Category Archives: Goals

Fitness #FaceofFitness Contest!

I entered this* on a total whim the other day, and actually think I was pretty late to the game – it shows on the contest that voting started October 19 and ends today? – but regardless, I’m in!

Fitness Magazine’s Face of Fitness Contest
(tweet/share with #FaceofFitness hashtag)


As of yesterday I went from #229 to #30, and now it’s kind of exciting and I’m here to ask for your support! You can see my submission below, and if you’re so inclined, please click through to vote:

lululemon Georgetown Ambassador Run 1

Vegetarian BQ Marathoner

By day I am a corporate wellness dietitian, coaching people to change their lives and make healthier choices. By any other time I am a runner and yogi, spreading my passion with anyone who will listen, run or stretch with me! I lead weekly group runs as the Georgetown lululemon Run Ambassador, share my adventures in fitness through my blog – – and join fitness groups around DC to meet like-minded people. Two years ago I cut out meat from my diet, and was training for my first marathon. My own food philosophies and habits were evolving. Now I have four full marathons behind me, and as of October 2012 I am a Boston-qualifier. I love to help people realize that finding your fitness passion will open doors in every aspect of life! By challenging yourself you realize what you’re truly capable of – that the lines of your comfort zone should always be tested. My face is always smiling because fitness teaches me how to grow and become the best version of myself!


I sort of have a career history with Fitness magazine…we continue to cross paths!


Thank you for your vote and/or for coming here to read the story!



Filed under about me, Goals, Lululemon, new things!, running

Marine Corps Marathon: Run DC for Boston!

Well folks, it wasn’t raining on Sunday morning and the hurricane held off for us! We ended up with ideal running weather for most of the race (60* and overcast), completely lucked out. I wouldn’t change a thing about this day…

I set a lofty goal for this race, but wasn’t willing to let it go. If you want to take the island, burn the boats. I know all too well from coaching and personal experience that as soon as you give yourself an out, you’re 1) deciding that not even you believe your goal is possible and 2) setting yourself up to let it go.

Burn the boat – go for 3:30! If you don’t try, you’ll never really know.

MCM outfit   bib longMCM morning readyMCM gear   sign 2

It started with a 5 a.m. wake-up call, to make it on the Metro by 6. It takes at least 10-15 minutes just to get out of the station once you arrive at the Pentagon! Then you’re looking at a long walk to the bathrooms, bag-check and eventually the race start. Consider this your warm-up!

Lines weren’t too bad, and I arrived to my corral with about 15 minutes to spare. I found those Pacer balloons right away and headed over to join in the fun, taking everything in and the throw-away jacket off.

THE PLAN: Run with the 3:35 group for the first few miles (exactly how long? TBD). Break off to eventually settle into an 8 min/mile pace.

MCM banner _ Congrats Runners

Miles 1_3 elevation Miles 1-3: Our pacer warned of the initial uphill battle – we would take it relatively easy and then use the downhill to balance it out. Given the crowded start, you don’t have much of a choice! It takes a lot of weaving, watching the ground to avoid potholes and making sure these miles don’t spend too much energy.

My first clue that this race & I were on the same BQ-or-BUST page: it was easy to keep up – vs. last year when staying with the 3:35 group was requiring way too much initial effort. Early win!

I stayed right with the crew– those hills lending a helping-hand – and focused on effort. Keep it easy, keep it easy, keep it easy.

5K – 25:06 – 8:05 min/mile – Perfect.

Miles 4-6.2: Passing over the Key Bridge brought me to the first D sighting of the day – hello! He had his bright neon-green sign (recycled from last year, thanks to its effectiveness & familiarity) and a big smile. I loved it; he knew I was cruising nice & easy. I had passed the 3:35 group, and was one mile out from worrying how far behind me they were.

10K – 49:18 – 7:56 min/mile – Building a cushion.

As my feet stomped on the 10K mat, I knew updates were being sent and everything felt right. “Here I come, Boston…”

Miles 6_9 elevationMiles 6.2-9: Heading up Canal Road brings us to the first deserted stretch. Spectators are few and far between (understandably) and there’s a steep hill up ahead. I charged up conservatively – this won’t be last hill to tackle!

My coworker Jared was waiting right in the middle with his girlfriend – more familiar faces and a Hey-I-know-you! grin…

Mile 7 JBR tweet

The passing high-five was so hard it left my hand tingling – there was a lot of oomph behind that cheer! Keep powering up, up, up… Coming back down into Georgetown greeted me with D sighting #2.

