Race Recap: Navy Air Force Half Marathon – 3rd postpartum race.

The Expo

Friday, 9/16/16: Through the Nats Stadium, I headed to the expo, as my baby napped, while I pushed her in our BOB running stroller. She continued to sleep peacefully as I picked up my bib for my third postpartum race.

It use to amaze me, whenever I saw a mom, with a young baby picking up her bib. “Wow”, I use to think, “I hope to be like that! Fit, healthy, happy, postpartum, racing a full or half marathon while lovingly caring for a tiny human.”

Now, here I am doing exactly that. 

Night Before the Race

Saturday, 9/17/16: As always, I preformed my night before race ritual of laying out my race clothes. Hashtagging Flat mama, flat Meg. (Which means laying out your race clothes without you wearing them, meaning they are a flat version of you.) Side note: I was really excited that I would be wearing my oiselle singlet and sports bra.

The Race

Sunday, 9/18/16: It was still dark outside, but I tiptoed around the house at 5:00am to get dressed and ready. The metro is not opening early for the race because of safe tracking, so I drove to L’s house and we took a cab from there. We arrived to the start as the sun came up.


Most people that I know who are also in the middle of training for the Marine Corps Marathon used this race as a training run. They practiced running marathon pace. At the start, I’m still trying to decide if I want to do the same, or race.


As we lined up to the start, the gun goes off, and the race has officially began. After mile one, I was feeling really good, the weather was perfect, it is then that I decide, I’m going to race. I thought to myself, “I paid for this half marathon, if I needed to practice my marathon pace I could have just run another training run on the trail. Plus there are still many opportunities to practice marathon pace.”

Next thing I realize I’m at mile six, and approaching a water station. Perfect time to refuel with some sports beans. I was still feeling really good and I told myself, “Just keep up this pace.”

At one point, we headed up Rock Creek Park. It’s a bit hilly, but I always like the mix up. While we were heading up, the pro/elite runners were sprinting down. It was really inspiring seeing them, including a female pro/elite runner wearing a oiselle singlet.

All of a sudden I was approaching mile ten. I couldn’t believe I only had 3.1 miles to go.

The last 3.1 miles went well and I sprinted across the finish line in 1:53:54.


This race was not a PR for me, but I was really happy I ran it in under 2 hours.

After all the marathon training in the heat wave of a summer, this race brought my confidence back.

Motivation and Inspiration

These are a few of my favorite things. 

  1. My favorite thing about the race was seeing so many Oiselle Volee team members along the course and cheering on the side lines. It’s so cool to have such awesome support and meet some of my team mates for the first time.
  2. I also loved how the race directors automatically texted your split times through out the race. This kept my pace on point.
  3. Seeing the pro/elite runner through out the race made me pumped.
  4. The race was one of the smaller races in the area, which was a nice change. It never felt over crowded.
  5. Rock creek park hills was a nice switch up from the otherwise flat city course.

In the end…

I got my bling! 

And as of now, to her, it may just be a pile of colorful medals that make noise. But when she is older, I will teach her what they really symbolize …


PASSION, DEDICATION, and the idea that anything is POSSIBLE if you work hard.

So that’s all for now. Next up, Marine Corps Marathon!!

Let’s Run all the MILES!!

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

A review on Running Strollers: The Bob, The Burley, Baby Jogger, Mountain Buggy.

Before Zoe was born, even before I was pregnant, I always found the moms and dads on the running trail very impressive.  Some chugging along, while others strongly ran passed. We were all putting in the same serious weekly mileage, but they were doing it while pushing a running stroller, and caring for a tiny human. 

Sweat trickled down their faces, as their child enjoyed the ride, smiling from ear to ear. I only hoped that one day, I would be as badass as they are.  

Guess what… Now I am.

When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t stop thinking about running. Only a runner would understand. I questioned, whether I should even continue to run while pregnant… is running the right type of exercise for me at this point in my life? Will I find the time, once the baby comes, to run as much as I did before? 

Turns out I didn’t run while pregnant, (read about why… here), but thanks to my running stroller, I am now in the middle of training for my fourth Marine Corps Marathon and my fourth postpartum race, started serious marathon training at 9 months postpartum. 

So the search was on…

I knew purchasing a running stroller was a necessity for me. 

So my research for the ultimate running stroller began. 

There is a lot of baby gear out there, and it can be quite overwhelming. But social media has made it much more easier to connect with other moms and find out what their “must have” baby items are.

When it came to the running stroller I narrowed it down, and closely researched the Bob, the Babyjogger, and the Burley. The Mountain Buggy is one I just recently have seen more mother runners using. 

Important side note about car seats…

Before your baby is big enough for the actual stroller seat (0-6 months), you can still use your stroller for everyday use with the car seat attached to the top. This means you will need to purchase an additional piece, called the car seat attachment. It is important to keep in mind that there are some infant car seats that are compatible with some running strollers and not with others. For example, the Cybex infant car seat, which is known for it’s high ratings in safety, (my friend Mariana has it and loves it) is compatible with the Babyjogger, but not with the Bob or Burley. However, because there are so many highly rated, comfortable safe infant car seats on the market, for me, finding the right running stroller that fit my lifestyle, became one of my top priorities. 

