Turkey Trots and Cheesecake

Last year I wrote about Turkey Trots and Pies.

This year it was all about the Cheesecake!

I made a Sweet Potato Cheesecake earlier in November as a test run, so I would be prepared for Thanksgiving. I brought it into the salon and it was gone in 5 minutes. Guess it was good. On Wednesday we had a Thanksgiving feast at the salon. Everyone requested that I make the Sweet Potato Cheesecake again, so I did, along with a big pot of Butternut Squash Soup.  Everything was a big hit!

So when it came to my family’s Thanksgiving, we all, headed to my mom’s house. Along with some mashed potatoes and root vegetables, I brought over a Sweet Potato Cheesecake with some fresh homemade whipped cream. Yum!

As for my Thanksgiving tradition РRunning a Turkey Trot.  Every year I run a different one in the area.  This year, Lina and I ran the Arlington one. It was a 5k of hills. The turkey trot is by far one of my favorite races. I love it  for two main reasons, 1) it celebrates fall, 2) it is all about being with family and friends. There are people of all ages including kids, and even some dogs. But at the end of the day, no matter if you are  running a turkey trot in the city or not, it always has a neighborhood feel.

This Turkey Trot was fun for me because I ran with Lina and….

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P.S. That is NOT a food baby!

Did you run a Turkey Trot? I am always interested in new recipes. What did you make this year?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Fit Shaming, Skinny Shaming & my Woman Crush Wednesday

It’s Wednesday!

Wednesday is known for so many things.

It can be HUMP DAY – one of my favorites.

To a fashionista, it can be What I wore Wednesday.

To a foodie, it is What I ate Wednesday.

To photographers, it can be Wordless Wednesday.

To everyone who wants to celebrate amazing women, it is Woman Crush Wednesday, aka, #WCW!

Last Wednesday, I posted this picture on my Instagram. 1456750_10102115232803556_452203037258612468_n

This is Misty Copeland and she is my WCW. The hashtag in the photo is #Strengthisbeautiful and I couldn’t agree more. Misty Copeland is proof of that.

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend about body image. I was trying to convince her that because of the way the female body is made, it is almost impossible  for a woman to add muscle and bulk up like a man. But there was no changing her mind. She thinks muscle on women makes them look masculine. (posted on my instagram.)

Does Misty look masculine?

Far from it… she is strong, beautiful, and is as girly as you can get, in her ballet slippers.

However, I have seen a lot of Fit Shaming going on all over social media. Fit Shaming is degrading one because they look too fit, or because their workout schedule seems extreme. I have seen people comment on other athletes photos/posts saying,

“Too muscular…

Eww…

Looks like a dude…”¬†

Maria Kang caused controversy when she posted…mariakang

and she claims she is a victim of fit shaming. I agree.

Body image is always being talked about… I can’t escape it.¬†

Even one of the top songs right now, All About that Bass, by¬†Meghan Trainor is about body image. Honestly, I am soo over this song. Originally the song was promoted as one that embraces positive body image, but recently I have read several articles that argue quite the opposite. The articles¬†claim, the song is guilty of “Skinny Shaming.”

Skinny shaming is the act of degrading or bullying one because they are thin. Our society has labeled thin as beautiful, so one may laugh at the idea of skinny shaming. But skinny shaming is a real thing that is happening. And bullying someone because they are skinny is just as hurtful as bullying someone because they are fat. In Meghan Trainor’s song she talks about skinny bitches, but the shaming continues beyond just this song.

The other day, I came across the article, What a Real Runner Looks Like?¬†The article is written by Runner’s World editor Hannah McGoldrick, who started Run Outfit Of The Day on Instagram. She had a video of her RunOOTD and the comments directed toward the video were not comments about her clothing but rather her body.

She could use a sandwich.

We don’t want to see thin models.

Why doesn’t Runner’s World show real runners with real bodies?

This girl looks like she weighs 90 pounds.

She‚Äôs anorexic.”

