The rain finally stopped, so I ran 13 miles…

We have had rain everyday this week.

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

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

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

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This week coming up…

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

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

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

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

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Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Marathon Training in a new neighborhood!

“I find the best way to get your mojo back is to loose the technology, forget results, and run free… Run a trail you have never run before…” ¬†– Scott Jurek

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Today, fall decided to make a guest appearance.

So… out of boredom, I randomly decided to run in a different neighborhood.

There is a sweet spot in Alexandria, where the hills are steep and the trees create canopies over the paved road.

It is paradise for a runner.

My marathon training plan advised me to run four miles.

So four miles is what I ran.

I ran fast.

It felt easy.

I thought the clouds were going to pour rain, but they didn’t.

Instead a breeze kept me cool.

I like the taste of fall.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Training Update: My Garmin has become Running Buddy.

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I love my Garmin!! This Garmin has been the best present my boyfriend has ever bought me.  I have the Forerunner 50 Рwhich is the oldest of all the Garmins. Sooo old that most people have never heard of it. This watch has been with me for all of my training runs and races for the last 5 years. It tracks my pace, distance, cadence, heart rate, and calories burned. But what I find most amazing about using a Garmin watch is that you get to also use the  Garmin Connect Calender.

With this feature, I am able to analyze all of my current runs, but I also get to look back on all of the runs I have ever recorded. This has been extremely helpful. The last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon was in 2010. During this training, when I have felt unsure about my progress, I am able to go back to 2010 with the click of a button and compare my runs.

“It had gotten to hot even for the desert rat, Rick Miller, so Dusty joined me and ran me up the next 10 miles. “You da man, Yeah brotha’, that’s how you do it, Jurker, hell yeah!” the Dust Ball hollered.”

The above quote is from the book Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. Scott Jurek wouldn’t be the runner he is today, with out his best friend Dusty. The relationship between Dusty and Scott is by far my favorite part of the book. Dusty was there by Scott’s side, through almost all of his ultra runs. And although I wish I had a Dusty, the reality is… I don’t, so my Garmin has become my running buddy.

So far during this marathon training season, I have been running solo.  Sometimes when you are running by yourself it is hard to judge if you are running your best, especially considering that last year and up to this point, I have had a running buddy. However, in 2010 I ran every training run by myself, and ended up having a very successful marathon.

I did it then, I can do it now.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you run with a Garmin? If not what do you use to record your runs?
  2. Do you have a running buddy? or do you prefer to run solo?
  3. Have you trained for a race by yourself?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What kind of runner are you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Nike Women Half Marathon DC

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

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

Race organizers kept us in suspense.

REGISTRATION

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

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

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

TRAINING

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

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

EXPO

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

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

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

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

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we run dc

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

nuun

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

Night Before the Race

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

Night before race clothesRACE MORNING

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

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

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

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

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THE RACE

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

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

MY SPLITS

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

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

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

Picture below from NWM facebook page. 

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

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

The Course

course

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

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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

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

FINISH LINE and RACE SWAG

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

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

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tiffany

finisher nike

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

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

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

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

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

Picture found on NWM facebook page.

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

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

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

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

Well done NIKE!

Thanks for a great race! 

Pictures found on NWM facebook page.

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© 2013 sweatdaily

RUNNING under the sun and then through the snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So this is what I am talking about…

Is it spring?

Is it winter?

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Cherry Blossoms covered with wet snow…

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Ok… enough of that… Lets talk about Running…

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

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

Friday, 3/22

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

221767_10101047893554966_1477093678_nSaturday, 3/23

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

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Sunday, 3/24

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

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Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Questions for You…

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

© 2013 sweatdaily

10 mile Run with Em and Honey Stinger

Last week two exciting things happened.

  1. On Saturday, I ran a 10 mile run with my sister, Emily.
  2. And I also finally typed up my Blog Award post. If you have any desire to get to know me better, you should read the post, because it is super personal.

Anyway, in my Blog Award post I was asked what was the last movie I had watched. I answered with, The Fighter. One thing that I love about the movie, The Fighter, is the bond the two brothers, Mickey and Dicky have. I am very close with my family, so I can totally relate to this.

Dicky is the older brother, who has a star shining boxing moment back in the day. He still wants to be involved in boxing so he coaches his younger brother Mickey. Drug abuse ends up becoming an uncontrollable obstacle that alters Dicky’s ability to coach. Although, Dicky’s quality of life suffers, the brotherly bond never breaks.

Of corse there is no drug history among the relationship I share with my sister. I can relate to this because in life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

And that is exactly what happened during my 10 miler.

My sister pushed me to my fullest potential.

