Last Long Tempo – The Run That Almost Wasn’t


Last week was a pretty off week. Crappy, actually. What should have been close to a 70 mile week ended with 50 which included one unplanned rest day, an extra “easy” day and a 4.5 mile day instead of 8 miles. Not the biggest deal but after a string of days where running didn’t feel good, the little doubt demons started to enter. I initially chalked it up to not enough sleep, but after waking up Saturday morning (after a decent night’s sleep) feeling worse than I had all week, I began to worry that maybe I was bordering on overtraining.

My alarm went off at 4:30am with the plan to be out running by 5:15 or so. I knew this run was going to be tough and I just wanted to get up and get it over with. Plus, the forecast was calling for the winds and rain to pick up as the day went on. Not ideal for a long tempo.

At 5am, I was pretty close to pulling the plug on the long tempo. My head hurt and I just didn’t feel “right”. All I wanted to do was lay on the couch under the covers. As a last resort, I decided to just down a ton of water and see if that helped. I knew I had drank much less water than usual this week but I assumed what I had consumed was enough.

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    Treadmill Running Tips + Workouts to Make the Time Fly


    This post originally appeared on Women’s Running.

    Whether it’s the dark mornings, the below freezing weather or the icy roads, many of us may be forced into treadmill workouts over the next few months as training for spring races begins to pick up.

    Treadmill running has a stigma of being boring and monotonous – and it definitely can be – but there are ways to make the time on the “hamster wheel” challenging and even fun! Below are some tips to help you get through your treadmill runs followed by a great hill workout and a handful of butt-kicking workouts from a few of the Saucony 26 Strong coaches. These speedy ladies have all logged their share of miles on treadmills and are pros at making the time pass quickly while getting an awesome workout in. I also post a bunch of workouts I complete on the treadmill – you can find me here.

    Variation: I try to mimic running on the roads when I am on the treadmill. I never run on a flat terrain and/or the exact same pace for more than a few minutes. Play around with the incline and/or the pace, even if it’s just picking up or slowing down the pace by a few seconds. This does two things: it keeps me distracted and it helps change up the muscles I am using.

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      2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-8, T-7, T-6)


      Three week update coming at you today. Life, family and a lot of work got in the way of the last two week’s updates. Work has been nuts. But in a really good, challenging and rewarding way. I’m filling in a good number of the responsibilities of a coworker while she is away on vacation – so the days have been packed and long. By the time I get home at the end of the day, spend some time with my boys, have dinner and put them to sleep, I’m ready for bed. I don’t even open my laptop during the week!

      And the weekends have been filled with lots of family time. My entire family came over last Sunday for an informal dinner and then this past weekend we were in NJ both days – celebrating my mom’s birthday on Saturday at my sister’s home and then taking all the kids to see the Easter Bunny at the Menlo Mall on Sunday.

      I’m at the point in training where things are clicking, the mileage and intensity feel tough but sustainable (for the short term) and I am experiencing some big fitness gains. My reaction is always to put my head down and keep working. It makes sense, right? But my coach had other plans for me two weeks ago. We skipped a long run in lieu of some extra down time. I think it worked well. I feel energized and rested the last couple of weeks and was ready to run hard for the 1 mile race. Only 4 weeks of hard training left.

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        2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-9) + Break from Marathons + Benefit of Long Tempo


        Last week was the second week in a row where I went 5-for-5 with early morning wakeups (before work). I feel like I’m in a good groove with the mom/work/running balance. I know it won’t always feel like this so I’m trying to make the most of it while things are working well.

        I’ve begun to look ahead and think about fall racing plans. I am leaning towards skipping a fall marathon this year. There are many reasons for this. Truth is, usually about 6-8 weeks out from a marathon, I start feeling like I will take a break, but the excitement and happiness from race day is usually enough to have me signing up for the next one. So I know part of my current thought process is affected by my current feelings towards long runs and the amount of time I’ve been dedicating to Boston.

        But one of the biggest reasons is that I (currently) do not want to dedicate Saturday mornings for long runs. Now that I’m working out of the home during the week, our weekends, especially during the warmer months, will be when we do things – go to beach, go on day-trips and so on. I don’t want my training to infringe on those plans.

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          2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-10) + How to Do Speedwork on Treadmill


          I hope you all had an amazing Valentine’s Day with the ones you love! My guys and I got to spend the evening out – all dressed up. It was a great way to spend the holiday!

