Vermont City Training Week 2 Recap 

I just wrapped up Week 2 of training for Vermont city and my legs are back!! As you may know I took a solid week off after my race and then I slowly tried to ease back in with every other day running and only 3-5 miles each time for the next week. Then I did a reverse taper and added more mileage back but still kept the miles easy because my legs were feeling it. Now I am feeling awesome I am glad I took that time to listen to my body. I normally would take more time off but with Vermont City in May I want to keep my fitness up. Anyway here is my recap of the week! 

Monday: Rest day and GIrls on the Run! 


Tuesday; 4.4 easy miles and 4 min plank 


Wednesday: 7 mile tempo- 2×2 miles at (6:54, 7:00) and (7:26, 7:21) one had the wind at my back the other at my front, can you guess? Haha I also have a 2 mile walk with lyla.


Thursday: 3 easy miles and Girls on the Run 1.35 easy 


Friday: Rest day and 2 mile walk with lyla


Saturday: TRX and 3 miles easy and strength routine 


Sunday: 10 mile tempo – over under workout with one mile at 10k pace 7:00 and the next at about ten seconds under marathon pace 7:25. Actual paces were 6:57, 7:16, 6:56, 7:06, 7:01, 7:17. 


Week total: 29.4

2017 total: 486.45

-Jules 

My Post Run Strength Routine

After years of running, I have realized my weak areas both physically and mentally. Today I will cover some of my physical weaknesses, specifically my abs, glutes and hamstrings and the exercises I do to strengthen them. On days that I run I aim to do these exercises right after or if that isn’t possible just at some point during the day. 

Plank Routine: 

I start in a normal forearm plank. For this Routine I switch plank positions but never drop. I mix it up each time and just see how long I can go without dropping. A few specific plank positions I do are below. 

Standard forearm plank – generally I hold for  60 seconds before moving to next exercise 


Rocking forward and backward – 30 seconds 


Hip dips side to side – 60 seconds 


Alternating dropping a knee to the ground – 60 seconds 


Side plank with hip raise -30 seconds 


Side plank holding leg up – favorite!! – 20 seconds 


Back to center and hold to the end 


Hip/Glute/Hamstring Routine 

Fire hydrants – 15 each side then break then repeat 


Grab a resistance band for the following exercises!! 

Side leg raises- 20 each side x 2 


Now kick your leg back – 20 each side x 2


Squat and side shuffle- across a room and back x 2


Wide leg walk- across a room and back x 2

One legged deadlift with weight – 10 each leg x 2


Grab a ball to finish up the Routine by making the hamstrings burn. These final moves help me a ton!! I used to have a week hamstring and now I fee stronger than ever and have remained injury free through marathon training!

Starting position 


Pull your knees in slowly and then return to the starting position- 10 times x 2 (can slowly build this number up) 

Now dig your heals in and push your hips up and lower back down – 10 times x 2 

Now get rid of the ball, glue your feet and thighs together and do full range bridges -20 x 2 

I learned this move today! Cross one leg over and do single leg bridges- 15 each leg x 2

Grab the band again, put it on your things, take your stance wider than hip distance apart and hold for 3 minutes! 


Then do the wave with your hip from side to side – 1-2 minutes more 


And now you have finished my post run strength routine! Hopefully you are feeling stronger than ever. These are my go to moves for my weak areas but I am also always trying new moves and seeing if they work for me! 

My favorite stretch to finish with is the pidgeon stretch – great for runners!! Maybe next time I will share my go to stretches 🙂 

Happy Saturday!! 

-Jules 

My Excuses to Skip a Workout and How I Defeat them

We all have excuses for things, for why we didn’t do homework in school, for why we can’t hang out on a Friday night, for why we can’t go to the gym, for why we showed up late to work. It’s reality and just like with all of these examples, I have a ton of excuses I use for why I can’t run. However, over my years of running I have found ways to overcome them, mental tricks, let’s call them. Really I just ask myself if I want that PR and if I am willing to work for it, that gets me tying my shoes! 

Let’s start with my excuses. 

