A favorite workout to mix things up…

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9 all opinions are my own.

During the winter it takes me a lot longer to warm up when I go for a run and I always remind myself that it’s important to not to judge a run by the 1st mile. Usually, when I’m training in the winter, I’m focusing a lot on my form, because I train for my races in the spring. The winter, to me, is all about building strength and getting stronger for the spring mileage. If I have to wake up earlier to get my run in, my muscles take longer to start moving so my first few miles I always use as a warm up. I usually can run a 1-2 mile warm up by my house and then do a workout later. This also allows me to wear more clothes on my warm up to shed once I’m ready to run faster. Something that I have also started to include in my workouts is running with a sled. Ready to mix up your workout routine? Try this!I have never done this before, but when I’m working on increasing my speed, I feel that it has helped me become a better runner. It allows me to focus on my form when running and when I get tired it helps me run more consistently. Running with the sled is something I’ve learned through coaching my high school team. I’ve seen how much it helps them and I know this helps me improving my times.

This workout I do on the track because the sled works better on the dirt. I start with a 1 mile warm up, then do 4 150s, on the track at a faster pace. Then it’s time to put on the sled! I start with a 25 with the sled and then do a 400. With a 3 minute rest. I do 2 sets like that. Then I have a 5 minute rest. Then it’s 50 meters with the sled and a 600. 2 sets of those and then back down to the 25 meters and 400 set. 2 sets of those and then a mile cool down. It’s a really tough workout and I always feel it the next day. I finish off the set with a few plyometrics that I’ve found have really helped me as well.

The first one I do is bounding for distance and for height. I do each drill for 50 meters on the track. It helps with my knee lift and my arms. Usually longer distance runners don’t have a very good knee lift because they run so far and don’t focus on form. Doing this has improved my knee drive up hills and my overall running. It’s helpful to remind myself to pick up my knees at the end of the race when I’m trying to sprint as well.

The second drill I do is high knees. Notice a pattern? It’s all about getting my knees to lift! This helps with lifting my legs when I’m tired to keep me going and running the same pace. I am constantly reminding myself to pick my knees up when I’m running and feeling like I’m slowing down.

Even though these plyometrics take an extra ten minutes after my run, I’ve seen huge benefits by adding them in and they really help in the cold weather.

xoxo

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2015, Let’s Do This!

This year, much like my goals last year, I want to continue to make all of my running count towards a specific purpose. I feel like when I changed my mind set from ‘just running to reach certain mileages or times’, it was what really helped me achieve new goals and also helped me make sure that every workout I was doing was for a reason. I felt like when I let go of the idea of hitting numbers, I was happier and running felt more free. I hope to continue this mindset into the new year.

Tracking my year with RunKeeperFor once, the entire year, I worked hard at tracking or inputting all of my workouts to see how many miles I really ended up with. I ended up with 897 miles. I was pretty proud of all my stats and really like using RunKeeper to keep track of it all. I think this year I will end up with roughly the same amount. I don’t really have any huge goal races but I do want to train well for Boston and then run it, enjoy everything about it, and be injury free. I know I’ll be running the July 4th 10K, that I do every year, and I’m considering the local 5K/10K race that goes by our neighborhood in March. After Boston in April, I really don’t think I’ll be running a full marathon anytime soon. I just am tired of training for them and really am focusing on Boston and then looking at doing some fun half marathons. I realized while looking over last year I didn’t run as many races, and I really want to do a few half marathons this year. I have always liked that distance and I should run more because they are way less commitment. One of the things that is a little difficult is my coaching schedule because we have practice and meets on Saturday. I know if I plan ahead though it shouldn’t be a huge problem.

I think running can easily turn into being all about the times you’re running. As I did last year, running with purpose, this year I want to keep that in focus and also enjoy each and every run. I easily forget how blessed I am to actually have the ability to run and I want to make sure to really enjoy each run, even when I’m dying on a tempo run or pushing myself on a track workout. After each run, I want to take a moment to reflect on the miles, no matter how far I ran, even if I felt terrible like the other morning, it’s nice to take a moment and think of a few good things at the end of each workout. I’m thankful for another year to continue to run and enjoy the surrounding scenery.

xoxo

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2014!

Looking back at 2014, I accomplished my one goal, which was to run with purpose. Without focusing on a specific time goal and making all my running have meaning really helped me run harder than I have since high school and allowed me to run with purpose. It definitely wasn’t easy but it was a great year and I did something that I never thought I would EVER do, which was qualify for the Boston Marathon.

I made each run count towards something, getting faster, doing a different workout, working on my form, instead of running endless junk miles or recovery miles. I rested when I felt tired and I ran faster than I’ve run in a quite a long time. I made workouts count and did them for a reason. I’m really happy with how this year went and know that next year will be a lot of fun experiencing one of the biggest races I will have ever encountered.

