9 Comments

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.

13310465_10154303051993203_6494539269430944593_n

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!

13315547_879141930839_5657328409216907010_n

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.

bazu-8475445

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.

bazu-8474957

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.

13077033_10209396055283689_3149085015143439396_n

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.

File_000 (212)

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.

File_000 (211)

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…

File_000 (213)

File_000 (214)

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

What’s your go-to after race meal?  

Any summer races? 


24 Comments

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon Race Recap!

Monday: 20m upper body

Tuesday: 6.9m 8:06/pace

It’s about that time to share with you the race day details! Usually I need a week to absorb the race, reflect, plan and hello…Celebrate!! This was a huge PR for me (3 minutes and 18 seconds!) and I’ve been enjoying a week off from running to revel in racing success.

So let’s jump right into it!

At the start during mile 1 my body was relaxed, but I felt like this pace was too easy for what I wanted to do that day. I figured this would be my warm up mile since I didn’t have much time to actually do a warm up. I figured you can’t bank time and i’d pick up the pace as the crowds fell. My first mile beeped at 7:54, I could have swore it was a 9:30/pace, so my heart jumped and I kept repeating, “I CAN PR TODAY.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.37.54 PM

Mile 1

Shortly after I found some space and sped up, I overheard a couple who were talking about their pacing strategy and the guy said, “We’re at a 7:16/pace I think this is a good pace…” I couldn’t agree more and I kept up with them until the marathon & 1/2 split at mile 7. I didn’t realize they were running a full marathon at that pace! It was slightly deflating, but at the same time, I was running my own race and just used their calm, even pacing as inspiration.

I felt really good at a 7:15-7:25 pace and basically tried following the tangents as best as I could while enjoying the music playing. I can honestly say I felt really great this entire race. Then I saw the number 8 spray painted on the asphalt and remembered i still had a ways to go. This is when i juuuuust started feeling tired.  This gave me a lot of confidence cause usually i’m blowing up by mile 9 or 10 and struggling and slowing to the finish.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 8.56.23 AM

After a quick body check–>legs felt good, posture good, tunes good…I decided it was time to work. I picked up the cadence and focused on getting to mile 10 and then pushing the final 5k.  I kept positive by focusing on my goals and trying to keep a soft smile on my face as often as I needed.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 8.55.23 AM

effort & focus

I couldn’t maintain much of a smile during those last 2 miles. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but I refused to slow down. I pumped my arms so my legs would have to keep up. I kept repeating, “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.” and “You’re not slowing down, your brain is just getting tired” both mantras helped me continue until the final right turn toward the finish.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 8.57.13 AM

And just as the wheels were coming off, and my legs were hurting so bad I couldn’t feel them I heard my best friend, Marie yell out, “CORRII!!” I turned my head and they were right there watching me in the final stretch. I can’t describe how badly I needed to hear a familiar voice of encouragement because I felt like I was slowing down and the finish line was a bad dream where you’re running but you aren’t going anywhere.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.36.53 PM

Across the finish line where my legs finally got to rest, everything felt fantastic. I have never crossed a finish line more proud, elated and satisfied. I’ve been searching for that feeling of running a smart, but left it all on the course, race.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 8.57.28 AM

I started this race with my head, and finished with my heart. As cheesy as that comes off, it’s how I will forever race, running with my head then with my heart.

And of course shortly after the race I had a burger & beer with Marie 🙂

20151107_150405

20151117_163750

I have a ton of thoughts and a few reasons why I’m so thrilled with the outcome of this race:

-There was no pain in my IT band, or any area for that matter.

-I did the first 4 miles in under 30 minutes (something i’ve always wanted to do) and the first 10k in 46:34 (my best 10k ever)

-I negative split the course. I haven’t done this in YEARS.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 4.53.01 PM

-I broke into the top 100 female of a major race. This was a dream goal…

-3:18 off of my 1/2 time is a huge step toward someday getting under 1:30 and qualifying for Boston.

88th Female, 19th in age group 1:36:07 7:19/pace 

What are your go-to mantras!

Have you had a “best” race?

 


20 Comments

The Taper Crazies!

