Berlin Marathon recap

It’s done. I’m in pain.

The course was pretty flat with a lot of downhills. It’s no wonder a new world record was set in this race! It would have been the perfect course to set a PR… but I didn’t (we’ll get to that later). The spectators were amazing and there was so much energy. Since my name was on my bib (everyone’s is) spectators were yelling my name and that was really motivating. You also pass a lot of great architecture and neighborhoods. I tried to look up at my surroundings but most of the time I was too focused on just being done. Some downsides to this race- there were a few narrow parts where it was really hard to pass people; the water stops were really crowded and there was no getting around it; bag check was kind of a nightmare. Overall I would highly recommend it and given the chance, would definitely run this again.

Now, my performance. I didn’t go into this race very confident. I knew my tempo runs weren’t on pace so I didn’t plan on hitting my goal time. I did, however, hope to PR. Unfortunately I was about 4 mins off. I don’t really know what it was. Although I ran the most even pace, my pace for the first twenty miles was the slowest it’s been. My feet, knees, and IT band also decided to bother me all at once from about mile 3. This has never happened in training. I think the Hanson’s Method was good at keeping me on a steady pace (and that’s really the goal of the plan) but I think I trained at a slower pace than I should have. My body was also so tired by the end of training that my motivation was pretty low. I think I will revert back to my standard marathon plan- I can take being tired from running but I didn’t like being tired OF running.

Next up: Bermuda marathon.

Now it’s time to really enjoy Berlin!!

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Last Long Run

On Saturday, Phil and I finished our last 16 mile long run together. I am so glad we did because we got to eat lots of yummy bbq afterward plus Sunday was disgusting and hot. We set a pace and I think we did a pretty good job at sticking to it (minus the horrendous hills that I had to very, very slowly climb while Phil yelled at me for quitting). I am still kind of sore from our run, which means it was good.

I am very nervous for Berlin, as I usually am with any marathon I run. However, this time I am extra nervous because of this new training plan we are using. I just need to be confident that it will work. Even if I don’t hit my goal, I am hoping to PR at this race.

I also want to share with you guys a very special deal- buy one get one for 99 cents BLIZZARDS at Dairy Queen!! I got the mint oreo blizzard and Phil made his own with Reese’s. I just HAD to get one because sadly we don’t have a DQ in NYC :(

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Do you have a DQ near you?

What is your favorite Blizzard flavor??

My Hanson’s Method review and Another Pair of Mizunos!

Sorry, guys. I accidentally published that first post. Ok here we go again. My fourth pair of Mizuno Wave Riders and my second pair of the 16s. It was really time to replace my shoes. I had logged over 600 miles in them. I just love these shoes so much:

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I ran 10 miles in these today, mostly through Summer Streets and my ankle did not hurt one bit. Hopefully these are the answers to all my problems!! My run today also felt really good and my easy pace today was actually 1:30 min faster than the pace I’m supposed to run. I didn’t stare at my Garmin the whole time like I usually do and instead ran “easy” by gauging my effort.

20130817-135905.jpgWe have about five weeks left to Berlin and I was really losing hope because my pace wasn’t picking up and I felt sluggish and slow all the time. I know a lot of it had to do with the weather but it sure isn’t a confidence booster. However, now that it’s cooled down a bit, I’m starting to see the benefits from running in the heat combined with the Hanson’s Method.  The HM calls for four key runs: Easy, Speed/Strength, Tempo, and Long.

Easy Runs: During the easy run, your pace should be between 1:00-2:00 slower than your goal marathon pace. I obvi love the easy runs but even my easy run pace was feeling hard for me in the summer heat. Recently, I’ve been running easy based solely on effort and I think this has really helped. Let your effort dictate your pace, not vice versa.

