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?

 


24 Comments

I Broke Her!

Every Saturday this summer I have been out for my long run. Every person, biker, walker, runner, stroller, doggie I pass I try to say “hi” or give a smile or small wave. If i’m not completely out of breath, I’ll happily say, “Good Morning.”

Now let me paint a small picture. I’m from Indiana. I’m a midwesterner. I grew up knowing my neighbors, my manners, being friendly and polite, especially to strangers. (Trump could have used a midwestern upbringing but don’t get me started.) When I moved to the east coast, and i know i’ve mentioned this several times through my blog, many people just keep to themselves and don’t say hi. It bothers me. Maybe it’s because i’m a people pleaser, or maybe because i believe it’s the little things in life that make the world go round.

File_000 (277)

from saturday

There’s a woman, maybe in her 50s, that walks the trail every Saturday around the same time I’m out. She’s always alone, no friends or walking companions, no headphones or ipods. Just quietly shuffling along the trail to get her morning exercise in. I’ve said hi to this lady at least ten times this summer. There was even a day I ran past her twice (remember i do a lot of out-and-backs) and she has never said a word. However, she stares like i’m a little harlot with no shirt on. She sneers at me. Her eyes go wide then narrow all in an instant.

File_000 (280)

runner’s saving grace!

Naturally I think this lady (and i have to call her lady now cause i’m pissed) is a total B. How many times can i look a person in the eyes and say, “Good morning.”? I’ll tell you how many. As many as it takes because i’m NICE and I’m from the Midwest!!!! And of course I understand that sometimes people are just generally distracted in their own world. Listening to headphones, or concentrating on their workout, or maybe don’t hear or see me. I understand that.

I think it’s super strange that i’ve been working at the same gym for almost 4 years and there are MANY people I see on a daily basis that ignore me completely. And again, it’s me saying, “Hello” “How are you” “Good to see you.”As persistent I am with being polite they are just as persistent at ignoring me. I totally understand where Adele is coming from.

But then, I had a small victory this past Saturday. The old lady softly spoke, hi when I passed by with the weekly greeting. She almost stopped me dead in my tracks because it was so unexpected. I could have hugged her. I didn’t because it probably took a lot for her to say hello to me.  I finally broke her down.

Killing people with kindness works. For every person that doesn’t say hi, i will forever think of her and remember that being cold and unfriendly is never the way into someone’s heart. Please, please be nice to strangers. You never know what kind of day, week or year they’re having. A kind gesture can turn someone’s day around and with so much hate in the news this is all we have to fight back with.

File_000 (281)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Do you smile, say hi, nod, wink, peace sign while passing people? 


15 Comments

Ultra Training – This Is New.

Ultra marathons are any distance above 26.2 (marathon distance), but most runners consider an ultra starts at 50k or 31.07 miles. I’m no expert and i’m not running 31 miles for MS with any particular time goal. I just want to have a good time, not injure myself and finish. PS- Thank you so much to the many awesome people that have already donated! It makes me extremely thankful and proud to call you my friends.

First I did a little research about how to train for an ultra. Hint: it’s not the same as a marathon. Big change #1: You have to get used to running on tired legs. Hence the double weekend long run.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 8.00.15 AM

I do a normal long run on Saturday and a shorter run Sunday. Eventually the goal is to have your weekend runs equal the distance of the ultra. I need to build up to two back-to-back 15 milers OR something like a 20 miler + a 10 miler. I was surprised at how I’ve been afraid of the 2nd run more than the first. The 4-5-6 miler has been terrifying after a 15+ long run, but each 2nd run has felt better and better. Maybe it’s a mental thing since I’m running a short distance?

Also, I like having an off day before and after long runs, so during the week i’m running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which gives me Friday and Monday off. Those three back to back running days again, help with more cumulative leg fatigue.

File_000 (238)

In traffic, getting my GPS up, stopped on the way home for 8 speedy miles. Tell me you’ve done this!?

Second you have to strength train. Just because the mileage is creeping up (44 this week!) it’s no excuse not to strength train legs. It keeps the hips and glutes strong and i haven’t had any IT band issues since December. I contribute that to lifting heavy. I try my best to strength train 2-3x week, one heavier leg day, one lighter or body weight day. And i do arms/abs every time no matter what. You can’t swing your arms by your sides for hours running without a strong upper body.

Third, you need to fuel like a pro. Plan your routes around water fountains, take money or a debit card in case you need to grab food/drinks. Or do the opposite of what i’ve been procrastinating and buy a hydration pack already. And take more food than you think you’ll want. Last Saturday’s long run I finally was able to get down 3 gels (one more than usual) and it was the reason I had the energy to finish.

