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The Most Epic High Five

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 20 min StairMill (1 min lateral, 1 min forward for duration), 15 min hips, 10 core

Hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend and Memorial Day! It beautiful this weekend and we spent some time with old & new friends at a BBQ. Plus It’s been fun taking L.E. around with us!

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It’s been a pretty uneventful week in terms of running, as in, i’m still not. The IT Band is stubborn as ever, and I have had plenty of moments where I want to throw a tantrum. But the thing is, i’m not injured, my left hip is weak and unstable and definitely noticeable when I’m working it. So i’ve been keeping up with the exercises & cross training so when I’m back to running I don’t look back over this “time off” and think that I should have been training regardless!

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The best thing to do while being injured or taking time off is to work around the injury, strengthen the weak area, and plan what to do differently the next time around. I’m getting better and better at rowing (which i actually enjoy!), my butt is looking better than ever (coming from a girl who’s had a midwestern flat butt her whole life) and I’m learning a TON of new exercises for the hips & glutes for myself and clients. With each setback, you can always find a way to look at the positive. As runners, we get injured, or have bad weeks, bad runs, bad races. If we try and take something positive out from it, we’ll feel better and won’t ever see it as time wasted.

Just like taking pictures. It’s never a waste trying to capture moments. I caught the perfect bromantic moment between Cameron and our friend Domenic. They had NO idea i took this until after the fact. I’m getting better & better as a blogger haha!

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Another couple at the BBQ had a really cool Fuji camera that took small polariod-type pictures. I love having physical pictures. There’s something different about hold a photograph instead of flipping through facebook or instagram. \

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Weekly Recap

Monday: 30 min legs/shoulders

Tuesday: 30 min legs/mobility/skill work, 10 min rope pull

Wednesday: 6000m row

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3.5m run 8:20/pace (did not go well)

Saturday: 1.5m walk 

Sunday: 5.6m walk

Total Miles: 10.6m walking

How do you deal with time off from running?

Do you ever take time off during the year from running or another type of workout?


12 Comments

New Things!

Monday: 30 min legs/shoulders

Tuesday: 30 min legs/mobility/skill work, 10 min rope pull

Wednesday: 6000m row

I went to PR Running Store in Falls Church, Va in the middle of my work day to get fitted for a pair of running shoes. Good news is i’m still a neutral fit & the shoes I wanted to buy a few weeks ago, were confirmed a good fit for me :) Guess i’m a New Balance/Saucony girl now. I used to love Brooks (and still have a pair) but i’m not a fan of this years line.

Just goes to show you shouldn’t buy running shoes based on looks! I always recommend new runners check out a local store that can size your feet & analyze your form so you can feel good for miles and miles in your shoes. I think i’m going to buy every color of these…

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I also brought in my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Bib because they had a coupon on the back for free socks with a shoe purchase. Boom! Can’t wait to try these out when I’m back to running.

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So the big new news! Cameron and I adopted a puppy! Say hi to L.E.! (pronounced ‘Ellie’)

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Her full name is L.E. Phant. Or you can just make up whatever could stand for L.E.—we’ve had waaaay too much fun with her name. “Loves Everyone” “La Enchilada” “Little Elephant” She’s a big sweetheart and is incredibly smart & has been easy to train so far. She’s a midwestern girl from Missouri, a 6 months old wheaton terrier, mixed with some sort of herding dog. She’s already 40lbs so i’m hopeful I have a new running buddy ;) We really lucked out and i’m so glad we waited for the right dog to come around to adopt.

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Adopting a puppy was a little work for sure, i felt like i was trying to adopt a kid. You fill out an application with the agency, you do a phone conversation with whomever is in charge, they contact your landlord to confirm you can have pets, then they contact a vet of your choosing in the area, they send a local volunteer out for a home inspection (to make sure you are who you say you are, and live at the address on your application and the house is a safe environment and you can talk more with the volunteer about pet adoption), and finally once everything is cleared and you are approved you can see the dog you were interested in and decide to adopt or not. Phew!!— It felt like a lot of work, but L.E. is such a good fit for us, i would do it 1000x over again.

