Does Running Ever Get Easier? (Women’s Running Post)

This is a post that was written for Women’s Running several weeks ago: ————- I ran the Honolulu Marathon last month with my youngest sister. It was her first marathon and without question, the most memorable, special 26.2 miles I’ve ever run. We finished hand-in-hand, smiling and crying happy tears. But it was a tough race for her from the start, due to stomach problems beginning at mile 4. Later that evening, as we were falling asleep in our room, she asked me: “Does running ever get easier?” It’s not an easy question to answer. I know I’ve had the same feelings and questions. There have been countless times I’ve thought about a speedier-than-me runner while completing a tough workout and wondered how easy their tempo runs or long runs must feel. Or thought about how easy it must be for them to be that fast. In my opinion, some aspects get easier. But others are just as hard, if not harder, as they were when I first started running marathons 10+ years ago. I think running truly never gets easy (especially if you are training for a time or goal or PR). It just changes over time. read moreTweet

Boston Marathon Training Update (T-12)

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I’m trying to get back into the habit of sharing my weekly training updates for my next marathon. Boston is 12 weeks away (from Monday). Mid-April sounds so far away, but in reality, it’s just ten long runs.  And for me, it’s actually only eight since two of my weekends are taken up with races (a one-miler and half marathon). Last week was another week of base building and getting used to running on a regular basis again. Because there were no speed workouts or set paces for any of the runs, I took advantage and ran all without a garmin. I’ve run the roads by my home so many times that I know the mile markers based on cracks in the road. Garmin-free running has made the last few weeks so incredibly enjoyable. There’s no worry or thought about pace – running too fast or even too slow – and just running what my body feels is right for the day. It’s allowed me to enjoy the simple act of running – and to fall in love with running all over again. read moreTweet

Running Links and Highlights

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If you are in the path of Juno, hoping you and your loved ones are staying safe and warm! We woke up this morning to 7+ inches of snow and howling winds outside – but not nearly as bad as they were predicting! I read so many great running-related stories and posts throughout the week – and wanted to do a roundup of some of the highlights I found! If there is one that I missed or one that really stood out to you, let me know in the comments or with an email (nycrunningmama@gmail.com) and I’ll include it in next week’s roundup! Fallen Runner Saved Near Finish Line: Amazing story of a runner who collapsed (and was clinically dead) at the finish line of the Naples Half Marathon before onlookers and medical personnel saved his life! You Know You Are Screwed At The Start Line When…: I can relate to many of these! Definitely worth a read if you need a good chuckle! Study: Women Are Better At Marathon Pacing Than Men: According to a recent study, women are better than men at pacing themselves during marathons…no definitive reason why but the article has a couple of possibilities. read moreTweet

Staying on Track with Resolutions

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This post is part of an ongoing sponsorship with Meta. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ———- A couple of weeks ago, I shared what my top goals are for the year. It’s all fine and good to sit down at the end of each year and come up with goals for the next 365 days. And it’s likely that for the first few weeks of the year, the motivation and excitement are high enough to keep you marching ahead towards your goal without faltering. But once the energy of the new year wears off and the dreariness of winter hits, that willpower may start to dwindle. I’ve been there MANY times. It seems to happen to me on a yearly basis. So this year, I decided to be more proactive in an attempt to combat the broken resolutions. Don’t Go It Alone. It’s so much easier to make it to an early morning run, stick to a strength workout regime or focus on core work when you have a training buddy – virtual or in-person – to hold you accountable. I have a friend who lives hundreds of miles away that I kind of report to – and she to Continue Reading →

9 Ways to Prevent Running From Breaking the Bank (Women’s Running Post)

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I wrote this post for Women’s Running a few weeks ago and wanted to share it here as well. At it’s core, running is an inexpensive sport. All you really need is a good pair of sneakers — and I’m sure some would argue against even that! However, I feel like every time I blink, there is a new gadget, accessory or piece of clothing that is on the market. Don’t get me wrong – I own a lot of these things, and I think a good number of them have their uses to make running more enjoyable. But, the reality is they aren’t necessary. If you are new to the sport of running, it can be overwhelming to see nothing but dollar signs all the time. Here are some ways to keep the costs associated with running down: Buy the previous shoe model: It’s always fun to own the shoes that were just released, but you will be paying the full cost for that pair. If you wait until the next model comes out, you can often get them for up to 50% off the retail price. They are still unused, new shoes, just last year, last month or even last Continue Reading →

