NYC Marathon Training Highlights

13-miler

This is the first marathon training cycle since I’ve been blogging where I didn’t really blog and post updates of my weekly training. It was a busy fall and blogging was at the bottom of the priority list. So this will be a once over of the training cycle with some key workouts and breakthroughs that helped me run a PR at the NYC Marathon. (I try to post all of my runs and workouts on Instagram!)

But before I get into the training cycle, I feel it warrants a brief discussion on what I was doing over the summer. The 2-3 months after Boston were not fun (as I’ve discussed before). Each time I tried to build my mileage up or increase intensity again, I would almost immediately begin to feel drained and exhausted (which would last a week or two). I remember one run in particular – I had made it maybe 2 miles before stopping because I was out of breath and just not feeling right. I walked and ran the 1 mile back to my house and questioned if I would ever have the energy to run double digits again, let alone race a marathon. Sometime around mid-July, I started to feel like myself again and the mileage started creeping up.

read more

    2016 NYC Marathon Race Recap

    566026_241703946_xlarge
    566026_243149583_xlarge

    Smiling before climbing the last big hill of the race – Mile 24

    Some people know the moment they begin a race that it’s going to be their day. Sunday was not that way for me. Don’t get me wrong – I felt good for most of the first 18-20 miles. BUT, I’ve run NYC three times before. I know how tough the late hills can be. How much the early hills beat up your legs and leave you exhausted by the end. And I was exhausted. The last 4-5 miles were plain torture. Every part of my body hurting. But that’s why we do those hard runs in training. To keep pushing. I refused to let my mind celebrate or even consider what could happen until all of the hills were behind me and I was in the Park and a mile or so from the finish.

    It has been a year since I was able to truly race a marathon from start to finish (Boston was supposed to be that way but after stopping at mile 15/16 in the med tent, the “race” was over – it became more of a run to the finish). And the truth is, your mind forgets the amount of pain that your body experiences during the later miles. At least mine does. You know there will be pain but it’s hard to explain or recall the true level of pain you feel when you are 22 miles in. Legs screaming. Feet on fire. Calves hurting. You just want to stop running and sit down. But you know you need to continue to push.

    read more

      Sometimes You Just Need a Change…

      Processed with Snapseed.

      So, if you follow me on IG, you probably have seen me mention a new coach. Switching coaches was not a decision that came lightly to me. Coach Hadley had been my coach for two years and I really blossomed under his tutorage. I PRd in every distance I raced – from the mile to the 5k to the half marathon to the marathon.

      So it may seem backwards that I changed coaches. (Note: I first decided to take a break from coaching. But after 3-4 weeks, I realized how much I missed the guidance, and direction that a coach provides. And so I felt like it was the right time to switch.) There were several reasons why I felt like it was a road I needed to take.

      First, I felt like training had become a bit monotonous. Coach Hadley has a specific training outlook and consequently, my training plan from cycle to cycle was pretty identical. There were minor changes – more tempo miles, an extra mile for a long run. But the shell was the same. This resulted in several things. After two years of similar plans, I felt like I could predict the workouts, paces and plan, I felt like I was always comparing myself to a previous workour or cycle and most importantly, it was no longer fun and exciting.

      read more

        Life Lately, News, Updates and More!

        img_8867

        I realized the other day that I started blogging five years ago. Holy cow…that’s a long time. I also realized that I haven’t blogged in two months – the longest I have gone during my five years of oversharing (ha!).

        The truth is, the lack of blogging wasn’t initially an intentional action. It first started simply b/c I didn’t have time to write some updates or share some of the recent races I had run. The summer was hectic and the start of fall proved to be even more so. The boys started school (both full-time) which initially seemed like it would make life easier, but that’s not the case. Our sitter got a full-time job and so between my husband and I we are juggling full-time work with dropoffs, pickups, homework and all the after-school activities they participate in (note: my mom and dad help out a ton as well!). They both have soccer clinic on Saturday mornings. AJ has baseball 2-3x/week and soccer (on his school’s team) 2x/week. Basically every day includes some sort of post-school activity. Between their activities, schoolwork, house work (we do not have a cleaning woman so all the heavy cleaning, laundry, etc is done on the weekends), running and just living, blogging moved from the “have to” list to the “nice to do” list and eventually to the “not necessary” list.

        read more

          Summer/Fall Racing Plans

          IMG_0896
          IMG_7358

          Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!!

          Just a reminder about the THREE giveaways I’m currently hosting!

          ———-

          There’s something so exciting about sitting down and mapping out the next few months of racing. It’s filled with endless possibilities and dreams just waiting to be chased.

