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Vitamins: What I take!

Monday: 10 long miles 8:27/pace

Happy Monday! I started off my day with 2 eggs with spinach & mushrooms, bacon, toast, coffee, water & vitamins. If i don’t have eggs (yolks included) I feel off. I am a creature off habit and eat almost the same thing everyday. I don’t talk much about food on the blog, which I hope to change, but the fact is, I don’t like to cook. Breakfast is my deal though and I can cook a mean morning cuisine.

I generally eat pretty balanced meals, but there are days were all I want are cookies and cereal, or where I have a few beers or I’m in between grocery store visits and out of vegetables. So, I take a few vitamins to fill in any nutritional gaps I have during the day. Most people will have opinions on vitamins and whether they work or if they’re a waste of money. Please do your own research and figure out what works (or doesn’t work) for you.

Remember, vitamins are not replacements for real food, they are supplements for what your body is missing or low on. (I think of vitamins as a type of nutritional insurance.) I wanted to share the vitamin supplements I take, and why I take them. Look, they even lined up and smiled for the camera all on their own!


Women’s Multi-Vitamin: I like to think this as the nutritional gap filler since it has a little bit of everything. I especially take it for the Calcium & Iron.

Glucosamine: It is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage (Mayo Clinic),  taken for joint health. I had no idea what Glucosamine was until it kept popping up in other running blogs I’ve been reading. I started taking this in July and have had almost ZERO joint pain in my knees and hips. Even after my last race I had no joint pain, only muscle soreness. If I had to choose to take one supplement for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Super B-Complex: Helps convert food to energy, supports normal functioning of the nervous system with added antioxidants and immune system support (taken from the back of the Nature Made label). I take this one with my lunch to give me a Vitamin-B boost before going into work for the day.

Fish Oil: Omega-3s!! The fatty acids help with heart health. I’ve also read, I believe in Runner’s World, that Fish Oil helps bring down inflammation in the lungs and nasal passages which help those with seasonal allergies (um, ME!).

Biotin: This helps support healthy skin & hair as well as metabolizing carbs, proteins & fats. I’m trying to grow my hair out and I’ve already noticed a difference since taking this.

In the morning I take the multi-vitamin & Glucosamine. Before work I take the Super-B Complex, and at dinner I take the Fish Oil & Biotin. I split up my vitamins throughout the days because I want them to absorb with each meal. I feel like if I take the full group all at once I might overload my system and pee most of them out. I’ve noticed since splitting up my intake I’ve had more consistent energy all day.

Energy that helps me do this:IMAG1621

Those pictures our from our hike yesterday and yeah I climbed up there to sit down ok?!

What Vitamins/Supplements does everyone take daily? 

Did you get your Monday run or workout in??


Hockey, hiking & my workout summary 9/23-9/29

This weekend started off very similar to last weekend. We went to another Capitals pre-season game because tickets were dirt cheap. I’m feeling spoiled.


The next morning I had to get up early for the TRX training class. It was an 8 hour class full of great information and lots of working out. It was so exhausting and i’m sore in places I haven’t been in a while.  I can’t wait to get to work this week and test out my new knowledge of the TRX course in the gym. The instructor showed me a few exercises to stretch out my chest, and workout my back because runners tend to have their shoulders pulled forward (I do for sure).

Even though my body was sore I went on an early morning hike. (okay, it was noon, but on a Sunday it feels early).

Take a look at a few pictures from the hike…



love how calm the water was. and there were some people repelling down the side

love how calm the water was. and there were some people repelling down the side

My weekly workout summary:

Monday: 8 min leg workout

Tuesday: 5.5 mile run 8:27/pace, 10 min abs + foam rolling

Wednesday:  6 mile easy run 8:26/pace

Thursday: 15 min Triceps, 15 min abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Full Body TRX (2+ hours)

Sunday: 4 mile hike

Total Miles: 11.5 + 4 mile hike

My mileage was a little low for my liking this week, but my legs were wrecked from this week’s workouts and it’s always hard for me to get back into running 4-5 days a week after a race . RIght now football is on the tv, I just had a cup of hot chocolate, and after a weekend of cross training I’ll be ready to run tomorrow.

