Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Five - What I'm Loving Right Now

Hey Friends! This is my first time participating in the Friday Five Link Up so it seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about five current favorites!

Before I get into the things I'm loving right now, I want to first give a special thanks to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting this link up! Make sure you check out their blogs as well :)

So without further ado, here are five things I'm loving right now:

A little black dress - Believe it or not, sometimes I do buy non-running clothes ;) This dress from Express was a recent purchase and I can't wait to wear it out. I love that it's a basic, timeless shape with a bit of a twist. The only accessory it needs is a great pair of heels!

Krave beef jerky - I was first introduced to this delicious snack at last summer's Bird Camp and have been eating it ever since. It's a great mid-afternoon snack when you're craving something a bit salty but don't want to load up on starchy chips or crackers. 

Oiselle Jagged Sweatpants - I might never take these sweatpants off. They are the height of comfort and I love the fun design. Just the thing to throw on after a workout or when lounging around on a Sunday afternoon. Pairs perfectly with a Wazelle Long Sleeve in cream. 

Bumble & Bumble Creme de Coco Shampoo - I shower twice a day so my hair takes a bit of a beating. However, it remains smooth and shiny thanks to this miracle-working shampoo. It's a tad pricey but well worth it because it keeps my hair so healthy that I only need to get it cut about once a year and never deal with the nonsense of styling products, etc. 

Trader Joe's Fig and Olive Crisps - These crisps are so addictive. While snowed in one weekend this winter, I ate an entire box over the course of just a few days. They're sweet, salty and crunchy, all in one. And extra delicious paired with goat cheese! 

That's enough from me for now. But I'd love to know what's happening in your life. 

Tell me: What are you loving right now?

- ST

Friday, February 20, 2015

Runching 101

People often ask me how I manage to fit in all my training. Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret ;)

Most people do their workouts in the morning or evening. I train during those times, too. But I also use my lunch hour as a third option for fitting in a run. These workouts I call runch.

Having an extra time slot for getting in workouts makes a world of difference. For example, instead of having to slog through recovery miles the morning after a tough track workout (less than 12 hours recovery), I can choose to do my recovery miles over lunch. Believe me - a few extra hours of recovery time may not seem like a lot but it really does help!

An added benefit is the mental boost that comes with a midday workout. I find that on days that I runch, I'm much more alert during the afternoon, more productive and more creative. The funny thing is, I don't notice this effect when I do a morning workout. It seems exclusive to runch!

So, speaking of work, some of you are probably thinking that you can't runch because your workplace doesn't have a shower facility. Well, mine doesn't either! I'll admit, it's not ideal to not be able to wash up after a workout, but you shouldn't let that stop you. With a bit of planning, you can runch, not shower, and still make it through the afternoon without offending your coworkers.

Post-runch, ready to clean up!

 A few tips:
  1. Stick with easy or recovery miles - they involve less sweat!
  2. Eat a small snack about an hour before starting your runch. And avoid routes that go past popular restaurants and food trucks. It will just make you hungry while running!
  3. On that note, avoid areas that are highly populated with pedestrians. Unless you like zigzagging around people as you run ;)
  4. Use unscented baby wipes to clean up after your workout
  5. Embrace post-workout hair and turn your running ponytail into a work-ready bun
  6. Consider your work clothing the days you runch. For example, avoid tight pants, silk tops, etc. Basically anything that won't feel good to put on after sweating!
  7. Things to remember: deodorant, a small towel, a change of underwear, a fresh headband (if you use one) and body spray (just a spritz or two helps!)
A runch essential!

I hope you give runching a try at some point. You just may discover it's your new favorite time of day to train :)

My questions for you:
  1. Have you ever runched? If so, what do you like about it? If not, why haven't you tried it?
  2. What tips do you have for successful runching?

- ST

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Will I Ever Race Again?? Plus, This Week's Training Schedule!

So last weekend's race? It didn't happen. I was again foiled by the weather. Negative temps and a negative wind chill - grrr!!! I know some people still raced but I knew I wouldn't get a good time running in those conditions but being a race, it would still take a lot out of me. So Coach Matt and I decided the best option was to do a race-simulation workout at the Pettit. 

It ended up being a pretty good workout - a warmup, 1x2 miles, 90 second walk, 1x1 mile, and a cooldown to finish things up. These miles gave me the confidence I need to know I'm on track to race well whenever that might be. At this rate, it might not be til spring!

I miss wearing this beautiful singlet!

The main positive about not racing on Sunday is my legs didn't need as much recovery time so it's full steam ahead with training! Here's what's on my plan:

Monday: 5 mile run w/strides + Y-Kettle Bell Intervals
Tuesday: 8 mile workout
Wednesday: 6 mile recovery run + Y-Fuse + Y-Core
Thursday: 6 mile run + Y-Blitz + Y-Kettle Bell Intervals
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 10 mile run
Sunday: 5 mile recovery run

Total: 40 miles

I'm still focusing on cleaning up my diet so these miles and workouts will be fueled with healthy eats. A sample day this week might look like this:

Breakfast: Blueberry Oatmeal* + 1 serving plain, low-fat Kefir
Snack 1: 1 serving plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + 1/8 cup Bear Naked Fit granola
Snack 2: 2 cups raw vegetables
Lunch: Bean Burrito** + Banana
Snack 1: 1 serving beef jerky (I like Krave Chili Lime)
Snack 2: 1 Picky Bar
Dinner: 1 serving Lentil Spinach Curry + 2/3 cup cooked farro + 1 apple

Lentil Spinach Curry

My questions for you:
  1. What's on your training/workout plan this week? Which workout are you most excited about?
  2. What does your nutrition plan look like this week? 
  3. Random: What spring clothing item are you most looking forward to wearing? 

