Elven. Alvin. Eleven.

Monday: Rest

Happy Monday!!

I ran 11 miles yesterday, and after my mentally crazy 10 miler from last week, this was a piece of cake. My legs felt great and I progressively got faster as I went along. I broke down the run into three parts: I ran the first 3 with a friend, then went 4 miles out and 4 miles back home. I won’t have another long run for about 10 days so that helped push me along. I’m pretty sure my sugar-filled Campfire Mocha from Caribou the night before helped. Gotta carbo load. Seriously what does a girl have to do for a coffee sponsorship! haha


love their winter cups!

My workouts from last week were pretty laid back. I’ve been feeling slightly burnt out, so I didn’t do much heavy lifting or hit my goal mileage. I’m not beating myself up though, today is the start of a new week, a new year and I’m already in much better running shape than I was a year ago. I have 11 weeks until my first race of the year! The Rock n’ Roll USA 1/2 here in DC on March 15th. My weekly mileage is almost where it needs to be and I’m gearing up to begin speed work, hill work and tempos. <—I know this shit sounds awful to some, but after a month and a half of easy running I’m ready for the hard stuff.

Speaking of hard stuff… I just had to show off the chocolate from my stocking. Santa always brings the goods!


One of these things is not like the other…

Weekly Workouts

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min TRX shoulders, foam rolling

Wednesday: 3 miles 

Thursday: 3 miles 8:30/pace, 10 min abs, 10 min lower back

Friday: 8 hilly miles! 7:57/pace

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 3 miles + 8 miles 8:16/pace

Total Miles: 25

Anyone running a New Years Day 5K?


My New Favorite Non-Running Sports Bra.

Friday: 8 hilly miles! 7:57/pace

I love finding stuff with the red clearance sticker from Target. Makes me feel like i’m saving a crapload of money, even though I always spend too much there. I did find a steal on a really cute sports bra this week. I keep my gym bras & my running bras separate so they’ll last longer. Plus I can wear the cute “low impact” bras at work.

sportsbra2 (1)

cute right? and it’s reversible!

This was a $15 bra marked down to $7.38. I’ll take it. Plus it’s my favorite color combo, grey and neon. And it seems like a good bra for summer tank tops. The store has other colors at regular price. I’ll be keeping an eye out for sales just cause this is my new favorite non-running bra.


Can’t quit the razorback style!

Even though i’m in the mood to spend money on running stuff, I’m not allowing myself to buy shoes. I gave myself strict orders to not buy any until my rotation gets back down to 3 pairs. It got kinda out of control this year when I decided to try out a few different brands.


My Brooks and Nike’s are on their last 50-100 miles so I suppose that means I can buy a new pair in like March?  Sometimes my motivation to get a run in is just to put miles on shoes so i’ll be closer to buying a new pair

Yesterday I laid another 8 miles down. It was a super hilly trail near my gym, but with the change of scenery, hills, a few new songs on the iPod (Britney Spears’ Alien? What up?!) the miles went by quickly. As I start to incorporate speed work into my schedule I will also start experimenting with food during my long runs. I’ve been doing okay when it comes to the half marathons, GU & water is my combo, but when I start to hit longer distances i may need something more substantial, but we’ll see when the time comes. Adventures are about to begin! 2014 is gonna be awesome!

my "after 8" pic

my “after 8” pic

Who’s doing a long run this weekend?

I’ve got 11 on the schedule

New Years Eve plans?

None yet!


Inside the 10 Mile Mind.

The first double digit run finally happened this past Sunday. I’ve ran plenty of double digits in the past, but I haven’t ran one since October 15th of this year. So, it was my first in a while. It was strange, but I had a few revelations that I wanted to share and thought I’d break it down the way it happened through the miles.

I was super stoked at first, it was almost 70 degrees out, wet but not raining, and I got to break out a pair of shorts. I was ready to go. I had 3 days off from doing any running, the iPod was charged, Garmin was ready, I had a Vanilla (not my fave) GU packet and Lemon-Lime Nuun to equip me.

before long

Miles 0-3 (8:37, 8:17, 8:24):  I started with a quarter mile warm up which is basically walking fast, high knees, butt kicks and light jogging until i hit the run path. I kept having to slow down and tell myself this was a “long run” and I still had a ways to go. At mile 2.4 I stopped to stretch and check out the 4 deer hanging around nearby… thus began the 1st of about 5 stops during my run to stretch and shake out my tight legs.

Miles 4-5 (8:30, 8:29): Once I hit mile 4 I wanted to turn around. Even though I had a decent pace, I was having a hard time because of the weather. It was warm, wet and humid. And after being used to cold & dry it’s a shock to the body, but probably more so to the mental game. My head just wasn’t into the run AT ALL. I kept second guessing being ready for a 10 mile run, my quads wouldn’t loosen up so I stopped completely at mile 4.2 to take my GU & Nuun & give myself a pep talk. (Also, I spotted another 7 deer!)

