My favorite kind of running…

971127_10101120647779916_445663003_nDC is definitely a place cool enough to consider as a Rave Run.

I use to never bring my phone with me when I went out for a run, but ever since I got an iPhone, I can’t resist when I am running – I have to take a photo of my view.

Today, I woke up at 6:00 am and hit the trail by 6:30. I was able to get this shot, of the sun hitting the potomac. It is times like this that I am so thankful I have become a morning runner.

Soon after I had completed my morning run, the clouds rolled in and it began to storm. If I had slept in I would have missed out on not only the view but simply the opportunity to run.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Do you remember that day when you became “a runner”?

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, really the variety is endless. And after running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, this idea, became true to me more than ever.

Do you remember the day when you became “a runner”?

Running has always been a part of my life, because my Dad is a marathon runner. Every year he would run Marine Corps Marathon, and we would go along the race course to cheer him on. We made our traditional sign, that said, “Go Papa, GO!” It was a simple poster board, taped to a yard stick ruler.

Growing up, I played tons of sports. I pretty much tried them all, but wasn’t necessarily good at all of them. In high school, I played tennis on my school’s team. As a tennis player, the only running we did, were “suicides” on the court. This consisted of sprinting to and from the different lines on the court. The idea was to quicken our step and improve our footwork. And although, I played tennis all year, I tried track during the winter, thinking it would be a good sport to keep me conditioned during my off season. I went to one practice, and decided running wasn’t for me – boy was I wrong.

I began working out at the YMCA when I was a junior in high school. My older sister, E Рwho is 2 years older than me, came home from college and inspired me to hit the gym with her. My gym sessions consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. She on the other hand, chose to run on the treadmill. A couple times of week, I would do additional cardio on the stationary bike, and sometimes together we would venture out and do a couple of the weight machines. It is funny how people grow and change.  (Now I am a marathon runner, in love with lifting heavy preferably free weights.)

Meanwhile my little sister would swim in the pool or play some basketball at the indoor basketball court. My dad, who was a serious marathon runner, had taken on training for triathlons so he too would be lifting weights, or swimming laps. The YMCA became a family outing, that happened several times a week, even my mom lifted weights occasionally.

In 2007, my sister, E, decided to sign up for her first half marathon, the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon. She would train during the brutally hot summer, with her friend Jen, and they would run it on Labor Day weekend. It was then that she became a “real” runner. She retired her sneakers, for real running shoes, that were fitted for her at a local running store. She realized that Soffe gym shorts and cotton t-shirts made her chafe and the wrong socks gave her blisters. She discovered body glide, and jelly belly sports beans. And she taught me all of this.

Soon I became intrigued. I on the other hand, had switched gyms from the good old YMCA to Washington Sports Club. While enrolling for my membership I got a personal trainer for 5 sessions. She switched me from the elliptical machine to the treadmill.

The treadmill, for me was much harder than the elliptical. I began by warming up for 5 minutes. Then I would do the walk/run method. I would run a mile, and then walk for two minutes, run a mile, walk for two minutes, until I completed a 5K. As time progressed, so did I. Soon I realized I could run 2 miles straight, and no longer needed to walk. Then I cut my warm up time shorter. Then I brought my speed up, so I would be running faster. Soon I was running for the full amount of time. I would bring the incline up to keep my body guessing, and make it feel as much like running outside as I could.

I didn’t last long at Washington Sports Club. A new Golds Gym was opening up across the street and it had a more affordable membership, so I switched. Again I would hit the treadmill. The t-mills at this gym faced the windows so I had a clear view of outside. One day I was on the t-mill looking out the windows, on a beautiful spring day. It dawned on me, “Why am I inside right now, when I could be out there.” That is when I decided, I would never run again on the t-mill, unless it was an extreme weather condition, or I was doing HIIT, (High Intensity Interval Training.) It is actually hard for me to even consider my treadmill runs… real runs.

At this point, E, had been bragging to me about how amazing her half marathon experience was. It was then that I decided, if she can run a half marathon, then I can too. I immediately signed up for Cherry Blossom 10 miler and then the Zooma Half Marathon. Both races went so well, that I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next race. More half marathons, led to a trail half marathon, and then 2 full marathons.

Take time to click on the photos. They are really funny, and full of emotions!

As I ran more races, I began to realize each race definitely has it’s own energy. I find it so interesting how the vibe from one race can be so different from another race’s. It took me running three races around the same lengths, (two 10 milers, and one half marathon), in April to fully understand this.

