2016.

So it has been some time since I have posted…October 16th to be exact. Whoops. If you don’t recall, I was training to qualify for the Boston Marathon. A month after my last post, I did just that! To say my body and mind were beat after four months of pushing myself to the limit would be an understatement. I 100% took advantage of my recovery time. I no longer avoided that last glass of wine that might not (heaven forbid) give me those special health benefits as advertised, I stayed up past 11pm (CRAZY), and I didn’t work out for multiple days in a row. The word moderation conveniently disappeared from my vocabulary.

Then came New Years. Time to check myself. I saw this Jon Gordon post and decided it was perfect for me. Instead of picking several outlandish resolutions, I will pick one word and relate it to every aspect of my life.

2016 = consistent. For those that don’t know me well, I am BEYOND inconsistent. I make decisions, good & bad, based on emotion and the rest is history (thanks Dad). The only consistent aspect of my life seems to be running. Everyday. That cannot be healthy, right? IMG_5411

I will be consistent with my workouts and actually lift weights more than once every three months. Ouch. Not running is so hard for me, therefore, I don’t do it. I will not be running Boston until 2017 so I better try new workouts while I can. 

I will be consistent with my eating habits and not have almond joys, pinot noir and jarlsberg for dinner every weekday night. I will eat more green things. Enough said.

I will be consistent with everyday choices and think twice on matters that are out of my control before I wig out. I love to get worked up with situations Mother Teresa could not solve, let alone Paige Greenberg. Time to let that nonsense go.

What is your word for 2016?

20 miles on the treadmill.

Two weekends ago I ran 20 miles on the treadmill. Thanks Joaquin. No seriously, thank you Joaquin. Some people have a very strong dislike for the hamster wheel, however, I flourish on this machine. Water, change of clothes, bathroom, snacks, great people watching, all readily available, what’s not to love? Don’t forget the massive mental win when you can say you completed such a daunting task. Yes, I am aware 20 miles is a tad extreme for the treadmill, but it can be done.

As you read the tips below, you will hear a ton about mental wins. Try to pretend you are playing Mario Kart and each mental win is a gold coin. These coins may not seem immensely useful at first glance, however, they most definitely can prove their usefulness as you reach dark places during a workout!

  1. Mentally prepare, early. It was supposed to rain cats and dogs all weekend, therefore, I decided on Wednesday I was going to do my long run on the treadmill regardless of the conditions outside. I had a full three days to repeatedly tell myself I was running 20 miles on the treadmill Saturday. Over and over again. I also told others to hold myself accountable.

  1. Make a plan. My dad used to coach his players to compete in four minute intervals, from TV timeout to TV timeout. I use the same method for my long runs & it is crucial (mentally) to do this when on the treadmill for exorbitant amounts of time. On Saturday I broke mileage down into three hour segments. The treadmills at my gym stop after an hour so the decision was a layup. 20 miles = 7 miles, 7 miles, 6 miles. Breaking a huge task into small, attainable chunks is vital to your mental state, at the end of each interval you get a gold coin.

  1. Get to the gym early. I was the second person at the gym Saturday morning and it was such a gratifying feeling having the building to myself. I deemed myself queen of Vida Fitness and started to have inner competitions with others as they entered my court. Unbeknownst to them, they stood no chance. I won every competition and you know what that means, more mental wins!

  1. Don’t be afraid to hop off and take care of any issues that come up. I got off the treadmill several times to change, refill my water bottle and go to the bathroom. The goal of a long run is to prepare your body for 3-4 hours on your feet. Getting off to take care of business is not going to downplay the benefits of this training exercise. Note: It is a little strange to get off the treadmill after a long period of time, you go from watching others physically move from place to place as you stand still to moving yourself. Don’t try to rush to avoid any injuries!

  1. If you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of boredom there are things you can do to keep a fresh head on your shoulders, such as switching speed, incline, channels, treadmill, etc., however, nothing is as important as constantly reminding yourself how marvelous it is going to feel when you can tell yourself you hiked a Mount Everest size mental mountain. If you complete your long run on the treadmill, think about how your next run outdoors is going to feel. Money in the bank.

