MCM Training Week 3 – Let’s Talk Cross Training!!

 Hi readers!  This week we’re going to talk about cross training.  Why?  Well……because I didn’t run.

That’s right.  I did not run.  Not one single mile.  This is not a great marathon training strategy and if we were closer to the race, or I didn’t have solid faith in the base I have built over the last several months I would probably be in some kind of panic over losing a week of training.  Our bodies, however, don’t just immediately crash and burn.  Anyone that has trained for a race knows that things happen.  We get sick, we get injured, our families come to town.  No matter how dedicated we are there are times when life or circumstance make us take pause – either for purposes of mental or physical health.  For me, this last week was a mix of both.

Cross training is an important part of marathon training.  Rest days are important as well.  When you are pushing your body to its limit, it needs a day off.  Bodies being worked hard need time to recover, and muscles occasionally need a change of pace.  People do a lot of different things for cross training.  When I’m at home I have a Zumba class I go to every week.  I also occasionally drop in on yoga or pilaties classes, and now that it is summer I also love swimming.  Here in Costa Rica I was looking for something a bit more, adventurous.  And boy did I find it!

When we last spoke it was Sunday morning and I was musing about whether or not I was going to set off in the blistering jungle heat to run eight miles.  The result of this waffling was I did not run nine miles.  Instead we headed to the beach for some good old fashioned boogie boarding.

Costa Rica 2014 090As you can see, I terrified local children and parents with my haphazard boogie boarding skills.  But it was lots of fun! 

On Monday we headed the opposite direction to one of Costa Rica’s beautiful national parks for one of my other favorite cross training activities – hiking!  I know of folks who even use walking as cross training, so I think a trek through a very hot jungle certainly counts as some decent cross training!  Given that we are in Costa Rica we had some beautiful friends come to watch us hike:

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The bird on the top is a crested caracara, and the monkey on the bottom is a white faced capuchin.  Now, hiking in Virginia may not give you the same kind of wildlife viewing – but I would highly suggest hitting the Billy Goat Trail or even Old Rag sometime this summer if you have occasion to.  They are both amazing hikes with beautiful views, and certainly make for good cross training!

While boogie boarding was fun, I felt like if I was really going to claim it was good cross training, I was going to have to do something a bit more intense.  Enter surf school!

10270828_517754824729_175430075136890256_nTortuga Surf School in Jaco, Costa Rica came highly recommend from trip advisor, so three of us decided we’d try it out.  If you have never had the pleasure of surfing, let me tell you – it is much more of a full body work out than one would imagine!  The first day started off doing drills on the shore.  Learning how to pop up properly to ride over the waves you don’t want to catch, how to get yourself up on your feet quickly once you’ve paddled hard enough to catch your wave, and how to properly squat down low enough to keep your balance long enough to ride your wave.  Then we hit the water to learn how to catch the small breakers. After two hours we were totally beat and we called it a day.

10547742_517776596099_1697934073018489902_oThe second day of surf school they had us paddle waaaay out and start catching swells to ride in.  This was significantly harder, and any time you missed a wave you had quite a long paddle back out.  This was an incredible full body work out, and after only two hours of this more intense surfing, we were about reading to throw up, as illustrated by the picture to the right.  I was more exhausted than I can remember being and absolutely every body part hurt.  Talk about a good work out!!  I did manage to ride a wave or two pretty well.10553753_517776196899_5215732611541202112_o

I took the day between surf school lessons and the day after surf school off.  During this last week I had my best childhood friend come down and hang out with us here, and my brother and his wife have also joined us.  Today (Sunday) is our last full day here in Costa Rica so we went for one last hike in Manuel Antonio National Park and found this lovely friend – Costa Rica Addie Upload 098


Today will be my last post from Costa Rica.  Tomorrow we will fly back home, and I imagine my training posts will be much more consistent!  This upcoming Saturday I will be racing at the Rockville Twilighter 8k.  I have set a goal for myself of 43 minutes – which would be a PR for me (I just realized we’ve never talked much about pace – I’m sure we’ll get into it more later).  If any of you are planning on being there and happen to spot me – please come say hi!  I’d love to know someone out there is reading my ramblings about running!  Until next week – run well!




