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Team Amica: Nacho average runners

What routines do you have the night-before or morning-of a marathon?

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The night before a longer run, it’s important to eat carbohydrates like pasta. In fact, the night before the marathon we’re going to attend the pasta dinner put on by the Seattle Marathon Association. Here, we can get fueled up for the race. 

The morning of the run, we’ll have carbohydrates again with a little bit of protein. We’ve experimented with a few different breakfast options that will help fuel us for the run without making us too full. Some good pre-run breakfasts are a bagel or English muffin with peanut butter, or protein pancakes. We’ve been getting the buttermilk Kodiak Cake protein pancakes for a few of our runs and they’ve been very filling. 

Before we hit the road, we’ll do a few stretches, and will have one of the gel blocks approximately 15 minutes before we begin. After the run, we plan to drink a lot of water or Gatorade. We’ll also use a foam roller, do more stretches and make sure to have some protein. Once the marathon is over, Will’s even planning to run straight to the nearest restaurant that’s serving nachos to celebrate!

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§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: If the shoe fits

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With colder weather approaching, we took a trip to the outlets to get some race day gear that will keep us warm and dry. We both got workout leggings to keep our legs warm during the run, and long-sleeved lightweight heat gear so that if it rains we’ll stay dry without getting weighed down.

We also went to a specialized running store this weekend to get Will fitted for running shoes. During our longer runs, Will had been running in an old and worn-out pair of sneakers. This was causing him some ankle, arch and shin pain.

At the running store, the attendant scanned the bottom of his feet and watched him run on the treadmill to see how he runs and how much pressure he was putting on different parts of his body. The attendant determined that Will needed a neutral shoe with support for his arches so he got molded custom insoles for some extra cushioning. These shoes should take him through the marathon. (Most running shoes last 300-500 miles.)

Gillian had been fitted for running shoes a few years ago at the running store at the Boston Marathon finish line. They ran with her around Boston to determine her running style and what kind of shoe she would need. Because she already knows what type of shoes she needs, Gillian was also able to get a new pair.

So now that we’re geared up, we’re ready to go! See you in a few weeks!

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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American woman wins NYC Marathon for the first time in 40 years

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Flanagan dethroned Mary Keitany on Sunday and became the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977, potentially ending her decorated career with her first major marathon victory.

Flanagan's breakthrough came in the last career race for American great Meb Keflezighi. The 2009 New York winner collapsed at the finish line, his 42-year-old body pushed to its limit in his 26th marathon. Keflezighi finished 11th, about five minutes behind 24-year-old winner Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya.

This may have been Flanagan's final race, too, although the four-time Olympian wasn't ready to commit. But she likes the idea of her and Keflezighi going out together.

"I was thinking of Meb, and I was thinking of how I wanted to make him proud," Flanagan said.

Read the full article by: JAKE SEINER, AP SPORTS WRITER, ABC News

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Team Amica: Running for the hills

We’re about a month away from the marathon and our training has been going great! With the weather changing from summer to fall, we’ve had to make some adjustments to get used to running in colder weather. We anticipate that marathon day will be roughly 40 degrees with a good chance of rain, so we’ve been training in those conditions whenever possible. We’re also trying to incorporate hills into our runs as the course map shows that there are several hilly areas.  

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On longer runs, we have to have gels midway for fuel. Gels have a frosting-like consistency and come in several different flavors. We typically use CLIF gels and take one every 4 to 5 miles. This is Will’s first time using them, and it takes some getting used to. We’ve also used gel blocks which are gels in gummy form. Gels are easier to take on the run itself, and gel blocks are easier to consume right before.

Our best run so far has been at Green Lake Park because the trees provide shade and it’s pretty flat. One lap around is three miles so it’s pretty easy to do a few laps and get the mileage in quickly. Our longest run has been 15 miles. We’ve been alternating doing our longer runs on flatter courses and on courses with hills to get us prepared for what we might see during the actual marathon.

So far our best time has been around 9 to 10 minutes per mile for our longer runs.

With just a few weeks left before race day, we’re still striving to improve our times. How’s your training going?

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: Working Out Those Muscles

Stretching is an important part of our marathon training plan and we have a specific routine for it. We do the same exercises before and after our runs. For instance, we typically stretch for 10 minutes prior to running and do a combination of lower and upper body stretches. Specifically we focus on our quadriceps, hamstrings and shoulders. We also have a foam roller that we use in between runs. It helps relieve pain and stiffness after long runs. 

However, our favorite stretching position is a shoulder exercise. You take one arm and put it behind your back, and grab your elbow with your other hand. As we have gone through training, we’ve both struggled with a bit of back and shoulder pain on our longer runs, and this has helped alleviate some it!

We’ve even tried yoga on some of our off days! Stephanie, our branch manager, is an instructor and has taken us to Alki Beach to show us some moves which are helping to increase our strength and flexibility.

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: Some Sole-ful Advice

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What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received? 

