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my 1/2 marathon is such a creeper…

I was looking at my training plan for the Sept 15th half  i’ll be doing and it’s in less than 3 weeks! (It really did creep up on me). Which means this week counts big time, so i hit the track for 800s.

800 meters is 1/2 mile. My goal was to hit 3:30 for each half mile (a 7:00/mile pace.) I ended up doing a little faster than i thought. Good news before a race!

Workout Breakdown

1 mile warm up

1 X 800 time: 3:30

2 X 800 time: 3:26 First mile 6:56

3 X 800 time: 3:28

4 X 800 time: 3:27 Second mile 6:55

5 X 800 time: 3:21

6 X 800 time: 3: 20 Third mile 6:41

1.5 mile cool down

Track work is rrroouggghh. But it is the necessary evil to gain speed. Plus it keeps the mind busy by doing a little bit of math on the warm up mile to the track. Word of advice, if you can find a partner to do these workouts with you it goes by so much faster. Always bring a cold drink and expect the workout to be hard.  One day I will bring cold beer and friends to complete the Beer Mile.

Expect a lot of posts while I encounter the dreaded taper next week..


Anyone training for a race?

Advice while tapering or pre-race tips?

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Runner’s Choice

Friday I ended up with a late start on my run so I hopped on a treadmill in between training clients for 6 easy miles, which is about all i can stand indoors.  That’s what trainers do during our downtime, we workout. It’s a tough life <3.

Over the weekend I went to the Living Social building downtown (didn’t know this existed but it does!) and saw Brian Posehn perform stand up. He had me in tears! No one tells a fart joke like that guy. I made sure to meet him afterward and he was an incredibly nice dude. I even made him laugh talking about how Guy Fieri looks like the singer from Smash Mouth. Seriously, look it up, it’s uncanny.

Brian & me

Brian & me

Sunday started out with zero motivation. My usual weekend running partner decided to take a day off, so that was my free pass to sleep in… until the afternoon crept in and I felt guilty for not getting somewhat of a long run in this weekend. I made a deal with myself, and if you run you probably have done this before: I was going to get out there, not knowing how far or how fast and make the decision of what type of workout this was going to be within the first 20 minutes. If I suck or my legs just won’t go, i’ll just call it a wash for the day and head back home. This is what I like to call Runner’s Choice, going out without a specific training run in mind and deciding on the fly.

finally got my shoes on.

finally got my shoes on.

The weather was gorgeous, my legs felt fresh and I was well fueled from my chicken avocado sandwich I had from lunch. The miles started ticking away and I decided to push it, and go faster along the way.  My mile splits: 8:27, 8:33, 8:44, 8:15, 7:57, 7:40, 7:19, 7:38. After putting off my run all day, i ended up with a decent 8 mile workout, and a 4 mile walk from earlier in the day, putting my total daily miles at 12. 🙂 Not a traditional long run, but can 4 walking miles + 8 speedier miles = 12 easy miles??

The best runs always happen when the little things fall into place. Your breathing is easy, your legs feel like they could go all day, the weather cooperates and instead of staring at the asphalt, you say hi to strangers and notice how green the trees are. Wait, maybe this was just a runner’s high thing? Either way, it’s why I run. The training is hard almost 80% of the time.  But for the one time everything clicks and feels easy and fun, it’s so worth it. Just like seeing Brian Posehn, and waiting for his fart jokes. Totally worth it.



Nuun, Gu, and other strange words

The best days are when I get running stuff in the mail. Today I got my Nuun electrolyte tablets. I’ve been obsessed with drinking Nuun (pronounced noon) for about 8 months now and I cannot get enough of it! They are flavored and lightly carbonated with electrolytes, B12 vitamins all under 5 calories. Basically a Gatorade without all the added sugars, calories & artificial coloring <—but hey, blue teeth are sexy!  Win, win right?


tropical, fruit punch, grape & strawberry lemonade ❤

sweaty betty

sweaty betty

Fueling with liquids and gels during my longer workouts are becoming just as important as the shoes on my feet because I sweat a lot and lose nutrients! (See above pic)  I don’t want to hit a wall, or have my body slow down on me if it’s running on empty.  Check out your race’s website and see what brand of drinks and food will be provided on the course. Then take the time to experiment with those liquids and foods during your long runs. Don’t wait until race day to decide to start drinking Cytomax or Gatorade if you’ve never used it in training. The porta-potty surprise should not be part of racing, and crapping your shorts is NOT cute.

