5 Ways to Mix Up Your Morning Run Routine.

Many of us morning runners do the bulk of our mileage in the morning because of demanding careers and busy work schedules. But for some of us, after years of running in the a.m., the routine can get a bit stale. So here are a few ways you can shake things up and keep that run exciting and full of flavor.

1. One foolproof way – constantly change up your route. I like to play Dora the Explorer from time to time and throw in random hills and parts of town I wouldn’t normally frequent.

2. Head over to Strava to explore segments in your community. If you are not on Strava already, it is high time that you join! Add me as a friend too when you get a chance. It’s a great way to keep track of your training week to week and explore parts of town you wouldn’t normally frequent.

3. Run to grab a cup of coffee! Literally. That is what I look forward to the most honestly after my morning runs. Our runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays start and end at the coffee shop so even better. Guatemalan roast from Java Me Up never tasted so good.

4. Throw in a track workout. Most training plans these days will have times during the week where you will do some speedwork. Plan your route with a high school track in the middle so you can warm up and head on over to do those 800s. You can also do these types of workouts on the roads too, but I just love the softness of the track. Much more forgiving on the joints. Track workouts aren’t easy though, but when you’re done you’ll feel like a total badass.

5. Save time at the end of your run to get your yoga on. I love doing a little yoga sequence and stretching my hips out post run. I recommend this youtube video, it’s quick and easy to do after a run.

What are some ways you like to mix up your run routine?

Weekly Running Report.

Happy Monday to you! Hope you had a marvelous weekend. I am back to recap an awesome week of running last week! I was able to squeeze in just over 75 miles, got some strength workouts in and taught my classes. But let’s talk running!

Monday AM- 7.15 miles at lunch. The weather was nice and warm and breezy. I love my lunch time runs because it enables me to ease on into the work week after a weekend of usually back to back running or racing. This was a nice recovery type of run.

Monday PM- 3.01 miles, just getting the legs warmed up before I taught a class at the gym.

Tuesday AM- 12.22 miles, easy pace with some hill work thrown in. I ran with my running club and then added on a little at the end. I’ve been bringing my change of clothes and gym bag to the club run now so I can go straight to work after. It works out really well and definitely saves time. The gym that I teach at is fairly close to my 9-5 job so it’s perfect. Sit in the sauna a bit, shower and off to work. Perfection.

Tuesday PM- Quick 3.02 warm up before job number 2 for the day.

Wednesday AM- 6 a.m. run with my neighbor and his pup in our local park, 10.05 miles total.

Wednesday PM- 3.05 miles. I was all about the short 3 mile progression runs after work this week apparently. It’s a nice way to get the legs moving after a long work day.

Thursday AM- IRC run and then some. 10.01 miles total. One of my trail buddies that was crew for Rocky 100 came out to run with us…great catching up with him. Love this crazy group.

Thursday PM- 2.02 miles, all I had time for before teaching a spin class that night.

Friday- REST DAY

Saturday- Long run day, 16.06 miles most of it with my homegirl Tracy. We got an early start, saw the sunrise and I got some delicious coffee after. All was right in the world.

Sunday- 9.32 miles at the Wine Down Relay in Ft. Worth with Tracy. We ran fairly even loops, finished the 18 miles total in 2 hours and 30 minutes and made it to the top 10 overall finishers.

Out of 71 relay teams! I wish that they would have split up the 2 person vs 4 person relay groups so we would have won an award. But hey, wine at the finish line will definitely make up for it.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? Have you ever done a relay? How did you like it?
Yes, I’ve done 1 other relay before which was overnight on a trail. Lots of fun indeed!

TGIFriday Faves.

Happy Friday! Hope you all have some fun in store for the weekend. I have running and relaxation on the agenda, of course! I have some races coming up including a trail marathon and an ultra (WOOT) so lots of miles are being put in at the moment! I am loving it. All about it.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!

-Paint leggings? I kind of want them…they are so super cute.

Create your own wellness retreat at home. Ahh…yes, which reminds me I have a heated foot spa thingy at home that I need to use. Maybe this weekend.

-This ’Mimosa Sundays’ shirt I bought. How cute is this? Me and a friend are doing a wine run/relay on Sunday which will be fun. It will be a mimosa Sunday indeed.

