Marathon Training Recap: Last 4 Weeks

After my half in Florida in January, I quickly realized that my marathon was just around the corner <- *cue mental freak-out* and my longest run was my only 13.1 miles. I know, I’m terrible and should never increase mileage so quickly, but I took my time and didn’t overly kill myself. I knew I wanted to feel strong, not exhausted at the end of it all. So, off I went for 17 miles.

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Mission accomplished! I was happy, but not dying at the end. I took my pace much slower than I probably could have, but again I wanted to be able to move afterwards. Laundry won’t do itself and my pup still needs potty breaks during the day.

Long story short: the first 5 were decent and fun. I had my girl with me, so my mood and spirit is always high with her. The next 12 were rough. I tried the Margarita Clif Shot Bloks and hated them – give me my Chocolate Outrage GUs all day long! The absolute worst part was reaching the top of a hill, seeing Uptown, and knowing that I had to turn around and run back the way I came [I did an out-and-back course for the 12]. But I knocked them all out and I’ve never felt as accomplished as I did when I returned home to a quite energetic girl, I might add.

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The next weekend I set my mind to complete 19 miles. Now, that’s an increase that makes sense! Once again, Sizz and I took off for our 5 mile loop that takes us through uptown before I dropped her off before heading back out for another 14 miles. I mapped out a course that was more of a loop with a smaller loop in the Southpark area. I love running down there and staring at all the crazy, obsessively large houses, but wish there was a better trail system in the city. I tried the Salted Caramel GU at mile 10 and all seemed to be going smoothly [I also took my favorite Chocolate Outrage GUs at miles 5 and 15]. And then it happened, I hit the wrong button when I went to restart my Garmin after stopping at a light and saved the run around 16 miles. I was so mad at myself that I wouldn’t see a new PDR happen again that weekend. I took my fury out in my last 3 miles and made up some time! Hey, whatever works, right!? At the very end, I was trying my darnedest to get to 19 miles so I was running laps around my building and freaking Sizz out since she could see me from the window. Run complete!

PicMonkey Collage

So, 19 wasn’t too shabby; it was time to conquer a 21 mile run the following weekend. I mapped out a course that was about 16.5 miles knowing that I may cut some corners and didn’t want to come up short after dropping my girl off after her 5 mile jaunt around town. It was incredibly overcast [yet, somehow my Garmin connected almost instantly], so I erred on the side of caution and started Runmeter on my phone. It may not always be the most accurate, but I sure wanted to see a new PDR [and not 2 separate screenshots]! The first 5 went smoothly, as always, and then I dropped Sizz off before continuing on my 16.5 mile out and back course. My Garmin lost signal around mile 7.5 and I could NOT figure out why I wasn’t keeping my pace up – I kept running and running and running. Well, it turns out I was – thankfully Runmeter was still tracking my time. I gave up on my Garmin and let it keep running, but continued to check my pace on my phone. I took another Salted Caramel GU and struggled to get my energy up again for the next 5 miles. I then took a Chocolate Outrage GU and was like a brand new woman again. Lesson Learned: stick with what works! I arrived back home and was slightly shocked when I checked out Runmeter; it was a shiny new PDR for me! Knowing I only had 4.5 miles more to go for race day was a sweet surprise and gave me the confidence that I can complete a marathon in 2 weeks time!

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This last weekend was a bit of doozy for me…I needed new shoes as mine were completely shot. Who knew that when they bend in half vertically that they are done…lessons learned everyday. After a trial run of 5 miles in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17, they just did NOT work for me. I went back to my favorite Run For Your Life and they hooked me up with some sweet Brooks PureFlow 3 that I loved the minute I put them on.  Now, time to break these babies in before completing a challenge that a year ago I never said I’d do: complete a marathon!

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Treat Yourself Tuesday #1: Nails + Vino

Although I’ve had every intention to actually document my treats over the last few weeks and join the link up with Becky of Olives ‘n’ Wine, it just hasn’t happened [and doesn’t help when my treats occur Tuesday night and I’m just too tired to blog about them]. So for the first time…here we go!


Saturday has been long deemed ‘long-run Saturday’ for me since, well, August. My second half marathon is just over 5 weeks away and the dates are looming closer, but my goals seem farther out of reach.

Anita DeFrantz quote

So, after a dismal run [I couldn’t didn’t want to complete the last 0.8 miles of my planned run <- yes, it was that bad], I decided to treat myself to a mani/pedi afternoon at my favorite salon. They provide complementary wine and great service, so what’s not to love!?! It was time to say farewell to the summer colors and actually embrace fall [sad, but true] for my toes. I went with clear on my nails after a month of gel, so they are back to plain jane for the time being.

