The Week in Training: SLO Marathon and Yoga Challenges

SLO Marathon Training Recap, Week 8

For what may be the first time during this current training cycle, I am actually happy with my training. I know! I’ve been pretty negative about it all, with illness and work hours interfering with my plans. This week, they (illness & work) tried to interfere, but I overcame them! Win!

On Wednesday, which is supposed to be my second speed work day of the week I woke up with a migraine. It was bad enough that I couldn’t run, but I also had to cancel five clients! I hate doing that, but it couldn’t be helped. I stayed in bed all morning, then finally fell into a good, solid sleep and woke up around 1:30 with the headache gone. One of my shorter ones, thank goodness.

I decided to get out on Thursday morning with Alan and our neighbor Christina, to see if I could get in some type of tempo run. It would have to be short because I have to be at work by 7:30, but that always encourages me to run faster. Christina decided to run along with me, and we ran three pretty fast miles. No real warm up, though the first mile was the slowest. I was just happy to get it done.

Christina and I also ran together on Friday, four easy miles, and Saturday, for part of my long run. It’s nice to have a new training partner. She’s a very nice girl, a new runner, and about 25 years younger than me so I’m getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a good push.

Alan announced the Desert Triathlon this weekend. It is held on both days, with the sprint and duathlon on Saturday and the international on Sunday. They had quite a treat this year. Saturday brought wind, with gusts up to about 50 mph, and on Sunday it rained all day. At least the wind died.

When I headed out for my long run with Christina on Saturday, the winds weren’t too bad yet. She ran with me for the first five miles, then I was on my own. I was scheduled for 16 miles, and it just seemed so long to run my regular out and back route, all by myself, especially when the winds started to rise up. After much deliberation (and a lot of running route math going on in my head), I decided to add on mileage as I headed away from home, then finish up at Lake Cahuilla, which is where the triathlon (and Alan) was (were?).

Running math is kind of funny, especially when you start to get tired (which I was from mile 10 on). I know the distances, I’d figure out where I needed to turn because I had to add on six miles, but my brain had a hard time holding onto it. I’d figure it out once at one total mileage, then it would be different the next time. Well, at least it gave my brain something to think about as I plodded along. It all worked out perfectly in the end. I finished up about 25 feet from where Alan was at the finish line.

Long Run

I was glad I was just running 16 miles (if you can believe that). The triathletes had to deal with a horrendous headwind as they headed back toward the park, not to mention the buoys in the water were blown way off course, so many swimmers got a little extra distance in. We all had sand in our hair and gritty teeth at the end though.

After I finished, I snagged some of Alan’s Gatorade, stretched, bundled up in one of his sweatshirts, and hung out until he was done. I even managed a couple yoga poses (see below)! One of the vendors brought me a smoothie, so I even got some refuel. Oh! And celebrities!

Two Hollywood stars competed in the sprint triathlon. Sadly, I am so out of touch that I have no idea who they were. There were good looking though. Even sadder, I was tired, stinky, and looked like I had just run 16 miles.

Chace Crawford

This is Chace Crawford. He played Nate Arhibald on the Gossip Girls.

Chris Pratt

This is Chris Pratt. He played Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and Bright Abbott in Everwood.

Sunday is usually an easy, run with the dogs day, but since I ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and plan to run Monday, I took a well deserved day off of running.

This is week eight of my SLO Marathon training. I’m still a little short of my total weekly distance goals, but I feel happy with my training this week. I’m running the Run Through Redlands half marathon next Sunday (and have to work at 6:45 on Saturday), so this coming week will be a bit of a cutback week. I do plan to run the race at my goal marathon pace, so that will be interesting.

Remember, you can save $10 on registration for the SLO Marathon with the code WOODAMB.

Here’s the recap:

Monday: Intervals: 8 x .25 miles intervals at about 5k pace. Yoga warm up
Tuesday: Pilates Reformer workout, 20 minutes Balancing Flow from Yoga Download
Wednesday: Migraine. I did manage a little restorative yoga in the early evening.
Thursday: Tempo run. Three miles at lactate threshold pace. 30 minutes Pilates Reformer workout, 10 minutes Sun Salutations.
Friday: Four miles easy. A little yoga stretching after the run.
Saturday: Long run. 16 miles. Not much yoga, but I did manage to put my legs up the wall, er, up the tree.
Sunday: 90 minute Vinyasa class.

Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

We are approaching the last few days of the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Fit Approach. I have loved this so much! I’m sorry that it is almost over, but I plan to keep up my yoga practice. Here is the last week of posing.

Week 4

Day 22 – Warrior 2 after my run.

Week 4 2

Day 23. Having some fun with Reverse Warrior. #NeverGiveUp

Week 4 3

Warrior 3 and a kitty photobomb on day 24.

Week 4 4

Day 25. High Plank on the Pilates reformer.

Week 4 5

Day 26. Triangle pose.

Week 4 7

Legs up the wall, er, tree on day 27, after my 16 mile run.

Week 4 6

Day 28. I finally made it to the yoga studio. A 90 minute Vinyasa class topped off with about 20 minutes of Yin. Recreating the poses that I held for 3 minutes each in class: Lizard, Pigeon, Seated Forward Fold. My favorite was Joyful Camel. Because I loved the name.

Just a few days left!

Vegan Eats

I made some of my favorite recipes this week, including Pot Pie (though I used Beyond Meat chicken instead of tofu) and Pizza. Both were delicious.

Pot PiePizza

I also made a great smoothie on Sunday. I called it a “Kitchen Sink” smoothie. It was also delicious. Here’s the Instagram post:

How was your training week? Any events, races, or simply fun times?

The Best Smoothie. Ever. Truly.

I really suck at food photography. I mean, this really is the best smoothie ever, and yet after multiple attempts I can’t capture that yumminess in a picture. I’m still working on it, the photography that is, but for now, just enjoy the recipe.

I was recently challenged to enter a Smoothie Recipe contest by Sunwarrior. They sent me a few samples of their products, including both vanilla and chocolate protein powder. I had fun creating variations on my usual smoothies, using both the classic and warrior blend vanilla powder. I made a great recovery smoothie, using the Warrior blend vanilla, Immune Shield, fresh berries, spirulina, almond milk, ginger, apple, and banana. It was delicious.

Recovery Smoothie 3

Then I needed to figure out how to use the chocolate Sunwarrior. Although I love chocolate, the idea never appealed to me for my smoothie. But I decided to get my creative juices flowing and see what I could come up with. I think you’ll agree that this just may be the Best. Smoothie. Ever.

Berry Peanut Butter Cup Protein Smoothie

Berry Peanut Butter Cup 5

As the commercials have told us, chocolate and peanut butter are made for each other (though if you don’t eat peanuts you can easily substitute another type of nut butter). This smoothie tastes like the most decadent of milkshakes, but it is full of the nutrients of fresh fruit, plant based protein, and pure peanut butter.

Ingredients

2 Bananas
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew because I love its richness)
6 ounces vanilla coconut milk yogurt
1 scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend chocolate protein powder
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup frozen mixed berries (mine were strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Berry Peanut Butter Cup 3

But now, I had a problem. I had used up the chocolate samples that Sunwarrior had sent me, and all I had was my own tub of vanilla. I needed to make this smoothie again (if only because my husband didn’t get to try it the first time and I knew that he’d love it). That and it is my new obsession favorite. This was easy as it turned out. I simply used a scoop of the vanilla Warrior Blend protein powder and added a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Everything else remained the same. It was a winner!

Sun Warrior 2

Now, you can help make me a winner too. Entries are judged based on a variety of things, including comments on this post, likes on my Instagram post, and retweets of the link above. If you like chocolate, please vote for me in one (or more) of these ways. If you don’t like chocolate, maybe you’ll do it because you like me?

Berry RecipeWhat’s in your favorite smoothie?

Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.

Run2

So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!

slo

Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

My Busy Life. Getting a Boost from Pure Earth Juice

This post is sponsored by Del Monte and Pure Earth Juice. All opinions are my own.

I kind of touched on this a few days ago, but now that my personal training schedule is starting to fill up, life is becoming really hectic. I’m in the middle of marathon training, and the schedule that I planned out a few weeks ago is getting harder to keep up with because I keep scheduling clients earlier and earlier. Something has to give, and I’m not going to let it be my running.