If anyone is interested we started our search with Petfinder.com and Adoptapet.com and we eventually found L.E through Dogs XL Rescue on one of those pet sites. Every person we spoke to and worked with through Dogs XL Rescue were so kind and helpful and made it very clear they are here to help if we have any questions or concerns with the puppy.

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Anyone ever adopt a pup?

How about training a dog to run with you?


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Delaware Race Recap – Part 2!

I did it! I ran a race completely electronic free, just for fun and relaxed! The morning of the race started as usual, I got dressed and sunscreened up & headed down to the Westin’s lobby for complimentary coffee, bottled water & bagels.

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5:30 AM.. not impressed haha.

The hotel was offering shuttle service to the start line, but it was just under a mile away, so I thought warming up wasn’t a bad idea so i walked down the boardwalk and enjoyed my coffee along the river.

20150510_095633The weather was cool & humid and ended up staying that way the whole race. I was not complaining because it was supposed to be almost 90 and humid, so we caught a good morning. At the start of the race I was really nervous with how my IT band & knee pain would tolerate 13.1 miles. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 12th was the last long run & speed work i’ve done. I really backed off of running due to the IT Band, so I knew this was not a race to “race”. I had no time goal in mind, but I thought I could walk/run a 2 hour half marathon based on my easy runs lately.

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To ensure I didn’t “race”, I made the decision days before the race, not to wear my Garmin. It would have depressed me to see slow miles pop on my watch & I needed to relax and listen to my body. Hence, I went without music as well. I have never in my life ran more than 6 miles without music–so hey! There’s a PR! :) I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to run happy without music, but after the first 3 miles, I just cruised, enjoyed my surroundings & relaxed. I actually never got bored!

The race winded up along the river on an asphalt path. It was SO BEAUTIFUL. Everything was lush, green & alive. Then the hills started. I was careful to slow down (IT Band pain does not do well with downhill running), but to my own surprise I didn’t need to walk much. I walked through the water stations, but other than that the knee & hip held up WAY better than I expected.

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This race seemed to fly by, but a few things I remember was reminding myself that I needed a week or two off after this race to truly recover from the IT Band. The pain never got so bad where it locked up my knee (as it did 2 weeks ago) and the pain level itself never got above a 4/10. My chiro and i decided I could run as long as the pain stayed under a 5. Another thing I took from the race was that i actually can look forward to running as I get older. Once the PR’s stop, I will be able to enjoy racing without having to always go faster. I also think I’m ready to run with more people. Maybe do group runs from a local running store or run with more friends. Random thoughts, but when you don’t have an ipod random is what happens.

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Without headphones in I was able to hear the announcer say my name & city/state as I came down the chute! I am honestly starting to prefer these smaller races compared to the big ones. I never felt crowded on the roads and the personalization on the bib, the announcement as I crossed the line, the free race photos, the hospitality at the hotel & after the race all made me feel as special as I ever felt running a race. And I don’t know what it is about the Philly/Wilmington area, but I love running here.

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After Cameron met me at the finish, I hopped through the hospitality tent, they had SO MUCH FOOD. I’m talking BBQ sandwiches, pasta, fruit, chips, vitamin water, chocolate milk…it felt like a picnic! I wasn’t super hungry, but I had chocolate milk & a pear, Cameron had a beef sandwich and then we split the 2 free beers, watched the full marathoners & headed back to the hotel to shower.

Since I knew this race wasn’t going to be hard, I figured i’d have a ton of energy to do something fun afterward so we went to a Phillies game! It was the perfect day, super hot & sunny, and my after race meal was a hot dog, margaritas & ice cream in a baseball helmet! Does anyone remember when Dairy Queen used to serve ice cream that way? And you had to collect the teams? I was having a bout of nostalgia in the ballpark.

