7 Holiday Workouts

If you’re anything like me, the holidays are a time to eat as if the calories don’t count. Another serving of cheesy rolls? Yes, please! More wine? Duh! Donuts or cinnamon rolls? Both, por favor! But that sort of carefree eating can start to bring you down, so here is the secret to enjoying the holiday feasts without regretting it later.

The Holidays are not an excuse to stop working out!

That’s right. You heard me. Holiday vacation is a vacation from work or school… not from your health and wellness. But this is part of a larger shift in your attitude toward exercise. It’s time to stop thinking of it as “work,” and start to think of it as “me time” or “play time” or “the best damn 30 minutes of my day!” Ok, that last one might be pushing it.

Once you make this shift, you’ll find yourself looking forward to working out, even when you’re on vacation. So, this holiday season, maybe try one of these fun ways to keep yourself and your family members active in between feasting!

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Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO
  1. Take a hike!: Hiking is an activity that all family members can enjoy, including our furry friends. Depending on the hike you choose, it can be a quiet nature walk, or it can be more rigorous, like mountain climbing. Get the family outside to enjoy a healthy activity together! Tip: If it’s really snowy, find someplace to rent snowshoes!
  2. Make a cameo!: Visiting a relative who has a membership to a gym? Find out their policy on guests and have a gym-date. One of my favorite things to do when I visit my mom, is to go to the gym with her. We take turns picking a workout or weight machine and we both come away with new activities to try and very sore muscles!
  3. 15-minute jam!: Busy holiday schedule? Lazy family members? Not a problem. The Nike Training Club app has tons of 15-minute workouts that are perfect for getting in a quick, but effective workout without needing any equipment. Tell mom to stop complaining about her knees; tell your sister so stop worrying about her kids’ meal schedule. All you need is 15-minutes and a good attitude. More on Nike Training Club.
  4. Run like the wind!: Gather up
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    Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO

    your fitness-minded friends and family and take them on a group run. One of my favorite, recent Christmas memories is of running around my boyfriend’s hometown when we were visiting his family. We ended up at his high school and spent a while roaming the halls while he shared some pretty cool memories with me. Check out my post about running while on the road.

  5. Grab and go!: If you’re road-tripping to your holiday destination, there is no excuse not to bring some exercise equipment with you. A couple of easy-to-pack items include TRX gear, a jump rope, resistance bands, a yoga mat, or P90X dvds. In addition, you could always pack a set up dumbbells, a medicine ball or a kettlebell.
  6. Lend a helping hand!: What if you could win Daughter/Son-of-the-Year status AND get in a great workout? All you’ve gotta do is offer to help rake leaves or shovel for your parents, grandparents or their neighbors. Seriously, put in 1 good hour of raking leaves and then try to tell me your obliques aren’t on fire.
  7. Go sledding!: If you’re going sledding with friends and family, try running up the hill after each turn. The snow, coupled with heavy boots and bulky layers will prove to be a great leg workout. You’ll quickly feel it in your calves and quads. For an EXTRA good workout, take a lazy friend or a young kid with you and PULL them up the hill. I did this with my nephew last year and let’s just say that I was pretty embarrassed how sore I was the next day. But he had a blast and so did I!

So there you have it. Don’t stop enjoying the home-cooked goodness of a holiday meal. Don’t turn down a refill of a great Malbec. Just find some time to enjoy a bit of exercise while on break, and avoid having to play catch-up when you’re back to reality.
loveB

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!

iPhones can be Personal Trainers Too

Hmmm… what to say about the Nike Training Club app? Well, for starters, it’s Nike. Fuelband aside, name me a product or program that Nike has launched in the past five years that hasn’t been amazing.

I take a lot of pictures of my feet...
I take a lot of pictures of my feet…

I had heard about the NTC app before, but I kind of stuck my nose up at the idea of an iPhone app being able to provide me with a good workout. I had a gym membership, I was running a ton, I was participating in November Project and the occasional yoga class. What else could the app do for me?

It all happened one rainy morning. I had recently quit my job, and had been FUNemployed for about a month, and was already tired of running. The rain was coming down in buckets, and there was no way that I was going to go outside. Hesitantly, I opened the app, which I had downloaded months before. I selected a 15-minute workout led by pop star Ellie Goulding, which was supposed to be a total body tightening and toning workout. Riggghhhhhttttt, a musician is going to lead me through a grueling exercise. But much to my surprise, when I completed the 15 minutes I found myself short of breath and completely drenched in sweat. The following days, I could feel the muscles that I had worked. I was actually sore!

