Half Marathon Training Week 6

We’ve hit the halfway point!  6 weeks into my training and my pace is getting better but my weekly mileage isn’t as high as I would like.  It feels weird not running as much as I normally would when I train but I don’t feel burnt out so I think I’m doing something right 🙂

Monday (Strength Train) – went with an oldie but goodie! Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout 1.  This is a great 30 minute DVD that’s perfect for when you don’t feel like driving to the gym.

Tuesday (Run) – 3.15 miles @ 11:09/mile average pace.  This was a great 5AM run around our neighborhood.  Sucked it up and went out in the cold and survived thanks to gloves and ear warmers.

Wednesday (Rest)

Thursday (Strength Train) – Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout 2

Friday (Run) – My stomach wasn’t feeling the greatest and I didn’t have much energy but I was SO tired of sitting so I ran a slow 1.35 miles @ 12:27 pace

Saturday (Long Run) – 5.11 miles @ 10:58/mile average pace.

Sunday (Rest)

Weekly Mileage – 9.61

On a side note, Winnie is doing great 🙂 Her brat puppy personality is starting to come out but she’s so cute we can’t stay mad at her for long.  She’s completely potty trained which is awesome! She likes to test me by chewing on our new couch to see if I’m paying attention and take off with my pj’s every once in awhile.  Overall she’s been an awesome pup and we love her so much ❤


Half Marathon Training Week 1

If you read my last post you know that I’ll be running the Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon on January 29th and that this week was my 1st week of training.  You also know that I was supposed to run a half last February and didn’t.  Due to that I knew I needed to make some changes this time around so that I not only stick to my training but also enjoy it.  I decided to go with a 12 week training plan instead of 10 weeks so that I could gradually increase my mileage without getting burnt out.

Last year when I was training I was trying to increase my mileage while simultaneously trying to increase my speed.  This combo didn’t work for me. I became frustrated and quickly lost my joy of running.  This year I’m going to focus on mileage and I know my pace will get better with time.  I’m also incorporating more strength training which will help correct imbalances and decrease injury risk.

Below is a recap of week 1:

Monday (2 miles @ easy pace) – Incline treadmill workout (courtesy of Women’s Running Magazine).  Started with a 0 incline at a 5.0 speed and increased the incline by 1% every other minute until I reached 6% incline with a 1 minute recovery walk at 4.0 between each minute of running then went in reverse.  Example – 1 min 5.0 speed 0% incline, 1 min 4.0 speed 0% incline, 1 min 5.0 speed 1% incline, 1 min 4.0 speed 1% incline, 1 min 5.0 speed 2% incline, and so on until I reached 6% incline and then I went back down alternating every minute.  This kept me from getting bored on the treadmill and strengthened my leg muscles.  Ended with a 3 minute cool-down.  Average pace 13’38/mile.

Tuesday (Strength Train) – Biceps and Shoulders

Wednesday (Rest Day) – Stayed up late watching the election and had no energy to workout

Thursday (2 miles @ easy pace) – Speed Demon treadmill workout (Women’s Running Magazine).  Incline stayed at 0% and started at 5.0 speed while increasing my speed by .4 every other minute with a recovery minute in between until I reached a speed of 7.0 then went in reverse.  Finished with a 3 min cool-down.  Average pace 12’oo/mile.

Friday – Was supposed to strength train but didn’t…whoops!

Saturday (3.5 miles @ easy pace + strength training) – Went for a good run outside around our neighborhood. The weather was perfect and it was so nice to get off the treadmill aka dreadmill.  After my run Mike and I went to the gym to work on chest and triceps.  This made up for my missed strength training on Friday.  Average pace 11’05/mile

Sunday (Strength Training) – Legs and Buns

Overall good 1st week! Kept the mileage low and didn’t worry about my pace.  Arizona doesn’t participate in the time change which means the sunrise isn’t until around 7AM and the sunsets around 5:30PM.  Due to the lack of daylight I’ll be spending more time on the treadmill than I’d like.  You gotta work with what you’ve got!

Looking forward to week two 🙂

Confessions of a Runner

As I sit down to write this I’m a little embarrassed.  I have a confession to make, I don’t think I’ll be running the half marathon I’ve been telling you about for months.  Well I don’t know if I am, I need your help!

Here’s the thing, my training sucked this time around.  When I trained for the 2014 half marathon I stuck to my training plan for the most part and woke up early on Saturday mornings to get my long run in…no excuses.  When race day arrived I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’d finish and that I’d be able to run most of it.  My hard work payed off and I finished with a 2:15 PR.  It was such an accomplishment.

