The Art of a Race Schedule

October 23, 2013

At least once a year, it seems like runners all talk about what their upcoming race schedule looks like. Most of the time, a schedule greatly depends on the type of runner you are, but there can also be a few other factors. Here are some ways to help you plan your upcoming races- or at least help understand how others make theirs.

Do you have a goal race?

This should be the first question you ask yourself. If you have a goal race, then the other races you schedule should support your training schedule for that race. For example, if you plan to run a marathon and your schedule calls for a 20 mile run with some goal pace miles, it is probably not the best idea to race a 10k on the same weekend. Your legs will not receive the benefit from the goal pace miles for your long run, and will also be tired from the pace you held during the 10k. Racing distance that do not help your goal race can be detrimental to your training as they can really tire your legs for the upcoming workouts in the week ahead.

My favorite way to race during marathon season is to enter in a few half marathons and turn them into long runs. I’ll either tack on some warm up miles, cool down miles, or both to reach my scheduled distance for the day. Earning a medal and running with course support is a great way to keep your mind off of the distance, and to practice your race day tactics too!

Yes, I still have a paper calendar :)

Yes, I still have a paper calendar :)

Do you want to travel or stay local?

Does your city or town offer a lot of races to choose from, or will you have to travel to find a race that suits you? If you can race pretty close to home, that makes life a bit easier. You don’t have to worry about taking off of work to travel or reserving that hotel room months in advance. You can also use your money to enter into more races, rather than paying for plane tickets and travel expenses. However, racing out of town is not at all a bad thing. You get a completely new race experience and course. Having the excuse for a runcation is always a lot of fun – I mean, what’s better than exploring a new city by running 26.2 miles on foot?

Mary & Emily Chicago

Are you running with friends?

Traveling in a group can either make things harder or easier, depending on who you are traveling with. Be sure to fully understand everyone’s agenda for the trip and learn to be a bit flexible. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to do every single activity together either. Have a loose schedule to follow – how and when you are getting to the expo, your pre-race meal, etc. – and the rest of the trip should be a piece of cake.


What type of year is best for racing for you?

Some people thrive running in warmer weather and others just hate running in the cold. Look at your most important races’ average temperatures and try your best to plan around that. Of course, be sure to know that average temperatures are by no means written in stone. It could be way warmer or way cooler than expected. A rule of thumb: October and April/May races can easily be hot or cold. Otherwise, November-March races tend to be a bit cooler for the northern states (most of the time).

RNR Pre Race

What does your race budget look like?

I know not everyone uses budgeting tools, but I sure do. If you have a goal race, take that money out of your budget first. Then, look for races that fit within your training schedule to help support your goals. Like I mentioned before, littering your marathon schedule with a bunch of 5k’s isn’t the best idea. However, if you are aiming for a 10k or 15k, a few 5k’s may be just what you need to work on your legs speed.

How do you decide on races for your race calendar? Share your tips in the comments for everyone to benefit from :)



The peerFit Passport

October 19, 2013

Last year, I went to a luncheon for a launch of peerFit, a health technology company based in Florida. From their website, “peerFit is a health-technology company that empowers people to get fit by connecting them to group fitness. Through its free mobile application and website, peerFit offers fitness consumers interactive and motivational fitness features in order to get and stay fit”.

They’ve come out with a new concept for people to get a taste of different fitness classes before committing to a long term package at a certain studio.


Here in Tampa, we can pick from 5 different places to go to from with our peerFit Passport.


They include a long & lean section, and then the strength and power section. Right now, I will probably only be visiting studios that apply to long & lean. With the pregnancy, I’m not trying to get my heart rate up too high or push myself too hard. I’m all about lifting weights and staying fit, but just not at the level the strength and power classes provide.

Back in April, I visited Orange Theory Fitness, so I know it is a pretty kicking workout. It pushes you to your limits in a group setting, and you can really see a lot of results from it. I’m not familiar with Performance Compound, however I am crazy interested to try it out. Here is a quick snip it from their website “The Compound has paved its way as the industry leader in providing holistic programming to all clients dedicated to improving performance. Our performance programs have serviced MLB All-Star’s, Gold Glove Winner’s, NFL Pro-Bowlers, NHL Conn Smythe award winners, as well as executives, tactical, amateur, collegiate, high school, youth and weekend warriors. We want to challenge your physical & mental preparation as well as how you perceive everyday challenges. We will motivate you, inspire you and deliver results driven training to every program we offer.”

