Fitness

Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon Review

This is the second year I have attended the Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon. Last year I did the half and this year I ran the 10K with a group of ladies. I wasn’t planning a PR. My goal for this race was to use it as part of my training for my upcoming half in March. My ankle has been bothering me these last few months, so I have been taking it easy and allowing it time heal.

I chose to do intervals for this race as I haven’t been out running lately. I did 4 minutes running with 1 minute of walking. Two of the intervals I did 8 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. Overall, I felt great during the race. My heart rate tends to run on the high side when I run and sure enough this day was no different. Partially why I did intervals too. Giving my heart a recovery period. Have any of you tried heart rate training? I go back and forth on it. I honestly try not to dwell on it and just go based off how I feel. Although, I would also like to see it steady out a bit on longer runs. Let me know your thoughts below.

I of course get stretched out before and after the race. Again this year I was stretch out thanks to SpineFit. If you are looking for a Chiropractor that specializes in athletes and you live in the Arizona area then you need to go and check out Dr. Dane Kohl. He is pretty amazing!

The course isn’t that bad either.  I like the underpasses to give variation during the race.  Having to go down the underpass and then back up, that little incline is a nice change of pace during the run for me. I also enjoy the option to run on the canal instead of just pavement. So the dirt path is what I ran on most of the race.

My gear for my race:

pre-race-day-ride-with-mandy_31862331174_o

Altra Running shoes. This past month I invested in a new pair of Altra Running shoes. With the longer distance on the road I decided on something with a little more cushion. I was using One 2.5 from Altra and I can say I love the shoe too. This is the shoe I ran my half marathon in last year. With the recent ankle issues, I chose to try something with just a bit more cushioning. I can say I love these Torin 2.5‘s just as much! I can’t imagine running in another brand shoe. My feet love the open toe box and zero drop shoes.

Sock game: I chose non other than Pro Compression socks. I don’t go on a run without them. I recover much faster from my runs and have less muscle soreness. Compression socks help increase blood flow and aids in the recovery process. One of my best investments!

Running shorts: Dona Jo- JoJO running shorts are my favorite. They are light weight and are just the right length. They also do not ride up while I am running. They come in a lot of cool designs too. I currently wear a size 2 in these, but will like to try a size 1 to see the difference as I think I am in between sizes. These still fit amazing though on me. If you would like to try them then follow this link to get your very own discount code!

Shirt/Jacket-  I wore my favorite TriMafia shirt by I Am Velocity, but since it was cold out I also wore the jacket I got as swag for the race. This race gives the best jackets instead of tech shirts.

Headwrap- Fringe Fighter Headband by Lululemon.  These headbands stay in place. They are also great for covering the ears a little bit if it is cold out. I also wear these under my cycle helmet. They are great if you have bangs, but also help with keeping the sweat out of the eyes.  They are reversible too.

Nutrition support- I had a protein bar and half a banana early in the morning when I woke up. Then I typically don’t eat anything more until after the race and pack water with me. I also ran with Tailwind Nutrition. I have wrote about why I like tailwind here. I did one scoop in with my water during my run. As they say ” Tailwind mixes with water to meet all your calorie, hydration, and electrolyte needs, without upsetting your stomach or making your taste buds revolt. Just toss it in a bottle or hydration pack, shake, and GO!” It really does the trick. I have seen a difference in my overall performance and it is easy on the stomach.

Race Belt: Xterra Wetsuit Race Belt that way I don’t have to pin on my race number to my shirts.

If you ever are looking for a race to do come and join me next year. They even have a virtual option too! Until next time, Happy Running!

 

Fitness, Product Reviews

Thursday Must Haves- Nutritional Support

Today I am talking about some nutritional support I use. I use these especially during my training days. I am still a strong supporter of making your own food. Although, sometimes I need that extra boost during or after a workout. So I am sharing what works best for me.

  • Nick Sticks by Wallace Farms
    • They make 100% grass fed beef or free range turkey sticks. I personally get them both for my whole family. These are a must have in my home. They were my local farmer in Iowa, but since moving to Arizona I buy them online instead. You can too here. They carry original and spicy.
    • They make a great nutritious snack, added protein in my kiddos lunch boxes, grab on the go, and a quick protein recovery after a workout. They are easy to throw into my kiddos sports bag too.  A great thing is: No MSG. No Nitrates. No Antibiotics. No Hormones. No Sugar. No Red Dye. No Gluten. So all over clean eating snack stick. You can learn more about Wallace Farms and their Nick Sticks here.

