Your Running What?


Word of the Week

Fartleks –

Because it’s fun to say, but maybe that is only because I’m a mother of three boys.    Now I realize it’s something fun to say, but it is also something fun to run.    Although truth be told, sometimes I get so caught up am I hitting my pace I loose some of the fun.   Not today.   Not with fartleks.

So what exactly is a fartlek you ask because I know that I did!


Track & Field
noun: fartlek
  1. a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are continually varied to eliminate boredom and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.
It sounds like some made up word to make non runners feel stupid.   Then I realized that the reason it was such a silly word is because it is from Sweden and it means “speed play” in Swedish.    It was developed in 1937 for a Swedish cross country team that was in need of both speed and endurance training.   So their coach, Gosta Holmer came up with the good ole fartlek.  I’m guessing it worked for them as all these years later we are still doing them.
Now I feel bad for thinking that it was a made up word.   Then again, what do I know?   Not much, but I do like to learn:)
So I’ve done them a few times.   Well actually twice now, but I think I enjoyed today more than the first time I did them.   The first time, I was more concerned if I was doing them right or not.   Then I found out that I was way overthinking it.    I sometimes do that.   Today, I followed the advice of my coach.   She told me to “throw some faster bits in for fun” up, down, fast, medium and just have fun with it.   So I tried to do just that.
You know what, I think I did have some fun with it.
Was it challenging?
You bet!
Did I have fun with it?
my last one was the best!
For 10 seconds I could fly hitting 6:08.
Now I could NEVER maintain that speed,
but that is the beauty of the fartlek.
I’m not supposed to.
I’m supposed to just enjoy my little legs moving as fast as they could.
On top of that, I didn’t feel like I was going to die!
Although I was happy to resume my normal pace to finish the run.
Running a fartlek is kind of like running like Pheobe from friends.
Running like a kid, just to run.
Do you Fartlek?


Word of the Week – Mile

Definition of MILE

1.  any of various units of distance: as

2.  a race of a mile
3. a relatively great distance, degree, or interval —used chiefly adverbially in plural <was miles ahead of them in education>
Yes, a mile is a physical distance.
Yes, we often ask other runners, “How many miles did you do?”
Yes, sometimes one mile can feel like a never ending distance.
Yes, sometimes we get caught up in the numbers of them.
yes, some people can run an amazingly fast mile leaving the rest of us in the dust.
As one of my favorite and oh so truthful saying goes….


I will never see the day where I come remotely close to a 6 minute mile, but I can still run a mile.   I can actually run a lot of miles now.    Although when I first started, I couldn’t even run a half a mile.   Truth be told, I probably couldn’t run a quarter of a mile.    Now my normal runs average about 4-5 miles and the mileage is only going to go up as I begin marathon training.  What I once thought was impossible to do, I do on a regular basis.   I am not saying this to toot my own horn (toot, toot), but to encourage you  to push yourself to do what you think might be impossible.   Little by little.   Day by day.   Chip away at the things holding you back and you will be amazed at how far you can go!
Don’t forget that each mile good or bad is a blessing.
Enjoy the air in your lungs, the sound of your feet on the pavement, and enjoy the view.
Us runners are a lucky group:)
What is holding you back?

Word of the Week – Badass

If you’ve been around running for a bit, I’m sure that you’ve either heard the word of even used it yourself.


I think on any given day, any of us can be a badass.    I know that there are various degrees of being a badass, but that does not take away from yours on any given day either.    We need to just recognize this trait in others, but also in ourselves.   We need to take pride in what we do.   A lot of the time instead of embrassing it, we do the opposite.   We talk it down.

Oh, it was just a 5K

I only ran a mile.

I came in last

I came in the middle.

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Yes, there are people that we know that doing amazing things.   Things that we can’t even imagine doing.   Things that we may never even want to do.   That’s ok too.

We need to embrace what we are doing and take pride in it.   Now I don’t mean that we should go to the opposite extreme and think we are the best thing since sliced bread which we can all admit is awesome.   We just need to recognize that we may not be the fastest, strongest, or go the farthest; but that doesn’t take away from what we are doing.

