Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Breaking in NRC - a preliminary app review

I got soaked at the first school drop off this morning but luckily, I was wearing running shoes & shorts rather than my office work clothes. After dropping the round of 5 kids, I decided to just go for my scheduled #NRC #run (since I was dressed for it and already in need of a shower).

I've been skeptical of the new Nike app update...I guess I got really comfortable with Nike+ and it's quirky ways. Let's face it, change is tough.  And we are less tolerant of it when it's unexpected.  Admittedly, I was kind of grump about it at first.  "Where are my trophies?"  "How do I add photos with the mile stamp on the bottom?"  "How can I just push to Insta or Twitter?"  "UGH! Why? Nike, I have no time for this!!"  "and what is this feed?...who is reading this, who are these people?"  With all the chaos in our daily lives, it's nice to have that one thing you know what you can expect from. #thanksforthecurveballNike 😂

Anyway, being my glass half full kinda self, I decided I'd kick the tires on this thing & start a "training" program. I throw the air quotes out there because I'm not really training for an official race (although, I have a marathon friend that I sense will soon be coming around to sell me on running one).  What I AM doing, however, is trying to build my endurance (ahem, speed really) so that #cardio won't be so miserable for me.

I'm smart enough to know that I despise it right now 'cause I suck at it. Ha! The stronger & faster I get, the more I want to run. I've been down this road. 😒  It's a hard road but I know what's on the other side.

So, I started a training program with the Nike Running Club "Coach". It lines out weekly schedules of runs to help achieve those goals . I'm on week 4 and it's pretty slow going. I put in a long timeline so I guess it thinks I'm a total beginner. I'm fine with that.

**Here is the link to their official page that has all the deets:  From the Horse's Mouth ;) **

The schedules include benchmark, tempo, speed, recovery, long runs and rest days. I haven't followed it EXACTLY because most of the runs thus far are too short. They can be great for gym warm ups but as a stand alone workout, not enough.  I generally run minimum of 4, albeit slow, especially in the hot, humid, never ending Houston Summer days.

So today's (hopefully Part 1 of 2 #wod ) was a series of 3 runs. Two catch ups & today's scheduled.  I figured they are all short enough that if I added them together I would get a good workout and still achieve the purpose of each run.

1- 15 minute Benchmark Run -  7 min warmup, 3 min hard/fast (I was at 7.2 pace!) and 5 min cool down 

2- Recovery Run - 1.5 miles easy run

3- Speed Run - 400x4 w rest in between

Total mileage: 4.5

The runs have spoken cues which are a nice guide as to when to speed up & slow down, a cool feature for sure. I'll be able to quickly see progress in my benchmarks week to week. And it I think the program has a way of taking your performance to customize the future runs as far as providing a target pace. I'm excited about that.

As far as the other questions I had above, I figured out how to do all those things but there is still a bit of a learning curve as to when the photo option comes into play.  I think at one point, I ended a run and it didn't let me go back to add a photo.  Baby steps, grasshopper.  

Change is uncomfortable but I sense these updates are the beginning of many more.  I can tell that the coach feature is more robust than it was before.  There are other features that I have even yet to try, I will log on to their website to learn more.  The "Find Your Fast" program looks cool, even has Spotify Playlists for different Tempos.  I may have to jump to that after this program that I am on. :)

Stay tuned to see how this all works out! In the mean time, I will leave you with this that I found on the Nike page that I really liked:


1- We are all Meant to be Runners.
2- We are not Just Runners.  We are Athletes.
3- Every Run has a Purpose.
4- Respect Every Workout. Fear No Workout.
5- Embrace Your Weaknesses.  Then Erase Them.
6- Measure Success in as Many Ways as You Can.
7- We Believe in You, Even if You Don't.

Cool, huh?  I'm a fan of that. :)

Happy running all!

~Valerie


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to School Season - Chock full of Busy!

Back to School! Back to School!

Those sometimes welcomed and sometimes dreaded three words are the beginning of a roller coaster ride of things to come in the very near future.  Adjusting schedules, eating, sleeping patterns and getting school supplies and clothes for starters.  Not to mention all the back to school fairs, meet the teachers, orientations, pep rally preparations, soccer practice, PTA and volunteering requirements that suddenly pop up to add to the calendar ALL AT ONCE.  (Times 4 for me, yikes!!)

Once the pre back to school madness passes and school actually starts, a new normal will start to set in.  It won't be necessarily a smooth normal but a regimented, scheduled one at best.  The most welcomed part of this whole ordeal for me is the sense of routine that we are forced to oblige to.

This routine helps in figuring out exactly where the window for the most important things are.  ME TIME.  Ha!  I kid (sorta) but honestly, as everyone in my house knows, if mama is happy, EVERYONE is happy.  That ultimately means that mama needs a little "me" time.

I guess we should preface this by defining what "me" time for a busy mom is.  We are so used to being pulled in a million different directions that eating a hot meal at the table (rather than cold leftovers standing in the kitchen) could qualify...almost.  The point is that we don't need much.  As such, it is easy for it to be taken for granted and get pushed to "later", "tomorrow" or "Monday". Sound familiar?

Our priorities are our families and we forget sometimes that WE are members of the family too.  So, unless we DO something about it, our needs get to the bottom of the list.  Because we know all too well that there is no squeakier wheel than a 4 year old Princess on a mission for (fill in the blank for any random rainbow thing).  Hear me?

While I was thinking of this, it seems it's a topic on most busy mom's minds too.  I was contacted by my friends at To Be Simply Happy to guest post on their blog about this very topic.  So rather than continuing on here, I wrote a whole new fresh post for them.

