Weekly Workout Recap 3/27-4/2

This semester is really taking its toll on me right now. Last week I had two tests; this week I have another test and a project due, on top of all my normal assignments. When prioritizing my time, unfortunately workouts didn’t make the cut last week.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Rest

Wednesday-Jazzercise

Thursday-Running at Girls on the Run

I probably ran/walked around 1.5 miles with the girls at practice.

Friday-Rest

I had to sub out my class so I could take an organic chemistry exam.

Saturday-Rest

Sunday-Jazzercise

A Sunday instructor needed to swap classes so I traded my two Saturday classes for her one Sunday class. It was nice not to put together a new strength set (time crunch again) but I did miss Strength45.

School is my main priority right now but I know I need to take care of myself too. I’m hoping I can find a better balance this week.

Nutrition Advice You Can Trust

You see it all the time of Facebook. Someone asks for nutrition advice and gets all of kinds of comments: “try this type of protein shake” “do Whole30” “cut out carbs”…the list goes on and on and on. Or “I’m a health coach. PM me to lose weight.” Worse still, I see fitness instructors on a Facebook group ask what they should tell their customers about nutrition and diet. The only answer should be nothing. Unfortunately the comments look similar to above: “increase protein” “cut out all sugar”. I actually saw someone recommend Pinterest as a source of nutrition information.

Ugh it drives me crazy! I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars to get the credentials to give reliable, scientific dietary advice and meanwhile, every other person on Facebook thinks they’re a nutrition expert. Instead of going on a rant, let’s discuss the difference and reliability of those providing nutrition advice; then next time you read advice from some random person on the internet you can check to see if they have any business giving advice.

Registered Dietitian-Considered the gold standard of nutrition experts. RD is a regulated credential meaning the person has completed a standardized list of coursework including science, advanced nutrition, and food service courses, completed an internship, and passed a national exam. Registered dietitians are also required to complete continuing education credits. Of course, not all RD’s are equal but if you see those two letters after someone’s name, generally speaking, you can trust they know what they’re talking about.

Nutritionist-Nutritionist is a mixed bag term. It’s not regulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Sometimes RD’s use the title nutritionist and sometimes nutritionists have advanced degrees in nutrition. These would be reliable sources of information. Unfortunately in other instances, someone took an hour-long webinar on nutrition, fancies themselves a nutrition expert, and starts a website with their  “advice from a nutritionist”. Always, always check credentials.

Health/Wellness Coach-I’ll be honest, I don’t know very much about health and/or wellness coaches. I spent some time doing some research and came across multiple health/wellness coaching blogs and services and a few places to get certified but very little information about what training and education coaches actually receive. It seems most certifications are attainable within a year, nowhere near the education RD’s receive, and some certifications focus more on marketing than nutrition. Similar to nutritionists, some health/wellness coaches seem more reputable than others (ACE certification versus a BeachBody coach). My overall impression is that a health/wellness coach certification could be a valuable certification for an RD or personal trainer to help clients make behavior changes but without any other credentials, health/wellness coaches should only provide behavior advice, not specific nutrition or exercise advice. Unfortunately, this is not what happens with most coaches I’ve seen on social media.

Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor-This can quickly turn into a grey area. The scope of practice for a personal trainer or fitness instructor is very limited when it comes to nutrition. We are taught basic nutrition information in our certification but cannot recommend specific diets nor give specific nutrition advice to clients beyond the National Guidelines. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for fitness professionals to act outside their scope of practice. Some trainers do have additional nutrition certifications, such as a fitness nutrition specialist certification through their certifying agency or Precision Nutrition. I’m not entirely sure what having these certifications entitles the trainer or instructor to do but it does expand their scope of practice. If your personal trainer or fitness instructor tries to give you nutrition advice, ask what certifications they hold and what their course of study involved.

Health living blogs, people you know, etc.-By all means, be inspired by others! Read tips on creating healthier habits, share recipes, support each other. Just remember that every body is different and what worked for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Also remember that not everything you read online is true; take everything with a grain of salt and if something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not.

Be smart when taking nutrition advice. Make sure you’re getting it from a reliable source. Again, I cannot stress the importance enough of checking credentials and then doing a little research of your own to see if those credentials actually mean anything.

Weekly Workout Recap 3/20-3/26

Hi guys,

Here’s another super quick post for you, again mostly because I hate missing my recaps. My brain is super fried though so apologies if nothing I write makes sense.

