Why I focused on strength instead of running this spring

At the end of April, I attempted to run the North Face DC trail marathon. It was unseasonably hot that day. I ran 22 miles and made the decision to not continue. The week following the race I came down with an illness it was the sickest I had been in 7 years. During that time time I thought a lot about my goals for my 50 miler. That distance is more then I have ever run by double. I knew that strength training and hill running would become a huge piece in my training if I wanted to run that distance. In May I made the decision to back off from my running and increase my strength training. From May to the middle of July. I ran between 20-25 miles per week, which is low for me when not training, and increased my strength days to 3 per week. I was consistent during those times. Most of my running was easy and I didn't run more then 7 miles. During that time I fixed my eating habits, too. I lost the rest of my baby weight (20 pounds 😳) and started toning up my muscles again.

The break from running was just what I needed. I feel stronger and healthier then ever. I'm still strength training 2-3 times per week with functional work to ensure all those tiny muscles you don't use running are strong and I started my ultra training. That will be a slow build in mileage capping at 60 miles the week of MCM.

For runners, rest and recovery is necessary. It's important to repair your body after a long period of hard training. I think that sometimes when people have chronic injury a part of it is because of improper recovery. So that's where I'm at, half way through week 3 of my ultra training!

Happy training!


What I’ve been up to

It’s been almost 2 months since I attempted to run my last race. Since then I decided to reduce down my mileage and increase my strength training to get ready for ultra training starting this summer. I’m having mixed feelings about training starting because it’s been nice not training for anything, but also because I haven’t been training for anything (if that makes any sense). Don’t get me wrong, I needed the break in training to recovery and heal any lingering nags (I didn’t have any but still). I think that not training for anything has affected my motivation. I mean I still get up and get out on my runs 5 days a week but I haven’t been wanting to. I’m glad I run once they are done but finding the motivation and being motivated are hard for me right now. I know that most people that I follow post these beautiful happy pictures of always running and hair flowing and smiling but come on, lets be real about it, they aren’t always motivated and excited to workout. Honestly, most people are one run away from injury or burnout anyways because they aren’t training properly. 

Ok, where is this big long ramble taking me…

My ultra training. What is that going to be? I’m still finalizing the plan. The current one that I have starts me 18 weeks out from race day but I’m not sure if I will do the full 18 weeks or push it back a few weeks (even though the first 2 weeks are literally what I am currently doing anyways). I have 2 marathons that I’m registered for. I won’t be racing either of them because all races are used as training runs. I feel like its easier to get in my longer runs if I get a medal and t-shirt at the end of the race. I might register for a third but I’m not sure yet and haven’t commited to that. This summer and fall is going to be the hardest and most mentally challenging running I have ever done, but I’ll get through it (hopefully) and feel so accomplished at the end. My husband told me that I might find my new thing, running 50 milers (Not so sure about that, but we will see). 

How do you stay motivated when not training for anything?

What that DNF taught me….

This past Saturday was The North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon. I signed up for the race on a whim after I had run the DC Rock and Roll, because I really wanted to get a second spring marathon under my belt before my ultra training starts in July. The week leading up to the race my husband had been sick with a cold. Up until Friday evening I had avoided getting it. I went to bed Friday with a sore throat. I had thought it was just allergies since the pollen count has been high where I live. When I woke up Saturday I had the thought “Would it be terrible if I DNS and stayed home?” But alas off we went. The race started normal, I went out controlled and happy. If you ever get the chance to run the DC event, you should do it. It runs along the Potomac River and it is so scenic and beautiful. I was nice and control through the turnaround and planned to come in at my goal time of 5 hours. Well, all things changed as I headed back toward the finish line. I just started to feel run down and overall just blah. Also during this time the weather did this crazy thing were it went up to 90 degrees with 50% humidity, so it felt like running in a sauna. I was wearing my Camelbak, so I was continuously taking sips of water to ensure that I didn’t get so far dehydrated that I couldn’t come back from it. Fast forward to around mile 19. I felt good going through the aid station. I climbed up the hill and at that point I just didn’t feel like I could go on. I was tired and sluggish and I knew that if I kept going to just get my medal that things could end up badly for me. I called my husband and let him knwo that I was stopping. I couldn’t walk or run any farther but that I would keep walking to the next aid station that was around mile 23. Unfortunately, I got to the point where that wasn’t going to happen, so I plopped down on the side of the trail by a main road access and told my husband to have them come get me. I have to say that the volunteers at this event are beyond amazing! I was given water and we waited for medical to give me a ride back to the start so I could get back to my husband and daughter.

I learned a lot of great lessons from that DNF:

  1. It’s ok to stop once you reach your limit, even if it means you don’t finish your race. My health that day was much more important then any medal is to me.
  2. I should always trust myself. When I woke up that morning and thought to myself I should stay home. I should have!
  3. I’m not a failure (even though on Saturday and Sunday I was so frustrated with myself).
  4. Lastly, there will always be other races and other medals!

I am signing up next year to run the same race and the same distance. It won’t get me! I’ll be back next year to conquer it!

Progress Not Perfection

I feel like when you are all on the social media sites it’s easy to compare yourself to other people, their paces, how fast they rebound after they have a baby, or the PR’s. It’s easy to compare yourself and then feel like garbage when you don’t measure up to what those people are able to do. I think it’s easy to let others curb your progress. I always see myself thinking I will never be as fast or as toned as those people and I catch myself backing off or not trying as hard. 

So fast forward to me being a mom and getting back in to running. Am I where I was before I had my daughter? Nope. Do I care? Nope. With that being said, I am getting back in shape and my running is getting back where I was before I was pregnant. My weight is no where where I was before but honestly I feel like the extra weight is related to all the strength training and the fact that I’m still carrying a little weight. 

