Will the Apple Watch replace your Garmin?

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

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

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

 

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

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Some of the Features…

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

The watch will retail $349.

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

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

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

References:

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

The best RUNNING Quiz ever!!

The other day… I was reading blogs.

I came across one of my favorites thedancingrunner.  Chelsea, owner of the blog Рthedancingrunner, posted a running quiz.

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Because the quiz made me laugh, and was really fun to take, I decided to share it with you. Aren’t you curious how much does running rule your life?

Take the quiz here… and find out…

My score was a 40/50…

let me know what your score is. 

Oh… and I have been squatting everyday of the month of September. This is Day 4 of Sweat a Day!

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Comment below with your quiz scores… and tell me which part of the quiz was your favorite. Also who’s squatting this month? What’s your favorite squat?

© 2014 sweat1xdaiy

September: Squatting Month

I use Instagram for fitness inspiration all the time. I have been following @shauna_harrison. She is a sponsored athlete for Under Armour and is the creator of the monthly Sweat A Day. I’ve wanted to try her monthly challenge Sweat A Day for a little over a year. Finally, this month, I am doing it.

September is all about Squatting. Check out the September calendar. If you decide to join the challenge, take a photo or video of yourself doing the challenge daily and hashtag #sweataday. Also tag @shauna_harrison. Feel free to tag me as well @dorseyml. Seeing more people doing challenged like this inspires me to challenge myself.

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Here I go… Day 2 of Sweat A Day.

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Single Leg Squat. I did 3×10 for each leg. I am not really good with this type of squat. However, I am very proud I tried it. I’ve always wanted to try it but didn’t know how to go about it. I am hoping with practice I will eventually be able to do this type if squat with out the support from the wall and ball and maybe eventually add weight.

But for the time being the wall and ball give great support so I can focus on form.

I love this squat because you have to balance, which really works your core.

My friend Raiza, told me another variation to try is with the TRX. I’m pretty obsessed with the TRX so I can’t wait to try the single leg squat on that.

Updateon my first day back to the gym since my summer break… It went well! I worked my back and woke up this morning sore. It was a good sore though…

I’m back at it!!! Bring it on September!!!

September Goals

It’s a new month…helloseptemberIt’s a new season…

I love new beginnings. It’s time to make some exciting plans for the fall. It’s time to set some new goals.

My ideas…

Fitness:   I worked out like a crazy person before my wedding. I alternated every other month with heavy lifting /active rest periods, and circuit training/HIIT. I ran 5 times a week and participated in two 10 mile races in April.

After my wedding, work got busy, and I felt exhausted and burned out. The last place I wanted to be was the gym.   So I spent the summer resting. I got some pool time in, and started doing some other things I love, such as, cooking, knitting, reading, organizing the house.

Now, I am ready to get back at it!

I feel energized.

So tomorrow will be my first time back in the gym since early july. I’m going to ease back into it. I’ve lost some muscle because of all the running and resting I have been doing. So for tomorrows work out I am going to slowly work on upper body, isolating my back muscles.

I also want to participate in a couple hot yoga sessions, once the weather gets cooler.

Running : This summer, I have been running shorter distances. I have been really enjoying my runs, but running during the fall is my favorite, feeling the leaves crunch under my feet.

  • Marine Corps Marathon:¬†I ended up not deferring my bib for MCM. I am definitely not running the full marathon. I have been to busy and have not had the time to train at the intensity level I usually do. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. So with that being said, I need to come up with a game plan and decide what I am going to do about the marathon.
  • MCM 10K: Because I am no longer doing the full. I may want to do the 10K.
  • Army 10 miler: I randomly got a transfer bib for this race, and I couldn’t be more excited.¬†¬†I will be running this! I want to start stepping up my training. Just waiting for my new shoes to arrive. I need them desperately. I got blood blisters on both feet yesterday only after a 5 miler. ugh!
  • Turkey Trot:¬†Figure out which turkey trot I want to run and sign up.

Running training plan: Because I am not doing an intense marathon training plan, I have decided that I will do the running form training plan from the book, The Cool Impossible, by Eric Orton.

I read the book earlier this year, and loved it. I have the equipment to complete the running form training plan. I also want to try the nutrition plan as well. I may skim over the book one more time, but I have always wanted to complete this trainer, and I am very excited to start it now. I think it will really improve my form and take my running  to a different level.

Other than that…

I want to sign up for my art class.

Finish reading Gone Girl.

Start reading Wild.

Go to a concert.

Paint my bedroom lavender.

Finish knitting my sweater.

Start knitting socks.

Cook delicious meals.

Organize my recipes.

Sweat more.

Blog more…

Hello September, glad you are here.

What are you fitness goals for fall? Are you doing a fall race?

© sweat1xdaily 2014

 

 

Summer Running… Why I may defer my MCM bib.

I can’t believe how fast this summer has been flying by. Honestly, it has been really busy and I can’t believe this summer girl is saying this… But I am ready for summer to end. Normally, I love summer, but because my wedding was at the end of June, my first month of summer was consumed completely with planning our big day. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with the planning process.

I loved everything about my wedding, but because of my wedding, I took off 9 days of work, which has made it swamped for me once I got back. So I am ready for things to slow down, and for the crisp air to make an appearance.

I know I haven’t blogged much this summer. And most of my blog posts have been about my wedding. It has seemed like I have been pretty obsessed. But, in all honesty, I have been. Every bride-to-be or newly wed is… It only happens once so might as well be.

Anyway, I haven’t had much free time this summer. In the small amount of free time I have been squeezing in runs, cooking up a storm, knitting, reading, and trying to do some design changes to my home.

This summer has not been too hot. In fact, I’m considering this summer straight up cold. Being from the DC area, I am use to sweltering record breaking, code red days. But this summer has actually been perfect running weather. Most runners have been in heaven. That is why it disappoints me that I have no desire what so ever to run far. Instead, I have been enjoying faster shorter runs. Unfortunately, I also have been having some minor health issues, that I have seen the doctor about. Because of this, I may defer my bib for MCM until next year. I have until August 31st to decide.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. A couple years ago, when training for the ¬†Chicago Marathon I had some digestive track issues which left me unable to fuel my body for long runs. When it comes to running and training, I do it to be healthy and have fun, not to injure myself. Plus, I have run MCM 3 times before, I have already proved to myself that I can finish the 26.2 distance. With that being said, if I can’t train to PR, and my training isn’t at the intensity level I want it to be at, then it is best to defer until next year when I can really train at the best of my ability. In other words, I don’t half ass my training, and I definitely do not run a race I don’t train for. The training is part of racing, and it is one of my favorite parts.

So the year before last I felt the same thing about long runs. I was tired of running slow and far. So I decided to switch it up and sign up for half marathons and 10 milers. I switched to a natural barefoot running shoe, (out of being bored) and focused on running form. I worked on speed, cadence, and started lifting weights. I became a faster, stronger runner. This change made me happy. And being able to change… is also the reason I love running. If you are bored switch up your shoe. If you are tired of running slow and far, start running shorter and faster. If you are tired of city running, hit the trails. This sport has something for any runner’s mood, for whichever type of runner you choose to be. And it is perfectly okay to be a marathon runner one year and a half marathon runner, or ultra marathoner the next year. Switch it up, keep things exciting.

If any of you have been reading my blog over the years, you would know last year, was quite the opposite. I was pretty excited, and ready to really consume myself with marathon training. I looked forward to longer runs, and higher mileage weeks. I was sooo obsessed about my marathon training that I annoyed a few people with my daily  facebook and instagram running posts.

Anyway, one thing I want to make clear, is that I love MCM. This race is my absolute favorite! And I’ll be involved in it in some way, whether that means running it or showing love and support.

A lot of people are running now. My coworker just started training for her first half marathon (Go Katie). My other coworker is running as well. ¬†My running buddy is doing her first full marathon (MCM.) Seems like everyone is running and racing. And although, training for a race and then racing it, is my favorite thing to do, I don’t feel the need to run every race in the area.

Racing all the time can be fun, but it also is expensive and time consuming. Trust me I know, last April I ran two 10 milers and 1 half marathon. It was fun, but it was expensive. But, once April had ended I was happy to sleep in. I will admit I definitely got tired of waking up early and trying to get to a race, then rushing into work right after.