File_000 (236)

new Pro Compression socks! Love them

Last, take the recovery seriously. During the week I have ONE day off from working legs in either a run or strength session. Which means I have to spend extra time stretching, foam rolling, wearing compression gear, sleep & nutrition. I’m on top of having a protein smoothie immediately after a workout. <—this was a big change with a noticeable recovery time difference. I also walk a LOT. I stopped adding it to my weekly workouts log because I couldn’t get track of how often i’m out with LE and Cameron. I truly think the additional walking miles are keeping my legs fresh and working the other muscles running doesn’t.

File_000 (235)

File_000 (234)

File_000 (237)

typical evening meal. Burger with avocado & greens, brussel sprouts YUM!

One note I found very interesting about ultra training is not to forgo speed work altogether! You still want to keep the fast twitch muscle fibers firing. June was all about mileage building which i good about and July will be about tossing in some speed to prep for the August ultra. Someone asked me why I want to do this in August. It’s my birthday! And why not?? Plus i’m hoping all this heat and humidity training will translate to some fast times this fall once the ultra is over. 🙂

Last Week

Monday: 20min upper body

Tuesday: 7.5m easy 9:02/pace, 45min legs (backsquats 45-110lbs, bosu ball burpees, situps)

Wednesday: 8.1m tempo 7:53/pace

Thursday: 5m easy 9:45/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 17.5m long 9:23/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 8:51/pace

Total Miles: 44.1

Who’s training for a fall race? When does your plan start?

How did your long run go last weekend?

 


11 Comments

Run and Beer and Run Some More

The title sums up the weekend perfectly, and the weekend was perfect if you ask me. Saturday morning at 7:30 I explored a new-to-me trail which I will be spending a ton of time on this summer, especially since the majority of it is shaded & has water fountains, a runner’s saving grace. I realized, especially while out on the paths for 16+ miles, I want to get a water pack to carry more water. Does anyone have suggestions? I’m open to brands (Nathan, Ultimate Direction, Camelbak etc), but I would like a backpack type hydration tool, not a belt with bottles.

Anywho, the 16.6 miler went well. I was anxious and nervous for absolutely no reason. Especially when I’ve been coasting around 15 milers each weekend with no problem. I only took in two Honey Stinger gels, probably not enough, but it was warm out and it’s always hard for me to eat a lot in the heat. I’m trying to slowly eat more during these long runs in preparation for fall marathon training.

File_000 (225)

Deer selfie & a Chocolate + caffeinated Honey Stinger

Note worthy items on my run: I saw 3 deer, a crane and a black snake. Yep. Saw another female runner jump several feet from the edge of the trail and was quick to point out to me to watch out. I’m always hopping over twigs and branches on the trails in fear they might be a snake. Turns out it’s not a bad idea.

After I finished, feeling excellent by the way, I surprised Cameron and took him to a local brewery that a client told me about. Manor Hill Brewing! (Ellicott City, MD)

 

We started with a flight to taste several beers, played corn hole (or “bags” depending on what part of the country you’re from), walked around the facility (they allow self guided tours) and enjoyed the sunny afternoon!

File_000 (222)

growing their own hops!

File_000 (224)

I enjoyed the Coffee IPA and their sour saison. The brewery doesn’t serve food so you can bring your own! We brought along chips, peanuts and oreos. Don’t judge, remember I ran super far so I can eat some junk once in a while.

File_000 (226)

Coffee Brown IPA & Latte milk stout taster w/Cinnamon bun oreos 🙂

File_000 (229)

File_000 (227)

inside is so pretty!

The brewery has limited space and is only open Friday to Sunday so if you plan on going, i’d recommend making a reservation! The space is beautiful, the bartenders were so nice and we both agreed it was a fun place to spend an afternoon and we will return!

The next day, Sunday, which is now turning into my 2nd runday I met up with my friend Deena for an easy 5 miler.

File_000 (231).jpeg

Talking about life, relationships and running is just the way I like starting the morning! This is also one part of the the 50K course i’m planning. Just need another weekend to scout out the parts of the course and I can share it.

Last Week

Monday: 30min upper body

Tuesday: 7.1m easy 8:38/pace

Wednesday: 8.1m easy 9:10/pace

Thursday: 5.1m fartlek20min full body HIIT

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 16.6m long 9:25/pace

Sunday: 5.1m easy 

Total Miles: 42

Water hydration pack? Brand/type/Liters?

Favorite way to spend a summer afternoon?


19 Comments

Spartan Beast, The Wilds – My First OCR

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:10/pace

Wednesday: 3m easy 9:15/pace, 25min shoulders/legs

Thursday: 7m tempo (2m warm up, 4 @ 7:15/pace, 1m cool down)

Five hours, twenty minutes. 14.7 miles of technical trails, carrying rocks, sandbags, logs and flipping tires. Trudging through mud, wading in water, climbing cargo nets, gathering rocks, hanging onto trees, hoisting up and over walls. (And one huge run-on sentence later) I did it. I finished. I’m alive, unharmed and feeling stronger than ever.  Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.05.14 PM

At first, I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for the hardest Spartan obstacle course race. Being an endurance runner, a pseudo masochist, secret-wannabe-trail-runner, adventure seeker, a how far can my body possibly be pushed-er… I had to try this. I had to know I was a well-rounded athlete.

