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10 Mile Race Recap

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Early Saturday morning, I got ready in record time and hopped in the car to drive 2.5 hours to the race. Adam was supposed to race too, but his work schedule had changed that week so I was on my own. It was a quiet ride there (which is rare for this mom of three!) and I arrived an hour early to pick up my race packet and finish my race prep.

It was much colder than I had anticipated so I sat in my car until I met up with my friend Anna about 15 minutes before the start. We huddled and shivered with the rest of the runners until they announced the race was finally going to begin. It was an out and back, which I’m not too fond of.

The race started off and I was honestly running to just warm up! I was cold down to my bones which is always hard for me to shake. I listened to a podcast for the first 8 miles, and the last two miles I took my headphones out and ran in the silence.

The course was very hilly and when I was running the first 5 miles, I knew that every hill I was running down I would be running back up on the way back to the finish line. My goal was to run at a 7:30/mile pace and I ended up running just under that so I was very happy! Especially since I did not take into consideration all those hills!

My split times were as follows:

Mile 1 / 7:03

Mile 2 / 7:15

Mile 3 / 7:30

Mile 4 / 7:55

Mile 5 / 7:12

Mile 6 / 7:46

Mile 7 / 7:08

Mile 8 / 7:48

Mile 9 / 7:26

Mile 10 / 7:07

 

I meet up with Anna again after the race. We hung out until the awards ceremony (I placed 3rd overall female and Anna placed 1st in her age group.) I loved having her there and the race crowd and volunteers were all very nice.

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Overall, it was a fun race and I definitely will look into running it again!

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Frostbite Half Race Recap

Some exciting news first! I am currently writing an e-course! I would love to get your opinions on a few things before I complete it, since I am writing this e-course for you. I would be very grateful if you would fill out this quick, 6 question survey for me! THANK YOU!

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I live in the South where there are limited, good racing months throughout the year. Once April or May hits, it is unbearable to run outside past 9am. This continues until around September or October. So, I take advantage of the few good race months that I do get and run as many races as our family schedule and budget allow.

This past Thursday, I saw that the upcoming weekend was going to be absolutely beautiful. Adam’s work schedule changed the day before, so when I asked him about about getting out of town for the day to race, he agreed to come along with our kids.

I signed up for the Frostbite Half, and Adam and the kids for the Fun Run.

The race was a 10am start, which allowed us to leave our house by 7:45am and still make it in time for packet pick-up and a quick warm-up before the race began. The sun was out by time we arrived at the packet pick-up tent and around 58 degrees.

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The race ended at 71 degrees out!

I split off from Adam and the kids around 9:55am to head to the starting line and do a quick, dynamic warm-up. I honestly had not prepped for this race how I usually do (no tapering the week before, no adequate hydration the days prior, and I didn’t eat my normal pre-race sweet potato hash meal the night before). I guess that’s what happens when you sign up on 2 days before the race. 

I set a goal of finishing 1:45, since I knew I wasn’t as prepared as I usually like to be. I figured I wasn’t going to hit a PR so I would just run to enjoy a new city and wave and talk to as many volunteers and by-standers as possible.

The race started at a quick pace. I always tend to go out faster for the first mile to see how my legs feel and what I think I’ll be capable of for the race. (I honestly don’t recommend this to beginners! Usually you want to start right at your desired pace.)

My legs were tired from the harder strength workouts I had done during that week.

I enjoyed the race and ran at a pretty leisurely pace. I never stressed trying to hit a certain pace each mile and it was a bit refreshing! I knew I could have pushed it a little more, but I didn’t want to be too tired for my ten-mile race this coming weekend so I ran what was comfortable for me. This was just more of a fun run.

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Silly selfie at mile 12.

I ended up crossing the finish line at 1:41:00 (my GPS showed it was slightly under the 13.1 mile distance), and ended up finising 2nd over all female! I was honestly very surprised! It was a smaller race though, which helps placing a bit easier. 🙂

My family was there at the end, cheering me on through the finish line and it was the perfect end to a good race.

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Blessed with the best cheerleaders!

Details of my race morning (for those that care):

Breakfast that morning: a large glass of water, banana, coffee, and homemade granola bar. (can be found in my ebook here)

On the 1.5 hour ride up, I drank more water and finished my cup of coffee.

