Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TOTR: Gifts for Runners

Happy Tuesday! Good news--my energy/legs are finally back from my marathon! I've put in some major speed work and operation lose my 10 pound (ugh!) marathon weight gain is officially in session. I'm going to post more on that tomorrow!

In the meantime, today's Tuesday's on the Run topic is close to my heart--Gifts for Runners. ;)

These are just a FEW of the items on my list.. ;)

1. Saucony Life on the Run Triumph ISO 2. 
I'd be happy with just getting these shoes for Christmas. I made the switch over to the Trimph's last Christmas and couldn't be happier. They finally updated the shoe and omg--I need them in my life!

2. These Pro Compression socks. 

I never got the whole compression sock thing until about a year ago. And these totally saved my life during my marathon. I think they were one of the reasons I was able to jump back in so quickly after my race. And plus, this version is pretty badass.

3. Runner's World Meals on the Run cookbook.

My schedule is CRAZY and about to get crazier starting next semester. I rarely EVER have time to cook a meal for Peter and I during the week but 30 minutes? I could totally commit to that! One of my many 2016 goals is to clean up my diet and this would be a perfect addition to my cookbook collection. :)

4. A Spartan Race season pass

Okay, totally a DREAM gift but a Spartan Season pass would DEFINITELY be at the top of my list. I'm kind of obsessed with Spartan and plan on getting my Trifecta in 2016!

5. RRCA Running Coach Certification!

I really, REALLY want to become a certified running coach in 2016 so this would be a great gift. ;) I have big, BIG plans.

There you have it--a few gift ideas for your favorite runner out there...... or, me. ha.

Have a great Tuesday!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I seriously can't believe it's already Thursday.
ACTUALLY, I seriously can't believe that this time next week we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving!
Where the HECK has 2015 gone?

Anyway, time to do a little Thinking Out Loud--linking up with Amanda!

1. I'm definitely still on a major, MAJOR marathon high. It's super surreal. But that being said, I'm kind of lost at the moment. ha. I've never NOT had the thought of a marathon floating around in my head. It's been that ONE thing that I've always wanted to accomplish as a runner and now I have. I'm actively working on coming up with a few new goals but man... it's pretty awesome that I can now say "I DID IT!".

2. Speaking of my marathon, I've tried to take it FAIRLY easy this week. But man. I'm just so, so, SO exhausted! I've had a few easy runs (5 miles at most) but by the time 5pm rolls around, I feel like I could sleep for days. I plan on taking it nice and easy this weekend and hope to be back at ALMOST full force next week.

3. Let the holiday festivities begin! This weekend, I'm heading to Louisville for my family's Thanksgiving. I'm going to do my best to pace myself and keep it as healthy as I can. Carbs have been my best friend for about 3-4 months now and I have 7-8 extra pounds to prove it. ;) I also have Thanksgiving with my immediate family on Thursday and then Peter & I are heading to Charlottesville next Friday for his family's Thanksgiving. ha.

4. Okay, I'm totally a hater when it comes to decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving but I did buy a Gingerbread Glade Plug in for my office and it's AMAZING. I've had so many people stop in and ask about it--it's that good!

5. And finally... I bought another new pair of tennis shoes. The struggle is real ya'll. I bought a new pair of Mizuno's to teach/workout in and they should be here anytime. Peter and I recently did a MAJOR fall cleanup and we're not even going to discuss how many old shoes I donated........

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Wow. I honestly have absolutely NO idea where to start on this one. Saturday was... amazing. Everything I had imagined and MORE.

Linking up for Tuesday's on the Run.

I know most recaps go mile by mile but there's no way that would even begin to do this race justice. Everyone told me that the first marathon would be "special" but I had no idea what they meant until I crossed the finish line.

Saturday was the most emotionally/physically draining thing I've ever done.

The morning started out a little hectic. I slept surprisingly well but for some reason I thought I'd have more time than I did before the race and kind of took my time. I made it to the start line with plenty of time to spare but the porta potties? Not so much. I stressed out a bit about not getting a chance to take advantage of them but it turned out to be okay in the end.