Read my blog post there titled:

Tips for Getting Back in Shape After the Summer Workout Slump!


Come back and let me know what you think about my tips.  Hope you are all enjoying the back to school season!  For me, it's been a good reminder about why I dropped out of my "pseudo" Ironman training last year.  Here's a link in case you missed it: Post Of Shame 

Helping a high schooler and middle schooler with homework or study habits while keeping a couple of preschooler's entertained can be quite a 3 ring circus.  Did I mention that we also rescued a Chocolate Lab from the shelter and that he is AMAZING?  Just another ring to our amazing, wonderful circus.   I started an instagram account for him if you want to follow his journey @harleymakes7 Haha.

Well, as expected, my time is up here.  Hit me up on IG @fullhouseofroyals for daily posts (since I tend to go AWOL here).  :)

Ciao, Amigos.

Valerie

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Ever look back at your life through the eyes of someone who you've just told your story to? Yea, me either.

My life story seems to keep coming up and it's forced me to take a deeper, longer look back.  I spoke with someone who explained that their own father had a fascinating story and that they tried to get him to record his story somehow so that they can pass it along over generations.  Apparently, they only captured it in pieces due to technical issues and now all they have is that.  Bits of pieces of history to pass along of their heritage.

I have never thought my life story one of "documenting heritage" quality but then again, I was looking back in my own eyes.

Have you ever told your child a story about your own childhood?  Usually, you get an eyeroll when you talk about life pre-handheld devices.  But if you told a teen child about decisions, events that occurred in your life at their exact same age, it seems to have more of an impact.  My daughter and I shared this very experience recently.  She asked questions and she keeps coming back for more as she absorbs some of it and applies it to her own situation.  While travelling to my hometown on vacation recently, I found myself telling stories about life back then, there - by the water.  The look in their eyes was enough to signal that there IS something here that is worthy of sharing.

So, back to the original question.  Who do you have to tell your story?  Someone that doesn't know the WHOLE story?  Someone that may know the facts but not the reasons or feelings behind certain decisions?  Or the way you reacted to some of the obstacles thrown your way?  Or maybe it never gets told and assumptions about how you got from point A to B will be made for years after you're gone?

I don't have an answer but reflecting on the paths our lives take, the outcomes, the hindsight wisdom and the effects all of it could have on the next generations is in itself, fascinating.  Wouldn't you agree?

This could be an insightful project, no doubt.  A project that could prove at times to be difficult but one that would also be fulfilling enough to tackle.  Soon.






Monday, July 18, 2016

Fitness and Me - A relationship history

If you follow me on IG @fullhouseofroyals - you'd think I was a fitness fanatic and always have been.

However, if you have followed me over the years here or on other social media or if you know me IRL, you'd know that I am either highly committed to the point of annoying or completely disconnected, uninterested and not giving of two shits with regard to exercise, fit and healthy living and all that jazz.

I have had the benefit of genetics on my side for the majority of my life where when I heard "it's not fair, you're so skinny" it was really a true statement.  It wasn't fair.  I ate anything and everything whenever I wanted to.  I did not workout and still fit in size 4-6 on the regular.  That shit is just not right.  Right?

Well, skinny was ok then because I was young and lazy (and clueless).  Then I had kid #1 & #2...and I was all "what the f happen to my hips?!"  So like a woman with a mission, I worked my tail (pun intended) to get in shape.  It worked, of course.  I put in the time and commitment to exercise every day, even if for a little bit until I was back to my fighting self.  (at least my clothes fit again)

With 2 babies, I was on and off the workout wagon.  I'd go a few months and then off.  Again, no consistency.  As they got older and I had a better handle of my schedule, I tried to make more of an effort.  We had a home gym with the bench all the weights on it and a recumbent bike (which was my post baby savior) and that is all.  I tried to go down there a few times a week for a little while but still not enough to be impactful.

Then, my life turned upside down for awhile.  I started riding my mountain bike on trails outdoors by myself.  It was very therapeutic.  You have a lot of time to think and reflect when you are on a long bike ride and you get to appreciate things that you normally would take for granted.  Like the bunnies crossing the path or the beautiful vibrant colors in the birds or the crazy sounds of the water in the bayou or the cicadas in the trees.

Finding solace on a bike was great but also very time consuming.  Loading it up and getting all the gear up to the trail and back was a pretty big commitment out of any given day.  Then one Summer in 2009 actually, I was sitting on the couch watching the IRONMAN championships in Hawaii on TV. You know how they cut away and do those inspirational stories about people overcoming huge obstacles and committing to doing something so massive for themselves, for a cause on behalf of someone else or just to prove that anyone CAN do whatever they set their minds to do?  Yea, well...I was watching that and I can't remember what or who the story was but it inspired me.  It motivated me.  It MOVED me.  Literally.

I jumped off the couch, laced up my shoes and took off running.  There may have been an f bomb thrown in the mix  to the tune of "f this, I have to do something".  I am not a runner.  The only time I ever ran was in high school gym when we had to run around the track. Or if someone was chasing me, duh.  (Actually, I take that back.  I ran before that.  When my sister in law was getting wedding ready and we lived in the same apartment complex, she started training for a half marathon.  I trained with her on the treadmill until I hurt myself.  I didn't really "train"...I didn't even own running shoes...just tennis shoes...you know the ones.  I didn't know anything about heartrates, pace, nutrition, stretching...NOTHING.  (it was pre-internet so ignorance was easy)  I can't even remember how far I ever ran...4 miles?  6?) Sorry, tangent much? Heehee

So I ran...I ran hard and fast and turned around and ran all the way in to my living room with fists in the air and a "HELL YEA!".  It was Summer in Houston so probably also about 100 degrees outside. In the middle of the day.  It was the worst time ever to try to take up running.  But I did.  Shoot, I didn't even know how far I went!  Come to find out, I drove to my turning point and learned that I ran 2 miles roundtrip.  WHAT?!  Oh joy!

