(Half) Marathon Monday – The nutrition post



If you’ve been training for a while now, and were thinking:

  1. How have I not lost any weight yet??
  2. I want to eat all the things all the time!!

You are not alone.  When I first started training I used a mad fat stack of pancakes as a reward for just getting out and doing the training.  Keeping in mind that the basic formula for weight gain is calories in vs. calories out I would often “reward” myself for doing 5 miles with a 1,000 calorie breakfast because I was famished after exerting all that energy.

Princess Training 4_30_11 034


But then I took myself on a little fitness journey and learned a bit about nutrition, and how to train and lose weight, or maintain my weight.  So I thought I would share some of what I learned with you!

Think of food as fuel.  In order for your body to get through a run, short or long, it needs some carb action.  Eating the correct combo of foods before and after your run will help you have a great run, and ensure that you recover without eating all the things.

Example:  Before your run – Toast with peanut butter and a banana.  this is a good balance of carbs, fats, and the banana has potassium to help with those side stitches and cramps.

After your run – Chocolate milk immediately (Carbs, protein, and fats), followed by some fresh fruit like watermelon, oranges or grapes to rehydrate you and replenish some of those carbs you burned up.

Remember that you burn about 100 calories a mile, so if you track your calories and are looking to lose weight choose foods that are low in calories, but have a lot of bang for the buck, like a salad with grilled chicken breast and tons of veggies.  You will fill up, without totally negating your run.  If you are looking to maintain, feel free to eat back those calories…but don’t choose a bag of Doritos and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (that is what I did after my last half!  I burned 1344 calories and amazingly a bag of Doritos is 1300 calories.)

The night before a long run, or race day grab some yummy pasta, but skip the garlic bread.  The pasta is, you guessed it…carbs for your run.  But don’t go nuts.  Stick to portion sizes.  I avoid the garlic bread because of the massive amounts of sweating I do…garlic tends to ooze out of my pores and nobody needs to smell that.

HYDRATE.  But please remember that your body also needs salt too…when you sweat your salt contains a little sodium, and if you don’t replenish that too you will swell up like a balloon!  So during your long run, or race day, carry a few salt packets with you or pretzels.  A lot of gels, goos and chews have sodium in them too so do what works for you.

Finally, on the topic of gels, goos and chews.  Try out a few on your training runs.  I like Goo Chomps, and gummy bears.  I have a few gels but they are just not great tasting.  My go-to is gummy bears.  They are the perfect amount of chew, have some sugar for energy and feel like a treat so that at the end of my run I don’t go bananas eating all the things.

I hope these tips help you with your nutrition plans and keep you on track with your training!!

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5 Things Friday

5 Things Friday

TGIF eh?  It’s been a week.  Like, a hard week over here at the Holmberg House.

Mama’s running on little sleep from a racing mind, and too much to do; and baby is still working on teeth and just itching to get up and walk…um what happened to crawling?!  I guess we are skipping that stage!

Ok so here are my 5 things…

  1. Just watched the #OITNB season 2 finale…woah.
  2. I walked almost 4 and a half miles in flip flops on Monday.  Opps.  But we made a new friend! nature walk
  3. I have spent 3 days this week hunting for a new 18 month planner.  Seriously, trying the find just the right one is hard.  Kind of like finding the right guy.  But I did and I cannot wait to share it with you.  It will be perfect for keeping track of all the things, races, meals, budgets and the stuff I want to share with all of you!  stay tuned for that.
  4. 50.  Shades. Trailer.  I am not super impressed with the casting choices, but I will give it a chance.
  5. My sweet lil SIL leaves on Sunday.  We are going to miss her so much!!!!!  It’s been an awesome 2 months with her!  I am so glad that she got to go to Florida, AND come home with me for this last month.  We will miss you E!! <3

Throwback Thursday


My first birthday…clearly I loved the balloons.

I have been thinking a lot about Miss Hadley’s first birthday.  Not sure if we will do low key or plan something fun with some friends.  I know that she will not remember it, but it should still be a fun day full of celebration.