-My pics came back from Rock n Roll Dallas…I am telling you, I usually don’t like my race/running pics but these turned out kinda decent! Thank you Lululemon shorts for making my legs look awesome. Ha. I’ll have to order some pics soon.

Answering the loaded question…’why do you run’? Great read and I can relate. Running is so powerful.

That’s all for this week! Catch you on the flip side.

What are you up to this weekend? Have you ever done a wine run?
Yes, we drink AFTER the run, not during. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question.

16 Thoughts During a Trail Run.

1. Ahh…nature. It is so blissful out here. Dirt underneath my feet. Birds singing and the sun is shining, heaven.

2. Yuck. I think a bug just flew into my mouth.

3. Why on earth did I even wear my Garmin? I am so painfully slow.

4. That’s okay, just relax and enjoy getting off the beaten path.

5. Rocks and roots and rocks and more roots.

6. Watch your step.

7. I am a badass trail runner. Hear me roar.

8. *Leaves rustling* What was that? I swear I just heard a rumble in the jungle.

9. Hikers on the trail. They are kind of in my way.

10. It’s okay, be nice to them.

11. Good morning! People on the trail are always so nice.

12. aaand I’ve only done like 2 miles. I feel like I’ve done four.

13. The sunshine through the trees is just beautiful. Stop and take a pic.

14. Whoops, I forgot to pause my Garmin.

15. Oh, look at this big climb. No big deal, you’ve got this.

16. The view at the top…incredible.

What are some thoughts you have during trail running?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Well hello there! I’ve got some fresh jams for you today on the Wednesday spin playlist! Hope you enjoy. Feel free to use these songs for running, spinning or any high intensity workout!

And be sure to check the weekly spin schedule to see where I’ll be teaching cycle next!

Let’s go for a ride!

So Good (Goldhouse Remix)- Zara Larsson: Warm up
Turn Around- Flo Rida: Jumps
Good Kisser- Usher: Climb 5/6/7
Dance Again- J.Lo: Accelerations
Whiskey Kisses: Mic Lowry: Seated/standing run
SummerThing!- Afrojack: Tapbacks
Jumping Jack- Justin Mylo: 6/7/8
Body Operator- DJ SpinKing: Sprints
My Way- Calvin Harris: Jumps/Tapbacks
Bust ‘Em- Party Favor: Climb 7/8/9
Party Rock- LMFAO: Jumps on a hill
10 Bands- Drake: Rolling hills
Don’t Wanna Go Home- Jason Derulo: Sprints
Turn Up the Music- Chris Brown: Climb 8/9/10
Regardless (Frost Remix)- Jarryd James, Julia Stone: Cool down

What songs are you loving this week?

5 Secrets to Training for a Successful Race.

I thought I’d share a few training secrets and things that have made me successful in running and racing. Whether you are training for an ultra or a half marathon…not all races and/or training plans are created equal. But there are definitely things you can do to guarantee you arrive to the starting like ready to rock and roll.

1. Find a solid training plan that fits your lifestyle. In the past I’ve tried Hal Higdon’s programs (free and all levels, check them out here) and I have friends that have had lots of success with Hanson’s. You do what works best for you. Since I am a fitness instructor I definitely have to tweak a lot of the plans that are out there. I personally like plans that include the cross training and rest days. Having at least 1 day a week of rest helps me to definitely feel fresh and push harder when I need to. It is all a balancing act.

2. Listen to your body and learn to back off when needed. There will be days when your body is just God awful tired and you just have LIFE stuff going on in general. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. As runners most of us tend to fall more on the Type A perfectionist side and will push when something is hurting you. If your body is telling you it needs rest, listen to it. Supplement that day of running perhaps with an active recovery workout like swimming, yoga or cycling. I promise you, this single tip alone will save you from getting those common runner’s injuries. Believe it.

3. But at the end of the day, being consistent is what counts. If you are healthy and able to follow the plan, try to really stick with it. Some days you may run slower than other days and there will be days when you will feel strong and rock that track workout or tempo run. Ride the wave of good and bad days with workouts and be thankful you have this wonderful ability to run and train. A lot of people wish they could and are just not able to. Know that out there you are definitely inspiring people with what you do.

