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Secret Weapons for Marathon Week

Before this marathon happens in *gulp* 6 days, I have to get things organized. The day before a marathon should be spent resting and inhaling ingesting carbs. Don’t overwhelm yourself by leaving a ton to do/organize/layout the week and night before.

The week of the marathon (i.e. right now!) I make trips to Target, grocery store or a running store to have exactly what i need for race week/day. Over the weekend, I picked up Gatorade, Honey Stinger gel & chews, bagels. What I forgot was anti-chafe cream. Totally slipped my mind. Another good reason to shop early in the week–you will forget something. Plan on running out to the store 2-3 times for last minute items. I usually make a list and then leave it on the table at home. It’s the thought that counts.. unless your thoughts are left behind, of course.

I do my running laundry in the middle of the week so most of my clothes are clean. Heaven forbid the night before a race my favorite shorts are dirty and i’m up late waiting for laundry to finish. I just bought these 2 pairs of Under Armour shorts over the weekend, super comfy, and long enough inseam so the thighs aren’t rubbing together–now which color to wear??

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Put a Marathon Playlist together.  This is a big one for me because I love setting the tone of a race to music. This training cycle I listened to a lot of Say Anything, Reliant K, the Starting Line, Jimmy Eat World, The Thermals…So i’m probably not venturing out too far. I have a secret weapon though.. and i’ve wanted to share it for a long time. I listen to this Dj called Pogo and if you haven’t listened to his stuff you need to do it RIGHT NOW. Pogo remixes a lot of Disney music which brings back a ton of memories, makes running feel fun and keeps my legs churning. There is nothing like running on trails listening to this guy.. i swear it will change you.

The week before a marathon is a good time to stress out, freak out, question your training etc.. As i said plenty of times before–i’m working very hard on positive thinking before, during and after a race. A good way for me to do this is not to fine comb my training log and focus on,  well, what I’ll be focusing on during the race. Where will my positive thinking drive from? What do i tell myself when my body wants to quit in the later miles?

My go-to mantra has been “earn the downhill” because most of my races have been extremely hilly. This time around I might use something Shalane Flanagan mentioned in a recent article, her mantra during Boston was something her coach says to her, “don’t lose your shit.” She wanted to keep calm, cool & focused. I don’t have one as of yet, but i’m working on it!

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new shorts, new shoes ❤

So there you go, my secret weapons to have a race day go well, get your fuel & race day items ready way beforehand, get a playlist/mantra together, lay out your exact clothes & relax the day before while your iPod/phone/garmin are charging ;). Also- I have a check list from an old post that I’m going to update below, so if you want to just copy and print, it will help for the week of your race!

Race Checklist 

__Garmin Watch (charged!)

__Ipod/armband/headphones (charged!)

__Sports Bra

__Shorts/Capri’s/Throwaway pants

__Shirt/or Throwaway Shirt

__Socks/Compression Socks

__Running Shoes

__Sandals & after race clothes/deodorant/body wipes

__Anti-Chafe Cream

__Aspirin/pain reliever (for after race)

__Sunscreen/Sunglasses/hat

__Hair ties/headbands

__Gels or Sports Drinks/Water/Nuun/Pre-Race Food (doesn’t hurt to have extra left in your car, hotel, or with family)

__Race Confirmation/Course Map (for friends or family who are attending & for race morning!)

Last Week’s Work

Monday: 6m fartlek 7:26/pace, 35 min biceps/back, 30 min abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

Friday: 30 min TRX full body, 10 abs

Saturday: 3.2 easy 8:50/pace

Sunday: 5.4 tempo 7:44/pace

Total Miles: 30

What is your “power song” or mantra you use during a race?

What else should I add to my Race Checklist??

 


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Tapering Thoughts…

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

I woke up this morning and realized i’m like 9 days out from a marathon. Nine!! I’m so excited that I get to run a marathon (injury free!) to test out my running fitness. I know I talk about qualifying for Boston a lot here, but this race isn’t my ‘A’ race to qualify, however this marathon will give me a good idea of how much work is ahead of me in order to run under a 3:35:00 and qualify. I have a few goals i will be focusing on and have been focusing on during long runs. Tapering always brings up a lot of “what if’s”, goals, racing plans, and craziness.