I started off the year running down the coast, from Huntington Beach to San Diego, with a great group of women and helped raise awareness of Rett Syndrome and Girl Power for the Cure. It was a great experience and I really started to see my ‘running with a purpose’ pay off. I was running a lot faster than I had run with them the previous year.

Ragnar for Rett - Huntington Beach to San DiegoI coached my first full track season and now know that I truly do really love coaching. It’s a crazy amount of work but I find it to be the most rewarding thing I’ve done with my life. Every day when I coach, I know how I am making an impact on these kids and I hope that running will become a lifelong thing for many of them. I never have felt this way about anything before and know that coaching is definitely my calling. Coaching at sunrise

Coaching at Lakewood High SchoolI’ve run in beautiful places this year, including along the Ragnar Relay trail, and in Big Bear. Running has helped me enjoy my surroundings more and I really enjoy the fact that I can get to awesome places just by running there.

Running in Big Bear Lake, California at Running CampI was honored to be asked to be a part of the Saucony 26 Strong Program {more of that in January}, which had the outcome that was both disappointing to my cadet and myself, but we still inspired her entire family to run more and I learned a lot about coaching from across the country. She is already feeling much better and is working on training to run the Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon.

City of Oaks Half Marathon FinishersI had a great time helping my best friend plan her wedding {and attending all the fun events that went along with it} and finally found balance in my life with running, family and friends, which is something I’ve always struggled with. It’s hard to have a good balance when you’re training for a longer distance run, and running is important to me, but it’s not my entire life. I took time off to vacation in July and came back {a little too fast} in August but I didn’t regret taking the time off for my friend’s events and to spend time with B. This has really helped me with the anxiety I get when I look at a training schedule and feel overwhelmed or getting really anxious about not getting in certain training runs.

Golden Palm Springs Weddingsource

Cabo VacationOne of the biggest things I’ve learned is to run how I coach my kids to run. With heart. Pushing yourself. With PURPOSE. Making every run count and really getting to your limit and going past it. Which is why I crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes {that has NEVER happened before} and the most proud feeling in my heart on May 25, 2014 and with a new Marathon PR of over 23 minutes. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon at Mountains to Beach Confirmation of Acceptance to the Boston Marathon 2015I know that keeping this mindset into 2015 will help me as I prepare for Boston and moving forward with my running. I think I do best when I push myself to my limits, and not focus on time as my only benchmark. I had an incredible year in 2014 and can’t wait to see what 2015 holds! I’ll post a few goals I have for 2015 soon!

xoxo

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November Running Recap

After Shea’s wedding on November 15th, I had much more time and was able to run more. I ended the month with 37 miles and I’m happy with that. I have been doing a lot more injury prevention and care so that I don’t get injured again. Running 3-4 days a week and doing shorter runs has really been helping me and has increased my confidence that I didn’t lose all my fitness during my time off.

November Running Recap

It’s been nice weather for running too and I’ve been enjoying dusting off some of my ‘winter’ gear to wear these past few days. With cross country season officially over and track in full swing, it’s also different not having to run with the kids and being more supervision, so planning when I run has been different as well. I normally don’t run hills much at all when I’m running, but I am trying to pick different routes, even on 3-4 milers that will give me the most hills possible to get me back into shape and also prepare me for the Boston Marathon.

Every time when I get home after a run, I always make sure to ice my heel and I’m still sleeping in my boot which seems to be helping a lot. I hope to finish December with about 55  miles, which I think will be able to be done with the schedule I’m running right now. I’m going to continue to try to keep running hills as much as possible and I know when I actually do start doing longer runs I will drive to the Newport Beach area where I have run in the past to make sure I get in a lot of hills.

Here’s to another injury free month!

xoxo

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Runner’s Christmas List Accessory Guide!

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas time! Running isn’t just about having clothes that don’t chafe, though that’s pretty important. Running is also about making the most of each run, whether you’re tracking your run on your iPhone, listening to music, or preventing injury once you’re done running, these thoughtful gift ideas will most definitely make your runner smile come Christmas morning. So wrap one of these up and they will thank you!The Christmas Gift Guide for Running Accessories! Any of these gifts will make your runner happy this holiday season!

 

1. ArmPocket iPhone Running Armband I fell in love with this armband this year because it comes in SIZES. So many arm bands don’t fit my arm, weird problem to have, but I have to pull them so tight that they ruin the elastic or the screen gets torn out. Thankfully these come in sizes and have ample room for a key, cash or card AND have a handy dandy little earphone spot to keep the cord from hitting you in the face. Continue reading

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