Marathon Training Must Haves

It’s always scary when you sign up for a race. No matter the distance, there’s something about it that is exciting yet daunting to me. It gives me excitement and something to look forward too, yet makes me scared at the same time. There are a few things that make training for a marathon easier and I thought I would share a few of my favorites that got me through training for Mountains to Beach. I have a pretty sensitive stomach so I love these bars as they seem to be gentle enough to eat and trying a bunch of different things to see if they work while running isn’t exactly the most fun experiment!

Make Marathon Training easier with these must haves!

1. This app is amazing and I’ve been using it for a little over a year. Every now and then I switch to map my run, or strava but I’ve always found myself coming back to the tried and true Run Keeper. I love the info it gives me, the splits it gives me and how it has an easy to use online platform as well for tracking and logging my runs. It tracks my miles and gives me a nice map and when I run fast enough it sends me an email with a little trophy and a pat on a the back, which always strokes the ego a little bit. It’s nice to see your monthly stats on the main page when you log in on your phone as well.

2. These Bonk Breaker bars are finally something that my body seems to be okay with and I’ve tried it all I feel like. If my body doesn’t agree with something on a run, it’s pretty much over. I sometimes do peanut butter and jellys on long runs, but these are easier when I don’t want to deal with the plastic baggies. They are a little tough to chew without water, but usually when I am eating on the run, I’m also drinking water, so it works out perfectly. Also – I only eat half of a bar when I’m at the mileage where I need to eat something, usually around 4-6 miles, so I only need two bars for a 20 miler.

3. Because when I run I have such a sensitive stomach, I cannot drink any thing besides water. Another thing I’ve tried it all with and the results aren’t pretty. I take these to help with cramping and to make up for the electrolytes that I’m losing from sweating and from the fact that I’ve taken Imodium before the race so that my stomach doesn’t get upset. I swear by these things! I take 2 before a long run and 2 half way through.

4. Recently, TheraPearl sent me a few samples of their icing products and I love them! 95% of the time after I run, I don’t have time to take a full on ice bath and these have saved my knees! The cool thing about them is the fact that they can be heated or frozen, which is great and makes them more versatile and the velcro on the wraps helps keep it in place while you’re getting ready. I also liked the price and bought a few more of their products since they sent me the samples!

5. It’s so important to ALWAYS wear sunscreen. I have pretty bad sun spots on my face from thinking sunscreen was lame throughout high school and tanning in college. A huge stupid regret of mine. Now I always wear a sunscreen and usually double up with a visor whenever I’m outdoors, no matter the weather. This sunscreen is super sheer and dries really nicely almost like a powder, which I like. It’s not that expensive and they have a face spray I like as well.

6. To go along with my sensitive stomach, my feet are just as sensitive and I’m constantly struggling with trying to keep toenails from falling off and the insane calluses that I build up. I really like this foot cream because it helps keep my feet in a little bit better condition than doing nothing and it’s easy to put it on before bed with some socks.

7. These headphones have become my tried and true and I’ve tried a LOT of headphones. 6 months ago, they broke and I got the same exact pair again. They never slide out when I sweat which seems to be a big problem for me. I think I may also have small earholes because the majority of headphones don’t stay in well in my ears.

8. Another amazing company that reached out to me is Belle Body Buffers. I was a bit confused when I first visited their website, but when I read more about the product, I understood what their products could do for a runner and how they can really help with recovery. I felt like adding this into my recovery routine helped my muscles bounce back better and also helped my IT Band issues that I sometimes struggle with. I used it often this last training round and though it is pricey, it would be a great gift for Christmas!

I hope this helps next time you’re training for any type of race!


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Weekend at the Lake + Ride 7 Winner!

The weekend went by all too fast… we spent a few quick hours at the Lake on Saturday and it was great to have a Saturday morning off! The weather at the lake was GORGEOUS, we couldn’t have asked for a better day and though the water was a bit too cold for me, it was still really fun.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 5.29.50 PMObviously, B was enjoying himself! I was not getting on the tube because it was so cold!

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I ran six miles on Sunday and felt horrible, so that was great. My legs felt so heavy and I couldn’t pinpoint why, but I hadn’t had a bad run in quite some time so I was probably due. Hopefully this week goes a little better and now Cross Country has started up again so I have lots of people to run with again!

Also – thanks to all those who entered the Saucony Ride 7 Giveaway, the winner is ChanceB737 on Instagram! YAY!


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Saucony Ride 7 Giveaway!

Time for some Friday fun… Win the all new Ride 7 from Saucony! Thought I normally run in the Guide and recently have started playing around in the Cortana I have run in the Ride 6′s and liked them a lot! I can’t wait to try the 7s, perhaps soon. I know that Andi loves them and she will be wearing them when we do our marathon together in November!

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.06.46 AMTo enter the contest, simply follow the instructions:

1. Follow Chic Runner & Saucony on Instagram
2. Like this photo
3. Repost the photo above & Tag ‪#‎FindYourStrong‬ on Instagram

Contest ends on Sunday at Midnight. Winner will be announced on Monday, July 14th right here!

