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

 

 

 

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

Falling in love, with NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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

This is how it all began….

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

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

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

“Yep. Everyone knows that. “

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

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

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

“Ok,” I answered

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

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

So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…

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

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

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

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NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.

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NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.

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NOLA wears costumes.

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NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…

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sometimes South Park toys…

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NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…

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

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

Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…

© 2013 sweatdaily

Clean Eating, Rest Days, Livefit

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow are rest days in the Livefit trainer. Yesterday, was a perfect day for me to have a rest day, because it was Tuesday. Tuesday always ends up being really busy for me, because I have my art class in the morning, and then I head straight to work. But because of that, I wasn’t able to prepare any meals for the day. I did the best I could under the circumstances, but there were times when I felt hungry, and I don’t think I got enough calories. Remember, I am suppose to be eating immediately when I wake up, and then in three hour intervals. I also did not have a protein shake- this was a major fail.

On rest days, I am not working out, and should have more time to focus on nutrition.  So Today, Wednesday Р1/30/13, is another rest day! Have I mentioned how sore I am?

Today, I was going to go for a short run because a warm front came through and it is 65 degrees out. However, it is also overcast and looks like rain. This was a really hard decision for me, but I actually decided to skip the run and stick to the plan, of “NO CARDIO” in Phase 1. So instead I used this time to prepare my meals for the day. I have noticed eating small clean meals on regular intervals have really given me tons of energy. I haven’t felt tired, or had headaches, but instead super energized. I also have noticed that when before I wasn’t a morning eater and didn’t begin having an appetite until the afternoon, I now¬†wake up, hungry.

Below are some examples of the clean foods I ate today.

livefit toast

For breakfast, instead of having my normal, hard boiled eggs and greek yogurt with homemade granola, I saved those for later, and had toast with almond butter. ¬†I used Ezekiel bread as my toast. I have been wanting to get my hands on Ezekiel bread for some time now, but could never find it. I finally found it in the freezer section at MOM’s. J and I split a loaf because I don’t eat that much bread and didn’t want to have a whole loaf and let half go bad. Anyway, this bread is all natural, organic. It’s ingredients are inspired by the biblical passage Ezekiel 4:9, hence its name. This bread is high in fiber and protein, while being totally flourless.

livefit veggiesLater in the day, I ate an arrangement of organic veggies with organic hummus. Have you ever had hummus with cilantro in it? This is my new favorite!

lifefit shakeI also prepared a protein shake with Vega protein. I juiced kale, celery, and pineapple. I poured the juice over the protein powder and added some coconut water. Really yummy drink.

Anyway, those are just some examples of some things I munched on today. I am hoping these clean meals inspire you, and give you new ideas of things to pack for your day.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you eat on regular intervals?
  2. Have you ever made your own hummus?
  3. What is your favorite “clean eating” meal?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Meeting my Idol, starting a new Challenge.

It is June. I am in the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading back to the east coast after my twelve day getaway to the wild wild west. I am on the moveable aisle heading in one direction, towards my gate. On the other side, heading in the other direction, I see a beautiful woman. Immediately I recognize her blonde bob, stacked in the back, angled around her chin. She has the prefect body, extremely lean and fit. She is shorter than I imagined her to be. She must be 5’2, only one inch taller than me. All of these thoughts fill my mind, and with in seconds, I blurt out to my bf, “Oh my goodness, I just spotted a famous person.”¬†

“Where? he asks. “I don’t see anyone famous?”

“The blonde,” I tell him.

“Oh… the woman with the guns.”

“Yes! She is a famous fitness model, from Oxygen magazine. My idol.”¬†

I continue walking to our gate, while my bf encourages me to turn around and introduce myself to her. And because we have time to spare, that is exactly what we do. We start walking in the direction she was walking, but she is no where in sight. Finally I spot her in the food quart.

