Nathan Running Vest Review

Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend! I have to say my weekend was pretty fantastic even though I had a rough 16 miles on Saturday, but I found my “happy pace” at 11:30. Some runs are a little slower than others and this was one of them. One of the things that got me through the run was my Nathan HPL #020 Running Vest.

imageHonestly I was very skeptical of a camel pack to begin with because I just didn’t think it would be comfortable. Since I am a thirsty runner, I was looking for something that held a lot of water. The handheld water bottles are great but I needed something more for runs over 12 miles. Then I found the Nathan running vest, which holds two liters of water, on Amazon for less than $70. If you have done any research into these vests you know that’s a steal as some of them go for $130 and more!


Lucky for me, I received the vest for Christmas from my mom… just in time for marathon training. It’s been with me on my 12, 15, 18, and 16 mile runs and I would have never known it was there because it’s so light weight. I have to give Nathan credit for thinking of everything when they created this vest. The fabric around the straps is very soft so there is no issue with chaffing. It is also ambidextrous and can be used on your right or left side with comfort.

The best part about this vest are all the little compartments on the back and front. My favorite are the front side pockets because you can store everything from fuel to a cellphone and even sunglasses in them. I’m definitely a pack rat! I like to be prepared for just about everything when I run. I have even been known to carry pepper spray with me! :-)

If you are looking for a long distance hydration solution, the Nathan running vest might just be the answer!

Question: What do you carry with you when you run? 

Target Practice Friday #27

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

I hope your week is serving you well! It was a short week for me. Can’t complain about that!

Marathon – I ran 18 miles for the first time last Saturday with Team Nutribullet. Woohoo! I was pretty happy with the run so hopefully all long runs continue to be like that. I also ran 9 miles and 4.5 miles making for a grand total of 31.5 miles!

imageImprove Pace - There were supposed to be hill repeats during my 9 mile run but my body just couldn’t do it this week.  I may have to adjust a few things in my running schedule so that my hill repeats are during shorter runs.
imageHandstand – I tried something new this week! It turns out headstands are much easier than handstands! I was able to hold one for at least 20 seconds away from the wall. Cool beans!

Eating Clean - Gosh! My appetite has grown so much with all this running! I never would have expected to gain weight during marathon training but I have… and it’s not all muscle weight! While I am eating mostly healthy foods, I eat a lot more than I used to before this training began. And I always want a burrito baby from Chipotle after a long run. No, I don’t share it with someone else!

Some eats and coffee by the LA River after a long run.

Enjoy your weekend!

LA Marathon Training Schedule & Nadia Ruiz 100+ Time Marathoner

I hope you aren’t getting tired of reading about my LA Marathon training with Team Nutribullet! It seems like this marathon is consuming my life and that ain’t a bad thing! Last weekend, I ran 18 miles for the first time ever. It was amazing! I am starting to believe that I can actually run this entire marathon. There were moments during the 18 miles that I even got a little teary eyed thinking about how far my running journey has come in the last year. I never would have expected to be where I am today.


During the run, I kept thinking back to the speech Nadia Ruiz (100+ time marathoner, 3 time Ironman, and all around badass) gave right before we began the 18 mile run. Among nutrition and proper training, Nadia emphasized that the body can endure much more than we would believe. Nadia ran her first marathon with her dad at the age of 14. Since Nadia had not trained long distances (only 6 mile speed work in track and field) before the race, she hit the wall at mile 12! She started crying and told her dad she couldn’t finish. Her dad encouraged her to push through the mental wall knowing that his daughter did have it in her to make it to the finish line. Nadia finished in about 4 hours! This began her journey to over 100 marathons and 3 Ironmans. All I have to say is Nadia is my new hero!

Reflecting on Nadia’s first marathon experience, I was able to run the first 17 miles at a very consistent 11 minute pace. It felt surprisingly good! Running along the Santa Monica beach didn’t hurt matters either! My only mistake was stopping to walk for .2 miles after mile 17. When I stopped to walk, I felt every single little pain and ache so it was hard to get running again.  Needless to say, I ran the last mile in 12:35 minutes. I’ll take it!

Since some of you had asked about my training plan on Instagram, I thought I’d break it down for you below:

LA Marathon Train Program

This program is working for my body. Naturally you need to listen to your own body when creating a training schedule. I had to switch a few things up mid-way through the program, and so far, it seems to be helping with my long runs. You may also notice that I’ll be on vacation a few weeks before the race. Luckily I will be tapering off my longer runs during this time.  However, I have three runs scheduled for each city I plan to visit in Australia. I figure it’s a fun way to see the in’s and out’s of the different cities! And being the Type A person that I am, I already have the running routes planned out. :-)

Something happened that switched my entire attitude toward this marathon over the weekend. Maybe it was Nadia’s inspiring story or the successful 18 miles, but I am starting to feel like a real runner and I am even considering more full marathons and full Ironmans after this race. Sure I am not the fastest runner in the world, but gosh darn it, I ran 18 last weekend!!! I’m happy!

Question(s): Who is your running inspiration right now? Why do they inspire you?

