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Confederate War Strategy: My New Motto.

Monday: 5m easy 9:05/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 6m easy 8:46/pace

Is the title confusing? Don’t worry we’ll get there.

Taper week has been, well, taper week. Easy runs feel harder than normal, i’m questioning why I like running, wondering how much foam rolling is too much, if carb loading this early will help or hurt Saturday’s race or if i’m just stress eating, wondering if the tickle in my throat will turn into a cold, if the weather will be on my side, combing my training log for anything positive to hang onto for dear life! You know, the usual taper mini-panic attacks.

The pictures below were taken 6 days apart… I have no clue how running in warm weather then running in possible snow will translate come race day. As of now Saturday looks to be COLD. And i put most of my winter gear into storage… of course.

But you know what I always say, play it as it lies. Like I’ve been doing my hair. Dry shampoo might be the best invention ever.

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Okay enough with the tangents, last weekend I went downtown with my girlfriend Yomery to visit a few museums she’d never been to and grab lunch. When I say “girlfriend” i always feel like my mom, cause she used to say that ALL the time when I was younger. Now there’s a distinct connotation so when I say it, i just feel super old school. Dang it, another tangent. Sorry!

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We rode down on the Metro, the only way to travel to DC, and our first stop was  the American History Museum. I think I found my race day outfit…

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I thought this jack in the box was pretty amusing…

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And finally I found my new motivation. Yomery read this out loud and was like, “am I missing something?” No, she wasn’t missing anything. This was the gem of the day.

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Then we went on to lunch at  Zaytinya to get mediterranean, specifically falafel and it was outstanding. We did the $25 lunch special which included 4 courses including dessert and we added Turkish coffee cause apparently we can’t go 4 hours without coffee.

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turkish coffee

We decided to walk off lunch and finished up the museum tour at the Air and Space Museum. Hey guess what? Thrusters aren’t just used in Crossfit! haha

See ya on Saturday morning DC!

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Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 8:40/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m interval ( 6 x 1m @ 6:40/pace)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 9m tempo (6 @ 6:53/pace), 30 minutes of (SA snatches 30# and handstand practice)

Friday: 5m easy 8:58/pace, barbell clean and jerk practice

Saturday: 7.1m easy 8:57/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 9:01/pace

Total Miles: 41.6

How do you make new friends as adults? Crossfit helped me :)!

Other than running did you anything fun or new last weekend? 

 

 


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Last week of the Taper!

Monday: 7m combo tempo (2m warm up, 2 x 1m @ 6:11/pace, 2 x 400s @ 5:56/pace, 2m cool down)

Everything that supposed to happen during a taper has happened. I got way too emotional last week (i think i cried twice…ok 3x.), got into a dumb, unnecessary argument due to stress and hormones. All of the “easy” runs felt off, and not very easy at all. My shins were a little sore (where did that come from?) and i thought i was coming down with a cold.

I dumped water on my training plan which erased the computer ink, but kept all the notes I jotted in pen…was it a sign? Does it mean my training was all erased! Or I shouldn’t focus on reviewing every detail of every workout and trust the training? Am I a superstitious person now??

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I talk about tapering a lot. I race a lot, so I taper a lot. Doesn’t make the process easier–but once I get past the irrational, emotional, stressed out crazy part, I do tend to focus on important stuff to get to the race.

Like the week before the race when I have one last drink. Full On is a place we visit often. Nothing like a good sandwich and cold sangria on a warm day ❤

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Ok so the last adult beverage isn’t important. The important stuff is making lists for everything i have to do this week & everything I need to remember to bring. It’s doing laundry and cleaning the house with all the extra time, since i’m not running excess miles. It’s all about foam rolling the crap out of my legs each night and stretching like i’m in the Yoga Olympics. Well, not that hard, but you get the idea.

I focus on nutrition, hydration, getting in extra sleep & waking up earlier, so it’s easier to crawl out of bed on race day. I head to the chiropractor for an adjustment (and this week, a shin massage–it was as awful as it sounds). I double check last minute race information, expo information and watch the weather report. I review the course and memorize where the water stations are. I usually stare at my training log for workouts I nailed for reassurance and try to come up with a race day plan. On top of all the planning i’m just trying to stay sane and keep myself busy.

Cameron’s on a work trip, so it’s just me and LE holding down the fort which has led to a lot of midday walking. It works for me since i have so much energy building up in these legs. The last several days have actually been awesome. I ran a treadmill mile PR of 6:11. Not once, but twice! Woo!

