September Miles! Triple Digits

Welp, I did it again! I got my monthly goal of 100+ miles in a month… and it feels awesome. It might seem like I’m going backward, but October I’m going to reel things back and reduce my mileage.

And here’s why.

As you can imagine, after increasing my average monthly mileage from 70 to 100 miles, I was bound to find new injuries along the way.  Calm down Uncle Jim, my knees are fine – what I did discover:

I was having issues with tenderness in my plantar fascia.  Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common ailment among runners and easily treatable.  I won’t go into all of the details (Google is your friend), but I found my heels and arches were often sore following a long run. After a quick YouTube search, I was able to pinpoint that the issue is in the calf-muscles and not properly stretching AFTER my runs.

I found that giving myself a somewhat painful and deep tissue massage along my calves and plantar fascia, I was able to reduce and relieve the pain.  Also, foam rolling after runs has helped drastically reduce soreness and tenderness.

Second, I’ve been experiencing some tenderness in my lower left shin, almost like a wicked bruise that won’t go away.  I’m not sure if this is a stress fracture on my lower leg, or if a tendon is just bruised and needs to heal. Either way, I’m taking it easy to hopefully not exacerbate any injuries, I don’t want to take any chances.  Also, I don’t know how to describe exactly what I’m feeling other than the pain is similar to a bruise.  I don’t experience pain when I walk or put weight on my leg, so it doesn’t seem like a fracture is an issue, again just soreness.

The Hershey Half Marathon next weekend, and for the most part, I have only logged 18 miles in the last 11 days.  This upcoming week (before the half marathon) I’m not going to run at all, maybe a slight jog around the neighborhood – like I said, I just want to take it easy.

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Episode 22 – Gimme that Sugar!

This week we tackle the hidden secrets of SUGAR, and how you can be a better-informed food label detective. We talk about running and increasing mileage, and recent running gear purchases. We announced our “Run with Us” series where we want to feature you! Share with us your running story! And so much more!

Also, you can now find us on Spotify! (As well as other fine podcast platforms).

https://anchor.fm/beyond-24-days/embed/episodes/Episode-22—Gimme-that-Sugar-e23lsr

All About the Food! Plant-based!

Physical fitness is a mental and physical game – but let’s not neglect nutrition! After all, it’s all about the food! This week I’m sharing the past three top Plant-based meals we’ve had that I just can’t get enough! Let’s balance this out with my weekly new favorite Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Let’s kick it off with Breakfast! My favorite recent plant-based breakfast has to be: Banana Bread Pancakes These bad boys were filling and so delicious, especially topped with the crumbled nuts and maple syrup!  We paired our pancakes with fresh fruits and some savory peppery potatoes!

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Lunchtime doesn’t have to be heavy, so soups are a classic go-to for us.  This Lentil Soup recipe we tried was hearty and downright awesome!  Paired with some freshly baked bread, this meal is sure to satisfy and will fill you up but not weigh you down.

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Dinner time calls for all the carbs!  That’s why we love this Cauliflower Bolognese and matching salad!  Nothing rounds the day out like some whole grain pasta, covered with bolognese.

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Make sure you check out Beyond 24 Days for the most up to date recipes and meal ideas!

iCare 5k

Every year a nearby food bank hosts a 5k almost in our backyard. Blessings of Hope has a huge yard sale, auction, food vendors, activities for kids, and of course a 5k race in beautiful Lancaster County. The company is predominantly Mennonite so it attracts the local Amish and Mennonite community at large. Turn out is always HUGE.

This year the 5k drew a much larger crowd as well. The course was the same as the previous year, a nice easy run on the back roads of Amish Country. There is a slight incline, at the very start, but for the most part it’s nothing too crazy and very runner friendly.

At the very beginning I noticed a lot of kids hanging around the starting line- in fact there were a lot of kids and I thought how fun it will be to blow past them at the half way mark. The announcer’s voice boomed over the handheld speaker as she yelled “GO!” and we were off. Truth be told: those Amish kids took off and I didn’t see a single one after that. Even though my first mile was complete in 7 minutes, and my second mile at 7:20, those kids were fast and long gone.