I feel like comparison is normal but when it consumes who you are and the work you put in toward reaching your goals then maybe you need to take a step back from things and think about what you want. I want to make progress and I know I won’t be perfect and I’ll miss days and I won’t feel like it but I’ll always push forward and only compare myself against me! I’m happy with being a work in progress and I’m also happy with how far I’ve come in just 6 short months! 

Just keep running friends!

5 thoughts when runningĀ 

I’m a thinker when I run. I think about what the last person who I passed is up to. I think about what my daughter is thinging about in the stroller. I think about a lot of different, random things. I’m not really a shut your mind off type of person. I’ve tripped so many times and almost fallen because I’m so deep in my own thoughts. Here are my top 5 thoughts while running:

  1. I wonder what we have in the fridge to eat when we get back?
  2. Did I close the garage door when I left?
  3. Why is that kid not at school?
  4. If I run this cal-d-sac one more time then I’ll get that extra .2 I need. 
  5. Did the wind just shift?

Running is a funny thing and I think about a lot of different things when I run. 

What’s the funniest thing you have ever thought about while running?

Run slow to get fast?

How on earth does this even work? When I signed up for my first PP marathon I went in to my training with a different mindset. I had researched a lot of different training plans to see what would work for me because I knew I hadn’t trained or ran much while I was pregnant so I needed to ease back in to my training. The training that I decided to do was a combination of several of the Hal Hidgon plans. This plan does include running 6 days a week, which was 1 more day of running per week then I was used to before but 4 of the 6 runs were at 60 to 90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace. Then there are two workout days per week with a long run (this run is still at 60-90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace). 

I have been doing this training plan since November. I feel recovered faster and less sore after harder workouts. I also can run harder and stronger during my workout runs. I’ve pushed myself back in to shape faster then I thought I would after having my daughter and, knock on wood, I have done so injury free because I’m actually recovering my body and not pushing ever run. 

On March 11, I’m running my first PP marathon. I’m excited to see how this training carries me on race day and I’m exited to see the results of all my running the last few months. I have other goals this year that I want to use this type of running with. 

Has anyone used this plan and seen the results they wanted from this type of running? 

What’s it like to be a mother runner?

I’m going to be completely transparent here. When I found out I was pregnant I wondered how I would do it all. Would my running suffer? How would I get out and run when I was home by myself with the baby? Would I ever be able to train and run marathons again? Now that I’m 6 months post- partum, I really value the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” because it truly does. I depend on a lot of other people to make sure that I am able to get my runs in every day. I also feel like scheduling my runs has completely gone out of the window. I fit a run in when I can. Whether it be at 6am (lets be honest, I’m not doing much of those time of days running) or in the evening when my husband has gotten home from work. I also depend on my super amazing sitter that comes over twice a week so I can do things I need to (most of that includes running and taking a shower) and also filling my weekend with great quality running. Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed when I think about all the things I need to get done but it helps to not stress about schedules and too much structures (we never miss nap time though because it would be bad if we did).

With that being said, I can be a mother and a runner but sometimes the runner part of things takes a back seat when I need to be a mother, first. I just need to remember that running will be there and I can always come back to it when I have more time. With that being said, I have less then 60 days until my first post baby marathon. I’m scared, excited, nervous, and worried about the outcome of that day. Just taking one run at a time and I’ll get to the start and finish lines one way or another.


2016 was a year of babies and postpartum fitness returns! As of yesterday, my daughter is 5 months old. I’m beginning to feel great and slowly getting myself back in shape. I have two races on my spring races calendar. The first, Rock and Roll DC Marsthon, is my goal race. This is the one I’m training for all winter. I also was selected for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. That is about a month after the marathon so it might turn in to a run for fun race. 

With that being said, I’m decided to do Hal Hidgon training. I think this type of training will get me to the start and finish lines of the marathon. This plan has 2 quality workouts a week and a long run. All non workout runs are to be 60-90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace. The point of this is to get the quality of the run in without stressing the body. This works! I’ve been doing this type of running since the beginning of November. It’s effective and I’m feeling great so far. I’ll keep doing updates along the way but so far so good! I’ve customized it to my liking but it’s been amazing so far!

You should take a look at this plan! 

I haven’t done this in awhile

So, it’s been quite some time since I have posted anything on my blog. I believe it was last year while I was training for 3 marathons, in three months. I never ended up running the third marathon last December. A week after Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon I found out I was expecting. Over the course of nine months, I ran, I walked, and strength trained. In July, I gave birth to a wonderful baby girl. She has consumed a lot of my time and energies. I have a c-section, so I was on strict rest for the first 6 weeks. During that time, we sold our house, moved to a temporary apartment and moved 2000 miles (it was quite a first 6 weeks for our baby girl).

Currently, I am in the middle of getting my fitness back, while also caring for my daughter. I signed up to run for St. Jude in March for my first postpartum marathon. It will be interesting because I will be training in the winter weather, which I haven’t done in almost 6 years. Honestly, I feel like I’m right where I am supposed to be!

Hopefully I can keep up with things on the blog. When things get busy, sometimes there are parts of documenting my journey that have to go, and it always seems to be this blog! Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Running with the dogs

For the last two weeks I have been recovering from the Chiacgo Marathon. I was not too terrible banged up as a I didn’t run that exceptionally well. Today I had planned to run 4 miles since I have a longer run on the docket for tomorrow. As of right now all my running friends bailed and I have to leave to travel for work so we shall see what tomorrow brings. But alas I digress, Thursday my husband told me about a running event that the local animal shelter puts on and so we decided to head over there this morning. The event involved taking the adoptable pups out for a run so that they were a little bit tired to take to an adoption event. I have to say that it was good for my soul today. It didn’t matter about the distance or the pace but all about the experience. It was such a good running morning.