Apparently Milano’s Make Me Drool…

Alright, good great news today! I do not have shin splints, or any shin pain for that matter. My body has a fantastic way of compensating in opposing areas when i’m tight. I used Trigger Point tools at work to roll out my calves, which I found had giant, painful knots in each leg. After the myofascial compression massages for the ol’ calves, i decided to move my long run up to test out the shins. I took the run much slower than normal to be safe and to pay attention to any pain. I was thanking the running gods that my shins felt fine the entire time! And what did I do after a 12 mile run? I watched track and field while icing my legs. I really just can’t get enough!


To test the shins one step further, I had a tempo run on Saturday, which also turned out well! I think the issue right now is making sure i’m using the foam roller and compression tools every. single. day. Not just when i’m sore or after a long run. I had no idea i had knots in my calves until I started rolling them out so imagine what else is tight that I don’t notice! I also checked mileage on the shoes I run in most often, the Saucony Shadow Genesis–and they’re almost at 300 miles. My shoes are always light weight, cushioned and last to about 300-325 miles. Which also might be why i’m a little sore. I guess i’ll need a new pair soon…oh no! :)!!


two of my beloved pairs that are on their way to Retirement

Random: I bought a Brooks Versatile bra last summer and just purchased a 2nd. I really, really like them. They don’t chafe, they smash me down in a comfortable way–sorry, i don’t like bouncing boobies. And they’re not very expensive. I believe they’re $34? I got this one on sale for $22.


Both weekend runs were done in the rain. I didn’t mind :). I threw a baseball cap on and enjoyed the puddles, and moisture in the air. It’s so much better than snow (it’s snowing again right now btw.. don’t know when spring will actually man up and get rid of winter). This got me thinking about my favorite weather to run in. Fave is probably cloudy and between 60-70 degrees. Least favorite is crazy cold wind. Not breezy weather either, I like that. I’m talking cold, 10-20mph, will push you backward, mean, head wind.

Oh, and I had Milano cookies and I literally drooled. I ran, grabbed my camera and couldn’t stop laughing.


I can’t believe how much shorter my hair looks when it’s curly!

Workout Summary!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.2m easy 8:25/pace, 10 min hips, 10 min abs

Wednesday: 30min TRX shoulders/backs, 8 unassisted dips (first time ever doing a full set!), 15min abs

Thursday: 12m long, easy 8:48/pace, deadlifts + bicep curls w/40lb barbell for both.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 7.5m tempo run 7:54/pace (8:11, 7:57, 7:57, 7:48, 7:30, 7:21, cool down at 8:30/pace)

Sunday: 6m easy 8:33/pace

Total Mileage: 30.7

Do you have a food you drool over? Literally or hypothetically or embarrassingly like me?


Recovery 101 & McDavid Compression Review

Thursday: 12m long, easy 8:48/pace 

I get questions, funny looks and jokes made about my compression socks and tights and I even know a few runners who know nothing about compression.  Sometimes I forget the normal person isn’t reading running blogs or stalking following elite runners all the live long day and so yeah, compression can be a foreign concept.

2014-03-27 23.02.35

me and my Pro’s (compression socks)

Running is high impact sport (duh!). During marathon training there’s obviously a ton of impact happening. Legs go through wear and tear, muscle soreness, and muscle tightness. The name of the game when running high mileage is recovery. If you recover properly you can run 5-6 days a week without getting injured, walking around on sore legs constantly or being exhausted every day. Let’s start with the basics of injury prevention & recovery with a little bit of RICE, which is a bit more familiar to everyone.

Rest: I get about 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Crazy for some, i know, but if I don’t get at least 7, i’m a monster and will need a nap anyway. Speaking of naps, i take those when needed as well. Resting gives your body time to repair damaged muscle tissue and restore glycogen (energy stores). This is why i take 1-2 days completely off from running each week! It is VERY important to take a full rest day to stay healthy and uninjured.

Ice: Using ice on sore body parts helps fight inflammation. Another thing that will help are the foods you eat. You can eat anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits (especially berries), vegetables (tomatoes, greens) and diets high in omega-3 fatty acids (think fish). I like to try using ice and food intake before I take actual NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen etc) for pain/inflammation.

