Yoga and Speedwork

In going with my theme of quality over quantity this training period, I have designated Monday’s for Yoga, Tuesday’s for interval runs, and Thursday’s for tempo runs.

I started the week off on Monday with a Yoga for Athletes online class. (The link will take you to the class if you’re interested in trying it.) It’s taught by Sage Rountree who practices yoga in the Raleigh-Durham area; about an hour or so away from me. Here’s more about her background and the class:

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This online yoga class for athletes and everyone is part of a weekly series taught by Sage Rountree, an endurance sports coach, runner and triathlete herself. She regularly writes for Runner’s World and Yoga Journal online and has several books and DVDs. In this particular class, we look at our nemeses: poses that frustrate us. Find more freedom in Warrior I; fly into crow; open into camel; experiment with really letting go in corpse pose. Along the way, you’ll build strength, flexibility, focus, and the equanimity to approach both the poses you love and the poses you find challenging.”

It was a good class, the first of hers that I’ve practiced, but it was pretty slow for me. I like power or (vinyasa) flow style yoga the best, but I still learned a few good stretches I can incorporate during my post-run cool downs.

If you’re interested in more Yoga for Athletes- style classes, here is a list of DVDs I found on a Runner’s World forum.

Yesterday was my first speed work day and I must say I am a huge fan thus far. It was a cool morning here in NC (around 60 degrees!) and I got a tough workout in before 7:15am; a great way to start any day. 

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Breakdown:
10 min warm up
6 x (1 min fast, 3 mins easy)
10 min cool down

I saw lots of other runners in the neighborhood I ran in; just another reminder that I love doing this!

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And.. I’m back!

3 months later I promise I’m still alive.

I strongly believe that if you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say anything. So that’s how it’s been lately.

Sure, things have been happening and I’ve been running (infrequently but we’ll get to that…) but I really didn’t feel the need to update you on my daily life, seeing how this is a running blog.

About that infrequent running.

After the NYC Half Marathon I felt like I needed a break. Mentally and physically I needed a break from running. The physical therapy and the “training” leading up to the half was exhausting and stressful. That’s not why I run. I run to be free, happy, and healthy.

Although I made a huge PR even coming off an injury I definitely needed some time off. So I took it.

I ran a totally of 5 TIMES in April. May was a little closer to 10 but definitely not the standard I’d made for myself over the past 18 months.

I had some good and bad runs, but I was still running and that’s all that mattered.

I needed the time off to prevent burnout from my upcoming marathon training, to get my head in the right place, to figure out some goals, and to enjoy a social life again.

Thankfully I can say it was just what the doctor ordered, because now I feel like I’m supposed to be where I am at.

Last year during marathon training there was a stint of time where I traveled about 8 out of 10 weekends in a row between weddings, celebrations, and beach trips. This summer was much like that but instead of falling during marathon training it fell before hand. I am SO thankful for that. I feel like I can 100% focus on training this bout and not feel guilty about cheating myself.

So what have I been up to?

In April I celebrated my 25th birthday at the beach in Hilton Head with family.

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In May I organized a beach camping trip with a group of our friends.

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Then Brandon and I went on a cruise leaving out of Puerto Rico and sailing the southern Caribbean to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten.

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In June we visited my little brother in D.C. who is interning with a major company for the summer.

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I also realized I was less than a month away from marathon training so began to up my mileage. Imagine my surprise when I was still pulling out runs in the 8:xx min/mile.

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Then we celebrated a friend’s birthday in Charleston, SC..

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And I wrapped up my travels with my best friend’s bachelorette party in Las Vegas last weekend!

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(view from our hotel at The Cosmopolitan)

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(early at Marquee)

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(Bride and Matron of Honor)

During these exciting few months I’ve been thinking of my goals for the Marine Corps Marathon and what kind of training plan I’d like to follow.

