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A Very Merry Thanksgiving!

Thursday: Eat & Rest <— I gave thanks for a day off!

Friday: 8.5m easy 8:13/pace 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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My pumpkin pie w/almond flour crust came out perfectly!

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Yesterday’s run was beautiful! It was cold out, but sunny which always helps it feel warmer than it is. I tried to make sure I didn’t start out too fast and kept my pace moderately even. For me to slow down I have to either run without music or make smart music decisions that are a little slower paced. Yesterday I listened to The Decemberists (perfect for this time of year!) & The Oh Hellos. Listening to the albums straight through also keeps my legs running calm and steady.

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All bundled up and ready to run! I got that warm headband from Target’s C9 collection for $13. It was worth it for sure.

Last night I watched The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. I’ve been watching Harry Potter all the way through over the last month or so and i’m finally down to the last part 2! I miss having a Potter film to look forward to around Thanksgiving, brings back so many memories! I try and watch the Harry Potter movies around Thanksgiving or Christmas ūüôā

What are some of your traditions?

Anyone do a Turkey Trot?


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Getting ready for the big day, pumpkin style!

Monday: 8m treadmill easy  8:33/pace (5 strides at the end)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: raining, gonna be another treadmill day.. oh well!

I hope all of you enjoy pumpkin flavored everything as much as I do. This is the first Thanksgiving in a long time that I won’t be in the Midwest and the first I’m in charge of dessert. I’m making my famous¬†Food Network’s recipe for pumpkin dark chocolate chip cookies & an easy pumpkin pie with gluten free crust. Seriously though, try the cookies, they are to die for, and the pumpkin makes the cookies incredibly soft!

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I borrowed and slightly changed a recipe from Elena’s Pantry & i’m excited to make my first almond flour crust! The nutty flavor will hopefully go well with pumpkin and i’ll add a little brown sugar and cinnamon as well. Just in case the crust is god awful i’ll have my cookies as a backup plan! haha.

And if all else fails…

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Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Also, I know everyone is giving tips for Thanksgiving and eating appropriately yada yada, so here are my three big ones for the holiday season:

1) The holidays are 3 days. Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Eve. Splurge on those 3 days. THREE DAYS NOT 3 MONTHS. I understand there are lots of holiday parties inbetween these 3 big days, so if you have a party to go to on a weekend make sure you fit in¬†prioritize workouts and eat healthy all week. Then if you want a few cocktails (wieners or drinks) you won’t feel so bad and you won’t lose your fitness progress!

2) Drink lots of water (even if splurging on adult beverages) and start with vegetables! Eat a salad with your Thanksgiving meal first, then you won’t overdo it on the bread/stuffing/potatoes. When you’re at holiday parties stick with the vegetable tray as long as possible before heading towards the higher calorie options and be mindful–don’t pick at everything one at a time. Use a plate and portion out your meal like you would at home.

3) This kind of goes with #2, but I always say, this is the time of year where you get to eat things you wouldn’t normally throughout the year. So go for it! Indulge a little! But only eat things that are completely worth the splurge!¬†How many times do you pick up something that’s not that great?? Right? We’ve all been there. A mini quiche that is just okay, or cheesecake that’s a little mealy or cookies that look better than they taste, but you eat it anyway cause you picked it up. <—-STOP DOING THIS. Put down the half eaten or bitten into piece of food, spit it into a napkin and discretely throw it out. No one at a party will notice and you can save your calories for something decadent!

I hope this helps put holiday eating into perspective. ¬†Enjoy this time of year, just try to indulge¬†mindfully. Don’t wait until January 1st to find out all those parties decided to hang around a while longer–¬†on your belly. (scare tactics, they work. haha)

With all this food talk I almost forgot! Sunday we saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire! Loved every minute of it! And¬†I’ve been enjoying my runs a lot lately. The whole, build-mileage-don’t-worry-about-pace thing is really something I can get used to. Plus when I’m not stuck on the numbers the speed just comes easier and without the anxiety.

On my way for a date with the treadmill!

It’s raining out, so i’m heading to the gym to lay down some miles.

Who’s cooking for Thanksgiving? Desserts?

What do you most look forward to!?

I love pumpkin pie, nothing beats it. #sweettoothforlife


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These are a few of my favorite things!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5.4 easy miles 7:52/pace

Tis’ the season yo! I grabbed my first holiday Starbucks drink midday while I had a lull at the gym. The Gingerbread Latte was needed to pick me up because yesterday was a headache. I literally had a muddy headache all day, didn’t feel well and left the gym early. Apparently when you stop taking allergy medicine, you get residual headaches.. not fun.

