Thursday, January 31, 2013

Month 1 Recap

Today marks the end of my first month in working towards my goal of reaching 1000 miles by the end of this year! 

See recap below:

I use a spreadsheet app on my iPhone to keep track. It's called iSpreadsheet (catchy).

You can also see on here that I included the time it took me to complete my mileage. It averaged out to about a 10:30 min/mile. I counted warm-up and cool-down walking, and all times are rounded up to the next minute. So for example if I finished a run in 34:30, I just put 35 down. Next month, I'm going to record it accurately and hope that keeps me under a 10 min/mile. 

I finished strong today with a 4 mile run in 33:30 (8:22 min/mile). 

With next month being a short one, I'm going to have to push myself to run a little further than usual. 

Thanks again for reading my blog! It's a huge motivating factor and I enjoy the encouraging words. 

01/31/2013: Miles run - 80 of 1000. Miles remaining - 920 of 1000

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3 Mile Personal Record

Today I set a personal record! 

After the past 2 day of having average-to-slow running times (about 9 min/miles), I decided to switch some things up today to see if they'd make any kind of impact on my time. 

I was right! :) I completed my 3 miles in 24:45 with an 8:14 min/mile (The closest I've come to that was a 3.5 mile run I did 2 weeks ago with an 8:24 min/mile). The first mile of today's 3 was completed in 7:40, which I don't think I've ever done before!

So what did I change up? 

Factors that may have impacted my time today:

1. Weather - 55 and sunny. My definition of the perfect running weather...minus the wind. I could have lived without the wind...especially going against it and uphill, but I was thankful for it when it was behind me and I was going downhill. 
2. I had cereal and fruit for breakfast instead of my normal protein shake - sometimes I think having a lot of liquid in my stomach a few hours before running can make me feel a little funny inside. Instead, I had my shake afterwards for lunch. 
3. I took Body Pump last night at Gold's Gym. While I thought it might make me sore and weak today and have a negative impact on my run, quite the opposite occurred. I felt strong and powerful.
4. I put on my "old" running shoes. I think this had the biggest impact for me today. I decided to bust out the ol' green and gold running shoes I wore last year just for kicks (pun intended). Every shoe fits differently and it was nice to have a new feeling on my feet after having worn my current shoes for the past month. These shoes aren't old or worn out, I just found a new pair I liked to replace them, so they have a few more miles left in them. I think I'll start using them at least once a week just to shake things up a bit and give my feet a change of pace (pun intended, again! I'm on a roll). 

1 more day in January! I have 4 miles to do tomorrow in order to reach my monthly goal and stay on track for 1000. 

01/30/2013: Miles run - 76 of 1000. Miles remaining - 924 of 1000

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Running in my sleep?

I've always thought of myself as a fairly calm, quite sleeper. But last week while I was in Pittsburgh, I was surprised to learn that I had started "running" in my sleep. No, I wasn't actually running down the street like I was sleep-walking (or should I say sleep-running? hardy har har), but rather dreaming about running and kicking my legs in a running motion while in the bed. Jon notified me one morning that I was kicking him in my sleep, but then continued to notice that it wasn't just a one time, accidental occurrence. My legs kept going....How is my body supposed to recover from running when I'm still moving?! 

I feel like this guy:

Maybe I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome), but I think I can contribute my unpleasant sleeping motions mostly to my 1,000 mile goal. Talk about DEDICATION! Logging those miles and getting a workout in in my sleep...score! (Kidding) I'm just thankful I'm staying in the bed while running and not running around the house or outside in my sleep...I'd like to keep it on the safe side.

01/29/2013: Miles run - 73 of 1000. Miles remaining - 927 of 1000

Monday, January 28, 2013

Case of the Mondays

I hate to start the week off on a negative note, but today's afternoon run was not a good one. 

It started off great, with my first 2 miles each being 7:58 min/miles, but it went downhill from there. 

