Runner Problems – Missing a Race

One of my favorite things is to run races. I love it so much that I am running 15 races for 2015. But sometimes life gets in the way of these plans!

I was super excited to run the 1st half of the SF Marathon last weekend. It was part of the San Francisco Originals Run Series, which meant I earned an extra awesome medal after the Giants Race in August. I went to get my packet last Friday and took some pics and couldn’t wait for race morning.

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Unfortunately Friday night I ended up with some nasty food poisoning. I felt better the next morning but then it hit me again on Saturday night. To top it all off the little man is teething hard and decided it was a good day for no nap. Any parent knows how crucial naps are to survival!! It is our only down time, whether it be to rest, read a book or workout.

When my alarm went off on Sunday morning at 3:40am I knew it was not a good idea to race. It is always a hard decision for me!! I laid in bed for at least 30 minutes weighing my options. I knew that with my lack of sleep and the lovely food poisoning I had would make for a rough race and possibly an injury. I have been so careful with my hamstring lately and I didn’t want to take a chance. I have so many more races coming up and I didn’t want to risk being out of commission for weeks if I hurt myself.

I think the worst part for me with not running a race is when people asked how it went. I sometimes almost feel embarrassed that I didn’t suck it up and go. The pressure is always a little bit stronger when you are a fitness professional. Luckily I have an amazing group of people I teach and they all agreed that I made the best decision. So here is to my next race and running without an injury!! :)

One little secret too….I totally stalked people’s instagram pages that whole day to get a look at the medal 😉

Have you ever had to skip out on a race?? Did you regret your decision or feel guilty for not running?

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Spartan Sprint AT&T and Goals Update!!

Hi All!! How is it that we are over half way through the year and already almost in August?!?! I don’t know about you guys but I feel like this year has flown by.

This past weekend I ran the Spartan Sprint at AT&T Park in San Francisco. I ran this race last year and absolutely loved it. My goal this year was to complete more obstacles and have a faster time. I am proud to say I accomplished both! I was able to get over all the 5 foot walls by myself (wasn’t able to do that last year!) and I shaved 12 minutes off my time from last year.

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Needless to say that some of the obstacles were different but I am still very proud of what I accomplished. Last year I was only 10 months post baby and it is amazing how much an additional year has really helped with my strength. I finally feel back to my old self and am starting to have the stamina and strength I used to have. I was also super lucky to have one of my awesome bootcampers running with me. It is always so much more fun to run with a friend. I am also proud to say that she is now hooked! We will be doing a Super together next year :)

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Monday morning I definitely woke up very sore and with some awesome bruises! I worked out with my bootcampers on Monday morning and it really helped. One bit of advice to anyone is to work through that soreness. You truly will feel better after and your soreness will be gone so much sooner.

Next on the list is the SF Half Marathon this weekend! I am super excited for this race as I have heard it is a gorgeous course! I will be doing the 1st half, which takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge. This will be race #5 out of 15 for the year, which takes me to an update on my goals and races!

I am 2 races behind where I wanted to be but it ended up working out. I have added an additional race with my bootcamp race team and also possibly another Obstacle Race. I am so happy that I have kept myself on track with my race goals, even with my little guy and the hours I work (patting myself on the back! :))

Now onto a goals update! If you missed my post on my goals this year you can check it out HERE. I am one step closer to getting over my fear of box jumps. My awesome hubby built me a plyo box!! I am so grateful to have someone that supports my goals and also that can build me things 😉 He will be building me a second smaller box to start with because the 20 inches already freaks me out. Little man decided he loved the new box!

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Isn’t he the cutest?!?! I know I am probably biased but I can’t help it :)

How are your goals going for the year? Have you completed any?

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Spring 21 Day Reset

I am super excited to share that I will be joining a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador, Laura, from Mommy Run Fast for her Spring 21 Day Reset starting next Monday (4/27). I am normally not one to do these types of programs but considering this is more focused on clean eating and eliminating processed food I decided it is right up my alley! I have definitely not been as focused on my clean eating lately as I normally am. Sugar has become my new best friend (yes I admit to having a sugar addiction!) and has come to my rescue (not really!) during my long days.

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The one thing that I am looking forward to the most is the support group I will have. My hubby is an awesome supporter of everything I want to do but he is also home all day taking care of the little man and the last thing he needs to hear is how much I want a chocolate chip cookie (needless to say he is lucky and does not have a sugar addiction at all so sometimes he can’t really relate). Having a group of people who are going through the same process will be exactly what I need.

