Trail Running Tips

Happy Monday Friends!

Last week I wrote about the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase here and here.  I thought I would share some of the tips I learned while training for my first trail race.

trail running tips

Stay Hydrated

On my first few runs I didn’t bring any water, which was fine they were short enough that it didn’t effect me too much.  On a longer hike, when Meaghan and I got lost actually – I had a full size water bottle but it was not enough.  Meahgan had just purchased a hydration pack so I hit up Amazon after I recovered from our unplanned 10 mile hike and got this baby –

I chose the Nathan VaporShape because it is designed for a woman’s body, it fits around my curves and has straps that pull the water bladder towards your back as you drink so it doesn’t bounce.  This thing was a game changer!  It holds all my snacks so I don’t have to worry about littering or my arms getting tired from holding a water bottle.  Plus its a 2 Liter bladder, plenty of water {for the race I had my Pixy Stix Spark/Rehydrate combo in it – love it}

Know Your Route

I really am an advocate for training on the course you’re going to race on as much as you can.  Obviously, that is not always possible, but if you can – do it.  I felt much more comfortable after a couple of weeks Meaghan and I had done parts of the entire course.  We would park cars at the beginning and end and either climb to the car or run down.  That was one of the smartest things that we did!  We also got lost on our first 2 hikes – so it’s helpful to make sure you know your way around!

Get the Right Shoes

I purchased a trail running shoe from Saloman (Amazon) before we started training.  I like a really light shoe for road running and that was not going to cut it for the trails.  My Nike Frees would get destroyed, along with my feet, on the rocks. I really like this shoe because it doesn’t have laces, you just pull the cord tight.  It also has a sturdy foot bed so I didn’t feel like I was going to twist my ankle – I am really good at that.

Be prepared to stumble, trip, fall, twist something

I fell once during the race, stubbed my toe on probably 10 rocks and twisted both ankles.  I like to think of myself as a graceful person, I am a figure skater after all!  It’s hard to control your speed on the downhill and if you aren’t constantly paying attention to your next step, you might be taking a tumble.  I say just do a tasteful forward roll and keep on running!  You have to take your ego out of it – which isn’t hard when you’re 14 miles in and feel like you might die.

I hope you all get out and try a trail race this fall, I had a great time and I will be doing it again!

Haley (1)

Asking for Advice

It’s Hump Day!  Congratulations on making it halfway through the week – I have had a couple of big decisions to make lately and to be honest, I couldn’t make them myself.

One of my 2015 goals was to be closer to God and one of the ways I have been trying to do that is asking Him for advice before I seek advice from people I trust.  Asking God first has been the easy part, sometimes His answer is to seek trusted counsel, that part is hard for me.

The way of a fool is right in his own-3

As a type A, uber-organized person I have a hard time asking for help, even when I really need it.  I tend to thing that I can do everything and I should be able to handle what is asked of me.  But sometimes, the best thing to do is ask for help or advice.  This time, I didn’t need help necessarily, but I did need advice.

I made it to the final round of interviews for a really cool opportunity, which was a feat in itself. However when I first started the road to this job my life was very different.  I was super unhappy in my “real job” and I was sacred to quit without something full time lined up next.  Since then however, I have given notice to the job I don’t love, gained more business as a figure skating coach and have a couple of other part time jobs lined up.  To take the cool opportunity I would have to leave every thing that I have built here – and I didn’t think that I wanted to do that.

I was very unsure and I sought out advice from my trusted friends and then I reached out to someone who I haven’t asked for advice in the past but who I trust.  I am so glad that I reached out to her, she listened to me talk about what I thought about the opportunity and where I saw my life going and she gave me honest advice. I am grateful for a plethora of people like this in my life and I pray that I am able to continue to reach out to them!

I think it is important for all of us to reach out to our network of friends and family with help making important decisions, we’re not alone in this life and our decisions effect others.  Reaching out for advice or help does not make you less of a person, or mean that you don’t have your act together.  To the contrary, to me it says that you are secure in the fact that you don’t know everything {and can’t know everything} and have released the ego involved in asking someone else for help.

Haley (1)

Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

Happy Monday!  I hope that you all had a restful weekend and got outside to be active.  I definitely was active this weekend – I participated in the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase.  The race is all on trails and climbs and descends over 3500 feet in about 15.5 miles.

