What life is like now

I am a runner.  I am a CrossFitter.  I do all those things.  Sometimes I do one more than the other but running is my roots.

And qualifying for Boston was one of my proudest moments ever.  EVER.   I will  run Boston next year and I am honored to do so.

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Where have I been?  Some would say living the dream and um… Yep that’s about right.

I wake up every day and get to do what I love.   I get to play outside and I get to hang out with a great friend all the while hoping to make a difference in a few people’s lives.  I get to wear sweats or shorts or whatever the hell I feel like wearing.  I get to work out 2 times a day. I get to use my brain to program workouts and help people solve problems with exercise and stretching and weight loss.  yea, I’m SUPER lucky.

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I get to be proud of not only a business but a lifestyle that I live.

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I am even experimenting with my nutrition more than ever.  The Zone diet should make me super strong and buff…. at least that’s what I tell myself when I am weighing my food and meal prepping!

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I am going to try to post more.  I think my life has calmed down a little and I should be able to be around more often!  Hope you stick around even though I’ve been SUPER MIA!

gm

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Run Update

If it hasn’t been obvious, I haven’t been doing any great runs lately.  I am really loving CrossFit and have been dedicating most of my workout time to throwing around some weights and practicing some technique things.  I try to fit in miles where I can but it’s not too high on my priority list.  Also, the runs I have been doing haven’t been leaving me feeling overjoyed or like it was kick-ass.

This week was a busy one for me.  But, that just means I am perfecting the task of multitasking.

2 nights this week while dinner was in the oven (yes, I cooked twice) I got some miles in on the treadmill.  It required me to set the alarm on my phone so I wouldn’t lose track of time but it worked out well.

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Both of these runs were good.  They were both at a comfortable pace.  7 miles bouncing from 8:34 to 8:49 and 4 miles done as a progression…starting at 8:49 and finished the last 1/2 mile at 7:19 .

I am out of town this weekend- in Florida to be exact-which means I spent friday working then traveling. I planned to take friday as a rest day which meant I would hopefully get in a good, longer run Saturday morning.  I came prepared with my garmin and woke up alarm-less around 6.  Just as the sun was about to come up I laced up and headed out the door.

I knew for this run I wanted to go longer than I had been, I wanted to take it easy for the first half and even negative split if possible.  I didn’t obsessively check my watch but when I did I was shooting for 8:25’s.  I ran an out and back *to the beach 😉 * and decided on the way back I would run by feel, not what my watch says.

I am pleasantly surprised with how it went!

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I am definitely stoked with this run.  I felt amazing the entire time.  I was worried I would be mega slow and not have the stamina to hit 10 miles.  Shows you how awesome CrossFit is 😀  I am glad I hit double digits and I love love loved running in shorts and a tank.  Makes me ready for spring!

I had some family things to tend to today but tomorrow I plan on getting my game face on like my favorite girl

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…. and we are heading out tomorrow to go stalk Mickey 😉

What was the last run or workout you had that left you feeling amazing?

gm

2012 vs 2013

Man have I been what feels like the busiest person ever.  The past few days I have been leaving my house at my normal 4:15am but then only stopping home to change for a long 15 minutes before heading back out to not return home again until sometime after 7:00pm.  In my book, that’s a long day!  I have been downing more coffee than ever before.

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I have been spending a lot of time at the gym I work at.  Coaching CrossFit classes, practicing some Olympic lifts I need desperate help (hello horrible snatch) with and I even picked up a personal training client!

I have been in charge of the programming at the gym for a couple of weeks and I am realllly looking forward to the next 3 days.  They are going to tough but fun for sure!  Yesterday was a programmed rest day in order for everyone to recuperate for the next 3 days of F-U-N!

On Tuesday we did a workout that I personally really enjoyed.  It was a tough one but it kept you moving and incorporated so many lifts that I never got bored.

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It took me 19:34.  I struggled more than I think I should have but still a decent time!

I haven’t been neglecting my running though!  This weekend I went out for a cold but crisp 6 mile run.  I brought my garmin with me just because I was curious what my “easier” pace would be.  8:30 average after not dedicating a ton of time to my running… I’ll take it!   Yesterday, even though it was  rest day, I wanted to sweat so I did an easy 5 mile treadmill run.

Even though I have been busy I have been really loving everything I am doing. I love the gym atmosphere. I love coaching.  And now that I have my first personal training client for the first time since 2008, I remember how much I love working one on one with people.

Lately I have been struggling with my goals for 2013.   A few people have asked me what my goal race this year is, what runs I am signed up for and what my running plans are.

