July training Recap & August Goals plus tips on Smart fitness Goal Setting.

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July Mileage
July – It was hot and sweaty, but I followed my marathon plan and I am now use to the heat. I am seeing distance progress every week.

I have run 96.8 miles for the month of July.

This is great, but I know I can do more, do better, run further, run faster.

I am looking forward to increasing my mileage for the month of August, as my marathon training gets more intense.

AUGUST GOALS:

My main fitness focus right now is training for my October marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon. This means following my training plan by Hal Higdon (Intermidate plan.) For the month of August I will be running at least 138 miles.

Along with the training plan, I will also try to work in some strength training, hill repeats and track workouts. Although, I am passionate about weight lifting, it is definitely not the priority at the moment, running those marathon training miles is. Plus, because I am running with my baby during the week, running with the extra weight of the stroller has really helped strengthen and use my core/upper body muscles in a different way. However, strength training is so important for running further, faster, and injury free. So I am going to make more of an effort to fit it in weekly, and take it to a more intense level on my lower mileage weeks.

To make it easier for me to fit in strength training, I have invested in gym equipment and made a space at home for my own personal gym. (Look for a post in the future about how to set up a home gym.) Two years ago, before I got pregnant with Zoe, I was a regular at my gym easily lifting weights for an hour or two 5x a week. Now just the idea of driving to the gym, parking, and then waiting for a bench to lift at makes me stressed, it takes up to much of my valuable time, and I felt like I was always rushing. Plus, I am now much more self motivated. I still have my gym membership, but as of now, my home gym is the perfect fit for my busy working mom lifestyle. I don’t feel rushed, and I can workout at night, after my baby goes down for the night. Run in the morning, lift at night.

So now that you know how July went and some of my plans for August…let’s talk about goals.

My Ultimate Goal- Run the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016.

Serious Goal for August –¬†For the month of August, I plan to run 138 miles, also incorporating strength training, hill repeats, and track workouts, high knees and plyometrics.

With that being said lets talk about smart goals…

How To Set a SMART goal…

Setting a goal is easy, but reaching it is hard. That is why you want to make sure your goal is smart.

What makes a goal smart?

The difference between a goal and a smart goal, is that a smart goal is specific with a plan of action.

EXAMPLE 

(This is NOT a goal of mine, it’s just a common goal.)

I want to loose weight Рis NOT a smart goal. Change this goal to a smart goal it would look like I will loose 15 pounds by November 1st, by meal prepping and eating organic whole foods. You have exactly the amount of weight you want to loose and a time frame to achieve the goal in, with an idea of how you are going to reach your goal.

Once a smart goal is essablished you will need a plan to put into action to help you succeed at reaching this goal. The more detailed your plan the better.

Now that you understand a smart goal we can talk about mine.

MY SMART GOAL

I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016. (This is a smart goal, because I am registered for a specific race, with a specific finishing time, scheduled on a specific day.)

This goal is my ultimate smart goal, however, my August goal is to run 138 miles for the month. (Again this is smart because it has a specific amount of miles to run by a certain time.)

Another thing about my ultimate goal is the finishing time goal. 4:19:00 is what I am planning on running the marathon in, so I am pacing myself during my training runs to prepare for this goal. However, race day is unpredictable and anything could happen, so I will reevauate during the race whether I run slower or faster. I have other time goals in mind for if I end up running slower (4:30:00) or faster (4:15:00).

MY PLAN of ACTION

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate marathon training plan. In the plan I am running 5x a week – 2 easy short runs, 2 mid distance runs, and 1 long weekend run. I am cross training 1 day a week and resting one day a week.

I am increasing mileage for two weeks, (higher mileage weeks) and then tapering down every 3rd week (lower mileage week).

I am running with my daughter pushing the running stroller on my week day runs. I am running my long run on Saturday morning solo. My baby and I have a morning routine. We wake up early, eat breakfast, and get ready and hit the running trail. We have to because it has been so hot.

Additional goal: My body is ready to take on more so I will add hill repeats and track workouts to the mix and do strength training on lower mileage weeks. High knees and plyometrics is also something I will be adding for speed.

I am wearing my garmin 620 to record my pace, distance, cadence. With that being said, I am keeping my long run pace at marathon pace, nothing faster than 9:30 min/mile nothing slower than 10:00/mile.