Philadelphia in the background

Philadelphia in the background

This race day couldn’t have been any better. I had such a blast. If anyone is from this area I highly recommend the race. And maybe a ballgame as well ;).

Last Weeks Work!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 30 min rolling/myofascial releases & mobility exercises for hips/glutes.

Wednesday: 5000m row, 20 min Myrtle Routine

Thursday: 2.5m walk

Friday: 40 min running drills- emphasis on hamstring pulls

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5.8m walk

Total Miles: 8 walking, zero week for running!

What’s your favorite post-race activity?


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Delaware 1/2 Part 1!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 30 min rolling/myofascial releases & mobility exercises for hips/glutes.

Saturday we arrived for packet pickup at the Garrett-Tubman park in Wilmington, DE around 2pm. It was easy to find and easy to pickup since it was a smaller race.

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Next, we checked in at the Westin Hotel about a mile from the start line. The hotel staff were all super nice & they even had a gift bag for the runners staying at their hotel. The bag included a door hang that says, “Quiet please, marathon runner sleeping” (which is now hanging on my bedroom door), a Hammer Gel, a race day map and instructions & suggestions for restaurants and things to do while in Wilmington. Loved this! It made me feel extra special and I needed those last minute instructions!

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Also when I turned the TV on it had my name on it. Kinda weird, but kinda cool…

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Before dinner shot. It’s what happens when the hotel has a full length mirror, you’re a blogger and super excited about wearing sandals.

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Then we headed off to Iron Hill Brewery (which I will be doing a full review of shortly!) and it was incredible! Talk about Carbolicious. We ordered pizza, sweet potato fries, pretzels & beer. Needless to say, I never hit a wall during the half.

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We also got to sit outside on the rooftop, right along the river. It was gorgeous and a great day to be outside.

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The night before the race, I always lay every single thing I need in plain sight. That way at 5’o’clock I’m not trying to do anything that requires thinking. It felt very strange laying out my clothes and leaving my Garmin & Ipod in my purse. But I knew this was the race to leave the electronics home.

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Recap coming soon!

Last Week

Monday: 15 min Jacobs Ladder, 45 min Lateral Elliptical, 1 mile 9:33/pace (in that order),  25 min glutes/hips, 20 min lats/back

Tuesday: 15 min core

Wednesday: 5m easy 8:30/pace, 20 min back/triceps, 15 min hips/glutes

Thursday: 5000m row

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 13.1 Delaware 1/2 marathon, 2+ walking miles

Total Miles: 21.1

Do you have to lay out your clothes? 

Any pre-race rituals you MUST do the night before?


6 Comments

Ending the Streak

Monday: 15 min Jacobs Ladder, 45 min Lateral Elliptical, 1 mile 9:33/pace (in that order),  25 min glutes/hips, 20 min lats/back

Tuesday: 15 min core

Hey everyone! I’ve been busting my butt (Literally) to get past this IT band issue and so far so good! I had a lot of outside help and advice from those of you who have suffered IT band pain and I appreciate all of it!! I want to share a few of the articles & videos of the exercises I’ve been doing daily to strengthen my weak hips & glutes.

The Best Damn IT Band Stretch Ever Gives an in-depth look at the IT band, its surrounding muscles and it’s relation to knee pain. If you have any IT band issues–read this!

Myrtl routine! Save this to your desktop or print off a copy to keep hip girdle exercises handy! If you’d rather follow the video, it’s right here!

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If you see my weekly workout recaps, the running is coming back slowly. I’m still not pushing pace or distance, but the IT band pain is almost non existent & I think it’s safe to assume another week or two and I can incorporate some speed. Now comes the hard part. Even though i side stepped what could have been an injury, I’m bumming hard as my fitness & speed were both at a place where I was beginning  to see amazing progress. Big picture: not injured, just slowed. Small picture: I was almost where I needed to be for a sub 20:00 5k. Which means, of course, I can get there again.

