Archives for January 2017

Survey Results and Training Plan

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU from deep within my heart to everyone who completed the reader survey last week! I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of responses, and it has reassured me I am headed in the right direction with my posts. If you haven’t taken it yet, and want to participate, please feel free to hop on over and take it now. It will only take a few minutes.

Survey Results

One thing just about all readers had in common? You want more running related posts! So once I give a quick review of the survey, I will talk about my training plan for the next 11 weeks. And it also looks like many of you want me to continue with the plant-based recipes, so we are golden there!


The other thing everyone had in common? You ALL said YES or MAYBE to a “Travel” section on the blog; not a single NO! Mr. Zucchini Runner and I travel quite a bit; particularly locally in AZ, so I am very happy to share our upcoming adventures with everyone! We just got back from a quick trip to the Grand Canyon and a quick stop in Sedona!

It also seems people were less enthusiastic about a paid eBook, but for those who were, the topic of choice was, “How to Transition to Plant-Based Nutrition”, with a close second of “Running Basics” and “Pantry Reorganization” TIED. More people were interested in a FREE handout, with the same topics in winning order. So I will need to see what the best approach is for that one. Stay tuned for updates!

Now, on the weekly Facebook posts, it seems like “Meditation Monday” and “Shopping List Sunday” were close contenders. I have noted this in my weekly posting schedules and I will try both for a while and see how it goes!

There was also some great feedback and post ideas provided in the “share your other thoughts” section, which I hope to incorporate in upcoming posts! Thanks again and if you have anything else you’d like to share, or other suggestions please comment below or take the survey. 🙂

Training Plan

My training for 2017 is going to be very different from 2016. My approach for 2016 was to just keep it light and low and nothing too strenuous. Mr. Zucchini Runner and I were giving ourselves one last shot at starting a family, which meant taking it extra easy on the body. As a result, I ran about 500 miles in 2016 compared to 935 in 2015. In addition, we did a LOT of yoga, and many of those miles were very short runs, at a very easy pace.

In 2017 we are moving on, and letting go. We have tried all that we want to try and do, in regards to starting a family. So, if it happens it happens, but we are no longer going to put our life on hold for the “what ifs” or the “maybes”. 2017 is about getting into the best shape we have been in so far, with the main rule that we also do it in the healthiest way possible. How do we define that?

In a word, BALANCE.

We will not strictly or rigidly eliminate any single food group that we enjoy. We will practice moderation however, and be extremely mindful of the food we consume. If we eat something that doesn’t have high nutrition, it is a choice we are making and not an evil or bad food.

As I mentioned in my previous post, where I discussed my 2017 goals, I have a fitness log — the good ole fashioned paper kind — where I am tracking my workouts and nutrition for the next 3 months. Week one is already complete and it is working out very well so far!

Below is a rundown of the fitness plan I have mapped out.

This planner is called the “Be Well Fitness Log” by Inkwell Press. I purchased it at Office Max.

Essentially it looks like this:

  1. Monday – 20 minutes of weights + 3 mile run
  2. Tuesday – Strength workout (30-45 minutes; CVX, PiYo or The Challenge)
  3. Wednesday – 5 mile run (tempo and easy alternating weeks)
  4. Thursday – 3 mile run (with pick-ups/sprints alternating weeks)
  5. Friday – Upper body weights + bike/spin indoors
  6. Saturday – Long run day
  7. Sunday – Yoga

I will of course modify this as needed, but I always do better with a plan as my guide. You can already see where I adjusted week 1 in some spots, based on having company in town.

Below shows a detail of a single day, which also focuses on nutrition. I have chosen not to count calories, but instead give each meal a rating.

  • 0 – no nutritional value; cookie, fudge, etc.
  • 1 – minimal nutritional value; granola, almond milk, processed foods like GF crackers, bread, etc
  • 2 – some nutrition but no color; baked potato, wild rice, quinoa
  • 3 – some nutrition but high sugar/fat; fruits and nut butters
  • 4 – good nutrition; has lots of veggies but some protein (veggie burger, beans, eggs)
  • 5 – ideal nutrition; all greens, essentially if I ate a plate of nothing but broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, bok choy and kale with onions and garlic

The above is the epitome of what I consider leading a life focused on plant-based nutrition. The best scenario would be to have green leafy plants first and everything else is secondary in a descending order. I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but I would imagine this is similar to their concept, except I don’t value processed foods. This method is not an exact science, it’s just a self-imposed one I have developed to help me to keep my food in check.

