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

2012 Highlights

This is one of my favorite times of year. It is a New Year. A new beginning. It is your opportunity to have a fresh new start. But one of my favorite things to do, durning this time is taking a look back on the year that has just ended. My yoga teacher would tell me not to dwell. Do the pose, now let it go, forget about it, and then move on and do the next posture. This is great advice, but sometimes it is nice to look back, I highly recommend it.

It is funny how people starts New Years resolutions, ¬†and then they feel bad when they do not stick to them. Then time goes by and maybe you can’t even remember what your New Years resolution was in the first place. Or maybe you are the total opposite and you set your New Years resolution and you stick to it and it totally changes who you are. For example, maybe you are that girl that looses a 100 lbs, and ends up on the Today show… it could happen… right?

But do you really need to set a New Years resolution? ¬†As I take a look back on my 2012 year, I notice a lot of amazing things went down. Most of these amazing things had nothing to do with my New Years resolution. I have noticed that my New Years resolution isn’t very significant at all, because I am self-consciously¬†always setting small goals for myself, in every aspect of my life. ¬†Plus life itself is pretty amazing. It sends us opportunities and challenges, that are unplanned and out of our control.

So with that being said,  in hope to inspire you in some way, I will share with you my highlights of 2012. Enjoy!

IMG_0428_2ART: In January 2012, I started the winter session of my drawing class at The Torpedo Factory. My teacher Tanya is amazing. She taught me that our eyes will isolate things, but as an artist you must see the full picture not only looking for the positive space, but also the negative space.

What is an object, if it has nothing you can relate it to? Everything is about relationships. In order to determine, size, shape, depth, tone… you can not isolate objects, you must relate them to other things. The most interesting thing about this class is that because I am a hair stylist I was able to relate everything to haircutting and color. It definitely made me more creative at work. ¬†The winter session starts up again, next week. I can’t wait!

TRAVEL: I use to always travel internationally, with a passion for Europe and South America.  However the past couple years I have had the opportunity to explore some different parts of the USA. Trust me, when I say this, our country is beautiful, and we have some amazing places to see.

So in February 2012, I traveled down to New Orleans. I had never been that south before, so I didn’t really know what to expect but New Orleans is overflowing with culture. The architecture is a mix between southern, but also has a lot of Spanish European influence. The food is a mix of cajun spices, but they have some of the best seafood as well. There is a spooky feeling, that hangs over the city. All of the graveyards are above ground, and voodoo dolls are sold at the flea markets. However, because of the Spanish European influence there are a lot of gorgeous Catholic Churches.

I went down there for Mardi Gras, with a friend of mine who use to live there, and later, while I was there, I met up with an old friend that I went to grade school with, who lives there now – So I was in great company. We did as the locals did- A drink was always in my hand, even while walking in the street, to the next bar/parade. The whole city pretty much closed down for the week, and everyone of all ages were partying in the streets.

I made new friends.

I made new friends.

I met up with old friends.

I met up with old friends.

I drank a lot!

I drank a lot!

I ate a lot!

I ate a lot!

I wore a green wig!

I wore a green wig!

In June 2012, I went out west, to explore Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. The best parts of this trip were, Boise, The Shoshone Waterfalls, Idaho Falls, Yellow Stone National Park, Jackson Hole, and Craters of the Moon. Meeting, the fitness model Jamie Eason, in Salt Lake was pretty cool too.

horses in Idaho

horses in Idaho

The Shoshone Falls

The Shoshone Falls

bison in yellowstone

bison in yellowstone

Yoga in Montana.

Yoga in Montana.

Caving

Caving! Craters of the Moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In July 2012, it seemed like I was on a plane every week. My Grammy, had surgery and could not recover. I flew to Massachusetts/ Connecticut to visit her in the hospital on her birthday. A couple days later I went to Los Angeles, California for intense hair training with Sebastian Professionals. During my few spare minutes I went running on the beach in Santa Monica.

Sebastian girls in LA

Sebastian girls in LA

After my trip to LA, my Grammy passed on, so I went back up to Massachusetts for her funeral. She lived a wonderful 84 years, and although she is gone, she has helped form me into the lady I am today. She will always live on through me and the others who love her.