       

  • RX Bars are a whole food protein bar. Simple ingredient list with the core of it being Egg whites, Fruits, and Nuts. These are the bars I usually keep in my purse to have on hand. If my schedule gets crazy, I know I always have a great food option to snag. I take these on bike rides, while hiking, traveling, etc. I enjoyed a Blueberry Bar after my Sprint Triathlon too. You really can’t go wrong with these. My top flavors are: Chocolate Sea Salt, Blueberry, Maple Sea Salt, Mint Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice. They usually have deals online and a monthly subscription. If you order by 11/11/16 you get 2 free bars of Peanut Butter in every order. I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s as they are only $1.99 a bar. The downside is they only carry Blueberry and Chocolate Coconut. They did carry Pumpkin Spice as a seasonal bar. They also stated they hope to carry more variety in Trader Joe’s in the future.
  • Tailwind Nutrition – This is an endurance drink that focuses on compete energy, electrolytes, and hydration. I have been using this for a little over a month now, and LOVE everything about it. Even the hubs approves too. This is easy on the stomach causing no bloat or gassiness for me. Takes care of the headaches I was experiencing on my longer runs and provides me the extra endurance. There were times when I got to mile 6 and needed a pick me up. I no longer feel that way when using Tailwind. I actually feel like I have more energy and could keep running. I use this for my long bike rides, runs, and my long swim days. This is one I will stick by! I have been using more and more of this in my workouts. It mixes easily in my water container or I toss it in my running vest bladder. Cleans up easily with no film. They come in multiple flavors. You can get it with or without caffeine. They also have to go packets, but when I travel I put my individual servings in a ziplock bag. You can learn more about Tailwind here.

     

  • Double Bonded Protein Powder by Mt Capra- Goats milk protein powder. I am sensitive to dairy so I have done a lot of researching and trials of protein powders. I always come back to this one. I like their vanilla best, but enjoy the Dark Chocolate.  I tend to get the Dark Chocolate because it is cheaper on Amazon. It has a very faint goat milk taste. This protein powder is easy on my gut and goat milk usually is easier to digest. Since starting Tailwind Nutrition I don’t use this as often as I use to.  This is strictly a protein powder not a meal replacement.   According to Mt Capra: “Double Bonded Protein™ is an unrefined fusion of both casein (milk) protein and whey protein. The natural synergy between these two proteins is nothing short of miraculous! Whey protein triggers the formation of new muscle and casein (milk) protein inhibits the destruction of previously created muscle. Consume just one of these proteins and you will be missing out on the crucial benefits of the other. This is why 100% whey protein isolates consistently disappoint. The ability of whey protein to trigger new muscle growth is second to none, but when natural “proteolysis” (the breakdown of previously created muscle) begins, whey isolate has no defense. Enter casein. Casein inhibits proteolysis and keeps the muscle that you have worked so hard for, right where it needs to be; on you! Double Bonded Protein™ is just what you need to reach the next level of muscle gain.” You can read more about Mt Capra and their farming here

 

Protein Smoothies:

  •      Mt Capra protein powder, 2 tbsp coconut oil, half banana, 1tbsp of almond butter, and 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed. Add to either 8-10oz of almond milk, coconut water, or regular water. Blend in blender and ice and blend again.
  •      Mt Capra protein powder, 2tbsp coconut oil, organic frozen strawberries, and organic greens. Add 8-10oz of either water or almond milk. Blend in blender.

     

So there you have it, some of my top nutritional supplements. What are some of your favorites you keep on hand?

Fitness, Uncategorized

Thursday Must Haves plus GRF Discount Code

Wow, where did the month of October go. When I look at my training for the month I feel pretty good. My goal is to stay healthy and active, but also to always have a plan. I lay out what I  plan to do each week, but don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t get done as planned. I try to take each day as it comes, and to listen to the body. There was a week were timing wasn’t in my favor for what I had planned so I ended up taking an extra rest day. My body appreciated the extra rest too!