I use to always get nervous before a race, but now races have become a fun way for me to set a goal, and train hard.  They are the ultimate reason why I can call myself a runner Рa marathon runner, who prefers to run long and far.

What kind of runner are you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Nike Women Half Marathon DC

The Nike Women Half Marathon is a famous race in San Francisco. It has always been on my list of races to someday run. However, in the fall of 2012, there was a rumor floating around, that the race was coming to the East Coast. And just my luck, to my very own home turf, Washington, DC.

For a while the rumor, stayed a rumor. There was no information or advertising on the race. The only way people found out about the possibility of the race was through word of mouth – one girl runner telling another.

Race organizers kept us in suspense.

REGISTRATION

However, finally the day came when race registration became available. It was interesting because they did not have a website, instead you had to “like” their facebook page, and click on the registration link. Getting into the race depended on a Lottery system based on a random drawing. The registration was very long, asking questions about ethnicity, income, and what shoes you run in. I am guessing this was a marketing tool for Nike to discover who their consumer is, and what brand is used by the majority of female runners. The registration fee also came close to $200.00, which by far is the most expensive race I have run.

Anyway, two weeks went by, and finally I was notified that my registration was accepted, and thankfully L and E got in as well. During the time between registering for this race and finding out if I got in, registration opened for my 2 other favorite spring races, so I registered for those as well. Cherry Blossom 10 miler is also a lottery, and race day was scheduled for the first weekend of April. The Parkway Classic 10 miler, a first come first serve registration, had a race day scheduled in the third weekend of April. And then Nike Women Half Marathon race day scheduled for the last weekend of April. That means the Washington, DC area would have races 3 out of 4 weekends in April. The only reason why they left the second weekend free of races is because that weekend is the weekend the Queen of all Marathons is scheduled, the Boston Marathon (Boston Strong.)

I ended up getting into all three races I registered for, which was perfect because my 10 milers became my training runs for the Nike Women Half Marathon!

TRAINING

At the end of January, I started the Livefit trainer. The first 4 weeks of the Livefit trainer (Phase 1: weeks1-4) it is advised that you do NO cardio of any form. So I took a month off of running (not running was torture for me) but I focussed on lifting weights and building muscled (and loved it.) The next 4 weeks of the trainer (Phase 2: weeks 5-8) I still focussed on building muscle but was able to include my running. Currently, I am on week 9 of the Livefit trainer (Phase 3.) I should be further along, but because of my races I am starting from the beginning of Phase 3 repeating week 9. I am ready to complete this phase as intensely as I can!

I do want to say this though, building muscle has taken my running to the next level. I always thought when it came to training, the more running I did the better I would be. But by doing the Livefit trainer I have proved that, this is not always the case. Training is not about how many miles you can log a week, but rather are the runs you do, high quality. Too much running, can lead to over training, and injury- which gives running a bad rep. More muscle and a stronger body, along with high quality training runs, leads to faster and stronger running, injury free. Running less, does not mean I did not train hard. I did high quality training runs, and intense lifting. My PRs are my proof.

EXPO

The expo for the Nike Women Half Marathon, was available to runners on Friday and Saturday. Because L and I both have friday off from work, we headed to the expo on friday, so we could beat the crowd. The location of the expo was perfect, right along the Georgetown waterfront. This allowed us to park in the neighborhood and do a quick training run along the MVT before walking over to the expo.

Of course we hit up the Nike Georgetown store on the way down to the expo. 3580_10101094792828446_1237519482_nWe had to stock up on our Nike Women Half Marathon apparel. I loved how Nike didn’t have a trace of pink in the store. Yes! We are women, but enough with the pink, we like other colors too. My favorite color combo that Nike had available was blue and orange!

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They also had a variety of Nike Frees available. I have always been interested in the Nike Free, for weight lifting, but when it comes to my runs, I am pretty obsessed with my newton shoes. Anyway, they created a Nike free in a light turquoise color with white ribbon as the shoe laces. ¬†The inspiration behind these shoes came about, because the finisher swag for the Nike Women Half Marathon is a Tiffany’s necklace.417839_10101090212467526_1523067281_n I think this is a really fun idea. I also like how they included the phrase, We Run DC on the tongue of the shoe. This phrase was important because the original race is held in San Francisco. There were tons of ladies, from California, Denver, and other places who had already run the Nike Women San Francisco, who were excited to now run the race in DC, and was on the hunt for any race apparel that had this phrase on it.

