PRR Training Week 12: Taper and Race Playlist

Taper week is my favorite…most likely because the longest run on the schedule was 3 miles. 🙂

It was the last week before the PRR Half Marathon! That meant I was nervous but couldn’t use running to get the nerves out. I’m okay with that though – I had a little extra time to plop on the floor and do important things like foam roll while watching trashy reality TV.

Thank goodness my apartment gym has a treadmill that works and all I had to do to get in the handful of miles is to go downstairs and hop on the treadmill. This is quite convenient with daylight saving time making it dark out super early.

The 2 mile run on Wednesday evening was at race pace (11:26) and gave me a chance to listen to some music on my iPod shuffle and contemplate what to put on my playlist for the race.

Here’s what I’m going to be running to on tomorrow morning!




Week #12 Recap

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 2 mile run, race pace

Thursday: 2 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: stretch and foam roll

Sunday: 13.1!!!




What is on your current playlist?

Is anyone running a race this weekend too? What are you running?

Training Tunes

I did okay with my first week of training. Going from running two days a week to four days a week is a big increase for me, but so far my legs feel fine – it’s just the difference of putting more time in.

Here’s how the Week #1 went:

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: yoga and 8-minute abs (cross)

Wednesday: 2 mile run (supposed to be 3 but trying to use the 10% rule)

Thursday: rest (supposed to be 3 miles) WHOOPS

Friday: rest

Saturday: 4 mile run

Sunday: rest

Of course a new training cycle means a new playlist. Though there are some oldies, (I get attached to running songs) I added a few too. Here are the tunes I’m training to right now:

potomacriverruntrainingtunespotomacrivertuntrainingtunes2Hopefully these will motivate me to get all four runs in for Week #2!

What songs are on your current running playlist r?

Capitol Hill Classic 10K Playlist

I am not one of those people that loves to run listening to the chirping of birds in the spring and the wind while it whips through the trees on the trail.

I need my music.

Well, don’t need. But obvi prefer.

Music helps me SO much in order to get through a run, even if it’s a short one. It serves as a distraction, a motivator, and a calming force during my run.

Here’s my playlist for the 10K on Sunday! Some are old songs and there are a few new ones too. 🙂


capitolhill10KplaylistYou know I triple check my bag on race morning to make sure I have my iPod shuffle and headphones.

This is my playlist for now, but I can always add some more songs! What have you been listening to on runs lately?

Shamrock Half Marathon Playlist

I’m starting to get pumped for the Shamrock Half Marathon!

Here’s my playlist for Sunday (on shuffle):


A-Punk Vampire Weekend
Such Great Heights The Postal Service
Electrify MuteMath
A Praise Chorus Jimmy Eat World
Gold Guns Girls Metric
Everlasting Light The Black Keys
22 Taylor Swift
Wild Ones (feat. Sia) Flo Rida
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift
Try P!nk
Treacherous Taylor Swift
State of Grace Taylor Swift
Starlight Taylor Swift
Runaway Baby Bruno Mars
Rumour Has It / Someone Like You (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast
Red Taylor Swift
Picture to Burn Taylor Swift
Mama’s Broken Heart Miranda Lambert
Lip Gloss Lil Mama
Kyoto (feat. Sirah) Skrillex
Home Phillip Phillips
Girl On Fire Alicia Keys
Gangnam Style (강남스타일) PSY
Fastest Girl In Town Miranda Lambert
Even If It Breaks Your Heart Eli Young Band
Diamonds Rihanna
Creator Santigold vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty
Catch My Breath Kelly Clarkson
Blown Away Carrie Underwood
Bang Bang K’naan & Adam Levine
Honey Bee Blake Shelton
Pro Nails (feat. Kanye West) Kid Sister
Suit & Tie (feat. JAY Z) Justin Timberlake
Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Radioactive Imagine Dragons
Man! I Feel Like a Woman! Shania Twain
What Makes You Beautiful One Direction
Tubthumping Chumbawamba
(Kissed You) Good Night Gloriana

I added a few new songs as a treat, but most of these are oldies that I’ve been training with/used in past races.

