8 Comments

Instead of…

Monday: 7m easy 8:59, shoulders + handstand practice
Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.2m interval (6 x 1m repeats- watch died. 6:55-ish pace)
Wednesday: 6m easy 9:20/pace
Thursday: Crossfit, 5m easy 10:00/pace

I am not an extremely vocal person regarding politics or religious beliefs especially on Facebook or my blog. I hope it doesn’t come off as being indifferent, I am anything but. I have very strong views on what is happening down the road from me in DC, however I don’t feel like these forums generate a lot of positivity and there’s SO much negative talk and hate online right now. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. I want to say that all people are welcome in my home, my gym, my blog. I do not discriminate. If running has taught me anything it’s that runners and people come in all shapes and sizes, different cultural backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles. It doesn’t matter the pace at which you travel, it’s that we all cross the finish line together in the end.

file_000-473
_______________________________________________________________

So, I’m having another physically tough week over here. I’ll get into the nitty gritty of what is working and what will be changing over the next 4 weeks leading into the Rock n’ Roll DC half marathon, but for now I want to take time to work on gratitude again. If I sound like a broken record that’s good! It means I’m still extremely humbled and grateful that the body and mind i’m working at, gives back to me. (Even if it’s not giving at the rate I want!)

file_000-469

It was 65 degrees the other day and I I stopped on the run a few times to type out notes on and thought i’d share them. One of these might resonate and help get you to think a little differently about our day to day struggles with fitness, life in general, or just a plain training slump.

file_000-471

Instead of saying, “I have to” start saying, “I get to.”

Instead of setting goals, write down your accomplishments and be proud.

Instead of focusing on what you can’t have (food especially!), focus on what foods nourish your body most.

Instead of complaining about traffic/work/life etc, listen to music or do an activity (running?) that puts you in a good mood. Be productive, not destructive.

Instead of worrying about what others think of you, ask yourself if you’re happy with who you are.

Instead of waking up on “the wrong side of the bed” wake up, start making choices to be the person you want to become so you can live the life you want.

file_000-470

sky’s been showing off in MD

Is this all a little too deep for a Friday post? Maybe, but I am running a 5K in my underwear tomorrow morning, so how about that? If you’d like to donate- visit my page HERE or click the picture below! Have an excellent weekend!

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-8-09-30-am

Last Week 1/30- 2/5

Monday: 9.5m interval (3 x 2m @ 6:58/pace)

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5.5m easy 9:39/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 9m tempo (6m @ 6:55/pace)

Friday: 8m easy 8:38/pace

Saturday: 10.6m 8:32/pace, 25min circuit training

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 42.6

How do you turn a negative into a positive?

Talk to me about your training! Hopefully it’s going well! 

 


7 Comments

The Runs That Suck and How to Turn it Around.

Speed work was not happening last week. With each training cycle, I experience a crap week. It’s just a waiting game to see when it will happen. This time it was Week Seven… I had not one, but two (all speed training for the week) sessions that just did NOT go my way. Between coming off of the weekend course for USA Weightlifting and hitting Crossfit as hard as ever and lifting on my own, my legs were just beat up.

file_000-464

Her legs must have been tired too…

During marathon training I was able to double up early morning Crossfit days with speed work later in the afternoon. I think it worked for marathoning because the pace is much slower than the half marathon training plan, but right now it’s too much. I’m going to start doing speed on Monday/Wednesday with CF on Tuesday/Thursday and hopefully this will give me one hard thing to focus on daily with more rest and recovery time between workouts.

file_000-461

Friday afternoon I tried my best to get a tempo run in. A tempo I had put off from Thursday after CF with the hopes my legs would be recovered. Spoiler alert, they weren’t. I talk a lot about how smooth training is going and how my mental game is on point–> but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hard days where it’s tested.  There are many moments of self doubt, the urge to quit or having to battle with myself every step of the way, literally and metaphorically.

