This week we’re catching up with our Running Makeover-ees! Today it’s Jen in Canada, who’s in training for the Blackfoot “Baby” Ultra 25k at the end of May.
Sitting around at Christmas about 5 years ago my brother challenged me to take up running and run a race with him in the spring. I had NEVER run before this so I took the challenge and ran with it (pun intended). He ended up injuring himself so my sister-in-law stepped in and began training with me and we did the race together instead. One of the best things that has come from my running is the relationship I have developed with my sister-in-law, it’s been so fun to run and visit and we’ve gotten to know each other so much better!
I’m super stoked to have won the running makeover. I have been in need of some inspiration and seem to not be able to connect with any of my running buddies this season. The program has helped get me out the door and has offered me a mental challenge with all the drills and different parts incorporated in the runs!
The sprinting is probably the hardest part of the training for me. I have never challenged myself in this area and it’s hard! The drills and sprints completely mix up my normal training routine. At this point in the training I am not as far along in KM as I normally would be so having the runs done by time and drills is very different for me. Julia told me to trust her so that’s what I am doing. I already feel myself becoming a stronger runner.
I always find the first 5 KM the hardest, once I am into my 7th KM my running finds a rhythm and I am usually good to go. It’s just getting past that first 5 KM. Every time I cross a finish line in a race I am feel very proud of myself! I was never athletic and never dreamt that I could actually run like this! Last year I did a personal best and am super excited to try out trail racing this season!
The weather here is “off again, on again spring”, so it’s good for me to have a schedule to stick to for my running since one day it’s so nice out you want to run and the next is a blizzard that makes you want to stay inside. The days when the birds are out and I see a slip of color and a pop of pussy willows makes me smile and keep on running!
I am completely a social runner! I love having someone with me to run! I rarely wear earbuds … if I have no one to chat with I enjoy listening to the birds, the wind, the rustle of the trees! I find music more of a distraction and messes up my own rhythm of steps. I love to immerse myself in the nature that surrounds me when I run. This year’s race excites me because it is my first trail race so I am expecting to really enjoy being out on in nature no where near town running!
Thanks for the update, Jen. Keep on rockin’ it!
This week we’re catching up with our Running Makeover-ees! First up it’s the lovely Nico on over in Italy…
I first got into running after my first son’s birth. I needed to take care of my body and I needed something flexible and cheap. Running was my first option: you just need one hour and a a pair of shoes and you can do something for yourself (plus being alone for an hour, breathing fresh air, being alone again!!).
I did one half marathon last year but the two highlights of my running career, the moments I will remember forever, are my first 5k (i cried, really) and that time I did 18 km during a long run before the half marathon. I remember I gave a look at my watch and thought for the first time: “Wow, I run, I really do!”.
The training is going great! Having a plan to follow just makes a big difference to me. Having a “personal” plan, just built on my needs, life and level of training, makes a BIG difference. I am starting to understand people who have a personal trainer: it’s a sort of lighthouse in the dark and you can always relate to it as you loose your direction.
I love the plan Julia created for me. It’s challenging, intense but absolutely doable. I love the long reps and the “here and there” jumping, squatting and Storking. The best thing about it is that I feel strong at the end of every workout.
Here in the north of Italy, this is the best season to run. The temperatures are nice and it’s not too hot. Right now I train early in the morning during the week (alarm clock at 5:45!) because I have two children and it’s really difficult to run during the day as my Husband comes home in the evening. During the weekends I can run in the afternoon or late in the morning and I love it.
I have the fortune of living in a beautiful place, on the top of a hill surrounded by woods and I have so much green around me. I can run for an hour without meeting anybody.
I never run with music. I feel like I’m too isolated from the rest of the world. I need to hear what’s happening around me and most of all I need to listen to my breath. When I run I am not able of think of anything but what I am doing. Even if I have problems or thoughts, I’m just able to think about running.
We’re glad your running mojo is returning, Nico! Tune in tomorrow when we’ll catch up with Jen in Canada.
Each month Coach Julia spills the beans on her own training.
I’ll just blurt it out right away: I’m still dealing with my wonky left knee. The good news is that it’s not gotten worse. The bad news is that I still have no idea what is happening with it. Exams show absolutely nothing and the discomfort comes and goes. Some days I feel nothing and think, “oh, it’s healed!” But then it isn’t. I can run for up to 6 miles without it acting up too much but I don’t feel like I can go beyond that. So I don’t.
But I can bike, and I’m biking like crazy. I’m feeling stronger and faster on my rides and that helps me mentally. And I watch people run, which makes me happy even if I can’t.
I’m also swimming a lot, three times a week during my lunch break. We have a new swim coach on my tri team. Besides being an excellent coach he’s really motivating. I feel stronger and more confident in the water. Thanks Andrea!
I’m going to a kick-ass yoga session once a week and can once again do handstands and headstands. I’m stronger with improved endurance.
I try and look at all of what I can do rather than what I can’t and the Cans definitely outdo the Can’ts. My knee has definitely turned me into a combo Zen-Yoda being. I just observe, watch and keep doing the best I can remembering that I am not a professional athlete and I run, bike and swim for my health and well being… so CHILL OUT and have fun. Things will evolve, they always do!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Because I eat a light dinner (it seems to help me sleep better), when I wake up each morning I’m ready for that first meal. I love lingering over a cup of hot coffee and something wonderful to accompany it.
I’m pretty monotonous with my morning meals. I’ll eat the same homemade muesli for weeks in a row without batting an eye. I do have sweet tooth and living in Italy has not helped. The typical breakfast here is a cappuccino with a pastry. I can’t do that anymore; it doesn’t energise me nor keep me full.
But when I’m hankering for something sweet, yet packed with morning nutrition… I eat cheesecake for breakfast.
I’ve rigged a classic cheesecake recipe so it’s packed with protein and yet satisfies any sweet tooth. My son loves this for breakfast… and snack time… and anytime!
For the crust
200g / 7oz cookies (any type; I used gluten-free. See note below*)
90g / 3oz butter
For the cheesecake
3 eggs, separated
250g /9oz ricotta Cheese
250g / 9oz Robiola cheese, or other soft cream cheese like mascarpone or cream cheese.
4 Tbs honey
Sugar-free jam of your choice
* You can use any cookie you like for the crust. I’ve used gluten free chocolate chip cookies here but anything will do. Graham crackers, whole wheat biscuits or even sugar free would work great.
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse a few times to crumble them up. Melt the butter and combine with the crumbled cookies to make the crust.
2. Press the crust mixture it into a lined spring form pan, creating a small ridge on the edge.
3. Set the crust aside while you make your cake batter. There are only four ingredients:
4. Whip the egg whites until they’re stiff then set them aside.
5. Blend together the ricotta cheese with the robiola, egg yolks and honey. The batter should be smooth so this might take a few minutes. Stir in the egg whites until smooth and combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the cake with a spoon.
7. Bake for an hour in the oven at 150°C/300°F until golden brown.
8. Let the cake cool and then spread a thin layer of sugar free jam on top.
I won’t even tell you how long it will last in the fridge… because it won’t!
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