Saturday, February 18, 2017

How to Deal with DOMS

The morning after a big race or tough workout, you may open your eyes, stand up, wobble around, then fall right back down into your cozy bed. (Sometimes I start walking down the stairs and feel like my legs will give out under me!) You could have a strong case of the DOMS…aka delayed-onset muscle soreness. This soreness can last between 3-5 days and it is typically the most painful 24-72 hours after exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine describes this process occurring due to tiny tears to the muscle fibers from exercises that cause the muscles to lengthen while force is applied. Instead of waiting it out, give these methods a shot to help you deal with the DOMS!

1. Drink Pineapple Juice! Delicious pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain which helps relax inflamed muscles and has anti-swelling effects. It is even linked to lower pain and is a great alternative to over-the-counter pain medications. Instead of drinking the juice, you can simply eat it or even make a smoothie!

2. Take a Salt Bath! The magical mineral in Epsom Salt is Magnesium, which is absorbed through the skin while soaking in the bath. It can also be taken orally, but who would really turn down a relaxing bath? After hard runs, lactic acid builds up, causing sore muscles. The magnesium helps to flush lactic acid buildup, allowing the muscles to relax and relieve pain. Simply add 2-3 cups of Epsom Salt to your warm bath and soak for at least 15 minutes.

3. Roll with it! Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that helps to release muscle tightness and promotes muscle elasticity. Tighter areas or “knots” can be somewhat uncomfortable while rolling due to the pressure, but it should never be too painful. There are many resources available online to learn different methods of foam rolling to focus on specific areas of the body.

4. Munch on Turmeric root! Whether you slice it up raw on a salad, blend it into your smoothie, brew herbal tea, or take it as a supplement, your body will thank you! Turmeric supports the body’s inflammatory response, is rich in antioxidants, and contains Curcumin which has pain relieving effects. Curcumin can also be taken on its own as a supplement. 

5. Try the RICE Method! Otherwise known as Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, this treatment is typically used for minor injuries, but it is also effective for soreness. The RICE Method reduces swelling, promotes flexibility, relieves pain, and forces you to chill out and take a break. Instead of standard ice, I enjoy using a bag of frozen peas or corn!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

January Miles + Trail Tails

Getting through January was a success all on its own. The first month of 2017 is over and a good indicator of how the rest of the year is going to play out…hopefully. I was able to kick off the year with the Lake Samish Runs race (recap can be found here) and I would like to schedule a race for each month of 2017. Next Saturday is the Fragrance Lake 10k which was my first ever trail race in 2016. I had ZERO clue what I was getting myself into, which was obvious in the methods I had been training. Even though I managed to place 2nd female, I left the race realizing how under prepared I was. This time around, I’ve spent the month pre-race focusing on strength, hills, and steep inclines instead of building up mileage. It is only a 10k which isn’t much distance, but there is a decent amount of elevation gain!

Wk 1: 1-7: 14.39 miles
Wk 2: 8-14: 21.49 miles
Wk 3: 15-21: 20.22 miles
Wk 4: 22-28: 21.98 miles
Wk 5: 29-31: 10.45 miles
Total miles for January: 88.53

Meet Miss Remi (Remington)
January also started my journey of building a relationship with a new running buddy! My trail tales tails now include a female Pit Bull that we took in from a family trying to re-home her.  We weren’t sure of her previous leash walking skills, or lack of, but on our first time out hiking she did great! At 2 ½ years old, Eisley is still riding in the baby carrier on my back, so I cannot deal with a dog pulling me around or behaving unpredictably on the leash. Having a furry friend out in the woods or up on the mountain is very comforting, especially as a female. Our first run involved lots of abrupt stops to sniff trees, bite sticks, and simply pop a squat. This month we are starting six weeks of obedience classes that will help build our verbal commands and leash skills. Woof woof!

