Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Branching out!

     While on Spring Break and visiting my grandma in Tampa, I decided to try some new workouts available in the area. She lives in one of the trendiest areas of town and after 39 years of NOT trying anything new in the area, I made up my mind that this time I would! I would add in some new adventures! Thanks to the wonderful running community that I am a part of and all of my friends on Twitter, I have learned about so many cool workouts that I may have never heard of in little ol' Jacksonville!
     For a couple of years now I have been wanting to explore hot yoga. I have been practicing yoga on my own for almost 15 years but only one type and style. There is a yoga studio, Evolation, located less than a mile from my grandmother's home that I have passed many times. This time I decided to try out a class! They have many classes offered but I chose their "Warm 60" class as an intro to the hot yoga scene. It is a 60 minute yoga class using the same sequences as hot yoga but in a shorter class and slightly cooler room - 90 degrees versus 105 degrees. It was a cold morning when I went for class so stepping into the warm room felt great!
     Within five minutes I was sweating - and I was just sitting there! The instructor made a point of learning my name AND saying it correctly! In fact, she did a better job than some of my long time friends at saying my name! The class was made up of about 40% male and the rest female. I was actually quite surprised at the number of men who walked in! They provided mats and towels if you did not have one, but I brought my own. You leave your shoes by the front door and can use their changing rooms if needed. There are no lockers but they do have cubbies to put your things in. The studio is locked during class. I felt very safe and wasn't worried about my stuff.
     I chose to wear as little clothing as possible - a Lululemon bra top and their boogie shorts, which are the second shortest they sell! I wanted to sweat but not be trapped in drenched clothing! People had on various different things and there were a few women dressed like me. I was dealing with self-conscious demons that day being in public dressed like I was going to the beach or something! It was a good thing for me to go through and actually proved to be quite a reassuring experience!
     Class began with breathing exercises and then you move in to the various postures. Since I have practiced yoga for so long I knew and had done many of the poses. Thankfully the instructor used both the yoga name and the English name for the moves or I may have been lost! I watched others a few times to get a move but for the most part watched myself in the mirror. This is the one drawback of workouts at home. I can never see myself to know if I am in correct alignment or position. This also goes back to the self-conscious part. Being able to see my strength in action and watch my body move gave me a new found appreciation for it!
     By the time I was about 15 minutes into class, the sweat was literally pouring off of me! It really felt great! The clothing choice also gave me freedom to move. I never felt too hot or even the least bit uncomfortable. I truly enjoyed the Warm 60 class and planned on returning again after my run Saturday morning.

Ready for Warm 60 Yoga!
     When I returned on Saturday, it was after a quick three miles on Bayshore. I had parked my car at the studio and walked to Bayshore for my run then walked back after. 
Running on Bayshore in Tampa is my favorite place to run!
My reflection in the window near the studio pre-run
     I changed out of my sweaty tee & shorts into my yoga outfit and was ready to hit the mat again! I was really excited to try the class after a run and see how I did. The class is a real workout! I think some people think yoga is not really a workout but the classes I take sure are! I wanted to see how my body held up after a run. I think I did pretty good! I was a little tired after though!
     This class was lead by a male instructor and was PACKED! I have never had a male instructor before. He was very different than the first instructor I had there but I loved it! He was great! Even funny! The class was literally wall to wall people and this time I'd say it was about half male and half female. At my last class I was in the back row but still could see myself in the mirror. This class I was right up front! There was no avoiding myself! The instructor lead us through a similar sequence but sometimes we held the pose longer or repeated it more. It was a tough but great workout! I cannot wait to go back the next time I am in Tampa!
     For my other Spring Break Adventure I decided to try out a Pure Barre class. We have a studio here in Jacksonville Beach but I had never been. This class uses a mix of weights, resistance and Pilates which sounded like a great replacement for my regular strength training and Pilates workout I do at home! Only I wouldn't have to haul all my weights and props down to Tampa with me! So I scheduled myself a class online at the Pure Barre website. It was just that easy!
     When you take a Pure Barre class there are a few things you need to know. Number one, be ready for a REAL workout! It was tough! But none of the moves were impossible and they offer variations if you need them. Some of the moves I could not hold or do as many reps, but I tried! Number two is clothing choices. You have to wear a top that covers your midriff and you need to wear socks. I forgot socks but they had some at the studio you could buy which was actually better. The socks they had have non-skid designs on the bottom which really helped on the carpet, so I was glad I forgot my socks!
Ready for my first Pure Barre Tampa experience!
     One of the other great things about this class is you don't need to bring anything! They provide you with the tools you will need for the class: dumbbells, resistance band & ball. We used a mat but only for a little while. The staff was so friendly and helpful and very welcoming for this newbie! The class was really fabulous! In contrast to my yoga class, this one was ALL women! It is a very sexy class with the moves that you do! It's fun and high energy and most of all a great, challenging workout! I could very easily become addicted to this class! I'm glad we have a studio in Jax for when I need something new to spice up my workouts!
     During my new adventures, it was also pretty nice to be complemented by both instructors on my ability. Specifically the instructor at Pure Barre told me I was in great shape! Wow! Thanks! That's always nice to hear especially from someone you don't know.
     Trying out new classes alone can be scary but overcoming that and just getting out there to see what's available is so worth it! I really enjoyed branching out and trying something new while in Tampa and I look forward to returning to both studios on future visits. I wonder what else I can try next time??