Below is the training I’ve completed so far for 2017, based on my Strava data. I have managed to run 48 miles, which I’m pretty stoked about! The key with all of my runs this year, is that I want to keep my heart rate under 160 beats per minute for 90% of my runs. (If it is a race, all bets are off and I won’t even pay attention to HR.) So far, easy runs have fallen in the 135-145 bpm range, average runs fall in the 145-155 bpm range and decent effort runs reach 160-163 bpm; which is typically my long run or a mid-week tempo run. I will keep that in mind as I move forward with training and keep you all posted with how it’s working.

So, how’d I do? Is this post helpful and informative?

2017 Goals and Help Wanted

I need your help! You may have seen my New Year post on Facebook, about starting 2017 with some goals and plans! If not, I’ll save you the trouble of clicking and let you read it here:

2017 is here! To some it’s just another day, but in this house it’s a fresh start; a new beginning. We have both set goals for ourselves, WRITTEN them down and formed a plan for how to reach those goals. As I mentioned last week, 2017 is going to be a very different focus for me than 2016 was. I’m so excited and relieved that my focus has shifted. It’s a good feeling putting effort into something I know I can actually control. 2016 was filled with a lot of unknowns and a lot of hoping; not an area I excel in but at least I gave it a good solid effort. I have some clear cut goals for my fitness and nutrition mapped out for the next 3 months. Come the end of March I will set some more! Set your goals high and be sure to create a plan on how to reach those goals! Otherwise they are just good intentions

Setting goals or resolutions is one thing, it’s a great starting point… but until you create a PLAN for how you will achieve those goals, they won’t materialize out of thin air. I enjoy following a list, and following a plan — I’m just not very good at forcing myself to SIT DOWN and create said plan. haha

Over the past week I’ve sat down multiple times and chipped away at this. Using multiple planners, calendars and notepads to sort my thoughts and track various things. I created calendar appointments, alerts on my phone and scheduled my workouts 3 months out.

This was my final push to wrap up planning on Monday night; I’m not gonna lie. I got a headache and was feeling very stressed! But once I got it DONE I felt great; accomplished.

I’m sharing all of this, because I want you to succeed in 2017! So many people set goals, but forget to plan. If you have goals and dreams for 2017, you need to do the work to reach them… and this is your friendly reminder!

One of my goals for 2017 is to get this blog back to where it was before I took a break from blogging. <— Scratch that …is to get this blog to a place where it is providing value and serving YOU, my reader.


If you are a reader of Zucchini Runner, please please please I beg of you (and if you know me, you know that is not my thing, so I’m super serious here) PLEASE take this short survey to help me better serve YOU. Yes, this blog has always been for me to track my fitness and recipes, but in 2017 I want it to be so much more. Sharing my posts, liking my posts, and commenting (here, or on social media) is how I get to know YOU, too.

  •  If you share something, I know you enjoyed it and that you also think others will too.
  • If you comment, I get to know you even better!

I’m not an expert, I’m just a person trying to give back by sharing my journey, knowledge, and the experience I do have. We are all at different points on our personal journey’s and I’d like to learn from you too.

So in the interest of sharing some of me, with you here are some of my goals for 2017:

  • incorporate more strength training and be on a regular run schedule again
  • get healthy for ME, not for the hopes of a pregnancy
  • actively LIVE in the present; using meditation as a tool 1-2 times daily
  • run 1,300 miles (let’s keep in mind I ran roughly 500 miles in 2016; lowest mileage year in a long, long time)
  • send paper birthday cards to my immediate family again (yes, via snail mail!)
  • read 10 books from start to FINISH ( <– this is a TALL order for me. But it also includes audio books, so I should be able to do this! Hellooooo Audible!)
  • as stated above, get my blog to a place where it provides value and serves others
  • many more goals, but this is the short list!

Now, please please go take the survey! Thank you so much. You all ROCK!