Saying Goodbye to Audrey


Audrey is our sweet white fluffy Maltese. I’ve been her mama sense she was 8 weeks old. I still remember the February day in 2006, when I picked her out, and took her home. 

Let’s back track a little…

The hunt for a puppy all began, because our 6 month old Min Pin, desperately needed a bestie. At the time Erik and I both worked in the restaurant industry, and our Min Pin pup was spending too much time home alone. I’m a strong believer that dogs are packed animals and are happier when they are with other dogs. There was no question, finding him a buddy became my top priority. 

I wasn’t having much luck finding any breeders with puppies locally. It seemed that everyone was in PA, West Virginia, or North Carolina. 

I finally came across a simple advertisement, with no photos, that stated, “Yorkie and Maltese puppies for sale in North Arlington.” Perfect, I thought… Could they be any closer?! My mom and I causally stopped by to check out the Maltese puppies later that evening.

I remember the breeder bringing out all of the female Maltese pups. Their white fur was gray from laying on newspaper on the long car ride from Kentucky. I picked up the  cutest, most playful, active puppy, and looked at her from head to toe. I immediately fell in love. She was the one! I named her Audrey. 

When I brought her home, she became obsessed with Manny, (our 6 month old min pin), just what I hoped! She followed him around the whole house, and from then on they were companions for life.

Audrey has been our fur baby for 11 years and 4 months. During those 11 years and 4 months Erik and I tried our best to spoil her rotten. 

She spent her nights sleeping in our bed, with us, buried in between a mountain of the softest pillows and comforters. 

She went on daily walks (up until she was diagnosed with heart disease.) When we became home owners, we made sure our home had a fenced in yard, so she could spend time outside off leash – she loved being outside.  

Some people think a dog is just a dog. But once you become a dog owner especially one of multiple dogs, you discover your dog’s unique personality. 

Audrey was a food lover, who would bark to remind us it was dinner time. Her favorite meal was chicken and rice, and I would cook that up for her as a special treat. She would stand by my feet drooling waiting patiently to be served. She also thought eggs were delicious, and could never get enough, of them. Peanut butter was something she ate daily. 

She absolutely loved Christmas! I don’t know if it was the cheerful positive energy that filled the day. But it was absolutely hilarious seeing her excited, barking at presents under the tree. 

Audrey loved toys. She would chew and play with her toys, while my Min Pin could care less. When Zoe started to get stuffed animals as presents, it was hard for Audrey to understand they weren’t for her. Sometimes we gave in, and Audrey would take it as her own.

When we were packing for a trip, Audrey knew I was preparing to leave, so she would hop in my suitcase, hoping to come along. She always wanted to be with us. 

She wasn’t very good on a leash, she would tug and want to lead the way. However, she was very obedient and loyal, and in her last year, I had enough trust in her to follow me or lead the way off leash. (Just outside our house never around other dogs, or busy roads.)


Over the last 11 years and 4 months, she was by our side during many amazing life milestones, including, engagement, marriage, pregnancy, and most importantly meeting Zoe, and adjusting to her, and including her. 

Going from a kid free house, to all of a sudden having a newborn, was hard on Audrey. But eventually, she adjusted, and Zoe and her became great friends. 

Every morning Zoe has been asking, “Where Audrey? And then she runs to her bowl to fill it up with dog food. 

So as you can see, Audrey had her place in our family, and she was very loved. 


It has been an upsetting couple of days. I rushed Audrey to the hospital at 11:30 pm on April 24th, and at 4 am I finally decided after two hours of debate, (my dog has never been crated before), leaving her there.

Side note: Audrey had developed heart disease at 8 years old, which is common in her breed. For the last 3 years her energy levels never changed and the heart was stable by medication.

However, on April 25th, I was on the phone with three different doctors, through out the day – Audrey’s primary vet, her cardiologist, and her emergency vet. And with much discussion about treatment and quality of life, I got honest answers, and finally the right choice was made.

Putting my sweet innocent Maltese to rest was not a decision I took lightly. But at the end there was no other option. It was her time. 

We miss you already, Audrey, the house is so quiet without you. But it is a relief that you are at peace now.

Thank you, so much for being so loving, cute, obedient, loyal, playful, sweet, loud, and bringing us more joy than you’ll ever know. 

 

 love always, your human mama

Beet Smoothie with exotic Dragonfruit. 


I love juicing and making smoothies. And because I am a mother of an 18 month 0ld, smoothies are a way for her to get some fruits and vegetables in her diet, that she otherwise wouldn’t eat because of texture. 

This beet smoothie is sweetened by exotic dragonfruit. It is my new favorite! 

INGREDIENTS

  1. Pitaya/Dragonfruit (frozen packet found in freezer fruit section at Whole Foods.
  2. 1 raw Beet, washed and peeled.
  3. 1 ripe banana (keep bananas on hand in the freezer
  4. 1 handful or cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  5. 1 cup of coconut water
  6. 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  7. 1 handful of ice 

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender. Enjoy right away, or store in refrigerator or freezer. If storing in refrigerator, store in a sealed mason jar, and drink with in 3 days.

What’s your favorite smoothie or juice? Have you tried Pitaya or Acia?


My first experience at a Oiselle Group Run!

Hey… it’s been a while… but I’ve still been running! 

Of course winter is not my favorite time to run. And because it is my off season, I have been running casually, which had been so enjoyable. 

And as you know, I am one to log stroller miles with my daughter, or solo to have some me time. Running with a group, is normally not my cup of tea. 

But on Saturday, I ran my second time ever with a group, and it was awesome. Details below.

In early 2016, after Zoe was born I joined Oiselle Vol√©e. I love Oiselle, and what the Vol√©e team stands for. One of my favorite things about running, is the community, and joining a group like Vol√©e keeps me involved. 

At first, I started to connect with the oiselle girls by following their training through social media. I was training for Marine Corps Marathon, and so were a lot of other birds. 

Once MCM came and went, I was eager to go on a group run, or attend one of the Oiselle Vol√©e meet ups, but my schedule just didn’t work accordingly. 

Finally, I was able to… this past Saturday, was my first time officially meeting up with the group. It was awesome!

I got to run in a new part of DC, that I had never run before. 

It ended up being a really fun get together. All of the girls were super nice, and we got to eat brunch afterwards! I can’t wait to get more involved with this group, and I see myself definitely meeting up to run with them plenty of times in the near future. 

Do you run with a group?

The Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon 2016

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

Scott Jurek

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

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

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

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

Marine Corps Marathon 

THE EXPO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

The HEAT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NIGHT before RACE RITUAL

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

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


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

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


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

I was as ready as I could be. 

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

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


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

MORNING OF

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

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



THE START

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

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

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

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

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

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

CORRAL AND START LINE

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

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

Let’s talk about timing… 

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

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

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

The EXCITEMENT 

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


And then we were off… 

Mile 1-3

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

MILES 3-5 

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

MILES 5-7

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

MILES 8-10

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

MILE 11 – The BLUE mile


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

MILES 12-14

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

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

MILES 15-18

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

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

MILES 18-20

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

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

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

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

MILE 21

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

MILE 22

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

MILE 23-24

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

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

MILE 25 – 26.2

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


THE FINISH

This Marine gave me my finishing medal! 


Took a photo near the Iwo Jima memorial.

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


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

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

THE RESULTS

A NEW PR

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS NEXT? 

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

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

THANK YOU

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

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

Thank you!

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


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

copyright 2016 sweatdaily 

Running with Zoe

This Monday 2/29/16, Zoe went to her 6 month doctor’s appointment, and she did great. One thing I have been waiting to ask the doctor is whether or not she is ready to accompany me on my runs. Even before I was pregnant, I always pictured myself as a mother runner, pushing my running stroller with my baby smiling back at me.

But at what age is best to run with your baby? I’ve heard different things from different mother runners. Some have taken their babies out as early as 4 months, others have waited until 8 months, but most moms say 6 months.

It really all depends on neck control and on the strength of your baby. Most doctors recommend that your baby can sit up and hold their neck up before you start running with them.

So at Zoe’s six month doctor’s appointment, her doctor evaluated her and said because she has great neck control and is confidently sitting up on her own, she is more than ready to go running.

