Running Hills of Montmartre!

Montmartre is my favorite place in Paris, I love Sacré-Coeur and the winding streets around the church! But the best part to me is probably the hills and how even on rainy dreary days you can look over the whole city without climbing a single tower and the rest of the city can always see the white dome of Sacré-Coeur in the distance.

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That also means it can be brutal to run there. First of all the cobblestone streets take some getting used to for your ankles. I did 2 runs in Montmartre after my runs in the suburbs and at the other park. The first run was along the main road which takes you past the Moulin Rouge, through the famous red light district (which is quite empty at 7:30am) and to the famous Montmartre cemetery where many famous artists, musicians, and writers are buried. This run only had some gentle inclines.

My hard run was from my hostel at the very bottom of the mountain hill up to the church. Then I ran up and down the staircases that go straight up to the church 3 times before heading back down. They are rough but there were several other people doing a similar run as mine and we kept passing one another on the stairs.

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I managed to run 20 miles in Paris so I’m hoping I can maintain that kind of mileage the rest of the trip!

Now I’m on the train headed to Rome to meet up with my group to then venture to Assisi where I will be playing a ton of music for 2 weeks!

Looking forward to music and more running in the hill country of Italia! And gelato, pizza, past, and vino of course!

Mileage – run rest day & workout challenge

QOD – BONGIORNO (in Brad Pitt’s Inglorious Bastard’s accent hahaha)

Running in Paris and Fitness Friday!

Today’s run took me to the beautiful Parc Buttes Chaumaunt! The park features a man-made lake and waterfalls, and has a beautiful gazebo that looks over the whole city on an island mountain in the center of the lake! There are a variety of trails, hills, bridges, and roads (for the few houses and gorgeous restaurants tucked in the park). The great thing to me was that the park was filled with other runners!

If I live in Paris, I will definitely run here regularly because the hills are very challenging and the views are amazing. It’s nice to be nestled in the trees and hearing running water! Hopefully I will go again once more before I leave!

YOGA 

Since I’m doing a lot of hiking around with a backpack and hopefully will hike the mountains in Italy here are some Yoga Poses for Hikers! 

I don’t have too much time for strength training or access to weights so here is an awesome Yoga Move to work the whole body! (And yes it may take some time to get it!) 

RUNNING

Runner’s World the 25 Golden Rules of Running

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WORKOUT 

I love kettle bell workouts and this is a great one from Pumps & Iron (Sorry if I’ve shared this twice I love it!) 

I’ll be back at the beach in July and August so here’s a great workout to get yourself toned for the beach! 

Who doesn’t love an ab workout?! Here are some flat ab secrets

MOTIVATION 

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Mileage – 4 miles, vacation workout challenge, stretching

QOD – “For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” Haruki Marukami

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Bonjour from Paris!

Today was my first full day in Paris! Yesterday I arrived in Paris around 10:15am and met up with some of my friends from Texas. After a nap we went out for an amazing seafood meal and a birthday dessert (2 weeks early haha) for my awesome host!

Today I had a bass lesson (in case you forgot this blog is called racingBASSIST) with one of the greatest bassists and pedagogues in the world. It was an amazing lesson and I’m hoping to work with him more in the future….

Then I wandered Montmartre, GOT A NUTELLA CREPE , went to the Musée de Montmartre, and visited a beautiful church I had never been to before. Trekking the hills and stairs up to Sacre Coeur and the museum was a great warm up today for my run!

Tonight was my first run in Paris and I enjoyed the relatively cool and dry air! I ran around the suburbs where I am staying, kinda running a series of out and backs on longer streets before heading back, since I really only know how to get around parts of Paris “proper” you could say haha. Then I did tonight’s quick vacation workout!

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, more music, seeing new places, and delicious food!

Mileage – 3.5miles, Vacation Workout

QOD – Paris is always a good idea – Audrey Hepburn

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Fitness Friday!

Hey all! 

I’ve stocked up on my Fitness Friday articles and workouts so I’ll have plenty to share while I’m out drinking eating running my way through Europe! And of course I’ll be playing plenty of bass. But here are today’s picks coming to you LIVE while I lay on the ground pretending to stretch after my run… (I promise I’ll do my yoga later!)

YOGA 

As a musician and someone who has had surgery on both wrists I love this – especially for difficult balance poses like crow! How to protect your wrists in yoga!

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WORKOUTS 

Another great workout from Pumps & Iron for stairs/stadiums – think they’ll let me do this workout in the Colosseum?! 

I haven’t tried many but I love the concept of these 30 minute video workouts – Bikini Workout from FitSugar

RUNNING

Here’s an AMAZING plethora of motivational posters from Runner’s World… I have to share but I will probably be using some of these again and again! 

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MOTIVATION 

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Mileage – 7.15 miles, Yoga for Runners, foam roll 

QOD – Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time.

Vacation and Travel Running & Fitness

After spending 4 great days in Las Vegas with my family I only have 5 days at home before I’m on a plane across the Atlantic for my European adventure! 

While my trip to Europe contains quite a bit of “work” musical awesomeness – performing in a music festival – and some scouting for post-grad opportunities I’m also looking forward to seeing friends and vacationing. For someone like me who doesn’t sit still very well fitness has started playing a role in my trips. When hiking, rafting, and other adventures were packed into family vacations for years I grew accustomed to seeing the world and new places on foot. 

On other shorter trips to more urban areas I’ve just hopped down to the hotel gym to get a quick workout in, but staying in hostels, ancient towns, and friends’ places on this trip doesn’t give me that opportunity. So I’ve decided to incorporate running into my routine as a way to see different parts of the city and feel more immersed in the culture. As I’ll be starting marathon prep not long after I get back, this is also a good time to get myself off the elliptical and onto a variety of surfaces running regularly. Plus I’ll be in some very hilly places so the hills will be good for my speed. My goal is to run a little more than most people on vacation probably – 20 miles a week – but since I will be in one place for a longer period of time I think this is reasonable. 

