Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's not gonna happen

I've waited until the very last minute and it's been decided for me that I will not be running my birthday run. I've got a stress fracture in my left fibula. After being quite patient and waiting until it didn't hurt to hop on one foot, I took off for a run. Within 15 steps I could feel the pain coming back. So after waiting some more, I decided to have an x-ray taken to rule out a stress fracture. And if it came back with everything looking good, my plan was just to have it taped up and then go for it. However, even after a normal looking image, my doctor wanted me to have a bone scan just to make sure. And that image clearly showed it. So I will be stuffing my face with cake instead of getting my sweat on tomorrow. I am simply devastated.
Life goes on. I have so much to be grateful for. It's still a good day to be alive.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vega Sport Performance Protein

A couple of months ago Vega Sport contacted me about trying out some of their product. It was great timing as I was getting into the thick of my training. I have really experimented with a lot of products in the past because of my sensitive stomach and have found some things that work for me and some definite things that do not. So I was curious about how my stomach would deal with this nutrition. After investigating the company a little I was more than excited. Though I am not a vegan or vegetarian, I completely believe in the power of plants and how essential they are for our bodies to work properly. I am always intrigued by superstar athletes like Brendan Brazier that manage to eat this way and thrive on it. The biggest thing that peaked my interest was the ability for the body to recover quicker and be ready for the next work out. With back to back long runs, I knew my body was going to get run down and needed good nutrition to be able to recover well.

The package arrived and was more than I was expecting.

There was a wide variety of products for each stage of activity. Prepare, sustain, and recover.

To be honest, I didn't try the prepare drink mix. Because of religious reasons I do not partake of tea or coffee and it included tea in the mix. I typically do not eat or drink a ton before a long run because of my stomach issues. But lately, I've been able to eat a bit of banana or even an apple in the mornings. And once I get going into the run, I am drinking and refueling well.

The sustain portion was the part I couldn't wait to try. There are 3 products. First the electrolyte drink mix that has no sugar or artificial sweeteners and antioxidant protection with 0 calories. I personally can not do Gatorade or Powerade or anything that has sugar in it. It irritates my stomach the more I drink it and the more the miles pass. I get sick of all the sugary taste in my mouth as well and long for real water. I enjoyed the drink mix. It was not sweet at all, in fact I found it refreshing and I had no cramping on the run. There was also a bar that I consumed that surprisingly didn't bother my stomach at all. I always worry about real food that won't be digested but this seemed to be just perfect. There is also a gel which I was not crazy about. The taste was not good but we've all just sucked down a gel before because we know it's we need it, right. Well, this one has a gritty, sand texture that was really hard to swallow. It's the only product that I didn't enjoy and haven't even had the guts to open the second flavor.

I have known for years the importance of refueling after a tough workout so that the body can repair itself and be ready for the next day. So I was pleased to find so many options to try. There were a couple of protein bars and they both tasted good. My favorite was the chocolate coconut. There is an aftertaste that seems to accompany all protein bars but it was minimal and the flavor made up for it. I also enjoyed the recovery accelerator drink mix. I really like that it not only has protein in it for muscle repairs but also has ingredients to suppress inflammation in the joints and muscles and supports the immune system. The performance protein drink was also really tasty. The thing that I really like about this was the included ingredient of glutamine. I usually take some glutamine after a hard workout and I like that it was already included.

My overall impression of the company and it's products is extremely positive. It's been researched and developed by someone who was looking to improve his own performance and then wants to help the average Joe or Jen improve their performance as well. It's a labor of love. I respect it.

Lastly, the company is sponsoring a HUGE sweepstakes coming up in January offering more than $30,000 in prizes. So be sure to go enter for your chance to win! Here's all the info!

Vega Sport Sweepstakes

Enter to win the Vega Sport Sweepstakes with over $30,000 in prizes!

Sweepstakes Entry Period: January 3rd - March 31, 2012

Enter @

One Grand Prize

Vega Sport Adventure Trip for 2:

Cycle, raft and explore your way through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama for 15 days

$5,000 in Vega Sport product

($15,000 value)

Ten Runner Up Prizes

$1000 in Vega Sport products

Twenty Finalist Prizes

$200 in Vega Sport products

Five Weekly Prizes (per week for 11 weeks)

1 Vega Sport product

Weekly prize winners will be announced weekly via social media!

Find us on Twitter & Facebook to find out if you are the lucky winner of our Weekly Prizes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Winner and a Baby!

It's been kind of crazy around here this week! Christmas programs and just Christmas stuff in general has been keeping me quite busy. Although with a kindergartener I am able to wrap things during the day. That has been nice. And also, my runner partner Heather had her baby last night 5 weeks early. Mom and baby are doing well. Go here to wish her congratulations!

Jerilee is the winner of the Zip Fizz! Congrats! I can't wait to hear how you like it! Shoot me an e-mail and I'll get it shipped out to you right away!

