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Philly Part 1

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5m easy recovery 9:25/pace

Once I pull my thoughts together from Sunday’s half i’ll do a recap. Right now i’m still wrapping my head around doing a half in the middle of training for a marathon, what that really means and how tough it was not to go all out during a race.

For now we can focus on the fun! Traveling for a race is soooo much fun when you do it right. I.E. pack all the things you need, compress and roll the hell out of your legs after sitting in a car and of course carbo load properly.

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Pack all necessary items–> I have a half checklist I use, but what I need to add to it in the future is “bring extra running clothes for when it’s warmer or colder than expected.” Especially during fall races where it can be cool one day and blazing hot the next. In my case it was humid and warm. I wasn’t expecting that at all and ended up a tad overdressed and warm.

I was too warm with a tank top on and compression socks–although i love the socks, they’re not very comfortable in 80 degree weather. I’m hoping the Chicago Marathon will be cooler so I don’t need to worry about wearing Pro Compressions.

I wore a tank over this and the compression socks--although i love them, not very good for weather close to 80 degrees :(

Compress, stretch and roll your legs!* I always place an asterisk on this one because it’s not something you want to do days or the night before the race if it’s not normally in your routine. Light stretching and foam rolling is a great way to keep your legs loose, but be careful of stretching until it hurts or leaves you sore! Once I overheard a girl at a finish line say, “i can’t believe how sore i was the whole race, guess I shouldn’t have foam rolled for the first time last night.” No, she shouldn’t have done something entirely new the night before a race. Sometimes common sense falls asleep during the days before a race and you think trying something different will give you a secret edge on race day. Unfortunately it doesn’t.

Now the fun stuff. Carbo loading. I generally start adding carbs (the white delicious kind) into dinners the week of a race. Because this half marathon was in the middle of a training cycle i didn’t start a week out, i started Friday night with a pizza…even though i forgot to take a picture of it haha.

store bought dough, mushrooms, spinach, vodka sauce, sausage & mozzarella

store bought dough, mushrooms, spinach, vodka sauce, sausage & mozzarella

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Saturday morning (day before race), I had blueberry pancakes and in the evening before the race I had pasta, bread and a beer (don’t worry just one! and it was accompanied by water).

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Definitely went into this race well fueled, legs felt as good as they could have and I did my best with Chicago Marathon at the forefront of my mind :)

Workout recap!

Monday: 20min shoulders

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 20min chest/biceps

Wednesday:  6.3m tempo 7:45/pace, 20min back/triceps

Thursday:  Rest

Friday: 5m easy 9:10/pace

Saturday: Rest (walked around Philly)

Sunday: 13.1 Race 7:35/pace 1:39:25!

Total Miles:  29.5

Have you ever used a half marathon as a tune up for a marathon?

Ever go into a race completely un-tapered?

 


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The Big Easy

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 20 min chest/biceps

Racing season just got real. Sunday I was scheduled for 16 miles, but I am running the Philadelphia Half Marathon this upcoming Sunday, so i wanted to wing it and shoot for 18-20 so I could get a long run under my belt and possibly try and race this weekend and not be burned out.

I woke up at 5:30am.. completely unaware it’s pitch black at that god awful hour and it threw me off. You can’t run (nor should you) run alone in the dark on trails. I drove to the trail i planned to run on and headed to the lit main roads and stayed the course until the sun started rising. Then I found another entrance to the same trail and kept on with the plan.

After 20 :)

After 20 :)

The plan was to run 10 miles at a really conservative pace and the 2nd half just 20-30 seconds faster and see how i felt heading into those last 2-3 unplanned miles. I kept the pace around 9:00 for the first 10. From miles 4-11 I ended up on a half marathon course! Whoops–the Parks Half Marathon was on the same path so I got to enjoy the local crowd support, cheering and lots of runners. I was traveling the path early so some of the crowd thought I was the first woman coming through and I kept having to say i’m just on my Sunday 20 miler! Just on my 20 miler.. who am i!?

It was a challenge to stick to the pace plan while there was so much excitement around me so I kept telling myself i have races coming and i have to go a lot further than 13 miles. At the 10 mile turn around I decided to pick up the pace and gradually  kept going faster. My last  3 miles were 7:50 pace—Mile 20 was a 7:46.  Yeah, i’m tooting my own horn, because i’ve been WTF‘ing all over the place and i felt really in control and had a TON of energy even after i was done.

