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Falling in Love with the Long Run

This whole weekend went by in a blur! Cameron surprised me for our big 8 year anniversary (when we first started dating) and took me out to a Brazilian steakhouse where we ate our little hearts out. Then we headed to see comedian David Cross at a nearby theater! David Cross is one of my favorites and someone I’ve wanted to see live for years! So happy i got to cross it off my list. (get it, cross? haha)

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Cameron’s traveling a ton in the upcoming months so we had a lot of running around & packing to do this weekend, and of course a lot of family time to be had! LE and I already miss him.

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The good news is the weather has been somewhat cooperative over the last week so I was able to do not one, but two runs outside! I’ve been running outside for the easy days so I can slowly get back into hills. Where I live is super hilly, I don’t want to get injured since i’ve been basically on no incline on a treadmill since December. Gotta keep those IT bands happy.

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From Friday–i felt like a ninja

Sunday I started my morning with a glass of water, followed by my pre run rituals, coffee, a Honey Stinger Waffle & a quick look at the day’s plan.

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I set out to run 12 miles, at a slow steady pace. I was shooting for 9:00-9:20/pace.  The last couple long runs have had some form of speed work tossed in (one week a 5k effort, the next a 10k). Sunday, I needed to give my body a break and keep the pace an honest easy. When I’m not caught up on running at certain pace, I can focus on so many other things that make me love running and LOVE the long run.

I could focus on my form, footfall, breathing, my bare legs feeling free, and how grateful I am for being able to do this.

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I could also focus on Serial..that podcast is getting the best of me. I have one more episode then the courtroom updates! I listened to 2 1/2 episodes during this run haha. OH and about 20 seconds after I took the picture above, it down poured! I had to run the final 3 miles in cold rain. It was fun until the last mile when I couldn’t feel my hands or see and was worried my phone would break, but after a hot shower, breakfast and of course more coffee, I was happy and extremely satisfied. I’m looking forward to next Saturday when I can do another long run. I love them!

Last Week

Monday: 4.1m easy 9:30/pace

Tuesday: 8m Combo Workout (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:00/pace, 4 x 2:00 @ 6:18/pace, 1m cool down)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 10 min core

Friday: 7m tempo workout (1m warm up, 5m @ 7:57 marathon pace, 1m cooldown)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 12m long/easy 9:08/pace

Total Miles: 36.1

What makes you love going long?

What should I listen to after Serial?–I already need something else!


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Globe Electric

If you follow my Instagram you already know I got a pretty sweet tattoo on Valentine’s Day.

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I figured this tattoo and shop were blog worthy and here’s why: The shop is gorgeous, super clean, and quiet. Getting a tattoo can be nerve-racking when people are walking in and out of a shop and there are several machines buzzing or conversations happening all at once.

Since Eric & Susan (shop owners + tattooers) are the only people tattooing, they are  a”by appointment only” shop, which means no walk in traffic. This keeps the shop environment extremely relaxing and comfortable.

Eric was my artist. From our first email, to the in-shop consultation, to the finished product I was impressed. Eric was professional and efficient. He listened to all of my ideas, took plenty of notes, “coffee cup, not girly, american traditional.” He executed the perfect tattoo and made me comfortable the entire appointment. I usually get a little nauseated or faint when it comes to needles, but I was fine!

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toward the end when it started to HURT

Tattoos hurt. There’s nothing you can do about that. But the environment and the artist can contribute a great deal to the comfort part. With that said, this was the easiest time I’ve had with a tattoo. Cameron got his very first (in a difficult spot) with Eric and he had a similar experience. He said Eric made him very comfortable throughout the session.

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Cameron’s 1st Tattoo

Eric & Susan are both very cool, talented people, who excel at their jobs. I can’t say enough great things about my experience at Globe Electric. It definitely will not be the last tattoo I get from there!

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aaand finally, the finished product!

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If you’re in the DC area I highly suggest you send your ideas to these artists. You can email them at info@globetattoodc.com to schedule a consultation. Below are their Instagram accounts (check out their work!) & shop information.