Feeling good? Yep! Need anything? Nope!

For every mile there was a feeling of gratitude that I was here again, doing this race again, testing my limits again. There was a flashback of right here, last year, I felt ___, and a mental check-in with the here and now.

Mile 9 was crucial last year; I realized I was running a sub-3:35 in a 3:40-goal. I wondered what would happen.

your body hears everything your mind says

This year? I was running my sub-3:35 goal, landing every step with intention. My pace felt easy (for now), but I knew what every mile ahead looked like. Stay positive; focus on this mile and this effort. Save your energy and take all of this in…

15K – 1:14:05 – 7:56 min/mile – Spot ON.

Miles 10-12: The crowd is thick, loud and amazing! We’re essentially running through a tunnel. (Side-note: apparently Bart Yasso was at this spot, mixed in the crowd! Awesome.) We pass behind my favorite memorial, Lincoln (hey friend!) and right onto Ohio Drive. Running on a flat stretch along the water I saw D again, taking a few sips of water from his bottle (spoiled, yes). He warned me that the wind was picking up, and to draft or run with a group if I could*.

I saw a sign** that would push me around Hains Point and onto the mall:

Today is not that day

Photo source.

**Another sign we saw a few times: Paul Ryan would have Finished by now!Clever.

Miles 12-15: Distractions welcomed! Running around Hains Pt. will never be “fun”, but it’s flat and it gets 3-4 miles out of the way. There were a few cheer groups, a band or two and a lot of signs put into the ground every ~20 yards (by the Pacers group, I think?).

As soon as we made the turn around the top of the peninsula (now on the North side), it hit. *There’s the wind – hello! I held onto my hat for a few strides, overhearing someone say this would give us a tail-wind over the bridge. If that’s true, enduring it now is totally worth it. If not, thanks for the hopeful distraction!

20K – 1:39:17 – 7:59 min/mile – Sticking with it.

HALF – 1:44:45 – 7:59 min/mile

Hello again, D! He was parked at miles 15 & 17, right near the same corner. Yep, feeling good!

MCM running 2 Keep going no matter what

Miles 16-19: After a quick out-and-back on Independence Ave, we’re finally on the National Mall. It’s gorgeous, mostly flat and still packed with the best spectators. The wind is seemingly blocked as we loop around the front of the Capitol and I see D one last time before the bridge.

30K – 2:30:20 – 8:03 min/mile – Beat. The. Bridge.

My mind flashes back to painful running memories – if I do anything on this day, I will BEAT THE BRIDGE. Here we go…

MCM sign I will

Miles 20-22: Remember the ups and downs – remember how long this stretch feels…

A lot of people stop to walk here – last year that was my weakness, as it seemed so much better than running. This year it was my strength – keep running, you’re fine!

I saw D twice (one lane of the bridge is open = perfect for cycling spectators!) and he reminded me that everything was on pace. He said my Mom had been tracking & texting, and she was excited! I so happily took water & motivation from him.

When I made it to mile 22, and didn’t need to use the Water stop as incentive to get to the end / take a walk break? Huge win! Things were undoubtedly starting to hurt, but all systems were still going.

35K – 2:55:52 – 8:05 min/mile

MCM lululemon cheer stationMCM lululemon sign Kim Kardashian

Miles 22-23: Hola Crystal City, I’m back!

The best part of this stretch was knowing that the lululemon cheer station was here and ready to dance with us (and/or hop in to run a few yards)! It was a huge boost to see them – Hi Katie + pup! – and listen to their pumped-up voices.

Thank you, team lulu!

MCM running 1
Photo courtesy of fellow Run-Ambassador, Melani.

The bad part about this stretch was the new route – we had a few extra inclines and ramps thrown in, vs. the old out-and-back. On any other run, those elevation changes wouldn’t have made an impression. When you’re racing, and 23 miles in? They hurt.

I took my only water stop around mile 23, walking for a quick 20 seconds and thinking nothing has ever tasted better.

Miles 24-26: I reminded myself over and over and over that I was BQ-ing today. (I may or may not have repeated it in my head to the tune of “We will, we will Rock You!” by Queen.) This was it! We powered through gusts of wind – holding onto my hat again – and the extreme fatigue that sets in at this point. I knew my pace was slowing, but not enough to throw me off.

40K – 3:22:29 – 8:08 – Bring it home…

Somewhere in that last mile I saw Ivan & Elizabeth – it shocked and surprised me in the very best way (also saw them back at 17), and this picture tells me everything.

