2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-13)

IMG_8257

Some weeks running and training are seamless and each run goes as planned. Other weeks it takes lots of moving of the puzzle pieces to get the runs in. And other weeks, those puzzle pieces may not fit so perfectly and something has to get tossed. This past week was the 2nd. I got all the runs in that I planned to, but it took a bi t of finagling and shifting of when and where the runs happened. 6 days of running with a weekly mileage of 60 miles – highest since mid-September. The constant hunger has returned and so in case my mileage didn’t indicate the return to marathon training, the endless calories and meals are a good sign. There was a lot of treadmill running this week. Not ideal or how I hoped to spend my weekend, but as always, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to still run even when the roads are less than ideal – or the child-watching situation makes it impossible. As many of you, we got hit with a ton of snow Friday evening into Sunday morning. The last report I saw had Staten Island with the most in the tri-state area – Continue Reading →

Boston Marathon (2016) Training (T-14)

IMG_7912

Happy Tuesday! Another solid week of training is in the bank. It was a bit of a cutdown week, in regards to miles, but the intensity and effort was at or slightly higher than previous weeks. But most importantly, my sister had a baby boy this week!! I am an aunt to a beautiful, happy, healthy little boy!! 5 total runs (1 planned rest day, 1 unplanned) for 49 miles. I’m two weeks in to long runs on Fridays – and so far, they are working. I’m still trying to figure out the logistics of longer long runs (for instance, this week I have 18-19 miles so I would need to start around 4am). Not sure about where I’m going to run the miles (maybe break up inside/outside), but I’ll have the details ironed out by the end of the week. This Friday’s run required a 3:40am wakeup – which was tough because it’s at the tail end of a long work week, BUT, knowing that once it’s done, I get the entire weekend to sleep in and relax with my boys in the AM makes me energized to suck it up and get it done. I tell myself that I can Continue Reading →

Boston Marathon (2016) Training (T-15)

IMG_7736

Running tends to mirror other aspects of my life. If I have a stressful week, running typically doesn’t go well. If I’m having a good week, running usually adds to the happiness. This past week was filled with so much family, happiness and love – and I feel like my running really showed that. 6 total runs for 57 miles with one planned rest day. This was the first week where I made the decision at the start of the week to take a mid-week rest day – and man, did it feel GOOD. Sleeping in felt great but more importantly, I felt energized for Thursday and Friday’s morning runs, not exhausted or dreading them. So, for the time being, I’m sticking with a rest day (planned for Wednesday but staying flexible with the day). Here’s how the week broke down: Monday, Thursday, Saturday – easy miles in the bank 6, 8, 6 miles – all easy paced/recovery runs. Monday’s run was garmin-free and the other two were with my garmin (I averaged 8:18 and 8:20 paces for those two). read more

Juggling Priorities and Sacrifices

IMG_6918

Priorities and sacrifices often go hand in hand, especially when it comes to marathoning. If one of your priorities is the marathon, it’s likely that at some point during your training cycle you will have to sacrifice something. Whether that is skipping a party because of a long run the next day, passing on your favorite food because it’s race week or giving up lazy Saturday mornings in bed in order to get a run in before the day starts. Everyone’s priorities and sacrifices are different. What may be a sacrifice for one runner may be something that means very little to someone else. And another runner may put running at the top of their list while another runner may have a ton of other things that out-prioritize running. It’s a question of What are you willing to sacrifice in order to reach your goals? But it’s not simple and certainly not black and white. If you were to tell me that I needed to give up wine or chocolate in order to run a certain time, then that would be a major sacrifice for me (and quite honestly, one I’m not willing to give up). It’s also not sustainable for me – I could go Continue Reading →

Feature on ESPNW + Family Priorities

espnw

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Gina, a photographer for ESPN-W. She was interested in my Army story and potentially wanted to include me in a Veteran’s Day piece ESPN-W was putting together. Everything worked out and I’m incredibly honored to have been included in this story, even more-so after reading about the other seven female Veterans that ESPN-W chose. The photo shoot was so incredibly fun. We got to shoot in the rain (you can see the rain if you look closely!) on my favorite trail by my home. Then returned home for some still shots and filmed interview. The hardest part was not smiling and trying to keep a straight face – I am a super smiley person so to force a straight, serious face was not easy for me! Click here for the article. Also wanted to wish all the veterans out there a Happy Veteran’s Day! Thank you for keeping my family safe! ——— I’ve taken it easy the last few days in regards to running and training. I woke up incredibly tired on Monday, chalked it up to a jam-packed weekend which resulted in little sleep and went out and ran. By Continue Reading →

