More Recovery + Serendipitous Boston Weekend

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I think the tendency is to not talk much about recovery because let’s face it, it’s not too exciting. But a good recovery can set you up for a strong and successful training cycle. And a shortened or ignored recovery period can derail your next training cycle – or even worse – cause injuries. Boston was 15 days ago. My longest run since Boston has been 8 miles. I’ve run a whooping 40 miles in 14 days. 9 miles the first week. 31 miles last week. And probably 40-45 miles this week. Almost all garmin-free. All easy effort. And all honoring the purpose of the recovery. I’m darn proud of these miles (or lack there of). After hating me for the better part of the week post-Boston, my body is happy again. I feel rested, recovered (almost) and excited to jump back into training (but not quite yet – still have another week of easy running). If all goes well, my long run this weekend will be double digits – maybe 10-12 miles. Speedwork is tomorrow – it’s 10 x 1 min just to get my legs moving again. But nothing too hard or taxing because my body is still Continue Reading →

Jonathan Adler + Garmin (Review + Giveaway!)

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I’ve had my Garmin trackers (both the Vivofit 2 and Vivosmart) for over four months. I wear one of them pretty much every single day – and when I don’t, my wrist feels bare and naked and I spend the day feeling like something is missing. There have been plenty of times where I have opted for a bare wrist and thus, no data (gasp! =) ) in lieu of fashion. For example, two weeks ago, my husband and I went to a wedding – we were all dressed up and the black band just looked out of place. It’s not that it looked bad – but it looked like what it was – a fitness tracker. The rest of me was covered in jewlery – and the band stuck out. Needless to say, I am so excited to help launch Garmin’s newest product line! Garmin has teamed up with renowned potter and designer, Jonathan Adler, to offer a collection of chic, pattern-printed accessory bands for the Vivofit 2 (as well as the Vivofit!). “Jonathan Adler + Garmin combines fashion with purpose-built wearables, so users never have to choose between personal style and trusted technology.” – Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales Continue Reading →

Going from 3:21->3:15

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As most runners do, I like to go back and take note of things that worked during the previous training cycle as well as highlight some things I plan to improve upon or change. For this post, I am focusing on things I changed which seemed to work – and which ultimately helped me run my strongest and most-consistent marathon to date. (Note: Even though my PR went from 3:21 to 3:15, the PR was from a few years of training so some of these changes were over a period of time.) Garmin-free as much as possible. This may not work for a lot of runners – but for me, it worked wonders. My problem has always been that I push TOO HARD when I should be taking it easy. Almost every single easy or recovery run this cycle were done sans GPS (unless I was on treadmill). This allowed me to honor the true purpose of “easy” days. Easy-paced days should be just that – easy. Pace is secondary to effort. And so in order to focus on effort and not get distracted by pace, I left the watch at home and either ran routes where I was familiar wih Continue Reading →

North Face Mountain Athletics Gear + $500 North Face Gift Card Giveaway!

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This post brought to you by The North Face . The content and opinions expressed below are that of NYC Running Mama. The Mountain Athletics Gear is an activewear line released by North Face targeted at individuals who run, lift, do yoga or strength train. I was recently given the opportunity to test out some of this gear! From their website: The Mountain Athletics line by North Face is technical training apparel, footwear and technology that is designed to help various levels of athletes have longer days and more fun times outdoors doing the activities they love…built to help elite, experienced athletes train for their sports activities.  The clothes are extremely comfortable and functional for workouts as well as pre- and post-workout. Some of the features of the Mountain Athletics Line: Utilizes exclusive active stretch fabric that provides an unparalleled durability and strength Allows a range of motion and performance to help athletes strive in training outdoors Uses FlashDryXD, a technology that keeps you dry and won’t snag, pill or pull Engineered materials that stretch, flex and move with your most rigorous workout There is a wide range of gear available – casual, relaxed pieces that you can wear to the gym or to run Continue Reading →

It’s Okay (Women’s Running post)

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Note: This post was originally posted on Women’s Running. Regardless if it’s your first or fifty-first race, you are probably like me and still get anxious and worried about race day. What if you start too fast? What if you don’t run the time you want? What if you do something wrong or make a running faux-pas? Take a deep breath and relax. It’s OKAY to do some things, even if they aren’t necessarily the best decisions or if they technically break some of the so-called running commandments. (Who makes these up anyway?) Life and racing is about living and learning, right? Here are some of the things that (I think!) are OKAY to do on race day: It’s OKAY to cry at the finish. And at multiple points along the course. It’s OKAY to spend way too much money on race photos. I always gasp at the price but if it’s a special race and/or I actually like the way I look running, I splurge and buy them! It’s OKAY to put on some makeup and fix your hair. Because: selfies and #2. It’s OKAY to wear the race shirt even when everyone tells you it’s bad luck. It’s not, trust Continue Reading →