I have been running since thanksgiving. At first running was really hard for me postpartum. I thought I would jump right back into it, but this was not the case. My ankles and knees were in the worst pain and I really had to slowly build up to it.

I am now feeling more like myself and running similar to how I use to – definitely not as fast, but I’m pain free.

Although, I couldn’t wait to get Zoe on the trail with me, I was glad I waited until she was six months. Waiting gave me the chance to run solo, so I could really focus on my running form and pace, getting back to (almost) the level I once was, without worrying about pushing a stroller.

But now she is ready, and so am I.

I am most excited to share this running passion of mine with my daughter. And although, it is nice to go on a run solo having some “me” time, I really did miss Zoe and felt guilty leaving her for to long. Now I can just bring her along, and we can be out on the trail as long as we desire, without missing eachother.

Before I had a difficult time fitting in my daily runs. I always had to manage who would watch Zoe when I went running. Now that I can bring her with me, I will be able to easily fit in more miles. No more trying to find the time to run.

My first experience running with Zoe.

Since Zoe turned 6 months I have run with her 3 times. She is big enough to sit in the actual stroller, but I have decided to keep her in her car seat (which attaches to the stroller.) This is just my preference, because Zoe enjoys sitting in her car seat and I like the fact that we can see eachother. When she is in her car seat she is facing me, so while I am running, I can talk to her, watch her look around, smile, sleep etc. Another mother runner told me that once you put your baby in the actual seat of the stroller where they are facing out, there is not turning back. And since Zoe and I are both happy with her being in her car seat while attached to the stroller, I’m not going to rush it and put her in the seat of the stroller when there’s no reason too.

I have the BOB running stroller, and although I was excited to start running with Zoe, I was also a little nervous. Was I going to be able to run and push a huge stroller? I thought it was going to be really hard pushing that thing, but to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. I mean don’t get me wrong it definitely makes my run more intense, but the stroller really does glide effortlessly, and my pace was only 30 seconds slower.

Another great thing about running with a running  stroller is the storage. You have a whole stroller to store all of your stuff. I have a spot for my keys, water bottle, phone, baby bag. If I need to take off a scarf or long sleeved shirt I have plenty of room for that too.

How did Zoe react during her first run…

I’ve heard some moms who have babies who don’t like going on runs- they get bored. I have other mom friends say their babies love going on runs – Some have pushed the stroller for 10 miles or longer.

I am lucky because Zoe absolutely loves it. She really enjoys going on walks, so I knew going on runs would be no different. She enjoys the motion of her stroller, and depending on the atmosphere and the time of day -sometimes she naps other times she’s wide eye taking in her surroundings.

And depending on where we are running there can be a lot to see. The other day after our run, I took her down to the water so she could see the ducks.

The reason why… The benefits…

Just like how some babies love running with their moms while others hate it. This is actually the same for moms. Some moms prefer to run solo, and their running becomes their “me” time. Others really enjoy the time with their baby,

Zoe is a baby that at this stage in her development, she loves it. And I am a mama who loves her as my running buddy. So as long as she is happy, I’m going to keep running with her.

As I said above, it is exciting for me to share my running passion with Zoe. I hope that eventually, when she is older, because she see’s me living a healthy lifestyle, she will begin to understand the importance of it. I also want to show her what it means to be passionate about something, and what it means to commit to a training schedule. My dedication will show her that if you put in the proper work, you really can do anything.


So in conclusion, I would say our first couple runs together have been successful. I can’t wait for many more happy miles.

Have you ever run with a baby? How far have you gone pushing a running stroller? 

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

Gym language 

How do I loose weight? How do I gain muscle? Should I lift lighter weights and more reps? Or should I lift heavier weights and lift less reps? Should I run long distance or should I do sprints? These are some of the most common question I get asked. 

And the answer is… All of the above. 

Run 2016 miles in 2016 And make money.

It is a new year, and along with a new year there is the idea of setting a new year’s resolution. As I have said in previous new year posts, I actually love new year’s resolutions. Because, I am the type of person who is always setting goals, I try to make my new year’s resolution totally crazy, out there, a goal with a fun twist.

So here it is my crazy new year’s resolution….

I’ve always wanted to run as many miles as the year. So why not try, this year. I am going to attempt to run 2016 miles for the year 2016. Another fun twist to running the miles is money. For every mile I run I am going to put between $1-$5 in savings. It will be interesting to see at the end of this year the final total in both dollars and miles.

This jar here my sister made for me as a Christmas present. Along with what it does, I’m also going to make it my money jar.¬†
image

Along side of the miles I will be running, as of now I am registered for two races in April, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Parkway Classic 10 miler. I’ll clue you in once I sign up for more races.

Another special thing is that soon I will have a new running buddy. Zoe will be 5 months on the 19th. I am going to wait until she is 6 months to take her running with me in the running stroller. I am really excited to have her on runs with me, plus it will be easier for me to fit my miles in without worrying who is going to watch her. It will be hard work to push the stroller, but hopefully it will just make me stronger and I know Zoe will love it!

Well that’s it for now…

Run Happy!

 

2015 an unforgettable year!

  
(I posted this to my IG acount earlier this week, but decided to share on my blog.)

2015 was the most beautiful, positively challenging, knowledge filled, sweetest year I have ever had. 

As my body transformed from fit to pregnant I began to understand the ultimate strength of the female body. 

Through my prenatal yoga practice, I learned the physical changes were out of my control, and I began to let go and trust.

I spent the year reading, writing, exploring, learning everything I could on a subject I knew absolutely nothing about – babies. In the process, I not only gained knowledge, but also a “mama” tribe. 

And then… after all the preparing, waiting, planning, my sweet little Zoe entered the world in the complete opposite way as I expected, and I became a mama. 

It has been busy, wild, beautiful, amazing, exhausting, challenging, fun, unpredictable… but I can’t stop smiling. 

  

Cheers! 

December Goals, Post Pregnancy Workout Update

 
December is the last month of the year. Because of the holidays, December is always packed full. It is very easy for me to get stressed and wrapped up with all of the gift giving and Christmas decorations. But this year, I am not going to let December sneak on by. I am going to cherish this month and really reflect on 2015. I’m going to use it to crush the last of my 2015 goals – it is my last chance to really end 2015 with a boom, as one of the best years yet. 

Things to Do this December

  • Crush Gym and Running Goals
  • Organize closet, out with the old… Have a fresh clean minimal closet for the new year.
  • Stay clean on diet, cook more, meal prep, bring meals to work.
  • Continue to take Zoe on long walks, enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it – Winter will be coming.
  • Decorate for Christmas and enjoy Christmas holiday festivities with Zoe

Update on Post Pregnancy workouts

Livefit – When it comes to my workout routine I am half way through the livefit trainer. Sometimes I feel like working out is hectic because I don’t have a set time I go to the gym, like I use to. However, following the livefit trainer brings me some organization because I am able to have a set plan each time I go. I’ve been seeing a lot of progress in muscle gains and I am lifting at the weight I use to lift, before I got pregnant.  I also have some gym essencials at my house. This helps when I can’t make it to the gym but still need to squeeze a workout in. 

Running has been a little bit slower progress. I am still waiting on new shoes and I am questioning which shoes I should get. I’m definitely planning on a shoe rotation. 

However, there is a possibility that my body has changed because of pregnancy. Hips are a big issue for woman runners, but even more so to those who have been pregnant. It is possible that the hips have changed or shifted. They could be tilted more forward or spread wider because of pregnancy. 

The hips can effect everything and is the reason for most running injuries in woman. Really if you have knee pain or foot pain evaluate what is going on with your hips. Normally when you have pain it also means something is tight and you may have inflammation- that is why ice is a runner’s best friend. It is also a sign of muscle weakness. That is why I am spending a lot of time in the gym trying to gain strength. The stronger I am, the better my running form will be.  So at this point I have only run 3-4 miles. I am taking it slow and really focusing on running form and cadence. I am also waiting on new shoes that I ordered through my local running store. When they come in, I will have someone at the shop reevaluate my running form and fit me for shoes. That way I can be sure I am running in a shoe that is right for me, at this time in my life. 