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I received my Zooma Ambassador singlet! It’s gorgeous and looks super official. And the Zooma girls all received support from New Balance and got new kicks! I can’t wait to start long running in these cushioned Fresh Foam 1080s. I’ll be sure to let you know how I like them when i get in some miles. (Also the Zooma Annapolis June 4th half marathon i’m running also has a 10k and 5k now, no excuses–get out and run in this cute town with me! Use code CORI16 for 10% off!)

OH and Lauren Fleshman liked & commented on my Picky Bar photo from a week ago–so, you know…we’re best friends now.

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5 days left. A few more nights sleep. A trip or two to Target and Sports Authority and all the while trying not to forget to bring everything I need. Below is a list I complied years ago. I added to it, feel free to copy/paste it and use it for your next race!

RACE Checklist

__Garmin Watch/Charger                               __Ipod/armband/headphones/charger

__Laptop/Charger                                             __Sports Bra

__Shorts/Capri’s                                                __Singlet and Throwaway Shirt

__Socks/Compression Socks & Pants             __Running Shoes

__Anti-Chafe Cream/Chapstick                       __Sunscreen/Sunglasses/Hat

__Hair ties/headbands                                     __Gels or Sports Drinks/Water/Nuun

__Fuel Belt/ ZipLock bags                                 __Sandals & after race clothes

__Race Confirmation/Hotel Confirmation/Course Map (for your family or friends!)

__Aspirin/pain reliever (for after race)

_______________________________________________________

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 9:40/pace, 15 min myrtls 

Tuesday: 30 min trx legs/shoulders

Wednesday: 9m tempo (2m warm up, 4 x 1.5m @ 6:49/pace, 1/2m cool down)

Thursday: 5000m row

Friday: 6m easy 8:40/pace + 10min abs

Saturday: Rest + 2.5m walk

Sunday: 9m long 8:16/pace

Total Miles: 30

What else should I add to the Race Checklist?

What do you do to keep your mind off of tapering?


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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.

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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…

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ta-da!

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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 😉

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

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

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

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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?


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How to Get Through Peak Week & My Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

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 – 2min recovery jog in between)

Wednesday: 25 min shoulders/back

Good Morning! I think i’m super excited about blogging again since I bought my new pretty desk. So hopefully you’ll enjoy hearing from me a few times a week rather than once in a while.

Let’s talk about PEAK WEEK! This is generally the week before you begin to taper. For those of you who are newer runners, tapering is when you cut back on overall running volume to gain the fitness from your training and are well rested and ready to run your best on race day morning.

Peak week is tough for a few reasons: This is your highest mileage week. You are getting up at ungodly hours in the morning or staying at the gym or out on the trails later than usual to fit training into your everyday life. It is mentally challenging and physically demanding to make it to and get through peak week after building mileage for 8, 10, 12 or 16 weeks!

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not excited to repeat the 1000s workout.

Here is how I handled it and how i’m handling it a second time (if you recall on my last post, i accidentally thought last week was my peak. whoops)

  1. Plan out time for your workouts. Schedule these runs in and don’t skip unless necessary. You won’t really have an extra day to makeup a run.
  2. Take one day at a time. Each day focus on the workout at hand. Do not overwhelm yourself or wonder how you’re going to run again the next day.
  3. Run your easy days freaking easy. If your easy runs are slower than normal it’s okay!
  4. Go to sleep earlier. Focus on the recovery.
  5. Eat like you’re an athlete and get some good nutrition in. HRG always says junk in = junk out. If you eat junk, your workouts will be junk.
  6. Focus on your race day “A” goal. It will push you to finish your workout, trust me. Remind yourself why you’re doing this, a PR? because you love running? so you can run the race comfortably? Qualify for Boston?

Always remember, it’s not about hitting each workout perfectly–that rarely happens for me. Focus on the effort over everything. If the effort is there, you will have a successful peak week. And if you take it one day at a time with a little extra sleep, you won’t be dragging or bite the head off a co-worker or spouse.

Recovering with LE

Recovering with LE

Now for the fun! My favorite pumpkin dark chocolate chip cookie recipe! I make these cookies every year and they are always the best dessert no matter where I take them. The only tweak i make is adding way more cinnamon than required. I love cinnamon and I like the flavor to come through. Again, never had any complaints 🙂

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No these aren’t healthy, I’m still learning to bake so i’m not doing substitutions for a healthier cookie just yet. If you try these and change any of the recipe, let me know how they turn out!

