Shoe Review: Newton Gravity 6

Hey there lovelies!

Hope all is well…

I have been having a super busy summer, so the blog had to take the back burner, but I’m hoping to be more consistent with writing – so stay tuned for many more posts.

My daughter, Zoe just turned two!! I can’t believe I’m a mother runner of a two year old. Along with chasing a super active two year old, I have been running tons of summer stroller miles. This summer has been a mild one, which has made for some perfect running weather.

I also finally got my new running shoes, the Newton Gravity 6. I’ve been running in them all week.

Review: side note – I’m currently running in the Newton Gravity 6, but in this review I’m going to compare the 6 to both the 4 (my favorite) and the 5 (last year’s Gravity.)

Newton Gravity 4

Let’s begin by talking about my favorite shoes. I still love love love the Newton Gravity 4s – best shoe ever. When I opened the box it was love at first sight. They were the first running shoes I put my feet postpartum and they were the shoes I trained and ran my last marathon in. The newton gravity 4 had a roomy fit, that was totally weightless. Roomy fit is ideal for long distance runners, because feet might swell as the miles increase. This shoe let my toes spread and my foot move. The tongue on the shoe was so thin you never noticed it there. Not that it matters, but I also loved the look of these shoes! They were orange and pink with silver details.

Newton Gravity 5

The 5 was okay, but the tongue on the shoe was so thick and large, which was unnecessary. It had a very snug fit, which made the shoe feel stiff. And although, it might have weighed the same, or less than the previous Gravity, it still felt heavier. It was the first time I was unsure about the Gravity. It made me question what’s going on with Newton, the company – especially since the co-founders are no longer with the company and the shoes are no longer sold in any local running stores. I also have been seeing less runners on the trail and at races wearing Newtons. I use to wave at every Newton runner. However, the color on the Gravity never disappoints. These were yet again a badass looking running shoe.

Newton Gravity 6

After running in the 5 for months, it was definitely time for new running shoes. And because the 5 didn’t impress me, it made me a little nervous to try the 6. I loved the 4 so much, I thought about looking online to see if anywhere was selling it in my size. Turns out after lots of debate I made the decision to give the new Gravity a try. I really don’t want to just run in one shoe, and get my foot use to one shoe. I ultimately want a shoe rotation, and although, I didn’t fall in love with the 5, I never had any injuries.

The Newton Gravity 6 is definitely an improvement from the 5. The tongue is still a little thick, but they made improvements by making it shorter. The shoe still feels a little snug, but not as stiff and snug as the 6. I normally where a size 6 in regular shoes, and a size 7 in running shoes. In these shoes, I’m wearing a size 7, but sometimes feel my toe hitting the end of the shoe while running. This makes me question, is it my foot (your feet can change size due to having a child) or is it the shoe? I am missing that unique feel that the original Newtons gave me back when they first came out. Did they change? Or maybe I’m just use to wearing them after years of running in them.

Otherwise, they still have everything that I love about Newton. They are light weight (6.5 ounces) with the 5 lugs, and a 3 mm heal to toe drop. They are a badass looking running shoe with the trademark bright color combination.

I just hope Newton continues to keep the shoe as minimal as possible. Although, they don’t want to be in the category as a minimalist shoe, they are all about perfecting a naturally barefoot running stride and getting a runner to run more efficiently by landing on their forefoot. Us runners who are loyal to Newton love that they don’t have too much added to the shoe, and that the shoe allows the runner to feel the ground and let their toes spread in a wide toe box. Less is more, when it comes to a running shoe.

So that’s it for now! I can’t wait to run all the miles in the Newton Gravity 6.

What shoe are you running in?

Have you tried Newtons before?

I love connecting with other runners, and would love to hear from you. Comment below, and follow me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Summer Running… Why I may defer my MCM bib.

I can’t believe how fast this summer has been flying by. Honestly, it has been really busy and I can’t believe this summer girl is saying this… But I am ready for summer to end. Normally, I love summer, but because my wedding was at the end of June, my first month of summer was consumed completely with planning our big day. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with the planning process.

I loved everything about my wedding, but because of my wedding, I took off 9 days of work, which has made it swamped for me once I got back. So I am ready for things to slow down, and for the crisp air to make an appearance.