 

If you want to read Hannah’s response to the hurtful comments check out the article.

The comments above are real comments and example of skinny shaming. This whole situation annoys me so much. First of all, we don’t really know Hannah, but what we do know is that Hannah is a real runner, who writes for Runner’s World and has run three full marathons. But because we don’t know her, don’t be so quick to comment negative on a person who is only trying to be positive by inspiring others.

Another reason why I am annoyed is because I have always LOVED the RUNNING COMMUNITY.¬†But comments like the ones above, from other runners, disappoints me. I have only seen runners support each other, until now…

My Advice to you…

Whether you do crossfit, run, barre, spin, yoga, lift… Whatever it may be… Do what you love!

Stop focusing on what your body looks like.

Instead start focussing on what your body can do.

Focus on being strong, healthy, and happy.

Stop worrying about the negative comments, because there are many different ways to define beauty, and one’s opinion of what is beautiful may be different than yours.

Oh and please lets stop bullying each other and instead start supporting each other again.

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Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday? What is your definition of beautiful?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Kara Goucher struggles at the NYC Marathon

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Last Sunday was the New York City Marathon.

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

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

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

She suffered…

Hit the wall…

and struggled to finish.

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

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

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

Slowing down running the next 10 miles solo. 

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

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

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

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

Marine Corps Marathon is tomorrow morning!

This is by far my favorite race.

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

Here are my top 26 tips for all of the Marathon Virgins out there running Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow…

  1. NIGHT BEFORE: Check social media for inspiration and updates, this includes facebook and instagram. Marine Corps Marathon pages always have a count down. And the night before race day facebook status always gets me pumped.
  2. NIGHT BEFORE: Always prepare your race outfit, and everything you will need for the race, the night before. (That means tonight if you are running MCM tomorrow morning.)
  3. Never wear anything you haven’t worn before.
  4. Make sure your ipod and garmin are charged and ready to go.
  5. Eat protein and carb race morning, good option – Bagel with Peanut Butter.
  6. GETTING TO and FROM: If you are riding the metro in the morning, you will be getting off at the Pentagon. But honestly if you get confused just follow all the other runners. If you plan to metro after the race make sure you get enough money on your metro card for both ways, getting there and coming back. Metro will be really busy on the way back. The Rosslyn Metro stop is the one closest to the finish line.
  7. THE START: At the start, strip down and check your bag. If you are one that gets cold easily then make sure you have throw away gloves and shirt. It will be cold in the morning but warm at the finish.
  8. Oh and don’t forget to¬†BODY GLIDE everything.¬†
  9. CORRALS: Because Marine Corps Marathon is the people marathon they do not have any assigned corrals. Instead you choose where you want to be, by looking for the sign that says your finishing time on it. Try to get in the proper corral or the one a head of you. For example if you think you will finish in 4:30 then hang with the 4:15 group. This race is a very crowded race with 35,000 runners.
  10. WATER STATIONS: Have a game plan. Are you going to walk the water stations? When are you going to take your sports beans?
  11. ROCK CREEK PARK can get congested. But stay light on your feet and use momentum to fly down the down hill part.
  12. FOCUS ON RUNNING FORM.
  13. 13.1:  Once you hit the half way point start to break your race into pieces. At this point, you are in Hains Point, the most boring part of the race.  It is time to start counting. 2 more miles and you will be at mile 15 and out of the stupid park and on to the National Mall.
  14. MILE 15: Enjoy, look around you are running the National Mall.
  15. MILE 17: This mile is significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into single digits, only 9 more miles to go.
  16. SIGNS: Don’t forget to look at funny signs. The spectators are the best at this race.
  17. MILE 20: Beat the Bridge. The bridge is long and slow. A lot of runners HIT the Wall here. There aren’t very many spectators here. Sometimes it feels brutally hot with sun shining on you. Other times it feels really windy. This is the time when a lot of runners start walking and stretching out. This is when I tell myself to keep running, don’t walk. At the end of the bridge you are in Crystal City. Leaving DC and entering VA.
  18. MILE 21:¬†This mile is significant for me because in training my longest run is 21. During my weekly training I do a 5 mile easy run. When I reach 21 in the marathon, I tell myself, “Only 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.” Everything is mental at this point.
  19. CRYSTAL CITY:¬†Once I’m at mile 23 looping around Crystal City I am looking at the spectators focusing on seeing people I may know. I also am saying my mantra.
  20. ¬†Always¬†have a Mantra. For example, when things get rough, I always repeat,¬†“No matter what… Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.” Another good one is … “One More Mile.”
  21. HOME STRETH:¬†At this point I am focused on the traffic signs, I try to get to one traffic sign then the next. You’ll see signs that say, “Memorial Bridge.”
  22. The last little bit is up a hill and then the finish line. But who cares there is a hill, you made it to the finish.
  23. Enjoy getting your medal and check out all the hott marines. You earned it.
  24. MILE 27: Walk, Walk, Walk. The most important mile is mile 27. The mile you walk after the marathon. This mile walk helps avoid cramping.
  25. Eat an awesome brunch to refuel and celebrate.
  26. Take it easy for the rest of the day. Consider taking hot yoga later in the week.

