Week 2

Murphy was definitely following me around last week, nothing seemed to go right. It was an incredibly busy week and I ended up missing my Friday run and rolled my ankle on Sunday night, so I’ll have to deal with that as well. I hate missing runs during the base building period.

Monday was an active recovery day so I walked Henrik for about 40 minutes, I really thought he’d be exhausted after but he wasn’t. Seems to be the story of our lives. Tuesday and Wednesday I took off because I had plans both days and didn’t get in until really late. Thursday and Saturday I went for 2 with Henrik. The first mile was pretty slow each day but he’s still learning that he has to keep moving and can’t stop to smell everything. On Sunday I got 5 done by myself because I really want to get home and take a nap after I was done, and followed up with 3 minutes of planks. I’m kinda bummed about the week because I was supposed to get 12.5 miles in and only did 9 but I suppose it’s better than nothing.

Now as far as my “diet”, I ate really well this week with the only “bad” day being Valentine’s day. My sister and I went to our favorite restaurant and I regret nothing. I made a menu for this week and got all my grocery shopping done on Saturday and meal prepped a bunch of food on Sunday. I’ve been finding that’s the key to staying on track. I don’t keep anything unhealthy in my apartment so if I want it I have to actually leave to get it. Let’s be real, it’s winter in Pittsburgh so I’m not leaving my apartment for anything but work and to take my dog out. I’m hoping that when I see my nutritionist in two weeks that I’m down by 3-5 lbs.

A few things on the menu this week are:

  • Chicken enchiladas with brown rice
  • BBQ pulled chicken with sweet potato fries, beets, and butternut squash
  • Cauliflower crust pizza
  • Zucchini noodles with red sauce
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs w/ 1/2 a bagel for breakfast
  • Banana’s for snacks

Here’s to the next week going better.

 

Till next time.

Week 1

Half marathon training officially started last Saturday, so I’ve made it through week one of training. It went well, could have went better but for the first week I’m happy with it. I’m writing my own plan this time, solely for the purpose of saving some money, so I have to really be self motivating and disciplined for the next few months.

This weeks workouts were 3 easy runs and 1 long run with 2 days of cross training thrown in. I do plan to go from 4 runs a week to 5 and incorporating speed workouts starting in March. Right now I’m working on building back up my base since I didn’t do really any running for the last couple months. Yesterday I met up with a few people running for ACS and got some miles in with them. I definitely went out too fast, I woke up so sore this morning so I decided to skip today’s run and take a rest day. I regret nothing and I’ll do some stretching and foam rolling before bed tonight.

I even took it up a notch this week by making a menu and meal prepping for the week last Sunday. I can’t even tell you how much of a game changer that was. I wasn’t tempted to eat anything unhealthy or spend money on going out for lunch or dinner. I felt very prepared and every meal was delicious. It’s like finally after 3 years of seeing a nutritionist everything he’s ever told me clicked.

This coming week is going to be super crazy so I’m making more of an effort to stick to the plan by doing things like setting workout reminders and even moving some workouts around because I’d rather change my schedule than miss workouts. What methods do you use to stick to the plan??

 

Till next time.

Why you should run for a reason

As you know, last year I ran the Chicago marathon for Team DetermiNation, the American Cancer Society’s charity. I had nothing but wonderful things to say about the organization and the support they offered both throughout training and on race day.

Recently the American Cancer Society came back as one of the charities to run for at the Pittsburgh marathon. They approached me in the fall and asked if I would be a coach for them. Obviously I said yes, then I started thinking I should fundraise again and dedicate my 5th half marathon to my grandma Betty again and everyone else I know who’s lives have been impacted by cancer. So I figured this week I’d write about why you should run for a charity if given the chance.

First of all, you’re helping to raise money for a great cause. With the American Cancer Society the money I raise is going towards things like their Hope Lodges, cancer education classes, rides to treatment, and so much more. If you’re interested in a bigger race that’s hard to get into, like Chicago, you have a guaranteed entry which is also appealing. You’re also helping to get the charity’s name and mission out there. Since I’m a back of the pack runner, I see a lot of people running in their charity singlets and it was the first time I had heard of some of them, you’re helping to reach a bigger audience.

You’re also making your miles more meaningful. When I was training for Chicago last year, every time I wanted to quit I kept thinking “I can’t stop, I’m doing this for Grandma” and thinking of her always helped me push through those hard times. On race day I wore a bib on the back of my shirt that said “I run for Grandma Betty” and the amount of people who were behind me and said they were proud of me and to keep going for her was overwhelming. I cried several times, and when it got really hard I’d tap that bib on the back of my shirt and kept pushing through.

Lastly, the support you get from the organization is great. For instance, I’m now a coach for ACS which means I’m a resource for other runners. That’s super helpful if you’re fairly new to whichever distance you picked or you need someone to help get you through training. We also have weekly group runs where you can get to know others who are running with a similar purpose, so there’s a sense of community. You can never have too many running friends. 🙂

If you’re in Pittsburgh, consider running with us for this years marathon, half marathon, or relay team! You can also donate below if you wish.

https://www.crowdrise.com/acspitt2018/fundraiser/christinapier1

 

Till next time!

 

 

New year, new goals.

Oh hey there! I know, it’s been a while. Now that the holiday’s are over I’m starting to focus on another training cycle and my goals for 2018.

