Marine Corps Marathon : Tips and 2014 & 2016 race recaps.

MARINE CORPS MARATHON IS TOMORROW MORNING!

This is my all time favorite race, the marathon being my all time favorite distance! I want to wish everyone a great race tomorrow! So I’ll share a couple things with you.

FLASH BACK – These are some of my favorite race photos from the 4x I have run it.

Make sure you smile at the camera! Enjoy it, take it all in. You will get emotional, especially at the blue mile, but that’s what this race is all about.

• CHEERLEADER – I will be out there cheering at mile 22 with my Oiselle Teammates. This mile marker is right after the 14th street bridge. On the runners right side. If you need to see a friend at this point to up lift you, look for me!

• TIPS – If you are a marathon virgin, or if this is your first time running MCM, check out the tips below and race recaps from previous times I ran it, including last year’s race recap.

QUOTES- ‘m going to leave you with 2 of my favorite quotes!

“Run for 20 minutes and you’ll feel better. Run another 20 and you might tire. Add on 3 hours and you’ll hurt, but keep going and you’ll see—and hear and smell and taste—the world with a vividness that will make your former life pale.”

“Whatever song you have in your head had better be a good one. Whatever story you are telling yourself had better be a story about going on. There is no room for negativity. The reason most people quit has nothing to do with their body.” ~ Scott Jurek

Good luck and have fun!! You are going to be awesome! *Side note: 3 special people that I’m cheering on is my Dad, my BRF Lina, and my Oiselle teammate Adrienne! See you guys at mile 22. 👏🏻

Now read below for tips and race recaps.

Here are my top 26 tips for all of the Marathon Virgins out there running Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow… 1 NIGHT BEFORE: Check social media for inspiration and updates, this includes facebook and instagram. Marine Corps Marathon pages always have a count down. And the night before race day facebook status always gets me pumped.

2 NIGHT BEFORE: Always prepare your race outfit, and everything you will need for the race, the night before. (That means tonight if you are running MCM tomorrow morning.)

3 Never wear anything you haven’t worn before.

4 Make sure your ipod and garmin are charged and ready to go.

5 Eat protein and carb race morning, good option – Bagel with Peanut Butter.

6 GETTING TO and FROM: If you are riding the metro in the morning, you will be getting off at the Pentagon. But honestly if you get confused just follow all the other runners. If you plan to metro after the race make sure you get enough money on your metro card for both ways, getting there and coming back. Metro will be really busy on the way back. The Rosslyn Metro stop is the one closest to the finish line.

7 THE START: At the start, strip down and check your bag. If you are one that gets cold easily then make sure you have throw away gloves and shirt. It will be cold in the morning but warm at the finish.

8 Oh and don’t forget to BODY GLIDE everything.  9 CORRALS: Because Marine Corps Marathon is the people marathon they do not have any assigned corrals. Instead you choose where you want to be, by looking for the sign that says your finishing time on it. Try to get in the proper corral or the one a head of you. For example if you think you will finish in 4:30 then hang with the 4:15 group. This race is a very crowded race with 35,000 runners.

10 WATER STATIONS: Have a game plan. Are you going to walk the water stations? When are you going to take your sports beans?

11 ROCK CREEK PARK can get congested. But stay light on your feet and use momentum to fly down the down hill part.

12 FOCUS ON RUNNING FORM. 13 13.1:  Once you hit the half way point start to break your race into pieces. At this point, you are in Hains Point, the most boring part of the race.  It is time to start counting. 2 more miles and you will be at mile 15 and out of the stupid park and on to the National Mall.

14 MILE 15: Enjoy, look around you are running the National Mall.

15 MILE 17: This mile is significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into single digits, only 9 more miles to go.

16 SIGNS: Don’t forget to look at funny signs. The spectators are the best at this race.

17 MILE 20: Beat the Bridge. The bridge is long and slow. A lot of runners HIT the Wall here. There aren’t very many spectators here. Sometimes it feels brutally hot with sun shining on you. Other times it feels really windy. This is the time when a lot of runners start walking and stretching out. This is when I tell myself to keep running, don’t walk. At the end of the bridge you are in Crystal City. Leaving DC and entering VA.

18 MILE 21: This mile is significant for me because in training my longest run is 21. During my weekly training I do a 5 mile easy run. When I reach 21 in the marathon, I tell myself, “Only 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.” Everything is mental at this point.