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Now I have to repeat a long tempo today, wish me luck. Last difficult run before an easy 11 miler this weekend, THEN I get to taper! Haha!

Best tip to make it through Peak Week?

Favorite holiday treat?


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Secret Weapons for Marathon Week

Before this marathon happens in *gulp* 6 days, I have to get things organized. The day before a marathon should be spent resting and inhaling ingesting carbs. Don’t overwhelm yourself by leaving a ton to do/organize/layout the week and night before.

The week of the marathon (i.e. right now!) I make trips to Target, grocery store or a running store to have exactly what i need for race week/day. Over the weekend, I picked up Gatorade, Honey Stinger gel & chews, bagels. What I forgot was anti-chafe cream. Totally slipped my mind. Another good reason to shop early in the week–you will forget something. Plan on running out to the store 2-3 times for last minute items. I usually make a list and then leave it on the table at home. It’s the thought that counts.. unless your thoughts are left behind, of course.

I do my running laundry in the middle of the week so most of my clothes are clean. Heaven forbid the night before a race my favorite shorts are dirty and i’m up late waiting for laundry to finish. I just bought these 2 pairs of Under Armour shorts over the weekend, super comfy, and long enough inseam so the thighs aren’t rubbing together–now which color to wear??

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Put a Marathon Playlist together.  This is a big one for me because I love setting the tone of a race to music. This training cycle I listened to a lot of Say Anything, Reliant K, the Starting Line, Jimmy Eat World, The Thermals…So i’m probably not venturing out too far. I have a secret weapon though.. and i’ve wanted to share it for a long time. I listen to this Dj called Pogo and if you haven’t listened to his stuff you need to do it RIGHT NOW. Pogo remixes a lot of Disney music which brings back a ton of memories, makes running feel fun and keeps my legs churning. There is nothing like running on trails listening to this guy.. i swear it will change you.

The week before a marathon is a good time to stress out, freak out, question your training etc.. As i said plenty of times before–i’m working very hard on positive thinking before, during and after a race. A good way for me to do this is not to fine comb my training log and focus on,  well, what I’ll be focusing on during the race. Where will my positive thinking drive from? What do i tell myself when my body wants to quit in the later miles?

My go-to mantra has been “earn the downhill” because most of my races have been extremely hilly. This time around I might use something Shalane Flanagan mentioned in a recent article, her mantra during Boston was something her coach says to her, “don’t lose your shit.” She wanted to keep calm, cool & focused. I don’t have one as of yet, but i’m working on it!

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new shorts, new shoes ❤

So there you go, my secret weapons to have a race day go well, get your fuel & race day items ready way beforehand, get a playlist/mantra together, lay out your exact clothes & relax the day before while your iPod/phone/garmin are charging ;). Also- I have a check list from an old post that I’m going to update below, so if you want to just copy and print, it will help for the week of your race!

Race Checklist 

__Garmin Watch (charged!)

__Ipod/armband/headphones (charged!)

__Sports Bra

__Shorts/Capri’s/Throwaway pants

__Shirt/or Throwaway Shirt

__Socks/Compression Socks

__Running Shoes

__Sandals & after race clothes/deodorant/body wipes

__Anti-Chafe Cream

__Aspirin/pain reliever (for after race)

__Sunscreen/Sunglasses/hat

__Hair ties/headbands

__Gels or Sports Drinks/Water/Nuun/Pre-Race Food (doesn’t hurt to have extra left in your car, hotel, or with family)

__Race Confirmation/Course Map (for friends or family who are attending & for race morning!)

Last Week’s Work

Monday: 6m fartlek 7:26/pace, 35 min biceps/back, 30 min abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

Friday: 30 min TRX full body, 10 abs

Saturday: 3.2 easy 8:50/pace

Sunday: 5.4 tempo 7:44/pace

Total Miles: 30

What is your “power song” or mantra you use during a race?

What else should I add to my Race Checklist??

 


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Tapering Thoughts…

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

I woke up this morning and realized i’m like 9 days out from a marathon. Nine!! I’m so excited that I get to run a marathon (injury free!) to test out my running fitness. I know I talk about qualifying for Boston a lot here, but this race isn’t my ‘A’ race to qualify, however this marathon will give me a good idea of how much work is ahead of me in order to run under a 3:35:00 and qualify. I have a few goals i will be focusing on and have been focusing on during long runs. Tapering always brings up a lot of “what if’s”, goals, racing plans, and craziness.