This fall I only signed up for MCM. When I train for a marathon, I am very disciplined. I run long runs when I am scheduled to, I taper when I am scheduled to.¬†Because of this, when¬†I run MCM, I don’t normally sign up for any other races, unless it lines up with my training plan.¬†

I’ve come to the conclusion that signing up for a race and running it, doesn’t make you any more of a runner than someone who is still running daily to stay in shape and have fun.

And at the end of the day, even elite runners and professional athletes sometimes need to pull out of a race…¬†

So with that being said, I’ll keep you updated on what I decide about MCM.

If I decide NOT to run MCM….

there is always next year!¬†There are always other marathons to run… Trust me I have plans… Plus, I have some other fun exciting things I will be doing to get my running fix…

But in the mean time enjoy some of these summer running photos below…

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That’s it for now… Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Do you have a race this fall? Who is training for a marathon?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Running on my Wedding Day!

From the title of this post…

Thoughts of a run away bride may be passing through your mind…

But nope, hell no… There is no way I would ever run away from this handsome man.¬†

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no way… we are stuck like glue!

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So I wasn’t a runaway bride, but because I am a runner, I was desperately trying to fit a run in the week of my wedding.

I flew out to San Francisco Monday, June 23rd. I stayed in the Berkley area with my mom, and then drove to Upper Lake (Wine Country) on Wednesday the 25th. I really wanted to run over the Golden Gate Bridge while I was in San Fran, but it was impossible. My mom and I were so busy, shopping, eating, and wedding preparations consumed us.

I had been lifting heavy and running consistently leading up to the wedding, so taking a few days off felt really good. Plus my main priority was getting married and having a fabulous celebration (wedding.)

My sisters and now husband met me in Upper Lake, on Wednesday night. I will never forget that smile my groom gave me when he first arrived. He was so happy to see me his wife to be, and I was happy to see him.

The rest of the week was still busy with wedding appointments and errands. So it turned out, I wasn’t able to fit a run in until the morning of my wedding.

My sister made me a running bib that said BRIDE.

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We pinned on the bride bib, grabbed our running gear, and off we went. We run a 3.5 mile loop in Lake Port, along the lake. It was gorgeous. I always wanted to run in Wine Country, and what better day to do it then on my Wedding day.

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There is my something blue… So blue…

 

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There I am running… I know you are jealous. This is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever run.

Although, it was a short run, any run is better than no run. This run will be an unforgettable one. It got me sweating for my wedding and relived any stress I had.

When my sister and I were done with our run, duh… we stopped at Starbucks. The Starbucks girl wrote Bride on my cup.

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With a good run and a lot of Caffeine I was pumped to do the damn thing or in other words, get married to my favorite man, and get the party started.

Did you run on your wedding day?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

Wedding Planning and Diet and Exercise Routine…

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So the count down has officially started. In 17 days my groom and I will make things official, and commit to each other for a life time. In 17 days we will celebrate our love, by having a wedding, sharing it with our closest family and friends.

I am very excited! I can’t wait to be married to Erik – what can I say, he is my favorite guy in the world. I am one lucky girl.20140611-174646.jpg

However, I will say this… there has been times during the wedding planning process when it hasn’t been fun. I am not a crazy planner girl, so I have been out of my element. I think the below photo expresses the way I feel about wedding planning more than any words could.

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However,¬†I am very proud of myself though because I have planned most of this wedding by myself. I am now the QUEEN of weeding planning. I am soooo thankful for my Mom and Aunt Nina for being my side kicks – I couldn’t have done it with out them.

I will say this- I have been swamped with wedding stuff. When I am not busy planning my own, I have been doing tons of wedding hair and make up. It seems like every time I see a client and tell them I am engaged… They respond, “Me Too!!”

Being swamped with wedding hair and make up has actually been really fun. Because I am also a bride planning my own wedding, I can totally relate to my bride clients on a whole different level. We share stories with each other about the ups, downs, and drama of wedding planning. Plus, it is so special to me to be a part of such an exciting time in my clients’ life.

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When it comes to my wedding planning, at the moment, I have my checklist and I’m checking it twice. I also am still emailing vendors back and forth. I have never emailed so many people in my life. But my questions need to be answered and so do theirs. I am hoping by the start of next week my emailing will come to an end. It is coming down to the wire. So at this point I am¬†trying to stay focused.

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Ask any of my friends, and they will tell you I am the type of person who always goes above and beyond. I am the type of person who totally gets wrapped up in what she is doing. (For example, I don’t just run, I run marathons.) Some may think I am obsessive and extreme, but I am just trying to be the best person I can be.

My advice to all brides to be…

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And that is exactly what I have been doing… Working on my wedding details everyday. I will admit I have never been so tired. It is a lot of work – now I understand why my best friend quit her job to plan her wedding. Wedding planning is like a job on its own.

On the other hand, I did not quit my job, but instead I am working more. I have never felt so busy. This type of stress is normal for all brides to be.

Alright, now that I have told you, I am excited, in love, exhausted, busy, and stressed. Let me talk to you about my stress reliever.

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Of course I have been running and lifting. Two weeks ago I finished another round of the Livefit trainer.

As for my…

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Along with running, I am now doing Ashley Conrad’s Clutch until I head out to California for my wedding. I am loving the intense circuit training. The one thing I need to stay on point with is the clean eating diet. I am eating clean but I need to eat more, and drink more water. Being so busy has made it difficult for me to meal prep and eat every 3 hours. I will say this though…

I am seeing awesome results. I am looking stronger and leaner. I can’t wait to be in my wedding dress! (I’ll post pics of me in my dress after the wedding.) But here are some progress pics.

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The Clutch programs make me sweaty. Running in the heat does too… And although, I am seeing great progress, I have been really sore lately. I am definitely taking rest days when needed. Marathon training starts in mid July so I want to feel refreshed, not burned out.

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So thats what I have for you guys today! I promise you, I will be updating more often. I awesome have an amazing green tea product to share with you! Look for that post by friday.

What work out do you use to relieve stress? Do you take regular rest days?

© sweatdaily 2014

Some of my favorites made the list!

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Some of my favorites made the list!

Cherry Blossom 10 miler – I run it every year.

Jingle All the Way- I’ve run it -gets you in the holiday spirit.

Alexandria Thanksgiving race– ran it this last thanksgiving, it is nice because it is a 5 miler not a just a 5K.

MCM my favorite marathon, can’t wait to run it again this year.

Pacers – my favorite running store!!

Now I just  need to run some of the other ones...

© sweatdaily 2014

 

Attention Runners: New Running App.

Two weeks ago, my friend Delia tagged me in a Facebook status. I was thankful she did. It was because of her that I discovered this really cool running app.

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This app is different from any other running app you have tried before. Here is how it works.

1) Download the app.
2) Once downloaded press the activate button. Once you activate it you have one full week to run as many miles as you can.
3) Before each run press the button that says start my run.
4) It begins tracking your run.
5) After each run press the button that says stop run.
6) Make sure you register. So everyone knows who you are and how many miles you have run.
7) Post to Facebook to share with friends. Brag

Are you an annoying runner?

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In the April issue of Runner’s World, there is a short article titled, Annoying? Who Us? It was way too funny not to share.

As a runner, I know I am guilty of annoying quite a few of my family members, co-workers, friends, Facebook acquaintances, etc. especially during marathon season.

But honestly, I don’t care. Some people may think my running behavior is an obsession. Some people may think I am addicted to running. But these people who are annoyed are not runners. Running is my passion and only other runners can truly understand.

My favorite part about the article in Runner’s World is about running stickers. To my readers who are runners: Do you have a running sticker on your car? How many do you have? What do they say… 26.2, 13.1, runner girl, ultra marathon? The article compared a runner with a lot of running stickers to a crazy cat lady. This made me laugh out loud, because it is so true. I have one sticker on my car, 26.2, but there are some runners who have their whole bumper covered. And although, you may be the runner who has 10 running stickers on your car, we get it running is your passion- while this may annoy others it doesn’t bother me at all. Just like a crazy cat lady who has 10 cats, you just love your stickers.