SO there it is!

Good luck to all of the Marathon Virgins out there running tomorrow for the first time. Good luck all runners. Enjoy!

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

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

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

Army Ten Miler (Race Recap)

If you want honesty…

The truth is I totally forgot how much I love this race. 

Because I normally run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM,) and it falls two week after the Army Ten Miler (ATM,) I usually skip the ATM. I skip it because it is taper time during my marathon training, and there is no point to race a 10 miler, when I should be running at my marathon pace. Different race distances are run at different paces.

THE COURSE

However, the running community definitely sets up the ATM with the idea that many marathon runners will run it in prep for MCM, and many marathoner do run it for that reason. The course is very similar to MCM, both start at the pentagon, and both include, the street along the waterfront under the memorial bridge, the national mall, and the 14th street bridge.

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The Washington, DC area has tons of race, however after, 7 years of running races in the area, they all kind of feel familiar. This can be to my advantage because I know the roads I am running on, however it can also get boring.¬†I love MCM’s race course, because it feels different from all the rest. But, ATM’s race course is a little bit similar to MCM, so it is no shocker that I love ATM too.

THE EXPO

The Expo is two days long. You can either pick your bib up on Friday or on Saturday. I normally go on Friday – it is best to get there early so you have more option on merchandise. This is a big big race, close to 30,000 people, so stuff and sizes go quick. Unfortunately, this time I got there late on Saturday, and a lot of stuff was already cleared out.

One of my favorite vendors is ONE MORE MILE. They are known for their funny quotes. I followed my tradition and got a comfy long sleeve running T- shirt from them. This time I got the one that said, WTF on the front, Where’s the Finish on the back. ¬†It fits my personality perfectly, because you can find me saying that out loud during the last mile of almost every race I run.

I don’t get why anyone would skip the expo or rush through it. The expo gives you the opportunity to find some great running gear at a discounted price. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about new products or new races and running organizations. It also is you last chance to get anything you may need on race day, including gu, sports beans, socks, etc.

So my advice, never skip out. Go to the expo, and take your time shopping around.

THE NIGHT BEFORE ATM

I didn’t eat a pasta dinner like most runners do before a race. It was only a ten miler, so I wasn’t too concerned about carb loading. Instead, I made Indian. I have been making Indian recipes in my slow cooker. I’m pretty obsessed so I will be sharing recipes in future posts.

Before bed I set up my race outfit. I am not a morning person, so this has become my night before race ritual. I get everything ready, so I can easily make it through the dark early morning hours. I got a new outfit from lululemon.10481988_10102054543061286_547142070513935778_n This is normally a big no no. Every runner knows never to wear anything on race day that you haven’t run in before. But again it was only a 10 miler so I wasn’t too concerned, plus I have the shorts and tank top already in other colors, so technically I have run in them before.

