Marine Corps Training: Week Eleven

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Eeek! I totally slacked on posting my training from last week. Well, it might be Thursday, but better late than never, right? Anyway last week was kind of tough because I was dealing with some shinsplints and IT band issues but after nixing one workout and taking it very easy on the rest I *think* I dodged an injury-bullet and am feeling much better this week. I’m continuing to ice, compress, and foam roll the crap out of my legs, especially my left one, in order to keep it healthy and strong for the last month of training.

Monday: 50 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Tuesday: 5 miles

I took it super easy on this run because my left shin and calf were still kind of bothering me. Even with the easy running they didn’t feel great. I’m hoping with some ice, ibuprofen, and compression they’ll start to feel better.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 46:00 at 9:12/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:33 (2) 9:09 (3) 9:07 (4) 9:11 (5) 9:03

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Wednesday: 2 miles, run fail

I knew this high mileage was going to catch up to me sooner or later. I’ve been battling a shin/calf pain for the past week and a half and today I knew the 8-miler on tap wasn’t going to happen. I consulted with my coach and she said it would be best to run a super easy 2 miles and scratch the 8-miler. I did as I was told and will take a rest day tomorrow and hope for a better Friday.

Plan: 8 miles, easy
Actual: 2 miles, easy (Garmin crapped out midrun so I estimated my time)

Thursday: 1 hour of strength training

Abs- 3 x
1:00 planks
0:30 side planks
0:45 supine planks
0:45 bicycles
0:45 bridge

Arms- 3 x 10 reps
Rotational shoulder press- 10lbs
Alternating dumbbell row- 15lbs
Tricep pulls- 15lbs
Chest press on stability ball- 10lbs
21s- 8lbs

Legs-
15 reps of bench step-ups
3 x 15 calf raises
3 x 15 side leg lifts

Friday: 6 miles

Yay! A (relatively) pain-free run! I felt a lot better on this run after taking the past two days off completely. My shin still felt a little sore but I didn’t feel the pain in my IT band like I was feeling on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think the pain is mostly due to overtraining and not being used to the higher mileage so I’m going to try to scale back a little from what my plan says. It felt good though to be running at my happy paces again!

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 52:00 at 8:40/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:12/mile (2) 8:37/mile (3) 8:23/mile (4) 9:02/mile (5) 8:50/mile (6) 7:43/mile (!!)

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees and sunny

Saturday: 5 miles

Ran an easy pre-long run shakeout run at the Lehigh Athletics Campus. I ran the first two miles around the campus and track and then found my way to the XC course. This was the first time I ever ran on a XC course and I loved it! It was so beautiful and I think running on the grass was good for my shin/IT band.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:58 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:02 (2) 9:12 (3) 9:00 (4) 8:58 (5) 8:46

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: didn’t check but it was pretty warm and really sunny

Sunday: 19-mile long run

It was a long run miracle this morning when I woke up with NO pain in my shins or IT band! I don’t know what happened but I felt great. I took it extra slow though during the run because I didn’t want to aggrevate the pain if it was still healing. I felt pretty good the whole time though. Hoping for a quicker long run next weekend!

Actual: 19 miles in 3:05:44 at 9:46/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 10:18 (2) 9:27 (3) 9:35 (4) 9:52 (5) 9:56 (6) 9:59 (7) 9:35 (8) 9:28 (9) 10:04 (10) 9:35 (11) 9:38 (12) 10:04 (13) 9:50 (14) 9:37 (15) 9:42 (16) 9:47 (17) 9:45 (18) 10:07 (19) 9:22

Weekly total: 38 miles (plan had me running 46 miles, scrapped a total of 8)

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Marathon Aches and Pains

At some point while training for a marathon (or any goal race really) the mileage and workouts begin to take their toll. I was very lucky when I was training for Big Sur because I made it to the starting line injury-free, which is one of the hardest parts of training for a marathon.

However, the training plan I was using was relatively lower mileage and I had hardly any workouts. This time around my mileage is much higher and I have more speed workouts like marathon pace runs, tempos, and Yasso 800s. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing the speedwork and I get sadistic pleasure out of seeing my weekly mileage on Daily Mile increase and increase. But my legs have a different take on this training plan than my head.