Another big question I have been asked is… Can you run with you baby in the car seat attached to the stroller? I have seen all sorts of moms doing different things. I have seen mother runners running with their very young babies completely layed down flat in their running strollers. I have seen mother runners using props such as towels to support their very young baby’s neck while running. I have seen mother runners run with the car seat attached.

I personally did not rush right back into running. I waited until I got the okay from my doctor to exercise again at 7 weeks postpartum. Then I exclusively weight lifted for 6 weeks to get some strength back. Then I started running at 13 weeks postpartum. I ran slow and only did 2 mile runs, slowly increasing distance. Then at 6 months postpartum I started running with Zoe. From 3-6 months postpartum I ran solo, so I could really focus on getting my fitness level back. Because I did this, I felt more than ready to run while pushing Zoe in the stroller at 6 months postpartum. 

Always do what you feel comfortable, and always refer back to your stroller’s manual when in doubt. 

Most doctors say wait to run with your baby, until he/she can independently sit up and has strong neck control. The Bob stroller does not recommend running with the car seat attached because it can tip over easily on uneven terrain. It becomes top heavy.

What I did with Zoe…

I personally waited until after Zoe was fully evaluated during her 6 month doctor’s appointment, and I got the okay from her pediatrician. At this point she had been independently sitting on her own for 2 weeks and she had very strong neck control. 

Even though my stroller’s manual did not recommend running with her in the car seat, I actually felt more comfortable running with her in the car seat attached to the stroller. We ran this way from 6-9 months. This way I could talk with her, engage with her, and see what she was doing. It was really cool to see her looking up at the beautiful trees, or pointing at everything that interested her.

She also very often would fall asleep in her car seat on the way to the trail, so I did not want to wake her by moving her to the stroller. It was much easier to transfer her car seat to the stroller without waking her. 

When it came to tipping, I have never, not once, felt like the stroller is going to tip, and I always run with her on paved paths. Everything smooth, nothing bumpy.

At around 9-10 months I started doing longer runs with her so I knew it was time to put her in the actual stroller. It was then that I started transferring her to the actual stroller seat. 

She loves looking out, the views are much better, but now that she is facing out she does not nap. I’ve tried getting her to take a nap by tilting the stroller seat at different angles. There has been times when she has almost dosed off, but most times the views are just way too good.

How to start your search for the perfect stroller…

As I said above, social media makes life easier. You can instantly find information.

  1. Connect with other moms on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Ask them which running stroller they use. What do they love about the item? What do they hate about it?
  2. Blogs and Youtube is very helpful.  I began my hunt for the perfect running stroller, by reading some blog posts from other mom runner bloggers, and watching some reviews on youtube.
  3. Go to the store and try them out. Once I narrowed it down between, the Bob, the Babyjogger, and the Burley, I headed to the store to see them in person.

Buy Buy Baby has both the Bob and the Babyjogger. They also have the infant car seats that are compatible with the strollers. REI has the Bob and the Burley. The mountain buggy is a brand that I just recently started seeing different mom runners using so I’m not sure what store has it. 

The Mountain Buggy ($599.00)

Honestly, this stroller is one that I recently started to see some mother runners using. It might be worth looking into.

Babyjogger…($429.99)

At Buy Buy Baby, I looked at the Babyjogger Summit x3. I love the fact that Babyjogger is one of the first companies to bring a running stroller to the market. However, although, it was a really nice stroller, I ended up liking the overall feel of the Bob Revolution Pro better. Sometimes, you just got to go with what is more comfortable. So the Babyjogger got erased from my list.

The Bob ($539.99)
Which Bob is best?

When I was at Buy Buy baby, one of the first things I questioned is, which Bob is best. They had a couple different models, and I was debating between the Ironman and the Revolution. I had heard from another mom, that the Ironman is strictly for running, meaning it has a fixed front wheel, while the Revolution has a swivel wheel that you can lock in place to make it a fixed wheel- bottom line it does both. 

The locked front wheel is necessary for running, and the swivel wheel is great for running errands, when you need to turn corners and maneuver through a busy crowd. My friend who has the Ironman bob stroller, loves it for running, but says because of the fixed wheel, it is painfully annoying when using the stroller for everyday errands. The sales associate at Buy Buy Baby, told me that the only time they have the Ironman Bob in store, is when someone orders it off line and returns it. 

I quickly erased the Ironman Bob from my list. Because, I want to use my running stroller not only for running, but also as my everyday stroller, I knew the Ironman Bob wouldn’t cut it.

The Bob Revolution Pro seemed to be the perfect fit. 

Handle: It has an adjustable handle, depending on your height you can lower it or higher it. This is also good if different people of different heights are going to use the stroller. 

Wheels: The front wheel swivels so you can easily get around corners whether that’s during a run or just running errands. It also locks in place and becomes a fixed wheel, which is the recommended way to use it while running. The point is you have the choice because the stroller does both ways. 

