounding down and sucking the energy from my legs. But honestly, it was run and felt awesome to finally finish, no matter my time.
Nikki, myself, and Laurie

Now, on to the next adventure!! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

13.1 x 4

My new toy, a bike trainer!

I will be running my fourth official half-marathon this weekend. Official, meaning a race. It will be my first race since my full marathon back in June. I've felt pretty good, shin splints have plagued me again. But I've been able to train through them, grateful for my compression sleeves! 

Logged 21 miles this week and taking the next two days off. Pretty good for a "taper" week. Looking forward to AFC this weekend. Minus the lovely sand blisters from my 5.5m beach run tonight, but this made it al better...
Yummy, greasy, post-run food. Run to eat!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Basil Pesto Chicken

(make sure to scroll down and read my *adjustments*)

What you'll need:
Olive oil
Basil Pesto sauce
Chicken broth
Tomato sauce
Half & half cream
Garlic (cloves or powder)
Penne pasta noodles
2 chicken breasts

Prep work:
Slice chicken breasts in to 1 inch strips.
Mix 2/3 c. olive oil with 2 spoonfuls of Pesto sauce and let chicken marinate. (Ideally for a few hours)

Boil noodles according to package, I used half a box for 3 people.

Pour chicken and marinade in to skillet, cook chicken fully.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic powder or mince it yourself
2 spoonfuls pesto
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. half&half

Heat olive oil, garlic powder, & pesto in separate skillet.
Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, then cream. Let it heat through fully (doesn't have to boil)

Once heated through, add to chicken.
Bring to a boil (only a few minutes). Then add noodles.

I posted the recipe as I found it. I added 2 tbsp of flour once I added sauce to chicken (before noodles) to help thicken it up. The original recipe calls for 1 c. tomato sauce and only 2 spoonfuls (tbsp) of pesto, next time I will cut the tomato sauce to 1/2 c. and definitely up the pesto. The tomato sauce is strong and takes away from the taste. I also added a few shakes of basil, sage, and parsley once it was all mixed together. Over all, very easy and tasty. But will definitely make those adjustments next time I make it. 
I just used Archer Farms (Target) sauce. 

Since I'm carbo-loading this week for my half-marathon this weekend, I also added some whole wheat sourdough bread. Hubby and daughter approved, so I'll be making again! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Need a kick-butt interval workout? Well I'm about to post one for you.

I have to say though, while speed work is perfect for helping you PR,  make sure you have a good running base before introducing speed intervals. You want to become stronger not injure yourself. :) Warming up is key to interval workouts. You will be all-out sprinting, so you want your muscles warm and loose. This will also help decrease injury. DON'T skip the warm-up. 

The idea behind speed intervals is to teach your body to run faster by well, running faster over shorter distances. I'm starting with the 200meter distance because I'm wanting to work on my PR for shorter distance races. 

Typically I run an 8:00 5K pace. So I pushed myself during each interval at a 6:30 pace.

200-meter  (1/8mile) intervals workout:
1) Stretch/Warm-up - 1 mile easy run.
2) Run 4 x 200 meter intervals at 12-15% faster than race pace. 30sec recovery between each interval.
3) Rest 3-4 min between each 4 x 200.
4) Repeat set 3 times for 1 mile of intervals. Total 8 x 200 meters.
5) Cool down with easy 1 mile run.

Then EAT! Happy speed running!

If you can't make it to a track, try this HITT treadmill workout.

*These are workouts I use. Please consult your physician if you have concerns before starting a new exercise program. If you experience pain, discontinue workout.

Comfort Zone.

This morning, Taylor and I went on a bike ride up to Point Loma (which is up-hill). I'm still learning how to be a good cyclist. So while it seems Taylor is pointing out everything I'm doing wrong while riding, he is only trying to help me become stronger. My legs may have been cursing me the whole way up, but I welcomed the lactic acid build up and kept pedaling, kept climbing.