file_000-463

Friday was one of those mental and physical test days. I had to pull out the big guns and warm up for 2 miles on a treadmill just to have a flat surface to shake out the legs. Once I got outside and started the speed portion, it took everything in me to keep from giving up completely and not walk back to the car. Every step was hard. With each footfall my quads were SCREAMING. Trying to hold a 6:50 mile, my “race pace” did not happen. I was struggling to maintain anything that felt fast-ish…hell, I was just struggling to run, period. Uphill hurt, downhill was worse. I never wanted a run to be over with so badly…

(the mile pacing below is deceptive, i stopped a lot during this run so if you include breaks i was much closer to a consistent 8-8:15/pace, but you can still see how I slowed and was no where near race pace.)

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-9-11-14-pm

So what do I do during these runs, because they happen and they happen more often than i like sharing on my Instagram feed. I do what I always do. I don’t give up and I turn on the self pep talk as much as I have to.

The hard runs make you stronger on race day. It’s the work you put in when no one’s around that’s important. Practicing how to coach yourself through these painful dark moments will be so clutch if you need to draw from it on race day.

file_000-462

during a much better long run a few weeks back

Here’s the checklist I go through when the going gets tough–the tough get going! Keep that in mind and keep going!

  1. Are you hurt, injured, on the verge or being injured or just sore? Take a moment to actually listen to your body. Friday my quads were super sore from doing 57 back squats in CF the day before. No injuries, just super tight and fatigued. *If you feel like you’re riding the edge of injury STOP, take the day off and evaluate your training plan and take care of your body asap.
  2. Adjust your workout or move the workout to another day and take it easy. My mile repeats and tempo run became more of a fartlek and I went solely on effort! Effort when you’re tired or sore is still effective as long as you’re honest with the effort level for that day. Pace doesn’t always dictate effort!
  3. Be your own coach and talk yourself into a more positive mindset. Tell yourself you’re awesome, say your goals out loud, practice your mantras to see if they pull you out of the slump. I always end up with, “The hard is what makes it great!” “I am the strongest girl I know.” “I am a big brave dog.”
  4. Turn on the music. Play your power songs, your pump up jams, pull from the music you think might give you a little pep.
  5. Bribe yourself. Okay, i’m not proud of this one, but from time to time I pull out the ol’ if you don’t give up today you can get a Starbucks this afternoon trick…
  6. Be grateful for whatever your body gave you during that workout. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t be hard on yourself. No matter how bad or awful you may have felt, be grateful your body gave you something on the given day.

Once the workout is done you will feel better and make gains, even if the gain was mental training prep. <—which is, in my opinion the most important part. If you still feel like you had a terrible run, like I said, don’t let it ruin your day. Just know that a string of bad runs means a good one is around the corner!

Week of 1/23-1/29

Monday: 5m easy 9:30/p

Tuesday: Crossfit

Wednesday: 10m interval (1.5m repeats- sort of became 1000s because I took a break halfway in between each one. oh well)

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 8m tempo 8:07/pace (tempo-ing didn’t really happen, so i just tried to maintain a hard effort in the wind and hills and sore legs!), 30 min upper body

Saturday: 11.1m long 9:15/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 9:15/pace, barbell skill work: Power Cleans + volume deadlifts

Total Miles: 40.1

________________________________________________

Last Week 1/15-1/22

Monday: 5m easy 9:06/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.5m interval ( 6 x 1m @ 6:35/pace)

Wednesday: 5m easy 8:41/pace

Thursday: Crossfit, 9m tempo (6m @ 6:53/pace)

Friday:  15 min row

Saturday: 6m easy 9:10/pace

Sunday: 10m long 8:33/pace

Total Miles: 45.5

How do you get yourself through a bad run?

Favorite running mantra?

