AROOOOO!

How excited am I for this weekend’s race??? VERY!!! My wonderful training partner whom you may have read about previously had the wonderful idea to drag me into this race with her. Can you feel the sarcasm?!?!? Well maybe it’s because this race is made up of an 8 mile obstacle course in which the participant has no clue what those obstacles are. Yup, it is all a surprise. I have seen pictures of other Spartan races at different cities that include swimming, climbing walls, running over fire, mud pits and God knows what else. So yes this race makes me a little nervous!

You can see more picture here.

The good news, my Jungle Fitness team decided to join and now our team consists of over 40 of us. And that gets me excited and pumped to kick some Spartan butt!

The race is this Sunday so wish me luck! 🙂

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How Sweet Is Too Sweet?

What I love the most about my journey to health and fitness is having the best training partner EVER!!!!!!!! I’m pretty good about training and eating most of the time but I’m only human and have my slips here and there. After ING my eating has not been on point. I started to bake again (I had missed it soooo much) and even though I give most of what I bake to friends, those are still added treats into my diet. I have been more lenient on having dessert which is my weakness. Although I keep my main meals on point I found myself having treats more often than I would like to. The results, some weight gain. 😦

So what did I do??? I told my training partner! I was honest of how I’m feeling and the hard time I’m having to get back on track. Her answer….”We do well with challenges, why don’t we do one? A no sweets challenge!”

I love the way she thinks. For me, a great training partner is someone who takes health and fitness as seriously as I do. Gives it their all. Is there on my good days and cheers me on when I’m struggling. Doesn’t make any excuses. Goes out of the comfort zone and drags me with her. I really don’t know what I would do without her! Monica, you rock!

Ok, back to the challenge just in case someone out there is willing to join us. Very simple, 20 days of no sweets or sugar. That means no home-made sweets either. If we cheat in those 20 days, one has to be honest and say it. For each cheat one gets to do 5 burpees. At the end of the 20 days, add all the cheats and do all burpees at once. Let’s do this! Starting today and plan for no burpees!

Game ON!!!!

ING Miami Half Marathon 2012

So this is the race that started it all. Last year as I began training for my first full marathon and I also started this blog. Things have changed quite a bit this year. This blog is now more focused on food and recipes than actual training. It was not my intention but it was what people (my friends mostly) were more interested in. I still like to included the races I’m training for and completing. I find that as much as I enjoy reading other people’s experiences and learning from them. Maybe, just maybe some one can learn something from me. 🙂

So after running the full marathon on Jan 30th 2011, just the day after the race I decided to sign up again. Yup! you read this correctly. The day after running 26.2 I decided I wanted to do it all over again. Mind you, I still couldn’t walk I was in so much pain…

A few months ago I made a decision on where to take my training. I often battle with this because I enjoy both strength training and endurance training. I could either go on and start really pushing distance and train for my full marathon and maybe get into longer distance triathlons or I could focus more on strength training and getting my running pace back up. After the marathon I just couldn’t run as fast as I used to and would have trouble with keeping pace. After much consideration and deep conversations with my poodle, I decided to switch to the half marathon and begin strength training.

If you recall my 40 days of training were about this, in fact it hasn’t finished yet. My 40 days are up just on the same weekend of ING. 40 days of strict clean eating, increased protein, intense workouts and no alcohol. Yes, it has been tough. Could not have done it without the support of my husband who helps me in whatever crazy idea I have going on at the moment. My Jungle Fitness trainers have destroyed me at some of these workouts. But they have been truly amazing in helping me meet my goals. I have already seen some improvements in pace, overall performance, my weight and body appearance.

The last test, ING half marathon. My first half I ran at 2:15 which was my slowest and my fastest was at 2:00 flat. This coming Sunday the 29th will be my fifth or sixth half (can’t remember how many I’ve done) and I’m hoping for a PR. Won’t get disappointed if I don’t make it but I will certainly push myself towards as I have worked very hard and will continue to do so.

If you are in the area, come cheer! It’s an amazing experience!

If not, feel free to track a runner or even ME! 🙂 My bib number is 13290.

http://www.racemyrace.com/hosted/ingmiami_half.php

Here’s a map of the 13.1 miles I’ll be running.

Join me in a new 30 day challenge!

The holidays are fast approaching and it is inevitable that I don’t over eat on those days. Now that does not justify over eating for an entire month around each holiday. Starting Monday the 14th I will begin my 30 day clean eating challenge. This will help me to stay focused for my upcoming races in January. I will be participating in the Ragnar Relay to Key West in early January and in the Miami ING Marathon in late January.

What is this clean eating challenge about?
I will try my very hardest to go a full 30 days WITHOUT dairy, legumes (including peanuts) and any processed foods. By that I mean no processed carbs or artificial foods. No creamers, artificial sweeteners, no bread of any kind, no oats, no grains.

I will post my progress, my ups and downs in the 30 days. I will be a lot more fun if people join in and do this with me by posting comments on how they are doing as well. What do we have to lose??? A couple of pounds maybe… Feeling and looking better… I see nothing wrong with that! If at the end you find this does not work out for you, slowly go back to what works. But at least you never had the doubt of what if?. So who’s with me???
Here’s a picture of how your new plate should look like.

picture from Fitbomb.com

Trilogy Triathlon Series

Below is a chart of the Trilogy triathlon series I have completed. I am so proud of my improvements, specially with the swimming as it was the part I was always scared about. I have a lot of work to do still but slowly and surely I have improved. I really enjoyed this series and had fun out there! Come cheer for me at one of my events. If you have never been to one, you’ll get to see a whole new world of athletes out there. All ages, shapes and sizes which is one of the biggest motivation for me. Just knowing anyone can do this!

