First full marathon completed!
I just finished my first marathon, the Baystate Marathon. I was asked by a client why I decided to do a full just this morning. My response to him was that I wanted to say that I had done at least one. I've done 10 half marathons and while I absolutely love my halfs, I wanted to see if I could go the distance and see if it was all that it is hyped up to be!
I did not follow a training plan while preparing for this race, I knew I needed to get in at least 1 or 2 20 mile runs during training. I decided to sign up for this race after I ran my first 15 miler. I felt really good during the run so I started to really consider signing up. I went on the race website that same night and found that it was already full! I messaged the same client as above and told him I was going to sign up but that it was full (he was already signed up). He told me to email the race director and ask to get placed on the wait list. I did and 2 days later, I received an email that I was in!
I will never forget that moment. I had 2 days to respond. With nervousness and a sense of doom, ha! Yes doom, I registered. It was on! I ran my first 20 miler that weekend at 9:45 pace. I felt strong during that run and kicked in the last 1/2-3/4 mile at 7:26 pace. I then decided to do a shorter run of 15 miles the following weekend. I ran my second 20 miler 4 weeks out. My pace per mile was 9:32. Again I kicked it in the last 1/2 mile or so. My dog and best buddy, Tyson was injured somehow while my hubby and I were out during that run and I would spend the next 2 weeks contemplating his quality of life and future. It was a horribly depressing time for me and I was kicking myself for having made the commitment to running this race and also was feeling like it was somewhat my fault since he was injured while I was out running 20 miles.
I had a planned half marathon 3 weeks out that I totally missed by my alarm not going off and my iPhone GPS not working. Instead, I headed back to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and did another 15 miler. Then it was another half marathon the following weekend which I finished in 1:51:05. I ran a short 6 and 7.5 miles the weekend before the full. My running which had been 3-4 days a week during the summer, dropped to 2-3 days a week from September on. I worried that I hadn't been running enough. My greatest mileage week was a mere 35 miles and I usually only got 25 miles a week in. I WILL say that teaching spin, taping a HIIT workout, and running 11 miles all on the same day for several weeks definitely got me used to running on tired legs!
Onto the race. I stayed at the Radisson in Chelmsford which was perfect because that was where the number pick up was. I ate a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwich the night before with a few french fries. Of course I had some candy for dessert! Then it was try to sleep. The nerves were unbelievable! I remember seeing other marathoners in the hotel and they were so SKINNY. I have way more muscle and weight on me! I really think that helped me out on the course because it was WINDY out on the course. I don't and did not have any problem with the wind.
Sunday morning the alarm went off at 5:30am. It's then my usual routine before a race: coffee, bathroom (sorry, too much tmi!), and breakfast of an English muffin, peanut butter, and a banana. My stomach was a nervous mess! I went down to the lobby to catch the shuttle and ran into Mike, the same client and running friend as above. Off on the shuttle we went. Then it was bag check in, wait in the porta potty lines (too long, would not have made the race start), then quick detour behind some bushes just like handfuls of other runners! Then time to line up.
Off we go! I tried to stay with the 4 hour pacer but she took off and I could not get to the group with the crowd. While waiting for the start, I ran into a dear friend and fellow Isagenix consultant, Nichole Rich. This is her 2nd marathon and she is running on a bum ankle. Of course Mike was off like a jack rabbit at the start! I start off conservatively at 9:20 pace and Nichole fell back in the crowd. My splits are below:
1 mi 9:20 2 mi 9:06 3 mi 8:51 4 mi 9:29 5 mi 8:50 6 mi 8:57 7 mi 8:44 8 mi 8:44 9 mi 8:45 10 mi 8:36 11 mi 8:55 12 mi 8:40 13 mi 8:47 14 mi 8:52 15 mi 8:45 16 mi 8:48 17 mi 8:51 18 mi 8:57 19 mi 9:04 20 mi 9:01 21 mi 9:05 22 mi 8:51 23 mi 9:02 24 mi 9:05 25 mi 9:23 26 mi 9:08
Forgot to turn off mapmyrun as soon as I crossed the line so last split was off.
I ran with a guy and 3 other women from mile 1-3 until one of the ladies stopped at the porta potty. I tossed my throw away top off at mile 4 and Nichole caught up to me. I ran with her for a bit but she was worried about the pace being a little quick and I didn't want her to feel like she had to run with me so at the rolling hill at mile 5, I went ahead. I then ran by myself for a bit. I ran with a Malden firefighter from mile 6 to about mile 9. Then I pulled away from him too. At that point, I started catching people and passing people. Slowly though, I did not speed up my pace! We ran over the Tyngsboro bridge and it looped us back out to the 4 mile spot again. Up those same rolling hills! I pretty much ran by myself at that point. At mile 21, I ran behind the nicest guy that was patting runners that were walking and telling them great job and you are almost there. What a sweetheart! I did pass him around mile 22 and he told me 'great job, looking strong.' I replied, 'we are in the homestretch now!' At mile 23, the twinges in the calves started. I slowed my pace and tried to run with my heels down to keep my calves stretched. At mile 25, I had to stop a couple of times and try to stretch out my calves. With 1 mile to go, I tried to pick up the pace a bit again. The best part was running in the last half mile or so where the crowd was lining the street. The energy was amazing! The finish line was in sight and I finished strong and with a smile. I squeaked in by the clock time in 3:59.
The volunteers at the finish placed the warming blanket on us and asked us all if we were ok. I did see a guy lying in the road at mile 23. Luckily another runner was with him and the EMTs on the bikes raced by to help him. Other than that, I didn't see any other injuries.
So how did I feel? The first 6 miles absolutely FLEW by! At mile 13.1 I felt great and knew I was on pace to qualify for Boston. Honestly, I remember running through mile 18 wondering when it was going to get hard. I seriously felt great! My legs were dead but I am used to them being dead because of all the classes I teach all week. I ran through mile 20 and the 'wall' painted on the street. I felt good still. I started to feel the exhaustion at mile 23. Miles 22-25 were brutal! I was tired of running, tired of Gatorade, and did not want to even look at another GU! Haha! But the feeling of accomplishment when crossing the finish line can not even be described!
So I finished in 3:58:26 and missed qualifying for Boston by 3 minutes and 26 seconds. I honestly do not know if I will run another full marathon again because it takes away from my teaching my classes so much. My priority at this point is my clients. But I can now proudly say I am a marathoner and a sub 4 hour one at that which is not too shabby!
Have a great night everyone and see you all soon! Corinne
It's been a while since I updated. I am taking a rest day today after my 15 miler this morning on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, so it's a good day to catch up on things.
First, I had an awful week. If you are curious to know what is going on with my dog, Tyson, keep reading. Otherwise you may want to skip to below. We went to the Cape last Friday evening as usual. Got up on Saturday morning and everything was fine. Normal routine Saturday morning with Tyson and Magoo. I have a scheduled 20 miler to do, the last one as I get ready to run my first full marathon. We put Magoo in his crate and gave Tyson his peanut butter stuffed Kong. Tyson is not crate trained and always has free run of the house/ cottage. Michael brought his bike with us and the plan was for me to run out to mile 10, turn around and come back. Michael was going to run 5 1/2- 6 miles, get his bike, then come find me. The run took me 3:13. We stopped at Honey Dew on our way home for iced coffees and munchkins. We got home. Both dogs ran out and went to the bathroom. I took my shower. As I was blow drying my hair, I noticed Tyson limping on his left front foot. Not horribly unusual, he is active and will occasionally 'tweak' something but always shakes it off after a few hours. Well this time he got worse as the day progressed. I went to give him a hug and a kiss and he yelped in pain when I lifted his head. He also did something similar for michael. I told michael that if he was not better tomorrow, he needed to go to the vet. We kept Magoo away from him because he would yelp when Magoo tried to get him to play.
We packed up the car to come home Saturday night because we had a Spinathon to host at the gym Sunday morning. Tyson was lifted into the SUV as usual (he doesn't jump in anymore) without any problems. He was quiet and spent most of the ride home lying down. When we got home, I told michael that I didn't want him jumping out of the car. Michael picked him up to take him out and Tyson SCREAMED in pain for quite sometime. I told michael I would unpack the car and then he would load Tyson back in and take him to the emergency vet in bridgewater. 5 hours later, they returned with a 'clear' orthopedic exam and X-rays. He was sent home on 2 different pain Meds and a non steroidal anti inflammatory Med. He hates going to the vet and was panting heavily when he returned home. We kept him medicated and michael slept on the couch to be near him.
The week went on. We kept him medicated and gated in the living room. We were told that the medication would make him drowsy and 'loopy.' It is very distressing to see your dog unable to walk normally. I worried and still worry about permanent nerve damage. I worried he would get worse and become paralyzed. We tried to keep him quiet but he is the kind of dog that needs to be near the family and would rest very little when we were home. He also had a couple accidents in the house which we attributed to the Meds and his impaired mobility. He would appear good in the morning and much worse in the evening. He had a couple of episodes where he would fall and panicked and I would have to leap over the gate to catch him, pull him up, and fix his feet so he would put weight on them wrong. Of course I worried about putting him pain when I did this. I would then have to calm him down because he would panic.
A follow up appointment with his vet was made for the end of the week. I had A LOT of restless nights with little sleep preparing myself for the worst. His quality of life went from being my side kick and accompanying me to the gym and sleeping in bed with me, to being confined to the living every day and night. I determined that HIS quality of life would be the determining factor on his treatment. I prayed for the best.
Of course keeping a 15 week old puppy occupied and away from his injured brother was tough. I know a lot of people would brush this off as 'he is just a dog' but unless you have a pet like him, you could truly never understand. Yes I have 2 kids and I worried and grieved for him the EXACT way I did when my kids were sick or injured. The feelings are definitely the SAME. I had the thought of having to 'put him down' constantly looming in the back of my head. I still get upset and cry when I think about the day that will have to come.
We had our follow up visit and he IS improving. It is slight but noticeable and definite. He still walks with un coordination and is unstable on his feet at times. I still have to be on guard in case he falls. He DOES have more range of motion in his neck, is not turning his feet upside down at times, and he is starting to do a few of his normal behaviors. He has rolled on his back twice to 'itch' and has actually bent his body to lick himself. I am guarded that he may recover but I know he is not out of the woods just yet. One bad fall and....who knows. He continues on his Meds for 3 more weeks and rest.
My running and my own workouts have suffered this week. I quit a workout half way through because my heart wasn't in it and literally threw running clothes together for my half marathon this morning. My thoughts keep drifting back to him. I set my alarm last night but either slept through it or didn't hear it this morning. I woke up an hour late this morning and missed my race.