Last Week’s Workouts

Monday: 7.5m interval (2m warm up, 4 mile repeats each @ 6:40/pace,  cool down)      

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:30/pace, 25min TRX legs, 3 x 6 toes to bar                                          

Wednesday: 5m hill sprints (30 sec sprints x 6.5% 6:35/pace + 1 minute walking recoveries)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5.1m easy 9:25/pace

Saturday: 11m long run w/10k tempo (3m warm up, 10k @ 7:30/pace, 1.8m cool down)

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 31.6

How did everyone’s weekend workouts go?

Tattoos? Anyone have a good or bad experience with them?

 


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5 Friday Favorites!

Monday: 7.5m interval (2m warm up, 4 mile repeats each @ 6:40/pace,  cool down)      

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:30/pace, 25min TRX legs, 3 x 6 toes to bar                                          

Wednesday: 5m hill sprints (30 sec sprints x 6.5% 6:35/pace + 1 minute walking recoveries)

Thursday: Rest

I need a day where I share some things I’ve been into. Friday might just be the normal day. It’s either a “Flex Friday” a “Phone Dump Friday” so I think a “Friday Favorites” might find it’s way into the rounds here on The Distance.

  1. This article Carrots n’ Cake posted to her Facebook. It’s worth the short read and something i stress to my clients, especially the newbies. Take note, focus on getting stronger or faster, not the number on the scale! (click the picture for the article!)Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.12.34 PM
  2. The People Vs. OJ Simpson – Cameron and I got hooked on all this true story crime entertainment since we spent a few weekends ago binging on Making a Murderer. Now he’s hooked on Serial, and i need to get started on that (I’m late i know!). The People Vs. OJ is INCREDIBLE. We were on the edge of our seat 5 minutes in and I cannot wait until next week’s episode. Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.22.48 PM
  3. Kodiak Cakes Instant Pancake on the Go. I bought these for mornings i don’t have time for my usual eggs & veggies and I love this stuff.  It’s seriously a protein packed, ready in 1-minute, delicious way to start the morning. –It is a little pricey though, $1.99 each. I save them for my super early mornings which happen about once a week, so they’re worth it to have on hand.File_000 (65)
  4. Afternoon cuddles with LE. I joked on Instagram that we were having our afternoon couch cuddles & peanut butter, but honestly we do that almost everyday. Apples & PB and cuddles as I’m resting before heading back into work. File_000 (63)File_000 (64)
  5. Zooma Run Love Challenge Swag– Specifically the Feetures! running socks. I’ve seen these socks in stores before and laughed at $15 socks. I would NEVER pay that much. Well put a sock in it, cause I will now. These are the first socks i’ve ever worn that did not make my feet sweat or cause blisters on long runs. I will be purchasing more as soon! Also- i included a picture of the awesome sweatshirt Zooma sent. It will be a weekend staple, it’s so cute & cozy.

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Are you watching The People Vs. OJ?

Best running swag?


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I’m a Fan Girl. #KaraGoucher

Let’s step back in time for a sec. My very first race expo experience was for the inaugural 2009 Chicago Rock n’ Roll half marathon.  I took the South Shore train to Chicago and had no clue what I was doing. I followed the herds of people and picked up a bag full of coupons, safety pins,  goodies and advertisements for companies I had never heard of, a race bib and a shoe chip timer. I watched the tv monitor to learn how to put the chip timer on my Nike’s and then watched again so i wouldn’t mess up. I was new, nervous and walking around alone.

The expo was huge and at the ripe age of 21, I had never been to anything like it before. Every booth had weird food and strange massagers. I never knew running had it’s own little world. I turned a corner and saw a few runners talking to a very pretty, slender brunette. Then I saw the brunette’s face on a promotional poster nearby and realized she must be someone important. Kara Goucher. That name meant nothing to me at the time, but now it’s one of the many reasons I love to run.

She crushed the half marathon that next morning. 1:08:04. She beat every person, male & female in the race. I had found out about her accomplishments that week as I started looking up her stats online. I thought it was super cool I stood 10 feet away from the overall winner of my very first race.

