Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Recap 3/24/14 – 3/30/14

What a busy few days it has been. I spent this weekend in Austin, TX working the Bondi Band booth at the Biggest Loser Run/Walk 5K & Half Marathon expo/finish-line festival! It was such an amazing time – I met so many incredible people, and being able to put smiles on so many people’s faces is the best feeling in the world. I feel truly blessed to represent the Bondi Band organization! Make sure to check out their website if you haven’t already! Also, The Biggest Loser race series is definitely one to look into running if you haven’t participated in one yet!

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Now, let’s talk about workouts. It was kind of an off-week for me to be perfectly honest. I took Monday off since I ran the Alamo 13.1 the day before, ran on Tuesday then did some strength training on Wednesday. However, I just was not ‘feeling it’ during either day, so I took Thursday and Friday off. Unfortunately in doing so, I also fell short on my stretching and foam rolling those days. Shame on me! I should strive to do both of those every single day. Preventative maintenance is essential! I plan on picking up the slack this week, promise.

Also, make sure you show your #TutuPride for Glam Runner! I know I plan on purchasing one of her tutus for a future race! I am sure most of you heard about SELF Magazine mocking the amazing Monika at Glam Runner for running a race in a tutu (click HERE for the story). Not only was she living a healthy lifestyle and running a MARATHON, she was also running while going through chemotherapy to fight her cancer! Needless to say, the running world annihilated SELF Magazine’s Facebook page with demands for an official apology, which they finally got around to doing properly.

My Workouts This Week:

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 4 x (800 meters x 400 meters) – No Incline

800 Meters Pace – 8:30 min/mile
400 Meters Pace – Comfortable Walk

Wednesday: Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs (40 minutes)

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Rest Day/Travel Day

Saturday: 4 Mile Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile) + Working the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Expo

Sunday: Working the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Finish-Line Festival & Travel Day

Monday Motivation!

QOTD: Have you ever had an ‘off-week’ for workouts?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Alamo 13.1 Race Recap

Last Sunday a little after 7 AM, I arrived to the starting area for the Alamo 13.1 half marathon. I felt very calm and at ease knowing that I had zero goals but to enjoy the run. Since I had just finished my first full marathon a few weeks prior, I was able to head into the race with no pace expectations (I signed up for this race months ago – even before I registered for the Woodlands Marathon).

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After taking a few pre-race photos and chatting with other participants, we headed to the start line where a cannon blast headed us off, which was very cool! Amidst the inevitable crowding at first, my pace increased while trying to maneuver around other runners, so when I looked down at my Garmin as it beeped at the end of mile 1, I was shocked to see a 9:46 minute/mile pace. I laughed at myself and just thought “way to start out too fast Lauren, there is NO way you can keep that pace for another 12 miles.”

Photo from the Alamo 13.1 Facebook Page

Now, usually my strategy would be to slow down and conserve anything I had for the last part of the race, but since I really did not have expectations, I decided to take a risk and just keep going until I couldn’t go anymore. I kid you not when I say the thought which led to this decision was “eh, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?” I was fully aware that I could get burnt out, but I decided to give it a try.

The miles ticked off one-by-one, and every moment I expected to feel the need to slow down, and yet almost every mile clocked in at a consistent, or quicker, pace. I kept thinking that my legs would surely be exhausted soon, but the fatigue never arrived.

Around mile 6 is where the ‘fun’ began. The first hill was a massive highway overpass that made the accumulation of runDisney’s overpass hills look like mere child’s play. After that, more up-and-down’s for the entire mile. At the start of mile 7, we ran a lap on the track of a local university which was a nice break, if only for a quarter-mile. After that, the course laughed at my temporarily feeling of relief and threw in another mile of hills. I just knew I had probably reached my downfall at this point, but my pace still showed consistency. Heck, I even discovered a new way to run hills more efficiently – if I ran on my tippy-toes, it lessened that ‘out-of-breath’ feeling and allowed me to stay strong after each hill.

I kept moving and when my Garmin beeped to display my pace after mile 10, I gasped as what I saw – an 8:40 minute/mile pace. Um, what?! I don’t run that fast, y’all. Honestly, for a moment there, I wasn’t sure if my Garmin was telling me the truth. Nevertheless, that is when it hit me that I had a shot at a sub-2 hour half marathon. This was a goal that I figured was reachable in the next year, but certainly not today!

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That’s when I decided to race the clock. It was going to be very close but I pushed as hard as I could. With the last couple miles winding around the River Walk, it was hard to maintain a consistent pace without the need to slow down for each sharp turn. After I crossed the finish, I was unsure of my time but ecstatic knowing I had definitely PR’d!