I have seen some amazing progress, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have to keep reminding myself that my workouts were totally different while I was pregnant. 9 plus months is a long break from not running or lifting. I’m trying to be patient, stay positive, and enjoy the process.  

I fit in my Skinny Jeans!

  I have to admit this last week was a little bit exhausting. It was the first week that Zoe went to her babysitter’s house. And although, she is only going two days a week, it was a routine change for the both of us. 
My main priority is Zoe, so this week my work outs were put on the back burner. But with that being said, I’m definitely NOT worried. I’m just going to pick up my training right where I left off, with the mindset that it is going to take time to gain all my strength back. But I’m confident that with time I will get stronger, maybe even stronger than before.
Yesterday, I started week 4 of the livefit trainer when I should have been starting week 5. Anyway, I had a great leg session, however the gym was the busiest I have ever seen it. I need to figure out what time on the weekends the gym is slow, because it drives me crazy waiting and sharing equipment – I can’t stand the crowd- especially when I want to hurry home to spend time with Zoe.
Because I am set back a week in the livefit trainer, I am planning on doing a double on Monday. Today, I had an awesome back and bicep session. Monday will be chest and tricep, but I’ll work in shoulders and abs as well. Then I will end week 4 on Tuesday with a final leg session. And start phase 2. By doing a double I will be caught up. 
It takes time to transform a body. And although, I know I need to be patient I really want to complete the livefit trainer by the New Year. That means staying on track and really pushing it hard in the gym these last two months of 2015. 
I’ve had an amazing 2015- I did the coolest thing – I grew a human! The most beautiful girl baby, might I add. Using these last two months of 2015 to crush my fitness goals will just be the cherry to top off one of my best and favorite years.
As for progress, I definitely already see a difference and feel a difference too. I am lifting the weight amount I use to lift. I can’t wait to start phase 2 and take it up a notch! I am soooo ready.
Another way I have seen progress is in my clothes. I am wearing my skinny jeans today. This is the first time I am able to button them since being pregnant. It is crazy how much your hips spread to make room for a baby. I definitely have lost some inches. Having my favorite jeans fit is so exciting.  
So far I have not supplemented at all. In phase 2 I may start to supplement with protein powder and BCAAs. But as of now nothing. 
I’ve also joined the ATeam with Amber Dodzweit. She has a 7 week intense program that requires minimal equiptment. It is a program that can be done with out a gym, at home.
I need this so that way I have no excuse and on days that it will be impossible to make it to the gym I will still be able to get my workout in. Plus, sometimes I just want to be with my baby as much as I can, instead of leaving her and being at the gym for two hours. 
I also think it will be interesting to see if I can get results with minimal equiptment- I definitely like the challenge. 

Maternity Photoshoot 

Growing up with a house full of girls, I grew up always knowing “Girls Rock!”

Maybe it is because I am an American, growing up with the idea of the American Dream. But I have always had the confidence that I can do anything- anything is possible, the sky is the limit.

These ideas have also pushed me to be a better stronger athlete. I always try. Maybe I can… run further and faster. Maybe I can… lift heavier and stretch deeper. Mentally, I always tell myself, I can do that, I can do more.

Physically, I see the results in getting new PRs. Physically, I see changes in my body. I always say, “Just try. You will be surprised what your body can do.”

Now that I am pregnant these ideas have never been more true. Girls Rock!

As a pregnant lady, I really have no control over my changing body. But more than ever this female body has surprised me. Everyday, my bump gets bigger, reminding me of what my body is capable of… It shouts, “Look what I can do!”

The female body is absolutely amazing, creating and housing a new life. Once again physically, I see my body transform, from a once lean and fit athlete, to a now curvy strong mother to be.

Maternity Photoshoot

I decided a Maternity Photoshoot would be the best way to document my changing body, while also celebrating the beauty of my next life chapter – motherhood.

I was very lucky to work with Raiza. She is a very talented photographer in the DC and Norther Virginia area. I knew I would be dressed in a very feminine bohemian outfit, but I was unsure of the location. Raiza suggested Old Town, Alexandria, because it has different areas, so we could capture both a nature and an urban vibe. She also chose a time in which she could use natuaral light perfectly.

I made a flower crown.

 

Before & After: DIY- Transform a Vintage Dresser

The DC area is extremely expensive, and it is known to have some of the worst traffic in the nation. So when house hunting, you need to set your priorities. Some desire a bigger place so they sacrifice location. While others sacrifice size, to be conveniently closer to the city, avoiding hours of traffic. The choice is yours.

Our priority were definitely location, but we also wanted to make a smart investment. It was going to be tricky to find something in the location we wanted for the price we wanted to pay.

So the hunt was on for the perfect place. Location was ideal, I wanted to be so close to the city that I could enjoy a morning run around the monuments. After two years of looking, and putting several offers on different properties, finally we closed on the perfect place.

My husband and I have been proud homeowners for 2 years now.

One of my favorite things about living in this area is that Washington, DC and Northern Virginia is full of history. The neighborhood we live in is a historical neighborhood, and our house is a 1950’s duplex. Our place is ideal because of it’s location and historical charm. However, what comes along with urban living and old places is… tiny living spaces.

When we moved into our new place, we started completely fresh, leaving most of our old furniture on the curb. It was fun having a completely blank canvas to work with, and to buy pieces together, that expressed us as a couple. There was nothing from our past, everything was new.

However, our place is small, and this has been our biggest challenge.  When it comes to interior design, nothing quite fits.

Old places has limited closet space…

And this is a major problem for me.

I am a runner with way to many RunOOTD (Run Outfit Of the Day) and I am a hair dresser who has to be trendy and fashion forward at work. So as you can see, I do a lot of laundry and I have a lot of different kinds of clothes. These clothes need to be put away. My husband built me a beautiful walk in closet, but it still wasn’t enough. I needed a dresser.

The hunt was on yet again, but instead of house hunting it became dresser hunting. I started looking at the basic stores, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Pottery Barn. But nothing fit,everything was at least 20 inches deep, when I could only¬†accommodate something a big as 17 inches deep. I then moved my search to ¬†George Town and Old Town desperately looking at each furniture store… still no luck.

I didn’t want an old antique, and I definitely didn’t want a DIY project. But I wasn’t able to find anything to fit my space, and older pieces of furniture are a lot smaller.

Turns out the perfect dresser was right under my nose, living temporarily at the boutique right down the street from where I work and live.  Turns out the perfect dresser was a piece from the early 1900s, that was crying for a make over.

In honor of Transformation Tuesday, I will share with you my new dresser… Old is on the left and new and improved is on the right.

dresser before and after

This project was not hard at all.

SANDING

  • Because the piece was real wood, we sanded down any rough edges.

PAINTING 

  • It¬†makes a huge difference. It makes an old piece look clean and as good as new.¬†So we painted the dresser with a fresh coat of white paint.

REFRESHING MEDAL DETAILS

  • We also refreshed the medal key holes with gold spray paint.

CHANGING HARDWARE

  • All of the above was great, but what really updated this piece was changing the hardware. I went to Anthropology and fell in love with the hardware they had to offer. After much debate, my husband and I decided on replacing the original handles on the dresser, with the ones from Anthro, made from amethyst stone with gold detailing. This hardware really eliminated the old antique feel that the piece once had and made it totally updated and current!dresser2

Do you like DIY projects? What do you think of my dresser transformation? 

If you are interested in seeing my fitness transformation click here.

 

 

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

Cinnamon Rolls – A Recipe

Lately, I have been cooking and baking a ton. I love using my Kitchen Aid Mixer and my Vitamix. I tend to make more baked goods (sometimes not so healthy) with my Kitchen Aid Mixer. However, when it comes to my Vitamix it is all very healthy eats.

So the other day, I pulled out my Kitchen Aid Mixer… After I was done playing… I posted this photo on Facebook and Instagram…

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It got a lot of attention. A couple different people asked about posting the recipe… so here it is.

These cinnamon rolls are from the cook book, Cook’s Baking Book. They are quick because they do not contain yeast. Yeast is an ingredient that makes your pastry fluffy, however it takes time for yeast to rise. These cinnamon rolls are also egg free. Buttermilk is used in place of eggs and yeast.

