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.

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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

Blizzard Running – How to run in the cold.

Last Friday, the East Coast got slammed with a record breaking blizzard. We got 2-3 feet of snow depending on location.

So of course all of us runners were trying to squeeze in one last run before the storm started. And then we were all desperate to get running right after the streets got plowed.

Although, it was a little tricky to find a place to run, right after the storm, I did, and it was awesome. I started out slow, but finally got into the 8s. At 5 months postpartum I am finding every new day I am feeling closer and closer to the fitness level I was before pregnancy.

Anyway, I love winter running. Running while it snows, or surrounded by snow can be very peaceful. During, the winter, the trails are less busy – maybe there are less runners training for spring races, or maybe more people are jumping on the treadmill instead of the pavement. Another great thing about winter running, is that the winter air can feel extremely refreshing, and that coffee post run, even more rewarding -warming you up instantly.

With that being said, still so many runners are still confused on how to have a comfortable successful winter run.

 So here are my top tips for winter running. 

1) Always dress warm enough. 

Normally, the trick is to dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer out. For example, if it is 40 degrees out, dress as if it is 50 degrees out. Your body will warm up once you start running. However, the bold words above say, always dress warm enough and what I mean by that is with accessories. A hat is key. You loose a lot of heat through your head so keep it covered. Also consider wearing a scarf and gloves. The best part of staying warm with accessories is that when you are to warm you can take them off. Also wear the appropriate running clothing. Instead of wearing a sweatshirt actually consider wearing a technical running jacket made specifically for winter running. This goes the same for socks, try smart wool Рwhich will keep your feet dry and warm. Never wear cotton, always wear a sweat wicking material that will absorb moisture and keep you dry. For more information on this check out my blog post on why it is important to invest I. proper technical running gear. 

2) Always be seen. 

One of the hardest parts of winter running is that the days are shorter. Meaning there is less time during the day, less sunlight. Some early morning runs are done before the sun rises and others are done at night, after the sun sets. A lot of runners are running in the dark. So always wear bright colors, reflecting gear, and/or a light. There has been so many cases when runners have lost their lives from being hit by a car. It is super important to always be seen.

3) Hydrate.

Although, you may not feel thirsty the intense way you feel while running during the summer months, you still need to drink the same amount of fluids. This seems like common sence, however time and time again runners end up dehydrated during the winter months. The air is much more dry and wind can also play a role in dehydration. So drink up.

4) Use the wind.  

If possible choose a running route where you begin running into the wind. That way you have a more difficult time when your legs are still fresh. Then as you head home you run with the wind. That way the last half of your run is faster and easier.

5) Always warm up your muscles.

Start out slower and warm up your muscles. Because of the cold, you are actually, more likely to get injured. Once you are warmed up, pick up the pace. If you need to stretch, stretch after you run. This gives your body the opportunity to warm up all the muscles, so when you stretch you can stretch deeper.

So those are my tips for winter running. Now get off the treadmill and let’s run outside!

Happy Running!

 

A Recap: My first run post pregnancy. And the raw honest truth about running after having a baby.

I’ve written a little about my postpartum fitness journey. But I have yet to tell you about my experience with starting to run again after pregnancy.

Well I am back at it, running that is. As I said in previous posts the minute I got the okay to workout again I hit the gym, NOT the running trail. I chose to weight lift and try to build my strength back as much as I could before I went to pound the pavement.

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It is true what they say, if you don’t use it you loose it. I stepped in the gym and belly flopped attempting to complete a single push up – just trying to put in perspective how much strength I lost during my pregnancy. Anyway, it was important for me to put on some muscle gains. I have heard to many times before, woman running hard after pregnancy, ending up injured and in PT. I wanted to avoid this, by getting strong again first.

Anyway after exclusively lifting for 6 weeks at 14 weeks postpartum, I decided I was strong enough to run.

The 2015 holidays approached and I debated on signing up for a family friendly easy 5 mile turkey trot. After much thought I finally decided NO. I didn’t want to be rushing out the door to run a race (even though it was only 5 miles) Thanksgiving morning- the holidays are busy enough. Instead, I would find the time on thanksgiving, on my own schedule to take a short casual run while my baby napped.

This run would be my first postpartum run. This run would be my first real run since the 2014 Turkey Trot. Yep, I hadn’t really ran in a full year. After the 2014 Turkry Trot I found out I was pregnant with Zoe, and from then on and through out my whole pregnancy my fitness goals changed. It was no longer about me pushing hard, taking it physically to my ultimate limit, but rather about us, and making sure I brought a baby girl safely into this world.

