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Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

I have been trying to post a couple of posts including Vital Proteins each month. As an ambassador, I get to try products and authentically post about them.  I’m not being paid, but if Vital Proteins and Collagen has helped me, it will more than likely help someone else too.  So each month I try and post a recipe I’ve been personally using.  Some I hesitate to call “recipes” because they are: add these things and put into a blender.

With the heat, I’ve been enjoying smoothies lately.  I’m not a smoothie person in the winter, but hot weather is another story.  This month I’ve been enjoying the Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon.

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

I have had a serving after each run or workout to recover faster and honestly, I have been!  After my 25k this smoothie was the first thing I’ve had.  I also have found including collagen into my routine has made my hair grow faster.

A Few Benefits of the Beauty Collagen are:

  • Help Improve Hair and Nails: Collagen helps hair and nails grow faster and stronger (I have seen this first hand with my own hair).
  • Skin Health: Helps to improve the moisture and glow into your skin.  This has also helped me personally, and my skin is the best it’s been in months.
  • Post Workout Energy: If I don’t eat after a run, I find myself sluggish, so this provides energy that I need. With Vital Proteins, there are no added sugar or preservatives.

Last month I posted about using the Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon for a recovery smoothie, and I’ve made some minor tweaks to include more carbohydrates and calories. I’ve found the extra calories help me recover faster.  As I posted on Instagram yesterday, one of my primary goals is to stay healthy.

  • 1 Chopped frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries (I use either strawberries or raspberries)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (to add carbohydrates)
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Scoop Beauty Collagen

Mix and Go.  

I’ve found the consistency to be much thicker and I’m able to recover faster.  I have a smoothie after each run or workout (whether it’s 3 miles or 15).  Plus it’s refreshing in the humidity.

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Recovering with Collagen Protein
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Thank you to Vital Proteins for your support! 

Questions for you:
Do you eat after a workout or run?
Are there any recipes or things you would like to see about Vital Proteins or Collagen?

 

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What to Do When You’re Just Not Motivated…

What to Do When You’re Just Not Motivated…

Yesterday on Instagram, I asked what people were interested in on blogging.  I’m not a coach, I’m not a nutritionist, and I’m not a professional or expert.  I’m just a person who likes to run and also blog.

One of the questions I received was “what to do when you don’t feel like running”. As runners, we’ve all been through a time that we “just didn’t feel like running.”  Last April and May, I was burned out.  Between life and not wanting to run, it took me nearly 4 months to be consistently back to training again.  This year, there was a time in early April, I felt the same way.  Instead of pushing through and probably hurting myself, I took a few days off.

What to Do When You're Just Not Motivated...

The world did not end.  Running was there when I was ready.

For most of us, running is not a full-time job or profession and it’s okay to take time off.

After a big race, I don’t always find myself “wanting to run.”  If the race didn’t go well, I might be less motivated.  Even if the race did go well, I might be less motivated because a new goal race is “so far off.”  Throughout the years, I find recovery from any big race is essential.

There is No Shame in Recovery, in Fact, it’s Important:

I can’t stress this enough.  If you attempt to jump back into mileage and workouts after a big race, you’ll get hurt.  I’ve been there before and suffered the consequences.  After Copper Mountain, I bee-bopped around, ran with family and just enjoyed my week.  If I run, yay! If I didn’t…who care.  For instance, with an overnight flight delay in Denver, I wasn’t going to run in NJ at 2:30 pm in July…so I didn’t. It wasn’t worth it to wake up at 3:30 am and run and it wasn’t worth it to me run in 100 degrees. Recovery was the best that day and it became another rest day.

Recovery Includes Mental Recovery:

When you mentally invest so much in a race, it’s important to realize, after that race you need some mental downtime.  Let your brain and mental health recover too!  As someone who took many college classes in mental health, it’s so important to ask yourself: is what I’m doing making me mentally healthy?  The rest time allows you to reset and recharge for the next race.