Gingerbread Latte. <3

They have a promotion to buy 5 holiday drinks and get the 6th free ūüôā

Earlier today I went on a quick run. I love when it’s overcast out, because it scares people away from being outside, and then all the trails are mine!!! Muah HA HA HA! Just kidding around, but this did get me to thinking of my favorite things..

These are the second pair of running pants I bought from Marshalls. I love them ūüôā

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And this is the New Balance hoodie I got from The Parks 10K a few weeks ago. I wear it constantly (along with my Capitals beanie. They’re inseparable.)

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I also love pumpkin pie, ¬†long walks on the beach, long runs anywhere, thai food, coffee, a new cd that you just. can’t. stop. listening. to., ¬†the rubbery, fresh smell of running shoes straight out the box‚Ķso basically things that involve running, music and food haha. That’s my life in a nutshell.

What are a few of your favorite things? 

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(source)

Oh yeah, i ‚̧ Friends ūüôā and I have NO idea how this song goes because I only sing it Phoebe style.


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The Training Taper and my Workout Summary 11/11-11/17

It’s been a laid back weekend. This is a “training taper week” for me. Much more strength training happened and lot less running. I know it might sound strange, but for me to stay healthy and away from injury while building mileage, I taper down about every 4 weeks.

Here’s an example: week one- 20 miles, week two- 24 miles, week three- 27 miles, week four -22 miles. Then week 5- 24 miles, week six- 28, week seven- 30, week eight 25 (taper week). ¬†These numbers are just examples, but basically you build mileage slowly for 3 weeks, take an “easy” week then start building again. I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and it works for me and keeps me from burning out and literally running myself into the ground.

I take taper week to do a lot more strength training, stretching, foam rolling, compressing, maybe a visit to the chiropractor– so i’m ready to run the next stretch of training weeks fresh. I think of it as giving my body a tune up.

Taking a break from TRX'ing

Taking a break from TRX’ing & of course wearing my Pro Compression socks

Weekly Workouts! 

Monday: 5m easy 8:11/pace, 15 min TRX Core workout

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:12/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 8:08/pace, 12 min leg/shoulder killer workout, 20 min abs

Thursday: 15 min abs

Friday: 50 min TRX full upper body

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Weekly Mileage: 14

**My goal mileage for the next 3 weeks are 21, 25, 27, then i’ll have a taper week around 20 miles. I’m hoping to having my weekly mileage base between 30-35 by January, we shall see!

How do you make sure you stay injury free while running year round or training for a specific race??


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I would walk 500 miles, but I would need new shoes before I walk 500 more.

Thursday: Rest

My running shoes are like children to me. I love them and care about their well being until they’re old enough to go out on their own (and be donated haha). I make sure to pay attention to the mileage i put on each pair and I only wear them when I run. A basic rule with running shoes is to change them between 300-500 miles. If you wear minimal shoes, or lightweight shoes you should change them out between 200-300 miles. Yeah I know, this is a very general piece of advice so hopefully the next part will help.

Changing your shoes depends on a few factors.

– The surface you run on. Roads will break down shoes faster than trails.

– Your weight. Example A 200 lb person will break down their shoes quicker than a 100 lb person.

– The type of shoe you wear. Minimal or lightweight shoes will wear out before basic heavier running shoes.

– The wear on the shoe. If you take a look at the heel, the outsole & tread on the bottom, you can determine if your shoe is worn. Look at your shoes like you would the tread on your tires. The picture below is an old pair of Nike’s I only use for hiking in. Check out the wear along the right side of the sole!

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– How your body feels. Sometimes the tips above won’t help you decide if you should change your shoe. Little pains here and there without being injured could mean you need a new pair. When you’re out running and constantly feel off, or feel your knees aching, or parts of your foot hurting for no reason it might be time to change your shoes.

I have had many clients in the past come to me and tell me about their knee pain or foot pain and the first question I always ask is “how old are your running shoes?” If your running a decent amount & using the same shoes for the gym & everyday activities you may have to replace your shoes more often, and might want to consider buying running shoes you only run in to make them last longer.

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Current Rotation from L to R: Brooks Pure Grit, Pure Flow, Nike Lunarfly 4, Saucony Kinvara 4, Shadow Genesis

I keep track of my training runs on my Runners World Training Log. I love their training log because I get to keep track of my shoe’s mileage on the same screen as I log my run. It’s pretty fun too because it breaks down the cost of your shoe to the mileage you’ve ran and gives you the price per mile. It definitely makes me want to get my money’s worth out of the shoe.

My shoes!

Determining the lifespan of your shoes is definitely up to the individual, but the best bet it to keep track of your mileage (even if just using a notepad and pen) and pay attention to your body’s signals and the wear on the shoes.

Happy Friday and put some miles on your shoes this weekend!

PS, I cut a side bang.