While everyone around her is eating McDonalds or the Chinese food option, that might as well be McDonalds, she is there clean eating with her homemade lunch. I know this sounds kind of stalkerish, but she is my idol, the one that got me interested in living a more fit and healthy life. By reading her articles in Oxygen magazine I  have learned how to lift weights properly, and was motivated to get to the gym everyday! (Of course I have grown since then, and now prefer yoga studios, and running outside.)

I approach her, by saying I am sorry to disturb her, while she is eating lunch. Then I ask her if she is a famous fitness model for Oxygen magazine. She answers, yes and introduces herself, and then hugs me. I tell her she is beautiful and a total inspiration. Then we part ways. I do have a plane to catch.

So that was the day I was starstruck, and that was the unforgettable day I met my fitness idol, Jamie Eason. 

The only regret I have, is that I didn’t get a photo of the two of us.¬†

537031_10100941247080356_1712749712_nSo above is my first Oxygen magazine with Jamie Eason, printed in June of 2007. I also am showing you my free weights, which is an inexpensive but great investment. You should always have free weights at hand. The top left picture is of the supplements that I have recently purchased. Where am I going with this?

Well end of January through February is the only gap of time that I do not have a race that I need to train for. I call this time my off season. This is the time that I casually run and have more time to incorporate different types of work outs into my fitness routine. I remember, months ago, having a desire to strength train. Weight training along with yoga is so important for runners. Building muscle makes you stronger, which improves your running. The stronger you are the better your natural running form becomes, and this helps prevent injury.

So finally I will have the time to focus on building muscle, which is easier said than done. I never thought I would follow a fitness program. But then I realized I have never run a marathon with out a training plan. I actually ran my fastest half marathon this December by, following a half marathon plan. So I guess I am the type of athlete that finds success when I follow a program. So after researching crossfit, wish I could do it, but it is just not in my budget right now. Then I read reviews on P90X and insanity, but finally found the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason.

It is a 12 week training plan, broken down in 3 phases, and it is totally free. I love Jamie Eason, so I though might as well try her plan.

So today, is day one of the Livefit trainer with Jamie Eason. I can’t wait to begin, and I am so happy that my younger sister will be joining me for this challenge. I will be blogging everyday about my experience. And I have a feeling that both my sister and I will have amazing results. Her goal, is to begin a healthy lifestyle. Mine is to add some strength, lean out my body, and prepare it for when I start my training for my races I have lined up for this spring.

If anyone wants to jump on this challenge with me feel free, we can do it together. Now is the perfect time. You will have a lean body by the end of April.

Questions for You?

  1. Has anyone had success with the Livefit program?
  2. Have you ever had the chance to meet you idol?
  3. Who inspires you in the fitness industry?

© 2013 sweatdaily

My favorite hat, spells TEAM LIVESTRONG!

So I have this hat… that is my absolute favorite hat. It was given to me by a friend who got it after he accomplished his first century ride. Pretty sweet swag right!? The hat is made from a white wicking material, that keeps your head cool on a hot summer day. It is actually the only hat I don’t feel suffocated in, while I run. It fits my head perfectly, protecting my skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and shielding my hair color, from fading, keeping it everlasting, shiny, and vibrant. (Yes, I am a hair stylist, so my hair color is a priority.)

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The above photo collage shows me wearing this hat at the beach, on hikes, while doing yoga, I also run with it, and just about wear it everywhere. Now, if you look closely it says, “TEAM LIVESTRONG,” written across the front.

I know the interview between Lance Armstrong and Oprah was sooo last week. But I finally stopped being annoyed, and was able to pull it together, to write this post.

So as you all may know, Lance Armstrong was the face of the LIVESTRONG organization. As you may also know, he recently admitted to Oprah that while he competed his 7 tours, he was using performance enhancing drugs, and undergoing blood transfusions. So in my mind, and pretty much the rest of the world’s, Lance Armstrong, is a cheater and a lier. The amazing athlete we thought he was, never existed – so sad. ¬†He was not much of an athlete at all, but rather a man that was a brilliant cheater, with the best doctor, and doping schedule.

