Marine Corps Marathon : Tips and 2014 & 2016 race recaps.

MARINE CORPS MARATHON IS TOMORROW MORNING!

This is my all time favorite race, the marathon being my all time favorite distance! I want to wish everyone a great race tomorrow! So I’ll share a couple things with you.

FLASH BACK – These are some of my favorite race photos from the 4x I have run it.

Make sure you smile at the camera! Enjoy it, take it all in. You will get emotional, especially at the blue mile, but that’s what this race is all about.

• CHEERLEADER – I will be out there cheering at mile 22 with my Oiselle Teammates. This mile marker is right after the 14th street bridge. On the runners right side. If you need to see a friend at this point to up lift you, look for me!

• TIPS – If you are a marathon virgin, or if this is your first time running MCM, check out the tips below and race recaps from previous times I ran it, including last year’s race recap.

QUOTES- ‘m going to leave you with 2 of my favorite quotes!

“Run for 20 minutes and you’ll feel better. Run another 20 and you might tire. Add on 3 hours and you’ll hurt, but keep going and you’ll see—and hear and smell and taste—the world with a vividness that will make your former life pale.”

“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

Good luck and have fun!! You are going to be awesome! *Side note: 3 special people that I’m cheering on is my Dad, my BRF Lina, and my Oiselle teammate Adrienne! See you guys at mile 22. 👏🏻

Now read below for tips and race recaps.

Here are my top 26 tips for all of the Marathon Virgins out there running Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow… 1 NIGHT BEFORE: Check social media for inspiration and updates, this includes facebook and instagram. Marine Corps Marathon pages always have a count down. And the night before race day facebook status always gets me pumped.

2 NIGHT BEFORE: Always prepare your race outfit, and everything you will need for the race, the night before. (That means tonight if you are running MCM tomorrow morning.)

3 Never wear anything you haven’t worn before.

4 Make sure your ipod and garmin are charged and ready to go.

5 Eat protein and carb race morning, good option – Bagel with Peanut Butter.

6 GETTING TO and FROM: If you are riding the metro in the morning, you will be getting off at the Pentagon. But honestly if you get confused just follow all the other runners. If you plan to metro after the race make sure you get enough money on your metro card for both ways, getting there and coming back. Metro will be really busy on the way back. The Rosslyn Metro stop is the one closest to the finish line.

7 THE START: At the start, strip down and check your bag. If you are one that gets cold easily then make sure you have throw away gloves and shirt. It will be cold in the morning but warm at the finish.

8 Oh and don’t forget to BODY GLIDE everything.  9 CORRALS: Because Marine Corps Marathon is the people marathon they do not have any assigned corrals. Instead you choose where you want to be, by looking for the sign that says your finishing time on it. Try to get in the proper corral or the one a head of you. For example if you think you will finish in 4:30 then hang with the 4:15 group. This race is a very crowded race with 35,000 runners.

10 WATER STATIONS: Have a game plan. Are you going to walk the water stations? When are you going to take your sports beans?

11 ROCK CREEK PARK can get congested. But stay light on your feet and use momentum to fly down the down hill part.

12 FOCUS ON RUNNING FORM. 13 13.1:  Once you hit the half way point start to break your race into pieces. At this point, you are in Hains Point, the most boring part of the race.  It is time to start counting. 2 more miles and you will be at mile 15 and out of the stupid park and on to the National Mall.

14 MILE 15: Enjoy, look around you are running the National Mall.

15 MILE 17: This mile is significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into single digits, only 9 more miles to go.

16 SIGNS: Don’t forget to look at funny signs. The spectators are the best at this race.

17 MILE 20: Beat the Bridge. The bridge is long and slow. A lot of runners HIT the Wall here. There aren’t very many spectators here. Sometimes it feels brutally hot with sun shining on you. Other times it feels really windy. This is the time when a lot of runners start walking and stretching out. This is when I tell myself to keep running, don’t walk. At the end of the bridge you are in Crystal City. Leaving DC and entering VA.

18 MILE 21: This mile is significant for me because in training my longest run is 21. During my weekly training I do a 5 mile easy run. When I reach 21 in the marathon, I tell myself, “Only 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.” Everything is mental at this point.

19 CRYSTAL CITY: Once I’m at mile 23 looping around Crystal City I am looking at the spectators focusing on seeing people I may know. I also am saying my mantra.

20  Always have a Mantra. For example, when things get rough, I always repeat, “No matter what… Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.” Another good one is … “One More Mile.”

21 HOME STRETH: At this point I am focused on the traffic signs, I try to get to one traffic sign then the next. You’ll see signs that say, “Memorial Bridge.”

22 The last little bit is up a hill and then the finish line. But who cares there is a hill, you made it to the finish.

23 Enjoy getting your medal and check out all the hott marines. You earned it.

24 MILE 27: Walk, Walk, Walk. The most important mile is mile 27. The mile you walk after the marathon. This mile walk helps avoid cramping.

25 Eat an awesome brunch to refuel and celebrate.

26 Take it easy for the rest of the day. Consider taking hot yoga later in the week.

SO there it is!

Good luck to all of the Marathon Virgins out there running tomorrow for the first time. Good luck all runners. Look for me, I’ll be cheering for you.

Also if you want to read about my experience running Marine Corps Marathon, you can find the 2 full Race Recaps.

Last year’s: Marine Corps Marathon 2016 Here Marine Corps Marathon 2014 here.  Have fun Marathoners!!

Christmas Gift Guide for Mother Runners

Christmas is right around the corner! And you are still trying to find the perfect gift for the mother runner in your family. Well, do not stress! I have the perfect last minute gift guide list. Let’s go shopping! 