This time around I’ve come up with every excuse in the book! I mentioned before in The Struggle is Real that I’ve been having a really hard time with running.  My legs are stiff, my lungs hate me, and my brain won’t turn off.  I KNOW that all of this will go away if I ran more consistently but I just couldn’t bring myself to get in the long runs.   The longest run I got in was when I ran the 10k (a little over 6 miles) and that was more of a run/walk with a 12:30/mile pace in October.  The last real long run was in August and that was only 5 miles! I know to many of you 5 miles seems like a lot, and it is, but how do I plan on running 13.1 on Sunday if I can’t even get past 5.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still love running and will never give it up but I think the days of long runs are behind me.  Or at least long runs that are timed.  I had a lot of fun at the 10k but that’s because I didn’t care when we finished, I was doing it for fun.

To be honest I think that’s one of the main reasons I’ve been struggling so much.  Back when I started running (you can read about it here) I gradually built up my distance and my pace and it was so rewarding.  I enjoyed running because it calmed me, relieved stress, gave me confidence, and so much more.  Now I run because I feel like I have to.  The simple joy of just lacing up my shoes, throwing in my ear phones, and heading out the door has been taken over by frustration that I’m not at the pace I want to be at and that I’m not able to easily run as many miles as I used to.  I almost wish I wouldn’t have signed up for the half 7 months ago because it got in my head.  Had I ran just for the pleasure of it and not because I was “training” I may have got in more runs and definitely more enjoyable runs.

So here’s my question to you, should I attempt to run the half on Sunday and take the chance of not finishing or worse hurting myself, or should I take it as a loss and accept the fact that I failed my training??  I really have no idea what to do, I’m so torn.  If I don’t run I’m afraid I’ll feel like a failure not only to myself but to all of you but at the same time I don’t want to push my body beyond what it’s ready to do especially 30 days before my wedding. I know one thing is for sure, I won’t be signing up for anything over a 10k anytime soon!! I want to find my love of running again.  I’d rather run 3 miles and enjoy it than run 8 and be miserable.

On a side note, I’m doing great with my strength training program! On day 30 of 60 🙂  You win some you lose some.

New Month, New Beginnings

Can you believe it’s already the last day of January?!? Where has the time gone?? What’s even more shocking is that I’m getting married in 34 days!!! I am so ready for the big day to finally be here.  13 month engagements are great for financial purposes but crappy for those of us that are impatient  🙂

How has your 2016 been so far? Did you stick to your new year’s resolutions?  I’ve done pretty great thus far and don’t plan on stopping! I fell off the wagon one week but promptly jumped back on.  If you have broken your resolution, don’t worry you can start over tomorrow! Pretend February 1st is January 1st, your body doesn’t know the difference.  I’m starting an online bridal bootcamp tomorrow for brides to-be, bridesmaids, and family/friends of the bride! It’s a free group to help motivate each other and provide extra accountability.  If you’d like to join comment with your email or shoot me over an email at lovecookrun@gmail.com.


This weekend has been super productive yet relaxing and enjoyable.  Friday night Mike and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants and enjoyed oysters, wine, and charcuterie.  We had a gift card from Christmas so it was nice to have a little date night without spending a ton.


Saturday morning Mike made me breakfast while I cleaned up the house a bit and got some work done.  He showed up with this when I got out of the shower…

He truly is the best! We headed over to Men’s Warehouse to get him fitted for his tux then went down to the beach for a nice long walk and lunch.  Since hurting my foot a few weeks ago when I fell down the stairs I haven’t been able to wear a shoe that covers the top of my foot.  Yesterday was the first day that my foot didn’t hurt and I was able to put tennis shoes on!! When we got down to Newport Back Bay it was sprinkling but we still got in a great walk and had some fun in the mud while we were at it.  I absolutely love being outdoors and was seriously craving fresh air and beautiful scenery.  Newport Back Bay has a few different trails you can choose from and is one of my favorite spots to stroll with Mike.



We finished the day with dinner at home and a movie.  A perfect day in my books.  Today was less fun but more productive.  Four loads of laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, work on my business, workout, and got a little reading done.  I’ve been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I highly recommend it!!  Today starts week 5 of Hammer & Chisel.  Halfway done with the program and I still love it as much as I did in the beginning.  I feel stronger, leaner, and accomplished.  4 weeks to go!


