Feeding the Chocolate Addition – Special K Brownies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Special K Snack bars, but in addition to that, I also got to sample some Special K Brownies. I never thought I had a sweet tooth unless you count chocolate. chocolate is just my one habit I cannot get rid off.  And quite frankly, I believe treating yourself once in a while, or once a day is better than constantly feeling deprived.  Then again, I’m a girl who rather run laps then go on a diet.

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Special K Brownies come in two flavors whose names own up to their taste – Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel.  Each treat is only 80 calories but are more than enough to satisfy that craving. They are surprisingly moist and taste decadent. And while I’m not the biggest fan of individual packaging because I think it’s wasteful for the environment, when in comes to cookies and brownies, I need that separate packaging to keep me in check. Either that or a good hypnotist because a pan of brownies = one serving in my mine otherwise.

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If you’re into nutritional facts, they have about 13g of carbs, 3g of it being fiber and 7g sugar. But honestly, a treat is a treat, so I just enjoy them with a nice strong cup of coffee before a run. I don’t use milk or sugar in my tea/coffee but nothing goes better with it than chocolate!

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Visit www.specialk.com for more information on the new Special K® Brownies, available now at grocery and mass retail stores nationwide. You can also find out more by joining the chatter on Kellogg’s Facebook ( Special K) Or Twitter ( Special K ).

 

What’s your favorite treat?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

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No Rest for the Cranky Heel

Soo, I’ve been quiet.

You would figure with all the free time I have from not running, I would be blogging up a storm… however, without running, I am losing my blogging mojo with it.

To recap…

Heel pain that’s been making running distance or speed pretty uncomfortable, not painful but severely uncomfortable happening since December.

Went to the doctor… told me nothing is broken, that I have plantar fasciitis and that I should try Physical Therapy…

I didn’t believe him, but decided why not, let’s try this PT…

Went to PT… was very not impressed and after learning some calf and hip strengthening exercises decided that even though it’s covered by my insurance, twice a week visits were not really it.  I have nothing against my therapist but just got this vibe that she hasn’t worked with my heel problem or my type of runner often.  Plus it took her 3 days to email me the stretches that she told me she would. Either way, I just didn’t feel like the solutions worked for my problem.

Went to my chiropractor who was able to find where the heel issue was in my heel and confirmed that it has nothing to do with planter fascitis.  My PF has no inflammation and is happy as ever.  Science has never been a strength of mine but basically something happened where my Gastrocnemius, Soleus & Tibialis Anterior, basically the muscles that run up and down my calf/ankle area all came into a party and had a massive rager rave in my heel.  Now it’s in a constant state of hangover. Made sense to me since my left leg and side overall has been insanely tight overall. So he’ll be using I think a mix of Graston and ART.

Anyway, I can’t say my heel is feeling happy this weekend (even though I haven’t done much running) but hopefully with treatment and lots of stretching I will get rid of. I’m trying to be hopefully and not freak out about the stupid goals and races I held onto.

Boston is 12 weeks away

Wisconsin is 14 weeks away

Fargo is 15 weeks away

From everything I read, I cannot find anything concrete on how to make it go away as even rest is not helping.  A few things I read:

  • Myth ~ Inflammation is the cause heel pain.
    • Fact – inflammation is the natural healing process of the body. It’s a ‘signal’ of tissue damage and that the body is trying to isolate and heal the damaged tissue. It’s the result of repetitive stress onto the heel that prevents incomplete healing.
  • Myth ~ Rest is the best thing for the heel pain.
    • Fact – rest will only minimize the irritation of the irritated tissues. The scarred tissues will not go away on its own. It’s best addressed with a pro-active attitude with ice, manual therapy (e.g. Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Shock Therapy etc.), proper stretching and strengthening exercises.

I’m trying to keep positive as I’m sure even the elite go through periods where something is off, have a terrible, or low season and return stronger, better and PRed more than ever.  I’m trying… but it’s so hard having a issue that can’t seems to resolve itself on its own.

This too shall pass… I’m healthy and I’m running more than many other people wish they could… Plenty of marathons left in my future.

Controlling the Munchies & #SpecialKSnackBars

The past few months, which have felt like years, have been on and off in regards to running.  You’d figure my stomach would eventually catch on to less running, less eating… but old habits die hard, or least require some adjustments. When you’re running 80 miles a week, you don’t really question your runchies… when you’re running 8 miles a week, you probably should (unless you replaced it with other activity).

So I started paying closer attention to habits and altering them a bit to stay in line with my fitness activity.

