November Miles

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m kind of a recreational runner. This is in large part due to the fact that I work and am in school full time, have a husband to love and house to keep clean. Anyways, with that in mind (because I obviously can’t just be proud of myself), I decided to give myself the BHAG of running 70 miles in the month of November!!  When I ran my final four miles this morning, I was SO proud of myself, I couldn’t stop grinning! As you can see by my little graph, I ran exactly 70 miles. Not 70.01. But 70.

My sweet husband was also so proud of me but we are both SO happy that I’ll be able to cuddle tomorrow morning instead of freezing outside in the ‘cold’.

November Run Goal- KILLED IT!


November Run Goal- KILLED IT!

Now that I’m done shouting out to myself (hah) I just want to point out the merits of keeping track of your running/workouts in order to track your progress. I’ve been using the app “RunKeeper” since Sept 2010, and I LOVE (I’m a little obsessed) checking out how much better of a runner I’ve become since then. I’ve since graduated to my shiny little Garmin, which is a lot more accurate.

Goals are important because they are what keep us from being UN-motivated runners.

Set your Goal: Every month I set a goal, even if I don’t meet that goal, I run much farther than if I don’t.

Break it Down: Decide how many miles you have to run per week, strength days you’ll incorporate, and rest days. Then stick to it.

Make it Measurable: Give yourself a start and an end date.

For example, I wanted to run 500 miles in 2012. That means I’ll be running an average of 40 miles/month, 10 miles/week. No big deal! I’m happy to say I’m definitely going to KILL that goal as well!

Keep track of where you’ve come from, not how far you need to go! What goals have you recently demolished? What’s your goal strategy?

How Far they've Come.

Thanksgiving in the Rear View Mirror

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With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, and the few pounds we gained still hanging on for dear life (what’s a post thanksgiving week without running off the weight?), but in my case, and my co-workers case, there is no shame! Between the turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and cranberry bliss bars, I had a delicious holiday and there wasn’t tooo much damage done!

Before our game. I was all smiles, having no idea how terrible of a game would ensue!

Later that weekend we went bowling and Black Friday shopping, (scored some awesome deals!), and of course, I ran. Not as many miles as I wanted to (I had these high and lofty goals of running about 20 miles. hah). Instead I did about 13.
I’m getting a little faster, this week it’s been about a 9:35 min/mile compared to last week, I ran about a 10:08 min/mile. I’ve been moving faster, breathing better, and feeling stronger! Granted, I had some longer runs last week (like 7 miles) compared to my longest run this week being 4 miles, and I generally take my longer runs slower. At this point I’m 12 miles away from my goal (of running 70 miles in November)- meaning I have 4 miles/day to run. Urg. It’s so cold in the mornings!! 😦 BUT I CAN DO IT!

On a non-running note, I am SO excited for Christmas! Because I work in higher Education, my office CLOSES for the week between Christmas and New Years so I’m lounging around (aka going on long runs) and relaxing!

I know this sounds strange, but I do more running on holidays than I do during regular life because not working actually gives me time to go on those long runs! Anyone else feel the same way?

This American Thanksgiving

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Since I do come from American roots, I have celebrated more Thanksgivings that I can count. Actually, I don’t really remember one that I missed! I come from a large dutch family that is loud and lively, and always up for a good time filled with chocolate pie, laughter and games (sometimes guns, with the season closing that weekend). And since I’m born Canadian, I was lucky enough to celebrate twice!

Here is my long list, to join all my friends spamming our newsfeeds, of things I’m grateful for:

1. Two glorious days off work. Well, with the weekend backed up, it’s 4 days in a row! Feel sorry for my overworked, frazzled brain!

2. I’ve been keeping up with the running. So the pounds won’t be sticking. BRING ON THE TURKEY and PIE! ❤

3. The temperatures are GLORIOUS for long runs. I’m not training for anything right now, so I suppose you could call me a ‘recreational runner’. Wait, you can call me that even when I am training for a half-marathon. Running is about being fun. Not a lot of seriousness involved… don’t judge. 🙂

4. Spending time with my amazing family. When I got married, I struck gold, because his family is wonderful! I’m more about the family than I am about the food. That’s what Thanksgiving is really about for me.

5. And the food. I can’t wait to try the gloriously unhealthy Cranberry Bliss Bars I made (yup, stole the recipe from Starbucks!) I spent the whole evening in the kitchen tonight making food, and I’m equally excited for the HEALTHY Sweet Potato Casserole I made from Dashing Dish! It’s going to be delicious, along with the Pumpkin Coffee Cake for first thing in the morning. Wow, I’m gaining weight just typing this.

What are you in charge of making? First time at this dish or are you a pro? I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving food!

Excited about a 5 mile run in the morning! Enjoy your holiday!

Favorite Fall Trails

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All I can say is that I LOVE fall! Did a long run (for me) and took it slow in my favorite park. I would have to say I enjoy running in the fall much more than in any other season, especially here in Virginia Beach. The fall colors are breathtaking, the temperatures are around 40-50F which is far more bearable for this Canadian born girl, and it such a fresh reprieve from the summer heat!
But after running in the heat all summer, here are some tips to running safely in the fall 🙂

1. With the decrease of hours, for those of us that work full time, 8-5, fitting in a run can be tough during daylight hours. Wear highly reflective clothing, but if that’s not an option (taking the bank account into consideration), try this amazing reflective tape from Home Depot. Always wear I.D. on you when going for a run… you never know what’s going to happen.

