Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Baby One More Time Spin Playlist

It’s an all Britney playlist.  59 minutes.  Ready… go!

Till the World Ends - Britney Spears          3:58  Warm up
3 - Britney Spears                                             3:26  Keep warming up, drills
Radar - Britney Spears                                    3:49  Jumps
Me Against The Music - Britney Spears     3:44  Build
Gimme More - Britney Spears                      4:11  Seated climb
Work Work - Britney Spears                         4:08  Seated climb, stand during chorus
Piece Of Me - Britney Spears                         3:32  Standing climb
Toxic - Britney Spears                                     3:22  Faster
Boys feat. Pharrell - Britney Spears           3:48  Recovery
Do Somethin' - Britney Spears                     3:23  Start build
I Wanna Go - Britney Spears                        3:32  Seated climb
Stronger - Britney Spears                              3:23  Standing climb
Womanizer - Britney Spears                        3:43  Faster with jumps
Baby One More Time - Britney Spears      3:31  Cool down
Sometimes - Britney Spears                         4:06  Stretch
Lucky - Britney Spears                                   3:26  Stretch

Monday, April 28, 2014

Staying on Track while Traveling

Planning a vacation?

Most of us have good intentions to keep up our fitness and exercise routines while we’re away but let’s face it… you’re on vacation!  It's an escape from work, stress, and… exercise.  Or maybe you’re traveling for work so it’s not your escape – but it’s also not an excuse to skip your workout.

Here are my tips to help you stay on track while traveling:

Step 1: Pack Your Running Shoes
Leave the running shoes at home and you can skip the rest of this blog post!  Wear sneakers on the plane to allow extra room in your suitcase for some running clothes and GPS watch.

Plan—but Be Flexible
Incorporate exercise into your itinerary.  I’m a planner.  If it’s not on the schedule, chances are it’s not going to get done.  Also, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two.  Unexpected travel delays, jetlag, and other events may interfere with your plans.  Just get back on track and plan activities for the next day.

Wake Up Early
Set your alarm and start your day with a workout.  While you’re heading to a business conference, sightseeing venture, or even better—laying by the pool sipping margaritas, you won’t have to worry about when you can squeeze in your run.

Walk Every Chance You Can Get
Not only will it save you the taxi or subway fees, you will be getting a free walking tour of the city!  Long layover at the airport?  Walk the terminals.  Have a few extra minutes in between business meetings?  Walk a few blocks to find a new coffee shop.

Research Before You Leave
Going to Vegas?  There are awesome hiking trails just outside of the city. 
Weekend in New York City?  You have no excuses with the accessibility and great paths through Central Park or take a waterfront route along the Hudson River.   
Business trip to Chicago?  Chicago’s Lakefront Trail runs 18 miles along Lake Michigan.   
Visiting Cape Cod?  Rent bikes and take the Rail Trail to the National Seashore. 
Spending a week at the beach?  Places like Florida’s Daytona Beach or Surfside Beach in Texas have miles and miles of packed sand perfect for running and walking.  Beat the heat and wake up early for an unforgettable sunrise adventure.

Sign Up for a 5k Fun Run
On websites like active.com, you can search for dates and locations of all local road races.  Sign up in advance to guarantee you’ll be getting in at least one run during your trip!  You can also try visiting the local running store to see if they have any group training runs scheduled.

Hotel Fitness Center
If your excuses are “it’s too cold” or “it’s too hot” or “it’s dark out,” check out the hotel fitness center.  Most are open 24 hours.  Leave your excuses at the door and hop on the treadmill or elliptical to log some active minutes.

Hotel Room Moves
Start your day with these moves to target all major muscle groups:
·      20 Jumping Jacks
·      20 Squats
·      20 Lunges
·      20 Push Ups
·      20 Tricep Dips
·      5 30-60” Planks

Splurge—In Moderation
We are all going to eat different foods on vacation.  It’s inevitable.  It takes a lot of effort to find healthy options at the airport and once you get to your hotel or the beach, it’s time for a drink followed by big meals and delicious desserts.  It’s ok to splurge and "treat yo self" as long as you are splurging in moderation!