So over the next several weeks I am sharing some of my must haves ranging from fitness gear to nutrition. Today I am sharing my favorite tanks and shirts from Girls Run Fast. They are light-weight and bright! One thing I love when I run or even bike is a bright shirt so I can be seen! They also have some great jewelry and running tags. Be sure to use JENSENJ15 to get 15% off your products.

Girls Run Fast t-shirts – they run true to size. I am wearing a small here, but next time I will probably go a size up.

Girls Run Fast Tank – They also run true to size. I am wearing  small here and I like the fit and length.img_0836

 

Another one of my favorite must haves is Fitness Headbands. I love the classic headbands. They are comfortable, moisture wicking, and STAY in place! I can wear it slightly over the tops of my ears or behind them. Out of the handful of headbands I have tried, these are by far my favorite. They are reasonably priced and are made in U.S.A. 🙂 They also make for a great gift with the holiday’s coming up. I have worn them working out as well as dressing up my everyday hairdo.

What are your favorite must haves?  If you grab any of these products leave me a comment below and let me know what you think! Stay tone for next week’s must haves!

Fitness

Sunday Weekly Workout Review! 10/9-10/15

This week I designed to be kind of a low key week following the triathlon. I will be switching to a little more of a run focus in these weeks ahead. I have two 10ks coming up and will be training for a another half marathon in April 2017!  Since Rob is training for his first Ironman 70.3 in 2017; I figured why not train along with him a little bit and do the half marathon portion with him. Overall, this week went great!img_0823

Sunday – This was the day after my Sprint Triathlon. I was feeling pretty good following the triathlon so I did a recovery run just to shake things out. Ran 3 miles averaging 13:47 per mile. Keeping my heart rate below 140 beats per minute. I averaged around 135 beats per minute for this run. It felt great just to get out.

 

 

 

Monday– Set out and did an afternoon ride of 30.4 miles. Followed 10 minute core workout.img_0824

 

Tuesday – Did a morning strength leg focus workout with some ladies at the park. Then I followed it with 3.1 miles of speed intervals. 1 minute speed workout at about 8img_0826 minute mile followed by 2 minutes of recovery at 12 minute mile. Continued this interval until I reached a 5K. img_0825

 

Wednesday– Stretch out swim. Went to the pool with the family in the evening and got in 663 yards in the pool. Not as many yards as I wanted, but I at least I got something in. Goal was to stretch it out with each stroke.  I also did some yoga. I personally like Yoga with Adriene. She has a lot of videos on YouTube you can check them out here.img_0827

 

Thursday – 4 mile easy run. Walked for 45 seconds to a minute at each mile marker. Averaged 10:37/mile. Then swaimg_0828m with the family. Didn’t track yards in the pool, but swam a few laps with the kiddos.  Evening stretch out with bedtime yoga you can find here.img_0833

Friday – 11 mile hike with ladders and some jogging with my older 2 girls. Technically was only to be a 5 mile hike, but wanted to try a different trail. Should have consulted the map before venturing on. Didn’t realize it was such a long trail. It was great bonding time with my girls and they did amazing! We really love our hiking days together.

 

Fitness

First Sprint Triathlon Review

Let me first say I am totally hooked! Training for this triathlon has been both fun and rewarding. My goal was to complete my first triathlon by age 35. So no better way to turn 35 then do a triathlon. A fabulous birthday weekend it was. I honestly couldn’t have done it with all the love and support of my husband and 5 kiddos. They all cheered me on every step of the way! Of course my mom too, no matter the miles she is always encouraging!!

When I first started out training for this triathlon I wasn’t a strong swimmer, but I can say I have grown stronger. I still have room for improvement and I am ok with that. I mapped out a 10 solid weeks of training. In my training program I schedule out 3 days of swimming a week.  I typically swam at least 1200 yards per training session. Before starting this program, I never lapped swim. I only played and swam around in the pool with my kiddos. So thanks to my husband, Rob, for taking me under his wing and coaching me along in the pool.

The biking and run I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with individually, but transition from one right after the other came with practice. It started out as a weird feeling from getting off the bike to running, but by the end it felt great!