1. BOB Revolution Pro (Find it at REI store.)

$559.99 

If your mother runner has a infant or toddler, but doesn’t have a running stroller yet, or maybe she does, but needs an upgrade… this is the stroller!! 

Here is why…

WHEEL

It has a swivel front wheel that you can adjust to a fixed wheel for running, or swivel for everyday use. 

BREAK

It also has a hand break on the hand bar so you have more control on down hills. 

SEAT

Adjustable seat for comfort for baby. Lay baby/toddler, all the way down for a nap, or prop the seat straight up so baby/toddler can see the world on all your adventures! 

CANOPY

Extra large canopy that shades your baby/toddler from the sun with SPF 50! 

STORAGE

Huge oversized storage compartment, so you can bring whatever you and your child needs.

For more details read my review on my top three running strollers

So your mother runner already has the stroller. Well what about some awesome accessories to make her running experience better and more comfortable.

2. Snack Tray ($29.99) and/or Weather Shield (Find it at REI)

As your baby becomes a toddler the Snack Tray is a must! 

The Weather Shield is a protective shield for bad weather days. That way you don’t have to worry about your child staying dry or warm, and you still can get your run done. 

3. Skip Hop Grab & Go Stroller Organizer $22.99 ( Find it at Nordstrom or Buy Buy Baby)

This item is my favorite stroller organizer. It holds water bottle, and all important items right up front with you. 

4. L.L. Bean : Ultra Plush Snow Bunting $89.95 (Find it at L.L. Bean)

This is a must have for winter running. It is the ultimate piece of gear to keep your child warm and cozy on winter runs. It’s basically a sleeping bag for the stroller. Every mother runner needs it! 

For more details read my review on the Ultra Plush Snow Bunting

5. Another Mother Runner Books (Find them at Barnes and Nobel or online at Amazon.) Download the audio on iTunes.

Run like a Mother, Train like a Mother, and Tales from Another Mother Runner, are must reads for a BAMR. If the mother runner in your family doesn’t have time to read, give her the audio option. This allows her to listen while she runs. 

6. Newton ($120-175)

(These are hard to find. The website might be the only option.)

Newton running came out with the black series. It isn’t a typical neon bright color, but the black is totally badass for a BAMR! It is a limited edition so grab a pair while you can. 

For more information on Newton Running read my review

7. Every Mother Counts at Oiselle 

(Find these at Oiselle)

Every Mother Counts is an organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns, that supports maternal health. There are a lot of great Tshirts and sweatshirts on sale over at oiselle and 40% of the proceeds goes to Every Mother Counts organization. Want to support the organization 100% go to the actual website!

8. Garmin 

The Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire in Rose Gold and White. ($449.99) 

(Find it at your local Running Store)

This watch is absolutely the prettiest fitness tracking watch. Again, I say fitness (not running) because it is a multi sport fitness tracking watch. Although, it does track your runs, you can also track other forms of fitness, including swim. It’s great for the tri athlete as well as the runner in your family. 

I personally own the Garmin 620 and it is great too! 

Below are some quick ideas if you don’t have time to go shopping! 

9. Race Swag
This year at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo I had my 14 month daughter with me. There was so many awesome finisher swag, shirts, jackets, etc. but there was no way I was going to wait in a long line with my little one. So I skipped it and went straight to shopping the other vendors. 

If this same thing happened to the mother runner in your family, then going to the race website and seeing if they still have some finisher swag to purchase would be an awesome Christmas present. 

10. Race Entry Fee

Another great idea is figuring out which race is the next up, and cover the registration fee.

I hope that helps complete your shopping! Your mother runner will be so happy with these gifts!! 

Happy Holidays!!

What is on your wishlist?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

November Recap, December Goals! 

Before I tell you about November, let’s back track to October…

(For those who are new to the blog, here’s a quick recap of October. If you’ve been reading skip first paragraph.) 

October was such an amazing month! I closed October by setting a new marathon PR at the Marine Corps Marathon. This marathon was my 4th, and my first full marathon as a mother runner. It feels incredible finishing this marathon, knowing my daughter has been with me every step of the way. 

The week after I ran MCM, I got the marathon blues. My training program was such a time commitment, but then my race went by so fast. And with no more future races to train for, I felt a little lost. I ended up almost signing up for the Richmond Marathon, which was two weeks later. I ultimately decided not to do it, even though I was totally trained to.

Because I had just finished running a full marathon, November’s focus was on recovery miles and fun running. 

I went into November with out a plan. I  didn’t track all of my runs – some were tracked on my Garmin, others on Strava. I ran two shorter races for fun- The Operation Turbo 5k and the Alexandria Turkey Trot/ Del Ray 5 miler.  Both races I ran with Zoe, as I pushed her in the stroller. It was so fun!

Now it’s December! Although, it is just the beginning of December, 2016 is coming to an end. This year has been incredible and I’m hoping to end it as good as it began. 

Because I am currently in off season, with no races to train for. I think it might be fun to participate in Runner’s World run streak. It is simply run every day until New Years, even if it’s just a mile. Find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily, if you want to follow along. Or participate by following Runner’s World on instagram @runnersworldmag and use #RWRunStreak when you post a run photo. 

This December, I also want to spend time focusing on strength training. It’s time to build some more muscle again and get stronger. 

So this December is all about streakin’ with Runner’s World, building some serious strength, and spending time reflecting on 2016. 

Has anyone done a run streak before?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

Operation Turbo 5k

Operation Turbo 5k


I’m excited to say, I am runnning a 5k this weekend!!

