Tag Archives: marathon training

Check In With Sofia: 14 & 15 Months Old + 7 Life Truths I Learned From My Baby

Hello Blog world!

I apologize I fell off the grid yet again, but our life has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride since July. But this doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any highs along those lows: I turned 30 *Yes, 30ies rock or so I tell myself lol!*, I ran my first half-marathon *a post soon to come* and even registered myself for a full marathon next year! *Yeah!*

And I can’t fully comprehend this yet *and I doubt I ever will*, but our little bunny is 15 months old today! I thank God every single day for having Sofia in our lives. Justin and I are totally smitten with her. She is our bright ray of sunshine that never ceases to make us smile.

14 months old

This was a big month for our baby girl! Sofia now measures 72 cm and weighs 9 kg. She’s got her first 2 bottom teeth + 1 top right. To celebrate the occasion and to test out newly acquired teeth, she made sure to taste lots of new foods such as a cucumber, shrimp, ice cream and honeydew (NOT all at the same time lol). Nonno’s pasta is also a big hit!

Our little rebel loves to climb absolutely anything! Parents bought a pack of toilet paper? Bring it on!

img_2596

Sofia’s hair also got much longer. I even managed to do 2 little ponytails for my princess!

img_2611By the way, when I said that she likes to climb things,  I really meant it! Sofia also likes seeing if she fits into things like this basket for her toys or a much smaller box for her books.img_2619

Family shots are always fun. She is a great poser. I love looking through all pictures we take, her facial expressions are priceless.

img_2643-edit

Sofia is also a great secret keeper. Look at that mischievous smile! Her face screams, ‘We’ve got you, mommy!’img_2693

She started imitating us, too! She’s all business with her daddy’s cellphone.

img_2731

And as they say, work hard play hard… Sofia’s got that! Always in the center of action!

img_2768

15 months old

Over the past month, Sofia has got yet another tooth: top left! Now she has 2 top and 2 bottom teeth just in time for apple season. Not only she can bite into those apples *which she totally LOVES*, our baby doll can walk on her own, too.

Our Miss Independent took her first 7 steps when Justin was picking her up from a daycare *I made sure to clarify that she hadn’t done this before with the educator the following day. Haha!*. I’m so happy that at least one of us was able to witness this big and important event + I’ve got to see it all at home!

In terms of talking, Sofia doesn’t say many proper words (yet, she is very expressive and can convey what it is exactly that she wants), but she started referring to any dog she sees as ‘De-lla’ after our Bella.

I can see how much my little girl has grown up because she started expressing her desire to hold a spoon on her own. I guess it’s all the Ukrainian and Italian food her grandparents are spoiling Sofia with is to her liking and she can’t wait to dig into it! Some of her favorite foods at the moment are: bread, honeydew, apple, pasta, yogurt, grandpa’s cakes, and grandma’s Ukrainian salad ‘Olivier’.

I know we are raising a very loving baby because Sofia is my biggest cheerleader! She gave me the best hug after I was done with my first half-marathon. On a side note, I think she’ll want to have one of her own medals soon because I’ve once spotted her walking around the house with my medal on her neck!

img_2859

Sofia is a very active and curious baby. Honestly, she never sits unless she is tired and ready to sleep. I love this about her, her desire to learn and discover new things!

img_2973

Even though Sofia is not a big baby, it doesn’t make her weak. Our love bug is actually super strong. She likes to pick up things and carry them wherever, be it my purse or a large toy. I was super happy she didn’t think of moving one of those big pumpkins as I was taking this picture of her!!!

img_3023

Additionally, I am very proud to report that Sofia has already participated in her first 5 km race in a stroller to show support to her Nonna, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and all other women affected by this horrible disease. She was a great sport and wasn’t afraid of all other runners even a bit.

img_3055

And here is some wisdom I’ve learned from our precious girl:

  • Cold doesn’t make ice cream any less desirable or delicious… Go for it!

img_3078

  • Having 4 teeth is definitely more convenient than having none. Be happy with what you have!

img_3104

  • Exploring new places is always exciting. Be curious!

img_3133

  • Multitasking is fun but sometimes you need to focus on one thing at a time to truly learn something new. You just need to make sure to sit on your other toy, so it doesn’t run away from you.

img_3153

  • Driving IS for little girls. Don’t be afraid if you hit a dead end, there is a way out of it.

img_3218

  • Sometimes you need to walk up the slide to make sure that nobody else takes over it. Take advantage of all opportunities.

img_3260

  • And most importantly, never fail to have a good laugh. You deserve it!
    img_3290

Want to read more?

What have you been up to?

