50 Races for 50 States: Andover, MA

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry I’ve been so busy! I’ll catch ya’ll up on what I’ve been doing

Personal training: it’s going well! I have consistent clients and I see progress in both fitness and motivation realms.

Yoga: my class is still at a weird time, but I do get new people pretty much every class, so that’s pretty cool.

Teacher Training: I hit the 100 mark for teacher training!  Also, I am able to finally grab my big toe in triangle while keeping my legs extended. Yay!

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like this lady!
Running:

Yesterday I ran my 4th half marathon and completed my 3rd state! So that’s Vermont, New Hampshire, and now Massachusetts that I can check off my list. Only 47 more to go! 

  No one donated to my fundraiser (well, besides my mom) and I realized it’s really hard to advertise especially when I can’t fine a good website that will deposit money directly to a charity-we’ll have to see how that all goes. I was actually considering doing a charity towards my yoga schooling, but I didn’t want people to get the wrong impression. We’ll see. As far as the race goes, I only have three blisters! The only part of me that is sore is my neck, which I had already anticipated anyways. My time was the same as last time, 2:45 on the mark. I wasn’t focused on my time though. This was more of a “running analysis”. I focused on

  • Posture. whenever I am tired, I start to hunch over and start the t-rex arms. During this race I focused on keeping my upper body in line by slowing my pace down and picking up my knees or changing to a quick walk when I felt the shoulder hunch coming on.
  • Walk/running. This one was hard for me because my pride told me that walking is for losers- which is so un true. Someone had once told me to “walk before you’re body is tired”. I usually get fatigued around mile 6 but with the walk/run method I didn’t feel bad until mile 10! I think I would have had a better race time if they hadn’t made the second part of the course so hilly. There was a hill at mile 11 and 12 that really kicked butt. It was such a steep incline. I decided to run walk it so I wasn’t spent on the downhill portion that followed.
  • Running to recover. In my NH race last October, I remember seeing people pretty much dragging themselves over the finish line. This one woman threw up right in front of us. I never ever want to feel like that after a race! But ever since my neck surgery, I feel like recovery has been a lot more difficult for me. I get really shaky and my heart rate takes a while to settle. It’s like I can’t catch my breath. I ended up laying down with my legs elevated and that seemed to help a lot. I can only contribute it this time to the heat (which i haven’t been used to) and maybe dehydration the few days before. Thinking back, I probably should have been on the water more for the few days before the race.
  • Gu. I’ve been experimenting with Gu and different brands/flavors. After a few trial runs, I found the the brand GU was the best for me. I give me the most energy the fastest and had the best flavors. I did try Cliff Blocks and the brand Vega, which is a plant based protein- but I didn’t like either of them! Especially the plant one. Oh my god it was so bad!
  • Hydration. I had been practicing with my camel back, but when i read that there was a water station every 2 miles, I decided that maybe I didn’t need it. I think I consumed the same amount of water as I would have with my camel back, but in the future I’d like to invest in a belt with the water bottles on the side. I think the backpack is just a little too much and the water bottles on the sides won’t be as heavy. Maybe they’ll have a sale!

I think in the end, I need to take a longer gap between my next half marathon. I should work slower towards the 13 miles with 5ks, 10ks, and 15ks and being comfortable with those distances.  Maybe I can convince my parents to take a warm vacation this winter so I can do Florida or Hawaii or California for my next race!

This week is post race recovery/buying new sneakers. Today, I walked for an hour, did some light arms and abs. I did yoga for 30 minutes this afternoon and I’m teaching class tonight. This week will pretty much consist of walking and weight training, maybe a mile or two (depending on these pesky blisters) and then next week I’ll try and add another mile in. I think I’m hiking this week if the weather is nice- check out my Instagram for photos to come.

Have you all have a wonderful day!

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9.77 miles and 3 Weeks to Go

Happy Monday!

It’s so beautiful out and I’ve been inside the gym since 8am. As much as I love my yoga class, I won’t be able to leave here until 9pm. I’m hoping Wednesday and Sunday are nice.