Monday 3/20-Rest

Tuesday 3/21-Jazzercise

I took a last minute sub request. It’s always fun to teach at a different time.

Wednesday 3/22-Jazzercise

This was a last-minute set, meaning it had lots of old favorites. It ended up being a blast with lots of shimmies and hip walks, not to mention a couple new ones.

Thursday 3/23-Rest

Friday 3/24-Jazzercise

Saturday 3/25-Rest

The Sunday instructor needed to switch classes so I took Saturday as an extra rest day. I did take Bailey for a walk though when my head felt like it was going to explode from homework.

Sunday 3/26-Jazzercise & Strength45

We used the ball again for Strength45 and it was tough.

Over the next two weeks, I have three tests and a project due. I’m not sure how much I’ll be on here (okay I do know-not very much), so if I don’t talk to you for awhile, hope everyone has a great week!

 

What to Do With Old Race Bibs

As runners, we tend to accumulate a lot of stuff, especially from races. If you’re sentimental like me, those T-shirts, medals, and bibs hold special meaning. Once you’ve been racing for awhile though, they tend to pile up.

So what do you do if you don’t want to throw them in the trash or stick them in a box somewhere never to see the light of day again?

When I first started running, I shared a house with two roommates. My room was my sanctuary and I covered the wood-paneled walls with bibs.

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I loved it. Looking at that corner made me smile. When I moved in with Ryan, though, I wanted a more mature way to display my bibs than wallpapering our house. Plus my first half marathon was coming up and I needed a way to show off my medals. Enter a bib/medal display.

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This worked great until I literally could not fit one more bib on it. What to do now? I thought about ordering another bib holder but I hated that except for the top one, the bibs were hidden. So I did what any girl does when she needs advice-I searched Pinterest. And I found this great idea from Meals and Miles-make a race book! Not only would it display my bibs but it would also keep my race pictures and times in one place.

I made my first book in 2014 and haven’t looked back. I just got my 2016 book done last week. It took my bib holder from this

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to this

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Side note-I love how many medals I’ve earned in three years. I’m all about that bling!

As for the book, each spread is dedicated to a race with the date, my time, and pictures on one side and the bib on the other.

And all the races on the inside cover. I love how it keeps my racing organized.

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This book makes number four and hopefully there will be many more in future years. I love looking back at all the experiences I’ve had.

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What do you do with race bibs? 

A Day in the Life

“Day in the Life of” posts are some of my very favorites on other blogs so I thought I would give you a peek into a day of my life. This day was a non-school day but I think I’ll do another post of a day where I have school later.

4:20am-Wake up and get ready to workout. I usually don’t get up this early but wanted to attend an early morning class at the gym this day.

5-6am-Group Power. I love starting the day with a good workout.

6-7amBreakfast and get ready for work.

7:30am-2:30pm-Nanny. Luckily I work for a great family and watch a great kiddo, so I’m able to do homework while I’m working. Today I needed to watch a physiology lecture and start studying for an exam later in the week. I also ran through my new Jazzercise set while I was there. Don’t worry, we played plenty of Paw Patrol too.

2:30-3:15pm-Review Girls on the Run lesson at Starbucks. I had a little bit of time between nannying and practice but not enough to go home. I stopped for a coffee and reviewed the lesson I’d be teaching that afternoon.

3:25-5:15pm-Girls on the Run. This was our very first practice. We have a new coach and several new girls this year. At first we were worried we wouldn’t have enough girls for a team but ended up with 16! Practice went well and I think it’s going to be a great season.

5:15-6pm-Online tutorial. My physiology class offers online tutoring sessions a couple times a week and if we attend a certain number, we get bonus points at the end of the semester. This one started at 5 but I jumped on as soon as I could.

6-7:15pm-Online exam review. After the tutorial, there was an exam review. This class is notoriously hard and the tests are brutal; I need all the help I can get.

7:15-8pm-Eat dinner. Ryan gets home and we have dinner together. I cook most nights but on this night we had leftovers because I knew I’d be doing the online review.

8-9:30pmPrepare for tomorrow (iPod charged and ready for class, notebooks in backpack, planner updated), get ready for bed, and watch Netflix. Ryan and I unwind at night by watching Netflix. Right now we’re watching Shameless and Malcolm in the Middle, depending if we want an hour or half hour show. Then I usually watch an episode of Pretty Little Liars (for the second time) or Parks and Rec (for the umpteenth time) by myself.

9:30pm-Lights out. Early bedtime for me!