 

 


18 Comments

Last Thoughts B4 Philly

Monday: 6.1m easy 8:40/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5.7m 8:47/pace

Oh man. It’s here and i’m getting nervous. I’m ready to run, i’m ready to fly, but I accidentally looked ahead at the weather and…

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-8-06-52-am

The weather has been nuts here anyway, it’s been warm and makes it hard for me to try out “race day outfits.” I haven’t been able to practice in much, so i’ll just cross my fingers and Body Glide my entire body and pray i don’t chafe.

file_000-384

running in tank tops last week

I’m trying not to worry too much about the weather. I’ve raced in nothing but terrible wind this year and i’m not backing down from my goals. I’m just going to study the course, understand and accept where the wind might be bad and where I can breathe. And hey, i still have hope the forecast will change a bit, it’s early.

file_000-382

sweaty selfie- cause yes up until a week ago, i was still running in sports bras.

Everything else I can control I feel great about. Mentally i’m ready to take this on. Physically i’ve never felt better. I’ve PR’d the 10k, my outdoor mile time, completed a 50K, a Beer Mile, bested my weekly and monthly mileage and PR’d my deadlift. The key factor here is i’ve been consistent. No setbacks, no sickness, no excuses. I did every workout, hit almost every workout pace and actually enjoyed it. (that helps!)

file_000-387

175lbs 3 x 5

I listened to a Brute Strength podcast about mental training and the guest said “train today like tomorrow you’re going to have an injury that takes your sport away.” This does not mean kill yourself in your workout exactly — or work until you are injuring yourself or ignoring signs of injury/overtraining. He went on to explain in means living in the moment of your workout, giving everything you can, but making sure to enjoy it. Enjoy the work, because if it was gone tomorrow you’d miss it. Just another element of being present and living with gratitude. Running with that mindset has changed everything.

file_000-390

I had one of those running a-ha moments, the run where training catches up with you and your emotions catch you off guard. I broke down in the middle of a trail, bawling my eyes out. Thank god no one was around, cause it wasn’t pretty. Crocodile tears and hyperventilating type crying was happening. I had only a few thoughts in my head at the moment, none i will share today, but if you run for long enough (i’m at my 10 year anniversary) you will no doubt, have moments like this. I took off my new shirt, for some reason that layer felt suffocating, and on the inside of the shirt was this…

file_000-389

It was perfect. I needed it. And i repeated that phrase the rest of the way home. There is nothing more I can do with my training, mental or physical. I’m as ready as i’ll ever be. Wind or no wind I will take on whatever challenge comes at me Sunday and every day after.

file_000-388

just another windy warm day in MD

If you’ve been reading along, or encouraging me in the gym, social media or texts, THANK YOU. Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, it is awesome to have a community of people that support my crazy running hobby. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Last Week

Monday: 8m easy 8:49/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.4m interval (6 x 1m repeats)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 12.7m tempo (10 @ 7:35/pace)

Friday: 7m easy 8:45/pace

Saturday: 8m easy 9:20/pace, Crossfit

Sunday: 8m easy 8:55/pace

Total Miles: 53.7

How’s the weather near you?

Any last words of advice for the marathon?

 


8 Comments

Where is My Mind?

Monday: 8m easy 8:49/p

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.4m interval (6 x 1m repeats)

Wednesday: Rest

Hey dudes, guess what? I made it to the taper healthy and happy. The last few weeks, especially during long runs, the tempos and the mile repeats I’ve been trying to wrap my head around running strong for 26.2 miles. Specifically, wondering where my head will be in mile 18, mile 22, mile 25.4…What am I going to be thinking of when the dark, hurt sets in. Where am I going to draw inspiration when every step is heading into the pain cave?

file_000-378

last 16 miler

These are reoccurring thoughts I’ve had for the last month of training. Instead of just brushing the them aside, i tried to mentally practice how I will handle the hard parts of the marathon. I put myself in that mile and moment as best as I could: I played pretend. During the last 16 mile long run, every mile my Garmin beeped I mentally added ten miles to it. When mile 11 came, i imagined it was 21. When 12 went by, it was 22. In my head, i was in the marathon, finding inspiration, reciting mantras, pep talking.

