He can’t be stopped

One of the most humbling experiences is to watch someone else accomplish success. Words can not describe how fortunate I have been over the past 3 years. When I moved to rural Missouri 3 years ago, I had no idea my world would change so much. Two years ago I was introduced to a young man. I was asked to help this young man with his running. He had recently finished his freshman year of high school and did some amazing things in cross country and track that year. However, he wanted more. He had more drive and ambition than most high school students.  With my experience and love for the sport I could not say no to this opportunity. When I started working with Seth I had no idea where this opportunity would take me. All I knew is that I wanted to help him reach his goals.

His first cross country season we definitely set our sights high! Why not reach has high as possible. Going into the state meet as a sophomore we had both hoped for a State Championship title. Even though Seth ran an amazing race it just was not good enough to earn him the state title. I refocused my coaching and his running. Track season came and BAM!!! He did it. He managed to pull off 2 state titles in Track. I remember watching those races, there was a point I had to turn around and close my eyes I was too nervous to watch.  But he did it!! He won!!

Then I moved to Arizona. I was freaking out a bit inside hoping I would still be able to help him. I knew this year was going to be difficulty. I would not be able to watch him run once!! I would not be at one practice, or race!! I had to trust myself and him to know that we could still get in great training. I knew he had a shot and winning all three state titles this year. But this year was about more than winning. We wanted to prove that he can compete on any level. If he was going to win again this year, He had to really win! He had to blow his competition away. Unfortunately I was not able to sit in the stands this year and watch Seth race, but I was able to watch online!! Thank you internet!!! This year his first race was the 3200. I sat in my house, my heart racing!! There was no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be able to win, I just wanted him to break the state record.  As he hit the last lap I knew it was going to be close. He crossed the line at 9:39, which was 2.5 seconds away from breaking the record! SO Close!!! Not being able to watch him once this year really got to me. So being able to watch him meant so much. Yes, it is kind of bummerish that he didn’t break the record, but he did win and I am super pleased!! I was finally able to see him put all his hard work out there for everyone to watch! It was amazing to see how much stronger he has become over the past year.

The following day Seth was racing in the 1600 and 800 meter races. His PR is just shy of the state record in the 1600. If all of his workouts paid off he should be able to do something amazing. The weather was not ideal. It rained all day and all of the races got pushed back an hour. However, nothing could stop this kid. He approached the starting line ready to take on the record. The gun goes off and he is off. Lap by lap I knew it was going to be close. With one lap to go I knew he had a shot, but that would mean he would have to run just under 60 seconds for the last lap. I know he has that kind of speed. I sat patiently watching every step of his last lap. He crossed the finish line so fast I could not make out the clock. I immediately text messaged his mom asking if he got the record. She responded saying he was 1.02 seconds away from the record.  I felt so bad. I knew breaking both records were super important to Seth and he did not get either record.

Yes, I could be disappointed, but I am not.  He races well and gave it his best effort. In a way I am excited that he did not break the records. He has one year left, so he can get it next year. And he will not just be breaking the records by a second or two. He will slaughter the records. My wish for him is to run so fast next year that his records will stick for decades!

What can I say this kid can not be stopped!

A General’s Daughter

 I cannot believe I was blessed with such amazing and successful parents.  My mom is one of the best educators probably in the entire world, and my father is one of only a handful of people who reach the title of General for the United States Military. One reason I have never given up on my dreams is because my parents never let anything get into their way of their full potential. I am pretty sure this trait was instilled in me at birth. If you want something bad enough then you go after it. Too many of us find excuses when life becomes difficult. I know for a fact that both of my parents have been through more than one should have to handle in a lifetime.  No matter what cards were dealt, both of them took what they were handed and made the best out of every situation. This kind of mindset is exactly what is needed to become great!

I am overly thrilled at my father’s current success. I can proudly say that I am the daughter of a United State General. I am a General’s daughter!! So what does this mean to me? This past week I learned the definition.

