Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dear Resolutioners,

My high hopes of blogging again regulary all crashed and burned after Return Post #1 last March. [Whomp whomp.]

I did make a second Monument Avenue 10k preview post...but looking back this doesn't make much sense considering I never blogged about the actual race. [The abridged recap: It was great!]. My job is just too demanding to commit to the type of regular blogging schedule I had years ago. BUT, I do have a lot of ideas about fitness and running swirling around in my head, so I don't want to shut this thing down. I like having an outlet to share and connect about these topics. So with that,

IT'S 2014! It's too early on in the year to know what that even means. But as I've scrolled through My Facebook Newsfeed of:  Reflections on 2013, Goals for 2014, and status updates bitching about crowded gyms I've wanted nothing more than to post a letter to resolutioners. Mainly because I've been one to Google topics as I'm thinking about change. And I want to offer some insight in case someone is looking for it.

Dear Resolutioners,

DON'T do this alone. It actually makes me sad to think of heading to the gym, trying to figure out the proper way to use a piece of exercise equipment, doing the best I could according to the pictures on the machine, feeling challenged/overwhelmed, calling it quits, and heading home.

I've seen people do this at the gym, and it's just so much easier to stick with something you enjoy and -this might sound ridiculous right now but- is FUN.

Inevitably, when people think of workout help the first thing to come up is a Personal Trainer. I don't think there is anything wrong with using a Personal Trainer but if that isn't an option monetarily or is incredibly intimidating for your first trip back to the gym in months or years, there are 3 other things that have worked well for me. So well that removing any one of these things from my routine would create a huge void.

1)  Group Fitness

They say hit the gym with a friend for accountability, but in my experience all it takes is one person having a change in their schedule and both halves of the workout duo are thrown off. Group fitness has been a wonderful way around this for me because classes at the gym are rarely cancelled. Group fitness instructors tend to be very friendly -- they like working out so much they want to share their knowledge with strangers-- and at the very least like to learn the names of the particpants in their class. Getting to know group fitness instructors has held me much more accountable than planning to use cardio equiptment with a friend. I know Nicole will be looking for me in her Step class, and I hate to miss it. The other thing that is great about group fitness classes is the instructors tend to give intensity options that cater to all fitness levels in their classes.

My recommendation for Group Fitness classes is try a lot of different classes until you find the style of class and an instructor you prefer. My personal favorites: Body Pump, Body Step, and Cycle.

I've tried Zumba, Athletic Conditioning, and Kickboxing. Occassionally I'll take them to switch things up, but the most important thing is finding something you want to stick with.

2) Signing up for a race

The running community is one of the most welcoming places I've ever found! The thing with runners is we know running makes us happy -- we get REALLY excited when someone new decides to pick up running or try for a new distance. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the feeling of accomplishment when you cross a finish line. Running is hard, but it's an entirely different experience having people cheer for you in a race than spending some time on the treadmill or jogging around the neighborhood alone. Honestly the atmosphere at the races is what makes the training for them worth it. If you can find someone to sign up for a race with you this also helps for accountability, but the first 10k I ever did I ran alone and the feeling of accomplishment was as strong as ever!

One word of caution: Races are addictive ;)

3) Yoga

Some might categorize this as group fitness, but in my opinion it's more than that. You don't realize how much stress you are holding in and how out of alignment your body is until you start taking yoga regularly and miss a session. I'm of the personal belief that everyone can benefit from yoga. Yoga has been so key for me in injury prevention and stress relief. There is no such thing as being "good at yoga" it's a matter of continuing to challenge your own body.

If you feel you are starting from a place where you have a lot to learn, a few sessions with a trainer is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It's better to be informed and safe than independent and injured.

And remember, "I really regret working out today" - said no one ever.   If you're using January 2014 to get back into a workout routine, be one of the people who sticks around and is all the happier for it!

This is about more than just how you look. The mood boost that comes after a workout is what keeps me hooked.




Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Return to Blogging..

Dipping a toe in the blogosphere water…considering I’ve been absent for quite some time.