Did everyone have a cup of coffee today? It’s National Coffee Day!

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This vacation needs to hurry up and get here.

Wednesday:  6 mile easy run 8:26/pace

Thursday: 15 min Triceps, 15 min abs

Friday: Rest (legs are still beat)

Saturday I’ll be attending a TRX training all day, plus my legs have been sore all week, so today I decided to rest and study for an upcoming Personal Training test that Gold’s Gym requires. Yeah, lots of training courses, lots of studying, lots of boring.


the course videos I get the pleasure of watching for hours on end

The only thing holding me together is the following week after testing I’ll be laying on a beach in Jamaica.

The best part of this week was getting back to running. The few easy runs i’ve had felt really good. My leg muscles are finally starting to feel better from Monday’s leg workout and overall my hips, knees, joints etc feel great. On a totally random note, my hair is FINALLY long enough to put in a bun. It’s the little things.


And we got our new shirts at work. Blue is definitely my color.


Going to another Capitals pre-season game tonight. This time against the Flyers. Hope the Caps can pull off the win today. Can’t wait for real hockey to start October 1st. Mark your calendars people!

Anyone excited for Hockey? Football? Fall sports in general? 

I’m a hockey girl, but will hangout during a football game anytime!

Any fall vacations planned??

Jamaica 🙂


8 Minute Legs (will leave you with legs that will only work for 8 minutes the next day)

Monday workout: 8 min leg workout

Tuesday workout: 5.5 mile run 8:27/pace, 10 min abs + foam rolling

I had a small break at work and decided to do a leg workout since I eased up my strength training as my last half marathon came closer. I wanted to do plyometric movements which are great for runners and get in a workout where I would get the maximum benefit for the few minutes I had.

Aaaaaaand now my legs feel broken. It feels like I ran a downhill marathon and I only did an 8 minute workout. Which proves there are NO excuses for not fitting in a workout.  Here’s what I did with a how to breakdown, but don’t come crying to me if your legs don’t work the next day. Or the day after that.

3 exercises, 3 times, all out effort. Go for time, so minimal rest in between sets.

Squat Jumps (12 repetitions): Standing with feet shoulder width apart, bring your hands all the way behind you as your body lowers in squat position. Use your arms as momentum and explode up toward the ceiling, jumping off the ground. Land softly with arms returning to the start position. There is NO rest, it’s a fluid motion.

jump squat

jump squat

Alternating Lunge Jumps (20 repetitions): Step forward with one leg, lower the other into a lunge position. Jump quickly in the air, switching legs into the opposite lunge position and continue jumping and lunging.

(you don't need weights)

(you don’t need weights)

Lateral (side) box Jumps (20 repetitions): stand next to a raised sturdy box. Place one leg on the box and one off to the side. Jump up switching feet on the box and to the other side.

find a box height that is challenging– i think i used a 26″-28″ inch box.

Notice every exercise is a jump. This is a high impact, intense workout. If you need to modify, do it! Take the jumps out, do the movements just don’t leave the ground. Whatever you do, cross train, strength train & stretch. Running is a sport that requires much more than just running!

see, stretching!

see, stretching!

Have a happy Wednesday! Let’s make it to the weekend strong! 

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Reverse taper & my recovery week summary 9/16-9/22

Zero week came to an end this morning when I finished a really great first run back.  After my run, literally as soon as I was on my quarter mile walk home, my right hip tightened up and my right calf started aching so i’m glad I took off as much time as I did.

A rule of thumb for beginners after a race is to take off one day per mile run. A 13 mile run = 13 days off from running. I usually take 5-10 days depending on how sore I am, but i know the extra time off is what helps keep injury away. Even if I’m feeling fine after 3 days (which is normal) I know I put my body through hell and being sore is not the only indicator of bone/joint/ligament/tendon wear & tear. Treat your body to the reverse taper (time off and easing back into running) to stay injury free. Especially if you’re like me and run year long.

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

Tomorrow is back to normal, running and personal training. I’ll probably make a visit to my Chiropractor just to be sure the kinks are worked out. Never a bad idea to be proactive with the recovery process.

Monday-Saturday: Rest. Full rest, no weights, no runs, just stretching and relaxing.