I don’t have anything set in stone and that freaks me the F out.  And not because I want something on my race schedule but because I am perfectly content not having signed up for any races yet.  Sure, I am eyeing this 50K this year but that’s still a little while away.  Right now I have been enjoying exercise.  Really enjoying it.  I rest when I am tired, run when I feel like it and lift a lot of weights.  No pressure and no stress.

2012 was the year of the marathon, it was the year of running fast for me.  I started upping my running last January in order to build speed and have a good base for marathon training. I knew Steamtown was my A race and I wanted to do everything I could to make sure I qualified for Boston so I was really strict with my schedule.  It was awesome and I would do it all over again, but that doesn’t make it any less exhausting.  All of 2012 I spent running hard and number crunching and working out because I had to in order to reach my goal.  Right now…I am loving working out and look forward to it every.single.day. Just because.

2013 will have its races.  I will run a few 1/2’s.  I will probably finish a 50K.  But I don’t want any time goals.  I want to do CrossFit as I please. I want to run a 1/2 marathon or 4 and have fun with every.single. one of them.  I don’t want to put pressure on myself or have expectations that are too tough.  Sure, I will try to PR in my deadlift but that’s much different from trying to run a sub 1:40 half…at least for me.

I am having a hard time accepting these feelings.  I am having a hard time accepting the fact that it’s ok to not always have something I am training for.  I am having a hard time feeling like it’s ok to post on a running blog when I have no races planned and more importantly I am having a hard time accepting that I don’t want to have any upcoming races.

With this post I hope to take some pressure off myself.  And I hope that 2013 continues to be as kick ass and amazing as it has been the last 10 days!

gm

Back to Back Marathons

Word vomit and picture-less. Lame. BUT.  I potentially have the secrets of how to run races so close together probably not but you should keep reading regardless.

When I was on the bus heading to the start at the California International Marathon,  I started to chat it up with the nice man sitting next to me.  We went from talking about the race weather and how often we run and that sort of thing….to talking about our last race.  When I mentioned that I had just completed a marathon exactly 8 weeks prior his response was “WOAH there, soon to be doing another one, no?  AND you are trying to qualify? ha”

How I interpreted it was basically “good luck sucker”

Now, when I finished Steamtown and missed my goal I immediately started weighing out my options.  I also stumbled across this article from Runners World.  I took it as a “How To” on running races so close together. I immediately freaked when I saw it say I should take a considerable amount of time off if I had a tough first race.  I emailed it to my coach, we talked about it quite a bit.  I threw around the idea of taking time off and waiting till the spring or following fall.  Ultimately I knew I wanted it now, not in 8 months.  So, CIM it was.

Flights weren’t crazy expensive. I had a bit of vacation time to use up.  My family was in the talks of going somewhere for a long weekend away.  Why not kill 2 birds with one stone and race the same weekend we vacationed.  Perfect.

My coach was 100% on board.  He reminded me, several times after several emails saying “are you suuuuure this is ok? are you suuuuure it’s not too soon?” …He reminded me that as long as I was very careful with my recovery I would be ok to race in 8 weeks.

First week post marathon:

+Tons of cross training.  and not just any cross training.  easy cross training. I sat on my bike and at a low resistance but high cadence I just moved my legs.
+I was attached to my foam roller and I was stretching non stop.
+It wasn’t until a full week after the race that I had my first run and it was a short, easy 30 minutes.

Second week:

+A couple of easier, shorter runs no longer than 30 minutes.
+I continued to spin at an easy level but this week I added a tempo run with a few short repeats ( no longer than 3 repeats of 5 minutes at tempo pace).
+2 weeks post marathon I ran my first longer stamina run.  1 hour at just about race pace.  I died.  Hardest run all training.  I wasn’t ready for it yet.  2 weeks later and I still wasn’t recovered completely

Weeks 3-6:

+I took a few light days after that craptastic hour run and continued to cross train.  Eventually my tempo runs got longer…and harder.
+Each week the intensity and duration got harder and longer.  These 4 weeks were the working weeks.  I made sure to run harder than I had when I was training for Steamtown.  Every hill sprint I pushed the pace at least 5 seconds faster. Every long run I made sure to go a little faster.
+I basically trained like I did for Steamtown…I just gave it that much more.   My last long run of the 4 weeks of work was 19 miles with another 3 mile run later that day.

Weeks 7 & 8:

Taper.  I was pretty much panicking because it was only two weeks.  I mean, looking back I should be happy because the idea of a 3 week taper makes me itch.  But I was worried that I wasn’t going to be ready.