Since running my last marathon I was surprised at my speed when I began training for the NYC Half Marathon, so I’d like to incorporate speed work in my plan this time around.

It seems as though I could be prone to injury, so I’m looking for quality than quantity out of my next training plan.

Going along those same lines, I want to practice yoga at least once a week to help prevent injury.

Today I sat down and vowed to not get up until I had made my plan. I did just that and am excited for the next 18 weeks leading up to my second marathon!

I’m glad I got fueling mostly under my belt during training last summer, but I definitely need some tweaking in order to feel 100% confortable on race day.

Here’s to another training cycle to 26.2!

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Another Kind of Workout

Monday morning I woke up for a great 5.4 mi run. It was a beautiful spring morning and all was right in the world.

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I even managed to pace myself pretty well throughout.

Moving on to Tuesday, I had a Living Social deal about to expire for a wine tasting for two, 2 wine glasses, 2 souvenir t-shirts, and $15 towards a wine purchase.

I knew Brandon and I wouldn’t make it before this weekend so I invited my friend, Tyna to join me.


(photos courtesy of Tyna)

We arrived about 30 minutes prior to closing, so we were the only customers there and got to taste a lot of wine! Not just any wine, but really good wine! You never know what you’re getting with those coupon deals, but I’m more delightfully surprised than not, yesterday was one of those days.

After Chardonnay, Riesling, “First In Flight,” “Carolina Blush,” Cabernet, 2 other reds, and a dessert port wine, I purchased 2 of my favorites and we ventured out to enjoy the patio area they had set up.

After-work pictures are always so flattering.

What a great spontaneous way to spend a Tuesday evening!

Let me preface this next part with, over the past 3 weeks, we’ve been letting Owen, our 1.5 year old dog, spend his days relaxing on our bed and staring out the window instead of chilling in his kennel. All has gone well up to this point.

I walked in the door last night however, and all I could say was, “Oh. My. Gosh.”

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He helped himself to some leisurely reading while we were at work (thankfully Brandon already read those books and we both have Kindle’s now!) and dug into an empty shoe box.

Today he’s in his kennel.

After dinner last night (the main reason for this post) I subbed for a teammate on Brandon’s kickball team!

Unfortunately, I was unable to document this with pictures because I was too busy running to kick the ball before it reached home plate (re-do), playing third base and outfield, and never actually making it on base. I WAS the most valuable “runs batted in” player though.

Gotta focus on the positive, right?

We ended up winning (I don’t remember the score) but I wish I could play on the team as a regular instead of just that once. It’s a coed team and the other players were really nice! I hope it’s something Brandon and I continue to do even after this league is over.

So that’s my random mid-week update. Hopefully getting to Body Pump tonight for some weights!

Happy Hump Day!

Do you have any funny animal stories when you come home and see what they’ve been up to all day?

So Long Winter Weather

I believe the days of running tights, gloves, and headbands are behind us.

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Before my snow run a few weeks (?!) ago.

At least they are here in North Carolina. The weather for the upcoming week looks promising!

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Yesterday was my first run since the half and it was a hot one. I got to wear shorts for the first time since…the marathon? and it felt darn good to feel the wind against my legs.

I didn’t know how far I wanted to go, or how long the rain would hold out, so I set off towards the park and had an easy 5 mile run.

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It was nice to be running the park again. I’d been running on sidewalks during this past “training” period since it’s safer than the park when it’s dawn/dusk. I’ll take the longer days we’re having along with that nice weather, too!

After the run I did my usual stretch/cool down, shower then pulled my new compression sleeves from the NYC Half expo.

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Another iPhone pic…

I love that I can discreetly wear these under work pants during training this summer for the MCM. The fact that were free is an added bonus!

Last week’s recovery after the half went well. I had hip pain after the race last Sunday, but after thoroughly icing it overnight, I woke up to a seemingly perfect hip! It hasn’t given me any trouble since and I’m really happy about that.

