RUNNING under the sun and then through the snow.

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…”

You may have heard the above quote time and time again. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…” and in most places this is quite true – but not here in DC.

Last night my morning meeting was canceled do to the possibility of a wintery mix. You may be thinking, why… it is the end of March? But here in the DC area, having a disgusting mix of wet rain and snow in early spring is not shocking.

For some of you snow bunnies from up North, you may find my rant about 1 inch of snow annoying. But let me tell ya, I love snow, and would rather have a beautiful light dusting, or actually, bring it on I’ll take a blizzard, over this wet, dirty, already melting wintery mix.

Ever since I became a runner, 5 years ago, I have become very weather sensitive/picky. And every year, I take note, and remember quite vividly what the weather is like in late March through April. Why so obsessed? Because that is when my running season begins. That is when I start running my races, starting with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for the first weekend of April.

I love this race, however out of the five times I have run it, I have only run under the promised¬†canopy of Cherry Blossoms once. Most of the time, we will have a hot week, and the Cherry Blossom will bloom, and then we will have a cold week, where the wind will blow the blossoms away. ¬†So as you can see it is a roller coaster ride… when it comes to the weather around here.

So this is what I am talking about…

Is it spring?

Is it winter?

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Cherry Blossoms covered with wet snow…

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Ok… enough of that… Lets talk about Running…

This last week, I continued with my Livefit trainer, but I have also taken my half marathon training up a notch. Or in other words, I have been doing some serious runs. What do I mean by serious runs? Well, because this spring I am only doing races between 10 and 13.1 miles, my long runs are really not that long. Because I am a marathon runner, I don’t really consider anything below 10 miles a long run. ¬†With that being said, because I am training for the 10 – 13.1 mile races, so far my weekend long runs have been 6, 7, 8 (if that makes since.)

I also want to make a point, that no matter which distance you are running from 5k to 21 miler to ultra marathon, it is important to practice proper form. Even on the shortest runs, you can still have a serious, high quality workout.

Friday, 3/22

L and I went out on our 8 mile run. We ran south side of the MVT. It was a really great run, averaging a 9 min mile. It was cold but sunny. Good weather, happy runner!

221767_10101047893554966_1477093678_nSaturday, 3/23

I ran a 4-5 mile loop, and did 5x hill repeats. I was averaging an 8:30 min mile. It was 55-60 degrees. I ran in shorts and a tshirt. It felt amazing. I thought spring was here… what a tease.

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Sunday, 3/24

L and I met up at 7:30 am to get a 4-5 mile run in before work. It felt really nice to wake up early and hit the trail. We ran the north side of MVT. I ran faster than ever, definitely averaged 8:30 min mile, sometimes running faster. Focused on short fast strides. ¬†Stopped to take this quick photo…

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Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Questions for You…

  1. What types of runs did you do this weekend? Fast? Slow? Long? Short? Hills? Flat? Training? Races?
  2. Is it snowing where you are? Is it spring or winter?

© 2013 sweatdaily

LiveFit Trainer Update

I haven’t written a post on the Livefit trainer in over 2 weeks…

So here we go…

Today is day 48, which will also be my last day of week 7. I am more than half way through phase 2.

The differences between phase 1 and phase 2 is…

Basically, the program progressed by adding cardio into the mix during  phase 2, weeks 5, 6, 7, 8. This cardio consisted of a moderate 30 minute cardio session at a constant pace. Because phase 2 is still considered a building phase the weight I lift has gotten heavier, the reps increased, while the sets decreased. I am normally still resting for 1 minute in between each set, unless it is a superset. Some sets I lift to failure, while other sets are a dropped set.

Lets get that run on…

I am very happy that I am able to run again, however adding running along with the weight training has been very time consuming. If I complete my run on the treadmill, I normally spend between 1.5 – 2 hours in the gym. If I run outside then I am in the gym for 1 – 1.5 hours and then I hit the pavement running. So as you can see, I am in the gym a lot… and I hate the gym.

