Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Signed Up

Guess what I did?

I signed up for the Marine Corp Half Marathon.  I said that I was going to focus on racing shorter distances for a while, but I just can't say "no:. This race holds a special place in my heart. It was the first half marathon I ever did, I always run it with my twin sister (who actually got me into running. Too bad she'll be in WV this year), I broke my foot in it, it's something I do every year for the past 6 years. Even last year, when I wasn't running too much (stress fractures) I still ran the first few miles and the last couple miles with my twin because it's what we do. 

So when my friend asked if I would pace her, I jumped at the opportunity and I signed up.

In preparation for the race, her and I have been getting into the city WAY too early to get some runs in.

This week we had a particularly fun workout at Nationals Stadium.



Nothing like a few stairs to wake your ass up on a cold morning. Great way to mix things up too! We ran a mile (some of it in 6 inches of snow!), did the stairs 10x as fast as we could, ran another mile, 10x more on the stairs, then finished up. Came out to 3.25 miles, which typically isn't too challenging.....but with some stairs added in, makes for a damn good workout.

I'm excited to help a friend progress in her running. I'm definitely getting something out of it too though. Not like anybody has to twist my arm to run.

Plus, a week full of challenging workouts means a nice, relaxing Friday night.


Hope you had a great weekend!



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All Over the Place

I am alllll over the place these days. 
 
Last we spoke I was going to focus on strength training and some speed work.
 
Well, if there is something I haven't told you, it's that I SUCK when it comes to sticking to a plan when it comes to anything but running. Periodization with my weights? Should I? of course. Do I? Never ever.
 
Hell, I don't even end up doing the weight routine I've written down and hour before I go to the gym.

What can I say, I'm spontaneous:-D
 
At least I've been doing strength work though! All of them have been circuit workouts (I'm a huge fan) with mostly higher reps, lighter weights.....These are what keep me engaged.
 
My Nike Training Club App has gotten A LOT of use (It's by far my favorite fitness app!) and I've been doing circuit routines that I teach in my circuit classes.
 
This week though, I realized something. I won't know if I've improved my short distance game because I don't have a point to reference it to. The plan (until I decide to change it haha) was to do a 5K and do another one 6 weeks from then and compare my times.
 
So this weekend, on a whim, I ran a Shamrock 5K! It was fun! Definitely not the most organized race I've done, but a first place medal pretty much makes you forget about that:-D



 
The goal now? To run another the last weekend in April and show that I'm improving!

Hopefully I don't stray......
 
Food:
I always have to end talking about food. I love it too much not to make it an integral part of my blog.

Butternut squash w/tomato sauce and ground beef

**Funny story behind this one actually. I asked my boyfriend to throw my spaghetti squash in the oven while I was out running errands. I came home and started on the meat sauce.....when the timer went off and I opened the door, I realized he doesn't know what a spaghetti squash is. So we had butternut. haha**

Carrot Cake M&Ms. 

Best Seasonal Candy EVER. Seriously. One bag. Two days. Can't buy those again.

Roasted brussel sprouts, quinoa, and chicken/steak kabob

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Love Rox Half Marathon & A Sweet Treat

 Sunday was the day I've been working towards for the past 3 months. 

The Love Rox 1/2 Marathon in Richmond, VA.


As you can see from the lack of people at the start line, it wasn't a very big race. 

I lined up with the other 500 runners at 10 AM.......anxious to PR. 

and while I did PR...


It definitely wasn't what I was looking for. 

My loose goal was to run around 8:00-8:10 miles. My main goal was to race hard, and race strong. 

and I don't really feel like I did either. 

I made the rookie mistake of going out too fast.....and falling apart on the hills toward the ends. 

At least I can take three things from this:
1. I need to do hill work.....like yesterday. When I do get back to a regular running schedule, hill repeats are a must. 
2. I need to learn how to pace my damn myself. (My first 3 miles were off by about a minute. Shitty. )
3. I need to do more strength training. My hips were really starting to feel it the last few miles. 

I've decided to take a couple of weeks off of running (If I can make it.....I'm on Day 3 and I've already found myself thinking about when I'm going to run this weekend) and really focus on strength. 

Today's workout was one I've shared before, but seriously kicks my ass.....along with my quads, hamstrings, etc. 


I warmed up with a brisk walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes, then I did it ONCE. Yes, ONCE. "Repeat 2-3 times"? HA. That wasn't happening. 