I spent the past several days in Washington DC with my Dad to celebrate his recent promotion.  Unfortunately the middle of winter is not the best time for celebrations. His promotion ceremony was canceled due to a snow storm. However, weather was not going to stop us from celebrating my Dad’s achievement. Instead of having a formal ceremony we winged it with our own intimate “mock” ceremony.

My Dad let me pin his Star onto his jacket, and he read through the speech he would have read if the ceremony was not canceled. Based on this inspirational speech I learned more than I ever knew about my Father. As he spoke chills ran through me, because I knew I was his daughter. The words of wisdom he spoke resonated with me. It is amazing how we can be so far apart our entire lives yet have such a similar mindset.

I believe a General’s daughter is just like her father. A general’s daughter is determined and passionate just like her father. Both my sister and I have very different passion, but we both have never let difficulty interfere with our destination. As my Dad read through his speech he mentioned how he kept a journal of quotes. These quotes were there to help him get through the times when motivation was difficult to come by. I loved hearing him say this; because I have my own little “book” of quotes I turn to whenever life throws me lemons. It was such a great speech and I saw so much of myself in him.

I believe if he can become great and accomplish the so called impossible, then I can too. How many people earn the title of General? Not many! I am fortunate to have his blood running through my veins. If I work as hard as him, I know I can reach my dreams too!

Congratulations Dad!

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My Dad, Nanette,and Me!

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The United State Capitol

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The White house, (from the front)

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The white house (from the back)

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Washington Monument

California Christmas!

I seriously can not believe Christmas let alone this year is pretty much over. When you are having fun, time truly flies. This year for Christmas, my husband, James and I did things a little bit differently. Since moving out to Arizona we have not been able to do too much together. He is either playing doctor, (since he is in his 3rd year of medical school) or studying and I am either working or running. Our two schedules have not been meshing very well. Which brings us to our California Christmas Vacation. We both were in dire need of spending time together, so what better way than being locked up in a car together for 4 straight days. It all started last Monday afternoon as we loaded up the Volkswagen Beetle and headed out west for California.

DSCF1759Our First Stop was San Diego. We arrived downtown late Monday night. That night we walked around the downtown area for a bit grabbed some dinner and hit the bed. We needed to rest up to prepare ourselves for a few days of adventure.

As soon as the sun came up we were out the door. We walked about 1.5 miles from hotel down towards the water.

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Seaport Village was a real neat little tourist area.

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The Palm trees here are much greater than in Arizona, I guess they get more rain or something.

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James and Samson below!

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This is the Coronado Bridge linking San Diego and Coronado Island together. We eventually drove across to the island. I was pretty terrified the entire drive across the bridge.

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Below is the fancy hotel on Coronado Island. It was beautiful. There was even and ice skating ring right out front where you could go ice skating by the ocean. Kind of a weird activity to do near an ocean, but hey, it sounds fun!

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More views of the Ocean! This photo is from our next stop over by La Jolla.

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Samson and I at La Jolla. We saw so many Seals. I held on tight for this picture so Samson would not fall over to where the seals were.

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A nice close up of the Seals.

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We finally found a beach which allowed dogs to roam around. Samson was not a huge fan of the water. He would get real close and then run away from it as the waves came crashing on shore.

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Christmas morning James and I grabbed some hot beverages and headed to a beach in Carlsbad, CA. (PS. I should be racing here this spring. I had to take a tour of this city to see where I will be running. There is always something running related.) We opened some present my mom sent us on the beach as well as a few other fun gifts. It was a bit unusual to be opening up presents on the beach. However, it was a great experience. I am not sure if I will do that again, I think I prefer opening presents under a Christmas tree. Who knows maybe one day we will live on the beach, that way I can still have the view of the ocean and a Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

DSCF1814After opening presents we beach hopped along the historic 101 route. I cant even tell you how many beaches we saw. Each one had its own unique vibe. I loved Newport and Laguna Beach the most.

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We finished most nights along the ocean watching the sunset. On Christmas as we were absorbing the sunset we saw several dolphins. It was a natural version of Sea World. I tried to capture a photo of the dolphins but they were so fast my timing for the photos were off every time. But at least I have the memory of watching dolphins on Christmas night!