travel-quote-ships-safe-in-harbor-john-shedd

always a favorite. I am a ship, I am a big brave dog.

file_000-377

There have been many up and down moments with training (mostly up!) The best moments are when everything clicks, that runner’s high takes over and you remember exactly why you never stop running. The gratitude that takes over my soul during these runs is unforgettable, which is why I’m going to draw from these moments when the marathon starts to bite back. I don’t have to run a marathon, I get to run a marathon. file_000-376

Alongside being grateful that I get to run, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I love completely and utterly exhausting myself training. Running, Crossfit, and working with clients are all continuously making me a better person. I have more drive and motivation with each race I train for, each workout I complete, every day I work to help others reach their potiential through fitness… Which brings me to to this:

file_000-372

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Once i cross that finish line in Philly, no matter what the time clock says, I will be ready to tackle life as a much stronger, focused person.

file_000-381

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:55/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.8 interval (4 x 1.5m repeats- started at 7:30 and progressively got faster to 6:58/p)

Wednesday: 6m easy 9:07/pace

Thursday: Crossfit, 13m tempo (10 @ 7:44/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10m easy 8:47/pace, 40 min deadlifts/pushpress strength

Sunday: 10m easy 8:06/pace

Total Miles: 54.8

Do you practice mental training?

What do you think about on long runs?

 

 

 

 

 


20 Comments

Mental Training

Monday: 6m easy 9:40/pace, 15 min myrtls 

Tuesday: 30 min trx legs/shoulders

Wednesday: 9m tempo (2m warm up, 4 x 1.5m @ 6:49/pace, 1/2m cool down)

I’ve mentioned plenty of times that i feel like my mental game has been spot on the last couple training cycles. I think it comes with age, experience, lots of advice from other runners & of course, practice. I’m not perfect at mental training, but i’ve come so far and recent breakthroughs have made me a much happier runner.

Let’s start by all the things i used to do wrong. If i stopped running to take a walk break I would get discouraged and have an internal, negative self-talk. If i was “slow” I would tell myself I’ll never hit ____ goal. If i even hinted at being tired or hurting during a race I would kind of give up. I’d tell myself I couldn’t make it the whole distance at the pace and again battled negativity. I was too slow, not good enough, etc until I crossed the finish line. I gave up before even attempting giving it my all. I was already writing the “I didn’t PR” blog post in my head..as i was still running mid-race. Sad, but those negative feelings have crossed my mind way too often.

Except over the last year. I finally defeated that negative bitch. Here’s how:

Being positive. It seems so simple, but it does take a lot of motivational, happy self-talk to run positive. Always remember, running should be fun! Fake a smile and remember why you’re doing your training run. For me, even though my time goal is daunting, reminding myself i’m shooting for the stars, makes me smile a little. A nervous smile, sure, but a smile goes a long way with running. Seriously, try smiling. It relaxes me and makes me feel so happy.

File_000 (130)

I’ve learned to take the good runs with the bad. You can’t be a great runner without the challenge of a run that doesn’t go well. When i’m having a “bad run” I determine what’s bad about the run and adjust. I don’t let the tired legs or weather or hills consume me anymore. I greet it as a challenge. I welcome it as a training partner.  I’ve been so much more flexible on pace, listening to my body and not stressing out when things don’t go perfect. When the watch isn’t reflecting my effort I hide it and focus on effort and running strong. Being adaptable was a huge difference this cycle than previous years.

Envision the race. During many tough runs i’ve pictured the finish line, crossing it, smiling, jumping, seeing Cameron at the end. It’s super motivating not only to visualize meeting your goals, but having a fun race and crossing the line a very happy runner!

Practice gratitude. I do this often, on sunny days when running is easy and when its tough and my body is tired. I take a few deep breaths and remind myself how grateful I am to be able to run. How extremely grateful and lucky i am to have all of my limbs and be healthy.