Monday: 6m interval (2m warm up 9:15/pace, 2 x 1m @ 6:27/pace 4:00 recovery + 1.5m cool down)

Finally! I feel like i’ve been talking about the Indianapolis Monumental 1/2 for such a long time! This might be the first time I’m heading into a half feeling excited to see what can happen!

Usually I go into a taper feeling like my training sucked, I coulda/shoulda/woulda done more, but even as I reviewed every detail of my training log i’m taking the positive notes & keeping those for motivation. I’m not gonna get upset if every speedwork session wasn’t perfect, or on every long run i didn’t make incredible improvements. I’m taking the big, important facts & those will be where I draw motivation to push and do my best this Saturday.

Also, I needed a long sleeved shirt for the race and I loved this new Champion long sleeved top I wore for the last easy 8 miler this past weekend.

20151031_073129

20151030_131850

Important Facts That I Will Be Reminding Myself All Week As the Taper Crazies* Set In!

  1. 7 weeks ago I did the Parks Half Marathon in 1:40:02. Un-tapered legs, 5 weeks into training, this was a great time for me to post at the beginning of a training plan.
  2. I finished training healthy, happy & feeling good!! I’m not burnt out and I’ve loved running this fall.
  3. I had an extra week of training!
  4. I’ve been sleeping well, eating well & drinking a ton of water every day.
  5. I can PR on Saturday. I will not restrict my brain with a pace/time goal. I want to run a race to the best of my ability and do better than I have before. #bebrave

*Taper Crazies- The week or two before a race where you think you’re getting sick or injured, you suck at life, you’re not good enough, your spouse/family or co-workers just don’t understand!, nothing is going your way, you review your training log only to find out you didn’t do enough, your final runs all feel like crap–there’s no way you’ll hit your race goal, the barista gave you regular milk when you asked for coconut milk! NOOOOOO!!!!!

Basically, it’s a stressful time where the runner needs to trust the training, relax and get a race day gear & game plan together. Or do what I do and stay busy in other way besides running. Last weekend Cameron and I did a good job setting up his new studio/office space. My space is coming along a little slower, but I need a few more things before it feels right.

We got his desk from the same lady who sold me the teal antique desk. Kinda wanted to buy everything she had…

20151101_125241

ta-da!

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.53.20 AM

I’m trying to stay busy at work and relax in the evenings.  We went to dinner with friends on Halloween so the only dressing up I did was at work. We’re all super goofy & love an excuse not to wear out normal Gold’s Gym shirts. I didn’t have anything laying around the house other than my Hunger Games shirt, so I went as Katniss, like last year. But i figured it’s more relevant since the last movie is coming out this month! I can’t tell you how excited i am for Hunger Games, but also..Star Wars. <—I literally cried watching the trailer. —> See! Keeping my mind off the race 😉

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.18.33 AM

isaac, adrienne, trey, michele, torre, me, & danni!

and me wearing real clothes on my way out to dinner!

20151031_184540

and one more picture from last week, it was SO pretty out!!

20151030_133203

Week of Oct 26th – Nov 1st

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 9m interval 7:46/pace

Wednesday: 30min lower back/obliques

Thursday: 6.1m easy 8:20/pace

Friday: 6m easy 8:47/pace

Saturday: 8m easy 9:01/pace

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 29.1

How do you deal with the taper crazies?


14 Comments

Parks Half Marathon Recap!

Monday: Rest

I love training races! They are horrible because you go in un-tapered, un-rested, un-prepared and un-expectant of anything spectacular.. sounds awful, but running a race during a training cycle helps prepare you for the physical & mental demands of racing hard. And the big reason to race before your ‘A’ race is to see where your current fitness is! I recover quickly from halfs, so i wanted to squeeze one in before the big day (NOV 7th!) to practice racing.

The most recent half I ran was for fun during an injury period (Delaware 1/2). The last real time I raced a half was almost a year ago in Philly with a PR of 1:39:25. Considering that was a flat course and the Parks 1/2 was a hilly course, I feel i’m in similar shape that I was last year, which is a great thing & a huge boost!

