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A Decade of Running, a Summer of Fun

I already saw everyone posting stuff about pumpkin spice pop-tarts and fall wishery out there in Instaland and shame-on-you local Starbucks for advertising cinnamon drinks to push out summer. I’m not done with summer yet okay! Maybe growing up in Indiana where I had to lay my clothes on the radiator before school, just so i’d feel warmth before trudging down the street… or as an young stupid adult would go to a tanning bed in the middle of January to defrost for 20 minutes…or when I had to literally warm up in the sauna before hitting the treadmill at the gym because the ice, snow and cold said NOPE to outdoor running. Are you really still excited for fall and winter? Just let me pout for a few seconds okay…

Hi. I’m Cori. I’m a solar powered runner. I actually kinda crave the sun and sweaty humid runs. They remind me fondly of ultra training last summer. Every run I spent in the hard-to-breathe, sweat mess was one in the bank for a faster fall race. As of now, I don’t have any fall races on the schedule. I will not be doing another marathon until Boston 2018. My fall goals rest entirely on being strong and healthy leading into spring training. This is partially due to a full fall social/weddings/things to do calendar and partially because I needed a break.

I’ve been training and racing for a decade.

A decade. Entering a fall season with no major “A” race feels… nice. I figured if a race pops up that I can enter last minute and either run for fun or use as a hard effort training day, i’ll do it. But for now i’m not putting anything on the calendar that requires 18 weeks of dedication. I’m saving that drive, that commitment, that motivation and time requirement for Boston. Trust me, i’m already antsy and ready to train. I have the running bug bad. Consider me a caged dog for a few months. Working the mental side of training until I can be released.

In the meantime, i’ve been soaking up summer with friends and family, old and new and it’s been fantastic! Here’s to the last few months, and a birthday summed up in pictures…

East side of NC…

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Sam and me at the beach, but cooling off in the kiddie pool ūüôā

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West Side of NC. (Asheville Trip)

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Corepower Yoga, Bethesda, MD

Emmeline in town for chili fries, milkshakes, booze and crepes…

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Smores’ milkshake… i’d kill for another one.

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the 4th

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Erin, me and Sam

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Andrea and me in Annapolis for a day of fun…

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and an afternoon of gin & bourbon…File_000 (567)

Already hit up a couple Orioles games on beautiful days.File_000 (559)

And an all you can eat Crab Fest at a local brewery! File_000 (569)

Birthday party with my girls! Yomery and BrookeFile_000 (575)File_000 (573)

Dog days of summer, even for the cats.File_000 (560)Cake and my age.File_000 (570)

I guess fall will be good for fires… Wait did someone say smores?File_000 (446)

Ok okay… I may or may not have acquired a bib for the Marine Corps Marathon. Oops.

What was your favorite part of summer?

What races are on your schedule for the rest of 2017?

 


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Marathon Things

Monday: 6m easy 9:24/p, Crossfit

I don’t know where all the summer days went, but i’ve started Week 7 of marathon training. Seven!! I love being on a schedule and each workout (especially the marathon paced tempos) scares me a little. Marathon training is soooo different than half marathon training, which i’m usually signed up for.

This training cycle has me waking up at 6:00am to fit in mileage. Which makes me feel like an 80 year old who’s ready for bed by 9pm. Sad thing is that I’m beginning to like these early morning miles. But I’ll be dead honest with you, ¬†I’m still not a morning person. I can’t get myself to do speed or tempos that early because I like being awake and alert, so those types of runs happen mid-morning or early afternoon.

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The bulk of marathon mileage needs to be run EASY (two minute-per-mile slower than race pace) which leads me to another strange thing. Sometimes I go out for easy runs in the middle of the hottest, most humid days just because the heat will force me to slow down. I thought marathon training was going to be horrible, but training for an ultra in the dead heat of summer has helped with both the mental and physical side of the sport as well as learning to run slower.

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Now the normal marathon stuff: Increased appetite. Holy mackerel, the runger hits like a baseball bat sometimes. I definitely do not deprive myself of seconds to vegetables or an added snack during the day. The key is to eat substance and add healthy calories (like an extra serving of avocado with my breakfast or a protein shake in the day or a bigger helping of sweet potatos at dinner) and not just looking at all the mileage as an excuse to eat crap. I most definitely indulge in dessert or a beer, but it’s not where all those excess calories are going.

Sleep and recovery! It’s a necessity to prioritize sleep! Recovery is a HUGE part of marathon training AND general fitness! I aim for 8-9 hours a night. The elites, the NBA stars, the Olympians you just watched in Rio–all of them have coaches, trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, cupping therapists etc– there is a TEAM to help them with recovery because it is that important. I’m not saying you need a full team, but have a place to get the kinks worked out and utilize those foam rollers laying under your couch!

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remember when I cupped during Christmas? before Phelps made it cool. That’s right. #coolerthanphelps

Of course I’m experiencing the normal marathon stuff– smelly piles of laundry, weird looks at the gym when i hog a treadmill for 1.5 hours, dry skin peeling off my feet, extra time on foam rollers, naps, weekend plans revolving around long runs, candy cravings, saying the word just before the number of miles you have to run, crying during a run as you picture finishing the marathon, feeling stupid for said cry, the elusive runner’s high, the constant questioning of holding xx:xx pace for 26.2 miles, dreaming of a fresh pair of running shoes, and brunch–oh the brunches you will have, and the afternoon coffee pick me ups…

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I love marathon training.

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 9:11/pace, Crossfit

Tuesday: 8m interval (5 x 1000s @ 6:45/p)

Wednesday: Crossfit

Thursday: 10.5m tempo (7m @ 7:50/p)

Friday: 6.1m easy 9:35/p

Saturday: 10m long 8:46/p, Crossfit

Sunday: 8m easy

Total Miles: 48.6

Add to the list! What always happens to you during marathon training?

How do you spend time recovering?

 


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What I Do Before a Long Run + 26.2 Training Starts NEXT WEEK!

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.

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sleepy pup

Once we get back I chug a large glass of water, move onto coffee, check emails and blogs while i stretch out my legs.

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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.

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I drove about 20 minutes from my house to scout out a connection trail for the ultra i’m running next month. (You can read more about it here, or donate money to MS research here.) 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.

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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, we relaxed pretty hard. Just the way we like it.

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I got out my calendar to mark the 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.

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.¬†File_000 (263)

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6m easy 8:40/pace

Wednesday: 8m tempo (2m warm up, 5 @ 7:30/pace, 1m cooldown), 45 min upper body

Thursday: 6m easy 9:40/pace, 20min legs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15m long 9:43/pace

Sunday: 7m easy 9:42/pace

Total Miles: 42

Has anyone used Hanson Method before? Thoughts?

How was your weekend?