I’ve Got that Summertime Sadness

Tuesday: 6.6m treadmill intervals (pace ranged from 7:30-6:00), 15 min abs

Wednesday: 4.25m easy 8:41/pace, 30 min TRX upper body, 30 min yoga

Thursday: 7.2m hill workout, 15 min abs

Every time that Lana Del Rey song plays at the gym i get a little blue. I’m so ready for a pair of shorts, a bathing suit and a beach! Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooped up in the gym and apartment too long. (Or maybe it’s because my Jamaican tan lines are finally beginning to fade.) I did manage an outdoor hill run yesterday, but i was still struggling with icy patches and packed snow. It will be 45 degrees tomorrow so i’m saving my 12 miler for the nice weather & wet trails!

I finally ended up buying some handheld water bottles (per my coach’s suggestion) and I wish I’d done this a loooong time ago. I used to go without water for like 95% of my runs. If i were running over 10 miles I’d bring a small Gatorade or carry a bottle, all the other runs I’d just deal with it. Now I have a bottle for short & long runs, plus the pouch comes in handy <—get it!?


I found these ones at Marshall’s for $10 & $8. Immediately afterward I went into Sports Authority and they were selling the same bottles for $30! So excited I made the purchase I can tell that hydrating during my run is helping me maintain energy throughout the entire run. Simple I know, I just needed to do it to realize it. I mean, I chug water during my strength training days, why would running be any different?


after a treadmill run

I’m trying to make a solid effort to drink more water throughout the day. Especially since my workouts are getting tougher and my weekly mileage is beginning to going up. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces + more when you’re getting your sweat on. There’s always a ton of debate if things like coffee, juice, milk counts toward this. I think as long as the majority of your liquids are from water you’re good. If you want more information on daily hydration, Megan has a really helpful blogpost on the topic.


just because this made me happy

How’s your water intake? 

Any tips or tools you use as a reminder to drink more?



I Like Cupcakes.

Monday: 15 min abs

I forgot to mention the best part of last weekend.. I found a new cupcake place 🙂 DC has some pretty excellent cupcakeries such as Georgetown Cupcakes (as seen on tv!), Sprinkles, and Baked & Wired. All of which have unique qualities that make them extra tasty. I would know, I had had a taste off when I first moved here. All were amazing and all left me with with a happy tummy ache.


Over the weekend we stumbled upon a new place called Fraiche Cupcakery.

I got the fluffer nutter and got chocolate banana. Both were excellent! They had the normal flavors, Red Velvet, Vanilla, Cinnamon (i almost got this one), but they also had “savory cupcakes” that were like broccoli cheddar, beet & goat cheese, cupcakes that seem more like an appetizer. I wasn’t brave (or hungry) enough to try those out, but they looked good!


The shop it self was clean and cute, decorated in that famous Tiffany’s blue/teal. If we’re in the area i’m sure we will stop back in for a sweet treat.


Since its 13 degrees out today I’m heading back to the dread kill <–my auto correct did this, and i’m not sorry, for once I think it’s right– for Tuesday’s track workout. Can I tell u how tired I am of the treadmill, but how I think it might help make me a better runner?

1) My mental game is getting tougher.

2) I tend to run slower on treadmills than outdoors so I’ve been really good about keeping my speed up. I’m hoping it translates to faster times outdoors.

3) I can spot check my form in the mirrors and so far I’ve been happy with how my form has come together over the last few years.

4) I’ve been able to test different fueling methods since there’s a bathroom nearby.

5) It feels good to wear shorts. Not that this helps my running but it helps me go a few extra days without doing laundry haha.

Okay one more thing that’s totally random. My sister sent me this shirt with the sweetest note. Basically the year we were supposed to be Kimberly the pink ranger from Power Rangers for Halloween I got chicken pox. She got to wear the costume and I got to lay in front of Grandma’s tv and miss trick or treating.


It makes me happy.

Cupcakes? Love ’em or leave ’em?


Do Hamsters Even Like the Hamster Wheel?