Here is what is included with the 21 day reset:

  • A clean eating guide to help you choose the best options for your family
  • An e-cookbook with seasonal spring recipes for detoxifying your liver and energizing your body
  • Sample meal plans for each week
  • Accountability and support via a private Facebook group
  • Daily emails with holistic health tips and tricks
  • Probiotics to boost gut health and results (optional)

I will also be sharing my experiences with the reset once I have completed it. I know that this will be a little difficult for me in regards to the sugar but I also know the planning side of me will enjoy the structure. If you are considering a reset or would like to get off the processed food please come join me!!

Have you ever done a program like this before? What was your experience?

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Official Race Schedule and Training Update

Planning out your races for the year is no joke! I decided to conquer the goal of completing 15 races this year. At first this seemed like no big deal…and then I started planning and realized YIKES! I started writing notes and entry fees and seeing what would work around other important dates (birthdays, anniversary, etc.) and what I could actually afford. Luckily I did win a Spartan entry so I was good with one race paid for.

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Yes this is how I organize my schedule! ;)

 

After looking at all the different race websites and going through the cost of each race and seeing what worked for our calendar I finalized it all. So here is the official race schedule!!

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I am super excited for my first half in March with Oakland Running Festival! I ran this race a couple of years back and loved it. I also decided to be a little crazy and go for their “We Run The Town Challenge”, which means I run the 5k before running the half marathon. Plus check out the cool medals for this year :)

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You can get all the links for all my races HERE. I also can’t believe that it will be my first half marathon since 2012. It really doesn’t seem that long ago and yet somehow over 2 years has passed. Then again I can’t believe that our little man turned 16 months today!! Ok back on topic here….

So my training has been going pretty well. I have realized that squeezing in a run while working 2 jobs and being a mom can be pretty dang tough. It’s so funny cause before I had the little man I used to think I had no extra time…oh I had tons of it!! But of course I didn’t realize that until now 😉 But that’s ok cause I am just extra creative with the little time I do have. I can definitely only run 3 times a week due to time constraints but I know it is still definitely doable.

I also seem to have this nagging hamstring twinge that I have come to find out is probably weak hips and glutes so I am working on that currently. There was an awesome article in the current issue of Runners World that is all about hips. If you are a runner you should definitely go check it out!! Here is the link!

So, what is on your training schedule? Any big races coming up?

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Hot Chocolate 15k San Francisco Race Recap

They had me at chocolate!! I will openly admit to have an obsession…ok maybe an addiction to chocolate. So you can imagine my excitement when I read about the Hot Chocolate Run in SF! I had not run a road race since the end of 2013 (I ran the Spartan Sprint last year but that definitely isn’t the same). So my first race of 2015 was in beautiful Golden Gate park in San Francisco. What an awesome way to start the race year!! On top of that I got to run with 5 of my campers. Well truthfully they ran way in front of me….cause they run those crazy 8/8:30 minute miles 😉

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So the corrals were set up awesome and everyone started quite fast. I have been to some races where it seemed to take forever to get people going but not this race!! And how cool is this start line?!

2015011195074503And this awesome blow up mug :)

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Along the course they had a bunch of awesome yummy treats along with the usual water/sports drinks. At mile 2 they had chocolate pieces (which I missed but everyone said they were super yummy). Up next were Strawberry Marshmallows…and you know I took some…but one note, make sure you eat them and then drink the water otherwise your throat gets super dry!!

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Strawberry Marshmallows

At about mile 6 there were Chocolate Marshmallows!! Thank goodness I saved my water until after I ate them. I definitely learned from my mistake at mile 4. They also offered tootsie rolls but I felt that would be way too hard to chew and run (some people just sucked on them).

Chocolate Marshmallows!

Chocolate Marshmallows!

So besides all the yummy treats along the course there were some awesome views!! We ran an out and back course, which put us running up highway 1 with awesome views of the ocean…

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And then once we got in further you passed by the Golden Gate park buffalo, which most people don’t even know are there. I remember the first time I saw them running Bay to Breakers a couple years ago I thought they were fake.

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And last you run past this beautiful lake, where everyone was out enjoying their Sunday with the kids or going for a run.

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This race was truly a confidence booster for me!! It had been so long since I ran a real road race and it was scary coming back after having my little man. I think the thing that scared me the most is I still get pain in my scar from my C-section. Luckily the more I run the better it gets :) I hit a couple goals during this race that made me beyond ecstatic!!

