Category Archives: Right Now

Midweek Move + 6 Weeks to Go!

Starting tomorrow I’m launching a brand new feature on East Coast Run Project‘s social media pages.  Called the Midweek Move it will be posted Wednesday mornings and feature a drill, running specific strength move, stretch or nutrition tip designed to help you become a better midweek moverunner.  You can check out the video and give our Facebook page a ‘like’ right here.  If you prefer Instagram or Twitter, it’ll be going out there, too.  The first clip demonstrates one of my favorite mobility exercises, couch stretch.  It’s a must do for anyone with tight hip flexors and a good choice for everyone else.

While I’m planning future posts and working on my video skills, I’m also less than 50 days from the One City Marathon.  My training is still going really well and I’m back in action with 60 miles this week.  I feel good, my legs are strong and fresh.  I’m mentally right where I need to be and it’s a huge improvement over where I was last year. 

The biggest (only!) concern I currently have for race day is what shoes to race in.  I really like both my Saucony Pro-Ride 9s and my Nike Lunar Fly Knits right now.  I’ve had a good 20 miler in the Sauconys but a great 18 miler in the Nikes and it’s a hard choice.  The Saucony pair has more cushioning but they are also heavier than the Nike shoes with a higher drop (8mm vs 4mm).  The drop isn’t too important since I’m training heavily in 4mm shows so I’m leaning toward the lighter, softer Nikes.  I don’t want the chance to blame a less than perfect race on heavy shoes!

Meredith

What would you like to see in a Midweek Move clip?  How do you pick race day shoes?

3 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Tuesday isn’t the usual day for Favorites but who’s counting?  I’m loving these three things right now and got a little Monday excited to share.  Here they are!

Shoes.  I picked up a pair of Saucony Zealot ISO 2s last month and am really liking them right right nownow.  It took a few miles to adjust to all of the cushioning.  At first I felt like my gait was a little funky and the shoes themselves were a little clunky or heavy.  I definitely lose some feel of the ground in them but the comfort level is a nice trade off.

The cushioning makes them a great long run shoe while the 4mm drop doesn’t take away from the amount of work my legs have to do.  Winning!  I don’t think I’ll race in them since they’re so heavy but I do right nowlook forward to continuing to train in them.

Games.  I’m a nerd.  I Lumosity regularly and have a daily Sudoku calendar.  Yes, I even let a week pile up then complete them.  That said, I was excited to find this oldie when I went to clean out a closet.  A present from Mom and Dad way too long ago, I’ve toted it around for years.  I’m excited to be back working at it.  Rush Hour presents a tactile brain challenge that doesn’t force me to stare right nowat a computer screen.  Perfect.

Fitness.  With marathon training kicking off next week, I’m ready to be back in the gym.  That sounds backwards doesn’t it?  I like the challenge of Crossfit as a compliment to my running and enjoy the workouts.  I am careful to not let my strength training have a negative effect on my important runs.  That’s why I avoided this one.  Even though I didn’t participate in the super hard WOD, it felt great to be back with my friends for the EOD 131 Memorial Workout Saturday.  Bring on the cleans and burpees!

Meredith

What are you loving right now?  Any new shoes or workouts?

East Coast Run Project + More

The days are getting shorter as fall head in and I’m busy busy with training, working and, most importantly, getting East Coast Run Project going.  We had out first group workout Saturday with another warm day, plenty of sun and a tasty team breakfast afterwards.  It’s exciting to be launching the team because it took me a long east coast run projecttime to figure out what I wanted it to stand for beyond successful athletes.

ECRP is focused on creating better athletes in any sport that requires running based movements.  We are dedicated to improvement and building durable participants.  Our team is filled with resilient, passionate runners who look forward to working hard every single day.

I’m writing blog posts, improving my photo skills for better Instagram pictures and continue to refine the Project’s mission every day.  It’s hard work getting off the ground but I know it’s worth it.  Building happy, healthy athletes that experience fewer injuries and have successful race days is the most rewarding experience I can ask for.

In addition to building East Coast Run Project this fall, I’ll be kicking off my fall race season with the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 5k on Labor Day weekend.  With a goal to PR at that distance I’m hoping this week’s cooler, less humid weather sticks around or makes a comeback Sunday morning.  Next up after rocking through a solid 5k is pacing the 2:00 group at the Morgantown Thirteener.  West Virginia will be my 21st state and with ‘mountainous’ terrain, the easy pace should make a solid last long run before my 10k race/taper the next week at Heart of Ghent 10k.  Then, before I know it, I’ll be heading into the Wineglass Half Marathon to attempt a new half marathon PR.

Meredith

Please give East Coast Run Project a follow on Twitter and Instagram!