What followed was trials and tribulations of doing something to my body that my body was just not used to.  I learned a lot about shoes, pace, heart rate, gadgets, body mechanics, plantar fasciitis, IT bands, stress fractures, going out too fast, too hard, too slow too much too soon.  All that.  I did 5ks, 10ks and eventually my first ever half marathon.  With all the injuries and still being green to it all, it was an overall 'Meh' experience.  I found that my knees were weak, my hips tight and my heart not very efficient.  But I also found that there was a sweet spot to this running thing.  The first mile or two were pure crap.  Everything cracked and your head goes through an inventory of all the things that hurt.  I was looking forward to the next light post or tree to be my stopping point and I always pushed just a little further.  But then, when you finally find a groove and you are already on your way back home you realize, hey...I can totally keep going.  I'm going around the block again!  No, I'm going around the neighborhood again!  And 5 miles turns into 8 or 9.  Runners high.  It's a real thing.

Prior to this run epiphany, we as a couple, had run through one round of P90X.  I believe if I had continued with that while running, I would have eliminated a lot of my injuries.  But that is nor here or there now.  Just hind site talk.  I learned through that experience that I CAN do pushups!  A lot of them!  My muscle tone was probably in peak form for my life at that time.

After the half marathon was done, I decided I needed to put my love for the bike to better use. My dad, an avid lifelong cyclist, has been telling me for YEARS that that is what I needed to put my efforts in.  But of course, do we ever listen to our parents?  Uh, yea. Exactly.   He was also the one that told me I should run track in high school and I thought he was nuts.  I shoulda listened.  Sorry dad.  :/

My dad had done many bike races and rides over the years including the MS150 a good 12-15 times. My hubby was nice enough to buy an official road bike and I started training as soon as the half was done.  I experienced some brutal training rides in freezing winter and in the hills but no injuries other than IT band flare up here and there.  I did the MS150 two years and to this day, love getting out on the bike.  I try to do a minimum of 20 miles (much to my hubby's dismay...haha) and will sometimes try to ride with my dad and not get my ass handed to me.  (He is tough to keep up with...his "casual" rides are hardcore workout rides for me!)

Fast forward to having two more babies.  Nothing is more motivating than knowing the outcome of things from previous experience and knowing what to do to change results.  So last two babies, I worked out AFTER as a remedy to get "back" to my old me.  This time, I was going into the pregnancy being the best, fittest me so that getting back is not quite such a difficult journey.

My pregnancy fitness was on point.  It was my first REAL training.  I learned how to swim (I think I documented some of that here on this blog!), I started doing yoga regularly and also added spin classes and aerial fabric and conditioning classes too.  Baby #3 came and went and my body snapped back like a rubberband.  It was fantastic!  And then...I got busy being a working mom of 3 and I slipped again.  Until I found out I was pregnant with #4.  New goal!  I got back on the same type routines and again, boom, that kid popped out and was back to my old self in no time flat.

I ran with them, pulled them on the bike and did some spot workouts at home here and there but again...nothing to keep me committed.

Last year, I figured my goal oriented nature was the only way to keep me on track.  Sign up for things, commit to train, show up and do it.  I've documented my whole trial "half ironman training" experience on this blog too.  Feel free to peruse at your leisure. ;)

I worked my butt off for a good chunk of the year.  I ran, swam and biked.  I hot yoga'd here and there and I lost my ass.  Literally.  All the cardio makes all the curves disappear on me. I did several sprint tris and then school happened.  My schedule blew up and getting the workouts in was getting harder and harder.  So, I stopped trying.  Rather than miss a few here and there, I chunked the whole program because I didn't want to "half ass" it.  Makes sense.  No.

So my  hubby got me going again Jan 1, 2016.  Motivated me to get my ass in gear...I even had a hashtag for it.  #newyeargetmyassingear  (look it up, it's true!) I committed to doing SOMETHING every day.  Not for a race day.  Not for a due date.  Not for a milestone birthday. Not for a weight number.  Not for a size.  Not even for a trip.  Although having one as a reward is totally ok. :)

The new goal was to do something for ME.  To set an example for my kids.  To be healthy for my family.  To motivate myself and others that could be in the same predicament.  To prove that everyone has the same number of hours in the day and no matter how tight, you CAN make SOMETHING happen each day to make you feel better.  Because every workout makes you feel better.

So now I am in month 7 of this #newyeargetyourassingear movement.  SEVEN.  Longer than pregnancy fitness time.  Longer than post pregnancy fitness time.  Longer than training for a full freaking ironman if you think on that.  And I can say proudly that I have done SOMETHING 95% of those 7 months.  Check my insta...haha.  I keep myself accountable there.

Here's the thing I did this year that I hadn't done in the past (for very long anyway) - I started lifting weights.  Consistently and often and actually increasing the weight too!  I've had gym stints in the past but not like this.

I decided to use all the machines in the office gym and learn all the things that they can do.  I'm stronger for it.  Not skinny.  My ass is semi gone but the part that has stayed is hard. Lol.  You'll be able to bounce a quarter off that baby soon! Ha!

I am slowly becoming less timid about going to the big gym and trying a machine there.  It can be really intimidating sometimes...especially if they don't have a little picture by them explaining how they work.  Lol! I'm all about instructions, man.

