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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. ūüôā

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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Running Favorites II

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 9m interval 7:46/pace

Okay, it’s time to tell you about the running related things I have been using for years now, because i love them and i like talking about the things I love.

Shoes. #1 most important thing for a runner. And I love Saucony. They’ve been coming out on top, over and over for me. Especially the Kinvaras. I’ve been racing in the Kinvara’s for a while now and love a light shoe that is still supportive underneath the midfoot. Brooks is a close 2nd. I love the Pure Project line even though I gave Brooks a rest over the last year, I will be wearing them again in the near future.

Kinvara 5s.

Kinvara 5s.

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Saucony Triumphs

I recently tried the New Balance Zante’s –with only a 128 miles on them, they already felt like they lost their spring & are now just a gym shoe. Definitely disappointing. The other brand I recently tried were Asics. Again, a disappointment. I have 100 miles on them, and the shoe itself is falling apart (several small holes), the insole is bunched up and the shoe feels flat as well. These two shoes will be saved for short, easy running days or walks with the pup.

Clothes: Shorts/pants/socks, hands down Under Armour. I wear their shorts during races whenever it’s warm enough. Shirts: this one is tough for me, i don’t have a go-to. I’m thinking I might try Oiselle? Most of my running shirts are off-brand from TJ Maxx & stuff. Sports Bras: The Brooks Versatile bra is my favorite, and I only have one left, so I scoured the internet and grabbed a few more, but I’m not sure what I’ll do when I need to find a replacement. Socks- Pro Compression baby. I wear these things all the time. They feel so different from other compression socks. No other way to describe it, they just feel better and help me recover faster.

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Brooks Versatile Bra I & II

I wore a tank over this and the compression socks--although i love them, not very good for weather close to 80 degrees :(

My race go-tos–Sauconys, my UA shorts, Versatile Bra, PRO Compression Socks, Garmin & Ipod Nano

Fuel: I used to be a GU Girl–but it’s too thick to try and get down while i’m racing hard. I found Honey Stingers, Hammer Gels & Powerade Gels work best for me. They taste better and are a thinner gel (does that make sense?).

And I think everyone knows by now I have an obsession with Nuun electrolyte tablets. They come in so many different flavors and have a light, crisp flavor without all the added sugars. Although I will drink Powerade or Gatorade the 2 days before a race just to consume extra calories!

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Nuun shipment day! LE was super happy too.

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Gadgets/Gear/Extras: I’ve had my Garmin Forerunner 10 for three years now and it’s still kicking and the best Christmas present I’ve gotten in a long time. It’s a cheaper running watch compared to the others in Garmin’s line but it gives you the information you need total time/pace/distance and you can get them on Amazon right now for $80-90. I use an Ipod Nano from several years back and i’ve been tucking it in a Flipbelt! This has been my favorite thing since I picked one up at the Chicago Marathon last year. It does exactly what it says–you can fit a lot in the belt, flip it over and it stays against your body. No bouncing or losing your items.

Week of Oct 19th-25th

Monday: 6.9m easy 8:32/pace

Tuesday: 9m interval (8 x 1000s- 3 @ 6:48/pace, 3 @ 6:44/pace, 2 @ 6:40/pace ‚Äď 2min recovery jog in between)

Wednesday: 25 min shoulders/back

Thursday: 10.8 interval 8:14/pace ( 3 x 2.5m – 7:25/average pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 10.2m easy 8:52/pace

Total Miles: 36.9

What are some of your running favorites?


29 Comments

Mondays Suck, Giveaways Don’t.

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.

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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!

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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

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.

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she likes to bundle up & watch tv too!

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legs up, legs tight!

We went to Denizens Brewery in the afternoon for a beer & a lunch. BBQ chicken salad & a white ipa.

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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:

–¬†leave a blog comment

–¬†follow my instagram

– sign up for PRO Compression’s Newsletter¬†(which will keep you updated on discounts, new colors & grab bags!)