Compression: The man of the hour, the main squeeze—sorry i can’t help myself! Alright, alright. The idea behind compression is to increase blood flow to repair damaged muscles while eliminating metabolic waste. Which basically means faster muscle recovery. (Foam rolling is also a type of compression!)

Elevation: I don’t have a lot of personal experience using elevation. Except for one day i was locked out of the apartment and put my feet up a wall for 30 minutes. I thought it helped with recovery and I should experiment with this a little more. Competitor.com says “elevation provides relief comparable to compression.” I guess the only downside is that you’re stuck in one place for a while. But i guess you’re stuck in one place with rest, ice and foam rolling.. looks like compression gear is the only stuff you can move around in eh??

I’ve had such good results with compression socks, it got me thinking about the rest of my leg. What about the quads & hammies?? Those are places I’m often sore, especially after hill and speed work. The idea of full leg compression really stood out to me and it kinda fell into my lap that McDavid Compression was at the Rock N’ Roll Expo a few weeks ago. They were one of the few brands I found that carried full leg compression tights!


We geeked out for an embarrassingly long time on running and compression. I felt like I made a few friends that day. They generously gave me a pair of women’s compression tights to try out and report on.

First, I loved the design. They are subtle with color and design yet still unique enough to grab attention. I get compliments on them all the time! Where the hexagon pattern sits (shins, inner thigh & knees) the compression is a little less intense, which is awesome because i can move freely in them.


horizontal stripes are just sunlight coming through the blinds!

I wore them before the USA 1/2 marathon and immediately after I got home that day. This are skintight, yet easy to get on and slid right under my jeans when we headed out for post race lunch & drinks.

shhh, i'm secretly compressing!

shhh, i’m secretly compressing!

The BIGGEST notable difference from this race to others: I could walk up and down the stairs normally. <–If you run marathons you know what a BIG deal this is. No crawling or sideways walking for me!!  I’m attributing that directly to the full leg compressing because after races, especially hilly races my quads are normally TRASHED. McDavid tights worked a small miracle that day.

The one and only thing I don’t like about the tights—they are opaque. You can hold them up to the light and see right through. So if I leave the house, i need to throw on a pair of shorts over. It’s funny because the one thing I don’t like directly influences the thing I love, which is their breathability. I was afraid these would be too warm to wear while working or working out, but they breath really nice and I never felt too warm, even with a pair of jeans or shorts over.

Nike Pro shorties covering the booty

Nike Pro shorties covering the booty

Other than the opaque quality, these are pretty cool and seem to do their job for recovery. I’ve wanted to try full leg compression for a while now and this just gets me more and more excited to run high mileage and keep experimenting with compression. McDavid even has full upper body compression shirts & shorts! If you Crossfit, swim, or do any other heavier upper body workouts this might be a neat item to try.

What are you best tips or methods for recovering & staying healthy?

Use compression? What kind?



I’m Breaking Up With You.


Friend posted this today and I laughed, had to repost! Thanks Elise 🙂

Dear Winter,

It’s not me, it’s you. I’m over your cold exterior and how you never like me to run outside. I’m just not happy anymore. You’re depressing and dark, which is good from time to time, if you’re into that kinda thing, but i need someone warmer and happier. I want to be kissed with warm sun rays and and spend long days outside grilling. I want someone who isn’t jealous when i want to run in less clothing. Our relationship just isn’t healthy anymore and you’ve been wearing a lot of grey, what’s up with that? It’s not cool that you’re stalking me either. I leave the apartment, there you are. I’m at work and I can see your breath on the windows. I think you need to find someone who enjoys your company, like polar bears or Santa Claus. Sure, i’ll miss you, in July, probably. I’ll miss your cold breath and having to wear mittens to hold your hand, but c’mon, what kind of relationship is that?

PS. i’m pretty sure I’m allergic to you.

Yours once a year,



Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.2m easy 8:25/pace, 10 min hips, 10 min abs

I know i’m not the only one in the midwest/east coast that is just sick of this winter. All I have to say is we better have an amazing summer and beautiful fall this year to make up for all the treadmill punishment i’ve been dealing with.


not impressed winter. not impressed.

