Fed Up! The most IMPORTANT blog post.

hey there!

I want to apologize for being MIA for the month of May. I have so much to catch you up on… ¬†And although I haven’t posted much, I have been one busy girl.¬†Travel, work, running, weight lifting, cooking, and wedding planning has consumed me, and continues to consume me. However… last week I was able to squeeze in some movie time with my good friend R (check out her fashion/lifestyle ¬†blog. It’s awesome!)

The movie we saw is called Fed Up (watch the trailer here.) Because it is a documentary it is only playing at the E Street Theater in DC. This is bitter sweet. The sweet part: I love the E Street Theater and was thankful the movie was playing in a theater in my area. The bitter part: After seeing the movie I felt so inspired. I wanted to shout from the roof tops, “Everyone should see this film.” ¬†Then I became really disappointed that only one theater is showing this film in my area. And what about other smaller towns? The odds are no theater is playing it.

That is the reason why I am claiming this to be one of the most important blog posts I have written. I am trying to spread the word about this film the fastest way I can, and there is no way faster than through social media. Please reblog this post and continue to spread the word.

Now about the movie…

I first heard about the movie Fed Up on Kris Carr’s facebook page. I can always count on Kris for keeping me inspired, informed, and updated. For those who don’t know Kris Carr – she is an amazing cancer surviver who wrote the book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and created the documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. I love her book, and watch her documentary often.

Anyway, she posted that Fed Up would premiere May, 9th. Immediately, I knew I had to see it. So I marked it in my calender and contacted R, the one friend I knew who would enjoy the film as much as I would.

This movie is a must see. It is about the American Diet, claiming that sugar is the reason why so many American’s are fat.

Ideas that were expressed in this film that really stuck with me…

  • Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. It releases the same signals from the brain to the body, the way cocaine does. One will drink a sugary coffee drink in the morning. It gives you a high, but in two hours the person feels tired and sluggish, then craving sugar again. People who are overweight, this includes children, continue to crave and often after loosing weight, they will gain it back. Bad habit and routine also causes weight gain. Poor education, not knowing what is healthy also causes weight gain.
  • Sugar without fiber is quickly processed by the liver and stored as fat. This includes fruit juice.
  • The body can not tell the difference between sugar and sugar replacements.
  • Honey, agave, nectars, although natural, are still forms of sugar and effect the body the same way as sugar does.
  • Scientists come up with different names for sugar, and companies label their product with these confusing names. The most common one being¬†high fructose corn syrup.
  • Buying low fat or fat free is not healthier for you. Most low fat or fat free items are processed. Scientists remove the fat and replace it with sugar or man made chemicals.
  • Companies focus on trendy diets in order to sell products. ¬†When low calorie diets were trendy they create products like Coke Zero. Creating products like Coke Zero¬†is just a math equation. It is easy for Scientists to remove calories, but when they remove something they need to replace it with something else – in most cases a chemical. At the end of the day hot pockets vs. lean hot pockets – both of them are equally junk food.¬†
  • Doctors go to medical school and prescribe medicine. In some extreme Doctors will even choose surgery. The problem is medicine and surgery only treats the symptoms. Being obese is a symptom. When children are overweight, there is a deeper reason why… In most cases their parents don’t know the difference between a healthy food vs. a non healthy food. Schools don’t have healthy options in the cafeteria.
  • Advertisements are also a huge reason why Americans are overweight.
  • Politics are also a huge reason why Americans are overweight. Do we want to be the richest nation or the healthiest? Can we have both?
  • This problem is becoming a Global issue.

Although, some of the content I already had knowledge on there were other ideas that were totally eye opening.

 

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Don’t forget to see this film, and bring your friends too. Spread the word!

Do you have a sweet tooth?

What is your favorite documentary?

© sweatdaily 2014

Are you an annoying runner?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is all…

What are you guilty of? What annoys you?

OMG! I am having workout/running withdrawals!!

My life is crazy busy right now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is anyone else doing a long run on Easyer?

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My advice to a new runner and all runners…

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

Now to get to my point…

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

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

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

I mean this in every way.

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

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

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What is your most common running question?

Happy Running!!!

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

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

What is The Clutch Cut? What is Clutch?

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

clutch nutrition

Clutch Diet

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

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

Gluten and Dairy free…

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

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

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

Carbs are Important…

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

The Training Plans: Clutch vs. Livefit

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

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

Weight lifting Day

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

Cardio

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

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

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

Customizing your Program

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

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

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

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

First Week done… but will be repeated…

backprogressBack Progress after completing the Livefit trainer

day 1 clutchDay 1 of The Clutch Cut

day 2 clutchWeek 1 of The Clutch Cut completed.

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

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

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

What’s next…

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

Other Blog Post you may like…

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

Have you tried Clutch?

ňô¬© 2014 sweatdaily

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

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

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

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

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

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

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

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

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

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

Weight lifting

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

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

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

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

Running 

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

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

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

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

Log your miles…

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

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

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

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

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

To find support…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for you…

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

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

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

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

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

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

NIGHT BEFORE

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

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

MORNING OF 

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

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

THE METRO 

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

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

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

MY CORRAL

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

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

THE START

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

FIRST 2 MILES

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

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

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

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

MILE 10-12

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

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

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

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

THE PEP TALK

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

MILE 15 

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

mcm-thumbs-up

MILE 16

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

MCM MILE 16

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

MILE 17

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

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MILE 18-20

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

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

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

HITTING THE WALL

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

MILE 21

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

MILE 22

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

MILE 23

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

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

MCM COOL SIGN

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

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

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

MILE 24

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

ONE MOE MILE

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

MCM race times

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

THE FINISH – 26.2

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

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

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

Marine Corps Marathon Expo and the GAME plan!

EXPO

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

GAME PLAN

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

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

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

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

The first quote I came across was…

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

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

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

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

“Hey, Jurker!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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© 2013 sweatdaily

We’re back on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But thankfully…

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

On Instagram:20131017-212711.jpgOn their website:

  • Official Statement regarding the 38th Marine Corps Marathon

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

A video announcement: Watch here.

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

The rain finally stopped, so I ran 13 miles…

We have had rain everyday this week.

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

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

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

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This week coming up…

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

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