When I run on a treadmill, I feel like a hamster on a wheel…

To be totally honest, in the last 4 years, I have probably run on the treadmill 5 times each year, when it is a heat wave summer, and too dangerous to run outside. (I will not be one of those crazy runners, running in 110 degrees 90 percent humidity. Trust me I have done that before, and ended up in and out of the doctor’s for 3 months.)

But now, I am running on the treadmill, 1-2 times a week, and I hate it. The only reasons, I put myself through this treadmill running torture is because it saves me time, and I’m sick of the cold. It is the end of March and it has been in the 30s with gusty winds.

Anyway, I have been trying to make my treadmill runs interesting by putting up the incline slightly (1-2), and running at faster speeds, normally 8:30 min mile. I can deal with this because it is only 1-2 times a week. Hopefully, the sun will come out soon and I will be able to forget the treadmill for good.

As for outdoor running and half marathon training…

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I have been doing hill repeats, short easy runs, and some long runs on my weekends. But that is just another reason why the Livefit trainer seems time consuming. Along with trying to complete this trainer to the best of my ability, I am also training for 3 races, but the one I am really focused on is the NIKE WOMEN’S 13.1. This races is scheduled for the last weekend of April. So I have 6 weeks to get some serious running in. (I will write a separate post, and go in more detail about my training plan.)¬†

Weight training and results…

I will not post my progress pics quite yet. However, I will tell you this… In phase 2, I am lifting heavier because it is a requirement, but also because I am capable of it. I started this program with strong lean runners legs, but no upper body strength what-so-ever. During phase 1, I was lifting 5 lb dumbbells, now I am lifting 15 lb dumbbells. I was lifting a 20 lb bar, now I am lifting 30-40 lb bar. I was deadlifting with a 40 lb bar, now I am with a 60 lb bar. I am not only feeling stronger, but looking stronger too. I am not seeing bulky muscles, but rather a lot of lean muscle definition, which was my ultimate goal.

Abs, I knew you were there, but never saw you before… it is so nice to finally meet you!¬†

What I am probably most excited about, is that I am finally seeing a flatter stomach which is revealing some abs. This makes me excited, because the weakest part of my body has always been my core. Every expert runner has always told me a stronger core will help improve your running, and that is what I am hoping for.

The whole point of me doing the Livefit Trainer, was to get stronger, so I would improve my running, by being able to run stronger, further, faster. 

When I am out on the running trail, that is exactly how I feel, stronger and faster.

I also trust Jamie Eason. She has a video, that I posted earlier on my blog, about how you should train your abs like any other muscle group Рnot every day. She also said that while lifting free weights, most of the exercises engage your abs anyway. I have found this to be soooo true! 

Clean Eating…

In phase, 1 I struggled with clean eating, because I was having a hard time packing enough meals for the day. ¬†Now I have this…

MOMS


Above is a picture of my lunch box. I found it at MOM’s Organic Market. I like it because it fits all of my meals for the day, and it keeps everything cold. It is like carrying around a mini fridge.

Calorie Counting

In phase 2, it is required to start calorie counting. I am not very good at this, and I don’t do it all the time. But I am aware of how many calories I need. It is less on days that I lift upper-body. It is more when I lift lower-body, or go on longer runs.

A clean eating tip, that is introduced in phase 2, is measuring all ingredients. Because of this, it is suggested to purchase a kitchen scale.

scale

I really don’t see myself getting to particular about measuring and counting calories, but I will try my best while I am doing the Livefit trainer. ¬†So I purchased this Cuisinart kitchen scale. My food processor is a Cuisinart. I really like this brand. I haven’t used it yet, but I think it is going to be a good thing to have on hand in the kitchen. Plus all fitness models, and fitness competitors have their leanest results when the measure everything. So if you are trying to loose weight, or lean out, it might be a good thing to look into or purchase.

Supplements

In phase 2, it is suggested to take a digestive enzyme,¬†in addition to Protein powder, BCAAs, Glutamine, multivitamin, and fish oil/flax oil . So I purchased…

digestive

(I just bought these yesterday, so I will write a more detailed post about what the are and how they work, so stay tuned. )

So that is an overview of what I have been doing for the last 2 weeks, with the Livefit trainer, and my half marathon training… Stay tuned for shorter but more detailed posts, on long runs, and supplements.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you ever run on the treadmill?
  2. What is your favorite way to run on the treadmill?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Livefit Trainer, Week 5, Progress Pic

Update of the Livefit trainer…

I wanted to update you on the Livefit trainer. I have just completed week 5. Today is my rest day, which means tomorrow is my first day of week 6. It is hard to believe I am halfway through the trainer.