Like I said above, thank you Joaquin. You can never underestimate the power of a good run and a mental win. If you are forced inside for a long run, don’t fret. Hop in your cart and start collecting those gold coins, you won’t regret it!

My Squad

If you haven’t read Molly’s post from yesterday you should do it now. It is 100% accurate. I actually used some of her tips yesterday, my mile repeats were my worst enemy. It has been a short while since I last posted, work has been very busy and I just haven’t had the energy to type when I get home from the gym. Meh.

My support system has been really great the past few weeks of training. I cannot stress how vital it is to have people in your life pushing you in the right direction. It is not easy to work, train, have a social life and keep control of everyday errands. Finding that balance is hard but if you surround yourself with the right people things become a little easier! How many times have you had to skip drinks to prep for a long run the next morning? Did your friends understand? Luckily mine do, sometimes they even join me!

As I continue to train you will most likely hear me mention the names of a few people so I figured I would give you a little background!

My family! Mom, Dad, Ella, Jackie and Jake. We went through some rough stuff a few years ago and I think everyone learned a lot about each other. I definitely think it brought us closer than we have ever been.   

Mom and Dad.

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They are pretty awesome. They coach me through EVERYTHING in life and I still talk them at least once a day. Just hearing their voices provides comfort for me. I don’t think there is one thing I have done in life they haven’t fully supported. Dad pushes me and knows how important competition is in my life, Mom can cure anything. I am very lucky I am able to say all of these things, I know it is not the case for everyone. Without my parents I would not be where I am today, or remotely close.

Ella is my middle sister and lives nearby.

We are pretty close in age so I would describe her more as a friend. She always joins me at fun running events and has been known to surprise me with a thing or two during training. Ella is a very happy person, always. She reminds me of a real life Glinda the Good Witch. Truth be told, and she knows this, it is a little obnoxious because I am more of an Elphaba! However, her spirit keeps me going and I often channel her positive attitude when I just want to quit. She was married this summer and I couldn’t be happier about her husband Andrew joining the family. Andrew is so caring and literally wants to help everyone he can. They are the best. I can’t forget about her dog, Maggie. She provides daily amusement. HAHA JK ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂  When I asked Ella to proof this she added the pink text. It’s true. 

IMG_3307Jackie is my youngest sister.

She plays volleyball at Villanova and is much better than I ever was on the court. I definitely treat Jackie more like a sister. She is super tough and I am super tough on her. She will thank me later! Jackie ran her first half marathon this year and did awesome. I was so impressed she could train as hard as she did given her commitment to volleyball. Fingers crossed she goes to Georgetown law and can join Ella and me in the next few years!  

James is my boyfriend.

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I imagine he doesn’t love hearing my alarm go off at 6am on a Saturday but he never says anything. When I am training it tends to completely shift our weekly routines. No drinking Friday night, strict eating, early bed times, evenings at the track and so on. I literally don’t think I’ve ever heard him complain. He’ll rub my gross feet when I don’t have toe nails and doesn’t mind that I spend the majority of our time in gym clothes. James also stood in the freezing cold rain for four hours with my dad to support me in Hartford. I am a pretty lucky gal he is so supportive because I know not-training Paige is a handful to deal with, imagine training Paige. Literally a crazy person. He gets a million gold stars. 

Brennan is my coach.

We used to work together at D.C. United and he provided the best guidance for my first marathon. He told me to slow down, even if I feel like I am already running slow. 100% the reason my legs gave me negative splits in Hartford, among other things. He is super fast and has run Boston 39545787 times. He is also crazy because he is currently training for an Iron Man. Brennan has been a great sounding board and really gets everything I am going through. I know he is super busy and he still takes the time to help me achieve my goals by providing constant advice and guidance.

Last but not least, Becca and Molly.

