May 30, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 30th

Summer arrives on June 20th, but honestly summer arrived here in North Carolina this week. The temperatures were really warm, there was abundant sunshine and the pool water has hit the low 80's.

Post run, sitting here is always a treat.
Spending lots of time outdoors was the plan on most every day and my house usually takes a back seat to fun and sporting activities during this time of year. At least I got my laundry piles whittled down by mid week, but today will be a busy day cleaning clothing and the house.  Do you have tons more wash when it is warm?  We seem to fill our basket almost daily.

May 27, 2016

Vacation Running

Summertime is around the corner and many of us take vacations to the beach, the mountains and all sorts of places in between.  When traveling for a vacation and not specifically for a race, it is important to decide ahead of time where you will compromise.  Visiting my mother frequently and with access to a gym, it usually is not too difficult to get in the workouts from my training plan.  But other types of vacations might make it a little more difficult.  Here are some of the things I have tried, some working better than others.

May 25, 2016

It's (almost) race day!

For those of you who haven't had the privilege of spending the night before a race with my Mom, you haven't heard her legendary "it's race day" cry that she usually squeals when she hops out of bed on race morning. Now you understand the secondary meaning of the title of this post. But really, it is almost race day for me.

Saturday, I'll be running the Chick-fil-a 10k as my first race, post-injury. To say I'm excited is an understatement! My focus leading up to this race has been a smart approach to running. I have trained pretty conservatively and have no aspirations for a PR on Saturday, but I do have some goals.

May 23, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 23rd

This week was a little all over the map so I'll try to capture the highlights...
- We picked strawberries on Monday evening after work and I was able to use some of them in a homemade strawberry cake. Delicious!!

Going into the oven! 

May 20, 2016

Springtime Favorites

It's Friday and a day to share some of my current favorites.  We are linking up with Courtney at
Eat, Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run and Cynthia at You signed up for what for the Friday Five.

1. It's no secret that reading is a hobby of both of us and running books appeal to us as well as non fiction and fiction.  Recently a new book was written by Amby Burfoot titled First Ladies of Running. Following the beginning of the women's running movement up until 1994 when Oprah Winfrey ran the Marine Corps Marathon, Burfoot covers the pioneers of the sport.  These women made it possible for all of us to participate in a sport that used to think that women would be injured or hurt by running more that a very short sprint race.  My favorite quote of the book came from Katherine Switzer:
"I think the Olympic Marathon was in many ways as important as giving women the vote.  Everyone had come to accept what women could do in the social and intellectual realms, but it took the Olympic Marathon to show the entire world how physical and powerful women could be."

I am not going to spoil the book by giving details but the running profiles and experiences of 22 women are shared by the author after many emails and visits with those profiled..  Burfoot captures the personalities and struggles these women faced at a time when distance running was tabu for women.

May 18, 2016

The comparison trap

There's a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt that you've probably heard...
"Comparison is the thief of joy." 

I generally subscribe to this idea and when it comes to running, I am pretty good about this. I don't often compare my efforts or times with others. That's not to say that I am not intrigued when a fellow runner smokes a PR. In that case, I want to know how they did that and what tools or techniques they used that I could employ with my own training. I love learning about other runners's training and races but don't pay too much mind to how I stack up. But...when it comes to myself, I am playing the comparison game all day long....all day e'ryday.

May 16, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup May 16th

After a whirlwind trip to Boston and Washington DC last week, I was happy to be home and ready to start running again.  I did not log many miles this week, but it felt good to get back to running after a two week break following the London Marathon.  Track practice is always a challenge after training and running a marathon, but it was great to accomplish the intervals recommended by the coach and know that hard work will pay off at future races.  A first happened this week too when my fingers slipped and I signed up for a triathlon clinic.  Although a triathlon race may not be in my future, cross training with biking and swimming will be incorporated in my training every week this summer, so why not improve in both of these disciplines.  One of the speakers is Michelle Jones, an Ironman World Champion and Olympic Medalist.  Surely there will be great information shared with all the participants including a track workout.  I can't wait!

Took this out for a spin after signing up for the clinic

May 15, 2016

Thank you.

Friends, I am overwhelmed with grace and gratitude. Your kindness and words of support on my previous post mean so much to me (and Adam - he even read the post and comments). Being vulnerable is never easy and I am so grateful that so many of you took the time and energy to share your stories with me. Like anything in life, shared experiences are so valuable and meaningful. 

I wasn't really prepared for how I would feel after spending time putting my story on paper, and really articulating my emotions into words.  I still have moments when I feel sad. And this week, there were more of those moments than normal. So tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Again, please accept my most sincere appreciation for your kindness and warmth. 


May 11, 2016

Silver Linings

For those of you have been reading for a while, you know that a Disneyland Paris has been on my wish list for years, since December 2012 to be exact. I dreamed of the time when this race would become a reality and I could combine one of my favorite race experiences, runDisney, with one of my favorite places, Paris.  When the race was announced a year ago February, I was excited but wasn't sure where life would take me in the 18 months until the race day. During that time, I became engaged, got married, started a new career, and dreamed of starting a family. In full disclosure, I also became less enthusiastic about runDisney for a variety of reasons so my excitement had waned (but that's a topic for another day). With a flexible transfer policy, I registered but never really was 100% committed. Simply put, I wasn't confident about registering for an overseas race so far in advance. 
Spending a very chilly afternoon at Versailles

May 9, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 9th

Without a doubt, the highlight of our week was some quality family time this weekend as we celebrated my cousin's college graduation. We had a great brunch on Sunday before the ceremony...celebrating Mother's Day together was a bonus! 