By Wednesday/Thursday I was able to take the stairs down looking pretty normal and without a look of agony on my face. The few days following the race I was taking them backwards..does wonders for those sore quads!

Today was more of a relaxing day. I did some yoga and pilates at home while Brandon was working, then rounded out the day with a walk with Owen and some chores around the house.

I can’t wait to get back into a normal exercise routine this week!

What are your workouts looking like? Any ideas for me to spice it up?

Race Recap: 2012 NYC Half Marathon

SAM_4353(Trump Tower NikeTown, NYC)

This post has taken me a long time to begin writing because I really have no idea where to begin.

What an amazing experience.

An experience I will never forget.

My parents and I arrived at LaGuardia around the same time Friday evening (after both having a 90 minute delay due to fog in NYC from both Louisville and Greensboro). We split a taxi to the hotel and then found a local pub a few blocks from our hotel for a very late (10pm) dinner!

If you know me, you know I’m pretty anal about the amount of sleep I get each night, especially before races. I’ve read that the most important night for a good night’s sleep isn’t the night before the race, but 2 nights before the race.

I slept like crap that night. Then spent the entire day Saturday being a tourist in NYC.

First up for the day was the expo.

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Love this!

I got my bib #, race goodies, checked out all the vendors, and I even scored a free pair of Tommy Copper compression sleeves thanks to #runchat! (Fun Fact: go to that link and my marathon picture is one in the banner!) I put those babies on after I got back to the hotel and before we set off on our day adventures.

I’m so glad I had them because we were gone a long time and did a lot of traveling by foot. Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, Wall Street/Lower Manhattan; there’s just so much to see!

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I kept dwelling on how much walking I did that day and I was pretty anxious about it by the time we got back to the hotel at 6pm. What if I couldn’t run well the next day? What if my hip starts to bother me prematurely?

Run-cations (vacations with/for a race) aren’t like your normal vacay’s. I was in my hotel by 6pm both nights prior to the race. Sorry in advance to anyone wanting to go on a run-cation with me; it’s just the name of the game.

Saturday evening I did about 90 minutes of stretching + foam rolling + full compression socks vs. just sleeves + icing my hip flexor and outside left hip.

Did I mention that a week prior to the race, I had some bursitis flare up in my right hip? That’s the healthy hip by the way. So after my sucky run last Monday, I took the rest of the week off. I was sporting a pretty awesome, perfectly circular bruise on the outside of my hip, too.

So, on Saturday night I slept even worse than Friday night. I think I got TOPS 3 hours of sleep. I couldn’t stop worrying about my hip. Plus I could hear the set up for the race going on the street outside our window.

I kept thinking, “What if I do well tomorrow but them I’m back to square one with an injury on Monday? What if I can’t even run the whole thing? How am I going to get to the start of the race.. the subway station is closed.” (It wasn’t really closed, just the one we were supposed to use was closed.)

Type-A, worry wart, personality, classically kicking in the night before the race. I can’t say I slept very well the night before my first marathon, either. At the time, I blamed it on a too-soft pillow, but now I’m thinking it’s really just me.

The alarm went off at 5am Sunday morning and I got dressed and tried to eat something. I brought a lot of food from home but nothing sounded good. I tried to eat my banana and PB packet with a mini bagel, but I only got the banana down with a little bit of PB and half the mini bagel.

I’m an eater, people. I like to eat. This is so out of character for me, even before a race. Before the marathon I had oatmeal, 2 waffles with PB, coffee, and water. Granted, I had a lot more time to digest that meal before the start of the marathon but still, I usually don’t have a problem getting food into me.

My parents, little brother (who’s actually not little, he’s 21), and I headed out the door on time at 6am…just when the sound system was cranking up outside of our window! Did I mention our hotel was right at the finish line of the race?

6am start
Sorry for the iPhone poor picture quality and dirty window..

We caught the subway with other runners and a mere 25 minutes later, we were on our way from the subway station to Central Park!