Olympic Inspiration + Blog Vacation

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  My annual blog vacation just happened to coincide with the Summer Olympics and it wasn’t too hard to stay put in from of my TV watching all of the amazing athletes.blog vacation

I like taking a short break from blogging once or twice a year to think about why I do it.  Sometimes it can feel like a drag or something I ‘have’ to do, not something I enjoy doing for the fun of it.  A blog vacation is a good chance to clear my head, figure out what’s next (if anything) and what I really want to focus my upcoming posts on.  While I was a little distracted during this most recent one, I’m coming back from my summer blog vacation ready to share my training, race recaps and reviews and any other awesome running related fun I can think of.

Let me start with the Olympics!  I love the spirit of the games, the variety of athletes and being exposed to new sports.  Fencing was definitely not on my radar but I spent time watching and learning about it.  Olympic weightlifting was incredible.  The swimmers of Team USA were mind bogglingly awesome.  And now that we’re on to track and field, the Olympic inspiration hits even closer to home.  There are so many feel good stories.  So many amazing athletes from diverse backgrounds and situations competing you can’t help but be inspired.  Emma Coburn’s bronze, Allyson Felix‘s silver, Usain Bolt‘s gold.  And this story about the final few finishers of the women’s marathon.

With all that inspiration, I’m coming back from my blog vacation ready to rock my fall goal races and tell you all about them!

Meredith

Do you take a summer blog vacation?  One at all?  How much are you loving the Olympics?

Less Sugar, More Plants

We’ve all heard it.  We’ve all thought about it.  Some of us have even tried it.  Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, raw.  The idea of eating less sugar, less processed food and downing more plants and clean food.  It sounds easy but the truth is it isn’t.  Changing your diet is hard.more plants

I tried paleo and it didn’t work for me.  I had a lot of trouble meeting my caloric needs and felt tired/grumpy/cruddy without carbs.  I also tried going dairy-less for ten days.  Not only was I seriously craving some cheese, I didn’t notice any difference at all in my digestion and energy levels.  Lactose intolerant I am not.  Vegetarian lasted about three whole days for me.  Soda was never a factor, nor was coffee.  I’ve been a water drinker with the occasional apple or orange juice, protein shake, glass of milk or chocolate milk, sports drink and boozy treat (maybe more than occasional with those) for as long as I can remember.

So while I won’t be going paleo or vegan any time soon and don’t need to kick a caffeine habit, I am trying to clean up my eating.  With part of my Unbeatable Mind training focusing on nutrition and goals to PR at several distances this fall cleaning up my eating is something I’ve finally committed to.  My first step was to add more plants to all of my meals by making it easier to do so.  I spend meal prep time more plantschopping veggies for cooking, salads and snack time.  This one ended up looking like the Italian flag but I’m enjoying preparing more food because it makes me think harder about what I’m actually fueling my workouts with.  It also makes healthy snacking more convenient when all I have to do is reach in the fridge.

As a bonus, think I picked the best time of year to add more plants to my fridge.  So many fruits and veggies are in season that finding a few tasty ingredients to top my salad is easy.  I know all of the additional fiber is helping my body clean out toxins while the vitamins and minerals keep my insides functioning at their peak.  I’m excited to see what eating more plants and less sugar does for my performance as race season approaches.

Meredith

Have you added more plants to your meals?  Are you paleo or vegetarian?  Why?

Global Running Day!

Wednesday is National Running Day.  At least it used to be.  Starting this year it’s Global Running Day or World Running Day and that’s just fine with me.  Everyone who loves to run, no matter how fast or slow, short distance or global running daylong, should have an opportunity to share that passion with others.  In accordance with that opportunity, I’ve joined a fun link-up where a group of Sweat Pink bloggers will be sharing our feeling with you.  You can check out all of the great responses here, on Kristen’s blog, JonesInForaRun.

Why do you run?  Lots of reasons!  It’s fun, it helps me relax, it’s a place to make friends, it challenges me and pushes me to see what my body can do.  It’s an excuse to be outside and appreciate the weather, no matter what it is.  Sometimes I run for those who can’t and sometimes I run to clear my head.  No matter what the reason, I’m always happy at the end.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?  I’ll be attending J&A Racing’s Global Running Day Celebration and racking up a few miles with a bunch of my best running friends before enjoying some food and drink.

How many miles have you run so far this year? Do you have a mileage goal for the year?  As of May 30, I have run 517 miles with no mileage goal for the year.  I think having one two years ago actually hurt my training because it made me feel pressured to get in a certain number of miles each week instead of listening to my body and following a flexible training plan.  My goals in 2016 are quality workouts and faster races.

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?  I finished my first marathon even though it wasn’t pretty and am looking towards new PRs at 5k, 10k and the half marathon distances this fall

Before I leave for a run I must have:  Water.  I can do without shoes, a watch or a tank top.  I can run in a bathing suit or sunglasses instead of a visor.  Fasted runs have their place, too.  What I can’t live without is water.