I am now officially addicted.  I look forward to going to the gym and have a hard time leaving because I want to try "one more" exercise.  Times 3 rounds of 15 reps.  Haha.  I still run but my lack of steady training and heat/humidity of the summer has affected my pace which in turn affects my ego.  Just keeping it real.  I like to go fast.  And when I can't, it pisses me off.  So I go further instead. Slow and steady, I guess.

Here's a revelation: 7 months of weight training, some yoga, cycling and running and no injuries. Hmm.  Maybe there is something to that whole moderation is king thing.  (Remember the half marathon earlier this year?  How I was all gun ho and then hurt myself?  Well here's the refresher link and also here)

So now what?  Staying on the steady train my friends. I am seeing big results in the way my body looks and I love the way I feel and I am not following some crazy training schedule or diet plan to do it (moderation and smart choices).  My friend wants me to do a tri with her in a few weeks but I haven't been in the pool in a long while.  I think I may have forgotten how to swim!  I may give it a go, we'll see.  I also have some pilates classes lined up, more bike ride dates with the hubby (yay) and I think I may get back to doing the aerial yoga classes again too.  My other friend wants to do a destination race in Utah early next year and the triathlon in Cuba is also very tempting.  I just don't know if I want the training schedules.  Haha.  Now that my muscles are stronger, running longer and harder may be easier and will keep me injury free.  I will take that all into consideration soon.

In the mean time, we are going to be converting a double garage to a home gym later this year that I am really excited about planning and designing!  It will be great to have a nice space to go to without leaving the house (or tripping over cars and My Little Ponies - haha)

So although fitness and I go way back and our relationship has been through ups and downs, it is finally this year that we've gotten to better understand one another and bond.  I look forward to building this relationship and sharing it with my family and friends (including you!).

Come check out my daily updates @fullhouseofroyals on Instagram or on Snapchat : valofthevilla for motivation, inspiration, reviews, funny commentary, music, recipes or plain ol foodie pics.  :)

Hope you're all having a fab summer!

Val

 



 



Friday, April 29, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide for the Fit Mom



Sure, a nice handbag or designer shoes is really nice.  Really, really nice.  But, for us busy-trying-to-stay-fit-and-doing-it-all moms, getting fun gear that we can use everyday to keep the motivation going is not only nice, it's helpful too!

Here's a quick guide of things to help you put a smile on that fit mom in your life.  In compiling this list, I realized that I have my own wishlist of things and that this template is just not big enough!  Haha.

Other things to consider:  gym memberships, classes at your local Yoga or Spin studio or you can go ALL out and redo that extra garage into an awesome home gym.  (Cough, cough...hint, hint.)  :D


Mother's Day Gift Guide for the Fit Mom

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Avocado Pit Smoothie

My friend @stilettotopedal sent me an article on the benefits of the Avocado Pit/Seed (here) .  Aside it being considered a #Superfood packed with the daily required dose of #fiber and #antioxidants (more than in the entire avocado!), there’s a laundry list of reasons on why we should consume them rather than pitch them.  Here’s a few:

-         - Reduce GI tract swelling
-         - Prevent/relieve constipation
-         - Contains cancer fighting antioxidant, Flavonol
-         - Strengthen immunities
-         - Rebuilds collagen under the skin (whaaaa? #yesplease)
-         - Reduces body aches






I made a post-yoga smoothie this morning to give it a try.  Here is what I included:





1 Avocado pit included
2 bananas (they were starting to turn, save the bananas!!)
Frozen Pineapple
1 Cube of Fresh Ginger
½ sliced Cucumber
Almond Butter
Coconut Milk

The results as you can see were a of a thick consistency smoothie that was rich and filling (and delicious).  It made enough so that I have my smoothie ready for tomorrow morning too.  J  



*I didn’t taste the seed…I think my #Vitamix does a good job of breaking it up.  If you don’t have a mixer like that, you can put the seed in a baggie and smash it before blending it in.

Let me know if you try it!



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2nd qtr 2016 fitness goals defined

I've been noodling about this since my last post.  Before the days and month get away from me, I know I need to be a little more decisive about my goal. The sooner I do that, the sooner I can also define a reward!  Ha!

I decided to take dreaded pics of myself so that I can SEE the areas that I want to focus on and target to change.  I've mentioned (on IG @fullhouseofroyals) my cellulite that has creeped onto the outside of my thighs (and my butt too) and I just cannot.  CANNOT. DEAL.  Ugh.  What is this gross thing? Actually, I know what it is.  The bigger question is WHYYYY????  What horrible punishment for slacking off!

In any event, I am aware that there is no potion, lotion, scrub or cream that will buff it away.  I know that burning the fat layer and building the muscle underneath is the only way.  How's that for getting to the point?  I saved you oodles of time googling and watching ridiculous long youtube videos explaining the same in only two sentences.  You're welcome.

The pictures don't lie.  And no, you won't be seeing them.  I can barely look at them.  The true test was putting on that cute bikini that I totally rocked just last Summer.  WHAT. IN. THE. HELL???  It's like a completely different bottom half of my body!  So, there is my answer.  Boom.

The goal:  Eradicate said cellulite and get a tight, smooth butt.  I don't think a quarter is enough though.  13 weeks?  Eh.  I have looked at before and after "body transformation" photos.  It can be done (unless those pics have been photoshopped to high heaven).  I will never know unless I stop, drop and squat.  A lot.

