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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.

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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.

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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?


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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. 😉

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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!

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

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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.

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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?


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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 and told Cameron 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! Cameron and Marie took me to a Blink-182 concert for my birthday a few years ago and it was amazing too..

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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. 😉

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(source)

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…

(source)

(source)

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!


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Better Body Maintenance

Monday: 5.2m easy. 1@ 8:40 warm up mile then 4 @ 8:00/pace, .2 walking cool down, Lots of rolling & physical therapy on my anterior tibia.

After my visit to the Chiropractor, i spend time this weekend relaxing, stretching & cleaning the apartment. Nothing exciting, just tried to keep my mind off the whole, not running thing. I went on my first run in four days (on the treadmill, cause yeah outside is NOT happening in this crazy cold) and I felt good! My ankle felt normal and leg wasn’t tight. It’s still a work in progress and my boss is being awesome and teaching me how to use his Trigger Point physical therapy tools.

I know those little green rollers and balls look all cute, sweet and innocent, but they are crazy torture devices. It makes a foam roller look like a joke. I’m saving up to buy a kit so I can work on myofascial compression in the evenings. If I can find a tool that will keep me healthy and running I’ll try it!

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See..i stretch… or sit on the ground. whatevs

I can’t remember for the life of me who said it, but I read an article on Runner’s World about 3 years ago that changed my way of thinking about the “maintenance” part of running (the therapy, stretching, warm ups, cool downs, icing, compression, massage etc.) and he (or she) said something along the line of how that extra 10% you put into the maintenance is what makes the difference in running comfortably, injury free and for years into your life.  I took that to heart and now more than ever I’m going to make sure that I’m doing some sort of TLC to my body every day, especially on running days. How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution?

Random thing for Tuesday. I need a haircut. BAD. I think my last haircut was in July/August? eek.

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Last Week’s Workouts!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy 8:47/pace, 1 hour of Olympic Lifts 

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 6.5m easy run 7:41/pace, 8:03, 7:50, 8:04, 7:35, 7:16, 7:04, 15 min Triceps, 10 min abs

Friday: 30 min chest/biceps free weights + TRX, 10 min abs

Saturday: Rest <–lots of stretching 

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 10.5 (very low mileage for the week, DR’s orders)


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Shorts in the Snow & a Minor Setback

Thursday: 6.5m easy run 7:41/pace, 8:03, 7:50, 8:04, 7:35, 7:16, 7:04 <– I had to work for that last mile.

Friday: 30 min chest/biceps free weights + TRX, 10 min abs

I went to work Thursday in my Pro Compression socks and a pair of shorts (cause duh, socks and capris look dumb and I always get super warm when i’m wearing them) after my easy but the last miles were hard and made my legs sore run.

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Welp, you may have heard/seen/touched/ate some of the snow that’s falling all over the country. DC got a few inches Thursday night and I had a few people “concerned” since i was wearing shorts. I was stoked I could wear shorts in January. Hello! How fun is that?? I’m from the Midwest, shorts happen. All year round, whenever you can tolerate it.

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When I left work I became a little kid again. I was actually excited to be driving in snow, slush and icy roads, just because it’s been forever since i’ve had to do it. (disclaimer: this was only fun because absolutely no one was out on the roads). I got to take my time and look at the fluffy new snow covering, homes, trees and cars. The sky was totally white, so everything looked beautiful. (disclaimer #2: snow is only beautiful and fun when you don’t have it)

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When I got home I forced asked Cameron to put a coat and shoes on and stand outside on the stoop of our building just to look at the pretty snow and enjoy how silent it was. I love how snow mutes the world.

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It was still freezing out Friday morning when I headed to the Chiropractor for an adjustment and a tight ankle. What we found out was that my anterior tibia is really tight and screwing with the mobility of my ankle. So much so that the Dr was glad I came in when I did. He said a bone in my ankle was sliding in the wrong direction and i could have broke my foot or got a nasty stress fracture or tendonitis. Since all this doctor mumbo jumbo is hard to follow I found a pic that shows where my problem area is and how the outside of the lower leg affects the ankle.

He worked out (deep massage & pressure points) my tibia in a way only he could have described. I have NEVER felt pain like that in my life. As I was winced and my eyes filled tears he says to me “this is what it feels like to be shot.” As in, GUNSHOT. 😦 Yeah, no thanks to that ever happening.

On to the important part, he said not to run until my “gunshot” spot wasn’t tender, take an extra day off from running and cut my mileage my 25% for the next week. I was so scared he would say, “don’t run”. Those words are basically runner cancer. I’m more than happy to oblige with his Rx because it just so happens I’m on the 4th week of my mileage building which means… Training Taper! If you don’t remember, when I train all year round i generally build mileage for 3-4 weeks and then take a week with lower mileage to avoid burnout, injury and to take care of my body a little more closely. i.e. foam rolling, yoga, chiropractor, stretching, cross-training etc. Looks like the TT is working!

