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It’s been a long day. I just walked in the door and have 6 1/2 hours before I have to wake up. Therefore, I leave you with this:




Make things happen.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Today was a 1 mile warm up with 4.5 miles of farleks and a cool down – 1 min hard w/ 30 seconds recovery. Why does 30 seconds go by so quickly? Intervals mainly ranged between 6:05 pace and 6:30 pace, depending on people on the sidewalk and stoplights. The 30 mph wind gusts did not make this a fun workout. This was one of my least favorite workouts to date. I ran 6 mile total. Stats are here and here.

The Crab Walk with Resistance

I’m a runner. That means I spend the majority of my time moving forward and hardly ever going side to side. Too much of a good thing = not so good anymore. I need to incorporate more lateral exercises into my workout to keep from getting injured. Enter the crab walk with resistance…

Crystal Welch:

Crab Walking

Resistance band exercises for getting ripped can involve walking to strengthen your butt, outer thighs and abdominal muscles, according to “Fitness.” Stand on a firm surface with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the center point of the band underneath your feet. Place one band end into each hand. Switch ends so that you criss-cross the band in front of your body. Your left hand will be holding the right side of the band and your right hand will be holding the left side. Lift your right foot and take a step to the right. Do not bend your back or knees. Lift your left foot and take a step to your right. Keep walking sideways for 10 steps. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence by walking to your left for 10 steps.

This exercise makes my IT band burn and I love it! I now take my resistance band with me everywhere. And I am not ashamed to to use it in public. After all, if you’re going to make things happen, you can’t worry if somebody thinks you’re crazy for walking side to side with a resistance band, right?


Yes, I did this during my lunch today.

Yes, I did this during my lunch today.


Happy Trails and Happy Running,



Running Update: My RC decided to cancel my track workout today. He says I’m pretty fit and it’s not worth risking a serious injury. The wind is about 30mph here in Raleigh and we are suppose to get heavy thunderstorms. I took this as a sign and just did some light exercises. Now I’m off to the chiropractor for some active release therapy. I’m trying to do the right thing for my leg…

And this is totally vain, but I’m super proud of my leg muscles. I like to think all my hard work pays off…

Runner's legs are one of my top reasons for being a runner :)

Runner’s legs are one of my top reasons for being a runner 🙂

Duck Eggs

Mario’s boss owns a farm, a big farm. He use to sell chicken eggs but has since switched to selling duck eggs. This morning Mario woke up at the lovely hour of 4:45am with me so he made breakfast before I left for work. What did we have for breakfast? Duck eggs!

I had never eaten duck eggs until this morning and I wasn’t sure I was going to like them. They were much bigger than chicken eggs and for me, the taste was a little off. However, it was a yummy breakfast and I was curious to learn more about duck eggs…

First, don’t eat more than one duck egg at a time. It has more than the amount of cholesterol you should consume in a day. I had two. Opps! Second, because they are bigger, duck eggs have more nutritional value (and more calories) than chicken eggs. One duck egg has about 130 calories and over half of the amount of Vitamin B12 you need in a day. Perhaps my two favorite facts about ducks eggs are they are extremely high in omega 3 (American diets are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids and too high in omega 6 fatty acids) and they are a highly alkaline food (chicken eggs are acidic). Some suggest alkaline diets might slow bone loss and muscle waste, increase growth hormone, and make certain chronic diseases less likely. And omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to lower triglycerides and decrease inflammation in the body.

I am going to try duck eggs again tomorrow, but this time only one. The idea of eating duck eggs still seems weird to me but apparently people in Asia eat them every day as well as people in Europe. Oh how I love learning new things.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: I have a confession to make…. I am completely, wholeheartedly, without a doubt addicted to running. Even the thought of not being able to run, makes me depressed. All day today I was thinking my leg was going to keep me from running and I felt miserable. It was a beautiful 75 degrees here in NC and that made it even worse. My leg was still feeling off so after a few jogs up and down the hallway I emailed my coach. To do our track workout or not to do our track workout? We decided to push it back a day and I could do an easy run if I wanted to. I asked about cross training and he said nope, just try an easy run. After some serious work on my IT band and piriformis, I headed outside. I am so thankful I decided to not cross train and do an easy run instead. It was fabulous! Even though my leg still feels sore, it was an easy 6.4 miles. I focused mainly on relaxing my feet, not tensing my shoulders, and engaging the left side of my body. I even switched arms of my Garmin and #TeemHogan bracelet (in memory of my student who passed away in December). It’s crazy what a difference that made! The pace felt super easy and it was a confidence booster for my track workout tomorrow. Stats are here.

