Anniversary: 7 years of running, 2 years of blogging

Yesterday, was a very special day! It was not only my 2 year blog anniversary, but it was also my 7 year run anniversary.

Yesterday, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the 7th time. It was my very first race ever, and I have run it every year since. It is fun, flat, pretty. The 10 mile course loops around the DC monuments, taking you over memorial bridge and putting you under a canopy of Cherry Blossoms.

This race is one of the most popular races in the DC area. I like it because it screams spring, which means off season is finally over and race season has officially begun.

I use this race to test my fitness level, and see if my off season training paid off. Off season training consists of lifting weights and running shorter faster runs.

EXPO
Like always I headed over to the expo. Normally, I go on the Friday before the race in order to beat the crowds, and to be one of the first people to get my hands on new merchandise. However, my Friday was packed busy, so I had to settle for heading to the Expo on Saturday.

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I will admit I was a little disappointed in the expo this year. Maybe it was because I went the second day. But everything was picked through and some of my favorite vendors, such as Newton Running and Pacers were NOT there. Damn I really wanted a “lug it out” shirt or a Newton running hat.

Plus there were no free samples in our swag bag. There was no paper info on the race. Maybe they were trying to go green and didn’t want to waste paper.

Anyway, I did run into Vibrant Health company. I recognized the same guy from last year. I really wanted to buy some of the products last year but passed up on it. This year he was sold out of the product I wanted and only had one protein powder left- so I grabbed it! I’m excited about the protein, and ordered the Green Vibrance, the product I wanted. I’ll write a review on them once I try them.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE RITUAL

Like always I preform my night before race ritual. This ritual consists of choosing my race outfit, pinning on my bib, laying out my race outfit, updating my playlist, charging my iPod, getting fuel ready. Taking a picture of everything!

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THE RACE

The morning of the race I headed over to the start by metro, and followed the crowd. If you are new to this race or running solo, don’t worry, there are 15,000 other runners running this race so it’s impossible to get lost.

At the start I stripped down to my shorts, checked my bag, and ran over to my corral. This year they were really strict about staying in your assigned corral. In the past, they have had people complain about the race being crowded because slower people will sneak up to run next to a faster friend. This causes a lot of faster runners weaving around slower runners. This year they had volunteers holding up a color sheet dividing each corral. I was in the blue corral near the 8:30 min pacer. I wished I could have been in the red corral with the 8:00 min pacer. But I squeezed to the front of my corral getting as close as I could. Turns out I was in the very front. They let the red corral go and made the blue corral wait 5 minutes.

This was different and something I never thought I would be a part of. I literally felt like I was an elite runner at the start of the olympics. It was an amazing feeling to be at the front of the start line like that. I had my watch ready. A photographer took our photo and when the gun went off, we were off.

I started off with an 8 minute pace, but towards the end of my race I was running an 8:31 pace. I ended up making it to the finish line in 1:25:19. This wasn’t a new PR, but it was very close.

It was an absolutely beautiful day to run. I couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions. An although, I did not PR I felt great like I could have run on forever. It is also crazy of how far I have come. In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was my very first race. I finished it in 1:38:09, running it at a 9:53 pace. Now, I am running an 8:00-8:30 min/mile.

I can’t wait until next weekend, when I yet again run another 10 miler, this one being the Parkway Classic. I can’t wait yet again to see what my mind and body can do.

My advice to you: Push hard people, don’t get discouraged. With the right mind set, your body can go further and faster than you ever imagined.

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As for my blog anniversary. I can’t believe my little blog is 2 years old. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it!

In celebration I would like to thank you!

Cheers!
Happy Running

Running Fast

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“The years of regimented swim coaching had ingrained in me a very narrow-minded training philosophy, which was to do things faster. If I could just train with more yardage, and train faster, then I would most certainly race faster. Or so I thought.”

The above quote is from the book, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. Yes, I am on to reading another running book. This quote really got me thinking…

I always thought if you want to run fast you need to practice running fast. But after learning more about heart rate, I am now beginning to realize this is not always the case.

