Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Return of the Turkey Trot

This past Saturday I ran The Return of the Turkey Trot race, my sister and I ran the 8k.  We happened to run into our cousin Rae Ann and her son Kyle who also ran the race, it was so much fun :)

It was pretty dang cold, thankfully snow didn't hit our area until later that night and the BITTER cold didn't set in until Monday.  Although with the windchill right before the race started it was -4.  BRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

For the first two miles I really couldn't feel my feet, it was like running on ice blocks and my hands were frozen.  At about 2.5 miles my feet came back to life and my hands started tingling, I finally warmed up.  It really was a great race, at the very end there was a very steep but thankfully short uphill.  As I ran towards the finish and saw the time on the clock I managed to kick it in and finish right before 44 minutes.  It was a good race for me and I'm proud of how I did :)

Now to continue with the running, it is so freezing cold here I will have to give in and do some treadmill running.  I really do want to become a faster runner, slowly but surely it will happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Taking A Sick Day

Yesterday was kind of rough.  We got up for the gym at 4:30 and I just wasn't feeling right.  Kyle's chipper morning happiness was doing anything but making me smile and laugh.  Rather I felt like punching him and taking that chippery attitude right out of him.  Sometimes I can be mean, not gonna lie, that man puts up with quite a bit from me but after nearly 13 years together he knows what he is dealing with.

At the gym I wandered about in a haze, my pre-workout was kicking in but not in a good way.  The 3plenish was too sweet for me, that NEVER happens it is not a super sweet drink.  Instead I would head for the water fountain between sets.  Somehow I managed to go up in a weight on a few sets, we did chest and back.  I LOVE training back so that does help me tell myself I can push it harder and add more weight.  Simple chatter with fellow gym members was not happening and finally I told Kyle we just needed to go home because I was either going to faint or vomit at the gym.

We headed home, I got sick and crawled into bed.  Kyle took my temp and we expected it to be high, instead it was 96.2 and he couldn't believe how cold my body felt.  I put on sweat pants, a long sleeved shirt, another long sleeved shirt, fuzzy socks, four blankets and we could not get my temperature up.  Kyle googled some things, seriously don't do that, but it did make some sense and could have been in relation to my training and the fact that I ran in very cold weather the day before.  But man I have a race on Saturday so I HAD to run!  I couldn't not document my sick day, so here I was, sicky mcsickerson in bed ALL day long.

I have to give a shout out to the company that made the shirt I am wearing.  The slogan made me feel a little better because it is so true.  Even though I was clearly sick and needing some rest I will NEVER GIVE UP, but I will rest when my body is telling me to.  Check out Thick 2 Thin I love all they stand for, Andrea's posts, their clothing, just such an awesome and honest company!

My day consisted of sleeping, drinking LOTS of water, taking vitamins and drinking tea.  Kyle took such great care of me, making me soup, checking my temperature every hour.  It took almost the entire day but my temperature finally got back up to normal.  Imagine poor Kyle having to wake me up each hour and have "the monster" very angry and NOT wanting her temperature taken, I just wanted to SLEEP.  Props to you babe, I apologize for how I can be at times, thank you a thousand times for putting up with me!

We decided I would need another rest day today, I've had some good oatmeal with protein, shredded chicken and plan on soup and protein shakes along with tea and water the rest of the day.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I can lift shoulders, if not, oh well, shoulder day will come again :)

I do have the Turkey Trot on Saturday morning and I will be running it with my sister Jenn.  Very excited for it, already knowing I may not hit a best time or anything like that but I'm ok with it.  Hopefully tomorrow I wake up feeling like me again :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Am A Sponsored Athlete!!!!

I am so proud and happy to announce that I am officially a Complete Nutrition sponsored athlete!!!!  I still can't believe it and keep pinching myself :)  I have worked so hard and I am so excited for this new part of my journey!

Complete Nutrition is a company I truly believe in, they have amazing products for everyone, no matter what your goals are.  Competing, weight loss, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and they will ship their products to you for free!  Anyone interested in ordering products from the location sponsoring me can call 319-550-8499 and just let them know that Stephanie Griffin sent you their way :)  Get great advice, set up on a program and enjoy products that work and are safe for you to take.

My goals have shifted a little bit, there is no limit to what I can do.  2015 is going to be a big year, I've picked three competitions, one half-marathon (and planning on finding another one), many other shorter road races and of course year round volleyball.

I am so excited for all of my goals and it makes me even more excited having such a great company backing me.  Thank you for believe in me Complete Nutrition, the future is bright!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nutrition - The Neverending Search for "Perfection"

Nutrition plays such a huge part in my goals.  When I first started my journey I went into it completely blind.  We did not have the money for me to hire a nutritionist and I am one who likes to do her own research and figure out what works for me.

Man I did not know the ride I was in for.  My views on food and the "ideal" nutrition plan have completely changed in a matter of nearly two years.  There is so much information out there it can be completely overwhelming.  Which plan do you follow, which coaches are giving out the best advice, which competitors are following plans that keep them healthy and are not starving themselves?