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one more shorts pic!

What are your weekend plans? Races, relaxing, recovering??

Tell me about your weekend run since I won’t be running!


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Alright 2014, Let’s Do This!

Here’s the obligitory 2014 Goals List. I don’t do resolutions, I do short and long term goals that range from fitness, work, fun, food and traveling. It keeps me excited for the upcoming year without stressing me out too much.

Fitness & Running Goals: 

Qualify for the Boston Marathon. I got this bracelet at one of the halfs from 2013 and it’s a great reminder for why i’m running this year.

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Break last years Mile PR. (I’m hoping this won’t be difficult–I haven’t timed The Mile since January of 2013)
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Run a 1/2 Marathon in between a day of training clients. I did a 10K during my work day because of a few cancellations. I think this would be kinda awesome and fun to attempt on a day when i’m schedule has a few holes in it.

Work on flexibility, specifically with Yoga. Every time I open an Athleta catalog I get really jealous of the women and their insane flexibility and strength. These are just a few I want to acheive…

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athleta.com

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Try SUP (stand up paddle boarding), Rock Climbing and Sky Zone Trampoline Park. These are the fun fitness things I want to try.

Obviously I’d like more running PR’s, more annual miles, more fun races. I’m sure those things will happen even without a list reminder :). Now on to my goals not related to running!

Get Married. How can i not? He’s too damn cute.

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Go to an NBA game. I’ve only ever been to baseball, hockey & football. I’m not much of a b-ball fan, but i’m sure i’d have fun at a live event.

Visit Las Vegas to go to Britney Spears show. Don’t judge me.

Try Ethiopian Food

Spend more time learning how to bake.

Visit a Pacific Northwest city, Seattle, Portland or just travel west of the Mississippi.

Record music, finish new paintings. Lot’s of unfinished work to be done here.

Alright, your turn. What goal fitness related or not are you most excited about accomplishing? 

Anyone living in snow right now??

I took some pretty pics last night, i’ll update soon!


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2013 You. Were. Awesome.

Tuesday: 4 miles easy 8:47/pace, 1 hour of Olympic Lifts (even though I was just learning form, 35 and 45 pound bars are heavy and i’m still sore)

Wednesday: Rest

2013 was a fantastic year for my running life, traveling, & personal life. I kicked off the year visiting Los Angeles for the first time and loved every second of it.

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Abbie & Mom ❤

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Beautiful view from my morning run in California

I went on a trip to Nashville for the first time, for a friend’s 21st birthday. It was epic, and I actually loved Nashville. This is a pic of all of us, minus the 3 chicks in the background– they totally photo bombed us.

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Printer’s Alley

 Cameron and I flew to back home to Chicago in July for his cousin’s wedding. We got to get our fill of deep dish pizza & local brews all while looking like frickin’ models. Okay, we didn’t look like models, BUT at the wedding reception the photo wall made us feel like it 😉

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Cameron, Juliana, Aunt Julie, Me & Chris.

And I got the chance to hang out with my veryextremelyalmostuncomfortablyclose friend 🙂 Marie is a doll, and we’re overdue for a reunion!

Stella Happens.

Stella Happens.

In October, Cameron and I took a real life grown up vacation to Ocho Rios, Jamaica! It was so much fun and relaxing. If you want to see my posts on Jamaica, check them out here and here. I definitely will return to the Caribbean one day.

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In 2013 Cameron and I got to see some amazing live shows. We are both musicians so seeing our favorite bands live is something we do often. We saw Sigur Ros, Postal Service, Animal Collective, Say Anything, Eisley, Bonobo, El Ten Eleven, Wavves… and the most important…

Sir Paul McCartney.

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The reason it was such an amazing concert, besides the fact he put on one of the best shows i’ve ever seen, was because earlier in the day Cameron proposed to me here:

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This was a place we hung out the first day we met.

Okay, on with the running stuff! I’ll do an upcoming post on the differences of running this year compared to the past, but for now just a quick recap so 2013 can be left in 2013.

During 2013 I cut 11:22 off of my 1/2 marathon PR from 2012. I ran the most races i’ve ever run in a calendar year and also hit 1068 annual miles which was a high for me. I did my first ever 5K’s some were serious and I placed in age groups & had a 3rd place finish & some 5K’s were fun and messy.

At the finish- I placed 2nd in my age group.

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Oh and I started this blog.. 🙂 2013 was a great year. I feel accomplished, centered, strong and young as ever. I’m ready to see what 2014 has in store for me. I’ll be blogging next about my annual goals in the next post. Hope you enjoyed my yearly review!

What is your top goal for 2014?