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It was a cold morning, about 45 degrees, but I had my long running tights on and a dri-fit Brooks long sleeve shirt, so I was ok, especially high-tailing it to the park which was about a 10 minute walk after the subway.

When we got there I found my corral quickly and easily. It was so organized!

starting line me
Mini-runner

Thankfully I didn’t have to check a bag since all I had was my phone and jacket which I gave to my parents. In each corral, they had about 15 port-o-potty’s set up so people could be in their corral by 7am (which is when they closed) and still be able to use the bathroom. Genius. Thank you NYRR.

My stomach was a knot of nerves. I don’t know if it was because I was running NYC and I was so excited or the fact that I was unsure of how the race was going to go. Most likely, it was the latter.

I was more nervous for this race than my first full marathon.

After I said goodbye to my family and that I’d see them at the finish line, I went deeper into my corral and finished warming up, just like my training runs.

I wasn’t excited. I hadn’t felt excitement about this race but twice. Once when I applied to the race in December and again when I found out I was accepted. Sad, isn’t it? Why did I place so much value on this race? Wasn’t running what I loved to do?

I didn’t want to fail. What exactly my definition of failing was at that time, I don’t know. Was failing having to stop and walk? Not beating my last race time? Having hip pain?  I knew no matter what, I wouldn’t be letting anyone down if I “failed,” but myself. My family, Brandon, friends, even PT gave me all the confidence I needed. I just wasn’t so sure myself.

I heard the announcers introduce the elite athletes, Kara Goucher (!!!), Desiree Davilla, and Meb Keflezighi, part of our USA Olympic team.

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Kara Goucher! The best runner ever, in my opinion Smile

THEN I got excited. THEN everything changed. I was going to be racing on the same course as so many of my idols. They were paving the way for us, so to speak. It put it in perspective that I really have nothing to lose at this race. The elites are beginning their training for the summer games with this race, and $100,000 is on the line!

Suddenly, I realized that no matter what happened, I’d never have that kind of pressure and I need to remember why I signed up for this race in the first place. To do what I love in a pretty spectacular city.

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I gun went off and although I was in the 8,000’s out of 15,000+ runners, it still took me over 10 minutes to get to the starting line. Then I was off!!

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I knew the first part of course was going to be hilly. No big deal since I train on hills everyday, right? Well…I’ve never run 6 hilly miles at sub 8:30min/miles then went for 7.1 flat miles. You’d think it’d be easy but those hills were pretty demanding early on.

I was making pretty good time through the park, I kept glancing down at my Garmin and saw sub 8:30 miles (minus mile 5 – holy hill!), right on track.

This wouldn’t normally be my goal pace but since finishing PT and running the routes I’ve been running, I’ve been flying! I guess that saying about coming back stronger off an injury is true. I decided to take advantage of it and see what I could do on race day. I didn’t let myself down!

My 5k (3.1miles) split was 26:04 and 10k (6.2miles) split was 52:28, respectively.

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They aren’t really that impressive. However, considering those were both in the park, both during the hilly portion I was happy with it. And holy cow batman, look at my splits!

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Remember mile 5? Huge hill, seemingly lasted forever. Obviously I was being fairly cautious the first mile, too.

Basically, my splits were all over the place through Central Park.

Mile 4, I took 2 power bar energy chews and gulped down some Gatorade.

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I was seriously going to die later in the race if I didn’t have anything early on. (ok maybe that’s being overdramatic) That “breakfast” I had was a joke.

I will say that with more races, I’m getting better at not sloshing water and Gatorade up my nose at the aid stations. My first half marathon last year ended up with me covered in a sticky film of Gatorade that missed my mouth.

Mmm I love inhaling neon green drank.

I would say I improved that skill at just the right time considering I really needed it this race.

As I left mile 6 we also left Central Park. This was the part of the course I’d been waiting for. Yeah it was flat and I could make up some time, but this was the part where I was running towards Times Square.