Sunday: 6.4 miles 8:08/pace 8:37, 8:19, 8:20, 7:55, 7:59, 7:49 Starting to feel normal to run closer to an 8:00 pace, which is nice. Must be the fixed hip 🙂

Now the real question, what races do i run next? Maybe a fun winter 5k, halfs in the spring?

Any suggestions?

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Hey Thursday, here’s a phone dump. (Vol. 1)

Phone dumps, from what I know, originated from Skinny Runner (or at least it was the first place I noticed it). Basically it’s the left over, random photos that didn’t make it into a blog post. The best time to unload & delete random photos are days like this. Where I miss running, can’t run and don’t have anything running related to talk about to. And am trying to get through these next 3 days of race recovery till I can finally run on Sunday.

Enjoy the random acts of picture taking!!

from a hike earlier this summer
from a hike earlier this summer
watermelon margarita, best i've ever had. Also largest i've ever had
watermelon margarita, best i’ve ever had. Also largest i’ve ever had
because bloggers have to be obsessed with froyo
bloggers are obsessed with Froyo
Guy at my guy wearing the BEST JAKE SHIRT EVER.
Guy at my gym wearing the BEST JAKE SHIRT EVER.
forgot to add this to the race post, medal is by far one of the best i've received
forgot to add this to the race post, medal is by far one of the best i’ve received
the time a ghost appeared in my beer. Don't worry, its a friendly ghost, look at the smile!
the time a ghost appeared in my beer. Don’t worry, its a friendly ghost, look at the smile!
apparently the lime bra/grey shirt is my favorite combo
apparently the lime bra/grey shirt is my favorite combo

Almost Friday people! What kind of workout are you killing today?

I’m still in the stretching, yoga-ish, foam rolling stage of recovery.


Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll 1/2 – Race Recap!

Sunday’s 1/2 marathon splits (7:54/pace): 7:49, 7:54, 7:58, 7:49, 8:01, 7:40, 7:40, 7:45, 7:57, 7:24, 7:36, 7:45, 7:59 

1:43:25 Overall place 2065 out of all 18,074 runners. Division 25-29 female age group 176 out of 2406

This was a race full of firsts. This was my first time traveling for a race, staying in a hotel and eating at a restaurant for my pre-race meal. All of which I was scared of. All of which turned out really fun and totally in my favor. For the first time I actually slept a full 8 hours before my race. Woke up and had peanut butter on half a bagel, a banana, a water with grape Nuun and a Starbucks coffee.  I got to eat and take care of business in the comfy hotel room. I ended up leaving the hotel at 7:25 for the 8:00am start. I did a proper warm up run to the corrals, and did some dynamic stretching.

The first 4 miles of the race were through the city streets and it was gorgeous. I felt good, really good. Like, kept looking at my Garmin tick off sub-8 miles in disbelief and tried to slow myself down. When I hit my 5th mile at an 8:01 pace, I thought what the hell, let’s run fast today! So I took my Jet Blackberry 2x caffeinated GU and sped up for the remainder of the run along the river.

downtown heading toward the parkway

downtown heading toward Kelly Drive

My legs were hanging in there, my arms were relaxed, head was up and form was good. I focused on my effort to keep pace, more so than my watch. I only checked the Garmin at mile splits. The race finally got hard 8.5 miles in. I panicked and thought I went out too fast, my sub 8s were too good to be true, questioned the last time I ran over 10 miles?? This was the time of the race when my head decided to tell me it was tired. My body wasn’t though, so I shut up my brain and pushed on.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine at Mile 8.7

The last 3 miles were torture, the hardest of any race i’ve done by far. The sun was hot, my legs were getting heavy and my breathing wasn’t calm anymore. I kept telling myself the last 5k is supposed to be difficult. This is where it matters, one foot in front of the other, take shorter quicker steps and pump your arms. I kept moving, my times slowed slightly, but i wasn’t letting it get me down. I wanted to push until my body quit. Luckily I only had to stop once in the final mile to catch my breath and shake out my legs. I finished with a PR, almost 4 minutes off my last time from 6 months ago and ran a great race.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 10.02.10 AM

done. and getting blinded by the sun.

