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Skin Benefits from Collagen

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Last week, I talked about how Vital Proteins has helped with my personal recovery and running.  This week I thought I would talk about other benefits such as skin!

me vital proteins

I’ve mentioned in many random posts, but my skin has never been flawless.  I wasn’t blessed with those genes.  I see a dermatologist frequently.  Through high school and college, my skin went through cycles of being worse than a preteen going through puberty.

After using Vital Proteins for nearly 6 months, I’ve found it to help with my skin, hair, and nails.

Keep in mind I’m not a doctor, and this is my personalized experience.  This isn’t something to help solve skin issues, but hopefully, you’ll notice benefits for your skin as well.

How do Vital Proteins Help Skin?

Vital Proteins are a beauty-specific product to support the skin’s moisture, improve elasticity, tone, and vibrancy.

What Even makes Skin Healthy?

Not breaking out?

Skin is a lot harder to describe as “healthy.”  There isn’t a magic food that makes skin healthier.  You can’t just eat more, and you have healthy skin. There isn’t a magical pill or potion.  Plus everyone has different skin.  There are also plenty of uncontrollable factors such as genetics and age.

As I mentioned last week, collagen is a protein in the body’s connective tissues.  As we age, our natural collagen production decrease.  This is how wrinkles appear, among many fine lines.

What are some Key Vitamins for Healthier Skin?

Collagen: Since this post is primarily about collagen, we should start there right?  Collagen is one of the most significant factors in keeping your skin healthy.  Before taking collagen, I had no idea how important and beneficial it was.

Your body naturally produces collagen but Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are a healthy natural source of collagen.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants seems like a “power” nutrition word. Merely saying antioxidant makes you sound healthier but what is it? An antioxidant means it can bind to electrons and neutralize free radicals in the body.

Antioxidants are found in many foods but most commonly in both fruits and vegetables.  A few sources of antioxidants include berries, grapes, dark chocolate, and mushrooms.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C supports the production of collagen.  You can find Vitamin C in most citrus fruits like oranges, pineapple, and my favorite: mango.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect too. A few foods high in Vitamin E are avocado, spinach, and seeds such as sunflowers seeds or almonds.

Right now, the Vital Proteins product I like the most for my skin, hair, and nails is the Beauty Greens.

Personally, I like the “greenness” of the drink itself.  I like to add 2 scoops into a glass of milk with ice.  Boring but it tastes good to me.  It’s hard to make a green smoothie look good but I can assure you it is.

Some of the benefits I’ve noticed with my skin are:

  • Promoting collagen formation, affecting hair, skin, and nails
  • Supporting a healthy glow
  • Enhancing skin clarity and smoothness
  • Increasing the body’s natural moisture level, improving hair, skin, and nails
  • Helping to maintain firm skin

Since beginning to take Vital Proteins about 6 months ago, I’ve seen small changes in my skin.  My skin is a lot smoother.  It does not take the place of going to the dermatologist every few months, but I have had success with it.  While I am an ambassador, I have noticed an improvement beforehand.  My skin is the most randient it’s been since high school!

Windy day down the shore.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

 

Other Vital Protein and Collagen Posts:

Recovering with Vital Proteins and Collagen

Questions for you:

How do you take care of your skin?

Do you take Collagen or Vital Proteins?  Have you noticed a difference?

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Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

As part of my “spring and summer” NJ bucket list, I want to go to more local parks.  Last year we went to a lot of northeast parks, but we’ve been feeling the shore this year!  I’ve already been to Turkey Swamp in Freehold as well as Cattus Island in Toms River.

Anyway, one park I’ve wanted to go to was Hartshorne Park in the Atlantic Highlands.  It’s a little bit of a treck (about 80 minutes), but one random weekday last week, we decided to drive up there.

Hartshorne Park is a lot hillier than anticipated.  I thought, oh it’s along the shore it will probably be flat.  That was not the case and my Garmin said I climbed about 80 flights of stairs.  Not that it matters, but don’t go in expecting a flat shore park.  Hartshorne is 794-acre site and overlooks the Navesink River.  After some research, I came to find out it’s one of the highest elevations along the Atlantic Coast.   If you are looking for a great park for walking, hiking, and even mountain biking (we saw many bikers), this park is for you!  No, the park is not paying me to tell you that, parks are free fun.

One thing drew my husband, and I here was the history of the park:

During World War II, batteries for artillery were built in Hartshorne Park to modernize coastal defense.  You can view several of the bunkers in the park.

With the rise of Airpower (go Air Force).  Military bunkers were not needed as much. During the Cold, War Hartshorne served as a missile defense site and command center.  It was equipped with radar, computers and electronic plotting devices.  All of these structures have been removed, but the bunkers are still in place.

