A 9 Mile Run with a Size 6 Butt

September 30, 2013

Overall, a marvelous MARVELOUS weekend!

Marvelous was celebrating a good friend’s 29th birthday in style:

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Marvelous was Saturday morning pumpkin spice almond milk lattes with the hubby:

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Truly MARVELOUS was going shopping for jeans and fitting into a size 6 for the first time in my life!!

3 different pairs of pants, 2 different brands. This is for real.  20130930-074329.jpg But wait – listen up for a sec. This is not about being a certain size or comparing myself to others. It’s not about using hate for my body as motivation to whip myself into shape. Those are things I used to say, but never truly believed.

So what is it about?

It’s about YOU doing YOU. At this point in my life, I am pushing myself very hard to achieve some awesome goals: being a better runner, a stronger lifter. These goals bring some great ends in and of themselves – I feel better ALL THE TIME! I have more energy, I feel strong, and I’m more mentally focused. Even though I know I want to go much further, I already feel like I can look in the mirror and see physical strength that I finally feel reflects the inner strength I’ve always had.

Do you have any idea how refreshing it is to feel like your outer body matches your inner spirit? IT’S AMAZING, because you feel for a moment that you are being true to yourself. Not only is that the most amazing gift you can give to yourself, it’s one of the best things you can do for others. 

For me, size 6 symbolizes yet another step in my journey towards becoming the strong woman that I know I am. As I slowly lean out and become a better athlete, I am also leaning out and making progress inside and becoming a better liver. [For those of you who believe, I owe this passion, this journey, and this growth completely to God. As marvelous as all this is, that’s the part that is truly marvelous.]

Marvelous was, with this spirit, hitting the pavement for my last half marathon training run on Sunday! 9 miles was on the plan, so I headed out on a 4.5 mile loop twice.

I started the morning with PB&J oats:

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I know I’ve shared PB&J Oats recipes before, but I have to share this updated one, because it’s my best to date!

PB&J Oats
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. oats
  • ¾ c. water
  • ½ c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ c. peanut flour
  • 4 drops liquid stevia
  • dash sea salt
  • ½ c. berries, mashed
  • 1 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Prepare oats in microwave with water. Mix in almond milk, peanut flour, stevia and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, take thawed frozen berries or fresh berries and mash using a masher or the bottom of a cup. Top oatmeal with berries and stir to combine. Top with peanut butter and enjoy!

This may or may not have been recreated for breakfast this morning…  20130930-083420.jpg

On my run, I didn’t have a GPS with me and ended up only covering about 8.9 miles. Whoops. Regardless, I’m feeling more than ready for this race next weekend!

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20130930-074234.jpg I focused on slowing down a little bit to be sure I could keep a consistent pace the entire time. I ended up running it at an 8:27 pace. In order to finish sub 2 hours, I have to keep a 9:09 average pace for the whole race, so I should be in good shape. I remember the day when I couldn’t even run 3 miles at a 10:00 pace. It was exactly one year ago.

#freakingprogress

#winningsohard

#ioweitalltostrengthtraining

Last, but not least, marvelous was spending Sunday night at Starbucks studying with the hubby. No coffee for me, just a deliciously rehydrating pineapple coconut water post 9 mile run:

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I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Have you had any big successes lately? Are there any moments when you truly felt like your physical body matched your inner spirit? Share!

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete

How’d I Do Friday

September 27, 2013

This week freaking rocked.

You know how you have those phases where you just feel like you’re going through the motions?

You’re doing your prescribed workout, but you’re not really checked into it mentally or really truly pushing yourself to your limits. Your diet is good, but you’ve added in a few additional healthy snacks here and there, enjoyed a glass of wine or seven, and just haven’t been perfectly on point.

That’s how my past few weeks have been. I still made great gains in the gym – pulled off several running PRs – but I just wasn’t focused on continuing to change my body and meet my goals.

That all changed this week.

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And do you know what started it all off right?

FOOD PREP. Freaking food prep.

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It will change your entire week. Having food prep done meant that when I came home for dinner, the first thing I had almost every night was a GIANT bowl of vegetables. If you change nothing else about your diet except for this one thing, I guarantee you you’ll see fat loss.

Roasted veggie heap, hummus and nutritional yeast mixed with water, soaked pumpkin seeds

Roasted veggie heap, cannelloni beans, hummus and nutritional yeast mixed with water, soaked pumpkin seeds

I stuck to my plan. It still allows for some flexibility in what I eat, but the food groups stay consistent:

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  • Breakfast: protein pancakes OR protein oats
  • Lunch: huge raw salad with tons of veggies and soaked or sprouted seeds
Enjoyed outside on a beautiful crisp fall day :)

Enjoyed outside on a beautiful crisp fall day :)

  • Snack: complex carb and protein, e.g. sweet potato with hummus and nutritional yeast OR gluten free cereal with peanut flour OR protein bar and piece of fruit
  • Dinner: huge bowl of veggies and concentrated protein source, e.g. tofu OR tempeh OR beans and nutritional yeast
  • Pre bed: protein shake, usually with a healthy fat, e.g. almonds OR hemp seeds
Last night's roasted veggie bowl: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kabocha squash, coconut oil, and sea salt

Last night’s roasted veggie bowl: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kabocha squash, coconut oil, and sea salt

Last night's pre-bed protein ice cream: 1/2 c. organic mixed berries, 1 c. unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop raw plant-based vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, 10 almonds

Last night’s pre-bed protein ice cream: 1/2 c. organic mixed berries, 1 c. unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop raw plant-based vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, 10 almonds

I also ate strategically.

Did I enjoy a piece of that delicious homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread? I sure did. When did I do it? RIGHT after doing legs alongside my protein shake.

The other part of it was coming off of THREE rest days this past weekend.

Because I was traveling, I took a rest day Friday and Saturday. Although I had intended to do my long run on Sunday, I got back into town much later than I had anticipated with homework hanging over my head, so I pushed it to Monday. I didn’t feel guilty about that decision at all and made sure to keep my nutrition on point those couple days. It set me up for a week of serious gains in the gym Monday – Friday.

Not only did I stick to my workout plan to a tee, but I focused on pushing myself mentally.

Rather than just racing through sets, I slowed down and even closed my eyes. Every time I curled a dumbbell and sank into a squat, I made the weight as heavy as I could with my mind, contracted every muscle I could, and FELT THE PAIN.

It makes a difference, people.

Monday: 8 mile run at an 8:10 average pace

Tuesday: cardio and upper body workout # 1

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Wednesday: LEGS DAY BABY

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Thursday: “Sprints” – I use quotation marks because I had to run 5 sets of 1200s (.75 miles), so they were LONG ASS sprints

My dark view from the treadmill at 6am

My dark view from the treadmill at 6am

.75 mile sprints - first one was a "warm up" and took 6:13. These were the other 4.

.75 mile sprints – first one was a “warm up” and took 6:13. These were the other 4.

I thought these sprints were going to be the death of me after legs day, but you know what? I WAS WRONG. They sucked, but I’m here to tell the story, and I’m so glad I crawled out of bed at 5am (on only 4 hours of sleep) to get them done.

JUST DO IT.

Friday: cardio and upper body workout # 2

My serious face on the arc trainer...

My serious face on the arc trainer…those hill climb intervals are no joke.

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I woke up this morning feeling SO LEAN. Y’all know that feeling I’m talking about. I haven’t had it in at least a few weeks, maybe more. It feels GOOD, yo.

GET AFTER IT! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

It’s amazing how different your body can feel after just ONE day of treating it right. Two days? Three days? IT’S WORTH IT.

Cheers to pushing limits,

Avocado Athlete