To make it easy to understand, I’m going to break this recipe down in three different parts, dough, filling, icing.

Dough Ingredients:
2.5 cups of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Now let’s make the dough…

Whisk all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in bowl. Whisk all wet ingredients (buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter) in other bowl. Mix wet ingredients with dry (use a mixer or wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer.) Transfer dough to a floured service and knead until smooth.

Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of melted butter

Now let’s make the filling…

Combine all ingredients and stir with fork or hands until a sand consistency.

Assemble the cinnamon rolls and bake…

Pat dough flat into a 9×12 rectangle. Brush melted butter on and lay filling on top of melted layer.

Roll dough long ways so it becomes a narrow cylinder with cinnamon filling in center. Pinch seam to seal in filling.

Cut cylinder in to 8 pieces (cinnamon rolls.)

Arrange in pan. I used an 8×8 square pan and buttered the bottom and sides so it became non stick.

Butter the top of rolls with melted butter. Place on the middle rack in an oven preheated to 425 F.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Icing Ingredients
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup powder sugar.

Now let’s make the icing…

Combine cream cheese and buttermilk, stir until smooth. Add powder sugar slowly while stirring until smooth.

Top off the tools with icing…

Once the rolls have baked for 25 mins. and are golden brown, take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled smother with icing.

Enjoy.

P.S. These cinnamon rolls are very fatty, lots of sugar and butter, but I promise you… You’ll love them and your whole house will smell sweet like cinnamon!

Eat Clean – Mango Lassi recipe

What motivated you to go veg?

“I had a friend who went vegan and he looked so fresh, healthy, and glowing. I wanted that for myself.”

The above quote, I came across in the magazine, Vegetarian times. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am pretty obsessed with quotes. Words are so powerful. And the above words… sound amazing to me. I feel inspired. I too want to look fresh and healthy. Wouldn’t it be nice to glow…

I have a confession to make, the last couple weeks, I have NOT been eating as clean as I should be. What has happened lately is…

Marathon training… all this running has made me a pretty hungry girl. All of the running has taken up a lot of my time too… so I have been skipping the grocery shopping, which led to no food to meal prep. No food to meal prep led to being starving at work. Being starving at work led to having to order food from a local restaurant for lunch. Eating lunch from a take out box has lead to only eating one big fatty meal a day. I also have been craving sugar. These cravings are the ultimate proof that I have not been eating clean, because when I eat clean the cravings disappear and I can no longer tolerate the sweetness level I once could.

So yesterday I decided to get back on track. I went to MOM’s Organic Market and stocked my fridge.

Now I have a great stash of fruit and veggies which include the super foods- kale, pomegranates, beets, chickpeas, eggplant, and pumpkin. I bought a variety of nuts and seeds. Apples, pears, and avocado line my windowsill. I also found a huge ripe sweet Mango. This to me was rare considering it is fall, but I’ll take it because it may be one of the last times until my trip to Thailand.

I have a tons of new recipes I am discovering and can’t wait to share them with you.

The first one I want to share is my recipe for Mango Lassi, since I found such a beautiful mango.

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I first heard of Mango Lassi at a raw farm in Martha’s Vineyard. It is a delicious mango yogurt drink originated from Northern India. It is so simple to make at home. It can be a healthier alternative to dessert or you can have it as a breakfast on the go. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to it post work out.

Enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think.

To the Running Community: I have a secret to share…

This blog has a lot of purposes… but one of the ultimate reasons why it exists is so I can share information with you.

So I have a secret to share with you…

Something NEW is happening in the running community starting June 1st.

Something HUGE… and ¬†guess what? YOU can be apart of it.

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We are runners. We change our shoes on average every 400 miles, some sooner if they are natural barefoot running shoes. What do you do with your old running shoes? Most end up in the trash and then a landfill, where it could take up to 100 years for those shoes to biodegrade.

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Well this no longer has to be the case.  Instead you have a better option then throwing out your old running shoes. You now have the amazing opportunity to donate them to Kindrunner.

So let me introduce you…

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Kindrunner.com is scheduled to launch in the US marketplace June 1st. (Yep, that is right, you are the first to know!) It is the only place on the web where you can donate your retired running shoes, along with all the shoe packaging materials ¬†– this helps lower the running community’s impact on the environment.

Kindrunner makes it easy, by covering all shipping costs, recycling all shipping materials, repurposing footwear, and donating them to Soles 4 Souls and/or the More Foundation Group. You receive Kindness Cash Rewards for every pair of shoes donated, and your shoes find a new home with someone who desperately needs them. 947119_380598015382612_1792782895_n

Kindrunner.com also is your new online informative platform.  Along with bettering the environment they want to better you, as a runner. With the focus on expert shoe fitting and product guidance online, they are offering the best performing and highest rated running products, including Newton, Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno, Asics, Innov-8, and  Pearl Izumi. Yes, thats right, they have Newtons!!

A little note from Kindrunner…

“We stretch a single carbon foot print to its maximum potential. We believe that thoughtful and educated runners all over the country will relate to our movement and want to be a Kindrunner.”

If this is you, and you want to be a Kindrunner…

Start by visiting their¬†initial homage, ¬†www.kindrunner.com¬†, and enter the”Win Free Running Shoes for a Year!” contest. ¬†If you and a running partner both register (just enter your email address and confirm it’s yours) you both are signed up to win. If either one of you is selected to win the contest both of you will win free running shoes for a whole year (three pairs each!).”

Find more information about kindrunner on their facebook page.

Also check them out on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Questions for You?
  1. What do you do with your old running shoes?
  2. Do you want to be a Kindrunner?

© 2013 sweatdaily

*Most pictures are by Kindrunner.

It is a Beautiful Day!

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“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

This morning I woke up, and it was still dark. I grabbed my iPod, Garmin, and put my Newtons on my feet, and met up with L, at our spot. We hit the trail, it wasn’t dark long. Soon enough the sky turned orange, and the sun began to hover over the DC monuments. It is times like those that I am thankful I woke up early. I mean, no extra few minutes of sleep is worth more than seeing the beauty of the sun rise.

The running trail had such a peaceful energy, practically empty. I guess most of the runners decided to sleep in, considering it was day light savings and temps will get as high as 60 degrees this afternoon. Although, it was a chilly 40 degrees this morning, I felt amazing while running, and for the rest of the day.

© 2013 seatdaily

Falling in love, with NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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

This is how it all began….

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

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

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

“Yep. Everyone knows that. “

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

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

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

“Ok,” I answered

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

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

So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…

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

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

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

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NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.

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NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.

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NOLA wears costumes.

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NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…

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sometimes South Park toys…

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NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…

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

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

Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…

© 2013 sweatdaily

8 mile runs on Monday mornings…

Now, if you are from a place, where it is seriously cold, and you are getting dumped on with snow, you are probably thinking this girl should count her blessings. But let me tell ya, I would rather have snow than rain. I would rather it be 30 degrees and sunny. I can tolerate crisp, refreshing, winter air, as long as, the sun is shining bright. ¬†With that being said…

It has been dark and dreary. Fog has formed, and a cold mist of rain has been lingering since early last week. It is totally dull, gloomy, depressing. I know it is January, but the weatherman promised the weekend would be a warm 65 degrees.

He lied.

It stayed around 50 degrees, the sun never came out, it was raining, but I still ran. I actually ran everyday…

Saturday, 1/12/13 – I ran an easy 5 mile run. It was 50 degrees, but gray and gloomy.

Sunday, 1/13/13 – ¬†I woke up early, and met L before work, for a 5.32 mile run. This one was full of “bitch” hills. It was a little warmer than 50 degrees, but again gray and gloomy.

Monday, 1/14/13 – I met up with L and ran 8.29 miles. This was the warmest of all the days, being 61 degrees. It still was gray and gloomy, with rain. This run actually felt amazing, and gave me the energy I needed for the rest of the day.

Today, Tuesday, 1/15/13 – I had my Art class in the morning, before work, so I took a rest day. It was gray, gloomy, and by the end of the day the rain was coming down hard.

You are probably wondering what is giving me my drive, to run on miserable, dull, winter days of gloom?

Well…

I am reading an amazing book called, Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. It is inspiring me in many ways, including giving me motivation to run an eight mile run on a rain drizzle filled monday morning, like yesterday.