After we hit up the Nike store, we headed down to the waterfront. On the way down to the expo they had a huge wall with every race participant’s ¬†name on it. What a cool idea! L and I searched for our names and finally we found them.

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we run dc

The photo below is a photo of the expo. Picture found on the NWM facebook.
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They also had nuun available to sample. Instead of gatorade, they would be providing this on race day! I actually prefer this over gatorade, but when it comes to hydrating during my races, I stick to water. Nuun was really delicious post race though.

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After the Expo L and I had an amazing lunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers located along the Georgetown waterfront. This is a “must try place,” So delicious, especially the sushi.

Night Before the Race

Just like every other race, I have my night before race ritual, where I lay out my race clothes, and prepare/organize everything for race day.

Night before race clothesRACE MORNING

I always have a hard time sleeping  the night before a race, not because I am worried about running the race, but more worried about waking up on time. Turns out that this race started at 7:00 am, an hour earlier than most races. Plus because I had never run this race before I decided to wake up by 4:30 am.

I ended up throwing E off a bit when I showed up at her house at 5:00 am, 15 minutes earlier than I said I would be.

We then met L at the metro and headed to the start of the race. 
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When we got to our corrals, we packed on in.¬†I knew it was going to be a crowded race. While I was at the expo, I actually tried to get my pace corral changed from a 9:00- 9:30 minute mile to an 8:30. I wasn’t able to change my corral, so L and I squeezed as close to the front of our corral as we could.

While waiting for the gun to go off, we took some race photos. 217537_10101092698036426_292698585_n

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THE RACE

After the National Anthem and a moment of silence in honor of Boston. We started running. Immediately, I was annoyed and wished I had moved to a faster pace corral. It was extremely crowded, and impossible to run at the pace I wanted. I sucked it up and politely weaved in and out, trying to pass slower runners. It started to space out around mile two, but there still were times through out the race when I felt squished. Although, this is a negative aspect about the race, this is also something that is totally out of race organizers’ control. Really this is just how large popular races are, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I totally expected it and wasn’t shocked when it happened.

Below is a picture I found on the NWM facebook page, proof to show how crowded the race was at the start. 934153_541121825926278_1618223195_n

MY SPLITS

Finally, I was able to get up my speed. My first split, 5K (3.1 miles) mark was 0:25:19 which meant I was running around an 8:12 min/mile. My second split, 10K (6.2 miles)  mark was 0:51:48 which meant I was running between an 8:30 Р8:48 min/mile. I was feeling really good about this pace, and refueled with water and beans at this point.

It was around the 15K (9.3 miles) mark, when I¬†started to slow down a little. I got to the 15K mark at 1:21:05, it was then that I realized I wasn’t going to PR at 10 miles. At this point my legs started to feel heavy and my feet started to hurt a bit. This annoyed me, because my lung capacity was perfectly fine, I just desperately wished my legs were capable of moving faster, but they really couldn’t. I tried to focus on my form, and even did some high knees, but could only maintain that for a short bit. The only thing that could cure my heavy legs was a down hill.

Most people really love fast flat courses, I on the other hand love hills. It was at this point that I desperately began wishing for an up hill then a speedy down hill, just to mix things up a bit. But the hills were nonexistent, there was one small hill towards the end, but no down hill to follow. So I was just chugging along with heavy legs, on the boring flat pavement of Washington, DC.

Picture below from NWM facebook page. 

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My 20k (12.427 miles) split was 1:50:49 – not bad, but not a PR. I could see the finish line straight ahead, but I kept chugging along with heavy legs, and I finally made it there 13.1 miles in 1:57:03.

This is not a PR for me, but it is my Second Best half marathon time! Yay for that!! My last half, the Annapolis Half Marathon, that I ran on 12/1/12 was a PR 1:51. But before that I had never ran 13.1 in under 2:00:00. So to run two half marathons in a row in under 2 hours is a big accomplishment. I think I am done with running 2 hour half marathons, and on a different level now. Both of these races were also run in my Newton shoes, after months of focusing on my natural running stride, it proves that working on running form really does pay off in the end.

The Course

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Honestly, most races that are held in DC, the course always ends up being the same that I train on daily. So there are really no surprises.  Sometimes this is an advantage, while other times it ends up being a disadvantage.  Why? The advantage is this is my home turf, and I know it inside and out. The disadvantage is that I have run it a million times, so it can become very boring.

