September 26, 2016

Chicago Marathon Training Weeks 12 & 13 Recap

Things are winding down for marathon training which is crazy. I can't believe the Chicago Marathon is 2 weeks away-let the anxiety start to set in (kidding, it already has!). Things have been chugging along in training as usual though.  Here's a recap of weeks 12 & 13 of my Chicago Marathon training. 

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Marathon Training 2016 Week 12 (9/5-9/11)
Monday: breezy  morning miles in Charleston, 8.0 miles
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I found a nice paved trail to run on called the West Ashley Greenway.  I love signs like this that always say where places can technically take you-apparently the greenway can take me from Maine to Florida! 

Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore workout and run there/back , 6.0 miles 
Thursday:  30 minutes of upper body lifting and planks
Friday: Treadmill tempo run, 7.0 miles
Saturday:  1 hour yoga sculpt class +CorePower Yoga - ended up feeling overheated and not great the rest of the day 
Sunday: Long run where I felt sluggish and it felt hard #strugglebus, 21.0 miles
I don't know if it was a touch of something this weekend that started up after yoga, but it sucks to have such a good 20 miler a couple weeks before and then have this 21 miler that felt pretty crappy. I got the miles in with friends so that's all I can be grateful for. 

Total miles: 42.0

Marathon Training 2016 Week 13 (9/12-9/19)
Mondayeasy morning run by the harbor, 5.2 miles
Tuesday:  Treadmill progressive mile repeats and warm-up/cool down, 6.1 miles
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore  workout (8.0), 5.2 miles
Thursday:  Tempo Thursday run with 4 tempo miles-felt strong and mentally stayed positive, 8.0 miles
Friday: 20 minutes upper body strength training and easy treadmill run, 3.25 miles 
Saturday: Coaching a training group at CCR, 3.64 miles-felt kinda nauseous and tired afterwards
Sunday: Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon race plus 2 extra miles, 15.2 miles
I'll post the recap later this week, but I had a FABULOUS race and felt strong! 

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Total miles: 46.59

Lows
Feeling a weird touch of illness or just worn down on Saturday for both weekends means I really need to take care of myself and try to get more sleep and recovery time in, especially as I enter taper. Sometimes I forget how much running and training can take a toll on your body, especially when I'm running around working, coaching, going to school full-time, and feeling stressed out. Also I've reached the peak of my training so all of that work and running can add up on how it is affecting your body. I do NOT want to get sick right now! 

Highs
I am really happy with my weekly mileages for these two weeks as well as that I got in some quality tempo runs.  It always feel good when I can run my race pace easily especially inthe middle of lots of busy weeks. The Philly RNR race was a huge confidence booster as I go into my taper part of the training.  

 How is your training going?  Have you done any races lately?

This post was linked up with Weekend Snapshots , Courtney's Chicago Marathon training link-up, as well as Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-Up. 

September 21, 2016

If Girls Ran the World {Free registration giveaway to run/walk challenge}


Through my partnership with Fit Approach and SweatPink, I was given the awesome opportunity to learn about and participate in the If Girls Ran the World program.  Their tag line is "Run Because you Care."  If you follow my blog or me on social media, you know that I am ALL about empowering women and girls to do whatever they want to do, dream big, and realize their full potential. 



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I LOVE supporting women in athletics so I'm excited to share some information about this virtual running challenge for girls. This October, thousands of women like me, around the world will be logging miles and running virtually around the world to benefit charities that empower girls around the world.  I pledge to run 100 miles in October! 

When you register for $25 you not only receive access to the month-long challenge in which you can track your miles running or walking as well as your own personal fundraising page but also insipring emails with tips and recipes, access to in-person and online running groups, and the opportunity to take part in weekly fitness and fundraising challenges.  



When I registered for the event, I choose from a list of charities which one I wanted to support through my running and fundraising with a goal of raising $250. I choose the Women's Refugee Commission Inc because I think that empowering refugees especially in today's world, is so important.

Without getting too political, while there is gender discrimination in this country, women in other parts of the world and especially refugees aren't afforded the same basic necessities, freedoms, and opportunities as women are in the U.S.  $250 can provide a family with training and livestock so they can earn the necessary income to pay for their daughter's school fees and supplies, think about that impact.  

The Women's Refugee Commission Inc leads "the international community's work to protect and empower refugee women and girls" and well as ensures "their right to sexual and reproductive health, to safety from gender-based violence, and to economic and social empowerment". I often feel that I don't support enough of the global rather than the local community of women so this is a great way to not only do that but also bring awareness to issues facing refugee girls and women. 

