Chasing the Sun and Benefits of Hill Running.

8.2 miles this morning chasing the sun with my run club crew. Seriously the miles felt like they literally flew by today. I have no idea why…I think I get carried away in conversation with friends and then before you know it…I’m several miles in! I love days like this.

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So as of late my training has included lots of running hills. I actually used to dread them (and rarely ever did them!) but I think once you do it more your legs really do get stronger. Here are a few benefits in no particular order of running those mounds of opportunity.

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Better leg strength. You really do build up your leg muscles on hills. And we all know that leg strength equals a stronger runner out on those roads.

Less impact on your joints than a flat/fast pavement road. It’s actually pretty opposite of what I would think about running hills…but specifically going uphill is less of a hit to your bones and joints. There is however more of an impact when you do some downhill running…so just make sure you focus more on the uphill, and then easy heading back down. You will be in good shape.

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Helps you focus more on your form. I don’t know about you but when I’m headed uphill I definitely not only focus on my form but my breathing and just how everything works in general. It’s kind of like a great workout for both your body and your mind.

It’s speedwork in disguise. It’s amazing how running lots of hills will make you faster on a flatter surface. Your legs will be stronger and more conditioned if you put them to the test with hills.

It helps you mix things up a little bit. Pretty much now a few times a week I make a point to find an incline in my neighborhood and go up it. It really does wonders for mixing up my workouts and keeping things both spicy and exciting. Click here for some more ideas of different types of hill workouts to play around with.

What is your favorite type of running workout?
I do like hills but I have to say hands down…I love the long run.

Weds Spin Playlist.

I was up early (shocker) for some fantastic hump day miles with some ridiculously good running weather. We will still be in the 80s later today so I was glad to get this run done before the sunshine hits.

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So this week’s spin playlist has some great new tracks and a few oldies to move and groove to! Come check out where I’ll be teaching class next in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Let’s go for a ride!

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What U Workin’ With- Justin Timberlake & Gwen Stefani: Warm up
Do it Again- Pia Mia feat Chris Brown: Standing run
Panda Formation (Mashup)- Desiigner & Beyonce: Jumps
The Drop- Bro Safari: Sprints
Focus- Ariana Grande: Climb 4/5/6
Dance Like a Freak- DJ Class: Tapbacks
In My Room- Yellow Claw & DJ Mustard: Rolling hills
Pon De Floor- Major Lazer: Accelerations
Be Right There- Diplo & Sleepy Tom: Active recovery
Give it 2 U- Robin Thicke: Climb 5/6/7
The Other Side (Davis Redfield Mix)- 6/7/8
Just Say- KDA: Seated/standing run
All in My Head (Flex)- Fifth Harmony feat Fetty Wap: Jumps on a hill
Let it Roll- Flo Rida feat Lil Wayne: Climb 8/9/10
For a Day- Chace & Moksi: Sprints
Gooey- Glass Animals: Cool down

What songs are on your workout playlist this week?

4 Things I Love About Running in the Fall.

Oh goodness you guys. This morning’s run was absolutely fantastic! The weather was incredible and it definitely made my legs and feet all kinds of happy. I am hoping this fall weather stays around and blesses us for a while. Thank you baby Jesus.

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Fall I have to say is my favorite time of year. Fall foliage, boots and scarves and all things pumpkin. The colors of nature to me just come alive. I am all about it. Here are just a few things that I love about fall running.

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This pic was from November of last year. But isn’t it beautiful? I simply cannot wait until the leaves change into this shade down in TX.

The weather cooling off just a tad after enduring crazy hot temps all summer long. As the weather cools off especially in the mornings I can feel my legs moving just a bit faster too. That hard work and dedication does pay off.

Feeling the fall leaves underneath my feet. It’s a autumn lovers paradise.

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Getting to wear layers again. As you know in Texas for about 4-5 months out of the year (and sometimes longer) we are wearing nothing but flip flops, tanks and shorts. So when I get to bust out my half zip tops I get excited because it is oh so rare.

ALL OF THE RACES. We have so many races coming up around this time of year in Texas. I love the fall themed ones like the Pumpkin Spice 15k and Halloween fun runs. And of course fall marathons are just the best way to celebrate running 26.2 style.

What are some things you love about running in the fall?

Hello Fall, Sweet Spot and Wknd Recap.

