Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Single Best Motivation

In my few years as a runner, I have one major piece of motivation that has never failed me:

Register for a race.

The single best thing I did after the first Urbanathlon was to sign up for the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon. It kept me going. 

See, my real "first" race was the local Turkey Trot 5k back in 2010 that I did with my friend Diana (who, btw, has lost over 100 pounds and just ran her first half!!). We did the Jingle Bell run after that, and then it was "oh we will sign up for something again soon" -- but it never happened for me. 

So, if you're thinking about signing up for a race...DO IT. 

You might be thinking the same things I did -
"I can't run ____ miles!"
"I could never run that far!"
"What if I can't do it?"

Well guess what? 
I couldn't run 26.2 miles in the spring when I registered for my first marathon. 
I couldn't run FIVE miles when I registered for my first half marathon.
I couldn't run ONE mile when I signed up for my first 5k. 

That's what training is for. 

Find a good plan.
Start slow. 
Believe in yourself!! 

What are you waiting for?

Training Plan Resources:
Hal Higdon (I've used his plans a lot, including for my marathon)
Another Mother Runner (I'm planning on using one of their plans for my next half)
Jeff Galloway (if you're looking for a run/walk training plan)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weekend Things

This weekend was the first post-marathon weekend. Marathon training takes up a LOT of time, especially when you've got really long runs on a Saturday or Sunday morning! So, what did I do with my first marathon training free weekend? Did I sleep in? Lounge around?


I went to the gym!! One of my favorite classes is called WAR, and with marathon training, I haven't been doing anything but running and yoga.

I had a blast kicking and punching for an hour Saturday morning! 
(that's me on the left in the gray shirt!)


Sunday morning I didn't sleep in either. 

What does a runner do on their first marathon free weekend? Go watch other runners at a race! HA!

About 20 people from Gruver Fitness tackled the Gettysburg Blue Gray Half Marathon! It was a beautiful day, but it was WINDY! I was running around taking pictures and cheering my heart out. For most of these people, it was their first half marathon. It was SO MUCH FUN cheering for them and especially watching their faces as they crossed the finish line. What a great day!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Short and sweet today...
Yesterday was my race-iversary! 2 years ago, I lined up at the start of the Urbanathlon. I had know idea it would be the start of so much more! THANK YOU to Mindy and Brian for seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself. I would not have crossed the finish line of the Baltimore Marathon if I hadn't had the courage to stand at that first start line. 

P.S. Did you enter my WIN Detergent giveaway yet??? Click here!

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Smelly Situation {Giveaway!}

If you're like me, one of the challenges with working out regularly is LAUNDRY! Not only is there twice as much laundry, but it's laundry that does not smell great -- especially during marathon training in the summer!

WIN Detergent is specifically designed to remove sweat, odors, and stains from technical and moisture wicking athletic fabrics.  I have tested both the scented and unscented versions, and they work!

I love the light scent of the scented. I had been using Tide with Febreze, and the scent in that detergent is really strong. I was never sure if it was actually removing odor, or just covering it up. With WIN, I'm confident that the odor is actually being removed and not just covered up.

Want to WIN some WIN of your own?

The folks at WIN and Sweat Pink are doing a giveaway for my fabulous readers! You can enter to win TWO full sized bottles (one scented, one unscented)!!!

Enter the giveaway below! The winner will be announced on Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I was given 2 bottles to try as part of this giveaway - all opinions are my own!) 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Random Thursday Thoughts...

1. ZERO WEEK: This is the week after you run a marathon where you let your body rest and repair from the 26.2 miles of pounding it just went through. I have only run 2 miles this week -- my lowest mileage week since I started running!  I did NOTHING but walk around Baltimore a little, clean, and go to work Sunday-Tuesday. Wednesday I did 2 easy miles. Today I did power yoga. Saturday I will do kickboxing. Sunday I am going to Gettysburg to cheer on some friends doing the half marathon there. It's been a nice down week. Next week, it's game on! Back to strength training and regular running! 

2. YOGA. Gosh I just really, really, really love yoga. I used to hate it. Kinda like running. Yoga was my main form of cross training during marathon training. It's not just a bunch of fantastic stretches. Yoga can be a great strength workout. Go try it!

3. SORE. I'm going to be so sore next week. I've been getting daily emails from a group at school who does CrossFit style workouts after work. Next week I will FINALLY get to join them a few times. I haven't lifted a weight since August. It's going to hurt. And I can't wait!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Words - Distance

I'm kind of telling myself this one after the marathon. 

Yes, the goal of a first marathon (for most of us) is simply to finish. 

That was my goal. 

But, I figured with my long run paces, that I would come in somewhere around 4:45. To finish a full 20 minutes slower is frustrating to me. 

Something that I think really affected my race, but I didn't realize it at the time, was the half-marathoners on the course. 

In Baltimore, the half-marathon starts an hour and 45 minutes after the marathon, and at the 13 mile point on the marathon course. The marathon course runs alongside the half-marathon start corrals, and then the courses separate until mile 3 of the half and mile 16 of the full.

When Mark and the 3:45 pace group arrived at mile 16, he said the merge was crazy busy. When I arrived somewhere between the 4:45 and 5:00 groups, there was literally ONE half marathoner merging.

This left me with a LOT of slower half-marathoners to pass. This might seem motivating, but it wasn't. Everywhere I looked there were people walking. And they weren't race walking or even really "walking with purpose" (Gruver Fitness favorite phrase). The people at the back of the half-marathon pack were, in large part, just meandering. This was REALLY demotivating. It's hard enough to push yourself to keep running when you're at mile 16 and it's hot and you're tired, but when everyone around you is walking, it's even harder.

I'm definitely NOT disappointed in my performance -- I ran a marathon! I loved the whole experience, and I will be doing it again. I was just looking back over my race and thinking about what I would do differently next time, and this whole "walker" realization came to me. 

In the end, though, like the quote says -- it doesn't matter the pace or the time. I set out to complete 26.2 miles and I did every last step! I'm proud!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What's next?

So...what's next? That's been the question in my mind lately. Once you run a marathon...what comes next? Train for another?

I'll tell you what my current plans are...
1. The York Road Runners Winter Series: This winter running series is $25 and includes 8 races of all distances from 5K to 10-miler. It starts November 9 with the longest race of the series, the Dover 10-miler. Since it's not too far away, and I'm well trained for distance, that will be my next race. 

2. The Wildcat 10K: This hilly 10K is the 3rd race in the YRRC Winter Series. For the first time, I'm going to follow a training plan specifically designed for shorter distance and increased speed in an attempt to own this race!

3. The Charlottesville Half Marathon: One of my college roommates lives in Charlottesville, and one of my BRFs (best running friends) is a UVA alumni, so this is a great location for a spring half!! Lauren (the aforementioned BRF) and I both registered to run this one. I can't wait!

I'm still not sure about fall next year. I am definitely going back to Baltimore. Possibly for the half or maybe the marathon relay. It's the Baltimore Running Festival 15th anniversary - can't miss it! Fall may include another marathon (Philly maybe?) or a few half marathons. Luckily, I've got time!