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 4.19.42 PM

I still have 7 weeks of solid training before tapering, so as long as I stay healthy I should be able to PR come November. Now, I really want that sub 1:30 time. However, after sunday’s race, I think a sub 1:35 is much more attainable. Not gonna sell myself short, I’m still aiming for the stars, but staying healthy & consistent is priority #1. Always!

On to the recap! I looooove small races. The field was 2,700 on familiar trail systems and the start line was 8 miles from my house. Can’t beat that. (Or the sweet Brooks long sleeved tech shirt). It’s an inexpensive entry fee (i think i paid $65 and that was the late entry), with a ton of cool swag, and the volunteers and people in charge were super friendly and easy to find.

20150914_230106

shirt, headband, wine stopper medal!

Getting back from vacation kept my mind off of the race until the morning of–I honestly didn’t have a measure on how I should run the race. Last year I focused on the marathon, this spring it was the 5k, and an unexpected injury. I just started adding in speed work about 3 weeks ago..plus I just took a vacation where I only ran twice! What kind of pace does that equate to? No idea. I thought a 7:30-7:45 pace would be difficult, yet conservative, so I wouldn’t hit a wall. If I hit 7:30s I could potentially PR, if it was closer to 7:40s it would be a solid effort I could be extremely proud of. That was my game plan. Do something to be proud of and figure out how much work is left for November.

During the race itself, i didn’t have a lot of inner dialogue going. I was focused. That would be the best word for the race. Focus. I think I had 2 negative, oh-my-god-i’m-dying, thoughts, and each time it happened I focused on the time 1:30 & plastered a probably insane looking smile on my face, which ended up working and eliminated the negative thoughts like a charm.

2015 Parks Half Marathon - Photo by Alex Reichmann, MCRRC

2015 Parks Half Marathon – Photo by Alex Reichmann, MCRRC

For almost the entire 2nd half of the race I followed 3 dudes in front of me who were running similar paces . They don’t know it, but they helped me when the hurt set in. I wish I could thank them, but I lost them after I crossed the finish. All I can say is, it feels fucking awesome running with the boys.

The last 4 miles were hard. I worked HARD for those last 4. I usually walk a little towards the end of these races and lose a lot of time, so I only let myself stop at water stations. I finished as the 38th women with 1:40:02 (7:38/pace) and 12/175 for my age group. I felt generally good the whole race and my mental game is getting stronger than it’s ever been.

And this picture is for my runner friend Emmeline, who always thinks my race pics are beautiful. This is what it looks like to sprint down the chute. Emmeline, you are welcome.

2015 Parks Half Marathon - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

2015 Parks Half Marathon – Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

The finishing chute was short & sweet: medals, cups of water, winter head bands & a tent to check your official finishing time. Mama Lucia’s provided a huge breakfast–eggs, potatoes, bagels, pizza, fruit… too much food for me after a hard run. I grabbed a watermelon slice and some water and headed back home so I could shower and get brunch with Cameron.

20150913_130141

We ate at brunch at Matchbox and I got eggs benedict with potatoes.. so good!

20150913_114826

20150913_131105

Then, as per usual, we did something fun in the evening—> Death Cab for Cutie concert!

IMG_26061

I’m so excited to see how the next 7 weeks of training unfolds, time to grind it out!

Sept 7th-13th

Monday: 10m long 8:45/pace

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 6m Goal 1/2 Marathon Pace workout (2m warmup, 3 GMP @ 6:58/pace, 1m cool down)

Thursday: 20 minTRX upper body

Friday: 7m interval (10 x 400s @ 6:15/pace)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Parks Half 13.1 race 7:38/pace

Total Miles: 35.1 (seems high, only because I pushed my 10mile long run to monday!)


12 Comments

Wine & Race Entries

Monday: 5000m row, 25 pull ups, 50 pushups, 100 sit ups

Tuesday: 5.5m intervals (8 X 400s, 6 @ 6:00/pace, 2 @ 6:15/pace)

I finally have a few races on the schedule! It helps to commit to a race when you have a great cabernet in hand.. No joke: it lowers your inhibitions, makes taking the credit card out a little easier and makes your goals more exciting than ever.