However, what annoys me and what I think is the ultimate running offense is being a stuck up runner. I have written about this before, but just because you run an ultra marathon doesn’t mean you are more fit then someone who runs half marathons or full marathons.

People run different distances for different reasons. I also get annoyed when runners put down 5ks, fun runs, tough mudders, Ragnar relays. I have heard some runners, put these races down saying, “that’s not really running.” Races like these can help get more people running races. A fun run 5k may be someone’s first race. Running this race, may help them fall in love with running, making them ready to try a longer distance. Although, I have yet to try a tough mudder, races like these are totally different than a road race or trail race. But having races like a tough mudder gives the running community more race variety. Race variety and how diverse the running community has become is one of the reasons I love this sport.

As a runner, all I do is run, and when I’m not running, I’m talking about running. This is the annoying offense I’m guilty of. I have great conversations and connect well with other runners. But for those who don’t run, I am hoping to inspire and share as much knowledge as I can.

Now at the salon, a lot of my other co-workers have gotten the runner’s bug. I hear my co-workers Katie and Marlene talking about running as much as I do. Katie just completed her first 5k and Marlene set a new PR on her second 5k. This makes me smile! I love that more and more people are becoming runners. Us runners may sound annoying sometimes, but we mean well. We are passionate people, just trying to inspire, seek answers to our running questions, and trying to share our very own running experiences.

That is all…

What are you guilty of? What annoys you?

OMG! I am having workout/running withdrawals!!

My life is crazy busy right now…

(But whose life isn’t… I know I’m not the only one.)

I’m not going to bore you with all the busy details… But I will tell you this…

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler last sunday and then ran the Parkway Cassic 10 miler this past Sunday. I had to head straight to work right after both races.

During the week my mornings have been packed full with work meetings, dentist appointments, and coaching classes. I have only had a chance to hit the gym so far on Tuesday. I hit shoulders pretty hard though.

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I am excited for this weekend. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I plan on waking up early and working back and legs in the gym, followed by a 5 miler. I also might hit the track. I plan on hitting the gym Saturday and then doing a long run on Easter Sunday!

Not being able to run and workout as much as I usually do during the week had made me annoyed and tired! But it also makes me eager to go all out and get some high quality workouts in!

Is anyone else doing a long run on Easyer?

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Anniversary: 7 years of running, 2 years of blogging

Yesterday, was a very special day! It was not only my 2 year blog anniversary, but it was also my 7 year run anniversary.

Yesterday, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the 7th time. It was my very first race ever, and I have run it every year since. It is fun, flat, pretty. The 10 mile course loops around the DC monuments, taking you over memorial bridge and putting you under a canopy of Cherry Blossoms.

This race is one of the most popular races in the DC area. I like it because it screams spring, which means off season is finally over and race season has officially begun.

I use this race to test my fitness level, and see if my off season training paid off. Off season training consists of lifting weights and running shorter faster runs.

EXPO
Like always I headed over to the expo. Normally, I go on the Friday before the race in order to beat the crowds, and to be one of the first people to get my hands on new merchandise. However, my Friday was packed busy, so I had to settle for heading to the Expo on Saturday.

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I will admit I was a little disappointed in the expo this year. Maybe it was because I went the second day. But everything was picked through and some of my favorite vendors, such as Newton Running and Pacers were NOT there. Damn I really wanted a “lug it out” shirt or a Newton running hat.

Plus there were no free samples in our swag bag. There was no paper info on the race. Maybe they were trying to go green and didn’t want to waste paper.

Anyway, I did run into Vibrant Health company. I recognized the same guy from last year. I really wanted to buy some of the products last year but passed up on it. This year he was sold out of the product I wanted and only had one protein powder left- so I grabbed it! I’m excited about the protein, and ordered the Green Vibrance, the product I wanted. I’ll write a review on them once I try them.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

Like always I preform my night before race ritual. This ritual consists of choosing my race outfit, pinning on my bib, laying out my race outfit, updating my playlist, charging my iPod, getting fuel ready. Taking a picture of everything!

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THE RACE

The morning of the race I headed over to the start by metro, and followed the crowd. If you are new to this race or running solo, don’t worry, there are 15,000 other runners running this race so it’s impossible to get lost.

At the start I stripped down to my shorts, checked my bag, and ran over to my corral. This year they were really strict about staying in your assigned corral. In the past, they have had people complain about the race being crowded because slower people will sneak up to run next to a faster friend. This causes a lot of faster runners weaving around slower runners. This year they had volunteers holding up a color sheet dividing each corral. I was in the blue corral near the 8:30 min pacer. I wished I could have been in the red corral with the 8:00 min pacer. But I squeezed to the front of my corral getting as close as I could. Turns out I was in the very front. They let the red corral go and made the blue corral wait 5 minutes.

This was different and something I never thought I would be a part of. I literally felt like I was an elite runner at the start of the olympics. It was an amazing feeling to be at the front of the start line like that. I had my watch ready. A photographer took our photo and when the gun went off, we were off.

I started off with an 8 minute pace, but towards the end of my race I was running an 8:31 pace. I ended up making it to the finish line in 1:25:19. This wasn’t a new PR, but it was very close.

It was an absolutely beautiful day to run. I couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions. An although, I did not PR I felt great like I could have run on forever. It is also crazy of how far I have come. In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was my very first race. I finished it in 1:38:09, running it at a 9:53 pace. Now, I am running an 8:00-8:30 min/mile.

I can’t wait until next weekend, when I yet again run another 10 miler, this one being the Parkway Classic. I can’t wait yet again to see what my mind and body can do.

My advice to you: Push hard people, don’t get discouraged. With the right mind set, your body can go further and faster than you ever imagined.

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As for my blog anniversary. I can’t believe my little blog is 2 years old. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it!

In celebration I would like to thank you!

Cheers!
Happy Running

Running Fast

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“The years of regimented swim coaching had ingrained in me a very narrow-minded training philosophy, which was to do things faster. If I could just train with more yardage, and train faster, then I would most certainly race faster. Or so I thought.”

The above quote is from the book, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. Yes, I am on to reading another running book. This quote really got me thinking…

I always thought if you want to run fast you need to practice running fast. But after learning more about heart rate, I am now beginning to realize this is not always the case.

To all of my readers who are runners what do you think about the above quote? Do you always try to run fast? Does fast running during training make you race faster?

And let the long runs begin…

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I just finished the book, The Cool Impossible. Wow, I learned a ton from this book. It is definitely on the top of my list of favorite running books, right up there with Eat and Run, and Born to Run. You should read it.

There is really great stuff in this book. The first half of the book focuses on preparing you to run physically. The last half of the book focuses on preparing you to run mentally. The advice and knowledge I obtained from the last half of the book is also something I can use in other parts of my life. Some things you learn about running and from running, you can take beyond the trail.

The above photo is a great example. Don’t let the day run you… One thing I am going to work on is better preparation for my runs and for my day.

By reading this book, I have learned that before I run a race or long training run, I do things that mentally prepare myself for the distance. These things, mantras, visualizing, and rituals are things I do and didn’t realize I was doing them. Now looking back, I am more aware of these helpful tricks for the mind. Because these have helped me find success, it may be helpful to use them in other parts of my life, including other sports.

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I am a very positive person. However, the above photo reminds me so much of the book, The Cool Impossible. What I like most, is that the author Eric Orton, says negative thoughts are not a bad thing. Negative thoughts are a normal thing. However, become aware of your negative thoughts, identify them, and realize they are just thoughts, NOT truths.

Update on my Running

I ran the day, the day did not run me. This weekend my long runs began. I love running my first long run of the season.

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All winter, I have been lifting weights and running shorter faster runs. It felt good to get out there and run far. I ran a 10 miler, to help my sister prepare for her half marathon coming up in April. As for me, I have two 10 mile races coming up the first two weekends in April.

On this 10 mile training run, I wore my new Newton Gravity. It has 5 lugs instead of 4, which makes it feel like the toe box is wider.

My sister and I ran MVT over the 14th Street bridge and then to Hains Point.

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Have your long runs started yet? What are some mental tricks you use that helps you find success during running?

Choose to be an Athlete… The Choice is Yours!

