How to Improve!

5k Chart 2I am still in shock that my average 5k time dropped by almost 2 minutes.  What changed?  I have always been consistent with my running workouts and the occasional cross training (bike, swim, workout class).  Heck, when I was in college my coach specifically designed our workouts to do well in 5k’s.  Today, I’m just going by what I feel is best while being a busy mom to three little kids!  Plus, to think that less than one year ago I was 40 pounds heavier, not running at all, and about to give birth to a baby!  Shouldn’t it take me longer to improve this much?!  I mean did I mention that I ran COMPETITIVELY in college?!

I have a lot of people ask me how I am able to run faster now than ever before.  I have become really good at listening to my body.  I know when I need to run or strength train and when I need to rest.  I have been injured (not able to run) a handful of times and I know I do not want that.

What I usually do on my runs each week:

  • 1-2 days I do a tempo run for anywhere between three to seven miles.
    • This is faster than my normal running pace but still not race pace.
      • Usually 7 to 8 minute miles.
  • 1 speed day for anywhere between one mile to five miles.
    • This is race pace.  I may actually do a race, go to the track, or just do pick ups in my neighborhood.
      • Usually 6:30 to 7:30 minute miles.
  • 2-3 easy days for anywhere between three to ten miles.
    • I run at whatever pace feels comfortable or even that feels slow.
      • Usually 9 to 10 minute miles.
  • 1-2 rest days
    • I try to not even do a DVD workout.  Sometimes I end up pushing the stroller a lot or holding the baby too much and I don’t feel completely rested, but then I add an extra day of rest!  IMG_0616

So If running has not changed me… What has?

I am stronger than ever.

Here I am on November 3, 2014.  I was in shock that my third baby would be such a trouble maker… even before he was born!  (I am still kind of surprised sometimes that while we didn’t find out the sex…. I was sure he was going to be a girl!  Only a girl would act this difficult! haha!)  This little man was breech… the doctors are completing a successful version (externally flipping him)!  I feel like at this moment I became even tougher.

IMG_0459Shortly after baby Jayce entered the world I began going for walks (which I can’t stand… they take too long).  That led to running for a minute at a time.  By four weeks I was running (slowly) a mile here and there and got the OK from my doctor to continue running and starting DVD workouts!  Here’s where I began to build my strength:  DVD workouts!  I’ve always gone to weekly exercise classes but I’ve never done strength training like this every day!  The consistency was key (I still took at least 2 rest day a week)!

Now, at 10 months postpartum I am still loving DVD workouts, my nutrition is better than ever, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’m running the fastest times of my life.  I’m motivated to keep improving and getting even stronger!

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My first virtual race!

IMG_2025I did my first virtual race yesterday!  It was called Run for Nepal: virtual 5k race for the victims of earthquakes in Nepal.  I found out about it through a running group I am in.

FullSizeRenderI figured that I virtually coach people through Beachbody… why not do a virtual race! Haha! To do a virtual race you have to have a running app on your phone to record it.  You have 24 hours to run 5 kilometers anywhere you want.  They even send you a virtual bib!

IMG_2050My husband and I planned to run it on a very flat/easy course right next to a huge playground for the kiddos.  However, after a very dry summer we now have never ending rain and we couldn’t take the kids out to that playground.  Instead, we ran our usual run course which definitely has some hills!  The kids still got to come be goofy!  IMG_2016It is a little harder to get pumped up for a virtual race but at the same time I knew it was a race!  I definitely didn’t get nervous before and I ran all by myself listening to music (which I don’t usually do in a race)!  I felt great with a time of 20:38!  This is my third time this summer under 21 minutes!  My husband also did great with a time of 19:53!

IMG_5150I have been running 5k’s all of my life and I can’t believe the three I did this summer are my three fastest times ever!  I owe my recent success to Shakeology and the cross training I’ve done from PIYO and other Beachbody DVD workouts.

Here are the results from the race: 

There were 704 participants with 241 finishers.  I think a lot of people had technical difficulties with their devices because it was a little bit tricky to figure out.  Others probably signed up just to donate to a good cause and did not have any intention of running.  Out of the 241 finishers, 118 were female.  I actually got third overall and first female!  My husband got 2nd overall!

Here is the link to the RESULTS (My husband accidentally signed me up as Carrie Smuth instead of Smith! Haha!  I’ll let it slide this time!)

Check out the PHOTO GALLERY

Cauliflower Chedder Biscuits

The awesome superfood, cauliflower is in season right now! Even though they can be grown year round, they are best from September to November. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C (half a cup is about 40 percent of your daily need), vitamin K, folic acid, and vitamin B6. It is also very low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. I love cauliflower because there is so much you can do with it!

IMG_6886Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Step 1:  Make Mashed Cauliflower.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Steam cauliflower for about 10-15 minutes or until very tender, then transfer to a food processor.  Add minced garlic and pulse several times until smooth and creamy.

IMG_4411Step 2:  Mix.

Transfer mashed cauliflower into a large mixing bowl.  Add in two whole eggs, cheddar cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, pepper and mix together.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Then slowly fold the egg whites into the cauliflower mixture.

IMG_9305Step 3:  Bake.

Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray  (I made large and small).  Then fill the cups to the top with the cauliflower mixture.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the pan, and set on a cooling rack.

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The Value of Shakeology

I’m writing this post to clear up a few things about Shakeology. I know a lot of people who would love it if they knew everything about it and gave it a chance!

I always see people comparing the price of Shakeology to protein shakes. Shakeology is not simply a protein shake! It is full of nutrients, vitamins, and superfoods.

(Click to enlarge)
ShakeologyCocoaImage Source: http://www.shakeology.com/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=1d66051a-61fd-4199-841b-16d24dae4c7b&groupId=59860

The first paragraph in the above image explains it perfectly:

Shakeology is a powerful superfood formula designed to give your body the perfect combination of nutrients to help give you energy, reduce cravings, maintain a healthy body weight, and support your immune system. To make Shakeology, Beachbody searched the world to find ancient and exotic superfoods simply not available at your local supermarket. Drink Shakeology every day—you’ll feel more satisfied, eat less, and lose weight!”

I’ll admit, when I first saw $113 a month I thought it was expensive. But consider these facts:

  • When you drink Shakeology each day, there is no need to take a multi-vitamin. You can stop buying those.
  • Your immune system will be stronger than ever. That means buying less medicine and fewer doctor’s visits.
  • At about $3.73 per shake it costs less than most of your other meals. Plus it’s way healthier! “Health” food at the grocery store is always really expensive.

If you are serious about getting results, I urge you to give Shakeology a try! I have always had a very active lifestyle, but I couldn’t have achieved the results I am seeing now without the Beachbody workout DVDs and Shakeolgy.

If you’re interested or want to know more, click the “Contact Me” button and send me a message. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have!