On the best of days, running is hard.   Getting out the door is hard, but we get it done when we need to.

That is enough:)

Are you a BAMR?

Word of the Day

Definition of MARATHON

1:  a footrace run on an open course usually of 26 miles 385 yards (42.2 kilometers); broadly :  a long-distance race

2a :  an endurance contest

b :  something (as an event, activity, or session) characterized by great length or concentrated effort
My mother like many non runners does not know the distance of a marathon.  She’s getting better.   When I first started running, she called all my races marathons and would tell everyone that her daughter was a marathon runner.   It used to make me feel like a fraud until I actually ran one.  Now she can say it.   She’s learning now and asks how far I’m running.  If your a runner, you know that a marathon is 26.2 miles, but you also know that it is so much more than that.   It is a run that will test your endurance.    It will test your dedication and determination.   It will test your sense of reason and logic.   It is so much more than miles.
So Much More!
I have only ever completed one marathon, The Philly Gortex, and crossing the finish line was an amazing experience made more special by the surprise visit of my mother and sister.    It was a total surprise and I really don’t know if I could have finished without their support as I was thinking of just doing the half instead of the full.   You can read more about Philly in my Hang on Snoopy post.
This was the moment where I went from thinking of giving up, to the moment where I knew that I had to finish.
My Mother’s excitement was contagious and I heard her over the announcer saying, “Half Marathoners finish to the right”  which made me stay to the left.   Running a marathon is more than just putting one foot in front of the other although at some points you must remind yourself to do that.   A marathon is a mental game from start to finish.
It is mental game just with the first thought of signing up and it only gets more intense.
In 2014 according to Marathon Statistics there were 590,145 marathon finishers for races in the U.S. and Canada.
Here are the Statistics from the 10 biggest Marathons again in the U.S. and Canada
When you are in a running group where so many of the Mama’s have run multiple marathons, you start to think that everyone has done one.    Then you realize that is not the case as the numbers don’t lie.   I am happy to see that the Philadelphia Marathon made the top 10 list of largest marathon finishers and happy to be in that number.   This year I am running the Marine Corps Marathon and in 2016 I hope to run the biggest marathon, the New York City Marathon!
Hmmm, then maybe I should start making travel plans for the other ones:)    Wouldn’t that be nice.   I can dream the dream.   One never knows as the oldest woman marathon finisher just competed a marathon last month at the age of 92!
For now, it is nice to know that I’ve completed one, am training for my second, and will run the ultimate marathon in 2016.
  One marathon at a time:)
Have you ever run a marathon?
Is it on your bucket list?

Word of the Week – Determination


noun de·ter·mi·na·tion \di-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən\

: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult

: the act of finding out or calculating something

: the act of officially deciding something

Many things in life do not come easy.   Yes, there are those few people who seem to achieve all their goals with minimal work, but the key word there is “seem.”    Most things in life require work and do not come easy.    When setting your goals it is important to know yourself.   To know what you expect from yourself.  To know what your capable of and dream of what might be out of reach.  I think most importantly though, you must admit to yourself how determined you are to meet those goals.

You have to ask yourself a couple of tough questions:

What am I willing to do to meet my goals?

How much effort do I really want to put into them?

Am I willing to give up anything to get where I want to go?

These questions really pertain to all goals we set in life regardless of weather they are our fitness goals.   Once goals are set then it is time to put in the hard work.   When it comes to our fitness goals, not everyone will understand our drive.   Some may even think we aren’t all there .   Some might unknowingly try to sabotage them by telling us that it’s ok to miss a run, a workout, or what not.

worth it

This is why is really is important to have friends with similar goals.   They understand if you can’t make a breakfast because you’ve got to get your run in.   They will encourage you to skip your shopping trip (unless it’s for new running shoes) to get your workout in.   Yes it is fine to miss an occasional workout or run, but the problem is that it is very easy to go from missing one to missing a week.

That is where determination comes into play.

How determined are you?

How important are your goal?