The plan:  Not sure yet.  I will research this and find one but in the meantime, I will make sure to find glute/leg workouts on pinterest or youtube.  I have an office gym with a pretty good amount of equipment that I will have to teach myself to work with, a membership at a great gym that has every machine imaginable and I will continue to attend my Kickbox class, cycling and running for cardio (fat burning).

The reward:  The beach!  Courtesy of the hubby.  When we had this conversation and I showed him the pics and blew them up.  Oh, yes I did.  Yikes.  I said "no denying, honey...THAT has GOT TO GO"  So, before you wonder why I am insisting to go to the gym again, go for a late run or start randomly squatting before jumping in the shower, you know it's because of THAT.  He suggested a trip to the beach as a reward.  I am not about to turn that down and I am not about to take THIS out in a bikini anytime soon so....it's set.

Bonus:  For April, I started a 30 day arm challenge I saw on Instagram put on by Fitness Magazine. I'm 4 days in and I already know it's going to be tougher than I thought.  I'll also be incorporating abs heavily into the mix and watching my nutritional intake take too.  So no worries, I won't be neglecting the rest of my body.  :)

Details to follow!  Come back and if you follow along and my booty starts making obvious improvements, I would consider posting my very own before and after.  But only then.

Happy Glutes Day! I mean, Tuesday! ;)


Valerie

Friday, April 1, 2016

2016 1st Quarter Activity Review

In the beginning, it was about finding motivation to do anything after a 3-4 month hiatus. Then, it turned into running myself into a race. Then, it turned into recovering from an injury to still run the race. Then, it turned into staying active every. single. day. So, I did all those things. I rewarded myself with a fitness gadget after I completed a good quarter year of staying on the move. Better than cake, right?! 

So now what? Well, I have to use the gadget I got so staying on track is obvious. I've thought about returning to aerial yoga and triathlon. Getting in the pool after being out of it since...August? is a bit daunting though because swimming has never been a forte. I'm really loving kickboxing, strike, kenpo type classes. My son was watching me the other night and told me a robber wouldn't stand a chance against me. Ha! So sweet! But I need more. 

I have an issue with a spot of cellulite that has popped up on my outer thigh during the hiatus period. Seriously, it wasn't there before! Ugh! And...the mid section needs some serious toning and tightening, for sure. I'll work on those things and overall toning while I think of something more concrete. 

I started late in tracking all this but once I got it going, I updated almost daily.  If you've got nothing to do, take a look...it's quite the potpourri. :)

January

January 1 - 3.05 mile run loop at Memorial with Michael
January 2 - 3.15 mile track run with Michael, squats and lunges across track (twisted ankle)
January 3 - Billy Blanks abs boot camp plus 1 min plank and 1.1 mile jog
January 4 - Glutes/Legs + 2.13 mi run with JC
January 5 - P90X Back & Biceps + 2.01 mi run with Michael
January 6 - P90X3 Yoga, 1 mile walk
January 7 - Rest Day
January 8 - 3.1 mi run
January 9 - weed pulling & bush trimming
January 10 - no workout
January 11 - 3.11 mi run
January 12 - no workout
January 13 - 3.18 mi run + 7 min abs + plank
January 14 - 4.06 mi run + Shoulders and Arms, plank
January 15 - Run 3.11
January 16 - P90X3 Warrior
January 17 - 8.01 mile run! (Marathon Day)
January 18 - P90X Chest & Back + 3.01 mi run (signed up for Woodlands Half)
January 19 - P90X3 Dynamix + 2 mi run
January 20 - 4.03 mi run + 20min of P90X Shoulders/Arms + Abripper
January 21 - P90X Yoga with Michael
January 22 - 5.26 mi run + plank
January 23 - Bike ride with Joncarlo 10.16 miles
January 24 - Long run with Doan (6 + walk 1.6) Ankle flaired...limped back. :(
January 25 - P90X3 Pilates - Injured
January 26 - no recollection :/
January 27 - P90X partial
January 28 - 1 hour trainer
January 29 - 45 min trainer
January 30 - 35 min trainer
January 31 - 30 min trainer

February

Feb 1 - Nike Training Club
Feb 2 - Trainer
Feb 3 - 50 min trainer, 2 min plank + Tone it video + freestyle weights
Feb 4 -  Dinner out
Feb 5 - 30 min trainer
Feb 6 - out of town
Feb 7 - 40 min trainer (back in town from soccer tourney)
Feb 8 M traveling
Feb 9 GNO
Feb 10 M traveling
Feb 11 30 min trainer, Alpha Abs NTC
Feb 12 M traveling
Feb 13 Golf tourney/Bday party
Feb 14 LOV Bday party
Feb 15 47 min trainer, 2 min plank, arm weights
Feb 16 First run post injury!  + plank 4.10 (shoe lights)
Feb 17 - 4.06 run, 2.1 plank
Feb 18 - outpatient Surgery
Feb 19 - 4.01 run + handstand
Feb 20 - ?
Feb 21 - Long run with Doan - 9.01
Feb 22 - 54 min  bike trainer, 2:30 plank
Feb 23 - 6.20 miles
Feb 24 - Birthday break
Feb 25 - 6.05
Feb 26 - Rest?
Feb 27 - Busy Golf Day (terrible nutrition and hydration)
Feb 28 - Long run with Doan 11 miles! (Foam roll, stretch)
Feb 29 -?