Speed/Strength Workouts:  I actually really enjoy these runs because each week is different. It’s kind of exciting to see what the next workout is going to be. These workouts are meant to be hard and your pace is dictated by a 5k/10k goal. I was very discouraged by these runs because most of my speed workouts were done in the heat and my pace was about 0:30 slower than my pace goal. However, these few weeks, during my strength workouts, my pace has picked up and I am a lot closer to my pace goal. As you continue to do these workouts, your pace will get better. The key is to commit and be consistent.

Tempo Runs: These are the hardest for me because tempo runs are marathon pace runs at a longer distance.  Your tempo runs are a good way to determine what your marathon pace will be. I have not been able to sustain my pace goal for the entirety of the run and may have to scale back my goal, but that’s okay. The important thing is to, again, be consistent with your pace and know what you can sustain for 26.2 miles.

Long Runs: These should also be between 1:00-2:00 slower than marathon pace. I’ve been pretty loose with my long runs, running at what feels easy for me. By the time your long run comes around, your legs are really tired after 3 consecutive days of running, including a tempo run. So, it’s okay that your pace is a little slower because on race day, your legs will be refreshed.

I am starting to see the benefits of the Hanson’s Method. I definitely feel the effects of the cumulative fatigue but as the weeks go by, my legs are less affected by the fatigue and are able to perform better. You will likely be discouraged in the first half of training but things will start to pick up toward the second half, after your body has adjusted and grown stronger.

5 more weeks!!!!

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-Anyone ever try the Hanson’s Method?? I’m so curious to hear from others who have!

-Anyone training for a fall marathon? How are you training?

Hitting the Training Wall

I am now officially at the halfway mark of my training for Berlin. These last 10 weeks have been tough. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so much in my life. I am starting to experience aches and pains in my knees and shins (again) but am just praying that the stick and stretching will get me through it. I think it’s also time for a massage. 

These past 10 weeks have been hard for me because I feel like I have been repeatedly hitting the wall during many of my runs. I feel like my pace hasn’t picked up and I am always tired. I know that being tired is part of the cumulative fatigue training so it must really be working on me! However, I am hopeful that I am finally getting past this training wall because although I wasn’t on pace yesterday, my effort felt better and today’s easy 6 mile run really did feel easy. Fingers crossed for the two easy 10s this weekend. 
 
Phil always yells at me for not fueling properly and eating enough (damn you, MyFitnessPal!!) so my resolution from now on is to practice fueling during every run over an hour (that’s going to be the majority of my runs). I used to chew blocks and sports beans but I’ve really  become a fan of Gu Roctane (prob also because Phil got me a HUGE box of it for Chicago). 
 
Last weekend’s long runs were fun for me because two of my brothers ran with me for part of my runs (C came on Saturday and A came on Sunday). I told A that I would give him $100 if he finished 15 miles. He kept up for 4 miles :D But I am proud of them for sticking it out!! Neither runs on a regular basis and C texted me the other day telling me he wants to run again. I am a proud sister indeed. 
 
Here is our run on Saturday. I forced C to take a video of me running so I could analyze my own gait. I need to straighten myself out. 
 
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-What kind of nutrition do you use?
– Anyone else hitting the training wall? What do you do?
 

Ladder Run and FOOOOD

I am very upset. Tuesday’s speed workout called for a ladder run: 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and back down with a 400m recovery in between each set. It was hard and my Garmin was supposed to be keeping track of all my sets. BUT IT BROKE. I went to upload my workout yesterday and nothing showed up for Tuesday. It was like it didn’t even happen. Maybe that means I should forget how sucky the workout was and focus on my tempo run today in the 90% humidity. Sigh. The things we do to run better.

Since I feel like I have been MIA, I want to share with you photos of what I’ve been up to:

Phil took me to BGR in DC a few weeks ago (not to be confused with BRGR in NYC. Sadly, there is no BGR in NYC…yet). They are known for their burgers so of course I got the lobster sandwich. It was the best lobster sandwich I’ve ever had, mainly because there was a ton of lobster and most importantly, NO MAYO ( I don’t like mayo).

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Phil gets me snacks when I go visit. Specifically, he gets me bags and bags of chips. I had Baked Doritos for lunch everyday this past weekend (please ignore the Super Mario pants I am wearing):

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Back in NYC, FaceTiming with Phil. He is wearing my Ninja Turtle shirt.

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I made this last night. It was supposed to be broccoli mac n cheese but I didn’t use mac. I ran out of one kind of pasta so I just mixed whole wheat shells with whole wheat penne. I also used frozen broccoli from Trader Joe’s. I used this recipe from skinnytaste (of course) but below is my adaptation (I tried to make it even healthier):

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz whole wheat pasta (you can really use any type of pasta you want!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp TJ’s unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cube chicken bouillon
  • 8 oz (2 cups) TJ’s Shredded Lite Mexican Cheese Blend.
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz TJ’s frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

Directions (this is directly from the website):

  • Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once the sauce is thick, remove from heatadd cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

This makes about 6 servings at 387 calories/serving.

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– Where do you get your recipes from?

– Favorite chips??

Week #3 and Baked Ziti

Ok, I know this is a bit late but I needed to share this recipe and tell you that I didn’t miss any of my workouts in week 3. I am really understanding this cumulative fatigue thing because I sure am fatigued and definitely felt it during the 10 miler last weekend. I have been trying to ice my shins regularly, roll out my legs with my foam roller+ stick, and wear my compression socks when I’m home. Icing and rolling is very important, people!

Now for what I will be eating/have been eating for lunch this week: baked ziti with chicken sausage and spinach. I took THIS recipe and just added 4 links of TJ’s sundried tomato basil chicken sausage (out of the casing). I ground up the sausage first then added the spinach after the meat was fully cooked.

This is what it looked like right before it went in the oven (it looked even better after but I don’t have a good pic):

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If you guys don’t know about this website, it is amazing and I am going to try all her recipes http://www.skinnytaste.com/. This week’s training has been good so far. I subbed Monday’s easy run with spinning because of my shins and already feel better. I have also been trying to do Pilates at least once a week to keep up my strength. I am starting to hit my paces during my tempo runs (this was a problem for me before) and am just hoping it keeps up. I am also looking for a few 5ks to do for time trials so if anyone is interested, let me know!!

Two easy 8 miles this weekend in DC. While Phil is at work, all I plan on doing is running and eating the bread and chips I hope he bought me. I’ve also decided to make a list of my fave things to do/eat in DC since I am there all the time. Stay tuned :)

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What are your plans for the weekend?

Any good races coming up??

First speed workout

Today was a busy day on the track. I did my first speed workout on the Great Hill Track in Central Park. I’m not a huge fan because it’s an unpaved track so it’s not smooth and there are bumps and gravel all over :( There was also some field trip going on/super soaker fest because I dodged about a million kids, trying not to get hit with water. In addition to the super soaker fest there were two running groups doing track workouts so all in all, a lot of dodging and weaving.

The workout today was 12x400s with 400 recovery. One of the dudes from the local running club asked me how long my workout was because I had been there forever. It’s true.

My 400s came in between 2:01-2:07 (averaging about a 2:03) and I recovered by walking/easy running 400. I felt pretty good after the workout but it was really long. I didn’t really like the recovering part because I felt like it took me forever to walk around that damn track…not to mention the track is only 350 meters so you actually have to go a little more and you feel tricked.

After my run, I was stretching and saw a lady walk by with an injured pigeon in her hand. I was kind of grossed out but then immediately felt like an awful human being when she came up to me and told me the pigeon was dying and she wanted to lay it down to die near the trees. But then she touched my arm after she put the pigeon down and I started to silently freak out. I’m such a horrible person. Sigh.

For dinner tonight I had popcorn and more chocolate covered bananas. Dinner really is the easiest meal of the day.

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What would you guys have done about the pigeon?!