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?!

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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.

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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!!

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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

How is your fall training going?

Queens Half Marathon Recap

Sunday was the Queens Half Marathon! Like I said, I was a bit nervous because I had no idea how I would do but I finished the 13.34 mile course (yes, the course was actually longer and not just because I didn’t stick to the insides..) in 1:50:26.

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The course: Two loops around the park/lake and a lot of turns, some pretty sharp. It rained the day before and water built up around the lake so there were a few detours. This actually made the course longer than 13.1 soo that means I actually finished around 1:49. The entire course was also pretty flat. Only a gain of about 65 ft.

Organization: Very well organized despite the detours. And a great post race spread too!

My pacing: I tried to stick to a consistent 8:30 for the first 8 miles then ramped it up to 8:20 and faster for miles 9, 10, and 11. I ended miles 12 and 13 around 7:30. I felt pretty good the entire time and definitely had energy left in me. I definitely think I could have picked up the pace a little earlier.

So far I’m pretty happy with my training. I’m really nervous about Philly but also super excited!! I hope to PR this marathon and maybe exceed my goal. Here’s to some hard training!

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!

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

Running and Traveling

I am back from my Alaskan cruise! Actually I’ve been back for over two weeks but have been busy with our new house and planning my next trip :D Ok, no excuses. I will do a separate post on Alaska but for now, I wanted to talk about running while on vacation/traveling. It is really one of my all-time favorite things to do and I think it really is the best way to see a new city and explore where you are. If you really love to run then I guarantee running in a new place will make you love running even more. One good thing about traveling with Phil is that he is the only person I know who will run with me during our travels and it is kind of important to me to be with someone who shares this love. Here are some tips for running while traveling:

  1. Map out a route before you go: Do some research on where you will be staying and map out a running route, especially if you will be in an unfamiliar place. That way you won’t stress about where to run and you can also plan out how far you want to go.
  2. Look for nearby trails or parks: This makes planning out your run easier because you will already have a paved route and I guarantee you will see locals running in these areas.
  3. Research and contact local running clubs/stores. Often times, and especially in larger cities, local clubs and running stores will have scheduled group runs. This is a great way to meet locals and see the town.
  4. Look for a race: Do some research and see if there is a race going on during the time you are in town.
  5. Try to run with someone. If not, bring a phone. This will not only help if you get lost but in case you run into any sort of trouble.
  6. Run an out and back. I usually plan a route that starts and ends at wherever I am staying. That way, you won’t have to worry about how you will get back to the hotel from your run. However, sometimes it’s fun to end your run at a local coffee shop or bakery too if it isn’t too far from your hotel.
  7. Always bring your I.D. and cash. Just in case. On the same note, don’t run with too many valuables.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings. Always be alert, especially in unfamiliar territory. Try not to run with earphones or run with the volume low.
  9. ENJOY/EXPLORE where you are!! It is the best.

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Does anyone run on vacation/travel?

Where was your favorite place to run?

Share some tips!