     Have you ever "branched out" and tried a new class on your own? Would you?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lessons Learned

     What a crazy two weeks! I'm just getting in to my Marine Corps Marathon training and suddenly everything comes to a screeching halt! But with all new challenges come lessons learned and I think I figured out some things this week!

     April 15th, 2013 started a bad week for me and by April 22nd, I was paying for my poor choices during this stressful, sad time. The week of April 15th started our state testing here in Florida. Even though I did not have a class of my own I was still a part of it as a proctor. Being a proctor for a test is not fun. I basically walked around (in circles, pacing back and forth and once in awhile tried a zig-zag between desks) in total silence for close to and sometimes over three hours! Not my idea of a fun day at the office! I truly wished I had a pedometer to count my steps each day!
     I was also anxiously watching the clock that day with the memorized start times of the women and then the main waves of the Boston Marathon. I kept silently praying in my head that these kids would finish before the runners so I could catch some of the winners. No such luck! I finally made it back to my computer and phone to get the results of the race and watch some of the later runners come in. Nothing like watching the whole race with my class last year and having them beg to eat in the classroom during lunch to keep watching!
     I was at car rider duty when the attack happened. I had no idea until I got to my car and checked my phone about 20 minutes after three o'clock. I was in shock. I raced home to get in front of a TV to find out what was going on. I sat there, glued, until I just couldn't take it anymore. Then I went for a run. Which really ended up not being much of a run. It's hard to run & cry at the same time. You get side stitches that hurt like crazy! I walked a lot and even sat down on a hill at our neighborhood golf course and just stared off into the distance trying to process the day.
     This was just the start of my week on Monday. Tuesday morning I met with my principal about the future of my position the next year. There is no future. My position will be cut. The week before I had found out I didn't make it into the teacher trainer job I had interviewed for and now this. I would be going back into the classroom unless I found something else to do. This isn't so bad but we are also supposed to be cutting teacher positions at my current school. With seniority in the district I am safe, but I would be pushing out some young teacher who had already established herself at that school. This was my first year there! I couldn't do that! So this gives me an opportunity to find something else at another school but with cuts across the district it is nerve-wracking! I like knowing what I am doing today, tomorrow, all the time! Not knowing where I'll be or what I'll be doing next school year is very scary for me!
     So as you can see, my week was not starting off on a very good note. I allowed the stress and sadness to get to me and really affect my life. This brings me to the point of my writing today, the lessons I learned!

1) My body really likes the healthy food I've been feeding it!
     I have been a very healthy eater for at least the last 4 or 5 years. But recently I have really ramped up the health quotient by working with a nutritionist, meal planning, weighing and measuring, and really paying attention to EVERYTHING that goes into my body. My mindset is "I am an athlete" and with that mindset comes the need to perform. In order to perform at my best I need to fuel my body properly at all times. Not just during the week, not just before a race, but all the time! I am in training, my body needs the right fuel.
     Well, I didn't plan for and then didn't even really try to fuel my body during that stressful week. I did what was easy and convenient. No, I didn't fill up on fast food, I just didn't plan healthy, satisfying meals. I ate bars and drank shakes - along with maybe an apple - because they were quick and easy. I came home tired and had not done meal prep over the weekend so I made a big bowl of comforting pasta. Not my usual healthy, portion controlled, veggie-filled dinners.