This wasn’t my ‘A’ goal. I wanted 1:40 so bad, but with my training it was a stretch. I haven’t hit numbers like that to even come close to that time, which is why I’m not upset about it. Coming off of an injury and an abbreviated training cycle (only 8 weeks), I’m really excited about my next races to see what I can really do with a healthy body and full training plan completed. Sidenote–can a girl get a sponsorship from a beer company? or Starbucks?

free beer!

free beer!

The real fun was after the race when we had a celebratory brunch at Marathon. Seriously. We stumbled upon this gem and I couldn’t believe the name or that it sits kitty-corner to Philadelphia Runner store.

Marathon Grill

Marathon Grill

Delicious. Everything was grass-fed, organic and yummy. $5 drink specials on mimosas and bloody mary’s, and you bet we took advantage.  I got eggs benedict & Cameron got the Philly Cheesesteak.




New blogger alert…I guess I’m supposed to take the pictures before we eat.. haha

My favorite way to explore a city is by running it. And maybe I’m on a big high from my PR, either way, I liked the city and would definitely recommend this race to everyone. It was flat, fast and very pretty. I will be back for sure.

I have nothing on the roster as far as races go and this week is a relaxing zero running week. Okay, not relaxing, I’m sore and already missing my morning runs. 😦

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Race Eve in Philly & Summary 9/9-9/15

I spent a good amount of Saturday & Sunday in Philadelphia with Cameron and it was a blast. I’ve never seen Philly before and I actually liked it a lot. Keeping this post short and sweet & will recap the actual race soon! I’m still getting used to blogging life, so try to bear with me as I get used to updating closer to real time.


We arrived in at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel around 3pm, and headed toward the expo. Our hotel was half mile to the expo and half mile to the start line.  Since we arrived late on the last day of the expo it was super busy and they were out of free samples of pretty much everything (lame), so we didn’t stick around too long. Ended up eating pasta at the Hard Rock Cafe for my pre-race meal. We walked about 2 miles between the expo, hotel, food & a little sightseeing.


left: church, right: philadelphia city hall.

near the hotel, thought it was an aptly named street :)

near the hotel, thought the street name fit the weekend 🙂

Back at the hotel, I compressed my legs, used my muscle roller, drank Nuun & Powerade, ate potato chips, candy, watched cartoons. Chips for sodium, candy for glycogen stores, and cartoons to relax. Running life, by far is the best.

Hotel View was beautiful!

Hotel view was beautiful!

favorite cartoon!

favorite cartoon!

Here’s a rundown of my workouts from this past week:

Monday: 40 min biceps/chest, 10 min abs

Tuesday: 6.4 miles 7:51/pace, 10 minutes of foam-rolling & 10 min of abs

Wednesday: 20 min shoulders/triceps,

Thursday: 6 miles easy 9:55/pace, 10 min abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3 miles easy 10:00/pace + approximately 2 mile walk

Sunday: 13.1 half marathon race + approximately 3 mile walk

Total Miles: 28.5 + walking miles!

Race recap coming soon!!


Like a G6!

Thursday workout: 6 mile easy 9:55/pace, 10 min abs

Yesterday I ran 6 miles and it was easy to slow down because the humidity did it for me. I didn’t even look at my watch cause I knew I was shuffling & struggling to breathe. I always tell people not to even pay attention to pace when it’s this hot and humid out. When you’re not breathing normally, oxygen can’t get to your muscles, so don’t expect for them to run fast. You know those days where it’s so hot you can just see the steam off the ground? That was yesterday. The picture below was taken so you can see how sweaty & gross I was even though I was running 2+ minutes over my race pace. Sunday’s race weather is set for partly cloudy 55 low/75 high, couldn’t have asked for better race weather!

you can see that my pink Brooks sports bra + yellow tank= orange!

my pink sports bra + yellow tank= bright orange!

The last days leading up to a race I watch videos of races & runners to get me pumped up. Lately I’ve been watching the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. Every time I see Kara Goucher finish she inspires me beyond the meaning of the word inspire.  At my very first 1/2 marathon in 2009 she raced and finished in a blazing 1:08:05. If that’s not impressive enough, she actually won the entire race– over every woman AND man. I didn’t know who she was when I saw her during my first expo experience and I knew nothing about the elite running world while I was training, but she definitely changed the way I thought about running and my passion for the sport.