Fun Fact: Did you know they only close Times Square twice a year? Once is the NYC Half (NOPE! Not even for the marathon!) and second is New Years Eve!

7th Avenue was wiiiiide open.

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The fog was eerie settling in just over the tall buildings and it kind of felt like I was racing through a snow globe. 

I will never forget running through that wide open street with all the billboards flashing. I got goose bumps the closer I got to Times Square, it was so surreal.

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When I glanced down at my watch as I turned to exit Times Square and run toward the west side highway here’s what it read:

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RUNNER’S HIGH!

My mom got to see me run through Times Square and turn onto 42nd street since she was standing on a bleacher thing, but my dad and brother missed me, street side. My mom said my eyes were so big like I was in awe of everything happening around me. I was!

Mile 7 was exiting the park, 8 was up 7th Ave and through Times Square, and mile 9 was 42nd street and the beginning of the west side highway. I really had to settle into a steady pace at 9. It was a straight shot from mile 9-13 and then then final 0.1 to the finish.

At mile 9 I knew I needed more energy so 2 more power bar energy chews it was, followed by Gatorade.

The rest of the time on the highway I was focused on staying on pace and trying not to focus on how heavy my legs felt. They were certainly fatigued.

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I did an okay job of pacing during miles 9-12, but then things got a little screwy.

We ran past the World Trade Center and at mile 12 entered the Battery Park Tunnel. I wasn’t expecting that but was actually pretty relieved to get out of the wind. It wasn’t terribly windy, just enough to notice the relief once we entered the tunnel. It was also pretty neat to hear runners cheering and getting excited that we were almost to the finish. Such energy and motivation!

However, running in a tunnel doesn’t have good satellite reception, if you were wondering.

I once glanced down at my watch and I was no longer gaining distance and my pace was over an hour/mile. Sweet.

I tried to stay on pace as best I could by staying with the people a little further ahead of me. It was the last mile, after all, gotta push it.

Coming out of the tunnel I was greeted with a hill – SURPRISE! – and then saw the sign for 800 meters to go. I was so happy to see that sign.

I sped up what I could and passed the 200 meters to go sign, turned the corner and could see the finish line.

I sprinted (Or what felt like sprinting.. I never really think I sprint at the end of races, I just feel like I am. Must be psychological. hah) towards the finish line with so many people lining the sides of the street and cheering for their runner.

Here are some good shots my family got from the hotel room since that’s where we decided to meet afterwards.

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Look I was on the jumbotron!

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I FINISHED! I was so excited! I felt so much relief and I couldn’t wait to see what my official time was. Homeboy next to me looks pretty pumped that he’s finished, too!

Official finisher’s picture:
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It took about 20 minutes to get my official picture taken, get my medal, aluminum cape, and goody bag, but I finally made it out of the finishers chute and met my family back up at the hotel since I knew it’d be a mess trying to find them afterwards.

Here are my Garmin splits:
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1:50:26?! That’s a new PR! My last half marathon PR was 1:56:47! I can’t believe the improvement.

I checked my official time and it was actually 1:50:23 with an average of 8:26 min/mile! Even better!!

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My official rank was 1,428 out of 7,880 women and 4,832 out of 15,336 total finishers. I am pleased!

Here are a few more stats:

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The elite runners had a great race, too!

Top 2 finishers, (Kim) Smith from New Zealand and Dado from Ethiopia, respectively, heading down 7th Avenue.

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Kara leading the line of women out of Central Park down 7th Avenue.

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Strong is the new skinny.

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Can you believe she just had her first baby 17 months ago at age 32?

Kara got 3rd place (1:09:12), Dado got first (1:08:35), and Kim earned 2nd place (1:08:43).

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Here’s the link to the 2 hour live broadcast. You can see the elite’s highlighted, more of the course, and how graceful Kara runs as she finishes with a race against the clock and still taking time to wave to fans cheering her on.  What class.

