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I’m a Crossfitter

You know how you know a person does Crossfit? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. Do you know how you know if someone’s completed a marathon? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. That joke is old and dumb. People who are passionate about their hobbies and sports will of course tell you! I love talking about my ever evolving fitness!

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My love for Crossfit started years ago when I saw the Crossfit Games on tv. It was a strange competition with people working out in the weirdest, hardest ways you could imagine, but i was sucked in. These girls and guys are the epitome of FIT. And not in the strange, posed, spray-tanned, starved for weeks to make the veins pop, body builder way. They are active, healthy and moving fast. Simply put, they are athletes.

I had a small taste of Crossfit when I used the Crossfit Endurance training plan to work toward a fast 5k. I noticed the strength portion of the book was simple, effective yet tough. It reminded me of how I train clients: varied functional movements at high intensity levels. Crossfit also introduced the rower to me, which was especially important because of a calf strain that had me away from running a couple years ago.

This past spring I finished the Spartan Beast Obstacle Course Race. It was incredible and showed me what the Reebok Crossfit community is about: having a body that can DO things and helping those around you ACCOMPLISH hard things. I finished that race feeling like I could do anything. It proved I wasn’t just a runner and my body was so much stronger than I gave it credit for.

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I’ve had great experiences leading up to actually joining a box (what they call their gyms). It just took a while for me to join because i’m a trainer at Gold’s Gym–it felt a little dirty, like i was cheating on my home gym. But I craved my own, separate place to workout. A gym that no one stops me mid-workout to ask for advice or chat about fitness. In the same way i’ve had a running coach in the past, i needed someone else to program strength workouts. I wanted to take the stress off myself and enjoy being a place where i can concentrate on working out and where I’m treated as an athlete, not a personal trainer.

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Crossfit Silver Spring

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They had me at Beer Mile PR’s

I couldn’t officially start coming to the box for a WOD (workout of the day) until I completed a mandatory Crossfit Elements course (8 classes) at the CF Silver Spring box. Elements teaches the fundamentals and movement patterns of the sport and puts a daily WOD to the test at the end of each hour lesson. I was more than impressed with the level of professionalism and safety in this box.

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So far, I’m in love it. I’m obsessed with it and I can see why people tend to think it’s cult-like. It’s electric and motivating and FUN. As a trainer, i’m learning a lot. As an athlete I’m gaining a lot.

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The biggest misconception i hear about Crossfit is that it’s dangerous. Well let’s put it this way, any sport or intense training program has risks for injury. You need good coaches or trainers (like me!) and you need to use common sense. Also let’s talk about how often I’ve been injured running vs. strength training at intense levels.

Running: shin splints, runner’s knee, piriformis and hip flexor issues, IT band syndrome, bone bruises, calf strain…and these are just the ones I’ve had.

Strength/Crossfit: skinned knee, couple of bruises, maybe i’ll pinch my finger with a weight once in a blue moon. Now you tell me what is more dangerous. I’d put my money on running any day of the week as being more dangerous.

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My coaches Marcos & Katie!

The biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last two months are increased shoulder mobility + strength, glute activation and lat activation. The coaches take a lot of time each class to lead warm ups and mobilize our bodies using foam rollers, massage tools and various dynamic exercises to prep the body for the hard work ahead.

I went into Crossfit nervous because I’ve had issues with my right shoulder since I was 13. (My chiro even told me to stop doing overhead pressing exercises.) Six weeks later I have ZERO shoulder pain and i’m lifting weight over my head. My glutes have been sore and worked every class and i’ve PR’d my deadlift by 30lbs easily. Remember runners – strong booty means a strong runner, especially on the hills. And a strong body equals a powerful runner.

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I was worried I wouldn’t be able to train for a marathon comfortably with these tough workouts, but hey, it’s not interfering, it’s helping make me a well-rounded athlete. I haven’t had any issues juggling the running and Crossfit schedule. If anything i’ve felt stronger with each run because my strength training is on point.

What it comes down to, is I found a place and people I can put real effort and energy into to see results. When I’m working out I have people supporting me, shouting, “Go CORI!” I have coaches fixing my form and giving me expert tips to make me a better athlete. It feels fantastic being surrounded by people who want you to succeed, to be stronger, faster and better than ever. I hope everyone out there has a place like this, a gym or a trainer or coaches that can help push you safely to the next level to reach your goals or get you out of your comfort zone.

