Fall-“Must Run” Half Marathon or 10k-Annapolis Running Classic

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Save with Code MaineGirl2Runs16

Running with the A-Team!!  Excited to share the news that I was chosen as an ambassador to represent the Annapolis Running Classic Half Marathon and 10K!

This will be my 3rd year running the the half marathon for the Annapolis Classic Running event!!  Come run with me-use CODE MAINEGIRL2RUNS16 to save 10% on race registration for the half marathon or 10k!

Race Details: Annapolis Running Classic save 10% on registration with code MAINEGIRL2RUNS

When: Saturday November 19th, 2016 at 7:00am

Where:  United States Naval Academy Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland

Race Course-Scenic, but a bit hilly!  Part of the course takes runners through historic downtown Annapolis near the water!

United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Why Run!! –

  • Great Race Premium -last year was a dark navy half zip long sleeve shirt!
  • Finisher medals
  • Hot soup, beer and oysters!!
Enjoy fresh oysters and a frosty beer at the finish!

Enjoy fresh oysters and a frosty beer at the finish!

Beautiful Fall Weather!- Cool, crisp temperatures!!

Me and LiveFreeRun!  Gorgeous autumn colors!

Me and LiveFreeRun! Gorgeous autumn colors!

Hotel- Stay at the Loews Annapolis Hotel 1 mile from the start and finish line!  

Hope to see everyone in Annapolis for this race! Save money and use code MAINEGIRL2RUNS16  for race registration discount!

Summer Update: Run, Relax, Repeat

So. . . where do I even begin with this post!  After school let out on June 16th, I made the trip North from Maryland to New Jersey and then onto Maine!

Maine is my “happy place” and full of so many great memories from growing up in this gorgeous state!  As I a kid, I spent so many summers on the beaches of coastal southern Maine, however, I had always had one life long dream!

I had always longed to stay on one of Maine’s many islands.  So, for two weeks this summer I lived in a beautiful 1900s victorian on Peaks Island.  Two weeks of walking and running from the house, to the beaches, and the ferry.  It was a relaxing, blissful two weeks of unwinding, spending time with great friends and my daughter! {My Redhead)

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Ferries take people,cars and other cargo from the city of Portland, which sits along the Casco Bay, to many of the surrounding Maine Islands.

Island Life-Maine Style

Peaks Island, Maine  is truly a magical island.  You won’t find palm tress, white soft sand beaches or tropical music, but you will find a quiet, relaxing lifestyle.  This island is a twenty minute ferry ride from the city of Portland, Maine.  Maine’s largest and most populated city.

The island is about 4 miles around and 2 miles wide.  Along the island are pockets of inlets, little nooks and crannies of rocks to sit and watch the ships, sail boats, Sup boarders and kayaks go by.  There are some areas along the shores of the island that have a sandy stretch of beach at low tide.

Maine summers can get warm along the coast, but there are many weeks at a time when the humidity is very low and the day time temps barely reach 78 degrees.  The water temps  in Casco Bay are usually hovering around 60 degrees!

And days were spent. . . 

  • Running around the island
  • walking to the beach from the island house
  • hopping the ferry over to Portland for lunch, dinner or walks in and out of the shops!
  • Caught sunsets on the island overlooking Casco Bay and the city of Portland
  • Ice cream at the local store on the island
  • Beer and wine-loved not having to drive anywhere for pretty much two weeks!

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During my first week on Peaks Island, my good friends-Colleen and Jim stayed with me!

Sharing the fun with friends. . . 

Over the few last years, with running and racing and social media, I have developed some great friendships!  One friendship in particular has been with Colleen, Live Free and Runs she and I have just clicked!  It was great sharing the first week on Peaks with her, her husband Jim, her mom and daughter!  Me, Colleen and Jim, got in several gorgeous “sight seeing runs” around the island.  We also just enjoyed some quiet time on the rocks and beaches.  I loved having a buddy to run with, chat with and sit on the docks drinking coffee while watching the boats and ferry come in to the island.

 

July 4th Fireworks-Spectacular Views!

July 4th Fireworks were viewed from Peaks Islands.  The fireworks are set off from a barge out in Casco Bay!  Colleen’s husband, Jim, took some great pics of the fireworks that night! The night was breezy, clear and perfect “sweater weather”!!  Love summer nights in Maine!

 

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Lobster Supper on the Rocks! 


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My Redhead enjoying some beach time on the island!

