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?

How to Break Through a Running/Racing Plateau.

8 miles all smiles this morning with some friends from the Irving Running Club crew. It’s always fun when my running buds want to go the extra distance with me. I’m working on getting my mileage back up for the Dallas Marathon in December. Hopefully I can end this year with a bang before moving on to ultras and more fun stuff in 2017.

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So I’ve been kind of marinating on this topic for a while. It’s definitely something we all go through as distance runners, especially as years go by and the racing medals rack up. When you first start running marathons, everything is happy and shiny and bright. You get PR after PR, you are feeling truly on top of your game, and you just want to go faster and longer. But sooner or later…you hit a plateau with your performance and your times kind of even out. So, what do you do to break that plateau? Here are a few things that have personally helped me over the years and I hope for some out there it will help you too.

Understand that after running marathons for a while, not every run will be a PR. Some things will be out of your control no matter what you do or how hard you train. It could be the weather, how your body cooperates that day or whatever. I used to BEAT myself up if I didn’t PR a race. Like, it would really mess with me mentally. After running so many of them though (just ran 26.2 number 21 not long ago!) I realized that every run is a success. And I am proud to be out there, healthy and still running.

Incorporate some speed/intervals in your weekday training runs. It probably goes without saying, but if you want to run a faster marathon…you have to run FASTER. Simply going through the motions on day to day runs is not going to cut it if you want to break through that plateau. Tempo runs, fartleks/strides and speedplay is vital. This year I did more track work than I’ve done in a while and it definitely helped me to break through that sub 4 plateau. Also remember…hills are speedwork in disguise. So do them.

Run MORE. Now, this one is tricky because you have to be careful about upping your mileage (especially if you’re incorporating speedwork) but start working in some double runs during the week. Not every run has to be super long. For me sometimes breaking up runs and doing a 3 or 4 mile run after work after running in the morning is a great way to increase your leg strength and efficiency. Again, make sure you do this safely and try not to increase your mileage by too much from week to week. Everything should be gradual and should also include some cutback weeks to recover. Here is a great article on the benefits of running doubles.

Be Dora the Explorer! Mix up your route. It really helps to change up your scenery from time to time. Spice up your workout and go run somewhere you have never run before. It really changes things up mentally and physically.

Bored of running alone? Find a fun social run in your area. A lot of communities have a group of runners that do weekly happy hours or meet at different cool locations. It’s also a great way to make friends…and we all know running friends are the best kinds of friends. I am just saying.

What are some ways you have broken through a running/racing plateau?

16 Miles, Can You Find Me and Wknd Recap.

Happy Monday to you! It is rainy and dreary around these parts but I still managed to get my run on this morning. Sometimes a rainy run is all you need to get the day going.

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Well running…and espresso. Match made in heaven.

Let’s do a little weekend recap, shall we? Your girl was back at it on Saturday for a nice long run. I am ramping things back up one more time for the upcoming Dallas marathon which is next month. I have a feeling we will have some cooler weather. Mother nature, please be good to us! It has really felt like summer still around here lately especially with the humidity. Kind of like running in a sauna. But I’m hoping the rain will also be cooling things off in the days to come.

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After the run…I totally recharged my batteries before going back out for the afternoon. Saturday naps for the win.

Afternoon/evening festivities…SMU homecoming fun with my friend of 20 years. She lives in DC now but went to college out here and still comes back and visits. I like to call myself an honorary member of her college because I always celebrate with them when they come down for the football game. I actually missed my 10 year college reunion this year so was glad to celebrate with her and her peeps.

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Sunday funday runday miles…I joined the Dallas marathon crew for a social run out at Trinity Park. I really need to get over to this side of town more often. They have a massive trail system that goes for miles and miles. They had a small loop set up for the runners and then you could keep going if you had more miles you needed to log for the day. I loved this pic they took of all of the runners at the park. Can you find me?

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8 miles done. Legs felt good surprisingly after Saturday’s 16 miler.

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Sunday evening I hung out with mama who made turkey enchiladas and we caught up on some tv shows together. I am still obsessed with Issa Rae’s new show on HBO. You must see it if you have not already.

How was your weekend? Who ran the NYC Marathon? How did it go?

I Just Ran a Marathon…Now What? As Told by The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

So, for most of you marathon runners out there fall and winter time means racing season. We train for months and months in the summertime, enduring the heat and humidity for that special day. Running a marathon for a lot of us is like…giving birth. Not that I know how that feels or anything but hey…I can surely imagine. Blood, sweat and tears goes into training and when the race is finally said and done it leaves you thinking, now what? Well, never fear. The Real Housewives of Atlanta are here to help you figure out what you should do with your life now that training season has come to an end.

Rest and recover. Oh so important…like probably the most important thing you will read on this list. I tell you what I am probably the lamest person in my group of friends when it comes to being able to stay up late. That late night life is not really for me. But guess what I do not care. No shame. Get your rest, girl. And do not feel bad about it. You’ve put your body through the ringer and you need every little bit you can get. Recharge your batteries so you can get back out on those roads.

Cross train and do some other fun activities that aren’t running related. Cycle, swim, pick up a weight. Kickbox, dance, whatever. These things will help you not get burned out from running. I’ve stayed in love with running because I mix it up. I am at the gym 3 days a week teaching fitness classes and strength training. It honestly has made me a stronger runner overall and I’m very thankful for that.

Don’t worry too much about calories. I know, that is easier said than done. But nourish your body with good, wholesome foods. At least the first week following the marathon just focus on replenishing your body. You want a burger? Eat the damn burger. Have a glass of wine. Cheers.

Hydration is still important. The few weeks following make sure you step your water game up. I keep a huge jug at my desk and I just chug a lug all day long.

No Porsha…the non alcoholic kind.

Go easy on yourself physically…and mentally too. Sometimes my mind is a little bit in shambles as well after a race and I kind of just feel all over the place. Give your body and your brain time to heal and recover. I wouldn’t make any crazy major life decisions the week following a race especially. That is just me. I usually want to jump right back into training after 26.2 and sign up for ALL OF THE RACES. Give it a beat or two. You will be back in business before you know it.

When’s your next marathon? What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not running?