Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 things Thursday

We'll start with the bad, and end on a good note.

1. So I finally moved all my stuff from one place to the other (which is a stress all in itself) earlier this week. I was super excited because the house is MUCH nicer, in a better location, and I won't have to freeze to death just by sitting in my own room. In comes Murphy's law- had a gas leak, turned gas off. Our heat is gas based, ie, NO WORKING HEAT for a few days. As luck would have it, absolutely NO hot water for a few days (finally went elsewhere to get a hot shower last night) Washer stopped "spinning" last night so now clothes are dripping wet and won't dry even after 3 cycles in the dryer. If I haven't complained enough, there are 2 of us on the main floor. The other girl owns some type of terrier (similar to 'Lady' from Lady and the tramp)- now although adorable, she apparently has anxiety, and the second my roommate leaves for work in the morning (a whole 2 hours before I do), the dog starts wining and barking non stop, thus waking me up and making impossible to go back to sleep- errrrrrrr.

whew that felt good to rant for a few- now on to more POSITIVE

2. Today is my 'friday' at work because I leave tomorrow for our Easter Bunny 1/2 in Clemson, SC on saturday. In the spirit of the race- I will most likely be decked out in pastels and I purchased bunny ears for B and I; already told myself if the ears are annoying I will hand them off to a kid spectator. I Haven't raced in 3 weeks, so it will be nice to finally get back into the swing of things. I calculated it out, and starting this weekend I will be gone every weekend till May 14 for races  + Easter weekend with the fam. Guess I like keeping busy.

3. Immediately after the race on Saturday, I'll be making the drive back to Nashville to meet my folks for the remaining of the weekend. They haven't been back to Nashville since the  Women's 1/2 back in September, and I haven't even seen anyone in my family since Christmas, so I'm pretty stoked to hang out.... guess I do get home sick every so often. As an added bonus, we're going BED SHOPPING and thrifting!!

Everyone enjoy your weekend and I'll leave you with pics from parents last trip to Nashvegas!

Mom and I outside of 'Boot Country Store' after leaving pre-race dinner

Dad and I after the race at a Wine Festival I treated them too
I now know that running + wine afterward is not the best combo

Parents and I at Gerst Haus- German Restaurant across from Titans Stadium 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quarterly Cleanse

After my earlier post about losing weight with a quarterly cleanse + giving up dairy, I had a few people inquire about what a quarterly cleanse is, and what do I use. Rather than me try to explain why you should cleanse quarterly here is a mini article I'm reposting that explains it much better than myself: Everything in pink is my personal input

Why You Should Do A Detox Cleanse On A quarterly Basis

There are so many benefits to performing a quarterly detox cleanse on your body. Possibly one of the most bright is that you will have healthier skin and feel better too just by ridding your body of the excess wastes that you are carrying around. For me I always notice when I complete a cleanse that there is a lot less 'bloating' in my tummy- especially the 'mom pooch' (even though i'm not a mom)
You can fast and de facto heighten your skin tone and rid your body of harmful chemicals with a cleanse. The best part is that there is a built in ideas in the human body that is made to accomplish these cleanses with ease.
You might wonder how your body can get toxic or why you would need a detox cleanse. It is de facto straightforward when you think all of the harmful elements and chemicals that are gift in our food and even in the air that we breathe. if you eat sushi,  walk barefoot in grass, have pets, are exposed to pollution you have toxics and parasites in your system
Since this is the case it makes it nearly impossible for your body to claim these cleanses without some type of agenda or stock to help. So you can find a whole of separate products that are targeted at separate types of cleanses.
In order find the best detox for yourself you will want to know about the separate types of cleanses and how they can advantage you. In the end you will be feeling much better than you did before and your body will show that you are healthier through your skin.
You can choose from a kidney detox, colon detox, lung detox, liver detox and skin detox. Depending on the type of detox that you choose your diet will be separate and will reflect the separate condition information. Mine is colon. I'll be honest I don't do any drastic diet when I cleanse- I do limit the sugar (makes your body acidic), and the amount of fried foods I eat. I also will cut back on dairy since it causes inflammation in your body, but since I gave it up for lent, that wasn't a problem this time around (which is why I lost so much weight this time) 
Some detoxes will wish you to buy extra supplements. If you currently take a multi-vitamin, REMEMBER to do it while cleansing, you need the extra nutrients. Remember that at first while a detox cleanse you will feel worse and start to get sick, it is only after all of these chemicals are out of your body that you will feel better.This last statement is VERY true- sometimes when I cleanse I get real tired / lethargic as all the toxins are stirring up in my body, but after I feel great
So what do I use???
For the past 5 years, I have been using this 3 phase system:
The first phase: ParaCleanse
Taken from Symmetry's website:
Give your body its best defense against parasites with Symmetry's ParaCleanse.
  • Powerful botanicals to purge impurities from the body to help maintain the body's natural resilience
  • Two-phase system - the first phase works to eliminate impurities, while the second phase works to nourish the blood.
  • A support system for the body's natural immune function.
Basically it makes your body bitter, so when the parasites that you have living inside of you try to 'feed', they blow up- thus comes the sometimes feeling sick feeling.  You take 1 pill 4x a day for 5 days with this phase.
The second phase: Botana Cleanse