March

1 50 min indoor trainer, 2 min plank 180+ crunches
2 4.45 miles (HORRIBLE)
3 stretch, foam roll
4 stretch
5 Woodlands Half Marathon! 2:14:45
6 rest day
7 Workout at office gym arms, legs
8 3 miles on TM at work with Squats/Lunges
9 52 min on bike trainer, some abs from abripper and practice headstand for #headstandmadness2016
10 5 mile run + headstand Day 1 headstandmadness2016
11 11.5 m bike + headstand day 2
12 Strike at lifetime + headstand
13 9 mile run + SallyUp Plank 3:30😳
14 SB walk course on tournament day
15 SB plants, yard, sweep, etc
16 SB ditto
17 SB Lifetime Yoga + 2.3 mile run
18 SB P90X3 Yoga
19 TCX at lifetime
20 walk golf course
21 indoor cycle 1 hr + rows, push-ups, short yoga sequence
22 5.1 run
23 17 min toneitup + SallyUp
24 no workout ?
25 no workout, work on holiday boo
26 85 min strike
27 P90X3 MMX + 3 Volleyball games
28 P90X3 Warrior + Brazilian Butt workout + a few tricep exercises
29 Triceps at office AutumnCalabrese YouTube
30 migraine...few arm sets :/
31 5 miles + Sally up :)

My reward: Fitbit Blaze

Adios quarter 1 & hello quarter 2. 

Happy Aprils Fools!!

~V



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Woodlands Half Marathon - Check!

This is a long one...more for me than you so...be forewarned. :)

The rollercoaster of feelings within the week of a race is quite astonishing.  Mid last week I went for a run.  It was a gorgeous day.  The weather couldn't have been better and I felt like this last run before the race would secure whatever insecurities I had about accomplishing the task ahead of me.

I was so wrong.  My legs felt like they were attached to someone else's body.  My knees hurt, my IT band was acting up, both shins felt like they were on fire, my feet ached and flopped onto the pavement and reverberated up to my brain.  It was awful.  I stopped several times to shake things out. I upped the volume on my music in hopes that it would drain out the screaming in my legs.
Me, unamused by my most recent run
To say that I was concerned about a half marathon only a few days away would be an understatement.  Doubts, yea, I had them.  I reminded myself that only a few weeks ago I was sidelined by an ankle injury that kept me from taking normal steps.  I decided to not think about it.  I tabled it.

My friend/coach picked my packet up for me and so that eliminated another opportunity to think about it.  On Friday, I picked up some GU to follow the nutrition instructions given to me for race day.  I started hoping.  Hoping that my legs would just show up Saturday morning.  Hoping that I could at least run half of it before things started to fall apart.  Knowing that my heart and mind would be in it and hoping that my legs would come along for the ride.

I was up at 4 am.  I didn't sleep much.  I had coffee, read the packet instructions and gathered all my gear.  I was ready to go at 4:50.  I ate peanut butter on raisin toast in the car.  I had almost an hour drive to talk about everything except MY race.  My friend, my coach, the elite crazy marathon runner was driving and was telling me she woke up with a head cold.  I hurt for her.  Ugh...the idea of running with a headache sounded awful. I was grateful to not have one of those to deal with.  

We arrived and still, I didn't put much thought into my race.  I just wanted to finish.  Follow instructions...GU at mile 3 or 4 and again at 9.  Drink water every 3 miles.  Got it.  I was able to watch the super racers and their pre-race routines.  Two more friends we met there were running the half as well.  They are also crazy fast, hard core.  They applied Glide, Chapstick, drank water and discussed whether or not to wear a layer at the start.  My marathon friend buys "throw away" jackets for times like these.  That's her routine.  Hmm.  I don't have throw away gear.  It was chilly...in the 50s and I was wearing shorts and a tank.  Way too cold for me to not wear another layer so I figured I'd tie it around my waist when I got hot.  Not them.  No throwaway?  Then, no layer.  That's right, they peeled it off and when out there in a sports bra.  You see, tying it around your waist makes you slower.  I am SO not in the phase where aerodynamics play a role in my performance.   Haha.
With some fast chickies

At 6:30, we all split up into our respective corrals.  Hers, the first for a full marathon.  My other friends, the first for the half.  Mine, the last.   It's pretty awesome to be in their company.  They look not only relaxed but like they are about to have fun (except for the headache part).

I walked back there in the dark, alone through the crowd of nervous runners.  I settled myself next to a couple that had been running half marathons together for 20 years.   They had to be well into their 60s -70s?.  I was also a few feet behind the 2:15 pacer guy and his blue balloon.  To my right, a guy wearing brown pantyhose, a deer costume and a full rack on his head (antlers, of course).  I watched all the selfies taking place all around me and the photobombs that went with them.  I looked down at my phone.  It was 6:40.  Another 20 minutes or so of people watching and NOT thinking about what I was about to do. 
I see you blurry photobomber...:)


I then decided to turn on my ear buds, strategize my music selection and visualize.  Before I knew it, I was walking, jogging and running.  I was listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack.  Yes, I know that sounds odd and maybe even nerdy.  But you know what?  I LOVE IT.  It's a story so you get to follow along and the beat...well, the beat is where it's at.  A few songs I repeated because I found myself BOUNCING on the route.  I am not even kidding.  I will make a playlist of what I listened to and mark the songs that did it for me later.
I'm not throwing away my shot!
A 5k later, I slowly worked on my first GU.  Watermelon Salt?!  OMG.  So good!  I was wishing I had two of those!  I got water at the 4 mile stop and walked through.  In my sights still the blue balloon ahead and the deer, front right.  A few miles later, we caught up to a SuperMan.  Deer and SuperMan began talking and discussing costume choices (I guess...I was still jamming out, probably Lafayette in Guns and Ships).
I was clearly having a great run.  It was still cool out and the fog had yet to lift.  The miles were just passing me by and at 8.5, I worked on my 2nd GU Mandarin Orange Vanilla Octane for an extra boost.  Water didn't come around til almost mile 10.  I felt great but my mind started playing with me.  It was reminding me how badly I was feeling at about this time at my last half.  SIX YEARS AGO.  Right.  A lot of life has happened since then.  I didn't let that bother me.  The fact was, I felt pretty darn good.  I was getting a little tired but the legs were a-ok (THANK GOODNESS).
I realized during a run in the neighborhood recently that music could make or break a run for me.  I discovered that listening to Salsa (Tropical Latin) specifically by the likes of Marc Anthony, Oscar D'Leon, El Gran Combo, Willie Colon (old school, baby) could get me really moving.  So much that at times I really just wanted to pull over and dance.  My childhood memories of the music flowing at my grandma's house all the time and her stopping and dancing while cooking or walking through a room like it was yesterday.  Because of this, I had a few gems saved in my library por si las moscas (Cuban for "Just in Case").