Do you track your runs? If so what do you use?  I track 97% of my running using my Garmin and Garmin Connect.  The ones that get left out are the repeats included in Crossfit workouts and watch-less recovery outings.  I’ll guesstimate those miles and add them on but I’m not picky about it.

Who is your favorite running partner?  It varies.  Because of my work schedule I run the majority of my workouts alone.  I really like running with the sunrise or sunset but any of my running friends are just right.

What races have you run so far this year?  Mississippi Blues Half Marathon, First Light Half Marathon, One City Marathon, ODU Big Blue 5k, EquiKids 5k, Coastal Delaware Half Marathon, Hot Chocolate 15k and Rock the Parkway Half Marathon.

If you have to give someone one piece of advice about running, what would it be?  Have fun.  Appreciate that you can run when there are lots of people who can’t.

Describe your relationship with running in one word:  Perfect.

Meredith

How are you celebrating Global Running Day?

BibSwitch, Bandits and The Struggle

Committing to a race is a big deal.  You train, you schedule, you pay (sometimes a lot) and you look forward to it.  Then life gets in the way.  For one bummer reason or another you aren’t able to use the bib you trained and paid for.  You’re also unable to sell, give or donate that bib to someone else.  It’s an issue we’ve all faced and BibSwitch is trying to make a change.

In addition to runners who can’t toe the line on race day with a bib they’ve paid for, there are those who just help themselves to the race course.  Called bandits, these are people who haven’t registered (or paid) for a race but run it anyway.  They use the race’s course marshals, water stops, timing devices, finish line treats and might even help themselves to a finisher medal.  This is definitely stealing.  I don’t know why someone would ever do this, just like the people who cheat to qualify for Boston, and it’s sad.  Maybe if there was a way for runners to transfer bibs they’re not going to use to someone who would otherwise bandit, everyone would be happy at the end of the day.

So there are people who would love to pass their unused spot in a race to someone and can’t.  There are people who want to run the race and can’t register so they bandit.  There has to be an answer.   Bibswitch is trying to work with race directors to come up with a much-needed solution to this problem.  Life happens.  If you can’t make it to the baseball game, you can give your tickets to a friend.  The tickets and seats are paid for.  You have the right to do with them as you please (mostly).  You essentially own them.

When you register for a race, you own a place at the event.  Why, then, can you not do what you want with that spot?  Race directors often point out the safety issues related to not knowing a runner’s actual identity.  What if they get injured?  What if you pass your bib to someone in a different age group?  What if they win an award but it’s in your name?  Having an anomalous race result could end up in you being accused of cheating.  The myriad issues are complex.

I see it all the time on social media.  “Can’t run this weekend.  Who wants my bib?”  I understand both sides of the issue.  Sometimes I think about grabbing one of those bibs for a surprise race weekend.  I never have.  I never will.  But someone should.  That paid entry deserves to be used.  What the right answer for both race directors, volunteers, medical staff and race participants exactly is I’m not sure.  I am glad that BibSwitch is trying to sort out a winning solution on behalf of all of us who race.

Meredith

What do you think of BibSwitch?  Bandits?

***This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own***

I’m Back + Exciting Things

Wow!  It’s been over a week since my last post but I’m back!  Time has flown by in spite of my limited time spent lifting, jumping and running as I roll on with marathon recovery and down time before my next training cycle begins.  I’ve been busy with three exciting things I’m ready to share so here’s what I’ve been up to these last seven days:

1.  Decision Making.  I know in this post I said I wasn’t sure about my next marathon or if I’d even run another one.  Well, one of my I’m Back announcements is that I will be back.  I’ll be hitting the road for 26+ miles on 12 March 2017 for the 3rd One City Marathon.  It might be a quest for redemption or just to prove it was really the sock’s fault or more likely both.  I know I can perform better and now I’ve given myself the chance to confirm it on the same course on, hopefully, another perfect day.

2.  Reading.  While standing, of course.  Taking a break from hours of running in a week doesn’t give me an excuse to sit on my rump.  Rest is not recovery!  It’s been a while since I’ve opened a running book but right now I’m back to it with Chi Running.  I’m always hungry to I'm backlearn more, hone my coaching abilities and find new ways to help guide my clients to crush their goals.  So far it’s been a nice compliment to what I know about similar training theories like Crossfit Endurance and Pose Method.  When I’m back running more than three or four miles at a time in a few weeks I’m excited to see what I’m able to apply to my own activities.

