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.

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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!

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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.

Marathon training Update: Taper Time

Lately, most of the blog posts I have been reading are about tapering. This is because most of the blogs I have been reading are running blogs, and most of the runners who write them have been tapering for a fall marathon.  Now it is my turn to taper.

Last week the beginning of my taper felt nice. I had more time in the morning to get ready for work, because I was running shorter faster runs. I thought to myself I love tapering!

This week I hate tapering. I know my body needs the rest, but I am feeling antsy. I am ready for this race. I am ready for my fun weekend to begin. It feels weird not having any serious weekly runs. Running gives me energy, and all this rest is making me feel tired not energized.

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A lot of non runners have asked me lately, “What does taper mean exactly?” Well I found the above taper photo and thought it explained it perfectly.

T- trust your training : That is exactly what I am doing. At this point, my training is done. There is nothing more I can do to increase my fitness level, my endurance. Last week, I did shorter, faster runs, to get my fast twitch muscles moving and keep my legs from getting heavy.

This week I am only doing shorter easy runs for my mental state, to keep my confidence high. Trusting in my training gives me some sort of comfort. I am trusting in my training, because I trained hard, never missing a long run РI put the work in. Along with that I will follow exactly what my training plan tells me to do. I have run two other marathons using this training plan, and they were successful, so I believe in it.  Yesterday, I ran a little more than 3 miles. Tomorrow, I will run 4 miles. Friday, I will run 2 miles.

A – adjust your calorie intake¬†:¬†At this point, in my training, I am not strict with my diet. I can’t be. I have been running 20 mile runs, which burns 2,000 calories. So I have been eating three meals a day, snacking when hungry, eating well balanced meals. I am still eating all organic, mostly plant based meals, but I have been listening closely to my body. If I crave something I eat it. When running this high of mileage, if you crave something – for example something salty, most likely your body needs salt.

Friday I will start my carb loading. I will have pasta for Saturday night dinner as well. Sunday morning, race day, I will bring with me a bagel with peanut butter. I have tried hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pb&j, all of these work fine, but I trust in bagel with peanut butter the best. Starting tomorrow I will make sure I stay hydrated and start really focusing on my water intake. You’ll see me with a water bottle everywhere I go.

P – perfect your race day strategy : I will be running this race by myself. However, this is my 3rd time running this race, and I have run several races in this area. I have an advantage because this is where I am from, so I am comfortable and know my way around. I was talking the other day with a client of mine who is from the area and also runs Marine Corps Marathon every year. She too loves how it is familiar and easy. Just wake up and head over to the Pentagon.

However, I’ll hit up the expo on Friday. Once I get my bib and packet I will read everything, to get a better idea of everything that will be going down that day. On Saturday night, I will prepare everything for race day, so I am ready Sunday morning, this will include creating a fresh new running mix for my iPod, and getting my race outfit together.

I plan to write a separate post about the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and about my mental strategy for running the race, so look for that on Saturday.

E Рembrace your free time : I definitely have been sleeping in and enjoying having more time to get ready for work instead of rushing there after a run. I thought my min pin would have made the perfect accessory to my work outfit. His spiked collar matched my leather pants.

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R Рrest and recover : I have been trying to sleep in. I have been trying to take it easy on my runs. I plan on going to bed early Friday night and Saturday night. A good night sleep is more important on Friday night. I will be antsy the night before my race, so the odds of me having a good night sleep will be slim.

So that is what taper means. However, the other thing I have been doing is checking the weather. The other day on the news they did the weather and placed the MCM logo on the weather map for Sunday. ¬†So far if anyone cares to know it is starting to get chilly. Today felt cold. But the colder the better. The weather man is calling for a low of ¬†44 and a high of 59 on race day, I’ll talk it!

So thats what has been going on for me during my taper week.

Question for You…

Do you enjoy your taper weeks? or do you hate them?

© 2013 sweattdaily

Eat Clean – Mango Lassi recipe

What motivated you to go veg?

“I had a friend who went vegan and he looked so fresh, healthy, and glowing. I wanted that for myself.”

The above quote, I came across in the magazine, Vegetarian times. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am pretty obsessed with quotes. Words are so powerful. And the above words… sound amazing to me. I feel inspired. I too want to look fresh and healthy. Wouldn’t it be nice to glow…

I have a confession to make, the last couple weeks, I have NOT been eating as clean as I should be. What has happened lately is…

Marathon training… all this running has made me a pretty hungry girl. All of the running has taken up a lot of my time too… so I have been skipping the grocery shopping, which led to no food to meal prep. No food to meal prep led to being starving at work. Being starving at work led to having to order food from a local restaurant for lunch. Eating lunch from a take out box has lead to only eating one big fatty meal a day. I also have been craving sugar. These cravings are the ultimate proof that I have not been eating clean, because when I eat clean the cravings disappear and I can no longer tolerate the sweetness level I once could.

So yesterday I decided to get back on track. I went to MOM’s Organic Market and stocked my fridge.

Now I have a great stash of fruit and veggies which include the super foods- kale, pomegranates, beets, chickpeas, eggplant, and pumpkin. I bought a variety of nuts and seeds. Apples, pears, and avocado line my windowsill. I also found a huge ripe sweet Mango. This to me was rare considering it is fall, but I’ll take it because it may be one of the last times until my trip to Thailand.

I have a tons of new recipes I am discovering and can’t wait to share them with you.

The first one I want to share is my recipe for Mango Lassi, since I found such a beautiful mango.

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I first heard of Mango Lassi at a raw farm in Martha’s Vineyard. It is a delicious mango yogurt drink originated from Northern India. It is so simple to make at home. It can be a healthier alternative to dessert or you can have it as a breakfast on the go. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to it post work out.

Enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think.

The rain finally stopped, so I ran 13 miles…

We have had rain everyday this week.

On Friday, it was a complete wash out. I normally love running in the rain, but this was not the type of rain to go play in. This was strong winds, soaking heavy rain drops, and flood warning type of rain. So I skipped my run, and hit the gym pretty hard.

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The goal is to keep as much muscle as I can during this marathon training season. Women are normally fearful they will bulk up, but the truth is ladies, it is very hard for women to gain muscle and keep it. Especially when you run long distance. When running long distance, I am talking about marathon and ultra marathon, at certain points during your run, your body is forced to use your muscle as fuel, for energy. During this marathon training season, it has been impossible for me to gain muscle in my upper body at all, and I have lost a little bit, but mostly maintained, my previous gains.

As for my marathon training, today the rain finally stopped… so I went out and ran 13 plus miles. I now am very confident that I am where I need to be in my training. I know this because 13 miles feels as easy as 5. (I hope I don’t jinks myself for writing that last sentence.) But it is true. Today, I even included some serious hills, even one that I will run on race day – everything felt easy, everything felt good. The only downfall is that I am experiencing some blisters. I also am thankful that it was overcast and cooler. Weather really affects me, and plays a huge role how my run ends up being.

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This week coming up…

I’m going to continue weight lifting including circuit training and active rest periods in the mix. ¬†I am also going to be doing shorter runs, because I am tapering. I want to continue running hills though. Because just like circuit training and active rest periods, hills build endurance and speed. If I have time, I may also sneak in some HIIT on the treadmill.

Nutrition wise, I need to meal prep, meal prep, meal prep. Clean eating, organic plant based meals is key!

I also want to say, a big CONGRATS to all those who ran the Baltimore Half Marathon or Full Marathon today.

Also Good Luck¬†to all of those who are running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow! Above photos are motivation for you!! You’ll do great!! xx

© 2013 sweatdaily

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