I drove up to Columbus Friday afternoon to stay with my cousin Becky and her family. Her husband Josh was doing the race with me. We caught up, had dinner and quickly laid out clothes and packed up bags for the next day.

File_000 (156)

Our biggest gripe of the day was the parking situation. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic for 30 minutes, just to park. We were stopped for so long I peed in between our car and the car in front of us. I know it seems like i’m peeing in public a lot, but it’s not my fault! I think i’m cursed with bad pre-race timing. I just couldn’t hold it. And we couldn’t wait any longer. We were 20 minutes from our wave start time and still weren’t moving. Becky took the wheel to park, and Josh and I walked toward the bibs, gear check and bathrooms.

DSC_0249

We finally started the race at 9:00am and hit trails and 5 obstacles. Wall climbs, under a wall & under muddy water, monkey bars, ring/rope cross, Z-wall, cargo net climbs, barbed wire crawls… Some really tough upper body stuff right out of the gates, then we were on the trails. We ran when we could. These trails were TECHNICAL. I know i’m not much of a trail runner, but hopping over roots, rocks, mud, steep inclines & dead stop so you don’t fall over the edge declines are the example of technical trails.

DSC_0255

synchronized jumping

DSC_0268

Josh on the Z-Wall

Our mile time was about 23 minutes–if you count the slowing down for the obstacles & burpees, i’d estimate we were doing about a 14 minute mile. That’s a lot of slowing down, hiking, all while gaining 2,300 feet of elevation. I’m not gonna lie, the trails were my favorite part of the race. I loved not wearing a watch, feeling free out in nature, and knowing endurance was my strength. Getting through the obstacles as a strong girl was a huge boost as we headed back to the tough trails.

DSC_0310

After mile 6, the mile markers stopped. It was a little frustrating not knowing how far we were, but I figured it was part of the mental mind game Spartan wanted to play with the athletes. Putting one foot in front of the other when you don’t know how far your feet have left to travel is a tough task.

We were full of energy early on. Talkative, smiling and having a blast. Honey Stinger gel packs saved our butts on more than one occasion. I brought 4 or 5 packs, i can’t remember, but we went through all of them within 4 hours and both of us wished I had brought more.

DSC_0260

There were moments where I wasn’t sure if i could do anymore with my arms. And Josh was there to help. There were moments Josh’s energy dropped and he slowed on the trails, and I was there to help. We complemented each other perfectly for this race. We constantly checked in with each other and sped up and slowed down when we needed breaks. Our goal was to finish. Racers on the trail couldn’t believe we chose The Beast as our first Spartan. Go big or go home bro. Especially you, bro that skips leg day and gets cramps on the trails. Especially you.

Josh and I both thought the race would be even spread out with running and obstacles. Like running half a mile then doing an obstacle, repeat, etc. It wasn’t. The running/hiking seemed to go on for miles before we hit a group of obstacles. Again, tough mentally, but I enjoyed it. The Wilds was beautiful. Breathtaking actually. The pine trees, the ponds, the seclusion, it was glorious.

DSC_0332

Josh climbing like a pro!

The last miles waned on for an eternity, only to be interrupted with the dreaded bucket of rocks task. It’s as awful as it sounds. You fill your bucket to the marked holes, and you walk with said bucket up and down a path. One heavy foot in front of the other. The sandbag on the shoulder was next and similar in effort. Toss the sandbag over your shoulder and walk up a path and through mud until you hit the drop off point.

File_000 (157)

Pierce (becky & josh’s son) demonstrating the rock/bucket obstacle. 

I’m guessing all of this so far sounds awful. But believe me, when you finish a difficult task, like flipping a huge tire over, you feel so strong and invincible! Every obstacle proved I was capable of difficult things. I didn’t complete three obstacles which lead to the dreaded burpees. 3 x 30 = 90 burpees for me. Josh did all the obstacles like a champ! Not too shabby for 30+ obstacles.DSC_0343

When we started to lose steam and were out of Honey Stinger packs we were toward the end. The lovely volunteers told us we had a few obstacles left and we were home. Seeing the fire jump in the distance was the motivator we needed to finish strong!

DSC_0359

DSC_0372

me off to the left! Still had a little spring in my step

They said at the start, “You’ll know at the finish line.” And it was accurate. I felt so strong, relieved, happy and proud of that accomplishment. Crossing a finish line for the first time is always epic. Crossing a finish line that proves I’m not just a runner was pure elation.