Last Saturday was the first time I felt the complete and utter exhaustion that comes from giving your all in a workout. The workout that makes you lay down on the floor afterward and create a sweat angel. The elusive Crossfit sweat angel. I achieved it and I want it again and again and again. Even if it means running 10 miles before class…

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If you have any questions about Crossfit please – ask away. I’m by no means an expert, but i’m all about new experiences to make you a better runner, weightlifter or get-in-shaper. This has quickly become my home away from home, my home away from the marathon course and the home that supports and motivates me all week long.

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Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

Tuesday: 10.5m intervals (4 x 1.5m @ 7:03/pace)

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:29/pace, 20min shoulders/lats

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 12m MGP tempo (9 @ 7:50/pace)

Saturday: 10m easy 8:50/pace, Crossfit

Sunday: 9.9m easy 9:17/pace

Total Miles: 54.4

What’s your favorite type of workout besides running?

Have you ever had a coach or personal trainer? 


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Week 11, You Were a Jerk.

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

I’ve been waiting for it to happen. Waiting patiently for the week of training where it felt hard, unachievable and where tears would roll. Up until now marathon training has been going almost too good to be true. Every pace, every workout, every strength session, better than the last. Recovery has been second nature, I’m sleeping like a dream, eating well, foam rolling, early AM wake ups, all on point. Then came Week 11.

It took long enough and now hopefully it has passed and I can move forward. But not before giving you guys an inside look cause all the instagram pics and happy-go-running status updates aren’t always as they seem.

This was my highest mileage week ever. I topped it off at 58.9 miles and finished the month at an all time high as well, 218.6. The picture below is actually from a long run 9 days ago, not last week. It’s the only one i found of me smiling. Like hey, look at me the distance isn’t killing me at all right now.

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The mileage really wasn’t getting to me, it’s mostly everything else that happened on top of it. I had sinus headaches all week and the allergy meds I was taking made me super tired and loopy.

Then Tuesday at Crossfit, I basically took a swan dive into a box and skinned up my shin pretty bad, on the first box jump 😦 You know how people say “the mind gives up before the body?” Well, not always, cause my mind and right leg were on top the box and lefty just wasn’t recovered or ready to jump. Stupid, unbalanced, left side.

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I felt the skinned up, bruised to hell left leg days after, especially while running. Every step was a reminder that my shin was sore. I was barely holding onto g0al paces during speed work. I couldn’t get my head into the run and wished each day was a rest day.

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But when the rest day (Wednesday) came, my legs were so tight i think it hurt more not to workout that day. Exhaustion set in hard this past week, every easy run felt labored. I needed a 1-2 hour nap every day before heading back to my evening shifts at the gym. Probably because of a mix of the allergies and workouts.

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she naps with me often

I drank about half a bottle of wine one of the nights because i was super stressed all week for no reason. The wine did not help the anxiety. I slept awful almost every night, not sure if it was because of sore muscles or the naps, but either way i was getting about 5-6 very interrupted hours a night, which is NOT good for me.

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Then just as the week was ending I had one last hard run left. 16 miles. The weather called for rain/thunderstorms all morning so i decided to head to the gym for the treadmill. Not fun, but neither is running in wet weather for 2.5 hours. Even though it was only misting at the time, i figured i’d still be soaked and wasn’t into it. Of course, it never rained. 16 miles later, i probably could have ran outside. Dammit.

Next on the list was a haircut and dye job. You try running for 2.5 hours and then sit in a chair with patience for five more. It’s tough and to make a long story short i love the cut, hate the color.

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I’m basically a redhead on top and a grey/green (ashy blond) on the bottom (you can’t see it, but after one wash it happened). And i’m not looking for compliments, I asked for this:12106068_1664601663751478_1576883465_n

So yeah, i did the girl thing: came home and cried and complained about everything to my husband. The exhaustion and allergies, the missed box jump, the shitty sleepless nights, the not-so-great runs, and finally spending ALL THE MONEY on hair that I don’t even like! And then crying because i have nothing to cry about! These “problems” are hardly problems, I was just overwhelmed because everything was happening all at once. Week 11, you bastard. Cameron lovingly reminded me i’m allowed to be upset and frustrated by all those things, fed me candy and took my mind off of all my adulting with some video games.