My shins have been a little sore lately. Nothing too alarming, they’re just letting me know they’re there. I’m icing my legs right now as we speak and i’ll be doing a ton of foam rolling and compressing to be sure it doesn’t get any worse. I haven’t had shin pain or shin splints for that matter in 4+ years…so i’m not sure if i’m being a baby or over cautious or what. Any tips or advice?

Rolling out this week

Rolling out this week

What’s the weather like near you?

If it’s warm, can I visit?? 🙂


I Did Something Quite Unexpected

I baked. I cooked. And I ate– A LOT.

I think the dish that gave me the push to figure out some recipes was this blueberry belgian waffle i recently ordered. I also ordered a side of eggs and bacon, poured syrup on it and then ate The Entire Thing.  I just try and make a McGriddles but it’s so good at a diner. When the waitress came around i actually apologized for finishing. It was the “i’m sorry, i’m not sorry” apology. It’s awesome how much food a runner can put down. I shouldn’t have apologized, I should have asked where my gold star was.

waffle eggs

I took 4 days off running after the half marathon and the full marathon is 40 days out so I’m rolling right into training. Basically i’ll be hungry all the time and this is a great excuse for me to attempt some cooking/baking ideas for protein packed, nutrient dense snacks. I’m always seeing amazing recipe ideas and spend a LOT of time looking at recipes, but I never try them.

This might become a long tasteless journey, like my lemon, strawberry muffins I attempted. But it’s exciting to focus my energy on making something with my own hands. Plus I was compressing in my McDavid tights, so you know, the muffin making wasn’t a total waste of time. I got the muffins to rise and that’s half the battle!!


I did 3 miles on Saturday and completed a 9 miler on Sunday. Crazy how just a couple months ago running 9-10 miles was so mentally tough, and now that’s considered a “shorter” run. It went by quickly & easily & I’m actually excited for the 15 miler I have in 2 weeks!

attempting a full body shot, didn't work, but you can see how messy my apt is! Score!

attempting a full body shot, didn’t work, but you can see how messy the apt is! Score!

One of my favorite food sites to stare at pictures and recipes is Clean Simple Foodie. This chick has some fantastic flavor combinations that gives clean eating a bold taste.  I gave the Thai pizza a go and it was a major success!


fresh toppings!

And the finished product…


I’m happy with the few accomplishments from the weekend, and they aren’t even running related! Crazy I know. I’m working toward that new year’s goals list I created in January.

Workout Recap!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min Kettle Bell workout, 10 abs

Wednesday: 4.7m easy, easy easy! (First run after the race) 9:00/pace, 30 min abs/core, pushups

Thursday: 30 min chest/triceps and handstands–>first time i’ve done this in a while and yes the shoulders felt it! Hoping these will help with the yoga goals i set for myself.

Friday: 6m fartlek 8:08/pace, 20 min biceps, 10 min abs

Saturday: 3m easy walk/run.

Sunday: 9m easy/long 8:37/pace

Total miles: 22.7

Are you still on track with accomplishing your NYRs & goals?

Do you have a good recipe for a protein snack?  Favorite store bought protein snack? 


Sometimes, I Work Out in Public

After Saturday’s race I went to see Ellie Goulding!


I was a little bothered by the fact it started snowing again before getting to the Metro Station. But shook it off because this is probably the last snow of the dying winter. Side note: I put all my winter clothes away. Winter has no choice but to retreat.


Ellie’s set was beautiful. The crowd was obnoxious, but that’s a given when you see an artist as popular as she is. Her voice was so much better live than her recordings.. Love it when that happens ❤


I had a 15 minute wait for our return ride home…so I started doing incline pushups. There’s always a way to workout. My pushups stopped after 2 sets of 15. Suddenly i’m realizing my back is a little sore from the race. I must had been tensing up or something. Oh well!


Back to normal workouts this week! And running by the weekend.. marathon training up next!

