Week 6: What Started As An Arranged Marriage

Something changed this week for me and my training. And the best way I can try to describe it, is from one of my favorite rom coms, The Wedding Planner. Love a good (or bad) Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy.

Side note: I think my life should be a rom com, so this analogy might be a bit of a stretch. Go with it. It has a happy ending.

About 2/3 of the way through The Wedding Planner there's a touching scene where JLo's Dad in the movie opens up to her that his marriage to her mother was an arranged marriage. He describes that she was actually in love with another man on their wedding day. For the first part of their marriage she only tolerated him, then began to appreciate him. Then how that appreciation turned into like. And eventually that like turned into love.

Welcome to my relationship with running. My arranged marriage with running began when I made a public announcement on the day of the 2016 Boston Marathon that I would run next (now this) year. Ok it's definitley different, I wasn't forced into it, but it wasn't my first choice. I had fallen in love with lifting. I loved squatting heavy, and holding my own in the weights section. My body was adapting quickly and the new challenge in my fitness routine was welcomed with open arms. Running wasn't on my agenda. Wasn't even really on the radar at all. But I made the announcement. I had verbally committed to the world I was running. 

Over the past few weeks that obligation had turned into appreciation. Appreciation for what my body could handle. Appreciation for this amazing running community welcoming me and supporting me, knowing I was a newbie. Appreciation for the sport and how effing hard it is.

This week though, that appreciation became like. This past week was the first week I began to look forward to my runs. I eagerly was looking at my plan a few days ahead of time to see what was coming and how I was going to tackle it. I got excited to tune back into my podcasts and tune out the rest of the world. I got excited to see the mileage I was going to cover, and looked forward to the feeling I knew I would get afterwards. 

I found myself smiling mid-runs. Probably looking a little like a crazy person. But this journey is becoming so much more than the 26.2 I thought I signed up for.

This week I spent a morning at Horizon's For Homeless Children in Roxbury. A morning touring their facilities and spending time with the kids. The beautiful, vibrant, smiling children, and amazing staff there to support them. This week it became so clear that this is about way more than myself, each mile I run I am literally running for them. Each mile began to mean more. My pain and discomfort eased up because it's about something bigger than I am. The pain they feel is greater than anything a mile or 26 could do to me. I'm fighting for them. 

I encourage you to help the fight. Your dollar, your commitment counts. Click here to donate.

This week a flip switched. My mindset switched. This week I began to truly like the process and love why I'm doing it. This week I'm finishing 27 miles and feeling so grateful, proud, and excited.

Week 6 Training:

Tuesday: 6 miles of hills and a Bags and Body class with Shane at EveryBodyFights

Wednesday: Off day

Thursday: 4 miles and an hour of boxing with G3 --> The new location opens next week!! Last few days if you want to get in at the lower rates. Email me for info!

Friday: 60min boxing with G3, 20min plyo legs circuit, 1 mile warm up

Saturday: 10 miles! Freaking cold! But felt so good :)

Sunday: Rest day. Veg day. Didn't leave the house day.

Week 4: Cross Training Fails and High Protein Granola Wins

Every week I'm learning a little more about what I can and cannot do during marathon training, or maybe should and shouldn't. These past couple weeks I've learned two main lessons:

  1. I can't lift heavy and train for a marathon.
  2. Eating for training for a marathon is different than eating to train for a bikini competition.

Lifting.

I should've learned this lesson during my half marathon training but apparently I didn't. My typical training program consists primarily of lifting and HIIT training, neither of which are in my marathon training program.

Yes, cross training is so important to keep your body strong during your runs... but I should've skipped leg day. 

Wednesday's are my mid-week off day of running and so I decided to lift my traditional leg day and was feeling pretty weak. I went for high reps and low-ish weight. I did a series of squats, squat jumps, Bulgarian squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses and rows. I was feeling good. 

Thursday morning I wasn't. My legs were heavy. And by Saturday for my 8 miles, my legs were like lifting led. They weren't sore but they were tired, and it was a terrible feeling slugging through 80 minutes of pulling what felt like dead weight. 

Lesson #1 of the week: I can't be a body builder and a marathoner. And that's OK.

I've been a body builder before, I can be a body builder again. Right now I want to be a marathoner. 

EATING.