In September 2012, I again headed to Massachusetts, but this time to Martha’s Vineyard.¬†¬†I ran the coast of Martha’s Vineyard almost everyday I was up there. I also went fishing and caught my first fish. We ate tons of my favorite, Lobster.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

I'm so happy, I could kiss you!

I’m so happy, I could kiss you!

In September, I went to New York City for a Sebastian Pro Hair Show. I also had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite yarn shops Purl Soho.

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So that sums up my travel, I got around…

RUNNING: I ran a total of 7 races in 2012.

IMG_0547April 1, 2012, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in 1:29:26. 8:56 min mile.

April 6, 2012, I ran the Crystal City 5K in 26:26. 8:30 min mile.

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April 22, 2012, I ran the Parkway Classic in 1:28:05. 8:45 min mile.

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August 26, 2012 I ran the Annapolis 10 miler, in 1:33:23. 9:20 min mile.

L and I at the start of the ATM

L and I at the start of the ATM

October 21, 2012, I ran the Army 10 miler, in 1:30:16. 9:01 min mile.

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November 22, 2012 I ran the SOME Turkey Trot in 24:34. 7:54 min mile.

429524_10100868123605386_418749121_nDecember 1, 2012, I ran the Annapolis Half Marathon, in 1:51:21. 8:29 min mile.

By not running a full marathon in 2012, I was able to focus on running form. I began to experiment with a natural running shoe (Newton), and was able to successfully change my stride.

YOGA: Through out the year I was able to continue my Bikram yoga practice.

L and I at Bikram.

L and I at Bikram.

KNITTING: This year I knitted up a storm. I really began to think of knitting as a form of art. And now I have become a ‚Äúyarn snob,‚ÄĚ guilty of having an obsession with high quality yarn. I love natural fibers such as merino wool, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, angora, silk, cotton, and linen. Here are some of my favorite projects of 2012.

tumblr_m9sw1h1KQo1rrnjzco2_1280In March, I made a yoga bag.

IMG_0562In April, I finished my first Sweater.

bandana cowl

bandana cowl

White Caps Cowl

White Caps Cowl

15112_10100860364479736_778132713_nI hand knit the Super Soft Fluted Cowl.

my latest Chunky Knit!  Hand knit by me.

my latest Chunky Knit! Hand knit by me.

I hand knit the herringbone cowl.

150626_10100912681930146_132839178_nMy latest piece. My second sweater. The Short Row Sweater. Pattern by Purl Bee. Yarn from Purl Soho. Hand knitted by me.

HAIR & Photo Work: I did three photo shoots.

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© 2012 Do NOT use photos

© 2012
Do NOT use photos

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

At the end of May 2012, last but not least, and the most exciting thing of all is that my boyfriend and I moved into our very first home! We are home owners.

So as you can see 2012 was a very busy year for me, full of exploring new places, learning new things, and challenging my body to its ultimate fitness level. Now, that I looked back, I can move forward. I am very excited about 2013, but topping 2012 will be hard to do.

Questions for you…

  1. Does looking back help you move forward?
  2. What was your most exciting thing that happened to you in 2012?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

My Favorite race of 2012, the Annapolis Half Marathon.

Because today is the first day of 2013, I find it quite necessary to recap my favorite race of 2012, The Annapolis Half Marathon.  On this day, a month ago, I ran my fastest half marathon. I have been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks now, but I have decided to save it for the first of the New Year, which is the perfect day to look back on some of the highlights of 2012.

The Annapolis Half Marathon was not the first race I have ever run in Maryland, but it was by far the best! I’m going to start out by telling you a little bit about my past races I have run in Maryland. Because I have a bit of history when it comes to running races in that state.

In June of 2008, I ran my first half marathon, the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon. I remember thinking – I needed to slow down because it was hot and hilly. At the end, I had enough energy to sprint to the finish line, finishing in 2:09:38.37742_772558339986_8135770_n

In 2009, in part of my marathon training I ran a 21 mile training run in Baltimore and then a week later ran the Baltimore Half Marathon. I remember thinking – this is not a race, this is a training run in preparation for The Marine Corps Marathon. Although, cooler, it was still very hilly. The best part of this race was running the last mile downhill to the finish line. I finished this race in 2:03:36.

