Staten Island Advance News + Race Week Checklist

Wearing my sparkly soul headband at the 2011 NYC Marathon!

I’m really excited to share that I have teamed up with my hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, to talk about all things related to the NYC Marathon. I’ll be writing a few posts/articles that will be shared here, on their website and in print a few times over the next 10 days. ————————– Race day is just 9 days away…which means we are about to enter race week. It’s that time in training when you are running less miles than you have the last 12-18 weeks. Race week is always filled with a lot of free time. And if you are like me, the decrease in running and increase in extra time goes hand-in-hand with elevated stress levels and thinking about next Sunday. But rather than sit around and stress about race day, I try to plan ahead and ensure that everything is ready for the days and hours leading up to the race. Having a detailed checklist keeps me on track and focused and makes race week feel less stressful. Below is what goes on my list: read moreTweet

NYC Marathon Hydration Tips

Crossing the tape at the NYC Marathon

The NYC Marathon is rapidly approaching – can you believe we are down to single digits already? I’m incredibly excited to be running the NYC Marathon for the 3rd time this year. There’s something so special about running through the streets of my hometown, having family and friends scattered throughout the course and finishing up in Central Park, the place I ran every day while I lived in the city. As the Official Bottled Water of the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, this fall, Poland Spring® brand 100% natural spring water kicked off their “Poland Spring Cheers” campaign in an effort to thank the millions of New Yorkers who helped make local spring water from Maine the #1 beverage brand in New York City. I’ve partnered up with Poland Springs to share some of my hydration tips for the days leading up to a marathon. 1. Keep water with you. I do this on a regular basis but I pay even more attention to it during race week. I always have a bottle of water with me regardless of where I’m going or how long I will be gone – places like the store, the marathon expo or commuting Continue Reading →

Marathon Madness + Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge (again!)

nyc marathon

I realized last week that I am running three marathons in the next 8 weeks. I mean, I’ve known that I was running these three for a few weeks now, but I never sat down and thought about running THREE. It both excites and frightens me. I’ve run back-to-back-to-back marathons (+) once before – three years ago – when I was training for my first ultra and really enjoyed the experience. But, I am not racing all three marathons – there’s no way I could do this physically nor would it be smart to try to ask that much of my body. Below outlines the timing and purpose of each: – NYC Marathon – Nov 2 (12 days): I mentioned on social media already that I am running the NYC Marathon for a 3rd time this year. This was a late addition to my calendar – but a no brainer and honestly, trumps my own goal race two weeks later. I am honored for the opportunity to guide my good friend, John, for the race. John is participating in the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge and is representing Staten Island – just like I did three years ago. (Side Note: If you have Continue Reading →

Target® C9 Cross Training Favorites

“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.”  I’ve mentioned multiple times before about how I’m always on the lookout for fun, comfortable clothes to wear for cross training – core work, Pilates and Barre classes and strength work. While running clothes can be worn for these things, I have found that I’m much more comfortable in apparel that is made for these activities. I was pretty stoked when POPSUGAR Select reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in picking a few pieces from the Target® C9 line to test out and review. They have a wide range of gear but all the pieces I chose were from their yoga line. I was given a $50 gift card to Target and was able to purchase three items (there was a sale going on when I ordered them + shipping was included so it came to $51!). – C9 by Champion® Women’s Yoga Pant ($21.99): Looser fitting, flared pants with a fitted low-rise waist (which I love). The pants are fitted through the hips and then flare out towards the Continue Reading →

2014 Staten Island Half Marathon Race Recap

photo (44)

Happy Monday! I keep forgetting that today is a holiday. My oldest is off from school but my husband has work - so it doesn’t feel like an actual holiday! Yesterday was the Staten Island Half Marathon. It was the 4th time I ran this race. Other than the first year, I can’t say that I’ve had a good experience with the race. Here’s a quick run-down: – 2010: 2:00:15 – 6 months pregnant. Ran it with my husband and good friend from college. Had a blast! – 2011: 1:38:57 - Ran it as a tuneup 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon. Was shooting for sub-1:35 but started way too fast and had a rough 2nd half. – 2013: DNF – Ran it as a tuneup before the Philly Marathon 5 weeks later. Started fast and started feeling hamstring pain around mile 8 so stopped at mile 9. I really was focused on a strong race and effort, regardless of the finish time – but I also was looking to get a big course PR and try to get an overall PR. For some reason this course is considered a fast course – but I really don’t know many runners who will agree Continue Reading →

