2017 Year in Review

I cannot believe we are mid-way through December and almost done with 2017. As the new year has been approaching, I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on everything that has happened in the past year, running and otherwise.

On the non-running side of things, I changed jobs which was a little scary but ultimately a good move I think. I also adopted Callie (my kitty) which was 1000% a great move and I feel beyond lucky to have her fluffy little face to come home to everyday.

As for the running…. it was not quite the year I had hoped for. My goals going into 2017 were to run a big PR in the half marathon in the early spring and then train for the Philly Marathon, hopefully running another big PR. It certainly did not work out that way. Maybe this was ambitious of me but  honestly, I think it was mostly bad luck that did me in.

I did eek out a small PR in the half, but looking back, I still feel that my time did not really accurately reflect the fitness I had or what I was trained to do.

But the real kicker of the whole year were the injuries that plagued my marathon training. First the Achilles tendinitis and then the hamstring strain. The decision not to run the full at Philly was literally gut-wrenching, though I know it was for the best.

So I rounded out 2017 with a 1-minute PR in the half marathon and NO marathon at all. Not exactly what I had in mind when I was looking ahead to 2017 all starry-eyed and optimistic about the coming year.

Strangely enough, I thought I would feel more annoyed looking back on this. But honestly, I feel a confidence that delayed gratification will be coming my way. Yes, in terms of actually meeting my goals, this year was a bust. There’s no way around it. But it was also the first year I feel I fully trained to my best ability. It was my first year working with a coach, and I truly do feel that in many ways, this was a building year for me (isn’t that what they always say in baseball when a team has a horrible season?). For the first time ever, I ran truly consistent mileage (with breaks only after goal races… or when injuries flared up).

Pre-Coach:

2017 Weekly Mileage

And with a coach:

2017 Weekly MileageJust to dive into these numbers a little bit, from August-September, I was averaging just about 40 miles a week. In 2016, I think I put in about 2 weeks in that range right before Baystate (I peaked at 49 miles for that marathon). This year, I learned it’s not really about what you hit during your “peak week” in training – it’s about steadily maintaining a high volume for several weeks (I averaged 42 miles/week for 4 weeks leading up to my goal half).

If there’s a secret sauce for improvement in running, it’s consistency. I KNOW the cumulative mileage I put on my legs this year has made me a stronger runner. And I’m also not afraid of running high(er) mileage anymore.

Going into 2018, I still have some major time goals for the marathon, but I also don’t want to make that my only focus. More than anything, I want to focus on becoming a stronger, more injury-resistant runner. I want to be disciplined about doing the small stuff that will keep me running healthy – namely PT exercises and general strength training.

In spite of all the disappointment this year, I still feel incredibly passionate and excited for this sport. I’m eagerly awaiting my next crack at 26.2 miles on February 25th (**fingers crossed because I’ve learned it’s better not to jinx things). After that, who knows? I just want to keep running with a smile on my face.


Life Updates + My Achilles Heel

Hello again!

Apologies for falling off the grid there for a bit, but life got in the way (as it usually does). Things are once again getting crazy with work (I realized I will only be home for 1 full week during the month of June) and there really haven’t been any exciting happenings with my running to blog about.

Short 3-miler on Friday.

Basically, I’ve been running minimal mileage and really focusing on letting my Achilles heal (HA – it’s a pun!). Leading into the Fast Half, it had become a persistent niggle. It would bother me pretty consistently for the first mile to mile and half of a run before easing away. After finally getting my goal race out of the way, I decided it was time to really focus on rehabbing my Achilles before diving back into any heavier training. Plus, my coach wanted me to take a decent break after the long training block I had just experienced.

So once a week for the past few weeks, I’ve been going to the chiropractor and getting ART (active release therapy) and graston. For those of you who don’t know what those are, you can think of it as a very deep and painful massage. It is NOT relaxing or comfortable, I can promise you.

ART MassageMaybe Monica was actually doing ART.