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(photo taken from my iPhone)

“and now, running had turned into something other than training. It had turned into a kind of meditation, a place where I could let my mind… float free.”

Above is one of my favorite passages from the book, so far. Trust me, there are many more quotes to share… and although, the weather around here has been totally depressing, running in it, though it, all around it, feels good and keeps me sane.

Questions for You?

  1. What is the weather like near you?
  2. What motivates you to work out, run, eat healthy?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

My Favorite race of 2012, the Annapolis Half Marathon.

Because today is the first day of 2013, I find it quite necessary to recap my favorite race of 2012, The Annapolis Half Marathon.  On this day, a month ago, I ran my fastest half marathon. I have been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks now, but I have decided to save it for the first of the New Year, which is the perfect day to look back on some of the highlights of 2012.

The Annapolis Half Marathon was not the first race I have ever run in Maryland, but it was by far the best! I’m going to start out by telling you a little bit about my past races I have run in Maryland. Because I have a bit of history when it comes to running races in that state.

In June of 2008, I ran my first half marathon, the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon. I remember thinking – I needed to slow down because it was hot and hilly. At the end, I had enough energy to sprint to the finish line, finishing in 2:09:38.37742_772558339986_8135770_n

In 2009, in part of my marathon training I ran a 21 mile training run in Baltimore and then a week later ran the Baltimore Half Marathon. I remember thinking – this is not a race, this is a training run in preparation for The Marine Corps Marathon. Although, cooler, it was still very hilly. The best part of this race was running the last mile downhill to the finish line. I finished this race in 2:03:36.

In August of 2012, I ran the Annapolis 10 miler. It was576866_10100747687225856_912276774_n-3 rolling hills the whole way, and Hurricane Isaac swept through brining us strong winds and torrential downpours. It was one of the worst 10 milers I have ever run, finishing in 1:33:23.

So when my sister said the only free weekend she had available to run a half marathon was the weekend of December 1st, and the only local race was The Annapolis Half, I had mixed feelings about registering.

PROS and CONS

I was a little disappointed because we had already run a race in Annapolis this year, only a month before. Would this be boring? Would we have bad weather again, maybe not another hurricane, but a blizzard could be a possibility. These were some of the thoughts that were running through out my mind. But because the Annapolis 10 miler had been one of the more challenging races I have run, I decided that this would be my second chance to try to conquer the rolling hills of Annapolis, Maryland. I also thought it would be interesting to run a half marathon in the winter – the cold winter weather might be an advantage for me. Plus I would have the opportunity to train for a race in the fall time, which is my favorite season to run in. These ideas made me pumped to register for this race, train, and then run the dang thing.

TRAINING

If you have been following my blog, you most¬†definitely have read all of my training run posts, so I will only touch briefly on my training ¬†for my new readers. I have been running in the Newton shoe since April/May. This shoe is a natural running shoe. It is super light weight and has a 2mm-3mm heel to toe drop. I run in both the Distance U and the Gravity. With this transition, I have worked very hard on my running form. I finally feel very comfortable, with a short quick bouncy running stride, striking my forefoot/midfoot instead of my heels. This race was the ultimate test, to see if all this hard work has paid off… and let me tell ya… it totally did.

RACE 

One of the fabulous pros about this race was that the race was scheduled for a Saturday. This may not matter for people, but it does for me because my days off form work is Friday and Saturday.

So on Friday, I made a pasta dinner for my sister and I. She came over right after she got off work. We ate and then hit the road. Another fun thing about this race was that I rented a Fiat for the drive up! I love that car!29358_10100867389666206_1964257829_n

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When we arrived to the hotel, we prepared for the race by laying out our race outfit and set our alarm for 4:45 am. My race night ritual is laying out my race clothes and everything I need for race day.

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We woke up from the sound of the alarm, not thunder like the previous race we ran in Annapolis (Annapolis 10 miler). This race started at 7:00 am and they advised us to get to the Naval Academy parking lot no later than 6:00 am, because of road closures.

When we arrived, we stayed warm in the car until 6:15 and then we headed over to the start. I found L in the line for the bathroom. Thank goodness. At the Annapolis 10 miler there were no corrals so we ended up missing each other at the start. But we found each other this time, and although it was 40 degrees out we stripped down and ditched our long sleeves. I always want to keep my long sleeves on but I always later get too hot and regret it. I was cold for the first mile but eventually I warmed up and felt perfect.

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At 7:00 am the gun went off and The Annapolis Half Marathon officially began. It was super foggy. I was barely able to see what was ahead. For the first few minutes it was a tad squishy, but I stayed to the outside and found space. For the first 3 miles or so I was flying, running 7:30 minute miles. Then I continued doing an 8 minute mile. I refueled at the mile six mile water station. I was feeling so good and couldn’t believe that I was already half way through. Mile six already… I thought.

The course was rolling hills, and some of those hills were really steep, while others were gradual but never ending. However, because of the fog you couldn’t really see what was ahead, but I knew the hills were there. I felt pretty prepared though, because I had included tons of hill work during my training. But while I was running I realized I don’t hate hills. I am actually really good at hills. Mentally, I started to break the race up by hills. I ran with control going up hill, then I used momentum to pick up speed without wasting energy while going down hill. We got to run over the really big bridge, which was one of the foggiest and prettiest parts of the race.

I continued to keep my pace in check. I looked down and saw 9 minute mile so I picked up the pace again and made sure I was running no slower than 8:45 and no faster than 7:50. When I hit the 10 mile marker I was shocked. I looked down at my watch and saw a 10 miler PR 1:23:00. Could this be true? I felt good, strong, fast. I was excited because I knew I was going to PR! My goal in this race was to finally break 2:00:00, there was no doubt in my mind… I was doing that.

Around mile 12 I felt like I was slowing down a bit so I pulled out my trick. When I feel like I am slowing down I always imagine myself running over hot coals. I kept telling myself, “hot coals, hot coals.” This kept me light on my feet, bouncy and quick. I ended up having enough energy to sprint to the finish line. I got there with a big smile on my face with an official time of 1:51:21.

 

running annapolis

run pics AnnapolisI wanted to post these running pics because I think it is important to evaluate my running form. Trust me no one looks sexy, in their race photos, so keep in mind these aren’t the most beautiful photos of me, however, my running form is right on. And after all that hard work transitioning my stride into a natural runner, I not only ran my fastest half marathon, but I am very proud that I accomplished good running form.

Good Running Form

  • Short strides, trying to land under your center body mass (do not over stride)
  • forefoot/mid-foot striking (do not heel strike)
  • cadence of 180 or higher – tip: imagine your running over hot coals
  • light, quick, bouncy
  • leaning slightly forward, (lean from your ankles, not your waist or hips)
  • head and chin up, always look forward. (do not look down)
  • engage core strength
  • keep shoulders relaxed and arms at a 90 degree angle

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There I am after the race, see what I mean about the fog. The end of the race party was really fun. They had beer, pulled pork bbq, a raw oyster bar. They also gave us a medal, a really high tech long sleeve running shirt, and a hat. Lets just say, “they hooked us up with some awesome swag.”

32322_10100867993780556_2072329249_n-1We spent the rest of the day shopping around along the waterfront of Annapolis.

29566_10100868125017556_206629310_nWe also went to lunch. Of corse I had a crab cake sandwich. Maryland bay crabs are the best, but crab season was over so I went for the crab cake. It was tasty, but the bloody mary was the best part.

16195_10100868127258066_144749273_nNext time you have a bloody mary try it with Absolute Pepper Vodka!

So that was my favorite race of 2012. As of now, for 2013, I am registered for three races in April. I am super excited for all of them but mostly the Nike Women Half Marathon scheduled for April 28th.

Happy New Year and Happy Running!

Questions for you…

  1. What was your favorite race of 2012?
  2. Do you like hilly races?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing Running Shoes

Lets talk about my obsession…

For those of you who have been following my blog, you may already know that I am shoe obsessed. But for those that are new readers let me clue you in.

In April/May 2012 I caved… and made the switch from a traditional running shoe, (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin) to a barefoot running shoe called Newton.