I honestly do not remember the last time I signed up for a 5k. I’m an endurance athlete, long distance runner, so I do not race the 5k often. However, a friend of mine, runs an organization called Operation Turbo, and is putting on a 5k race this weekend. So I decided to show my support by signing up. 
If anyone is in the DC area and is interested in running this race on Saturday, sign up here

If you are not in the area, you can always run the virtual 5k. 

Have you ever run a virtual race!?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

30 days of blogging

There is something inside me… making me very eager to write and reflect more. And I recently came across a blogger who did a 30 day blog challenge – in which she updated her blog every day for 30 days straight. 

For me, a 30 day blog challenge will be a fun way to satisfy my eagerness to write. But, I’m also hoping a challenge like this will help me grow as a writer, exposing my true self. 

Also…

To my READERS: Your constructive criticism, comments, questions, and engagement means the world to me. It has created such an amazing sense of community here. 

Please, continue to connect with me through my 30 day blog challenge. And if you want to connect with me through pictures, you can find me on my Instagram @sweat1xdaily. 

Has anyone done a challenge for 30 days? If so what was it in?

I’m very excited to get started. I’m considering this day 2 since I wrote a blog post yesterday. 

Xo Meg

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

The Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon 2016

“Run for 20 minutes and you’ll feel better. Run another 20 and you might tire. Add on 3 hours and you’ll hurt, but keep going and you’ll see—and hear and smell and taste—the world with a vividness that will make your former life pale.”

Scott Jurek

In honor, of the Marine Corps Birthday, (that was on Thursday), and Veterans Day Weekend, I thought it would be a perfect time to post my race recap on running the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. 

(Warning: This is a long detailed post about my experience, mile by mile.) 

On Sunday, October 30th, 2016, I ran my fourth Marine Corps Marathon. Although, it was my fourth MCM- this marathon was my first full marathon I ran, 14 months after having Zoe, and my fourth postpartum race.

When I registered for this race, I kept it a secret. I was really worried if I would be able to fit in the training,  being such a huge time commitment, new mom, and working mom. Would I be able to juggle everything? Turns out I could and did. Running mamas let me tell you… It is totally possible to train for a full marathon after baby! I did it and you can too. I ran all the miles! (Curious about my training read all about it here.)

Marine Corps Marathon 

THE EXPO

The Expo was held at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor. At first, I was a little annoyed that they moved the Expo to Maryland instead of having it in DC. There is no metro located on National Harbor, so I feared there would be a lot of traffic and no parking. Turns out it was perfect. Not to much traffic, plenty of parking, and beautiful views of the Potomac river. 

We normally see these view from across the river, from the VA side. 

The Expo was held on both Friday and Saturday. I went on Friday afternoon hoping it wouldn’t be to busy. There were no lines getting in and no lines to get bibs. However, there was a line to the check out to get MCM gear, and because I had my 14 month old with me, there was no way I could wait in it. 

I ended up just getting my bib and skipping the MCM gear area. (I’ll purchase some gear later online. 

I wore my Oiselle sweatshirt to the Expo, talk about flystlye. This sweatshirt is so warm, cozy, and stylish.

Again, I brought my daughter, Zoe, with me to the Expo. The majority of my training was done with her by my side, so I wanted her there with me to experience the excitement of the Expo. It feels great to be a BAMR. (Read about being a BAMR at the Navy Half Expo, here.) 

Some runners hate expos and avoid them if they can. I, on the other hand, love the Expo. The Expo always gets me pumped! Plus, who doesn’t want to shop for more running stuff?!

I ended up shopping around, and purchased a running skirt from Mana Threads. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Expo, and I was excited to see them again. I’ve never run in a skirt before, and honestly, never thought I would. I actually use to “roll my eyes” at runners who wore skirts. But I’m at the point that I’ve been running for 8-10 years now, and it can be difficult to find something new and different. So I’m going to give the skirt a try. Might as well… I might love it. 

I also checked out HOKA shoes. The guy was very knowledgeable. I’m pretty loyal to Newton, but want another type of shoe in my shoe rotation. So in the future I might give HOKA a try. 

NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

The HEAT

Every long run I ran this summer was in record breaking heat conditions. Just my luck… the weather man was predicting unusually warm summer like conditions on race day. 

In my running groups, everyone was worried about the heat. We even received an email from the Marine Corps Marathon organizers, saying – to slow down race pace, and to hydrate and dress for hot conditions.  

Every time I run MCM the weather is perfect. I checked back on my blog post from a couple of years ago, when I ran my 3rd MCM and it was 30 degrees cooler that day. 

I don’t do well in the heat, and I also was pretty congested because of a cold. However, I trained in a heat wave of a summer in 80-90 degree record breaking weather, so I wasn’t too worried. I also wasn’t going to put my mind in a negative state. Positive vibes only.

I was just going to run my best and see what I could do. I was confident. I put in all the miles during training, and I knew once I got around the energy of the other runners, my excitement would keep me going strong. 

A lot of runners chose to wear their hydration packs on race day. I thought about it, but I really didn’t want the extra load. So my game plan was to rely on water stations, hoping they wouldn’t run out. 

I also planned on starting at 7:55, when the gun went off. Because the metro wasn’t opening early for us, due to safe tracking, MCM organizers were leaving the start open for a full additional hour. This meant late runners could cross the start line as late as 8:55. But this also meant that these late runners would cross the finish line later in the day in hotter conditions. My game plan, get there early, start my race when the gun goes off, run my race during the gorgeous morning, cooler temperature, and finish my race before the afternoon heat. 

NIGHT before RACE RITUAL

Saturday night, I spent some time trying to decide what running outfit to wear on race day. I decided on my oiselle singlet, and I’m so glad I did!