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Family

5 Pieces of Advice You Need for Your First Half Marathon from Coach Suz

Happy Monday, my dear friends!
Today I decided to do something different. As most of you know, I’ve signed up to run my first half marathon this year. This is my 3rd week of training and I’m absolutely loving it! *By the way, so does Bella! If you missed my post on how to turn your pooch into an endurance animal, you can read it here.* I may not be super thrilled to get myself out of the door every single run, yet the runners high post-run is totally worth it. Add some yoga and foam rolling to it, and I’m in heaven! *Haha!*
First half-marathon training tips
Here’s my plan for this week:
Monday – 4 miles
Tuesday – 30-40 minutes of cross training
Wednesday – 4 miles
Thursday – 30-40 minuts of cross training
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – rest day
Anyhow, back to the subject. I asked one of my dearest blogger friends, Susie, to do a guest post for me on half-marathon training. She is a big inspiration to me not only when it comes to running, but in general. I’d love to pick her brain if  I ever travel to Chicago and get to meet her in the flesh! Oh, and this girl is hilarious! And maybe, just maybe, you may have spotted her on Just Jillian episode during a mic malfunction in Chicago. *If you did, it was priceless!*
Without further ado, meet my beautiful friend Suz!
Susie Lemmer 2 
Hi Everyone! I am so chuffed to be here – I absolutely adore Olena and her gorgeous family, and I was so happy when she asked me to guest post on half marathon advice! For those who don’t know me, my name is Susie, and I claim the little slice of internet called Suzlyfe. Suzlyfe is a running, fitness, and healthy life blog written with the intention to educate, connect, and inspire readers to live beyond expectation! I am also an RRCA Certified Running Coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Now, enough about me, let’s talk training!
So you’ve decided to run your first half marathon. The moment that you decide to embark on this adventure, you are going to hear advice, comments, and well (?) meaning suggestions from all sides. I am going to do you a solid and boil much of what you will be told to 5 pieces of advice that should guide your half marathon training. Here we go!
  1. Treat recovery and rest days like you do long runs, cross training, and all your other training days: as necessary evils/pleasures. The mark of a great runner as opposed to a good runner is one that accepts rest and recovery as being as important to the plan as the biggest workouts! And as they are as important, learn how to nail your recovery days. This doesn’t mean spending them sitting on your biscuit and doing nothing. Check out my tips for optimal muscle recovery, and also make sure that you still get up and move around some on your days off.
  2. Just because you are running a half marathon does not mean that you are going to run a marathon but know that you just might! Half marathons are kind of your make or break distance, in many ways. For a long time, I thought the half marathon was all I ever wanted to do; I had no interest in marathons. But I got curiouser and curiouser, as it were, and I decided that I would go for it (to be honest, the same thing happened with my blog writing!). And now, I’m a running coach. But to wit, remember that just because you are running a half does not mean that now you must run a full. Run a full when you want to, and the timing is best, if at all.Susie lemmer
  3. Get fitted for running shoes by an expert, and one month into training, go back and buy another pair of shoes (possibly different brand or model!). I say wait a month because you want to know that you really dig those shoes, and you will need that much time to get to the miles that will let you know that you like them and they fit properly. Blisters are not badges of honor. That is the sign of a bad fit–be it the shoes overall or just improper lacing. Once you have your two pairs of shoes, rotate them. This is how I rotate my shoes during training.
  4. Do a taste test of fuels before you go out on the road/trail. Make sure that you can stomach what you are going to shove in your mouth however many miles in before you are out there and desperate. HUGE thing here: carbohydrates must be taken with water. Not lots of water, but at least 4 oz/125 mL. Otherwise? You won’t absorb the energy, and you might just revisit that carbohydrate. Not fun. 
  5. Half marathon training (and training in general) is going to test you physically, mentally, and emotionally, but if you go about it properly, you should not get burned out from running. That isn’t to say that every run will be perfect, but you shouldn’t curse running by the time of the race. Check out my post on avoiding marathon training burn out, and think critically about your schedule, training plan, and your approach, and make decisions for how to make training sustainable
Because ultimately? I want you to love it so much that you come back for more. 

There is so much more advice that I could give you, but for that, I urge you to check out my blog, contact me at Coach Suz Training for one-on-one running coach and personal training services, and start picking people’s brains! Have fun, stay injury free, and live beyond expectations!

Find me as well on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook at @Suzlyfe and Instagram @the_suzlyfe

IMG_20150903_080417

Thank you so much for your amazing advice, Suz! *Isn’t she awesome?!* If you still haven’t, make sure to check out her blog for more advice and laughs. I can assure, you won’t be let down. I’ve been her fan ever since we ‘met’ in the blog world over 2 years ago.

