Tag Archives: Virginia Tech

Weekday Football Roadtrip + Negative Split Running

This week we headed to Blacksburg for the Thursday night Virginia Tech v. Miami football game.  Due to changes in my employment, being pregnant and have scheduling conflicts, I haven’t been to a midweek night game in almost four years.  If you know anything about Hokie football, these are the games to be at.  The intensity is incredible.  Since I haven’t been to a night game in a LONG time, I haven’t worn much Virginia Tech cold weather gear.  Hence, my astonishment, when I reached into my pocket and found a 2006 student ticket to a Thursday night Clemson game from when I was in college.  Almost eight years to the date.

photo 3-129For long road trips, my daughter (and my husband and I) travel best in the evening.  We have found that if we give her a bath and feed her, we can leave around her bed time and she will fall asleep for the entire trip.  At this age, she is smart enough to figure out that something is up when we start to pack the car and she is in her pajamas.  Smart kid.  After quite the meltdown, she was a happy camper when she found herself packed into the back seat with her stuffed animal and and a container of TicTacs to shake.

photo 1-147My daughter did not make it to the game.  It was far too late and cold for her.  Thankfully, my parents were able to watch her while my husband and I snuck away for a pseudo-“date” night.  We grabbed dinner in town and headed to our parking space with just enough time to get into the game for the infamous “Enter Sandman” entrance and kickoff.

photo 5-48We lost.  In a very bad way, but it was more fun than I could have imagined.  I look forward to the little things.  My husband and I got some quality time together doing something that we really enjoy.  Watching football.

photo 4-98We stayed a night in Roanoke before heading back to Charlotte.  Since the weather in the mountains is much colder in Charlotte, I opted to grab a quick workout on a treadmill (indoors!).  Treadmill running can be tough.  I get it.  As a change up to a lot of the workouts that I have been doing lately, I decided to do a negative split workout.

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So what is negative split running?  Instead of starting at the average pace that you want to run and running that pace the entire time, start your run slower than your average and progressively decrease your pace over each mile.  In my case, I am running much slower than usual due to being pregnant.  I ran the first mile at an easy 9:45/min mile, the second at 9:25 min/mile and the final mile at 9:00/mile.  I also set the treadmill to rolling hills.  Lots of variety here.  Great training for any race too.

IMG_1089I’m back in Charlotte this weekend.  I can’t wait.  SmartCore Fitness is hosting a health fair Saturday from 10:30-2:30.  I will be there representing Flywheel Charlotte.  However, other notable Charlotte health and wellness professionals will be on site.  Check it out if you have time.


I am also back on the bike Sunday at 7:30AM.  Perfect time time for you Panther (or Seattle) fans that are looking to squeeze in a workout before heading to the big game!


Pregnancy Update – Week 13

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a Peach (3 inches long)

Weight Gain – 3-4 Pounds

Movement – Not feeling any movement yet! However, during our 12 week ultrasound, it was clear that the baby was comfortably moving its arms and legs all over.

Sleep – The biggest disruption in sleep so far as come from waking up in the middle of the night to console my teething daughter and to use the bathroom. Increased consumption of water (to stay hydrated) = increased trips to the bathroom all day long.

What I miss – A good craft brewed beer. Between tailgates and beer festivals in the fall, I feel like a cold one is screaming my name.

Best Moments this Week – Taking my daughter back to Virginia Tech for her second football game. What made this trip different (and even better) than the last was introducing her to the outdoor track. I have so many amazing memories from this facility. In my dream world, both babies would pursue running and end up training/competing on this track at the same time in the future.

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Looking forward to – All of the exciting things coming up over the next several weekends (more football games, a wedding and most importantly my daughter’s first birthday). With first trimester fatigue out of my system, we have been able to get out a lot more.

My daughter's first birthday outfit!  Someone loves Mickey.

My daughter’s first birthday outfit! Someone loves Mickey.

