I Love Me Some Morning Runners and The Beauty of the Easy Run.

10.11 miles this morning with my Irving Running Club crew. I love running with this girl especially because she is always so bubbly at 5:30 a.m. How she does it, I do not know. I clearly need to buy the coffee that she is drinking.

So today I thought I’d chat real quick about a few reasons why you shouldn’t overlook the beauty of the ‘easy’ run. Sure, we all need our speed work, track, tempo days where we bump up the intensity but scaling it back is important as well.

Time on your feet. Yes, it is true that the more time you are able to get in on your feet, the more efficient you become as a runner. That is why we do our long runs. They are the bread and butter of any training program.

Less stress on the body. You need those days that challenge you and days that help you recover. Rest days and easy days are both important and you should definitely do both. Motion is lotion, so if you are able to get back out there after a hard workout and do some easy running it will be less impact on your body so you can get back out there to do the hard stuff.

It’s good for you mentally. Easy running helps you to really know your body and what it needs. It is nice some days to just get out there and not have to worry about being a slave to numbers.

Injury prevention. We all know those runners that seem to GO HARD all the time and then all of a sudden they are sidelined on injury boulevard. Don’t be that runner. You are welcome.

It helps to gauge and get an idea of what your easy pace is…you can find out here.

How is your training going? Do you run with a club, solo, or both?
Both. I equally love my solo and running friend time.

Quirky Things Runners Do, Continued.

Runners, we are a quirky bunch…aren’t we? Let’s do a bit of a continuation of some of the quirky things runners do…in no particular order…

Hem and haw about waking up early to run. But hey, someone’s gotta do it. Getting up and out the door is half the battle.

Go out for ‘just 4 miles’ and end up doing 7 or 8. Guilty.

Get up to run on a Sunday morning after going out with your buddies on a Saturday night. Because ‘sleeping in’ is overrated.

Post motivational ‘run quotes’ on Instagram. Preferably with a sunrise or sunset in the background.

Bitch and moan about things we cannot control, like the weather. Just because we can.

Go run long and come home and basically do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. Well hey, you’ve earned it.

Runners, what are some more quirky things that you do?

The ABCs of Marathon Training.

So along with summer comes lots of us racking up the miles and gearing up for fall marathons. So I thought I’d do a fun post on the ABCs of everything you need to do in order to have a successful training season. Let’s get to it!

-Acclimate to the weather. Especially in the summer time lots of us have to get used to running in the heat. For me it helps to not only run in the mornings but to do some miles during the heat of the day. Just to be sure get your hydration on during and after.

-Buy the right gear. Whether it’s a fuel belt for your hydration or the latest Garmin or GPS watch you always want to make sure your gear is on point for those long training runs.

-Carry some GU/fruit chewies/energy beans. Whatever is your fancy be sure you have the proper fuel to keep your energy stores high. This is especially important as you get into higher mileage. You need gas in the tank to keep going. My personal fave is the salted caramel GU. Gets the job done.

-Ditch the Friday night happy hours. Hey, if you are going to get up early on Saturday morning, it is your only option. That wine or margarita will still be waiting for you when your Saturday long run is complete.

-Enjoy every mile. Sure the first mile is always the hardest but once you get into your run, don’t spend a ton of time looking at your watch/obsessing over pace and what have you. Take the time to breathe, feel the wind on your face, and enjoying the beautiful nature around you.

-Face it – not every training run will be amazing. You will have days where you are just not feeling it, your legs will feel like lead and you are just not about that life. But the bad runs make the good runs even more amazing.

-Get over it – the hills that is! Do your hill training. It will make you a stronger runner that is for sure. Mounds of opportunity.

-Have a few running buddies that make the miles fly by faster. Whether that means joining a running club or just finding a few friends in your neighborhood that will join you for some miles. It makes things a lot more enjoyable sometimes if you have someone to talk to.

-If you have to – take an extra rest day. And don’t try to cram if you miss a day of running – just pick back up where you left off. Runners are not very good at rest days but we all need ‘em.

-Join Strava – it is so super motivating as a training tool. Find me on there if you join!

-Kicks are important. I’m talking about runner kicks, ya’ll! Yes, that is slang for running shoes. Be sure to change out your kicks every few months. I like to have a few in rotation that I run in so I don’t run one particular pair into the ground.

-Leave it all out on the track/trail/pavement. Whether that is the stress of the day, or just when it comes to pushing/challenging yourself on a speed workout. Hard work pays off in the end.

-Make time in your schedule for cross training. Yoga, cycling, swimming, strength training are all excellent options.

-Never push something that feels like an injury coming on. This goes back to the whole rest day thing. Better to take more time off than to push it and end up on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

-Outdoors is always better. Sure, the treadmill can be a great option if you are strapped for time, need to squeeze in some quick speedwork etc. But getting outside and getting some fresh air for that long run is where it’s at.

-Porta potties will always be gross and necessary evil. This is not really a tip or anything clearly. But if you are a runner, you already know. Nuff said.