1) I want to Run Strong. I want to avoid going out fast & fizzling out my energy early. I want to feel strong and in control as long as possible. That means slower, even pacing so that my 2nd half, especially the last 6.2 miles can possibly be a negative split. #tryingtoavoidthefreakingwall

2) I want to Run Fueled. I’ve been practicing eating smaller amounts of Honey Stinger Fruit Snacks (Cherry Cola has my heart!) more frequently through a run. I’ve noticed a big difference in sustained energy and I appreciate all my readers & coach for helping me come to this realization. Also–I’m not a big fan of chewing while running (i’m not coordinated) and i know a lot of you don’t like to either. Lauren told me to just put a chew in the side of your mouth in your teeth or cheek & it will melt away without blocking your airways. This little trick has been coming in handy.

from the trail when my mom  was in town

the trail where the Marathon is going to be held 

3) I want to Run a PR. Who doesn’t? My PR right now is a 4:28:28. Based on my current training & mile splits & years working at the half marathon distance, i imagine this will be easy to break. Then again, a marathon is a different beast and “easy” is not usually associated. Haha When I ran my 4:28 race, i crossed the start line thinking a sub 4:00 marathon was in the bag. I can’t really assume anything with a marathon. But I do know i’m training smart, i’m healthy & I like running a lot more than I did back then.

I don’t usually like posting my time goals, but what the heck, it’s not the race I’m trying to go for the BQ and finishing a 2nd marathon is going to be a huge boost!

C) Anything under 4:28 to PR.

B) Sub 4:00

A) 3:45, I think this might be doable for race day if everything goes well.

 

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Flex Friday!

The remaining runs i have are all 6 miles or under… I can already feel my legs getting antsy & the speed coming out. I thought I was beginning to lose all speed because those high mileage weeks really took all my energy and I felt slow, heavy & slow some more. Once the mileage went down my speed was just where I left it, now I just have to remember to save that speed for the last part of the race!

pigeon pose

pigeon pose 

Until the marathon i’ll be doing the norm — stretching, foam rolling, light cross training, and eating my carbs.

What is a MUST during a taper?

stretching & a shake out run the day before

How many goals do you have for a race?

I always have at least 2 minimum!

 


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Tapering and it’s suckiness- Part II

Tuesday’s workout:  6.4 miles , 10 minutes of foam-rolling & 10 minutes of abs.

Tapering is the devil. I broke down Sunday and cried sobbed. I said it in my previous taper post about how little things stress me out and break me down…and it happened, right on schedule. Training for a race is a big deal to me. I put a lot of time, energy, and planning  into it. And just the idea of failing or having an off day is heartbreaking. Stupid i know, one of my downfalls is getting upset about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

So how did i handle it? I got over myself, washed my face and went on with the day. I know i put the time and workouts in. All i can do is trust my training, rest my legs and try to enjoy the rest of this week. I also continually remind myself that there are people too sick, injured or unable to run or be active.  I know I am so lucky to be able to do what I love on a daily basis. I just have to remind myself every once in a while, not take my legs or health for granted.

before my Tuesday run! brand new attitude and need to get used to self-timer

Tuesday before my run with a brand new attitude! (and yes, I need to get used to the self-timer)

Yesterday’s run was a quarter mile warm up then 6 miles at an easy/moderate effort 7:54, 7:50, 7:58, 7:55, 7:35, 7:56, quarter mile cool down. This is the first time i’ve ever ran all my miles sub-8 and dare I say, it felt easy? If ever a time for my half marathon pace to feel easy i’m glad it’s this week. I have about 2 more easy runs scheduled for the week, a little walking around Philadelphia the day before and then it’s race time!

I also had extra time yesterday and finally gave myself a haircut. See, i’m keeping myself busy during my taper.

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And don’t worry, i’ve been cutting hair off and on for about 7 years. My best friend and old roommate, Marie and I used to cut each other’s hair often and she’s in hair school now. I considered hair school before getting my Certified Training Certificate, but obviously my love for working out topped cutting hair. If anyone in Northwest Indiana or the Chicago suburbs needs a fantastic haircut, send me an email & i’ll give you contact information for the lovely Marie. (Gentlemen, I’m sorry, she is taken.)

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I only trust girls with kick-ass hair & tattoos to give me a haircut. no joke.

Also- Runner’s World is having a giveaway for a 1/2 marathon entry, a Garmin watch & Altra running shoes. You can enter daily here.

How does everyone handle taper weeks?