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.

1157694_10101271945892286_1013038733_n

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 in a new neighborhood!

“I find the best way to get your mojo back is to loose the technology, forget results, and run free… Run a trail you have never run before…” ¬†– Scott Jurek

20130819-165229.jpg

Today, fall decided to make a guest appearance.

So… out of boredom, I randomly decided to run in a different neighborhood.

There is a sweet spot in Alexandria, where the hills are steep and the trees create canopies over the paved road.

It is paradise for a runner.

My marathon training plan advised me to run four miles.

So four miles is what I ran.

I ran fast.

It felt easy.

I thought the clouds were going to pour rain, but they didn’t.

Instead a breeze kept me cool.

I like the taste of fall.

© 2013 sweatdaily

While I ran my 15 miler, Scott Jurek runs the Leadville Trail 100…

Social Media is an incredible thing.

It is way more than just posting photos and connecting with friends, it is the fastest source of information.

I have never watched or followed an ultra marathoner before. The opportunity was just never available. But because of Social Media I am able to follow Scott Jurek run the Leadville Trail, by receiving updates from his Facebook and Instagram page in my news feed. Just like following your favorite baseball team, checking the score. I was excited to see how Scott Jurek was doing during his race. It was also quite funny to read all of the comments people posted.

All photos were found on facebook.

All comments are from people posting them in referral to the photo.

1174929_10151841249730329_1245607519_n

Good morning! Have a great day all Leadville Trail 100 runners! Mt Elbert and Mt Massive in the distance around mile 25.

“Go Jurker!”

“Man of the hour is Vegan Powered!”

16285_10151841685230329_677069989_n

Leaving the halfway point, Winfield aid station, in 5th. Hal Koerner taking Scott back over Hope Pass, he’s in good hands!

“Go, Scott! Plant power!”

“Go scott! You’re my plant based runner hero! U paced our group in Mardi Gras marathon! Loved it!”

“Awesome! Do you have pasties? Also, is the dude behind you a runner? In sandals?”
“What’s with the blue nipples?”
1098531_10151842091915329_1075010839_n
Refueling at Treeline in 4th, swapping pacers, running strong!

Go you crazy vegan!”

“where is Dustball??

Only three more runners to pick off!”

I doubt the citizens of Leadville would agree, but this should be televised!”

So today, while I was out on the trail, running my 15 mile training run, Scott Jurek was busy running the Leadville Trail 100.

He is now in 4th place. Still running strong.

If your not following Scott Jurek on Facebook yet, you totally should… and on Instagram.

Who is your running idol? Do you follow them on Social Media?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update: My Garmin has become Running Buddy.

garmin

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

Marathon Training Update (Week 7)

tumblr_mqh6b2a4Ya1s95n00o1_500

Today was a raining, overcast, breezy, 75 degree day.

I feel like I am the weather man, reporting the weather on every blog post. But ever since I became a runner, I have become obsessed with the weather, and even more so now that I am in Marathon training mode.

Because it was raining hard when I woke up I started my work out by weight lifting at the gym. I did arms and abs. Once the rain stopped a little, I headed outside to hit the trail. It was spectacular today for a runner. I¬†can’t believe it is August and I was comfortable running in pants. I ran along the MVT trail, around 10:30 am. No one was out there. I had the whole rainy trail to myself. ¬†I kept my pace consistent between a 9:00 and 9:30 min/mile. My training plan called for 4 miles, so I stuck to that.

Tomorrow is between 7-8 miles. I’ll keep you updated. ūüėČ

How is your training going? Hope you are doing well!!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training Update

The start to my Marathon Training didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, because ¬†I traveled to Vegas and then came home with a really bad cold. It has also been really confusing for me, because this last year my longest race was a half marathon, with the focus on running form and speed. But now that I am in marathon training mode I am running farther, but slower. I am not that worried about speed though, I am more concerned about going the distance and getting all my miles in.

This week was a really good week. I got all my miles in. And I am starting to get my Mojo back.