I know I haven’t blogged much this summer. And most of my blog posts have been about my wedding. It has seemed like I have been pretty obsessed. But, in all honesty, I have been. Every bride-to-be or newly wed is… It only happens once so might as well be.

Anyway, I haven’t had much free time this summer. In the small amount of free time I have been squeezing in runs, cooking up a storm, knitting, reading, and trying to do some design changes to my home.

This summer has not been too hot. In fact, I’m considering this summer straight up cold. Being from the DC area, I am use to sweltering record breaking, code red days. But this summer has actually been perfect running weather. Most runners have been in heaven. That is why it disappoints me that I have no desire what so ever to run far. Instead, I have been enjoying faster shorter runs. Unfortunately, I also have been having some minor health issues, that I have seen the doctor about. Because of this, I may defer my bib for MCM until next year. I have until August 31st to decide.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. A couple years ago, when training for the ¬†Chicago Marathon I had some digestive track issues which left me unable to fuel my body for long runs. When it comes to running and training, I do it to be healthy and have fun, not to injure myself. Plus, I have run MCM 3 times before, I have already proved to myself that I can finish the 26.2 distance. With that being said, if I can’t train to PR, and my training isn’t at the intensity level I want it to be at, then it is best to defer until next year when I can really train at the best of my ability. In other words, I don’t half ass my training, and I definitely do not run a race I don’t train for. The training is part of racing, and it is one of my favorite parts.

So the year before last I felt the same thing about long runs. I was tired of running slow and far. So I decided to switch it up and sign up for half marathons and 10 milers. I switched to a natural barefoot running shoe, (out of being bored) and focused on running form. I worked on speed, cadence, and started lifting weights. I became a faster, stronger runner. This change made me happy. And being able to change… is also the reason I love running. If you are bored switch up your shoe. If you are tired of running slow and far, start running shorter and faster. If you are tired of city running, hit the trails. This sport has something for any runner’s mood, for whichever type of runner you choose to be. And it is perfectly okay to be a marathon runner one year and a half marathon runner, or ultra marathoner the next year. Switch it up, keep things exciting.

If any of you have been reading my blog over the years, you would know last year, was quite the opposite. I was pretty excited, and ready to really consume myself with marathon training. I looked forward to longer runs, and higher mileage weeks. I was sooo obsessed about my marathon training that I annoyed a few people with my daily  facebook and instagram running posts.

Anyway, one thing I want to make clear, is that I love MCM. This race is my absolute favorite! And I’ll be involved in it in some way, whether that means running it or showing love and support.

A lot of people are running now. My coworker just started training for her first half marathon (Go Katie). My other coworker is running as well. ¬†My running buddy is doing her first full marathon (MCM.) Seems like everyone is running and racing. And although, training for a race and then racing it, is my favorite thing to do, I don’t feel the need to run every race in the area.

Racing all the time can be fun, but it also is expensive and time consuming. Trust me I know, last April I ran two 10 milers and 1 half marathon. It was fun, but it was expensive. But, once April had ended I was happy to sleep in. I will admit I definitely got tired of waking up early and trying to get to a race, then rushing into work right after.

This fall I only signed up for MCM. When I train for a marathon, I am very disciplined. I run long runs when I am scheduled to, I taper when I am scheduled to.¬†Because of this, when¬†I run MCM, I don’t normally sign up for any other races, unless it lines up with my training plan.¬†

I’ve come to the conclusion that signing up for a race and running it, doesn’t make you any more of a runner than someone who is still running daily to stay in shape and have fun.

And at the end of the day, even elite runners and professional athletes sometimes need to pull out of a race…¬†

So with that being said, I’ll keep you updated on what I decide about MCM.

If I decide NOT to run MCM….

there is always next year!¬†There are always other marathons to run… Trust me I have plans… Plus, I have some other fun exciting things I will be doing to get my running fix…

But in the mean time enjoy some of these summer running photos below…

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That’s it for now… Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Do you have a race this fall? Who is training for a marathon?

