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Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Achiva Energy Chews and Protein Cups

It's been a couple of week since I received my latest StrideBox and I have decided to try a couple of things today.

The first was the Achiva Energy Chews - I was skeptical from my last encounter with the Energy Drink.
It's as nasty as it looks.
Today was to be my long run and I decided since I didn't have any of my regular energy gels or candy for before my run I would try the chews. I opened the package and just couldn't get over how gross they appeared, all the other chews that I have tried looked like gummy candy - not these suckers.


Achiva Energy Chews - Pomegranate

So, I popped one in my mouth and they did not taste good at all. I would try another right now, but I can't - I've got a Coffee w/chai and I want to enjoy it without the nasty after taste of the chews. I thought I could eat a few more and the reality was, nope, not gonna happen. Also, before heading out this morning I asked Tom if he wanted to try one...similar reaction, nasty. In the end I had a total of 3 and Tom had one and we both did not enjoy these nuggets of nastiness. So, no more Achiva.

SO NASTY!

Item #2 - Quest Cravings


Now this, this one I liked. It's a Protein Peanut Butter Cup and I like me a peanut butter cup. While these were not Reese's PB cups, these were not horrible. They were actually palatable. From the picture you would think that maybe the filling would be smooth, not so. The consistency was a little crumbly, and the first bite was just a little surprising, but in the end tasted alright. Not quite chocolate or peanut butter, but not nasty like chia seed anything. In my opinion, this company did a pretty good job at making a reasonable tasting peanut butter cup and I would spend money on this if I found this in the store.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chia...drink recipe...

Doesn't this look tasty? Um, nooo


Given my previous run-in with Chia Seeds, I can confidently declare that I will NOT be making this beverage.

HOWEVER, if you are a Chia Seed Freak-a-zoid...go HERE to check out the recipe.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back on Track



It took a few weeks, but we are back on track with my running days. Three weeks in a row I did something other than run on Mondays...CrossFit or Rest. My neck and shoulder have been giving me a little grief the past couple of weeks, but things are starting to settle down and getting out for a run this morning - a Monday morning - finally happened!

So happy that we are back on track! Yesterday I  had mapped out a route that would take us from our house to Salmon Creek Meadows and on a short trail that goes to Brook Run and out to 149th Street and then out to Shorecrest to make it a 4+ mile route. When we first got going I had every intention to go all the way to the library and come back, but I just wasn't feeling a long, flat two mile route, just to turn around and do it in reverse. We have done that route plenty and it was time to do something different. I guess when I map out a new route, I should just plan to do it. A mile into our run I stopped for a brief walk break and suggested the "new" route. Tom was game, so off we went!

It was fun because there were hills. Most of my runs are with gentle grades which just doesn't take the place of a real hill. Yeah, the hills were short, but at least the route wasn't flat and straight! I felt a little sluggish, but managed to do a decent run. A little slower pace, but I'm not going to complain - I'm out early on a Monday!

So next up is a 4 mile tempo run on Wednesday and then 6 mile long run on Saturday. CrossFit and Plyo on our days off and probably throw in a rest day somewhere also.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CH, CH, CH - CHIA

A few weeks ago I posted about the "wonder" seeds called Chia - HERE. Additionally, I posted on Facebook how utterly nasty the whole experience was. It really was...

So, the April StrideBox arrives and I tear into it because I like opening boxes and I start going through all the items...


This month is my punishment for posting not so positive comments about the Achiva Sports Drink mix that I received a couple of months ago.

You'll plainly see that there is a package of Achiva Natural Energy - and you can kind of make out that the package says Chia Seeds (it's a kindle pic - I did the best I could). Well...you'll also see another item that says chia energy gel...AND the other item which was not placed well for this picture has chia seeds as well.

Okay, so I have decided that between now and the arrival of my May StrideBox I'm gonna at least try these items. The good thing is that I don't have to mix anything with water and come up with this...


I can't say that I'll like this Chia Seed thing...I know that the drink was awful!

Be sure to check back...I might surprise myself AND whoever else might be reading this :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting Fast...



Well, fast for me anyway.

Went out for my easy 4 mile run yesterday and even though I didn't feel like I was running faster, I was! Whaaaat? After we got back and I recorded my numbers I was a little surprised that I had run a 12 min average over FOUR MILES?!

Yup - I'll DEFINITELY take that!

