2014 NYC Marathon Race Recap

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On Sunday, I completed my 8th marathon. It wasn’t a PR or goal race but it was one of the most amazing, exciting and humbling experiences of my running “career”. The importance of the day had nothing to do with me or my running goals, but rather, who I was there for – my friend, John. Helping a friend run the race he trained for, made the race, the day and the overall experience a million times more meaningful and special than a PR could ever do. The days leading up to the 2014 NYC Marathon were stressful. I hadn’t planned on much of a taper since my coach and I were treating the race like an extra-long training run. But, my body had other plans. I made Thursday and Saturday complete rest days (unplanned) – I felt feverish, my body ached and had a pounding headache most of Wednesday and Saturday. I began panicking Saturday afternoon (after spending a good portion of the day in bed) about how I was going to run a marathon the next day. Thankfully, I woke up Sunday morning feeling much better! read more

Birthday #33 + Finding My Rhythm

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Last week was a solid week of training. I feel like I have found my rhythm – I’m working hard during the workouts, running easy on the easy runs and feel recovered and energized through it all. I ran a total of 73 miles, did core work 4x, strength work 3x, cross trained 2x (30 min each on trainer) – and did most of it while single parenting for the week. My husband has been traveling a lot for work lately and I was worried about how I would fit in all of these miles either with the stroller or on the treadmill. I’ve learned that there will be always be an excuse if you let yourself have one. If you really want something, you will always find a way. I also know that there are plenty of people busier than me – either at home with their kids, working full time or managing full time work and being a parent. Anytime I start to make an excuse, I think of these people and how they make their training work…and suddenly my busy week seems a bit easier. 73 miles, 7 runs, 3 workouts. Highlights are below: read more

71 Miles + 6 Weeks To Go!

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It feels like I’m getting into a good rhythm with training. I ran 71 purposeful miles last week including a 5 mile tempo, mid-week long run (12 miles) and a 21 miler – all sandwiched between easy/recovery runs. I’ve hit 70+ miles in a week numerous times before, but I don’t remember feeling recovered and ready for another high mileage week; too often, I do too much in one week only to need an extra recovery day or two the following week. The Potomac River Run Marathon is just six weeks away – I’m kind of amazed at how fast it has crept up. I think it’s a good thing that I recently put it on the calendar (last 4 weeks) – it hasn’t been this looming race for months and months. And knowing that I have just a handful of long runs left makes them feel exciting and manageable. So here’s how the week broke down: 7 runs with 3 workouts for a total of 71 miles. The highlights are below: Monday Planned:11-12 miles with 8×30 sec surges Actual: 12 miles with 8×30 sec surges at 7:49 pace. I started off this run entirely too fast – as I was making Continue Reading →

Not Expecting Perfection

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Sometimes I get so wrapped up in expecting things to be perfect. For my long runs, I imagine popping up the moment the alarm goes off, feeling fantastic the moment my eyes open, being completely excited about the idea of a 20 mile run and having that bounce in my step for the entire run. And then when things don’t go as planned, I get so thrown off and down with myself that I have had the tendency to quit and give up. This has been a huge problem for me during training as well as racing. I spend so long dreaming of and imagining the perfect race that I often quit mentally long before my body is ready to. But training, especially marathon training, will not be perfect every step of the way. The more I race and the more I train, the more I learn this. There will be those magical long runs where everything clicks or those tempos where the pace feels effortless. But there will be just as many hard-fought long runs where every step feels like a death march or easy runs where you just want to sleep in. read more

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 →

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 →

My First 80+ Mile Week + Fitness Magazine News!

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I started writing this post earlier in the week but between another stint of single parenting, Easter preparations and a few nights of poor sleep for the boys (which = me), I just didn’t have the time or energy to finish it. Peak Week has come and gone. It wasn’t a typical week since my long run fell (again) on Monday rather than over the weekend. My husband was in Atlantic City for a hockey tournament from Friday through Sunday and I didn’t want to ask my mom, dad or sister to watch the boys for 3 hours while I ran, so I pushed my last long run to Monday. I hit either 83 or 81.5 miles for the week (depending on which days you count towards peak week) and 101.5 miles for 8 days of running. My previous high was 75 (last training cycle), so regardless of which you consider, it was my highest weekly mileage ever.  I’m thrilled with how the week went, how I felt on all of the runs and most importantly, how I’m feeling this week. This is how the week and workouts broke down: read more

What is Glycogen Depletion Training?