Running Along the Shores

So many gorgeous views on my runs around the island.  Even the warm days were still filled with cool breezes off of Casco Bay.

Two Weeks of Running, Relaxing, and Reflecting

I needed these two weeks on Peaks Island to just unwind, unplug and recharge.  I even forgot about tv for two weeks.  Even now, I am realizing that TV isn’t that important to me! Time spent running, actively walking, sharing moments with friends and my daughter.  Maine is truly my “happy place”.  I soaked up the quiet beauty of this Maine island and treasured the old and new memories I have in Maine.

Where has summer taken you?  Share your summer happenings! 

Quick Update on Blood Work Results

So. . . I’m currently analyzing and reviewing my blood work results from InsideTracker!  So much valuable information about my health that will aid in stronger #running performance and overall health!
I love the InsideTracker website for analyzing my results, creating a nutrition and training plan and setting goals! Here is a quick glance of my 9 biomarkers out of 28 that are At Risk or Need Work! 

InsideTracker Dashboard

InsideTracker Website Dashboard

As this point in my summer training and racing phase, I’ll be making some nutritional changes based on dietary recommendations and reworking my weekly training workouts! InsideTracker provides a breakdown of nutritional and training recommendations based on biomarkers! My goal areas are for improving endurance, strength and recovery/injury prevention. 

This is just a snapshot of what I’m analyzing and focusing on right now. I want to take some time to also review and discuss these results with my family doctor. I feel so much more equipped to take on a more active role in discussing my health concerns and goals with my doctor, now that I have this information.

I will continue to update and share my nutrition, training and racing as I make changes! 

Do you get blood work done? After initial results, how often do you get follow up blood tests? 

www.insidetracker.com

Training, Nutrition and A Blood Test

Training Lately and Upcoming Races:

Wow, can’t believe I am approaching my summer racing season!  The months of May and June have just flown by so quickly.  I have three races on my summer calendar, I Posted My Spring/Summer Race Calendar Here  I feel ready to tackle the two 10ks, but am feeling a bit apprehensive about the half marathon!

My weekly training has been fairly consistent, but the longer-double digit runs were tough to fit in over the last few weeks.  The last several weeks of May I focused on being a “track mom” as my daughter finished up her freshman year of high school and outdoor track.  My Redhead ended up running on her 4 x400 meter relay team at the State meet! I am also “coaching” two middle school boys now, so some of my mileage is done with them during the week.

Consistent Weekly Running-averaging 27-29 miles or so a week

  • Tuesdays have been an easy 6 miles, Wednesdays have been a tempo run of 7 miles, Thursdays have been an another easy 6 miles and Friday or Saturday has been my ten mile runs
  • My ten milers were sometimes happening on a Friday night, if my Redhead had an all day track meet on Saturday
  • Long Run-I was hoping to consistently be running 12 miles on my weekly long runs, but that didn’t happen in early June.
  • Hill Repeats- hoping to work back in some hill repeats for the end of June and into July, I found another good article on Hill Workouts Here

Nutrition Update-What I am Focusing On Lately:

About a year ago, I made the decision to no longer eat meat (any land animal), however, I do eat all fish and shellfish.  I am a Maine Girl who loves her haddock and lobstah!  I also order fresh, flash frozen premium wild caught fish from my absolute favorite company-sizzlefish

I do constantly worry though, that without the meat, if I am getting enough iron and protein.  I eat a large variety of fresh, seasonal veggies, organic frozen veggies, tons of high protein beans and grains. Yet, still I wonder if I am getting the right balance of carbs and proteins, along with other essential nutrients.  I am not a huge fan of protein powders, although lately, I have been using the Aloha Plant based Protein Powders and loving the clean taste.

Smoothie Bowls are my new summer go-to! 

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Yummy! Vanilla Protein, Banana, Peanut Butter, Almond Milk Smoothie Bowl with Shaved Chocolate!

I feel like I eat fairly healthy, but still some questions linger.  I want to know that I am properly fueling my body for optimal training and overall health.  As a 41 year old mom, runner and teacher, I am constantly on-the-go.  I want to know that I am getting all the right nutrients I need to feel healthy and energized.

I don’t consistently take supplements, mostly because I always feel like I am not choosing the right ones of what my body actually needs.  There are so many supplements to choose from on the market!

The Blood Test!  Yikes!