PR Spotlight: How To PR Every Race Distance in 12 Months

Joe

It’s been a while since I featured a runner here. I am trying to get back into a better routine with blogging – and part of that is this feature which I think can help a lot of other runners! I’m excited to share the store of Joe, a local runner from Staten Island, who I have had the absolute pleasure of coaching for the last year. Joe reached out to me last summer after running a handful of races including the Brooklyn Half Marathon and Scotland 10k. He was looking to improve his running – no specific times or goals – just wanted to improve. He is now a few weeks away from his first marathon – the NYC Marathon! And he has set some pretty amazing PR’s along the way: – Mile: 8:11 —> 7:22 – 5 miler: 49:31 (9:55 pace) —> 44:37 (8:56 pace) – 10k: 1:01:59 (10:00 pace) —> 59:07 (9:32 pace) – 10 miler: 1:42:12 (10:14 pace) —> 1:35:48 (9:35 pace) – Half Marathon: 2:18:05 (10:33 pace) —> 2:08 (9:51 pace) read moreTweet

Marathon Training Favorites

photo 2

It’s been a while since I highlighted some of the things that are helping me get through training – lots go into 70+ mile weeks – recovery and nutrition are the two big ones but it also helps to have things that make me smile through the whole process. – Stroller Running: I never thought I would actually love stroller running as much as I currently am. Stroller running is hard. Even a 5 or 6 “easy” run is not easy. It’s a full body workout and I feel it in my abs and upper body the next day. I know running with the stroller makes me a fitter, stronger runner – maybe not necessarily in the paces I can run but more in my endurance and overall shape. I think what has made the last few months even more enjoyable is that both boys are loving it just as much, if not more than, me – it’s that little extra bit of motivation I need to make it a double stroller run instead of a treadmill run. – Saucony Kinvara 5: I am in completely love with this shoe. I started wearing them on short recovery runs (or switching them Continue Reading →

71 Miles + 6 Weeks To Go!

photo (34)

It feels like I’m getting into a good rhythm with training. I ran 71 purposeful miles last week including a 5 mile tempo, mid-week long run (12 miles) and a 21 miler – all sandwiched between easy/recovery runs. I’ve hit 70+ miles in a week numerous times before, but I don’t remember feeling recovered and ready for another high mileage week; too often, I do too much in one week only to need an extra recovery day or two the following week. The Potomac River Run Marathon is just six weeks away – I’m kind of amazed at how fast it has crept up. I think it’s a good thing that I recently put it on the calendar (last 4 weeks) – it hasn’t been this looming race for months and months. And knowing that I have just a handful of long runs left makes them feel exciting and manageable. So here’s how the week broke down: 7 runs with 3 workouts for a total of 71 miles. The highlights are below: Monday Planned:11-12 miles with 8×30 sec surges Actual: 12 miles with 8×30 sec surges at 7:49 pace. I started off this run entirely too fast – as I was making Continue Reading →

RnR Philly Half Recap + Heat Exhaustion in Cold Weather

photo 3 (6)

Subscribe to receive NYCRunningMama delivered to your inbox!! If you follow me on social media, you probably saw the pictures and chatter in the days leading up to last Sunday – my sister’s first half marathon! The weekend started off smashingly – 5k PR for me, a YUMMY lunch at a historic deli close to our hotel, fun time at the expo visiting our friends at Sparkly Soul and listening to Chris chat on stage and then meeting up with the rest of our family who arrived in Philly around 2pm. We hung out in the hotel for a bit before heading to an early dinner at an Italian restaurant. Dinner was delicious, the company was even better and the excitement was immeasurable. My sister and I left the hotel at 6:30am and walked the mile to the start area. While she hung out and relaxed in our corral, I did a short 2.5 mile warmup. My legs felt really tight (not sore) from the 5k the day prior and I wanted to make sure I stretched and warmed up before asking my legs to run another 13.1 miles. read moreTweet

Not Expecting Perfection

photo (24)

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in expecting things to be perfect. For my long runs, I imagine popping up the moment the alarm goes off, feeling fantastic the moment my eyes open, being completely excited about the idea of a 20 mile run and having that bounce in my step for the entire run. And then when things don’t go as planned, I get so thrown off and down with myself that I have had the tendency to quit and give up. This has been a huge problem for me during training as well as racing. I spend so long dreaming of and imagining the perfect race that I often quit mentally long before my body is ready to. But training, especially marathon training, will not be perfect every step of the way. The more I race and the more I train, the more I learn this. There will be those magical long runs where everything clicks or those tempos where the pace feels effortless. But there will be just as many hard-fought long runs where every step feels like a death march or easy runs where you just want to sleep in. read moreTweet

Want To Run Faster? Start Here.