So on thanksgiving, I ran my first run post pregnancy. I grabbed my Garmin and laced up my Newton Gravity running shoes. I started my run a little slow, but picked up the pace. I ran my regular 5k loop around the neighborhood – mainly flat- one uphill, one down hill. To my surprise it was pretty easy. I ran the whole way. I felt great. I was running a 9:30 min/mile. Not as fast as I use to be, but not bad I thought.

And then…

I woke up the next morning with the worst knee and ankle pain.

They say the main reason for knee and ankle pain in female runners is usually because of a problem with the hips. During pregnancy everything expands to make room for baby, this is especially true for your hips and rib cage. Hips can even get tilted forward during a vaginal birth because of excess pushing. 

Although I had a c section, I knew my body was different. Could this mean my form changed? Could this mean I needed a different running shoe?

When I woke up with knee/ankle pain I went to my local running store. They put me in a new pair of Newtons and got me on the treadmill to evaluate my form. Turns out (they said) my form is perfect… Which also means, there was no magical shoe to quick fix my problem. I was slow and just needed to keep practicing. It had been a full year since I moved my body like that and I just needed to get those fast twitch muscles moving again and strengthen my weak ankles.

Now at 5 months postpartum I am finally running more like I use to. The knee pain and ankle pain is gone – a fresh new pair of shoes helped. Also because of weight lifting, my lungs and heart are strong – the endurance is there. The endurance is there but the speed is not (and I was not a super fast runner before – I was average, not slow though.) I can keep going long and far on the trail, but my legs just can’t go any faster. So now it is time to strengthen my core and focus on speed work.

But here is the truth:

Any mama that seems to have jumped right back into it after they had a baby, is full of shit. 

The raw honest truth- it may hurt. It is going to take time to feel comfortable finding my stride. It is going to take time to rebuild, speed and endurance again.

But once I do, I’m going to be stronger, faster, better runner than I have ever been before.

And since we are being honest, I am already feeling stronger and faster.

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Happy Running!

December Goals, Post Pregnancy Workout Update

 
December is the last month of the year. Because of the holidays, December is always packed full. It is very easy for me to get stressed and wrapped up with all of the gift giving and Christmas decorations. But this year, I am not going to let December sneak on by. I am going to cherish this month and really reflect on 2015. I’m going to use it to crush the last of my 2015 goals – it is my last chance to really end 2015 with a boom, as one of the best years yet. 

Things to Do this December

  • Crush Gym and Running Goals
  • Organize closet, out with the old… Have a fresh clean minimal closet for the new year.
  • Stay clean on diet, cook more, meal prep, bring meals to work.
  • Continue to take Zoe on long walks, enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it – Winter will be coming.
  • Decorate for Christmas and enjoy Christmas holiday festivities with Zoe

Update on Post Pregnancy workouts

Livefit – When it comes to my workout routine I am half way through the livefit trainer. Sometimes I feel like working out is hectic because I don’t have a set time I go to the gym, like I use to. However, following the livefit trainer brings me some organization because I am able to have a set plan each time I go. I’ve been seeing a lot of progress in muscle gains and I am lifting at the weight I use to lift, before I got pregnant.  I also have some gym essencials at my house. This helps when I can’t make it to the gym but still need to squeeze a workout in. 

Running has been a little bit slower progress. I am still waiting on new shoes and I am questioning which shoes I should get. I’m definitely planning on a shoe rotation. 

However, there is a possibility that my body has changed because of pregnancy. Hips are a big issue for female runners, but even more so to those who have been pregnant. It is possible that the hips have changed or shifted. They could be tilted more forward or spread wider because of pregnancy. 

The hips can effect everything and is the reason for most running injuries in women. Really if you have knee pain or foot pain evaluate what is going on with your hips. Normally when you have pain it also means something is tight and you may have inflammation- that is why ice is a runner’s best friend. It is also a sign of muscle weakness. That is why I am spending a lot of time in the gym trying to gain strength. The stronger I am, the better my running form will be.  So at this point I have only run 3-4 miles. I am taking it slow and really focusing on running form and cadence. I am also waiting on new shoes that I ordered through my local running store. When they come in, I will have someone at the shop reevaluate my running form and fit me for shoes. That way I can be sure I am running in a shoe that is right for me, at this time in my life. 

