P: bRUNching is One of my Favorite Hobbies!

bRUNch (noun) – an exciting day dedicated to getting your sweat on in the morning via a race of a designated distance and then celebrating with margaritas and tortilla chips.

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Honestly, every race should be followed up with a group of your best girlfriends, unlimited drinks, and a kick ass menu. This past Saturday was my first bRUNch of the season with my Tone It Up sisters. The weather was beautiful and the day was a success.

The morning was flawless. I woke up at 8, I was picked up at 8:45, the race started at 9:30, and brunch kicked off at 12. It was like clockwork. In the middle of the all of that I also ran a pretty kick ass 4 mile run. Due to an unforeseen illness that knocked me out for a week and resulted in my having to jog my half marathon the weekend prior, I wanted to test the waters. I still had a nagging cough but I had a game plan and a lot of determination.

Game Plan: I wanted to run the first 3 miles at a 7:45 pace and then just kick it in and see what happens. My first 3 miles were 7:44, 7:45, and 7:45. At that point I knew it was time to get to work. The last mile I wanted to chase down as many people as possible (one person in particular who I knew was ahead of me) so I got to work. It was uncomfortable and I was definitely at an effort level 10 when I got to the finish line but it felt good. I finished with a time of 30:42 for a pace of 7:38 miles. Not a PR by any means, but the best outcome I could have wanted. I was also able to snag 3rd place for my age group so I took home a shiny bronze medal. I love adding some hardware to my wall.

splits

medal

Then it was off for a quick change and brunch. I partook in a few too many margaritas but I balanced it off with a delicious chicken sandwich at one of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach, the Cabana.

 

Where are your favorite places to brunch?

Xo, Pam

grouppostrun

L: Braving the Elements

Not a cloud in the sky, the sun is shining, spring is springing… but everything is blowing away. Holy moly is it windy outside! Like crazy windy… have you guys been outside? But there are miles to run. On Tuesdays, we run hills.

And we do race pace workouts! Today’s workout included 6 x 3 minute pickups at my race pace or faster. In between each pickup, I had 2:45 of active recovery where I just keep IMG_2093running. I’ve been focusing my pace more based off of effort rather than checking my Garmin. When I push my efforts, I find that I can run much quicker than race pace. Staring at my watch may be slowing me down! Holding a 9 minute pace if definitely doable, but an  effort of 8 out of 10 puts me around 8:40. Zoom zoom!

But look how gorgeous it was outside! I found this little spot at Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve and it’s so serene to look around while I stretch out my legs. Despite the wind basically blowing me backwards, incorporating speed work with my hills was definitely a challenge!

I am enjoying my training cycle and exploring local parks. Do you guys have a favorite running spot? Share it with us! We’d love to check it out or join you for a run.

❤ Louise

 

L: Waving to Strangers

Happy Saturday, ladies! You know what we do on Saturdays… long runs! As I’ve previously mentioned, my cousin has been helping with my training and coaching me through all my crazy questions. So this weekend is pretty special for me because he and his family are coming to visit for Easter 🙂 So obviously I dragged him along for my 90 minute progression run (or he dragged me… we ran kinda fast).

Our run started off with a warmup pace of about 9:25, but we got caught up in talking and navigating that we forgot to pick up the pace. Stayed between 9:20-9:28 for our first 4 miles, then I decided to quit talking and focus on my run. The next 5 miles were all sub-9 and gradually picked up speed!

I usually run by myself, listening to music, and focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve had gait analysis done before, and worked to correct my form, but it had been a while. This week’s long run was not only fun because I had a buddy, but educational because Jared gave me some awesome pointers and drills to work on for improving my form.