The weather on Saturday was seriously perfect. It was a little chilly at the start (around 40 degrees) but I decided to go ahead and drop my throwaway sweat shirt before the race started so I wouldn't have to worry about doing it later. The sun was out and I had gloves on so I knew I'd be okay.

I made the decision to start off with the 3:35 pace group and just see how long I could hold on. I thought MAYBE if I got lucky I'd be able to hang with them but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Oh well. The first marathon is all about learning, right?

The first 13-14 miles absolutely flew by. I guess maybe it was the adrenaline rush and the excitement that I was FINALLY running a marathon but I had no major problems. I've been dealing with a bout of achilles tendonitis recently so it took a while to get fully warmed up but once I got there, I was fine. I stayed with 3:35 pace group up until mile 17 or so and that's when the wheels started coming off a bit.

I totally hit the wall between miles 17-20. No question about it. My body was okay but mentally, I wasn't doing so hot. Going into the marathon, I KNEW from day 1 this would be my biggest challenge. Instead of taking it one mile at a time, I started thinking about how many I had left and it was tough to take in.

Luckily for me, my family was waiting for me at mile 19. And good thing too because it was right before a pretty decent size hill. I knew if I stopped, I'd have a hard time getting going again but just seeing them helped more than I can explain. Peter handed off my final two gels and I was totally bawling my eyes out because I was so emotional but I don't think he noticed since my sunglasses were on. ;)

I slugged it out through mile 20 and then, the realization hit that although I wasn't going to hit 3:35, I could still get a sub-4 hour marathon on my first try. And that was the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear again.

From 20-26, I took it one mile at a time. I ran as much as I could but admittedly took a few much needed breaks. I'd run half a mile, walk for about 1 minute (or the length of 2 cones, ha) and then pick it up again until I hit the next water stop. Luckily, Richmond had water stops every mile from 20-26.

Miles 23 & 24 were my slowest miles of the day, 10:12 & 10:06. Not terribly happy with those but I got through them and that's what counts.

And then I hit mile 25. This was by far my favorite mile of the day. I was in pain, I was tired, the thought of shotblocks and gels made me absolutely sick to my stomach but oh my gosh--I smiled the ENTIRE time. The crowds started picking up again, my adrenaline was pumping, and tears were already starting to flow. I couldn't stop thinking about how I was about to finish something that I said I would NEVER do 3 years ago.

I ran mile 25 in 9:12--a far cry from my normal pace but the fastest mile I'd had since about mile 17. And then we hit the magical number 26 and it was literally all down hill from there. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I sprinted down the hill--there was no stopping. I caught a glimpse of my family cheering me on and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. I crossed the finish line in 3:50:22 and just like that, I was a marathoner.

I got my medal, blanket, and hat and SLOWLY started making my way to the finisher area. I heard someone shouting my name and looked up to see my best friend Anna sprinting toward me. As soon as she got to me, the happy tears just started flowing again. I couldn't' hold it in and didn't want to. That was one of the most surreal and proudest moments of my life.

I ran a marathon, I hit my B goal (sub 4 hours), and I got to celebrate with my family. It was one of those days I'll never forget.

And for those of you wondering how I felt afterwards, I was pretty tired and a little stiff but after some food (pizza and potato wedges! ha), a shower, and a nap, I felt pretty good all things considered. I took it fairly easy on Sunday and yesterday but today, I decided to test out my legs and went for a 5 mile shakeout run. So, I'd say my training was pretty successful. ;)

So there you have it. I'm now a marathoner. It's weird FINALLY knocking it off my bucket list because it's been there for so long and I feel like I've been working toward it since I started running 10 years ago! I guess that just means it's time to find a new goal, right? ;)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, November 9, 2015


Holy cow guys! It's officially MARATHON WEEK! 

My emotions are pretty much all over the place right now but I just wanted to pop in real quick and check in.

Up until this morning, I'd been feeling a little if-fy about Saturday. I've been letting the pressure get to me.. a LOT! For just an "everyday" runner, I'm pretty fast I guess and as a group ex/personal trainer/fitness professional, people automatically expect more. I've had so many people come up to me and ask if I plan on trying to BQ, telling me I WILL BQ, and even predicting race times for me. Crazy, I know. I know it's a compliment and they definitely mean well but man.... that's a lot of expectations for my first marathon. 

