It’s my favorite Friday of the year!!! Friday of March Madness. I’m a NCAA March Madness junkie. This is my Christmas.
1. NCAA March Madness Tournament – NCAA.com
You can watch all of the games from the convenience of your computer, which is helpful for those of you who have to work. I’ll be off to watch the games, and route from my alma mater! Fight, Fight, Fight for the Cherry and the White!
This running warm up is in the latest issue of Runner’s World magazine, and it’s just what everyone needs. I started including more dynamic stretching before runs over a year ago as I began increase speed to prevent injury and it has been a life saver. I fully believe in incorporating these moves to your routines… BEFORE a run.
“A recent study reveals that a dynamic warmup routine can help you perform better. Researchers compared how well study participants ran after moving versus sitting. When runners did dynamic stretches, they were able to go almost two and a half minutes longer before they tired out compared to when they sat. The following routine is directly from the study.” – Runner’s World.
3. Happy St. Patty’s — For St. Patrick’s Day I made this faux-Shamrock Shake with a recipe from @ChocolateCoveredKatieon IG. (Spoiler: The green is spinach, so it was the perfect healthy breakfast treat!)
4. Easter is around the corner… which mean it’s time to stock up on my all-time-favorite candy…. CADBURY MINI EGGS. Typically I’m a dark chocolate lover, but there is something special about the hard shell and milk chocolate that I can’t resist!
5 breezy, recovery miles at lunch. Had to fit my run in somewhere, but underestimated the strength of the wind.
It was a meeting filled day, so it was nice to get outside!
Morning miles in motion on the spin bike to start the day, plus some dynamic stretching.
Was able to get back to the gym at lunch for some strength training.
15 minute Warm-up
Leg workout: Ladder + deadlifts + jump squats + side plank, leg raised holds + tricep push-ups + squats, single leg squats + hamstring stretches and single-leg bridges on the stability aka my new hell. Glide stretches
Needless to say, it was a day when I needed al the coffee. The vanilla, hazelnut latte from Einstein Bagel is my go-to on campus!
Another easy 5 miles with 3 at marathon pace followed by a full body work out from the Tone It Up girls!
Made it to the gym for strong HIIT workout. Do you ever incorporate HIIT into your training? I used to do it a lot when I started running, and while I don’t do it as much I like to incorporate a few times a month. This cycle included am easy warm up followed by plyometrics and 400 meter sprints for 3 rounds.
Motivation to get to my upper-body strength training as well. Worked a routine with triceps, biceps, and shoulders with some core thrown in there.
Needed some post-run fuel, which included this killer salad. Greens are always so refreshing to me after a workout, but I also crave protein so the chicken and hemp seeds were a great addition today.
I also recently discovered these new Chobani crunch packs, do to my rekindled love of yogurt this week, and they make a great late afternoon snacks for long days!
I even made it to another Zumba class… who though I’d go back after we discovered my lack of rhythm last week. I was a dancer all my life…. Running obviously changed me. Dose anyone else feel that way as miles increase?
Hilarious group shot:
Snow day! I’m ready for spring as much as everyone here on the East coast, but there is something beautifully serene about running in the snow. It’s so tranquil. Just me and the snow flakes for 5.5 easy paced (mostly due to the snow) miles with 3 miles at MP. I only had a short chunk of time, but I felt like I could have ran forever!
Post-run I fueled up with some Special K Protein cereal and berries and bananas — I love getting my fruit fix in all day long! Had to get some carbs in me before heading to a Barre class at Barre Balanced. It’s always such a great workout and burner for the glute and hamstrings, which is what I’ve been focused on this past month!
Recovered with all things peanut butter to make up for missing my fix on national peanut butter day earlier this week. [half almond butter + jelly and half natural peanut butter, Nutella, and banana].
This quote couldn’t be more true. Peanut butter is my love language, and it holds my life together.
I don’t know about you, but this has been an exhausting week I’m ready to catch up on the new season of House of Cards and carb up for a run this weekend! Where are you logging miles? What’s your favorite show to binge?
