New Year. New Running Goals.

race-medals-current-count

Now that I have a nifty “Magical Miles” medal hanger, it only makes sense to add more to my count 😉 #ChasingMedals

Psst…I’m baaaaack. 🙂 My, oh my, it sure has been a while since my last blog post. But with a new year upon us, what better time than now to get back in the groove and make my comeback. For the past two years, I’ve kicked things off by training for my first race of the year – the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. 2017 won’t be any different, however, I’ve added a little more to my overall race goals this year.

2016 wasn’t my best running year since catching the running bug back in 2013 and completing my first medaled race in 2014. Early last year was the ultimate roller coaster. I was debating on whether I was going back home to Ohio. I was going through career obstacles, life challenges, and not to mention moving TWICE in one year! There was way too much going on to add “sign up and train for this race” to my already complicated task list. Overall, 2016 rewarded me with a whopping three race medals – a half marathon, a 5K, and a 10-miler. Out of all three of those races, I didn’t have a dedicated training plan but still managed to get through them.

Now that 2017 is here and a perfect time to start anew, I’ve decided to task myself with a goal of earning TEN race medals (with three being half marathons), as well as bumping up to the purple run level on the Nike Running Club app (1,552 total miles by the end of the year). 2015 was my best race year where I did my first ever half marathon in March and then was crazy enough to sign up for another one in September. This year, I guess I’ve gone madly insane as I want to do THREE half marathons. (No, I still will never do a full marathon!) Continue reading

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Songs Guaranteed To Make You Move!

Best songs to workout to

When it comes to your workout playlist, it’s all about the beat of a song.
The cadence.
The bass line.
The lyrics.
The push it gives you.
The second wind of energy that derives from it.

For me, with a music collection that’s comprised of nearly 10,000 songs, it’s definitely difficult to pick a teeny-weeny fraction of that to make it onto a top 10 list. However, for this particular post, I wanted to select 10 songs that I can say are some of my favorites to listen to while running or working out.

I know some people who can run without music. That statement alone hurts my very soul. How can you run without music? How can you live without music? How can you breathe without music? Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic but seriously, I can’t function just on a daily basis without music. I was doing an outdoor run once and when I got to the two-mile mark of what was supposed to be a four-mile run, my ear buds had the audacity to give out on me. You know what I did? I simply retraced my steps and walked back home…in complete silence. I tried to go music-less during my run but that lasted about three minutes before I had to call it quits. It’s just impossible. That’s the reason why I now keep a backup pair in my car for moments like that or in case I pull up to the gym and realize that forgot to grab my ear buds on the way out the door.

Anyway, when it comes to picking the perfect workout song, it has to abide by the following criteria: Continue reading

Started From a 5K Now I’m Here…Again!

 

After nine weeks of training, I got my medal!

After nine weeks of training, I got my medal!

It’s funny how just a few years ago, I said I would never run a 5K. In 2013, I ran two timed 5K races. I then said, that 5K was cute and all, but I’ll never run a 10K. In 2014, I ran my first 10K. Then I told myself, I’d be CRAZY if I ever ran a half marathon. Who on EARTH would want to run 13.1 miles? For what? Why? In 2015, I ran not one, but TWO half marathons! Now, as I look at my half marathon medals side by side in addition to the other medals I have accumulated over the past few years, I can say, oooooh, that’s why.

quoteLike the quote that I looked at week after week during my training affirms, “the pain of the process is only temporary, but the feeling of achievement lasts forever.” You won’t get the reward unless you put the work in. A grueling process, yes, but that final moment when you’re in homestretch with random strangers cheering you on from the sidelines to help you push through those last few steps. That final moment when you can at last see the finish line and the dangling medal that awaits you as a symbol of your accomplishment. Even that initial moment when you’re sorting through your pre-race jitters at the start line thinking to yourself, “wow, am I really about to do this?” Yes, because it’s so worth it.