(I do really love the tech shirt I got from Sunday's race. Fits really nicely and it's long sleeve, which I always need more of)

Just one more thing to work towards though:-)

I got a little creative with my post-workout snack.


Into the blender went:
3 frozen bananas
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBSP honey
1 Scoop Sun Warrior Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 a cup of milk (Just enough to get it all moving)

Makes 3 servings. 

I think next time I'll get a chocolate protein powder and add a bit more of that, but it'd be delicious as a "healthier" dessert. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ankle Weight Routine to Strengthen Those Hips (& Booty!)

 Snow, snow everywhere. 

I think I'm going stir crazy. 

Wednesday was my usual speedwork, which meant I was inside on the treadmill. This week I had 10x400. I did a mile warm-up, then ran the 400s at a 7:19 minute mile pace. My recovery jogs were done at a 9:10 pace. Total = 6 miles @ 8:21 pace. 

I'm not positive why, but this workout especially left my legs fried. Wednesday night I kept getting cramps in my feet and my calves. (Has this ever happened to you? Was I dehydrated? More sodium/potassium? stretching?)

Good thing Thursday called for an easy 3 miler (also completed on the treadmill due to the dumping of snow we received.) After my run, I decided to do an ankle weight routine that I used to complete while in Physical Therapy for my hips a few years ago. I used a 7.5 lb weight. I did 4 sets of 15 reps on each side of my leg:


To make the workout more total-body I also did a set of 10 push ups between each 2 sets for a total of 40.

My little station at home.

It's been a day and a half since that and my obliques are still sore! You really don't realize how much you use your core in every move you do! 

Please make sure I do these hip strengtheners more often! 

and when I'm trying to make sure I do an easy run I put on some very chill jams....


Pandora introduced me to Matt Kearney. I'm digging him....

 and my dinner that night. 


Seriously, I am obsessed with adding dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to my salads these days. I have it a few times a week. The salad dressing is a Pomegrante Vinaigrette. SO good together. 

I've got a short pace run to get done today (The race is 8 days away! It's all downhill from here!) but I've got quite a few clients this morning, so I'll have to try and squeeze it in this afternoon. 

I hope you had a great Valentines Day!

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes I made for my daughter's class, but school was cancelled due to snow.....Gotta find somebody to eat them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Perfect Pre-Long Run Dinner and Breakfast.

I think I finally found my pre-race meal. If you're a runner, you know how serious this is to us! I had energy during my run, but I didn't feel too full. No GI issues. No cramping. Nothing. Just one smooth long run.

I'm getting ahead of myself though, let's start with my runs for the week:
Monday: Weights for 40 minutes
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 8:30 pace (+ 20 minutes weight training)
Wednesday: 5.3 miles @ 8;29 (Tempo run. Start at 6.5, going to 8.0, and coming back down gradually)
Thursday: 3 miles @ 8:30 pace + 30 minutes weight training
Friday: REST
Saturday: 5 miles at 8:34 + 20 minutes weight training
Sunday: 13.2 miles at 8:38. 

As I've been saying, I was really trying to up my carbohydrate intake recently and see how it effected my running. 

Greek Yogurt, sliced banana and homemade granola.

Implusive buy at Trader Joes. 

Two Whole Wheat Muffins, 2 scrambled egg and a sliced apple (with a shit ton of cinnamon)

Quaker oatmeal squares, raisans, peanut butter, shredded coconut, and tons of cinnamon.

Those are just a few of my favorite things.

Seriously, going heavy on carbs is a hard job, but somebody has got to do it:-) 

Back to the running....

Saturday night, I decided to top of my glycogen levels with a bowl of whole wheat spaghetti and homemade meatballs. 

Sunday morning I tried my honey whole wheat pancakes again. 


This time, I added a sprinkle of pecans into them while they were cooking. Healthy fats for the win! I ate them 2 hours before my run (instead of 3 like last week) and felt fully energized. 

I started off more conservatively than the week before too. 

Not exactly negative splits, but at least I kept it easy. 

Then I started to pick it up a bit. 


Nasty hill during mile 6, what are you going to do.......except maybe hill work. which will be something I do after this race.....

At miles 4.5 and 8.25 I took my Roctane GU. I don't want to commit to them after only one use but I definitely felt better this week using the Roctane than last week using the regular GUs. 

I was surprised but I liked the Blueberry Pomegrante much more than the Orange Vanilla.