That brings me to race weekend! I picked up my packet and was thankful to run into the lady from TriSports as she walked me through setting up my transition area.  I felt like I had a good understanding after watching and talking through it with Rob during his triathlons, but she provided me with a lot of insight. Watching her set up and go through the flow certainly helped me on race day! img_0784

 

That evening I laid out all my gear that I would need for race day. This way I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning. So here is what I packed. On the left: Altra Running shoes with my socks already in them. Headsweats visor. Performance Bike cycle jersey that I will put on after the swim. In the middle: cycle helmet, CamelBak water containers, goggles, swim cap, Girls Run Fast Tattoo ( I put on that night), race belt and bib. On the right: Lululemon Energy H2O sports bra and SLS3 triathlon shorts. img_0792

That morning woke up early and had some sausage and eggs for breakfast along with some water. Braided my hair so it would easily fit in my swim cap and allow me to put on my cycle helmet without having to make any adjustments. We got to the race site at 5:20am to be sure got a good transition area spot. Race didn’t start until 7am. We found prime location just beside the bike out portion. I would rather spend less time running with the bike then having to run with my bike. Coming out the water I had to run a little further to get to my bike, but then I was right at the bike out. Coming back in from the bike I only had to go a short distance with my bike back to my rack. I also did a little walk through my transition area of how things would go when I actually had to transition from swim to bike and bike to run. Also very important to know where your transition area is in regards to landmarks since the area will eventually be filled with several other bikes! Then I set up my transition area as you can see below. The cap and goggles will go with me to the pool. Then I set up exactly how I will need to grab my stuff and put it on in each transition. This way when you get to your transition you have a flow and can get going!

Then it was off to number markings, timing chip, using the bathroom one last time, and checking out the pool!img_0790

Leg 1: Swim 400m…The swim was in a 50m pool. I trained in a 25m pool, but didn’t think it would be a huge adjustment. Just told myself to stretch it out in the pool and pace myself so I wouldn’t get tired. Even though I swam with someone in my lane while training, it didn’t really prepare me for what it would be really like with all these people in the pool! I started out great for the first 200m, but then caught up to a group of fellows. They were fast then slow and it took a lot of my reserved energy just to try to get around them. For me that was a little frustrating on myself, but I managed. It was a great learning experience for sure and shows I still have plenty of room for improvement too. I loved seeing everyone out there and really giving it there all. I saw everything from freestyle, to backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, even chicken-airplane-soldier. Really whatever it takes to get through those 400 meters! It took me 10 minutes to finish 400m ( about 1 minute slower than my time trials) but I was happy with the outcome.

Transition 1 to Leg 2: Bike 12 miles…My favorite part is the bike. I transitioned well and gave it all on my bike. I was a little exhausted getting out the pool. More exhausted then I thought I would be. I biked a smooth 12 miles and even chatted up with some friendly competition on the steady inclines. Enjoyed hearing everyone cheering each other on. While on the bike I was sure to refuel and hydrate. Since this isn’t a long triathlon I didn’t need a lot. I used Tailwind Endurance Fuel in with my water while on the bike. Which was enough to hold me through until the end. I averaged 18.9 mph on the bike.

Transition 2 to the final Leg 3: Run a 5K…Off the bike I went. I put on my Headsweats visor and grabbed my race belt and off I went. The nice thing about the race belt is I can fasten it while I run. Since I don’t have cycle shoes my running shoes were already on making this transition a breeze.  The run went as I expected. I was able to keep a steady pace and run the entire course. Coming of the bike my pace was quicker, but didn’t want to exhaust myself so backed off just a bit and averaged 9:45/mile for my run.

Overall I was very pleased with how my first triathlon went and certainly can’t wait to do another one! I was tired, but full of smiles when I was done. For now I will continue to work on my swim and sticking with Sprint triathlons until I feel ready to conquer more meters in the pool. I certainly loved every minute of this process. It was also great to join up with a family friend!!img_0787

 

Fitness

Weekly Workout 9/25 – 10/1

This is the final week before taper week for me. Mesa Sprint Triathlon is quickly approaching and I am feeling ready. Since this is my first one, I don’t have an big expectations for myself. My bike and run I will have no problem with. The swim I feel ready for and just need to remember to pace it out. As Rob reminded me this week in the pool a 400m swim isn’t like 400m on the track. I can’t treat it as an all out sprint otherwise I will be overly exhausted getting on the bike. So this coming week swims will be working on pacing and really stretching it out in the pool.

