My Trip To Paraguay

It has been good to be back home and back in the US…but I also miss being with family. I traveled to Paraguay and was there for 10 days. I went with my mom for my great-grandmother’s (my mom’s grandmother) 90th birthday. We planned a big party for April 12 (her birthday is April 13th), and it was great. About 50-60 people showed up to celebrate with her! Here I am with her, my aunt, grandma and mom:

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I spent half the time at my aunt’s house, and half the time at my other grandma’s house. I tried to run most days, but I’ll get into that in another post.

So what did I do there? I went shopping at their malls, went to a soccer game, went out to eat, had family parties/reunions, and more. 


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Although being back in the US is great, it is hard (especially for my parents) to have all of our family back in Paraguay. If you have your family here in the US and are able to see them regularly, don’t take it for granted!

But I am so glad my parents took the leap 26 years ago and moved to New Jersey. I can’t imagine my life any other way, and traveling to other countries really does make you see how lucky you are and the simple things you might be taking for granted.

Saying goodbye is always hard. My uncle, aunt, grandma and cousins came to the airport to see us off. 


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Overall an amazing trip. We are planning on heading back in June 2016 and doing what we did last summer for the World Cup…heading to Paraguay, flying to Rio for some Olympics action, heading back to Paraguay, flying back to the US. I really hope that all works out! I want to see some track and field live!

We’ll see how things work out in the future. 


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Why You Should Include Sweet Potatoes In Your Diet + 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes

Hi everyone! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged haha. I was in Paraguay for 13 days and am finally home today! My flight got in at 6:45 am, so needless to say I will be sleeping all day ;) That’s why I have a guest post for you today from Laura, who blogs at This Runner’s Recipes

I can’t wait to try these sweet potato recipes! I’ll let Laura take it from here!

Sweet Potato Recipes


Hi, everyone! My name is Laura, and I blog over at This Runner’s Recipes, where I talk about my passion for running, fitness, and food.

One of my favorite foods, which becomes quickly apparent if you read my blog, is sweet potatoes! I eat one of those delicious bright orange vegetables every day and never get sick of them.

As simple as they are, sweet potatoes are one of the best foods you can include in your diet, especially if you are training for a race or pursuing other fitness goals! Why should you include sweet potatoes in your diet? Here are four reasons:

Sweet potatoes are great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Our bodies need carbohydrates to fuel exercise, especially if you run, cycle, or swim. A medium sweet potato (approximately 1 cup or 200 grams) contains 41 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and only 180 calories. The carbs will provide you with the energy needed to fuel your fitness and the fiber will help you feel fuller longer. Additionally, sweet potatoes are grain-free, which makes them an ideal option for those who avoid gluten and grains due to sensitivities or diet.

Sweet potatoes can help replenish your electrolyte levels.
No need to reach for a huge bottle of Gatorade after every workout—sweet potatoes can help replenish lost electrolytes. Without getting too technical, electrolytes are electrically-charged ions in our bodies that keep our nerves, muscles, and heart functioning properly. These ions include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. While you may want to supplement with sports hydration products after harder efforts where you lost a lot of fluid, sweet potatoes provide electrolytes without the high amounts of sugar found in many sports drinks. One medium sweet potato has 76 mg of calcium, 54 mg of magnesium, 950 mg of potassium, and 72 mg of sodium. A little bit of sea salt will add in more sodium if you’re a salty sweater.

Sweet potatoes are full of necessary vitamins and minerals.
If you exercise regularly, you need to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals to support your active lifestyle. For example, many active women can experience low iron levels and anemia, so it’s important to eat iron rich foods. Sweet potatoes provide 8% of your daily iron levels, which is a good amount for a vegetarian source of iron. Sweet potatoes also provide more than your daily need of vitamin A, nearly all your daily value of vitamin C, and plenty of vitamin K and vitamin B6. Forget taking a multivitamin pill, just eat some sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are affordable and always available.
Eating a clean and healthy diet can get expensive, especially when you add it on top of a gym membership or race fees. By eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, you can help lower the cost of your grocery bill while still eating a healthy. Sweet potatoes are almost always in season and easy to find at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Additionally, they are one of the most affordable foods in the grocery store, usually costing $1-$2 per pound. Sweet potatoes can store for a few weeks in a cool, dry, and dark place such as the pantry.

