A couple of December goals

It’s amazing to me to think that we are in the final days of 2016. I feel like the year kicked off a sprint pace and never let up. So now that my race season is over, it’s the perfect time to regroup and refocus before diving into training again. With that in mind, I’m setting just a couple of goals for this month.


Strike a balance….Without a race to focus on, it seems like the perfect time to up my strength game. So the goal is 3 days of strength work and 3 days of running.

Keep a good base….In the past, I have slacked off on my mileage at this time of year, but this time around I’d like to keep my weekly mileage around 18 – 20 miles.

Roll & Stretch….Daily rolling and stretching are necessary, and with things being more low-keyed I can make the time for this. (And my body will thank me for it!)

All things in moderation….I’ve done really well with my weight loss goal this year so why go and blow it in the last month, right? But, I also don’t believe in denial…so I will enjoy all the tempting holiday treats in moderation 🙂

So tell me, how are you planning to wrap-up the year?


Refreshing the morning routine


With all of the crazy snow days we had from the end of January and throughout February, my morning routine has essentially gone right out the window. No great surprise, when my morning kickoffs in the right way it makes all of the difference in my attitude and how my day unfolds for me.

So, with spring on the way (really I promise it is!), it seems like a good time to refresh the morning routine. Honestly “routine” is probably not even the right word to use, because I know no two mornings will unfold for me in precisely the same way…but there are some “rituals” that help me to make sure that I run my day, instead of the other way around.

What do I need in my morning?

Meditation — This is my chance to connect and get centered.

Hydration — While my first instinct many mornings is to reach for coffee, I like to get a glass of water with lemon down first.

Working out — I have been working out and running post-work in the afternoon, but I know it definitely works for me best to get moving in the morning, so it’s time to get back to that.

Daily planning —  I am a planner geek from way back, so my morning is not complete without a little time sitting quietly with my planner and a mug of coffee to review both mine and my family’s schedules, identify the “must do’s” vs. “like to do’s” and set my plan/intentions for the day.

And yes, Coffee — I do love a mug of coffee…I’m trying hard now to reel it in and keep it to just one cup!

Now the trick to either refreshing or creating a morning routine is to build slowly. Conventional wisdom says it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. And, taking baby steps is more likely to be effective than making one giant leap – especially if the routine you’re trying to adopt is a radical departure from where you are now. Finally, if part of your routine feels more like a chore than a source of inspiration, it may be time to re-access and consider making some changes until you find what feels right for you.

So tell me, what’s your morning routine like?


Training Week 6: Remembering Why

Happy September! Hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend!

I’m getting ready to head out for this morning’s run and week 7 of my Philly Half training. I’m looking forward to a fresh start and to put last week’s runs far behind me.

Week 6 was rough people! I’m not going to lie – I thought about skipping the recap altogether. But with running, you’ve got to take the good with the bad, right?

So here’s how the week shook out:

Monday:   Strength training – legs and core.

Tuesday:   Heat & humidity returned just in time for my 6 miles.

Wednesday:  Played with my kiddos and took a rest day.

Thursday:  7 miles – I could not get out of my head on this run. There was a lot of bargaining with myself during this one.

Friday:   Core work.

Saturday: 3.5 miles – this was suppose to be 9. Despite doing all the things I was suppose to do to prep for this long run (sleep, fuel, hydrating), my body just wouldn’t cooperate. I was so frustrated with myself and finally just stopped, called J and asked him to come get me. A low point for sure….

Sunday: I briefly toyed with the idea of going out to try the nine again, but ended up sleeping through my alarm and opted to avoid the increasing humidity and have a lazy breakfast with my family.

Like I said, happy to put this one in my rearview mirror and move on. Time to get my head back in the game …to remember the reasons I’m out there…My Why.

How do you get out of your head when you’re running?


Monday Re-set

busy calendar

This is what my schedule felt like last week! It seemed like a raced through my days ticking off items from the never-ending To Do list – I swear it felt like the “busy elves” were adding items as fast as I was eliminating them. But I was managing to keep some sense of balance and still get some workout time in for myself.