To all of my readers who are runners what do you think about the above quote? Do you always try to run fast? Does fast running during training make you race faster?

And let the long runs begin…

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I just finished the book, The Cool Impossible. Wow, I learned a ton from this book. It is definitely on the top of my list of favorite running books, right up there with Eat and Run, and Born to Run. You should read it.

There is really great stuff in this book. The first half of the book focuses on preparing you to run physically. The last half of the book focuses on preparing you to run mentally. The advice and knowledge I obtained from the last half of the book is also something I can use in other parts of my life. Some things you learn about running and from running, you can take beyond the trail.

The above photo is a great example. Don’t let the day run you… One thing I am going to work on is better preparation for my runs and for my day.

By reading this book, I have learned that before I run a race or long training run, I do things that mentally prepare myself for the distance. These things, mantras, visualizing, and rituals are things I do and didn’t realize I was doing them. Now looking back, I am more aware of these helpful tricks for the mind. Because these have helped me find success, it may be helpful to use them in other parts of my life, including other sports.

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I am a very positive person. However, the above photo reminds me so much of the book, The Cool Impossible. What I like most, is that the author Eric Orton, says negative thoughts are not a bad thing. Negative thoughts are a normal thing. However, become aware of your negative thoughts, identify them, and realize they are just thoughts, NOT truths.

Update on my Running

I ran the day, the day did not run me. This weekend my long runs began. I love running my first long run of the season.

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All winter, I have been lifting weights and running shorter faster runs. It felt good to get out there and run far. I ran a 10 miler, to help my sister prepare for her half marathon coming up in April. As for me, I have two 10 mile races coming up the first two weekends in April.

On this 10 mile training run, I wore my new Newton Gravity. It has 5 lugs instead of 4, which makes it feel like the toe box is wider.

My sister and I ran MVT over the 14th Street bridge and then to Hains Point.

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Have your long runs started yet? What are some mental tricks you use that helps you find success during running?

Choose to be an Athlete… The Choice is Yours!

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“I believe being an athlete is a choice, and that we all can be athletes, regardless of natural ability. It is a mind-set, a lifestyle, a decision.” - Eric Orton from the book, The Cool Impossible

I have been reading, The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton.  If you have read, Born to Run, The Cool Impossible is the next book to read. Eric Orton was the running coach for Christopher Mcdougalll – the writer and main character of Born to Run. After years of pain and injury,  Eric Orton helped Christopher Mcdougall meet his goal to run his first Ultra Marathon with the Tarahumara tribe.

Lately, I keep coming across the idea of CHOICE. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are making choices every day. Choices are everywhere… You choose to eat healthy. You choose where you buy your groceries, supporting the brands you choose to buy. You choose to go for a run. You choose to run in minimalist shoes. You choose your career. Love is even a choice, you choose your significant other, and they choose you. Even the things that are out of your control, you can choose how to react to them positively or negatively.

And believe it or not… You choose to be an athlete.

For those of you who are struggling to loose weight, eat healthy, and meet your  fitness goal… You are not thinking of yourself as an athlete. Once you make that choice, to be an athlete-  you will start acting like one, eating like one, sleeping like one, training like one. And remember this, your body is more capable then you think. Yes, you do have to train physically, but you also have to train mentally.

For those of you who are athletes, who want to meet new goals. It is time to determine your personality. Are you a bad thinker or a good thinker? Maybe you never see walls, or maybe you see walls blocking you at every turn. Become aware of negative thoughts. Identify those thoughts as just thoughts not truths.

These are some cool things I have been learned from the book, The Cool Impossible.

You always have a Choice- the Choice is Yours.

What’s your favorite running book?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Spring Cleaning (your diet)!

Today is the first day of spring…

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Hellooo Spring!!

Goodbye effing Winter!! 

During the cold winter months, fresh, local, colorful, produce has been nonexistent. However, I have been avoiding heavy comfort foods and staying true to my clean organic lifestyle by eating tons of spicy soups. They have kept me warm and satisfied during this brutally cold winter. ( If you haven’t read my soup posts do it now. ) My soup recipes are easy to make and you can freeze a pot full for later.