Determination is the key to meeting your goals.   Determination is what will get you out the door to run when all you want to do is meet friends for coffee.   Determination is what will get you to the finish line.

Now please don’t think that just because I’m determined to meet my goals that is all that I focus on.   It isn’t.   It just causes me to shift my priorities slightly and maybe causes me to go for my run and then stop in for breakfast afterwards.

Not everyone will get your choices and that’s ok.  As long as you make the ones that you are comfortable with.   Your goals are yours and yours alone.  This is why it is key to surround yourself with those people that are just as determined as you.   They understand.   They encourage.  They don’t think your crazy and they understand your determination because they are determined too!

How determined are you?

Wednesday Word of the Week


: to make (something) wider or longer by pulling it

: to become longer or wider when pulled

: to put your arms, legs, etc., in positions that make the muscles long and tight

We all know we are supposed to do it.   We all pretend we do it at least a little.   I’ll let you in on a secret, I am very bad at stretching and I would bet many of you are too.    I go through stages where I try to be better.   Usually if I’m running with other people, I’m better but only if they are a person who stretches.   Then there is the post workout stretches.   I’ve been known to do them while in the shower as time is limited.   Admit it, you’ve done it to.   You go out for a run with limited time, realize that school pick-up or anything else is sooner than you realized.   So you stretch while conditioning your hair.   You do what you have to do.

Then there is the whole debate weather runners should even stretch before heading out the door.   Some say you should.   Some say you shouldn’t.   I’m in the category in between.    I think that each person needs to decide what works for them and their body.   I, personally, think it is more important to warm up before going full speed than it is to stretch. I don’t do  any real stretches before hand unless it is something as simple as hamstring stretch.  I am trying to be better about warming up before a run than stretching before one.   I’ve recently started going out the door at a brisk pace and then do a short warm up with a slower pace.   This may be why professional athletes warm up with a few miles before a race.   So since I’m not a professional athlete and I don’t want to add more miles, I will just continue to warm up the way I do.

As for post race stretching even though I am bad about doing it; I do think it is something that I should be doing more of.  I think that the post run stretches can help alleviate the soreness many of us feel after a long run.    Why wouldn’t it?  We all know that there is nothing better than a good stretch.   So why not do more of them?   I with everything else in life am trying to be better.   I know that if I take a few minutes post run to stretch that maybe I will feel better later and less sore.   With anything else it is getting into the routine of it which I am trying to do.   It will take some time, but I do think it is worth doing.

Some of my favorite post run stretches.


Do you stretch before or after your run?

What is your favorite stretch?

Word of the Week – Pace




  1. Pace is the rate of speed or a single step taken when walking.
    1. An example of pace is when change comes slowly.
    2. An example of pace is one step taken.


  1. To pace is defined as to repeatedly walk the same path over and over or to regulate the progress of something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my pace recently.   Probably because if you remember, I’ve recently had to slow it down.   Not really by my choice and not really because I’m Speedy Gonzales.   It’s just something I was told to do by running coach.  I’m getting better at it and I’ve been spending a chunk of my runs making sure to stay on pace.  I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’ve seen some improvement in just the few runs I’ve done already.

Runner’s spend A LOT of time thinking, talking, and trying to improve our pace.    That being said, very rarely do we try to master our pace (or maybe it’s just me) and usually never spend time trying to slow it down.    It’s always about going faster, faster, faster.   Now it’s about putting on the breaks a bit.   Strange.

Often when talking to another runner and sometimes even a non runner, the question of our pace usually comes up.   What’s your normal pace?   Do you want to run your pace or mine?  I think all our focus on improving our pace sometimes makes us forget that faster isn’t always better.    Also faster is all relative.   What is lightening fast to me, would be a snails pace to a front of the Pack runner.  And what is slow to me is fast to another runner.   We need to remember the story of the Tortoise and the hare to remind ourselves that it’s ok not to run fast all the time.