Phase 2 has begun…

Week 5 is the first week of Phase 2. And let me tell you this week had been super intense! However, Jamie Eason claims that it is just the beginning. Let me explain to you what Phase 2 is all about.

Remember how in Phase 1, there was NO CARDIO… which meant no running. Oh how I missed my runner’s high. Jamie Eason wanted to use Phase 1 as a muscle building phase. She also wanted us to focus on our clean eating diet which meant eating whole clean foods, as 5-6 small meals in three hour intervals.

Well in Phase 2, we are still building muscle. Actually, there are way more work outs. Some work outs are combined with another as a super set. Other work outs have reps up to 20 or 30.  Another thing that has finally been added is 30 minute cardio sessions,which Jamie Eason suggests doing after you weight lift. This means running for me. Yippee! We are also continuing to eat clean, 5-6 small meals a day, in three hour intervals. Drinking tons of water, and taking our supplements. One new thing, Jamie Eason suggest, that I am going to start to do is using the app My Fitness Pal, which will help me keep track of my calories, making sure I get enough.

Week 5 has been intense, because it has been more time consuming, but I haven’t missed a day. Today is my much needed rest day. Tomorrow week 6 begins. I am also starting my half marathon training. In order to fit all this in, and stay on top of everything, I am going to be waking up earlier. I have a feeling there might be some days where I will be doing a double, but I am going to try my hardest to try to avoid this and just get all my work outs done in the morning time, before work.

Phase 2, Week 5

Day 29 – Back/ Cardio

  • ¬†Seated Cable Rows¬†–¬†3 sets of 8 reps – (40 lbs)
  • End of superset; resume normal sets

Day 30 – Chest/Abs

  • ¬†Superset:

Day 31- Legs

    • ¬†Leg Extensions¬†–¬†2 warm-up sets with lighter weight for 30 reps – (I used 30 lbs and it was killer.¬†
    • ¬†Wide Stance Barbell Squat¬†–¬†2 lighter sets of 15 reps, 2 heavier sets to failure – (First two sets with 50 lbs, Last two sets 70 – 90 lbs)
    • ¬†Leg Press¬†–¬†4 sets of 8 reps- (90 lbs)
    • ¬†Walking Barbell Lunge¬†– ¬†3 sets of 20 reps, baby steps (30 lbs)

Day 31 – Arms, Abs, Cardio

  • Barbell Curl¬†–¬†3 sets of 10 reps – ( 1 set 20 lbs. It was too light, ¬†so I went up to 30 lbs. Someone is getting stronger. ūüôā )

Superset:

End of superset; resume normal sets

  • ¬†Hanging Leg Raise¬†(or roman chair) –¬†3 sets of 10 reps – (body weight) I like roman chair better.
  • 30 minute Cardio session on treadmill. I hate the treadmill, because I would rather be running outside. But I ended up, having a sweaty fast treadmill run, working on speed work.

Day 33 – Shoulder/ Cardio

  • Smith Machine Military Press¬†–¬†1 warm-up set, 3 sets of 10 reps – (I got up to 30 lbs on this, but I didn’t like it. I have done this one before with just a 30 lb bar with my chair in and incline position, and felt it much more, so I think I will do that for now on.

Superset:

End of superset; resume normal sets

J and I headed to the gym by 7:00 am. We were completely done with this work out by 8:30 am. It felt really good to have it done that early. 

Day 34- Legs

I was up and at the gym by 8:00. I wasn’t able to finish this work out because I had to be at work by 10, so had to leave the gym by 9:00. This was an intense work out and my legs were still really sore from working out earlier during the week. So I am going to finish this work out tomorrow along with completing day 36 which is back and cardio.

Tomorrow is also suppose to be very snowy in my area. So my cardio session might end up being another treadmill session. Oh well, I’ll do what I have to do. Desperately wishing it was spring.

