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 

Zoe’s first Turkey Trot! (Stroller racing.)

Turkey Trots are one of my favorite types of races. It is always a family friendly event, that brings not only the local running community together, during the holidays, but people of all ages and fitness levels.    

Every year, I run a Turkey Trot, in exception to last year because I was 3 months postpartum. 

The Turkey Trot gets me up and active early during the day – my workout is done, so then I really can ENJOY all the PIE. 

This year was Zoe’s first official Turkey Trot. We ran the Alexandria Turkey Trot. It was a five miler in Del Ray.  It was my first year running as a mother, with my daughter, and racing with her in the stroller. 

As you already know, I do all my weekly runs with Zoe and trained for the Marine Corps Marathon pushing her in her stroller. My point is running with a stroller isn’t new to me. Last weekend, I did a small local 5K with Zoe, just to practice. It went well, we even placed 2nd for women. 

However, this Turkey Trot was on a different level. This was my second race with Zoe, and by far the most crowded. Because of the crowds, running with the stroller was a challenge for the first 2 miles. 

Here’s how it went down… 

We arrived 15 minutes early, found parking and headed to the start. There was a different start for strollers and dogs, but I just went to the regular start. I knew it was going to be crowded.


At 9:00, we were off. I was barely moving. It was a Turkey Trot, a fun run, so there was no need to speed, but it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t just run comfortably. There were times in the beginning when I felt like I was going to run over some other runners. Weaving with a stroller is hard work, especially with crowds and potholes. 

Finally, after mile 2, the crowds begin to break up and there was a little more space. It was then that I had more room and could control the stroller better. Zoe kept pointing out all the dogs that were running.

We were running an 8:30 mile and feeling good. Zoe talked the whole way, yelling, “Go! Go! Go!” 

I answered back, “You got it babe!” She kept me running faster and laughing the whole way – until we crossed the finish line! 
Over all, this Turkey Trot was great! It is always a little crowded at first, but once you get passed mile 2 you can really get going. Also the neighborhood crowd support, is awesome! It is also quite fun to have dogs and strollers included. Zoe loves going on runs, and she had a really fun time racing with such a big crowd.


Thankful…

I am so THANKFUL that my sweet little Zoe enjoys her running stroller, and that I am able to share my passion for running & the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, with her. 

This journey called motherhood is so unique and special. I am also so so so thankful for my sweet Zoe!  It is the most amazing thing watching her grow, learn, discover, explore. Always surprising me, she keeps me laughing. And I kiss those cheeks, or she holds my hand … and sometimes, as I look at her, I still can’t believe she’s all mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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 

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

A review on Running Strollers: The Bob, The Burley, Baby Jogger, Mountain Buggy.

Before Zoe was born, even before I was pregnant, I always found the moms and dads on the running trail very impressive.  Some chugging along, while others strongly ran passed. We were all putting in the same serious weekly mileage, but they were doing it while pushing a running stroller, and caring for a tiny human. 

Sweat trickled down their faces, as their child enjoyed the ride, smiling from ear to ear. I only hoped that one day, I would be as badass as they are.  

Guess what… Now I am.

When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t stop thinking about running. Only a runner would understand. I questioned, whether I should even continue to run while pregnant… is running the right type of exercise for me at this point in my life? Will I find the time, once the baby comes, to run as much as I did before? 

Turns out I didn’t run while pregnant, (read about why… here), but thanks to my running stroller, I am now in the middle of training for my fourth Marine Corps Marathon and my fourth postpartum race, started serious marathon training at 9 months postpartum. 

So the search was on…

I knew purchasing a running stroller was a necessity for me. 

So my research for the ultimate running stroller began. 

There is a lot of baby gear out there, and it can be quite overwhelming. But social media has made it much more easier to connect with other moms and find out what their “must have” baby items are.

When it came to the running stroller I narrowed it down, and closely researched the Bob, the Babyjogger, and the Burley. The Mountain Buggy is one I just recently have seen more mother runners using. 

Important side note about car seats…

Before your baby is big enough for the actual stroller seat (0-6 months), you can still use your stroller for everyday use with the car seat attached to the top. This means you will need to purchase an additional piece, called the car seat attachment. It is important to keep in mind that there are some infant car seats that are compatible with some running strollers and not with others. For example, the Cybex infant car seat, which is known for it’s high ratings in safety, (my friend Mariana has it and loves it) is compatible with the Babyjogger, but not with the Bob or Burley. However, because there are so many highly rated, comfortable safe infant car seats on the market, for me, finding the right running stroller that fit my lifestyle, became one of my top priorities. 