For the past week and a half, my lower left leg has been a bit wonky. It started off as an annoying little pain in my shin but then moved to my calf and on Tuesday’s run I was feeling the pain up and down my IT band. I decided to change my plan for the remainder of the week so I’d be able to run my first 20-miler this weekend but I’m still uneasy about how that’s going to go.

I broke the number one rule of injury prevention: If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off. So I took two days off, Wednesday and Thursday, and am hoping my 8-miler will go better today, especially if I take it super easy. Fingers crossed!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Ten

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Week ten of Marine Corps training presented me with a mileage PR of 44 miles. While I’ve been able to get all the miles in I feel like my legs might be starting to push back. A new pain in my left shin has me a bit concerned but I think it should subside if I take it easy on my next few runs.

As my mileage keeps increasing I’m learning the importance of post-run recovery, something I’ve almost neglected a little bit in the past.  To make sure I’m recovering properly I’m taking the five-to-ten minutes post-run to stretch out, as well as icing on a regular basis.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: Strength Training and 5 miles, easy

Strength Training– 50 minutes

Arms:
3×10 reps of:
Rotational Shoulder Press with 10lbs weights
Alternating Dumbell Rows with 12lbs weights
Tricep Pulls with 15lbs weights
Chest Press on Stability Ball with 10lbs weights
21s with 8lbs weights

3×15 reps Standing Side Leg Lifts
25 calf raises

Abs:
3×1:00 planks
3×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
3×0:45 bicycles
3×0:45 bridge

Run:

It was pretty hot and humid on this run but I waited until after work in the hopes that it would be a little bit cooler. My legs were still feeling a bit sore from Sunday’s long run but once I got a mile or so into the run it felt good to be shaking them out a bit.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 43:54 at 8:46/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31
(2) 8:43
(3) 8:37
(4) 8:48
(5) 8:12

Shoes: Asics GT-1000 2
Conditions: 86 degrees, 80 percent humidity

Wednesday: Double run, 8 miles total

Run One:

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 36:40 at 9:10/mile average pace

I ran an easy pre-workout shakeout run on the treadmill. I had 8 miles on my schedule for today with my first Yasso 800 workout. Since I couldn’t do the whole 8 miles during my normal lunch run I decided to split up the workout with 4 miles easy at lunch and 4 miles at the track after work.

Run Two:

Plan: 4 miles with 4x800m at 4:10 with 400m recovery jog

Actual:
1-mile warmup at 8:54/mile
4x800m-
(1) 3:40
(2) 3:41
(3) 3:39
(4) 3:30
With 400m in between each 800m

Shoes: Saucony Fastwitch 6
Conditions: 90 degrees, 80 percent humidity

This was my first Yasso 800 workout of Marine Corps training and it went very well! I ran them at the track and did a 1-mile warmup to begin. It was extremely hot and humid out so I wasn’t sure they were going to go well but I was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace

So this run went much better than expected. I’m still having a difficult time controlling my paces though and I know I really need to work on that but I felt really, really good during this whole run.

Plan: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace (9:10/mile) with 1 mi warmup and 2 mi cool down
Actual: 8 miles in 1:09:46 at an average of 8:43/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:19 (2) 8:51 (3) 8:43 (4) 8:35 (5) 8:24 (6) 8:30 (7) 8:45 (8) 8:37

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees, sunny, low humidity, a bit windy though

Saturday: 5 mile shakeout

It took me awhile to get out the door this morning but once I did I felt really good. Something has been going on with my left shin/knee though and I’m not really sure what that’s all about. I’m going to keep stretching/foam rolling/icing to see if it starts to feel back to normal again.

Plan: 5 miles, super easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:56 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:34
(2) 8:52
(3) 8:56
(4) 8:53
(5) 8:38

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, overcast, windy

Sunday: 18 mile long run

This long run went really well. I ran the first 10 miles with our RW Half Training Group led by Bart Yasso. We took it super easy which was really good because lately I’ve been pushing a little too hard on my long runs. After the 10 miles was done I finished the last 8 on my own. My left shin was giving me some trouble again which accounts for the crazy pacing here but overall I felt pretty good.