I know it’s kind of cliché, but I totally buy into the whole “New year, new me” thing. This year I have some pretty big goals for myself as far running goes. Last year my 3 big goals were to get RRCA certified, run a sub 3:00 half marathon time, and PR at the Chicago marathon. I guess two out of three isn’t too bad, but this year I’m going to see how much more I can push myself.

My biggest goal this year is to PR at the marathon distance this fall by an hour. Yes, an hour. The goal for the Chicago marathon was to run in 6:00 or less, obviously that didn’t happen because it took me 7:07. A sixty minute PR would put me at 5:57, and I’m going to be putting in the work to make that happen.

Another goal that’s really important to me is to PR again at the Pittsburgh half marathon this May. Last year I cut twenty (20!!!) minutes off my time, coming in at 2:56 and some change. The new goal for May 6 is 2:45, which means I’ll have to run 12:35 minute miles. Slightly terrifying but I know I can get it done. I’d also like to exceed my fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society, I’m once again dedicating a race to my Grandma Betty who has stage 4 colon cancer and just spent, what we think, her last Christmas with us. You can find the link to donate in my last post, if you can’t donate thoughts and prayers for my grandma are appreciated.

The last two would be to travel for races more, whether they’re only an hour away or across the country, and to acquire more athletes to train which is pretty self-explanatory. I’m currently registered for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in July. I never imagined I’d be going to California to run but I’m really excited to get out and see new places through running. I’m still undecided about my fall marathon but I’m heavily leaning towards the Toronto marathon on October 21. You’ll also see me posting here more consistently, training starts in a few weeks so I’ll be taking you guys with me through that journey.

Because I care about things outside of running; some of my personal goals this year are to finally finish my associates in Business Management, continue to lose the 25-30lbs I’ve already started to get rid of, and to make myself a priority. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and this year I’m going to learn to do that.

 

What are your 2018 goals?

Embracing the offseason

Hey there, I know it’s been a couple of weeks but I decided to spend the last couple weekends enjoying my family and celebrating Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s nice to step back from something for a little while and just live life.

With that said, I’d be lying to you if I said I was running regularly right now. In fact, the last time I ran was on Thanksgiving morning at my local 5k Turkey Trot where I had a 18 second PR and finally held onto a 13 minute pace for more than one mile. It’s a small victory but I’ll take it. Instead I’ve been spending time with my parents, sisters, friends, and of course Henrik. I recently started dating again so I’m allowing that to take up some time as well. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, sometimes we need to regroup and truly miss something we’re passionate about so we don’t burn out from over doing it.

I’ve been getting my miles in, but in different ways. Henrik and I walk for 2-3 miles every night and 4-6 on the weekends. A couple of nights a week I try to get down to my gym to spend an hour on the elliptical which usually gets me to 5 miles. I know some people don’t really have an “offseason” and train all year round, and that’s fine. But for me, I get physically and mentally burned out by the time November hits. In an effort to enjoy the holidays with my family and to look forward to next years races these couple of months off of an official schedule are critical for me.

This will also allow me to be fresh by the time half marathon training starts in February. I’ll be running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon again for the 4th time but this time I’m making it more special by running with the American Cancer Society, the charity I ran for in the Chicago marathon almost 2 months again. I’m really excited to be apart of that group and helping out the other charity runners with their training. If you’re able to, please consider donating at the link below. Next weeks post will touch more on running through a charity and why it’s so important to me.

https://www.crowdrise.com/acspitt2018/fundraiser/christinapier1

 

Till next time..

Training my first athlete

Happy Sunday everyone, can’t believe we’re almost half way through November. It’s been a pretty quiet week for me, trying to get back into a work out routine and really be mindful of what I’m eating because I’m so focused on being better next year.

I wanted to discuss coaching this week and what it’s been like to train my first “real” athlete. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I got my RRCA certification earlier this year and I’m really passionate about helping others and becoming a resource for them even if they decide to not work with me. This past June my athlete reached out to me via email because he wanted to run a marathon this November, after asking several questions to see if we’d work well together and go over his goals we decided it was a good fit. I’ve trained myself for several races and I’ve helped out family/friends but never had an actual client so I knew I’d also be doing some learning.

It’s been an incredible learning experience over the last few months, I can honestly say it’s probably been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I’ve learned to give advice based on logic instead of emotion, which is something I usually struggle with because I am an emotional person, and I’ve also learned that I don’t know the answer to everything (shocker). Since working with him I’ve learned so much more about the sport because if he had a question I wanted to be able to answer it correctly. He crushed every work out I gave him, if he had a question he’d ask so he wouldn’t risk injuring himself, and most of all he’s inspired me to pursue running and coaching even more. By watching him never give up and grow as a person it’s inspired me to do the same. His marathon was yesterday and he did so well! I’m so proud of him and his accomplishment.

It’s definitely not easy getting into coaching as someone who isn’t as seasoned as others because you’re asking someone to trust that you know what you’re doing. I’m not going to lie I was nervous that I’d fail at this and I’m so happy it went well. I strongly encourage everyone to either work with a coach or at least seek their advice because they can offer so much insight and hold you accountable. On days when I wasn’t feeling it my coach would reach out to me and give me words of encouragement and just that little boost made all the difference, that’s something I tried to mimic with my athlete.

I’m hoping that I’ll have many more awesome clients next year and that I can make an impact in their lives as well. There is truly nothing more rewarding than helping someone achieve their goals.

 

Till next time..