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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We ran over Memorial Bridge, which I have run in many other races including Cherry Blossom 10 miler earlier this month. I also run this bridge often in one of my regular 5 mile training loops. We ran Hains Point, which again I ran during the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. The only point of the race that I had never run before was when we ran in the 3rd street tunnel. This tunnel is a very long dark tunnel, a never-ending tunnel. Most of the girls, including E, thought this was the best part of the race. We ran through it in the beginning of the race, probably with in the first mile, and then again towards the end. The first time running through it, I hated every minute of it, and actually experienced a bit of anxiety. The reason for my anxiety was that in the beginning of the race it was so extremely crowded, I couldn’t run fast and I was behind slower runners, so we were all squished in there elbow to elbow. It was also extremely dark and loud. They had a band under there, made up of drummers, the noise was so loud I had to turn off my ipod. The sound echoed over and over again. On the way back though, the tunnel wasn’t as bad. I knew what it was going to be like, and at this point the crowd spaced out so I had more control on how fast I wanted to run. It also provided some shade which at that point was nice to get out of the sun for a minute or two.

Other than that the race was extremely flat, and since I love hills, there were times during the race I was wishing for more of a hilly course. Although, it was small I actually enjoyed the hill towards the end of the race. Hills mix things up and is good for runners, mentally and physically.

FINISH LINE and RACE SWAG

I could see the finish line in the distance, it seemed so close, but took forever to get there. But once I got there, I noticed they had put out a red carpet. Sweet move Nike! red carpet

Then there were a bunch of hott guys, handing out our race swag Р Tiffany & Co. necklaces, on a silver platter. The nice gentleman below was the one who handed me mine.

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tiffany

finisher nike

We also received these awesome finisher shirts. I love the wicking material and the Tiffany themed color.

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The necklace was really stylish too. It says NWM Half 2013 on the back and it has a runner girl on the front. I think it would be fun to run the race several times just to collect the different necklaces.

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In the end, I really enjoyed this race and thought it was an amazing experience. It also was really different to run an all women’s race. I had only run an all women’s race one other time before, which was my first half marathon, the Zooma Half, and I couldn’t really judge the vibe because it was my first 13.1. But the energy for this race was definitely positive and¬†enthusiastic.

E said, “The race was about women empowerment.” I couldn’t agree more. With out men there, it felt less competitive. There were also a lot of runners there that were not running competitively, but rather running for a cause, such as raising money for cancer. Team and Training was one of those groups. In the end, we all raised money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This being said, there were tons of runners running for people they knew who had cancer, and some were cancer survivors, themselves.

One of the best things about running a large popular race is all the spectators that come out to watch, cheer, and support the runners. This race’s spectators did not fall short. Along the course, there were Team and Training coaches looking for the runners they coached. There were also tons of cool signs, that were more than inspiring, some even made us laugh. There were bands and dancers, that had one two many red bulls. There were kids , who sat as you approached the finish line, I probably high-fived, five of them.

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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Spectators make such a difference for runners, during the race. And it was very comforting that people still came out, even after the tragedy that happened two weeks ago, during the Boston Marathon.

It was also very impressive how well organized the race was.  This was their first time in the DC area, but everything was beyond my expectations. There were tons of amazing volunteer. There were tons of porta potties, with short lines. I never had to wait in line to check my bag, or pick it up. And again the swag for this race was the best I have ever had!!

When I first heard the Nike Women Half Marathon was coming to the DC area, I thought to myself – Perfect, now I wont have to run it in San Fran. But after running this race, now more than ever, I want to run it in San Fran. I love running hills, so it would be interesting to see if I could do a better time running the Nike Women race in San Fran. It would be fun to compare the two races, and getting another Tiffany’s necklace wouldn’t be a bad thing!

However, when it comes to running an all women’s race, I have to admit I’d rather run with men mixed in the group. It is always fun to pass them.

Well done NIKE!

Thanks for a great race! 

Pictures found on NWM facebook page.

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Night Before Race Ritual!

The month of April has been a very busy month for me, especially when it comes to running races.

The first weekend of April was consumed with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

The second weekend of April was the weekend I headed down to Miami, for my best friends Bachelorette party – it was also the same weekend as the Boston Marathon.

The third weekend of April, last weekend, I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler.