After I mentioned that I did not fuel or drink water during the 20 miler last weekend, I got a few questions about the reasoning behind it, so I wanted to share my thoughts (and in more than a sentence or two on IG or twitter). Let me preface this post with a few things. I did have some fuel in me during the 20 miler. I drank 16 oz of water mixed with one packet of Generation UCAN – an energy drink that slowly releases glucose without the spike and crash you get from sugar. So technically it wasn’t really a glycogen depleted run. I do not do this on every single long run. I feel much more tired after a run like this and so I limit them to a few a training cycle. I am not saying that everyone should try or do this – if you are a newer marathon runner, this is probably not necessary. I’ve had some issues with bonking during my last few marathons and so I’m hopeful that a bit of glycogen depletion training will help. I didn’t feel the need to drink water because it was very mild out (35 degrees)  and Continue Reading →

Weekend Happenings and Training Catch Up

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Happy Monday!! I started off this morning with a 20+ mile run. Truth be told, I had initially planned on getting this run in yesterday but after a jam packed, fun and exhausting weekend, I made the decision to postpone it one day. I felt that it was better to get more sleep and recover from the weekend’s festivities before I put my body through any more stress. I wanted the run to be outside which meant that the run had to happen before my husband had to go to work…which meant starting before 5am. That’s still a bit too early and dark to be running alone (for my liking) so I did the first 7 on the treadmill and then layered up (it was 38 degrees this morning!) and ran another 13.3 outside. I’m really happy with how consistent the splits were – 7:42 pace inside and 7:38 pace outside and with the exception of the first two miles of each, all miles were between 7:28-7:44. The 20 miles also capped off a great week of training and a great weekend with family and friends: read more

Update on Training -> Be Smarter Than Me

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen that I briefly mentioned I was having knee pain the last few weeks. But I haven’t gone into detail…so here it it is: About three weeks ago, I began feeling something in my left knee. It wasn’t painful – just kind of a tweak when I was walking up/down the stairs and at the start of each run. Since it wasn’t painful, I decided to continue with my scheduled running that week – including mile repeats on Thursday evening and an 18 miler Saturday. No pain during either of those stress workouts but by Saturday afternoon, my knee had had enough and I had a hard time even walking up the stairs. Mistake #1 -> I should have skipped the speedwork on Thursday and even taken a day or two off to let my knee rest. I had just changed shoes the week prior and I don’t think I was getting the support that I was used to. Sometimes all it takes is a day or two off with some icing or stretching to let your body reset. read more

Keeping The Dream Alive

So first, I want to give a special CONGRATS to one of the runners I coach – Joe D (from Staten Island) who ran a 6+ minute PR at the Fred Lebow Half Marathon this past weekend! Despite super frigid temperatures and a tough course (two+ loops of Central Park including Harlem Hill), he ran a steady, strong race.  His slowest mile was his first (!!) and his three fastest miles were miles 9, 10 and 13! Congratulations, Joe!! =) —————- I found out on Wednesday that I was selected by Daily Burn as a Fitstagrammie. Dailyburn created a list of the 25 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow and somehow I made the list amidst names like Lauren Fleshman, Lindsey Vonn, Nike, ToneItUp and Blogilates. I feel a bit out of my league but grateful and honored to be selected. ———————- I go through love-hate relationships with the long run. I feel like it’s a pendulum that is frequently moving back and forth. I’ve had some terrific periods where I looked forward to my 2-3 hour workout each weekend. But I’ve had my share of stretches where I dread it and spend the whole run counting down the miles rather Continue Reading →

