=PR= Trail Series Run at Algonkian Park

Potomac River Running and Sport and Spine Rehab are sponsoring the =PR= Spring 2015 Trail Fun Run Series.  The trail runs, for runners of all speeds, are free though one does need to register in advance so that =PR= can get an accurate count of runners.  Runners can choose 30, 60 or 90 minute guided runs.  The runs start at 7:30 am.  Groups form according to planned running time, instructions are given and everyone heads out on the trail.

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Pacers St. Patrick’s Day 8K Race Report

Last year, I spent most of the year injured.  First, there were shin issues that just didn’t want to resolve.  Then, in July I fractured a couple bones in my left foot at the Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon.  Sometime in September, I fractured a bone in my right foot, which I didn’t discover until I was getting x-rays of my left foot because I had re-fractured those previously broken bones by running too soon.  Once I was able to start running pain-free in early November, I vowed to run smartly, follow my training plan to a T, and listen to my body.  I signed up for my goal spring race, the Anthem Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA.  The three previous years I had ran the Townebank 8K, but I decided that since this training cycle was going to be my successful, triumphant return to racing that I would register for the half.  The last half I did was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in April 2013 and I missed running 13.1.  It is my favorite distance. I trained smart all winter; I followed my coach’s training plan religiously.  Even if my legs felt great and I wanted to run longer (or faster), I held back.  I was going to get the Anthem Half Marathon injury-free.

In late February, my local moms running club (MRTT) put out a call for ladies to run on the MRTT team for a local event, the Pacers St. Patrick’s Day 8K.  I didn’t even give it a second thought – I wasn’t going to do any “racing” until the Half because I didn’t want to risk injury.  However, the first week of March my daughter and husband had to travel overseas for a week due to a family emergency. Because I had so much time to myself, when another call came out for runners, I went ahead and signed up.  My training plan for the race day called for an easy 8 mile run (I was in taper for the half marathon, which was the following weekend) so I decided that I would run the 8k and then finish up with an easy three mile run around the Mall since I would be in DC for the race.

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What I Learned In 2 Hours With Tony Horton

In January while I was in the Nashville for work, I had the opportunity to meet and work out with Tony Horton, Mr. P90X himself, and listen to him share his thoughts on fitness, exercise and healthy eating.

Amanda and Tony WorkoutYour probably already know this, but accidental fitness professional Tony Horton developed P90X, a commercial home exercise regimen that is known for its intensity.  The training program uses cross-training (weight training, martial arts, yoga, and calisthenics) and periodization and is combined with a nutrition and dietary supplement plan.  The program has grossed over $500 million in sales since its release.

Because I had a busy day planned (meetings, multiple workouts and a plane to catch), I had to get up early to get in my scheduled 12 mile run.  I hadn’t checked the weather before heading to Nashville so I had packed like it was going to be in the 40s, NOT the mid-teens that I was experiencing.  What that meant was I had to do my long run on the treadmill.  Boo.

I was scheduled to workout with Tony at 7:00 so I hit the hotel gym at 5:00 to warm-up and get those miles in.  The run went surprisingly well and I even managed to watch Jack Reacher, the latest Tom Cruise action flick, while I ran (normally I get motion sick if I try to watch TV while running).

From the hotel gym, I walked over to where I was going to meet Tony for the P90X workout.  It goes without saying that my body was incredibly warmed up.  When Tony would introduce a move he would show the basic move and then a modification to make the move easier as well as a mod to make it more difficult.  Because of being so warmed up and frankly feeling pretty darn good about completing my first 12 mile run on the treadmill, I used the more challenging modifications.  The hour long workout was like a greatest hits of his signature P90X moves – some yoga moves, martial arts, plyometrics, calisthenics and more).  The time flew by and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the workout (I was never a fan of P90X) and how great I felt after.

Once the workout concluded and Tony and I chatted briefly about my Ironman plans (he said I should add P90X workouts to at least 5 days of each week – ha!), I headed back to my room to shower and get ready for the talk with Tony. 

During his hour-long talk, Tony shared his five tips on how to slow the aging process and make exercise an integral part of life.