And tomorrow the forth and final weekend of April, I will be running in the Nike Women Half Marathon. I am beyond pumped to run this race. So once again here is a photo of my night before race ritual. For those who do not know, the night before a race, I always lay out my race outfit, and pack my bag. This helps me get ready quickly, in the dark of the morning. Tomorrow, I will be meeting up with E and L as early as 5:15 am.

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I will be writing posts about all of my races and their expos this week. I can’t wait to share my experiences with you, because each race so far has been fantastic!!¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Heart Broken over Boston

F#*$ing with the Boston Marathon is not cool. I can hardly watch the news because it makes me tear up.

The Boston Marathon is the queen of all marathons. It brings runners from all over the world to Boston. These runners are the strongest and fastest. Like all runners they have dedication and passion. It is suppose to be a fun, happy time, in which runners push themselves to their ultimate limit emotionally, physically, and mentally. Why does terror and violence have to ruin this for the innocent, for the running community.

I pray for all those hurt. I pray for Boston.

Although, it may be hard- lets find strength and lets do what we do best, come together as a community and continue to run- strong and fast.

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Thankful for The Boston Marathon!

Sorry I have been MIA this week. I am in Miami! I have tons to write about because life is very busy and exciting right now. However, at the moment, I am soaking up some much need vitamin D, and swimming in the ocean in South Beach – I am going to keep this post short and sweet.

So with that being said let me reveal to you my beach read…

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Yep you guessed it… Runner’s World!! I didn’t get very far before I was inspired!Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon and although I have yet to qualify for it, like most runners, I too have the dream to someday run Boston. However, in the mean time volunteering sounds very appealing.

While reading Runner’s World I came across the article, Boston Prep. One of the things they talked about in this article was The Artist of the Boston Marathon.

In 1982, Jack LeDuc got race organizers’ permission to jazz up the simple starting line from a white strip of paint to the race logo and his own creative designs.

Being a runner and an artist, I not only found this article interesting, but super relatable. It is very cool to read about who is involved behind the scenes of this amazing race. It also is interesting that they highlighted the ART of the marathon, because this is a very important aspect of the race that is overlooked and under appreciated.

Anyways that is what I have for you for today.

Is anyone running Boston? What is the volunteer service or overlooked aspect of race events that you are most thankful for?

Thank You, volunteers and marathon race organizers. Good Luck running Boston!

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It’s not my first time…

I know I am late telling you guys this news … but better late then never…

Last, Wednesday, March 27th, something very exciting happened!!

I registered for Marine Corps Marathon, and I GOT IN!! YAY!

Let me explain, this is how it all went down….

In 2009, I ran my first Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM.)  Registering for the race was smooth sailing. I got online the day of registration, filled out the form, paid, and received my confirmation email.163066_830289276726_3970357_n

In 2010, I ran my second Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon. I didn’t register for this race on the day it opened. I received an email from them the day after registration had opened. The email claimed that they were 80% filled, so I freaked out and registered as quickly as I could. I got in, and received my confirmation email.

In 2011, I registered for the Chicago Marathon, again registration was a piece of cake. Done and Done.

In 2012, when registration day for MCM came around, I was busy at work highlighting a client. When I was finished I went to the back room, to check the status on MCM, and it was sold out already, filling up in 2 hours and 45 minutes.  So I took a break from marathons that year. Instead, I ran several 10 milers and a Half Marathon. I switched my running shoe to Newtons, a natural barefoot running shoe. I worked on improving my running form, and speed.  I also started this blog.

On Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 registration for MCM rolled around again. I had promised L that I would run this race with her. It will be her first full marathon. She was able to sign up early, because her husband is deceased military. Because it filled up so fast the year before, I knew I had to be on it immediately when registration opened. The only weird thing about the registration is that it opens at noon, when most races open at midnight. This is a problem for me because my first client at work is noon.

Anyway, because I thought my internet would be faster and less unpredictable at home, I decided I would sign up really quickly at noon, and then head into work for my first client by 12:30.

Turns out, the first minute I tried to pull up the website, Active.com, I couldn’t get on. I tried for the next 5 minutes, still nothing. I went to MCM official web page to click register¬†and when directed to Active.com ERROR.

I decided to head into work. When I saw that my first client had swapped spots with her high school daughter I was relieved. Yay! High school girls are very tech savvy. I told her the situation and she immediately wanted to help. She pulled out her iPhone and started registering me.