Performance Compund

As for the long & lean classes, I am definitely planning on hitting up all of them. I have heard nothing but amazing things about South Tampa Pilates. Classes range in experience level from educating beginners, engaging intermediates and challenging advanced devotees. You can choose from private, semi- private and class environments on any given day of the week.

South Tampa Pilates Studio image

Surf Fit is another one of the studios in the long and lean category. From their website, “it is our mission to cater to all fitness levels.  We know that building a strong CORE is the foundation to proper fitness.” I am definitely going to check this class out for sure. It seems completely scalable, which is perfect for me right now.

Last but not least is Body Heat Yoga Studio. I am a little bit hesitant to check this one out right now because of the heat, but I might give it a shot, and if it bothers me too much, I’ll just go ahead and leave the class early. It seems like a great studio, offering a good range of class times.

PASSPORT pageBanner

I am excited to get to using the Passport and check out a few new studios in Tampa. I’ll be sure to report back when I visit some of the new places! If you are in the Tampa area, check out the Living Social deal for the passport that is being featured now! You have 11 more days to purchase it for just $39.

Do you have anything available in your area like the peerFit passport?

Baby Baum: Weeks 20 & 21

October 16, 2013

We are past halfway, which is so hard to believe! Here is a peek at weeks 20 and 21…

baby baum 20 weeks

21 weeks baby baum Here what’s going on with the little lady or little guy for the past couple of weeks:

  • He or she is the size of a pomegranate, measuring 10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces
  • As his or her digestive system preps for the outside world, they are manufacturing meconium — the tarry black substance you’ll find in the first dirty diaper (ew)!
  • If it’s a girl, she’s already got a lifetime’s supply of eggs in her womb — about six million of them!

As for me…

Weight gained: At my 20 week appointment, I was up 9lbs. I haven’t been gaining much weight at all, but my OB isn’t worried. She thinks it will start coming on in the next few weeks. Since I am staying active, she thinks weight may just be redistributing from other areas.

Symptoms: At the end of the day, my low back has been pretty sore and tired, and just ready for bed. I find myself slowing down a bit on our evening walks with Winnie, but we’ve still been able to get in about a mile to 1.5 miles at night. I’ve also finally felt the baby kick! It’s something I’ve been (not so) patiently waiting for, and I have finally felt those little flutters. They are still pretty sporadic, but they are finally there!

Food Aversions & Food Cravings: I’ve been staying away from dairy, which has really been helping me in the GI department. The only thing I can really think of that I’ve been craving is veggies and salads. I think my body is making up for the first trimester when I wanted nothing to do with the good stuff.

Sleep: Its been pretty good the past couple of weeks, except for last night. I was up for about 45 minutes to an hour around 3am. Otherwise, I’ve been sleeping super soundly and only getting up one time around 5am.

Stretch Marks?: Nope!! I’ve been oiling up like crazy to do my best to keep those away!

Fun Things from the Week: We had our 20 week ultrasound! As I mentioned before, we are not finding out the sex, but that doesn’t take away how fun it is to see the little one. We also attempted to start our registry last week. All I can say, it is way more difficult that I expected. I am having a friend come back with me in a week or so to help me with what I really do and don’t need. Thank goodness!

20 week ultrasound baby baum

Baby Items Purchased:  We picked up a changing table off of Craigslist and ordered our crib. We really haven’t bought anything else though. Not knowing the sex is really helping us buy only the things we need, rather than a lot of gender specific items that are just cute. We want to get the nursery handled and finished as much as possible before Thanksgiving rolls around so it is all finished before the holidays. My birthday and Marcus’ birthday both are in December as well, so getting this checked off of our list would be huge!

Anyone else not find out the sex of their baby and hold off on all the cutesy items for a bit?


Killer Monday Muscles Workout

October 14, 2013

First off, congrats to everyone who finished the Chicago Marathon yesterday! I ran the race last year, and loved absolutely everything about it. It was tough not being there this year, although I felt like I was through my obsession with runner tracking. A big congrats to Ryan, Bhushan, and Whitney for all running great races! So proud of all of ya’ll!