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Things I took away from this long run:

1) You can conserve energy by running slower in the early miles. This run proved I can pick up the pace and I don’t have to waste fast miles early on.

2) Eating frequently about every 10-15min starting at the first 30min works for me. Even though at one time i held a GU pack for almost 45 minutes, taking small bites was easy on the stomach and i never hit a wall. (bonus, i got to check my watch for “food time” which distracted me from pace/distance/time etc.

3) Compression socks must be made of angel wings. My lower legs, which have been problematic for me, felt perfect the entire run.

4) It’s very important to check in with yourself during long runs. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling so you don’t end up injured or hurt.

5) Boston qualifying time is still in reach. I had big doubts because of the crunched training time from the ankle injury, but I feel like if everything goes right, it could happen.

6) After a crazy long run you have to treat yourself.

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Previously on Cori’s Workout Log…

Monday: 20min Kettlebells shoulder/squat workout

Tuesday: 6m 4X600s,  20min biceps/chest

Wednesday: 20min triceps, 10 abs

Thursday: 7.1 tempo 7:59/pace

Friday: 50 min core/upper body

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 20m easy 8:35/pace

Total Miles:  33.1

What’s your favorite after long run treat?


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It was the Best of Runs, it as the Worst of Runs

Last Saturday was one of the top 3 worst attempts at a long run. I forgot to lay out—everything—the night before. So I was up at 7:00am trying to make decisions. Clothes, food, what to bring, where to run, music playlist, you name it, I was not prepared at all.

Once I finally got everything together an hour later I drove to the hilly trails where I figured would be a great place to conquer a long run.  I walked out of my car, started warming up my legs, took about 5 jogging steps toward the trail and it hit me. A migraine. The blurry vision, throbs with every step headache. My logic was to continue and see if it subsided (i had just taken some allergy medicine and a lot of water) because I really really needed to fit the run in. (Also-I just dumped almond milk on me as i’m typing, i think this long run has some bad juju attached to it.)

compressing the day before

compressing the day before the long run

Anywho, to make the long run story short, I did just that. I cut my run short. I tried so hard to continue and make it through, but it was one of those days where every little thing about running wasn’t comfortable. My left shin was tight, I didn’t like the shoes I was wearing (they gave me a blister–more on that later), I had chaffed a few days before and the spot was still sore, I HATED the music i was listening to, i’m not a fan of carrying a water bottle, it was humid and hot, I forgot sunglasses.. i mean the list goes on.

I battled with myself about cutting the run short. What if I always stopped when it gets hard? What if the marathon hits a place where it’s unbearable? I realized that doing 6.5m in complete mental and physical agony (with the headache getting worse) I was allowed to call it a day. It goes to show you that there are always terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run days.

The thing you learn from the bad runs, is that usually means there’s an awesome run around the corner. It Just so happened to be the very next morning. Sunday I had my shit together and was out the door in half the time as the day before. I chose to tackle the same trail, cause i had to prove to myself the day before was a fluke. The weather was a lot cooler which always helps, I had a pack of Honey Stinger chews in my pocket and a left the water bottle in the car, hoping i’d stumble on a water fountain. Which I did, cause hello, this was the awesome run!

All the things that were irritating from the day before were fixed or better. I wore my new Saucony Mayhem’s which feel like light clouds, I stayed at a decent 8:43/pace (don’t forget i’m running hills!), I hit a brand new trail, that I realized heads right into DC, and I ended up feeling so good that I did an extra mile to make it 15 for the day.

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What I’ve learned from doing long marathon training runs is that you have to prepare for them like you do for race day:

-Lay out your clothes the night before

-Plug in all your electronics you’re taking

-Have food/coffee/water ready to go

-Pick out the location for your run

-Prepare your music or running playlist

Marathon is just around the corner.. i’m excited to see what happens!

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Last Weeks Roundup!

Monday: 5.2 easy 8:19/pace

Tuesday: 4.1m easy 8:40/pace, 20 biceps

Wednesday: 7m tempo 7:30/pace, 15 min glutes

Thursday: 4.5m easy 9:00/pace, 30min legs/shoulders

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6.6m easy (but not really) 10:00/pace

Sunday: 15m 8:43/pace easy, long

Total Miles: 42.4

What are your tips for long run training?

When do you call it quits on a run that isn’t going well?