© 2014 sweatdaily

You Race Photos are Important…

A week after Marine Corps Marathon, an email from Marathonfoto was patiently waiting for me in my inbox. For me, this is like Christmas. I am always excited to to receive my race photos. The image of me sprinting to the finish line just like an elite runner always flashes across my mind. Maybe, they’ll snap a photo of Erik waiting for me so I can smooch him in celebration of a new PR, just like elite runner Emma Coburn did in this photo.

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Or maybe this time, I’ll look just like Kara Goucher, my arms in the air, breaking the tape with a smile of victory across my face. I’m patriotic, I’ll carry an American flag too.

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Well turns out I can keep dreaming, because my race photos never turn out that good. However, because of the improvement in my running form, they have been looking better and better.

Your race photos are important and can actually be very beneficial for you. So even though, you may not look like Kara Goucher, do not ignore your race photos. It is important not only to look at your race photos, but also analyze them. It is your race photos that will reveal the truth to you, about your strengths and weaknesses in your running form.

Have you been feeling pain? Have you had the same running injury over and over again? Well there is a reason why, and maybe you can find the answers to all of your questions by looking closely at your race photos.

So lets take a look at mine and start critiquing my running form. 18 months ago, I switched my shoe to a natural barefoot running shoe, and since then I have really focussed on transitioning my form from a heel striker to a mid foot/forefoot natural barefoot running stride. And although, my running form has improved significantly, it still isn’t perfect.

WEAKNESSES FOUND

In some of the photos you can see that I lean back instead of forward. This is something that I was doing and didn’t even know it. In the photos that I am leaning back in, it looks like I may be over striding. Another interesting thing is that I land on the outside of my foot. ¬†I already slightly knew this by examining the wear and tear at the bottom of my shoes, but it is revealed as well in these photos. In order to get my foot landing more even on the ground, I am going to have to strengthen my gluteus medius. Sometimes it takes strengthening a muscle or stretching a muscle to solve a problem.

STRENGTH FOUND

As for strengths, the biggest thing I am proud about is that I am consistently landing on my forefoot. I am very balanced in every photo. In most photos, my stride is short and bouncy with high knees.

Overall I am happy with how far my running form has improved. I can’t stress enough how important running form is. You wouldn’t go play golf without knowing how to properly hold the golf club, so if you are new to running, do not just head out for a run, learn how to properly run. If you can improve your running form, in most cases, you will stay injury free.

So go ahead, take the time, to examine and analyze your race photos. They are one of the best tools to use, to reveal the truth about your running.

” The beautiful thing about running barefoot or in minimal footwear is that you are working with your body’s natural proprioception, the ability to sense your own position in space. With nothing between you and the ground you get immediate sensory feedback every step, which encourages you to stay light on your feet and run with proper form.”

– Scott Jurek

This was my first time running this distance in a natural barefoot running shoe. There was a time durning my training that I was nervous about running that far in my Newtons. But I built up to it and had an awesome marathon in them.

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© 2013 weatdaily

Marathon Training Update: Walk breaks during long runs… Beneficial or Not?

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Yesterday, I did my 20 miler which I ended short at 18 miles.

My mental strategy was to break this 20 miler into 4 five milers. I was going to sip water every 2 miles, and take water and sports beans every 5 miles.

This is how it all went down…

I stuck with the plan and took my first sips of water at mile 2. At mile 5, I was feeling so good I skipped the water and beans until mile 6. At mile 9, I was still feeling good, but came to the end of the trail so had to turn around.

Mile 10 felt good…

Mile 11 felt good…

Mile 12 felt good…

Hitting the Wall

At mile 13, I mentally lost it… I felt really dehydrated. My mouth was sooo dry. I didn’t put ice in my camel back so my water went warm. No matter how many sips of water I took, my mouth still¬†stayed dry. My stomach also started to feel bad, which is another sign of dehydration.

Walking during Marathon Training

I remember reading in my training plan, that it is okay to walk if you need to, and sometimes walking is beneficial. This is training, practice for the real deal. It is about getting the miles in. So I decided to walk a little to see if that would help. I have decided that walking is not a good idea for me because once I started walking it was hard to start running again. I really needed that second wind. I really needed that runner’s high, that you only get from keeping a consistent running rhythm. But walking took away the chance to be consistent, get a second wind, and runner’s high.

