What a runner reads while traveling…

This Saturday, I start my travels to Thailand.

I am looking forward to escaping this cold brutal winter. ¬†I am looking forward to spending my February basking under the hot sun, in 90 degrees Thailand. I am excited to endure the chaos of Bangkok, shopping at the night markets, seeing the skyline view at Sky Bar. I am ready to breath in the beauty and zen energy of the Buddhist temples. Oh and I can’t hardly wait to visit the elephant sanctuaries of Chang Mai or to island hop the Thailand coast.

Although, all of the above, sounds lovely…

there is one thing I am dreading…

The 24 hour flight I will have to endure to get to my destination – tropical paradise.

It definitely will be interesting…

The longest flight I have ever been on was a 13 hour direct flight from Brazil to the USA. This time I will be flying for 12 hours, switching planes, and flying for another 12 hours. Ugh, sounds dreadful… but well worth it.

I guess I will have to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that in the end, I will get the chance to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And  who would pass up playing with their own personal elephant in Chiang Mai?

So my game plan to keep myself busy while traveling for 24 hours is to read and knit.

Yep, read and knit.

Because I have been so busy: running, working, holidays, planning this trip, and others for the year, I haven’t had much time to sit, relax, and get my knit on. Sadly, I have only completed one project this winter, fingerless mittens.

So I have a really fun knitting project to work on while traveling. It is called the Laura Loops: Salt and Pepper Cowl.

This is found on the Purl Bee website. I chose this project because everything about this piece is small, so it will be easy to throw in my carry on bag.

When it comes to reading, I have tons of books stored on my iPad. However, the books I have planned to read on this trip are all on running.

  • The Big Book on Endurance Training and Racing, by Dr. Philip Maffetone.

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  • Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time, by Hal Higdon51-b-NMsSQL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

What running books are your favorite? What do you do while traveling?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Do you want to be a faster runner? Here’s the Secret…

There are lots of ways to become a faster runner.

Hill repeat…

Track workouts…

Speed work…

But the one thing that most runners neglect is their upper bodies. It is a strong upper body and core that will significantly improve a runner’s speed.

Why?

Upper body strength helps improve your posture and running form. Your legs are not the only thing that moves you. You use your arms, core, back, shoulders for guidance and balance. 

“Upper-body strength is essential for boosting your speed?”¬†– Jeff Horowitz author of Quick Strength for Runners.

My experience:¬†Last year, I hit the weight room, and found a new passion for lifting. I knew a stronger body would help prevent running injury, but I didn’t know it would improve my pace significantly.

During my April (2013) 10 milers, and half marathon, I began setting new PRs. It was an amazing feeling to be running an 8:30 min/mile. Nothing in my running training plan had changed. In order to fit my weight lifting sessions in, I was actually running less.  The only thing  I was doing different was focusing on getting stronger and lifting weights. Turns out it made a huge difference.

I loved the way my body looked. I loved the way I felt. I didn’t just look stronger, I felt stronger. And the cherry on the cake, I was running stronger, faster, and with better form.

This last marathon season, because my milage increased significantly, I lost some of my muscle. It was hard to fit in both weight lifting and running. During marathon training my main focus was getting those long runs in, so my weight lifting sessions decreased to once a week.

But now I am back at it.

I did 4 weeks of lifting heavy and super sets. Then I did 3 weeks of active rest periods and super sets.  Now I am doing 2 weeks of circuit training. I am also running 25-30 miles a week. Sometimes on rainy days, I will do some HIIT on the t-mill.

I’m finally getting some of my muscle back!

Articles you may like…

  1. Nike Women Half Marathon DC
  2. Running Form Clinic
  3. Back in the Gym and running 18 miles

What’s your favorite thing to do in the gym?

© 2014 sweatdaily

My Fitness and Nutrition goals for 2014!

2013 was an amazing year! It will be hard to beat. However, if there is a year to beat it 2014 is that year. A lot of big, exciting, special things are happening. Two of the biggest include…

  1. I will be traveling to Thailand with my Fiance!
  2. Later in the year, we will be getting married!

I am calling our trip to Thailand our premoon, since it is going to be an amazing adventure taking place before my fiance and I get married. Thailand has always been on the top of my list of places I desire to visit, and now that two of my best friends have moved to Asia, It seems much more doable.

Our trip is planned out according to where in Thailand we are going to be on which day, but from now until we leave, I will be reading up on Thailand as much as possible.

I have also found Pinterest and Instagram extremely helpful while planning this trip. Surprisingly, Pinterest and Instagram have become little tour books on theirc78f233e7abc2a0286ba0f215f5e42a2 own.¬†I have now started a Thailand pin board based on what I want to see while I am there. This is going to be an amazing adventure, and because I am a crazy runner girl, I am bringing my running shoes too. ¬†Honestly, I don’t know how much running I will be doing, but when I do go on a run, I will be sure to blog about it. I am not going to be too hard core, because vacation is about relaxing, plus I have been working out pretty hard in the gym lately, and it may be nice to have some time off. But one of the best things about being a runner, is that you can run anywhere in the world. So my newtons will be in my carry on.

Now that we are on the subject of running, it may be a good time to reveal to you my Future Race Line Up and RUNNING GOALS for 2014.