Here is what went down…

I met my sister at her apartment. Before we left we looked up this Half Marathon Pace Chart. I am no longer just going out there to run. I learned from Hal Higdon, if you want to run fast, you have to train fast several times a week. So we decided to practice our 10 miler by running at a pace similar to the one we are planning to run race day.

We decided to hit the MVT, but to get there we had to run down hill for two miles, stopping at some street lights. Once we got to the trail, we ran three pretty flat miles and then turned back. The last two miles were off the MVT and up hill. We wanted to add two miles up hill because Annapolis is super hilly, so we are expecting a lot of hills race day.

Honestly, I don’t know what happened during this 10 miler. Normally my sister and I run at a similar pace, and sometimes I am a little bit faster. But during this run my sister was much more speedy.

There is a quote from the book, Born to Run, it goes like this, ‚ÄúBut you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.‚Ä̬†¬†Even though, it may seem like an excuse to you, it is the truth. During this run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t find my running rhythm.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 10.00 miles

Time: 1:37:31

Average Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:51 min/mi

Calories: 814 C

Run Cadence: 96

HONEY STINGER

One thing that did help me when I felt a little bit low in energy was my Honey Stinger. This is the first time I have ever tried this product. I actually had never heard of this product until the blogger from All Seasons Cyclist suggested I give them a try. ¬†I am really thankful I did. I love the fact that this product is more natural and free of chemicals. They also tasted really good, and didn’t cause any stomach problems. The Honey Waffle was a fantastic post run snack. For a more detailed review check out the blog All Seasons Cyclist or click here.

 
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to do an 11 mile run with L. So stay tuned…
Questions for You
  1. Have you tried Honey Stingers?
  2. How did your long run go this week?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Speed Work Drill

I wanted to share with you another recap on a speed work drill I did last Thursday. Again this was run on the treadmill in my Newton, Distance U shoes.

picture found on tumblr

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

11: 40 PM

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.10 miles

Time: 25:19

Average Pace: 8:09 min/m

Best Pace: 7:14

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 97

I felt really good about this treadmill drill. However, because I am only doing daily 5K runs, my weekly mileage is drastically lower.

© 2012 sweatdaily

Proud to be a Runner. Proud to be an American.

“If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.”¬†– Hal Higdon

Before I wasn’t too worried about speed, and never did any speed work training. ¬†But now, I know I can run a 5K, 10K, 10 miler, half marathon, even a full marathon. I think after 2 full marathons, I finally have the right to call myself a runner. So it is time to take my running to a different level. I have decided it is no longer about, “Can I run this milage or not… ” because I have already proved that I can, physically and mentally. ¬†So my running is now about doing my personal best. And in order to break old records and create new ones for myself, I need speed drills.

I was always confused on speed drills. Maybe that is why it has taken this long to try one out. But I tend to always complicate things, when really it is very simple. Hal Higdon says, “If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.” So that is what my plan is. The only thing that I regret is not starting this speed work training sooner. My half marathon is in less than four weeks. But my one fitness goal for November is to train properly for this half marathon. Training includes, speed work, tempo runs, long distance runs, strength training, and some mild stretching.

On Sunday night, I felt really good, after I ran, my 5k speed work training run. So I decided today to try it again.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26:03

Average Pace: 8:24

Best Pace: 7:20

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 96

TREADMILL DETAILS

Again I ran this on the treadmill. (I hate the treadmill, and usually run outside) This time, I started out running at 6.8- 7.0, for the first mile. Then on the second mile I brought it up to 7.0-7.5. The third mile I ran at 7.5-7.8. whole time I felt really good. I never felt like I had to stop. I felt like I could keep going. This is a very good sign, but I think I can push myself more. Next time I do speed drills I am going to do interval training and really sprint hard.

Again I ran in my Newton- Distance U. This is the lightest and most minimalist shoe in my shoe rotation. Because of the shoes, my run felt light, easy, and fast. I still want to work on bring my Cadence up.

STRENGTH TRAIN

I also have been trying to do more strength training. It is a must for me on days when I do speed drills. I am really trying to strengthen my core. So below are the details.

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells ‚Äď this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

VOTING

Also everyone knows what today is…. ELECTION DAY! So this morning I woke up at 6:40 am and was at the polls by 7:00 am. It felt good to be so productive before work – getting my work out in and my vote on. As you may or may not know, I live in Washington, DC, which is by far the most political area in the USA. Sometimes being surrounded by politics all the time can be exhausting and stressful, but today was a happy day. I am so proud have the freedom to vote. It is days like these that make me grateful that I was born an American.

My sticker. My proof. I voted.

If you haven’t had the chance to vote yet… it is not too late!¬†

© 2012 sweatdaily