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Train for Terrain

What I’m liking this training cycle more than last is that i’m FINALLY slowing down during easy runs and pushing during hard workouts. This is leaving the ol’ legs refreshed on the hard days, and is letting me enjoy the easy days because they are finally, truly easy. It only took me about 6 years to get that concept.

Running lately has been tough though. Where i live is nothing but hills–and not hills like baby bunny rollie pollies–They’re monsters. The kind that remind me of the Rock N’ Roll DC race from this year. The kind that defeat you, force you to stop, wheeze and angrily shake your fist to the sky!

Okay, alright! I don’t live in the mountains or anything, but this Midwestern girl has flatland legs that never forget. Which brings me to my next point. The half and full marathon I’m attempting in the next 6 weeks are “flat and fast” as the websites always claim. However, when you run hills all the time, flat and fast can equal muscle burnout when you’re not used to it. The best advice I was ever given as a newbie runner was to train for the terrain.

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After a treadmill run in my new Saucony Mayhem’s

The first time I put this into practice was Cincinnati’s Flying Pig. When i found out the first half was a 7-mile climb i panicked. I was training on pancake flat roads in Indiana. The 2 things I turned to for help was the treadmill’s incline button & the trusty stairmill. I did 2 workouts a week that I considered hill work. (Hey i was a newbie, i had no clue what to do!) I would climb the stairmill for 20 minutes at a moderate effort, then finish with miles on the treadmill. I wanted to get my legs used to running tired. The second workout I did was hill sprints. So I’d do a normal/easy run on the ‘mill and sprinkle in hard sprints on a 3-4% incline. Those workouts saved me and proved effective when I hit a 9 minute PR.

While training for these flat races, most of the time I get outside, but right now for a few of my speed workouts and recovery runs i’ve hit up the treadmill. Strange I know, but I feel like I need to get used to the same muscles being used over and over again so I don’t burn out during these flat races.

Making sure I don't burn out from Froyo either.

Making sure I don’t burn out from Froyo either.

The uphills/downhills/straightaways on a hilly course give your muscles relief by changing the muscles being used. On flat courses you repeatedly exhaust the same muscles the entire race. This sometimes gets overlooked when you see “flat and fast.” I swear sometimes I look forward to small hills just to work a different muscle and get a break.

Basically what I’m getting at here is that I know the hills I live in are gonna help me kill these races, but I can’t overlook the fact that flat is not what i’m used to. Always do your course research and see if you can mimic the difficult parts in your hometown. The Chicago Marathon has a lot of straight miles or mile and half spots that have no turns, nothing but running in a straight flat line. I found a trail that runs alongside an expressway and it’s straight and seems to go on forever… I’m trying to get my mental game into it!

Kara's running Philadelphia 1/2! Hope to see her sometime during that weekend.

The always inspiring Kara, who’s running the Philadelphia 1/2! Hope to see her sometime during that weekend.

Kristina recently hit up an overpass to prepare for the hill in the Portland Marathon (her 1st!) this fall. Such a smart thing to do because once she hits that hill in the actual race she can picture the training she did up the overpass. These tricks help during races!

How do you train for destination races with different terrain than what you’re used to?

 


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Phone Dump Volume 4!

Monday: 5.2 easy 8:19/pace

Good Morning! And welcome to another blogpost where I just don’t have time to put together a real thought–but–I can show you guys some runner up pictures that didn’t quite make it into a post. Golf clap and pretend they’re important! Here are your runner up, excess random pictures…

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Here I am getting ready for my long run, before a loooong car ride back from Indiana

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corn

midwest corn

Trader Joe's.. why do you have such awesome bad for you foods?!

Trader Joe’s.. why do you have such awesome bad for you foods?!

Don't Ask.

Don’t Ask.

on a bathroom stall. I like bunnies

on a bathroom stall. I like bunnies

Brant and Me

Brant said I was a good pitcher – I said he was a good hitter. We made a good team :)

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seared Ahi!

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Friends: Old, New & Awesome.

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Weekly Workout Recap

Monday: 6m tempo 7:48/pace

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:50/pace, 20min chest, 10 abs

Wednesday: 25min full back, legs

Thursday: 7m interval (2m warm up 8:30 pace, then 4m intervals of 90 seconds @  6:35/pace, 60 seconds recovery  @ 7:40/pace for 4m, 1m cool down)

Friday: 11.1m easy 8:48/pace

Saturday:  Rest

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 29.1 *

*I hit 114 miles for August! Getting back to the old grind.