Soon though very soon, temperatures will warm up and farmers markets will open. Plus, I love to grow some staples of my very own in my backyard garden. Herbs such as basil, sage, mint, and rosemary are easy to grow and add flavor to many dishes. They are great additions to urban gardens for those who live in city apartments/condos. They also add a refreshing burst to fresh brewed ice tea.

So first comes first, it’s time to Spring Clean your fridge and kitchen.

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Eliminate all processed foods and all foods that are not clean and organic.

Reduce sugar intake.

This is a hard one but it makes a huge huge huge difference in preventing disease and in your waist line. Trust me, I know, I use to drink my sugar. According to the American Heart Association the average woman should get no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day.

Added sugar can be hidden in juice, tea, non fat milk, milk replacement products, yogurt, granola, oat meal, salad dressings, sauces, and many more foods. Easiest way to reduce your added sugar intake is by reading labels, eating whole foods, and making your own sauces, dressings, and granola from scratch. For more information read my post on added sugar and try making making Scott Jurek’s vegan granola by following the recipe I posted.

Also clean your kitchen of any foods that have chemically made sweeteners, aka sugar replacements. If it is made in a science lab it is not a clean food.

Research your oils.

I have many oils in my kitchen. Different oils have different flavors. My stash includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, and Coconut Oil. Make sure all oils you have in your kitchen are cold pressed. This means your oils are truly what the label says and not mixed with any other oils. Also make sure your oils are unrefined. Along with cold pressed this means they have the highest standard of processing. If it is not unrefined during processing your oils may have been heated too hot. When heated too hot the nutritional value may be in jeopardy. Also keep in mind that some oils have more saturated fat then others. For example: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 16 grams of saturated fat a day. 1 table spoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Although, coconut oil has many health benefits, use it is small doses and be careful not to heat it over 300 degrees. I like to use my coconut oil in substitute to butter or cooking sprays when greasing baking sheets.

Increase your raw food intake.

Although, I had fun making pots of homemade soups (Broccoli with Pickled Ginger, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Chipotle in Adobe, Farro, Pumpkin, and Vegan Chile) by now I am ready for some veggies in the raw. I am not going completely raw, but the plan is to eat as much raw fresh produce as I can. When it is the season, raw is way more sweet, flavorful, delicious. Why cook and ruin a good thing.

Eat the Rainbow.

The more colorful your food is the better. Rich, bright, vibrant color means more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants!  Runners especially need antioxidants because of the wear and tear/ stress that is put on the body daily.

Hydrate!

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Drink water. After the winter months, the air has been cold and drying. This leads to dehydration. It is time to up our water intake. I recently purchased a new water bottle that I plan to bring with me everywhere. Every chance I get I plan to refill. Having adequate amounts of water helps regulate metabolism and cleans the body of toxins. Another tip I do, is add lemon to my water. The lemon is a natural cleanser. So by adding it to your water I will be hydrating and detoxing at the same time.

Meal Prep.

This is something I am constantly working on. I love it when I have done it but it is a hard one to do. But if you can do it – well done! For those that don’t know what meal prepping is… I’ll explain. First you must plan your menu for your week. Second, get to the farmers markets or grocery store and buy your food. I normally do this on Saturday. Next thing, prep all food by washing, cutting and portioning raw foods. Cook foods that need to be cooked. Portion all meals with a protein, complex carb, and healthy fat. Follow your macros for portion sizes. These meals are now portioned and prepared ready to go. If you are eating clean you should be eating a small meal every 2-3 hours about 6 meals a day. The meal sizes depend on your calorie intake and macros. If you can do this, it will save you. It will help you avoid ever getting “hangry” and impulsive. It will help you avoid the need to eat out at restaurants. It will keep you high with energy and your metabolism speedy.

So that is it, thats my advice to spring cleaning your diet.

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So get in your kitchen.

Let’s clean, shop, and cook!