So ever since then, I have been wearing either my Newton Distance U or my Newton Gravity, only doing one long run in my old Brooks Glycerin (over a 7 month period.)

In the Newton shoes, I have focused on running form. Working very hard to change my stride from a minor heel striker (slight over pronator/over strider) to a forefoot/mid-foot striker (neutral runner with a higher cadence.)

Was I successful? Yes, I was, and I had the opportunity to prove it, by racing two 10 milers in them. And just this weekend, raising the bar, by setting a new PR in my half marathon I ran.

However, last week, I went into my local running shoe store,¬†Pacers, and bought the¬†Brooks PureConnect¬†running shoe. ¬†This shoe’s resale value is normally $90, but because it is a 2012, it was on sale for $75. The 2013s should be out in January, but you can pre-order them now, if you want them!

Brooks barefoot running series.

Brooks barefoot running series.

Lets talk about Brooks PureConnect shoe. This is what Brooks says…

¬†The PureConnect was named “Best Debut” in Runner‚Äôs World‚Äôs Winter 2012 Shoe Guide in the December issue. The editors said the PureConnect “strikes a balance between barefoot-inspired minimalism and cushioning-required training. It has a lightweight, barely there feel yet is substantive enough to handle long tempo runs.”

The design of the shoe allows you to have the freedom to feel the ground and connect with your run. It has toe flex technology which gives you flexibility in the forefoot and activates your big toe and aligns your toe off. It is a 4mm heel to toe drop. The material the shoe is made from keeps the foot balanced and creates a glove like fit, allowing the shoe to work more naturally with your foot. The shoe weighs 6.5 oz, being super light weight and breathable.

PureConnect

PureConnect

Why I was tempted to try them…

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE MY NEWTON SHOES! Just how your body will adapt to certain work outs, your body can adapt to your running shoe. When you repeat the same work out over and over, you stop seeing results, the same can happen in running shoes. Because of this fact I¬†don’t want to allow my body to get too comfortable/use to one type of shoe. Different shoes work the body in different ways. I want to be well rounded. I also want to experiment with a shoe rotation. I have used Brooks and Asics in the past, and have enjoyed their shoes, so I thought I would look into their barefoot running shoes.

When researching, different barefoot running shoes I realized that Asics was the last ones to take the plunge. But they finally did, unfortunately, it is not quite good enough.

ASICS

Their barefoot running series is called the 33 series, named after the 33 joints found in your foot Рvery cool name. However, their lightest out of that series, the Gel Lyte33, only has a 6 mm heel to toe drop. This is good for those runners, who  are still running in a traditional running shoe with a 12 mm heel, who wants to try a lighter shoe and a lower heel to toe drop. This shoe will give this runner what they desire with out messing to much with their running stride or body. Some runners claimed they barely felt a difference.

However, because I am already running in the Newton Gravity that has a 3 mm heel to toe drop and the Newton Distance U which has a 2 mm heel to toe drop, to try the Gel Lyte33, with a 6 mm heel to toe drop is pointless. So I moved on from Asics  and took a close look at Brooks PureProject, and found the PureConnects.

Three things sold me on this shoe…

  1. The heel to toe drop is 4 mm. There is a little bit more heel in these shoes compared to the Newtons, but not by much. Newton: Distance U has a 2 mm drop. Gravity has a 3 mm drop.
  2. These shoes are 6.5 ounces. This is by far the lightest running shoe I have ever tried. Newton: Distance U weighs 7 ounces. The Gravity weighs 7.6 ounces.
  3. The biggest sell point. These shoes are known for their Cushion. A little more cushion is what I was looking for, and that is what I found in these shoes.

SAUCONY

(just mentioning this for all the Saucony lovers out there…)

Saucony’s Kinvara 3 is the Brooks PureConnect’s biggest competition. So for those who love Saucony. The Kinvara is similar to the PureConnects weighing 6.7 ounces and having a 4 mm heel to toe drop.

On a different note…

So here is something to think about… ¬†Less is More.

I was talking to another runner. Demanding him to give me answers and tell me which shoe is the best shoe. He told me, “It is not about which shoe is better than the other. This is a running shoe store. All the shoes are good, designed by runners, for runners.” ¬†I questioned him. “Even the most minimal shoe in the store?” I asked. He informed me that the point of a running shoe is to absorb shock when the runner’s foot hits the ground. Even the lightest most minimal shoe is now made from such high tech materials, that even they are capable to absorb the shock, just as well as a traditional running shoe. So it is not whether one shoe is better than the other. It is about you, and your own personal opinion, ¬†about what you like and what you are comfortable running in.

My Experience in the Brooks PureConnect

Although, I had my shoes for a week, I didn’t want to jump right into them because my half marathon was coming up over the weekend, and I didn’t want to take any chances (injury/being sore) during my taper. So my first time running in them was yesterday. Wow! They definitely were different.

THE FIT… THE TOE BOX

The Newton shoe along with most barefoot running shoes have a wide toe box. This design is suppose to allow your foot to naturally spread so your toes can grab the ground, the way they would naturally if you were running barefoot. The Brooks PureConnect took a different approach. While other runners, found this shoe to be a bit narrow. Brooks wanted this shoe to feel like a second skin, and hug your foot like a glove.

narrow toe box? nope! it fits snug like a glove.

Narrow toe box? Nope! it’s just snug like a glove. And I am wearing shorts in December. It is 65 degrees here!

When wearing the¬†PureConnects, I did feel a bit snug in them, but are they really narrow, or am I just use to a wider toe box?¬†Well unfortunately, I only ran four miles in them, so I can’t fairly judge whether I liked this “glove” feel or not. ¬†I do know one thing though – The wide toe box that my Newtons have, is one of the reasons why I love my Newton shoes.

When running in the Newton shoe with it’s wide toe box, you not only have the opportunity to really feel the ground, but your toes actually have room to spread and grasp the ground. However, at first this was very uncomfortable for me because my¬†second and third toes are slightly crossed. I also continued to get a¬†reoccurring blister on my third toe on my left foot. But practice makes perfect and over time, my toes stopped bothering me, and now I love the idea of my toes grasping the ground, because it is natural. This is what your toes would do if you were barefoot running on the sand at the beach.

The PureConnect does not have a wide toe box but rather has¬†toe flex¬†technology which gives you flexibility in the forefoot and activates your big toe and aligns your toe off. Honestly, during my four mile run, I didn’t feel my toes engaged at all or activated in any way. But then again, it was only a four mile run, maybe in a longer run I might be able to feel my toes do some work.

CUSHION

I have always run in a high cushioned shoe (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin.) So when I made the switch and started wearing the Newton, cushioning is the one thing I really missed. I don’t feel like the Newton shoe is very cushiony. Plus I sometime experience¬†sesamoiditis very mildly in my left foot. Sesamoiditis is nothing too serious, it is¬†just¬†inflammation or irritation of the sesamoid bones found underneath the big toe, in the forefoot area. ¬†Wearing a more cushioned shoe, along with icing, can help a runner with this condition. So when I heard the PureConnect was a barefoot running shoe, known for its cushion – I had to try it!

When wearing the PureConnect for my four mile run, I could feel the cushioning right away. I felt super BOUNCY and light on my feet. ¬†In the end, I absolutely LOVE the cushion and bounce in this shoe¬†– this felt really good.¬†However, I wouldn’t say I felt like it was more flexible than my Newtons. I actually felt like they were a bit stiff, but I know they are not, maybe it was because they were snug like a glove.

Look at that Cushioning!

Look at that Cushioning!

So this is what I have so far, on this review. It is hard to judge since I have only had the chance to run four miles in them. One very important thing about these shoes is that they do not last long. Most runners can only get 250-300 miles out of these shoes before they have to replace them. Because of this aspect, I am planning on only wearing these shoes a couple times a week, mainly for shorter runs.

If you over pronate…

When you change your shoe to a minimalist/barefoot running shoe, and change your stride from an over strider/ heel striker to a shorter strider who lands on their forefoot with a quick cadence, your over pronation should disappear. However, some may have a body imbalance they can’t help or weak ankles. If this is the case, they may still need some stability in their shoe. If this is the case, an orthotic may help, or instead of purchasing the PureConnect, you would get the PureCadence. The PureCadence is from the PureProject by Brooks, but this shoe provides a stability crutch, while the PureConnect does not.