Finally, don’t forget to check in with me this WEDNESDAY as I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY! *Hint: Fitness junkies, you will really love this one!*

Now it’s your turn!

Have you run or trained for a half- or even full-marathon? What is the biggest piece of advice you could share?

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

 

25 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, Half-Marathon Training, Running

It’s Time For You To Meet Our Little Princess Sofia

Well, hello-hello, my dear blog world!

I know, you might have not expected to have me back, but I AM BACK! *hehe!*

As some of you may know, we had a baby girl in July. Needless to say, these past two and a half months have been the best months of my entire life! The excitement of having a baby beats everything!

September 12, 2015

I know I may sound ridiculous, but I still can’t quite believe that my hubby and I actually created this beautiful princess whom we called Sofia. I still tear up thinking that she grew inside of me, and that I was her home for the entire 39 weeks… If I were to describe how she makes me feel, an endless stream of love and affection that keeps on flowing and growing would probably be accurate. She is the most precious baby that blessed us by her presence in our lives and I can’t get over the fact of how much I love her… *GOSH, I LOVE HER!*

I’ll keep this post short, but I would like you to tell me what you would like to know more about: my pregnancy, fitness throughout pregnancy, birth story, coming home for the first time and introducing baby to our dog, etc.? Ask away!

Alright… Since my baby is still asleep, another short paragraph… Sofia and I have been going to a mommy-baby yoga class for the past 3 weeks and it’s been fun. Today, we will start a dance class too. I honestly can’t wait and keep on counting the hours down. We’ll have a blast without a doubt!

Oh… and guess what? I registered myself for my first half marathon next year. I’M THRILLED!!!

Back to mommy duty now 🙂

xoxo
Olena

9 Comments

Filed under Family

Why You Should Not Ignore Running Downhill And How To Do So Properly

Hi there! I hope you had a terrific weekend! One thing I can tell you for sure, my weekend was absolutely AMAZING! Not only was spent with my little family and a company of our friends in the mountains, but… DRUMM ROLL… my cold is GONE! Which means that I can finally resume my training!!! YIPPEE  KI-YAY!!! *Yup, I am this happy!*

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

At the chalet up north

The air was super fresh and the nature breathtaking!

Snow and trees

And obviously Bella was ecstatic to jump in the snow and run around. *Isn’t she beauty?!*

IMG_20140202_093453

I LOVE the feeling of being fresh, healthy and full of energy! But then, who doesn’t?! Haha!

Last week, I mentioned the importance of running downhill while training for the Spartan Trifecta. To be honest with you, I’ve never thought much of it. I’ve always focused on training running UPHILL like everybody else. Even though running downhill seems to be a much easier task than running uphill, it’s very simple to get injured (especially, quads) if you don’t train properly.

just run

Source

I found some great advice on how to avoid downhill disasters on Runner’s World. Here is a quick summary:

  1. Prepare your body: Peripheral conditioning (“mild lunges, negative or reverse squats, light plyometric work (in which you absorb eccentric shock), hopping and bounding so your muscles get used to the eccentric contractions”).
  2. Run downhill: Long runs with significant amounts of downhills.
  3. Run uphill: To take some of the load off your quads when you run downhills by strengthening hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Work on your form: As a surface slopes downward, you need to adjust your body position with a forward lean to keep you from hard heel striking, McGee says. Step down to the surface with each stride instead of stepping out to avoid overstriding and excessive impacts. Also, try to reduce upward oscillation (or bounding) and run softly with short strides and a high cadence.When you’re running downhill workouts of any speed, concentrate on your form to make sure you’re not overstriding or hitting the ground with too much impact, McGee says. “Think about trying to quickly cycle your legs under your pelvis,” he adds. “The duration of each footstrike should be very short and very light. With higher turnover and shorter, more frequent steps, you’re absorbing less shock per footstrike.”

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.

Source

Here you can find another excellent article with tips for excelling on declines from Runner’s World.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait on my running downhill until it gets warmer. Too bad they haven’t come up with a reverse incline on a treadmill! Please, do let me know if someone did! Haha!

As to my today’s workout, I’m going to cross train. According to the guide, some may find this workout difficult to swallow. *Gulp!*

Repeat 5 times:

  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 burpees
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 1 minute sprint
  • 1 minute rest

Finish with a steady state 4 miles run: run in zone 2 and low end of zone 3.

How was your weekend? Have you ever trained to run downhill? If so, what are your tips on training in winter?

xoxo
Olena

12 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health