Even though the weather hasn’t been cooperating, I fit in all my workouts on the treadmill. Except for one 3-miler. I set out for 10 miles and then set foot onto ice and snow. The trails near our house (and when I say “trails” they are asphalt bike paths) were not plowed, salted or anything. I made a decision on the fly to try and do a couple miles, just to be outside in the fresh air. My ankle wasn’t liking the uneven, slippery surface but the trek was worth it when i saw a guy on cross country skis. <—that’s when i decided it was okay for me to call it a day.


Loved all the colors I was wearing

I really hope it warms up. I don’t like running in place, starting at my sweaty self in the mirror. A trainer joked that running a treadmill is like logging “space miles” since you don’t cover any real distance. I even had people on Facebook give me tips on killing time during treadmill runs. Most of which were the norm– watch tv, a movie, sports etc. I got kinda lucky and watched the Aussie Open match with Nadal & Wawrinka. I forgot how much I used to think Ben Flajnik looks like a cheapened version of Nadal 🙂 haha. Oh yeah, i watch the Bachelor & Bachelorette. It’s one of the many guilty pleasures I have. Whoops.

At the gym on Sunday, I finally completed my 10 mile long run. For the first time I tried Shot Bloks & PowerGel. The Shot Bloks were a little too sweet for me, and I don’t like chewing while I run. The PowerGel was totally different than anything I tried, and I liked them. The consistency is more liquid-like and went down quick and easy. I normally use GU which is thicker and sometimes hard to get down. (Please don’t say “that’s what she said” I realize i walked into it haha).


Weekly Summary (all runs on the treadmill except Saturday)

Monday: 4.5m easy 8:43/pace, 40 min TRX back & triceps, 10 min abs

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 6 mile progressive run 2 X 8:00/pace, 2 X 7:30, 2 X 7:15

Thursday: 45 min chest/biceps/low back, 30 min abs

Friday: 4.5m fartlek 8:27/pace

Saturday: 3.4m easy 10:28/pace (in the snow, so very slow and careful running)

Sunday: 10.2m long 8:09/pace

When is your next race scheduled for ?

March 15th USA 1/2!

 Long runs on the treadmill? What keeps you busy?



The F Word

Fat. I don’t like the word, i don’t allow my clients to use that word. It’s super negative and yeah, I get why people use it, but if my clients are in the gym working out with me, working on getting healthier, there’s no reason to ever use the F word. There is no magic number on your bathroom scale that tells you You Are Fat. That’s a made up number in your head that you create to make your day awesome or completely deflate your self worth, mood and your entire day, which will then be spent hating yourself.

I’m a girl. Almost by nature I’ve been through a lot with body image, weight, and exercise both negative & positive. Once in a while I’d like to share my experiences not only to help anyone out there with body image issues, but so I can finally put some demons to rest. With all that said, I would like to share the time in my life where I gained weight and how I started losing.

I started gaining weight after high school when i moved out on my own and got a job while going to school part time. Working a full time job and going to school was stressful, and working late = eating late. I was lazy, stopped working out altogether and eating BAD foods…oreos, mac n’ cheese, pizza, pasta and my love for ranch/blue cheese and any cheese sauce was out of control. It literally makes me sick to think of all the crap i put into my poor body.


I’ve been asked before if I was ever “fat.” The answer is no, however, I was overweight and unhealthy for my body, height and frame. The picture above might not look that bad, but i was 30 lbs heavier than i am now, a full bra cup size larger and 6 dress sizes larger. Like I said, I wasn’t 100 lbs overweight or anything, but 30 lbs of pure excess weight is a lot when you’re not doing any type of exercise (and I gained it quickly in about 6 months).

The problem was I knew I was eating bad, eating late, and not exercising. The turning point (cause you know everyone has that A-ha! moment) was when I tried to button my “fat jeans” and they barely made the button hole. I turned to my then boyfriend and asked, “Have I gained weight?” to which he replied, “I mean, you’ve gained weight since we started dating.” <— yep, we broke up very shortly after that.


I decided to do something about it. I went to the apartment complex’s gym, which was small but really nice. I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  I tried doing this whenever i had free time or caught myself watching mindless hours of tv. I did a few exercise dvds and even started jogging on the treadmill when I had the energy for it. Those few days a week made a huge difference and the weight started coming off slowly but surely. It’s not the moment I started becoming a “runner” but it was when I discovered how working out and sweating can be  therapeutic and actually help balance my hectic life.

