7 Comments

How to Pretend to Balance Lifting & Running.

I get asked often about how I balance running and lifting.  I wanted to share with you guys how I do it.

The truth is, I don’t. And I definitely don’t do it well, I don’t always balance it, and I don’t know exactly what the right prescription is yet. With each marathon I’ve been experimenting.

FullSizeRender (4)

Living an athletic, disciplined lifestyle is not always glamorous. The PR’s, the smiling Instagram photos and the details of workouts can be deceptive. It’s a beautifully brutal and torturous lifestyle. It’s finding your pain threshold over and over again and then again the next day. It’s constant muscle soreness and fatigue on the way up to heavier weights and faster paces. It’s tapping into emotions of feeling on top of the world and complete utter weakness.

With that being said, I wouldn’t change the way I throw myself into training. I love hard workouts, I love two-a-days, eating better, sleeping more. I know this won’t be sustainable through different periods of my life, but for now, getting stronger, faster and fitter is keeping me, above all, happy.

I will try and answer your questions about pairing lifting and running, but feel free to ask anything else in the comments below!

Q: How many days per week do you lift and run? 
A: Right now I lift 2-4 days per week, one heavy lower and one upper body lift. The other days are usually supplemental/auxilary or a Crossfit day. I run 6-7 days per week averaging about 55 miles per week.

Q: What does your typical two-a-day look like? 
A: I’ve experimented a lot with this, my ideal double workout starts with speed work or a tempo run, the 2nd workout being a heavy lift. It doesn’t always work in my schedule that way, sometimes it’s reversed or on opposite days. I find when I separate my hard running (speed days) and heavy lifting I don’t get an “easy” day inbetween. Ideal Example: Monday/Wednesday/Fri easy running. Tues/Thurs speed & lift.

FullSizeRender (7)

my barbell

Q: How do you recover?
A: Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I try my best to eat real food and drink tons of water (about 80-100oz daily). I wear compression socks and full compression tights often since I stand all day at work. I try and get 7-9 hours of sleep. That’s it. No fancy story there. Oh, and sometimes I foam roll… sometimes.

Q: Aren’t you sore all the time?
A: You betcha! All. The. Time. But that’s half the fun right? Waking up each morning with a different muscle group screaming.

FullSizeRender (6)

Q: Should I train like you?
A: Probably not/maybe/depends on where your fitness level is. It might seem like I just started running a ton of miles and lifting heavy recently or all at once, but it’s been a real slow build over years and years of consistent training and running. And I’m in a constant lifting or running cycle and take down weeks or deload weeks, so I can continue to get stronger without getting hurt or burnt out. If you’re looking to improve your performance, work on being consistent first, and then start sprinkling in intensity.

Q: What would you recommend if I wanted to lift on top of running?
A: I would start with two days of strength training on a base of easy running. After 4-8 weeks deload or pull back on your strength a bit and start adding speed work slowly into your running. Then mix it up and find what days you can do workouts that don’t completely annihilate your legs. Once you’re about 10-14 days out from your race, pull the reins on the strength (lighten the load, up the reps!) and really allow yourself to have fresh legs on race day.

Just remember it will take time for you to get used to the cumulative fatigue and embrace running on tired quads and calves. If you’re training to race faster, this is the way I do it. Running on tired legs will simulate the end miles of a race. Hansons marathon method said it best, “You’re not running the first 16 miles of a marathon, you’re running the last 16. We’re duplicating that final-miles feeling.”

FullSizeRender (8)

Q: This seems hard, what if I can’t do it?
A: The most important thing to remember is that all of us runners go through the same emotions. At some point we will have a string of crappy runs or a period of time where every step feels impossible. Keep a journal of how you feel during both strength and cardio sessions and be flexible with yourself. Sometimes your paces may not reflect your effort because of muscle soreness from the strength, and that’s okay! Adjust, experiment, and repeat!

FullSizeRender (5)

Do you experiment with different training styles or plans for races? 

What race is next on your schedule?


9 Comments

Marine Corps Marathon Recap!