For the last month or so, I've really been worried about letting them down and about being embarrassed if I have a less than stellar race day. 

And then this morning, something just "clicked."

Who cares what anyone else thinks? 

For the last year, I've worked my butt off. I've gotten up at 5:30am Monday-Friday to get in my workout before work. I've logged WELL over my goal of 2,015 miles for 2015. I've PR-ed every single distance I've ran this year and I've made a HUGE head start on my dreams of becoming a fitness professional. 

And now, to put the icing on the cake, I'm running my first marathon. And you know what? If it takes me 6 hours, it's still a PR, right?! 

The funny thing is that this all arose from hearing "Lose Yourself" on the radio this morning as soon as I got in my car. That's my JAM and I took it as a sign of a good start to race week. Instead of being nervous, for the first time I'm feeling PUMPED




There's a lot of power in those statements. I'm not doing this race because I HAVE to do it in order to be considered a "real" runner.

I'm doing this race because my body is capable of it, because I'm blessed to have a support system standing strongly behind me, and because I love this sport and love pushing myself to be better. 

And that my friends, is powerful. 

I have no idea what's going to happen on Saturday but here's to doing what I love for 26.2 miles. 


Friday, November 6, 2015


Sorry for the radio silence this week! It's been another doozy. My brain is beyond fried so no favorites BUT I'll be back next week with some last minute marathon updates (T-minus 8 days!). I'll also be recapping my SIXTH half marathon (how did that happen?). Spoiler alert--no PR but it went VERY well. :)
Linking up today with Heather, Jill, and the Virginia Bloggers.
Current book: My NASM personal training textbook, Kinesiology book, and Anatomy book. All text books for my Masters Program. Which I still love by the way, in case you were wondering. Isn't it awesome when you get to study something you LOVE? 
Current song: "My House" by Flo Rida. Weird? Maybe. I listened to it like, 20 times on the way to my half last weekend.  I've also been listening to "Lose Yourself" a LOT this week in prep for next weekend. There's just something about that song.

Current drink: Mango Strawberry Spark. 
Current guilty pleasure: Dexter. Peter & I are almost done with season 4! Unfortunately he goes back on night shift next week so I'm not sure when we'll finish but we've been watching it non-stop for the last 2 months. At first I wasn't a huge fan but now, I totally get it. 
Current food: Sweet Potatoes. I have no idea why it took me so long to jump on the sweet potato train but I've been obsessed lately. So good! And they've been very helpful during my marathon training. 
Current craving: Chocolate. Always. 
Current need: The new Saucony Run Your Life Triumph 2.0. This shoe is SICK. It may have to be a gift to myself for completing (hopefully) my first marathon. 

Current quote: "Run the mile you are in." I keep repeating this over and over again. Besides it's obvious life connotations, it's something I keep trying to tell myself to keep in mind next Saturday. Sometimes in running, I get overwhelmed and discouraged when I start thinking about how many miles I have left in a race. My goal on Saturday is to simply take every mile in stride and enjoy the journey. I've worked my butt off for this and there's absolutely no pressure. No matter what, I'm PR-ing baby. 
Current workout: The new Insanity format. It's so killer and a great update to one of my favorite workouts. I love doing it AND teaching it. I'll always have a soft place in my heart for Shaun T and this program. :)
Current excitement: Umm, marathon. Duh! I get to do what I love, accomplish a MAJOR bucket list item, and spend time with my family & friends. 
Current procrastination: Figuring out what I'm wearing next Saturday. This has been majorly stressing me out! 
Current confession: I only did one 20-miler the entire training cycle. I did a few 18's but only one true 20 mile run. That being said, my weekly mileage has been anywhere from 45-60 a week so I'm hoping it balances out. 
Current blessing: Getting to do what I love. I realize it more and more everyday!
Current mood: NERVOUS. I keep dreaming about my marathon and all of the things that could potentially go wrong. ha. Kind of like how I did with my wedding too. Go figure. ;)
Current link: Ummm.... my instagram?! Shameless plug, I know. 
Have a great weekend!