Over the course of this past year, I’ve had my fair share of injuries creep up and had to resort to crosstraining aka NOT RUNNING.
I’ve always have included different types of exercises into my daily routine, but I never realized the importance until I became a more dedicated runner. Some people are gifted, and a blessed with joints, tissue, and muscles that allow them to run nearly everyday. As much as I try, I am not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I still run as much as my body will allow me, but I’ve learned to rely on other forms of endurance training and cardio.
During the last few years, I’ve also focuses on core and strength training, and while this post is on some of my favorite ways to crosstrain, I’m constantly working on my core and strength training in different ways.
If I had to pick a favorite endurance/cardio activity it would be: spinning.
A lot of runners have taken to the streets on their bikes and become dual-athletes after time.
I enjoy the occasional bike ride, but I discovered the intensity of a stationary bike a few years ago. I’ll never forgot my first spin class; it was 60 minutes of darkness, loud beats, and sweat — all the sweat. It was one of the first workouts that really challenged me, not just physically, but also mentally (very similar to distance running).
You have control over your cadence, leg speed, and resistance. You can take classes just about anywhere now, do your own routin, or take a class on-line. After attending a number of classes, I tend to get on the bike at least twice a week when I’m not running! Recently, I’ve been taking on-demand classes with Robin from Peloton — she pushes you like no other.
There are other studios like this poping up everywhere, SoulCyle, FlyWheel, and BodyCycle.
Get on and own your ride!
Open Stride Adaptive Motion Trainer or Elliptical:
Similar to the elliptical, the adaptive motion trainer is excellent for recovery and taking pressure off your legs and causing less impact overall.
With that said, that doesn’t mean it has to be easy
The most humbling of all crosstrain workouts — unless swimming if your jam. I envy people who can jump in the pool and gracefully glide over the water with their fancy strokes, barely kicking and breathing at the right times.
Me — I’m more of a doggy-paddle swimmer, which is actually a perfect fit for pool running.
Someday, I hope to concur the pool, but I’m not there yet. Needless to say, if you can swim DO! and Do it a lot, immersing your body in water is excellent for recovery. You can go HARD in the water, without any impact or fear of injury.
This is what led me to pool running a year ago, while training for the Big Sur Marathon. I was spending a lot of time doing hill repeats, which is awesome and hellish all at the same time. During a pre-check half-marathon, I tweaked my left leg (IT, Knee) and had to cut-back, a lot.
When I started amping up training again only about 6 weeks from race day, my coach told me to start pool running, he helped me with some workouts that weren’t that intimidating. And there I was, that weird woman everyone looked at awkwardly swimming back and forth in the pool. What they didn’t know was that I was KICKING ASS and taking names. I crushed my legs for those next six weeks, getting in the pool 2-3x a week. Come April, my legs were ready for anything — even the 2-mile climb in headwinds up Route 1.
Pool running is much more mental — there is no pretty landscape, terrain, music, etc. It’s just you, the water, and your thoughts. (I’ll share some workouts for the pool soon!)
Additional Crosstraining: Power Yoga, Yoga, Barre
If you need more proof as to why you should incorporate crosstraining into your training routine, check out this Runner’s World article.
Tis the season… With the amount of snow we’ve had these past few weeks, it’s time to invest in Yaktrax. Many runners out there have been using for years, so I’m slow in checking these out. But for anyone that has to deal with snow-covered roads this is a create alternative to the DEADMILL!
4. Valentine’s Day Donuts!
My love for donuts and Valentine’s Day combined in the most heavenly combination. The Brown batter is to die for…
5. Peloton Classes On-Demand
I’ve been addicted to these classes lately. If you have access to a spin bike I highly recommend checking them out. And Robin Arzon is the QUEEN. You will not regret it.
February is one of my favorite months… All things pink and red are available including delicious treats LIKE THIS!!!! And we get to celebrate our wedding anniversary!
Spoiler Alert: I love Valentine’s Day, and will post too many things about it over the coming days.
January Miles: 100.