I stayed comfortable and cool up until mile 24. And wearing the oiselle singlet helped my oiselle teammates see me easier. I really love running for oiselle. I joined the team after having Zoe, and the support has been amazing. 


I did my,”Night before Race Ritual,” which is laying out my race day outfit and taking a picture. Above picture is my, “Flat Meg.” 

I also laid out Zoe’s outfit. My sister had a shirt made for her that said, “My mom runs faster than your mom.” 


I also carb-loaded for two days straight with spaghetti and sauce that I made homemade.

I was as ready as I could be. 

So it was time to just try to get a good night sleep. But before shutting my eyes, I checked social media to support other runners and gain some inspiration. 

This is what I found on the Marine Corps Marathon facebook page. 


I laughed when I read it! Because no one sleeps well before a marathon. 

MORNING OF

My alarm went off at 5:20 am. I tiptoed through my dark house and got dressed and ready. Grabbed my iPod shuffle (which I didn’t use, I just had it as a back up) and Garmin.

By 6:00 am, I was off to my mom’s house. Because the metro wasn’t working- I parked my car at my mom’s house, and she dropped me off in Pentagon City. A ton of other runners flooded Pentagon City, so I just followed the crowd walking over to the start, eating my pb&j. 



THE START

Like always, the Marines greeted us, and welcomed us with excited faces. They checked our bags, getting us through security quickly. 

I was there pretty early, and because I had time, I decided to hit up the porta potty, making conversation with the guy in front of me. It was his first time running MCM, so I let him ask me all of his nervous questions.

Unlike years in the past, I wasn’t shivering. It was close to 60 degrees already at 6:30 am. I was in long pants and my long sleeve zip up MCM shirt from the previous year. It was time to strip down into my race clothes and drop my long sleeves at baggage claim. 

(Side note: I saw a lot of people wearing bath robes. Have you seen that before? I’ve seen people wearing trash bags in the past, but never bath robes. I don’t see the point. But to each their own.

When I was at baggage claim the sun began to rise. 

My dad was also running the marathon. I received a text message from my saying he was on Memorial Bridge running to the start. He asked for me to wait for him so we could get a picture together. 

CORRAL AND START LINE

My dad and I walked down to the start line at 7:30ish. We squeezed our way up to the 4:10 and 4:15 corral – standing with a view of the 4:15 pacer. 

The Marine Corps Marathon is The People’s Marathon – which means they do not assign corrals, instead they allow the runners to choose a corral. Because Marine Corps Marathon has 30,000 runners, the first three miles can be crowded and slow, so I always try to stand in the corral ahead of my ideal finishing time. 

Let’s talk about timing… 

My goal finishing time for this race was 4:15. Maybe I could run it faster, because I ran my last half marathon, a month before, in 1:53, and felt good! But I finished my last full marathon in 4:19, (2 years ago) so I would be happy running that, or a faster PR. 

So standing in the 4:10-4:15 corral seemed to be a good place to start. 

The actual start didn’t seem as exciting as years past. It actually didn’t seem crowded at all. But maybe that’s because of the option of starting later. But in the years past, people are normally packed in, clothes going everywhere. One year a beach ball was going above our heads. Everyone cheering! 

The EXCITEMENT 

The real excitement happened when they flew military planes over our heads. 


And then we were off… 

Mile 1-3

We ran down 110, up through Rosslyn, up Lee Highway. My husband, daughter, and Mom were waiting for me at mile 2-3ish on Lee Highway. It was easy to spot them because my little Zoe was on my husband’s shoulders. It was so fun seeing them, especially Zoe!! She was excited seeing her Grandpa aka Poppy. My dad showed everyone his 1989 MCM race shirt. As I looked at my watch, my dad made observation that we climbed that hill pretty fast. We were on our way to Spout Run.

MILES 3-5 

We ran through Spout Run during miles 3-5. This is one of my favorite parts of the marathon because it is by far the prettiest part of the race. Trees shaded us while we ran up and down slight rolling hills, as we approached the Key Bridge. My Dad and I were still running side by side. 

MILES 5-7

Over the Key Bridge we went, leaving Virginia and entering D.C. I love running over the Key Bridge. And Georgetown is usually a very exciting spot during the race because the spectator support is so huge and energized. There is normally a band playing from Georgetown University, and a group from Lululemon cheering while sipping mimosas. However, this year I didn’t see any of that and to my surprise it seemed like a ghost town. But, we continued on, down Wisconsin we went, and up to Rock Creek park we headed. My dad and I were making great timing! 

MILES 8-10

Usually, Rock Creek Park is up one huge hill and then a crowded turn around, then a down hill. But this year they cut it short and it wasn’t crowded at all. My dad and I both looked at each other with a smile, when we realized we didn’t have to run the hill. 

MILE 11 – The BLUE mile


Mile 11 is called the Blue Mile. This mile is lined with photos of fallen soldiers. It was very emotional. Many people stopped in front of their fallen solider to cry, or get a picture. American flags lined the end of the mile to uplift us. 

MILES 12-14

Haines Point is normally the boring part, but we got through it – still feeling really strong and on pace.  

During one of the water startions, my dad grabbed a GU (energy gel) and I lost him. But my cell phone rang, and it was him, and he was coming up on the left hand side. Off we went to the National Mall. Dad shouted we were over half way through. 

MILES 15-18

At mile 15, I told my dad we only had 2 miles until mile 17. Mile 17 is a significant mile in the marathon, because you only have 9 miles left which means you enter single digits. We were both running on pace, but it was then that my dad told me to go on ahead, if I thought I was going to break 4 hours. I didn’t know if I could do that, but I was going to try. So I picked up the pace on the National Mall and headed to the 14th street bridge. 

It was awesome that my dad and I ran 15 miles together. 