  • Provides a gentle, mild cleansing with botanicals and natural fibers.
  • Nourishes and protects the colon with probiotics to support the "friendly flora" in the colon.
  • Natural ingredients that work synergistically to cleanse and support the entire body, removing toxins and protecting the colon.

This step you can either start on the 3rd day or 4th day (whichever you prefer) into your paraclease. It basically cleanses the colon and washes out the parasites you are killing with paracleanse. Some people have 'experiential effects', others don't. Since I've been bad and haven't done one in probably 9 months, this round was rough for me. This box has 5 sheets of pills- 4 of the sheets are the actually cleanse- 1 sheet = 1 day- 3-4pills 3x a day. 

The third phase: Restore Phase
The 5th sheet within the botana cleanse box you do once you're done with the cleanse. The restore phase is designed to put back all the good bacteria / 'friendly flora' that you eliminated during the cleanse. This is 1 pill 3x a day for a week (your diet can be normal at this point because the cleaning out is complete and now you're just making sure you body has everything back it needs)

That is the simplest way I can explain it, so if you have specific questions or want more details, please let me know. There are a ton of cleanses out there, this just happens to be the one that I've used consistently since 2006, so I'm comfortable with how to use it, and confident in referring others to try it out since everything in it is not only organic, but nothing artificial- its all herbs. 

Happy cleaning :) 

Monday, March 28, 2011


So my speedwork today was actually in the form of our first kickball game of the season. Don't laugh- running to catch the ball (which I did) and running to the bases as fast as you can (which i did) are all speedwork in its own form. I was super nervous because the last thing I need right now is a sprained ankle from stepping in a pot hole, or slipping in the mud (we've had a TON of rain this past weekend) Game went off without a hitch - and we won!! (sorry for lack of pictures)

What I'm MOST excited about is my knee doesn't hurt at ALL! It was giving me some issues when I was moving houses on saturday, but maybe it just wanted to remind me its still there. My plan for the week is at least 1 lunch run, 3.2 miles, before my Easter bunny 1/2 mary. If all goes well there, I'm going back to normal training- thank goodness. I was looking at my mileage for this year:

January -105 miles
February- 40 miles (all from 3 halfs)
March- 23

I can't help but laugh and then want to cry at the same time because I'm going stir crazy. Even though I haven't worked out that much, I still managed to lose 7lbs this month from cutting out dairy and doing my quarterly cleanse- woot woot! Although I'm no where near cutting back the inches like Becka, once I get p90x this upcoming weekend, 'train for bikini' season will be in full effect! 
My motivation??? Realistic abs like these

Lift your sole winner

Random Generator chose lucky #9....

(guess the 'pick me, pick me' comment worked)
Email me @ jamesondirect (at) yahoo (dot) com your address and if you still want the 13.1 magnet pack.(or something different) 

Also thanks to everyone for your suggestions for finding motivational gear!
Keep on the look out for a Nike giveaway coming in the next 2 weeks :) 

Friday, March 25, 2011

What Photo motivates you?!?!

A few weeks back Hungry Runner Girl had asked people to send in their race photos and she would share on her blog. Naturally all the photos people sent in were great and flattering shots of them smiling or after their race holding their medals in victory that they're finished.

While all of that is great to see so many people enjoying running, it got me thinking... thats not entirely realistic. Where is the sweat, the potential 't-rex arms' the exhaustion / look of 'am i done yet?' that shows you put it all out there? When I look at race photos, what really moves me is when you can see emotion- whether its sheer excitement that you finished a race that you're almost in tears, or the opposite end of the spectrum where you are in so much pain forcing yourself to dig deep just to finish. Although in that given moment it is pure torture, its a nice reminder that we're not invincible and that we have to train harder and smarter.

A lot of is in the blog world are coming off injuries, thus putting being able to run healthy on a  pedestal, appreciating the long workouts, the lack of sleep from race travels, and above all- pushing ourselves to see what we can do.

So I ask you all- what photo motivates you?

The below photo, as embarrassing as it is for me, gets me pumped to know that I do have the ability to push through pain. It's a subtle reminder that I'm not invincible. When I look at it, it reminds me of how much pain I was in, but I had given so much in that race that I didn't want to give up and make the 11.5 miles that I had run before getting injured, be a waste. Last 1.5 miles were rough, but I ran my 2nd fastest 1/2 time to date- 1:54:25! 