So, with so many questions about my health, getting the right fuel and nutrients-I was excited to learn about InsideTracker the company which  offers a blood screening test for – “Accurate blood biomarker analysis plus personalized interventions for nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and supplements to optimize health and fitness”  Read about the creators of InsideTracker here at InsideTracker 

I read a very thorough blog post by Michele at NYCRunningMama here and was very interested in having my own blood work done with InsideTracker.  When the opportunity arose through Jonathan Levitt with InsideTracker to have some blood work analyzed, I jumped at the chance! I received a discount code.  I chose the Ultimate Blood Test plus Inner Age which tests 30 total biomarkers all together in these categories:

  • Energy and Metabolism
  • Strength and Endurance
  • Bone and Muscle Health
  • Brain and Body
  • Oxygen and Performance
  • Inflammation
  • Liver Health
  • Minerals

I am very interested in finding out more about my results in regards to energy, endurance, bone and muscle health, inflammation, oxygen and performance!

Check out the InsideTracker website for a variety of plans and pricing options!

Having blood drawn isn’t usually my thing- I get all nervous and clammy, but I am excited to get more in-depth information about my health and make smart, informed decisions based on the results. I will definitely consult my doctor once I get the results.  These results will help guide my training and nutrition choices.

I will be getting my blood drawn at Quest Diagnostic laboratory today!  I will be sure to share my results when I receive them in a few days!  I feel it’s important to be proactive about your health!

Have you ever had in-depth blood work done?  How often do you get blood work?  Do you find the information to be useful?

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Zooma Annapolis Race Weekend Recap

Well, I am a week late with this Zoom Run Annapolis Race recap, but it was another amazing and fun filled race weekend!  This was my sixth time running a Zooma Women’s Race and my fifth time running in Annapolis.  Some might wonder, why come back and run the same course over and over again, but for me, it’s more than just a race.  Zooma Run races have built friendships for me.  I love gathering with women for the weekend to chat and share our running and non running lives.

Friday Afternoon-Arrived at the Loews Annapolis Host Hotel

I stay at this hotel for every Zooma Annapolis race.  The hotel is about .8 miles from the start line area of the race.  It’s an easy walk jog to the start line in the morning!  The hotel rooms are spacious and very comfortable with many amenities!  Zooma Run and the hotel work together to provide room and parking discounts for runners!  So worth staying over at the hotel the night before the race!

The Hotel Lobby Meet-Up:

I parked my truck in the guest-self parking area and walked into the lobby of the hotel. This is where the fun began!  This weekend was all about connecting with other running bloggers that I follow on social media.  I was excited to meet Sandra from Organic Runnner Mom who is from New Hampshire!  She was hanging out in the lobby with Sue- This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, Cynthia-YouSignedUpFor What, Courtney-EatPrayRunDC, and Erika-MCM MAMA Runs.  We all chatted a bit ( okay, a ton of chatting) in the lobby before walking into the expo located inside the Lowes Hotel.

Expo and Bib Pick-Up:

The lines for bib and packet pick-up at this Zooma Race are always organized, easy and fast!  I grabbed my stuff and then mingled with other women as I perused the various vendors.  The Zooma Race Expo has never had a ton of vendors, but there have been some quality companies with great products!  I did purchase a cute Skirt Sports Skirt!  The Race Swag Bag included a soft, tri-blend tee shirt this year for the Zooma Annapolis race!  A very comfy shirt to wear with jeans! I also loved the small key chain and samples of Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Drink Mix that included a coupon code!

 

Attending Panel Discussion on “Increasing Diversity in Women’s Running:

This year, Zooma race founder, Brae Blackley, moderated a panel discussion that focused on the topic of diversity in women’s running.  The guest panel speakers included -Adina Forbes Crawford from Black Girls Run, Kristen Kelaher Komlosy from Girls on the Run DC and Monica Wallace from Muslims on the Run.

The panel discussion was open to anyone that wanted to attend this free event.  Zooma Women’s Race series has always strived to empower, encourage and motivate women of all races to be fit and healthy.  This panel discussion was a result of some powerful and very thought provoking statistics on diversity or lack of diversity in women’s running when it comes to running in and finishing races.  The stats can be found HERE

HighLights from Panel Discussion:

  • Barriers exist due to socio-economic conditions
  • Lack of safe neighborhoods in which to run
  • A feeling of (or lack of) acceptance in running social groups and circles
  • The need to continue outreach programs like Black Girls on the Run and Girls on the Run 
  • An overall awareness of the lack diversity among women runners, including those that represent the Latino women runners

A very deep and moving panel discussion that left me with some answers and more questions, but more importantly to continue motivating and inspiring all women to be fit and healthy-no matter the race, religion or age.