Recovery + Weekend Fun

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This past week was wonderful. No running, sleeping in (well, until the boys wook up at 5:45/6am), drinking wine every night and eating whatever I had a hankering for (which seemed to be a lot of chocolate and french fries). I woke up incredibly sore on Tuesday – more sore than I ever remember being post-marathon. Tuesday and Wednesday were just painful – the stairs mocked me each time I was on them. But it was a happy kind of pain – I still don’t think the smile has left since last Monday! I didn’t do much moving at all on Tuesday (which was necessary!). Wednesday, the boys and I went to the zoo for a few hours. It felt good (yet still a bit painful) to walk around – but it was too gorgeous of a day to keep them inside! I got on the bike on Thursday and Friday and did 30 min of easy spinning (didn’t even break a sweat) just to get my legs moving. No core work. No strength work. No running. Saturday was my first run. 4 achy, not-so-great miles. No garmin but I think it was about 9-9:15 pace. My quads still felt Continue Reading →

Boston Marathon Weekend in Photos

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This will be the last post (for the time being!) about Boston. I took SO many photos over the weekend – some I shared on the Women’s Running Instagram account, some on mine and some I just didn’t have the opportunity to share with all the craziness of the weekend and post-race! I never do photo posts – but figured it would be really cool in this instance! SO, here are all the sights that I thought were worth sharing this weekend – with just a caption (or none!) for each! Hope you had a wonderful weekend – the weather was PERFECT in the Northeast! For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out: Instagram:  NYCRunningMama Twitter: NYCRunningMama Facebook: NYCRunningMama Pinterest:  NYCRunningMama Tweet

26Strong Winner

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Thank you all for the tremendous response; I am overwhelmed by the number of amazing women who entered the contest for 26Strong. The stories were all inspiring and incredible! This was NOT an easy job. I started reading the entries as they were coming in but literally could not keep up – they were coming in faster than I was able to read. To be totally transparent, I knew some of the entrants and had mutual friends/family members/etc with another handful. Some of the ladies I knew either virtually (social media or just knowing names who comment regularly here or on other channels) or in real life. I felt that I was in a tough spot to make an unbiased decision – it would be impossible to not let my emotions and feelings go into choosing the winner. So I decided to ask for some third-party help to make it fair. From the 200+ entrants, I made an initial list of 23 entrants. I tried to include some local runners (it would be awesome to be able to train in person with my “cadet”), some stay at home and full-time working moms, some full-time working women and a couple of former Continue Reading →

2015 Boston Marathon – All the Other Special Moments

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Up until about 4 weeks ago, I wasn’t 100% sure that the Boston Marathon would even happen. I didn’t have a hotel yet and knew that I couldn’t afford or justify a couple of nights in Boston in a hotel by myself (hotels are super expensive that weekend). I happened to catch something that Kris tweeted and decided to take a chance and message her to see if she would be interested in sharing a room. It sounds SO strange because up until this weekend – we had not met in person. But I’ve been following her on social media for over three years and knew other female runners who were friends with her…so it was worth a shot. Rooming with Kris set the tone of the entire weekend. From the moment we met in the expo, I felt like we had been friends for years. I spent a lot of the weekend asking her endless questions about anything and everything even remotely related to running – her diet, her strength routine, what she eats on race morning and during the race and so on. But we also spent countless hours just chatting about everything NOT related to running – Continue Reading →

2015 Boston Marathon Race Recap

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Until Monday, my PR has been 3:21:22 – for six years. That’s a long time. Especially considering I’ve spent the last two years training for a PR.  Running a PR became my own elusive unicorn – something that until Monday, I wasn’t 100% sure would ever happen based on recent races. Maybe I just needed to go back to Boston. My two fastest marathons – ever – have been run in Boston. The previous two springs (2013 and 2014) I chose the NJ Marathon over Boston because I was focused on that PR and assumed picking a flat course over the hilly and challenging Boston course would mean an automatic PR for me. But NJ chewed me up and spit me out both years. But not Boston. For whatever reason, I run well in Boston. Maybe it’s the rolling course and it’s ability for me to break the course up into easily manageable segments. Maybe it’s the crowd and spectator support (I really feed off the energy). Maybe it’s because I respect the course so I go out more conservatively than I would for flatter and supposed “easier” marathons. Maybe I am a better hill climber than I give myself Continue Reading →

26Strong: Looking for a Female Wannabe Marathoner!!