That is….until this weekend. The combination of Christmas gift shopping, house decorating, holiday parties, snow/ice storm and helping my son with the sea turtle project from hell (OK I may be exaggerating a smidge but if  I don’t hear about sea turtles for a while, I’m good with that!) all proved to be my un-doing! I missed my long run Saturday morning – I kept telling myself that I’d fit it in later…yeah well, didn’t happen. In fact, there was minimal working out of any kind.

And while I’m feeling less than fabulous this morning, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Time to hit the re-set button and commit to a better…more balanced week!

So how was your weekend? Are you keeping up with your workouts/runs?



Kicking off August!

While there was a lot of family fun in July –  my running was a bit of a mixed bag. But, it’s a new month and I’m ready to kick things up a bit!


Kat over at Sneakers and Fingerpaints is hosting the August Core Focus Challenge! I’ve done a couple of ab/core challenges before and this one looked like fun and a perfect way to help get me on track for my fall races, so I’m in!


Another great way to kick things up? A race of course 🙂 Given that we’re in the dog days of summer there isn’t much to pick from on the racing front around here until September – so why not go virtual? Jill & Jen, the great ladies behind the #13in2013 Challenge are hosting a Birthday Bash Virtual Race in honor of their birthday month! You pick the distance and the day and for added incentive there are some fun prizes involved. August is my birthday month too and this is just the extra motivation to help me through one of my race pace runs.

I’m also thinking it’s time to mix things up with my cross-training so I’m returning to Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30. I tried this DVD out last summer and it definitely helped to keep things interesting. Just like last time, because of my schedule and making sure I get all my runs in,  I will probably not do this workout for 30 days straight – but nonetheless Jillian is sure to keep me on my toes!

What have you got planned for August?


Missed goal – #WhatsBeautiful Update

As you know I’ve been participating in Under Armour’s “What’s Beautiful” campaign. I’ve been hard at work on my stated goal:

“Focus on speedwork, strength training and core work so I can own new PRs for the 10K and the half marathon; and most of all, be a stronger version of myself!”

My first chance to achieve part of that goal was running Boston’s Run to Remember…. but I fell short of my target by 2 minutes.

My stomach went south around mile 8 and despite my best effort I couldn’t overcome those lousy two minutes!

So what do you do when you fail to reach your goal?

Have  a pity party? Question how hard you trained? Take time off? All of the above?


Well I’m having none of that! I’m choosing to …. Assess, re-group and get going! While I’m ticked off that I missed my goal, there are some good lessons to take from the race and training cycle to help fuel me as I get ready to go after my goal again:

  1. During this training cycle I ended up not running enough longer runs with RP miles – in part because of the timing of other races I had on the schedule and because of a cranky ITB 
  2. Once I started paying attention to the strength exercises Coach Bennett gave me for my IT, the IT became a non-issue in my training and in the race.
  3. Looking at my splits I can see that my time on the track is starting to pay off.
  4. While there was more core and strength work  during this cycle, this is still a weak link for me.

So as I go after my 10Ks this summer and start training for my fall half marathons, I WILL:

  • Put in more long runs with RP miles
  • Keep doing the exercises my Coach gave me
  • Continue to hit the track and hills for speed
  • Be consistent in my core and strength work
  • Find new nutrition game plan – while I treated every long run as a dress rehearsal for my races in terms of fueling something’s going terribly wrong on race day. So I’m starting from scratch here – I will keep a food journal and go back to trying new options pre-run. I will not let my stomach derail another race!

 So what do you do when you fail to reach your goal?


Training reboot

While I don’t want to call week 2 a failure it was definitely nothing special and makes me happy there are still 12 weeks to go!

There were good points — hill repeats on the mill and a great strength and core workout; but there was much that was just so-so or worst…non-existent (no yoga, and thanks to Hurricane Irene I missed my 8-miler).

So I’m coming at this week with renewed energy and focus! This morning was a beautiful morning to be at the track – on the plan was 3 sets of 200/200/400 with jogs, plus warm-up and cool-down. There were a lot of us on the track, but despite a little weaving I nailed my target pace for each interval!

For the rest of the week – there’s daily core work, plus:

Wednesday:    Easy run plus strength work
Thursday:        Tempo run
Friday:             Rest
Saturday:         Weekly Pilates Reformer group
Sunday:           Long run (9)

Hopefully this morning’s workout means I’ll get much better results this week.