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As of now I am registered for three races.

  • The Four Courts Four miler, scheduled for March 15th. During Christmas I had won a free race entry for this race. It is a fun run I have never ran before so I am excited to run it.
  • The Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for April 6th. This race is the first race I ever ran, 6 years ago. It is also one of my favorite races. I was very lucky to get in considering it is a lottery.
  • The Parkway Classic 10 miler, scheduled for April 13th. This is a race I run every year. It is my favorite 10 miler in the area.

SO OBVIOUSLY I AM LOOKING TO PR IN THESE UPCOMING RACES. And, because of the extreme cold temperatures that we have experienced over the last week, I actually have been doing HIIT on the treadmill. I have been averaging a 7:30 min/mile but at some points running between a 6:00/ 6:30 min/mile. By doing sprints like this I am working my fast twitch muscles. I am planning on continuing to do different types of speed work at least 2x a week in order to improve my speed, so I can PR in these upcoming races.

I am not sure which other races I want to run yet. I definitely want to run a couple half marathons, and I am back and forth on whether I want to run a full this year. Full marathons are a huge time commitment for me, so we shall see.

RUNNING GOALS 

  • Run 2014 miles in 2014. Lets see if I can do it, or how close I can get.
  • Read The Cool Impossible. This is the next book following Born To Run. I started it, but put it down because of my marathon training. I am ready to really read it, and use it to improve my running.
  • Learn more about heart rate and how using a heart rate monitor can improve my running. I have been using a heart rate monitor while lifting heavy in the gym. I have found it really fascinating seeing how in some exercised my heart rate stays consistent and how in others it raises and lowers. I have a heart rate monitor for running, so I want to learn how to use it to improve my running.
  • Subscribe again to the magazine Runner’s World. Lately, I have been reading Runner’s World and I feel like it now caters to the beginner runner. However, although the information is stuff I already know, there is also a lot of great inspiring stories in it. So for motivational reasons I want to subscribe again. Plus I buy it every month on the news stand.

As you all know, last year I got really passionate about weight lifting. I think it is very important to do along side running. It makes me a stronger, faster, injury free runner.82ae592f4275b619c540ce05d348e388

WEIGHT LIFTING GOALS for 2014

  • Start and complete two rounds of the clutch transformation. Start and complete the clutch cut. This will be a total of 12 weeks of clutch. Start in March when I return from Thailand.
  • At one point this year I want to be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups. I can’t even do one at the moment.
  • I want to be able to do a handstand. I am always in awe of all the cool yoga poses I see people doing on What’s Beautiful, and on Instagram, and most of them are handstands. Handstands are so healthy for you, and they make you very strong.
  • I want to see some abs. Nothing too crazy. But some baby abs would be nice to see.

Because I want to see some abs, and everyone knows abs are made in the kitchen. So here are my Nutritional Goals for 2014.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS for 2014

  • Be more strict about eating veg.
  • Meal prep weekly.
  • Continue to cook more. Eat out less.
  • While doing clutch follow clutch diet and supplement plan.
  • Read all my cook books.
  • Continue to stock my kitchen with the tools I need.
  • Organize my recipes so they are easy to find when I need them. Maybe in a recipe box.
  • Subscribe to vegetarian magazines. This will help me stay on track and motivated to cook more.

*Make and inspiration board and change it often. This way I stay up to date!*

And saving the best for last, Getting Married!!

Best wishes from me to you for 2014!!

What are your 2014 goals? Where are you traveling? Which races are you running?

Articles you may like…

© 2014 sweatdaily

Tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution!

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

You can’t control everything that happens to you in 2014, but what you do have control over is which goals you choose to set and how you plan on reaching them.

Most people hate New Year’s Resolutions. Most people think they are pointless, and never set them. I guess, I’m not like most people, because I love them. I always set them, and I make a great effort to stick to them.

And although, I make a resolution for the year, I also always have other goals I am trying to reach. After reaching my current goals,  I then set new ones.

However, not everyone is constantly making goals, and for some, they dread it. Others set a New Year resolution and by February forget their resolution ever existed.

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So here are some fun tips to get you setting a New Year resolution and sticking to it.

  • Be specific, and well detailed.
  • Have a game plan.
  • Be inspired and find support.

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

If this is your new year resolution, the odds are you are going to fail. Why? Because there is no game plan. A couple years ago, my resolution was, “I’m going to eat one unique, exotic, interesting food a week.” This resolution being more specific¬†was totally doable. It¬†got me out of my rut of always throwing the same food into my grocery cart. It also got me exploring health food stores, such as MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods. I would literally grab one item I knew nothing about, and throw it into my cart. I would go home research it, learning how to prepare it, and what it went well with. This one small resolution changed my life. I began exploring new food options. I discovered a passion for cooking. ¬†I started meal prepping. And with out even realizing it at first, I began to eat healthier and loose body fat.

0019f04590beca7cf63eb89e770abeccSo this year, instead of focusing on dieting, and counting calories, try focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. Focus on making healthier food choices. This may not be as easy as it seems, because the sad truth is that many people are confused and simply do not know what is healthy. If you fall in this category it is not your fault. Advertisements play so many sneaky tricks on us by calling products fat free, low fat, diet, when the truth is these products are really overly processed, full of sugar and chemicals. Even fat free milk, which sounds healthy, is actually processed. They suck out the fat and replace it with chemicals and 12 grams of added sugar per cup. The average woman should only get an average of 25-30 grams of added sugar a day.