Friday Night Dinner and Chatting with Friends:

This was an amazing night at dinner at the Loews Annapolis hotel with amazing women runners/bloggers!  I was excited to catch up with Lisa-Lisa Runs for Cupcakes who has become a great friend in the last three years!  My other wonderful friend, Colleen-LiveFreeandRun had finally arrived after a traffic -filled drive from the DC area!

Good Food, Wine, and Amazing Women!

I was among the several runners that would be running the 10k in the morning, so I wasn’t  too worried about enjoying a little extra wine and lingering at the dinner table till about 9:45pm!  It was so much fun to chat and get to know everyone a bit better!  I had a blast-laughing, chatting and just sharing stories!

Flat Runner Ready and Lights Out! 

Colleen and I headed upstairs to the hotel room and got ready for the 10k race in the morning!  We each laid out our runner gear and chatted just a bit longer before drifting off to sleep.

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10k Race-No Pics 

This was one of the very few times that I did’t run with my phone!  So there are no course pics!  Colleen, Lisa and I walked/jogged to the start area around 6:30am that morning.  It only took us about 12-15 minutes.  The air was already moist and muggy-typical of Zooma Annapolis late May/Early June races.  We were all running the 10k that morning.  We hung out and took some pics in the start area before making out way over to the self-seeding corrals.  The National Anthem was sang and then I made my way quickly through the crowd of runners to the 8:00 minute to 8:20 minute mile pace area.

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10k Course Photo Credit Zooma Run

Miles 1-2- I may have gone out a bit too fast, but I was feeling good!  Then after mile 3, the humid moist air set in and I was sweating.  I walked through several water stops and slowed my pace quite a bit.  I was a bit bummed because I really wanted to PR this course.  The heat and humidity always get me-no matter whether I am running the 10k or half marathon!

  1. mile 1-7:54
  2. mile 2 7:51
  3. mile 3 8:21
  4. mile 4 8:54
  5. mile 5 9:14
  6. mile 6 8:45
  7. mile 0.27 7:36

Finished 00:53:06  {Overall 29th of 694} {23rd out of 663 females} {5th out of 95 women in age group 40-44}

After the race it was time for a massage, some more pics and grabbing some Zooma Post Race Snacks.  I was disappointed that there was no hummus or chicken salad lunch boxes this year!  Me, Lisa and Colleen walked back to the hotel to have brunch!

 

Brunch Back at the Hotel – Yummy!  I was starving!!  Me, Lisa, Courtney and a few other runners had the “all you can eat” breakfast buffet at the hotel!  I thought it was delicious and went back for 3rds!!

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Zooma Women’s Race Series chooses great locations such as Annapolis and Cape Cod (coming up September 24th) I love the friendships and connections I have made through running with Zooma!  It was great running weekend with friends!

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Have you run a Zooma Race?  What is your favorite Race Cation??  

RaceCation Destination: Portland, Maine

Summer is quickly approaching!  So many runners have trudged through soggy, snowy and cold winter months, followed by a very wet and rainy spring.  Now it’s time to start planning the ultimate RaceCation! 

Views of boats moored in Casco Bay

Views of boats moored in Casco Bay

RAceCation in Portland, Maine!  Enjoy fabulous views of Casco Bay, delicious seafood and shopping!  Plenty of sunshine, warm days with a nice breeze off of Casco Bay and cool nights!  Portland, Maine is the perfect RaceCation destination for July!

 

Register for the Shipyard Half or 5k here and use code KForrest for a discount on registration! The Shipyard Half and 5k take runners through the historic, winding streets of Portland, Maine with views of Casco Bay along the route.  Check out the link above for race info, course maps and pre and post running events!  Of course, beer drinkers can enjoy Portland, Maine brewed Shipyard Brewing Company Beer

Awesome Tech Tee Shipyard Old Port Half or 5k

Awesome Tech Tee Shipyard Old Port Half or 5k

Shipyard Half and 5k -Saturday July 9th, Portland, Maine -Race Discount Code KForrest

Weekend Running in Portland, Maine- Portland is a relatively small, coastal, city.  The city-by-the sea!  It is a friendly city with two beautiful trails for running!  These trails take runners along the coast line of Casco Bay.  Walkers and bikers can also enjoy these running trails!  I love running Portland when I am home.  Check out these Back Cove Trail and the Eastern Promenade trail

The view of the Eastern Promenade trail along Casco Bay

The view of the Eastern Promenade trail along Casco Bay

Back Cove Trail-Portland, Maine

Back Cove Trail-Portland, Maine

Where to Eat-Portland, Maine!  There are many restaurants to choose from in Portland, however, the Porthole Restaurant  is the best bang for your buck!  Delicious seafood, including full steamed lobster, steamers and the iconic Maine Lobster Roll!  Eat outside and watch the lobster boats roll in from a day of lobstering!