Critz Tybee 1/2 marathon, Savannah Ga

So if you're willing, send me you're motivating photos to Jamesondirect @ yahoo (dot) com with the backstory and I will happily post them here on my blog.  It doesn't have to be of pain, its whatever truly motivates you to do your very best!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 things Thursday

1. As I was leaving to work today I saw a package outside my garage- It was my Luna Bars I won from Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy's giveaway!
Pardon my hair- its post run so its quite flat

2. Speaking of hair- I FINALLY made an appointment to get my hair fixed. I got it "highlighted" on Valentines Day and as you can see from the above photo, you can't tell at first glance. I apologize about my  post run hair, I swear its not normally nappy and starting to curl at the roots, but as you can see, the whole underneath is highlighted, yet the top, NOTHING. (oh and it took 4 hours ugh)
So I have an appointment in 2 weeks to either get a full highlight for my top layer OR this color!
if i could magically look like this too, that would be great
I can't go too much shorter or my hair will frizz up when Nashville's humidity kicks in, but Any thoughts / suggestions are GREATLY appreciated!!

3. After 2 weeks of having NO CLUE where my ipod shuffle ran off to, I found it last night in a coat pocket!! I was so excited to download some new music and add it to my workout mix that I felt compelled to go for a run today. I told myself I wouldn't run more than 2x week till my next race, so today was the 2nd day this week- woo. Its said when I look at my daily mile bar chart and I see 6 miles for a whole week, but taking it easy to heal is definitely worth it!

Excited for the weekend to be here already- finally be able to move into my new house, whew!

Don't forget about my "Lift your sole" giveaway HERE. Ends 3/27

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lift your sole Giveaway

Inspiration- we all have given it, received it, or needed it at one point or another. Sometimes its in the form of words, actions, or as simple as reading a quote or seeing a picture. 
I'm constantly inspired by the members that I work with accomplishing their goals, reading everyone's blogs and seeing their daily challenges, and of course reading different quotes about running.

I happened to come across the company Lift your sole at the Disney Princess 1/2 and I absolutely fell in love with their inspirational magnets. Although their small, simple, and if I took the time I could probably make them myself, I think they are *AWESOME* For me its a great 'pick me up' when at work and I glance over my desk and see my 'mind over miles' one holding up a family photo.  So with that being said, I thought I would send some inspiration your way with a few different options. 
If you're a magnet lover like myself you can choose from the following 6 pack:
Half Marathon Inspired
Marathon Inspired
Just plain old Running Inspired 

Last magnet option is you can create your own 6 pack from all the ones above and a few additional options starting HERE and then clicking through

If you're not too keen on magnets but still want something inspirational, you can check out the other goodies HERE and let me know what you would want instead.

Requirements: (Leave a separate comment for each)
1. Be or Become a follower of my blog and let me know
2. Choose which 6 pack you want or other merchandise on the website.
(If you decide to create your own just write 'create your own' and if you win you can tell me exactly which ones.)

Additional Entries
1. Link giveaway on blog or facebook (1 comment for each)
2. let me know what personally inspires you for your current training
3.what are you favorite websites to find running related gear  (more along the lines of books, clothes, posters, anything inspirational) 

Contest Ends Sunday 3/27
Good Luck! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tangent Tuesday

Tangents that make me happy!

1.) I'm thinking Spring is here to stay! Its been consistently in the 80s for a week, AND grass is green, trees and flowers are blooming, and its becoming harder to focus. I'm hoping we get more than a few weeks of spring before it becomes MISERABLE. Last year we had spring for maybe a couple of weeks and then we bypassed straight into summer with recording breaking temps and the hottest month of June since the 1950s. I love warm weather, but my hair HATES humidity.
flowers and trees blooming along entrance to work

2.) Today is the first day was supposed to be the first day of kickball practice, however not everyone's schedule allowed them to get away. Last year our team was pretty good, this year our team looks much better- we've got a larger talent group to work with (younger, athletic, competitive) so it should be interesting to see how well we do in our first game next week. I was going to take pics at practice, but since it didn't happen, here are a few from last year
Me running toward first (i'm sure it was a pop up ball and got caught)

standing around waiting for it to be my turn (our team is blue so we just wear blue shirts- classy i know)

me behind 3rd base- my outfield stomping ground

3.) Since kickball was cancelled and I still had carved out the time in my schedule, I decided to go for my normal 3.2 lunch run. I didn't have my garmin or my music, so I tried to kill 2 birds w/ one stone and run w/ my phone (time) on speaker and opened up my workout playlist (music). The run was much slower than I would like, but given I'm still trying to be easy on my knee, the hot temps, and the fact that I threw up 1/2 way through, I think i'll take it. I'm currently doing a cleanse / detox, and I now know that running + cleansing + heat doesn't mix- *NOTED*
after 'seeing my breakfast a 2nd time' 