The Hartshorne Park site is now listed officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Anyway-

As I mentioned, I hadn’t done a lot of research about the hiking in the park.  If I had, I would have known all of the historic sites are in the parking lot, and the park is much hillier than anticipated.  We got there around noon, and it took us just about 4 hours to hike 8 miles.  We stopped, we took photos, we looked at the history.  It was a beautiful park with many different views from the woods and deer, to the shore, as well as the military site.

We ended up hiking about 8 miles around the trails and then finished up by viewing the military site.

I didn’t expect so much green, but we did about 6 miles of hiking through that.  Before we came, I expected it almost to be on the water since that is what people took photos of!

Hartshorne park

A very large treeHartshorne park

Another large treeHartshorne park

Most of my photos are from the military site which is within 200 yards of the parking lot.

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

A Map of the site

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

The Bunker

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Now onto the hiking portion.  With the hiking, it goes deep into the pines as well as near the water.  There are so many different views!

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

In all, it was a beautiful hike in the forest as well as along the water.  I’m glad we finally made it up there!

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold

Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What was the last historical place you went?

Do you plan to go to the beach this summer?

Cape May 10k (41:07)

Cape May 10k (41:07)

A 41:07 is a great 10k time, but it’s not a great 10k time for me.  In fact, I ran a 38:13 10k during the April Fools Half Marathon and ran almost 20 seconds per faster in the Broad Street 10 miler last weekend.  Not great races come with the territory and not every race is going to be “the best ever”.  I wouldn’t use the term bad because I started and finished injury free. A race I left inured, I would call bad.

Anyway, my husband and I left the house around 5:30 am on Saturday.  When we left, it was a torrential downpour.  The roads were flooded, and it looked like it would be one of the most challenging races ever.

Last year, a storm had passed through during the race, and it was so unseasonable the weather channel was down filming Cape May.  I knew there was very little that would cancel the race.

As we were driving down, the weather cleared up.  It was extremely windy along the shore but at least not raining.

We got to the race around 7, signed up and went on a short warmup.  I saw a few people I knew got to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The 5k and 10k went off together.  During the first mile, I knew I didn’t feel good.

It wasn’t the feeling where things would get better.  I didn’t feel good, and I knew I wouldn’t during the entire race. I was more tired and sore then I had been all week.  I knew the next few miles were not going to be fun and spoiler: they weren’t!

I hit the first mile in 6:18 but I knew we had a tailwind.  I didn’t know much about the course, but since it went along the shore, I assumed it would be windy. I ran the second mile alone and it was into the headwind.  I heard my watch beep and I looked down to a 6:46.  At that point, I knew there was no point in stressing about time, and I just needed to get through the race.

We ran into a straight headwind for the third mile.  I was running alone and into 35 mph headwind.  It felt magnified since we were right along the water.  I hit mile 3 in 6:58.  It was slower than most, if not all, of my half marathon miles in 2018.

After reaching the halfway point, I told myself “just a 5k left”.  We turned around mile 4 and headed back towards the start.  This time we had a tailwind for a mile, and I ran a 6:36.  I should tell you I felt magically better, but I felt no different than when I ran the first half of the race.

Around mile 5, the bottom of my feet started to burn.  It is a sensation I haven’t had in a very long time and typically happens with trainers, not flats.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I told myself, if it gets worse you will stop and NGAF that you “had a mile to go”.

The final mile went along the boardwalk.  My feet hurt, but they weren’t getting worse.   Around mile 5.5, you could see the finish, and I just wanted to be done.  My friend and local, Grace, passed me around 5.5 like I was standing still.  It was the only person I ran “with” for the last 5 miles.

I crossed the finish in 41:07.  On a “bad day,” I had wanted to run around 40 minutes, but I didn’t meet that goal.  The minute I stopped, my feet hurt.

A lot.

It wasn’t a bone or tendon hurt, but the bottom of my feet just burned.  I had to sit down for a second.  I quickly took off my shoes only to realize I never put on my racing flats.  I had worn a pair of trainers that had 500 miles on them.  I remember putting them in the donation pile at home, but I had taken them out to “wear casually”.  No wonder my feet hurt.  I had essentially run with no cushion on the pavement for 6.2 miles.

Ultimately from wearing the wrong shoes, I lost both of my middle toenails.  I’m embarrassed it happened, but oh well.  With or without my racing shoes, it wasn’t my day.  I wasn’t feeling great and it was also windy. I’m not happy with my time, but I’m happy I’m healthy.  Not every race will be your best. I’m not devastated because it’s unhealthy to think you’ll feel perfect every day.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite racing shoe?

For 10ks I like the Saucony Type A.

Do you like the 10k?  What are some 10k tips you have?