Hiya there! Hope your Monday is going great! BTW it feels awesome outside…finally sorta feels like fall in Texas! Today is a little crazy in my world but I thought I’d stop in for a quick update from the weekend. Let’s recap!

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It’s actually pretty funny because looking back on my previous weekend recaps I noticed I usually always start my recap with Saturday as opposed to Friday night? I’m actually not sure how much you care about my Fridays though because honestly they are so freaking uneventful. They usually consist of me being in bed by like 7 or 8 pm since I get up so early on Saturday morning to run. Hashtag the life of a distance runner during marathon training season. I kind of love it though.

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So fast forward to Saturday morning I was up early for a 14 mile run in the ‘hood. Quick cutback week before I ramp back up to my last 20 miler of the training season. It was crazy humid, but not as hot thankfully since we started around 5 a.m. Got it in and it felt good to get this run out of the way.

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Post run eats…acai bowl with kiwis and bananas on top. I’m experimenting with different fruits. This is one of my favorite acai bowl combos so far.

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Saturday night I stayed out way too late with friends so I slept in and went out for a lunch run after the rain. So thankful for the rain we’ve had lately because it is really cooling things off. Finally I think fall is paying us a visit down in Texas. 10k Sunday.

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61.4 miles last week and I’m feeling like I’m in my sweet spot for weekly mileage. I may try to max out at 70 something miles again this training season before the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Then I have a couple of smaller races to knock out before the Dallas Marathon in December. Oh yeah baby! Fall and winter racing season is the absolute best.

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How was your weekend? Are the leaves changing in your neck of the woods?
Haha…barely. We still have a lot of green down here.

TGIFriday Faves.

Woohoo! Who is ready for the weekend? I don’t know about you but I’m definitely ready to let my hair down. I have running, brunching and relaxing on the agenda. It should without a doubt be a good time. I just have to chug some coffee to get through this work day and then I’ll be good to go.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!

-The pink and orange skies on my morning runs this week. God’s artwork indeed.

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Study says group runs can make you smarter? I love it…I do enjoy my solo runs from time to time but linking back up with a run club has done wonders for my running. I’ve seen a ridiculous amount of improvement thanks to these awesome people.

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-This shirt…just because it is speaking to my soul. Must track it down.

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25 chic and easy ways to decorate a pumpkin. I love all things with glitter.

4 things this girl learned from running 50 miles. Love it love it! Makes me definitely want to get on board for my next ultra.

What are you up to this weekend? Any long runs/racing going on?

Cooler Weather is Coming and a Fall Bucket List.

Happy Fall, ya’ll! It is a good day for coffee. I was so excited to see the extended forecast on the news after my run this morning. We are supposed to have some morning temps in the 60s in the coming days! Oh happy day. Hey, it beats the oppressive heat as of late. I will just endure these next few hot days until that happens.

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8.5 miles done. I have a shorter run also scheduled this evening in the shade. Double run days are the absolute best. I see a glass of wine in my future this evening. Hashtag earned it.

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So since fall is upon us and the cooler weather is right around the corner let’s chat about some items on my bucket list this time around. Can’t wait to check ‘em all off the list!

Make some sort of delicious pumpkin item. I need to rack up all of the pumpkin recipes I can find. Recipes welcome.

Drink autumn flavored coffee. Which I actually did this morning. The autumn blend at Java Me Up is absolutely divine. Forget what you heard about the PSL. I’m all about supporting local.

Go to the State Fair of Texas. Best time of year hands down. Opening day is next weekend so you know where I will be!

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Go to a pumpkin patch. We have a ton of ‘em around here and I will need to pick out a pumpkin to do some carving.

Do some tailgating. Friends and football is always an excellent combination.

Run a festive fall themed race. The Pumpkin Spice 15k is actually my favorite. They have the best race swag and last year you got a pumpkin pie if you placed in your age group. I have my eye on the prize.

Make some spiked apple cider. I have this recipe in mind. Sounds wonderful.

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What is on your fall bucket list this year?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Well hello there! I have a spinning workout playlist for you to move and groove to today! But first I must talk about this morning’s run. Check out the colors in the sky. It was a little less humid too which I am thankful for. Either that or I’m so used to this torture heat and humidity that I almost don’t even notice it anymore. Ha.

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Without further ado here are this week’s songs! Let’s go for a ride!

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Check out my schedule to see where I’ll be teaching next here.