4.) It's rare that I win anything- and when I do, I"m literally ecstatic! Over the course of the last week I won my first..... and second blog giveaways!!! After months have gone by karma finally caught up. Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy was giving away a box of Mint Chocolate Luna bars (which just so happens to be my favorite flavor) and when my shipment comes in, I'll have a decent supply!
Second giveaway was hosted by Kadie @ There She Runs for her Cam Bands review and giveaway! There are so many running non slip bands coming out, that often I joke with B how I should start up my own company and I'd probably do just fine financially :)
The one I picked out....
lots of colors so can go with a lot of different outfits! 
5.) So I have no idea how to do the fancy map of the United States and then color in the ones I've completed with races (so if you know how to do that, i'm ALL ears) but I was able to print one out and go old school style and color it in with crayons.
Hard to make it legible, but as you can see I have the south east pretty much taken care of, and have written in the dates of all my 'locked and loaded' races. Makes me so excited to see my accomplishment or future accomplishment on my desk daily. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

First training run since 1/31/11

So ever since my knee injury at the Critze Tybee 1/2 the first weekend in February- I've been laying low on running. I have had 3 races since that, meaning that in the past 1.5 months I've only ran 3x.
I knew the weather was going to be gorgeous today, so I brought my gym bag in and depending on how I felt was going to go on a lunch run.I swear I was like a kid in a candy shop walking into work today with my bag on my shoulder- I even said to a few of my colleagues "look what I have today!!!" (we're all pretty close so they know how stir crazy I have been)

 Considering it was 80 degrees majority of the day, I was going to wait till later in afternoon, but got a text from co-worker Ronnie asking if I wanted to go with him and Brian. We all 3 used to run together, but they are slower paced so eventually I did my own thing. Not wanting to push myself today, I dropped everything I was doing and  happily agreed and met them downstairs to change.
yay! Getting ready for first run (ronnie in background)

So if I wasn't a runner at heart I would say that it was a fail. It was miserably hot and I was reminded that even though it was only 3.3 miles, a fuel belt would have been super handy. I also started a cleanse yesterday so my stomach is a bit shaky for the moment & on top of that I'm due for my mother nature gift (yes TMI i know). A few times I had to walk, the guys were sweet and stopped with me thinking it was my knee, but actually I was TIRED. So all of those factors combined made the run quite difficult.... but I loved every minute of it, the good kind of pain. 

To finally feel no pain (in relation to knees and joints) is miraculous. Although my chiropractor said no running till April, (more to straighten out my legs vs. knee pain)  I think I might try at least 1 or 2 lower mileage runs a week just so i'm getting in some cardio and of course so I don't go insane. I'm not going to do anything crazy like push myself too hard or run every single day, but I can't describe how refreshing I feel, despite being a sweaty mess right now, to just let me legs hit the road. I don't want to jinx myself in saying this, but what the heck....


Thursday, March 17, 2011

1 week dairy free

So its been a WHOLE week dairy free 5.5 more to go- eek!
My main concern / weakness going into this diet was no cheese, no chocolate, no cakes/brownies/cookies, no ranch dressing, and no yogurt.

Let the experimentation begin!!! 

Cheese- the thought of a cheese substitute like the one below, does not appeal to me at all, so this is going to be cold turkey for me, we'll see how the rest goes.

Chocolate- I got my fix in two places- First is chocolate soymilk. I don't drink milk, but every so often I have a craving for chocolate milk. I tried almond chocolate milk- not a big enough chocolate taste for me, so had to settle on soy.
** *For those who currently eat or drink soy related product, or is looking to start- you have to check and make sure the product has this label or something similar to it*** If it doesn't have a non gmo (genetically modified organism) seal on it- DON'T BUY IT- you are doing more harm than good by introducing phytoestrogens into your system which cause a slew of complications in your body. Over 90% of soy consumed in America is genetically modified, so pay attention!

I would like to add that i did purchase Earth Balance's chocolate soy milk the other day since I had a coupon and it doesn't really taste like chocolate milk, more like a chocolate slim fast- I will not purchase again. 

Cakes and brownies- not much i can do here- again with chocolate soy milk to curb cravings, otherwise, candy. We did have a birthday party for one of my colleagues yesterday, princess themed
Cupcakes were tempting, but B brought in Newman's organic mint oreos for us, Thank goodness... i ate 6 or 7 .
soooo delicious

Ranch dressing- I have 2 outlets here
First is Brianna's homestyle dijon honey mustard- absolutely delightful. One of the few dressings I found that had no dairy AND no HFCS- if you like sweet with a tiny bite, I highly recommend it. 
Second is I found a recipe for a raw dairy free ranch recipe from one of my favorite cook books thus far. I haven't made it yet, but I found it interesting that you soak cashews for 2 hours then grind them up. More than likely I will post some recipes on here in the future. 