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My official time was 2:00:52 – only 53 seconds away from a sub-2 hour half marathon! I cannot believe how close I was, and now I know this goal can be attained sooner than I thought! It’s funny how you can go into a race thinking one thing, and end up doing quite another. I think both my marathon training, and all the “GO ARMY!” and “HOOAH!” comments I got from wearing that Army shirt is what helped me earn a 13-minute PR.

Official Race Stats:
1st 6.55 Mile Split (First Half) – 1:02:24
2nd 6.55 Mile Split (Last Half) – 58:27:00
Finish Time – 2:00:52
Age Group Place: 39/167
Gender Place: 142/917
Overall Place: 388/1558

After the race, I got my medal, beer, chocolate milk and donut (they also had a bunch of other food but I didn’t feel like eating too much). Overall, I highly recommend this race! It was small and very well organized. The course, for the most part, was great, and the race goodies and post-race perks were all awesome!

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QOTD: Have you ever surprised yourself at the end of a race?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bondi Band News

I know I said I was going to post my Alamo 13.1 race recap today, BUT the professional photos are not up yet. We get them for free as part of our race registration fee, so I definitely want to put them in the recap before posting it. I apologize for the delay!

Today I want to share with you all some fun and exciting news. I have been chosen as a representative for the Bondi Band team! I will be helping them out with different race expos on some weekends. My first one is this Saturday and Sunday for the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Half Marathon and 5K in Austin, Texas. If you are running or know someone who is, come say hi and check out the awesome merchandise!

If you have not heard of Bondi Band before, they are an incredible company with products that really work. Their main focus is headbands created specifically to wick away sweat from your face during a work out. I wore my first one for the Woodlands Marathon earlier this month and was ecstatic when I found that I never had to wipe away any sweat from my eyes throughout the entire race! They are cute, comfortable and most importantly, functional.

The company’s story began when the founder created her first headband while vacationing at Bondi Beach in Australia. Upon her return home, she perfected the product, started selling it, and grew the business. Now they have expanded their line of merchandise to compression wear and other accessories with a huge range of colors and fun designs for all active individuals!

My favorite product that they have is, hands down, the moisture wicking head bands with fun sayings on them. They are a great way to show your personality while working out!

Rockin’ one of my Bondi Bands at the marathon – it says:
“Mirror Mirror on the wall
Who’s the FASTEST of them all”

My friend Long and I both wearing our Bondi Bands – his says:
”If found on ground
please pause my Garmin”

If you would like to explore their website, you can click HERE. And if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can design your own product HERE. You can also have bands customized specifically for a group of people such as wedding parties, sporting teams, schools, charity events, and more! Click HERE to create a custom Bondi Band!

Happy shopping!

QOTD: Have you ever used a Bondi Band product before?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Avengers Half Marathon Registration

Today at 12 PM EST, registration opens to the public for the 2014 inaugural runDisney Avengers Half Marathon weekend. This race weekend takes place November 14-16 2014 at Disneyland, California for the very first time! I’m rather excited for runDisney to reveal the medal for this race, not gonna lie.

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Based on the history of Disneyland races, the 5K and half marathon will both probably sell out quickly. Robert and I won’t be participating this year, but we have definitely added it to our 2015 race calendar! Tomorrow I plan on sitting back and watching just how fast it sells out – my guess is within an hour or two.

Schedule of Events

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Expo
Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall
Noon – 7:00 PM on Friday, November 14
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Saturday, November 15

Avengers Super Heroes 5K
Disneyland Resort
5:30 AM on Saturday, November 15, 2014

runDisney Kids Races
Downtown Disney District
9:00 AM on Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pasta in the Park Party
Disney California Adventure Park – Stage 17
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM on Friday, November 14, 2014

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon
Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim
5:30 AM on Sunday, November 16, 2014

Entry Fees & Deadlines

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon
$195 by April 29, 2014
$210 between April 30 and June 24, 2014
$225 on or after June 25, 2014

Avengers Super Heroes 5K
$70 by August 20, 2014
$80 on or after August 21, 2014

runDisney Kids Races
$20 by August 20, 2014
$25 on or after August 21, 2014

Pasta In The Park Party
Adult with ticket - $135
Adult without ticket - $89
Youth with ticket - $115
Youth without ticket - $69
Under 3 - $0

ChEAR Squad
Bronze - $0
Silver - $39
Gold - $59
Platinum - $99
Under 3 - $0

Proof of Time

If you plan to finish The Avengers Half Marathon in less than 3:15, proof of time is required.