Anyhow, at the end of Phase 1, I snapped a progress pic I wanted to share with you. This is my first progress pic, I took last week at the end of phase 1 beginning of phase 2.

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Trust me, I didn’t have arms or shoulders like that before. This is proof that 4 weeks of lifting weights really can transform your body.

tumblr_mijzdgHfwG1rwkaswo1_500Found this motivational picture on tumblr, and felt it fit this post perfectly. It has been 4 weeks and I have noticed a change in my body, and I feel much stronger. It will be interesting to take another photo when 8 weeks approaches, and then again when 12 approaches.

I wish it was already TOMORROW…

because…

I can’t wait to start week 6. Although I hate the gym, I ¬†have found a new love for weight lofting… so I hope the snow doesn’t close the gym . ūüėČ

P.S. I am now officially starting my half marathon training as well… so I will post my training program tomorrow.

Questions for You?

  1. What races are you training for?
  2. What training program do you follow?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

Livefit, Days 23/24/25

The last three days I have completed Days 23, 24, and 25 of the Livefit Trainer. OMG! One more day and I will be done with Phase 1, and moving on to Phase 2, week 5. This is exciting, but things are going to get tricky.

a quick recap of my days…

Phase 1, Week 4, Day 23 

Back and Biceps

Phase 1, Week 4, Day 24

Chest and Triceps

Phase 1, Week 4, Day 25

Legs

So that is what I have been lifting for the last couple of days…

Challenges…

I have come to the conclusion that my weakness is not clean eating, but rather organization and time management. I have been eating very clean, I just need to make sure I am eating enough. So this next phase, Phase 2, I am really going to work on planning my meals on Friday. I thought about Sunday, but Friday is my day off from work, so I will have more time to get these meals planned. I’ll have time to go grocery shopping, make the meals, and divide them up into their proper portions. ¬†I can’t wait to blog about it… so keep your eyes open for more “clean eating” posts!

Also in phase 2, Jamie Eason talks about measuring out your food, and calorie counting. I measure out my food, from time to time, but I never use a kitchen scale. So this will be my next purchase. A kitchen scale is important and helpful to  measure all sorts of things, especially meats, in my case fish. Jamie Eason also suggests the app My Fitness Pal, for calorie counting. I have yet to use this app, but I have a client that is using it and he loves it. People can follow you, so they can see what you are eating. In his case, his personal trainer follows him.

This app will help recored calories. You are able to keep track of what you are eating – Maybe at the moment you are eating way to many carbs, but aren’t really aware of it… this app will make you aware. And because others can follow you, you will be motivated to stay on track. Sometimes people just need that little bit of support. Honestly, I am just not that picky, so I have never even thought about counting calories, but I am excited to try this app. I am really curious to see how many calories I consume on a daily basis.¬†DownloadedFile-1

Rest in between sets is more important then you think…

Another helpful app that Jamie Eason suggest is called the GymBoss Timer. In Phase 1, we were lifting 3 sets of 10-12 reps using a minute to rest in between each set. This app has a basic timer on it that times a one minute rest period. It worked perfect. Resting in between sets is especially important in phase 2 when we will be lifting heavier and incorporating supersets into the mix.

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¬†“For some exercises, you’ll feel ready to continue after one minute; other exercises might require two. Regardless, the rest period should be long enough to allow you to tackle each set with as much exertion as possible.” – Jamie Eason

Supersets… What is that??

A superset is when you perform an exercise set and immediately after you do a different exercise set with no rest time in between. ¬†You will also be “lifting to failure.” This means that on your last set, instead of lifting to your last rep number, you will continue to lift until your muscle is so tired it can not possibly perform another full rep.

Things are going to get tricky…

In the beginning of the post, I mentioned that I am excited about starting phase 2, but I also revealed that things will get tricky… In phase 2, we will start to throw cardio into the mix, which means RUNNING for me. Because I am a runner, this is super exciting for me… finally I will have my runner’s high back. Yay! However, ¬†things are going to get tricky, because I am also going to start my half marathon training.