So now that you’re going to add sweet potatoes to your diet, here are five delicious sweet potato recipes!

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes. They get a crispy on the outside, a soft inside, and only take about 30 minutes to prepare! Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash the sweet potato and slice it into thin slices. Usually, I cut the potato in half widthwise and then slice the fries from there. Toss the slices with ½ tablespoon olive oil (or oil of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and be sure to toss halfway through so the fries cook evenly.

Sweet Potato Hash
Whether you make this for breakfast or dinner, sweet potato hash is a comforting, filling, and easy to make meal that serves one but can easily be increased to serve more. Heat a small amount of olive or other oil in a pan and add a diced onion. Chop a sweet potato into small pieces (about ¼ to ½-inch) and cook until browned and tender. Wilt some spinach in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and topped with two eggs cooked as desired.

Sweet Potato Tacos
This vegetarian taco recipe is a healthy take on a Mexican favorite! Chop a sweet potato into bite-size pieces, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper to taste, and cook on the stove until tender. Toss with black beans, cilantro, and diced onion, top with avocado, and serve on whole wheat or corn tortillas.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Add an extra nutritional punch to your salad by topping it with roasted sweet potato. To perfectly roast a sweet potato, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, chop the potato into about 1-inch chunks, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and seasoned as desired. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until tender. While you can top any salad with roasted sweet potato, it is especially good with spinach, almonds, goat cheese, and carrots and an apple cider vinaigrette.

Crispy Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
I originally posted this recipe on my own blog, but it’s just too good not to share here! Roast a whole sweet potato at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Halfway through the cooking time of the sweet potato, toss about ¾ cup of chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast the chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, stirring a few times so that they cook evenly. Split the sweet potato open, stuff with the roasted chickpeas, and finish off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

5 Sweet Potato Recipes

How delicious does that look? There aren’t sweet potatoes in Paraguay (or at least that I know of) so I can’t wait to have a nice, hot dinner with some sweet potatoes :)

What is your favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes?

I also want to try making noodles of of them…do you cook them first or after?


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I’m In Paraguay

I  have pretty spotty wifi so I haven’t been able to update, but I am currently in Paraguay visiting family! I will be here until the 15th.

I didn’t write about it because it was a surprise for my family. They knew my mom was coming but didn’t know I was. It was a funny reaction when they saw me walk through the airport…they were shocked!

It’s been a fun week and a half so far, and I’ve been trying to run as much as I can. Follow me on Instagram to see my updates…it’s tough to get on a computer so I mainly have been posting on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s been great seeing and spending time with family. We’ve been blessed to be able to come back here in less than a year (we were here last summer during the World Cup), and we plan on coming back in 2016 for the Olympics in Rio!

Have a great weekend everyone!! I’ll be back in the good ol’ USA on Wednesday :)


“My Knees Hurt When I Squat”

“My knees hurt when I squat.” This is a common complaint, and one I have heard many times as a personal trainer. Because their knees hurt, people end up not doing squats at all, when in fact, squats can help you get stronger and actually decrease knee pain!

Today we are going to talk about why your knees hurt when you squat, and what you can do to fix it. 

How To Squat Without Knee Pain

Okay, if you’ve had a knee injury in the past, then yeah, that might be contributing to your knee pain (and you should see your PT or doctor to discuss whether you should or should not do certain exercises). However, most people have muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are causing this knee pain.

One of the main culprits is not engaging the core (or simply not having core strength) during the squatting motion. As you squat, you should be hinging at the hips and moving backwards as if sitting into a chair. If you don’t, your torso will lean forward, and your knees will be at an awkward angle, causing most of the load to be on your quads…which leads to the knee pain.

Here’s great info from trainer Kevin Yates:

When you lack proper core and hip strength muscle imbalances often result in the quadriceps and lower back over working. This is one of the main reasons for knee pain during squatting.

Movements like squatting and lunging are not bad for your knees and they don’t cause injuries.

Muscle imbalances are the real problem.

One of my favorite trainers, Tony Gentilcore, has a great post about fixing your squat and avoiding knee pain. His tip, box squats, was something I practiced regularly with my clients.

Basically, you set up a box or bench behind you in the squat rack. Your goal is to squat back and touch the box with your butt before coming back up (do not actually sit on the box and then come up, you are just tapping the box).