I’m finding that if I have a traditional sports drink, like Gatorade or Powerade, and then try eating a GU packet, I get an upset stomach. I can do one or the other, not both. (This is where Nuun or plain ol’ water steps in for me.)  GU Energy Gel is a carbohydrate/amino acid/electrolyte blend (my favorites also contain caffeine). They are 100 calories and easy to eat and digest while running. The first time I ate this I thought it tasted like snot–I was beyond grossed out. Now that i know what to expect, i actually like it and it’s an easy way to get in a decent amount of calories and the packets are small enough to carry or fit in a pocket.

There are plenty of other brands and options you can use. Clif bar doesn’t just make protein bars, they make good gels (i’ve tried them!) and Shot Bloks, which are basically oversized fruit snacks. Definitely a good option if you can’t deal with the gel texture. Gatorade also makes chews and they are delicious! When you visit a major race expo you will get the chance to sample a lot of different types of nutrition brands.

Clif Gel

Clif Gel

Shot Bloks

Shot Bloks

Gatorade Energy Chews

Gatorade Energy Chews

Sometimes these endurance supplements can get pricey, like $1.50+ for a gel and same for a sports beverage. To fuel on a budget, try squeezing honey in some water to use as your sports drink. You can always try peanut butter or candy as an energy source. I have used swedish fish and sour patch kids in the past. My only issue was chewing. It ordeal for me. I was seriously annoyed spending the extra energy chewing. #Runnerprobs

this is my Clif/Gu/Nuun selection along with fun toys and tea cups

this is my Gu/Nuun selection along with fun toys and tea cups

Favorite sports nutrition drink or gel?

Anyone have a recipe or candy to use instead? Share it!

Biggest Loser 5K Race Recap 7/14/13

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Holy crap 5k’s are hard! I always forget that running as fast as you can for 3.1 miles is really hard. I didn’t have much of a race plan other than to use this as a speed workout and not go out too fast. This was my first speed workout & race since March because i’ve had a hip issue that restricted my speed, but that’s a whole other post in itself.

Early morning pic! Eyes barely open

Early morning pic! Eyes barely open

My first mile was a 7:08, at this point I was just cruising and trying to weave around the people that shouldn’t have started in the front (grrr…). Right before mile two (7:27 pace) I started looking ahead and counting the girls in front of me. Instead of trying to place in my age group, there was a chance I could place in the top 3 overall. This gave me the boost I needed to get my head in the race.


For the first time I wasn’t worried about the time on my Garmin or a PR, I was focused on reeling in the women in front of me.  I paid attention to the other racer’s form, breathing, & cadence. Once a runner showed fatigue, i’d pick up the pace and pick them off, one at a time. Over the last mile of the race I passed a good handful of runners and it was exhilarating! My last mile was a 7:25 and good enough for 3rd Place Female with a time of 22:20.


This wasn’t a PR for me, but it was so much fun actually participating in the race itself and not just gunning for time. 5K’s are such a different beast, but this was a great experience. Biggest Loser did a great job at providing a flat course and making this an inspiring, enjoyable run for experienced and newbie runners. Any BL fans out there? Bingo (from the kid’s season 14) kicked off the kid’s mile race,  other BL contestants were stationed around the course for support & Dan Evans from season 5, handed out awards.


Matt won his age group!


Dan Evans BL Season 5

Who comes with you to races?

My old roommate used to come up with me, and family friends would meet up at the finish line. 

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Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I worked today August, 15th. It’s my birthday but it’s also a Thursday and someone’s gotta make the money. On my way into work I got my free Caribou Coffee (campfire mocha!) which helped ease me into my work day.