Sunday I did a bit of adventure running through the town of Essex, where the gym is located. It was super pretty. Adventure running always makes the time fly by (as well as the miles!).

I brought my camel back with me full of band aids, gu, and my trusted body glide. I decided that this run I would stop midway and reapply the anti chafe to the balls of my feet in hopes it would help the whole foot dilemma. It only helped a little. But! I figured next time i’m going to change my socks. I’m not in it for the time, just to figure out these darn blisters!

I’m trying to figure out the whole fundraising aspect of this upcoming race, but I haven’t had the time to really work on a page and I can’t seem to find a place that fulfills my fundraising needs. This is the website I decided to try out this: time https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/the-race-for-human-kind-ma-edition/x/9449356

I’ve been working hard on the cross training aspect of it too. Apparently, HammerFit has a spartan team and I’m a captain… better get on that!

Earth Rock Training Plan

Here we go, training for half marathon number 4!

There are a few things that come into play when making a training plan- at least these are the things that have come up for me and my journey.

  1. Time management. What is realistic. You are competing against yourself, not anyone else.
  2. Your body. No matter how far into your plan, you have to listen to your body. What’s worse? Missing one race or a few years? I was signed up for a race, and it was such a bummer not to run, but I wasn’t to far out from surgery. It was a really good call to rest and accept that I am not super human.
  3. Dedication. Going to the gym 3 times a week for at least an hour is a really great way to start. If you have a specific goal, more training days might benefit- but only if that works for you. This is something you want to enjoy. It’s not a punishment, it’s bettering yourself. Make exercise a positive experience and you’ll start to look forward to it and make more time for it.
the plan for March

This was my plan for March. I had my training plan mapped out with one rest/make up day and then my usual week planned out to see the best time to exercise. I highly suggest making something like this if you’re like me and have a lot of things going on in your life. Exercising is a stress reliever for me and most of the time I find myself having to cut it shorter than I’d like, so some days I even split my workouts into two parts if I can make two gym visits. At least I can look at my schedule and say “oh yeah I can split my workouts up on Monday’s”.

12-motivational-typography-quotesHope you all have a nice Easter

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The Race for Human Kind: NH

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Things suddenly picked up and these past two weeks I feel like I’ve been rushing rushing rushing!

Let me catch you all up a bit-

My poor car has been giving me such grief. First the breaks, then a flat tire that resulted in me getting towed the night before my 5am gym shift (ugh what timing!). On top of that, I was getting some serious hours from Athleta until something with payroll occurred. Anyone working part time has been schedule for 9 hours this week. I really enjoy having a schedule set, so this has been a bit frustrating to work with. Not to mention my student loan payments start next month and working 50+ hours is how I was planning on paying for rent, loans, food, and gas.

As for the rest? I won’t lie to you dear reader. It’s been pretty tough finding time to go to the gym or even time and money for a decent meal. I really feel myself growing unhealthy and less happy. I sat down on Friday and made myself a weekly time organizer and a monthly workout plan. It’s time to “reinvent my fitness wheel”.

It finally happened! SMUTTY NOSE 2014!!! 

I was able to donate $245 dollars on my fundraising page! (hence the name of the post)

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The race had over 4,00 participants. It took me almost 9 minutes to cross the starting line! The weather was beautiful, the energy was high, and the course was fantastic which seriously made up for my worst running time I hope to ever get! The map provided on the race website was not updated, so the pre-race drive through I did with my family was a little different than race day, but non the less, the course was great! I think there were maybe two hills. One was short and sweet, the other winded through some back neighborhoods. I cannot express how much I enjoyed running along the ocean!

As for the technical aspect of my race, I decided on a different goal than a PR- since I didn’t feel very prepared, I decided to focus more on listening to my body. My three main goals of this race were:

  1. finish under 3 hours (narrowly missed by 15 minutes)
  2. to not be last
  3. to run to recover

The last one was the main goal. Between the severe chills, blisters, and stomach pains- running long distances seemed like a gamble. Fortunately for this race, they had water stations and Gatorade stations almost every 2.5 miles. I thought maybe that would suffice in helping me with my electrolytes, but at mile 6 someone handed me a gel pack.