It's okay though because he IS better this morning and I have another half scheduled for next weekend. I went to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and got 15 miles in by myself. Hey, it should toughen me up more mentally right? I felt pretty good but was THIRSTY because it was WARM out there today and I ran out of Gatorade. I also didn't get my time or pace because mapmyrun didn't record.
I sit here on the couch resting and trying to keep him quiet. I sneak out occasionally to play with Magoo. Michael is keeping an eye on him but Tyson is my priority. I also can catch up on sedentary work.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason. There is a reason I missed my race this morning and am being forced into 'quiet' time.
Enjoy the weekend and warm temps everyone and see you all next week.
Happy September everyone!
Where did the summer go?! I can't believe we are looking at fall! I had a great summer! It was a little challenging getting my long runs in though. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am good for up to 7 or 8 miles in the heat and/ or humidity and that's IT. I had to switch long runs to Friday evenings for a time so that I could run when the sun was going down and it was cooler. I really looked forward to those Friday evening runs though. It was a great start to the weekend and nice to get my long run out of the way. Overall though, the summer was cooler than normal. I still enjoyed my time at the beach though and really enjoyed the beach house.
The Summer Challenges were broken into 2 six week sessions and we had the largest challenges to date. Everyone that did the challenges was able to maintain their weight which was a lot of their goals. Summer is hard with vacations, kids, cookouts etc. We had one challenger exceed her goal to lose 10 lbs and she was well on her way to breaking her next goal of losing 5 more lbs. Because the Summer Challenge was so successful, I decided to keep the next challenge at 8 weeks. That plus the fact that the Saturday morning Run Clinic won't be restarting until October. The Fall Challenge will start on Monday, September 15th at 6pm. We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm and Fridays at 6:30pm. I believe we will continue with a big group. I have found that the Tabata Bootcamp formula works very well with big groups so I say bring it on!
Next, I decided to register for the Baystate Marathon. I will be running a full marathon on Sunday, oct 19th in Lowell, MA. I decided to register after running a 15 miler a couple of weeks ago and a quicker 11 miler last weekend. My body has been feeling very good. I believe between Spin, Kettlebells, and the 10-15 short but intense workouts I have been doing all summer in addition to maintaining my long runs, that I am in the best shape I have been in my whole life. I am literally another 20 miler away from a full anyway so I decided why not just do it. I don't want people to ask me someday when I'm older why I never did a full. I did 7 half marathons last year and progressively got faster and they got easier. My goal right now is to just finish. If I feel pretty good after this full, I may decide to set my sights on another full or 2 and qualifying for the Boston Marathon which is not an easy feat. We shall see.
So this morning, I headed out for my first 20 miler. I stocked up on water, GUs, salt water tabs, my iPod, sunglasses, wore my compression socks, and also filled my Camelbak with G2. By the way, the Camelbak has been a god send! I can carry enough G2 for about 10-13 miles. It has made a big difference in the comfort of my long runs. I also discovered running on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. What an awesome place to run! Part of my difficulty in getting my long runs in at the Cape was the fact that there is very little shade. Even thought the temps have been mild for the most part all summer, the sun will raise the temp by 10-15 degrees. The trail is shady, smooth, traffic free, and just an all around great place to run. I am really enjoying my runs there!
So how did my first 20 miler go? I started out very slow at 9:56 mile pace but then picked it up to between 9:10- 9:45 mile pace. I had some short stops to drink water or Gatorade but that was it. I ran the whole way and even kicked it in the last half mile or so at an 8 min mile pace. My MapMyRun did not restart when I paused it at mile 16 while I got a quick drink. My body and mind felt really good. I got in a good zone mentally and even lost track of the mileage left with 4 and a half miles to go. It went like this: 4.5 miles to go; 3.7 miles to go; 2.5 miles to go; 1.9 miles to go; and then the less than 1 mile to go went by quick. I also kicked it in a bit after less than 1 mile to go so I'm sure that helped. My legs were getting tired after 16 miles but I can honestly say that they were no more tired than after teaching Spin, taping a workout, and then running all in the same day. They are tired now as I write this and my calves are sore. I did not get any calf cramps during the run though like I do when I race my halfs so that is good. So I am pretty optimistic that I will be able to run the Full. Then 2 weeks after that, I have the trail Ragnar in Arizona. I am really looking forward to that!
So that just about sums up the last month of my summer. I am ready to get back to work 100%. SPINtensity resumes this Friday at 5:30pm and I take back over Thursday evening Spin this week.
Have a great remaining weekend and see you all soon!
Monday July 7th 2014
It's been a while since I've posted. I have been spending my weekends down the Cape and time on the weekends just gets away from me.
So what's New? For the first time, we have been running a shorter Weightloss Challenge. Instead of one very long challenge or having a lot of down time between challenges, we decided to run 2 shorter challengers. The result has been a hit! We had a record number of 15 challengers for the first session! It is such a great group! Everyone from the Spring Challenge minus 2 returned. We have people working the challenge around their vacations. I decided to step up the intensity of this challenge just a bit. We have been doing more a Bootcamp style workouts. This workout works very well in a large group. Everyone is working hard and doing well :)
I also started a private Facebook group for my full monthly members. Each week I post a new workout. I also post diet tips and tricks and recipes. It seems to be a hit with people doing the workouts on their own! I for one, will tell you that the workouts are NO joke! I was seriously exhausted after filming the last 15 minute workout and had to send my daughter to get me a coffee! I am very excited with this added feature and am having fun filming workouts each week.
Lastly, I have really been enjoying the cottage and the beach. The only bad part is that my running has been suffering. I have not been able to find a good time to get my long run in. Mornings are cooler but the sun is SO hot and there is little shade near the cottage. I tried an evening run last Friday night. But after teaching a Plyo class Thursday evening and a Spin class Friday morning, I realized a long run on Fridays was not going to work. My next trial will be to try a different loop. I plan to run to the Cape Cod Rail Trail (about 3 miles each way) and then add a 2 mile out and back on the trail. I am a little nervous that I will find the trail boring to run on. I normally like to run in crowds, traffic, and people so the rail trail might be too quiet. The 3 miles that leads to the trail is heading away from the beach and has more trees and hopefully more shade. I am also nervous because I won't be running by any stores with water. I seem to really CRAVE a lot of water on my long runs. I can carry one bottle but that's about it. I will give it a go next weekend. I think I am so uptight because my running times were improving so well before the summer hit in full force and now my speeds have slowed quite a bit. I am frustrated and disappointed with myself even though I do know that running times DO slow with increased heat and humidity and it should be expected.
Sorry I have been away for so long and I promise to try and post more often. On the plus side, if you are a Full Monthly member at the gym you can catch a workout or note each week. If you would like to have this feature, just send me a note on the 'Contact Me' section.
Have a great week and get out there and move!
Monday June 26th 2014
And the Winner is....
Congrats to Ron Menconi for winning the Spring Challenge! Ron has been a part of the Body Revolution for just over 2 years and has lost a total of about 100 lbs. He is a very determined individual who has not once told me he couldn't do something. He is also a very hard worker and an absolute joy to work with! Well deserved Ron! Congrats also to Debbie Vessey and Bethany Colburn for 2nd and 3rd place. I really enjoyed this group! Luckily for me, almost everyone is coming back.
Every challenge I try to convert the challengers to a healthier lifestyle. If I'm lucky, I get 1 or 2. I really think in this group of 10, I have at least 7. I am ecstatic with how everyone in this group did. We had several drop 25-30lb between the Winter and Spring Challenge and some that have dropped 50-60lbs AND maintained it in the last year ! We've had some friendships made , some families made stronger, and some runners emerge!
The first 6 week Summer Challenge begins this Monday at 6 pm. I believe we have 12-13 committed but have room for a few more. If you are interested and would like more info, contact me ASAP!
On the home front, I am settling into Summer mode and enjoying the longer days, and an extra day off each week.
See you all this week!
Sunday June 8th 2014
Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Festival
How was your weekend? Mine was fantastic! I had heard about the Running Festival Runner's World puts on in October in Bethlehem PA through a running blog that I follow and immediately was looking at signing up for it this coming fall. When I heard that Runner's World would be having a Heartbreak Hill Festival in Boston this Spring, I knew I had to do it. I had heard about their 'Hat Trick' which is a 5k and a 10k on the Saturday morning followed by a half marathon on the Sunday. Since I will never be one to win a major race and I am too chicken to commit to a full marathon, this sounded like a great idea to me. What better way to really challenge yourself and see what you are made of than by running 3 races in 2 days up some of the most famous hills in the running world? I called one of my original clients and friends and told her about it. She was interested but needed to check her schedule. Since the Cape house is open and it would mean spending a weekend away from my favorite place on earth, I was torn between wanting the running challenge and spending the weekend away at my happy place. I told myself that if Sandy did it, that I would do it too. A few weeks later, Sandy was in and I had paid the entrance fee and reserved a hotel room. I made plans in my training to keep my long runs going until this weekend.
Fast forward and it was Festival weekend and we were off to Boston! Michael and I left for Boston immediately after I was done training Friday because number pick up was from 3-7p and I was worried about traffic. Traffic was light and we sailed into Boston College for number pick up and then went to the hotel where I was staying 2 miles away. Sandy met me at the hotel after she left work. Michael boogied to the Cape because he had a bathroom project he was going to be doing this weekend...not sorry I missed that! Sandy and I hung out, drank coffee, went to the hotel restaurant, and caught up since we hadn't talked much in a while.
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning. I didn't sleep really well but I had planned on running the 5k and 10k races easy anyway so I wasn't worried. The Spring Weight loss Challengers were also running the 5k. I had decided before that I would be running with one of the challengers and would be saving my legs for the half marathon with hopes to latch on to the 1:45 pace group and PR again. The gun sounded and off we ran. The 5k was a beautiful, gently, rolling hill course that went around the reservoir right off the college campus. Peter and I started off strong. With some encouragement, Peter and I finished in 31:01. I believe that might be a PR for him...great job Peter! You made me proud by not giving up! :). We crossed the finish line and Sandy was just behind us. We did a quick bathroom run then headed back to the starting line to get ready for race 2. I had no one to run with to keep my pace in check so I ended up running on my own (with another 2,000) people! I was good, my splits were conservative as was the plan.
1 mile 9:32
2 mile 8:25
3 mile 8:37
4 mile 8:32
5 mile 8:11
6 mile 8:15
6.48 8:29 (I always forget to turn off MapMyRun immediately when I cross the finish line!)