          So we are 9 weeks out from race day. After a less-than-ideal couple of weeks of training, last week was a solid and strong week back. 63+ miles over 7 days of running. Coach and I have left one day mid-week as an optional rest day. Last week was the first week in months where I felt that I didn’t need it. I usually take it because I’m tired from not enough sleep. But, everything flowed so effortlessly last week that I didn’t feel exhausted or that I needed a morning to sleep in. So I skipped the rest day and did an easy run. I definitely think that if time or sleep were not an issue, I would be able to run 7 days a week for a stretch of time. My body responded well to that in the summer/fall. But the reality is that not every week will look and feel like last week did.

          Here’s how the week broke down:

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            2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-12, T-11)


            Well, after a solid week of training (T-12), last week was the training week that wasn’t. My whole family got hit with the Norovirus. It knocked us on our backs for days. And it wasn’t until Friday where I felt ready to run again.

            My husband and I started having symptoms at almost the same time on Monday. He was working from home, I was at work in the city when we started texting each other. We both felt off from the early morning (I actually had dressed and intended to run. Ran to the end of my block and realized something wasn’t right, so came home), but attributed it to what we ate the day before. By lunch-time, my husband wasn’t keeping anything down.

            By 4pm, I had gotten sick at work and was on my way home. I was hoping that I would be in the clear for a window of time. Unfortunately, that window only lasted about 45 minutes. I got sick on the packed bus, which will likely remain on my list of embarrassing life moments (thankful my coworker handed me a garbage bag as I was heading home). We spent the next 36 hours in bed, with the most intense stomach pains I’ve ever experienced.

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              2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-13)


              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 – at 31.7 inches. It was a lot. But life went back to normal on Monday – school for the boys and roads mostly open. Running outside is day-by-day right now depending on the temps. If it’s sub-freezing, then there’s too much ice on the shoulders for me to run. Here’s how the week broke down:

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                Boston Marathon (2016) Training (T-14)


                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 deal with being tired one more morning – and the reward makes it worth it.

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                  Boston Marathon (2016) Training (T-15)


                  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).

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                    Boston Marathon 2016 Training (T-16)


                    Now that I’m formally training for Boston, I figured it was time to bring back my weekly training updates. I like typing them out here. It helps keep me accountable and affords me the opportunity to look back on my training – highlighting the good and bad – as a cycle comes to an end and then again, after the race. I take note of what worked so that I can repeat it and what didn’t work so I make some changes.

                    After about two months of “coaching” myself, I made the decision to return to Coach Mark Hadley. I had great success with his coaching the last 12 months. He helped me lower my marathon PR to 3:12 – and I know that I have a faster time in me – so I’m hopeful that with his guidance, I can get there.

                    We are 15+ weeks out from Boston Monday – still a load of time. But I also know how fast these weeks can start to fly by. My focus for the next few weeks is to find what is sustainable. I am so appreciative of all the feedback I received from last week’s post. I read every comment and email – and had some really great suggestions and ideas. In the end, I’ve decided to try the Friday long run for the time being. That, coupled with an optional rest day on Wednesdays and I’m hopeful that the plan is feasible.

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                      A Break From Training


                      Are you following me on Instagram? Make sure you are for some fun news and giveaways soon!


                      About two weeks ago I decided to take a break with training. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still running most morning and have every intention to train hard for Boston in the spring. But right now, I just need a mental and physical break from being tied to a training plan.

                      I think it’s partially because I’m adjusting to a new normal for me and my family and I’m trying to find that happy balance where I don’t feel like I’m running myself ragged. I think it’s also partially because I am a bit worn out from a long, hard training cycle. I was pumped up after Wineglass and had plans to put my head down and continue working hard through Boston. But my body, heart and mind are not in it right now.

                      The truth is, for a few weeks, I didn’t have much of a desire to run long on the weekends. Zero desire to run 8 miles every day. Zero desire to run in the freezing cold.

                      And I was getting annoyed with myself and frustrated that I wasn’t running the mileage outlined in my training plan.

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                        Wineglass Marathon Training – By the Numbers


                        One of the aspects of Coach Hadley’s training that I love is that there isn’t a day on the plan where we switch to marathon training – everything you do is training for your goal race (even recovery periods). I never technically stopped training after Boston – and the plan and training runs seamlessly transitioned from recovery to light speedwork to short intervals to long tempos. So it’s hard to say I trained for “x” number of weeks or months. After Boston, I took a few days off and then gradually picked up the miles over the course of the next couple of weeks but didn’t start speed or longer weekend runs until close to the end of May. I was pretty sore after Boston and needed a bit longer to get back into the swing of things. As the months progressed, workouts became more focused on the marathon distance – so longer long runs, longer tempos, steady state.

                        When I look back on the training for Wineglass, a few things really pop out at me.