A valid proof of time provided at the time of registration must include the following:

  • Name of Race, Date, & Distance (race must have taken place after August 1, 2012)
  • City, State
  • Finish time

If you do not have a proof of time to submit, list "N/A" at the point of registration. You MUST have a proof of time submitted by August 1, 2014, or you will be put in the last race corral.

Submit all Proof of Times to: disneysports@trackshack.com.

**IMPORTANT**: You cannot bring proof of time to the Race Expo to change your start corral anymore.

Registration Policy & Deferrals

  • All race fees are non-refundable.

  • You may NOT transfer your registration to another participant.

  • All races are subject to capacity limits and may close at any time.
  • Deferrals: You may defer your registration to the 2015 Avengers Half Marathon subject to availability, on or before October 30, 2014. There is a $45 fee if completed by October 2, 2014, and a $70 fee is completed between October 3 and October 30, 2014 (no deferrals for the 5K or Kids’ Races).
  • The deferral link will be available August 1, 2014.

QOTD: Will you be participating in any of the events for the 2014 Avengers Half Marathon weekend?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Recap 3/17/14 – 3/23/14

Monday already?! Where does the time go? Seems like it always go by extra fast when you are having a fun time, and this week was fantastic! Well, actually the weekdays were kind of slow since I was really looking forward to the weekend, but Saturday and Sunday were AWESOME!

My workouts went well – nothing unusual to report. I did change up my speed work strategy on Tuesday. I incorporated hill work into my intervals. For the first 1200 meters running interval, I ran on a flat treadmill, then for the second interval, I increased the incline to 1.0, then finally for the third and fourth intervals, I ran at a 2.0 incline. It seriously made me work, y’all, but it was so worth it. I left the gym feeling exhausted but stronger!

Saturday, Robert and I headed to San Antonio to see my brother (he is currently there for his Army training). We were able to spend the whole day with him, so he showed us around his Army base, then we walked around the Alamo and River walk. We ate lunch at Cafe Ole, a delicious Mexican food restaurant, right on the River walk – we even lucked out and got a table overlooking the river! I was so happy to just be able to spend some time with him since I hadn’t seen him since Christmas!

Sunday I ran the Alamo 13.1 half marathon. I don’t want to spoil any details (actually, I REALLY do) but I’ll leave you with this – I have a shiny new PR!! I can’t wait to share my recap on the blog – the plan is to have it posted Wednesday!

My Workouts This Week:

Monday: Jillian Michael’s 6-Week Six Pack (35 minutes)

Tuesday: 4 x (1200 meters x 400 meters)

1200 Meters Pace – 8:30 min/mile
400 Meters Pace – Comfortable Walk

Wednesday: Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs (40 minutes)

Thursday: 4.5 Miles Easy Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile)

Friday: Yoga

Saturday: Walking around San Antonio

Sunday: 13.1 Miles (Alamo 13.1 race!)

Monday Motivation – I love this because:
1) I just wrote about escaping your comfort zone the other day, and
2) It is befitting of on my race on Sunday. I really broke out of my comfort pace! 

QOTD: Did you race this weekend?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Race Prep – Alamo 13.1

Tomorrow Robert and I are heading to San Antonio for a couple of different reasons. Reason number one is that my brother is currently located there for his Army medic training, so I get to visit with him all day Saturday! Reason number two is that I will be running a half marathon on Sunday – the Alamo 13.1!

On Saturday I am going to the Army base with my brother to see if I can find an Army tech shirt to wear for the race. I will be running for all our amazing military service members out there, past and present, as a way of thanks. Even more specifically though, I am running for my brother – he has dedicated so much to the Army and will be deploying to South Korea in May. To me, he is a model of true selflessness. HOOAH!

The Course

The race course is an ‘out and back’ and looks like it is going to be gorgeous. It doesn’t seem like it elevates too drastically either (always a plus!). I plan to do the very best I can and if that means a PR, then of course I will be thrilled! If not, that is alright too (I mean, I did just run a marathon a few weeks ago haha) – running 13.1 miles is still a great accomplishment!