Another big question I have been asked is… Can you run with you baby in the car seat attached to the stroller? I have seen all sorts of moms doing different things. I have seen mother runners running with their very young babies completely layed down flat in their running strollers. I have seen mother runners using props such as towels to support their very young baby’s neck while running. I have seen mother runners run with the car seat attached.

I personally did not rush right back into running. I waited until I got the okay from my doctor to exercise again at 7 weeks postpartum. Then I exclusively weight lifted for 6 weeks to get some strength back. Then I started running at 13 weeks postpartum. I ran slow and only did 2 mile runs, slowly increasing distance. Then at 6 months postpartum I started running with Zoe. From 3-6 months postpartum I ran solo, so I could really focus on getting my fitness level back. Because I did this, I felt more than ready to run while pushing Zoe in the stroller at 6 months postpartum. 

Always do what you feel comfortable, and always refer back to your stroller’s manual when in doubt. 

Most doctors say wait to run with your baby, until he/she can independently sit up and has strong neck control. The Bob stroller does not recommend running with the car seat attached because it can tip over easily on uneven terrain. It becomes top heavy.

What I did with Zoe…

I personally waited until after Zoe was fully evaluated during her 6 month doctor’s appointment, and I got the okay from her pediatrician. At this point she had been independently sitting on her own for 2 weeks and she had very strong neck control. 

Even though my stroller’s manual did not recommend running with her in the car seat, I actually felt more comfortable running with her in the car seat attached to the stroller. We ran this way from 6-9 months. This way I could talk with her, engage with her, and see what she was doing. It was really cool to see her looking up at the beautiful trees, or pointing at everything that interested her.

She also very often would fall asleep in her car seat on the way to the trail, so I did not want to wake her by moving her to the stroller. It was much easier to transfer her car seat to the stroller without waking her. 

When it came to tipping, I have never, not once, felt like the stroller is going to tip, and I always run with her on paved paths. Everything smooth, nothing bumpy.

At around 9-10 months I started doing longer runs with her so I knew it was time to put her in the actual stroller. It was then that I started transferring her to the actual stroller seat. 

She loves looking out, the views are much better, but now that she is facing out she does not nap. I’ve tried getting her to take a nap by tilting the stroller seat at different angles. There has been times when she has almost dosed off, but most times the views are just way too good.

How to start your search for the perfect stroller…

As I said above, social media makes life easier. You can instantly find information.

  1. Connect with other moms on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Ask them which running stroller they use. What do they love about the item? What do they hate about it?
  2. Blogs and Youtube is very helpful.  I began my hunt for the perfect running stroller, by reading some blog posts from other mom runner bloggers, and watching some reviews on youtube.
  3. Go to the store and try them out. Once I narrowed it down between, the Bob, the Babyjogger, and the Burley, I headed to the store to see them in person.

Buy Buy Baby has both the Bob and the Babyjogger. They also have the infant car seats that are compatible with the strollers. REI has the Bob and the Burley. The mountain buggy is a brand that I just recently started seeing different mom runners using so I’m not sure what store has it. 

The Mountain Buggy ($599.00)

Honestly, this stroller is one that I recently started to see some mother runners using. It might be worth looking into.

Babyjogger…($429.99)

At Buy Buy Baby, I looked at the Babyjogger Summit x3. I love the fact that Babyjogger is one of the first companies to bring a running stroller to the market. However, although, it was a really nice stroller, I ended up liking the overall feel of the Bob Revolution Pro better. Sometimes, you just got to go with what is more comfortable. So the Babyjogger got erased from my list.

The Bob ($539.99)
Which Bob is best?

When I was at Buy Buy baby, one of the first things I questioned is, which Bob is best. They had a couple different models, and I was debating between the Ironman and the Revolution. I had heard from another mom, that the Ironman is strictly for running, meaning it has a fixed front wheel, while the Revolution has a swivel wheel that you can lock in place to make it a fixed wheel- bottom line it does both. 

The locked front wheel is necessary for running, and the swivel wheel is great for running errands, when you need to turn corners and maneuver through a busy crowd. My friend who has the Ironman bob stroller, loves it for running, but says because of the fixed wheel, it is painfully annoying when using the stroller for everyday errands. The sales associate at Buy Buy Baby, told me that the only time they have the Ironman Bob in store, is when someone orders it off line and returns it. 