20150124_195318

I really need to see where my fitness is so I can nail that sub 20:00 5k this spring. And a great thing about training for a 5k is that there is almost always a local 5k every weekend, and generally it’s a cheap entry fee. I signed up for the Potomac Valley Track Club’s By George, 5k! The course description says “totally flat.” I’ll totally be the judge of that. Sounds like a good way to wake up on Valentine’s Day and get a workout in before the day starts.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.51.45 PM

I also threw my name in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler back in December and got in. Everyone in the DC area raves about this flat, fast & beautiful course. I’m also excited to race a new distance this April!

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.56.09 PM

And finally I choose my fall ‘A’ race. The Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. I really want to hit a fast half and I’m taking my time to rev up for it. This race is in November, which gives me plenty of time to find another half for a practice race in August/September.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.52.05 PM

And what better way to attempt my 1:30 half than by being in my home state of Indiana with my closest, best friend of all time!?

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.38.34 PM

us just being classy--also this picture is like 8 years old.

us just being classy–also this picture is like 8 years old.

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 Rounds w/30lb bar: 8 Overhead shoulder press, 15 front squats, 10 thrusters, 5.75m easy 8:01/pace (ranged from 7:22-8:20)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 20 min running drills, 8 miles (intervals- 8 x 800s), 30 min core

Friday: 3500m Row, 30 lateral wall ball slams, 35 pushups

Saturday: 12m easy/long, 8:06/pace

Sunday: Rest

Mileage: 25.8

Fall races picked out yet?

Goals??


23 Comments

The Good, The Bad & the Sub 1:40

It usually takes a couple days to absorb details and emotions that occurred during a race. From the moment I crossed the finish line I was happy about my performance, but disappointed because i thought I had a little more in me. Hence, my MMM (McKayla Marony Moment) that the photographers just so happened to catch. When I saw this picture, I realized what a brat I was being. I did my best on the given day and landed a PR.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.13.41 AM

Instead of a traditional race recap where I take you mile by mile of what happened, I thought breaking down the positive and negatives of the race would help me take away what I need from it and move forward.

The Bad

-Sinus issues. You guys know i’ve been dealing with it. During the race, it was the only thing annoying me the entire time. My nose was running right along with me and my throat was super dry, making it impossible to take deep breaths. I had to make extra water stops just to wet my throat which i knew was killing time. That was frustrating.

-Wind. There were definitely decent headwinds, which made the dry throat worse.

-Hills. These killed me. I forgot how hilly the course was. I tried to pretend it was an interval workout every time I headed up a hill. I had to stop on several just to shake out my legs and catch my breath. Stopping on the uphill is where my mental game started falling apart in those last couple miles.

-Course tangents. I did not study the course map at all, and I never knew where the turns were, so it made me anxious trying to figure out the shortest distance. (Sidenote: the total distance from last year on my Garmin read 13.3, and this year again it was 13.3. I spoke with a few runners after the race that also thought the course was off by 2 tenths.)

The Good!

-The Rock N’ Roll race was MUCH more organized than last year, making it a breeze to get to a port-a-potty, gear check and the start corrals. The course was so cool. Running it a second time, I got the chance too look around and see monuments, then cute neighborhoods, and I loved getting to see the Capitol during the final miles.

-I hit a goal I was chasing for a year now, earning a sub 1:40 half marathon!

-I felt really great with the pacing. I felt totally in control almost the whole race. My coach said I ran a “smart race” and I agree with that.

-Fuel intake! I ate a GU (Jet Blackberry) about 15 minutes before the start, another at 5 miles and another at 9 miles. I felt well fueled and hydrated during the race.

-I finished 209th female overall. I’ve had a secret weird goal to break into the top 100 women of a major half for a while now. It’s finally in reach!

-This was my 1st half where all mile splits were sub-8s!

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.43.45 AM

Official Time 1:39:57

-I had a kick at the end! This hardly ever happens,  6:46/pace for the last .3. It took a lot to dig for that energy, but I knew if i didn’t I wouldn’t have snuck under 1:40.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.23 AM

last quarter mile, hauling ass to break 1:40

Already looking at the +/-‘s I’m feeling much better about this half. Most of the negative problems were out of my control and that’s the way it goes sometimes! But hey, I’m getting faster and more confident running races and I HAD FUN. Someone at the start line said “if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.” I repeated that mantra throughout the race, only having small moments through miles 11-13 where I hated running had negative thoughts.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.12.02 AM

Things I need to work on for my next race: get more comfortable with hill running, study the course maps better, and work on my positive mental game. I realize I am hard on myself, but I’m human and I want to constantly improve 🙂

1960050_10151976489275205_6653164_n

How do you deal with negative feelings during or after a race?