Pack Snacks
Pack your favorite healthy option snacks for those hours waiting at the airport.
Crackers, nuts, protein bar, energy chews, etc.  Save money and better food choices.  It’s a win-win.

Visit the Grocery Store
Once you arrive at your destination, hit up the grocery store for a case of water, fruit, yogurt, and other essentials.  If healthy food is around, you are much more likely to grab it before heading to Starbucks and picking up a chocolate croissant to go with your morning latte.

Hydrate!  & Have a great trip!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nike Women's Half Marathon: One Year Later

Loving all the #WERUNDC posts on Instagram today.

In honor of tomorrow's Nike Women's Half Marathon, I bring you my “We Run DC” memories in pictures from the inaugural DC race in 2013...

Remember when Shalane Flanagan gave me a high five at the finish line?

What a great race and a fun weekend with my parents last year.
Good luck to all the runners racing the streets of DC tomorrow!   
Wish I was back there with you!  13.1!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dynamic Golf Warm Up

Do you warm up before playing golf?  Don’t lie—and I’m not talking about just swinging the club a few times before heading to the first tee.

Injury prevention is the number one goal of a warm up and our second goal is to prepare the body to perform.

Golf is a very physical sport.  It’s not “just a game.”  Walking 9 holes of golf is approximately 2-2.5 miles and you burn about 360 calories per hour when playing without a cart.  Think about repetition: how many times do you swing a club and how much power is going into each swing?  If you don’t take care of your body and do the little things (like warm up!), your longevity in the game you love may be cut short.

What’s the difference between static and dynamic stretching?

Static stretching is when the muscle is taken to a point of mild stretch and held for 20-30 seconds.  This should not be considered your warm up.  Static stretching is to be done following your round of golf—before you get home and head to the couch for the rest of the day!  Static stretching helps to increase range of motion but does not warm you up.  We want to perform static stretches on warm muscles after the activity to help with recovery.

Dynamic stretching is to be done before your round of golf.  It helps to increase range of motion while increasing blood flow and core temperature.  Dynamic exercises involve active movements that are sport-specific.  This means that exercises done before golf will use muscles and motions similar to the golf swing.  A dynamic golf warm up will be different than a dynamic warm up for running or skiing or any other physical activity.

Dynamic Golf Warm Up

Warm up by walking for 3-5 minutes. Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise. Gradually move through greater range of motion. Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.

Crossover Pass
Hold your golf club in one hand and extend your arm to the side. Pass the club over your head to the other hand. Extend the other arm. Follow the exchange with your head.

Side Bending
Hold your golf club in both hands over your head.  Bend to one side. Return to original position. Bend to the other side.

Front Bending
Stand with your golf clubs behind your back in both hands with your arms shoulder width apart. Bend forward and lift your arms over your back.

Around the Body
Hold your golf club in both hands as wide as possible. Rotate the club around your head clockwise. Repeat counterclockwise.

Hip Rotation
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground. Stabilize your upper body and rotate your hips. (Remember: We want rotary motion, not lateral!)

Squat and Twist
Hold your golf club in both hands and extend your arms straight in front of your body. Squat and turn your hands so that your right hand is on top and left hand is on bottom. Return to standing. Repeat with the left hand on top.

Golf Swing Twist
Hold your golf club in both hands and extend your arms straight in front of your body. Continue to hold the club in front of you and twist your body side to side as if your lower body was going through the golf swing.

Step and Turn
Place your golf club on your shoulders, holding onto it with both hands. Step forward with your left leg into a lunge and rotate your upper body to the left. Return to the starting position. Repeat to the other side.

Leg Swings (2 Directions)
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground. Stand on your left leg and swing your right leg front and back. Repeat on the other leg. Then perform the same exercise swinging your leg left to right, crossing in front of your stabilizing leg. Repeat on the other leg.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence..."

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, April 21, 2014

Run to Win

How can you not get inspired watching the Boston Marathon?

I’ve spent the last few hours soaking everything in and gathering my thoughts.  This blog post is going to be me totally rambling on and I apologize.  I just caught up on social media to relive the events of today and the adrenaline is still flowing.

The 2014 Boston Marathon was incredible.  I woke up this morning super nervous and feeling like something special was going to happen today.