Workout Summary (taper week)

Monday: 20 min biceps, 10 min abs

Tuesday: 5.5m moderate 7:19/pace

Wednesday: 3.4m easy 9:11/pace

Thursday: 2m easy 9:05/pace, 10 abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 13.3m 7:31/pace Rock ‘N’ Roll 1/2

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 24.2

Ever find yourself squeezing in a workout in a strange place?


The Good, The Bad & the Sub 1:40

It usually takes a couple days to absorb details and emotions that occurred during a race. From the moment I crossed the finish line I was happy about my performance, but disappointed because i thought I had a little more in me. Hence, my MMM (McKayla Marony Moment) that the photographers just so happened to catch. When I saw this picture, I realized what a brat I was being. I did my best on the given day and landed a PR.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.13.41 AM

Instead of a traditional race recap where I take you mile by mile of what happened, I thought breaking down the positive and negatives of the race would help me take away what I need from it and move forward.

The Bad

-Sinus issues. You guys know i’ve been dealing with it. During the race, it was the only thing annoying me the entire time. My nose was running right along with me and my throat was super dry, making it impossible to take deep breaths. I had to make extra water stops just to wet my throat which i knew was killing time. That was frustrating.

-Wind. There were definitely decent headwinds, which made the dry throat worse.

-Hills. These killed me. I forgot how hilly the course was. I tried to pretend it was an interval workout every time I headed up a hill. I had to stop on several just to shake out my legs and catch my breath. Stopping on the uphill is where my mental game started falling apart in those last couple miles.

-Course tangents. I did not study the course map at all, and I never knew where the turns were, so it made me anxious trying to figure out the shortest distance. (Sidenote: the total distance from last year on my Garmin read 13.3, and this year again it was 13.3. I spoke with a few runners after the race that also thought the course was off by 2 tenths.)

The Good!

-The Rock N’ Roll race was MUCH more organized than last year, making it a breeze to get to a port-a-potty, gear check and the start corrals. The course was so cool. Running it a second time, I got the chance too look around and see monuments, then cute neighborhoods, and I loved getting to see the Capitol during the final miles.

-I hit a goal I was chasing for a year now, earning a sub 1:40 half marathon!

-I felt really great with the pacing. I felt totally in control almost the whole race. My coach said I ran a “smart race” and I agree with that.

-Fuel intake! I ate a GU (Jet Blackberry) about 15 minutes before the start, another at 5 miles and another at 9 miles. I felt well fueled and hydrated during the race.

-I finished 209th female overall. I’ve had a secret weird goal to break into the top 100 women of a major half for a while now. It’s finally in reach!

-This was my 1st half where all mile splits were sub-8s!

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.43.45 AM

Official Time 1:39:57

-I had a kick at the end! This hardly ever happens,  6:46/pace for the last .3. It took a lot to dig for that energy, but I knew if i didn’t I wouldn’t have snuck under 1:40.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.23 AM

last quarter mile, hauling ass to break 1:40

Already looking at the +/-‘s I’m feeling much better about this half. Most of the negative problems were out of my control and that’s the way it goes sometimes! But hey, I’m getting faster and more confident running races and I HAD FUN. Someone at the start line said “if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.” I repeated that mantra throughout the race, only having small moments through miles 11-13 where I hated running had negative thoughts.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.02 AM

Things I need to work on for my next race: get more comfortable with hill running, study the course maps better, and work on my positive mental game. I realize I am hard on myself, but I’m human and I want to constantly improve 🙂


How do you deal with negative feelings during or after a race?

How much time do you take off after a race before running? 




World’s Worst Sinuses & the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Expo

Tuesday: 5.5m moderate 7:19/pace

Wednesday: 3.4m easy 9:11/pace

Thursday: 2m easy 9:05/pace, 10 abs

Well, i’m not sick, just suffering from severe sinus and allergies. I had a strange allergic reaction to generic brand sinus meds…yes that’s what i said, allergic reaction to allergy medicine. What is wrong with me!? My eyelids were super red, raw and burning for two days. I didn’t take a picture of it (you’re welcome) but I did take one of me and my glamorous life with chilled chamomile tea bags de-puffing my lids.


