Hey guys! This will be my last post until I’m back from the tropics of Jamaica, hopefully you won’t miss me too much 🙂 Be great! Work out hard! And Run HAPPY!
Be back in a week!!
I have only known Laura since earlier this year, but we became quick friends with her love for sports, beer and her newly found interest in distance running. As she got further into her training it made me think of my own 1st half marathon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember much about it, so I asked Laura if she might want to guest blog and talk about her 1st!
Hi everyone!! I am super excited to share my first half marathon experience with you all!
Let’s start from the beginning. I originally bounced the idea of a half marathon around for almost six months! After going back and forth, I decided to talk with friends who already done a half and realized, maybe I can do this too! Only a few select people knew I was planning to run the Baltimore Running Festival Half and I didn’t even tell Matt! I wanted to start training and get my confidence up prior to telling him. I was afraid of disappointing him or myself! But, I had multiple training plans to chose from and once I finally picked one, I got started training right away.
Training, training, training! Blah! There were so many times when I was running I thought – holy crap I’m not going to be able to so this! Why did I sign up for this again? But I stuck with my training plan (loosely) and kept going. The best thing for me was having 13 weeks to train and a 10 week training plan, therefore I had extra days to play around with!
Moving forward to Race Day–Talk about nerve racking! We got into the city and parking took forever! Matt had to jump out of the car while we were in traffic to make his 5K start and get to the front of the line to go sub-20. Cori and I found a bomb parking spot and off we went to watch Matt finish! We were super pumped that he went under 20! The morning went by so fast and then it was our turn to get ready for the race…
The lines for the bathroom were forever long and the sheer anxiety of not making the start of the race was eating at me! All I wanted to do was pee, get to the start line, run, and run fast. After a quick pep talk from Cori, she was off to the front of the half runners. Matt and I met up with Becky (who ran by my side the whole race) and we began walking toward the start our race! Matt gave me a last minute pep talk that ended with me happily saying, “I wanna run fast.” I smiled and was off.
The first mile of the half seemed like it was forever away! I thought to myself, holy crap this is gonna be tough! As we scooted around Patterson Park I kept busy by looking for some friends and co-workers in the crowd, reading the signs people were holding, then laughed about the signs, and enjoyed the water/Gatorade stations! Becky was by my side the entire time to keep my wanting to run fast under wraps. She gave me extra words of encouragement–especially on the uphills! Let’s just say mile 5-7 = woof! Talk about struggling!
We got to lake (mile 7) and swung by the medical tent for some Vaseline to save my rib cage from the major bra chafing! Then we passed through a few neighborhoods, up and down more hills, then the final turn toward the last 3 miles! I definitely experienced a runners high, because I had an itch to run faster, started running faster, and couldn’t stop smiling! What crazy person smiles during a half marathon?! Apparently this girl!
At mile 12, I felt some tightness through my hips and quads, but Becky and I just kept truckin’! We finished in an awesome time of 2:16.14, close to Becky’s PR on that course, and way faster than I thought I would go! The free beers and snacks at the end made this girl a happy camper!
After the race I quickly took off my running shoes and put on my sandals. The aftermath of the half was blisters and having two bruised toenails – pretty colors to say the least! I had blisters on both my little toes and big toes!! And I would do it all again!!
I can’t thank my family and friends enough for all their love and support! A special thanks goes out to Cori for going on long, hard, sweaty, hot runs with me; Becky for being awesome person to run the race with and keeping my mind from doing math problems the entire 2+ hours we were running; and Matt for being a loving and supportive husband and believing in me.
Tuesday: 8.7m 8:42/pace
Whoa, sorry I’m so late on my workout summary! I am fighting with a cold and this sumabitch is going down. In all seriousness, not a lot of running happened last week, but I did surprise Cameron for his birthday with a hockey game on Saturday!
First we went to District of Pi Pizzeria before the game. I’ve been missing Chicago and all it’s awesome foods since moving out here. This place was definitely good, we had a thin crust and a deep dish. The thin crust won me over. The deep dish was nothing like Chicago’s, but I wasn’t expecting it to be either. It had a bigger focus on the tomato topping as opposed to the cheesefest Chicago likes. But more importantly, the beer was great! haha.
