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 Cameron, 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 we got in our stockings. Santa always brings the goods!


One of these things is not like the other…

Okay here’s my random thing of the day since I can’t go one post without it… Cameron started a blog. I KNOW. We’re pretty much entirely perfect for each other now. We’re both the type of people that constantly need some sort of a creative outlet. If you want to check it out it’s HERE! Also it’s nothing like my blog–>not about fitness–>not about running. It’s hilarious though. Take a look and have an open mind, i love what he’s going for (and not going for) with this blog.

I caught a picture us both blogging and hockey on tv! Can’t get much better than this. I mean, it can, but for like a Tuesday night after work, i dig it.


Weekly Workouts

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min TRX shoulders, foam rolling

Wednesday: 3 miles with Cameron

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 w/Cameron + 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!



Tuesday: 25 min TRX shoulders, foam rolling

Wednesday: 3 miles with Cameron

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

I swear! I’m going to be a better blogger in 2014 and update my site a little more often. Until then, enjoy some late Christmas photos from this week. We did Christmas Eve with Cameron’s family which included dinner, presents, stockings and brownies!


Cameron’s Bacon Pancakes shirt 🙂

I got some really cool gifts this year, but I don’t want to show them off (that feels weird to me plus i’m sure things will pop up on the blog). i’ll just tell you that my soon to be family & my gym family know me really well. I love chocolate, coffee, music & running:) They got me figured out!

We busted out Jenga while sipping on wine. The combo was incredibly fun and got intense, especially since each turn ended up with a photo shoot attached. haha


Juliana trying to find a loose piece


Cameron apparently trying to use magic


Juliana & Chris


me needing a shirt that fits and a haircut lol




We kept laughing at the roast cause it looked like we hacked off Santa’s forearm and cooked it. Mitten and all!


the best boxed brownies to all and to all a good night!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas week and got to spend some time with the people that matter most. I can’t believe it’s already Friday and can’t wait for my afternoon run.

Have a great weekend and be productive!


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.

When I got back to the apartment Cameron was already back from his 3 mile loop 🙂 This washed away all the stress from my long run. I was ridiculously happy he went out on his own. We ended up at Mark’s Kitchen for a late lunch. We eat there almost every weekend for breakfast or lunch cause it’s AMAZING! I had a chicken/avocado/bacon club on rye with sweet potatoes!


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


I Treat My Gifts Like Andre 3000 Treats a Polaroid Picture

Besides the fact we don’t have a tree and it’s been 60 degrees outside, i’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit.  After my final day of classes on Saturday, Cameron and I finished our Christmas shopping and decided to hit up Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the hockey game. It was a fun time and cool to see the town center all dazzled up with lights.


Like I said, it was warm out. Really warm. BeDubs had it’s doors open to cool down the restaurant, and when we drove home the car thermometer was like, “what’s up DC? It’s freakin’ warm out!”


We ended our night wrapping presents and drinking a couple of New Belgium’s Accumulation Winter Seasonal beer. Even though we’ve had no snow accumulation since last week, it was full of cheer and a wintery flavor. Can beer have a wintery flavor? I dunno, but I guess if the picture has snow and your glass says “happy holidays” why not?! And check out the world’s cutest bottle opener. I bought it for Cameron years ago from a little shop on Michigan Ave in Chicago.



Sunday I ran outside in a tank top and shorts, and it was awesome..kinda. But that’s another blog and I hope to share with you the many thoughts that run through my head during double digit runs tomorrow. And with keeping spirits bright and staying in the Christmasy mood, take a look at a pic of me and my sister from a billion years ago.. or what seems to be the late 80s early 90s according to the sweet design on our snowsuits. Also, I’m pretty sure my mom used to cut my bangs.


Workouts from last week

Monday: 4.6m easy 9:30/pace, 15 min chest

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

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

Thursday: 15 min crossfit (shoulders/legs)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 35 min group exercise (lots of cardio, squats and pushups and sweat)

Sunday: 10.4 miles 8:07/pace

Total Miles: 26.3

Is everyone ready for Christmas? 

Are you a gift shaker?



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, but Cameron loves Land O’ Lakes Chocolate Raspberry!


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

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

Friday Cameron and I got to dress up all fancy and head downtown DC to the Park at 14th for Gold’s Gym holiday party. The food they had for us was excellent, i picked at Cameron’s salad & chicken, but ended up mostly eating the crab cake balls, mini cupcakes and cocktails.


As soon as we walked in and checked out coats we noticed the tv’s were playing the Capitals game, so it kept us entertained until we met up with friends.


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

Randomness–> Cause you know I can’t go one post without being all over the place. Runner’s World is having a giveaway until Christmas! Fill out one entry per day Here!


Also a new episode of Rick And Morty is on tonight at 10:30 EST. If you didn’t see my post on it, my future brother-in-law created the show, does the main character’s voices and is a funny dude. Sarah Chalke is the voice for the mother on the show and apparently is a sweetheart in real life.


Sarah Chalke, my sister Abbie & Spencer Grammer

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!

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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.  We would go to the list and pick out a goal just to get us 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, “we should eat there one day, we 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.

The winner of the shirt giveaway is… Sarah! Congrats and send me an email @ iroc815@yahoo.com

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 12.49.53 PM

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 with Cameron 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.

Not taking running seriously is just one of the many things I don’t take seriously. Like pictures…


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!