LA Day 3: Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday: Cinco de Mayo!
We started the day with a run all over Runyon Canyon.  I never really saw any trail maps or markers, so we just ran up and over and around.  If a path looked like fun, we took it.  There were some great climbs and fun downs.
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We ended up at a different park entrance from where we started, but it was perfect because we extended our run through Hollywood to check out the touristy spots.  I had to stop for this star…sending good mojo to BB King.
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When we were tired of running, we used the Uber app to get back to the hotel.  In LA, they have a carpool option and you can get just about anywhere for $5!  And, it saved me from having to navigate LA traffic!
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Breakfast of champions!
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I went to the gym for weights and core.
After yesterday’s acai bowl, I was craving another and found a juice spot by my hotel.
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I headed over to Robertson Blvd and the Beverly Center to do some shopping.
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And picked up an afternoon coffee.  🙂
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We joined in the Cinco de May festivities and had mexican for dinner.
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It’s our last night in LA, so we finished off the night with cupcakes from Sprinkles.  Red velvet for him and strawberry for her.
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Do you use Uber or another car service?  
Did you do anything to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Frosting or cake?  I’m a big frosting lover and usually don’t even eat the bottom half of my cupcake.

LA Day 2

Monday: Our second day in LA!
Happy Star Wars Day!  May the 4th be with you.  I seriously loved all of the geeky posts on social media!
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We started the day with a runabout all over LA.  It’s my favorite way to explore a city.  I was really enjoying this downhill…LA has some legit hills!
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Oatmeal breakfast afterwards.
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Our hotel has a great gym, so I hit it up for some weights and core work.  I’m so speedy!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this was a last minute trip for me with very little planning.  I did have one spot on my list, though.  Kimberly Snyder’s Glow Bio!  I am a huge fan of all of her books and make her Glowing Green Smoothie every morning.  Sadly she wasn’t there, but I LOVED my acai bowl and chia pudding.
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After lunch, I went for a much needed pedicure.  I spent the entire time apologizing for my runner feet. 😦
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Once Jason finished his last meeting, we met up for dinner at Katsuya.  My tofu salad and crispy brussels sprouts were incredible!
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And, this might be the largest glass of champagne ever! No complaints here…cheers!
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Runners: do you get pedicures?  How often and what’s do you prefer bold or natural colors?
Since I posted way too many food pics, what’s the best thing you ate?
Do you do more crunches or planks for your core work?  I’ve been trying to add more plank workouts because I favor crunches.
#choosejoy

April Miles & 5 Reasons Why I Run

Wednesday:
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I started the day with my favorite crepe at the Perch….
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And set out for a run.  I felt so good.  The weather was perfect and my legs wanted to run.  Unfortunately, I paid the price with a sore knee.  😦  I guess it was still too soon after the my races.  I’m trying my best to rest, but it’s SO tough for me.
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Orange Theory Fitness with Corrie that evening.
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Thursday:
Every day should be Pay It Forward Day!
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I was so happy to see my Brentwood Breakfast Club friends and we got to celebrate Russ’ birthday!
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Getting grown-ups to wear silly party hats never gets old!
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I was tagged by Jess at Flying Feet in Faith to list 5 Reasons Why I Run:
1.  Friendships!!  The picture above proves that!
2.  Health
3.  Travel.  I love to explore new cities on foot.
4.  Goals.  I feel lost when I don’t have a goal race to train for.  I think it’s important to push to be my best self.
5.  Joy…duh!  Running and the endorphins make me happy.  🙂
Dinner confessional: I cheated on Chipotle with Moe’s…which we have re-named Slows.
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I was feeling crappy about myself.  Low self-esteem days are the worst.  This helped.
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Friday:
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My knee was still sore from my over-zealous run on Wednesday so I opted for the spin bike.  It’s proof that I do take it easy sometimes.
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It was 70 degrees and sunny in Nashville.  The pockets on this skirt rock!
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This How-Old.net thing was floating around social media.  You upload your picture and it guesses your age….highly scietntific.  P.S.  I’m actually 34.
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And…another month is in the books.  April miles: 328 YTD: 1,228
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How close was How-Old.net to your actual age?
What are your reasons for running?
Do you struggle with rest after races or do you embrace the recovery?
What are your weekend plans?
#ChooseJoy