So now I know that walking doesn’t work for me… No walk breaks during the marathon unless I’m at a water station. By walking I also realized that physically, my lung capacity is good, but what felt tired were my feet. I find that very interesting!!! Maybe my Newton shoes work great for me at the half marathon distance, but I need something more for the full marathon distance. However, because I have been training in them all this time, I’m not going to switch now. I mainly have a few blisters on my left foot. I’ve also noticed my recovery time in between long runs is longer.

I am not the type to get disappointed when a long run goes bad. Bad long runs are great leaning experiences. And I am excited I have another 18 miler under my belt.

What I have Learned

1) Eat before I hit the trail… Something I forgot to mention was that I didn’t eat much before going out there. This caused lack of energy and stomach pain. I usually eat a bagel with peanut butter. A good combo of carbs and protein normally always works well. What doesn’t work well, is any type of Cliff bar or energy bars, these have too much fiber which causes really bad stomach problems.

2) I didn’t refuel properly. Water was warm, not enough sports beans consumed. This caused dehydration, which caused dry mouth and stomach pain.

3) Started walking and couldn’t comfortably start running again. This made me loose my running rhythm and I never got my second wind, never got my runner’s high in my second half of my long run. I hit the wall and could not recover.

4) I love my Newton shoes but maybe they are best for half marathons and not full marathons. My feet at hurting after 15 miles and my recovery time has become longer. However, my feet hurting is mainly blisters on my lift foot, which is minor, so I still am planning on continuing my training in them and they will be my marathon race shoes too.

5) Bad music. I desperately need to find some better songs for my running play list. My music is really old, and it bores me. I need music when training by totally solo. My music saves me, and helps me push through during those last miles.

Game Plan

I have 4-5 more weeks to prepare for MCM. I am going to really focus these last few weeks. This is what I need to do…

  • I need to make sure I fit in all of my weekly runs. Shorter runs are just as important then long runs. Running shorter faster runs feel amazing. I ran a really speedy 4 miler tonight. It felt amazing.
  • I need to squeeze in those weight lifting sessions. The stronger I am, the better I run.
  • I need to make sure I am eating properly in order to refuel and have the energy I need. I need to meal prep so I have food on hand, and I don’t resort to eating unhealthy, because I am desperate.
  • I need to drink more water. Hydration is key.

Hopefully, practice makes perfect…

Questions for You…

  1. Anyone have any other marathon training tips?
  2. Do you think walking during long runs is beneficial? It didn’t work for me… does it work for you?
  3. What is on your running playlist?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Day 1 of Marathon Training

“Run for 20 minutes and you’ll feel better. Run another 20 and you might feel 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.”

– Scott Jurek

The above quote is by far one of my favorite quotes from the book, Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. And it totally sums up the reason why I run marathons.

Today, was my first day of marathon training. I ran a short 3 mile run. I was relieved from the heat by a heavy rain.
So far it has rained a ton this summer. Hopefully it will stay mild.

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Mental Strategies for Runnners

There are several different types of runners…

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While reading, Eat and Run, Scott Jurek compares himself to his hero Chuck Jones and Ron Nicholl. He also discovers bushido, which is a code of honor and morals developed by the Japanese.

Bushido means letting go of the past and future, and focusing on the moment. Do you bushido while running? Or is your mind in constant thought? Do you run better when your mind is empty or do you run better when you are focused on your running?

¬†When you have been consistently running, or have properly trained for a race, you are physically capable to run the speed and distance you have trained for… But are you mentally strong enough?¬†

What mental strategies do you have, if any at all?

“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.”

Scott Jurek used a mental strategy in order to run the distance of Mount Si. He broke his ultra into 3 parts. I do this often while running the marathon distance. During my training my two longest runs are 21 milers. My easy runs during the week are 5.2 mile runs. This becomes a mental strategy for me because when I hit mile 21 in my marathon, I am able to tell myself, “Oh Yay! Just hit mile 21, now it is just my 5 mile easy run.”

A lot of runners have tricks like this. When my dad use to run marathons, he use to break the marathon distance into 4 different 10K parts.