Cravings – I craved sweets with my first. This go round, I am craving everything salty and cheesy. I’m talking chips, french fries, macaroni and cheese, pizza and biscuits. Clearly not all at once.

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Dinner Saturday night at Alejandro’s in Roanoke – Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Symptoms – As I mentioned above, my biggest first trimester symptom was fatigue. Thank goodness that has subsided. I still get tired in the afternoon but for the most part, my protruding belly and widening hips are the only indication to me that I am pregnant.

Workouts – I am still working out 5-6 days a week (see previous posts). I take 1-2 days off. The intensity in which I exercise has gone down, but I am still doing the same types of exercises. I did not start this exercise routine when I got pregnant, rather, it was my routine for several months prior. It is important not to over exert yourself if your body is not used to doing this much exercise.

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My Saturday morning run along the green in Roanoke.

I want to point out that I have looked less and less at my “What To Expect” and other pregnancy books and applications this pregnancy. Look, I found in my first pregnancy that when I read how I was supposed to feel each week, I sometimes questioned the progress of my pregnancy (when I shouldn’t have been). It is important to read about the development of your baby, but a lot of the “should” and “should nots” are specific to your situation. Consult with your doctor. Form a good relationship with the person that you are trusting the delivery of your child’s life with. If something doesn’t feel right find comfort in the person that you trust rather than the internet or a book.

Weekend Update + Flywheel Playlists + Healthy Eats!

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband was gone all day Friday and Saturday running the Blue Ridge Relay race.  That meant quality mommy daughter time.  I have to say, this girl time turned into mommy/daughter catch up time with mommy’s friends (it just so happened that several of my girlfriends were able to stop by to visit over the two days my husband was gone).  My lifelong friend Breeze stopped by Friday night (we literally went to elementary school together).  She is now the owner of a successful thai yoga studio, however, she started her career as a special education teacher.  Her caring nature shows around kids.  My daughter ended up spending several hours playing with her! I can’t wait for her to have her own little ones.

photo 2-125Whenever I have the house to myself at night, I try to take advantage of getting to bed early.  This Friday was no exception.  I indulged in some ice cream, while watching a girly movie on TBS, before hitting the sack around 9:00.  Wow, my life has changed.  I got up early to take advantage of yet again some quality “me” time before my daughter woke up.  Nowadays, quality “me” time in the morning means I get to use the bathroom without a kid staring at me, and I can eat every bite of my breakfast in one sitting (without interruptions).

photo 4-82Not only was my husband and his workout group F3 running the BRR (Blue Ridge Relay) this weekend, but several of my workout friends from FiA were too. While I would have loved to be out there with the ladies, this was not my year.  Instead, I threw on my new FiA tank and went for a run with my daughter.

photo 3-109Ladies and gentleman, am I the only one that finds this to be one of the hardest workouts? Granted, I haven’t pushed the jogger in several months (so my daughter is much bigger).  However, I was breathless by the time I got to the end of my street (that is downhill).  My pace was considerably slower, but I vowed not to stop.  Clearly my daughter was staying hydrated for the both of us!  I am not ashamed to say that I averaged 9:43/minute miles over 3.2 miles.  Yikes!

photo 5It was hot by the time we finished our run.  It was also early enough that we could run a few errands before college football kicked off.  One of the things that I had to do this weekend was buy my daughter some new shoes.  Since she is walking now, she needs real shoes!  Since she is walking so early, it is hard to find shoes that fit (that are made for walking) at generic stores.

photo 1-124We headed to Tootsie’s Too, which is around the corner from our house.  Wow.  Who knew picking out shoes for a baby would be so hard?  After measuring her feet, we must have tried on at least ten pairs of shoes.  I die.  They were absolutely adorable.  For someone who doesn’t even shop much for shoes herself, I was ready to buy the store out.  Needless to say, that would not have gone over well with my husband.  I settled for two pairs.