I’m learning to embrace my inner tortoise.   We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.   We all know that sometimes taking your time is the best way to get to the finish line.   Yet, we all want to be the hare.     We forget that the hare lost the race and that sometimes slow and steady is all that is needed to win the race.
On my now slower runs, I’ve really been thinking about my pace.   I’ve realized that in order to be able to do the things that I want to do with my running that some days I will need to be the tortoise.   I need to do that so that on the days that I will be the hare, I am prepared.   I need to learn to control my pace, so that when I do finally get to the Marine Corps Marathon I will not have negative reverse splits like in Philly.    Although, I kept a steady and decent pace my time per mile kept creeping up and not down.   Case in point, my first mile was 10:06 and my last was 11:16.   I even had a 12:30 at mile 22.    I would like to get control of my pace, so that when I start in DC, I will be the one able to hold it back in the beginning and have the energy to push it at the end.
One of the things that I had an Aha moment about was that I need to control my pace and not let m pace control me.   It is also a good idea to have in your running arsenal.    There will be days, runs, hills, and everything in between that will benefit.   Maybe, just maybe if I get a handle on it, I will be able to see the right kind of splits in DC.   Luckily, I’ve got months to work on it!
Do you control your pace or does your pace control you?

Word of the Week – Commitment


noun com·mit·ment \kə-ˈmit-mənt\

: a promise to do or give something

: a promise to be loyal to someone or something

: the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something


Don’t be fooled by my tutu’s that I’m not committed to my running.   There are those who think that just because I like to have fun and am silly sometimes that I don’t take my running seriously.   They couldn’t be  further from the truth.   Somewhere along the way this recreational fly by the seat of my pants runner became a very committed runner.  I have even stepped away from other types of exercises that I enjoyed (ahem – Crossfit) because it didn’t fit into my running plan right now.     I am committed.

I love the way Meb Keflezighi put in in the book, Meb For Mortals.

“Commitment is a form of risk taking.   That’s another way of saying there’s faith involved in commitment, because you don’t know if you’re going to reach your goal.”

Go Meb!


There is such truth to this.   No one can be 100% sure if they will reach their goals, but they need to take the leap of faith that they can.  Otherwise you will never know.    You must set yourself up for reaching them no matter how big or small.    You must allow yourself the chance to strive for them.   You must set yourself on a coarse to reach them.

I have a friend whose goal is to do a 10K this year and get a medal doing so.

Great Goal!

Attainable Goal!

She is setting herself up on a course to reach this goal by adding miles to her running.   Following a path that will lead her to the finish line.

I have goals this year.

I have set myself on a course to reach them

Some people wonder why I push myself to do the things that I want to do.

Some days I wonder that too.

In all honestly though, what is life without goals?

I’ve made a commitment to reaching those goals.


Tomorrow I’ll let you in on the plan:)

How do you stay committed to your goals?

Word of the Week – Social


adjective so·cial \ˈsō-shəl\

: relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other

: liking to be with and talk to people : happy to be with people

: of or relating to people or society in general


I admit it, before I became a runner this is a word that I never would have equated to running.   I mean, seriously, how can you be social when your trying to figure out how to breath?    Then I became a runner and realized that although an individual sport, it is also a very social one too.    Runners love to talk about races they have run, what they are training for, how their training is going, what is the best running gear, and a whole host of other things too.  Running can be very social if one chooses for it be.   For me, I like the social aspect of it as much as the actual running.   Some days I may even like that part a little more:)

I do believe that Social Media is playing a big part in making running more of a social sport than it used to be.   I’m sure in the 70’s running was a solitary thing.   Yes, I’m sure there were regular running clubs, groups, and events; but just not on the same level we have today.   If you wanted to be part of a group, you had to actively seek one out.   Not so much now.   Google or go on Facebook and look up local running groups and I’m sure that you will get a whole array of groups.   Go to your local running store and they have fliers and information right next to their register.  I think this is another reason the sport of running is growing and I think a solitary runner is only alone by choice:)

Statistics don’t lie (usually:)

In this case they don’t.