As you can see, I decided to pick up the pace at mile 5 which coincidently is right around when Heartbreak Hill started! My mind was playing tricks on me and I started asking myself why I was going to run slow when it was going to be so hot the next day during the Half Marathon. Plus talk about hills! I figured a PR wasn't going to be happening so I might as well run as well as I could. My official time ended up being 52:58, average pace of 8:32. I ran strongly through the chute grabbed a bagel, 2 gatorades, 2 waters, potato chips (I need the salt when I run in the heat), and 2 bananas for Sandy. I hung around at the end of the chute in the shade and waited for Sandy. She finished, we had our picture taken, ate our snacks, then headed over to the expo to do some shopping. Then we headed back to the hotel where we rehydrated, drank way too much coffee, and lounged around the rest of the afternoon and evening. We got hungry in the late afternoon and ordered room service. Since we ate late we weren't hungry for dinner but around 6:30 we made ourselves go to the hotel restaurant to get at least appetizers so we didn't wake up starving. We spent the email texting and messaging friends and family to tell them about our Saturday adventures. A running friend/client and I had discussed me running a slow 5k and 10k so that I would do well in the half and I spent the evening assuring him that I hadn't run hard and felt really good. All except my right ankle which got a little cranky right around mile 5?!?! We went to bed by 9:30pm.
We woke up bright and early Sunday morning and I had slept like a rock! I honestly was feeling good, not like I had run 9.3 miles the day before. My right ankle felt fine even though I had been limping a little the evening before. I determined that my ankle was cranky because I tend to sleep in a funny position with my right foot pointed. I figured that out when I went to bed the night before. In any case it would not bother me at all during the half. Off to the race we went. We had a quick bathroom stop and rested our legs for the next 30 minutes until it was time to line up. We headed to the starting line and I inched my way forward to the 1:50 pace group. I had determined that would be a good time to have in the heat on a hilly route on tired legs. Then we were off!
It was HOT and I was sweating like mad by mile 1! I ended up going out before the pacer but I settled into a groove. My iPod was acting up however and kept playing the same song on repeat. I had to play with the settings while I was running and it was a good thing I didn't end up crashing into any of the other runners, holy crowded race! The course took us around the reservoir and back down Commonwealth Ave and Heartbreak Hill. I straightened out my iPod and started picking up my pace again. I saw a pacer up ahead and got excited...I thought it was the 1:45 pace group until I got closer and saw that it was the 1:50 pacer. He must have gone by me when I was playing with my iPod. He had a large group of runners running with him. I stayed with him a couple of miles, gave up when I kept getting bumped around by the other runners, and moved to the right hand side of the road. He was in my peripheral at times. I always run my downhills a little quicker. It's a habit that I learned when I ran cross country in high school and it is just how I like to run. I don't like to 'break' on the downhills. I would lose the pace guy on the down hills. He went by me at times until the next downhill then I would go by him. I am actually pretty proud of myself because I believe I was keeping a steady pace. I lost him around mile 7 or 8 and wouldn't see him until the end.
I found a young lady that was running in really cute Lululemon shorts and decided that she would be the runner I would try to stick with. I stayed with her for about a mile or so and then I would pass and lose her. I was feeling really hot but pretty good. I just took that to mean that maybe my pace was quickening up a bit. We ran around a park then ended running by the Newton Fire Station. The firefighters were out and cheered us on as we ran by. It was about this time another lady would start the annoying habit of sprinting past me and then she would walk and I would run past her. I find that incredibly annoying! Your either running or your not and if you are not get out of the road!
We made the turn onto the carriage road that runs along Commonwealth Ave. I knew from yesterday's 10k that we were headed to Heartbreak Hill. The carriage road was mainly in the sun with only occasional shade from the trees on the side of the road. I tried to seek out the shade as much as possible. I actually felt really good when I was in the shade but it was so HOT in the sun and I felt like I was wilting when I was in the sun. Heartbreak hill is not overly steep but you definitely know you are running uphill. It is also long! I believe it is almost a mile long. It also hit from about mile 11 to mile 12 when you are hot and tired. I cruised up it the day before in the 10k but today was a lot tougher. Runners were walking left and right. Both my cramps started to cramp up and I stopped briefly to try and stretch them. My 1:50 pacer guy ran by me and I started running after him. I didn't catch him but I did keep him in my sight. Then we crested the top of the hill and headed up towards Boston College. I could hear the music and the band and tried to pick it up a bit. We turned onto the campus and I started kicking but my calves immediately seized up and I had to slow it down again. I could see the clock at 1:50and knew I was close to my goal. I finished in an official time of 1:50:27. My splits below:
2 mile 8:31
4 mile 8:01
6 mile 8:12
8 mile 8:23
10 mile 8:20
12 mile 8:23
13.40 mile 8:40
Average pace of 8:26. I feel like I did pretty well considering the heat and the fact that I ran the day before. It was a challenging course with tons of hill which I loved. The crowd support going up Heartbreak Hill was incredible and I enjoyed every minute of all the races. I will definitely be back next year! I don't think this will ever be a PR course but that's ok too. I enjoyed the fact that I wasn't trying to run a PR and was just running to enjoy the whole experience. I did end up placing 4th in my division in The Hat Trick despite not racing the 5k so I am happy with that!
So it was a great weekend of running and catching up with an old friend. I also LOVED seeing the excitement in my challengers faces before the 5k. Everyone did a great job and I am SO proud of them all! The event was very well organized. Number pick up was a breeze and there were plenty of bathrooms so we never had to wait in much of a line. The volunteers were numerous and the crowd support was fantastic. I also learned how to drink on the run when I ran the 5k with Peter...yeah! The weather was warm but I don't believe I would have had it any other way. It just added to the challenge. I heard a runner telling another runner after the half that we came here to run up Heartbreak Hill and get that experience. Hats off to ANYONE that runs up that during the Boston Marathon! I can proudly say that I have run up Heartbreak Hill not once, but twice.
I am looking forward to a couple of weeks of easy runs and some weekends spent on the Cape. Time to give these legs and body a little break...it's been a long racing season for me. Have a great week everyone and see you all soon!
Sunday June 1st 2014
Happy Sunday friends!
I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful weekend! I sure did. I had my last Friday evening of training until September. I started my Saturdaywith training, SPINtensity (which I also did...challenging workout!), and getting my mane 'did. I had a Brazilian blow out which is a straightening treatment and should keep the frizzies and curls away for another 3 months. The process is expensive and takes SO long to do but it is SO worth it to have a low maintenance mane for a few months! Then it was on to the beach house!
I LOVE this time of year! I started my Sunday off by sleeping in and then getting my run on. Since I had a half marathon last weekend, and have another weekend of races next weekend, I decided that I should run short and easy today. And what better day to explore a new running loop than on a short mileage day?! I ran a different loop that I seriously thought would be 8-9 miles but it actually only clocked in at 6.8 miles. Oh well, I needed to run short anyway!
Next weekend I will be in Boston at the Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Festival with one of my original clients and now turned marathoner, Sandy Allen. Sandy I know you are reading this and I just want to say publicly how PROUD I am of you and all you have accomplished! You are a great person and dear friend... Keep that chin up and a smile on that face xoxo. Anyway, we will be staying at the Crowne Royal in Newton and will be running a 5k and 10k on Saturday, followed by a half marathon on Sunday. We got this! It is going to be so much FUN! Seriously, I expect big crowds so running any PRs just probably won't be happening. This just means no stress regarding pacing, times, etc. Let's just have some good runs and some fun :)
My Spring challengers will be running the 5k on Saturday also. Speaking of the challenge, can you believe we only have a week and a half left?! Where has the time gone?! We had a great group and we are winding down the challenge. Our last weigh in will be live on June 12th. Then we will all be heading to Martha's Vineyard on June 14th to bike around the island and celebrate! Speaking of the Vineyard, that trip is open to ANYONE that cares to join us :)
So that leads me to my final thought for this post. The Summer challenge will be broken up into two 6 week sessions beginning on June 16th. We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm and will weigh in every Monday evening. We will also be doing body compositions with this challenge. This challenge will be open to anyone that wants to either lose weight , gain muscle, or just improve their fitness. Please contact me for any questions or more info.
Have a great week and talk to you all next weekend with the Runners World Festival recap!
Sunday May 25th 2014
The Johnny Kelley Half Marathon recap. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I just finished my last 'official' Half Marathon of my racing season. I know it has really just gotten started but I want to lay low for the summer and enjoy my time at the beach house and with my daughter. The long runs will continue for sure and I DO have a scheduled 'race weekend' the beginning of June, but my next serious (sort of) half won't be until the fall. I plan to taper my long run back next weekend. Next up will be the Heartbreak Hill Hat Trick in Newton on June 7th and 8th. This is the inaugural event and it is put on by Runner's World and I expect it to be a HUGE event. I will be running a 5k AND a 10k on Saturday within an hour of each other. Then I will be running a half marathon the next morning. I will be running on tired legs so I do not expect any PRs or anything even close. I simply want to run all 3 as a challenge mentally, and enjoy all 3 races. I expect big crowds if the weather is nice and I LOVE racing with big crowds!
So what about the Johnny Kelley Half? Well, I did everything right. I took it easy in spin on Thursday and Friday and took Saturday off completely. I hung out and rested my legs, made sure I ate well and hydrated all week, and went to bed at a decent hour and slept well. I had my usual pre race breakfast. I brought my 2 GUs...I actually upgraded to the GU Roctanes which has more sodium. I met up with a gym member and very good runner. The plan was to run together. I knew if I stayed with him, I would definitely run a very good time. The weather was in the high 50s, warming up into the low 60s. It was also overcast....perfect running conditions. The gun went off, and away we went. I stayed with Mike the first 5 miles of the race and would later learn that we were running 7 and a half mile pace. It felt quick but I also felt ok. That was the problem, I only felt ok. We hit a slight downhill and off Mike ran. I was able to keep him in my sight for another mile or so and then I just stopped racing. I don't know if it was because I started off faster than normal and I was afraid I was going to choke or what. Actually now that I type this, I believe that was totally what it was. I was feeling ok, certainly working hard, but at a doable pace. My splits are below:
Mile 2 8:38
Mile 4 7:39
Mile 6 7:53
Mile 8 8:03
Mile 10 8:08
Mile 12 8:26
Mile 13.42 8:39
My official time was 1:46:52. That IS a new PR but I have mixed feelings about it. I slowed down way too much at the end. I usually run stronger at the end. So I am mad at myself for not keeping the pace going. It's going to be a long summer running wise until I can redeem myself. Ok, so how can I do better next time? Well, I plan on upping my long run mileage after I taper back a bit and give my body a break. I have been racing just about every month since October and a week or two of low miles will do me some good. My 'niggle' in my right knee should get better with a little rest. I believe I have a slight case of patellar tendinitis from over training. I usually do not take any days off from some sort of exercise and will often double up on some days. Luckily my knee only gets a little sore after my long runs but it is a warning that I need to listen to. I think with some increased mileage once a week when I start building again, and a faster paced run mid week will help me. Of course I will keep up with my kettlebell workouts over the summer. Maybe I will add in a little Tabata Bootcamp with my group on Tuesday mornings to help keep my VO2 max going strong. I have a plan.
