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 →

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Falmouth Race Recap

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Sunday was such an amazing day and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a historic and celebrated event. (If you are unfamiliar with the history of the race, you can read about it here.) Unfortunately, it was not a good day of racing for me. It was a start too fast, crash on the hills, crash a little harder from the heat/humidity and suffer for about 50% of the race. Before I get into the racing specifics, I wanted to share an overview of the day. Race Morning Wakeup was scheduled for 5am but ended up being around 4:30am when my oldest son decided it was a good time to start the day. And the whole room was awake by 5! The good news is that I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to be quiet. The bad news is that I left my husband with a dog and two tired kids while I went and raced. I had some coffee, got dressed and made my way down to the lobby by 5:45am to meet Chris (who was also racing) for our hour+ drive to the Cape. We were parked Continue Reading →

2014 Rivertown StrollerDerby + Entry Giveaway

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I enjoy running with the boys in the stroller although I don’t do it as frequently as I would like since I’m focused on marathon training (and would prefer to run the prescribed pace and distance). I’ve run one race (fun run) with the stroller and LOVED it. I would definitely do more races with a stroller if they were allowed – but a lot of the races I’ve signed up for often prohibit the use of strollers (which is understandable if the course is tight). And I’ve never participated in an event where there was a special stroller division (although I know some races have these). Which is why I love what my friend Lindsay is organizing! Enter the Rivertown Strollerderby! Not only are strollers allowed at this race, but they take center stage with the chance to win up to $1,000 (top three finishers w/ strollers win $). Highlights from the website: Date: Sunday, September 21 at 9am Location: Hastings on Hudson (just 29 miles north of Grand Central) What: A unique race event designed to encourage moms and dads to keep pushing after baby. Who can participate: All runners and walkers are encouraged to participate (even if you don’t have Continue Reading →

Women’s Running: Post-Pregnancy Running Thoughts

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This post was originally posted as part of Women’s Running Blogger Series. You can find it here.  I wanted to share it here as well because I think it’s such an important (and potentially controversial) topic. And, to be honest, my views on it have changed considerably over the past couple of years. If you asked me even a year ago, I would have had a totally different opinion on the subject. I’ve written quite a number of postpartum running posts that deal with my return to running and training and I don’t want those to be the only side that gets shared. —————————– Last week, Women’s Running posted a question on twitter: Mom Runners – how long did you wait after the birth of your child to start running again? My husband and I have recently discussed when we might try for a 3rd child. Postpartum running, as well as all things related to pregnancy, have been at the forefront of my mind. My first two pregnancies were fairly smooth and complication-free. I was able to run until the last couple of days (Note: I didn’t run for 4-5 weeks during the middle of my 2nd pregnancy due to some lower back Continue Reading →

Weekend in Boston

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My family and I are getting ready to head home after a wonderful and fun three days in Boston this past weekend. We drove up early Saturday morning and after a short 45-minute stop for food and a stretch just outside Hartford, CT, we arrived at the Westin Copley Place at 2pm. Our room was still being worked on, so we got to hang out in the Westin Weekend Room for a bit. It’s a parent’s saving grace if you get to hotel early and have some time to kill. There were snacks, crayons, coloring books, games – all for young kids. We spent some time hanging out in the room enjoying the views. Even Willow loved to see Boston! Later that afternoon, we went for a walk, did some exploring and found some food to bring back to the room. And were greeted with a sweet surprise upon our arrival. The boys were pretty excited! Sunday morning started off dark and early. My alarm was set for 5am but both boys decided it was a good idea to start the day off even earlier. (I will go into detail of race morning/race/post-race in my Falmouth Race Recap post.) read Continue Reading →