2) My body does not like alcohol like it used to.
     Before I became a "serious" runner, I was a serious foodie! I was in to all kinds of cooking. I bought all kinds of cookbooks and made great meals for whoever I happened to be dating or my parents. I also drank at every dinner. I always had a glass of wine nearby at night. I considered myself quite the connoisseur of wines and love talking about food and wine. Then I got into running and training for half marathons and marathons and all that drinking went out the window! Now, more than one drink does me in! I hardly ever have a drink unless it's a special occasion and even then, it's one.
     So it was a real shock to my body when most nights I came home during this week and I made myself a drink or had a beer. Funny thing looking back was Monday night was the only night I didn't have a drink!At the time, I didn't think much about it other than that it was unusual, but one drink wasn't going to hurt me - each night...But in the end, I know it did.

3) When you say you're healing your body, stick with the healing.
     I decided back in March that I was going to take April off from running and see if it helped my shin stop from hurting. It was never an unbearable pain, just an annoyance. I "felt" my shin when I shouldn't have even thought about it. I was doing really good, swimming three days a week instead of running, slowly upping my meters in the pool.
     Then the attacks on Boston. I needed to run, to get out, to be on the street Monday after all of this took place. Then the memorial runs started to be planned. Well I wasn't going to miss those! I ran again on Tuesday in solidarity with the rest of the running community I knew to get my 4.09 miles in for the time shown on the clock at the time of the first attack. I still had side stitch issues. I felt like I had forgotten how to run. I was scared. But I ran anyway. Then our local Galloway group had a Boston: Choosing Love Over Fear run on Saturday - four miles. I ran. In the rain. And then I went and swam 1500 meters! I "felt" my shin and some pain all week. Am I EVER going to heal? is what I wanted to scream but then the voice inside said, when you let me...

4) During stressful times, ramp up the healthy NOT the easy!
     So, I learned that I needed to do nothing but eat and be healthy when these times come around! Yes, it may be a little bit more time consumming or you may not feel like it, but trust me, it's not fun to feel sick after! My body rebelled in a big way! I got one of the worse sinus infections I have ever gotten! I went to the doctor right away but even that didn't stop it. I have spent this entire week home from work. I spent my days sleeping and laying on the couch. I had NO energy. But I did make sure I put the healthy back in my diet! I have been loading up on fruits and veggies at every meal. Yes, it took a little extra but I have to be well!

5) Stop making excuses and just do it!
     I haven't done a workout since my yoga last Sunday - not very good for marathon training! Great for resting shins I guess though! But I'm scared. Worried that my training is now behind and I won't be where I need to be. I've questioned, after the disastrous week of running, whether I should take another month off to heal. Luckily, Jeff Galloway did a tweet chat this week and I asked him that question. He said he didn't see much difference in runners who took the time off or ran 10 seconds, walked 50 seconds. So in other words, run less, walk more and build back up. I have the Players 5k with Donna on May 4th to test out the theory. But I am thinking I'll keep swimming in May and add elliptical training as well. I'll do my swim workouts then head to the gym and get my "miles" for the day on the elliptical. Then hopefully, if June, be ready to hit the streets again.
     Either way, once I am over this sickness, I will get the workouts in. Workouts relieve stress and help me stay healthy. I need to stick to the plan and go with it. Have faith in my training. I'll get there. Carefully. And injury free.

6) Mom was right when she told you not to play in the rain!
     Finally, I think that my little run in the rain last Saturday probably didn't help things with my immune system. Yea, mom was probably right! It was also a cold day and we all know wet and cold don't mix well. There's one other little thing I didn't tell you. After running in the rain, walking to the pool in the cold while I was wet and then swimming 1500 meters - well, then, in my shorts and jacket I stood in the rain for about 10-15 minutes cheering on the last of the Girls on the Run runners finishing their 5k! While I'm sure they appreciated it, it was not the smartest choice. Needless to say, my activities on Saturday were the nail in the coffin for my immune system and by Sunday I was down for the count!

     When you train your body to expect certain things from you - be it good or bad - it reacts when those things are taken away or altered. At least mine did! I'm well on my way to recovery and hope to start this coming Monday with renewed energy! I can't wait to get back to my workouts and get my body back in to training. It really likes to perform and be active. I certainly have no excuses now about needing rest! I've gotten more sleep and rest than ever before this week!So take a few lessons from me and don't let stress and sadness take over your life in a bad way. Deal with it in a healthy, active way and keep your body fueled for the challenge!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Dreams

     I was supposed to be there. This was the year. Boston Medley. The Boston 5k in April, 10K in June and Half in October. Run the Boston 5K and then spectate at the marathon. I'm pretty sure I would've been standing right in front of Marathon Sports. It's my favorite store in all of Boston. I probably would've still been at the finish line after the winners came though. Why not?
     I suppose that's why I had so many concerned friends. They were pretty sure I was in Boston Monday. Emails, Facebook messages, even a text from the ex-boyfriend to check on me! But I wasn't in Boston. I guess, thankfully, I decided I wouldn't have enough money to do three trips to Boston this year. But in my heart of hearts, I still wish I was there.

