Training is no different than Practicing.

Today I started my official training for the Houston Half-Marathon! While it wasn’t much different from a usual Monday morning run, it was nice to get back to my training schedule and cross something off. I’ve created my own training schedule for the first time for this race, but I’m probably not going to post the exact schedule until the race is over and I’ll know I won’t be leading anyone astray! 

But I was thinking about music today when I went on my run – specifically the music for my first Master’s recital and my upcoming audition for Baylor orchestra seating. I’ve talked about how getting fit and eating well has affected my playing abilities, as well as how the running has improved my dedication to practicing, my work ethic, and my stamina. However I’ve neglected to talk about how, when I really gets down to the root of things, practicing and training for an event are almost identical.

I am a music performance Master’s student – not only does that imply that I practice a large amount, but I actually do practice a large amount, I could never survive in the music world without it. I put blocks of practice time in my schedule along with my classes, rehearsals, concerts, and work-outs. If something is in my calendar, it must be done. Running, on the contrary, is my sanity, it isn’t a course, a grade, or a requirement of my degree, but it is necessary for my mental health (and physical of course). And today while running I thought about how my little 3 mile run may not seem huge in the scheme of my race season, but it is.  The average runner can’t just jump out on the course and run a half or full marathon without training. I can’t just jump into a performance or audition without practicing. 

These two concepts may seem obvious, but it’s seen so frequently. Someone only goes on 1 long run and their usual midweek, mid-length speed run each week thinking this will prepare them for their first long distance race and by mile 16, their chances of reaching that sub 4 hour marathon are shot. Or the musician that decides that 1 mega practice session a week on their orchestral repertoire over a few weeks will prepare them for the audition. Then the nerves take over in the room and the lack of repetition causes them to fall apart because the muscle memory just isn’t there. (And yes I’ve done that back in the day)

Today my run was 3 miles of building muscle memory at 9:03 per mile – just below my goal pace for my next half. Today my practice session was repeating the same 10 measures over and over again under tempo so I will never get the notes wrong, no matter how nervous I am. And I like seeing this symmetry in the two most important activities in my life. 

Mileage – 3 miles, stretching

QOD – To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. 


P.S. – Go check out some of the amazing music I’m working on! 
Bach – Cello Suite no. 1 
Strauss – Ein Heldenleben
Mozart – Symphony No. 40
Brahms – Symphony No. 2 in D major





Lifting and Compression Socks! (Photo Day too!)

Yesterday was a strength training day. My workout roughly like this:

Back squats
  – 60%-70%-80%-90% of max, dropping my reps by 2 for every set
Hanging snatch
  – work on form (light weight – this is still the move I’m most uncomfortable with)  
Chest to Overhead 
  – 45 lbs 3 sets (10-12-15)
Pull-up Work
  – jump and dead hangs 
  – jumping pull-ups (3 sets of 10) 

This morning when I woke up I was pretty positive my glutes and quads were rebelling against the rest of my body – it was ROUGH. I had decided I would go to the gym and maybe do a little elliptical work and keep it nice and easy. But really who am I kidding? My dad asked me to go on a run so I laced up….with my new compression socks!!! The run was brutally hot in the sun and I did have to walk for a few minutes because I could feel myself getting really over heated. But surprisingly I don’t think the socks had anything to do with it – if anything they helped a ton on the killer hills. My calves certainly feel fresher than my upper legs (but that could also be because of squats). We finished up at the gym where I did 3 rounds of 10 box jumps, 10 push-ups, and 10 KBS. I could feel yesterday in my arm but it was good to crank up my work out a notch. 

Tomorrow will probably be a well deserved rest day full of stretching and yoga because half-marathon training officially starts on Monday! 

Mileage – 3.5 miles, jumps, arms 

QOD – Just because you are close to your goal, it doesn’t mean you should stop. 





Image^Looking a little rough after today’s run/workout! Had to rep JMU with my new socks! ❤ DUKES! 




Fruit is a Super Food (and Paleo Mexican!)