The evening of the MCM I rode the metro down to Arlington to meet a few familiar faces: Jenni and Josh ran Ragnar DC 17′. Josh couldn’t believe I was still down with peanut butter and bananas (I think a lot of the vanmates were burnt out of pb&b after Ragnar weekend) but explained how my love of PB is as deep and wide as a river.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 6.29.29 PM

I got to the hotel kinda late, so it was a quick lay out of a flat runner and nutrition for the AM and it was bedtime for all of us.

22555043_10214975553810628_3157829832806660188_n

Ragnar Van 2 Representing!

Just an FYI for future MCM runners- the Arlington cemetary Metro stop is a HIKE from the start line. We left with more than plenty of time, but with the poor funneling at the Metro’s exit and the long walk to the start & port-o-potty stop, I found myself running (yes, actually running) to try and get into my corral by the start. I made it just in time for the national anthem, to catch my breath, start my Garmin, and take off for the long run.

IMG_9967

Josh & Jen 

My goals for this race were kinda all over the place. I thought, if I had a decent day I could pull a 3:30 finishing time. So 3:30 or under was my A goal. To qualify for Boston again, would be an amazing feat! My B goal was 3:35. I didn’t have a C or worse goal. I felt like 3:35 was the B-C goal. Anything less than that would be something entirely out of my control.

0031

You will notice a lot/all of my race photos i have a worried look. I steered clear of the MCM marathon for a long time because a handful of people told me the course was super hilly at end and sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate and you could get a hot day. I was so stressed and anxious the first 10 miles of this race. I didn’t know if I was prepared, didn’t know if I would hit that dreaded “wall” didn’t know if it was too hot to run as fast as I was planning…

0036

The truth is, it was warmer than ideal. We started at 55 degrees and 88% humidity and I know most people finished the race in the mid-high 70s. But I kept reminding myself that I trained all summer in super humid conditions and the temps were lower than I was used to, so yay! a positive thought amongst all the stress! Haha. This marathon was much more of a mental feat than fast feet. <—see what I did there?

Okay so temps weren’t ideal, my ipod somehow turned itself onto “Shuffle” so my songs were doing their own thing. I tried to enjoy the “let’s see what plays next” mentality even though I stratigically place songs in a specific TYPE A order. AHH!HH!H!H!HH!HH!

Once the crowds thinned, I actually started enjoying running around DC. I kept my spirits up with the crowd support, it was incredible! Spectators must have been out because of the beautiful day, and for that, I was okay with the warmer temps. I also knew that somewhere in the crowd was my very best of all time support crew. Stephen and his daughter (we will call her Curly for now) were meeting to see me at mile 9 or 11, then again at 22. Knowing they were on the course for me was enough. I wanted to run well for them and I wanted to get to them as fast as possible because I knew Steve had a bottle of Tailwind ready for me. It would be my first time running with Tailwind which claims you don’t need gels or chews, just this drink. (I ate gels during my race until I got the Tailwind, just an FYI).

0045

When mile 11 came around I spotted the labeless bottle of Gatorade filled with Tailwind up in the sky. Steve was holding up the bottle above the crowd like the hammer of Thor! I spotted it easily and was SO EXCITED to stop and give a few sweaty hugs and kisses from my two favorite people and after he gave a few encouraging words, I was off again.

The fuel came in handy, Tailwind was a dream. I took small sips and held onto that bottle for about 10 miles until I finished it all. I was happy I didn’t have to stop at water stations and I felt incredible as I picked up the pace slowly through the 2nd half of the race.

0041

Once I was past mile 20, i knew there was no wall to crash into. A 10K is nothing after 20 miles. It was time to work and start pushing. Focus on the finish line, a cold beer and checking another race off your list. I spotted Steve and Curly one more time past mile 22, and then grabbed a small cup of beer from college kids shortly after. I’m telling you, grab beer in the end of a marathon. It’s liquid pain killer and carbs. I soooo needed that.

0046

The end of the race came quickly and I realized I was running where the port-o-pottys and corrals were earlier that morning, checked my watch and Dear God, I literally ran .7 tenths of a mile before the start! OH and the finish is on a bit of an uphill… but the elevation for the course is a joke. If you think Marine Corps is hilly please start running hills more often.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 8.07.35 PM

574 total ft of elevation. 

By the time I hit that hill and crossed the finish line, I was ECSTATIC! My 2nd time qualifing for Boston, 2nd fastest marathon time and a negative split! 3:25:19

0014

the finish!