This post was inspired by an article in Runner’s World (march.) I love their idea to use dandelion which is high in vitamin A, C, and K in salads and pesto. They also mention fiddlehead, ramps, and rhubarb. I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these!

What are your nutritional tips for spring?

© 2014 sweatdaily

My advice to a new runner and all runners…

As a hair stylist, we talk and listen all day long… it comes with the job. Our clients need to tell us stuff, and they are always asking what’s new and exciting in our lives. Our salon is on the small side, and in most cases hair stylists are loud people, so it is a very hard task to avoid your neighbors conversation.

Now to get to my point…

Lately, every other person I come across is starting to run. Woohoo, this makes me happy. Two of my lovely coworkers who are new to running are the first people who come to my mind. Along, with them being new to running, comes a million running questions. Once you become a passionate runner and you start training for your first race (whatever length you choose) running finds its way into every conversation. I talk a lot about running to my clients and now running is among the conversations these two coworkers have with their clients as well.

We are lucky to live in the DC area where there are active people everywhere. But my advice to anyone new to running is…

We are not the same. What works for one runner, may not work for another.

I mean this in every way.

What shoes work for one runner, may not work for you. What training program works for one runner, may not work for you. What race strategy work for one runner, may not work for you. Some may prefer a camel back for long run hydration, while others may prefer a water belt. Some may drink nuun while others prefer water. Some may refuel with sports beans others may like gu. Some may run everyday, when others need more recovery to prevent injury. And the list goes on… But you get my point.

It is good to ask questions. It is good to talk about running and hear others experiences ( that’s why I blog and read other blogs.) However, it is really important for you to try different things and figure out what works best for you. You are your own unique person, one of a kind. When it comes to running one size doesn’t fit all. And diversity in this sport is one of the reasons I love it so much!

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What is your most common running question?

Happy Running!!!

It’s not your regular old gym clothes…

This last year, I took a business building class. At this class, I had to describe my daily fashion identity by using only one adjective. This was a very hard task. I thought to myself, I am so many things. Some days I feel artsy, other days I feel sporty. Some days I dress edgy, while other days I wear vintage. I love mixing and matching. I easily find inspiration, everywhere.

Although, all of the above is true, I stared to narrow it down… there is one thing that all the above share. And whether what I am wearing is edgy, vintage, artsy, or sporty, what I realized is that in one way or another, they are all girly and feminine.

Do you remember Clueless?

This is by far one of my favorite movies from the 90s. I was 10 years old when it came out, and I remember watching this movie, thinking how cool all of their outfits were.

Look at those gym clothes…

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Now looking back, I realize that I was the Clueless one, and the point of putting them in these outfits was to show how clueless they were too.

There is no way that those gym clothes were functional. Try running a 5k in those and you would end up with horrible chaffing. Although, they were not functional, what they were, was trendy.

Trendy and fashionable is what I loved about the gym clothes worn by Cher in Clueless, back in the 90s. Today, Trendy, fashionable, and functional is what I look for in my running gear, yoga, and workout apparel.

I love fashion.

I love expressing myself.

I have done previous blog posts on fashionable gym clothes and functional running gear. Why? Because it is important! When you look good, you feel good. Specific clothing is made, for specific sports. When you wear the proper gear for whichever sport you are participating in you preform better.

So although the gym clothing in Clueless were not functional, they were trendy. Now a days you can have the best of both worlds. Now a days workout clothing, running gear, yoga apparel is both fashionable and functional.

I normally love lululemon, and I have to admit most of my wardrobe is lululemon. However, lately I am loving Athleta. In the past, I always thought Athleta looked older, like it catered to my mother’s age group. But right now it is looking trendy, for the younger fashionable athlete. I am loving everything.

After I made a couple purchases in the store, at the register, I was asked how I had heard about Athleta. I have always known about Athleta however, I was inspired to go to the store, because of this image I saw on instagram.