Haley Mountain

I was feeling very nervous about making the cut off – you had to make 5.5-6 miles in 2 hours, which from previous hikes I knew was going to be pretty intense for me.  There was a lot going through my head during this race and I thought I would share it with y’all, trail by trail.  These are the things running through my brain.

Trail 1 – Cresent Mine Grade – 2.5 miles – climbs 1250 feet
Keep up your pace.  Run as much as you can which is .05 run .05 walk just keep going.

Trail 2 – MidMountain Trail – 1.5 miles – descends 50 feet
YES!  I love this section, I can run forever and ever and ever.  Look at the pretty trees – I hope this section lasts a long time – oh no here comes the aid station, which means its over…

Trail 3 – Powerline – 1 mile – climbs 350 feet
Mentally the toughest section for me – it starts the relentless climb to the top of the Peak – there are no more flat or downhill sections.  It’s time to really go after it.

Trail 4 – Comstock Mine Road – 1 mile – climbs 400 feet
THIS IS HARDER – same elevation gain as Powerline – keep going
This is where I started to see people coming down the hill – for real, I wasn’t even halfway up the ascent, and some of the hardcore runners were coming down.

Trail 5 – Shadow Lake Loop 1 – climbs 350 feet
See more people coming down and starting to feel defeated.  Every one of the runners that was coming down was telling me what a great job I was doing – to keep going that I was awesome.  More on this later.  People may thing I am crazy but other than the Mid Mountain Trail section, this is my favorite part of the ascent – I feel like on this section I can moderate my heart rate which up to this point is not possible.

Trail 6 – Pioneer Ridge Road – climbs 100 feet
The final push before Jupiter Peak – just keep climbing to the beat of your music – every beat a step and you will make it!
Also to the guy that told me I had an awesome pace – “Looking strong young lady, you have an awesome pace” – THANK YOU – you kept me going up to the top, I appreciate it!

Flowers

Trail 7 – Ascent to Jupiter Peak and Descent from the Peak – about a mile – climbs 300 feet the descends 200 feet
Every step I was terrified that I was going to (a) fall, (b) make all the rocks slide down on the 4 people that were behind me in the race, or (c) both.
Double high five at the top from the SkullCandy guys – thank you!
Enjoy this downhill body, you’re about to climb another peak…

Trail 8 – Ascent to Tri-County Peak – about a mile – climbs 500 more feet!
This is the last big hill, you can absolutely do this – slow and steady completes the race.
When I got to the top of the road and the Mountain Trails worker told me I had to keep walking up the hill, I wanted to say to her “This is not fair” and keep walking down the road…
It’s pretty cool to be in 3 counties at once, now lets get the heck down off this mountain.

Trail 9 – Scott’s Bypass – Beginning of the Descent
This is way steeper than I was planning.
Single track is my least favorite – I can’t hit both feet evenly in the trail!
I better be careful or I will…. twist my ankle and fall {which really happened}

Trails 10-13 – The Descent – Shadow Lake Loop #2, Comstock Mine Road, Powerline #2, Spiro – descends 3000 feet
I stubbed my toe about 15 times, twisted both ankles, and in general wanted to cry about 10 times. Also the trail was supposed to be closed to bikers from 8 am to 1 pm, however I found myself having to stop for bikers several times, like 15-20 times.  That was the most frustrating thing – to get on a role and get in stride with my pace and have to jump off the side of the trail so I didn’t get run over by a bike.
There was one lady who was going to finish before me at the very end, but I was not going to let that happen, so I turned on my kick and passed her at the finish.

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I have to say that my favorite thing about this race were the people!  Everyone was so friendly and cheering for each other until the finish.  I really liked when people would say what a great job I was doing as they were 2 hours ahead of me at least on the trial.  I wanted to quit a couple of times but the nice thing about a trail race like this – quitting isn’t really an option when you are 8 miles up a mountain and the only way to get home is to go down!

After I had some lunch with my fellow survivors, I came home for a shower and Epsom salt soak so that I could try to combat some of the soreness that was bound to arrive.  Yesterday for some pampering, my friend and fellow finisher Meaghan and I got pedicures and hit the pool.

This is what I want to tell everyone today –

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Have you ever done a long race like this before?  I highly recommend it but next week I will share some of my training and race day tips to help ensure you’re successful!

Haley (1)

 

 

Organizational Tips for the Perpetually Busy – Monthly Tasks

Hey Friends!  I am super excited to share with you the last in my series of organizational tips.  Today I am going to share with you some of the things that I do monthly to keep myself and my projects/goals on track – enjoy!

