2015 NYC Trail Festival 25k

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For weeks, I envisioned myself setting a 5k PR this past weekend. I had found a great, flat 5k course relatively close to my home and with a few 4 and 5 mile tempo runs (during Wineglass training) that were pretty close to my 5k pace (~12 seconds/mile), felt that with the shorter distance, fresh legs and flat course, a 5k PR was well within grasp. But a couple of weeks ago, the desire to race a 5k started to disappear. The logistics of the race were not as easy as I had anticipated plus I realized it fell on the same weekend as the NYC Trail Festival, a local trail race that I participated in four years ago. I LOVED the race, course and entire experience when I ran it in 2011 – and each year, keep it as a possibility on my race/training calendar. Two years ago, I was making a silly attempt at a marathon PR (in Rehoboth) the same weekend. Last year, my husband and I planned to run the 25k together, but the forecast called for rain the day before and on race day – and since neither of us spend a lot of time on the trails, we were Continue Reading →

How to Pick a Goal Marathon

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One of the most asked questions I receive via email is what marathon is the best for a first-timer. In my opinion, that is completely up to the individual runner. There are a lot of factors that will go into what makes a race a great race – for you – things like travel, family/friends at event, course, time of year to travel, etc. Deciding to run a marathon is only a small part of the first step. One of the biggest and most important steps is choosing your goal race – which can be pretty overwhelming since the number of marathons grow each year. So how do you go about choosing your goal race? There are a ton of factors that have gone into every marathon I have run. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to find a race that satisfies every single criteria I want. So, the order and importance of these factors typically change cycle to cycle. I’ll start with what is the most important to me for my next race and then begin eliminating from there. There have been instances where I want to pick a good course to chase down a PR (Wineglass) and others where Continue Reading →

Tips for Destination Races

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Last year, my sister and I traveld to Hawaii to run the Honolulu Marathon with the other members of the Saucony 26 Strong team. It was an amazing experience filled with good friends, relaxation, SUN and warmth! Even though it wasn’t a goal race for me, I was anxious and nervous about traveling 11+ hours only a day and a half prior to the start of the race. We flew out on a Friday morning, arrived that afternoon (Hawaii time) and ran the 26.2 miles early Sunday morning. Between Hawaii, flying out to Los Angeles (~6 hours) for the LA Marathon two years ago and driving (~5 hours) to the Wineglass Marathon last month, I’ve had some experience with destination racing. Destination races always sound so appealing when you are planning them, but if you are like me, reality sets in as the race approaches about how tough it can be on our bodies. Below are some of the things I did in the days leading up to and during the travel to Hawaii to ensure that I was as fresh and stretched out as possible. Many still apply if you will be traveling by car or other form of transportation. read more

Humana RnR Virginia Beach Weekend + Recap

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This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Virginia Beach for the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. It was a fun ~48 hours filled with some running, great food and lots of time with friends! I landed in Norfolk Friday afternoon and after a quick Uber ride, was in the Virginia Beach area. I met up with my friend, Chris (aka RunWestin) for dinner at Eat – and were joined by Jennifer and Michael. The food was amazing – definitely a great restaurant to try if you are in the VA Beach area (thanks, Jen, for the recommendation!). Saturday morning started off bright and early – Jess picked me up and we headed to her in-law’s home where we sat around and chatted for several hours (we had plans to watch the sunrise with her children but the rain and stormy skies prevented that from happening). We finally made our way to a local park for a few shakeout miles. This park is gorgeous – relatively flat, packed dirt to run on and TONS of local runners getting their long runs in. I even ran into Ally while we were there – it was Continue Reading →

Wear Blue, Memorial 4 miler + Competitor Photo Shoot!!