Progress report: Goals and rewards check in

Goals and rewards 2

So last week I earned my 20 lb reward (again…I gained and now lost again).  I am so excited to be halfway there!  It’s only taken 9 months, but at least it’s coming off and not going on!  I am switching around some of my awards…because I made my bib and medal racks/displays a while ago.  And I got my massage and mani/pedi for Mother’s Day.  And I traded my Fitbit for a Garmin 220…and I got 2 new pairs of shoes.  Plus with the added bonus of losing some of this weight…all of those cute workout clothes from pre-pregnancy are like new!  I was really excited to pull them out of storage a few weeks ago!

goals and rewards rewards


So I need some new rewards!  I decided that my 20 pound reward was to be personal training!  I adding personal training to my gym membership this week as a way to keep me motivated, and give me some new stuff to work on!  So once a month I will be meeting with a trainer!  Woot!

And this time I am posting progress pictures!

7.18.14 check in

Please excuse my dirty mirror!  I love that I can actually see the progress now.  For months now I’ve still been seeing this same chubby Mama, and felt like It just was not changing.  But now I can see the changes.

I had sort of forgotten how skinny I was until I saw this photo while looking through some old pictures for a project.

vegas, baby 015

This was during our honeymoon, and I was about 15 weeks pregnant here…but I was so small!  Crazy…

The next milestone is 30 pounds…and I am already 1 pound closer!  So 9 more pounds to go until I get a… ‘nother massage!  I really need it with all of the hell the trainer has put me through over the last 3 weeks… and by hell I mean awesomeness.

Do you give yourself rewards for accomplishing something?  Do you have to have a race or an event to keep training for?



Chewsday Tuesday – The “Salads are healthy” myth: 3 fixes for your lunchtime salad

salads debate


So it’s lunchtime and you head down to your office’s cafeteria, or favorite lunch spot and opt for the salad bar, or order a salad from the menu.  Because, salads are healthy.  Right?

Not always.

But you can totally make them awesomely healthy with the right choices at the salad bar, the right ordering instructions, or making your own at home.

salad barI love salad bars.  Building my own salad is my favorite thing.  I always add tons of stuff.  I have the most control over my food when I prepare it myself.  Here my tips for creating your own healthy salad at the bar:

Load up on the greens!  Choose a spring mix and spinach as the base and top with iceburg.  These greens pack a powerful nutritional punch, for every little calories.  Add those veggies!  Carrots, cucumbers, broccoli…go nuts! What ever veggies you love add em!!  Most veggies are super low in calories, so you can fill up without going over your calorie budget.  Try a protein.  A lot of salad bars have hardboiled eggs, and I generally get 2 for my salad.  They are a great clean and lean protein, and the yolks can be removed if you are looking for low fat.


This is where you have the least control over the salad.  But here are some ways that you can choose the best salad on the menu

Backyard BBQ chicken Salad

Look for the greenest greens, again spring mix and spinach are really great.  Look for fresh produce, like strawberries, avocados, tomatoes and such.  When it comes to the protein on the salad look for lean, un breaded chicken…grilled is best, or shrimp, turkey breast, even steak is great.  Skip the tortilla strips, and sour cream on a taco salad…even the cheese if you can.

The above salad is my ab.so.lute favorite in the history of ever.  But with the dressing its nearly 800 calories.  So I make it home all the time, or variations of it nearly weekly.

A word about additionals and dressings…get them on the side.  For things like seeds, nuts, croutons, or the ever popular “bacon bits” (just say no to fakin bacon), at the salad bar, use a dish to portion out those items, and add the dressing on the side, or ask the server to put them on the side rather than on the salad itself.  Most salads are unhealthy for one reason: dressings.  They are typically super high in calories and fat and that healthy veggie salad you just made is now covered in 1200 calories of dressing.  Most salads have a serving size of 1 to 2 TABLESPOONS at about 60-80 calories a pop…and you know restaurants probably are not measuring out that portion for you before they dump it on your salad.  I love me some blue cheese and french mixed together…mmm mmm mmm…but I don’t like it on my ass.  So I try to stick to vinaigrettes most of the time now.  And save those high calorie dressings for a cheat day.