  1. I am too busy. This one we and I need to stop making, staying healthy and exercising should be a priority in our lives! Do you make time for your tv shows? I sure do! Well why not watch those shows on the treadmill at the gym or listen to those podcasts while you run. 
  2. It’s too dark out. I always used to use this and then my friends and boyfriend decked me out in reflective gear and lights so that excuse went out the door and I had to search for more. 
  3. It’s raining out. I hate the rain and running in it. If it starts raining mid run I am okay but I can’t get out the door when it is currently raining out. However you can take it to the treadmill or wear a hat and rain coat, sometime it can be fun and we just have to convince ourselves to try it. 
  4. I have no clean socks. Wear dirty socks, come on that will fix it. Or better yet do your laundry! I am terrible at this, even ask my parents whenever I come home I come bearing all my laundry… sorry Mom and dad!
  5. The workout is too hard/ I won’t hit the paces. This is a mental problem, we need to believe we can or we head into the workout already expecting to fail. Even if the paces seem impossible to me, I go in and tell myself to try to hit one mile at that pace and go from there, or hit some fraction of the workout at that pace. Usually I hit it or get close and my confidence skyrockets. 
  6. My stomach hurts. This is hard because I have a test my stomach but usually I always convince myself to try a mile and see. If it’s really hurting I go to the gym and try so I don’t get stranded outdoors with severe stomach pain somewhere… it’s probably happened to me. 
  7. I am too hungry. Eat a quick snack pre workout to keep you going! What I do is I think about the meal I am going to have and say I can only have it after my workout, that really gets me to put my workout clothes on and head out. I run for food:)
  8. I am too tired. I find that working out gives me energy even if I go into it feeling tired. For example I run quite frequently in the morning right after waking up. In the beginning I am always sluggish but by the end I am awake and ready to go and feeling awesome. 
  9. I don’t want to go alone. Find a friend or a dog to accompany you. Join a weekly running group! There are so many options but if all those fail I listen to podcasts like I’ll have Another with Lindsey Hein or The Ali on the Run Show and then I feel like I am running with friends! 
  10. Long runs are boring. Find ways to mix it up. Grab a running buddy, grab a dog to run with! Listen to a podcast or a book on tape or make a new playlist. Come up with a new running route or a new workout so that it isn’t all the same pace. 
  11. I should play with my dog instead. Bring your dog on the run or maybe a cool down walk, they will love you more for that! I always have guilt about leaving my pup behind but pretty soon I can start upping her mileage.
  12. I should catch up on work. There is always more to do, I have learned that, but ask yourself can it wait? Can it be done after my run or tomorrow morning? If yes, head out the door! 
  13. I have no motivation. This probably requires you to mix it up. You can even take a break from running and try a new activity. Or you can try a new route, grab a buddy and try that fun new run idea you saw on someone’s instagram! 
  14. I am stressed. This shouldn’t be an excuse but I use it, even though I know running ALWAYS makes me feel better and relaxed! 

First, I want you to know at least once in my life I have used all of these to skip a workout. Hey probably once a day I still say one but normally I get out the door anyway. Overall what keeps me the most consistent is having a target race I am training for with some sort of goal because that holds me accountable. Different things work for different people, some need a workout group or buddy and that keeps them going. Find what works for you! 

I can use about four of these excuses in one day! Sometimes I wake up and say it’s too dark, I won’t hit those paces in the dark and I am too tired, I will run at lunch. Then I end up working through lunch because I am too busy. Then I get home and am too hungry, but ultimately I ask myself how bad do I want it. How bad do I want to BQ or PR?  That gets me out the door! 

A couple other things that help me. 

  1. Laying out my clothes the night before if I am planning a morning run.
  2. Packing my gym bag if I plan to go during lunch or after work. 
  3. Reviewing my workout the night before and picture myself kicking ass doing it.
  4. Set five million alarms minutes apart to ensure I get my a$$ out of bed in the morning! 