Hydration – Sometimes I’m not so hungry as I am thirsty. I like to add lemon or a splash of juice to my water.  Also since I don’t like cold water in the winter, sometimes I add a few splashes from the hot water line to make it more room temperature.

Man drinking water from huge water bottle

Break Time– Around 2PM I get a craving.. but it’s really not a craving.. it’s more of a desire for an excuse to take a work break. I don’t drink coffee in the afternoon, but I’ll walk over to another floor or a water blubber further away from my desk to refill my bottle. Sometimes I just take a few minutes and walk around the block to clear my head on really busy days. It’s not hunger for food, but a hunger for a brain break. It’s okay, sometimes we feel so busy and so overwhelmed that taking a few minutes from our desk feels like cheating, when really it’s just an aid to recharge. You don’t need a purpose, just take a breath of fresh air. Assuming the office elevators aren’t doing some creepy American Horror type thing, I am usually in and out in about 7 minutes and completely spacing on those munchies I wanted earlier.

walk outside the office

Okay so this is actually a photo from the summer… but nothing like a nice short walk in negative 20 degree wind chills to wake you up? Right?

Healthier Treats– And sometimes you really are just a bit hungry and just a bit munchy so picking out a low calorie (but sweet cause I like treats) snack is needed.

Recently I had a chance to try the new Special K Chewy Snack Bars that come in Berry Medley, Blueberry Bliss, Salted Caramel Chocolate and Salted Pretzel Chocolate.

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I loved the Chewy texture and being able to see the Wholesome ingredients (chunks of chocolate, pretzel, fruit pieces, rolled oats).

And my favorite part is that these bars are on the smaller side and only 100 calories. I’m guilty of constantly eating half a granola bar and then finding the other half weeks later in my purse looks a whole lot less like a granola bar.

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Yup, there’s totally a bite in each…

One caveat is that they are relatively nut free abut with that, they are also low in protein and fiber.

Visit www.specialk.com for more information on the new Special K® Chewy Snack Bars, available January 2015 at grocery and mass retail stores nationwide. You can also find out more by joining the chatter on Kellogg’s Facebook ( Special K) Or Twitter ( Special K ).

What flavor Special K Chewy Snack Bar are you most excited to try?

Do you ever have munchies? What’s your favorite way to combat them?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

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Weekly Recap – Why I ignore injuries

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I really hate admitting it, but I’ve been a terrible follower of my own advice. I hate admitting injuries, and taking the steps to fully recovery versus elevating them to a higher level. Absolutely hate it, and unless I am getting sharp pains, I pretty much have been ignoring issues for months now.

For those who have followed me for a while, I’ve been a “runner” for over 7 years with half marathon/marathon running over 4 years now. Sometimes, I feel like a complete newbie, but yes, it’s really been that long! For those 7 years I’ve been incredibly lucky, where although I was a really uncoordinated kid growing up, picking up running as an “adult” has come incredibly easy for me! I ran my first 5K 25:28, not elite, but pretty well for a girl who spent most of her childhood being inactive and chubby. My first marathon in under 3:25 and while not always following the all righteous rule of gradual increase, I have led a very injury-free running life. The most was maybe taking two extra rest days to rest out some soreness and a cranky piriformis from lack of stretching.

And then 2014 came with a string of discomfort that just couldn’t be resolved with two extra days of rest and for a while I refused to believe it. I ran my official 50 miler on what I highly suspect was a stress fracture. I still don’t regret it, because I’m not sure when I will take the time to train for a 50 miler again, but in the grand scheme of running things, I’m sure it was not my best move.

And recently, as I am coming back into training and running, I started ignoring another pain. My heel… which has been on and off problematic probably since October. At first the back of it bothered me and now the outer right side is. The outer pain went away and the side pain came sometime when I was actually not running and cross training in December. And while the pain is dull and easily ignored for a bit, and boy have I done a great job of denying it’s existences; it has come to a point where I can tell it’s alternating me gait and my walking… terrible signs.

So yes, once again.. I am taking a short running break. Hopefully it’ll be only a week break.  I’m seeing a doctor on Wednesday to do an X-ray because while after enough poking and testing, I’m relatively confident it’s not a heel stress fracture, there is definitely some inflammation occurring and I have a terrible guess it’s a heel spur, but maybe it’s just a weird case of plantar fasciitis where the pain is on the side of the heel versus the arch? Either way, I am trying to stay optimistic and positive about what I can expect from my spring races. I am trying to contain my anxiety about lack of performance at Boston because while I would love, love to PR on that course, I can also have a blast running it for fun. I’m also hoping for a quick recovery so I can resume training for a sub 1:30 half marathon in mid-March giving me about 6 weeks of training left.