Did every muscle and joint hurt? YEP. Was I about to BQ? No doubt…

MCM running - ivan

26 – 26.2: My time was getting too close; I put absolutely everything I had left into that last stretch. My feet were killing me, my hips were screaming and my stomach was giving the unmistakable puke-threshold signal.

Ignore it all. Get to Boston – Get to Boston – GET TO BOSTON. The last 3 hours of 8 min/miles brought you to this. Don’t let it go!

MCM Finishing Clock Time

MCM finishers shootMCM logo   medal
MCM time   believe instagram
MCM post-race w D

Marine Corps Marathon – October 28, 2012

3:34:04 – 8:10 min/mile avg

Overall: 1416 / 23515
Gender: 230 / 9995
Age Group: 75 / 1865

I know that 3:30 is in there for me, I just didn’t quite get it this time. That’s my sign that the marathon won’t be shelved; I want to go after it again*.

I’m thrilled with the way I paced myself, held onto energy for the end and pushed through the seemingly unavoidable fatigue that comes from pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles. I can’t imagine anything I would have done differently during the race, and that’s all I wanted to run away with.

Here’s lookin’ at Boston, 2014! Mission accomplished.

*After Boston, which c’mon, we all know that one is just for fun & hills!

Thanks, again, for your endless support! It’s invaluable to have a community behind you with each goal tackled and accomplished, and I hope these pages continue to prove that.


Filed under DC, Goals, learning, MCM, motivation, race report, Races, running, things that make me Happy

MCM Week: Race Prep, Gear & OMG

We’re down to four days, one easy run, one race expo plus a lot of meals, sleeping hours and obsessive-weather-checks to go! It is most definitely goal-race-week, as my stomach instantly feels butterflies at the mere mention of the marathon. I know that’s a good sign; I’m ready, but humble. I’ve done this before, but that doesn’t make it easy.

The Marine Corps Marathon {Official} Facebook page is keeping us posted with updates, motivational thoughts and the signs we’ll see as each mile ticks by…

MCMMCM Mile markers

Physical Prep: I was shocked pleasantly surprised by how well last year’s race went, so I thought why not look back and see what that race-week prep looked like (how is it that we can forget these things we’ve done so.many.times??):  3.1 miles, Yoga, 5 miles, Rest, 5 miles, Rest, RACE.

So far this week: 6 miles, 4 miles (with the lululemon Run Club), Rest…Yoga (Thursday), 5 miles (Friday), Rest, RACE.

Not quite the same, but not radically different. Stick with what works! Done.


Gear Prep: The weather looks like…well…um, can we not go there yet? I have a few different options in mind. I have the literal marathon crops from lululemon, I have orange gear to match their Mile 23 Cheer Club and I have the rain gear that I’m not yet fully accepting that I’ll have to wear (which means it won’t rain – RIGHT?).

Run A marathon crops lululemonIMG_3331


Either way, I know the staples that will be with me rain or shine: Nike Pegasus 28s, my Camelbak, a luluemon 50-Rep sports bra and comfy socks (plus an extra pair on D just in case. See: rain).


O.M.G.: There’s a tropical storm coming. I don’t know if it will make it all the way up to DC, but the words tropical STORM are being repeated over and over by these crazy weather people! That’s all.

To distract myself, D & I are watching a lot of Hulu,  I’m spending time with friends (see: walk-date, yoga-date, Friday happy-hour date…) and I’m reading a lot of posts from last Fall that tell me why I’m doing this. There were quite a few points along this training cycle that led me to question whether or not the right motivation was behind this; rereading my own words has always been the most solid reminder that I’m in the right place.

I remembered the original goal I set, and the gusto behind the words I wrote. I remembered a lesson learned from Kate, and was reminded of a manifesto that never fails – DO IT NOW.

MCM postrace bundleMCM 2011 PR

The original goal this time around – 3:30.

The gusto:

That leaves a lot of work to be done between now and October 28, 2012….

Challenge, accepted!

Dear Challenge, I hope you’re ready for me & these legs.

We’re ready for you!


Filed under DC, distractions, Goals, Lululemon, marathon, MCM, motivation, Races, running, running gear

Navy-Air Force Half-Marathon: Testing 1,2,3

After three full training cycles, this will be the first time I’ve put a half-marathon (well, any race distance) test right in the middle.  After four months away from the starting line, my legs are like uh, finally!  Sunday’s test of choice? The inaugural  Navy-Air Force Half Marathon (added on to the Navy 5-miler).