It’s funny, some songs are almost like comfort songs now – since they got me through all of my long runs. A handful of the songs are from Vicki’s cadence playlist, too!

I’m crossing my fingers that my iPod knows to play Miranda Lambert a few extra times for shits and gigs.

The Perfect Cadence Playlist

Not only did my friend Vicki inform me about tofu, she also was kind enough to share the best running playlist ever with me.

What’s so special about this playlist?

It was made for runners.

Let me explain.

Actually, let this screen shot of some internet research explain.

My fav running book, Born to Run, backs this up.

“Fortunately, Ken had already begun doing physiological testing on triathletes as part of his kinesiology studies…Ken’s first test subject was Alan Melvin, a world-class Masters triathlete in his sixties. First, Ken set a baseline by having Melvin run four hundred meters full out. Then he clipped a small electric metronome to his T-shirt.

‘What’s this for?’

‘Set it for one hundred eighty beats a minute, then run to the beat...’

‘Kenyans have superquick foot turnover,” Ken said. “Quick, light leg contractions are more economical than big, forceful ones.’

Within a year of creating his new technique in 1997, Ken became unbeatable, winning the world disabled championship the next two years in a row. Once word got out that Ken had figured out a way to run that was not only fast but gentle on the legs, other triathletes began hiring him as their coach. Ken went on to train eleven national champions and built up a roster of more than one hundred athletes” (McDougall, Christopher: Born to Run, page 149).

Yes, I’ve tried to count my footstrikes during a run….and yes, I always lose count within approximately fifteen seconds.

With Vicki’s cadence playlist from Spotify, the music counts for me! I recommend downloading any of the below songs – they all consist of 180 beats per minute, perfect for running.


  • Vampire weekend: A-Punk
  • Postal Service: Such Great Heights
  • Presidents of the United States of America: Kick Out the Jams
  • MuteMath: Electrify
  • Jimmy Eat World: Praise Chorus
  • Don Henley: Boys of Summer
  • Tinie Tempah: Written in the Stars
  • Metric: Gold Guns Girls
  • TV On the Radio: Wolf Like Me
  • Iggy Pop: Some Weird Sin
  • Billy Idol: Dancing with Myself
  • Black Keys: Everlasting Light

They sure helped me with my long run on Sunday!

What are some of your favorite songs to run to? (I need to add some more to my iPod!)

My Very Own Spin Class

I’ve probably been to a total of five or six spin classes in the past few months.

Since I’m trying to focus more on running and weight lifting for the Tough Mudder, I don’t like “wasting” a running day at the gym spinning. The spin instructors I like only have classes at 6:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and half of the time those days don’t align with my workout plan.

My favorite spin instructor reminds me of Scary Spice – not in looks obvi, but  encouragement wise.


I will do whatever you say, Scary Spice. You are terrifying.

While puttering around the gym on Sunday afternoon, I looked at the dark empty silence of the usually rambunctious spin room.

Then I had an idea.

I’m allowed to go in the spin room even when there isn’t a spin class! (I think I’m allowed, right Crunch?)

I planned to do just arms and abs that afternoon, but let’s be honest, just an arms and abs workout is kind of boring. I wanted to do some cardio beforehand, but didn’t want to put too much pressure on my joints since I ran on Saturday.

Venturing in to the spin room by myself was just so…different – it didn’t stink of humans like it usually does.

 I took my time adjusting my bike (it always takes me approx 10 min to get the stupid heights right) and was quite proud of myself when I finished my 30 min spin workout.

Watch out, I may be your next spin instructor! (Kidding! I think.)

Song 1: Warm-up
Slowly pedal from your push point (level 3/4) and build up coasting speed up to level 5.

Song 2: Wake-up Hill Climb
Start at level 5, move up a turn at each chorus, going up to level 8 at the end. For each turn added stand up for the chorus.

Song 3: Jump Around
Take it back to push point for a little, first chorus turn up to 6 and do saddle jumps to the beat of each chorus.