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Winter Running

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It was 15 degrees (with windchill) for this past weekend’s “long run” (12 miles) which may make it the coldest weather I’ve ever run in. I realize that many runners routinely run in temperatures most colder, but passing up the treadmill for the cold is something fairly new to me. In years past, anything under 25 would be a no-brainer treadmill run. I don’t know if it is a mental shift, a change in clothes from previous years, my weaning motivation to run on the treadmill or a combination of all of the above. But, I’m pretty pleased with the minimal amount of treadmill running I’ve done the last few weeks (note: I haven’t run that much to begin with, but when I have run, most of the time I’ve been outside).And it’s been more than just getting the runs in outside – I’ve actually been enjoying them along the way – which has been the most surprising part of the whole thing. Since the only really tangible change I’ve made is my clothing, I wanted to share what I’ve done in case you are looking to run more in the cold or need some ideas for winter running clothing Continue Reading →

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

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I ran six straight days last week. I feel like I need to celebrate in some way – you’d have to go back all the way to the beginning of December to find a stretch of running that long. The last few weeks have been frustrating. I returned from Hawaii and the Honolulu Marathon on top of the world. It was a whirlwind few days and I came home ready for Christmas, my in-laws visiting and some hard training – something I hadn’t done since before Potomac a month prior. Running felt WAY better post-marathon (Potomac Marathon) than I ever remember it feeling. But then I missed 8 straight days of running because of the flu (what my surgeon now thinks was actually the start of the infection in my gums). Not the end of the world. I’ve missed some longer stretches of running before and know that it doesn’t really make a noticeable difference. After a few runs, I felt like I was getting my mojo back. And then I missed another 7 straight days of running from the tooth/gum infection. read moreTweet

What Strength Exercises Should Runners Do?

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As I mentioned in my goal post a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been incorporating some strength work into my weekly routine for about 6-7 weeks now. I feel a difference – in literally every single run. Speedwork has been faster, long runs feel more comfortable and easy runs have been effortless (I have been running garmin-free for these so not sure about paces). It’s likely due to a few factors (reducing processed foods and sweets) but one of them is definitely the strength work that is now a regular addition to my weekly training plan. Below are a few of my favorite moves – I will preface this all by saying that I am not an expert, certified trainer or anything along those lines. So there may be more efficient moves that I can be doing or maybe I should be doing more reps, less weight – but these seem to be working for me. I tried to explain them as best I could as well! I’ve also been hesitant to share them because regardless of how I feel in training, the true test of whether strength work is paying off will come on race day. But I don’t Continue Reading →

Garmin Vivosmart Review

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Back in December, I was asked to participate in the Garmin and Whole Foods #PathtoFit Campaign. I am a huge Garmin fan and absolutely love Whole Foods. The only issue was that the closest Whole Foods to me (these days) is ~45 min away; 90 minutes in the car (once/week for six weeks) was just a bit too much for me. So I was ecstatic when Garmin asked if I wanted to review the new Vivosmart (and give one away) in lieu  of participating.  Wearing an activity tracker has been an eye-opener. I don’t sit a lot during the day and assumed I was taking a lot more steps than I actually was. The most useful information was being able to see my steps broken down hour-by-hour so I could determine when I was moving most throughout the day and when I was stationary. The total number of steps, while interesting, doesn’t mean as much to me since my primary form of exercise is running. Below are some of my favorite aspects of the the Vivosmart: No Buttons: There are no buttons on the Vivosmart. You toggle between the information by a simple swipe (right to left) Invisible Display: It features a sleek, Continue Reading →

Garmin Vivofit Winner + You Can Still Win a Vivofit!

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I announced the winner of the Garmin Vivosmart Instagram giveaway on Thursday – congratulations to Kelly!! The winner of the Garmin Vivofit giveaway is: Sarah Evans! A couple of ladies participating in the #Pathtofit campaign with Garmin and Whole Foods are/will be giving away a Garmin Vivofit (as well as gift card to Whole Foods!). If you didn’t win one here, go check out their blogs for a chance to win!! Dorothy, Christine, Lindsay.     Tweet

Another Week Off From Running + Support New Runners

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I haven’t run since Saturday. This marks the 2nd longest non-running streak I have had in the last several years (with the longest being just a few weeks ago from the flu). I’m on a roll lately – just not rolling the way I would like. I was starting to regain my energy in the days after the flu, but the whole next week, was back to how I felt the week before. I was running a low fever for much of the week and could barely drag myself out of bed at 7am (big difference from normal 4:30am wakeups) despite going to bed by 10pm. Most of my runs were at night because I felt better as the day went on. Saturday was much the same and after postponing the long run until the afternoon, managed just 3.5 miles before I called it quits and stopped at my sister’s house. I felt so tired despite running over 35+ seconds (per mile) slower than usual for my long run pace. I was in the car Sunday morning with my husband and boys when my tooth literally popped out of my mouth. It was from a tooth that had root canal last Continue Reading →

Garmin Fitness Trackers + Garmin Vivofit Giveaway!