Yogurt- I know this seems like a weird item to miss, but its a great snack b/c it has the perfect balance of protein, carbs, fats to keep you satisfied. Found this at whole foods and tried it yesterday
Major fail. I like the idea, even like that it does have bits of coconut in it, however it was super thin (almost like a smoothie) and it was EXTREMELY sweet. I might give vanilla a shot, but if that doesn't taste good, then no yogurt for me UNLESS any of you have suggestions of good tasting dairy free yogurts!

Although So Delicious did fail me in the yogurt department, it did not disappoint in the ice cream and creamer department, tried the following 2 products, and both were equally satisfying and I will continue to utilize after this no dairy for lent is over.

I used the hazlenut flavor- excellent!

Basically like mint chocolate chip, only SUPER minty so it freshens your breath

Thus far its been fun to find healthier alternatives to dairy. I do know for a fact cheese will always be dairy cheese and chocolate will always be chocolate, no exceptions- in the mean time I believe that creamers, chocolate milk, and ice cream are all do-able switches that I can maintain.

Does anyone have any suggestions on other products that you've swapped out for dairy?!?!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Short leg syndrome???

So last Monday I had the day off and decided to do some much needed grocery shopping. In the produce aisle I happen to run into my chiropractor- silly me teased him because it was still work hours for him and he was playing hooky at Kroger.
He informed me that he was laid off and that I would be having a new chiropractor from this point moving forward....oops

Unbeknownst to me, this  actually worked out for the better since his replacement has spent years specializing in sports chiropractic- hooray! I had my first appt with new doc on wednesday and after thorough catching up on what I was working on, what I found out from other docs, and different tests the new doc put me through I found out that in addition to being an over pronator, having weak glutes, IT band syndrome, bursitis, and patellar tendonitis I also have......


So yes, everyone has different leg sizes, but apparently my left leg is significantly short enough to have this fancy term. So what does this do you may ask?!?! Apparently a lot....

 In short its a spiraling effect and in my case, it causes me to come down harder on my right leg which is why I have so many issues with my right knee, yet nothing with my left (despite orthopedist saying left knee showed greater signs of patellar tendonitis than right, good old high jumping days)

I personally didn't think it was a huge deal, however when I went in on wednesday he measured me at 7mm short. I did a sculpting class and then yoga before I saw him 2 days later on Friday- then I measured 12 mm short. Before I could even tell him what I did he asked if I did any squats, or standing shoulder press- YES and YES. Apparently those are 2 of the last exercises you want to do when you have a significant short leg because your torque is already thrown off in your body and its working hard to over correct itself and you are adding more pressure onto it. So not only am  I not able to do those anymore, but he told me to really not run at ALL till my race april 2 to allow him time to correct me without having to redo it every visit. 
Weirdest part of all.... on my left leg no stretching quad, just hamstring, and on right leg no hamstring just quad, I understand the concept, but still...
anyone ever heard of this?!!?

I got nothing to lose so I will give it a whirl, but meanwhile I'm going crazy. I decided that if I'm unable to run and the only cross training i'm allowed is yoga or biking, then I might as well get a headstart on later summer months and early fall months for races!

B and I have been very fortunate with races thus far- living in TN gives us an advantage for being able to drive to multiple states-  Out of 16 states (9 done and 7 more on the books) we will only have flown to one! Obviously we're running out and will have to start planning more plane trips with back to backs. 
What I'm finding difficult with the western states is that a lot of the races are in smaller towns and can't find a major airport OR its supper expensive to fly there (north dakota, montana, wyomming etc) Soooooooo with that being said

*** anyone out there have any advice on how to find cheap deals on planes, or car rentals?!?!**

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week in review

Its the weekend- yay! I'm at work on a saturday- argh! Although I'd like to think I'm a pretty optimistic, happy person, lets be honest, every week can't be a great week. This however was- seemed like every day something new or exciting happened!

Monday- Had my first ever yoga class, flow yoga in the morning. Afterward went to fleet feet and their amazing store owner finally was able to pin point the root of all my knee pain- over pronator running in a neutral shoe w/o inserts mixed with weak gluteus medius causing my hip flexors to do all the work, pulled on my sartorius and my it band, thus causing knee pain- whew thats a lot. Did get some exercises to strengthen my gluteus medius. It amazes me how even the slightest thing off can have such a domino effect!

Tuesday- It's official! Put the down payment on our new home and get the keys next week! Had to leave work early and road trip it to Murray, Ky for health fair following day.