I have seen some amazing progress, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have to keep reminding myself that my workouts were totally different while I was pregnant. 9 plus months is a long break from not running or lifting. I’m trying to be patient, stay positive, and enjoy the process.  

MARINE CORPS MARATHON VIRGINS: HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND A RECAP

Marine Corps Marathon is tomorrow morning!

This is by far my favorite race.

Because I just recently became a mama, and just got cleared to run again two weeks ago, I am not running Marine Corps Marathon this year.  However, I will be cheering around mile 23/24 Рthe Crystal City area Рso look for me if you need to see a familiar face.

I have realized that for a lot of you it will be your first time running this race, or even your very first time running a full marathon. So I have decided to share with you some tips that I found helpful each time I have run it.

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 ‚Äď 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, ‚ÄúOnly 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.‚ÄĚ 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,¬†‚ÄúNo matter what‚Ķ Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.‚ÄĚ Another good one is ‚Ķ ‚ÄúOne More Mile.‚ÄĚ
  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‚Äôll see signs that say, ‚ÄúMemorial Bridge.‚ÄĚ
  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 full Race Recap here. 

 

Prenatal Yoga at Refresh Yoga Studio (28 weeks pregnant)

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

 -Buddah 

This Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Rita, for some prenatal yoga. bumps rita and meg

Rita is about one month a head of me, due date July 19th. She too is expecting a baby girl. So many baby girls are being born, these days.

If you have read my previous posts, you may already know… for the last month I have been doing prenatal yoga, and it has become my new found love. I have tried prenatal yoga at JounreYoga and Mind the Mat. But today, Rita invited me to join her at the studio she has been practicing at – Refresh Yoga Studio in Old Town, Alexandria.

refresh yoga

Rita and I started our morning with a 40 minute walk around Old Town. The weather this Memorial weekend has been amazing. So our walk was refreshing. I also saw another mom, with the BOB running stroller, and asked her how she liked it. She claimed it was the best baby item she owns. Everyone loves the BOB! I haven’t heard one negative thing about it.

Our walk ended at the front door of the yoga studio. Although, the studio space was small, it had positive energy and a very zen yoga like vibe to it – my favorite type of vibe! The room was small and so was the class, only six moms to be, and one instructor. But the smaller class size was nice, and more personable. The less people you have the more attention you get.

Erin was the instructor, and she was fantastic. Like most prenatal classes she opened the class with us introducing ourselves and telling the class how far along we are. This week I am 28 weeks. Happy – first day of the 3rd trimester – to me!! She also customized the class, by asking us what we wanted to work on. Most of us wanted to work on hip openers. She also wanted it to be an individual practice, so we quietly chose our own word to focus the class around. I chose Courage.

This class started out relaxing, but as the class went on became more strength building, with some squats, warrior poses, down dog, and prenatal push ups. It ended relaxing with a gentle scalp massage, and a cool towel over our eyes.

yoga mat prenatal

Some of my favorite things during this class was the breathing techniques, and the combination of relaxing and strength building. This combo really made the class a full body workout.

I also really enjoyed some of the postures, such as, down dog, dolphin pose, goddess pose, pigeon pose, warrior pose 2, peaceful warrior, triangle pose. I also like the squat work and the prenatal push ups. I use to be the push up queen, but didn’t know they were safe for pregnancy, but I am definitely going to include more push ups to my workouts during the week.

Over all, this was a great yoga practice, and a lovely studio. I definitely plan on going on a regular. Being pregnant, has opened my mind to different kinds of work outs and yoga poses. I have been having a lot of fun trying the different studios and instructors in the area. Each class is so different, and each instructor has something to offer.

PREGNANCY UPDATE

It is hard to believe that today, I am 28 weeks pregnant, or in other words 7 months pregnant. It is the first day, of the 3rd trimester for me. I really can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by.

In a way pregnancy is much like long distance running. The first few miles you feel uncomfortable, but once you find your groove, you can comfortably keep running. When you take it one mile at a time, you begin to really enjoy yourself.

When it comes to pregnancy, most women are the most uncomfortable in their 3rd trimester. For me so far, everyday that goes by, I am feeling more and more comfortable. And¬†because I don’t have much more to go,¬†I am living in the moment, and enjoying this pregnancy more and more.

It is a pretty amazing thing, creating life.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

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