MILES 18-20

I left the National Mall and was heading on to the 14th street bridge. The bridge is normally mile 20, but because of the late start, and the eagerness to open DC streets, we had to leave the city on time. So they made the bridge mile 18 instead of the normal mile 20. 

The goal to the bridge is to, “Beat the Bridge.” Many people hit the wall here and begin to walk. It can feel really hot, or super windy. But I actually always love the bridge. And I never walk. 

Once I was on the bridge, still running, I texted my husband to let him know I was on the bridge heading to Crystal City. He was shocked I was calling so early, ahead of schedule. He was on his way to meet me in Crystal City. 

I also knew my Oiselle teammates had a cheer station at mile 21. So I was keeping a look out. Mean while, I was still on pace and feeling strong. 

MILE 21

There they were! My Oiselle teammates cheered the loudest cheers ever at mile 21! So happy I saw them. I was now super pumped and on my way down Crystal Drive to see my husband, baby, and mom. MILE 21 was the longest distance I ran during training. This mile marker is significant for me because during the week I run a 5 mile easy run, and during the marathon when I hit 21, I tell myself, “Its just my 5 mile easy run.” 

MILE 22

I ran through Crystal City, eyes wide, looking for people I knew. Around mile 22, I saw my husband, mom, and baby, again, waiting to cheer me on. Zoe was so cute having fun watching all the runners, smiling big when she saw me. I got some pictures and I told them I was feeling good and making great timing! 

MILE 23-24

After leaving my family, letting them know I would see them at the finish, I kept on pace.  I started looking for the mile markers.  It wasn’t until mile 24, that I started to feel really hot. 

But at mile 24, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It ended up being one of my runner friend, Raj Running Yogi! It was such a fun surprise seeing him. I hope I was friendly! At mile 24, looping around the pentagon, I was just trying to stay focused and look for my street signs, that always helps me get to the finish. 

MILE 25 – 26.2

I could see the finish line in the distance. Then the street signs appeared. I told myself just get to the Memorial Bridge street sign. Next thing I realize, I’m running passed it and seeing the Key Bridge street sign. Passing the Key Bridge sign, I made a left heading to the Iwo Jima memorial, uphill to the finish. Although, the finish line was moved to the right this year, it felt amazing crossing it! 


THE FINISH

This Marine gave me my finishing medal! 


Took a photo near the Iwo Jima memorial.

I met up with my family. And got to show my daughter Zoe my finishing medal. 


All of our hard training paid off! It felt amazing showing my daughter my medal. 

After the race was over, my husband, daughter and I enjoyed bunch at Lyon Hall.  

THE RESULTS

A NEW PR

Although, it was hot running conditions, and  a “difficult” course, I felt great most of the race. 

I ended up finishing in 4:17:01, which was a little over a 2 minute PR. I am very happy with this time, and over all had a very successful marathon. 

The most fun thing about this race was running the first 15 miles with my dad. I am very impressed with how fit he is! 

I’m also most proud of the fact that I trained for this race with my daughter by my side. Yes, my identity has changed now that I am a mother, but it has not changed my passion for running and living a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to me to show and teach my daughter- that with passion, dedication, and hard work, anything is possible. 

WHAT IS NEXT? 

I will be running a Turkey Trot this thanksgiving with Zoe in the stroller. But as of that, I’m still trying to decide which marathon I want to run next. 

In the mean time, I’m hitting the weight room again consistently. Its time to get stronger again.

THANK YOU

Thank you to everyone who inspired and supported me through this marathon training season, and the marathon. This includes MRTT, Oiselle, and everyone that followed along on IG, FB, Strava, and this blog. 

Also I want to give a special thank you to the Marines, race organizers, volunteers, and race spectator support for another amazing Marine Corps Marathon experience.

Thank you!

It’s so amazing to be a part of something this big!! And the running community is incredible! 


Now let’s set new goals, and run all the miles! 

copyright 2016 sweatdaily 

Bring it on, half marathon! A Guest Post by Susie

Hey everyone, 

I ran my final long run for this marathon training season. It was a 20+ miler this last Saturday, 10/15/16. I am officially in TAPER TOWN!  Because I have been tapering I have only been running shorter runs, and I have had a lot more time to blog. I am working on some really amazing posts for you guys, about my marathon training, my race day plan, and food. So I look forward to sharing those with you in the next days leading up to my marathon, the MARINE CORPS MARATHON. 

In the meantime, I would like to introduce to you my good friend, Susie. She is a fashion blogger and runner!  This is my first time having a guest blogger write a post at Sweat1xdaily. And she is talking all about her favorite running gear, which helped her comfortably run her 2nd half marathon, in the heat of August!  I hope you enjoy this post about Susie’s favorite running gear, and you can always learn more fun fashion tips from Susie over at Susie in Style.

Bring it on, half marathon! 
I recently ran the Madison Mini Marathon. This was my 2nd half marathon and I ran with my mom/running buddy in my beloved hometown Madison, Wisconsin.

My 1st half was in Madison in 2010 which I ran on a whim. I had just gotten back from a semester abroad in Spain and hadn’t trained. My mom was signed up for the half and she asked if I wanted to do the 10k race. I was eager to get back into running longer distances so I agreed. When we went to pick up her packet before the race and register myself, the 10k was full…It was decision time because the half still had openings. I thought “what the hell, why not” and signed up thinking I would just do a run/walk. But me being stubborn, true to my Virgo zodiac sign, ended up running the whole thing. It was an adventure, but I persevered and got it done. 
This time, I was much more prepared. I trained for 4 months, gradually working up my distance. Since I’m a runner AND a fashion blogger, a big part of preparing was making sure I had the right gear for both functionality and style. Functionality proved more important, but I’m glad the style was still there for my loyal fab fashonistas. 
Me with my mom and her friends after the race. I’m in the pink tank top!