Since 2006 I’ve been working out consistently, 2-6x per week and the most fun I’ve had is watching my body change and seeing the difference of weight to muscle. Muscle really shapes your body.

This was taken in 2008, I was about 15 lbs less than the pictures above. I was running then, but no strength training.


This was from 2010, I lost another 10 lbs over those 2 years. Again, mostly running, little strength training. I did start to incorporate a yoga class 1x per week.


And here’s one from when I ran the 2011 Chicago Marathon. I was in full on running mode, no strength training and I lost another 6 lbs. This was at my lightest weight, but I don’t look great. Thin sure, but no muscle tone or strength.


In 2011, I made a commitment to begin strength training. The marathon crushed me and I believe it was directly related to not strength training. Plus I saw these pics and was confused as to how i was at my lowest weight ever, yet i didn’t look that great.. Skinny fat, as they say.

Since then I found a good balance of strength & cardio and have gained 7 lbs of muscle mass in the last year. Here are a few things I changed to help with my body.

1) I stopped weighing myself daily.  No one knows your weight but you and you should keep it that way. Don’t define yourself by your weight. If your clothes start getting tight, take the time to re-evaluate your eating habits and workout schedule. Or take pictures of your body and re-take them every 8-10 weeks and look at the physical changes.

2) I paid attention to Body Fat Percentage instead of my weight. Even though I gained 7 lbs of muscle, I’ve lost 8-10% body fat, which lead to a leaner, fitter, SMALLER body. You should be able to do Body Fat testing at a local gym or doctor’s office.

3) I hired a personal trainer. I hired a trainer because I had no idea how to strength train. If you don’t know what you’re doing ask for help! Get a friend or family member involved with your goals.

I guess what I want to say, is if you’re just starting out with running, working out or trying to eat better, put your efforts into those things and less effort into beating yourself up over how much you weigh. It takes a while for change, but if you’re doing the workouts and eating better, slowly you will become a better version of you.

How about you guys? Do you weigh yourself?

How do you make sure you’re staying on track?




Monday: 4.5 easy 8:43/pace, 40 min TRX back & triceps, 10 min abs

Monday’s run was weird. It took forever to get motivated enough to get out the door, I was tired, sore and so over it. Every once in a while a run just feels exhausting. My head wasn’t into it. At. All. I got much more excited by getting my head into a bowl of these…


Okay enough with the sugary cereals. It’s snowing like a mofo outside which means my clients and I aren’t driving out to the gym. It’s my first snow day in forever! I’m actually being productive too, cleaning the apartment & playing piano.


While cleaning i figured I’d share a few things about myself you may or may not know about.

1) I paint. I’ve been into art/drawing/painting since before Kindergarten. I got on a creative kick a few years ago, but haven’t painted in a while. I want to put aside some time in the future and get a few more in. Cameron’s a fan, it’s why they’re all over our apartment walls.


2) I moved. A lot. I grew up in Whiting, IN very close to Chicago (yeah i know it’s Indiana but we are the closest city to the border, look at a map. We were NOT in the cornfields people.) Then when I was 12 my parents got divorced and my mom moved my sister and I to Inverness, FL. From there we moved several times. (No, my mom wasn’t in the military or anything like that.)  Black Mountain, NC, Ocala, FL and back to Inverness, FL. After I graduated high school I moved to Orlando, FL Then to Munster, IN and now i’m in DC.  There you have it.


Florida, I was in high school when this was taken

3) I recorded music in Virginia and used to play at small coffee shop type venues. I play piano, sing and I own a guitar but don’t play it enough. Another goal for this year.. make more time to learn guitar!

Timothy Milligan Photography

Timothy Milligan Photography

Hope you guys feel like you know me a little better. In case you’d rather just follow along through pictures, check out my Instagram.

Are you getting snow?

Tell me something interesting about yourself. 🙂


Running Variety & Kermit!