Wednesday- 1st part of day was spent working the Murray State University health fair, met a lot of genuine people wanting to make a difference in their health (always warms my heart) Headed back to Nashville met with my new chiropractor (so much better than the old) and then had my first ever sculpt class at the Y. According to the girls I went with, it was more of a body pump class, but regardless, it kicked my butt.

Thursday- decided to try yoga again, but this time basic yoga. It.was.hard. How is it that basic yoga was way more complicated than flow yoga??? Had a really advanced teacher who could wrap his legs around his head and lift himself up- I laughed and just sat there during those hard poses. I do think its slowly helping with flexibility, but decided I just need to give it some time.

Friday-found out from my new chiro that I have 'short leg syndrome' with my left leg. On wed he said my left leg was 7mm too short, today it was 12 mm!! Apparently a lot of the moves we did in sculpt on wednesday (standing squats, chest presses, dead lifts) are not good for my body while I'm trying to fix everything. Told me that I should only stretch my hamstrings on the left leg, and quads on the right to even everything out. If I can be patient, he said no running till my South Carolina race April 2 so it doesn't throw off all the torque in my body. I am not a patient by nature person, so this will take some practice.

Saturday- After work, meeting up with a bunch of folk to attend Franklin Brew Fest!! This will be my 2nd year in attendance- last year was a bit cold and rainy and had some drama ensued at the end of evening. This year should be great, meeting up with a variety of people, high of 66, clear skies!!
last year with my friend RJ and two random leprachaun people! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Running for a Reason

For those of you fellow bloggers who also follow Jill @ Run for the Hills, you may have noticed her recent post about 3 amazing individuals running in hopes to raise money for a special cause.

More specifically I wanted to shed some light on Josh's cause from Purposely Running. Josh, a fellow Tennessean, has a huge heart and is always the first to send encouraging words when needed, congratulations after a job well done, or just a 'hey' if you've been M.I.A. for a bit. He has a great appreciation for life and because of that, he has been looking for a reason to 'give back' through his running.  After catching up with some of his dear friends, the Kramer Family, he found out they were in the process of trying to adopt Ivan, a child with down syndrome from an orphanage in  Eastern Europe.

The Kramers are working with Reece's Rainbow Adoption Ministry to raise enough money to complete the adoption and bring Ivan to the states.They still need more money to complete the process, so Josh has decided to step in and run 4 half marathons this spring, his first one EVER this upcoming weekend in hopes to raise money with each race to help donate to the Kramer family.  His hope is that for every person that donates, they consider doing $5 per race so he can help make the Kramer's dream of bringing Ivan home a reality. 100% of your donations will go to the Kramer family, and you can do that on Josh's blog HERE. If you can't do $5 a race, any donation is appreciated to help speed the process along and have Ivan here by June!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3 things Thursday

1. Moved into a new house last week, drama ensued with one of the old tenants, and he reported us to the reality agency that there was not a single family living in the home (apparently within this neighborhood organization that is the rule) The couple we were leasing from freaked because they didn't realize that was a rule and gave us 1 month to find a new place.Literally when I finished moving my stuff in, that same day I realized I'll be moving it right back out. Lucky for us we found one and finalized all the paperwork yesterday! Front and back of house below.

New place is much nicer than current residence, so it just goes to show, everything happens for a reason- very excited for move in date. 

2. The is the first week since injuring my knee that it hasn't hurt with day to day activities!!! In the spirit of feeling better I have done yoga twice this week (one flow yoga and one basic) and a sculpt class. This is HUGE for me because the last time I went to a class at the gym was back in May! I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but if all goes well, I may start to do training runs next week! (haven't done one since JANUARY!!

3. I have 3 weekends off from races in a row, oh my!!! What will I do with my time?!?! This weekend I will be attending Franklin's Brew fest sampling different beers around downtown franklin. I went last year, and despite the rain it was a good time. I'm so excited for the warmer weather because there are quite a few brew fests / beer tastings in the next upcoming months. Bring on the good beer! 

What do you do on the weekends when you're not racing?!?

Any spring / summer activities that you're getting ready for??

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pain is good right?

I'm starting to realize that all my workouts in past have been running, running, more running, and a little bit of weight training when I felt necessary.

Obviously I need to step it up, and I had my first sculpting class EVER at the gym today. Two of my gfs from work were going so I figured I'd tag along and see what all the rage was about. Apparently today's main focus was ARMS. To be honest, I'm actually satisfied with the way my arms look, however I am EXTREMELY weak.

Shortly into our routine I was already struggling- push ups, curl bar, free weights- all I am very capable of doing, but not back to back with little rest and then repeating. I'm going to be honest here, toward the end I started cheating and resting, using less weight, and then just stopping all together, quite comical how much I couldn't do.

