The Transition Phase: From Running to Bodybuilding

This weekend marks the official turning point in the transition phase of my amateur adult athletic endeavors, see post called Phases of an Athlete for an overview of my annual plan for road racing and female bodybuilding.

a girl who lifts

I ran in my last endurance event of my 2013-2014 run season this weekend, the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon, had a chance to catch up with some great friends old and new, and wore myself out….lol! This month also marks my Runnersversary as it was a year ago this month I ran my 1st half marathon. I plan to continue running through out my bodybuilding season, just in shorter distances for fat burning and cardio. It’s time to build and maintain muscle!

better me

So back to the transition phase. As of today we are officially 13 weeks out from the first planned Figure Competition for this year. I had already began transitioning my diet around week 14, and boy could I tell a difference during my half marathon this weekend. I fatigued rather quickly and dehydrated fast, hence why I don’t do late Spring/Summer road racing, cause this race and my marathon last month got HOT, and it was still technically winter at that time! Crazy Southern Weather! I love my Region!…LOL! Plus, the diet change from eating like an endurance runner to eating like a bodybuilder is two totally different beasts in and of themselves and out of some mild anxiety about my upcoming competition season, I started cutting back on carbs and calories a little too soon! :-/

 thm14 TTC Peeps Stephs 1st Half

But we live and we learn! The joy is in the journey not the finish line or the trophy! So let the countdown to the stage officially begin! 13 Weeks and Counting!……

Until Next Time

~ I AM CandiceMaria ~

fitness model photo opp

It’s My “Runner’s-Versary”

A year ago this month I prepared to run my first ever endurance race, which was a half marathon! The Publix Georgia Half Marathon in Atlanta, GA! I guess I felt lucky that I would make it through it, as the race was conveniently held on March, 17, 2013, St. Patty’s Day!

my 1st 13.1

Tomorrow morning I will be running in my 3rd half marathon and 5th endurance running event, as over the course of this past year, I have successfully finished 2 Marathons as well as 2 Half Marathons, including the one mentioned above! I am excited to celebrate this milestone in my master’s level running and athletic journey in my very own hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL as I was honestly never a college or high school athlete, only a Jr. athlete briefly in my middle school years, and my sport was basketball. 😉


Three keys I have found to conditioning my body for running a successful endurance race along with all of the other athletic activities, such as figure and fitness competing,that I have so boldly decided to engage in in my early 30’s: 1) smart training 2) an even smarter nutritional lifestyle, and 3) a routine yoga practice.


Smart training, get grounded and  learn how to land on your feet, they keep you moving forward as well as in an instant can be the very thing that holds you back! Take care of them well! I am a minimalist/barefoot runner. I train my entire body from the ground up, especially my feet. I attribute my knowledge of this type of training to a phenomenal program called   SoleTraining by the willPower Method and my weekly yoga practice. Also, just for the record for the umpteen million times I get asked when out and about, “are my shoes comfortable?” YES!  I honestly love my Vibram FiveFingers and couldn’t imagine my runs or my workouts  or my active lifestyle without them.

fierce posture

Nutritionally, I strive to eat a clean, alkaline diet over 90% of the time. I am very careful not to let processed foods, or foods high in salt, or full of saturated fats and refined sugars enter my body. It’s my temple and I love it dearly, it’s the only one I got! Fruits & veggies are our friends! Start juicing! It makes daily consumption easier and tastes great! Plus adequate hydration is also key to optimum performance. Nourish your body, fuel your day as well as your workouts!

Lastly, yoga. Self-explanatory! If you constantly contract muscles with routine weight training (which I do on a regular as well) and running, you have to relax and decompress them in order to ensure recovery, repair, and prevent injury to both the muscles and the joints, plus the intricate ligaments and tendons that help them out everyday. I practice yoga often. I am not a super yogi or master, I am however a teacher in training and a believer in the awesome benefits of a regular yoga practice! Sometimes my practice doesn’t take place everyday, but it does happen weekly and it helps tremendously in my longevity and vitality in my sports and my adult athletic career!


So, with all that said, I will keep this entry as brief as possible as I have a race to prepare to run in the morning and  it’s yoga time, plus I have some juicing to do before it’s time to say good night!  So……

Until Next Time!

