Welcome to the Family!!

Happy Monday everyone!

I have some exciting news to share….

Callie

CallieI’d like to introduce you all to Callie, my new kitty! I adopted her last weekend and we’ve been getting comfortable with each other ever since. She likes to stretch out by my running sneakers and pretend like she was the one who went for the workout.

FlexibilityShe is such a sweetheart and I’m so glad to have a new furry friend in my life. 🙂

Anywho, let’s talk running! I am just about 100 days out from Philly and happy to be sinking my teeth into training again.

This week’s workouts included:

On Wednesday – 2 mile warm-up, 4 x 1 minute @ 6:32, 1 minute recoveries, 2 x 2 minutes @ 7:32, 2 minute recoveries, 2 x 3 minutes @ 7:32, 3 minute recoveries, 4 x 1 minute @ 6:32, 1 mile cooldown. I won’t lie – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep all these intervals straight in my head while running so I wrote the workout down on my hand.

I wasn’t super excited about this workout – I just don’t really enjoy the feeling of constantly changing pace and never really settling into a rhythm. Still, I was happy when I was done and most of my splits were spot on or a touch fast.

Sunday was long run day with some marathon paced miles. THIS was a workout I was excited about. 3 mile warm-up, 2 x 3 miles @ 8:05/mile, with a 3 minute recovery, 2 mile cool-down.

Here’s how I did:

SplitsI was a little nervous after the first 3 miles that I was going to fall apart on the second set, but I ended up being more on target than the first set, running 8:04, 8:00, and 8:04. Still, it didn’t feel easy (or like I could run 26 miles at this pace). My plan is to keep assessing as we get closer to Philly on whether I need to adjust my goals.

While this run was pretty solid, I did something weird with my gel where there was still some left in the wrapper when I shoved it in the little holder I had for my handheld water bottle. Next thing I knew, during my cool-down miles, I realized I had brown goo (not the brand GU, I was actually using a Huma gel) smeared all over my white shirt. Not sure how I did that, but I’ll need to figure out a better system.

Just over 35 miles for the week and my Achilles has been feeling good so I’m feeling optimistic and excited to see what’s coming! **Funny fact: One of the things that always used to make me hesitant to work with a coach was because I liked to be able to look at a training plan for a race and see the whole picture and know what I was getting myself into. Now, I kind of like getting my workouts/training plan on a weekly schedule because it’s kind of a fun surprise to see what I’ll be running! Plus, I trust that my coach is thinking of the whole process and taking into account where my body/fitness is right now, which a training plan can’t do.

Do you have any pets? Any cat people out there? (I used to be strictly a dog person but I’ve come to love cats too now – clearly!)

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When your Running is Going Swimmingly

Hello!

I got back from West Virginia on Friday and boy, does it feel good to be back home. Fun fact about West Virginia: there are hills EVERYWHERE.

I was dying. I am used to FLAT FLAT FLAT but I didn’t have any other options but to suck it up and get on with my runs. I was a little nervous heading into the trip just because I knew my hours were going to be long and wonky and I was worried about fitting in my training since Philly and RnR Montreal are coming up fast.

While I missed a few runs, overall – I was really happy with how I did fitting it all in. I even squeezed in a marathon pace workout. I didn’t think I’d be able to hit the paces with the hills/heat/humidity I was battling, but I actually nailed it. Workout was 2 mile warm-up followed by 1 x 2 miles @ 8:01, 800 meters rest, 2 x 1 mile @ 8:01 with 2 minute recoveries, 5 minute cooldown. Actual splits were: 9:15, 9:07 (warm-up), 8:03 and 8:02 for the first set, 8:05 and 8:00 for the second set.

Marathon TrainingIt didn’t feel super easy, BUT I’m optimistic that all my half marathon training did build my fitness this spring and that this pace will continue to become more comfortable. And if I can hit those splits WITH all the hills, then I think it bodes well for doing these workouts in Boston.I flew home on Friday last week and went for a run along my regular route that afternoon. Even though it was sunny and hot, I felt AMAZING on this run. Maybe I was just happy to be home, but I found myself easily running a sub-9 minute pace. My easy pace usually ranges from 9:00 – 9:45, but I decided to roll with it and I’m kind of glad I did as it was a nice confidence boost that I am getting faster. My average pace ended up being 8:35/mile for the run.

This past weekend, I had my first “real” long run since early May – 9 miles! I was stoked. It was hot and sunny, but I got it done and I’m excited to see the long runs starting to bump up.

Things are starting to fall into place!

How is your summer training going?


Training Runs and Patriotic Sneakers

Hello!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I have an extended work trip coming up (2 weeks in West Virginia…) so I was happy to relax at home this weekend and get some good workouts in.

Things have been continuing to go well running-wise post 2-mile race!

Holy Moly, did I feel that 7 minute pace after the lack of speed work in June. Even that afternoon, the soreness was setting in in my quads and I felt pretty wiped out – even if it was a measly 2 miles. The guy who won the race is actually a member of my running club in Boston and ran an 8:54 to take the win (4:30 mile, followed by a 4:26). Haha, clearly I shouldn’t be complaining about being sore!

On Wednesday, I went for an easy 5 miles and my pace showed the fatigue – average of 9:42/mile.

2 Generations RunningThursday, I think my legs began to feel normal again and I got in a good 9:18/mile pace for 4 miles in the morning before work. I had some energy still in the evening when I got home from work, so I went to the gym and did 25 minutes of spinning on the bike and worked up a good sweat.

On Friday, I meant to wake up early and run before work, but sleeping in won out. While it rained all day, luckily it pretty much cleared up by the late afternoon when I got out for my 5 miles. It was sticky and humid and I wasn’t really feeling it, but I got in 5 miles nice and easy. As I was running through one of the fields in the park that I usually run in, I counted 21 rabbits! Not exaggerating. They were all hanging out and as I ran by, they would spring into action, running into the bushes. Haha, I felt kind of bad for disturbing them but this was also probably the highlight of my run.