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If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you may remember that I participated in the 2013 Saucony 26 Strong Campaign. I had a blast – and especially loved mentoring and coaching my “cadet”, Hallie, as she trained for her first marathon. I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the 2014 Saucony 26 Strong Campaign last year and got to share the journey with my youngest sister, Nicole. Saucony sent us to Hawaii to run the Honolulu Marathon and it was truly an experience of a lifetime! Running 26.2 miles by her side and being with her as she crossed her first finish line was so incredibly special.   I’m SO SO excited to share that I have been asked to participate in Saucony’s 26 Strong program again!! This year, Saucony and Competitor are once again putting together a team of 13 “veteran” marathoners and 13 “cadets”. But this time, the goal race is the 2015 Chicago Marathon! SO, that’s where you come in. I am looking for a wannabe marathoner to run side-by-side with me for the 2015 Chicago Marathon!!!! I will run your pace, grab your water, hold your gels, be your cheerleader and support you as Continue Reading →

3:15 -> Long Time Coming!!

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I will write a full recap (or two) later this week but wanted to pop in and give a quick update on the 2015 Boston Marathon. I am on cloud nine. The race could not have gone any better for me – fueling before and during was better than it’s ever been, I ran 100% by feel (I saw total time on my watch and only received the mile split notifications), Heartbreak did NOT break me, I ENJOYED every single mile, I high-fived the amazing spectators from the start until the finish and most importantly, did not let fear, doubt or pain get in the way of the race I knew I could run. The weather was less than ideal but not as bad as I was expecting based on some of the forecasts I had seen.  The rain wasn’t a factor for me – I don’t even remember it coming down for most of the race (I think having some long runs in the rain and snow helped). The wind was there and you could definitely sense it slowing you down a bit (especially when the wind gusts came) but it seemed more of a crosswind for the first 20 Continue Reading →

One Boston Day + Women’s Running Instagram Takeover

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4-15-13. The Boston Marathon bombings occurred two years ago today. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years already since that horrific day. “A moment of silence, a call for kindness and the pealing of the city’s church bells will be the hallmarks of Boston’s events noting the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon on Wednesday”  This will occur at 2:49pm EST (at the time when the first bomb exploded). “Mayor Marty Walsh has declared April 15 One Boston Day, beginning a tradition that organizers say is about “resiliency, generosity, and strength of the people that make Boston the great city it is.” Click here for the entire story. —————- One of my favorite parts of sharing my training here and on social media is the interaction that occurs. I read every single comment I receive and bookmark the ones that hold special meaning to me. I wanted to share a comment I received on one of the posts from last week. I have read this comment no less than 10x already and plan to print it out and carry it with me to the start line in Hopkington. I had the pleasure of meeting Judith (the author) about 18 Continue Reading →

2015 Boston Marathon -> One Week to Go

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A week from today I’ll be running my 11th marathon – the 2015 Boston Marathon. After about 4-5 weeks of subpar runs and workouts, I’m more than thrilled to finally start to feel strong again. Runs are more enjoyable, my stride feels more natural and relaxed and I (finally) had a great workout last week. Workout: 2 mile warmup, 8 mile AT tempo, 2 mile cooldown. Goal pace 6:55-7:05 for 8 miles. I decided to start on the slower end and see how I felt. The week prior’s workout of 4 x 2 didn’t leave me with a lot of confidence since even 7:00 pace felt difficult and uncomfortable. I was on the treadmill for this workout again (husband was away). Incline was at 1% for entire run with occasional jumps (every 6-8 minutes) to 2% for 30 seconds at a time. Splits: 7:08, 7:03, 6:58, 6:58, 6:55, 6:53, 6:48, 6:35. Average pace of 6:55.  The run was definitely not easy but I hit the paces and felt stronger as the workout went on. So that’s a victory in my book. ——– read moreTweet

Life, Food, Home Changes

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For the last year or so, my family and I have made some changes in our lives. We are embracing a much more natural and holistic lifestyle – everything from food to cleaning solutions to medicine. It’s way too much to explain it all in one post, but I wanted to kind of give an overview of some of the major changes we have made. Even though it’s technically not running related, I feel that it does directly affect my running and performance so I wanted to share. One of the best quotes I’ve heard recently is from Organic Living Magazine – the new magazine that Rodale is launching next week (which, coincidentally, I’m attending their launch event in NYC next week!) “For us, organic is a mindset or an aspiration. It’s not a rule.“- James Oseland That really sums of the approach we are taking lately. For us, it’s not black or white. It’s a process. We are slowly transitioning more and more in our lives to a natural, organic lifestyle (free of GMOs, pesticides and harmful ingredients). A lot of it has come from things we have read. Some has come from my sister and other friends who Continue Reading →