Monday’s allergy fiasco!

I made a quick stop at Target and bought out their allergy section. I hate taking medicine. Besides the fact that my eyelids have gone back to normal, thank you Benadryl, i’m feeling much better in the sinus department. Still super congested without meds, but I’ll deal with that after the race!


I did a training run Tuesday that gave me a huge boost of confidence while running with sinus congestion. It was scheduled as 2 easy miles, 1 moderate, 2 at goal race pace. I tried not to push it, in case my energy wasn’t there, and also I don’t want to be sore heading into a race.

8:07, 7:29, 6:28, 7:17, 7:13.

I don’t know what the heck happened, but I acquired a new mile PR with 6:28. As soon as the Garmin flashed that mile split, I slowed down. Even though I was feeling fine, i knew that is no where close to my actual race pace. I was happy with the last two splits which were closer to where I’m attempting to hang at tomorrow. Gonna have to keep telling myself not to go out too fast!

Yesterday I headed to the Expo at the DC Armory. If you can, always head to the expos on the first day, that way everyone working the booths are well stocked, happy and energetic :). I didn’t do a ton of sampling, but I did stop at the Gold’s Gym tent and got to talk with a few girls from our marketing department. It’s always fun to put a face to a name!


Of course I had to stop at the Nuun station. If you ever want to stock up, usually they have a good deal at Expos, $5 per tube, buy 2 tubes and get a water bottle free!


I only got 2 tubes from the expo because I just got a shipment of new Nuun Energy– caffeine flavors! Lemon-line, Cherry Limeade & Wild Berry!


The last tent I stopped at was McDavid Compression. I told them i had JUST heard of them days before the expo because i’ve been in search for full compression tights. We all ended up chatting for almost half an hour about compression, marathoning, crossfit, personal training…and they were kind enough to give me a pair to try & report on!


Jeff, Me & Marcie, totally not prepared to take a picture–we were still talking through the photo op!

I’m literally wearing them right now in hopes my legs feel super fresh tomorrow morning. I’ll do a full review on them next week. I’m also planning on wearing them after the race all afternoon to speed recovery so i can jump right into marathon training!


Suffering from sinuses, but i’m gonna fake it till i race!

Anyone racing this weekend? 

Favorite Pre-race Meal??

I’m going to have pasta (plain ol’ white) with spinach, mushrooms and a few chicken meatballs 


Will Run for Lauren! (i’m gonna brag about my coach)

Monday: 20 min biceps, 10 min abs

Well, I don’t feel any better or worse right now, and still can’t tell if i’m dealing with allergies on top of a cold. I’ve been couching it up for the last few days and I want to finally share my thoughts on having a coach alongside my training this time around.

I’ve used training plans before, the kind you download off of a fitness or running website. These have worked just fine, and they do keep me on schedule better than not having a plan at all. But having a coach really has taken training to the next level. Lauren personalized a training plan to my current fitness level, running paces, goals, and how many days and miles per week I could realistically run.

She holds me accountable. Even though we live across the country from each other we keep in touch just like she lives across town. There’s no hiding from my coach! We Skype about once a week, she emails and texts to check in on workouts and has access to my RW Training Log to view the workout specifics. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a schedule and not take extra rest days, but when your coach emails you first thing when a run is missing, it makes you think twice before you skip a run. Haha…Yes she did that, and no she wasn’t mad. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.55.23 AM

Coach Lauren

She got me out of my comfort zone. I like long easy runs. I like progression runs. That’s about it. One of the first things I told her was that I needed different types of speed work because I was bored and I didn’t know any other workouts except 400s & 800s. <—since I never ran track, lots of terms and workouts were confusing. She walked me through each speed workout and I have a much better grasp on what track work should really entail.


A coach equals extra support. Distance running is such a solo sport for the most part. I train alone, i race alone and I used to be my own coach. It’s hard to constantly be your own cheerleader, motivator and supporter. Having Lauren gives that extra support of knowing someone cares about you, your training and the racing outcome. It’s a fantastic feeling to have support as a runner.

