TnT Tuesday: Electo Pops, a Chill Way to Stay Hydrated and Healthy

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Good afternoon Tuesday! I realize my posting has been a bit of a hit or miss and quite frankly sporadic as of late…you can pretty much expect that from me over the summer as I get busier. There’s that and I’ve been quite uninspired to write. Not sure why…maybe it’s because I have no marathon training going on currently? I’ve been staying busy with work, personal training, kid’s baseball, running, cross-training, and weight lifting just kinda how ever I’m feeling. No strict must-run-this-pace plan. And I’m freaking LOVIN’ it! Yet simultaneously going stir crazy without a strict routine. *Note to self: I’ll have plenty of time later to kill self in training. Enjoy while easy running lasts.

But today I have a super cool tip for staying hydrated this summer in a new cool fancy way. Only requires two to three ingredients…depending on how much fruit you like. That and I have a totally hard time making anything more complicated than three ingredients… I kid, I kid. I can cook. When I feel like it. You see a trend here…running when I feel like it, blogging when I feel like it, cooking when I feel like it….summer has already hit my brain apparently.

Anyway, onward to our fun treat. I call them Electro Pops. Short for electrolyte. I told you it was fancy. I know, I know… you are all thoroughly impressed with my classy wit. But on a more impressive note, these little pops cost you about 10 calories or less (depending on if you use NUUN or Gatorade) each with a little burst of essential electrolytes. It’s an easy way to stave off that late night ice-cream craving and/or hydrate on a hot summer day. Also, way more cost efficient than purchasing popsicles with all kinds of refined sugar and corn syrups in those pre-packed deals. And, the kid loves them.

Electo Pops Recipe

Step one: gather everything you need. Like this list:

  • knife, preferably a short one specific to fruit. or if you’re classy like me just grab a steak knife. whatever works.
  • straws
  • empty ice cube tray(s)
  • strawberries, blueberries (whatever fruit you like)
  • pre-mixed NUUN, Gatorade, or your electrolyte beverage of choice

Step two: cut straws into thirds and place one in each cube space

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straws and ice cube trays. super affordable and easy.

Step three: cut fruit into little cubes and fill the ice cube tray. The more you stuff in there the better the straw sticks up.

cutting strawberries with a steak knife. it's okay to judge.

cutting strawberries with a steak knife. it’s okay to judge.

fill with yummy, refreshing fruit.

fill with yummy, refreshing fruit.

Step four: pour electrolyte beverage over until covering all cubes. Where’s my picture here? Think I was getting too anxious to freeze them and forgot to snap. Oh well, you get the idea.

Step Five: freeze for about 4-5 hours

one I pulled out had my strawberries shaped like a heart. proof these are good for you. ;-)

one I pulled out had my strawberries shaped like a heart. proof these are good for you. 😉

Step six: loosen tray, pull out by the straw, and enjoy! like this kid:

kid friendly. adult approved. win-win!

kid friendly. adult approved. win-win!

The funniest thing was that the kid was like, “ohmygosh these are soooo good!! Did you find this off Pinterest?” I replied, “No. No, I did not. I just figured this one out on my own. I don’t need Pinterest. Pinterest needs me.”

hahaha although I am almost near positive this may have already been thought of before. I’m sure. But for now, my kid thinks I’m a total genius. 😉

So there you have it, folks. A blog post and a neat, good-for-you popsicle recipe. You’re welcome.

Is your brain already geared up for summer? Any fun plans? Are you an ice-creamaholic like me??

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

TNT: Rest and Recovery Makes You Stronger, AKA the Taper Crazies

Hello Tuesday! When was the last time I blogged on your day?! It’s been a hot few minutes.

So tapering…it’s supposed to recharge your body from all the pounding on the pavement you’ve been doing and getting your bodacious legs ready to rock and roll! Today’s five miler felt stiff, heavy, and so not what I expected…but here’s what Dr Smurawa from Runner’s World says:

“Tissue repair in the legs during recovery, coupled with the fact that you are storing more carbohydrate and water late in the taper, will make you feel like you do after eating a big meal,” says Dr. Smurawa. In other words, you feel like a slug.

I’m praying my legs feel strong come marathon day. I keep emotionally swinging between “I feel so totally awesome and I’m going to kill this marathon!” to “Oh. my. word. How am I even going to manage running a 8:11 min/mile for 26.2 miles?!?!?!” And today’s short jaunt had me feeling the latter. I know I’ve trained hard, but was it enough?

I found $1 on my run! Going directly to St. Jude. Every dollar counts.