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The Courseclip_image003

Weather

Currently the weather is looking unpredictable… it may or may not rain. I really hope it stays away during the race. I have run a half marathon in the rain before and was fine, but I can’t say that the thought of running another one in completely soaked socks and shoes sounds appealing. I need to keep my track record going of never having a blister! *knock on wood*

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Strategy

My strategy for the race is really the same as it usually is – I have been steadily loading up on carbohydrates throughout the week. My pre-race breakfast will be a Clif bar and banana, and I plan on taking a Honey Stinger gel every 4 miles or so, while alternating between water and electrolytes throughout the race. Physically, I am prepared. Mentally, I know that my motivation will be fueled by the reason for each step I take that day – I am ready, and excited!

QOTD: Have you ever ran a race in non-ideal weather?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Someday

Have you ever used the word ‘someday’? Someday I’ll do this, someday I’ll do that. It is a dangerous word because all too often, ‘someday’ never arrives. All through my life I used this word. Any time something sounded fun, interesting, or challenging, my first thought was always “yeah I’ll add that to my list of things to do – I’ll get to it someday.”

Fast forward to the spring of 2010 – my college graduation grew closer, and that very word somehow became all powerful. I felt as though my real life was about to begin, and my ‘someday’ could be any moment, and I did not want to waste anymore time merely dreaming. I decided to start chasing my goals by accepting an amazing job in the field I desired, who then gave me the chance to live in Australia for six months. I took that opportunity and began my ‘someday’ ambitions.

I spent six months learning, working, traveling… experiencing new cultures and checking off bucket list items. I tried many new foods, the oddest ones including kangaroo and crocodile. I went skydiving for the first time, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, learned to surf, went ocean kayaking, and more. I traveled to New Zealand, Fiji, and all along the eastern coast of Australia. I saw crystal clear oceans and beautiful beaches I never even knew existed before I moved there. Living on a new continent forced me to exit my comfort zone and made my ‘someday’ real every single day!

Exploring the Whitsunday Islands at Whitehaven Beach

Driving along the Great Ocean Road (Southern Australia)

The moment I came back home everything changed. As much as I wanted to mark more ‘someday’ items off my list, I went back to my old ways and stayed within the boundaries of that pesky comfort zone. About a year later is when I found my love for running. I had always seen long distance races as an unreachable goal, yet it was still something I secretly hoped to do ‘someday.’ When I realized that running a half marathon was actually attainable, my desire to conquer those ‘someday’ items came back. It was as though running had flipped a switch within me – I had found my adventurous side yet again!

My first big race – The 2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon

Every day I am grateful that the events in my life led me to begin running. If I had not chosen that job out of college and moved to Australia (which is where I gained all my extra weight), I would not have found my amazing husband (we met through work) and gotten engaged to him, and therefore I would not have felt that initial spark of desire to lose weight. Every decision has helped mold me to become the person I am today, and who knows where I would be in my life if I had not made those same decisions – quite possibly still confined within the prison of that ‘someday’ comfort zone.

Our engagement at Cinderella’s Wishing Well at Disney World

Our Wedding Day in Maui, Hawaii

Today I am blessed to be able to say that ‘someday’ is no longer a dangerous word for me. Running has truly taught me that I am capable of anything to which I set my mind, in every facet of my life! Don’t wait for life to happen to you to conquer your goals. Take chances and create opportunities – chase your dreams…make them a reality!

Finishing the Woodlands Marathon – My first full marathon

QOTD: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly Recap 3/10/14 – 3/16/14

Happy Monday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone – I hope you remembered to wear green today!

Another week in the books, and less than one week until my next half marathon. I am very excited to head to San Antonio next weekend to run the Alamo 13.1. Mostly I am excited to see my brother, though, who has been in Army individual training there since early January!

This past week’s workouts went amazing (almost perfect!) – I did some kind of exercise every single day, and even got back into strength training. I did my Jillian Michael’s DVD’s and I completely forgot how sore those workouts can make me! I am still trying to decide if my muscles hurt more post-strength training workout or post-marathon haha! Unfortunately on Wednesday I planned to run 4 miles, but stomach cramps and fatigue made each mile hardly bearable. Because of that, I decide to concede and stop at 3 miles. It’s not the 4 I wanted, but I least I made it more than half way!

Saturday I ran a 6-miler with my awesome friends at Team RWB. They definitely pushed my pace for a long-run that day, but I needed it. I felt great getting back to a faster pace rather than staying at a slower pace while I was in marathon training. Like last week, I am thrilled to have been able to run without wearing a fuel belt again!

My running team on Saturday!

Saturday run stats:image 

Yesterday I read a post by Running Happily Ever After about a website called Athlinks. You can type in your name and see most, if not all, of the races you have done in the past. I seriously cannot believe I just now discovered this website – it’s so cool! You can link up with your friends and send messages and send/receive Cheers for race results too.