All while being a pretty funny mom to a pretty cute kid named Colt!


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After I got cleaned up we went to lunch where I celebrated with a mimosa and lobster ravioli!

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Cheers to a great race and believing I could do it, even though I had some serious doubts these past 3 months.

Cheers to the proudest medal I’ve ever earned and a race I will never forget!

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How did your last race go?!

Travel Day

It’s a travel day!

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Leaving for NYC after work and thankfully have a direct flight into LaGuardia arriving at 6:30 this evening.

Definitely excited this day/weekend is finally here after 3 months of worrying if I’d even be able to run the race. Now I finally feel excitement and anticipation!

countdown

Goals for the race:

1. Have fun. Who knows if I’ll get the chance to run NYC again on a closed course without tourists and New Yorkers crowding the streets for me to weave through.

2. Remember how I felt just 8 weeks ago. Unsure if I’d be able run this race. Unsure I’d even be able to train for this race. Unsure if I’d be able to race again this year.

3. Be thankful. That I am able to do everything I was unsure and worried about in #2.

4. Race. Whatever happens, happens. The course begins with 6 hilly miles in Central Park, then out on a flat course until the end of 13.1 miles. I’ve said it before and if I can match my last half marathon time (or improve it) great! If not..See #2.

You can participate, too!

If you’re awake early on Sunday, log onto NYC’s ABC 7 website from 7-9am EST to watch the start of the race and commentary during the race. Several USA Olympic team members (Desiree, Kara, & Meb) will be running, so you can see them as well!

If you happen to get a glimpse of me, my bib # is 8018 and I’ll be wearing a neon green shirt. Good luck with that though!

If you want to track me during the race to see where I’m at, you can sign up for runner tracking (I believe it’s $0.99?) to be sent to your cell phone, Twitter, or Facebook account.

In addition to the race, I’m meeting my parents and younger brother who’ve never been to NYC for a fun family weekend. Can’t wait to watch as they take it all in!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and good luck if you’re running a Shamrock Race!

What my last marathon taught me

As with all things you experience in life, once you’ve done it you know better for next time.

Here’s a list of some of the things I learned from my first marathon. Some things I’ll keep and others to improve on.

1. You can’t run every training run at race pace.
 
Otherwise you’re running the race. Mixing up your run speeds gives your body room for improvement in speed, agility, strength, and the prevention of injury.

Tempo runs, hill intervals, mile repeats, fartleks (Swedish word for “speed play”), long runs, Yasso 800s, recovery runs, easy runs. They all serve a different purpose and help you in training.

I plan on mixing up my training this round and quit trying to be a speed demon for every workout.

2. You don’t have a license to eat everything in sight.
I haven’t touched much on nutrition throughout the blog and that may be surprising for some considering that’s what I do for a living. I’m being honest when I say eating to fuel your body for a marathon is completely different than a “healthy diet” or eating for fat loss.

Proven fact: You cannot follow a fat loss diet if you’re training for a marathon. Unless you want to continually bonk out.

Carbs give us marathoners fuel to burn for our long runs in training and for the actual race. Fat loss diets (I’m not talking Atkins here) include restricted carbohydrates, particularly simple carbs (white breads, pasta, even candy..that’s all Gu and block shots are, anyway). Simple carbs are the carbs most valuable to marathoners before training runs and leading up to races. Complex carbs (whole grains, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc.) are our recovery carbs.

So, while I’ve noticed since I’m getting closer to the NYC Half and my training runs are increasing in distance, the hungry monster has returned.

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It’s everywhere I tell you.

While anyone that knows me, knows I love food (hence the name for this blog) it’s kind of annoying being hungry all the time now.

Since I had from December-February to “eat normal (every 4-5 hours)” a.k.a not every 2-3 hours, I realize how much I actually had to have been eating during marathon training. Granted, I choose healthy foods 80-90% of the time, but that other 20-10% you can bet I was eating cookies.

