Tips for Perfecting your Maternity Photo Shoot

Last monday, I published a blog post on my Maternity photo shoot. Thank you so much for all the kind words regarding the beauty of the photos. I’m glad all of you enjoyed them. Because I highly recommend all mothers to be, to have a maternity photo session of their very own, I thought I would share with you a couple tips.

1.¬†Research your photographer. (I am not a photographer, but have worked closely with some. This is what I know.) Although, most photographers use digital, I have heard of some in the DC area who specialize in film. Some photographers may use a flash, while others use natural light. This is important because it will effect the time of day you will do your photo shoot.¬†While most may¬†edit their photos, there are still some photographers who do not. Most photographers have a specialty. Some may be fashion photographers, who shoot mainly in a studio or on set, while others may actually specialize in maternity and birthing photography. Whatever it may be, prioritize what is important to you in a photographer. ¬†At the end of the day, all photographers are artists, who have a unique artistic style. The best way to discover their unique artistic style is by simply examining their portfolio. So look at their website and social media accounts such as instagram… Do you like what you see? Do you like their work? Also on their social media pages you may have the opportunity to read comments and reviews. ¬†If you do not know a photographer, get recommendations from friends. I highly suggest meeting up with your photographer prior to the shoot. That way you two can get to know each other. ¬†This also gives you an opportunity to seek professional advice, ask any questions, and talk about ideas you may have. The closer you know your photographer, the more comfortable your will be.¬†In my eyes, the most important thing is to find a photographer, you feel very comfortable around. Being pregnant can be uncomfortable at times, but you do not want to look uncomfortable in you maternity photos. I was lucky enough to work with Raiza, from Raiza Vega Photography. I not only fell in love with her portfolio on her website, but she is also a good friend. Because of this, I felt totally comfortable during my photo shoot, and it shows in the photos.

2. Determine what vibe you want your photos to have? This was one of the first questions my photographer asked me. 

Below are ideas of some of my favorite vibes. 

Do you want a fashion editorial vibe?

The photos below of Liv Tyler and Gisele Bundchen are examples of maternity photos that have a fashion vibe. These photos were both taken inside and have simple green backgrounds.

Do you want a nature vibe?

The photos below are examples of a nature vibe. All of these photos were taken outside, using natural light. A nature vibe, can also have a bohemian earthy feel. Dresses that flow, flower crowns, and crop tops are all great prop accessories you can wear during your shoot. The background will be the nature found at the location you choose. The timing of your shoot will depend on what kind of sunlight your photographer feels is best to work with.

D0 you want an urban vibe?

Below is an example of an urban vibe photo. While capturing an urban vibe, most photos will be taken outside, with the busy city in the background. Another option is to capture, urban details, such as cobble stone roads or graffiti art. In my photo shoot, we definitely took advantage of the cobble stone road in Old Town.

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Do you want a sexy vibe?

Kourtney Kardashian defines sexy. Below are examples of her sexy maternity photo shoot. Because of the nudity all of these photos were taken inside, with a simple background, most likely done by a fashion photographer.

Tips for choosing a vibe.

Keep in mind, that the vibe you choose for your photos, will influence the clothing you will wear, and the location you will choose. So once you and your photographer determine the vibe of your photo shoot, you can choose clothing, location, and time. For my maternity photo shoot, a location that could capture both a nature vibe and urban vibe was important to me. I chose bohemian style clothing. I wore a flower crown in some photos and a hat in others.

3. Determine what your wardrobe will be, and decide on time and location?

I touched on wardrobe, time and location above. However, I have some additional clothing tips. Keep in mind you don’t have to wear only one outfit. Choose a couple different options, and make sure your location has a bathroom or area you can make a wardrobe change. Decide on whether you will expose your baby bump in some photos. Crop tops and robes with a front opening are great options, to expose your bump. Whatever clothing you choose, make sure you are comfortable and feel beautiful. Your clothing does not have to be maternity. I didn’t wear any maternity clothing in my shoot.

4. Decide whether you want to include anyone else in your photos. 

I chose to have my photos of just me and my bump, celebrating motherhood. However, including your significant other or even your other child/children can be a really beautiful touch. Below are some examples.

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5. Determine the best time during your pregnancy to have your photo taken.

Every woman’s body is unique. Every pregnancy is different. Some women show right away, while others don’t have an established baby bump until later in their pregnancy. Because I am petite I began to show right away. ¬†I had my maternity photo shoot when I was 29 weeks pregnant, in other words, 7 months. This way I had an established baby bump, but didn’t feel uncomfortably huge. Remember, you want to celebrate your bump, but you also want to feel comfortable.

6. What props will you use?

Above I mentioned wardrobe “prop” accessories, such as, a hat, flower crown, or crop top. These prop accessories really help enhance or define the vibe you choose for your photo shoot. However, there is also another type of prop you may want to include in some of your photos. These props will represent your baby. It could be a picture of your ultrasound. It could be a pair of baby booties or shoes, or maybe even a full outfit. But bring a couple cute baby items, nothing is sweeter.

7. Find inspiration and examples.

Your photographer will use her artistic eye, and make your photos fabulous. However, sometimes it is helpful to have some inspiration and example ideas to show your photographer. It is always helpful to show both, ideas you love, and some you hate. But ultimately, your photographer will use her professional judgement to determine what will work for you and what will not depending on, location, vibe, clothing, lighting, etc. All of the examples on this post I found on instagram and pinterest. I highly recommend searching both instagram and pinterest to find inspiration. For more inspiration, check out your photographer’s website, or find maternity blog posts. And don’t forget to take a look at my maternity blog post for ideas.

I hope that helps. Now get out there and celebrate your baby bump!

Have you done a maternity photo shoot? How did it go?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Island Running in Thailand

I woke up early, right when the sun began to rise. As my fiance peacefully slept, comfortably sunken in a bed, hidden by blankets, I snuck out as quietly as I could. Tiptoeing around the hotel room, grabbing my iPod and garmin. Heading to the beach isn’t hard when your resort is ocean front.

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After spending five days in Bangkok and four days in Chiang Mai where I struggled to get a workout in, my legs were craving a hard run. I couldn’t wait, finally it was time.

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When I was on Ko Samui, I ran three out of the four days I was there. The first two days I wore my Newton shoes. The third day I didn’t have time to run because we spent the day deep sea diving in Ko Tao. The fourth day I ran barefoot.

The beach was not a long beach like you would find on the East Coast of the USA, where you can run for miles and miles. Instead it was very unpredictable. When I ran to the right of my resort there were times when my beach disappeared and just turned into deep water. However, when I went the opposite way I was able to get more than 2 miles in before I turned back. My runs were short and fast.

Because it has been such a snowy brutally cold winter, here, in The States it took me a little bit of time to get use to the heat.

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However, once I got use to it, I loved it!

On the last day on Ko Samui, I saw the cutest thing.

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It was so early in the morning that I saw a couple dogs sleeping on the beach. As I went over to snap a photo this one began to wake up – all sleepy eye with sand on his nose. If I were him, I would sleep on the beach too. What a beautiful, peaceful place.

Once we left Ko Samui, my fiancé and I headed to the beautiful Island of Phuket. There we met up with my best friend, Mariana, and her husband Chris. I was very excited when they both agreed to run with me. They are new to running, but open to the idea, so we met up and ended up doing a total of three morning runs. I alternated running barefoot and with shoes. We mainly ran on the beach but there was a time we ran on a street that went along the beach. I was proud of Mariana and excited she was so interested in running.

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In the end, I really enjoyed running on the Islands of Thailand. It was a beautiful place to run. It was peaceful running along the beach totally alone in Ko Samui. I had good company running on the Island of Phuket and was happy to inspire my good friend to begin running. Phuket was also full of other runners it was fun seeing us take over the beach in the early morning. Not all the runners on the beach were human.

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I’ve already missed the feeling of running barefoot in Thailand. As I deeply inhaled the salt water air, sweat dripped down my tan skin. The wind blew through my hair. Waves crashed at my running feet. Sand stuck in between my shoes. I was quickly reminded how lovely it feels to run barefoot in shorts.

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Jim Thompson’s House in Bangkok, Thailand

I am writing this post while sitting in traffic in Bangkok. Wow, and I thought DC traffic was bad. But this is comparable to LA, but honestly it may be worse.

So here we go…

Yesterday, was my first day touring around Bangkok.