My Athlinks Page:image

Lastly, I want to share with y’all a YouTube video I saw this weekend. It is quite possibly one of the most fun  versions of “Let it Go” (from Disney’s Frozen) I’ve seen yet! It won’t let me embed it in my blog post, but you can click HERE to go straight to the URL. Enjoy!

My Workouts This Week:

Monday: 4 x (800 meters x 400 meters)

800 Meters Pace – 8:30 min/mile
400 Meters Pace – Comfortable Walk

Tuesday: Jillian Michael’s 6-Week Six Pack (35 minutes)

Wednesday: 3 Miles Easy Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile)

Thursday: Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs (40 minutes)

Friday: Yoga

Saturday: 6.1 Miles Long Run (Average Pace: 9:26 min/mile)

Sunday: Spring Cleaning (I broke a sweat so I’m counting it as a workout!)

Monday Motivation!

QOTD: How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Funny Friday

TGIF! I don’t know about y’all, but I am thrilled that Friday has arrived – I think the time change got to me because I’ve been exhausted this week. I can’t seem to get enough sleep! Totally worth it, though, because I LOVE having daylight later into the evening. That being said, how about I start off everyone’s Friday with a good laugh?! Enjoy!

Yeah... they don't see how much better Disneyland is than Disney World :P

Hahahahahaha!!!! This is my favorite Extremely Photogenic  Guy meme I have seen yet!

All. The. Time.

HAHAHA

The Lion King <3

Have a great weekend!

QOTD: What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How I Survived Marathon Training

Training your mind and body to run for 26.2 miles is not an easy task, but it is 100% doable. After a year and a half of running, a few long distance races under my belt, and a lot of marathon training research, I felt I knew myself well enough to say that I could realistically handle the challenge. There are a number of things that, together, helped me to get through marathon training, and more importantly, get through it strong and injury-free:

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Desire
I did not sign up for a marathon simply because I thought I should, or I figured it was the next step. I signed up because I truly WANTED to take on the challenge, and I knew the realistic effort it would take to train properly. Basically, my view on running a marathon went from Woody’s look of fear, to Buzz’s look of excitement (photo below)!

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A Plan
I spent a LOT of time researching the best training plan for me. The base plan I went with was from Marathon Rookie. It is a 16-week program that I modified to meet my own comfort level. I increased it to an 18-week plan as I wanted to give myself a couple of safety weeks in case I got sick and had to miss a long run, or a significant amount of week-day training runs. Plus, I was not sure how my body would handle some of the longer distances so I felt as though the extra weeks would help me adjust better. What I liked about Marathon Rookie is that it plans for a consistently small increase in mileage each week, and the long runs don’t randomly jump up and down in mileage every 2-3 weeks like some of the other plans. I am strict about not increasing mileage by more than 10% per week, so that is why I felt comfortable going with this one.

Variety
I did not run at a steady pace during every single run. I would have gone insane if I did that for every running workout for 18 weeks. I incorporated speed work, including tempo runs and interval runs, and negative-splits practice. I also ran on different terrain, including the treadmill, concrete trail, and dirt trail at a popular Houston park for runners.

Internal Motivation
Arguably the most important thing to have during marathon training is an intense internal motivation. The only times I ever got to run with company was on Saturday mornings, and even then company wasn’t guaranteed for the entire run. Within the months of training, I ran solo far more than not. When there is nobody around to give you an extra boost of motivation to finish a tough run, you have to find it within yourself to get through it.

I remember one run in particular – I had a 13-miler scheduled for when I was in Dallas over the holidays, and when I woke up it was near freezing and pouring rain. I did not want to go; who wants to run in those conditions for over 2 hours? I did it, however, and I finished strong (and after my entire body thawed out, I was proud of myself). Nobody made me go out there to get the miles done. It had to come from within.

Support
My husband, Robert, has always been one of my biggest supporters, and that did not change when I told him I wanted to do a marathon. He told me to go for it! Throughout training he joined me at the park for Saturday morning long runs (even though we didn’t actually run together since we train differently), he helped me prepare my ice baths and kept me company during them for a distraction from the cold, he picked up Clif bars from the grocery store when I would forget to buy them, and in my moments of weakness, he reminded me how far I have come and how strong I truly am!

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My parents and brother are also a huge part of my support team – they have always voiced their excitement and pride in my goals and accomplishments. My mom and dad even drove all the way from Dallas just to cheer me on at the marathon!