Saturday, was a no running day on my calendar so I enjoyed sleeping in and a leisurely cup of coffee before heading into Boston for a barre class. This was only my second class, but I am really enjoying adding something new to my fitness routine! The classes are low-impact and consist of a lot of core work, arms, squats, and planks. I’m hoping to try to incorporate 1-2 classes a week into my routine at least until my mileage starts getting crazy towards the end of the summer.

And as a sidenote, check out the beautiful sneakers I HAD to purchase for the 4th of July.

Saucony Freedom IsoSaucony Freedom ISO

I am a total sucker for a pair of patriotic sneakers and when I saw Saucony post these babies on Instagram the week before the 4th, I knew I needed a pair. They are the Saucony Freedom ISO, a model I actually got to test at The Running Event when they first launched. I’ve only taken them out for one run, but so far, I’m feeling really positive about them. I’ll post a review and let you know how they compare to my beloved Kinvaras once I get the chance to test them out some more.

Sunday, I had an easy 5 miles. This was one of those runs where I felt great and was easily able to keep the pace a hair on the fast side (ran mile 3 in 8:54 – technically a little faster than my easy pace, but it felt fine). There were tons of people out running and walking around and also enjoying the beautiful weather. After I finished up, I popped into CVS to pick up a couple of things and could not resist this chocolate milk (please excuse my extremely red face.)

Chocolate milk

Yum. So good for recovery!

This week, I’m looking forward to some more runs and actual workouts as I slowly begin to pick things up again!


The 2017 John Carson 4th of July Road Race

Hello again!

4th of julyAs I mentioned in my post on Monday, I randomly happened upon the registration and bib pick-up for the John Carson 2-Mile Road Race while out getting ice cream with my family this past weekend. I had been hoping to find a 4th of July race to do, and this just felt like fate.

My Achilles has been feeling about a thousand times better lately, so I was excited to really race this (as best I could given that I hadn’t really run much at all through the month of June much less done any speedwork). I was hoping to get under 14 minutes, but if that wasn’t going to happen, then I just wanted to focus on continuing to push myself through the uncomfortable parts of the race. After all, it was only a 2-miler and I figured I could gut out a fast pace knowing how quickly it would all be over.

Since this is a point-to-point course, my parents dropped me off at the starting area before heading to the center of Chelmsford where the race finishes. I thought the race started at 9, but it actually started at 9:30, so I had plenty of time for a 2 mile warm-up and drills. I was feeling the heat even on my easy paced warm-up, so I knew it was going to be a little rough for the race.

Before long, everyone was gathering at the start line. It was crowded and I found myself in the middle of the pack behind a lot of high schoolers and even some walkers. I knew everyone was going to go out fast, so I figured I would be able to wind my way around people once we were on course.

And right at 9:30, we were off! As expected, most of the high school boys went out crazy fast, only holding the pace for a quarter of a mile or so before I was able to pass them. There were plenty of spectators lining the street because the town parade immediately follows the race, so it was awesome to experience so much cheering and crowd support.

I was hoping to run sub-7 for my first mile and I almost did it, but couldn’t quite hold on towards the end of the first mile – 7:03. At this point, I was feeling the heat and just focused on telling myself to keep pushing, just one more mile. Throughout the race, I was hearing cheers for a guy who had dressed in a banana costume, so I was also highly motivated to not let the banana pass me. 🙂

I may have gone out a little too fast myself, given that my “best pace” was a 4:42… Haha, whoops.
The finish was pretty awesome with tons of cheering. It also came with a long gradual hill, which kind of sucked, but I knew I was close at that point and just did my best to keep pushing. Apparently my parents saw me at this point, and cheered for me and got some pictures, but I didn’t notice them (too busy gritting my teeth I guess!).

I hit Mile 2 in 7:10, which I was pleasantly surprised with. I think I was running closer to 7:20 through the first half of the second mile, but then sped up significantly at the end with the crowd support.

John Carson Road RaceI had been hoping for ice cream at the finish, since Sullivan Farms was a sponsor, but sadly, no cigar. 😉 They had water, bananas, watermelon, capri sun, and a few other snacky things.

John Carson Road RaceOverall, it was a really fun race! While I didn’t go sub-14 minutes, I am happy with my final time of 14:18. I felt like I pushed myself and did about as good as I could have done given that I’m coming off a really light month and a slight injury recovery. I’d love to race this one again next year and see what I could do with a little more preparation.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

 


The Comeback

Happy 4th of July (in advance)!!

Hope everyone’s been having a wonderful holiday weekend. I’ve been enjoying some family time with my parents and Brady and just soaking in the long weekend. 🙂

I’m happy to report that my past couple of runs have been pain-free and my chiropractor thinks I am well on my way to recovered. I saw him on Friday last week and got another round of ART and graston (still HATE that but I know it’s doing the trick).

I’ve finally pushed past the 3 mile mark and have been comfortably running 4-5 miles.

On Sunday, I was running a couple of errands with my parents and we stopped to get ice cream. I noticed a flyer for a 4th of July 2-mile road race and they happened to be doing bib and T-shirt pick-up right there! After doing a little googling on the race while I ate my ice cream, I went ahead and signed up. I am so excited to have spontaneously found a fun race to do for the holiday AND I’m stoked to try my hand at the 2-mile distance! Automatic PR considering I’ve never raced this before. 🙂

Now that my ankle is really starting to feel better, I’m getting very excited to start training for Philly. 139 days!!!

Anyone else running a race for the 4th of July?


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?