We have begun the time of year where many folks are discouraged by the cold temperatures and just swear off running until March. While that’s good and well, the problem with doing that is that once March (or whenever you start back) rolls around you try to run again and remember that running is a jealous mistress and it can SUCK when you haven’t been at it in awhile. Instead of doing that this year, why don’t you just keep running? I know…it’s cold. But I’ve got you covered. Here’s how I’m surviving freezing cold runs this winter:
- Make a date. I do 90% of my runs with others. In the winter, that number is about 95%. When it’s cold it’s even easier than normal to bail on a run. However, it’s never easy to bail on a friend or a financial commitment (hello, marathon training program!)
- Get some gear. When it’s cold, you need to dress the part. Keep in mind though that there are few things worse than overheating on a long run. I typically dress as if the weather is 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. This keeps me warm without overheating. If you are a bit chilly before you start running, that is a good thing. If you are completely toasty while you are standing still, chances are you will overheat.
- This is what I wear in below freezing weather:
- Under armour cold gear tights and long sleeve shirt –> that is my base level. I’ll build on this base for most of my winter long runs (except when the weather is freakishly warm like it’s supposed to be on Saturday).
- Shorts or pants over my base tights –> keeps my bum warm.
- A long sleeve tech shirt over the under armour shirt.
- Gloves + something over my ears –> THIS IS A MUST. If you fingers and ears are cold, you will be cold your entire run. Trust me. I usually take off the gloves about 2 miles in, but I never ditch them because the weather can always turn.
- Don’t forget to bring your hydration. Because it’s cold, you won’t feel like you need the same amount of water that you do in the summer, but you absolutely do!
What do you wear in cold running weather?
As a blogger, you may have seen blog posts with words like “sponsored post” “sponsored by” “I received [fill in the blank] as a result of my [fill in the ambassador program]“, etc on some of your favorite blogs. If you are anything like me, you might be wondering how those bloggers got started working with different brands and organizations. Today I’m going to share about an amazing opportunity to do just that.
If you are just getting started and attempting to work with brands, I recommend you do so through a group that will help facilitate that for you. One of the easiest ways to do this (and my favorite way!) is by joining Sverve. Sverve is an online platform for women to share their areas of expertise (i.e. running, blogging, eating :)) and at the same time get recognized via brands for that expertise.
Okay, so you’ve joined Sverve! Yay! Now what?
- Simply add up to 5 areas of influence on your profile (think carefully because you can’t change these! you don’t have to choose five at once. I currently have four and am debating my 5th!)
- Ask your followers to endorse you (endorsements are like “likes” on facebook or “favorites” on twitter – but they are really valued in the Sverve community and contribute to your Sverve Influence score)
- Share quality information on the Sverve platform like your latest blog posts and best tips
- Apply for brand campaigns
Okay, so I mentioned an Influence score — what’s that? Well, your Influence score is based on your reach on Social Media and Endorsements that you get for your areas of influence. As you gain more followers on social media, readers on your blog and endorsements on Svere, your score will increase. Be patient — this takes time. As you’ll see, my score right now is a 34 and I’m hoping to grow that to 50 over the next couple of months!
My favorite thing about Sverve is that in addition to finding awesome ways to work with brands, I’m able to connect with bloggers that I may have never found. Have questions, interested? Sign up here!*
*In the interest of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link and I will get a small ($2) amount of compensation if you sign up using this link. However know that I’m only endorsing Sverve because I truly think it’s awesome and that you will love the community and opportunities you’ll find there!
Last Thursday was my first track workout in this new marathon training season. I was of course nervous…but as it turned out, it was really really fun!
- 3 laps for a warmup (at about a 9:45 pace)
- A reverse ladder consisting of a 1600*, 1200, 800, then 400 (at about a 9:54 pace)
- 2 laps for a cool down (at about a 9:15 pace)
The track was actually a bit snowy / icy from our crazy weather, so I was really surprised that we were moving at a pace that was actually quite quick for me. I spent most of my time chatting with a new running buddy and trying not to bust my butt on the ice.
We followed up our fun track workout with a great long run on Saturday morning. 8 miles, 80 minutes. (okay, technically 80 minutes & 54 seconds). This run was awesome because mid way through we ran into the Humane Society walking / running with a group of adoptable dogs. That was a really fast mile for me because I just kept running and going “puppppppy!” every few feet. Pretty cool! This was also the first time I’ve run for any real length of time without music. It actually wasn’t that bad, mostly because I ran again with Anne, my buddy from the track.
* A standard track is 400 meters. 1600 = 1 mile. So we ran about 3.25 miles in total.
Update: I just did some googling and found more information about the folks running with the dogs that I spotted. Here is the link to the program’s page. I’d encourage you to get involved with this awesome group — I can’t wait to be back in Rock Creek next weekend to see the dogs again!
Do you do track workouts? Do you listen to music when you run?