1) I want to Run Strong. I want to avoid going out fast & fizzling out my energy early. I want to feel strong and in control as long as possible. That means slower, even pacing so that my 2nd half, especially the last 6.2 miles can possibly be a negative split. #tryingtoavoidthefreakingwall

2) I want to Run Fueled. I’ve been practicing eating smaller amounts of Honey Stinger Fruit Snacks (Cherry Cola has my heart!) more frequently through a run. I’ve noticed a big difference in sustained energy and I appreciate all my readers & coach for helping me come to this realization. Also–I’m not a big fan of chewing while running (i’m not coordinated) and i know a lot of you don’t like to either. Lauren told me to just put a chew in the side of your mouth in your teeth or cheek & it will melt away without blocking your airways. This little trick has been coming in handy.

from the trail when my mom  was in town

the trail where the Marathon is going to be held 

3) I want to Run a PR. Who doesn’t? My PR right now is a 4:28:28. Based on my current training & mile splits & years working at the half marathon distance, i imagine this will be easy to break. Then again, a marathon is a different beast and “easy” is not usually associated. Haha When I ran my 4:28 race, i crossed the start line thinking a sub 4:00 marathon was in the bag. I can’t really assume anything with a marathon. But I do know i’m training smart, i’m healthy & I like running a lot more than I did back then.

I don’t usually like posting my time goals, but what the heck, it’s not the race I’m trying to go for the BQ and finishing a 2nd marathon is going to be a huge boost!

C) Anything under 4:28 to PR.

B) Sub 4:00

A) 3:45, I think this might be doable for race day if everything goes well.

 

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Flex Friday!

The remaining runs i have are all 6 miles or under… I can already feel my legs getting antsy & the speed coming out. I thought I was beginning to lose all speed because those high mileage weeks really took all my energy and I felt slow, heavy & slow some more. Once the mileage went down my speed was just where I left it, now I just have to remember to save that speed for the last part of the race!

pigeon pose

pigeon pose 

Until the marathon i’ll be doing the norm — stretching, foam rolling, light cross training, and eating my carbs.

What is a MUST during a taper?

stretching & a shake out run the day before

How many goals do you have for a race?

I always have at least 2 minimum!

 


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A Much Needed Staycation

Monday: 6m fartlek 7:26/pace, 35 min biceps/back, 30 min abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace

Cameron surprised me by booking a hotel in Georgetown over the weekend for a staycation! We had bad luck both to and from Gtown with the train just sitting for 20 minutes.. which led to pictures like this..

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and 5 minutes later the fun wore off which led to pictures like this…
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We finally made it to the hotel & got cleaned up for our dinner res (how douchey fancy do I sound?) at Neyla, a very good Mediterranean place.

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I loved the wallpaper in the hotel bathroom! Whenever I’m wearing real people clothes, I have to document it.
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We ordered a sampler meal at Neyla, with a little of everything and a pitcher of white sangria.
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Later we ended up at a bar…

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Which led to us walking down M street to the Exorcist stairs. I know it’s a strange thing, but our first night together was spent strolling M street & these stairs. One day i’ll tell ya the story!
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The next morning we went for a run along the canal.

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And then afterward, Baked & Wired for coffee & cupcakes. Seriously Cameron nailed our weekend.

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The rest of our day was spent shopping and walking and more food.

g town

Thunder Burger! Also, best fries ever, i ate every. single. one.

Thunderburger

I highly recommend taking a staycation if taking a real vacation just can’t happen with budget or timing. We needed this!

Anyone ever Staycation? Where?

How many miles today?

 


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Blogger Date!

I had an amazing last few days. Sometimes if i’m not blogging it’s cause i’m “living” which then makes for a few good blogs. I’m not organized enough yet to blog on the daily, but I have been trying to update my Instagram more often, baby steps people. Also, I have to say i’m glad you guys liked my Runner Overload picture, but I’m warning you..you may have fueled a fire and i might do sketches to get my point across more often.