 

 

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SUNSETS!

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Samson and I hanging out in the sand!

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Christmas dinner was at a fun little restaurant on Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Our dinner was a mixture between seafood and Mexican food. Not ones traditional Christmas feast, but it was definitely tasty. Fresh fish from the ocean just outside the window can not be beat!

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Finally our last day in California we went to Crystal Cove State Park/Beach. It was so incredible. There were no people along this ocean side. We had our own little private beach for about an hour the day after Christmas.

DSCF1921This was definitely not a traditional Christmas by any means, however it will be an unforgettable memory and I am so glad we were able to make this trip possible. It was what we both needed. Now we are back to our normal lives, and I miss the ocean very much! Although as long as my injury heals soon, I will be on track to head back to Carlsbad and the Ocean at the end of March to race!

Birthday fun!

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. It started out great. Waking up at 4:30am to head up to GCU for cross country practice. I made the team blueberry and strawberry n’ cream muffins. It has been a very long time since i have baked a non gluten free food item, so I think I am a bit rusty. Overall the runners were grateful for the muffins. Better than most dorm food I guess.  They also gave me a card and sang me “Happy Birthday”.photo (54)

SO sweet, and I love showing up and having the opportunity to run with all these great people every morning. We even went to a new location to run. It was different than most of the places we run in Arizona. Most runs are along a canal with not much greenery surrounding us. Yesterdays run was immersed in a greener atmosphere. It is great to have a change of scenery on occasion. Most of the runs discussion was about the power ball and what we would do with the money if we won the $400 million jackpot.  There were some fabulous ideas involving helicopters and fancy cars. After our 40 minute run I headed home to get the rest of my day started.

When I got home from work James surprised me with roses and a Bosu Ball! I have been wanting a Bosu ball FOREVER!!! I finally got one. Now more time to become even stronger. More abdominal and strengthening workouts will be coming soon. photo (55)After present time we headed out for a nice dinner at a local hot spot called House of Tricks. It was such a great dinner. What can I say I enjoy really good food. I had duck and James had lamb. We finished the night with fro-yo.  He forgot about cake so we are going to Gigi’s bakery this weekend to get my gluten free cupcake!

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Ultimately a great birthday. I was surrounded by great people from 5 am till bedtime. Thank you everyone for a great day!

Tokyo 2020

It is official. The 2020 Olympics will be held in TOKYO.

As a runner, I am very stubborn, and most runners are. I don’t think I have ever met a runner who wasn’t stubborn, it is in our nature. So today, I used my brain and took a day off. I have been back running and ran 30 miles this past week. I am so excited to be feeling pretty good coming off of my injury. My rest day included heading to Papago Park with James to hike around. We climbed on some big rock/hills. It was fun. Probably a little dangerous too since it was raining. Some spots were pretty slick, but we had fun and that’s what matters.

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Overall today was a great rest day. I am ready for the week ahead. Training will be the same. I should hit roughly 30 miles this upcoming week as well. Being smart and playing it safe is essential for my long term goals and success.

Backing up to yesterday, there were lots of fun thing happening. Since cross country season has begun, so have the races. I went up to Flagstaff to attend the Northern Arizona University Cross Country event.  I had such a blast. I love volunteering for Grand Canyon University.

Some of the team even drove up to cheer on their teammates.

photo (45)Jordan and Gage look pretty pumped up for the races.

While I was running around the course I ran into Stephanie Rothstein Bruce. I saw her walk along the course and I literally jumped up and down with excitement.  In a Runners world, I met a celebrity.

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Camp is coming to an end.

Camp is finally coming to an end. Both Seth and Maria have been sending me photos of all the fun they have been having throughout the week. I wont go into much detail, just share with you all some of their photos and memories.

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One day all of the runners at camp had a opportunity to have Question and Answer sessions with some professional runner.

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This is the running path where Seth did one of his long runs this week.