I quickly erased the Ironman Bob from my list. Because, I want to use my running stroller not only for running, but also as my everyday stroller, I knew the Ironman Bob wouldn’t cut it.

The Bob Revolution Pro seemed to be the perfect fit. 

Handle: It has an adjustable handle, depending on your height you can lower it or higher it. This is also good if different people of different heights are going to use the stroller. 

Wheels: The front wheel swivels so you can easily get around corners whether that’s during a run or just running errands. It also locks in place and becomes a fixed wheel, which is the recommended way to use it while running. The point is you have the choice because the stroller does both ways. 

Weight: It weighs a little over 20lbs, which means it is easy to lift when placing in the car or bringing up stairs. However, some airports do not let strollers that way over 20-22 lbs through TSA lines. You may find yourself having to check it at the counter instead of at the gate. If you travel often you may need an additional smaller stroller or just be prepared to check your running stroller. 

Folding it up to store: I leave my stroller in the trunk of my car because I use it for my daily run, but also much more. It takes two hands to fold, but folds up in half with two simple movements.

Comfort: The Bob Revolution Pro is comfortable and light to push, but also really comfortable for baby. It has shock absorbing springs, and these are adjustable depending on baby’s weight. The seat itself is comfortable and can be tilted from a sitting up position to a laying down position.

Weather Protection, Hood Canopy: The hood canopy has two options, a smaller option for mild weather days, or an expanded option for additional protection. The material has SPF so it shields against the sun, but is large enough to shield rain, snow, mosquitos, etc. 

The hood also has a window, that is revealed by pulling up a flap. This flap is closed tightly by the use of velcro, so it does become noisey if baby is sleeping. But the window is a must have, when you need to check on your baby.

Storage: The Bob Revolution Pro has a big storage basket under the seat of the stroller. This is a good size, and can carry Zoe’s diaper bag, or even groceries while at the grocery store or farmers market. However, sometimes I wish it was a tad bigger. 

Breaks: The Bob Revolution Pro is different from the regular Bob Revolution because it has the safty break. This break is just like one you would find on a bike. It is located on the left side of the handle. I find this to be very important and useful when you are running down a huge hill. It keeps you and baby under control.

Review

Pros: The Bob Revolution Pro is an awesome stroller made by a company that focuses and specializes on running. Lightweight and comfortable for both mom/dad and baby. Easy to store, easy to fold. Large hood canopy to shield and protect baby from weather. Window to check on baby. Storage basket under seat. Break on adjustable handle so runner has more control. 

Cons: The Bob Revolution Pro is pretty much perfect. The only thing I would change is the velcro material found on window flap. It’s a little loud and can wake baby. The storage bin is small, it needs to be bigger. 

The Burley Solstice ($399.99)

The Burley Solstice is another great choice. I love the look of this stroller. It has everything the Bob stroller has except the break on the handle. However, it has a much larger hood canopy. It also uses magnets instead of velcro on the window flap, that means no waking baby. Another great detail is the huge storage basket. It is a much bigger storage basket then the Bob.

The Burley brand is known for it’s bike trailers. So this is their first time making a running stroller, unlike Bob who has been making running strollers for years. However, the Burley stroller is European tested. 

Both the Bob stroller and the Burley stroller can be purchased at REI. 

Final Decision…

After all the research my husband and I decided the Bob Revolution Pro was the best stroller for us. It has everything we need and such a great resale value. 

I highly recommend buying one when REI has a sale. We actually got the stroller at REI on sale on Memorial weekend. 

I remember being so happy and surprised when I came home from work on a Sunday, and saw the stroller set up in our living room. It was the first baby item we purchased and by far one of the most used. 

We ended up getting the BOB car seat that is compatible with the stroller. It is called the Bob B Safe Car Seat by Britax. This car seat is ranked high for safety and it is very comfortable. 

My daughter loves this car seat. It is comfortable and she easily falls asleep in it. The only negative thing about it, is that the black color can make baby really hot in summer, and it gets pretty heavy which makes it hard to carry. I wish it was lighter, especially now that my baby is heavier. However, it will be sad when she out grows it. 

Must have accessories 

Of course you need the car seat adapter for the stroller, but my other must have accessory is the skip hop grab and go stroller organizer. This hold my wallet, phone, keys, drink, bottle and much more. 

Running with Zoe has been amazing! It is one of our favorite things to do. It is fun for the both of us. It gets us outside and keeps me fit. 

I’m so thankful for my running stroller because it has given me the opportunity to continue living a healthy lifestyle and continue my running passion. 