You can support my fundraising efforts here or find out more information about the Women's Refugee Commission here



You can find out more information and register here!

I received a complimentary entry through my partnership with Fit Approach but am fundraising on my own because I believe in the cause and the whole event.  You can have the chance to win a free registration to the If Girls Ran the World virtual running event too to support this awesome cause and push yourself to run/walk as many miles as you can in October for girls around the world  {thanks to If Girls Ran the World & Fit Approach}. 

Enter the giveaway for the FREE challenge entry below-you have until 9/30/2016 at 12 AM EST to enter! 

September 14, 2016

Baltimore Bred: Wild Kombucha {by Mobtown Fermentation}

I'm starting a new little feature I've wanted to start for a while on the blog called Baltimore Bred in which I highlight a local Baltimore brand, company, or product that I love and want to share. First up we have Mobtown Fermentation. 

Baltimore Bred #1: Wild Kombucha by Mobtown Fermentation 

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As a fan of Baltimore small businesses and local brands, I was excited to visit Mobtown Fermentation’s new digs in Lutherville-Timonium just over a month ago. I love supporting local businesses, and it was a great opportunity to learn more about this awesome company and get a behind-the-scenes look at their company. 

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{Source}
The three founders of the company, Adam, Sergio, and Sid, had recently moved their brewing operation from Hampden to this new, bigger space in order produce more of their delicious Wild Kombucha.  

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made of green tea, distilled water, probiotic cultures (bacteria and yeast) and natural fruit juices or sugars.  I’ve been a huge fan of kombucha for a while because I love that it’s a bubbly and carbonated beverage yet packed with probiotics.  Since kombucha is made with probiotic bacteria like yogurt and is said to have healthy benefits such as aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system-both things I could benefit from. 

Adam and Sergio, who are stepbrothers, were familiar with kombucha and the brew process from their parents’ own kombucha creations growing up. Mobtown Fermentation was started in May 2014 by the three childhood friends after experimenting with brewing their own delicious kombucha. Currently Wild Kombucha is available in three flavors including elderberry, ginger-grapefruit, and mango-peach. I can’t choose a favorite flavor! Their brand of kombucha is a little sweeter and less sour than some brands I’ve tried which makes it more accessible to those wary of trying kombucha. 

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Right now Mobtown Fermentation is producing over 2000 bottles of Wild Kombucha per week.  These guys are seriously dedicated to their brew-they are still hand-bottling all of these! 

Last month when I visited their headquarters and met with Sid I even got the inside scoop on a special new flavor arriving just in time for fall. Don’t worry it’s not pumpkin spice but an apple spice kombucha. I tasted a test batch, and it was delicious and reminiscent of apple cider.


There are various spots in the Baltimore area to grab some Wild Kombucha including Whole Foods, local markets like Eddie’s, fitness studios like Yogaworks, and cafes like Charmingtons but you check out their website to find the location nearest you.  
They even do kegs of kombucha and are on tap at places like Taps Fill Station in Mt. Vernon Marketplaces, 3 Bean Coffee in Federal Hill, and the Healthy Grocer in Camp Hill, PA.

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Wild Kombucha is a delicious bubbly Baltimore beverage with a great team of people behind it- go grab yourself some of their kombucha! 

Check out WILD Kombucha on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

September 12, 2016

Chicago Marathon Training Weeks 10 &11 Recap

Things have been way more hectic in my training now that graduate school has started again for the semester. The weather has been bouncing around between cooler mornings and the usual hot & humid weather which has made how I feel on runs more variable than usual.  Here's a recap of weeks 10 & 11 of my Chicago Marathon training. 

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Marathon Training 2016 Week 10 (8/22-8/28)
Monday: morning run with 3 tempo miles thrown in the middle, 6.0 miles
Tuesday: speedwork run with 4x 1 mile repeats, 5.4 miles
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore workout and some extra miles , 8.0 miles 
Thursday:  easy morning run, 4.25 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday:  long run in NJ that felt great and my 18 miles for the day eneded up being 20 with two tempo miles at the end 

This run was such a surprise! I met up with some people from the Run856 Facebook group and ran with some people who all had different distances. This guy ended up running the full 18 with me which was great, and with some water fountain stops and different little loops I ended up feeling like I could keep going and at the end finished the last couple of miles fast around my tempo pace just to see. After refueling with Wawa donut and coffee (which makes me SO happy) and then having a big breakfast when I got home, I napped! 