Besides having our usual weekend fun, we’re in full on pack-for-Jamaica mode around the apartment. When i vacation, (especially this one–out of the country, on the beach with all inclusive drinks), I like to be present and disconnect from the ends of the earth. I will not be calling, texting, facebooking or blogging. But I will take plenty of pictures to catch everyone up on my adventures when I return. Don’t worry, they have a gym & treadmill, so i will still be preparing for my first 10K on Nov. 3rd!! (You can still sign up –> the Parks Run 10k)
Monday: 25 min shoulders & back, 10 min abs
Wednesday: 20 min abs
Thursday: 3.4m easy 9:18/pace, 20 min chest & biceps
Friday: 35 min weightlifting, 1 hour HIIT circuit training
Total Miles: 3.4m (week after a race is always low mileage week)
Gotta get back to packing for vacation!
Anyone have an upcoming trip?
I like to cross train with weight lifting & high intensity workouts. I lift pretty heavy
for a girl compared to most women who tend to be afraid they will “bulk up” or look like a man. Newsflash, it won’t happen.
Women do not have the hormones to look like a dude and the women who do are taking drastic steps with diet, supplementation (probably and unfortunately some type of hormone or steroids) & weight train daily for hours on end. What I’m trying to say is… Don’t be afraid to lift weights!! (unless you have no idea what you are doing–then get a Personal Trainer or workout with someone who has experience with free weights & lifting.)
*jumping off soapbox, but will return to this subject another day*
I had a crazy workout yesterday with Matt. We used to lift every Friday, but since his intense 5K training and my racing season we haven’t had time. Yesterday was our first day back to it and it felt great!! Matt was lifting 155 lbs, I was doing 65lbs then dropped to 45 when I got tired. We did 5 sets of 3 exercises: 12 deadlifts, 9 hanging power-cleans, & 6 push-jerks. (I’m can’t really explain what these are, if you’re interested just google it.)
This was exhausting, but i love it and need it. After eating a handful of almonds & grabbing water I wanted more. I ended up working out for another hour with a client and my boss. We did box jumps, TRX rows, sit-ups, ring dips, boxing, etc. Basically a HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training). And it was TOUGH. My shoulders are feeling it today!
Hope everyone has a great weekend, get a workout in! I’ll be back to running tomorrow 🙂
After the Baltimore 1/2 I headed back to the apartment for a few hours of recovery before the next race. I put ice on my legs, wore my compression socks , drank coffee and before I knew it Cameron and I were in the car for an hour drive south to Waldorf, Maryland. This was a hike. It was curious that the Cosmic Run was selling out all major cities, yet the Washington, DC date still had openings… It was definitely because this wasn’t in DC or Metro accessible. The drive wasn’t too bad and by the time we arrived it stopped raining.
This 5K was AWESOME. It felt like a rave, the kind you see in the movies. We drove out into the countryside to this barn (okay, it was a ballpark) and people were wearing light up tutus and had flashing LED grills in their mouths. Everyone had a ton of glow sticks and the energy was like a party. I joked that we should have had a few drinks before this race.
Every kilometer or so there was music (like Daft Punk!) blaring and a dance party station that would cover you in fluorescent powder so you would glow in the lights. My pictures are a vast understatement to what was going on, but it was such a messy race neither of us wanted to bring our phones, just in case.
I LOVE night running and haven’t done it in over a year. I miss the cool air and how fast you feel. And yes, in case you were wondering, after a half marathon earlier in the day, i surprisingly felt fast and wonderful during and after the race.
Sunday was spent mostly on the couch being lazy cause we were going to see Bonobo at the 9:30 Club later in the evening. It was a great set and my legs still didn’t give out on me haha.
Been resting since this weekend has been non-stop action and I’m fighting the start of a cold. Hopefully I’ll feel good by the weekend and get a run in. Happy Tuesday!