Tapping a box or bench helps you with that movement of sitting backwards. Your weight should be on your heels and not your toes during a squat. I’ve talked about squat tips in the past, and how you can improve your form. I’ve mentioned putting a plate under your heels. Why? Because if you have a muscle imbalance or tightness, your heels might be coming up during the squat movement. Elevating your heels a bit helps you get deeper and keep the weight in your heels.

From Tony Gentilcore:

If squatting hurts your knees—and you’re not suffering from an injury—it’s because you’re making your knees do more of the work than the hips. Learning how to utilize the hips during a squat is important if you want to make them more joint-friendly. Box squats can do that.

Squats and lunges are not bad for your knees! That’s a myth similar to that of running being bad for your knees and cracking your knuckles leading to arthritis. Squats and lunges, if anything, help improve your knee health. Start working on your core strength to take the pressure off your quads and knees.

One more thing before I move on to talking about your quads…if you’re having trouble sitting back into your squat, try doing front squats and goblet squats. Since the weight is in front of your body as opposed to on your back, it will make it a bit easier for you to sit back into the squat. I talked about that in this post about squatting tips.

Moving on…another thing that might be causing your knee pain is quad weakness. If your knees hurt during walking lunges or after running, this might be why. In order to fix this, you just need to work your quad muscles a bit. Focus on exercises like the split squat, and progress to a reverse lunge. Avoid doing any forward movements like (duh) forward lunges or walking lunges…just until you build up your strength.

Here’s one of my first YouTube videos showing the split squat.

Similar with the squat, you should be going straight down NOT forward. If you are moving forward as you’re performing this you will probably feel that knee pain. Cues to repeat to yourself are: chest up, shoulders back. Your front heel should stay planted on the floor – if you come up on your toes, step your back leg further back/away from your front leg. 

My dad had knee pain during running and leg exercises, but once he started doing more split squats, his knee pain disappeared. He now runs 3 miles most days! Progression ideas for this exercise (once you master the split squat) would be: reverse lunge, front foot elevated split squat, rear foot elevated split squat, step-ups, and walking lunges.

***Remember though, please talk to your PT or doctor if knee pain is something you have regularly dealt with. Of course there could be some underlying issue that is not as simple as a muscle imbalance or lack of strength.***

Do you squat regularly? Have you ever felt knee pain?


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Week 13/52 of Training – 2015

Pretty proud of last week in terms of training. Only missed one of my planned runs and I was okay with that…just a 3 miler. Here it is:

Monday: 3 miles – track workout. Did this on the treadmill again because of the weather. 1 mile warm up, then 3×800 meters at 7.2 on the treadmill, cooldown. I forget what 7.2 pace is…I think 7:46 or something? It was 3:52 per 800. This was tough. It’s one of the workouts in the Run Less, Run Faster book, and I was supposed to do 4 but I was struggling by that third one. But I used to struggle with 6×400 at 8.2 pace and finally was able to do all 6 so I know I’ll get there!

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 5 miles – tempo run. 2 mile warm up, 2 miles around 9-9:30 pace, 1 mile cooldown. Didn’t quite hit the paces, first mile was 9:07, second mile was 9:54 (clearly I died haha). But it was a consistent effort. I always doubt myself in tempo runs because I don’t think I’ll be able to push myself for miles at a time. Though I guess that IS the point of tempo runs isn’t it? To gain confidence. 


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Just wanted to point out that this whole outfit is from T.J. Maxx! You all know I love workout clothes from T.J. Maxx! <– click that link for a round-up of my favorite deals, which I wrote a few months ago. The top I’m wearing is “Head” (the tennis brand, but it is so cozy), and the pants are “Marika Tek.” I think each one was around $12-$15? My favorite brands I use from T.J. Maxx are RBX Activewear, Marika Tek, and MPG. In case you cared or were wondering :-P

Thursday: 7 mile – long run. This is the longest we have ran in a loooooong time. It was just an easy paced run. At mile 2 there was a 1 mile long hill, no joke, 1 mile. Needless to say our pace dropped precipitously (SAT vocab right there). We ran from my town to our YMCA, which was 7 miles. It was really hilly and we walked a few times but we plan on doing this route regularly. And it was finally in the 50s, so I could wear a t-shirt and shorts!


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Friday: Off

Saturday: 4 miles. My mom and I met at the Y and ran on the treadmill. I know for many of you 30s isn’t cold but I prefer running inside when it’s below 40 :) We did this treadmill workout, which made time go by much faster.