Race day:

Mentally relaxed and ready to do this. I trusted my training.  I didn’t once question if I was ready.  I knew I was.

I ran a race I am proud of. I enjoyed the run so much it almost didn’t feel like I was pushing it as hard as I was.  Seriously.  Did you know I love to run?

Post Race:

WALK!!!  After Steamtown I sat and cried.  And sat. And laid down. Andddd.yea thats about it.  This time I made sure to walk immediately after I finished.  I refueled with some chocolate milk, yogurt, granola and water.

*** I think I wrote this post for myself.  As much as I hope someone gets some sort of benefit from reading my blog it is also nice to be  able to look back and see what worked for me and what didn’t.  It’s nice having a place to keep track of this stuff.  And HOPEFULLY you can learn from it too 😛 ***

So… Thanks to those of you who believed in me.  Who supported my crazy decision and helped my calm my shit when I would have a freakout episode   And….Despite all the haters and the people telling me I shouldn’t try and I would never qualify because the races were too close together or the weather was shitty or whatever the excuse was….

Booyaaaaa

gm

What worked and What’s next

I arrived in Sacramento 2 days before the marathon.  The day before the race was spent at the hotel, shopping at the expo, studying the course elevation chart and properly fueling with pizza, coffee, nuun and tons of water.

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I was really worried about flying and becoming dehydrated during the race.  Luckily making sure I alternated between Nuun and water worked out perfectly and there were no issues!

You already know how I did in the race.  But the more I think about it the more I can’t get over how much of a good run with was.  Sure I was in a race situation with crappy weather but I am talking about the run itself.  The 26.2 miles went by so fast.  Thinking back I definitely would have done EVERYTHING the same except for breaking off when I did.  Next time I would push it harder a little earlier.

The top things I did right this time?

+Proper nutrition and hydration
+Following the pacer and listening to his advice
+Focus on form – especially leaning from my ankles
+Staying in the mile and not thinking about the next 1, 2, 10…whatever it was
+Confidence- TRUST my training and the work I put in to get there

I am still on cloud 9.  I have not run, exerted myself or even sweat an ounce since the run.  I am giving myself the rest that I need but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t starting to get the itch to run.

After the race I was SUPER sore.  Like….ice my ankles, knees, everything hurts kind of sore.  But I didn’t care. I was too busy staring at my medal and watch 🙂

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The rest of my time in California was spent hanging with my family and doing all the touristy things possible.

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Fair warning that there will be many more pictures and collages to come.  My dad had his camera glued to his face the entire vacation so as soon as I get a hold of his memory card, they are all mine!

What’s next?

Definitely some well deserved time off.  I am looking forward to a more laid back schedule…or no schedule really…for the rest of the year.
I am excited to start throwing some weights around in CrossFit and really seeing what I can do there.

As for the running scene?  I am already drooling over a faster half marathon time and perhaps…. a 50k?!

gm

Brave the Run

8 Weeks ago I ran Steamtown Marathon in hopes of getting a time that was good enough for me to qualify for Boston.

8 weeks ago I missed my goal by 95 seconds

95 seconds lit a fire under my ass and made me more determined than ever

6 weeks ago I convinced the people I love the most and that are my biggest supporters to travel to California with me

6 weeks ago I signed up for the California International Marathon and booked a flight

That means, following Steamtown I had 2 weeks of recovery, 4 weeks of hard HARD work and 2 more weeks of taper

5 of my favorite people, my family, and I flew to Sacramento

I didn’t blog about it because I wanted this race to be mine. I put extra pressure on myself when I blogged about Steamtown, and I didn’t want that this time.  I am super happy with this decision because I didn’t feel the extra pressure come start time.  Actually…. I was extremely relaxed about the entire thing.

The week leading up to the race I had some family stuff and the race didn’t seem as important.  I told people that I felt indifferent about it.  Then I got a look at the forecast for race day and the race that was supposed to be THE BIG ONE turned (in my head) into just adding another notch on my marathon belt.

People were tweeting and blogging and talking about the race day weather.  Everything I read said to readjust my goals, to not try for big numbers if I am borderline to qualifying, that I will never make it.  What was the race day weather?  Oh just 35mph winds and 100% chance of rain….and not the drizzle kind of rain.  The rain kind of rain.  I decided to ignore the negativity and I was still going to give it my best shot.  I was still going to leave it all out there.

Still… I wasn’t too stressed before the race.  I got mentally prepared to get wet and run hard.  That’s all I could do.

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Since the weather was going to be a bit warmer, I decided on a hat, arm warmers and tech tee, shorts and compression socks.  Good decisions all around.