Now that’s all said, a very cool thing happened Friday. I got to hang out with Run for The Pizza! Emmeline and I basically talked for 5 or so hours straight (not exaggerating) and forgot to take pictures until after our dinner and drinks. Some bloggers we are right? But I promise the ahi tuna, hummus, french fries & beer would have been a great picture. Just pretend (or i’ll have to draw you up something hehe)

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She’s super cool and it turns out we had a lot more in common than just running. 🙂

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This happened too. Not sure how, but i’m happy this blogger love moment was caught for all of you to see. Also I’m pretty sure this means we’re best friends.
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Onto the running side of my life. I had a reassuring long run this week–a 14 miler and last long run before the marathon in 14 days. It went soooo well. I fueled right, my pace started conservative  8:20s and I picked up throughout the run ending with a few in the 7:40s and a whole lot of energy. I’m still going back and forth about how this marathon will go, but for now I will eat up a big bowl of inspiration while watching the Boston Marathon! One last Good Luck shout out to my running coach Lauren & everyone else running Boston this morning! 

Workout Recap!

Monday: 15 abs

Tuesday: 7m treadmill hills pace ranged from 8:15-8:30, 20 min pushups/bicep curls

Wednesday: 4.1m easy 8:11/pace, assisted pull-ups + upper shoulder work

Thursday: 14.5m 8:10/pace (with last 4 miles between 7:44-8:07 paces)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3.2m easy 9:30/pace + 2 walking miles

Sunday: 2.25 easy 7:40/pace + 5 walking miles

Total Miles: 31.1 + lots of walking


19 Comments

Time to Get to Know Me Better, Yo.

Tuesday: 7m treadmill hills pace ranged from 8:15-8:30, 20 min pushups/bicep curls

Wednesday: 4.1m easy 8:11/pace, assisted pull-ups + upper shoulder work

Thursday: 14.5m 8:10/pace (with last 4 miles between 7:44-8:07 paces)

Fueling went MUCH better yesterday.  I used a Honey Stinger Pomegranate Acai gel 35 minutes into the run and I ate Honey Stinger Cherry Cola chews (1-2) about every 15 minutes after. I’m really upset at myself for not trying Honey Stinger products earlier. These are truly delicious. The Cherry Cola Chews actually tasted like Cherry Coke & and made me excited every time I got to eat one. Plus everything sat well, no upset sugar stomach! Taking in fuel frequently as opposed to larger amounts of food seemed to keep my energy sustained and my stomach happy. Again, thanks to my readers for all the advice!

And hey–Spring is pretty much here, even with a little chill in the air nothing can stop me from wearing shorts. I got a few odd looks from people walking the trails with winter coats on… if it’s over 50 degrees (especially when the sun is out) my legs need to breathe!

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I was nominated for a Liebster Award by my one and only running coach Lauren @ Will Run for Boston – she will be running for Boston at Boston next Monday… Who’s going to be watching?!?!

liebster-awardThis award is for people to discover new blogs and learn about the blogger with some fun questions, so enjoy!

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV/in person? HOCKEY. HOCKEY. HOCKEY. In person & TV. it’s my #1 and something Cameron and me bond over. When it’s not hockey, it’s baseball at home (to take naps to) and baseball in person, to drink beer & eat hot dogs to. Baseball is a fun background sport.

hockey!

RIP Capitals 2013-2014 Season

Pancakes, waffles or french toast? French Toast will always have my heart and i’m lucky to know 2 people that have always made my favorite, Cameron & my brother Adam. No one tops their french toast.

Do you have any interesting nicknames? There are a few very close people that call me “Cor” and no i don’t let just anyone do that. When I was little my dad called me Banshee. You know, cause i cried a lot.

What is your biggest running related goal? Qualifying for Boston this year is my ‘A’ goal. But I just don’t want to qualify with the 3:35:00 I want to go under 3:30. Did i just say that out loud? eek. At least you’ll understand a future ‘not impressed’ face should i not hit my goal in Chicago this year. OH YEAH forgot to tell you, I got into Chicago!