Aftermath?!?! Biceps feel as though I've been lifting all day, triceps are good (i generally work those out often), back / neck sore, and my calves... my calves are extremely tight!!! The other day at Fleet Feet the worker who was helping me flicked my calves, they didn't move which I thought was a good thing. Apparently its bad bc it means they are tight and what you want is for them to be as jiggly as possible- stretch stretch stretch.

After the class I went to roll out my IT Band and I couldn't even do it I was in so much pain. I asked the girls if there was any bruising in that area bc that would explain why it was so sensitive, but there was nothing.

So this brings me to the title of this post- 'pain is good right?' I mean if we are trying to become stronger and better, break our muscles down so they can build back up, pain is a necessity.

However, if we are constantly pain free does that mean we aren't pushing ourselves to our potential???
 I sure hope so because that makes me feel much better about all my aches and pain. 

What helps you guys recover quicker when in pain after doing something new?? Time? Massage? Ice? Heat?

Any suggestions on other classes to try out??

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday = Dairy Tuesday

One of the best pieces of general life advice I've received and try to adhere to is 'practice what you preach.' So what does this have to do with dairy tuesday?!?!?
I'll explain....
 Day in and day out I evaluate other people's diets, advise them on what to incorporate, and what to eliminate based upon their overall health goals.
Depending on the particular member's outlook on nutrition (old school vs new school / hollistic mentality) will determine how detailed I will relay information and suggestions of change to them. 

One of the most CONTROVERSIAL topics of conversation (although soy is up there) is dairy. Old school mentality is that its great for you, after all its the 'building block of healthy strong bones' due to its high calcium content.  Although milk does have a great deal of calcium, research has shown that its not readily bio-available, due to it it being too large for your body to break down. Cows have multiple stomachs, humans have one- we are not designed to drink cow's milk and our body has an extremely hard time breaking it down. Cow’s milk contains on average three times the amount of protein than human milk which creates metabolic disturbances in humans that have detrimental bone health consequences.

In short, when you eat any type of animal protein, including milk, it has an acidifying effect on your body. As your body breaks down protein, it creates a toxic waste which your kidneys generally flush out via the urine. With milk, the protein molecule is so large, your kidneys can't flush it all out so your body uses calcium, an excellent neutralizer, to correct this problem. Guess where your body's largest store of calcium is?!?! Your bones! The very calcium you are trying to get in your diet, is actually causing your body to leech its own stores of calcium. There is a DIRECT correlation to countries highest in osteoporosis with the highest in milk and dairy consumption. 

If this isn't reason enough there are also many studies on how milk and dairy causes allergies, overweight issues, and diabetes in children due to your body's response after consumption- produces mucus causing more inflammation in your body. More and more health practitioners are leaning toward more of the hollistic way of treating their patients vs. traditional medicine, and are finding that eliminating dairy from your diet can have amazing benefits.

Dairy, especially cow's milk is something I am EXTREMELY passionate about. Although I'm not an RD, I am a registered nutritionist and a large part of my focus was on  healing your body with vitamins and minerals via food and of course *good quality* supplementation. ( so much crap out there on the market today which could be another post in itself)  I could go on for hours about this topic, but I think I might get a writing cramp. If you have any questions or want further explanation feel free to comment or email me at 

So off my soapbox...
I gave up drinking milk about 3 years ago- occasionally I have a craving for chocolate milk and will indulge in that, but otherwise milk free. I don't have too much dairy in my diet, but  I LOVE cheddar cheese and ranch dressing- mmmmmmmmmmm. I figured since I'm always telling people how dairy isn't what you think you're getting, I should take the plunge and eliminate it all from my diet. What better time than to start with lent?!?!
In celebration of fat tuesday I did extra dairy as my big last hoorah! The plan is to have absolutely no dairy for all of lent- even no bread, crackers, cakes made with milk. After lent I'll re-evaluate and see what I can go completely without in my diet, and what I will need to do in moderation
Lunch- chicken and CHEESE quesadilla w/ ranch. veggies, sweet potato fries, and Odwalla chocolate protein shake (they were all out of chocolate milk so this was the closest i could get) 

I also used extra creamer in my coffee (will be switching to almond milk or coconut milk for that starting tomorrow). Lastly after work I had to drive to the middle of nowhere, aka, Murray, KY to work a Health Fair tomorrow morning. The drive took 45 min longer than anticipated due to rain and then GPS taking me to an abandoned parking lot saying it was my hotel so I stopped,  at a Dairy Queen to get another dairy fixing- chocolate mint oreo blizzard with added cookie dough (yum) and a chilli CHEESE dog haha. Not a big ice cream person so I ate it just because it was my last day, however if the urge does strike me, I can always get coconut milk ice cream for the future. 