3 things that snapped me back into the Run.

1) Lately I’ve been channeling this quote from Tom Hanks’ character in A League of Their Own. I always repeat “The hard is what makes it great.”


2) Long runs are for practice. Sometimes it’s practice for your pacing, sometimes it’s for the distance and time on your feet and other times it’s practice for your mental game. Today I chose to focus on the mental practice.

3) Then I thought “Am I going to finish this run complaining and walking or am I going to finish strong?” Isn’t that what a race is like? It breaks you down and it’s hard but you have a choice. You can give in and slug through or you can finish the best you can.

Miles 6-8 (8:04, 7:54, 7:50) I chose to finish strong–>at the least, mentally strong. The easy runs aren’t the ones that drive you to run a PR. It’s the hard ones you fight for. This will be a training run I’ll remember during the end miles of my next race. These kinds of runs are the ammo I pull out when I need the “you can do this, because you’ve done this” pick me up. And holy Santa balls, as soon as mile 6 kicked in my legs loosened up and running became a lot easier and fun. It’s amazing how your mental & emotional side of running really affect you. You can see by my pace that something clicked.


Miles 9-10 (7:32, 7:38 + quarter mile cool down): The last miles were in fact the easiest ones. I was proud I didn’t give up and even more proud that I actually got excited toward the end because I knew the following week I’d hit 11 or 12 miles in my long run. <— sick I know. Runners are nuts. But I, as many of you runners out there, really like to see what the body can do. And now more than ever I’m ready to challenge my head to stay positive throughout those long miles.

What are your tips for muscling through those mental barriers in the long run?


Silly Cow, Chocolate Moouse and a Caribou

Tuesday: 6.2m easy 8:30/pace, 15 min chest/biceps

Wednesday: 5.1 easy 8:27/pace, 30 min hip/quads, 15 min abs

Thursday: 15 min crossfit (shoulders/legs)

Phew! What a looong day/week/year and it’s not over yet! Sorry about the lack of posts, i’m sure everyone out there is rushing around shopping, wrapping, eating, finishing last minute stuff at work and…working out? I’m fitting in my workouts around my crazy “train before the holidays schedule” and the 3 days of personal training classes i’m taking this week. The class is Thurs/Fri/Sat 8:30-4:30, then personal training at the gym after!

My 6.2 mile run on Tuesday was completed in between training two of my clients. Yep, I fit in my run while working. It was different for sure, but it felt like an accomplishment. I feel a fun New Year’s Goal coming on…

After the final few miles

After the final few miles

Wednesday i ran outside because the sun was out and it made me happy even though it was only about 33 degrees. I took it nice and slow because this is the first time i’ve run 4 consecutive days in a long time. I usually max out at 3 and take a day off so I don’t get injured. I won’t be running again until my 10 miler this Sunday. Another thing I haven’t done in a while… run in the double digits. Last time I did that was October. I’m proud of myself for recovering properly from all the fall racing and slowly rebuilding mileage back up for next years races.


I was also digging the color combo of grey and teal… I looked like winter!

Another thing that put a smile on my face, among this week’s chaos, was the cute jar of hot chocolate & Caribou Coffee mug i received from a client. So sweet & thoughtful! I love that my clients know i have an obsession for hot coffee and chocolate!


I’ll let you know how the Silly Cow Farms Chocolate Moouse tastes! Now wish me luck to get through these next two classes filled with workouts and hope i’m not too sore to run Sunday!

Christmas shopping done?

Allmost. haha

Favorite Hot Chocolate?

I drink whatever’s available


A Doe, a Deer, Christmas is near. I, really like to run!

Monday: 2.1m with Laura + 2.5m, 15 min chest/biceps

Over the weekend Laura sent me a “wanna run” text. My answer is 99.9% of the time YES so we ended up doing a couple miles together yesterday. She hasn’t gone on a run since her half marathon in October so she’s trying to ease back into it a few miles at a time.


One of my favorite places to run through..

Our only complaint was the cold. It was 30 degrees and with wind of course it felt colder. My hands just wouldn’t warm up, but we had a fun time spotting deer and taking pictures. Laura did well with her first run back. Her pace was pretty normal and we took several walk breaks which is also normal for a comeback run.


another one of my favorite spots

Last week’s work…

Monday: 4.2m treadmill 8:17/pace

Tuesday: 7.7m easy 8:31/pace treadmill with 1-2% incline

Wednesday: 30 min chest/shoulders, 160 lunges, 10 min abs

Thursday: 5.5m treadmill progressive run 8:30, 7:53, 7:43, 7:30, 7:18 (half mile cool down)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 8 miles easy 8:06/pace

Total Miles: 24.5 

What’s your favorite temps to run in?