Lower than I would have liked to see, but taking it easy as I work on my sciatica nerve pain. And still on point for my #RunLoveChallenge to finish 150 miles by February 14! ❤
That time where you get mistaken for a student… Pretty perfect way to start the week. Jenny 1 , Monday 0. Boom.
40 minutes Spinning — intervals
Back strengthening: Low Row, Lat pulldown, Bent over row, and Back extension
Core work: Plank/Side Plank, tricep push-ups, pikes, and lounges x3
Chiropractor in the evening… more on that later
Goal: Warm-up | 5x800s in 3:22 w/ 400m rest | cool-down
Actual: Warm-up 1 Mile | 5 x 800s @6:39 (3:20) w/ 400m easy hog @8:19 | Cool-down 1.25 miles
Total: 5.5 miles
Woke up with all intentions to get my workout in outside, but I nearly fell just getting to my car, so I had to think fast and pushed it to the treadmill. Not my favorite solution, but I can’t change an injury.
I’m gearing up for a 5K, since I can’t run too much distance while in recovery. This workout was a killer, and my first time doing 800s in a while. I recovered with all the coffee and all the meetings (I wish I was joking).
What a difference a few hours make…
2-Mile recover run … OUTSIDE; it ended up being a gorgeous day so had to embrace it.
Full body workout and core.
Spent the evening with the most inspiring women in my field, at a Women of Communication’s event. #WomanUp2016 is totally the theme of my life right now.
Got this view heading out of Philly. Just what I needed after a 15-hour day, and two-a-day. Love this city!
Woke up singing, “Now you’re in New York These streets will make you feel brand new Big lights will inspire you Hear it from New York, New York, New York!”
Train ride essentials: Good reads, fresh mani [Essie: Licorice], macchiato.
Let’s Go to NYC!
Spent the afternoon exploring Times Square and Rockefeller Center with the family; we took a trip to see Aladdin on Broadway (Christmas gift I gave my sister). Needless to say we had too much fun being tourists (e’hem, we may have used a selfie stick) and chasing down some of our FAVE NYC EATS!
While there are tons of restaurants that I’m dying to try a NYC trip is not complete with out a slice from Ray’s Pizzaand cupcake from Magnolia’s Bakery.
These are staples in my life.
Aladdin, the Musical is a magical experience. Probably the most fun show I’ve ever seen on broadway! Worth every penny! I highly recommend — it’s fun for everyone!
We also had a chance to visit the Empire State Building at night… There something not only more romantic, but also serene from seeing the skyline light up by the city of lights.
We had a fabulous visit, and it was a great day with the family!
After a weekend of indulging eating I had to get in a run in on Sunday afternoon, and because it was 50 degrees on the LAST day of January!!! WEEEEE!
Can’t beat these snow covered views. Just open your eyes, there is beauty all around. So glad I made it to the trail for a run, even if it was OVERLY CROWDED.
An too prove how nice the temps were…
Shorts sleeves + snow in January! Reppin’ my AACR Tee! Not pictures: Oiselle Aero Tights
What was the BEST part of your weekend? A trip to NYC took the cake for me… as did that CUPCAKE!
How many miles did you log? I wanted to do more, but time got away from me and could only fit in 5 on Sunday. The crowds were intense!
The Blizzard of 2016 brought the winter weather we’ve been expecting on the East Coast… It’s been COLD. Which means you really need to be EXTRA motivated to get outside!!!
Last year I trained pretty much all year round. When I was working with a coach he pushed me to do ALL my training runs outdoors — and I did. Unless it was especially icey, I was running outside. And looking back it definitely made me a stronger runner. Don’t get me wrong, the treadmill can be great for workouts at times, but if you can get outside DO IT. Why? Well if you are training for a race … then you need to be prepared for all conditions mother nature throws at you!
Or maybe you are like me and just think running outdoors is just much more fun!
Needless to say over the years I’ve been honing in on the best attire to keep warm, but not too warm. Everyone is different, but here are some general guidelines I’ve been using. I’ve gotten several tips from Runner’s World and a number of fellow runners on the East Coast and Midwest. I envy those West Coast runners that NEVER have to jump over puddles and snow (story of my life this week)!