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These ladies are really good people and share my values. They are always down for an active social activity and are always providing support. They push me to get better in different ways and I am so thankful to call them my friends!

Week 2 & some hip help!

Week two, check! Mileage below.

Monday – 3 miles (8:44 pace)

Tuesday – 800M warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (7:03 pace)

Wednesday – 3 miles (7:31 pace)IMG_3224

Thursday – 2.5 Mile Warm up, .15 x 12 *See last post for more information*

Friday – Off

Saturday – 11 miles (7:45 pace) / Midnight on Mars 5K (7:45 pace – whoops!) I will provide more pictures/recap later this week!

Sunday – Off

A friend of mine sent over info below regarding my hip issues! If you are facing the same problem, check out Jasmine’s suggestions below! Really really awesome she took the time to write this up for everyone! Also, follow her here!

Hi, I’m Jasmine and I recently became a Doctor of Physical Therapy so when I saw that Paige was having hip issues I knew I had to give her some advice! Paige’s symptoms are common in most active people who sit a lot at work – sitting for most of the day tends to shorten your hip flexors, while also weakening your hip abductors and hip extensors. This combination can lead to problems and pain with running, but luckily there are a few easy exercises that can help!

  1. Your hip extensors include your gluteus maximus and hamstrings. Together they are responsible for driving back your leg with each step you take. A great way to strengthen these muscles, especially glute max, is the bridge. Lie down, squeeze your butt and lift it up 30 times. As this gets easier, transition to using only one leg at a time:

    hip 1
    spinept.com
  1. Your hip abductors include gluteus maximus’ less well-known little sisters, gluteus medius. These muscles at the side of your hips keep your pelvis level as you run and prevent you from collapsing with each step. My favorite exercise for these is the lateral band walk. Walk sideways for 10 steps in each direction with a band around your ankles and repeat 3 times:
hip 2
shape.com
  1. Lastly, your hip flexors, which include your quads, serve to bring your leg forward with each step, have probably shortened up over time, and need to be stretched out like a rubber band. Hold this runner’s stretch for 30 seconds, 3 times on each leg, while maintaining good posture:hip 3

Try these exercises out once a day and you should see improvements within a few weeks!

Short Term Goals

After last week’s Flywheel class I had a minor breakdown. I lost to James again, which I am totally at peace with after 1 full week, but I also finished in the middle of the class. The class wasn’t packed and I left feeling so discouraged. I thought to myself, I work my rear off and there is NO reason to not finish the class in the top 3!

On the way home I phoned my Dad and expressed my concern over not knowing how to push myself. He used to be a coach and always got the most out of his team, I figured he could provide some solid advice. His response, “Paige you run marathons, what do you mean you don’t know how to push yourself?” Bottom line, running long distances has become pretty easy and doesn’t require much extra effort on my part. It’s the nitty-gritty exercises that live outside my comfort zone that really challenge me. November Project, lifting weights, the list goes on…

We came to the conclusion that I need to set short term goals to reach my long term goal. Little baby steps and small achievements go very far mentally and give you something to hold onto at that current time and place. It is tremendously easy to get caught up in ONE bad run if you expect to see your long term goal in short term time. This is something that needs to be avoided before you fall down a rabbit hole that does not lead to wonderland. Set small goals to help avoid these hurdles.

Short Term August Goal – One track workout/one mile repeat workout per week

This sounds pretty easy, right? Negative. It is SO much easier to get outside and coast. Running is typically a one stop shop. Going to the track requires walking to my car, driving, parking, putting on all of my go-go gadget accessories, working out, getting in the car, driving home, parking, walking home, blah, blah, blah, such a process.

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Last night I attempted to run to the track for 6 x 800 meters but the running gods had another plan. The track was closed so I had to improvise and do RFK (don’t go after dark – it is a little slim shady) parking lot sprints. Improvise is not a great word for me. I always need a plan. After pouting to myself for a few minutes I found the longest straightaway and got to work. It was very hard to keep track of what I was doing so I let my Garmin run the entire time and analyzed the results after. It is very hard to keep track of distance, splits and recovery time on one watch. Too much math for me.