Weight: It weighs a little over 20lbs, which means it is easy to lift when placing in the car or bringing up stairs. However, some airports do not let strollers that way over 20-22 lbs through TSA lines. You may find yourself having to check it at the counter instead of at the gate. If you travel often you may need an additional smaller stroller or just be prepared to check your running stroller. 

Folding it up to store: I leave my stroller in the trunk of my car because I use it for my daily run, but also much more. It takes two hands to fold, but folds up in half with two simple movements.

Comfort: The Bob Revolution Pro is comfortable and light to push, but also really comfortable for baby. It has shock absorbing springs, and these are adjustable depending on baby’s weight. The seat itself is comfortable and can be tilted from a sitting up position to a laying down position.

Weather Protection, Hood Canopy: The hood canopy has two options, a smaller option for mild weather days, or an expanded option for additional protection. The material has SPF so it shields against the sun, but is large enough to shield rain, snow, mosquitos, etc. 

The hood also has a window, that is revealed by pulling up a flap. This flap is closed tightly by the use of velcro, so it does become noisey if baby is sleeping. But the window is a must have, when you need to check on your baby.

Storage: The Bob Revolution Pro has a big storage basket under the seat of the stroller. This is a good size, and can carry Zoe’s diaper bag, or even groceries while at the grocery store or farmers market. However, sometimes I wish it was a tad bigger. 

Breaks: The Bob Revolution Pro is different from the regular Bob Revolution because it has the safty break. This break is just like one you would find on a bike. It is located on the left side of the handle. I find this to be very important and useful when you are running down a huge hill. It keeps you and baby under control.

Review

Pros: The Bob Revolution Pro is an awesome stroller made by a company that focuses and specializes on running. Lightweight and comfortable for both mom/dad and baby. Easy to store, easy to fold. Large hood canopy to shield and protect baby from weather. Window to check on baby. Storage basket under seat. Break on adjustable handle so runner has more control. 

Cons: The Bob Revolution Pro is pretty much perfect. The only thing I would change is the velcro material found on window flap. It’s a little loud and can wake baby. The storage bin is small, it needs to be bigger. 

The Burley Solstice ($399.99)

The Burley Solstice is another great choice. I love the look of this stroller. It has everything the Bob stroller has except the break on the handle. However, it has a much larger hood canopy. It also uses magnets instead of velcro on the window flap, that means no waking baby. Another great detail is the huge storage basket. It is a much bigger storage basket then the Bob.

The Burley brand is known for it’s bike trailers. So this is their first time making a running stroller, unlike Bob who has been making running strollers for years. However, the Burley stroller is European tested. 

Both the Bob stroller and the Burley stroller can be purchased at REI. 

Final Decision…

After all the research my husband and I decided the Bob Revolution Pro was the best stroller for us. It has everything we need and such a great resale value. 

I highly recommend buying one when REI has a sale. We actually got the stroller at REI on sale on Memorial weekend. 

I remember being so happy and surprised when I came home from work on a Sunday, and saw the stroller set up in our living room. It was the first baby item we purchased and by far one of the most used. 

We ended up getting the BOB car seat that is compatible with the stroller. It is called the Bob B Safe Car Seat by Britax. This car seat is ranked high for safety and it is very comfortable. 

My daughter loves this car seat. It is comfortable and she easily falls asleep in it. The only negative thing about it, is that the black color can make baby really hot in summer, and it gets pretty heavy which makes it hard to carry. I wish it was lighter, especially now that my baby is heavier. However, it will be sad when she out grows it. 

Must have accessories 

Of course you need the car seat adapter for the stroller, but my other must have accessory is the skip hop grab and go stroller organizer. This hold my wallet, phone, keys, drink, bottle and much more. 

Running with Zoe has been amazing! It is one of our favorite things to do. It is fun for the both of us. It gets us outside and keeps me fit. 

I’m so thankful for my running stroller because it has given me the opportunity to continue living a healthy lifestyle and continue my running passion. 

Zoe watches everything I do. Hopefully, by her seeing me run, she will grow up knowing the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

LINKS

Bob Revolution  Pro

Bob Ironman

Bob B Safe Infant Car Seat by Britax

Make sure you get the car seat accessories including the adapter. 

Burley Solstice

Baby Jogger Summit X 3

Mountain Buggy

Skip Hop Stroller Organizer

I hope this helps you decide on which running stroller is best for you and your lifestyle. Please contact me or leave a comment with questions.

Now let’s Run all the Miles!!

copyright: 2016 sweat1xdaiky

 

 
 

Marathon Training Update: 17 miler & why RUNNING slow is important. 

Yesterday, I ran a lovely 17 miler. Finally, Mother Nature gave us a break from 90 degree weather. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the 75 degree air was such a sweet gift.

I always have to remind myself to RUN SLOW, especially in the beginning of my long run. 

I am following the Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training plan. And Hal normally recommends that runners run their long run 30-90 (or more) seconds slower than marathon pace. 