I planned on getting 6 miles in today, but only managed 5...and that was pushing it. A few factors that I believe contributed to my slow time of 46:30:

1. Since I've been in Pittsburgh the past 8 days in 15 degree weather, I haven't run outside in 10 days. It's a challenging change going from treadmill to terrain.
2. The weather here in Texas is 75 today and I haven't run in that kind of weather in months. 
3. My left knee was bothering me a bit - Unfortunately, I've had to cut back on taking the Glucosamine and Chondroitin because it was causing me to have an upset stomach (one of the side affects listed online). I will gradually work my way back into taking the full daily dosage, but for now I'm cutting my tablets in half.  I'm hoping my joints can deal. 
4. The bottom of my iPhone armband case broke mid-run, so I had to hold my phone (for tunes) the last 2 miles so it wouldn't fall out. 
5. Yesterday I traveled back home to Texas. I didn't get home until 1:00am and ended up only getting 6 hours of sleep (I usually am lucky enough to get 8-9 hours). I was exhausted this morning. 
6. Our neighbors have horses and it smelled like CRAP outside (literally), making it harder for me to breath. Oh, the joys of living out in the country. 

Yes, some of these factors are me complaining, while others may seem like excuses. But I'm taking today with a grain of salt and listening to my body. I will do better tomorrow! 

Only 3 days remain in January and I have 11 miles left to stay on track with my goal. I do have to say, I'm proud of myself for working out every day while in Pittsburgh, with the exception of yesterday and traveling. 

Side Note - Movie Review: If you read my post Friday, you know that the boyfriend and I went to see Gangster Squad. It was a really good movie and I highly recommend it. Ryan Gosling was beyond adorable. We also went to see Zero Dark Thirty on Saturday night. It was even better than Gangster Squad and I was surprised I was able to follow the entire story (usually with war movies, I get a little lost...especially when they use names and locations I can't understand or say). Both were fantastic flicks and get nothing but good reviews from me. 

01/28/2013: Miles run - 69 of 1000. Miles remaining - 931 of 1000

Friday, January 25, 2013

Making Time

Today has been a very busy work day for me. For those of you who don't know, I am fortunate to have a job where I can work from home. Usually, I can make time to squeeze in my runs and workouts during my lunch hour, but today I found it challenging to find a time to do so. I even found it difficult to find time to make a quick meal to eat at my desk for lunch. 

Tonight, Jon and I are going to dinner and a movie (we're going to see Gangster Squad - I can't wait to see Mr. Gosling in action!), so I knew I wouldn't have time for the gym tonight.

Oh, hello....Here's lookin' at you, kid!

I ended up having a short 30 min. gap in my work schedule to knock out a quick 3 miles on Ol' Reliable in the basement before returning to my desk. By the way, the basement FREAKS me out! There's nothing in particular about THIS basement that's creepy, I think it's just basements in general that scare me. Even though this "lunch break" occurred at 2:30pm, it still felt great to take a moment to do something non-work related and have a change of scenery to clear my head (even if that change of scenery is a dark, cold basement).

It's important to make time for yourself to do whatever makes you happy. In my case, that thing is running...whether I have 10 min. or an hour, I always feel so much better afterwards. 

I love this quote:

Have a great weekend!

01/25/2013: Miles run - 64 of 1000. Miles remaining - 936 of 1000

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ol' Reliable

Since it was 14 degrees out last night, Jon and I opted against braving the cold for a trip to the gym. Thankfully, there is some quality workout equipment in the basement that we were able to use. 

Jon lifted weights while I used the 500 year-old treadmill. :) Okay, so maybe it's not 500 years old...but it's definitely not one of the fancy ones you see at the gym. It's about 10 years old, give or take a few decades. I can't help but laugh when I use it because there isn't an up and down button to adjust my speed. Instead, my speed is measured by "turtle"or "jack rabbit." I'm not kidding! See for yourselves. 

Pardon the dust!

Needless to say, my 3 miles ended up being a tad slower than usual, due to the fact that my speed was "unknown". I DO know, however, that it was faster than a turtle, and slower than a jack rabbit. But, no complaining got the job done!

Nice little set up, don't you think?

Has older equipment ever prevented you from getting your workout in?

01/24/2013: Miles run - 56.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 949.5 of 1000

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Zumba Zumba Zumba!

Other than running, I would say Zumba is one of my favorite workouts to do.

Last night, I went to a one-hour class at LA Fitness with my boyfriend's mom. I've taken many Zumba classes in the past at a few different locations, such as Gold's Gym, Uptown Energy Fitness in Dallas, and now LA Fitness, and every time I go it is always something new and exciting. Zumba is NEVER boring and always fun! It gets my heart rate going while making me think I'm just dancing, but it is actually doing quite a bit of work in my muscles (especially my legs). It can be a killer workout if you go "all out".