RACE MORNING

I woke up at 5:30 am right before my alarm went off. I was ready to get up early and hit the pavement. L came to pick me up right at 6:15- she is never late. We parked at pentagon city and walked over to the start.

At the pentagon, we stripped down, checked our bags, and headed to our corral. L and I were in different corrals, but I stayed back with her, so we could start together. Raiza hung with us too.

1554459_10102055070229836_5761266037558468694_nLina and I at the start.

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Wounded Warriors sky diving to the start.  The sun was rising and it was breath taking.

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Shoes are very important to a runner. Lina, Raiza, and I, we run in Newtons. I’m wearing the orange Gravity. Lina is wearing the purple Motion. Raiza is wearing the yellow Distance.

GAME PLAN

Before my wedding, I was working out like a crazy person. After, I was mentally and physically drained. I was burned out from being so competitive with myself. So I needed to relax this summer.¬†¬†I didn’t have a running watch most of the summer, because my garmin forerunner 50 died. So all summer¬†I was running whenever I felt like it, for fun.¬†¬†So for this race, I didn’t have a game plan, honestly, I had no clue how I was going to do.

HOW I DID

Whenever I run a 10 miler I always try to get under 1:30. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good. I decided to just run whatever I felt. Turns out the first half I was running around an 8:30 min/mile, not a bad pace at all. The last half I wasn’t as consistent. I looked down at my watch and it ranged between 8:30 and 9 min/mile. I was still feeling pretty good though. By the time I saw the finish line, I sprinted as fast as I could. I made it with official time 1:29:24. It’s not a PR for me, but I kept it under 1:30. Once I was finished, I thought to myself I could keep going. I love that feeling. I am definitely a distance runner.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

Before my wedding I was working out like a crazy lady. I was lifting and running 5 days a week. This summer I got really busy with life, something had to give. I have to remind myself that although running is a passion of mine, I have other passions too. Plus running is not a job – It doesn’t pay my bills. Sometimes I need to focus on other things. So this summer, I did focus on other things. I ran casually to have fun and stay in shape. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do during this race. I didn’t really train, I just ran shorter runs a couple times a week – WITH OUT A WATCH. Turns out I felt amazing during this race! There wasn’t one time during the race where I felt pain or wanted to stop. I just kept running and it felt good. I am really happy with my time, even though it wasn’t a PR. This race, definitely lit a fire in my heart, I think I got my running Mojo back! ¬†It was also great to run with my running buddies Lina and Raiza.

What fall races have you run? Have you ever trained with out a watch?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

The time I kind of ran the Chicago Marathon.

It is the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Em had fun at the expo too.

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

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

The Spirit of the Marathon

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

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

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

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

Have fun! 

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

 

Questions for you…

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

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Alert: Fall Hair Trend

When you are not running on the trail or lifting in the weight room, even fit girls need their hair to look good.

And because I am both a fit girl and hair stylist today I am going to reveal to you the latest fall hair trend.

When a new season approaches every client who sits in my chair asks, “What’s trendy? What’s new?”

This season everyone is getting their hair chopped. The long locks that were once “ombr√©” or beautifully sun-kissed are now dry and parched – they’ve gotta go.

Celebrities such as Emma Stone …

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and… Kaley Cuoco have taken the plunge.

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(Kaley, however has gone shorter since… But her textured bob Is my favorite on her.)

It seems like every client is asking for this look.

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So I got a fresh new look too…

For a while now I have been growing my hair. I also have been some sort of red.

Summer is over and Fall is beginning. So I decided it was time for a change.

Goodbye long hair.

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Goodbye red ginger.

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Hello short blonde hair…

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Hair color: Wella
Hair product: Sebastian Texture Maker

What do you think of my new hair? Do you like this new trend?

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.

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MILE 16

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

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