However, when it comes down to it, the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, (I mean it does,) but I can be understanding. Lance told Oprah, everyone was doing it… it became part of the job.¬†The only way to win was to do it too. Well what kind of “Win” is that, and look who is loosing now…

Well like I said above the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, because what does, is the the way he handled everything. Lance was selfish and foolish. He called his best friends, the people that lied for him and protected him, horrible names, and then he sued everybody.

Ok, so that bothers me, but there is one thing that bothers me even more… The interview with Oprah, was Lance’s chance to make things better- but he didn’t. I am a marathon runner, who is so passionate about running, that I get a little crazy if I miss a day. I was desperately waiting to hear Lance say how passionate he was about cycling – but he didn’t. I¬†just wanted him to say, how he couldn’t imagine life without participating in the sport – but he didn’t. ¬†I did not hear him say he has a love for the endurance sports, but rather an obsession with winning. Maybe he is not passionate at all. Maybe he doesn’t care for cycling at all. Maybe he just found that he was quite good at cycling and would do whatever he could to win.

When Oprah asked, “Why now?” I wanted him to talk about his passion for the sport, but he didn’t. So then, I was waiting for him to say, that he is a father, and wants to make things right, to be a good inspiration for his kids. But nope, he didn’t say that either. Instead he admits to all the lies, cheating, and bad behavior not to make thing right, but rather to reduce his sentence. How selfish can you be?

So in the end… I have this fabulous hat, that has TEAM LIVESTRONG written across the front. I will still wear that hat, not only because I love it, but because I support Cancer research. I support what it truly means to LIVESTRONG. But what I don’t support is Lance.

© 2013 sweatdaily

running and photography

Let me tell you a little story.

One friday, late last year, I decided to join my mom, and all of her old lady friends for lunch. After we had finished our meals all of my mom’s friends demanded that they updated their contacts. So they all pulled out their phones, and yep you guessed it they all had marvelous smart phones, androids, iphones – you name it. I immediately felt left out and embarrassed to even pull out my phone. I should be the one with the nice iPhone, and they should be the one clueless on how to work theirs. But nope they weren’t. ¬†After that- I had, had it. It was time for me to become trendy and get a smart phone.

So in October of 2012, I got an iPhone 5. Finally, I could recycle my old piece of crap phone and upgrade to a smart phone. Yes, I was the only 20 something year old that had not done this yet, but better late than never.

really bad picture of me. but great picture of my iPhone 5.

bad picture of me. but great picture of my iPhone 5.

Before I use to never run with my phone. What was the point? But now that I have my iPhone 5, I never run with out it! Although, there are tons of cool running and music apps, my favorite part of my iPhone 5 is the camera. This phone takes amazing pictures. Before, I would go on runs, and sometimes see something really cool, that I wished I could take a photo of, with the iPhone 5 now I can. I have become obsessed with instagram as well- follow me @dorseyml.

Anyway, I don’t take photos on every run, but I took a couple over the past 2 weeks. This is what I have been running by…

Most of these are taken on the south side of MVT.

543875_10100911979877066_935238712_n This photo was taken during my run on January 3rd, 2013. Although, it was cold, look at that sun streaming. Cold, but refreshing, and soaking in that Vitamin D.

550924_10100913420515016_1899771480_nThis photo was taken on my morning run on January 4th, 2013. Look at those ducks!

540827_10100920818843706_1037442360_nThis photo was taken during my morning run, on January 10th, 2013. On this day, it was 53 degrees out.  It felt amazing running. The sun reflecting on the water almost looks like ice Рbut its not.

24416_10100922172845276_1233965895_nThis photo was taken today, January 11th, 2013. It was 50 degrees, but felt colder because it was lightly raining. I was craving a run, so even those it was raining I was ready to hit the trail. Running forces me to get outside, during the winter while most people are cooped up inside.¬†Don’t be scared of bad weather. A light rain even in January, can feel quite refreshing.