Tomorrow is another 4 miler - Tempo run, but we'll be running hills instead....hills are GOOOOD!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mixin' Things Up

Post-Run Kindle Selfie
After going for my easy run on Tuesday - things started to get all mixed up. Thursday was supposed to be my speed-work day, but that morning didn't feel like it would be a good day to try that out. I woke up too early, my knee was hurting AND my neck/shoulder did not feel any better than the day before. So we skipped running in the morning.

On my way home from work I was self talking myself right out of running and promptly told Tom that I would not be running after all. But seeing that he was all set to go it didn't take long for me to at least get out for a little bit of a run - an abbreviated speed-work session. We did ran 200 and walked 200 - a total of 1 mile at the track and ended up with 2.6 miles for the day. Not the 4 that was on the schedule. Not beating myself up anymore. Yesterday was supposed to be my long run, but as soon as we got started I could tell that things would not go well so I turned around and went back home and Tom continued on and did a little over a mile.

After running a couple of errands, I spent a lot of the afternoon resting and icing my shoulder and taking pain reliever. Got a lot of sleep last night and was ready to go this morning! This morning we were out on the road by 6:30 and it was SO GOOD! First mile felt good which was a good indication of how the rest of the run would go. There were a couple of times that I had some doubts that I could get to where I needed to, but Tom said just the right thing and all was well.

Tomorrow we'll do CrossFit and I'll go off to the Chiropractor mid-morning and then we run again on Tuesday. YAY! I'm feeling so much better about this running thing I've gotten into, I'm actually starting to {love} it...shhhhh, not so loud...hee hee.

Week 3 coming up! This week is 4 on Tuesday, 4 on Thursday (Tempo) and 5 on Saturday. Will reset my run days after this week and go back to Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

69 days...Vancouver Half will be here FAST!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Not Quite 3



Postponed my easy run from yesterday to today - was very tired and my neck was bothering me yesterday.

Went to sleep at a reasonable hour and stayed in bed until 4:30...not bad for me. We were out on the road between 5:30 and 5:45 this morning and man-oh-man today was the best!

The route was not what I had intended because I just couldn't see myself running to the turn around at Kid's Club. So we took a side road that was nice and quiet with pretty much no traffic. On top of that I decided that I didn't want to go back on the same side of 139th street...so we crossed over and made our way down 139th Street to 26th Avenue.

Stopped one time - which was kind of necessary to wait for the 2 or 3 cars to pass and stayed strong all the way back to our house. My pace was 12:07, which is pretty quick for me.

I'm a little bummed that we didn't quite make it to 3, but almost is good enough for today! Our next run is Speedwork, but I think we'll do Hills instead.

I know that I have mentioned this before, but this running stuff is REALLY starting to stick!

Rest & CrossFit - They Are BOTH Good!


So...a while back I posted about the things I need to do to improve my running HERE.

(photo credit - google images)

SLEEP
There is literally no change in my sleeping habits. If anything I might actually be getting worse. The going to bed part is not the problem, it's the staying asleep that has me all baffled. I consistently wake up around 3am and sometimes don't get back to sleep.

There were a couple of nights that I resorted to taking melatonin to get to sleep, but ended up with a sleep hangover the next morning. Yeah, I don't like that.  However, when we make Mr. Decaf sleep in the basement, I do get more sleep...at least make it to 4:30. So, it seems that I will get anywhere from 5-7 hours a night...at least I get some sleep. More is better, maybe I need go to bed right after dinner!

FOOD
Well, the nutrition thing will always be a daily thing...I try to make better choices, but this girl like a donut now and then. Don't look at me like that :)

I try to eat breakfast everyday whether I decide to "whip up" my instant grits or eat my new favorite Tillamook Farmstyle Greek yogurt. Tom loads my lunch bag up with veggies and a banana, usually have some cheese and a boiled egg too. My lunch entree changes on a daily basis, depending on what we had for dinner. I'm trying to get better with my portions at dinner, but sometimes I just can't help myself! It's a good thing I run!!!

GETTING STRONGER
Okay, so this is where I have some improvement. The only reason I can tell is because I'm actually feeling stronger during my training runs. This morning was SO GOOD! Oh..yeah, so we do what I like to call CrossFit lite. Just enough to work the muscles, but not so much that all we (me & Tom) talk about is CrossFit. As long as I feel really good during my training runs I'll continue to do this CrossFit stuff at home...we also are planning to add yoga and or pilates into the mix too! 

As I continue moving forward, I'm hoping that these areas will improve OR at the very least, don't get worse.