When your mind is screaming at you to stop, try focusing on body parts that feel good. Shoulders? Back? Calves? I don’t care what random part feels good just focus, it will distract you from the racing pain because it forces you to focus on a positive thing.

dd6072117b8917a19ebc7e84ea1e3b3f

well said.

And when focusing on the body doesn’t help it’s time to call in your motivational mantras! Mantras are so important for endurance sports. There will be many times where it gets tough and you’ll want to quit, use your mantras to stay alert and focused on the task at hand. I have three i’ve been using during this training cycle. “Relax & Breathe” This one helps me check in with breathing and form (relax the shoulders, run tall, arms swinging forward, not across the chest). “I am a Machine” – Something about the word machine, helps me feel strong and rhythmic. And lastly, this has been an oldie but a goodie, “I’m a Big Brave Dog” Yes it’s from Rugrats, yes it’s a little goofy, but it works like a charm every time, making me feel like a fearless little kid.

travel-quote-ships-safe-in-harbor-john-shedd

I read this quote recently and it hits home. I’m not meant to be in harbor. I’m meant to deal with the changes in tide, the unpredictable weather. I am a ship. I am a machine. I am a big brave dog.

Be patient with the process. Be patient with your goals. Be patient with your body.

And most importantly, be patient with yourself. 

 

 


14 Comments

Oh the Honesty…

I need to be honest. Training has it’s ups and downs. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and so on. I know it’s a little dumb, especially coming off of a great training half marathon, but i’m scared that I won’t be able to run the pace i want in 7 weeks. My spring ‘A’ race is almost here and halfway through training, I’m doubting myself and to be brutally honest, I’m fucking scared.

I hold running close to my heart. It’s a sport I didn’t get to play in school (not by my own choice, but that’s another story). After being active in art and music –all of which are subjective as to whether or not I was any good, I found running. The distance you cover, the pace you run, the time on the official board, is what it is. No one can take that away. It’s objective, black and white and another one of the hundreds of reasons I love it.

File_000 (104)

Each year I fall more and more in love with running. And each year i set goals. The goal of breaking 1:30 in a half marathon has been a far fetched goal of mine. It was once the secret, i bet one day I can break 1:30, goal. It’s been in the back of my head for years, even before I broke two hours. Until now I thought coming close to this time goal was as out there as finding the pot o’gold at the end of the rainbow or the lost city of Atlantis…

File_000 (106)

from our Sunday walk 🙂

I have several more of those seemingly impossible,  i can’t say these out loud goals which i’ll save for another time. Once a goal crosses my mind again and again, it’s hard for me to shake them. I have to know if i can do it! Or at least I have to try.

I’m 6 minutes away from a huge running goal of mine and for the first time in a while, i’m scared of it. It almost seems too big to actually happen. It’s getting close and for some reason the closer it comes the more i doubt my abilities. Yeah, i know! Ridiculous. But i’m allowed to have ridiculous thoughts, that’s the point of this post. Training takes a strange toll on you mentally and emotionally.

Maybe i’m just dealing with post-race blues? Maybe I’m not ready to hit the 1:30 goal this soon because it will close a big chapter in my running life. Maybe I’m already nervous of what goals I have for after.

File_000 (105)

Most days i feel motivated, strong and unconquerable. Those confident feelings of I CAN, push me through workouts and keep me relaxed when paces and miles seem impossible. I remind myself often, the mind will quit well before the body and we are all capable of what we can’t even possibly imagine.

See, talking it out with all of you makes me feel much better. Thanks for letting me air my thoughts :).