I  will start up training for longer races in mid February. So all of these runs, were fast, easy runs, between 5k- 5 miles. However, this weekend is suppose to be 65 degrees so I might throw on some shorts and go on a 10 mile run.

I also wanted to let you guys know that I didn’t feel it necessary to set a New Years Resolution for running, because I am always setting running goals. However, the one thing I do want to do, is record/log my miles. I do this anyway. I use to log them on runnersworld.com, but even since I began running with my garmin I log my miles on garmin connect. But I have never evaluated my mileage. What I mean by this is…

If you had asked me, “How many total miles did you run last month?”

I wouldn’t be able to answer that question- because I have no clue. So this year I will continue to record my mileage, but I will actually keep track. I have just become really curious of how many miles I run a year! ¬†So lets see how many miles I can run in one whole year. I am really excited about this new goal/challenge.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with your phone?
  2. What is your favorite thing about your smart phone?
  3. How many miles do you run in a year?

© 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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Breakthrough NOT Breakdown.

OMG I am so terribly sorry… I hope you can understand…

I HAD to push my writing to the back burner, because of the crazy busy holiday season. But things are starting to slow down a bit so I am going to, as my yoga instructor would put it, breath deeply… slow down, cherish this time… because life will get crazy busy again, before you even have the chance to blink your eye.

And now that I have started to write, I have realized I have so much good knowledge to share with you, but I will break that knowledge up in to a couple different posts, and keep this one short and sweet.

For the last three days I have been, sweating, breathing, detoxifying, stretching, and strengthening my body in Bikram’s torture chamber. That means I have been going to Bikram yoga.

It has been really interesting though, because I have had a different instructor each day. Although, the 26 postures and the 2 breathing techniques are the same,  the classes have been so very different.

Wednesday, 12/26/12, Cameron taught my bikram class. The room was the hottest. The yoga was continuous, holding the poses, resting briefly, and then moving on to the next pose. This made the yoga more cardiovascular.  I had to take a knee for a minute or two, half way through class, but I got up and continued on finishing strong.

Thursday, 12/27/12, Jamie was my instructor. There were tons of newbies in the room. Because of this the class was much more slower moving. It actually ended 15 minutes late. However, Jamie really focussed on form, and corrected several people in the class, including me. He pushed me on Standing Head to Knee/
Dandayamana-Janushirasana. And got me to understand how to do Toe Stand/ Padangustasana. ¬†Also on Locus/ Salabhassana my feet were always pointing out, which he corrected. I though this class was great, because it was a smaller class and the instructor really got to work one on one with us. I have been practicing for five years, and although, I know I am no where near perfect on these poses, when class sizes are two large it is hard for the instructor to catch ever small little incorrect thing. But these small changes make a HUGE difference. I am proof… because today…

I had a breakthrough….

Friday, 12/28/12, I woke up this morning thinking I may skip class, and go running instead. But I received a text from my friend K, and she was excited to go. So I got dressed, grabbed my mat/towel/ice water… and headed over. Shelly was teaching class. The room was pretty packed today, but I felt good and strong, and more flexible than I have been in a very long time. ¬†All the running makes my body so stiff. The warm up poses went well, and then it was time for Standing Head to Knee/Dandayamana-Janushirasana. Breakthrough! Finally after 5 years of practice, I can completely straighten my left leg, and as for my right leg, it is almost there. I know it has taken a very long time but I am not very flexible, so this is big for me. I just continued to kick my leg out. I breathed into the pain and tension and boom I was there. I finished the rest of the class strong. I left totally drenched with sweat. ¬†It felt good pushing my body to its ultimate limit.
Plus I was in great company. Thanks for coming with me, K!

I don’t have any pictures of yoga class today, but I do want to share with you a yoga bag I hand knitted.

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You can find more photos and details on how I made this yoga bag, on Cashmere&Silk.

© 2012 sweatdaily