2. ICE. “In Case of Emergency” contact in your phone (if you carry it with you). Keep it updated with someone who can respond if someone needs to make an ICE call on your behalf.

3. I’ve had to layer quite a bit more than the shorts and tank-top I wear in the summer! But sometimes when I get out there, I find I’m put on too much clothing and starting to overheat. So I make a mental note of what would be perfect layering options while I’m out there, and the next time it’s that temperature (always check the weather so you are prepared!), I don’t get out there with too much on. Sometimes I stash my jacket in a safe place once I warm up…

4. Even if you aren’t thirsty, you can get dehyradated! While on my run today, I stopped for water a couple times, which is as much as if I’m summer running. Do what’s best for your body. Maybe you don’t need as much water as I do, but definitely don’t forget about hydrating.

5. Start your run into the wind. The wind will be at your back on the way home, and you’ll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you’ve been sweating.

6. Watch out for snow or wet leaves! Take shorter steps when tracking across these areas to ensure you can catch yourself if you slip!

7. Take your camera like I did! These leaves and colors aren’t going to last forever!


That’s all the running tips I’ve got for you guys today, what are some of your tips to stay safe and warm?

Knees. Knees. Knees.

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One of our most recent questions come from Life as the Fat Friend, who recently asked for suggestions for her knees:

“Knees. Knees. Knees. I have OA in my knees. Any suggestions for knees would be awesome.”

One of the most common struggles with running is KNEE issues! We recently wrote a post about Dealing with knee injuries back in September… and here I’m going to talk about how to take it easy on the track to stay away from knee problems (please note, I’m a runner not a doctor. And I just run for recreation. This is not a professional opinion, just what works for me).

1. Stay away from hills. When I’m running up and down hills, it starts to bother my knees because you are putting more pressure on your legs than usual—up to ten times your body weight with each step.

2. Basic strength training. A lazy runner is someone who only runs (you didn’t hear that from me). Take time to go Yoga, Pilates, do squats, and other strength training so your muscles supporting your knees can handle the impact. Work on strengthening your thigh muscles!

3. Stretching. SHAPE has some great Stretches for Healthy Knees for your post run cool down!

4. The right running shoes. In my experience, this has made the most difference. Get shoes that are made for the way you run and the type of surface you run on.

5. Keep the legs straight! Hit the ground with your foot… not your heel. By making your foot hit the ground correctly, this can take a lot of the impact off of your knees.

6. Find a park with shale or dirt trails to run at as much as possible. I can’t get to a park every day, but I aim for the park on my long runs or weekend runs! Plus, it’s so much prettier away from the roads 🙂

Life as the Fat Friend, Hope that all helps you out, I know knee pain can set you back, but hopefully this can help you ease back into running the distance you want to be running!

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on getting the knees healthy, let me know!

You know you are a runner…

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Last weekend we went out of town… and half of the clothes I packed were running clothes! I didn’t know how warm/cool it was going to be, so I went prepared! From my little running shorts to those fleece running pants, my suitcase was weighed down. Which was a good thing because it was freeeezing (esp with this east coast humanity)!

While running in Williamsburg last weekend, I was completely inspired by the gorgeous trees and the leaves that were the most vibrant orange 🙂 I got completely lost on the trails and roads as I ran for miles and miles. It was so early most days that I was the only one the road/trail, except for other runners. I gave them all the runners nod and smile, which says “you are awesome, keep up the run on this freezing cold morning!”

Getting out of town, away from my work load, is exactly what I needed. I’ve got a few weeks left of school, and I’ve got the worse case of sonorities known to man-kind. Good thing I set this session to be easy 🙂 Logging in about 15 miles in one weekend was rough on my knees but great for my soul. My brother-in-law told me I shouldn’t run every day (what does he know… he only did a 50k last year!), but it was truly what I needed.

I love fall because of the cool weather!

Happy November! Food & Goals…

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This week I found the cutest food blog… “Dashing Dish”. With the holidays coming up, I’m excited to give these super healthy and low fat meals, helping me plan healthy holiday food without giving-up on our healthy goals!

This extremely healthy and delicious dish has only 174 calories per serving. With that delicious maple pecan topping, it’s amazing that the calorie count is that low! Click on the photo for the recipe…

Goal Setting

Excited about the Month of November and planning out new goals!

  • The Push-up challenge! I don’t know about you, but doing more than about 7-10 pushups has eluded me. This challenge will bring us up to 40 pushups at the end of the month! Checkout my Facebook for the calender.
  • At the beginning of the year, I made of goal of 500 miles this year. Since I had some trouble this summer, I need to catch up! You’ll find me and my pretty Garmin on the trails a lot this month, going to log 70 miles.
  • Get back on my situp/crunch routine… my abs need some love.

What are your November goals? We’d love to hear them!