I saw her at another Chicago half marathon expo a year or two later, but this time she was pregnant and I was starstruck. I didn’t have the courage to walk up to her or say hi, even when Cameron encouraged it. I also had no clue what I would say to her. I left another expo without talking to her, but just seeing her and being in the same room was amazing.

You wouldn’t believe it. But as recent as the 2014 Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll 1/2 marathon I almost hit Adam Goucher (Kara’s husband) with my car. No joke. I was pulling out of the paid parking lot after the expo and some dude bolted in front of my car, crossing the street and I slammed on my breaks. The guy gave a quick wave and I yelled “OH MY GOD THAT’S ADAM GOUCHER!” and excitedly looked over at Cameron, like he knew who the heck i Adam was. He just knew I had a crush on Kara. He even took pictures for of her at the start of the race and surprised me with them after I finished. (Of course I can’t find those pics now).

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Kara, Colt, Adam Goucher (source)

Since the very beginning of my 1/2 marathon love, Kara has been a part of it. As strange as that sounds. The earliest memories I have of the sport are paired with a memory of her. I’ve loved following her career over the years, watching her race, reading her interviews, enjoying her candid blog.  There have been many times when i’m out on a difficult run envisioning how Kara mentally gets through tough runs. It always gives me a burst of energy and puts a smile on my face.

“Once you make the decision that you will not fail, the heart and the body will follow.” – Kara

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look who drinks Nuun too! (source)

After all the missed opportunities I had, if i could say anything to her, I would just tell her thank you. For being honest and transparent to her fans, for being gracious, and giving her everything to the sport she loves. Her passion and dedication is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever witnessed as a fan girl. Good luck in LA.

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT!


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Inside the 10 Mile Mind – Vol. 3

Week one of half marathon training went as well as it could have gone. My easy runs were easy (all 9:00+ pace) and the speed workouts were much easier and faster than normal! (6:44-7:30/pace). I’m already seeing the benefits from changing up the pacing and running slower on easy days.

Saturday morning was the first double digit run since November. There’s something about the first 10 miler in a training program that I love. It’s exciting, a little scary but the expectations aren’t too high. It’s the first of many long runs i’ll encounter and eventually 10 miles will be the “shorter” long run i’ll endure.

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I downloaded a few podcasts and set out on a flatter trail that i knew wasn’t completely covered in snow. The first mile was under construction. Running over the uneven, muddy, wooden planks forced a slow pace and took my mind off of how cold it was.File_000 (61)It also helped that the podcast I chose was all about running my easy runs “painfully slow.” The first several miles were so easy I got to enjoy the outdoors (I hadn’t run outside since Jan. 16th!) and my legs had plenty of time to ease into this run.

My plan was to run the first six miles as slow as possible, squeeze in the Nuun Year Dash virtual 5k and finish with a cool down mile. It doesn’t matter if i’m running 400s, mile repeats, a 5k or an ‘A’ race, I’m always nervous that i won’t be able to run fast when i’m supposed to. And with all the slow running i’ve been doing I was nervous my body wouldn’t remember what “fast” was. (Ridiculous right?)

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At 6 miles, I restarted my Garmin, switched from the podcast to EDM Pandora and stretched my legs for a minute. I knew I didn’t want to go all out, there was almost no point since I would be stopped by 2-3 intersections and I still needed to actually finish the long run without burning out. I was hoping for a solid, moderate effort.

I took off and my legs felt as if they were freed from a cage. I was completely shocked at how easily I went from running a 9:20/pace to a 7:16/pace. It felt natural, I felt in control, and that made me the happiest little runner of all. File_000 (62)

During long runs in the past, i used to over think a lot. I put myself down and told myself i wouldn’t be able to get faster or ever run a marathon again, or would never meet my half marathon goals. Mental training has been much more important to me for the last several races. I try to only think positive thoughts, even when the run isn’t going fantastic. I’m going to do the best I can on the day, and if things don’t go perfectly…i’m only in training and it’s not my job.