     I first fell in love with Boston the weekend of my best friend's wedding in April 2006. She was getting married in New Hampshire but the town was super close to Boston, so I drove in for a day trip. This was the first time I had ever been to Boston. And yes, I drove in Boston! Some would say that's craziness! But I survived and even found my way around easily. I went to the most popular, easy to find location that I knew of - The Boston Common & Public Gardens. And oh yea, I ate at Cheers too!
     Since then, I have been back every year starting in 2009. During the Summer of 2009, I was lucky enough to visit Boston for longer than a day during a business trip. I was traveling with a group of two work friends and was in charge of all the food and fun! It was a whirlwind trip blended with work and play, but I knew then I needed to see more! I returned in May of 2010 to just strictly play and explore. Oh yea, and to attend my first game in FENWAY PARK! And what better first game in Fenway than Red Sox - Yankees!
     That summer of 2010 I also started getting "serious" about running and again, Boston came to mind! Rumors started floating around about a Boston 10k and in the Spring of 2011 registration opened. I was so anxious! I remember trying over and over to get in to the site! Then when I finally got in, they said my application had to be approved! I freaked out when I got in - I was so happy!!!
     So in June of 2011 it was back to Boston - this time, to RUN! The thought of being able to run part of the Boston Marathon course was almost too much for me! Actually running it, was simply amazing! The Boston 10k course is beautiful! Running through the best parts of the city - Commonwealth Ave, BU campus, Fenway, Kenmore Square. Just awesome! Read more about my first year here in Dreaming of Boston.
Crossing the finish line, bag check bag, telling mom I finished & rounding the corner on Comm Ave.
Relaxing after the race in the Common, medal pics & random new friends!
     I knew after my first race that I would have to return every year! This would be my streaker race - a race run on the first year it's offered and then run every year forward! Also during this trip I decided to drive the Boston Marathon course. I wanted to see every part of it that I had heard about! Now, I should let you know that at this point I had yet to run any distace longer than 10 miles. I was starting training in July for my very first half and full marathons! And here I was driving the most historic marathon course in the US! I drove to Hopkinton, which seemed like such a long drive!! I followed a map similar to this one - Boston Marathon Course - and searched for all of the landmarks, wanting to take my own pictures of all of them! Here are a few...(I really should do a full post on this...)
The storied START line in Hopkinton...
       Spirit of the Marathon, Ashland Clock Tower, Framingham Train Depot (with a train!), signs to the screaming girls of Wellesley!
Johnny Kelley Statue, Boston College, Citgo Sign (Fenway), and finally the FINISH!
     I ran my first marathon in February of 2012. It took me 5 hours and 30 minutes to run my first marathon. Ironically, with the stops for pictures & wandering, it took me 5 hours and 30 minutes to drive the Boston Marathon course! Pretty cool, I thought!

     So I returned to Boston in 2012 for year two of the BAA Boston 10k...
Boston 10k 2012 - winner Kim Smith, top center
     And I will return this year for year three. This year, many of my friends will be running along with me, from Boston and from all over the country! It's sure to be EPIC! Registration opens May 1st. If you are able, it is a great race and a lovely little vacation for the summer! And if you need any suggestions on what to do in Boston, well, I can give you a week's worth - at least! - of fabulous places to see, eat and tour!
Freedom Trail Run - Run and learn the history!
4th of July 2011 - history, baseball & fireworks on the Charles with the Boston Pops
Pick one, I promise, you will be very happy!