FinishersGraph_1990to2013I also know that in my case the social aspect of it is what turned this non runner into a runner. (still feel strange calling myself that even now, but that’s a different story).   Most of you know that when I was training for my first Tri, a friend added me to the local chapter of MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town).   That was the beginning of it all.    I got to see this local group of committed running Mama’s, learn from them, run with them and be inspired by them.     Before I knew it, I was part of a Running Group.    I, honestly, know that if not for my local MRTT group; I would not be the runner that I am today.   There were many days that I probably wouldn’t have gone running but because I was meeting someone or joining in on a group run, I went.   You run with someone long enough, you get to know them pretty well.   Your run not only becomes your run but a social event.   On rare occasions it may even end up followed by drinks.

Then there is the social aspect of being part of online communities where you may never actually meet the person, but it is still a community.   These are places where you can brag about your PR, ask a question regarding your training, and anything else that you need to get off your chest.   There is no less support in these communities that the local one as most of them understand where you are coming from regarding your running.   These groups are equally inspiring in a different way.  Some people even choose to be part of these groups in a “stalker” way but it still lets them know they are not in it alone.

When I was at the Scottish 10K this past weekend, I went over to High Five a total stranger only because he was wearing the t-shirt of one of my online running groups – Runners United NYC.   I’ve never run with any of them because I don’t live in the city.   I’ve never attended any of their many functions, but I still enjoy being part of their group.   They are fun and committed runners whose group I do also enjoy being part of.   Now the man I went to High Five had no clue who I was, but greeted me with a smile and a high five because that’s what runners do.


Both the online and local groups make running more fun.   They make running more social.   They understand when someone complains about not being able to run due to injury where our non running friends just don’t get it.   These are the people who understand why we push ourselves to run, who understand why running a marathon or any other race isn’t crazy, and who will be there to offer words of encouragement or a pat on the back when needed.

Running is Social even on a solitary run.   Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

We are all on the same team.

It’s an elite team too no matter what the distance or pace.

How many running groups do you belong to or follow online?

Word of the Week – Celebrate!


Today I am going to have two words of the day as I think that they go hand in hand.

Celebrate & Display


verb (used with object), celebrated, celebrating.

to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities:


verb (used with object)

To show or exhibit; make visible


Now as Mom’s most of us are great at doing this with our children.

We put their art work, grades, ect up on the fridge for all to see.
We have pictures of them through out our houses.
We proudly display their ribbons, trophies, or such on the mantle.
When it comes to our own accomplishments, we may tend to down play them.
We celebrate the moment, but as soon as we come home we jump back into “Mom Mode.”  We work hard for each and every one of these events.   We don’t just show up.  Then we pass the finish line, collect our bling which we may even wear afterwards with our fellow runners.   But by the time we get home, we are ready to put them in a drawer and move on.
Now I’m not saying we should walk around wearing our bling at the grocery store because that would just be obnoxious.   That being said, we can still share our accomplishments by more than a few Facebook posts.  I know most of us don’t want to appear like we are bragging although  that’s not  a problem when it comes to our kids.   Why is that?   We deserve a little celebration of our own too.  Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to be proud of your accomplishments no matter how big or small.
Now, I will admit that last year, I did buy a display plaque from Etsy for my bling and bibs for me.   I hung it in my office in the basement.   This tends to be my area and I wanted to be able to see my medals to continue to inspire myself.   But over the weekend, I took it a step further.   I added some of my favorite race photos to it and I really like the way it looks.  Plus there is room on the other side for more.   I think I might save that side for the NYC Marathon.
I call it
Wall of Me
The Wall of Me!
I think that every person should have a place to celebrate themselves. No matter if it’s running, knitting, writing or what ever should be celebrated.    Now, I’m not saying that it needs to be in peoples faces, but a celebration none the less.     My Wall of me is for me.   It is in my basement which most people don’t go in.  It is by my computer and as I write my blog posts, sign up for races, or just play on my computer.   I can glance at it and smile.  It can encourage me to push myself further remembering how far I’ve already come.
I think by taking pride in my accomplishments, I am being a good role model for my children.   Think about it.   What message does it send to your children if they don’t think that their mother’s accomplishments don’t deserve a spot on the wall.
Do you have a Wall of Me?
Do you want one?