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

  • Read labels and avoid chemicals.
  • Promise yourself that you will choose organic, cold-pressed, raw, unrefined, unprocessed foods.
  • Eliminate added sugars.
  • Meal prep.
  • Cook your own food.
  • Have fun by researching and trying new foods and recipes.
  • Become a foodie, and choose high quality foods.
  • Really make an effort to learn about exactly what you are putting in to your body.
  • Download apps, get the tools, you need to succeed.

This may be a time commitment and a financial investment, but it is worth it in the long run. You deserve this!

Once you have truly learned about selecting a healthy food choice, and your get on a regular routine of living a healthy lifestyle, it is then that you can take it up a notch. It is then that you can count macros and carb cycle.  There are a lot of apps that can help you learn a healthy food choice, and later log your food. My favorite is My Fitness Pal.

2) I’m going to work out more… is another common resolution.

If this is your New Year resolution be prepared to fail. Why? Again there is no game plan. Instead, choose a plan. There are tons of free weightlifting plans on bodybuilding.com.

Weight lifting

961f5fe107c5336873307876076622b7In 2013, I decided, along side of my running I was going to incorporate weight lifting, into the mix. I had been running everyday, but wanted to improve my speed, and prevent injury – so it was time to get strong. When training for a full or half marathon I always had been successful while following a disciplined training plan. Because of this, I knew I needed one when it came to weight lifting. That being said, I saw amazing results in the weight room because I followed the Livefit Trainer, by Jamie Eason.

Honestly, the Livefit trainer changed my life. I have never seen such amazing results in my body, and the best part is my running has significantly improved.

“Change your mind set. Stop focusing on getting skinny! Instead focus on getting strong. If you focus on getting strong, the fat will melt right off.”

f57e16d7b28f64b14239426e40d574f6One way I found success was to record everything. When you write down how heavy you are lifting, next time you lift heavier you will feel more accomplished, by setting a new PR. Also when you record everything, you will be amazed how much you are actually doing. One leg day, after counting all of my reps and sets, I discovered I did 180 squats that day. Pretty amazing!

Running 

22f9d787894089d24454f97454f7d2fcMaybe you don’t belong to a gym… maybe you would rather choose to run as your source of exercise. ¬†Well you are asking the right person, because I am a runner. Running is my thing.

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

I love racing, so this New Year I would suggest signing up for a race. By signing up for a race, you will have a specific date you must physically be ready to run by. In the summer, in the DC area, there is a 5K every friday in Crystal City. So if you are choosing to run shorter distances such as a 5K, consider signing up for several. Maybe your goal will to be to race once a month.

If you are choosing a longer distance, such as half marathon or full, allow at least 16 weeks for training. There are tons of online training plans. My favorite running plans are written by Hal Higdon. I have trained for all of my full marathons, by using his plans, and I found success.

Log your miles…

Another option is to set a milage goal, for example, maybe you want to run 20 miles a week, or 100 miles a month. (These are all very doable goals.) Maybe you want to do a 30 day consecutive running challenge, where you run at least a mile a day everyday for 30 days.

There are several online running logs, you can use to keep track of your miles.classic-log Because I have a Garmin, I use the Garmin Connect center. But if you do not have a Garmin, you can use a free log on runnersworld.com. Another option is Daily Mile. There are also many apps to record your miles, such as, Run Keeper or Map my Run.

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

Although social media sites, such as Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook can be very helpful and inspiring. There are times when you find an inspiring article in a magazine that you want to tear out and keep. In this case, I find it very helpful to create a story board, or inspiration board/wall. This is simply a physical spot on a wall, or a cork board that you can pin inspiration and notes too. This helps you stay organized. Another option is to join Pinterest, the online option for a pin board.

Also if you keep a day planner, don’t forget to write down your daily workouts, and good eats.

To find support…

The people who see the best results in most cases have a workout partner, or a running buddy. Sometimes it is hard to find someone with the same schedule as you. (I have struggled with this.) ¬†So in order to find support there is a ton of online fitness community you can join. My favorite is What’s Beautiful by Under Armour. What’s beautiful is free, and by joining you are able to learn new things, be inspired by others, participate in challenges, and get never-ending support.

Instagram is another form of social media, that can make a huge difference in keeping you motivated.  People think Instagram is just a personal photo sharing app, but the truth is Instagram has much more to offer.

Instagram is an information source. You can search hashtags that lead you to, personal trainers, running coaches, small businesses, professional athletes, athletes trying to inspire, chefs, nutritionist, foodies, etc.

You can learn new yoga poses, new recipes, new workouts, new equipment, new gear, and so much more. You can follow people who inspire you. You can follow companies. The information and knowledge you can find, is at your fingertips. It comes quickly and is never-ending.  You can also hashtag your personal photos, which your followers and others  might like or comment on Рthis support alone may be just the motivation you need.

Another fun thing about Instagram is you can easily join a challenge. There are tons of challenges going on and all you need to do is use the challenge hash tag. There is also daily hash tags, such as #transfomationtuesday used on tuesday or #flexfriday used on friday.

