Fueled and Motivated (Giveaway!)

by Melissa on September 13, 2014

Happy Weekend!  It’s rainy and chilly here in the Nation’s capital and feels like fall.  It’s a perfect day to sit down, write a blog post, and sip on some coffee.  This week I really hit the workouts hard with strength training, teaching, cycling, and running.  And because of that, my nutrition really needed to be on point.  I can definitely feel a difference when I’m eating well and just scrambling for something to get by.

A few weeks ago, AMRAP Nutrition sent me a few bars to try.  I’m all about a good nutrition bar made from real ingredients.  It’s the reason I only recommend two bars to clients, friends, and families, so I am also glad to have another good go to nutrition bar for the many people I know who are busy and on the go!

My favorite was the almond and honey bar!  Containing just almonds, honey, unsweetened coconut, egg-white protein, sesame seeds, cinnamon, sea salt it filled me up and kept my sensitive system in check.  One word of caution, these bars are not meant to be a “snack” as they weigh in around 270 – 320 calories.  I ate a half a bar before heading into a workout and that worked just fine for me and held for about 2 hours.

You may ask where the “AMRAP” name comes from.  Since I am not a CrossFit athlete, I didn’t know how to respond to a food that really stood out for that type of athlete.  However, I loved the description on the back of the product:

“As many rounds as possible (AMRAP) defines our philosophy.  Through determination, intensity, and focus we aim to empower our community to reach their full potential.  Join us, and together we will change the world.”

GAH!  How much more motivating does that get!?  

Their site also follows up by saying that since CrossFit was originally designed as a supplemental fitness routine to any athletes’ training, their bars are also perfect fuel for any athlete.  I would have to agree, especially looking at their ingredient list.  Most of those items I eat as a group fitness instructor and distance runner.   Registered Dietitian approved!

If you have a chance, try these out.  They’re delicious and they are great for on the go nutrition for any athlete, CrossFit and runner alike ;)

GIVEAWAY!

And if you’d like to try a pack out for yourself, enter my giveaway for one 12 pack ($48 value) of your choice!  Enter through Friday 9/19 at 12pm EST.  Here’s how to enter (leave a comment to let me know which you’ve done!):

If you’re amped for a workout now, let me share my new 60 minute cycling playlist for this week’s Wednesday night “Ride” at Crunch.

It’s created with the first and last two songs serving as your warm up and cool down.  Enjoy!!!  And if you’re ever in the DC area, feel free to give me a shout out and come try a class!  I’d love to have you.

What is your favorite nutrition bar for on the go?

Disclaimer:  AMRAP sent me these bars for free to test and try.  All opinions are my own.

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Letting Go of the Marathon

by Melissa on September 9, 2014

Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m a recovering marathon drop out.

It’s been 17 days since I made the decision not to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

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[post beach run - where I ran without training on my mind]

This sounds like a joke and I wish it were, however deciding to “quit” training and also re-evaluating why I really wanted to run another marathon in the first place has been a process.  Leading up to the decision, I dreaded each and every run.  It was as though the lacing up of my shoes and the logging of the miles ate at me and made me realize that training for a marathon was another job.  I HAD to get this run in or else I wouldn’t race well.  I had to do 8 miles today or else my training would go down the tubes.

Run.

Or else….

That was the motto going into month 3 of marathon training and it was just mentally brutal.  Run, or else.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve realized that I have a pretty strong love affair with running.  Yes, the love waves at times, but there has never really been a week without a run.  The run is a sanctuary.  A place to let go.  Even with training for half marathons, I still enjoyed the process.  The 7 – 10 mile long runs on the weekends.  The 3 -5 mile weekday runs.  And completing these miles either alone or with friends.

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[long run in State College, the place that taught me to love the half]

The marathon was different.

The long runs were solo.  A long drawn out process that had me feeling as though my entire weekend was ruined between gearing up for it and then recovering from it.

The mid-week runs started either very early or were done in the heat of the early evening.  They were what my long runs were for the half marathon.

Stepping back, I realized that each of these things that I mention are what the marathon brings.  Long runs 2+ hours long.  Many weekday miles.  Limited time to cross train and enjoy your social life.  That’s what it’s about.  This brings enjoyment to many.  Those who train for marathons and love the process.  They have this glow about them leftover from their weekend long run or the last race.

I wanted that.

I wanted the marathon glow.

That’s why I signed up for a 2nd marathon.

But guess what?

I had the glow.  But I didn’t have to train for 26.2 to get it.  I had it from 6.2 and 13.1.  The 10K and half were my glow inducing races.  The training left me room to breathe and savor the miles.  The race day was short enough for friends and family to come and long enough for me to feel accomplished.