The start was awful.  I felt like Forrest Gump where the rain was coming up instead of down.  I’m pretty sure that’s as close to the truth as I could get.  I still felt strangely calm.  I was just going to run.  It was that simple.

I lined up at the start, found the 3:35 pacer, listened to all his tips about the course and decided I would stick with him the entire time.  That’s what I did.  I went through the highs and lows of running.  I loved it, I hated it, I laughed and I cried.  Basically, a crazy lady running.  The rain was constant the entire time and the wind was on and off.  It actually wasn’t horrible.  Focusing on my form helped SO so much. Focusing on the goal, on what I wanted the clock to say as I crossed the finished….that’s all I thought about.

I ate 5 GU’s throughout the race.  I stuck to the pacer and with the pack of runners.  I tucked in the crowd during the windy parts, I splashed through puddles, I dodged people falling.  It was a run unlike anything I had ever run before.  The most important part though?  Sticking to the pacer.

The last 2 miles of the race counted down city blocks from 57 to 7.  I stuck with the pacer until block 27.  At that point I gave it every last bit of what I had. 

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Wonkey arm and all, I was leaving it all out there

I rounded the corner to the finish and ran.my.ass.off.

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My shirt is blurry but VERY appropriate for this run. “Rain, snow, sleet, wind.  BRAVE THE RUN.”

I crossed the finish and found a seat and my family found me….

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I started my watch a few seconds late but it’s close enough

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Chip time: 3:34:17

!!!!!!!!!!IM GOING TO BOSTON BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of my families reaction when they realized the 22 weeks of super hard and super strict training I had been through was over?

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All I can say is FUCK YEA!  I worked hard for this.  I got so close I could taste it.  I put family, friends and boyfriend through hell the past 22 weeks of training. I was strict.  I was dedicated.  I did exactly what my coach told me.  I prepared mentally and physically.  I learned from mistakes at my last race and fueled right this time.  I am still in shock.  Just goes to show…if you want it bad enough, it might take time but you will get there…

gm

Run, Sun, Ray

This is what I wish I could still be doing

We all had a fun and tiring weekend!

Saturday morning I took my time before I headed out to long run.  It was cold so I was waiting for the sun to come up a little and warm things up.   I said I was aiming for 20ish miles or 3 hours.

I was a lot short on time and a little short on the mileage.  I got a ride to the start of my run and ran home. For some reason I just can’t run by my house and keep going.  I wish I would have pushed for that extra bit but it wasn’t happening.

Later in the day I did 3 more miles…nice and easy on a flat course to help loosen my legs some.  Overall I got 22 miles in for the day.

The first 19.11 were good.  It was chilly but I ran fast and felt good. I didn’t feel like I needed to push for the pace until the last few miles so I was happy with that.  In between the runs I made sure to ice, stretch, rehydrate and refuel.

After my runs were completed J and I hopped into the car and headed straight into the sun.  Seriously.  The sun was blinding and I was getting annoyed.

We headed down to Philly to see one of J’s favorite singers.

If you never heard Ray LaMontagne you are missing out. He is pretty chill but has an awesome raspy voice and is AMAZING live.  I didn’t enjoy the show as much as I should have because I was so so sooo tired from running.  J was a trooper and drove my sleepyass all the way home too.  I got a nice 2 hours snooze on the way home. Thanks J!

Sunday we went to pick up some decorations for Christmas.  We are trying to make our house the most awesome in the neighborhood so we are searching high and low for cool decorations.  I needed a Starbucks Christmas cup to help get me into the holiday spirit

Short week for me!  Is it Wednesday yet!?

Have you ever heard of Ray LaMontagne? 

Tell me a singer/band you think I need to listen to.

gm

That time I looked badass

Something I have been trying hard to avoid happened.  Something that every runner dreads….

Yes that is ice

and yes that is my knee

I have been pretty consistently keeping up with my training and taking all the precautions to avoid getting injured.  Well, the past few days my knee just isn’t having it.  It’s more painful to bend my knee than run so I am keeping my running as is and just making sure to ice ice ICE.  Since google is my doctor of choice I decided I most likely have runners knee.  I blame the fact that I haven’t been lifting my legs at all and because of that my quads aren’t as strong as they should be.  Just goes to show how important strength training is….

This morning’s workout left me dead. *I should mention that my knee is totally fine when I run, it’s more when I try to bike or go down stairs or bend my leg that it hurts*

How to decipher my notes: Incline @ Pace / Time next repeat starts
This one was at a smaller incline than I have been doing but faster.  I have to say, I could have done more.  Guess that means I am finally getting faster?
Even though I finished the run feeling like I could do more, a few hours later I was beyond tired and feeling super dehydrated!