-Quickie runs are better than not running at all.

-Run against traffic. Running with traffic is never a good idea. Safety first.

-Sunscreen is always a must. Trust me, in the summer months the last thing you want after a 20 mile run is a wicked sunburn. Also, the runner tan is very real.

-Try some all natural options for runner fuel. If you don’t like GU, or the energy chewies, I recommend dried fruit like cherries and etc. Also, medjool dates are pretty freaking fantastic.

-Understand that we are all on our own running journeys. Your training won’t always look like someone elses. Do you and do what you have to do to get to that starting line healthy and injury free.

-Vow to do your long run according to schedule…for the most part being consistent with the long run is the very thing that will keep your training going. It is the bread and butter of your training.

-What you eat is still important. Fuel your body with fresh foods, try and minimize the processed junk. Fuel your body for performance and the rest will fall into place.

-Xtra body glide is never a bad thing. Just trust me on that one.

-You are always stronger than you think you are. You can always do one more mile, and take another step.

-Zzz! Get that shut eye. Sleep is amazing.

Runners! What are some ABCs that you would add to the list?

4 Reasons to Get Excited About a Long Run, as Told by SATC.

So I don’t know about you but for me the best part of my weekends is always starting it with a long run. It’s a great way to get the training miles in all while having fun with your friends at the same time. Here are 5 reasons to get excited about a long run as told by my SATC ladies. Let’s get to it!

1. To test out your brand spanking new running gear. Long runs are the ultimate dress rehearsal. I just love it.

2. Because mimosas at the end of a 20 mile run are always the best. Yes indeedy.

3. Because sometimes you just want to treat yourself, retail style. New shoes after running some serious mileage? Even better. Treat yoself.

4. The post long run nap. It’s like the holy grail at the end of all of your hard work. Nuff said.

What are your reasons to get excited about a long run?

5 Reasons to Sign up for a Fall Marathon.

So it’s springtime, and for many runners this is the time of year that we start thinking about more races to throw on the calendar. Here are a few reasons in no particular order why you should hit the registration button and sign up for that fall marathon to gun for a super speedy PR.

1. Training runs with friends or your local running club. I don’t know about you but for me the best part of marathon training is doing long runs with your friends. If you are fortunate enough to have some awesome runner friends it is a great way to bond over many happy sweaty miles.

Throwback Thursday pic! Ice cream and running go hand in hand.

2. Early hot runs especially in the summer time leading up to fall will make you mentally/physically super strong. If you can get through long runs in crazy weather, you can get through just about anything. Come fall and winter after months of training you will definitely see your speed pick up because it will just feel so awesome after training in such conditions.

3. There are just so MANY amazing marathons to sign up for! For me honestly it is a great way to see a different part of the country or explore a new town.

4. RACE-cations are absolutely the best. It just honestly gives me an excuse to travel sometimes too. Fall is the perfect time of year for it.

5. Nothing is more beautiful than running a marathon in the fall. The changing fall leaves, the cooler weather…you simply cannot go wrong. It’s the best time of year to put a marathon on your calendar.

Have you signed up for a fall marathon yet? Which one?
I plan on running an ultra this year in November on a beautiful new to me trail! I am really looking forward to it.

When It’s Cold Outside…Runners Be Like…

We all know how easy it is to fall into excuses during this time of year. It’s too cold, it’s too windy, there’s snot coming out of my nose (hey just keeping it real), my bed is too warm etc. I found some cold weather running funnies on Pinterest that explain my exact thoughts sometimes. To be honest, I love the cold but the early dark mornings can be tough! HA. That just makes you that much more of a badass though if you get it done.

In no particular order…

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Are you getting your run on today?
Done and done.

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Time to Taper Once Again and Mental Benefits of Running.

So once again I am back on the taper train getting ready for the BMW Dallas Marathon in December. It’s funny because I’ve actually run the half course for this race more times than I can count and although this will be my 22nd marathon it will be my 1st time running the Dallas full! I love to travel for marathons which is why but this time I’ll be running 26.2 on my home turf. I am excited to run along the beautiful White Rock Lake and through the streets of my awesome city. 2 weeks and counting baby. Bring it on.

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I’ve been religiously clocking 60-75 mile weeks so I’ll scale back a bit this week in preparation for the big race. Then I will recover a bit, rest and get ready for some more ultra running in 2017. Woohoo!

So lately I’ve been thinking about some of the mental benefits of running. I know there are so many physical benefits but sometimes we forget how vital running is just for overall well being. Here are a few ways mentally running has gotten me through the ups and downs of life.

Running motivates you to have a target/goal to aim for. Whether it is to set a personal record or conquer a new distance…running always gives you something to strive for.

Running helps to fight stress and/or a case of the blues. Issues at work? Relationship drama? Rest assured if you go out for that run you will return more clear headed & in a better mood. Oh yes, endorphins are my favorite.

