Marathon Monday + Bring on the Taper!

Happy Marathon Monday! To all the runners and blog friends running Boston today, GOOD LUCK!!!

In my marathon training news – 49 miles this week. BOOM. As I type that, I’m really wishing I had made it an even 50, but oh well. I am really happy with how this week went overall and I am SO ready for the taper that’s comin’ my way.

2 Generations RunningSelfie from Saturday’s easy 6 miles.

This week’s long run was 22 miles – the furthest I have run since my last marathon, 2 years ago. Early on, I had a lot of anxiety about this run. The 20-milers felt hard, and I couldn’t picture tacking on another 2. Especially, considering how crappy I felt on the previous week’s “easy” 15-miler where I had my fall. So I was a little nervous.

It had been a few weeks since I had seen my family, so I headed home this weekend to tackle this run alongside my mom. Even though, we’ve been training at different paces for this marathon, there’s something about knowing that we’re both out there taking on the same challenge that makes it a tiny bit easier.

The forecast was showing some pretty warm temps (yay 60 degrees!!!) so we made sure to head out for this run on the earlier side. We each set up our own little aid station on the front step with extra water, GUs, pretzels (for me) and dates (for my mom). We had 2 different 5-mile loops in mind, so we passed our house multiple times, which was super convenient (especially for the occasional bathroom visit).

Breaking this run into mental chunks was another HUGE help. By the time I had completed 15 miles (or 3 5-mile loops), I wasn’t feeling like I had another 7 whole miles to run – it was just one more loop plus a 1-mile out-and-back. While my pace was a little slower on this run than on the first 20-miler, my hometown has a lot of pretty good hills in it, so I’m happy. I also managed to run my last mile the fastest at 8:47/mile. Partly this was because I was sick of running by this point. But I also tried to think of Meb and all the elite marathoners at Boston who still manage to kick ass at the end and run 5 minute splits and channel that toughness. Finally, my watch was beeping 22 miles and telling me I had set a new record for longest distance. My 3rd and final 20+ mile run of this training cycle.

2 Generations runningMy mom and I took a few minutes to sit on our front step and drink our water when the dogs snuck out the front door and started licking attacking us because we were so sweaty and salty. Or maybe they were just trying to congratulate us 😉

The rest of the day was spent taking it pretty easy – which included a trip to the local ice cream place near us that has finally opened again for the summer and getting some well-deserved ice cream. The lines were ridiculous and we ended up having to wait a while, but it was totally worth it. I think ice cream might be my favorite post-long run treat. 🙂

So now the mileage is winding down. 3 weeks until Delaware and I could not be more excited. Bring on marathon #2 (for me and #3 for my mom) and state #11!

Did anyone else run long this weekend? Do you usually peak at 2o miles for a marathon – or more? I know there’s a lot of different schools of thought on that question. 


Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s shortened week is off to a good start so far!

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations Running

Since I’m finally getting back into a regular blogging routine this week, I thought I would get back to my regular Wellness Resource Wednesday posts (sort of). As we head into January and the heart of the cold, nasty winter months, I thought I would share some of my winter running tips. Winter running is not my favorite by any means, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I am not scared off by cold temps or crappy weather (as evidenced by Saturday’s run obviously). When I decided to sign up for a spring marathon, I knew I was setting myself up for some tough marathon training through a New England winter, so I figure I might as well embrace the situation as much as possible! Nevertheless, I’m still hoping praying for a mild winter.

Tips and Tricks for winning at Winter Running

1. Do a quick warm-up indoors. You’ll want to minimize the amount of standing around in the freezing cold you do before you get running. Try some jumping jacks, high knees, and a few walking lunges to get your blood flowing. I always feel extremely stiff at the start of a run in the cold, but a quick dynamic warm-up easily solves that problem for me.

6 Miles | 2 Generations Running2. Plug your GPS watch in for a minute or two just before you need to use it (even if it’s fully charged). How much do you hate standing around outside in the freezing cold waiting for your GPS watch to find satellites? It sucks.

Tips and Tricks for Winning at Winter Running | 2 Generations Running^You, standing around waiting for your GPS to find signal.