2.50 mile warm up

+/- .17 sprint – 5:40 pace x 13

Total Mileage – 5.40

Not bad, but not what I had in mind. I am anxious to see how it translates next week when I do a proper long distance sprint workout.  Because my distance/paces were ka-plunked last night, my scale for pushing myself was interesting. How close is Paige to throwing up? I know this is not the safest option but it was a good scale for me. I know I am getting a great workout and my heart rate is bumping.

Throughout the past two years I’ve learned a ton about my body and continue to do so every day. I encourage everyone to get out there and push yourself with me and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your experiences and metrics when it comes to your personal satisfaction after a workout.

So long Friday night happy hour!

My first long run of training is complete. I woke up every hour from 3 am on, talk about miserable nerves.

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It has been some time since I’ve woken up at 6:30 am on a Saturday to get miles in before the heat but it was super easy getting back into my pre-run routine. Coffee, one bottle of nuun water and oatmeal with a scoop of Better n’ Peanut Butter. Bn’PB is sweeter than normal PB and lower in calories. Before my marathon I drove to four different grocery stores in Connecticut before I found it; you can typically count on Trader Joe’s having it in stock. I let everything sit about 45 min before hitting the pavement.

Usually when I run I set a purpose, speed, recovery, testing different paces, etc. but Saturday I did no such thing (Becca did & look what happened!). This is typically a VERY important part of running. Not only does it hold you accountable with your goals, but it keeps training interesting. Saturday’s run was a pulse check. I haven’t run 10 miles in a long time and I was nervous about the outcome of my pace. I just wanted to get out there and see where my legs took me. If you start your training on the right foot it is a huge mental win that can set the entire tone of the next four months. I finished 10 miles at a healthy 7:39 min pace. Splits below.

10mile Splits

When I run I try very hard to avoid my Garmin until I have four to five miles under my feet. From there, I can decide what’s next. After five miles I felt great and decided to keep up my pace. I was shocked I could hold it. Knowing I can do 10 miles at race pace was a huge win for my head, only 16 more to go (PS – thinking about how many miles you have left is a horrible habit, do not listen to me!).

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Running in Washington, D.C. is definitely a luxury, especially in the summer. The city itself is very active and the amount of people out at 7 am grinding, most likely training too, is the purest form of energy. It really jacks you up. Also, if you are lucky enough to live in Capitol Hill you can’t miss the sea of attractive Dads out with their kids, Starbucks in hand, 7am. I don’t hate it.

Because things went so well on Saturday I ran my five miles on Sunday a bit slower than planned – 8ish. Whatever.

This week is fairly easy and I look forward to District Running Collective’s Midnight on Mars 5k Saturday! Running through the city at night is a surreal experience and this is the safest way to do it. I highly encourage you to sign up!

Torque Down for WHAT!

Week one of training is off to a great start & my life is officially hijacked by BQ (Boston Qualifier) training.

Monday – 3 miles / 5×10 lunges and squats

I am not sure the last time I ran 3 miles. WHAT. I have to say, it is super nice to get in a quick 24 min work out and retire to my couch for the Bachelorette watch party!

Tuesday – 5 miles

I gracefully melted into a giant puddle on Capitol Hill Tuesday. I was able to finish with a 7’53” pace but it was brutal. D.C. weather has been pretty bearable for my runs thus far, until this week. I think it is important for all of us to remember that in extreme heat it is OK/normal to run slower. Also, if you don’t use nuun tablets I HIGHLY recommend them. These tablets do wonders & can change your life.

Also, if you did not know…the more hydrated you are the less you have runners trots. I went there. Enough said, drink water.

Wednesday – 3 miles

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I’ve had some reoccurring demons in my hip and groin since my last race in October, never enough to make me stop running, enough to make me question my health. I finally decided to have it checked out by a professional, not WedMd. I think I was putting it off due to fear? I often use this same method of thinking when checking my bank account. If you don’t look it is basically a non-issue! Right? Guilty.