The music is upbeat and infectious, the instructors are usually very entertaining, and time flies (when you're having fun, right?!). I can burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories in an one-hour class. It tightens and tones my entire body without me even knowing it, by incorporating certain moves, such as lunges and squats, into the routine. Other workouts out there can be very difficult and when I feel like I can't do certain things, I get discouraged and don't go back again. Zumba is addicting, enjoyable, and I always look forward to going. There is usually a wide range of ages and ability in the classes I go to and everyone can adapt and do Zumba at their own level and pace. It's also not uptight at all and can be quite the social event! 

There are Zumba classes all over the world that you can take, but if you can't find one close to you, you can always purchase a DVD and do it right in the comfort of your living room on your schedule and time frame. There is a great Zumba package on Amazon you can order below to get started!

And by all means, we can't forget the cute workout attire! This stuff actually is affordable (unlike other brands out there).

Really quick Thank You to my blog readers! Over 2,000 page views in 3 weeks! Awesome :)

01/23/2013: Miles run - 53.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 946.5 of 1000


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fuel For Your Muscles - The Best Foods for Runners

Runners have special nutritional needs. 

Here's a list of some of the best foods for runners:

- Peanut Butter - PB is an easy to digest protein that helps you feel fuller for longer - check out my post about why protein is a necessity for runners.

- Bananas - The potassium bananas contain helps with muscle contractions and cramping, which are both common occurrences in runners.  They also regulate blood pressure and are one the safest "Pre-Run" foods since they won't cause any gastrointestinal issues. 

- Almonds - Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which is known to help decrease soreness. However, if you're watching your weight, make sure to eat these in moderation since they're high in calories and fat content. 

- Eggs - Eggs help you gain energy from the high amount of protein they contain. Not only does protein provide you with energy, but it also helps aid in recovery as it repairs tissues used during your workout. Added benefit: there are so many ways to eat eggs! Boiled, scrambled, poached, fried, etc...they don't have to be stuck in the breakfast category any longer. 

- Sweet Potatoes - Sweet Potatoes are known for their complex carbs, which provide you with sustained energy over a longer period of time. They're a great source of protein, fiber, potassium, and Vitamins A and C. When you mix carbs and protein together after a workout, muscle tissues are quickly repaired and replenished. 

- Berries - Strawberries, Blueberries, Acai berries, Blackberries...the list goes on and on. All of them are high in fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C, which helps repair exercised muscles and reduce inflammation. 

- Broccoli - Listen to your mother and eat it! Broccoli contains Vitamin A to support a healthy immune system. We all know it's harder to run when you're not feeling 100%.

- Low-Fat Yogurt - This contains protein and calcium, which is essential for helping improve bone density. The constant pounding of your legs can really take a toll on your bones. 

- Lean Beef (or beans, peas, and green leafy veggies for those vegetarians out there) - Besides being a great source of protein, these foods provide you with your iron needs. If you don't get enough iron, a deficiency can lead to fatigue. 

- Salmon - This fish contains Omega-3 fats, which can help counteract inflammation and fend off diseases, all while helping to lower your blood pressure. 

- Oranges - Personally, I hate oranges and any citrus fruit, but these will increase your fat burning levels during runs and the Vitamin C in them will help absorb calcium for stronger bones. 

- Dark Chocolate (in moderation) - YAY! This heavenly food is full of anti-oxidants and flavonols (known to boost heart health). Just remember, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and and fat content it contains, so try and stay away from the milk chocolate. 

- Ricotta Cheese - Unlike other cheeses, Ricotta Cheese comes from Whey, a high-quality protein to assist in muscle repair. It is also another source of calcium for building strong bones. 

- Olive Oil - Olive Oil is known as a source of healthy fat to help with hormone development, energy production, and brain function. It is a great anti-inflammatory to reduce to risk of aggravation in exercise-induced muscles.


Only 26.5 miles left to go in the month of January to stay on track!

01/22/2013: Miles run - 53.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 946.5 of 1000


Monday, January 21, 2013

Treadmill vs. Terrain

Happy Monday and MLK Day! I hope every one had a great weekend. 

While visiting my boyfriend in Pittsburgh, I was a little worried about getting in my weekend 6 mile run. There isn't a Gold's Gym anywhere around here and I refuse to run outside in weather under 50 degrees (I'm a spoiled Texan). Thankfully, we were able to print off a 7-day guest pass to LA Fitness where there were plenty of treadmills for me to use. I completed my 6 miles while watching the NFL Playoffs on the mini TV in front of me (I have a love/hate relationship with these), but my time was much slower on the treadmill versus my normal outdoor runs. 