"Fitness is a journey. Life naturally gives you one start and end point. Thankfully you have all the “re-try” attempts in the middle you want." –Me

: )

I’m trying to think of all of the reasons I stopped posting on this blog: My personal laptop died and I was without a computer for a few months. My left foot was bothering me after the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon and I had to take a break from running for a month or two. My grandfather (with whom I was very close) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And I dove in head first to my first serious relationship-- all in the Fall 2010 timeframe. It was a period of a lot of transitions, and this little blog fell to the wayside.

In the past 2.5 years there have been specific moments where I thought about posting again, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to posting regularly, and so I shied away from it. Also, although this is a “running” blog, I started it on the premise of running half marathons, and my last half marathon was in the Fall of 2010.

At this point I would not say this is a “Half Marathon Blog.” My recent obsession is a more well-rounded exercise program that incorporates cardio, weight training, and yoga. And yes, cardio includes running. Running seems to be the fitness activity I ALWAYS go back to and never want to walk away from. I’ll give an update on where I’m at in terms of races/training in a different post, but I have truly missed being a part of the online running community! Reading about other bloggers first 5ks, 9 mile training runs, or marathons all excite me and make me want to run more frequently and farther.

I believe exercise is so important! If even one person stumbles across this blog and is inspired to commit to a fitness routine then that is reason enough for me to start blogging again. I’m going to call this a "Running/Fitness Blog" because I may post about topics fitness related but not specific to running. Part of me thinks I seem really young and silly in some of my previous posts, but I specifically wanted to let this blog evolve rather than starting a new one.

Thanks for having me back!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What a Joke.

I'm not a very serious person. I'd say I'm almost never 100% serious. Even if I'm having a serious conversation... I tend to insert jokes. I'm silly. I can't help it.

BUT the one thing I have been the most serious about is running/training...until this past summer. I don't know if it was my lack of desire to train in the summer or too many distractions or work or WHAT but I didn't train as hard as I should have. Today I "ran" the Rock n' Roll half.
My finishing time: 2:23:51. I PRed. I could have done A LOT better if I didn't lose steam around mile 9. For the first time in my life I experienced what it felt like to feel really dehydrated in a race. At every water stop I was guzzling 2-3 cups of water/Cytomax. It was as if the water stops couldn't come soon enough.

Look at these splits:
5k-- 30:02 (PR for official race)
10k-- 1:01:51
(PR for official race)
(And I was just jogging comfortably)

10 mile-- 1:47:30
11.4 mile-- 2:02:55
12.3 mile-- 2:13:53

One complaint I have... for being a HUGE race the finish line sucked. There were blow up arches along the course but the finish line was not marked with a huge arch that could be seen from a distance. The last mile or so was a straight shot on the board walk but it was impossible to tell how close we were to the finish. Meh. Oh and for the record Miller GD64 also sux.But you probs already knew that, even if you've never tried it. Today was my first time.

Also today the first time in my life I used the "Galloway" method in a half marathon...meaning I ran out of steam around mile 9 and started taking walk breaks. My initial goal was 2:10:00ish. I hit sub 10 min miles for the first 10k. When the heat started getting to me I decided on a 2:15ish goal... and somewhere between miles 9 and 13.1....I decided as long as I PRed I'd be happy. I guess I did a good job of "listening to my body." I didn't die. And I wasn't carried out on a stretcher. Both good things.

My finishing time isn't what I'm frustrated with. I managed to PR taking walk breaks versus the other 3 races where I jogged the entire thing. What a joke.

Right now I think I'm stunned that I seem to have lost a bit of a passion for running. I don't know why. Maybe because my running buddy moved away? Maybe because the good friends who originally got me into running halvsies aren't my good friends anymore? Maybe I just want to run and not do a long race? Or maybe I'm just tired because I've been up since 5am? I feel numb right now. I think I'll stick with 5-6 mile runs until I get inspiRED to do another half. Which could very well be the Shamrock because that's the only half I've found so far that I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

On more positive notes: I'm really excited about the yellow tank top I got for this race. The Virginia Beach Rock n' Roll Half has blue and white theme colors. I thought yellow would go well with the blue. Blue is so boring...

And I had a Red Robinnnnnnn Whiskey River Burger after the race. YUM.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looks LIke I'm Cramming for a Half Marathon?!!