     I fell in love with the history of Boston, learning and seeing more and more each year. The history of our country, our beginnings, started there. Those streets are where we fought to be independent. When Boston says they are strong and resilient, do not doubt them. I love this city. I love it's people. I cannot wait to get back to Boston this summer!
Boston Qualifying time...
     And oh yea, now, I'm planning on qualifying for the Boston Marathon! Before, I figured I'd just run for a charity and get in that way to run it one day. But now...Well, things are different. I also feel like maybe doing the charity thing is a way I am wimping out. Maybe I really can qualify! I have a lot of time to take off my marathon finishing time but if I train and stay focused and positive, I know I can do it. I also have an unbelievable support team here in my running community and virtually around the world via Twitter. It's absolutely amazing the friends I have!
     So, the goal: by age 50 (I'm 39), qualify to run Boston. I've got plenty of time!
     See you in Boston!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Team Little Black Dress Wines & the 26.2 with Donna Marathon Weekend

     What an honor it was to be a part of Team Little Black Dress Wines during the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer marathon weekend! It was so much fun! I entered a contest on their Facebook page just on a whim and I was chosen! A total of ten women were picked to represent the Team during the marathon. For each mile we ran during the races, Little Black Dress Wines donated $10 to 26.2 with Donna! We were even given running dresses to wear for the race! We were asked to pick a color - of course I picked black!!

My "Little Black Dress" with a splash of pink!
     Friday evening of race weekend I was also given the opportunity to attend the 26.2 with Donna VIP cocktail party held at One Ocean, a gorgeous resort and spa in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
The outdoor patio at One Ocean Resort & Spa
Beautiful view!
I was officially there to help "represent" Team Little Black Dress Wines and of course the brand, Little Black Dress Wines! I'm sure you can guess what I wore!

     Also attending that night from Little Black Dress Wines were Juan Perez-Vega, director, east division, and Nicholas Shoults, national retail director, to present Donna with a check! Juan has been involved with the race since the start, donating wines to events like this one, but he wanted to take it to the next level. This year they also wanted to help with the fundraising efforts! So beginning in October 2012, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and continuing through the end of February 2013, the month the race was held, $.26 from every bottle of Little Black Dress Wines sold was donated to 26.2 with Donna! Juan and Nicholas, with a little help from me, presented Donna with a check for money raised so far! What an exciting moment to be a part of!

Presenting the check to Donna and Dr. Edith Perez of Mayo Clinic
     The evening was filled with lovely food and of course, fantastic wines! Little Black Dress Wines is going through a revival of sorts and I must say it has been a while since I had enjoyed a glass of their wines. Since being chosen for the Team I have been buying and drinking their wines much more and have rekindled my love for the brand!
The food selection at the party was simply amazing! I was expecting light hors d'oeuvres, but there was so much more!

And then the desserts! I chose this lovely chocolate mousse and cherry cheescake bite to pair with my Pinot Noir. Perfection!

And of course, as seems to be the new thing with pictures of me lately, I was caught in the act once again!

Social Media Butterfly at work!
     What a way to kick off the Donna Marathon Weekend! Thanks for letting me be a part of the Team, Little Black Dress Wines! Looking forward to your continued support of our great cause for many years to come!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Marine Corps Marathon here I come!

      My life took a dramatic turn over Spring Break for me this year. I made some pretty big decisions and tried out some new things and am now on a whole new and exciting course!

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh

     I signed up for AND actually got in to the Marine Corps Marathon! It was a two plus hour struggle using my laptop and my phone and neither one would work! The Active site kept crashing! I am only in because of my fabulous friend, Katie, who continued to work and work to sign me up! Without her, I never would have gotten in!

I'm In!!! (and so is my friend Christine! Thank you, Katie!!)
Buzz was building a little less than a week before registration opened and I got sucked in! This has always been on my bucket list of races as a "one day" race, I just never expected one day to happen this year! I decided why not try. I thought registration would be smooth and easy! Ha! But I'm in and could not be more excited! Or scared!
     I live in Florida - the land of NO HILLS. I will be running MCM "up North" where there are plenty of HILLS! I ran the Runner's World Half last year in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and thought I might die - but also loved it! But that was just a half. This is a FULL! One of my best running friends, Erin, from For the Love of Disney Running, said of her race at MCM last year "I was done at 13.1, finished at 20, dead at 25 and thrilled at 26.1 in need of medical I was so drained." And I consider her to be a very strong, tough and fast runner. Oh my Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!?
     So I knew I needed a plan. Honestly, I like saying "I'm in training" anyway. I say it a lot because I usually am! But now I can really say it because things are about to get REAL. Actually, they already have! My training plan and diet started this week. I have been working with a nutritionist, Marni Sumbal of TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition LLC, to fine tune my diet for the past few months. Now all of the work she has done with me in helping me to plan my meals to be the most efficient athlete I can be is about to really pay off! So I set out my meal plans and made a promise to myself to really prepare and eat as I should over the next few months (lifetime). I use an Excel spreadsheet (I'm geeky like that! I LOVE Excel!) and plan out my week of exercises and meals as much as possible. There are always changes or glitches in the plan but I know that for the most part I am eating healthy and getting the nutrients my body needs to perform! Link to a copy of a blank plan for you to tweak: Weekly Food Plan

An example of a typical week for ME!