L wears the PureCadence.

PureCadence

PureCadence for those that want a barefoot running shoe, but needs a stability crutch.

PureCadence

PureCadence

If you are interested in a stability shoe in Newton, you would start with the Motion ( for those that need stability) later trying the Distance U (which is for both the neutral runner or the runner who needs a stability crutch.)

TIP…

If you are not running in a barefoot running shoe, always remember, it is good to keep one on hand as a strengthening tool Рthey work the muscles in your feet, when traditional running shoes protect them. They work the muscles in your lower legs, different than the way a traditional running shoe would.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you tried Newtons, Brooks PureConnects, Asics 33 series, or Saucony Kinvara? If so what did you think?
  2. Have you tried a minimalist shoe or barefoot running shoe? If so which one?
  3. What do you think of minimalist Рjust a trend or  is it the future of running shoes?

© 2012 sweatdaily

SOME Turkey Trot

I don’t start enjoying a run until mile three. My body needs time to warm up. By the time I am warmed up, found my rhythm, and begin enjoying myself, my 5K race is over. And that is why I hate running 5Ks.

However, the Turkey Trot is by far one of my favorite races. Running a Turkey Trot is one of the few, if not the only, 5K I run a year. It feels so amazing, to wake up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning and start the holiday off with a race.

I have run a couple different Turkey Trots in the area, but SOME is the best one. The race is located in DC. The route use to be down near Hains Point, but this year the race started on Pennsylvania Ave. I liked this route better, but parking was hard to find. The race is $35, but the money goes to SOME – So Others May Eat.

Although, just a 5K, I still did my normal night before race ritual Рlaying out my race outfit. 

Ready to run SOME, on Thanksgiving morning. Then jumped in my car. Picked my sister up. Headed to the start.
The start was well organized with a view of the Capitol.
We lined up near the 8 min/mile pace group.
I wore my Newton, Gravity shoes, and my new barefoot running socks.
These are the socks that I wore the day of my race. They felt really good, and helped me avoid a blister I get regularly on my third toe when wearing the Newton Gravity shoe. I learned about this product from the blog, Barefoot Monologues. Read a more detailed review on this product here.
My sister and I at the race. The race was easy, short, flat, fast. A typical 5K. A typical Turkey Trot. I ended up with a PR of 24:33. Thats a 7:55 min/mile. The best part was that Panera Bread handed out bagels at the finish line.
If you are ever in the DC area on Thanksgiving day, I highly recommend this race.
Questions for You
  1. Did you run a Turkey Trot?
  2. What is your favorite type of run? 5K, 10K, 15K, 10 miler, 13.1, 26.2

© 2012 sweatdaily

Blogger Award… this may get personal.

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog, by Katie from the blog, fitness, food and photography. I want to apologize for responding to this post so late, but better late than never. I also want to thank Katie for being so sweet to nominate me.

So here it goes… 11 facts about myself.

1) I try to eat everything organic. I don’t label myself as vegan or vegetarian but I eat meat in moderation.

2) The last two years I have become passionate in growing my own food. Although, I live in the city, the older I get the more I develop a longing to have some sort of farm.

3) I am a knitter. As a child, my mom taught me how to knit, but it wasn’t until last September that I really began to think of knitting as a form of art. Now I have become a ‚Äúyarn snob,‚ÄĚ guilty of having an obsession with high quality yarn. I love natural fibers such as merino wool, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, angora, silk, cotton, and linen. I also have a knitting blog on tumblr. If you are interested in checking out any of my projects you can find them at my tumblr blog, ¬†Cashmere and Silk.

My latest Chunky Knit! Hand knit by me.

4) I am a hairstylist. In many ways, I find knitting and hairstyling similar. Both, satisfies my passion, for texture and color, it allows me to build a shape.

Me doing hair for photo shoots.

5) I was born with copper hair, as I aged it turned blonde. I started coloring my hair when I was 18 and have been every shade of blonde. Two years ago, I changed my platinum pixie hair, to red. And I love it!

6) I am an artist. Charcoal is my favorite medium. I like to draw people.

7) I love to travel. Barcelona is one of my favorite places in the world.

8) I am a marathon runner. I much rather run far, than run fast.

9) I have been practicing Bikram yoga for 5 years.

10) I drink a Chai Latte almost everyday.

11) I have two dogs. Sometimes I think puppies are cuter than babies.

Here are the Questions My Nominee wanted me to Answer:

1)  How much time do you spend Blogging every day?

Oh I don’t know… It is not consistent.¬†

2)  What is the one song that get stuck in your head all day after you hear it?

I dunno, it changes all the time! I am always trying to discover new music. 

3)  What TV shows are on your DVR right now?

Homeland and Dexter

4)  What is your favorite season and why?

I love Fall. The crisp cool clean air makes running so refreshing and enjoyable. Oh and nothing is better than being wrapped up in a chunky knit. I also love fall flavors, such as Chai and Pumpkin.

5)  What is your favorite brand of jeans?

I would have to say AG, but to be totally honest I live in my black Lululemon leggings. 

6)  Last movie you watched?

I actually watch a ton of movies. Last night I was at a friend’s house, and we watched The Fighter. It is amazing how much weight Christian Bale lost in order to play the role of Dicky- the older brother crack addict. The movie, based on a true story, takes place in¬†Lowell,¬†Massachusetts.¬†This really touches my heart because I have ton of family in Mass and¬†the accents in the movie are amazing. I mean Christian Bale is from Wales, but you would never know. The costumes are really good too. ¬†Immediately you know this movie is set in the late 80s, early 90s, just because of the costumes. But in the end, my favorite part is the relationship the two brothers have, Dicky and Micky. I have two sisters, and I am really close with my family. I could totally relate to this brotherhood bond Dicky and Micky sure. In life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

I also love documentaries. The other night, I watched one called The Elephant in the Living Room. This is based on Exotic Animals kept as pets. It makes me sick that people are so selfish to keep Lions or any other exotic animal in a cage when they belong in the wild. 

7)  If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why?

Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I love red hair. I love the water. I love the beach. I was actually her for halloween. 

8)  Name one talent that you wish you had.

I love to Dance, but I wish I could dance at a professional level.

9)  What is your best feature/ favorite body part?

My booty! 

10)  What did you eat for dinner last night?

Indian Food.

11)  Favorite childhood game?

Truth or Dare

These are the blogs I nominate are…

1) Running in Mommyland

2) Sweat Every Day

3) Super Foodie Adventure

4) The Dancing Runner

5) Midlife Makeover blog

6) super generic girl

7) The Barefoot Monologues

8) Knitting Is Awesome 

9) Katie at Fox Flat

10) I heart Vegtables

11) Vedgedout

For those who I nominated you don’t have to answer any questions from me. Just write 11 interesting facts about yourself and then nominate 11 other blogs. ¬†Thank you!

Army Ten Miler aka ATM

On Sunday, October 21st, 2012, I ran the Army Ten Miler. ¬†With almost 22,000 runners crossing the finish line, this is the largest ten mile race I have ever run. I was really excited to run this race because as popular as it is, I had never run it before. Normally, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon, which always falls on the weekend after the Army Ten Miler, so I don’t really see a point of running a 10 mile race the week before my marathon when I am already passed that point in my training.

EXPO

The Expo was held at DC Armory. Because it is a military event, security was tight. Everyones’ ids were checked and in order to enter you had to go through a medal detector. The long lines went by quickly and we were able to get our bibs and t shirts.

Me and my Bib. Bib # 9525

L with her bib number, and running in memory of her hubby who died fighting in Iraq.

Me with my t shirt!

What can I say… one of my favorite things to do is shop for new running stuff… So I love huge Expo’s with tons of vendors. One of my favorite vendors is One More Mile. One More Mile is a company know for the most hilarious phrases written on their t shirts. The shirts are not the best quality but they are fun and very comfortable to wear post race.