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 6.02.30 PM

With all that said, this is probably my favorite marathon to date. Reasons being:

  • Spectator support: There was hardly a single moment without people lining the course. Feeding off the crowd was key to my success that day.
  • Stephen and Curly. He has supported my fitness and running goals since the day I met him. Having an active crew on race day was so special. They both lit a fire in my heart that day.
IMG_9982

Curly liked the medal bc it opened and closed

  • The Blue Mile. I’ll never forget running a full mile where pictures of fallen service men and women lined both sides of the course. It’s amazing how long a mile feels when you see that many pictures of men, women and families. The volunteers held American flags at the end, creating a red, white and blue tunnel for the runners and thanked us as we ran by. All I could do was hold a hand over my heart and thank them. It was an emotional mile and hard not to get choked up.
  • I broke into the top 100 female finishers. Another thing I didn’t expect, but secretly wanted to happen one day.
    FullSizeRender
  • I was craving fried pickles after the race and Steve was down for Buffalo Wild Wings. Yep, one of my favorite post-race meals. Fried pickles and wings.

What’s your favorite marathon to date?

Do you prefer hilly or flat courses?


12 Comments

The Most Epic High Five

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 20 min StairMill (1 min lateral, 1 min forward for duration), 15 min hips, 10 core

Hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend and Memorial Day! It beautiful this weekend and we spent some time with old & new friends at a BBQ. Plus It’s been fun taking L.E. around with us!

20150525_161401

It’s been a pretty uneventful week in terms of running, as in, i’m still not. The IT Band is stubborn as ever, and I have had plenty of moments where I want to throw a tantrum. But the thing is, i’m not injured, my left hip is weak and unstable and definitely noticeable when I’m working it. So i’ve been keeping up with the exercises & cross training so when I’m back to running I don’t look back over this “time off” and think that I should have been training regardless!

20150525_175417

The best thing to do while being injured or taking time off is to work around the injury, strengthen the weak area, and plan what to do differently the next time around. I’m getting better and better at rowing (which i actually enjoy!), my butt is looking better than ever (coming from a girl who’s had a midwestern flat butt her whole life) and I’m learning a TON of new exercises for the hips & glutes for myself and clients. With each setback, you can always find a way to look at the positive. As runners, we get injured, or have bad weeks, bad runs, bad races. If we try and take something positive out from it, we’ll feel better and won’t ever see it as time wasted.

Just like taking pictures. It’s never a waste trying to capture moments. I caught the perfect bromantic moment between Cameron and our friend Domenic. They had NO idea i took this until after the fact. I’m getting better & better as a blogger haha!

20150525_164939

Another couple at the BBQ had a really cool Fuji camera that took small polariod-type pictures. I love having physical pictures. There’s something different about holding a photograph instead of flipping through facebook or instagram.

20150527_075638

Weekly Recap

Monday: 30 min legs/shoulders

Tuesday: 30 min legs/mobility/skill work, 10 min rope pull

Wednesday: 6000m row

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3.5m run 8:20/pace (did not go well)

Saturday: 1.5m walk 

Sunday: 5.6m walk

Total Miles: 10.6m walking

How do you deal with time off from running?

Do you ever take time off during the year from running or another type of workout?


10 Comments

Snow, St. Pattys, 5ks and Random Facts for a Random Week!

Monday: 15min Rope Pull Machine

Tuesday: 6m interval 10 x 200s (5 @ 5:33/pace, 5 @ 5:30, 2 @ 5:27), 100 TRX Chest Press + 100 TRX Chest Flys

Wednesday: 3000m row, 20 min TRX Rip Trainer

Thursday: 6m + 5 strides easy 8:40/pace

Friday: 3.1 easy 7:57/pace, 20 min shoulders

Happy Spring! Even though I woke up yesterday to Christmas outside…

20150320_092005

Don’t worry, it all melted into a slushie during the day. I’m planning to run (weather permitting again!) a 5k this Sunday. The Run for Haiti 5k in Reston, VA. I ran this same race 2 years ago, so i’m excited to attempt a course PR! Sunday is supposed to be cold, but dry, so I gotta take the chance, be like Nike and Just Do It! Cross your fingers and hope the stars align!

