This weekend flew by. I had way too much fun, with too many cool people. Our box ended up raising over $18,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation! Big thanks to my friends and family who donated!
Before I headed to DC for the Cupid’s fundraising event, i started Saturday with a 14.1 mile run. And I can honestly say, it was the first in a string of really crappy runs that felt somewhat normal. Normal easy pace, normal tired, but not too beat up legs, normal weather, etc. Normal, I needed that. Let’s hope the last month of this training cycle goes well!
The rest of the day went by quickly. Got home, showered, ate breakfast, hopped on the train to meet up with Yomery (one of my very strong 6AM Crossfit friends) and met up with the rest of the CF Silver Spring peeps.
me and Yomery
We had a table. And open bar… so lots of fun ensued!
I don’t believe I was part of the dancing…
Josh, Marcos & Katie (my coaches!)
A couple hours into our open bar, we flooded the streets and ran.. what seemed like a half mile. I found out the night before it wasn’t a 5k (i can’t remember why i thought it was) I don’t even think it was an actual mile or anywhere near one, but it didn’t matter, everyone was having a blast & raising money for a good cause. Plus the alcohol helped us stay warm ;).
Left: Shaved heart Right: Pearl necklace. Gotta love these guys.
Till next year. Guess it’s time to start thinking about breaking my Beer Mile record. ❤
Monday: 7m easy 8:59/pace, shoulders + handstand practice
Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.2 interval (6 x 1m @ 6:55 pace)
Every Saturday this summer I have been out for my long run. Every person, biker, walker, runner, stroller, doggie I pass I try to say “hi” or give a smile or small wave. If i’m not completely out of breath, I’ll happily say, “Good Morning.”
Now let me paint a small picture. I’m from Indiana. I’m a midwesterner. I grew up knowing my neighbors, my manners, being friendly and polite, especially to strangers. (Trump could have used a midwestern upbringing but don’t get me started.) When I moved to the east coast, and i know i’ve mentioned this several times through my blog, many people just keep to themselves and don’t say hi. It bothers me. Maybe it’s because i’m a people pleaser, or maybe because i believe it’s the little things in life that make the world go round.
There’s a woman, maybe in her 50s, that walks the trail every Saturday around the same time I’m out. She’s always alone, no friends or walking companions, no headphones or ipods. Just quietly shuffling along the trail to get her morning exercise in. I’ve said hi to this lady at least ten times this summer. There was even a day I ran past her twice (remember i do a lot of out-and-backs) and she has never said a word. However, she stares like i’m a little harlot with no shirt on. She sneers at me. Her eyes go wide then narrow all in an instant.
runner’s saving grace!
Naturally I think this lady (and i have to call her lady now cause i’m pissed) is a total B. How many times can i look a person in the eyes and say, “Good morning.”? I’ll tell you how many. As many as it takes because i’m NICE and I’m from the Midwest!!!! And of course I understand that sometimes people are just generally distracted in their own world. Listening to headphones, or concentrating on their workout, or maybe don’t hear or see me. I understand that.
I think it’s super strange that i’ve been working at the same gym for almost 4 years and there are MANY people I see on a daily basis that ignore me completely. And again, it’s me saying, “Hello” “How are you” “Good to see you.”As persistent I am with being polite they are just as persistent at ignoring me. I totally understand where Adele is coming from.
But then, I had a small victory this past Saturday. The old lady softly spoke, hi when I passed by with the weekly greeting. She almost stopped me dead in my tracks because it was so unexpected. I could have hugged her. I didn’t because it probably took a lot for her to say hello to me. I finally broke her down.
Killing people with kindness works. For every person that doesn’t say hi, i will forever think of her and remember that being cold and unfriendly is never the way into someone’s heart. Please, please be nice to strangers. You never know what kind of day, week or year they’re having. A kind gesture can turn someone’s day around and with so much hate in the news this is all we have to fight back with.
What are you looking forward to this week?
Do you smile, say hi, nod, wink, peace sign while passing people?
Just as planned, I dipped my toes into a speed session last week. An 8 mile run with five of those miles at a 7:30/pace tempo. That went well. The next day I did my usual body weight leg day which consisted of about 20 minutes of very basic exercises: light weighted squats (40lbs), TRX balance lunges and TRX pistol squats. I don’t know if it was the combination of speed & strength but Saturday I was still feeling sore legs…
When the alarm buzzes on a Saturday, usually 6:00am, the first thing I do is press the ON button for the coffee to start, then I take LE out for her walk and to get a feel for the outside temps to prepare for my run.
Once we get back I chug a large glass of water, move onto coffee, check emails and blogs while i stretch out my legs.
I try to multi-task as much as possible while i’m waking up so I can get out the door in 30 minutes. I’m not one of those people that can just roll out of bed and run. When i do that i feel like i’m sleep running or something. I like being alert so coffee and stretching will do that real quick.