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                          Wineglass Marathon Training Update (T-2)

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                          The hay is in the barn, the money has been deposited…less than two weeks to go! Just one long tempo workout and a mid-ish distance run on Saturday and then nothing but short, easy runs before race day!

                          This was a big week of running for me. At this point in training, there are no short speed workouts on the plan. No more 600s, 800s, mile repeats, two mile tempos. Those were to build speed. For the last few weeks, the focus has been on longer workouts that will make marathon pace feel easier – long steady state, longer tempos and longer tempo intervals. See the similarity? They are all LONG. These workouts have been sprinkled throughout the cycle and have been gradually building in length – and three of them culminated this week – longest steady state (12 miles), longest LT tempo (5 miles – total 11 miles) and longest long-run tempo (16 miles w/ 8 @ tempo). I’ve seen these workouts on the plan for several weeks now – and I’ve been a bit intimidated. Each of them, alone, is tough enough. But to have all three over the course of six days made it even more so.

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


                            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, the paces felt comfortable and most importantly, I feel like my motivation and excitement for training has returned. After the last couple of weeks of lackluster running and then my discouraging run/race at RnR VB last weekend, I was beginning to freak out with how poorly I felt. I was worried that those feelings would cause a landslide into the final weeks of training.

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                              Wineglass Marathon Training (T-5) + RnR Virginia Beach!

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                              So, this was a tough week of training. Physically, I am feeling fine – the pain in my foot disappeared as quickly as it appeared and I have been running pain-free all week.

                              But mentally, it was a challenging week. I flew out to SF on Friday morning for one of my college gf’s weddings, so coach and I adjusted the plan so I would get my long run in on Thursday. Realistically, there was ZERO chance (or desire) of me running long while I was in SF – my focus was on spending as much time with my West Point girls as possible – and a 21 miler did not fit into the plan.

                              So we decided to shift the week and do the long run on Thursday. Unfortunately, I woke up Thursday and just didn’t have the motivation to run for almost 3 hours. I made it 5 miles and called it a day. The thought of another 16 miles – alone and mostly in the dark – sounded miserable to me.

                              So the plan changed to me running at 4am on Friday. I’ve never run that early before but I needed to be on my way to the airport by 8am. I was in bed by 9pm with my alarm set for 3:30am. But of course, things never run that smoothly when you have a short timeline. I woke up at 12:15 and was up for a bit before hearing my older son awake around 1am. I ended up in bed with him for a few hours until he finally drifted off to sleep just after 3am. It was one of those nights where you just stare at your clock as it gets later and later and as you constantly do the math to see how many hours of sleep you could still manage if you fell asleep at that moment.

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                                Wineglass Training Update – T-6: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


                                Last week was another solid week of training for Wineglass. Through Saturday, I had run 61 miles over 6 days with intentions of 5 recovery miles on Sunday – which would have made it my highest mileage week this cycle (66). But I woke up Sunday and my left foot was hurting. The pain was on the top part of my foot – towards the middle to outside part. It didn’t hurt to the touch nor was it swollen. But there was this sharp pain that came and went throughout the day.

                                My plan was to just let it be for a couple of hours and then try my run, but the pain had not subsided by 11am, so it became an unplanned rest day and panic started to set in.

                                I don’t run through pain. On a day-to-day basis, nothing hurts when I run – nor before or after. So anytime there is even a small amount of pain or even something that just feels “off”, I don’t run. It’s just not worth it to me.

                                I woke up Monday and the pain was still there – not nearly as strong, but enough where I felt it was not smart to force an easy-paced run. Coach recommended that I start some contrast therapy – ice, warm water, ice – and so that’s what I did. Thankfully, there was no pain for the rest of the day nor Tuesday morning when I woke up to run – so I ran…pain free! Hoping (fingers crossed) that it was just a cranky tendon (as Coach called it).

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


                                  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 take a few miles to find my rhythm – my first mile is usually between 8:15-8:30 so to start at 7:30 was challenging – and the hardest mile for me. But, I finally settled in and found a good rhythm. 10 total miles – 7:26 pace. Splits: 7:29, 7:29, 7:26, 7:28, 7:26, 7:23, 7:29, 7:22, 7:26, 7:21.

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                                    Wineglass Marathon Training Update (T-9)

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                                    I started this post Sunday evening in the midst of one of those “can’t stop eating” days of marathon training. Last week was the longest long run and highest mileage week since Boston training…and it capped off the 2nd highest mileage month ever for me (have to go back to October 2014 for highest). So my insatiable appetite is understandable and expected.

