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3 Things I Learned From The Marathon Without Running It

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Sunday, I had 6 miles on my training schedule. The hustle from the week left me zapped and I opted for a sleep filled morning instead…more on that later. Waking just minutes after the Olympic Marathon start, I flipped on the tv and settled in for some texting, tweeting, and social media stalking of the athletes. I love getting involved in these online conversations. It allows me to take part in discussions with friends and fans in the running community.

I have yet to attempt the marathon, and I’m not sure if I ever will, but I have witnessed many miracles from the daring distance. Watching a marathon is said to restore faith in the human spirit, faith in your fight, and faith in what the body is truly capable of. I have pressed myself up along the finisher fence at the Shamrock Full for many years and I always gain more respect for individuals who tackle it. It was the same scenario on Sunday as I watched from my bed. There were three distinct lessons I took hold of without ever having to run.

1. Over prepare and press on even when others doubt you. If you were watching Sunday, then you noticed that the announcers were less than stellar with their commentary…doubting the preparedness of the runners and their training leading up to the games. I would love for NBC Sports to provide commentators who know about distance running instead of feeding them facts they misspeak on. We know that Team USA was prepared for the climate and conditions, especially after their qualifying run in the trials on a hot LA day earlier this year. Even with that, Rupp took his prep one step further with his now famous collection of white hats. At each station, his crew had stashed extra “white hats” for his running comfort. This innovative idea was considered to be pushing the envelop. The move proved to be advantageous for him as each hat became more saturated than the next. We watched him toss and grab his way through 26.2. As expected, Rupp held on with the leaders grabbing a bronze medal.

2. When you think you are finished, you are not. All three Team USA members showed well in the large lead pack for quite some time.  After a while, hearts broke across the country as we noticed Meb dip in and out of the race with body and belly issues. But in true Meb fashion he never gave in. He literally pushed til the end.  After suffering a slippery fall on the wet finish line, he gracefully reprieved himself with a set of push ups in front of his family and the world.

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Photo Cred – Boston.Com

3. Grace, strength, and humility. This year’s marathon media celebration may have been one of the best post race coverages yet. The interview with Rupp was 100% relatable. We were reminded that he is human and really, his race prep rituals aren’t that different than most of ours. In regards to finishing another race just days before, Rupp referenced his disappointment with that finish. Listening to him, I was immediately taken back to my Shamrock 2016 ending. Pain and post traumatic stress caused me to bench myself from running for 10 weeks. Rupp didn’t have that luxury as he flipped and readied for the marathon distance. In his interview he showed humility as he acknowledged the need for grief and even anger. Yes! But he equally noted the desire to write the next chapter.

The interview with Meb and Ward gave us the emotional element we longed for. Tears from Meb’s young daughter, tears from him, and tears from all of us came through with pride as he recapped the race and held the title of one of the sports most loved. Ward, who posted a personal best, gently patted Meb on the shoulder. This graceful gesture seemed to acknowledge all that the elder teammate has done for the sport.

 Just like with any goal in life, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there…just get there.

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How To Survive Track Tuesday

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How do you survive Track Work Tuesday? 

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Let’s face it, with summer temps still flirting in the upper 90′s and a dew point to match, the upcoming Tuesday Track workouts have an extra daunting heat cloud over them. Even as an RRCA certified coach and a runner for most of my life, I have a couple tips I have learned just recently, that will help you survive what can be the most dreaded workout of the week.

Well it’s Track Tuesday! Chances are you have prepared yourself to crush the workout on tap for the day. You have hydrated and eaten appropriately. You have set your alarm for early in the morning, hoping to beat the Summer sun…or maybe you have packed a bag to hit the pavement or treadmill after a long day at the office. Either way…kudos to you for already completing these steps. Now it’s time for speed work… only it’s thundering, there is a heat advisory, or any other extreme threatening weather condition happening all around you and this is the only time in your day for your workout. Enter your choice of expletive here!!!

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Option #1 Brave the weather Gods. You may love the rain… but when it is mixed with booming thunder this poses other problems. If heat is your challenge, the paces are slowed, the breathing is more labored, and the list goes on.

Option #2 Skip it, not always a bad option…but any well respected runner kicking off a new training cycle can’t fathom that.

Option #3 Treadmill – taking it indoors defeats the purpose of spending time in nature…but sometimes it may be the safest option.

#3 it is. That was my option last Tuesday afternoon as thunder clouds rolled in for some intense afternoon showers. After trying to wait it out, I bit the bullet. This brings me to my first rule for Track Tuesday.

Rule #1 SURVIVAL. Get thru it but be flexible. You can map out the best course, the best plan, and just like with anything in life, challenges will arise. You must be able to ebb and flow like the tide when needed. The good news is that taking it to the treadmill when you must can have some benefits.

1. You have hydration nearby

2. Bathrooms are handy in the event of puking

3. Climate control – hello fans

4. Pace control – with the press of a button, you can hit your splits on the money each time

You can’t change the weather but you can change your temporary training environment when needed. Put on a playlist, some Netflix, a sporting event and your fav inspirational tank top and go to town!

Inside or out…track or treadmill…it is time to work, work, work, work, work!

Rule #2  Focus on each interval ONE AT A TIME. If you bug out at the thought of a hefty stack of repeats in front of you, you’ll never make it. Focus first on your warm up. Be carefree. Enjoy the run. Ease in. Then you are ready for your first “lap.”  For longer distance race plans, your workout may be something like:

1 mile w/u (warm up)

4-6x800m – 90 second recovery (half mile repeats!)