Matt, Laura and I left at 6:45am to get to the Baltimore Running Festival Saturday morning. We were 3 very different runners with 3 very different goals.
Matt was running the first race of the day, the 5K and was aiming for a sub-20:00. Laura and I very nervously waited at the finish line, eating our peanut butter and bagel breakfasts, watching the clock get closer and closer to the 20 minute mark. At 19:30 we saw Matt round the corner toward the finish. Neither of us knew if he’d make it, the time was ticking by so quickly, but he snuck over the timing mats in 19:58! (6:24/pace & 2nd in his division!)
Laura and I were up next for the 1/2 marathon that started an hour after Matt’s race. She ran with her friend Becky, who did an excellent job pacing her. Laura ran without headphones and apparently with amazing optimism while smiling like a fool the whole way. She finished in an impressive 2:16:14 (10:23 pace!) I still can’t get over how amazing her first 1/2 time was. She never even had that moment where you hate running and question why you signed up for the race.. I know.. what a B. (hahah jk! She will be doing a guest post on losing her 1/2 mary virginity soon!)
I accomplished way more than I expected on Saturday. I had two goals for this race; to maintain around an 8:00-8:15 pace and have fun. I did it, but you can tell by my splits below that it was a hilly course, and I wasn’t maintaining any real pace. I went 100% on effort. I slowed down on the uphills, let my legs fly on the downhills, enjoyed the small breaks to drink at water stations and I stopped about 5 times to stretch out my legs when they tightened up. I smiled a lot, because i felt really GOOD this whole race. I ran my fastest 5 & 10 mile splits ever (including training runs) and I have much more faith in myself that I can push through an entire race at a quicker pace . The only time I hurt was the last two miles where I knew I would PR and for the first time I had the energy to kick. I PR’d by 2:03 with a time of 1:41:22!
Saturday’s 1/2 marathon splits (7:43/pace): 7:44, 7:45, 7:16, 7:34, 7:36, 8:20, 7:36, 7:53, 8:05, 7:51, 7:19, 8:25
1:41:22 Overall place 472 out of 9,657 runners. Division 25-29 female age group 33 out of 1348
This day wasn’t over, I still have a 5K to recap… till tomorrow!
Tuesday: 8 Miles 8:04/pace
Wednesday: 25 min triceps, 15 min abs
Thursday: 15 min abs, 15 min foam rolling/stretching
Friday: 15 min foam rolling/stretching
Saturday: 13.1 race + 3.1 race
Sunday: Big Time REST
Total Miles: 24.2
Remember my last post?? Well a day later it started raining, pouring and the temps have dropped about 15 degrees. I’d rather run a race in light rain and cooler weather over hot & humid any day of the year. One of my favorite races was Cincinnati’s Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon and it started off in a downpour and misted/showered the whole time. Instead of getting upset that it was raining, i put my iPod in a ziplock bag, looked up at the sky and laughed. Besides squishy shoes, I enjoyed the rain. It kept me cool the entire race and made me feel like a kid dodging puddles and trying not to slip.
I will be drawing inspiration from that race to get me through Balitmore’s wet hills tomorrow morning. My only goals are to enjoy the race, SMILE, and try to stay around an 8:15 pace <—and if this doesn’t happen i’m not going to be upset, it’s just an easy pace I can hold comfortably, but with slick roads you never know!
Here’s a few tips for running a race in rain:
–Put your electronics in Ziplock bags–cell phones, ipods, mp3 players etc. Put these in ziplock bags if using them. If they’re going in your checked bag–put them in a ziplock. Your bag could leak and get your things wet. Better to be safe with your expensive items. If possible, leave them in the car.
–Garbage bags/Rain Poncho- Before the race begins, its much more comfortable to sit on dry garbage bags than the wet ground. You can also wear these to stay dry & warm before the race starts. I’ve seen people start their race or run the whole race wearing a poncho or bag.
–Bring dry clothes/shoes/socks & towels-– have these dry items in your car ready for you to change into.
