1st Birthday + 8 weeks to go

My youngest son turned one last week. Hard to believe that it’s been that long already, right? I feel like it was just yesterday that he came into this world. It’s been a fun year (sometimes crazy at times!) with a 2nd child and I could not have asked for a sweeter, happier little guy.


My boys and I celebrated on Thursday (his actual birthday) with presents and cake.



And continued the celebration with a fun birthday party on Saturday with family and friends from the neighborhood.


Can we take a moment and discuss this cake? It was beautiful and SO SO yummy (white cake with cannoli cream.) One of my good friends from high school made this beauty!! She has made cakes for my boys’ special events the past few years and they could not be prettier or more delicious. (She’s VERY reasonable and is based on Staten Island. Her website is here!)


For the first time this training cycle, I felt like I had a wonderful week of running from start to finish. I nailed both my stress workouts (3×2 and long run) and felt so strong despite racing a half marathon last Sunday. The Philly Marathon is just under 8 weeks away. First 20 miler will be this weekend (with lots of miles at MGP – agh!), one more half marathon tune-up race, a few more weeks of hard training…and then taper begins.

Weekly Mileage: 53-55 miles 

Monday: 4 recovery miles (8:40 pace) on the treadmill. I wasn’t sure if I would wake up sore since the half  marathon was the day before, but my legs felt surprisingly loose. Lately, I have become more confidant at running these runs slow. I look back on my “easy” runs in the spring and wonder why I was making myself run so fast. (Ex: I ran 3 easy miles 30 hours before the NJ Marathon at a 7:40 pace -> I would not let my pace get under 8:15-8:20 now if it were that close to a big race.) I’m quite happy for my easy days now when I get to just run and not push myself at all while saving my legs for pushing harder on long runs and speed days.

Tuesday: 6 easy miles (8:08 pace). I probably should have held back a bit more on this run, but most miles were between 8:15-8:20 until the last mile when I realized I had to get home as soon as I could for my husband to be on time for work.

Wednesday: 5 easy miles (8:08 pace). Last recovery/easy day before training picked back up. Plan called for 6 but I was running a bit late and I knew I would end up running several miles later in the day (Note: I had a filming/photoshoot with Competitor Magazine and Saucony Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursda -> more on this in an upcoming post!)  ~2-3 miles later that afternoon. (Total 7-8)

Officially long-sleeved running weather for morning runs!

Officially long-sleeved running weather for morning runs!

Thursday: 11 miles (7:33 pace) including 3×2 with 3 minutes active recovery. Goal pace was 6:55-7:00.  I was surprisingly not freaking out about this workout as is the case for most of the other tough ones on the schedule. I think it helped that I knew I could physically run 6 miles at a 6:55 pace {1st 10k at Philly last week was at 6:55 pace}. It was the FIRST workout that I have felt like I nailed.  Splits of (6:55, 6:52), (6:54, 6:49) and (6:53, 6:51). All six miles were within 6 seconds of one another and the 2nd mile of each set was faster than the previous mile. The 3 minutes recovery is pretty short and goes by quickly. The first minute is spent shuffling and get your heart rate under control, the next minute is spent easing into a comfortable easy pace, and then the countdown begins for the next set. ~3-4 miles later that day. (Total 14-15)

Friday: 4 easy miles (8:17 pace) on the treadmill. Plan called for 5 but I just felt a bit wiped out from the 14+ miles I had run the day before.

Saturday: 18 easy miles (7:29 pace). Ok, so I admit that I may have run this a tad too fast. But, I was just outside of the pace window that my coach had given me.

My goal for each long run is partially decided during the first few miles. I know I want to stay within a given window (roughly 7:40-8:15) for all of my miles.  But truthfully, there are days when an 8:00 pace feels tougher than a 7:45 pace feels on other days.  I’ve learned to not force the pace on a long run (unless the goal is to get some miles at marathon pace). Instead, long runs {for me} are based more on effort than pace.

Is my heart rate under control? Is my breathing easy? Do I feel strong? 

After the first mile of 7:58, I immediately saw low 7:40s as my pace (it was dark out so I would check my pace every few minutes). It felt comfortable and easy, so I went with it. As is often the case (and the way I want the long run to always go!),  I gradually sped up a bit as the run went on. I wasn’t too worried about the pace since I still felt comfortable, strong, and in control.  I decided to make it a fast finish run. After puttering out for the half last weekend, I have every intention of finishing my next half marathon STRONG. Fast finish long runs will help me get there.

The pain that is mile 12 of a half-marathon

The pain that is mile 12 of a half-marathon


  • Miles 1-6: 7:58, 7:38, 7:43, 7:37, 7:42, 7:30 -> Average: 7:42
  • Miles 7-12: 7:35, 7:36, 7:34, 7:32, 7:32, 7:25 -> Average: 7:32
  • Miles 13-18: 7:24, 7:29, 7:28, 7:17, 7:00, 6:46 -> Average: 7:14

I drank water and fueled twice during this run – at miles 7.3 and 14.2.  I did the same thing as last time – left my water bottle and gels on the car so that I would run by and drink/fuel on the run and return it before heading back out.

There’s still time to sign up for the 10k Training Club

How much slower than MGP do you do your long runs?

Favorite cake flavor/filling? This is tough – I love red velvet cake but this weekend’s vanilla cake with cannoli cream was one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted.


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    18 thoughts on “1st Birthday + 8 weeks to go

    1. Happy Birthday to your little man! So Cute!

      I do my long runs differently depending on the goal of the day. If its a long easy run I am anywhere from 40-90 seconds slower than marathon pace. Sometimes you need those long slow runs to just work on getting time in on your feet and aerobic base building. Other long runs, where I want to get some more race specific miles in, I will run some of the miles at or faster than actual marathon pace and try and keep the average pace for the entire run at less than 20-30 seconds slower than goal pace. Doing a mixture of slow runs and faster long runs has worked really well for me.
      Laura @losingrace recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Running Beyond the LyricsMy Profile

    2. Happy birthday to your little guy! So darn cute in his little man shirt!

      Awesome week of training following a great race. And yay for true easy runs. Our bodies need them.

      It is crazy to me that Phila (and therefore Richmond) are so close–how’d that happen?
      misszippy1 recently posted..Leaving on a jet planeMy Profile

    3. How do you run every day? Seems incredible to me. I ran 5 days a week while training for a marathon and felt I had no time for anything else. Had to get up at 4:30 am to get long runs in before work. Would love to hear how you manage your time. You’re so inspiring.

      Looking forward to connecting at RWHalf!

      • Hi Jo-Anne! Most weeks I take a day off – last week was a lot of easy days in the beginning, so no days off were necessary. I think I’m going to do a whole post on this b/c you aren’t the first person to ask me.
        But, I do my speed/tempo runs before the boys are up in the AM. Some days I will do my easy runs too in the early AM, but other days I opt to sleep in a bit and do that run on the treadmill while my youngest naps (and oldest plays down the basement – where our treadmill is). I do my long runs really early on Saturdays or Sundays (out the door by 5/530). Once the run is done, that’s it for me for the day – except core work (which I often do at night after they go to sleep!).
        Hope you are having a great day!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..1st Birthday + 8 weeks to goMy Profile