Jamie Eason says it is best to lift weights first and then do your cardio. So the easiest thing to do, would be to hit the gym, lift and then go on the treadmill. But I hate the treadmill. When I am on a treadmill I feel like a hamster on a wheel. So the plan is to do my weight lifting and then go for a run outside. This also means I am going to have to wake up earlier. I am going to have to be in the gym no later than 7:30, and then have L meet me outside my gym, so we can start our runs from there. Or we could even meet up in our regular spot, since my gym is up the street from the running trail.

So what will J do?? She has options… We can do our weight lifting together, and then she can stay in the gym and do her cardio, while I go running with L. Or after weight lifting she can come along with L and I on our run.

Another tricky part… ¬†

In phase 2, Jamie Eason, claims that phase 2 is still a building phase. So she only has us doing 30 minutes of cardio… Well there are going to be days when I am just going to have to run longer then that… Sorry I am a long distance runner, training for three races in April.

Ok so that is it for now… Hopefully, I can juggle all of this. As long as I wake up earlier, and plan out everything well… I think I will be good to go.

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Also guys, you can now follow me on Daily Mile!  The above photo is my profile pic. I had to model my new lululemon running outfit and my newton shoes. But if you are a runner and you are not on Daily Mile you must get on it asap. It is an awesome community for endurance athletes, and a great way to track mileage, share it with others, and get the support you need!! I love it!!

I also joined Fitocracy!¬†¬† This site does not just cater to runners. It is an awesome fitness community that is filled with a very diverse crowd. You will find all sorts of athletes here. It is very easy to track your daily workouts, whatever it may be, including weight lifting. It is also very game like… because the more workouts you track the more points you achieve. You can move up to levels. There are groups you can join, where you can discuss whatever topics your desire. You will find motivation and support here!¬†Join asap and follow me!

I know this post was a long one but…

Things you need to do…

Check out the apps.

  1. MyFitnessPal
  2. GymBoss

Check out the sites… Join and follow me!

  1. Daily Mile
  2. Fitocracy

Other amazing free fitness apps to check out…

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Questions for You…

  1. What is your favorite fitness app?
  2. Are you on dailymile or fitocracy? If so let me know and I will follow you!

© 2013 sweatdaily

Missing my RUNNER’S HIGH.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Today, is Valentine’s Day. All of these special days falling in one crazy week. I am so thankful today, although it is everyone’s Thursday, it is my Friday. (If that makes since…)

AT THE SALON

This has been a crazy work week for me. I have had a week full of hair color transformations. It is only mid February, but for some reason everyone wants to go lighter. I wasn’t expecting to change my brunettes to blonde bombshells until March or April, but it happened this week, which meant long days, and late nights at the salon.

LIVEFIT UPDATE

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PHASE 1, WEEK 3, DAYS 16,17,18

DAY 16, Monday, 2/11/13,

BACK and BICEPS

  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (30lbs) alternative work out PULL UPS
  • Seated Narrow Grip Cable Rows¬†– 3 sets 10 rep – (30lbs)

  • T-Bar Row¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (10lb weight, 20lb bar, total 30lbs.

  • Back Extensions¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (body weight or hold weight with arm across chest) NOTE: This is my new favorite work out for lower back muscles.

  • ¬†¬†Barbell Curl¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (20lb straight bar) NOTE: I really felt this worked my biceps. They were super sore the next day.
  • ¬†Incline Dumbbell Curl¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (started first set with 5 lbs just to work on proper for then went up to 10 lbs for the rest of the sets)¬†
  • ¬†Alternate Hammer Curl¬†– 3 sets 10 reps – (10 lbs)

Tuesday, 2/12/13, REST DAY

The original plan for this day was to hit the gym at night. I am busy all day with an art class and work, so night time is the only time I have to work out. I ended up not being able to get home until 9:00 pm and the gym closes at 11. I decided I didn’t want to be the one closing the gym, so I used this as a rest day and planned to do that day’s work out, Day 17, the next day along with that day’s work out. Double duty. Didn’t want to fall behind.