4. Find friends to train with that will push and motivate you. I have a training buddy that pushes me on days when I am just not feeling it. I love running with her because she’s really helped me get through some tough long runs. We kind of feed off of each other’s energy. I actually love running alone most days too but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. If you are just starting out it’s important to find a friend or group that will hold you accountable.

5. Keep a log of your training so you can see your progress from week to week. Having apps on your phone like Garmin Connect and/or Strava will help you see how you are doing from week to week and especially if you are looking to safely build mileage. I love Strava too because it’s like Facebook for runners and/or cyclists. Find me on there if you join!

What are some of your secrets to training success?

Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap.

Hope the sun is shining down your way and you’re having a great Monday! The weather is crazy beautiful in Dallas today. I am loving it! Let’s recap Sunday’s race, shall we?

As some of you know I was so thankful to get the opportunity thanks to Brooks to run the Rock n Roll Dallas half marathon on Sunday. I absolutely love this race and try to run it just about every year! Since completing a few ultras in the last year (50k, then my first 50 miler last May and my first 100 miler this past February) its funny because the 13.1 distance feels kind of short to me now. But that’s perfect because I was able to work on my speed and push the pace a bit!

I made my way to the health and fitness expo on Saturday to pick up my race swag. As always the expo is crazy packed with people so we made our way in and out of there. I am loving the race shirts this year with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in the background. Nice little touch.

Race morning me and my homegirl Tracy hitched a ride with a sweet friend who offered to give us a ride to the race site. I was so very grateful for her friend for giving us the ride because the traffic and parking was crazy. We did a little warm up and of course had a little photoshoot, because that is what runners do.

We are kind of a big deal.

We lined up to the start and went our own ways. She is my training buddy but is a tad faster than me so I was off on my own. I turned my music up and was off. Coming off of running the 100 miler just last month I just knew I wanted to push the pace a bit and definitely try for sub 2 hours. I would have been happy with 1:59:59! I honestly did not taper AT ALL for this race. I just love to run and have been doing a lot of it. I got in a total of 67 miles last week, doing a few two a days. So I kind of wanted to test my legs and see how they would do without a taper.

Temps were soaring that day, getting into the 80s. Perfect poolside weather! But not the most ideal for racing. It was crazy humid too and the course is a tad hilly. So I had a few obstacles in my way but I did not give up and fought the heat and humidity. I had several miles well under a 8 minute pace but once we hit the hills at mile 8 combined with the temps I felt like toast. Then the race heads back downhill into downtown and I was able to pick back up where I’d left off with the pace. I honestly did not know how I’d do since I finished this race in 1:54 last year but I totally exceeded my expectations and ran it in under 1:50. Hello, 1:48:23! Course PR for me so I was a happy camper.

Such a fun day overall and I am so thankful for these strong legs for carrying me though. 13.1 number 31 is done.

How was your weekend? Did anyone else run Rock n Roll Dallas?

TGIFriday Faves.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!! Another wonderful weekend is upon us. Hope you have a little celebrating in store!

I am running the Rock n Roll Dallas half marathon on Sunday! As most of you know I’ve done this race for several years…actually I ran the inaugural race back in the day! It’s one of my favorite half marathons and thanks to Brooks I’m able to run it again this year.

Let’s recap this week’s faves!

-Chia pudding from Green House Market at the DFA yoga event on Wednesday. I must recreate this stat! It was actually so good and refreshing. It would totally make a perfect on the go breakfast.

The importance of easy run days. Yes, yes and more yes.

20 things that only runners know to be true. 3, 4 and definitely 19.

-I know I never really talk about beauty stuff but I’m absolutely loving Hask Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner. All natural and just makes my hair so happy. Ulta, Target and so many places have it…get you some!

-This, because it’s oh so true.

Have a great Friday!

How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Are you wearing your green?
But of course!

A Fun Evening with the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors and CorePower Yoga.

As a distance runner I always feel like I could do more yoga. It truly makes me feel restored and re-energized! So I jumped at the opportunity to attend a sunset yoga session with CorePower Yoga and my fellow Dallas Fitness Ambassadors.