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“I believe being an athlete is a choice, and that we all can be athletes, regardless of natural ability. It is a mind-set, a lifestyle, a decision.”¬†– Eric Orton from the book, The Cool Impossible

I have been reading, The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton.  If you have read, Born to Run, The Cool Impossible is the next book to read. Eric Orton was the running coach for Christopher Mcdougalll Рthe writer and main character of Born to Run. After years of pain and injury,  Eric Orton helped Christopher Mcdougall meet his goal to run his first Ultra Marathon with the Tarahumara tribe.

Lately, I keep coming across the idea of CHOICE. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are making choices every day. Choices are everywhere… You choose to eat healthy. You choose where you buy your groceries, supporting the brands you choose to buy. You choose to go for a run. You choose to run in minimalist shoes. You choose your career. Love is even a choice, you choose your significant other, and they choose you. Even the things that are out of your control, you can choose how to react to them positively or negatively.

And believe it or not… You choose to be an athlete.

For those of you who are struggling to loose weight, eat healthy, and meet your ¬†fitness goal… You are not thinking of yourself as an athlete. Once you make that choice, to be an athlete- ¬†you will start acting like one, eating like one, sleeping like one, training like one. And remember this, your body is more capable then you think. Yes, you do have to train physically, but you also have to train mentally.

For those of you who are athletes, who want to meet new goals. It is time to determine your personality. Are you a bad thinker or a good thinker? Maybe you never see walls, or maybe you see walls blocking you at every turn. Become aware of negative thoughts. Identify those thoughts as just thoughts not truths.

These are some cool things I have been learned from the book, The Cool Impossible.

You always have a Choice- the Choice is Yours.

What’s your favorite running book?

© 2014 sweatdaily

My advice to a new runner and all runners…

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

Now to get to my point…

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

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

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

I mean this in every way.

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

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

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What is your most common running question?

Happy Running!!!

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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The Clutch vs. Livefit Trainer, and how to customize your online training plan.

After completing 2 full rounds of the Livefit trainer. This monday, I decided to finally start The Clutch Cut. I have been wanting to try this program since it first came out. However, because of marathon training over the summer, I needed to build my muscle back and I knew the Livefit trainer would do that for me. My second round of the Livefit trainer ended right before my trip to Thailand, Feb 1st. Now, that I am back and have some significant muscle, I am ready to do Clutch.

What is The Clutch Cut? What is Clutch?

The Clutch Cut is a free training program found on bodybuilding.com. It is created by Ashley Conrad (follow her on instagram @ashley_conrad) a celebrity personal trainer, who has trained Kate Hudson and many others. It is an intense 21 day program, that promises to get you in the best shape. Why 3 weeks? The program was created with celebrities in mind… 3 weeks is usually the amount of time that most celebrities have in order to get in shape for a movie. Because it is only 3 weeks long, diet plays a huge role. Diet is the key to seeing results and being successful.

clutch nutrition

Clutch Diet

I have diet crossed out because I hate the word. This is not really a diet it is a way of life, and that’s Clutch. So every time you see the word diet, make sure you define it as a lifestyle choice.

The Clutch Diet is very similar to the diet on the Livefit trainer. Both are clean diets that eliminate processed foods. Both diets are based on eating organic whole foods. However, on The Clutch Diet, Ashley Conrad wants you to eliminate gluten and dairy as well.

Gluten and Dairy free…

It is a constant debate about eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet. Is it just trendy to go gluten free? Why go gluten free if you don’t have an allergy to gluten? Ashley has you eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet because they are both very hard for the body to digest, and because she wants you to see major results in a short amount of time. That is why, it is best to omit them completely.

Although, I hate labels, the reason why I am not calling myself a vegetarian. I will say this though, I eat a plant based diet, (most of the time.) And along with eating a clean organic, plant based diet, dairy and gluten are also pretty non existent – so I do not think this will be much of a challenge for me. However, I will definitely be reading labels, and making sure I stay gluten and dairy free – maybe I am getting more gluten than I think I am. We shall see… I also want to try to stay GMO free, and sugar free, whenever possible. I am hoping, if anything, this diet makes me more aware of what I am putting in my body, as fuel.

  1. Eat every three hours.
  2. Eat within the first 30 minutes of waking.
  3. Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day, with lemon.
  4. Eat gluten and dairy free with exception of protein powder.
  5. No fillers, preservatives, or color.

Carbs are Important…

Being a runner I greatly appreciate, how much Ashley stresses the importance of carbs. Do not eliminate carbs. They are important and you need them. They provide the ultimate energy for your physical body, and they are the reason your brain functions. The key is to be able to recognize good carbs vs. bad carbs. Make sure you know the difference between refined carbs (bad) and complex carbs (good.)

The Training Plans: Clutch vs. Livefit

Although, the diets are very similar, the Clutch and Livefit training programs are totally different. Here is why…

The Livefit trainer is a 12 week program that has 3 phases. Phase 1 is the muscle building phase. It consists of heavy lifting and no cardio. In phase 2, you incorporate supersets, heavy lifting, and 30 minutes of cardio. This helps you build muscle while burning fat. Phase 3 is your fat burning phase, your shredding phase. In phase 3, there are active rest periods, circuit training, and HIIT.

Weight lifting Day

The Clutch Cut is all circuit training and HIIT. Instead of lifting 5-6 days a week like in the Livefit trainer, the Clutch Cut has you lifting 3 days a week. On your weight lifting days, you are doing a full body circuit. You will be doing 12-15 reps of each exercise and 3-6 rounds of the circuit, depending on your fitness level. Your weightlifting day is followed by a day of cardio.

Cardio

When you are not lifting, Ashley has you doing cardio which ends up being 3 days a week. In my mind, cardio translates to running. Woohoo!!!

On your cardio days, Ashley has you doing HIIT. There are many ways to do HIIT. You can do this cardio on a bike, treadmill, outside, etc. When choosing a treadmill start out with at speed 5.0 for 1 minute, up the speed to 7.0 for 30 seconds, up the speed again to 10.0, then repeat up to at least 10x. Cardio is followed by a core/ab circuit. Each core/ab exercise is done until failure and you complete 3-6 rounds depending on fitness level.

The focus on core/ab work is another major difference between The Clutch Cut and Livefit trainer. I like how in The Clutch Cut they have a separate day for core. Ashley really has you focus on the core, where in the Livefit trainer, you worked core along with another body part.

Customizing your Program

There has been a lot of criticism about online diet plans and training programs. People claim that they are cookie cutter. I agree with this in some ways. Unlike a trainer, online programs can not personalize a plan based on the clients fitness level and goals. But you can be your own trainer and customize the online training plan based on your own needs. Listen to your body and use the online plan as your guideline.

On my weightlifting days, I may customize the plan by substitute one exercise for another depending on how my body feels.

Because I am a runner, who hates the treadmill, I will be customizing my cardio days. There will be days when I will run long distance outside. There will be days when I will do track workouts and hill repeats as my cardio. There are also tons of different ways to do HIIT and I plan on switching it up a lot. For all my readers who are runner’s who hate the treadmill, keep in mind that HIIT is equivalent to speed work. By doing HIIT on the treadmill you are not only burning fat, but you are also getting faster. These treadmill workouts will definitely help you PR in your next race.

As for customizing weight lifting days. There are tons of exercises equivalent to the exercises listed in the circuit. Don’t be afraid to substitute a different type of squat for the one listed, or add weight. Do push-ups on the TRX instead of regular push-ups. Switch it up. Customize.

First Week done… but will be repeated…

backprogressBack Progress after completing the Livefit trainer

day 1 clutchDay 1 of The Clutch Cut

day 2 clutchWeek 1 of The Clutch Cut completed.

I have completed my first week of The Clutch Cut. But because it was a new program, I needed to use the first week to get use to it. The first two weight lifting days I only had time to do 2 rounds of the circuit. Today, I did 3 rounds of the circuit and felt pretty good. I also have done all of my cardio days and will be doing a long run tomorrow. I am going to repeat week one (start over) so I can really kick it’s ass in the gym. Along with repeating week one, I will be doing the diet closely and taking the supplements.