Brominated Vegetable Oil

For all of you who drink Gatorade, y ou might be interested to know that PepsiCo is removing the controversial ingredient brominted vegetable oil from some of their Gatorade drinks. Why you may ask? Well because the ingredient is patented as a flame retardant. Yummy. The ingredient is said to be linked to neurological disorders and is actually banned in the EU and Japan.

Stephanie Storm, The New York Times:

Brominated vegetable oil is banned as a food ingredient in Japan and the European Union. About 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain it, including Mountain Dew, which is also made by PepsiCo; some flavors of Powerade and Fresca from Coca-Cola; and Squirt and Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. PepsiCo said it had no plans to remove the ingredient from Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew, both of which generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.

I spent some time looking through the ingredients labels of the many different flavors of Gatorade. I only saw B.V.O. in the Orange flavor. I haven’t bought Gatorade in a long time but kudos to them for taking out the ingredient. However, my next question is when are they going to remove red 40 and yellow 5? I think beet juice and turmeric would be a good replacement. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Since I ran 21 miles yesterday and I woke up feeling pretty run down this morning, I only did weights and a little cardio at the gym this afternoon. Originally, I wasn’t going to do any cardio but then I saw there is now a stair climber beside the treadmills. I absolutely love the stair climber for some reason. Not one of those little crappy ones but the big ones with the rotating steps. I couldn’t resist and had to jump on. Then when somebody got on the one beside me, I had to up the level x10. I couldn’t help it 😉  It really is one of my favorite cardio machines.


Tomato Juice

Yesterday I met my sister, her husband and a few friends for lunch. Somehow I started talking about my wheatgrass shots and veggie juices. They got a good laugh at my juiced grass and my brother-in-law even suggested I start juicing clover. After all, it’s what all the animals eat (they live on a farm). I asked my sis why is eating healthy considered weird. Her response: it’s not eating healthy that’s odd. It’s eating healthy foods that nobody has ever heard of that’s interesting. Well I like to consider myself cutting edge I responded. 😉

When I was out for my run this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts. I learned something new… tomato juice has been shown to reduce creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which are markers of exercise-induced muscle damage, more than sports drinks. The levels of CPK and LDH in the tomato juice drinkers returned back to a normal level while there was no change with the group that consumed a sports drink.  Maybe this visual will help:


The way I interpret this study – tomato juice is a good recovery drink post exercise.

If there is one juice that I have ever disliked with a passion, it is tomato juice. To me, it tastes like cold tomato soup. Gross. I can assure you I will not be switching my Endurox for a can of tomato juice. However, I think in the name of experimentation, I will try it at least once. You never know unless you try!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: I went out to the Tobacco Trail for my 20 miles this morning. It was covered in ice. I tried to run but after one mile I said forget this and headed back to Raleigh. I did my 20 miles around town and it was actually very nice. The hilly course has become so much easier. I have noticed that my need for nutrition has really decreased. I had a few sips of a Vega Electrolyte drink at mile 13 (which has zero calories) and 1 2nd Surge at mile 14. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I needed any more than that. Including my mile out at the trail, I ran 21 miles this morning. Here are my stats:

Long Run

In the Long Run

Seth Godin certainly doesn’t write about running. However, I love reading his blogs. They are short, insightful, and well written. His blog post today, The Long Run Keeps Getting Shorter, was particularly interesting to me. Here it is:

Seth Godin:

In the long run, we’re all dead, sure that’s still true.

But the other long run effects–in the long run, you get caught, in the long run, kindness wins out, in the long run, we learn about who you really are–all of those are happening faster than they used to.

The short run has always been short (and it’s getting shorter still). The real change, though, is how short the long run is getting.

My favorite part, “…in the long run, we learn about who you really are…”. Whether talking about life or 20 miles on the trails, I find this line to be very true. I always finish a long run feeling slightly wiser than when I started.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Today I did something that I haven’t done in in forever – I slept in until 7:30am! The roads were super icy so I knew I was going to have to run tomorrow. However, the sun came out this afternoon and melted everything away. I got in an easy 3 miles. My splits were 8:01, 7:49, and 7:13. (Stats are here.) I’m definitely feeling more aerobically fit and hope I can stay this way for race day. Tomorrow will be my 20 miler. As always, I’m looking forward to it!