I highlighted her hair, while she continued to refresh the webpage. Finally we got through the the first registration page. I quickly filled out my information. She submitted it and then again… WEBSITE ERROR, WEBSITE OVERLOAD. While her hair color processed she continued to refresh the page. I shampooed her, and glossed her. Still she continued to refresh the page, finally we got through to the payment page, but again WEBSITE ERROR, WEBSITE OVERLOAD. While she sat with her gloss on, adding shine, and refreshing the color on her ends, I checked the MCM facebook page, to find information. They apologized for the Web Error and said to continue to refresh page until the declare a sell out. So that is what we did. Finally as I was rinsing my client, I heard her yell, “WE DID IT!! YAY!!” My client is a high school cheerleader, so she definitely showed enthusiasm. Ha, it seemed like she¬†was more excited than I was.

I received my confirmation e-mail.

Dear Meghan,
Thank you! You are now registered for the Marine Corps Marathon 2013 – Marathon Registration. Please check the event’s website for updates.

CONGRATULATION, You are in!!

Thank you for registering to participate in the 38th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Please note that you are officially registered and this is your confirmation e-mail.

Although, a week has gone by, since MCM registration, a lot of people, whether they got in or not, are still complaining about how complicated the registration process was on Wednesday. To make up for it, Active.com has donated to Wounds of  Warriors.

But honestly, I expected the complications, and I loved every second of it. The complications made registration really exciting, and I appreciate getting in even more. And seeing website overload and errors, on day of registration didn’t shock me not one bit. Some people are annoyed by it, but this makes me happy. It proves that more people are becoming runners. It shows that running is becoming more and more popular. Our country is stepping forward toward healthy. More people are becoming aware of running as a sport, and it’s heart healthy benefits.

Running is no longer for the athlete. Runners now come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fast, some are slow. And that is what the Marine Corps Marathon is all about, hence why it is called, The People’s Marathon. So whichever kind of runner you are, MCM is the race for you.

Although, this will not be my first time running MCM.

MCM

I am beyond EXCITED! Marathon training will start in July.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you had a difficult time getting into a race you really wanted to run?
  2. Do you find running getting more popular where you live?
  3. Are you running a marathon this year?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Livefit trainer, Progress pic…

Hey!! I have some EXCITING NEWS to tell you guys, but I am going to hold off until tomorrow… So stay tuned…

Today, I am going to talk about how I am doing on my livefit trainer…

I have completed day 53 of the Livefit trainer. Two more training days and I will be finished with week 8 and totally done with Phase 2. I am now not only feeling stronger, but starting to see some serious change in my upper body and in my core. (My legs have always been pretty strong because of running.)

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Anyway, this morning, I woke up and headed to the Gold’s gym that I regularly go to, and the power was out, so they were closing until the problem was fixed. My time is precious so I didn’t wait around. One of the perks of living in the Washington, DC area is that there is a Starbucks and Gold’s gym on every block. So I headed down to the next closest Gold’s.

What a different vibe…

This Gold’s was so much darker, and over packed with gym equipment. The benches were old, and so were the weights.

look at these Old School weights…

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Although, everything was older, my work out was still good. That is one of the positive things about lifting free weights. You don’t need to be picky. If the weight ¬†weighs 15 lbs, then the weight weighs 15 lbs, regardless if it is old or new.

Another thing that I loved about this Gold’s was because it was over crowded with equipment, the lifting area was more private, which was really nice. Even though, there were plenty of other people around, I felt like I was the only one in there. This privacy made me very focussed and it seemed peaceful – which is funny, because I was lifting heavy. Never thought weight lifting would be peaceful in anyway, but it was today.

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Along with this new found peace, I am also finding that I am really starting to love weigh lifting. ¬†It isn’t up there with running or yoga yet, but it is close behind them. I have come to the conclusion that I like sports that are simple. For example in running, all you really need is a good pair of shoes, and some runners will argue that you don’t even need that. Weight lifting is similar, in the way, that it is simple and you don’t need a bunch of stuff to see results.

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Anyway, in the end, I am happy I got the opportunity to try the other Golds. They are both by running trails too. This is a plus since I hate the treadmill, and love running outside right after I lift. They are also both near organic grocery stores and Starbucks. So I think I may alternate Gyms depending on my mood. Its good to keep things interesting and switch things up.