~ I AM Candice Maria~


What Is A Marathon?

mercedes mascot and me

2014 Mercedes Marathon – February 16, 2014 – Birmingham, AL  – 4:56:18

Two chainz full marathon plus triple peach

1st full marathon 2013

Atlanta Marathon – October 27, 2013 – 5:26:11

Simple question right!? Aside from an activity crazy runners like myself live and breath for, a marathon in it’s simplest form is an accumulation of all other road races combined:

2 – Half Marathons

my 1st 13.1

Atlanta, GA – Georgia Publix Half Marathon – March 17, 2013 – 2:42:41

13.1 number 2

Atlanta Half Marathon – Thanksgiving Day 2013 – 2:16:21

2.6 – 10-Milers

 From my Nike + App: 10.0 MI Total Distance 1:51:27 Total Time 11’06″/MI Avg Pace 1,005 Total Calories

 4.2 – 10K’s

my 1st 10K

Atlanta, GA – AJC Peachtree Road Race 2013 – 1:06:26

8.4  – 5K’s  

my 1st 5K

2007 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – Birmingham, AL

my 2nd 5K

2009 Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Fitness N’ Motion 5K  – Birmingham, AL

3 mileYMCA  fun run

3 – Mile YMCA Fun Run – July 3, 2013

                                                                             13.1 – 2-Mile Fun Runs                                                                                          

turkey trot 2 miler

2013 Tuscaloosa Track Club Membership 2-Mile Fun Run – 3rd Place Age Group – 15:27

The beauty of knowing where you are in your short distances is the key to a successful marathon experience. When you hit a mile marker on the race route, instead of daunting on how many more total miles you have left, break it down to each of the increments described above Example, at the start I focus solely on the 1st 5K leg of the race, because I know my average 5K pace, next I shift my focus to the 10K because I also know my average 10K pace, and lastly by the time you hit that point you have just above another 5K left to knock out the first half of the race. Also in initially thinking about that initial 5K stretch of pavement, I also think about my half marathon pace, as I’ve run a few to date, so like my 5K pace and my 10K pace, I know how to pace myself for the first 13.1 miles of the marathon and how long it will typically take me to complete it.

runner number 775 mercedes 2014

All in all, when you break apart your miles in a marathon, it makes it bearable, you can gauge how much time you have left to finish based on how long it typically takes you to complete certain mileage milestones as I prefer to call them! To date due to the races I have completed I have a general idea of my mileage milestones and how long it takes me to reach each one, which helps me estimate when and how hard to push or pull back and pace myself to get to the finish line in the time frame goal I set for myself at the start of a race. So throughout a long race, I remind myself of the following the whole time:

On average I can finish 2 miles in 15 minutes, 5K in 30 minutes, 10K in an hour, and 13.1 miles in 2:15. 

The beauty of my most recent marathon, was the mile marker text alerts. It gives me a track record of how I paced through out the entire race. Essentially, the way I was tracking mileage milestones in my head, the race coordinators were recording them for me in plain text…lol, theirs are all by kilometers, but still serves the same purpose. Here is a synopsis of what they came up with below:

Candice Hubbard crossed the 10K at 8:01:26 am with a time of 00:56:31 and pace of 09:21 min/mile. Est. Finish at 11:09am.

Candice Hubbard crossed the 15K at 8:31:58 am with a time of 01:27:03 and pace of 10:21 min/mile. Est. Finish at 11:29am.

Candice Hubbard crossed the 25K at 9:36:58 am with a time of 02:32:03 and pace of 10:45 min/mile. Est. Finish at 11:36am.

Candice Hubbard crossed the 30K at 10:11:36 am with a time of 03:06:41 and pace of 16:54 min/mile. Est. Finish at 12:45pm.

Candice Hubbard crossed the 35K at 11:10:11 am with a time of 04:05:16 and pace of 11:44 min/mile. Est. Finish at 11:58am.

Candice Hubbard completed the Mercedes-Benz Marathon at 12:01:13 pm with a time of 04:56:18 and 11:19 min/mile avg pace. (UNOFFICIAL)

Until Next Time

~ On the Run ~


~ I AM Candice Maria ~

The Vulnerability of a Runner

Physical exhaustion, depleting lung capacity, sore muscles and fatigue. We are delicate beings, especially at the closing in of the finish line of a marathon or even a half marathon. So the audacity of a human being to plant explosives at the finish line of an endurance race is beyond inhumane, its down right evil.