As you may know, I absolutely love the Livefit trainer. It makes since to me. I saw amazing results, and it helped me discover a new passion for weight lifting. Because of the Livefit trainer I now know what strong feels like. However, during the Livefit trainer I was weight lifting 5-6 times a week. It became really hard to fit my running or yoga in. I felt like it was hard to do both and find balance.

So far I am really enjoying The Clutch Cut. I love how they have separated the weight lifting and the cardio. Now I have days of the week where I can really focus on weights. And I have days of the week where I can really focus on running. This will help me stay strong in both lifting and running. Plus, I want to do the running strength training program from The Cool Impossible, and I think it will be possible to fit it in on my cardio days, when I am focusing on my running.

What’s next…

When I complete, The Clutch Cut, I plan on completing phase 1 and phase 2 of Clutch program on Ashley Conrad’s website. And always, I will customize the plan, depending on my fitness goals.

Other Blog Post you may like…

  1. Livefit Trainer Progress
  2. Livefit Trainer Phase 1
  3. Transformation Tuesday
  4. The Cool Impossible

Have you tried Clutch?

ňô¬© 2014 sweatdaily

The Cool Impossible

I am in the Phuket airport waiting to head back to Bangkok. Unfortunately, my access to wifi has been almost nonexistent, so it has been really hard for me to blog, while I have been in Asia. I have so much to say, write, update you on.

But you probably want to hear something about running, since I am a runner and so are you.

And let me tell you…

I have been having some amazing beach runs during my three weeks in Thailand. I even inspired my non runner friend to do some short runs with me. I’m going to write a more detailed post about that later.

In the meantime, I am excited to share with you, The Cool Impossible, the new running book I have been reading while on my travels. I am obsessed! This book is a must read.

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You may have seen this book on a previous blog post I had written back in the summer. I started this book then, but because I was in the beginning of training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I took the author’s advice and stopped reading it until I had adequate time to complete the 5 month program.

The author, Eric Orton, is a running coach and natural barefoot running expert. He has experience with the Tarahumara (from Born to Run.) He also coached Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run.) Helping McDougall run a successful ultra marathon. He helped McDougall transition into a natural barefoot stride. And with proper running form, curing his bad running habits and healing him from pain from numerous running injuries.

I would have to say I am very impressed with Eric Orton. The way he writes makes you feel like I am actually in Jackson and he is coaching me in person. I also feel like I can relate to him. A lot of the stuff he says in this book is stuff I already know. But I am definitely learning some new stuff too.

“We need more than endurance to run well for long distances; we need to be strong and fast. “

The quote above is from the book. it is promoting strength. Strength is what a good portion of this book is about. Being strong will benefit you in every way. I agree with this 100%. It is refreshing to have someone finally promote strength to prevent injury, instead of finding a new type of shoe, or product to sell you, claiming it is magic. When in the end it is cheaper and more efficient to make your body stronger and healthier. Trust me it is that easy.

For years every running plan and running magazine talked about only running, not strength training. Burt honestly, the truth is the more you strength train, the stronger you will become, the less injuries you will get. The stronger you become the further and faster you will be able to run. Trust me it is that simple.

I use to be that girl who only ran. But since switching to a natural barefoot running shoe with a low heel to toe drop, I have been weight lifting for about a year now. My form has significantly improved. And after only 8 weeks of weight lifting and 6 months on perfecting my running form , I began to not only see my body change to a more fit physique, but my race times significantly improved. I set a new PR in my half marathon, shedding off 9 minutes. And I set a new PR in my full marathon time, shedding off 11
minutes.

I am excited to finish this book, and start the 5 month program. I will blog about my experience along the way.

Although, my form has improved over the year since weight lifting, and switching to a natural barefoot shoe – it is not perfect. There is still room for improvement.

If you are in natural barefoot shoes and you land on your forefoot, take the time now to see the wear and tear at the bottom of your running shoes. Noticing where the wear and tear is located on the bottom of your shoe can tell you a lot about which muscles need to be stronger. Or which muscles need to actually start being used.

By the wear and tear at the bottom if my shoe, I know I need to strengthen my feet and my gluteus medius.

So when I get back to the US this will be the running program I will start. I am also excited about learning more about Heart Rate monitoring and Heart Rate Zones. This will be part of the program as well.

Along with this program, and because I have completed another round of the LiveFit trainer, I will be starting the Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad. I have been doing Livefit for a while know and it’s time to switch things up a bit. Can’t wait!!!

I’ve missed my gym weightlifting sessions since I have been away. I have tried my best to run and stay as active as I can, but I still really miss my intense gym workouts.

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Above is a burpee challenge I did in Bangkok…

Future Workout Plan
for when I am back home

1) 5 month running program by coach Eric Orton from The Cool Impossible

2) The Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad 3 week program, followed by the Clutch phase 1 and 2.

Both plans talk about nutrition. I will be following Ashley Conrad’s clean eating nutrition plan.

What running plans are you following? What weight lifting plans are you following? Has anyone read The Cool Impossible?

Bangkok is not a runner friendly city…

Thailand had been an unforgettable trip. So far I have spent 4 days in Bangkok and 4 days in Chiang Mia. Now I am island hopping. I am starting in Ko Samui.

I was hoping to get a run in while I was in Bangkok, but honestly it would have been impossible if I tried. The streets are covered with vendors. Most of them selling homemade street food. The sidewalks are way too narrow. Many of them have dips and curbs. So I would have been hopping all over the place. Also the streets have too much crazy traffic, and the side walks so crowded that when we walked we walked single file.

Another thing that worries me is that no one spoke English, so if I were to get lost I would have been totally screwed. Plus my phone wasn’t working. So no GPS or maps for me. I feel like this sounds like excuses but it is the truth. Bangkok is not a runner friendly city. I didn’t see one runner when I was there.

However, while I was in Bangkok we did tons of walking. And I did squeeze in one of the exercises that I wanted to from one of the Under Armour ambassador, I follow on Instagram. The first week of February was all about burpees.

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I will keep you update you on my runs and workouts while I am on the islands. Today was my first day squeezing a run in. And I plan to get many more in. Running on the beach is my favorite plus I got to take advantage of the warm temps while I can. If is still brutally cold back home.

The Biggest Loser is a real live Hunger Games.

Did anyone read The Hunger Games?

“And so it was decreed that each year, the various districts of Panem would offer up in tribute, one young man and woman to fight to the death in a pageant of honor, courage and sacrifice.”

The Biggest Loser is a real life Hunger Games.

In the book, The Hunger Games, the authority forces each district to sacrifice one young man and woman to fight to the death. In, The Biggest Loser, there are both an equal number of men and women contestants competing to loose the most weight even if it almost kills them.

In, The Hunger Games, the tributes are told they are competing in a pageant of honor, courage, and sacrifice. But is it really about honor, courage, and sacrifice? Or is it about power, corruption, survival. In, The Biggest Loser, the contestants are competing but it too is a game. Instead of people dying, people are voted off the show – which make them feel hopeless and betrayed.

The Hunger Games is broadcasted for everyone to watch, so is The Biggest Loser. We, the viewers, see blood, sweat, tears, emotions, lying, betrayal. We root for our favorite tribute/contestant. It is a sad thing that there are no limits and the tributes/contestants are embarrassed and ridiculed over and over again, some not even realizing it.

At the end of The Hunger Games the winner lives (does she really) and gets money for her district. At the end of The Biggest Loser the winner lives (does she really) and wins a big check.

In the end, the tribute/contestants stays in the spotlight and has to undergo criticism, some positive, some negative.

Now let’s talk about why I had to stop watching The Biggest Loser…

I use to love The Biggest Loser, but honestly I can’t watch it anymore. I just can’t stand Jillian Michaels. I don’t like her as a trainer, and her constant yelling makes me annoyed. But it isn’t just her. All of the trainers constantly yell at the contestants, pushing them too far to the point they cry. I believe in positivity and encouragement not brutal negative tough love.

I also hate how all of the exercises look like torture. Fitness is a passion of mine and I find working out fun and enjoyable. I wish the show would customize each exercise plan to the contestant, making it enjoyable for them. This show exposes working out’s negative stereotype, instead of showing viewers that you can find results and find your workouts fun and enjoyable. Maybe along the way discovering a new passion for running, lifting, dancing, yoga, etc…

I hate the betrayal, the lies, the idea to loose as much weight as you can as fast as you can. The extreme dieting. The intense 8 hour workouts.