Organizational Tips - Weekly (3)

Photo from laracasey.com

Photo from laracasey.com

Monthly List – PowerSheets!

I know that I have talked abut the PowerSheets so much here that you all have your own sets now, right?  If not, get on it!  They have been one of the best tools for organization and making things happen in my life – I cannot gush about Lara Casey enough.  In the sets there’s a Monthly Tending List – where you right out the things that you need to achieve that month to make your BIG goals happen.  I love love love this because as a perpetual worrier, I tend to think 1000 steps ahead and miss getting the first step done.  These lists let me break down the goal into just the thing I need to get done in that month.  Setting aside time to complete this checklist is the hardest thing for me, but I find when I do it, my month goes better!  If you don’t use the PowerSheets, I recommend finding a system – even if it is just a to-do list – that keeps you accountable for your monthly tasks.

Deep Clean – Everything

I hate deep cleaning, let’s just get that fact right out there.  I probably should do some of these things more often but honestly, who has the time?  Here are some things that I  make sure to do every month –

  • Dust everything – shelves, headboards, TVs {they hold a lot more dust than you might think}!
  • Donate – I try to go through my closet and office and if there are things that I am not using or wearing, it’s time for them to go.  I will give clothes a month or two, but honestly, if I haven’t worn it in a month I probably am not going to wear it!
  • Organize the Pantry and Clean out the Fridge – it’s not hard to get some food in the pantry or fridge that’s not so good anymore, clean that out!
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Google Calendar + Planner and Flag Stickers from Emily Ley {emilyley.com}

Monthly Calendar

Coaching depends heavily (solely) on the ice schedule for the month.  Depending on the month my lessons could be regularly scheduled or they could be all crammed into one day!  So I sit down and look at the ice schedule and what events we have coming up and set my schedule as much as possible.  I also try to schedule my blog posts for the month so that I keep my content interesting and regular {summer has been a struggle in this department}.

How do you tackle big/recurring projects?

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If you missed the other posts in this series you can check out my tips for daily organization and weekly organization!

RWLF – July

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Read – I had a goal to read at least 15 books in 2015 and I was off to a roaring start by March I had read 9 books already, so I upped the goal to 20.  Since March I’ve only finished 1 book – so now I am prioritizing reading at nights over TV, which is better for my brain anyway, and gettting closer to my goal. I did finish Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have – and it actually moved me to do something I have been putting off for a while – leaving a job that I don’t love anymore in favor of something I do!  So obviously I highly recommend it!  Latest book on my list is Dana Perino’s  And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.  I am about halfway through and I have to say I love it.  The way she can tell a story about working for President George W Bush without it seeming super braggy or condescending is remarkable. There are so many people in politics and political commentary who seem like they are talking down to everyone they speak to, I love that she doesn’t do that.

Watch – I haven’t shared this with many people, but I actually auditioned to be on a Food Network show – Holiday Baking Challenge.  I wasn’t selected, but it was such a cool experience that I have been really into the Next Food Network Star.  The things that they have the contestants do is crazy!  You can actually watch full episodes on the Food Network App – check it out.

Listen – As I have said many times, I am obsessed with Podcasts right now.  I really like listening to them while I am doing work that doesn’t require a lot of thought.  I get bored really easily and can’t focus doing that kind of work without some kind of entertainment.  My favorite podcast, The Popcast, just celebrated their 100th episode!  I love this podcast because I really indentify with Jamie – hello she makes cake pops and I make cupcakes, she’s really funny, and sometimes she gets so into what she is talking about that she forgets how to pronounce words.  The grandpa laugh that comes from Knox is sometimes so pronounced that it’s hard to believe its not a sound effect.  I am Team Knox&Jamie I can’t just pick one!

Follow – My good friend Meaghan just started a healthy lifestyle blog – Inspired Healthy Fitness.  She does awesome, and very well researched posts on nutrition, exercise, and healthy living in general.  She’s also on Instagram – @inspired.healthy.fitness – go check her out and give her a follow!

Happy Weekend!

Haley (1)

Workout Wednesday – Round up!

Hey friends!

Happy Wednesday – today I wanted to give you a little round of up of workouts I’ve found recently online and have tried out!