Now I have to go do all of those for tomorrow:) 

-Jules 


Tuesday’s Thoughts: Slowing Down

At first glance you might think this post is about slowing down with running. Although I am a firm believer in slow running and it’s benefits, that is for another day. This post is actually about taking the time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. It is so easy to get swept up in to do lists inside and outside work and let them consume you. I have an issue with this, I always want to be crossing things off my list. My runs are even there, at the top 🙂 


Every morning to start my day I prioritize what I will get done. This sounds like a good start, it is but it gets excessive. By the end of the day I have too many things added to my list that I am at the point of being overwhelmed. Now all these don’t have to be done today but by adding them to my “To Do Today” list I add unnecessary stress to myself and I feel unaccomplished. I need to celebrate the little accomplishments along the way, this is the same with running. Don’t expect to win races when you just start racing, set big goals and smaller ones along the way and celebrate them all! 

Anyway, back to the to do lists. Yesterday I noticed how I really plan my day out to a T. To the point that I don’t take time to really be in the moment and enjoy things. I am hyper focused on finishing the next task. 

For example, yesterday I had work and Girls on the Run. I had to leave work early for it so I tried to be really productive and get an early start for work. Luckily it was also a rest day so I didn’t have to cram in running. I got to work and started doing as much as I could. Around eleven my boss gave me a new project to finish ideally before Girls on the Run. Notmally it would have been no problem but there was a small almost unnoticeable problem with the file that prevented me from finishing. I looked through the file over and over and could not find anything wrong. I didn’t even get to touch the rest of my to do list and I had in my mind accomplished nothing, but the clock hit 2:45 and I knew I had to leave to make the practice. I left feeling disheveled and discombobulated as well as discouraged. How was I going to manage work, volunteering, my dog, running and having a life?


I walked into the school, saw my fellow coaches, let them know I was all over the place but trying to turn my brain off work mode and they immediately could relate. They said once you are here it gets better, getting here is the hard part. She was completely right. Once the girls arrived we had so much fun, as always, and watching them have fun made me realize how I can’t think about work when I am there. I have to just think about the program and how I will remember this experience, I won’t remember the spreadsheets that caused me stress at work. 


After this revelation, I decided I need Girls on the Run probably more than they need me. I need that time to separate from work and my crazy to do lists and the huge expectations I put on myself to do it all, and just be in the moment, have fun, smile, laugh. 

Then I thought about other ways I will slow down in life. 

  1. Take my lunch break at work and give myself time to eat with a coworker, read or just have time to myself.
  2. Take my dog for more walks and really take in my surroundings. 
  3. Try to meditate or do yoga for even 10-15 minutes a day

These don’t seem drastic, they aren’t but I think it will decrease my stress and help me feel like I have more time to really enjoy life and realize how great life is. Stay tuned to see how it goes! 


Thanks for listening to my tangents 🙂 

-Jules 

Vermont Marathon Week 1 Training Recap

I am going to call this past week my first week of “training” for the Vermont City Marathon. I have no goals for this race besides slowly building back up my fitness for Chicago. I am going to pace my sister. It is her first marathon ever and we are twins, so I want to help her any way I can. That is why I signed up even though it is pretty darn close to Napa so I am not trying to break any personal records here, just cross the finish line next to my sister with a smile on my face. So with that said, here is my week Recap. 

Monday: Rest day, lots of donuts! 


Tuesday: Easy five mile run with Megan before the blizzard. 9 days post marathon, still felt sluggish. 


Wednesday: Rest again! Woohoo! 


Thursday: 5 easy miles with Megan again before she left to go back to Vermont. I also had my first Girls on the Run today!!


Friday: 6.25 easy miles after work, 9:15 avg and 12 days post marathon. 


Saturday: cross country skiing with Greg, getting my planks started up again. I fell off the bandwagon so now getting to 2 minutes feels impossible but I have to start somewhere.


This photo is from the underarmour women campaign, check it out on their instagram I love the message. #ImPretty 

Sunday: 10 easy miles 9:20 avg, pace was comfortable. 4:30 minute plank and then hamstring/glute exercises (bridges, band workout, ball workout, one leg dead lifts) 


Total for the week= 26 miles woo!!

Total for 2017= 457.05

I will leave you with the pure enjoyment on my puppies face, shouldn’t we all strive to be this happy? Also it’s a stick that made her this content, I think that should tell us something… Ponder that 🙂 


-Jules 

#RunWithJules 

Past Running Mistakes 

With social media these days it’s easy to talk about only the good things and disguise your life or your training to look perfect. Let’s be honest, we all have some runs that are downright terrible. We all make mistakes in races and running from time to time. We shouldn’t be leaving those out because that is what makes us into the runner we are today! Mistakes help us learn and improve going forward. I still make mistakes, so I wanted to share some from the past with you. 