19 CRYSTAL CITY: Once I’m at mile 23 looping around Crystal City I am looking at the spectators focusing on seeing people I may know. I also am saying my mantra.

20  Always have a Mantra. For example, when things get rough, I always repeat, “No matter what… Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.” Another good one is … “One More Mile.”

21 HOME STRETH: At this point I am focused on the traffic signs, I try to get to one traffic sign then the next. You’ll see signs that say, “Memorial Bridge.”

22 The last little bit is up a hill and then the finish line. But who cares there is a hill, you made it to the finish.

23 Enjoy getting your medal and check out all the hott marines. You earned it.

24 MILE 27: Walk, Walk, Walk. The most important mile is mile 27. The mile you walk after the marathon. This mile walk helps avoid cramping.

25 Eat an awesome brunch to refuel and celebrate.

26 Take it easy for the rest of the day. Consider taking hot yoga later in the week.

SO there it is!

Good luck to all of the Marathon Virgins out there running tomorrow for the first time. Good luck all runners. Look for me, I’ll be cheering for you.

Also if you want to read about my experience running Marine Corps Marathon, you can find the 2 full Race Recaps.

Last year’s: Marine Corps Marathon 2016 Here Marine Corps Marathon 2014 here.  Have fun Marathoners!!

Shoe Review: Newton Gravity 6

Hey there lovelies!

Hope all is well…

I have been having a super busy summer, so the blog had to take the back burner, but I’m hoping to be more consistent with writing – so stay tuned for many more posts.

My daughter, Zoe just turned two!! I can’t believe I’m a mother runner of a two year old. Along with chasing a super active two year old, I have been running tons of summer stroller miles. This summer has been a mild one, which has made for some perfect running weather.

I also finally got my new running shoes, the Newton Gravity 6. I’ve been running in them all week.

Review: side note – I’m currently running in the Newton Gravity 6, but in this review I’m going to compare the 6 to both the 4 (my favorite) and the 5 (last year’s Gravity.)

Newton Gravity 4

Let’s begin by talking about my favorite shoes. I still love love love the Newton Gravity 4s – best shoe ever. When I opened the box it was love at first sight. They were the first running shoes I put my feet postpartum and they were the shoes I trained and ran my last marathon in. The newton gravity 4 had a roomy fit, that was totally weightless. Roomy fit is ideal for long distance runners, because feet might swell as the miles increase. This shoe let my toes spread and my foot move. The tongue on the shoe was so thin you never noticed it there. Not that it matters, but I also loved the look of these shoes! They were orange and pink with silver details.

Newton Gravity 5

The 5 was okay, but the tongue on the shoe was so thick and large, which was unnecessary. It had a very snug fit, which made the shoe feel stiff. And although, it might have weighed the same, or less than the previous Gravity, it still felt heavier. It was the first time I was unsure about the Gravity. It made me question what’s going on with Newton, the company – especially since the co-founders are no longer with the company and the shoes are no longer sold in any local running stores. I also have been seeing less runners on the trail and at races wearing Newtons. I use to wave at every Newton runner. However, the color on the Gravity never disappoints. These were yet again a badass looking running shoe.

Newton Gravity 6

After running in the 5 for months, it was definitely time for new running shoes. And because the 5 didn’t impress me, it made me a little nervous to try the 6. I loved the 4 so much, I thought about looking online to see if anywhere was selling it in my size. Turns out after lots of debate I made the decision to give the new Gravity a try. I really don’t want to just run in one shoe, and get my foot use to one shoe. I ultimately want a shoe rotation, and although, I didn’t fall in love with the 5, I never had any injuries.

The Newton Gravity 6 is definitely an improvement from the 5. The tongue is still a little thick, but they made improvements by making it shorter. The shoe still feels a little snug, but not as stiff and snug as the 6. I normally where a size 6 in regular shoes, and a size 7 in running shoes. In these shoes, I’m wearing a size 7, but sometimes feel my toe hitting the end of the shoe while running. This makes me question, is it my foot (your feet can change size due to having a child) or is it the shoe? I am missing that unique feel that the original Newtons gave me back when they first came out. Did they change? Or maybe I’m just use to wearing them after years of running in them.

Otherwise, they still have everything that I love about Newton. They are light weight (6.5 ounces) with the 5 lugs, and a 3 mm heal to toe drop. They are a badass looking running shoe with the trademark bright color combination.

