2016, the year I became a badass Mother Runner! 

2016 was a very SPECIAL year! 

Zoe was born, August 2015, so by the start of 2016, she was 4 going on 5 months old. By this point, I knew my daughter pretty well. And although, she was constantly changing and growing, my confidence as her mother had grown.

It is a weird thing to say, but in the beginning even the most confident woman in the world, feels, life is a little bit out of control when they become a new mom. But eventually, I discovered a new normal, and created a consistent, but flexible routine, that brought order to our busy household. (Side note: This routine and order also allowed me to train for my fourth full marathon.)

Also by the beginning of 2016, my fitness level had finally started to improve. At this early part of the year, I wouldn’t say my fitness was totally back to the way it was before Zoe, but I was feeling a lot stronger, and my runs were more comfortable and enjoyable. I knew by the time Zoe was 6 months old, I would feel confident running with her in the BOB running stroller. I was so excited for that day!!

2016 MADE me a MOTHER RUNNER!!

Before I became a mother, I always admired the BAMRs on the trail. Effortlessly running, all while pushing a stroller and caring for a tiny human. I only hoped that once I had a child, I too would be out there running those stroller miles. 

In late February 2016, this dream came true, and I was finally able to include Zoe on my runs. We went out for our first stroller run together, and we both loved it! 

I feel so fortunate to be able to work out with my child by my side, instead of having to find a babysitter. It makes it so much easier to just bring her along.  I now have two tiny eyes watching every move I make… so making healthy choices is very important, now more than ever. Living this healthy lifestyle is a priority to me, and I am so glad I can include Zoe at such a young age. 

However, it wasn’t easy at first, it took some time to adjust to running with the stroller, but I got the hang of it. Again, runs became enjoyable, and I felt strong and confident. Nothing feels better than passing another runner on the trail while pushing a stroller. Plus, Zoe loves being out there, taking in all of the sounds and colors of nature, and the fresh air is great for both of us! 

Soon, with Zoe by my side, I began to train for all the races I had lined up for 2016.

Race Recaps
In 2016, I ran six races! Each of them, were VERY special. 

Race 1 – The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my first postpartum race. It was so cold and windy that day, and I really didn’t know how I would do. It was more of a test race. I decided not to look at my watch and just run by feel. I ended up surprising myself running it faster then I thought I would, finishing in 1:31:12. (Side note: At the Expo, I met Meb, the Olympic marathoner, Boston Marathon winner, and I discovered Mana Threads a new awesome athletic clothing line.) 

Race 2 – The Parkway Classic was my second postpartum race. This was a beautiful run, and again I ran it faster then I though I would. My goal was to finish under 1:30, I reached that goal finishing 1:28:49. 

Race 3 – The Navy Half Marathon was my 3rd postpartum race. This was also my first time running this half marathon. I registered a couple of weeks before because it fell in place with my marathon training plan. A lot of other runners I knew used this race as a training run for marathon training. I ended up racing it and I’m so glad I did. I ran it faster, then I thought I could, I finished in 1:53:54, which made this my 3rd half marathon under 2 hours. Woohoo! 

The summer heat was making me have some long slow training runs. I was getting worried about running the Marine Corps Marathon. Would I be ready? After running the Navy Half, I felt great! It felt amazing running that fast, and it brought my confidence back. My marathon training was paying off, and I was ready to run with the Marines. 

Race 4 – The Marine Corps Marathon was … my fourth full marathon, my fourth MCM, my first full marathon as a mother runner, my first race that I ran a portion with my dad. Overall, this race is my all time favorite, and was the most special I ran this year! I ended up with a new marathon PR, finishing in 4:17:01. I loved this race so much, that I slowed down a bit, just so it wouldn’t end. 

The marathon distance is my favorite distance! And once again, this race reminded me of that. 

I had so much fun at MCM, that I experienced the marathon blues after, and almost signed up for the Richmond marathon which was two weeks later. 

Race 5  – The Operation Turbo 5k was a race that a friend of mine was organizing in order to raise money for her foundation. I signed up a couple of days before hand in order to show my support. I couldn’t remember the last time I raced a 5k.

I was very excited to do it, because it was my first opportunity to race with Zoe. Although, I had done most of my marathon training miles with her, I had yet to race with her. 

It was awesome and we placed second for females. 

Race 6 The Alexandria Turkey Trot was by far the most crowded race I ran. It was my second race with Zoe. It was hard to maneuver the stroller around the crowd for the first two miles. But once we got around the crowd, we started to fly. The best part was hearing Zoe laugh, pointing out the doggies and demanding me to run faster, shouting, “Go, Go, Go mama!”

Some other RUNNING highlights!

2016 was a year of connecting with others.

I’ve always been a solo runner, and now because I am a working mom, sometimes it is hard with my schedule to meet up for runs. However, in 2016, I found ways to connect with other runners and other mothers. 

*I joined two running team/groups in 2016… I joined Mom’s Run this Town, (MRTT) and Oiselle Volee. Both of these teams were inspiring and motivating in different ways. I didn’t get the chance to run with these groups because of my work schedule. However, I did follow along with them through social media. 

Oiselle Volee is a team I run for. I had been wanting to join this team for a while and finally in 2016 I got in. I love what this team stands for… it is all about empowering women. 

It is also nation wide, so I was able to follow most of my fellow Oiselle teammates on instagram. And I was able to meet some birds at races! They had an awesome cheer station at mile 20/21 at MCM. I am hoping in 2017, I will be able to go to more Oiselle runs and events! 

I also joined Mom’s Run this Town. Again I only had the chance to meet up with them once, however I followed the MRTT facebook page, and was very active on it. Again I hope to meet up with these ladies more in the upcoming year.

Even though, I was only involved through social media, these groups inspired me and held me accountable

*I started using a running app in 2016… I also found ways to connect with other runners by using Strava. This running app is awesome. I still wear my Garmin 620, but Strava allows me to follow other runners training, while they follow mine. It also immediately shows me my mile splits! I love Strava and I am so glad I started using it in 2016. Again helps inspire, track, connect, and holds me accountable.

I have a couple of favorites for 2016

*My favorite piece of running gear for 2016… was with out a doubt my BOB REVOLUTION PRO! 

This running stroller allows me to take my daughter with me on my runs! It is the reason why I was able to train for the Marine Corps Marathon and set a new marathon PR. 
*My favorite race of 2016… was the Marine Corps Marathon. 

The marathon is my favorite distance. I trained hard for that race, training in the record breaking heat. All of the hard work paid off and I was happy with a new marathon PR. Plus, I made a very special memory running with my dad. 

*My favorite cookbook of 2016 is Run Fast Eat Slow. 

I am always trying to find new fun recipes, even more so now that Zoe is eating solid foods. 

Also nutrition is huge, especially while training for a marathon. This was my go to cookbook! I love the story behind the book. The authors are inspiring on their own, and each recipe is based on fueling the runner’s body. Every recipe I have made is easy, delicious, and healthy. 

*My favorite place I ran this year… was the Green Belt in Boise, Idaho. 


In the beginning of October, my husband, daughter, and I took a trip out to Idaho to visit family. I brought all of my running stuff, knowing I had to continue marathon training and find some place to get my long run done. 

Turns out I ran almost every day when I was in Boise, even running a 12 miler. I ran on the Green Belt and it was one of the most beautiful refreshing trails. Running in Idaho felt amazing because the cooler temperatures was a great break from the heat wave we were having back east. 

(Side note: I also had the opportunity to run in Martha’s Vineyard which is my favorite place to run. It too was refreshing because of the ocean breeze.)

*My favorite training moment… was all of the stroller miles I did with Zoe.

In 2016, stroller running became my thing! I never knew I would love it so much, but I do.

*My favorite things I saw while running, were not necessarily the gorgeous views, but rather when I randomly came across this amazing piece of street art. 

After seeing one mural, I started to notice them everywhere. I decided to make it my thing. Instead of always focusing on the mileage, I decided to also embrace city running and try to discover more art. 

Then while running in Martha’s Vineyard I randomly came across a huge spider web. I didn’t see any street art because it’s the beach life up there. But after seeing this spider web, I was reminded that nature has its own little artists always creating. 


I later saw a spider web on almost every long run. When you are out there running a 15 or 20 miler you are going to see some interesting stuff. 

*My favorite Running Podcast is… Another Mother Runner. I couldn’t get enough of these BAMRs. 

I never really listened to podcasts in the past. But in early 2016, while taking Zoe on walks, I needed something to listen to. So I came across Another Mother Runner Podcast. These ladies have a couple of books, which I bought and read while I was pregnant with Zoe, but once I found out they had a podcast I was hooked. I tune in every week and I am now a pretty loyal listener. 
*My favorite most inspirational runner of 2016 was Shalene Flanagan. 

Olympic Marathoner Shalene Flanagan was the most inspirational runner for me. And her moment at the Olympic marathon trials with her bestie Amy Hastings was by far the most inspirational moment

There were other inspirational runners as well such as Jen Shelton, the Ultra marathoner from the book, Born to Run. On some of my long runs I would listen to the chapter about her over and over again. 

Speaking of books, I read a couple of running books and reread Born to Run. 

*My favorite new running book I read was… My Year of Running, Dangerously by Tom Foreman. 

I also read a Running a Love Story, by Jen A. Miller. Both of these books were inspiring because they were about mid packed runners. 

Goodbye 2016, you were great! 

So that sums up my Running the Year 2016. For me, 2016 was a year all about my two favorite things: motherhood and running. The highlights were definitely watching my Zoe grow into this incredible, smart toddler. And as for running finishing the Marine Corps Marathon, with a new marathon PR. 

I am very proud that I was able to time manage and fit marathon training in, while also being a new mom. 

This proves to me, that you don’t have to sacrifice the things you use to do, because you have a child. It is possible and important to continue to do the things you love, while also being Mom. 

2016 has been an inspirational year, which built my confidence more than ever before. I became confident and comfortable in my new role as a mother.  I regained my fitness and began to run stronger with more confidence and passion. 

Ultimately, 2016 was a teacher. The most important thing I have learned is… that I don’t have to travel to an exotic place, or hit a huge life milestone, to have an incredible year. The year doesn’t have to be a huge one… It is the small, everyday, ups and downs that are so beautiful. 

And although, running a marathon is a pretty big deal, I ran that marathon in my backyard. My point is … as I watch my daughter grow, she has taught me… you don’t have to go far in search of greatness and growth. This greatness and growth is right in front of your eyes or with in yourself.

Thank you 2016 for making me a BAMR!! 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

The Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon 2016

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

Scott Jurek

In honor, of the Marine Corps Birthday, (that was on Thursday), and Veterans Day Weekend, I thought it would be a perfect time to post my race recap on running the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. 

(Warning: This is a long detailed post about my experience, mile by mile.) 

On Sunday, October 30th, 2016, I ran my fourth Marine Corps Marathon. Although, it was my fourth MCM- this marathon was my first full marathon I ran, 14 months after having Zoe, and my fourth postpartum race.

When I registered for this race, I kept it a secret. I was really worried if I would be able to fit in the training,  being such a huge time commitment, new mom, and working mom. Would I be able to juggle everything? Turns out I could and did. Running mamas let me tell you… It is totally possible to train for a full marathon after baby! I did it and you can too. I ran all the miles! (Curious about my training read all about it here.)

Marine Corps Marathon 

THE EXPO

The Expo was held at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor. At first, I was a little annoyed that they moved the Expo to Maryland instead of having it in DC. There is no metro located on National Harbor, so I feared there would be a lot of traffic and no parking. Turns out it was perfect. Not to much traffic, plenty of parking, and beautiful views of the Potomac river. 

We normally see these view from across the river, from the VA side. 

The Expo was held on both Friday and Saturday. I went on Friday afternoon hoping it wouldn’t be to busy. There were no lines getting in and no lines to get bibs. However, there was a line to the check out to get MCM gear, and because I had my 14 month old with me, there was no way I could wait in it. 

I ended up just getting my bib and skipping the MCM gear area. (I’ll purchase some gear later online. 

I wore my Oiselle sweatshirt to the Expo, talk about flystlye. This sweatshirt is so warm, cozy, and stylish.

Again, I brought my daughter, Zoe, with me to the Expo. The majority of my training was done with her by my side, so I wanted her there with me to experience the excitement of the Expo. It feels great to be a BAMR. (Read about being a BAMR at the Navy Half Expo, here.) 

Some runners hate expos and avoid them if they can. I, on the other hand, love the Expo. The Expo always gets me pumped! Plus, who doesn’t want to shop for more running stuff?!

I ended up shopping around, and purchased a running skirt from Mana Threads. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Expo, and I was excited to see them again. I’ve never run in a skirt before, and honestly, never thought I would. I actually use to “roll my eyes” at runners who wore skirts. But I’m at the point that I’ve been running for 8-10 years now, and it can be difficult to find something new and different. So I’m going to give the skirt a try. Might as well… I might love it. 

I also checked out HOKA shoes. The guy was very knowledgeable. I’m pretty loyal to Newton, but want another type of shoe in my shoe rotation. So in the future I might give HOKA a try. 

NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

The HEAT

Every long run I ran this summer was in record breaking heat conditions. Just my luck… the weather man was predicting unusually warm summer like conditions on race day. 

In my running groups, everyone was worried about the heat. We even received an email from the Marine Corps Marathon organizers, saying – to slow down race pace, and to hydrate and dress for hot conditions.  

Every time I run MCM the weather is perfect. I checked back on my blog post from a couple of years ago, when I ran my 3rd MCM and it was 30 degrees cooler that day. 

I don’t do well in the heat, and I also was pretty congested because of a cold. However, I trained in a heat wave of a summer in 80-90 degree record breaking weather, so I wasn’t too worried. I also wasn’t going to put my mind in a negative state. Positive vibes only.

I was just going to run my best and see what I could do. I was confident. I put in all the miles during training, and I knew once I got around the energy of the other runners, my excitement would keep me going strong. 

A lot of runners chose to wear their hydration packs on race day. I thought about it, but I really didn’t want the extra load. So my game plan was to rely on water stations, hoping they wouldn’t run out. 

I also planned on starting at 7:55, when the gun went off. Because the metro wasn’t opening early for us, due to safe tracking, MCM organizers were leaving the start open for a full additional hour. This meant late runners could cross the start line as late as 8:55. But this also meant that these late runners would cross the finish line later in the day in hotter conditions. My game plan, get there early, start my race when the gun goes off, run my race during the gorgeous morning, cooler temperature, and finish my race before the afternoon heat. 

NIGHT before RACE RITUAL

Saturday night, I spent some time trying to decide what running outfit to wear on race day. I decided on my oiselle singlet, and I’m so glad I did!

I stayed comfortable and cool up until mile 24. And wearing the oiselle singlet helped my oiselle teammates see me easier. I really love running for oiselle. I joined the team after having Zoe, and the support has been amazing. 


I did my,”Night before Race Ritual,” which is laying out my race day outfit and taking a picture. Above picture is my, “Flat Meg.” 

I also laid out Zoe’s outfit. My sister had a shirt made for her that said, “My mom runs faster than your mom.” 


I also carb-loaded for two days straight with spaghetti and sauce that I made homemade.

I was as ready as I could be. 

So it was time to just try to get a good night sleep. But before shutting my eyes, I checked social media to support other runners and gain some inspiration. 

This is what I found on the Marine Corps Marathon facebook page. 


I laughed when I read it! Because no one sleeps well before a marathon. 

MORNING OF

My alarm went off at 5:20 am. I tiptoed through my dark house and got dressed and ready. Grabbed my iPod shuffle (which I didn’t use, I just had it as a back up) and Garmin.

By 6:00 am, I was off to my mom’s house. Because the metro wasn’t working- I parked my car at my mom’s house, and she dropped me off in Pentagon City. A ton of other runners flooded Pentagon City, so I just followed the crowd walking over to the start, eating my pb&j. 



THE START

Like always, the Marines greeted us, and welcomed us with excited faces. They checked our bags, getting us through security quickly. 

I was there pretty early, and because I had time, I decided to hit up the porta potty, making conversation with the guy in front of me. It was his first time running MCM, so I let him ask me all of his nervous questions.

Unlike years in the past, I wasn’t shivering. It was close to 60 degrees already at 6:30 am. I was in long pants and my long sleeve zip up MCM shirt from the previous year. It was time to strip down into my race clothes and drop my long sleeves at baggage claim. 

(Side note: I saw a lot of people wearing bath robes. Have you seen that before? I’ve seen people wearing trash bags in the past, but never bath robes. I don’t see the point. But to each their own.

When I was at baggage claim the sun began to rise. 