Target Practice Friday #26

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

It’s Friday so let’s jump right into Target Practice today!

Marathon – As most of you already know, I ran 15 miles for the first time last Saturday with Team Nutribullet. The last few miles were especially difficult for me, but I survived.  I also ran 6 miles on Monday and Tuesday and 8 miles last night, so my grand total for the week was 35 miles! Woohoo! I finally reached above my goal of 30 miles!

Improve Pace - Did I mention that the 6 miles I ran on Monday was a new PR?! And it was on tired 15 miler legs!!! Sometimes my body surprises me! However, Tuesday’s 6 miles were supposed to be 9 miles but my leg’s weren’t having it. Maybe it’s because I forgot to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) after Monday’s 6 miles.


Handstand – Oops! I completely forgot to work on handstands this week. This marathon is taking over my life!

Eating Clean - I am happy to say my eats were super clean this week. I am really diggin’ Sunday meal prep for the entire week. It’s a great way to get fish, veggies, and quinoa into my diet since the Bear loves hates all of those things!



I hope you enjoy a nice long weekend!

Orange “Cream” Protein Smoothie

Since I am part of Team Nutribullet training for the LA Marathon, I have been trying to incorporate at least one Nutribullet blast into my diet each day over the last month. Fresh juices have been a big part of my life over the last year. I used to juice every single day for about 6 months but then I started to hate the juicer. Typically juicers have several parts and many nooks and crannies that are hard to clean. Ain’t nobody have time for that getting ready for work in the morning!


Now that I have the Nutribullet, it takes maybe 5 minutes to create a juice or smoothie and clean out the unit. I love juicing again!


And no… not that type of juicing!

By far my favorite blast with the Nutribullet is an Orange “Cream” Protein Smoothie.


5.0 from 1 reviews

Orange “Cream” Protein Smoothie
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1

  • 1 peeled navel orange
  • 1 scope Vega vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup baby carrots
  • ice

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet until combined.


It reminds me of the orange half and half bars I use to eat as a kid, but with protein and real oranges and oh so much goodness! If you want more orange flavor, add more orange! If you want more cream flavor, add more almond milk!

imageI also made this black beast of a smoothie. It includes frozen blueberries, spinach and almond milk. I added chia seeds after the smoothie was blended and it turned into a smoothie pudding. It was delicious this way! I ate it with a spoon.

imageThis juice was perfect after a long run because it was filled with electrolytes. The ingredients included kale, carrots, apple, flax seed, grapes and coconut water.

I have discovered the key to a tasty juice is by using equal parts vegetables to fruits. Kale can be quite bitter in the Nutribullet as apposed to the juicer, so I add a little more fruit when using kale. Spinach has turned out to be one of my favorite types of greens to add to juice. These juices are never an exact science. They are about combining ingredients that you will enjoy, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Question: Since I have been creating a lot of recipes based on childhood favorites, what is your favorite food from your childhood?

Get Figgy With It Energy Balls

Training for a marathon is hard work. On Saturday I ran 15 miles for the first time with Team Nutribullet. Oh my goodness! The last two miles were very difficult. While I maintained a very consistent 11 minute pace for the first 12 miles, I slowed down to a 12+ minute pace for the last 3 miles. I honestly have never felt bored while running until last Saturday. Hopefully these new miles are just a mental block that I need to break through so I can run the 26.2 miles needed for this marathon.


My goal is to focus on running a lot more throughout the entire week. In order to do that nutrition will be key. To get through these 26.2 miles, I am definitely going to need healthy carbohydrates. Over the weekend, I got busy in the kitchen.


I decided to make energy balls since they are so easily portable. Growing up, my dad loved Fig Newton’s. His love for the cookies passed on to me! My goal with this recipe was to make these balls taste as close as possible to the cookie without all the icky ingredients.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Get Figgy With It Energy Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10

  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 10 dried figs
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Vega vanilla protein powder

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or Nutribullet.
  2. Mix until the texture becomes crumbly.
  3. Using your hands, roll out ten energy balls.


I have to say I was pretty happy with the results.

Protein is important for muscle recovery, so I also made Peanut Butter Lover Protein Balls!


The ingredients include: 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1/4 cup vega protein powder, 4 tablespoons peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs. Mix in Nutribullet and form into 10 balls.

Question(s): What is your favorite energy/protein ball recipe? How was your weekend? What mental tricks do you use to get through long runs?

 Happy snacking! 

Target Practice Friday #25

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Let me start of this Target Practice by admitting that I had every intention to post three times this week. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get a Wednesday post in. Oh well! I should have a lot of recipes coming your way next week.

Marathon – Last Saturday I started the week with a 12 mile run with Team NutriBullet. I am pretty happy to say it was pain free which is great because my shin splint is healing. However, I didn’t want to push it too much this week, so I only got in a few other short runs. My trainer John, from Shaka Runners, suggest we run between 4 and 8 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I definitely need to work on getting more miles in each week.
imageImprove Pace - Since I am focusing on healing my shin splint, I didn’t work on speed drills. Instead I ran 3 miles that consisted of hill repeats with the Dog Haus Running Club on Tuesday.