Zoe watches everything I do. Hopefully, by her seeing me run, she will grow up knowing the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

LINKS

Bob Revolution  Pro

Bob Ironman

Bob B Safe Infant Car Seat by Britax

Make sure you get the car seat accessories including the adapter. 

Burley Solstice

Baby Jogger Summit X 3

Mountain Buggy

Skip Hop Stroller Organizer

I hope this helps you decide on which running stroller is best for you and your lifestyle. Please contact me or leave a comment with questions.

Now let’s Run all the Miles!!

copyright: 2016 sweat1xdaiky

 

 
 

Run the Track to enhance your Marathon training! 

When I’m running, I’m running the trail, in search for an amazing view. Or you can find me running my city’s bridges and streets, looping around the monuments.

I’m rarely on the track, and I’m never on the treadmill.

When it comes to the treadmill, it makes me cringe. I don’t even like seeing pictures of people running on them, on social media. 

The only time, you’ll ever catch me on a treadmill is if I’m taking a month off of running to focus on building muscle. During that phase, I may use a treadmill to do a HIIT session. But other than that, you’ll never see me running on one. 

However, all of this long distance running, all of this marathon training, (where my focus is currently on pacing, and endurance), has actually made me crave some speed. 

So I went to the track today, and because running more track workouts is a goal of mine, I plan to be there at least once a week. 

TRACK WORKOUT

There are a couple things I love about the track… 

One – the vibe: I know I’m there to run fast, and get some speed work done. There are a lot of other great runners with the same exact intentions, which helps motivate me.

Two- I can run there safely at anytime. This is a place I can get a run or workout in even after the sun sets. There is alway people there and the lights are always on at night. 

I love being outside, and I find the most success with my workouts when I use minimal equipment. I am old school when it comes to my workouts, I really don’t need a fancy workout class to see results. 

The Workout – Mile Repeats

Today, I did mile repeats. Mile repeats is exactly that. I ran 1 mile as fast as I could, and then did a half mile recovery. Then I repeated this 3 times. 

It is suggested for marathon training to actually run 5x (1 mile sprint, 1/2 mile recover.) But this was the first time I’ve been to the track in a while, for speed work, so I stuck with the lower mileage drill. I plan on building up to doing it 5x. 

For more information on Mile Repeats. Check out this video by Bart Yasso. 

I highly suggest getting to the TRACK. However, if a track is not available, you can do this drill outside in your neighborhood or trail. Run a mile as fast as you can, run a half mile recovery. Repeat. 

And although, I personally hate the idea, you can do this drill on the treadmill. Just remember that completing this drill on the treadmill is not quite equivalent to an outdoor drill, and it is not an accurate measurement of your speed. Because of the momentum of the moving treadmill, it actually makes this drill easier and makes you run faster.

So if you want to get the most out of this drill, hit up your local track.

How I did…

When I first hit the track, I felt a little out of my element. I wondered, “Am I going to feel like a hamster on a wheel?” 

But once I started running, I felt good. 

I need a better way to record, but below are my average splits. 

Mile 1 : 8:20 min/mile

Mile 2: 7:33 min/mile

Mile 3: 7:44 min/mile

Mile 4: not recorded because my phone died. 


Overall it was a great workout, and something that will only enhance my marathon training. 

Do you do track workouts? 


July training Recap & August Goals plus tips on Smart fitness Goal Setting.

image-3

July Mileage
July – It was hot and sweaty, but I followed my marathon plan and I am now use to the heat. I am seeing distance progress every week.

I have run 96.8 miles for the month of July.

This is great, but I know I can do more, do better, run further, run faster.

I am looking forward to increasing my mileage for the month of August, as my marathon training gets more intense.

AUGUST GOALS:

My main fitness focus right now is training for my October marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon. This means following my training plan by Hal Higdon (Intermidate plan.) For the month of August I will be running at least 138 miles.

Along with the training plan, I will also try to work in some strength training, hill repeats and track workouts. Although, I am passionate about weight lifting, it is definitely not the priority at the moment, running those marathon training miles is. Plus, because I am running with my baby during the week, running with the extra weight of the stroller has really helped strengthen and use my core/upper body muscles in a different way. However, strength training is so important for running further, faster, and injury free. So I am going to make more of an effort to fit it in weekly, and take it to a more intense level on my lower mileage weeks.