  1. Always running the same pace. This was a problem for me last year during my marathon training. I always tried to run 8 minute miles for every run, I had a few harder runs but everything else was 8 minute miles regardless of if that felt impossible for me that day. You need variation to avoid overtraining and also easy runs to let your body recover. 
  2. Not believing In yourself. Up until the fall of 2016 I never thought I could run fast, because of that I was holding myself back mentally. When I ran a 5k at my work I realized, I am a decent runner and since then my racing and training has completely changed. 
  3. Comparing yourself to others. This was a hard one for me especially growing up as a twin when you are constantly compared. It’s easy to reach a goal you were striving for and then look on social media and feel inadequate. It’s hard but you have to find ways to celebrate your accomplishments and victories and know that they are amazing because you are on your journey and it shouldn’t be compared to someone else’s! 
  4. Doubting your training on race day. My first ever marathon, I thought I knew what I was doing. I sat on the bus for the start and heard all of these intense runners talk about their training and what they gave up for this race. Wine, all sugar, going out, gluten, the list goes on. I sat there and immediately doubted myself. I clearly didn’t train properly how was I going to make it to the end of the race. What works for others does not always work for you, stay within yourself on race day and trust what you were able to do. 
  5. Eating poorly. This was eye opening for me when my marathon training appetite first hit me in 2015. I thought I could eat anything. Obviously your body needs to recover and needs nourishment but not what I was putting into my body. Running a 20 mile training run doesn’t mean I should refuel with just dessert. I was also on the habit of just eating pasta with no protein. I was stuck in my college habits. Eating food like fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, chicken and fish, yogurt improved my training immensely this time around. 
  6. Failing to practice fueling. This is huge for me. I didn’t even practice before my most recent race. I have a really sensitive stomach so normally I wake up and run regardless of how far without eating or drinking. I just get up and go and have never had a problem with it. I also don’t eat or drink while I am out running. This would be different in the summer but winter is easier, you don’t feel as dehydrated. Come race day I started to freak out, I knew I had to take something to avoid bonking. I ended up eating maple sugar candies every six miles and drinking a sip of water at every aid station which was every two miles. Going forward I am really going to practice this one. 
  7. Going out too fast. I have done this so many times I can’t even mention them all. The excitement of race day gets to you and you want to go out as fast as you can and finish with your best time. With shorter races this method could work for you, but as the race distance gets longer it’s more likely that the second half of the race will be a painful struggle. My first couple of marathons I did not have a gps watch so I had no concept of time and I would go out flying, my watch has now allowed me to run a smarter race! 
  8. Not focusing on strengthening your weak points. I know that I need to do a lot of core, hamstring and glute exercises to avoid injury, but I know this because of experience. My first three marathons all I did was run and I made no time for planks, squats or even foam rolling and always ended up injured. Even just adding 10-15 minutes after your runs will make a huge difference! 
  9. Running incorrect paces for you. It’s easy to want to run a pace because someone else is but is that pace right for you? Your easy, moderate and hard paces should be based on your current fitness not someone else’s. Now when I train I try to focus on doing easy runs with friends and other runs alone because I don’t want to worry about one of us running the wrong pace and hurting our training. We can both go out at a comfortable conversational pace and enjoy our time. In the past I ran with some groups that were too fast for me so every run turned into a hard run and soon I was hating running. I thought it would get easier and it never did. 
  10. Being half dedicated to the sport. This was my downfall in high school. I showed promise in running but was never truly devoted to it, soccer was always my sport. However through bad coaches and not great experiences I fell out of love with soccer and now truly wish I had been able to really see what I was capable of in high school running. I think for a lot of people this is the case with running, it’s a form of punishment for other sports so we don’t truly appreciate it until after college or high school. Now that I am 100% dedicated to running and doing what I can to reach my goals, I have been seeing the most success. 
  11. Training without a purpose. This one is personal, some people do amazing keeping up with running even if they have nothing to train for. I don’t. I fall out of my routine and struggle to get back. Even if I sign up for a race that is a year away it will prevent me from falling into that rut and I will make specific workouts for the race. I will run with a purpose.
  12. Being too afraid to find a coach. I didn’t think I needed a coach I thought I could do it all on my own. I realized that it is so much easier to stay motivated when your workouts are coming from someone else. I am much less likely to put them off or switch them to something easier or make excuses. I also learned SO much about running and training after signing up with a coach. I highly recommend it if you are in a rut or striving for a big goal that you want to make sure you put the right training into. 
  13. Not taking rest days when they are needed. My motivation and perseverance for running can also be my downfall. It is so hard for me to stray from training regardless of what my body says to me. I could have the flu and will want to still run, but that is clearly going to hurt me more than help me. This is one I still have to work on day in and day out. 
  14. Being unaware of how a course is measured. We all have those aggravating moments where we cross the finish line and our watch says 13.25 or 26.4 and wonder why on early the people measured the course wrong. Most likely it was you, not them. Especially if you are running on a curvy course it is good to know that it is the Shortest Possible Route. You want to run the shortest distance from point a to b, this means cutting tangents. Before knowing this I always just followed the curve of the road and went along until I realized my watch would be off from the mile markers and I would blame it on the race. 
  15. NOT ENJOYING IT. You want to run because you love it and because you can. If you start hating it, it’s time to mix it up, take a break, or find something else you truly love. Everyone has days they don’t enjoy running but ultimately they run because they love it. It doesn’t feel like a task, running gives them something. For me running keeps me passionate and motivated. It clears my head and destresses me. I can’t imagine my life without it. If you asked me how I felt about biking I wouldn’t be able to say this.