The good news is, it seems to be helping. I’ve been going on easy 2-3 mile runs in the past couple weeks that have felt almost normal. I’m confident that in a couple weeks I’ll be good as new.

I think the break has been good for me mentally. I’ve been going to a lot of yoga classes and really enjoying sleeping in a little later in the mornings. As nervous as I was about the late timing of Philly, now I’m really happy that I chose this marathon because I haven’t felt rushed to dive back into training. I know I have PLENTY of time this summer to get back to it.

Have you ever had ART or Graston?

What have you been up to this June? Any exciting plans for the rest of the summer?


OOFOS OMG Shoe Review!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS OMG Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Happy Friday!

As we head into the weekend (usually a great time for some R&R), I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on the OOFOS OMG shoe which I was sent to test out and review as a Bibrave ambassador.

OOFOS OMG Shoe ReviewOOFOS is known for their recovery footwear and frankly, I’m glad that a company has started paying more attention to this. As runners, we’re only wearing our running sneakers for a small fraction of the day and then we’re putting on other footwear that are probably not the best for our feet (*cough cough… flip flops).

OOFOS is different from the other ‘squishy’ types of shoes on the market in that it is made with a special foam that absorbs 37% more shock than other types of shoe foam. I actually got to see a little demonstration of this when I was at The Running Event where they dropped 2 golf balls side by side on pieces of foam, 1 from OOFOS and the other a different brand. When the golf ball hit the OOFOS foam, it barely bounced at all while the other one bounced a good 2-3 times. That’s because OOFOS was absorbing the shock.

After I’ve gone for a 12-15 mile long run on the weekends, I want nothing more than for my feet to be totally babied. By that point, I’ve already put enough stress on them. Slipping on OOFOS feels fantastic and SO much better than a regular pair of slippers or flip-flops.

The weeks leading up to the Fast Half had me running pretty high mileage and some tough workouts. I wanted to take care of my feet and keep them in good shape for my race, so I just decided to wear the OOFOS OMG shoe to work! I couldn’t really have pulled that off with their sandals this time of year given how crappy the weather in Boston has been.

OOFOS OMG Shoe ReviewHere’s a few more specific notes on my experience with the OOFOS OMG shoe:

  • Fit was true to size. I’m generally a 9.5-10 in regular shoes and a 10.5 in running sneakers. I went with a size 10 and they fit comfortably (both with and without socks).
  • I wore them a lot when I first got them with no problems at all. On maybe the 4th day wearing them, I did get a tiny blister on my heel from the shoe rubbing, but this does happen to me a lot with flats or certain sneakers.
  • I wouldn’t call these the most fashion-forward shoe… They’re pretty plain and if I were to see them in a store, I wouldn’t pick them out for myself. But, the black style I got does pretty much go with everything and I can wear them to my office without looking too silly.
  • They really do feel insanely comfortable in the way they cradle your arches and absorb the shock of your steps.
  • Color choice: currently, the OOFOS OMG shoes only come in black, gray, and a neon yellow. I’d love to see more options become available down the road.
  • Cost: $120. Yes, these are a little pricey, but it is funny how as runners, we wouldn’t even bat an eyelash about spending that on a pair of running shoes. When I look at it that way, it kind of makes sense that you should pay that much for a great recovery shoe.
  • Overall, I really do think these are a useful pair of shoes for a runner to add to their arsenal. I’m stoked to have a pair myself as I know the mileage will start picking up again soon as I dive back into marathon training for Philly!

OOFOS OMG shoe reviewBrady would recover in the OOFOS OMG shoe too if they made a version for dogs.

What are your favorite recovery techniques? Have you tried OOFOS before?


The Fast Half Recap

Happy Monday!

This past weekend, I ran my half marathon redemption race, the Fast Half. After missing my goal at the Half at the Hamptons, I had been eager to find another half a few weeks later to give the PR another shot.

The weather was absolutely perfect this time around – low 50s and overcast. There was a breeze, but it was nowhere near the 20+ mph headwinds I was contending with at the Hamptons. Mentally, I felt ready. I felt like I had learned my lessons from the Half at the Hamptons, and I was ready to hop aboard the pain train once again.

