November 2014 Monthly Goals

Happy Halloween everybody!  Preston and I are excited to experience another first as new homeowners tonight – passing out candy to trick or treaters.  We’re not sure how Riley is going to react to the constant opening and closing of the front door, so it’ll likely wind up being one of us passing out candy while the other person tries to keep him calm.

In honor of Halloween, here’s a little Flashback Friday for you.  This photo was taken back in 2010, when Preston and I were engaged.  Its hard to believe that that was four years ago!

halloween

In regards to my October goals, I successfully met two of them.

oct 2014 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical a total of 60 miles.

Grade: A

Not only did I meet this goal, but I crushed it, logging a total of 69 miles.  I’m beyond amazed that I completed as many miles as I did.

oct 2014 mileage

Absolutely amazed by my October stats!

2.  Practice yoga at least once a week.

Grade: D

I kept up with the goal two out of the four weeks this past month.  Now that I’m not currently in training for a major race, not having time wasn’t the excuse.  However, I think I’ve discovered that part of the problem is that I’m bored with the DVD that I’ve been using.  I need to switch things up in order to be more motivated to practice yoga.

3.  Listen to my body.

Grade: A

When I was tired, I listened, and made those days my rest days, even if they were unplanned rest days.

After a fairly productive October, I’m setting the bar really high for November.  For the first time since August, I’m going to push myself a bit and strive for reaching five goals this coming month.

nov 2014 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical a total of 70 miles.

For the first half of the month I plan to keep my training base up, and then once Shamrock training starts on November 17th I’ll slowly be increasing my long run mileage.  While this goal is only one mile more than my October mileage, October included both an eight mile training run and Army Ten Miler.  My longest run in November will likely be five miles.

2.  Keep up with my cross training once I start training for Shamrock.

While training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach I let my cross training go to the wayside.  I don’t want to let that happen during my upcoming training cycle.

3.  Weight train at least twice a week.

Weight training is so important while training for a half marathon.  I want to be sure that I’m making myself as strong as I possibly can for my next big race.

4.  Maintain my weight.

With the holiday season starting at the end of this month, I do want to let unhealthy habits creep in.  While its okay to splurge every once in a while, I don’t want to let all of my good habits get pushed to the side.

5.  Figure out how to rediscover my interest in yoga.

Yoga is super important for so many reasons, and the DVD that I’ve been using hasn’t been motivating me enough.  I need to figure out a way to respark my interest for yoga this month and make yoga a part of my weekly routine again.

QOTD: What are your goals for November?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Motivation, Training | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Blogging Tips for New Bloggers

When I started blogging I had no idea that my blog would evolve into what it has today.  What started as a place to share my running journey with friends and family has evolved into so much more.  I had no idea that as a result of blogging that I’d be able to connect with so many amazing people, many of whom I haven’t met in person.

My success with blogging wasn’t instantaneous though.  Blogging takes a lot of time, persistence, and overall hard work.  I’m beyond thankful for the connections that I’ve made and the opportunities that my ambassadorships have afforded me.

Yesterday marked 19 months since I wrote my first blog post.  I never imagined that my blog would take me to where I am now, especially in regards to the relationships that I’ve developed with other fitness enthusiasts.

Its easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of blogging though.  Many of us started off blogging because we were inspired by other bloggers, and often hold those other blogs on pedestals that we’d like to match the success of.  Because blogging is hard work, and it takes time to develop a regular group of readers, I’d like to offer these tips to those of you who are just starting off.

blogging tips

1.  Don’t expect instant success

In a world filled with the constantly circulating message of instant gratification, this might tip might be a tough pill to swallow.  Blogging takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work.  You won’t be able to instantly reach the level of readership that some of your favorite bloggers have been able to accomplish, and that’s okay.  Down the road, you’ll likely look back and wonder in amazement at the growth that your blog has had.  I know that I have!

2.  Be yourself

One of the many great things about blogging is that there are a ton of blogs out there.  What makes each and every blog unique though are the writers behind the blogs.  We all have a story to tell, and instead of trying to make yourself sound like your favorite bloggers, be sure to stick to your roots.

3.  Comment on other blogs

One of the best ways to get your name out there is by commenting on other blogs.  Not only will you expose your blog’s name to the person behind that blog, but there’s a good chance that other readers will see your name, which may lead to them visiting your blog.