Plan: 18 miles, long slow distance
Actual: 18 miles in 2:54:33 at 9:39/mile average
Splits:
(1) 10:29 (2) 9:57 (3) 9:47 (4) 9:50 (5) 10:02 (6) 9:58 (7) 9:55 (8) 9:39 (9) 9:35 (10) 9:37 (11) 9:56 (12) 9:16 (13) 8:55 (14) 9:04 (15) 9:38 (16) 9:48 (17) 9:32 (18) 9:33

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: 50 degrees, sunny

Weekly Mileage Total: 44 miles

See all training recaps here.

The High Mileage Weeks Are Here

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 4.31.26 PMThe next few weeks of my training schedule for the Marine Corps Marathon are going to be my highest mileage weeks of my short running career. This week alone, the first of the monster weeks, will eclipse my peak week of Big Sur training by 4 miles.

For someone as new to running as I am, this can be pretty terrifying. Looking at the weeks as a whole has me literally waking up in the middle of the night in a panic. But that’s the funny thing about marathon training, just when you think you’ve hit your limit and you can’t go any further, another week goes by and you are able to go further than you ever thought. At least that’s how I’ve chosen to look at it.

My midweek runs over the next few weeks will range between 8 and 10 miles, with one easy run in between. Most of these are workouts or marathon pace runs, which to me, makes them much more enjoyable.

I’ve found the only way to get through these monster mileage weeks is to break it down and face each day as it comes. Yes, you need to plan. And yes, you need to schedule the time to get them done. But if you stare down your schedule on Monday and think, “Oh my God, I have to run an 8 mile workout on Wednesday, a 10 mile MP run on Friday, and other runs and workouts in between, as well as work and have some semblance of a social life?!” you’re going to drive yourself crazy.

Instead, take it day by day and figure out a time for each day to get your run done. For example, this is what my week looks like this week (different paces though):

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 9.30.13 AM

On Wednesday, I had an 8-mile run with 4x800m in between. I knew I couldn’t get the workout done during lunch, but I also knew I wanted to do the 800s on a track. So since I only had to do 4x800m (2 miles) I decided to split up the run- run 4 miles, easy at lunch and 4 miles (1 mile warm-up, 4x800m, 1 mile cool down) on the track after work. I’m still getting the benefit of the speedwork but not stressing out over setting aside a huge block of time.

I recently read a great blog post by Jason Fitzgerald on time management. He argues that if something is important enough you will set aside the time to get it done. You will not “make” the time, because you can’t just “make” time appear out of nowhere. But if it’s important, like eating, sleeping, working, spending time with family and friends, or in this case, training for a marathon, you will set aside the time to get it done.

So, how am I planning on fitting in these high mileage midweek runs in the coming weeks? Here are my tips for marathon training time management:

  • Make it a priority – Training for Marine Corps is very important to me so I wil make it a priority and set aside the time to get my training done.
  • Take it day-by-day – I will take it day-by-day but try to schedule my week to fit in my runs and workouts.
  • Run doubles – If I have to, I will split up my higher mileage runs into a double. I’ll still reap the benefits of the workout and get the mileage in.
  • Something is better than nothing – If I honestly can’t set aside enough time for a run, I will try to get whatever I can done. If it’s an 8-mile run but I only have time for 6 miles, I’ll run the 6 miles.
  • Don’t sweat it – If I really had a hard day at work, or I’m feeling extremely tired or sore, and I have to miss a run, it’s not the end of the world. Giving your body enough time to rest and recover is almost as important as getting all of the training runs done. If your body is telling you it needs a break, it probably really needs a break.

I’m not going to lie, training for a marathon is a ginormous time commitment. You sacrifice some things like going out on a Saturday night so you can have the time to do your long run (not hungover) on Sunday morning. The monster training weeks come for everyone but if you plan them out right, they are totally doable. You just need to, in a sense, brace yourself and prepare for the runs. They will get done and you’ll be much more prepared for when race day comes.

Are you training for a maraton or half-marathon? How do you manage to fit in all of your runs with work and personal life? Share your comments below!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Nine

Why you startedIt’s been a couple weeks since I last posted about my training for Marine Corps. One excuse for this is the last two weeks of training were kind of messed up due to running Hood to Coast and a surprise thunderstorm that completely ruined one of my long runs. But the real reason for not posting was I wasn’t really feeling all that into my training. Everything has been going well, I’m hitting my paces (even my new paces) and I’ve been following my schedule but for some reason I just wasn’t that excited. However, last week’s training went extremely well, I had a fantastic long run, and I’m starting to feel much more confident in my training.