This was a fairly typical day for me, in terms of what I did and needed to get done. The only unusual thing was the 5am workout class. That’s not a typical part of my routine. I usually fit in my workout later but this day didn’t allow me any other time.

So there you have a day of my life! It’s busy and crazy but I know it will all be worth it.

Weekly Workout Recap 3/13-3/19

Sigh, back to school this week. Although spring break wasn’t much of a break, more of a “do homework, all day everyday” kind of week.

Monday 3/13Rest

My quads and glutes were surprisingly sore from hiking the day before.

Tuesday 3/14-Rest

Wednesday 3/15-Jazzercise

My set was almost the exact same as last week with just a few swaps. I threw in some of my favorite oldies and enjoyed teaching them with my new routines.

Thursday 3/16-Jazzercise

During the 35 Day Challenge, I remembered how much I enjoy just taking a Jazzercise class and decided that was a good workout for Thursday. The instructor taught a set entirely of routines off the new DVD; I was impressed.

Friday 3/17-Jazzercise

When you’re an adult, St. Patrick’s Day just makes you realize how little green you own. I lucked out by finding one green workout top (truthfully it was more yellow than green) at the bottom of my drawer.

Saturday 3/18-Jazzercise & Strength45

Since my Strength class is smaller since the Challenge is over, we were able to use stability balls again. I felt shaky by the end, so it must have been effective.

Sunday 3/19-Rest

Just a walk with Bailey to enjoy the sunshine and 80 degree weather.

A pretty low-key week of workouts but with everything going on, I’ll take all the rest I can get.

Hiking Horsetooth

In all my years in Northern Colorado, I’ve never hiked Horsetooth Rock. Since it’s the iconic Fort Collins hike, it seemed like it was time to.

My friend Faire and I had been talking about how we haven’t been able to do as much hiking as we would like because of school, so we decided to kickoff spring break with a hike.

We got to the trailhead at the upper lot around 9. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we realized we were in for a windy hike! We made a pact that we would say something if we were miserable and not having fun before starting off.

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As we started our way up the trail, the wind was strong but not terrible. The trail is easy to follow and I wouldn’t say it’s a difficult hike. While some areas are fairly steep, it’s not technical at all. Other than the wind, it was a great day to be outside. Plus, we think the wind kept some people off the trail because, despite being the most popular hiking site in Fort Collins, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

The views from the top were incredible.

I tried to capture how windy it was by the trees but that didn’t work very well. So we decided to try and show it with Faire’s hair.

Apparently people climb the rock in the last picture but I said “no way ever” and Faire decided not with the wind. The wind was blowing so hard at the time that we had trouble standing. After a couple of quick pictures, we made our way back down. We passed several more people this time so I’m glad we were early enough to avoid the crowds.

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We ended our morning with coffee from the best coffee shop in NoCo. I couldn’t ask for a better way to start spring break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Dam 5k

The fifth and final race in the RunDenver series. And the one with the best name!

I was originally supposed to do the half marathon but as stress took over my life, I knew I needed to let something go. While I was disappointed not to line up with the half marathoners, I know it was the right choice and I ended up having a great 5k.

The race took place on the road at Cherry Creek Dam; I’ve ran here a couple times before and love it because it’s flat and has gorgeous views. The day was sunny but with chilly winds.

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My dad drove but just my mom and I did the run. My dad is resting his knee, which is smart, but I missed watching for him at the turnaround.

I hadn’t been running lately and didn’t know what to expect from myself. However, I did have a goal: I wanted to beat my previous time at this race. Three years ago we did this same race. I had just started running more and set a PR of 28:03. I had no idea where that came from and it took me two and a half years to beat it. I didn’t know if I was physically capable of a sub-28 but I wanted to try. I figured I’d start with an 8:50 or so pace and if it got to the point that I couldn’t maintain it, oh well, I’d walk. But I at least wanted to try.

The half marathoners started first and five minutes later, the 5k runners were off. Again, like all of the races in this series, the start line was mess. Please, RunDenver, add some kind of sign or announcement to help people know where to line up. The road we ran on wasn’t very wide and there were walkers at the front of the pack. It’s dangerous to everyone.

Anyway, after I dodged several walkers and people lined up three across, I settled in nicely into my groove. I focused on the water in reservoir reflecting the sunlight and thought about how different this race was from the first race in the series back in December. I thought about how even though I’m still sad about the baby we lost, at least my body is strong and healthy now. These thoughts propelled me to the turnaround. And then…

WIND. So much wind. Once I started around the turnaround, it felt like running into a brick wall. I immediately wanted to stop and walk. Then I reminded myself I’ve been through harder things; compared to that, this was nothing. So I kept pushing and fighting the urge to walk.

