Monday, April 1, 2013

#ChiWomensHalf Training Update, Week 4

Once again, I have a giant bucket of chocolate in my refrigerator. Did I have a good Easter? Obviously, yes. Did I have too much of the aforementioned chocolate yesterday? Repeat: Obviously, yes. I just...I can't say no. So there. Secret's out. Except, let's be honest, my love for chocolate was never really a secret. So let's just move on to more important things. Like running. More specifically, training for the Chicago Women's Half Marathon in June.

Week 4. Everything went as planned. Except I still haven't been able to get outside. But I did bust my own butt on this week's three-milers at the gym. To prevent boredom, I decided to haul it a little. Our track is somewhat short. I have to clock 14 laps before I hit a mile, so I gotta do what I gotta do to make it fun. Two of my quicker miles:

I'm not really training for speed right now, and I'm pretty sure I can run a single mile a little faster than that, but for me right now—I'll take it. My guess is that I'll be closer to a 10-minute mile come race day, but I guess time and training will decide that for sure.

The legs are still feeling strong, so that's good.

(In the essence of full disclosure, I should warn you that I'm about to talk about a few products that were sent to me free of charge. I wasn't paid to provide my opinions. In fact, I considered myself a fan before this opportunity ever presented itself. So, continue reading if you'd like to learn more about...)

Love it.

There's much ado in the fitness world about protein supplementation. I don't like whey protein, so I'm always on the lookout for plant-based protein. 'Course, I would rather cook up an egg or eat a nice piece of chicken but that's not always possible. Which is why I like to have some protein powder or protein bars on hand. But I am very picky about these two things.

So far, I've had no complaints about Vega brand powders and bars. They're definitely on my list of favorites.

I can't remember where I found them for the first time. Probably at Whole Foods in Chicago or Down to Earth in South Bend. Two of my favorite stores. Neither of which are in my hometown. So that means I hardly ever have any plant-based protein powder on hand. I could order it but the stuff, no matter what brand you choose, is expensive so I hate paying for shipping—which is why I jumped for joy when Vega selected me to test out a few of their products. Why, yes...yes I will. Thanks for the package:

Back up to my training for a second. Most of my weekend runs have taken place before a short shift at the gym, and I am always hungry after a run, so the Vega Nutritional Shakes and Energizing Smoothies have packed well and done me some good. Sure, they taste just a wee bit chalky, but really, most protein powders do. So, I have to say, I think these are on the delicious end of the chalk spectrum. Especially when you combine them with other ingredients. If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw this picture:

Is there anything better than cherry and chocolate combined? If you don't have any chocolate protein powder on hand, I seriously suggest you try the a above with some cocoa powder.  So good. (Note: I added water, too. You might do the same, or use milk. Your choice. Just don't forget a few cubes of ice.)

Anyway, back to the Vega products. I've still got some bars to nosh on but, once again, I'm fresh out of the powders. Lucky for me, a Whole Foods is opening up in South Bend in nine days (not that I'm counting or anything).

My paycheck is so in trouble.

Question: What's your go-to post-workout snack-on-the-go?

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