The start/finish was at the Hamilton-Wenham regional high school, about an hour’s drive for me. I showed up about an hour early and had no issue parking, getting my bib, and using the porta-potty. While doing my warm-up, I also discovered another bathroom open to the public around the back of the school, which I was able to use a couple more times without having to wait in any lines – SCORE. 🙂

Before I knew it, it was 9 am and everyone was lining up at the start. It was a pretty small race and I was able to get a good position near-ish to the front. And then, we were off!

The goal was to go out a touch slower than I had at the Half at the Hamptons and to run very comfortable through Mile 6, at which point things would start to get tough.

I settled into an easy rhythm, enjoying the scenery and the gentle downhill of the first few miles. Miles 1-3 were 7:53, 7:53, and 7:54. Right on target. I had a group of the same runners who I was pretty much sticking with through these miles and it felt good having the company.

After the first 5k, I knew it was time to push a little bit harder. I was still feeling really comfortable and miles were ticking by like clockwork. I took my first GU and was able to get it down relatively easily. I had kind of struggled with my nutrition in March so it was a relief to have this go smoothly this time around. Mile 4 I hit in 7:48.

For the next couple miles, I worked on trying to maintain this slightly fast pace as we entered more of the rolling hills. Mile 4-5 featured a decent climb and I was happy to come away with a 7:51 split for the mile. Mile 6-7 I knew was going to be a tough one. It’s pretty much uphill for the whole mile. I focused on remembering what my coach had told me – “You are fit enough to recover on the downhills.” I reminded myself of the Groton Road Race where I had run 7:30-7:45 pace on substantial hills. I ended up squeaking out an 8:01 split for the mile. A bit slower than I wanted, but not as bad as I had worried it would be.

I told myself that the worst of the hills were over and now I could get to work at dialing the pace down again. Unfortunately, there really were plenty more hills coming my way. Mile 8 I was able to recover a bit running a 7:49. Still slower than what I realistically wanted to be running at this time in the race though.

Mile 9 I hit in 8:05. I remember a couple of small climbs during this mile, plus I took my second GU at this time. I know I was 100% feeling the strain at this point. I knew my original goal of 1:41 was out the window, but I had to hold on if I was going to still squeak out a PR. I couldn’t let myself fall apart the way I did before.

Miles 10 and 11 I hit in 7:53 and 7:51. Again, slower than what I had really hoped for, but not terrible in the grand scheme of things.

And then the wheels fell off….

I tried to focus on sticking with a girl in a purple shirt who I had caught up to over the last mile who was looking strong. Maybe she just looked strong because I felt like crap though, I’m not sure. I tried to concentrate on my breathing and I tried really hard to just not give up on myself. Never have 2 miles felt so EFFING long though. I hit Mile 12 in 8:14 and Mile 13 in 8:09. No bueno.

As I came around the final bend and entered the school parking lot, I saw the clock read 1:44 and I sprinted as hard as I could across the finish, so glad to be DONE.

Fast Half MarathonSo I got my PR, but only by about a minute or so. I’m happy to have PR’ed, but also slightly frustrated that I lost pace so badly in the last 2 miles. If I could have kept it in the 7:50s at least, my average pace would probably have been around a 7:51 for a 1:43 finish. Yes, I’m agonizing over seconds here, but I feel like those last 2 miles pretty much botched an otherwise solid race.Fast Half Marathon Race Recap

But the other thing I keep remind myself is that this race really was not all that flat and fast. Here is what my Garmin captured as the elevation profile from this course versus the map they put on the race website.

Fast Half Elevation Profile

And the elevation profile they post on their website-

Fast Half Elevation

Yes, the general gist is the same, although I think it’s fair to say that they selected a scale and width of the line to smooth out some of the other smaller hills that were in between the big climbs.

I also thought it was interesting looking at Strava’s grade-adjusted pace data from the run.