Happy Friday! As usual, I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta, Mar from Mar on the Run and Cynthia from You Signed up for What?!. This week, we’re offering up a few tips on how not to pack on the pounds over the holidays. Between family gatherings, work parties, meeting up with old friends…it all adds up and if your calendar is anything like mine right now, it is PACKED. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy this season:
- Schedule workout dates
instead of in addition to the holiday happy hours. Try getting your friends together to check out a new fitness studio during this holiday season. Many studios are running great deals and just waiting for you to take advantage! If you are here in DC, check out this website for info on what fitness things are happening around town!
- Bring your lunch to work. This is a small thing, but if you will be eating out at a lot of parties and dinners this month, bringing your lunch everyday can not only save you money but it can save your waist line! Save your calories (and money) for all those happy hours and dinners out this month!
- Take advantage of holiday themed runs and races. There are so many ugly sweater runs and jingle bell jogs in the month of December, that you can easily find a fun, lowkey 5k to run to help combat some of the yummy treats that also make their appearance this month.
- Pick your drinking days. I’m not a big regular drinker. I enjoy a glass or two of wine maybe once a week if I’m hanging out with my girlfriends. But during this season, it seems everywhere I go someone is putting a glass of something in my hands.
- Reduce your stress. Sadly, holiday season can also mean stress for a lot of us. Make sure that you are doing seemingly simple things like getting enough rest, taking some time for yourself and focusing on the true meaning of the season.
How do you stay healthy during the holiday season?
Eat Pray Run DC Gift Guide continues! This week, I’m recommending gifts for the men in your life.
- The Mophie. What’s a mophie? It’s an iphone case that will charge the phone! This is the perfect gift for K, who’s phone is FOREVER on 2% and dying. Get this for the man in your life who is just a bit forgetful and always has a dead phone!
- You can never go wrong with a nice scarf. I suggest something like this from Banana Republic.
- Tickets to a game. Basketball season is just getting started, so think about getting your favorite guy two ticket’s to a game — and because you are an awesome [wife / girlfriend / mom / sister] give him both tickets and tell him to take one of his friends.
- A video game. Always a good reliable standby. I have no idea what the new games are out right now, but I’m willing to bet whoever you are buying for does!
- A supportive, active gift. Is your husband yearning to learn to play the guitar? Buy him a lesson package! Is your son dreaming of studying abroad in Rome? A Rosetta Stone language class it is! You get the idea – purchase something that can help them make a dream come true. It sounds cheesy, but I bet they will love it!
What are you getting the man in your life?
Has this ever happened to you? You sit down to write your latest and greatest blog post ever and then…your mind goes blank. It has happened to me more times than I can count. However, I still (typically) blog 5 days a week and I have to say, I never push publish if I feel like I’m just writing junk to post something. Not saying that each and every blog post is profound, but they do all have a purpose and thought goes into each and every one of my posts. So what do I do to deal with inevitable writer’s block? Here are my tips:
- Write down everything. I’ve talked before about the benefits of using an editorial calendar – one of those benefits is that you can start a blog post with as much or as little information as you have. For me, the hardest part of the process is the initial idea. So I’ll utilize my editorial calendar and start a post titled “training” or “kale artichoke dip” or whatever it is I’m thinking of. It really helps to have those idea written down somewhere.
- Read often. Reading the news, books and other blogs can help get your creative juices flowing. Being knowledgeable about what’s happening in the world can definitely spark a post. Many times, I’ve written a Friday Five based on something I’ve read somewhere.
- Reflect. What do you know that could help your readers? When I was going through the process of learning how to self host my blog (read all about that here and here), I made sure I simultaneously took note on each step because I knew that many of my readers would be interested in the process and I thought it could be helpful.
- Share your life. As much as you are comfortable, share with your readers what is going on with you. I was excited to blog about my engagement and I like sharing details about my wedding planning with you all. I realize that this won’t work for everyone because not everyone is comfortable sharing details about their personal lives, but it really works for me.
- Lists are your friend! This ties in to number 3, but as you think about what you could help your readers with, make a list! I’m Type A so lists are my best friend, but even if you don’t love them, chances are your readers will find them helpful.
How do you handle writer’s block?
We’ve chosen a wedding venue! Choosing a venue was my first priority and I couldn’t really allow myself to focus on much else until I did that. I spent a lot of time searching wedding venues. I was looking for a place that:
- Was naturally beautiful. I was looking for a place that elicited a “wow” reaction from me when I saw it. I wasn’t sure exactly what that might look like, but I knew I’d know it once I saw it. Our venue was the third place my mom and I looked at during a day o’ wedding planning. Instantly as we drove up, we both said…”wow.”
- Wasn’t going to make me pass out because of the cost. Weddings are expensive. Weddings in the DC area for 150 family and friends are very expensive. We looked at places that were the full package and places that were just the space (and you have to bring in everything else). We realized that most venues were in the same relative range and that if we held our guest list to 150 (which we will be doing, so no hard feelings in advance, friends!) we could in fact afford our dream venue.