I took the day off from running since my tempo run went so well. I generally take the next day off after long runs, and after my speed workouts. It seems to keep me injury free. So today I worked out for an hour with my boss & my friend Matt. We did a TRX workout which was much harder than i thought. TRX was developed by a Navy Seal and If you’ve never heard of TRX suspension training you might have seen these yellow things before…

I found that it was very low/no impact & you can adjust through the whole workout to make things harder or easier depending on your fitness level. I plan on taking a TRX training course in the upcoming months and I will definitely talk more about this in the future. Whenever I find a different way to cross train I get excited, especially if it doesn’t involve an elliptical.  <– least favorite piece of equipment of allllllll time.


Got a pair of Yurbuds, finally.. I’ve been rocking plain ol’ Apple earbuds, and yeah they bounce around and fall out. Yurbuds claim they will not fall out,  let’s hope these work! Also got a pair of Oakley Confront purple sunglasses (no picture cause I’m sure there will be plenty in the future). And I’m signed up for the Cosmic Run 5K this October. This is like the color run, but with fluorescent colors, black lights, loud electronic music & it’s at night. Can’t wait to shake my butt through that course!

Any upcoming races for you guys?

Fun runs?

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Tempo Run & Baseball!

I’d like to thank last night’s very veggie pasta dish and the humidity finally letting up for a great tempo run today.  1 mile warm up,  6 miles at half marathon pace, 1.4 mile cool down with 1 minute rest in between miles. My tempo mile splits were 7:29, 7:30, 7:31, 7:37, 7:25, 7:15.  Super stoked about managing to hold onto some miles in the sub-8 department.

Focusing on the mile I’m currently running is what helps make it through these tougher workouts. If I went into it thinking, how many more miles? at what pace?! I’d drive myself crazy. Focus on the mile you are running. This helps especially during longer runs & in races. Today focusing on the beer & hot dog I was going to devour at tonight’s baseball game is what pushed me through each mile.  What? Should i be focusing on rainbows and butterflies?

BLT Dog & Garlic Fries

BLT Dog & Garlic Fries

So yeah i’ve been to a few baseball games this summer and they’ve been a blast. I’m not cheating on hockey, it’s just something to get by until hockey preseason starts next month. Already have tickets for the Capitals & Blackhawks. Going to any sporting event live is way better than tv. I’m notorious for falling asleep during baseball games at home.

**Fun fact! Laura (pictured below) is running her first 1/2 marathon this October @ the Baltimore Running Festival!! So proud of her already!

Matt, Laura, Cameron, Me, 2 random dudes.

 I think i'm trying to run or dance? haha

quick! Am i pretending to run, dance, air guitar or just being a crafty pick pocket!?

Anyone have a birthday coming up?

How would you like to spend your birthday?

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My First Post & Favorite Distance

Half Marathon.  13.1 miles. This is my favorite distance. It’s long enough to test endurance and short enough to test speed.

I’m into half marathon training and noticing my favorite workouts by far are progressive runs. You start at a conservative pace, and with each mile you increase speed by about 10 or so seconds. It teaches you to push harder as you fatigue, just like a race. Least favorite workouts are easy runs. I have a hard time running ‘easy & slow’. I know, i know…I’m working on it.

I’ve been fortunate enough to set a PR (personal record) with each 1/2 marathon since my very first in 2009 so I get pretty crazy about PR’ing the closer I get to the race. I believe the reason for being able to PR over and over is choosing 1-2 races per year, focusing on a quality race and having plenty of recovery time afterward.  But if you’re not an OCD control freak like me and just enjoy running races for fun and have extra money to throw around, that’s awesome too!  (I’m a little jealous, but whatevs)

Next race on the roster is half marathon #7– Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia on Sept 15th.  I’d like to shave some off my time 1:46:57, I hate to say any goals out loud unless i’m throwing salt over my shoulder, knocking on wood and spinning around a few times, but what the hay– I’m shooting for a sub 1:40.  Lofty? Sure. Can I do it, definitely within the next year or so if i don’t hit it next month. If I ever want to Boston Qualify I need to run a half marathon fast.  If that’s not motivating i don’t know what is.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 8.53.45 PM(this is the last mile in the USA Rock N’ Roll 1/2 )

What’s your favorite race distance?

Favorite running workout? Least favorite?