When the finish line was close, I looked at my watch and realized I was definitely going to meet my goal and finish sub-28. That gave me an extra burst of energy and I sprinted to the finish line. My dad barely saw me at the end because he wasn’t expecting me so soon.

We watched my mom finish and then headed to the table with the main attraction: medals! My mom and I received a medal for completing three events in the series and jacket for doing all 5. The medals are really nice!

My final stats for this series:

Rudolph Ramble 5k: 37:17

Polar Bear 5k: 30:27

Super Bowl 5k: 28:44

Valentine’s Day 5k (Ran with Ryan): 33:30

That Dam 5k: 27:43

Looking at these results,  I am so proud of myself. At the Rudolph Ramble, I was still physically and emotionally recovering from the miscarriage. I couldn’t run the whole distance and crossed the finish line in tears. Three months later, I was strong and healthy enough to run my third fastest 5k ever.

Weekly Workout Recap 3/6-3/12

Guess what today is? It’s the start of spring break! Of course, I’ll be doing homework pretty much all day every day. But I did take yesterday off to relax so I’ll call that a win.

Monday 3/6-Rest day

Tuesday 3/7-Group Power

It felt amazing to take my favorite strength class again. I love using the barbell and how strong I feel after. I could tell it’s been awhile because I was sore the next day.

Wednesday 3/8-Jazzercise

I had fun learning and teaching new routines. So far I’m loving the ones I’ve learned off this set.

Thursday 3/9-Rest

Friday-Jazzercise

This set left me (and my class) a sweaty mess. Steppin’, one of the new medium heavy’s, is killer!

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

After having huge Saturday classes during the 35 Day Challenge, my class shrunk considerably now that the challenge is done. I loved the big classes but enjoyed this smaller class. Plus I could put in a routine with layouts and not have to worry about anyone getting kicked.

I learned a couple more new routines for my strength class and again really liked most of them.

Sunday-Horsetooth Hike

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To celebrate the start of spring break, my grad school friend Faire and I decided a hike was in order. It was so so so windy but still very enjoyable. I’ll post more pictures later this week.

I’m off to start a long day of homework but will enjoy not being on campus. Have a great Monday!

What I Want to Do as a Registered Dietitian

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?  The theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, so take a little extra time to assess what goes on your fork and into your body.

In honor of this month and because Wednesday was National Registered Dietitian Day, I want to talk more about becoming a registered dietitian. I’ve mentioned before here why I want be an RD and today I’m going to discuss what I want to do once I am one.

One of the things I love about nutrition and why I’m so excited to become a dietitian is that the field is so vast and versatile. There are so many areas and concentrations. I know my career goals will likely change once I’m actually working or while I’m doing my internship but right now I have three main interests I’d like to pursue.

One is wellness. This has been my goal from the beginning-a nutrition counseling and personal training business. I would love to work with clients trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. To be clear, because I’ve had some confusion, I’m not interested in working specifically with athletes but rather individuals who need guidance and motivation to take better care of their bodies.

Another area that I’m interested in, due to personal events in my life, is nutrition while trying to conceive, prenatal nutrition, and postnatal nutrition. Recently I read a book called The Fertility Diet by two Harvard nutrition professors; it was fascinating to learn about how what we eat affects our hormones (I was excited because I could understand all the science-y stuff thanks to my Physiology class) and thus the chances of getting pregnant. I think this is a really interesting field as it seems like more and more couples struggle to get pregnant and as we begin to appreciate how much nutrition affects the entire body, not just related to weight gain or loss. Knowing personally how it feels to try and fail to get pregnant, I’d love to work with women and men to clean up their diets and increase physical activity to improve their chances of having a baby. Then, of course, continue with clients throughout her pregnancy and after birth. My interests tend to follow my personal life, so I know those will be areas I’m (hopefully) soon interested in.

Finally, going in a different direction, I think working in school nutrition would be an extremely, rewarding challenge. I learned a lot last year when I worked in a middle school cafeteria (read here) and know there’s a lot of work to be done. With childhood obesity on the rise and many children receiving their only nutrition from the school lunch program, I don’t think its importance can be underestimated. Based off comments from one of my professors, it also sounds like one of the more stable and less competitive fields.

This semester has been one of the most challenging in my academic career but I know it will be worth it when I’m able to make a living off my passion.