- Had fantastic staff. Our venue comes along with an amazing coordinator that my Type A sensibilities loved right off the bat. She’s organized, up front about the details and fun.
So…where are we getting married?
Pictures don’t do it justice!
We are tying the knot at the beautiful Hollow Creek Golf Club in Middletown, MD. I am so thrilled and can not wait for June 14, 2014.
Today is the official start of my Shamrock marathon training. Technically, training started on Saturday. We all gathered for an info session and “fun run.” And, what’s so great is that it was actually REALLY fun! For two miles, Mar and I ran together and caught up. It was so fun chatting about blogging, our lives, etc. I loved it! Which was kinda surprising to me because I ALWAYS run with headphones. Even if I’m running with others, I’ll run with one earbud in, one out. However, we’re not allowed to use headhpones while training with PR Running (which I totally get) and I have to say, it wasn’t that bad. Mostly because of the fun conversation. At mile two Mar, headed back in and I went on to make it an even five miles. A few minutes after I said bye to Mar, I caught up with a gentleman named Michael. Michael and I turned about to be pretty evenly paced and ran the rest of the run together. Michael and I chatted about running, our backgrounds and what we did for a living. The miles literally flew by and I was so pleased that running five miles felt so FUN and easy! I think I will like chatting with others while running
The plan has me running anywhere from 4-5 days a week, including a track workout (which I won’t be able to make every week, but will strive to make a couple times a month), a long and easy run, and two other runs. It is totally doable and I’m so stinking excited about this! I’m going to try and run Tuesdays, Thursdays (possible 2 a days with an easy run AM and a track workout PM) Saturdays and maybe Mondays (depending on if I’ve run 2x on the preceding Thursday). I will share what I do here on the blog but probably won’t do a marathon training recap every week because that might get boring. But I will share the ups and the downs. Here we go, folks!
Have you ever trained with a group before? How’d it go?
Well folks, we made it again! It’s Friday and Mar, Cynthia and I are linking up again! Woohoo! Today I’m taking it back to the old school and just writing 5 things that I’m excited about. The fact that most of them are running related…well, what can I say?
- My Christmas Tree is here! It’s not decorated yet, since it arrived while I was out of town, but it’ll be done before I leave town (again) Sunday. I’m so happy I got it a bit earlier than I did last year so I can enjoy it longer.
- Marathon Training is starting again! My training starts on Saturday and I’m in the super-excited, this-is-gonna-be-awesome phase! Remind of this when it gets hard.
- I finally met Mar in person! Yay!!! She’s doing the same training program and I met her at the kickoff event yesterday. She’s awesome of course, and I’m thrilled to be doing this training alongside her.
- We finally chose a wedding venue! I’ll share more about this soon, but honestly, it’s such a relief to have this piece of the puzzle figured out!
- I’m cheating, but did I mention how EXCITED I am about marathon training? I’m so thrilled to start this with a group and I met so many awesome runners at the kickoff. I’m just pumped!
Don’t forget to link up and if you aren’t already following Mar and Cynthia, you definitely need to do so.
What are you excited about? Is your tree up yet?
When I chose the name “Eat Pray Run DC” I intended to primarily write about food, faith and running. I knew that I’d probably write much more about running and food but every now and again, something happens to leads me to take a break from writing about food and marathons and talk about something a bit deeper. Today is one of those days.
About a month ago, I was in my hotel room in Los Angeles reading the hotel provided copy of LA Magazine. I came across a story called “Heaven Can Wait.” The story was about a young woman’s decision to wait to have sex until marriage. This struck me as interesting for a couple reasons: first because it was LA Magazine. Not a Christian magazine, but one of the most well-read publications in California. The second thing I found interesting was the content. Here was a funny, approachable young woman writing smartly and matter-of-factly about her decision to wait to have sex based on her faith. I really appreciated the article and not just because my fiance and I are waiting until we’re married (I’m sincerely hoping this is a blog post my mom is skipping! :)). I think that anytime someone is honest about an issue that is not very mainstream, it is brave and refreshing.
I forgot about the LA Magazine article until this past weekend, when I opened up my newspaper and saw Rick Warren on the cover of Parade magazine. The cover story focuses mostly on Warren’s recent efforts to get healthier with his congregation and briefly touches on his son’s recent suicide. It was a light piece, typical of the the cover stories usually found in the magazine but again, like the LA Magazine piece, it was notable because it is far too rare that people who are living their life out loud regarding their faith are featured in mainstream media.
Religion and politics are those tricky things that you are not really supposed to talk about because you may offend someone. But I actually think it’s so important for examples of real, regular Christians are out there. Because there are a lot of what I call “crazy Christians” (you know what I’m talking about) out there and they kinda give us a bad name. So I’m glad to see mainstream magazines highlighting normal Christians — I think it’s awesome!
What’s your take? Do you speak about your faith or keep it close to your vest?