4.  Join a linkup in order to connect with other bloggers

DC_linkup

I’ve been participating in the weekly Friday Five linkup since the beginning of February.  This has allowed me to virtually meet many bloggers who I’d never connected with before.  Some of my now favorite blogs to read I found as a result of the linkup.  And better yet, the linkups are fun!

5.  Be honest and true to yourself

Readers want honesty, so be sure to share both the ups and the downs of your journey.  We all know that not everything is going to go as planned all of the time, and its important that you share that with your readers.  It’ll make it so that your story is more relatable to them, and will likely encourage them to continue returning to your blog.

6.  Be consistent

Try to establish a regular posting schedule, whether that’s twice a week, five days a week, or everyday.  If readers are used to a consistent schedule, they won’t be left hanging trying to figure out when you’ll write your next post.  At the same time, missing a post every now and then is also okay.  Life happens, and your readers will understand.  They’ll probably also find you that much easier to relate to since life gets busy for all of us at times.

For more blogging tips, be sure to check out these posts:

QOTD: What tips do you have for new bloggers?

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , | 19 Comments

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Volunteer Recap

Sunday morning I got to experience the Marine Corps Marathon from a different perspective, as a volunteer instead of as a runner.  Because Preston and I had wanted to be a part of this incredible race, we debated for awhile about registering for the 10k.  Once I realized that it had sold out, I immediately headed to the volunteer registration page instead.

We knew that we wanted to volunteer someplace on the course, and after a short debate, decided to sign up for Food Station #2 (just before the mile 13 marker on the course), where we handed out Clif Shot gels.  We were well aware of the walk that this volunteer position would require since its on Hain’s Point, and the closest Metro station is just over two and a half miles away from the end of Hain’s Point, where the food station was.  Nonetheless, we signed up, and figured that walking over five miles that morning would be good exercise.

Sunday morning we left the house just before 6:00 a.m., and as luck would have it, we just missed a Metro train as we arrived at the station.  Due to Metro only running trains every 15-20 minutes on the weekends, we sat at the station for about 15 minutes before we were finally on our way.

We got off at the Smithsonian station around 7:15, and headed out towards Hain’s Point.  Our volunteer assignment started at 8:00.  We checked in with the Marine in charge, were given our volunteer shirts (the only sizes that were left were sizes XL and XXL – much bigger than what either Preston or I wear), and chatted for a bit with the other Marines stationed at the same table as us.  The time passed by quickly, and before we knew it the first wheelchair participants made their way through the food station at 8:14 a.m., just 34 minutes after the wheelchair start of the race!

mcm volunteer

Ready to volunteer!

Food station #2 all set up and ready to distribute Clif Shot gels to runners

Food station #2 all set up and ready to distribute Clif Shot gels to runners

Seeing the wheelchair participants was so inspiring.  Many of them were missing one or both of their legs, and the fact that they had the determination to keep moving forward was beyond words.

After the majority of the wheelchair participants had made their way to the halfway point of the course, there was a brief break before the runners started to make their way through.  It was incredible to hear the updates on the elite runners via the walkie talkie that the Marine in charge had.  As we heard each update and how much closer the elite runners were getting to mile 13, we were blown away by their speed.  And at 9:03, just 68 minutes after the race had started. the first elite runner arrived!

The lead runner at mile 13 of the race

The first place runner at mile 13 of the race

The speed of the elite runners was absolutely amazing, and quite inspiring!  After a short while, more and more runners started arriving at the food station.  And within less than an hour, there was a steady stream of runners.

We were instructed to stand on the side of the road, holding out Clif Shots, and that runners would come towards us if they wanted one.  The number of thank yous that we received was beyond countable, even from the runners who declined the Clif Shots.

With several other bloggers running this race, I tried my best to be on the lookout for many of them.  It wasn’t an easy task though, as I was constantly having to reach down to pick up more gels, and I was also trying to pay close attention to the runners who approached me in order to receive a Clif Shot.  The one blogger I did see was Pam from We Run Disney.  The only other person that I saw was an old coworker.  It was just too crowded to easily find the other runners that I had wanted to see that day.

As more runners came through, it was clear that more and more of them were starting to struggle.  I tried to encourage as many runners as I could, as did the other volunteers and Marines around me.  One Marine in particular kept encouraging runners to take the Clif Shot from him by saying “I’m holding freedom in my hand.”  As runners asked us what flavor gels we had, some volunteers joked that they had beer flavored gels, which of course got a smile and a laugh from many runners.