We woke up and relaxed on Elissa’s balcony taking in the view and getting familiar with our new Bangkok neighborhood. Shockingly the city was quiet in the morning time.

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Once we got ready, we headed for breakfast. My friend, Elissa new an amazing brunch place.

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I ordered a savory crepe with egg, spinach, mushrooms, onion, and feta.

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We sipped on coffee and drank down fresh juices. I got watermelon juice of course.

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After breakfast, we headed to the embassy to convert some American dollars to Thai baht. While Elissa was converting the money Erik and I hung outside strolling down a side street that were lined up with street food vendors (similar to our food trucks minus the truck part.) Everything smelled amazing but we ended up getting refreshing bubble tea. Of course I went with Papaya.

After our tea time we headed for a pedicure while Erik got a massage. The pedicure I got is the best I have ever had. Next time I might go for a massage.

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After our spa services we headed to the Jim Thompson house. We took the BTS which is their metro system. It was packed so we had to squeeze in.

We saw a rally of protestors on the way.

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The election happened on the day we arrived, so the protesting has significantly died down. A lot of people back home were scared for my safety because of the protesting and political issues in Bangkok. Protestors and political issues are not scary to me (I’m from Washington, DC – I can handle politics.) It is strangers that are too kind, that make me suspicious. ( I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.)

Anyway we made it to the Jim Thompson house and it was gorgeous. Jim Thompson was an American architect who fell in love with Bangkok, later making it his permanent home. His home was right off of the canal. He had beautiful traditional Thai decor and gorgeous gardens. Here are a couple things I found unique about Jim Thompson.

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Later we ate in the restaurant there on the property. The curry was very good.

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Erik and I also got to drink his favorite Thai Iced Tea!

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Tonight we are heading to the night market. Because of the Jim Thompson house I am inspired to find some silk yarn.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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

The Proposal

It is saturday morning, August 24th, 2013, Erik and I are on a flight to our traditional end of the summer beach trip. The pilot jokingly chuckles in a Boston accent, that in 20 minutes we will be approaching our final destination, landing in the “Harba of Martha’s Vineyad.”

This is the first time that Erik and I had the opportunity to fly directly from Washington, DC to Martha’s Vineyard. Unlike our normal 5 hour trek, this was such an easy 90 minute flight.

Erik’s parents are sitting there patiently waiting in the small airport’s quart yard waiting for us to arrive. From Saturday to Tuesday morning we spend our Martha’s Vineyard vacation with them, but then on Tuesday they leave for Florida on business. They will be back Friday afternoon, and we head home Friday night. This is perfect timing, allowing Erik and I to finally experience the Island just the two of us.

We end up being blessed with some amazing beach days. The photos speak better than words.

On Thursday, we wake up to the typical New England overcast sky. The air cool and crisp Рit feels like fall. There is a breeze Рas if a storm was coming, but it never pours. Erik and I decide to go shopping in Edgar Town and walk around the harbor.

Later that day, we decide to head to Menemsha and Gay Head…

Menemsha is a beautiful beach that is known for its spectacular sunsets. Many photographers come to take photos. Others come for the view and a seafood picnic. It is easy to get seafood here because fishing boats park near the harbor, with fresh sea food. They have kitchen shacks where they will steam you a fresh lobster right from their boat. Many times there are pots of clam chowder and lobster bisque simmering.

Because the sky is smothered with gray clouds, seeing a sunset would be impossible, so last minute, Erik change our plan, and we start to head to Gay Head instead.

Gay Head is a beach known for it’s spectacular clay cliffs. There are cute shops on the top of the cliff. ¬†Previous years, I have been in the shops and on the top of the cliff looking down on the beach – but never walked the beach.

So Erik and I decided to head on down…

Of corse I am taking tons of pictures along the way. We follow the trail down to the beach.

The beach is as spectacular as everyone claims it to be. Waves crash wildly along the coast. The cliffs are made from red clay. They stand tall but unstable as heavy rocks fall from them. The sand feels like a clay facial mask for your feet.

In Martha’s Vineyard, it is rare to find your typical sea shell, instead the beaches are covered with sea glass and unique rocks. Many stores sell rocks with inspiring words on them, some with art painted on them. It is not uncommon for islanders to collect these rocks. So as we walk the beach, we are looking closely for unique rocks especially ones with halo rings around them.

Damn then, my phone dies… I guess I was taking too many photos.

I ask to barrow Erik’s phone so I can take one last photo of a wanna-be sand castle made from rocks. (You can see it in the last photo above – I thought it looked cool.)

All of a sudden, I hear Erik calling my name.

“Meggie… come over here.”

He starts crouching down.

I am really clueless of what is going on… maybe he found a cool rock, I thought.

“I have a question to ask you…”

He pulls out a red box that was hidden in his hands.

“Will you marry me?” he asks very quietly, as he opens the box.

Everything happening all at once.

I try to stay focused on him, but my eyes are hypnotized by the beauty, the sparkle of the ring.

“Yes,” I say…

And suddenly, I feel Erik putting the ring on my finger.

“Sorry, it took so long…” he says… “I love you.”¬†

We hike back up to the car and head over to Menemsha, to grab a lobster dinner.

On the car ride over, I stare at the ring, excited, shocked, pinching myself to see if this is actually reality.

The next morning we head to the beach one last time, before we have to pick up Erik’s parents at the airport. It is then that I decide to text a photo of the ring, to some close family.

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I have been getting a lot of questions about the stone. This ring is a rare natural black diamond. There are a lot of interesting facts about black diamonds. But one of them is…

“The Karloff Noir diamond is believed to be the world’s largest cut black diamond at 88 carats, and legend has it that when touched, it endows the person with good luck, fortune and happiness.”

Now I have my very own black diamond which only means one thing… I get to spend a life time with Erik.

Summer is coming to an end.
When something ends, new things begin…
On thursday, August 29th, 2013 on the Island Martha’s Vineyard- I got engaged!

© sweatdaily 2013

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

Running the Vegas Strip

Hello lovelies!

For the last week I was in Vegas! It was a really busy, fun, non stop, sleepless, crazy, weird, hard working, inspiring, motivating, sun-kissed… trip. I will have to admit it was hard to keep my clean eating plant based diet on point. It was also a struggle to find time to get my workouts in.

Let me explain…

The diet: 

  • FAIL: One of the biggest points of eating clean, is to eat 5-7 small meals a day in 2-3 hour intervals. This did not happen.
  • FAIL: While eating clean it is best to prepare your own meals. This did not happen. I ate out every meal, sometimes pretty late at night.
  • FAIL: Although, I do not label myself as vegetarian, my regular diet consists of mostly plant based food. In Vegas, most of the food included some sort of meat, and all of my meals were loaded with salt.
  • FAIL: I definitely did not drink enough water. The heat is dry there, and I felt dehydrated most of the time.
  • FAIL: I drank way too many vodka pineapples.
  • FAIL: Although, most of the food I ate were not considered organic or clean, I am a foodie, and enjoyed trying different restaurants.
  • GOOD: I did find an amazing juice bar, and had a green juice, that consisted of kale.
  • GOOD: On the way back to the East Coast, I randomly found a 2 Mom’s in the Raw granola bar in¬†blueberry.

The workouts: 

6276_10101216329338306_617596903_nMy boyfriend came out to Vegas with me for the first four days. While I was with him I put it in my mind that these days would be my rest days. He was considering this a fun vacation with me and I was not about to be selfish by choosing the gym over him. It is okay, to skip a workout every now and then, when there are other plans scheduled, such as grabbing a morning coffee and bagel with your boyfriend while on vacation in Vegas. It is important to find a healthy balance.

Once my boyfriend left, I switched hotels, and started my work training, I was 20130718-153853.jpgable to find a routine, of waking up early and hitting the gym, at the Hotel/Casino before work. The gym was small and surprisingly very busy. Two days in a row I was able to lift and do some running on the treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill, and most of the time I don’t even consider my workouts on the TMill runs. However, this time around I did some HIIT, which was a really intense workout. Because during HIIT you run for 30 seconds at a sprinting pace and then jump off standing still for 30 seconds, then 1006287_10101225210181026_908292256_nrepeat, it is NOT boring. This type of running gets your heart rate up and then down, which can help you become a faster runner. I was shocked that at one point I was sprinting between a 6:30 and 7 minute mile.

I also went out a couple times at night to go dancing. Dancing is a really good work out as well. I sweat my but off, and worked my legs so hard I should have called it leg day!

