Falmouth Race Recap

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Sunday was such an amazing day and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a historic and celebrated event. (If you are unfamiliar with the history of the race, you can read about it here.) Unfortunately, it was not a good day of racing for me. It was a start too fast, crash on the hills, crash a little harder from the heat/humidity and suffer for about 50% of the race. Before I get into the racing specifics, I wanted to share an overview of the day. Race Morning Wakeup was scheduled for 5am but ended up being around 4:30am when my oldest son decided it was a good time to start the day. And the whole room was awake by 5! The good news is that I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to be quiet. The bad news is that I left my husband with a dog and two tired kids while I went and raced. I had some coffee, got dressed and made my way down to the lobby by 5:45am to meet Chris (who was also racing) for our hour+ drive to the Cape. We were parked Continue Reading →

Stop Comparing

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*Disclaimer – this post was intended to be my weekly submission for Women’s Running. I was 90% finished with it when I saw a very similar post from T-Rex Runner and so I didn’t submit it (you should go read hers here). Rather than just delete it, I wanted to share my thoughts here. STOP the comparison game. I’m not talking about doing it with/to others (although you shouldn’t do that either…but plenty has been written on that topic). No, I’m talking doing it with/to yourself. It’s something I find myself doing a lot – especially as of late. I’m a couple of months into training for my fall goal marathon. Over the last two months, I’ve gotten back into a good routine and hit most of the paces and logged most of the miles my coach has planned for me. But, there’s been this nagging thought running through my mind on virtually every single run which has resulted in a very unnecessary running funk. The problem has been that I’m comparing myself to what I was doing last year. I had a really strong training cycle last fall – hands down the strongest, fastest and most fit I’ve ever been 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 →

Eating to Run + Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

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Just a reminder to please get your daily vote in for the Runner’s World Cover Contest! I haven’t been writing here as often as I would like for a couple of reasons – less “connected” time, more time unplugged, vacation. I’ve also been writing some posts on Competitor Running (last couple of months as part of the 26 Strong Team) as well as another site which I hope to be able to share with you this week! I honestly don’t have enough to say to fill two other websites as well as my own on a regular basis…so less posting here for the time being. I wanted to share a post I wrote for Competitor a couple of weeks ago. We were asked to discuss our viewpoints on nutrition/fueling – what do we eat, how do we approach it, etc. I discussed how I now eat to run rather than running to eat:   When I first started training for marathons, I assumed I could eat whatever I wanted. I was logging more miles and completing longer runs (I had never run more than 7 miles before) and therefore needed more calories. In my mind, calories equaled calories. And so, Continue Reading →

Training Update: Good Intentions

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Just a reminder to get your daily vote in for the Runner’s World Cover Contest! Prior to our trip to Alaska, I hadn’t taken a day off from running in weeks. My new coach has me running seven days a week right now – often one long run, one or two workouts and the remainder easy/recovery runs (8 miles each)- with one of those being lower mileage (5-6 miles). It’s definitely out of my comfort zone and I’ve always been a big proponent of having one full rest day, but I’ve put my faith in my experienced coach and will follow what he prescribes. It’s been a while (= weeks) since I’ve given any type of training updates, so before I get into my running in Alaska, let me rewind a bit more. Week Prior to Vacation: 7 runs, 2 workouts, 59 miles Workout #1: 10 miles w/ 5x mile repeats with 1/4 mile recovery (roughly 2:15-2:30). Splits: 6:35, 6:33, 6:34, 6:37, 6:39. Positive splits were the name of the game. It was 81 degrees + 62 dew point = 143 suck factor. I knew I should adjust the target paces but my body doesn’t always follow what my mind Continue Reading →

Anthony’s Run 5k Race Recap

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Yesterday was my first 5k. Technically, it wasn’t my first – I ran one with the double stroller last summer and one two weekends ago with my niece. But it was the first I would be racing against myself. I woke up at 630am on Sunday when my oldest woke up – had some coffee, stretched a bit (my legs felt tight from all the “beach” volleyball we had played the day prior at our Father’s Day party) and tried to keep my feet up until it was time to get ready. I was unsure about how to fuel for the race and decided to base it on how I felt race morning. I am never hungry first thing in the AM – and I never eat before my morning runs. But, we were starting at 10am and I would be up for over 3 hours – so I definitely needed some calories. At 9:15am, I had 1/2 banana and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and felt good. I didn’t want to eat too much and have stomach pains or other issues during the race, so I figured lighter options were probably best. read more

