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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Strengthening My Mood

I made good on my goal of re-focusing on toning my core and arms yesterday.  I was able to get down to the office gym for an early afternoon break and, after a ten minute treadmill walking warm up, was able to do this circuit three times:

– 1:00 plank
– 5 push-ups
– :30 side plank
– 5 push-ups
– :30 side plank (opposite side, of course)
– 5 push-ups
– 10 bicep curls with 10lbs. free weights

Not the most challenging routine, but I wanted something to ease myself back into the swing of things.  Even this easy and somewhat quick (35 minutes in all) burst of activity brought back all the positive attributes of my mid-day strength training habit and reminded why I really need to be disciplined about doing it regularly.

Forget all the benefits about building muscle tone- there are plenty, but you don’t usually realize those immediately following a work-out.

For me, it’s all about instant gratification (a favorite phrase of mine).

I love the energy boost I get for the remainder of the afternoon.  Getting up as early as I do, I tend to have a serious dip in the afternoon. Before I started exercising regularly last year, I was pretty much guaranteed to have my head on my desk for a quick power nap each afternoon.  That is far less frequent now.

I get tell-tale sleep lines on my face like a little kid, so it's good I've figured out how to avert these situations.

I have noticed its return, however, these last couple of weeks as I have had to sacrifice my afternoon gym time for more pressing work obligations.  I don’t feel guilty because I almost always have already done some good cardio in the morning.  But I do feel lethargic, and by the time I get home I have been even more spent than usual.

Yesterday, I felt the familiar surge of energy come back after my brief routine.  Strength training is the only thing I’ve found that works too.  Sometimes I’ll skip it in favor of a walk outside if it’s nice out.  That has its own benefits, but it never wakes me up the way strength training does mid-day.  Maybe it’s because I do cardio first thing in the morning, I’m not sure.

The other MAJOR perk is, at least for me, I find strength training really tames my appetite.  Once I started integrating weights into my daily rotation, I noticed that I didn’t need as many snacks throughout the day.  I (almost) always eat healthy snacks, but I used to eat more than was probably necessary because I was hungry a lot.  That’s less now, and again I noticed a huge difference this afternoon.  I have been hungrier than usual for a few weeks, and especially these last few days.  Clearly my lost appetite after my half has returned with vengeance.  Spinning seemed to anger it more.  This morning I was really ravenous.  But then, after my re-appearance at the gym, my belly seems to be back to normal.  Still hungry on a fairly regular schedule, but not ravenous.  And I only needed an apple as a late afternoon snack before heading home for dinner.  That’s a huge relief.

The long-term benefits of strength training- stronger bones, burn more calories, better overall fitness- are major incentives for me to do it.  But often the instantaneous gratification of a weight session is what actually gets me down to the gym.  I’ve gotta keep this in mind next time I’m thinking of skipping!


What Next?

My husband and I talked a little about how I’m a very goal oriented person after the half marathon this weekend.  I’ve always believed that it is important to have some sort of goal to be working towards, to provide a sense of purpose.  This has usually been a professional focus- what job did I want to strive for, what aspects of my job did I want to improve on, what degree do I need to have certain options open to me, how will I pass the bar exam the first time.

So the half marathon was a different type of aspiration for me, but it helped fill a void that law school left- a GOOD void, mind you.  Training helped provide some sort of structure and I liked knowing that there was a tangible accomplishment in my near future, something I can look back on with pride.

Which begs the question- now that the race is over, what next?

I’ve read that it is very common for runners after completing a race that they have trained a long time for to have a sense of loss and to feel adrift now that the goal is just gone.  I don’t feel that extreme- I’m not restless at the thought of not having to plan my weekend around a long training run.  Maybe if I didn’t have my spring break to look forward to I’d be feeling more anxiety.

Instead, I feel like I need to evaluate my fitness levels at this point, think about where I can improve, and set some mini-goals from there.  I don’t necessarily need a race to drive my fitness, because I just like how exercise feels.