Running the Vegas strip:  Finally, the last day, I woke up early so I could do a short run outside before I headed to the airport. The main reason I wanted to get an outdoor run in was because I wanted to compare the dry heat of Vegas to the humidity of DC. I have heard mixed opinions of which one is better to run in.

Dry heat:¬†The dry heat felt like a sauna. The sun felt like it was burning me. My throat was dry. My nose was dry and congested. In Vegas, there are areas where they manually spray mist. This is a good way to get water into the dry air, but it wasn’t enough. While I was running, it felt effortless, but I noticed I wasn’t even sweating. It wasn’t until I actually stopped running when sweat began to pour from me.

Humidity:  When I got off the plane and stepped outside into the Washington, DC air, I felt like I was walking into a steam room. I was so happy to be back in the humidity Рit felt amazing. Never thought I would say that. But because I am born and raised here, I am so use to the humidity that I never even noticed how much moisture is in the air. After being in Vegas and coming back home I could really tell a difference.

The one thing that I like most about running in the humidity is that you immediately start to sweat. Sweating is important because it helps your body detox and cool down. The good thing about running in dry heat is that if it is 100 degrees out, it feels exactly like 100 degrees, unlike in humidity where it normally feels hotter.  However, whether you are running in dry heat or humidity, you still need to drink a ton of water and stay hydrated.

The Strip:972071_10101227542566906_147498669_nI began my run at around 7:00 am. At that time, there were people out, but it wasn’t busy. Finally, I found a time when the Strip was quiet, almost peaceful. There were tons of other runners out too, however they were all tourists like me, no local runner would be running the strip. Also the strip is full of elevated crosswalks which means I ended up running tons of stairs. ¬†If you haven’t had a chance to run the Vegas Strip, I highly recommend it.

Questions For You…

  1. How do you stay on point with your diet while on vacation?
  2. Have you ever run in Vegas? If so where?
  3. Which do you prefer, dry heat or humidity?

© sweatdaily 2013

 

Post Workout Drink

Everyone who lifts, knows protein is the best thing for your muscles to repair and grow.  This is true, so I always try to have a protein shake with in 30 minutes after my workout. However, July is here, which means hot and steamy, air smothering days.  And although, I have found a new passion for weight lifting, my love is for running, that is where my heart is and always will be.

Week 1 of Marathon training is over. I am officially in marathon training mode. And training in this hot July weather, has made me craving something a little more refreshing then my traditional protein shake. Protein shakes are great ways to refuel, but after a run outside in the heat, my body needs hydration.

Well after flipping through the pages of my favorite cook book, Super Natural Every Day, I found the perfect drink to hydrate me post run.

Cucumber Cooler

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cucumber
  • A couple cucumber peels
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 cups of ice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • mint leaves or you can garnish with a cucumber slice or lime wedge.

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until slushy like consistency.
  • Pour into class and Enjoy!
  • Garnish with mint, cucumber slice, or lime wedge. (Your choice)
  • Store in a pitcher in the refrigerator for up to a day or freeze as popsicles.

Cucumber is a Super food. It is a good source of silica, which helps promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. It is also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Cucumbers are also 95% water, but always remember to chose ones that are organic because pesticides can be hard to remove from skins.

*This would also be a wonderful drink after Bikram Yoga!

Questions for You…

  1. What is your favorite post workout drink?
  2. How do you hydrate and prepare for the heat?
  3. Do you like cucumber flavored drinks?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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Keep Calm and Run on

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“Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart. ” When reading these words, I have come to the conclusion that I rarely almost never let success get to my head. The problem that I have is letting failure get to my heart.

It happens more often with work stuff. Most of the time I let things go. However, because I work so closely with people, sometimes I find myself absorbing their energy, even when it is negative. I try to leave work stuff at work, but sometimes it is impossible. I began to dwell, which can be emotionally draining, and then I find myself at home exhausted. Call me sensitive, I am a pisces.

This is when a night run is necessary. 

After a long hard day of work, the average person finds relaxation by curling up on the couch and watching their favorite TV show. For me, I prefer to go running and on really stressful days, I like to run fast.

 

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Running in the morning is rejuvenating. Running at night is relaxing.

It is an amazing feeling to wake up early and hit the running trail first thing in the morning. On the weekdays, you may be totally alone, just you and the running trail. On weekends, the trail may be packed with other runners, but which ever it may be, running in the morning brings this amazing energy that lasts the whole day.

However, if you are looking for relaxation, and a stress reliever, nothing is better than running in the evening…

On Sunday night, I needed to find a way to relax. After a long hard work week, I was exhausted and stressed. They were calling for thunderstorms, which made my desire to run even more. When ever it is about to rain, I always feel like, “Gosh, I gotta get out there.” It is almost like I feel this rushed urge to get my run in before the rain starts.

So that is exactly what happened. I hit the MVT. I ran a short 5K, but I went all out in a speedy sprint. I know it will get hotter, so I am trying to cherish these cooler hours of the day, but it was a major sweat session, being around 80 degrees, and extremely humid.  There was a slight breeze and then the sky turned dark. And the rain came.

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Do you find running relaxing or rejuvenating?

Oh and if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out kindrunner.com!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

I Challenge you to…

Hey lovelies,

I have been feeling pretty amazing lately…

Because of you, I have never been so inspired.

Because of my hard work, I have never seen so much progress.

The What’s Beautiful Competition has exposed me to some amazing female athletes, who are setting goals, and reaching them. Because of this I am finding myself feeling more organized, and pushing myself to my fullest potential.

The Livefit trainer has done this for me as well. Although, it is not customized to the individual, (the exercises were hard, intense actually,) but it has made things easy. With out this plan, I would have been totally lost not knowing what to do in the weight room, but instead every exercise and meal was laid out for me with directions and videos. I have been amazed with how much I have learned about lifting heavy, circuit training, heart rate, eating clean, macros, supplements, etc.

I now more than ever, want to become certified in personal training, and sports nutrition. (This is something I have thought about for a very long time, but now I am going to do it.)

I have inspired J and L Рthey both want to complete phases 2 and 3.  So I have decided to repeat Phases 2 and 3 of the Livefit trainer. This time I am going to focus a little closer on eating clean.

This week L and I hit the weight room and started the first week of phase 2. I have realized that this is going to be quite interesting. By repeating these phases I  am getting the opportunity to really see my progress, because I am lifting heavier than ever. I am setting new PRs on most exercises. When I first started lifting I was using 5-10 lb dumbbells and a 20 lb bar, now I am using 15-20 lb dumbbells and 40 lb bar. I am much stronger then I use to be.

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Another thing I am setting new PRs in is my running. Because of my new strength I am also running further and faster.

Also, because of the What’s Beautiful competition I am learning new things like how to use the TRX for planks and push ups. And because the What’s Beautiful competition is all about challenges – I will leave you with this challenge. How many push ups can you do in 1 minute?

 

263229_10101135950428286_874631665_n-1See how many I can do by checking out my video on YouTube.

Good Luck on the challenge! And make sure you let me know how you do!

How many push ups can you do?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Transformation Tuesday

There are a lot of different themes on Instagram. To name a few, there is Throwback Thursday aka TBT, or on Friday, Flex Friday. All of the themes on Instagram are really fun to participate in.  However, out of all of them Transformation Tuesday is my favorite.

I love Transformation Tuesday because this theme is the most inspiring. It is extremely motivating seeing people’s transformations. How far they have come. How much weight they have lost. How much muscle they have gained. It is the ultimate proof, that if you make a lifestyle change of eating clean organic food and dedicate time to training hard, you will see results.

Because you are seeing yourself every day, sometimes it is hard to notice the positive change. I find it helpful to take progress pics and I label them with the date they were taken, that way I can really compare, and appreciate my hard work.

So here it is my progress pic, my Transformation Tuesday. transformation tuesday

I am hoping my progress pics will inspire you, as much as other people’s have inspired me.

I also came across this amazing blog post,

This Trendy ‚ÄúStrong is the New Skinny‚ÄĚ Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of¬†girls).

This is a must read so click here and read it now. It basically talks about the American tragedy of how and why a large majority of young girls spend their time obsessing over their weight.  Devoting endless hours, energy, emotions, and effort into being skinny.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

The author claims that her new goal has changed from ‚Äúbe a size zero to¬†do a motherfucking pull up.”