When Race Day Came, Heres What I Wore:
Compression Shorts: If you run, you know about the horror of chaffing. For shorter distances, I always apply deodorant on the inside of my thigh area and that does the trick—sometimes even the most stylish runner has to use tried and trued methods. But I knew I couldn’t rely on deodrant alone for this one so I made sure to get compression shorts. My shorts have the compression layer underneath to protect from chaffing and on the outside theres a looser, mesh layer so I didn’t feel exposed. These shorts did the trick—they gave me much needed compression to avoid chaffing and provided a flowing exterior. Perfect for the fashion conscious runner!
Nike Cool Breeze Dry-FIT Tank: I got this tank at Macy’s. My race was in August and I can’t stand being too hot when I run so the lightweight material allowed me to stay cool. The only thing I don’t love is that its a little transparent. Luckily, I bought two (1 in pink and 1 in blue) so on race day I just layered the blue top under the pink one and that solved the transparency problem. 
Fabletics Sports Bra: See the Graffiti sports bra from my Fabletics Review. This was awesome for race day and I love the print. The colors also happen to match my running shoes. 

Brooks Ghost 8 Running Shoe: I get my shoes at Berkley running company in Madison but you can fond them at your local running store. I used to be an ASICS girl but over the past few years I’ve made the switch to Brooks because they feel lighter and have more of a cushion. 
Added value: buying local can be both functional and fun. My favorite salesperson from Berkley that sold me these shoes was on the course with a mic cheering people on at mile 10. 
My high school Cross Country team was also working at one of the water stations. It was awesome to have that support and community feel to push me those last few miles. 
Nathan Running Essentials Belt: It took me awhile to get used to running with a belt ,but I was really glad that I had it on race day. I carried energy beans, running GU, and Chapstick). I used the beans and GU at about 3 or 4 different points during my race. You’ve got to have fuel in the tank to compete! The belt was also essential for training so I could keep energy aids with me on my long runs and have a place to store my keys. 
Garmin Forerunner: For my birthday present, my mom bought me the Garmin Forerunner 15 watch so I could track my pace. Its comfortable and the teal/white color combo adds flare to any running ensemble. I had trouble getting it to find a GPS signal so it didn’t end up working until I got to the 1st mile mark, but I hope to work out the bugs soon. Anyone out there know why this might have happened? I’ve tried using it on several other occasions since but keep running (literally) into the same problem.
And lastly, here is a picture of the awesome medal that I got at the finish line. It also serves as a bottle opener because… well, why wouldn’t it? 🙂

The Climate

I was nervous about the timing of the race, considering it was in August, and Wisconsin weather can be unpredictable. The night before the race, I was checking the forecast constantly.
The good news was it looked like it was going to be in the 60’s around race time. Perfect running temperature. The bad news was it was supposed to storm right when the race started. The Madison-Mini Twitter account and website were both staying optimistic but encouraging runners to check back first thing in the morning and make sure the race was still on. I wasn’t sure what would be worse: the race getting cancelled after all my training OR running in a downpour with soggy socks and rain pelting my face. I went to bed that night feeling discouraged. 
I woke up in the morning ready to go—rain or shine—and fortunately the running gods were on my side. The storm had passed through earlier than anticipated during the night, and it was just drizzling at the start of the race. Soon after we started, the drizzle stopped and it was mid 60’s and overcast. My ideal running weather. 
One benefit I had of training in DC during the summer is that I got used to the humidity. After the race, I regrouped with my mom and her friends. They said that the humidity really challenged them, but I didn’t find it humid compared to the swamp that is Washington in May – August. 
The Course
Overall I enjoyed the course. It was great to run through some of my favorite parts of the city. There were about 3,000 people who ran the mini marathon. They organized us at the start based on our estimated finish time. They didn’t start in waves like some other races so I was nervous it would get crowded. Fortunately, I didn’t have trouble breaking out to my stride. 
The last mile was hard. Thats when my legs and knees were getting sore so I stopped at the mile marker to stretch which helped get me through the last leg. The finish line was on the University of Wisconsin campus. . My biggest complaint about the course itself was there were two hills on mile 12 and It twisted and turned around campus buildings, so I couldn’t see the finish line until I was about 200 yards out or so. I like to see where the finish line is around the last quarter mile so I know how much energy to exert.
Some parts of the course were off the beaten path. Around mile 11 we went down a trail that was quiet and difficult for observers to get to so there weren’t many people cheering. That was the point I could have used encouragement the most. 
I’ve heard from runners that have done this race multiple times,the organizers are very responsive to feedback so hopefully for next year, they’ll adjust the course so its not so hilly and remote towards the finish. 
Unfortunately, I forgot to apply bug spray before the race. As a result, I got a few mosquito bites when we ran through the arboretum trail. Luckily, I didn’t get bit up too bad but I heard other people who were also wishing they had sprayed.
I would do this race again. The hardest thing about it, was the timing being in August which meant training in the hottest months. Wisconsin is a lot cooler than DC though, and the race starts at 7am so even on a hot day, its not going to be too hot at that time. 
So What Were My Results?

