Today is a rest day for me, every Tuesday is. So, as I was taking the time to create a running playlist- I thought I would share it with you! I have a very random taste in music, but some songs you may have never realized can be amazing “pump up” songs.

Nicki Minaj- Starships and Moment 4 Life

Florence + the Machine- Shake It Out

David Nail- Let it Rain

Rascal Flatts- Come Wake Me Up

Skrillex- Bangarang

Any and ALL Swedish House Mafia 

I know some of the country songs listed above are probably not your first thought when you think of workout music, but they work for when you are keeping a steady pace (and you can still jam out). The other songs I use when I am doing interval running and I need an extra “boost”. Music can make a big difference, so spend some time creating an awesome mix to keep you moving! 

Yesterday I ran for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It felt great to run
longer than I have in a while. I realized, however, that I didn’t cover as much distance as I used to in that period of time. When I ran my first race, I just wanted to finish. Even in my second race, I just wanted to finish a marathon at
altitude (in Colorado). Now, I have a time goal of running my race in under 4 hours and 30 minutes. Ideally, my overall pace will be 9:44/hr which will allow me to finish the race in just under 4hr15 to achieve my best time ever. For the first time during any of the training I’ve done, I am actually timing myself in mile increments so that I know that I am staying on track to make my target time. It’s actually making training easier. I don’t think, “Am I going to finish?” Instead I think, “When am I going to finish?” This makes a big difference, mentally. I am not even thinking about stopping, walking or
quitting. I am only thinking about getting it done in the time that I want. 

Here is the breakdown:
1 mile: 9.44
2 miles: 19.28
3 miles: 29.12
4 miles: 38.56
5 miles: 48.40
6 miles: 58.24
7 miles: 1:08:08
8 miles:1:17:52
9 miles:1:27:36
10 miles: 1:37:20
11 miles: 1:47:04
12 miles: 1:56:48
13 miles: 2:06:32
14 miles: 1:26:16
15 miles: 2:26:00
16 miles: 2:35:44
17 miles: 2:45:27
18 miles: 2:55:11
19 miles: 3:04:55
20 miles: 3:14:39
21 miles:  3:24:23
22 miles: 3:34:07
23 miles: 3:43:51
24 miles: 3:53:35
25 miles: 4:03:19
26 miles: 4:13:03

I am working on interval training so that I can condition myself in order to cut down on my time. Essentially, I run between
3-12 miles at my marathon race pace (depending on how long my run is planned for). This is advice given by Owen Anderson of Peak Performance. Anything run over 12 miles at race pace during training will actually be detrimental.  Running too fast and burning out too early is not good either. This is why I want to train myself to realize my race pace so that I don’t move too slowly or too fast.  I am also keeping a stop watch on hand so that I can concentrate on making my times for each mile. It takes a lot more effort and concentration than how I trained before (which was just running and not stopping, ignoring my pace) but now that I know I can run a marathon, I want to work on doing it with the best effort I can put forward.

"Many people shy away from
hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The
more you repeat something, the stronger you
- Joe

When it's difficult to make your run work with your schedule, try switching up your schedule. My training guide worked great at home, but when I came abroad and had different working hours I had to figure out how to make it work. If you don't switch it up to make it work for you, then you'll end up missing workouts because you can't make everything happen that you want to in a day. Instead of forcing a hard scheduld on yourself- see if you can move things in your life around to accommodate for training. This will make your life a little bit easier, and you won't have to miss workouts all together. When it isn't working, change it up! :)
Hey everyone!

I am Krissy’s friend, Laren.  We like to think we are a walking commercial for because we are pretty much the same person with perfect compatibility.  Krissy and I were roommates on a study abroad trip we took to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  I didn’t realize until about halfway into the trip that she had type 1 diabetes—some roommate I was! I felt so uninformed not knowing the different types of diabetes and options available for treating it.  Who knew there were insulin pumps out there available in place of the shots!?  But, I think living with her and seeing what she goes through on a daily basis was a great eye opener for me.  You can’t physically notice that someone has diabetes, and that’s exactly why they are capable of living a healthy, normal lifestyle.

I probably asked her 101 questions on the trip about it.  We tried to make sure that we ate as healthy as we could (and for anyone that knows me, I don’t usually “try” to eat healthy!).  Of course, this didn’t always happen and our options were limited some of the time when we were traveling.  Regardless, I saw how conscious Krissy was of what she was eating and how much discipline she had and it truly inspired me.  So, when Krissy was feeling sick on our flight home I knew something was definitely wrong because she is always a trooper.  It was a really scary experience for all of us involved, but we gave her the amount of support and space she needed to get her through the 27 hours it took to get home. 