The one thing that disappointed me about this race had nothing to do with the organization itself (I actually thought the race was well organized, volunteer communication and directions via e-mail were very prompt and clear, and volunteers were well supported), but rather with some of the runners.  Preston and I were stationed at one of the last tables at the food station, and by the time most runners got to us they had already picked up at least one Clif Shot.  We were told that runners could receive multiple gels, but some runners wound up with handfuls of Clif Shots – so many that they couldn’t hold onto all of them.  I worried that we’d run out of gels, and that slower runners would be shafted, but fortunately there were more than enough boxes of gels, with a couple of boxes to spare.  I just don’t understand the need to be greedy, especially when there’s no way that anybody’s body could handle the number of gels that some of the runners left with.

Around 11:00, the crowd started to thin out quite a bit, and around 11:30, the last of the runners had made their way through.   We were then provided plastic gloves in order to help pick up the trash.  Although the trash sweeper truck came through and picked up most of the trash, there was still debris left that had to be picked up by hand.

By 12:00, we had finished and started the long walk back to the Metro.  On the walk back, we saw runners in the distance running over the 14th Street Bridge.  And as we neared the National Mall, we saw even more runners on the course, especially since we had to cross the course on 14th Street in order to get back to the Metro.

The more that I processed my volunteer experience, the more motivated I became to finally register for my next major race.  Only a couple of hours after getting home from volunteering, I got on the computer and pushed the registration button for my next half marathon.

QOTD: What experience(s) have motivated you to register for your next major race?

Posted in Motivation, Races | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Half Marathon #4 Will Be…

Although I was looking forward to the training break after Army Ten Miler, I’ll share a secret with you: I’ve had a bit of race envy.  As I’ve heard about everybody’s fabulous fall races via Social Media, I’ve been itching to finalize my plans for my next major race.  And volunteering at yesterday’s Marine Corps Marathon gave me the final push to pull the trigger and register for my next big race.

This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision though.  I’ve thought long and hard about where I want to run my next major race.  I had incredible experiences at all three of my half marathons this year, but wanted #4 to be a new race.

I’ve heard nothing but fabulous things about the race that I’m registered for, and Runner’s World Magazine has rated this race as one of the country’s best half marathons.  I cannot wait to experience this race for myself.  The countdown to March 22nd is on, when I’ll be running…Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon!

shamrock

And I didn’t just register for the half marathon.  I figured if I’m going to make a trip to Virginia Beach for Shamrock Marathon weekend that I should jump completely in.  I’m registered for the Dolphin Challenge, which means that I’ll complete the TowneBank 8k on Saturday followed by the Anthem Half Marathon on Sunday.  I cannot wait to earn three pieces of bling down in Virginia Beach.  And what’s even better?  Although half marathon #3, Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach, was in the same town, the courses are completely different!  I can’t wait to experience a different part of Virginia Beach!

And if this weren’t already exciting enough, I can’t wait to share this experience with my friend Kathleen from Sister to Sister Running.  Kathleen and I have known each other since high school, and last saw each other when she and her sister were in town in April to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.  She is currently on a quest to run a half marathon in each state, and Shamrock will be her Virginia race.

Kathleen and I at dinner in Georgetown back in April

Kathleen and I at dinner in Georgetown back in April

I’m beyond excited about this race!  Training will officially start on November 17th, and just as with my other half marathons, I’ll be following one of Jeff Galloway’s training plans.  I’ll share more about my training plan in a future post, but for now, the excitement of having registered has me motivated to keep up with my running between now and when training officially kicks off.

QOTD: Who else will be running in Virginia Beach during Shamrock weekend?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Weekly Training Log – Week of October 20th

What a crazy, but good crazy, week its been!  But if life isn’t busy, then its boring, right?

With there being only one week left in the quarter at school, the end of quarter craziness was in full swing.  In addition, life has been pretty crazy at home, including having a sick dog for part of the week.  Thankfully, Riley is now feeling a lot better.

The training highlight of this past week was Saturday afternoon’s run on the trail.  Although I’m not currently preparing for a race, it was too nice of an afternoon to not get out for a run.  The nice weather helped me to push myself on a hilly trail, and my legs definitely felt it afterwards!

trail run

To cap off a crazy week, Preston and I volunteered at the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday.  While he volunteered at Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach back in August, I hadn’t volunteered at a race since last year’s Army Ten Miler.  I loved being able to cheer runners on as they passed through the food station that we were stationed at.  Seeing over 27,000 runners pass by was so inspirational, and gave me the final push I needed to register for my next half marathon. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the big announcement about which race I’ll run my fourth half marathon at!

mcm volunteer

Preston and I at food station #2, just before mile 13 on the Marine Corps Marathon course

Despite how busy this past week was, I kept up with my workouts.  Although I took things a bit easy two weeks ago, I definitely stepped things up this past week.