***And hey listen, you guys, I am only $55 shy of meeting my personal St. Jude fundraising goal of $500! If each of my readers gave only $1.00 I’d have it met in a heartbeat. When I found that $1.00 on the ground I took that as a sign. I immediately went home post run and donated more to St. Jude’s!***

As far as my past two week taper here’s a few things that have worked well for me personally:

**As always, please consult a professional running coach, nutritionist, or md for you. I am a certified personal trainer, but not a medical professional. Also, there are no affiliate links. Yes, I am a NUUN ambassador but I am simply sharing the brand love here because I believe in their company and like their product.

Products I use (throughout training as well):

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  • CheriBundi – a tart cherry juice that reduces inflammation naturally. I swear by it!! I haven’t taken a single IBU for marathon training this season. period.

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    want to try NUUN for FREE? Enter the contest HERE!!

  • NUUN hydration!!! Restock your electrolytes without all the added sugar or chemicals. Founded by an athlete himself an avid cyclist, student, and professor from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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    don’t mind the ugly runner feet…

  • Menthol lotion. Tingling. Refreshing. It’s like a liquid massage for your feet and legs.
  • IMG_3551 OOFOS recovery footwear for post run footsies. I used to wear traditional flip flops post run but they always ended up hurting my feet. But these….these are sooo nice. It feels like a constant massage to your arch. Well worth the money spent.

Practices:

  • For post long or hard runs: Ice bath draw a super cold bath add a little ice. Super uncomfortable but awesome post. Try getting in with a hat and gloves and a warm drink to make it more bearable.
  • Massage. nuff said. I can’t afford a legit massage but my hubby makes an excellent masseuse. 😉
  • Don’t stress. Try lots of prayer, yoga, and/or mediation.
  • Know your body. Rest when needed. Get enough sleep!
  • Don’t just stop all workouts and running. bad idea. Keep your workouts but reduce intensity and overall mileage. For more tempting “taper traps” read THIS Runner’s World article.
  • Now is not the time to squeeze in any MORE than scheduled last minute runs or workouts. What’s done is done.
  • Take recovery runs as they are: recovery. This means sloooooow. If your tempo pace is a 7:30 then a 7:40 is NOT a recovery pace. Try 8:30 or even slower. I’m guilty. This does not make you a slow runner. I promise.
  • Add a few pick ups during your easy runs to keep your legs poppin’ and fresh (a local running coach gave me this advice and I like they way he phrased it. Bill is the man!) but definitely keep the mileage reduced. Adding a few pick ups will help you feel like you are shaking off any “rust”.
  • Legs up the wall. Lie with your booty close to the wall and run your legs up and just lay there for at least 5 minutes…this is actually a great daily practice for those of you who work on your feet everyday.
  • Take the extra time to catch up on reading other blogs, like these cool girls from all places and paces:
  • Do NOT diet. Now is not the time. Maybe just don’t weigh yourself at all. You may feel as though you’re gaining unnecessary weight, but what you’re gaining is water retention and necessary fuel for a long 26.2 freaking miles. DO NOT starve yourself now (or every really). Having a full gas tank, so to speak, is much more important than a few pounds on race day. For more on the art of the taper check out this Competitor article HERE. From their site:

Some runners feel that they are gaining unneeded weight, and although this is usually mental, you actually should go into the marathon a few pounds heavier than you’re accustomed to being, especially if you’re a higher-mileage type who spends much of a training cycle in a state of partial or pronounced glycogen depletion. Glycogen storage requires significant water retention, so if you’re a few pounds up, you very likely have achieved a state of proper hydration, not packed on unwanted body mass.

And this is how I’ve been feeling every single day during the taper:

thanks H for sharing this on Facebook! I can not wait for my bacon cheeseburger post race!!!!!

In a vain effort to be healthy I’ve been eating rabbit food like arugula and drinking beet juice on top of my carb loading game plan. They say, you know the infamous ‘they’ of the interwebs, these foods are full of nitrates that they aid in maximal oxygen uptake. I’m game. I’ve never eaten a beet in my life or drank the juice. But I must admit, I kinda dig it. Get it? Beets are roots…you have to dig them up…yeah. anyway. I need to get this marathon ran!! I’m starting to get stupid.

“On average, the subjects were able to run for 7.6 minutes at high intensity after six days of drinking nitrate-depleted beetroot juice. But after six days on regular beetroot juice they lasted 8.7 minutes.” Read more HERE 

Last but not least, I wanted to send a HUGE congrats to all who ran Boston yesterday! What an incredibly inspiring race!!

How do you keep busy during the taper and week before a race? Any additional tips for the week before the marathon? Do you drink beet juice? I actually kinda like the stuff…tastes like dirt. 

