Momentum Jewelry Ambassador

This is something I didn’t see coming! I was an ambassador for this great company, but my contract ended in February last year. I really enjoyed my time with Momentum Jewelry. They invited me back with a contact extension but I didn’t take it for various reasons. But mostly it was that I had a lot going on in my personal life, and was trying to limit online commitments.img_3767

When Stacey, their Ambassador program coordinator, reached out to me asking me to be part of their Core Ambassadors earlier this month I was pretty happy! I love the positive message this company promotes. That ‘you can do anything you set your mind to’ kind of message. For a long time I’ve consider myself a realist, not an optimist. But, I’ve been trying to change that by choosing to see the positives in all situations. Wearing little reminders that bring about positive energy is probably the easiest step I’ve taken.

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Open applications are January 25-27th, so make sure you fill one out if you’re interested in joining the crew! You can currently find more info at the top of their website.

Do you own any Momentum Jewelry products? What is your favorite phrase they have on their products? If you could get a custom piece, what would it say? I’m looking forward to some new pieces arriving! I did decide to get one custom piece, so I’ll definitely share that. I chose some lyrics from a song that always empowers me on the treadmill.

Health update

I mentioned earlier last month in a blog post that I haven’t been feeling great lately. I started feeling like almost everything I ate would make me sick. You may have seen my post on Instagram where I briefly gave an update on my blood test results.

But, basically I found out I had food sensitivities to 39 different foods.😱 And I tested positive for Candida overgrowth.

Here’s what I learned. You should be rotating your foods. Do not eat the same foods every day. The ‘meal prep’ pictures that are all over Instagram where people prepare the same foods to be eaten for several days in a row might sound like a good idea…healthy food already prepared! But no, you’re looking for health problems doing that. You shouldn’t be eating the same things day in and day out. Rotation is key so you don’t develop food sensitivities like I did.

I often made a salad for lunch with a base of kale, tomato, onion, and chia seeds. I did switch up what other ingredients I would throw in, depending on what I had on hand. But guess what showed up on my sensitivities list? You guessed it…ALL of those things (and then some!).
Gluten is not on my list because I’ve been GF for several years. Most of the items on the list are foods I consumed every week, if not daily. I used turmeric and cinnamon every.single.day. I probably over dosed on almonds because I was rotating between almond and cashew milk, and eating them on salads and for snacks, almond butter, and they are in many Larabars.

Now what? I went to a Naturopath doctor and she suggested I take anti-fungals in addition to the probiotics I already have for the Candida overgrowth. However, it was completely up to me. I am in a gray area because numbers over 100 are considered overgrowth and my IgG (the chronic overgrowth) was 168, and my IgM (recent Candida overgrowth) was 124. So, they’re on the lower end of being ‘abnormal.’

The fact that my food sensitivities came back with so many, I am going to first focus on that. I will be eliminating all the 2 and 3 star items as well as the 1 star items that I consumed daily. For 1 star rating, I have been instructed to eliminate them for 3 months. The 2 star items should be eliminated for 4 months, and the 3 star for 5 months. I had a few 2 star and one 3 star item, with the rest at 1’s. Interestingly enough, my booklet says the 1 star items can cause more symptoms than the 3 star items and, “the number of antibodies just gives us a way to decide how long a person should avoid the food in order to decrease the antibodies and symptoms.”After that period of time, I can begin to reintroduce the foods one at a time and only one food per 4 days. If I react, I remove the food again. If not, I can reintroduce a second food.

I’m hoping the Candida really isn’t much of an issue because that’s a whole other set of restrictions. I am trying to maintain 80/20 Candida diet while going through my food sensitivities elimination, but am trying not to stress about it if that doesn’t happen. Stress can affect Candida levels as well!

So I have lots of information to review and prepare for this big diet change. I’m very hopeful it will bring me some relief. I’m looking forward to writing an update post down the road. Until then, learn from me and my mistakes. Rotate your foods! 😊

Week in Review: Jan. 1-7

Anyone else super excited for 2017?! Last year my focus was on getting that marathon PR, and this year it’s on the half marathon. I’m working my way to a sub-2 hour half. Although I thinkΒ realistically it’s not in the cards this year, I still want to make some big strides in knocking my time down to get closer to that time. It’s a journey and a process! I’m just learning to love it 😊. Check out my Goals + Race Schedule for 2017 for more details.

Last week was a bit of a week off (I only ran 2x and they were short runs). I got sick, along with my husband and kiddo too. I got scared as I felt it moving to my chest, but then it was back to my throats and then nose. It was all over the place…I was a mess! πŸ˜‚ I’m feeling loads better now.

Here’s a peak at week 1 of 2017!

Sunday (1) – Ran 3.1 miles in 25:35 (8:15 pace) πŸ™ŒπŸΌ. That’s my fastest 5k on a treadmill ever. I’m looking forward to doing a time trial this spring when there isn’t snow and ice! Planked: 2 minutes.

Monday (2) – 40 minutes on the bike trainer and a long walk on the beach and boardwalk. Planked: 2:11.

Tuesday (3) – So siiiiick. This has got to be the strangest cold ever. One day it feels like it’s moving to my chest, the next it’s in my throat, then to nose, and back to chest. It’s irritating being sick! Planked: 2:14.