Everyone hits that point in marathon training where you just feel tired and you start to question why you’re spending so much time and energy on training but you always have to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. For me, I’m running Marine Corps to better my marathon time and to experience a race I’ve heard so many great things about already. I also want to prove that I can get better at this whole marathoning thing and MCM will be the perfect place to make that happen. Besides, there really is something addicting about running 26.2 miles!

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 4 miles, easy

Last run at home around my town. I took it really easy because the heat and humidity is absolutely killing me. Felt pretty good though.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 35:21 (8:47/mile)
Splits: 
(1) 9:13
(2) 8:45
(3) 8:35
(4) 8:40

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees, 60 percent humidity

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo

This was my first tempo ever and I have to say I was pretty proud of it. Since I changed my time goal for MCM I wasn’t quite sure what my tempo pace should be. According to my old plan (marathon goal pace of 9:47/mile) my tempo pace should have been a 9:05/mile. However, now that my goal MP is 9:05/mile, obviously my tempo would be faster. I decided to shoot for 8:40/mile and see how I felt.

Plan: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo pace (8:40/mile)
Actual: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo (8:20/mile)
Splits: 
1.5 mile warmup at 9:30/mile pace
3 tempo miles in 25 minutes (8:20/mile pace)
1.5 mile cool down at 9:30/mile pace

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Core Strength-

3×1:00 planks
2×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
4×25 crunches
3×0:45 bridges

Thursday: 45 min. Strength Training

I’m vowing to get back into the swing of strength training so I made up my own workout.

Abs:
3 x 1:00 planks
3 x 0:30 side planks
3 x 0:45 supine planks
3 x 0:45 bicycles
3 x 0:45 bridge

Legs:
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Jackknife
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Hip Extensions
3 X 15 (each leg) Standing Side Leg Lift

Arms: 3 x 10 of all
Rotational Shoulder Press
Alternating Dumbbell Rows
Tricep Pulls
Chest Press on Stability Ball

3 x 21s- 7 x forearm lifts, 7 x bicep curls, 7 x overhead press

Friday: 6 miles with 4 miles at Marathon Pace (9:05-9:10/mile)

It was incredibly beautiful outside today so I was finally able to run during lunch again. I went running with my roommate and told her I had to run 6 miles with 4 miles at marathon pace (9:05-9:10/mile). Well, we ran one of the miles at MP but the rest were faster.

Plan: 6 miles with 4 miles at MP (9:05-9:10/mile)
Actual: 6 miles in 53:08 at 8:51/mile average
Splits: 
(1) 8:55
(2) 8:38
(3) 8:55
(4) 9:09
(5) 8:48
(6) 8:43

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: PERFECT

Saturday: 4 miles, easy

I felt AMAZING on this run which was really surprising because I may have had one too many beers last night. My legs felt so fresh and I just felt like flying. I was supposed to run super easy to shakeout before tomorrow’s long run but I just decided to go with it.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4.04 miles in 33:46 @ 8:21/mile
Splits: 
(1) 9:14/mile
(2) 8:14/mile
(3) 8:15/mile
(4) 7:44/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 73 degrees, sunny, 42 percent humidity

Sunday: 16 miles with 2 miles fast finish

This was my first actual long run in two weeks due to scheduling/racing/surprise thunderstorms. I was pretty nervous it wasn’t going to go well but I think this was the best long run I’ve had in my MCM training cycle. I felt really great the whole time, my fueling was on point, and my breathing was good. My paces look a little all over the place but that’s because this is an extremely hilly route I run. I decided to try for a 2-mile fast finish and nailed it. So happy!

Plan: 16 miles LSD
Actual: 16 miles in 2:30:25 at 9:24/mile average pace
Splits: 
(1) 9:50 (2) 9:11 (3) 9:25 (4) 9:37 (5) 9:47 (6) 9:48 (7) 9:29 (8) 9:17 (9) 9:37 (10) 9:25 (11) 9:19 (12) 9:32 (13) 9:33 (14) 9:17 (15) 8:54 (16) 8:21

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: Started off kind of cool, 68 degrees and overcast but warmed up to 75 degrees with 66 percent humidity and full sun by the end.