jared

30 Thoughts and Topics of Conversation:

  1. It is fantastic outside! The sun is shining and my cousin, Jared, is joining me on my run
  2. He better not try and make me run faster than my pace… I don’t wanna die
  3. Oh another runner… Jared waves! (Side note: Jared lives in Ohio and probably passes 5 people on his runs)
  4. *Running through Massapequa* How much do you think these houses cost? How much would it cost in Ohio? How big is the house you could buy in Ohio?!
  5. Omg running and talking is making this warmup MUCH more challenging
  6. OMG THE EASTER BUNNY.
  7. But really, he held out his hands/paws for us to high five as we ran by
  8. Where do we turn? How to we get to the preserve?! Let’s turn here……..
  9. Wow! This is actually the right street
  10. Jared: So how’s your boyfriend? What happened with that? Seeing anyone? I’m never going to let my daughter date until she’s 30.
  11. Jared: I love this trail! What a good find 😊
  12. Jared: in all my years of running, I’ve never found such an awesome park!
  13. At this point Jared has waved/said hello to about 10 more people
  14. Alright, we need to pick up the pace a little bit… Ugh but talking AND running 🙈
  15. How long have you been running?? Probably longer than I’ve been alive! (Turns out the answer is yes, Jared’s been running for about 27 years)
  16. Aaaand we hit Sunrise Hwy… Hmm turn around? *truck honkkkk*
  17. Jared: Oh that’s just my mom’s friend. I told him to meet us here to cheer us on!
  18. Onward! So many paths in this park (there’s like 3 haha)
  19. 8:59… Woof! TOO FAST. TOO SOON.
  20. *Jared waves* You’re going to wave to everybody, huh?
  21. I don’t think those people spoke English…
  22. Jared: But the wave is a universal sign for “Hello.” Unless this is 1930’s Germany, we are good with a wave. (He’s a history teacher)
  23. Hills?! Where did these come from?
  24. Fine, they are overpasses on parkways…
  25. OH MY QUAD. Four. There were four hills.
  26. 8:55 pace… ONE MORE MILE.
  27. Jared: I must say, this is such a great park! *Waves to more people*
  28. Just make it to the tree.
  29. Just make it to the stump. dog. bush. tree. biker. other tree.
  30. 8:48 FINISH. BOOM. …Can we stop running now?!

L: Caught Speeding On My Long Run!

During this training cycle, I have been adventuring to new places and sharing them with you ladies! Today I ventured to Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream. This gem is tucked off of Merrick Road right near the town pool. There are two loops within the park- one is a mile in length and the other is about 1.5 miles.

Pam and I have been to this park many times while training some of our clients for the local Fly With the Owls 4 Miler. It’s a great place to run with paved paths that allow room for both cyclists and runners/walkers. Partially shaded by trees, there is a pond in the middle which the trail loops around.

Today’s run was actually my long run! Knowing I will be snowboarding all weekend, I wouldn’t want to be saving this 60 minute run for Sunday night. We will consider snowboarding a bit of active recovery 🙂 Started off my run with a warmup then aimed to hold a comfortable pace just above race pace. I followed the 1.5 mile loop around the pond, then made a U-turn and ran in the direction I had just come from. My internal battle to constantly peek at my Garmin has subsided and I’m allowing myself to base my running off of my perceived effort. It’s also important that I learn to pace my body through my run. I completed 4 steady miles then for my 5th, I really picked up the pace to push for the last 20% of my run! Umm… I ran one mile at 8:06. WHAT?! Like a boss 😉 Okay, it kind of hurt… but I still did it! It’s amazing what your body is capable of when you really put that effort into your workout!

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Caught speeding! Definitely running faster than 5 mph through the park 🙂

L: Finding the Time to Run

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Okay, here’s the thing… I loooove Irish soda bread. And race training is an excuse to carb load… right? Not in week 3? OH. It doesn’t work like that? Okay. But I ran 3 mil… still no? Oooh welllll.  It’s not everyday one of your clients bring you a fresh baked loaf 🙂

Sometimes it seems hard to fit in my runs. Between working crazy hours and family or social obligations, life may have to come first. Today and tomorrow are perfect examples of that. You have to understand that your training can be flexible. Planning ahead is the best way to approach your training. What activities do I have planned? Where will my running fit into this? How can I make the most of my time?

Today’s run was an easy 3 miler to shake out my legs after teaching my BodyWorks class at LA Fitness. Today is also laundry day. Especially because I don’t have any clean snowboarding socks. Why does that matter? I’m leaving for Vermont tomorrow. But on Saturdays we go on long runs! Ahh, yes, but training can be flexible!

I head to the laundromat, Garmin on and running shoes laced. I toss my clothes in the washer then head out for an adventure in a new neighborhood. In this neighborhood, I start heading north on a road, North Park Drive, that curves slightly around… keep following until it changes to East Park Drive… all of a sudden we are on South Park Drive. BOOM. I found a loop. Even better? It’s exactly a mile. Take another lap! Nah, take two. I arrive back at the laundromat just in time to switch my clothes into the dryer. This is the perfect example of utilizing your time. Yes, there are chores that need to be done, but make it work for your schedule 🙂

L: A Hill Named “Norm”

As a South Shore girl, it is hard to find hills to run! Since last week’s training run at Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, I have been excited to go back. It’s really a beautiful view from the top of this former dump- literally. Within the park, you can easily find a parking space then head over to the gravel path and start on your journey. There are several routes to the top of the hill and you can find a map just before you are greeted by goats. Yeah, I said goats. This park is home to a lot of wildlife including at least a dozen mountain goats who have their own little habitat!