I think I've already determined I'm NEVER training for a half marathon in the summer again.
1. It's Hott
2. Summer is my favorite season

I run in the Fall, Winter, and Spring because it's a distraction while I wait for the Summer weather and pool time to get here. And there is just so much more going on in the Summer that it makes training difficult. My new job hasn't helped things.

Last night I ran 2.5 miles, this AM I ran 3, and tonight I ran 8. That means I ran 11 total today..and 13.5 in a 24 hour period. That's more than I've ran in a whileee. I hope to get one more long run in, which will most-likely be 10 miles...and then we'll see what happens on race day. I'm still running faster than I have before. Today nothing was slower than a 9:40 min/mi pace. I completed the 3 mile run in 27:20. I wish I could have done 11 miles straight, but work got in the way.

I'm hoping that by training at a sub 10 min/mi pace (although on the treadmill), I should be able to run the entire race close to a 10 min/mi pace. If not, it's totally my fault for not training hard enough and I'll have motivation for my next race. I guess worst case scenario [besides an injury] would be failure to PR, since my first 3 halves all have very similar finish times. I know I was capable of faster than 2:26:ish at the 2010 Shamrock Half but opted to run with my friend. Then I had to go and have IT band problems.

In a way I have to admit it feels badass to say I've been "lazy" and can still whip out long-ish runs in the time I want them. I may be crying around the 11 mile mark come race day...and I gotta feeling I'll be more sore this time than I have been in the past. I'm definitely ready for the beach afterparty! And getting Red Robin or Seafood afterward. Tapering shouldn't feel all that different than the rest of my summer. Heh. Anyone else get lazier about training after 3 races? It's a LOT less mental now for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yikes...I'm Running a Half Marathon in a Month!

((Hey Oh)). Long time no post ay? I think between trying to adjust to a new job/schedule and making the most of summer...I'm spending a LOT less time in front of a computer. At work blogger is blocked. If I'm not working I'd rather be pool side. I'm also a sucker for summer TV. The Bachelorette. Shark Week. Jershey Shore. Does it really get any better?

I'm not going away, but bear with me if my posts and comments aren't all that frequent. I'll figure out a balance eventually. Side Note: From January-June I was pretty unhappy with the lack of direction in my life so I ran and blogged A LOT. Both were my outlets. Obviously I still love to run and write, but I'm happier than I've been in a loooong time, so I'm obsessing less over both.

My training has been less frequent this time around, BUT I'm running faster than I have in my life. I've done 3 miles runs with an average pace slightly below 9 minutes per mile. Tonight I ran 8 miles in 1:18:14 (Including the downtime when the treadmill shut off at an hour and I drank some Powerade.) That's an average pace of 9:46 per mile. If I can keep this pace up...hopefully I'll get a decent half time. The heat could do me in though. I've decided this race "Is What It Is" and I'm not sure training during the summer is really my cup of tea. I'm also not sure how I've managed to get faster except that when I run 3 miles at a 9 min/mi pace it makes a 9:50 min/mi pace seem a lot more comfortable and easy.

Between now and September 5th I want to do a 10 mile run and an 11 mile run. Whether I run 9 miles or not is TBD. I might be running out of time. It's pretty crazy how methodical training has become to me. It's a lot less mental and a lot more about forcing myself to do something I know I'm capable of. I wish I had higher weekly miles, but if I continue to hit the long runs at the pace I want, I guess I can't complain. I'm less burnt out and not over training.

Other Random Thoughts Floating Around In My Brain:

  • Finding out a guy likes to run is a turn on for me. I wouldn't say that MUST RUN is a requirement, but it's like we instantly get each other. It's cool :)
  • Runner's High makes me more absent minded than a drunk. I pumped gas after running 8 miles and drove home without putting the gas cap back on. I didn't realize this until I got home. Luckily the gas station attendant found it or a good samaritan turned it in. I also left my change of clothes at the gym. Geez Louise. I'm probably lucky I made it home in one piece.

Songs I LOVE right now:

Well, Dynamite is still my absolute favorite. It's my ringtone :)

Teenage Dream-- Katy Perry
"We'll Be Young Forever" YES PLEASE.