In August of 2012, I ran the Annapolis 10 miler. It was576866_10100747687225856_912276774_n-3 rolling hills the whole way, and Hurricane Isaac swept through brining us strong winds and torrential downpours. It was one of the worst 10 milers I have ever run, finishing in 1:33:23.

So when my sister said the only free weekend she had available to run a half marathon was the weekend of December 1st, and the only local race was The Annapolis Half, I had mixed feelings about registering.

PROS and CONS

I was a little disappointed because we had already run a race in Annapolis this year, only a month before. Would this be boring? Would we have bad weather again, maybe not another hurricane, but a blizzard could be a possibility. These were some of the thoughts that were running through out my mind. But because the Annapolis 10 miler had been one of the more challenging races I have run, I decided that this would be my second chance to try to conquer the rolling hills of Annapolis, Maryland. I also thought it would be interesting to run a half marathon in the winter – the cold winter weather might be an advantage for me. Plus I would have the opportunity to train for a race in the fall time, which is my favorite season to run in. These ideas made me pumped to register for this race, train, and then run the dang thing.

TRAINING

If you have been following my blog, you most¬†definitely have read all of my training run posts, so I will only touch briefly on my training ¬†for my new readers. I have been running in the Newton shoe since April/May. This shoe is a natural running shoe. It is super light weight and has a 2mm-3mm heel to toe drop. I run in both the Distance U and the Gravity. With this transition, I have worked very hard on my running form. I finally feel very comfortable, with a short quick bouncy running stride, striking my forefoot/midfoot instead of my heels. This race was the ultimate test, to see if all this hard work has paid off… and let me tell ya… it totally did.

RACE 

One of the fabulous pros about this race was that the race was scheduled for a Saturday. This may not matter for people, but it does for me because my days off form work is Friday and Saturday.

So on Friday, I made a pasta dinner for my sister and I. She came over right after she got off work. We ate and then hit the road. Another fun thing about this race was that I rented a Fiat for the drive up! I love that car!29358_10100867389666206_1964257829_n

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When we arrived to the hotel, we prepared for the race by laying out our race outfit and set our alarm for 4:45 am. My race night ritual is laying out my race clothes and everything I need for race day.

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We woke up from the sound of the alarm, not thunder like the previous race we ran in Annapolis (Annapolis 10 miler). This race started at 7:00 am and they advised us to get to the Naval Academy parking lot no later than 6:00 am, because of road closures.

When we arrived, we stayed warm in the car until 6:15 and then we headed over to the start. I found L in the line for the bathroom. Thank goodness. At the Annapolis 10 miler there were no corrals so we ended up missing each other at the start. But we found each other this time, and although it was 40 degrees out we stripped down and ditched our long sleeves. I always want to keep my long sleeves on but I always later get too hot and regret it. I was cold for the first mile but eventually I warmed up and felt perfect.

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At 7:00 am the gun went off and The Annapolis Half Marathon officially began. It was super foggy. I was barely able to see what was ahead. For the first few minutes it was a tad squishy, but I stayed to the outside and found space. For the first 3 miles or so I was flying, running 7:30 minute miles. Then I continued doing an 8 minute mile. I refueled at the mile six mile water station. I was feeling so good and couldn’t believe that I was already half way through. Mile six already… I thought.

The course was rolling hills, and some of those hills were really steep, while others were gradual but never ending. However, because of the fog you couldn’t really see what was ahead, but I knew the hills were there. I felt pretty prepared though, because I had included tons of hill work during my training. But while I was running I realized I don’t hate hills. I am actually really good at hills. Mentally, I started to break the race up by hills. I ran with control going up hill, then I used momentum to pick up speed without wasting energy while going down hill. We got to run over the really big bridge, which was one of the foggiest and prettiest parts of the race.

I continued to keep my pace in check. I looked down and saw 9 minute mile so I picked up the pace again and made sure I was running no slower than 8:45 and no faster than 7:50. When I hit the 10 mile marker I was shocked. I looked down at my watch and saw a 10 miler PR 1:23:00. Could this be true? I felt good, strong, fast. I was excited because I knew I was going to PR! My goal in this race was to finally break 2:00:00, there was no doubt in my mind… I was doing that.