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Last week was a blur.  I actually had a hard time remembering what I even ran last week!  Some weeks I’m on top of writing a training log, other weeks I’m not.  Thank goodness for looking back at Instagram I guess.

me running

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: 8-mile hike at Hartshorne Park
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60 minutes easy
Saturday: Cape May 10k (41:07)
Sunday: 13 mile easy run

All of my easy runs were just that, easy.  To be honest, I felt good in the beginning of the week and then by Friday I felt like Broad Street hit me!  There wasn’t enough time to do any workouts between Broad Street and the Cape May 10k, so I didn’t.

Cape May 10k: 41:07

I’ll have a full recap of the race, but it wasn’t my day.  My legs were tired, it was windy, and to add to my list of issues, I accidentally ran in old trainers.  Around mile 5, my feet started burning.  Not in a broken bone way, but in a “something is weird way”.  After the race, I realized I never changed into my racing shoes and was wearing old trainers.  These were trainers I retired from running altogether but decided they could still be ok for walking around.  No wonder my feet hurt, I was basically running a 10k on concrete.

I ran the April Fools half marathon 10k split as well as Broad Street in low 38, so racing a 10k in 41 isn’t a great time for me right now.  A 41 minute 10k is fantastic for many people, but it’s not awesome for me right now. Not a big deal, and I still had a lot of fun down the shore.  Do bad races stink? Of course, we all do but I’m already over it.

On Sunday, I had planned to run about 10 but literally ran into a few friends during my run.  I ended up running about 5 miles with them, which caused me to be out longer than I anticipated.  I’m glad I decided to run with my friends, and I can’t remember the last time I ran 13 miles straight through at a relaxed, comfortable pace.  It was nice to change it up.

Thoughts from the Week:

In all, I had a good week. The 10k didn’t go as I had hoped (My “C” goal was to break 40), but running is funny like that.  You’ll never feel good at every race.  If you do, you are probably going to test positive for something…

My plan for the remainder of May is just to have fun.  I have a lot going on the next few weeks, and I’ll still run, but I’m not going crazy.  My races might slower than the Spring, but it’s okay.

Posts from the Week:

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Exploring Cattus Island Park in Toms River

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Questions for you:

Do you have any 10k wisdom?

How was your week of training?

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

This year, Broad Street wasn’t about my running my fastest.  After PRing in the half marathon this February, I haven’t trained as consistently over the past few months.  Life has gotten away from me, and small things have popped up here and there.  I am still in shape, but am I in PRing shape?  No.  That’s okay, and you can’t be in peak performance all of the time.

Anyway, this year Broad Street was about my finishing happy.  I DNSed last year because I was burned out. I could have run, but I would have been miserable. I knew I had made the right decision when I spectated the end and had no sadness at all.

This year I was determined to finish healthy, happy, and with a smile.

I did all of that and even had a consistent and solid race.

Each year, both my dad and my father in law come up for Broad Street.  Both are avid runners, and my dad has been running far longer than I have.  Everything up to race day went without a hitch.  My dad got my bib at the Convention center.  We got to the stadiums around 6 and made it to the start line around 7.

broad street 10 miler

I was seeded bib F143.  I tried to use the “seeded bathrooms”, but the volunteer told me my bib was too high (I.E., I was too slow).  There wasn’t really a point for me to be seeded I guess. I started exactly where I did when I ran every other year in the red coral.

I didn’t have time to wait again to use the bathroom, and when you are surrounded by 40,000 other people, there isn’t anywhere to go.  I rarely start any race having to use the bathroom, but I didn’t have a choice. I respect that there were faster athletes, but it didn’t make it easier to start a race needing to use the bathroom.

The race started right at 8 am, and we were off.  I told myself 1,000 times to run my race.  Time didn’t matter, but finishing happy and strong did.  I wasn’t sure what I was capable of.  I thought faster than the 1:05s I ran a few years ago but slower than my PR of 1:01.59.

My plan was just run my own race. I saw many people I knew storm by me, but I was in my own world.  The first mile of Broad Street always gets out fast anyway.  I ran a 6:15 and I thought, I think that’s half marathon PR pace but I would not be able to sustain that.

I saw a couple of friends during the second mile that zoomed by me. I thought, dang I’ve run fast in races with them before, and they are just floating by.  No big deal though. The next few miles went without much excitement.  I ran a 6:15, 6:16, 6:15.

By the time I knew it, we were doing the one turn in the entire race, around City Hall.  That is when I saw a few people in front, I knew I was going to reel in.  The humidity had started to get to me. It was forecasted to rain during Broad Street but never did.  The weather had spiked over the week from 40 to 60 and humid.  I wasn’t as prepared for it.  It was by no means bad weather, but was it wasn’t whether we were accustomed too!

Around city hall, I saw my good friend and coworker (thanks TJ) which motivated me.  The small turn in the race makes mile 5 fly by.  I think it breaks up the course well and by the time you know it, you’re over halfway done.  I ran mile 5 in 6:19.