I can't wait to pull out all my spring sandals. Enough with the boots!

- ST 

*1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 2/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 2/3 cup blueberries, dash of cinnamon

**1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 serving mashed black beans (season with cumin, garlic powder and lime juice), 1/4 shredded Mexican blend cheese (2 percent), 2 Tbsp salsa

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Dose of FlyStyle to Cure the Midwinter Blues!

Winter is about halfway over and if you're like me, you're already counting down the days til spring arrives. It's hard to stay motivated to run when the days are short, temps are chilly and snow and ice cover the ground. But one thing I've found to help keep me on track with training is to treat myself to cute exercise clothes. After all, if you buy the gear, you'll want to show it off and that means hitting the road, track or gym!

Here are a few items that I've recently purchased or have on my list. All can be found at!

 I have this top in three colors but could always use a fourth ;)

 I have this top in pink and absolutely love the long, lean shape!

How cute is the back of this top? Also, love that it's Lux!

This could be a new favorite weekend layering tank!

Love the bright color!

These pants are so cozy. I never want to take them off!

Yet another Oiselle item I own in several colors. I must have a problem ;)

Two words: Herringbone Armwarmers.

Tell me: How do you stay motivated to run during the winter months?

- ST

Friday, February 6, 2015

I'm a Rock 'n' Blogger!

Toward the end of last year, I stumbled upon a tweet about applying for the 2015 Rock 'n' Blog team. This was the first I had heard of the team but it sounded interesting! So after doing a little research, I learned the team is all about promoting and running the Rock 'n' Roll races - and having a ton of fun while doing it!

It sounded good to me! And right up my alley since I've done Rock 'n' Roll Chicago several times and it is one of my favorite races. Love the course, love the atmosphere, love the fantastic expo and race day organization! I was so excited when I found out I was accepted to the 2015 team in December - it was like an early Christmas present! 

So this year, I'll again run the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I'm also going to do the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio 10k and 5k. Two races in two days! I'm super excited for this one, especially since I'll earn three medals that weekend - one for each race plus a Remix Challenge Medal

If you love race bling, Rock 'n' Roll races are not to be missed. In addition to Remix Challenge Medals, you can also earn Limited Edition Medals for completing certain combinations of races as well as Heavy Medals for completing two or more Rock 'n' Roll races of the half marathon or marathon distance in 2015.

If you're interested in running a Rock 'n' Roll marathon or half marathon race this year, you can use the code RUNWITHSUN to save $15 off a domestic race or £3 off an international race. And, of course, let me know which race(s) you sign up for - I'd love to meet up :)

Tell me: Have you run a Rock 'n' Roll race? If so, what did you think of the event?

- ST

Monday, February 2, 2015

Diet Lately

Something I've been thinking about lately are all the things that go into training. Running, obviously. Strength training, for sure. Foam rolling and stretching, yes. Proper rest, definitely. And let's not forget nutrition.

One of my 2015 goals is to eat to perform. A few months ago, I read an article in Running Times titled Your Fastest Weight. It probably comes as no surprise to learn that lighter and leaner = faster, at least to a certain extent. And since I'm not currently in a heavy training or racing period, now is the perfect time to focus on dropping a few pounds of fat.

So these past few weeks I've been religiously logging my meals and workouts using My Fitness Pal. I really like that I can customize my goal carb, protein and fat ratios for the day, as well as view stats like calories, fat, protein, sugar, fiber, calcium, etc. And so far, it's working! Already I've lost the extra pounds I put on post-marathon and am looking to drop a few more before I get into the spring/summer racing season.

This free app makes it easy to track nutrition and progress

Because I want this to be a sustainable 'diet', I don't really have any rules, other than I need to stick within my calorie limits, eat a good variety and limit processed foods. I have my eating spaced out because I find I feel better when I eat smaller amounts, several times a day. It helps me avoid feeling grossly full and also keeps energy levels up!

I'm also giving myself two 'cheat' meals per week. For example, going out to lunch with coworkers or Bacon Hashbrown Casserole for brunch. Food should be enjoyed and cutting out all treats is unrealistic not to mention boring!

A Sample Day

Breakfast: Bagel (whole-grain) with 1 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 serving plain low-fat kefir
Snack 1: 1 container low-fat Greek yogurt* + 1/8 cup granola (I liked Bear Naked Fit)
Snack 2: 2 cups raw vegetables
Lunch: 1 Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada + 1 banana
Snack 1: 3 cups plain popcorn sprinkled with 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Snack 2: Picky Bar or Larabar
Dinner: Veggie egg scramble** + 1 apple

My healthy and delicious Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

So, pretty simple, right? Nutrition should not be complicated. A healthy training diet = Everything in moderation :)

My questions for you:
  • Do you consider nutrition part of your training? 
  • Do you have any restrictions on what you can and can't eat as part of a training diet?
  • How many times per day do you typically eat?
  • What is your favorite treat food?

Anyone that knows me well know that I heart cookies!

- ST

*Choose a yogurt that's lower in sugar, i.e. Chobani Simply
** 2 eggs, 2-3 cups veggies of choice (I like spinach, tomatoes and corn), 1/8 cup shredded cheese (2 percent)