I am also recording my progress using the Strava app.

I will run 138 miles for the month of August because my plan says I will.

TIP

My training plan is an 18 week training plan. I write each workout, each training run, on my calendar, as if each workout/training run is an appointment I have that day. 

There is no guessing, every workout/training run is written down for the upcoming weeks until race day.

Another tip: 

If you need motivation find a running buddy or running group. If no one is interested in running with you, which I have found in my case, then read running blogs or find an online running community. There is an amazing running community through Instagram.

Always keep it fun!

Fun – Along with my serious goals, I always like to have a fun one. A fun goal helps motivate me to complete the serious goal. For the month of August, while I’m running 138 miles, I want to see more sunrises, see more sunsets, and find more street art and city murals.

Below is a picture of me running along side of a mural in my neighborhood.


What is your monthly mileage for July?

Do you have a run goal for August?

Lets run all the miles!!


The Courage Wall in my neighborhood goes VIRAL!

Every Saturday, at my prenatal yoga class, Sarah, my yoga instructor sets a theme for our daily practice. Two weeks ago, the theme was Courage. She was inspired by the Courage Wall that sits across the street from the studio.Courage wall

The wall is a big chalk board that reads¬†the words, “I wish I had the Courage to…”¬†Courage wall words

There are buckets of chalk provided, to allow people the opportunity to express their deepest fears, challenges, goals. The wall has inspired, motivated, and opens up the Courage conversation to the community.

So at the beginning of yoga class, we went around the room and verbally expressed what we wish we had the courage to do during our pregnancies. It was very awesome, because we could all relate to each other. I found myself nodding my head when one yogi said, she wish she had the courage to ask for help. Another yogi wished she had the courage to stop working sooner with out feeling guilty. One wished she had the courage to physically slow down. Many of us think we can do exactly what we were doing physically before we got pregnant, but that is not always the case.

Then just last week, my jaw dropped, while I was watching the Today show and saw the Courage Wall. I had no clue the wall went viral. But there it was on TV, with Matt Lauer interviewing Nancy Belmont, from Alexandria, Virginia, as she explained the community chalkboard project.

Courage Wall Today show

After yoga this week, while I was heading to the Del Ray farmers market – they have the best strawberries. I walked passed the wall, and saw Nancy the lady from the Today show interview. I immediately congratulated her for the interview on the Today show, and told her how amazing the Courage wall is. She had a film crew with her, and asked if I would do a small interview on film. So I did.

I wrote on the wall…

I wish I had the Courage to…

Let loose, and be less controlling. Be carefree, go with the flow. Courage Wall Aspiration

I explained to her, that I have never thought of myself as a controlling person, until I got pregnant. I’m not controlling when it comes to other people, but I like to be in control of myself, physically and mentally. But one of the hardest things I have learned is during pregnancy, you have no control over anything. ¬†All you can do, is be the best healthiest person you can be. But at end of the day, you really just need to trust in your body, to create and grow a baby for you.

She totally agreed with me…

Then she asked me, “What’s going to happen when the baby comes…”

I told her… I’ve read one baby book, and am currently reading more. By reading the baby books, I will definitely have the information I need. But I don’t know exactly how it will be… I need to meet my baby first. I can plan as much as I want, but it may not go as planned or maybe it will. ¬†I am hoping to have some control, but again, I don’t know exactly what will happen, so I need to be a little flexible and just roll with it. Although, it may sound that I am unsure right now, one thing that I am very confident about, is that everything will be amazing and work out just the way it is meant to be. I’m excited and can’t wait!

As she smiled, she agreed with me, telling me she has three children, and that’s exactly how it goes.

Has anyone else seen the Courage Wall? Do you have one in your neighborhood?

If you are in Alexandria, Va, I highly recommend you, stop by the Courage Wall and write an aspiration. Reading others, will bring you inspiration too.  Also watch the interview on the Today show, here.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

 

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

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

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

I started 2013 off running…

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

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

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

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

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

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

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

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

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

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

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

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

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

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

I got engaged. 

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

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

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

Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

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Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training Update: My Garmin has become Running Buddy.

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I love my Garmin!! This Garmin has been the best present my boyfriend has ever bought me.  I have the Forerunner 50 Рwhich is the oldest of all the Garmins. Sooo old that most people have never heard of it. This watch has been with me for all of my training runs and races for the last 5 years. It tracks my pace, distance, cadence, heart rate, and calories burned. But what I find most amazing about using a Garmin watch is that you get to also use the  Garmin Connect Calender.