As I said in a previous post, this second half marathon I completed on Sunday literally came about on a whim. I was originally going to sign up for the five-miler option but my friend talked me into going for the half marathon. She simply said, “Get out there and do what you can. As long as you finish.” And finish is just what I did. Continue reading

Another Half Marathon Already?!

I'm all registered. No turning back now!

I’m all registered. No turning back now!

Literally, on a whim, I decided to register for my second half marathon, the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, which will take place Sunday, September 20. I signed up on July 17 which gives me only a nine-week window to train. Yikes! When I looked back at my training schedule for the first half marathon I did in March, however, I realized that I was only one week behind in the 10-week training program I completed for that race.

After debating for an hour or so on whether I wanted to take a huge leap and sign up for the half marathon versus the 5-miler option the race had, I figured, it’s a free comp code that my friend was able to obtain for me which saved me the worries of paying race fees AND since I’m trying to collect as many medals as possible this fall to add to my collection, another half marathon on my resume wouldn’t look too shabby. Continue reading

Work Hard. Train Hard. The Reward Is Yours.

Started from a 5K, now I'm here!

Started from a 5K, now I’m here!

Sometimes it takes telling yourself you can’t only to find out later on that indeed, you can. That’s what my thought process was leading up to the completion of the 24th item on my 30 Before 30 list – run a half marathon. As I got started with my 10 week training program after the New Year, I was immediately turned off by the fact that I was only allotted ONE rest day per week. My usual routine consisted of three, maybe four days a week of working out. But with this program I had to add running into the mix including those long Saturday runs which was something that I had to adjust to rather quickly. Week after week I began to mentally plan ahead for my three days of cross-training, three days of running and one day of rest.

There were some days where I literally had to drag myself out of my apartment to make it to the gym. Some days I would bring my gym clothes to work and head straight to the gym. Other days I might have flaked on plans with friends or still went to hang out briefly then proceed directly to the gym afterwards. Midway in and towards the end of my program, the fatigue kicked in, the laziness tried to settle in and let me tell you, training for a half marathon in the cold winter months DEFINITELY takes a lot of discipline to make sure you don’t slack off.

Many times I would think to myself – I can’t run a minimum of 3-4 miles twice a week and then run six, seven or more miles on Saturday all while still doing kickboxing twice a week and a strength training class midweek. However, each week that I would succeed with my training plan, I surprised myself and began to realize, wow, I can. It was strenuous at times when my mileage increased each Saturday for those long runs which I sometimes had to do indoors on the treadmill due to snow, ice or below freezing temperatures. I surely looked forward to that one day of rest after all. Continue reading

Hey! Did you miss me? I didn’t run away…

...or did I?
Hello everyone!! 🙂
My fancy kicks I'm training in for my half-marathon :-)

My fancy kicks I’m training in for my half-marathon 🙂

So it’s been a while since I’ve written to you all but no need to fear, I’ve just been vigorously training for the next item on my 30 Before 30 list – run a half marathon. This is going to be quite an adventure as I now enter week 8 (out of 10) of my training program. The first half of my training took a lot of adjusting to because although I workout on a regular basis, I never really had a lot of days dedicated to just running like I do now, and definitely not more than 2 miles or so at a time. Midway into my training, the miles for my long Saturday runs just kept going up and up….and up.

Yesterday I ran a whopping 8 miles (unfortunately on the treadmill due to the weather) but regardless, I got those miles in. Now my minimum mileage these days range from 4-5 miles anytime I run which, according to my program, is three times a week along with three days of cross training. Yeah, go ahead and do that math, that equals ONE rest day per week.

I will admit that I do feel my healthiest right now so the training has definitely been working in my favor. Thanks to my buddies at my old job, I was able to get a complimentary code for the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series which will take place Saturday, March 14 at 7:30am. I’m all registered and less than three weeks away now.

 

When I do have the chance to run outdoors, I'm going in circles (literally) around the perimeter of FedEx Field

When I do have the chance to run outdoors, I’m going in circles (literally) around the perimeter of FedEx Field

Wish me luck!!

I Survived My First 10K!

I made it!

I made it!