     Now this is MY plan for me and what I like to eat, have time for, etc. I take my lunches to work. I like simplicity and ease of preparation. I try to cook one & eat twice. Tuesdays and Thursdays can be late nights for me so being able to just warm up the meal from the night before makes it much easier on me! I prefer and try to eat as much fresh, real food as possible. I try to have protein at every meal and I really do try to avoid added sugar. I'm sure I don't eat perfectly and Marni might not approve of all my choices, but I know I am a more mindful eater now than I was before! I always thought writing down what you eat in a food diary or meal planning was really hard. But now I know it is really easy and super important if you are serious about eating RIGHT! I recommend finding a nutritionist if you are concerned or want to change how you eat. Marni is great because we did everything over the phone and online, so feel free to use her even if you don't live locally!
     Next up: Training! I made another decision over Spring Break. I needed to take some time off from running. WHAT?!? Yep, I said it. I know, I just got back at the end of January. But I feel it in my shin still. There is still something wrong. I know my body is not at 100% and I need it to be to train the way I want. So after having some beautiful, fantastic runs along my favorite route, Bayshore in Tampa, I decided to call it quits April 1st. No foolin'! I'm taking the month of April off - with the exception of a little 5k race April 6th - and resting and strengthening my shins, hips, body! It actually feels kind of nice to decide this for myself and not because an injury is making me do it!
     So it's back to the pool! My dad and I signed up as members at the University of North Florida Aquatic Center, my alma mater. I went for my first swim on Tuesday of this week and it felt great. My second swim on Thursday I actually shaved 5 minutes off my 600 meter time. Not bad! My dad says I'm always the competitor. Who me?? I'm starting slowly, for me, with 600 meters during the week and 1200 meter long swims on the weekend and building from there. I am good at two strokes - freestyle and back stroke - so that is what I do with a kickboard routine thrown in between. 100 meters of each stroke, twice during the week and then I will double that for the weekend.

My Swimming Pool

My Swimming Plan
     For the rest of my training plan, I am hoping to come back stronger as a runner. I combined Jeff Galloway's plan from his website for time goal marathons and his plan from the runDisney site for marathon training. I had to do some tweaking with my swimming lasting a month but I think I've got it pretty well mapped out!
Mapping out my plan of action!
     Cross training, as I always preach, will continue to be key as I get stronger and fitter. I have a list of new exercises to incorporate into my training that will help me continue to strengthen my shins and ankles. I need to get faster so I WILL do speed work! It's on my schedule, I can't avoid it! I will also do the Florida version of hills - we call them bridges here! I have bridges downtown and I have bridges at the beach. I will do both to change it up and keep me from getting bored! When Galloway training season starts, I will hopefully again be a group leader and continue my MCM training on those Saturdays, even if it means I have to go out for an extra 14! My co-leader, Mercedes, did it last year as she prepped for Marine Corps and this year, it will be both of us! At least we'll have a pal to commiserate with, right?!?

My Training Plan

     On my plan, I have only added the run times on Tuesday and Thursday, but I will also be doing yoga in the mornings so that I keep myself well stretched! SW on the plan stands for "Speed Work." On weekends where I have speed drills (the 8x1, 12x1, etc. See Galloway) or race weekends, I decided to drop the next weeks speed work to "rest" my legs. Pilates and weight training are key players in my cross training because of the core work involved. My weight training is mostly upper body work with a few shin/ankle exercises thrown in. With the running I do and the bridge work, I really don't feel I need weight training as well. Pilates work has a lot of leg work in it so adding weights seems too much! I don't want to overdo it!! Link to a copy of my spreadsheet: My Plan

     Well, that's my plan to get me to the Marine Corps Marathon! I still can't believe I'm running it! I'm very excited! I really want to do well and feel good on this, my third marathon. I know I'll be taking pictures along the way to preserve the memories (and share them!) because that's who I am, but I also want to run strong and finish strong! Look out D.C.! Marine Corps Marathon, here I come!