          Now that Boston is over, I’ve been able to figure out what I want to do for the remainder of 2015. I was on the fence about training for a fall marathon, but I’m still riding the post-race high and have decided to use the momentum and keep plodding ahead.

          May 16: Brooklyn Half Marathon – Pacing my friend, Jen! FINALLY running this race after years and years of signing up and then not running (pregnancy, family party, recovery from marathon)! The plan is to be in charge of time/pace – Jen will just focus on running – I will keep her on track with pace, grab her water and offer any pep talks that she may need – and hopefully not annoy the crap out of her!! Should be a fun way to celebrate her birthday (which was last week!).

          read more

            2014 NYC Marathon Race Recap

            nyc marathon 2014-6
            photo (55)

            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 more

              Birthday #33 + Finding My Rhythm

              photo (53)

              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 more

                Staten Island Advance News + Race Week Checklist

                Wearing my sparkly soul headband at the 2011 NYC Marathon!
                Staten Island Advance

                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 more

                  NYC Marathon Hydration Tips

                  Crossing the tape at the NYC Marathon
                  The start of the 2011 NYC Marathon

                  The start of the 2011 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 to work can take a lot more time than you anticipate. Keep it close by and have a few sips a couple of times an hour.

                  read more

                    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 the chance to apply for the FL5BC next year, don’t hesitate – it was the most amazing experience of my running career.)  And I get the opportunity to experience it all again this year – but only better because I’ll be guiding John!

                    read more

                      Spectating the NYC Marathon

                      elite males

                      First, I just want to give a HUGE congrats to everyone who raced Sunday at the NYC Marathon. Conditions were not ideal (15 mph headwind for 20 miles makes me legs hurt just thinking about it) but there were so many amazing PRs, first time finishers and perseverance in spite of the poor conditions. Special shout-out to two girls I coach (Jen and Leticia) and some friends: Veronika, Theodora, Sarah, Monica, Jess, Maggie, Beth, Pamela…and probably a ton more that I am forgetting.

                      I’m embarrassed to admit it but this is the first time that I have actually spectated at the NYC Marathon. When I really began to get into running, I was in the military living in Texas so spectating was not really an option. The last few years have been tough with the boys and family plans that always seem to fall on the same weekend. This year I told my husband well over a month in advance about my intentions to head into the city (alone!) and cheer.

                      It was one of the most magical, memorable days. There’s nothing quite as exciting as running the NYC Marathon, but I’d argue that it is pretty darn exciting to be on the other end and to be able to cheer tens of thousands of runners on. And you have no idea what this does for my excitement for my own upcoming marathon. AGH!

                      read more

                        Why YOU should apply for the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge

                        FL5BC

                        Last summer, I applied for the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge (FL5BC).  I didn’t think I would be selected so figured there was no harm in applying – I did it on a whim without even telling my husband or family members…A few weeks later, I found out that I made it through the first round of applications and had a phone interview with several members of NYRR and Foot Locker as part of round 2.  A week later I was sitting in Foot Locker’s headquarters in NYC for a face-to-face interview (final round of applications).  Then, sometime in early August, I got a phone call and was told I was selected to represent my home borough – Staten Island.

                        Participating in the FL5BC was the highlight of my running career – I’m not sure if anything is even going to come close to comparing to my whole experience.  If you are a resident of NYC and planning/training to run within the window of time (3:30 – 4:00), I would seriously recommend applying to participate this year –  you will NOT regret it.

                        read more

                          ING NYC Marathon Opening Day

                          mary2

                          Gorgeous Backdrop!

                          One of the perks of participating in the 2011 Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge (FL5BC) was (and still is!) getting VIP access to some of the events organized by NYRR.   I received an email last week from Gabi, my favorite Foot Locker representative, asking if I would consider attending the ING NYC Marathon Opening Day to say a few words to the crowd about my experience with the FL5BC.  Since I love everything about the NYC Marathon and FL5BC, I said yes!  (PS. Blog post coming soon on an overview of this challenge and why YOU should consider applying!)

                          The following pictures are a glimpse of what the day was like!  There were a few elite runners present (Ryan Hall and Kim Smith) who officially announced their intentions to run the marathon this year, as well as a handful of celebrities and professional athletes (including Amani Toomer, former NY Giants WR, and James Blake, professional tennis player and NYC native) helping give out entries and gifts to a few lucky people in the crowd.

                          One of the highlights of the day was FINALLY getting to meeting Erica (from Erica Sara Designs) – she is even sweeter and more awesome than I could have imagined!!

                          read more