Some of my favorites made the list!

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Some of my favorites made the list!

Cherry Blossom 10 miler – I run it every year.

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

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

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

Pacers – my favorite running store!!

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

© sweatdaily 2014

 

Anniversary: 7 years of running, 2 years of blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

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

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THE RACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In celebration I would like to thank you!

Cheers!
Happy Running

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

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

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

I started 2013 off running…

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

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

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

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

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

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

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

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

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

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

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

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

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

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

I got engaged. 

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

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

Washington, DC: RAVE RUN worthy!

 

I love that my home is RAVE RUN worthy. I probably have run this area along the potomac a million times. If you were ever wondering what it would be like to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, this is what it looks like.

Questions for You

  1. Is your home town/city RAVE RUN worthy?
  2. Where is the prettiest place you have ever run?

© 2012 sweatdaily

* photo found on tumblr.

 

I know its springtime when the Cherry Blossoms bloom

Ever since the early 1900 when, Japan gave the Cherry Blossom trees to the United States, they bloom year after year, symbolizing life and rebirth. 

In celebration of the gift of the trees, the Nation’s Capital puts on its biggest festival. Two of my favorite parts of the festival are the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Yoga on the National Mall.

Every year, The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is packed with about 15,000 runners, including some elite runners. It use to be first come first serve, but because of it’s popularity, it is now a lottery sign up.¬†The race starts at the Washington Monument, goes over the Memorial Bridge, loops around the Tidal Basin and finishes back on the National Mall. My favorite part of the race, is heading toward the memorial bridge. It is there, opposite¬†of us average runners, ¬†who have just started to run our race, that you can spot the elite runners sprinting towards the finish line. Seeing them, creates an amazing energy, so amazing it is indescribable. ¬†I also love running by the Tidal Basin, but it can be a hit or miss. ¬†It is a hit, because a canopy of white and pink blossoms normally hang over your head, and when they do, it is breath taking. In that moment, I want to turn off my ipod, and grab my camera. But it becomes a miss when the weather gets too warm too fast, or too cold, or windy, the delicate flowers might be destroyed, making the Tidal Basin, bare and boring.

In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first long distance race, and I have been running it every year since. In 2008, it was rainy and cold, but in the spirit of the the Cherry Blossoms, my sister and I wore bright pink shirts.  We ran it in a consistent 9:48 pace, finishing in 1:38:09. That day, after accomplishing that race, I felt different. In ways, that race defined me as a runner, because it was then that I felt I could truly call myself that.

This year was a very special year because it was the 100th year of celebration of the gift of the trees, and it was my 5th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. My sister didn’t run this year, but my new running buddy, Lina, a coworker of mine, ran it for her very first 10 mile run. The friday before the race we headed to the expo, which was held at the National Building Museum, to pick up our bibs, and do a little shopping. On the Saturday, before the race, I headed to lululemon to find a fun running outfit. I know that it is usually a big no no to wear something unfamiliar the day of the race, but I actually like racing in something new. I prepared my running things the night before and headed to bed early.

I woke up at 5:30 am and then Lina and I walked to the Metro. We arrived to the start line around 6:30. It was dark and cold.

When the race began we ignored the fact that we were in different corrals, and we both squeezed in with the 9 minute pace group.  It is important to get in the proper wave because if you get stuck in the back, it will cause so much frustration trying to squeeze pass other slower runners. I usually start off a little slower to warm up and then I ease into my pace. I kept a good pace most of the race stopping a couple of the water stations to refuel. I ended up running it in, ‎1:29:26, making a new PR. Lina was not far behind me.  When we got to the finish line we got to chow down on bananas.

Lina has some bling bling on her shoe!

Although, this race was fabulous, so were the previous ones. The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is as you can see, very dear to my heart. It was my first race, one that defined me as a runner. It is not only the race that I do every year, but it also symbolizes the  starts my running season.

Below memories from previous Cherry Blossom 10 miler races.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2008

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2009

Cherry Blossom expo 2010

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2011

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2012

© 2012