Another Half in the books! I didn't reach my time that I really wanted, but I crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 8 seconds. For me, that's a huge improvement from the first one I ran. I feel like I'm such a slow runner, but I find myself getting stronger with each race. I started out this race out really strong, and started struggling around the eighth mile. And after that I felt like kicking myself for signing up for the Full... All I kept thinking is how am I going to make it 26.2 miles?!
I knew once I reached that point where I was struggling, I was losing focus. At that point, it was just a mental block that I had to overcome. My body was getting tired, but I was more than capable to keep going. I had been training for this, after all. I knew if I regained my focus and kept my goal in mind, I would make it. And I did. I turned up my music, picked a person in front of me and was determined to pass him/her, and then I picked another one, and another one... until I crossed the finish line.
The thing I love most about these races is that everyone is so encouraging, especially towards the end. Everyone is cheering you on the whole way, but when you start reaching the end and the finish line is in sight, you're tired and your body hurts, that's when you need the most encouragement. I saw people slowing down and others running up and grabbing their hands to help them get to the finish. It's really inspiring. Everyone is there to be their best, not to prove others that they are better.
Having my family run the race with me was also encouraging. I don't feel like too many people can say that running a half marathon is a family affair! We all ran at our own pace, but seeing each other on the course is always fun! And having your boyfriend and sister out on the course cheering you on with posters helped give me a little boost too!!
Never in a million years did I think I would be running these races. Or running at all. Being a severe chronic asthmatic isn't easy, and it makes everything you do a little harder. I've come such a long way with it over the years, and I'm forever grateful. During the "bad times" of the year for me, I sometimes couldn't walk far without having an issue, much less try to run... And here I am training to run a full marathon. It gives me a little extra sense of pride every time I cross the finish line.
Kombucha - Maybe this sounds a little weird, maybe you've never heard of it, or maybe you've been skeptical to try it. I've been doing a little research on it, and I now incorporate this into my diet on a weekly basis. It's packed with so many nutritional and health benefits and I encourage everyone to give it a try!
Kombucha is made from green or black tea that has been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria. It is used for a variety of health benefits because it is rich in antioxidants, probiotics, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins. It is sometimes called a "magic elixir" because of all its health benefits. So here is short list of some of those benefits and how they can help you!
1. Detoxification - I get a lot of questions about nutrition, and I am frequently asked about detox products/diets, and honestly, if you just eat healthy and drink plenty of water, your body is programmed to do that on it's own! No need for those fad products!! However, there are certain nutrients that help with detoxing your liver - Kombucha helps with this because it's packed with the nutrition (glucaric acid) your body needs to help with "detoxing." Just think of it as promoting healthy liver function! There has been research studies providing evidence of cancer prevention as well due to the detoxing properties. I could go into all the science details of this, but I'll save you...
2. Gut health - Kombucha is fermented by good bacteria - so it helps keep your gut flora healthy and balanced - which in turn makes for healthy digestion!
3. Joint care - This is due to the glucosamines found in the drink. You can buy glucosamines on the shelf in a drug store - Bi-Flex, for example - to help with arthritis and joint pain. As I always say - It's much better to get your nutrition from nutrient dense foods as opposed to supplements. Again, I can get into all the fun, biochemical details of this process, but I won't! But if you are suffering from joint pain - or even trying to prevent joint pain, give kombucha a try!
4. Immunity - Kombucha is rich in antioxidants, so it helps build and protect your immune system and helps boost energy levels!
Since kombucha is fermented, it's got a little fizz to it - it's a much better option than drinking a soda when you want that fizziness! It's low in calories and the calories that are in the beverage do come from sugars, hence, the fermentation process. A serving, about 8 oz. depending on the brand you buy, ranges between 30 and 50 calories. Kombucha can be found locally made and at most grocery stores. There are several different brands and flavors. I try to pick up a new flavor and brand every time I buy it, but I haven't picked a favorite yet!
One of the reasons I enjoy fall is because I love pumpkin! It has so many health benefits and is packed with nutrients, so while everything pumpkin is out right now, I thought I'd share a few of those facts!
And as good as a Pumpkin Spice Latte is from Starbucks... that doesn't count here! However, I do make my own - far fewer calories, sugar, and fat!
1. Pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A (great for your eyes), Vitamin C (not only important for you immune system, but helps with collagen production - keeps you looking young!), fiber, magnesium, carotids, and antioxidants
2. It's a good anti-inflammatory food
3. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack - packed with protein and plant-based fatty acids - so it helps regulate cholesterol, promotes healthy skin, protects against arthritis, and great for brain function!
4. Pumpkin is also high in potassium and zinc - great protection against heart disease and high blood pressure
5. Pumpkin contains L-Tryptophan, which is an amino acid which promotes feelings of well being and fight depression
Enjoy the "Pumpkin Spice Everything" while it's in season - just without added sugars!
Found this recipe and had to try it! It was so good and easy to make, which is a must for me! I love trying new foods, but never really thought about anything like this before, so I figured it was worth a try and I'm happy to say I'll be making it again! Not to mention that it didn't take long and the clean up was easy!
1 cup meduim grain rice (I used brown rice)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 pound washed and trimmed green beans
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used liquid aminos)
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
Cook rice; When rice is about 15 minutes from done, heat large skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté green onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Stir in ground turkey and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked. Crumble meat as much as possible.
Stir in chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Add green beans and soy sauce, and stir to coat. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.