In any case, I sit here feeling pretty good for just running a half. I'm not exhausted as is usual but a nap might sneak in this afternoon somewhere ;). My legs are sorer than usual after a half. I just take that to mean that I did run part of it hard and so I am happy with that and happy to be a little sore. I am happier though that I do not have to teach spin tomorrow because it is a holiday ;).
Have a great remaining weekend and see you soon!
Sunday May 18, 2014
I'm BACK! I had a little bit of a forced hiatus. My website through verizon was no longer allowing personal websites and so I had to wait until my wonderful (thank you Hailey! Xoxo) daughter came home from college to get my new website up and running.
Boy did a lot of things happen in the 2 months since I last posted! First, we started filming our 4th season of 'Losing it for Life' with TCAM. We have a terrific group of now 10 that have joined the challenge. We have one lady who is doing the challenge but is not being followed by the cameras for personal reasons. Plus we had another lady join the challenge half way through. She is also not being followed by TCAM. The remaining 8 are doing a fabulous job! This is such a great bunch of determined individuals! We are doing a team of 2 challengers and it was a tough decision to decide who to pair people up with. We had a couple of people 'click' together at the end of the Winter Challenge and so it was easy to pair them up. The others were more of a challenge. I tried to pair a strong minded challenger with someone who might be struggling a bit. We have only 4 1/2 weeks left to the Spring Challenge! This challenge has really flown by! I am really enjoying this challenge.
Next, I ran the Newport 10 Miler a couple of weeks ago and had my best race thus far. It was kind of surprising since I did not rest, fuel, or hydrate well AT ALL the day before the race and almost bailed on the race. I spent the Saturday before the race working 7 hours after a crazy week and then spent the rest of that Saturday running errands. I was out of the house for 12 hours straight and didn't have time to eat a proper lunch and was short on fluids. I got home after 4:30pm and was exhausted. The straw that broke my back though was my hubby getting ready to go out to a fancier restaurant than I wanted. I felt pressured as well as exhausted and did not want to be running around Newport all evening and eating dinner at 8pm when I had to be up at 5:30am the next morning. I tried to cancel my hotel reservation but I would have been charged because it was so late. So off we went to Newport with the understanding that we would just order a pizza for the room and I would be able to rest up that night.
The morning of the race, I woke up at my scheduled 5:30am and was still exhausted. I ate my usual pre race meal of a banana and 2 slices of wheat bread with peanut butter. It's funny to see me checking into hotel rooms with my bread and jar of peanut butter! I think the desk clerks must think I have a weird food addiction or routine or maybe they just think i have such a big appetite that I must travel with food! Anyway, onto the race we went. It was cool and damp. I overdressed as usual. The funny thing is that they called the 'elite' runners to line up first. When not too many people made their way to the starting line, they called the "elite runners or those running sub 8 minute miles." Again, little movement from the crowd of runners. I lined up shortly after that call, pretty confident that I would be running my 8:06- 8:12 min per mile pace.
Soon we were off. My light jacket that I needed before the race came off and was tied around my waist by mile 1. It would later slip slide and try to slide down my legs later on in the race. I have some nice pics of me running holding onto my tied jacket with one hand. The course had some nice rolling hills and it ended up being the perfect running temperature and conditions. We ran the first mile uphill and out of the fort. I remember thinking how nice it was going to be running DOWN it to get to the finish. My MapMyRun on my iPhone did not work and I did not get my splits. I felt like I went out fast. I also felt every.single.minute. of that race. It was easily the worst run I had since the Harwich Cranberry Half Marathon in October. I was also short on sleep, on my feet the day before, and short on food and fluids the day before that race. I also went out fast and had 'my wheels fall off.' I suffered a miserable race that day and Newport was just as bad. I was shocked to see 1:18 on the clock as I approached the finish line. My mile splits averaged 7:53 and I really really wish I had been able to get my splits. There were times during that race that I did so slow down quite a bit. I grabbed a banana and a bagel, hung around for a little bit to see a couple of my clients come in, and then we left to go check out of the hotel and look for some furniture for our beach house. When I later checked my official time, I was SHOCKED to see that I had come in 3rd for my age group. This was not a small race, there were over 1400 runners that ran this race. I also NEVER expect to place in a race over a 5k. The race director was kind enough to mail me my plaque. It is proudly displayed at the gym along with my other hardware that I am so proud of.
Next up is the Johnny Kelly Half Marathon in Hyannis next weekend. I will be running that race without any moral support because the hubby will be in Japan on a business trip. I have also been battling a little knee 'niggle' the last 4-6 weeks. It doesn't hurt when I run luckily but it does flare up after my long runs. I know that it is an overuse issue because I don't have any 'off' days from working out. I do plan to take Saturday completely off the day before the race. I will be off the whole day from the gym and will be at my Cape beach house so resting my legs and body will definitely be happening. I don't want to jinx myself but I think that this race will be the race that I not only run my 1:45 half, I really think I could run a 1:43. I was on pace at Newport to hit that time. Fingers crossed that I can do it! After this race I have 1 week off and then I'm off to Boston to run the Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Hat Trick. That will consist of a 5k followed by a 10k on Saturday and another Half Marathon on Sunday. I have very modest goals for those races. Then I will officially be done racing until October and will rest my legs and body a bit.
Okay it's late and mornings come early. Have a great week and see you soon!
Sunday, March 16, 2014
New Bedford Half
I just got home from running my 7th half marathon, the New Bedford Half. I went into this race with only 2 runs the past 2 weeks because I was away last weekend at a fitness conference. My goal was to have a good race and finish strong, that's it. Well it seems every time I say that, I have a good run. I PR'd again. My clock time was 148:10 and I am just waiting for the official results which should be quicker. I really, really enjoyed this race! It was chilly at the start and I stole an old sweatshirt out of my son's room to wear as a 'throw away' layer. I wore it up until the first mile and then ditched it on the side of the road.
I lined up in the middle of the 8 minute per mile corral. This was a BIG race! The start wasn't too bad and we started running pretty quickly after we crossed the start line. I started off conservatively as I always do. I always pray for 2 things before I start a race. If you do not like TMI, just skip below to my splits :). I always pray that I don't have to go to the bathroom and I always pray that my feet don't kill me. My feet are a newer issue but the bathroom issue has always been a problem. It seems no matter how little I drink and how many times I empty my bladder, I ALWAYS have to pee a million times before a race! The bathroom lines at this race are ridiculous and I ended up using the bathroom almost an hour before the start of the race which means I probably could have used the bathroom again right before the gun went off. I was lucky in that my bladder behaved and my feet have been feeling SO much better the last couple of months. I ran with NO pain in my right foot and minimal pain in my left. The down hills didn't kill my feet so I was HAPPY. My splits below:
1 mile 8:57
2 mile 8:16
4 mile 8:10
6 mile 8:04
8 mile 7:52
10 mile 7:59
12 mile 7:58
13.1 mile 7:47
I am really happy with my negative split race. I am also really happy because I ran comfortably the whole race. The race support was incredible! There were people cheering us on on the hills and throughout the down town section. Crowd support was a little thin by the water. It was really windy and cool by the water too so I don't blame them! There were 2 smaller hills before the 3rd mile. The hill at Hathaway Road started at mile 3. This is a pretty long, pretty steep hill. I put my head down and just ran. I passed a few people going up that hill. After that hill, we took a turn into a residential neighborhood with a large amount of crowd support. The sun was shining and it was warmer. I ran very comfortably and was thinking while I was running how lucky I was to be able to do this and enjoy it. This was my absolute favorite part of the race :)
Every race I try to find someone that is running well and make it my goal to stay with them. I saw a young lady at about the 5 mile mark wearing a Greater New Bedford Track Club jersey. She was running well and so I aimed to stay with her. I would pass her at around the mile 7 mark but then she would catch me and pass me when I stopped to get water. I still have not mastered drinking and running and walk through all the water stops while I suck down water. At about the 8th mile, I passed her and lost her. At this time I noticed a petite young lady running in shorts (brrrr) and bright yellow/ green compression socks. She was my next goal. She had a fuel belt on and was carrying her own fluids and didn't stop for water. Again I would lose her at the water stops. At about mile 11, I passed yellow socks girl. I settled in and tried to enjoy the last mile before the horrible hill that begins at mile 12. I've run this course before and I knew how steep and long that hill was going to be. Well, it didn't disappoint! Mile 12 hit and the hill from hell began. It seriously climbs for 3/4 of mile! I powered up as best as I could. My calves started to cramp up some and I prayed they wouldn't seize up until I crossed the finish line. We made the last right hand turn and the finish line was in sight. I tried my best to kick it in with my cramped up calves. I had seen the clock at mile 11 and knew that I was running a good race time. I could see the clock at 1:47 coming down the straight way and started pumping my arms as best I could to pick up speed and try and beat the clock. I'm awaiting my official time and it should be 1:47 and change which I am thrilled with! Just got my official results, 1:47:30. Beyond happy! I am also extremely happy that this race did not knock me on my backside! I'm feeling really good...right now. Tomorrow teaching Spin might be another story!
Have a great evening everyone and see you all next week!
3:00 pm est
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
NYC ECA/OBOW recap
I returned from my 4 day trip to NYC to attend the ECA/OBOW fitness conference. My mother went with me as a sort of vacation from all her responsibilities at her house. We left last Wednesday after having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We also poked around the Providence Place Mall before our train headed out of the Providence Train Station. I was able to score some cool gym clothes at the new Athleta store that I can also wear out. That's a double score for me, being able to wear clothes both in the gym AND out of the gym! I really have no fashion sense anymore since all I live in is gym clothes.