A Week’s Worth of Meals

Happy Saturday!! Anyone have any fun plans this weekend?? It sounds like everyone has Monday off but me 😦  This weekend should be pretty fun though.  Going to a party tonight and they are having the Lime Truck cater…yummmm!! They won the first season of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race and have a restaurant here in Orange County.  Such a treat! Tomorrow I’m meeting up with my fantasy football team to watch a game and pass out the winnings for the season.  Besides that just working out and working on my business.  I apologize for not posting this week.  Here’s a quick recap:

Monday – my week didn’t start off so great.  I fell down a flight of concrete stairs on my way to work! Thank God I didn’t break anything, seriously so blessed.  I scraped up my right foot pretty bad and my body was sore but it could have been MUCH worse.  My foot was in a lot of pain all day but I still got in my workout (Max Hammer Strength)! I just modified a bit so that I didn’t put too much pressure on my right leg.

M1: My daily breakfast.  Vegan Chocolate Shakeology with 1/2 banana, 4oz coffee, and 4oz water

M2: Organic small apple with tsp peanut butter (I prefer Almond Butter but it’s so expensive and we’re on a tight wedding budget)

M3: Taco salad.  I meal-prepped 4 of these bad boys on Sunday so that Mike and I had lunch made for two days.  So easy and so good.  Use toppings of choice.  I put the lettuce in the bowl first then topped with the brown rice and ground grass-fed beef and other goodies.


M4: Organic 2% cottage cheese with 1/2 avocado. I used a whole red container of cottage cheese (21 Day Fix/Hammer & Chisel meal plan).

M5: Chicken stir-fry.  It was too spicy for Mike so I saved his and ate for lunch on Wednesday.  I have a much higher spice tolerance than he does 🙂  This meal is super simple. Cut up a few organic free-range chicken breast and cooked with a pre-made container of Asian Vegetable stir-fry from Trader Joe’s.  I added red pepper flakes and tamari.


Tuesday – after work we had to go give our wedding DJ more money and we went out to dinner. My foot still hurt pretty bad so I used Tuesday as my rest day.

M1: Chocolate Shakeology with 1/2 banana, 4oz coffee, and 4oz water

M2: organic small apple with tsp peanut butter

M3: taco salad

M4: organic 2% cottage cheese with 1/4 avocado

M5: an arugula salad from Spin Pizza.  The salad was so simple but so good.  It had a very light dressing of olive oil and lemon.  Spin Pizza has the best gelato so I treated myself to a small scoop of banana pie gelato and a glass of red wine.


Wednesday – Chisel Agility complete.

M1: Chocolate shakeology blended with 1/2 banana and 8 oz water

M2: organic small apple and tsp peanut butter

M3: leftover chicken stir-fry from Monday night

M4: organic 2% cottage cheese and 1/4 avocado

M5: build your own pita pocket night! Whole-wheat pita pocket with fillings of choice.  I used lettuce, chicken, green & black olives, onion, avocado, hummus, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Thursday – Hammer Power complete.

M1: the usual, Chocolate Shakeology blended with 1/2 banana and 8 oz water. I tossed in some pumpkin spice coffee grounds and cinnamon for an extra boost of caffeine and spice.


M2: apple and tsp peanut butter

M3: lettuce and tomato salad topped with a veggie patty and dressed with EVOO and herbs.  Dr. Praegers makes the best veggie burgers! I get mine at Trader Joe’s.


M4: The New Primal grass-fed beef jerky and pre-workout

M5: my sweet fiance made me the most delicious dinner! Salmon, calamari, and a roasted tomato and spinach salad.  He cooked it all with just a little bit of EVOO, garlic, herbs, and lemon.  So much flavor and deliciousness without tons of butter like most restaurants use.  And a glass or two of wine 🙂


Friday – Chisel Balance complete.  I gotta say, I was pretty proud of myself! I haven’t stayed in and worked out on a Friday night in a loooonnngg time.  Fridays have always been my rest days.  Normally I will come home and either make dinner with Mike while having a cocktail or we’ll go out to dinner.  It actually felt really good to get my workout in and then just relax.  Mike went out with the boys so I had the house to myself 🙂

M1: Still have money left on my giftcard so I made a quick run through Starbucks on my way to work.  Grande cappuccino and reduced fat turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich.

M2: cup of hot tea

M3: Subway 6″ veggie sandwich on wheat bread.  All the veggies and avocado.

M4: a few dark chocolate covered almonds and a piece of chocolate peppermint bark.  It was too good to resist!

M5: a glass of red wine and the most delicious homemade protein ice cream! A friend of mine shared this trick with me.  You mix a scoop of post-workout recovery (I use Beachbody Chocolate Recovery), 1/2 frozen banana, about 12 ice cubes, and enough egg whites to get the blender going (I used two eggs and tossed out the yolks).  Blend in a high powered blender until ice cream consistency.  I made it then put it in the freezer while I rinsed off after my workout.  An hour later or so I had a slice of whole-wheat pita bread dipped in an oil and balsamic mixture.