 

254cc5b92387a31c8da38770cacaa81dIn the blog post she reveals how painfully awful it was to be 104 pounds- all skin and bones, and how amazing she feels now strong and fit.  Wishing someone would have told her sooner that Strong is the new Skinny, she is now trying to encourage girls to be strong, fit, healthy.

I love everything about this post and honestly couldn’t agree more – Strong is the new Skinny! And as you can tell from my progress pic, I was never fat, trying to loose weight, but rather I was just skinny,¬†scrawny, (even though I was running everyday)¬†Now, after adding weight lifting to the mix, I not only look stronger, but I actually am…

oh and p.s. I can do a motherfucking pull up. 

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Nike Women Half Marathon DC

The Nike Women Half Marathon is a famous race in San Francisco. It has always been on my list of races to someday run. However, in the fall of 2012, there was a rumor floating around, that the race was coming to the East Coast. And just my luck, to my very own home turf, Washington, DC.

For a while the rumor, stayed a rumor. There was no information or advertising on the race. The only way people found out about the possibility of the race was through word of mouth – one girl runner telling another.

Race organizers kept us in suspense.

REGISTRATION

However, finally the day came when race registration became available. It was interesting because they did not have a website, instead you had to “like” their facebook page, and click on the registration link. Getting into the race depended on a Lottery system based on a random drawing. The registration was very long, asking questions about ethnicity, income, and what shoes you run in. I am guessing this was a marketing tool for Nike to discover who their consumer is, and what brand is used by the majority of female runners. The registration fee also came close to $200.00, which by far is the most expensive race I have run.

Anyway, two weeks went by, and finally I was notified that my registration was accepted, and thankfully L and E got in as well. During the time between registering for this race and finding out if I got in, registration opened for my 2 other favorite spring races, so I registered for those as well. Cherry Blossom 10 miler is also a lottery, and race day was scheduled for the first weekend of April. The Parkway Classic 10 miler, a first come first serve registration, had a race day scheduled in the third weekend of April. And then Nike Women Half Marathon race day scheduled for the last weekend of April. That means the Washington, DC area would have races 3 out of 4 weekends in April. The only reason why they left the second weekend free of races is because that weekend is the weekend the Queen of all Marathons is scheduled, the Boston Marathon (Boston Strong.)

I ended up getting into all three races I registered for, which was perfect because my 10 milers became my training runs for the Nike Women Half Marathon!

TRAINING

At the end of January, I started the Livefit trainer. The first 4 weeks of the Livefit trainer (Phase 1: weeks1-4) it is advised that you do NO cardio of any form. So I took a month off of running (not running was torture for me) but I focussed on lifting weights and building muscled (and loved it.) The next 4 weeks of the trainer (Phase 2: weeks 5-8) I still focussed on building muscle but was able to include my running. Currently, I am on week 9 of the Livefit trainer (Phase 3.) I should be further along, but because of my races I am starting from the beginning of Phase 3 repeating week 9. I am ready to complete this phase as intensely as I can!

I do want to say this though, building muscle has taken my running to the next level. I always thought when it came to training, the more running I did the better I would be. But by doing the Livefit trainer I have proved that, this is not always the case. Training is not about how many miles you can log a week, but rather are the runs you do, high quality. Too much running, can lead to over training, and injury- which gives running a bad rep. More muscle and a stronger body, along with high quality training runs, leads to faster and stronger running, injury free. Running less, does not mean I did not train hard. I did high quality training runs, and intense lifting. My PRs are my proof.

EXPO

The expo for the Nike Women Half Marathon, was available to runners on Friday and Saturday. Because L and I both have friday off from work, we headed to the expo on friday, so we could beat the crowd. The location of the expo was perfect, right along the Georgetown waterfront. This allowed us to park in the neighborhood and do a quick training run along the MVT before walking over to the expo.

Of course we hit up the Nike Georgetown store on the way down to the expo. 3580_10101094792828446_1237519482_nWe had to stock up on our Nike Women Half Marathon apparel. I loved how Nike didn’t have a trace of pink in the store. Yes! We are women, but enough with the pink, we like other colors too. My favorite color combo that Nike had available was blue and orange!

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They also had a variety of Nike Frees available. I have always been interested in the Nike Free, for weight lifting, but when it comes to my runs, I am pretty obsessed with my newton shoes. Anyway, they created a Nike free in a light turquoise color with white ribbon as the shoe laces. ¬†The inspiration behind these shoes came about, because the finisher swag for the Nike Women Half Marathon is a Tiffany’s necklace.417839_10101090212467526_1523067281_n I think this is a really fun idea. I also like how they included the phrase, We Run DC on the tongue of the shoe. This phrase was important because the original race is held in San Francisco. There were tons of ladies, from California, Denver, and other places who had already run the Nike Women San Francisco, who were excited to now run the race in DC, and was on the hunt for any race apparel that had this phrase on it.

After we hit up the Nike store, we headed down to the waterfront. On the way down to the expo they had a huge wall with every race participant’s ¬†name on it. What a cool idea! L and I searched for our names and finally we found them.

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we run dc

The photo below is a photo of the expo. Picture found on the NWM facebook.
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They also had nuun available to sample. Instead of gatorade, they would be providing this on race day! I actually prefer this over gatorade, but when it comes to hydrating during my races, I stick to water. Nuun was really delicious post race though.

nuun

After the Expo L and I had an amazing lunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers located along the Georgetown waterfront. This is a “must try place,” So delicious, especially the sushi.

Night Before the Race

Just like every other race, I have my night before race ritual, where I lay out my race clothes, and prepare/organize everything for race day.

Night before race clothesRACE MORNING

I always have a hard time sleeping  the night before a race, not because I am worried about running the race, but more worried about waking up on time. Turns out that this race started at 7:00 am, an hour earlier than most races. Plus because I had never run this race before I decided to wake up by 4:30 am.

I ended up throwing E off a bit when I showed up at her house at 5:00 am, 15 minutes earlier than I said I would be.

We then met L at the metro and headed to the start of the race. 
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When we got to our corrals, we packed on in.¬†I knew it was going to be a crowded race. While I was at the expo, I actually tried to get my pace corral changed from a 9:00- 9:30 minute mile to an 8:30. I wasn’t able to change my corral, so L and I squeezed as close to the front of our corral as we could.

While waiting for the gun to go off, we took some race photos. 217537_10101092698036426_292698585_n

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THE RACE

After the National Anthem and a moment of silence in honor of Boston. We started running. Immediately, I was annoyed and wished I had moved to a faster pace corral. It was extremely crowded, and impossible to run at the pace I wanted. I sucked it up and politely weaved in and out, trying to pass slower runners. It started to space out around mile two, but there still were times through out the race when I felt squished. Although, this is a negative aspect about the race, this is also something that is totally out of race organizers’ control. Really this is just how large popular races are, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I totally expected it and wasn’t shocked when it happened.

Below is a picture I found on the NWM facebook page, proof to show how crowded the race was at the start. 934153_541121825926278_1618223195_n

MY SPLITS

Finally, I was able to get up my speed. My first split, 5K (3.1 miles) mark was 0:25:19 which meant I was running around an 8:12 min/mile. My second split, 10K (6.2 miles)  mark was 0:51:48 which meant I was running between an 8:30 Р8:48 min/mile. I was feeling really good about this pace, and refueled with water and beans at this point.

It was around the 15K (9.3 miles) mark, when I¬†started to slow down a little. I got to the 15K mark at 1:21:05, it was then that I realized I wasn’t going to PR at 10 miles. At this point my legs started to feel heavy and my feet started to hurt a bit. This annoyed me, because my lung capacity was perfectly fine, I just desperately wished my legs were capable of moving faster, but they really couldn’t. I tried to focus on my form, and even did some high knees, but could only maintain that for a short bit. The only thing that could cure my heavy legs was a down hill.

Most people really love fast flat courses, I on the other hand love hills. It was at this point that I desperately began wishing for an up hill then a speedy down hill, just to mix things up a bit. But the hills were nonexistent, there was one small hill towards the end, but no down hill to follow. So I was just chugging along with heavy legs, on the boring flat pavement of Washington, DC.

Picture below from NWM facebook page. 

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My 20k (12.427 miles) split was 1:50:49 – not bad, but not a PR. I could see the finish line straight ahead, but I kept chugging along with heavy legs, and I finally made it there 13.1 miles in 1:57:03.