My dad was also running the marathon. I received a text message from my saying he was on Memorial Bridge running to the start. He asked for me to wait for him so we could get a picture together. 

CORRAL AND START LINE

My dad and I walked down to the start line at 7:30ish. We squeezed our way up to the 4:10 and 4:15 corral – standing with a view of the 4:15 pacer. 

The Marine Corps Marathon is The People’s Marathon – which means they do not assign corrals, instead they allow the runners to choose a corral. Because Marine Corps Marathon has 30,000 runners, the first three miles can be crowded and slow, so I always try to stand in the corral ahead of my ideal finishing time. 

Let’s talk about timing… 

My goal finishing time for this race was 4:15. Maybe I could run it faster, because I ran my last half marathon, a month before, in 1:53, and felt good! But I finished my last full marathon in 4:19, (2 years ago) so I would be happy running that, or a faster PR. 

So standing in the 4:10-4:15 corral seemed to be a good place to start. 

The actual start didn’t seem as exciting as years past. It actually didn’t seem crowded at all. But maybe that’s because of the option of starting later. But in the years past, people are normally packed in, clothes going everywhere. One year a beach ball was going above our heads. Everyone cheering! 

The EXCITEMENT 

The real excitement happened when they flew military planes over our heads. 


And then we were off… 

Mile 1-3

We ran down 110, up through Rosslyn, up Lee Highway. My husband, daughter, and Mom were waiting for me at mile 2-3ish on Lee Highway. It was easy to spot them because my little Zoe was on my husband’s shoulders. It was so fun seeing them, especially Zoe!! She was excited seeing her Grandpa aka Poppy. My dad showed everyone his 1989 MCM race shirt. As I looked at my watch, my dad made observation that we climbed that hill pretty fast. We were on our way to Spout Run.

MILES 3-5 

We ran through Spout Run during miles 3-5. This is one of my favorite parts of the marathon because it is by far the prettiest part of the race. Trees shaded us while we ran up and down slight rolling hills, as we approached the Key Bridge. My Dad and I were still running side by side. 

MILES 5-7

Over the Key Bridge we went, leaving Virginia and entering D.C. I love running over the Key Bridge. And Georgetown is usually a very exciting spot during the race because the spectator support is so huge and energized. There is normally a band playing from Georgetown University, and a group from Lululemon cheering while sipping mimosas. However, this year I didn’t see any of that and to my surprise it seemed like a ghost town. But, we continued on, down Wisconsin we went, and up to Rock Creek park we headed. My dad and I were making great timing! 

MILES 8-10

Usually, Rock Creek Park is up one huge hill and then a crowded turn around, then a down hill. But this year they cut it short and it wasn’t crowded at all. My dad and I both looked at each other with a smile, when we realized we didn’t have to run the hill. 

MILE 11 – The BLUE mile


Mile 11 is called the Blue Mile. This mile is lined with photos of fallen soldiers. It was very emotional. Many people stopped in front of their fallen solider to cry, or get a picture. American flags lined the end of the mile to uplift us. 

MILES 12-14

Haines Point is normally the boring part, but we got through it – still feeling really strong and on pace.  

During one of the water startions, my dad grabbed a GU (energy gel) and I lost him. But my cell phone rang, and it was him, and he was coming up on the left hand side. Off we went to the National Mall. Dad shouted we were over half way through. 

MILES 15-18

At mile 15, I told my dad we only had 2 miles until mile 17. Mile 17 is a significant mile in the marathon, because you only have 9 miles left which means you enter single digits. We were both running on pace, but it was then that my dad told me to go on ahead, if I thought I was going to break 4 hours. I didn’t know if I could do that, but I was going to try. So I picked up the pace on the National Mall and headed to the 14th street bridge. 

It was awesome that my dad and I ran 15 miles together. 

MILES 18-20

I left the National Mall and was heading on to the 14th street bridge. The bridge is normally mile 20, but because of the late start, and the eagerness to open DC streets, we had to leave the city on time. So they made the bridge mile 18 instead of the normal mile 20. 

The goal to the bridge is to, “Beat the Bridge.” Many people hit the wall here and begin to walk. It can feel really hot, or super windy. But I actually always love the bridge. And I never walk. 

Once I was on the bridge, still running, I texted my husband to let him know I was on the bridge heading to Crystal City. He was shocked I was calling so early, ahead of schedule. He was on his way to meet me in Crystal City. 

I also knew my Oiselle teammates had a cheer station at mile 21. So I was keeping a look out. Mean while, I was still on pace and feeling strong. 

MILE 21

There they were! My Oiselle teammates cheered the loudest cheers ever at mile 21! So happy I saw them. I was now super pumped and on my way down Crystal Drive to see my husband, baby, and mom. MILE 21 was the longest distance I ran during training. This mile marker is significant for me because during the week I run a 5 mile easy run, and during the marathon when I hit 21, I tell myself, “Its just my 5 mile easy run.” 

MILE 22

I ran through Crystal City, eyes wide, looking for people I knew. Around mile 22, I saw my husband, mom, and baby, again, waiting to cheer me on. Zoe was so cute having fun watching all the runners, smiling big when she saw me. I got some pictures and I told them I was feeling good and making great timing! 

MILE 23-24

After leaving my family, letting them know I would see them at the finish, I kept on pace.  I started looking for the mile markers.  It wasn’t until mile 24, that I started to feel really hot. 

But at mile 24, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It ended up being one of my runner friend, Raj Running Yogi! It was such a fun surprise seeing him. I hope I was friendly! At mile 24, looping around the pentagon, I was just trying to stay focused and look for my street signs, that always helps me get to the finish. 

MILE 25 – 26.2

I could see the finish line in the distance. Then the street signs appeared. I told myself just get to the Memorial Bridge street sign. Next thing I realize, I’m running passed it and seeing the Key Bridge street sign. Passing the Key Bridge sign, I made a left heading to the Iwo Jima memorial, uphill to the finish. Although, the finish line was moved to the right this year, it felt amazing crossing it! 


THE FINISH

This Marine gave me my finishing medal! 


Took a photo near the Iwo Jima memorial.

I met up with my family. And got to show my daughter Zoe my finishing medal. 


All of our hard training paid off! It felt amazing showing my daughter my medal. 

After the race was over, my husband, daughter and I enjoyed bunch at Lyon Hall.  

THE RESULTS

A NEW PR

Although, it was hot running conditions, and  a “difficult” course, I felt great most of the race. 

I ended up finishing in 4:17:01, which was a little over a 2 minute PR. I am very happy with this time, and over all had a very successful marathon. 

The most fun thing about this race was running the first 15 miles with my dad. I am very impressed with how fit he is! 

I’m also most proud of the fact that I trained for this race with my daughter by my side. Yes, my identity has changed now that I am a mother, but it has not changed my passion for running and living a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to me to show and teach my daughter- that with passion, dedication, and hard work, anything is possible. 

WHAT IS NEXT? 

I will be running a Turkey Trot this thanksgiving with Zoe in the stroller. But as of that, I’m still trying to decide which marathon I want to run next. 

In the mean time, I’m hitting the weight room again consistently. Its time to get stronger again.

THANK YOU

Thank you to everyone who inspired and supported me through this marathon training season, and the marathon. This includes MRTT, Oiselle, and everyone that followed along on IG, FB, Strava, and this blog. 

Also I want to give a special thank you to the Marines, race organizers, volunteers, and race spectator support for another amazing Marine Corps Marathon experience.

Thank you!

It’s so amazing to be a part of something this big!! And the running community is incredible! 


Now let’s set new goals, and run all the miles! 

copyright 2016 sweatdaily 

Now that’s a wrap! Marine Corps Marathon 2016 TRAINING recap

It is really bitter sweet that this marathon training season is coming to an end. This will be my fourth Marine Corps Marathon. And although, I have trained and run this race before, MCM training 2016 has been by far the most special training season I have ever had.

Most marathon runners, train with a running group or running buddy. But for me, I have done every weekly run pushing my baby girl in our BOB running stroller, and every long run completely solo.  It truly has been the most fun, most challenging, most special training season because I did it all, while caring for a tiny human, pushing my daughter every mile of the way. 

Regardless of whether I … PR or not, I am most proud of the fact that I was able to manage a beautiful life-balance of wife life, motherhood, marathon training, and working. 

When I signed up for this race, at 6 months postpartum, I was unsure I would be able to manage training for a marathon while being a new working mom/wife, but I did it. Once again, the marathon has taught me, that anything is possible. 

Physically

I am so proud that after 40 weeks of pregnancy and no running, a c-section labor, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, etc. that I was able to physically get my body strong enough to begin to train for a marathon. And then continue prepare for this race during a record breaking hot summer, with an infant/toddler by my side. The female body truly is amazing. 

A lot of people have asked me, how did I do it physically. How did I get strong enough to even start training for a full marathon, after 40 weeks of pregnancy and no running. 

This is what I did… 

At 7 weeks postpartum, I got the okay from my doctor to start working out again. I desperately wanted to start running, but I knew I had lost a lot of muscle. I knew I was weak, so I decided to exclusively weight lift/strength train for 6 weeks. I had to get stronger before I laced up my running shoes. 

At 13 weeks postpartum, on Thanksgiving day, I went for my first postpartum run. It was a three mile run, and it felt amazing. But the next day I woke up with the worst knee and ankle pain.

I later went to my local running shoe store to get my form evaluated and fitted for new shoes. My body had changed, there was a great possibility that my running form was different. 

Turns out my form was perfect and my shoes were a great fit, it was just going to take time for me to strengthen my ankles again.

For the next 3 months, I hit the pavement running a short 2 miles a day. On the weekends, I would try for 3-4 miles. Slowly, I was improving.

At 6 months postpartum, my daughter was ready to run with me in the stroller. She had strong neck control and was sitting up independently for two and half weeks. She was ready, and I was too. I was so glad I took the time before to build up my strength and perfect my running form solo. It made me ready to push that stroller.

At first while pushing the stroller, my stride was different – longer, slower cadence, but over time I found my mojo, and running with Zoe became one of my favorite things. Pushing a stroller and passing people on the trail made me feel strong and empowered. I have become a BAMR!!

Although, I always put my focus on how well my body preforms vs. what it looks like. Another great perk to training for this marathon is that  running totally transformed my body.  I have lost all the stubborn baby weight, and my body is leaner and more athletic.

My advice to any new mom…

Do not rush into it, and expect you will have your pre-baby body back. Actually, the truth is, YOU WILL NEVER HAVE YOUR PRE-BABY BODY BACK, but that doesn’t mean your body can’t be stronger, leaner, or even better than before. Just know that it takes time to get strong again, and embrace the process. And forget about what your body use to be, and start creating an even stronger better body. It is possible. Hello fit beautiful mom-bod!

Mentally

I am most proud of beating the record breaking summer heat mentally and physically. And becoming better with time management. Everyone is on a “flexible” schedule in my house. The demands of marathon training, and the time commmitment was possible because I made it part of our morning routine.

When it came to the heat… 

This summer was the hottest summer I have ever trained for a marathon in. It had record breaking heat, so it was definitely a physical and mental challenge to train in. All of us runners were out there together, chugging along with our hydration packs, giving eachother the thumbs up. There were times the heat got the best of me, and although, I made it through every long run, there were times I questioned, “Should I even run this race?” 

Because of the heat my pace was significantly slower… It made me question, “Can my body run this race at the pace I want?”  But, physically, I knew my body could do it, I just needed to get my mind prepared.

I am so happy I was organized enough. Planning a head is key to having good time manage. Making running part of our morning routine made everything doable. 

Expo Energy

I’m still mentally preparing. However, it will feel more real once I pick up my T-shirt and bib. The energy at the expo is always such an amazing feeling. This year Zoe will be with me. She’s my little side kick and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Mantras

I also mentally prepare by coming up with race day mantas. This year’s training mantra is, “Let’s Run all the Miles.” I’ll use this during the race. I also like to wisper while going up hills, “climb climb climb, and fly down. And when the miles get tough, “keep moving forward.”

Training Highlights

My favorite runs are always the ones I do during the week with Zoe. During this training it was amazing to run when she napped peacefully, or run when she was interactive- pointing at everything, waving at the cyclists. She talks to me, and she absolutely loves going over the wooden plank bridges on the trail. She is always a great help holding my cold water bottle on hot days, that would keep her cool. Then we would stop for a water break, she loves drinking from my water bottle. 

However, I had some really great long runs too. 

My favorite long runs were, my 12 mile runs, my 15 mile runs, my half marathon, my 18 miler and my 20 milers. 

12 Mile Run – One of my first 12 mile runs, I ran with my sister Emily. This run was the only long run I had company for. The weather was overcast, and I felt great the whole run. We ran passed a really cool piece of street art and it made me obsessed with finding more are to run past. 

12 Mile Run- Earlier, this month when my husband, Zoe and I visited Idaho, I went for a 12 miler on the Boise Green Belt. It was perfect running weather, such a refreshing treat compared to the heat wave we were having back home. I found a dirt path to run on, the sun was shining and the view of the Boise River was so gorgeous. So perfect! 

15 Mile Run – In August, while I was in Martha’s Vineyard celebrating my daughter’s first birthday, I ran a 15 miler along the beach. It felt amazing, running along the ocean, with the sun shining and the ocean breeze. 

I also saw a huge spider web, and kept seeing spider webs on every long run after.


15 Mile Run – All of my runs during this summer were done in 80 or 90 degree heat. I had a 15 miler on my schedule, but the weather man was calling for record breaking heat, and advised that everyone stay cool and drink plenty of water. Well, that’s not going to happen, when I am in the middle of marathon training. 

I was dreading this long run. I don’t do well in the heat, but who does? I headed out early and went in the direction on the trail where it was the shadiest. Tree branches canopied over my head and I basically was running through the woods. The shade was good, but the humidity still made it sweltering, plus the shadiest part of the trail ended up being the hilliest. 

I decided to turn my music off and listen to the audiobook, Born to Run. I listened to the chapter that talked about Scott Jurek running the ultra Badwater. It helped me get through the last tough miles. 

I also found the other runners on the trail very motivating. One guy even gave me a thumbs up and hollered , “Nice Job.” This kind gesture, made me remember that even though I ran my long runs solo, I wasn’t ever really alone. There were other runners out there in that very hot day, running high mileage, just like me.

18 Mile Run- I chose to do my 18 miler on a Monday instead of Saturday because the weather was a little cooler. My mom watched my baby as I hit the trail. It turned out being a beautiful run, and I made great timing. 

Half Marathon – My training plan had a half marathon scheduled for the same day that the Navy Half Marathon was scheduled in DC. Because the Army 10 miler is a couple week later (which is very popular) the Navy Half never fills up. So last minute I decided to register for it. Most of the other people I knew running it that were also running MCM were using  it as a training run. I decided to race it and boy am I glad I did. I ended up running an awesome time, 1:53:54, and felt great the whole time. This race brought me my confidence back. 

20 Mile Run – It is just 10 miles down And then 10 miles back. I decided to run this one from my house. It ended up being an awesome run. I came across another mural in Roslyn. 

Then I jumped on the trail to have some gorgeous views of DC. 

I finished in 3:40 so my timing was on point. It was good to get a really nice 20 miler done. 

20+ miler – I normally always do a 21 miler, just because mentally it helps me finish. I run 5 mile easy runs during the week, 21 ends up being my longest run. Then during the race when I hit 21, I tell myself, “Oh good, it’s just my 5 mile easy run.” It works every time. 

This 20+ miler was suppose to be my 21, but I was rushing out the door and didn’t get enough to eat. So around mile 15 my stomach started growling. I was starving. I ended this run at my car around 20.40 miles. I immediately went to Starbucks and grabbed a kind bar and a venti soy chai latte. Besides that, I ran through the sprinklers in Georgetown and hit up all the bridges including the 14th street bridge. 


This training season I tried to be very active in the online running community. I joined two running groups, Oiselle Volee and Mom’s Run this Town. And although, I only went running with them once, I was able to get support from them by posting online. 

I also noticed through Instagram that many runners were setting monthly goals. I decided to do the same.

JULY – AUGUST 


AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 


SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 

Although, there were days that I dreaded running in the heat, and days that I worried if I could fit my runs in my busy schedule… Overall, I really enjoyed this training season. 

You are dear to my heart Marine Corps Marathon. Always teaching me that the possibilies are endless. 

No matter what happens race day, this training season has been unforgettable. And the best part is having Zoe by my side every mile of the way. She is not my EXCUSE… She is my REASON. 


Now let’s run all the miles, with the Marines! 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Marathon Training Recap for September Miles. 

Oh September

I was envisioning September to be cool and crisp, but instead it continued to be a scorcher. Actually, there were even several 90 degree days. 

