Monthly Archives: May 2016

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?  

Life Lately: Training,Nutrition and Races

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    Where did April go?   It seems as if time is on speed warp!  Just trying to make the most the most of all the minutes in a day. week or even month!  

In my life, I have realized that not everything is always going to get an equal balance.  Lately, it’s been a shift in balance between Racing, training and nutrition.  I have been focusing on what’s working and just taking each day one-step/run at a time.  Sometimes, you just have to “Go with What is Working in the Moment” and see the positives!

Training- 

  • Building that base mileage back up after an early spring race.  I had a PR in a local, slightly hilly, 10k race back on April 9th- with a time of 50:32
  • The whole month of April I focused on running 4-5 days a week, short runs of 4-6 miles and then a long run of 10 miles.  
  • Mondays-Easy run of 4 miles with a friend
  • Tuesdays-6 easy miles
  • Wednesdays-6 mile tempo run
  • Thursdays-Easy 4 miles with a friend
  • Fridays or Saturdays- Long Run of 10 miles

So, . . . Why this is working!  On my “easy” days, I am running with a friend who is looking to increase her cardio and pace for a 5k.  This kind of forces me to run really easy and focus on encouraging her to meet her goals.  I am getting in my base mileage each week and building up my aerobic fitness, increase muscular endurance and increase oxygen capacity.  My longs runs sometimes happen on a Friday night right now, due to me Redhead’s track meets on Saturdays.  The month of April was all about building upon a base of mileage that was really already in place, just really making it a solid foundation.

Up Next-A few Tweaks and A Shift

  • Hilly repeats are on the horizon, just trying to figure out how to shift my training schedule- I want to incorporate more hill repeats to build speed and endurance, Awwe! The benefits of hill running!
  • Core and Strength Training- I have found an awesome fitness trainer that does sessions with a 1:2 ratio.  I love this because she helps me focus on my form with every exercise.  The focus is on core and strength using weights, medicine ball and weighted balls.
  • Extending my weekly long to 12 miles-getting ready for the Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon on July 9th

Nutrition- A Shift in Balance of Carbs, Healthy Fats, Veggies and Proteins 

Maybe it’s that fact that I am now 41,but I was feeling a bit a sluggish and just not energized.  I am currently in Laura’s Mommy Run Fast Runner Reset group.  The Focus is healthy, balanced eating ( Eating for metabolic efficiency)  and core/strength training.  I have seen improvements, in just a short amount of time, with a larger emphasis on vegetables and fish/plant-based protein in my daily “eats”!

  • Increase water intake
  • Daily vegetables and salad greens
  • Eggs, Fish and beans
  • Quinoa is my favorite “grain” right now!
  • Great time of year for tons of local produce!!
  • Supplement with a high quality protein powder -I am still experimenting with a variety of protein powder brands, but Vega Sport Performance has some great ingredients for performance and recovery!

Races- What’s Coming Up!

  • 5 weeks until this –Zooma Run Annapolis 10k  I love this annual, early June, Women’s Racing Event.  It is a fun-filled, weekend of great women, an awesome Friday night expo and gathering, along with a challenging course to run on Saturday June 4th!  The course is a bit hilly and early June in Annapolis, Maryland can be a bit warm and humid. There is still time to Register for this Fun Racing Event!!  {10k or 1/2 marathon}

So-5 weeks of new opportunities with training, nutrition and races on the horizon!

How are things with training, nutrition and races in your world?  Any tweaks and changes being made?