So this is me, apologizing to the NTC app creators. I should never have been such a #workoutsnob about your product. And now this is me, telling all of you fine people to get moving and download the app now and be my Nike+ friend! Here’s why:

Benefits of the NTC app:

Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
  • No purchase necessary  – The app is free, and very few of the workouts require much more than a pair of dumbbells, medicine ball or a step. You can improvise, like I do, with a pair of beer cans, a soccer ball, and a coffee table or park bench.
  • Time equals money – The workouts range from 5-minute stretching/warming up drills to 45-minute total body sculpting drills. There are plenty of 12, 15, 18-minute workouts that I recommend (below).
  • It’s everywhere you want to be (yeah, I stole that from Visa, so what?) – Most of the workouts can be completed in a very tight space. Put out your arms, spin in a circle. If you didn’t hit anything, then you’ve got yourself plenty of room.
  • One size does not fit all – Luckily, you can take what you want and leave what you don’t. Like star jumps. No me gusta star jumps. When I am given an activity that I don’t want to do, I either modify it or choose something else in its place. Plank, sit-ups, push-ups and squats are all easy and effective options.
  • Tips of the trade – The entire workout is narrated and tips for safety and success are given throughout.

My favorite NTC workouts:

Hip lifts hurt so good!
Hip lifts hurt so good!
  • Goal Getter with Christen Press (yay soccer!): 18 minutes – strength moves to sculpt your core and lower body. Keeps your heart rate up, while you tone. Favorite activity: diagonal bounds. 
  • Butt Buster: 15 minutes – tone your tush in 15 minutes? Yes, please! All girls have that one area of their body that they’re super self-conscious about. Mine are my legs and butt. Favorite activity: hip lifts. 
  • Ab Burner: 15 minutes – abs on abs on abs. Keep crunching! Nobody every complained that their stomach was too flat, or that their six pack was just too prominent. Nobody. Ever. Favorite activity: Russian twists.

So, I’ve done my best to leave you with no excuses not to try the NTC app. It’s not meant to replace all of your workouts, but it is a great option for days when you’re crunched for time or it’s raining and you can’t bring yourself to leave the house. You can also bring your phone to the gym and try these workouts there! Now get out there and get toned, you beautiful people!
loveB

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!

Run with Hart

That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.
That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.

You know who kicks ass? Kevin Hart. Not only is he absolutely hilarious, but he’s a workout enthusiast who preaches a healthy lifestyle to his fans. My kinda guy! The comedian-currently out on his “What Now” tour-teamed up with Nike’s Run Club to host 5K’s across the US and Canada. And today, Hart made a few hundred people in the DMV VERY VERY happy, and hopefully a little more healthy!

”What I saw today were people who have never ran come out, and have the will to finish, simply to become the best version of themselves,” said Hart. “For me, you guys don’t understand how refreshing that is. I honestly believe that being great is a mindset. People, don’t let today be the last day of your start. Continue this with or without me.”

He’s awesome, right?

Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!
Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!

Events like this are not only fun and full of awesome gifts and prizes, but they represent the strength and excitement of the fitness community. They’re happening everyday, in cities all across America. If you aren’t sure where to look for these events, check out local running shops and Nike stores. Here’s a list of upcoming running events in the DC area. In some cases, like today, registration is free. Some races may cost something, but the money is usually to benefit a non-profit. Go find yourself a race or a fun run, and get moving because today is as good a day as any to make your start.

One of the best parts of these races, free schwag!

  • Nuun – Paige has talked about Nuun before, but I finally got to taste it today. Mmm! The hydration tabs, which are enhanced with electrolytes, dissolve in water and taste amazing.
  • Kind Snacks – A friend in Colorado introduced me to Kind years ago and I’ve been a longtime fan of their products and their movement. It’s not everyday that you find a company who stands for something. But aside from their social responsibility awesomeness, Kind products also boast ingredient lists that you can actually read. They’re made from simply whole and raw ingredients like quinoa, chia seeds, various nuts, various dried fruits, salt, honey. So tasty.
  • Nike – See pic of free shirt above. I love it!

More pictures, because pictures are fun. You’ll start to see that I really love pictures.

The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)

loveB

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.

No More Excuses

There are so many excuses not to exercise. No equipment for strength training, no sidewalks or shoulders on the road for running, and I’m too tired are just not valid excuses.