Another issue that has been stressing me out is the Delaware half marathon this Sunday. Cause you know, when runners are injured we don’t care that we hurt ourselves, we care about how we can keep running through it.

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I decided to ease off running this week, cross train the hell out of my legs, do as many glute & hip exercises as possible, pray to the race gods to allow me to just finish the half feeling ok. No, I don’t plan on a PR, no I don’t think i’ll be able to run all 13 miles without walking, and no I’m not even sure I’ll be able to finish. But dammit, there’s a pint glass in the swag bag and I’ll be damned if I let that go!

hahaha. Hopefully you got a laugh from that. Seriously though–I have a goal to run a race in all 50 states (any distance) and Delaware is a new one (plus, there really IS a pint glass!). So as long as I make it across the finish and collect my medal, i’ll be able to cross it off my list. That in itself makes me happy and relieves stress. It makes me sad to know i’ll break my half marathon PR streak, but at the same time, i’m glad i’ll be ending it on my terms. I’m making the decision to take this half easy, hopefully to enjoy a pain free long run and I won’t be disappointed about it.

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from a weekend walk on Rock Creek Trail

Monday: 3m easy run, 15 min upper body

Tuesday: 3m easy run, 25min Kettlebells

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 4.8m easy 8:20/pace

Friday: 2m easy 9:30/pace, 20 min hips/glutes

Saturday: 2m walk, 4.2m run easy 8:30/pace

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 15 running, 2 walking

Have you changed race day goals at the last minute?


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IT Band! Let’s Do This!

Monday: 3m easy run, 15 min upper body

Tuesday: 3m easy run, 25min Kettlebells

Wednesday: Rest

When you don’t have anything nice to blog, then don’t blog about anything at all. Is that a rule? I’m not sure, but either way my left IT band has been a little punk. When I’m not feeling great, it’s really hard for me to share with you guys, but I gotta suck it up, keep it real and let you know i deal with minor injuries & pains here and there too.

So a few things here before you think i’m benched: My chiro says I have a weak left hip adductor which is causing the IT band pain. Secondly, he also believes my body is finally moving more correctly (without overcompensation) than it has ever has before. My body moving the right way is bringing my weaknesses front & center and moving properly is making new body parts sore. I.E. my IT band.

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handy lacrosse ball to work out knots in my calves & quads

I’m actually thankful that it seems like all the overcompensation that has happened for the last FOUR years, might actually be over with. I always feel bad not blogging immediately when things aren’t going right, but I like to be cautious and really find out what’s going on before I make a big deal out of something that might not be. When I felt that pain in my leg (about 10 days ago), i couldn’t run more than 1 mile without being in pain so bad I had to walk. I’m pretty sure a few tears were shed on the trails… this week I can do 3 miles before any pain appears, but i’m still being overly cautious and stopping when the pain starts coming on.

Reading up on EVERYTHING to do with running related issues & solutions

Reading up on EVERYTHING to do with running related issues & solutions

So i know all the hard work is paying off…  all  of those clamshells, lateral squats & lunges, single leg squats & dead lifts, jane fonda leg raises–the stuff that works the weak areas— is helping! I’m reading up & being smart with this issue, because not only do I want to continue to run happy, but I have a ton of runner clients now and I need to keep their bodies moving! One very large tip with the IT band: Stretching is not what will solve IT band pain. Lots of runners think that stretching or foam rolling is the key & it’s not. You must strengthen the weak hips & glutes and also work out the knots along the IT band. Speaking of which…

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Rumble Roller

This is my new nasty foam roller. I can never go back to normal foam after this. It’s the meanest, hardest, bestest roll i’ve ever received. I named it The Dark Knight. All other rollers can suck it.

