Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

After an incredibly lazy/recovery week after the Marine Corps Marathon, I continued to take it pretty easy last week and actually still haven’t gone running. I hope to change that today, but I have gotten in a little bit of strength and cross training in.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown of last week:

Monday: My version of P90X Ab Ripper and push-ups.

Tuesday: More P90X Abs and push-ups.

Wednesday: Again, P90X Ab Ripper and some push-ups. Are you starting to see a theme here?

Thursday: I mixed it up a little bit and added a great extended body ride at Revolve DC’s spin studio to my P90X Ab Ripper routine and push-ups.

Friday: Yet another day of P90X Ab Ripper and push-ups. Sorry if this is the most boring weekly recap I’ve ever written!

Saturday: I got in just part of my ab routine and some push-ups today before heading over to Revolve for a real ride.

Sunday: Rest Day. I did get some good motivation today though spending the morning cheering and volunteering at the Veterans Day 10k and the afternoon on my couch reading my latest issue of Runner’s World cover-to-cover.


Resolution Check-In

It’s that time again for my monthly check in on my New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been putting this one off since I didn’t hit my big goal of a BQ at MCM, and I have no plans of running another marathon before the end of the year. While I’m not going to give it another shot right away, I know I will eventually cross this off my list!

Last month’s big focus was drinking less soda. I did better than I have been doing and managed to go a couple days a week without grabbing a soda. I’m planning to keep working on this and add a few more days without it each week. Damn that fridge full of free soda just steps from my desk!!

Core strength and staying injury free were other resolutions I had this year. I continue to work on my core strength and also was smart enough to get myself in to the physical therapist last month to check out a problem before it became an injury.

With the year winding down, I’m turning this month’s focus to recovery and cross training. I want to get back into working out after my marathon by embracing yoga, spinning, the elliptical and the weight room. Of course, I’m sure there will be some running in there too, but overall it’s going to be a November filled with other activities.


Are you still working towards those resolutions? How has your year gone so far?


Moving Forward

In my Marine Corps Marathon recap I mentioned I’d be doing a post on what I thought went wrong. After playing it over in my head a million times since Sunday though, I have decided against it. Thinking of every little possible thing I could have done differently or done better, and continuing to beat myself up for it, won’t change my finish time from Sunday.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to just forget about it and not learn anything from it. There is always something to be learned from every race – good or bad. It just means that I don’t see the need to dissect every factor that could have impacted my race.

Instead I’m choosing to focus on things I can do moving forward to help me hit my goals in future races.

  • Stick to a strength training plan all the way through my training cycle.
  • Do my best to get enough sleep on a daily basis to help keep my immune system strong and fighting off colds.
  • Don’t change too many things up too close to race day.
  • Get more training runs in at or faster than goal pace.
  • Conversely, make sure I have enough easy runs that really are easy runs.
  • Find new shoes and make sure they work for me.

It all seems pretty simple. Now, time to put it into action!

Hopefully, this will be my smile at the end of my next race – not just at mile 1.5!


What big lessons have you learned from racing that have helped you get better?


Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Well, this is more of a Monday night recap, but it’s been a busy long weekend! Last week was up and down. I was really lacking in the motivation department at the start of the week, by midweek I was feeling great but by the weekend I didn’t plan well and ran out of time to get my full long run in. Not a terrible week, but I’m still hoping next week is better.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: I put in a solid 40 minutes of strength training focusing on lower body.

Tuesday: 7 mile run plus 4 striders after work.

Wednesday: I moved up my track workout a day knowing I’d be heading out of town Thursday and put in 8X800s after work at the track.

Thursday: Rest Day. I spent most of the evening and early morning hours in a ZipVan with Ian driving up to Syracuse – we were bringing back some furniture at the end of our weekend trip making this the best vehicle for the trip…


Friday: Strength training with a focus on core.

Saturday: Quick 4 mile run around Alex Bay. A little too much to drink on Friday night at Ian’s brother’s rehearsal dinner and not planning out what time I’d need to leave to be at the wedding on time meant no long run on Saturday, but at least I got a few miles in!

Sunday: Rest Day

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week started off tough. I was really sore – a couple days of hard running and not keeping up with my stretching and foam rolling had taken its toll. I made up for it with a couple days of serious rolling, stretching and icing and finished the week strong. I’m really enjoying the new training plan I’m on and also liking the group track workouts. We don’t all do the same workout, but it’s nice to have other people in it with you.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: After not fitting in the previous week’s track workout when I was back home in Syracuse, I headed out to Hains Point at lunch and ran 5X1000 meters. I was supposed to try and hit 4:38 for each one. I started out a bit too fast, but got the hang of it as I went on hitting my splits in 4:20, 4:30, 4:38, 4:39 and 4:33. After work I got a 40-minute strength workout including a lot of single-leg squats and pistol squats leaving my legs killing me!!

Tuesday: I took my sore legs out for a slow 5.35 mile run around Hains Point.

Wednesday: Today I got in a 30-minute full body strength workout after taking a client through a personal training session.