The next day I had a run date with a few Ragnarian’s along a trail in Arlington. This was a big turnaround for my week. I got to run in a new location and catch up with friends. The best part was running finally felt easy! It was fun again and i relaxed for the first time in over a week.

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Steve, Me, Normailed, Nick

Steve and his fiance were nice enough to have us over their house after for a cook out, beers and hot tubbing. I needed this. The tub was so relaxing, the food was great and I needed beer! It was a super cool secluded house too, felt like a mini-vacation spot.

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So, i guess one Instagram picture was honest. The one with the woods in the background. “Keep me outside, keep me happy.” I meant that. I’m a solar powered machine and I need nature to stay happy.

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I cropped that picture from this one, because I look like a third wheel. Haha.

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Monday’s easy run went well. It felt similar to Sunday’s. Effortless and so fun. It just goes to show that when you have a bunch of crap runs, a good one is just around the corner. Most of the time I run for those days, but I wouldn’t notice them unless I knew what the hard ones felt like.

Bye Week 11!

Last Week

Monday: 10m interval (6 x 1m repeats @ 7:13/p)

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m easy 9:20/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 10m tempo (MGP 8m @ 7:51/p)

Friday: 7m easy 9:00/pace, strength circuit: 25# single arm db snatch + weighted box step ups + butterfly situps

Saturday: 16m long 8:25/pace

Sunday: 6.4m 10:00/pace

Total Miles: 58.9

How do you get through the tough weeks of marathoning?

What’s your happy place?


4 Comments

DE Beach Trip + Parks Half Marathon Recap!

 

Monday: 7m easy 9:50/pace

Tuesday: 8m interval (3 x 1m repeats 6:40, 6:37, 6:35), Crossfit

I broke my phone a week back and a lot has had me on the go, so i’m a little behind in uploading pictures and sitting down to blog. Forgive me? Good, cause a lot happened. Two weekends ago I drove out to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a friend’s bachelorette party. It was a super low key, relaxing girls night. Just the way I like it.

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Seriously such a pleasant quick trip. Sarah got married on September 18th and I was so happy to spend time with her family!

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Sarah & Kristin

The following day the beach was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the water was green and blue and we spotted dolphins on our walk down the sand.

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As much as I wanted to stay at the beach all afternoon, being a runner called for an early trek back home to pick up my bib for the Parks Half Marathon race the next day. I ran it last year and it’s one of my favorites. As long as I live here I will run this race. It is so fun, so coordinated and the swag is killer with a Brooks long sleeved shirt and a finisher’s blanket!

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The race start is 15 minutes from my house making the morning of the race super easy. I ate my normal meal: pb & banana, coffee, water + Nuun, and a Honey Stinger Waffle during the drive to the start. I actually had time to use the port-o-potty twice and got a quick warm up in. Compared to the last several races, this was a big deal!

The weather was warm and humid (73 degrees & 75% humidity)- if you’ve been following any blogs from the DC/Baltimore area the summer humidity has not let up! It feels like we’re living in Florida. It’s getting annoying.  Annnyyyway… my goal for this race was to run 7:20/pace however, with the warm weather, I naturally fell into a 7:30-7:40/pace instead (about 20 seconds off my goal marathon pace) which felt generally easy.

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I love running the Parks Half because it runs along several trails I’m on often. It’s familiar, i know every crack and divot, every turn and hill, so i knew where to push and where to slow down. I had a huge mental advantage with this race.

The physical advantage had to do with the marathon training plan I’m on. Hansons is not joking when they talk about cumulative fatigue and how you will learn to run on tired legs. Training for an ultra and then heading straight into this program, I can’t remember what it feels like to run on fresh, rested legs. It sounds bad, but I love it. I love knowing I can run through fatigue and run well at that. I keep envisioning the last 10 miles of the marathon and I know this is what will make the difference when the general fatigue sets in.