Leave a separate comment for each entry, telling me what you completed! *Giveaway is open to US residents only please!

Giveaway ends Thursday @ Midnight!!! #keepittight


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Shoppin’ For My-se-elf‚Ķ

Mon: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 body weight dips, AMRAP* TRX triceps extension, 15 each side lateral wall ball slams.

Tues: 4m easy 8:20/pace, AMRAP TRX chestflys/pushups 

Wed: 4m easy (but hard because of the wind) 7:34/pace, 15 min running drills/ 5min bare foot running

Thurs: Rest

* AMRAP= As many reps as possible

How is it Thursday already! I’ve been meaning to blog but shopping for myself got in the way. Also, i’ve been meaning to Christmas shop for other people, but shopping for myself got in the way. Seems like I end up buying gifts like this— one for you, one for me hehee, I can’t help myself! Some of the Cyber Monday deals were way too awesome to pass up!

I bought a 4-pack (but shoulda bought more packs) of Nuun, my favorite training drink of choice–Also, got the email that I’m now a Nuunbassador for their company. Congrats to all the other bloggers out that are now part of the Nuun family :).

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I’ve wanted to try Pro Compression tights for the longest time and with a discount code and free shipping, they now have a fine home on my rear end. Speaking of, they have a high waist band which is nice so you don’t get the muffin top and they’re nice and thick–no undie lines or anything else showing through!

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Then I got one two new pairs of shoes. I needed to replace my favorite New Balance Minimus with a new pair for work. And I also wanted to give New Balance a go with a pair of running shoes.

4mm left, zero drop right

4mm left, zero drop right

The running shoes I bought are Minimus WR10GY. They are still a 4mm drop (what i’m used to), just a lot less shoe than normal. I’m starting to incorporate barefoot running & lots of new running drills into a weekly routine so it seems only natural to get a shoe with less cushion. I’ve been walking/standing/strength training in zero drop shoes all year and I can’t tell you enough how different (in a good way) it feels to lift or squat in shoes where your heel is level with your forefoot. And bonus: my form has improved.

Seeing these positive changes¬†is making me want to run in zero drop. I used to have arch pain constantly–I thought my high arches needed more cushion. Turns out I needed less, a lot less. The New Balance Minimus have literally zeroed out any foot pain i’ve had standing in shoes all day.

and they're so pretty too!

and they’re so pretty too!

I’ve also noticed after barefoot drills my right plantar fascia gets tight and I have to work it out a good deal for it to feel better. This could have been a much worse problem had I not tried barefoot running. <—But Cori, what if barefoot running is making your fascia tight, why don’t you just stop—> Because, made-up-person-i’m-blog-talking-to, my tight fascia probably has been a problem that was hidden with well cushioned shoes that absorb and hide high impact shock. All issues I’ve had have been on my right side (ankle, shin, soleus, & hip). Could the root of all these problems be caused by tight connective tissue along the bottom of my foot? Perhaps. I’m hoping that incorporating running drills and changing training plans will lead me to working out kinks & getting into a healthy racing year and one step closer to becoming an Unbreakable Runner.

Also, just as important as these running discoveries: Snicker Doodle Muddy Buddies. They are at Target right now. Buy them, buy them now.

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Just be sure to buy them with friends to share with. There are 11 servings in this bag. I ate the entire thing in 2 sittings. Eeek.
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How’s your week going?

Barefoot drills? Thoughts? Any discoveries?


13 Comments

Chi-Marathon Recap!

Recapping a marathon is a tough thing to do. Which is why i needed the week to digest and reflect on everything. Now being a week removed, I think it’s safe to say i had a pretty awesome race :). I didn’t hit my A goal–to qualify for Boston 3:35. I didn’t even hit my B goal–under 3:45, I did however reach my C goal–under 4:00. With a new PR 3:50:10, it was the best I could give last Sunday and I couldn’t be happier!

