Days 13 & 14: Hello Monday!

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It’s been another fun weekend, but once again, it’s time to go to work!

We all know that Monday sets the tone for the week…will you make it count? I know you will because you are #CoreCrewStrong! 

It’s Monday y’all….LET’S DO THIS!

Some new exercises again today. Hope you love them!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 15 with 1 minute rest between sets (scroll to the bottom for “how to” videos)

  • Counterbalance Squats
  • Split Squats (left and right side)
  • Glute Bridges
  • Bow & Arrow Squat Pull
  • Single Side Vertical Climb
  • Windmill
  • Wall Sit and Plank – :60 each round (total of 3 :60 wall sits and 3 :60 planks)

Day 14: The Core Challenge – Quick core workout that is GREAT for runners! These are all exercises you will find throughout our month and is a quick way to put them all together on an easy day for a great core burn!

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Speed Work: Cruise Intervals

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Fun workout on the way this week! This is a little different then anything we’ve done before but I’m going to try to explain it the best I can. Basically, this workout will be similar to a tempo run, but with VERY short recovery breaks which is while we are calling it “cruise intervals.” You will be cruising along, then back off the gas pedal every once in a while to recover, then hit the gas again when the light turns green. 😉

The Workout: Total of 4-8 miles with 2-4 at tempo pace with a :15 recovery jog every .25 miles.

If you are able to run this workout on the track, you will run 400M then without completely stopping, you will jog in circles for :15 then take off again. Similarly, if you are running on the road, you will run at tempo pace for a quarter mile, then take a :15 recovery jog before getting moving again.

A tempo run starts with a warm up and this workout does as well. So start with a 1-2 mile easy jog to get your legs moving and your breathing under control. Then you will go right into your first .25 cruising speed. Your tempo pace is about 20 seconds slower than your 10K pace. If you haven’t ran a 10K recently, that’s ok. Find your most recent 5K or half marathon race pace, then message me and I will let you know what your 10K pace is and we will add :20.

Once you’ve gotten to 2-4 miles (depending on what you are training for and where you’re at in your training, back off the pace and do a full 1-2 mile cool down.

Training for:

  • 5K = 1 mile warm up + 2 miles of speed + 1 mile cool down – Total of 4 miles
  • 10K = 1-1.5 mile warm up + 2.5 miles of speed + 1-1.5 mile cool down – Total of 5-6 miles
  • Half Marathon = 2 mile warm up + 3 miles of speed + 2 mile cool down – Total of 7 miles
  • Marathon = 2 mile warm up + 4 miles of speed + 2 mile cool down – total of 8 miles

This may sound scary and bring on some anxiety, but don’t overthink it. Remember, this is training and it is PRACTICE! If it doesn’t go exactly as planned, that is OK! We get better at finding our pace and regulating our breathing every time we get through a tough workout. Just do your best….and by that I  mean go out and run with your heart! With practice, you’ll discover that there’s about a five-second window of optimum recovery between your interval sets. You’ll feel it when it arrives. If you feel like you need more recovery time during each repeat, you are going too fast.

As always, I am here to chat so reach out and ask if you have questions!

When will you do your speed work? Plan ahead now so there are no excuses later in the week!

That’s all for now Crew. Almost halfway through another month and the start of a great new week.


Day 13 “how to” videos, images and steps:

Counterbalance Squats: This is a great video that shows how to do this exercise without weights. He goes a little fast but you can slow it down and add a small weight in your hands to add some resistance.

Split Squats: Great exercise to target our glutes, hamstrings, and quads on the dominant leg. Watch this video to see the difference between a lunge and a split squat. Use weights for this one!

Glute Bridge: The Glute bridge targets our glute muscles but done properly will also work our abs. Keep your core tight and stabile to stop yourself from wobbling.

Bow and Arrow Squat Pull: This sounds like a leg focused exercise, but it really targets our core with a little leg work on the side. Here’s how it’s done.

Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into squat position, hinging forward at hips, lowering chest, and reaching arms to the floor. Bend knees a little deeper and open arms into a “bow and arrow” by reaching right arm to the ground and bending left elbow back behind body, twisting torso slightly to the left during the pulling action.

Immediately switch sides, rising slightly up out of squat as arms change position, lowering back into squat as right elbow bends back and left arm extends. Do 15 reps per set, alternating sides each time.

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Single Side Vertical Climb: This compound exercise is a doozy! Core, legs & arms! Here’s how it’s done.

Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on right leg with left toe pointed out to the side, lightly touching the floor. Bend right arm, bringing dumbbell to just outside of shoulder, and extend left arm up, palm facing forward.

Press right arm overhead and bend left elbow as left knee lifts up toward chest. You should feel your left obliques working to lift knee as high as possible. Return to start. Do 15 reps, and then repeat on opposite side.

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Windmill: This exercise (and the few exercises before this one) force your muscles to work harder to help stabilize your core while performing moves that closely mimic everyday activities (climbing a ladder, holding onto objects while sitting up in bed, or reaching for the top shelf in your closet). The extra effort required to move that additional weight means you’ll burn more calories, and tone, tighten and flatten your stomach faster. Here’s how it’s done!

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width, knees bent, holding one dumbbell in front of chest with both hands, elbows bent. Lower into a squat as you rotate your torso to the left and straighten both arms, reaching right hand to the floor and left hand (holding the dumbbell) to the ceiling. Llook up at top hand.