There are mixed reviews about both, and everyone has their own personal preference, so I decided to list out the Pros and Cons for each. 

- Weather isn't a factor
- Less impact on joints
- You can watch TV (if you're into that)
- Run at any time of the day - I'm usually a scaredy cat, and as a female I don't like running outside after sundown for personal safety reasons
- Control and track speed, distance, and time easily
- Not focused on dodging holes, ditches, sticks, etc. 

- Uses the same muscles every time
- The belt is helping you do part of the work by propelling you forward, so you're exerting less effort and not getting the full benefits of running like you would outside. 

- Enjoy the scenery and see something new every day
- Burn more calories by exerting more effort and completing a challenging route
- Work different leg muscles by picking your terrain preference (pavement, grass, track, hills, etc.) 
- Weather - the wind can work in your favor
- Don't have to drive to gym and deal with crowds
- Work towards a physical destination and finish line

- Weather - wind can work against you (combine a headwind with an uphill section and I'm dying!)
- Pounding pavement can be hard on your joints - check out my post about joint supplements you can take to help. 
- Since I don't like to run after dark, I have a small time frame where I can get my runs in outside. 
- Sun exposure 

Which option do you prefer and why?

01/21/2013: Miles run - 49.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 950.5 of 1000

Friday, January 18, 2013

Apps for Runners

Happy Friday!!! I'm off to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see my boyfriend and I can't wait! I have to make sure to keep up with my runs while I'm I'll just have to convince him to go running with me :) 

I've had quite a few people ask me which App I use to track my runs. I figured I'll just go ahead and share most of the workout Apps I have on my phone...all of which are FREE to download!

Apps I use daily:

MapMyRun - This is my most commonly used App and the one I use to track all of my outdoor runs. It logs my pace per mile, route map, distance, calories burned, and elevation. You can set up notifications for alerts when you reach a certain distance or time. I have mine configured for the lady to tell me every time I've hit another mile and my pace per mile. 

MyFitnessPal - This App is great for looking up nutrition facts, counting calories, entering exercises and calories burned, scanning barcodes to look up certain foods, dieting with friends, and keeping track of your daily and long term fitness goals.

FIT Radio - This App provides high energy workout music, specific genre selections of your choice, and the best part is that it has NO ADVERTISEMENTS. This is the main reason I use this App vs. Pandora Radio. Who needs commercials popping-up during the middle of an intense workout? Talk about a distraction!

Apps I use here and there:

Nike Training Club - NTC gives you your own personal trainer, anytime, anywhere. With over 110 custom workouts, it helps you work towards your goals to unlock special videos and healthy recipes. You can target one specific area of your body with a quick 15-minute workout or you can choose a full-body workout that lasts 30 or 45 minutes. This App provides strength, cardio, interval, and core training with step-by-step instructional videos and demonstrations for every drill. They even have celebrity athletes who do certain videos - such as Hope Solo and Shawn Johnson. 

Couch to 5K - C25K is a great App if you're a beginner runner. It lays out an 8 week program to get you off that couch to running a 5k without stopping. The exercises alternate walking and running for just 3 days a week. It even has voice alerts telling you when to warm-up, walk, run, halfway point, and cool down.

Interval Timer - When I want to do an interval run, such as alternating sprinting, running, and walking, I go to this handy App. Interval Timer keeps track of work and rest periods. You can customize your high interval time, low interval time, number of sets, rest time, and timer sounds (the Boxing Bell and Buzzer are my favorites...but you can pick your own notification sounds for when it's time to transition to the next interval). 

Apps I have downloaded but haven't used yet (we all do this, right?):

Charity Miles - My friend Kristen recommend this App and it's for a great cause! Charity Miles allows you to choose a charity and exercise of your choice (biking, walking, running) and the App will measure your distance (via you can't use this on a machine at the gym). Once your workout is complete, they will donate $0.10 per mile for bikers and $0.25 per mile for walkers/runners to the charity you selected. You are also encouraged to share your accomplishment and donation via Facebook and Twitter to help raise awareness for your charity of choice. 

What are you some of your favorite Apps to aid you in your workouts? 

All of the photos posted are pictures of the Apps I use. If you're wanting to download any of these from the iTunes App Store, look for the above pictures to make sure they're the correct ones. 

01/18/2013: Miles run - 40 of 1000. Miles remaining - 960 of 1000

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What are you drinking?