1. First things first – LAYER, LAYER, LAYER
It’s always COLD when you start (think “Feels like -2” even though it’s 7 degrees!. So you bundle, bundle, bundle… but then after one mile you are sweating! This chart is a great guide for layering attire. Once you do a few runs a various temperatures your body will adjust and you’ll realize when you can go with less/more clothing. I know that 35-45 degrees is relatively warm for my internal temperature and only need a base layer, but below 30 is when I need to consider a thicker base layer or a thin vest layer.
Temperatures are one issue, but so are the conditions aka. Wind/Sun/Clouds. When its windy and/or cloudy you can predict you will be colder. When the forecast says “abundant sunshine,” you an expect to be warmer.
2. Check the Weather!
The beauty of technology is that there is an APP for everything! Most phones come with a weather app and you can get an idea for temperature changes. For instance in the spring and fall there can be dramatic changes in a two-hour time frame, which is something if you are aware of you can prepare for with you layers!
3. Protect YOUR Digits
My fingers tend to be my biggest issue… I have Raynaud’s disease, so my finger tips tend to go white very easily and it takes awhile to improve circulations. It took me a while to find gloves that worked, and even then I still need to take extra precaution.
I alternate gloves, I have pairs for warmer weather, fall, and the brutal winter months.
In the spring and early fall I actually just wear a basic pair (from Five Below) that have the iTouch fingertips.
Come late fall and warmer winter days my go-to gloves are:
As many of you know I’m a huge fan of all things Pro Compression. I wear them ALL year long. I love the marathon socks, but I also wear the low trainers. Both are perfect in the winter. I even wear the marathon socks UNDER my tights. #keepittight
I recently discovered Feetures! And they are soooo comfy and warm, and really great for shorter runs!
6. My Winter Faves
Ok.. so my TOP choices:
It’s fun to have basic pairs and some colorful ones.
Last year I got a great deal on the Storm Shelter Jacket from Asics— and it was a lifesaver! I wrote it almost every run in February. It’s out of stock, but I’d suggest searching for one or finding something like it. It’s great to protect against anything Mother Nature throws at you — rain, wind, sleet — you name it. And it keeps you toasty. (See photo above).
Friends of mine also love the Oiselle Wallace Jacket, available here.
If you are on the East Coast I hope the snow around you is melting and you have been able to log some miles!
There has just been to much snow around me, but hoping that changes this week!
My Monday commute looked like this:
ehh… Needless to say I was pushed to hit the Treadmill for some recovery miles.
I was also able to get a kettlebell, full-body work out in too!
Not much more progress on Tuesday, so I crosstrained on the spin bike and focused on some core work early morning, before heading to my PT appointment at lunch.
It was my first session since my initial evaluation and I was looking forward to it! After my deep tissue on Friday my hips were finally feeling loose, but still so much tightness in hamstring, glute, and quad.
After some intense stretching, we spent time working using the Graston Technique. (If you’ve never had it and have tightness in any of these areas, I highly recommend!!!). I saw the same PT over the summer for issues with my left knee/IT brand and these really helped, so we are hoping that he can work some magic on my sciatica nerve pain. He worked on a lot of the surrounding areas to try and target my pain points. It hurt SO GOOD (John was on to something here). We also incorporated movement into it to help trigger point and exercises.
… I think I’ll be swore tomorrow!
I was able to end the day with an amazing practice on the mat with Adam at Enso Yoga; my favorite part of Tuesday. Do you ever feel that a practice is made for you? It was filled with tones of hip strengthening and stretching — a solid theme for the overall day!
Wisdom from Dre on for 2016 – Let life kick you around once in a while. Fall down, scrape your knees, collect some scars. All of that shows that you LIVED! It may hurt at first, but the strength, confidence & grit you earn will outweigh the pain. #Upgrade2016 #BeMoreHuman
Last week of January, take it… embrace it, and make sure you SHOW UP!