If an online fitness community isn’t enough, try joining a Crossfit gym, yoga studio, running club/group, or local gym.

So there you have it.  These are my top tips on how to be successful when it comes to nutritional and fitness goals this new year.

Questions for you…

  1. What’s your New Year Resolution?
  2. What tips do you have to stick to a resolution?
  3. How do you stay inspired?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

  1. New Years Resolution 2013
  2. Food… doesn’t have to be fatty
  3. I’ve been drinking my sugar.¬†
  4. Livefit Trainer and Fitness apps
  5. Transformation Tuesday

The best Christmas present a Runner could ask for…

Tis’ the Season

This year’s holiday season was non stop. It actually was the busiest holiday season I have ever had at the salon. Busy is good, but it is also exhausting, and stressful.

Christmas Eve

So when I got to leave the salon early on Christmas Eve, I decided to hit the trail hard. Snow flurries were among the wind blowing, but it was sunny, and I made it just in time to get a good run in before the sunset. 1511366_10101518148575136_1184233541_nI love running at this time. You see a ton of wild life on the water, and this time the sky turned pink- so bright it matched my jacket.

My family never does anything on Christmas Eve, so we ended up all at my mom’s and ordered Chinese. Honestly, there are no good Chinese Restaurants in the DC area, so we ended up ordering from Charlie Changs. I haven’t eaten Chinese in over a year. It was a true test to my taste buds. Once you start eating clean and eliminating added sugar your taste buds totally change. This food tasted way to sweet,and processed- like a TV dinner. YUCK! If you are from DC and know of a good Chinese Restaurant clue me in please…

My Tree

This year was the first time that I cut down my own tree. I went once with my family as a kid, but my fiance and his parents have been cutting down their tree for the last couple years so this year I joined them.

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I asked the farm if they had Douglas Firs. They didn’t, but they had other types of Firs, that looked similar. It was a fun outing, and really awesome having a fresh cut tree.
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Because work was so busy, it took a whole week to decorate. But it finally got done. It is so relaxing to sit next to a beautiful lit tree. The tree part is one of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday. I also love Christmas Cards!

The Best present a Runner could ask for…

Of course a lot of the stress about this Holiday is finding the perfect gift. And for some reason my family says I am the hardest one to shop for. Honestly, I think the receiving presents thing is getting a little bit old. It’s much more fun when you have children around who get excited about Santa. However, because we have no children in my family, it is just adults exchanging presents, which feels a little weird since we are all lucky that we are able to buy our own things. This is why it becomes even harder, to find that fun creative thoughtful gift. I made my Runner’s Wish List, and never thought or heard of this wonderful idea my little sister came up with…

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This is a jar of pink, blue,  and green pieces of paper rolled up into scrolls.

PINK

When I am in need of a new song to add to my running mix on my iPod I choose pink, unravel it and there will be a song title and artist. This is perfect because I am always desperate for new music.

BLUE

If I am lacking motivation, I choose blue. I unravel blue and a motivational quote will be there to help me get my booty moving.

GREEN

If I am sore from miles and miles of running, I can choose a green scroll which will teach a yoga pose or stretch. The jar also had socks, and headbands in there as well.

This is a home made thoughtful gift and I love it! So creative. My favorite part is the phrase on the front, “Its a runners world, because 26.2 is my lucky number.”¬†This gift is definitely making my Runner’s Wish List next year.¬†

Christmas Morning Running…

So after breakfast and gift exchange, my sister and I went for a quick 5K loop. It was a great neighborhood run- towards the end of the run, I realized how peaceful it was outside. It was also nice to check out all the houses decorated for Christmas.

Another Exciting Gift…

Pacers is the local running store in the DC area. They posted on facebook a status wanting to hear what kind of milage everyone was running for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Whoever had the best mileage won a race entry for February or March. Guess what… I WON!!

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I am so excited! I never win anything! Can’t wait to run a St. Patty’s day race. Thank You, Pacers!!!

Now that Christmas is over, I am feeling much more relaxed, and very excited about the New Year! New Years is my favorite! I can’t wait to share with you my highlights for 2013, and my new goals for 2014. ¬†So stay tuned…

Questions for You…

  1. Are the holidays busy, stressful, and overwhelming for you?
  2. What cool running presents did you receive?
  3. Have you ever won a free race entry?
  4. Do you enjoy New Years?

© 2013 sweatdaily

I want to say a special thank you to my sister, mom, and of course my fiance, his parents, and stepsister who gave me gifts this year.  All of them were amazing and I have been so spoiled. Thank you!

 

I got lucky!!

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I’m in!! The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first race and I have been running it every year since. Because of popularity the last couple of years race organizers have changed the race from first come first serve to a lottery. I am always nervous I might not get in, but thankfully I got lucky. This will be my 7th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I now have spring fever. I am super excited for this race and more to come. I am also looking forward to announcing my future races for my running season with you guys after the holidays!

Is anyone else running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler? Do you have a favorite race you run every year?

Turkey Trot and Pies…

“My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and my favorite part is the Turkey Trot.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. Although, I have heard from others, it can be stressful, for me everything about it is relaxing.