I heard wonderful things about United Wellness Center so I opted to go there and see a Chiropractor. The doctor diagnosed my issue and worked on it for 30 minutes. I left feeling amazing and free of pain. The man was a wizard. More information on the type of treatment, ART, he fixed me with.

I am going to explain the issue in very simple terms because it is complicated.

Basically, I am having issues with my hip flexors and abductor muscles, derived from hip extension movement. The majority of the power in your stride comes from your hamstrings when driving your entire leg backwards. This is your hip extension.

Hip Extension Process: 

Foot hits ground

Leg drives backwards/beneath you

Foot hits ground again and motion ends

The power in this motion comes primarily from your hamstrings and this strength is the main factor for running faster. Most people have stronger quads than hamstrings. Finding that balance is key.

End point – I need stronger hamstrings but I am OK and this is not a major concern. PHEW.

Thursday – Flywheel

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If you haven’t taken Flywheel it is 100% worth a try. This place is amazing and great for those that cannot do the whole SoulCycle do as you feel kumbaya-ish workout. Flywheel is based on numbers and the instructors do a great job of telling you exactly how much resistance (torque) and RPMs you should be working with throughout each song. I always leave knowing I got my moneys worth.

>> Sums up my thoughts on SoulCycle: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/12/30/soulcycle_fatigue_the_exercise_craze_jumped_the_shark_in_2013.html

There is also a live Torque Board that calculates your RPMs and Torque to give you a Total Power score. The Torque Board is live and shows you where you stand in the class. I lose to my boyfriend every time and it is so upsetting. I workout much more than him and his legs are still stronger. Life is not fair.

**Don’t worry, you don’t have to participate in the Torque Board but it is a nice option for those that are super competitive.

Lastly, you can access more information online or via their App. It is a great resource to help you analyze each workout.

FLY 1

Sidebar

Do you like LaCroix like moi? Might be testing a few of these tonight!

Amy’s has a drive thru now!

Weekend Miles –

Friday – OFF

Saturday – 10 miles

Sunday – 5 miles, race pace

Marathon Monday

I am going to call this Marathon Monday (sans beer) because today is the day I kick off training for my second marathon – why hello emotional roller coaster, nice to see you again.

Brief History: I ran the Hartford 2014 Marathon andddd not to toot my own horn or #humblebrag BUT the whole experience was relatively easy for me AND my body. I underline my body because this is a HUGE part of training that I will touch on in the following weeks. I felt healthy day-in-and-day-out during training and did not experience any issues during my long runs. I also did not have a problem on race day. It was amazing to say the least. Best. Day. Ever. I was able to hit both of my goals, 1) Under 4 hours, 2) Negative splits the second half of the race. I finished at 3:49.

HMHM14PH07163_2183

Boston 2017, I see you.

For those that don’t know, the Boston Marathon qualifying time for women my age (27) is 3:35. Running the Boston Marathon is the ultimate goal, therefore, I have decided to run the Philly Marathon in November and attempt to shake 15 minutes off my time. Shake it off, shake it off. Easier said than done T-Swizzle.

tswift

Throughout training I will log my experiences here in hopes you can learn a thing or two! Maybe even inspire you to sign up for a race (Becca included)!?

That being said, below are a few key nuggets I am pinning to my dashboard as I embark on this journey again. These are in no specific order, honestly, I need to do ALL of them consistently!

1) Speed. Eight minute miles are fairly easy for eight miles, what about 26.2? I did not focus on speed or mile splits last year. You will see a lot of speed work in my training this year.

2) Nutrition. I gained weight last year during training. Trust me, it is easier than it looks.

3) Weightlifting. Very little and very low weight. I have 0 breathing issues but my legs tend to get tired when I run faster.

4) Stretching. Do it. I literally did 10% of the stretching I should have been doing in 2014 = Bad Paige.

Stay tuned everyone!