Night time view from the patio of the Porthole Restaurant!

Night time view from the patio of the Porthole Restaurant!

Iconic Maine Lobster Roll! Porthole Restaurant! You can Never Eat too Many Lobstah Rolls!

Iconic Maine Lobster Roll! Porthole Restaurant! You can Never Eat too Many Lobstah Rolls!

Shopping and a Sweet End to the RaceCation Weekend!  A  weekend in Portland has to include walking the historic, cobble stone streets of the Old Port! Visiting the many shops and gathering Portland, Maine themed souvenirs!  My favorite cupcake bakery is also tops on the list for a sweet treat! Eastend Cupcakes

Walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Port! Visit all the shops!

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East End Cupcakes in the Old Port!!

East End Cupcakes in the Old Port!!

 

Definitely consider making Portland, Maine your July 8th-10th RaceCation Destination!  Register for the Shipyard Half Marathon or 5k! Use code Kforrest for a discount on registration!

Who’s Running Shipyard Half or 5k??  Any other fabulous RaceCation destinations out there?

Friday Fitness: Favorite Exercise Equipment

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Training Update and a Focus on Core Fitness and Strength Training-  The month of April {four weeks}, I spent focusing on building in more base mileage.  The goal was to reestablish a strong base and increase aerobic endurance.  In the aerobic phase, it is all about increasing stamina and endurance.  My mileage increased, but I was keeping my pace in the “low heart rate zone.”   I ran easy miles each week, focusing on 6 to 7 miles, three times a week, as well as a long run of 10 miles.  Typical weekly mileage right now is around 27-30 miles a week.

Towards the beginning of May, I reevaluated the amount of time I was spending on my core and strength training.  I must admit, I am not always great about making core and strength training a priority.  In order to finish strong, you must train strong!

Two weeks ago, I met with a personal fitness trainer.  Through working with her, I have learned some great core and strength exercises that utilize minimal equipment.  We focused on sets of exercises that targeted many areas at once, called compound exercises.  I really enjoyed my sessions with this local, personal fitness trainer.  However, weekly sessions can  be a bit expensive for my budget.  So, I am adding some key equipment to my personal home gym.  

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 Equipment Favorites: Core and Strength Training 

Stability Ball stability ball

  • 8 Stability Ball Exercises– The stability ball is a great addition to planks and push -ups.  I have found these challenging, but know that these are key exercises to strengthening my core! Be sure to check out the stability ball exercises link above!  There are so many ways to incorporate the stability ball into any core strength exercise routine!

 

Bosu Stability Ball

  • Check Out These Bosu Exercises for Runners–  The Bosu Ball is another versatile piece of exercise equipment.  Standing Leg workouts and bridges are just a few key strength exercises for the legs and glutes!  This piece of equipment is currently on my Wish List!!

bosu ball

 

Resistance Bands

  • Strength Training with Resistance Bands–  I love using resistance bands to complete exercises like the “Monster Walks” which help to strengthen the glutes!  Check out the above link for various exercises to do with resistance bands!  These resistance bands are also great for doing “Side Clam Shells” to increase hip/glute strength.

resistance bands

 

Neoprene Dumbell

  • Lifting weights has never really been my thing!  However, at my session last week with my fitness trainer, I worked on using dumbbells as part of the strength training routine.  Here is another great link for workouts to do with dumbbells– I typically use two ten pound dumbbells.

dumbells

Importance of Core and Strength Training- A strong core leads to better running performance.  When runners have a strong core-form and cadence improve.  Overall, spending time each week on core and strength will lead to stronger and faster running.  

  • Twice a week, after a shorter, easy run- I incorporate core and strength training.  I rotate between using the above pieces of equipment.  I don’t do everything each time.

What is your favorite piece of equipment that you have at home for core and strength training?  How often do you incorporate strength training into your weekly running schedule?