Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1 Review!

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After writing this post a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how many of you are/were in the same boat as me – struggling to find the right hydration source for these sweltering summer runs. We don’t want to hold a bottle, don’t want to have to stop every few miles to drink from a bottle either along course or by our home and hadn’t had luck with belts. Well, I tried a new hydration system this weekend – the Orange Mud.Vest Pack 1 – and am already hooked. First, let me say that I owe a HUGE thanks to Cheri for recommending it to me. I looked into every single recommendation that was mentioned in the comments – and actually got a couple that I will be testing out to see what works best for me. But rather than wait until I try them all out to do one massive review, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the Orange Mud pack – I feel that after a 16 mile run in 80+ degree weather, you know one way or the other if the vest is going to work! The Orange Mud markets it’s products as “no bounce, ultralight Continue Reading →

Warm Weather Pace Adjustments -> Don’t Fight It

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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 →

Hydration Help + Stopping During Long Runs

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I always blog a lot less when I’m in between training cycles. I guess I just feel like there isn’t much exciting training to share, so why bother sharing anything? But I also know it’s helpful to share all the details of training – not just when things are going great or I’m logging 20 mile runs. I’m still in the building stage from Boston. I’m up to about 45-50 miles/week and have been enjoying the fewer miles, shorter long runs and lazy mornings. But NYC is rapidly approaching and training will really start to pick up soon, so I’m trying to get back into routine of early morning running as well as core and strength work regularly. I had been planning to run the Memorial Day 4 miler for months. After a few days off for my hamstring pain, I was ready to give Monday a go. But, my coach and I made the call Saturday afternoon to scrap the race. I felt no hamstring pain – and hadn’t for several days / runs. But there were points where it felt tight – and my gut was telling me not to chance things on a race that wasn’t even 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 →

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 →

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

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Happy Wednesday!! You are in for a treat today – you get TWO weeks of training updates! I know – almost too much to handle =) But before I get into my recent training, I wanted to share some news from Garmin (not sponsored – just a big fan of the brand and the people within the company). They have launched new Garmin Fitness social media channels on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram! Facebook is soon to follow. From their website: We want to hear and see pictures of how you crushed a daily step goal, or conquered a 20-mile training run. We want you to share your struggles and triumphs. We want to hear about how you are changing your life by going that extra mile. Our channels will feature content from YOU! Share your images and tag them with @GarminFitness or use hashtag #UpForMore to be featured. @GarminFitness – Twitter Garmin Fitness – Google+ @GarminFitness – Instagram Garmin Fitness – Facebook Also, to celebrate the new fitness channels, Garmin will be giving away one Vivosmart a day (for the next week) on their Instagram page. Go check it out! ————— read more

Boston Marathon Training (T-9)

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I feel like my motivation to run in the cold is dwindling. I think it’s easier to suck it up and run in sub-0 temps when you know it’s just one or two days. But, for the last week, it’s been mostly sub-0 in the AM – and the 7 day forecast doesn’t look any better. Too funny not to share…and kind of what I have been feeling! Last week included a bunch of treadmill runs. Monday’s mid-week long run, Wednesday’s tempo, Saturday’s long tempo, Sunday’s recovery – all happened on the treadmill. Wednesday and Saturday I opted for the treadmill because the real-feel was single digits and my coach and I both felt that it was okay this week to use the treadmill to get the workout in (I would have had to adjust my paces significantly if I did them outside to account for the cold temps). Tuesday and Thursday were early morning runs outside (small victories). Monday Planned: 10-11 miles with 6-8x :20 strides Actual: 11 miles with 8x :20 strides I followed the same plan as last week’s run and incorporated a lot of 1:00 spurts of climbing. This week was 20x 1:00 at 4.5% incline. Continue Reading →

Boston Marathon Training (T-10)

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Another successful week of Boston training is behind me…just 10 short weeks until Marathon Monday. Last week was my first 60+ mile week in over three months! The last time I was at/over 60 miles was October 20-26! After that week began a small taper for NYC Marathon, recovery from Marathon (~1 week), taper for Potomac River Run Marathon, recovery from marathon (2-3 weeks), taper for Honolulu, flu and tooth problems. I also hit 18 miles for the long run – longest long run in training since October 25. I’m definitely at the point in the training cycle where I feel like there is some good momentum behind me. I’ve had some kick-a$$ speed workouts and long runs have been (knock on wood) enjoyable and strong. As I mentioned in the post last week about mile repeats, my husband was away for work from Sunday through Thursday night. My parents are usually around and willing to watch the boys so I can sneak a run in outside – but my dad is visiting his mom down in Florida and my mom has had her hands full with my great-aunt who needed surgery. So understandably, I was on my own for Continue Reading →

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 →