Miles for Meg + The Beauty of Flexibility

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Another week of training for the LA Marathon is complete. It was a good week of running and I was able to get in all my planned runs while also hitting my highest mileage (of this training cycle) – 64! Monday: 10 treadmill miles (8:06 pace). Nothing exciting about this except that I finished watching Homeland – holy WOW. That is all I will say (I was super late to the Homeland party and started watching the show a few weeks ago). Side note: My last position in the military was division lethal targeting officer. I was in charge of the Intelligence for my division while we were stationed in Baghdad and in some ways, it was similar to things Carrie does in the show (I did not run assets or go out on my own or anything like that!) It was the best, most rewarding, exciting job I had during my six years in the Army. Tuesday: 8 treadmill miles with a 2×2 mi tempo in the middle. Splits of 6:53, 6:48 for the first set and 6:47, 6:40 for the second (with 3 min active recovery in between). I am really happy with how this workout went. Faster paces are starting Continue Reading →

The Winter Funk + LA Marathon

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/holiday weekend with your family and loved ones. We had a fantastic celebration at our home on Christmas Eve with my sisters, their families and my parents. The week leading up to Christmas was pure chaos. Between last minute Christmas shopping, taking the boys to see Santa (AJ was a little weary then warmed up but Ryan was not happy), cleaning the house, food shopping and cooking, I felt like it would never all get done. But it did. We also got our new dining room furniture last week. I’ve known what I have wanted to do in our dining room since we moved in over 18 months ago but financially had to wait until now to purchase it all. I could not be happier! —————– I haven’t blogged much the last few weeks – partially because I’ve been so busy but mostly because there hasn’t been a ton of good running. I’ve run here and there, done some speedy (for me) runs and gotten a few double digit runs in – but, by and large, running hasn’t been great. Truth is, I’ve been in a running funk. I’ve had very little motivation to Continue Reading →

Halloween + Longest Long Run

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Well, friends…we are officially in peak week! AGH! I feel like the last few weeks have completely flown by. And let’s not even begin to discuss that the big day is now less than three weeks away. This past weekend was my longest long run of the training cycle. My coach wanted me to run for 3:05. No set pace or distance. I was supposed to “just run” for 185 minutes. The purpose was to get some time on my feet. All of my long runs up until this weekend have been 16-18 milers (+ one 20) and have maxed out at 2:30. Since I’m going after a specific time and I need to run strong from start to finish, it was important to do a really long run. Despite knowing I was going to be running for over 3 hours, I wasn’t nervous at all (a change for me for a long run!) and somewhat excited about the run. It was really great not having to worry about anything except moving – no marathon goal pace miles, no fast finish. My plan was to look at my garmin as little as possible and run on how I was feeling. I Continue Reading →

Birthday Celebration + 24 days to go!

Hey everyone! I’m still here! I know I have barely written anything lately…life has been crazy the last few weeks and blogging is one of the first things I sacrifice when I am short on time. But crazy = good so I am not complaining. I have a bunch of exciting things going on with blogging/social media and will be sharing them all in the next few weeks! Monday was my 32nd birthday.  It’s strange how things change – my husband took a half day with the intention of giving me some free time to go for a massage, take a nap, get my nails done…really just have some alone time.  But all I wanted to do was spend the afternoon with the boys. It was an absolutely gorgeous day so we decided to take the 45-minute drive and go to the Turtle Back Zoo in NJ. We had a blast! My whole family (sans one sister) came over on Sunday for dinner and birthday cake. It was the perfect way to celebrate! ————- Another week of marathon training has come and gone. Philly is *just* 24 days away. I’m down to 5 or 6 workouts remaining (depending if my Continue Reading →