To make it easier for me to fit in strength training, I have invested in gym equipment and made a space at home for my own personal gym. (Look for a post in the future about how to set up a home gym.) Two years ago, before I got pregnant with Zoe, I was a regular at my gym easily lifting weights for an hour or two 5x a week. Now just the idea of driving to the gym, parking, and then waiting for a bench to lift at makes me stressed, it takes up to much of my valuable time, and I felt like I was always rushing. Plus, I am now much more self motivated. I still have my gym membership, but as of now, my home gym is the perfect fit for my busy working mom lifestyle. I don’t feel rushed, and I can workout at night, after my baby goes down for the night. Run in the morning, lift at night.

So now that you know how July went and some of my plans for August…let’s talk about goals.

My Ultimate Goal- Run the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016.

Serious Goal for August –¬†For the month of August, I plan to run 138 miles, also incorporating strength training, hill repeats, and track workouts, high knees and plyometrics.

With that being said lets talk about smart goals…

How To Set a SMART goal…

Setting a goal is easy, but reaching it is hard. That is why you want to make sure your goal is smart.

What makes a goal smart?

The difference between a goal and a smart goal, is that a smart goal is specific with a plan of action.

EXAMPLE 

(This is NOT a goal of mine, it’s just a common goal.)

I want to loose weight Рis NOT a smart goal. Change this goal to a smart goal it would look like I will loose 15 pounds by November 1st, by meal prepping and eating organic whole foods. You have exactly the amount of weight you want to loose and a time frame to achieve the goal in, with an idea of how you are going to reach your goal.

Once a smart goal is essablished you will need a plan to put into action to help you succeed at reaching this goal. The more detailed your plan the better.

Now that you understand a smart goal we can talk about mine.

MY SMART GOAL

I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016. (This is a smart goal, because I am registered for a specific race, with a specific finishing time, scheduled on a specific day.)

This goal is my ultimate smart goal, however, my August goal is to run 138 miles for the month. (Again this is smart because it has a specific amount of miles to run by a certain time.)

Another thing about my ultimate goal is the finishing time goal. 4:19:00 is what I am planning on running the marathon in, so I am pacing myself during my training runs to prepare for this goal. However, race day is unpredictable and anything could happen, so I will reevauate during the race whether I run slower or faster. I have other time goals in mind for if I end up running slower (4:30:00) or faster (4:15:00).

MY PLAN of ACTION

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate marathon training plan. In the plan I am running 5x a week – 2 easy short runs, 2 mid distance runs, and 1 long weekend run. I am cross training 1 day a week and resting one day a week.

I am increasing mileage for two weeks, (higher mileage weeks) and then tapering down every 3rd week (lower mileage week).

I am running with my daughter pushing the running stroller on my week day runs. I am running my long run on Saturday morning solo. My baby and I have a morning routine. We wake up early, eat breakfast, and get ready and hit the running trail. We have to because it has been so hot.

Additional goal: My body is ready to take on more so I will add hill repeats and track workouts to the mix and do strength training on lower mileage weeks. High knees and plyometrics is also something I will be adding for speed.

I am wearing my garmin 620 to record my pace, distance, cadence. With that being said, I am keeping my long run pace at marathon pace, nothing faster than 9:30 min/mile nothing slower than 10:00/mile.

I am also recording my progress using the Strava app.

I will run 138 miles for the month of August because my plan says I will.

TIP

My training plan is an 18 week training plan. I write each workout, each training run, on my calendar, as if each workout/training run is an appointment I have that day. 

There is no guessing, every workout/training run is written down for the upcoming weeks until race day.

Another tip: 

If you need motivation find a running buddy or running group. If no one is interested in running with you, which I have found in my case, then read running blogs or find an online running community. There is an amazing running community through Instagram.

Always keep it fun!

Fun – Along with my serious goals, I always like to have a fun one. A fun goal helps motivate me to complete the serious goal. For the month of August, while I’m running 138 miles, I want to see more sunrises, see more sunsets, and find more street art and city murals.

Below is a picture of me running along side of a mural in my neighborhood.


What is your monthly mileage for July?

Do you have a run goal for August?

Lets run all the miles!!


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?

 

Race Recap: Parkway Classic 10 Miler – my second Postpartum race

The Parkway Classic is one of the first races I ever wrote about on this blog, (read about it here) actually it may have been my very first blog post. And yet again, I am running it and writing about it. It is just one of those races that I love to run, year after year.

Of course last year, I was pregnant with Zoe, so I didn’t have the chance to race. But this year, being 8 months postpartum I was ready to take on the course again.