I hated the one season that they ran full marathons, but didn’t talk about running form or proper running shoes. And really how did they run a full marathon without the proper amount of time to train, without a proper training plan, without getting an injury.

However, some contestants get injured and this just goes to show that they are doing to much, to fast, overtraining. The problem is that people watching don’t realize how unrealistic this whole show is, and this can lead to more unhealthy habits.

The Biggest Loser is no better than the skinny size 0 models, with the thigh gap, bikini bridge, who we have fought so hard to eliminate from the pages of fashion magazines. Actually The Biggest Loser may be worst than the twig model, because by watching the show we see the day by day extreme dieting, unhealthy eating habits, and intense workouts. We see how one can unhealthily achieve extreme weight loss right in front of our eyes.

Now let’s talk about this season…

I didn’t watch this season, but I did check out the winner’s results. Rachel Frederickson was an athlete who ballooned up to 250 pounds. Her goal was to get back to the athletic healthy girl she once knew. On The Biggest Loser she lost 155 pounds, 60% her body weight. At the final weigh in she took the prize by loosing the most, weighing in at 105 pounds. Rachel is 5’5 and weighing 105 pounds is lower than the healthy weight recommended for a woman with the hight of 5’5.

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A show that is suppose to motivate and inspire ended up making me feel bad, so I stopped watching it. Now I feel bad because this former beautiful athlete went on the show to loose weight and find a good thing. And instead proved to the world how unsafe and dangerous this show really is.

Working out 8 hours a day, loosing 15 lbs a week, being on an extreme diet, loosing 155 lbs total (60% of body weight ) and not dealing with the mental and emotional reasons for unhealthy eating habits to begin with… is dangerous. And this show has been doing that for years.

Rachel is not the first contestant for this to happen to. It has happened to all of them. She is the only one though that made us realize it.

It really saddens me that now she is going to have to deal with all the negative criticism.

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But whether she realized it or not, I guess that’s what she signed up for.

It also makes me sad that she use to be athletic back before she was overweight and her goal was to get back to that. Unfortunately because the show’s focus is on weight loss and not getting strong, she is now skinny- not athletic. Should have been a happy ending…but it wasn’t.

In, The Hunger Games, the authority didn’t care about the tributes or the districts. They cared about their power. The Biggest Loser is a TV show and in the end, they don’t care about their contestants. They care about ratings and money.

And as The Hunger Games put it, “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

And just like in The Hunger Games, on The Biggest Loser, the odds are never in your favor.

Let’s stop worrying about being skinny. Let’s focus on being strong, healthy, and happy. Then I promise you – the odds will be ever in your favor.

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Do you watch The Biggest Loser? Do you think Rachel is too thin?

Goodbye DC, Hello Thailand

I am writing this post in the Airport waiting to board my plane. This will be a long 24 hours of travel.

Over the last week, I have had many people ask me what am I going to do for workouts while I am away for three whole weeks.

Well first of all let me just say that taking a 2-3 week break from working out and running can be healthy for an athlete who is in good shape. This rest is sometimes needed to avoid burn out. It is healthy physically and mentally.

However, emotionally, passion kicks in and you crave a good workout or run. Or if you are someone trying to loose weight taking a 2-3 week break can really hurt your weight loss progress. And for runners more than two weeks of no training can really set you back.

So before you decide to take a 2-3 week break from your workout routine on your vacation evaluate to fitness level and future goals.

What I’m going to do…

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Yesterday, I worked out hard. I worked shoulders, arms, and chest. I did different circuits for each, 3 rounds, 15-20 reps of each exercise in the circuit. This was the last 3 days of the Livefit trainer. I have officially completed the Livefit trainer 2 times. The second time customizing it to my body.

As for working out I am going to enjoy my time away- so none of my workouts will be intense. However, I did bring my running shoes (newton distance u) and my garmin. I am hoping to get in some runs. It will be 80-90 degrees which will be super hot compared to our bitter cold winter we’ve been having in the USA. It will be interesting to see how fast my body can adjust to the heat. With that being said I am looking forward to getting my sweat on.

My goals are to try to run through the chaos of Bangkok. Run the mountains of Chiang Mai. I may do some barefoot beach runs. To maintaining girl muscles I will do some body weight exercises such as a variety of planks and push ups. I am also hoping to do some yoga, if possible find a class or retreat. Although, (I ended up not bringing them,) bringing a jump rope and resistant bands are easy items to pack while traveling.

So I’m off! See ya in Thailand!

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Looks like someone wanted to come with me!!! xo

What a runner reads while traveling…

This Saturday, I start my travels to Thailand.

I am looking forward to escaping this cold brutal winter. ¬†I am looking forward to spending my February basking under the hot sun, in 90 degrees Thailand. I am excited to endure the chaos of Bangkok, shopping at the night markets, seeing the skyline view at Sky Bar. I am ready to breath in the beauty and zen energy of the Buddhist temples. Oh and I can’t hardly wait to visit the elephant sanctuaries of Chang Mai or to island hop the Thailand coast.

Although, all of the above, sounds lovely…

there is one thing I am dreading…

The 24 hour flight I will have to endure to get to my destination – tropical paradise.

It definitely will be interesting…

The longest flight I have ever been on was a 13 hour direct flight from Brazil to the USA. This time I will be flying for 12 hours, switching planes, and flying for another 12 hours. Ugh, sounds dreadful… but well worth it.

I guess I will have to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that in the end, I will get the chance to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And  who would pass up playing with their own personal elephant in Chiang Mai?

So my game plan to keep myself busy while traveling for 24 hours is to read and knit.

Yep, read and knit.

Because I have been so busy: running, working, holidays, planning this trip, and others for the year, I haven’t had much time to sit, relax, and get my knit on. Sadly, I have only completed one project this winter, fingerless mittens.

So I have a really fun knitting project to work on while traveling. It is called the Laura Loops: Salt and Pepper Cowl.

This is found on the Purl Bee website. I chose this project because everything about this piece is small, so it will be easy to throw in my carry on bag.

When it comes to reading, I have tons of books stored on my iPad. However, the books I have planned to read on this trip are all on running.

  • The Big Book on Endurance Training and Racing, by Dr. Philip Maffetone.

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  • Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time, by Hal Higdon51-b-NMsSQL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

What running books are your favorite? What do you do while traveling?

© 2014 sweatdaily

#megsmiles

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This week the running community’s heart was heavy, after hearing about the death of Meg Menzies. She was a 34 year old mom training for the Boston marathon. On Monday morning while running a 13 miler she was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

Although, I didn’t personally know Meg, I ran a quick loop effortlessly in honor if her. Many other runners did the same thing, wearing blue her favorite color.

It is a really amazing thing how fast news spreads on social media. I heard her story and was saddened but touched. By using #megsmiles the running community ones again stayed connected and was able to share their support.

Did you run for Meg?

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

There are lots of ways to become a faster runner.

Hill repeat…

Track workouts…

Speed work…

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

But now I am back at it.

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

I’m finally getting some of my muscle back!

Articles you may like…

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

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

© 2014 sweatdaily

Runner’s 10 Commandments

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After a long time of not going on Pinterest, this week I was all over it. Looking for wedding inspiration. Making a pin board for Thailand. And of course I couldn’t help but notice all of the fitness pins. I found this one and it really hit home.

Runners are competitive athletes. But the only runner we need to be competitive with is ourselves. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. And never be jealous of ones medals, PRs, or distances. As runners, we need to be happy and supportive of each other. Never think of yourself as less then your potential, I use to think I was a 10 min/mile girl, now I am running an 8:30 min/mile. I thought I was one think, so thats how I ran. Now I believe I can run faster, and further.

All of the other stuff, like change your shoes, don’t wear cotton, listen to your body, are important and help your run your best.

Happy Running!

What’s your golden rule?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

My Fitness and Nutrition goals for 2014!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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As of now I am registered for three races.

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

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

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

RUNNING GOALS 

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

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

WEIGHT LIFTING GOALS for 2014

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

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

NUTRITIONAL GOALS for 2014

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

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

And saving the best for last, Getting Married!!