I'm going to contribute those GUs to my last three miles.


All in all, this training run helped me feel much more confident for my race (in 12 days!). I wasn't exhausted when I finished, which is a great sign. 

I'm not going to commit to a pace, but my goal is to run a STRONG race and PR. (This shouldn't be hard since my last half marathon I PRed running on a broken foot for most of the race).

Just to end this post with a chuckle.









Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Total Body Weight Workout and a Healthy Muffin Recipe.

This week has already started out on a better note than last week!

Monday I usually take a full rest day, but I decided to add more resistance training to my weekly workouts, so I hit the weights. I really worked up a good sweat, so I thought I'd share:-) 

10 minute warm-up on the elliptical.

Back Extensions 
Ball Crunches 
(3 sets)

Dumbbell Chest Press - 20 lbs 
Supported Row - 20 lbs
(5 sets)

Leg Press - 110 lbs
Standing Shoulder Flexion - 10
(5 sets)

I did 12 reps each time, with no rest in between moves. What a great total body workout! Short, sweet, and to the point. I actually put this together for one of my clients. I hope she likes it as much as I did! 

Can you tell that I love supersets? Why take longer to do something if you don't have to?? 

Tuesday I did an easy 5 miles around beautiful (and crowded) DC @ 8:30 pace. 
**TMI - During my run, I went to blow a snot rocket (don't judge me, it's the best thing about running outside) and totally blew snot ALL over my iPhone arm band. SO crappy. The same thing usually happens if I try to spit.......I need to learn how to get some distance with these sort of things**

Today I knocked out my tempo run. I started at 6.5 mph on the treadmill, moving up every 2-3 minutes until I got to 7.3. I went up from 7.3-8.0 mph every 30 seconds, then came back down in the same pattern. 

I feel like that didn't make sense at all......the idea is to start slowly and gradually move up until you hit 10k pace (7:30 for me) and come back down gradually. I felt like I did pretty good. 

To fuel these awesome runs, I've been snacking on a batch of muffins I baked up this weekend. 


The base recipe is here.

I made a few modifications:
-using 1 whole egg vs. 2 egg whites
-adding about 1/2 a cup raisins and 3 TBSP chia seeds
-adding a splash of vanilla

Not to bad for a healthy muffin! Even the boy and my daughter ate some....willingly. 

Do you make "healthy" baked goods?
If so, please share your favorite recipe

Do you spit or blow snot when you run outside? 
I swear I'm a lady......

Do you have a great weights workout this week? any speed workouts?



Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Week of Blah Running

Remember how I was recently talking about  how awesome my running has been??

Apparently, I should have knocked on wood. This past week has been an extremely blah week for me running wise.

Lets see what I've been up to:

Monday: Rest 
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 8:35 pace 
Wednesday: 9x400s (+ warm up, active recovery, and a cool down) - 5.5 miles total @ 8:35 pace. 
Thursday: 3.5 miles @ 8.37 + 20 minutes resistance training
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 5 miles @ 8:40 + 20 minutes resistance training
Sunday: 11 miles @ 8:54 

All of the runs during the week were done on the treadmill because I was recovering from some pretty serious ear infections and thought it best to stay out of the cold. 

On Saturday, I couldn't take it anymore.


Those are some pretty serious bags under my eyes. Geez.


I had to run early because I had some clients in the morning at the gym. I also had time to get weight training in and wanted to share it because it was really quick, yet effective:

Split Squats - 15 on each leg
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press - 20 lbs - 12
(4 sets)
Cable rotation - 10 on each side - 20 lbs
Single Leg Squat to row - 6 on each leg - 12.5
(3 sets)

Seriously, split leg squats hurt so good. My ass has been sore ever since. *That's what she said. *

Today I woke up and decided to go a little heavy on the carbs. 


Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes and cinnamon apples.

but it didn't help. 

My run was weak. 

I was bored and unmotivated and I just wasn't feeling it. 

I came home and over analyzed it over my recovery meal. (I seriously just need to understand that this happens and just get out of my head!)


1/2 a grilled pork chop, roasted rosemary potatoes and carrot souffle. 

That's a lot of orange in one meal.

Do you get ear infections?
I've had double ear and sinus infections twice in the last month. WTH. My doctor said a humidifier would help, so we'll see if it helps. 

How was your running this week?

Do you do split squats or one legged squats?