Sunday: Off…this was the day I should have ran 3 miles. I was out all day with Dan and then we went out to dinner with his family in the evening. 

Total miles: 19. Still not a huge number but working my way up! Would like to get to 25-30s consistently before starting marathon training.

Do you think running hilly routes helps for a flat course? Or should you run flat routes for a flat course?

What’s your temperature minimum in order to run outside?


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Help Me Sleep!

I have had the worst sleep lately. All week it has taken me an hour to fall asleep, and then I end up waking up every hour feeling wide awake and struggle to go back to sleep. It is so frustrating.

I know there are things I could be doing, like logging off from the computer earlier in the night, so I’m looking for other tips beyond this. 

Basically, I just toss and turn every night. Even beyond just this past week, every single night I wake up to go to the bathroom at least 1-2 times. The only nights I don’t are when I had a hard workout or something and am exhausted.

This issue seriously sucks, and from what I’ve found online it’s called “nocturia,” which is described as this by the Cleveland Clinic:

Nocturia is a condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to urinate. 

Normally, you should be able to sleep six to eight hours during the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom. People who have nocturia wake up more than once a night to urinate. This can cause disruptions in a normal sleep cycle.

I’ve told my doctor about it, and they tested me for diabetes and what not (don’t have it), and told me to just not drink too much water/fluids before bed. I do that. The last I drink is usually during dinner and maybe I’ll have a gulp of water right before bed.

My sleep is so interrupted because of this, and as a result I feel tired most days. And this past week…forget it…on Monday I took an almost 2 hour nap because I was so tired from not being able to fall asleep the night before.


Do people sleep through the whole night and wake up feeling awake and refreshed? Because I honestly can’t imagine what that feels like. This is also what contributes to my “not a morning person” thing…I can’t wake up to exercise when I feel like a zombie and haven’t gotten restful sleep.

This post is pretty much just venting about lack of sleep, but I do want to hear your tips. How do you help yourself fall asleep at night? Here’s my usual bed time routine:

  • Read stuff on my laptop while I watch some Netflix. This is my way of relaxing after a long day.
  • Brush my teeth, take my contacts out, etc. etc.
  • Lay in bed, scroll through Instagram before setting my alarm and turning off the light.
  • Lay there for 15 minutes…still awake…get up to pee again so I can empty my bladder before falling asleep in hopes of not waking up in the middle of the night (doesn’t work).
  • If I don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, repeat above step.
  • Eventually fall asleep, and wake up at 2-3 am to pee.

I know one thing I can probably improve is scrolling through Instagram before bed. I should probably just read a book or something. But I really just want something mindless; sometimes books get my mind going and I can’t stop thinking about the book or plotline as I try to fall asleep lol.

I bought peppermint tea the other day to have after dinner as another way to relax. Maybe I’ll buy a lavendar candle or something to light before bed? Has anyone tried melatonin?

I am open to any and all suggestions!

What is your bedtime routine? Do you use anything to help you fall asleep?

Anyone else have to deal with “nocturia?”


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Quick Hamstring and Glute Workout

After a run, I really don’t feel like lifting. I know it’s a problem, and I should probably start splitting up my workouts (lift in the AM, run in the PM), but for now, I have been doing quick strength workouts post-run.

I did this one yesterday and really liked it. I wanted to focus on legs, especially hamstrings and glutes, which is why I named this a posterior chain workout.

We know that runners, and people who sit a lot throughout the day in general, are prone to weak glutes and hamstrings. That’s why working on your core is so important…and these two muscle groups are part of your core!

While doing lunges, squats, step-ups etc. does hit your hamstrings a bit, those mainly target quads and glutes. By not doing hamstring specific work, you’re setting yourself up for an imbalance. 

Here are a few facts about your hamstrings that I found here:

The role the hamstring plays in running is twofold:

1. when a runner’s leg is in the air advancing forward, the hamstrings control how quickly the knee extends and the hip flexes;

2. when the runner’s foot hits the ground, the hamstrings will do the reverse and flex the knee and extend the hip. This is a key distinction because the hamstring muscles must quickly transition from one role to another once the foot strikes the ground. It is during this transitional period that injuries frequently occur.

So this workout is one you’ll definitely feel throughout your back side…and I threw in the windmills for a little oblique action as well, though even those I felt in my hamstrings too! 

