Potomac River Run Marathon Race Recap

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When I first started this blog, I had “only” run three marathons – all of which had been PRs and great experiences. The next handful of marathons I ran (after sharing my training here) were a bust – DNF, starting too fast or being incredibly unhappy with the results. I found I was putting too much pressure on myself and was focused on running a specific time at that moment. I wasn’t looking ahead nor was I viewing racing marathons as a process. Instead it was a kind of “do or die” mentality each time I got ready to race. It can be extremely disheartening if you are focused on just one race and things don’t go as planned. Overall, Sunday was a success. I enjoyed the entire experience and was excited and anxious to race as race day approached rather than having that fear and stress that previous races brought me. I executed a lot of things well on Sunday – fueling, pacing, running without music – but I would be lying if I didn’t share that there is a part of me that is slightly disappointed. I trained hard for several months and both my coach and I feel Continue Reading →

NYC Marathon Hydration Tips

Crossing the tape at the NYC Marathon

The NYC Marathon is rapidly approaching – can you believe we are down to single digits already? I’m incredibly excited to be running the NYC Marathon for the 3rd time this year. There’s something so special about running through the streets of my hometown, having family and friends scattered throughout the course and finishing up in Central Park, the place I ran every day while I lived in the city. As the Official Bottled Water of the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, this fall, Poland Spring® brand 100% natural spring water kicked off their “Poland Spring Cheers” campaign in an effort to thank the millions of New Yorkers who helped make local spring water from Maine the #1 beverage brand in New York City. I’ve partnered up with Poland Springs to share some of my hydration tips for the days leading up to a marathon. 1. Keep water with you. I do this on a regular basis but I pay even more attention to it during race week. I always have a bottle of water with me regardless of where I’m going or how long I will be gone – places like the store, the marathon expo or commuting Continue Reading →

My Son’s First “Race” and Long Run Success

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent my husband and I the website for a local kids race, the Kids Running Obstacle Course (ROC). The youngest category was 4-5 years old, so we decided to sign our oldest son up up (he’ll be 4 in January). He has shown an interest in running and he’s a big fan of climbing, jumping, rolling, etc (like any young child!) so it seemed like a perfect first race for him. The race not disappoint. My son never stopped smiling throughout the entire 10-15 minutes it took to run over, under or through the obstacles. Some he was able to maneuver on his own and then either myself or Jenn (who was with her daughter) were there to help him over those that were a bit outside his comfort zone. I’ve wanted to sign him up for several kids races earlier this year, but I’ve been hesitant b/c I never want running to be something I force on him. My husband and I decided that the obstacle course aspect of it would be a good introduction into racing/running. read more

New Fall Marathon + How To Run A Faster Marathon

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So not so great news to share…I have deferred my entry for the Wineglass Marathon until next year. Life, family and circumstances sometimes get in the way of our big plans and goals and as much as I was looking forward to racing in a few short weeks, ultimately, it really was the best decision for me, my training and my family. (Not trying to be vague but also not sharing all the details here.) I hope to still race a marathon sometime in November – just haven’t registered for one yet. My short-list (right now) includes: Philly, Richmond and Potomac River Run. Have you raced any of these? Thoughts? ——————————- I wanted to share my thoughts on how to run a faster marathon. Let me preface this all by saying that after taking a considerable amount of time off from my first to second marathons, I’ve mostly stayed at the same finish time (I’m working on improving that time right now and will obviously update this as necessary when I do!). read more

2014 New Jersey Marathon Recap

The pain that is Mile 26 of  a marathon

Sunday was a great day – and so close to being perfect (had I run just 27 seconds faster, I’d have a shiny new PR…so close, yet so far!). It was great for so many reasons – I ran smart. I didn’t bonk(!!).  I walked away with lessons learned, things to maintain and a couple of things to work on. And most importantly, I had fun. The more I race, the more I understand that a great race doesn’t always mean the fastest time on the clock. It’s about looking back on the race with ZERO regrets or saying I should have or could have done this. This was one of those races for me – something I haven’t experienced in the marathon since 2011. It gave me back confidence about myself, my ability to pace properly, to push hard when things got hard and to not give up. Race Week Before I get into the details of the race, I want to share some of what went on in the days leading up to the marathon. I did several things differently and plan to continue these for the next goal race: read more

2014 New Jersey Marathon

Hi everyone! This isn’t the full recap of the 2014 New Jersey Marathon (I have LOTS to say) but wanted to give you a cliff notes version of the day in case you didn’t get my updates on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook =) I followed the plan I had talked about last week – ran mostly blind for the whole race (my watch beeped with the mile splits but I couldn’t see my pace during each mile) and focused on running smart and in control.  I initially started out with the 3:15 pace group but after some fast splits (7:21 and 7:13), I knew it was in my best interest to let them go and run my own race.  When I felt like I could go faster the first 18 miles, I held back – something I never have done during a marathon.  I crossed the half in 1:38 which was right around where I thought I could be. And then I hit the turnaround and met the wind. Oye vey. It was a sustained 16-17 mph headwind but there were some serious gusts that made me feel like I was running into a wall at times. Miles 19-26 were Continue Reading →