And in fact, there were some aspects about training that I didn’t like.  Primarily I didn’t like that my other fitness priorities, mainly strength training, became casualties- as work has picked up, I have to choose between workouts, and the running would have to win if I wanted to be ready.

So my first priority for now is to refocus on my upper body and core strengthening.  My planks have become few and far between, and after hitting 70 push-ups in one session, I’ve slacked in that area as well.  A strong upper body is important for running to avoid fatigue.  On a shallower level, it makes me look and feel better about myself.  My sleeveless dresses look better, and my tops are flatter across my middle.  And I like that.  More importantly, I have found myself feeling a little tired in the arms and core in other activities like yoga and spinning, which I don’t like.  So it’s time to make these exercises central to my rotation once again.

Additionally, I’d like to mix things up and challenge myself in these areas.  First I’m just going to work to get my basic foundation back, but after that I need to try new things.  I’m thinking a bunch of stuff- maybe trying one of the spinning-strength combo classes, a yoga vinyasa that I have yet to attempt, and simply incorporating new basic exercises with kettleballs (bells? Probably should figure that out!) and advanced plank poses.  Anything to set the bar higher and make me feel a little sore in these areas again is very appealing to me at the moment.

Running-wise- well, I may not feel like I NEED a race to keep me motivated, but that doesn’t mean I don’t already have my eye on a few new ones! In particular, I’ve pretty much made up my mind to do the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon.  This is for several reasons (I’m a lawyer by training, so I always have several reasons to back up my logic). 

  • Like many of my race choices, it’s very close to my apartment.  In fact, the pick up area to Mount Vernon is walking distance.  Works for me.
  • It’s in October.  I had been thinking about the Chicago Half in September, but after this weekend realized I have no desire to have the height of my training in the heat of August.  October seems like a safer bet. 
  • It sounds like a really great race, down the Mount Vernon Trail that I frequent so much for my long runs and across the bridge. 
  • Well, I am a goal oriented person.

In the meantime, I really want to work on improving my running foundation.  I’m pleased with my half PR, but one way I can get better is simply by running more than I have been.  Most of my weekday runs were in the 3-4 mile range.  This was mostly due to my knee being cranky with all the new mileage.  Since I don’t have to dramatically build my mileage in the near term, I’d like to work my way to running my week day runs solidly in the 4-5 mile range comfortably. 

I’m  planning on keeping up with long runs most weekends in the 6-9 mile range so that the long runs aren’t a complete shock to my system again.  I  just like long runs in this mile range, it’s a nice way to spend the weekend.  I also plan to slowly start upping my speed on my runs by incorporating a tempo or fartlek.  Obviously this is meant to set a new half PR, but also because I think I need to start challenging my daily running just for the sake of keeping it fresh, without a singular race driving me.

That’s what I’ve been ruminating on the last few days since my half.  I’m in rest mode now- well, I don’t know if yesterday’s spin class counts, but my legs are feeling good so I figured why not? But otherwise I’m definitely dialing back the running, and probably won’t really start focusing on my running goals until after my spring break in mid-April.  I’m planning on doing some 5K’s and 10K’s afterward to keep me on track and help me measure my progress.

I’m really looking forward to this next phase- it’s now about improving my running performance, not just doing the activity.  It’s a nice place to be.

Thirteen Lessons

Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, but I felt like I learned a lot from my first half marathon experience.  Some of it is serious, some not, but that’s what it is all about.  I think most are going to be food-related, because that’s how I roll.  So, without further adieu:

1) Try eating a banana roughly 30 minutes before start.  I’m someone who needs to eat- I just don’t operate without food.  I ate a good breakfast before RnR, but three hours had passed by the time I made it to the start line and I was feeling hungry, which stuck with me until Mile 4 when I allowed myself my first Gu.  I don’t think this impeded my performance at all, but it’s worth experimenting with.