Those healthy foods were also pretty heavily focused on carbs and processed foods.

This time around my goal is to be smarter with my diet. Over the past several weeks/months I’ve been making the switch to less processed, more whole foods. The other side of that is the more whole foods one eats, normally it’s harder to get in all the calories you need because whole foods are naturally lower in calories and fat. That’s where nut butters and cooking oils come into play.

As a registered dietitian I obviously know what to eat but sometimes all that just gets thrown out the window. It’s all about balance.

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This just goes to show that knowledge does not equal action.

 3. Sleep
I feel like I always win in this category. However, it didn’t always start out this way. When I started training for my half marathon in February 2011, I noticed how continually tired I was when I being upping my mileage each week. Each night I was forced into bed at an earlier time because I just was not functioning on 6 hours of sleep.

When marathon training came around in summer of 2011, I was used to a 9:30pm bedtime. So my 8.5-9 hours of sleep each night are now a staple in my life.

Sleep is when our body regenerates, repairs, and moves learned information from short-term to long-term memory. Crucial factors while training and life in general.

4. Alcohol
If you’re a runner, you know alcohol doesn’t mesh well with the running lifestyle. Even in college I was never pumped to spend 2-3 nights a week drinking with hangovers lasting the entire weekend.

Now that I’m an adult not only is that frowned upon, it certainly isn’t conducive to productive training runs.

I’ll go out for drinks maybe once a week and usually limit it to 2-3 drinks while I’m out. Drinking just isn’t a priority to me and hasn’t been since I graduated college. Being hungover is not worth it anymore, even if I don’t have a planned run the next day.

Research has proven that not only does alcohol affect sleep, it reduces muscle recovery, cancelling out gains made from workouts. (source)

5. Hydration
I was awful at hydrating during my long runs outside over this past summer. I got this for Christmas and am changing that stat.

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                                    Nathan Speed 2 Hydration Belt

6. Race Fuel
I did a pretty good job of experimenting with difference race fuels during my long runs last summer. However, my fueling strategy wasn’t 100% on race day. I hate Gu’s; the texture makes me want to barf. I tried other brands and PowerBar is good, but I still can’t suck down the whole packet.

Cliff Block Shots are yummy, but they get stuck in my teeth. Smile pretty for the race pictures with gummies smeared across your teeth! Yuck.

I didn’t hit a wall or anything during the marathon, so the calories, electrolytes, and hydration were good for me. I just need to figure out what kind of fuel I’m going to use in October so I can stop wasting time at aid stations.

I’m seriously considering Swedish Fish or Starburst jelly beans. Better stock up this Easter!

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Epitome of simple carbs, remember? I’m not too worried about the electrolytes I’d be missing if I were using an engineered sports product (Gu); I’ll get that from the sports drink on the course or put it in my hydration belt.

So there’s my quick list of some things I’d change and others I’ll stick with.

Now you tell me:
What things (if anything) do you want to change for your next race?

Marathon #2.…

I’ve decided! After contemplating several fall marathons and whether or not I would actually be able to/should run a marathon this year – I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to register for….

                                  THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON!
                                      Sunday, October 28, 2012

Better known as “The People’s Marathon” it is the biggest marathon in the U.S. not offering prize money to the top runners.

Outside Magazine readers voted MCM “The Best U.S. Marathon” beating out Boston, Chicago, and New York City. The Marine Corps Marathon honors the dedication, sportsmanship, and patriotism of its participants. (source)

I have only heard good things about this marathon from people I know, other blogs I follow, and even complete strangers who’ve said how great it is.