And it defeats the whole purpose of the nice, little dynamic warm-up you did (if you followed Tip #1!) When you plug your watch in, it automatically finds a satellite connection, and it’ll maintain that connection when you unplug it and immediately go to use it. I learned about this from listening to the No Meat Athlete podcast, and I’ve been following this tip religiously on all my runs lately and it works great!

3. Wear the right gear (and layer up!). I’m pretty sure this tip appears in every single article and blog post that’s ever been written about winter running, but hey, it’s true. For Christmas, I received the Women’s Under Armour ColdGear running leggings, and they are seriously fantastic. I’ve gone on some rainy, cold runs wearing these and my legs always stay warm and dry through the whole run.

Women's UA ColdGear Running Leggings | 2 Generations RunningThese are also on sale right now! I’ve also heard really great things about the Brooks women’s Seattle Tights, which are waterproof and windproof… but also $165, so if that’s out of your price range, the Under Armour pair are a good option.

4. Pay close attention to the weather/temperature forecasts. In particular, pay attention to patterns in your own preferences. For example, I find that if it’s 32 degrees out or warmer, I don’t need to wear gloves. My hands might be a little cold starting out, but I would rather experience that than getting too hot and having to carry them for the rest of a long run. If you go on a run and find yourself sweating through your base layer, long-sleeve top, and heavy running jacket, make a note of what the temperature was, and remember to adjust for next time. A great rule of thumb is to plan on it feeling 20 degrees warmer than it actually is while you’re running. So, if the temp is in the 50s, I would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt because I know it’s going to feel like 70s.

5. If it’s raining or snowing, put your electronics in a plastic baggy to prevent them from biting the dust. I’ve killed an iPod on a particularly rainy run before, and there’s nothing that makes a gross run even worse than when it ruins an expensive piece of electronics. Or else, you’ll wind up trying to “fix” it.

Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running6. Don’t forget – everyone in their cars driving by is thinking you are the ultimate bada$$ out there in the snow and rain, getting in your run.

Tips and Tricks for Winter Running | 2 Generations RunningWhat are your tips for winter running? What’s the WORST weather you’ve ever experienced while on a run? Would you rather run in very cold temps or stay indoors and hit the treadmill?


Wellness Resource Wednesday

Happy Hump Day guys!

I thought I would try something a little new this week.

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations RunningLately, I’ve been coming across a bunch of awesome health/fitness resources from Youtube videos to podcasts and every time I find something new, I think about how I should share it on the blog. And then I forget… So, I’m hoping that by starting this Wellness Resource Wednesday as an ongoing series on the blog, I’ll remember to share what I find and you all can take advantage of the resources that sound interesting to you! My plan is to cover everything from running to workouts to nutrition – basically, anything that I think you guys as readers might want to know more about or check out for yourself!

First up this week – a 53-minute NOVA documentary I watched a couple weeks ago on Youtube. It’s called Marathon Challenge (click to watch!).  It follows the story of 12 non-runners selected by a group of researchers at Tufts University to train for the Boston Marathon. The researchers wanted to find out whether sedentary non-athletes could become marathoners in 9 months of training. While I sort of question the ethics of throwing brand new runners into the sport with marathon training (even if they did have high-caliber coaches!), it was still fascinating to watch. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say the results are inspiring, and the video is definitely worth a watch if you’re in need of a little motivation boost.

If you watch the documentary, let me know what you think! Do you have a health/fitness resource you love?

 


5k Personal Record Playlist

Happy Wednesday!

So, I promise I’ll stop talking about the Good Times Summer Series 5k soon (Are you sick of it yet?! Well, sorry not sorry because it was an awesome race!!).

Lowell Good Times Summer Series 5k | 2 Generations RunningWhile the series has finally come to an end, I thought I would share the playlist I put together that helped psych me up week after week, ultimately culminating in a first place finish in my age group and a 30 second PR over what I had when I started the series.

5k Personal Record Playlist | 2 Generations Running

Obviously, I included “Shut Up and Dance“. I’m still obsessed with that song.

5k PR Playlist | 2 Generations RunningTechnically speaking, I can’t promise you’ll PR with this playlist, but hey it helped me! 😉 I still love listening to it for tempo runs when I have to push myself a little harder than usual.

I love new music! Do you have any song recommendations? Any songs you swear by for running?


Killin’ It In Your Workouts

Happy Thursday!

