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 →

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

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

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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 →