Sunday: recovery run on treadmill and some core, 3.1 miles


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Total miles: 46.75


Marathon Training 2016 Week 11 (8/29-9/4)
Mondayeasy morning run, 5.5 miles
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore: PR Day workout (8.0), 6.0 miles
Thursday:  Humid progressive tempo lunch run, 5.1 miles
Friday: Rest-travelling but my run was thrwarted by the tropical storm so I ended up not having anywhere to run blah. 
Saturday:long easy run in SC on Spanish Moss Trail, 17.5 miles
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I went out on the run after waking up a little late with my stomach feeling kinda weird  and not being sure if I was going to do the whole thing, telling myself to at least get 10 miles in. Once I was on the trail it was shady so I decided no, if I can do 10 miles I can do my long run and ended up with 17.5 instead of 18. 

Sunday: treadmill run and upper body strength, 3.1 miles

Total miles: 37.2


Lows
STILL need to work on foam rolling more and adding in a cool down to my runs. I notice a difference in how I feel when I can spend half a mile or mile in cool down to get my heart rate lowered. Also I've been noticing a lot of tightness in my calves with the increased mileage so I need to roll it out! 

Highs
I am really happy with hitting the higher mileage runs especially that really great 20 miler.  I again am pretty proud of sticking to my plan somewhat during travels and am reminded on days like Week 11's Sunday that even adding a little bit of lifting and strength is better than nothing-not every workout has to be an hour long! 


What's your favorite post-long run treat? How is your training going? 

This post was linked up with Weekend Snapshots , Courtney's Chicago Marathon training link-up, as well as Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-Up. 

September 9, 2016

#PranaFallStyle: Prana Fall Product Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by prAna through my partnership with FitApproach. I was provided with free product from prAna. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know some people are all pumpkin-crazed and ready for fall, but I am not one of those people. Give me some more summer, please!

Fall is lovely, but let’s be honest it’s a small jump away from a long, freezing winter so I’m good with sunshine and shorts for now. I may not like bundling up and pants in general (unless they are of the yoga variety), but I do love cozy sweaters and scarves. At least when cold temperatures arrive I’ll be a little more ready thanks to a package of warm & comfortable clothes I received from Fit Approach and prAna recently. I was sent the Lucia sweater in natural and the Kara jean in denim.

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The pieces arrived so neatly folded and wrapped!
In case you missed my previous post, prAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active, free-spirited living and create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories (for men & women!) to wear during every adventure.  I also love the brand because they use sustainable practices in the creation of their apparel such as using fair trade materials-the Lucia sweater I received is made from recycled wool too! 
 
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don't mind the glasses glare!
The Lucia sweater is a wool-blend to keep me warm, dry, and comfortable through all my cold-weather adventures. I also appreciate that it’s wrinkle resistant and wearable besides being so absolutely chic-looking. 
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I love the subtle herringbone pattern on the color and sleeves as well as the fact that the sweater is lined and even has some jersey material on the collar and sleeve cuffs so there is NO itchiness with this wool sweater! It feels very high-quality and looks really quite stylish on.
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SO cozy!
The Kara jean is one of prAna’s most popular pants according to the website. I received a pair in denim. They are super soft thanks to being made from 79% organic cotton in a sustainable way (grown free from herbicides, pesticidies, and GMOs). The jeans have a lot of nice stretchiness. 

 I was unsure about prAna’s sizing and could have gotten these one size smaller, but the size chart was pretty accurate. These jeans are low rise and fitted with a tapered leg, but trust me they don’t feel tight and are actually super comfortable. I love how soft and comfy they are along with plenty of stretch to move with me on whatever adventures fall brings like apple-picking, hot chocolate drinking, or exploring!

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I’m wearing the Lucia sweater in natural, small // Kara jean in denim, 6
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Pretending to be a fashion blogger
Honestly this is my first time actually trying on any prAna products, and besides being a fan of their mission, I really love the quality and feel of their clothes. I can’t wait to grab a few more cozy pieces from their website.


Remember you can also SAVE 15% on prAna.com purchase right away with my code PFS16BDAS, valid through October 31, 2016.

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What is your favorite fall apparel item? Are you ready for fall? 

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as NicoleAmanda and Jill
 
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