So thats my dairy tuesday- I'm happy with my choice, I think the hardest part will be no chocolate since its made with milk and I don't like dark chocolate. I'm pretty sure at the end of this process, chocolate will have to be one of the foods I put in the 'moderation' category and not 'elimination'
Regardless of your faith, lent is something fun to practice to keep you in check with your indulgences, or in my case, a catalyst to make a change in your life you've been debating on. 
Did you give up anything for lent??
all dairy products, and I'm thinking of doing bacon too (i'm obsessed) 

What has been the hardest thing you ever had to give up??
for those of you who know me on a personal level, freshman year of college was the hardest sacrifice for that point in my life haha. aside from that, the first year I gave up soda. 

For all those out there who are turning over a new leaf Wednesday, best of luck!! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

3 weeks of pampering!

I wish I could say that pampering meant being on a beach, sipping on frozen drinks and great beer, while having Hans give me a deep tissue full body massage... but alas no. Pampering in this text refers to me being good to my body, really working on the next 3 weeks (that is how long I have until my next race) to rest, stretch, cross train, and get stronger.

First up-keeping true to my 2011 workout goals, I FINALLY tried yoga for the first time today. Both B and I had the day off, so we met at the Y for a flow yoga class- I'm told this a great version of yoga to try for beginners like myself.
Thankfully the teacher recognized that we were new faces and I told her this was my first time with yoga EVER, so that was kind of a heads up to what i was sure was going to be a great embarassment to myself.

I think I did better than I expected, however I am way more inflexible than I previously thought, so this is going to take some time for me to get near everyone else's flexibility. It amazes me how someone can go from the downward dog position, and then from there completely move one leg to the front of the mat in one single swoop- I had to readjust every time and take 3 steps or so (I'll eventually get there). I know the class is supposed to be relaxing, but I was so busy looking around or up at the teacher to figure out what the proper technique was supposed to look like, that my mind couldn't just 'let go.' I guess I should have done a bit of preparation and looked up what basic poses were so I would have some knowledge prior to this morning.

After the class was over I went into the cardio part of the Y and foam rolled my IT Band, quads (major ouch there) and my calves. I was surprised at how much easier it is to roll (another first for me this morning) than to really dig in deep with the stick, I was also surprised at how in addition to flexibility, I need to work on coordination- kept getting off balance with my body weight on the roller.

Lastly finished up the gym by some good quality stretching in the hot tub; I do have a slight  dependency to the hot tub- when looking for hotels for races, a hot tub is one of the first features we check!

After showering I head over to our Fleet Feet to get some advice on if my shoes are truly the best for my form. Although I did buy them there earlier in the fall, I just feel that they aren't the best that I need for the way I strike, especially with all these injuries popping up. Since October I have been running in Saucony Ride 3s- they aren't bad, at first my feet would go numb after 10 miles or so, but now they are adjusted. I go over what I'm looking for, whats going on with my running, etc. After he watches me run, he admits that he doesn't know how to best help me, and gets the store owner.

He comes over to me, has me put shorts on and then whips out his flip camera and videos me bending down in a squat position both with my feet together, and shoulder width apart. Just from doing that he saw how greatly I overpronate- my knees completely buckle inward (thus all my knee pain). He explained that because I have strong hip flexors and quads, they take a blunt of the force, but due to increase in mileage, knees are finally starting to be affected. He tells me that many runners have really weak glutes, more specifically the glute medius, because it isn't really used while running, unless you cross train (which i don't) then you have to make a large effort to work this muscle.
He shows me how to do a clam:
which by the way looks easy enough, but 20 of those, and I was SORE- if you don't feel it after 5, then you're using too much of your hip, really have to focus on just using the glutes.
Anyway, once my glute medius becomes stronger, it will take all that pressure off my hip flexors, which will then stop the pulling on both my IT Band and sartorius- i.e. KNEE PAIN BE GONE!!!
I think its great that in one visit, which was free, I found the exact root of my problem. Everything that was told to me previously was all accurate, but its nice to finally pin point what started the chain effect.

Afterward I pick out my new shoe Saucony Progrid Guide 4, a stability shoe vs. the neutral one I had, decide to get a trigger point roller, and PROMISED them that I would actually use my shoe inserts that I bought back in May (I know I know, I'm a horrible runner)

So despite my excitement to use my new shoes and barely worn inserts, I'm not going to be bulking up the miles anytime soon. This week I'm traveling for work, so during travel I'll just rest and then maybe on thursday or friday go to the gym for some weightlifting and perhaps cycling / elliptical, of course followed by the hot tub!

What do you do for cross training that isn't boring?!!?

How do you keep things engaging while you're not able to run as much as you'd like?