Sylish and Functional Cross Training Gear

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I’ll be the first to admit that my running wardrobe is pretty awesome. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in a couple of programs with two of the more well-known running companies and in the process received some Christmas-like deliveries of gear. But my pilates/yoga/barre/etc wardrobe has been lacking. I mostly wear running shorts or capris and a tank or sports bra when I do the workouts – which has been totally fine (it’s hard to justify spending $ on clothes that nobody except my husband and I will see). But I’ve begun going to the gym to do core and strength work a couple of times a week and I am beginning pilates and barre classes at a nearby studio (I just found out about this studio that is 1 mile away!). And so I’ve been on the lookout for affordable clothes that would fit the bill for these workouts. It was pretty fortuitous that Amazon Fashion reached out a couple of weeks ago to see if I was interested in teaming up and trying out some of their new gear from their #AmazonActive line. read moreTweet

Stop Comparing

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*Disclaimer – this post was intended to be my weekly submission for Women’s Running. I was 90% finished with it when I saw a very similar post from T-Rex Runner and so I didn’t submit it (you should go read hers here). Rather than just delete it, I wanted to share my thoughts here. STOP the comparison game. I’m not talking about doing it with/to others (although you shouldn’t do that either…but plenty has been written on that topic). No, I’m talking doing it with/to yourself. It’s something I find myself doing a lot – especially as of late. I’m a couple of months into training for my fall goal marathon. Over the last two months, I’ve gotten back into a good routine and hit most of the paces and logged most of the miles my coach has planned for me. But, there’s been this nagging thought running through my mind on virtually every single run which has resulted in a very unnecessary running funk. The problem has been that I’m comparing myself to what I was doing last year. I had a really strong training cycle last fall – hands down the strongest, fastest and most fit I’ve ever been Continue Reading →

Women’s Running Blogger Series + It’s Good To Be Back

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Hi and Happy Wednesday!! I started this on Sunday with the intent of posting it Monday morning so I decided to just finish it up and post today while I had some time…better late than never, I guess. Hope you all had a great weekend! Did anyone race? It seemed like there were a bunch of big races – SF Marathon/Half Marathon and Eugene Marathon/Half as well as some Ironman races including Lake Placid! I had a ton of flashbacks all weekend – doing a lot of “one year ago from right now, I was doing this…”. It still feels surreal that it was already one year ago. As much as I wanted to relive the whole experience, I am pretty happy with my decision to step back from Ironman training for the next few years. I shared on Facebook and Instagram already, but I’m happy to to announce that I am participating in the Women’s Running Blogger Series. Women’s Running contacted me about a month ago to see if I was interested in blogging for them once/week on their site. I’m honored to be among four other really amazing bloggers, including two of my friends Janae and Dorothy. There will be one new post every day (from Monday-Friday) from one Continue Reading →

Eating to Run + Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

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Just a reminder to please get your daily vote in for the Runner’s World Cover Contest! I haven’t been writing here as often as I would like for a couple of reasons – less “connected” time, more time unplugged, vacation. I’ve also been writing some posts on Competitor Running (last couple of months as part of the 26 Strong Team) as well as another site which I hope to be able to share with you this week! I honestly don’t have enough to say to fill two other websites as well as my own on a regular basis…so less posting here for the time being. I wanted to share a post I wrote for Competitor a couple of weeks ago. We were asked to discuss our viewpoints on nutrition/fueling – what do we eat, how do we approach it, etc. I discussed how I now eat to run rather than running to eat:   When I first started training for marathons, I assumed I could eat whatever I wanted. I was logging more miles and completing longer runs (I had never run more than 7 miles before) and therefore needed more calories. In my mind, calories equaled calories. And so, Continue Reading →

Saucony Kinvara 5 Giveaway Winner

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Hope everyone had a great weekend! The winner of the Saucony Kinvara 5 Giveaway (on Instagram) is: Sauceyjill! Congratulations! Please email me at nycrunningmama@gmail.com and I’ll get the code over to you ASAP! =) Follow me on Instagram so you can stay in the loop with other giveaways! And, check out the Last Chance gear on Saucony.com – you can get 25% off all the shoes/gear that is already marked down (use code “EXTRA25″ at checkout! And, just a reminder: you can vote once/day for the Runner’s World Cover Contest – I would really appreciate your vote and any sharing of the link! Thank you! =) ———————- I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}. For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out: Instagram:  NYCRunningMama Twitter: NYCRunningMama Facebook: NYCRunningMama Pinterest:  NYCRunningMama read moreTweet