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 →

Potomac River Run Marathon Race Recap

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When I first started this blog, I had “only” run three marathons – all of which had been PRs and great experiences. The next handful of marathons I ran (after sharing my training here) were a bust – DNF, starting too fast or being incredibly unhappy with the results. I found I was putting too much pressure on myself and was focused on running a specific time at that moment. I wasn’t looking ahead nor was I viewing racing marathons as a process. Instead it was a kind of “do or die” mentality each time I got ready to race. It can be extremely disheartening if you are focused on just one race and things don’t go as planned. Overall, Sunday was a success. I enjoyed the entire experience and was excited and anxious to race as race day approached rather than having that fear and stress that previous races brought me. I executed a lot of things well on Sunday – fueling, pacing, running without music – but I would be lying if I didn’t share that there is a part of me that is slightly disappointed. I trained hard for several months and both my coach and I feel Continue Reading →

Race Week…Five Days To Go!

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Race Week is here. After endless weeks of workouts, long runs and early mornings, I’m ready and excited to take it easy this week. Today was an 8 miler with some MGP miles thrown in. Nothing but easy-paced 3-5 milers left to run before 26.2 on Sunday. Looking back, the summer and early fall weren’t my best training months. I repeatedly told my coach and close friends that things felt off and everything felt difficult. I hit goal pace for some of the workouts, some I didn’t. But every run felt labored. Then things started to click. First, it was a couple of solid long runs. My pace was no faster than they had been the previous few months (all around 7:55-8:00 pace). But they FELT differently. It felt more effortless, more enjoyable again. Then it was a 3×2 mile workout that I nailed. It’s funny how you can remember certain workouts – what you were wearing, the weather, thoughts going through your head. This was one of those workouts. I finished the workout and basically said “F yeah”. I walked away from that workout with the confidence and desire to race again. read moreTweet

2014 NYC Marathon Race Recap

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On Sunday, I completed my 8th marathon. It wasn’t a PR or goal race but it was one of the most amazing, exciting and humbling experiences of my running “career”. The importance of the day had nothing to do with me or my running goals, but rather, who I was there for – my friend, John. Helping a friend run the race he trained for, made the race, the day and the overall experience a million times more meaningful and special than a PR could ever do. The days leading up to the 2014 NYC Marathon were stressful. I hadn’t planned on much of a taper since my coach and I were treating the race like an extra-long training run. But, my body had other plans. I made Thursday and Saturday complete rest days (unplanned) – I felt feverish, my body ached and had a pounding headache most of Wednesday and Saturday. I began panicking Saturday afternoon (after spending a good portion of the day in bed) about how I was going to run a marathon the next day. Thankfully, I woke up Sunday morning feeling much better! read moreTweet

Meta Effect Memphis Sweepstakes

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Small changes can lead to big results. Whether it is taking the stairs instead of the elevator or playing a quick game of tag outside with the kids before heading indoors, getting active can start with one small step. Earlier this month, Meta began a year-long partnership with the city of Memphis, America’s “unhealthiest” city (ACSM AFI 2014). Meta is encouraging Memphians to make a change and implement personal health and wellness goals. For more information on Meta Memphis Project and what Meta is doing within the city, click here. To experience the “Meta Effect” – the idea that one small change can lead to good things — Meta is hosting a sweepstakes on their Facebook page. Two First Prize Winners Will Each Receive: – A Premium Tablet – Wearable Fitness Tracker – Meta Products – Gift Card For Athletic Apparel Grand Prize Winner Will Receive:  – 3 Day/2 Night Stay In NYC – Personal Training Session With Michael Strahan’s Personal Trainer Latreal “La” Mitchell In NYC – Tickets to a TV taping to see Michael Strahan in action – Gift Card For Athletic Apparel – A Premium Tablet – Wearable Fitness Tracker – Meta Products read moreTweet

Birthday #33 + Finding My Rhythm

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Last week was a solid week of training. I feel like I have found my rhythm – I’m working hard during the workouts, running easy on the easy runs and feel recovered and energized through it all. I ran a total of 73 miles, did core work 4x, strength work 3x, cross trained 2x (30 min each on trainer) – and did most of it while single parenting for the week. My husband has been traveling a lot for work lately and I was worried about how I would fit in all of these miles either with the stroller or on the treadmill. I’ve learned that there will be always be an excuse if you let yourself have one. If you really want something, you will always find a way. I also know that there are plenty of people busier than me – either at home with their kids, working full time or managing full time work and being a parent. Anytime I start to make an excuse, I think of these people and how they make their training work…and suddenly my busy week seems a bit easier. 73 miles, 7 runs, 3 workouts. Highlights are below: read moreTweet

Staten Island Advance News + Race Week Checklist

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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

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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!)

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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 →