Notice Mile 7 where I actually ran an 8:01 – my grade-adjusted pace would have been a 7:41.

Overall, I think this just proves to me how much choosing the right course matters when you’re racing. No, I can’t avoid hills entirely (though I definitely wish I could), but you do need to take them into consideration when selecting goal races.

I know my fitness is there. I am so much stronger than I was back in November when I first joined McKirdy Trained, and that’s exciting. Yes, this was a small squeaker of a PR, but that just means there will be more records to be set down the road.

No, I am not hunting down another half marathon to race this summer though. I am ready for a nice break from the half marathon (and a short break from running) to let my body recover before diving into whatever is next.

 


A Killer 10k and Feeling Confident

Hey guys, happy Tuesday!

I went home this past weekend to visit my family and run a local 10k, the Groton Road Race. It’s put on by the running club that my mom and I first joined when we decided to train for our first half marathon. I was away at college at the time and my mom wanted to find some people to run with while I was gone. I remember feeling slightly intimidated by everyone in the club who seemed so much more advanced in their running, but of course, everyone turned out to be SUPER nice and welcoming. And here we are 5 years later and I’m no longer training for my first half marathon but my 18th!!

The plan for the 10k was to include it as part of a longer run and workout. 4 miles beforehand, followed by the 10k (splits I was aiming for were 2 miles at 8 min pace, 2 at 7:45 and finishing 2 at 7:30). Then 2 miles cool-down for a total of 12 for the day. I knew the course had some rolling hills, which so does the Fast Half, so I was excited to see how I’d handle running those paces with some challenging elevation.

The race didn’t start until 11:50 (SO LATE!!) so I was able to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, and head off to run my 4 miles with plenty of time to spare. I did it on a rail trail near the start of the 10k. I haven’t run on a rail trail in a while and I forgot how much I enjoy them! There’s nothing like a flat, paved trail through shady woods for running some comfortable, easy miles. 🙂 The first 4 miles weren’t very interesting, apart from the fact that I kept catching myself running a little too fast as I got excited thinking about the 10k to come. I knew that was a good sign and I felt ready to push.

I finished my 4 miles with some time to spare before the start of the 10k so I was able to rehydrate (I used nuun performance mix with water which was yummy and seemed to work really well). The race was bustling since they offer a tots trot, 2k fun run, 5k and 10k. There were 2 food trucks (Jamaican food and cupcakes which I was totally eyeing).

Finally, it was time to line up! Right on time, we were off. The race started on the track at the local middle school before running off onto the roads. It was fun and I was definitely excited because I found myself running a 7:17 pace through the first quarter mile or so… Whoops. I made myself slow down, knowing there would be plenty of time to push the pace later on. I hit mile 1 in 8:03, so mission accomplished.

Groton Road RaceAs we went into Mile 2, there was a nice series of ups and downs. While I always talk about hating running hills, I think I kind of forgot how much fun it is to run fast downhill. I tried to think about the talk I had heard Ryan Hall give about running Boston and how you shouldn’t lean back when running downhill because it’s basically like using your quads as brakes and will really beat you up in the long term. Obviously, this wasn’t a marathon but I knew I still had plenty of hills ahead of me and I wanted to save my legs as much as possible. I hit Mile 2 in 7:57.

I knew things were going to get interesting in Mile 3. I felt like I had been running pretty comfortably aiming for 8 minute pace during the first 2 miles and I knew that I was going to have to start pushing. Early into this mile I took a GU to practice fueling at a faster pace since this was something I struggled with at the Half at the Hamptons. I was able to get it down without incident. I felt like I held pretty close to the 7:45 mark throughout this mile, except for when I grabbed water at the first water station. I didn’t stop running, but I think I slowed a little and lost a few seconds. Mile 3 was a 7:50.

I think maybe the water was just what I needed or I was finally hitting my stride at this pace though because I felt STRONG through the next mile. The hills continued to be hard, but I never found myself mentally beating myself up on them. Every time I started to think about slowing down, I remembered back to the post I just wrote on mental toughness and how I had promised to fight during the Fast Half. In my mind, this 10k had become a dress rehearsal for that race and I did not want to let myself down. I hit Mile 4 in 7:39.

