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Posts tagged ‘workouts’

Runologie – My New Favorite Place!

A little over a week ago, I started working at Runologie, Raleigh’s newest downtown running store. To sum up my experience thus far, I would say the following… I LOVE IT! It’s a runner’s paradise and there is no job better than the one that allows you to talk and learn about running. All. Day. Long. It’s fantastic.

What makes working at Runologie so awesome? First and foremost, the people. The two lovely ladies who I am working for are also two super fast marathoners and two very awesome people. Laura, who I ironically first met over two years on the DNF bus in Boston (we both had really bad days), and Kimberlie, who has been a running inspiration of mine for years, have worked relentlessly to make Runologie a fun, welcoming, and unique experience. And I couldn’t be happier to be a part of their team. Add to that my lovely coworkers, all great runners who I can learn from, and work life is great.

Along with awesome coworkers, the customers make working at Runologie very special. Many of the people who walk through our doors, do so because they want to shop local and they’ve been watching the store’s progress over the last few months. The customers want to learn about our niche brands, check out the Holly Aiken Runner Girl bags, and learn about our group runs. It’s such a positive, lively atmosphere and the people really make this place.


Some of our apparel

Then of course there are the reps… I love meeting with the reps! Since we are a new store, we’ve had reps coming in every few days and I’ve learned so much. There is no better way to learn about the shoes than talking to the people who sell them. I’ve worked in running stores before but never have I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the shoes, test them all out, and form relationships with the reps. Most of the reps are even coming back early next year to do demo runs, which will give everyone a chance to try their shoes. Hokas and mimosas, anyone? We’re planning for that in January and I can’t wait!! (Even if I can’t enjoy the mimosas, at least I can be bartender. Maybe we can do the event again in the spring after the baby is born. :P)

Finally, our  brands. We carry the smaller, niche brands and my experience with them has been overwhelming positive. I think because these brands are smaller and are competing the more well known brands, they work incredibly hard to provide a high quality product. I can’t even count the number of compliments I’ve received on my Oiselle top or the people asking about my bright pink Salming shoes. It’s really cool to be a part of something different.


Our Shoe Cloud

Last year this time I was teaching. I loved teaching and I loved my students. However, working in public education in North Carolina isn’t for me. Now I’m working in a store that does all things that I love. I’m even planning to do something running related with the middle school right beside us. It’s the best of both worlds and the fact that it’s only three blocks away from my house, is an added bonus. From quitting my job to a nearly broken hip and babies, 2014 has been a learning year. I think 2015 is going to be fantastic!!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

(PS: Did I mention there was a bottle shop next door with amazing food that just opened? Yea, I know… awesome.)

Workout Fears

Sometimes I’m afraid of workouts. Strange, perhaps. But when I see some of the track workouts my coach has planned out for me, I can’t help but to experience a little anxiety. It’s not the distance that has ever bothered me. It’s the speed.



Yesterday I decided there are two main reasons I’m “afraid” of my speed workouts…

Reason #1: Pain

Track workouts can be intense. Right now, because we are so early into my training, we are doing shorter, faster intervals. (Not my thing.)  Tuesday, I was reminded why I like long distances.  Short and fast equals painful. The workout was 4-5 sets of “split 1000s,” which means a 200, 300, and 500 at around 5:30-5:40 pace with a one minute break between intervals. The 200 interval – not too bad. The 300 – a little more painful. The 500?? Oh my gosh, I have to do how many of these!?!?  By the 4th set, I was done. Not even 3 miles and my legs has a nice little burn going on.  The 85 degree weather and hot track didn’t help make the workout any less painful. I asked coach how do you get over the pain? His response, embrace it and know it’s making your stronger. Okay, I’ll do my best coach.

Reasons #2: Failure

When I saw my Tuesday workouts for the next month, I started to tell myself, I can’t do this. This is too fast for me. Well if that’s not setting myself up for failure , I don’t know what is. I’m not use to doing a lot of speed work on the track and I’m afraid of not meeting my goals. What if I can’t run the splits that I’m aiming for? What if my last interval is significantly slower than my first? What if I fail? Before we started on Tuesday coach said to me, I think you’re faster than you give yourself credit for. And that got me thinking… Who cares if I don’t meet my time goals as long as I try my best? I am fast and I know I can be faster. Pushing myself to the point of failure is the only way I’m going to know how fast I really am.

Happy Trails & Happy Running,


Running Update: Tuesday’s track workout is here followed by yesterday’s 8 miles. I was amazed at how easy and fast 8 miles felt after Tuesday. Today is an easy 6 mile run. It’s been a great running week. 🙂

City Running

This week I’ve decided I’m leaving city running behind. I can’t do the slanted sidewalks, the traffic or the stoplights anymore. Yesterday, my coach mentioned to me that as we progress into this next training cycle, I get off the sidewalks. Honestly, I think that’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time.