Why is this so important?  

Hal says, “The physiological benefits kick in around 90-120 minutes, no matter how fast you run. You’ll burn a few calories and trigger glycogen regenesis, teaching your muscles to conserve fuel. Running too fast defeats this purpose and may unnecessarily tear down your muscles, compromising not only your midweek workouts, but the following week’s long run.”

The above statement is so true. So I’m trying to do my long runs at a nice comfortable slower pace, and saving my fast running for the marathon itself. 

There is also the marathon strategy of… Jogging the first 20 miles of the marathon and racing the last 10k. Desi the female Olympic marathon is one known for running her marathons like this. 

I will not be running my marathon like this, but Hal brings up the point of running your long runs slow, if not for the whole thing, at least in the beginning. This is easier said then done. But it is a technique that I want to try during my next couple long training runs. 

It would be so awesome to be able to run the last couple miles of my long run, fast and strong. 

I need to remind myself that my long training runs are just an opportunity to practice for my actual marathon race. So if I have a bad long run, brush it off and move forward, there will be plenty of other times to practice leading up to my marathon. 

And of course, if I have a great long run, then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll keep practicing the way I have been. 

Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope you guys have some great long runs this week. And just remember a common mistake runners make is running their long run to fast. It is okay and actually quite beneficial to run your long runs slow. There are other days during the week that you can run fast or at marathon pace, but use your long run, as a practice run for your marathon. 

Run ALL the Miles!!

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

Zoe’s First Birthday!¬†

My sweet Zoe Annalise turned one on Friday, August 19th, 2016.

In honor of this amazing milestone, we had an unforgettable celebration for her on Martha’s Vineyard with our family and friends. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The birthday party was absolutely perfect. Everyone, especially Zoe’s Grams and Gramps, went above and beyond.

DECORATIONS

It all starts with a theme.

Every kid’s birthday party needs a theme. Because Zoe is only one, still just a baby, I being her mama, chose the theme for her party. And because we were celebrating at the Vineyard, a¬†mermaid seashell¬†theme fit perfectly.

I didn’t over do the mermaid seashell theme, I mainly included it in the sign I made her.

You can find tons of birthday banners and sign options on Etsy. ¬†However, I thought it would be more special if I made my own sign for Zoe. It wasn’t hard at all. The sign consists of mermaid paper which I found at the Paper Source. The letters to create the word, ONE, I found at Michaels. They were originally white letters, but to add sparkle I wrapped then in gold paper. The gold tassels and twine were also found at Michaels.

Another decoration I made was Zoe’s growth display. This by far was my favorite decoration. It has been absolutely incredible watching Zoe grow mentally, emotionally, and physically. Seeing her evolve has been one of my favorite things about motherhood.

Every month since she was born, I have taken monthly photos to document how much she has grown. By displaying her monthly photos, I was able to share her growth with all of our loved ones.

To make this growth display it was quite simple. I found gold sparkled cardboard numbers at the Paper Source. I hot glued two clothes pins on each number. One clothes pin was later used to attach the number to a twine rope. The other clothes pin was used to hold the monthly photo. Each number was attached to the twine in order, 0 (being newborn) to 12 months.

The color scheme for Zoe’s party was pink, tourquoise, and gold. We purchased balloons in those colors.

The balloons were a big hit for the kids at the party. It was Zoe’s first time seeing balloons. She loved them. All birthday parties need balloons.

PONY and DONKEY ride

One thing about Martha’s Vineyard that not to many people realize is that there are tons of farms.

Grams and Gramps has a good friend who owns a beautiful miniature horse and donkey. So they arranged for the animals to come to Zoe’s birthday party.

When the pony and donkey arrived it was an amazing surprise for Zoe and her 2 year old cousin Stella and 4 year old cousin Fin.

Side note: (Let me explain something quickly. This trip was HUGE for Zoe. Although, she took a short trip to SoBe, Miami, back in February, she was only six months old and most likely doesn’t remember much of it. So this trip was full of a lot of FIRSTS for Zoe. It was a new place, she had never been before, with new people, she was just meeting. At times it was very overwhelming for her, so she wanted my comfort. She actually didn’t really want to be held by anyone else and definitely did not want me leaving her side.)

Sometimes it takes Zoe time to warm up to an idea. Whether that means trying a new type of food, or riding a pony at her birthday party.

So when Zoe first got on the pony she was a little overwhelmed, but then she warmed up to the idea, and actually started to enjoy it.

The pony and donkey were absolutely beautiful and really sweet. They gently trotted around the yard while each child took a turn riding them.

Bubbles

After Zoe took a short pony ride, we set up her bubble machine. Zoe loves bubbles, they are one of her favorite things. Watching bubbles fill the sky definitely put a smile on Zoe’s face.

FOOD
Food is really important to me. I strive for quality, organic, and local. One of my absolutely favorite things about New England is the fresh seafood, so of course that is what we had at Zoe’s birthday party.