Money Maker- Throttle feat Lunchmoney Lewis: Warm up
Don’t Stop the Party- Pitbull: Jumps
Do What it Do- OG Marco & TWRK: Accelerations
Let’s Go- Will.i.am: Rolling hills
Back to Back- Drake: Climb 5/6/7
Gone- Afrojack: 6/7/8
Higher- Jauz & Netsky: Tapbacks
Let Me Love You- DJ Snake feat Justin Bieber: Seated/standing run
Work- Missy Elliot feat Ciara: Sprints
My Way- Calvin Harris: Active recovery
Do What U Want: Lady Gaga feat R. Kelly: Climb 7/8/9
Down in the DM (Remix)- Yo Gotti feat Nicki Minaj: Climb 8/9/10
Sensual Seduction- Snoop Dogg: Jumps
Too Good- Drake feat Rihanna: Rolling hills
Can’t Believe It (Figgy Remix)- T Pain: Cool down

Tell me something random about your day…anything at all!
Runners, what are you doing to cross train this week?
Strength training, teaching spin class, a little yoga in my living room.

5 Ways to Enjoy a Solo 20 Mile Run.

I was able to get in 8 miles just before 7 am this morning with a few speedy strides thrown in. It is so crazy to me how fall is a few days away yet we are still dealing with 90 degree temps down in Texas! I simply cannot wait for it to cool off. Soon and very soon. I am more than ready.

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So I was thinking about my 20 miler this past weekend and how good it felt to get most of this run done solo. I actually prefer to do these longer runs with friends because time goes by waay faster but I believe that there are a few things you can do to pass the time if you do 20+ mile runs solo. I mean, you are out there for more than a couple of hours so the more distractions, the better. Am I right?

1. Download a great runner podcast. Right now I recommend this one and this one. I am telling you, you will truly feel like you are running with friends and at the same time get a wealth of information (and even some laughs)

2. Break up the run in your head. It sure does make it seem more realistic if you think of 20 miles as 2 ten mile runs (or maybe four 5 milers?) Once I get past the half marathon point things get real interesting. But then I just start counting down once I hit 15 miles and things start flying by.

3. Sing along to some music (in between breaths of course). Yes, sometimes you do get loopy after running for hours by yourself so singing is a nice distraction and way to make the miles happy.

4. Find a new scenic place to run your 20 miles. It definitely helps to change up your route a bit and pick somewhere new so you can have something beautiful to look at along the way.

5. Take this time running by yourself to work some things out in your head. I tell you what running 20 miles you can do some of the best brainstorming ever. Moving meditation is my favorite.

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What are some ways you mentally and/or physically get through a 20 mile solo run?

20 Miles, Grapefest Fun and Wknd Recap.

Happy Monday…hope your weekend was all of that and then some. Let’s do a quick recap, shall we?

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Saturday started off in a grand fashion with a lovely 20.1 mile run. I took it fairly easy for most of these miles…it felt so good to get out there, pound the pavement and think some things through in my head. Sometimes a long run is all you need to come up with solutions for issues in your life. It’s like a moving mediation of sorts.

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Later on I celebrated with a trip to Grapefest with my bestie Natalie. This is hands down one of my favorite festivals that I go to all year! Yes, I am a vino girl at heart. We got to sample all of the Texas wines and some delicious food as well.

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We celebrated all night long and of course I slept in before doing a quick recovery run out on the trails. Check out this gorgeous view.

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I ended the weekend watching a little football, eating some BBQ and resting. And hello, check this out. 71 miles total last week. I am so proud of the strides I’m making with my weekly mileage. My body feels pretty good too and I’m ready to knock these next few weeks of training out leading to 26.2 number 21 in October.

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How was your weekend? Did you attend any festivals or do anything exciting?

TGIFriday Faves.

Hi there! Happy Friday to you! This post will be rather short as I am more than ready for this weekend! I’m kind of physically here but mentally my brain is already in weekend mode. Do you feel me? I know someone feels me out there.

So without further ado let’s get into this week’s faves!

-My fly new running kicks. I’m absolutely in love with any and all things Newton.

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A poetic tribute to early run risers. This was definitely written for me.

The running forum on Reddit. I am just saying, it’s nice to know you are not alone sometimes in this running journey.

6 runner friendly foods available at Trader Joe’s. Yes to chia seeds and coconut water is the best post run refreshment.

This song. It has been on repeat this week. So catchy.

Have a great weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Anything fall festivals coming up in your area?
Grapefest is this weekend and the State Fair of Texas is oh so soon!