Hal Higdon, a marathon coach, states in his marathon training guide, that he wears a rubber band on his wrist, that every odd mile he switches it to the other wrist.

“According to Bushido, the best mind for the battlefield-or the race- is that of emptiness, or an empty mind. “

I use to just let go, and run (bad form and all.) ¬†I wouldn’t really think of anything, my mind was empty. It was my quiet time during my day, my time to myself. But, I wasn’t becoming faster. I wasn’t becoming a better runner, having no goals.

“My craft was running, and as I climb those northwest mountains, I tried to do so with extreme focus. It’s easy to shut your brain off when you’re running long distances, and sometimes it’s necessary, but I stayed plugged in.”

When I decided to change my shoe to Newtons, and really focus on improving my stride. I had to stay focused. During that time, when I was transitioning my stride from a heel striker to a more natural barefoot runner, there were definitely days when I missed the times when I  could just go out there and run., with an empty mind. It was very exhausting physically running, and then mentally thinking about how to run properly, but I had to, I was invested in becoming a better runner.

“In my two months training in Seattle, my endurance improved all by itself. Dusty and all the other tough guys were right about that. Just do the distance and that will usually save you. “

I totally agree, it is as simple as that… practice running the distance, and it will save you.

“I stood in icy rivers to strengthen my mind’s control over my body.”

However, Scott Jurek prepared his mind by standing in icy water. Sometimes running isn’t enough. Sometimes your need more. So in addition to the distance, mentally preparing for your race can take you to a different level of running, maybe even a new PR. Focusing on running while you run, can keep you injury free, and a stronger faster runner.

“I concentrated on running a particular section harder, on picking up speeds downhill while I rested my heart and lungs.”

You would be surprised how the mind can play tricks on you and actually turn a good race into a nightmare. Using mental strategies when you have approached that unbearable distance is just a SMARTER way to run.

There are several different runners, some that empty their minds, others that use their minds just as much as their bodies, but we can all agree on this…

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Questions for You…

  1. Do you just run? Letting your mind empty?
  2. Do you have any good mental strategies? Please share them!

© 2013 sweatdaily

Proud to be a Runner. Proud to be an American.

“If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.”¬†– Hal Higdon

Before I wasn’t too worried about speed, and never did any speed work training. ¬†But now, I know I can run a 5K, 10K, 10 miler, half marathon, even a full marathon. I think after 2 full marathons, I finally have the right to call myself a runner. So it is time to take my running to a different level. I have decided it is no longer about, “Can I run this milage or not… ” because I have already proved that I can, physically and mentally. ¬†So my running is now about doing my personal best. And in order to break old records and create new ones for myself, I need speed drills.

I was always confused on speed drills. Maybe that is why it has taken this long to try one out. But I tend to always complicate things, when really it is very simple. Hal Higdon says, “If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.” So that is what my plan is. The only thing that I regret is not starting this speed work training sooner. My half marathon is in less than four weeks. But my one fitness goal for November is to train properly for this half marathon. Training includes, speed work, tempo runs, long distance runs, strength training, and some mild stretching.

On Sunday night, I felt really good, after I ran, my 5k speed work training run. So I decided today to try it again.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26:03

Average Pace: 8:24

Best Pace: 7:20

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 96

TREADMILL DETAILS

Again I ran this on the treadmill. (I hate the treadmill, and usually run outside) This time, I started out running at 6.8- 7.0, for the first mile. Then on the second mile I brought it up to 7.0-7.5. The third mile I ran at 7.5-7.8. whole time I felt really good. I never felt like I had to stop. I felt like I could keep going. This is a very good sign, but I think I can push myself more. Next time I do speed drills I am going to do interval training and really sprint hard.

Again I ran in my Newton- Distance U. This is the lightest and most minimalist shoe in my shoe rotation. Because of the shoes, my run felt light, easy, and fast. I still want to work on bring my Cadence up.

STRENGTH TRAIN

I also have been trying to do more strength training. It is a must for me on days when I do speed drills. I am really trying to strengthen my core. So below are the details.

