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  • Thank you Iron Girl!

    Disclosure: I received a comp'd entrance fee to run the Iron Girl 1/2 marathon in exchange for this post.

    For the past four months I've been training to run the Iron Girl 1/2 marathon in Clearwater.  I've been thinking about running this particular race ever since I drove to Clearwater last year to meet up with some friends.  A lot of hard work and sacrifice went into running this race.  Knowing that we would be running up and down the Clearwater Bridge and the Sand Key Bridge twice was my biggest fear.


    The last two weeks before the race were the hardest for me.  While running one morning, I felt a sting on my achilles.  I was terrified this would keep me from my goal of completing my second 1/2 marathon.  This meant that instead of 3 scheduled runs per week, I would take it easy and only run/walk once a week.  As a runner, this was the toughest thing to do.  Knowing you have a race coming up and staying off running was maddening.  But, boy am I glad I did!



    I was able to meet up with some of my running friends (Beth, Caroline and Tori) before the race.  I looked everywhere for "Aunt Nanci" because I knew starting with her would help me overcome that first bridge.  And overcome it I did.  Thanks Nanci!


    After almost 2 1/2 hours I crossed the finished line.  After all my races, I've always had a family member waiting for me at the finish line.  Not this time.  This time, I drove there alone but I did not finish alone.  As we were coming down the Clearwater bridge to reach the finish line, people were lined up with signs cheering us on to the finish.  Those people who I don't know and will probably never see again were my family for that morning.  Thank you for cheering us on even as our own minds were failing us.


    After the finish line, I bumped into some more running friends Beka and Genna.  If you are ready for a beautiful and sometimes challenging course, then the Iron Girl Clearwater might be for you.  The bridges are not easy, I'm not going to sugar coat it, but the view from up there is amazing.  I was able to "run" up them the first time around, but the second time back I ended up walking up and running down.  The course had plenty of water/gatorade stops through out the course at what felt like almost every other mile.  They also handed out powergels and my favorite: Girl Scout cookies!  That was an unexpected treat.

    Overall, my favorite part was the spectators.  Those strangers who put their hands out for a high five as I was on my way back knowing I still had 7 miles to go.  That guy who was handing out gardenias.  The little kids who were handing out water cups and Girl Scout cookies.  Thank you!



  • February Training Recap and Xtrain Cathe DVD review

    Another month done in preparation for Athleta Iron Girl's half marathon in April.  February started with big plans of multiple running days and completion of the Nike+ training xbox video game.  As the month went on, I kept on my Nike+ strength training, but my plans of running 3 times a week did not happen.  I was able to run once a week for 4 miles, until the last week in February I finally made it running twice.  Yay to determination!


    nike+ running Running completed in February

    I ended up making it to the YMCA to run hill intervals on their treadmills.  I figured if I'm going to run on the bridges to Clearwater beach, some hill running training will be necessary.  In addition, I was finally able to run longer than 4 miles.  and finished a 6 mile run with an average 10 minute pace!  I was pretty happy for the accomplishment and I'm definitively ready to increase my miles in March.

    Woohoo! 4 weeks completed on Nike+ Training Woohoo! 4 weeks completed on Nike+ Training

    February was also special because I completed my first 4-week program on the Nike+ training xbox video game.  I was able to complete two workouts per week.  Shocking!  I found myself really looking forward to these workout sessions because it is so much like playing a game.

    photo (56) Nike+ Training Fitness Test

    At the end of the program, there was a fitness test to measure improvements in Athleticism and Fitness level.  I somehow managed to lower my fitness level by a few points, but I increased my athleticism by another few points.  Oh well.  No worries.  I enjoyed it very much and am still pretty proud of the results.


    Cathe XTrain DVD Cathe XTrain DVD

    During February I also received a copy of Cathe's Xtrain All Out Low Impact HIIT DVD through the FitFluential Ambassador program.  The DVD includes three workout sections: interval training, step work out and gliding disc.