My poor 9:30am client did not get my full attention as one eye was on her and the other eye on the women’s start.  From 10-11am, I had a pool client (aka no TV around) and had one of our aide’s relaying Shalane’s status to us.  Thanks B!

From 11am-12:30pm, I was glued to the TV in our physical therapy waiting room with my boss right along side me.  I paced back and forth.  I jumped up and down.  I jogged in circles.  I yelled.  I cheered.  I probably would have cried but I was surrounded by my coworkers, gym members, and physical therapy patients.

One thing I’ve learned today: watching huge races with non-runners is tough.  Everyone knew who Shalane was because of the local press coverage but non-runners just don’t understand.

“Oh she lost?”
“She ran a 2:22 – she’s amazing!”
“But she didn’t win?  Did she get second place?”
“No, she was 7th.  But she ran a freaking 2:22!!!!”
“Oh.  She didn’t do so well... Did another African win?...”

In the non-runner’s eyes, Shalane failed. 

She did not get first place but what she did out there on the streets of Boston was far from failing.

I am so amazed at her strength and courage.  Shalane dedicated her entire year training for Boston.  Her post race interview was very emotional.  Have you ever wanted something so bad that you eat, sleep, and breath it?  Shalane did.  She followed her game plan.  She knew she could run a 2:22 and she did just that.  A 2:22 would have won every single year except 1994 and 2002.  Three women broke the course record.  THREE.  Shalane took the race out hard setting everyone up for a super fast race.

Now Meb is another story.  I am proud to say I know Meb and his family including his awesome brother Hawi.  I’ve had the honor of exchanging stories with Meb and Hawi in the basement of the Quarterdeck at the post-race after party, being part of their entourage when Meb came to speak at the Falmouth elementary schools, motivating Hawi to run 7 miles and then meeting up with him in Chicago for last minute words of encouragement before my first marathon.  I have met so many amazing people through the Falmouth Road Race and I am thankful for all the friendships.

Meb took command of the race early on and never looked back.  Pulling away that soon is very risky – we all know that – and honestly I was scared!  Meb was able to hold on to his lead and fist pump his way to victory!  He became the first American man to win the race since 1983.  It was a tough day on the course for the other Americans but everyone fought their way to the finish.

“Run to Win” is Meb’s motto.  Everyone has their own battle that they are fighting.  Winning doesn’t necessarily mean get first place in the race but doing the best you can with the circumstances you are in.  He is a great role model for what he has done for the running community.

Below is an exert from Meb’s book, Run to Overcome:

“As I often say, whoever has the better day will win the marathon.  No runner is victorious every time.  You will not always win in life either.  Nothing is guaranteed, no matter how hard you’ve worked.  Injuries are part of running; disappointments and setbacks are part of everyday life.  But if you keep doing the right things, eventually the results will go your way.

Winning in life doesn’t happen when you overcome just one thing—do or die.  It’s persevering, knowing that difficulties are bumps in the road, not the end of the world.  It’s continuing to do the right things, knowing your time will come.  After all, you have to conduct yourself like a champion before you can ever win a championship.

Whatever you do, then, give it your best.  Persevere in overcoming obstacles.  When you do, you’ll be running to win.”

Boston needed this win.  America needed it.  And I couldn’t be happier it was Meb.

Shout out to Chris George who ran an amazing 2:58:59.  It’s not his best but still super fast!  Who else ran today?!  I don't know if I'll ever attempt Boston but I am definitely going to find a way to become involved and volunteer in the years to come.  Congratulations to all 36,000 runners, thousands of volunteers, and millions of spectators!  What you all did out there was amazing and inspired a nation.  Be proud.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Run Jen Run’s Marathon Monday Preview 2014

36,000 runners will make the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boylston Street this Monday morning for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

There is nothing more motivating and powerful than watching a marathon.  From the elites to the back of the pack joggers, everyone has a story to tell about their journey and months of training.  As I sit here regretting that I didn’t take the day off to volunteer – or even just to plant myself in front of the TV and watch live coverage all day – I know that the running community will rise up and inspire the world and you won’t want to miss it.
Universal Sports Network will be broadcasting the event.  They will air a preview show tonight at 4:00pm (that will re-air multiple times throughout the weekend if you miss it) interviewing some of the athletes and setting the scene for this year’s race.  Live coverage begins Monday morning at 8:30am.  The wheelchair start is at 9:17am.  The women’s elite start is at 9:32am; the men start at 10:00am.  The BAA is also live streaming the event at WatchLive.BAA.org.