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Seth is in the white shirt on the end, pictured with a professional runner and a fellow high school runner.

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More professional runners

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They just keep coming…. more professional runner. I have said it before and will say it again. Meeting professional runners is any runners dream in my opinion. Now that I live in Arizona, I have met so many former professional runner, who are still racing very well. I have been lucky enough yo run with them this past week, and I also feel like I am at camp just like Seth and Maria.

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Unfortunate not all of the professional runners are able to attend camp and speak with the high school athletes. However, the runners do have the opportunity to Skype some of the top distance runners. Pictured above is Matt Centrowitz, who won a bronze medal in the 1500 meter at the 2011 World Championships. Recent accomplishments my Centrowitz have been his 4th place finish at the 2012 Olympic games and a First place finish at the 5th Avenue mile where he beat renowned distance phenom, Bernard Lagat.

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Also another mid- distance stand out, Jenny Simpson, was able to Skype with the runner. The advice she gave to all of them was how important it is to eat healthy and take very good care of their bodies. Currently She holds the American Record in the Steeple Chase and won the Gold Medal at the 2011 World Championships in the 1500 meter. Jenny had competed in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games. Another fun fact is when Jenny and I were in High school we both races at the Golden South Classic in Orlando Florida. However, I can not remember if I raced her in 2004 or 2005. I think it was 2005. I remember from that race there was a lightening storm off in the distance and they had to keep postponing the race every 30 minutes. Finally we were able to start the race. We ran 3000 meters, Jenny finished first with a time of 10:02 and I was 2nd, coming in with a time of 10:12. It was a great experience. I was terrified of getting struck by lightening so I ran as fast as I could to get that race over with. As soon as our race was finished they ended up canceling the rest of the races for the day.  Anyways, I am so glad Maria and Seth were able to chat with one of Americas best female distance runners.

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These next few photos were sent to me from Maria and Ellen Weimer.

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The Salisbury Cross Country team is pictured here with Coach Ramsey, who is the camp director and coach of the Brocow Blazers.

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Maria and Ellen, I am not sure if this was taken before or after one of their runs! 🙂

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What can I say…. Girls being Girls!! Super tough and ready to take on the trails!!!

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These last few photos are of Maria and Seth with Matt Elliott, who is to this day one of the most motivational runners out there. He recently placed 4th at the USATF Championships in Des Monies this past June. One thing that is so special about him is not only is he a full time teacher, but back in high school, he really was not anyone special. He was the typical male distance runner, only running in the 4:40’s for the mile. Today the top girls in the states usually clock in around 4:40-4:50. He stuck with running all throughout high school and college and had made up so much ground. He now is competing against the best distance runners in the nation and has exceeded probably everyone else’s expectations expect for his own. Runner’s World, has a really nice article about him that you can read here. And this interview with flotrack is by far one of my favorite interviews of all time. Even I cried watching it the first time!

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They have just today left of camp, then all runners will be headed home for the remainder of summer training.  Seth will be attending another running camp in Colorado in a few weeks at Adam’s State University, so more photos and updates from that camp are sure to be posted in the near future.

Overall this camp has been a blessing, both runners have talked to me and emphasized how much they have learned and how motivated they are to keep running!

Morning runs and afternoons with Runners

I like routines, I am pretty sure most runners do. In fact my new routine consists of running 5 days a week, with one cross train day followed by a day of rest. I will mention it again, if you have read previous posts, I talk about Matt Fitzgerald’s book, “RUN” , It has been my inspiration. What I run each day depends on how I feel.

With all this packing getting ready for the big MOVE,  I ran across my access pass into the Big 12 Outdoor track championships from 2007. This pass represents the last time I ran competitively. I did not run in the outdoor championships, but ran a race that spring on an indoor track after only running a few weeks, I somehow ran an 18:03, 5k. A few weeks later I was diagnosed with my 100th (not really 100th but 3rd) stress fracture. 2007 represents the last time I really ran competitively or consistently for that matter.