My Current Situation

Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY
Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY

I am at a house in Upstate New York with my family. When I say Upstate, I mean no cell service, backwoods, 25-minutes to the nearest grocery store Upstate New York. It is absolutely beautiful. We rented a house at the end of a LONG, HILLY, GRAVELY driveway with a pool, tennis court, bocci ball and horseshoe court (or as my brother just said, you should call it a horseshoe arena), a pond and wonderful people I call my family.

The Problem

I rarely have the urge to go on a run, just like Paige rarely has the urge to pick up weights. Today, though, I was feeling it. I was so exited to get up to this house, work for a bit and then go on a nice, long run. The problem is that about every 200 ft, there is a deathly curve in the road and you seriously cannot see what is 5 ft on the other end of the curve. So running in the street is out.

Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)
Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)

My mom brought ten pound weights, which is more than enough for a killer workout, but like I said, I really just wanted to get a run in.

Enter: Adam

Adam is my oldest brother, an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Butler University and a bit of a crazy person when it comes to exercise. So, after already running this morning and playing about an hour of tennis with my other brother Danny, he suggested getting a workout using the driveway.

*Please see description of driveway above. Read it again, but this time in a louder-than-appropriate voice and the tone you’d image the Devil to use when speaking.

The Workout:

Find a friend. Jog down the .3 mile-long driveway. Look up at the hill in front of you. Think unpleasant thoughts. (Adam described this as the opposite the feeling you get when you are super pumped to ski a double black diamond, then you get to the top and think about how stupid an idea this was) Change those unpleasant thoughts to positive, motivational, YES YOU CAN thoughts. Take off up the hill. Curse at each other the whole way up. Walk back down to recover. Repeat as many times as you can, then do one more.

The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away
The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away

The Finisher

5 Minutes of arms: Push ups 10x, Tricep Dips 10x, Plank Up/Downs 10 e/a

5 Minutes of abs: Slow Cross Crawls 20 e/a, Reverse Planks 10x, Side Plank Pulses 10 e/a.

Pro Tip: 

Bring bug spray with you to do the abs and arms.

I am currently working on tomorrow’s circuit training for Adam and I to do. There MIGHT be a guest appearance from my mom, in which case, I’ll explain the workout and all the ways you can moderate it for your fitness level. Until then, over and out fitness peeps.

– MB

Just Show UP

Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.
Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.

Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me about the workouts I do at the Lincoln Memorial. They’ve either seen my posts, or pics that I’m tagged in. Hooray for Instagram. Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am an Instagramaholic. But I digress…

The group is called November Project DC (shout out to Molly for introducing me to the tribe a little over a year ago), and their mission is to bring free fitness to cities across America. Oh, and it’s a group of anywhere from 50-200+ people. It’s freakin’ awesome. I found that it was a great addition to my routine, which mostly consisted of running days and lifting days. It got me outside more, and helped me work on muscles that I wasn’t reaching at the gym. It’s also a different form of cardio than my body is used to.

Question: What’s the key to great calves?
Answer: Running stairs. #JustShowUp

You can read more about NP, including the tribes from other US cities here. But the DC tribe meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. to 7:30-ish. (if you’re insane, they’ve also got a 5:30 a.m. group on Wednesdays). Here is a general idea of what the workouts look like:

  • Monday: Meridian Hill Park – Run hills. Die a little. Give sweaty hugs. Love yourself later.
  • Wednesday: Lincoln Memorial – Run stairs. Mix in some body-weight strength training and aerobic exercises. Leave with a phone full of sunrise pics, and a handful of new friends.
  • Friday: Location TBD – Each Friday, NP meets at a different location around the city. You’ll learn 15 ways to use a park bench for exercise, and other useful tips.

GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You want to change-up your workouts.
  2. You need motivation to get out of bed early.
  3. You just want to make friends.
  4. You like pretty pictures.
  5. You want to push yourself really hard, or take it easy and have a lighter day. Difficulty is TOTALLY up to you.
  6. You want to be a part of a free fitness group that is growing in size all across America and getting national media attention.

DO NOT GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You hate fun.
  2. You hate hugs.
  3. You hate the word “fuck.”
  4. You hate the idea of working out and have no intention of changing your mind about this (also, why are you reading this blog…?).
  5. You hate people.
  6. You hate pretty pictures.
  7. You hate dogs. Sometimes there are dogs there! Ahhhh I love dogs.
  8. You can’t get past the name. After a year, I still have no idea why “November” is in the name.

So, I am going to consider this my #verbal for tomorrow’s workout, and I’m going to leave you with an optional, but highly encouraged, FUCK YEAH!

#JustShowUp

loveB

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!