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells ‚Äď this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

VOTING

Also everyone knows what today is…. ELECTION DAY! So this morning I woke up at 6:40 am and was at the polls by 7:00 am. It felt good to be so productive before work – getting my work out in and my vote on. As you may or may not know, I live in Washington, DC, which is by far the most political area in the USA. Sometimes being surrounded by politics all the time can be exhausting and stressful, but today was a happy day. I am so proud have the freedom to vote. It is days like these that make me grateful that I was born an American.

My sticker. My proof. I voted.

If you haven’t had the chance to vote yet… it is not too late!¬†

© 2012 sweatdaily

Speed Work

This morning, I woke up at my normal time, 8:00 am, but because it was daylight savings time, the clock went from 8 to 7. If you have been following my blog, you may already know how much I love my mornings, so having an extra hour this morning was a real treat. Unfortunately, I didn’t squeeze in a morning run, so instead I hit up the gym after work.

It is funny how things change. Four years ago, I was a gym rat, spending all my running time on the treadmill. But now, I can’t even remember the last time I set foot in a gym. Honestly, I hate the gym atmosphere and can’t stand the treadmill. However, I wanted to get in a short really fast run. The best place to work on speed is either at the track or on the treadmill, and because it is getting darker earlier, I decided on the treadmill.

So I put on my pink Newton shoes, the Distance U, and headed to the gym.

Time to get faster! Decked out in my favorite Lululemon.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26.19

Average Pace: 8:27 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:42 min/mi

Average Run Cadence 97 spm

Calories: 254 C

TREADMILL DETAILS

I did a brief warm up walk on the t-mill for about 1 minute. Then I ran the first mile at 6.5 taking the speed up to 6.8 the last two minutes of the first mile. This was around a 9 minute mile. Then I ran the second mile at 7.0 which is around an 8:30 minute mile. Then I ran the last mile at 7.5 which is an 8 minute mile or slightly under. I was pretty satisfied with my speedy 5k.

At first, my Newton shoes felt really weird on the treadmill. But after a minute or two, I felt super light and fast, never feeling tired. It felt good to work up a sweat quickly and get those muscles moving.

Questions for you…

  1. Do you prefer to run far or run fast?
  2. Where do you do your speed workouts? Treadmill or track?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Half Marathon Training: Weather can make or break a long run!

WEATHER can make or break a long run.

Newtons and Camelbak. You guessed it- its long run time!

Yesterday, I went on a 10 mile run with L. It was a really good long run. I never thought weather would effect me so much, but ever since I started running five years ago I remember how cold past winters have been and when we have had a heat wave summer. As for yesterday morning… it was sunny and around 50 degrees, perfect running weather. It is officially time to swap out my running shorts for running pants and tanks for long sleeve shirts.

Yesterday, I ran in my adidas running capris and my brooks MCM long sleeve running shirt, (no lululemon- shocking I know)  but I felt perfect, never too hot, never too cold.

MENTAL

I remember telling L that I thought this was going to be a really good run… so mentally I was in the zone. Have you ever tried that before? In the beginning, of your next run, just say it out loud, “This is going to be a good run, I can feel it.” Trust me, by saying positive words like this, you are setting yourself up mentally for a really great run.

PREPARATION

Running can be the most simple minimalist sport ever. You can do it anywhere and all you need is a really good pair of shoes – or according to some runners, shoes aren’t even necessary. But when it comes to a run longer than eight miles I always bring my stuff. For this 10 miler, I was prepared in many ways . As I said above, I was dressed appropriately, and mentally set myself up for a success. Along with both of those things, I also had my Camelbak filled with two liters of water, my Jelly Belly Sports beans ( for fuel,) my iPod, my Garmin, keys, phone, money, and pepper spray. ¬†I was ready and feeling good.

THE RUN

So L and I hit the MVT trail and headed south towards Old Town.  Because it was around 9:00 am, the trail was pretty empty, only a few walkers.  This was very relaxing, and heading towards Old Town is always very pretty, right along the Potomac. I was trying to run between a 9:30 Р9:00 minute mile for the first half hoping I could run the second half faster. I was sipping water every two miles, and fueled up with sports beans twice, once at mile 4, a second time at mile 8.

