NWM DC 2014

What. A. Crazy. Weekend.

Friday 04.25.2014

Photo shoot for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC. Treated like a model: chauffeured in black SUVs from Uber, fed delicious salads from Sweet Green, tried on the latest Nike Women’s Running Swag, and surrounded by numerous professional photographers. That was awesome. I was featured in a photo on Instagram. You can only see me from knee down, but man do my calves look great! Also, you can catch a glimpse of power in my photo from Twitter and Facebook announcing the Tiffany necklace reveal. Clutch.

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@nikerunning

10295111_707064642665328_3765506119966109636_oCourtesy of https://www.facebook.com/RunNikeWomenSeries

Pretty sweet gig. So lucky to be given the opportunity to represent Nike… and the free outfit was totally worth it! =)

Saturday 04.26.2014

Shakeout run at Nike Georgetown. 7 AM Meeting for the race pacers (myself included) which involved getting our cool race outfit: Nike Pegasus 30, breeze tank, modern distance shorts, and Pro bra. Love the colors! Thanks Nike! After that we waited for the Nike Training Club participants to arrive. Once everyone was there socializing, and the DJ blaring… they introduced 2 amazing women runners: the amazing Shalane Flanagan & the legendary Joan Benoit!

IMG_4860Shalane and Joan speaking to the crowd @nikegeorgetown

IMG_4862Left-to-Right: Joan Benoit & Shalane Flanagan

Each of these amazing women spoke about their impressive marathon endeavors, provided inspiration for the 2014 NWM DC participants, and then joined us for our warm-up and 2.5-mile Shakeout run around Georgetown. Coolness. After the run we were welcomed back with Fiji water and Jamba Juice smoothies. Super lush.

Sunday 04.27.2014

Race Day! Awake at 4:15 AM, left the house at 5:15 AM, and arrived at the race at 6:00 AM. Met with my fellow pacers, got my pace sign, and hung out in the VIP tent. Booyah! I couldn’t believe the amenities in the VIP area! There was hot breakfast, coffee, fancy tea, pastries, fruit, more Fiji water, a foam rolling station, private bag check, WARMTH, and there were 5 restroom trailers! No cold, gross port-a-potty for me! I had flushing, running water, soap, hair accessories, and even make-up removing wipes!

IMG_4873My paddle

IMG_4906At the race start

And then it was game time. The weather was perfect (50-degrees F), I was wearing a brand-new outfit (yes!), and there were 9-12 runners who were eager to PR via my 2:10 goal race time. Amy, my fellow 9:55 pacer, and I were ready to crush 13.1.

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Pumped at mile 3

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Amy & I after the race

Unofficial Race Time- 02:09:46, that is pretty damn close to the 2:10 goal. Holla!

Even with brand new shoes, my feet were happy until mile 10-11. I never cramped because I had Nuun at almost every water station. AND my plantar fasciitis didn’t flare up, even after my KT tape decided to peel off around mile 8 (I think I terrified the guy at the medical tent when I ran up to him screaming “I need scissors!”).

Nike does not spare any expense. Right over the finish line you are greeted with commemorative water bottles pre-filled with ice water, a booth with cold chocolate milk (I grabbed one for the hubby), goody-bags with tasty treats, a freakin’ Tiffany’s necklace, and photo-ops with handsome ROTC men dressed in tuxedos. Hey!

IMG_4908My precioussssss

IMG_4899Left-to-Right: David, Jill, ROTC hottie, me

But even with all those fabulous bonuses, my favorite part of the race was crossing the finish line and being approached by fellow runners who wanted to thank me (me!) personally for pacing them to a new PR or first half marathon finish! I nearly teared up. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for being given the opportunity to support other women through their 13.1 journey. I can’t wait to do it again. Farewell #werundc … Hello #werunsf ?

Day 2 of NEW #RAD2014

112/365 Second day without a 2+ mile run, and it feels weird. Actually it feels like my IT bands are 2 inches too short, and that can be blamed on the Foundry Fitness class I took last night. Kicked. My. Butt.

Today I was so sore I couldn’t fathom another strength-training workout or run, so I packed my 1-year-old niece (Marcy) into her stroller and went for a 5-mile walk, attempting to work-out the soreness in my legs. No success.

