Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 6

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Photo credit: Jess Baumung

Week recap:

This week started with a short post-race run on Monday morning with the #betterforit ladies. We also had the privilege of spending time once again with holistic nutritionist Miranda Malisani, who gave us some amazing recipe ideas and nutrition tips for the last couple of weeks we have left of training. I took a much needed day off on Tuesday and went for an 8k run with the NRC on Wednesday night followed by an early morning NTC workout on Thursday. This weekend, our amazing pacer Paulina offered to come pace a few of us for a long run at the NRC on Saturday morning. It was so neat to finally run a long distance with the girls. There’s no greater feeling than the feeling improvement. Lately I’ve been feeling improvement not only on my pace but also on my running form and breathing, which is super motivating! That said, I still have some work to do if I want to keep up the same pace past 10km. Thanks again Paulina!!

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How I’m feeling:

After a harder week 5, I’m back in topnotch shape this week! I took the proper amount of rest time on Tuesday and Friday to really push the workouts that I’ve been doing. My knee did hurt a bit during the long run on Saturday morning but overall I’m feeling a lot better. I also feel like I have a lot of energy this week. I’m making sure that I’m getting as much sleep as possible. I’ve realized that if I get a solid 8hrs of sleep a night, I usually perform a whole lot better.

What I’ve learned:

The importance of having a morning of run routine. This week the coach for the Nike Run Club in Toronto, the super rad Rejean Chiasson, gave us a handful of tips as we prepare for the 15k race. The one thing he did emphasize that really stuck with me was having a morning of run routine. I’m not an early riser and I can’t usually eat or drink much when I wake up super early. That said, when you’re gearing up to run 1-1.5 hrs, you need to hydrate and fuel your body properly before heading out on the run. I’ve been testing out what my body wants or requires in the morning before running or even before doing a morning NTC workout. I realized that the best thing for me to do is to a) eat half to a whole banana b) drink 1-2 cups of water c) have 1-2 spoonfuls of peanut butter or half a PERFECT BAR (my favorite pre & post-run snack, made in San Diego!). This has become the winning combination before any of my intense early morning workouts. I try to have this combo at least 1hr before running (Rejean even suggests waking up several hours before the run to make sure you eliminate the fluids and don’t have the food stuck in your stomach while running). Realistically I know that I won’t be able to wake up several hours in advance to hydrate and eat. So I try to hydrate as much as I can the day prior and also a little before, during and lot’s after the run. I really think that’s what saved me last week during the super humid & hot Sporting Life 10k run. All of our bodies are different so I highly recommend like Rejean said, trying to figure out your morning of routine a couple of weeks before the race!

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Eat good snacks. Speaking of snacking, having the chance to speak to a nutritionist on more than one occasion during this journey has really helped me figure out what type of snacks that I want to eat before and after a run. Because we don’t always have time to make homemade snacks right after a run, Miranda Malisani introduced us to a handful of yummy and healthy alternatives that we could find in local grocery stores. Some are my favorites are pictured below: The Chia Pod from The Chia Co. (didn’t know this but Kelly Slater is also a fan!),  Ipanema Valley Banana Brownies (an all-fruit brownie) , Amazing Grass Green Superfood (the perfect addition to smoothies) and Flow water (naturally alkaline spring water from right here in Ontario).

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 What are some of your favorite pre & post-run snacks?

Next week on the blog, don’t miss my next #5QuestionsWith interview with Miranda Malisani. She will be giving some last minute nutrition tips as the Nike Women’s 15k race approaches plus will be talking about what first got her interested in nutrition. It will go live on the blog next Sunday.

Only a few more training weeks to go!!! Have a great week 7 everyone!!

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 3

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Week recap:

Rainy and cold week in Toronto but grateful to have so much support around me right now to keep me focused and running regardless of what mother nature throws at us. The week started with a rainy 5k with the #betterforit girls on Monday morning. I also did two NTC workouts on Tuesday night and Thursday morning. They’ve become a good break for me during the week, while still allowing me to be active. Wednesday night, I ran the fastest 5k in my life thus far and accomplished a new PB (personal best, as they call them in the running world)! I took the day off on Friday and kicked off the weekend strong with my second ever 15k run on Saturday morning. I didn’t think I would run that distance again before the race but I really outdid myself yesterday. Not only did I beat my fastest 5k time, I also clocked my fastest 10k and 15k time. It’s so awesome to see progression!

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How I’m feeling:

I’m so hungry all the time! I’ve seen an increase in my appetite since I’ve been working out 6 days a week. Not going to lie, some days I’ve been tempted to eat more sweets, but I’ve tried my hardest to eat organic, natural and healthy all the time. I was also a little fatigued this week. I noticed that I was falling asleep super early every night and also incredibly tired after yesterday’s 15k. My only issue so far: bruised toenails. Sounds gross I know… A little scary but hopefully they’ll get better soon!

What I learned:

-this week I learned a whole lot on nutrition thanks to holistic nutritionist Miranda Malisani‘s presentation at NRC on Wednesday night. She gave us a great presentation on pre & post-run snacks as well as nutrition tips for meals & hydration in the weeks leading up to the 15k as well as healthy food recipe ideas. I loved her post-run meal suggestions: vegetable quinoa, wild rice spaghetti with kale & goat cheese as well as these super yummy looking banana date buckwheat pancakes below. She also had a handful of snack suggestions such as homemade chia seed pudding, spirulina parfait, smoothies, etc. I was happy to see that most of what I’ve been eating thus far on this training journey has been good for me but it’s always great to get extra tips & inspiration for meals & snacks. A big thanks to Miranda for the amazing goodie bag she gifted us, stoked to try out these natural health products!

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-running with a group or a buddy has really the best way to push myself. Though I’ve been doing a lot of training on my own, I’ve realized these past two weeks that my fastest times and longest distances have come from running with others. Though I ran most of the winter by myself, joining the NRC crew was a game changer. They really motivated me to get out each Wednesday even when it was cold out. Now that the temperatures are getting warmer and that the NRC is offering different types of running training every night of the week (get more info here), it’s a great way to pick up speed or distance. This past week, I ran my fastest 5k thanks to an amazing pacer and ran another 15k thanks to Offner!

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Thrilled to also share with you today DJ FeelGoodSmalls‘ second motivational mix leading up to the Nike Women 15k. Entitled Momentum, this new mix is sure to keep you going strong for the next two weeks. Read about the mix & download it here. You can also stream it on Soundcloud here.

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Another busy week of training up ahead! I’m very excited because this Tuesday, I get to train and interview members of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team as part of my journey towards the race. Stay tuned for a recap of this special training day and also a #5QuestionsWith interview with one of the players coming on the blog next week!