2) High five everyone who offers it, especially the little kids. It just feels wrong blowing by them.

3)Don’t run a warm weather half.  Saturday was probably my limit temperature wise.  The last stretch was really warm, and strong sun is kinda distracting. Since it is March, it would normally be a good bet to run this time of year but this year is just weird.  Another downside to global warming.

4) Nothing tastes better than chocolate milk after a long run.  Thank goodness it’s the new ‘it’ drink.  I pounded my little carton, it just hit the spot in ways water couldn’t.

5) I don’t really have an appetite once I’m done running. The milk tasted like heaven, and I ate a banana right after that, but despite being hungry at the start of the race, that dissipated by the end.  When my husband asked what I wanted for lunch, nothing appealed to me.  I had to force myself to eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch when we got home. I do think the heat had something to do with it, in my previous long runs I would be starving within 30 minutes of finishing.  But racing also adds another dimension, I’m sure.

6) My bra strap is a useful place to stick ear buds under. I had tucked my buds under and over my shirt, but they kept either falling back down or tumbling over my top, which was annoying.  It dawned on me halfway through to tuck them under one of my straps, and voila, they were still and not a distraction.

7) I’m glad I don’t rely on music.  Trust me, there are days when I need music to run, and I brought my iPod as a crutch in case I needed a push (hence the ear buds above).  But I definitely enjoy racing without it.  You can take in the race so much better. Plus, the few times I have raced with the music, I didn’t really listen anyway.  And while I think it’s totally valid to use it if you need it, I have to admit it was really annoying to have to avoid runners who drifted my way or who made it difficult to pass them because they had headphones and weren’t paying attention to their surroundings.

8) Spectators make a huge difference.  Both loved ones and the many anonymous ones.  It really helps you keep moving and inspires you.  But there really is something to having a loved one there, or multiple ones.  My husband hasn’t gone to my other races to date mostly because I would tell him not to- usually it was too cold for him to stand around.  There’s just something so…I don’t even know the words, but my spirits really soared when I saw my husband and my friend Amy.  It made my race. I need to be better about recruiting more friendly faces, I’d really love to have my parents watching sometime.

9) I would be exhausted the next day.  I expected that I would pass out at 9:30 Saturday night, which I did. What I didn’t anticipate was how exhausted I would still feel on Sunday.  We woke around 7 am, had a yummy pancake breakfast, and went to the grocery store.  At this point I was starting to feel really fatigued.  Around 1 pm, I laid down on the couch and just crashed for a good hour and then some.  It took me a long time to rally and take the dogs for a walk afterwards.  No one told me about that feeling post-race!

10) Keep walking/moving.  I already knew this from my long runs, but it’s better to walk around a lot afterwards.  When I’m a bum and lay around, it takes longer for my legs to recover in the days afterwards.  My legs are still a little sore today, but definitely mobile.  I think it’s because I took the dogs on a walk and did a lot of cooking- basically, aside from my super nap, I was up and about.  I’m feeling really good today.

10) If possible, a good night sleep the night before is key.  Sometimes nerves will get the best of you, and adrenaline should be sufficient to pull you through.  That’s what happened for me at the Hot Chocolate race.  But I felt the difference this time- I felt energized but calm, and just raring to go because I slept soundly the night before.

12) Red Rocks in Old Town is the best for pre-race pizza meal.  I thought pizza would be a good pre-race meal for me, and I was right.  My husband and I met our friends for dinner there, and I devoured almost an entire arugula and cherry tomato pizza on my own, with just a little help from my friend Christine.  I don’t usually do that, but I was actually pretty hungry and figured the extra fuel would help, as long as I didn’t get uncomfortably full, which I didn’t.  I think I’ve found a pre-race routine.