The fastest route to the top is also the steepest route to the top- keep that in mind when starting your run or walk! Last week I went for it and was like Oh. That escalated quickly. This week I ventured to the right which gives a nice scenic view and has a more gradual incline. This was much more ideal for my warmup mile! The best part of “Norm,” as I’ve casually nicknamed the park, is the view from the top. It is worth the uphill adventure. From here you can see several south shore landmarks such as the Jones Beach pencil and Theater. Even further east you can see the pencil out at Robert Moses. Looking west is the New York City skyline (best seen on a clear day- last week was hazy) and other buildings of Queens and Nassau can be seen gazing north.

Oh did you want to hear about today’s running? Today was a 4 miler with 6×2 hill repeats. And as I’ve progressed along, there was only 1 minute of active rest in between the 2 sets. 1 mile warm up followed by the same repeats as last week. Definitely pushed myself to run up the hill strong. At the top, I jogged it out and stretched, but before cooling down and running downhill, I took a few scenic pictures for you! Enjoy!

L: The Workweek Hustle: Our Fitbit Obsession.

The Fitbit Obsession: Why Fitbits are good for people who need motivation and why Pam and I need to set our step goal higher than 10k a day.

I got a Fitbit for Christmas 2013. I love it! At the time, I worked as a Grad Assistant and spend half my day sitting in the office. It was an awesome motivational tool to get up and take a lap. Until recently, I just used it as my own daily activity gauge. Since this holiday season, I have had a whole bunch of new friends on Fitbit. It’s awesome! I have weekly challenges with my friends, compete with my clients, and work to meet my daily goal. It was definitely one of the hottest gifts this season.

As an exercise professional, I find fitness fun- I want to get up and move. My clients? Not as enthusiastic as me. I have the motivation to get my steps in and while 10,000 steps a day may seem daunting to some, I’ve often hit that goal by 2pm. Now, there are days (like today- Sunday is my day of rest) where I don’t even come close. That hits me with a little motivation to walk to the store or park farther away and get those extra steps in. These are the perfect ways to sneak a little more activity into your day. Having a desk job, driving to work, or skipping a workout are things that decrease our daily activity. Walking around the office, commuting by train, or hitting the gym during lunch will bump those steps right up!

But Pam and I have become so obsessed with our Fitbits. And Challenges. One of my friends from college (another Exercise Physiologist) makes it rainnn steps in our Workweek Hustle. Pam and I are determined to beat him and it creates a little bit of healthy competition! We are talking Friday night, jumping around at volleyball or running up and down the stairs just to beat each other. There is NO sitting down. And it is so entertaining.

So what about our active ladies out there? Is 10k a day right for you? Maybe you can set your bar higher. Find a new goal to work towards! Start challenging your friends (or your mom!) and help motivate each other to be more active 🙂

Keep stepping,
Louise

L: The Runs Keep Getting Longer…

 

On Saturdays, we go on long runs.

Another adventure through the streets of Garden City! Today’s run was 75 minutes of progression. With a one mile warmup and cool down, my goal was to fit another 6 miles in between. My run was divided into thirds, each being a little bit faster than the last. Miles 2 & 3 felt rough and the thought of moving my legs any quicker seemed daunting. Again, I was obsessing over my Garmin and the strange pace it said I was running. Miles 2 and 3 ended up at 9:27 & 9:26 pace. After chunk 1 of 3, it was time to pick it up a bit. I actually felt better when I picked up the pace. I held myself strong at a 9:14 and 9:15 then cruised up to 8:55! Quick stop to stretch out my ankle and have a Gu (salted caramel is deliciousss btw!) Off to the finish! So I head off and take the last chunk of my run to give it my all. I had a straight shot down a long street and finished my last mile with an 8:35! Where did that come from?! I started my run struggling to move at a 9:30 pace with achy knees, but such a strong finish. Never judge a run by the first mile.

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Ten Thoughts on My Long Run:

  1. I shouldn’t have worn long sleeves. OMG. Why can’t I ever dress appropriately?
  2. I wear crops year round. I just can’t figure out my arms.
  3. Hmm… where should I go?
  4. Stewart Avenue… oh hey, EVERY OTHER RUNNER.
  5. Sunglasses were a good choice today… I bet I look cool and mysterious.
  6. If I did my runs on Sunday I could call it Sunday Runday
  7. But let’s be honest, I’m not going to want to run tomorrow. Pull it together, girl!
  8. Other runners probably need sunglasses for my electric yellow shoes
  9. And bright green pants. Can’t miss me! Here I come!
  10. Oh crap, why would I put the hill at the END of my run?!