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This is why Fitzgerald’s book has been a life saver to me. I am trying to run smarter and listen to my body. My run yesterday was rough, I have been feeling a little sore and tired, I usually do on the 4th consecutive day of running. Also I have such a competitive nature that I want ever run to be faster than the previous run. So it was also nice talking to my dad for reassurance. He has been running marathons for 20 years and has done very well in his marathons. He told me it is OK to slow down some and just get in those miles. When training for a marathon, running is important!! I ran yesterday and enjoyed it, even if it was a little slower, I got in 9 miles and was very satisfied. I am also working on stretching more after my runs. My mom informed me I am not as young as I was 10 years ago, so my body will get more stiff as I age. Oh boy…. Who would have thought at 25  I would be so stiff. I better listen to my mom, she does know best.

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Later that afternoon I headed to the gym for a 45 minute bike ride, I like to do easy rides to shake out my legs. It is either that or swimming. I chose to bike yesterday then I got to finish my day with Seth and Maria. We did our plank workout. It was really fun and the Sun was really bright. I do not think we have had a workout session without any clouds in the sky. What a nice change of pace. Except off to the north there was a storm cloud chasing us, but never quite reach us, so we were able to complete 2 circuits. I love getting together with these 2 runners. We always have fun and I forced them to take photos yesterday since I only have a few more day with them!

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Maria and Me after the Plank Session

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Seth and Me or should I say My State Champion!!

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Maria and Seth getting after it on the One Legged Crunches

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Maria is all smiles while doing some Russian Twists

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SIDE PLANKS!!!

Today we will be doing our total body exercises. Stay tuned for tomorrow, I will post the details from this workout.

Salisbury Steak Festival 5k Stampede

What a great weekend. I do not know if there are even words to describe the past few days. It all started Wednesday night. I Headed down to Salisbury Missouri to spend the remainder of the week and weekend with Maria. Since I am moving in less than a week 😦 I had to spend as much time with her and help her train and race one last time!

Salisbury is a quaint town, I  felt as if I was in Mayberry. I loved it. The  community was nice and the festival was really neat, there were kick ball, softball, and little kid basketball tournaments going on all weekend long. However, my favorite part about festivals is that there is usually a 5k fun run sometime during the weekend. fun run with maria

Maria and I ran the course twice on Thursday morning. While running the course I did not notice the hills, however when race day arrived and I was in race mode, the hills were much more noticeable.  Although every up hill has its down hill so the race was fun weaving in and out of the neighborhoods, there was no time to get bored on this run.

One think I learned while living in Missouri is that it is extremely humid. I thought Texas was humid, but on race day I believe the humidity was up around 90%. Sometimes I wonder if I am in a rain forest. 🙂

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Anyways, getting back to the race… I ran fairly well since I have not been running any workouts or tempo runs since April. I have just been running miles, trying to build my weekly mileage to prepare for marathon training this fall. So I was thrilled to come across the finish line in first place with a time of 18:38. Maria came in 3rd overall for female and 5th overall. She was 44 seconds off of her Personal best time 21:00. Which means when it is time for cross-country season she will blow her current PR out of the water. We were both very happy with our races. And loved racing in our Wild running outfits!

To my surprise even, little Samson, the pug walked/ran well in this fun run. He has never participated in a 5k before, so this was a first for him. He enjoyed it.  Maria’s Sister, Claire, and her Dad walked Samson. Maria and I out a race number and medal around Samson’s neck and I believe he was proud of himself for finishing his first 5k event! I think my dog is going to turn into a runner. I don’t know many pugs who run, so I guess Samson will be the first pug running dog.

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It was a great weekend. Thank you Weimer’s for letting me in on the Salisbury Fun!!!

I will ask it again…WHY do you run? For great Abs…???

