Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Weeks to Go!

Today marked the final two week countdown to the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco! At this time on October 14 I will have officially completed my second marathon, but this time with the Nike Women team backing me up along the way. I have learned so much about training, recovery, fueling and the power of motivational training partners through these past few months. I can't wait to see all of my training come together on race day.

Gorgeous path for a long run

My second to last long run was today, 11 miles and it went very well. I was able to complete it in under two hours and at this pace should be able to reach my goal of a four hour marathon. With only six more runs, NTC and yoga left on my training schedule, race day is just around the corner. It's hard to think about other things throughout the day and a part of me doesn't want this journey to come to an end. Luckily for me there is always another race around the corner!

Nothing like stairs, stairs, stairs!

On April 28, 2013 the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon is coming to Washington DC! I have never traveled there and know that this race will be a perfect reason to go. Plus, the race is on my birthday, what a perfect sign that I'm meant to run this race. I'm already making plans for this weekend. Washington DC here I come!

Planks from #NTC

Today was a great day for a bit of a photo shoot to remember my training and show how far I have come. It was a gorgeous day for running and for enjoying some sprint and NTC training at the track. Even as training is winding down, I am feeling more excited for race day and looking forward to focusing on speed work during the fall. 

The power of stretching

Training has really taught me the value of stretching and yoga. It does amazing things for keeping injuries at bay and keeping tired legs healing quickly. I got a good amount of stretching in this Sunday and I planning on focusing on healing my body for the next few weeks through yoga and stretching. I want to be at 100% by race day and rest, recovery and tough mental thinking will get me there. Bring it on San Francisco! I am ready to #runnwm and rock this race! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NTC and NWM Training

Here's my random rant post of the night. I may be jumping around a bit, but I just had too many things to share and couldn't focus on just one!

Training Update
These past few weeks of NWM training have been tough. I have been having a hard time juggling my time and the taper. I don't want to taper too much, but I don't want to run too much either. Since my knee has been acting up I have been focusing more on my speed. I want to really kill my last few track workouts so I can power through those tough moments during my 26.2. 

NTC Milestone
I also finally made it to the 12,000 minute mark on the #NTC app! Woohoo! I really enjoy all the exercises on this app and can truly see a difference in my endurance and flexibility when using this app. My next goal is to get to the 20,000 minute mark! There is a lot of training in my future. 

Move More, Live More
The Nike Women's Marathon just shared this link on Facebook from It really got me thinking about the state of our generation. Watch the video and let me know what you think. I want to live those 5 extra years. I think this movie is just more proof that I should think more seriously about becoming a personal trainer. After all, if only one person were to live an extra five years, it would all be worth it. How about you? What are you doing to move?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nike Did it Right Again!

I am IN LOVE with Nike's new women's football jerseys! Nike really touched on the huge female market of NFL and College Football fans with these jersey's. They are fitted and flattering for a woman's body and make cheering for your favorite NFL team a lot more feminine. I want these University of Oregon Ducks jersey's ASAP! What better way to show my pride then to sport this awesome gear?

Nike is number one in so many ways and they just topped the charts with this release. The jersey's are available in any team you call your own and are available online and in stores. Which team will you be cheering for this year and which jersey will you be sporting?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm Busy Getting Stronger

My New Mantra

This is my new mantra for the next month until the Nike Women's Marathon! I want to get stronger everyday until then. Today started with my commitment to eating healthy and training smart every day. I want to be the strongest I have been come October 14, both physically and mentally. The last few weeks of Nike Training Challenges have helped me learn how to push myself and keep trying until I achieve my best result. The Rafa Nadal Mountain Climbers was my defining challenge. I finally reached the top of the leader board! I practiced and tried all week to reach this goal and finally I made it to 31 reps, my new personal best. 

The leader board in the Rafa Nadal challenge. My twitter handle @superwomankw made it to the top of the leader board with 31 reps! 

The Nike store in the Portland airport! 

Last week I was able to "Gear up for Greatness" when I received new gear from Nike Women to help me power through the last four weeks of training. I am in love with these new Free TR 2 trainers! Such a cute color that really pops at the gym and makes me want to do my fast feet NTC drills even faster! Look out Hope Solo 15 minute workout, my feet will be flying!

TR Trainer!
Also, I got some cold weather gear since the mornings here have turned chilly. I wore my new Nike Legend Tight Fit pants last week and the Nike Speed Long Sleeve shirt, complete with thumb holes, to keep me warm in the early morning. Nothing like compression gear to keep me warm on a long run in the morning. It fits like a second skin and I love it! The Relay Capri's are awesome too! I love running in capris because they are so versatile and work for a variety of weather. 