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I’ll commit to a shorter one, once my hair gets longer


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I wish I could be as fast as Shalane Flanagan.

Tuesday: 5m 8:12/pace

Wednesday: 4m 8:08/pace, 12 min leg/shoulder killer workout, 20 min abs, lots of stretching

Sometimes I wonder if I had started running earlier, like in high school, if i could have been good enough to run competitively. It’s always a dangerous thought path to live in the “what ifs” (and this doesn’t only apply to running.) I read blogs often where people are on their 50th+ marathon or where sub-8s or sub-7 minute miles are normal. It’s really easy to compare myself to other runners and feel bad about my times or distances or running log. I think it is important not to get caught up in what others are doing, but what you are doing to accomplish your own goals.

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Shalane Flanagan going too fast for the lens (Source)

I’m sure almost all runners have experienced some form of Runner Envy. It’s sort of inevitable and normal as a human being to want something someone else has, even if it’s running talent. My envy usually lasts a few minutes before I realize this is why I love the sport. Everyone who runs has a different body type, different goals and a different idea of what “fast” or “long” is.

I like running and I like when people start running because it’s an amazing feeling to see what your body is capable of. I never want my lovely readers to feel bad about where they are starting from. Running is a very personal thing when it comes to speed or distance and runners are a very supportive and loving group no matter if your Shalane Flanagan or a first time 5Ker (yes i’m making that a word. pronounced five-kay-er)

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Marie has always been up at 4:00AM with me at my races. We ran our first 5k race together in 2010 & her 1st half in 2011 ūüôā

Let other’s accomplishments inspire you, not discourage you. Runners love runners and love people who want to start running! I found an old Facebook message that can show that I started just like everyone else, it’s really humbling to re-read it.

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Yep, a full 3.5 miles in 50 minutes a full 5 years ago. Accomplishments are accomplishments are accomplishments. I was obviously very proud. Today that seems ridiculously easy, but I like reminding myself everyone starts from somewhere.

Throwback Thursday (cause why not?)¬†My sister Abbie did not think holding a towel like the old “Zest” commercials was funny.¬†She had the “not impressed” face down before Mckayla Maroney was even born. Seriously.

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Me, BFF Krisina, & my sister Abbie

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Not Impressed

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Also not impressed (source)

Can’t wait for the weekend already!

Capitals game on tonight, any sports fans out there?


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My race season is over, so what’s next?

It’s that time of year where my races are finished, my PR’s have been bested and the weather is getting darker and cooler, like my wardrobe. It’s the time of year where I have to stay motivated to run even without a race on the schedule for another 4+ months.

Luckily, I live in a fairly temperate climate here in DC and can generally run outside all year long. In the past i’ve cut my running down in the winter simply from lack of motivation. But I have a new fire under me for next year and want to maintain my endurance throughout the dark months.

We went to Marshalls and I picked up some new winter gear so I have no excuses on cold mornings. I bought 2 pairs of running pants for $40, a pair of Brooks Pure Grit for $32 (super deal!) and a pair of Brooks gloves for $8. I did good!

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pants were $17

Brooks Pure Grit & Brooks gloves.

Brooks Pure Grit & Brooks gloves.

I definitely am not trying to burn myself out before spring racing season, so my plan is to simply build mileage–nice, slow and easy all winter. I want to discover new music and create playlists to keep my running fresh and new. Hopefully this will keep me from injury and keep me happy through months of colder weather.

Running happy to me is taking my eyes off my watch and off the pavement in front of me. Otherwise I’ll miss out on stuff like this…

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My Weekly Workouts

Monday: 5.5m easy 9:00/pace

Tuesday: 20 min chest/biceps, 15 min abs/stretching

Wednesday: 8.5m 8:21/pace 

Thursday: 4.5m 8:51/pace, 20 min triceps & lower back, 15 min abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 2.7m easy 10:00/pace 

Sunday:  Rest

Total Miles: 21.2

So how do you stay motivated when the weather sucks?

What kind of running goals do you set in the winter months?


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Stuff the Sleigh 5K!

Wednesday: 8.5m 8:21/pace 

Thursday: 4.5m 8:51/pace, 20 min triceps & lower back, 15 min abs

Friday: Rest

I love fall, but right now I have nothing on my racing schedule and we’re probably not traveling this year for the holidays. I figured a fun 5K should keep me entertained and my mind off missing family.¬†Turkey trots/Santa 5k’s are definitely new to me, but i found one that stuck out and combines the Thanksgiving & Christmas spirit of giving, and of course running!

My Aunt Terri & Uncle Jeff at Thanksgiving a few years back... golden brown turkey will be mine!

My Aunt Terri & Uncle Jeff at Thanksgiving a few years back… golden brown turkey will be mine!