If you don’t have access to do cable kickbacks, you can do kneeling kickbacks (get on all fours, kick your straight leg up into the air, focus on a slow, controlled motion). 

Here’s the workout, and keep reading for video instructions if you need them!

Hamstring & Glute Workout
Cable kickbacks:

Kettlebell windmills:

Kettlebell swings *good form is important for this, so watch this whole video!*

Read more tips and cues from personal trainer Annie Brees in regards to the kettlebell swing…it’s a great exercise and if you can only do one thing after a run, I’d definitely suggest this!

I did this workout yesterday after an 800s repeat treadmill workout, and then finished up with a good stretch and sauna session. Stay tuned for another workout I’ll post on Thursday that focuses on your quads…remember, it’s all about balance!

Do you lift after a run? Or split up your workouts?

Do you prefer working on your quads or hamstrings? I love doing heavy deadlifts!


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Questions About Training For a PR

Happy Monday everyone! We’re not even going to go into my training last week because I was home sick most of the week therefore only ran twice. One easy run and one speed workout on the treadmill…which is actually what is prompting this post today…

I want to hit some PRs this year. I’m probably running a spring half end of April or in May, but I know this probably won’t be a PR, and I’m okay with that. My main goal is a fall half marathon and marathon PR.

I’ve been reading Run Less, Run Faster because so many of you recommended it to me in previous posts. It’s definitely intriguing. While I don’t think I will only be running 3 days a week (I do want to experiment with higher mileage and see what happens), I do want to do the workouts. 

Run Less, Run Faster

I was looking at the 4:10 marathon plan since my goal is a 2:05 half marathon. The track workouts are definitely speedy for me, but I’m willing to put in the work. Which is what leads me to these questions:

  • Should you be running faster than usual to get faster? For example, some plans, like Jack Daniels or others, use training paces in relation to your most recent 5K or other race. Meaning, my track workout paces would definitely not be what’s in plan in Run Less, Run Faster. BUT, I want to train to get faster…does that make sense?
  • Some people say too much intensity leads to injury…but then we have people doing crazy fast sprints/hill sprints on treadmills as a HIIT workout…people who might not run on a regular basis at all…(random point I know…I’m just thinking outloud here).
  • Lastly, even though intensity could lead to injury, many plans also say “if you want to run a half or full at a certain pace, you need to train at that pace,” so then…why would I be going based on my most recent 5K time, and run workouts at a pace that I’m already running?

Like I said, I’m mainly just thinking outloud and would love to hear feedback from you. Especially if you’ve used the Run Less, Run Faster plan.

Today I’m supposed to be doing 800 repeats at 7:47 pace I think. That’s fast for me, and I did it last week but could only finish 2.5 repeats (I was also sick)…so we’ll see how it goes!

Have you used the Run Less, Run Faster plan to set a PR? Did you find the workouts really challenging? Or do I need to “step down” a plan?

What do you think of my questions regarding training intensities?


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The Plight Of The Honey Bee + Nektar Honey Crystals Review

Disclaimer: Nektar Naturals provided me with product. All opinions are my own.

Did you know the honey bee population in the US is declining? I didn’t know until I started working with Nektar Naturals, who makes Nektar Honey Crystals. I’ll give you more info on that in a minute.

The plight of the honey bee...do you know how it affects you?

According to the US Department of Agriculture:

The honey bee population in the United States has been declining for decades. The number of managed U.S. honey bee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today.

Last summer, the USDA provided $8 million as “incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honey bee populations.”

So why should we care?

When you think of honey bees, you might only be thinking of them pollinating flowers, etc. But bees are responsible for a lot of the crops we might be eating on a daily basis. The USDA Agricultural Research Service states:

Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees.

I really never even thought of those things in relation to bees. In California, approximately 60 percent of all manage honey bee colonies (1.4 million colonies) are used for the almond industry.

Colony losses can be linked to pathogens, colony collapse disorder (where beekeepers just find dead colonies with no bees), weather (like unusually hot or cold), and more. The USDA is still researching factors and what might be causing this vast decline.

A tip they give to the public is to not use pesticides during the day, when bees might be out looking for nectar or pollinating plants. 

Again, I had never even thought of any of this! So what does this have to do with Nektar Honey Crystals?