Everyone knows hydration is essential when it comes to working out. When I workout, I sweat (or at least I SHOULD be sweating if I'm doing my workout properly and busting my butt). So in order to replace the fluids my body is losing thru sweat, breathing, and - uh - using the bathroom, it's important to drink drink drink!

There are many questions that come to mind when looking for the proper way to stay hydrated. 

- What is the best source of hydration? 
H 2 the Izz-0! Since it makes up about 60% of our bodies, water is by far the best way to replace our lost fluids AND it gets the job done with ZERO calories (who doesn't love that?). There are other drinks out there that can aid in staying hydrated, but the majority of them contain sugar, sodium, carbs, and calories. Now I'm not saying those are bad, but if you're wanting to steer clear of those additives, water is your answer. Milk, tea, juice, coconut water (YUCK), coffee, and even most fruits and veggies will help you stay hydrated in some way. There are also many sport drinks out there that are known to help hydration and recovery. Personally, I try to stay away from sports drinks, such as Powerade and Gatorade, but if they work for you,'s better than not drinking anything at all! There is research out there that proves that sports drinks like these will enhance performance significantly more than plain water when you're doing a high-intensity, long-duration work out. 

- How much do I need to drink? 
The answer to this question varies depending on your age, gender, climate, and activity level. We get about 20% of our daily fluid needs from our food. Taking that into account, an adult male should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid daily, and an adult woman should drink about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid daily. These numbers are to get through a normal day. If you're working out, bump that up to an additional 6-8 ounces (about 1 cup) for every 15-20 minutes you workout (Source).

- Should I drink before, during, or after my workout? 
All of the above. You should have 8-16 ounces of fluid starting 2 hours before you workout and another 4-8 ounces right before you start. I have always found it difficult to drink water while running. Of course, I would LOVE to have a drink in the middle of my run, but I never want to carry anything in my hands while running or stop and slow down for a mid-run drink. Since my runs are usually only about 3-4 miles a day, I can get away with it. But if you're running or working out longer than an hour, you should try to have another 4-6 ounces every 20 minutes. Post-workout hydration is a must! You should drink 20-24 oz. for every pound of water (sweat) you lost during that time (Source).

- What effects can dehydration have on my body?
Nausea, diarrhea, weakness, cramping, dry mouth, lightheadedness...the list goes on and on. Don't let it happen to you, because it's not pleasant!

My friend Stacie purchased this neat water bottle that is SMART. It calculates your needs and tracks your liquid intake to make sure your hydration goals are met. It seems like a great motivational tool and mine is in the mail!

01/17/2013: Miles run - 40 of 1000. Miles remaining - 960 of 1000

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Work Out Gear

Work Out Gear

$79 -


Under armour pants


Timex watch

CamelBak Eddy 32 oz. Water Bottle

Affordable and Fashionable Workout Gear

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday. I'm so relieved I'm not sore from Monday's Body Attack class and yesterday's Body Pump at Gold's Gym. They were both tough, and I worked some muscles I haven't used in quite a while, so I was quite surprised. Today is my active rest day, which means I won't be doing any intense workouts at the gym or running, but I do want to do something active...such as take Cobalt for a walk or possibly yoga from YouTube.  

Yesterday, I came across some really nice workout gear on Pinterest. I clicked on the pictures to visit their website, but the clothes were so expensive! I've always wanted to buy something from Lululemon, since they have quality yoga and running gear, but I can never bring myself to pay $40 for a sports bra or $60 for athletic shorts. Even their "sale" prices are way too much. I could easily get 4 sports bras and 2 or 3 pairs of shorts for those prices at Target (my favorite store, by the way)! 

I started Googling to see what else was out there and came across many other stores similar to Lululemon. But once again, the prices were outrageous.

How cute is this sports bra?

Pretty darn cute, but there's no way I'm paying $34 (plus tax and shipping) for that. (Source)

I'd love for you to share websites or stores where you find affordable, yet fashionable workout items!

What girl doesn't want to look somewhat cute while working out? Yes, we're going to sweat, not have any makeup on, and have crazy hair beyond our control; so, why not control what you can and look great by wearing stylish clothes?

01/16/2013: Miles run - 36.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 963.5 of 1000

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Workouts to Improve your Running

It's time to throw some variety into my running schedule. While I do enjoy running and it is my favorite type of workout, I do want to mix it up and do what I can to improve and make myself a better runner. 