Hope you have a great weekend!


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2014 La Palma 10K Race Recap

I run this race every year and it’s always so much fun! I grew up in La Palma and the race course travels on the paths I used to run throughout high school so it always brings back memories.

This year B was lucky enough to have the day off and it was great, we brought both George and Sophie, which George was going to run with me and B was going to hold Sophie while we ran. She is a much better dog in public than George so it’s always interesting trying to wrangle them together out of the house.

bdanicalapalma10kI got my bib that morning and did a mile warm up with George. It was cloudy and cool but I knew it would get hot soon because it always does at this race. We walked over to the start line and off we went! I couldn’t get good music on my pandora throughout the entire race so that was kind of a bummer, but I did feel way better than the recent 5K I ran, so that was a good sign.


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The first two miles didn’t feel SO difficult and I ran faster than my recent 5K, so I was surprised I felt so much better, without much time to train. My pacing was also better this race as well. I think the end of mile 5 and mile 6, George was a bit tired and I didn’t want to push him because it was getting warm. We stopped and got him a quick drink at mile 5 and then onward to the finish line. George struggles with pacing in an exciting environment because he wants to pull, pull, pull and run fast! When he gets tired, I never want to push him harder than what I think he wants to run so we made sure to take it easy that last mile.

We finally headed back on the home stretch and it was like George could sense it! He picked it up a bit and we ran towards the finish. After, he got a big drink from a few of the little girls who were working an aid station right past the finish line. I grabbed my finish line popsicle and again, it was a fun way to kick off the 4th! I checked the results and finished first in my age group again this year. I also realized, I’ve gotten faster over the past few years. I finished in 46:40 this year, which is also a PR for me, I realized later in the day! Hopefully they will update the stats to include this race on my Athlinks later this week.

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The rest of the day was spent with family and friends at a little BBQ at our house. It was one of the first times we had a larger group at our home and it was a lot of fun! Everything turned out really well and everyone seemed to have a good time. How can you not have a good time with sparklers?!

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Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 4.44.44 PMWe’ve been working a lot on the house and I have a few before and after posts to post soon of updates that we’ve done and also a few fun posts with Shea’s approaching wedding including invites and party themes! I can’t wait :) July is just the start of our busy summer and fall!


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#26Strong City of Oaks Marathon Training Plan

I’m a part of the Saucony Team #26Strong and today officially kicks off training for my partner, Andi! I’m so excited for her and the entire journey to the finish line. I know she Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon Training Planwill do awesome come November 2 when we line up together at the City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh, NC. When it comes to my personal training and especially working with someone who hasn’t run a marathon before, my main goal for her is to enjoy the whole experience. One thing I cannot stress enough to anyone who is running or beginning running is that you can never get your ‘firsts’ back. Once you run your first, you’ll always remember it so make the most of the experience and don’t worry about time. Instead, soak up the scenery, the crowd and the feeling of finishing. We’ve discussed her training plan and schedule as she is a PA in Charlotte. The furthest she has run previously is a 10K so it will be a whole new world for her running this far and her training is a blank slate, which I am excited about.

When putting together her training plan, I discussed with her how I wanted her to feel while running and to make sure that she is actually enjoying training. I’ve run a lot of different training cycles and it really works well when I run less with the most important run of the week being the long run, because I know the mileage is what really matters come race day. Normally, when I’m coaching, I’m coaching cross country which is only a 3 mile race. Because I haven’t really ‘trained’ many people to run their first marathon beyond a few tips and tricks and putting together a very loose training plan for them, this is my first real go at it. I’m glad that Andi and I have a relationship where we talk often and are open with each other to discuss how things are going and I know she will be honest with me.

So here’s is her first month, July! I’m having her start out slowly and build her mileage up each week increasing by one mile for the long runs. The runs throughout the week are just to keep the legs fresh and can all be done at whatever pace she wants to run at. I told her if she wanted to run more because she felt great or switch up the run to do an interval, to do those on Wednesday because then it gives her legs time to recover for her long run on Saturday. 4 Month Beginner Marathon Training Program ScheduleIf you would like to download the full 4 Month Marathon Training Schedule – you can do so here: Four Month Marathon Training Schedule

I also registered for the race yesterday before the prices went up! I’m excited to run in November with her and know it will be such a fun weekend with her entire family at the finish line and a bunch of her friends and family running the first half with us as well.

City of Oaks Marathon RegistrationAs for me, I’m going to start training for Long Beach once we get back from Cabo in August. Before we go to Mexico, I’m going to keep running and have my long runs be between 8-13 miles on the weekends consistently, but for right now I’m really enjoying my 30 mile weeks of more relaxing running after the tough training cycle month I had in May. I’m still deciding how I want to ‘run’ Long Beach, so we’ll see what my training schedule looks like come August.

It’s going to be a fun four months leading up to race day and I know she can do it. Anyone can run, it’s all mental if they can do it or not. Let’s do this Team Lovie 26!


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