So last week, ETB Fit (a sports nutrition company) reached out to me about sharing some of my key tips for fueling my workouts. While I’ve never tried any ETB products, I have heard good things and was impressed by their company and the story of how they got their slogan – “Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.” Check out their website and products page to learn more about them, get recipes, and as a general health resource!

Killin' It In Your Workouts | 2 Generations Running

What foods do you eat pre-workout?

What you eat before a run or hard workout is SO IMPORTANT. It plays a huge role in how I feel during the actual exercise and how I perform. I’ve found that protein bars or toast with peanut butter and jam, work well for me. And because I’m “Fueled by coffee“, I will ALWAYS have at least one cup of coffee before working out – sometimes more if I’m not in a rush.

Killin' It in your Workouts | 2 Generations RunningI don’t eat yogurt, cereal, or anything with a lot of dairy because it feels way too heavy in my stomach. Fun story – once my mom and I went on a little family outing in the late morning and ended up getting ice cream. That would’ve been fine, except that we tried to do a 10-mile run when we got back. Bleh. That run lives on in my memory as one of the ugliest, most uncomfortable runs I’ve ever experienced.

What music do you listen to during your workout?
I love upbeat, top 40 hits. Right now, I am obsessed with “Shut Up and dance with me”, “Elastic Heart” and a whole bunch of Ellie Goulding songs. In fact, this is the playlist I listen to 99% of the time when I go for runs right now –

Half Marathon Playlist | 2 Generations Running

How do you switch up certain routines daily/weekly to stay motivated?

As a blogger myself, I obviously enjoy reading running blogs. A LOT. I love reading other people’s race recaps, and sometimes I will read one while I eat my breakfast before going out for an early morning run because the excitement and enthusiasm in these types of posts are just contagious! They get me psyched even though I’m not the one racing. I also like to check my Instagram account to get motivated. I follow a bunch of other health/fitness bloggers and trainers, and seeing their healthy lifestyles in action keeps me feeling like I’m a part of this bigger community and that is definitely a big help when I’m tired at the end of a long day and don’t want to workout.

What do you eat or do after your workout to make sure you got the most
out of your workout?
I’m a big smoothie fan. They’re great both for hydration and as a source of protein to help my muscles recover after a tough workout. When I was training for my first marathon, I spent pretty much all my long runs fantasizing about the smoothies I would make when I was done. My go-to recipe right now is: vanilla Greek yogurt, frozen banana slices, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a sprinkle of instant coffee granules and low-fat milk (or almond milk if I have it). I also LOVE cinnamon protein powder though, and that makes a pretty delish recovery drink.

Killin' It in your workoutsWhat are your tips for staying motivated? Have you ever experienced an awful run as a result of something you ate? Do you have an awesome smoothie recipe? (I’m always looking to try new ones!)

 

 


Yasso 800s, Burpees, & Bear Crawls (Oh My!)

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend! We had a lot of rain and generally gross weather last week, but it cleared up just in time for the weekend so my mom and I were both able to squeeze some great runs in!

We kicked off Saturday morning with some speedwork at the track.

Track1I tested out a new camera timer app I downloaded by taking a pic of my snazzy Asics. 🙂

I did the same workout I had done the last time, except I managed to NOT wimp out this time and did 6 repeat 800’s instead of 5. 🙂

Fun fact I just learned about Yasso 800s – if you do 10 sets (so that means 10 800-meter repeats with a 400 meter jog in between each), take the average time in minutes and seconds and translate that into hours and minutes to get an idea of your marathon finishing time! So for example, if you do your repeats at an average of 3 minutes, 30 seconds, your marathon finishing time should roughly be 3 hours, 30 minutes. The runner geek in me finds this pretty cool.

Fascinating | 2 Generations RunningI had heard of Yasso 800’s before, but I never knew this detail about them! Needless to say, I plan to keep doing this workout and gradually increase my sets up to 10. I did ZERO speedwork before my last marathon, so I have no idea how accurate this would be for me (it varies by individual), but I really want to experiment now. I came across this factoid on Sunday while browsing through the newest addition to our running library –

Runner's World Big Book of Marathon TrainingMy mom picked this out to help as she begins training for marathon #2, the Baystate Marathon. I’ve only just started paging through it, but so far it seems like a pretty awesome resource! It has beginner, intermediate, and advanced training plans for both half marathons and marathons. My mom and I will both have to read through it some more, but I’m definitely thinking this one will be worth a review here on the blog!

