Speed Strikes Again + a March Challenge

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That's right. First day of March! It dawned on me how much today felt like spring as I lay in my bed this morning, the sun making its way through the blinds and the birds chirping outside. Like many places in North America, this winter has not felt very winter-like, save for a few weeks of almost -30 C weather and a few blizzards. Other than that, the days of warmth and sunshine (read: outdoor running!) have been plentiful, so today really feels like March.

Thank you for your tweets and comments from yesterday's post all about FItRadio! I should emphasize that the opinions expressed were my own and I was not given a tank top to say anything positive about their company, but it's the truth! Love the station and options and the fun tank top too. ;) I also love writing about motivation...it's a fascinating topic to me and I truly get fired up when it comes to motivating others. I always welcome your comments on what motivates you - whether it's music, friends, a training plan, or a cookie. ;)

Around the internet yesterday, I saw people referring to yesterday as an extra day with which you could get another good workout in or do something fun. I personally loved this parody on 30 Rock last week about "Leap Day William" and the parallels to how we celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus was pretty funny:

 

As they said in the show, it's a day where nothing counts! You can do anything! ...I chose to get my movement on in the form of an 8 mile speed work run! The weather was great and I had a block of time to get outside, so I'd decided on 8 miles because I love the distance and just wanted to run. Upon starting, however, I immediately felt sluggish, tired and my legs felt like lead - nothing was clicking and there was no groove to my run. I know it usually takes me at least 2 miles to warm up and start feeling good, but around 20 minutes I still hadn't busted through this wall. So I told myself I would not worry about distance and go shorter with some speed work mixed in to make the most of my run.

You may notice a lack of race reports and recaps on my blog - I rarely sign up for races and usually just run long distances for fun at generally the same pace. So it's been a while since I've trained for anything and had to incorporate speed work into my running. The first pick up was tough; I brought my pace up for 2 minutes, recovered in a slow jog for a minute, then went again for 2 minutes. I was reminding my body what it was like to push hard not with weights during a workout but on the road with my legs. I gave myself freedom to turn around after the 4th repeat, regardless of if I hit my 4 mile turn-around spot, but I ended up doing 5 sprints before turning around just past 4 miles. The end result? 8+ miles with ten 2 minute pick ups in a tank top! It wasn't easy and I was really pushing on numbers 7 and 8 before I made the decision to go for it all the way to ten, but I think my body remembered how to move fast on command!

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Prana headband (same one I always wear! In the wash today ;)); Fila tank.

To those of you who are training hard for an event right now, I just want to encourage you to say well done and keep persevering through the tough workouts! You've inspired me to add one speed session a week back into my running! It can't hurt my fitness and has the same effect as quick, high intensity workouts in the gym - you burn the most amount of calories and see change fast in a short time! (For an interesting, honest look at if workouts longer than an hour are worthless, check out a fellow FitFluential's fact or fiction post from the Angry Trainer!) Here's to a new challenge in March.

Speaking of challenges, I was inspired by you in other ways today: I read Heather's post today about her achieving 6 months of being a plant-based athlete (wahoo!) as well as Laura's thoughts about moving from her recent cleanse into a 30 day vegan challenge. I don't eat in one particular way, but more and more (through documentaries I've seen, blogs I've read, and books that have inspired me) I see the value of eating a plant-based diet. My mom has also been reading a lot about it, is very into chia seeds (gotta spread the chia love!) and has trimmed up (like she needs it - have I posted enough photos of my buff mom?!) since she started eating more plant-based. Because I rarely eat meat, that part of the equation isn't as difficult for me, and while I will continue to eat eggs (for now!), I decided that for the month of March I will go without dairy. I've never done this before and am excited to see how the change will effect my body. And while I don't (think?) eat much dairy, I did have some ice cream last night and some Greek yogurt this morning, and I am a fan of crumbled goat cheese on my salads, so we'll see how it goes! **Is there hidden dairy in much food? I'm going to have to be more aware this month!** As far as milk, I always drink it of the almond variety, so that part won't be difficult, and giving up ice cream is certainly going to be a better choice for my body anyways, so I'm pumped for this month of no-dairy March.

