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Ultra Training – This Is New.

Ultra marathons are any distance above 26.2 (marathon distance), but most runners consider an ultra starts at 50k or 31.07 miles. I’m no expert and i’m not running 31 miles for MS with any particular time goal. I just want to have a good time, not injure myself and finish. PS- Thank you so much to the many awesome people that have already donated! It makes me extremely thankful and proud to call you my friends.

First I did a little research about how to train for an ultra. Hint: it’s not the same as a marathon. Big change #1: You have to get used to running on tired legs. Hence the double weekend long run.

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I do a normal long run on Saturday and a shorter run Sunday. Eventually the goal is to have your weekend runs equal the distance of the ultra. I need to build up to two back-to-back 15 milers OR something like a 20 miler + a 10 miler. I was surprised at how I’ve been afraid of the 2nd run more than the first. The 4-5-6 miler has been terrifying after a 15+ long run, but each 2nd run has felt better and better. Maybe it’s a mental thing since I’m running a short distance?

Also, I like having an off day before and after long runs, so during the week i’m running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which gives me Friday and Monday off. Those three back to back running days again, help with more cumulative leg fatigue.

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In traffic, getting my GPS up, stopped on the way home for 8 speedy miles. Tell me you’ve done this!?

Second you have to strength train. Just because the mileage is creeping up (44 this week!) it’s no excuse not to strength train legs. It keeps the hips and glutes strong and i haven’t had any IT band issues since December. I contribute that to lifting heavy. I try my best to strength train 2-3x week, one heavier leg day, one lighter or body weight day. And i do arms/abs every time no matter what. You can’t swing your arms by your sides for hours running without a strong upper body.

Third, you need to fuel like a pro. Plan your routes around water fountains, take money or a debit card in case you need to grab food/drinks. Or do the opposite of what i’ve been procrastinating and buy a hydration pack already. And take more food than you think you’ll want. Last Saturday’s long run I finally was able to get down 3 gels (one more than usual) and it was the reason I had the energy to finish.

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new Pro Compression socks! Love them

Last, take the recovery seriously. During the week I have ONE day off from working legs in either a run or strength session. Which means I have to spend extra time stretching, foam rolling, wearing compression gear, sleep & nutrition. I’m on top of having a protein smoothie immediately after a workout. <—this was a big change with a noticeable recovery time difference. I also walk a LOT. I stopped adding it to my weekly workouts log because I couldn’t get track of how often i’m out with LE and Cameron. I truly think the additional walking miles are keeping my legs fresh and working the other muscles running doesn’t.

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typical evening meal. Burger with avocado & greens, brussel sprouts YUM!

One note I found very interesting about ultra training is not to forgo speed work altogether! You still want to keep the fast twitch muscle fibers firing. June was all about mileage building which i good about and July will be about tossing in some speed to prep for the August ultra. Someone asked me why I want to do this in August. It’s my birthday! And why not?? Plus i’m hoping all this heat and humidity training will translate to some fast times this fall once the ultra is over. 🙂

Last Week

Monday: 20min upper body

Tuesday: 7.5m easy 9:02/pace, 45min legs (backsquats 45-110lbs, bosu ball burpees, situps)

Wednesday: 8.1m tempo 7:53/pace

Thursday: 5m easy 9:45/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 17.5m long 9:23/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 8:51/pace

Total Miles: 44.1

Who’s training for a fall race? When does your plan start?

How did your long run go last weekend?

 


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Run and Beer and Run Some More

The title sums up the weekend perfectly, and the weekend was perfect if you ask me. Saturday morning at 7:30 I explored a new-to-me trail which I will be spending a ton of time on this summer, especially since the majority of it is shaded & has water fountains, a runner’s saving grace. I realized, especially while out on the paths for 16+ miles, I want to get a water pack to carry more water. Does anyone have suggestions? I’m open to brands (Nathan, Ultimate Direction, Camelbak etc), but I would like a backpack type hydration tool, not a belt with bottles.

Anywho, the 16.6 miler went well. I was anxious and nervous for absolutely no reason. Especially when I’ve been coasting around 15 milers each weekend with no problem. I only took in two Honey Stinger gels, probably not enough, but it was warm out and it’s always hard for me to eat a lot in the heat. I’m trying to slowly eat more during these long runs in preparation for fall marathon training.

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Deer selfie & a Chocolate + caffeinated Honey Stinger

Note worthy items on my run: I saw 3 deer, a crane and a black snake. Yep. Saw another female runner jump several feet from the edge of the trail and was quick to point out to me to watch out. I’m always hopping over twigs and branches on the trails in fear they might be a snake. Turns out it’s not a bad idea.