Time: 2:18:32 
Pace: 10:35
Place Overall: 1677/2757
Divison Place: 151/258
I was happy with my time and I felt good and comfortable.
Traveling to Wisconsin 
If you’ve never been to Madison, Wisconsin before I encourage you to visit. Its a beautiful and active city. Its not too early to register for the 2017 Madison Mini Marathon on Saturday, August 17th. There’s also a 5k option.
Here are some other things to check out while you’re in the Mad City:
Union South – This is where the packet pick up and after party were. Union South is the “New” Union. Its a lovely building with lots of restaurants and activities. If you have more time in Madison you should also head over to the Memorial Union and have a Spotted Cow by the water while you listen to local music.
Babcock Hall Dairy Store – After the race, treat yourself to ice cream at Babcock Hall. You won’t regret it! They also have cheese curds to snack on and a breakfast and lunch menu. 
State Street Brats – This is a fun and laid back place downtown and a great spot to grab food after the race. 
Porta Bella Italian Restaurant – Looking to carb up the night before the race? Try this quant Italian Restaurant near State Street.
For places to stay, I recommend these hotels in the Downtown area, close to the race location:
Double Hill By Hilton – The official hotel for the Madison Mini Marathon. Check out the race site for information on discounted rates. 
The Edgewater Hotel
Sheraton Madison Hotel 
My Advice To You
If you’re training for a half, don’t underestimate the importance of preparing. Give yourself plenty of time to train, and be sure to find appropriate running gear. Its important to train in the equipment you plan to use for race day so you can test it out and allow yourself time to find the right outfit.
Question of the Day…
What running products would you recommend for long distance races that are both functional and fashionable?

So that’s all from Susie! I hope you enjoyed that! You can find Susie at Susie in Style! 

And again I can’t wait to share with you some details about marathon training, race day plan, and food! All of this will be up on the blog in the next days leading up to my marathon. If you can’t wait, you can always find all the details and inspiration through photos on Instagram, follow me @sweat1xdaily. 

Xo

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Race Recap: Navy Air Force Half Marathon – 3rd postpartum race.

The Expo

Friday, 9/16/16: Through the Nats Stadium, I headed to the expo, as my baby napped, while I pushed her in our BOB running stroller. She continued to sleep peacefully as I picked up my bib for my third postpartum race.

It use to amaze me, whenever I saw a mom, with a young baby picking up her bib. “Wow”, I use to think, “I hope to be like that! Fit, healthy, happy, postpartum, racing a full or half marathon while lovingly caring for a tiny human.”

Now, here I am doing exactly that. 

Night Before the Race

Saturday, 9/17/16: As always, I preformed my night before race ritual of laying out my race clothes. Hashtagging Flat mama, flat Meg. (Which means laying out your race clothes without you wearing them, meaning they are a flat version of you.) Side note: I was really excited that I would be wearing my oiselle singlet and sports bra.

The Race

Sunday, 9/18/16: It was still dark outside, but I tiptoed around the house at 5:00am to get dressed and ready. The metro is not opening early for the race because of safe tracking, so I drove to L’s house and we took a cab from there. We arrived to the start as the sun came up.


Most people that I know who are also in the middle of training for the Marine Corps Marathon used this race as a training run. They practiced running marathon pace. At the start, I’m still trying to decide if I want to do the same, or race.


As we lined up to the start, the gun goes off, and the race has officially began. After mile one, I was feeling really good, the weather was perfect, it is then that I decide, I’m going to race. I thought to myself, “I paid for this half marathon, if I needed to practice my marathon pace I could have just run another training run on the trail. Plus there are still many opportunities to practice marathon pace.”

Next thing I realize I’m at mile six, and approaching a water station. Perfect time to refuel with some sports beans. I was still feeling really good and I told myself, “Just keep up this pace.”

At one point, we headed up Rock Creek Park. It’s a bit hilly, but I always like the mix up. While we were heading up, the pro/elite runners were sprinting down. It was really inspiring seeing them, including a female pro/elite runner wearing a oiselle singlet.

All of a sudden I was approaching mile ten. I couldn’t believe I only had 3.1 miles to go.

The last 3.1 miles went well and I sprinted across the finish line in 1:53:54.


This race was not a PR for me, but I was really happy I ran it in under 2 hours.

After all the marathon training in the heat wave of a summer, this race brought my confidence back.

Motivation and Inspiration

These are a few of my favorite things. 

  1. My favorite thing about the race was seeing so many Oiselle Volee team members along the course and cheering on the side lines. It’s so cool to have such awesome support and meet some of my team mates for the first time.
  2. I also loved how the race directors automatically texted your split times through out the race. This kept my pace on point.
  3. Seeing the pro/elite runner through out the race made me pumped.
  4. The race was one of the smaller races in the area, which was a nice change. It never felt over crowded.
  5. Rock creek park hills was a nice switch up from the otherwise flat city course.

In the end…

I got my bling! 

And as of now, to her, it may just be a pile of colorful medals that make noise. But when she is older, I will teach her what they really symbolize …


PASSION, DEDICATION, and the idea that anything is POSSIBLE if you work hard.

So that’s all for now. Next up, Marine Corps Marathon!!

Let’s Run all the MILES!!

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Oiselle Volee

K A R A   G O U C H E R. 

In 2014, the news spread quick that Kara Goucher was leaving Nike. Oiselle, who never thought they could compete with the big well known shoe companies, were totally starstruck when Kara claimed she loved what the brand stood for… (and wanted in.)

This brand stands for sisterhood. It is all about building a strong powerful community of women, where the women complete eachother, rather than compete with eachother. 

Shortly after Kara joined Oiselle, I started to see the brand everywhere. Maybe it was always there, but because I was aware of the brand, I started to take notice. 

I kept noticing a lot of the girls that make up the running community on Instagram always wearing the Oiselle singlet, using the hashtag oiselle volee. 

What is this? 

Turns out, Oiselle has a running group. I contacted one of the girls on Instagram and asked how I could join. It was simple. Just sign up for their news letter and they will notify when spots open up. 