Last week I took some rest from running because I was having some IT Band problems, but it is time to get back on track with my training plan this week. I am picking my mileage back up and taking precautions to keep my legs, knees and IT band in top shape for October. It was so hard to stop running last week, especially when I kept seeing all my fellow #SistersInNike working hard and sticking with their training. I am so excited to be back at it! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Visit to Nike!

This past weekend I had the chance to visit Nike World Headquarters! I was so excited to be able to visit and take my first ever Live NTC class from Marie Purvis! I flew in to Portland the night before around midnight and stayed with one of my friends who lives near Nike. Then I woke up bright and early and met at Nike's Bo Jackson Sports and Wellness Center to train with NTC. It was still dark at 6:15 in the morning but probably 50+ Nike Employees lined up on the soccer field to get their sweat on to start their day. I felt so privileged to be a part of this experience. It was such a kick butt workout. It was a nice change up from the App and I really enjoyed the live element and camaraderie of the other students. Below are a few pictures from my visit!

The Bo Jackson Sports and Wellness Center! Good times were had here.

A street named "Nike World Campus." Could there be a better street name?

The darkness before my NTC class and the lights shining from the Bo Jackson building.

Sunrise over Lake Nike!

 The field where live NTC was held.

I challenge you to a race!

 No doubt in my mind that this is the best track ever. Surrounded by trees both outside the track and in the middle. This is a bit of a Nike oasis!

 My fortune a dinner this weekend. Hopefully this means great things for my goal of becoming a trainer and eventually working at Nike, the happiest place on earth!

Happy training, wherever you may be doing it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

And the Winner Is....

After reading all your great comments I had to resort to a random draw to pick the winning comment and the winner is...Ponderings from a Full Plate! Congratulations on winning a signed copy of Running the Edge! Your running life is about to change for the better. Be sure to let me know what you think when you receive your copy.

Today marked the five week countdown to the Nike Women's Marathon! I have been having an IT Band flare up and am taking it a little easy on the running this week. Biking, pool running, yoga and PT exercises this week will hopefully get me back into fighting shape quickly. Injuries are common when training for an endurance event so I am just trying to do my best to not make it worse and get back to training quickly.

I am hoping to PR at this marathon and I know that resting for a few days will be better than pushing through pain and injuring myself more. I want to make this my defining race and I am ready to put in all the necessary training, even when that calls for rest.

What do you do when an injury strikes? Do you push through or pull back?

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Gear for the Final Countdown!

I got my flight details and hotel stay information this week for the Nike Women's Marathon and could not be more excited! The marathon is just over a month away and actually seeing my weekend details in print really brought it home that my training is on the downswing. Bring it on San Francisco! I've been training my heart out and I know I am ready!

This week was a new gear week! With the Nike Women's Marathon just 5 weeks away, it's time to break in some new gear. I just love each item and have been trying them the past few days. I wore my new running shoes, the Lunar Glide+ 4's today and loved the cushioning. You can check out the items I received below and feel free to follow the links if you want to check them out on the Nike Store Website. 

The mesh panel down the back provides excellent breathability and the tank is the perfect length and doesn't ride up during my long runs. It's an instant favorite!

These capri's are awesome. They have a great zip pocket on the side, instead of the back, for easy access to your keys or a power bar. Also, there are reflective accents on the pant legs to keep you safe when running in low light conditions. Winner!

Nike Mixed Method Training Tank
This is the softest tank ever! I barely felt like it was there. If you are looking for a lightweight top with flat seams to minimize chafing than look no further that this tank!

These shoes are amazing! They offer great support with minimal weight. I love the updated flywire addition to the lacing system, it creates a glove like fit. My new favorite runners! I'm taking them on their first long run this weekend. 18 miles of pure bliss!

What are your favorite training pieces? I'd love to know. Share your thoughts in a comment below. Happy training!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Running the Edge - Book Review and Giveaway!

I have been engrossed in the book "Running the Edge" by Olympian Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano. As someone who is relatively new to distance running, I ran my first marathon last October and have my second coming up in six weeks, this has been the perfect book for me. It has changed the way I look at running and has helped me put in perspective what running has taught me and still can teach me. It is a book that every runner, no matter how new or immersed in the sport you are, can learn something from. This is my go to running book right now and I know that you will love it too. Continue reading to see my review of this great book and to enter my giveaway to receive a signed copy!