Aaaand since I missed it, happy St. Patrick’s day! One day i’ll get my life together and blog on a more consistent basis, but for now, retroactive posting it is 🙂 On the 17th we were given some pretty nice kelly green Gold’s Gym shirts to wear.

20150317_152525

and I had an awesomely green drink over the weekend! #1 Fun fact about me: i love drinks with herbs. If it says mint or basil Im ordering!
IMG_20150314_124639

#2 Fun Fact- My hair grows really slow.  I cut my hair really short in 2011 and have been growing it out since. It was not fun running with short hair…

303000_10150442246247952_854555884_n

and as it started growing out…
394033_2319386985665_780199084_n

And Random Fun Fact #3- I lived in Asheville, NC for a short period of time in 8th grade, and visit there every so often. One of my favorite places.. I think i just really really love mountains 🙂
100_3055

Enjoy the weekend! I promise I won’t wait a week to update everyone on the 5k outcome!

How far are you running this weekend?

Tell me about the weather near you..did spring actually arrive yet??


5 Comments

Later, 2014!

I’m a little behind with the recap–but bear with me, I haven’t been feeling well.

Writing about 2014 is kinda strange… I don’t really want to look back. I want to look forward but, as history goes, we have to learn from the past to move forward and not make the same mistakes. Here are the crappy things I want to forget and something positive I took from it.

I got injured (strained soleus) and had to drop out of a marathon the night before the race. I learned not to push through an injury and make things worse. I’m becoming a much smarter runner because it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.25.55 PM

I took a manager position at the gym even though I was hesitant and nervous about how well I would do. I learned not to be afraid of taking risks or trying new things, especially when the risk isn’t life or death.

My wedding was called off. I disappointed a lot of people, including myself. I learned (and am still learning in weekly therapy) that I need to work on communication and not to be afraid to ask for help.

I didn’t qualify for Boston which was the Big Goal for 2014. <—I attribute this to the above issues, so I don’t take this one entirely to heart. Stress messed up this year. This made me realize I won’t always meet every goal I set out to accomplish, and that’s okay!

mckayla_maroney_meme-125357

I guess I just pictured 2014 a little differently, but that’s what a New Year is for.  It’s not just a time to make promises to your waistline that you can’t keep. It’s a time to reflect, adjust and focus on changes that will make you a better, happier person during the next 365 days which are sure to pass all too quickly. Enough with the sap. I promise i’m not that down about 2014.

I just needed to get the bad out so I can make room for the good stuff.

2014 PRs

2/22/14 Have A Heart Hoffman-Boston Elementary 5K 21:21. I only PR’d this one by one second, but in a 5k, seconds are everything.

The 5k!

The 5k!

I consecutively PR’d #9 & #10 half marathons, keeping The Streak alive! The first PR was in March at the USA Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2 (1:39:57) and I just barely squeaked in a PR during September, in the midst of marathon training and returning from injury. It happened at the Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia 1/2 1:39:25, my current PR.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.23 AM

And finally the marathon: 10/12/14 Chicago Bank of America Marathon 3:50:10. This is only my 2nd marathon, but with familiar territory and a 37 minute PR it was a huge boost! And even if Boston isn’t in the future yet, it’s within arms reach now. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 6.20.34 PM

The final count for 2014 was 1125 miles (about 56 more than last year) yet I trained well for a marathon and set PRs all year long! Super stoked that I didn’t have to increase tons of mileage to see results and still an overall PR on annual mileage!

I hit a few specific resolutions last year that I was proud to cross of the list: I ran a half marathon in between clients at work on the treadmill, I climbed and I went SUP’ping.

20140727_091605 (2)

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 3.13.21 PM

I’m hoping this next year will bring lots of travel and injury free running! Stay tuned for my actual resolutions in the next post!

Last Week (*i wasn’t feeling well from Wed-Sun, hence the rest.)

Monday: 5 rounds: 10 pushups, 15 Kettlebell overhead swings (20lbs), 20 TRX rows, 20 off set lunges (20lbs)

Tuesday: 4.5m easy 8:30/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5m easy 9:30/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 9.5

Anyone else sick over the holidays? 

Tell me one resolution you completed last year!