Triathlon Trilogy (.25s-10b-3.1r) 09-18-2011
swim=0:09:27 T1=1:11 bike=0:35:58 T2=1:01 run=0:26:57 total time 01:14:33.84
Triathlon Trilogy #2 (.25s-10b-3.1r) 07-17-2011
swim=0:10:03 T1=1:42 bike=0:36:35 T2=1:16 run=0:28:19 total time 01:17:55.30
Triathlon Trilogy #1 (.25s-10b-3.1r) 06-19-2011
swim=0:12:02 T1=1:37 bike=0:36:29 T2=1:09 run=0:28:24 total time 01:19:40.13
Triathlon Trilogy #2 (.25s-10b-3.1r) 07-18-2010
swim=0:12:25 T1=4:21 bike=0:41:14 T2=1:32 run=0:26:52 total time 01:26:23.65

SWIM!

BIKE!

RUN!

Sunday Cycling

Sunday mornings now have a new meaning for me. After joining Miami Pace (a triathlon training group) and convincing my husband to join as well, Sundays are a challenge that I love to take on every weekend. Cycling has been such a physical and mental sport for me. Mental because I had always been terribly scared of sharing the road with the crazy, inconsiderate Miami drivers. Thankfully my confidence in this department is rapidly increasing. Physical because it’s a new sport for me and improvement always takes a lot of time and work. Let me tell you, spending hours on that saddle is not easy!

Joining this group has made a cycling a more enjoyable experience. There is great camaraderie among teammates and people are very friendly. I was very excited to complete my longest ride ever of almost 57 miles! This group will definitely will help me improve and prepare myself for Miami Man’s International distance triathlon in November.

New Challenges = New Beginnings

For the past several months I have been content with my fitness/physical appearance but I know there is always room for improvements. Lately it has been extremely difficult for me to shed a few pounds. I have been stuck in a plateau for a long time now and it seemed like I had to do something drastic in order to get over the bump. Crazy diets are out of the question for me, so I was trying to figure out if maybe by cutting some foods or reducing portions would help. By doing this I knew I had to be very careful because of the amount of exercise I do. I do not want to decrease my activity and/or intensity level due to my diet.

After much research, I decided to give Paleo a try. I must say that after only three weeks I already have started to notice changes. These changes have been physically and how I feel in general. I have already started to drop a bit of weight, even though it may just be water weight. But hey, I do feel a lot less bloated and leaner so that is always good. I also see a change on energy level, especially when working out. I feel like I can go a little longer, feeling less exhausted than I’m used to. In fact, I feel so great I’m thinking this is going to be a lifestyle for me and not just a diet.

The great thing about Paleo is that if at any time you feel like you want to eat something that is not in the diet, you just go ahead and have it. No guilty feelings. Then just get back on track and keep on with Paleo permitted foods. This has always worked out for me. By not having a “cheat day” or a “cheat meal” scheduled makes it easier to stay on track. I simply have what I’m craving when I want. Then my craving is over and I can go back to eating as planned. Before I know it it’s been a couple of weeks without cheating.

The next several recipe posts will be all Paleo dishes. This is new to me, so I am experimenting with recipes and learning this new way of cooking. Stay tune and give them a try. You will be surprised how good these are!

Coconut water

If you enjoyed the long weekend like I did by staying active outdoors, than this coconut water would have been perfect. It is hot and humid here in Miami. So it’s very important to stay hydrated. This coconut water was the perfect refreshment after a long workout.

Happy Tuesday!

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Almond milk update

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On the last post about milk I mentioned how I tried almond milk and did not like it. Well, until my friend Mary told me about this particular brand. This one is still low in calories and unsweetened but with a vanilla taste. Wow, this milk is delicious. Whenever I have coffee I just put in a little bit of my almond milk and nothing else. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot!

Trilogy I

Yesterday I completed the first sprint Trilogy triathlon of the season. It was definitely an interesting race for me and this phrase came to mind as I was racing. “The more difficult the challenge, the greater the reward”. Why that is, because this was my first race I have done while sick.

Last thursday night I started to feel a scratchy throat. By friday it was a severe sore throat. As stubborn as I am, I still went to swim practice and by the fifth lap I just had to get out and go home. Breathing through the mouth while having a sore throat was not a pleasant thing. By saturday my sore throat was gone but all the congestion started. I woke up early and went to boot camp class as it was in South Beach (my favorite) and I did not want to miss it. I did taper back some in class so I wouldn’t be sore the next morning for the race. Never the less, it was an intense 2 hour plus workout.

Sunday morning arrives. I had been looking forward to the race as I participated in it last year and was eager to see if I could improve my time. On this morning my congestion was pretty bad and I was coughing a lot. I was not able to have my breakfast as I did not have an appetite. I made sure I was well hydrated and had plenty of fluids. Off to the race I went.

I was calm and planned to stay that way. I did not want to get nervous about racing with this cold. All I kept thinking was, “just do your best and DON’T DROWN!!!!”. It was tough for me to get my rhythm going in the swim but once I got it, I was good to go. The bike part needs great improvements. Out of the three disciplines is the one I practice the least. My run was ok, I felt good while running. But I made sure I had my rag because I was blowing my nose and coughing the entire way.

Overall, I had fun. I do these events because I enjoy being active, meeting new people and sharing one more interest/hobby with my husband.
I can’t wait for next month’s race and hopefully I won’t be sick so I can improve even more…

SWIM(.25) T1 BIKE (10 mi) T2 RUN(3.1 mi) TOTAL TIME
0:12:02 1:37 0:36:29 1:09 0:28:24 01:19:40.13