After I finished, feeling excellent by the way, I surprised Cameron and took him to a local brewery that a client told me about. Manor Hill Brewing! (Ellicott City, MD)

 

We started with a flight to taste several beers, played corn hole (or “bags” depending on what part of the country you’re from), walked around the facility (they allow self guided tours) and enjoyed the sunny afternoon!

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growing their own hops!

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I enjoyed the Coffee IPA and their sour saison. The brewery doesn’t serve food so you can bring your own! We brought along chips, peanuts and oreos. Don’t judge, remember I ran super far so I can eat some junk once in a while.

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Coffee Brown IPA & Latte milk stout taster w/Cinnamon bun oreos 🙂

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inside is so pretty!

The brewery has limited space and is only open Friday to Sunday so if you plan on going, i’d recommend making a reservation! The space is beautiful, the bartenders were so nice and we both agreed it was a fun place to spend an afternoon and we will return!

The next day, Sunday, which is now turning into my 2nd runday I met up with my friend Deena for an easy 5 miler.

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Talking about life, relationships and running is just the way I like starting the morning! This is also one part of the the 50K course i’m planning. Just need another weekend to scout out the parts of the course and I can share it.

Last Week

Monday: 30min upper body

Tuesday: 7.1m easy 8:38/pace

Wednesday: 8.1m easy 9:10/pace

Thursday: 5.1m fartlek20min full body HIIT

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 16.6m long 9:25/pace

Sunday: 5.1m easy 

Total Miles: 42

Water hydration pack? Brand/type/Liters?

Favorite way to spend a summer afternoon?


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Fall Racing Schedule!

Tuesday: 7.1m easy 8:38/pace

Wednesday: 8.1m easy 9:10/pace

The days where awful, horrible things happen around the world to innocent people, makes me just want to give up on humanity. It kind of turns my heart to stone and I question the point of trying to be a good person. Turns out, during the bad times is the best time we can try to reach out in our communities, even on the tiniest level. You never know who you can inspire or touch or pay things forward. #Orlando

I can’t tell you enough how happy and excited and surprised I am at the amount of support and donations already coming in for the birthday 50K. So many of you want to run with me and support the National MS Society and i couldn’t be happier. Thank you guys! It’s the little things that make me realize there are way more good people in the world than bad.

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from my run last Saturday morning

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It’s freaking summer yo. I’ve upped my mileage for ultra training, but i’m not going to be doing much, if any, speed work until after July 4th. I’ve been base building (upping mileage week to week) since I returned from Colorado almost a month ago. It’s amazing how slowing down pace can help build a solid foundation of miles. In the past if I were to hit a 40+ mile week it was SO difficult, tiring and almost always put me on the verge of an injury. I’m running smart & slowing down to enjoy this phase of training!

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working out in Colorodo

Here’s the fall plan:

  1. Base build until July 4th and use July 4th weekend as a cutback week.
  2. July 5th through mid August throw in 1-2 days of speed work in each week.
  3. Saturday, August 13th run a 50K for MS for my birthday (tentative date! What does everyone think of running on a Saturday?)
  4. Recover the week of my birthday and take another cutback week.
  5. Start marathon training for Philadelphia Marathon (again tentative, but i’m leaning way toward it.)
  6. September 11th – The Parks Half Marathon. It’s the same local one that starts in Rockville, MD that I ran last year. I’ll use this as a speed gauge.
  7. September 16th-17th My first Ragnar Relay! I will cover 18ish miles in a dirty smelly van and love every second of it!
  8. Take another cutback week after the two weekends of racing.
  9. October 15th- Baltimore Running Festival 1/2 marathon (tentative) I’d like to use this as a hard effort for marathon training.
  10. Run a marathon. (Philly is on Nov. 20th)
  11. Sometime in the fall/early winter take a freaking vacation on a beach. Cameron deserves it after dealing with all of the above ^.
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vacation looks good on him ❤

Solid right? Well not 100%, but i’m so ready to tackle some big races this fall. I feel strong and ready. Planning out cutback weeks will be the only way I can mentally get through so many different types of races.

This is what I do on Thursday mornings and think about late at night. I can’t help it. I love running and dreaming up workouts.

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Is your fall race schedule planned out?

 

 


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When I Turn 31…

When I turn 31 this August, I’m gonna run 31.07 miles. A 50K, an Ultra Marathon. And I want YOU to be a part of it.