Set a New Goal:

If your next goal race is months away, find smaller goals or races.  Personally, I prefer racing frequently because it gives me “something to look forward too.” I prefer big, competitive races, for a goal race but I like smaller local races. I can decide race day if I want to run and have something to look forward too.  If you find yourself not motivated to run, look for some smaller races that you can do!

Switch it Up:

This is good advice for burn out or just staying mentally motivated.  A few ways to switch up your running:

  • A new distance
  • New routes or surfaces (trails, go on the roads, heck even zone out to the treadmill if you desire)
  • Run with Friends
  • Run Your “route” backward. Yes, that makes for a whole new run.

Reward Yourself:

Whether that is a physical or mental reward, give yourself something to look forward too.  Someone I personally know puts a dollar in a jar every run they do.  They end up buying new running shoes or gear with the money, which I think is fun!  You don’t have to reward yourself with anything expensive or food related but if it’s something you look forward too, then it counts.

When all else doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to take time off.  We all need running breaks both for mental and physical health.  These days, social media has made it easy to compare yourself to everyone else out there.  It feels like “everyone else is running” and running well when that isn’t the truth.  We all go through the highs and lows of running and it’s important to remember why you did it (for you).

Questions for you:

How do you stay motivated to run?

Do you take time off after a goal race?

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

It’s probably hot where you are, but that is because it’s now summer.  I like the heat, but the days where I want hot chocolate after a run are gone.  Yes, I still do have hot coffee though.  Anyway, lately with the weather, I’ve found myself craving more smoothies.

vital proteins ambassador

This year, one commitment I made to myself was getting protein after each run.  I used to be terrible about eating right after a run.  It wasn’t because of lack of hunger, but because I was usually ten minutes late and floundering around trying to get somewhere on time.  Something I could have fixed many moons ago. This year I’ve been a lot better about getting protein and giving myself a little bit more time.

I wrote a post about having Vital Proteins after reach run.  Lately, I’ve enjoyed two scoops of the beauty collagen strawberry lemon. The Strawberry Lemon Beauty Collagen contains 12 grams of collagen peptides which help aid recovery.

I know it’s nothing new, and many runners have enjoyed post-run or workout smoothies, but it’s more new to me.

After running, your body needs a blend of both carbohydrates and protein.  Getting this within 30 minutes is something I’ve been working on all year, and I’m proud I’ve been much better about it.  I’m not a fancy chef, but this is the “recipe” I use.

Recovery Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk (I prefer almond milk)
1 cup Berries (Recently I’ve been in a blueberry or raspberry mood.  It just depends what is on sale)
2/3 cup ice
2/3 cup ice
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen (Lately I’ve used the beauty collagen, but I’ve used most of the flavors.  A runner-up second favorite is Whey)

Put in blender. Eat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I do find that I recover faster when I make an effort to have protein after a run.  During the colder months, I preferred the bone broth or flavorless (that I would mix into hot cocoa).

I am a Vital Proteins Ambassador but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being paid for this post.

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Questions for you:

Are you good about consuming calories after a run?

What is your smoothie recipe?

 

Techniques to Help Recover Faster:

Techniques to Help Recover Faster:

Last week was my longest half marathon in a while and I’ve been spending a lot more time on recovery.  Plus, as I continue to build mileage, I’ve been focusing more on recovery too.  Most people know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not focusing on recovery.  At this point, I don’t even try too.

Someone once told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  Thinking out loud, now I apply them every time I have an injury scare.  Believe me, I’ve gone to my PT convinced I have a stress fracture, only for him to say…no your leg is just tight.

Here are a Few Techniques to Help Recover Faster:

Stretching:

We all know you should but how many people actually stretch after runs or night.  Probably not many of us.