Blah Blah Blah…Recovery Week

In less than a week, I ran Boston and the Country Music Half.  This week has been dedicated to boring recovery…blah, blah, blah.  It’s not my favorite, but it’s necessary.
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Sunday:
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Other than feeling heavy and slow, my body felt good after the CMM half, so I did a 1 hour recovery jog on the treadmill.  If you can’t tell, I bought the entire Boston expo!
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How I feel in my new gym clothes…
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We spent the rest of the day at my Gran’s house…so good for my spirit.  The only picture I took was of her biscuits in a cast iron pan.  You can see where my brain was AND my Gran had homemade pear preserves!
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Sunday night wisdom from Maya Angelou…
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Monday:
8 treadmill miles followed by a green smoothie!
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T-shirt du jour…Coffee doesn’t ask silly questions.  Coffee understands.
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And, I made a new honey-lime, sweet potato and black bean taco salad recipe…so good!!
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Tuesday:
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It felt so weird to not join my friends for track Tuesday, but my legs definitely aren’t ready yet.  I did, however, enjoy an empty gym!
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I always love everyone else’s Transformation Tuesday posts on Instagram.  I jumped in the game this week.
First marathon.  5 years ago.  5+ hour finish
Boston 2015.  3:38 finish.  I never in my wildest dreams thought this would be possible.
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After the gym, I baked a batch  of cookies for thank-you gifts.  This might be my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever!!  I will share asap!
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I had a much needed haircut and highlights.  I have a little patch of grays that needed to be covered up!
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With my new hair, I put on some make-up and real clothes and met up with girlfriends to catch up!
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Do you get into a rut of wearing run clothes more than “real” clothes?  I am SO guilty of this one!
Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?  Share the link!
Have you started getting gray hairs?  What age did you start to notice them and do you color your hair?
Do you look forward to working out when you have new run clothes?
#ChooseJoy

More is Caught Than Taught

Wednesday:
You know I love my baristas almost as much as my coffee!
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I met up with Jen and Dave for some super fun hills in Percy Warner Park!
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We’re going to blame my insane appetite on Boston training.  I went to the market to buy ingredients for dinner and bought enough food to feed the Duggar family.  You know you love 19 Kids and Counting!
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I did however, make this yummy pasta fagioli!  I’ll type up the recipe soon.
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Thursday: aka…
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Fluffy froth in my favorite Beyonce mug!
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The BBC had a great run and stayed for breakfast at Whole Foods.
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I got my first delivery from Fountain of Juice.  Nashville people: check them out.  Cold pressed juices in glass bottles, delivered to your door…so good!!!  I’ll still trying new flavors, but my favorites are: Chocolate Mylk, Watermelon Juice, Enerchia, and Banana Mylk.
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Charlotte and Caroline had to go to the vet for their annual shots.  They weren’t happy with me.
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I met up with Shyla and Corrie for Orange Theory Fitness and it kicked my butt in the best way!
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Friday:
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I love running with friends, but I’ve learned that I will always push myself a little harder when I run alone.  So, I hit the treadmill for a 10 miler with 6×20 second surges.  It’s one of my favorite workouts.  I took some super fun jumping pictures afterwards, but I liked this outtake best.  Beam me up!!
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More is caught than taught.  I’ve heard it my whole life and it’s always been one of my favorite expressions.  You never know who is watching…especially kids.  Those little nuggets see everything!  Writing this blog has made me even more aware of that fact.  Actions speak louder than words!
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Who’s tapering?  Which race and how’s it going?  I had a baby taper this week, but next week I will really cut my mileage.
Do you run better with a group or solo?
Anyone else battling runger?  I’m trying to make healthy food choices, but the struggle is real!
#choosejoy

Weight Training

Big ole disclaimer: I am definitely not an expert on weights. I’ve had quite a few requests for me to share some of my gym routine, so here are a few of my favorite free weights exercises. I’m sure my form needs improvement. Like many runners, weights have intimidated me and I’m still learning. Over the last year, I’ve made a lot of efforts to get a stronger, toned upper body. These exercises have worked for me:)

With that said…let’s lift!