This is not a PR for me, but it is my Second Best half marathon time! Yay for that!! My last half, the Annapolis Half Marathon, that I ran on 12/1/12 was a PR 1:51. But before that I had never ran 13.1 in under 2:00:00. So to run two half marathons in a row in under 2 hours is a big accomplishment. I think I am done with running 2 hour half marathons, and on a different level now. Both of these races were also run in my Newton shoes, after months of focusing on my natural running stride, it proves that working on running form really does pay off in the end.

The Course

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Honestly, most races that are held in DC, the course always ends up being the same that I train on daily. So there are really no surprises.  Sometimes this is an advantage, while other times it ends up being a disadvantage.  Why? The advantage is this is my home turf, and I know it inside and out. The disadvantage is that I have run it a million times, so it can become very boring.

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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We ran over Memorial Bridge, which I have run in many other races including Cherry Blossom 10 miler earlier this month. I also run this bridge often in one of my regular 5 mile training loops. We ran Hains Point, which again I ran during the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. The only point of the race that I had never run before was when we ran in the 3rd street tunnel. This tunnel is a very long dark tunnel, a never-ending tunnel. Most of the girls, including E, thought this was the best part of the race. We ran through it in the beginning of the race, probably with in the first mile, and then again towards the end. The first time running through it, I hated every minute of it, and actually experienced a bit of anxiety. The reason for my anxiety was that in the beginning of the race it was so extremely crowded, I couldn’t run fast and I was behind slower runners, so we were all squished in there elbow to elbow. It was also extremely dark and loud. They had a band under there, made up of drummers, the noise was so loud I had to turn off my ipod. The sound echoed over and over again. On the way back though, the tunnel wasn’t as bad. I knew what it was going to be like, and at this point the crowd spaced out so I had more control on how fast I wanted to run. It also provided some shade which at that point was nice to get out of the sun for a minute or two.

Other than that the race was extremely flat, and since I love hills, there were times during the race I was wishing for more of a hilly course. Although, it was small I actually enjoyed the hill towards the end of the race. Hills mix things up and is good for runners, mentally and physically.

FINISH LINE and RACE SWAG

I could see the finish line in the distance, it seemed so close, but took forever to get there. But once I got there, I noticed they had put out a red carpet. Sweet move Nike! red carpet

Then there were a bunch of hott guys, handing out our race swag Р Tiffany & Co. necklaces, on a silver platter. The nice gentleman below was the one who handed me mine.

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tiffany

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We also received these awesome finisher shirts. I love the wicking material and the Tiffany themed color.

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The necklace was really stylish too. It says NWM Half 2013 on the back and it has a runner girl on the front. I think it would be fun to run the race several times just to collect the different necklaces.

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In the end, I really enjoyed this race and thought it was an amazing experience. It also was really different to run an all women’s race. I had only run an all women’s race one other time before, which was my first half marathon, the Zooma Half, and I couldn’t really judge the vibe because it was my first 13.1. But the energy for this race was definitely positive and¬†enthusiastic.

E said, “The race was about women empowerment.” I couldn’t agree more. With out men there, it felt less competitive. There were also a lot of runners there that were not running competitively, but rather running for a cause, such as raising money for cancer. Team and Training was one of those groups. In the end, we all raised money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This being said, there were tons of runners running for people they knew who had cancer, and some were cancer survivors, themselves.

One of the best things about running a large popular race is all the spectators that come out to watch, cheer, and support the runners. This race’s spectators did not fall short. Along the course, there were Team and Training coaches looking for the runners they coached. There were also tons of cool signs, that were more than inspiring, some even made us laugh. There were bands and dancers, that had one two many red bulls. There were kids , who sat as you approached the finish line, I probably high-fived, five of them.

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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Spectators make such a difference for runners, during the race. And it was very comforting that people still came out, even after the tragedy that happened two weeks ago, during the Boston Marathon.

It was also very impressive how well organized the race was.  This was their first time in the DC area, but everything was beyond my expectations. There were tons of amazing volunteer. There were tons of porta potties, with short lines. I never had to wait in line to check my bag, or pick it up. And again the swag for this race was the best I have ever had!!

When I first heard the Nike Women Half Marathon was coming to the DC area, I thought to myself – Perfect, now I wont have to run it in San Fran. But after running this race, now more than ever, I want to run it in San Fran. I love running hills, so it would be interesting to see if I could do a better time running the Nike Women race in San Fran. It would be fun to compare the two races, and getting another Tiffany’s necklace wouldn’t be a bad thing!

However, when it comes to running an all women’s race, I have to admit I’d rather run with men mixed in the group. It is always fun to pass them.

Well done NIKE!

Thanks for a great race! 

Pictures found on NWM facebook page.

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Firedaughter Clothing- tees for women who are too fabulous to wear! tees

So my last post was all about being a fashionista and the importance of having the proper gear for whatever sport you participate in. The right clothing/gear will not only improve your game, but also bring you confidence.

With that being said… I want to share with you my new favorite workout clothing company, Firedaughter Clothing.

Firedaughter Clothing is a company on etsy that makes tees for women who are too fabulous to wear tees. My favorite thing about this company is the fun, creative, motivational phrases found on each piece. Finding the perfect tee/tank, that you can totally relate to, wont take long. There is a color, size, and phrase for everyone.

One of my favorite shirts is the one that says, Eat Clean Train Dirty!

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And… here is a picture of me wearing the tank! Progress Pic. Keep in mind I just completed week 8 of the Livefit trainer.¬†

train dirtyAnd look at those guns… haha. Thanks to the Livefit Trainer!

Livefit trainer update…

I have always had a weak skinny arms, shoulders, upper body, which always looked out of proportion compared to my strong running legs. But thanks to the Livefit trainer, I have now developed some major strength in my upper body. I love feeling stronger and looking more toned. Tomorrow will be day 57, my first day in phase 3. I am really excited because in phase 3 there are some changes to the program. This is no longer a phase focused on building muscle, but rather one focused on burning fat! I also am going to be paying even closer attention to clean eating. In a week I will be carb cycling! Can’t wait!! I love a challenge!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

To Snowboard or To Ski?!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

As long as I can remember I was a skier. I was that little girl in a puffy pink onesie, snowplowing (aka the pizza), fearlessly and poleless down the mountain. My parents got me on skis at a very young age, even my girl scout troop went on annual ski trips.

When I was 16, I went with my high school, to Seven Springs, a ski resort in Pennsylvania. It was there that on my second day of skiing I decided to trade my skis in for a snowboard. I have been on a board ever since.

I am definitely a better skier, than snowboarder. However, I enjoy snowboarding because it is a challenge for me, and I always love a good challenge. When I first got on a board I realized how truly different it is compared to skiing.

THE DIFFERENCE 

In skiing, each leg is attached to it’s own individual ski. While in snowboarding both legs are attached to one board. In skiing, it is a lot of hip action. While in snowboarding it is distributing weight on to your toes and then on to your heels. This creates an S shape in the snow, called carving. ¬†In skiing, you have poles to push you along on flatter services, or to help create speed. On a snowboard, you have to unbuckle your back foot. This freed foot can go in front of your board or behind your board, in order to comfortably shuffle your way along on flatter services. Most snowboarders choose their stance, goofy or regular.

Maybe it is because I have been skiing longer, and learned to ski before I learned to snowboard. But because of the obvious, having both legs attached to one board, compared to having legs individually attached to their own skis – skiing is more freeing and I feel much more in control.

As a child, I grew up going skiing a couple times a year during the winter season. But as an adult, I begin to get to the resort less and less. So last year, I decided I was going to make more of an effort to get to the mountain. Because of this, my bf and I both bought each other snowboards, and we have made it a tradition to always go snowboarding on my birthday.

THR GEAR

This Christmas, I was one lucky girl. My bf ended up getting me the rest of my snowboarding equipment.  This included: boots, gloves, pants, socks (made from merino wool, my favorite), and a helmet.

Growing up we never wore helmets, just a goofy hat. But honestly, a helmet keeps you so much warmer, and safer. Plus all the expert skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets, so you just look like an ammature if you aren’t wearing one. WEAR YOUR HELMET!!

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** I love my new helmet, and it is my favorite color. Thanks baby, for an awesome Christmas present!!**

RESORTS

I am an east coast girl, so unfortunately I have only had the opportunity to ski of the east coast – maybe my dream will come true and I will find time to go out West to Vail or Jackson Hole.