One More Mile

L found one for me that said, “Does this shirt make my butt look fast.” And I found one for her that said…

One Bad Mother Runner…

The Expo was also very well organized and although I didn’t buy anything from them, I spotted two of my other favorite vendors, Garmin and Newton.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE DAY

So the night before my race, I prepare everything. I get my my race outfit ready. I pack my baggage claim bag. Then I take a picture of everything and upload it to Facebook. All of my runner friends get it, and all of my non running friends think I’m weird. But that is what I do and L started to do the same thing. I guess you could call this a ritual, because I do it, the night before every race. This helps me at 5:30 in the morning, when it is too dark to see. I don’t need to see because everything is organized.

My race outfit!

If you are interested to know what makes up my race outfit please click here. I review each product in detail.

RACE MORNING

On the morning of the race, I received a “wake up” text from L at 5:30 am. Because I had prepared my race outfit and baggage claim bag the night before it didn’t take me long to get ready. The only thing I couldn’t find in the dark that morning was a hair tie which is ironic because I am a hairstylist. I normally have a pixie haircut and never needed to worry about my hair.

Anyway, L picked me up and we drove five minutes to Pentagon City where we parked and met up with friends. The start of the race was at the Pentagon, and although the Pentagon is walking distance from Pentagon City we decided to hop on the metro.

One of my favorite things about race morning is riding a metro train packed with runners. The energy that fills the train is intense, exciting, and positive. It really gets me pumped up.

30,000 runners at the Pentagon Metro stop.

THE START

Although, it was a little bit cold, L and I stripped down at the start and checked our bags.

L and I at the start of the ATM 

We got one last group shot and then headed to our corrals.

The whole gang at the start!

I love military races because they always have the most organized races and the most entertaining start lines. At the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon, all of the runners huddled together on 110 while they flew Military Jets over our heads. At this race, military men/women entered the race by sky diving to the start line.

the sky raining people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RACE

Then the gun went off and the race began. Honestly, the start was a slow one for me. Once I started running, I began to feel really crowded and couldn’t run at the pace I had planned.

We ran down 110 to Arlington Cemetery. I love running on highways that I normally drive on. As I ran down 110 I began to remember the last time I ran down that highway, in Marine Corps Marathon.   We ran up to Arlington Cemetery and then over the Memorial Bridge. This part of the race was also very familiar because it is a part of one of my regular training routes. Then we ran around the Watergate Hotel, the Kennedy Center, the National Mall, then over the 14th Street Bridge.

The 14th Street Bridge is cool place to run over because it brings you from DC to Virginia. However, it is also an annoying place to run because whether you are running a 26.2 or a 10 miler it is a place that is hard for spectators to get to, and a place you really need support, being a spot towards the end of the race.

The 14th street bridge also brought back memories from when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. This was around mile 20 in the marathon and mile 8 in this 10 miler. So far, besides a slow start from crowding, I was feeling pretty amazing. I was running with natural form, landing on my forefoot. Legs felt strong. Breathing was good. My form was perfect, staying balanced and focussed.

landing lightly on my forefoot!

A tad bit of an over stride. The photos never lie.

running

However, it was on the 14th Street Bridge in this race that I started to feel a weird burning blistering sensation on the bottom of my feet. I continued running, and even sprinted to the finish line. After the race I checked the bottom of my feet and only had one small blister, and it wasn’t even a blood blister, so I guess it was just from friction feeling the ground. So although, I felt pretty amazing through most of the race, it is times like these (when I feel an unusual discomfort) that I begin to question how far I truly can run in the Newton shoes.

Finish line

Once over the bridge, the race route took us down to Pentagon City and finished where we started, at the Pentagon. Because L and I parked at Pentagon City, we decided that once we go our bags from baggage claim we would just walk over to the car. So thats what we did, which was shockingly quick and easy.

Overall, I though this race was pretty well organized, but not as organized as the Marine Corps Marathon. I though the route was pretty amazing and in the end I recommend this race to anyone and everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on the Newton Shoes

When I first started using the Newton shoes they felt extremely fast and light. I love that weightless feeling, however I have yet to PR in them. Since April I have run four 10 mile races two of them in my traditional running shoes, and two of them in my Newton shoes.

Cherry Blossom 10 miler -April 1st, 2012 –1:29:26 (traditional running ¬†shoe)

Parkway Classic 10 miler РApril 22nd, 2012 Р1:28:05 (traditional running shoe)

Annapolis 10 miler – August 26th, 2012 –¬†1:33:23¬†(Newton shoes)

Army 10 miler- October 21st, 2012 –¬†1:30:16¬†(Newton shoes)

These may sound like excuses but, the Annapolis 10 miler was run in a hurricane, and the Army 10 miler was crowded at the start. But overall, I feel pretty consistent when it comes to my times.

December 1st I will be running the Annapolis Half Marathon, in my Newton shoes. If I get 1:59:00, it will be a PR for me. So I am hoping for that.

Questions for You

  1. What is your favorite vendor at the running Expos?
  2. What is you race night ritual?

© 2012

What does your race outfit look like?

So¬†let me explain to you what makes up my race outfit. Most of the stuff in the photo, no longer is available, but I’ll tell you what it is anyway.¬†

1. Newton Shoes – As you may know since April I have been running in the Newton shoes. I started in the Distance U (the pink ones) and after the Annapolis 10 miler in August, I started to explore the idea of shoe rotation. So I purchased the Gravity and wear them along with the Distance u. I like both shoes, but how far I can run in them is still questionable. I have begun to wear the Gravity when running long runs, and the Distance U for shorter faster runs.

2. Lululemon РIt is a rare day, if I am running in something other than Lululemon. The shorts above are Lululemon running shorts that are no longer available. They are amazing because the back is longer then the front and they are seamless which makes them anti chafing. The shirt is also Lululemon. This shirt is  made from a material that is anti stink and contains SPF. Sometimes, I just want to run in a simple comfortable t shirt, nothing fancy.

3.¬†Garmin –¬†My Garmin running watch is a five year old Forerunner 50. It has been with me through 2 full marathons and a million other races. I also like the Garmin Connect for tracking runs. In the past, I use to use Runner’s World running log, but since I have had my Garmin there is no point to log milage on there. The Garmin program has it all, and it is also very helpful for me to have the ability to look back on the previous years Marathon training. That way I can compare long runs and see progress. This watch also runs on a battery so you don’t have to worry about charging it. Unfortunately, I don’t think they make this watch anymore. ¬†In the near future I will invest in a new Garmin, but for now I love and trust this watch!

4. iPod –¬†This is the iPod shuffle. The smallest of all the iPods. Some runners get annoyed when people run with head phones, but for me running is the only time a day I get a chance to listen to music. Unfortunately, L just notified me that Apple is no longer making these. Is that true?

5.¬†Sports Beans –¬†Jelly Belly makes these amazing (almost magical) ¬†Sports Beans. Ever since the one time I tried the Gu and almost barfed from the texture, I have been a Sports Bean user. These beans taste really good, and refuel your body with carbs, salt,¬†electrolytes, so you can remain energized. Or in the case of low energy they pick you up and help you continue on. I love them and highly recommend them for any endurance athlete, just always remember to wash them down with water and not gatorade. ¬†If you need more information on the Sports Beans then you can find it here, on the blog, All Seasons Cyclist.¬†

Questions For You…

  1. What is your favorite running accessory?
  2. What do you use to fuel up during a long run?
  3. What running brand of clothing is your favorite?

© 2012

Monday’s Motivation

Last week was a really busy overwhelming week for me, and my new couch/sectional finally arrived after three months of waiting for it to be custom made. So instead of blogging I spent most of my extra time laying around on my new couch/sectional relaxing and knitting.

Me. My dog. My new sectional. Living room is coming together.

In the mornings, I did fit in some running including a long 10 mile run in my newton shoes which I will later write a post about. I also spent some time in my kitchen cooking some really amazing food including beets that I roasted in olive oil for two hours. Anyway it is monday night and I wanted to leave you all with this quote that I found extremely inspiring. I’m hoping that it will help motivate you to eat healthy for the rest of the week.

Truth

Happy Monday Night!

© 2012

Annapolis 10 miler

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I am all ready for my 10 mile run tomorrow morning. This will be my first time racing in my Newton shoes. I am super excited! I’ll be posting a future more detailed blog post tomorrow night, so stay tuned…

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