After a really busy month at the salon – coming in early, staying late, and squeezing clients in… I finally get to leave work early on Wednesday- Thanksgiving Eve, and ¬†stay home, Thursday- Thanksgiving day. The best part is I don’t have to return to the chaos of Holiday Season at the salon, until Sunday. A couple of relaxing days off is just what I need, to rest, get refocused, and organized.

Some people get stressed over cooking a huge feast. The cost, the work, the clean up, but I love it. Cooking my own food, relaxes me. I am able to get creative, and stay in complete control. It is fun for me to discover new recipes, that are healthier alternatives then the traditional ones. All of my thanksgiving dishes and sister’s dishes, this year were organic, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, raw. Together we dominated the feast with healthy flavorful dishes.

You don’t have to have an unhealthy holiday. They say the average person consumes over 4,000 calories on thanksgiving. No wonder everyone is sleepy! Blame it on the turkey, but it is really your body trying to digest everything. You don’t have to indulge in that many calories, if you don’t want too. But if you do want to, don’t feel bad, it is a holiday – you can get back on track tomorrow. Just be happy with your choice. If you cook your own food, you can control everything.

A quick tip:  for this holiday season research some new dishes to try. By cooking yourself instead, of ordering out, you have the control of all of your ingredients. You then know exactly what you are eating.

This year I contributed quite a few dishes to my family’s feast.

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I decided I was going to make stuffing from scratch. So I made it from a whole wheat loaf, with rosemary from my garden. I also added, figs, cranberries, Tawny Port, and topped it off with hazel nuts.

In my family, we always have a couple appetizers so we can munch on something while the rest of the food finishes up. The bottom left photo are the two dips I made. One is roasted beet and lentil dip, the other one is Scott Jurek’s Salsa Verde. Both are vegan and gluten free.

I also made three pies. The bottom right photo are the two pumpkin pies I made. However, this year was fun because we ended up with a total of five pies. Two were pumpkin (raw, vegetarian.) Heather brought the fabulous pecan (gluten free, vegetarian.) I made my specialty date pie, (raw, vegan, gluten free.) Jackie made her famous grasshoper, which was not healthy, but a tradition in my family, so we all ate it anyway. Everything was delicious.

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People get so worked up and forget the true meaning of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and share great food with family and friends. However, Thanksgiving, for me because I am a runner, also means Turkey Trot time.

The traditional Turkey Trot I usually participate in on Thanksgiving morning is the DC 5k put on by an organization called SOME (So Others May Eat.) Normally 11,000 people run it every year. There is a DJ at the start.  The route circles around the Capital.

However, this year, I decided to run the Alexandria Turkey Trot. This Turkey Trot is a 5 miler instead of a 5k. It also is a little closer to my house. I thought it would be nice to run a little further, and drive a little less. It also started at 9:00 AM, which is late for a race, but more sleep in the morning for me.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I went to the local school to pick up my bib and t-shirt. E was going to run this race with me, so I grabbed E’s bib too.

Thanksgiving morning was a cold one. It was around 30 degrees. So E and I bundled up. Other friends that were planning on running the race, bailed on us last minute because of the cold. E was really nervous about the cold, but we have run really cold races before, and I know that in the right running cold gear we would warm up quick. I have worn this hat, coat, and scarf snowboarding before, so I knew it would do the job, and keep me toasty.¬†1452077_10101469313900216_915473531_nTurkey Trots are fun because just like the Thanksgiving holiday, they too are relaxing. It’s a 5 mile turkey trot, and although, I am competitive person, I think of this as just a fun run.

There were hardly any other runners out and about, because a lot of the running community on Thanksgiving is doing some sort of Turkey Trot. I love it when the running community gets together. I also love seeing non runners and kids getting out there running. I saw Facebook statuses in which people claimed the Turkey Trot they ran yesterday was their first race. It is fun races like Turkey Trots that can help one find a passion for running. Maybe someone runs a Turkey Trot, then they love it so much, they sign up for another type of race. Then a new runner is born.

I love running! And running a Turkey Trot is my favorite part of my Thanksgiving celebration – It gets me in the spirit. Running in the morning, getting my work out in, and then filling my belly with amazing food, with great friends and family equals a perfect Thanksgiving!!

Do you run a Turkey Trot? Do you make any vegan or gluten free dishes on Thanksgiving?

© 2013 sweatdaily

My friend went on a date with another runner… and it didn’t go well!

THE DATE

A friend of mine went on a date with a guy the other night. They were chatting and having a great time. Because they were both runners, the conversation naturally gravitated towards their race experiences. The guy, being an ultra marathoner, finally asked my friend, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” It was then that my friend knew a relationship between the two of them would never work…

DON’T ASK STUPID QUESTIONS

The question, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” was a deal breaker for her, and honestly it annoys me to pieces.