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I'm not usually big into challenges like this but thought I'd give it a go! I know Janetha just finished the #febphotoaday challengeand is "instagramming" her way through March too - that's a fun one! Anyone else want to join or have a challenge they'd like to share?

Have a great intro to March and I'll catch you guys on the flip side!

Bonnie

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12 Comments
  1. YAY!!! So excited you're going to go dairy-free for the month!!! I'm going to join in the March Photo Challenge - I have to figure out what "up" related photo to snap today. :) Yes, there is hidden dairy in more than you'd think, but there's also a ton of substitutes available now. Watch out for whey and casein - those are two that sneak in that you might not otherwise think about.

    • March 1, 2012 at 18:52
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      Thanks, Heather! I figure if I stick to eating real foods it shouldn't be much of a problem, but I didn't know about whey and casein - what types of food are they in?

  2. March 1, 2012 at 18:58
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    I've never tried going completely diary free, but I tried cutting back for a bit (limiting to one serving of diary in the morning). It didn't work well for me. I felt like something was missing and not in a good way. I feel so much better now that I've added more diary back into my diet. Sorry I can't really explain it better! I just felt "off", you know? I'm also doing the fitness march instagram challenge! It was created by @mcbarao. I'm pumped! PS: I'm in Saskatchewan and it has been such a warm winter here too! Only 1 week of "-40 with the windchill" days. Thank you weather gods!

    • March 2, 2012 at 23:21
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      Awesome - a SK reader and blogger! :D Glad you've been enjoying the good weather too, Erin! And I know what you mean - cutting foods isn't for every person and I get it about feeling a bit "off" - we'll see how this affects me! Thanks for the comment. :)

  3. March 1, 2012 at 20:35
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    Love the last photo! You look so happy! I've been hearing more and more people talk about the effect dropping dairy from their diet has had weight and energy levels. I don't eat a lot myself, but have just started a diet plan from the Metabolic Effect which limits my dairy to basically condiment-use only. I'm really missing greek yogurt! Fortunately, whey protein powder is still allowed (not sure why); it's one of my staples!

    • March 2, 2012 at 23:22
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      Whey protein powder is still allowed, hey? Interesting! Good to hear a little more about your personal journey with dairy right now (how funny does that sound when you read it out?!)...thanks for sharing, Tamara!

  4. March 1, 2012 at 21:35
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    Good for you!!! Cutting diary hasn't been too hard for me. Like you, I was already drinking almond milk. As long as I'm eating at home I don't have any problems, it's going out that is trickier. I hear cutting dairy can be really good for your skin. Thanks for the shout out. :)

  5. March 1, 2012 at 22:09
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    I love a good challenge! It's funny, because I am not really competitive, but I do like challenging/competing with myself! Fun to hear your March plans!

  6. March 2, 2012 at 19:47
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    Love your challenge. I think dairy has a lot to do with many illnesses now a days. If you are up for an interesting read on the "homogenization" process, check out this blog post. I don't really miss dairy (greek yogurt occasionally), but I feel so much better without it. When I want a little something, I only choose goats milk products now. I eat local eggs occasionally too (because I really like eggs), but I absolutely know you can be strong & fit on a plant-based diet. I've been eating this way for a few years now, & I've only built more muscle & strength since.

    • March 2, 2012 at 23:14
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      Good to hear a bit from your experiences, Allie! Thanks for sharing.

  7. March 2, 2012 at 21:44
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    I can't believe you are running in a TANK TOP! That's craziness BUT awesome! Way to go on a great run. I love adding pick-ups to a run and it feels great to push yourself eh? I'm curious to see how you feel about omitting dairy from your diet. It would be soo difficult for me to do that. I love milk, yogurt, cereal and am hooked on cottage cheese right now...ok, I guess I just love to many dairy products. That would be a super [difficult] challenge for me, so I'm sorry, I can't join you :)

    • March 2, 2012 at 23:13
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      Haha - that's okay, Sabrina - no need to join in on the challenge. ;) I barely eat dairy as it is, like I said, so I'm not sure how challenging this challenge will be! I'll keep you posted though - dairy's not a <em>bad</em> thing (look at your food - cottage cheese, yogurt, milk - all healthy!), but I've read a lot about the benefits of limiting it...we'll see!

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