13) Steak frites, a side salad and red wine is the PERFECT post- race dinner.  When debating dinner options, I thought I was leaning towards Ray’s Hellburger, but then remembered Rays to the Third, steak frites outpost of the Ray’s the Steaks mini-chain.  We decided to try it, and like all the Ray’s, it was outstanding.  As I mentioned, I hadn’t been hungry and really didn’t eat that much all day, but that dinner really hit the spot perfectly.  My husband said this can be a new tradition for my long distance races- although he added he may also have to start racing if he was going to insist on eating like he ran a full marathon.  In addition to his hanger steak, cream spinach, side salad and beer, he managed to do serious damage to a large coconut milkshake from Ray’s Hellburger.  That’s my man.

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon

The first half marathon is in the books.  And it was a great one.

The night before my husband and I went out with some friends to Red Rocks in Old Town for dinner, and came home around 9:00.  I got ready for the next day, laying all my stuff out so I wouldn’t be too rushed.

I think I thought of everything...and the kitchen sink...

I slept incredibly well, which I was a little nervous about, especially since my sister-in-law was out with a friend from Georgetown when we went to bed.  I’m a light sleeper and thought for sure that I would hear her come in- or that our big dog would bark at her.  But we all slept right through it (some guard dogs I have) and woke up around 5:00 am feeling ready to go.  Since I get up at 5:30 most days, and 5:15 on spin days, 5:00 wasn’t painful at all.  I took the dogs out while letting my husband sleep for a little longer, guzzled some coffee and proceeded to get ready.  I was even able to squeeze in some foam rolling, which I think really helped.  I strategically ate my bagel and peanut butter at 5:45, and then my husband took me to the King Street Metro at 6:00.

Game time.

I had been debating whether I should try to get the first train in the morning, or wait a little.  I live about a two minute drive to the King Street Metro, and I knew that I probably wouldn’t be crossing the start line until at least 8:30, so I didn’t want to be waiting around a lot.  But knowing Metro as well as I do, and seeing the day before that while they would be opening early they wouldn’t be running extra trains- meaning there would be 15-20 minute waits in between (it’s a world class system that Metro)- I decided it was best just to go early.  I’m also a chronically early person anyway, I get very stressed at the prospect of being late (hello, Type A personality).

I actually purposely missed the first train, which was a Yellow line because that would involve a transfer, and opted to jump on the first Blue line which would take me right to RFK Stadium.  Around Metro Center, I was very pleased with this decision.  I got to sit the whole way, and some of the stops were so crowded I’m sure that many people had to miss a couple of trains before being able to board.

I ended up arriving around 6:55 at the site.  The next hour went by really quickly.  I made a last minute decision to just throw all my long-sleeved tops into my gear bag to check instead of waiting in one and then tossing it at some point during the race, which was a really good choice on my part because by the time I re-emerged outside (yay for the indoor waiting area!) it was already comfortably warm to just wait.

I was feeling really good- my legs were feeling loose and strong, I wasn’t uber nervous and felt energized.  I just sensed that I would do a good job completing the race.

I crossed the start line around 8:40- at least according to my husband, who was tracking me via some program Rock ‘n’ Roll had online.  He said it was pretty accurate and helped him prepare to catch me as I came through Dupont!

Hi Hubby!

Bye Hubby!

This was the first race where I had spectators looking specifically for me- in addition to my husband at Dupont and then at the finish, my dear friend Amy also came out with her dog to watch for me at Lincoln Park, which was at the start of the race but it was still a while before I came by.  This is early in the morning for Ames, so I had to reach out and touch her hand because she almost missed me! But it was so great seeing her and my husband- it really does make a huge difference and puts a little something extra in your jog.

I purposely went slow for much of the race.  Partly this was because it was my first race and I didn’t want to flame out.  Partly it was because it was the warmest running weather I had been in for a long time.  It was beautiful- bright blue skies, sunny, ending around 70 degrees towards the end of the race.  Much of the race involved a lot of shade- running between tall offices downtown and then decently shaded residential streets- and there was usually a nice breeze.  So I didn’t over-heat, but I took precautions to ensure that.  I hydrated a lot more than usual, and successfully utilized many of the water stations in addition to my hand-bottle.