THE DOUBLE DUTY DAY

DAY 17 & DAY 18, Wednesday, 2/14/13

CHEST, TRICEPS

LEGS

Today, Thursday, 2/14/13 is DAY 19 of LIVEFIT. I will be hitting the gym this afternoon, to work on Shoulders & Abs. I will not be taking any more rest days until the end of phase 1. If for some reason I can’t make it to the gym, I will take a rest day and do double duty the following day. But this is only if for some reason I am desperate and can’t make it to the gym. Jamie Eason does have 2 videos of at home work outs just in case, but I’d rather just try to stick to the program as closely as I can.

SEEING RESULTS

First things First. I am desperately missing my RUNNER’S HIGH! But I also can’t believe how fast Phase 1 is flying on by. Today will be the last day of week 3 and then I am moving right on to week 4. 1 more week and then Phase 2 begins, where you can introduce cardio into the program, and for me running. Yippee!! Can’t wait to experience my runner’s high again. However, I will admit that I have really enjoyed focusing on getting stronger. I think that it is super important, and it gave me the opportunity to focus on eating clean as well. Plus, waiting to run, will just make my runner’s high that much sweeter.

I also wanted to tell you, that I am starting to see some results, and feel them too. I didn’t think I would see much results especially this fast, because I am an athlete already in pretty good shape. But, my arms are starting to take shape, and I have began to see even more definition in my legs and abs. As for feeling results, I am feeling stronger. I also have been really tired lately, but I think that has a lot to do with work and not really the Livefit program. I am pretty sore though, everyday. I am also much more hungry, but I think that is because my growing muscles need fuel and my metabolism is fired up.

CHALLENGES

I have already been eating clean for about 9 months now, but I was having challenges with eating enough calories. I am doing much better about preparing my meals, and packing my food. The two things I need to work on now, is drinking more water, and making more protein shakes. But I am still taking my other supplements.

So that sums up my update with the Livefit program. I can’t wait for Phase 2 to begin, in about a week, because during Phase 2 I will also start my half marathon training.

I found this on tumblr... Now she is hardcore!

I found this on tumblr… Now she is hardcore!

Oh BTW, I updated my about page, so check it out. I also updated my race times. Please follow me on twitter, athlinks, and instagram.

Questions for You

  1. Do you eat clean? What is your favorite eat clean food/meal?
  2. What challenges do you have it your fitness routine?
  3. To my Runner followers: What is the longest amount of time have you gone with out running?

© 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

 

 

 

 

 

Yipee!

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I can not even begin to express how excited I am. The Nike Women’s Marathon has always been on the top of my list of races to run. However, because it has always taken place in San Francisco I haven’t had the chance to run it. Well, at the end of the summer a friend ¬†informed me that the race was coming to DC. This is the first time that the race is going to take place in a city other than San Fran. Out of all the cities on the East coast they chose to place the race in Washington, DC – very cool, and¬†convenient.

Another thing about The Nike Women’s Marathon is that it is super popular, so popular that they had to make it a lottery. They also kept the registration date a secret. So everyday I was checking on whether or not the race was open for registration. It was really weird, I would google NWM and there would be NO info on the race registration. Finally, I found out, through facebook, that it had open and I registered.

It wasn’t until today that I found out that I got in and so did my running budy, L and my sister E. Super Excited. I can’t wait to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon at the end of April. I heard shirtless firemen hand out Tiffany necklaces at the end.

© 2012 sweatdaily

12 mile training run

I just got home from my 12 mile training run. It was 40 degrees out, with a lot of wind so I prepared myself, and dressed in my winter running gear.

My pants and coat are from Lululemon. My hat is from anthropologie.  My scarf is from lucy. I did not wear my Newton Gravity shoes, instead I wore my Brooks Glycerin. This is the first time since April that I wore anything but my Newtons.

Lately, I have been curious about how I would do in my old shoes. I actually forgot what they felt like. I just wanted to have a little more cushioning on my feet. I wanted to get lost in the run and take a break from always focussing on form. However, I don’t think my form suffered, and after I removed my scarf at the end of mile 1, I felt perfect on the trail – not too hot, not too cold.