photo 2-126By the time that we were done shoe shopping, it was lunchtime.  We swung by the newly renovated Harris Teeter (within walking distance to the shoe store).  I made a build your own salad and grabbed an Evolution juice.  Delicious and fresh. I have to say, this lunch was probably way better than the bagels, beef jerky, and ClifBars that my husband ate all day.

photo 3-110By the time my husband got back Saturday, he was exhausted.  In the meantime, I was just getting revved up to watch the Virginia Tech-Ohio State game.  I have to admit, I felt good going into this game.  I have been a Virginia Tech fan since I was little, so we have traveled all over the United States to see the Hokies play.  Over the past few years, the away game experience has not been the same (mainly because we never win).  We opted not to go to Ohio State.  What a bad decision.  I have to gloat a little because it has been so long since we have had such a big win on the road.  I’m thinking as far back as when my dad and I traveled to Nebraska in 2008 and they pulled it off!

DSC00946I guess the energy and excitement from the game had me eager to wake up Sunday morning (or maybe it was my fun playlist that I was anticipating playing?)  One of my favorite riders, Jess, dropped off this fun shirt from the Seattle studio.  She is traveling ALL over the US for work, and she has still taken the time to give back to her favorite Flywheel instructors.

photo 1-123I will be wearing this around our studio!  What about that playlist?  If you missed class this morning, see below.  I could literally see people rocking out on their bike.  Nothing like a little 80s on a tough hill climb! Have I mentioned how excited that I am to be back instructing?  During the song before arms this morning, I made eye contact with a rider, and I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else”.  She gave me a nod, and we smiled at each other.  Love it!


My Mock Track Workout on the Road

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Tuesday is usually my husband’s morning to go to the gym. Weather was perfect for a run outside, so I was determined to squeeze in an intense cardio burst outdoors as soon as he got home (and before I had to leave for work). I knew I had about thirty minutes, so I was going to have to run from my house. I wanted to do something that mocked that of a track/interval workout but didn’t require me to run too far from the house. Today I did a workout that resembled a killer conditioning workout that I did in college when training in the fall with the sprinters.


When I was a senior at Virginia Tech, Lawrence “Boogie” Johnson was hired to train our sprint team. Great guy, yet super intense. To this day, I attribute my ability to push through pain during workouts and races on training with this man. He never told us how many intervals we had left because he wanted us to give 100% on each one. Just when you thought he may have reached the point of crazy (as far as how hard he would push you), he would ask you to do one more (and maybe even another). Nothing was ever too hard. His signature endurance workout was what he called “X’s”. Starting on the corner of a football field (or inside of a track), sprint the diagonal of the field to the opposite corner. From there, jog the end zone line (short side of field). Once you reach that corner, sprint the diagonal again. Doesn’t sound hard, but one rep is running both diagonals and both short sides. Now try doing that 18-20 times.

I didn’t go to that extreme in my workout this morning, but I did something very similar to this workout on my block. My block was essentially the track. One lap around my block is around seven tenths of a mile. Instead of sprinting diagonals, I sprinted the long side of the block and jogged the short side (each short side was about a tenth of a mile).   Therefore, each sprint ended up being about 400 meters. After a quick warm up, I did 4 laps. If you do the math here, that means I sprinted 8 400’s with a short active recovery after each. Including the recovery and warm up/cool down, I came in right under 25 minutes for about 3.2 miles. This is such an effective workout in a short period of time. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy.

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If you don’t have an even rectangular block near you, you can always go by time. Essentially this workout could be done in the following manner on any route:

  • Sprint or run a 5k pace for 2:00
  • Slow jog/active recovery for 45 seconds (that’s it!)
  • Repeat 8 times.

Make sure that you do a little warm up and cool down. Most importantly, set your mind to the number of intervals that you want to complete and commit to it. In a workout that is this high in intensity, it is easy to stop short. When I start thinking about stopping short, I try to ask myself if I was running with someone would I stop? Most likely the answer would be no. It’s all a mental game.