Even though I was on my feet, walking, for over an hour today… my plantar fasciitis has seemed to subside. Lower-impact activity is helping me to recover. Go figure.

Tomorrow Ben and I sign up for Foundry Fitness and begin our goal of attending a class at least 3x per week. I will be filling in the other 4 days with running and yoga, while he will be continuing his 4x per week rec-soccer schedule. We are determined to look and feel RAD!

Who’s going to join us? I challenge you to commit to working out at least 4x a week through May! I’m here for you!

Follow me on INSTAGRAM @mbrooksfit to see my daily #rad2014 photos. Tag your friends in the comments section to get them motivated to move!

#rad2014

listen to body quote

 

Day 110. Haven’t gone out for my run yet. Not feeling very motivated.

I have mild-to-moderate plantar fasciitis in both feet, and I think a heel spur in my right. At this point, orthotics and calf massage can’t even alleviate my pain. Hmmm… overuse injuries? I have 1 week until my next race: Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC, as a race pacer (9:30-9:59 corral). I’ve kept up with my 2-mile minimum for the last 109 days, but a few days ago started adding walk intervals into my workout, due to pain and lack of inspiration.

LACK OF INSPIRATION? I love running! Why wouldn’t I want to go running?

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What does one do when they are riddled with injuries and unmotivated? CHANGE THINGS UP! I am NOT quitting #rad2014, I’m transforming it into something greater! It is time to reassess my 2014 goals! Yay! I love goal-setting!

plan A quote

 

So what do I really want out of 2014? I want to EAT CLEAN. I want to be STRONG. I want to be CONFIDENT.  I want to be the BEST VERSION OF MYSELF! And I want to INSPIRE OTHERS to do the same! So how do I do this?

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Running is my comfort zone. I need to challenge my body. I need to confuse my muscles, build strength, increase my flexibility… I need to switch on BEAST MODE!

So what will happen to my Run-A-Day Challenge (#rad2014)? It’s not going ANYWHERE! Instead of “rad” meaning Run-a-Day… it is just going to mean “Rad”! I want to look RAD, feel RAD, be RAD, and inspire others to live RAD too! Here we go with #rad2014 Part II!

NEW 2014 GOALS:

-Sweat. Every. Damn. Day. #rad2014 –> I am going to run, lift, yoga, stretch… and push myself every day to be freakin’ awesome.

-Eat Clean. #rawfoods #vegan #smoothies #green #juicing #realfoods

-Stay Sane. #spiritual –> Meditate. Be inspired by other. Read. Be grateful. Enjoy life.

-Inspire Others. #beRad –> YouTube Channel. Blog. Social media. Accountability.

the best quote

New Shoe Sunday… on Monday!

I wanted to get a second run in with this week’s shoe before my review, hence why New Shoe Sunday is yet again featured on Monday =) That my story, and I’m sticking to it!

This week’s new shoe:

Hoka One One Conquest $170

Featured in Competitor Magazine

Spring 2014 Fit, Feel, Ride Awards: Best Innovation

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1) Let’s Be Objective: (adapted from HokaOneOne.com)

MIDSOLE-

  • Full-length Rmat (R) midsole for maximal cushioning and suspension
  • Lightweight Hoka Cmeva Top midsole
  • Water Drainage System (WDS)
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker
  • Lightweight External Heel Counter
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe Offset (Heel 29mm : Forefoot 25mm)
  • Fluid Ground Contact Design

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UPPER-

  • Super Thin No-Sew Construction (reduce hotspots!)
  • Hoka Race-Lace System (RLS)
  • Gusseted Tongue and Comfort Collar
  • Weight 9.6 oz (women’s)
  • Comes with standard laces too!

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My Review:

FIT-

  • True-to-size. It will feel a little big at first, but when you hit the road with them you’ll appreciate the space. I like the fit best with a cushy sock, i.e. Balega’s Hidden Comfort Running Socks or Nike’s Elite Cushioned Running Socks.
  • A little more snug through the toe box than other Hoka One One models, but still have enough room to wiggle my toes and accommodate an orthotic.
  • Race Laces tighten easily and stay tight. If you have problems with heel slippage… you’ll have to cut them out and use standard laces.