For those of you following the 21 Day Fix or Hammer & Chisel meal plan I’m going to try and go back into the past few posts and label with the food container colors.  I’ll work on it tomorrow and this week.  I know this would be super helpful and I’m here to make life easier for you 🙂


Weekend in Review

Welp, here we are…Sunday night already.  Where did the weekend go?? This was my first full weekend on my workout/nutrition plan and I’m pretty proud of myself.  I didn’t eat quite as well as I should have but I definitely tried to make smart choices when it came to dining out.  I had a great weekend catching up with friends and spending time with Mike.  Here’s a quick recap.

Friday – woke up feeling even sicker than I had earlier in the week.  Had to go to work two hours late because I seriously COULD NOT STOP SNEEZING…it was awful!!! I think I sneezed about 50 times, my body hurt so bad.  Slowly started to feel better towards the end of the day but I didn’t want to chance an intense workout and get worse but I did want to get a little exercise in so I went for a mile walk around my neighborhood.  This little head cold was the weirdest thing.  It almost felt like really really bad allergies.  Strange.  Anyway, since I didn’t have a long workout after work Mike and I went to dinner.  He loves Olive Garden (I’m not a fan) but we went because I love him 🙂  After dinner we watched The Revenant which was really good but super intense.  Nice little relaxing date night.

M1: The usual.  Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with 1/2 banana.

M2: Grapes and string cheese

M3: Grilled chicken breast with roasted veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions) and an apple.

M4: Simply Almonds, Cashews, and Cranberries.  I love these little trail mix bags from Trader Joe’s! Perfect little snack.  Three dark chocolate kisses…whoopsie.

M5: Olive Garden. Minestrone soup, side salad without croutons, one breadstick, and one beer (Peroni…yummm).  Should’ve skipped the breadstick because it honestly didn’t taste as good as I thought it would.  Could’ve definitely lived without it.

Saturday – workout complete! 43 minutes of Total Body Hammer plus 5 minutes of abs.  Seriously great routine!!

M1: Banana with a tablespoon PB and a drizzle of honey. Dip the banana in the PB and it’s soooo good


M2: Hard-boiled egg and Energize

M3: Lunch with my friend Nicole to catch up on life and have one of my all time favorite salads.  The Village Salad with Lamb from Olive Pit Grill.  Sooo yummy and so good for you. Cucumbers, tomato, onions, capers, kalamata olives, and more. Topped with lamb, tzatziki, and pickled onions. Only had one of the pita slices.


M4: Met up with my friend Maggie for some girl time and cocktails.  Had a drink similar to a margarita but without all the sugar.  It had tequila, grapefruit juice, soda water, and chile.  Had two of those with two glasses of water.  It was really nice to catch up and talk about both of our wedding plans.

M5: Gyu-Kaku again with some friends.  Had one glass of wine, a few meat dishes, spinach, one dumpling, and a small bowl of kimchi

Sunday – workout and meal prep complete! 35 minute cardio routine.  I’ll share a little more about meal prep tomorrow.

M1: One egg

M2: Pita bread dipped in an olive oil and balsamic mix

M3: 1/2 flatbread grilled cheese and 3 fried green tomatoes from Green Tomato Grill

M4: Recover shake blended with a banana and PB.  Please excuse the super sweaty picture below.  I couldn’t wait to have my shake! It keeps me from getting super sore and refuels my body after a tough workout.


M5: Nothing as of yet. My Recover smoothie after my workout has kept me full

We just had a small earthquake…eeeeekkkkk!!! Ugh I hate them.  Gonna go crawl in a ball now on the couch and not move. Enjoy your evening!


Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl

A strange thing happened to me today, I got excited to come home and workout…weird.  Plenty of times I’ve been anxious to get off work to go for a run but that’s because a good run can clear my mind and reduce my stress like nothing else.  But I’ve NEVER looked forward to a strength training day.  I hate lifting weights, I’m not good at it.  Why would I look forward to doing something I’m not good at.  I guess that’s a clear sign that this program is doing something right! It might be all in my head but I can already tell I’m getting stronger after only 5 days.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m starting to enjoy strength training.  I can’t wait to see how I feel and look in 50 days from now!

Today’s workout routine focused on slow, isolated moves followed by 10 reps at a fast pace while still keeping proper form.  It was fun to go from 10 reps really slow to 10 fast reps, it made the time go by really quickly.  And I got to stare at a hot man for 25 minutes 😉

I had another great meal day today (pat on back).  One of my co-workers had given me a Starbucks giftcard from Christmas so I made a quick trip on my way to work but I still did my best to stick to my plan.