    Bonus Core Session Bonus Core Session

    In addition, the DVD also includes three bonus sessions: core, shoulders and chest.  I completed the interval training and was covered in sweat.  While the exercises were low impact, they definitively got my blood pumping.  Cathe's energy was contagious and I appreciated her instructions on good form.  The music in the videos was current, almost club-like music.  Another plus for me.  I enjoyed the core bonus session the most.  I feel as a runner, it is important to work out your core and this 10 minute session did it for me.  I plan on continuing to use this core workout as part of my March 1/2 marathon training plan.  It was that good.


    Disclosure: I received one Cathe's Xtrain DVD for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC.


  • Half Marathon Training IronGirl

    IronGirl-Athleta-ES-Full-Spot (1)

    On January 17, 2013, I passively set a goal to run the Iron Girl half marathon in Clearwater this April.  I say "passively" because December through April is our busy season at the market.  We work 6 days a week and our workday sometimes doesn't end when we leave the market.  Many nights I find myself discussing work at home too.  I decided this year would be different.  With my husband and family's support, I planned on running at least twice a week in preparation for the IronGirl half marathon.  Setting up a half marathon training schedule during our busiest part of the year would have to be flexible.


    January Training Schedule January Training Schedule

    It's funny how once you make up your mind to do something, all the pieces "magically" start falling together.  Before I knew it, a bunch of my blogger friends were also about to start their half marathon training for this event.  My approach to half marathon training is you have to be flexible.  It's okay to switch days.  There's no need to be so rigid to the point where working out is no longer fun.  As you can see, there were many changes in my training schedule in January.  Some days, I just didn't have it in me to go for a run/workout.  And that's ok because the following day/week I picked it back up.  Don't be discouraged.  I'm a firm believer that it is ok to miss a workout as long as you know you are going to make it up.


    Nike Kinect Training Fuel Print Assessment Nike Kinect Training Fuel Print Assessment

    Half way through the month of January, my husband surprised me with the Nike Kinect Training game for the Xbox.  In case you didn't know, I'm a big fan of the Nike "tracking gadgets".  My love of Nike+ began  several years ago with a first generation ipod and the Nike+ shoe insert.  Luckily, I got a new ipod this year for Christmas!  Yes, I wear my garmin when I run, which I love, don't get me wrong.  However, when it comes to analyzing my running progress I just love the Nike+ dashboard.  Having 3 years + of running data available at my fingertips allows me to see how far I've come.


    Nike Kinect Strength Training Nike Kinect Strength Training

    With the Nike Kinect Training game, I've been able to set up a strength training workout routine tailored just for me based on my fitness level.  I have to say I almost cried when I saw the results of my fitness test.  I really was not expecting to have such an awesome score.  By far the best thing about the Nike Kinect Training game is that I can do it right in my living room.  I just completed week 2 of the program and I must say it has been fun.  You have your choice to pick your training either male or female.  I picked Marie Purvis, a Nike Master Trainer, and the workouts have been intense.  If you don't have an Xbox, you can try the Nike Training Club app which is also very effective.


    Half Marathon Training for January Half Marathon Training Completed for January

    As for my half marathon training schedule, I will now be following the Nike Running Race Coach Half Marathon Training schedule with Coach Purvis.  It's a 12 week program with 2 to 3 days of runs, 3 workout days and 1 rest day.  As always, I'll be making my modifications.  My half marathon training schedule will probably be more like 3 days running, 2 workout days and 2 rest days.  The Nike Running Race Coach Facebook page also has a 5k, 10k and full marathon training available.  If you are interested in participating in the Iron Girl Clearwater 5 k or 1/2 marathon, you still have time to register!  Click here for a link to register and use code TBBLOGGERS13 for a 10% off discount before February 28th.  You can also follow Iron Girl on Facebook for more information!


    How do you keep motivated?

    Have you signed up for any races this year?





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