Boston Marathon Highlights

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Monday morning started at the ungodly hour of 345am; I was out of the house at 4:30am enroute to pickup my sister, Nicole, on Staten Island and then Leticia in Brooklyn. Thankfully, we hit virtually zero traffic during our 200+ mile trip north. After getting turned around a few times (due to road closures), we managed to snag the last spot in the shuttle bus parking lot – SCORE!  As we were getting online to get screened, we ran into Katherine who I met at the Runner’s World Festival in 2012!! She was calm and smiling and looked ready to take on 26.2 miles! The shuttle was a quick 5 minute ride that dropped us off at the end of the corrals. Easy peasy. We heard the introductions and gun go off for the elite females as we were walking up (BOO!!) but managed to make our way to the start area for the elite men’s and wave 1. Seeing the Start Line and marathon signs literally gave me goosebumps. {Photo credit to Leticia for the next two pictures!} To be honest, on the drive up, I had told my sister and Leticia that I had no intention of running Boston Continue Reading →

Asics LA Marathon Race Recap

Hello and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I had wanted to write this recap early last week (actually, planned on working on it on the flight home) but between wanting to spend less time on the phone/computer and more time with the boys and having lots going on last week, I didn’t make much progress. Race Day started super early for everyone participating in the marathon.  The Asics runners met in the lobby of the hotel at 430am (which due to daylight savings really felt like 330am BUT I kind of lucked out since I was still on east coast time). I usually do all of my pre-race fueling in my room before heading to the race but since we were meeting three hours before the race, I decided to do it on the bus and while we were waiting at Dodger Stadium.  I got up at 4am, took a quick shower, dressed and headed to the lobby. We arrived at the Asics suite at Dodger Stadium around 6am and were able to relax, drink good coffee and use regular bathrooms until we left for the corrals at 630. It was a pretty amazing perk on race day! read more

2014 Asics LA Marathon

Just dropping in for a quick update! I am currently sitting in bed, hydrating and relaxing after a tough race this morning. I knew what the weather forecast was calling for, but I hoped that the heat would stay away – or at least that we’d have cloud cover – for the race. We had a bit of protection from the sun for the first half of the race but things got ugly quick when the clouds disappeared. It’s funny. I think back to the sadness and disappointment I felt after Philly and almost laugh now. Today, I finished in 3:35:23 (unofficial). Not close to my PR time and even further away from what I thought I was capable of. But you know what? I’m completely okay. I mean, of course I am disappointed because I ran conservatively and still felt the effects of the heat. But my heart is happy. I got to run through LA – I saw the walk of fame, the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd and so much more. I had the privilege of being selected for the blogger Challenge (whole post on the weekend’s fun events is coming!) and got to meet running idols Continue Reading →

Asics Giveaway Winners

Hello from 35,000 feet!! Jess and I are happily on our way to LA. I will try to update you here on the activities over the weekend as much as I can but will definitely be posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Asics Giveaway. The two winners are: Anel and Wendy R. Please email me at nycrunningmama@gmail.com ASAP so I can get you those promo codes! a Rafflecopter giveaway And I wanted to wish a very happy, happy birthday to my mom who is celebrating her special day today! I am bummed that I am not there to celebrate but my sisters and I got to spend the evening with her last night at the annual Ladies Night for our parish. I posted my goals earlier this week. Any last words of wisdom or advice on the course? Hope you have a wonderful weekend and have a wonderful race or long run if you are planning one! I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}. read more

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 →

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!!! After a string of some wonderful days of running, I woke up on New Year’s Eve with a headache, congestion and general body aching that always indicates the start of something more serious. Stupidly, I forced myself through my first brick workout in months – 45 min on the trainer followed by an easy 5 mile run. It felt good to bike again, but I felt like crap. UGH. Later that afternoon, we all went to my sister’s where we rang in the New Year. Despite still feeling awful, I had a blast staying up late (2am for me) and playing Just Dance” (my first time) with my sisters and parents. As much as I wanted to start the new year off running, my body was not having it – I did not run Wednesday or Thursday. I was/am disappointed but decided it was better to be smart and take a few days off rather than push my body more than I had already. My husband was off both days and we spent most of the last few days rearranging various rooms in our house <- This is what I do when I can’t run! First up Continue Reading →

The Dichotomy of Running

Why is it always that the things that make us the happiest also have the ability to make us the saddest? These past few weeks have been a perfect example of this. During my most private moments, I find myself wanting to cry over the disappointment from Philly. When I let my mind wander, it immediately goes back to moments from the race when things started to take a turn for the worse. To say I’m devastated is an understatement. I invested myself 100% in this race. I did not miss one workout. I pushed my body harder than I had before. And although I was thrilled with the journey to get to the start line, I was still looking forward to setting a huge PR. And when I didn’t even come close, I felt like a part of my world disappeared.  There have been plenty of moments the last few weeks where I have had ZERO desire to push myself – or even run – of wanting to sleep more than usual and of eating more than I should have been. It’s gotten better as the days have gone by, but I know I’m still not over the sting of Continue Reading →

Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap

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So first some GREAT news! I was selected as one of the 20 Inspirational Runners in the US by Dailyburn! The people on this list are amazing runners and people and I’m incredibly honored to be put in the same category as them. ——————- These things are much easier and fun to write when it’s about a great day.  Part of me doesn’t want to write it at all because it would be much easier to just try to forget last Sunday, but I know I learn a lot from reflecting on a race and I’m hoping it adds some sort of closure that I haven’t found yet…so here goes. Last Sunday was not the race I had imagined it would be. Some things went well. Other things not so well. I can sit here and try to find what exactly caused my having to walk and finish >10 min slower than I had set out to run. But, the truth is, I can’t blame anyone or anything except myself. Regardless of whether it was my diet, my pacing, my salty sweating or my ambitious goal time…it was MY doing. I own up to everything that happened that day and Continue Reading →

2013 Philadelphia Marathon – Lesson in Not Quitting

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First, I just want to give a HUGE congrats to Hallie, my “cadet” from the Saucony 26 strong team who is a marathoner!! Congratulations, Hallie!! =) This isn’t the post I had planned on writing. I ran a 3:23:02 yesterday – almost 90 seconds slower than my PR was not how the day was supposed to unfold. I know some runners would be more than happy with this time and I am not trying to minimize the time or sound like a spoiled child who isn’t satisfied – I know it’s a good time and that it qualifies me for Boston. But, I wasn’t trained for a 3:23. I was trained for a significantly faster time. I spent the last 3 months getting up at 4am to do tempo, interval workouts or long runs so that I could smash my PR yesterday. The last few weeks, my mind played out the marathon with a wide range of outcomes: hitting my goal time, hitting my “dream big” time, and PR’ing were all there. 3:23 was not an outcome I anticipated.  Every long training run was at a faster pace than I finished yesterday, including a 24.4 miler (over 10 seconds faster per Continue Reading →

Training for Finish Line not Finish Line Clock: Philadelphia Marathon Goals

My target race, the Philadelphia Marathon, is just four days away. I’ve talked about the things I’m doing differently this training cycle. It has been the most enjoyable, exciting training cycle to date – and I think the primary reason is that I have eliminated the stress of going after a certain time. I often go into a training cycle with a number in my head…a number I want to see on the finish line clock. My whole entire training cycle revolves around that number. I spend months obsessing over it. While I think it’s great to have a time goal, it doesn’t seem to work for me. I get so tied to that number that it becomes a do or die for me. Even if I’m off by just a minute or two on race day, I feel as if I came up short and failed. I went into this training cycle with my head up, my heart open and my eyes focusing on the finish line (not the finish line clock). For the first time in recent years, instead of picking a concrete number and then training for that, I have trained with no specific time goal in mind other than wanting to 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

RnR Philly Half + Benefits of Using a Running Coach

Tomorrow, all of my boys will be staying at home as I make the short trip for the RnR Philly Half. I’m a little excited, a bit nervous, but surprisingly, mostly calm about the race.  There is a HUGE part of me that would love to PR on Sunday. My PR stands at 1:32:23 from this year’s NYC Half and while I know that I have a faster half marathon time in me, I’m not quite convinced the time is now.   My coach and I have decided to use this race a gauge of where I am in my training and to help set more concrete goals for the marathon in two months.  There was very little taper for this (I did an 8x800m workout on Tuesday and a 17 miler last weekend) since we are not using it as a target race. Eyes and focus on the prize (Philly Marathon). Which I think is why I’m so calm about the race.  This is my first real road race since the Ironman and Ironman training last spring. I have virtually no expectations, other than knowing I am going to run as smart and as hard as I can for 13.1 Continue Reading →

NJ Marathon Race Recap

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First, thank you SO much for all of your encouraging and supportive words on my last post – I’ve reread them over the last few days numerous times and they’ve helped put me back on the right track.  Physically, I feel great.  My legs were a little sore on Monday (not even 1/2 as sore as they were after the NYC Half in March), and by Tuesday felt recovered and strong again. Emotionally, I’m getting there.  I think it’s helping that I have the Ironman to focus on now – as much as I want a redemption race, it’s just not in the cards for me now.  The IM is rapidly approaching (11 weeks!!) so time is of the essence. So now the recap…it’s a lengthy one. I am writing this post in such detail because I want to remember every part – the good and the bad.  So if you plan on reading, you might want to get comfortable =) After a fun, exciting week in Atlanta and working with Mizuno (more on that later this week), my husband, boys, and I flew back to Newark Friday morning.  We landed just before 2pm and after a quick stop at my Continue Reading →