Onto the trip. We had an uneventful train ride into Penn Station and then were able to get cab right away. A quick cab ride later and we arrived at the Marriott Marquise. What a beautiful hotel! Since our train had left Providence at 4pm, we didn't get into the city until after 7:30p. We checked into the hotel and then headed to the hotel restaurant to get some dinner. The menu was small but the food was good, and plentiful! Holy ginormous sandwiches! After we headed back to our room since I had an early and all day Kettlebell certification class the next day.
I took the ISCA Advanced Kettlebell certification. I have both a Level 1 and Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor cert through Kettlebell Concepts but I am a Kettlebell nerd and cannot help but take as many classes as I can when it comes to kettlebells! I have also had the privilege of working with Paul Katami, Master Instructor, several times at past conferences. This course was very skill heavy which was just fine with me. My other advanced Kettlebell class was more theory heavy so it was nice to add more skills. As a matter of fact, I only repeated 1 advanced skill! I learned a TON of new skills to bring home, practice, and give to my clients. We only had 6 people in the class and there was only 1 other girl in the class. Since there were 2 instructors, we got a lot of individual attention.
After the class, my mom and I headed out to explore the city a little and get something to eat. We found a nice little pub called Celtic Irish Pub and ordered nachos and salads. Then back to the hotel to rest up for the next day.
The next day was BUSY! I took a total of 6 classes! I started with a 'Ropes Gone Wild' class which was awesome. Next it was a MMA Bootcamp which I didn't really care for. Then it was onto Josh Taylor's Spin class, Lightening Ride. Josh is SO good at what he does and I always enjoy taking his classes. He told us that they were opening a large Spin Studio and that he was heading it up. He told us that he was looking for rockstar spin instructors to join his team. If only I could relocate! I would apply in a second! It would be a too big of a commute for Michael though ;).
After Spin, I finished up the afternoon doing TRX suspension and Rip trainer classes. One of my favorite TRX Master Instructors, Dan McDonough was teaching. It was great to meet him and be able to do his classes and note his coaching techniques. As a matter of fact, ALL of the instructors were awesome, energetic, and were really good coaches. Getting ideas about how to motivate and coach clients is ALWAYS a good thing!
After this day of classes, I was EXHAUSTED. My mom wanted to head out to dinner again but I had just enough energy to take a shower. Plus I was starving and wanted food NOW. So off to the hotel restaurant we went. I ordered the same ginormous turkey club as the other night and ate EVERY bite! I was that hungry! I even got chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels for dessert. Then it was back to the room so I could rest up for day 3 of classes.
Saturday I woke up bright and early and off to my first class I went. I decided to switch out a TRX class to a MMA conditioning class simply because I had enough TRX the day before and had another TRX class that afternoon. Plus, the Kettlebell Master Instructor, Eli Ingram and his sidekick, Bishop Garland were teaching the class. I had loved the earlier class they taught. Bishop was the Instructor of a phenomenal class at the ECA/Thrive in Florida, Street Kamp. I have used SO much material from that class! We spent the next hour doing all different body weight exercises mainly rolling around on the floor and then hopping quickly up into fighting stances. It was a different, challenging class! Next it was off to a Spin Power Ride. I got to use the new Spinner Blade Ions which is the first and only strain measure gage bike on the market. By measuring the riders output using this technology, you get an accurate reading of watts. The bike also showed the riders cadence and calorie burn. It also could read out heart rate but I did not have my heart rate monitor on. It was great to play around with tension and speed and see how it affected the watts. Durning a heavy standing climb at RPM of 80, I was able to get my wattage up to over 200! We did a 20 minute sample class and my calorie burn was 300! I honestly have to say though that as an experienced Spinner, you KNOW if you have honest tension on your bike! There were no surprises!
I finished with another TRX class and switched out my 5th class of the day to do another 'Ropes REALLY Gone Wild' class. I had learned so much from the earlier class that I could bring back to the gym so I felt that class would better suit my classes and clients. I finished the day with METCON3 with Geoff Bagshaw. It was a class of 10 exercises alternating between upper body, lower body, core, and cardio using minimal equipment.
Then it was shower and off to explore the city some more and get dinner. We went to bed a little late because we had some issues with the sink leaking in our room's bathroom and had to wait for engineering and housekeeping to straighten it out.
My last day I took Paul Katami's Warrior 4x4. This is 4 blocks of 4 exercises, repeated twice. I know it sounds confusing but it really wasn't. It was basically 4 different cardio exercises repeated for a total of 2 rounds followed by 4 exercises of 4 different lower body moves two times. Then you do 4 upper body exercises repeated 2 times and finish with 4 core exercises repeated twice. We finished with some nice stretches and some physical therapy exercises for our wrists which were taking a beating after all the push ups over the weekend.
Then it was off to Penn station to begin our trek home. We had an uneventful train ride home and arrived after 8pm. Since this was our second time attending the convention in NYC, we knew how to work the system. Penn Station is HUGE! We had a bit of a scare with an unattended bag left in the waiting area and they evacuated the immediate surrounding seats. We moved to the other side of the wait area just to be safe. Thankfully nothing came of the bag...whew!
So I am back and ready to apply all that I have learned both in my classes and with my clients. I'm looking forward to sharing all my new stuff with you all!
Have a great night and see you this week!
5:47 pm est
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The days are getting longer and we are getting closer to spring. It's been a tough winter this year, that's for sure. I cannot remember a year where we had such a long stretch of freezing cold weather, without a 'January' thaw. Every weekend brings us closer to warmer weather.
I miscalculated my training for my next Half Marathon last weekend. I only have TWO weeks until my next one. I did manage to get another long run in today of 11.47 miles. I was sweating it this weekend though because we had threats of a big snowstorm Sunday into Monday looming all week. I was hoping and praying that I could get a long run in this weekend because next weekend I will be in NYC for the ECA/OBOW fitness conference. I had a little bit more of a tough recovery after my last half last weekend. My shins and left hamstring and glute in particular were really, really sore all week. Surprisingly, my feet were feeling fantastic after last weekend though! My left foot will never be completely pain free but it has been feeling close to 100%. Because of my soreness, I chose to not run until Thursday of this week. I did teach Spin Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and I also taught and took my own Kettlebell, TRX Fusion, and SPINtensity class. I had planned on another Friday afternoon run but my right shin in particular was still sore and I chose to be wise and listen to my body. I will aim for a Tuesday afternoon run however and then I will be off Wednesday to NY. I will return from New York late Sunday night and then will only have one, maybe two real runs until my half on the 16th. Again I will have to rely on past experience to pull me through. One of these days I will train and taper for a half appropriately and see what I can really do! ;)
I am REALLY looking forward to this trip! I have a lot of great classes I will be taking and I will also be doing the ISCA Advanced Kettlebell certification on Thursday. That will be my 3rd Kettlebell cert. I really love kettlebells and could someday see myself becoming a Master Instructor and teaching other Fit Pros. I was told to apply as a Master Spin Instructor at my last conference and while I absolutely LOVE Spin, my love for kettlebells runs a bit deeper :).
What else is new? Well we will be finishing up our 2nd Tabata Bootcamp Monday. We had a great group and got some terrific results so far. This group does not have a lot of weight to lose so we have also done measurements and measured body fat and muscle%. I won't have the official results until tomorrow but I can say that one woman in particular who joined the group half way through has had tremendous strength gains and has lost a belt size in just 4 weeks! There is NO doubt about the success she has rocked and I am so happy and proud not only of her, but of everyone else that has worked so hard and done so well! We will be running our next Morning Tabata Bootcamp starting March 11th. The days will be Tuesdays at 9am and Fridays at 10:15am. The Saturday 9:30am Run Clinic will also be included and I am looking forward to the warmer weather when we can get back on the track and do some real damage with the running! I have great hopes and expectations for the Run Clinic this Spring, I think it will really make a big difference in people that want to improve their running. Please note that it is open to anyone, either members of Body Revolution, Challengers, and anyone wishing to just do a drop in and work on some speed work or get some trail running in.
The Evening Challengers had a TERRIFIC weigh in last Monday evening and I am hoping we will repeat it this Monday. We really have a great group and the 'newbies' are doing an awesome job! I am also SO proud of some of my 'repeaters!' Deb and Beth in particular are really knocking it out of the park! We have had almost perfect attendance and it shows in the weight losses. For those that might be struggling, there is still time and the time is to pick it up NOW and not put it off for the next challenge! We still have 4 1/2 weeks left and as my morning Tabata Boot-camper will tell you, that is plenty of time to make some huge improvements! Focus and determination will help you get it done!
Have a great evening everyone and enjoy your workouts this week!
6:38 pm est
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Good afternoon friends,
I am happily but wearily sitting on my couch with very sore legs and glutes as I write this. I ran my first Half Marathon of the year and my 6th Half altogether this morning. I am very happy to say that I ran a new PR of 1:48:27. I did not plan on running this race hard. When I signed up for it last fall, I did so because I had just run the Harwich Half and discovered that the Cape has a Half Marathon Trilogy which gives out running jackets to all those that complete the trilogy. Since we have a summer home on the Cape and 2 of the races in the trilogy take place on the Cape, it was a no brainer that I was going to do it! I told my running partner that I simply wanted to finish this race. We have had such a bad winter this year between freezing cold weather, ice, and big snowstorms. Running outside has been a challenge and just this last week I had HAD it with trying to get a run in. I was sick of the treadmill and unmotivated to get my butt out the door to get a run on. I put off my Tuesday morning run until Thursday this week because of snow, ice, and a crazy schedule and lack of sleep. So I went into this race not knowing how it would all go down.
I stayed overnight at the Doubletree in Hyannis even though I am only an hour away from the race start. The reason I like to do this is because it lets me get a little extra shut eye the night before and I feel nice and relaxed the morning of the race knowing that I don't have to stress about traffic and parking. Michael dropped me off last evening after a nice dinner at one of my fave restaurants, Sam Diego's. After dinner, we poked around a couple of stores but believe it or not, I am not much of a shopper anymore and wanted to get back to the hotel to relax. I LOVE staying overnight at hotels by myself. I can crank the heat up if I want and watch whatever I want on TV while surfing the internet and Facebook. Last night was no different but I was exhausted from a busy week last week and ended up asleep by 9pm! The lady staying in the room next to me apologized for the noise her young daughter had made the night before when I stepped out into the hallway this morning. I seriously did not hear a thing, I was that tired!
I took a short cab to the race start, immediately jumped into the bathroom line, and then found myself with just under an hour to kill before the race start. I found a nice place that I could sit and relax my legs and people watch. This race was crazy big! They had the half marathon, a full marathon, and a marathon relay all going on. I think they said it was close to 5,000 runners altogether! 15 minutes before the start, I ventured out into the chilly (but certainly not cold) starting line. I lined up with the high 8 minute mile group.