The actual tests themselves…

1. Race PaceWhen I registered for MCM, the 3:30 number came to mind and set up camp. I knew it would require some extra work, but all would come together. A spring racing season would check all the systems, and make sure we were set up for success.

My brain can remember a solid goal (3:30 – 3:30 – 3:30) but not always how we’ll get there. I’ve checked pace charts at least once a month since clicking “register”, yet never seem to remember that magic number.  To prep for this weekend, I checked in again yesterday.

8:00 min/mile pace – flat = 3:29:45

….no 7’s? Really? Oh. We’re good! (And the head-math will be so easy!)

Yes, I can run an 8:00 min/mile average for Sunday’s half. That’s not the goal. I want to race and see what it takes to make things hurt, and at what point that happens. Sunday’s goal – 1:38:xx .

2. Timing / Negative SplitsThis is normally not my issue – if anything, I start out too cautiously and end quickly – but last year’s MCM handed my negative-splitting legs an ego check. We’re working on that.

3. No Garmin, No tunes – The rules say no music, and my ears are used to the silence anyway (exception: long runs). But Mr. G has been on the fritz for a few months now, and I’m lazy. I don’t like to mail things or call “Customer Support”, and he’s just been sitting around the apartment with a blank screen.

I’m almost liking the Garmin-free (no pace-beeping) runs, and just using the old-fashioned MapMyRun + stop-watch method to keep things in check. Almost. On most days.

Then, I realized (this week) that I’ll have no Virtual Race Partner. No way to check what kind of cushion I have or time I need to make up. I’m shaking my fist in the air at the fact that a small piece of technology wrapped around my wrist could be so useful!

But, there was the Garmin-Fail of 2012 at the National Half. (Good times, G) So, it may take some more distracting head-math and clock-watching, but I think we’ll survive.


Navy-Air Force Half, 1:38:xx, tech-free and goin’ strong.

What’s on your goals/test list this weekend?


Filed under DC, Goals, Races, running, running gear, Speed workouts, training

Setting the Tone, 14 miles In

My first “real” long run of this training cycle made sure to set the tone quickly –  feel over thought, brain works with legs!

Only a few miles into the route, my mind was totes over it. This was not what all systems considered “fun”; it was exactly what DC considered a “summer” day.

Calvert Hill Just Keep Running

The mind (and fluid-excreting cells) were quick to let me know that 10 ounces of water wouldn’t last 8 miles (i.e. the first “water stop”). It was quick to remind me that the chosen route wasn’t a shaded one, and that bridges may be windy but that doesn’t make them cool. It was quicker to suggest that maybe this day wasn’t one for 14 miles, that maybe we stop on the Mall and take advantage of that accessible Metro stop and maybe a huge ice-cold H2O would be the solution to every problem! Ever.

Looking around, you’d never know it was a 95* day, with 100% humidity. You would know that this city is an active one, and you might assume these “fitness types” are slightly masochistic.  You might guess that we’re all out here with a similar goal – fall races deadlines don’t care what the temperature is, or how many more weeks of summer we have left. They just care that we get it done, train well, and ya know, bring more water every time.

The mind knew that my legs, toes, shins, quads, hamstrings, abs and arms were just fine. They would keep the forward motion going, no doubt. They were teaming up, despite the lazy heat-hating inner monologue.


Fourteen miles later, we were done. The first box on that “Long Run” list is checked, and there are 12 more waiting for similar satisfaction.

I know the distances, I know the prep and recovery, I know the fueling and I’m befriending this summer training thing. I know that each run should end on a hill of sorts, to prepare for MCM’s trademark. Regardless, I secretly know that after 26.1 miles the muscles will have already tagged-in the mind.

I know that I signed up for this challenge with a goal, and that won’t be accomplished unless both physical and mental limits are tested, over and over again.

if it scares you and excites you

Image source.

Well alright then. Let’s do this…


What fits the above description for you right now? Don’t let the latter win – decide whether your head or your muscles are stronger on any particular day, and go with it.

Granting yourself the luxuries of shade, cold water and a personal fanner might help, too…


Filed under challenges, DC, Goals, MCM, running, things that make you go Hmmmm, training

Resembling Routine: Yoga, Run {MCM Days}

Last Fall Kate introduced me to Beth’s sunrise yoga class, and once was all it took. We went every week, sometimes sticking around for a double-class (sure, great idea in theory. Not a great idea for sore legs on a long run the next day!), always grateful for having started the day with her “party”. I put any normal training logic aside. I didn’t care if my arms, abs, glutes or quads were worked hard, regardless of the distance my legs and feet would tackle less than 24 hours later.