With 2 miles to go, I knew things were going to get tough, but this was the exciting part. After watching so many people cruise by me in the first 2 miles, I was finally catching up to and passing runners. Right around this time I caught up to a runner from our club who was running right around 7:30 pace with another older gentleman. I set my sights on them and focused on just sticking with them. There was an awesome downhill section here and I really just let my stride open up. Mile 5 was 7:31.

I knew the last mile was going to be a grind. In talking with some club members who had run the 10k in years past, I knew this was one of the worst of the hills and it was indeed a doozy. But I still felt strong. I was so proud of the splits I had been hitting up till this point and I didn’t want the last mile to ruin it (perks of being a perfectionist I guess…) Just at the start of Mile 5 the course rejoined with the end of the 5k runners who were taking a more leisurely pace. Luckily, I tucked in behind my runner club friend who was very vocal and good at clearing a path for us so I didn’t have to slow down too much. Mile 6 was 7:37. Not exactly perfect, but still my second fastest split of the race. I ran the last .2 at a 6:56 pace to finish in 48:16, an average pace of 7:44/mile. My watch informed me this was a new 10k PR! I also found out later I got 4th in my age group. Not too shabby for a workout!

I happily guzzled a water, ate a couple of orange slices and a homemade cookie while I chatted with a few friends from the club who had run the 5k. After I had caught my breath and hydrated a bit more, I headed out for 2 cool-down miles.

Overall, I loved this race. I had volunteered at it in the past, but never run it and I was actually surprised with how much I loved the course and with how many spectators there were. I felt like this was great test for the Fast Half coming up, and I think I passed. I never gave up on the hills and I felt strong running 7:30-7:45 pace. With the taper coming up fast, this was just the confidence boost I needed.

How was your weekend?


Spectating the Boston Marathon + An Announcement!

Well at this point we are one week removed from the Boston Marathon, but I am still slightly awestruck from the experience of watching the marathon this year. It’s interesting because at this point, marathons and races are nothing new to me. I’ve always said I love the excitement and joy of a race atmosphere.

Boston is on a whole different level.

Around 9:30 in the morning on Marathon Monday, I met up with my coach and a couple of her friends to head out to mile 18 to spectate and cheer on the other McKirdy Trained athletes participating in the race. Already at 9:30 in the morning, it was HOT – probably in the 60s and bright and sunny. Pretty nice for spectating but not at all good for running a marathon. We got off the subway close to Mile 16 in the race and were just in time to watch the elite women breeze by us.

Elite women You could tell they were working hard but they still looked FAST. The crowds lining both sides of the streets erupted in cheers every time one of these women passed.

Shortly thereafter came the elite men. We saw the lead pack with Galen Rupp and a bunch of others cruising right along. A minute or two behind them was Meb! We cheered for him like no other and I was so excited to get some good pictures. His stride looked so powerful, I was in awe.

Meb Boston Marathon 2017We continued on our way, walking to just before mile 19 on the course. I knew Boston was huge on spectators, but still, it was something to experience, seeing the course lined with spectators on both sides so far outside of downtown Boston. There was also a much more relaxed vibe out on this part of the course. There was still plenty of security but there weren’t security checkpoints at every corner, which made it way easier to get around. People had set up tents and/or picnics outside their homes, kids were running around, and the whole thing just felt like one big, epic block party (one that just happened to be bisected by a marathon).

As we continued on, we saw a McKirdy Trained athlete coming our way who we immediately started cheering for. She saw us and stumbled toward Mary, clearly not in good shape. Just as she reached us at the side of the road, she toppled over onto the ground. Mary and her friend immediately scooped her up, protecting her from being trampled by the steady flow of runners behind her. Someone ran over and gave us a water bottle which we gave to her, and then she insisted on continuing on her way, despite assurances that she could stop and get some help. It was honestly a little scary and really hit home how tough the conditions on the course were.