When Hamilton started to get gloomy, I let Marc, Enrique, Oscar and even Pochi y Su Cocoband bring me home.  And did they!  I never lost sight of the blue balloon until then.  I don't know where that guy went (or the deer) but I knew the end was near and I was going to bounce my ass across that finish line!  I was so happy to have come that far with no pain and no mental anguish.  The sun was now shining and it was getting warm but it was still pretty fantastic.  And I was pretty sure I was going to be coming in before 2:30+ (the time on my last half) so it was going to be a good day. :)

La Fiesta de Pilito came on at mile 12 talking arroz, gandules, lechon y ron (rice, beans, pork and rum for a Puerto Rican holiday feast) but the final song across the finish line was "Salsa Con Coco"...I laughed because I hadn't heard that since I was in high school!  My mom got a kick out of that when I spoke to her afterwards.

My final time: 2:14:45.  What?!  I was shooting for 2:20ish and I figured the blue balloon was way ahead...turns out, it was behind me!  W H A T ? ?

Yes, so here we are the Monday after and I am ELATED that I 1) finished 2) didn't hurt 3) Got a PR 4) want to do another to see if I can do it again.  Even better news?  My friends ALL placed!  Both half marathoners placed 3rd in each of their age groups and my rock star super amazing friend and coach came in FIRST of her age group, head cold and all!!  She is so bad ass.  My hero. AND she PR'd!! She came in at 3:20 and some change.  AH-Mazing. (Her 43rd marathon)
All smiles!  Finisher!
Inspiration is contagious y'all.  I am looking for my next half.  I think I can shave at least the :45 off if my legs cooperate.  Take that ankle injury! Boom!

Feeling accomplished. :)

~V






Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Two weeks, 44 miles

That's what's happened since my last update.  Yikes.  I guess I am healing pretty well, huh?

This is how it all went down.

The chance meeting with my friend basically telling me I was going to run (post here) was what I needed to get me off my break and get out there to see how the foot would feel.  I was a bit terrified of going for 6 as she suggested demanded but luckily, my kid's birthday party kept me so preoccupied that I completely forgot to connect with her and set it up.  (Dodged bullet, haha)  Even luckier for me was that she forgot too.  Phew!

A couple of days later, I went for that first run.  My ankle was a bit twitchy, I admit and I was very nervous that I would be over doing it too soon.  After about a mile and half, all was well and I finished 4.  I did that two more times during the week and each time, it felt pretty much the same.

I reached out to my coach, gave her an update and we scheduled a long run.  "Let's shoot for 9" she said.  NINE.  UGH.  Really?  NINE?  I haven't run that many miles in....6 months?  And...I only did it once!  Yikes.

I put my big girl pants on, didn't whine and especially didn't let her see the fear in me.  We did a loop around the park and then ventured off to a secret iced down water fountain near the Polo fields.  It was humid and tough but I realized that talking while running sure makes for faster miles albeit out of breath ones.  By the time we made it back to the park, I was at 8!  I was in shock.  I even told her to check her watch because I just couldn't believe my Nike app.  We hit the 9 and I was elated that I could do it!  Yay!  My ankle didn't fail me!
The beautiful area and amazing tucked away iced water fountain!
Obviously, I am STILL running this Half Marathon.  I had written it off (sorta) when I got injured but my friend saw that I could do 9 so guess what?  I am DOING it.  Come hell or high water, this mama is going to show up.  I just needed (from this particular day) to make it through a few more runs, one long run and the race.  Easy peasy, right?

Sure.  So last week I decided to up the miles during the week but just run twice.  I ran a little over 6 on Tuesday and on my birthday went to pick up my new shoes (Wednesday).  I broke those babies in on Thursday with another 6.25 and then I waited for the text to set up the long run. Duhn, duhn duhhhhhhnnnnnn!  And like clockwork, on Friday, "10-12, pick you up Sun at 7" came through.  
My new kicks: Asics Kinsei 5 (last year's model=discount!)
I had my protein powder, new shoes and the confidence that I had just done 9 without any major issues.  What I didn't take into account was that my schedule on Saturday was packed tight and that I would have a brain fart about my nutrition and my access to food.  Yikes.  A protein rich green smoothie is great but it's not good enough for the ENTIRE day.  Golf lesson, class and a tournament across town did not give me much of a chance to stop to eat and like a DUMMY I forgot to pack snacks.