My “normal” day as a working + running mom

family

I am five weeks into my new job and finally feel like I have a rhythm and routine that is sustainable and feasible – at least for the time being. I’m sure there will be obstacles or bumps along the way, but no sense worrying about how I’m going to get around them before they are even in my way. A lot of readers have asked what a typical day is like for me lately. I wanted to wait at least a month until the dust settled and I had a better handle on the day-to-day routine.  So here goes: 3:45-4:10am: Wakeup. This varies based on the day, type of workout and number of miles I am planning to run. I make it as late as possible to squeeze out even an extra 10-15 minutes of sleep! Monday and Wednesday are usually my speed days and/or longer mileage days, so I tend to get up closer to 3:45 on those mornings. Coffee. My husband or I set it up the night before, so it’s all ready by the time I make it downstairs. I straighten up, empty the dishwasher and do little things around kitchen until coffee is ready. Some Continue Reading →

Wineglass Marathon Training Update (T-3) + Returning to Work!

IMG_3733

LESS than 3 weeks until it’s time to lay it all out there – getting close!!! I feel like the last 4-6 weeks flew by – just like the end of the summer. School started for my little guys on Monday – Pre-K 4 and Pre-K 3! I’m also happy to share that I got another job offer this week – and will be accepting! Everything about this job and position feels right to me and I’m over the moon ecstatic to return to work. Most days will be close to 13 hours out of the house (it’s in Midtown East so the commute will be 60+ min in AM and 90+ min in PM) and I know running will have to take a backseat. Not sure what I’m going to do yet in regards with training and racing – I think decisions will be made as we go along and I see how much running I’m able to fit in. But I feel ready to shift around priorities and cut back where I need to. So, Wineglass is rapidly approaching. We are down to 19 days. 19!!! Thankfully, I had a pretty solid week of training last week. I felt great, Continue Reading →

Juggling Family, Work And Life With Long Distance Running

IMG_6354

This post was originally featured on Women’s Running (it can be found here). Training for long distance races (half marathon, marathon, ultras) is difficult in and of itself. It becomes a whole other challenge when you factor in all the responsibilities many of us have–being a spouse, having children, owning or maintaining a home and/or working a full or part time job. I had more flexibility with my time before I was married and had kids. It was fairly typical for me to spend a couple of hours each day working out or at the gym. I’d run (with no set training plan–just however far I felt like running that day), cross-train and do some strength or core work. These days it is a delicate balance to juggle my responsibilities with my training. My “free” time is limited. I no longer have the luxury of running whenever and however far I like. And so, my training has to be adjusted a few ways. Make each mile count. Gone are the days where I just head out to run with no idea of how long or far I will be out. I’ve been forced to get smarter with my training. I Continue Reading →

Wineglass Marathon Training (T-8, T-7)

IMG_2366

How is it possible that my fall marathon is just over SIX weeks away? That seems so close and between a trip to San Francisco for a good friend’s wedding, school starting, potential start of full-time work for me (more on that later), I know the next few weeks are going to fly by. Two weeks since my last update. Lots of tough but successful runs that are getting me excited to lay it all out there in six weeks. Here are the highlights: 10 mile steady state miles – Getting comfortable at a moderate pace First steady state run this cycle. Steady state pace is a tough one for me. It’s slower than tempo but faster than an easy run. You should feel a bit uncomfortable the whole run, but not pushing too hard. You want to get a good workout in but not feel wiped at the end. Goal pace was 7:30-7:40. I tried to stay there but found it was easier to keep pace just under 7:30 (I felt like I was actually fighting my body to keep it above 7:30), so I went with it. The hardest part for me was jumping into that pace. I typically Continue Reading →

Heading to Alaska!

alaska3

We leave this morning for a 3-week vacation to Alaska to visit our family (my in-laws) and do some sightseeing and relaxing! Could NOT be more excited! The boys have been asking about our trip to Alaska for months. We made a countdown with 12 days to go – the first words out of their mouth each morning was that it was time to take another number down! We spent two amazing weeks last year – and it’s a yearly tradition that my husband hope to be able to continue as long as possible! We weren’t sure if our trip would even happen, however, until Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, the town where my in-laws live (Willow – which is what we named our first dog after!) has been battling a large wildfire for days. After an unseasonably mild winter (they got much less snow than recent years), the state has had unseasonably warm weather with little to no precipitation. While that sounds great, it has caused most of the state to be in a high level of danger for forest fires. read more

Warm Weather Pace Adjustments -> Don’t Fight It

IMG_8327 (1)