The first half felt really good. I did have to stop two times to make sure L, who was right behind me, knew her way. We made it to Old Town and then turned back. On the way back, I felt really good, except for around mile 8, I really started to feel the ground in my Newtons. I believe this feeling is just a friction feeling of sweat, skin, and the ground all mingling. This sensation made it harder for me to maintain anything faster than a 9 minute mile, so I kept my pace at around 9:15. L and I ended up finishing in 1:40, and we both felt like we could have kept going farther – which I am pleased with.

THE PLAN

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan. I love Hal. I was fortunate to meet him at the Chicago Marathon Expo! Although, I have never followed a plan for a half marathon, I have followed Hal’s plans for my marathon training and felt successful. So hopefully his half marathon plan will also bring me success. This week’s long run is a 15k, but depending on how I feel I might just do another 10 miler.

The plan also includes shorter daily runs, speed work, and strength training. Durning my shorter training runs I am trying to run between a 8:30 and 9:00 minute mile. As for speed work, I might actually do some drills on the treadmill at the gym- even though I hate the treadmill.

STRENGTH TRAIN

Yesterday, after my 10 miler, I did some strength training. Because I have changed my stride to a more natural running stride, it is very important for me to strength train. I have to mainly focus on my upper body and core.

I did all my strength training using a stability ball, which works abs as long as shoulders and back. I also used dumbbells, and kettle bell.

seated dumbbells lateral raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated arnold press Р 3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells – this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

seated dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated alternate dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells – for a more advanced move try this with one leg crossed over the other.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

wide leg squat¬†–¬†3 sets(10 reps) 25 lb kettle bell

stability ball squat¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

All of these work outs I found in Oxygen Magazine

In the end, I was really happy with my 10 mile run and my strength training. I still need to pick the pace up and work on cadence, but besides that I am feeling pretty confident and excited about my half marathon scheduled for December 1st. Although, I have done four ten mile races since April, I never felt like I was running far or training for a long distance race. For some reason this felt like a long run for me. So let me tell ya- it feels really good to run long and hard again. I really missed going the distance. I need to continue to make time, at least once a week, to run long and hard.

Questions for You

  1. Do you bring pepper spray with you when you do a long run?
  2. How do you mentally get in the zone?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Army Ten Miler aka ATM

On Sunday, October 21st, 2012, I ran the Army Ten Miler. ¬†With almost 22,000 runners crossing the finish line, this is the largest ten mile race I have ever run. I was really excited to run this race because as popular as it is, I had never run it before. Normally, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon, which always falls on the weekend after the Army Ten Miler, so I don’t really see a point of running a 10 mile race the week before my marathon when I am already passed that point in my training.

EXPO

The Expo was held at DC Armory. Because it is a military event, security was tight. Everyones’ ids were checked and in order to enter you had to go through a medal detector. The long lines went by quickly and we were able to get our bibs and t shirts.

Me and my Bib. Bib # 9525

L with her bib number, and running in memory of her hubby who died fighting in Iraq.

Me with my t shirt!

What can I say… one of my favorite things to do is shop for new running stuff… So I love huge Expo’s with tons of vendors. One of my favorite vendors is One More Mile. One More Mile is a company know for the most hilarious phrases written on their t shirts. The shirts are not the best quality but they are fun and very comfortable to wear post race.

One More Mile

L found one for me that said, “Does this shirt make my butt look fast.” And I found one for her that said…

One Bad Mother Runner…

The Expo was also very well organized and although I didn’t buy anything from them, I spotted two of my other favorite vendors, Garmin and Newton.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE DAY

So the night before my race, I prepare everything. I get my my race outfit ready. I pack my baggage claim bag. Then I take a picture of everything and upload it to Facebook. All of my runner friends get it, and all of my non running friends think I’m weird. But that is what I do and L started to do the same thing. I guess you could call this a ritual, because I do it, the night before every race. This helps me at 5:30 in the morning, when it is too dark to see. I don’t need to see because everything is organized.

My race outfit!

If you are interested to know what makes up my race outfit please click here. I review each product in detail.