Now, I don’t have much experience with gels and goo, but I wasn’t going to say no if they were handing out for free. I have heard a lot of long distance runners talk about their snacks but never tried them before. The flavor was vanilla and the texture was awful. I don’t even know what to compare it to. Thick jelly? petroleum? I stopped running in the hopes that this bizarre goop didn’t decide to come back up while my stomach was juggling from running. I ate it pretty slowly from mile 8 on and its the darnedest thing- I recovered really well after the race! Expect a post about different gels in the near future.

There is nothing like spending two hours alone with your thoughts. I realize now that I was pretty angry for most of the race. I was angry at myself for not preparing as much as I should have and i was angry at my health. it really sucks having metabolism issues, especially if you don’t have a thyroid. Self monitoring is stressful. Am I tired because I didn’t sleep well or is it something to do with my medication? The weight fluctuation is another thing entirely. I know I will manage it over time, I just need to make peace with my missing organ and my new blue pill every morning. It could always be worse- right?

I only ended up with 3 blisters. That’s a major step up from 10+. Walking isn’t nearly as bad as post other races. I attribute this so nylon socks! I had bought some from Lululemon and used them once or twice. I think it was because they weren’t too warm, so my feet didn’t sweat profusely initially and then clam up like the usually do. During my shift at Athleta yesterday I found out that we so sell socks like these (and I get 50% off for being an employee) as well as Smartwool running socks. My mom had heard from other runners with first hand blister experience that wool socks were the way to go. I purchased three different pairs to try out in hopes that all three will help me out in the future.

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Smart wool socks. Padded and not padded.
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Nylon compression sock- feetures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I walked on the tredmill for 25 minutes and then tried walking slowly backwards for 5 minutes. Someone at HammerFit asked me about an article they read. This reminded me of a similar article that talked about lunges and the benefits of multi directional exercises to work muscles in a different direction then they are accustomed to. I looked somewhat silly staring at the screaming yellow wall at Planet Fitness instead of the TV and the rest of the gym, but it felt good on my hamstrings. Just in case you’ve ever seen someone doe this and wonder why.

Today is a jogging mile, abs, and stretching. I’m not pushing myself yet to make sure my body recovers in the next few days from the half.

My First Client

Hi everyone!

Wednesday was my group interview for what I thought was Athleta, but turned out to be for Lululemon. My white wale! I have tried to apply so many times only to be ignored. Not even a blatant “You do not fit what we are looking for”- just radio silence. How rude! I decided to go even though I had accepted the job at Athleta. I was curious to see how their interview process differed and if I would even get a “call back”.  I can conclude that I do not like group interviews. Right off the bat I noticed that 5 of the 6 girls being interviewed were blonde. Of us six girls, four were wearing the brand (not me, I think that’s kind of silly). I won’t really go into detail about the process. They just asked us questions and we would go around and answer them. It felt more like trying to get into a sorority than interviewing for a retail job. My interview with Athleta was much more along the lines of what I was expecting both as a clothing store job and a fitness opportunity. I’m really excited to be a part of the crew- I think that it would be a really great platform for my own health and fitness as well as my professional life.

My profile is finally up on HammerFit! I felt so weird writing it. I wasn’t sure how to present myself to future potential clients without sounding lame. I also made one for the flyer for all the trainers at the gym that talks more about my interests as a trainer. I had my first client Thursday. He’s a seasoned runner and has been working with a trainer at HammerFit who recently retired. His needs more of a motivating gym buddy than someone to actually give him a workout routine. He was telling me about his sports history and how he was into Chi Running. I’ve actually heard this term before but wasn’t quite sure what it meant.

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  • Chi refers to the belief that there is an energy force inside us that unties the mind, body, and spirit.
  • Similar to Tai Chi, the goal is to harness the inner energy and align it properly (in this case it applies to your running posture and not your fighting posture)- making running enjoyable and pain free
  • There 10 techniques the program focuses on that are tweaked from person to person depending on different variables (skill level, previous injuries, etc.)

I wanted to do some research and maybe my client will talk more about it with me. I like the sound of pain free running!