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Who wouldn’t want to go it to the store after seeing this amazing image? I actually have been finding most of my inspiration from images posted on instagram. It is by far my favorite form of social media. I now follow Athleta along with some of my other favorite stores, and people. If you aren’t following me on instagram yet, do it, @dorseyml.

These are some other inspiring images. I actually have those pants!!

What athletic brands are your favorite? Do you shop at Athleta?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Other posts you may like…

Island Running in Thailand

I woke up early, right when the sun began to rise. As my fiance peacefully slept, comfortably sunken in a bed, hidden by blankets, I snuck out as quietly as I could. Tiptoeing around the hotel room, grabbing my iPod and garmin. Heading to the beach isn’t hard when your resort is ocean front.

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After spending five days in Bangkok and four days in Chiang Mai where I struggled to get a workout in, my legs were craving a hard run. I couldn’t wait, finally it was time.

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When I was on Ko Samui, I ran three out of the four days I was there. The first two days I wore my Newton shoes. The third day I didn’t have time to run because we spent the day deep sea diving in Ko Tao. The fourth day I ran barefoot.

The beach was not a long beach like you would find on the East Coast of the USA, where you can run for miles and miles. Instead it was very unpredictable. When I ran to the right of my resort there were times when my beach disappeared and just turned into deep water. However, when I went the opposite way I was able to get more than 2 miles in before I turned back. My runs were short and fast.

Because it has been such a snowy brutally cold winter, here, in The States it took me a little bit of time to get use to the heat.

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However, once I got use to it, I loved it!

On the last day on Ko Samui, I saw the cutest thing.

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It was so early in the morning that I saw a couple dogs sleeping on the beach. As I went over to snap a photo this one began to wake up – all sleepy eye with sand on his nose. If I were him, I would sleep on the beach too. What a beautiful, peaceful place.

Once we left Ko Samui, my fiancé and I headed to the beautiful Island of Phuket. There we met up with my best friend, Mariana, and her husband Chris. I was very excited when they both agreed to run with me. They are new to running, but open to the idea, so we met up and ended up doing a total of three morning runs. I alternated running barefoot and with shoes. We mainly ran on the beach but there was a time we ran on a street that went along the beach. I was proud of Mariana and excited she was so interested in running.

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In the end, I really enjoyed running on the Islands of Thailand. It was a beautiful place to run. It was peaceful running along the beach totally alone in Ko Samui. I had good company running on the Island of Phuket and was happy to inspire my good friend to begin running. Phuket was also full of other runners it was fun seeing us take over the beach in the early morning. Not all the runners on the beach were human.

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I’ve already missed the feeling of running barefoot in Thailand. As I deeply inhaled the salt water air, sweat dripped down my tan skin. The wind blew through my hair. Waves crashed at my running feet. Sand stuck in between my shoes. I was quickly reminded how lovely it feels to run barefoot in shorts.

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The Clutch vs. Livefit Trainer, and how to customize your online training plan.

After completing 2 full rounds of the Livefit trainer. This monday, I decided to finally start The Clutch Cut. I have been wanting to try this program since it first came out. However, because of marathon training over the summer, I needed to build my muscle back and I knew the Livefit trainer would do that for me. My second round of the Livefit trainer ended right before my trip to Thailand, Feb 1st. Now, that I am back and have some significant muscle, I am ready to do Clutch.

What is The Clutch Cut? What is Clutch?

The Clutch Cut is a free training program found on bodybuilding.com. It is created by Ashley Conrad (follow her on instagram @ashley_conrad) a celebrity personal trainer, who has trained Kate Hudson and many others. It is an intense 21 day program, that promises to get you in the best shape. Why 3 weeks? The program was created with celebrities in mind… 3 weeks is usually the amount of time that most celebrities have in order to get in shape for a movie. Because it is only 3 weeks long, diet plays a huge role. Diet is the key to seeing results and being successful.

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Clutch Diet

I have diet crossed out because I hate the word. This is not really a diet it is a way of life, and that’s Clutch. So every time you see the word diet, make sure you define it as a lifestyle choice.