Honestly, the heat was really starting to exhaust me. The game plan was to increase weekly mileage so I would complete 148 miles total for the month. 

But because I was feeling so tired, I changed my game plan. I decided not to increase weekly mileage to much, with the hope that I would be more rested for my weekly long run. So I dropped my average weekly runs, from 5/6 to 3/4. Running one short, one mid/long, and then one long run a week. This plan was so successful. Honestly, for my body, sometimes less is more

I also switched my usual Saturday long run to Monday depending on the which day had cooler weather. This made me feel less rushed to hurry on Saturday morning to get out there and get my long run done. Plus, I was running on the cooler day, so all of my long runs felt really good. More rested + less rushed + much cooler weather = a successful long run.

My long runs this month consisted of a 17 miler, 18 miler, half marathon, and 20 miler. All of them went went well and my half marathon race was very successful, bringing me my confidence back.

October is Marathon month. 29 more days of training. This month my monthly goal is 148.2 miles. I will be running one more super long run, which will be in the 20s. And then I will be in taper town. 

This week I am heading out to Idaho, and I plan to continue with training. Which means I will be running there in altitude. It will be hard to train in altitude, but hopefully it will just make me stronger when I get back. My motivation is that all of the Olympic marathoners trained at altitude. Look at how awesome these ladies are. (Amy and Shalane.)

I’m planning on running all the miles, work on some speed to keep my legs light, and weight train occasionally to add a little more strength. I also need to keep my nutrition on point. I have been cooking a lot of recipes from the book, Run fast, Eat Slow.

I have a little longer in training so might as well give it my all. Let’s run all the miles. Soon I’ll be running with the Marines.

What’s next on the blog: I plan on writing some posts about Idaho and running in altitude so stay tuned. 

Who else is running a Marathon this month? 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

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

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 

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.

image-3

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?


MARINE CORPS MARATHON VIRGINS: HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND A RECAP

Marine Corps Marathon is tomorrow morning!

This is by far my favorite race.

Because I just recently became a mama, and just got cleared to run again two weeks ago, I am not running Marine Corps Marathon this year.  However, I will be cheering around mile 23/24 Рthe Crystal City area Рso look for me if you need to see a familiar face.

I have realized that for a lot of you it will be your first time running this race, or even your very first time running a full marathon. So I have decided to share with you some tips that I found helpful each time I have run it.

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 ‚Äď 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, ‚ÄúOnly 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.‚ÄĚ 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,¬†‚ÄúNo matter what‚Ķ Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.‚ÄĚ Another good one is ‚Ķ ‚ÄúOne More Mile.‚ÄĚ
  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‚Äôll see signs that say, ‚ÄúMemorial Bridge.‚ÄĚ
  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 full Race Recap here. 

 

Motivation Monday, Marathon Monday

Here is a little Motivation Monday for ya…

Look who is running Boston!

11178273_10153366772075329_5932238360212199409_nScott Jurek (one of my favorite runners of all time) is running Boston this morning. I got this photo taken by¬†John Segesta,¬†off of Jurek’s fb page. But I had to share it with you because it is so inspiring.

I love this photo because just by looking at this inspiring image you can see that running is so much more than just putting one foot in front of the other!

Scott Jurek says, “I used to run for my mother who couldn’t run and now I get to be the eyes for Thomas Panek who can’t see.

As you can see, there is reason behind why a runner runs?

Why do you run?

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© sweat1xdaily 2015

Kara Goucher struggles at the NYC Marathon

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Last Sunday was the New York City Marathon.

Kara Goucher one of my favorite female elite runners ran it. She went to New York, not in it to win, but hoping for a solid 2:28 race.

I remember my run last Sunday. It was windy. So windy my lips got chapped. While I was running, I was thinking… I hope it’s not this windy in NYC. If it is, there aren’t going to be any PRs, marathon times are going to be slow.

I constantly talk about the weather on this blog, as a runner the weather really does make or break us. In Kara Goucher’s case, it broke her.

She suffered…

Hit the wall…

and struggled to finish.

I recently read her blog post, A Bitter Sweet Return, and it almost brought me to tears. As I read her post, I felt like I was running the marathon with her, right by her side. There are¬†so many emotional moments. Ones that include…

Deciding to run the first ten miles with the lead pack.

At mile 9, realizes the others aren’t intimidated and slowed down by the wind. Her game plan back fires. She went out too fast, causing her to burn out.

Slowing down running the next 10 miles solo. 

Goucher spots Edna Kiplagat at mile 18, and uses her as a target. Unfortunately, she barely passes her, and never regains energy. 

Continues running to mile 24, knowing her coach would be there. But being too delirious that she runs right by him, never seeing nor hearing his support.

Finally, Goucher makes it to finish line.
There is a quote that goes something like, “The only run you regret is the one you don’t do…” Goucher says she has no regrets… As a runner, we run races. Some end up good, while others bad.
“I have at times been criticized for showing so much emotion.¬†¬†I wear my heart on my sleeve and have never been good at ‚Äúkeeping it together.‚Ä̬†¬†
Goucher poured her heart out on her blog. And the reason why I found it so important to recap her race and blog post is because of that reason. She is so passionate. And I have always put elite runners in a whole different light. On a different level. Physically they are on a different level, but after reading her blog post I realized elite runners are really not much different then you and I. They have the same mental strategies, and the same mental break downs.
  • The wind effects them.
  • They go out too fast.
  • They don’t want to run alone.
  • They use other runners as a focus target… to run faster in hopes to regain energy.
  • They look for familiar support at mile markers.
  • ¬†They get delirious…
  • ¬†They make it to the finish line.
  • ¬†They never regret running.
  • ¬†They have determination that the next run will be better.
As a runner, I read Kara Goucher’s¬†emotional blog post and totally got it. ¬†I’ve been there, and done that, but of course 2 hours slower.¬†
© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Marine Corps Marathon Virgins: Here are some Tips and a Recap

Marine Corps Marathon is tomorrow morning!

This is by far my favorite race.

I am registered to run it, and I am extremely disappointed that I will have to sit this one out.¬†Unfortunately, ¬†my training this summer, didn’t go as planned, and to top it off, I got my wisdom teeth pulled on friday. So I am now on painkillers and swollen like a chipmunk. ¬†UGH!¬†But I always have to remind myself that it is way more important to listen to your body. There will always be another marathon to run. There will always be next year, to run MCM.¬†And the most hilarious part is the dentist who pulled my teeth will be running the marathon tomorrow. She was telling me how nervous because it will be her first time running 26.2.

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. Enjoy!

mcm-11

I’ll be cheering you on! Look for me at mile 23. xo

For a full race recap check out my Marine Corps Marathon experience from last year.

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

The time I kind of ran the Chicago Marathon.

It is the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

I am not running it this year, but I will be running, The Army Ten Miler, a very popular local race here in the DC area. Although, the ATM has the same amount of runners as the Chicago Marathon, it is no 26.2.

In 2011, my sister and I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. I had run Marine Corps Marathon two times before. The 2011 Chicago Marathon would have been my 3rd full. Unfortunately, the summer was brutally hot, and I ended on antibiotics, because of stomach issues most of my training. It was hard to fuel my body for my long runs. At the end of the day, I decided I just couldn’t continue training. I was really disappointed, but I run to be healthy and have fun, not to injure myself.

Because hotels and flights were already booked, I decided I would still go to Chicago. My mom and younger sister were coming with me. My older sister was running the full marathon, and we all wanted to be there to support her. My mom had a brilliant idea. She told me to go to the expo, get my bib number, and run a portion of the race. I paid for the race, so why not? I decided to meet my sister at mile 16 and run the last 10 miles with her, as a pacer, as support.

So I went to the expo. It was the best expo yet! 313001_10100216570772486_192728463_n

I got to see Hal Higdon. Hal Higdon is guy who created the marathon training plans I follow. I have always had success. It was cool seeing him!

 

317430_10100216570532966_147782703_n-1

315509_10100216570483066_1713784094_n-1We took a selfie together.312941_10100216568921196_1160650670_nHe signed my bib!

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Em had fun at the expo too.

The next morning I woke up early with my mom and little sister and we headed to mile 2 to cheer my sister on. She was doing great. Once we saw her, I jumped on the ‘L’ waited around mile 16. Once, I saw my sister I jumped in and ran the last 10 miles with her. It was a hot one! But she made it to the finish.

301209_10100218174598406_769512413_nThe picture is small, but there Em is wearing her Chicago Marathon Medal. I am hoping to run the full Chicago Marathon sometime in the future and get a medal of my own.

The Spirit of the Marathon

Today in honor of the Chicago Marathon, I watched The Spirit of the Marathon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch it, especially if you are running Chicago tomorrow. ¬†It is about a couple different people who decided to run Chicago. They are of all different fitness levels, and have different running goals.

So go ahead, rent it off of itunes or amazon. It is only 1 hour and 40 minuets, so you still have time to watch it. Crawl into your hotel bed, get comfortable, and I promise you will be inspired.   The documentary will totally get you pumped to run.

Spiritoffthemarathon_cover

As for me, I am doing my night before race ritual, laying out my race clothes. And getting a good night sleep. I am very excited to wake up at 5 am tomorrow morning and run the ATM. I haven’t raced since April, and this will be the first race since my running buddy had a baby, that we will be running together. Can’t wait!

G O O D    L U C K   C H I C A G O   M A R A T H O N E R S ! ! ! ! !

Have fun! 

and to everyone running Army Ten Miler! See you at the start!  xo

 

Questions for you…

  • Whose running a race tomorrow?
  • Which race are you running?
  • Have you ever seen The Spirit of the Marathon?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Will the Apple Watch replace your Garmin?

The newest addition to the Apple family will be the Apple Watch, which will be released early 2015.

They have a couple different models, including a Sports model!

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When Apple first announced they were releasing a watch, I thought the idea was stupid. But now that there is a sports addition I am very curious.

 

It looks really cool, but will it function as good as some of the leading brands?

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Some of the Features…

  1.  Band is durable and strong. Yet surprisingly light and soft.
  2.  Sport models are as light as possible.
  3.  Made with strong scratch resistant alumina-silicate glass.
  4.  There are a variety of apps that will do things such as monitor your activity through out the day.
  5.  Heart rate sensor.
  6.  There are reminder features to tell you when your next workout is.
  7.  Data sharing.
  8.  It is unclear whether the GPS feature to track runs will be used from the iPhone. In this case runners will need to run with your iPhone.

The watch will retail $349.

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Being a serious runner, my watch has become my running buddy. I am
pretty loyal to Garmin.

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Above are the facts, but it will be interesting to hear reviews once the watch comes out.

Will the Apple Watch replace your Garmin? Which running watch is your favorite?

References:

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

My advice to a new runner and all runners…

As a hair stylist, we talk and listen all day long… it comes with the job. Our clients need to tell us stuff, and they are always asking what’s new and exciting in our lives. Our salon is on the small side, and in most cases hair stylists are loud people, so it is a very hard task to avoid your neighbors conversation.

Now to get to my point…

Lately, every other person I come across is starting to run. Woohoo, this makes me happy. Two of my lovely coworkers who are new to running are the first people who come to my mind. Along, with them being new to running, comes a million running questions. Once you become a passionate runner and you start training for your first race (whatever length you choose) running finds its way into every conversation. I talk a lot about running to my clients and now running is among the conversations these two coworkers have with their clients as well.

We are lucky to live in the DC area where there are active people everywhere. But my advice to anyone new to running is…

We are not the same. What works for one runner, may not work for another.

I mean this in every way.

What shoes work for one runner, may not work for you. What training program works for one runner, may not work for you. What race strategy work for one runner, may not work for you. Some may prefer a camel back for long run hydration, while others may prefer a water belt. Some may drink nuun while others prefer water. Some may refuel with sports beans others may like gu. Some may run everyday, when others need more recovery to prevent injury. And the list goes on… But you get my point.

It is good to ask questions. It is good to talk about running and hear others experiences ( that’s why I blog and read other blogs.) However, it is really important for you to try different things and figure out what works best for you. You are your own unique person, one of a kind. When it comes to running one size doesn’t fit all. And diversity in this sport is one of the reasons I love it so much!

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What is your most common running question?

Happy Running!!!

Do you want to be a faster runner? Here’s the Secret…

There are lots of ways to become a faster runner.

Hill repeat…

Track workouts…

Speed work…

But the one thing that most runners neglect is their upper bodies. It is a strong upper body and core that will significantly improve a runner’s speed.

Why?

Upper body strength helps improve your posture and running form. Your legs are not the only thing that moves you. You use your arms, core, back, shoulders for guidance and balance. 

“Upper-body strength is essential for boosting your speed?”¬†– Jeff Horowitz author of Quick Strength for Runners.

My experience:¬†Last year, I hit the weight room, and found a new passion for lifting. I knew a stronger body would help prevent running injury, but I didn’t know it would improve my pace significantly.

During my April (2013) 10 milers, and half marathon, I began setting new PRs. It was an amazing feeling to be running an 8:30 min/mile. Nothing in my running training plan had changed. In order to fit my weight lifting sessions in, I was actually running less.  The only thing  I was doing different was focusing on getting stronger and lifting weights. Turns out it made a huge difference.

I loved the way my body looked. I loved the way I felt. I didn’t just look stronger, I felt stronger. And the cherry on the cake, I was running stronger, faster, and with better form.

This last marathon season, because my milage increased significantly, I lost some of my muscle. It was hard to fit in both weight lifting and running. During marathon training my main focus was getting those long runs in, so my weight lifting sessions decreased to once a week.

But now I am back at it.

I did 4 weeks of lifting heavy and super sets. Then I did 3 weeks of active rest periods and super sets.  Now I am doing 2 weeks of circuit training. I am also running 25-30 miles a week. Sometimes on rainy days, I will do some HIIT on the t-mill.

I’m finally getting some of my muscle back!

Articles you may like…

  1. Nike Women Half Marathon DC
  2. Running Form Clinic
  3. Back in the Gym and running 18 miles

What’s your favorite thing to do in the gym?

© 2014 sweatdaily

My Fitness and Nutrition goals for 2014!

2013 was an amazing year! It will be hard to beat. However, if there is a year to beat it 2014 is that year. A lot of big, exciting, special things are happening. Two of the biggest include…

  1. I will be traveling to Thailand with my Fiance!
  2. Later in the year, we will be getting married!

I am calling our trip to Thailand our premoon, since it is going to be an amazing adventure taking place before my fiance and I get married. Thailand has always been on the top of my list of places I desire to visit, and now that two of my best friends have moved to Asia, It seems much more doable.

Our trip is planned out according to where in Thailand we are going to be on which day, but from now until we leave, I will be reading up on Thailand as much as possible.

I have also found Pinterest and Instagram extremely helpful while planning this trip. Surprisingly, Pinterest and Instagram have become little tour books on theirc78f233e7abc2a0286ba0f215f5e42a2 own.¬†I have now started a Thailand pin board based on what I want to see while I am there. This is going to be an amazing adventure, and because I am a crazy runner girl, I am bringing my running shoes too. ¬†Honestly, I don’t know how much running I will be doing, but when I do go on a run, I will be sure to blog about it. I am not going to be too hard core, because vacation is about relaxing, plus I have been working out pretty hard in the gym lately, and it may be nice to have some time off. But one of the best things about being a runner, is that you can run anywhere in the world. So my newtons will be in my carry on.

Now that we are on the subject of running, it may be a good time to reveal to you my Future Race Line Up and RUNNING GOALS for 2014.

019fc47d160999745b8be8b6af03cae7

As of now I am registered for three races.

  • The Four Courts Four miler, scheduled for March 15th. During Christmas I had won a free race entry for this race. It is a fun run I have never ran before so I am excited to run it.
  • The Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for April 6th. This race is the first race I ever ran, 6 years ago. It is also one of my favorite races. I was very lucky to get in considering it is a lottery.
  • The Parkway Classic 10 miler, scheduled for April 13th. This is a race I run every year. It is my favorite 10 miler in the area.

SO OBVIOUSLY I AM LOOKING TO PR IN THESE UPCOMING RACES. And, because of the extreme cold temperatures that we have experienced over the last week, I actually have been doing HIIT on the treadmill. I have been averaging a 7:30 min/mile but at some points running between a 6:00/ 6:30 min/mile. By doing sprints like this I am working my fast twitch muscles. I am planning on continuing to do different types of speed work at least 2x a week in order to improve my speed, so I can PR in these upcoming races.

I am not sure which other races I want to run yet. I definitely want to run a couple half marathons, and I am back and forth on whether I want to run a full this year. Full marathons are a huge time commitment for me, so we shall see.