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If you are planning on running this weekend, consider participating in the Wear Blue: Run to Remember. wear blue pauses to remember the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have answered the call to defend our country’s freedoms. Our goal is to honor those who have sacrificed their lives by reaching over 10,000 runners in blue. All details can be found here. ———– This Monday is the Memorial Day 4 miler on Staten Island (I talked about it a couple of weeks ago). I am still hoping to participate in the race but due to some hamstring pain, I’m waiting until after tomorrow’s run to make the call. I woke up Sunday and felt some discomfort in my left hamstring. It wasn’t pain but more of a tight hamstring. My husband and I went on a 5 mile recovery run (my little guys slept over my sister’s home the night prior so we were taking advantage of some child-free time). My hamstring didn’t hurt – but it was still tight and I felt like I was overcompensating with my stride. I stretched and rolled later that night. read more

Summer/Fall Racing Plans

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Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!! Just a reminder about the THREE giveaways I’m currently hosting! North Face $500 gift card  NOW Foods box of goodies Garmin Vivofit 2 and Jonathan Adler bands ———- There’s something so exciting about sitting down and mapping out the next few months of racing. It’s filled with endless possibilities and dreams just waiting to be chased. Now that Boston is over, I’ve been able to figure out what I want to do for the remainder of 2015. I was on the fence about training for a fall marathon, but I’m still riding the post-race high and have decided to use the momentum and keep plodding ahead. May 16: Brooklyn Half Marathon – Pacing my friend, Jen! FINALLY running this race after years and years of signing up and then not running (pregnancy, family party, recovery from marathon)! The plan is to be in charge of time/pace – Jen will just focus on running – I will keep her on track with pace, grab her water and offer any pep talks that she may need – and hopefully not annoy the crap out of her!! Should be a fun way to celebrate her birthday Continue Reading →

It’s Okay (Women’s Running post)

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Note: This post was originally posted on Women’s Running. Regardless if it’s your first or fifty-first race, you are probably like me and still get anxious and worried about race day. What if you start too fast? What if you don’t run the time you want? What if you do something wrong or make a running faux-pas? Take a deep breath and relax. It’s OKAY to do some things, even if they aren’t necessarily the best decisions or if they technically break some of the so-called running commandments. (Who makes these up anyway?) Life and racing is about living and learning, right? Here are some of the things that (I think!) are OKAY to do on race day: It’s OKAY to cry at the finish. And at multiple points along the course. It’s OKAY to spend way too much money on race photos. I always gasp at the price but if it’s a special race and/or I actually like the way I look running, I splurge and buy them! It’s OKAY to put on some makeup and fix your hair. Because: selfies and #2. It’s OKAY to wear the race shirt even when everyone tells you it’s bad luck. It’s not, trust Continue Reading →

The Fastest Mile of My Life!

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I went outside my comfort zone yesterday and raced a mile (for the first time ever!). The Forest Avenue Mile (on Staten Island) has been a race that I have planned to run the last few years, but when the time comes, I wimp out or make excuses as to why it’s not the right time (usually because it’s smack dab in the middle of spring marathon training). My coach and I decided about two months ago that this would be one of the two races I ran prior to Boston Marathon. Period. Boston training has gone really well (knock on wood) and I felt like a “down” week in mileage (both total and long run) might be a good thing before the last final push prior Marathon Monday. I did a mini-taper for this race. Regular speedwork on Wednesday, normal planned mileage for Thursday and then reduced mileage for Friday (6-7 miles) and Saturday (4-5 miles). So, onto the race. It started at 12:10pm which made it a bit tricky for me in regards to fueling beforehand. I ate my usual breakfast early (3 eggs with brussel sprouts, onions and tomatoes) and then a banana with almond butter late Continue Reading →

Honolulu Marathon Weekend

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I’ve wanted to share the details of this past weekend since I returned early Tuesday morning but my focus for the last few days was on spending as much time as possible with the boys and my in-laws (who arrived Wednesday AM from Alaska!).  My heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this program with Saucony and Competitor, happiness for my sister and the other first-time marathoners who dealt with high winds and a tough course on Sunday and love for the other ladies who I was lucky enough to share three days with. It felt like a girls weekend in Hawaii – with a 26.2 mile run thrown in for fun. The selfish part of me wishes my sister and I could have stayed longer – but for many reasons (work for her, my in-laws arriving from Alaska for me), we were on the first flight out of Honolulu Monday morning (630am – which was painfully early after 26.2 miles the day before). But I was glad to be going home. I always look forward to having some adult time away from the boys, but I miss them like crazy when I’m away from them. Continue Reading →