Best wishes from me to you for 2014!!

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

Articles you may like…

© 2014 sweatdaily

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

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

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

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

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

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

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

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

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

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

Weight lifting

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

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

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

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

Running 

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

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

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

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

Log your miles…

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

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

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

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

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

To find support…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for you…

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

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

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

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

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I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

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Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

I donated my Running Shoes this Holiday…

There are many people who make donations to their favorite charity, during the Holiday season.

When I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, I realized there is not much that I want or need. It made me feel really fortunate. I am so thankful for this- I am one lucky lady. Because of this I felt a deep desire to help someone in need. So this year, I decided I wanted to donate, and because I am a runner, there is nothing better to give, then my retired running shoes. So I donated them to a company I love supporting, Kind Runner.

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I am a runner who has a shoe rotation.

I am a runner who retires her shoes on average around every 400 miles.

This means I end up with a huge pile of retired running shoes.

So to avoid looking like a shoe hoarder, I now donate my retired running shoes to Kind Runner.

It is really simple.

  1. Purchase your next pair of running shoes from Kind Runner.
  2. You will receive your new running shoes in a box with proper postage and address.
  3. Remove your new shoes from the box and put your old shoes in.
  4. Ship it out for free with UPS.
  5. Once Kind Runner receives your donation they will e-mail you.
  6. Make sure you set up your account with Kind Runner so they can give you kind runner rewards.
  7. Every pair of shoes you donate you will receive kind runner rewards which can be used towards your next purchase.

Always remember to be kind! Happy Running!

Questions for you…

  1. Do you donate your retired running shoes?
  2. Which charity do you donate to, during the holidays?

© 2013 sweatdaily

The best Christmas present a Runner could ask for…

Tis’ the Season

This year’s holiday season was non stop. It actually was the busiest holiday season I have ever had at the salon. Busy is good, but it is also exhausting, and stressful.

Christmas Eve

So when I got to leave the salon early on Christmas Eve, I decided to hit the trail hard. Snow flurries were among the wind blowing, but it was sunny, and I made it just in time to get a good run in before the sunset. 1511366_10101518148575136_1184233541_nI love running at this time. You see a ton of wild life on the water, and this time the sky turned pink- so bright it matched my jacket.

My family never does anything on Christmas Eve, so we ended up all at my mom’s and ordered Chinese. Honestly, there are no good Chinese Restaurants in the DC area, so we ended up ordering from Charlie Changs. I haven’t eaten Chinese in over a year. It was a true test to my taste buds. Once you start eating clean and eliminating added sugar your taste buds totally change. This food tasted way to sweet,and processed- like a TV dinner. YUCK! If you are from DC and know of a good Chinese Restaurant clue me in please…

My Tree

This year was the first time that I cut down my own tree. I went once with my family as a kid, but my fiance and his parents have been cutting down their tree for the last couple years so this year I joined them.

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I asked the farm if they had Douglas Firs. They didn’t, but they had other types of Firs, that looked similar. It was a fun outing, and really awesome having a fresh cut tree.
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Because work was so busy, it took a whole week to decorate. But it finally got done. It is so relaxing to sit next to a beautiful lit tree. The tree part is one of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday. I also love Christmas Cards!

The Best present a Runner could ask for…

Of course a lot of the stress about this Holiday is finding the perfect gift. And for some reason my family says I am the hardest one to shop for. Honestly, I think the receiving presents thing is getting a little bit old. It’s much more fun when you have children around who get excited about Santa. However, because we have no children in my family, it is just adults exchanging presents, which feels a little weird since we are all lucky that we are able to buy our own things. This is why it becomes even harder, to find that fun creative thoughtful gift. I made my Runner’s Wish List, and never thought or heard of this wonderful idea my little sister came up with…

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This is a jar of pink, blue,  and green pieces of paper rolled up into scrolls.

PINK

When I am in need of a new song to add to my running mix on my iPod I choose pink, unravel it and there will be a song title and artist. This is perfect because I am always desperate for new music.

BLUE

If I am lacking motivation, I choose blue. I unravel blue and a motivational quote will be there to help me get my booty moving.

GREEN

If I am sore from miles and miles of running, I can choose a green scroll which will teach a yoga pose or stretch. The jar also had socks, and headbands in there as well.

This is a home made thoughtful gift and I love it! So creative. My favorite part is the phrase on the front, “Its a runners world, because 26.2 is my lucky number.”¬†This gift is definitely making my Runner’s Wish List next year.¬†

Christmas Morning Running…

So after breakfast and gift exchange, my sister and I went for a quick 5K loop. It was a great neighborhood run- towards the end of the run, I realized how peaceful it was outside. It was also nice to check out all the houses decorated for Christmas.

Another Exciting Gift…

Pacers is the local running store in the DC area. They posted on facebook a status wanting to hear what kind of milage everyone was running for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Whoever had the best mileage won a race entry for February or March. Guess what… I WON!!

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I am so excited! I never win anything! Can’t wait to run a St. Patty’s day race. Thank You, Pacers!!!

Now that Christmas is over, I am feeling much more relaxed, and very excited about the New Year! New Years is my favorite! I can’t wait to share with you my highlights for 2013, and my new goals for 2014. ¬†So stay tuned…

Questions for You…

  1. Are the holidays busy, stressful, and overwhelming for you?
  2. What cool running presents did you receive?
  3. Have you ever won a free race entry?
  4. Do you enjoy New Years?

© 2013 sweatdaily

I want to say a special thank you to my sister, mom, and of course my fiance, his parents, and stepsister who gave me gifts this year.  All of them were amazing and I have been so spoiled. Thank you!

 

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

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

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

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

Here are my top favorites…

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

Sports Beans by Jelly Belly

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

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

Honey Stingers Waffles

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

Body Glide

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

Bondi band

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

iTunes Gift Card

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

Now for your presents under the tree…

Garmin Forerunner

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

Newton

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

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

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

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

Injinji 

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

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

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

Other good reads for your Runner…

Eat and Run by Scott Jurekscotts_book_big

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

Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall born2run_coverpb

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

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

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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton and Christopher Mcdougall

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

I got lucky!!

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I’m in!! The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first race and I have been running it every year since. Because of popularity the last couple of years race organizers have changed the race from first come first serve to a lottery. I am always nervous I might not get in, but thankfully I got lucky. This will be my 7th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I now have spring fever. I am super excited for this race and more to come. I am also looking forward to announcing my future races for my running season with you guys after the holidays!

Is anyone else running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler? Do you have a favorite race you run every year?

New workout challenge #29daysofIWill

Lately, I have been posting a daily work out photo on Instagram and Facebook. Because of these daily work out photos, I have gotten a lot of questions and comments from curious followers wondering what this new challenge is.

Let me start out by saying I am not an Under Armour ambassador or work for Under Armour in any way. I am simply an athlete who loves Under Armour and is a part of the Under Armour fitness community, What’s Beautiful. Along with the motivation and support this community gives me, there is also a new challenge called 29 Days of I Will. This is how it works…

Set up a profile page on What’s Beautiful. Every day for 29 days one of the Under Armour ambassadors will announce a new workout challenge that you will complete. You can find this workout video and/or photo on What’s Beautiful, but also on Instagram. You will then take a photo or video of yourself completing the workout challenge. Post this photo/video on Instagram using #29daysofiwill. Also post it on your Whats Beautiful profile. To see other athletes completing the challenges too you can search #29daysofiwill.

I have been doing these workout challenges in addition to my other workout routine. Some days I simply can’t fit it in at the same time of my other workout routine so it forces me to do night workouts. What I love most about these challenges is that they get me out of my comfort zone and get me to try new things that I would have never considered trying.

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3
Today was all about suicides. I haven’t done suicides since I was on the tennis team in high school. I remember hating them. But surprisingly this time I found them really fun. I did 3 tennis courts worth. And plan on hitting the tennis courts more often.

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Day 4
Today was a pool workout. 5 50 meter laps. After each 50 meters do 10 dips and 10 push ups adding 10 more reps after each lap. Example lap 3 would have you do 30 dips and 30 push ups. I didn’t have a pool so I substituted laps in the pool with laps around the track. I went to the local high school’s track and surprisingly it was really busy. I was happy about this because I love being surrounded by other runners. It was definitely a different vibe from the trail, but it was a good vibe. There was also a local running club there too doing track work outs. I have always wanted to hit up the track but just never got to it. I am thankful I finally got there and look forward to doing more track work outs. I was also lucky it was a warm night in December and I was able to wear shorts.