Graston/ART:

I’m a big fan of ART.  It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster.  I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.  If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that).  They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

Upping my Protein:

I’m not saying I have steak every meal but adding extra protein: including more eggs, greek yogurt, and lean meat has helped muscles recover faster.  I’m not a nutritionist or dietician and don’t claim to be, I’ve just found it’s been working.

Sleep:

This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows the muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.

Rest and Easy Runs:

This week most of my easy runs have been in the 9-10 minute pace which is fine.  There is no point in racing training runs, that is when injuries are caused.  If you struggle with not being able to run slower, I highly recommend leaving the watch at home.

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time.  Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Related Posts:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

Question for you: How do you recover from hard workouts? Any tips?

Tools to Recover from Workouts

Just like the actual running component, recovery tools are just as important.  Without rest and recovery, you won’t be able to run.  For me, March through May are busy racing months, so it’s important to take rest seriously.  On a personal level, I have a few big races in the next month (ranging from 1 mile to 13.1), so recovery is at the front of my mind.

There are plenty of recovery items from compression sleeves to foam rollers that look like Rollerblades….but what works and what doesn’t?

Tools to recover from workouts

I’ve compiled some of my favorite items and tools for recovery.  Like running shoes, what works for me might not work for you. 

CEP Compression sleeves and tights

I’ve been wearing CEP compression sleeves for years.  My calves are my problem area, and I need to stretch them often and promote blood flow as much as possible. Compression sleeves allow more blood to flow to calves and shins.  Therefore, my calves recover faster.  Compression sleeves can benefit anyone for faster recovery.

I frequently wear them during races as well as after a hard run or race.

Throwback to a half in 2013

Throwback to a half in 2013 with my CEP sleeves

I like CEP because they are medical grade compression.  Medical grade compression means unlike many other compression brands, they have more compression.  They aren’t simply an expensive tube sock to make you look cool.

Recently I went crazy with pink

Recently I went crazy with pink

CEP Tights:

I was recently sent a pair of CEP capris to try out, and I like them a lot.  More often than not my quads get sore after a hard workout or race.  The compression capris have the same compression as the sleeves but geared towards the quads and hamstrings.

I’ve worn them while running and I’ve also worn them to recover in.  I don’t wear them as much as the sleeves, but I do wear them after hard workouts and races.

cep compression capris

Be warned: the material for the capris can be see through in the booty.  It’s extremely tight, and the material stretches. Like leggings, you can wear them solo if you make sure they fit appropriately.

Roll Recovery: R8

The Roll Recovery R8 is the most expensive piece of equipment I purchased but, to be honest; it ‘s worth it.  It’s $120, which is the cost of an average pair of shoes.  I haven’t found anything that can get as deep into the muscle.  When I foam roll myself, I never get as deep as needed.  Since the R8 clamps on to your leg, it goes as deep as possible.  It takes the guess work away from you.  While it’s expensive, I do think it’s better than any other foam roller I’ve tried.  I do use my Roll Recovery R8 more than any other foam roller I’ve purchased…(read: I actually use my R8).

Roll8

Epsom Salt Baths and Ice Baths

Admittedly, I’m not always as good at this as I would like. I prefer Epsom salt baths because I do feel relaxed afterwards.  I just feel cold and miserable after ice baths.

Deep Tissue Massages:

Each month I try and get a deep tissue massage.  I wrote an entire post dedicated to how they help me.  Essentially, deep tissue massages release knots in my muscles too deep for me to do personally.  Over time, they build up.  I think that’s what keeps me from having a lot of muscle injuries (knock on wood).

Questions for you:
How do you recover from a hard workout?
Do you like to take baths? 

Training: Cut Back Week

Looking back at my schedule I needed a recovery week.  It worked out well because honestly my body was exhausted from the RNR Half Marathon.  This week I have been eating a slice of humble pie because it takes far more time to recover from half marathons then 5ks. With the exception of todays raceI ran all of my runs easy.  To be honest I missed the track!  It’s funny how my interests and focus with running has changed.