M1: Grande non-fat cappuccino and an egg-white, spinach, feta wrap

M2: An orange and organic light mozzarella string cheese

M3: Vegan chocolate shakeology with a banana, spoonful of peanut butter, and 8oz water

M4: Tomato slices with EVOO and balsamic vinegar

M5: Chicken cauliflower rice bowl with broccoli, snow peas, and carrots, topped with homemade Thai peanut sauce.

  • Mike made a great healthy dinner tonight.  He planned on using brown rice as the base but I had already had my carb allowance for the day so he used cauliflower rice instead.  He made this delicious Thai peanut sauce by mixing small amounts of peanut butter, tamari, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and almond milk together.  He only used a splash of each and it created a dressing to drizzle over the rice bowl.  Great job babe!!



Build Muscle, Not Excuses

Hello Friends! Well today was day 3 of my 60 day program and I of course woke up feeling sick.  I was dizzy, sick to my stomach, sore throat…the whole shabang.  I was super bummed that I may not be able to get my workout in.  Luckily after a ton of water and my Shakeology the dizziness and stomach issues subsided. By 5:00PM when I got off work I was down to sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat.  I could have EASILY used my head-cold issues as an excuse to lay on the couch and not workout but I wasn’t about to let this cold or allergies (whatever it is) get the best of me.  I drank my pre-workout and got busy and I’m so glad I did. I honestly feel so much better now.  Autumn kicked my butt as usual but I’m already feeling stronger and call me crazy but I’m actually looking forward to sore buns tomorrow 🙂  Sore buns = tighter, stronger buns…and who doesn’t want that?!? Fingers crossed that I wake up feeling 100% in the morning.

Meals Today

M1: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with 1/2 banana and 8oz water

M2: Grapes and Organic Light Mozzarella String Cheese

M3: Tomato & Cucumber Salad with EVOO and Balsamic and a Small Cup of Chicken Noodle Soup

M4: 1/2 of the Tuna Boats from yesterday

M5: Leftover Extra Lean Ground Beef from last night, Asparagus, and a Cabbage Salad with EVOO and Balsamic.


Note: Everything in me wanted tomato bisque soup for lunch but broth based soups usually have 1/2 the calories and fat as creamy soups.  Most soups (unless homemade) have a ton of sodium so they are not always the greatest of options but a small cup of broth based soup is a good way to fill up with less calories than other options.

Happy New Year!

Hello all and Happy New Year!!! I am so pumped for 2016, especially the next few months.  Within the next 2 months I’ll run a half marathon, GET MARRIED, and go on an amazing honeymoon in Maui.  Oh and did I mention, get in even better shape! I’m so excited 🙂

For the next 60 days (59 because I’m a day late posting) I’ll be completing a workout program that is WAY out of my comfort zone and unlike anything I’ve done before as well as doing my best to eat clean, healthy meals.  As you know I’m a runner and this program focuses more on building muscle by using heavier weights, plyometrics, and a customized schedule to build strength.  Like I said, way out of my comfort zone.  Although running keeps me sane and thin I know I needed to work on building muscle.  Confession: I can’t even do ONE real push-up (embarrassed face). Girl push-ups (on my knees) I have under control but I should be able to do at least one real push-up especially if this whole blog is related to being healthy.  That’s how I knew I needed to really start focusing on building strength.  Being healthy consists of endurance AND strength.  If you don’t use your muscles you lose your muscles and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Keeping your muscles strong is especially important as we get older.  So needless to say, I’m going to be in a lot of pain for the next 60 days but gradually getting stronger and healthier.

I’m going to do my best to post meals and updates to not only keep myself accountable but to hopefully motivate all of you.  If you would like to learn more about the workout program I’m doing please leave a comment or email me at lovecookrun.com.  I’m love to share the information with you.

Day 1 (Sunday, 1/3) – workout complete. Hadn’t meal planned yet so my food intake wasn’t the greatest.

Day 2 (today, 1/4) – workout complete.  I had to pause the program a few times because I thought I was going to pass out but I completed the full 30 minutes!! Meals were great.

M1: Chocolate Shakeology with 1/2 Banana, 4oz Cold Coffee and 4oz Unsweetened Almond Milk

M2: Small Apple and Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

M3: Tuna, Olive, and Artichoke lettuce boats

M4: Two hard-boiled eggs with salt & pepper

M5: Asparagus, Brown Rice, and Extra Lean Ground Beef