Thursday: I metroed out to my old stomping grounds at American University after work for a track workout with the DC Running Coach group. Today wasn’t too difficult of a workout, but I felt really great after it and feel like I’m starting to get the hang of the pacing thing. I was set to do 3X1 mile at a 7:25 pace with a 1-minute break and hit my splits at 7:18, 7:22 and 7:21.


Friday: Our office closed at 3 for Memorial Day weekend so I decided to get my long run in early and put in 10.35 miles along the Mall and Hains Point. It was a bit chilly after the warm weather earlier in the week and really windy, but I felt surprisingly strong especially for doing a long run the day after a track workout.

Saturday: Rest day – although it turned into quite a busy day with some apartment hunting (more on that later!) and a fun trip to visit some family in Gettysburg!

Sunday: Today was a perfect day for running. It was absolutely gorgeous out. I put in just more than 6 miles along the rolling hills on the Custis Trail.

Strength Training

Like stretching and cross training, I’ve always known how important strength training is to a successful run training program, but I haven’t always been great about fitting it in. Running was always my top priority and in the past I haven’t been great about keeping up with strength training when I’m getting ready for a race.

Things are different this time around though as I’m determined to stay healthy and train right. Also all the benefits of strength training and ways it can make me a better runner are just too hard to ignore anymore. Core strength and how it could help my running form was a big thing I focused on during physical therapy, and I made it a resolution for this year to focus on building up my core strength. This has really stuck so far and I’ve completed my version of the P90X Ab Ripper workout everyday in 2013.

In addition to working on core strength I’ve dedicated two days a week in my Nike DC Half Marathon training plan to strength training. Here are some of the exercises I’ve been working on…

Upper Body: push-ups, bicep curls, tricep extensions, lat raises and front raises

Lower Body: single leg squats, pistol squats (sitting all the way down into a chair on leg and raising back up), side plank with leg lifts and runner wall squats

What are your favorite strength workouts to do?

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Training is going great. I tallied 20.5 miles this week. I’m still working on my base, but added a second speed workout this week with a tempo run on Thursday. Here’s the training breakdown by day:

Monday: I had a track workout and spin class on tap for today, but a broken down car derailed my morning plans. I still managed to get to the gym later in the day for an hour on the elliptical and a strength workout.

Tuesday: Boy was it cold out this morning. I so don’t know how I used to survive the Syracuse winters growing up. Track Workout – 2.5 mile warm-up; 6X600m repeats with a 200m jog recovery; 2.5 mile cool down

Wednesday: 1.25 mile easy warm-up on the treadmill followed by a 30-minute boot camp style tabata workout.

Thursday: I hit the treadmill for my first tempo run in months and it felt great! 4.5 miles total – warming up and cooling down at an 8 minute pace and reaching a 7:41 pace throughout the middle.

Friday: Spin Class – Body Ride

Saturday: 3.5 miles easy through Arlington. I started out on the Custis Trail, but it was a bit slick so I hopped off and ran the side streets going up and down some killer hills. I followed up the run with spin class.

Sunday: 4 miles through Georgetown and Arlington ending near the Iwo Jima Memorial. I pushed the pace a little on this run and felt awesome! I headed up to Revolve after my run for my first barre ride spin class – hear more about this in a later post.

Officially Done with Physical Therapy!!

Last night I headed out to Fast Track Physical Therapy in Falls Church for what I was hoping would be my last PT session. Liz, my physical therapist there, gave me the great news that I have in fact officially “graduated” and am done with PT.

It’s not easy for me to admit injury (main reason things got so bad in the first place!), and it’s even harder for me to stop running, so starting PT and being told I needed to give my body a break was a bit hard to swallow at first. Turns out this whole injury thing might have been one of the best things for me. I’ve become so much more aware of my running form and what muscles need to be working when. Thanks to run analysis my form is getting better and more efficient. I learned the hard way just how important strength training and flexibility are for runners. This seems obvious, but I love to run so much I wasn’t always making time for the other stuff. That’s changed.

Liz did a final video run analysis last night and my form has improved a ton from the first time we did this. I’m still dropping my hip a little bit, but it’s getting better and I’ll keep working on it. My feet are landing in a very neutral position and I’m doing a better job of pulling my legs underneath me. We did a quick run through of my home exercises and stretches that have helped me get so much better over the last few months, and she gave me a few more to add to the arsenal to make sure I don’t end up hurting myself again.

I’m amazed at how much more flexible I’ve become. There’s still work to do, but I always just assumed I wasn’t very flexible and didn’t realize I just needed to put the time and effort in to work on it. It has been so amazing to run pain free these last couple weeks. Seriously, I think it’s been a couple years since running felt like this. Liz and Fast Track are the best! If you live in the NoVa/DC area and need to see a physical therapist – I highly, highly recommend them.

I’ve never been so excited for a race season, and can’t wait to go after some new PRs and a Boston Qualifier!

So excited, I can't stop smiling!

So excited, I can’t stop smiling!