Goal 1: So the best part of this race (besides the chocolate) was that I hit a new PR!!! My 5k split time was 32:35 (fastest time ever!) and my 10k split time was 1:08:15 (again fastest time ever!). I finished the race in 1:49:36!! Which is an 11:46 mile and again my fastest time ever in a race. Normally my past half marathons have been around 13 minutes per mile.

Goal 2: I ran the first 7 miles of the race without walking. I would stop at the aid stations for treats and water but get right back to running. I have always been a run/walker so this was HUGE for me!!

The last 2.5 miles were killer for me but it was this gradual incline the whole way so I am giving myself a break on having to walk a little bit. Overall it was an amazing race and I will definitely be doing it again next year!

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Plus look at these awesome treats waiting for you after you finish :)

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And the medal was pretty awesome too! My little man always loves my medals and he had to put it on as soon as I got home. Isn’t he the cutest?!?!

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Have you ever run this race series? Would you consider running it if you haven’t before?

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Fitness Friday – Awesome Full Body Workout

Who is ready to get in an awesome full body workout that will have you sweating in no time?!?! I do this awesome workout with my bootcampers at least once or twice a month. The great thing about this workout is you can sub in or out all different types of exercises. I normally make sure that we are doing cardio moves for at least 3-4 of the exercises. 7-7-7 Workout 2

And remember if you aren’t at a track or outside you can do a different cardio move for the sprints. And if  you don’t have any workout equipment you can do all body weight exercises.

Now get out there and get sweaty!!

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Marathon Training Postponed

I have been toying with the idea of training for my first marathon this year. For some reason though I couldn’t write it down on my “2015 Goal Poster”. It just didn’t feel right and I had that sneaking feeling it wasn’t going to happen. After a whole lot of thinking, discussing with friends and the hubby (who would support me in anything I do! I am a lucky girl!!), I have decided to postpone marathon training until 2016. Unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day.

As the only one that is working (a paying job) to support our family (my hubby is a stay-at-home dad, which is an extremely hard job in itself) I don’t have enough time to train. I am up every morning at 3:45am to commute in to teach bootcamp, which is an hour drive in. Then head to the office and work a full day (sometimes lift weights on my lunch), commute home for about 2 hours and help hubby with finishing up dinner and feeding the little man. Then it is mom and little man time (which is so special to me considering I only see him 2 1/2 hours on commute days). Hubby puts him to bed around 8pm and I get to relax a little before going to sleep at 9pm. And it starts all over again!!

Luckily I get to work from home on Fridays so I can at least get 2 runs in a week but that isn’t enough to train for a marathon safely. I also would never change anything about our current situation. We are so lucky that one of us can stay home with our little man (he will be starting daycare at the end of this year)!! You do what you have to do to make your children’s life the best possible.

When little man goes to daycare the hubby will go back to work and then it is all about marathon training!! And I can’t wait!!

And the even better part is I still can keep my 15 races goal and complete a couple of half marathons this year!

Have you ever had to postpone a goal because you knew it just wasn’t the right time?

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New Years Goals

With the start of the New Year a lot of people make resolutions (most of them being fitness or health related). I used to make resolutions every year but then came to realize that I never really stuck to it. Once I missed one day or one thing that I had resolved to do that was it. I basically threw it all out the window and was back where I started. It seems that resolutions are so hard bound. There is no sense of flexibility in resolutions and I almost feel like most people think it is “All or Nothing!”.

So my fix to this problem is to focus on making New Year Goals instead. Goals can be flexible and can also be changed to fit our lives (an unexpected injury, a vacation or even a move). I have been making “Goal boards” for the last 4 years and it is truly one of my favorite things. The last year I got my husband into it too. Plus it is fun to do something together and have goals that support each other. I can’t wait until the little man is old enough so he can do this also. Here is my goal board for 2015!

Personal Goal Board

My hubby refuses to write his own but will have me write his out for him (personally I think it’s adorable cause he says how he loves my writing :) )

Goal boardsI love how much more fitness focused mine is. You can definitely see the things we love to do within our goals. Oh and I need to remember not to be talking while I am writing these things cause it seems that I lose my ability to spell!

There are also a couple of things to keep in mind when making your goals. You want to make sure you focus on making S.M.A.R.T goals…

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Let me break these down a little bit and give you a little more explanation so you are ready to set your own goals for 2015!