Tomorrow, is day 54, in which I am going to hit Legs hard. However, it is also my day off, so I might also squeeze in day 55, if I have time, and then go for a run. We shall see… but I know I am a total fitness junkie, because I am already getting excited about my tomorrow work outs. Hopefully, the weather man is right, and it will get warm this weekend, I really want to run in shorts.

I’m going to leave you with a progress pic…

Livefit trainer, Week 8, day 53

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Questions for You?

  1. What is your favorite body part to work out?
  2. Do you switch up your gyms, or gym routines?
  3. What work outs did you do today?

© 2013 sweatdaily

RUNNING under the sun and then through the snow.

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…”

You may have heard the above quote time and time again. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…” and in most places this is quite true – but not here in DC.

Last night my morning meeting was canceled do to the possibility of a wintery mix. You may be thinking, why… it is the end of March? But here in the DC area, having a disgusting mix of wet rain and snow in early spring is not shocking.

For some of you snow bunnies from up North, you may find my rant about 1 inch of snow annoying. But let me tell ya, I love snow, and would rather have a beautiful light dusting, or actually, bring it on I’ll take a blizzard, over this wet, dirty, already melting wintery mix.

Ever since I became a runner, 5 years ago, I have become very weather sensitive/picky. And every year, I take note, and remember quite vividly what the weather is like in late March through April. Why so obsessed? Because that is when my running season begins. That is when I start running my races, starting with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for the first weekend of April.

I love this race, however out of the five times I have run it, I have only run under the promised¬†canopy of Cherry Blossoms once. Most of the time, we will have a hot week, and the Cherry Blossom will bloom, and then we will have a cold week, where the wind will blow the blossoms away. ¬†So as you can see it is a roller coaster ride… when it comes to the weather around here.

So this is what I am talking about…

Is it spring?

Is it winter?

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Cherry Blossoms covered with wet snow…

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Ok… enough of that… Lets talk about Running…

This last week, I continued with my Livefit trainer, but I have also taken my half marathon training up a notch. Or in other words, I have been doing some serious runs. What do I mean by serious runs? Well, because this spring I am only doing races between 10 and 13.1 miles, my long runs are really not that long. Because I am a marathon runner, I don’t really consider anything below 10 miles a long run. ¬†With that being said, because I am training for the 10 – 13.1 mile races, so far my weekend long runs have been 6, 7, 8 (if that makes since.)

I also want to make a point, that no matter which distance you are running from 5k to 21 miler to ultra marathon, it is important to practice proper form. Even on the shortest runs, you can still have a serious, high quality workout.

Friday, 3/22

L and I went out on our 8 mile run. We ran south side of the MVT. It was a really great run, averaging a 9 min mile. It was cold but sunny. Good weather, happy runner!

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I ran a 4-5 mile loop, and did 5x hill repeats. I was averaging an 8:30 min mile. It was 55-60 degrees. I ran in shorts and a tshirt. It felt amazing. I thought spring was here… what a tease.

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Sunday, 3/24

L and I met up at 7:30 am to get a 4-5 mile run in before work. It felt really nice to wake up early and hit the trail. We ran the north side of MVT. I ran faster than ever, definitely averaged 8:30 min mile, sometimes running faster. Focused on short fast strides. ¬†Stopped to take this quick photo…

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Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Questions for You…

  1. What types of runs did you do this weekend? Fast? Slow? Long? Short? Hills? Flat? Training? Races?
  2. Is it snowing where you are? Is it spring or winter?

© 2013 sweatdaily

LiveFit Trainer Update

I haven’t written a post on the Livefit trainer in over 2 weeks…

So here we go…

Today is day 48, which will also be my last day of week 7. I am more than half way through phase 2.

The differences between phase 1 and phase 2 is…

Basically, the program progressed by adding cardio into the mix during  phase 2, weeks 5, 6, 7, 8. This cardio consisted of a moderate 30 minute cardio session at a constant pace. Because phase 2 is still considered a building phase the weight I lift has gotten heavier, the reps increased, while the sets decreased. I am normally still resting for 1 minute in between each set, unless it is a superset. Some sets I lift to failure, while other sets are a dropped set.

Lets get that run on…

I am very happy that I am able to run again, however adding running along with the weight training has been very time consuming. If I complete my run on the treadmill, I normally spend between 1.5 – 2 hours in the gym. If I run outside then I am in the gym for 1 – 1.5 hours and then I hit the pavement running. So as you can see, I am in the gym a lot… and I hate the gym.