From a previous MCM runner, “The Marines are awesome, the spectators amazing, the amount of work that obviously went into this is mind boggling. I was told this was one of the greatest things ever experienced and I absolutely agree. We all cried at different times for so many reasons. The emotion of the day was totally unexpected. The thought behind this race is what it’s all about. God bless our troops!” (source)

Coming from a family who has had many generations serving in the armed forces, I felt this would be more personal of a race for me to participate in. My grandpa, uncle, several cousins, and now my “new” family on Brandon’s side can add to that list with his grandpa and cousin (that I know of) serving our country.

I’ve heard of Marine’s running in their uniforms and the crowd support is phenomenal throughout the entire 26.2 miles.

The course starts in VA and takes us through all of the historic landmarks in the D.C. area.

coursemap 

Up to this point in my life, I’ve never been to D.C. and I’m pretty stoked to see all the of landmarks by running the city.

Apparently everyone else is excited to run MCM because on Wednesday, March 7 we runners came together and set a new marathon sell-out record!

I saw this pop up on my newsfeed just 90 minutes after I registered:

then 70 minutes later…

mcm sold out

Beating the previous record holder, Boston 2011 Marathon which sold out in 8 hours, the 2012 MCM sold out in 2 HOURS and 41 MINTUES!

15,948 runners secured their spot in the race in just the first hour. (source)

I was one of them!

confirmationemail

Last year MCM sold out in 28 hours..quite a difference!

Here is what MCM Headquarters looked like during the record breaking sell-out.

I’m very excited for the race and very excited to have family and friends running the race, too.

It’ll be interesting to see how this training period will differ from my last marathon. I won’t be traveling so many weekends, for one, which will help me out tremendously. I’ve already begun thinking about other areas I need to improve on and am looking forward to making this training plan!

After the NYC Half next weekend (!!!!) I will really be able to focus on what my goals/training should look like for October.

OORAH!

Birthday Wish

Have you heard the news?

Oreo turns 100 this year! March 6th to be exact.

bdayoreospackage
Source

Is this any coincidence that my birthday is just a month and one day later?

I think not.

Oreo’s have got to be my all-time favorite cookie.

Totally worth eating an entire sleeve, all-time favorite cookie.

So, here’s a great recipe to use your birthday cake Oreo’s in and to celebrate all of your accomplishments. You know, like getting up for the day or brushing your teeth.

Birthday-cake-oreo-lead
Source

And just in case you didn’t know what to get me, I accept birthday presents in the form of Oreos.

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Another Mile Marker

strengthpersistance

Today I passed another mile marker in running. Today I finished 6 weeks of physical therapy, 15 weeks after my first marathon.

What a journey these past 15 weeks have been. Frustration, doubt, hope, physical and mental pain. Today, I won.

I’m so glad I stuck with it and didn’t throw in the towel for an easier way out, even though there were times (namely, week 3 of PT) that I thought it just wasn’t working.

Honestly, just 2 weeks ago I had a melt down because the pain hadn’t gone away in 10 full days. That’s just after we discovered how my hip hates the treadmill and my PT poked around in my hip, which was uncomfortable, but did the trick. The week after that (last week) was the best running week I’ve had since before the marathon. I’m happy to report this week is much like last week.

I haven’t ran the race yet, we’re still 24 days away, but I’m not and haven’t been measuring my success by the race. My success is being measured everyday in the little victories I accomplish from running another mile farther, waking up without pain, and getting excited instead of getting anxious to run.

I am so excited and not to be boastful, but proud of how far I’ve come. Literally, 10 weeks ago I couldn’t even run a mile without having to stop because of the pain. I’m now up to 6 miles, pain-free.

So, 6 weeks of PT.

That’s 2 hours each week dedicated to strengthening exercises one-on-one with my therapist, lots of poking/pressing/pulling around in my hip by my PT, extra exercises at home for 20+ minutes/night 6 days per week, trying to decide if I should get an MRI (never did and glad I didn’t!), all while trying to increase my mileage so I have some kind of shot of finishing this half marathon. I’m confident I will now.

On to bigger and better things! Details to come…

P.S. If you need some inspiration today, here’s an oldie but goodie!