A few reasons why:
1. It'll make things interesting - running is relaxing and calming for me, but it can get boring and tedious at times. I want to do other workouts as well that are fun and I will benefit from.
2. I'll become faster and stronger - by doing interval, core, and strength training, I will be build more muscle in other areas of my body to help with my runs.
3. My body adapts to repetitive workouts - if I keep doing the same workout day after day, my body will eventually get used to it and I won't be getting the same type of benefits I once did. 

I've had a membership at Gold's Gym for about 10 years. I never went when I lived in Dallas because there wasn't a location very close to my apartment (excuses, excuses...I know). Now that I live in Austin, there is a Gold's Gym 5 minutes away. No excuses now! I printed off the schedule and circled the classes I was interested in taking. My list includes Body Attack, Body Pump, Zumba. Yoga, and Body Jam. 

Being the organized freak that I am, I made a calendar for my convenience.

My Aunt Tamie is an instructor at Gold's (thanks for the family discount) so I'm very excited to go to her Body Pump classes on Tuesday's (tonight!). I'm trying to drag my mom along with me to help her start getting into shape for the Capitol 10K we are running in April. It'll be a family affair! 

Last night we went to Body Attack and it was one of the tougher classes I've taken. It was a non-stop, leg intense, bootcamp style that lasted for 55 minutes straight with only a 5 minute cool down at the end. We definitely got our sweat on and it felt great! 

I love having a mix of classes with workouts that help with flexibility, upper and lower body strength, and core strength. What are some of your favorite workouts?

01/15/2013: Miles run - 33 of 1000. Miles remaining - 967 of 1000

Monday, January 14, 2013

Joint Pain in a 24 year old??

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was busy and productive, yet tiring. I feel so much better now that my move to Austin is complete and I'm finally home. I had so much on my mind with things to do and errands to run, so I am happy that I can relax, at last.

My mom came up to Dallas on Saturday morning to help with moving and cleaning. Even though we hired movers for the heavy lifting, we still did our fair share of work and got our workout from going up and down my 3 flights of stairs many times. We got back into Austin around 5:30 and the only thing I wanted to do was shower and have a glass of wine! :) It was well deserved.

Yesterday, we went and unloaded everything into my storage unit and returned the U-Haul. I was a little overwhelmed and feeling anxious about having so much stuff. I could feel a bad mood coming on, so I took off for a 6-mile run around my neighborhood. I ended up beating my last fastest time by cutting 3:30 off my time and completed the 6 miles in 50:19 (8:23 min/mile)! I was PUMPED after that and my mood did a complete 180. It's amazing what a good workout can do for you - both physically and mentally.

My body was hurting afterwards (specifically my knees) so I sat down to do some research on supplements I could start taking to help with joint pain and aches. I know pounding the pavement day after day is not exactly good for your body (which is why I am going to alternate outside and treadmill running, which I'll discuss another day). I have been a tad concerned about what long-term health issues running may have on my body, so I asked my dad what he suggested I take (My dad is by no means a runner, but he does have a degree in chemistry and biology, so I figured he might know what supplements could help).

After talking with my dad and Googling a few things, I decided that I need to start taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin. This isn's the first time I've heard of these supplements. My Great Dane, Cobalt, tore his meniscus a few years back and the vet recommended getting him on Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help with joint pain. Who knew I'd be taking the same pills as my dog!? But, I definitely think it helped his condition and we saw some improvement in his leg.

Would you look at that face! 

According to an Internet poll at, 94.5% of runners have tried Glucosamine and Chondroitin with 79.8% of them reporting their knee pain "somewhat improved" or "greatly improved" after taking the supplement. (Source). How could a runner say "no" to trying this with those kinds of results? I am purchasing the one below right NOW! Stay tuned for an update in a few weeks.

What supplements do you take to help with your workout pain? 

01/14/2013: Miles run - 29.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 970.5 of 1000

Friday, January 11, 2013

Runners Need Protein Too

Am I the only one who thought that muscle builders and weight lifters were the only people who took protein supplements and shakes? A few years ago, I had a fear that if I started using protein powder alongside my workouts, I'd end up looking like this...

YIKES! Nooooo thank you! But after researching and talking to some workout buds, I learned that protein is a very important nutrient that everyone needs, regardless of your workout routine (and it doesn't magically turn you into a he-she). Adding protein doesn't add muscle mass without some intense weight lifting. 