Running has been so much fun this week! My training plan had a track workout, hill workout and today I have a long run.  It feels great to be back on a schedule that includes variety, especially since I have only been building my base mileage for the last 2 months. My body has never handled a ton of mileage well. The most i’ve done is a 32 mile week, i usually cruise at 25 on average, but my coach and I think if there’s ever a good time to try and increase, it’s now. I’m much healthier than in the past, my base is there, I strength train & focus on flexibility much more than in the past, and I want to run more! Especially with a marathon on the schedule this May I’m going to have to get used to it.


Yesterday I ended up at the Smithsonian American History Museum. It’s been a while and they had a lot of new stuff.


not the museum, but it was a clear, beautiful yet COLD day!


The real slippers! 🙂

Later I went to my favorite Thai place out here. Ruan Thai (Wheaton, MD). If you haven’t been–> GO. Some old dude came up to us while we were ordering and said, “This is the best Thai i’ve had since I was in Thailand 10 years ago.”


I also had a Thai Iced Tea. It’s SO sweet and good.


I grabbed “We Are the Millers” from Redbox and ended the night with a little wine and chocolate. I’m heading out for my 9 miler right now, wish me luck and I hope everyone is being productive this weekend!

Workout Summary (Keep in mind I’ve been stretching, foam rolling & using the Trigger Point tools like a mad lady trying to keep loose and flexible. I’m not going to put this into my summaries any longer, BUT i will be posting my favorite stretches & techniques soon!)

Monday:  4.5m easy 8:37/pace

Tuesday: 15 min chest, 10 min abs

Wednesday:  5.3m track workout, 20 min back, 10 min abs

Thursday: 20 min glutes, 10 min abs

Friday: 5.5m hills 7:49/pace (7:55, 7:48, 7:44, 7:17, 7:53 & half mile cool down)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9.4 easy  8:14/pace

Total Miles: 24.7 

What were your weekend workouts like?

Favorite wine? Red/White?

RED all the way…Cabernet Sauvignon’s are my go to 🙂


The Afterglow

Monday:  4.5m easy 8:37/pace

Tuesday: 15 min chest, 10 min abs

Wednesday:  5.3m track workout, 20 min back, 10 min abs + tons of stretching/T.P. 

I don’t know what it is about track work, but i freak out before it happens. The nerves kick in like I’m heading out for a race, I try and talk myself out of the workout or try to psych myself up for it. I hit the bathroom like a million times before I leave the house, tie & re-tie my shoes, all to attempt to put off the inevitable. (My new running coach recently posted about the weird things that happen during track workouts, and i could relate to almost all of them. )


No matter how nervous I get about running in circles, I know it’s the necessary evil to measure, test and improve speed. The nerves come from wanting to do well and see improvement, the excitement comes from the unknown of what’s about to happen.

The workout was short, to ease into the first track workout of the 2014 season. It was a 2 mile warm up, 4 X 800s and a 1.3 mile cool down. I ran each of my 800s progressively faster starting at a 7:20 pace, finishing with a 6:12 pace. Overall I was stoked. I started conservative, as I usually go out too fast on the track, but also I needed to pay special attention to my right hip & ankle. Verdict? They felt perfectly normal with no pain or tightness. All the Trigger Point tools and foam rolling is really paying off! I’m already looking forward to the next track session to see what kind of numbers I can put up.


my mug right after I was finished!

I love telling my clients to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you do the same thing day in and day out you won’t see change. Here’s my big plate of cheese—>When you attempt something that’s difficult, different, scary or new you will be a stronger person when you’re finished. It’s why people tend to feel like they can accomplish ANYTHING after they cross a finish line. All of a sudden those things you assumed you could never do seem attainable.

This of course isn’t just about running. A lot of my mental clarity and decision making come after a hard workout. If I can make it through I can do the next big thing. Whatever that may be!


enjoying the afterglow…and the remaining 70 miles left in these Brooks PureFlows 

What was your last hard workout, or last difficult thing you overcame?


Staying on (the) Track!

I’m not gonna lie, these last few weekends have been entirely lazy, full of movie watching, fitting in an easy run when I can and eating waaaay too much sugar. I think i’m getting a little stir crazy. This always happens this time of year up until March when spring racing starts, then the year seems to fly by.


floor mess! yoga mat, fitness mags, coffee mug, rolling stick, goals list. And yes, i stretched the heck out of my legs all weekend!