Boston Marathon spectatingFinally, we got to our prime viewing area just before Mile 19. By this point, the elites were passed and more of the ‘average’ runners were passing in a steady stream. I had so much fun cheering for all the runners and listening to the funny cheers and comments from the group standing near us. It was hilarious how many runners ended up striking up conversation with those guys as they ran past!

Last year, I had gotten caught up in the chaos of trying to find my way to the hotel my running club hosts an after-party at right by the finish. Crowds of people, security checkpoints, and general pandemonium had me so stressed out I was hardly able to enjoy the marathon. It was so different this year and so nice to actually be able to spectate and enjoy the race. I would highly recommend the stretch of Mile 16-18 to anyone looking to spectate along the Boston Marathon!

I had felt passionate about running Boston someday before this whole experience, but watching it this year really brought the feeling to life for me. More than ever, this race feels like the Olympics of running for the everyday runner. So… after all the excitement and inspiration, I figured it was finally time to cement my own plans for 2017. Namely, marathon #4 and my attempt to BQ once and for all…

Philadelphia Marathon 2017

Philly.

Bring on Marathon #4.


Half Marathon Training: The FINAL Check-In

Hello again!

Apologies for the lack of posts last week. While I love blogging, my work during the week pretty much restricts my blogging time to only weekends. This can make things a little hectic trying to squeeze in all of my runs, chores and a week’s worth of blog posts in the span of 2 days. Last weekend, I felt like I needed the time to really decompress, but I’m back now!

Rather than share 2 week’s worth of workouts (which would probably be pretty boring), I wanted to touch on some highlights and my thoughts about the Half at the Hamptons being THIS SUNDAY!

Excited but nervous gif | 2 Generations RunningYes, exactly.

Two weeks ago, I had my last long run/hard workout on Saturday and it did NOT go well. The workout was 3 mile warm-up followed by 3 x 2 miles at 7:32 with 2 minutes rest between sets and a 3 mile cool-down. I knew it was going to be hard, but I can honestly say I wasn’t dreading this workout. I made sure to get a good night’s sleep and I felt ready to tackle it in the morning. The only bit of trepidation I felt was in that I was visiting my family for the weekend and the roads around my hometown are hillier than my typical running routes around my apartment. I knew it was going to be a struggle running 7:32 pace with hills thrown in. Boy, was I right.

I picked the least hilly area I could find, which still included 2 short but steep-ish hills. I went into the 2-mile repeats and knew pretty much right away it was not going to be a good day. My first set was 7:39 and 7:57 but then I fell apart even more on the second and third sets. I felt like I was working hard but I was literally GASPING for air and could NOT make the pace on my watch nudge down to the low 7:30s. Mentally, I was frustrated and already beginning to have doubts about the half. It was, by far the worst workout I have had this entire training cycle.

I ended up chatting with Mary (my coach) the next day, and she reassured me that this happens and is not the end of the world. One bad workout does not undo 3 months worth of good workouts. I felt 100 times better after talking it through with her, and I don’t think this workout will negatively affect my mindset going into the race this weekend.

Now, I am officially in Taper Town! I think I simultaneously love and hate the taper. I love knowing the race is coming up and running easy miles, but I do feel like my body/mind tend to freak out a bit. I had a few minor aches and pains during some of my easy runs this week (some pain in my achilles, a pain in my hamstring). When these would pop up, I would immediately start to wonder if I’m injured, if I’ll be able to do the race, etc… But all these little aches ended up going away after a mile or two, so thankfully I think I will be in perfect condition for Sunday. 🙂

This past weekend, I had an easy 8 miles on Saturday in beautiful mid-60 degree temps which was GLORIOUS!

2 Generations RunningNothing like wearing shorts on February 25th!

Everyone was outside on what I like to call “my” running route but I guess I can share if it means more nice weather in the future. 😉

This week I have a few more easy runs on the agenda, but nothing too crazy.

How was your week? If you’re in the Northeast, were you able to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather? 