Handstand – Just keep handstanding, just keep handstanding, just keep handstanding. One day I won’t need a wall!

Eating Clean - I tried something new this week! For the first time, I planned out my lunches for the week on Sunday. I have been getting sick of salads and since I drink most of my greens thanks to the Nutribullet these days, I decided to go with salmon, quinoa, and broccoli. It was really tasty all week long! I was surprised that it was still good on Thursday.  I may just have to do more meal planning in the future because it’s a great way to avoid buying “healthy” food covered in “junk” oils from the cafeteria.

Happy Friday!

How I “Cured” My Shin Splints in 12 Hours

As I mentioned during Target Practice Friday, I developed a shin splint in my left shin. I am not going to lie here, I was really worried it would be a lasting problem that would prevent me from training for the LA Marathon with Team Nutribullet.

On Friday night I went on the hunt to find a quick “cure” to shin splints. I received a lot of helpful feedback on Instagram. Since you all know best, I decided to take your advice and RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) after my easy Friday night workout. My shin felt much better after the ice, but I knew more was needed if I was going to run those 12 miles on Saturday.

After a little research YouTubing, I found this video that claimed to cure shin splints in 24 hours so I gave it a try since all I needed was a golf ball and foam roller.

It hurt so good!

Saturday morning my shins felt great! It was like the pain disappeared over night. I was a happy camper but I knew that I would have to take more steps to prevent from further injury. I started the morning with these shin splint strengthening exercises and stretches.

During Saturday’s 12 miles, I focused on the ABCs (Align posture, Balance foot landing, and Count Cadence) of running. I think I figured out what caused my shin splint. I tend to heel strike when running downhill so I was very conscious of that during Saturday’s run.  I also reduce my cadence when I get tired. Luckily with Team Nutribullet, our pacers have metronomes that beep at 180 cadence.  I definitely need to invest in one of these for those lonely runs.

All of these actions lead me to “cure” my shin splint in 12 hours so that I could have a healthy run on Saturday. Obviously, I am not a doctor and I would recommend you consult with a sports doctor if you have shin splints.  This is just what worked for me!

Target Practice Friday #24

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

It has been an active two weeks. Even though I am not training for a triathlon right now, I have done a lot of biking and swimming.  I guess my new Christmas toys got me into the spirit. I hate to admit this but I sort of want to get these 26.2 miles over with so I can focus on tri training! Eeeee… I still love running though!
imageMarathon – I ran 10 and 8 hilly/trail miles the last two Saturdays with a lot of short runs in between. However, something scary happened last night. My left shin was killing during my run. I could only last 5 minutes on the treadmill so I sent a text to my trainer, John from Shaka Runners, for advice. He recommended I wear shoes with sufficient cushion and work on landing on the ball of my foot since shin splints (AHHHH I can’t have shin splints! This is not happening!) are directly related to shock absorption.  He also suggested I wear compression sleeves for a speedy recovery. I’m doing everything he has recommended but I am still worried.
imageImprove Pace - There were a few interval runs over the last two weeks but I still need to do Megan’s speedwork routine.

Handstand – I held a handstand away from the wall for maybe 3 seconds! I’ll take what I can get.

Eating Clean - My goal is to start the new year with a clean diet. I have been trying to incorporate more greens into my meals. I really want to focus on consuming grains in the middle of the day while eating lean protein and veggies in the evening. I may even try Sunday meal planning. We’ll see how it goes…

Questions: Have you ever had shin splints? If so, how do you get rid of them quickly?

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Target Practice Friday #23

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Woo! Lucky number 23! Hopefully this is a good Traget Practice because that is my favorite number. Why is 23 my lucky number? Well first off, I was born on the 23rd. Though I also like all combinations of 23. For example, 5 (2+3=5) was my jersey number in lacrosse and softball. But mostly I just like the oddity of it! Enough about numbers already… let’s dig into Target Practice.

Marathon – Saturday started with an 8 mile run that was somewhat on the slow side for me. I was super sore from my workout the Thursday before, so I took it easy. Luckily I met a very nice girl at Team NutriBullet who I chatted with for the entire run.  I also ran 3.5 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles last night, and hopefully I will get another 3 miles in today before our long run tomorrow.  Total miles this week: 17.5… not quite my 30 mile goal!

Improve Pace - One of the 3 mile runs was on the treadmill, so I worked on interval training. I really need to start experimenting with hill drills and tempo runs though.  Megan  posted a speedwork routine that I really want to try out next week.

Handstand – Just working on those abs so that one day I will move this away from the wall… oh the longing!

Crow poses might help with handstand training!


Thing 2 thinks she is helping, but she is pretty freakin adorable!

Eating Clean - HA HA HA my eats were horrible this week. I had three holiday parties, so there was pizza, cookies, Chinese food, and cupcakes.  I tried to make up for the unhealthy lunches with very clean breakfast and dinner meals. All week I started the day out right with a NutriBullet smoothie and ended the day with veggies and protein. My body hasn’t completely revolted, so I think this strategy is working!

Happy Holidays!!! :-)