L: Running Hills & Making Friends

On Tuesdays, we run hills.

But first I got in a quick, 20 minute strength training workout to beef up my day!

Two sets of each exercise:

  • Assisted pullups (MAX)
  • TRX Rows (MAX)
  • Step ups on a plyo box (10x R/L)
  • Kettlebell Deadlift + Goblet Squat (COMBO move) (10x R/L)
  • TRX Bicep Curls 10x
  • TRX Tricep Extensions 10x
  • Plyo box step ups with a reverse lunge (10x R/L)
  • BOSU mountain climbers (30 seconds)

Call me crazy, but I freaking love hills. Today I went to a park on the south shore right by the Meadowbrook Parkways in Merrick- Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve. It’s basically a few trails which wind up to the top of possibly the only hill on the south shore of Long Island. I know Pam likes to run here so I went on my own adventure. Totally thought I went to the wrong place, but found the parking lot just passed all the recycling trucks.

Hopped out of my car, waved my Garmin around like a fool, and off I went. Warmed it up by taking the fastest route to the top, a steady path up the side of the hill. First set of 6 repeats went really well. I found my way to a steep section and ran up and down part of the way (about 50 meters). On the sixth one, I ran up to where I saw this cute guy earlier on my warmup (he was nowhere in sight- boo!) then took my two minutes active rest and stretched out my legs. For my second set, I ran up the next part of the hill, not quite as steep, but maybe 70 meters in length. On the last one, I pushed all the way to the top of the hill which has such a beautiful view! In the distance here you can see the Wantagh Parkway and the Jones Beach Theater. It seemed a bit hazy looking west toward the city, but I bet on a clear day you have an amazing view of the skyline! Then I kept it at an easy pace (it was all downhill running at this point) until I hit the four mile mark.

I seem to meet people all the time- I guess I’m approachable. This gentleman and I starting talking after my run while we were both stretching. He handed me some flyers about a race he is putting on and I want to share it with you guys!

5K Run/Walk Race for Spinal Victory

Sunday, April 10, 2016

9AM Start at Wantagh High School

To register online, go to justregister.net

Raffle prizes following the race!

My new friend is training for his first short, Ultra Marathon which is a 50K. Power to you, sir! I haven’t even gotten the urge to try a full marathon! He saw me doing my hill repeats and I mentioned training for Brooklyn which he has run before. I told him about my goals and he had such confidence in me that I’ll be able to break 2 hours. Such kind words from a complete stranger- he made my day! I challenge you guys to spread a little kindness and encouragement today.

L: On Saturdays, we go on long runs.


The sun was shining again, phew! 
My favorite thing to eat before a race or longer training run is a bagel ❤ Today’s was fresh from A&S in Franklin Square. The workout was a 60 minute run with a push for the last 20%. Quick recap: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at a conversational pace (between 9:15-9:30), then just as I hit the 5 mile mark (around 45:00) I picked up my pace to about 8:30-8:45 and ran steady for 12 minutes. It was tough, but totally doable. I had been worried about not finding the energy to push for the last stretch, but I felt great. Cooled it down all the way to my house and finished with a stretch. My New Year’s Resolution is to stretch after each run and make flexibility an important part of my routine!march 5

Twenty thoughts I had on my long run today:

  1. How many shirts should I wear? It’s not spring yet, but the sun is out.
  2. Speaking of sun, where are my sunglasses? I have to look cool.
  3. Okayyyy finally out the door. Garmin! Find me.
  4. Why don’t you know where I am? Let me put my hand in the air.
  5. And we’re off! Alright, nice and easy find that rhythm.
  6. Am I really going that fast? Easy kid, you’ve got 59 more minutes to run.
  7. Oh. I should have gone to the bathroom. Always go before you go.
  8. Ding! One mile done… time to get into a rhythm.
  9. That chocolate milk is going to be glorious when I’m done!
  10. This is going great… wait, Garmin?! Am I really going that slow?
  11. A fellow runner! Do I smile? Wave? Smile 🙂
  12. What else can I eat when I’m done? There’s Cookie Butter in the pantry…
  13. Literally can’t wait for tonight. We are going to partayyyyy
  14. Okay, little hill… lean into it! Go!
  15. Alright Garmin, why am I obsessed with looking at you???
  16. Almost time to pick it up, feeling strong, steady rhythm… and traffic light.
  17. Ready go! And we’re off! Find your rhythm again- stop checking your watch!
  18. Time to pick it up- and Flo Rida came on… Welcome to my houseeee
  19. Wave to all the runners in Garden City on a Saturday… Hiiii
  20. Woo! Pull it back, jog it out, why am I still kinda far from my house?! SMH.