I just completed my 3rd full Marine Corps Marathon (read all about it here.) I have run all distances excluding the ultra marathon, however I am considering trying one in the near future. My favorite distances to run, and the ones I run most often are 10 milers, half marathons, and the full marathon. However, I do not think the full marathon is a harder distance to conquer then the half marathon. All of these distances are equally challenging in their own way. All of these distances are challenging, but the training focus is different. In other words, ¬†it takes a different kind of running depending on the race distance. And here is why…

HALF MARATHON

When I am training for a half marathon, my goal is to run faster. My training focus is on pace and speed work. I am doing shorter runs during the week, at a faster pace. I am running hill repeats. I may, even though, it is rare, jump on the treadmill to do some HIIT. I am also focusing on running form, and strength training. When training for a half marathon, I have more time to weight lift and do yoga. And last time I trained for a half marathon, I ran less, but when I did run, my runs were quality runs. The running less left more time to weight lift. The combo of more quality runs, and more weight lifting, made my body stronger and my runs faster.

FULL MARATHON

When I am training for a full marathon my ultimate goal is to build endurance by running far. My training focus is on increasing my weekly milage by running longer runs. I am not worrying too much on running a fast pace, and actually my pace slows down significantly. When it comes to pace, I am just trying to stay consistent. I practice negative splits on my longer runs. Nutrition and proper hydration plays a huge role when training and racing this distance.

HOW IT EFFECTS MY BODY

Depending on the sport you play, your body may take on a different shape. Gymnasts have a distinct gymnast’s body, Swimmers have a swimmer’s body… and you may have heard people say Runners have a runner’s body… but when it comes to runners, it becomes a little more complicated, because there are different types of runners. Sprinters or those running shorter distances then the marathon ¬†at a faster pace tend to be more muscular, then those running full marathons and ultra marathons. This is definitely true for me.

When I train for a half marathons I have more time for other exercises, such as weigh lifting, cycling, and yoga. When I train for a half marathon, I am able to fit in 4-5 times a week of weight lifting. Therefore, I maintain more muscle. I am stronger and overall look more fit.

When I train for a full marathon, my weekly milage has significantly increased. The mileage has increased so much that it is nearly impossible to fit any other exercising in. During marathon training, I was able to squeeze one weight lifting session in a week. And out of my four month marathon training, I went to yoga once. I tried to maintain as much muscle as I could during marathon training, but it was hard because I wasn’t lifting as much as I usually do, and because I didn’t have much fat to burn. When running long distance the body uses fat as energy. If there isn’t any fat to use, it will then use muscle for energy. This is why marathon runners, and ultra marathoners are so lean.

So as you can see, one distance is not more challenging then the other, they are just very different, even effecting the body differently.

Stop having an ego!

Just because you run a full marathons, or ultra marathons, it doesn’t mean you are more fit or a better runner then someone who chooses to run half marathons.

I choose to run a full marathon when I am craving to run far, consistent, slower, longer runs. Marathon training is a huge time commitment, and because I usually get really into my training, it is important for me to have the proper time to train. Yes, you can always make time, and make marathon training a priority but things get in the way, for example wedding planning, getting pregnant, traveling.

I am tired of hearing, “Oh I just ran the half…”

Don’t feel like less of a runner, because you only ran the half marathon. Feel proud, running a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment.

Honestly, sometimes I choose to run a half marathon. It lets me focus on running a faster pace. For a travel race, I may choose to run the half marathon over the full marathon, if I am in a cool city that I want to visit and explore, and not be too tired after racing. Sometimes, I choose to run a half because I want to be able to fit in weight lifting and yoga.

SO at the end of the day, I like to switch things up, and that is healthy physically and mentally.

‚ÄúIn some ways, an ultra isn‚Äôt even as hard as a marathon.‚ÄĚ ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Questions for You…

  1. Have you ever dated a runner?
  2. Which race distance is your favorite?
  3. Have you ever come across a runner with an ego?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

“Whatever song you have in your head had better be a good one. Whatever story you are telling yourself had better be a story about going on. There is no room for negativity. The reason most people quit has nothing to do with their body.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Below is the song I had in my head, the story I told myself. Below is my experience running my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, revealing everything to you, including my mental strategies.

NIGHT BEFORE

Around 10:00 pm, I read the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page status. It said something along the lines of, “It’s bed time! Sleep Tight runners.” I laughed at the idea – no one sleeps well the night before a big race.

I curled up in bed, everything prepared exactly the way I wanted it, totally ready for race day. My alarm was set for 6:00 am, but I knew I would wake up before it went off. I wasn’t nervous, I was more excited and anxious. It was definitely bitter sweet, this marked the end of my marathon training, and when I woke in the morning, it would be the beginning of my race day.

MORNING OF 

As I predicted, I tossed and turned through out the night, checking the clock. At 5:50 am, the text messages started. Friends and family wishing me good luck for my big race. I turned off my phone alarm and headed to the bathroom where all my race stuff was laid out. After getting dressed in my race clothes, body gliding everything including the bottom of my feet (my problem area), I grabbed my bag, my Garmin, my iPod, my peanut butter sandwich, and a bottle of water, then I was off to my mom’s.

I arrived at her place, at 6:30 am, gave her a map of the course and a game plan of where to meet me through out the race. My little sister, even rolled out of bed to give me a quick pep talk, it was super helpful. I was already starting to feel pumped.

THE METRO 

Mom gave me a ride to the metro. And when entering the metro, I started to see all the other runners, what a relief, how exciting. MCM METRO¬†I got off at the pentagon, and just followed the crowd to the start. The sun started to rise, and the Marines were there, (and they were cuter than ever) welcoming us, and hollering, “Good morning, runners!!”