OH WAIT, did I mention that I was selected to be a 2017 Nuun Ambassador?!? Nuun is a Seattle based hydration company that believes in clean ingredients, clean sports, and a clean planet. Their products are vegan, gluten free, non-gmo, and the best tasting electrolyte replacement on the block!  Check out their website to learn more and order a few products to try!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Winter Kale Salad with Kombucha Dressing

We are nearly a month into 2017, so how are your resolutions going? Have you been keeping them up? I had quite a list of resolutions (are people supposed to do that?), with majority of them going strong, and a couple that didn't stick quite as planned. One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to eat better, in hopes of improving your health! My family eats all sorts of kale salads throughout the week and I'm always trying out new combinations. Whether you are wanting to eat healthier foods or you simply want to try something new, this Winter Kale Salad with homemade Kombucha Dressing is simply delicious! Pomegranate seeds and blueberries are both high in antioxidants, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, kale is a great source of plant protein, and the Kombucha Dressing contains gut healthy probiotics!

For the salad:
·         1 bunch kale (de-ribbed, torn in bite sized pieces)
·         ¾ c pomegranate seeds
·         ½ c blueberries
·         ¾ c walnuts
·         2 green onion (chopped finely)
1. Place kale in a medium bowl. Toss with Kombucha Dressing, making sure everything is coated.
2. Massage kale to soften the texture (it shrinks in appearance).
3. Add remaining ingredients. 

For the dressing: (yields 1c dressing)
·         ½ c Kombucha
·         ½ c olive oil
·         2 tbs Dijon mustard
·         2 tsp sea salt
·         ½ tsp black pepper
·         1 tbs maple syrup
·         1 tbs raw honey
1. Whisk together Kombucha, Dijon mustard, raw honey, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
2. Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while whisking to ensure an even mix.
3. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lake Samish Runs

What better way to kick off the New Year than by running a local race?! The cold, wet winter can send runners to the warm gym, or even cause them lay low in their homes until springtime appears. Cross training is very popular during the off season, but for some, there is no such thing as an ‘off season’. This is the first year I started running in the ice and snow while wearing cleats on my shoes and it was one of the most liberating experiences. I grew up in Colorado thinking that snow was only meant for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or days off school…never once did I think anyone would choose to go run in it!

Scenic Lake Samish
By running in weather far below freezing or pouring rain with wind, showing up to race day with clouds and temps in the high 30’s sounded ideal! Earlier this month was the 41st Annual Lake Samish Runs, offering 6.5 or 13.1 mile options. I hadn’t run more than 8 miles since September, so going for the half marathon didn’t seem like a smart idea. We had two parking lot areas to choose from, and then had to wait for a shuttle to take us to the start area. Packet pickup was same day of the race for our bibs and chips. The chip timing was done by BuDu Racing which is VERY cool because they have results printed out as the event goes on. It is nice not to have to stay late afterwards (especially when waiting for a shuttle to take you to your vehicle) or sometimes wait a few days to see the official results.

The half marathoners kicked it off at 10:00am and the rest of us started at 10:15am. My only goal was to run a steady race and enjoy the scenery. I hadn't been training and wasn't about to push myself to the point of struggling and wanting the race to be over. The first mile was a nice little warmup and I'm surprised at how close each split was. The course was on low-traffic roads going around the lake and had some rolling hills, with patches of ice that still hadn't melted. I finished with an official time of 53:01, being 23rd out of only 90 racers and 4th in my age group. Our post-race goodies were in a beautiful lodge with a giant wood fireplace. I enjoyed some coffee and a cookie, snagged my ribbon, and waited for the shuttle to take us back. Next year, if you are open to the thought of running in Washington's unpredictable January weather, I highly recommend running the GBRC's Lake Samish Runs!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Grain-Free Banana Pancakes

Breakfast is a pretty big deal in our household. Mornings can be hectic trying to get the little one fed after waking up with just a little bit of time to cook food for my hubby, before he leaves for work! I seriously love these Grain-Free Banana Pancakes because they are healthy and SUPER fast to make.

Having a child typically means bananas and eggs are always on deck in the kitchen. They are both great beginner foods that are nutritious and easy to eat. Since Eisley doesn't eat meat (and lately is refusing beans), eggs, in addition to nuts and seeds, are important for her protein intake. Instead of flour, these pancakes use almond meal and hemp seeds!

Yummy pancakes = happy toddler!