During the race I ate 1/3 of a Cocount Creme Lara Bar. I always gage how I’m feeling energy-wise around mile 6. I was feeling really strong and not lagging in the energy department. Around mile 8 I ate a bite of the Lara bar and honestly felt good the rest of the run! I ran with a plastic (eek, I usually am completely against plastic) water bottle and drank that as I went so I didn’t need to grab water from a water stop until around mile 10 when I had finished my water bottle.

I wore shorts, a race tank top, my compression sleeves, and my Asics. 🙂

 

 

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My Long Distance Racing Tips

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November of 2008 marked my very first long distance race. I finished those 26.2 miles with pride and could officially call myself a marathoner.

Since then, I have run over a dozen long distance races. I have learned what works well in training for a race and also what does not work well. I also have figured out my race day rituals that are tried and true.

This past weekend, a friend and I ran a 25k trail run in Alabama. It was set back away from civilization where the trail wound through serene woods and overlooked a beautiful lake. It was one of the prettiest races I have enjoyed so far.

Being the road runner that I am (I have only raced in one other trail run that was a half marathon distance), trail running is a new ball game. The community of trail runners is quite a bit different and I feel like they approach the race with a different mindset. The runners I met along the trail were so kind in letting me pass them and not jockeying for position or trying to elbow me out of the way. Quite different from some road races where I have almost been pushed down in order for a runner to gain that position in front of me.

After years of running and racing, I would like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned racer. I want to pass along some of my tips on how I prepare for a race and what my best race day tips are.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
    The week before the race, and especially the day before, I try to drink a lot of water. It is always better to go into a race hydrated than not having enough liquid. Dehydration definitely hinders your performance on race day!
  2. Get a good night sleep TWO nights before the race 
    I know this may come as a shock to you, but it is very important to get a lot of sleep two nights before the race. Reason being, the night before you most likely will have pre-race jitters, causing you to not get that full night of sleep. Also, if the race is not near your hometown, you will be sleeping in a different bed than normal which always throws people off.
  3. Carb load a few days before hand
    Please do not wait to carb load the night before a race, or even the morning of! Your body needs to build up glycogen in your muscles to use during the race and it always works best for me to carb load a few days prior. My favorite pre-race meal the night before is a sweet potato hash.
    *You can find the recipe in my upcoming recipe e-book that I will be releasing soon!
  4. On the race morning, wake up at least 2 hours before the start 
    I hate going into a race not fully awake. I love to wake up early on race day, hydrate with water and drink a cup of coffee, have my pre-race breakfast, and take time to mentally prepare for what is ahead of me.
  5. Do NOT change anything up on race day
    Race day is not the time to try something new. Do not buy new running clothes, shoes or even try new foods the day of (or even the day before!). You have no idea how your body will respond to digesting the new food/drink/gu, if the clothes will chafe or ride up uncomfortably, and new shoes will definitely not be broken in. I suggest using your long training runs as a time to try out what exactly works for you. If you need to keep a log book of what your favorite running clothes are, what foods best energize you, and how well hydrated you were, it might help!
  6. Wear compression sleeves 
    Seriously, I swear by these. I do not run a long distance race anymore without them. They help me during the race with swelling and circulation as well as keep the soreness at bay after the race. If you are not comfortable wearing them during the race, at least bring some to slip on right when you finish. It will still help with the post-race soreness.
  7. Actively stretch after the race
    After you cross the finish line, grab your finishers medal and some water/snacks they have provided, and then actively stretch. Your muscles and joints have been working continuously for a couple hours (or more – depending on your pace). If you actively stretch (do not do stationary stretches first), it will help immensely!

I hope you find these helpful for your next big race! I love talking about running so please post comments below or contact me at fashionedtobefit@gmail.com if you want to get ahold of me.

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How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART TWO}

Last week, I wrote a post with a few tips that help me stay fit as a mom. You can read more about it here. Today, I’m back with a few more tips that might help you find time to stay fit and get moving, even with small kids in your home!