The Clutch Diet is very similar to the diet on the Livefit trainer. Both are clean diets that eliminate processed foods. Both diets are based on eating organic whole foods. However, on The Clutch Diet, Ashley Conrad wants you to eliminate gluten and dairy as well.

Gluten and Dairy free…

It is a constant debate about eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet. Is it just trendy to go gluten free? Why go gluten free if you don’t have an allergy to gluten? Ashley has you eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet because they are both very hard for the body to digest, and because she wants you to see major results in a short amount of time. That is why, it is best to omit them completely.

Although, I hate labels, the reason why I am not calling myself a vegetarian. I will say this though, I eat a plant based diet, (most of the time.) And along with eating a clean organic, plant based diet, dairy and gluten are also pretty non existent – so I do not think this will be much of a challenge for me. However, I will definitely be reading labels, and making sure I stay gluten and dairy free – maybe I am getting more gluten than I think I am. We shall see… I also want to try to stay GMO free, and sugar free, whenever possible. I am hoping, if anything, this diet makes me more aware of what I am putting in my body, as fuel.

  1. Eat every three hours.
  2. Eat within the first 30 minutes of waking.
  3. Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day, with lemon.
  4. Eat gluten and dairy free with exception of protein powder.
  5. No fillers, preservatives, or color.

Carbs are Important…

Being a runner I greatly appreciate, how much Ashley stresses the importance of carbs. Do not eliminate carbs. They are important and you need them. They provide the ultimate energy for your physical body, and they are the reason your brain functions. The key is to be able to recognize good carbs vs. bad carbs. Make sure you know the difference between refined carbs (bad) and complex carbs (good.)

The Training Plans: Clutch vs. Livefit

Although, the diets are very similar, the Clutch and Livefit training programs are totally different. Here is why…

The Livefit trainer is a 12 week program that has 3 phases. Phase 1 is the muscle building phase. It consists of heavy lifting and no cardio. In phase 2, you incorporate supersets, heavy lifting, and 30 minutes of cardio. This helps you build muscle while burning fat. Phase 3 is your fat burning phase, your shredding phase. In phase 3, there are active rest periods, circuit training, and HIIT.

Weight lifting Day

The Clutch Cut is all circuit training and HIIT. Instead of lifting 5-6 days a week like in the Livefit trainer, the Clutch Cut has you lifting 3 days a week. On your weight lifting days, you are doing a full body circuit. You will be doing 12-15 reps of each exercise and 3-6 rounds of the circuit, depending on your fitness level. Your weightlifting day is followed by a day of cardio.

Cardio

When you are not lifting, Ashley has you doing cardio which ends up being 3 days a week. In my mind, cardio translates to running. Woohoo!!!

On your cardio days, Ashley has you doing HIIT. There are many ways to do HIIT. You can do this cardio on a bike, treadmill, outside, etc. When choosing a treadmill start out with at speed 5.0 for 1 minute, up the speed to 7.0 for 30 seconds, up the speed again to 10.0, then repeat up to at least 10x. Cardio is followed by a core/ab circuit. Each core/ab exercise is done until failure and you complete 3-6 rounds depending on fitness level.

The focus on core/ab work is another major difference between The Clutch Cut and Livefit trainer. I like how in The Clutch Cut they have a separate day for core. Ashley really has you focus on the core, where in the Livefit trainer, you worked core along with another body part.

Customizing your Program

There has been a lot of criticism about online diet plans and training programs. People claim that they are cookie cutter. I agree with this in some ways. Unlike a trainer, online programs can not personalize a plan based on the clients fitness level and goals. But you can be your own trainer and customize the online training plan based on your own needs. Listen to your body and use the online plan as your guideline.

On my weightlifting days, I may customize the plan by substitute one exercise for another depending on how my body feels.

Because I am a runner, who hates the treadmill, I will be customizing my cardio days. There will be days when I will run long distance outside. There will be days when I will do track workouts and hill repeats as my cardio. There are also tons of different ways to do HIIT and I plan on switching it up a lot. For all my readers who are runner’s who hate the treadmill, keep in mind that HIIT is equivalent to speed work. By doing HIIT on the treadmill you are not only burning fat, but you are also getting faster. These treadmill workouts will definitely help you PR in your next race.