How much time do you take off after a race before running? 

 

 


7 Comments

Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll 1/2 – Race Recap!

Sunday’s 1/2 marathon splits (7:54/pace): 7:49, 7:54, 7:58, 7:49, 8:01, 7:40, 7:40, 7:45, 7:57, 7:24, 7:36, 7:45, 7:59 

1:43:25 Overall place 2065 out of all 18,074 runners. Division 25-29 female age group 176 out of 2406

This was a race full of firsts. This was my first time traveling for a race, staying in a hotel and eating at a restaurant for my pre-race meal. All of which I was scared of. All of which turned out really fun and totally in my favor. For the first time I actually slept a full 8 hours before my race. Woke up and had peanut butter on half a bagel, a banana, a water with grape Nuun and a Starbucks coffee.  I got to eat and take care of business in the comfy hotel room. I ended up leaving the hotel at 7:25 for the 8:00am start. I did a proper warm up run to the corrals, and did some dynamic stretching.

The first 4 miles of the race were through the city streets and it was gorgeous. I felt good, really good. Like, kept looking at my Garmin tick off sub-8 miles in disbelief and tried to slow myself down. When I hit my 5th mile at an 8:01 pace, I thought what the hell, let’s run fast today! So I took my Jet Blackberry 2x caffeinated GU and sped up for the remainder of the run along the river.

downtown heading toward the parkway

downtown heading toward Kelly Drive

My legs were hanging in there, my arms were relaxed, head was up and form was good. I focused on my effort to keep pace, more so than my watch. I only checked the Garmin at mile splits. The race finally got hard 8.5 miles in. I panicked and thought I went out too fast, my sub 8s were too good to be true, questioned the last time I ran over 10 miles?? This was the time of the race when my head decided to tell me it was tired. My body wasn’t though, so I shut up my brain and pushed on.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine at Mile 8.7

The last 3 miles were torture, the hardest of any race i’ve done by far. The sun was hot, my legs were getting heavy and my breathing wasn’t calm anymore. I kept telling myself the last 5k is supposed to be difficult. This is where it matters, one foot in front of the other, take shorter quicker steps and pump your arms. I kept moving, my times slowed slightly, but i wasn’t letting it get me down. I wanted to push until my body quit. Luckily I only had to stop once in the final mile to catch my breath and shake out my legs. I finished with a PR, almost 4 minutes off my last time from 6 months ago and ran a great race.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 10.02.10 AM

done. and getting blinded by the sun.

This wasn’t my ‘A’ goal. I wanted 1:40 so bad, but with my training it was a stretch. I haven’t hit numbers like that to even come close to that time, which is why I’m not upset about it. Coming off of an injury and an abbreviated training cycle (only 8 weeks), I’m really excited about my next races to see what I can really do with a healthy body and full training plan completed. Sidenote–can a girl get a sponsorship from a beer company? or Starbucks?

free beer!

free beer!

The real fun was after the race when we had a celebratory brunch at Marathon. Seriously. We stumbled upon this gem and I couldn’t believe the name or that it sits kitty-corner to Philadelphia Runner store.

Marathon Grill

Marathon Grill

Delicious. Everything was grass-fed, organic and yummy. $5 drink specials on mimosas and bloody mary’s, and you bet we took advantage.  I got eggs benedict & Cameron got the Philly Cheesesteak.

menu

menu

IMAG1587

New blogger alert…I guess I’m supposed to take the pictures before we eat.. haha

My favorite way to explore a city is by running it. And maybe I’m on a big high from my PR, either way, I liked the city and would definitely recommend this race to everyone. It was flat, fast and very pretty. I will be back for sure.

I have nothing on the roster as far as races go and this week is a relaxing zero running week. Okay, not relaxing, I’m sore and already missing my morning runs. 😦