Gone are the days where I slog easy for every run.   

This was essentially one of those easy weeks and I hated it!  An easier week was necessary because the half marathon broke my body down pretty hard.

I rested Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I ran easy.  I didn’t concern myself with time or pace.

I also got a deep tissue massage on Tuesday which really seemed to help my legs.  It was extremely painful because my calves were so tight but it was exactly what I needed.  By Friday I felt a lot better.

On Saturday I worked a local high school race “The Cherokee Challenge”.  Over 3500 kids competed and it was a lot of fun to see some of the kids I help and talk too “in their running zone”.  It was exhausting just watching.

On Sunday (today) I did decide to run the “Run the Vineyards” 10k. The course itself went through both Peach and Grape orchards. It was absolutely beautiful and was similar to a cross country or trail race. There were a few pavement areas but it was mostly around the Vineyards and grass. It was a nice change of terrain. I haven’t raced on cross country or trails since the Run for the Hill of it 5 Mile race.  I ran a 40:55 and placed second female overall!  Honestly that would have been a fast race for me if it was all road but it was almost all cross country.  It definitely motivated me and I’ll have a recap soon.

I don’t have a lot to report since recovery miles are boring. They were easy and uneventful. The weather was hot and humid so I was glad to take my recovery week this week as well.

Next week:

I’ll be hopefully getting back into routine and getting a track workout in. I miss track!

Questions for you:

How long do you take to recover from half marathons?

When I race them more frequently I recover faster…imagine that!

What is your favorite type of run to do (track, tempo, LSD (long slow distance)?

For me it used to be LSD but I think it might be the track right now!

Training: Racing and Recovery

I’ve been logging a lot of speed work and high mileage lately.  It is no wonder why my legs have felt fatigued.  I haven’t had a recovery week in a while. This week I nixed my trip to the track and did easy runs with the exception of a 5k.

I woke up on Monday feeling tired and sore.  My legs felt the last two weeks of training.  I knew immediately it was time to focus on a recovery week.  Plus, we were traveling to see my in-laws so it made sense.

Monday: OFF + Deep Tissue Massage
Tuesday: 10 mile run with my father in law and Tim
Wednesday: 10 mile run with my father in law and Tim
Thursday: 1 hour AMT
Friday: 10 mile run
Saturday: 5k: 20:08
Sunday: 14 miles
 Total:  54

After waking up on Monday with sore legs, I booked a deep tissue massage instead of running.  I was lucky they had same day appointments.  It was a different women than I usually go too but she did a great job. My IT band and calves were sore and I needed someone to loosen those up.  I felt sore most of the week but have the deep tissue massage helped to loosen everything up.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I ran with my husband and father in law.  PA is much hillier than I’m used too but I enjoyed the change of terrain.  We ran easy and enjoyed the sights.  There was nothing too interesting about the runs but great conversation.

PA

PA

I took Thursday off from running as well.  I decided to cross train on the AMT.  I haven’t been as good about cross training as I would like. When I take two days off from running I try to cross train one of the days…however if I take one day off from running, I like to take complete rest instead!

Saturday was a fun race. We have been having a really busy week at work so I spent about 20 hours on my feet between Thursday and Friday.  My legs were definitely fatigued from that too.  I have a huge respect for waitresses!  That being said, we enjoyed racing down in Delaware again. My husband was fast enough to win a year supply of Panera bread!  I’m happy with how the race went for me despite being tired.

me run lululemon sports bra

Thoughts:

I have to say I missed the track but I know this was a better idea for me to take an extra day off! I’ll be back next week when my body is more recovered! While I took an extra day off from running, I have been on my feet a lot. That definitely played a role in running.

Next week:

I’ll have a much easier week so I’ll be able to get back into training. This week made me realize how many outside factors can affect your running. I plan to focus more on sleep and hopefully get back to the track!

Questions for you:

What is the coolest race award you have won?

What outside factors affect your personal running?

 

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