DSC_0381

And a few more of us happy to be finished and on our way to eat…

DSC_0383

DSC_0391

Josh and I had a brilliant idea to do a Spartan last year while drinking beer at Thanksgiving, this makes me nervous about what we might come up with next November…  🙂

Last Week

Monday: 2500m row, rope pull ups, deadlifts

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:40/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 9:30/pace 2m walk/run w/LE.

Thursday: 6m interval (2m warm up 10:00/p, 3 x 1m @ 6:53/p, 1m cool down)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 14.7 Spartan Beast OCR

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 28.7

What do you feel when you cross a finish line?

Hardest race you’ve ever done?


4 Comments

Phone Dump Friday! Vol. 8

Wednesday: 4m easy 9:30/pace 2m walk/run w/LE.

Thursday: 6m interval (2m warm up 10:00/p, 3 x 1m @ 6:53/p, 1m cool down)

Friday: Rest 

I’m headed to OHIO for the Spartan Beast–wish me luck as I attempt a brand new type of race this weekend! AROO!!

This was from last weekend when I was trying to get a nice picture at the beach with my dog and race award. I didn’t notice LE was peeing behind me until Cameron said something. Hahaha.

IMG_3017

Springtime walk!

File_000 (147)

File_000 (155)

Outside beers @  Denizens

File_000 (126)

These two…

File_000 (150)

After work sunsets 🙂

File_000 (151)

Every day our Colorado/Utah trip feels like a dream…

File_000 (152)

Le’s favorite spot on our walk.

File_000 (149)

Gotta love rowing…

File_000 (148)

LE got a haircut last week, brings out her eyes right?

File_000 (153)

And.. just a good hair day.

File_000 (154)

Have a great weekend! 

Races? Big plans? 


21 Comments

SPARTAN UP! -Time for a Giveaway!!

Monday: 1500m row, 100 bosu burpees w/pushups, 50 bw squats, 50 hanging leg raises

Tuesday: 8.5m combo tempo (3m @ 6:49, 6:49, 6:44 -3:00 rest- 2 x 1m @ 6:22, 6:18)

I’m 4 weeks out from the OC 1/2 and 5 weeks away from my very first Spartan Beast. I know i’ve mentioned i’m afraid of the half marathon i’ve been prepping for, but there is a different fear that happens when I think about the Spartan obstacle course race i’m training for.

File_000 (112)

That fear is for the new, uncharted territory. I never thought i would be taking on an obstacle course race, let alone a tough one. I’m excited that this race is gonna be horrible/fun/terrible/awesome. I’m excited to see what my body can do, but definitely nervous for what I’m going to be put through physically and mentally. I know i’m going to cross the finish line in Ohio feeling like a different person. That’s the exciting part, now I just gotta get there.

File_000 (113)

Training for a Spartan has been a different experience, but they have so many tools to help prepare for the demands of the course which have helped me out.

1) Watch a Spartan on tv – Once in a while I catch something fun on espn or whatever sports channel… I watched an hour special about Spartan Elites a few months back and it was super motivating. (This is what really pushed me to participate!) Plus it gave me a good idea of the type of obstacles I would eventually tackle.

2) Spartan.com You can sign up for a spartan WOD (workout of the day) and they email you or your weekly workouts. Even if you aren’t training for an obstacle course race, I seriously recommend this to vary your workouts and put something fun & different in your routine. Most of the workouts include running so it’s perfect for runners trying to incorporate strength!

File_000 (111)

results from all the rope pulling in preparation for the Spartan!

3) The books! Spartan has several books to help you train and get mentally prepared for the demands of the course. They have a new book coming out called Spartan Fit! which has a 31 day diet & workout plan (that doesn’t require a gym) and motivational Spartan stories. If you’re new to Spartan or ready to tackle the next event even stronger check it out or pre-order here:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.41.31 AM

Oh and did I mention the somewhat famous 😉 ultramarathoner, Dean Karnazes likes these books?

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.09.08 AM

I’m giving away a free entry into a Spartan Race! Don’t be afraid of the unknown, embrace it! Training for an obstacle course race will only make you a better, tougher runner!

4 ways to enter the giveaway: Follow my Instagram, Follow Spartan’s Instagram, leave a comment telling me which Spartan you would sign up for, or pre-order Spartan Fit! (leave a separate comment telling me which entires you did). 

Giveaway is open until 4/13/16 @ midnight–Good Luck!!

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 9:20/pace

Tuesday: 7.5m interval (8 x 800s @ 6:27/pace w/200m recovery at 10:00/p)

Wednesday: 1500m row, 30 min legs

Thursday: 9m easy 8:45/pace

Friday: Rest day-  2.3m walk w/LE

Saturday: 14m long 9:00/pace

Sunday: Rest day- 3m walk w/LE

Total Mileage: 36.5

Tips for doing a Spartan?

What type of race/activity gets you out of your comfort zone?