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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running As Fast As I Can

I have found my running legs! Getting ready for the US Half in San Fransisco I loosely follow Hal Higdon's training method, which requires building up your miles over a few months. It is a tedious process and requires me to truly "make time for running".  But the end result is that you did all the hard work BEFORE the race, and then enjoy the race day. This half runs across the Golden Gate bridge and has some hills in it. I met up with few serious hill running ladies this week and they showed me how it was done! I took a photo of us before we headed up a brutal 400 foot 1 mile climb. In the rain. Once we got to the top of that hill, everything else seemed easy (even though we were a long way from home)! I am so thankful to have strong, beautiful encouraging women in my life.

So anyways, I've moved to the fun part of running and I'm very excited about it. I wish I could always be in this phase! This might surprise non-runners, but not I don't lose weight when I train for a half. However it does tighten me up nad I've probably lost an inch from both my waist and hips. I have tried for many years to "be a runner" and for years I thought I could lose my weight BY running. But it was not until I got to my goal weight and was much lighter on my feet that I could actually, truly run. Until then I just hiked a lot and ran the downhills.

Simplified Bug Juice
I am grain-free, legume-free, rice-free (Paleo, gluten-free, Wheat Belly, Fast Track whatever you want to call it) and training for a half. At first my body was getting very tired during running, like my muscles just had nothing left to give. The introduction of the minute muffin has been a big help. I often have it before a run, and I used always run on an empty stomach. I also have a Nuun electrolyte supplement before long runs, and will do both of these on race day. I am not limiting my carb intake from vegetables. If it's green and grows, I'm eating it.  I also make a daily Spinach Drink, calling it a Spinach Shake would be way to generous. It is just a humongous handful of organic fresh spinach, squirt of flax seed oil, 1tbsp soaked chia seeds, 10 organic blueberries then filled with water. It is just like my old Bug Juice, but simpler. I drink that whole blender full and love it! I have a ton more energy this week because of it (I think).

I will probably allow myself some simple carbs the day before and directly after the half marathon. I've read that it helps repair your muscles. I don't know for sure, but heck, who cares! We leave for Spring Break in Hawaii a few days after the race. I'm really excited that I'll be at in my best shape for a swimsuit vacation! W00t!

Judo Champs!
I also had to share that my boys both placed 2nd in their age groups at a Judo tournament recently. They started Judo when I started running for reals, we were all trying something new, different and scary. We all stepped outside our comfort zones. I am proud do say that we have all stuck to it over a year later! I usually prepare my kids for any competition by letting them know it's okay not to win, in fact it's not very likely, there will lots of kids there, so just do your best. But a total Tiger Mom girlfriend told me I should set their expectations higher. She gave me a real talking to about this, and I realized she had some good points. So I tried this for the first time before the tourney "Come on boys, you can do this! Remember all the training, use all your strength, be aggressive, don't be afraid to use the moves you learned. You can WIN this!". The husband and boys looked at me like I was some sort of alien, but I think it worked! (My oldest is very timid and needed this encouragement and permission to be aggressive and yes, my little guy is sporting a mohawk)

I want to encourage YOU to step outside your comfort zone and try something new and different. Something that sounds crazy and impossible. Something only a strong person could, something only the new and improved YOU could do!

17 comments:

  1. How rewarding your run will be after so much work preparing for it. Have tons of fun in Hawaii soaking up the sun in your bathing suit. :)

    I think kids need a balance of encouraging them to really knock it out of the park and do their best, but at the same time being happy with their best even if they don't "win". It sounds like they did their best; good for them!

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  2. Great post Amber. You and the boys have done such a great job. You know I tried to run - but my body just does not like it I guess.
    Have fun in Hawaii. :-)

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  3. I think such growth comes from stepping out of your comfort zone! Running a half marathon is a goal of mine....guess I need to start training huh, lol! I am watching Hawaii 5-0 right now as a matter of fact and am wishing we were there. We were in Honolulu a few years ago and I am so ready to go try out another island! Hope you have a great rest of the week - XOXO

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  4. I know you will do your best and so will your boys! I love Hawaii (Maui especially), I was there one yr. and was pretty sick and still had a wonderful time. Make some memories and enjoy.
    Aloha!

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  5. This is so cool!! I would love to run a marathon too.

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  6. Your boys are adorable and so are you! Great job on the running. Just make sure and wear great shoes and watch your knees! At my age my friends are all having knee issues. You are great at prevention so you will be fine. I wish I were going to Hawaii:)

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  7. I started running last year and completed my first 5K. I started running to lose weight but it never happened. I have about 25 lbs to lose and know that I could be a much better (read: faster) runner if I could just get down to my goal. Interesting that you wrote the same thing.
    BTW your boys are adorable - congrats to them!

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    1. I can feel every little extra pound when I run now. Many ppl around me assume I lost my weight from running. Even when I explain it, I can they still think its running :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing Amber. I'm very curious about running without carbs myself.

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  9. Running is actually incentive for me to lose weight - when I am lighter I CAN run better. Right now I feel heavy, jiggly, and I can feel every extra pound I am carrying. Great job all around with the boys and with your green shakes! woo hoo!

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  10. Hi Amber,

    Thank you for the post, and for your blog! It has really helped me with a lot of my BFC questions. I just finished a 10k and will be running in my first half marathon in November. Besides the Nuun, do you find that you have to consume anything during your long runs? The running group that I am planning on joining provides things like pretzel sticks and gummy bears, and a lot of people consume the GU packets. What can I use an alternative that would be easy for me to pack in my running belt and that would have the same effect?

    Thank you!

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    1. Megan, I am choosing not to supplement other than Nuun right before the race. I will partake in gaterade or whatever the electrolyte drink on the course is - I didn't use to and I think I need it. Its usually offered at the water stations passed the half way mark. That GU will make you sick to your stomach, especially if you arent used to it. I've been thinking of something sweet w/ caffeine would be perfect at mile 9-10. Like chocolate covered coffee beans? But they would be a melted mess in my pocket by then! :) Gummies are an idea though... I don't profess to have all the answers on this low-carb/no-grain Half marathon running. I want to stay 100% true to the plan, but I really want to run a Halves each year. They are tons of run and my body seems to respond to the training. I did try a 1/2 banana once during long training run, it also upset my stomach.

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    2. Thank you for the response. I consider myself on plan 100% of the time, and would prefer to keep it that way! I have not had a banana in the 33 weeks since I have started the BFC and introducing it back into my diet on a run makes me nervous. I also have never tried GU, but I agree that it would probably make me sick. Have you heard of Hammer Gel? I read about it on a diabetic running blog, and was wondering if it might be a good alternative. I think for now I will stick with Nuun, and see how I do. The chocolate covered coffee beans are a good idea. I wonder if they would survive in my running belt!? Thanks for the advice!

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  11. Hi Amber, thanks for great blog! I'm running the more magazine 1/2 marathon in NYC next week. I'm grain free,too, what would you recommend eating the day before the race? Thanks so much! MaryB

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  12. I came upon your blog by searching about the belly fat cure & running. I need my runs...but im struggling with losing 10-15lbs and my sister in law had great success with BFC. So with adding the muffin you've felt good through your training? I'd love to read more on your running & BFC

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  13. "Yay!" for your boys. My 14yr old son is in his 3rd or 4th year of judo now. He skipped it one year to join the school basketball team and fell behind on his belt. But he thought he wanted to try something new. Which is good, but it sometimes teaches us that what we were already doing was great, too. Your boys are orange belts already in the first year?!? Fantastic job!

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  14. Sorry, I am color blind, I guess. However, yellow belt already is fantastic, too!

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