  • Specific: Make sure that your goal is specific. It is better to set a goal of running 3 times a week or for a specific time then just setting a goal to run more. You should be able to answer Who, What, Where, When and Why.
  • Measurable: Make sure you can measure your progress. When a goal is measurable you are more likely to stay on track. Progress is what helps keep you motivated.
  • Attainable: You want to be able to complete your goals so make sure it is something you can truly commit to. You can do most anything but also take into account your daily life. This is one reason I am on the fence about running my first marathon this year. I want to make sure I actually have the time to train with how much I work and having a young child.
  • Relevant: You want to be able to see the importance of your goal. Make sure your goal is specific to you and what you see as important in your life. Don’t make a goal just because someone else is. You need to have interest in your goal and the want to complete it.
  • Time-Bound: Setting a time frame on your goals will help you to stick with them. If you are thinking of trying to run more maybe signing up for a race will help you have a timeline for training. Or if you are trying to wean yourself off soda you can set a date to be completely soda free.

I hope this information helps you to set some awesome SMART goals for yourself this year! I would love to hear what you have in store for 2015!!

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ProYo Frozen Yogurt Review & Giveaway

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Disclaimer: I was given ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt for free to review. I was not paid for this post. As always all options are my own!

We all know how important protein is to build and repair our tissues after those hard workouts. There are so many products out on the market right now that range from protein powders, bars and now frozen yogurt. I am the most finicky person when it comes to taste and texture. I have tried them all and I can’t get past the taste of most bars and the texture of powders (the gritty texture kills me!). I was so excited to learn about ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt. There is no gritty taste, it totally takes care of my sweet tooth (I am a sucker for all sweets 😉 ), it’s healthy and so easy to grab and eat on the go.

One of the most important things to me is that this product is soy free, which seems to be almost impossible to find in most protein products. It is also GMO free and nothing artificial at all. Plus it feels like I am just eating regular icecream and it’s good for my tummy with all those probiotics and prebiotics (I don’t like regular yogurt, again its a taste thing lol). Can you tell I enjoy them?!?! And yes this is a pic after a workout and with no makeup :)

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I absolutely love the story behind ProYo! Please check out the website for the longer version of the story. I wanted to give you guys a couple snippets though :)

Santa Barbara native Nathan Carey enjoyed an active, on-the-go lifestyle as the owner of Twin Cups, a popular local drive-through frozen yogurt and coffee bar.

Nathan wanted something completely different. So he set out to formulate a distinctive high-protein frozen yogurt that featured more balanced nutrition and amazing taste—and was convenient for all ages.

After extensive research and development, Nathan successfully created ProYo—a premium  low-fat frozen treat made with creamy probiotic yogurt packed with 20 grams of protein per handy tube and is gluten-free, soy-free, and GMO-free. The perfect blend of healthy nutrition and delicious flavor without all the gunk.

Each tube of ProYo has 20 grams of protein and only 160 calories! They also come in 4 different awesome flavors, which include Dutch Chocolate (my fav!), Vanilla Bean, Banana Vanilla and Blueberry Pomegranate.

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They are carried in a good amount of different grocery stores…and I bet you want to know exactly where to get yours?!?! Check out there Store Locator Page and also enter below for your chance to win a box of each flavor!!

Good luck and Happy Saturday!!

 

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Happy New Year and New Blog Name

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Happy New Year All!! I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve. When you have a 1 year old NYE just isn’t as carefree as it used to be. Hubby and I stayed in, drank some wine and went to sleep

Soooo I am beyond excited to launch my new blog name Strong & Beautiful Fitness. I have been working on my rebranding for a couple months now and can’t tell you how stoked I am to finally release everything. A fellow blogger worked with me for weeks to get my logo just perfect (check him out at PavementRunner!) And of course I have been working on getting my social media channels going.

Why the name change?!?! Well I loved my old blog name (Larissa Milano Fitness) but it just didn’t seem to really fit, besides the fact that it is my name 😉 I had been thinking for some time about changing it but could never really find something that worked. One night I was complaining to my hubby about having a rough time with my workouts lately and he turns to me and says “Always remember that you are strong and beautiful”. He is seriously the sweetest guy in the world and I love him to death! Needless to say later that night it came to me… Strong & Beautiful Fitness. Cause even when things aren’t going our way, the kids are driving us nuts, that run just wasn’t what we wanted it to be or we are kicking ourselves for overindulging a little the night before, we must always remember that We Are Strong and We Are Beautiful and We Can Do Anything!!!

I hope that you will continue to follow me on my adventures of sharing workouts, tales of running, probably some injuries, healthy eating (most of the time) and of course stories about my family. I look forward to what 2015 brings and this amazing new change!!

Here is to an amazing year! Bring it on baby!!

Larissa