I just hope Newton continues to keep the shoe as minimal as possible. Although, they don’t want to be in the category as a minimalist shoe, they are all about perfecting a naturally barefoot running stride and getting a runner to run more efficiently by landing on their forefoot. Us runners who are loyal to Newton love that they don’t have too much added to the shoe, and that the shoe allows the runner to feel the ground and let their toes spread in a wide toe box. Less is more, when it comes to a running shoe.

So that’s it for now! I can’t wait to run all the miles in the Newton Gravity 6.

What shoe are you running in?

Have you tried Newtons before?

I love connecting with other runners, and would love to hear from you. Comment below, and follow me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

1 year of Running for Oiselle! 

I haven't written a Running post in a while… I've been totally slacking on the writing part not the running part. If you want to follow my daily running journey then head over to my Instagram page @sweat1xdaily and follow along. I post running training and racing updates almost every day.

Oiselle

I often get asked, "What is Oiselle?" Oiselle is a women's running apparel company that focuses on empowering and supporting women athletes. They have a very strong focus on community. And because they find community to be one of their number one priorities, they created Oiselle Vollee, a nation wide team for female runners.

My one year anniversary of Running for Oiselle came and went, and I couldn't be more excited to be part of the team for another year. These team photos were taken back in April and I am so glad to finally have the chance to share them with you. 

To be completely honest, I have never been part of a team or ran with a group. I have always been a solo runner. Every now and then, I would run with a friend, but most days I train alone, (or with my two year old daughter.) Not because I prefer one way or the other, solo running is just more convenient, (and I love running with my daughter.)

For those new to reading this blog, – in 2015, I gave birth to my daughter, and once she turned 6 months old, I began running with her. Ever since then, I have become a stroller pushing Mother Runner, with a permanent running buddy.

I am so thankful for my running stroller, it gives me the opportunity to run whenever I want. This is crucial for a busy working mom. Because of my running stroller, I was able to train for the Marine Corps Marathon at 10 months postpartum. 

However, joining the Oiselle Vollee team had been a desire of mine for a year or so, but I didn't know how to get involved. I finally reached out to some Oiselle birds on Instagram and got answers quickly that signing up would be happening in the spring. I finally got the opportunity to join the team in April of 2016.

Being part of this team, has helped keep me inspired and motivated, and pushes me out of my comfort zone. However, I haven't met up with the team as much as I would have liked, so this year I'm hoping to meet up more, and run more often with friends. Running with others, will only make me a faster, stronger runner. And I hope to inspire and motivate other team members as much as they have for me. 

In these photos, I wore my Oiselle singlet and the Aero tights, along with the American Runner trucker hat! 

This outfit makes me feel powerful because I am proud to wear my Oiselle singlet and represent a company that empowers and supports women athletes, while also creating a community.

My Aero tights fit me perfectly and allow me to perform to my fullest potential, (they have a new colors in their new fall line, the Eclipse a collection.) The American Runner hat, defines who I am. 

As runners we may run for different reasons and set different goals, however we all share the same deep passion for the sport. As a Oiselle runner our experiences and running journey is each unique, but we share the same singlet.

My running goal for this year is to connect with other runners especially those running for Oiselle. I also want to continue to find joy in running, instead of getting so wrapped up in what my garmin says.

Do you prefer to run solo or run with a team?

Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe


Coconut Milk is one of my favorite plant based milks to drink and cook with. I love creamy Thai coconut curry! I love drinking a creamy coconut milk based smoothie. And although, I have been making all of my own nut milks at home, I have been a little intimidated to make my own fresh coconut milk. How the heck do you do that? Doesn’t the milk come straight from the coconut?

Facts on Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk comes from the flesh/meat part of the coconut. Mature coconuts have more natural milk, while younger coconuts have more water. In order to obtain the natural milk from the coconut, you have to grate the flesh of the coconut and squeeze the milk, in most cases you have to add water to the freshly grated coconut flesh to obtain more milk. 


While I was in Thailand, I drank coconut water (not milk) right directly from a fresh coconut. However, because I live in the USA coconut trees aren’t available, darn! But my local organic market has organic shredded coconut or frozen organic coconut flesh, which makes it easy to make your very own coconut milk at home. 
Coconut Milk Recipe:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded organic coconut.
  • 3-4 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • Vanilla bean

Directions 

  1. Add all ingredients to your Vitamix or high speed blender. 
  2. Blend well.
  3. Once blended pour milk through a mesh cheese cloth and squeeze through.
  4. Enjoy creamy smooth coconut milk.
  5. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. (It is so good I highly doubt it will last that long.)