As for customizing weight lifting days. There are tons of exercises equivalent to the exercises listed in the circuit. Don’t be afraid to substitute a different type of squat for the one listed, or add weight. Do push-ups on the TRX instead of regular push-ups. Switch it up. Customize.

First Week done… but will be repeated…

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day 1 clutchDay 1 of The Clutch Cut

day 2 clutchWeek 1 of The Clutch Cut completed.

I have completed my first week of The Clutch Cut. But because it was a new program, I needed to use the first week to get use to it. The first two weight lifting days I only had time to do 2 rounds of the circuit. Today, I did 3 rounds of the circuit and felt pretty good. I also have done all of my cardio days and will be doing a long run tomorrow. I am going to repeat week one (start over) so I can really kick it’s ass in the gym. Along with repeating week one, I will be doing the diet closely and taking the supplements.

As you may know, I absolutely love the Livefit trainer. It makes since to me. I saw amazing results, and it helped me discover a new passion for weight lifting. Because of the Livefit trainer I now know what strong feels like. However, during the Livefit trainer I was weight lifting 5-6 times a week. It became really hard to fit my running or yoga in. I felt like it was hard to do both and find balance.

So far I am really enjoying The Clutch Cut. I love how they have separated the weight lifting and the cardio. Now I have days of the week where I can really focus on weights. And I have days of the week where I can really focus on running. This will help me stay strong in both lifting and running. Plus, I want to do the running strength training program from The Cool Impossible, and I think it will be possible to fit it in on my cardio days, when I am focusing on my running.

What’s next…

When I complete, The Clutch Cut, I plan on completing phase 1 and phase 2 of Clutch program on Ashley Conrad’s website. And always, I will customize the plan, depending on my fitness goals.

Other Blog Post you may like…

  1. Livefit Trainer Progress
  2. Livefit Trainer Phase 1
  3. Transformation Tuesday
  4. The Cool Impossible

Have you tried Clutch?

˙© 2014 sweatdaily

Are you ready for some Thailand foodporn…

Okay lovelies! I am finally home from Thailand. My plane landed in the States last Saturday. Although, I have been home for a whole week, I was jet lagged, and just had to take some time to get back in gear. However, I have plenty of posts that I wrote while I was in Thailand, that I wasn’t able to post because of lack of wifi. So I will be updating you now!! 

I’m writing this blog post on a choppy motor boat from the Indian Ocean. So far on my trip to Thailand I have spent days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and now I am in Phuket visiting the Ko Pi Pi Islands and Monkey Island. I have stepped foot in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

If you have been following my Instagram and Facebook pages you have seen everything I have been currently doing. Unfortunately, wifi here is really slow so it has been hard for me to blog. So I apologize for that and promise I will update you.

So let’s talk about my two favorite things food and fitness. The food here in Thailand has been absolutely amazing. However, I will admit I am feeling a tiny bit fluffy, (maybe I’m not actually fluffy, but I feel that way.) It may be water weight that I have been holding on to, because the food is so salty, heavy, spicy. This is definitely a love hate relationship I am having with Thai food. Don’t get me wrong I love it, but I hate that I have to eat out for every meal. I also hate that I am not able to eat 5-6 small meals a day, like I had been doing at home. I am on vacation in Thailand so I am enjoying my meals, and pretty much eating my way through Thailand. But hey, it’s only three weeks of my life, and I need to take advantage of being in this foreign land, because the opportunity may never arise again. With that being said, l am definitely not feeling as lean as I normally feel when I am back home. Let me explain why?

There are fruit stands with fresh fruit and juice bars everywhere. I love it and have been drinking tons of watermelon juice. (But too much fruit means too much sugar.)

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Yummy watermelon juice!

I have been hydrating with mainly coconut water straight from the coconut, bottled water, and tea, lots of tea. This isn’t making me feel fluffy. But although it is fun to drink coconut water right from the coconut, I will have to admit it taste exactly the same as Vita Coconut water.