During this particular run I wasn’t thinking about much except that i was going to run until I had to run a little faster for 3 miles, then chill out for the cool down. Breaking up the long run was helpful mentally and physically. When my plan calls for those long run with a “fast finish” I will make sure I leave the last mile for a cool down. It was the one thing I kept telling myself during the 5k effort–> You get to run a slow mile soon! That was actually motivating and a huge relief when I finished the hard portion.

It’s also very motivating to know that a hot shower, hot coffee & a warm puppy are waiting for me afterward. ❤

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OH and if you haven’t seen my Instagram, i totally put her in my Nuun shirt and threw the medal on her. I figured you guys have seen me in a medal enough 😉

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Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)

Wednesday: 6m HMP Tempo (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:03/pace, 1m cool down) + 1200m row 

Thursday: 25min hips/core

Friday: 4.1m easy 9:13/pace, 15min rope pulls & body weight tricep dips

Saturday: 10.1 long (6 @ 9:19/pace, 3.1 @ moderate effort 7:16, 1m cooldown 10:45/pace)

Sunday: REST!

Total Miles: 28.2

Do you dress up your pet?

How do you mentally get through your long runs?


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Tips to Run Easy!

Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)

For the last (let’s round up) two years, i’ve been injured on and off again and haven’t started a training season feeling 100%. I’ve tried to play “catch up” and rush right into marathon or half marathon training plans which have surprisingly worked in my favor, but mentally, it is tough going straight from injury to full on training mode. Anyone else feel this way?
Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.25.55 PMI was entirely ready after the PR high from Indianapolis to jump into marathon training. But as soon as i starting training again, my body was quick to tell me to slow down.

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I finally combed over training logs from years ago up to last fall’s 1/2 training and i’m still running way too fast on easy days. I don’t think i ever ran over a 9:00/pace during my “easy” runs. Easy running should extremely easy.  I haven’t been able to run a 5 day week consistently because my legs were constantly fatigued from the last run. I also stopped heavily strength training my legs because I needed them to be fresh for the next run. My legs never felt fresh. Even though I should have caught that red flag, i just assumed constant leg fatigue was normal.

Now let me clarify: I wasn’t overtraining, I was still enjoying running, and the rest of my body felt great. I was just running a lot on tired legs and my paces were too similar despite the workout at hand. My easy runs were between 8:00-8:30s, my hard runs ranged from 7:15-8:00. Those paces are way too close. I have a hard time slowing down and i don’t know if it’s my ego or legs, but either way i need to stop it. So there. I said it out loud.

My name is Cori and I have running issues.

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and coffee issues.

Why am I saying these things to you all? Because I want to run longer, faster and be consistent on a 5 day/week training plan and make it to a 40 mile week without my body breaking down. The blog has always been a way for me to be honest with myself, other runners, friends and family about my life & training progress. Plus when I see my goals on paper (or computer) it’s a good reminder of the changes i’m making & why i’m making them.

Part of the beauty about running is this stuff—>the details! The small changes you make for big race results. I truly feel I have so much more to give on the race course. I’m excited to say that this build up has been very fun, comfortable and easy!

Here are a few tips for running a truly easy effort.

-Breathe through your nose. No joke, try to breathe in and out through your nose.

-Use a heart rate monitor or take your pulse.

-Can you sing? Can you carry a conversation with ease? Good, you’re doing it right.

-Listen to slow tunes or a podcast. (You know how I know you run easy? Cause you listen to Coldplay.)

-Run on the treadmill so you can control your pace.

-Go watchless or hide your pace splits. I keep my Garmin on, but I only put the allow myself to see the clock (actual time, not running time).

-When you finish running easy, you should feel like you could run another hour at that pace.

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My view lately. Just waiting for the snow to melt.

Last Week

Monday: 3hrs shoveling

Tuesday: 30 min stairs/leg (home workout), 2 hrs shoveling

Wednesday: 5.2m easy 8:42/pace

Thursday: 6m 2 x 2 tempo (1m warm up, 2 @ 7:30, 2 @ 7:24, 1 cool down)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9.1m easy, long progression (starting at 9:15, ending at 8:15)

Sunday: Rest

Total: 20.3

How much slower do you run on your easy days?

Do you ever re-read old training journals to help your current goals?