What I thought was impossible became possible yesterday morning. The longest distance I’ve ever ran even back in my high school track and cross country days, was 3.2 miles. Like I said before, I’ve done my share of 5K’s but this time around I finally decided to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself with a 10K. After driving to Philly and back (to work a freelance event and of course enjoy a scrumptous, authentic Philly cheesesteak!) the day prior, getting home right in time to see my Buckeyes beat Penn State in double OT and getting roughly five hours of sleep, I STILL got up bright and early Sunday morning, and although a slower time than most, I ran, jogged, trotted the ENTIRE time. No walking! I will say that by mile five and six, I wanted to turn my trot into a walk soooo bad but I knew my goal, if anything, was to run or jog the entire time. The last .2 miles of the race was by far the most challenging since you’re going UP hill to the finish line. As if running six miles wasn’t enough, they really make you dig deep at the end!

It was inspiring to see people who were running the race to honor lost loved ones in the military and having members of the United States Marine Corps cheer you on along the way. You also had family members and volunteers with signs along the course to keep you motivated to run. My favorite sign I saw along the way was, “Sure, you thought this was a good idea four months ago!” My thoughts exactly. According to my Nike + Running app, I finished in 1:08:40, however, according to the unofficial time from MCM, I finished in 1:10:54. Either way, I FINISHED. And that’s what’s most important. Major kudos to the folks who did the full marathon. I don’t know if that will ever be me but hey, anything is possible right? 😉

RECAP: Black Girls RUN! Preserve The Sexy Tour

Preserve The Sexy!

Preserve The Sexy!

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to take part in my first official Black Girls RUN! event, the Preserve The Sexy Tour that took place at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA.

I recently picked up the habit of running again (since my high school days) about a year or two ago, so the different techniques that were taught were truly valuable for someone like myself. The event was divided into two sessions. The first session I entered was the “Body Maintenance 101” led by Dr. Bradley Wiest, DC, CSCS. He discussed different injury prevention methods and taught us all the beauty of a foam roller and other techniques to increase range of motion.

He lightly touched on how “sitting is the new smoking” and how a lot of us, even if we are actively going to the gym and eating healthy, we still spend the majority of our day sitting or driving. As a result, a lot of our muscles are forced into that “idle” muscle memory where our muscles can either be shortened or sleep for extended periods of time. When we sit, our core is the main area that suffers but is also the most important muscle group for runners. Continue reading

Black Girls RUN! Preserve the Sexy Tour headed to D.C.!

Preserve the Sexy!Black Girls RUN! will make its tour stop in the Washington D.C. area on Saturday, June 21 for its second national “Black Girls Run! Preserve the Sexy Tour.” I’m looking forward to attending this event because ever since I’ve picked up the leisure activity of running, I’ve been a huge supporter of BGR! and all of its initiatives.

During this event, participants will receive information about running form, running performance techniques, stretching and more. The tour will feature expert speakers including Newton Running’s Certified Running Coach, Dr. Bradley Weist, DC, CSCS and co-founder of SHAE Movement African Arts, Niche Faulkner.

The workshop features two sessions focusing on form and body maintenance with topics such as proper running form to increase running efficiency and decrease injury as well as injury prevention and performance enhancement. Both workshops will be led by Weist. The event concludes with the BGR! fitness party which will include African dance. How fun does that sound? Continue reading

Start Small To Work Your Way Up

5K Results

This past weekend, I participated in my third timed 5K and fourth overall. People often ask me when am I going to do a longer race and if I feel I’ve already done enough 5K’s. But my answer to them is that I like to start small and work my up to the bigger races. Once I feel like I’ve accomplished enough 5K’s, the next step is a 10K in the fall and then a half-marathon eventually next spring.

I ran my very first timed 5K last April in 33:47 and my second timed one last September in 33:28. Before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mini Marathon 5K on Saturday, my goal for this race was to shave two minutes off my time. I came in at officially 31:43! I kid you not, the 5K Playlist that I made last week really helped. Right as I was passing the finish line, the song “Push It!” ended and I knew then that I reached my goal. Continue reading