–Anti-chafe stick/friction cream– whatever you have use it, especially on your toes/feet/chest/thighs, if possibly carry it along the race and reapply
–Stay away from cotton or clothes that get heavy when wet.
–Wear a hat/visor–to keep rain out of your eyes if it’s pouring.
–Picture the End- If running in the rain is tough, uncomfortable and just not fun for you, try picturing the hot shower you will get once you’re finished and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate or whiskey 😉 that’s waiting for you at home.
I picked up the Cosmic Run’s bibs and shirts for the 5k Cameron and I will be doing tomorrow night, which I hope will happen. He’s battling a lingering cold, and I’m hoping my legs will still move to complete 3.1 more miles in the same day haha.
This week has been a real easy running week, just a lot of rest, foam rolling & stretching. Here’s me bored in between clients, just stretching and waiting for the races this weekend…
Also, it’s about that time of year to make my famous Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Okay, not mine, more like Food Network’s, but I can follow a mean recipe. 🙂 Okay, not even, cause I accidentally used the wrong recipe. It wasn’t as good as last years, but it’s my first batch and they still turned out awesome! As soon as I get the right recipe I’ll be sharing.
Alright, gotta get my race gear laid out for tomorrow, hope everyone is having a great Friday!
GOOD LUCK LAURA & MATT!!
AND GOOD LUCK TO MY CLIENT SARAH!!!
This weekend went by too fast. You know when people ask you on Monday what you did over the weekend and you’re like, “I have no idea.” That’s how I feel, but I’m gonna blame the grogginess on allergies again. Between all the Zyrtec and Grand Theft Auto-ing happening in our apartment at the moment, we still managed to get some important things done. Like buying a new mattress, and seeing Wavves live on Saturday night.
Sunday was a full day of hanging out and started it off with a run. We didn’t last too long because again, it was 85 degrees and humid. I still have hope that Saturday will cool down for these races *Please race gods, cool the weather for the races!*
Later on Cameron took me to REI which is this awesome outdoor sporting goods store. They had Brooks & Nike gear and a ton of nutrition options so I was pretty happy and ended up walking out of the store with 2 different brands of electrolyte drink tablets. They had Nuun (my go-to), but I was feeling experimental so I grabbed Hammer Nutrition Grapefruit tabs & GU Brew Lemon-Lime. I also picked up my tried & true 2X caffeinated Jet Blackberry GU for Saturday’s race and a flavor i’ve never seen before — Cherry Blaze. Cameron tried convincing me we needed a hatchet, or a Bear Grylls approved hunting knife. We are the opposite of the hunting type so just the thought of owning these things made us laugh.
We get hungry when we shop. Please tell me we’re not the only ones… Anywho we ended up at a Indian restaurant down the road and it was delicious!
My favorite part of Sunday was definitely picking up a bottle of wine, heading home to relax and watch Harry Potter (the Order of the Phoenix) :). They were selling cookies at the beer store’s register and had to have one. Sometimes I’m demanding, especially when my sweet tooth kicks in. I pretend this is one of those things Cameron finds endearing. The cookie looked better than it tasted, but even a bad cookie is better than no cookie at all. I know, i’m so wise.
Monday: 10m Long 8:27/pace, 3:00 plank
Tuesday: 4.5m Easy, 25 min Chest/Biceps, 20 min Abs
Thursday: 8.2m Tempo 8:03/pace, 15 min Abs
Friday: 4.75m Easy 11:06/pace, 15 min TRX arm workout
Sunday: 4.7m Easy
Total Miles: 32.2
Who’s getting ready for a race this weekend?
I make pumpkin dark chocolate cookies…
Thursday: 8.2m Tempo 8:03/pace, 15 min abs
Friday: 4.75m Easy 11:06/pace
I’m not gonna lie to you. These last 2 weeks of running have been awfully hard. And it’s not really about my legs dying out on me. It’s allergies. During my Thursday tempo run I went out ready to run sub-8 miles. My legs were ready and fresh from all the ice & compression, but 2 miles in I was debating on calling it a day. I ended up adjusting my workout to 1/2 mile repeats instead.