It sharpens focus and gives your brain a boost. This is one of the reasons why I am a bonafide morning runner. Running for me honestly is the equivalent to my cup of coffee in the morning. I’m just more ‘on it’ and focused when I’ve gotten that run in. You feel me?

When you look better…you mentally feel better…and vice versa. Running just gives you that happy healthy glow. And yes, I am all about that.

What are some amazing benefits you have discovered from the simple act of running?

Thanksgiving Wknd Recap.

Hi there! Hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving. Lots of good food, laughter and fun was had over the last few days. Definitely a good time! I tell you what, the weekend is never long enough. I am ready to hit it hard this week and knock out some awesome workouts!

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Let’s recap a bit…

Thanksgiving morning…I did a just for fun ‘Chelsea Trot’. 15 miles in the ‘hood enjoying mostly some alone/thinking time. Hello pretty sunrise. Nice to see you again.

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Good grub and relaxing time with family is the absolute best. My mama threw down and I helped her make some of the sides. She rocked it.

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No Black Friday for me…I already spent my money on an ultra coming up early next year (MORE ON THAT LATER)…so I just rested up for Saturday’s long run.

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Yep yep..true story. Moving on…

16 mile Saturday with my homegirl Tracy. I love running with her because she forces me to keep a solid pace and we always have fabulous conversation. Yet another beautiful sky.

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Later on that day…paint party with more fun people. Now I have my very own pair of Christian Louboutins. Ha, yeah right. Love it.

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I ended last week on a solid note with a weekly mileage total of 61.5. Cheers!

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How was your holiday? When’s the last time you’ve gone to a paint party?

20 Miles, Holiday Mode and Wknd Recap.

Hi there! I am so excited for the upcoming holiday and some much needed relaxation and family time. I kind of feel like I’m already in holiday mode actually. Pretty sure I’m not the only one!

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Let’s do a quick recap of the weekend, shall we? When I say quick..I mean quick. This is already a busy week work wise. So pray for me. I am ready for some more miles and then some turkey! In that order.

So Saturday was my last big 20 mile run before the BMW Dallas Marathon which is in 3 weeks. I ran with my kind of speedy friend and she kept us running a strong pace that day! Lots of marathon pace splits for this run. For that I am happy! Feeling good, feeling great.

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Loved running into these ladies. It’s always a good time hanging out down at White Rock Lake. I always see at least one person that I know from the DFW running community.

Sunday runday…legs were feeling good so I joined my girl Tricia for 11 miles. It was her longest run to date as she trains for her very first half marathon. I have to say I love helping people reach their running goals. Simply because I remember when I was a rookie runner back in the day and how much I appreciated more experienced runners being there for me. We had a good time and she was so happy to get it done.

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We celebrated with some tamarind mimosas from Komail Restaurant out in Dallas. Nothing like brunch to celebrate a weekend of back to back running.

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I ended the night at King Spa and Sauna. Getting in a little r & r. I absolutely love this place and the jets in the hot tub make me happy.

How was your weekend? When is the last time you’ve been to the spa?

Trinity River Run, Good Times and Wknd Recap.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I did a little bit of racing, teaching spin class and celebrating with fun friends! Let’s recap, shall we?

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Saturday a.m. I got in a total of 10 miles with a few hills thrown in. Followed by teaching/subbing a 8 a.m. spin class. It’s always fun when you can get in not 1 but 2 workouts before most people even get out of bed on the weekend. I love it.

The rest of the day was filled with mostly errands, church, then a cocktail party! Cocktails for Charity to be exact. Love me some Yelp Dallas.

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I danced the night away with good friends, ate some awesome food and had a couple of libations. Good times indeed.

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Sunday morning was fairly chill. I did a little carb loading and went to this place for breakfast. Most amazing bagels hands down. Highly recommended.

In the evening I ran a half marathon! The Trinity River Run was held in the Trinity Groves area part of Dallas. Some of my running club was out there pacing but I was just doing a fun run for the day. It was a nice little training run before the Dallas Marathon in December. My main goal for the race was to run under 2 hours and that was honestly it. Coming off of a full marathon just 2 weeks ago I just wanted to enjoy a fun evening of running with friends.

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The course itself was alright, there were a couple of small hills but it was mostly a flat course. This is a fairly new race and I hear there were a TON of kinks last year with just a lot of disorganization. We actually did not have ANY water on the course until about mile 5…then the water was few and far between after that. Some folks that finished after me said most of the aid stations even ran completely out of water at one point. I was glad I took care of my hydration issues before this race but mostly felt parched and wished they had done a better job at the aid stations. Overall this was an okay race but I am not sure unless my running club ran it that I would run it again. There are just too many issues that need to be worked on.

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Not a terrible time for dealing with all of the course issues. It was worth it because we ate at an awesome place afterwards.

Love me some Chino Chinatown. Delicious Latin/Asian fusion for the win.

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When it was all said and done I got in a total of 58.9 miles for the week. Slowly making my way back up there! I love me some higher mileage.

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How was your weekend? Did anyone run a fun (or hot mess like mine) race?