We just got our pictures back from the amazing Niki (her photography Instagram is amazing:)!  The last time that we had pictures of all of my siblings and parents was 23 years ago so it was time for an update!

Sure love these people a whole lot.

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Yesterday afternoon Brooke had a friend over so there was a lot of play-doh and my current favorite snack of yogurt, peaches, strawberries and granola.

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She was pooped afterwards and took a nap on Andrew.

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Spent some time at the home depot to get things for our yard!

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The thing that will be entertaining our kids all summer—>  a sprinkler to put underneath the tramp.

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When I saw THIS RECIPE for strawberry shortcake pop up on my phone, I knew that I had to have it asap.  It was amazing.  I might have it for breakfast today too.. because strawberries… it is practically a breakfast food.

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It was delicious!

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Make this now.

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I sent a text to my mom telling her what we made.  She and my dad drove over within a few minutes!  We live for strawberry shortcake.

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While I was out on my run yesterday I was thinking about different types of workouts that I want to use for my own personal training for my next round of marathon training.  I was also thinking a lot about what type of workouts I will want to use with different clients that I will coach in the future.  When I was in the best running shape of my life, I was working with my coach Dave (he was AWESOME).  He had me doing all sorts of different types of workouts in preparation for my marathon… tempos, fartleks, plenty of easy runs, track workouts, hill workouts… you name it, it was part of my plan.  I hit my 1/2 marathon PR during this time and I was on track for that beloved sub 3 that I crave so badly (and will get some day)… but my body had different plans once the marathon came (I had a lot of stomach problems going on so my dr said no to the marathon I was planning on so I pushed back to a different one and yeah… I exploded).  BUT ANYWAYS (I love tangents) those months in the end of 2015 were definitely my strongest running months ever.  The workout that I think did the absolute MOST for me and my training, was the…

FAST FINISH LONG RUN!!!

Here was an example of what that looked like for me after training for a few months of these… First 10 @ 7:30 and last 10 @ 6:40.  I was happy that I finished within 5 seconds of what my coach had planned for me that day;)  I’m a numbers freak and seeing that my average pace was the same as what he wanted made me feel really good.

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Long runs are hard and finishing them fast… that takes them to the next level.  

What is a fast finish long run?!

For this workout you run the first 8-12 miles of your long run at your normal long run pace, for the last 3-10 miles you run them fast.  This article advises running those miles between 10-15 seconds faster than your goal marathon pace!  McMillan recommends during those final fast miles to finish the very last 10-30 minutes of your long run like a race… ‘run as hard as you can and sprint at the finish.’  The fast miles (the last 3-10 miles) at the end are the focus of this type of run.   This workout is an AWESOME predictor for your marathon… “if you can finish these very strong and fast, you are on target to achieve your marathon goal.”

Another resource for pacing the fast finish long run is below (remember this is an awesome workout for whatever marathon time/pace goal that you have):

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How often should we be doing these within our marathon training?  

“Because fast finish long runs can be tiring and difficult, you shouldn’t include them on your training schedule every week.  Sometimes, you need to relax and put time on your feet, especially while you build up your distance.” (source)  So you don’t want to be doing these each week but maybe trying them every 2-4 weeks could really bring about some benefits for you!  Fast finish long runs are pretty hard workouts so you shouldn’t be doing them for every single long run.  You don’t taper for these either which means you are really dealing with some leg fatigue for those final miles.  This article advises to not start out doing this workout until about 8-10 weeks before the marathon (so that you don’t peak too early)!

Why try out a fast finish long run?

-The Fast Finish Long Run workout is meant to build endurance, leg resistance to fatigue and to practice race pace.  I LOVE THIS WORKOUT because it is teaching your legs to be okay with being uncomfortable for those last miles of a long run= it is going to help you out big time on race day when you are uncomfortable during those final miles.

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-This is an incredible workout for your mental game (which WE ALL need to practice).  It gives you the practice you need for race day to keep pushing until the end no matter how tired you are.  ‘Mentally, you undergo the extreme fatigue that marathon racers inevitably face during the final few miles.’  (source)

-It trains you for a negative split race.  This workout really helps me to learn how to avoid flying and dying on race day.  I have made the mistake of going out too fast too many times during a race.  This workout teaches you patience in the beginning and then to really push it for those final miles (or second half) of your race!

-Dress rehearsal for RACE DAY.  You get the chance to really practice your routine. While you are doing this workout you can practice your hydration, your gear, your nutrition the night before, or even a course that is similar to your future race course (if you can practice on the race course it might be even extra helpful) etc.  This workout helped to make race day a little bit less scary because I knew that I had really practiced the paces and everything else many times before going into the race!

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-This workout will help BOOST your confidence!  Going into your marathon (or whatever race you are training for) knowing that you have a few long runs under your belt where you did the last 8-10 miles at your marathon goal pace (or faster) will help you to feel confident that you can hit your goal pace on race day too.  With tapered legs and all of the adrenaline that comes on race day, race pace will feel even better than it did during your fast finish long runs.

I know that I’ll be using fast finish long runs again during my next marathon training cycle!

PS you can do this same type of workout for ANY race distance training (just shorten the miles:)  Teaching your body to hold the pace with fatigued legs at the end of the race is beneficial for any distance!

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Have you ever done a fast finish long run?  Have you ever added anything different/new to your long runs? 

What is your goto snack lately?

Finish the sentence….  If I was only able to eat one dessert for the rest of my life, it would be _____________________!!!

What do you think is the key workout is for YOU and your running?

Utah realized it was spring again and it felt so nice to be able to wear a tank top and shorts! It’s warm enough for me to start playing around with how I want to hydrate my running this summer.  I know where there are plenty of water fountains for me to stop at but … Continue Reading

Rest day so that my body is ready, recovered (and EXCITED) for another week of running √ Church day √ Refill all of my glycogen stores with my favorite carbohydrates… I’m not going to be bonking anytime soon √ Successful Sunday in my eyes. I never want you to think these two are perfect (let’s … Continue Reading

A little over ten miles for my Saturday morning GLOVELESS (that is important after the last few days of freezing cold running).  A few miles with a friend and a few miles on my own. I even attempted a self-timed picture while I was out.  A few of you recommended the Runner’s World podcast and … Continue Reading

A day where all of my siblings and parents are together doesn’t happen very often but when it does, it’s the absolute best.  One of my brothers flew in at 3:30 a.m. to get here in time for my parent’s anniversary.  We are looking at a different camera in this picture but I love it. … Continue Reading

The fam all met at Chick-Fil-A for dinner last night!  My sister went darker with her hair… I love it! I tried the wrap at Chick-Fil-A for the first time and my thoughts were that it is perfect. The kid’s table had quite a humorous conversation going on. And this little guy thought it was … Continue Reading

This morning it was 33 degrees when I went out for a run… 8 miles of easy running after doing speed yesterday. Another glove picture but this one can also be used to explain how happy it makes me that it gets so light outside so early each morning… it makes getting out of bed … Continue Reading