Wow was this race crowded! The streets were closed but narrow and it took me a couple minutes to cross the start line. There were a lot of bodies and you had to have a lot of patience before it cleared out and you could actually start running. I wasn't prepared for so many people! It took to well past 2 miles before I could settle into my stride. My splits are below:
2 mi 9:11
4 mi 7:55
6 mi 8:12
8 mi 8:02
10 mi 8:16
12 mi 8:07
The extra 0.35 miles was the extra distance it took to get to the starting line.
I obviously started out slow, too slow. I actually really felt that speedy 7:55 mile pace at mile 4 and felt worried that maybe I had started out too fast. I didn't have my splits but it felt a little fast. I slowed it down a bit and that shows my next split. I felt pretty good though and started to pick it up again at mile 8 pretty confident that I would be ok. I found myself running with these 2 women at around this mile and I really wish I had stayed with them. At mile 10 I started to pick it up again and passed the 2 ladies that were running very well and smart. I paid the price, by mile 12 my legs were dead and I tried to just keep up the pace. At the last water stop, I stopped to grab water (I always walk at the water stations to drink) and the 2 ladies ran by me. I tried to catch them but they picked it up and I couldn't. I really think that if I had stayed with them from mile 10 on, I would have finished stronger and yes stayed with them and got a better time. Oh well. I still learn something at every race. Next race, start closer up to the front and try to go out a little faster the first 2 miles. Maybe I should break out my GPS watch I got for Christmas and actually use it?! Part of me says yes but I truly just run because I love it. PRs are a bonus. I don't want to make racing stressful by worrying about paces, numbers, etc. that would make me not want to race anymore and there are too many benefits I get just by running my half marathons.
What's up next? I leave for NYC March 5th to attend the ECA/OBOW fitness conference and work with some more awesome Fit Pros. I get to network, learn, and spend time with my mom who is going as a vacation. I have another Half Marathon in 3 weeks, the New Bedford Half. I ran that race 2 years ago and ran a 1:49:55. I would like to better that time.
Next weekend the hubby is away in Japan so I will get another long run in. The following weekend I will be away so running for me then. I will have to make sure to get some running in before I leave for NYC. Weather please cooperate! Then I will get another long run in before New Bedford. So no taper for me. That's ok though :)
Have a great night everyone. I need to eat then foam roll.
6:47 pm est
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Febuary 15 Blog
Sorry this post is not up on my usual day, Sunday evening. I have no excuses really, we were snowed in Saturday and I spent a terrific day shopping and going out to lunch Sunday with the hubby which is something we usually don't do, believe it or not. Anyway, I am back....
This winter has really been getting me down. Between the cold and the snow, I have been lucky to get a run outside in maybe every other week. I had a 10 mile race last Sunday that ended up with a 2 hour delay due to the weather and then ended up being cut down to a 5.25 mile race. I chose to skip the race and head into the gym with my hubby where he taught a spin class. Since it was a run day for me and my legs were all spun out from the previous week of spin classes, I chose to run on the treadmill. I did an EASY 4 miles then cooled it down. Thank god this is a taper week for me! My next race is Sunday. I am doing the Hyannis Half marathon. Today should have been another easy run but my schedule was chock a block full and.... It was snowing...again! So I bailed on my run and will get a run in tomorrow after my morning block of classes/ clients. Since I have been running since, well almost forever, I will have to rely on past experience to pull me through my half this weekend. My goal is simply to finish it. I cannot wait for the spring so that I may get a run on easily outside without worrying about ice and snow!
The challenges are going. We had a bit of a rough week last week following Valentine's Day and yet another snowstorm that left us all stranded in the house all of Saturday and most of Sunday. Despite some bad numbers, we had a few really good ones and I am confident that everyone can turn this thing around and start pulling some good losses. I told the challengers last evening that they are certainly doing the work and that they need to keep a close eye on their diets. Diet is at least 80% of their success and I make sure everyone entering the challenge knows that. You simply cannot out exercise a bad diet. Period.
What else is new? Well I have decided that the best way to squeeze in some workouts myself has been to TAKE my workouts as I teach them. I decided I needed a change and a new challenge. Holy cow have I been SORE! In a good way ;). Members also like to be able to watch my form as I do exercises and I do believe that by watching me, they are getting a little extra push. Of course there are just some workouts that I NEED to walk around and instruct and correct form. It's a fine line and I am constantly trying to keep all my classes varied and with a good eye on people's' form.
3:16 pm est
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Why should I wear a heart rate monitor
I hope you are all having a great weekend. I had a special treat this weekend: my son came home from college to study for an exam. He has a big test coming up and always studies better at home. We got a chance to go out to dinner last night to celebrate his 22nd birthday. He studied when we got home and got up early and studied this morning. Then it was back to school. I don't get a chance to see him that much even though he is only in Boston because he is busy with school during the week and works weekends at Beth Israel. So I treasure every single second that I get to see him.
We've had some discussion lately around the gym regarding heart rate monitors and calorie burn. I figured I would talk a bit about them so that people would understand what they do, how they do it, and why they are good. Heart rate monitors are very good at monitoring exertion levels. I tell a lot of my clients to use them so they can make sure that they are working correctly in the energy zones. Energy zones is a term used frequently by the Spinning program to make sure individuals are working the best to their ability. When an individual is doing certain activities such as running, biking etc, monitoring your heart rate will make sure that you are working as hard as you should be. The Spinning program has different zones for your heart rate to be in depending on the type of class or ride that is being done. For example, an endurance ride will have a client's heart in the aerobic zone or 60-70% of the clients max heart rate. A 'Race Day' or 'hard' ride will have the clients heart rate in the anaerobic zone or 80-90% of the max heart rate. Going higher than 90% of a client's heart rate is only done on those really fit and ready to 'push the envelop.' It is also only to be done for short periods of time. I also like to monitor heart rate for recovery reasons. If, for example, I have a client running sprint intervals, I want to make sure a client has recovered to an acceptable working heart rate before I have that client sprint again. I find it a really useful tool to use when training clients. I can keep tabs on people to push them a little harder if need be AND to make sure clients get proper rest before they push hard again.
Heart rate monitor watches need to be set up for the individual using them. The user needs to program in their age, sex, height, and weight in either pounds or kilograms (make sure you use the pound function and not the kilogram function if you are entering your weight in pounds). The watches have an algorithm or mathematical program programmed in them that will tell you your max and minimal heart rate and 'working zone' which is usually between 60-80% of your max heart rate. Most will beep if you go out of the zone either too high or too low. Your goal should be to stay in the zone as much as possible. Remember that the watch is basing its results completely on an average individual of your size, age etc. They are very helpful for a new client just starting to exercise so that stay in their zone and they are also good for an experienced exerciser trying to get a little stronger or faster. As far as calorie burn, remember that a bigger person will burn more calories than a slighter person and that a man will burn more than a woman due to more muscle tissue. Also, the monitors do not take into account the after burn that occurs after intense exercise such as HIIT and Tabata training. Weight training will not give a high heart rate and/ or calorie burn while doing weight training. But the increase in lean muscle tissue will increase metabolic rate in the body while at rest.
Remember, heart rate monitors are extremely individualized and should not be the only tool you use to determine fitness. Muscle strength and endurance and flexibility are also extremely important for an individual to be well rounded, strong, and healthy.
Have a terrific upcoming week and see you all soon!
4:30 pm est
Monday, February 3, 2014
Do I need a supplement and week 2 of the challenge
I knew last year when I decided to start selling Isagenix that it would be a 'hot' topic. I decided to start selling it because I had 2 girls getting ready for a fitness show and it was the line that was endorsed by one of the top fitness coaches in the world, Cathy Savage. She has the same mind set as I regarding whole, natural foods and not putting 'garbage' into your body. The nurse in me still believes that all we need is whole foods. However, I decided that because I have such an active, crazy busy schedule and because I ask a lot of my body, that I would also benefit from using a protein Line that was all natural and organic. I turned my back away from a competitor line for a number of reasons. First, I do not agree with their sales tactics. They are pushy and obtrusive. They also have 'coaches' whose only qualifications to call themselves 'coaches' is because they sell the product. That alone puts up my guard regarding the integrity and quality of the products. I encourage my clients who are trying to build lean muscle while decreasing body fat to ingest at least 24 grams of whey protein within a half an hour of finishing their workout. I firmly stand behind my products and my belief that I carry the best line available at this time.
Off my soap box and onto the important things. My challengers are kicking butt and taking names! We have finished 2 weeks of workouts and they are certainly working hard. We had some really good weigh ins last week and some that were disappointed. No one said it was going to be easy. Measure and record ALL your food and keep up with the workouts. The changes will come, sometimes it just takes a little time. I am so proud of the effort that I am seeing by each and every one of you! My Monday and Friday morning Tabata Bootcamp continues to grow and I believe we have another girl joining us tomorrow morning. The results from the previous bootcamp were incredible!
I finished another 11.23 run outside this morning. I got in 4.4 miles on Tuesday with my running partner despite the frigid temps. Today was a balmy 43 degrees when I went out and I enjoyed wearing a light jacket instead of bundling up. I took yesterday off completely from working out because my body was sore and tired and I was feeling really run down. I rested as much as possible yesterday. I decided to get a long run in this morning because the weather was perfect to run in and I have a half marathon in 3 weeks. I am looking forward to tapering for this half though. One more long run next weekend then I will taper to 7 or 8 miles the weekend before the half.
Enjoy your Sunday evening and the Super Bowl!
9:55 am est
Happy January and vaca recap!
Happy January! Probably my least favorite month but hey, it's almost half over already ;). We returned from our week cruise in the Western Caribbean last night. We cruised to Labadee which is Royal Caribbean's private part in Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel. It was a great break to spend New Year's Eve with the family and then we boarded a plane for Ft. Lauderdale EARLY the next morning. We decided to fly out a day before the cruise in case the weather in Mass didn't cooperate. I actually DO know of someone that had a vacation planned and then a snowstorm hit the day they were to fly out. They ended up with a cancelled vaca. SOOO, I did NOT want that to even be a factor back in June when I booked this cruise. So flying out a day earlier made sense.
We spent the first night at a Hampton Inn that was about 25 minutes to the cruise. It was just a basic hotel BUT, I LOVE staying overnight at hotels! We explored our surroundings via walking and found a good place to eat dinner. Why is everything SO spread out in Florida?! There was only a couple of small stores within walking distance and some MAJOR highways to cross to get to some of the them!