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This race was so much fun and worked like a long tempo which i was more than happy with. I crossed the uphill finish with a time of 1:40:22, grabbed a coffee from Panera and made my way back home.

2016 Parks Half Marathon - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

2016 Parks Half Marathon – Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

I took my bib number 2612 as a sign that i’ll have a good marathon in Philly since it looks like 26.2 🙂

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 10:00/pace

Tuesday: 9m intervals (6 x 800s), Crossfit (also did 3 x 800s)

Wednesday: 7.8m easy 9:40/p

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 5m 7:30/pace Ragnar Relay

Saturday: 9.1m 8:15/p Ragnar, 7m 12:00/p Ragnar

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 43.9

Do you have a favorite local race?

What’s the best race swag you’ve received?

 


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Roller Coaster Race @ Six Flags!

Tuesday: 8m intervals (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400)

I was going back and forth with wanting to run the half marathon at Baltimore’s Running Festival- but it’s about a month out from the Philadelphia Marathon i’m training hard for and I can’t risk doing a hard half that close to the marathon. Instead, I was invited to run a 10K at Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, MD) on Sunday, October 16th.

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Im excited about the Roller Coaster Race for a number of reasons:

1) I haven’t raced a 10K since 2013! It’s not a distance i race often, so i’m excited to hopefully update a new PR.

2) With the entry purchase of the 5k or 10k you get a free ticket to the park (good for the day of the race) and free parking! Cameron and I have wanted to go to Six Flags all summer, but it’s been so humid we haven’t ventured out that way. October sounds like a more enjoyable time to be walking around a theme park. And i’m never going to turn down a post-race funnel cake.

3) If you have friends or family who want to participate, but aren’t runners there is a Roller Coaster Ride challenge they can sign up for. Then they complete a 5k’s worth of roller coasters throughout the day to snag a custom medal!

4) The race starts at 9:30am. Hello beautiful.

If you’re interested in signing up do it today! Price increases tomorrow. Check out more information here and let me know if you plan on going so we can meet up! I’m so excited about a day at the park!!!

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Remember a while ago Cameron and I ran a Color Me Rad 5k through Six Flags? It was fun, but they didn’t give us a free park ticket! We both thought it was odd to bring all these runners and walkers to a theme park and not offer a discount or ticket for the day.Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.50.26 PM

Ever run a race through a theme park?
Roller coasters? Love em or leave em? 


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Into the Furnace!

Monday: 6m easy 10:30/pace, Crossfit

Tuesday: 8.1m interval (5 x 1000s @6:40/p)

Did you guys get the memo that the DC area was super hot this past weekend? Like 104 and extremely high humidity with lots of heat advisories? It was stupid hot out. But I did it, I finished the 50k with a smile, my husband and a great friend.

I started at 6am, not in an attempt to beat the heat (that wasn’t possible), it was 80 and humid before the sun was up. I turned on Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast and took off for what I knew would be a very long, very difficult, hot, humid run.

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The first 10 miles flew by, I kept as close to a 9:45-10:00/pace as possible. I was eating Honey Stinger gels every hour and drinking plenty of water. I figured the best defense I had in this weather would be to front load as many calories as possible so later when I didn’t feel like eating in the heat, I wouldn’t bonk. For the most part, this worked.

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Around mile 14.5 I met Cameron’s parents on the Capital Crescent Trail and took an 8 minute break. They had the station stacked! Coconut water, a Honey Stinger Waffle and orange slices. I ate as much as I could and took off again with the coconut water and a fresh bottle of water in hand. I was so surprised by how many people were out biking, walking and running that morning. It was seriously disgusting out. I had to chew the air and paddle with my arms to move forward.

My next meet up was with Deena. This is where I started having trouble. Checking in with myself, like I often do in distance runs – body felt excellent, brain was alert, I was super fueled, but of course in humidity like this, I was having trouble. Mile 20-24 was rough. I couldn’t take a deep breath. I could only inhale short, shallow breaths. I don’t have asthma, but I can imagine this feels similar like breathing through a straw. The humidity simply wouldn’t allow normal airflow to my lungs. Which made me anxious, angry and upset. My body was more than ready to run, but the humidity stopped me over and over again. I was walking more than running trying to make ground to get to Deena. I was over 45 minutes behind my scheduled meet up.