50-75 degrees

Are you traveling for xmas or is xmas coming to you?

We are staying put this year

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Phone Dump Friday!

Wednesday: 30 min chest/shoulders, 160 lunges, 10 min abs

Thursday: 5.5m treadmill progressive run 8:30, 7:53, 7:43, 7:30, 7:18 (half mile cool down)

I know i broke my “only run easy in December” rule, but my legs felt amazing and I knew my next day was a day off from running, so i went with it. It felt good, I felt good and now i’m excited to include speedwork into my life again this January.

Going to work, then a Christmas party tonight so enjoy some random pics!


fall day in the car

The Great 8 practicing a few years ago

The Great 8 practicing a few years ago

painting i'm working on (don't worry i'll show you finished works in another post!)

painting i’m working on (don’t worry i’ll show you finished works in another post!)

Jamaica on the boardwalk

Jamaica on the boardwalk

Photobooth at a Christmas party = best. idea. ever.

Photobooth at a Christmas party = best. idea. ever.


yep, i had short hair 2 years ago

Have a great weekend!


My Personal Odometer Just Hit 1000 miles

Tuesday: 7.7m easy 8:31/pace treadmill with 1-2% incline

I’m pretty sure everyone at the gym yesterday thought i was nuts because i finished my run (to the tenth of a mile) pressed stop, threw my hands in the air like Rocky and said “ONE THOUSAND!” I’ve never hit an annual mileage this high before. I made it a goal this year to hit 1000 and I’m so happy xmas came early for me. To give you an idea of how my annual mileage stacks up, i found a piece of paper with the tallies.

2009: 368 2010: 695 2011:840 2012: 860 2013: 1000 and counting!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.48.30 AM

I’ve had a few big milestones this year in running: Three consecutive half marathon PR’s in March, September then October. These 3 races also helped with a more fun, long term goal of running a race in all 50 states. DC, PA & MD. Three new places done!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 11.08.34 AM

I also dealt with a hip injury immediately after the USA 1/2 marathon in March. It was a process and a half to get my hip back to normal so I could run pain free. My friends and Cameron can totally tell you I had my days of being a depressed brat, but I did put my energy into strength training the heck out of my hips. When injuries happen, the best thing to do is learn from them, strengthen the weak areas and train smarter. I’ll take my 2013 injury as a positive, because I’m a much happier, healthier runner than i’ve ever been and my stats are reflecting it. yay!

Every year I write down a goals list to set out and accomplish, instead of just a New Year’s Resolution. Everyone does this, I know, but I toss in random easy goals because I like crossing things off a list and it keeps the list encouraging and fun. The list is also posted right by our door so i see it multiple times a day.


I still have a few I could finish before the end of the year, but whatever doesn’t get completed just rolls over onto next year’s list. I like having a variety of goals on my list that way i don’t take myself too seriously and have fun. The list has also come in handy on days where there’s nothing to do.  I can go to the list and pick out a goal just to get out of the house. Usually this would be a place to visit or eat, but hey–how many times do you drive past a place and say, “I should eat there one day, I should totally go there!” Write it down and make it a goal 🙂


Goal #5, Santa Monica with my Mom last January

I’m going to get working on my 2014 goal list and I’ll share it with you soon. I hope this changes your idea of “New Year’s Resolutions” or as everyone knows it as,  the goal that no one keeps past the first week of January. Make a big ol’ list of goals, all different kinds, big/small, easy and hard and fun, running and non-running related and give yourself the full year to accomplish as much as you can.

What goals did you accomplish this year?

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Night Running! (plus other things to make running fun)

Monday: 4.2m treadmill 8:17/pace

Tuesday: still snowing out, i’ll let you know how the treadmill goes.

My sister sent me over a picture text the other night… and said “First run in two years, ” then shortly after “Yoga > Running.” I will agree to disagree on that, but i do love me some yoga and i miss running with Abbie. She spent a summer with me 2 years ago and we ran almost everyday and usually at night. I haven’t ran at night in over a year (besides the Cosmic Run) and i miss it a lot.


Yoga Bod + 50 Degree LA = Runner. I’m great at math, i know.

Night running is kinda like running down a hotel hallway; you feel super fast, and you’re hyperaware of noise & lights like a bat and with the sun down you don’t have to squint.  Just the thought of night running gets my heart rate up. Here are some more things I find super fun about running and takes the monotony out of just putting one foot in front of the other…

-Running with friends. Way more beneficial than Words With Friends (seriously does anyone play this game anymore?) Running with yourself can be therapeutic for sure, but running with friends can make the time go by so quickly and usually with great conversations.