RUNNING GOALS 

  • Run 2014 miles in 2014. Lets see if I can do it, or how close I can get.
  • Read The Cool Impossible. This is the next book following Born To Run. I started it, but put it down because of my marathon training. I am ready to really read it, and use it to improve my running.
  • Learn more about heart rate and how using a heart rate monitor can improve my running. I have been using a heart rate monitor while lifting heavy in the gym. I have found it really fascinating seeing how in some exercised my heart rate stays consistent and how in others it raises and lowers. I have a heart rate monitor for running, so I want to learn how to use it to improve my running.
  • Subscribe again to the magazine Runner’s World. Lately, I have been reading Runner’s World and I feel like it now caters to the beginner runner. However, although the information is stuff I already know, there is also a lot of great inspiring stories in it. So for motivational reasons I want to subscribe again. Plus I buy it every month on the news stand.

As you all know, last year I got really passionate about weight lifting. I think it is very important to do along side running. It makes me a stronger, faster, injury free runner.82ae592f4275b619c540ce05d348e388

WEIGHT LIFTING GOALS for 2014

  • Start and complete two rounds of the clutch transformation. Start and complete the clutch cut. This will be a total of 12 weeks of clutch. Start in March when I return from Thailand.
  • At one point this year I want to be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups. I can’t even do one at the moment.
  • I want to be able to do a handstand. I am always in awe of all the cool yoga poses I see people doing on What’s Beautiful, and on Instagram, and most of them are handstands. Handstands are so healthy for you, and they make you very strong.
  • I want to see some abs. Nothing too crazy. But some baby abs would be nice to see.

Because I want to see some abs, and everyone knows abs are made in the kitchen. So here are my Nutritional Goals for 2014.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS for 2014

  • Be more strict about eating veg.
  • Meal prep weekly.
  • Continue to cook more. Eat out less.
  • While doing clutch follow clutch diet and supplement plan.
  • Read all my cook books.
  • Continue to stock my kitchen with the tools I need.
  • Organize my recipes so they are easy to find when I need them. Maybe in a recipe box.
  • Subscribe to vegetarian magazines. This will help me stay on track and motivated to cook more.

*Make and inspiration board and change it often. This way I stay up to date!*

And saving the best for last, Getting Married!!

Best wishes from me to you for 2014!!

What are your 2014 goals? Where are you traveling? Which races are you running?

Articles you may like…

© 2014 sweatdaily

Tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution!

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

You can’t control everything that happens to you in 2014, but what you do have control over is which goals you choose to set and how you plan on reaching them.

Most people hate New Year’s Resolutions. Most people think they are pointless, and never set them. I guess, I’m not like most people, because I love them. I always set them, and I make a great effort to stick to them.

And although, I make a resolution for the year, I also always have other goals I am trying to reach. After reaching my current goals,  I then set new ones.

However, not everyone is constantly making goals, and for some, they dread it. Others set a New Year resolution and by February forget their resolution ever existed.

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So here are some fun tips to get you setting a New Year resolution and sticking to it.

  • Be specific, and well detailed.
  • Have a game plan.
  • Be inspired and find support.

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

If this is your new year resolution, the odds are you are going to fail. Why? Because there is no game plan. A couple years ago, my resolution was, “I’m going to eat one unique, exotic, interesting food a week.” This resolution being more specific¬†was totally doable. It¬†got me out of my rut of always throwing the same food into my grocery cart. It also got me exploring health food stores, such as MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods. I would literally grab one item I knew nothing about, and throw it into my cart. I would go home research it, learning how to prepare it, and what it went well with. This one small resolution changed my life. I began exploring new food options. I discovered a passion for cooking. ¬†I started meal prepping. And with out even realizing it at first, I began to eat healthier and loose body fat.

0019f04590beca7cf63eb89e770abeccSo this year, instead of focusing on dieting, and counting calories, try focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. Focus on making healthier food choices. This may not be as easy as it seems, because the sad truth is that many people are confused and simply do not know what is healthy. If you fall in this category it is not your fault. Advertisements play so many sneaky tricks on us by calling products fat free, low fat, diet, when the truth is these products are really overly processed, full of sugar and chemicals. Even fat free milk, which sounds healthy, is actually processed. They suck out the fat and replace it with chemicals and 12 grams of added sugar per cup. The average woman should only get an average of 25-30 grams of added sugar a day.

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

  • Read labels and avoid chemicals.
  • Promise yourself that you will choose organic, cold-pressed, raw, unrefined, unprocessed foods.
  • Eliminate added sugars.
  • Meal prep.
  • Cook your own food.
  • Have fun by researching and trying new foods and recipes.
  • Become a foodie, and choose high quality foods.
  • Really make an effort to learn about exactly what you are putting in to your body.
  • Download apps, get the tools, you need to succeed.

This may be a time commitment and a financial investment, but it is worth it in the long run. You deserve this!

Once you have truly learned about selecting a healthy food choice, and your get on a regular routine of living a healthy lifestyle, it is then that you can take it up a notch. It is then that you can count macros and carb cycle.  There are a lot of apps that can help you learn a healthy food choice, and later log your food. My favorite is My Fitness Pal.

2) I’m going to work out more… is another common resolution.

If this is your New Year resolution be prepared to fail. Why? Again there is no game plan. Instead, choose a plan. There are tons of free weightlifting plans on bodybuilding.com.

Weight lifting

961f5fe107c5336873307876076622b7In 2013, I decided, along side of my running I was going to incorporate weight lifting, into the mix. I had been running everyday, but wanted to improve my speed, and prevent injury – so it was time to get strong. When training for a full or half marathon I always had been successful while following a disciplined training plan. Because of this, I knew I needed one when it came to weight lifting. That being said, I saw amazing results in the weight room because I followed the Livefit Trainer, by Jamie Eason.

Honestly, the Livefit trainer changed my life. I have never seen such amazing results in my body, and the best part is my running has significantly improved.

“Change your mind set. Stop focusing on getting skinny! Instead focus on getting strong. If you focus on getting strong, the fat will melt right off.”

f57e16d7b28f64b14239426e40d574f6One way I found success was to record everything. When you write down how heavy you are lifting, next time you lift heavier you will feel more accomplished, by setting a new PR. Also when you record everything, you will be amazed how much you are actually doing. One leg day, after counting all of my reps and sets, I discovered I did 180 squats that day. Pretty amazing!

Running 

22f9d787894089d24454f97454f7d2fcMaybe you don’t belong to a gym… maybe you would rather choose to run as your source of exercise. ¬†Well you are asking the right person, because I am a runner. Running is my thing.

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

I love racing, so this New Year I would suggest signing up for a race. By signing up for a race, you will have a specific date you must physically be ready to run by. In the summer, in the DC area, there is a 5K every friday in Crystal City. So if you are choosing to run shorter distances such as a 5K, consider signing up for several. Maybe your goal will to be to race once a month.

If you are choosing a longer distance, such as half marathon or full, allow at least 16 weeks for training. There are tons of online training plans. My favorite running plans are written by Hal Higdon. I have trained for all of my full marathons, by using his plans, and I found success.

Log your miles…

Another option is to set a milage goal, for example, maybe you want to run 20 miles a week, or 100 miles a month. (These are all very doable goals.) Maybe you want to do a 30 day consecutive running challenge, where you run at least a mile a day everyday for 30 days.

There are several online running logs, you can use to keep track of your miles.classic-log Because I have a Garmin, I use the Garmin Connect center. But if you do not have a Garmin, you can use a free log on runnersworld.com. Another option is Daily Mile. There are also many apps to record your miles, such as, Run Keeper or Map my Run.

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

Although social media sites, such as Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook can be very helpful and inspiring. There are times when you find an inspiring article in a magazine that you want to tear out and keep. In this case, I find it very helpful to create a story board, or inspiration board/wall. This is simply a physical spot on a wall, or a cork board that you can pin inspiration and notes too. This helps you stay organized. Another option is to join Pinterest, the online option for a pin board.

Also if you keep a day planner, don’t forget to write down your daily workouts, and good eats.

To find support…

The people who see the best results in most cases have a workout partner, or a running buddy. Sometimes it is hard to find someone with the same schedule as you. (I have struggled with this.) ¬†So in order to find support there is a ton of online fitness community you can join. My favorite is What’s Beautiful by Under Armour. What’s beautiful is free, and by joining you are able to learn new things, be inspired by others, participate in challenges, and get never-ending support.

Instagram is another form of social media, that can make a huge difference in keeping you motivated.  People think Instagram is just a personal photo sharing app, but the truth is Instagram has much more to offer.

Instagram is an information source. You can search hashtags that lead you to, personal trainers, running coaches, small businesses, professional athletes, athletes trying to inspire, chefs, nutritionist, foodies, etc.

You can learn new yoga poses, new recipes, new workouts, new equipment, new gear, and so much more. You can follow people who inspire you. You can follow companies. The information and knowledge you can find, is at your fingertips. It comes quickly and is never-ending.  You can also hashtag your personal photos, which your followers and others  might like or comment on Рthis support alone may be just the motivation you need.

Another fun thing about Instagram is you can easily join a challenge. There are tons of challenges going on and all you need to do is use the challenge hash tag. There is also daily hash tags, such as #transfomationtuesday used on tuesday or #flexfriday used on friday.

If an online fitness community isn’t enough, try joining a Crossfit gym, yoga studio, running club/group, or local gym.

So there you have it.  These are my top tips on how to be successful when it comes to nutritional and fitness goals this new year.

Questions for you…

  1. What’s your New Year Resolution?
  2. What tips do you have to stick to a resolution?
  3. How do you stay inspired?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

  1. New Years Resolution 2013
  2. Food… doesn’t have to be fatty
  3. I’ve been drinking my sugar.¬†
  4. Livefit Trainer and Fitness apps
  5. Transformation Tuesday

It’s Crunch time! Christmas Wish List for Runners!

It’s CRUNCH time! You have a little less then one week until your shopping deadline, December 25th is here. If you have a runner on your buying list. I am going to help you, by revealing my Runner’s Christmas Wish list.

There are definitely some awesome universal running gifts but there are some that are particular to certain types of runners. Don’t worry I’ll walk you through it.

Let’s start with great ideas for stocking stuffers. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference, especially during a long run.

Here are my top favorites…

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These little tablets help your runner refuel. They dissolve into your runner’s water with in minutes giving instant energy. Once dissolved it becomes your runner’s source of hydration, giving them everything they need from sodium to electrolytes. The brand also has an ALL DAY option with a¬†lower sodium level,¬†for those runners who want to sip on nuun all day. ¬†Nuun comes in a wide range of flavors to satisfy every runner’s taste buds, for only $6.50 a pack. This product is for all types of runners and endurance athletes.

Sports Beans by Jelly Belly

ea2c1629-afec-4113-a6dc-842499df1040These beans are magical beans, at least to a runner that is. They are different from nuun because they don’t dissolve in water. Instead you chew about four beans every hour, washing them down with a gulp of water. And like magic, instantly, your runner feels energized. They refuel and replace everything your runner looses while sweating during a long run.

These beans have been with me during every training run and every race from 10 miler to marathon. These beans come in a variety of different flavors. They also come with ¬†the option of caffeine or with out. I normally use the ones with out caffeine, because caffeine gives me the jitters while I run and messes up my stomach. ¬†So keep this in mind- it is important to ask your runner if they perform well on caffeine or not. These sports beans are only $1.25 a pack, that’s a pretty good price for magic.

Honey Stingers Waffles

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Imagine this… Cyclists in Belgium training for the Tour de France, eating waffles as fuel on long training rides. This is how Honey Stingers Waffles were born. These waffles come in strawberry, vanilla, honey, lemon, and chocolate and the best part is they are Organic. My favorite is the honey flavor. They come in handy when you are crunched for time and need a quick bite before a run. I also like to keep them in my camelbak for a snack while on a long training run. The brand Honey Stingers also has gels and other refuel items. These waffles are $1.39 per waffle.

Body Glide

DownloadedFile-3This may not seam like a very exciting Christmas present, but to a runner it is. Body glide is a protecting layer that can be put on any part of the skin. This helps prevent chafing and blisters. I am that runner who always misplaces her body glide. So I am always buying new ones. I don’t go on a long run or to a race with out it, and honestly can’t get enough of it.¬†Body glide has saved me from a lot of stinging, bleeding, and painful miles. It comes in a small travel size and a regular size. Depending on sized Body glide is $6.00-$10.00. This is for any runner who experience chafing and blisters, but mainly for the long distance runner.

Bondi band

401849_10101091606728416_1103647335_n-1I first discovered bondi bands at a race expo and I fell in love. They are the ultimate running accessory. It keeps your hair out of your face, stays put, and absorbs sweat. They also are very personable, coming in different colors with different fun phrases written on them. $8.00 a band, for all types of runners, male or female.

iTunes Gift Card

unnamedMaybe your runner is a sprinter who needs some fast pace music to get their feet speedy… Maybe your runner is an ultra marathoner who spends hours chugging long miles on the trail. Which ever it may be, all runners need some new tunes to keep them motivated and help them push through that last part of their training.

Now for your presents under the tree…

Garmin Forerunner

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The Garming Forerunner is the heart rate, GPS, watch which takes your running to the next level. Use this watch as a tool to understand your heart rate and record your pace, distance, and cadence for all training runs and races. There is a wide variety of different Garmin Forerunners, to meet the needs of all the different types of runners out there. There is ¬†even the forerunner 310 that is for the triathlete and can record under water. ¬†Which ever Garmin you choose, know this… Garmin is the leader in the running community for GPS and Heart Rate. These watches range from $129.00 – $399.99.

Newton

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Newton running is a natural barefoot running shoe that helps you mimic your stride as if you were barefoot. They are light weight, have a low heel to toe drop, but because of their unique lugs they are able to absorb shock.

I have been running in these shoes for over 18 months and ran my fall marathon in them. Their motto is Hello Better and it is so true.  My running form has significantly improved, I am running faster and better. These shoes range from $119.00- $175.00.

Camelbak481735_10100848645534596_845329559_n-1

There are a lot of different ways to stay hydrated. Some runners prefer a running belt. Others prefer a vest that holds two water bottles one on either front side. I however use a camelbak.

When running on trails, or through the city it is impossible to rely on water fountains. I always bring my camelbak for runs 10 miles or longer. My camelbak holds 2 liters of water and has additional pockets for all my other belongings. This is ideal for marathon runners, or anyone running 10 miles or more. Camelbaks range from $50.00 – $150.00, depending on the size and model of the camelbak you choose.

Injinji 

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A runner will appreciate a high performance sock. It sounds weird, but socks do make a huge difference. I tend to get really bad blisters. But these socks are wicking and sweat absorbing. And although they may look weird, they will save your runner from blisters. These run around $12.00 and they are for all runners, even those wearing the Vibram Five Fingers.

Runner’s World Magazine SubscriptionRunners-World-South-Africa-December-2013

I have been reading this magazine every month for the last 7 years. As a runner, Runner’s World is your source of information. It is for all types of runners, from the rookie to the veteran. It touches bases on all types of running from 5K to ultra marathons, revealing the most current gear from shoes to hydration packs. It has inspiring stories, tips for racing, exercises and nutrition advice. It also has a race calender to keep you updated on popular races.¬†¬†If your runner does not have this magazine, they need it. Subscribe for $19.99.

Other good reads for your Runner…

Eat and Run by Scott Jurekscotts_book_big

This book is by far my favorite book. It is written by ultra marathon Scott Jurek. The book tells the story of his life as an ultra marathoner, who eats a plant based diet. However, it gets a lot deeper then running, when he talks about his friends and family. My favorite part is that this book also has pages of great recipes.

Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall born2run_coverpb

This book has been out for a couple years now . It is a national best seller, so odds are that your runner may have already gotten their hands on it. However, if not this is a must read.

This book is about the epic adventure Christopher Mcdougall goes on to answer the simple question of why his foot hurts when he runs. He discovers that what we thought we knew about running was all wrong. We are born to run, barefoot. Read this book and your will not only be inspired, but all your questions about running will be answered.

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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton and Christopher Mcdougall

If your runner has already read, Born to Run, then The Cool Impossible is the next book to read. This book will become your running coach. Teaching you how to strengthen weak areas, so you can have proper running form, and transition safely into a barefoot runner.

 

 

So there is my list of the best running gifts. However before you buy anything…

Make sure you are a Kind Runner! Check out kindrunner.com.

“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other… But to be with each other.” ~ Christopher Mcdougall

I wish you the best this Holiday Season, and although, there is tons of pressure to give the best presents, in the end it is not that important. Always remember the true meaning of the Holidays is to be with each other.