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

TNT Tuesday: Journal with pen/paper or Online?! 

peek-a-boo treadmill runner! a new drive belt and a few tools and it’s fixed! 

Okay first of all: our treadmill is fixed!!! Thank the Lord because we are officially half-way through marathon training! How did that happen?! And if you stalk me on Instagram then you already know all about it cause that’s what we crazy social media runners do. We run. Take pics. And post.

Anyway, more snow has arrived! This time we got a crazy amount of the fluffy white stuff. Not icy snow but the real good packing kind. I’m not a big fan of playing outside in it, but I am a big fan of drinking hot cocoa loaded with marshmallows and watching it snow…oh the kid just LOVES it though! I believe he would play out there all day until he turned into a frozen popsicle of a nine year old little boy.

So what then does the mom do on a snow day? Blog about it, make hot cocoa for the boys, and study. I’ve finally made arrangements to purchase the NASM exam and schedule it for the second week of March. Hopefully by this time next month you’ll see CPT next to my name! Feels good to have a solid date set. #progress

view from our treadmill room. believe it or not there is a car outside this window.

So today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday inspiration is brought to you via Vita Runs for Life and my inbox over at Gmail. Since I’ve registered as a St. Jude’s Hero for the Nashville Rock n’ Roll Country Music Marathon I receive weekly updates and some training tips. This week was about keeping a journal and Vita just recently posted HERE about keeping her journal in the laundry room. Hey, journal when and where you can! I used to keep a pen and book kind of running journal until I discovered DailyMile. There are several reasons for keeping a journal of some sorts:

Logging how many miles you run. duh.

How certain foods and drinks affect your digestive system when running.–I’ve learned that tons of cheese the night before a run usually does NOT pan out well…

How different weather affects your pace.–Humidity is my nemesis.

What kind of music rocks your world.

If you used a heart rate monitor.

Your perceived level of exertion.

Different moods and feelings.

How many miles you log on each pair of shoes. I tend to run close to 400 miles before my Mizunos call it quits.

Running Competitor gives us some solid reasons to keep a written record also.

And the list goes on…

Tracking what works and what doesn’t can greatly help you fine tune your training. History teaches us. I don’t dwell on the past as far as training but I do reference back to it occasionally. But I mostly find that keeping a written training plan for upcoming weeks strongly encourages me to stick with my marathon training. If I see it on paper and blab away about it on my blog, I’m more likely to just do it.

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this needs to be used more than my pc.

Keeping a running journal also strongly correlates with keeping a faith/prayer journal. By writing down our prayer history we can see where our weakness and strengths are. Where the Lord has improved our lives and rocked our worlds…I’ll be the first to admit that I am not as faithful to keep up with my prayer journal…I have scolded myself on this matter. I think to myself, “If I was just as diligent with my prayer journal as I am on DailyMile, how much greater would my spiritual life be?”

Just allow that thought sink in…

LEARN from yesterday, LIVE for today, HOPE for tomorrow.

My question for you: Do you keep a running journal? If so, is it with the classic pen and paper or more modern take online? I find this blog tends to run as my very personal online training journal some…Do you support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital? If yes, then head over HERE to send some love their way!

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Get ‘er Done in Winter

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this pic just doesn’t do the hill’s grade justice.

This is part one of our driveway. Parts two and three are impossible. Sooooo we had to park at the bottom and hitch a ride with some four-wheelin’ guys. Interesting evening. I left work about 2 hours early but at this point wish I had home home earlier. As of now, no one goes up this hill and no one goes down this hill.

S-T-U-C-K. I had an eight mile hilly run planned for today. Guess I’ll be playing with the treadmill buttons up and down. boo. And that’s if my treadmill keeps working. It’s getting old and skips on occasion. Can’t imagine that’s good on my joints… but. I’ll do what it takes.

So that brings me to today’s intentional point:

How to get ‘er done in winter when winter is acting up.

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IMG_3220 just freaking do it. the jazz working out hard.

I know a lot of you are experiencing massive amounts of snow and ice and have been troopers running in and out of it. But for some, this time of year can really test your inner drive to get up and get something physical accomplished. It’s like this, ohmygosh this cozy, warm bed is sooooo nice and sippin’ on some hot cocoa is what is going on. Yes. This is totally okay and acceptable during winter. But, if you want to maintain fitness, achieve that spring goal you have your sights on or even if you just want to avoid the winter weight gain you can’t be doing that all the time. Talking myself out of sitting around all day takes some work. Especially when I’m snowed in. So I’ve compiled a few ideas to keep you fresh and motivated during winter homebody days.