In the past, I have gone up to Vermont a couple times, to a resort called Mount Snow. However, most of the time when I go skiing or snowboarding I am either in Pennsylvania or Maryland. The good resorts in Pennsylvania that I have been to are Seven Springs or Blue Knob.

There are some resorts down in Southern Virginia. Winter Green is the better out of the resorts down there. Massanutten aka Massanothing, has been taken over by college kids that attend JMU, and parents love to bring their kids because of the indoor water park.  There are some resorts in West Virginia. The most popular one is Snow Shoe.

Anyhow, over the last three years, my bf and I have gone skiing at White Tale, a resort right passed Hagerstown, MD. We have chosen this resort simply because it is the closest to get too. However, the resort itself is pretty simple, and small. The only food option is their cafeteria, and the county is a dry county – so no bar here. They do have an awesome fire pit, which warms you up after hours on the slope. The last couple times we have gone, though, it has been really over crowded. The chairlift lines were super long, and the slopes were over packed with kids.

So this year, my bf and I decided to try a different resort. Although, up north got dumped on with snow, we haven’t gotten any in the DC area. So our main concern was finding a place that had some snow. My mom suggested Blue Knob. She had told me that I had been as a kid, but honestly I had no memories of the place.

BLUE KNOB

Blue Knob is the resort located in Pennsylvania, on the highest mountain top. It is about a 3 hour drive from the DC area. When we looked at their website, they claimed they had snow, and all trails were open. So it was go time… we aren’t picky at all when it comes to snowboarding.

We headed up Friday night, spent the night in a hotel 30 minutes from the resort. Woke up early, and we were on our way. The ride up the mountain was beautiful. See for yourself…snowtrees

Driving to the resort was all up hill, or rather up mountain. The reason why is because unlike other resorts where the lodge is on the bottom of the mountain, at Blue Knob, the lodge is located on the very top of the the mountain. Instead of first having to wait in line and ride the chairlift, automatically you get to ski or snowboard right from the lodge Рwhich I loved.

21687_10151437679639660_613762191_nAnother awesome thing about Blue Knob is that the trails all intertwine with each other. You’ll see black diamonds in between green slopes. There are lots of trees, so you feel like you are skiing of snowboarding through the woods – very nature like.¬†76058_10151437679914660_1887698425_nAnother thing about Blue Knob, was that it was not overly crowded. It was a Saturday, but I rarely had to wait in lift lines. I pretty much had the slopes to myself. This could be because the resort is very secluded compared to the other resorts. It also could be because they have a lot more trails, and all of them were open with really great snow.¬†285689_10101001271495946_517169163_n** His and Her Burton Boards.**

When I had decided I was going to buy my bf a board. I started to research Nitro Snowboards.  The company seemed really good, and the board designs were visually pleasing. However, they were really expensive and hard to find. I ended up buying a Burton Board for him, and he bought one for me. I love my Burton Board. 

**My next post will be about tips for purchasing your first snow board, so stay tuned.**

THE LODGE

The food at Blue Knob was not bad, of corse it wasn’t the healthiest. They had a basic grill, where they could make you anything you wanted, from breakfast sandwiches to burgers. They also had soups in bread bowls, and other snacks. They do have a bar, and there was a band playing live music when we were there.

A GREAT WORKOUT

Of corse we went to hang in the lodge for lunch, and to warm up and grab a coffee. But for the most part, we were on the slopes, 9 am-4 pm. Seven hours of snowboarding is an amazing work out. But where I felt the most sore was my inner thighs, and my arms. I think this is because the shuffling movement on flat services works the inner thighs, and the constant being on the ground and then pushing yourself up works the arms.

IN THE END…

I highly recommend trying snowboarding or skiing if you haven’t already. It is tons of fun, and a great work out. If you are on the East Coast, I highly recommend Blue Knob resort. ¬†Although, it is March, the season isn’t over yet. The Mid Atlantic has just been issued a ¬†Snow Alert. So get out there and enjoy the snow, the winter, while you can.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?
  2. Where is your favorite ski lodge located?
  3. What kind of board do you have?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

Falling in love, with NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Last year I was so¬†privileged to have the opportunity to head down to New Orleans for a week long celebration of Mardi Gras… and I fell in love.

This is how it all began….

One of my close family friends, EW, ¬†had gone to college at Tulane. She loved New Orleans so much that she continued to live there for a couple years after she graduated. Because now she relocated back in the DC area… I had always deeply regretted the fact that I had never gone down to visit her and the lovely city while she lived there. I thought I had missed my chances. But turns out, for my birthday present she hooked me up with a plane ticket, and told me we were heading down to New Orleans, aka, NOLA for Mardi Gras. I was beyond excited.

As the weeks came closer and closer to our departure date, EW tried to prepare me.

“You know how people say New York, is the city that doesn’t sleep?” She asked.

“Yep. Everyone knows that. “

“Well they are wrong, it’s really New Orleans.” She told me.

She was so right about that one. There were nights in NOLA during our week long Mardi Gras celebration, where we got home by 6am and was leaving the house again by 10 am.

She explained, “A drink will never leave our hands.”

“Ok,” I answered

“Always remember though this is a drinking marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.”

This was a great thing to remember, and because I am a runner I could totally understand this metaphor. You won’t get sick or throw up if you slowly drink. You won’t ever be hung over, if you are still drinking.

So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…

NOLA is beautiful. ¬†I love to create beauty and be surrounded by it. The architecture in NOLA is outstanding. There wasn’t one house or building that didn’t have character. Some places had a lot of Southern influence, while others had Spanish and French influences.

NOLA taste good. The food was amazing. I ate grits and shrimp, po’boy sandwiches, cajun spices, fries deep fried in goose fat, gumbo, jambalaya, a craw fish bake, oysters, and beignets. Nothing taste bad,¬†I even tried frog legs.

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NOLA quenches your thirst. You don’t have to chug your beer here, because you can ask your bar tender for a to go cup. Drinking in the street is totally legal. There is a bar called BullDog, who lets you take your pint glass home with you. It is a popular place among the locals – I highly recommend it. Hurricanes are NOLA’s signature drink.

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NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.

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NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.

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NOLA wears costumes.

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NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…

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sometimes South Park toys…

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NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…

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NOLA is highly influenced by the Catholic traditions, which is the whole point of Mardi Gras anyway. Live it up today, for tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

There are so many amazing things about NOLA and it made me a little sad today, that I wasn’t down there, this year celebrating. But I am so happy, I experienced it last year, and was able to share my memories with you.

Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…

© 2013 sweatdaily

My favorite hat, spells TEAM LIVESTRONG!

So I have this hat… that is my absolute favorite hat. It was given to me by a friend who got it after he accomplished his first century ride. Pretty sweet swag right!? The hat is made from a white wicking material, that keeps your head cool on a hot summer day. It is actually the only hat I don’t feel suffocated in, while I run. It fits my head perfectly, protecting my skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and shielding my hair color, from fading, keeping it everlasting, shiny, and vibrant. (Yes, I am a hair stylist, so my hair color is a priority.)

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The above photo collage shows me wearing this hat at the beach, on hikes, while doing yoga, I also run with it, and just about wear it everywhere. Now, if you look closely it says, “TEAM LIVESTRONG,” written across the front.

I know the interview between Lance Armstrong and Oprah was sooo last week. But I finally stopped being annoyed, and was able to pull it together, to write this post.

So as you all may know, Lance Armstrong was the face of the LIVESTRONG organization. As you may also know, he recently admitted to Oprah that while he competed his 7 tours, he was using performance enhancing drugs, and undergoing blood transfusions. So in my mind, and pretty much the rest of the world’s, Lance Armstrong, is a cheater and a lier. The amazing athlete we thought he was, never existed – so sad. ¬†He was not much of an athlete at all, but rather a man that was a brilliant cheater, with the best doctor, and doping schedule.

However, when it comes down to it, the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, (I mean it does,) but I can be understanding. Lance told Oprah, everyone was doing it… it became part of the job.¬†The only way to win was to do it too. Well what kind of “Win” is that, and look who is loosing now…

Well like I said above the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, because what does, is the the way he handled everything. Lance was selfish and foolish. He called his best friends, the people that lied for him and protected him, horrible names, and then he sued everybody.