When I was deciding on a race plan the week of the marathon I still wanted to shoot for the BQ qualifying time, but I was trying to be honest with myself and 3:40-3:45 seemed more realistic based on the training I had. The plan was to head into the race nice and slow (just as i’d done in training) and pick up the pace about halfway through and try to makeup time in the second half. I basically wanted my first half to be as comfortable as possible.

The start line was electric! The weather was beautiful, 55 and sunny, and I had some really great tunes loaded into the ipod. For the first 30 minutes of the race I chatted with a really nice lady who was running her very 1st marathon. Then I said goodbye and good luck to her, put in the headphones and took the first half of the race pretty easy, just as planned.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 6.18.17 PMChicago was so energetic and loud the entire race! There were very few spots of quiet running and I actually embraced them and enjoyed the few minutes of silence when they came around. Especially when I hit the halfway mark and decided it was time to work. Unfortunately my legs only wanted to go faster for a few miles.

Around 19-20 I slowed down consistently from 8:20s-8:30s to 8:45s. I don’t feel like I hit a wall. I felt well fueled.There was a point that I honestly couldn’t make my legs move any faster. I was just cruising where I felt slightly uncomfortable. Once I passed the 20 mile mark I realized the Boston Qualifying time was near impossible since I had no giddy-up left.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 6.19.57 PMInstead of giving up or feeling defeated, I chose to focus on goal #2. Get in under 3:45! Around this time, mile 22, both inner quads cramped up. Never in my running career or life have these muscles cramped up. It was bad. I don’t know if you recall the last and only marathon I ran, at the same mile 22, I hit a wall. And a Santa Claus looking man was handing out Pabst Blue Ribbon. After shot-gunning a beer with a fellow runner, a good laugh and full belly of carbs later, I was back to it. This time at mile 22 I was in a squat position against the side of the road trying to stretch out my quads, a black figure walked up to me (he was back-lit by the sun and basically looked like a saint), pulled a white pill out of his pocket and said the magic words “do you need salt?”

After I¬†took the salt and water he handed me, thanked him about a million times, I started running again. The cramps subsided quickly but I had definitely lost time. Staring at the Garmin I decided it was time to focus on Goal #3–Sub 4 hours. Again, I didn’t let this deflate me, I kept telling myself I was going to finish a marathon. And that in itself is freaking awesome.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 6.20.34 PMThe last few miles I had to play a game that humbled me to the core. Run a few minutes, walk for 45 seconds. Run a few minutes, walk 45 seconds. I didn’t get upset at this beginner style running technique, instead it made me smile..that damn marathon is always harder and tougher than you can imagine. There are no 20 mile runs that can ever prepare you for a marathon. Those last few miles are ran with heart, not your legs. At least, that’s what the posters near the end told me.

The last half mile was my favorite. The cheering and crowds were awesome, the hill at the last turn was horrible, but forced a strong finish. I finally pulled out my headphones to cross the line. No distractions, just the sounds of hundreds of feet finishing their 26.2.mile trek.

Here are the things that went right¬†from this marathon: I made it through the training and the marathon uninjured! I had a 38 minute PR! I stayed positive and happy the entire race. I didn’t give up when my pace wasn’t where I wanted it. I high-fived my best friend at mile 5!

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 6.19.26 PMHere are the things that didn’t go well: Pro Compression socks make my feet sweat–I had MONSTER blisters that I started to feel at mile 11 (next time I’ll run in calf sleeves). I think I started too slow. I almost had the nutrition down, but kinda forgot once mile 20 came around (should have grabbed the bananas that were offered!) Stress from work had definitely taken it’s toll during training. Cramps happened in my left foot at mile 16 and kept happening off and on until I crossed the finish. Cramps in my quads stole a lot of time.

I already feel a lot more prepared with marathon knowledge! It takes a lot of practice to hit major goals. I still have an urge to qualify for Boston, but I’m ready to hit shorter race goals and run a fast¬†half marathon next spring. Stay tuned and thank you always for your love and support here and on instagram!