Once my eyes finally wake up, i pop the contacts in, get dressed and grab what I need for a 2+ hour run.
I drove about 20 minutes from my house to scout out a connection trail for the ultra i’m running next month. I was happy to find that Rock Creek Trail has been updated with a lot of signs, port-o-pottys and lights have been installed in a dark under pass. The trail itself feels super safe, easy to navigate and there are plenty of fountains and toilets.
Now I can tell you about how craptastic these two weekend runs were. I’m not joking when I said my legs were sore. Every single step I took over 15 miles hurt. I was hopeful that they would loosen up in the first few miles. Nope. Maybe this side stitch will go away. Nope. My muscles tightened for approximately 19,000 steps. And i felt every single step. The side stitch was there from mile 3 to 13, which resulted in a lot of walk breaks. I am always humbled when I see 10:XX miles blink on my watch.
But hey, these long runs are no joke. Cumulative fatigue is a real thing and the hard runs during the summer will make a strong runner for the fall. I didn’t mentally give up. I knew my legs were just tired. <—if that’s not ultra marathon mentality I don’t know what is.
Sunday I set out for 7 miles. Again, i was hopeful my legs would feel better. They didn’t. It was another slow, hot run. There was nothing I could do but enjoy Hello, From the Magic Tavern podcast and look forward to Monday, a day off from leg work.
After the run, I got out my calendar to mark the number of weeks until Philadelphia Marathon and whoa, I didn’t realize training starts next week! I’ll be following the Hansons Marathon Method (advanced) this training cycle. I’ll slightly adjust the long runs until the ultra is done in August, then follow the plan as closely as possible after.
I’m excited about this marathon. My first ever marathon was a 4:28 in Chicago when I was underprepared and undertrained. The last I completed was Chicago again in 2014 when I was extremely burnt out from work and personal life issues. I completed it in 3:50, which was a huge PR, but it was a stressful time to attempt a marathon.
Now i’ve got the mileage and strength to back me up. I’m happy at home and in work. This all adds up to a good time to try the marathon again. Cross your fingers and stay tuned for all the highs and lows of marathon training.
Tuesday:6m easy 8:40/pace
Wednesday:8m tempo (2m warm up, 5 @ 7:30/pace, 1m cooldown), 45 min upper body
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.
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 swung by a local brewery that a client told me about. Manor Hill Brewing! (Ellicott City, MD)
I 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!
I enjoyed the Coffee IPA and their sour saison. The brewery doesn’t serve food so you can bring your own! I brought along chips, peanuts and oreos. Don’t judge, remember I ran super far so I can eat some junk once in a while.
Coffee Brown IPA & Latte milk stout taster w/Cinnamon bun oreos 🙂
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 it was a fun place to spend an afternoon.
The next day, Sunday, which is now turning into my 2nd runday I met up with my friend Deena for an easy 5 miler.
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.
Monday:3m easy 9:55/pace, 45min total body strength
Tuesday: 5m easy 8:56/pace
I’m still riding the “love the long run” train. Sunday was no different than the last several weeks as I set out to run 12 miles. I got up at 6:15am to fit in the long run before heading into DC. Seriously I am NOT a morning person, but if you dangle the brunch carrot in front of me, i’ll do anything at 6am. I like eggs and coffee more than I like a lot of people.
Anywho, the run was lovely! I was super relaxed, kept my watch covered up and enjoyed being one of the early morning runners out on the trail. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but sometimes those are the best runs.
The rest of this post is weird because I literally lived this same day over a year ago with Emmeline. It started at Zengo for brunch.
It was so sunny, warm and beautiful I turned into a tourist and walked for several hours around the district.
The day continued with walking around the Natural History Museum and then back home.
I got a good taste of spring and am more than ready for warmer weather. I miss running in shorts!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.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?)
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.
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. ❤
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 😉
Monday:5m easy 9:25/pace
Tuesday:3m easy 9:10/pace,40 min strength (chest/legs)
I’ve been rocking my long runs & recovery for the last month, with noticeable improvements in speed, less stopping & faster recovery. My friends over a PRO Compression sent me a new pretty pair of socks that I will use all year round and especially for recovery.
Color: Marathon Berry
During summer months I won’t wear compression socks while running, it’s just too warm. So i make it a priority to wear them the day before & immediately after a long run. This method seems to do the trick. My legs are hardly tired or feeling beat up the next day. When it gets colder out, I’ll pair my compression socks with capris & create a warm running tight. Does anyone else do this??
This picture was taken October last year the day before the Chicago Marathon. And there I am sporting the very trendy capri & pro compression combo next to The Foodie Runner! Just looking at this makes me wonder when my next marathon will be!