All of that to say that Sunday's run was not so great.  My lack of nutrition and water the day before was affecting me BIG TIME.  It was brutal and I got in trouble for it.  Lesson learned. :)
In any event, I ran.  She said 10 but in my mind, I had said 11 so I pushed a little to get to the next loop.  And when I accidentally paused my app at 10.17 and she said we were at 10.47 I could've punched myself because I knew that we weren't going to stop when she hit 11, rather when I did.  So...effectively, I ran 11+ because I wanted that round number on my device. (yep, that's me).
Proof that I finished with both legs still attached. 
My ankle felt great.  However, the knee on the OTHER leg started acting up.  UGH! By the end of the run, my left quad was super tight (I know it was protecting the knee).  I knew this meant I'd have to roll it out and take a break or my half marathon was going to be a big mess.

I am supposed to run 2-3 times this week.  She said 5,4,3 or 4,4 or even 4,3.  I foam rolled Sunday night and I ran out of time last night so I jumped on my bike for almost an hour.  Does that count?  I can't run tonight or tomorrow night so I am creatively thinking how I will get it done.

We'll see...I am also supposed to get a massage in no later than tomorrow.  As fantastic as that sounds, I don't think that's going to happen.

Stay tuned.  I am actually amazed that I've done so much in so little time.  I've got my fingers crossed that my ankle and knee both just chill out for at least a week. My son got a a Hover Board thing and I told him I was holding back from even attempting to get on until after the race.  Because...me. (Avoiding a clutz-o move at all costs.)

I'll post as soon as I can but in the mean time, get more frequent updates on my public instagram account at: @FullHouseofRoyals

Happy Super Tuesday y'all!

~V






Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Light Me Up

My son is not a fan of me running at night. He always makes certain I'm wearing light colored clothing and I've got a full charge on my phone. Since it seems this is the most available time for me to get my runs in, I thought I'd find some gadgets to make my runs safer by being more visible. 

Behold my shoe lights! 


My son gave me an approving nod. I can't say I felt safer per se, since the majority of my runs are on sidewalks, but I did find it to garner more attention from dog walkers and every passing car rather than going under the radar as is norm. 

Good thing I didn't use the blinking feature! Can you say...obnoxious? 

Happy workout edition of #TuesdayShoesday ! 

Valerie 

P.S. I ran! First run since ankle injury! 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'm back, I guess.

Remember when I rolled my ankle?  And how I blew it off and continued running until I couldn't walk?  Well, here's a reminder if you missed it --> here

I've been a really good girl and stayed off of it.  Mainly, because I literally couldn't walk on it.  Haha. This week, I have finally felt very close to normal.  Heels have been my remedy, I think.  


Truth!


No, really.  I wore flats and realized that in heels, I walked normally.  I must have been taking the pressure off of whatever the heck I injured in my foot/ankle and I had my natural (and much missed) high heel stride.  No limping!  I figured I would be jogging sometime this week to test out the mechanics but haven't had time yet since I'm flying solo this week.

The other night I ran into my friend aka elite marathon trainer at a restaurant party/event/bday thingy. She looked down, asked me about my ankle and before I could finish my sentence about it being better, she said "good, see you Sunday bright and early...we'll start with 6"  If I could insert a big eye emoji here, I would.    

I'll work on abs and my legs on the bike until then.  Wish me luck!  

Update Monday! 

Valerie


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Listening Now - G-Eazy

New Music Wednesday...I love the "Me, Myself & I" track so I thought I'd check out the whole album.  So far, so good!! :)

When It's Dark Out - G-Eazy


Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Motivation. #Chachacha

 Who else did a little dance when they read this?

Don't let those Super Bowl party foods be your disaster...get back at it!

Go get that Monday and DO NOT skip the workout!  :)

Valerie

Funny unrelated anecdote: February is my birthday month and I usually celebrate in some form or another ALL month (because I can! haha) but now that I share the month with my youngest daughter, I've had to relinquish the first couple of weeks to her. (phfft, kids!) Anyway, I mentioned to my hubby this weekend about my birthday plans and she (quickly and loudly) interjects "you mean MYYYYY birthday????"  Seriously, kid?  Her birthday was LAST week!  How quickly they catch on to the birthday month celebration concept.  Conversation was tabled, obviously.  She wins. :)


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Listening Now - Sia


This is Acting - Sia


Holding out, staying positive

What else can you do?  On my last update here, I mentioned my ridiculous ankle/foot injury and how it's sidelined my running and the goals that are attached to that (i.e Woodlands Half Marathon that I had JUST registered for! $$ :/ ).  I also mentioned how I was going to keep on moving and hope that it will heal enough for me to at the very least, complete it.

I haven't waivered on that.  I have been upbeat and positive and made a heck of a lot of lemonade this last couple of weeks.  I have modified P90X video workouts and I have become reacquainted with my road bike, Blu, after many months of separation.  So much so, that I will probably be ready for the MS 150 in April if I keep it up!  I have found that much like my injury a little over a year ago (fibular stress fracture, same leg), the best and really only workout that can keep me in check cardiovascularly and still build leg muscle is by riding my bike.  No pain to the leg then, or the ankle and foot now.  The trickiest part is clipping out which concerns me (a little) about riding outdoors versus off the safety of my indoor trainer.

I will continue doing that until I can walk normally without flinching.  It seems there is still pain to apply weight on the foot which is bitterly frustrating but I know I have to patient. Sigh.

I said I would see a doctor. Ummm...yea, I don't wanna.  :P  BUT, I did take a pause from typing this to visit the doctor's website. I found this and it confirms that I can't do much about it but rest it.  Yes, it's self-diagnosis.  No, I don't recommend it.  

So carry on I say...find something to make today better than yesterday.  Be grateful for every second.

Hasta la proxima,

V.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Teen Girl

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Teen Girl

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Fashionista

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for the Fashionista