Instead I have been taking my breakfast on the road several times a week to save time in my morning routine. I’ll make a smoothie if I have time, but even that sometimes is difficult. This morning as I took off for work I grabbed a banana and my new juice obsession Del Monte Pure Earth Juice.

Del Monte 5

Continue Reading

3 Smoothies and a Juice plus my Revised Marathon Plan

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I won a Blendtec Blender in a giveaway on the Fitfluential blog. Well, it arrived last week and I have been busy creating smoothies and juices since then. Here are a few of my favorite blends.

Three Smoothies and a Juice

Rader Farms Fresh Start Morning Vitality Fusion Smoothie (Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie for short).

I had a chance through Influenster to sample Rader Farms Morning Vitality Fusion frozen fruit and vegetable blend. This Fresh Start blend contained nectarine, mango, sweet potato and carrot,  and is picked and frozen at the height of freshness. I have so say that it is an easy way to get delicious and healthy ingredients into your smoothie (or juice, or whatever you choose). The Morning Vitality Fusion is and excellent source of Vitamin A and C and is loaded with fiber.

Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie

Silk-alicious Smoothie

I recently had a chance to try the new Silk non-dairy Yogurt Alternative. Of course I had to make a smoothie!

Silk alicious Smoothie

Berry Avocado Smoothie

Adding avocado to a smoothie is a great way to add healthy fat to your diet. While I love the taste of avocado, it isn’t my go-to flavor for a smoothie. No worries. You don’t taste the avocado, but you do get a creamy richness in your smoothie.

Berry Avocado Smoothie

And Finally! Ultimate Green Juice

One of the reasons I was excited to win the Blendtec was to make juice. Even though I’m a vegan, I’m not a huge veggie eater (yeah, I know, irony). Juice is a great way to get your vegetables, and when made in a blender you get all the goodness and fiber. This was my first juice, improvised following a couple recipes and adding my own flair (the cilantro and arugula). While I loved it, Alan wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. He thought it had too much celery. Working on it.

Ultimate Green Juice

My Revised Training Schedule

Training Plan 3

When I first put my schedule for the SLO Marathon together, it did it rather quickly (blog deadline, you know). On reflection, I’ve changed it up at bit. I said that I wanted to rock this marathon, so I added a second speed workout during the week. That is the main change. My Monday run will serve as a second longest run, plus a longer, slower speed training day (like half marathon pace, marathon pace, etc.), while Wednesday will be a little higher intensity, long intervals and hills.

Date Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total Mileage
1/5-1/11/15 7.5 miles Rest 5 miles Half Marathon Pace (HMP) Rest Rest 10 miles 3 miles 25.5
1/12-1/18/15 6 miles 4 @ HMP Rest 5 miles ½ mile intervals 3 miles or Rest Rest 4 miles 12 miles 30
1/19-1/26/15 7 miles6 x ½ mile LT intervals with ¼ mile recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 13 miles 5 miles 34
1/27-2/1/15 6 miles Marathon Pace (MP) Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles 5 miles 35
2/2-2/8/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles PS Half 34.1
2/9-2/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 35
2/16-2/22/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 38
2/23-3/1/15 8 miles
MP
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 18 miles 6 miles 41
3/2-3/8/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles Redlands Half 36.1
3/9-3/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles
4 @ LT Pace
3milesor Rest Rest 20 miles 5 miles 38
3/16-3/22/15 8 miles
MP
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles Neg Split Run 6 miles 41
3/23-3/29/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 20 miles 6 miles 42
3/30-4/5/15 8 miles
1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest 6 miles
4 @ HMP
3 miles or Rest Rest 22 miles 6 miles 45
4/6-4/12/15 8 miles MP Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles Neg Split Run 5 miles 37
4/13-4/19/25 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
Rest Rest 10 miles 5 miles 28
4/20-4/26/15 6 miles Rest 5 miles MP 3 miles Rest 2 miles SLO Marathon 16 + 26.2

This week I ran 25.5 miles. I’m a little behind where I wanted to be on my total mileage, but I’m happy with that. It will be increasing soon! I did not make to yoga at all this week, but I’ve got a class on my schedule for today. I really don’t want to let that go now that I’ve started back. Here’s my recap:

