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??

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.

IMG_3450.JPG

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!

—————————————-

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

Another 5K

Are 5Ks my new favorite distance?!? Maybe but probably not. I still love putting my body through 23 mile runs in the grueling heat every summer so that I may put myself through 26.2 grueling miles every fall. The things we do for love. Sigh.

I podiumed in my second 5K race- 2nd place in my age group. I also PRed with a 22:29 (ish) – I forgot to stop my Garmin. I was hitting around 7:16s until mile 3. Then came a mini bridge and my pace slowed to around 7:30. Other than two mini bridges, the entire course was flat. I love flat races.

Image

my plaque and messy hair/sweaty outfit.

3 reasons why I am starting to love 5Ks:

  1. GREAT for speed work: If you are tired of running laps around the track, doing pick-ups/intervals every week, switch it up and just run 3 miles..fast.
  2. Perfect way to gauge progress: Running a few 5Ks before a big race is a great way to see how your pace has improved. The distance is short enough to not interfere with longer runs/get injured but long enough to be challenging at a hard effort.
  3. More races! There are wayyy more 5Ks than longer distance races. You can find a race almost every weekend and often during the week as well.

In other news, I went to the doctor for my posterior shin splints to make sure I don’t have a stress fracture. Even though I’m glad I raced that 5K, was probably not the best idea :( I will hear on Thursday.

Other other news/impt questions: Has anyone ran in the Brooks Glycerin 12s yet????

 

It’s that time again…

KT TAPE. I wrote about this before and how much I love it. I have posterior shin splints AGAIN. I think my legs/feet are trying to tell me something: time for new shoes. My last pair of Mizunos were in JANUARY before the NJ Half. I definitely think it’s time. I am still obsessed with my Wave Rider 16s and am sad I can’t pick them up at my local running store anymore. I have been thinking of switching to Sauconys because they are pretty similar to the Mizunos. I’ll keep you posted.

Back to taping. I really do think it helps. There is no scientific evidence and some believe it might just be a placebo effect but I’LL TAKE IT. As long as it doesn’t hurt you, why not try it? Advocates of taping say that taping helps improve blood circulation in/around the affected area, thus alleviating the pain. I taped my ankle/shins for my morning run (10 pick ups at faster than 10k pace with warm up/cool down) and felt pretty good. My (very) short term goal is to get through this 5k I am racing tomorrow. I want to PR or try and place again haaaa. I joke but I would be so happy and amazed if I could.

In case anyone is wondering where I learned how to tape, this is the video I used for my shin splints. I’ve followed the other KT videos in the past and they’ve all worked! Also if you are wondering (because I am SURE you are) what my taping looks like right now, here it is (I had to wear a pant suit today to cover up the hot pink)- you’re welcome:

Image

———————————-

Has anyone tried taping before? Tell me your story!!

Coaching and Heart Rate Zones

So I recently started working with a coach. I figured that since my anemia fiasco, I should start my training fresh because I really have NO idea where my running is at right now. I’ve always wanted to try working with one because I’ve tried so many of those online training plans and nothing seems to have worked (of course, this may also have been because I had no red blood cells). My marathon goal (again) is to hit sub 4:00. I know, this is not very fast but for ME it has been something I haven’t yet accomplished. I’ve only just started with coaching so obvi I have not yet seen the benefits but in due time, I hope to see changes.

One thing that my coach has me focusing on is pacing and heart rate zones. I’ll have to admit, I’ve never trained by HR before. Since my Garmin HR strap seems to be half broken or something, my HR zones have been set by my recent race paces and I am learning to run by feel. Yesterday’s workout consisted of 5x8mins in each of these zones:

  • Zone 1: very comfortable pace
  • Low Zone 2: able to hold convo
  • High Zone 2: still able to hold convo but a bit harder
  • Low Zone 3: low end 10k pace (can’t hold convo w/o stopping)
  • High Zone 3: high end of 10k pace

At first I thought it was easy but this workout is actually kind of challenging, especially because you are forced to start a bit slow. I was having a super hard time getting myself to run too so I turned Spotify to the Notorious B.I.G. station. Yes, guilty.

——————————————————

Who uses a coach?? How do you like it??

What do you do to motivate yourself to run??

 

Summer…in May.

Ok, people. What is up with this weather?! This past weekend I ran in almost 90 deg heat and thought I was going to pass out. My workout consisted of 6 pick-ups at about 10k pace. I was sweating buckets. Now, if you remember last summer, I suffered terribly during my runs. It was so hot and muggy, like, everyday. Let’s not repeat that, please. Ok, maybe the anemia thing had something to do with it too BUT as a reminder (really, to myself), here are some tips for hot weather running:

  1. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. Do not just hydrate during your run.  Most people forget to hydrate before/after their runs, especially if it’s going to be more than an hour. If possible, throw some electrolytes in there (like Nuun, my fave).
  2. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, sweat-wicking clothing. Please girls, leave all that cute tight stuff at home. You won’t be so cute anymore passed out on the road.
  3. Do not run when the sun is at it’s peak. Run either early morning or in the evening. Avoid 12-3 pm. If I have a longish run scheduled, I will usually start my run at 6 am or after 5 pm. Do not make excuses- there is always time.
  4. Pre-cool before a run. Ice your neck, core, or forehead for 10-15 minutes before a run or eat/drink something ice cold. This will bring your body temperature down and prolong the amount of time running before your body temp hits that peak. I have never done this but have thought about it every single time I run sooo that sort of counts, right?
  5. Focus on effort, not pace. You will run slower in the heat. I guarantee it. Focus instead on maintaining a similar effort. If you try to maintain the same pace in the heat, your body will just get tired faster and not be able to complete the workout. Or you will just feel like crap the whole time and probably the next day. All this means is that when your chilly fall race arrives, you will be much faster!
  6. Hit the ‘mill. As much as I hate this thing, sometimes it is just necessary. Better to run on this than not run at all!

Of course everyone has their own way of dealing but these tips are what come to mind and based on experience, it does work (minus that cooling thing which I will try this summer). Feel free to add some more tips in the comments below!!

Who is ready/excited for running in excruciating heat?! Not me.

haha