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 amazing to finally meet her after years of following each other on social media.

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    RnR Philly Half Recap + Heat Exhaustion in Cold Weather

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    This sandwich (brisket of beef) was enormous!

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    If you follow me on social media, you probably saw the pictures and chatter in the days leading up to last Sunday – my sister’s first half marathon!

    The weekend started off smashingly – 5k PR for me, a YUMMY lunch at a historic deli close to our hotel, fun time at the expo visiting our friends at Sparkly Soul and listening to Chris chat on stage and then meeting up with the rest of our family who arrived in Philly around 2pm.

    We hung out in the hotel for a bit before heading to an early dinner at an Italian restaurant. Dinner was delicious, the company was even better and the excitement was immeasurable.

    My sister and I left the hotel at 6:30am and walked the mile to the start area.

    While she hung out and relaxed in our corral, I did a short 2.5 mile warmup. My legs felt really tight (not sore) from the 5k the day prior and I wanted to make sure I stretched and warmed up before asking my legs to run another 13.1 miles.

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      5k PR -> 1st Sub-20!

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      Good Morning, Philly!

      I showed up to the start of the RnR Philly 5k with no expectations. With the exception of a tough, tired interval workout this past week (that didn’t leave me feeling very optimistic), I hadn’t done formal speedwork in weeks (July 29th to be exact) and so didn’t have a good feel for how the race might go.

      My one goal was to run strong and consistent – to not go out too fast and finished satisfied with my effort and execution. Races like this turn out the best for me. No stress or pressure. Just the excitement of being at a race atmosphere (which I LOVE).

      The course was touted as being flat and fast – but just looking at the start and finish, I knew it wasn’t completely true (the finish had a very steep, short hill right at mile 3 – heartbreaker!). And the first mile was a very gradual decline (so mile 3 is a gradual incline). My garmin shows about 130 ft of gain (mapmyrun shows 110) – not anything huge – but even the smallest hill in a 5k feels like a mountain!

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        RnR Philly Half Race Recap + Review

        Me + My godson + his parents + sister + godfather
        Me + My godson + his parents + sister + godfather

        Me + My godson + his parents + sister + godfather

        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.

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          Sub-1:32 Half Marathon -> FINALLY!

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          All ready to race!

          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.

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          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:

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            RnR Philly Half + Benefits of Using a Running Coach

            Mile 12 of 2013 NYC Half Marathon

            Mile 12 of 2013 NYC Half Marathon

            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. Whether than means a 6:55 pace, 7:05 pace, or 7:25 pace.  I have a race plan that I am going to stick to as best as I can (read: not starting too fast) and hope for the best =)

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              Winner of VIP Entry for RNR Philly Half

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              Happy Monday!

              The winner of the giveaway is Amanda (Miss Zippy).  Amanda – please contact me so we can get the registration and details sorted out ASAP!

              Thank you to everyone who participated. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of running =) Recap of last week’s running + amazing 17 miler will be posted soon!

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              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:

                Spring Racing Decisions

                I am signed up for the NJ Marathon on May 5.  I was registered last year, but deferred (for free!) when I became pregnant.   This IS my target race for the spring.  It’s a flat, fast course and I have big dreams of running sub-3:10.  This is ultimately what all of my training will revolve around.  I want all the races I choose to run to add to, not take away from, this goal.

                But I have a dilemma.  I am toying with the idea of running either a March marathon or half marathon as preparation for NJ in May.  Here are my options:

                Option A: Run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon (or the B & A Trail Marathon) on March 16

                • I would use this race as a test run before the NJ Marathon.  Truth be told, I haven’t “raced” a marathon since Boston 2009 – that’s almost FOUR years!! I ran the NYC Marathon in Nov 2011, but had to run the first half with four other runners (it was at a pace much slower than I’m used to running) so I didn’t get the opportunity to push myself for the full 26.2 miles.  I feel like using it as a test run could be a great idea – work out any issues I may have – fueling, water, clothes while also getting in the mindset of pushing for 26.2 miles.
                • The NJ Marathon is 7 weeks after these two races, so there is plenty of time to rest/recovery, get a few good long runs, and taper again.
                • This would require me to begin training NOW since the marathon is 15 weeks away.  Am I ready to begin putting in the long runs necessary for this?  I am not sure.  I’m still having a hard time being away from my boys – even for short runs (unless they are asleep).  And I’m not 100% sure I’m in the mindset of having long runs every single weekend.

                Option B: Run a half marathon (maybe NYC Half?) mid-March

                • This race could easily fit into my marathon training plan
                • I have HUGE goals when it comes to the half (I want to take 3+ min off my previous PR of 1:34) so would love a chance to PR during marathon training
                • The rest/recovery for this race would be much less than marathon (two weeks total as opposed to four) so I could focus on more long runs
                • I wouldn’t have to start training for another few weeks (just after the holidays)

                Part of me REALLY wants to run a marathon as soon as I can and I know I can definitely be ready by March.  But I’m not sure if doing one that soon would actually hinder my goals for NJ Marathon as opposed to help them.

                What are your thoughts?  

                Have you run marathons ~7 weeks apart?  Did you feel rested and ready to race again? 

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