The morning of Zoe’s birthday, Erik went clamming with his brother Ian and cousin Frank to catch some fresh wild clams. They also caught some scallops and the mussels (shown in the photo) were store bought, but also wild caught.

We had clams on the half shell. And the combination of clams, mussels, and scallops made for a perfect pile of steamers.

There was no question… We also had to have a lobster bake. My absolute favorite shell fish. Ten lobsters cooked to perfection, smothered with butter, made for a delicious main dish, potatoes and corn as side dishes.

We also had a watermelon, basil, feta salad that my sister prepared. Watermelon the queen fruit of summer is Zoe’s favorite. The salad was refreshing and put a smile on Zoe’s face.

For those guests that do not eat seafood we had other salads and beef tips.

There was definitely too much food, but something to please everyone’s palate.

The next day we enjoyed a homemade seafood stew. (Side note: it’s always good to have leftovers from a lobster/clam bake, that way you can make a seafood stew or lobster/clam chowder.)

CAKE

People say… “A baby’s first taste of cake is her first real taste of sugar.”

Zoe took a short nap during dinner. Which made her refreshed and ready for her first real taste of sugar.

Her Grams made three cakes, a Strawberry Shortcake, a Sheet Cake which said Happy Birthday Zoe, and then Zoe had her own personal smash cake.

Zoe loves fresh fruit and she loves bread, (pita, bagels, pb&j), so my thought was she would dig right into the cake. This was not the case.

She actually loved the candle lit on top of her cake…

But the minute everyone crowded around her and started singing happy birthday she cried.

She actually didn’t even like the cake at first, but once she had a few tastes she started to enjoy it.¬†

PRESENTS

Zoe loved opening her presents. She was actually able to tear the paper and was curious to see what was inside. She got a lot of fun toys, books, and cute clothes. She is one lucky baby.



FIREWORKS 

We ended the celebration with a bang, literally. August 19th, the Vineyard has a firework celebration similar to the 4th of July. Everyone goes to see the fireworks. We were lucky to be able to watch them on a private beach that belong to the local Boat Club, that way we weren’t smushed in between a mosh pit of people.

Because Grams and Gramp live right up the hill from the town and beach it was just a short walk down East Chop to see the fireworks.

Because we weren’t super close the sound didn’t bother Zoe until the finale. It was so cute watching her eyes get wide as she pointed her little finger to the sky, lit up with colors.

Fireworks was definitely the ultimate way to end our first year celebration together.

THANK YOU

This celebration wouldn’t have been nearly as fun, with out our loved ones. I am so thankful to everyone who traveled near and far to be with us at this very special milestone. It was so amazing getting everyone together!

MOTHERHOOD & FATHERHOOD

A friend of mine, congratulated me. She said, “Happy first birthday to Zoe, and to you…happy first year as a mother.” ¬† This reminded me that although, Zoe’s first birthday is an amazing milestone for her, it is also one for Erik and I.

When Zoe was born, I became mama and Erik, daddy. Over this first year, as I took monthly photos to record how Zoe changed, I too have changed, we all have. As Zoe reached each milestone, Erik and I have grown deeper and deeper into parenthood, becoming more and more acquainted with our new roles and identities as mama and daddy.

Motherhood is interesting for sure… but I have never felt more passionate, this confident, this beautiful, this much joy, and I have never felt this much love.

This has been one very special unforgettable year!

Happy Birthday my sweet Zoe!

Cheers!

Copyright : 2016 sweat1xdaily.com

Zoe Turns One, Read her Birth Story! 


On August 19th, 2015, my sweet baby Zoe was born. I can’t believe a whole year has come and gone. 

This first year has been one amazing year, full of the most fun, a little chaos, lots of new memories, so much joy.

It has been truly amazing watching little Zoe grow, explore, discover, with eyes wide…seeing everything for the very first time. 

It has been an incredible year of growth for all of us. As she learns new things, we learn new things about ourselves. As we teach her, she teaches us.

Thank you Zoe, for making my life so complete, and filling it with so much love, beauty, and joy. 

In honor of Zoe’s first birthday, read her cBirth Story!

Run the Track to enhance your Marathon training! 

When I’m running, I’m running the trail, in search for an amazing view. Or you can find me running my city’s bridges and streets, looping around the monuments.

I’m rarely on the track, and I’m never on the treadmill.

When it comes to the treadmill, it makes me cringe. I don’t even like seeing pictures of people running on them, on social media. 

The only time, you’ll ever catch me on a treadmill is if I’m taking a month off of running to focus on building muscle. During that phase, I may use a treadmill to do a HIIT session. But other than that, you’ll never see me running on one. 

However, all of this long distance running, all of this marathon training, (where my focus is currently on pacing, and endurance), has actually made me crave some speed. 

So I went to the track today, and because running more track workouts is a goal of mine, I plan to be there at least once a week. 

TRACK WORKOUT

There are a couple things I love about the track… 

One – the vibe: I know I’m there to run fast, and get some speed work done. There are a lot of other great runners with the same exact intentions, which helps motivate me.