I had the glow … and I’m working to get it back.

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The marathon is NOT a bad race distance.  I repeat, the marathon is NOT a bad race distance.  However, it is not the race for me.  I ran one (2011 Pittsburgh Marathon) and know what it takes to finish.  I’ve attempted to train for a 2nd and now know what I need to from my training plans.

The last few months of training have allowed me to do a lot of introspection.  I have learned a lot about myself and learned that you don’t fail by not completing the marathon training process.  It’s not failure – not by a long shot.  I have re-evaluated what my goal really was.  My goal was to become a better runner and to challenge myself.  And guess was – I accomplished both of those things.  And thanks to my great coaches, Julie and Lisa, who have so patiently allowed me to find this out, I feel ready to tackle the 10K and half with new vigor.

So I have decided not to give up on the marathon but rather to let it go.  I am letting go of the idea that to be a runner I have to run a marathon and love doing so.  I am letting go of the thought that I’m a failure for not completing the process.  Because there is a huge different between giving up and letting go.

“When we give up, things may be finished, but they are not resolved. Perhaps giving up feels more like a passive victim, as though something is happening to you or you are reacting to something outside. Letting go feels empowering, an active, thoughtful choice, rooted on the inside. Giving up can be a petulant, immature response to something uncomfortable. Letting go is steadiness and calm in the midst of discomfort. Giving up can involve hasty words or impulsive behavior. Letting go can be choosing to respond by not responding, or waiting long enough that you have lived out your response without words. The aftermath of giving up can feel like resentment, rationalization, guilt, or frustration. The aftermath of letting go is relief, confidence, peace, and freedom.” –Kristen Armstrong from Runner’s World Mile Markers Blog

I am not the victim and I am not passively giving up on the marathon.  I made an active choice to let it go and move on to new goals.

Hello, my name is Melissa, and I let go of the marathon 17 days ago.

And I love running.

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Marathon Training = Lots of Shoes

by Melissa on July 29, 2014

Even if I weren’t in training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I would probably still have an excessive amount of workout shoes – especially running shoes.  It’s an Achilles heel.

long run sunday

Just a week ago, I broke out a new pair of Mizunos to try out for LOOONNNG distances – the Wave Enigma.  This pair has more cushioning than my Wave Riders and obviously a little more support.  The team at Potomac River Running said it’s a great shoe for increased mileage.

I’ve worn them for an 11 and 13 miler so far and I’m really enjoying them.  Actually, I liked them so much, I wore them a few more times for shorter runs(shhhh, don’t tell). 

new mizunos

You may be asking why I have more than one pair at a time while training?  Other than I really like having a different feel for each run, especially a lighter pair for speedwork and short racing, there is also added benefit to the training process.  When I first started training for long road races, I had one pair of shoes for the entire process. 

The benefits of rotating running shoes during training.

1. Your shoes last longer.  This is a no brainer, but seriously.  You distribute the miles between each pair, therefore helping them wear for a longer time frame. 

2.  Your shoes have time to bounce back.  Each run, especially longer ones, puts lots of pressure on the support and cushioning of the shoe, and giving it more than 24 hours to return to it’s original state.  That way, each run has the optimal amount of cushioning and support that the shoe can provide.

3.  You may actually save money.  You’re probably thinking that you’ll end up spending the same because really you’re still putting in the same amount of miles.  And yes, but this gives you more time between shoe buying time, therefore you can take advantage of sales and when new versions come out.  You’ve given yourself a larger window of opportunity.

4.  Reduced risk of injury.  This is especially true if your shoes are different models.  Here is a quote from Runner Academy

Researchers in a recent study conducted in Luxembourg gathered information on training volume, injury rate, cross-training, shoe usage and other variables from 264 adult recreational runners. During the 5 month study, 87 of 264 runners experienced one or more running injuries that were attributable to their running.

Of the 264 runners, 116 trained in only one style and pair of shoes exclusively and completed 91% of their mileage in the same shoe.

The other 148 were trained in more than one pair and style of running shoe during their training. Runners in this group tended to have a main shoe that they completed 58% of their running in, but they rotated among an average of 3.6 pairs of shoes for their training during the study.

The result was the group that rotated more than one pair of shoes and style of shoes reduced their risk of running related injury by 39%.

Every little bit helps!

5.  Use and strengthen different muscles.  If your shoes are different models, then you’re going to run slightly different in each which helps to strengthen other muscles of your feet and legs.  This can also help reduce risk of injury.

Marathon MizunoSo what do I wear?