Weekly mileage total: 36 miles

See all weekly training recaps here.

{Monday Motivation} Go For It

After a pretty lackluster few weeks of training I am FINALLY feeling good about how I’m doing for Marine Corps. I had a great long run this past weekend and have been hitting all of my paces. To be honest, the past few weeks I haven’t been super confident about Marine Corps but I’ve decided to forget about all of that and just go for it. Happy running this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

Hood to Coast 2013 Recap

Mt. Hood SummitFor the past week (and the entire plane ride home from the Pacific Northwest) I’ve been trying to brainstorm the perfect lead for my Hood to Coast recap… to no avail. Seriously guys, I’m a writer, I’m supposed to be good at this whole wordsmithing thing but words are failing me right now.

I’ve had plenty of chances to explain to friends, family, coworkers, and random passersby, just how amazing my experience running Hood to Coast with Nuun was since returning to the East coast.

“How was Hood to Coast?” they’ll ask. Or, “How was that relay you did last week?” Or, “Didn’t you run 200 miles or something last week?”

To which I have responded, “It was absolutely, incredibly awesome!” And that’s pretty much the most concise way I can sum up Hood to Coast. Absolutely. Incredibly. Awesome.

I think my mom was the only one willing to hear my minute-by-minute recap of Hood to Coast, because, well, she’s my mom and doesn’t really have a choice. So, instead of boring you here with an infinitely long, rambling train-of-thought recap, I thought, instead I’d write about what I actually learned at Hood to Coast during my three legs as runner four.

Kara handing off to me during our first leg.

Kara handing off to me during our first leg.

Runner Four

When we were asked which leg we wanted to run back in April, I told Megan at Nuun that I was probably a much slower, less experienced runner than most of the women I’d be running with. I told Megan, “I’m fine with long distance but when it comes to speed, I may not be your girl.” I checked out the legs but really didn’t know what I was looking at so I gave her my three choices, runner four being one of them. Runner four runs a total of 15.16 miles with two runs classified as “easy” and one as “medium” – compared to the other legs, runner four has it “relatively” easy.

We also provided our 10K PRs which would be used to predict our finishing times for each leg. Having run only one 10K in my life, not racing at all (I had to run 18 miles the next day), my PR was less than fantastic. I knew I could run faster than the times HTC predicted for me but that’s when my self-doubt set in. Instead, I decided to take a back seat and see what happened when I got out on the course.

Leg 1- 7.18 miles – HTC Predicted Finishing Time: 1:10:44 (9:51/mile)

Actual Finishing Time: 57:12 (7:57/mile)

Well this was a surprise. When Kara handed off to me at exchange four I was full of energy but I was nervous. I knew I’d run faster than 9:51/mile with a slightly gradual downhill, but I never would have imagined I’d run this fast. It’s very rare that I ever see a mile split with a “7” in the front, let along 7 miles with 7’s in the front. I remember looking down at my Garmin after the first mile and seeing 7:45/mile and being completely shocked, scared almost. But I remembered the advice Dorothy Beal gave me ahead of time, “Don’t be afraid of the pace. You are that fast.” So I decided to take her word for it and settle in for the ride. My next mile was 7:36/mile- ok, getting faster I thought, but I blamed it on the slight downhill. After half-way through the leg the road flattened out a bit and when I maintained my sub-8:00 pace on the flat ground, I realized I REALLY WAS RUNNING THAT FAST! I felt incredible as I went zooming down the road literally flying past other runners (I had 15 roadkills on that run alone). Before I knew it my first leg was done and I came racing into the exchange schute a full 13 minutes faster than predicted! Oh yeah, and I snagged a new 10K PR on this run!

After my first leg- all sweaty, all smiles.

After my first leg- all sweaty, all smiles.