IMG_7341

This post was originally posted on Women’s Running. It can be found here. ——– There are a ton of resources available if you are looking to get faster – websites, books, even other runners. But before you can start incorporating some of the workouts into your training, the first thing you probably want to do is become familiar with the lingo- which can be a bit overwhelming if you are newer to the sport. I didn’t understand what a lot of the terminology was until I had already been running for years, but once I did, I was much more open to adding speed workouts into my training. Below are some of the most common types of speedwork. There are literally endless variations for each (and you can even get crazy and combine a few of them!) – but these will give you a good foundation from which you can build upon. Fartlek: Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish and involves short periods of fast running followed by short periods of slower running. There’s often no set distance or pace. You can even do it without a watch or Garmin. Fartleks are a great way to get your feet wet with Continue Reading →

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

photo (8)

If you have been reading here for a bit, you are already aware that I am a huge Garmin fan! I’ve tried a handful of different models – ranging from the entry-level Forerunner 10 (review here) to the advanced and multi-sport Forerunner 910xt (which I used for my 1st Ironman). I can’t say that I prefer one over the other – there are those that I would recommend to someone newer to the sport and then others that I would recommend for those looking for specific capabilities. I recently had the opportunity to test out and review the Garmin Forerunner 15 – a GPS watch similar in capabilities to the Forerunner 10 – except for two major improvements: it tracks your daily activity (steps, mileage, calories) while also monitoring your heart rate (additional cost). Pretty awesome that one single watch can do it all. The Forerunner 15 (from Garmin’s Website): Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move Compatible with foot pod for recording distance indoors Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode Save, plan and share your Continue Reading →

The New Meta

Meta4

Have you ever looked at various aspects of your life and felt overwhelmed with all the things you’ve wanted to change or improve upon? I’ve learned that it’s best for me to start with something small. When I focus on improving one small area of my life it seems to have a snowball effect – the rest of my life starts to fall into place as well. For example, once I make it a habit to go to bed earlier, I begin to get up earlier (so my runs happen in the early AM), which means I have more time during the day to spend with the boys. I also have more energy throughout the day, I eat healthier and I end up drinking more water. All from shutting my eyes even 30 minutes earlier each night. Meta, the new line of products launched by Metamucil®, is based on the same principle – one small change can lead to good things – also known as the Meta Effect. Meta offers a new line of health products to support wellness with MultiHealth benefits to help keep you healthy from the inside out. The products featured in the Meta Line are: read moreTweet

5k PR -> 1st Sub-20!

photo 3 (5)

I showed up to the start of the RnR Philly 5k with no expectations. With the exception of a tough, tired interval workout this past week (that didn’t leave me feeling very optimistic), I hadn’t done formal speedwork in weeks (July 29th to be exact) and so didn’t have a good feel for how the race might go. My one goal was to run strong and consistent – to not go out too fast and finished satisfied with my effort and execution. Races like this turn out the best for me. No stress or pressure. Just the excitement of being at a race atmosphere (which I LOVE). The course was touted as being flat and fast – but just looking at the start and finish, I knew it wasn’t completely true (the finish had a very steep, short hill right at mile 3 – heartbreaker!). And the first mile was a very gradual decline (so mile 3 is a gradual incline). My garmin shows about 130 ft of gain (mapmyrun shows 110) – not anything huge – but even the smallest hill in a 5k feels like a mountain! read moreTweet

Stroller Running Tips

Stroller Running

Note: This post originally was posted on Women’s Running.  After my first child was born, I was so excited to enter the ranks of the stroller running moms. I had visions of a smiling child and happy mom logging endless miles together. But the reality was oh-so-different. My oldest son was not a fan of the stroller (or really anything that impeded his movement) for the first 18 months of his life. He would last maybe 10-15 minutes before the crying began. It was a frustrating situation. I’m sure other running mamas have been in my position before. First you are annoyed with your child and their inability to sit still for more than 10 minutes. Then you question your parenting and worry you are doing something wrong. And then you wonder if maybe stroller running moms are an urban legend. They do exist and I can now say that I am mom of two little boys who not only tolerate, but LIKE, being in the stroller, and are content to stay more than 2-3 miles at a time. We sporadically ran over the summer, but it wasn’t consistent or much more than a few miles due to the warm Continue Reading →