On Friday, 8/2/14, I ran my long run for the week. It was only a 10 miler, but it was a hot 10 miler. Humidity was high. When I ended my run, it was 90 degrees.

946315_10101253480482116_1644004689_n-1When I was reading Runner’s World I came across the quote above. I love it and it is so true. I’m going to tell myself this every time I don’t feel like running.

On Saturday, 8/3/13, I headed to the gym and lifted heavy. I worked chest and abs. ¬†Then I changed at the gym, into my running clothes/shoes, and headed out to do 6-7 miles. It was around 3:00 in the afternoon, so it was hot and humid. The temperatures were as high as 90, but it was overcast and started to rain a little. Unfortunately, my run ended early because I tripped and fell at around 4.5 miles. Thank goodness I was close to my car, and didn’t have to run too far with bloody hands and knees.¬†1094782_10101255793841126_745558221_nAlthough, my miles weren’t super fast, and I fell, I was still feeling really good durning this run.

Today, Sunday, 8/4/13,¬†it was 75 degrees, windy, with no humidity. On my break at work, I sat outside to read, and felt a little cold. After I was done with work, I couldn’t get my running shoes on fast enough. I ended up running 7 amazing miles. What a difference it is when the weather is a bit breezy and cooler!¬†1098181_10101257661124076_1265396807_n

This is my first time blogging while training for a marathon. I am having so much fun keeping track of my training this way. I also have been reading tons of other blogs where the blogger is also in training for Marine Corps Marathon. Reading about these bloggers’ training experiences have been so cool and motivating.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

What type of miles did you get in? Have you ever fell while running?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Update! Getting back on track.

As you all may know, I am running MCM! Although, I am really excited and craving some serious long distance milage, the beginning of my Marathon training has not really been as disciplined as I would have liked it to be.

But that is OK! No biggie, because this week I finally feel like I am starting to get back on track.

What exactly side tracked me?

Heat.

Travel.

A Bad Cold.

Being Side Tracked

HEAT

The first couple weeks of Marathon training is very low easy mileage. My fitness level is beyond this easy mileage, however my body in the beginning of training was not accustomed to the summer’s hot, humid, weather. So I became very grateful for the shorter, easier, lower mileage weeks.

 

TRAVEL

Right when I began to feel comfortable in the heat, I left for a week of travel. I went to Vegas for work, but also went early to play. I will admit, I played a little too hard. I stayed out late and didn’t get the sleep I needed. I did squeeze in three different workouts, but it wasn’t necessarily following the marathon training plan.

COLD

Then I came home excited to get back to training, but woke up Monday morning with a really bad cold. I never thought a cold would make me feel this tired. I have been congested which made it hard to breath. I felt choked by my cough.

photo-131

Getting back on Track

I’m not too worried, because it is still early in my training. I’m glad all of this happened early on, instead of later. Even though, I still am getting over my cold, after 5 days of rest, on Friday, I ¬†started running again. All of my runs have been pretty good, I am just hoping that once I can breath again my runs will feel easy. I have also been extremely blessed with some color less humid days, which I have been taking advantage of. The one thing that I have been really craving is some heavy lifting sessions and some HIIT at the gym. However, because I still have a cold I have been avoiding the gym. I’m not contagious anymore, but I still don’t want to take the risk and get anyone else sick. I have a feeling, that once I am 100% better I will have enough energy to do some 2 a days. ¬†:)

Question for You…

  1. Who else is running a Marathon?? Let me know, I am having tons of fun reading about everyones’ experiences with their marathon training.
  2. Have you ever been side tracked durning training?
  3. Would you ever run a marathon with a cold?

© 2013 sweatdaily

It’s not my first time…

I know I am late telling you guys this news … but better late then never…

Last, Wednesday, March 27th, something very exciting happened!!

I registered for Marine Corps Marathon, and I GOT IN!! YAY!

Let me explain, this is how it all went down….