One of my best friends, Long, made the trek down from Dallas to run my first marathon with me! He would also check in with me every once in a while to make sure my training was going well, and to remind me that I am doing a great job!

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Finally, meeting up Saturday mornings with my Team RWB running group has helped provide me with support, motivation, accountability, and so much FUN! Meeting new friends through this team and being able to have company during some of my long runs over the last few months has been a blessing.

Preventative Maintenance
Yoga, stretching, and foam rolling consistently have been great ways to make sure any injuries were prevented throughout my training.

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Proper Recovery
Ice baths, compression sleeves, and Biofreeze all aided in a better and faster recovery to help prepare me for running throughout the weeks. Once my Saturday long runs reached the double digits, I began doing ice baths on a weekly basis – they really do work!

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Now, the million-dollar question: Knowing what I know now, would I have done anything differently?
The answer is yes. I would have tried to find more time to incorporate strength training for core and glutes. Although yoga was extremely beneficial, strengthening these areas is always a great way to become a stronger runner.

QOTD: What helps keep you strong through training for a long-distance race?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Snacks

Today I am participating in a ‘Tasty Tuesday’ link-up co-hosted by Lacey and Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness. My contribution is a great list of my favorite healthy snacks!

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Training for a long-distance race can have a severe effect on your appetite. Throughout each week of my marathon training, the increased mileage would catch up with me and I would be hungry all the time! I know many runners are plagued with thoughts that running that much will undoubtedly make you lose weight. What they don’t realize is that the type of food and amount they eat due to their increased appetite is most likely much more than the amount of calories they are burning.

It is no secret that you burn a lot of calories while running, but the more you run, the more efficient your body gets, and it becomes harder to burn the same amount of calories as when you first started running. In turn, it becomes much easier to overeat and therefore gain weight while training for a long-distance race; it is almost paradoxical.

Because hunger strikes more often, reaching for those high-calorie snacks can be so tempting, but if you are like me and want to avoid weight gain, then reaching for lower-calorie, yet filling, snacks is the much smarter choice. I’m not saying I didn’t splurge after a double digit long-run on Saturday’s – I absolutely did. But I was also smart about not over-splurging often.

Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks I ate during (and after!) my marathon training; hopefully it can help you get through those extra hunger pains throughout training without gaining weight.

Quaker Oat Granola Bars
There are so many types of granola bars out there. The ones I ate usually ranged between 90-150 calories.

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Halo’s
Each Halo (mandarin orange) is about 40 calories, and is a perfect small snack.

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Almonds/Dark Chocolate Dusted Almonds (100-Calorie packs)
Y’all, these are probably my favorite out of all these snacks – they are delicious! These, along with a Halo were my go-to post-run snack.

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Pistachios
Approximately 25 pistachios is equal to 100 calories, and it is a very satisfying salty snack.
Tip: If you shell them yourself while you eat them, you are less likely to eat more!

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Hummus with Cut-Up Red Peppers or Pretzel Twists
Sabra has so many delicious flavors, and is approximately 70 calories per 2 Tbsp.
Red peppers are about 50 calories for one whole pepper.
Pretzel Twists (mini’s) are 110 calories for 17 pretzels.

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Dark Chocolate Smoothie (150 – 225 calories)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (100 calories)
½ Small Banana (50 calories)
Opt. 1 Tbsp JIF Whips Peanut Butter (75 calories)
Ice
*Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries or Honey (120-150 calories)
I really enjoy Chobani Greek Yogurt, however I don’t really like to purchase the pre-made ones with fruit. There always seems to be a lot of extra stuff on the ingredients list. I always buy the plain non-fat kind, and either mix-in a packet of honey or fresh berries (my favorites are strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries).

Yogurt: 90 calories
Honey Packet: 60 calories
Fresh Berries: Approximately 30-40 calories per half cup

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Green Beans
I enjoy the French Style green beans (1 cup-40 calories) cooked with 1-Tbsp of butter (45 calories), then mixed with salt & pepper, and finally sprinkled on top with a little bit of parmesan cheese. Total calories for this snack is approximately 100-110 calories (depending on how much cheese you put on top).

French Style Green Beans

Sparkling Water
My secret to battling cravings. It is zero calories, and I buy the Kroger brand in the 2-liter bottles so it’s very inexpensive, too. Drink a glass of sparkling water when you get hit with a craving and then if you feel satisfied you won’t need to eat anything, and if you are still hungry, you can go ahead and grab a snack.

QOTD: What is your favorite healthy snack?