Maintaining upper-body position, raise halfway up out of squat (think of pressing up with the left side of torso), and then lower back to touch the floor with right hand. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps, and then repeat on opposite side.

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Wall Sit: Great exercise to target our entire thigh area, quad, inner thigh, the back of the leg, the hamstring, and glutes!

Plank: The last part of each set it a :60 plank. Hold strong for :60 I know you can do it!

2017 TCS New York Marathon – Race of a Lifetime!

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This is where the happy tears started!

I have been waiting, praying, and dreaming about this race for a very long time. My mother ran the 1987 TCS New York Marathon as her first marathon on her 40th birthday so it has always been a bucket list race for me. I was registered to run it in 2016, but had to defer to 2017, therefore I had to wait another year.

It was worth the wait!

From the start, the race organization was amazing. The logistics for this race seem so daunting, but New York Road Runners handle everything like pros. From the expo, to the start line, to the finish line, to the after party at Marathon Monday in Central Park, everything goes off without a hitch.

I came into this race well trained. My summer my training went great, with the most miles I have ever ran going into a marathon, the fastest and most consistent speed work I have ever done, no niggling pain or injuries, and the most positive mindset. I was so ready.

Getting to the start line was actually fun. I think most people dread the subway ride to the ferry, the ferry ride to the shuttle, and the shuttle ride to the start line, but I really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to calm down, get focused, and go over my race plan.

The start line was so well organized. The staff was friendly, helpful and energetic. If you are where you need to be, there should be no problems at all.

The start line is exciting, with plenty of room to move around and do your pre-race warm up stretching. The crowd is energetic and in 2017, the weather was absolutely perfect!

I was in the blue wave, so I started on the bottom of the Verranzo-Narrows bridge, which I was grateful for. We walked up to the starting line and I didn’t even notice the initial race elevation. When the gun went off, it already felt like we were on a relatively flat surface. Going up the bridge was easy and effortless, with plenty of room to spread your wings and not feel too crowded.

Going into miles 2-3 was like going to the start of a long party. The crowds did not disappoint and stayed steady the entire race. Miles 3-10 in Brooklyn were absolutely amazing. Block party after block party! It started to drizzle early on, but it never poured and the rain was actually a nice way to stay cool. The water/aid stations got a little hectic and slippery with all the cups littering the ground, but the volunteers handled it well and I never had any issues.

Miles 15-16 up that dreaded Queensboro bridge were tough. People around me were slowing down considerably, and many were stopping to walk, but I powered up that bridge without stopping. As long as you keep a positive attitude and don’t get too annoyed with dodging and weaving, you are fine.

There were some challenges for this Florida girl, with the 5 bridges looming ahead, but overall the elevation changes didn’t seem too bad. For me, the eventual pain came from the downhills. Coming into The Bronx “entertainment” party was a fun way to settle into that last grueling 10K as the crowds were dancing and screaming like banshees! But this is where my quads started to revolt. The downhills had taken their toll and my legs were screaming. I was able to power through the small hills on 5th Avenue and roll into Central Park. Quads on fire is an understatement though. I would definitely train better on hills if I get the chance to do this race again.

If I had to pinpoint one complaint about the race, it would be the trek through 5th Avenue, but it was not related to the race organization. At this point, it is easy for spectators to get around the barriers, and in some places there were no barriers, so spectators were crossing the road like the were on a Sunday stroll. The worst possible place to cross the course, since at this point we are all just trying to keep moving forward and stopping a runner in their tracks can throw them off rhythm and even cause injury. I had several people walking right in front of me and I could have screamed at them if I wasn’t so focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Miraculously, I made it through without any collisions.

Central Park is a blur, as my quads threatened to lock up but I kept going. The screams were deafening, so I channeled the energy and just kept moving forward. Mile 24 was my slowest mile at 10:10 but I pulled it together and brought it back down under 10 for the last couple miles.

I kept looking for the mile markers at this point because I wanted to stop and walk but I just kept telling myself to get to that next mile marker. Then when I got there, I told myself to get to the next one.

Seeing the 200M mile marker was like heaven and I knew I was almost home. That right about when the happy tears started. I crossed the finish line and the dam broke. I bawled like a baby who just wanted their momma.

My original goal for the New York Marathon when I signed up in 2016 was a 4:30 so I was placed in Wave 3, Green Coral C. My 2017 summer training was on point so I knew I could do better. My new goal was a 4:10. I smashed it crossing the finish line in 4:05:22, a HUGE 30 minute marathon PR! One week later, I am still in shock and awe of my accomplishment on this tough course.

The near zombie like walk through the next mile+ after the finish line was HARD. During this walk, I was cursing the race organizers for putting us through this misery, but afterwards I was thankful, as it game me a chance to keep moving and let my quads and hips settle down. They know what they are doing. 🙂

I chose the poncho option instead of checking a bag and although it took quite a while to get to the poncho area, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the poncho. It was fleece lined and very warm. The volunteers even put it on us, which was a nice touch.

I rode the subway, then stumbled/walked the short 2 blocks back to my hotel thinking I would be ready to crash, but instead I had SO MUCH ENERGY! It was hard to contain my excitement as I started to reach out to the many friends and family who tracked me. Everyone was so excited for me and I was over the moon!

This is a race of a lifetime. I said it would be a one and done because of the cost, but I think you will find me at the TCS New York Marathon again one day!