I was chosen as a Dallas Fitness Ambassador not too long ago and I am so excited to link up with this group to check out new workouts in the DFW area. I will be posting more about the workouts that I attend and new fitness studios popping up all over the metroplex. So definitely stay tuned for more of these posts!

I have attended CorePower before (check out my review here) and have taken a few different types of classes at their studio. This particular class was held outdoors at the beautiful CenterPark Garden at Northpark Mall! It was a perfect evening for getting your strech on outside. Nice and cool but not too chilly with a sweet sunset and colorful flowers in the background.

Green House Market was there also sampling some of their sweet treats. I loved the little date bites with berries on top as well as the chia seed pudding. Total yum and all natural.

They had a live DJ and an instructor to lead as through the vinyasa flow. I ran just over 12 miles yesterday so I totally needed this stretch! Warrior 2 is my jam.

I love also the concept of doing yoga outside. For me it really helps me to zen out and really get into the practice. Plus the soft surface on the grass was so cozy. Way better than doing yoga on a hard floor or pavement.

After the session DryBar and MiniLuxe had stations for manis and braiding hair etc. They also had a juice bar! ‘We’ve Got the Beet’ – I simply adore beets in juice form. I honestly am not sure why.

Overall it was such a wonderful night of yoga and networking with my ambassador friends. I am thrilled to be plugged in with these amazing folks who are also bloggers like myself and in love with health and fitness! Plus, I can now try new workouts and share them with you so you can get the exclusive skinny on the hottest and latest in fitness.

Hey, it also is nice now not to be the only person constantly taking photos at events. Because all of my blogger buds are photo happy! I love it.

Check out CorePower Yoga to see if there’s a studio near you and if you are in the Dallas area, hit up Green House Market for some healthy eats and treats.

When is the last time you got your yoga on? What’s your favorite type of yoga?
Definitely vinyasa/power flow!

Weds Spin Playlist.

So today I have not 1 but 2 awesome playlists for your workout pleasure! These are great songs for spinning, running or any other high intensity workout! Hope you enjoy!

And as always check out where I’ll be teaching spin class next in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area! And find me on Spotify under thedancingrunner! Let’s go for a ride!

Pretty Girls- Wale: Warm up
Do it Again- Pia Mia: Standing run
Piece of Me- MK, Becky Hill: Tapbacks
Goin’ In- J.Lo: Accelerations
Show Me a Good Time- Drake: Seated/standing run
I Love It- Icona Pop feat Charli XCX: Jumps
Drop That Low- Tujamo: Sprints
I Don’t Like It, I Love It (Kasum Remix): Robin Thicke, Flo Rida: Rolling hills
Holy Grail- Jay-Z: Climb 6/7/8
Jump- Rihanna: Jumps on a hill
Blame- Calvin Harris, John Newman: Climb 7/8/9
Betta Riddim- Riton, Kah-Lo: Accelerations
Surfin- Kid Cudi: Climb 8/9/10
Push It- Salt n Pepa: Tapbacks
Love On Me- Galantis: Climb 9/10/11
Incense- Erykah Badu: Cool down

Back & Forth- Aaliyah: Warm up
The Party (This is How We Do it)- Joe Stone/Montell Jordan: Tapbacks
I’m the Ish- DJ Class: Climb 5/6/7
Hypnotize- Notoriuous BIG: Standing run
Cooler Than Me: Mike Posner: Climb 6/7/8
Promiscuous- Nelly Furtado: Sprints
Here Comes the Hotstepper- Ini Kamoze: Rolling hills
Do it Well- J.Lo: Sprints
Switch- Will Smith: Tapbacks/Jumps
Poison (Phil N Good Remix)- BBD: Climb 7/8/9
Fergalicious: Accelerations
Elevator- Flo Rida: Climb 8/9/10
Buy U a Drank: T-Pain: Active recovery
Rhythm Nation- Janet Jackson: Rolling hills
Forget You- CeeLo: Sprints
Regulate (Le Boeuf Remix): Warren G: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts lately?
Tell me something random about your day today!!
Awesome sunrise run this morning. Also dancing in the office while knocking out work is where it’s at.