I seriously love fruit. It changes everything. Although if you ask my mom she’d say I’m crazy because I’m not a fan of fruit in salads (I don’t like sweet and savory – oh whatever). But today alone I’ve eaten/packed:
Banana (yellow)
Honey Dew (green) 
Blueberries (blue)
Apple (red)
Clementine (orange)  

That is more than half the rainbow! With all the nutrients in my fruit plus the awesome salad I’m going to get at Whole Foods today (best salad bar everrrrrrr) who needs vitamins, seriously?! I love putting fruit in my plain Greek yogurt, especially berries, because there is a ton of extra sugar and junk that gets added in to “with Fruit” or “Fruit on the Bottom” yogurts – I get the same (better, even) taste without sacrificing clean eating. 

Speaking of clean, let’s talk Mexican food. Soon I’m returning to Texas, my Tex-Mex and Mexican food haven. First of all fast food joints aren’t legit, not clean, not real meat, not healthy, not even as delicious as the real deal. I haven’t eaten any sort of “Mexican” fast food (other than the monthly Chipotle trip) in approximately 6 or 7 months, which is a seriously long time for me, but I probably won’t ever again. However, I’ve found some amazing taco trucks/stands that are cheap and serve authentic, clean, and AMAZING tacos. Cheese, sour cream, Dorito shells, and all those ingredients are US additives – real tacos are usually just meat, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and spicy, fresh homemade salsa. But what about taking Mexican/Tex-Mex a step beyond clean to paleo? Is it possible? HELL YES. Check out this awesome food blog Eat Fit Waco (I’m a huge fan) and their recent post on Mexican food – they are located in Texas which means they know their Mexican/Tex-Mex. They talk about my favorite Mexican foods like guacamole and chorizo, plus they even say Chipotle is still an option! 

Crazy Countdown
4 days until Half-Marathon training begins 
23 days until I leave MD to return to TX
1 month until Orchestra Auditions (Strauss and I are in a love-hate relationship right now)
2 months and 10 days until my first Master’s recital (holy $%#^@*!) 


Mileage – 4 miles 

QOD – A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy? (let’s replace violin with bass haha) 


Fall Race = Houston Half!!!

Today I selected my fall race (which completes one of my summer goals!) and set my new goal time for finishing under 2:00:00! 

I chose the Houston Half as my fall race!!! My long term goal of finishing 10 half marathons and 5 marathons before my 30th birthday means I have to plan out my race schedule pretty diligently. I have no doubt that I can accomplish this goal, which comes out to roughly 2 races a year, I could exceed it too. In choosing my race this time I took several things into consideration: 

1 – Price
     – This race is only $60!
2 – Location
     – Houston is only 3 hours away and isn’t expensive which allows me to stay there and
       enjoy the city for the weekend! 
3 – Coordinators
    -This is a larger race and is coordinated by several groups which means it will be well
      organized and has a good post-race celebration. 

I’ve developed my own half marathon training schedule this time around because it makes it so much easier to align my practice, school, and running schedule. I also prefer running recovery runs the day after a long run and taking my rest day the day before long runs; most programs have rest days after long runs when in actuality activity and blood flow helps healing processes move quicker. It also allows me to incorporate CrossFit as my cross training and strengthening workouts. I seriously can’t wait to get back to my CrossFit gym next month! 

Today was my vegetarian day and I had run out of my favorite greek yogurt (aka plain 0% fat) but a while back my mom had bought plain 2% because they were out of my normal yogurt. I hated the taste, but after a great workout today I knew I needed some protein to make it through the day. I forced myself to eat the yogurt with some honey dew melon and lemon juice. And now I can finally return to my delicious plain 0% fat yogurt with berries – yummmmmm. 

Today’s workout was an hour elliptical interval session, clean and jerks, back squats, push-ups and working on my pull-ups. It was really nice to not have a time restriction on my workout and be able to do whatever I’d like and take my time! Tonight will be a good stretching and foam roll session as I gear up to start my pre-training week. Half marathon training starts a week from Monday! 

Mileage – Cross-train, lift, stretch 

QOD – Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.




Hilarious and Honest “Motivational Posters”

Check out these awesome so called “motivational posters” on Runner’s World. I loved my real motivation but these quotes definitely show what runners are thinking. They’ve combined 50 of them all together into one great slideshow! Check it out!

Mileage – Still TBD.


Not one of the site posters, but still funny!


Favorites Friday! Running Favorites of course

But first…. Follow me on Bloglovin’! <a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> It is my favorite way to follow other bloggers and read all my daily posts in one sitting rather than clicking around to a million sites! It’s great! 