As a first time half marathoner earlier this year, I know first hand the mere terror of experiencing complications such as severe bronchospasms and wheezing as I closed in for my first half marathon finish. My biggest fear is that my whole throat would close up on me and I’d completely stop being able to breath. I don’t have asthma, but have heard reports of people having asthma attacks at the end of such races. To push the human body to such limits of vulnerability and have someone literally attempt to take your life is beyond terrifying. It’s one thing to feel like you’re dying from shortness of breath, but to literally be blown to pieces is an image no runner ever wants to imagine at their finish line experience, whether its their first or 100th time running.


Praying for the families and runners effected by the Boston Marathon Explosion. Its disgraceful, that cowards must attack innocent by-standers and athletes because of whatever spite they have against our country or politics. People who are weapon-less and can’t even defend themselves lose their lives over a disagreement that has nothing to do with them. It rips my heart into pieces and almost makes me afraid to hit the pavement for another race, for fear that this may become a trend. As much as I love running, this is simply not fair.

run in the rain

I will run again…..because I know who I serve and who holds my future. The running community will fight back and we will survive! This storm of terror will pass!


run in the rain



In preparation for my next running event, I found myself faced with the obstacle of staying in and “treadmill” training or embracing these past two days of rain with a practice run in the rain. I’ve trained in cold 30-40 degree weather and hot sun, even got caught in the rain after starting a run in fairly mild weather. However, today was a little different. Mother nature was testing me, to see how prepared I was to call myself a “true runner” and “half marathoner”! So as I starred at the window for two days watching this rain, on day two I decided I had had enough. Even if I only do a super short run, I’m getting out there in it!


push your limits



So needless to say, I only did about 3km in the rain; a run is better than no run at all in my book. Plus, it wasn’t your typical spring time light drizzle, but not storming either, more like a shower, but it felt good. I am glad I did it. It was very refreshing and rejuvenating. Today being Easter Sunday for most, for me I consider it Resurrection Sunday,and this rainy run felt like I had resurrected and refreshed my body for training. I felt like a champion, a winner, a road race-half marathon finisher! It made me remind myself, what if it rains on race day? are you going to quit? drop out of the race? NO! You’re going to get out there and just RUN!

running in any weather


So I say all this to conclude that a true runner knows no limits and Running knows no season! As a matter of fact, its always in season. Rain, Sun, Snow, or just plain ice cold. Weather is no object when you’re a Runner! And you know you’re a true Runner when….

train hard


Until the Next Time

~Gone for a Run~



“If you can’t fly, then run; If you can’t run, then walk; If you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like LIFE, this quote can also be applied to running or any other sports activity one may engage in. You have to start somewhere and continue to move forward from that point.

On Sunday, March 17th (St. Paddy’s Day!) I participated in my very first half  marathon!finishline 

In preparation for my first half marathon, I did an atypical training regimen. I completed short distance runs, cross-trained with my favorite martial art, which is Capoeira, and maintained flexibility with hot yoga. I also practiced foot fitness because I have a chronic ankle sprain that has not fully healed since August of 2012. Listed below is how I prepared to earn the title of “half marathoner” and “Got 13.1!”

Short endurance training runs: During the months preceding my first race, I completed a series of short distance runs, ranging from various amounts of time and/or distance.

Cross-training: To build muscular strength and flexibility I regularly practiced Capoeira, yoga, pilates and the willPower Method, with occasional weight lifting.

Prayer: Yes, prayer and support from friends, family, and even pure strangers on race day is a big part of the training process. But also supporting yourself as well, you have to be willing to be self-motivated to push yourself to run that extra mile, to put on your running gear after a long 13 hour nursing shift and put in a quick 20 minutes on the treadmill or waking up an extra hour earlier before preparing for a long commute to work or school to get a quick run in before another hectic day starts. That takes personal willPower, determination, faith, and strength. It was accomplished for me through prayer and a love for improving myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Getting to 13.1 in 2:42:41


So far my “running” future and my #rundreams are bright! I have several half-marathons in my radar to train for and I was just selected to run in one of the largest running events in the U.S. Atlanta’s premier road race the Peachtree Road Race. This race isn’t a half marathon or even a marathon, but a 10K. However, don’t sleep on this particular 10K as it brings runners from as far as Africa and other parts of the world together in one U.S. city to run together for approximately 6 miles on the 4th of July, our nations Independence Day. Talk about a cultural experience! It’s going to be a beautiful celebration!

Until Next Time…Gone for a Run!