Monday: I ran 7.5 miles on the road. I was making up for missing a longer run the previous Saturday. It was cold, but I didn’t have a client in the morning, so I could start a little later.
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: After a one mile warm up, I ran three miles at half marathon pace. My goal was about 9 minutes miles, but I actually ran 8:53, 8:49, and 8:45, so I was really happy with that. And surprised! I took one break, at the halfway point, just walked for about 30 seconds.
Thursday/Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles on the road. The hardest part, because Alan is a little behind me on his schedule and was only running 8, was to add that extra 2 miles. It was important though, not so much for the extra mileage as for the mental aspect of pushing through.
Sunday: Doggy run (and recovery) day! Two miles with Penny and Johnny, one miles with Lily, Olivia, and Coco.

Not bad. Now that I have my schedule I am getting more excited for the marathon. You still have time to join me if you want! Remember you get a $10 discount with the code WOODAMB.

SLO Marathon

Do you make a lot of smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for a smoothie or juice that you’d like share? Link it up if you’d like!

Living a Plant Based Life

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

I recently received a message from a parent of one of my cross country runners, “Hey Debbie, Question for you, do you have a vegan diet with a day by day list of what to eat? I have to get on an exact eating plan.

Silk 3

I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, so I couldn’t give her exactly what she wanted, but I could give her a little advice, “I always planned my meals similar to non-vegan ones. Breakfast can be cereal with non-dairy milk, a smoothie, a tofu scramble. Lunch a salad, sandwich. Dinner the same. Choose healthy vegan protein sources like tofu, tempeh, beans, or seitan. Nothing wrong with using meat substitutes, especially at first. Read labels because there are a lot of hidden animal products in many foods.

Because it’s really not difficult to live a plant based life.

When I first adopted my vegan diet I simply substituted plant based alternatives. For dinner, many of my favorite recipes were easily prepared using a faux meat. Over the years I have also learned to make seitan, cook tempeh and tofu so that they taste delicious, and discovered the joy of jackfruit, but the idea remains the same. My meals today look and taste much the same, but no longer contain any animal ingredients.

A vegan lunch was even easier because in the past it usually consisted of a sandwich, a salad, or leftovers. I pile my sandwiches high with fresh, crispy veggies. And avocado. Always avocado. I’ll toss beans, nuts, seeds, or quinoa in my salad for the punch of protein. I do tend to make my own salad dressing more frequently now, but there are plenty of plant based options.  Just as I told my friend, it’s a matter of reading labels. I do not make my own bread (yet), but with careful reading it’s possible to find it without milk, honey, or eggs.

Breakfast, surprisingly, was more difficult.

I am always in a hurry in the morning. Always; especially on work days. So taking the time to create a vegan scramble (unless it’s leftovers from the night before) just isn’t in the cards. Even a smoothie seems to take more time than I have.

My previous beloved granola with yogurt was not available to me anymore. I made the switch to cereal, hot or cold, with soy or almond milk (plus toast, always toast), but I always felt like I was missing something. Well, I was. I was missing the satisfaction and protein burst that I’d had before.

Until now.

SilkSilk, a champion of vegan dairy alternatives from soy, almond, and coconut milk, to truly non-dairy coffee creamer, not to mention (since we’re just past the holidays), the best Holiday Nog, now has a Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative.

Made from completely plant-based ingredients, Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative contains six grams of protein per serving, is made with real fruit, live and active cultures, and is completely free of dairy, cholesterol, and artificial flavors and colors. It’s also gluten- and carrageenan-free, and a good source of calcium and Vitamin D.

Silk 2

And, as I found when I tasted the samples I was sent, it is absolutely delicious. It has a smooth and creamy texture that blended well with the granola and fruit that I added-in. It also added a luscious creaminess to the smoothie I made (okay, sometimes I can find the time). It comes in six yummy flavors, so there are a lot of options: Black Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Peach & Mango, and Tropical Pineapple.

Silk 4

I can’t wait to make a non-dairy parfait, which is on the menu for my next breakfast. Keep an eye on the Silk Pinterest Board. I’ll post the picture (and the smoothie recipe) there. You can also join the Silk Community by signing up for their newsletter.

What is your favorite breakfast food? Are you always in a hurry like me, or do you save yourself time to make breakfast?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.