Hi guys! My hiatus from blogging and running are officially over:) I thought I would start things off with a feature of Kristen Fuller, the inspiring health enthusiast behind @i.choose.healthy. I love her feed because its extremely helpful (she knows her stuff!) and she has a realistic, non-extreme view of healthy eating and fitness habits. Well, after following her instagram feed for a while, I saw that she ran a relay race in Puerto Rico (where she lives) and I just KNEW I had to feature her on my blog. So, here you go. Do not forget to check out her feed– I know you will love it!
Hi my name is Kristen Fuller. I am a mommy to three amazing little boys, dietitian, and a fitness enthused. I recently moved to Puerto Rico right after having baby number 3 and I have been sharing my story ever since. I started an instagram account @i.choose.healthy to share how all my new friends around the world are choosing to be healthy. After moving to Puerto Rico, I realized how big the world is and with so many different views. I have been educating people on how to be healthy while they teach me the ways of Puerto Rico. I’m putting my health knowledge to the test while balancing three kids, a new country, and missing all my conveniences of home. I have learned that eating healthy does not have to include, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I have gone back to basics here on this amazing island and am learning how the people of Puerto Rico choose to be healthy.
I recently signed up with a group of women to complete a 50 mile relay race. It was a fundraiser for a children’s hospital called, San Jorge. I signed up based on a group email that was sent to me and at first, I didn’t respond fast enough and all the spots were filled. A few weeks before the race I got an email that one of the girls dropped out and I was in. I was excited to do this because I have never done anything like this and with me recently moving to Puerto Rico, I thought it would be a fun way for me to see this island. I feel like when I run I see the area in such a different way rather than just driving through in a car. This is only the second year this race has been going SO outside from the inaccurate elevation chart and the wild dogs chasing me, it was such a fun race with the most amazing scenery. There were 5 ladies and we each ran up to 10 miles. I decided to split mine up and do two legs of 5 miles each.
When I first started training for this I didn’t really know where to begin. With the race happening in a few short weeks, I knew I needed to make a plan fast. When I did other races I was working towards getting my miles up but with just 5 as my end goal I knew I needed to approach my training different. I knew I could run 5 miles but didn’t know what my body would feel like resting for a few hours and then having to run it again. When would I refuel? How many hours out would I need to eat so that by my second leg I was recovered and re-energized? This was new to me but I felt lucky that I was in pretty decent shape and that I wasn’t starting from scratch. I usually do a boot camp class a few days a week and I thought if I could finish that class in the morning and then do my loop around my neighborhood (which was 5 miles) later that day, I would be good. This was the mark that I felt I needed to hit in order to feel as though I was ready to run the race. Every week leading up to the race, I added to that goal until I eventually met it prior to the race.
When the day of the race came. I was picked to have the first leg. When the horn went off at 6 am, I began to run. I had to wake up an hour before I started to run in order to eat because I believe in eating a good nutritious breakfast, especially before a long run or hard workout. It was dark at the start of my run so you can imagine that I was thankful to have my headlamp. The course was just on a “normal” road, a normal road in Puerto Rico has a lot of pot holes and uneven pavements. I had to look down the entire time for awhile just so I wouldn’t trip and hurt myself. I found a person who was running the race that had a little faster pace than me and just stayed right behind him and carried on.
My first leg was supposed to have no elevation in it, but to my surprise most of it was uphill. I was thankful for my boot camp class at that moment because he throws everything at you in class and running hills are a regular addition to that class.
After I finished, I had about a 3-hour break. So I quickly got my amino acids in so I would quickly recover and then ate some food. I ate turkey slices and cheese, and then about an hour later, ate one of my protein balls to give me the carbs I needed.
Protein Ball recipe:
¼ organic natural peanut butter
1 ½ steel cut oats
3 T raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1-3 T almond milk until sticky
My second leg was not too bad. I felt proud that I had the endurance needed and I was able to finish. After the race ended, I was so glad it was over. My body felt confused and desperately needed a good stretch. After each leg we would just get back in a car and follow along with the runner. Running through the farm lands, through the rain forest, and finishing off along the coast was breathtaking. I can’t wait until next year to do it all again.