I am sure there are so many more mistakes I have made that I will think of after this post, but I want you all to know I am not perfect. I will continue to make mistakes in training and racing but they will mold me into hopefully a better runner! My instagram may seem like my training and racing goes perfectly and I don’t struggle at all, but that is not the case!! Sometimes I can’t even get myself out the door 🙂 

When I have a moment and realize I am not enjoying running as much I try to sign up for a race with a friend or family member. That usually helps me find the fun in running again, as you can see from the seacoast half marathon in 2015! 


Happy Saturday! 

-Jules 

#RunWithJules 

Friday Reflections

Running goals come easy to me. Not accomplishing them but setting them. I am always striving to be better, striving to challenge myself and striving to set new limits for myself. I used to tell myself that feeling passionate in running was enough to translate into the rest of my life, but is it?

I feel like in my career I have been playing it safe. I haven’t found my niche yet or what I am truly passionate about but I don’t hate what I do. I love the people and I am pretty good at what I do, but lately I have been thinking about a new challenge for myself. Challenge: Approach my career the way I approach running. 

This could mean setting new goals in my current role and finding ways to continually motivate myself to do the best I can. Or this could mean taking risks, trying new things and finding what really makes me feel alive. I know that I want to be a coach but i have been hesitant to actually take a leap and dive in. However, I don’t want to live my life afraid, I want to take on my challenges first hand. So this year I plan on doing it, what is the worst thing that could happen, it doesn’t work out? Well at least I tried! 

It took me a while to figure out road race distances I like, to be honest I like them all. However, I think the marathon is one of my strongest. My soccer coach in high school used to say he would play me because he knew I would just keep running the whole game if I had to, and it’s true I have always had endurance. The longer the race the better. Still it took me years to really get competitive and want to see what I could do. Honestly it wasn’t until late 2016. Before that I just ran but didn’t have a method to my madness. I didn’t train or race with purpose. That is kind of how my career is currently. Although now I can’t stop striving for more in running and next I hope I can translate that to my career. 

 

Besides those thoughts that have been with me all week, a few Friday flashbacks. 

I had the best donuts ever this week from the Holy Donut in Portland Maine.


My favorite flavors dark chocolate sea salt and dark chocolate coconut!! 

 

My sister also visited this week so it was way better than my standard week. 


I also had my first girls on the run practice and it was so much fun!!! 

So although I am struggling to find the career path I desire, there are always things to be thankful for 🙂 

– Jules