Mon 10/20 – Rest day

Tues 10/21 – 35 minutes on the elliptical, legs, glutes, abs

Wed 10/22 – Rest day

Thurs 10/23 – 3.02 mile run around the neighborhood, 0.24 mile cool down walk

Fri 10/24 – Rest day

Sat 10/25 – 4.02 mile run on the Cub Run Stream Valley Trail, 1.13 mile cool down walk

Sun 10/26 – Volunteered at the Marine Corps Marathon, 5.25 mile walk to/from the Smithsonian Metro and Hain’s Point, 15 minutes of yoga

Total Weekly Mileage – 17.07 miles

QOTD: Have you volunteered at a race?  What was your volunteer experience like?

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Friday Five – October 24th – Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

Did you see the Wall Street Journal’s article this week about half marathons setting record breaking numbers in terms of the number of people running them, especially women?  Not surprisingly, the article highlights popular race series, including runDisney and Rock ‘n’ Roll (which all three of the half marathons that I’ve completed are run by), as part of the explanation for the surge in race registrations.

As I’m working on drafting my 2015 race calendar, there are 16 different half marathons on my list of possible races.  Of course, I won’t be running anywhere close to all of these races, but its amazing to see just how many races I’m considering, and how many of them are half marathons.

So why have I fallen in love with half marathons?

1.  Running a half marathon is a more easily attainable goal if you’re a newer runner

My initial goal when I started running last March was to train for my first half marathon, the Disney World Half Marathon.  Although I ran other races as part of my training for the big race, I was still considered a newer runner when I crossed the finish line of my first half.  In many ways, I still consider myself a newer runner, and don’t feel ready for the challenge of tackling a full marathon.

2.  Its a challenge that offers a sense of fulfillment

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon! Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!
Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon is one of the things that I’m most proud of.  I set my mind to something that I thought wasn’t within my reach, and accomplished it.  My medal from the Disney World Half Marathon  means so much to me because of all the hard work, sweat, and at time tears that it took to get myself across the finish line.

wdw half medal

3.  Half marathon training doesn’t require as much time as a full marathon

For each of the three half marathons that I’ve run, I was able to train running only three days a week.  I didn’t feel like my long runs on the weekend took an entire day, and I was left with plenty of time to cross train, weight train, and live the rest of my life.

4.  Its a good reason to take a vacation

Two of my three half marathons have involved travel.  For my first race, it was to Disney World, and for my third it was to Virginia Beach.  Given that I enjoy traveling, I can’t wait to plan other racecations!

5.  The bling!

medals display

The bling is gorgeous, shiny, and a great reminder of all that I’ve accomplished.  Who doesn’t love earning some bling?

QOTD: What is your favorite reason for running half marathons?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Hemp Hearts Giveaway Winner

Many thanks to all who entered my Hemp Hearts Giveaway for your chance to win a bag of Hemp Hearts.

hemp hearts

Congrats to Meredith for winning the giveaway!  Please e-mail me (dancingtorunning@gmail.com) so that I can gather the info I need in order for you to receive your bag of Hemp Hearts.

If you didn’t win, you can still head over to Manitoba Harvest’s website and use the code HHSWEATPINK14 to save 20% on all products.  The discount code is valid until November 30, 2014.

You can also still enter Manitoba Harvest’s Social Media contest.  For your chance to win a 5 pound bag of Hemp Hearts get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you’ll be automatically entered.  Contest ends November 30, 2014.

Thanks again to everybody who participated!

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2014 Army Ten Miler Review

Yesterday I shared my recap of the 2014 Army Ten Miler, but what I didn’t get to discuss yesterday were the pros and cons of this iconic race.  My recap started getting lengthy.  I also wanted to be sure that I shared my final thoughts on this race, without taking away from how significant and meaningful this race was for me.

As with any other race, there were both pros and cons.  Some of the pros included:

  • Low registration cost (I don’t remember the exact cost, but compared to other DC races its very reasonable)
  • Well manned water stops, with both members of the military and civilian volunteers
  • Plenty of volunteers all around
  • Plenty of porta potties in the start and finish line areas
  • Race started on time, and each corral started at the published time
  • Plenty of medical stops along the course
  • Very patriotic race which helps you appreciate what the military and our veterans have done for our country
This guy was so inspirational.  Somehow he had the energy to run and play patriotic music!