  1. Exercise with variety.  Many people do the same exercises or workouts day in and day out.  Tony suggests doing something different every day.  He schedules his workout schedule 7 days at a time and usually manages to exercise 5 to 6 days per week.  Every workout is different and that variety is key to preventing boredom, reducing risk of injuries and avoiding the dreaded plateau.
  2. Consistency.  The more you do of a given activity, the better you get.  Tony believes that movement in a variety of ways is the fountain of youth.  He suggests exercising 5 to 7 days a week for the rest of your life.  Create a schedule of consistent workouts and make them a priority.
  3. Intensity.  Push a little more every time you exercise.  Think outside the box to find new activities to push yourself and “be okay with sucking.”  You will get better at whatever activity you undertake if you push yourself a little more each time you engage in the activity.
  4. Purpose.  You need to know what your purpose is – if it’s a number on a scale or a certain clothing size, then that may not be the right motivation.  You should be working out regularly for the love of it – how it makes you feel, how it clears your mind and helps you work better.  People often don’t exercise because they don’t want to be physically uncomfortable.  Remember:  if you move today, then you you’ll improve yourself and have a better you!
  5. Have a plan.  Have a plan for your weekly exercise.  Put that plan on your bathroom mirror, on the back of your front door or hang it on your fridge.  Create the expectation that you’ll execute the plan by hanging it someplace you will see it every day.  I have a copy of my training plan on my home desk, my office desk, on each of my mobile devices and in the bag that I carry on a daily basis – I couldn’t avoid my plan if I wanted!  Tony shared his weekly workout plan and it was fascinating.  I’ll share it in another post as this one is long enough! 

Tony also talked briefly about food during his talk as well. He believes that food can be either medication or poison for your body – you can age faster, get sick sooner and die younger or you can view each meal as an opportunity to grow younger, feel better and fuel your body with what it needs to live and work for you.  His rule of thumb is that if your great, great grandparents would recognize what you’re eating then you’re eating right. Avoid processed foods and eat whole, single ingredient foods as much as you can.

Amanda and Tony HortonAll in all, it was a great two hours with Tony!  I had an awesome workout and realized that it’s much more fun to do P90X with Tony Horton standing over me and I learned some good nuggets of information during his talk.  Oh and the next day?  I felt every single 12 mile and every single P90X exercise I did!

2014 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

I'm in!

I’m in!

I’m in!

I hadn’t planned to enter the lottery, but a friend invited me to join as part of her team.  So, I did.  A part of me hoped that I would not get selected, but once I received the email this morning, I was elated.  I guess I did care.  That’s a lie.  I KNOW that I care and that, deep down, I wanted the opportunity to run this race again.  You see, I was selected via lottery to run the 10 miler in 2012 (or maybe 2011?), but couldn’t run due to injury.  I didn’t even start!  This year, I had some nagging shin issues going into the race, but I was confident that I would not only start, but finish.  And, guess what?  I had to stop at mile 6.  The pain was simply too intense that even walking had become a problem.  The 2013 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was my first DNF.  Boo.  Hiss.

So.  I have some unfinished business for next year’s race.  I’ll start strong and healthy – and injury-free – and I’ll finish the same way.

Let’s do this!

Sweat Summary, November 17 – 23

Sunday, November 17
4 mile run along the W&OD.

Monday, November 18
30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. (2.73 miles)
20 minute strength, cardio and abs video – sweating to the oldies with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred

Tuesday, November 19
I finally made it back to the pool after a 3+ week hiatus. I swam for 40 minutes (1,600 yards with liberal breaks between drills).

Wednesday, November 20
3.5 miles of speed work/drills at the track

Thursday, November 21
60 minutes on the bike trainer

Friday, November 22

Saturday, November 23
29 mile bike ride in Marshall, VA

Overall, this was a very light workout week, but as I am slowly easing back into training it worked for me.  I know that this light workout schedule cannot and will not persist so I’m enjoying this significantly reduced load while I can.

New Kicks

After visiting or calling all the running shops in my area, I had given up on buying a pair of the new Asics Gel Kayano 20s locally. I am not opposed to shopping online, but I do like to support locally-owned businesses when possible. I picked out the pair I wanted in my size and saved them in my Amazon shopping cart. The plan was to buy them when I retuned from last week’s trip. Well, guess what? I found them in stock at a running shop at Walt Disney World (and without a crazy Disney mark-up).

Behold: my new eyesores, err running shoes! Not the color I wanted (especially with my PINK! Compression socks), but they are so comfortable for my feet that it is worth offending my sensibilities.


I am also playing around with different lacing methods, which explains the crazy lace situation.

2014 Race Calendar

I am a planner.  I love having a calendar full of events to look forward to.  I’ve been getting antsy that I didn’t have a plan of events for 2014 so I finally took care of it this past weekend.  Here’s what is on tap (so far) for 2014:

March 2014
Shamrock Half Marathon

April 2014
Nike Women’s Half Marathon.  I entered the lottery and hope to get in again.

May 2014
Kinetic Sprint Triathlon
Jim McDonnell Lake Swim

June 2014
Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon
Rev3 Williamsburg Half

July 2014
Colonial Beach International Triathlon

August 2014
Luray Sprint Triathlon

October 2014
Waterman’s Half

November 2014
Ironman Cozumel