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MCM Week 2 – Running Far From Home

*My apologies for the lack of pictures this week.  My internet here is arguing with my computer*


This is my second post from my home away from home in Costa Rica.  Running in rural Costa Rica continues to be both amazing and incredibly challenging.  It isn’t that the weather is so radically different than the weather at home – it’t hot and humid – but there is something about this near-equator sun that makes the heat just stick to your bones.  It doesn’t help that after a hot run you can’t walk into an air conditioned house and feel instant relief.  My most common mode of cooling off is to rip off the running clothes and jump into the pool.


More serious than the physical challenges of running in Costa Rica are the mental challenges.  We know that a lot of running is a mental game we play with ourself.  Up until this last Friday I have been running alone on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar sights.  When I’m at home training I have my routes – certain neighborhood loops (from my house around Kingstowne and back is a perfect four miles), certain trails, where I have traveled so many miles and they are so predictable that I feel like I’m at home.  There is none of that predictability here.  That isn’t to say that I’ve gotten to know the roads.  I know when I will pass the small community school, how many tiny tiendas I run passed until I get to where the crocodile tour boats launch, but there is a sense of being out of place that creates a sense of loneliness.

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MCM Training Week 1: Not QUITE According to Plan!

Today I will be long winded and inundate you with pictures.  You’ve been warned. This last week was my official first week of marathon training.  Kind of.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have several races that I am training for.  The first race coming up will be the Rockville Twilighter 8k in July.  The training plan I have been following for that race actually had me at a higher weekly mileage rate than the first week of my marathon training plan, so I thought I would stick with that.  Things didn’t go quite as planned.

On Sunday everything went perfectly according to plan.  I needed to run three miles and get in a strength work out.  Given that I wanted to be at the gym for my strength workout, I decided to just do my three on the treadmill.  Thanks to the cinema room at my gym, I had the pleasure of running my three miles while watching Waynes World 2.  I don’t recommend it.  The next step of the gym proved to be a terrible idea.  Sean is the gentleman I’m planning on marrying this Fall, and he happens to be a former crossfitter.  I thought, just for fun, I’d let him lead me through some of the strength exercises he does when he goes to the gym.  I learned to do deadlifts, did some skin-the-cats on the rings, and did some shoulder presses and walking lunges.  None if it sounds too intense, but given that I am not someone that tends to lift heavy things, I learned my lesson.

Monday morning I woke up and could barely move!  I hobbled out of bed and off to work.  While I was hurting (and hurting bad), I grabbed my gym clothes so that after work I could do my 45 minute tempo run.  At 11am, I had an experience that most parents can commiserate with.  The phone rang and I was informed my daughter was laying in the clinic with a fever of 102.  It’s amazing how one simple act can obliterate all plans for a day.  My day became a rush of finding someone to take her home and getting an afternoon doctor’s appointment.  Did I mention that on Thursday we would be leaving the country for almost three weeks?  Yup.  Instead of running on Monday, my day turned into driving all over the place to see doctors and get prescriptions filled. Thus began my four days of forced rest.  Between a kid with strep, finishing up the school year (I teach 3rd grade), and trying to figure out how to pack for the three of us for three weeks in rural Costa Rica, I neglected running.  While I’m not terribly proud of that, I wanted to make no mistake of being honest about it here.  Could I have gotten up at 5am to run?  Absolutely.  But dealing with kids and life became my priority.  And by Thursday we were on an airplane, headed to Costa Rica. Continue reading

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Journey to Marine Corps Marathon 2014

Hi!  I'm Addie!

Hi! I’m Addie!


Hello everyone!  I’m Addie.  I am a 30 year old mom of two, elementary school teacher, part time running store ninja, and I’m getting married this October!  Oh, I’m also training for the Marine Corps Marathon!  Sound like fun??  Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but here we go!


That’s right, 18 weeks from today I will be taking on the Marine Corps Marathon.  I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a seasoned or veteran runner.  The first time I ever ran more than the required one mile for PE was in the Spring of 2010 when I helped coach a kids running club.  I ran my first 5k with a group of kids from a very disadvantaged area.  It took me just a hair over 37 minutes and I desperately wanted to walk.  Training for that 5k was exhausting, hard, and no fun.  Once I finished that 5k, however, I felt such a sense of accomplishment!

I finished!  It took 2:24, and I swore I'd never do it again.

I finished! It took 2:24, and I swore I’d never do it again.

