Tag Archives: Running

Weekend Recap: Post FLU miles, Olympic Marathon Trials & Valentines Day

Weekend Recap: First Miles post Flu, Olympic Trials and Valentines

Its Monday and an extended weekend for many as we celebrate Presidents Day today! Schools, Banks and Federal Agencies are closed to recognize the holiday. I failed to realize this and set my normal Monday alarm for my regular wake up time, however it’s all good! It’s now ‘found’ time that I have to myself this morning before my husband and kids wake up. I need to get my mojo back so starting the week off by setting my sleep patterns right is a very good thing! Sipping my coffee and enjoying a couple hershey’s kisses…here’s what happened over the last few days.

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Last week the flu knocked me out and I was way more sick than I had thought I was with it. I usually bounce back quick after a cold, I dont get sick very often. Having the flu taught me that one just does not jump back into what you were doing previously to the illness as fast as you’d like to. Even though I was feeling better every day, by 3-4pm I would begin to feel weary and a mild-grade fever would return. I felt lazy but there was no way for me to focus last week on any one task other than to sleep it off and bring down my fever. Friday morning I met my personal training client at gym and after our session I ran my FIRST mile on the treadmill since getting the flu. It was tough and I ended up run/walking that mile. Rather than feeling good about moving, I found myself ready to cry because it was SO HARD. I wanted to be able to get more distance, but also realizing that my body was not healed enough to handle it. I ended up napping 3 hours later that day and actually made it to the gym to train a new personal training client.

Saturday morning I felt lost, I slept in when I am usually out running a long run with friends. It was bitter cold sub-zero temps so I was a bit thankful to still be in recovery phase from the flu. I got dressed, packed my pre-workout energize and headed to the YMCA to teach 2 youth bootcamp classes. In the second 45min class I got winded doing plyometric and HIIT workouts with the kids. After classes, I headed to the fitness center to run and in my head I set a goal of running a 5k. I was excited to see that the olympic marathon trials were on TV and it was so inspiring to see the men and women running that I pushed myself to run more than walk. Still, I found my breath was short and my chest was sore so I only managed to run 2.5miles. I felt like a slow snail compared to the 5:06/mile pace the men were clocking in the trials. Wow, I’d love to see some elites who run that fast in person—going to have to get to a race to volunteer this spring so I can cheer runners on!

After a hot bath, I got a TWO hour nap and ended up just resting. My husband had to grocery shop that night after work because I just didnt get back out and the whole family sat down to a healthy taco dinner saturday night. It doesn’t happen very often for us all to sit together these days with our crazy schedules, it was nice to find one day this weekend. We assigned jobs for the kids to help get the house deep cleaned since nothing was really cleaned up at all during the week–the reward would be a family outing to see DeadPool on Monday. I ended up going to bed early again, sleep schedule was still way off at this point.

Valentines day I made heart shaped pancakes and sausage for my family, didnt they turn out nice?

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I ran 1 quick mile at the gym and felt good—like I could have ran further but there was not enough time to stay there and run before my Sunday Zumba class. I had a great turnout at class, several new faces even. However by the end of my 60min dance fest I was winded and tired—my lungs felt like they had ran a ½ marathon. Another day of recuperating was in store—came home for another bath and 3 hour nap. Snow started after lunchtime and our plans to meet another couple fell through, but we decided to still go out just the two of us. I had skipped lunch and was ravenous so begged my husband to take me for a burger. We ended up going to Red Robin–I love their burgers! Onion ring appetizer, guac burger and sweet potato fries consumed, I was in burger heaven. We walked around the mall after to help our food settle, but I stayed in a food coma for hours. On the way home, we stopped at ALDI, it was supposed to be an in/out trip but I apparently took longer than a gay couple who had entered the store after I did to shop. My husband had stayed in car and was texting me to try to hurry me up. I had to circle back to the fresh produce to look for green beans and ended up getting frozen chicken which means that TODAY Presidents Day is my meal prep day. Going to get moving, heading to gym to train 3 clients today back to back. Then we’re heading to a matinee and I’ll be food prepping all evening for the week ahead.

Wishing you all a good start to your week!!

xo Jenn

January 2016 Running: A recap of my #runstreak Journey

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As I write this, I am celebrating my longest #Runstreak ever! I started my streak on Thanksgiving day by joining Runners World #RWRunstreak 2015 challenge from Thanksgiving to New Years Day of running at least 1 mile/day every day. There were days where it was a challenge but one way or another I guilted, motivated and even bribed myself to get it done. Now Im looking ahead to continuing and finding myself addicted, if not obsessed with this new “healthy” habit. There are lots of pros/cons to attempting and signing yourself up for such a challenge, beware that once you get started and well into it you will not want to give it up—rain, sleet, sickness or tired, you GET IT DONE.

January is not typically a time of year, especially for midwest that one would expect to see a spike in the miles they run. Enter spring marathon training and BOOM you suddenly find yourself pushing harder than you would have done otherwise. In 2016 I have yet to register for a race, been re-evaluating my goals and enjoying my RUNSTREAK. What happened last year when I attempted a runstreak, I was also in TRAINING MODE, I like to follow Hal Higdon’s half/full marathon training schedule, if you are beginning to look at longer distances I suggest you check it out because they really prepare you for race day.