© 2013 sweatdaily

You Race Photos are Important…

A week after Marine Corps Marathon, an email from Marathonfoto was patiently waiting for me in my inbox. For me, this is like Christmas. I am always excited to to receive my race photos. The image of me sprinting to the finish line just like an elite runner always flashes across my mind. Maybe, they’ll snap a photo of Erik waiting for me so I can smooch him in celebration of a new PR, just like elite runner Emma Coburn did in this photo.

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Or maybe this time, I’ll look just like Kara Goucher, my arms in the air, breaking the tape with a smile of victory across my face. I’m patriotic, I’ll carry an American flag too.

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Well turns out I can keep dreaming, because my race photos never turn out that good. However, because of the improvement in my running form, they have been looking better and better.

Your race photos are important and can actually be very beneficial for you. So even though, you may not look like Kara Goucher, do not ignore your race photos. It is important not only to look at your race photos, but also analyze them. It is your race photos that will reveal the truth to you, about your strengths and weaknesses in your running form.

Have you been feeling pain? Have you had the same running injury over and over again? Well there is a reason why, and maybe you can find the answers to all of your questions by looking closely at your race photos.

So lets take a look at mine and start critiquing my running form. 18 months ago, I switched my shoe to a natural barefoot running shoe, and since then I have really focussed on transitioning my form from a heel striker to a mid foot/forefoot natural barefoot running stride. And although, my running form has improved significantly, it still isn’t perfect.

WEAKNESSES FOUND

In some of the photos you can see that I lean back instead of forward. This is something that I was doing and didn’t even know it. In the photos that I am leaning back in, it looks like I may be over striding. Another interesting thing is that I land on the outside of my foot. ¬†I already slightly knew this by examining the wear and tear at the bottom of my shoes, but it is revealed as well in these photos. In order to get my foot landing more even on the ground, I am going to have to strengthen my gluteus medius. Sometimes it takes strengthening a muscle or stretching a muscle to solve a problem.

STRENGTH FOUND

As for strengths, the biggest thing I am proud about is that I am consistently landing on my forefoot. I am very balanced in every photo. In most photos, my stride is short and bouncy with high knees.

Overall I am happy with how far my running form has improved. I can’t stress enough how important running form is. You wouldn’t go play golf without knowing how to properly hold the golf club, so if you are new to running, do not just head out for a run, learn how to properly run. If you can improve your running form, in most cases, you will stay injury free.

So go ahead, take the time, to examine and analyze your race photos. They are one of the best tools to use, to reveal the truth about your running.

” The beautiful thing about running barefoot or in minimal footwear is that you are working with your body’s natural proprioception, the ability to sense your own position in space. With nothing between you and the ground you get immediate sensory feedback every step, which encourages you to stay light on your feet and run with proper form.”

– Scott Jurek

This was my first time running this distance in a natural barefoot running shoe. There was a time durning my training that I was nervous about running that far in my Newtons. But I built up to it and had an awesome marathon in them.

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© 2013 weatdaily

My friend went on a date with another runner… and it didn’t go well!

THE DATE

A friend of mine went on a date with a guy the other night. They were chatting and having a great time. Because they were both runners, the conversation naturally gravitated towards their race experiences. The guy, being an ultra marathoner, finally asked my friend, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” It was then that my friend knew a relationship between the two of them would never work…

DON’T ASK STUPID QUESTIONS

The question, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” was a deal breaker for her, and honestly it annoys me to pieces.

I just completed my 3rd full Marine Corps Marathon (read all about it here.) I have run all distances excluding the ultra marathon, however I am considering trying one in the near future. My favorite distances to run, and the ones I run most often are 10 milers, half marathons, and the full marathon. However, I do not think the full marathon is a harder distance to conquer then the half marathon. All of these distances are equally challenging in their own way. All of these distances are challenging, but the training focus is different. In other words, ¬†it takes a different kind of running depending on the race distance. And here is why…

HALF MARATHON

When I am training for a half marathon, my goal is to run faster. My training focus is on pace and speed work. I am doing shorter runs during the week, at a faster pace. I am running hill repeats. I may, even though, it is rare, jump on the treadmill to do some HIIT. I am also focusing on running form, and strength training. When training for a half marathon, I have more time to weight lift and do yoga. And last time I trained for a half marathon, I ran less, but when I did run, my runs were quality runs. The running less left more time to weight lift. The combo of more quality runs, and more weight lifting, made my body stronger and my runs faster.

FULL MARATHON

When I am training for a full marathon my ultimate goal is to build endurance by running far. My training focus is on increasing my weekly milage by running longer runs. I am not worrying too much on running a fast pace, and actually my pace slows down significantly. When it comes to pace, I am just trying to stay consistent. I practice negative splits on my longer runs. Nutrition and proper hydration plays a huge role when training and racing this distance.

HOW IT EFFECTS MY BODY

Depending on the sport you play, your body may take on a different shape. Gymnasts have a distinct gymnast’s body, Swimmers have a swimmer’s body… and you may have heard people say Runners have a runner’s body… but when it comes to runners, it becomes a little more complicated, because there are different types of runners. Sprinters or those running shorter distances then the marathon ¬†at a faster pace tend to be more muscular, then those running full marathons and ultra marathons. This is definitely true for me.

When I train for a half marathons I have more time for other exercises, such as weigh lifting, cycling, and yoga. When I train for a half marathon, I am able to fit in 4-5 times a week of weight lifting. Therefore, I maintain more muscle. I am stronger and overall look more fit.

When I train for a full marathon, my weekly milage has significantly increased. The mileage has increased so much that it is nearly impossible to fit any other exercising in. During marathon training, I was able to squeeze one weight lifting session in a week. And out of my four month marathon training, I went to yoga once. I tried to maintain as much muscle as I could during marathon training, but it was hard because I wasn’t lifting as much as I usually do, and because I didn’t have much fat to burn. When running long distance the body uses fat as energy. If there isn’t any fat to use, it will then use muscle for energy. This is why marathon runners, and ultra marathoners are so lean.

So as you can see, one distance is not more challenging then the other, they are just very different, even effecting the body differently.

Stop having an ego!

Just because you run a full marathons, or ultra marathons, it doesn’t mean you are more fit or a better runner then someone who chooses to run half marathons.

I choose to run a full marathon when I am craving to run far, consistent, slower, longer runs. Marathon training is a huge time commitment, and because I usually get really into my training, it is important for me to have the proper time to train. Yes, you can always make time, and make marathon training a priority but things get in the way, for example wedding planning, getting pregnant, traveling.

I am tired of hearing, “Oh I just ran the half…”

Don’t feel like less of a runner, because you only ran the half marathon. Feel proud, running a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment.

Honestly, sometimes I choose to run a half marathon. It lets me focus on running a faster pace. For a travel race, I may choose to run the half marathon over the full marathon, if I am in a cool city that I want to visit and explore, and not be too tired after racing. Sometimes, I choose to run a half because I want to be able to fit in weight lifting and yoga.

SO at the end of the day, I like to switch things up, and that is healthy physically and mentally.

‚ÄúIn some ways, an ultra isn‚Äôt even as hard as a marathon.‚ÄĚ ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Questions for You…

  1. Have you ever dated a runner?
  2. Which race distance is your favorite?
  3. Have you ever come across a runner with an ego?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

“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¬†

Below is the song I had in my head, the story I told myself. Below is my experience running my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, revealing everything to you, including my mental strategies.

NIGHT BEFORE

Around 10:00 pm, I read the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page status. It said something along the lines of, “It’s bed time! Sleep Tight runners.” I laughed at the idea – no one sleeps well the night before a big race.

I curled up in bed, everything prepared exactly the way I wanted it, totally ready for race day. My alarm was set for 6:00 am, but I knew I would wake up before it went off. I wasn’t nervous, I was more excited and anxious. It was definitely bitter sweet, this marked the end of my marathon training, and when I woke in the morning, it would be the beginning of my race day.

MORNING OF 

As I predicted, I tossed and turned through out the night, checking the clock. At 5:50 am, the text messages started. Friends and family wishing me good luck for my big race. I turned off my phone alarm and headed to the bathroom where all my race stuff was laid out. After getting dressed in my race clothes, body gliding everything including the bottom of my feet (my problem area), I grabbed my bag, my Garmin, my iPod, my peanut butter sandwich, and a bottle of water, then I was off to my mom’s.

I arrived at her place, at 6:30 am, gave her a map of the course and a game plan of where to meet me through out the race. My little sister, even rolled out of bed to give me a quick pep talk, it was super helpful. I was already starting to feel pumped.

THE METRO 

Mom gave me a ride to the metro. And when entering the metro, I started to see all the other runners, what a relief, how exciting. MCM METRO¬†I got off at the pentagon, and just followed the crowd to the start. The sun started to rise, and the Marines were there, (and they were cuter than ever) welcoming us, and hollering, “Good morning, runners!!”

Because of Boston, security was tight, everyone had to have a clear see through bag, but the Marines kept it organized and checked bags quickly.

At this point it was 7:20 am, so I stripped down- peeling off my sweats. I checked my bag with the UPS trucks, stuffing everything except for my phone and sports beans into my bag and then handed it over. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and people began to comment, “Wow, looking at you makes me cold.” I answered back,” I am more concerned about overheating and being hot.” I had thought about wearing an old shirt, and old socks on my hands as gloves, but honestly, I didn’t think it was that cold out there, and I knew it would warm up quick. I saw people wearing long pants, hats, ear muffs – I thought they were crazy. It’s not January guys.

MY CORRAL

So I headed down to my corral. The last two times I ran this race I stood with the 4:30 group. This time I wanted to try to hang with the 4:15 group as long as I could. This race has 30,000 runners, so it is going to be packed, crowded. My sister thought it would be best to start with the 4:30 group so that way I wouldn’t go out too fast in the beginning. I however, was planning on running most of the race at a consistent pace that would get me to the finish line, with a new PR, which meant anything faster than a 4:30, but I was hoping for around a 4:15, and because of how crowded it can get I didn’t want to get stuck running to slow in the beginning. So my advice to you, when running in a crowded race, and you are debating between corrals, start with the faster one.

Once in my corral, I spotted the 4:15 pacer, she had a sign with red and white balloons. MCM 415¬†My plan was to run my own race, but keep my eye on her through out the race. I had my Garmin, and I had a pace bracelet (which I highly recommend), both of these would help me finish strong, with a new PR, so if I lost sight of the pacer, it wouldn’t ruin my race, plus she was passing the start line before I would be.

THE START

In the past, right before the gun went off, they would announce that, “The Marines are watching over you, on the ground and in the sky,” then they would fly military jets over our heads. This year they had people sky dive in to the corse. Everyone had their phones out trying to video tape and get photos, trying to capture the moment. It was really cool,creating an excited energy. Everyone was jumping up and down, and ready to cross over that start line. The gun went off at 7:55. At 8:10, I was across the start line, my Garmin was ticking.

FIRST 2 MILES

Down 110, up through Rosslyn, up the Lee Highway hill… Then on the right hand side, around mile 2, outside my sister’s apartment, I spotted my mom, Erik, Erik’s mom, my sister, and her friend Erin. They cheered loud, I cheered back, waving and continued on my way. They had really funny signs, that got them tons of attention.

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

Down Spout run, up to the Key bridge, over the bridge, down M street, down Wisconsin. George Town was fun and full of spectators. Then to the waterfront, up Rock Creek park, I ran.

Running up Rock Creek was a new part of the course. It was fun to run up, and then see the faster runners running down. The loop around was a little congested, though, and then it took a little while for people ahead of me to pick up their pace. I guess people don’t run fast down, the down hills, but I like to, that is part of my strategy – as long as you don’t pound the pavement and you stay light on your feet, use momentum and physics to fly down the down hills.

MILE 10-12

Before I knew it I was at mile 10. This marathon was flying by. I checked my watch, I started to get concerned maybe I was running too fast. But I was right on time.

My family was suppose to meet me at mile 11, but around 10.5 I saw my sister sprinting next to me. What the heck… She screamed at me, that I had missed them and that instead of being at mile 11 they were at 10. She asked me if I had been receiving her text messages. I ended up moving my cell phone from my back pocket to my sports bra, so I would be able to read and respond to her text messages. Haha, I can’t believe I was texting and running – too funny.

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

The next mile marker my sister would be at was mile 16. She would text me when she got to her exact location. Next, significant mile marker I was passing was 13.1. I couldn’t believe I was already at the half way point. And while I was there, down in Hains Point, I realized I was running right behind the 4:15 pacer, balloons and sign. I turned off my music to listen to her pep talk.

THE PEP TALK

“We are not going to think that we still have a half marathon to run, but instead we are going to break the rest of this race up in pieces.” Perfect I thought, that was one of my original game plans. She continued,”First we are going to think about getting through these next two miles and making it to mile 15. Once we are at mile 15, we will be out of Hains Point, which means we will be out of this stupid park.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because it was so true, no one running the Marine Corps Marathon, likes running Haines Point. “Once we are at mile 15, we will be running on the National Mall. At mile 15, we will think about getting through the next 2 miles and making it to mile 17. This mile is a significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into signal digits.” Perfect that was another mental strategy I had been practicing. Then she told us, “From 17 we will run the next three miles and make it to mile 20, then we will beat the bridge and head out of DC and into Crystal City.” She told us she would stop talking now, and give us another pep talk on the bridge. Some guy who was totally out of breath desperately said, “Just get us there!” Haha this pacer has a lot of people depending on her. I loved her pep talk, it definitely motivated me, but I didn’t desperately need her to get me to the finish line. Her pep talk was helpful and got me even more mentally focused, but I still wanted to stick to my game plan, and watching my Garmin, running my own race.

MILE 15 

I then felt a vibration, and read a text from my sports bra. Em was waiting for me at mile 16 right passed the water station. I was at mile 15, I had easily made it out of the oh so boring Hains Point. I was running towards mile 16.

mcm-thumbs-up

MILE 16

Just like she said, I spotted Em right passed the water station at mile 16. Erin snapped a photo of the two of us.

MCM MILE 16

They were impressed with my timing, and told me that they would meet me in Crystal City next to the Cosi. So off I went.

MILE 17

I had made it to mile 17, and thought, single digits, single digits, 9 more to go. I was feeling great!

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MILE 18-20

I kept running, checking my pace bracelet, checking my Garmin, jamming out to my iPod. Then I realized I was leaving the National Mall, and approaching the 14th street bridge. I had made it to mile 20.

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

In my previous Marine Corps Marathon, a Marine stands at mile 20, the start of the bridge, and he yells, “Mile 20, beat the bridge.” This year the Marines were there but they didn’t say anything. I was a little disappointed, but I kept my head focused. The bridge is almost 2 miles long. It can be super sunny and hot, or really windy and cold. This time around it was sunny and hot. This is also the spot where there are normally no spectators. It is just too tricky for spectators to get on the bridge. Ironically though, there were more this year, than the previous times I have run it. But because there aren’t that many spectators, this is the spot that a lot of runners, begin to walk, or stretch.

HITTING THE WALL

They stretch and walk, because they just ran 20 miles and no one is up there to see them walk. This is the spot that runners “Hit the wall.” I on the other hand was not hitting the wall, I was determined to beat the bridge. I stayed focused and promised myself I would not walk. I just wanted to run the bridge and get to the next water station. Plus I had just passed mile 21, only 5 more to go…

MILE 21

Mile 21 is a significant mile for me, because my longest run in training is a 21 mile run. (This year it might have been 22) During my weekly marathon training, I do a 5 mile easy run. When I hit mile 21 in my marathon, I told myself, “Only 5 mile to go, my five mile easy run.”

MILE 22

Finally, I got off the bridge. I was out of DC and in VA. At mile 22, I decided to take some sports beans and walk the water station. But I didn’t hang there too long, I started running again, and told myself that I need to get to Cosi, to find Em. I kept my eyes open for other people I recognized, but I didn’t see anyone.

MILE 23

Em was right where she said she would be, she is really good at spotting me. She jumped in just as we had planned. She was going to run the last 3.2 miles with me. She was going to be my Dusty. I was excited to have a buddy pace me to the finish line, especially since mile 23 was when I started to feel tired, and blistery on my left foot.

Lululemon was also cheering in Crystal City.  Along with some really funny signs, their energy made me get a second wind.

MCM COOL SIGN

As we ran, through Crystal City Em, told me that mom, Erik, and Erik’s mom were standing out front of Legal Seafood. They had changed the course from the previous years, and instead of looping all around Crystal Drive, we ran Crystal Drive and then turned up 23rd, passed Legal Seafood. I didn’t look at the corse map too closely, so this was a surprise to me, but it made more since and I liked it better.