                                    On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being a completely successful week), I’d classify last week as a 9 – it would have been a perfect week of running had Wednesday’s tempo gone better. But, instead, I quit after 2 of the 4 tempo miles and turned the remainder of the miles into “easy”. I’d love to blame the heat and humidity, but I think it was just a result of a lot of things. And I refuse to complain about this weather because no matter how hot it is, it still beats the 0 degree weather we were dealing with in the winter.

                                    My husband was away from Mon-Thurs evening – and I was able to run all of my training runs outside and solo (except one treadmill run). I’m lucky enough to have a supportive family who will come over to watch the boys so I don’t need to run with the stroller or on the treadmill. My running happened this week when I had the chance – couple of days were right smack in the middle of the 95 degree weather – but it beats being down the basement, right?

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                                      Wineglass Training Update (T-10) + Slowing Down


                                      After months of falling off the early morning running wagon, I am happy to be back on! Last week was a pretty successful week of getting up when my alarm went off – most days around 5am (two days as early as 4:30am) – and finishing my runs before 7/8am.

                                      My weekly mileage is slowly starting to rise again – I had back-to-back 60+ mile weeks and came out feeling rested and ready for more training. I think a HUGE part of that is how much easier I am taking easy runs these days.

                                      I don’t know what it is, but it’s like a lightbulb finally went off in my head. And if there was a way to smack my younger self upside the head, I would. Looking back on the last several years of training, I know that I was running too fast on my easy days. I can remember coming back from an easy/recovery run and feeling wiped. Ummm…you shouldn’t be wiped after an easy run.

                                      Lately, I’m focusing on heart rate or just perceived effort and I wear no watch most days (if I want the HR data, I wear it). I can tell you that it’s significantly slower than I have been running my easy runs. And I’m finishing up my easy runs feeling energized and ready for the day, rather than feeling like I want to crawl back in bed.

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                                        Wineglass Marathon Training (T-12)


                                        I am getting into the swing of marathon training so I wanted to bring back the weekly updates in case you were interested in my training leading up to Wineglass!

                                        But first, I want to rewind a moment. Before I tell you what I’m doing right now, it’s fair to give a brief overview of what has been going on the last few month. It’s been almost three months since Boston. I still feel like it was yesterday (and yes, STILL riding that PR and race high). Since the race, my focus has been on a few things:

                                        • Recovery: This preoccupied most of the first four to five weeks post Boston. I ran four or five days post-Boston but kept all runs short and easy for a few weeks before starting any type of “faster” running. Some light core work but no strength work. My legs were pretty trashed from the hills so I decided to use only cycling and easy-paced running during the important recovery and regeneration phase.
                                        • Consistency and base building: Last training cycle, I took a rest day the day after my long runs (some weeks I would cycle easy, but 75% of time, it was a complete rest day). This cycle, we’ve added in a short recovery-type run (3-5 miles) the day after my long runs – with the option of a rest day if I need it. Mileage has been averaging in the low 50s. That will naturally get bumped up a bit as training continues and long runs become longer – but shouldn’t be by that much.
                                        • Strength, Core, Cross-Train: I was REALLY good about this for a couple of weeks, but I’ll be honest here – not much was done while we were in Alaska for 3 weeks. I had intentions of maintaining my core and strength routine, but the reality is that we were on vacation and I felt like running was enough time away from my boys and my in-laws. So I just accepted it and will be focusing on these over the next 12 weeks. Monday was my first strength and core workout and man, did I feel it!
                                        • Maintaining mid-distance endurance: The longest I have run since Boston is 16 miles. Most of my “long” runs have been in the range of 12-15 miles. That is a sustainable distance for me. If I were to run 18+ milers on a consistent basis for more than a few months, I would probably risk injury and/or overtraining. Since we are 11 weeks out, the long runs will start to get longer (17 miler this weekend).
                                        • More Tempo Long runs: Last cycle, I only did two long tempo runs. I’ve already done two (both 13 milers with 7 tempo) and likely will have another 1-2 before the race.


                                        Here’s what last week looked like:

                                        Monday: 15.5 mile long run (talked about it here)
                                        Tuesday: 4 recovery miles with my husband
                                        Wednesday: Travel day
                                        Thursday and Friday: 8 “easy” paced miles
                                        Saturday: 13 miles with 7 uptempo (see below)
                                        Sunday: 5 recovery miles

                                        6 days of running (1 planned rest day due to travel/jet lag)
                                        53.5 miles
                                        2x stress workouts

                                        There was nothing but hills while we were in Alaska but the upside was that the humidity was low! I was able to run 3 weeks during the summer without battling the Northeast heat and humidity while getting some awesome hill workouts in. Win-win.

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