Song 4: Sprint it Out
Keep your level 6 and SPRINT at the fast parts!

Song 5: Chill Out
Back to push point and bring your heart rate down for a hot sec.

Song 6: Big Ol’ Climb
Keep on climbing to level 10 – you need an internal Scary Spice yelling at you during this one. After the last chorus, bring it back down to 9.

Song 7: Move It
Move down to level 7 and try to pedal to the off beat – at the choruses, do saddle jumps to the beat.

Song 8: Fast Recover
Bring it down to level 6 and pedal 85% speed at the choruses.

Song 9: Warm-down
Slowly bring yourself back to push point and stretch your arms/shoulders, ending with leg stretches off the bike

All you need is a spin bike and some music – have fun sweatin’!

‘Twas the Night Before Race Day

and all through the apartment….

Just kidding.

Kind of. I am being a slight weirdo and over-analyzing/over-preparing/being over-excited about tomorrow. But just because it’s my first race! Well, my first “distance” running race. I know it’s not a big deal, and you probably think I’m a nutcase.

But it’s so fun to pretend that I am an actual runner; that I’ll actually get to do a race recap and actually get to be part of the running world for a morning!

I stuck with my Runner’s World/Insightful Friend via her Personal Trainer race week plan this week.

1.) Hydrate and Fuel

I did some research on how much water I should be drinking per day since I was having dehydration issues. told me:

“ suggests that drinking about 2,000 mL (2 qts.) of water a day is adequate, since food sources also contribute some water to each person’s diet. Another guideline from the Institute of Medicine is that men drink about 3000 mL (3 qts.) daily and women 2200 mL (

To test out my hydration intake, I kept track of exactly how much water I drank on Wednesday.

– 5 camelbaks of water = 750 mL each
– 4 cups of water = 500 mL each

Total water consumed on Wednesday: 5,750 mL

Ok, I think I’m drinking enough water now.

I took a healthy snack to Book Club Thursday night for all of us gals to munch on.

And made a delish chocolate peanut butter smoothie for a snack this afternoon.

CNG’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie


– Skim Milk
– Ice Cubes
– Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
– Cocoa Powder
– Unsweetened & Unsalted Organic Peanut Butter

Mix 1 cup of skim milk, 4 ice cubes, 1 scoop of protein power, 1 heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder, and 1/3 cup of peanut butter in a blender on SMOOTHIE setting.


2.) 3 mile run outside in the heat.

It actually wasn’t too hot out, but I was glad to run outside again anyway. The weather for tomorrow morning is supposed to be around 70 degrees, so I should be just fine!

This run was my last-run-before-my-first-race-last-renewal-of-confidence-run.

It was great. My headphones worked, nothing hurt, and I ran it in 30:37.  My under 30 minute goal for tomorrow may be attainable!

Though either way, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t really matter. I’m only racing against myself. I’m going to try not to put unnecessary pressure on myself for no reason.


I picked up my race packet last night at Pacer’s in Silver Spring.

I’m glad I don’t have to worry about registering in the morning.

I’m racing! I have a number!

I was stressing out what to do with my stuff during the run. I didn’t want to bring my iPhone with me and check it in the bag check, just since you never know what could happen. So instead, I decided to shell out $24 for a cool fanny pack racing pouch. Now I don’t have to worry about my phone since I can keep it on me! I’m also going to take my ID, some cash, my metro card, and some chapstick.

And don’t worry, I’m not so ridiculous that I think I need to use shot bloks for a 5K. I just wanted to buy them! I will probably try them out on my long run next week.

I’ve got my playlist all set. There will be praying to the running gods to keep my headphones working. Hopefully I will make my goal time so that Tubthumping will be playing as I cross the finish line.

I am currently sticking my quads with my vacuum cleaner hose because I don’t own a stick.

Don’t judge me.

Now let’s just hope I wake up!


Since my hip felt better after a late night yoga sesh on Tuesday night, I worked all day Wednesday on mentally preparing myself for my longest ever long run.