During the next few miles, I focused on reeling people in.  It gave me the motivation to keep plugging along. I hit mile 6 in 6:10 and mile 7 in 6:11. I didn’t purposely run faster, I just did.

The heat and humidity hit me during the next few miles.  I was still enjoying myself, high fiving kids, etc. but I did not feel “on top of the world”.  My stomach was in knots because of the heat.  I always take Gatorade/electrolyte aid on course for anything more than a 10k.  I had been taking the on-course aid.

The last three miles, I traded back and forth with local runner Bryan.  I recognized him from other races, and we later chatted afterward. Around mile 7, I told myself, my goal was to run under 63.  Not a race PR but still a strong race for me.  I just needed to hold on.

broad street 10 miler

The last 3 miles were a bit of a blur.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me.  My legs never felt great, or loose during the race but they didn’t feel awful either.  Finally, we hit the Navy Yard at 9.75, and I began smiling.  I knew I was almost home and almost done.

broad street 10 miler

I powered to the finish and actually passed someone!  (In case you don’t know, I have the world’s worst kick).  I crossed in 1:02.51 and 35th female overall.  Apparently, I was beaming after the race and don’t even remember this.

broad street 10 miler

Thoughts:

I’m happy with how Broad Street went. It wasn’t my fastest or my slowest, but I was able to run a strong and consistent race.  I smiled the entire way.  It was nice to see so many friends along the course as well as after.  Even in a 40,000 person race you always see someone! Both my father and father in law had great races as well.

Questions for you:

What is the biggest race you’ve run?

Have you ever raced a 10 miler?

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Recovering with Collagen Protein

In February, I wrote a post about Vital Proteins and my experience with them.  At the time, I was not an ambassador.  Vital Proteins sent me samples to try, and I liked them so much I continued to buy them.

As I mentioned on Instagram on Friday, I was invited to become a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for months now, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t.  Usually, I have one serving twice a day.  Before becoming an ambassador, I purchased the dark chocolate and blackberry peptides which is my current favorite!

As part of my partnership with Vital Proteins, I’ll write a couple of posts per month about different benefits or recipes I’m using. I’m not being paid to do so, but I do receive products.  Thinking out loud, since I use the products already, it’s a good fit for me.

So What is Collagen? 

Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue in the body. Since it’s a structure protein, it’s an essential component of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.  It was best explained to me as the glue that holds everything together.  Our bodies already produce collagen from amino acids, but it is beneficial to supplement.

What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?

Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein.  I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout.

How Can Collagen Help Running Performance? 

Since this is a “running focused” blog, the first post will focus on running and working out. New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain that is often associated with high impact exercise.

Long-term strenuous exercise like running leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this.  It’s not an overnight occurrence and the degradation of collagen is a slow process.  It usually takes years.  Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”.  That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.

Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:

Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged.  I personally do feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.

Promoting Joint Health:

In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.”  This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees.  Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.

How does Collagen Help Joints?
  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues

Throughout the upcoming months, I’ll be sharing more about my experience with collagen I’ve personally had including benefits in my skin, nails, and hair.  I’ll also share recipes I have been using and my favorite products.  If you have questions feel free to ask!  I am so excited to be an ambassador for Vital Proteins because I stand behind each of their products and company. 

Questions for you:

Do you take any supplements?

Have you ever tried a collagen supplement?

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Last weeks of training went well.  My goal was to run Broad Street, something I didn’t do last year.  I knew I wasn’t in the same shape as when I PRed at the Phoenix half and honestly that is okay.

Monday: 6-mile hike at Cattus Island Park
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes run
Wednesday: 12X400s 400 recovery average 87 seconds
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Broad Street 10 miler 1:02.51

 

Wednesday: 12x400s average 87 seconds

My workout went well.  I do all of my workouts on the road right now because of the limited Availablity of local tracks.  I ran 400 and jogged 400.  I felt good during the entire workout and was pleasantly surprised with how fast I was able to run.

Broad Street 10 miler (1:02.51)

I’ve run faster Broad Streets and I’ve run slower.  I kept a very even pace the entire time.  All of my miles were between 6:10-6:19.  I smiled, I side fived kids, and truly enjoyed myself.  That was not something I could do last year and I’m proud of how I ran the race.  I’ll have a full recap later in the week.  Both my dad and father in law had great races as well and it’s been great having my entire family here.

Other then that, it was a good week.  While I’m not in the same shape as I was when I ran the Phoenix half marathon, I am in good shape.  I’m looking forward to just running shorter races from 5ks to 10 miles until the fall.

Posts of the Week:

April Training

Broad Street Last Minute Tips (I guess too late now LOL?)

Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a 10-mile race?

What is your ideal running temperature?

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