Protein is great for enhanced recovery and muscle repair, fat loss, endurance, and increased growth hormone level (growth hormone helps increase muscle mass and strength, so it can improve your running performance). Source

Now, while everyone needs protein, the question always turns to "how much?" This varies depending on your level of activity, weight, and goal for your body. Obviously, my goal is MUCH different from the lovely lady above. 

According to the USDA Recommended Dietary Allowance, most people should have about .36 grams per pound of body weight (about 47 grams for someone who weighs 130lbs). However, this is not enough for athletes and runners. For us, they suggest .45-.72 grams per pound of body weight (59-94 grams for someone who weighs 130lbs).

There are many ways to get your recommended amount of protein each day. Lean meats, greek yogurt, eggs, and milk are just a few examples of protein packed foods. There are many forms of it out there, and while I do eat a balanced diet with the above mentioned foods, I also drink a protein shake every day, regardless of if I run that day or not.

My choice of protein shake:
I chose this protein powder because it was specifically made with women in mind. We all know men and women have different all aspects of life... so why should protein be any different? I buy the vanilla flavor and follow the recipe below. It seriously tastes like a cupcake in a glass! The price isn't too bad either - about $15 for a 12-ounce canister, which usually lasts me about a month. You can find it at your local grocery store or buy it on below (if you buy with the link provided, I get a huh?).

2 Scoops of Aria Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Banana
1 Tbsp of All-Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup Water
8 Cubes of Ice


Serving Size: 16 oz.
Calories: 350
Protein: 24 grams (14g in 2 Scoops of Aria + 8g in my peanut butter) - ALMOST 1/3 of my daily protein needs. 

What kind of protein powders do you enjoy? 

01/11/2013: Miles run - 23.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 976.5 of 1000

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running Shoes

What girl doesn't love shoes? I'm a big shoe girl...sandals, boots, heels, wedges, tennis shoes...I love them all. But recently, my most important shoe purchase has been the one that will help me reach my goal and finding the best pair of running shoes for me. There are tons of brands, styles, colors, and shapes out there. Everyone has their own opinions and favorites. Heck, some people even think running without shoes all together is the best option for them (Personally, I am not a fan of the "barefoot shoe." I'm sure there are some pro's and con's to them, but I just can't get over the ugly factor.) You'd never catch me in these.

Instead, I've decided to go with the Under Armour Micro G Connect running shoe. Of course, the bright, electric colors caught my eye, but after researching their performance and customer reviews, these were the lucky ones I chose to start me off on my first run this year. Under Armour describes the shoe as "The ultimate lightweight and ventilated shoe. The Micro G® foam midsole is ultra-responsive, giving you the rebound you need to reach new speeds. Its low-to-the-ground components enhance natural stability and performance. Get underfoot protection and eliminate internal slipping with the 4D Foam™ liner." (Source) So far, no complaints! 

Before this pair, I went with Adidas Mens Running Shoes: Mens's adidas Sport Running adiZero Sonic 3 Shoes Prime Green Electricity. "But Kelsie, why would you wear a pair of men's running shoes?" you ask. It's a very simple, yet ridiculous answer. Robert Griffin III. After graduating from Baylor and witnessing this fantastic quarterback turn our football team around, I wanted to do nothing else but support him and follow his career. Obviously, I like the fact these shoes are Baylor colors, but with RG3 being the new face of Adidas and after he wore these shoes at the annual NFL Play 60 event, I had to have them...along with every other hardcore Baylor fan out there. Unfortunately, they weren't available in women's sizes, so I had no choice but to purchase a men's shoe. I have a fairly large foot anyways (I wear a size 10 in women), so it wasn't hard to find my size available and they fit perfectly.  Other than my initial reason for purchasing them, they ended up being a great running shoe and lasted me a good 5-6 months and many miles. "They feature a Formotion™ decoupled heel for smoother landings and sprint web to help keep your foot locked down without extra weight." (Source)

If you're an avid runner, you should replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles, depending on your running style, weight, and the surface where you run. Treadmill runners can get closer to 400 miles, while outdoor runners should start thinking about replacing them closer to 300 miles. I plan on going through about 3 pairs this year. Running in old, worn-out shoes is one of the most common causes for running related injuries. Continuing to run in worn-out shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and  joints. Source

What brand of running shoes do y'all like? 

This video always comes to mind when I hear the word "Shoes." Fast forward about 1 minute in. It'll make you smile. 

01/10/2013: Miles run - 19.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 980.5 of 1000