FEEL-

  • Super lightweight! (despite the chunky look)
  • Extra ground contact and Meta-Rocker really helped me to attack hills.
  • Maximal cushioning under the forefoot and heel. Not squishy like the Bondi B, but responsive with an effective suspension system. My knees were happy, especially on the downhills.
  • Bucket seat feel around the heel gives lateral stability, so all you Brooks Adrenaline and New Balance 860 wearers: this one is for you too!

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Conclusion: I like them! The cushioning will be great for my future long runs, and the tread is deep enough to take them on the trails. With the 4 mm offset, these shoes are fast and functional for training runs and racing. Great all-around shoe! If you’re interested in trying them out, call your local Fleet Feet Sports to see if they’re in-stock. 

Local? Fleet Feet Sports Gaithersburg is hosting a Hoka One One Fun Run this Thursday, April 17th at 6:30 PM. Come by to try out the Conquest or other Hoka One One models! Love them? They will be 10% off that day only!

Thanks Hoka One One!

Cherry Blossom Time!

GOAL RACE #1: COMPLETED

Yesterday was the 42nd Cherry Blossom 10-miler in Washington, DC. Congrats to all those who finished!!! And especially to all those who set a new PR! The weather was perfect: 40-degrees, sunny and breezy. I ran the entire race next to my favorite person: my handsome hubby, Ben… AND we crushed our goal time for this race!

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My 10-Miler (“unofficial”) Race Stats:

Net Time- 1:28:48

Pace- 8:52.7

Gender Place- 2143/10,548

Div Place- 655/2709

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Fleet Feet Buddies Left to Right: Joel, Ben (husband), Me!, Kanayo, Carlos

Let’s talk pre-race…

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Race Day Essentials: Garmin Forerunner 10 (check!), Sweatyband Headband (check!), Tifosi Sunglasses (check!), CEP Compression Sleeves (check!), and Race Bib and Safety Pins (check & check!).

Even though I am almost 27 years old, I still set out my race gear for the next morning. I am always afraid of waking up late and forgetting something important. This year was quite the dilemma because race day was chillier than normal and I was debating whether or not to carry hydration… In the end I decided against a hydration belt (too heavy), and went with my go-to race day shorts and Nike Element 1/2 Zip (fav cold weather top!). I typically race in my Brooks Pure Flows, but since these shoes have about 400 miles on them (at least!), and I have been battling calf issues and a mild case of plantar fasciitis, I went with my super awesome training shoe: Adidas Energy Boost 2. Love, love, love!!!

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Retired: Brooks Pure Flows

On to FUEL…

Unlike my hubby, who made himself eggs, bacon, and a bagel for his pre-race breakfast… I started the morning off with 16 oz of Tropical Nuun and a packet of Cherry Blossom Honey Stingers (my favorite form of running nutrition). I do not typically drink or eat during the race because I get major cramps, but I made sure to properly fuel beforehand so I could give my tip-top performance!

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I am so proud of Ben and myself for doing so well in the race, yesterday!!! Now to continue my training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC in 3 weeks! Goal: Break 2 hours.

I did a 3 mile recovery run this morning… in the rain, and used my Addaday roller to massage out my tired legs. Feeling good!

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UPDATE for #rad2014:

MILEAGE MILESTONE for my 2014 Run-A-Day Challenge:

300 MILES!!! (304.85 to be exact)

 

 

I Kicked My Asana Today!

 

 

Hello Dear Friend, it has been a while since we have played together…

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6 AM HOT Power Vinyasa @ DownDogYoga Bethesda

Mat: Manduka PROlite Mat

I nearly passed out (or threw up) when we switched to standing poses (eagle, tree, dancer), but I held in there! I made it through all 60 minutes without having to rest in a single child’s pose. Yay me! And I felt so much looser afterwards, even my stinkin’ tight calf! Booyah tight calf!

AND THEN I WENT RUNNING! (of course!)

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So all that exercise, and yet I happened to injure my knee KICKING A GOSH DARN TENNIS BALL for my dog at the dog park! Swelling + point-tenderness = I’m freaking out! (ICE! ICE! ICE! ICE!) Send all your healing energies to my right knee… I have 10 miles to run this Sunday, and 274 days left to run this year!