1)Training for fall races (I am researching a few half’s in Dallas and Ft. Worth anyone have a particular favorite?!) 

2) Nuun Active Hydration! 
   – So far my favorite is the Tri-Berry but I have Watermelon and Lemonade to try next! 
   – This product is amazing and I feel a huge difference in rehydration and recovery this
      summer using Nuun, it contains electrolytes, sodium, potassium and only 8 calories! 
   – Check them out here! 

3) Visors. Yup I said it. I love my visor. It is pink and holds a million memories. My dad bought it for me when we went to Congressional Country Club to see the 2011 U.S. Open (that’s golf just to clarify). I wear that visor on almost every run when the sun is shining because hats make me way too hot and I’m not a fan of tight sunglasses. It’s probably on it’s last couple months. But I already have a new one ready and waiting. 
This is my brother and I after we ran into each other on our own runs. That is my beloved visor. 

4) Honey Stingers. I’ve posted about them a ton. MAKE THE SWITCH.
    – Honey, organic, delicious, gummy, and not gel!
    – I always buy pomegranate, pink lemonade, and caffeinated limeade (maybe I should
        branch out?)
    – Check them out here! 

5) Weekend long runs. LOVE. THEM. Who doesn’t love waking up early and doing something incredibly good for yourself?! Plus sometimes there are a few cocktails and some chips and guac left in my system to be burned off. (Yes I pretty much always eat at least one Tex-Mex, Mexican, or some Latin cuisine meal on the weekends, guilty pleasure!)

What do you love about running? Any favorite products, places to run, or things about running that I should look into?! 

Mileage – Not sure yet….

QOD – I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs. (Jesse Owens) 


NYC and Travel Running!

I’m in NYC for about 48 hours with one of my best friends, Vanessa! She has some gigs and rehearsals around the city for a few days and she invited me to come with her and adventure together! Last night she was playing a private gig so I had a few hours to myself to explore. I normally come to the city in the winter with my family, so I hadn’t been out and about with nice summer weather here for almost 10 years! I decided what better thing to do then go on a running tour of Manhattan?!

I think running is an amazing way to see a city. I know NYC pretty well from coming with my family and that allows me to go on runs without looking like a tourist but I’m still getting a glimpse of all the essential New York sights. Last night I passed the Empire State Building (covered in fog!), the Chrysler Building, Phillips Art Auction House, Grand Central, Central Park including the Zoo, and a bunch of other great things! I’ve seen almost all of these things before, but getting to experience them on a run is super cool!

So how do you run in a new city? Here are my suggestions:

1) Walk around town a little first. Sight-see or walk from your arrival point to your hotel. This way you are visually aware of your surroundings before you go out.

2) Create a route or look at a map first. Select major road ways or a route that takes you to major attractions in that city. These areas will be more populated with other tourists and will be well lit in the early morning and evening.

3) If you can, run during daylight hours. This will enable you to see more and is generally safer.

4) Bring your cellphone, if it is a smartphone it can definitely help you out if you get lost. It also means you have a camera to snap a few shots along the way!

This week I mixed it up a bit, I did a long elliptical session on Thursday and went to Zumba with another one of my best friends Emily on Friday! My run last night felt great after a few days of training my legs differently. I didn’t really calculate the distance of my run before I started, but I ended up going 6.5 miles – the longest I’ve gone in a few weeks. I got in some abs and push ups and yoga afterwards since I had so much time to myself and it made for a very relaxing and healthy Saturday evening.

Now I’m off to explore the city! I’ll get in another run before we hit the town tonight for some girls weekend fun!

Mileage – 3-4 miles

QOD – The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.



CrossFit Day and Musical Musings

Today was a cross-training day and on days where I haven’t decided to do a class or something else outside, I try to check the WOD online for the CrossFit gym I workout at in Texas. Somedays I don’t have all the equipment or space to make it happen at my gym but today’s was a perfect match for what I needed. My workout looked like this: 

500m (easy) rowing 

AMRAP 10 minutes
12 Box Jumps (20″)
9 Push-ups (I still have to do modified because of my wrist surgery)
6 Russian Kettle Bell Swings – heavy (I used 30lbs today) 

(I completed 5 and a half – maybe I’ll do this again in a few weeks and aim for 6!)