Monday, December 12, 2011

When I'm not running...

I bake. Oh, I've been to 5 spin classes, done full body weights 6 times, and yoga 6 times. But with all this free time I've found some new recipes and have been baking. And with Christmas right around the corner you would think that it would be sweet things too, but I'd almost rather eat this other stuff. Almost.

Herbed Focaccia Bread. I got to use my fresh rosemary plant for this one. I LOVE focaccia bread and will gladly pay the $3 a loaf at my local grocery store. But I was too lazy to go to the store and wanted to try to make it. Let's just say that I'll never be buying it again. This was SO yummy and really easy to make. I made some chicken salad to go with it. It didn't last long. I'll have to elaborate on that chicken salad some other time.

The next night I made homemade soft wrap bread.

We had chicken tacos with it and as you can see, there were plenty of leftovers for personal pizzas. I even froze a dozen of them for later. Again, delicious and easy to make.

I made Mel's chicken corn chowder tonight. It did not disappoint! I better be able to get to running again soon or else all this yummy food is going to catch up with me!

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Update and a Giveaway

First a quick update: I knew deep down that taking time off from running was really what I needed to get this ankle thing under control. However, it is hard to do that when you've been logging miles and it becomes a regular part of your day. Thank you so much for all your comments and encouragement and advice. For some reason I was having a really tough day and you all made it so much better. I am pleased to say that my ankle is doing so much better. I did jump squats yesterday and didn't feel it one bit. I still can't jog in place without some pain so I'm not going to run quite yet. But I am confident that it's going to heal in time for my run. Which by the way, is December 30th. If you are remotely close to the Northern Utah area and want to run part of my 37 miles with me, send me an email and we'll hook up.

Second: A giveaway! I was contacted by ZipFizz to try some of their drink mixes. It is a healthy alternative to sports and energy drinks.

I'm not a big caffeine drinker (I do have the occasional diet coke on the weekends) so the company has offered to give it to one of my readers. You will receive 6 different flavors and a nice water bottle along with a thumb drive with information on their product. Also, you must be a blogger who is willing to do a review on your blog after you've tried it out. Leave me a comment and I'll pick a winner on Thursday December 15th.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Training Update

I have nothing clever to say. I try not to write when I feel like this, but it's been far too long so maybe it will get better as I go. Training for this birthday run has been all sorts of things. It's been fun, tiring, challenging, inspiring, amazing, and lonely. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but in reality 24 miles with myself is a lot. I just plain run out of things to say to myself. I've gotten up at the wee hour of 5 for these long runs and they take me a while. I've done them on Mondays for two reasons. First: in order to do back to back long runs I can't do it on Saturday because I rest on Sundays. Second: there are some pretty fun races this time of year and they are all on Saturdays so I wanted them free so that I can do them. The problem with that kind of thinking is that by the time the weekend comes, I'm bushed. So I haven't really pushed myself during them and just physically can't and knowing that I have another long run coming in two days mentally makes it so that I just can't push it to the hurting point.

Winter is still my favorite running season though even if it has been bitterly cold here lately. What is the weather like where you live?

Winter seems to produce some incredible sunrises. And they don't last long.

Thanksgiving day was nice and so we went for a little mountain bike ride after dinner. It was muddy and hard. Just the thing I needed before stuffing my face with pie.

My dad, me and my hubby.

Me and Jodi right after the Turkey Trot. I ran it 1 minute faster than last year but 1 minute slower than I thought I would. I did come away with a pumpkin pie for 3rd place though.

I only have one more long run before the taper starts and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do it. I've done the following runs the last couple of weeks: 18, 20, 22, 22, 24 miles all followed the next day by 10 mile runs. The second to the last 22 miler I felt SO good. I wanted to go further but kept myself reigned in. It was also my first 50 mile week ever. I was pretty excited. I stepped on the treadmill the next week to start my 24 miler and from the first step my ankle felt off. It didn't hurt, it just felt like it was tweaked. Well, with no other warning, I just kept going thinking it would work itself out. It did not. The 10 miler the next day was torture. It did hurt by then. Why I kept going I can not say. But I haven't run for almost a week now and it's getting better. I've been to see the chiropractor to make sure nothing was torn or broken and it looks good so now it's just the waiting game. I've been going to spin class as often as possible and lifting weights and doing yoga. I hope that if I can't do that 26 miler that things will still be o.k. for my birthday run. I'm trying to be patient but anyone who know's me knows that it's not my strong suite. However, I was very proud of myself because I was a very good girl and had my first DNS. It was only a 5K, but it's a fun one and I sat it out. I now have a really cute $20 pajama shirt. First race I've paid for and not run. Guess there's a first time for everything, right!

Tell me things will be o.k. for my run. (Lie if you have to!)
What is your favorite season in which to run?
What holiday plans do you have?