Two- I can run there safely at anytime. This is a place I can get a run or workout in even after the sun sets. There is alway people there and the lights are always on at night. 

I love being outside, and I find the most success with my workouts when I use minimal equipment. I am old school when it comes to my workouts, I really don’t need a fancy workout class to see results. 

The Workout – Mile Repeats

Today, I did mile repeats. Mile repeats is exactly that. I ran 1 mile as fast as I could, and then did a half mile recovery. Then I repeated this 3 times. 

It is suggested for marathon training to actually run 5x (1 mile sprint, 1/2 mile recover.) But this was the first time I’ve been to the track in a while, for speed work, so I stuck with the lower mileage drill. I plan on building up to doing it 5x. 

For more information on Mile Repeats. Check out this video by Bart Yasso. 

I highly suggest getting to the TRACK. However, if a track is not available, you can do this drill outside in your neighborhood or trail. Run a mile as fast as you can, run a half mile recovery. Repeat. 

And although, I personally hate the idea, you can do this drill on the treadmill. Just remember that completing this drill on the treadmill is not quite equivalent to an outdoor drill, and it is not an accurate measurement of your speed. Because of the momentum of the moving treadmill, it actually makes this drill easier and makes you run faster.

So if you want to get the most out of this drill, hit up your local track.

How I did…

When I first hit the track, I felt a little out of my element. I wondered, “Am I going to feel like a hamster on a wheel?” 

But once I started running, I felt good. 

I need a better way to record, but below are my average splits. 

Mile 1 : 8:20 min/mile

Mile 2: 7:33 min/mile

Mile 3: 7:44 min/mile

Mile 4: not recorded because my phone died. 


Overall it was a great workout, and something that will only enhance my marathon training. 

Do you do track workouts? 


July training Recap & August Goals plus tips on Smart fitness Goal Setting.

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July Mileage
July – It was hot and sweaty, but I followed my marathon plan and I am now use to the heat. I am seeing distance progress every week.

I have run 96.8 miles for the month of July.

This is great, but I know I can do more, do better, run further, run faster.

I am looking forward to increasing my mileage for the month of August, as my marathon training gets more intense.

AUGUST GOALS:

My main fitness focus right now is training for my October marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon. This means following my training plan by Hal Higdon (Intermidate plan.) For the month of August I will be running at least 138 miles.

Along with the training plan, I will also try to work in some strength training, hill repeats and track workouts. Although, I am passionate about weight lifting, it is definitely not the priority at the moment, running those marathon training miles is. Plus, because I am running with my baby during the week, running with the extra weight of the stroller has really helped strengthen and use my core/upper body muscles in a different way. However, strength training is so important for running further, faster, and injury free. So I am going to make more of an effort to fit it in weekly, and take it to a more intense level on my lower mileage weeks.

To make it easier for me to fit in strength training, I have invested in gym equipment and made a space at home for my own personal gym. (Look for a post in the future about how to set up a home gym.) Two years ago, before I got pregnant with Zoe, I was a regular at my gym easily lifting weights for an hour or two 5x a week. Now just the idea of driving to the gym, parking, and then waiting for a bench to lift at makes me stressed, it takes up to much of my valuable time, and I felt like I was always rushing. Plus, I am now much more self motivated. I still have my gym membership, but as of now, my home gym is the perfect fit for my busy working mom lifestyle. I don’t feel rushed, and I can workout at night, after my baby goes down for the night. Run in the morning, lift at night.

So now that you know how July went and some of my plans for August…let’s talk about goals.

My Ultimate Goal- Run the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016.

Serious Goal for August –¬†For the month of August, I plan to run 138 miles, also incorporating strength training, hill repeats, and track workouts, high knees and plyometrics.

With that being said lets talk about smart goals…

How To Set a SMART goal…

Setting a goal is easy, but reaching it is hard. That is why you want to make sure your goal is smart.

What makes a goal smart?

The difference between a goal and a smart goal, is that a smart goal is specific with a plan of action.

EXAMPLE 

(This is NOT a goal of mine, it’s just a common goal.)

I want to loose weight Рis NOT a smart goal. Change this goal to a smart goal it would look like I will loose 15 pounds by November 1st, by meal prepping and eating organic whole foods. You have exactly the amount of weight you want to loose and a time frame to achieve the goal in, with an idea of how you are going to reach your goal.

Once a smart goal is essablished you will need a plan to put into action to help you succeed at reaching this goal. The more detailed your plan the better.

Now that you understand a smart goal we can talk about mine.

MY SMART GOAL

I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016. (This is a smart goal, because I am registered for a specific race, with a specific finishing time, scheduled on a specific day.)

This goal is my ultimate smart goal, however, my August goal is to run 138 miles for the month. (Again this is smart because it has a specific amount of miles to run by a certain time.)

Another thing about my ultimate goal is the finishing time goal. 4:19:00 is what I am planning on running the marathon in, so I am pacing myself during my training runs to prepare for this goal. However, race day is unpredictable and anything could happen, so I will reevauate during the race whether I run slower or faster. I have other time goals in mind for if I end up running slower (4:30:00) or faster (4:15:00).