100 sit-ups (butterfly sit-ups)

Cool Down
30 bicycles
500m (moderate) rowing 
Foam Roller
Yoga leg stretch flow 

I really enjoyed today’s workout and I got finished in time to shower and walk back upstairs to work my shift at the gym. I have to say no commute from workout to work makes life easy some days. 

But I’ve also been practicing a ton and starting to feel pretty good about my Bach Cello Suite (uhm my first grad recital is in 3 months… WHAAAAA!?) and today I stumbled across this article shared by several of my music friends. I thought it was incredibly appropriate to share because the article discusses everyone involved in music – the musicians, donators, administration, and listeners. I’ve read several articles bashing musicians on strike (HERE) and the equally biting responses (HERE) but this article discusses a speech made at the Aspen music festival that is a little bit different. Money seems to be replacing the musical experience as the end goal and in the end it hurts everyone involved – most tragically the music.

So HERE is that article and let me know what your thoughts are. I’d especially love to hear from my non-musician followers on their opinions. 

Mileage – WOD, stretching 

QOD – Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue. 



Learning to Like Bananas….

My friend Paige blogged the other day about eating healthier, particularly about eating spinach. Paige doesn’t like spinach and put a few recipes she’s made recently on her blog to show people how she’s gotten herself to eat spinach – you can check out that post HERE. 

Well I love spinach – no joke it was the only salad I would eat as a child – BUT I have never liked bananas. My whole life, up until my 2nd semester of graduate school I have actually hated bananas. Primarily the flavor is what turns me off and so for almost 23 years I despised all food involving bananas. But when I decided to start eating every color of the rainbow in my fruits and veggies to eliminate vitamins I knew I had to start eating bananas. 
At every race I’ve run they give bananas out afterwards and almost every health, fitness, running, etc magazine suggests bananas as part of a healthy post-workout snack. So I gave in and decided to try them. I still don’t like them but I can manage to eat them alone, but I’ve also created 2 breakfasts/snacks that have them integrated in and I hardly even notice.
  1. Classic Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich — I make mine open faced with 17 grain toasted bread so the peanut butter is nice and melty. 
  2. Banana Oat Cluster Cookies
    – 1 cup oats for every 2 ripe bananas
    – Mix this batter with anything – raisins and craisins, peanut butter or pure cocoa powered for flavor, or even sliced almonds or protein powder
    – Bake for 15- 20 minutes at 350 degrees! 
How do YOU like to eat bananas?! Anyone have other recipes for me to try?
Also, I have to share this awesome lunch I had on vacation. I will always love lean ground turkey and chicken breasts, but I’ve also fallen in love with tender sized chicken breast. They are easy to freeze and thaw, can be marinated a million ways, cook up super fast, and I can throw them in a baggie or tupperware and heat it up later! This lunch features spicy tenders with yellow rice, it was the perfect lunch on my double workout day because I had plenty of veggies and fruit, carbs to get me through my 2nd workout, and protein to keep me full. 
Mileage – 4.25 miles, abs, stretching 
QOD – Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

Thank you clouds!!!

Today my dad and I made a second attempt at a double loop that we originally tried 2 days ago – thanks to the clouds this time we were successful!

On Saturday it was 83 degrees outside, felt like 87 degrees and had a 78% humidity. Without clouds or a breeze, it was just too much for wither of us to handle and we only made it about 2/3 of the run. Today it was only 80 degrees and 81% humidity, but it was the clouds and breeze that really helped us make it. I’m absolutely terrible at running in the heat (yes I know going to Texas for school was poor planning) but cloud cover and a little breeze makes a world of difference for me. 

Saturday afternoon I was especially inspired to go to the gym since we weren’t going to the beach that day and my parents were playing tennis. I did 100 push-ups (modified when I’m doing that many), wall ball squat throws, a few over head presses, worked on pull ups, and dead lifts. I tried to push my dead lifts and worked my legs and back pretty hard Saturday with everything that I did and I really felt it yesterday. It was really nice to be over with the running streak and just be able to take a rest day, I think it made a world of difference in running today. 

I have some awesome food pics to post and a great blog post by a friend to share with you guys tomorrow so be on the lookout! It’s going to be awesome! 

Mileage – 4 miles 

QOD – In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.

(My most recent pair of running shoes are Saucony’s and I just love this picture!) 




^^ This is the plan for Texas once the school year starts so I don’t lose my consistency like I did last year when I moved out into the heat!