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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?

 


3 Comments

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!

 


9 Comments

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?

 


10 Comments

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??


12 Comments

29th Birthday!

My 29th birthday started out with an early morning 6 X 800s track workout. I ended up running around the street I started my running journey on. It’s almost a perfect mile loop which worked for an 800 interval and a recovery lap. When I first started running, about 7 years ago, the goal was always to try and make it down the street to the stop sign, which was a half mile.

not the stop sign, but a sign!

not the stop sign, but a sign in Indiana!

Trying to make it to the stop sign was always a struggle. This was back when running 1-2 miles without stopping was the hardest thing ever. It was so difficult to push past the sign and continue on. My pace used to be 12:30/mile and I never thought I’d be sprinting past that sign a few years down the road. I wish my future self could have told that sweaty, tired, past Cori that she gets a little faster, running gets easier and she actually will enjoy it :)

Each split I did the morning of my birthday was between 3:00-3:10 or 6:00-6:20 pace. Every time I passed that sign I felt so much more confident entering the last year of my 20s. I cannot wait to see how I rank as the oldest in the 25-29 age group throughout the year!

 

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I spent the day with family, a carrot cake, my favorite pizza and a campfire with s’mores! I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed pizza from home. Nothing compares to it near me.

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what a beaut!

I really soaked up time with a few people while I was out here and I can’t say enough how much I love all of them.  And campfires. I really love campfires.

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Jaxon, Brant & Mason

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SIL Trish, Brant & Jaxon

Running while on vacation this time didn’t go terribly. I only missed a run or two and I’m planning on waking up early to squeeze in a long run before I take off. When I’m back into the normal routine of things this week i’m buckling down and 100% focusing on finishing marathon training like a beast. I’m getting excited!!!!!

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clearly, i’m not the only one who enjoys S’mores!

Weekly Recap

Monday: 8.5m 7:41/pace, 25min back & hamstrings, 10 abs

Tuesday: 25min chest/shoulders

Wednesday: 7.1m easy 8:44/pace

Thursday: 20 min back

Friday: 7.3m track workout 800s

Saturday: 10 min 50 pushups, abs

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 22.9

What is your next race!? I’m doing the Geek Run 5k next Sunday!

 


8 Comments

We Cam Do BUnch ofr Brefsast

Wednesday: 7.1m easy 8:44/pace

Thursday: 20 min back

Friday: 7.3m track workout 800s

So It’s my birthday! The last year in my 20s, the last year in the 25-29 running age group. And as i’ve stated a few times here i’m trying to do things that make me happy. I also realized this means i’ve been turning into a bit of a “Yes Man” and having a good time while trying new things and keeping busy.

Last week I got an email of the places DC serves bottomless brunch (both drinks and food at a set price/set hours). Without hesitation and a week of planning Emmeline and I hit up Zengo!

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We have absolutely no problem talking and eating for hours on end. Don’t you love when you find friends like that? Especially friends you can talk about running to for hours and not feel bad about it. Or when you have bite sized waffles?

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We started with breakfast faves, eggs benedict, waffles, bacon fried rice (haha), bloody marys, sake sangria (there was an asian fusion thing going on here) then moved onto lunch with sushi.

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As the bottomless mimosas kept being topped off with extra champagne the fun pictures started happening. I’m pretty sure we said, “this is gonna be so hot.” haha

I guess the waiter liked our table–and the table next to ours–Emmeline found a soccer buddy to talk to–and he brought us mango shots. DELICIOUS!

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and the shot!

About 2:00 we decided to hit up a museum. We chose the natural history. Neither of us had been there in a while and I got to learn all about Emmeline’s crazy adventures visiting Africa.

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Inside the museum we took the only important pics of the day: and elephant butt & something that looks like something I don’t want to talk about, but couldn’t stop laughing at.

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And the obligitory Monument pic. Although, i just wanted it because the sky looked sooooo awesome!

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What should I do for my last year as a 20 Something year old??

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