Around mile 12 I felt like I was slowing down a bit so I pulled out my trick. When I feel like I am slowing down I always imagine myself running over hot coals. I kept telling myself, “hot coals, hot coals.” This kept me light on my feet, bouncy and quick. I ended up having enough energy to sprint to the finish line. I got there with a big smile on my face with an official time of 1:51:21.

 

running annapolis

run pics AnnapolisI wanted to post these running pics because I think it is important to evaluate my running form. Trust me no one looks sexy, in their race photos, so keep in mind these aren’t the most beautiful photos of me, however, my running form is right on. And after all that hard work transitioning my stride into a natural runner, I not only ran my fastest half marathon, but I am very proud that I accomplished good running form.

Good Running Form

  • Short strides, trying to land under your center body mass (do not over stride)
  • forefoot/mid-foot striking (do not heel strike)
  • cadence of 180 or higher – tip: imagine your running over hot coals
  • light, quick, bouncy
  • leaning slightly forward, (lean from your ankles, not your waist or hips)
  • head and chin up, always look forward. (do not look down)
  • engage core strength
  • keep shoulders relaxed and arms at a 90 degree angle

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There I am after the race, see what I mean about the fog. The end of the race party was really fun. They had beer, pulled pork bbq, a raw oyster bar. They also gave us a medal, a really high tech long sleeve running shirt, and a hat. Lets just say, “they hooked us up with some awesome swag.”

32322_10100867993780556_2072329249_n-1We spent the rest of the day shopping around along the waterfront of Annapolis.

29566_10100868125017556_206629310_nWe also went to lunch. Of corse I had a crab cake sandwich. Maryland bay crabs are the best, but crab season was over so I went for the crab cake. It was tasty, but the bloody mary was the best part.

16195_10100868127258066_144749273_nNext time you have a bloody mary try it with Absolute Pepper Vodka!

So that was my favorite race of 2012. As of now, for 2013, I am registered for three races in April. I am super excited for all of them but mostly the Nike Women Half Marathon scheduled for April 28th.

Happy New Year and Happy Running!

Questions for you…

  1. What was your favorite race of 2012?
  2. Do you like hilly races?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

 

SOME Turkey Trot

I don’t start enjoying a run until mile three. My body needs time to warm up. By the time I am warmed up, found my rhythm, and begin enjoying myself, my 5K race is over. And that is why I hate running 5Ks.

However, the Turkey Trot is by far one of my favorite races. Running a Turkey Trot is one of the few, if not the only, 5K I run a year. It feels so amazing, to wake up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning and start the holiday off with a race.

I have run a couple different Turkey Trots in the area, but SOME is the best one. The race is located in DC. The route use to be down near Hains Point, but this year the race started on Pennsylvania Ave. I liked this route better, but parking was hard to find. The race is $35, but the money goes to SOME – So Others May Eat.

Although, just a 5K, I still did my normal night before race ritual Рlaying out my race outfit. 

Ready to run SOME, on Thanksgiving morning. Then jumped in my car. Picked my sister up. Headed to the start.
The start was well organized with a view of the Capitol.
We lined up near the 8 min/mile pace group.
I wore my Newton, Gravity shoes, and my new barefoot running socks.
These are the socks that I wore the day of my race. They felt really good, and helped me avoid a blister I get regularly on my third toe when wearing the Newton Gravity shoe. I learned about this product from the blog, Barefoot Monologues. Read a more detailed review on this product here.
My sister and I at the race. The race was easy, short, flat, fast. A typical 5K. A typical Turkey Trot. I ended up with a PR of 24:33. Thats a 7:55 min/mile. The best part was that Panera Bread handed out bagels at the finish line.
If you are ever in the DC area on Thanksgiving day, I highly recommend this race.
Questions for You
  1. Did you run a Turkey Trot?
  2. What is your favorite type of run? 5K, 10K, 15K, 10 miler, 13.1, 26.2

© 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

October Goals

This morning I woke up to rain. Normally, I love running in the rain, but this morning the sky was gray and the rain was slow but heavy. So I decided to skip my morning run, and get a little extra shut eye. And as long as skipping a workout only occurs at irregular intervals and doesn’t become an everyday excuse, then go right ahead, take a rest day.¬†Sometimes, your body just needs it.