To help anyone who is thinking of beginning a runstreak, I thought I’d offer some ah-ha tips that I think has helped me be so successful in this runstreak. You can do this and I hope that after reading this you will be inspired to begin your own runstreak and join the club.

Begin when you are NOT training for a race. When you are already in a training program, you have committed yourself and being to sticking to those training runs. Training programs for a race have “rest” days built in for a reason and you do not want to stray from adding additional miles on your schedule in fear of possibly adding injury during your training.

Find a runner and a group (or create a group) of runners to join you. Chances are there are other runners out there who share a similiar goal to you, so find them! Power of the group is huge. Just like those long runs in training, when you are part of a bigger entity it makes it harder to stop.

Accountability and Tracking is important. Tracking your miles, be it pen to paper or posting daily on social media, is essential so just do it. I found that creating images that included the daily miles ran/total miles logged really helped me to keep on track and allowed other runners to see how many miles I was getting in day to day.

Find a 1 mile route from your home. There were days I was home and realized I had not ran yet! A few years ago I realized that from the corner of my house down to where the street ends and back is 1 mile RT. This is my go to “loop” when I want to warm up for doing my home workouts but for this #runstreak challenge it became my go-to on days that I felt like I couldnt get it in. I found that lacing up and just getting to that first stop sign I felt more awake and telling myself that this was a good thing, that the alternative would be feeling disappointed with myself. Having a route that is familiar to you helps because as your runstreak goes on this 1 mile loop will begin to get faster and FASTER! It will feel like you’re putting forth little effort, it is the 1mile you do when you are feeling a little sick, your legs are sore, your body aches or you’ve already done hard work that day.

A slow mile is still ONE MILE. During your one mile loop, just know that IT COUNTS no matter how fast or slow you do it. Make each mile run count though by setting a goal for each run. Here is a short list of ways I would plan out my mile runs: fastest time, focus on upper body form with arms in tight, breathing, foot strike, fartleks, butt kicks, test for running gear and temperatures, create a scavenger hunt while running (how many dogs did you see, houses with decorations, etc) and finally just focus on getting from start to finish however you can get there.

I know that these tips made a difference, the biggest is that I have not yet signed up for a spring race. I know that once I do, my miles will increase but know this that no matter what even on rest  days I will be fitting in a 1mile “run” that might be slower and easier in intensity but I now have trained by body to expect it and I know it can handle it. Who knows what lies ahead when I do begin to run longer miles, especially back to back days and on days when I teach group fitness. All I know is whatever I have on my plate, no matter how busy my days get I will be getting out there and running my MILE!

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Happy Running friends—let me leave you with this one thought:

THINK YOU WONT MAKE A DIFFERENCE with ONE RUN? You wont make any difference DOING NOTHING.  

Reach out if you need an accountability partner when you begin your #runstreak and I will happily cheer you on!

 

VIRTUAL #runstreak: First Virtual Race in December

Why wait until January to kick off a YEAR of running with friends near and far! Im honored and pleased to announce I am now an AMBASSADOR for Running on the Wall. One of the things I love about running is actually running races with new friends near and far. Often due to our running budgets and/or travel limitations it could take years before I have the opportunity to meet and run with every running friend I make on social media. That’s why starting THIS MONTH and every month in 2016 you will see an invitation from me to join me in a virtual 5k or 10k. Even if you are a first time runner doing C25k or training for a marathon or ultra, these races should fit somewhere in your training schedule. WHO’s EXCITED?!!! ME!!

Never participated in a virtual run? No worries, I’ll help guide you on how to join in the fun. For now, I want to tell you about THIS MONTHS race and how you can get involved because we are already almost 5 days into December so I want you to get signed up and earn one more medal in 2015! Let’s Do this!

About Running on the Wall.  This onine business and resource for runners was created by two runners, a husband and wife team who felt that they themselves could give the highest quality gear for runners anything related to running. Their first product for sale was a medal holder and since they have created lots of other running-inspired items and sell everything from medal holders to race bib display to running bracelet and virtual race to running tees.

Out of their love for the outdoors, they strive to keep everything offered in store as ‘green’ as possible, making sure that all of the marathon display and medals holders are made from recycled MDF wood and non-chemical based varnishes. Shows their commitment to keep our environment looking as best as possible to ensure we all have many more great outdoor running years ahead.

THE RACE: DECEMBER 2015

For December I have chosen the #shebelievedshecoulddoit virtual 10k race. If you can believe this incredibly affordable deal, for just $29 you receive: Tshirt, Bib and Medal! The great thing about running a virtual race is YOU CAN FIT THIS RACE IN on your OWN TIME! So often I have to pass up on races because I am working on the day of the event. Plus, this is super affordable, sometimes even costing less than running your local races so more money saved in your pocket! You are free to select what race you want to run off their website and guess what….you can SAVE 10% on your order with the CODE: GiveThanks. What race theme and distance is attractive to you?