My coach is more qualified and experienced than I am.  Which is why I didn’t feel like I was failing or less of a “runner” when I asked for help. When I came to Lauren, I was asking to learn more about the sport I love, from someone who has been running longer than me (and someone who is much faster than me.) It is a scary process, putting your training into another person’s hands, but she’s getting some great results and numbers out of me, so i have complete trust in her plans.


In the short amount of time i’ve worked with a coach, i’ve safely increased my weekly mileage, monthly mileage, pace and PR’d my 5K time by almost a full minute. I have a better mix of hill and speed workouts in my back pocket and I understand a lot more track lingo! I’m keeping Lauren for marathon training and i’m hoping I can continue learning and growing as a runner in this sport.

If you would like to contact Lauren and see how she can help you with your goals click below!


Do you use a training plan? Where do you download them or buy them from?

Ever consider a coach?


Time For a Hike!

I woke up Saturday feeling kinda crappy so after breakfast I got my shoes and went out for a hike.

Snow was still on the ground here and there, but it was almost 60 degrees which meant melting snow, and spent a good deal of the hike walking through mud. A ton of people were out on the trails, i guess everyone had the same idea to be outside on the first nice day of the year!


It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine. I hiked 4.9 miles and took a few breaks just to sit on the rocks, and enjoy the view.

Tank tops & snow.. Pretty much the best way to welcome spring!


A bit of wildlife on our hike…

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 12.13.03 PM

Sunday I wasn’t feeling any better and my last long run before the half marathon was on the schedule. Just an easy slow 8 mile run. I decided to try and run it, even if that meant stopping early or walking. I did 7.25m at an 8:20/pace and walked the remaining 3/4 mile. That was a strange run. My legs and body felt normal, but my head was just heavy and sick feeling. As soon as I got back from the run I broke a fever and felt terrible for a few hours. Slowly, after green tea, fresh ginger and a ton of water with Nuun and saltines, I felt a ton better!

I’m still not 100%, but i’m very hopeful whatever is clinging to me will go away by race time this weekend! Send some good, healthy vibes my way, i’m going to need it!

Workout Summary

Monday: 35 min Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:35/pace, 15min shoulders

Wednesday: 6.1m treadmill hills (pace ranged from 8:30-7:41), 30 min core

Thursday: 25min chest/triceps, 10 low back

Friday: 4.1m moderate 7:40/pace

Saturday: 4.9m hike

Sunday: 8m easy 8:20/pace, walked the last 3/4 mile.

Total Miles: 28.1

What are your go-to remedies when you’re not feeling well?

Green tea & lots of water, Vitamin C, I try to eat as normally as possible

Ever run a race sick?

Nope and i’m hopefully not going to have to!


Lotsa Randoms

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:35/pace, 15min shoulders

Wednesday: 6.1m treadmill hills (pace ranged from 8:30-7:41), 30 min core

Hey Thursday peeps! Don’t know how you’re feeling, but i need the weekend to get here. It’s supposed to be 50 degrees so i’m looking forward to an easy, long run OUTSIDE. And I’m officially boycotting winter. (don’t worry i do this every year, just let me continue with my rant) I don’t care if it snows again or the skies turn grey until June!! I’m putting away my winter clothes and coat and pulling out the summer shorts! I’m sure that seeing summery clothes hanging in the closet will make me happy. 🙂

A few other things that are cheering up the winter blues…

NUUN has a Facebook giveaway going. Prizes: (1) – Entry paid in full for a Hood to Coast team in 2014, plus a team hydration kit from Nuun Hydration.  Enter by Monday and cross your fingers! I’m definitely going to run a relay sometime in the future!


I finally bought a Blender Bottle, so expect some fun smoothie/protein recipes in the near future. This purple bottle is definitely going to help me take in extra calories at the gym and will come in handy for post run recovery during marathon training.


I love purple!

Yesterday I got a really fun surprise in the mail.  An autographed Shalane Flanagan card! She sent one because I donated a small amount to her One Fund Boston fundraising page.  I can’t wait to watch her race this upcoming Boston Marathon!


The End.

Anyone else out there get cabin fever/spring cleaner fever as badly as me? 

Favorite season?