Anyway, yesterday, I said goodbye to September and welcomed October.  It is a new month, a new beginning. It is a perfect time to set some new goals. As you may know, I had started my journey of exploring a more forefoot/midfoot stride in April, by switching my running shoe to the Newton Distance U.

I have never had any running injuries, so when I told people, I was experimenting with the Newton shoe, and working on changing my stride, they asked, “Why? Why fix something that is not broken?” Honestly, I was just bored and wanted to try something new. I had read Born to Run, and was ready to try to work on running form.

In the beginning of September I purchased my second pair of Newton shoes, and I am now running more regularly in the Gravity. On my vacation, at Martha’s Vineyard, I finally had the opportunity to finish reading the book, Natural Running. This book made me even more sold on the idea that a more minimalist shoe is the way to go.

And then in mid September, it just clicked.  I had a break through and I started to run with a natural running stride, landing on my forefoot/midfoot.

OCTOBER GOALS

I want to continue practicing my natural running stride by continuing to land on my forefoot/midfoot.

  • However, I really need to work on running posture. I tend to lean back when I run. So I need to work on slightly leaning forward. Leaning back when you run is a stopping/halting position. You will most likely heel strike when leaning back. It is important to slightly lean forward, because the momentum will automatically help you land on your forefoot/midfooot, and make you a faster runner.
  • Cadence.¬†Cadence is how many times your foot hits the ground per minute. It is very important to get your running Cadence around 180 or more. A Cadence of 180 helps prevent injury and increases speed. Mine is all over the place. My garmin measured mine around 100, once at 120, and then 160. But this month, I really want to work on trying to get my running Cadence around 180. It will really help improve my running.
  • I am also thinking about playing around with shoe rotation. Instead of just throwing on one pair of shoes. I want to wear the right one depending on the type of running I am doing.
  • This month, I also really want to work on strength training, whether I am boxing, lifting weights, or just doing running form exercises. Now that I am running differently I need to strengthen everything.
  • In order to fit all this in, I also want to change my sleeping habits so I can wake up earlier. I’m hoping to wake up at 6:00 am instead of 8:00 am. I love my mornings.
  • As for Attitude, I am really going to focus on me, and my running PR.

As for October plans, I really don’t have any except some upcoming races. In October, I am running the Army 10 miler, and then in December I am running the Annapolis Half Marathon.¬†Do you have any up coming races?

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge in something? It has been a goal I have been contemplating on trying to set. ¬†I have been thinking about a …

  • 30 day running challenge
  • 30 day blogging challenge
  • 30 day sleeping challenge

I’ll let you know if I decide on one for the month of October.

Well those are my October Goals…¬†What are yours?

© 2012

Early Bird, Morning Run

20120930-105820.jpg

Yesterday morning, Saturday, September 29th, I woke up to a text from my running buddy, Lina. The text said, “On my way.”

Oh damn, I rolled over in bed and looked at the clock, it was 6:30 am. I was late. We were suppose to be at our meeting spot at 6:30, and I was just waking up. I hurried and put on my running clothes, grabbed water, my garmin, my iPod and rushed to my car. It was still dark.

In my mind, I was thinking of how early it was, but I knew that after my run I would feel really good about doing it, I always do.

I got to our meeting spot around 6:45. The morning sky was just starting to brighten a little. Lina and I both parked and then started a slow warm up jog down Lee Highway toward the trail. Once we hit the trail we picked up the pace. With in minutes we went from running under a dark morning sky and through quiet streets to the sun rising over the Lincoln Memorial and a crowded running trail.