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 →

2014 Rivertown StrollerDerby + Entry Giveaway

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I enjoy running with the boys in the stroller although I don’t do it as frequently as I would like since I’m focused on marathon training (and would prefer to run the prescribed pace and distance). I’ve run one race (fun run) with the stroller and LOVED it. I would definitely do more races with a stroller if they were allowed – but a lot of the races I’ve signed up for often prohibit the use of strollers (which is understandable if the course is tight). And I’ve never participated in an event where there was a special stroller division (although I know some races have these). Which is why I love what my friend Lindsay is organizing! Enter the Rivertown Strollerderby! Not only are strollers allowed at this race, but they take center stage with the chance to win up to $1,000 (top three finishers w/ strollers win $). Highlights from the website: Date: Sunday, September 21 at 9am Location: Hastings on Hudson (just 29 miles north of Grand Central) What: A unique race event designed to encourage moms and dads to keep pushing after baby. Who can participate: All runners and walkers are encouraged to participate (even if you don’t have 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

2014 New Jersey Marathon Recap

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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 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 →

Bring On The Offseason

HUGE congrats to everyone who raced this weekend. From what I saw on twitter, there were a ton of PRs and amazing races!! So, in case you didn’t see on Instagram, I gave the marathon another shot this past weekend – I participated in the Rehoboth Beach Marathon. I alluded to the fact that I was going to do a “redemption” race a few times but decided to not openly blog or talk about the race on social media. I’ve learned that I put entirely too much pressure on myself and wanted to see if it would be less stressful if things weren’t so public. (Side note: I didn’t enjoy hiding what I was doing – I felt kind of sneaky not talking about things.) I was excited to head down to Rehoboth because I finally got to meet and hang out with Jess and Elizabeth! We went to dinner Friday night and hung out pre-race in their hotel room (trying to stay warm because it was cold and windy). They BOTH ran amazing half marathons – Jess set a huge PR and Elizabeth ran a strong first race back after not running for months! read more

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 →

RnR Philly Half Race Recap + Review

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Sunday was an absolutely wonderful day for two big reasons. I PR’d the half…but more importantly was what happened AFTER the race: My adorable, huggable godson’s Christening Day! After crossing the finish line at 9:32, I chatted for a few minutes with Mike, a runner who I managed to hang with through mile 9 (I think?) and then who negative split the heck out of the race and finished over TWO minutes faster than me. I got my medal, grabbed a water bottle, and ran the 1.5 miles back to the hotel – where my car was waiting {bags packed and already in the car too} at the valet. I drove the 80-90 minutes home to Staten Island, showered, got ready, and my husband, boys and I were at my sister’s house by 1pm. I may not have had the fastest race time of the day, but I’m fairly certain I would be in the running for the fastest transition. HAHA.  Thankfully, my husband is amazing and got both boys dressed and ready while I was concentrating on myself. —————— read more

Sub-1:32 Half Marathon -> FINALLY!

Happy Monday!!  As I mentioned last week, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon yesterday. A full recap (and race review) will be coming later this week (hopefully tomorrow), but wanted to share the good GREAT news. I PR’d and finally got the sub-1:32 that I missed in the spring. The race wasn’t perfect – I started too fast and was kind of done by mile 12, but I was able to squeak out a 1:31:57 thanks to perfect running weather and a {relatively} flat, fast course. Did you race this weekend? Anyone PR? If you had to pick – would you prefer perfect running weather or a flat, fast course? This is a tough one – I think I would prefer perfect running weather. I despise the cold and really don’t deal well (mentally) with the wind. ————————- I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}. For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out: 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 miles. Continue Reading →

Staten Island Triathlon Race Recap

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Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! The weather was incredible all weekend in NYC – we finally are having the summer days that I dream of – sunny, warm days and cool, breezy nights. PERFECTION. So, I signed up for a local sprint triathlon early last week. My intention was to race it if my body felt recovered, complete it if I wanted to, and skip it if my heart wasn’t in it.  I was {this} close to skipping it.  My oldest son and I went to his first minor league baseball game (the Staten Island Yankees) with my mom, dad, sister and her family. The stadium is on the northern edge of Staten Island which gives you these amazing views of NYC’s skyline – all while you are taking in a baseball game! We had a blast. My son watched a bit of the game, walked around with me for a while, and enjoyed some baseball stadium food (fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, ice cream). There was an amazing fireworks display post-game followed by the opportunity for all the little ones to run the bases! read more