The course was beautiful as always, and the atmosphere and iCare event was a lovely experience. Even though I hit a few PRs, fastest mile (7:11), fastest 2 miles (14:31), I still finished 25th overall. I placed 3rd in my age group and received a fidget spinner medal- all-in-all, it was pretty fun.

Last year I ran a lot slower, with an average of 9:00 min/miles and placed 2nd in my age group. So this year I’d say the amount of competitors was a lot higher and the skill levels were just as high to match. This is a fast course and we saw some really fast times! Looking forward to next year!

It’s all about the Food!

Running aside, my life’s passion is food.  Losing weight was the motivation I needed to start eating and fueling my body right.  After all, losing over 60+ lbs I wanted to maintain my weight loss and maintain my good health.  “Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Get yourself ready for these awesome eats!  Typically we are vegetarian, and only eat meat a handful of times throughout the month, so I thought I’d change it up, but going a little heavier on the meats.

First up, Paprika Chicken and Chickpeas!  This awesome meal was combined with roasted broccoli and cauliflower for an amazing and satisfying meal! Especially after my long morning Sunday trail runs, and a day full of activities.

Next we have a Cauliflower Bolognese! One of my favorite meals – the pasta, the bolognese, everything about it is pure awesome.  We paired ours with a homemade Caesar salad and it took everything to the next level!

Finally, we have a local farm that produces some of the best tasting grass-fed beef I’ve ever had!  These Baked Beef Samosas are so delicious, so flavorful, so awesome that I’m getting hungry just looking at them!  If you are vegetarian or vegan, feel free to use your favorite meat substitute, you won’t be disappointed!

Episode 20 – Diet or Lifestyle

In this episode of the Beyond 24 Days podcast, we tackle the difference between Diet and Lifestyle… at least what that meant for us, and what that can mean for you too!  Listen in to hear Brooke sharing her insight about her experience in school food nutrition and sharing healthy eating with kids.

Oh yeah, and I babble on about Trail Running.

Hot Chocolate 15K!

My race packet has arrived! I’m super pumped to be running the Hot Chocolate 15K in Philadelphia this April! This year I intend on getting yet another PR, so I’m double-pumped to get started.  This will mark my third year running the race, and word on the streets is that there is a special “legacy” gift for past participants.

So I’ve got my packet, now what’s inside?

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Inside: The official Hot Chocolate tech long-sleeve shirt, bib, pins, and race information.

Initial thoughts: Every year I’m always excited for the swag, and the first and second year I ran the race the zip-up jackets were a huge hit.  This year they’ve decided to go with a long-sleeve tech shirt, and I’m a little torn on how I feel about it.  I’m on the fence because on one hand I was hoping for, yet another, jacket to add to my collection, but on the other hand appreciate something new and this long-sleeve tech shirt is nice and thick and perfect for late fall, early spring running.

All-in-all I’m grateful the Hot Chocolate organizers mail out the packets, having to drive 2+ hours to expo the day before the race and back again in the morning would be crazy!  Kudos to the HC15K team for the awesome work!

Being my third year running this race, I’m supposed to receive some type of legacy swag – I’m not sure if this is after the race or before?  If another has received the legacy swag, when did you receive it?  My bib doesn’t seem to indicate anything in regard to the legacy status either, so I’m not 100% confident how this will be handled.

EDIT, as I’m typing this, I went to the official rules: HERE

**We encourage all Legacy participants to join us at the Expo, to celebrate their achievements! Legacy items will not be mailed out pre-race. If you are unable to attend the Expo, we will arrange to have your Legacy items available for pickup on race day. You must pick up Legacy items either at the Expo, or on race day; no Legacy items will be mailed after the race.

Guess that answers that question! Anyway, I’m looking forward to this year’s race! Post-race recap to soon follow!