For us, it was to make a schedule and stick to it! We were fortunate enough to have Gillian’s aunt help create our marathon schedule to keep us on task.  Staying organized and having weekly benchmarks to reach certainly makes the training process a lot easier. The worst advice we’ve heard is that it’s okay to move things around and skip workouts occasionally.  Not a good idea! We’ve definitely felt it on the days after we made that mistake.

For future runners, regardless of your experience, we recommend training with a buddy. It’s so much easier to stay motivated on the days that you don’t feel like running or don’t think you can make it the extra mile. We’d also recommend really staying in tune with your body and knowing when to keep pushing through the pain and when to ease up a bit. After all, this is training for a marathon, not a sprint!

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: The Balancing Act

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We’ve mostly stuck to our training plan so far, but sometimes it’s been difficult managing our training schedule with work. Still, we’ve been consistent and are on pace for where we need to be. Saturday’s are our most challenging day of training because it’s a longer run – each weekend we try to tack on a mile to our previous distance. Each long run requires us to run further than we have in training thus far, and each week the last mile or two are major mental hurdles! This past Saturday we ran the Seattle Marathon 10K with two of our co-workers!

Gillian says – My biggest obstacle has been training for a major athletic event while working full time. I previously ran marathons in college. It’s been tough returning to marathon form after the long gap since my last marathon. While every week it gets a little easier, I’m still adjusting to being in training mode 24/7.  

Will says – I was most active in sports in high school and college. My biggest challenge is mental because I’m just not a huge fan of running. I’ve balanced this out by running while listening to some good podcasts like The Bill Simmons Podcast, the Ringer NBA/NFL shows and the NFL.com podcast.

Balancing work, training, sticking to a healthy diet, and maintaining a personal life has required lots of dedication and has been a serious time commitment, but we’ve been working together to plan meals and adhere to strict start times for training throughout the week.

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: Will Run For Pizza

Throughout our training, we’ve both been trying to commit to eating healthy. So, we usually prepare high-protein dishes like chicken or salmon and vegetables.

Before a longer run, it’s important to have a meal that is packed with both protein and carbs. Our favorite meals before a morning run are protein pancakes or bagels with peanut butter. We’ve been buying the Buttermilk Kodiak Cakes® as they have less sugar than regular pancakes but more protein.

After a long run, we’ve gotten into the habit of rewarding ourselves with chocolate banana protein shakes. Our recipe calls for:

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  • One scoop of chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ice
  • *Optional: 1 teaspoon coconut oil*

Of course, we have our cheat days (sometimes more than one cheat day each week)! After a workout we’ll occasionally make a pizza from scratch using an easy dough recipe. We mix fast-rising pizza yeast with hot water, an herb mix, and olive oil to create our dough. After we’ve let the dough rise and pre-cook it for a few minutes we top it with some sauce, fresh vegetables, and mozzarella cheese. This recipe is such a favorite of ours that we end up making it a few nights a week after a longer run.

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: Oh, The Places We’ll Train

We’re into our third week of training and it’s going well! We’ve gotten into a pattern of running after work and doing our longer runs on Saturday morning. This is a good compromise for us because I like to run in the evenings and Gillian likes to run in the mornings. Neither of us likes running at midday as it takes away from other fun weekend activities, and it’s the hottest part of the day. We try to train together as much as possible, so we are doing our workouts as a team.

We prefer to run outside because the scenery helps make the run more enjoyable and helps make the time go by faster. (Who likes staring at a treadmill screen telling you that you still have an hour of running left?) We typically do our speed workouts and shorter runs at a high school track, but we also like running on some bike trails. For our longer runs, we’ve gone to Alki Beach or to Green Lake, since these areas are not only scenic, but provide a nice flat road.

Ideally, the best training weather for us will be when it’s a little colder outside. But no matter what, we’ll be out there running in any weather (rain, heat, cold) giving it 110 percent!

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: We’re on Our Way!

GILLIAN AND WILL

GILLIAN AND WILL

WILL ON THE BASKETBALL COURT AGAIN.

WILL ON THE BASKETBALL COURT AGAIN.

We’ve officially begun our marathon training and are off to a great start!

Our training started on July 3 and will conclude on race day, November 26. Our plan has us running on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Sundays are our rest days. On Wednesdays and Fridays we cross train. This typically consists of 45 minutes to an hour’s worth of activity such as strength training at the gym in our office or swimming. I also used to be a spinning instructor in college, so that’s my favorite type of cross training. And last week, we got back to Will’s sports roots by playing basketball.

Each Saturday we add a mile to our run, and will be able to run 20 miles by the day of the marathon. The idea is that once your body can run 20 miles, the remaining 6.2 is all mental. I’ve used this training for previous marathons.

We haven’t signed up for any smaller races yet, but we won’t rule it out. We think it would be a great way to continue exploring the West Coast.

By the end of all this training, our goal is to complete the marathon in less than four hours. But we’ll be happy if we just finish it! Wish us luck!

