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!!


Stroller miles, Mother RUNNER, Marathon Training

Hey lovelies,

I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!

I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.

My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!

WEEK Day Training with the stroller.

During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.

If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)

And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.

I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.

The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.

Weekend running, long run.

The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.

Week 1- long run 8 miles

Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.

It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.

My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.

1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.

Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.

However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.

I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.

Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.

Week 2- long run 9 miles

Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)

The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.

Week 3- long run 6 miles

Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.

The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.

I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.

Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.

Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.

This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.

It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.

Training PLAN and Apps

The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.

Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.

Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.

So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Well that’s all for now!

Run Happy!
Which marathon are you training for?


Race Recap: Parkway Classic 10 Miler – my second Postpartum race

The Parkway Classic is one of the first races I ever wrote about on this blog, (read about it here) actually it may have been my very first blog post. And yet again, I am running it and writing about it. It is just one of those races that I love to run, year after year.

Of course last year, I was pregnant with Zoe, so I didn’t have the chance to race. But this year, being 8 months postpartum I was ready to take on the course again.

Earlier this month, I ran the Cherry Blossom ten miler in 1:31. To prepare for that race, I had run a couple 8 milers as my longer runs, and then 3-5 milers during the week pushing Zoe in the Bob. I ran that race, without any mental strategies, because there were no goals I was trying to reach, instead I just wanted to run it to have fun, and test my fitness level.

THE TRAINING

To prepare for this race, I considered the Cherry Blossom ten miler as my long run, and used the next three weeks doing a combination of shorter runs 3-5 milers and late night weight lifting sessions in the gym.

When I was running with Zoe, I slowed down to engage my slow twitch muscles, and tried to stay in an aerobic heart rate zone. But when I was running solo, I worked on speed, and got those fast twitch muscles fired up.  Every time I ran, I incorporated both some up hills and down hills. Unlike the Cherry Blossom ten miler (totally flat course), the Parkway Classic is a course made up of small rolling hills. Although, they are small, they are still rolling for about 8 miles.

After I put Zoe to bed for the night, I hit the gym. I never worked legs, because I didn’t want them heavy or overly tired – they needed to be ready for running. So I focussed mainly on, chest, back, and core.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

Like always I did my night before a race ritual, prepared my race clothes and accessories.

parkway classic outfit

THE RACE

This race is put on my Pacers, our local running shoe store. Because it is put on by runners, they know their stuff. Everything is simple, and well organized. There is no expo for this race, you just head to the Pacers store and pick up your bib.

On Friday, Zoe and I went on a short 5K run, and then headed to the store to pick up my bib. I was considering running with Zoe during the race. I had been training with her, so why not race with her. She loves our runs, so it would have been really fun to bring her. However, strollers weren’t allowed on the shuttle buses heading over to the race. And because the race is a point to point race instead of a loop, it was going to be really hard to get both of us down there and back. Plus, I had to head to the salon, to work a full day, right after the race. It would just be easier for me to run solo, so that is what I did. Now I’m on the hunt¬†to find a different race to do with Zoe.

The night before the race, I did my regular night before a race ritual. Chose my race outfit, laid it out, just making sure I have everything organized and ready to go.

Getting to and from this race was so easy. I parked my car at the pentagon parking lot, and walked across the street to the shuttle bus. The buses ran between 5:30 and 6:30 am. I got on the last bus leaving at around 6:30. The bus driver waited an additional 10 minutes for any stragglers. Two 5k ladies got on the bus. There was a little confusion when the bus driver dropped them off and then was unsure where to drop us off. All of us ten miler runners gave him directions. We eventually made it to the start- better late then never.

It was 7:30 when I arrived, the race start time was 8:00 am.  I got off the bus, and went to check my bag. It was a crisp morning, so at first, I kept my long sleeve shirt on, but then turned around and decided to check it. I was very comfortable running the race in my usual running shorts and tank top. So thankful I checked my long sleeve shirt, never during the race did I feel hot or to cold.

At 7:50 I walked over to the start to line up. I stood right in front of the 9:00-959 pace sign. I had a good idea, that I could manage that pace, considering my last race I ran, thats what I did. Also all of my shorter solo runs during training were right under a 9 min/mile.

At 8:05 I was running over the start line, pressing the start button on my garmin, and on my strava app. “Here we go!”

The course is by far one of my favorites. It is always beautiful, running under a canopy of trees, parallel to the Potomac river. The trees make everything green, and the sun hits the river making it sparkle. The parkway is also slightly rolling hills, which I actually prefer in a course rather than a flat one. My mental strategy was to consistently run under a 9 min/mile the whole course, running in the high 8s going up hill, running in the low 8s going down hill.

I stuck to my plan, and felt amazing the whole race. I walked through the water stations, eating some sports beans at mile 4, skipping the final 2 water stations. It felt so good running on the down hills – I actually felt like I was flying.

I ended up getting to the finish line in 1:28:49, faster than the race I ran earlier this month, and under a 1:30 which is always my goal for a 10 miler.

Parkway Classic

Parkway

The Finish Line

It was a beautiful day and the finish line is right by the the water. I walked¬†around, but didn’t stay long because I had to head to work. But I got my medal, another piece of bling to add to my collection.Parkway Classic finish

Next races coming up will all be in the fall. Training starts in July.