-Running to playgrounds. Whenever i’m having a rough run and am taking more walk breaks than i like, I try to run toward a playground and find swings. Nothing makes me happier than feeling weightless while swinging my tired legs in the air. Also, you can break up the run by doing inclined pushups on the playground, tricep dips on a bench, pull-ups or hanging leg raises on the monkey bars. You get the idea.

-Say “Hi” to each person you pass. Sometimes when your goal isn’t pace/distance/time, it makes running go by a little easier. Making an effort to say “hi”, nod, wave, smile, give a thumbs-up or peace sign can really make you feel like you did a small good deed for the day. Plus you never know who is having a rough day and could really use a small act of kindness. Believe me, i’ve been on the receiving end of a few kind gestures while running and it not only gave me a boost, but also a warm fuzzy feeling 🙂

-Leave your watch and take your camera. If you’re like me, you spot amazing things on occasion when you’re out running. I’ve seen plenty of animals, beautiful skies and landscapes that I wish i had taken the time and energy to stop and take photo. If you leave the Garmin at home and grab a camera you won’t care about pace and the run becomes a “find a photo” run, which can lead to new running paths and taking your eyes off the few feet of pavement in front of you.

-Sign up for a Fun Race. I can honestly say that doing the Color Me Rad 5k & the Cosmic Run 5k this year were so much more fun that I originally anticipated. The idea of running an un-timed race for fun, was a foreign idea to me. Now i need these fun, just go out and enjoy the race atmosphere, races. They keep me happy, make me feel like a little kid and give me the opportunity to experience a race in a different way. I could never PR at a course where they throw colored cornmeal in my face, but why would I want to PR a race like that?? The beauty is the fun and not taking running so seriously.

Do you have any pictures from your runs that you want to share? Send them to me and I’ll have a Reader’s Picture day!

Don’t forget today is the last day for my giveaway! It ends at midnight!


My 1st giveaway!

Monday: 30 min upper back & triceps

Tuesday: 9 miles easy 8:10/pace, 15 min recumbent bike, 10 min abs

Yesterday’s run was amazing! I wanted to high five every baby in a stroller and cuddle all the little black squirrels in the trees — yes Maryland has black squirrels! crazy! I’m getting excited to finally get into some double digit runs in the upcoming weeks and I should meet my goal of 35+ miles/week when the New Year hits. Then I’ll start slowly incorporating speed work. I’m proud that I stuck to my slow mileage building all month because my 9 miler yesterday felt easy as…


my 2nd pumpkin pie I made! Don’t worry this is the last one

I forgot to take butter out of the fridge to soften it for cookies, so i ended up putting them on my shins. Bet you don’t see this everyday. The multi-tasking runner, ladies and gentlemen…

Another fun random thing of this week was the Rock N’ Roll medal I received in the mail for running 2 events this year. It totally made my day. I hope to one day turn all my medals into tree ornaments so this will be a cool one!

A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail. I had that momentary excitement and nervousness I’m sure you can relate to. It’s the “oh no, what did i buy online and forget about?!” feeling. But I opened it and it was a shirt…


It didn’t take me long to realize it was from my brother Adam. We have a weird sense of humor and poop jokes bring us closer together. But an even funnier thing happened last night. ANOTHER “I pooped today” shirt came in the mail.

I texted my brother to let him know and apparently he bought the shirts for several relatives and everyone keeps getting sent extra! It’s the poop shirt that keeps on giving! hahah So now one of you lucky readers can win my 2nd poop shirt & wear it proudly or stuff it into a relatives stocking for a good joke!

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment & tell me what you would do with this shirt!

 The giveaway will end on Dec. 10th and a winner will randomly be selected. 


I’ve got a Marathon on the schedule!!

Now that Thanksgiving’s over it’s Christmas time! In the center of Silver Spring is a toy tree. It was a little strange, but colorful! Although I feel like it probably torments the kids as they walk by haha. It brought back a few memories from my childhood, like the turtle sandbox and the kitchen set. Let’s just hope they donate the toys when the tree comes down.


Over the weekend I was invited to run the 11th annual Potomac River Run Marathon on May 4th. This will be my 2nd marathon ever! I haven’t ran one since Oct 2011. If you remember it was a disastrous race, so i’m stoked to get the chance to have a marathon I can use as a practice run before I attempt a more serious race in the fall. The Potomac River Run Marathon is a flat out and back TWICE course. Yes you read that correct, you go out and back for the first half, and the same out and back for the 2nd half. Like I said it will be a really good training marathon. Especially for the mental part.

Last week’s sweat days!

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

Tuesday: 15 min abs

Wednesday: 4 treadmill miles 8:20/pace, 45 min chest/biceps

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 8.5m easy 8:13/pace 

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 3.1 

Total Miles: 23.6 

What are your favorite cartoons?

Adventure Time, Spongebob Squarepants

How cold is too cold to run for you?

Below 30 is TOO COLD!