You can use this coconut milk in smoothies, lattes, curries, etc. Just keep in mind that coconut although full of vitamins is also high in fat, because if this I like to incorporate it into my diet along with other plant based milks, so I’m not over indulging in just coconut milk. 

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite nut milk? Have you made coconut milk before homemade? 

Tropical Salad Stuffed Avocado! 

It is starting to warm up a bit here in the DC area, and this recipe is light and refreshing on a warm summer day.

I actually came up with it, because I had some super ripe mangos and over ripe avocados on hand, that had to be used. 

TROPICAL SALAD

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 2 ripe tomatoes 
  • 2-3 cucumbers (depends on size)
  • handful of parsley or cilantro whichever you have on hand.
  • 1 small red onion

Chop everything small and mix in large bowl.

VINAIGRETTE 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 a cup of rice vinegar 
  • 1/4 a cup of white wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 a cup of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard 
  • shallots 

Pour everything in a bowl and whisk together or place everything in jar and shake. Once mixed pour on salad and mix everything. 

TROPICAL SALAD STUFFED AVOCADO 

Now it’s time to assemble your avocado and stuff it with the tropical salad. 

Cut avocado in half, remove put, place a couple of spoonfuls of tropical salad in the hole where the pit was and on the top of the avocado. Sprinkle sea salt and red pepper flakes. 

Enjoy! 

Motherhood defined…

To Zoe: 

Motherhood:

I never truly grasped the “Power” of the female body, until I became pregnant with Zoe. Feeling her kicks, her hiccups – she set my soul on fire. 

The way my body totally transformed in order to keep Zoe safe and nourished for over 40 weeks… 

it stretched…

it spread… 

but it left me in complete awe. 

Then finally Labor Day arrived, and once again my body proved its “power,” by birthing Zoe. 

Sleepless nights with my precious newborn left me feeling tired, but once Zoe slept peacefully … I felt even more “powerful.” 

Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, healing from child birth, it all felt chaotic, but I felt “powerful.” 

As the months quickly fly by, I watch a tiny human blossom. I often ask myself, how did I get this lucky to have the “power” to witness her growth. 

As her mother, I have the “power” to help her grow more… 

As a runner, I have always had a desire to share my passion for running with her. It is a desire to deep to ignore – so I embrace it. My daily runs are always accomplished while pushing Zoe in the running stroller – (the way you grow, Zoe, I know our stroller runs won’t last forever, so I cherish them.) Stroller mile after stroller mile makes me physically strong, emotionally and mentally healthy, and even more “powerful.” 

I’m a working mama, with many passions, and each are a strong part of who I am… they define me. Finding balance has made me even more “powerful.” 

Every milestone Zoe reaches, I feel blissfully happy for her, but also “powerful.” Powerful because her little eyes are watching every move I make. She looks to me as her mother, but also her teacher… her guide through this beautiful thing called life. 

This motherhood journey is a ” powerful” one… but I feel the most “powerful” when I simply hear her little voice call me “mommy.” 
Xo, love mommy

Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

As a child, I hated cow’s milk. I gave up the stuff at a very young age. However, I remember on occasion my sisters and I would squeeze strawberry syrup into our milk glasses, to mask the flavor. As we stirred… it would mix up into a light pink creamy sweet drink. 

Well, now as an adult I know better, that the strawberry syrup I used as a child is artificial and full of sugar. (You won’t see this mom touching that stuff.) But guess what? I have come across a recipe for a healthier alternative – Strawberry Almond Milk. Everything about this is heaven – the texture, the color, the flavor! 

Warning: Once you make your own homemade nut milks, you won’t go back to the store bought kind. 

Here’s what you are going to need!

  • 1 Bowl (to soak almonds in… then used again later to use to strain blended almonds.)
  • High speed blender (Vitamix)
  • Cheese cloth 
  • Pitcher or mason jar (to store nut milk.)