Wednesday (4) – Planked 2:16. Another Rest day. πŸ€§πŸ€’

Thursday (5) – Started feeling better! Ran 3.1 miles outside and got to test out my Yaktrax, Shoe Hoodies, and Lumo Run sensor. Both the yaktrax and the shoe hoodies worked amazingly, and I enjoyed using the Lumo Run sensor. I’m excited to see if I can really change my form using the product. Planked 2:25.

Friday (6) – Ran 7 miles on the treadmill and tested out my Lumo Run sensor again. Worked on improving my cadence and nailed the target cadence! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ Planked 2:00. I could feel my back starting to lower, so I stopped. I’d say it’s better to maintain good form than continue with poor form. I’m also coming to the realization that I will not always move up in time every single day. It’s a journey and a process to get to that 5 min. goal!Β 

SaturdayΒ (7) – Up and on the bike at 5:30am! Not the norm for me, but I got in 10 miles before I had to hop off to get ready for one last (late) holiday party. Planked 2:40.

Did you set any fitness goals for 2017? What are you most looking forward to this year (fitness related)? I think I’m most excited to see how I do at the Gazelle Girl Half and I’m excited to just have a good time in Nashville again! 😊

How I Shaved 60+ Minutes Off My Marathon Time in 18 Months

Happy New Year! πŸŽ‰ I love the start of a new year. It’s filled with so much possibility! 2017 has some big shoes to fill, as I ended 2016 with my biggest PR ever. The Grand Rapids Marathon last year is a day I will never forget! I realized I never recapped a bit of info about the plan that I used. So here it goes!

A bit blurry, but a screenshot of my husband and I approaching the finish line at GRM.

As many of you know, I followed the FIRST Novice Marathon Training Plan from the ‘Run Less, Run Faster’ book. FIRST stands for Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. This plan was very different from what I did for training for my first marathon.

Here are the basics of this plan:

  • Three key runs per week
    • Track (speed work)
      • 400m-2000m distances are listed in a table in the book with goal times for each distance, which are based off of your 5k time.
    • Tempo
      • Short tempo (ST), mid-tempo (MT), and long-tempo (LT) are listed in a table in the book with goal paces, which are also based off of your 5k time.
    • Long run
      • Marathon and half marathon pace per mile is listed in a table, and once again you find your 5k time in the table to determine your goal marathon pace (MP) or half-marathon (HMP) should be.
  • Two cross training sessions per week 
    • FIRST prefers non-weight bearing activities such as swimming, biking and rowing activities to compliment the three key runs.
    • Activities you might normally consider cross training like yoga or weight training do not count as cross training in this plan. They’re great additions, but do not count.
    • For cycling, it suggests biking in low gears with higher cadence to mimic running (80-100 pedal revolutions per minute). If you’re biking in high gears, it’s not worthless though. It’s more in line with running hills. I personally did a mix of both during the training knowing the course I was going to run did have some hills, but was generally pretty flat.

I have so many pages bookmarked in the book. It was basically at my side for the entire 4 months of training.

    How marathon #1 & #2 were different:

    • I was running 3x a week, but the runs were not quality driven with my first marathon. I didn’t do speed and tempo workouts. I generally was pushing my pace for all of my runs and I know this lead to burn out and injuries in my first marathon training.
    • For marathon #1, I didn’t have a cross training plan set in place. I did random cross training like 30 minutes of biking, a 30-60 minute yoga video, or 30-60 minutes of weight training.
      • The biking workouts I did were not quality driven. I was simply biking for that time. There weren’t intervals involved and I wasn’t shifting gears. It was generally an easy to medium effort for the time.
      • Most of the time I only did one cross training day a week, so I was only working out 4 days a week.
    • I didn’t use compression socks regularly in recovery in marathon #1, and used them after all of my runs with #2.
    • Elevation gain on the course was much less with #2, which no doubt helped!
    • The long runs were up a mile every weekend with #1. With #2 it had you mostly increasing evenly, but a few times there were weeeks we went down in miles.
    • The weather was much better with #2 (high humidity and 80 degrees with 1st, which was basically the opposite of what I had been training in).
    • I had my husband with me for most of our long runs for #2. Having someone to run with made the miles fly by and made them much more enjoyable!
    • I played around with fueling options and found that the Honey Stinger gels I had been using were likely part of the reason I felt sick during my first marathon. I was happy to find out that a little ziplock bag of organic pitted dates worked great for my fueling.
    • Nuun Hudration tablets helped me avoid that awful post run headache I got the first time around due to the loss of electrolytes.
    • Wearing a hydration pack was extremely helpful to sip along the way and not have to depend on aid/water stations, and it had pockets for food/fuel.

    The training plan I used for #2 definitely made me stronger. I’m planning on trying out the half marathon plan for a few races this year. Getting into the 9’s for pace is a a goal for me in the next 1-2 years, and long term a sub 2 hr. half would be amazing! I think it’s all possible with hard work and a good training plan. The thing that sticks out to me most is that not all training plans are for every runner, so finding a plan that I found success with last year makes me want to stick with it for future races.

    I’d recommend giving it a try for anyone who struggles with injury, and anyone who enjoys cross training. 

    Here’s to a fantastic 2017! Cheers, friends!