In 2009, I ran my first Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM.)  Registering for the race was smooth sailing. I got online the day of registration, filled out the form, paid, and received my confirmation email.163066_830289276726_3970357_n

In 2010, I ran my second Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon. I didn’t register for this race on the day it opened. I received an email from them the day after registration had opened. The email claimed that they were 80% filled, so I freaked out and registered as quickly as I could. I got in, and received my confirmation email.

In 2011, I registered for the Chicago Marathon, again registration was a piece of cake. Done and Done.

In 2012, when registration day for MCM came around, I was busy at work highlighting a client. When I was finished I went to the back room, to check the status on MCM, and it was sold out already, filling up in 2 hours and 45 minutes.  So I took a break from marathons that year. Instead, I ran several 10 milers and a Half Marathon. I switched my running shoe to Newtons, a natural barefoot running shoe. I worked on improving my running form, and speed.  I also started this blog.

On Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 registration for MCM rolled around again. I had promised L that I would run this race with her. It will be her first full marathon. She was able to sign up early, because her husband is deceased military. Because it filled up so fast the year before, I knew I had to be on it immediately when registration opened. The only weird thing about the registration is that it opens at noon, when most races open at midnight. This is a problem for me because my first client at work is noon.

Anyway, because I thought my internet would be faster and less unpredictable at home, I decided I would sign up really quickly at noon, and then head into work for my first client by 12:30.

Turns out, the first minute I tried to pull up the website, Active.com, I couldn’t get on. I tried for the next 5 minutes, still nothing. I went to MCM official web page to click register¬†and when directed to Active.com ERROR.

I decided to head into work. When I saw that my first client had swapped spots with her high school daughter I was relieved. Yay! High school girls are very tech savvy. I told her the situation and she immediately wanted to help. She pulled out her iPhone and started registering me.

I highlighted her hair, while she continued to refresh the webpage. Finally we got through the the first registration page. I quickly filled out my information. She submitted it and then again… WEBSITE ERROR, WEBSITE OVERLOAD. While her hair color processed she continued to refresh the page. I shampooed her, and glossed her. Still she continued to refresh the page, finally we got through to the payment page, but again WEBSITE ERROR, WEBSITE OVERLOAD. While she sat with her gloss on, adding shine, and refreshing the color on her ends, I checked the MCM facebook page, to find information. They apologized for the Web Error and said to continue to refresh page until the declare a sell out. So that is what we did. Finally as I was rinsing my client, I heard her yell, “WE DID IT!! YAY!!” My client is a high school cheerleader, so she definitely showed enthusiasm. Ha, it seemed like she¬†was more excited than I was.

I received my confirmation e-mail.

Dear Meghan,
Thank you! You are now registered for the Marine Corps Marathon 2013 – Marathon Registration. Please check the event’s website for updates.

CONGRATULATION, You are in!!

Thank you for registering to participate in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Please note that you are officially registered and this is your confirmation e-mail.

Although, a week has gone by, since MCM registration, a lot of people, whether they got in or not, are still complaining about how complicated the registration process was on Wednesday. To make up for it, Active.com has donated to Wounds of  Warriors.

But honestly, I expected the complications, and I loved every second of it. The complications made registration really exciting, and I appreciate getting in even more. And seeing website overload and errors, on day of registration didn’t shock me not one bit. Some people are annoyed by it, but this makes me happy. It proves that more people are becoming runners. It shows that running is becoming more and more popular. Our country is stepping forward toward healthy. More people are becoming aware of running as a sport, and it’s heart healthy benefits.

Running is no longer for the athlete. Runners now come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fast, some are slow. And that is what the Marine Corps Marathon is all about, hence why it is called, The People’s Marathon. So whichever kind of runner you are, MCM is the race for you.

Although, this will not be my first time running MCM.

MCM

I am beyond EXCITED! Marathon training will start in July.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you had a difficult time getting into a race you really wanted to run?
  2. Do you find running getting more popular where you live?
  3. Are you running a marathon this year?

© 2013 sweatdaily