How do you react to the taper?


Half Marathon Training Check-In #5

Happy Monday everyone!

After the most boring winter ever, New England finally got hammered with a nor’easter this week and now the snow just seems to keep coming. It’s made for A LOT of treadmill runs this week. Honestly, I’m starting to get sick of it. I will take heat and humidity, I just want to be able to run outside again! But anyways…

The half marathon is 3 weeks away and after this week, it looks like my training is beginning to taper. I hope I’m ready. Here’s what the past week of training looked like.

Monday – Easy 4 miles on the treadmill in the morning. I was a little sore after Sunday’s long run/workout the day before but not terrible.

Tuesday – Easy 60 minutes also on the treadmill.

Wednesday – I had been pretty tired the night before so I decided to sleep in and do my run in the evening. I knew temps were forecasted to be uncharacteristically warm (high 40’s) so I figured I would run home from my office in the evening and tack on a couple miles for a total of 6. It was probably a good thing that I did this because when I went outside Wednesday morning, everything was a SHEET of ice – it was literally everywhere. If I had gotten up in the dark to go to the gym, I would almost certainly have slipped and fallen.

Thursday – Workout day. This time it was a 2 mile warm-up followed by 6 x 800 meters at 6:53 pace with 2:30 recoveries, followed by a 2-mile cool down. This was tough, but doable. I felt this in my quads and I KNEW I was going to be sore the next day. I knocked this off on the treadmill and the snow was just starting to fall as I came home. Unlike most of Boston, I still had to go to work but it was kind of cool seeing the city so empty and so snowy!

2 Generations Running

Friday – As expected, I was very sore. Luckily, I only had an easy 35 minutes to run which I knocked off on the treadmill since the streets were a slushy, icy mess. Later, walking to work, I slipped on some ice and fell flat on my back. The joys of winter… So in addition to my quads being wicked sore, my tailbone was also in pain. What a week.

Saturday – Easy 6 miles. The streets were still in terrible shape so once again, it was treadmill time. Thankfully, the Bibrave podcast kept me entertained through it and my quads were finally starting to feel normal again.

Sunday – Long run day and of course, there was more snow in the forecast. Ugh. I debated breaking up the run to do my first couple easy miles outdoors but the streets still were not in good shape and it would have required a lot of wardrobe changes going from street to treadmill. So I decided to suck it up and do the whole thing on the treadmill. The workout consisted of 2 mile warm-up, 1 x 3 miles at 7:32, 1 minute jogging recovery, 1 x 1.5 mile at 7:32, 5 minute jogging recovery, then 5 x 400 meters at 6:52 pace, capped off with 2 mile cool-down.

I really would have preferred to have done this on the road, BUT 11.15 miles later, it was complete. It was actually kind of nice that there were so many parts to this workout because it made it go by a lot faster. It was also probably good for my mental toughness.

Total # of Workouts: 2

Total Mileage: 45.5

Are you as sick of winter yet as I am? 


Run Fast Eat Slow Post #4: Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes

Hello and happy Friday!

I have another Run Fast Eat Slow recipe review for you this week. Honestly, when I came up with the idea for this series of posts I thought it would just be a fun little break from all the training posts, but I actually love how it’s really forced me to get out of my cooking comfort zone. In the past, I’ve bought cookbooks, made a couple recipes, and then just tucked them away on the shelf to only be used when feeling particularly ambitious. Now I’m actually browsing the recipes and thinking ahead about what I want to make for the week!

Wild Salmon Cakes | Run Fast Eat SlowI’ve been on a huge sweet potato kick lately, so I thought the Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes (page 142) sounded just about right – plus, they would be easy to pack with a salad for lunches for the work week. I love salmon and I know it’s a really fantastic food to include in my diet because of all its health benefits. Sometimes I just get lazy about remembering to buy it/prepare it. Apart from the salmon, I had all the ingredients on hand, which made it pretty easy to whip up.