20141016_205831Last week!

Mon-Thurs: DESERVED REST!

Friday: 30min lateral elliptical, 20min biceps/core

Saturday:  2m walk

Sunday: REST

Miles: 0 running, 2 walking

 How long do you take off after a marathon?

How long do you wait to start planning your next race ūüėČ ?


14 Comments

Let’s Recap it! Philly Part Deux

Let’s start at the end. I PR’d my 10th half marathon in a row. I don’t know when this crazy ass streak will end, I’m hoping not anytime soon! I went into this race with no idea of what pace I could maintain or a race plan in general, I figured the day would choose the pace.

I was not tapered or rested in the slightest, this wasn’t a “goal race”, I’ve never done a race this difficult before a half or full marathon, and I’m coming off an injury where training began later than ideal (mid-July). Which is why i didn’t have a goal time in mind. At the last minute I figured I’d think of this as a long tempo workout instead of a race. It definitely helped to take the pressure off.

Relaxed walking to the start

Relaxed walking to the start

My tempo workouts (holding a faster-than-goal-pace for X amount of miles) have been in the 7:00-7:35 range, so I wanted to be conservative and try to stay as close to 7:30s as possible and push if anything was left at the end. Unfortunately my Garmin went a little haywire after Mile 1 and I was on my own as far as pacing goes.

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Pacing is not a strong suit of mine and as the first miles flashed across my watch– 7:30 (sweet!), 7:07 (shit!), 7:17 (sllloooww down!).. I really tried to run based on feel and effort while still trying to keep as close to the 7:30 pace as I could. After mile 7 I realized just how hard it was going to be to finish the race at this pace for several reasons.

It was warm and muggy . Even in the early morning hours it was close to 80 degrees and SUPER humid. There’s a¬† good article on how humidity affects your running. Basically the more moisture in the air, the hotter your body feels. And I was definitely feeling warm. So much so that I actually felt nauseous at mile 8 until the race was over. There were definite moments of “i’m gonna run against the grass just in case I hurl…” and “this is going to be a funny finishing photo of projectile vomiting.” No joke, it was bad. But obviously that didn’t happen, so yay!

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Those were the two things that were physically effecting me. The mental side was a different story. ¬†I was coming up with reasons¬†excuses not to do my best when I felt like giving up because things weren’t going perfectly.¬†It’s a very strange feeling running a race with friends/family/bloggers/coaches looking for you to hit your goals (sometimes this is a great motivator, other times it’s stressful).

So there I was, in the middle of running my “not for a PR, not a goal race” pace and I’m coming up with all these excuses as to why i didn’t PR or do my best BEFORE I was even finished!! I battled with this for a while and finally snapped out of it. Every runner was dealing with the same humid conditions, and every runner came out there to accomplish something. I went out to run a 13 mile tempo–not an 8 mile tempo and a few slogging miles.

I did the best thing I could have done. I shushed my brain and checked in with my body. Legs felt better than fine, arms weren’t tired, and form was good. Why was I being such a wuss!? My mental game hasn’t been the best and to get me out of feeling sorry for myself I started to focus on the big picture. I was injured 4 months ago, and coming back from that was a slow process. ¬†I am so fortunate and lucky that I was able to jump right back into a marathon training plan and stick to my fall schedule.

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Here’s a secret:¬†i love racing. I love testing the training and seeing improvements. I love running alongside people with similar goal paces. I love crossing the finish line feeling good about myself and the countless hours and miles I put my body through. I get excited each and every time I cross a finish line, look to the sky and think, “what’s next?”

Around this time of self- high-fiving, a girl ran up next to me and said “You look great, you’ve been pacing us for the last 5 miles, are you going for a 1:35:00 too?” I looked at her laughed and said thank you and no i wasn’t shooting for that time, just trying to stay under 1:40:00. But it was just what I needed to give me a boost, stop thinking about puking and keep putting one foot down in front of the other.