Many already know that today is national running day. For those of you who do not know… Well , you learn something new everyday. HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY! GO RUN!! Even if it is to the mailbox and back, just to say you ran on national running day. 🙂

This morning I persuaded the husband to run part of my run with me. He usually only runs about 3 miles about 2 to 3 days per week. He is a former soccer player who I am trying to turn into a runner. I think I am making progress. By the end of the run I accumulated 9 miles. Which was longer than I was expecting since I have been feeling like I have been carrying 2x 100lbs cinder blocks (LEGS) along with me over the past week. Unfortunately runners sometimes have days if not weeks of heavy legs. My little pup Samson even joined me for a little R&R after my run.

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I do have a deeper meaning for why I run, but on a humorous level, I will say I run to have great Abs. Running does in fact help tone up are abdominal muscles, however to have perfect abs, we must do more. One of the current abdominal routines I found on the internet. I like to search around and find a few of my favorite exercises. I try them all out and then develop little programs of about 10 different exercises which can be repeated as many times as I like. Which is usually only twice.  As of now the current routine consists mainly of different plank variations. One reason I love planks so much is because they tone your entire body just like running. Listed below will be the exercises. I will do my best to explain them as best as I can. I would video myself demonstrating them, but I fall down a lot.

ABDOMINAL

1.One legged bridge: Lay on your back and get into the bridge position. You will need to be on one leg. Once you are in this position you will hold it for 60 seconds. This pose should be done on each leg.

2. Reverse plank: This is just like a regular plank but you are flipped. The goal is to hold for 30-60 seconds.

3. Front Plank: Hold for 60 seconds

4. Front Plank dips: You are in the position of a regular plank, however, for 30-60 seconds you are dipping/twisting your hips from side to side.

5. Front Plank – Front to back: Once again you are in the plank position and for 30- 60 seconds you are rocking forward and backwards.

6. Side Plank Rotation: Once you are in the side plank position for 30-60 seconds you will be twisting and rotating your body. You will feel as if you are going to fall on your face, but if you really use your abs you can do this!

7. Side plank Dips: For 30-60 seconds you are in the side plank position and your hips will be dipping up and down.

8. Side leg lifts: 60 Seconds, lay on one side and lift the leg.

9. Twists: Good old fashion abdominal twists, I suggest performing these for 30 to 60 seconds.

10. One- Legged Crunches: Lay on your back with one leg up in the air and crunch up to it. Do this for each leg for 30-60 seconds.

11. Push ups: 25-50 reps.

12. Plank Leg lifts: Get in the plank position and lift one leg at a time up. Should work your back and hamstrings some. Perform this activity for 30 seconds.

13. Donkey Kicks: These are one of my favorites. Do these for 30 seconds.

Once you finish all exercises repeat if you wish. One set takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The husband did these with me yesterday since Maria and I were unable to meet due to rainy weather. He about died on one set. So it may be best to start with one set and work your way up as much as possible.

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To conclude, enjoy your days of running. Whatever inspires your runs, don’t let that spark in you ever fade.  Being able to run is a gift we are fortunate and blessed to have. Sometimes we even develop great looking ABS from just running.

USA Cross Country Championships Here We Come

A year ago, Andrew and I attended the USA Cross Country Championship race in St. Louis, Missouri. This was his first attempt running in a national competition. This year he will not be running in the high school division, but will be racing with the big guys in the Junior National race. This particular race will be 8 kilometers in length. A little longer than he is use too. However, I have full confidence in Andrews ability to race longer distances. Seth on the other hand will be racing in the high school division. Based upon his past few tempo runs I believe he will be a top contender in his race. Watch out runners!!!!

Not only will there be some of the top high school and college athletes vying for the top titles. This year the Men and Women’s Championship race will be one to watch. Some of the top distance runners of all time will be participating in this race. Due to the Olympics last year the field was sparse, but this year will be full of many inspiring athletes. Deena Kastor and Dathan Ritzenhein are two distance runners who are idolized by many runners will be racing tomorrow. Also, one of my former college buddies will be competing, Good Luck David Jankowski. Many high school runners dream of watching their favorite distance runners compete. It is like meeting a celebrity. I am thrilled that both Andrew and Seth will be able to watch these runners.

Good Luck to all racing tomorrow.  Stay tuned for result postings…