Well, I first heard of the plight of the honey bee through working with them. On their website they talk about using eco-friendly materials for all phases of production whenever possible. The company states they support the efforts of the research being done in this field to stop this decline.

So what are Nektar Honey Crystals?

They’re exactly that. Honey crystals! Jeremy Edelman, founder, was tired of the sticky mess of honey bottles and jars. As a tea drinker myself (and someone who eats oatmeal on the go regularly), I can relate. I don’t take my honey bottle with me because it’s just a mess. 

Anyway, that’s how the honey crystals were born! 

Nektar Naturals
The honey crystals are all natural granulated honey. 1 packet is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of honey. They are naturally gluten-free, GMO free, Made in the USA (!), and Kosher.

I’ve tried it in my oatmeal and teas, and have spread the word to my best friend and my family…who also love it. Here’s an oatmeal shot from my friend:

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 9.49.50 AM
You can use them for a lot of things, such as baking (protein pancakes anyone?)

Or a myriad of other recipes. Here are a few actually from fellow bloggers:

All great ideas I would have never thought of…and that’s why I’m not a food blogger ;)

Nektar also provides recipe ideas on their website, from sweet potato fries to an apple honey cocktail (yum). They also mention using it as a sports drink. Add in honey crystals to your water, add lemon, and you’ve got home made Gatorade. Honey contains natural electrolytes and sugar for that boost you need. I haven’t tried this but will once I start doing longer runs…stay tuned for my review on that!

You can find Nektar at most grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Shop Rite (for my NJ peeps). Use their store locator to find a store near you.


Lastly, they are hosting a giveaway that ends March 20. You can win 3 different cannisters of tea from Bare Tea, which makes organic whole leaf teas, 2 boxes of Nektar Honey Crystals and 2 mugs. Want to win? Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m going to keep doing research on the honey bees because now I’m intrigued. I really had no idea. It’s funny how we can take simple things, like honey and honey bees, for granted and not even give them a second thought. 

Did you know about the honey bee decline?

What is one environmental issue you feel strongly about? For me it’s deforrestation. Sigh.


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Week 11/52 of Training – 2015

Not a very good week of training in terms of days run. Yeah I know…I need to be more consistent with my mileage. I asked a question in the reddit running forum about qualifying for Boston (one day) and basically everyone was like you need to RUN MORE ASAP. I mean, it’s no surprise. My running coach has been telling me the same thing. I know what I need to do it’s just a matter of doing it. Questions for you runners:

  1. How do you balance running with strength training (for those of you who run almost every day)? I just do not feel like lifting after running but obviously need to.
  2. What’s your best tip to motivate yourself on days you really don’t feel like running?
  3. Have you ever gone through a running rut where you’re just blah about running?

Even though I’ve been kinda blah, last night I found this blog, Miles To The Trials, and was reading about her story. She went from a 4:07 marathon to qualifying for the Olympic Trials! That really motivated me and I told myself I can qualify for Boston one day, it’s just a matter of dedication and hard work. And I need to buck up and do the work. 

Anyway, here was last weeks training:

Monday: First longer outdoor run! 6 miles at 10:00 pace. Felt okay, shins kinda hurt after but I figure it was because it was my first longer run outside. My body was EXHAUSTED the day after, no joke, I felt so fatigued. Anyone have this issue when transitioning from treadmill to outdoors?

Tuesday: Off because of the fatigue issue mentioned above.

Wednesday: Track workout…finally outside as opposed to the treadmill! 1 mile warm up then 6×400 meters at 1:50 per lap. Doubted myself because I figure it’s a bit easier on the treadmill to keep a certain pace…but actually could do it! Challenging but fastest I’ve ever done a 400 meter workout :)


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Thursday: Off because shins were really sore from the track.

Friday: Off because I’m lazy. I know.

Saturday: St. Patty’s Day 5K. 28:45ish (there was no start timing mat so I crossed a bit after the gun went off). Felt really good throughout the race minus one huge, long hill in the middle. I’ll take it for not having been running much but I really do want to get a 5K PR this spring! Current PR is 25:13. After the race we all went out for St. Patrick’s day since it was the parade, festivities in the town. Running a morning race + day drinking = being in bed that night at like 9 pm haha.


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Sunday: Off.

Going to go for more miles this week. I know I need to be more consistent…I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately in terms of motivation. Help!

Do you get super tired from running outside after being on the treadmill for a while?

Motivation tips please!


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