Anyone bored with your normal strength routine and looking for something that is quick and effective to do? Enter Killer Monday Muscles! It is a simple ladder workout that will be sure to have both your arms and legs screaming by the time you are done. Start with a quick warm up – a 3-5 minute walk is perfect. Then, get right into the workout. Start on the left with the squats, and then move to the arms.

Killer Monday Muscles

Depending on your fitness, add another level to the workout, and come up the ladder too! Meaning, when you get to the single squat, go right back up to 2 squats, then 3, until you hit the top of the ladder again. For the pushups, feel free to do them on your knees so you can get all of them in. If you want to do half on your knees and half regular pushups, that is great. Whatever works to get them all completed is perfect!

Enjoy your Monday! Baby Baum update on Wednesday! 😉

Daily Eats: 20 Weeks

October 9, 2013

First off, its giveaway winner day!!

Giveawway Winner


Congrats to Wehaf! I’ll email you and get your information!

Giveaway Winner

What I’ve Been Eating

I have been pretty conscious about my eating during these first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is important to me to feed myself well, because I know the nutrients I get are directly affecting the baby. Luckily, I really haven’t been getting any crazy cravings (other than the occasional cookie or Starbucks cake pop), so I haven’t felt like I am eating bad stuff at all. One thing I have had to change a bit is my dairy intake. It seems like Baby Baum just doesn’t like the stuff, which hasn’t been all that big of a deal. It does mean no ice cream though, which is a bit of a bummer sometimes!

Anyhow, here is a quick look at standard day of eats for me lately.

Breakfast: Oatmeal!

I use half a cup of oats, a banana, cinnamon, and a scoop of peanut butter. I’d say this is my breakfast during the week about 80% of the time. Depending on time, sometimes I’ll do an egg sandwich on Eggo waffles – always a winner!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal 2

Mid-Morning Snack: A piece of fruit or handful of nuts 

I don’t always eat my midmorning snack – it really just depends on what I have been doing for the day. If I work out in the morning, I am always hungry by 10:30. If not, then sometimes I just skip the snack. It really just depends on my activity level that day. Musselman’s sent me a sample of their new big cups, which are 2x the size of their standard size snack cups. One of the 6oz containers is a perfect morning snack to tide me over until lunch! My favorite is the unsweetened with cinnamon that I put in myself – it isn’t quite as sweet and is the perfect snack! (I didn’t catch a photo because I ate them too quickly!)

Musselmans apple sauce

Lunch: A sandwich, a salad, or some type of left overs.

Lunch tends to jump all over the place. If we don’t have a lot of food, I’m looking at a peanut butter and banana sandwich with some healthy snacks on the side (fruit, nuts, some dry cereal, etc.) Most of the time, it is leftovers from dinner the night before. Making extra food at night makes lunch the next day easy peasy!

Mid-afternoon Snack: Anything with peanut butter!

This always used to be a Greek Yogurt of some kind. I was addicted to them before pregnancy. No dairy = no yogurt. Now, I always incorporate some kind of protein in my afternoon snack, which is usually peanut butter. Today I ended up with a pear on some peanut butter toast. I have been loving pears being in season!! Usually it ends up being a banana, but the more pears, the better!

Pear on Toast


Dinner: A meat protein with veggies and some sort of carb/starch

Dinners at our house are pretty darn predictable. We grill or bake some kind of lean protein – pork, chicken, beef, etc and pair it with roasted potatoes or rice, usually with green beans (my favorite!). Every once in a while, we go on the different route and make a casserole meal (lasagna, enchiladas, etc.), but tend to stick to norm most of the time. We always cook to have leftovers to make our weekdays hassle free.

Evening Snack:

This is another snack that varies. If I am hungry, I’ll have something small –  bowl of cereal, piece of fruit, popsicle, or dairy free ice cream bar. I can not go to bed hungry anymore, or I’ll wake up in the middle of the night famished and have to raid the pantry.

Now that I’ve actually written everything out, I’d say my daily eats are pretty darn boring. Oh well, whatever works to grow a nice healthy baby, right?! I imagine I’ll start increasing my caloric intake a bit  in the coming weeks. I’ve noticed myself getting a bit more hungry at meals, so I’ll add an extra scoop of food here and there. So far, so good!

Disclaimer: Musselman’s sent me the applesauce to review the new 6oz Big Cups. All opinions are my own.