After two days of easy paced “short” runs, my heel is feeling less inflamed; however, I am resting until official diagnosis and this is giving me hope that I will be okay. So why am I writing this whole speculative analysis of my injury when my appointment is two days away? Because if there’s nothing more; runners love talking about their running, and when they’re not running, they will go on and on analyzing what is keeping them from running. It’s a fixation, maybe not the healthiest, but also not the worst one either.

So my week of training where I ignored all my issues Monday-Friday and then finally googled MDed myself into a panic attack Friday night.

Monday – 8 Miles 7:08 pace.. my first “speed” workout where I did 4 x 1.5 Miles at 6:55 my Half marathon goal pace with rest in between

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Tuesday – 6.2 incline 3; 7:74 pace + Tabata 1 hours

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Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 10.1 Miles 8:19 pace with heeling feeling weirder than usual

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It was literally negative 3 degrees Fahrenheit in Boston on Thursday morning!!!

Friday – 8 Miles 7:37 pace on incline 3, still doing a great job of ignoring potential injury

Saturday – Fun Run with Somerville Road Runners club at Casey’s 4.1 miles.  Casey’s Tavern provided a stellar brunch offering post run!

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Sunday – Fun Run with Slumbrew in Assembly Square where I ran with old friends and new. 3.1 miles

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Weekly – 39.6 Miles

2015 Goals and How I will Achieve Them

Ahh a new year, as everyone is stumping on the graves of their New Year’s resolution, I decided to make take another approach.

Instead of just listing things I wish I would do for the next or current year, I decided to add one course of action that will help said goal. So here goes:

1. Eat Less Processed Food – I’ve become too dependent on food trucks and frozen meals for lunches, 

  • Make at least two home meals a week that I can use for leftovers. Hey, everyone starts somewhere

2. Break 1:30 in a half marathon –

  • Tempo Runs at least once a week at 7 minute pace working up to 10 miles

3. Get three new states for 50 States marathon collection

  • I got Fargo already planned for ND, contemplating Chicago for IL and one more to complete

4. Add strength to my workout

  • Attend a tabata or strength class once a week at HW

5. Break 20 minutes in a 5K

  • I’m hoping the half marathon tempo runs will assists in a measly 3.1 mile run

So 2015… I decided that instead of looking to break new distances like I have in the past, I want to focus on being injured free, and gaining speed. I’m too young to plateau yet!

 

What are you 2015 goals and how do you plan on achieving them?

Making a return, the weekly recap post injury

That’s right for the first time in weeks, I am excited to bring back the weekly recap!

Why? Because I am finally feeling good. Hitting double digit runs isn’t leaving me gasping for air and I have officially hit 50 miles this week!

Monday 3.25, 24 minutes 7:23 pace followed up by Bodypump & core for 75 minutes at Healthworks

Tried Body Pump for the first time and feel a little mixed about workouts with body bars and the load it puts on my shoulder since it’s separated and all that fun stuff.

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Tuesday Tabata at Healthworks

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Lots of cardio in there, but yet still left my muscles feeling like Jello through Friday.

Wednesday 10.1 Miles, 1:24, 8:19 pace Felt nice and light

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Ending the year on a run… because I can.

Thursday – Yea, I did nothing… it’s how I start the new year.

ZZZzzzzZZZ

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Friday – 6.71 miles in the Fells with a friend at an easy get lost and look for trail markets pace followed by some road running 7.4 miles at 8:06 pace

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The trail high… priceless

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Saturday – 12.2 Miles 2:00 about 9:50 pace on relatively easy trails.

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My friend and I joined in midway at the GAC Fatass 50K where I ran two 10K loops with one tiny hill in a loop. I wasn’t sure how far I would run since I was there with a friend so kept an easy pace in case there was time for more miles. Either way. I was happy to be around company and trails.
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Sunday – 11.15 Miles, 1:31, 8:09 Average Pace

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It snowed, it rained, and it turned into a beautiful slippery sludge by the end of the day so I took the run easy until I would find small bursts of cleared sidewalk.

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Total Mileage – 51

Reflections– Lots of trail running this week which is a bit unnatural but I had the opportunity to run with friends. Also the trails were still clear of snow, which is like unheard of January in New England, so I had to take advantage.

I am still working on my 2015 racing schedule, so stay tuned!

QOTD

How was your weekend? Any days off? I had Thursday off and worked from home Friday allowing for some flexibility in daylight running hours!