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Garmin has released two models in their activity tracker line – the Vivosmart and the Vivofit. The Vivosmart is the higher model – but both have several awesome capabilities (review of the Vivosmart coming soon!). Below is a chart outlying the differences: I’ve hosted a bunch of Garmin giveaways lately. The 910xt and the Vivofit were/are not sponsored by Garmin (or anyone else for that matter). One of the perks of this blog and being on social media is getting awesome swag – both of these fall into that category. I already have a 910xt and knew I was getting the Vivosmart (plus my Garmin Forerunner 10 tracks steps and mileage) – so I certainly don’t need another activity tracker. I feel wrong for selling them since I didn’t spend my own money on them in the first place. So I decided to give them away as a thank you for everyone who reads, comments or supports me and my running journey. The Garmin Vivosmart that I’m giving away on Instagram right now (go check it out!) is sponsored by Garmin. They had reached out to me several weeks ago to participate in a campaign they are holding ICW Whole Foods. Continue Reading →

2015 Goals – Focusing on the Process

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It’s that time of year again when we all come up with goals (or resolutions or dreams or whatever you call them!) for the new year. In recent years, I came up with a whole laundry list of goals. I admit that some of it was blog filler – two years ago, I shared my 13 goals for 2013 . While it was fun to come up with all those goals, the reality is that I didn’t follow through on most of them. There were too many and too varied for me to really focus on ALL of them during the year – and most of them didn’t really mean that much to me. This year, I am changing my approach. Instead of having very detailed endstate goals (like run 3:10 in the marathon or sub-1:30 for the half – which I still REALLY want to do), I am focusing on the process. The endstate is still to PR, but I believe that it will come naturally as a result of sticking to these goals/resolutions. 1. Embrace Winter. Each winter I run (no pun intended) to the treadmill at the first signs of cold, crappy weather. And while I know that you Continue Reading →

When You DON’T Regret Skipping a Run

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I’m hosting an awesome giveaway for a Garmin Vivosmart – courtesy of Garmin – on Instagram! ——————————— After returning from Honolulu and running the marathon with my sister, I was ready to jump back into training. I took the following day off (which was a complete travel day) and began running on Tuesday (4 miles). I continued with nothing but easy-paced 8 milers the rest of the week – one day had 10×1 min on, 1 min off pickups in the middle. I went to bed Friday night excited and to resume long runs – coach had 19-20 on the training plan for me and physically, I felt ready. I woke up Saturday morning and from the moment my eyes opened, knew something was off. My head was aching and I felt like I was coming down with something. After a cup of coffee, I still didn’t feel any better and made the decision to skip the run for the day. Part of me wanted to just suck it up and go. I kept hearing various phrases and inspirational images that are often thrown around social media: The only run you regret is the one you don’t go on I never Continue Reading →

Honolulu Marathon Recap + Review

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The Honolulu Marathon was the most special, emotional finish line I’ve ever crossed. Running 26.2 miles side by side with my sister is a memory that I will cherish forever and I am so grateful to Saucony and Competitor for the opportunity to experience it in Hawaii with 16 other amazing females. The race and race weekend were…interesting. I had no idea prior to race weekend that over half the field is made up of runners from Japan. It was amazing to feel like we were part of something international. But it was strange, too – at time I felt like we were overseas! The expo, race packet, start line instructions were all in English as well as Japanese and there were two national anthems at the start. Race Morning To minimize the heat of the Hawaiian sun, the race began at 5am, which meant a 2:30am wakeup for Nicole and I. It wasn’t too terrible for us since we were still on east coast time. We met the other teams in the lobby at 4am and walked to the start area which was 1.5 miles away. read moreTweet