Last Week

Monday: 20min yoga

Tuesday: 8.5m interval 16 x 400s @ 10k pace (6 @ 6:31/pace, 6 @ 6:27/pace, 4 @ 6:22/pace)

Wednesday: 6.9m easy 8:58/pace, 40 min shoulders + legs

Thursday: 30 min Rope pull up/downs + core 

Friday: 7m alternating easy tempo 8:41/pace

Saturday: 11m easy 9:30/pace

Sunday: 2.5m walk w/LE

Total Miles: 33.4

Care to share your crazy training emotions?

What gets you through the self doubt?

 


12 Comments

Inside the 10 Mile Mind – Vol. 3

Week one of half marathon training went as well as it could have gone. My easy runs were easy (all 9:00+ pace) and the speed workouts were much easier and faster than normal! (6:44-7:30/pace). I’m already seeing the benefits from changing up the pacing and running slower on easy days.

Saturday morning was the first double digit run since November. There’s something about the first 10 miler in a training program that I love. It’s exciting, a little scary but the expectations aren’t too high. It’s the first of many long runs i’ll encounter and eventually 10 miles will be the “shorter” long run i’ll endure.

File_000 (59)

I downloaded a few podcasts and set out on a flatter trail that i knew wasn’t completely covered in snow. The first mile was under construction. Running over the uneven, muddy, wooden planks forced a slow pace and took my mind off of how cold it was.File_000 (61)It also helped that the podcast I chose was all about running my easy runs “painfully slow.” The first several miles were so easy I got to enjoy the outdoors (I hadn’t run outside since Jan. 16th!) and my legs had plenty of time to ease into this run.

My plan was to run the first six miles as slow as possible, squeeze in the Nuun Year Dash virtual 5k and finish with a cool down mile. It doesn’t matter if i’m running 400s, mile repeats, a 5k or an ‘A’ race, I’m always nervous that i won’t be able to run fast when i’m supposed to. And with all the slow running i’ve been doing I was nervous my body wouldn’t remember what “fast” was. (Ridiculous right?)

File_000 (57)

At 6 miles, I restarted my Garmin, switched from the podcast to EDM Pandora and stretched my legs for a minute. I knew I didn’t want to go all out, there was almost no point since I would be stopped by 2-3 intersections and I still needed to actually finish the long run without burning out. I was hoping for a solid, moderate effort.

I took off and my legs felt as if they were freed from a cage. I was completely shocked at how easily I went from running a 9:20/pace to a 7:16/pace. It felt natural, I felt in control, and that made me the happiest little runner of all. File_000 (62)

During long runs in the past, i used to over think a lot. I put myself down and told myself i wouldn’t be able to get faster or ever run a marathon again, or would never meet my half marathon goals. Mental training has been much more important to me for the last several races. I try to only think positive thoughts, even when the run isn’t going fantastic. I’m going to do the best I can on the day, and if things don’t go perfectly…i’m only in training and it’s not my job.

During this particular run I wasn’t thinking about much except that i was going to run until I had to run a little faster for 3 miles, then chill out for the cool down. Breaking up the long run was helpful mentally and physically. When my plan calls for those long run with a “fast finish” I will make sure I leave the last mile for a cool down. It was the one thing I kept telling myself during the 5k effort–> You get to run a slow mile soon! That was actually motivating and a huge relief when I finished the hard portion.

It’s also very motivating to know that a hot shower, hot coffee & a warm puppy are waiting for me afterward. ❤

File_000 (58)

OH and if you haven’t seen my Instagram, i totally put her in my Nuun shirt and threw the medal on her. I figured you guys have seen me in a medal enough 😉

File_000 (54)

Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)

Wednesday: 6m HMP Tempo (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:03/pace, 1m cool down) + 1200m row 

Thursday: 25min hips/core

Friday: 4.1m easy 9:13/pace, 15min rope pulls & body weight tricep dips

Saturday: 10.1 long (6 @ 9:19/pace, 3.1 @ moderate effort 7:16, 1m cooldown 10:45/pace)

Sunday: REST!

Total Miles: 28.2

Do you dress up your pet?

How do you mentally get through your long runs?