Ok, so that bothers me, but there is one thing that bothers me even more… The interview with Oprah, was Lance’s chance to make things better- but he didn’t. I am a marathon runner, who is so passionate about running, that I get a little crazy if I miss a day. I was desperately waiting to hear Lance say how passionate he was about cycling – but he didn’t. I¬†just wanted him to say, how he couldn’t imagine life without participating in the sport – but he didn’t. ¬†I did not hear him say he has a love for the endurance sports, but rather an obsession with winning. Maybe he is not passionate at all. Maybe he doesn’t care for cycling at all. Maybe he just found that he was quite good at cycling and would do whatever he could to win.

When Oprah asked, “Why now?” I wanted him to talk about his passion for the sport, but he didn’t. So then, I was waiting for him to say, that he is a father, and wants to make things right, to be a good inspiration for his kids. But nope, he didn’t say that either. Instead he admits to all the lies, cheating, and bad behavior not to make thing right, but rather to reduce his sentence. How selfish can you be?

So in the end… I have this fabulous hat, that has TEAM LIVESTRONG written across the front. I will still wear that hat, not only because I love it, but because I support Cancer research. I support what it truly means to LIVESTRONG. But what I don’t support is Lance.

© 2013 sweatdaily

running and photography

Let me tell you a little story.

One friday, late last year, I decided to join my mom, and all of her old lady friends for lunch. After we had finished our meals all of my mom’s friends demanded that they updated their contacts. So they all pulled out their phones, and yep you guessed it they all had marvelous smart phones, androids, iphones – you name it. I immediately felt left out and embarrassed to even pull out my phone. I should be the one with the nice iPhone, and they should be the one clueless on how to work theirs. But nope they weren’t. ¬†After that- I had, had it. It was time for me to become trendy and get a smart phone.

So in October of 2012, I got an iPhone 5. Finally, I could recycle my old piece of crap phone and upgrade to a smart phone. Yes, I was the only 20 something year old that had not done this yet, but better late than never.

really bad picture of me. but great picture of my iPhone 5.

bad picture of me. but great picture of my iPhone 5.

Before I use to never run with my phone. What was the point? But now that I have my iPhone 5, I never run with out it! Although, there are tons of cool running and music apps, my favorite part of my iPhone 5 is the camera. This phone takes amazing pictures. Before, I would go on runs, and sometimes see something really cool, that I wished I could take a photo of, with the iPhone 5 now I can. I have become obsessed with instagram as well- follow me @dorseyml.

Anyway, I don’t take photos on every run, but I took a couple over the past 2 weeks. This is what I have been running by…

Most of these are taken on the south side of MVT.

543875_10100911979877066_935238712_n This photo was taken during my run on January 3rd, 2013. Although, it was cold, look at that sun streaming. Cold, but refreshing, and soaking in that Vitamin D.

550924_10100913420515016_1899771480_nThis photo was taken on my morning run on January 4th, 2013. Look at those ducks!

540827_10100920818843706_1037442360_nThis photo was taken during my morning run, on January 10th, 2013. On this day, it was 53 degrees out.  It felt amazing running. The sun reflecting on the water almost looks like ice Рbut its not.

24416_10100922172845276_1233965895_nThis photo was taken today, January 11th, 2013. It was 50 degrees, but felt colder because it was lightly raining. I was craving a run, so even those it was raining I was ready to hit the trail. Running forces me to get outside, during the winter while most people are cooped up inside.¬†Don’t be scared of bad weather. A light rain even in January, can feel quite refreshing.

I  will start up training for longer races in mid February. So all of these runs, were fast, easy runs, between 5k- 5 miles. However, this weekend is suppose to be 65 degrees so I might throw on some shorts and go on a 10 mile run.

I also wanted to let you guys know that I didn’t feel it necessary to set a New Years Resolution for running, because I am always setting running goals. However, the one thing I do want to do, is record/log my miles. I do this anyway. I use to log them on runnersworld.com, but even since I began running with my garmin I log my miles on garmin connect. But I have never evaluated my mileage. What I mean by this is…

If you had asked me, “How many total miles did you run last month?”

I wouldn’t be able to answer that question- because I have no clue. So this year I will continue to record my mileage, but I will actually keep track. I have just become really curious of how many miles I run a year! ¬†So lets see how many miles I can run in one whole year. I am really excited about this new goal/challenge.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with your phone?
  2. What is your favorite thing about your smart phone?
  3. How many miles do you run in a year?

© 2013 sweatdaily

2012 Highlights

This is one of my favorite times of year. It is a New Year. A new beginning. It is your opportunity to have a fresh new start. But one of my favorite things to do, durning this time is taking a look back on the year that has just ended. My yoga teacher would tell me not to dwell. Do the pose, now let it go, forget about it, and then move on and do the next posture. This is great advice, but sometimes it is nice to look back, I highly recommend it.

It is funny how people starts New Years resolutions, ¬†and then they feel bad when they do not stick to them. Then time goes by and maybe you can’t even remember what your New Years resolution was in the first place. Or maybe you are the total opposite and you set your New Years resolution and you stick to it and it totally changes who you are. For example, maybe you are that girl that looses a 100 lbs, and ends up on the Today show… it could happen… right?

But do you really need to set a New Years resolution? ¬†As I take a look back on my 2012 year, I notice a lot of amazing things went down. Most of these amazing things had nothing to do with my New Years resolution. I have noticed that my New Years resolution isn’t very significant at all, because I am self-consciously¬†always setting small goals for myself, in every aspect of my life. ¬†Plus life itself is pretty amazing. It sends us opportunities and challenges, that are unplanned and out of our control.

So with that being said,  in hope to inspire you in some way, I will share with you my highlights of 2012. Enjoy!

IMG_0428_2ART: In January 2012, I started the winter session of my drawing class at The Torpedo Factory. My teacher Tanya is amazing. She taught me that our eyes will isolate things, but as an artist you must see the full picture not only looking for the positive space, but also the negative space.

What is an object, if it has nothing you can relate it to? Everything is about relationships. In order to determine, size, shape, depth, tone… you can not isolate objects, you must relate them to other things. The most interesting thing about this class is that because I am a hair stylist I was able to relate everything to haircutting and color. It definitely made me more creative at work. ¬†The winter session starts up again, next week. I can’t wait!

TRAVEL: I use to always travel internationally, with a passion for Europe and South America.  However the past couple years I have had the opportunity to explore some different parts of the USA. Trust me, when I say this, our country is beautiful, and we have some amazing places to see.

So in February 2012, I traveled down to New Orleans. I had never been that south before, so I didn’t really know what to expect but New Orleans is overflowing with culture. The architecture is a mix between southern, but also has a lot of Spanish European influence. The food is a mix of cajun spices, but they have some of the best seafood as well. There is a spooky feeling, that hangs over the city. All of the graveyards are above ground, and voodoo dolls are sold at the flea markets. However, because of the Spanish European influence there are a lot of gorgeous Catholic Churches.

I went down there for Mardi Gras, with a friend of mine who use to live there, and later, while I was there, I met up with an old friend that I went to grade school with, who lives there now – So I was in great company. We did as the locals did- A drink was always in my hand, even while walking in the street, to the next bar/parade. The whole city pretty much closed down for the week, and everyone of all ages were partying in the streets.

I made new friends.

I made new friends.

I met up with old friends.

I met up with old friends.

I drank a lot!

I drank a lot!

I ate a lot!

I ate a lot!

I wore a green wig!

I wore a green wig!

In June 2012, I went out west, to explore Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. The best parts of this trip were, Boise, The Shoshone Waterfalls, Idaho Falls, Yellow Stone National Park, Jackson Hole, and Craters of the Moon. Meeting, the fitness model Jamie Eason, in Salt Lake was pretty cool too.

horses in Idaho

horses in Idaho

The Shoshone Falls

The Shoshone Falls

bison in yellowstone

bison in yellowstone

Yoga in Montana.

Yoga in Montana.

Caving

Caving! Craters of the Moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In July 2012, it seemed like I was on a plane every week. My Grammy, had surgery and could not recover. I flew to Massachusetts/ Connecticut to visit her in the hospital on her birthday. A couple days later I went to Los Angeles, California for intense hair training with Sebastian Professionals. During my few spare minutes I went running on the beach in Santa Monica.

Sebastian girls in LA

Sebastian girls in LA

After my trip to LA, my Grammy passed on, so I went back up to Massachusetts for her funeral. She lived a wonderful 84 years, and although she is gone, she has helped form me into the lady I am today. She will always live on through me and the others who love her.