Just because you have a baby and/or toddler, it doesn’t mean you can’t find time in your day to get a workout in, even if it’s a quick one! Here are three tips that might help you out:

 

1. GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED

I am a huge proponent of an active lifestyle not only for my husband and me, but also for my kids. I want them to see us going out for a run or getting in a good strength workout at home because it teaches them that it’s a part of our every day life. Even if my husband is around to watch the kids, sometimes I’ll take one or two of them with me in the jogging stroller (we have BOB jogging strollers) to get in a tougher run and also for them to be a part of it.

If I am doing a strength workout inside, I try to get them involved. They love doing squats, push-ups, wall sits, and jumping jacks with me. Also, seeing them attempt these moves is one of the cutest things you’ll ever see. If you make it fun for them, they will want to do it!

If you like your own space for working out though, insert my next tip…

 

2. UTILIZE NAP TIMES

My children are still young enough that they all nap. Their naps don’t always overlap with each others’, but I do sometimes like to utilize that time to get in a good, concentrated workout. It’s nice to not have to push pause on a workout DVD or stop mid-squat to run over and help them fill a water cup or the hundred other requests they always have going on.

 

3. WAKE UP EARLY

Before we had children, I used to do this every day before work. I was an assistant manager at a financial institution and usually helped close the branch so my work day didn’t start sometimes until 9-9:30am. This allowed me to wake up early, get a good run in, shower, and get ready for work.

It worked well for me then. And I know plenty of moms who are able to get up before their kids wake up in the morning. If their kids wake up around 7am (I don’t remember what that feels like, but I’m sure it must be glorious) then they set their alarm for 5:30am.

(I will be honest with you. This isn’t the best option for me and my family right now. Some nights I am getting up 6+ times between my three kids and it just isn’t feasible at this point in our lives. In a few years though, I will most likely go back to waking up early to get in a workout before my husband leaves for work and the rest of our day begins.)

 

Do you have any other tips that help you workout with little ones in tow?

 

 

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How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART ONE}

 

Staying fit while being a mom can be really difficult. We are in a constant state of exhaustion. It can be hard to find time around our busy schedules to prioritize working out. Some days the only exercise we get is chasing after our toddler all day long as they are constantly getting into things they shouldn’t be!

{cue me running to stop my toddler from permanently ruining our house as she loves to do!}

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Photo source

 

For the next few weeks, I am going to be posting tips on how I make time to work out with little ones under foot. 

Currently, I have a four-year-old, two-almost-three-year-old, and a four-month-old. Yes, I am in a constant state of sleep deprivation. My children have never learned the concept of sleep.

While I could just write off the next 10 years as lost in the exercise department, I’ve learned to embrace this stage of life that I’m at and thrive as best I can.

How do I do that? 

Here are some steps that help me stay active while mothering young children:

 

1. SCHEDULE YOUR WORK OUTS 

I sit down the day before with my calendar and figure out what time I will be able to run or work out the next day. Running is my stress relief and I know if I am able to get a run in, even if it’s a quick 2-miler, I will be a better mom for it.

I will be happier and healthier, which allows me to be a better wife and mama to my family. It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

2. HAVE SUPPORT 

My husband is my number one supporter. Seriously, I couldn’t do it without him behind me 100%!

Before I sign up for a race {currently, I have two half marathons lined up in the next couple months}, I talk it over with him to see if training for a race and running the actual race will be feasible with his work schedule.

If I don’t convince him to run with me, then he watches the kids during the race. I like to choose races that we can all travel to and are family friendly, so the logistics of taking a family of five is something to take into consideration.

 

3. BE FLEXIBLE!

The past week and a half we have been passing around a bad virus between our family members. I have never had to wash so much bedding and clothes as I have in the past week! This means some of my planned work outs have not gone as I wanted.

Having kids has demanded flexibility for this type-A mama. I love having things scheduled out (see bullet point #1), but I also know that it doesn’t always happen as planned. So, I have back-ups to fall on.

If the weather isn’t cooperating with me, I work out inside instead. I have workout DVD’s ready to go!

If I was planning on my husband watching the kids during a long run but his work schedule changes on me (seriously, happens all the time!) I push my long run back a few hours or do a quick run that day and schedule my long run for the next day.

The key is always having something else to fall back on when life changes!

 


 

What do you do if your schedule doesn’t go as planned? 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

I’m still here! After a four month hiatus, I’m hoping to get back into posting somewhat regularly on here.