Even after cutting my work in half AND taking 1-2 minute rest periods between each 1/2 mile I was still having trouble catching my breath from the humidity and allergies. When things don’t go right during a run my mind becomes a real jerk. “Why are you running? You know you suck. You’re never gonna make it over those hills next week. Your outfit is stupid. You sound like an 80 year old who needs an oxygen tank.”
It’s terrible sometimes, the things my inner self will say when i’m having an off day. I’ve learned it’s best for me to try finishing the workout as best I can because when it’s over I’ll be proud to have muscled through and hush up those mean thoughts. I don’t want you guys to think I hate running. It’s just when I do tempo runs or track work, it is work for me. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I do it because it makes me a faster and more efficient runner <— and this makes me happy.
Other things that make me happy? Puppies, Lindt sea salt dark chocolate, movie nights, and running with people. I got to run with Laura this morning for an easy 4.75 miles. I use ‘easy’ loosely because we both weren’t feeling the run almost immediately after we started. But it definitely made it easier having someone there to
suffer talk with. And we’re both getting excited for next Saturday’s race!
Are any of you experiencing allergies like me?
What do you use/take/do to alleviate them?
Tuesday: 4.5 easy miles 8:38/pace, 25 min chest/biceps, 20 min abs
And by race slap happy, I mean race register happy. As in I have 3 races on my schedule in the next 30 days and 2 of those races will take place on the same day. Yep, I’m pretty dumb and I like to run. You can call me Forrest, Forrest Gump.
The 1st & 2nd races will take place on Saturday, October 12th. The Baltimore Running Festival 1/2 & the Cosmic Run 5K. Believe it or not i’m not gunning for a PR in either races. This 1/2 is so close from my last half in Philadelphia, it would take a miracle to run a faster race on HILLS.
Cameron asked me an important question before I registered. He asked if I would be okay running a 1/2 and not setting a personal record. It took a second to really comprehend that idea and finally I told him yes. I haven’t been able to run a 1/2 just for fun. And if I don’t set a PR at least it would be on my terms, not from a bad race. For that reason, I’m excited to run without a set goal in mind. I’m gonna run my little heart out, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t keep a pace, or run slower than normal or take longer at the water stations.
The big reason I registered for the Baltimore 1/2 is because my friends will be running. Matt & Laura are going for two separate goals: Matt is trying to go sub 20:00 in the 5k & Laura is doing her 1st half marathon ever and I can’t wait to be there to support, scream and high five the crap out of them!
Look how cute they are! I wanted to give you an idea of how they look cleaned up before I post our sweaty race day photos.
Keeping in tune with the fun side of running, Cameron and I will hit up the Cosmic Run 5K at 8pm that night. My plan between races is to recover with an ice bath, a nap, and by drinking plenty of coffee before the race. This was the race Cameron registered for my birthday back in August. I’m marrying the right guy people! A free entry for a race is like crack to runners. The last race we did together was the Color Me Rad 5k and it was a messy fun time! I wish Cameron was in front, he’s basically another Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.
My final race in this 30 day period is on Sunday, November 3rd, just 3 days after we get back from Jamaica. The Parks 10K in DC will run through East & West Potomac Park, fast & flat (my fave) and when you register you get a SWEET New Balance hoodie. How many times do you register for a race and get a hoodie? I can’t wait to get mine.
Click here to register Potomac River Running. PR Running hosts races all over the DC metropolitan area and they do a great job running really fun events. I did the Run for Haiti 5K last March and they were well organized (important!) and had special guests at the finish line…
-Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins wide receiver. Can you tell Cameron was excited?
That sums up my current race schedule. I’m narrowing my 1/2 and full marathon options for 2014 down and should know details sometime in November. Next year is when I try to qualify for Boston & plan a wedding. If your wondering why I haven’t talked much about wedding stuff it’s because we’re not planning until we come back refreshed from Jamaica. 🙂
What’s your favorite fall beverage?
I loooove hot apple cider & chai tea
What’s your favorite way to cross train?
I generally strength train, hike or do yoga