With this feature, I am able to analyze all of my current runs, but I also get to look back on all of the runs I have ever recorded. This has been extremely helpful. The last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon was in 2010. During this training, when I have felt unsure about my progress, I am able to go back to 2010 with the click of a button and compare my runs.

“It had gotten to hot even for the desert rat, Rick Miller, so Dusty joined me and ran me up the next 10 miles. “You da man, Yeah brotha’, that’s how you do it, Jurker, hell yeah!” the Dust Ball hollered.”

The above quote is from the book Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. Scott Jurek wouldn’t be the runner he is today, with out his best friend Dusty. The relationship between Dusty and Scott is by far my favorite part of the book. Dusty was there by Scott’s side, through almost all of his ultra runs. And although I wish I had a Dusty, the reality is… I don’t, so my Garmin has become my running buddy.

So far during this marathon training season, I have been running solo.  Sometimes when you are running by yourself it is hard to judge if you are running your best, especially considering that last year and up to this point, I have had a running buddy. However, in 2010 I ran every training run by myself, and ended up having a very successful marathon.

I did it then, I can do it now.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with a Garmin? If not what do you use to record your runs?
  2. Do you have a running buddy? or do you prefer to run solo?
  3. Have you trained for a race by yourself?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Never forget you are a Newbie…

It doesn’t matter if you have been running for 20 years.
It doesn’t matter if you have run a Marathon in every state.
It doesn’t matter if you are Kara Goucher.

Never forget you are a newbie. The reason why I say this, is because the minute you forget, is the minute running will become boring.

As a runner I know that my daily runs can differ from one day to the next. Running on different trails can be exciting. The best way to tour a new city and experience a new place is by running through it. Even wearing different running shoes in my weekly shoe rotation can work different muscles and essentially give me a whole different running experience.

The running community in itself, does an amazing job coming up with new and different races to try. To name a few- The Color Run, The Glow Run, The Undie Run, The Zombie Run, Mud Runs, Spartan Runs. Stop right now if you are getting snooty. These races are fun, and a wonderful idea.  Although most of these races are shorter distances and untimed, they give you an opportunity to have a less intense race to run with friends that may be new to running. This gives you the chance to mentally and physically take a break, while it gives a non runner the chance to try running in a less competitive atmosphere. If a non runner runs one of these fun runs and loves it, they most likely will have a desire to set a higher goal and try a more serious race Рtransforming from a non runner into a runner.

But running one of these fun runs is not your only option. Stay refreshed and keep running new, by switching things up and setting new goals. Here are some suggestions…

If you are a road runner, try trail running. Maybe you have run the same marathon 3 times, next time you run it try running it using a different training plan. If you always wear traditional running shoes, throw a natural barefoot running shoe into the mix, maybe even use that shoe for your next race. Set a new running challenge, such as run everyday for 30 days, or run 100 miles in one month.

Whatever it may be… Keep running NEW and FUN, and …

Always remember, YOU ARE A NEWBIE!9236dea615788ff6986e504a0889acbc

Questions for You…

  1. What are some things you do to keep running fun and new?
  2. Have you ever run a fun run?
  3. What was your first race?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Day 2 of Marathon Training

“And yet ultra runners – even the fiercest competitors – grow to love each other because we all love the same exercise in self-sacrifice and pursuit of transcendence. Because that’s what we’re all chasing- that “zone” where we are performing at the peak of our abilities. That instant when we think we can’t go on but we do. We all know the way that moment feels, how rarely it occurs, and the pain we have to endure to grab it back again…
We all struggle to find meaning in a sometime painful world…
We’re all human, that there’s so much messed-up stuff going on, we need to hold on to what we love. “

-Scott Jurek

The above passage is from yet again, Eat and Run. And although, it mentions ultra runners- I believe all runners can relate. People don’t understand why I am so passionate about running, and they wouldn’t, unless they too run. But it is all about the “zone.”

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Day 2 of marathon training was another short 3 mile run. Today the heat and humidity was a little suffocating, but it was tolerable.

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Questions for You…

  1. Have you reached the zone?
  2. What mile are you at, when you reach it?
  3. What sport are you doing when your reach the zone… yoga? running?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

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