Mentally Training for Boston

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(Some of the below was part of a post I wrote for Women’s Running) If you have been following me on social media or reading here for a bit, you probably know that I am not the strongest racer. It’s been a frustrating couple of years for me. I have these strong, successful training cycles (and yes, they ARE successful cycles even if I didn’t reach my goal on race day). I work my butt off during the cycle, but there was always something missing as each race began— and as a result, I came up well short of my goal. The mental strength was missing. I had spent months strengthening my body— nailing workouts, completing long runs. But I paid zero attention to the mental side of running. As a result, I was not prepared to quiet the negative thoughts when they started creeping in during the later miles of the marathons. My mind would quit long before my body was ready to. Once the mind gives up, the body doesn’t stand a chance. Learn to use your mind or your mind will use you. Actions follow our thoughts and images. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. Continue Reading →

Life Lately + Entering Taper

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Hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Easter! We started off the day with baskets, an egg hunt and lots of candy and chocolate. Shortly after the festivities, I headed out for my last long run – 18 miles. I can’t say it was a great run. It was incredibly windy (weather app said ~20 mph winds) but it seemed to be gusting MUCH stronger for a lot of the run. And it never seemed to be at my back. It was just one of those runs where you just want it to be over. Lately, I’ve been feeling really bored and lonely for the longer runs and would love to have a friend to chat with and keep the miles easy and relaxed. The plan for yesterday’s run was 14 moderate pace and then 4 fast finish. Well, the fast finish didn’t happen. I guess technically it did happen because I pushed harder those last 4 miles, but I didn’t come even remotely close to the paces that my coach had scheduled for me. I’m chalking it up to the crappy wind. 18 total miles – 7:52 pace. Ran blind for the first 14 and then spent Continue Reading →

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running (Women’s Running)

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This was one of the most enjoyable and fun posts to write – seven things I WISH (!!!) I knew when I started running. I’ve been running consistently for almost twelve years – and longer distances for about eight. I am certainly not an expert, but I have made – and learned from – my share of mistakes over the years. Looking back, there are so many things I wish I had known or been told when I first started. And so I wanted to share some of these things with you, in case they might help you avoid the same mistakes! You should never go “all-out” in a workout. For a long time, I felt that unless I was soaked in sweat, dry heaving on the side of the road or treadmill, it wasn’t a good workout. I felt like I was in race mode every single day. Save the racing and all-out exertion for the race. That’s when it matters. You’ll get burnt out or get injured in no time if you are constantly racing yourself in training. Running slow won’t make you slow. It sounds silly now, but I truly believed that if I took it easy during a Continue Reading →

Homemade Tomato Sauce

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I’ve never been one to eat out constantly – it’s not that I don’t enjoy the food or the “time-off” from cooking – but I much prefer to know what’s in the food I am eating. I find that I feel much more bloated and just “blah” after a meal out at a restaurant than I would if I ate a similar meal at home. But I also really love cooking. I credit most of that to my mom who cooked six nights a week for us when we were growing up. Dinner was always a time to sit down at the table, as a family of six and talk about the day. I’m thankful that the boys are such great eaters – I don’t ever have to make them something special when we eat – I cook one thing and we all eat it. One of my go-tos is a made-from-scratch tomato sauce that takes ~30 minutes. There’s nothing fancy about it – but it’s a meal that my little guys LOVE – and it’s light and easy enough on my stomach to eat the night before long runs. I can also use it on a variety of main Continue Reading →

22 Miler: Try, Try Again

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This week’s long run ended on a high note. I got the mileage in that was on the training calendar – but more importantly, walked away with some confidence (physical and mental) that hopefully will help me in three short weeks. But it was pretty close to being a wash. My plan was a 22 mile dress rehearsal. Practice eating beforehand. Practice fueling and water during run. Wear clothing I plan to wear for race day. Basically do everything I can to simulate race morning – to see how I feel and make sure the food choices don’t upset my stomach. The morning started off great – some coffee and a quick stop at the local bagel store. It was 16 degrees (with windchill) and I’m still battling a hacking cough, congestion and cold so I decided it was going to be a treadmill run. Plus, I’m over winter and the thought of 3+ hours in the freezing cold (and wind) sounded absolutely awful to me. By 9:30am, I was on the treadmill ready to watch the Hunger Games while mindlessly logging the miles. My legs were shot though. I did a lower-body strength workout on Friday and could barely Continue Reading →