I must admit I really loved the morning energy. The sun rising was absolutely gorgeous. It turned the sky orange. The temperature outside was cool and crisp, it defiantly felt like fall. As for the crowded running trail, it was actually quite refreshing. I run this trail a couple days a week, and every time of day it has a different vibe. Even the different parts of the trail have a different vibe too.
Normally, the earliest I get on the trail is 8:30 am, when most people are heading into work. I come across a lot of cyclists or commuters, but this time it was all runners. Some days when I don’t make it out there early enough, the trail I totally empty. It can be quite lonely running by yourself on and empty quiet trail.

I never thought I would enjoy a crowded running trail, but I did. Normally, I run alone, or with Lina, but this time I was surrounded by a ton of runners. Some in running groups, others by themselves. Some fast, some slow. I loved the vibe, seeing all of these other runners made me totally energized. While concentrating on my form I was running stronger, faster. It was an amazing feeling, very motivating.

After we were done running. I hit up Starbucks and CVS. I just felt like refueling. I headed home, and took a shower. I felt energized and relaxed. I had the whole day ahead of me.

I have been contemplating changing my sleeping habits for a couple years now. I will admit that I have been waking up earlier then I use to. There was a time when I would sleep in until 9:00 or 10:00 am. I just have never been an early bird, but the weird thing is that I have never considered myself a night owl either. I am normally in bed by 11:00 pm. But I would like to have more time in the morning before I head into work around noon. I also would like to regularly run in the early mornings, instead of trying to squeeze it in whenever I can. I really enjoyed running early in the morning with all the other morning runners. I have to wake up early for most races so why not practice running at these early morning times everyday.

So the plan is to wake up early morning wether I run early or not. During the week, the earliest I will run is 6:30 am the latest I will run is 8:30 am. Unfortunately, the colder darker months will be here soon, so it will also depend on that. But I am excited about this new goal, and I think blogging about it will help me get on this new routine.

Questions for You

When do you run? Are you and early bird or night owl? Do you have any tips to share about waking up early? Please share, I need all the tips I can get.

Why do you run?

Image

I saw this and immediately thought of my sister. She always looks like this when she crosses the finish line of her races. Actually, I belive the finishing photo for her first half marathon (taken 5 years ago) looks just like this.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that I am not an elite runner that runs a 2 hour marathon, but instead I am a runner that runs a 2 hour HALF marathon. Sometimes, I need to remind myself why I run in the first place.

I run to be healthy and stay fit.

I run in the morning because it keeps me energized for the rest of the day.

I run at night, to reduce stress and wind down.

I run in the hot months of spring and summer because the heat leaves me drenched with sweat and the sun gives me Vitamin D.

I run in the fall and winter months because the cold is refreshing.

I run in the rain, because it is my favorite time to run.

I run in the snow because it is pretty.

I run in the woods…

in the city…

on the beach…

over bridges…

I run races…

to train…

set goals…

make new PRs.

In the end, running is about me. ME running my personal best and having fun, while staying healthy and happy-mentally, emotionally, and physically. And, although I will never be an elite runner, over the years I  have become quite good at it.

Why do you run? What motivates you to run?

© 2012

I’LL TAKE A lil bit of this AND a lil bit of that…

BEACHES

I am a total beach bum. I love running barefoot on the beach, it is my favorite kind of run. I love swimming in the ocean, floating on my back, hearing the waves crash. I love boats. I love laying in the sand soaking up the sun. I love the warm tired feeling I get after a long day at the beach. I love eating seafood, especially lobster, crab, and recently raw oysters.

on the beach in Barcelona

Boats in Barceloneta

Beach bum… in Barcelona

Nemo and Coral in Barcelona

Island of Kos, Greece

Island of Kos, Greece

Mermaid Statue on the Island of Syros, Greece. In Honor of those lost at sea.

Boats in Bodrum, Turkey

Storms in Myrtle Beach, SC USA

good morning Myrtle Beach, SC USA

sun, waves, sand

sisters, sun-dresses, beach, Myrtle, SC USA

rainbow

A day at Bethany Beach, DE USA

Beach Yoga, Bethany Beach, DE USA

Camel on the Beach. Bethany Beach, DE USA

Brazil

Best Friends in BrazilThe Christ Statue in Rio.

Santa Monica, California

Hermosa Beach, California

OBX 13.1

finishing up a run on the beach in the fall in OBX, NC