I also had my own personal disadvantages in regard to my health.  I had been dealing with heart conditions since I was 18, my body metabolizes everything so much faster than the "normal" person.  My cardiologist was a HUGE help in the entire process, very encouraging and making sure I was making the right choices to reach my goals and keep my heart healthy.  The only concern he ever voiced to me was the final week of competition prep, he flat out asked me to please not cut sodium and water because that could cause huge issues for my heart.

Kyle was a huge help in the sense of how many calories I should consume each day for my goals and giving me a breakdown of how many grams of protein, carbs and fat I would need.  My first go round I went the ridiculous route of eating the same thing all the time, egg whites, tilapia, chicken breast, broccoli.  Oats were really the only truly filling carb I allowed myself.  I was not happy with my prep, I did not enjoy my food because I wouldn't season anything or use condiments.  I was so terrified I it would be detrimental to my prep and make it more difficult to lose body fat.

My workouts and cardio were amazing the entire time.  Kyle never had  me doing more than 40 minutes of steady state cardio and that was just once a week, other than that it was HIIT workouts and runs because I was also training for races.  My downfall that first prep was 100% my nutrition and my lack of knowledge.

When I began prepping for my second competition I chose to "follow" the Fighter Diet plan.  I did not follow it 100% because I also believe in the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) plan.  Pauline Nordin (Fighter Diet) and Layne Norton (IIFYM) are both amazing people who know their stuff.  I did so much research, read their blogs watched Layne's video logs and learned so much.  At times I was completely overwhelmed but I just kept writing out information I felt would help me the most in my notebooks.

I did realize during that first prep that carbs do not affect my body like the "normal" person.  Cutting carbs during peak week did the opposite of what it was supposed to do, I was flat and didn't look as lean as I did the weekend before the competition.  I was disappointed because I had worked so hard and my food plan was my undoing.

Before my second competition I met with Dawn Zaruba for some posing practice.  She was so gracious, honest and kind.  She let me know that not everyone is the same, there is nothing wrong with doing something different for peak week.  Carbs affect everyone differently and it is up to me to track them and know what amounts work best for my body, I could be that lucky competitor that actually does not need to cut carbs during the final week and she was right!

The second competition was better than the first, we still played with the carbs a bit which did affect me not in the best way.  I brought a better overall package to the stage but a light went off in my head, STOP trying to do my final prep like the majority of competitors, that does not work for me!

After all of this I am extremely happy with my nutrition, I love my food.  I do track my macros but I am not freaking out over it.  I have my calorie goals for each day and my main goal is to get in all the protein I need to help my muscles recover from my intense workouts.  I choose carbs that I truly enjoy such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, Quest bars, greek yogurt, rice and even bread (ahhhh, I know bread, how can I!) ;)  I love my chicken breast but I also eat steak, lean ground beef, ground turkey and pork.  My meals make me happy, I look forward to eating them, I find little ways to change things up.

My heart is healthy, I no longer have annual appointments with my cardiologist.  Just as important as that my mind is healthy, I am mentally in a very good place.  I do not compete to earn a trophy, I compete because I love to train, I love how strong and confident I feel.  It has helped me improve in two of my favorite sports volleyball and running.

This is a LIFESTYLE.  My family enjoys the meals I make for dinner, tweaking some of our favorites with healthier ingredients makes everyone happy.  Bella is a very healthy, happy little girl who enjoys making yummy foods with her mommy and makes good choices for herself.  Not because I am forcing her to but because she is learning just as I am what makes her feel good.  Kyle is proud of me, I think anyway ;)  He also enjoys the dinners I am making so that all of us can be healthy and enjoy our lives doing what we love, together.

There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to nutrition.  It takes a lot of work, research and trying out new things.  Don't ever give up, each of us will find our way and learn to live our lives so that we are healthy and able to enjoy our time that we have.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Speed Racer

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a run, 57 degrees, slightly sunny and a bit windy.  I wore a pair of leggings a dry fit t-shirt and a light windbreaker, PERFECT!

I felt good and suddenly realized that my 8k race is just a week and a half away, that snuck up on me!

My pace felt faster than normal and for once I decided not to check my miles, I just ran 2.5 and was anxious to finish.  My mile splits were 8:37, over a minute faster than my last run!  I was very pleasantly surprised :)

My runs are going to get more difficult as the colder weather sets in.  My plan is to continue on no matter what, well except for those negative temps, my body just can't handle it.  On those days I will be forcing myself to get runs in on the treadmill.  I can't stand treadmill running but you gotta do what you gotta do!

I am currently on the hunt for some good gloves, I hate when my hands get sweaty and my gloves feel wet, can you say GROSS?  I also need a good hat that will cover my mouth or a dry fit cowl, better get on that before the Iowa winter really sets in.

I am proud of my run yesterday, no run today but I will be hitting the gym tonight with my trainer aka hubby for some chest and back.  I was reminded today again by a family member of how very lucky I am to have my husband as my trainer, believe me ladies and gents I truly know how very LUCKY I am.  We found each other so long ago and our love for fitness is part of what holds us together.

I am thankful every day to have that man in my life!