Knowing Krissy has run marathons and can’t just get up and run and eat when she feels like it makes me feel selfish that I don’t take advantage of the lifestyle I am able to live.  After hearing her story, it has made me more conscious of my own habits, and I start to question my own motivation.  I absolutely hate running, but I have started running outside more as the weather gets nicer.  My biggest motivation is the playlist Krissy and I created (stuffed with old school goodies like BSB) and my app that tracks my runs.  For some reason, hearing a little voice tell you your pace and distance run every five minutes really makes you want to push yourself more and more.

Everyone has a different motivation in his or her life.  The important thing is that you find that motivator and use it to push yourself and really work hard for whatever your ultimate goal is.  You are the only one who knows how good it feels to finally cross that finish line!

I think it is awesome to have an alternative to running outside.
I love being outdoors when I can, but sometimes work schedules, weather and traveling can hinder that. Training on a treadmill isn’t a bad thing as long as you know how to challenge yourself and not lose it from boredom. As a general
guide, putting yourself at a 1% incline will more closely mimic running outdoors. Incline training on a treadmill in general is a great way to build endurance and can also stop the monotony. I like using The Pyramid Workout from Greg McMillan of Running Times Magazine.

Set 1: steady pace 1 minute each @ 4, 5 and 6 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 2: steady pace 1 minute each @ 5, 6 and 7 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 3: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 7 and 8 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 4: steady pace 1 minute each @ 7, 6 and 5 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 5: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 5 and 4 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

It keeps me focused on small goals throughout the run so that I don’t concentrate so much on the length of it. I usually do sets 1-5 twice in a run and it takes me about an hour. If I don’t do an incline workout though, I just keep a steady pace at a 1% incline. Oh, and music and Netflix help pass the time too :)

Yesterday was a rest day for me (based on my training schedule).You can view it on the tabs to the left if you like. I started to feel like I wanted to run anyway because I had a pretty good time on Monday and I was feeling good. It is important to rest, though. I think the worst thing you can
do is train so hard that you end up being injured and you can’t even compete on race day. That’s why I try as hard as I can to stick to my training schedule. As long as I am hitting my weekly goals, I know I’m during alright and that I’ll be just fine. So, I took my rest day and did a core (ab) workout instead. I also took the time to do the deep tissue stretching that my brother taught me (you can see the video in the guest blog he wrote below).  It felt good to do something different and now I am revitalized to do a great run today. I have to remember to take training in stride. It is a race which
requires quite a bit of time to prepare for, and I need to be willing to give myself that time so that I can meet my full potential when race time comes! 

I like to go by a guide written by Ed Eyestone from a 2009 issue of Runner’s World:

Less Is More 
How It Helps:
Prevents overuse injuries
Restores glycogen stores
Prevents mental burnout 

How Often: Once a week
How Easy: Off completely or 20 to 30 minutes (or 2 to 4 easy miles) below 60% of max heart rate. 

How It Helps:
Builds base
Improves endurance
Increases blood volume 

How Often: 80 to 85% of total weekly mileage 
How Easy: 70 to 75% of max heart rate or conversational pace at comfortable to moderate effort.

This is a great guide to understanding how to make full use of your rest days so that you can get the most out of training and preparation. 
Have a wonderful day!

"Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'."
-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

The first race I ever participated in was with my oldest sister, Mere, on the East Side of Cleveland. It was a 5K race and I was terrified. I was more terrified of letting my sister see me stop and not finish the race than I was of anything else. I also hated, and still do, the feeling of losing confidence in myself.  Mere never told me to do anything outside of what I was capable of doing so I trusted that if she brought me there, she knew I could get it done. I just wasn’t always aware of what I was capable of. I live by Mere Philosophy, and you will probably read many stories about the life lessons she has taught me and continues to teach me.  Mere told me two things that day that I remember quite well. The first is that you should never say “I did everything I could do” because the truth is, you can always do more. The second thing she told me was right before I started the race. She said something like; look at the person in front of you. Concentrate on that person. When you beat that person, concentrate on the next person in front of you. Pick that person and beat them. Mere is a complex person who makes simple statements. That’s all I needed to do. I needed to start running and not stop and quicken my stride to beat the opponent. I can still picture what the street looked like with trees bending over on each side, guiding our path. The first girl I chose was wearing a tie-dye t-shirt and was around my age. I ran at an even pace until I caught up with her and I ran beside her for awhile. When I started to feel myself pushing her behind me, nothing else mattered in the world. Things like time and distance didn’t matter anymore. It was after I beat that first person that I fell in love with the feeling of coming up ahead of the opponent.

 Competition isn’t a bad thing. If you want to win, then you have to run harder and faster than the next person. People may be smarter than you, faster than you- but don’t ever let anyone outwork you. That is one thing they can never beat you on in anything that you do.

Happiness is like a butterfly.
The more you chase it, the more it eludes you.
But if you turn your attention to other things,
It comes and sits softly on your shoulder.
 - Henry David Thoreau

My Mom used to tell me whenever I would feel anxious and upset to clean my room. That probably sounds ridiculous but if you knew my Mom you would understand.  She believes that if you start organizing one thing in your life at a time, everything else will come together. She also believes that without organization, you have no way to prioritize. Have you ever tried it? Sometimes the simple act of cleaning your room when you’re feeling like you can’t figure out what to do next will bring you into focus.