This guy was so inspirational. Somehow he had the energy to run and play patriotic music!

  • Great course (very scenic and takes you past some of DC’s prized landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial and along Independence Avenue on the National Mall)
The energy running along  Independence Avenue was absolutely amazing!

The energy running along Independence Avenue was absolutely amazing!

  • Great crowd support, especially along Independence Avenue and at the finish line
  • Finisher coin instead of a more traditional medal (keeps with Army tradition)

finishers coin

  • The issues from last year involving the security checkpoint at the start line seemed to have been resolved, as there was no wait to get to the corrals

No race is perfect though.  Some of the cons included:

  • Several issues with the race shirts (they out of various sizes at the expo by mid afternoon on Saturday, despite having to select a size at registration, and the tech material was of very poor quality)
  • The expo is no frills, and there is very little variety when it comes to official merchandise
The sparse official merchandise area

The sparse official merchandise area

  • No easily accessible walkway to get to designated corrals (had to walk through corral 4 in order to get to corrals 1-3)
  • Corrals were not enforced
  • Bags get left at the start line and aren’t moved to the finish line, so you freeze as you either wait for the shuttle or walk back to the start
  • Not enough food for slower runners (partly resulted from runners being greedy)

For me, the pros outweighed the cons.  You can bet that when registration for the 2015 race opens up that I’ll be trying to secure my spot in next year’s race!

QOTD: If you ran the Army Ten Miler, what are your thoughts on the race?  Would you run ATM again?

Posted in Races | Tagged | 20 Comments

2014 Army Ten Miler Recap

Last Sunday I ran my last major race of 2014: the Army Ten Miler.  This was my second ten miler (my first being the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run back in April), and after a great summer of training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach, followed by a couple intense weeks of training this fall, I knew that I was capable of crushing my Cherry Blossom PR, which I did.  But it didn’t come easily.

After reading several race recaps from last year and reading about the Metro crowds and the start area crowds, I knew that Preston and I needed to get to the Pentagon very early.  We debated driving vs. Metroing, and ultimately decided to drive.  We’re so thankful that we did, and when we arrived at 6:30 a.m. had no trouble finding parking in the Pentagon City Mall parking garage.  We hung out in the car for a bit to keep warm, and then eventually made our way towards the staging area.  We met up with Team RWB for a pre race photo, and received last minute words of encouragement from our chapter’s captain.

Team RWB Eagles ready to soar through the race

Team RWB Eagles ready to soar through the race

After the photo, we made our way towards the start line.  Unfortunately, it was getting close to the start time of the race, and by the time we tried to get to our corral (the Red Wave, which was the third corral), we found that we had to weave through the Blue Corral in order to do so.  There wasn’t a clear walkway, and we wound up having to climb over a stone wall, which resulted in my scratching my hand up pretty badly.  Having a bloody hand at the start of the race wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t want to miss our wave’s start time by trying to find a medical tent.  So alas, I dealt with it.

And while waiting in the corral for the race to begin, I noticed these ladies to my left.  Tutus have their place at races, even at military races.

IMG_0770[1]

If there’s anything that I’ve learned about the military, its that start things on time.  The Wounded Warriors started at 7:50 a.m., followed by the first corral at 8:00.  We were in the third corral, which started at the advertised time of 8:16.  Each wave was signaled to start with the sound of a canon being shot.  I can’t think of a much more patriotic way to start a race.

Preston and I in the corral before the start of the race

Preston and I in the corral before the start of the race

Running through DC never disappoints.  One of the things that I loved about the Army Ten Miler was that we started and ended in Virginia, which gave me a slightly different course experience than what I experienced during Rock ‘n’ Roll USA and the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.  Running across Memorial Bridge towards the Lincoln Memorial will never get old.  And running along the National Mall is one of those things that I take far too much for granted since we live in this area.

Just having some fun while running across Memorial Bridge towards the Lincoln Memorial

Just having some fun while running across Memorial Bridge towards the Lincoln Memorial

This guy was so inspirational.  Somehow he had the energy to run and play patriotic music!

This guy was so inspirational. Somehow he had the energy to run and play patriotic music!