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Afterwards, Nick and Sizzle headed my way and all three of us wandered over to one of the wine bars of uptown, Threes. Choices are amazing!! I loved the option to create my own flight, but let’s face it…sometimes I want someone else to chose for me. Our waiter had a great recommendation consisting of an un-oaked and oaked chardonnay, followed by a sauvignon blanc.

2013-10-05 19.41.58 The flavors were distinct and light, which I loved on the warm, Indian Summer night. It was the perfect way to wine down after a not-so-great run!

Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday and do something to Treat Yourself – you deserve it!

Where in the World have I Been?

Well, we’ve been a little all over the place lately. With quite a bit going on, from traveling for work to dog sitting, Nick and I have had so many activities going on that it’s been hard to find time to spend together. Instead of spending more time in front of the computer, we’ve enjoyed dinners together and nights out on the town. In lieu of deep-diving all my encounters, a photo album seems like so much more fun!

2013-09-05 06.06.18 My last Bodypump class for a few weeks









2013-09-05 09.09.47 First PSL after I locked myself out of my apartment. Starbucks makes everything better!






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Beech Mountain sunsets










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Afternoon on the Potomac






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Sunset over the National Mall









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The Capital











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In front of the Newseum, they print and post all Front Pages submitted from around the world.


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And I never fail to get a few runs in when traveling to a new place:

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Nope, never seen a Tweeps car or store before = necessary pictures!





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Not proud of the time, but so happy to hit 13.1 miles again.

Run Club, Running Habits, Group Runs vs. Solo

Tonight, we ventured out to NoDa Brewing Company so I could join up with their weekly Run Club and tick off a few miles from my weekly tally. Like always, my runs are my time to just think about what I’m doing at that exact moment and forget all the stress I might be experiencing. Tonight was rough – I kept running over my pup [unintentionally! I promise] and just didn’t feel like I hit my stride until the 2.5 mile mark. By that point, I’d given up having that awesome run and convinced myself that tomorrow was another day and to try, try again.

Once I returned to the brewery, Nick and I started talking about how he doesn’t like to run in groups, but would rather take off on his own. I got to thinking about my own style, and quickly realized I am the same way, sometimes. I love my early morning runs before the city awakens, but also enjoy the thrill of runners around me and the need to keep up.

Overall, I tend to like the peace and quiet around me while I run – it’s my escape from everything going on. A way to have a blank mind and just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, look up and smile. Just be grateful that I can run and I have found something that I enjoy and can pursue any time of the year.

Now, I am in desperate need of some foam rolling action + compression sleeves [hoping my socks get here soon] + stretching. Training is tough, but I love having a goal in the future to look forward to!

K Sizz I think she forgave me…this was right before my face was attacked with Sizzle kisses:)




What’s your preference: run with a group or running solo?
The majority of the time, I am a solo OUTDOOR runner through and through.

Weekly Recap: BBBC Week 8

Yes, its a sad day/week for me. Best Body Boot Camp is officially over. It’s been a journey that I undertook on a whim knowing that I needed strength training to have any hope of achieving my half marathon goals. At the end of this journey, I can look back and see where progress was starting to be made [like the first time I wasn’t completely dead after one of Tina’s workouts or when I completed all the suggested reps faster than I ever expected] and learning what the heck super sets and tri sets actually were.

Thanks Tina for setting me straight!

Ok, now I’ve got the hang of these. And they ROCK!

Unfortunately, this had to be the week that I end up fighting off sinusitis. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling absolutely miserable and knew that it was going to take rest, meds, and lots of water to get back to normal.


Monday: (AM) BodyPump + (PM) HOT! Yoga + 3.2 mile walk

Yes, I officially know what the craze is ALL about now! The absolute highlight was another girl in the class saying you could easily increase your weight 2-3x…thanks Tina! Hot yoga was just that…incredibly HOT!

Tuesday [aka my the morning where sinusitis tried to bring me down]: Walks with the pup

Wednesday: Walks with the pup + walk to lunch

Pure Pizza’s Margarita Pie – Not my pizza as I was feeling miserable, but I ate the same thing and it was delicious!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Walks with the pup + walks to lunch & dinner

Yes, we ventured back to Pure for one last meal with my bro before he left town.

Saturday: More pup walks

Definitely proved this week that this is correct: Dog Owners are More Active! Read the article here.

Sunday: Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 9.52 miles

After such a low volume workout week, I am so ready to get back in the gym, wrap up my 8th week of BBBC, and pound the pavement [or rock out on the treadmill since I’m not 100% recovered] this week!