Once I saw my family, I waved to them as they took my picture, and they screamed, “See ya at the Finish line.”

The finish line would be my last and final stop. I grabbed one last water cup at the final station, popped some sports beans, and told Em, “Let’s get this bad boy done.” She ran a little ahead of me, but I was totally fine with chasing her, it made me try to keep up my pace, blisters and all.

MILE 24

At mile 24, I though only 2 more miles. I will be done with my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon in less then 20 minutes. Although that seemed so short, at the same time the finish line seemed so far.

ONE MOE MILE

But just like in my previous two MCM, I saw the road sign that said, Memorial Bridge Exit. “Just get to that sign,” I thought. Then I was there. The next road sign I read said, Iwo Jima Memorial. “Just get to that road sign,” I thought. Then I was there. I made a left and saw the hill. Em wanted me to sprint up the hill as fast as I could. I had run this hill thousands of times before, because it is a part of one of my regular weekly running routes. I was familiar with this hill and new the finish line was right after it. So I ran as fast as I could up the Iwo Jima hill. And then, to the right of the hill, there it was the Finish line.

MCM race times

I had crossed over the finish line, finishing my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, 11 minutes faster then my previous. My official time was 4:19:26. I had finished, I had set a new PR, and couldn’t have been happier!

THE FINISH – 26.2

Marines were there to greet us at the finish line. I was lucky to get a very cute one to put my marathon finisher medal around my neck. After, I walked around the finisher’s area, collecting all my goodies, I headed to brunch with my family. I sucked down two Blood Mary’s and ate donuts, at Lyon Hall. It was the perfect post race meal.

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

“One of the things I appreciate about running was how it strengthened and deepened friendships.” ~ Scott Jurek

I signed up for this race with L, but right when marathon training started she found out that she had a baby on the way. So I ended up training for this race totally by myself. This wasn’t the first time I had trained for a marathon totally alone, my last MCM I ran it solo as well. People have asked me, “Who did you run your marathon with?” ¬†I simply answered, “No one I can personally name off the top of my head. But I wasn’t bored or lonely. I ran with ¬†30,000 other runners, several spectators, the Military, everyone who read my blog, all of my family and friends who showed their support and love.”

So… Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

“In some ways, an ultra isn’t even as hard as a marathon.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

* I have purchased all of my race photos from marathonfoto.com. I have not received my downloads and that is why I have the proof photos up. When the professional photos come, I will post those.

Marine Corps Marathon Expo and the GAME plan!

EXPO

Yesterday, Friday, October 25th, I hit up the Marine Corps Marathon Expo. I got the DC armory around 1:00 pm and it was obvious that everyone else decided to come at that time too. It was packed.

Getting my bib number was a breeze. No lines at all. But entering the actual expo had a line because security was tight. They had to check people’s bags. While in the line I met a girl who came from Pittsburgh to run the race. One of my favorite things about MCM is that so many people from so many places come to run this race. Once inside, I wished her luck and went on my way.

When approaching the tables to get my race shirt, the Marines called me over, waving an XS shirt at me. I thought it was funny. I guess I am XS. I also want to say that I am really happy they changed the race shirt. It is still a turtle neck but at least the material is not cotton and the color was quite nice. I continued on, got my picture taken with my bib number, and collected all the other free samples that they were handing out.

 

I ran into the mid atlantic sales rep for Newton running. It was fun seeing here considering she got me into wearing Newton shoes, and tomorrow I will be running a full marathon in them.

I went to the Brooks running area. Brooks is sponsoring the race. I picked up a Marine Corps Marathon hat, and running jacket. I also got a pair of brooks running socks that I am super excited about. It was a crazy long line to pay, but was worth it because I love my new gear.

I finally got out of the Brooks running area and walked around to see what else the expo had to offer. I checked out, Nuun, Honey Stingers, Cliff, and many other venders.

Overall the expo was fun, well organized, and got me pumped for race day. I also picked up a race bracelet that has my pace for each mile.

GAME PLAN

Tonight, my mom made me a homemade pasta dinner. I definitely loaded up on carbs. Now, I am sipping on water, trying to stay hydrated.  After, I am done writing this blog post I will update my iPod and make sure my Garmin has full memory. Then it is bed time for me.

Race night ritual РI am planning on running in my Newton Gravity, my neon green lululemon shirt, and my black lululemon tank. I will cover myself in body glide, wear my garmin, iPod, pace tracker bracelet, brooks socks. I will refuel with sports beans.

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Race morning¬†– I am planning on waking up at 6:00 am. Because all of my race clothes are laid out an ready, I will quickly put them on, grab my race bag, and a peanut butter sandwich, and head over to my moms. ¬†She offered to give me a ride to pentagon city metro. I’ll jump on the metro, get off at the Pentagon, and follow all the other runners to the start!

Race Strategy –¬†Normally, I watch the documentary, The Spirit of the Marathon, to get me pumped the night before my race. If you haven’t watched that movie, it is a must, especially for first time marathoners.¬†But tonight I skipped the movie and reread some of my favorite quotes from Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run. This was really helpful, to get me mentally ready.

The first quote I came across was…

“The mountain reminded me that races are not run all at once that the only way to survive an ultra was piece by piece. So I ran Mount Si piece by piece.”

This quote is exactly how I have been practicing my long runs, and how I am ultimately going to run this race. I will break it up piece by piece, every 5-6 mile taking sports beans, and water at every available water stop.

“Rhythm and form, Jurker. Rhythm and form. C’mon, stretch it out. C’mon, you want to fucking be somebody? Let’s do this… “

I have been working on my running form ever since I started running in the newton shoe. Focusing on form has been a huge part of my training. Finding your rhythm is also important, because soon you get into that rhythm and your able to run and run and run.

“Hey, Jurker!”

“When’re we going to Vegas? When’re we going to see the strippers. You fucking promised.”

“Lets get this bad boy done,” Dusty said. “I need a nap.”

Dusty was my favorite character in the book. He is the ultimate pacer, the ultimate best friend. He always knew how to “work his magic” and get Scott to the finish line. I love the words he chooses. My sister, E, is planning on jumping in with me at mile 23 to push me to the end. Maybe towards the end, I will say to her, “Lets get this bad boy done.”

“As powerful as our legs are, as magnificent as our lungs and arms and muscles are, nothing matter more than the mind.”

The above quote is true, and it is one that helps me remember, that a marathon more than anything is a mind game. I need to keep my mind positive. Because when it comes down to it, I have trained hard for this race, and physically my body is ready. You would be surprised what your body can do.

“I realize that no matter how much something hurt I could gut it out.”

When I start to feel any pain at all, I will keep this above quote in mind.

“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.”

The above quote has been on this blog before. It is my all time favorite, and the quote from the book that touched me the most. It is the truth, and the reason why I run.

Mantras –¬†At mile 17, I will tell myself, I am entering single digits. When in doubt I will tell myself to keep moving forward.

So there it is… ¬†I don’t think I left anything out! Good luck runners. This is going to be an awesome race!

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon training Update: Taper Time

Lately, most of the blog posts I have been reading are about tapering. This is because most of the blogs I have been reading are running blogs, and most of the runners who write them have been tapering for a fall marathon.  Now it is my turn to taper.

Last week the beginning of my taper felt nice. I had more time in the morning to get ready for work, because I was running shorter faster runs. I thought to myself I love tapering!

This week I hate tapering. I know my body needs the rest, but I am feeling antsy. I am ready for this race. I am ready for my fun weekend to begin. It feels weird not having any serious weekly runs. Running gives me energy, and all this rest is making me feel tired not energized.

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A lot of non runners have asked me lately, “What does taper mean exactly?” Well I found the above taper photo and thought it explained it perfectly.

T- trust your training : That is exactly what I am doing. At this point, my training is done. There is nothing more I can do to increase my fitness level, my endurance. Last week, I did shorter, faster runs, to get my fast twitch muscles moving and keep my legs from getting heavy.

This week I am only doing shorter easy runs for my mental state, to keep my confidence high. Trusting in my training gives me some sort of comfort. I am trusting in my training, because I trained hard, never missing a long run РI put the work in. Along with that I will follow exactly what my training plan tells me to do. I have run two other marathons using this training plan, and they were successful, so I believe in it.  Yesterday, I ran a little more than 3 miles. Tomorrow, I will run 4 miles. Friday, I will run 2 miles.

A – adjust your calorie intake¬†:¬†At this point, in my training, I am not strict with my diet. I can’t be. I have been running 20 mile runs, which burns 2,000 calories. So I have been eating three meals a day, snacking when hungry, eating well balanced meals. I am still eating all organic, mostly plant based meals, but I have been listening closely to my body. If I crave something I eat it. When running this high of mileage, if you crave something – for example something salty, most likely your body needs salt.

Friday I will start my carb loading. I will have pasta for Saturday night dinner as well. Sunday morning, race day, I will bring with me a bagel with peanut butter. I have tried hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pb&j, all of these work fine, but I trust in bagel with peanut butter the best. Starting tomorrow I will make sure I stay hydrated and start really focusing on my water intake. You’ll see me with a water bottle everywhere I go.

P – perfect your race day strategy : I will be running this race by myself. However, this is my 3rd time running this race, and I have run several races in this area. I have an advantage because this is where I am from, so I am comfortable and know my way around. I was talking the other day with a client of mine who is from the area and also runs Marine Corps Marathon every year. She too loves how it is familiar and easy. Just wake up and head over to the Pentagon.

However, I’ll hit up the expo on Friday. Once I get my bib and packet I will read everything, to get a better idea of everything that will be going down that day. On Saturday night, I will prepare everything for race day, so I am ready Sunday morning, this will include creating a fresh new running mix for my iPod, and getting my race outfit together.

I plan to write a separate post about the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and about my mental strategy for running the race, so look for that on Saturday.

E Рembrace your free time : I definitely have been sleeping in and enjoying having more time to get ready for work instead of rushing there after a run. I thought my min pin would have made the perfect accessory to my work outfit. His spiked collar matched my leather pants.

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R Рrest and recover : I have been trying to sleep in. I have been trying to take it easy on my runs. I plan on going to bed early Friday night and Saturday night. A good night sleep is more important on Friday night. I will be antsy the night before my race, so the odds of me having a good night sleep will be slim.

So that is what taper means. However, the other thing I have been doing is checking the weather. The other day on the news they did the weather and placed the MCM logo on the weather map for Sunday. ¬†So far if anyone cares to know it is starting to get chilly. Today felt cold. But the colder the better. The weather man is calling for a low of ¬†44 and a high of 59 on race day, I’ll talk it!

So thats what has been going on for me during my taper week.

Question for You…

Do you enjoy your taper weeks? or do you hate them?

© 2013 sweattdaily

We’re back on!

On Tuesday, there was tons of chatter that because of the government shutdown the Marine Corps Marathon was in jeopardy of being canceled.

The organizers made a statement on their Facebook page saying they were exploring other possibilities. However, because of the large size (30,000 runners) of the race, and the fact that the long distance would be ran mainly on federal land it would be difficult to come up with an alternative route.

Last year, I understood the reason for canceling the New York City Marathon. Sandy caused devastation to the city and if the marathon went on it would have brought more chaos to an already chaotic city. But on Tuesday, I also understood the feeling of disappointment the participants of the New York City Marathon must have felt, that day. Because on tuesday, when hearing that the race I am registered to run, the Marine Corps Marathon, was in jeopardy of being canceled I began to panic. I felt angry because no natural disaster was preventing this race to go on, instead our government was. The roads are fine, the race is paid for, volunteers are ready, 30,000 runners have spent their summer preparing to run, some from other places who already have hotel and flight arrangements. I was angry, disappointed, and in panic mode. The Shutdown has gone on long enough.

A funny shirt to possibly wear to the expo or even after the race. They also have tanks. http://www.lookhuman.com/design/32627-i-run-better-than-the-government

A funny shirt to possibly wear to the expo or even after the race. They also have tanks. http://www.lookhuman.com/design/32627-i-run-better-than-the-government

The Marine Corps Marathon organizers promised they would make a final decision by Saturday the 19th, and notify participants the status of the race.

On facebook people were voicing their opinions about what they plan to do if the race is canceled. Some said – we should all show up anyway, 30,000 runners, should just run the course anyway. I know people were just trying to make their point, but just running the race anyway made me feel worse. Hell no, I want my race timed.

So I was thinking of plan B. If MCM was canceled I would register for the Richmond Marathon. Richmond is scheduled for November 16th and registration is still open. Although, Richmond is not as exciting for me as MCM, it is still a timed (Boston Qualifier) 26.2 miles.

But thankfully…

Phew… The government ended the shutdown last night and this morning the Marine Corps Marathon organizers announced the race was back on!

On Instagram:20131017-212711.jpgOn their website:

  • Official Statement regarding the 38th Marine Corps Marathon

A special thank you to MCM and MCM10K participants for your patience during the recent period of uncertainty. It is with great pleasure that the MCM can officially announce we are on. We are SO on. See you at the start line!

A video announcement: Watch here.

So I am excited again. Can’t wait to do the damn thing!

Also, I want to make clear that this is a running blog and that is why I am writing about how the government shutdown has affected the running community. I don’t want to get into politics on here, but I do want to make clear that although running is important to me, it is nothing compared to those that were furloughed. There are bigger and more serious issues going on, that don’t just effect our nation, but effects people globally.

I wasn’t furloughed, but after 16 days of the government being closed, things started to feel weird around here. It was quiet and slow… Because a large amount of the population in the DC area are government employees and military, if they don’t get paid, they feel unstable and don’t buy things – which effects the economy, housing market, etc. When everything is closed, tourist don’t have a reason to come, which also effects the economy. I could go on and on…

In the end, I am happy things are starting to go back to normal around here. I hope everyone who was furloughed had a good first day back to work. 

© 2013 sweatdaily

The rain finally stopped, so I ran 13 miles…

We have had rain everyday this week.

On Friday, it was a complete wash out. I normally love running in the rain, but this was not the type of rain to go play in. This was strong winds, soaking heavy rain drops, and flood warning type of rain. So I skipped my run, and hit the gym pretty hard.

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The goal is to keep as much muscle as I can during this marathon training season. Women are normally fearful they will bulk up, but the truth is ladies, it is very hard for women to gain muscle and keep it. Especially when you run long distance. When running long distance, I am talking about marathon and ultra marathon, at certain points during your run, your body is forced to use your muscle as fuel, for energy. During this marathon training season, it has been impossible for me to gain muscle in my upper body at all, and I have lost a little bit, but mostly maintained, my previous gains.

As for my marathon training, today the rain finally stopped… so I went out and ran 13 plus miles. I now am very confident that I am where I need to be in my training. I know this because 13 miles feels as easy as 5. (I hope I don’t jinks myself for writing that last sentence.) But it is true. Today, I even included some serious hills, even one that I will run on race day – everything felt easy, everything felt good. The only downfall is that I am experiencing some blisters. I also am thankful that it was overcast and cooler. Weather really affects me, and plays a huge role how my run ends up being.

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This week coming up…

I’m going to continue weight lifting including circuit training and active rest periods in the mix. ¬†I am also going to be doing shorter runs, because I am tapering. I want to continue running hills though. Because just like circuit training and active rest periods, hills build endurance and speed. If I have time, I may also sneak in some HIIT on the treadmill.

Nutrition wise, I need to meal prep, meal prep, meal prep. Clean eating, organic plant based meals is key!

I also want to say, a big CONGRATS to all those who ran the Baltimore Half Marathon or Full Marathon today.

Also Good Luck¬†to all of those who are running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow! Above photos are motivation for you!! You’ll do great!! xx

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update: 20 plus miler

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

I have realized that during this marathon training season, the times that I had not so good runs, weren’t really about my physical strength, but rather my mental weakness.

On Saturday, October 5th, I ran my final super long run, with the mind set that it is going to be a good run. I just knew it was going to be that way, I felt excited and eager to get out there.

My garmin recorded 20 miles, however I think I ran at least 21 or maybe even 22. The reason I say this is because while looping around the Jefferson I looked down at my watch, and it had been stopped.

Anyway, whatever, 20, 21, 22, its all the same. They are all in the 20s and so is 26.2. What I mean by this, is at this point in your run, you pretty much are either hitting the wall, or in the zone. The zone is where you want to be. It is when you are preforming at your peak ability. This is why we run, as runners – this is what we are all chasing.

On this 20 plus miler, I must have been in the zone… because during this run I didn’t desperately want it to end like I do sometimes when I feel bored or hungry. After I finished this run, even though my legs were jello and in pain, I could only describe myself as good, happy, excited even.

This is how it all went down…

Because of the Government Shutdown, the running trails that I normally run on were closed. I did see people sneak on the trails, but I decided to avoid them. This took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to find a new and exciting route.