3.  Creating.  I’m not an incredibly creative person in terms of art but when I get my mind set on something I’m all in.  I started FitNicePT ages ago and while I love my clients and what I do every day, personal training isn’t my main focus.  I’ve moved on to being more of a running coach and that’s where I’d like to grow.  It’s challenging to start a new project but I’m back on the grindstone and looking forward to where this project is going to take anyone who’s a part of it.

Meredith

What have you been up to?  What are you reading?

Right Now: Pacing, Harvesting, Reading

It’s time for the July 2015 edition of Right Now!  This month I’ll tell you what I’m pacing this fall, what I’m harvesting this week and what I’ll be reading at the airport.  That’s right!  I’m on my way to  run the 2015 Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon where I’ll be hoping to finish a strong training run and stay cool on the course.

Pacing:  I’ll be pacing two half marathons this fall and couldn’t be more excited.  The first is one I had the honor of pacing last year, as well.  Rock n Roll Virginia Beach is coming September 6 and I’ll be out there with Hampton Runner leading the 2:15 group.  It’s always a hot one but at an easy pace, it’s a blast to cheer on so many runners to new PRs.  Hopefully there’s more music on the course this year!  My fall pacing duties continue with the Hartford Half Marathon 2 hour group on October 10 in Hartford, CT.  I’ll be checking off another state on my list while hopefully making some new friends and helping to set at least a few new PRs up north.

Harvesting:  I put my Miracle Gro AeroGarden together about four weeks ago and have started harvesting some of its produce.  I’m really excited to start cooking with the fresh, organic aerogarden growingveggies and couldn’t be happier with the ease and speed they grew.  The few pieces of lettuce I’ve snuck have been very tasty and my tiny tomatoes look delicious.  With the bunnies outside, this indoor option has been perfect and low maintenance for me.

Reading: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  This isn’t a new blockbuster best seller but I’ve finally gotten around to cracking it open.  It’s wonderful.  It is not only filled with solid, research backed facts about the monetary, emotional, support and expectation difference men and women face in the work place but offers suggestions to improve the situation without making a chance seem impossible.  A positive spin on a sometimes unfair and ultimately stressful circumstance, it’s a must read for anyone who wants to starting harvesting some serious success both inside and outside the home.

Meredith

What are you harvesting, growing, reading or racing right now or soon?

2015 Running Goal Check-up

Wow!  It’s the last day of June and we’re halfway there.  Being halfway to 2016 means it’s time for a 2015 running goal check-up.  I like to look back at my goals when I’m halfway for a few reasons.  During these hot summer months a running goal check-up keeps me motivated by showing how far I’ve come in six months.  It also helps me stay focused.  Some of these goals I think about frequently but other slip through the cracks every now and then.  You can lean what and why I chose these specific 2015 running goals in this post but here’s a quick review of what they are.

Run 1,500 miles.
After this morning’s run, I’ve logged 717 miles.  I have a group run this evening for a another four that will bring my halfway there total to 721.  Even though my miles won’t total half of 1,500, I’m confident I’ll hit this goal.  I have to average roughly 30 miles per week to nail it and with a pair of back to back half marathons, some big long runs coming when the weather cools off, it’s easily within reach.  This is kind of an arbitrary goal but it gives me something to work towards and I’m not sure I’ll set the same kind of ‘miles to run’ goal for 2016.

Run my first 20 miler.
This will definitely happen.  I had originally planned to get it checked off this summer but it has been so unacceptably hot thus far, I’m not in a big hurry.  After hemming and hawing about what marathon to make my first, I finally settled on Newport News, VA’s One City Marathon next March.  With close to 37 weeks until I toe the line, there’s plenty of time to rack up long running goal check-upruns of this or longer distances without risking a heat stroke.

Check 5 more states of the 50 states+DC list
I am well on my way to hitting this goal.  I checked off Arizona in January, DC in March, Kansas and Maryland in May (recaps of all those races are here) and am heading to Illinois for Rock n Roll Chicago in three short weeks.  With Connecticut and Rhode Island on the schedule for October, hotel rooms booked and road trip planned, this goal is looking pretty good.  I might even add a PR attempt in the late fall or early December, hopefully checking off one more in the last stretch.

Break a 1:35.00 half marathon (PR)
I was definitely on course to hit this goal in the spring.  My RnR DC race was really solid over a hilly course and I felt good heading into my target race.  Unfortunately the weather was hot and humid for both chances I had.  In Kansas my knee gave me trouble and in Maryland I physically fell apart in the very warm temperatures.  After such a frustrating month of May, I took a step back and decided to concentrate on 5k/10k for the fall.  But….I don’t think I can do that.  I’m definitely looking at a possible goal race in the early winter because I know I can reach this one.

That’s my mid-2015 running goals check-up!  Things are moving along nicely and I’m looking forward to continued success as the year rolls on.

Meredith

How are your 2015 goals going?