An old coworker of mine was asking me for some good inner thigh moves- I gave her a few of my go-to exercises because it’s one of my target areas as well. As a runner, I’ve been trying to strengthen my thighs so that once they begin to fatigue from running, more muscles will be helping out. Plus, I was reading about exercises in different directions. We mostly move forward, so its super important to move in different planes in order to keep running/spinning a quad dominant sport. No more tight hamstrings please!!

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I don’t know about 30 minutes, more like 30 days if done 3 times a week!

Bye Bye Inner Thigh!  (Repeat 2X)

  1. Wide squats (10 reps)
  2. Speed Skater (10 reps)
  3. Side lunges ((10 reps each leg)
  4.  Pilates Inner Thigh Lifts (10 lift and lower, 10 pulses EACH leg-ouch)
  5.  Narrow Squat with a kick Back (10 reps)
  6.  Sumo Squat(10 reps)
  7. Narrow Squat with a side lift (10 reps each leg)
  8. Glute Bridge pulse with towel/block in-between your legs to squeeze (10 reps)
  9. Drawing circles (5 circles both directions, each leg)
  10. Crisscrossing  (10 reps)

Notice something? That’s right… squats baby! If you are unsure of any movement, just google images or YouTube. There are tons of pictures and demo videos!

It’s Thigh Time PopSugar video is also really awesome!!

Monday I climbed my first 4,000 footer! Mount Mansfield up here in Vermont! I had no idea how to pack- a threw in a scarf, rain jacket, food, and a few more layers just to be safe. I think I actually prepared quite nicely. The top was about 40 degrees with some good wind- totally worth it for the view. We even hiked a little on the Long Trail. I think it would be kind of neat to do all the 4,000 footers in Vermont. Maybe some in Maine too!

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view from the chin

Hope you all have a fun day! ♥

PS- My Half is in two weeks! Don’t forget to donate! Help me raise money for Camp Sunshine and all the good it does for sick kids and their families!

Busy Beaver

Hey everyone!

Happy September! Hope everyone is adjusting well to the colder weather- although Vermont has been fluctuating quite a but between 85 degrees and 50. Autumn up here is always my favorite. The trees slowly change color on the highway and the drive is beautiful, but this week I’ve been too busy to really stop and admire it.

I joined a planet fitness! I just did the $10/ month at the gym in South Burlington (and that $40 dollar start up fee plus the annual $30 for membership which was NOT something I knew about prior). It’s not too bad. Everything is pretty purple but its not too packed at 6am. I even got a free t-shirt! The only bummer is that they don’t have any medicine balls/ exercise balls and they don’t have a very big floor space for mats. Other then that, I am very satisfied with my membership cost and what they provide. An added bonus is a really nice running loop right outside the gym.

I also moved to Vermont! I found a room nice room from a women who posted a room share ad. She is really cool and her kids are cute, I just feel bad that I won’t be around that much.

During my move, I walked around and applied to every store I could think of- I currently have jobs at Athleta, HammerFit gym, and Teavana. This is my training week which consists of:

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Yup. That’s a 5am shift

I have a feeling I’m going to be very busy. But! I did have my first gym shift and they asked me to write up a bio and give a photo so they could make a new sheet of all their trainers (THAT’S ME!). I’m really excited they want to put me on the floor already. I’m really nervous but I think I’ll be good at my job. They gym is low key and I don’t have many desk hours. Somehow I’ll figure out how to manage my three jobs… I’ll keep you all updated about the Athleta “fitness expert” position as soon as I get my training hours.

In order to keep some sanity I finally bought my graduation present- my very first little Bonsai tree!!! I’m very excited to get my zen on seeing as that I’ve been asking for one for a while. I think it’ll be nice to prune and care fore as a little hobby that isn’t too involved.

As for working out….  won’t lie, I’ve been slacking. Between living out of my car for a week, puppy sitting, and trying to find a job- exercise has been out on the back burner. Now that I’ve moved in and have a somewhat put together schedule, I’m hoping to fit in the workouts.

33 days to my next Half Marathon!

PS- September is national Thyroid Cancer awareness month (among other things) and I just wanted to remind you all to check your necks!