Nuun all day errrday

Last night I had a ton of fun teaching another WOD.  This one was a little more focused on weights.  One of my favorite things about CrossFit is throwing big weights around, so I was a happy girl!

One of the trainers even took pictures of my coaching in action and I stole it off of their facebook page.  I swear I am just acting in the picture!  He told me to look mean and badass so, that’s what I did 😉

still debating whether that’s back fat or a muscle. fatty

So far I am loving coaching! I am definitely new to it and it’s so different from the other group fitness classes I have taught in the past.  I am teaching again tomorrow night and I am excited for this one, it’s a fun WOD 😉

gm

Puppies, a Ramble and a Princess

Great Morning to you! 🙂

How was your weekend!? Awesome I hope!

Pretty much all of my Saturday was dedicated to this guy

Meet Vice!

Saturday J and I drove about 2 hours to pick up our newest member of the family!  Once we had this little furball home we headed straight to the park..aka neutral grounds, to introduce him to Jake.  How did it go?

Jake hates him and wants to send him back.  I have faith that after a few long and really annoying days things will get better.  Lola doesn’t mind him though so we are 1 for 2.  Oh, and I pretty much love the shit out of him so he stays.  I win.

Sunday morning I was up bright and early. I had a LR + Race combo.  I needed to run 45 minutes prior to competing in a local 10K.  I drove about an hour to where the 10K was and met up with my SIL and dad to get the 45 minute run over with.

That picture is stolen from sHm but I love it!  I also LOVE when they bike with me while I run.  It makes the time go so fast.  Thanks guys 🙂

After I finished a little over 5 miles it was time to line up at the start of the River Ramble 5K and 10K.  I was definitely nervous starting this race because I wanted to race it.  I mean, last 10K I did was on gravel, in the rain and I didn’t love it.  I wanted to try to beat my time of 47:35….

I ran my face off.  I definitely pushed it but it was worth it!

I ended up coming in 4th female and 2nd in my age group.  I also cut 1:10 off my time and on a hilly course AND after I already ran 5 miles.  I will take it 🙂

I never really race races so it’s exciting for me to see what I can do and how I compare to others.

HUGE HUGE HUGE shoutout to my girl B who ran her first 10K, longest run ever AND kicked HUGE ASS doing so.  What an awesomely awesome day for her yesterday! So pumped for her!

clearly it was sunny

After the race I headed for breakfast with my 3 favorite girls!  Bacon, egg and cheese on bagels please!

I also had the pleasure of dining with the fabulous princess Ryann.

As for the rest of my Sunday, there was enough excitement in the first 5 hours to last me a week so I got home and died on the couch. I was so tired…and still am!  BUT, it was most certainly worth it!

Tell me, did you kick ass this weekend like B?  How about bring home a new furry family member?  Or dine with a real life Princess?

gm

Ugly Pictures

I am convinced that I am the cutest and most photogenic person on earth. I am sure you will be too once you see the doozies I have for you…

Yesterdays run was tempo repeats.  Three 12 minute repeats averaging a 7:20-7:40 pace. Overall goal was to negative split.  Between the warm up, cool down and each repeat it was almost a 70 minute run.

cutest photogenic picture #1

pink headband with matching pink jacket. not planned I swear

by the end of the run, the color of my face matched the headband and jacket.

 That was definitely not an easy run but I didn’t want to die when it was over. I also made sure to negative spit – 7:34, 7:27, 7:15

I think next time I will try to not go as slow on the first one, too much steam left at the end.

This morning I was up at an ungodly hour to squeeze in some cardio and strength before work. Cute picture #2

I am so cute

I don’t workout with my glasses on but it takes me the entire 40 minute ride to the gym to wake up. I literally roll out of bed, put gym clothes on, let dogs out and leave.  I should probably note that I am lucky and have a gym at work so once I am done with my workout I just walk up 4 flights of stairs and then I am at work.

This morning was the elliptical for 30 minutes.  Thank goodness for my new favorite song and the new Runners World…those are the only two things that got me through this morning!

I also completed a workout from the Hotmess herself.

The only change was I added push ups instead of planks.  After I completed that I also did about 8 minutes of additional core work.  Sweat fest this morning for sure.  Thanks samHotmess for an ass kicking!

You are welcome for the beautiful pictures of my face.

Good luck to undecided2 and TeamRichmond this weekend!  There is so much running stuff going on this weekend I am already geeking out over it!

gm