I use this same idea when I’m not feeling great. I try to focus on one thing at a time and then eventually everything seems alright again. When I am feeling overwhelmed; I clean my room, go for a run, write a list of tasks in my planner and by that time whatever I was panicking over before seems much more manageable.

If you exercise every day, I bet you will become a happier person.  I used to not understand why I was upset all the time, and then one day I realized I hadn’t been upset in a long time. I wasn’t wallowing in my weight gain or insecurities anymore. While I was on a journey to figure out how to get to happiness, it just happened. It happened because instead of chasing happiness down, I turned my attention to other things- and happiness was what I found.

Happiness is like a butterfly.
The more you chase it, the more it eludes you.
But if you turn your attention to other things,
It comes and sits softly on your shoulder.
 - Henry David Thoreau

A great lesson I learned about maintaining a healthy weight (or losing the weight you need to lose to get you into a healthy range) is realizing that nibbling here and there really does pack on the pounds. Without realizing it, you might be snacking all day and what seems like a little bit might end up being a whole lot. I used to look at the size of something and think "oh, this can't be that many calories look how small it is". Take a moment to look up the calories in chocolate truffles, cookies, size small whole milk mochas. I only speak in chocolate, so for anyone else reading the same idea might apply to chips or anything else. I know you've probably heard it before, but I'm speaking from experience and this truly works...SUBSTITUTE. Find a healthier choice and consciously choose that instead of those tricky tiny treats that ruin your diet. Recently, I've been choosing cherries as a snack. They are sweet and delicious and much healthier than a lot of other options I probably would have previously chosen. Always order skin milk, whole wheat, dressing on the side. It's the little things that make a big difference.
Hello, World.  This is Kris's sister Cait again--filling in while Kris runs the planet...

I am getting married on October 20th this year.  Our lovely author Kris will be my maid of honor, standing beside me as I promise to love and cherish my best friend, Jonathan Chiou, in good times and in bad, sickness and health...

There are so many pre-wedding crash diets out there, it's a little intimidating.  Brides-to-be losing tens of pounds, working out extreme amounts and tanning themselves beautiful for that one special day.  I don't mean to sound judgmental, but I sometimes just want to ask, "Are you getting married so you can look really hot in these pictures?"  One day?  Is that what getting married is all about?

I would like to suggest a different perspective on getting in shape for your wedding day.  Instead, think about getting in shape for your marriage.  It is very important to me, both as Jon's companion in love and as a Catholic woman in love, that I can make my vows truthfully and forever.  That I will do everything in my power to BE THERE throughout our marriage.  I am lucky so far to be a healthy woman--I have had no illnesses or disabilities of any kind that have threatened my life beyond my control.  While I have this luck, I want to make the most of my health.  You never know what can happen, so if you don't have to be sick, be healthy.  

This past year of our engagement, I have been focusing on the health of my body, mind, and spirit, and for me, the upcoming marriage has definitely been an inspiration.  I quit smoking (cold turkey--horrible, but in my opinion, the only way to do it), I have been working out in a way and amount that is reasonable for my body and age, and I have been trying to pay attention to what I'm eating simply with the mindset that my body is not a garbage can.  If I consider something garbage, like fast food--I don't eat it.  If I consider something somewhat sacred, like chocolate and ice cream--I eat it sparingly and with respect. :)  Mostly, I stick to simple things--just a few ingredients (all that I can pronounce), and alot of whole foods.

The results are awesome.  I have my own body image issues, but lately, I have been feeling healthy and strong, which does wonders for self confidence.  My cause--a long life with the man I love; as many healthy children as we can raise well together;  the ability to care for Chiou or our future kids if they should fall ill; the peace of mind that if I ever fall ill beyond my control, that I did what I could while I was healthy.

I think sometimes that self-care can be a sign of love for those around you.  It's not about self-cosmetics, and it shouldn't take a huge chunk of time away from your friends and family.  It's that hour in the morning for yoga or running or rollerblading.  It's making healthy meals for yourself and your loved ones.  It's showing respect for the only body you were given.

So--you future brides and husbands and partners out there.  Don't do it just for the day.  Promise more than that.  Your health can be such a beautiful way of saying, "I do."


    Kris Fergus is training to run Red White and Blue 26.2 in Findlay, Ohio on October 7th, 2012. Though this is not her first marathon, it is the first race in which she will run after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Training began on Monday, June 18th, and Kris will be keeping a blog to bring you with her on her journey and she will be raising money for Lakewood Hospital during the process.

    donate to Lakewood Hospital

    Please click the Give button to help patients at Lakewood Hospital who cannot pay for their insulin.
    Funds will be donated on race day, 10/7/2012.


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