I felt great for much of the race.  I hadn’t had any decent runs leading up to this, and it had rattled me.  This was not just a great race, but the best run I had in so long- one of those runs that , if it hadn’t been a race, I would have still felt a huge high for hours afterwards.  I was able to run the entire time, no walking breaks.  The Dupont Hill I had worried about turned out to not be bad at all.  I really felt a sense of accomplishment as I was able to clear the hill without stopping to walk and not panting terribly hard at the top.  I was loving how good I was doing, and felt like I could have kept going forever!

Due to so much hydrating, I did have to take a quick break to use one of the toilets at Mile 9.  Around Mile 7 I started to really have to pee.  I was debating whether I should just ignore it and push through, but I noticed I was starting to run faster with a new goal of finding a bathroom.  Not exactly what your ‘goal’ should be.  This was also one of the harder legs of the course in my opinion- going through Howard University, there were hardly any spectators since the students were likely sleeping, so there weren’t any distractions.  I decided I would just feel much better if I stopped and in retrospect it was a good decision, even if it did cost me 4-5 minutes.

Around Mile 10, my left hamstring started tightening up a bit.  This was the sort of phenomenon I had been experiencing through most of my runs recently.  I didn’t let it get to me though, I just summoned some of my yoga practices and concentrated on telling that muscle to relax, which it did after a little bit- definitely before the next mile.  And despite this, once I saw that Mile 10, I just started picking up the pace.  I had paced myself well, and I knew I had it in me to bust it out for the last three miles.

It was tough for sure, because it was getting really warm at this point and there wasn’t much shade cruising down East Capitol and H Street.  But I was propelled by the thought of finishing.  It also helped that was passing almost everyone at this point- so many people were walking or going at a really slow jog.  I absolutely do not judge those people, but it was a HUGE boost to my self esteem and to keep me going!

Look out, here I come...

I was panting hard as I crossed the finish, but I didn’t feel totally done in for- I think I could have gone a bit farther if I HAD to.

SpeedyCupcake, earning her nickname!

The best feeling of the race was to hear my husband calling out for me as I emerged from the food area, arms loaded with goodies.  He had been able to get a couple of shots of me as I crossed the finish, and then was able to spot me through the thousands. He also said he’d run a race with me in the future- yay!

I'm not hungry or anything...

My time? I finished in 2 hours and 31 minutes.  And now that I’m thinking about it, if I were to exclude my brief rest stop, it would have been a bit faster.  So I think that’s a really respectable first half PR.  My average pace was 11:30.  But what I’m even prouder of is that my average pace over the last three miles was 10:13! That’s some serious negative splits, in my humble opinion.

So, my first half marathon training and race comes to a close.  We were able to retrieve my bag pretty quickly, and the ride home was surprisingly painless.  We knew about the second metro entrance two or three blocks beyond the once closest to RFK, which had a gigantic line.  So we were able to get down into the station, jump on an Orange line train within a few minutes, and transfer easily at L’Enfant Plaza to a Yellow line train.  It was a great race, and a great experience.  I’ll be doing some more retrospectives over the next couple of days, but suffice to say that I’m feeling mighty good about myself today.

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Expo

It’s here!

I went to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo at RFK Stadium today on my lunch break.  Work wasn’t quite as hectic as I anticipated, so I thought it would be best to go today instead of tomorrow in case things do out of control and I’m unable to get away from the office.  I also figured that not many people would be there in the few hours and it wouldn’t be crowded.

I was wrong- it wasn’t mobbed or anything, but it was definitely hopping when I arrived.  Since this was my first expo, I took some pictures- apologies if this is boring for all you seasoned racers!

The entrance.

The boards where you race number was posted.