Yesterday I did 11 miles with the last 4 miles with a faster finish (7:45-7:55 pace). When I get back from a long run I drink water, hop in the shower (i can’t stand sitting on the couch smelly & sweaty), put on comfy clothes & Pro Compression socks, more water or fruit & nuts to snack on before figuring out an actual meal.
sitting in the sun warming up & rehydrating
I also like to bundle up on the couch for a while because it takes a little time for my body temperature to return to normal.
she likes to bundle up & watch tv too!
legs up, legs tight!
We went to Denizens Brewery in the afternoon for a beer & a lunch. BBQ chicken salad & a white ipa.
Now it’s your turn up your running game! Use the code PRO15 to get 40% off of PRO Compression’s socks & sleeves. PRO Compression is giving away a free pair of Marathon Socks to one of my lovely readers! You can earn up to 3 entries to win:
Sunday’s long run was unexpectedly incredible. I went into it feeling like I’d die out around mile 6, just because I’ve been doing much shorter distances lately and because I waited until the last possible minute to actually get outside and run (like 3:30ish). Since I figured it was gonna be a rough one I turned my Garmin on, hid it under my sweater and listened to my body to pace me for the day.
Surprisingly I kept a really even pace. I focused on my breath, my footfall, the turnover– picking up my feet quickly instead of heel striking– basically all the little things CrossFit Endurance has been drilling into my head. The two lights I stopped at, i checked out the Garmin juuuuust to see where my pace was. Each time my watch read 8:22. I’ll take it. I laughed that the average pace never changed, but knew this was the easy pace my body wanted for the given day. I chose to respect it, enjoy the outside and fall into Jack White’s album, Lazaretto.
Mile 6 came and went. I figured I’d get tired soon, I always get tired near the end. Who wouldn’t? Yet again to my surprise, I didn’t tire. The cold got to me a bit, but the running was fantastic. Every uphill wasn’t a challenge, just a different footfall, arm swing, and breathing pattern. Every curve on the trail was a chance to practice tangents. Each person in front of me was a target to push just a little harder, to pass.
It was just a good run. Nothing special except I was mentally alert, and aware of my body for a full 10 miles. I almost always fall in and out of body consciousness while running. Sunday I was present in the best way possible. I’m a runner and I’m ready for new things to happen in 2015.
And even though my mile splits ranged from 8:00-8:35, my average ended up a solid 8:22. Haha.
Mon: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 body weight dips, AMRAP* TRX triceps extension, 15 each side lateral wall ball slams.
Racing season just got real. Sunday I was scheduled for 16 miles, but I am running the Philadelphia Half Marathon this upcoming Sunday, so i wanted to wing it and shoot for 18-20 so I could get a long run under my belt and possibly try and race this weekend and not be burned out.
I woke up at 5:30am.. completely unaware it’s pitch black at that god awful hour and it threw me off. You can’t run (nor should you) run alone in the dark on trails. I drove to the trail i planned to run on and headed to the lit main roads and stayed the course until the sun started rising. Then I found another entrance to the same trail and kept on with the plan.
After 20 🙂
The plan was to run 10 miles at a really conservative pace and the 2nd half just 20-30 seconds faster and see how i felt heading into those last 2-3 unplanned miles. I kept the pace around 9:00 for the first 10. From miles 4-11 I ended up on a half marathon course! Whoops–the Parks Half Marathon was on the same path so I got to enjoy the local crowd support, cheering and lots of runners. I was traveling the path early so some of the crowd thought I was the first woman coming through and I kept having to say i’m just on my Sunday 20 miler! Just on my 20 miler.. who am i!?
It was a challenge to stick to the pace plan while there was so much excitement around me so I kept telling myself i have races coming and i have to go a lot further than 13 miles. At the 10 mile turn around I decided to pick up the pace and gradually kept going faster. My last 3 miles were 7:50 pace—Mile 20 was a 7:46. Yeah, i’m tooting my own horn, because i’ve been WTF‘ing all over the place and i felt really in control and had a TON of energy even after i was done.
Things I took away from this long run:
1) You can conserve energy by running slower in the early miles. This run proved I can pick up the pace and I don’t have to waste fast miles early on.
2) Eating frequently about every 10-15min starting at the first 30min works for me. Even though at one time i held a GU pack for almost 45 minutes, taking small bites was easy on the stomach and i never hit a wall. (bonus, i got to check my watch for “food time” which distracted me from pace/distance/time etc.
3) Compression socks must be made of angel wings. My lower legs, which have been problematic for me, felt perfect the entire run.
4) It’s very important to check in with yourself during long runs. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling so you don’t end up injured or hurt.
5) Boston qualifying time is still in reach. I had big doubts because of the crunched training time from the ankle injury, but I feel like if everything goes right, it could happen.
6) After a crazy long run you have to treat yourself.