Which also means I need to be eating like a marathoner. So much of how I learned how to eat to train was eating for a bikini competition show, which is 110% different than training for a marathon. Instead of counting calories and breaking down macros I'm eating tons of whole nutritious foods until my body is satisfied. I'm not counting calories because it doesn't matter in the same way it did for the show. My body needs way more carbs and fats to keep me satiated. I just have to focus on those carbs and fats coming from good sources: sweet potatoes (by the dozen), oatmeal, bananas, almond butter, avocados, cashews (and way more). 

I'm learning to retrain my brain to stop focusing on those big numbers so much and more on the ingredient list. I'm spending more time at Whole Foods (bummer :) ) and really paying attention to what I'm purchasing, taking the time to cook more and have more meals available to me for those post run RUNGRY feels. Which also means I've been playing with recipes and wanted to share my new obsession, homemade high-protein chocolate almond granola with ya'll!


High Protein Chocolate Almond Granola

Dry Ingredients: 

3c oats (I use Bob Mills Thick Cut Oats)

1/2c chopped almonds

1 teas cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

1/2c unsweetened applesauce

1/3c honey

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 scoops chocolate protein (I use Pescience Select Chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 300 F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

2. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside

3. On the stove top over low-med heat combine all wet ingredients and continuously stir as to not burn the bottom. Heat until the mixture thickens up 5-6 minutes and then pour over wet ingredients. Mix well.

4. Spread mixture onto aluminum foil evenly and bake for 30-40 min, stirring every 5-7 minutes as to not burn.

5. Let cool and then enjoy with your favorite yogurt, nut milk (mine is from Jugos), or just on its' own!


This week's training plan: Jan 17th - Jan 23rd

Tuesday: 5 miles intervals --> I did this workout at MyStryde with Owner Becca, my first Endurance class!

Wednesday: Off day --> This was the faulty leg day. I'm going to start sharing some cross training workouts that incorporate strength but are manageable to balance with longer runs too.

Thursday: Off day --> 45min of boxing with George Foreman III at EveryBodyFights

Friday: Off day 

Saturday: 8 miles --> I felt really good during this run, it was also the day of the Women's March so seeing so many women walking to Boston Commons in their pink hats, I was fired up! I also was listening to Rich Roll's podcast with Coach about his experience in the Civil Rights Movement and being on stage with MLK during the 'I Have A Dream Speech'. How could you not crush your run during those!?

Sunday: Off day

Monday: 4 miles --> I got 3.5 in at MyStryde during Kelli's Power Stryde class, a series of hills, intervals and kettle bell work.

And as always, I'd love any and all support to help me reach my Boston Marathon fundraising goal of $9,000 for Horizons for Homeless Children. You can donate to the cause here! THANK YOU A MILLION!


Follow me on Instagram for the daily updates and activities! @ebailey_fitness <3 #WithErin

Marathon Monday (Week 3/16): Find Your Stryde.

Ok in an attempt to blog my marathon prep, I'm three weeks in and this the first real post. Good Erin, good. Life gets busy and I'm having a hard enough time making time for the runs let alone blogging about them, but I want to give you all an inside look at what it's like to train for a marathon as a "non-runner".

Now before I get my head chopped off for calling myself a non-runner, I'm simply sharing this because I don't love running. It's not my preferred form of exercise, it's something I do but typically no more than 3-4 miles at a time. So for me, 26.2 sounds like a heck ton. Because it is. This training is going to be quite difficult for me. Yes I am a "fitness professional," but I traditionally train for very different things and that will only help me so much when it comes to running for four hours straight. 

This week, week 3, was all about creating consistency for me. I'm back from holidays and work travel and out of excuses. Do the runs. Focus on how your body feels. Fuel your body for your runs. Stay in on Friday night (so you have energy for Saturday's long run). 

This week's schedule and results: (As created by my badass coach Steve Mura with NYRR)

  • Tuesday: 5 miles Fartlek (I chose to make this my MyStryde training day, more on this below)
  • Wednesday: Rest Day (I went to the gym for a circuit of wall balls, kettle bell swings, box jumps, and some shoulders)
  • Thursday: 4 miles (I only had time for two...weak Erin, weak. I also had my first boxing lesson with George Foreman III, so got in some cardio and tons of arms/core).
  • Friday: Rest Day (I did plyometrics and lots of core and stretching)
  • Saturday: 7 miles (Felt like a champ after this one! Listened to Rich Roll's podcast and ran slow and steady. I was practically surprised the 7 miles were up at the end, thank you podcasts).
  • Sunday: Rest Day/Pedicure Day (I had just gotten a massage on Saturday so I'm saving the pedicure for next week).
  • Monday: 4 miles (I did 5 because I didn't gauge the distance well and just felt great so why not. Plus I was listening to the Rich Roll podcast with David Goggins, OH MY GOD go listen now. It'll make you want to run 100 miles. Seriously.)