This is where you picked up your race bib and packet, according to corral.  I am apparently in the third to last one, Corral 25.  I guess the 10 minute mile pace I estimated is too slow for most people! Oh well- gotta remind myself this is just my first, I have plenty of chances to move up.  Next year: Corral 24 or bust!

This is where I got into trouble.  Against my better judgment, I browsed the goods, and there were a lot.  Part of it was because I was hungry and hoping for some free samples, I scored a sample of some ‘healthy’ mac ‘n’ cheese. Mmmm.

Good thing it was payday! I didn’t drop a ton of cash.  But I didn’t plan on spending anything either.  Some of it was actually good and justifiable:

I needed to stock up on Espresso Gu before Saturday, and I needed a new iPod armband because I lost the strap to my current one.  I’m pretty sure it’ll turn up after the race, but in the meantime I thought it was better to have it.  I have been doing most of my long runs sans music, but after the tough 12 miler I’m considering bringing mine for some extra pump-up music to push me along if I need it.  So this actually saved me a trip to a sporting goods store.

And then there were these…

They were half off, and I’m a sucker for that with my running clothes.  I love knowing that I basically bought two for the price of one.  The reddish one I’m especially pleased with because I own the same one in blue and really like it.  It will be nice to have another in the rotation.

Looks like I’m set logistically for the Rock ‘n’ Roll half! I’m really happy that I won’t be rushing around to do these things tomorrow.  I can just focus on getting my game ON…


Falling by the Wayside

Once again, another unpredictable week.  And once again, challenges for my fitness regime.

Strength training is the victim this week. I’ve brought my gym bag with me every day this week, fully intending to get some training in at lunch.

And yet… it hasn’t happened.

Monday it was because I was feeling totally drained.  My knee had been a little agitated after my run on Sunday, so I took Tylenol PM Sunday night.  The good news is that the pain has vanished.  The bad news is that the medicine didn’t sit well with me, so I felt really out of it all day.  And hungry! That happens to me sometimes when medicine is messing with my system.  So anyway, I just couldn’t summon the will or discipline.

Tuesday, the weather got the better of me. I love the summer temperatures without the oppressive humidity.  Well, yesterday was a touch humid, but still superior to July or August around these parts.  So I traded in gym time for a nice lunch time walk.  That may have ended in an unplanned visit to Anne Taylor Loft.  I’m pleased to report that my wallet was not damaged in any way…yet…but there are items still calling my name…. At any rate, I don’t feel too bad about that missed session.  I think I can justify it.

Today, I was incredibly busy, for both work and personal reasons.  My husband and I realized that our Spring Break is only a few weeks away and we still don’t have all our lodging.  We were horrified to discover that, contrary to our (ok, my) preconceived notions, there are actually a lot of people who DO want to camp at Zion, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks the first two weeks in April and probably booked long before we did.  Huh.  More surprising- I was able to get a site at the Grand Canyon, which I thought would be the more difficult since it is generally more popular.  Never fear, we worked it out, but it still took a large chunk of the day, in addition to all the mini fires that kept popping up for clients.  My work load has definitely picked up this year, which is great, but makes it harder to sneak away in the middle of the day.

Thank goodness I’m a morning exerciser! I had a tough but fabulous spinning class yesterday that really got my heart rate going. Seriously, eight one minute interval sprints with only 15 second recoveries, followed by several steep hills- at 6 am! This morning I had the best run I’ve had in a while- my legs were tired from spin still, but otherwise felt really good.  A nice easy three, nothing that will wear me out for Saturday, of course.  I’m already signed up for Power Hour Yoga tomorrow morning.  Plus, we’ve been taking family walks in the evenings, since it’s so nice out- a pleasant 1.5 mile jaunt around the Masonic Temple is perfect post-dinner activity. I also did some foam rolling on Monday and tonight.

So it’s not as if I haven’t gotten any exercise- in fact I’m doing quite well.  Strength training is really important, however, so I need to start thinking of ways to make sure I fit it in.  I won’t sweat it too much this week, though. I figure that the extra rest will do my body good for my half.

