A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

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I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

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Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

Running with a Cold…

When I got home from Vegas, last Saturday, I came down with a really bad cold. I think it was a combination of too much partying/lack of sleep in Vegas, and coming in contact with the germs that cause the cold virus.
I feel like I am being really wimpy complaining about having a cold, I mean there are much more severe illnesses out there. ¬†But I haven’t had a cold in a really long time, and I never remembered it being this extreme.
My throat hurt so bad that I went to the doctor thinking it was Strep. My strep test came back negative. So the doctor diagnosed me with the cold virus and sent me on my way.
For several days, I haven’t been able swallow which means no solid food for me. My nose is so congested that I am unable to breathe. With out food or oxygen, I feel low energy and lifeless.
I only took off one day of work, which made my other days insanely busy and long. On both Tuesday and Thursday I worked from 10 until 10.
The lack of food and oxygen, and then the long days at work, made it impossible to run.
When I was in Vegas, I was very worried about my Marathon training. There was no way I was going to take a week off of running and cross-training. I was really proud of myself for squeezing in the three workouts that I did. However, then I came home sick and exhausted. Everyday this week the weather was perfect, low humidity, low 80s. I so badly wanted to run, but also knew that it would be best just to rest and hydrate as much as I could. So that is what I did.
Today actually was my first day back on the trail. My first run since last Saturday morning. I did a short easy 5K. I didn’t want to over do it. I didn’t look at my watch at all. I wasn’t worried about time. I just wanted to feel good running, and although, I am still sick (its the tail end) I did feel good running.
And out of all the beautiful days we had this week, today was by far the prettiest.
66400_10101239781509966_1414965816_nRunning Professionals say you can continue to run and train with any cold that is from the neck above. If the cold spreads to the lungs or chest, it is time to take a rest day.
Questions for you…
  1. Have you run sick before?
  2. Do you have any at home remedies or tips to cure a cold?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Running the Vegas Strip

Hello lovelies!

For the last week I was in Vegas! It was a really busy, fun, non stop, sleepless, crazy, weird, hard working, inspiring, motivating, sun-kissed… trip. I will have to admit it was hard to keep my clean eating plant based diet on point. It was also a struggle to find time to get my workouts in.

Let me explain…

The diet: 

  • FAIL: One of the biggest points of eating clean, is to eat 5-7 small meals a day in 2-3 hour intervals. This did not happen.
  • FAIL: While eating clean it is best to prepare your own meals. This did not happen. I ate out every meal, sometimes pretty late at night.
  • FAIL: Although, I do not label myself as vegetarian, my regular diet consists of mostly plant based food. In Vegas, most of the food included some sort of meat, and all of my meals were loaded with salt.
  • FAIL: I definitely did not drink enough water. The heat is dry there, and I felt dehydrated most of the time.
  • FAIL: I drank way too many vodka pineapples.
  • FAIL: Although, most of the food I ate were not considered organic or clean, I am a foodie, and enjoyed trying different restaurants.
  • GOOD: I did find an amazing juice bar, and had a green juice, that consisted of kale.
  • GOOD: On the way back to the East Coast, I randomly found a 2 Mom’s in the Raw granola bar in¬†blueberry.

The workouts: 

6276_10101216329338306_617596903_nMy boyfriend came out to Vegas with me for the first four days. While I was with him I put it in my mind that these days would be my rest days. He was considering this a fun vacation with me and I was not about to be selfish by choosing the gym over him. It is okay, to skip a workout every now and then, when there are other plans scheduled, such as grabbing a morning coffee and bagel with your boyfriend while on vacation in Vegas. It is important to find a healthy balance.

Once my boyfriend left, I switched hotels, and started my work training, I was 20130718-153853.jpgable to find a routine, of waking up early and hitting the gym, at the Hotel/Casino before work. The gym was small and surprisingly very busy. Two days in a row I was able to lift and do some running on the treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill, and most of the time I don’t even consider my workouts on the TMill runs. However, this time around I did some HIIT, which was a really intense workout. Because during HIIT you run for 30 seconds at a sprinting pace and then jump off standing still for 30 seconds, then 1006287_10101225210181026_908292256_nrepeat, it is NOT boring. This type of running gets your heart rate up and then down, which can help you become a faster runner. I was shocked that at one point I was sprinting between a 6:30 and 7 minute mile.

I also went out a couple times at night to go dancing. Dancing is a really good work out as well. I sweat my but off, and worked my legs so hard I should have called it leg day!

Running the Vegas strip:  Finally, the last day, I woke up early so I could do a short run outside before I headed to the airport. The main reason I wanted to get an outdoor run in was because I wanted to compare the dry heat of Vegas to the humidity of DC. I have heard mixed opinions of which one is better to run in.

Dry heat:¬†The dry heat felt like a sauna. The sun felt like it was burning me. My throat was dry. My nose was dry and congested. In Vegas, there are areas where they manually spray mist. This is a good way to get water into the dry air, but it wasn’t enough. While I was running, it felt effortless, but I noticed I wasn’t even sweating. It wasn’t until I actually stopped running when sweat began to pour from me.

Humidity:  When I got off the plane and stepped outside into the Washington, DC air, I felt like I was walking into a steam room. I was so happy to be back in the humidity Рit felt amazing. Never thought I would say that. But because I am born and raised here, I am so use to the humidity that I never even noticed how much moisture is in the air. After being in Vegas and coming back home I could really tell a difference.

The one thing that I like most about running in the humidity is that you immediately start to sweat. Sweating is important because it helps your body detox and cool down. The good thing about running in dry heat is that if it is 100 degrees out, it feels exactly like 100 degrees, unlike in humidity where it normally feels hotter.  However, whether you are running in dry heat or humidity, you still need to drink a ton of water and stay hydrated.

The Strip:972071_10101227542566906_147498669_nI began my run at around 7:00 am. At that time, there were people out, but it wasn’t busy. Finally, I found a time when the Strip was quiet, almost peaceful. There were tons of other runners out too, however they were all tourists like me, no local runner would be running the strip. Also the strip is full of elevated crosswalks which means I ended up running tons of stairs. ¬†If you haven’t had a chance to run the Vegas Strip, I highly recommend it.

Questions For You…

  1. How do you stay on point with your diet while on vacation?
  2. Have you ever run in Vegas? If so where?
  3. Which do you prefer, dry heat or humidity?

© sweatdaily 2013