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I’ll start with a little shameless self promotion – I did a playground full body workout for Figures & Fabulous that can be done on any playground while your kiddos are playing – efficiency is the name of the game!  Check out that work out here.

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I really like a total body workout – including cardio, in a short amount of time.  This one by Sarah Fit is super awesome and timed.  I have found if I am doing an exercise based on time instead of number of reps I work harder because I tell myself, “you can do anything for 30 seconds” – for the full workout – including a video of the exercises – check that out here.

Leg-and-Booty-Workout

One of my life goals is to not have a flat butt – some people call this “chair booty” but I am 100% anti flat butt.  I have a little bit of an advantage because figure skaters are known to have pretty nice back sides, but this awesome workout from my friend Adrianne is the perfect cure for flat booties!  Check out the full workout {with some amazing pictures of yours truly} here.

Orbeck

Last but certainly not least, I heart Andrea Orbeck – she has an awesome series of DVDs – Supermodel Series Abs and Arms DVD and has quite a few 10- minute workout classes on Fitsugar!  My favorite is the full body circuit – the video is online here!

Leave me you’re favorite workouts in the comments!

Haley (1)

Taking Charge of Finances – Update

We’re talking about MONEY again – I wanted to give you guys an update on how I am doing with my money managing goals.  Mostly so that I can keep myself accountable and let you in on some big changes that I have coming.  Being financially savvy was not orginially one of my 2015 goals, but it made it’s way to the list in February/March – if you missed my first post, you can read that here.

As a refresher for this post, I am working my way through Dave Ramsay’s 7 Steps to Financial Freedom – updates in green.

1. $1000 into an emergency fund.
Check!  I am actually over where I thought I would be!
2. Pay down debt using the debt snowball – make a list of all your debts, excluding your house, in order.  The smallest balance is #1 on the list – then you take the money that you were putting into your emergency fund towards the balance of the smallest balance, once that’s paid off you move to the next largest balance.  As you pay off balances the amount that you are putting towards the next debt is larger – but since you’ve been spending that much anyway you don’t notice it as much.
Working on this step, I only have one debt now actually, I consolidated all of my student loans into one payment because I had some super low interest rates and some super high ones.  Thanks to going to college during an economic good time and law school when the economy crashed – so it was a wash for me interest rate wise and it lowered my monthly payment {which is important for news I’ll share in a moment}

3. 3 to 6 Months worth of expenses into savings
Starting to work on this too
4. Invest 15% of monthly income into a Roth IRA and pre-tax retirement – at this point the only payment you have is your house so it’s time to start investing in your wealth
5. College funding for children
6. Pay off home early
7. Build Wealth and Give!

So technically, you’re only supposed to put money towards one item at a time.  Since consolidating my loans and lowering my payment, my monthly expenses are at a point {thanks to the generosity of my parents not charging me rent} that I am able to quit my “day job” and focus on coaching skating and developing some creative projects that I have wanted to work on for over a year but haven’t had the time!  Basically, I am able to do more of what I love and I am so excited about that!

My last day in my “day job” is still TBD but I am targeting the end of August.  That is why I have started #3 saving as much as possible while I am still getting a bi-weekly steady paycheck to have a larger safety net for when I leave the nest of a structured full-time job to that of an independent contractor and part-time employee.

I am so excited to be able to pursue some of my creative ideas and will for sure keep you posted on those!

How are you doing on your 2015 goals?  I’d love to hear about your progress in the comments!

Haley (1)

Inside Out

Hey friends!

Does anyone else feel like summer time is the busiest ever?  I have been wanting to spend so much time outside and with friends that blogging has slid to the bottom to the to-do list.  Which honestly, is where I think it should be!

Time with real people > time online

This weekend I got to babysit some of my favorite {pre}teens – Hattye Margaret and Hudson – they wanted to go see a movie so we saw Inside Out.  Going to “kid movies” is one of my favorite things about babysitting – I know I could go alone or with friends to these movies but I feel more like I belong if I have kids with me.

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The movie was funny and cute with a good message – about how sadness is a part of life and sometimes joy comes from moments that started out as sad.  I had a lot of time yesterday to think about the movie – if you are wondering where the deep dive into a kids movie is coming form – it kept coming to the front of my mind yesterday during my 3 hour hike.