I Like It-- Enrique Inglesias ft. Pitbull
Huh. And to Think Enrique sang Hero and Pitbull sang Holiday Inn.

Love The Way You Lie-- Rhianna ft. Eminem
I actually haven't been that excited about Rhianna's new stuff and prefer a lot of rappers to Eminem. However, this song has increased my appreciation for both of them.

Club Can't Handle Me-- Flo Rida
Thank God Flo Rida is back. I've missed him.

And you [more than likely] heard it here first. This is yet to hit Top 100 downloads on iTunes......

Could It Be You-- H*wood. Sooooo good!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wish You Were Here

On July 1st I moved to a group house in Northern VA with a pool and hot tub (Photos to follow). The reason I could afford to move was because I've started a new job doing....

[drumroll please]....

Gym Membership Sales.

To the average Joe this probably doesn't sound like all that exciting of a career. But I think I really may have found a way to combine my need to support myself and love for fitness! Already, I'm a million times happier than I was IT Consulting. The free membership and ability to watch TV at work are definite perks. Oh and goofing around is typicallll :) Remind me again why I sat in a cube for hours on end?

Partially because of all the transition and partially because of the July 4th holiday... I've been absent in blog world for the past couple weeks. I don't think I'll be going on a true vacation this summer...so I took a stay-cation in DC. I had 7 friends come in from out-of-town, including 3 of my besties. Here I am on the Fourth with my friend since middle school, Melissa. We used to pass notes and giggle at silly boys together...substitute texting for the notes and not much has changed.

On my staycation, I did a bunch of things I never had before...
  • Went to a Nats game. Believe it or not this was my first one. Strasberg wasn't pitching and the Mets beat us. This definitely won't be my last this season!
  • Hosted a cook out/pool party. Clearly my mom's idea of an All American Fourth has worn off on me :) I made a funfetti cake with homemade cream cheese icing.
  • Took the Alexandria Water Taxi to National Harbor
  • Watched the Fireworks from National Harbor Sculpture Garden

If you're ever in DC I'd recommend doing ALL of these things!
I also caught up on The Bachelorette. Dear God Kasey must have been an actor. Or mentally insaneeeeeee. I did 18 miles last week. My longest run the week of the Fourth was 5 miles. (A lot of 3 milers happened).

Today I ran 5 miles in 46:56.... that's an average pace of 9:23 min/mi. This was on the treadmill and I think my "comfortable pace" is now around 9:30...I started at that pace and picked it up at the end.

If I'm being honest I need to get serious about the long runs. I need to do an 8 miler REAL SOON. I'm actually scared about how HOTT this Rock n' Roll half might be. I wish I had someone who wanted to go at about a 10 min/mi pace to run with..............

For those of you constantly looking for additions to your running playlist like me:

Got Your Back-- T.I. ft. Keri Hilson
Somehow I forgot this one in my last music post.

Dynamite-- Taio Cruz
MY FAVORITE SONG RIGHT NOW! This is also the perfect song to dance to with sparklers. I got to do that on Saturday :)

Beamer, Benz, or Bentley--Lloyd Banks
Yeah, I'm a couple months late on how good this is. I can't get enough.

Top Back-- T.I.
All I Do is Win---DJ Khaled (ft. Luda, Snoop, Rick Ross, and T-Pain)
Dead and Gone-- T.I. ft. JT
Guess I'm on a Hip Hop/T.I. Kick...I keep running to all these songs.

Ocean Avenue-- Yellowcard
And in case hip-hop isn't your thing. This randomly shuffled onto my iPod today. GREAT summer song.

I'm Back-- T.I.
How fitting. I'll do my best to catch up on everyone's blogs!!!

Finally, a few shout outs:
  • I can't believe it, but I won a $20 Amazon gift card from Run Potato Run! Just for being a follower! She recently started blogging/training and sadly is dealing with a knee injury. I know she could use some of the advice/encouragement I was lucky enough to receive with my IT band injury. So *cough* go to her blog *cough*!
  • Get Well Soon Julie! I really cannot stop thinking about what you are going through.
And on happier notes,
  • Congrats Barbie!!! Very cute engagement story!
  • Pam is hosting a Sweaty Band giveaway.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Opening Statement:
If you read Jamoosh's blog, you've already seen his completed survey. He suggested everyone answer the same questions and post it to our respective blogs. I've outgrown the days of doing email surveys...and definitely would never fill one of these out on Facebook, but I do think it's nice to learn more about a "running blogger" besides the obvious:
1. They run.
2. They blog.