This year when spots were open, I decided to apply. And I received a welcome email a couple days later. 

Now I have a singlet of my own. I love being apart of Oiselle, and it is very important to me to only support brands that stand for ideas I believe in. I’m also excited to connect with some other birds from the flock, especially with marathon season approaching. There are quite a few birds in my area, and plenty on social media. 

Let’s see where this running group can take me. If not anywhere… At least I will have endless inspiration to push me to my fullest potential as a runner.

Read the article about when, how, and why, Kara Goucher joined Oiselle. 

Do you wear Oiselle? If so what’s your favorite piece of clothing Oiselle makes?

 

Meeting Meb Keflezighi and Running my first Postpartum race.

Last Sunday (April 3, 2016) on one of the record breaking windy weather days, I ran my first race postpartum – the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my first race I ever ran. I have run this race every year since, except last year when I was five months pregnant with Zoe.

I love this race because for me, it symbolizes spring, the end of the cold winter, and the start of my training/race season.

TRAINING

Most of my runs have been shorter runs during the week. I normally run 3-5 miles with Zoe. Pushing the stroller really has made me faster and stronger. I am just beyond thankful that both my baby and I enjoy runs together. It makes it so much easier for me to fit my runs in. I usually wake up early with her and we head out for a run. Running is now part of our morning routine.

  
On the weekends, I would get out there and run a little further. I personally define a long run as any distance 10 miles and further. But when training for this 10 miler I didn’t feel the need to go further than 8 miles. So I did a couple 8 milers at a pretty decent pace.

Lina met me for an 8 miler on Easter morning and we ran to the cherry blossoms and back.

EXPO

As always, I headed to the expo to pick up my bib. The expo for this race is always held at the National Building Museum. I browsed the expo to see if there were any good sales or new vendors.  It was at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler a couple years ago that I discovered Newton running shoes. So you really don’t know what you’ll find that might be a major game changer for your running. So enjoy the expo and explore a little.

 One new brand that I did find at this expo was Mana Threads. It is a fitness clothing brand owned by two Brazilian sisters. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them. The brand isn’t necessarily for runners. But the colors were amazing and fabric soft. I’m getting really bored of lululemon and just want to have some fitness/running clothes that are NOT lulu.

MEETING MEB KEFLEZIGHI

However, the absolute most exciting thing about the expo was meeting Meb Keflezighi. I was definitely star struck.

For those who don’t know… Meb Keflezighi is a famous marathoner. He won the Boston marathon in 2014. He also is heading to Brazil to run in the Olympics. Anyway, it was pretty exciting to see him and hear what he had to say.

He talked about his first marathon ever, and how he was a couple seconds shy of making the olympics. Although, he is really fast, his story was one any runner could relate to. My favorite part was when her said… the marathon was so painful he made a vow to himself that he would never run another marathon. That sounds pretty familiar, so many of us have said the same words.


He also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler race. He told everyone he would be running a 6 minute pace. And although, there is no way I would be running that fast, I did look for him on the course. It is just amazing to have run a race that he also was running in.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

As always I laid out my race outfit, so I would be ready early in the morning. The sports bra and tank are by Mana Threads – the new ones I purchased at the expo.

 

Turns out the night before the race became super windy. And I ended up wearing a long sleeve top. Just to put it in perspective how cold it was, there has only been two other races, that I have run in long sleeves. It is very rare for me to race in something other than shorts and a tank top.

THE RACE

Lina met me at my house and we drove over to the metro together. By 6:30 we were off the metro and heading toward the bag check. We waited around the start freezing our butts off.  It was cold and the wind made it painful.

 The race starts and finishes at the Washington Monument.


Look at those American flags blowing aggressively in the wind.

Finally we headed to our corral.


And off we went.

Because of the wind, the course had NO mile markers. The only other race that I ran with no mile marker was the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon, and that race was a trail run.

Anyway, because there were no mile markers, I decided to just enjoy the race, and run based on how I felt. So I didn’t look at my watch, not even once. 

This was my first race postpartum so I wasn’t working for a new PR, instead I was just seeing how I would do. I was mainly using this race as one to help me measure my fitness level.

I recorded the race on my Garmin 620. This was my first time racing with this watch and it was awesome. The watch vibrates at every mile, so although there were no mile markers, I still knew where I was at.

Just for fun, I also recorded my race on Strava.  I’ve been using this app as a back up record for my runs. It is also really awesome because it allows me to connect with other runners. I am actually following Kara Goucher. Because she is an elite runner seeing her runs gives me inspiration.

RACE STATS (using Strava)


My official time was for this race (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler) 1:31:12.

Honestly, I felt really good running this race. My form and stride felt effortless. I just kept going. The wind was crazy though. Sometimes we were running right into it, other times it felt like it was coming from all directions.

The last two miles we were running right into the wind. Because of the wind I felt like I was slowing down, but after I crossed the finish line I felt like I could have kept going. Sometimes in running, you find that really comfortable pace that you just settle in – I found that pace during this race and it felt like I could run forever.

Because I felt so good, I actually didn’t eat any of my sports beans. I normally always take them every 6 miles, but because I didn’t train using them, I decided not to use them.

FUTURE GOALS

Over all I am really happy about my first race back postpartum! I am feeling more and more like the athlete I was before pregnancy. I am very pumped to keep pushing during my runs and to become even more consistent with my lifting.

My future fitness goals-

I need to find a way to stay even more  consistent. Consistency is key when seeing results.

1) Keep pushing hard with my runs. Working on distance and speed.

2) Continue lifting consistently. I am currently on the livefit trainer week 5. Can’t wait to see more results by getting stronger and building more muscle.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

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