The night before I decided to use the Map my Run app to figure out a way to fit 20 plus miles in from my house to the National Mall. I live right on the other side of the Potomac… being so closed to DC, made me concerned I wouldn’t have enough miles, and my run would end just short of 20.

Another dilemma, the October Heat Wave. Because it would be 90 degrees by noon, this forced me to get out of bed bright and early. I struggle in the heat. In my early 20s, I use to be able to do runs on code red days without eating breakfast, but now in my late 20s, that just sounds like torture.

So I crawled out of bed, grabbed my iPod, Garmin, Camelbak, and I headed out the front door.

THE ROUTE:

  • I ran from South Glebe to North Glebe.
  • Then I made a right down North Quincy.
  • Made the next right down Wilson.
  • I passed North Side Social heading toward Clarendon.
  • Ran through Clarendon down to Court House.
  • I passed Court House, running down to Rosslyn.
  • Made a left at the bottom of the hill, ran straight over The Key Bridge.
  • At the end of the bridge I made a right on M street.
  • Ran through George Town on M until I hit Wisconsin.
  • Made my next right on Wisconsin and ran down to the George Town Waterfront.
  • Made a left and ran passed the Waterfront.
  • Ran passed the Kennedy Center towards Memorial Bridge.
  • Right before the Bridge I crossed the street to hit the National Mall.
  • I made a right and headed to 14th Street.
  • On 14th Street I headed towards the Jefferson and then jumped on the 14th Street bridge.
  • I ran across the bridge (South) towards VA.
  • At the end of the bridge I turned around and ran it again back towards DC. (North)
  • Then I ran the Tidal Basin.
  • I passed the WWII memorial.
  • I passed the reflection pool.
  • I passed the Lincoln.
  • I headed over the Memorial Bridge.
  • I made a right and ran through Arlington Cemetery.
  • I ran up to the Iwo Jima memorial.
  • I ran down through Rosslyn.
  • Then I ran up hill.
  • ¬†I ran up Wilson.
  • Passed Rosslyn.
  • Passed Court House.
  • Passed Clarendon.
  • The hill finally ended.
  • I made a left on S. Quincy.
  • I made a left on North Glebe.
  • I finally arrived back at South Glebe.
  • 20 plus miles in 3:30ish.¬†
The Jefferson!

The Jefferson!

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

This run was really fun because it was a new route. I also hit up a lot of the monuments and memorials that I normally see from the other side of the potomac.

After I stopped my Garmin. I walked a half mile back to my house. It felt good to walk, even though it was up hill. I live in a very hilly neighborhood. But walking after a long run is very important.

When I got home, I chugged a bottle of water. Although, I drank plenty of water while I was running, it is very important to stay hydrated in order to avoid lactic acid build up in your legs, which later causes soreness.

Then I took a shower. After long runs I always put my shower on as cold as I can. Cold ice water is good for the muscles and helps reduce inflammation. Oh wow, this felt truly amazing.

GAME PLAN: 

This long run was bitter sweet. The reason why is because it was my last super long run before the marathon, which means my marathon training is coming to an end. However, I also felt excited because now my super long run is over and the marathon is right around the corner. ¬†Yesterday, marked 20 more training days, which means taper time – it’s all down hill from here on out. Woohoo!!

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So for the next 20 days, I am going to be doing short faster runs. I will also include hill work in most of my runs. Because my runs will be shorter, I am going to put a more intense focus on weight lifting, doing active rest periods, and circuit training to build endurance.

According to my training plan this weekend my long run will be 12, and the weekend after that my long run will be 8 – if you even want to call those long runs…

I will keep my training and nutritional goals on point. It’s grind time!!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Is the Government Shutdown Affecting your Running?

I am from the DC area. Most of the time, I love being born and raised here. But some days I hate it. I hate that the majority of the people I come across in some way for the government. I hate that when I go to a comedy show, it is ALWAYS jokes about politics. I hate how everyone is a work-o-holic, being career driven is not a bad thing, but have some balance in your life. I hate when I travel to a different city, such as New Orleans, Miami, or Las Vegas, and I tell people I am from Washington, DC, they automatically start ranting their political views.

On another note, one of my favorite things about the DC area is the running community. This is a running city. If you are a city runner, you can do a loop along the national mall around the monuments. If you love running over bridges, try running the Key Bridge, Memorial Bridge, 14th Street Bridge, or even the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  If you want to visit Arlington Cemetery you can run through it. If you love running along water, try the Mount Vernon Trail which takes you right along the Potomac. Rock Creek Park is a trail that takes you right to the National Zoo. C&O/Capital Crescent Trail is shady and scenic. We are also blessed with a variety of popular races, that runners from all over register to run every year.

Tomorrow, I plan to run my 20 plus miler, for my marathon training. However, because of the Government Shutdown the trail I was planning on running, is closed, because is a National Park funded by the government. Many facebook status’ are mentioning how park police are ticketing runners/cyclists that are on these bike paths/running trails. These trails include, the Mount Vernon trail,¬†¬†C&O/Capital Crescent Trail and many others.

So I guess I will have to hit the sidewalks of DC to get my run in… I’m just thankful I am not running a race through one of these National Parks this weekend. Runner’s world reported some of these races have been canceled. And hopefully this Shutdown won’t affect the Marine Corps Marathon – the marathon I have been training for, which is scheduled at the end of this month.

How is the Government Shutdown affecting you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Salsa Verde: a vegan recipe by an Ultra runner.

“That’s when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~ Scott Jurek : Eat and Run.

With all the running I have been doing, I have been busy trying to update you on that, and in the mean time have neglected posting any recipes. So here is one for you because Food is who we are…

Salsa Verde means Green Sauce.

Several countries have its own variation of it. The Italian version is made from capers and anchovies. The German version is made from hard boiled eggs. The version from Argentina is used with roasted meats. But the Mexican version is by  far my favorite and it is most likely the version you are most familiar with. Mexican Salsa Verde is made from the oh so delicious tomatillo, and is normally eaten with tortilla chips or you can find this sauce smothering your tacos at your favorite local Mexican restaurant.

One thing I want to make clear is that Salsa Verde is one of the easiest things to make, so stop buying Salsa from a jar! When you buy salsa from a jar, you don’t know what is truly in it. You can make your own Salsa, and customize it to your own taste buds, buying organic local ingredients. The best part is how FRESH your salsa will be. Tip: you can refrigerate your salsa for up to five days, or make extra, and freeze it, so you always have some on hand. (It can last in the freezer for several months.

Okay, so now that you know what Salsa Verde is, and about it’s background lets begin making it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • oil, I used olive oil, but you can use coconut or whatever you have on hand.
  • 12 medium tomatillos
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers (optional) depends on how much spice you want. Hot (2), Medium (1), Mild (0)
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Oil baking pan.
  3. Place tomatillos, garlic, onion, peppers flat in oiled baking pan. Cover with foil.
  4. Roast for 40 min. until veggies are soft and golden browns.
  5. Remove veggies from oven, peel roasted garlic.
  6. Place all veggies in food processor or blender, along with sea salt and cilantro.
  7. Blend until smooth.
  8. Serve. Enjoy.

Tip: Try this sauce warm on a sandwich, as a healthy alternative to mayo. Try this sauce chilled with tortilla chips.

Do you like Salsa Verde? What is your favorite healthy alternative to mayo?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update: Yoga & Long Run.

“But the longer and further I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind- a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.” ~ Scott Jurek

People often ask me why…

Why do I run?

Why do I lift?

Why do I enjoy hot yoga?

No one explains it better, then Scott Jurek… so if you haven’t already, read the quote above, because that is the answer to the Why.

This week has been a really strong workout week for me.

I ran a short four mile run on Sunday night after I got off work. This run really kicked off my week in a positive way. It felt really rejuvenating. I didn’t look at my watch. I just ran. I ran some down hills and ran some up hills. I ran fast, and worked up a good sweat, even though the night was breezy. I’ve realized how much I have missed these quick mindless runs, and have wished I had included more of them during my marathon training. So for this last month of my training, I am definitely going to do more of these. They get my fast twitch muscles moving, and they free my mind from trying to keep a slower more consistent pace.

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No complaining here! It was gorgeous outside! My favorite kind of running is the kind in the fall when you can wear running shorts and a long sleeve shirt!!

 

On monday, I didn’t run, I lifted. I love lifting and it has been really hard to fit in both marathon training and lifting. I am trying to keep as much muscle mass as I can, because the stronger I am the better I run. So far I feel strong, and injury free, but it is a struggle with all the running to keep the muscles. At this point, I am just maintaining, but once I complete the marathon I will be back in the gym, hitting the weights hard. Can’t wait!! ūüėČ

On tuesday, I was hungry. As an athlete nutrition plays a huge role. You have to fuel your body in order to perform at your best. The week before, I didn’t meal prep and found myself desperate, at times even with hunger pains. So I went to MOM’s Organic Market and stocked my fridge full.

On wednesday, I completed an easy 5 miler.

DC

DC3

On thursday, I completed an easy 8 miler. I ran three miles on the trail and then took a loop around the monuments. It was gorgeous.

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On Friday, I did an easy 4.5 miler, and then completed a hot yoga class, with my sister, E. We tried a new studio, called Mind the Mat.

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I had been wanting to try this studio for a while now. I am just so stuck in my ways and end up going to Bikram always. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for 5 years. Out of those 5 years, this was my second time trying a different type of yoga. I am going to write a full review about it this week so stay tuned.

Today, Saturday, long run day! I have been pretty bored doing the same trail over and over again. Today, however, I abandoned the trail and ran 13 miles through the city. My sister, E, came with me. This is the first run during marathon training that I have actually run with someone. It was way better than running solo. We ran tons of good hills, we even ran through the zoo.

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We ended up lost over near the Tenleytown PR at Partners. I couldn’t believe I was that far away from my car.¬†The only negative thing about city running is the constant stopping because of street lights, and all the people on the sidewalks. Overall, it was a great run! I am happy to say that 13 mile runs now feel easy.

Next week is my 21 miler, which I might make into a 22 or 24, we will see how I feel. I’m ready to push past my limits. I’m pumped to practice one last super long run. Then it is all tapering from there.

Do you prefer running in the city or on the trails?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update: Walk breaks during long runs… Beneficial or Not?

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Yesterday, I did my 20 miler which I ended short at 18 miles.

My mental strategy was to break this 20 miler into 4 five milers. I was going to sip water every 2 miles, and take water and sports beans every 5 miles.

This is how it all went down…

I stuck with the plan and took my first sips of water at mile 2. At mile 5, I was feeling so good I skipped the water and beans until mile 6. At mile 9, I was still feeling good, but came to the end of the trail so had to turn around.

Mile 10 felt good…

Mile 11 felt good…

Mile 12 felt good…

Hitting the Wall

At mile 13, I mentally lost it… I felt really dehydrated. My mouth was sooo dry. I didn’t put ice in my camel back so my water went warm. No matter how many sips of water I took, my mouth still¬†stayed dry. My stomach also started to feel bad, which is another sign of dehydration.

Walking during Marathon Training

I remember reading in my training plan, that it is okay to walk if you need to, and sometimes walking is beneficial. This is training, practice for the real deal. It is about getting the miles in. So I decided to walk a little to see if that would help. I have decided that walking is not a good idea for me because once I started walking it was hard to start running again. I really needed that second wind. I really needed that runner’s high, that you only get from keeping a consistent running rhythm. But walking took away the chance to be consistent, get a second wind, and runner’s high.

So now I know that walking doesn’t work for me… No walk breaks during the marathon unless I’m at a water station. By walking I also realized that physically, my lung capacity is good, but what felt tired were my feet. I find that very interesting!!! Maybe my Newton shoes work great for me at the half marathon distance, but I need something more for the full marathon distance. However, because I have been training in them all this time, I’m not going to switch now. I mainly have a few blisters on my left foot. I’ve also noticed my recovery time in between long runs is longer.

I am not the type to get disappointed when a long run goes bad. Bad long runs are great leaning experiences. And I am excited I have another 18 miler under my belt.

What I have Learned

1) Eat before I hit the trail… Something I forgot to mention was that I didn’t eat much before going out there. This caused lack of energy and stomach pain. I usually eat a bagel with peanut butter. A good combo of carbs and protein normally always works well. What doesn’t work well, is any type of Cliff bar or energy bars, these have too much fiber which causes really bad stomach problems.

2) I didn’t refuel properly. Water was warm, not enough sports beans consumed. This caused dehydration, which caused dry mouth and stomach pain.

3) Started walking and couldn’t comfortably start running again. This made me loose my running rhythm and I never got my second wind, never got my runner’s high in my second half of my long run. I hit the wall and could not recover.

4) I love my Newton shoes but maybe they are best for half marathons and not full marathons. My feet at hurting after 15 miles and my recovery time has become longer. However, my feet hurting is mainly blisters on my lift foot, which is minor, so I still am planning on continuing my training in them and they will be my marathon race shoes too.

5) Bad music. I desperately need to find some better songs for my running play list. My music is really old, and it bores me. I need music when training by totally solo. My music saves me, and helps me push through during those last miles.

Game Plan

I have 4-5 more weeks to prepare for MCM. I am going to really focus these last few weeks. This is what I need to do…

  • I need to make sure I fit in all of my weekly runs. Shorter runs are just as important then long runs. Running shorter faster runs feel amazing. I ran a really speedy 4 miler tonight. It felt amazing.
  • I need to squeeze in those weight lifting sessions. The stronger I am, the better I run.
  • I need to make sure I am eating properly in order to refuel and have the energy I need. I need to meal prep so I have food on hand, and I don’t resort to eating unhealthy, because I am desperate.
  • I need to drink more water. Hydration is key.

Hopefully, practice makes perfect…

Questions for You…

  1. Anyone have any other marathon training tips?
  2. Do you think walking during long runs is beneficial? It didn’t work for me… does it work for you?
  3. What is on your running playlist?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update: Taper week: 12-13 miler

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Fall has arrived!

Hopefully it is here to stay…

Marathon Update

This last week was a taper week for me. So my long run this week was between 12-13 miles. As you know, from my previous post, because of the 90 degree weather, earlier in the week, I decided to lift weights instead of run! Boy was I glad I made that decision. With a fresh pair of shoes and the rest from running, I felt strong and bouncy on my feet! I ended up having a very well paced 12.68 miles and finished right under 2 hours.

The only thing that has disappointed me is that this weekend would have been perfect to run a half marathon. The Navy 13.1 was this weekend, but I missed it. It doesn’t look like I will be racing at all before this Marathon.

Over all this was a great weekend to run and I had a very successful long run. All this training is paying off because I can confidently say, 12-13 miles now feels easy. During every marathon training season, when I can say, “12- 13 miles now feels easy,” it is then that I surely know my training is right on track.

The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The views were spectacular. There were plenty of other runners on the trail to keep me company. It was the ideal running conditions and a great long run. Hopefully my 20 miler next week will be just as good!

How are your long runs been?When do you start to feel confident about your training?

Back in the Gym… and running my 18 miler!

Hey Lovelies…

I’m ready for fall… so ready!

While I was laying on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard, the sun was kissing my skin, and I knew I was going to miss it. Laying on the beach felt so good, that I became sad summer was coming to an end. But this week, mid September, a heat wave snuck up on us in the DC area – it is humid and 90. Now I am ready. No more heat. Let fall come soon, delivering us crisp cool air.

MARATHON TRAINING: 

20130913-120840.jpgWhen it comes to Marathon training, I ran my 18 miler last friday. I was blessed with 70 degree weather and was able to run my 18 miler in right under 3 hours! I am very pleased with that timing. Overall felt really good.

STRENGTH TRAINING: 

The only thing is that for the last two weeks I have not been able to get to the gym. For one whole week I was at Martha’s Vineyard running around the island. I was able to lift one time while I was there, but had limited equipment. At one point, I used a picnic table bench to do incline push ups.

It is always hard for me to get back to my regular routine when coming home from vacation. The day after I got home I ran a 12.5 mile long run. For the rest of the week I did my marathon training runs, but having an overwhelming work week, made it impossible to squeeze in some strength training.

All of this running, and two weeks off of disciplined strength training has caused me to loose some muscle, mainly in my upper body. No one else has really noticed because it is only a small amount of loss, but I have noticed.20130913-122142.jpg

It is funny how quickly you can loose muscle definition. However, it is also interesting with the right strength training/ nutrition and supplement plan, how quick you can see gains. 