The Line Between Dedicated and Obsessed

I was pretty beat up after my fall marathon (hindsight: I am pretty darn happy with how I did – it was one of my fastest marathons I’ve ever run). As most people do after a missed goal, I tried to pinpoint some areas that needed improvement. But even more importantly was trying to figure out why I was so devastated – missing my goal felt like my world had just ended (not exaggerating here). I moped for several weeks, whined in this post and then after some feedback, told myself to buck up and move on. Six months removed from the race and I can 100% say that I focused too much on that one race, that it meant too much to me. I had become obsessed with a single goal and it completely controlled my life. I have a very “all or nothing”, somewhat OCD personality (I’m not diagnosed OCD – just have some OCD tendencies). I feel that if I can’t dedicate myself 100% to any goal I set – whether it’s running, cleaning the house or blogging –  then it’s not worth the time. I love setting goals, coming up with a plan and then doing x, y and Continue Reading →

NJ Marathon – Take 2

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Sunday will be my second attempt at the NJ Marathon. After last year’s bonking and DNF’ing (ugh), I thought I would never want to give this marathon another shot. I guess time makes the sting go away a bit because here I am…two days out from running the NJ Marathon. I have some times in mind that I’d like to run Sunday, but similar to the LA Marathon, I am really looking to just have a steady race.  Truth is, I am not totally sure what I am capable of running. I ran a lot of miles on the treadmill this winter. I wimped out a bunch during the brutal winter and then had to rely on the treadmill more than I wanted the last couple of months with my husband’s work schedule (he was gone for lengthy trips a handful of times). But rather than dwell on the “what ifs” or what I didn’t do, I’m focusing on what I DID these last 7 weeks (since the LA Marathon): 2 x 20 milers, 2x 18 milers (including an 18 miler with lots of miles at goal pace) First 80+ mile week Changed up some workouts – did a few tough Continue Reading →

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

Training Update + LA Marathon Race Review

I called last week my “ease back into training” week. I didn’t want to immediately jump back into tempo runs or 20 milers, so I focused on lower mileage, easier running, some core work and time on the trainer. Here’s how the week went – there was more treadmill running than I wanted but with my husband away for business all week, I was grateful to just get the miles in! The boys have been really great with staying occupied while I run on the treadmill so I was able to do the running while they were awake: Monday: 8 miles outside (8:07 pace) – strength and core at night Tuesday: 8 miles on treadmill (7:55 pace) – 5 easy, 3 progression (7:30, 7:17, 7:00) followed by 30 min on trainer Wednesday: 10 miles (7:38 pace) – which included the descending ladder workout I talked about last week. Thursday: Rest Day Friday: 10 miles (7:31 pace) with a descending interval workout. In 2007, I was a member of the FT Hood Army 10 miler team. We had weekly track practice (which I loved – which I had access to a track!) and our coach had us build up to 3 sets Continue Reading →

Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

This post is a long time coming. And just plain long. I apologize in advance if it seems like a bunch of random thoughts thrown out. But there are a lot of factors going into my plans for the year and I want to try to explain them all so that my decision makes sense (even if just to me). After making the announcement of my goal of qualifying for the Ironman World championships (one day) back in October, I began filling my race calendar with triathlons – 70.3 Eagleman in June, 70.3 Princeton in September, Ironman Florida in November. Every ounce of my competitive self wanted to train my butt off and focus as much time and energy as I could to start the road to (hopefully  one day) qualify for Kona. (*Note: the only race I am currently signed up for is Eagleman; I held off on Princeton and it is now sold out; I was going to run IM Florida with Team Refuel again so no entry was necessary.) I don’t remember the exact moment or day, but at some point in December / January I kind of had that “aha” moment and realized there was a Continue Reading →

Marathon Recovery + Descending Ladder

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Truth: I am not the best with marathon recovery. Maybe because it’s usually the end of a training cycle so the need to recover well to get back into training is low…meaning: recovery is not the most important thing. I tend to stay pretty sedentary, drink too little water and do zero stretching/rolling. This time was different. I have upcoming racing plans (lots to share about the rest of 2014 – won’t share right now since it kind of lends itself to a full post) so there was/is a need to recover and recover WELL. I am by no means saying that I am an expert in marathon recovery. But I think what I did have worked for me. I am 11 days post marathon and my legs feel fresh, my energy is high and my desire to train hard is stronger than it’s been in months. All good things. Especially given how beat up my quads felt after the marathon (which I think was from all the downhill running). Here’s what I did: Sunday (race day): Vega Recovery: After a quick walk through of the Asics post-race tent, I got my checked bag, grabbed my Vega Recovery drink mix Continue Reading →

LA Marathon Weekend + Goals

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In less than 48 hours, I will be on my way to warm, sunny LA to participate in the Asics Blogger Challenge. The forecast for the weekend looks absolutely amazing – a little warm (for my taste) for running a marathon, but after the crazy weather we’ve been dealing with here, the 75+ degree days will be a welcome break. I fly out early Friday morning and am thrilled to be on the same flight (and sitting next to) my friend Jess who is also participating in the challenge. YAY! And then I get to spend the weekend with her and other long-distance running buddies like Kristin, Monica, Mark and Brian and will get to meet a handful of other running bloggers who I’ve interacted with virtually for the past few years. I am really looking forward to the mini-vacation and all of the fun things Asics has planned for us – a VIP party Friday night, a shakeout run and breakfast with elites including Ryan Hall and Deena and Coach Kastor on Saturday morning and some fun stuff post-race on Sunday. And then the obvious part of soaking up some sun and warmth for a few days! read more