After the longest walk/run segment of this race, I made it to her. I trudged over to a wooden railing, sat down and felt my face get hot and my eyes tear up. I couldn’t control it. I was upset I was so behind schedule, I was frustrated the run was going to take longer than I wanted, I felt bad I made her wait so long, I still couldn’t take a deep breath (which after all the slowing down was very disheartening.)

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Deena gave me everything I needed, a pep talk and a Coca-Cola. Then we started our 4 mile segment where Cameron would meet us. The caffeine and sugar helped a ton, and I needed the company during those last miles. Walk/running and catching up on life made the few miles go by faster than the previous ones and soon we united with Cameron and he joined us for the final 2 miles.

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Finally done!

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It was a long race, i felt good through 21 miles and if it wasn’t 100 degrees and could breathe normally, i feel like i would have completed the 31 miles feeling strong. At the end of the day, it wasn’t about me or a time goal. It was about the money being donated to the National MS Society ($1250 total!) and running the 31 miles to signify my 31st birthday.

Once we showered we headed to lunch at Full On. Had a glass of deserved sangria and a crab cake sandwich.

Then I napped. For like 2 hours according to Cameron. Next on the day’s agenda was a Nationals game. It was Star Wars Day at the park and the perfect way to end the day.

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Sunday was spent sitting on the couch, rehydrating, dehydrating, Olympicizing, and movie watching…oh and eating tiramisu and macaroons.

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Someone loves sugar as much as me…

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Last Week

Monday: Crossfit

Tuesday: 8m interval (6 x 800s @ 6:35/pace)

Wednesday: Crossfit

Thursday: 9m tempo (6m @ 7:49/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 31m ultra

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 48

What’s your favorite birthday dessert?

 

 


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The 50K Course!

Ultra training is finally coming to an end! I’m happy because I know all these weekend miles have prepared me to run 31 miles for my 31st birthday next weekend. I’m sad because I just started feeling comfortable with these crazy double long runs, but with Hanson’s Marathon training plan I’ll still be doing back to back weekend runs. The volume will be scaled down though. I’m ready to run 31 miles and get right back to the marathon. My head is in the right place for the training and hopefully a fall PR.

I finished scoping out the course for next weekend and it is pretty cool. It kinda connects all the trails i’ve been running since I moved out here 4 years ago. I can’t believe i’ve been living out here for four years and that i never knew how all these trails connected.

I’ll start on Sligo Creek Trail which is an asphalt trail, then head into downtown Silver Spring which is a huge switch from the shaded trail.

Then I’ll cross the DC border and head onto another connector dirt trail. Hopefully the change of surface will benefit me during this later part of the race.

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pretty horse stables near the trail

I have one 5 mile out and back portion that will be on the Georgetown Branch Trail, again a dirt path. Once that out and back is done i’ll be on Rock Creek Trail heading north on my normal stomping ground ending at Lake Needwood.

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I’m trying to take one day at a time right now, but i can honestly say i’m getting really excited to see what I can do with the marathon in 15 more weeks. Sounds like a lot of time, but i know it will fly since i’ll be having so much fun.

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OK, now i have to give a GIANT thanks to all the people who donated to the National MS Society. I was able to raise $940.00!! And since I’m a runner i have to make sure i’m ending on an even number, i’m donating the final $60 so I can write a big fat check for a thousand dollars.

I can’t tell you guys enough how thoughtful and gracious you all are. This was exactly what I wanted for my birthday. We’re giving to a great cause and all of you helped make it possible. I will be doing a small giveaway containing a few of my favorite running essentials for those of you who donated. I will contact the winner at the end of the week. Keep passing along the good vibes! Remember it’s the small things in life that make it worth living.

Monday: 5.3m easy 9:50/pace

Tuesday: 8m interval (8 x 600s @ 6:22/pace), 20 min upper/core

Wednesday:  Crossfit

Thursday: 8.5m marathon tempo (6m @ 7:49/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15.5m long 9:30/pace, 5000m row

Sunday: 14m 9:53/pace

Total Miles: 51.3 (weekly mileage PR!)

Any tips for running a 50K?

Who’s marathon training? 

 

 


5 Comments

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?