1 mile c/d (cool down)

For the above workout, only focus on the 800 you are currently running..nothing more or nothing less. Sure, be mindful of the other pieces of the puzzle,  but focus only on holding pace one 800 at a time. Warm up-then take on the intervals 1 by one…so on and so on – then relax with the cool down. Remember to embrace each recovery break, that is part of the workout. Don’t rush it.  Being present is something we know when we hit our mat in a yoga class. The same concept works here. Tackle one at a time. You will enjoy the workout more and steadily increase pace as appropriate.

I hope these tips help you on your next Track Tuesday. Please share this with your runner friends and stay tuned for more inspirational and educational fitness content on our social channels.

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WH2WH: Organization, Teamwork, and Trust For Round 2

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 I was sitting at a local coffee shop recently and someone asked me “how do you do it?” I looked puzzled and thought for a second. They were referring to my upcoming busy volunteer schedule. It was at that moment I realized, it took a lot of prayer, a lot of great people, and a lot of organization to get it all done. The prep for Fall LIFT sessions and events is in full force. The storage unit has been cleaned out, inventoried, and our trailer has been restocked with new athlete supplies. The schedule has been set in motion for our August – October LIFT sessions. Our volunteer coordinator has gathered and rallied a great group of peeps, many new faces, that are excited and eager to start working with this next round of athletes. They will be sure to make a difference in the local homeless/at risk population. We kick off volunteer training and orientation on Monday, and we are ready to dive in next week with our health, fitness, and nutrition education program. Simultaneously as we prep for LIFT, our WH2WH Team of 12 runners and 6 drivers will prep for the 200+ relay we will tackle again in November. Training, fundraising, and championing for the cause is top priority for fall fitness and philanthropy.

November 14 is the kick off to National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week. It is also the same day our 12 person WH2WH relay team will complete a 200+ mile run and arrive in the Nation’s Capitol. For the second year in a row we will run across the state of Virginia in hopes of bringing attention to this issue. We will depart Virginia Beach before sunrise on Sunday November 13 and run straight through nonstop in relay fashion until we reach the security fence on Pennsylvania Avenue mid day on November 14. The reason for the journey, to raise funds for the Jim White Community Fitness Foundation and the above mentioned LIFT Program

Calling on my friends and family to help spread the word on this event.  If you are a prayer warrior, please add us to your list as we train, fundraise, and execute this 200+ mile task. As summer starts to hit it’s end, my sites are set on fall. Fall training is my favorite time to run. After last week, we had a teaser of the temps getting cooler. My miles will start to get longer as I look forward to the local race schedule. I plan to run The Crawlin Crab Half in early October, but the big goal on my calendar will come mid November.

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2016 WH2WH Team

 Click HERE to donate and learn more.  Thank you for your support. #WH2WH

Mark Your Calendar: lululemon WH2WH Shopping Night Fundraiser, September 14 – TownCenter

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Watermelon Frose’

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Well here it is a Tuesday evening and I am half a glass deep of my new obsession. Frose’ is popping up everywhere. From bon appe’tite to The Fit Petite, we have admired it everywhere. My version includes watermelon and it is tasty, refreshing, and the easiest thing ever. I normally reserve cocktail time for the weekends, but with it being summer and the fact I have a perfectly good petite pink bottle of Rose’ in my fridge, I can’t let it go to waste. My girlfriend brought me a chilled bottle on Saturday that we enjoyed before heading to dinner. There was just enough left in the bottle, securely tightened of course, to make this quick and easy cocktail. This frose’ was a 1, 2 punch as I always keep chunks of frozen watermelon in my freezer during the summer months. They make the best grab and go beach treat or post run cool down and electrolyte replenisher. Tonight they were simply tossed in the Ninja, scooped into my glass, and drenched with sparkling bubbles. Voila’! Enjoy this subtly sweet sipper on your own and let me know what you think!

Check back for more festive recipes, healthy living tips, and the motivation you need to live the healthy life you deserve! 

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August: Living By Intention

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Set an intention. You have most likely heard this in any recent yoga class.  I always long for this opening, just before the practice begins. The chance to set your mind free. You clear it, reset it, strike a pose for purpose and re-engage with time on your mat. It is important to do this with life’s task list as well. Are you simply going through the motions, moving swiftly on to the next item at hand? Instead, re-engage, live with intention….be deliberate. Determine what brings you joy, what talents you can offer to make a difference, what resources do you have that could help others? Identify your purpose and intentionally live towards it.

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Hello August…I have big plans for you and for fall! With the start of the new month, I’m setting my intentions. I intend to be kind to myself and to others and be diligent with my work…professionally, personally, physically. While I continue to conspire for my world take over…coming soon…I’m still soaking up every moment of summer the season serves up. The miles and meditation on the sand will increase with the turning of the calendar. The intent to live heathy and nourish my body sufficiently will continue as the days slowly grow cooler. I intend to live with purpose, fulfilling my mission to help the homeless. I intend to let my light shine in my own little online world of expression. I intend to have dinners with friends and order from the unhealthy side of the menu. I intend to not let open bottles of champagne in my fridge go to waste. I intend to run more miles in the fall than before and do so with little care of the clock. I intend to turn down projects that don’t financially or spiritually fulfill me. I intend to pray hard for friends that are hurting and give praise for those experiencing joy. I intend to keep the balance I have built the past few months.

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How can you live a more intent life? A more purposeful one? Set your intention and share with me. I’d love to encourage you along your journey.

@thefitpetite #livewithintention

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