I absolutely love the quote above. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. How true are those words? I would venture to say that nobody really enjoys change, especially personal change. This quote can apply to just about all areas of our lives. Some of my greatest/proudest moments in life have been after being uncomfortable. Whether that's physically, spiritually, or mentally. You really find out what you are made of when you are uncomfortable. As a runner, it doesn't take long to be out of my comfort zone. But pushing through the uncomfortable and hard runs only has made me stronger. As a Christian, there are times when you might find it uncomfortable to stand up for your faith. People won't understand.

Yes, it's much easier to live within your comfort zone. Within the familiar. But where is the joy that comes afterward? That feeling when all your hard work has paid off?

We, as Christians, want to rejoice in God's glory because that's an amazing feeling. But in Romans 5 it says:
"And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings. Because we know that suffering produces endurance, endurance character & character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us. "

God knew us endurance runners and athletes would need a few verses that relate to us. ;) Suffering produces endurance. Pretty powerful words. But how true it is, as I was climbing that hill this morning, I could only think about the suffering and how I had to keep going to gain the endurance.

Life isn't going to be easy, but we can rejoice knowing that our suffering won't be pointless. It's creating in us endurance, character, and hope. Even more so for Christians, because we will be blessed for persevering under trials. 

So challenge yourself, push yourself, get out of your comfort zone. Because that's where you will find unspeakable hope and joy. We only have one life, live it!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I get asked all the time "what my secret is" or "what did I do" to lose weight and keep it off. This has been a big motivator in pursuing my personal trainer certification. So I can "officially" help people make lifestyle changes, I truly love doing it. I thought I would share one thing that has really helped keep me accountable...the Fitbook.

It helps you create a 12-week training and nutrition plan and is very detailed. Here are a few samples from mine this week...

Weekly training plan for Monday-Sunday. Has strength training, cardio, & flexibility.

This is an example of 1 day. This is mine for today. I added in my strength exercise and cardio, rated my workouts and recorded my time. The next page is for nutrition. 3 meals, 3 snacks, and it lets you rate how you feel about each meal. Tracks fruits/veggies and water. It really helps keep me accountable. 
I love being able to fill out each page, it gives me almost as much satisfaction as doing the workouts and eating healthy. I highly suggest keeping a workout and food journal. This is just the method I use because it's already thought everything out for me. Target carries these awesome little books, in their exercise aisle. A little pricey at $22, but for me, it's totally worth it. 

I also love sharing good food and drinks that I find. I'm extremely picky and I want something that is prepared, or is easy and quick to prepare. Which is sometimes hard to find and it still be healthy. These are my go to drinks for after exercise:
Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus and SmartWater
 I use liquid because sometimes solid foods can upset my stomach after a hard workout.
The protein shake uses soy and whey protein.

Nutrition label (most important). Keep in mind, if you are limiting your sugar intake, this has 26g per 8oz serving. But the good news is it's a natural source of sugar. It uses Agave nectar. It is gluten free and has no genetically modified ingredients. I love the chocolate, and I love this because you can get so much more protein than just regular choc. milk. It has a very smooth texture and is easy to swallow (big plus in my book). It does have a strong protein smell, but I find it doesn't bother me while drinking it.
Remember, small and consistent changes will help you achieve your goals. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, so don't skip it!! But remember, like everything, moderation is key. Too much protein can stress the kidneys and also keep in mind meat is a primary source of saturated fat. Another reason to control protein intake is, excess amounts of it are turned in to fat, not muscle. With all that said, I've found that drinking my protein does help keep me full and snacking less throughout the day. An easy way to calculate how much protein you should consume is:
1. 115 (body weight) x .45 = 52 kg body weight
2. 52 kg x 0.8 = 41.6 grams of protein per day

Disclaimer: Keep in mind, I am not yet certified nor am I a nutrition specialist. I'm just sharing what works for me and what I've learned along the way. Always consult your physician with medical or diet questions.