It’s been a very busy last four months. A move overseas, welcomed my husband back from deployment, another move within the states, closing on a new home, a sibling’s wedding in Maryland, ran in my first trail race in Northern Michigan, training for another race here in Mississippi, celebrated Christmas in Michigan…. it’s been quite the whirlwind. After our three shipments come to our new home next week, I am hoping life will slow down a bit more and allow me to settle back into some normalcy.

My year anniversary of this blog is next month already. I have some decisions to make concerning the blog and will fill you in on any new or interested news within a few weeks. 🙂

I’ll be back next week to talk about a 10 week fitness challenge that Adam and I are doing with some friends.

Have a wonderful week!

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Fitness Friday

I get quite a few questions regarding my fitness and running, and so I thought hey, why not compile them and put them in a blog post for all to see? So, for your viewing pleasure here is the very first Fitness Friday blog post.

How many miles do you run a week? On average, I run between 40-45 miles weekly. Some weeks I run less, some weeks more. It mainly depends on weather, the girls, and Adam’s schedule. 

How often do you run with the girls? About 75% of my runs are while pushing my girls in the jogger. If Adam is flying late at night, I’ll try to get in a run in the morning before he heads into work or sometimes I run when I get a babysitter, but otherwise the girls are usually with me. At first I didn’t like pushing the double jogger as it slows me down, but I now use it as a training tool since it has allowed me to become much stronger. I am my fastest now than I have ever been, and I attribute a lot of that to pushing the girls. (My last half marathon was at an 8:00 min/mi pace and my last 5k around a 6:30 pace. I’ve never been that fast before). 

How are the girls able to last during your runs? Since both girls have been riding in the jogger since infancy, I truly believe it has helped them to “tolerate” riding in the stroller now. I can usually get in a good 6-7 miles before they want to get out. In order for them to last that long, I take toys and snacks along. Also, weather permitting, I stop at a park after the run for them to play. Since that has become our norm, they are pretty good with waiting 45 minutes because they know what’s at the end. It also helps that I run around the flight line so they get to see various planes and helicopters flying. 

Where do you run? On base. For the ease of being able to walk outside our building and begin my run immediately, I just stay local. Japan has a lot to offer outside the gate, but it just takes too much more effort and time that I would rather just stay around here. 

Are you currently training for a race? Not really. I love staying in shape and running allows me to clear my head and reduce my stress level so I do it for enjoyment. My friend, Molly, just put her name in the lottery for the NYC marathon and depending on where we move next, I would LOVE to run it with her this November. 

What do you do for strength training? I actually should strength train much more than I do and if I begin marathon training again, I will have to incorporate more into my workouts. My friend, Diana, does a stroller fitness class twice a week on base and I love her workouts. Unfortunately, Scarlett still takes a morning nap which falls directly during the stroller fitness class so I don’t get to it nearly as much as I would like. I sometimes just strength train at home using our TRX equipment or doing your basic push-ups and crunches routine. 

How do you stay motivated? First, I know the awesome feeling that comes from finishing a good run, so that in and of itself pushes me. Also, I like to switch up my workout play list and I find that keeps me pumped up. 

Here is my current playlist: 

Impossible (Anberlin)

The Resistence (Anberlin)

Feel Good Drag (Anberlin)

Midnight City (M83)

Time to Pretend (MGMT)

Little Talks (Of Monsters and Men)

Think Twice (Eve 6)

Ho Hey (The Lumineers)

Stubborn Love (The Lumineers)

Titanium (David Guetta & Sia)

Lights (Ellie Goulding)

One More Night (Maroon 5)

The Way I Are (Timbaland)

Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5)

Entertainment (Phoenix)

Punching in a Dream (The Naked and Famous)

Young Blood (The Naked and Famous)

My Body (Young the Giant)

Cough Syrup (Young the Giant)

That’s all I have for you today. I would love to hear any other fitness questions you may have and incorporate them into my next Fitness Friday post! I want to leave you with a picture that I hold near and dear to my heart. The other day Brooklyn wanted to go running with Mommy, so Adam captured this picture on his iPhone for me. Makes my heart so proud! 

running with B

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Racing Tips

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This past weekend, a good friend of mine ran her first half marathon. I talked with her the day before and she asked for any pre-race tips I might have. I told her some things that I do before each race, and wanted to share those tips with you as well. I truly believe in a running community where we can share ideas with one another. If it works for you, I’m sure it will help someone else along the way as well!