MY PLAN of ACTION

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate marathon training plan. In the plan I am running 5x a week – 2 easy short runs, 2 mid distance runs, and 1 long weekend run. I am cross training 1 day a week and resting one day a week.

I am increasing mileage for two weeks, (higher mileage weeks) and then tapering down every 3rd week (lower mileage week).

I am running with my daughter pushing the running stroller on my week day runs. I am running my long run on Saturday morning solo. My baby and I have a morning routine. We wake up early, eat breakfast, and get ready and hit the running trail. We have to because it has been so hot.

Additional goal: My body is ready to take on more so I will add hill repeats and track workouts to the mix and do strength training on lower mileage weeks. High knees and plyometrics is also something I will be adding for speed.

I am wearing my garmin 620 to record my pace, distance, cadence. With that being said, I am keeping my long run pace at marathon pace, nothing faster than 9:30 min/mile nothing slower than 10:00/mile.

I am also recording my progress using the Strava app.

I will run 138 miles for the month of August because my plan says I will.

TIP

My training plan is an 18 week training plan. I write each workout, each training run, on my calendar, as if each workout/training run is an appointment I have that day. 

There is no guessing, every workout/training run is written down for the upcoming weeks until race day.

Another tip: 

If you need motivation find a running buddy or running group. If no one is interested in running with you, which I have found in my case, then read running blogs or find an online running community. There is an amazing running community through Instagram.

Always keep it fun!

Fun – Along with my serious goals, I always like to have a fun one. A fun goal helps motivate me to complete the serious goal. For the month of August, while I’m running 138 miles, I want to see more sunrises, see more sunsets, and find more street art and city murals.

Below is a picture of me running along side of a mural in my neighborhood.


What is your monthly mileage for July?

Do you have a run goal for August?

Lets run all the miles!!


Marathon Training Update: Week 4

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

– Born to Run

Even, with the extreme heat conditions in the DC area, I ended week 4 of marathon training on a high note.

Monday, July 18th РDistance: 3 miles, Time: 28:27, Pace: 9:27, Type: Stroller Miles 

Tuesday, July 19th- Distance: 4 miles, Time: 39:38, Pace: 9:52, Type: Stroller Miles

Wednesday, July 20th- Distance: 6.1 miles, Time: 57:36, Pace: 9:23, Type: Solo running 

Thursday, July 21st- Distance: 3.1 miles, Time: 29:15, Pace: 9:29, Type: Stroller Miles

Friday, July 22nd- Distance: 6 miles, Time: (5 miles – 47:26, 1 mile – 10:16), Pace: (9:34, 10:16), Type: Stroller Miles

Saturday, July 23rd- Distance: 11.4 miles, Time: 1:54, Pace: 10:01, Type: Solo Running/Long Run

Total miles for the week – 33.6 miles

RECAP

I ran 6 days this week. 4 out of the 6 runs were stroller miles, with Zoe. The combination of stroller miles and the extreme summer heat is finally making me stronger and faster.

STROLLER MILES

Running a 6 mile (mid distance run) with the stroller, the day before my long run, made me confident and strong during my 11 mile long run.

LONG RUN

I was a little nervous about the heat. It was all over the news that the DC area was under a heat advisory, and that because of extreme humidity, the air quality was at dangerous levels. So I made sure on Saturday for my long run, I was out on the trail by 6:30 am. When I started my run it was in the high 70s, when I finished my run it was in the 90s. Most of my splits were at marathon pace, between 9:30-10.

I’m actually really enjoying running early mornings. The city is quiet while everyone is still sleeping, but the trail is busy with all of us morning runners getting our long runs done. It’s such a great vibe, and the sun rises are so pretty.

I hope everyone had great runs this week. Run Happy!!

Stroller miles, Mother RUNNER, Marathon Training

Hey lovelies,

I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!

I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.

My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!

WEEK Day Training with the stroller.

During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.

If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)

And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.

I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.

The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.

Weekend running, long run.

The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.

Week 1- long run 8 miles

Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.

It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.

My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.

1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.

Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.

However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.

I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.

Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.

Week 2- long run 9 miles

Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)

The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.

Week 3- long run 6 miles

Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.

The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.

I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.

Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.

Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.

This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.

It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.

Training PLAN and Apps

The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.

Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.

Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.

So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Well that’s all for now!

Run Happy!
Which marathon are you training for?


How to PLAN a 1 year old’s BIRTHDAY PARTY! My baby turns 1 soon.¬†


I can’t hardly believe it!

This year has gone by way to fast, my baby is turning one soon. (We only have two monthly stickers left to use.)

Zoe turns ONE, August 19th, 2016!

Which means her first official birthday is approaching…

I wasn’t going to over do it… (she won’t remember any of it.) However, because my guests are traveling to the Vineyard for her birthday, of course we are going all out. Plus, I love a really good party.