A few months ago I let her know I adore/love/watch/stalk her…and she LIKED MY POST. I freaking love this girl.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.31.05 AM

Besides stalking elite runners, another thing I do is get my 1/2 Marathon Playlist in order for race day. I am a firm believer that you can’t just wing it when it comes to music. You can’t play Pandora and hope the commercials won’t get on your nerves at mile 8. You can’t shuffle your ipod and mess with skipping songs for hours on end. For the love of God, pull yourself together and put ten minutes of time into orchestrating THE SOUNDTRACK for your race. There have been plenty of studies showing how music can help you push through fatigue and pain during workouts, so use this to your advantage!

 Here are some tips to pull off a playlist that will get you to the finish line: 

-What is your estimated finishing time? Make sure the time of the playlist is long enough so you don’t hit the end of the playlist and have to mess with finding more music. You need your playlist to last as long as it will take you to cross this finish line–and then some. Just in case you don’t hit your goal time, having an extra 10-15 minutes of inspiring & fast paced music will help you finish strong, instead of giving up just because your MP3s do.

-How are you pacing the race? Are you trying to start out slower to save energy? If so, don’t play Skrillex or crazy dance music right out of the gate.

-When do you normally get tired in training runs or races? For me it’s about mile 8 where I start to feel it. This is where I will estimate the mile 8 time in my playlist and place music that inspires me. Power songs. Put them where you think you will need a pick-me-up! Your playlist will be ready to give you inspiration, energy and encouragement without you having to search for the songs and waste time.

-And always, make sure you charge your iPod/MP3 player the whole night before your race so it doesn’t die on you halfway. The biggest letdown/heartbreak is the sound of silence halfway into a race.

Now I’m off to pack for the weekend. I almost forgot I already put my Checklist on here!

What are your running plans for the weekend? Long run? 5k? Race? I’m coming for you Philly!!

What is your favorite pump up song for racing?? mine is Like a G6 by Far East Movement. 

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Tapering and it’s suckiness- Part II

Tuesday’s workout:  6.4 miles , 10 minutes of foam-rolling & 10 minutes of abs.

Tapering is the devil. I broke down Sunday and cried sobbed. I said it in my previous taper post about how little things stress me out and break me down…and it happened, right on schedule. Training for a race is a big deal to me. I put a lot of time, energy, and planning  into it. And just the idea of failing or having an off day is heartbreaking. Stupid i know. One of my downfalls is getting upset about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

So how did i handle it? I got over myself, washed my face and went on with the day. I know i put the time and workouts in. All i can do is trust my training, rest my legs and try to enjoy the rest of the week. I also continually remind myself that there are people too sick, injured or unable to run or be active.  I know I am so lucky to be able to do what I love on a daily basis. I just have to remind myself every once in a while, not take my legs or health for granted.

before my Tuesday run! brand new attitude and need to get used to self-timer

Tuesday before my run with a brand new attitude! (and yes, I need to get used to the self-timer)

Yesterday’s run was a quarter mile warm up then 6 miles at an easy/moderate effort 7:54, 7:50, 7:58, 7:55, 7:35, 7:56, quarter mile cool down. This is the first time i’ve ever ran all my miles sub-8 and dare I say, it felt easy? If ever a time for my half marathon pace to feel easy i’m glad it’s this week. I have about 2 more easy runs scheduled for the week, a little walking around Philadelphia the day before and then it’s race time!

I also had extra time yesterday and finally gave myself a haircut. See, i’m keeping myself busy during my taper.


And don’t worry, i’ve been cutting hair off and on for about 7 years. My best friend and old roommate, Marie and I used to cut each other’s hair often and she’s in hair school now. I considered hair school before getting my Certified Personal Training certificate, but obviously my love for working out topped cutting hair. If anyone in Northwest Indiana or the Chicago suburbs needs a fantastic haircut, send me an email & i’ll give you contact information for the lovely Marie. (Gentlemen, I’m sorry, she is taken.)


I only trust girls with kick-ass hair & tattoos to give me a haircut. no joke.

How does everyone handle taper weeks?