Banana Pancakes
·         1 large banana
·         2 eggs
·         1 tbs hemp seed
·         ¼ c almond meal
·         ½ tsp cinnamon
·         1 tbs coconut oil
1. Place all ingredients in food processor except for the coconut oil. Blend until smooth.
2. Heat pan over medium and melt coconut oil.
3. Scoop a little less than ¼ c of batter out per pancake. Cook for 1 ½-2 minutes, flip, and cook for another 45 seconds.
*Yields 6 (4 inch) pancakes

 Top with your favorite goodies such as blueberries, hemp seed, raw honey, or pure maple syrup!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

December Miles + Running Away from Home

We are only a few days into the New Year, but reflecting back on December seems SO long ago! Did you find yourself struggling to find motivation (or time) to workout during the holiday season? Waking up to snow covered ground and 22 degree weather makes drinking hot tea in your pjs by the fireplace sound like a much better idea. Traveling away from home can also put a kink in your running plans. Are you comfortable running in an area you are unfamiliar with, or do you view it as a new adventurous opportunity? I personally enjoy the change of scenery!

Possession Beach in Washington
Wk 1: 1-3: 5.15 miles (including Fairhaven Frosty 5k)
Wk 2: 4-10: 7.24 miles
Wk 3: 11-17: 21.87 miles
Wk 4: 18-24: 10.91 miles (on Whidbey Island)
Wk 5: 25-31: 19.03 miles (on Whidbey Island)
Total miles for December: 64.20

Our December was a time spent sitting…literally. First we puppy sat for a week, and then we spent two weeks homestead sitting out on Whidbey Island. It was a nice and untraditional change to spend Christmas at someone else’s house while on an island! Not only did we get a couple days of snow, but we were also able to visit the beach! Eisley got to help feed the free range chickens and rabbits each morning, followed by playing and exploring in the woods. 

Searching the land for free range chicken eggs!
Majority of our days called for rainy afternoons. As a runner living in the Pacific Northwest, you have to accept the fact that it rains a lot and learn to embrace running in it (At least, that was my method of adapting!). Luckily I was able to go on five runs while we were out there. The area was somewhat rural which was nice, so I was able to run constantly without any stoplights or much traffic. The roads all seemed to be hilly and winding, moving through woods and farmland. One hill was an exact 400m which made for an awesome hill repeat workout! Afterwards I was able to warm up by the fire! We returned home in time for New Year's Eve, my birthday on New Year's Day, and snowy trail runs! Head over here if you missed the recent post telling 2016 to hit the road! Are you as excited as I am to plan out 2017's races?!? Wahoo!!!

Fireside story reading

Saturday, December 31, 2016

See Ya LATER 2016!!!

Sorry for the slight delay in communication…we were just homestead-sitting on an island for the last two weeks. I debated on bringing my laptop and whatnot along with us, but declined in preference to lying low and living in the present. Anywho…RAISE your hand if you are ready to say goodbye (adios, peace out, later, screw you) to 2016 and start a new year! I cannot believe how much has happened throughout this year and how fast it flew by. The entire world is going through some major changes, our country here has started shifting in an unknown direction, and our baby girl grew up into a full-fledged toddler (that’s equally important, right?!?).

When Eisley was a tiny baby boo!
I logged a total of 1,120.27 miles in the year 2016!!!

My 2016 New Year’s resolution was to learn more about running, try out different types of running, join a local running community, etc…basically, I wanted to take my running experience to the “next level”. Until that point, I had only done four little races without any sort of training or even really knowing what a pace was. This year, I completed 11 races over a wide variety of distances. They included 2 half marathons, a 10.35 miles solo trail relay, a 7 mile race, a 10k trail race, an 8k, a 6 mile trail race, a 5 mile race while pushing Eisley in the stroller, a fun 4.81 mile race, and two local 5ks. I joined a local non-profit running group and made some new running friends. My terrain included pretty much anything, such as road, trail, mud, ice, snow, and of course the treadmill. 

For 2017, I hope to further this journey as a wife, mother, and runner. I want to connect with other female athletes in hopes of learning, inspiration, and companionship. This New Year is a time to de-clutter our lives, establish healthy habits, practice mindfulness, and try new things. I wish to inspire and influence other mother runners to step out of their comfort zone, explore more with their children, and to practice self-love.

Cheers to spending 2016 together and THANK YOU for taking the time to continue reading this blog. You are the BEST!!!

PS+New Year’s Day is my birthday, wahoo! My other BIG resolution is to quit drinking for the next 6 months (for health, happiness, financial savings, etc)…who’s with me?!?