Training Update + New Member of Our Family

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Don’t forget to enter the Asics Giveaway I am hosting! Two winners will each win $150 for use on anything on Asics.com. It’s officially RACE WEEK!! I am giddy with excitement about everything I am going to be able to do and people I will get to meet this weekend – there will be a post later this week with those details! I hope you are all staying as warm as possible with this cold weather and snow again. I promise to not rub it in (too much) that I will be in 70+ degree weather in a few days. =) I’m in my second week of tapering for the LA Marathon (six days away!). This is the first time where I haven’t been counting down or felt beat by the time the taper hit – hopefully that means that I am rested and not worn out like I usually am come race day. Recap of last week’s training: Monday: rest day Tuesday: easy-paced 6 miles. Wednesday: I wanted to do my tempo run outside, so despite the cold temps (with the wind it felt like 17 degrees), I bundled up and headed out. Two facts. First: It’s much harder (for me) Continue Reading →

Less Black and White Workouts

I’ve always been a big fan of workouts during marathon training where it’s easy to track progress: set intervals (400, 800, 1600), set distance and pace tempo runs, even wave tempos (odd miles at a fast pace, even miles at a pace about a minute slower). From week to week, my goal is either to increase the duration, distance or speed. These are black and white workouts that are easy to track improvements as well as predict race times. I’ve tried to relax a bit more this training cycle. After Philly, I looked at my training from the fall – and more importantly, at my approach to my training. I think having these black and white workouts numerous times a week may have been too much for me mentally. I tend to get so wrapped around a certain pace in workouts, that if things aren’t feeling great or I don’t hit the paces, I view the workout as a failure. I also have the tendency to push harder than I should in training because it’s pretty awesome to see splits drop from week to week. And I also know that I got so wrapped around what the predictors predicted for Continue Reading →

PRO Compression + Sick Again + Treadmill Running

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin I’m pretty excited to share that I have been selected as a PRO Compression Ambassador. =) I have been wearing PRO Compression socks for over a year – often after long runs or stress workouts as recovery but also for several races. I did a full review of them last year that you can read here. Anyway, I’m excited to work with this amazing company and to share some deals and giveaways (!!) with you guys! ———— Each week I vow to update on here a little bit more and then each week it seems like something else pops up that wins out over blogging.  Anyway, let’s catch up. I was finally starting to feel like I was getting into a good rhythm again after my little knee troubles a few weeks ago – successfully did a couple of speed workouts and got a few more longish runs in. Monday: Rest Day (full rest day -> no cross training, core, etc) Tuesday: 8 treadmill miles (8:10 pace) + core + strength work Wednesday: 10 miles including 6 progression tempo miles (6:53, 6:51, 6:48, 6:46, 6:43, 6:39) + pilates + core Thursday: 10 miles -> at Continue Reading →

My Favorite Home Workout DVDs

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After making the commitment a few weeks ago to get back into the habit of doing core and strength work on a more regular basis, I decided to purchase a few workout DVDs to help me stay on track. I have some regular exercises that I enjoy doing, but have heard amazing things about barre classes and wanted to do more Pilates and felt that a little structure would be the best for me. After mentioning the DVDs to a couple of friends and then on twitter, I saw that there were quite a number of people interested, so I figured I’d share them here. *Note: These DVDs were purchased by me – I am not affiliated with the companies or with Amazon.com. Pilates Abs Workout (with Ana Caban) I first purchased this DVD over TEN years ago. I remember doing the 30-minute DVD on a fairly regular basis when I was a 2LT living in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Each morning, I would head to the gym for my cardio and then return home to complete either a yoga or Pilates DVD.  Unfortunately, the DVD was lost at some point so I haven’t done this workout in years but was ecstatic Continue Reading →

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

Tempos vs Intervals

Two quick things to share: First, my good friend, Kristin (who is also running the LA Marathon – yay!) is running 37 miles on a treadmill on Friday for charity. She is also hosting a virtual race in conjunction with her run (you can win some awesome prizes!). You can read all about it (and how to donate!) here. Second, Zulily picked their 10 Favorite Health and Fitness Bloggers and I’m thrilled that I made the list along with some of my friends: Christine, Kristin, Madeline and Katie!   ———– I’ll be the first to admit that until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t completely sure of the difference between tempo and interval workouts. I knew that intervals should be faster than tempos, but I didn’t understand the purpose of either nor did I know what distance/time/pace I should be running them at. Today, I have a better understanding of their importance as well as how to incorporate them into my training plan (I am constantly learning and improving on this and am NOT an expert by any means!).  I typically aim for two workouts each week during marathon training – often one tempo and interval. read more