What races did you run this fall? What are you training for? How did your first postpartum races go?

I love connecting with people, especially other runners. Please connect with me on INSTAGAM, @sweat1xdaily.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

Meeting Meb Keflezighi and Running my first Postpartum race.

Last Sunday (April 3, 2016) on one of the record breaking windy weather days, I ran my first race postpartum – the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my first race I ever ran. I have run this race every year since, except last year when I was five months pregnant with Zoe.

I love this race because for me, it symbolizes spring, the end of the cold winter, and the start of my training/race season.

TRAINING

Most of my runs have been shorter runs during the week. I normally run 3-5 miles with Zoe. Pushing the stroller really has made me faster and stronger. I am just beyond thankful that both my baby and I enjoy runs together. It makes it so much easier for me to fit my runs in. I usually wake up early with her and we head out for a run. Running is now part of our morning routine.

  
On the weekends, I would get out there and run a little further. I personally define a long run as any distance 10 miles and further. But when training for this 10 miler I didn’t feel the need to go further than 8 miles. So I did a couple 8 milers at a pretty decent pace.

Lina met me for an 8 miler on Easter morning and we ran to the cherry blossoms and back.

EXPO

As always, I headed to the expo to pick up my bib. The expo for this race is always held at the National Building Museum. I browsed the expo to see if there were any good sales or new vendors. ¬†It was at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler a couple years ago that I discovered Newton running shoes. So you really don’t know what you’ll find that might be a major game changer for your running. So enjoy the expo and explore a little.

¬†One new brand that I did find at this expo was Mana Threads. It is a fitness clothing brand owned by two Brazilian sisters. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them. The brand isn’t necessarily for runners. But the colors were amazing and fabric soft. I’m getting really bored of lululemon and just want to have some fitness/running clothes that are NOT lulu.

MEETING MEB KEFLEZIGHI

However, the absolute most exciting thing about the expo was meeting Meb Keflezighi. I was definitely star struck.

For those who don’t know… Meb Keflezighi is a famous marathoner. He won the Boston marathon in 2014. He also is heading to Brazil to run in the Olympics. Anyway, it was pretty exciting to see him and hear what he had to say.

He talked about his first marathon ever, and how he was a couple seconds shy of making the olympics. Although, he is really fast, his story was one any runner could relate to. My favorite part was when her said… the marathon was so painful he made a vow to himself that he would never run another marathon. That sounds pretty familiar, so many of us have said the same words.


He also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler race. He told everyone he would be running a 6 minute pace. And although, there is no way I would be running that fast, I did look for him on the course. It is just amazing to have run a race that he also was running in.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

As always I laid out my race outfit, so I would be ready early in the morning. The sports bra and tank are by Mana Threads – the new ones I purchased at the expo.

 

Turns out the night before the race became super windy. And I ended up wearing a long sleeve top. Just to put it in perspective how cold it was, there has only been two other races, that I have run in long sleeves. It is very rare for me to race in something other than shorts and a tank top.

THE RACE

Lina met me at my house and we drove over to the metro together. By 6:30 we were off the metro and heading toward the bag check. We waited around the start freezing our butts off.  It was cold and the wind made it painful.

 The race starts and finishes at the Washington Monument.


Look at those American flags blowing aggressively in the wind.

Finally we headed to our corral.


And off we went.

Because of the wind, the course had NO mile markers. The only other race that I ran with no mile marker was the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon, and that race was a trail run.

Anyway, because there were no mile markers, I decided to just enjoy the race, and run based on how I felt. So I didn’t look at my watch, not even once.¬†

This was my first race postpartum so I wasn’t working for a new PR, instead I was just seeing how I would do. I was mainly using this race as one to help me measure my fitness level.

I recorded the race on my Garmin 620. This was my first time racing with this watch and it was awesome. The watch vibrates at every mile, so although there were no mile markers, I still knew where I was at.

Just for fun, I also recorded my race on Strava. ¬†I’ve been using this app as a back up record for my runs. It is also really awesome because it allows me to connect with other runners. I am actually following Kara Goucher. Because she is an elite runner seeing her runs gives me inspiration.

RACE STATS (using Strava)


My official time was for this race (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler) 1:31:12.

Honestly, I felt really good running this race. My form and stride felt effortless. I just kept going. The wind was crazy though. Sometimes we were running right into it, other times it felt like it was coming from all directions.

The last two miles we were running right into the wind. Because of the wind I felt like I was slowing down, but after I crossed the finish line I felt like I could have kept going. Sometimes in running, you find that really comfortable pace that you just settle in – I found that pace during this race and it felt like I could run forever.

Because I felt so good, I actually didn’t eat any of my sports beans. I normally always take them every 6 miles, but because I didn’t train using them, I decided not to use them.

FUTURE GOALS

Over all I am really happy about my first race back postpartum! I am feeling more and more like the athlete I was before pregnancy. I am very pumped to keep pushing during my runs and to become even more consistent with my lifting.

My future fitness goals-

I need to find a way to stay even more  consistent. Consistency is key when seeing results.

1) Keep pushing hard with my runs. Working on distance and speed.

2) Continue lifting consistently. I am currently on the livefit trainer week 5. Can’t wait to see more results by getting stronger and building more muscle.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily