Michelob 13.1

WOW has it been a while?? Philly seemed like so long ago! Since then, I’ve been training with a new coach and have set a new goal for a spring marathon. I haven’t chosen the race yet but will keep you posted. I am looking for a course I can hopefully BQ on (yes, that’s my new goal!). I ran Queens yesterday and of course there was a snow storm on the first day of spring, the night before the race. The race crew did an awesome job clearing the course but there was still some unavoidable slush and puddles. I finished 5th in my age group in 1:41:25, missing my goal time by 1:25 :( However, given the conditions, I am happy with my performance bc I still PRed! I plan to run the course again in April to redeem myself.

Do you see the snow in the background?!

michelob half

This is a short post but I would LOVE to hear if anyone is also trying to BQ or has any tips on a BQ course???

Race Report: Philadelphia Marathon

I made it! It’s been a little over three weeks since the Philly Marathon. I finished in 3:50 and I’m pretty happy with that. I had very even splits which I’m also happy with. My “A” goal was 3:45 and my “B” goal was 3:50. Never a bad idea to have more than one goal. Things change on race day.

IMG_1979-0.PNG

The course: Whoever tells you the Philly Marathon is flat is lying to you. Ok yes it’s mostly flat but there were definitely a few steady uphills that hurt around miles 10 and 20. The first half of the course goes through the city and its different neighborhoods. There are a ton of spectators. The second half is an out and back along the water. Not as many spectators but those who were out were awesome.

Phil paced me during the second half and I don’t think I would have met my goal otherwise. I never really hit a wall but was so tired by mile 20 that I knew I would have slowed down if he wasn’t keeping pace. I don’t regret anything that I did during the race and for the first time am proud of my performance. Go, red blood cells! I felt so different during this race than any other marathon.

I’m signed up for my first post-marathon race this Saturday, a local 10k. Can’t wait to start the next cycle!!

————————————-

Who ran a fall marathon?? How did it go??

Taper Time!!

Hello, strangers. It’s been so long that I am now tapering for the Philly Marathon, which is THIS Sunday!! I am sooo nervous but excited. Like I’ve said, this is my first marathon since my anemia and I have absolutely no idea how I am going to do. Some news to share with you all:

1) I got a new watch!!! Garmin Forerunner 620, courtesy of Phil for my birthday :) I really love it and it is much lighter than the Forerunner 610. It has the same touchscreen and is very easy to use. I was able to figure it out after my first run with it. It also calculates your cadence and vertical oscillation so you can check your running form – always a good thing!

watch

2) I registered for an RRCA Coaching Certification course!! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time so when they finally opened up courses for 2015, I immediately signed up. Once I am all certified and junk, I hope to start working with some newbie runners and get my coaching biz rolling ;) Any takers?!

Since I am now tapering, I want to share some things I’ve been doing this week:

  • Trying to up my protein and carbs (this is never a problem). A lot of people make the mistake of ingesting a ton of carbs the day before. You should ideally start “carbo-loading” days before the marathon but don’t forget to increase your protein so your muscles can recover from all your hard work too and be fresh for race day!
  • Drinking tons of water + electrolytes: Again, start a week before!
  • Trying to foam roll everyday.
  • No alcohol :(
  • Sleeping early (again, not a problem for me)

Fingers crossed for PHILLY!!! Good luck to anyone else running!!

——————————–

Has anyone used a coach before? Anyone interested in coaching??

Any tips for Philly??

Another Half + One liners

Ok, no more halfs before Philly! I ran the Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon last weekend because I’ve been hearing that Philly has some Central Park-like hills. Since I haven’t been running in CP much lately, I thought this race would be a great training run. I ended up finishing (13.3) in 1:49, with steady pacing over the hills and negative splits. I was happy. I was also surprised that my time was better than the Queens Half, which was a pancake flat course. Based on recent race times, my coach also adjusted my goal marathon finish time. I will keep that time to myself until after the race, so I don’t jinx myself ;)

During hard runs/races I often find myself repeating the same one-liners and I also find myself giving the same advice to friends who are either training for a race or just starting to run. So I thought I’d share a few:

  • Focus on the mile you are in: Do not worry about what your pace will be the next 3 miles. Do not think about how many miles are left. Just concentrate on getting through that mile. The rest will follow.
  • Never judge a race by the first mile: You will either start out too fast or you will be slower than you anticipated. It’s okay. You have time to adjust…unless you are training for a 5k- then you should worry about the first mile ;)
  • Slow down. This usually comes during the first half of a race. The adrenaline is pumping and you just want to go all out because you THINK you can sustain this pace. You are wrong. You will never regret those negative splits. Save your energy for the second half- that is when the race really starts.
  • Where there’s an uphill, there’s a downhill: Hills can be our friends. Befriend them. Think of the downhill as your time to recover.
  • Trust the training. You’ve put in the work and come this far. Now is not the time to stray. Let the training take over.

These never get old for me and I always find myself repeating them at least once during a race.

————————————————————————————

Does anyone have a running mantra….that they’d like to share???

How is your fall training going?

Races

In prep for the Philly Marathon on Nov. 23, I just scheduled my fall races and am super excited. Here they are:

Sept 14: Queens Half Marathon

Oct. 5: Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon

Oct. 18: Flushing Meadow 10k

Oct. 23: Hoboken 5k

Ideally you want to schedule a half marathon about 4-6 weeks before the full so you can sufficiently recover. A half marathon is also a good time to execute pacing and fueling strategies and to test out that new running outfit.  Remember, nothing new on race day! Schedule shorter distance races closer to the marathon to build strength and incorporate the last bits of speedwork into your training. Just be careful not to schedule anything too close to the race or you will not recover properly. 

I am getting excited for Philly and also am excited to watch the NYC Marathon coming up in a few weeks!

—————————————-

Who is running a fall marathon this year? Tell me how your training is going!

New Jersey HALF Marathon Recap

Hello, ladies and gents! An update on my anemia: I have been getting iron infusions every week and taking iron tablets every day to get my levels up to normal. They are still pretty low but I have been feeling SO much better, better than I have felt in YEARS. I was told my condition has been progressing over the years and I think this may explain why I have felt so crappy while training for Chicago and Berlin.

I was not allowed to run the NJ Marathon yesterday but was able to run the Half, so long as I was conservative with my pace and listened to my body. I felt really good and for the first time in months was able to run without stopping to catch my breath. Phil and I ran at a pretty comfortable/slow pace (he would yell at me if I sped up) and finished in around 2:04. Obvi not a PR but that wasn’t what we were after yesterday. We wanted a safe, fun, run and we got just that.

The course: FLAT. I can see why so many people PR on this course.  I will definitely be back to run this once I am healthy again. There were one or two tiny bridges but that was it. The half started at 6:45 a.m. and the wind didn’t pick up until later in the day (felt so bad for the marathoners! You guys rocked!). You run through neighborhoods and pass gorgeous houses for most of the course. The last 1.5 miles is along the water and you finish on the boardwalk so that was nice.

The people: It was a pretty small race but the locals were so nice and cheered for us the entire time. There are not many spectators on the course but the ones who were out were awesome, handing out water and cheering people on.

Transportation: We bought a start-area parking pass and got in/out of the race with no problem. We didn’t encounter much traffic getting to the race either. Our hotel was about 2 miles from the start line so that made everything pretty easy. The start/finish areas are in different places but there are buses that will shuttle you from the finish to the start. We didn’t take this but I saw a lot of buses so don’t think it would have been a problem.

Overall, great day, great course. We were there with Phil’s family and had such a good time. It was the first time I have felt good about a run (even though I couldn’t really “race”) in such a long time. That being said, I just signed up for the Philly Marathon 2014!! Who’s running it with me?!

More Hurdles

As runners, SOMETHING always comes up that tampers with our marathon/race training, whether it is a nagging injury, a health issue, a life event, weather (ok, this is a bit extreme), etc. We know our bodies and we know how much we can sustain. Therefore, we will also know when something is wrong.

These past few months of training have been hard for me. Not because of the weather and not even because of my foot. My training runs have become progressively hard to run, as in the more I run the less stamina I have. Weird, right? Because usually the more you run, the better your stamina, but for me it was just the opposite. I found that I had to stop and catch my breath a LOT and it was difficult for me to maintain a pace that should be easy for me. So finally, I decided to get a physical and my doctor told me that I am “extremely, extremely” anemic. Apparently I have so little blood that he is surprised I am able to run for more than 5 minutes. My doctor attributes this feat to my runner heart and lungs (they have been working overtime). Therefore, I am SO thankful that I have been able to run this far for so long. Long story short, I am waiting on more test results to see what the next step is – I am beyond the point of just taking iron supplements because my blood count is that low.

What’s next? I am still waiting to hear back but for now, it doesn’t look like I will be running NJ next month. My training has not been where it’s supposed to be and I don’t want to jeopardize my health. That being said, I am thinking of registering for the Philadelphia Marathon, which opens tomorrow! Has anyone run Philly before??? I would LOVE your thoughts and any advice on the course!!!!

—————————————–

Tell me about some hurdles you’ve overcome as a runner, big or small. Inspiration needed!