My biggest lesson this week was to find joy in the process. Something I PREACH often, but hadn't applied to my marathon training yet. If you've talked to me in person my attitude isn't all there. I've certainly not been excited about my runs, and been a massive baby about the cold. This week I dug deep and really reflected on the process and how I actually feel about it rather than how I think I should feel. I had this overwhelming realization that the runs I do look forward to are at MyStryde.

I mentioned before that I'm partnering with them for my training, but I honestly did it because I know it's freaking cold here and going to snow and I wanted a place I could train inside. What I didn't realize I was going to find was that MyStryde is where I feel like a runner. And that's a big statement. MyStryde is what gives me the confidence to know I can conquer the other 3-4 runs i have that week on my own. MyStryde is what makes me feel like I can freaking do this.

It's not about running on treadmills to loud music. It's about the badass coaches reminding you every step of the way that you have a why, find your why, dig deep, and add a little speed. Because you can. And then you do. It's about the people running beside you sweating it out that are keeping you going, because you're in it together. It's about the combination of tread work and floor work, keeping your full body engaged and strong. It's about the strategic programming of intervals and hills you hit at speeds you'd never dream of doing on your own. It's about walking in a little nervous, and walking out feeling like a freaking powerhouse. 

MyStryde is what adds joy to my training. So grateful for the awesome team there and letting me be a part of it. If you're in Boston and want to check it out just let me know! I know they'd be happy to have you :)

Now off to Week 4. Let's do this.

If there are any specific marathon training topics you want me to cover or questions you have just post them below! I'd love to hear your thoughts and want this to be as helpful for you as it is a journal of the process for me. Much love <3

The blog is back.

It's about d*** time time I got myself together and brought this baby back. And just in case anyone was upset its taken me since NOVEMBER to do so, I truly apologize. But here we are :) I'm also still currently working on a redesign so bare with me as this site might be changing a few more times. 

So much has happened since November, to catch you all up I'll give you the highlight reel (in no particular order):

  1. I was hired as a Group Fitness Instructor with DareUFitness.
  2. My best friend in Boston moved away.
  3. I launched a fitness series with @Withings called #WithErin.
  4. I ran a Ragnar Race with Reebok.
  5. I turned 25.
  6. I went through a breakup.
  7. I took a solo trip to Europe (DO THIS!). Young men and women of the world, if you have not traveled by yourself before, do it. Even if it's a weekend trip to a city nearby, do it.
  8. My company, Withings was bought by Nokia.
  9. I started to work with some really cool brands, Crane and Lion, Sweat Cosmetics, and Nectar and Green.
  10. I committed to running the 2017 Boston Marathon.

I was walking to work through Boston Commons this past April on Marathon Monday and I just had this overwhelming sense that this should be me. The incredible runners I saw warming up, shaking out their nerves, preparing for the day ahead, I so badly wanted that to be me. If you've never been in Boston for Marathon Monday, it is truly something to experience. The electricity in this city is infectious. And the runners, the spirit, is truly miraculous, you see runners of all ages, sizes, abilities, CRUSHING 26.2 miles. You see people hurting, falling, cramping and then you see their fellow runners stopping to pick them up, or just lend an encouraging word. 

I literally have chills writing this, remembering that day this past April. 

In this world of chaos and disorder, that day in particular just gives you faith in the human spirit again. It's unreal. And next year it's not something I simply want to watch, but truly be a part of.

I am not a runner. It's not my go to form of exercise. So for the year between the two marathons it's been my fitness goal to become more of a runner. I decided to do all of the BAA races this year in preparation and have so far completed the 5k and 10k. Up next is the half marathon on Oct 9 in which I want to break 2hrs, and am using the Hal Higdon training plan, so I'll keep you all updated on that. 

But for now, it's good to be back :) Comment below with anything you want me to cover here. Meal plans, workouts, fitness challenges, training plans, recovery ideas, whatever it is I want to hear about it!