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30 has been amazing! The day I turned the big Three OH, I jumped out of a plane with Cameron. Since that day, I married him, completed a Spartan Beast, and bested my half marathon time.

All these hours of training (especially those spent running) have built a confidence in myself I haven’t seen since I was young. You know, when you’re told you can be anything, do anything and accomplish anything you set your mind to? The world is so large and the idea you can do ANYTHING is awe inspiring.

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Of course, we grow up and somewhere along the way you discover the word “can’t” and it’s used and abused too often.

I felt a small ounce of “i can do anything” the first time I did a full marathon at age 26. I felt it again when I got married. That day was euphoric, dreamlike and the best day i’ve lived. I had another moment of grandeur after I finished the Spartan race: stronger, healthier and happier than ever.

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These moments are few and far between, but they’ve happened as an adult. When I have those feelings I grab them, hold on and memorize it. Because I can, and you can, do anything you set your mind to if you are passionate and want it bad enough.

For the last five months or so, i’ve been out on long runs finding myself wanting to run further and further. Almost every run I’d come back feeling like I could turn around and do the same distance again. Naturally the thought of ultra marathoning crossed my mind.  And just as naturally, “i can’t.”

Then, out of what seemed like nowhere, I changed the phrase “I can’t” to “why not?” Instead of a definitive, negative phrase, I kept saying to myself “why not try an ultra?” There is so much hope, positivity, and a sort of comic side to the phrase ,”why not?” Plus you actually have to come up with a good reason if you think you actually can’t.

So, I’m going to run a 50k on my birthday. Cause, why not?

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I want this to be a fun, memorable birthday and a successful first ultra. I’m doing it on my own though, no race, just for fun & a good time. Here’s where you, my fellow runners, readers, clients and family can help me celebrate. You can pick a few miles or certain segments and run with me (and bring me food)! Since i’m not trying to run a certain time I can slow down or speed up or walk with you. I will get the details together soon!

I also created a donation page, because i’m a grown adult and do not require birthday gifts. This year i’m asking you to donate a few dollars to the MS Society on behalf of my 50k quest and for my husband. Cameron was diagnosed about 4 years ago, and it’s time to run for such a good cause. Cameron is my life, and MS is a very real part of it. 100% of donations will go to the National MS Society.

To donate to the MS fundraiser, visit my page here.

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If you’re from the DMV area and would like to run a part of the course with me send me an email at shesgoingforspeed@gmail.com so I can send information!

This is going to be a great birthday guys 🙂

Last Week

Monday: 9.5m easy 8:35/pace

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:40/pace, 25min yoga

Wednesday: 2000m row, 45min legs 

Thursday: 6.6m easy 9:15/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15m long 8:58/pace

Sunday: 4.4m easy 9:44/pace

Total Miles: 40.5

 

 


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5 Friday Favorites: Instagram Edition

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:40/pace, 25min yoga,

Wednesday: 2000m row, 45min legs 

Thursday: 6.6m easy 9:15/pace

Happy Friday friends! Just thought i’d share a few Instagram accounts that I just can’t get enough of. And if you want to follow me I’m at shesgoingforspeed .

  1. Nom Yourself -Mary Mattern is a vegan personal chef with excellent style and an obsession with coffee and cool clothes. No i’m not a vegan, but people like her are showcasing great food and substitutions so I feel like I can make small changes to my diet easily! Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.01.16 AM
  2.  BVM Crossfit – One of the best running and strength Insta’s out there. They have exercises and stretches that I use almost every day. They are big on teaching people how to run properly and if you follow The Fit Fork, she makes plenty of appearances at this box.   Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.05.22 AM
  3. Andjelayoga – I know there are a million yogagrams out there, but Angela’s always stands out. She has very simple, beautiful, happy photos that actually make me want to do yoga. <–and that takes a lot! Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.14.21 AM
  4. Crystalseaver -Crystal is basically my spirit animal. Super into fitness, super into running and super into combining both so you become the strongest runner possible. Plus her dogs and kid are pretty cute.Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.18.43 AM
  5. Sara_barracuda – It’s hard not to like her account because she lives in Boulder, CO and is adorable. She just completed her first ultra marathon!Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.35.01 AM

I guess my favorite Instagrams lean toward strong girls. I like that. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll do my top 5 favorite guy accounts. 🙂

How long are you running this weekend?

What are your favorite Instagram accounts?

 


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Zooma Annapolis 1/2 Marathon Recap!