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3.5 easy 9:05/pace, 35 min chest/back/abs

Wednesday:  Rest

Thursday: 3.5m easy 9:30/pace, 15min hips & stretching

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5.2m walk, 30 min TRX Rip Trainer

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 7 miles running, 5.2m walking.

Anyone deal with IT band pain?


7 Comments

A Very Cherry Blossom Recap

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 35 min chest/back/abs

Wednesday: 3.5m easy 9:30/pace, 15min hips & stretching

I woke up Sunday morning feeling really good & very nervous. My plan was to go into the race and attempt to stick around a 7:30/pace. I haven’t run a long distance event since the marathon last October. <—I can’t believe it’s been that long!  I just figured this 10 Miler would gauge where my fitness is and help me plan the next steps to reaching goals.

After many years of racing, I’ve become a pre-race pro. Everything was laid out or packed up the night before, water was already in my car and all my food & supplements were laid out on the counter. My alarm went off at 4:45am and it took exactly 30 minutes to get out the door. For breakfast I had half a bagel with peanut butter & half a banana, a full glass of water with a B12 vitamin, a non-drowsy allergy med & Sports Legs. I had a throwaway to-go mug of coffee for the train ride into DC & a water bottle with Tri-Berry Nuun to chug after the coffee. This has been my pre-race regiment for as long as I can remember and if it ain’t broke, i ain’t changing it.

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The train ride was a piece of cake, the port-a-potties were a-plentiful and gear check (even though I didn’t use it) seemed to be smooth. An accident involving a motorcycle & a pedestrian caused a slightly delayed start and the course to be shortened by approximately half a mile.

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the monument & the moon

I didn’t get into my corral as early as I’d have liked and i ended up behind slower runners. This caused a lot of weaving and slower times during the first 4 miles. I was getting so frustrated that I finally stopped looking at my watch and just focused on finding clear running spots to pass people.  As I weaved around and tried to speed up, i kept telling myself to, “Remember what Joan said, ‘save some for the end.'” This helped remind me there were plenty of miles left to makeup time.

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Almost immediately after calming myself down, the corral crowd fell back and I got to do what I do best. Speed up on flat roads. At this point I made the decision to not look at my Garmin, run solely on feel and push the last two miles. I relaxed a bit enjoyed the course–the first few miles were part of the Rock n’ Roll USA 1/2 & the most of the final miles were the same course I ran during The Parks 10k. The familiar ground was comforting and the cherry blossom trees were bloomed & beautiful. There was a part of the course where both sides of the path were nothing but cherry blossoms, it was like we were all running through the clouds in a Super Mario Brothers game, it felt so surreal.

Until of course my legs started telling me they were tired. But it was all good. The course was shortened (small mental boost!) and all the 5k training & racing have taught me that I can run hard for a mile or two before the real hurt sets in. I just put my head down and kept turning over my feet, picking them up off the ground as quickly as possible. Before I knew it I was traveling up the hill near the finish—is it me or are races ending on hills more and more these days? It’s just plain mean—and instead of stopping, I just said “wait for the downhill.” The down came and I cruised into the finish. If the course wasn’t shortened I was on track to finish in approximately 1:13:35. I thought on a magical day I could do a 1:15. I thought Sunday I was going to run a 1:18, possibly.

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Putting my watch away, taking Joanie’s advice and racing with how my body felt that day, was the best thing I could have done. My friend Sarah, who also ran the race, told me the same, “Run without your watch, I bet you’ll do way better than you think.” Not sure i’ll ever go fully bare wristed. But not seeing each and every mile split gave me the freedom to run my own race & not my watch’s.

my neighboorhood

my neighboorhood

My brain thought I was only capable to run a 7:30/pace for the race. My body is capable of so much more. I’m taking those risks I talked about when i switched my goals over to “speed.” It’s really amazing to let go of what you think you’re capable of, what your brain and numbers tell you you’re capable of and just try, take a risk, and push…

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