In September 2012, I again headed to Massachusetts, but this time to Martha’s Vineyard.¬†¬†I ran the coast of Martha’s Vineyard almost everyday I was up there. I also went fishing and caught my first fish. We ate tons of my favorite, Lobster.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

I'm so happy, I could kiss you!

I’m so happy, I could kiss you!

In September, I went to New York City for a Sebastian Pro Hair Show. I also had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite yarn shops Purl Soho.

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So that sums up my travel, I got around…

RUNNING: I ran a total of 7 races in 2012.

IMG_0547April 1, 2012, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in 1:29:26. 8:56 min mile.

April 6, 2012, I ran the Crystal City 5K in 26:26. 8:30 min mile.

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April 22, 2012, I ran the Parkway Classic in 1:28:05. 8:45 min mile.

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August 26, 2012 I ran the Annapolis 10 miler, in 1:33:23. 9:20 min mile.

L and I at the start of the ATM

L and I at the start of the ATM

October 21, 2012, I ran the Army 10 miler, in 1:30:16. 9:01 min mile.

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November 22, 2012 I ran the SOME Turkey Trot in 24:34. 7:54 min mile.

429524_10100868123605386_418749121_nDecember 1, 2012, I ran the Annapolis Half Marathon, in 1:51:21. 8:29 min mile.

By not running a full marathon in 2012, I was able to focus on running form. I began to experiment with a natural running shoe (Newton), and was able to successfully change my stride.

YOGA: Through out the year I was able to continue my Bikram yoga practice.

L and I at Bikram.

L and I at Bikram.

KNITTING: This year I knitted up a storm. I really began to think of knitting as a form of art. And now I have become a ‚Äúyarn snob,‚ÄĚ guilty of having an obsession with high quality yarn. I love natural fibers such as merino wool, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, angora, silk, cotton, and linen. Here are some of my favorite projects of 2012.

tumblr_m9sw1h1KQo1rrnjzco2_1280In March, I made a yoga bag.

IMG_0562In April, I finished my first Sweater.

bandana cowl

bandana cowl

White Caps Cowl

White Caps Cowl

15112_10100860364479736_778132713_nI hand knit the Super Soft Fluted Cowl.

my latest Chunky Knit!  Hand knit by me.

my latest Chunky Knit! Hand knit by me.

I hand knit the herringbone cowl.

150626_10100912681930146_132839178_nMy latest piece. My second sweater. The Short Row Sweater. Pattern by Purl Bee. Yarn from Purl Soho. Hand knitted by me.

HAIR & Photo Work: I did three photo shoots.

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© 2012 Do NOT use photos

© 2012
Do NOT use photos

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

At the end of May 2012, last but not least, and the most exciting thing of all is that my boyfriend and I moved into our very first home! We are home owners.

So as you can see 2012 was a very busy year for me, full of exploring new places, learning new things, and challenging my body to its ultimate fitness level. Now, that I looked back, I can move forward. I am very excited about 2013, but topping 2012 will be hard to do.

Questions for you…

  1. Does looking back help you move forward?
  2. What was your most exciting thing that happened to you in 2012?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Lets talk about food!

It is funny how… once I changed my eating habits and started eating clean, eating fresh organic whole foods, I no longer crave junk. And on the rare occasions I do, weakly give in, I soooo regret it. My stomach can no longer tolerate the high fat, processed shit, like it use to.

DINNERS

I wanted to show you a couple photos of past dinners I have made…

This is the dinner I ate tonight. It is vegan and organic. It consists of broccoli, onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, squash, brussel sprouts, spinach/kale, salt, olive oil. All of these ingredients are poured over quinoa.

This is a dinner I had earlier this week. It is organic.  I love Whole Foods Market. They have vegetables already washed, cut up, and prepared. All you have to do is saute them over the stove. I used one of these prepackaged vegetable platters and cooked it over the stove adding spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. I pored the veggies over rice. Poached an egg, and sliced up a side of avocado. This is a well balanced meal, including healthy fats, protein, and colorful veggies infused with antioxidants.

This dinner was one I ate last week. It consists of onions, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, spinach, poured over rice with a side of wild caught salmon. This meal is very well balanced with healthy fats, protein, omega 3s, carbs, and colorful veggies infused with vitamins and antioxidants.

This meal is a dinner I ate last week. It consists of similar ingredients but includes pine nuts. Again, it is an organic, well balanced meal. These dinners are also very easy and fast meals to cook. They are simple, but full of color, flavor, and texture.

LUNCH

Most days I eat a variety of salads for lunch.

Breakfast

Everyday, I drink a Chai Latte. Somedays, I eat a greek yogurt or oatmeal.

Snack

Fruit, such as strawberries and nutella.  Hummus and raw veggies or pita. Toast with Almond Butter. Smoothie with Vega protein powder.  All of these are great snack ideas.

My problem is never eating to much. I always have the problem of not eating enough. But just as your car need gas, your body needs food. Food is fuel for your body. So eat clean on regular intervals, so your body can continue strong through out the day, full of energy.

What is your favorite healthy snack?

© 2012 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

photography and 11.5 mile Training Run


“How many of you like to run with a phone or something else to capture images of your run?” –Newton Running
Above is the facebook status of Newton Running, and it already has close to 600 likes. I am happy to know that I am not the only one who enjoys taking photos during my runs. I will admit that I was late to jump on the smart phone wagon. I know, call me crazy, but about two months ago I bought my first smart phone, the iPhone 5, and I am in love. This phone goes everywhere with me, even on my runs.

really bad picture of me. but great picture of my new iPhone 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use to run, carrying nothing with me. But I always regretted it when I came across something really cool I wanted to record- by snapping a photo or video of. But now with my new phone I am able to do that. My two favorite new apps are Instagram and Map my Run.

I just started using Map my Run. I still use my Garmin, but I am just experimenting with a couple new apps. I just wish Map my Run recorded your Cadence, because I think my Garmin’s Cadence my be inaccurate. I just downloaded an app to measure cadence, but I have yet to try it.

11.5 Mile Training Run

Anyway, lets get to it. I felt pretty good on my 11 mile run. L came and picked me up yesterday morning. We headed down to the south side of the MVT. I felt cold at first so I had my gray Nike fleece on, but I new I would warm up, although it was 48 degrees out, the sun was bright.

After the first mile, I ditched my fleece on the side of the trail, I knew it would still be there on the way back.

2.5 miles on the MVT. Looking over the GW parkway. It was a Beautiful Fall Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L and I continued on. I like the south side of MVT because it is so beautiful. Although, it is a paved path, you feel like you are on a trail run. You also run so close to the Potomac River that you could fall in. I also like it because it is much more hilly. Annapolis will be all hills so it was a good practice.

In it for the long run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we headed back and I hit mile 10, I realized I was making better timing then I thought. We ended up finishing in 1:48:00, running an average of a 9:23 min/mile. I would like to run an average of a ¬†9:00 min mile for the race. Which I am pretty sure I can do. I am still debating on which shoes to race in though… Distance U are lighter, and I feel faster in them. The Gravity are a bit heavier, a little more supportive, but sometimes I feel like I am dragging in them towards the end.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 11.5

Time: 1:48:00

Average Pace: 9:23 min/mile

Best Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Calories: 938 C

Cadence: 96 – which can’t be accurate. I use to have a cadence of 160, which is lower than average, but not that low.

Future Goals

The plan for this week is up my weekly milage a bit! I am going to have plenty of time to get some good runs in with days off thanks to the Thanksgiving Holiday. I also plan to strength train, stretch, and continue to work on form.

Questions for You

  1. Does anyone know of a good Cadence App?
  2. What is your favorite running app?

© 2012 sweatdaily

 

The Storm is Coming!

Well the weathermen are predicting that hurricane Sandy will be aggressive and strong, with winds at speeds of 70 mph. Washington, DC is right along her path as she continues up North. But who really can trust the weatherman’s predictions, aren’t they always wrong?

So last night, I ran a quick 5K on the south side of the Mount Vernon Trail. I really wanted to get a run in before the storm came through. The trail was absolutely gorgeous when the sun was going down. The orange, red, and yellow fall leaves lit up the trail while they canopied over my head. There was a light breeze that felt gentle and refreshing. Could a storm really be coming?

Then I saw the birds… You can always find the truth with in nature. Animals have a special sense, a survival instinct that over time humans have lost. The birds know the storm is coming and they are preparing for it.

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These are the birds I came across on my run. Aren’t they beautiful?

Questions for You

What is the weather like where you are?
What is your favorite running weather?