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Bicep Series: I do these first three exercises as a series…25 bicep curls, straight into 25 side curls, followed by arms at 90 degree angle and tap the weights 50 times.  Don’t take a break between exercises.  My arms feel like jello after.  For the sake of time, I just did a few of each exercise in the video.

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Shoulder Shrugs.  Self explanatory.  I add in heel lifts when I shrug. (50 reps)

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Squat Upward Rows.  To add intensity, go up on your toes between squats. (2 sets.  50 reps each)

Weightlifting Meme Dance

Oblique Side Bend.  Really use your core to retract…don’t swing.  (50 reps per side)

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Here are some Common Strength Training Misconceptions for Runners:

MYTH 1: Runners don’t need to lift weights. To get stronger, run more.

TRUTH: Running–and the optimal balance of volume, intensity and pace-specific work–will always be the primary focus of a distance runner’s training program. And rightly so. Strength training, however, presents a different physiological stimulus, one that includes a host of distinct benefits that running doesn’t provide, but which are crucial to health and optimal performance.

Strength training works two ways: It prevents injuries, and it enhances performance. Properly performed, strength training provides the foundation for injury-free running and the ability to adhere to the regimen of mileage, speed and tempo work. Numerous studies have proven that strength training will enhance running performance.

MYTH 2: Lift on your off or easy days to balance your hard-run efforts.

TRUTH: It is optimal to piggyback strength-training workouts with quality runs. For example, do a tempo run in the morning, followed by a 20- to 30-minute strength workout at noon or evening. This work complements the training effect of the running, then you fully recover from both on easy days.

MYTH 3: You need to strength train several times a week to see benefits.

Truth: A very small amount of strength training can stimulate tremendous benefit. Strength train only once or twice per week. More is not better. The total weekly strength-training time commitment should be 30–60 minutes.

MYTH 4: The key area to work on is the core; running works all other areas.

TRUTH: Research indicates that upper-body, lower-body and midsection strength training all contribute to improved running performance. You should do exercises that involve all of the major muscle groups. Rather than specifically strengthening an area that you assume is weak, you are better off developing strength in all muscle groups, which will create balance and synergy.

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2015…let’s do this!

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Do you incorporate weights into your training?  How often?

Do you do free weights, machines, or both?

Tell me about your Wednesday workout…run, gym, crosstraining?

#choosejoy

 

The BBC and My Smoothie Addiction

Thursday:

I met up with the Brentwood Breakfast Club to run a hilly 7 mile route.  It was so cold and windy that we hid between our cars until the run started.  We stayed for breakfast at Whole Foods where I opted for a KFC-size bucket of oatmeal!

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I went for a sports massage with Robin at Franklin Massage Center.  Afterwards she suggested that I up my foam roller to this new torture device.

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Jason flew back in from a work trip just in time to meet up for a sushi dinner.  I can’t seem to get enough avocados!

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Happy Friday!

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I hit up the gym to lift and took a blurry bike selfie…

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It’s so dangerous to have Daily Juice next door to my gym!!  I love the El Tropicado and the shirts are too funny!

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And, their chocolate pudding is SO good!

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One of the best parts about writing this blog is that my friends give me gifts of “JOY.”  I wore one of my favorite bracelets today from Corrie:)

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I met up with an old friend, Julie for lunch today!  She just recently moved back to town.  And at the risk of dating myself, we became friends when she interned for me years ago.  It felt like no time had passed and I had a great time catching up!

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I got a new pair of kicks in the mail today from New Balance…love them!

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They came with two sets of laces.  Which should I use?

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I had the exact same Friday night dinner as last week…butternut squash bisque with grilled focaccia.  It worked really well before last week’s long run.

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And of course I celebrated National Frozen Yogurt Day.  Red Velvet Froyo with cookie dough!

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We’re all caught up.  Have a great weekend!!

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What’s your favorite frozen yogurt flavor?  Toppings?  I always add cookie dough or brownies on top.

What’s your long run for this weekend?  Or are you racing?

Do you eat the same dinner each week before your long run?

#choosejoy