Leg 2- 3.78 miles – HTC Predicted Finishing Time: 38:36 (10:13/mile)

Actual Finishing Time: 31:00 (8:12/mile)

I was still riding the high from my first leg when it was soon time for me to run again. My second leg would be pancake flat but in the middle of the night, 1:00 a.m. to be exact. I had never run at night, or in the dark, before so I was pretty nervous going into the run. But I sucked it up, put on the reflective vest and waited for Kara to come into the exchange. It was so dark on the majority of this run that I had a tough time seeing, but I sure felt like I was going fast. The entire run was one the shoulder of a highway and there weren’t many runners around me during the majority of the run. One runner came up behind me though and he seemed to be going at a pretty decently fast pace. He passed me with ease but I decided to keep him in sight. I couldn’t see my watch so I wasn’t sure how fast I was actually going but at one point I thought I saw some kind of animal in a field so I really picked it up. Before I knew it I could see the exchange out ahead of me, and the guy who passed me was still in sight- well within passing range- so I decided to kick it in to the shute to pass him. With about 200 yards to go I managed to pass him wearing my sparkly skirt! There is nothing better than passing a dude in a singlet while you’re wearing a sparkly skirt. It felt so exhilarating!

Check off

Leg 3 – 4.2 miles – HTC Predicted Finishing Time: 43:47 (10:25/mile)

Actual Finishing Time: 36:00 (8:32/mile)

I knew by the time my third leg rolled around my legs would be zonked. I was expecting to be much closer to my predicted finishing time on the third leg, especially since this one would be in broad daylight with the sun beating down, uphill, and with a cruel camber in the road for the last half. Going into this run I wasn’t feeling great. A few of us had a not-so-great dinner the night before that led to a few code browns throughout the night and morning. I was nervous it was going to happen to me because my stomach wasn’t agreeing with me. I thought, it’s my final leg, if I just give it all I have left, which will be enough. Plus, I was really excited to be running my last leg, I didn’t want it to be painful!

But it started out pretty painful. I got the slap bracelet at the handoff from Kara and leaped out of the exchange with as much energy as I had during my first and second legs. I got about 1 mile before my stomach put the breaks on my zealous approach. But just then, just when I thought, “Maybe I should just walk a little bit… Maybe I’ll feel better if I did that…” I hear a van coming up behind me. Van 2 of Team Watermelon came to my rescue blasting Taylor Swift and pulling up just in time to give me a power arch! This was absolutely incredible and it was just the kick I needed to kick myself into gear and get running.

I started passing people like it was my freakin’ job! There was traffic leading up to the exchange and I kept passing this one van, the Lightning Mullets, basically a van-full of guys my age cheering me on. But when I got less than a half-mile out from the exchange, they pulled up again, opened the van door and said, “We’ve got actual Mardi Gras beads for you! Catch them in 1…2…3!” And I caught them, through them around my neck and came racing into the final exchange. It was so epic!

Throwing up a power arch for Sarah on her last leg!

Throwing up a power arch for Sarah on her last leg!

Takeaways

Like Dorothy told me before the race even began, don’t be afraid of the paces on your watch- if you’re running that fast, you are that fast. I tend to doubt myself often, especially when it comes to running. I still feel so new to running and I know I have so much more to learn so I tend to doubt my abilities. But if HTC taught me anything it’s that I am that fast and I don’t need to doubt myself anymore.

I also learned at HTC that it is much easier to believe in yourself when you are surrounded by people who believe in you. My HTC team was absolutely amazing and so incredibly supportive. We gave each other support from beginning to end, through code browns to tattoo applications, on hills and downhills. We were there for each other and the connection we made was one of true friendship and support.

We made it to Seaside!

We made it to Seaside!

From this I’ve got to segway into the incredible amount of girl power I felt throughout the entire journey of Hood to Coast. There were 36 of us ladies running for Nuun and from our Sparkly Skirts to our kickass paces, there was no shortage of team spirit. And seriously, what is better than passing guys when you’re wearing a sparkly skirt? Nothing!

{Monday Motivation} Twerk Less. Run More.

I’ve been slacking on posting here lately because things have been a little busy (OK, really busy) in my life but when I came across this graphic on Pinterest I had to post it. Now, I’m a big fan of dancing- used to do ballet and pointe for 12 years and was a latin dance director in college- but this whole twerking phenomenon has thrown me for a loop. So, since I can’t twerk, I might as well run. Twerk less, run more!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)