The summer heat and humidity has arrived in the northeast and running has been a hot, sticky mess lately. I always seem to start out overly confident of my ability to run through the humid weather each year and I try to fight it. And it usually takes only one long run to knock me upside the head and remind me of how much control the weather has over my pace. I did an easy paced 15 miler two weekends ago. It was my longest run post-Boston – and the heat and humidity chewed me up.  If I’m being honest, it was one of those runs where I knew that I should slow down – I could feel the stickiness in the air and knew that the pace I was running would not be sustainable. The pace felt easy and manageable early on, but I had that little voice in my head telling me to just slow down and take it a bit easier. But I held on to that little bit of hope that today, THIS day, would be different and that the voice in my head was wrong. It wasn’t. I didn’t start the run until 8am. It Continue Reading →

A Healthy U Conference + Memorial Day Weekend

IMG_7887

If you are in the NYC area this weekend, there is still time to register for the 2015 A Healthy U Conference – I’m really excited to have been asked to speak/answer questions during the running portion of the afternoon! All information can be found here.  ——— Despite the long weekend, I still feel like I needed a recovery from the jam-packed weekend we had – which was mostly filled with family activities. Saturday, we spent the entire day at my sister’s home in NJ for a BBQ. It really was two bbqs – hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and all that go with that (salads, macaroni and cheese, veggies, guacamole) around 2pm and then ka-bobs, pototoes, corn, etc around 7pm. And then dessert. Lots of eating!! But also lots of running around on her gorgeous 1 acre property – wiffle ball, volleyball, golf, badmitten. My husband and I had planned for Sunday to be a veg-kind-of-day – cleaning, laundry, relaxing and napping – but around 9am, my oldest son asked us if we could go to New York City – completely out of the blue. 20 minutes later, we were in the car, driving to the train station on Staten Continue Reading →

Recovery + Weekend Fun

IMG_6649

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 →

Life, Food, Home Changes

homeopathic

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 →

Life Lately + Entering Taper

boys2

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 →

Unplugged Week + First Time To Disney!

IMG_4107

My family and I had a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Florida last week!! My husband found out about a conference in Orlando that he was going to attend and threw out the idea of me and boys joining him. Between the brutal winter so far, the increasing desire to take the boys to Disney and the ability to see my grandmother (who spends the winters about an hour outside Orlando) and my dad (who spends a couple of months each winter with my grandma), it was a no brainer. So after my 20-miler Saturday morning (first of training cycle – whoohoo!), we hit the road (we drove the 1,000+ miles!). Unfortunately, we left right when a snowstorm was hitting the east coast. We had checked the forecast and knew we would be getting some snow, but I kind of gave the side-eye to the “winter storm watch” (the snow accumulations have been way off the forecasted amounts up until this point). Plus, we assumed that the roads, especially I-95, the main interstate on the east coast, would be A-ok. read more

Staying Active as the Summer Ends

photo (4)

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 →

Weekend in Boston

photo 2

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 →

Alaska Adventure

IMG_1865

Hi Everyone!!! I had every intention of updating you at least 1-2x/week while my family was on vacation – I figured it would be a piece of cake. But there was always something that won out over blogging and after the first couple of days, I decided to just let it go, unplug and spend as little time on the computer and my phone as necessary. The last 15+ days were nothing short of magical. It’s impossible to accurately describe what a wonderful, whirlwind adventure it was for us. This was one of those trips where everything felt easy and each day was more fun and exciting than the previous day.  Even though our daily routines were disrupted, we fell immediately into a new routine (or lack thereof!) with no bumps along the way. I was a bit apprehensive about how traveling 18+ hours and then being away for two weeks would affect the little guys but they exceeded our expectations and acted like seasoned travelers. Here’s how the two weeks unfolded: We spent the first five days at my in-law’s home on Nancy Lake (about 90 minutes north of Anchorage), then headed up to Denali National Park for three days Continue Reading →

National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training

IMG_6662

Happy National Running Day! I’m sure you’ve been inundated with information about events and deals…so here’s just a quick recap if you haven’t heard yet: Westin Hotels: If you are in NYC today, come by Westin Grand Central at 10:30 for a chance to win some free gear, meet NY Yankees pitcher David Roberston and go on a 5k run! Timex: Use hashtag #IMARUNNER on Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the day. For every use of #IMARUNNER on National Running Day, Timex will donate $5, up to $20,000, towards the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer program.  Individuals who contribute content via the hashtag #IMARUNNER will also be qualified to win Timex® IRONMAN® watches. Sparkly Soul Giveaway: Enter to win one of three 5-packs of headbands Rock ‘n’ Roll Races/Festival: Register today and save $20 on all US races (today only), learn about the new Running Festival at 5 locations across US Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun Runs: 21 locations across US and Canada are hosting fun runs I Run This Body gear: All shirts are on sale (today only!) NYRR events: Fun runs, giveaways and/or water stations will be set up at various locations across NYC. Women’s Running Magazine: Subscribe today for only $1 an issue! Continue Reading →