§ Gillian and Will are employees of Amica Mutual Insurance and have received free entries into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Team Amica: The Will to Succeed!

Greetings from Seattle! I’m Will, an Account Manager in Amica’s Seattle Regional Office. I’m originally from Massachusetts and moved here about 8 months ago.

The Seattle Marathon will be my first major run ever. Although I’ve played several sports, I’ve never run track, much less trained for a marathon. My longest run was a 5K. Before starting to train for the marathon, I’d never practiced long-distance running.

I decided to run the Seattle Marathon because I enjoy pushing myself and trying new things. I know that training for this marathon will be drastically different from training for other sports I have played, such as basketball and baseball.

I’m looking forward to the challenge of running in the marathon, and what I envision to be a rewarding feeling once I cross the finish line in November. I’m also excited to train with Gillian, another account manager in the Seattle office, who has considerably more running experience than I do. Training with someone who’s already done a marathon will provide great insight into what it takes to get ready, and I’ll go in knowing I am fully prepared. While I think that it’ll be difficult to go from no running experience to taking on a full marathon, I’m ecstatic for the opportunity to participate.

§  Will is an employee of Amica Mutual Insurance and has received a free entry into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

Will and Gillian!

Will and Gillian!

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Team Amica: Channeling Her Inner Strength

Hi! I’m Gillian, an Account Manager in Amica’s Seattle Regional Office, and I’m excited to share my journey as I get ready to run the Amica Seattle Marathon – it’s just FIVE months away! But first I wanted to share a little bit about myself and why I’m running.

I ran my first marathon during my sophomore year in college – I’d never run more than a 5K before that. A few of my family members had run marathons before, so they helped me train. I found it hard at times to stay motivated (there’s only so much music that you can fit on your iPod). But that changed when the 6-year-old son of a family friend became sick and was diagnosed with leukemia. That’s when I decided to dedicate my marathon to him. Each time I went for a run, I pictured his strength and channeled my inner strength, which helped to push me further.

I went on to finish 18th in my division in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. As I crossed the finish line and received my medal from the United States Marine Corps, I felt an immense sense of accomplishment. Since then, I’ve run another full marathon and a half marathon. Also, while still in college, I worked as a fitness instructor to help others find the inner strength I felt when I crossed that finish line.

Since moving from Connecticut to Seattle, I’ve continued to run and have decided to participate in the Seattle Marathon with Will – another manager in the office. We were in the same college graduating class and we became best friends after Will came to our branch. We’re committed to helping each other through the highs and lows of training to run 26.2 miles. I look forward to helping Will complete his first marathon so that he’ll feel that same sense of accomplishment when he crosses the finish line in November.

§  Gillian is an employee of Amica Mutual Insurance and has received a free entry into the 2017 Seattle Marathon from Amica Insurance for contributing to this blog.

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Go James!!

We would like to offer congratulations to our very own James Heath for completing the 2016 Marin Corps Marathon in Washington DC!

GO JAMES!

James has been supporting you for the past 9 years as our logistics coordinator. He makes sure your start and finish line gets where it needs to be!

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5 Health Benefits of Almonds

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5 Health Benefits of Almonds

You can scour the internet for lists of foods that are good for many aspects of your health, and there's a good chance that you'll find almonds on a very large percentage of them. The benefits of this nut are seemingly infinite. They certainly make a great snack for any athlete. Here’s a quick list of five primary benefits that are sure to turn you into an almond lover if you're not already one.

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Volunteers

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Volunteers

To paraphrase an old saying, running is absurdly simple, but the father you go, it ain't easy.

The same notion holds true with organizing, facilitating and coordinating a running event.

Whether it's planning an impromptu scamper around the block for the neighbor kids or arranging a carefully orchestrated run like the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon on Nov. 27, there is one element that is needed for both to pull it off and make it happen.

That element is the dedicated volunteers who either give of themselves, their time, or provide some tangible resource of support to all runners in the event.

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The Cloth of Our Nation represented with Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon

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The Cloth of Our Nation represented with Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon

Earlier in the year, I volunteered at the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon vendor booth at the Tacoma City Marathon expo. I couldn’t help but notice several members of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard ‘Fast Attack’ run group picking up their run packets for the event, along with a smattering of Army personnel from nearby Joint Base Lewis McChord. There were others, obvious due to their manner, their comportment, the way they carried themselves.

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Home Town Pride

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Home Town Pride

The Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon, Seattle’s hometown marathon has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for runners and walkers in the Pacific Northwest.

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Seattle Marathon Association

Who we are

The Seattle Marathon Association (SMA) is a non profit organization governed by a ten member Board of Directors. It is proud of its commitment to providing a quality running event in the Pacific Northwest, providing our sponsors with maximum exposure in association with the event and making a positive social and economic impact on the city of Seattle. Using the Visitors and Convention Bureau Statistics, a conservative positive economic impact to the Seattle economy is five million dollars per year. With the current growth trend of the Seattle Marathon, the economic impact could double within three years.

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