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Day 5
Today I learned a new Yoga Pose called Fallen Triangle! I love this pose.

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Day 6
Was to sign up for something you have never tried before. I am still deciding on what this will be so I skipped this day. I promise I will get back to this.

Day 7
Today was a circuit workout.

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So this is what I have done so far. Today is day 13 for this challenge. So as you can see I have some major catching up to do. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up soon. The one negative thing about this challenge is that I am a morning runner and do most of my workouts in the morning before work. Unfortunately, the ambassadors post the daily challenge mid morning. This does not work for me because I like to plan my work outs the night before. Other than that it is fun to learn new yoga poses and workouts to include with my runs and current weight lifting plan. It’s not to late. Check out this challenge!!

Do you use social media to learn new workouts and find inspiration and support?

Turkey Trot and Pies…

“My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and my favorite part is the Turkey Trot.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. Although, I have heard from others, it can be stressful, for me everything about it is relaxing.

After a really busy month at the salon – coming in early, staying late, and squeezing clients in… I finally get to leave work early on Wednesday- Thanksgiving Eve, and ¬†stay home, Thursday- Thanksgiving day. The best part is I don’t have to return to the chaos of Holiday Season at the salon, until Sunday. A couple of relaxing days off is just what I need, to rest, get refocused, and organized.

Some people get stressed over cooking a huge feast. The cost, the work, the clean up, but I love it. Cooking my own food, relaxes me. I am able to get creative, and stay in complete control. It is fun for me to discover new recipes, that are healthier alternatives then the traditional ones. All of my thanksgiving dishes and sister’s dishes, this year were organic, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, raw. Together we dominated the feast with healthy flavorful dishes.

You don’t have to have an unhealthy holiday. They say the average person consumes over 4,000 calories on thanksgiving. No wonder everyone is sleepy! Blame it on the turkey, but it is really your body trying to digest everything. You don’t have to indulge in that many calories, if you don’t want too. But if you do want to, don’t feel bad, it is a holiday – you can get back on track tomorrow. Just be happy with your choice. If you cook your own food, you can control everything.

A quick tip:  for this holiday season research some new dishes to try. By cooking yourself instead, of ordering out, you have the control of all of your ingredients. You then know exactly what you are eating.

This year I contributed quite a few dishes to my family’s feast.

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I decided I was going to make stuffing from scratch. So I made it from a whole wheat loaf, with rosemary from my garden. I also added, figs, cranberries, Tawny Port, and topped it off with hazel nuts.

In my family, we always have a couple appetizers so we can munch on something while the rest of the food finishes up. The bottom left photo are the two dips I made. One is roasted beet and lentil dip, the other one is Scott Jurek’s Salsa Verde. Both are vegan and gluten free.

I also made three pies. The bottom right photo are the two pumpkin pies I made. However, this year was fun because we ended up with a total of five pies. Two were pumpkin (raw, vegetarian.) Heather brought the fabulous pecan (gluten free, vegetarian.) I made my specialty date pie, (raw, vegan, gluten free.) Jackie made her famous grasshoper, which was not healthy, but a tradition in my family, so we all ate it anyway. Everything was delicious.

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People get so worked up and forget the true meaning of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and share great food with family and friends. However, Thanksgiving, for me because I am a runner, also means Turkey Trot time.

The traditional Turkey Trot I usually participate in on Thanksgiving morning is the DC 5k put on by an organization called SOME (So Others May Eat.) Normally 11,000 people run it every year. There is a DJ at the start.  The route circles around the Capital.

However, this year, I decided to run the Alexandria Turkey Trot. This Turkey Trot is a 5 miler instead of a 5k. It also is a little closer to my house. I thought it would be nice to run a little further, and drive a little less. It also started at 9:00 AM, which is late for a race, but more sleep in the morning for me.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I went to the local school to pick up my bib and t-shirt. E was going to run this race with me, so I grabbed E’s bib too.

Thanksgiving morning was a cold one. It was around 30 degrees. So E and I bundled up. Other friends that were planning on running the race, bailed on us last minute because of the cold. E was really nervous about the cold, but we have run really cold races before, and I know that in the right running cold gear we would warm up quick. I have worn this hat, coat, and scarf snowboarding before, so I knew it would do the job, and keep me toasty.¬†1452077_10101469313900216_915473531_nTurkey Trots are fun because just like the Thanksgiving holiday, they too are relaxing. It’s a 5 mile turkey trot, and although, I am competitive person, I think of this as just a fun run.

There were hardly any other runners out and about, because a lot of the running community on Thanksgiving is doing some sort of Turkey Trot. I love it when the running community gets together. I also love seeing non runners and kids getting out there running. I saw Facebook statuses in which people claimed the Turkey Trot they ran yesterday was their first race. It is fun races like Turkey Trots that can help one find a passion for running. Maybe someone runs a Turkey Trot, then they love it so much, they sign up for another type of race. Then a new runner is born.

I love running! And running a Turkey Trot is my favorite part of my Thanksgiving celebration – It gets me in the spirit. Running in the morning, getting my work out in, and then filling my belly with amazing food, with great friends and family equals a perfect Thanksgiving!!

Do you run a Turkey Trot? Do you make any vegan or gluten free dishes on Thanksgiving?

© 2013 sweatdaily

You Race Photos are Important…

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEAKNESSES FOUND

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

STRENGTH FOUND

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

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

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

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

– Scott Jurek

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

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© 2013 weatdaily

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

THE DATE

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

DON’T ASK STUPID QUESTIONS

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

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

HALF MARATHON

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

FULL MARATHON

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

HOW IT EFFECTS MY BODY

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

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

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

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

Stop having an ego!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for You…

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

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

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

NIGHT BEFORE

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

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

MORNING OF 

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

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

THE METRO 

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

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

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

MY CORRAL

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

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

THE START

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

FIRST 2 MILES

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

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

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

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

MILE 10-12

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

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

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

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

THE PEP TALK

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

MILE 15 

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

mcm-thumbs-up

MILE 16

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

MCM MILE 16

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

MILE 17

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

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MILE 18-20

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

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

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

HITTING THE WALL

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

MILE 21

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

MILE 22

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

MILE 23

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

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

MCM COOL SIGN

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

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

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

MILE 24

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

ONE MOE MILE

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

MCM race times

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

THE FINISH – 26.2

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

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

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

Marine Corps Marathon Expo and the GAME plan!

EXPO

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

GAME PLAN

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

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

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

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

The first quote I came across was…

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

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

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

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

“Hey, Jurker!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon training Update: Taper Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question for You…

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

© 2013 sweattdaily

We’re back on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But thankfully…

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

On Instagram:20131017-212711.jpgOn their website:

  • Official Statement regarding the 38th Marine Corps Marathon

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

A video announcement: Watch here.

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

The rain finally stopped, so I ran 13 miles…

We have had rain everyday this week.

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

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

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

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This week coming up…

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update: 20 plus miler

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is how it all went down…

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

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

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

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

THE ROUTE:

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

The Jefferson!

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

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

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

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

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

GAME PLAN: 

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Is the Government Shutdown Affecting your Running?

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

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

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

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

How is the Government Shutdown affecting you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Salsa Verde: a vegan recipe by an Ultra runner.

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

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

Salsa Verde means Green Sauce.

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update: Yoga & Long Run.

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

People often ask me why…

Why do I run?

Why do I lift?

Why do I enjoy hot yoga?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

On wednesday, I completed an easy 5 miler.

DC

DC3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

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

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

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

This is how it all went down…

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

Mile 10 felt good…

Mile 11 felt good…

Mile 12 felt good…

Hitting the Wall

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

Walking during Marathon Training

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

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

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

What I have Learned

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

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

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

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

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

Game Plan

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

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

Hopefully, practice makes perfect…

Questions for You…

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update: Taper week: 12-13 miler

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Fall has arrived!

Hopefully it is here to stay…

Marathon Update

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

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

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

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

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