Top 5 racing tips: 

1. Don’t stress if you didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before from nerves. It’s normal and the professionals say it’s actually two nights before the race that’s the important night of sleep.

2. Eat simple carbs the morning of so your body can easily digest them. And, stay with what you’ve been doing for your long runs and what works for you! Practice with your food during your training. The night before your long run, figure out what best energizes you for the long run the next day. For me, it’s pasta or other carbs (oh, how I love my carbs!). Then, the morning of your long run, figure out what works best and use that the morning of your race as well. Never change up your routine on race day! 

3. Do an active stretching session before the race. Many people think static stretching is what you should be doing to warm your muscles up, but it’s really the active stretching that helps.

4. It’s okay to be nervous! I’ve been nervous before every single one of my races. Actually, it’s almost better that way because it means you care and want to do well! Nerves might bring you to start too quickly when the race begins, but try to tell yourself to slow down and run your own race! Too many times I have felt the rush of adrenaline right at the start time and ran too quickly at the beginning. It will only hinder you in the long run! I’ve heard that one minute too quickly in the beginning will hurt you two or three fold in the end!

5. HAVE FUN. This is a big one for me and this past race I had the most fun in, and PR’d! It helped I had beautiful weather and no big crowds to push through but I still enjoyed being out there and pushing myself.

So there are my top 5 tips for gearing up for your race on race day.

I’d love to hear what works for you! 

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Another Race

Today, I ran my second half marathon for the year. (read about this year’s first half here) It was awesome. Here’s my race update for those that want to read about it.

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I was kind of nervous to run, just because I had to take eight straight days off from running while recovering from my surgery a few weeks ago. I honestly didn’t know what to expect for this race and went in with lower expectations. We had beautiful running weather – 65 degrees and sunny – and minimal wind, which for those of you who live here in Japan know that the wind can be very unforgiving, especially around the flight line.

The race started out fast. There was also a 10k race at the same time and at the same starting line. So, obviously, 10k runners will run their race faster than a half marathoner (generally). I mean, I run my 10k’s at a faster pace than a half, so I’m guessing everyone does.  The group out in front were mostly the 10k runners and me being the competitive person I am, I pushed my pace a little more than I had wanted. I started my first mile at a 7:30 pace and slowed up to an 8:00 min pace for what I hoped for the next five miles.

Five miles in I was still feeling really good, so I decided to keep the pace for the next five miles. I told myself if I ever felt the need to slow up to an 8:30 min/mi pace, I would. The first half went really well. Ten miles went by, and I surprised myself at how well I was feeling. Around 11 miles my legs were getting a little tired but since I knew the course so well (it was on base where we live), I knew I only had a little bit left to go. My last two miles ended up being a little slower, right around an 8:25min/mi pace. I finished strong and felt great crossing that finish line.

This was the inaugural half marathon on base and so they still need to work a few kinks out. The race ended up being 13.4 miles, according to my (and everyone else’s) GPS. Oh well, it is what it is. I ran my PR at 1:47:09 which I was very excited about. I placed 2nd place in my age group (women under 34 years old) and 2nd overall in the women’s category. I’ve only ever placed for shorter races, so this was pretty exciting for me!

IMG_5944I really wish Adam could have been there to watch me run, but I know he was cheering me on from Australia! {where he is for training right now}

The next half I was thinking about running is April 21, but Adam just got leave approved for a mini-vacation that weekend, so I think I’m going to take one race off and hopefully pick back up again later this spring or summer.

 

 

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Favorite Workout Gear

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              hoodie / shorts / tights / shoes / short sleeve shirt / sports bra / long sleeve

As any fitness guru, I have my favorite go to gear. I’m not a person who splurges on Lululemon clothing when I can get just as much comfort from Adidas, Under Armor, or Nike. So, posted above is some affordable running gear that hopefully you will find just as great as I do!

And with that, I’m going to say happy weekend, readers! I’m off to enjoy some family time with my wonderful husband and daughters.