Earlier this month, I ran the Cherry Blossom ten miler in 1:31. To prepare for that race, I had run a couple 8 milers as my longer runs, and then 3-5 milers during the week pushing Zoe in the Bob. I ran that race, without any mental strategies, because there were no goals I was trying to reach, instead I just wanted to run it to have fun, and test my fitness level.

THE TRAINING

To prepare for this race, I considered the Cherry Blossom ten miler as my long run, and used the next three weeks doing a combination of shorter runs 3-5 milers and late night weight lifting sessions in the gym.

When I was running with Zoe, I slowed down to engage my slow twitch muscles, and tried to stay in an aerobic heart rate zone. But when I was running solo, I worked on speed, and got those fast twitch muscles fired up.  Every time I ran, I incorporated both some up hills and down hills. Unlike the Cherry Blossom ten miler (totally flat course), the Parkway Classic is a course made up of small rolling hills. Although, they are small, they are still rolling for about 8 miles.

After I put Zoe to bed for the night, I hit the gym. I never worked legs, because I didn’t want them heavy or overly tired – they needed to be ready for running. So I focussed mainly on, chest, back, and core.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

Like always I did my night before a race ritual, prepared my race clothes and accessories.

parkway classic outfit

THE RACE

This race is put on my Pacers, our local running shoe store. Because it is put on by runners, they know their stuff. Everything is simple, and well organized. There is no expo for this race, you just head to the Pacers store and pick up your bib.

On Friday, Zoe and I went on a short 5K run, and then headed to the store to pick up my bib. I was considering running with Zoe during the race. I had been training with her, so why not race with her. She loves our runs, so it would have been really fun to bring her. However, strollers weren’t allowed on the shuttle buses heading over to the race. And because the race is a point to point race instead of a loop, it was going to be really hard to get both of us down there and back. Plus, I had to head to the salon, to work a full day, right after the race. It would just be easier for me to run solo, so that is what I did. Now I’m on the hunt¬†to find a different race to do with Zoe.

The night before the race, I did my regular night before a race ritual. Chose my race outfit, laid it out, just making sure I have everything organized and ready to go.

Getting to and from this race was so easy. I parked my car at the pentagon parking lot, and walked across the street to the shuttle bus. The buses ran between 5:30 and 6:30 am. I got on the last bus leaving at around 6:30. The bus driver waited an additional 10 minutes for any stragglers. Two 5k ladies got on the bus. There was a little confusion when the bus driver dropped them off and then was unsure where to drop us off. All of us ten miler runners gave him directions. We eventually made it to the start- better late then never.

It was 7:30 when I arrived, the race start time was 8:00 am.  I got off the bus, and went to check my bag. It was a crisp morning, so at first, I kept my long sleeve shirt on, but then turned around and decided to check it. I was very comfortable running the race in my usual running shorts and tank top. So thankful I checked my long sleeve shirt, never during the race did I feel hot or to cold.

At 7:50 I walked over to the start to line up. I stood right in front of the 9:00-959 pace sign. I had a good idea, that I could manage that pace, considering my last race I ran, thats what I did. Also all of my shorter solo runs during training were right under a 9 min/mile.

At 8:05 I was running over the start line, pressing the start button on my garmin, and on my strava app. “Here we go!”

The course is by far one of my favorites. It is always beautiful, running under a canopy of trees, parallel to the Potomac river. The trees make everything green, and the sun hits the river making it sparkle. The parkway is also slightly rolling hills, which I actually prefer in a course rather than a flat one. My mental strategy was to consistently run under a 9 min/mile the whole course, running in the high 8s going up hill, running in the low 8s going down hill.

I stuck to my plan, and felt amazing the whole race. I walked through the water stations, eating some sports beans at mile 4, skipping the final 2 water stations. It felt so good running on the down hills – I actually felt like I was flying.

I ended up getting to the finish line in 1:28:49, faster than the race I ran earlier this month, and under a 1:30 which is always my goal for a 10 miler.

Parkway Classic

Parkway

The Finish Line

It was a beautiful day and the finish line is right by the the water. I walked¬†around, but didn’t stay long because I had to head to work. But I got my medal, another piece of bling to add to my collection.Parkway Classic finish

Next races coming up will all be in the fall. Training starts in July.

What races did you run this fall? What are you training for? How did your first postpartum races go?

I love connecting with people, especially other runners. Please connect with me on INSTAGAM, @sweat1xdaily.

© 2016 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

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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