Don’t be afraid to switch up your shoes. It is actually really good for your body. Just how your body can get accustomed to a certain work out- and you stop seeing results. Your body can become accustomed to your shoe, if you always wear the same one. Plus different runs might need a little bit of a different shoe, so switch it up and work different muscles. My legs have changed shape since wearing the Newton shoes, and having a shoe rotation.

12 miles

Anyway, this 12 mile run was awesome! I ran this 12 miler on the south side of the MVT, because I don’t have to stop for street lights. It has some slight rolling hills, and some beautiful views of the Potomac. My legs did get a little tired at some points, but I reminded myself to take short strides and land on my forefoot/mid-foot.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 12.01 miles

Time: 1:41:06

Average Pace: 8:24 min/mile

Best Pace: 7:46 min/mile

Calories: 977 C

Cadence: 96 ‚Äď which can‚Äôt be accurate.


This was a pretty good long run for me, super fast. I drank water every 2 miles. I ate a Honey Stinger waffle right before the run and refueled with Honey Stingers at mile 6 and then again at mile 9.

I am starting to get excited for my race next Saturday. This coming up week consist of shorter runs, and lots of rest. The taper begins.

What is your favorite winter running gear?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Speed Work Drill

I wanted to share with you another recap on a speed work drill I did last Thursday. Again this was run on the treadmill in my Newton, Distance U shoes.

picture found on tumblr

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

11: 40 PM

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.10 miles

Time: 25:19

Average Pace: 8:09 min/m

Best Pace: 7:14

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 97

I felt really good about this treadmill drill. However, because I am only doing daily 5K runs, my weekly mileage is drastically lower.

© 2012 sweatdaily

Proud to be a Runner. Proud to be an American.

“If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.”¬†– Hal Higdon

Before I wasn’t too worried about speed, and never did any speed work training. ¬†But now, I know I can run a 5K, 10K, 10 miler, half marathon, even a full marathon. I think after 2 full marathons, I finally have the right to call myself a runner. So it is time to take my running to a different level. I have decided it is no longer about, “Can I run this milage or not… ” because I have already proved that I can, physically and mentally. ¬†So my running is now about doing my personal best. And in order to break old records and create new ones for myself, I need speed drills.

I was always confused on speed drills. Maybe that is why it has taken this long to try one out. But I tend to always complicate things, when really it is very simple. Hal Higdon says, “If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.” So that is what my plan is. The only thing that I regret is not starting this speed work training sooner. My half marathon is in less than four weeks. But my one fitness goal for November is to train properly for this half marathon. Training includes, speed work, tempo runs, long distance runs, strength training, and some mild stretching.

On Sunday night, I felt really good, after I ran, my 5k speed work training run. So I decided today to try it again.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26:03

Average Pace: 8:24

Best Pace: 7:20

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 96

TREADMILL DETAILS

Again I ran this on the treadmill. (I hate the treadmill, and usually run outside) This time, I started out running at 6.8- 7.0, for the first mile. Then on the second mile I brought it up to 7.0-7.5. The third mile I ran at 7.5-7.8. whole time I felt really good. I never felt like I had to stop. I felt like I could keep going. This is a very good sign, but I think I can push myself more. Next time I do speed drills I am going to do interval training and really sprint hard.

Again I ran in my Newton- Distance U. This is the lightest and most minimalist shoe in my shoe rotation. Because of the shoes, my run felt light, easy, and fast. I still want to work on bring my Cadence up.

STRENGTH TRAIN

I also have been trying to do more strength training. It is a must for me on days when I do speed drills. I am really trying to strengthen my core. So below are the details.

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells ‚Äď this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

VOTING

Also everyone knows what today is…. ELECTION DAY! So this morning I woke up at 6:40 am and was at the polls by 7:00 am. It felt good to be so productive before work – getting my work out in and my vote on. As you may or may not know, I live in Washington, DC, which is by far the most political area in the USA. Sometimes being surrounded by politics all the time can be exhausting and stressful, but today was a happy day. I am so proud have the freedom to vote. It is days like these that make me grateful that I was born an American.

My sticker. My proof. I voted.

If you haven’t had the chance to vote yet… it is not too late!¬†

© 2012 sweatdaily