The next morning we woke up and I decided to hit up the hotel's gym. I seriously debated sleeping in and then getting breakfast but I really wanted to make a good start for this cruise fitness wise. What a JOKE the hotel gym was! There was a treadmill, elliptical, bike, small cable station, and a stability ball in a room the size of one of the hotel's rooms....seriously. Luckily there wasn't anyone else in the gym at the time. I jumped on the elliptical and cranked out 45 boring minutes. Since I am all about the 'finishers' and HIIT type of workouts now, I eyed the room and devised a 'finisher.' Hmmm, no dumb bells and FORGET about kettlebells! I had to make do with the cable set. I did a descending ladder of cable squat press, burpees, and knee hugs and called it a day. Hey, I just decided to do the Burpee Challenge for this month so I got my burpees in! Next it was time to hit the shower and stop in the local 'Dollar Store' for some last minute things for the cruise...like Aloe gel, toothpaste (which we forgot), and socks (in case mine didn't dry out in time I between workouts). Then it was time to call the car service and on to the the cruise ship!
We got to the ship, went through the organized and orderly check in process, then found our cabin, our home away from home for the next week. We had decided on a balcony cabin and I do think that I am spoiled from now on. It's funny how important a nice room has become as we have continued with our cruise vacations (I think this was cruise #8 for us). The kids had an interior balcony across the hall
over looking the 'Central Park' area of the ship. Yes this ship (the Oasis) had a Central Park area complete with living, growing trees and plants! Next it was on to the mandatory safety briefing and then to dinner. What I really love about cruising (at least on Royal Caribbean) is that is is super easy to eat healthy. Every night they have several selections on the dinner menu for all tastes and diets. They have a pasta dish, a fish based dish, a red meat based dish, and a poultry based dish. The portions are small. Even the dessert is small which is how I like it. Super easy to pick something tasty AND healthy! Next we wandered around the ship and found our way to the 'Boardwalk' area of the ship at the other end. Yes the boardwalk even had a working carousel which was pretty cool. We happened to wander to the outdoor 'Aqua theater' as the cast was warming up for the dive show. We hung around and even got great seats at the bar and watched the show. Then back to the cabin for some sleep.
The next morning we went to the gym and got our workouts on. The gyms on ships are HUGE and well equipped and this one was no different! We had signed up to take a Flywheel class which is basically an indoor cycle class on bikes equipped with monitors. I can't say I enjoyed the class. It was HOT in the small area the class was! There was also 20 people and NO fans or AC. They closed the curtain and at times the heat REALLY got to me and I would have to really scale back my intensity for a bit. I didn't care for the generic cycle music. Flywheel has you adjust the tension on the bikes by giving you a torque read out. Throughout the class the instructor would give you a torque range to be in and a RPM to follow. I like to go the beat of the music personally but ok, I can make do. The 'flats' basically had little to no tension and I found myself bouncing all over the place. They actually had a formula that figured out your total 'wattage,' that was pretty cool. They also had a monitor that let you compete with the other riders in class. I actually didn't like that even though I was always in the top 3 females and won both sprints. I guess I just like to focus on my own ride. Needless to say, we didn't do any other Flywheel classes. They also pulled out little weighted tubings to get some upper body work in. I totally DESPISED this part of the workout, put my tubes away, and cranked the tension and did my own hill. I finished my workout in the gym section by doing 50 burpees (10 burpees every minute on the minute for 5 minutes). We spent this day at sea relaxing in the sun reading.
Monday was a day in Labadee and we had a beach day planned. I headed to the gym and did 45 minutes on the elliptical and then 4 rounds of the following: 500 m row, 25 push ups, 50 air squats, and 10 burpees. I grabbed a protein shake on the way back to the cabin... I LOVED the option of getting a protein shake every morning for breakfast! It was was mixed with fresh fruit and super yummy! It also got me started the right way with eating. Super easy. I spent the day reading and soaking up the sun. We wandered to the 'crafts' section and basically got haggled to shop and buy. I always feel bad for the native people on those islands because I know that money does not come easy to them and they sometimes struggle just to eat. I bought some bracelets and a 'good luck' mask for the gym that they engraved for me. We went back to the ship just before dinner and got cleaned up. Dinner was yummy as usual. I think I got a beef plate of some sort :). We wandered around the ship after dinner and did some duty-free shopping. I scored a nice Kate Spade bag and sunglasses and a new Baby G watch which I needed.
Tuesday we were in Jamaica. I had decided to try running on the ships 'running track'.... Man was the track HUGE! It was almost twice the size of a regular outdoor track. 12 laps made up 5 miles so that's what I did, 12 laps. It actually was a lot nicer running on the ship than I thought it would be. It was warm but open to outside so you would occasionally catch a breeze. Plus it was on deck 4 so you were not out in the hot sun but had shade from the above deck. I planned to return in the evening to get another 5 miles in but we got back from our excursion too late. Then it was on to the island and the excursion we had planned which was doing Dunn's River Falls. Basically, we rode a bus for an hour to the falls. They had each bus stay together as a group and each group would have a guide and videographer. The falls were beautiful! We hiked UP the waterfall which was both exhilarating, and terrifying, at times. We climbed on rocks and fallen trees to get up the falls. There were areas that were slippery and steep, and areas that had you wade up to waist deep. The rushing water down the falls was also challenging at times. I almost got knocked down a couple of times! The whole climb took about an hour and a half. Then they brought us to a private beach where we kicked back and had snacks and drinks. Then it was back to the ship. We got back with only 10 minutes to spare before the ship was set to depart. Talk about a LONG excursion! We got back on the ship, got a quick snack at Sorentos and the Cafe and had some coffee because we were STARVING. Then we got cleaned up and hung around a bit before dinner. We were tired from the day's activities and just relaxed in the cabin after dinner.
Wednesday was a day at sea, just what we needed after the day before! We slept in and then hit up the gym. I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and then did a hill sprint Tabata on the treadmill. I was going to do some more tabatas but didn't feel like it so headed down to the outdoor track. I ran a total of 4 laps and would stop and do 10 burpees after each lap...got to get those burpees in! Of course I got my protein shake for breakfast before heading to the room to shower. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and reading in the sun. My son and I also hung out in the pool (it was SO hot!) and hot tub. Then we got dinner and watched a movie.
Thursday we were in Cozumel and had an EARLY excursion planned. I actually set my phone alarm to wake us up at 6 so I could get a run in before the excursion, yuck! Man I HATED getting up at that time more than anything but I was feeling SO good and accomplished after I had my 5 mile run! Then it was onto the excursion, no time for burpees or anything else. The excursion itself was a blast! We did the 'Jungle Buggy' excursion. Basically they have you drive through downtown Cozumel to a place you can go off road. Driving a Polaris 'buggy' through the streets of Cozumel with traffic was sketchy and no way fun but once we got off road, ahhh.... Pure fun! We bounced around over all the bumps and potholes filled with water and got muddy and wet. We also went by (as a Jungle Buggy caravan line, all single file) this guy and girl on a moped that were going slow and getting in the way of the excursion. One of the buggies actually hit a pothole of water at a perfect time and DRENCHED the girl sitting on the back of the moped....haha! I think that was the high light of the day: FINALLY getting around them and splashing them! Then we went to a private beach. The water was rough so there was no snorkeling. Instead, we had an authentic Mexican meal of chicken fajitas, rice and beans, and nachos....YUM! Then we drove back to the start of the excursion. We poked around the small shops near the ship for souvenirs and Ryan got an authentic soccer jersey which he had been looking for. Back to the ship we went. Dinner was Italian and they had SO many yummy dishes to choose from! I got a tomato and feta salad and the Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Friday was another day at sea. I slept in and then hit up the gym. Again I hit the track for 5 miles and ventured into the gym to get some burpees in. I got there just as a guy was finishing up on the only rower int the gym. I made up a finisher of: 4 rounds of a 300m row and 15 burpees. I decided to add another round on at the end so I could make it a total of a 1500 m row and 75 burpees. Weather wise it ended up being overcast and a little cool. It even rained for a bit then down poured. I spent the afternoon on my room's balcony reading so it was perfect. I had gotten a little too much sun anyway. When it cleared out we went back to the pool deck and I got a yummy PiÃ±a Colada that was made in a pineapple. They even gave me the pineapple they had cut out on a plastic skewer to eat. It was SO good! We went to our last dinner on the ship...so sad :(.
Saturday it was travel day. Even though we had a later flight and did not have to get up early, the banging going on around the ship as other passengers dis- embarked woke us up earlier than needed. We had packed the night before and only had to pack our carryon bags. Then we waited until it was our turn to get off the ship. We spent the afternoon and evening in airports and got home at 9pm last night. Yes I did get up this morning, bundle up, and get my 11 mile run in! It was 19 degrees when I started my run this morning....holy icicles!
So I sit here writing this blog, workouts for tomorrow, and getting ready for the week ahead. Both kids are back at school already....SO SAD. Why is it that the happy, fun times FLY bye?! We had a great vaca and I know that it is one of the last if not THE last one we take all together as a family. And so that makes me sad. But I also have a weekend on the Vineyard planned for next month with my mom (I am scheduled to run a 20 miler there!) and I know that opening the Cape house is just around the corner. Time to get back into the routine and make it a GREAT spring and even BETTER summer! Are you guys with me?! See you at the gym!
Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a super holiday season with your friends and family! I was blessed to have both my kids home for Christmas AND New Years. Tomorrow morning, we all leave on a cruise to the Western Caribbean.
What a GREAT year 2014 was! Body Revolution continued to grow with both personal training as well as some specialty classes. Kettlebells in particular really took off and stayed busy. As a matter of fact, we are on the cusp of having to add another class. The Weight loss Challenges really exploded and we found ourselves with the highest number of challengers to date. A lot of great new people walked into the doors of Body Revolution and they make a great addition! We saw an instructor decide to go his own way (we will miss you Paul), but also had the return of another TERRIFIC instructor (welcome back Sara!). We also found ourselves with another potential addition to the team,,,welcome Roxanne! We are SO looking forward to your energy! We had a desk team member leave, but welcomed Alex with more hours and responsibility. All in all I say we had a great year and are poised for another great year. I am excited for what 2015 has in store!