How does one keep up running on vacation? Here’s a great article from Runner’s World on just that! 

I also researched running tours in major cities such as Paris and Rome – which you can find here! However they were way out of my budget!

Since I don’t totally want to neglect the rest of my body I also built my own 30 day challenge for upper body and core strength! I blended several challenges into one to personalize a quick 15-20 min post run workout that will keep me doing something even on the days that moving from one city to the next may get in the way of a longer run. I’ve included a downloadable PDF for your own summer vacation workout regimes!
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Vacation Fitness Challenge PDF

Mileage – 4 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

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Vegas and Hiking in Red Rock Canyon!

Greetings from Las Vegas! I’m on a long weekend vacation with my family belatedly celebrating my brother’s 21st birthday and Father’s Day of course! While we’re certainly enjoys the drinks, dining, and gambling in Vegas we also planned a trip out to Red Rock Canyon for a hike.

My family is an active family, as I’ve shared before, but I’ve never talked much about our hiking adventures when I was younger. We really loved mountainous vacation destinations and always took advantage of the hiking available to us. We’ve hiked in the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Adirondacks, Appalachians, and the Canadian Laurentians!

We started traveling abroad several years ago and our last hiking vacation was cancelled due to injuries so we haven’t hiked as a family for awhile so this hike was a must-do for us!

It was so much fun!!! We only hiked 2.8 miles round trip, but there was a fair amount of rock scrambling on our trail. But our view at the end was worth it!

Since I went for a long run on Friday and I knew I’d be putting my legs to work later yesterday I woke up early thanks to the time difference and got in 45 min on the elliptical and some upper body weights before the hike. Today I woke up early again and hopped on the dreadmill treadmill for a 5k with a negative split goal. I put some walking on either end and did some more arm weights since I’ve been neglecting my poor arms recently.

Time to go clean up for a night out on the town!

Mileage – 3.1, walk, weights

QOD – What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

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Fitness Friday (On Saturday oops!)

I know I’m a day late, but I’m out in Las Vegas with my family so I’m giving myself a little slack! Here are some fitness tips for your weekend!

YOGA 

Think Crow pose is too hard to achieve? Think again! How to get into Crow Pose!

Yoga isn’t just for flexibility – it can be used for weight loss too! Here is a great 40 minute yoga workout

RUNNING

Yes I run distance races, but I love 5k races too! Here’s why lots of other people love the 5k!

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WORKOUTS 

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When I travel I don’t have weights and I don’t always feel comfortable enough with the area to run. But a hotel gym or room can provide some hardly bearable time on a treadmill and then I can do one of these power workouts: 
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MOTIVATION

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Mileage – Rest Day! 

QOD – No excuses. 

Since I’ve Been Home…

Since I’ve been home I have: 

– been to 2 O’s games, once with my cousin and once with my family. I love a great day in Baltimore at Camden Yards 
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– performed in an alumni concert with my high school band. It was such a blast playing and catching up with old friends! 
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– practiced my music for Italy and my next recital. 

– gone on some runs and walks around Centennial Lake with my mom and been on a run with my dad! I love working out with my parents and I’m looking forward to hopefully hiking with them and my brother this weekend! 

– been to Virginia and visited some of my family and best friends and had some of my best friends visit me!!!! 

– seen one of my favorite musicians live in concert FINALLY. Jamie Cullum is amazing. If you don’t know him – you need to listen to everything he’s done. It’s amazing. Also his live shows are just the best. 
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It’s just been a great time home so far! 

Mileage – 3 miles, yoga 

QOD – There’s no place like home. 

Virginia Wine Country Half Race Review (Finally!)

Saturday May 31st, I ran the Virginia Wine Country Half with several wonderful women!!! The race is part of the Destination Races series and seemed like a very cool concept. The race itself is a half marathon with no other distances offered. At the end of the race there is a wine tasting with the local vineyards in the area you are running. They have other races in places such as Oregon, Napa, and Santa Barbara. 

My first thought about the race was EXPENSIVE. However with a wine tasting at the finish I figured it was worth it – until I found out you have to pay an extra $20 for a glass and the wine tasting on top of the original race fee. I personally didn’t think the race fee was worth it, the water stations weren’t that great, the wine wasn’t included, and the goodie bag wasn’t great either. 

That being said, I did enjoy parts of the race. The race course itself was beautiful but definitely more dirt and gravel roads than I was lead to believe on the website. The tree coverage made the sun much more bearable and despite some course crowding initially and when the course narrowed, I didn’t think the number of participants allowed to race was too high. I didn’t expect to run a PR but I did and that was pretty exciting! I tried to hold myself back initially and I think that helped a lot towards the middle of the race. 

The wine tasting was unorganized unfortunately and we waited in long lines and only ended up going to 3-4 out of the 16 vineyards booths because we were hungry, hot, and exhausted. 

I probably wouldn’t run this race again just because of the value, but I don’t regret running it at least once! 

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I’ve been working like a crazy person and performing and practicing this past week so I’ll post more soon. Also I’ve suspended my Sunday Grubday posts until I return to Texas and will actually be cooking. Instead I’ll probably be posting pictures of the food I’m trying and the runs I’m going on when I’m off making music in Paris and Italy! I’ve already been scouting running routes in Paris and Assisi for my trip! 

Mileage – 4 mile run, 2.75 mile walk with mama, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – Run for wine, not for time! 

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