I am one month away from my half-marathon.

My training has been going well. I’m finally adjusting to my new school and gym schedule. I had to modify my gym sessions because I was finding it too hard to keep up with the long runs plus work around my classes.

I finished my first nutrition course last week. I absolutely loved it. Now I’m taking anatomy and physiology, which my instructors say is the most challenging course in the whole program. The memorization is tough, but every single class leaves me with my jaw open. I can’t get over how incredible our bodies are.

I’ve started experimenting with coconut water on my long runs. Coconut water is a natural electrolyte, containing a lot of the elements that runners need to replenish: potassium, sodium, and magnesium. So far it’s been working well, but I’m still trying different adjustments and I may try to add some protein powder. Once I get it all straightened out I’ll write a detailed post about natural hydration options.

I’ve also been re-thinking my product reviews. Originally I started a separate blogs for reviews but instead I’m going to incorporate them here. It just makes more sense – I already have a readership here. There are two reviews that I’m working on now. One is for earbuds and the other for water bottles.

I have had the hardest time finding a good set of earbuds for running. Every single one I buy stops working within a month and I can’t understand why. I try to be careful with the cord and I don’t think the running impact is that extreme, but for whatever reason I always break my earbuds.

So I got a pair with a warranty from The Source which of course broke, but when I went back they gave me problems with the warranty. So basically I didn’t get anything. They want me to go BACK to pick up my new pair, which is stupid because the earbuds only cost me about $5 on sale and it would cost me more to make the trip there AGAIN on bus. I’m never buying warranty from The Source again.

Since then I have found a company that makes earbuds specifically for runners and cyclists. So they’re sending me a pair in the mail this week and I’m going to review it.

I have also been looking for a water bottle. I’ve had various problems with water bottles and I can’t seem to find the perfect one to run with. I found a company that makes BPA-free water bottles and they’re sending me one to try out.

I’ve also been looking for a good fuel belt or camel pack. I went to a dozen sport stores but I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for. It looks like the only place that has what I want is the Running Room, which I was trying to avoid because their prices are usually higher than in other places. But it’s getting warm and I really need some hydration, so I think I’m headed to the Running Room this week.

Besides product reviews, I want to start posting some running/nutrition book reviews. The last one I submitted for publication was rejected because they said my review was too controversial. Ha. So you guys will get to read it anyway. Plus I got an email from my physiotherapist with more running tips that I wanted to share.

I’m also excited because this week I’m going through another fitness assessment. When I started with my trainer we did an assessment and Friday was my last day in the mass building program she developed for me. Now we’re about to enter a plyometrics phase, but she will re-assess me first. I’m excited to see what kind of improvements I’ve made.

I’m especially excited to see whether there has been any change in my body fat percentage. I have tried to measure it a few times and it seems that every scale I stand on tells me something different. Physically, I can SEE toning that I never had before. And I know I’ve lost fat. But I’m curious as to whether or not it will show on the scale.

I’ve had some questions from some of you, so at some point I’ll have to do a Q&A post. I like how you guys keep me on my toes. If you have any more questions for me feel free to leave a comment or email me at vanessaruns@gmail.com.

Speaking of emails, I got THE nicest email this week. Totally made my day. It was from someone named Simi and I asked her permission to post it, so here it is:

Hi Vanessa,

I just wanted to let you know that I recently came across your blog a few weeks ago & you’ve totally inspired me in so many ways.  I read a few blogs and have learned a lot, but your is different, it’s more educational.  I am trying to train to run marathons and lose weight, but I also now have a passion for healthy “clean” eating.

Since reading your blog, I’ve been very interested in pursuing a career in nutrition… I want to learn so much more about the foods, our bodies, etc…  Once I get back into school (fall semester), I will add this to my career.  Of course I need to figure out how to get started, which classes to take, schools, etc…  I have been filling my body up with junk for 27 years and have now realized the “right” way of eating.

Thanks to you I will look into nutrition, you’ve taught me so much and am excited and eager to learn so much more not just by reading your blog, but getting into this healthy lifestyle.  I need to lose about 20-30 lbs, but I have a feeling I’m eating too many carbs and eating a little bit more calories than I need to.

I know calories count, but The amount of calories I’m “allowed” does not fill me up all day, I’m ALWAYS hungry and I know in order to lose weight I have to eat less. I’ve also read that calories count yes, but I need to eat if I’m hungry because I need to fuel up my body (especially when I run).

I don’t run a large amount of miles, my long runs are about 4 miles for now.  Any advice can help 🙂 I just wanted to say Thank you for your time & thank you so much for posting up daily on your site.  Everyday I look forward to your posts & tweets, you’re up and keep up the great work!

– Simi

AWW! You can follow Simi on twitter: @simisd.

So all that, and more to look forward to! I have to say – I am so touched and pleased with the connections I’m making through this blog. It’s something I never expected. You guys are a tremendous motivation for me.

So… thanks 🙂

*big hug and fuzzy feelings*