Why? Well because I’m a creature of habit. I run the same routes on the same side of the road, all the time. Sure, I can switch it up but then I run into the problem of stoplights and traffic. Fartlek workouts in downtown are the worst idea ever! Lately I’ve been taking my runs out to the Raleigh greenway or Umstead Park and I really do love it. I love the challenge of the hills, and I love that there is no stopping unless I decide I need to stop for whatever reason. The fact that there are no distractions allow me to focus and at the same time, allow my mind wander. Since there are no cars, I don’t have to worry about careless drivers.

City running, you’ve been great for so long but I’m ready to move on. I think my running is ready for something new.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Today was my first workout since my injury. I had a fartlek run of 8×1 minute repeats with 1 minute rest. I have to admit, the hills were challenging but I was super stoked to keep the pace right around 6:00/min. Two intervals were even faster. I did a 3 mile cool down slightly faster than 8:00 min/mile. After the intervals, that seemed like a pretty easy pace to me. My warm up mile is here and my intervals are here.


In an effort to keep my fitness levels up as I slowly return back to running, I’ve been doing a few workouts from the Nike Training Club. Last Sunday at 4:15 am (I had to workout before Mario’s race), I attempted Cardio Killer for the first time. The workout is 15 minutes of jumping, core strength, and upper body strength. It’s a constant workout with only 3-30 second recovery periods. I’m pretty sure I hit the pause button a few times.

This morning I persuaded Mario to join me in Cardio Killer. It was during that second recovery period when I wanted to hit pause for the first time just so I could have another minute of rest. I said out loud to myself, you can hurt now or be sorry later. I kept going and never hit pause once. I was proud and it was a definite improvement from a week ago.

Cardio Killer Workout

Cardio Killer Workout

My point is progression happens. It may be hard to keep that in mind during a workout, but you’ll realize it a week, a month, or even a year from now. Two months ago, my toe stand was horrible. Now, I am so impressed with how much better my right side is than before. The body learns and the body adapts. You just have to keep teaching it.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: I could have run this weekend, but I decided not to. My hip doesn’t really hurt, it’s only a little sore. Perhaps if it had not been pouring down rain and cold this morning, I would have headed out for a few easy miles. However, I did several hip flexor strengthening exercises, abs, and my Cardio Killer workout. I also started my morning with yoga.


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!!


I found this interesting…

According to this short video by Ben Greenfield, about 95% of people train too much and toxify their bodies.

Currently BG’s training schedule includes lifting 3 days a week, short (but intense) mountain bike rides, a 20-30 minute run, 2 tennis matches, and 1 10×30 second sprint treadmill session. When you think about it, that really isn’t a lot for someone who won his last Ironman triathlon. Right now he is only training 6-8 hours a week. Read more

Balancing Exercises

Sunday morning I listened to Healthy Conversations – a discussion between Chris, Matt, and Mark (fitness and health bloggers). They discussed a variety of topics including strength, sleep, posture, stress, simple meals, and several others. The conversation is a little over a hour but they outline when each section begins so you can skip and find the parts that interest you most.

The discussion on strength had a theme that really stuck with me – there is no need to overcomplicate things. Often times we turn to the latest and greatest ideas because that’s what is exciting and that is where the money is. But the truth is strength can very easily be achieved with a set of dumbbells and 4-5 exercises. They also mention the importance of balancing exercises. Balancing exercises are something I definitely do not do that often. I think because I was a dancer growing up and my balance is already pretty good (or so I think), I neglect this area of my training. But as a runner, balance is important… being center is important. Balance exercises can increase core strength as well as improve muscle balance. (Think injury prevention.) Read more

Hill Sprint Training

My two favorite ladies talking about my favorite/least favorite (depending on my mood) workout:

Hill Sprint Training

Hill Sprint Training


Embrace the hills. They are speed work in disguise.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: No running today! It’s a sad day but I think my body will thank me later. I am on my way now to the gym to do yoga and some general strength training. A little variety will be good for me. Happy Sunday!

Leg Swings

One of my new favorite warm up stretches is the leg swing. I always see the cross country team doing this stretch before a workout so I’ve recently started incorporating them into my pre-run ritual. Along with the other hops, skips, and jumps I do, the leg swing helps to get the blood flowing in my legs.

Here is a great video from New York Road Runners on how to do the forward and side leg swing.

Leg Swing


Read more

Tempo Runs

This morning I wanted to make up for my missed workout yesterday. Even though I have a 14 miler tomorrow, I felt like I needed to get in my “up tempo” run. On my training calendar, it said that an “up tempo” run isn’t quite as fast as tempo pace but still faster than a regular run pace. Before heading out the door, I decided that my goal pace would be around 7:20. I almost considered running indoors due to the the wind advisory for NC but decided to embrace the form of resistance training. The miles going against the wind were tough but the tailwind was awesome. I’d call it a successful tempo run. Read more