What makes a good party…

  • Theme
  • Invitations
  • Outfit, costume
  • People
  • Venue
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Cake
  • Music
  • Decorations
  • Photography

THEME

Choosing a theme is always fun, but it is also a helpful way to stay on track. 

The theme I chose for Zoe’s birthday is seashell, mermaid. Because we are having her party at the Vineyard, this fits perfectly. It will be fun when she is older (not that I’m wishing for her to get any older, just stay a little baby, Zoe…) to see what birthday party theme she chooses for herself.

INVITATIONS

Choose invitations based on your theme. Also decide whether you want to send snail mail, or an email option. 

I chose an email option. I used paperless post for my wedding save-the-date, and because it was so easy to use, I decided to use it again for Zoe’s birthday party invitation.

This time I used the free app, and designed the cutest invitation. They have some really awesome free templates, so it didn’t cost me anything at all – invitations can be expensive.

I also love that I can tell when someone has opened the email, but hasn’t yet responded. This eliminates the question of whether a guest has received the invitation of not.

Outfit, Costume

What will the guest of honor be wearing?!

There are a lot of options for a one year old’s birthday outfit. Some baby girls wear tutus. Some wear a onesie saying, “One,” “My First Birthday.” Some wear a birthday hat.

I’m still finalizing Zoe’s outfit. I can’t wait to share it with you, but I’m leaving it for a surprise. It will definitely be on the birthday party recap post.

PEOPLE

Who comes to your party makes a difference in what food you choose, what activities you do, etc. For example if you are going to have more babies and children at your party, you may need to consider kid friendly food options, and food allergies.

Over the last 10 months, some of my closest friends have had babies, and Zoe and I are also always open to meeting new mamas and baby friends.

So yes, she does have some baby friends, but because the party is in Martha’s Vineyard, the people coming are mainly family and close family friends.

VENUE

Choosing a venue is ideal. It will set the mood of your party. Again, you will need to consider who your guests are, and how long your party is. 

The original plan was to have a casual party on the beach. But because it is one of the busiest weekends on the Vineyard, Zoe’s grandparents suggested we have the party at their house. This is an awesome idea because now we don’t need to provide transportation to the beach, which is on the other side of the island. Plus, now I can have all the cute decorations I want.

FOOD

When choosing food for your party, consider the venue. What type of food is the area known for, what is locally grown? Also, who are your guests? Do you need to have kid friendly options, and consider food allergies?

Because the guests coming to the party are mainly adults, and Zoe will eat anything, I am not to concerned about food allergies or kid friendly options.

However, I am hoping for a menus full of seafood, such as lobster and clams. We will be on an Island off the coast of the Cape. So lobsters and clams are fresh – it’s a New England thing.

DRINKS

Again specialty drinks can be based on what the area or venue is known for. Also consider your guests and what time your party is at.

We are keeping our drinks simple by having beer, wine, and depending on how many guests we have, we may make watemelon margaritas or sangria. Of course Zoe will eat plenty of watermelon and drinking her milk.

CAKE

When it comes to a one year old birthday party, the cake is one of the most important parts. Traditionally, in the USA, you give your one year old her own personal cake to smash. It’s called cake smashing, and it is suppose to be your baby’s first taste of something sweet.¬†

Zoe’s Grams normally bakes a homemade cake for everyone on their birthday, and it is always delicious. As far as I know, she will be making a cake for Zoe’s birthday. And Zoe has never had cake before so it will be super fun to see her smash in it.

Cake smashing requires a high chair or space for baby to smash into it. I’m hoping I can figure out a high chair for Zoe. It is always cute to decorate the high chair with a banner and balloons. I want Zoe to have her own special chair or space for cake smashing.

MUSIC

Choose music based on your guests. Are people going to be dancing, or do you just need music in the background. 

Zoe loves music and she loves to dance, so we’ll be playing her favorit songs. I’m going to just use my iPhone and speakers.

DECORATIONS

Choose decorations based on venue, theme, and guests. 

Decorations are my favorite part. They can transform a venue. It is the small details that really make an event unique and your own.

Zoe is going to have a bubble machine going at her party. This adds character but is also fun for kids and babies.

The colors are going to be combination of pink, gold, and tourquoise. We are going to have a couple special things for Zoe but that’s a surprise and I’ll update you on this in the post I write about her party. But the picture above is a hint.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Choose whether you will need a professional photographer or whether you will manage to take photos yourself.

I’m planning on taking photos the whole time using my iPhone. Photo are very important to me.

Anyway, I’m excited for this vacation and this party. It is going to be so refreshing to escape this heat and go up North, and be at the beach.¬†

A one year old birthday party is so special. I can’t wait to celebrate Zoe. She has done so many incredible things this year, and deserves the best party ever.¬†

But most of all… She is my little love, who on August 19th, 2015, changed my world, making me a mama, a better person. My heart is full of love.

I hope this helps you plan your own baby’s one year old birthday. Can’t wait to share with you her birthday recap. Look for it on the blog in late August.¬†


Mamas- What was your favorite thing about your one year old’s first birthday party?

 


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