This is when mind over matter really comes into play. As I’m sitting here thinking about running eight miles on the treadmill I’m cringing, crying on the inside, and begging God to release the sunshine to melt away this frigid land. If I had the proper gear I would be out there with snowshoes on running down the road. But as it is I only have road shoes, only one cold weather layer for winter running, and our hill is impossible. No really impossible. You did see above photo, right? So mind over matter. The weather is impossible, but the treadmill is not. Go get on it.

  • I have to constantly remind myself of WHY I am doing what I am doing. What will all this training produce? Hopefully a Boston Qualifying time during my spring marathon. But that will not happen if I let winter bring me down. You must keep your eye on the prize. As in life. If you’re always stuck on the immediate you’ll never progress towards the future.
  • Read other inspiring bloggers. I like to read other runner blogs. I’ll be chillin’ in bed and reading blogs and one is like “I ran 20 miles in the sleet and snow! Awesome run! Feeling great!”. Okay, yeah right then sometimes I’m just like well good for you. But really, surround yourself with inspirational, motivating people whether it be in blog world, friends, and/or spouses.
  • Spouses. They can be the real trick. “Honey…don’t you wanna snuggle? Don’t you want warm cookies and ice cream?” dangit. yes. But just look em square in the eye, tell them you love them, then get your booty moving! Run while you can!!!
  • Keep it in perspective. My run last night only took about 39 minutes of my time. Done. In the grand scheme of things this really isn’t too much time.
  • Wear motivating workout gear. Cheesy? Yes. But it works. I have my “I’m a total rockstar” running outfit. I am also a nerd.
  • Read about running. I have found tons of inspiration in Bill Rodger’s Marathon Man.
  • Remind yourself you aren’t running all day. After said run or workout, promise yourself chill time.
  • Go to bed the night before in your running gear. One less step in the morning.
  • Post motivational posters in your workout space. I have my race medals hung, but no posters yet. But reading all those fun Pintrest motivation memes helps too. 😉
  • hashtag the crap out of Twitter and tell the world that this morning, this very day, this very hour that YOU will #GETAFTERIT because you’re #motivated and #inspired because @jessflyingfeet told you to get your butt up and go!!!! haha. I kid. But really accountability is key many times. Tell the world and you’re more likely to stick to it out of sheer insanity not wanting to look like a total boob. Or at least tell your BRF.
  • Instagram it. Facebook it. Annoy the world with you relentless dedication.

Tweet: today I will #getafterit b/c @jessflyingfeet said 2 get my butt off the couch! #fitfluential #runchat http://ctt.ec/48G8n+
And remember, if you wait until all the conditions are right or good, you’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile. All the great things in life are meant to be worked for and ran after. Go get it!
Tweet: today I will #getafterit b/c @jessflyingfeet said 2 get my butt off the couch and GO. #runchat @GirlsGoneSporty #fitfluential #winterrunning
Now as I am headed to the mill I leave you with a few links and a funny from the kid. Because that face radiates motivation. No?

Other fun links and resources

3 Winter Running Secrets article from ACTIVE

4 Tips for Marathon Training in Winter from Precor

7 Smart Ways to Stay Active this Winter from Spark People

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You want to eat your pizza, huh? You MUST RUN SIR! being silly on a snow/ice day. 🙂 this is my kid.

ps-remember to enjoy leisure time with the fam. 😉

pps-don’t forget about my CLIFBar giveaway that’s going on NOW until Sunday!!

What tips do you have to add? Are you struggling this winter? Who’s training for a Spring event?

Blessed & Beautiful Running.

jesssig

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: #SmallVictories

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Since linking up with Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel yesterday for #MotivateMe Mondays, my brain has really been working. The surest way to accomplish a goal is to first have a goal and second set steps to accomplish said goal(s).
However, sometimes we get so caught up in the daunting task that is our big goal we take our eyes off the prize and begin to focus on the daily struggles. So for today’s edition of Tips & Tricks I’m going to suggest celebrating the small victories in life. For example, last night when the ever-so-sweet Mr. P offered to scoop me some vanilla ice cream with a warm slice of pumpkin pie, I chose instead to politely decline and make myself a cup of hot peppermint tea. WHAT?!  I’ve said it before, tea helps curb appetite!

If that’s not a victory my friends, I sure as heck can’t tell you what is!!

So share with me one small victory you’ve had lately. Use #SmallVictories on social media like Twitter, Facebook and spread the victorious word–that YES, we are capable of setting goals, sticking to it, and ultimately crushing our missions in life.

Even if we have setbacks, in which we all will from time to time, by celebrating each small victory we are reminding ourselves that it’s okay…we still got this! Each small victory leads us to the greater cause!

What’s your small victory today?
Do you find yourself discouraged when goals aren’t met or you slip up?

Blessed & Beautiful Running.