At first, Joy really irritated me.  I thought of that person we all have in our lives that is positive until the earth explodes and then finds something nice to say about the earth exploding.  She was not very nice to Sadness at all, she was bossy, and controlling.  Don’t get me wrong there were some good things about Joy – she was always positive even though she was going through some hard situations {I don’t want to ruin it for you} and she was open to new ideas!

I really liked the characterization of the emotions – I like that they did that for kids.  It’s really hard to name your emotions even as an adult and the visual representation makes them easier to name.

Inside Out - Emotion Poster Collaboration

Here’s what I took away from the movie {at 30 years old} –

  • It’s ok to feel all the feelings – they’re all part of your experience
  • Joy should drive more often – I can get a little too into the other characters driving all on their own.  If you’re feeling like one of your emotions is starting to take over – tell someone else to drive your brain!
  • Kid’s movies can be really deep…

Have you seen Inside Out?  What did you think?

Summer Fashion Staples

Hey y’all!

I hope your long weekends were amazing.  I had a great 4th of July with my friend Meaghan, her husband and their little dude Bode.  Here was my view for a portion of the evening –

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Could you die over those blonde curls?  Yeah, me too! Meaghan blogs over at Inspired Healthy Fitness, and we like to do crazy things together – like running up mountains.  To be honest, I spend a portion of my days in an ice rink, so daily I am wearing long pants and long sleeves for at least a couple of hours.   Also since I am training for a pretty intense trail race – Jupiter Peak Steeplechase – so I also wear workout gear at least once a day.  Given those two things, getting me into a summer wardrobe is no easy feat, here are some of the things that get me out of the rotation of Lululemon.

Summer Style Staples

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Maxi Dress
I wear dresses year round because really that is more my style, but in the summer it is a rare occasion that I am wearing pants of any kind.  Dresses in general are so easy, one piece of clothing and shoes and you are ready to go!  I love a maxi dress because you can style them so many ways – just the dress and some sandals for day time events, a fancy necklace and some wedges and you’re ready for an evening event.

 

Hats
I am a big proponent of the baseball cap while exercising outside.  It has been a staple for me since I started running over 3 years ago, I even have a monogrammed cap {are you surprised?}. Recently, I bought a fedora which I never thought that I could look good in.  I really like this fedora for the pool actually, my hair gets wavy when it’s wet so it can get kind crazy, but put this hat on and tada – I instantly look put together.  If you haven’t tried hats like this or don’t think they look good on you, I would give them a second chance.  Try them with different hair styles wavy, straight, braids, buns, you name it I am sure you will find a place for these in your life!

Updo Options 
With my really dark hair, more days than not it ends up in a messy bun.  It’s nice to have some options with braids or other styles.  My friend Alyssa is a hair genius!  She blogs over at A Glint of Mint and has some great styles to get my hair off the back of my neck.

What are your summer staples?

Have a great week!

Wellness Wednesday – Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

I have been wanting to try protein pancakes since Skinny Meg posted about having them after her long runs on the weekends.  Her creations look amazing!  I hoped on Amazon and ordered the Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes: Flapjack and Waffle Mix Whole Grain Buttermilk 4.5 Lb – half a cup of this mix has 14 grams of protein!

I decided to add more protein in the form of Dutch Chocolate Isopure Zero Carb protein powder – I also get that from Amazon {I really work that Amazon Prime}.  I love that this protein powder is just pure protein, there aren’t any carbs at all – my body and carbs are not the best of friends so that’s good news for me.

Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup Kodiak Cakes Power Cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water + a little additional water for consistency
  • 2 tbsp PB2 – I love peanut butter and this is perfect for adding to pancakes!
  • 2 scoops Dutch Chocolate Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.  Over medium heat over a griddle, I used an ice cream scoop to get a uniform size.  Check out the nutrition facts – that’s for 6 pancakes aka the whole batch!

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Then I decided I didn’t want just regular syrup on these yummy pancakes, so I made a whole berry vanilla syrup. Here’s how you do that –

Whole Mixed Berry Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 cup berries – I used the frozen 3 berry blend from Costco
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c stevia
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Add all the ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring that to a boil.  Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened.  Drizzle {or generously pour} over pancakes or a dessert for that matter – here’s the nutrition lowdown –

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Some things that I learned from my first protein pancake experiment:

  • They were a little bit dry – I noticed that Skinny Meg and other protein pancakers use some sort of pudding or yogurt between layers of pancakes, I think that is a definite for me next time.
  • They were DELICIOUS!

I highly recommend giving these a try, let me know what you think!