So, here's some info on me.


What is your salad dressing of choice?

Let me put it this way: Panera Greek Salad Dressing and Newman's Own Oil and Vinegar are good enough that I've put them on more than just salad. I like vinaigrettes and ranch a lot, but am not picky. I TRY to use low-fat dressings rather than cancel out my healthy food choice to eat a salad. IMO, a 22g of fat burger trumps 22g of fat ranch dressing.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
Speaking of burgers, IN-N-OUT!!!! Though, we don't have that on the east coast :(
If we're defining fast food as restaurants with a drive through I stick to: McDonald's, Wendy's, and Taco Bell. The only time I ever crave Chick-fil-a is on Sundays. FAIL.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Probably Uncle Julio's. (That link is worth clicking on.) And, I make a point to try new sushi restaurants. That's not a specific place, but I'd say I go out to eat for sushi more often than any other type of cuisine.

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Chocolate. I pretty much have a piece of chocolate every day.

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
I like any topping but anchovies. Mushrooms are absolutely fine if combined with another topping, but I would not order a plain mushroom pizza.

What do you like to put on your toast?
Or Peanut Butter.
Or if I'm feeling kid-like, butter and cinnamon sugar.
And let's not forget dipping plain toast into eggs over easy. Yum.

What is your favorite type of gum?


Number of contacts in your cell phone?
I lost all of my contacts a week ago when my phone died. I had hundreds . Right now I have 47. I still need to add my sister and future roommates back...

Number of contacts in your email address book?
I don't use this feature. Gmail [aka. the greatest thing EVER] remembers contacts when I start typing the first letter of a name/email.

What is your wallpaper on your computer?
I'm currently using my laptop from Freshman year of college...um...Rhododendron. It's a Windows wallpaper (red flowers).

How many televisions are in your house?
Not sure, I'm about to move...to a house with an in-home movie theatre :)

Are you right-handed or left-handed?

What’s your best feature?

I get the most compliments on my hair.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
My wisdom teeth.

Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
Sight. 20/20 Vision. (Knock on wood).

When was the last time you had a cavity?
A few years ago.

What is the heaviest item you lifted last?
Cases of drinks at work.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
By anesthesia.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? No.

Is love for real?

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I don't think I would change my name. I'm quite happy with it.

What color do you think looks best on you?
Blue. It brings out my eyes ;)

Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
How do you do this by mistake?

Have you ever saved someone’s life?
Yes, I performed rescues the summer I lifeguarded in a water park.

Has someone ever saved yours?
My dad caught me when I started to roll down a mountain overlook as a young child. I have no recollection of this; guess I got the running gene from him.

Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
"We're going streaking!"

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
Hell no.

Would you never blog again for $50,000?
Where can I pick up this check?! Plus it doesn't say anything about reading blogs!

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No, though I witnessed a guy do it at a party in California for (maybe) $20. Not sure he collected it all.
Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
I'm going to agree with Jamoosh, "I don’t think this is actually possible. There are too many TVs in public places."

Missing someone?
Yep. [Sigh.] Too many of my friends/family members don't live in NOVA.

Relaxed. (I'm blogging.)

Listening to?
Let's see what I get on iTunes party shuffle... DMB Up and Away.

I'll probably catch up on The Bachelorette after this.

Worrying about?
Well, I wasn't worrying about anything until I read this question.


First place you went this morning?
Harris Teeter.

What can you not wait to do?
I'm very excited for the Fourth of July. I have friends coming into town, am going to a Nats game, and throwing a pool party/cookout :)

What’s the last movie you saw?
Toy Story 3. IT'S SO GOOD!

Do you smile often?
A lot!

Are you a friendly person?

Now that the survey's done what are you going to do?

Listening to: Next song that came up on Party Shuffle, Minority--Green Day

Closing Argument: Let others know a little more about yourself, repost this as your name followed by “ology” (with your own answers of course)…or not.