As always, I need to thank the special people in my life that make everything all possible. A HUGE thank you to the hubby, Michael, for your continued support! From teaching Spin and now TRX, to running the books and fixing equipment, Body Revolution would not function without you! My best friend , confident, and one of my greatest supporters that will always have my back, Bob Bohn, you truly don't know how important you are in my life. My clients turned good friends, Kim, Jana, and Erin. You guys are phenomenal people and I cannot thank you enough for all your love and support! You have truly stood by me through good times and bad and I love you guys! My other trainer and right hand man, Shaun Nye, I am SO happy and proud you continue to choose Body Revolution to be your career home. I also thank you immensely for covering any classes that I need so that I may occasionally have a normal life. My front desk girl, Alex Nedell, who is an absolute doll! She will do whatever it is that needs to get done and always have a smile on her face. My dear friend and yoga instructor, Debbie Prisco, you are a true professional and we are so lucky to have your experience and skill at Body Revolution. You are simply THE best at what you do!
I also thank each and every one of the clients of Body Revolution. I know you have a lot of choices in the fitness world and I am honored that you choose to work with us at Body Revolution. Be confident that we will continue to provide you with the very best exercise programming that is out there. We will continue to strive and grow so that your success continues. After all, your success is ultimately OUR success!
Happy New Year again from Body Revolution. Enjoy this holiday and see you all January 12th when I am back. In the meantime, make sure to take advantage of the other instructors and their talent while I am away!
All my best,
I hope the holiday season is treating you right! I have had an 'off' holiday season. First, was it me or was Thanksgiving LATE this year?! That and the fact that the hubby was in Japan the week after Thanksgiving means we are WAY behind our holiday prep! Michael flew home from Japan on Friday, December 5th and we spent the next evening at his company's Christmas party. This weekend we had a party Saturday night and I had a half marathon this morning. Plus my little guy, Magoo, was neutered Friday and my daughter, Hailey, needed a pick up from Western New England Friday. So we have been super busy to say the least! Christmas shopping has been challenging! Our tree went up tonight, FINALLY!
So how are things going? Well despite a slower fall for Spin at the gym, Kettlebells and TRX has been jammin! Seriously, space has been tight! For the first time ever, I have been running a Holiday Weightloss Challenge and I have 10 challengers partaking in it. We have a few that are doing really well too...Bethany, John, and Judy...keep it up!
My running has been a real struggle pretty much since the Full Marathon in October. Maybe I didn't give myself enough 'down time,' I don't know. It's frustrating for sure. I have been forgetting to turn my Mapmyrun on and even forgot this morning during my Half Marathon #11. I started off ok and ended up running with these 2 nice gentlemen up until mile 9. There was a nasty hill at mile 9 and I fell behind. My time was 1:53 which is no personal record for sure. I DO feel like I am fighting getting sick (sore throat and punky stomach) plus I had a Christmas party last night and got home late. I did not drink at the party however. So who knows. My diet HAS been really awful since the marathon so maybe that has a lot to do with it. Plus I have a 20 miler coming up in February that I have been pre occupied with. In any case, I better get out of my funk, and quick!
Despite a disappointing run this morning, I DID have a client have a FANTASTIC race! Dave ran a PR of 1:33:52 and came in 20th overall and 2nd in his age group! SO proud of this extremely hard working young man! Also, I have been having a good week personally. I have had several 'old' clients come back to the gym this week. And despite having my other Spin instructor Paul resign (we will miss you Paul!), I have another 'old' Spin instructor coming back...so glad to have you back Sara! Xoxo. So yes, things have been an absolute whirlwind!
Have a great night and let's get back to work tomorrow!
Sent from my iPad
Arizona Trail Ragnar!
Well I got to check another item off my bucket list. I am officially a Ragnarian! I was invited to join an old colleague's Arizona Trail Ragnar team, Crazy Eights, back in the Spring. I thought about it for a few days before I made the commitment. I had a potential offer to get a bib for the New York City Marathon which occurred 5 days before the Ragnar. I also had 3 other half marathons scheduled. After much deep thought, I decided that I was in! I mean, when else will I ever get the chance to run trails in Arizona?! So I bailed on the marathon and one of the half marathons. Trail Ragnars are held in various camping locations around the United States that have trails you can run. And so it was on. I had really good plans on how to train for this relay. I had planned on doing weekly trail runs in our local park with a client. For one reason or another, he was not able to make any trail runs and I certainly did not want to run trails on my own! I counted on my varied workout schedule and mental toughness to get me thorough it!
We left for Arizona early Thursday morning. My friend picked us up at the airport and we immediately stopped to get lunch since it was a long day of travel with little food. Next, she showed us her HUGE gym. It was seriously the biggest gym I had ever seen and the amenities it offered were incredible! However, for such a large gym, they did not offer kettlebells OR TRX! Kinda lame! After the quick gym tour, we went back to my friend's house to prepare for the race. Then it was to the hotel room to get some sleep before our early morning wake up call.
The next morning, we all met in the gym's parking lot. There I would meet my team mates for the first time! Nice group. Okay everyone, load up and off to McDowell Mountain we go! This race was HUGE! They always sell out. We set up camp, checked in our team, attended the safety briefing, and got our first runner ready to go. Did I mention that I have never been camping?! What a fun introduction to camping! Btw, my favorite team name at the relay was "best sleepover ever," lol.
I would be the last team mate to run. I had all afternoon and evening to contemplate my fate. My first leg would also be in the dark. Now I have NEVER run in the dark, never mind the trails in the hills! My hubby, Michael, had the leg before mine. He started with the 3.1 mike loop. He handed me the bib and told me "be careful." Off I went! I had decided not to wear my iPod because it was dark and I wanted to really be aware of my surroundings. Good decision. My first loop was the 4.1 miler and boy was it tough! It was DARK and I couldn't see a thing beyond my head lamp which only illuminated directly in front of my feet. There were also a TON of rocks on this loop! I had heard it was rocky but holy hell! Rocks, divets, gullies and generally every other hazard you could think of! I almost face planted a few times and jammed my ankles several times. I could also tell that we were running on several ledges and I am TERRIFIED of heights! I think it was a blessing that I could not see how steep everything was! I finished my leg in approximately 49 minutes which was not the best time but hey I couldn't see and it got done. I went back to the tent and tried to get some rest. I remember thinking 'thank god my other 2 runs will be during the day,' HA!
I slept for about an hour. Before I knew it, Michael was out for his second run which happened to be the 8.5 miler. Well after calculating his approximate finish time, it dawned on me that my second run would also be in the dark....crap!!! I got up, put my big girl panties on, dug out my head lamp again, and off I went to meet Michael for the hand off for my second leg. My second leg was the 3.1 miler. Again I did not bring my iPod. I ran this leg a little better in approximately 36 minutes. Again not my best time but what do you expect with me running in the dark on unfamiliar trails? Of course as I was finishing, the sun was coming up. I went back to the campsite, ate a peanut butter sandwich and banana, and contemplated my last leg which was an 8.5 miler and that would take place at approximately 1pm in the HOT Arizona sun!
I had heard that this loop was long and the first 2 miles were uphill. I was warned that those 2 miles took place going up the side of the mountain. I heard that they were single trail too which meant they were only meant for one person to climb at a time. And that means NARROW. Great up the side of a mountain for 2 miles on a ledge! I honestly was panicking that I would get halfway up and freeze because I am deathly afraid of heights! Just great! I got my Camelbak ready with water and Nuun and also filled up my friend's water bottle so I would have extra water if I wanted to dump water on myself while I was running. It was SO HOT in that sun! I chose to bring my iPod for this leg. I soaked my headband in ice water and stuffed ice down my sports bra in attempt to try to keep cool. Then off I went. I was the last teammate to run and I was the anchor. No pressure or anything! Just get it done!
Again I met Michael for the bib exchange. Michael told me "you will crank out your last loop and the 4 mile trail was much worse." Off I went. It was SO much better running in the daylight! I quickly learned that the easiest way to run the trail was to jog/ power hike up the hills, and zig zag and pick up speed on the way down. Man I wish I had learned that the first leg! I saw the mountain I would be running up. It was LONG! Up I went. It was also narrow and I was feeling dizzy. I basically walked those 2 miles uphill with an occasional jog. I was terrified I would slip on the rocks and lose my footing and slide down the side of the mountain! All I kept thinking about was rattle snakes and how they like the warm rocks in the sun and how they came out in the afternoon. I prayed really hard that I would not encounter one! I kept thinking about what I would do if I ran into one on the hill. I mean, I certainly wouldn't be able to go around it! And the thought of turning around and going DOWN the hill was not appealing! Onward I went! Man it was HOT in the sun! Finally I was at the top of the mountain! The trail widened out, yippee! Now the running was nice! It was wide and there were few rocks. I was paranoid about the jumping cholla though. They are a type of cactus that if you pass by too close, will have a magnetic effect with the cactus needles. There were a couple areas where I would strategically weave through the cacti really paranoid. I saw a few twigs which my mind would play tricks on me and I would think they were snakes. I seriously almost peed my pants a few times haha! I ran thought the sand of the washout areas. A lot of other people complained about those spots but they were free of rocks so I just dug deep and picked up speed. Did I mention how HOT it was?! I would stop for a few seconds to walk and really drink my water. As I got closer to the end of the trail, the hills and rocks started to pick up again. I was getting good at going down hill by this time and probably looked like a pro at that point. The 1 mile to go sign came into sight. All 3 trails merged together at approximately the half mile to go part. This section was also hilly and rocky. There was also a really steep hill towards the end. It looked HUGE in the daylight! Up I ran/ hiked...stupid hill! Further up my whole team was waiting. We all ran in together. Then got our medals...sweet! I was the anchor for the team and I ran my last leg 15-20 minutes faster than what we had predicted. I was a hero at that moment! What a feeling!
So would I do it again? Initially I said 'no way' because it was sorta competitive because we were a team. I don't like that kind of pressure. I felt a little jipped because I had my first 2 legs in the dark on trails when I don't even run trails. There is a learning curve and learning it in the dark sucked. I also had to run the longest loop in the heat of the Arizona sun when the week before I had been running at home in the snow in my snow gear. So yeah that was unfair and tough. BUT, thinking about it now, I know that I was put in that leg because I am mentally tough, strong, and have tremendous drive and focus when I need it. I always volunteer for the tough legs and would have done the same for that relay too given the choice. So I sucked it up and ran my best leg when I needed too and when it mattered the most. I also know that I would do so much better had I prepared for it different and yes I now know how I would prepare myself and others for the challenge.
All in all, I had a GREAT time! It was terrifying, exhilarating, and just plain awesome to see what I was really capable of. I am so happy to have had the chance for the experience!
See you all soon,