Because of Boston, security was tight, everyone had to have a clear see through bag, but the Marines kept it organized and checked bags quickly.

At this point it was 7:20 am, so I stripped down- peeling off my sweats. I checked my bag with the UPS trucks, stuffing everything except for my phone and sports beans into my bag and then handed it over. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and people began to comment, “Wow, looking at you makes me cold.” I answered back,” I am more concerned about overheating and being hot.” I had thought about wearing an old shirt, and old socks on my hands as gloves, but honestly, I didn’t think it was that cold out there, and I knew it would warm up quick. I saw people wearing long pants, hats, ear muffs – I thought they were crazy. It’s not January guys.

MY CORRAL

So I headed down to my corral. The last two times I ran this race I stood with the 4:30 group. This time I wanted to try to hang with the 4:15 group as long as I could. This race has 30,000 runners, so it is going to be packed, crowded. My sister thought it would be best to start with the 4:30 group so that way I wouldn’t go out too fast in the beginning. I however, was planning on running most of the race at a consistent pace that would get me to the finish line, with a new PR, which meant anything faster than a 4:30, but I was hoping for around a 4:15, and because of how crowded it can get I didn’t want to get stuck running to slow in the beginning. So my advice to you, when running in a crowded race, and you are debating between corrals, start with the faster one.

Once in my corral, I spotted the 4:15 pacer, she had a sign with red and white balloons. MCM 415¬†My plan was to run my own race, but keep my eye on her through out the race. I had my Garmin, and I had a pace bracelet (which I highly recommend), both of these would help me finish strong, with a new PR, so if I lost sight of the pacer, it wouldn’t ruin my race, plus she was passing the start line before I would be.

THE START

In the past, right before the gun went off, they would announce that, “The Marines are watching over you, on the ground and in the sky,” then they would fly military jets over our heads. This year they had people sky dive in to the corse. Everyone had their phones out trying to video tape and get photos, trying to capture the moment. It was really cool,creating an excited energy. Everyone was jumping up and down, and ready to cross over that start line. The gun went off at 7:55. At 8:10, I was across the start line, my Garmin was ticking.

FIRST 2 MILES

Down 110, up through Rosslyn, up the Lee Highway hill… Then on the right hand side, around mile 2, outside my sister’s apartment, I spotted my mom, Erik, Erik’s mom, my sister, and her friend Erin. They cheered loud, I cheered back, waving and continued on my way. They had really funny signs, that got them tons of attention.

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

Down Spout run, up to the Key bridge, over the bridge, down M street, down Wisconsin. George Town was fun and full of spectators. Then to the waterfront, up Rock Creek park, I ran.

Running up Rock Creek was a new part of the course. It was fun to run up, and then see the faster runners running down. The loop around was a little congested, though, and then it took a little while for people ahead of me to pick up their pace. I guess people don’t run fast down, the down hills, but I like to, that is part of my strategy – as long as you don’t pound the pavement and you stay light on your feet, use momentum and physics to fly down the down hills.

MILE 10-12

Before I knew it I was at mile 10. This marathon was flying by. I checked my watch, I started to get concerned maybe I was running too fast. But I was right on time.

My family was suppose to meet me at mile 11, but around 10.5 I saw my sister sprinting next to me. What the heck… She screamed at me, that I had missed them and that instead of being at mile 11 they were at 10. She asked me if I had been receiving her text messages. I ended up moving my cell phone from my back pocket to my sports bra, so I would be able to read and respond to her text messages. Haha, I can’t believe I was texting and running – too funny.

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

The next mile marker my sister would be at was mile 16. She would text me when she got to her exact location. Next, significant mile marker I was passing was 13.1. I couldn’t believe I was already at the half way point. And while I was there, down in Hains Point, I realized I was running right behind the 4:15 pacer, balloons and sign. I turned off my music to listen to her pep talk.

THE PEP TALK

“We are not going to think that we still have a half marathon to run, but instead we are going to break the rest of this race up in pieces.” Perfect I thought, that was one of my original game plans. She continued,”First we are going to think about getting through these next two miles and making it to mile 15. Once we are at mile 15, we will be out of Hains Point, which means we will be out of this stupid park.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because it was so true, no one running the Marine Corps Marathon, likes running Haines Point. “Once we are at mile 15, we will be running on the National Mall. At mile 15, we will think about getting through the next 2 miles and making it to mile 17. This mile is a significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into signal digits.” Perfect that was another mental strategy I had been practicing. Then she told us, “From 17 we will run the next three miles and make it to mile 20, then we will beat the bridge and head out of DC and into Crystal City.” She told us she would stop talking now, and give us another pep talk on the bridge. Some guy who was totally out of breath desperately said, “Just get us there!” Haha this pacer has a lot of people depending on her. I loved her pep talk, it definitely motivated me, but I didn’t desperately need her to get me to the finish line. Her pep talk was helpful and got me even more mentally focused, but I still wanted to stick to my game plan, and watching my Garmin, running my own race.

MILE 15 

I then felt a vibration, and read a text from my sports bra. Em was waiting for me at mile 16 right passed the water station. I was at mile 15, I had easily made it out of the oh so boring Hains Point. I was running towards mile 16.

mcm-thumbs-up

MILE 16

Just like she said, I spotted Em right passed the water station at mile 16. Erin snapped a photo of the two of us.