I did something to keep me on track with my running goals and to stay focused for my 1/2 in March. I hired a running coach! The first thing I know i’ll get asked is “why?” I’m a personal trainer and I have a ton of running experience. I create workouts for a living and can keep myself motivated, but I can always use the help and anytime i can learn more about running I’m game!

I got the strength training down since i spend all my time at the gym

I got the strength training down since i spend all my time at the gym

Let’s start with the facts. I don’t have a track or cross country background. I was in drama & art in high school. Something about Florida humidity made it real easy not to like running.  I was an active kid though, always outside, we had a pool and trampoline. Running just wasn’t in the cards yet. When I actually started running I was 22 years old and didn’t know anything about Runner’s World, Flotrack, Competitor or basically how to ask for help. I started running solely by trial and error. I bought the wrong shoes, wore cotton shirts, never brought water with me and had no idea what i was doing. Since then I’ve learned so much about the sport, but i’m not embarrassed to say I don’t know everything about running.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.55.23 AM

Speedy Coach Lauren met the Goucher’s!!

I wish I were a little less shy about asking for help when I started, but I’m guessing it’s why I read running blogs now– to learn how other people train. That’s where my coach comes in. Lauren is fast and has a background in track/cross country and is going for a sub 3:00 marathon this year. I want to learn from her. So she’s created a tailored training plan for me, my goals/speed/distance and schedule. For once it will be nice to have someone to tell me what to do! The big reason I decided to have a coach (almost typed couch, but that’s not the same thing) is to keep me focused and on track <— literally and literally. Consistent speed work is what I’ll need this year to set a few PR’s, qualify for Boston, and look good in a wedding dress 😉

I’m excited to share my experience of having a coach with everyone. If you are interested in reading more about Lauren’s coaching options or her amazing blog click here–>Will Run For Boston. Don’t be afraid to ask people for advice or help when it comes to fitness. The industry is constantly improving and always changing and why i’ll never be bored with my job.

What I did last week

Monday: 5.2m treadmill 8:00/pace

Tuesday: 15 min Chest/Shoulders Crossfit, 30 min Core 

Wednesday: 30 min quad/hamstrings, 10 min summit trainer 

Thursday: 5.4 easy 7:46/pace (7:58, 8:01, 7:52, 7:30, 7:27), 20 min abs

Friday: 3m treadmill 9:00/pace (legs felt super heavy/tired, ended run early)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 8m easy 8:05/pace 

Total Miles: 21.6

Anyone else have a coach?

Do you train for a race with a training plan?


I’m free!

Thursday: 5.4 easy 7:46/pace (7:58, 8:01, 7:52, 7:30, 7:27), 20 min abs

My run yesterday was amazing. It was warm enough to be outside (32 degrees & sunny!) and coming off a low mileage week i was getting EXTREMELY antsy to run. I paced my first mile around 8:00 and tried to maintain the 8:00 minute effort as best I could. It felt easy, comfortable and pain free. I was totally surprised by the final 7:30 paces, but I think the wind was at my back and pushed me for those last two miles haha.

Okay guys, I bought a new pair Nike Free’s. If you recall, I said I wasn’t going to buy shoes until I maxed out the mileage on a couple of my other pairs… but these aren’t running shoes, they’re just for the gym. So, you know. Loophole. 😉


I tried a leg workout on Wednesday and put a few of my clients through it and I’m still sore! This one will stay in our rotation for a while. The set starts with weighted split squat on elevated surfaces. This helps flex the quads more than you could normally on the ground. These burned out my legs!


Next were alternating walking lunges and then single leg dead lifts with a 30 lb bar.


I ended up doing 3 sets of these exercises, 10 per leg each set. The only thing pushing me to make my legs sore on days like this is knowing it will make be a better, stronger runner!

Matt was my photographer for the day, our pic is all fuzzy cause he was trying to figure out my phone and pushing me over making me look like a hunchback.


i wear that tank top like everyday.

I’m going into work soon and arms are next to be worked out and I’ll hop on the treadmill for a few miles in between clients. I’m always curious about runner’s cross training/ strength training routines.