For short runs/speed work/5k to 10Ks -  Mizuno Wave Sayonara (middle)

For middle distance/half marathons – Mizuno Wave Rider (right)

For long runs and marathon race day – Mizuno Wave Enigma (left)

Obviously Mizunos are my favorite, but everyone has a different body and running form, so make sure you go to a local running store and get fit for the proper shoe.  I can’t tell you how important it is to wear a good running shoe when you start training or ramping up mileage.

Which is why I took Devin to Potomac River Running on a date night.  Nothing says I care like having your boyfriend fit for running shoes Winking smile

date night running

#injuryfree right Dev?

How many shoes do you have for workouts? Do you rotate running shoes?

And I’m sure many of you are curious who won the ALO Yoga giveaway???? 

Well drummmmrolllll please!

alo yoga winner

Congrats Tanya!  Email me at melissa at eatontherun dot net so I can send you the $50 giftcard!   For everyone else, you can still use the 20% coupon code “ONTHRUN” good through August 30th Smile

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Long Run Fuel

by Melissa on July 23, 2014

This weekend we dropped to less than 100 days to the Marine Corps Marathon!  OH MMM GEEEE!!!

Saturday Long Run

And this weekend marked the first weekend where long runs returned to double digits.  While 15 was on the training schedule, 13 was all my body was managing.  After talking with Julie, my coach, I’m really just happy to have gotten the distance up and to start getting back on track with training.  It was also good to have learned a few lessons for fueling my body for 10+ miles.

dried fruit for fuel

The one part of my last marathon that really took a downturn was how I fueled.  In a half marathon, I can get by with just one gel or even nothing.  However, I was starving in the marathon and also the gels made my stomach extremely wacky.  Instead of reaching for a packaged product, I wrapped up some dried fruit (mango and pineapple) and also filled up my Camelbak with Nuun.  This was perfect.  Although, I definitely need to eat more BEFORE the run.  A slice of toast and coffee was not enough.  My belly was grumbling around mile 9 – I couldn’t wait to get home to EAT!

Key Bridge

Also, I’ve noticed the importance of making sure my day to day nutrition is on par consistently.  Going even one day where I skip a meal or don’t drink enough water has affected my training!  Not that this doesn’t matter typically, but it’s a lot more noticeable during marathon training.

For my run I took the Capital Crescent Trail down to Georgetown and then came back to Bethesda.  It was a great morning – humid but cooler than it’s been.  I can tell a lot of the other runners were getting ready for fall marathons too!  Lots of runners who I saw multiple times.  Such great motivation.

It’s good to be back to training and setting my sights on longer races and distances.  It was fun to run and race a little shorter!

How do you fuel for longer training runs?

Don’t forget to enter the Alo Yoga Clothing giveaway!  $50 is on the line!  Plus you get a 20% discount code till the end of August :)

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ALO Yoga: A Review

July 18, 2014

Back in May, ALO yoga reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some of their clothing.  I can tell you one thing, fitness clothing shopping to me is better than any other type of shopping.  Hands down.  Yes, this girl likes to get dressed up and walk the walk, but […]

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Stay Hydrated

July 16, 2014

So between a week of extreme stress and high temperatures, I’m learning the hard way what dehydration can do to the body.  My marathon training has kind of gone down the tubes, however I know exactly where to go to get back on track – again one of the other reasons it’s 100% beneficial to […]

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Peanutbuttah.

June 30, 2014

Don’t ask about my post naming inspiration….it’s been a long weekend. But, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have a strong love affair with peanut butter (aka peanutbuttahhhh).  I really don’t care what form it comes in – crunchy, creamy, natural, no-stir, salted…I’m game.  So, when we got home late […]

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Summer Running Favorites

June 18, 2014

Nothing feels better than coming home, cracking open a box of new running shoes, and then heading out the door. I mean seriously…. Ok, yes.  My idea of great shoes are from brands such as Mizuno, Nike, and Under Armour.  Sneakers over stilettos So that is why I’m sharing my top 5 favorite summer run […]

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Why I Got a Running Coach

June 16, 2014

This summer is all about building my base for the Marine Corps Marathon.  This will be my 2nd marathon.  Marathon #1 wasn’t quite the experience I was hoping for.  The 2011 Pittsburgh Marathon was kind of a disaster.  Ok, yes, I crossed the finish line, but that was about the only victory happening that day.  […]

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Zooma Annapolis 10K – 2014

June 2, 2014

This past Saturday was the second year I was able to participate in the Zooma Annapolis festivities as a race ambassador.  Each year has had its struggles for me.  Last year I was injured (tibialis tendonitis) and wasn’t able to run, but still spectated and cheered everyone on.  This year, I was lucky to just […]

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