The highlight of the Army Ten Miler course for me was running on Independence Avenue.  Not only do you cross the halfway point of the course while on the National Mall, but more than a mile of the course doubles back and runners get to encourage one another along the way.  Although I had been mentally struggling during the race for the first half, once we hit Independence Avenue the energy of both the fellow runners and the crowd helped me to fight the mental battle that I had been facing.  As we turned left off of Independence Avenue onto 14th Street and were headed for the dreaded bridge, I knew that all of the energy that I had been conserving had been for that moment.

The energy running along  Independence Avenue was absolutely amazing!

The energy running along Independence Avenue was absolutely amazing!

As we started the first uphill towards the bridge, I kept reminding myself that I had done all I could to prepare for this part of the course.  I had put in the adequate time doing hill training, and that all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other.  As I looked around me, I saw that others were struggling.  But I kept reminding myself that if I maintained my run-walk intervals (I had been doing 2:15 run/0:45 walk up to this point of the race), that I could get across the bridge with enough energy to increase my intervals to 3:15/0:45 once I reached mile 8.  On the bridge, a fellow Team RWB noticed that I was starting to struggle a bit, and passed off a Team RWB wristband to help encourage me to keep at it.  I almost felt as though he was giving me power to push forward.  And that was the last push I needed to help get myself over the bridge.

The start of the 14th Street Bridge

The start of the 14th Street Bridge

As we ran off the bridge, I knew that I could PR (which was my B goal), but that it would be close for me to reach my A goal.  I gave the race all that I had for those last two miles, and before I knew it we were nearing the finish line.  Preston and I crossed hand in hand at 1:53:02, just 48 seconds faster than my A goal finish time.

Nearing the finish line

Nearing the finish line

I’m beyond thankful that Preston decided to run the race at my pace instead of at his own.  He hasn’t been training much lately, and decided that instead of risking injury that he’d take it easy and run with me.  Because this race wound up being more physically and mentally challenging than I anticipated it being, I cannot thank him enough for how much he encouraged me before and throughout the race.

Just after crossing the finish line

Just after crossing the finish line

My other big encouragement during the race were the many wounded veterans who I saw out on the course.  It is beyond inspiring to see these men and women out pushing themselves physically and overcoming the obstacles that they’ve faced that have caused them to loose limbs and face physical limitations.  As I passed each one, I kept thinking to myself that if they can do it, so can I.

With the encouragement of so many, I had done it.  I crossed the finish line of my last major race of 2014.  And while there were some cons to this race (I’ll recap the pros and cons in a separate post, as I don’t want that discussion to take away from how meaningful this race was), this is one race that I cannot wait to run again!

IMG_0814[1]

QOTD: Have you ever run the Army Ten Miler?  What about any other military races?

Don’t forget that today is your last day to enter my Hemp Hearts Giveaway!

Posted in Milestones, Races | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

Weekly Training Log – Week of October 13th

Its been quite awhile since I haven’t been “in training” for a race.  Since the end of April to be exact.  My body and mind were definitely ready for the break, and I allowed myself the rest that I needed this past week.

Despite it being my first week in a long time of not being in training, it was still a busy and eventful week.  With this past week being Homecoming Week at school, lots of extra activities at school kept me super busy.  And if you didn’t see on my Facebook page or on Instgram Saturday morning, I revealed the secret activity that I’ve been up to for the past two weeks.

I was a part of my school’s flash mob dance, which we performed on Friday during our Pep Rally.  Although my participation in the dance caused me to be more active the week of Army Ten Miler than I had wanted to, it was definitely worth it.

flash mob

I’m in the red shirt and black capris on the left side of the photo

Some of you may be wondering why I kept it a secret on the blog.  The goal was for the student body to be surprised with the dance, and since a couple of my students have told me that they (and some of their parents) turn to my blog for fitness inspiration, I knew that I needed to keep things quiet on here.  If you want to check out the dance, be sure to head over to my Facebook page to see the video.

Other than dancing, what else was I up to this past week?

Mon 10/13 – Rest day

Tues 10/14 – One hour of dance practice, 1.92 mile walk around the neighborhood with Riley

Wed 10/15 – Rest day

Thurs 10/16 – 35 minutes on the elliptical, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, shoulders, glutes, chest, back

Fri 10/17 – 15 minutes of dance practice, Flash Mob performance

Sat 10/18 – 3.44 mile run around the neighborhood, 0.36 mile cool down walk

Sun 10/19 – Rest day

Total Weekly Mileage – 8.90 miles

QOTD: When was the last time that you weren’t in training for a race?  How did you handle it physically and mentally?

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