This week I also worked out in my triathlon suit that I will be wearing for the race. This way I get a feel for what it will be like. Since my swims are in a one piece suit, it was a total different feel for me this week in the pool. I am wearing tri shorts and a swim bra top. When I get out of the water I will just throw on a cycle jersey for my bike and run.  With it being my first race I didn’t want to sink money yet into a triathlon suit. As I do more, then I will look at buying one, or look for them to go on sale 🙂 I miss the feel of a full body compression of a one piece swim suit and felt like I was dragging in the pool this week. Could be mental thing, but just didn’t like how I have felt in the pool… Hopefully this week will feel better in it.

Here is my weekly workouts:

Sunday: Ran 10k at run 5 minutes : walk 1 minute.

I felt really good the first 3 plus miles, but as soon as I hit mile 4 I hit a wall. I really could have used a boost of energy. I have never been a person to eat/drink while running even when doing my half marathon I didn’t. Although, now I am noticing good changes when I keep myself hydrated and have extra protein/energy boost during my longer workouts.

Monday: Biked 16 miles followed by a 2 mile transition run. Cool down 15 minutes of Yoga.

Tuesday: Morning swim: Warm up: 100m freestyle, 100m kick x2. 300m freestyle x3 , cool down: mixed strokes, 50m kicks, 50m freestyle. Total of 1316 yards. Then I met up with some local ladies for a 50 minute strength training workout; consisting of kettlebells and body work.

Wednesday: Rest day with some stretching and foam rolling

Thursday: 12.9 mile bike ride followed by an evening swim. That evening swim wasn’t what I was thinking it would be. Dark goggles and night time don’t mix. I could barely see in the pool! One thing I will need to work on as I progress with my swimming. I stuck to 25m drills. Worked on kicks and then arms drills for a total of 1068 yards.

Friday: Rest Day. Took the day completely off. I was shooting for a quick run, but just didn’t happen. Day was busy full conferences and assemblies at school. Then doctor appointments for myself. By 8pm I just wasn’t up for a night run so I took the time and spent it with my family!

Saturday: With approaching race week my swim coach, who is my husband, took me out and was giving me pointers on my swim. One thing I am hoping for in the weeks to come is to spend more time with him in the water. With works schedules and availability I didn’t get in the pool with him as much as I wanted to. The good thing though is it has only been 8 weeks since I took on this swimming gig, and I can say I have learned a lot. Very proud of where I have come and I thank him for helping me get to where I needed to be. Never thought I would be doing as well as I am in the pool. So started out with a timed 400m test swim. Then did 50m kicks, 50m buoy and arm workouts, arm reach drills, streamlines, and 50m mixed strokes for total of 1232 yards. Followed that up with a 21.5 mile bike and a 1 mile post bike cool down walk.

Sunday: Joined my pacer in 3.3 mile run. My lovely pacer is my son on his bike. Sometimes I feel stuck with my runs and he knows just how to push me. Plus we get some time together to chat! I ran 5:1 (run 5 minutes: walk 1 minute) intervals with a sub 30minute 5K!

Next race coming up for me is the Girls Run Fast 10K in November!  It isn’t too late to register, and they have a virtual run too.  Go check out the Girls Run Fast Women’s 10K here. The have a 5K, 10K, and 15k challenge.

Saturday ended the month of September with a total of 26 tracked hours of training. Of those training hours here is the break down of my swim, bike, and runs.

Swim: 12,771 yards

Bike: 140 miles

Run: 32.8 miles

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Fitness

Weekly Workout 9/18 – 9/24

As my first triathlon is quickly approaching ( in two weeks ) I have learned a lot about what my body can handle. It really is never to late to try something new. As I am turning 35 that same weekend I decided to set a goal for myself to complete my first triathlon. I have certainly enjoyed training for it. It takes dedication, but I had a training plan set aside to help guide me along.

Here are some links out to a couple training programs I have enjoyed using. I make tweaks for myself where I see fit for me. I like having something visual so I print them off, make any corrections I need to, and hang them on my fridge. I also like using Strava to track my workout results.