The Long Run: Finding Myself Again

photo (15)

One of my biggest issues this past summer was focusing too much on pace for my long runs. I was comparing my current times with last fall and either pushing too hard too soon in the run (and then totally bonking), quitting because I wasn’t hitting paces I was last fall or just stressing out entirely too much for a training run. The long run has been this cloud over my head. I used to love the long run – it was always my favorite run of the week. It used to be two to three hours of getting to zone out and just run while enjoying my surroundings and being alone with my thoughts. It has turned into a run where all I do is stare at my garmin and worry about pace while counting down the miles and minutes until it is over. Truth -> Training for a marathon is really tough and not enjoyable when you don’t look forward to the staple workout of the training plan. The last couple of months made me question my desire and ability to run marathons. So I decided to take some time off from following a rigid training plan. Run hard Continue Reading →

My Son’s First “Race” and Long Run Success

ROC

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent my husband and I the website for a local kids race, the Kids Running Obstacle Course (ROC). The youngest category was 4-5 years old, so we decided to sign our oldest son up up (he’ll be 4 in January). He has shown an interest in running and he’s a big fan of climbing, jumping, rolling, etc (like any young child!) so it seemed like a perfect first race for him. The race not disappoint. My son never stopped smiling throughout the entire 10-15 minutes it took to run over, under or through the obstacles. Some he was able to maneuver on his own and then either myself or Jenn (who was with her daughter) were there to help him over those that were a bit outside his comfort zone. I’ve wanted to sign him up for several kids races earlier this year, but I’ve been hesitant b/c I never want running to be something I force on him. My husband and I decided that the obstacle course aspect of it would be a good introduction into racing/running. read moreTweet

Staying Active as the Summer Ends

photo (4)

As much as I look forward to summer, I’m always a little excited when it starts to come to an end. I love the crispness in the air as temperatures start to drop and I always have this overwhelming desire to do anything and everything outside again. Although this summer wasn’t sweltering like it has been in recent years, I still avoided some of the more demanding outdoor activities with the boys during the days in July and August (unless it involved a pool or water). But, as always, once the cooler days start coming around, my family and I try to take advantage of the weather and do as much outside as we can. Below are a few of our favorite activities: Nighttime Stroller Running: We’ve only been doing this a few weeks, but it’s a family favorite already. We either take the double and alternate pushing or we each take a single.  It’s a great way for my husband and I to catch up on our days, for the boys to get that last bit of fresh air and for us all to stretch our legs. Lately, the boys have been asking to “run” when we get close to home, so we Continue Reading →

Healthy Snacking for Marathon Training

IMG_2822

I’ve written several posts the last couple of years on my fueling/nutrition for marathon and Ironman training. I feel like I’m always tweaking or changing something to try to find what works best for me, what’s going on in my life (pregnant, nursing) and what I am training for. I’ve gone from a non-restrictive diet (Ironman training) to one that was pretty close to being vegan/vegetarian (last fall for Philly). For the past six or seven months, my husband and I have settled into a diet that gives us the energy we need to train while not feeling restrictive. The staples in our diet have returned to things like greens, raw veggies, beans and quinoa – similar to how we were eating in the fall. But we are also eating meat and dairy more frequently these days.  Most importantly, however, are my smaller meals throughout the day – something that I have not been the best with. As I’m sure anyone who has their hands full with work, kids or a combo of both know, if you don’t plan ahead for your meals and snacks throughout the day, you’ll end up eating something unhealthy and/or not getting the nutrients that your body Continue Reading →

New Fall Marathon + How To Run A Faster Marathon

10 miler

So not so great news to share…I have deferred my entry for the Wineglass Marathon until next year. Life, family and circumstances sometimes get in the way of our big plans and goals and as much as I was looking forward to racing in a few short weeks, ultimately, it really was the best decision for me, my training and my family. (Not trying to be vague but also not sharing all the details here.) I hope to still race a marathon sometime in November – just haven’t registered for one yet. My short-list (right now) includes: Philly, Richmond and Potomac River Run. Have you raced any of these? Thoughts? ——————————- I wanted to share my thoughts on how to run a faster marathon. Let me preface this all by saying that after taking a considerable amount of time off from my first to second marathons, I’ve mostly stayed at the same finish time (I’m working on improving that time right now and will obviously update this as necessary when I do!). read moreTweet