So, what happens in 12 weeks, 5 days?
The Blue Ridge 1/2 marathon!
I've been training well since my last 1/2 marathon, but we have had colds, bronchitis (I actually ran my last 1/2 with bronchitis!), and general yick symptoms. Thank the Lord, we seem to be on the mend.
But, now that I'm 12 weeks out, I don't have wiggle room. Why?
A 1/2 marathon requires a good baseline starting point, plus 12 weeks of strategic training. The 12 weeks of training include running 3 days per week, with a long run on Saturdays - the long run will increase by one mile/week. Week 1 starts with about 2M on Saturday and builds to 12M on week 10. Weeks 11 and 12 are taper weeks as it is important to not over stress your body in the days leading up to the goal of 13.1. Week 11's long run is 5M, and the long run on week 12 is the 1/2 marathon.
Cross training is also a suggested part of 1/2 marathon training. I didn't really do any last time, but this go, I'm adding in spinning 1-2x/week and Combat (DVD workout series - similar to P90X or Insanity) 4-6x/week.
I mentioned this in an earlier post, but changing your eating habits is a typical - necessary, really! - part of training for an endurance sport. The longer your runs get, the more aware of your diet you need to become. We eat generally well; we do have some processed foods that we eat on a semi-regular basis, but we also eat a lot of non-processed, whole foods. The closer I get to the next 1/2 marathon, and particularly the last 4 weeks of training, I will become more conscientious about my diet.
This go, there are a few things I'm doing differently...
For this 12 week period, I'm adding Shakeology to my daily healthy eating menu. For one meal per day, I will drink the shake. I don't like the term "meal replacement" because, in my opinion, it sounds like you're missing out on something. Trust me, I'm not. I was plenty full and very satisfied after this morning's shake. (Side note: If you click on the link, you will likely experience sticker shock. But, think of it this way: it is $4/serving and you only use one serving per day. A lot of people buy Starbucks daily, or have certain foods - doritos, ice cream, soda, diet soda... - or "extras" that they really don't need. By cutting back on a few things, it is very affordable. I'm cutting back on microwave meals and certain snacks.)
The shakes have a wide variety of ways they can be mixed - you can use water and ice, or you can use juice. milk, fruit, etc. to enhance your Shakeology shake. This morning, I used 1 scoop (the daily allowance), some Acai Berry V8 Fusion, a little water, frozen strawberries, and some keifer.
For this month, I chose the Greenberry blend. It is loaded with nutrients and has a wide range of super healthy ingredients (I mean, when was the last time you consumed suma root?). It is dairy and gluten free and uses only whole, non GMO ingredients.
I like fruits and veggies, but have trouble getting them into my diet. So, I usually try to do green smoothies including some veggies and fruits - I like to drink my salads. ;)
Yes, this looks gross. It is keifer. Why use keifer? It is a great probiotic - far beyond yogurt, which is a great part of your daily diet. What you see at the top are keifer grains, which are what ferments the milk. You strain out the grains and use the fermented milk. Keifer has 10+ strains of healthy bacteria. I just started this today, so I'm not sure what the long-term benefits will look like for me, but I'm sure I will see positive results.
The final result. It sort of looks like mud, but it tasted far better, I assure you. Admittedly, it tastes a little like grass, but with tweaking the recipe, that can be minimized. Besides, tasting a little like grass is not a bad thing. Our culture has gotten so used to over processed foods, added sweeteners, etc, that we forget eating dandelion leaves in salad is a good thing, that roots are healthy for you, etc. True, quality food, especially veggies, should taste earthy.
Shakeology is super filling. It took me a good hour to drink it all. I didn't get hungry for several hours, although I did eat a clementine and a tiny serving of sunflower seeds as a mid-morning snack (for my metabolism, not for hunger). This is the first shake I've had that proved to be truly satisfying, and I will use this daily for at least the next 12 weeks, though probably much longer.
** Written today** Today, I changed up my recipe some and liked it much better than yesterday's smoothie (which, as I said, wasn't bad). The berry flavor in yesterday's shake was a little too intense for me. This morning, I used Tropical Orange V8 Fusion (2 fruit/veggie servings), 1 stalk celery, frozen strawberries, keifer and 1 scoop Shakeology. The tropical orange juice was definitely helpful. The celery was great because it thickened the drink, but didn't alter the flavor at all. I couldn't taste the keifer. I will likely try something similar tomorrow; definitely going to keep using the celery. I mean, 4 fruit/veggie servings with breakfast? That's pretty great.
I have felt more energetic today by a lot, and the same was true yesterday. This is good because I have 2 workouts to do today - about to go use the spinner, and then sometime this evening, I'll do Combat. I could go more into Combat now, but I think that probably deserves a blog post all to itself. ;)