For a variety of reasons, we’ve missed this class for months. We went back today, greeted with a smile and a “Hey guys, it’s been a while!”, and welcomed with a quick sequence that I’ll definitely be feeling tomorrow. My arms and abs are wondering what happened, when we woke up and why they didn’t get coffee first. My mind is thankful; this routine feels familiar.

When I signed up for Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), I begged convinced Kate to join me. I basically trained with her last fall, taking on only the long runs by myself (or sometimes joined by her for 5-10 miles). I knew we could be a powerhouse together; she’s not a huge fan of the distance, I’m still learning to embrace the speed. I knew the motivation of having her along for the challenge would make every difference.

I set an ambitious goal, and there’s no looking back…

MCM 2012 3.30.xx

Fast-forward to July, when all the wheels should start turning and all of those empty calendar days should be filled with run, rest, ride or yoga. Kate is out with an injury, and I’m just getting past the point of deciding if this solo-training thing is worth it for round 2.

It is.

What I’m really getting past is the decision that yes, I can still run faster. I can run during the week and push myself, without distraction. I can plan 12+ weeks worth of long runs and get every single one of them done. I can get myself to the starting line, again, and run against the clock.

A little faith goes a long way.

Channeling the me that signed up for this race with no idea what the spring racing would produce, no idea what the summer would hold, and no idea that I’d be without my sidekick, it’s on. MCM, I’m lookin’ at you and your 35,000 runners!


With one block of my routine back in place, familiarity is setting the tone. Yoga: check! Iced coffee-induced speedy typing: check! Friday date-night planned: check. Early alarm set, long distance decided: Check and CHECK.


Filed under Goals, MCM, running, running buddy, training, Yoga

In the Mind of an 80/20 Perspective

I’m not a girl drawn to extremes, whatever they may be. I don’t often cut something out of my mind completely, whether it’s a food, sport, travel destination, career choice, etc. If nothing else, we should have options, right? Right.

I’ve never thought that a situation had to be all or nothing, and when they are, I tend to change things pretty quickly (whether I realize it or not). Enter, my 80/20 perspective. With or without always meaning to, my life falls into this balance in almost all aspects (maybe, say, 80% of them?).

This may be completely different from, or exactly the same as, the 80/20 business model. I couldn’t tell you, because that has always confused me.

Either way, this is how my mind works:

80% of the time I don’t consume meat, poultry or fish. 20% of the time, I splurge on a grilled salmon dish, or shrimp skewers, or seared scallops. I do not like the word “pescetarian”, so I don’t use it.

Chickpea radish spinach saladwhite bean and veggie saladfresh strawberriesHLS 006

80% of the time I run without a plan or real distance in mind until about 5 minutes before I head out the door. 20% of the time (i.e. Saturdays), I have something specific in mind (i.e. 10+ miles).

National Mall Run

80% of the time I sit on an exercise ball, or stand at my work desk. 20% of the time I want to slouch, sit on a cushioned chair, and let it be lazily comfortable.

80% of the time I read thought-provoking articles, stumble across golden websites that I can’t help but subscribe to and “like” on Facebook, read a great novel, or watch a movie that changes something about my thought process (I love all of these things). 20% of the time I remember enough to share with you, too.

new things collage

80% of the time I’m a regular yogi, paying enough attention to go at least once per week and get a quality dose of Om-time. 20% of the time I do a few stretches at home, fit in a few plank-holds and call it good.

studio dc yoga after worksidecrow at workyoga mat strap

80% of the time I remember I’m training for MCM, actively work to get a little bit faster on the run, and put some effort into finishing up my training plan (oh, that is…almost done…). 20% of the time I just go for a run, and stick to what I know works.

run lulu, run bagsNewShoes 008MCM PR

80% of the time I operate on a Why not?, Say Yes, Of course I’m in! attitude, and love every minute of it. 20% of the time there are reservations, and I give my mind a little bit of time to catch up.

7.4.2011 043manitou-springs-incline-13-337x450img_0696_0032


Are you an 80/20-er? Or an all-out, all-the-time extreme liver? To each their own, as long as it works for you!


Filed under about me, challenges, Goals, pictures, random