It’s a pretty straightforward recipe – saute some garlic and onions, then combine them with the salmon, sweet potato puree, almond meal, eggs, and some seasonings. While the recipe recommends ordering wild salmon with skin and bones removed and finely chopped, I kept things a little easier (and cheaper) by opting to use canned salmon. I’m sure the recipe is delicious with real salmon, but I wanted to keep things simple.

Once everything was combined into a nice, thick batter, it was time to saute them in a generous serving of coconut oil. This was where I ran into issues. The batter was NOT staying together nice enough for me to be able to flip them in the frying pan.

Run Fast Eat Slow | 2 Generations RunningI tried it with 3 of the cakes and gave up as they all fell apart. Luckily, I remembered I had made a similar recipe a year ago where the sweet potato salmon cakes were baked in the oven in a muffin tin. I scooped the batter into the tin and had just enough to make a perfect 6 cakes. I popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wild Salmon Cake | Run Fast Eat SlowVoila! They look much nicer than the ones that kept falling apart on me. I have been lightly sauteing them in a frying pan to warm them up and get that nice crispy feel on the outside each night I’ve prepared them. They’ve held up much better like this and are just as yummy. 🙂 And, I’m happy to report these are just as delicious as every other recipe my mom and I have tried so far!

Have you cooked up anything tasty lately? 


LEGEND Compression: A Review!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Legend Compression Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Happy Friday All!

It’s been a crazy busy week, but I think that has also made it pass faster and here we are at Friday! I’m changing up the schedule a bit and instead of a Run Fast, Eat Slow recipe post I have a review for you today! You may remember a few months back, I reviewed Legend Compressison socks. I was very impressed with their product and happy to support a Made in the USA company. When the opportunity came up to review their compression sleeves, I jumped at the chance. Personally, I tend to be more of a fan of compression sleeves (only wrap around the calf instead of the whole foot) so it was perfect.

Legend Compression Sleeves Review | 2 Generations RunningIt also helps that the arrival of the compression sleeves has coincided nicely with my training for the Half at the Hamptons really picking up. I’ve been running 40-45 mile weeks with some TOUGH interval workouts sprinkled in. I’ve trained hard before but never anything like this.

My motivation to keep up with the training has also been sky-high. I want that PR in March and I’m willing to work for it. That has meant a renewed focus on all of the little things that I tend to push to the back-burner (or throw out the window entirely) in this cycle. I’m doing more core, foam rolling AND prioritizing compression to help my legs recover faster.

Legend Compression | 2 Generations RunningTypically, I’ll knock out my runs pretty early in the morning, shower and get ready for work and put my compression sleeves on for the day (it helps that it’s winter and I don’t have to worry about anyone wondering about what the heck I’m wearing around my calves.)

So far, I can tell it’s been helping. Despite running mileage I used to reserve only for marathon training, my body has been feeling really good. I’ve been tired and ready for bed at 9 pm every night (if not earlier), but my legs feel decently fresh and I’ve been bouncing back from the hard workouts well.

Legend Compression Sleeves Review | 2 Generations Running

Dance, Jump on it…

Just like with their compression socks, the fit of their sleeves is “right not tight“, meaning 15-20 mmHg compression versus 20-30 mmHg more typical with other companies. I have tried both the traditional “tighter” sleeves and Legend Compression and I can honestly say that both types work well for me. However, I have heard plenty of complaints from other runners on how hard it is to pull compression sleeves on, in which case, I would definitely recommend giving Legend Compression a try!

Price-wise, these sleeves are very comparable to the other major brands in the market. At $45 a pair, they aren’t cheap, but they are also well-made and durable – you can tell they won’t fall apart after wearing them a few times (which is a major plus since I have been LIVING in mine lately).

I love the bright blue color and I cannot WAIT to rock these in my next race (yeah, I’m that guy who plans their race outfits WAY in advance…) If you’d like to give Legend Compression a try, you’re in luck – I’ve got a discount for ya! Use code  ‘rave20’ for 20% off your order!

Compression socks or sleeves? Are you in training for any spring or winter races?