The Boston Marathon is one of the World Marathon Majors along with New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and Berlin.  To those that don’t follow the sport, Monday's race a big deal.  Boston is similar to the Super Bowl of football.  Or the Kentucky Derby of horse racing.  Shalane Flanagan has said in multiple interviews that she would rather be crowned Boston Marathon champion over Olympic champion.

2010 Falmouth Road Race start featuring 2014 Boston entrant Gebre Gebremariam

Let's take a look at this year's elite field and who to root for...


The Americans: Shalane Flanagan & Desi Linden

An American women has not won Boston since 1985.

Shalane Flanagan is no doubt who I will be cheering for on Monday.  She is a Massachusetts native with an extensive running resume but one of the fiercest competitors out there.  After placing 4th last year and experiencing the horrific events that took place after the race, she dedicated her whole year to training for this year's race with one goal: Win Boston.

Desiree Davila Linden is making her return to Boston after a 2nd place finish in 2011 where she ran the American course record and her personal best of 2:22:38.  The past 2 years, Desi has dealt with injuries, including one that led to a DNF at the London Olympics, but returns this year as a serious contender.

Rita Jeptoo is the defending champion and also 2006 champion.  She ran her personal best  of 2:17:57 in Chicago last year.  Rita was one of the most dominant female marathoners in 2013 and has set herself up to have another great year.

Also running the race is 2012 past champion Sharon Cherop and 2011 winner Caroline Kilel along with 24 year old Ethiopian Mare Dibaba who holds the fastest personal best (2:19:52) in the field.  Don't count out American Serena Burla, a cancer survivor and 2:28:01 marathoner.


The Americans: Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, Abdi Abdirahman, & Jason Hartmann

Meb pre-race in Falmouth 2007
The last American man to win Boston was Greg Meyer in 1983.

Meb is healthy and hungry.  He may be 38 years old but he has a 2004 Olympic marathon silver medal and 2009 New York City Marathon win on his resume.  Most recently Meb won the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston running 61:23.  If you don't know Meb, you should read his book "Run to Win."  Awesome guy with an inspiring story and a great family.

Ryan Hall is the fastest of the Americans (personal best of 2:04:58) but has battled his fair share of injuries and disappointing races over the past few years.  Ryan is ready to compete after spending a month at altitude (9,000ft) in Ethiopia and America is looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Abdi after FRR 2011
In his first Boston, Abdi is the wildcard.  When he’s healthy and his training is going well, Abdi is a force to be reckoned with.  A Falmouth favorite and 4-time Olympian, 37 year old Abdi’s usual laid back approach is predicting a podium finish.

You can’t talk about the Boston Marathon without mentioning Jason Hartmann’s name.  He is unsponsored and we all thought he was retiring but earned a 4th place finish in Boston in both 2013 and 2012.

Micah (left) Falmouth '07 & '13 champ
Lelisa Desisa, the 24 year old Ethiopian is the defending champion.  Last year he made a really cool gesture and returned to Boston two months after the race and gifted his medal to the City of Boston in honor of the victims and families affected by the bombings.  Lelisa’s marathon best is a 2:04:45.  He knows the course and will be a tough one to beat.

Micah Kogo of Kenya was second in 2013 and has run a 2:06:56.  Micah is a 2x Falmouth champion and a really nice guy so obviously I’ll be cheering for him behind the Americans!

Last year was a race between Lelisa, Micah and Gebre Gebremariam (also a former Falmouth champion) as it came down to the final stretch.  All 3 men will return.  The BAA put together a great field and it's going to be a great race!

“Anything can happen man.  It’s the Boston course.” ~Abdi

Are any of my reader’s running on Monday?  Let me know so I can track you!  Good Luck!!  Boston Strong.