Hey friends, I’m back with another round-up post of things I’m doing and trying these days! Since I’m missing warmer days and nice green hikes, I used this photo of Devil’s Bathtub for the top of my post. I’m ready for Spring! The weather has warmed up a bit here, but it has been raining/snowing off and on the past couple days and the weather can’t make up it’s mind. All the moisture is great for our area though, so hopefully we’ll have lots of green grass and happy cows for our rancher friends this spring.
Regardless of the weather, I’ve been staying busy! Check out some of the fun stuff I’ve been up to lately AND enter my compression sock giveaway!
Momentum Jewelry officially launched their #ShareTheSpark campaign yesterday! Participating ambassadors were given a set of their wrap bracelets with these new mantras. We’re going to be sharing these with people to motivate and inspire others to live their best and pay it forward. You can share these with your friends, too: you can buy these on the Momentum Jewelry website for just $10. They are so cool! I can’t wait to give these away 🙂
Indoor Team Marathon & Training Update
Time for a training update! Since we are registered to do the 18-mile Bighorn race in June this year I’ve been trying to log more miles and get my long runs in on the weekends. It’s several months away, but since this is the farthest race I have run, I want to make sure I’m taking my time to get ready (and stay injury free). This weekend I didn’t do a long run, but I did do a race of sorts. The Rec Center I work at hosts an Indoor Team Marathon every year and I participated this year for the first time. Each team has 6 people and they each run 4.3 miles with one runner logging an additional lap to make up the slight difference in distance. It is a fun team running experience plus it’s a blast to people-watch other runners and see how everyone runs different: how people swing their arms, different foot strikes, pace, cadence,… it’s educating!
For our team run, I was the first to run and the slowest. Our team took 4th place so we still didn’t do too bad (my teammates ran much faster than me). I definitely noticed that my pace was a lot slower than it has been in the past year or 2. I know this has to do with my training: I have been struggling with fatigue so I have dropped the intensity of my workouts and haven’t been doing as much interval or speedwork and I have found that my fitness level has dropped, my weight has gone up a bit (probably also from some of my allergy meds), and my running pace has slowed. Boo!!
Even though I’m logging plenty of hours working out (or trying to anyway), the lowered intensity is definitely showing. Time to make a few changes! I’m disappointed that my pace has slowed, but I’ll chalk it up as a valuable lesson in personal physiology and move on.
I’m still debating on whether I will sign up for our local triathlon again this spring. The last time I did it (2014), I took last place in my age group and my swim was pretty terrible. I’m finding it hard to fit in all of the things I need to be doing: teaching classes 4-5 times a week, swimming, biking, and running, then yoga and weight lifting when I can. I need to make sure I’m getting my strength training in, but I haven’t been doing it as much as I should and that’s showing too! I need to find a schedule that fits and stick with it, and maybe scrap the idea of doing the triathlon again since my swimming really needs work (frankly, it’s embarrassing). Maybe I need to talk the race people into hosting a duathlon for us swim-challenged folks. Decisions, decisions…
BrightLife Go Compression Giveaway!
If you’re looking for compression socks but don’t know where to start, check out Bright Life Go, a website that just sells compression socks so you can search different brands for the pair that it best for you. They carry medical socks, fashion compression socks, and athletic brands like 2XU, CEP, and Zensah. Bright Life Go sent me a free pair of women’s 2XU athletic compression socks and are giving a pair away to one of you! Enter to win below:
Some of you have already heard, but I want to share it again: my ebook is done! This one has all gluten-free recipes in it, plus some vegan and paleo ones. Check it out!
Here’s a fun photography tip! I was reading through some of my photography Facebok groups and saw that people were chatting about using vinyl contact paper over foam board to mimic the look of marble for photo backdrops. I decided to give it a try and it turned out good! Check it out:
Here’s the final result (taken with my iPhone camera):
Not too bad!
As you know, I use a lot of supplements. I am always looking for good quality ones that fit my weird food restrictions. EnduroPacks reached out to me and sent me their EnduroPacks Daily MicroNutrient System to try out and share with my readers. I have been using these for a couple of weeks now, and here’s my 2 cents!
I really like the idea of liquid multivitamins since they absorb much faster in my system, plus it’s easier for me to digest than solid vitamins. I was taking the EnduroMulti liquid and really liked it, but then I realized it has xylitol in it (not so good for people like me with IBS), so I had to stop taking it. I didn’t think the amount of xylitol in it would matter much but it still bothered my stomach. Since I can’t have it, I have been mixing it with juice for the kids and they seem to be fine with it. Some people do great with xylitol, but others not so much, so if you are on a low-FODMAP diet for IBS, the liquid multivitamin might not be for you.
I haven’t tried the amino acid patches yet, but I am loving the Sugar-Free Electrolyte Replacement liquid concentrate! A little bottle has about 30, 16-ounce bottle worth of electrolytes in it. You just add 10 squirts to a 16-ounce bottle of water you’re set. So far I haven’t had any issues with it. I was a bit concerned that there was some lemon in it (this isn’t listed on the label…), but so far it hasn’t been an issue for my IC yet since it is well diluted.
One of my favorite discoveries of the past year or 2 has been BCAAs. Not that BCAAs are new at all (I’m late in the game here), but it’s something that I just started using in earnest recently. I have noticed less muscle soreness and better recovery since I started taking BCAAs religiously after my workouts. Tracking down a BCAA supplement that is non-dairy, allergy-friendly, AND has no artificial flavors and sweeteners is tricky, but I found some! I was using the Jarrow BCAA capsules, but it has added vitamin B6 and I had to take quite a few capsules to get the amount of BCAAs I found to be beneficial. (within recommendations). I did a little searching and bought some BCAA powder from Kaged Muscle (they also make capsules). It’s unflavored so it has no artificial flavors, colors, or sugars, and it is vegan (no dairy!). It is made from fermented sunflower seeds – pretty cool!
I have mixed this in with my hemp protein shakes and have attempted to mix this in with water and Stevia drops for flavoring. It doesn’t taste great is definitely hard to drink down with water, but is tolerable with protein shakes if you have something mixed with it.
Last but not least, I’m helping spread the word about the RunRaegis app! RunRaegis (formerly RunSafe) is a runner’s safety app that also tracks your fitness and running stats. If you have an emergency while out running, info will be sent to your designated emergency contact and they can be connected with 911. RunRaegis has Smart Alerts letting your loved ones know when you haven’t returned from a run in time, and there is live tracking so your family knows where you are.
This app makes a great addition to your outdoor running besides pepper spray/gel (which I highly recommend!). Pepper spray or tasers work on dogs and bad-guys, but this app also helps when you have a fall or an accident – very handy if you’re on some mountain trails!
Run Raegis is giving you a 1 month free premium subscription on the RunRaegis app with the code RunRaegis here. It’s pretty simple and there is no catch: you won’t be asked for credit card info when you sign up for the free trial. You can give it a shot and see if you like it!