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Also I have come to the conclusion that most locals get their meals by eating street food. The street food vendors literally line the streets like sardines in Bangkok.

In Chiang Mai, our taxi driver grabbed lunch from a random street food stand on the way to dropping us off at an Elephant camp – yes I played with elephants I’ll tell you more about that later. Also Chiang Mai is known for their night markets. They are every night, and are full of street food vendors. One vendor made us Pad Thai right in front of us. Other vendors already had their food prepared. It tasted amazing, but was a tad cold.

I love authentic street food, the only problem I have is that I don’t know exactly what is in it, what they use to cook with. Where the food came from. This is a major problem. How am I suppose to count my macros? Plus, I love to cook and prepare my own food. I am really starting to miss cooking a home cooked meal. By cooking my own food I can control what is in it. In Thailand I let go, took the risk, and just trusted the restaurants and street food vendors.

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As an American, we are told while traveling, never drink the water and never eat the street food. However, Thailand is known for it’s street food, and they take great pride in that. So I trusted the street food vendors, plus all of the locals eat it. Many locals have their favorite street vendors, and become regulars, just like we have regulars in local bars in the the States.

In Bangkok, it has been very difficult to communicate. This shocks me because it is such a huge city and I expected more people to speak English. Turns out the island areas are more touristy where most locals speak English and speak it well. In Bangkok, it was even hard to ask for a knife. It took a lot of hand gestures and pointing to pictures or names of meals on menus.

Food in Bangkok

Although, the Islands are very close, I would have to say Chiang Mai is my favorite place in Thailand, and it has the best food by far. Although, there were tourists, these tourists were very bohemian, (I saw tons of dread locks.) Chiang Mai has a very authentic vibe. There were tons of locals driving mopeds. The restaurants were so authentic that at one of them the owner through on apron and cooked our food barefoot in her kitchen. She also teaches Thai cooking classes.

This photo is by far my favorite photo I took while in Chiang Mai. It just reveals how authentic and beautiful Chiang Mai is. Look at the street food vendor grilling corn on the cob. I captured her smiling. Look at the local traffic in behind her. Mopeds speeding on by. Look at the beauty of the gold Buddhist temple in the back ground. This defines Thailand.  

Chiang Mai corn ladyThese photo belongs to me. Do not use or repost with out my permission.

Chiang Mai street food

Above is a photo of the night market in Chiang Mai. It is crowded and authentic. People selling art, food, etc.

Food in Chiang Mai

On the Islands, where we are staying, beach front, it is less authentic and more touristy so there are more bars and restaurants and less street food vendors.thailand island meat lady

Also surprisingly, our hotels have had really amazing breakfast. So I have been waking up and eating a pretty big breakfast everyday. This is way different from my eating habits at home. At home I am not a morning eater. Normally, I’ll have a hard boiled egg, latte, protein shake, possibly oatmeal, occasionally a greek yogurt, maybe a piece of fruit. I always have a latte every morning the caffeine helps jump start my metabolism. Here in Thailand I have only had coffee twice, and I have been here for almost 3 weeks.

Breakfast in Ko Samui, Thailand, resort The Blue Lagoonthailand islands breakfastBreakfast in Phuket, Thailand, resort The Malisa

Food on the Islands

The cool thing about Ko Samui is that there was a larger variety of different types of food. We went to The Larger, which was owned by a British guy or Aussie. We also went to an Italian restaurant which was owned by an Italian guy. There were restaurants like these where the owner loved Ko Samui so much that he eventually moved to the island and opened a restaurant.

So there you have it, that sums up what I ate on my three week vacation through Thailand. I am excited to say, that I also  brought home some Thai spices and curry pastes, so I can play in my kitchen and make some of my very own thai food.

I am also proud to say that the DC area has some pretty good Thai restaurants. I don’t think our restaurants are too Americanized.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you been to Thailand?
  2. What is your favorite Thai dish?
  3. Do you cook with Thai spices?

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