On Sunday, I went for a nice, quick 3-miler followed by some burpees, bear crawls, and lunges in the backyard. I’m just going to say it – I hate burpees. I basically never did them before and now I kind of wish I could go back to the state of blissful ignorance where I didn’t really know how hard they are, but given that I’m doing a Spartan race in 2 weeks,  it seemed like a good idea to semi-prepare for it.

2 Generations RunningAnd this GIF pretty much sums up how I’m feeling about that.

After that, I went with my parents to take Brady and Keeper to a nearby field where they can run around and swim in the pond. I cannot begin to put into words the excitement/love Brady has for these outings (he sounds like a crying baby when he realizes where he’s going). As always, he had an absolute blast jumping into the water and chasing his tennis ball.

Brady swimming | 2 Generations RunningSo overall, a pretty great weekend for running and being outdoors! God, I love the summer. 🙂

How was your weekend? Did you run? Anyone else have a dog that LIVES for swimming and tennis balls?


Friday Five: 5 Tips for a Smooth Race Day

Happy Friday!

First off, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone for their kind comments on Wednesday’s post. It feels awesome to be able to discuss these issues with my fellow health and running bloggers, and I feel so much better for having discussed my mixed feelings about telling people about my blog and labeling myself as a ‘blogger’. You all are so awesome and friendly and I am lucky to belong to such a kind and supportive community.

Friday 5 Link-UpI’m once again hopping back into the Friday 5 Link-Up this week, hosted by Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC, Mar of Mar on the Run, and Cynthia of You Signed Up For What? This week’s topic is all about race day!! Honestly, the timing of this one could not be better with my mom and I gearing up for Sunday’s half marathon in Providence! I figured I would share with you all 5 tips for keeping the race day running smoothly (pun very much intended). Race mornings can be stressful, but these tips have helped us keep calm and enjoy the experience.

5 Tips for a Smooth Race Day | 2 Generations Running

  1. Write EVERYTHING DOWN. The times that you can pick up your bib, the address of bib pick-up, the addresses of all the parking lots in the vicinity, and your bib number (if you know it). Make sure you’ve checked your information against the race’s website and Facebook page the day before in case any last-minute changes have been made.
  2. Lay out the flat version of “you” the night before. That means your whole race outfit, including sports bra, socks, sneakers, fuel belt, bib, hat… Make sure that you won’t have to scramble to find anything in the morning. Most races begin pretty early, so you will save yourself some valuable sleeping time by making sure everything is ready to go the night before.
  3. Check Mapquest or your GPS several days before to determine how long a drive it’s going to take (assuming you will be driving to the race that morning). I usually like to get to a race like a half marathon about an hour to an hour and a half before the start, but definitely budget in more time if you have a comprehensive warm-up routine you like to do! Do bear in mind, the longer the race, the shorter the warm-up! With a race that is 13.1 to 26.2 miles long, your body will have plenty of time to warm up and work up to your desired speed.
  4. Don’t forget to eat. A lot of people feel uncomfortable eating a big breakfast early in the morning, so if that’s the case, just bring it with you! I don’t like to run immediately after eating, so make sure you give yourself some time to digest before your race starts. Go with a breakfast that has “sat well” with you on your previous long runs; you don’t want to try anything new on race day and discover it makes your stomach all wonky. And yes, that is the technical term for it.

Tips For Race Day | 2 Generations RunningI love my bagels with almond butter and jam with a cup of nice, hot coffee before racing. 🙂

5. Running with a friend or family member (or meeting up with some spectators post-race)? Try to plan a spot where you can reunite. In this era of cell phones and technology, this will probably only be an issue if you are running without your phone, but it’s always good to have a back-up plan in case your phone dies on you midway through the race. This is especially important if you’re running in a really big race with thousands of other runners.

Tips for Race Day | 2 Generations Running

Now let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is this weekend with a nice, smooth race on Sunday in Providence! I CANNOT WAIT. 🙂 (If you want more up-to-date news on how my mom and I do this weekend, follow me on Twitter and Instagram!)

Do you have any special tricks for getting ready on race mornings?