The Stuff the Sleigh 5K (or 1 mile walk) is at 9:00am Sunday, Nov 24th (the Sunday before Thanksgiving) in Tysons, Virginia and entry is $30. If you have kids 8 or under, they can visit Santa and enjoy the festivities for free and you can teach them about giving gifts to needy children.

This event will be collecting gift donations for needy children (hence– stuff the sleigh) and I figured this should be a great event, because afterward we can shop at Tyson’s Corner and I can give a little gift to myself ūüôā If you’ve ever been out that way it’s a GIANT mall. (And if you’ve ever seen me Christmas shop it goes– one for you, one for me.)

To register click here–> Stuff the Sleigh 5K/1M Walk

I love running races where I know the money is going toward a good cause, in this case the fees and gifts are going toward¬†Abolish Child Trafficking Now, Inc. So i’m going to run off a slice of pumpkin pie before I even eat it and get a jump start on the giving spirit this season.

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Me at Terri’s & Jeff’s like a million years ago

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Traveling, staying in, family coming to you?

Anyone getting up to run a 5k Thanksgiving morning? OR plan on running the Stuff the Sleigh 5k?


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The Parks 10K Race Recap!

Sunday: The Parks 10K Race splits: 7:47, 7:37, 7:46, 7:28, 7:46, 7:43, 1:51 (.2 of the race) total time: 47:57 7:44/average pace

Monday: 5.5m easy 9:00/pace

It was a strange feeling to come home from vacation and only a few days later wake up at 6:00am for a Very Cold, Very Windy 10K race. All I can say is thank Bob it was only a 10K because that’s all I could have handled!

Before I even started this race I had the idea in my head I wanted to run under 48:00, but no matter what i was going to PR since this was my first 10K AND I just came off of a few amazing 1/2 PR‘s so I gave myself a break and took it easy. I’m glad I did because I only had 1 gear for my pace.¬†The course was a flat out-and-back through the Potomac Park. We had views of the Potomac River, the Washington Monument & a lot of fall foliage which was beautiful!

So my one gear didn’t let me “race” people it just let me cruise and “race my own race” as people say. My focus was solely on form and effort. You can literally see my gait and foot strike in the pics below, it’s pretty neat!

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close to the finish and still not slouching! yay good form!

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midfoot striking!

the push off!

the push off!

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midfoot striking all the way to the finish!

PR Racing put together yet another well organized, easy and fun course for us. If you’re living in the DC area and want to run a smaller race with great swag check out their site for upcoming events.

Matt & Me done!

I finished 76th overall Female & Matt finished 82nd overall Male in 42:55

Surprisingly, I think running a short race right after a vaca might become a habit I can get into. I was being so lazy all weekend and Sunday’s race shot me into full on Runner Planning Mode…¬†How can I become a better runner?¬†How can I run longer?¬†How can I run faster?¬†How can I BQ? When can I start planning next year’s racing schedule? Which 1/2s and fulls do i want to run? What kind of training plans should I use?

Do any of you go into crazy runner planner mode?


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The Jamaican Vacation, as told in pictures, mon!

I’ve been home since late Thursday night, and haven’t been on the computer much.. I feel like i left my brain on the beach all weekend. Don’t worry! I’m back and with a lot to blog about.

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The 6am flight went great all the way to Jamaica. Then had an hour and a half bus ride to Ocho Rios. Along the way I spotted tons of goats, dogs, horses, cattle and colorful shops.

I spent a LOT of time on the beach, near the pool, and always in close proximity to the swim up bar. Let’s just say i’ve had my fix of daiquiri’s, pina colada’s & Red Stripe until our next vacation.

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I only worked out 2x while on vacation. The gym was called “Cut” <—- I know right?? It was an open air gym. As in, outside. Yes. In the tropics and outside. I ran once and called it a week because it was that uncomfortable and heck, i was on vacation! I told myself It’s ok to take a vacation from running too, especially when it’s not fun.¬†Here’s a pic of the gym from our view.

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here’s another of the beach… ‚̧
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Here are my workouts from last week:

Friday (the 25th): 3miles 8:00/pace 15 min bike, 15 min chest

Saturday: zip line hike approximately a 50 min hike

Sunday: 5 min bike warm up, 30 min legs (inner/outer thigh) & triceps

Monday: Rest (lay on beach)

Tuesday:¬†45 min – hiked Dunn’s River Waterfall

Wed/Thurs/Fri- Travelled, Rested & Recouped

Saturday: 3.3m 9:49/pace

Sunday: The Parks 10K Race 47:57 7:44/pace

Total Miles: 12.5m 

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don’t worry, be happy!

More Jamaica coming soon!

10K Race Recap tomorrow!

Missed you guys!