Brag about your weekend runs! I wanna hear!

 


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Treadmill PR!

Monday: 6m tempo 7:48/pace

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:50/pace, 20min chest, 10 abs

Wednesday: 25min full back, legs

I did something kinda cool. I crossed off a fun resolution I had for this year. I ran a half marathon on the treadmill in between clients during a work day! First, this was the longest distance I’ve ran on a treadmill in general, so hey, new PR! I always save long runs for first thing in the morning or weekends as I’m sure most runners do, but I was feeling the extra miles were worth it to check off a res.

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After the Treadmill Half

When i was done with that workout I realized my shoes are trash. The edges are worn, the cushioning just isn’t there and it’s time to shoe shop. What makes me upset (not the shoe shopping!) is these shoes only have 210 miles on them. I’m pretty disappointed even though I love the Saucony Kinvara 4s.

They got me through a few half marathons and a TON of speed workouts. I almost solely (<–bad pun alert heheh) used the Kinvara’s for speed work over the last year. It seems a little early to donate them, but my legs don’t feel right after a run in them.

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What do you guys use to determine shoe retirement? I did a blogpost about this a long time ago and most still holds true to me. I always notice physical wear along the outside on the heel (i slightly pronate) and running starts to feel flat. I’m disappointed I can’t seem to get much more than 200-300 miles out of my shoes before buying a new pair. Although most shoes I wear are lightweight, cushioned and I don’t think they get higher mileage.

I’m thinking of buying a more sturdy, traditional shoe for longer, easy runs and sticking with lighter 4mm drop for speed work since it’s what i’m used to. I had a discussion with Emmeline about zero drop, 4mm, etc. It’s like a little cool club you’re in that really doesn’t make an ounce of difference to anyone but the individual running. Whether you run in traditional 9-12mm drop shoes or zero it doesn’t make you anymore badass or even a better runner. It just means you got your muscles used to a different heel drop and the preference is the “natural” footfall. But like everything from the gel you consume or running without underwear…it’s all a personal choice for whatever works best for you.

I do and will always rotate 2 or more pairs of shoes with a different heel drop. This helps prevent injury. So as I hunt for my next two pairs of shoes for fall rotation, send me out your recommendations and how you know shoes need to be hung up! I’m always curious!

 

Weekly Recap

Monday: 10m easy 8:09/pace (super-flat midwest)

Tuesday: 5.2m 10:01/pace (super hilly humid east coast day after running 10 and sitting in a car all day run)

Wednesday: 25min upper body

Thursday: 13.1 easy 8:35/pace

Friday:  20min chest/biceps

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 3.1m easy race <—ended up not racing, just enjoying!

Total Miles: 31.4

Shoes?

How are your New Year’s Resolutions doing?

 


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The Cottage

Monday: 10m easy 8:09/pace (super-flat midwest)

Tuesday: 5.2m 10:01/pace (super hilly humid east coast day after running 10 and sitting in a car all day run)

Wednesday: 25min upper body

If you know me for long enough you’ll hear the elusive words, The Cottage like i’m referring to a good movie you should have already seen. In actuality, it’s just a lake house. You know, a house that sits on the lake. There’s nothing too fancy or special about it. What makes is awesome, is the people.

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I had a difficult time on and off during this trip. (If you forgot, I was supposed to get married last Friday). Being with friends, family, a lake and a few drinks helped me through it. And of course a couple of excellent early morning runs never hurt–What better way to clear your head, right?

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I did a ton of thinking about my job, relationships, family, life, and iced coffee while I was out running the old routes through Munster, IN. Came to a few conclusions and realizations that I’ll share in the near future, but for now i’m just happy that i’m seeing things clearly and starting to make decisions to keep this happy train chugging (and no, not chugging beer haha).

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Joe, me, Patrick & Liz

For now I’m trying to regain some focus back on the Chicago Marathon. It’s 52 days out. My longest run has been 10. EEK. I’m hoping that Sunday’s 5k and September’s half marathon provide some good info for Chi. But I mean, if worse comes to worse, I know i’ll finish this marathon during a crazy time in my life and that itself will be an accomplishment. Either way, there’s always another marathon right?

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Kathy & me

 

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Where do you go to get mental clarity?

What’s your best marathon training tip??

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