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Do you run before or after work? Before fo sho. I work in the afternoon/evenings, i just don’t have time after.

What was your high school mascot? A Hurricane. But it looked like a tornado with eyes, because well, hurricanes don’t really look like much but swirling rain and wind.

Have you ever lived in another country? Nope, but if i did i’m sure it would be Spain. I hear they take naps out there, i like naps.

How many alarms do you set in the morning? None. I’m the lucky one that gets to wake up whenever i feel like it. Which is usually between 8-9:30.

What are your top three pet peeves? People who say “ex-presso” instead of espresso. An old friend told me they thought it was EX because it gives you EXtra energy. Don’t worry I informed her she was EXtrememly mistaken.

I’m gonna get some backlash for this next one, but it bothers me when it looks like a running store threw up on a runner. Like, i know we all love our gadgets and our neon and all the cool gear, but i’ve seen some really obnoxiously overloaded runners…visor, glasses, watch, iPod, heart rate monitor, layers of clothing, tutus, knee socks etc. You name it they had it all on. And you KNOW you see at least one “runner overload” at major races. I couldn’t find an image to use, so i took 5 minutes and drew one out myself. You’re welcome.

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Just do me a favor if this happens to be you…take advice from Coco Chanel and take one piece off. I’m not giving a 3rd pet peeve, cause i think the last one was at least 10. (Sorry i’m not sorry.)

How do you feel about the new “Girl Meets World” show? I haven’t seen it, but i don’t think it’s going to hold a candle to the original. I own all the BMW dvd’s and they are CLASSIC.

—————————————————————–

The Liebster Award Rules
1.) You must link back to the person who nominated you
2.) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3.) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)
4.) You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5.) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees
My 10 nominees are…

Elise @ See Leesie Run

Sarah @ Once Upon a Lime

Lily @ Lily Runs the World

Michael @ Running Around the Bend

Megan @ The Lyons Share

Sarah @ Irish Runner Chick

Here are your questions!

1. Do you have a night before or race day ritual that you HAVE to do?

2. Do you love your job?

3. Why did you start blogging?

4. What is your favorite running shoe brand?

5.  Ice cream, popsicles or milkshakes?

6. Where’s the last place you traveled?

7. Power song to run or train to?

8. Beach or Mountains?

9. Are you afraid of heights?

10.  Favorite show on tv currently?

Take a question from the list and answer it! 

My recent power song has been “Island” by The Starting Line

Do you like to watch the major marathons on tv?

YES. Couch, coffee and giant dose of inspiration please!

Who got in the Chicago Marathon this year??

 

 


11 Comments

I Cross Train with TRX…A LOT.

Monday: 15 abs

Thank you guys so much for all the fueling advice!! After reviewing comments I’m going to try eating small amounts of food frequently, instead of what i’m used to doing–> GU every 45 minutes. I didn’t realize just how different fueling for a marathon is compared to a half. I honestly thought it was the same… all you blogger/runners out there are awesome and thank you again.

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Good Morning! Time for Coffee & Blogging!

Sunday I was in a TRX Training class from 9-5. I took a course for their suspension trainer last October, this time it was for the Rip Trainer. Tool description–Rip Training utilizes a lever bar and resistance cord to provide a unique mix of rotation, core stability, control, power, strength, mobility, metabolic conditioning, balance and coordination challenges…The Rip Trainer allows users to engage in unlimited movements which, when performed properly, enhance fluidity and range of motion and decrease the risk of injury.”

TRX tools are incredible and no i’m not paid for saying that or in any way affiliated with TRX. I’ve been using their suspension trainer for about 6 months now and i’ve noticed a HUGE difference in the way my body looks. This is probably because TRX workouts are fun and effective so I want to workout more often. If you know a friend or a gym that has one, try it out!

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Doing Squats + Rows with the Rip Trainer!

…on top of how awesome TRX is, it’s also a fun workout and i had my mom do a workout while she was here. See how much fun she’s having!