I have been fascinated with elite runners lately. Maybe it was the Olympic year that helped to fuel my love of the sport, but whatever it was I can't get enough. When I saw the tag line "discover the secrets to better running and a better life" I knew that I had to read this book. From page one I was hooked. Transformative Experiences is the first part of learning how to "run the edge." Every runner has had a transformative experience at some point or another. A moment in time when they understand what it means to run, to push the limit, to reach for a goal and earn a PR. That is why we run.

But these transformative experiences can only go so far. We must take these experiences and use them to make our running and every aspect of our lives better. We can use running to increase our success in our education, career, family, friendships and passions. Becoming exceptional in running requires discipline, commitment, determination, accountability and authenticity - just to name a few. As a runner you know what it means to push yourself and to strive to be better. This book points out how great our lives could be if we strived to be better in all aspects of our life, not just running. Running teaches us to reach for the edge, to be the best that we can be, in all aspects of our lives.

With candid stories from both the running career of Olympian Adam Goucher and the coaching experiences of Tim Catalano, "Running the Edge" shows how success and failures are what makes running so great. This book puts the power to change and better your running into your own hands. It doesn't make promises it can't keep and walks you through the steps to "Run the Edge!" One thing I learned is that you will need to be active when reading this book, keep a note pad next to you while you read so you can write down lists of your goals, challenges, and successes. Adam and Tim will walk you through the psychology of running and help you key in on what you need to do to reach your edge and push through it.

The term Distance Maven is coined in this book and used to express what runners can become when they truly embrace the challenges in this book. Runners are not normal, they are not average, and they should not want to be. According to the guys, the curse of normal and the chains of average are meant to be broken by distance mavens. Distance mavens may make mistakes, but they are mistakes that lead to greatness and to finding your edge. 

In the final chapters you will discover the importance of closing in on your goals and how important a supportive group of like minded individuals can be to your success. I have experienced this first hand in my most recent marathon training experience. I know I would not have made it this far in my training or ran 7 minute miles without their support and guidance. Adam and Tim know what they are doing and are sharing from their heart and their experiences. If you truly want to improve your running and your life then read this book. I can't even begin to cover how much this book can enhance your running. You won't regret reading it. For a chance to win a signed copy (which I don't even have) just follow the instructions below.

Today just might be your lucky day because I have a signed copy to give away to one of my lucky blog readers! All you have to do is like Run the Edge and Reason to Play on Facebook and post a comment on this blog. I'll randomly select a lucky reader this Sunday! It's that simple. Good luck and happy running!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Long Run

This week marked my longest run before my tapering for the Nike Women's Marathon on October 14! I was dreading this run a bit because it is a 22 mile marathon in itself. The run took me four hours exactly to complete. That is my goal pace for all 26.2 miles. I wasn't too angry with myself for the slow pace because long training runs can be slower since they are training your body to just keep going, not necessarily run for time. It is actually better to not push yourself too hard during a tough long run because pushing too fast too soon can result in injury. 

I began to feel a slight twinge in my knee around mile 16, but tried to push through. I was a bit scared by mile 18 because the pain was exactly like last year when I sustained a knee injury after my first marathon. I ended up taking the last three miles extremely slow to be careful not to exaggerate the injury. I definitely felt a twinge all yesterday and this morning. After icing, foam rolling and doing my physical therapy exercises and a Leah Kim yoga workout with Nike Training Club my knee is feeling much better. Luckily I have one more day to rest before my tempo run on Wednesday. I am going to continue my preventative treatment until then and all the way to race day.

I was also excited to see my run on the Game On World site at Nike. I have kept Roseville on the map and am doing pretty well in their challenge. It's exciting to be able to compare my running stats with others around the world. I have put in a lot of miles over the last few months and it is exciting to see them paying off in a tangible way. Another interesting stat I gleaned from the Nike Running site is the measure of when I run. I never thought I would see this stat, but I have become an EARLY MORNING RUNNER! This is huge for me. I never thought that I would be able to say this but I actually enjoy getting my run in early. It's challenging and exciting and I have loved seeing the changes in my body and lifestyle over the last month. 

This week also marked the day of testing for my first degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. I am excited to report that I passed! Now all that is left is my demonstration testing in Reno the week before the Nike Women's Marathon. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me and a bit remarkable. I had to make a commitment to this for the past two years and I am so proud to say that I succeeded. 

This past week has been a week of firsts and achievements for me. I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life brings. October is a big month for me and it is quickly approaching. With only a few weeks of training left I plan on giving it my all so I will be able to crush my goal on race day. 

Stay tuned this week for an exciting book review and giveaway!