MCM MILE 16

They were impressed with my timing, and told me that they would meet me in Crystal City next to the Cosi. So off I went.

MILE 17

I had made it to mile 17, and thought, single digits, single digits, 9 more to go. I was feeling great!

mcm-1

MILE 18-20

I kept running, checking my pace bracelet, checking my Garmin, jamming out to my iPod. Then I realized I was leaving the National Mall, and approaching the 14th street bridge. I had made it to mile 20.

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

In my previous Marine Corps Marathon, a Marine stands at mile 20, the start of the bridge, and he yells, “Mile 20, beat the bridge.” This year the Marines were there but they didn’t say anything. I was a little disappointed, but I kept my head focused. The bridge is almost 2 miles long. It can be super sunny and hot, or really windy and cold. This time around it was sunny and hot. This is also the spot where there are normally no spectators. It is just too tricky for spectators to get on the bridge. Ironically though, there were more this year, than the previous times I have run it. But because there aren’t that many spectators, this is the spot that a lot of runners, begin to walk, or stretch.

HITTING THE WALL

They stretch and walk, because they just ran 20 miles and no one is up there to see them walk. This is the spot that runners “Hit the wall.” I on the other hand was not hitting the wall, I was determined to beat the bridge. I stayed focused and promised myself I would not walk. I just wanted to run the bridge and get to the next water station. Plus I had just passed mile 21, only 5 more to go…

MILE 21

Mile 21 is a significant mile for me, because my longest run in training is a 21 mile run. (This year it might have been 22) During my weekly marathon training, I do a 5 mile easy run. When I hit mile 21 in my marathon, I told myself, “Only 5 mile to go, my five mile easy run.”

MILE 22

Finally, I got off the bridge. I was out of DC and in VA. At mile 22, I decided to take some sports beans and walk the water station. But I didn’t hang there too long, I started running again, and told myself that I need to get to Cosi, to find Em. I kept my eyes open for other people I recognized, but I didn’t see anyone.

MILE 23

Em was right where she said she would be, she is really good at spotting me. She jumped in just as we had planned. She was going to run the last 3.2 miles with me. She was going to be my Dusty. I was excited to have a buddy pace me to the finish line, especially since mile 23 was when I started to feel tired, and blistery on my left foot.

Lululemon was also cheering in Crystal City.  Along with some really funny signs, their energy made me get a second wind.

MCM COOL SIGN

As we ran, through Crystal City Em, told me that mom, Erik, and Erik’s mom were standing out front of Legal Seafood. They had changed the course from the previous years, and instead of looping all around Crystal Drive, we ran Crystal Drive and then turned up 23rd, passed Legal Seafood. I didn’t look at the corse map too closely, so this was a surprise to me, but it made more since and I liked it better.

Once I saw my family, I waved to them as they took my picture, and they screamed, “See ya at the Finish line.”

The finish line would be my last and final stop. I grabbed one last water cup at the final station, popped some sports beans, and told Em, “Let’s get this bad boy done.” She ran a little ahead of me, but I was totally fine with chasing her, it made me try to keep up my pace, blisters and all.

MILE 24

At mile 24, I though only 2 more miles. I will be done with my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon in less then 20 minutes. Although that seemed so short, at the same time the finish line seemed so far.

ONE MOE MILE

But just like in my previous two MCM, I saw the road sign that said, Memorial Bridge Exit. “Just get to that sign,” I thought. Then I was there. The next road sign I read said, Iwo Jima Memorial. “Just get to that road sign,” I thought. Then I was there. I made a left and saw the hill. Em wanted me to sprint up the hill as fast as I could. I had run this hill thousands of times before, because it is a part of one of my regular weekly running routes. I was familiar with this hill and new the finish line was right after it. So I ran as fast as I could up the Iwo Jima hill. And then, to the right of the hill, there it was the Finish line.

MCM race times

I had crossed over the finish line, finishing my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, 11 minutes faster then my previous. My official time was 4:19:26. I had finished, I had set a new PR, and couldn’t have been happier!

THE FINISH – 26.2

Marines were there to greet us at the finish line. I was lucky to get a very cute one to put my marathon finisher medal around my neck. After, I walked around the finisher’s area, collecting all my goodies, I headed to brunch with my family. I sucked down two Blood Mary’s and ate donuts, at Lyon Hall. It was the perfect post race meal.

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

“One of the things I appreciate about running was how it strengthened and deepened friendships.” ~ Scott Jurek

I signed up for this race with L, but right when marathon training started she found out that she had a baby on the way. So I ended up training for this race totally by myself. This wasn’t the first time I had trained for a marathon totally alone, my last MCM I ran it solo as well. People have asked me, “Who did you run your marathon with?” ¬†I simply answered, “No one I can personally name off the top of my head. But I wasn’t bored or lonely. I ran with ¬†30,000 other runners, several spectators, the Military, everyone who read my blog, all of my family and friends who showed their support and love.”

So… Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

“In some ways, an ultra isn’t even as hard as a marathon.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

* I have purchased all of my race photos from marathonfoto.com. I have not received my downloads and that is why I have the proof photos up. When the professional photos come, I will post those.

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