What’s you favorite way to cross train? 

Favorite strength training exercises? Machines? Muscle groups?


Things About Me

Tuesday: 15 min Chest/Shoulders Crossfit workout

Wednesday: 30 min quad/hamstrings, 10 min summit trainer (cardio machine that’s a mix of elliptical and stair step)

My friend Kristina at a Blog About Running tagged me in a fun survey, so i thought i’d answer as honestly as possible so you guys can get to know me better!

1. How did you come up with the name for your blog? 

This was crazy, it took weeks, maybe even a month for me to come up with the perfect name. One day I woke up with the song “The Distance” by Cake in my head and the light bulb went off, I jumped out of bed to the computer and boom, my blog name! I changed the “he” to a “she” and bought the domain that week. It means a lot to me since I love music. Especially good, fun, music.

2. What would your memoir be called? Runner, Lover, Painter Girl.

3. What is your “day job?” I’m a Personal Trainer @ Gold’s Gym.

outside at work, and yes, I LOVE MY JOB!

outside at work, and yes, I LOVE MY JOB!

4. What are 3 of your proudest fitness accomplishments?

Finishing my 1st 1/2. There was not one single person waiting for me at the finish line, but i did it, drove myself home & was completely satisfied I completed my first of many races to come.

Doing a pull-up. This happened last year. I was always the kid in elementary school that just hung on the bar and could never do a pull-up, now I can do a few at a time. 🙂

My mile time trial last year. 6:39 flat. It is terrifying to run 4 laps as fast as you can.

5. You HAVE to change your first name. What do you change it to? Charlie. I’ve always liked boy names for girls.

6. What is the best concert you’ve been to?  I need a whole 2nd blog to talk about music! I can’t just pick one!!  I saw Fiona Apple and Damien Rice opened, I about died! I’ve seen Britney Spears a few times in concert and she ALWAYS puts on a fun show. Nada Surf is incredible live. Arctic Monkeys put on a high energy show.. omg i can’t do this. I don’t have a favorite just yet. So many shows attach completely different “best concert qualities” it’s so hard to choose! Marie took me to a Blink-182 concert for my birthday a few years ago and it was amazing too..

7. Tell me some things on your bucket list. Visit Spain, Italy, UK, Bora Bora, Costa Rica, Brazil, India, Thailand & South Africa. (don’t freak out, it’s a bucket list…means i got a lifetime yo). Skydive, hang glide, run a race in all 50 states, do a beer mile, have a kid(s), live in California, visit all the NHL hockey rinks for a game, hike/visit the grand canyon… man I need to really write this list down.

8. Describe your dream house. Open, modern yet rustic, super cozy maybe a cottage feel, lots of windows and dogs and a big yard where I can have a trampoline, garden and flowers. <– If i live in my dream home I will also have the money for a dream housekeeper and gardener and dog poop cleaner upper. 😉



9. Name a celebrity you find oddly attractive (one that wouldn’t normally be on the hottest celeb list).

Taylor Hawkins. The drummer from Foo Fighters. I’ve never told anyone, but i’ve had a major boner crush on him since i was in 6th grade…



10. Tell me five of your favorite blogs. I had a hard time choosing cause I read plenty haha.

Hungry Runner Girl  I know this is an uber popular blog, but there’s a reason. Janae is an open and honest and a fast, but still getting faster runner all while being a single parent.

Once Upon a Lime Sarah is a displaced Midwesterner currently in Cali trying to figure out a happy balance with running & life. And she likes craft beer. Yep. 🙂

Will Run For Boston Lauren is a speed fast runner trying to break 3:00 at Boston this April! (bonus – she has cute dogs too)

Run for the Pizza Emmeline is fast and she’s getting in shape to run a 1:30 half this year. Plus she’s an excellent picture taker. So if you don’t read her blog, at least check out the photography!

Blog About Running I went to high school with Kristina who has some incredible running goals for this year. She just completed her first 1/2 marathon in the fall and 2014 will bring a full marathon as well as a 50K.

Hope everyone is as ready for the weekend as i am!

Take one of the questions above and answer it so i can learn a little more about you!