Tomorrow, I hope to write about my visit to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo to pick up my registration package, as well as some of the things I’m planning to bring with me to the race.  Work is looking pretty busy again though and my sister-in-law will be in town for a visit, so it might be tough but I’ll definitely try.  I’d really love some input into what I should be prepping to have with me for the big day!

The Final Week!

I haven’t been a great blogger of late.  To be honest I had a bit of a writer’s block, and then I did get an idea but became too busy to write it down.  I’m going to try to remedy that this week.

Today was only my second run since last Sunday’s 12 miles- not that this was planned, but Friday afternoon’s run didn’t happen because stuff kept coming up at work.  I did an easy-ish 5.8 miles- the mileage is obviously easy, but the route is actually pretty hilly.  My glutes and top of my hamstrings kept seizing up a bit at different points.  But I figured it’ll be good practice for the HALF MARATHON next week (!) – it’s a pretty hilly route I’ll be cruising (or stumbling through, whatever).

It was a gorgeous day- like much of the nation, Northern Virginia had a really warm day with beautiful sun.  Nice way to kick off daylight savings!  It felt amazing to be outside and enjoying the good weather, even if my run wasn’t ‘perfect’- aside from the tightness, I got pretty tired towards the end.  But I got back to the apartment and realized that I did the run in about 50 minutes, maybe a bit more- so that’d explain it, that’s speedy for me! Otherwise it felt really good, and I think my body appreciated a weekend short run.

My left knee is a little sore now, mostly just from sitting though.  It’s totally fine while walking.  I’m pretty familiar with this ache by now, I’ve been battling it off and on since the fall, and in fact took a brief break from training about a month ago to minimize it.  It’s not an IT band, just irritation I think.  Plus I wasn’t wearing my compression gear.  While it was only about 6 miles I still try to wear those when I’m running for about an hour, it seems to help.

It’s my last few days before the Rock ‘n’ Roll half, and I’m getting pretty excited! I’ve mentioned before that this has been a long-time dream to complete a half, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing it.  I’ve worked hard since the New Year to get here, and I think I’m ready.  Training hasn’t gone exactly as I would have liked- it was very good in the beginning, but the last month I’ve experienced unexpected issues that made it a little harder to keep pushing through. But I’ve made it!

It looks like the weather is going to be really warm for this time of year- the morning lows will be in the 50’s and supposed to get up into the 70’s! I’ve been training mostly in the 40’s, my ideal weather, and while this certainly isn’t hot, it may present a challenge.  I think I’ll plan to stop at more water stations in addition to bringing my usual water.

I’m also getting excited for a sweet finish, because my husband brought home today the perfect treat for me to DEVOUR when I’m done:

Berger Cookies!

These delectable treats are available at the Italian Store, for those of you in the NoVa area.


I do plan to obviously take it easy with the workouts this week.  I’m planning to go to some extra yoga classes.  I also hope to foam roll most days and try to get the glutes nice and loose.  They’ll be tight at the end of the race, I’m planning on that, but it would be nice for most of the race to be smooth. I’m a terrible planner- I KNOW that you can’t plan for everything…but I can’t help trying! Anyway, here’s what I have planned this week for what I think get my body relaxed and rested for MY FIRST HALF:

Sunday: 5.8 miles, stretch, foam roll
Monday: Morning Yoga or stretch on own, lower body strengthening in the afternoon, foam roll
Tuesday: Spinning in the morning, core and upper body strengthening in the afternoon, foam roll
Wednesday: Easy three mile run unless my knee is still cranky, possibly lower body strengthening in the afternoon, foam roll
Thursday: Morning Power Hour Yoga, core and upper body strengthening in the afternoon, foam roll
Friday: Easy afternoon 2 miles to loosen up for the race, also afternoon yoga, and prepare mentally, foam roll

Have a great week everyone, enjoy the beautiful weather!