My race Packet looks like this!

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The FEATURED 10k for this month is #runwithgrace and it is also a 10k, here is what that packet looks like…remember you can select YOUR OWN race to run!

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Two ways to get connected with other runners who are participating in virtual races: 1) use the hashtag #virtualrunning and tag Running on the Wall on Instagram, like and share on their facebook page and tag ME  on social media: jenn on twitter, jenn on instagram, jenn on facebook. 2) Tag or INVITE a friend to join in with you, share on a running group page or call/text a friend about it too.

Since we are all ordering our packets this week, I’m planning to run my 10K the weekend between Christmas and New Years. Who is with me? If you want to join me, check out my events in my facebook page: Jenn Voss Fitness. Comment below or send me an EMAIL (click on link) and lets all end this year running together!

Your running buddy— Jenn xo

A Runner’s Delight: Meals on the Run

Whether you are a runner or not, if you are passionate about eating to fuel your body, if you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you’ll want to check this out!

  •  Do you need HELP in making decisions to feel confident in the food choices you’re making? 
  •  Do you want to prepare meals that contain natural foods and minimally processed ingredients?
  •  Do you struggle to find the time to make meals for yourself and your family?

In training as a runner, a close second to questions about training programs and how many miles this week, us runners are always talking about nutrition. Lets face it, we are experimenting and sharing all the time what is the best for pre-run, mid-run (including at what intervals we need to eat to support our energy) and post-run (what foods will help us recover faster and repair muscles). I was honored to be contacted by Runners World to read and review their new book just released last week from Rodale Publishing, Meals on the Run.

*While I received a complimentary digital version for purposes of review, all opinions expressed and subsequent taste testing are my own.

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Meals on the Run contains 150 recipes that can all be prepared in 30 minutes or less so that alone was enough for me to be drawn in and loving this cookbook right from the start. From page one, the foreward by Kara Goucher caught my attention too, she calls this book a bible of nutrition for runners with full lives. As a mother and female athlete I follow her and find that having her collaborating with this project really resonates with me. Here is the breakdown of the 9 chapters in the book.

  • Chapter 1 Breakfast
  • Chapter 2 Smoothies and Juices
  • Chapter 3 Snacks and Sweets
  • Chapter 4 Salads
  • Chapter 5 Soups and Stews
  • Chapter 6 Pasta and Noodles
  • Chapter 7 Vegetarian Mains and Sides
  • Chapter 8 Seafood Mains
  • Chapter 9 Meat and Poultry Mains

The first few pages include an extensive Pantry List which I was happy to see I am already stocked up on a lot of the items! The other COOL TOOLS:  Smart Shortcuts for fresh fruit and Produce and Time Saving equipment to have in your kitchen, on the “need” list for me is a 5qt Dutch Oven. I am all about convenience and love that it can go from the stovetop to the oven and then straight to the table for serving.

Did I mention the book is color-coded? Nice, right? Searching for Vegan meals, look for recipes with Purple Banner. I am a browser when it comes to meal planning, these eye catching details will help you find what you need QUICK! Two other categories that really caught my eye was 5MIN FIX & 10 MIN TOPS! Really? I can pull a healthy meal together that fast? Lifesaving for those mornings you oversleep your alarm or take a little longer in the shower or for us moms, packing healthy meals for the kids for weekend extra curricular activities.

I have a long list of recipes to try, this is the ONE I did this week for dessert after sitting down to dinner with my family. Everyone grabbed an apple, a plate and made their own! I resisted grabbing a scoop of vanilla on top but if you REALLY wanted to indulge I’d say this was as good as warm home made apple pie!

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All in all I found these meals included simple ingredients and am looking forward to trying more!! Meals on the Run retails for $26.95. I usually browse my library for new cookbooks before purchasing, but I highly recommend that if you are a runner and looking for nutrition support in one of the three areas of Pre-Run, Fuel during the Run & Post-Run this book is worth it’s weight in gold! Cannot wait to hear what recipes you try out first! Thanks so much for providing us runners with great tools for success Running World!

I cannot wait to hear about your favorite recipes and what meals you prepare first from this incredible cookbook!

Jenn

New Running Book: Meb for Mortals is a MUST read!

One thing I’ve learned is improving as a runner doesn’t happen overnight……

What it takes to improve is dedication, commitment, physical and mental training and celebrating in the joy of your journey. Im right now preparing for my 4th marathon and got super excited when I was contacted by Runners World to review the newly released book just out THIS WEEK: Meb for Mortals written by 2014 Boston Marathon Winner Meb Kefelgzighi.

Alex Aristei

Disclosure: I received an advanced digital copy of Meb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas through Runner’s World Magazine. No compensation was received and the opinions stated here are my own.

This book is PURE MEB. Each chapter really breaks down Meb from the inside out and the steps he took to becoming a world class runner including his challenges and triumphs.

Chapter 1 Think Like Meb
Chapter 2 Run Like Meb

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