May 6, 2016

Maintaining endurance and speed while not racing

Race season in the south is usual fall and spring with a very few races in winter and summer. Because of this, many of the girls in my running group don't race for months at a time.  The coaches of the group try to keep everyone focused on fall races once the heat and humidity set in and the racing calendar dries up.  So what do you do to keep focused on the prize?  Here are some of the ways I enjoy keeping up endurance during the off season.

1. Pool and ocean swimming  While swimming is not a favorite activity, I do enjoy morning swims when it is too hot to enjoy running.  I get workouts on my training plan that include varying sets of intervals that include leg work and arm work plus sometimes timed drills. Ocean swimming is another great option and since we live very close to the beach, we sometimes do an open water swim.  I tried my first last summer and despite being very nervous, found it quite exhilarating.  And lets face it, the salt water really helps with buoyancy, a very good thing for swimmers.

2. Classes  My gym offers a vast assortment of classes including spin, pump and sweat, Yoga, Pilates etc.  While I have tried some of the classes, the timing has not worked out great for me so I decided to try Orange Theory Fitness this week.  They just opened a studio less than 3 miles from my house so it is convenient and since I am paying for monthly workouts I will attend.

3. Personal Training  Christine will like this one.  I am resuming my personal training sessions with Britt next week after my two week hiatus from the London Marathon.  I love working with a trainer one on one because they can focus on your weaknesses which are usually the things I avoid doing on my own.

4. Biking  When the weather is hot, a bike ride is usually a better option than running.  Having now found a group of girls who would like to ride once a week, this is another workout I am adding this summer.  Riding uses different muscles than running so it is a great workout between those difficult speed workouts.
Love my new bike since I can go faster on it!
5.  Running  You can't quit running just because there is intense heat and humidity to deal with. Getting out early in the morning or after the sun sets is the best option to beat the heat, but just plan of slower paces and know when racing season arrives, those legs will be able to run faster than you think!

Do you have any special workouts you incorporate into your plan when it is the off season?

May 5, 2016

Race Day Maps

Disclosure:  This post was not sponsored and no compensation was received.  We simply want to share a company who offers  products that we love and purchase with our own money!

Last December, my favorite birthday gift was a race day map gifted to me by a very thoughtful running friend.  Any big race is worthy of wall space, and these Marathon Maps by JHill Design part of their runink collection will delight you too.  Made on heavy card stock, the maps include the race name, your name, finish time, bib number, date and  the map with the race course highlighted.

 These maps are available for many races and they will even custom design one for a race not currently offered.  The maps come in three sizes, 5 X 7, 8 X 10 and 12 X 18 so you can decide which will best fit your needs.  I love the small size so that I can frame three together as a collage.  With vivid colors for the maps and dark lettering for the details, they are a great addition for your running shrine!  All you do is visit their website, supply your race day details and within just a couple of days, you find these lovely cards in your mailbox.  After completing the NYC Marathon last fall, and then the London Marathon on April 24th, I decided to place an order for two additional running maps for my collection.  Arriving just days after placing my order, I was please again with the great customer service and prompt delivery.  Here are my latest additions

J Hill Design has offered a discount code to our readers and hopefully you can take advantage of it before it expires on May 13th. It is available for all items on the site  Code:TRT15  Happy Shopping! (No compensation will be received if you use our code. We are excited to share a discount with our readers)

May 4, 2016

London Marathon Expo and Trip Photos

After being home for just over a week,  my thoughts are now turning to a wonderful week in London and what worked well for our racecation there.  Our arrival day was Wednesday, the first day of the race expo.  After landing at London Heathrow airport at 7:30 am, we went through customs and immigration quickly. After a pretty long walk,  we made it to the underground station for the trains into central London (affectionately called the Tube). It is an easy way to get around and we had Oyster cards from a prior visit so we just topped them up later on in the day. With only one stop for a change of trains, we were at the door of the Conrad Hilton by 9:30 am, far earlier than we had anticipated.  Our room was not ready, but we were allowed to use the lounge to have some breakfast, shower and change and then store our luggage.  Next stop: expo!
Again we took the subway and this time we had to change to light rail to go to the expo at the ExCel building that is located in East London.  When changing trains we caught sight of the Tower of London and of course this got me excited for race morning when we pass the tower during the race.

May 2, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 2nd

This past week was a busy one! I found myself training clients solo which was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. I had a blast and am quickly learning how to modify workouts on the fly. And slowly I seem to be adjusting to the physical demands of running around on my feet all day. I have some new cushy sneaks and have been rotating them with some of my cast off running shoes and that seems to be helping.

Our weekend was a good balance of fun and adulting. We have a few projects that we are working on around the house and the dreary weather helped us stay inside to work on those yesterday. I have to admit that I miss our sunny spring weather but the rain did make it easier to be inside! Rather than write about our weekend, I figured I would share some photos!

Saturday afternoon at the Virginia spring beer festival with friends