The Coldest (Half) Marathon

Raleigh, NC is experiencing a wintery mix this afternoon and it’s about to drive me crazy! Maybe I should be enjoying the fact that I’m confined to my warm pajamas here on the couch.  However, my scheduled 20 mile run tomorrow morning is really the only thing on my mind. Will the ice be melted? Will I be able to drive out to my favorite trail? Will I slip and twist my ankle? This ice is really getting in the way of my plans.

In honor of the crappy weather, I decided to find the coldest marathon on record. Well it’s actually a half marathon and about 70 degrees colder that NC right now. Yes, 70 degrees colder! Read more

Thursday Motivation

Ray Lewis is motivating. Period. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his speeches make you believe you can do just about anything. His speeches, his quotes, and his actions on the football field make me think I could run a sub 3 hour marathon first thing tomorrow morning and be back at the gym later that night. One Ray Lewis speech and I’m the next Shalane Flanagan.

When we were watching the football game Sunday night I told Mario before the game started,  The Ravens will win. Ray Lewis will win. He wants it bad enough. (Please keep in mind that I don’t follow football that much. I just know what a motivator he can be.)

Every morning when that alarm clock goes off at 4:45am, I ask myself how bad do you want it? We always have choices and if you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen. Motivation and inspiration are a powerful thing…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Today was a short tempo run. A half mile warmup followed by 4 miles at 6:50 – 7:00 pace and then a half mile cool down. Stats are here.  It was a great run minus the people I literally ran into (they really refused to move and when going fast, it’s not so easy to slow down). I made one girl scream bloody murder, even though I said excuse me three times. And two guys, who I know saw me coming, stepped right out in front of me and I ran into one of them. I am one of those laid back people who never gets mad but there is something about people who flat out refuse to move when I’m running down the street, that make me say bad words and throw my hands up in frustration. I guess I’m glad I wear headphones because they probably say a thing or two about me as I go by. 🙂

The Left/Right Balance

Running is a whole body experience and injuries can often come from bad biomechanics (at least that’s how I think). I get injured on my left side because my left side is weaker. I know this. I do not do enough to prevent it but at least I understand what’s going on in my body.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m teetering on ending up on the injury list. However, I’m not there yet and in fact have had some decent workouts. I contribute that to two things. First, I’ve switched to using my left hand for everything I can. It has made everything take twice as long and my makeup in the morning has been a diaster. (Putting eye liner on with your left hand is like trying to write with your left hand. Really freakin’ hard.) But it is causing me to become much more aware of my left side. Today while running, I only focused on my left arm swing. What a difference it made!  Read more


In any given year, my running performance typically goes something like this: run really well, get excited and start training for a race, run really well (and run a lot), get injured, spend 1-2 months being sad, swear you’ll focus more on injury prevention, get better, and do it all over again.  When I first met with my RC, I very clearly remember him saying we needed to work on consistency. Learn to be the runner who can run on a consistent basis without putting yourself on the injured list. Consistency is key he told me.

Jason Fitzgerald:

Running is cumulative. What you do today influences what you’re able to do tomorrow. And what you do this week influences what you’re able to do next week, next month, and even next year.

You see, training is stacked. Distances, workouts, and paces always build on one another within a block of running… so consistency is what separates achievers from under-performers. But how is it obtained? How do you string together consistent months and years of training?

It’s easier said than done. At its most basic, you need two elements:

  1. The physical ability to run consistently (i.e., injury-free training)
  2. The mental ability to run consistently (i.e., the motivation to train day after week after month)

There are two things I take away from this article by Jason Fitzgerald. First, I’m tired of being an under performer. That’s not to say my performances have been bad, because they haven’t. I just know I can be so much better. Second, out of the two elements necessary for consistency, I am strong in one and weak in the other – injury free training. Some people can run every single day of the week, do no real preventive exercises,  and never get injured. I am not one of those people. 2013 will be the year I become a consistent runner.

Happy Trails and happy Running,


Running Update: Earlier today I imagined that I would be writing I had no running update because my leg was still bothering me. However, after a few too many Ray Lewis motivation videos and a lot of self therapy, I went out to the track. And let me just say this – an actual full day of rest followed by an easy day of cross training equals one awesome track workout. This is an easy week so my workout was a little shorter…. a warm up followed by 4×1 mile repeats @ 6:30 pace and a cool down. My repeats ended up being 6:11, 6:08, 6:14, and 6:14 and they all felt easy! I was super stoked. My cool down mile ended up being a 7:12 pace. I guess a little recovery can go a long way. Stats are here.

And check out my view after my meditation this morning… Such a great way to start the day!!