When I run on a treadmill, I feel like a hamster on a wheel…

To be totally honest, in the last 4 years, I have probably run on the treadmill 5 times each year, when it is a heat wave summer, and too dangerous to run outside. (I will not be one of those crazy runners, running in 110 degrees 90 percent humidity. Trust me I have done that before, and ended up in and out of the doctor’s for 3 months.)

But now, I am running on the treadmill, 1-2 times a week, and I hate it. The only reasons, I put myself through this treadmill running torture is because it saves me time, and I’m sick of the cold. It is the end of March and it has been in the 30s with gusty winds.

Anyway, I have been trying to make my treadmill runs interesting by putting up the incline slightly (1-2), and running at faster speeds, normally 8:30 min mile. I can deal with this because it is only 1-2 times a week. Hopefully, the sun will come out soon and I will be able to forget the treadmill for good.

As for outdoor running and half marathon training…

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I have been doing hill repeats, short easy runs, and some long runs on my weekends. But that is just another reason why the Livefit trainer seems time consuming. Along with trying to complete this trainer to the best of my ability, I am also training for 3 races, but the one I am really focused on is the NIKE WOMEN’S 13.1. This races is scheduled for the last weekend of April. So I have 6 weeks to get some serious running in. (I will write a separate post, and go in more detail about my training plan.)¬†

Weight training and results…

I will not post my progress pics quite yet. However, I will tell you this… In phase 2, I am lifting heavier because it is a requirement, but also because I am capable of it. I started this program with strong lean runners legs, but no upper body strength what-so-ever. During phase 1, I was lifting 5 lb dumbbells, now I am lifting 15 lb dumbbells. I was lifting a 20 lb bar, now I am lifting 30-40 lb bar. I was deadlifting with a 40 lb bar, now I am with a 60 lb bar. I am not only feeling stronger, but looking stronger too. I am not seeing bulky muscles, but rather a lot of lean muscle definition, which was my ultimate goal.

Abs, I knew you were there, but never saw you before… it is so nice to finally meet you!¬†

What I am probably most excited about, is that I am finally seeing a flatter stomach which is revealing some abs. This makes me excited, because the weakest part of my body has always been my core. Every expert runner has always told me a stronger core will help improve your running, and that is what I am hoping for.

The whole point of me doing the Livefit Trainer, was to get stronger, so I would improve my running, by being able to run stronger, further, faster. 

When I am out on the running trail, that is exactly how I feel, stronger and faster.

I also trust Jamie Eason. She has a video, that I posted earlier on my blog, about how you should train your abs like any other muscle group Рnot every day. She also said that while lifting free weights, most of the exercises engage your abs anyway. I have found this to be soooo true! 

Clean Eating…

In phase, 1 I struggled with clean eating, because I was having a hard time packing enough meals for the day. ¬†Now I have this…

MOMS


Above is a picture of my lunch box. I found it at MOM’s Organic Market. I like it because it fits all of my meals for the day, and it keeps everything cold. It is like carrying around a mini fridge.

Calorie Counting

In phase 2, it is required to start calorie counting. I am not very good at this, and I don’t do it all the time. But I am aware of how many calories I need. It is less on days that I lift upper-body. It is more when I lift lower-body, or go on longer runs.

A clean eating tip, that is introduced in phase 2, is measuring all ingredients. Because of this, it is suggested to purchase a kitchen scale.

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I really don’t see myself getting to particular about measuring and counting calories, but I will try my best while I am doing the Livefit trainer. ¬†So I purchased this Cuisinart kitchen scale. My food processor is a Cuisinart. I really like this brand. I haven’t used it yet, but I think it is going to be a good thing to have on hand in the kitchen. Plus all fitness models, and fitness competitors have their leanest results when the measure everything. So if you are trying to loose weight, or lean out, it might be a good thing to look into or purchase.

Supplements

In phase 2, it is suggested to take a digestive enzyme,¬†in addition to Protein powder, BCAAs, Glutamine, multivitamin, and fish oil/flax oil . So I purchased…

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(I just bought these yesterday, so I will write a more detailed post about what the are and how they work, so stay tuned. )

So that is an overview of what I have been doing for the last 2 weeks, with the Livefit trainer, and my half marathon training… Stay tuned for shorter but more detailed posts, on long runs, and supplements.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you ever run on the treadmill?
  2. What is your favorite way to run on the treadmill?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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