I fueled with some healthy eats for lunch that were surprisingly filling.

And had a late afternoon snack full of caffeine and fiber that I later regretted. I’m thinking I should lay off the fiber before long runs in the future. ‘Nough said.

Afternoon snack.

My goal for the night was a 7 miler – which was unknown territory. Unknown territory is usually rather nerve racking.

Wish me luck, I may never return.

My thoughts on any and every run always proceed in the following fashion:

0.00 – 1.00 Miles: “Ok, I’m kind of tired. I would rather be on the couch.”
1.00 – 3.00 Miles: “This is awesome! Amazing! I love running! I am so fit.”
3.00 – 4.00 Miles: “Is it time to stop yet? Maybe I should shorten my mileage.”
4:00 – 5.00 Miles: “I hate my life. No, I can do this. Ahhh! Pain!!! No, you can do this.”
5:00+ Miles: “Dying. I am officially dying. I hope I don’t puke or faint.”

Guess when my headphones stopped working? Uh huh, that’s right, mile 4.35. FML.

Seriously, running gods? Are you trying to jinx me? And on National Running Day, too.

Well they didn’t actually stop working, the volume just cut down really low and I couldn’t turn it back up. BTDubs, my biggest pet peeve is music playing juuuust low enough that I can kind of hear it but can’t hear it. I think my headphones secretly knew that. What an ornery old b*tch. (Umm, the headphones, not me. Duh.)

Luckily, I brought my iPhone to the treadmill with me, so I yanked my sweaty headphones out of my iPod shuffle and shoved ’em into my iPhone. No luck. Bruno Mars was still very softly crooning in my ear rather than shouting and me through dank beats to keep on going.

That was confirmation that the headphones were the malfunctioning piece of equipment. I think I sweated them out. Like, sweated so much on them (most likely build up from the past 5 sweaty months) that they broke.

I had no other choice but to rip them out of my ears and practice my mad pouting skills.

Recap: I was forced to do my longest run ever while running without headphones for the first time.

Before running today I couldn’t fathom those cray cray girls that don’t need any kind of musical aid to finish a run.

After running today, I can’t imagine ever running without musical aid again.

Running without music was so weird. I can see how people could do it with the adrenaline of a race, or maybe if you’re so in shape that you don’t need the motivation of sound to keep you going. Or maybe it’s just the musician in me that makes music a current necessity for me. Maybe I’ll experiment with running without music in the future, but for now, I need my iPod. Kthanks.

Moral of the rant: I completed my 7 miles, even with a big (for me) handicap thrown my way at the hardest part of the run.

I’m patting myself on the back right now, if you can’t tell.

After stretching for a nice 15 minutes, I headed next door to Rodman’s to grab a $0.99 piece of heaven.

Refuel success.

I continued my dramatic smart recovery with some frozen H20 love.

Better safe than sorry.

I went to bed freezing even though I was snuggled in my over-sized wool sweater.

But I keep waking up, all night long, tossing and turning in my sweat soaked sheets. (TMI?)

Huh? I felt like I had a fever or something! I woke up feeling so sticky and hot.

I hoped I didn’t push myself to hard. Am I dying? Am I not ready for longer mileage (for me!!!) like I thought I was? Maybe I’m not built to be a distance runner if my body is rebelling like this. 

Oh. It’s normal.

I know this girl says all sweat is good sweat, but I already completed my daily sweat! Sweat overdose.  I guess I got a BOGO?

I hope I don’t have to wash my sheets and duvet after every long run. Hopefully my body will adjust.


However, I did enjoy the fact that when I weighed myself this morning, I met my 20 lb weight loss mark after clean eating and running for the past 5 months!

Maybe that extra sweat wasn’t so bad after all.

I took a rest day today, complete with a glass of Shiraz and some dark chocolate.

Next up: 3.1 mile run tomorrow.

8 days until my first race!!!!!

Do you ever run without music? Teach me your ways.

Do you ever get night sweats after long runs?