Weekend Highlights + 20 Mile Success

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This past weekend was amazing! Thank you for all of your words of support and good luck wishes for my husband! He is officially a half-Ironman! =)  Below are some of the highlights from our weekend: - Crossing Finish Line with our youngest. I can’t stop smiling at this picture. This is the first finish line the little guy has crossed. - Half Ironman: Despite the heat (it was 90 degrees + super humid despite being a week into October), a pinched nerve in his neck last week (he was on steroids and muscle relaxers until race day to help with the pain and stiffness), a flat tire on the bike and bad stomach cramping during the run, my husband crossed the finish line!! There will always be something to complain about if you want to, but we are focusing on the good instead. He is a half-Ironman! – Weekend with our youngest – It was so fun to get 24+ hours with just the little guy. I put a picture up on IG last week and mentioned how I am loving my 90 min twice/week with him right now while my oldest is in “class” (it’s a toddler program that focuses on being around Continue Reading →

BIG Weekend + Training Catchup

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Guess what’s happening this weekend!?! It’s my husband’s first Half-Ironman!!! I think I’m more excited and nervous than he is!! I finally am getting to experience what it feels like to be on the other side. I am so proud of my husband for putting in all the training the last few months for this race.  Lately, he’s been the one getting up at 415-430am to get his workout in, then return home to shower and then I head out while he gets dressed and ready for work (while watching the boys). The mornings are a blur for us between the hours of 5-8 and we don’t get a ton of time together…but we’ve managed to both train for big races at the same time (first time we’ve been able to juggle both). It’s the Rev3 Half Full Triathlon in Ellicot City, Maryland. We are heading down tomorrow afternoon with the littlest guy while the oldest gets a fun day/night/sleepover with Grandma! If you are in the area, come out and cheer (and keep me company!!) =)  And please send him good race vibes!! YAY! read more

1st Birthday + 8 weeks to go

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My youngest son turned one last week. Hard to believe that it’s been that long already, right? I feel like it was just yesterday that he came into this world. It’s been a fun year (sometimes crazy at times!) with a 2nd child and I could not have asked for a sweeter, happier little guy. My boys and I celebrated on Thursday (his actual birthday) with presents and cake. And continued the celebration with a fun birthday party on Saturday with family and friends from the neighborhood. Can we take a moment and discuss this cake? It was beautiful and SO SO yummy (white cake with cannoli cream.) One of my good friends from high school made this beauty!! She has made cakes for my boys’ special events the past few years and they could not be prettier or more delicious. (She’s VERY reasonable and is based on Staten Island. Her website is here!) ——————– For the first time this training cycle, I felt like I had a wonderful week of running from start to finish. I nailed both my stress workouts (3×2 and long run) and felt so strong despite racing a half marathon last Sunday. The Philly Marathon is just Continue Reading →

Why Do You Run? + 17 miler Success

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One of the questions I get asked most by non-runners is Why do you run? followed by What do you think about while you run? I’ve always gone into a long explanation about how running makes me happy, challenges me, gives me some “me” time.  These are all true. But I never have felt like it’s the complete reason. Something felt like it was missing. How can I possibly explain in a sentence or even a paragraph why I run every day? Truth is, running means something different to me each day. One day it might be that hour I need to clear my head after a long day.  When I was deployed it was most often the time I needed to make me a bit less homesick. Another day it might be a stepping stone to reaching one of my goals – a sub-3:10 marathon or completely my first Ironman. The next day it could be that I’m in the mood to sweat and put myself through a bit of pain. Whatever the reason for that day, how do you put that into words for somebody who never experienced it before? read more

Race Envy + 50 mile week

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I am pretty excited to share this article with you.  A reporter from the Staten Island Advance contacted me shortly after the Ironman for a quick recap of my race (time, event, etc).  After a short discussion, he reached out again for a more in-depth interview and ended up writing the below story which was featured last week in the Staten Island Advance. The full article can be found here. ———————– I had serious race envy this weekend seeing all the pics on Instagram and Twitter from those participating in Hood to Coast. I already gave my husband the warno that I want to do it next year.  I’ve never done a relay before but this just sounds TOO fun to pass up.  Now I just need to find a team =) Last week ended my first week of marathon training.  My coach (more on that in an upcoming post!) has me on a 8-days on / 1-day off schedule, so I ran all 7 days last week. 3 stress workouts, 4 days of easy running. I finished the week with 50.63 miles – my first 50+ mile week since early April! So I am already basically at the peak mileage Continue Reading →