Monday: 9.5m easy 8:35/pace

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be a more social runner. Maybe join a running group, run with friends, make new friends, reach out to people in the area who have the same interests… It’s hard to step outside my bubble, but i’m getting better at it, and enjoying each experience. When I was accepted to be a Zooma Ambassador I had no clue i’d be making friends and becoming part of a group of women who truly support and care for one another.

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It was so much fun putting names to faces…well, more like blogs and instagram handles to faces. These girls are smart, funny and all about a good time.

The morning of the race was nothing out of the ordinary. A runner leaving the same hotel lead me and Lauren (Breathe Deeply and Smile) out of the way to get to the start line, and like all the races this season we had 8 minutes between the port-o-potties and jogging to the start line. Hey, at least I didn’t have to pee in public this time. hahahah ugh.. please laugh with me.

We even missed the group ambassador photo–but i’m sharing it anyway because everyone looked awesome!

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Lauren and I didn’t have a game plan. I didn’t know we’d be running side by side the entire race, but it kinda happened that way. Neither one of us was planning to PR or pushing a crazy pace. We settled in around an 8:00/pace. Between the hills and humidity, that felt a lot harder than it should have. I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for this race. Hence my struggle fest picture below.

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We didn’t talk to each other most of the race, just a a quick word here and there checking in and making sure we weren’t holding each other back. Lauren has a very similar running cadence so i kept picturing us as Shalane & Amy at the Olympic Trials. A stretch sure, but i felt like we looked strong side by side and were helping each other keep our heads in the race.

The course was hilly with a lot of out and back turnarounds in neighborhoods. I would have gotten lost had the volunteers not been there. Running around Annapolis was super fun, i’ve only done it one other time and promised myself i’d return.

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The details of this race are sort of lost, i think i was so focused on not stopping and getting the work done, such as ascending the giant bridge twice.

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photo cred: Deb Strong, Zooma Ambassador

Also, i was scared of losing Lauren. For the majority of the race we were alone or around only small groups of runners at a time. If she wasn’t next to me it would have been easy to  stop, walk or slow down plenty of times. She was my prime source of motivation. This was my first time running a race with someone, and i liked it! It was fun, we felt like a team in our matching blue Zooma singlets, passing runners together and laughing at times when we thought we may have taken a wrong turn.

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We crossed the finish line, grabbed water bananas & trail mix, took some blog pics and got out of there. It took a few minutes for us to cool down from the humidity–that was a SWEATY race. The New Balance singlet kept me cool even though it was soaked. I might be investing in some NB tanks for the summer.

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My official time was 1:45:23, 15th overall and 3rd in my age group. Zooma put on a great race. I loved it, the volunteers were outstanding and the much needed on course water stations were spaced perfectly. I feel like I came out of this race a strong, supported, female runner.

Once I got home I made Cameron take me to get pizza and a hard coffee. I was in heaven…

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I can drink coffee with any meal. Don’t judge. Till next time…

What’s your go-to after race meal?  

Any summer races? 


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One Mile Up: Colorado Pt 2!

Wednesday: 7.1m easy 9:00/pace

Thursday: 20 min yoga, 1.5m walk

Friday: Rest

This is a freaking cool city. If you’ve never visited, bump it up on the list. Our first day started with one of the best lattes i’ve ever had in my life at Mercantile Dining and Provisions.

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We finally had the weather we craved– 80 and sunny for the rest of the trip! Perfect for exploring Denver. We  got to see a lot by using city bikes. We cruised along the river, saw parks, the Broncos stadium and a very active community. Lots of runners, walkers, cyclists & people just out reading books in the warm weather. It made my heart very happy.

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And when we got thirsty from the heat and the exhausting ride (insert tons of sarcasm) we stopped for a beer of course! 😉

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Joe & me at Denver Beer Co.

The next morning I got myself up early and snuck out for a few morning miles (4 very easy ones to be exact). I wanted more than anything to see the “One Mile Above Sea Level” stairs at the capitol building. As a runner, I felt it was a necessary part of the trip! I got there and the building was beautiful, especially with the sun was just starting to peek out.

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and here are a few fun graffiti art pieces I saw while heading back toward the hotel…

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James Macpherson is that you?

We explored City Park and then headed to the free Jazz fest that was happening…

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Cameron me Kathy & Pat

Jazz fest was a great place to kill time before we headed to the airport and back to DC.

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And a picture of the Rockies for good luck. #takenwithiphone6

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Enjoy the weekend! Who’s racing??

Anyone doing Zooma?