Her name was Maria and yes she hit her goal. She inspired the crap out of me that day because I tried keeping her and her pacer in eyesight once they passed me. I’m hoping when Chicago comes I can just keep the time of 3:35 in my head and work at hitting that goal with a smile on my face like Maria.

Got to catch up with maria after the race

Got to catch up with maria after the race

Minus the pukey feeling from the humidity, i felt really good about this race. This is probably the first time I finished a race smiling in ages, almost cried and wasn’t in pain all day. My legs felt normal. Which means I didn’t demolish myself on the course. I ran a smart race and did what I needed to do to prepare for Chicago.

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Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5m easy recovery 9:25/pace

Wednesday: 20min back, 10 abs

Thursday: 7m tempo 7:49/pace, 20min legs, 30min core

Friday: 5 easy 8:55/pace, 30min upper body

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 14m easy 8:16/pace

Total Miles: 31

Anyone else running Chicago??  in 10 days!??!

 


6 Comments

Philly Part 1

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5m easy recovery 9:25/pace

Once I pull my thoughts together from Sunday’s half i’ll do a recap. Right now i’m still wrapping my head around doing a half in the middle of training for a marathon, what that really means and how tough it was not to go all out during a race.

For now we can focus on the fun! Traveling for a race is soooo much fun when you do it right. I.E. pack all the things you need, compress and roll the hell out of your legs after sitting in a car and of course carbo load properly.

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Pack all necessary items–> I have a¬†half checklist¬†I use, but¬†what I need to add to it in the future is “bring extra running clothes for when it’s warmer or colder than expected.” Especially during fall races where it can be cool one day and blazing hot the next. In my case it was humid and warm. I wasn’t expecting that at all and ended up a tad overdressed and warm.

I was too warm with a tank top on and compression socks–although i love the socks, they’re not very comfortable in 80 degree weather. I’m hoping the Chicago Marathon will be cooler so I don’t need to worry about wearing Pro Compressions.

I wore a tank over this and the compression socks--although i love them, not very good for weather close to 80 degrees :(

Compress, stretch and roll your legs!* I always place an asterisk on this one because it’s not something you want to do days or the night before the race if it’s not normally in your routine. Light stretching and foam rolling is a great way to keep your legs loose, but be careful of stretching until it hurts or leaves you sore! Once I overheard a girl at a finish line say, “i can’t believe how sore i was the whole race, guess I shouldn’t have foam rolled for the first time last night.” No, she shouldn’t have done something entirely new the night before a race. Sometimes common sense falls asleep during the¬†days¬†before a race and you think trying something different will give you a secret edge on race day. Unfortunately it doesn’t.

Now the fun stuff. Carbo loading. I generally start adding carbs (the white delicious kind) into dinners the week of a race. Because this half marathon was in the middle of a training cycle i didn’t start a week out, i started Friday night with a pizza‚Ķeven though i forgot to take a picture of it haha.

store bought dough, mushrooms, spinach, vodka sauce, sausage & mozzarella

store bought dough, mushrooms, spinach, vodka sauce, sausage & mozzarella

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Saturday morning (day before race), I had blueberry pancakes and in the evening before the race I had pasta, bread and a beer (don’t worry just one! and it was accompanied by water).

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Definitely went into this race well fueled, legs felt as good as they could have and I did my best with Chicago Marathon at the forefront of my mind ūüôā

Workout recap!

Monday: 20min shoulders

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 20min chest/biceps

Wednesday:  6.3m tempo 7:45/pace, 20min back/triceps

Thursday:  Rest

Friday: 5m easy 9:10/pace

Saturday: Rest (walked around Philly)

Sunday: 13.1 Race 7:35/pace 1:39:25!

Total Miles:  29.5

Have you ever used a half marathon as a tune up for a marathon?

Ever go into a race completely un-tapered?