Half Marathon Training Program:

This incorporates interval training (which I LOVE) –  Women’s Running

Triathlon Training Programs:

Timex Ironman – Beginner Olympic Triathlon Program

Steve Atwell – 3 month Triathlon Training Program

Women’s Running – 6 Week Triathlon Training Program

Andrew Kalley – Triathlon Training Program

Weekly Workout:

  • Sunday: Ran 4.6 miles ( Run 4 minutes: Walk 2 minutes)
  • Monday: Swim – 441 yard test swim, followed by 1231 yard swim drills (100m timed intervals and cool down of mixed strokes)                                                                                   Followed by strength and core session: 3 Turkish get-ups on each side. Then Kettlebell Swing Clean and Press- 6 each side, Arm rows- 6 each side, Single leg deadlift- 6 each side, weighted front squat- 6 each side and repeat 3 times thru. End with 5 pull-ups.
  • Tuesday: 9.2 mile bike ride to the mountains, Hike 4.4 miles, and 9.3 mile bike home from the mountains – all with a really great friend. Some serious girl time was needed in my books.  Then ended with a 2.1 mile transition run (run right after final bike).  This day was a heavier day then what I normally would have done, but wanted to be sure I got my transition run in still.
  • Wednesday: Swim Drills for total of 1600 yards: Warm-up: 100m swim: 50m kick X3. Then 300m x3 with 30-45 sec rest between each set. Cool down: 100m kick, 50m breast stroke, 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle. End with 15 upright rows.
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: 12 mile bike ride followed by 5K brick run in morning. Evening Ab workout 30secs work, 10 sec rest: Clamshells each side, Single leg bridge each side, side plank dips each side, bird-dogs, V-ups, side plank dips, russian twist, bridge hold, and low plank. Repeat x 1. End with 15 minutes of yoga.
  • Saturday: Today would have been a swimming day for me, but I decided to sleep in instead. Plus the weather was cooler this morning so played with the kiddos outside and got some outside projects done. Gearing up for a long run on Sunday!

Make the time to do something for yourself. Do what you love, love what you do!

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Fitness

Workout Friday

Another week has gone by and it’s already Friday! I am enjoying the beautiful breeze and cooler weather today. Out at the park watching my kiddos play as I sit here and type away. I would have never imagined myself being a stay at home mamma, but I love it! I definitely have my days, but who doesn’t. It took me awhile to get accustomed to not working. I am so blessed though to be able to watch them grow up and it brings back so many memories of when I was younger. It reminds me of my mom being able to stay at home with us. When we got home from school she was always there. At our sporting events she never missed a beat. I am forever grateful to her for always being there for us.

It also brings back the times when she would go out with all her lady friends (and she still does to this day) in the evenings to have some time for her. Which I believe is so very important. It takes a village to raise a family as my friend, Clara, would say and I totally agree! I need a network of women who I can relate to, escape and hang out with, that motivates me, and keeps me accountable. To be there for me when I am in a pinch and vise versa. Faith, Family, Friends, and Community it is all important and goes hand in hand.

Usually twice a week a group of us ladies get together and workout, thanks to a wonderful lady that runs the workouts. It is a great way for us mammas to get together, socialize, and workout. Some of us have our kiddos come along, and what better way to show them the importance of exercise and community. I enjoy getting together and supporting each other!

Today I branched out of my comfort zone and lead the workout today! So that is what I am sharing with you today. Get out and have fun!IMG_0292

Workout:

30 sec. jumping jacks

30 sec. push up to side planks

30 sec. rest

 

30 sec. of squat jumps (narrow & wide)

1 min. mountain climbers

30 secs. Rest

 

30 sec. burpee-jack-turn arounds

1 min. rocking single leg planks (30 sec. each leg)

30 sec. rest

 

30 sec. jump rope

30 sec. sneak attacks with pulse

30 sec. dolphins

30 sec. rest

 

30 sec. toe tap to tree

1 min. sumo squat to front leg kick (30 sec each leg)

Rest 90 sec.

Repeat 2 more times

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Ended with abs

30 sec. Russian twist

30 sec. sit up to V ups

30sec. alt hip drops

30 sec. hold bridge

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