That Fall we started up our kids running club again, and one of my co-coaches was diagnosed with lymphoma.  It was a terrible shock and I felt lost and out of control of the situation.  Only a few days after the news came through, I heard about Team in Training and registered to run the Shamrock Virginia Beach Half Marathon and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I trained throughout the Winter, and in March of 2011 I completed my first half marathon.  It wasn’t fast or pretty, but I finished.  By mile nine I was DONE.  I will admit to you now that my “training” consisted of running my weekly long run, and nothing else.  I don’t recommend it.  I felt good knowing I had accomplished something, but didn’t feel the need to do it again.  Just a few weeks after completing the half, I started working part time at Metro Run & Walk, and one condition of employment at the time was participating on the store team for the Marine Corps Marathon.  As terrifying as this sounded, I agreed and started training with our wonderful training group.

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Running Through Injuries… A Few Thoughts

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

I’ve been running for 30 years, and one thing that experience has given me is an appreciation for the complexity of any decision to either continue training through an injury or to just shut down for a while.   Professional medical judgment is essential when you have a real problem, but what about that suspected ‘run-of-the-mill’ ache or pain that is pretty typical of the repetitive motion of running and walking we all love?  Ignoring important signals and charging through a training plan while injured can really set you back.

For me, the six big questions to answer are…

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On Training: Simulate Race Conditions

John Faith has been with Metro Run and Walk since 2004

John has been with Metro Run and Walk since 2004 and enjoys being active!

As you read this, we’ve all just celebrated our year-end holidays and, hopefully, survived the New Year’s Eve events!

Many of us have also entered the time of post-race season reflections, and some are even feeling the “post-race season blues.”  It’s time to take a look back on our year – what we would have/should have/could have done (or not done, as the case may be) differently this past year.  It’s also time to think about the upcoming year with those same thoughts in mind.

I’d like to take this opportunity to again expound on two of my favorite themes as a prelude to the new year: training the appropriate muscle, and nothing new on race day.

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MCM13: My training ends…

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

For the last two weeks, I have agonized over whether or not I would be able to continue.

The really short story is that about two weeks ago, I was injured to the point where I had to interrupt training, stop running, and seek medical attention.  I’ve been working with my sports chiropractor, Dr. Kathy Coutinho, Positively Chiropractic and yesterday we both came to the conclusion that the smartest thing is to completely heal and rehab and come back for a late spring/early summer marathon.

Keep reading for the long version…

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MCM13: Week 13 & 14 Training with Hansons Marathon Method

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

My daughter’s wedding was last week and between prepping for it, training, and working, I couldn’t get to the computer for the Week 13 Recap so this week’s recap includes both Week 13 and 14.

The wedding was wonderful.  My daughter was incredibly beautiful,  Everything went really well — the rehearsal (but not really rehearsal) dinner at our house the night before, the setup prior to the wedding and reception at Sharp Rock Vineyard in Sperryville, VA,  getting dressed. the wedding itself, the reception, and the clean-up the following morning.   Everything was perfect with just one tiny little hitch.  After a long stretch of absolutely beautiful sunny days, it was pouring all day on wedding day!  In the end, it didn’t matter and wasn’t a problem.  We had a rain contingency plan and plenty of shelters and umbrellas.  The rain stopped long enough so that the ceremony was held in the pine forest, which was contingency plan #2.

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MCM13: Week 12 Training with Hansons Marathon Method

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

My oldest daughter, Marjorie, is getting married on Saturday the 21st and things are getting pretty busy around here getting ready.  Throw in training using the Hansons Method with 49 scheduled miles for the week, a key employee being on vacation and needing to work the floor more than usual, flooring work being done in a rental house we own and needing to be present when the renter is at work, and a trail 1/2 marathon and you’ve got an insane woman.

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MCM13: Week 11 Training with Hansons Marathon Method

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner

Hopefully the challenges that faced me last week with blisters, a sore toe and lung pain are indeed behind me.  I look forward to this week with anticipation and the expectation that I will be back on track.

Week 11 introduces the Strength workouts and takes another pretty big jump with a total of 54 miles this week.  The additional miles are added in the Tuesday Strength workout which totals 8-10 miles depending on how long a warm-up and recovery you do, and the Long run topping out at the magical 16 miles. Continue reading

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