RACE MORNING

On the morning of the race, I received a “wake up” text from L at 5:30 am. Because I had prepared my race outfit and baggage claim bag the night before it didn’t take me long to get ready. The only thing I couldn’t find in the dark that morning was a hair tie which is ironic because I am a hairstylist. I normally have a pixie haircut and never needed to worry about my hair.

Anyway, L picked me up and we drove five minutes to Pentagon City where we parked and met up with friends. The start of the race was at the Pentagon, and although the Pentagon is walking distance from Pentagon City we decided to hop on the metro.

One of my favorite things about race morning is riding a metro train packed with runners. The energy that fills the train is intense, exciting, and positive. It really gets me pumped up.

30,000 runners at the Pentagon Metro stop.

THE START

Although, it was a little bit cold, L and I stripped down at the start and checked our bags.

L and I at the start of the ATM 

We got one last group shot and then headed to our corrals.

The whole gang at the start!

I love military races because they always have the most organized races and the most entertaining start lines. At the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon, all of the runners huddled together on 110 while they flew Military Jets over our heads. At this race, military men/women entered the race by sky diving to the start line.

the sky raining people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RACE

Then the gun went off and the race began. Honestly, the start was a slow one for me. Once I started running, I began to feel really crowded and couldn’t run at the pace I had planned.

We ran down 110 to Arlington Cemetery. I love running on highways that I normally drive on. As I ran down 110 I began to remember the last time I ran down that highway, in Marine Corps Marathon.   We ran up to Arlington Cemetery and then over the Memorial Bridge. This part of the race was also very familiar because it is a part of one of my regular training routes. Then we ran around the Watergate Hotel, the Kennedy Center, the National Mall, then over the 14th Street Bridge.

The 14th Street Bridge is cool place to run over because it brings you from DC to Virginia. However, it is also an annoying place to run because whether you are running a 26.2 or a 10 miler it is a place that is hard for spectators to get to, and a place you really need support, being a spot towards the end of the race.

The 14th street bridge also brought back memories from when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. This was around mile 20 in the marathon and mile 8 in this 10 miler. So far, besides a slow start from crowding, I was feeling pretty amazing. I was running with natural form, landing on my forefoot. Legs felt strong. Breathing was good. My form was perfect, staying balanced and focussed.

landing lightly on my forefoot!

A tad bit of an over stride. The photos never lie.

running

However, it was on the 14th Street Bridge in this race that I started to feel a weird burning blistering sensation on the bottom of my feet. I continued running, and even sprinted to the finish line. After the race I checked the bottom of my feet and only had one small blister, and it wasn’t even a blood blister, so I guess it was just from friction feeling the ground. So although, I felt pretty amazing through most of the race, it is times like these (when I feel an unusual discomfort) that I begin to question how far I truly can run in the Newton shoes.

Finish line

Once over the bridge, the race route took us down to Pentagon City and finished where we started, at the Pentagon. Because L and I parked at Pentagon City, we decided that once we go our bags from baggage claim we would just walk over to the car. So thats what we did, which was shockingly quick and easy.

Overall, I though this race was pretty well organized, but not as organized as the Marine Corps Marathon. I though the route was pretty amazing and in the end I recommend this race to anyone and everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on the Newton Shoes

When I first started using the Newton shoes they felt extremely fast and light. I love that weightless feeling, however I have yet to PR in them. Since April I have run four 10 mile races two of them in my traditional running shoes, and two of them in my Newton shoes.

Cherry Blossom 10 miler -April 1st, 2012 –1:29:26 (traditional running ¬†shoe)

Parkway Classic 10 miler РApril 22nd, 2012 Р1:28:05 (traditional running shoe)

Annapolis 10 miler – August 26th, 2012 –¬†1:33:23¬†(Newton shoes)

Army 10 miler- October 21st, 2012 –¬†1:30:16¬†(Newton shoes)

These may sound like excuses but, the Annapolis 10 miler was run in a hurricane, and the Army 10 miler was crowded at the start. But overall, I feel pretty consistent when it comes to my times.

December 1st I will be running the Annapolis Half Marathon, in my Newton shoes. If I get 1:59:00, it will be a PR for me. So I am hoping for that.

Questions for You

  1. What is your favorite vendor at the running Expos?
  2. What is you race night ritual?

© 2012