Let’s talk Strawberries! There is nothing better than fresh picked strawberries from the garden. So look for organic local strawberries. I got these vibrant red ones from my local farmer’s market. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Raw organic almonds
  • Filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon or vanilla
  • 10-14 organic strawberries (depends on size) 
  • 2 dates (no pits)

Directions

  1. Soak 1 cup of raw organic almonds (in the refrigerator) overnight in a bowl of filtered water. 
  2. Strain soaked almonds and rinse. 
  3. Place the soaked almonds in a blender with 3-4 cups of filtered water. Blend.
  4. Strain freshly made Almond milk (the stuff in your blender) through a cheese cloth, over a bowl. 
  5. Give blender a quick rinse. Then pour freshly strained Almond milk back to your blender.
  6. Add one teaspoon of vanilla to blender.
  7. Add 2 dates (no pits) to blender. 
  8. Add 10 – 14 fresh organic strawberries. Amount depends on size of strawberries and your taste buds preference.
  9. Blend all ingredients together on high or on liquid setting. 
  10. Strain strawberry Almond milk through cheese cloth one last time, this way it is very smooth. Side note: you have a Vitamix or a very high quality blender you may not need to do this step. 

Store strawberry Almond milk in a mason jar or pitcher in refrigerator. This will make about 3 cups of milk, and will last 5 days in the refrigerator, however, its so delicious I’m sure you will drink it up before that.
You can also use this milk in chia seed putting and smoothies. 

This strawberry Almond milk is very creamy in texture, pink in color, and tastes delicious. Use your taste buds and customize the final product… Do you need more dates to make it sweeter? Do you need more strawberries.  It takes a little time at first to get the hang of making your own nut milks homemade and fresh. However, once you do, you won’t got to bed until you place a bowl of soaking nuts in your refrigerator. 


Enjoy! 

What’s your favorite nut milk? 

Pickled Turmeric Eggs

I live in the Washington, DC area. It is an urban area that is a vibrant melting pot of culture. I’m within walking distance of plenty to eat and drink – you name it, we’ve got it. And although, I have become quite obsessed with my vegetable garden, it’s far from farm life. Luckily, because we are surrounded by VA, WVA, MD, PA … we do have farmer’s markets. So with that being said… Guess what? It is spring and the farmers are out!

I recently stopped by a farmer’s stand to pick up some fresh farm eggs! They are absolutely gorgeous and taste amazing. 


And lately, I have come across some really fabulous egg recipes. Turmeric Pickled Eggs has been on my mind! The minute I saw the whites of the eggs, yellow from the super spice turmeric, I knew I had to try. 

This recipe is written by Heidi Swanson. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 
  • onion or shallots thinly sliced (I used red onion) 
  • 1 table whole peppercorn 
  • scallions for garnish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs

Directions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan bring water to a boil. 
  2. Slowly and gently drop while eggs in pan with boiling water.
  3. Cook eggs for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Once cooked transfer eggs to an iced water bath, this makes it easier to peel off shells. 
  5. Peel egg shells off.
  6. Now in the sauce pan, add Apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and turmeric. Simmer until sugar dissolves. 
  7. Chop onions/shallots, put them in a mason jar.
  8. Put eggs in mason jar. 
  9. Pour vinegar turmeric mixture in mason jar over eggs.
  10. Let sit in refrigerator. Eggs last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.
  11. Half eggs and eat with chives, sea salt and pepper. You can also devil the eggs, or use them on top of salads. 

Enjoy!!

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?


Wild West Rice Salad

The Wild West Rice salad is found in the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. To be completely honest, I have never used a cook book so much. I am quickly making my way through trying most recipes from Run Fast Eat Slow. 

Maybe it’s because there is so much warmth in the air, maybe it’s because all of my favorite veggies are now in season. But, I have been craving salads lately. And it is so much fun trying different types of salads. The combination of fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins are endless. 

I also have been whipping up my own salad dressings. Store bought dressings are not worth the money. In most cases they are packed full of sugar. It’s so much easier and less expensive to make your own. 

So here we go… Wild West Rice Salad. 

Facts: The best part about this Salad is that it is a great recovery meal for vegans. Because of the combination of the wild rice and edamame, this Salad, has all nine essential amino acids. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • double batch of Creamy Apple Cider Vinaigrette 
  • 6 or more radishes, diced
  • 3 cups of Kale or other greens 
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 6 scallions, skice
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • (I also included tomatoes, but feel free to add anything you would like, if you are not vegan, add a high quality goat cheese for extra protein.)

DIRSECTIONS

  1. Cook rice, add cooked rice to salad bowl, mix with half of dressing and let cool.
  2. Once rice is cool, add other veggies.
  3. Add more dressing, toss and combine.
  4. Top with goat cheese (if you aren’t vegan) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 shallot minced, or garlic 
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Dressing lasts for 1 week in fridge. 

I know I will be enjoying this Salad for a couple of days! Hope you give it a try. 

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