Also, in phase 1 of the Livefit trainer, Jamie Eason wants you to totally eliminate cardio/running from your workout routine. She claims that cardio/running leans you out and eats away at your muscles.  Phase 1 is a muscle building phase, not a fat burning phase.  I now totally get what she is saying. From my own experiences, after omitting strength training for two full weeks and only running, I have some slight muscle loss.

Back to the Gym:

Because of the heat wave this week, I decided not to torture myself. I am on a taper week for my marathon training. So instead of running in the blistering heat, I decided to hit the gym for some weight lifting sessions. I went all out. I went hard core. It felt good. My body is sore, but it is a good sore.

Another awesome thing, is that my running/workout buddy, L, is pregnant! So she will not be running the Marathon with me, however, after 3 months of not working out together she is back!!! WooHOO!! She is now weight lifting right by my side, and doing some mild cardio. It is fun to have a buddy with me again at the gym. She is going to be one fit strong mom.

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L, was feeling tired, and needed to find her energy again. After coming home from my Martha’s Vineyard vacation I was well rested, but, as the week went on, I woke up really tired too. My weekend was super busy, with wedding hair, art festivals, meal prepping, and my 18 miler, so starting this week at the salon was tiring. However, hitting the gym and doing some serious strength training actually made my endorphins kick in, and I became alive again.

I also ordered a new protein powder! I can’t wait to try it. I’ll write a review on it tomorrow.

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Questions for You…

  1. What protein powder do you like?
  2. Do how is your marathon training going?
  3. Have you struggled with fitting other forms of exercising during your marathon training?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Running on Martha’s Vineyard

So now that you all have heard my exciting news– that happened on Martha’s Vineyard. It is time to reveal to you some of my favorite places to run on the Island.

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East Chop, located in Oak Bluff, is by far one of my favorite places to run. It is about a four mile run, two miles down hill, turn around, two miles up hill.
However, you can make your run as long or short as you want.

On this vacation I ran East Chop a couple times. I did a 10k by adding an extra two miles easily. After running down East Chop I made a right heading towards Vineyard Haven, then turned around after I ran the bridge. During this run, I felt amazing. It is crazy what a difference cooler weather can be.

Now the reason why I love running East Chop is because the scenery is breath taking. You get the opportunity to run right along the water. You are so close to the ocean that you can hear waves crashing. Most days there is an ocean breeze.

Also the beach houses along East Chop are beautiful and full of character. Although, there is also the famous East Chop light house, which gets attention from tourists, this running route is never too crowded. You won’t feel alone, because you most likely will see a few other runners.

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Another awesome place to run is the Oak Bluff harbor to Edgartown. Let’s explain. I ran this a couple times. There is a sidewalk that runs along the beach with spectacular views of the water and boats coming in. The harbor leads you to a bike path that takes you to Edgartown. On your way to Edgartown you will pass Jaws Bridge. Jaws Bridge is a fun place to pass because it is the famous bridge people jump off into the water. At this point it has been four miles and a great place to turn around, if you are trying to fit in a nice 8 miler in. The last time I ran this the sky was overcast, on the way back the sun came out. I remember running the last couple miles fast to get home in time to hit the beach.

So if you are looking for fun places to run on Martha’s Vineyard make sure you check out these routes. And while you are at it, jump off the Jaws Bridge!!

Where is your all time favorite place to run?¬†Have you run on Martha’s Vineyard?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Good Reads, Good Runs, Good Writes in Martha’s Vineyard

“One Element of what you will learn later is how important and powerful a role visualization plays in performance. The mind follows the body and, in turn, performance follows the mind.”- Eric Orton/

So I have arrived in Martha’s Vineyard!

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I am planning on running and blogging everyday I am here! I also just started a new book.

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And although I will be updating you on this book I still will be quoting Scott Jurek’s, Eat and Run! ‚̧ He’s my favorite.

Marathon Training Update: Long runs.

“We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember that it’s the process of reaching for the prize, not the prize itself- that can bring us peace and joy.”- Scott Jurek

I believe in the words above.

Because of this, it is hard for me to understand people who, hardly train for races, or hate the training process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love running the race. But I also love having a disciplined training plan to keep me on track. For me, one of the reasons I sign up for a race, is to set a goal, that I need to train for. ¬†My training runs, which are sometimes extremely difficult, brings me peace and joy.

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The picture above is after I had finished my midweek 7 miler. It was fast and easy. As you can see, the sun was shining and my hair was blowing in the wind. Although, the beginning of the summer was hot and humid, which slowed me down and made me very discouraged, now the weather has cooled down significantly. I love running on beautiful days. Good weather is motivation enough to lace up my running shoes.
20130819-165339.jpgLONG RUN: Saturday, 8/17/13

Through out my marathon training, I have been doing my long runs on Friday mornings. I don’t work Friday or Saturday, so by doing my long run on Friday, I am able to get it done and have the rest of my weekend free.

However, last weekend, I did my long run on Saturday morning and I liked it 1 million times better. The trails around my house always have traffic, but on Friday, it is much less crowded. Actually, sometimes I feel very lonely out there – it is so quiet. ¬†On Saturday, I didn’t feel alone. Instead, I was surrounded with tons of other runners, running groups, walkers, cyclists. It felt good to be running among other runners that were obviously training for marathons, and in it for the long run, just like me. On Friday, I feel lonely, bored, and really rely on my upbeat music. But on Saturday, I use the other runners on the trail to keep me motivated. The energy is electrifying. My pace was right on target.

Again I was blessed with gorgeous weather, and had an amazing 15 miler. 

1184784_10101290079612166_1249870050_n-1Today, Friday, 8/23/13

Because I am heading up north tomorrow morning, I decided to squeeze my long run in today. I am on a taper week so my long run was 13 miles. I am happy to say, 13 miles felt pretty comfortable, even in the rain. In the above picture, I tried to capture how wet it was – you can see rain drops on my shoulders.

It started sprinkling three miles into my run. It started pouring at the 6 mile mark. Because of the rain, this Friday, the trail was even more empty than usual, however there were still a few other runners out there – we smiled when we passed each other.

Minus the blister on my toe, because my socks got soaked. I am pretty happy with this run. My pace was right on target, and I was blessed again with cooler weather.

Questions for You..

  1. How is your marathon training going?
  2. Do you enjoy training?
  3. Do you like long runs?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

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Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training in a new neighborhood!

“I find the best way to get your mojo back is to loose the technology, forget results, and run free… Run a trail you have never run before…” ¬†– Scott Jurek

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Today, fall decided to make a guest appearance.

So… out of boredom, I randomly decided to run in a different neighborhood.

There is a sweet spot in Alexandria, where the hills are steep and the trees create canopies over the paved road.

It is paradise for a runner.

My marathon training plan advised me to run four miles.

So four miles is what I ran.

I ran fast.

It felt easy.

I thought the clouds were going to pour rain, but they didn’t.

Instead a breeze kept me cool.

I like the taste of fall.

© 2013 sweatdaily

While I ran my 15 miler, Scott Jurek runs the Leadville Trail 100…

Social Media is an incredible thing.

It is way more than just posting photos and connecting with friends, it is the fastest source of information.

I have never watched or followed an ultra marathoner before. The opportunity was just never available. But because of Social Media I am able to follow Scott Jurek run the Leadville Trail, by receiving updates from his Facebook and Instagram page in my news feed. Just like following your favorite baseball team, checking the score. I was excited to see how Scott Jurek was doing during his race. It was also quite funny to read all of the comments people posted.

All photos were found on facebook.

All comments are from people posting them in referral to the photo.

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Good morning! Have a great day all Leadville Trail 100 runners! Mt Elbert and Mt Massive in the distance around mile 25.

“Go Jurker!”

“Man of the hour is Vegan Powered!”

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Leaving the halfway point, Winfield aid station, in 5th. Hal Koerner taking Scott back over Hope Pass, he’s in good hands!

“Go, Scott! Plant power!”

“Go scott! You’re my plant based runner hero! U paced our group in Mardi Gras marathon! Loved it!”

“Awesome! Do you have pasties? Also, is the dude behind you a runner? In sandals?”
“What’s with the blue nipples?”
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Refueling at Treeline in 4th, swapping pacers, running strong!

Go you crazy vegan!”

“where is Dustball??

Only three more runners to pick off!”

I doubt the citizens of Leadville would agree, but this should be televised!”

So today, while I was out on the trail, running my 15 mile training run, Scott Jurek was busy running the Leadville Trail 100.

He is now in 4th place. Still running strong.

If your not following Scott Jurek on Facebook yet, you totally should… and on Instagram.

Who is your running idol? Do you follow them on Social Media?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update: My Garmin has become Running Buddy.

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I love my Garmin!! This Garmin has been the best present my boyfriend has ever bought me.  I have the Forerunner 50 Рwhich is the oldest of all the Garmins. Sooo old that most people have never heard of it. This watch has been with me for all of my training runs and races for the last 5 years. It tracks my pace, distance, cadence, heart rate, and calories burned. But what I find most amazing about using a Garmin watch is that you get to also use the  Garmin Connect Calender.

With this feature, I am able to analyze all of my current runs, but I also get to look back on all of the runs I have ever recorded. This has been extremely helpful. The last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon was in 2010. During this training, when I have felt unsure about my progress, I am able to go back to 2010 with the click of a button and compare my runs.

“It had gotten to hot even for the desert rat, Rick Miller, so Dusty joined me and ran me up the next 10 miles. “You da man, Yeah brotha’, that’s how you do it, Jurker, hell yeah!” the Dust Ball hollered.”

The above quote is from the book Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. Scott Jurek wouldn’t be the runner he is today, with out his best friend Dusty. The relationship between Dusty and Scott is by far my favorite part of the book. Dusty was there by Scott’s side, through almost all of his ultra runs. And although I wish I had a Dusty, the reality is… I don’t, so my Garmin has become my running buddy.

So far during this marathon training season, I have been running solo.  Sometimes when you are running by yourself it is hard to judge if you are running your best, especially considering that last year and up to this point, I have had a running buddy. However, in 2010 I ran every training run by myself, and ended up having a very successful marathon.

I did it then, I can do it now.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with a Garmin? If not what do you use to record your runs?
  2. Do you have a running buddy? or do you prefer to run solo?
  3. Have you trained for a race by yourself?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update (Week 7)

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Today was a raining, overcast, breezy, 75 degree day.

I feel like I am the weather man, reporting the weather on every blog post. But ever since I became a runner, I have become obsessed with the weather, and even more so now that I am in Marathon training mode.

Because it was raining hard when I woke up I started my work out by weight lifting at the gym. I did arms and abs. Once the rain stopped a little, I headed outside to hit the trail. It was spectacular today for a runner. I¬†can’t believe it is August and I was comfortable running in pants. I ran along the MVT trail, around 10:30 am. No one was out there. I had the whole rainy trail to myself. ¬†I kept my pace consistent between a 9:00 and 9:30 min/mile. My training plan called for 4 miles, so I stuck to that.

Tomorrow is between 7-8 miles. I’ll keep you updated. ūüėČ

How is your training going? Hope you are doing well!!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training Update

The start to my Marathon Training didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, because ¬†I traveled to Vegas and then came home with a really bad cold. It has also been really confusing for me, because this last year my longest race was a half marathon, with the focus on running form and speed. But now that I am in marathon training mode I am running farther, but slower. I am not that worried about speed though, I am more concerned about going the distance and getting all my miles in.

This week was a really good week. I got all my miles in. And I am starting to get my Mojo back.

On Friday, 8/2/14, I ran my long run for the week. It was only a 10 miler, but it was a hot 10 miler. Humidity was high. When I ended my run, it was 90 degrees.

946315_10101253480482116_1644004689_n-1When I was reading Runner’s World I came across the quote above. I love it and it is so true. I’m going to tell myself this every time I don’t feel like running.

On Saturday, 8/3/13, I headed to the gym and lifted heavy. I worked chest and abs. ¬†Then I changed at the gym, into my running clothes/shoes, and headed out to do 6-7 miles. It was around 3:00 in the afternoon, so it was hot and humid. The temperatures were as high as 90, but it was overcast and started to rain a little. Unfortunately, my run ended early because I tripped and fell at around 4.5 miles. Thank goodness I was close to my car, and didn’t have to run too far with bloody hands and knees.¬†1094782_10101255793841126_745558221_nAlthough, my miles weren’t super fast, and I fell, I was still feeling really good durning this run.

Today, Sunday, 8/4/13,¬†it was 75 degrees, windy, with no humidity. On my break at work, I sat outside to read, and felt a little cold. After I was done with work, I couldn’t get my running shoes on fast enough. I ended up running 7 amazing miles. What a difference it is when the weather is a bit breezy and cooler!¬†1098181_10101257661124076_1265396807_n

This is my first time blogging while training for a marathon. I am having so much fun keeping track of my training this way. I also have been reading tons of other blogs where the blogger is also in training for Marine Corps Marathon. Reading about these bloggers’ training experiences have been so cool and motivating.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

What type of miles did you get in? Have you ever fell while running?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Never forget you are a Newbie…

It doesn’t matter if you have been running for 20 years.
It doesn’t matter if you have run a Marathon in every state.
It doesn’t matter if you are Kara Goucher.

Never forget you are a newbie. The reason why I say this, is because the minute you forget, is the minute running will become boring.

As a runner I know that my daily runs can differ from one day to the next. Running on different trails can be exciting. The best way to tour a new city and experience a new place is by running through it. Even wearing different running shoes in my weekly shoe rotation can work different muscles and essentially give me a whole different running experience.

The running community in itself, does an amazing job coming up with new and different races to try. To name a few- The Color Run, The Glow Run, The Undie Run, The Zombie Run, Mud Runs, Spartan Runs. Stop right now if you are getting snooty. These races are fun, and a wonderful idea.  Although most of these races are shorter distances and untimed, they give you an opportunity to have a less intense race to run with friends that may be new to running. This gives you the chance to mentally and physically take a break, while it gives a non runner the chance to try running in a less competitive atmosphere. If a non runner runs one of these fun runs and loves it, they most likely will have a desire to set a higher goal and try a more serious race Рtransforming from a non runner into a runner.

But running one of these fun runs is not your only option. Stay refreshed and keep running new, by switching things up and setting new goals. Here are some suggestions…

If you are a road runner, try trail running. Maybe you have run the same marathon 3 times, next time you run it try running it using a different training plan. If you always wear traditional running shoes, throw a natural barefoot running shoe into the mix, maybe even use that shoe for your next race. Set a new running challenge, such as run everyday for 30 days, or run 100 miles in one month.

Whatever it may be… Keep running NEW and FUN, and …

Always remember, YOU ARE A NEWBIE!9236dea615788ff6986e504a0889acbc

Questions for You…

  1. What are some things you do to keep running fun and new?
  2. Have you ever run a fun run?
  3. What was your first race?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update! Getting back on track.

As you all may know, I am running MCM! Although, I am really excited and craving some serious long distance milage, the beginning of my Marathon training has not really been as disciplined as I would have liked it to be.

But that is OK! No biggie, because this week I finally feel like I am starting to get back on track.

What exactly side tracked me?

Heat.

Travel.

A Bad Cold.

Being Side Tracked

HEAT

The first couple weeks of Marathon training is very low easy mileage. My fitness level is beyond this easy mileage, however my body in the beginning of training was not accustomed to the summer’s hot, humid, weather. So I became very grateful for the shorter, easier, lower mileage weeks.

 

TRAVEL

Right when I began to feel comfortable in the heat, I left for a week of travel. I went to Vegas for work, but also went early to play. I will admit, I played a little too hard. I stayed out late and didn’t get the sleep I needed. I did squeeze in three different workouts, but it wasn’t necessarily following the marathon training plan.

COLD

Then I came home excited to get back to training, but woke up Monday morning with a really bad cold. I never thought a cold would make me feel this tired. I have been congested which made it hard to breath. I felt choked by my cough.

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Getting back on Track

I’m not too worried, because it is still early in my training. I’m glad all of this happened early on, instead of later. Even though, I still am getting over my cold, after 5 days of rest, on Friday, I ¬†started running again. All of my runs have been pretty good, I am just hoping that once I can breath again my runs will feel easy. I have also been extremely blessed with some color less humid days, which I have been taking advantage of. The one thing that I have been really craving is some heavy lifting sessions and some HIIT at the gym. However, because I still have a cold I have been avoiding the gym. I’m not contagious anymore, but I still don’t want to take the risk and get anyone else sick. I have a feeling, that once I am 100% better I will have enough energy to do some 2 a days. ¬†:)

Question for You…

  1. Who else is running a Marathon?? Let me know, I am having tons of fun reading about everyones’ experiences with their marathon training.
  2. Have you ever been side tracked durning training?
  3. Would you ever run a marathon with a cold?

© 2013 sweatdaily