I will let this great graphic be your guide here…plus 3 salads I make at home regularly for your lunchtime enjoyment!

at home


Do you have a favorite salad?  What’s your go-to healthy salad?


(Half) Marathon Monday – training in less than optimal weather



Training for any endurance is event is never easy, and getting those trainings in no matter what is crucial.  But there is always the question: do I run in the rain/snow/cold/heat?  And the answer to that question is…what if it’s raining/snowing/freezing balls/hot as hades on race day?

When I was training for my first half it rained so much I coined the phrase “it’s not Team in Training unless it’s raining”.  Not to mention the insane weather here in Minnesota, cold one day too hot the next…

Princess Training 4_30_11 007

It was always a miserable time.  But if I skipped every wet, or cold training I would have never gotten any of my miles in.

So I thought I would share some of my training tips for getting some miles in during those not-so-awesome weather days.


*I covered a lot of this in the Gear post, but this is just a recap…

  • If you are training during the spring for a summer event, rain is inevitable so you might want to invest in some rain gear.  You could always wait it out, and go later…but some good rain gear will make a soggy run less miserable.  A jacket, pants, and good moisture wicking socks are great items to have in your rain gear arsenal.
  • When training in the cold, be sure to layer!  And layer smart.  Your base layer should be really moisture wicking.  You want that layer to pull all the moisture away from your skin.  It’s nuts I know, but even though it’s cold you sweat.  You mid layer should be a good insulator, but again moisture wicking.  The outer layer shouldn’t need to be too bulky, but if you live in the north where the temps dip…and the wind blows look for something that blocks the wind.  Not to mention the extras to keep you warm…hat, headband, gloves…that is all personal preference.
  • On the hot days…wear something lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking.  Don’t forget the sunscreen…and HYDRATE.

Personal Safety:

  • Use your best judgement…if the weather looks unsafe, it probably is.  Don’t run in blizzards and thunderstorms…just hit the dreadmill.  It’s not the most optimal training scenario…but you can get some miles in that way.
  • Always let someone know where you are going, but especially if the weather could be not so awesome.  There are a few great tracking apps for iphone and android that your SO or family can use to track you.  Wear a reflective vest, or light, and stay clear of roads with no shoulder.  Too many runners are hit and killed every year…be sure to be seen!
  • If you will be on a long run…get a friend or family member to set up shop at your halfway point as a water stop, or check in.  This is great if it’s raining and you can have a change of shoes and socks there…this is a good thing to have planned if race day is rainy too.  You’ll lose a few minutes changing; but avoid blisters (try to anyway) in the end.

So those are my tips for training in crappy weather…do you have any go-to tips for training is not so awesome conditions?

5 Things Friday

5 Things Friday

I cannot believe that July is halfway over.  Stop it time.

I feel like this summer is getting away from me.  I was doing some calendaring this afternoon and flipped to October…omg #babylove is going to be a year old in like 10 weeks or so…wtf.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks but here the 5…

  1. Last Saturday I ran my first obstacle race.  While I was running it I kept thinking how much I hated it and that I would never do it again.  But now that the pics are in…I might change my mind.  It sucked at the time, as all races do.  But I feel super mighty and super strong for having done it.  Not to mention badass. race_70_photo_5296516
  2. A while back we took the 28 Day No Spending challenge, well we decided after this last trip to Florida that we were going to a cash based system.  EEEEKKK… and it’s a tight one too!  It is helping us be more strategic in our budget and weekly grocery shopping.
  3. I got my hairs cut this week.  And my fab mommy friend also debulked the holy bejeezus out of it.  We swept up a whole entire other head of hair.  I never actually lost all what I had gained during pregnancy, and when I got it cut in December (yes, that was really my last cut) we didn’t do any thinning of any kind because I had no idea if I would lose a bunch or not.  It looks amazeballs.
  4. I tried “that crazy wrap thing” this week…stay tuned for a post next week on that…but the skeptic in me has been silenced.
  5. Sam’s Club or Costco?  Opinions?  Go…

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

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My life as a Mother Runner


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