Honolulu Marathon Weekend

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I’ve wanted to share the details of this past weekend since I returned early Tuesday morning but my focus for the last few days was on spending as much time as possible with the boys and my in-laws (who arrived Wednesday AM from Alaska!).  My heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this program with Saucony and Competitor, happiness for my sister and the other first-time marathoners who dealt with high winds and a tough course on Sunday and love for the other ladies who I was lucky enough to share three days with. It felt like a girls weekend in Hawaii – with a 26.2 mile run thrown in for fun. The selfish part of me wishes my sister and I could have stayed longer – but for many reasons (work for her, my in-laws arriving from Alaska for me), we were on the first flight out of Honolulu Monday morning (630am – which was painfully early after 26.2 miles the day before). But I was glad to be going home. I always look forward to having some adult time away from the boys, but I miss them like crazy when I’m away from them. Continue Reading →

Recovery + Speedwork + Honolulu Marathon

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The Potomac River Run Marathon was just over three weeks ago and I just had my first real speedwork. I took a few days off from running (and any sort of physical activity) after the marathon but started back up with short, easy runs mid-week. Since then, I’ve gradually increased mileage while keeping virtually all running to a super easy pace (I didn’t wear a Garmin at all for the first two weeks of running). The mileage looked like this: – 1 week post-marathon: 4 days of running – 22 miles – 2 weeks post-marathon: 6 days of running – 47.5 miles (including 10 miles with 10 x 1:00 on, 1:00 off -> no set pace) – 3 weeks post-marathon: 6 days of running – 47 miles (including 8 miler with 4 mile progression -> no set pace) I think there are multiple ways to recover from a goal race. I used to be of the mindset that I HAD to take an entire week off from running after a marathon and a few days off after a half marathon. My coach is of a different mindset, and believes in more of an active recovery. It was a change for me Continue Reading →

Strut Your Stuff Sign Co: Medal Holder Review + Giveaway

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I never thought I would be a runner who wanted to display my bibs, medals and trophies, but after my husband and I set up our home gym in our basement, I realized that I kind of loved the idea of being able to see all my running-related paraphernalia when I worked out. I’m incredibly excited about the two medal holders I received from Strut Your Stuff Sign Co. Here’s what I loved: Design: There is a wide variety of designs (200+) and paint colors (12) that you can choose from – or you can have one personalized with our logo or favorite mantra/quote!  Hooks: Easy access to add/remove medals Capacity: There are 13 (or 9 on the smaller ones) hooks – but they are sturdy enough to hold multiple medals on each one (up to 10!) so you can easily store over 100 medals on one sign! Handmade and Made To Order Easy to Assemble/Hang: The medal holder comes with pre-drilled holes in the front (for the hooks) as well as keyhole slots on the back for a flush wall mount The holder is made with ecofriendly MDF, silver L hooks and computerized text. Strut Your Stuff Sign Company can be found on: Continue Reading →

Women’s Running: Race Bibs and Medals

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This post originally appeared on Women’s Running! I am a packrat. I dislike throwing away things that have even the smallest bit of meaning to me. Everything gets put into chronologically-labeled shoeboxes and packed away for a rainy day when I’m feel nostalgic. Race bibs and medals are no different and for years, I kept everything to do with my running in those shoeboxes. Last spring, I reviewed a medal sign and after hanging it up, went through my old boxes and pulled out all my medals I could find. Then, over the summer, I had the idea to pull out my old bibs and create a wall behind my treadmill.  It’s been a source of inspiration for me to physically see the races I have competed in when I go down my basement to run or work out. With another racing season coming to an end, you may be left with a pile of bibs and medals and not sure what to do with them. Whether you are a runner who is newer to the sport or a seasoned veteran, it’s never too early – or late – to do something fun with your running mementos.  Or maybe you Continue Reading →

Octane Fitness: Zero Runner

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Last Thursday, I attended an event hosted by Octane Fitness in NYC to learn about their newest product on the market – the Zero Runner. I went into the event with some doubts – it was hard for me to conceptualize a piece of equipment that resembled an elliptical but that gave you the ability to stride out like you were running outside or on a treadmill. In my mind, it seemed it would be more of a cross-trainer than a replacement for running. The Zero Runner was first conceptualized almost twenty years ago but it wasn’t until recently when those ideas fully came to fruition. The Zero Runner was created by Octane Fitness because there was a need for runners to be more efficient, run faster or longer and avoid injury.Octane Fitness set out to create a machine that would replicate real running motion with the benefits of running, but without the stress and pounding on the joints and knees on the body. At it’s core, the Zero Runner is zero-impact running. You use the same muscles while running on the Zero Runner as you would when you run outdoors. But with zero impact there is no stress on Continue Reading →