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During the 8 hour class we definitely worked out about 3 of those hours. (Immediately after i went to a nearby park and ran a few speedy miles to finish out peak week!). Overall the day was well spent, I was spent and I got to meet a bunch of cool people.

Billy, Me, Jessica & Leslie

Billy, Me, Jessica & Leslie

I hope everyone has a great day. Keep Boston in your hearts and remember that a year ago, everyone became a Bostonian. I pulled my Facebook status from that week and it still resonates with how I feel today.

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Anyone ever tried TRX suspension or rip training before?

Who’s running Boston next Monday or trying to qualify this year?


22 Comments

Running High!

Last Thursday was the long run. I mean THE long run. The longest distance i would run before 26point2. It went as smoothly as I could have asked and it was a great prep for the Potomac River Run Marathon i’ve been talking about for so long.

I set out to run on the tow path, just along the river where the race will be held. I don’t normally run on trails or dirt, so i needed to see how my legs, ankles and feet would handle with the different terrain. I chose to run in my Saucony Shadow Genesis’s. They are lightweight but more stable than my others. I wanted my ankles to be supported and it ended up being a great choice.

I’ve been so focused on speed over the last two years that it was strange, but so refreshing to settle into a pace that was comfortable (8:20-8:40) and just RUN. Sure I had my Garmin and I knew there was pressure to finish this long run feeling good, but I felt happy and rejuvenated the entire run. I generally struggle with staying mentally positive when i’m running for so long but today I fell in love with the long run.

There was a moment early on at mile 4.5 where I already felt a runner’s high—and again at mile 8—and again around 15. It was like the best roller coaster of emotions ever. I always say this, but runner’s are CRAZY. I literally had this manic happiness just listening to the pitter patter of my shoes on the dirt. With the canal on one side of me and the river on the other there was a ton to appreciate and keep my mind busy, all while feeling proud and relieved my body was responding how i needed. There were moments I remembered where my running life started… in a residential neighborhood with a quarter mile loop. Then I thought of how lucky i am to be healthy. I pictured my life in the future, my wedding day, traveling to different countries and running in exotic locations. I broke down personal reasons I run and almost teared up (seriously don’t call me a baby, this stuff happens when your miles and miles into your own mind). Keeping thoughts positive and my mind active throughout the run is what made this particular run special.

sacont-hero

love this ad!

Okay enough with the sugar drops and lollipops.

The run was almost perfect. This is why training runs are important— to figure out what you need to do or change for race day. I can tell you, I need to fuel better. I drank two 16oz bottles of water w/Nuun & 2 GU packets. Hydration was spot on. I never felt thirsty but I could tell that 18 miles was all I was going to get out of my body that day because of food. That dreaded “wall” everyone talks about wasn’t far from me and i know that consuming only 200 calories over 18 miles just doesn’t add up to a successful race.

This is where i need your help! What do you eat or take with you or leave in your car to eat for your long runs? I’m figuring i need to eat about every 45-50 minutes.  I don’t know if i can realistically eat 4-5 packets of goop, so give me some tips!! I have one final long run this week (14 miles) and i want to experiment with different fueling.

aaaaaand shoes.

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I bought a pair of Saucony Mirages on clearance for $49! I’ve read reviews that they are like a mix of the Kinvara & Shadow Gensis..which are the other Saucony’s I own and love. I’m gonna try Honey Stingers for the first time, found a pretty purple sweater and my favorite deodorant.  Shopping was a success last weekend!

Peak Week Workouts!

Monday: 20 min TRX upper body, 10 abs

Tuesday: 6.5m running/walking, 15 min triceps, 10 abs

Wednesday: 7.5m 7:44/pace tempo 

Thursday: 18m 8:30/pace (pace ranged from 8:25-8:40)

Friday: 6m easy recovery 8:41/pace (with a few 30 second walk breaks)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 3 hrs of TRX Rip Training class, 6.3m tempo (7:28, 7:18, 7:10, 7:08 + cool down miles)

Total Miles: 44.3 <—personal record! 🙂 

Alright, help me out — how do you fuel during marathons?