20 Days to Chicago!!!!

Holy crap,

I can’t believe how fast this snuck up. In typical fashion, life got REALLY busy and I haven’t written a blog post in ages. But I’m back. 🙂

Chicago TrainingAs this training cycle begins to wind down, I don’t 100% know what to think. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster. In the time I’ve been training for Chicago I encountered:

  • an achy Achilles (seems like this is likely to keep popping up if I don’t stick to my PT exercises).
  • TWO hamstring scares – one on each leg.
  • a cold that wiped me out during my peak weeks of training.

But I’ve also run the most consistent and highest mileage ever during a marathon training cycle.

Chicago BuildLook at that consistency! That steady build of miles! According to my Garmin, in the past 4 weeks, I’ve averaged 48.2 miles/week. I’ve had one week over 50 miles already and I’m set to run one more big week this week before the real taper begins.

Before Hyannis, I didn’t have time to accumulate this many weeks of steady training (Hyannis was in late Feb looking at the chart). So while I have felt more fatigued, I’m also really excited because I KNOW I’m stronger.

In this cycle, I’ve run two 20-milers and two 18-milers. The first 18 went GREAT. I remember finishing and feeling like, “hey, I bet I could easily go another 2 and hit 20 miles no problem.” The middle 8 miles were supposed to be moderate, about MP + 15 seconds, getting faster towards the end. I hit those splits solidly. Two weeks later, I ran the first 20-miler, a doozy of a workout with a lot of MP miles and faster. I can honestly say, I went into it excited and ready to work. The first two sections of the workout went well, in that I was hitting my goal splits, BUT I could tell that I was working really hard to do so. I was supposed to run 7:30 and 7:15 pace for 2 miles and 1 mile respectively after that, and I came NOWHERE close, slowing down pretty dramatically.

A day or two later, I came down with a pretty rough cold. In hindsight, I think maybe it was already beginning to affect me which was why I struggled so much on that run. The cold lasted longer than I expected and made everything feel really hard – even easy little 6 mile runs. THANKFULLY, I think I’m finally on the mend from that.

All of this to say – that no, this training cycle hasn’t been perfect, but looking back, I do think it’s been really good. During my cold, I think I got a little depressed that everything was feeling so hard and I didn’t know what to think. Now, I can honestly say that I’m excited again. I’m ready to run the streets of Chicago and experience my first World Marathon Major! Haha, it’s definitely going to be different than all of the small-town marathons I’ve run before.

Hyannis MarathonLoved Hyannis, but not exactly many spectators out there!

Oh, and speaking of Marathon Majors – today I get to submit my qualifying time for Boston! My time of 3:32:01 puts me right on the bubble of whether or not I’ll actually get to run in 2019, so honestly it kind of feels like I’m entering a race lottery! I thought I would feel panicky about it, but I honestly don’t. I’d love to run Boston in 2019, but if it doesn’t happen then that’s ok too. If I don’t get in, at least it means I won’t have to train for another marathon through a New England winter! 🙂

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Boston Marathon Weekend 2017

Hello and happy Marathon Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend. As expected, mine was packed with running. If I wasn’t actually running, I was hanging out with runners, listening to runners give inspirational talks, or shopping for running stuff at the expo. 🙂 It was a lot of fun.

Happy Dance I had Friday off from work so I slept in and went for a nice relaxing 45 minute run.

2 Generations RunningThis past week I felt so solid in my runs. Even my easy runs were on the ‘fast’ side of the easy spectrum. Despite some digestive issues Thursday evening during my workout (*Note to self: Don’t eat Chipotle for lunch when planning to run after work.), my paces were right there where I wanted them and I felt fast.

In the afternoon, I went to the expo for a little bit before hitting up a yoga for runners class. In some ways, I’ve been glad I’m not running on Monday since I was on my feet A LOT walking around the expo and jumping around to different presentations/seminars. It’s been a ton of fun, but not what you want when you’re about to run 26.2 miles.

After the yoga for runners class, I hung out at the Runners World Pop-Up store, to hear the presentation on how to run your best Boston. No, I’m not running it this year, but I definitely see this race in my future, so I figured it would be fun to get some tips. Ryan Hall was one of the speakers for this seminar (did you know he ran 2:04 at Boston in 2011?!?) He was SO funny and interesting to listen to. He joked that he likes to think of Boston as really only a half marathon since all the downhill sections are “free miles”. That got a good laugh. 🙂

On Saturday, I had the BAA 5k in the morning, which I had been REALLY excited for. While it was a cool race and I’m glad I did it, it was not quite what I expected. My plan had been to do 30 minutes easy as a warm-up before the race before using the race as a workout to do some 7:30 miles. Well, I guess I forgot that the race had 10,000 people in it. By the time I finished my 30 minute warm-up and got over to the corrals, they were already packed with people.

BAA 5kI jumped in where I could, but within the first mile, I realized there was not a shot in hell of me running a 7:30 mile. The streets were narrow and I was bobbing and weaving around walkers and slower runners. It was still cool getting to experience running part of the Boston Marathon course.BAA 5kCitgo sign!

So lesson learned. Don’t plan a workout for races where you know it’s going to be overcrowded. The shirt and medal were super nice though, so that was a nice little bonus.

BAA 5kAfter the race, I made my way back to the Runners World Pop-Up to take in a couple more seminars. First up was a discussion from the First Ladies of Running – this panel included Bobbi Gibb, Sarah Mae Berman, and several others.

Runners World Pop-Up

It was so amazing listening to them talk about getting started running races when it was still seen as improper for a lady to break a sweat (they also used to say a woman’s uterus would fall out if she ran too much. LOL.) Next up, was a presentation by Kathrine Switzer to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of her first running the Boston Marathon.

I have to say, I think I have a new running idol. (If you want to learn more about her story, I highly recommend listening to the Runners World podcast interview with Kathrine). She was so funny and just amazing to listen to. I was so inspired listening to her talk about how she went from a 4:20 marathon to a 2:51 through hard work and training (especially during a time when running was seen as such a bizarre hobby for a woman).

If I wasn’t excited to start marathon training  again soon, I sure am now!

Hope you had a great weekend and are ready to watch the marathon today!

 


Happy Monday everyone!

Can you believe the Boston Marathon is EXACTLY 1 WEEK AWAY?? No, I’m not running it, but I am looking forward to doing the BAA 5k on Saturday and spending many hours wandering around the expo. I’m also super psyched that I will finally get to meet my coach, Mary and a whole bunch of the other McKirdy Trained athletes who will be in town for the marathon.

How much running/marathon-related conversation is too much for a weekend?Exactly.

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I’m diving right back into half marathon training to give the PR a shot in mid-May. I was pretty disappointed after the Half at the Hamptons, but things continue to improve.

I was listening to a podcast the other day (Lindsey Hein’s I’ll Have Another) and on it, she was interviewing Teal Burrell, an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon (if you’ve never checked out Teal’s blog before, I highly recommend it!). Teal’s story is pretty incredible – she went from running a 4 hour marathon to a 2:42 – so freaking fast. But what really struck me in her interview, was when she talked about the races that went wrong. She talked about putting in the paces and training and knowing she was capable of a sub-3 hour marathon, but then things wouldn’t go as planned on race day, and she’d come up short (and this happened multiple times). The marathon (and arguably half marathon too) are definitely races where every little thing has to line up just right in order to run to your best ability. The part that really hit home for me was when she talked about trying to remain confident in your running after missing your goal. The training is all there, the fitness is there, you just don’t have that stark proof of a race time to validate to yourself what you’re capable of. And of course, you have to have the courage to go back and keep trying again and again.

Yes, yes, yes.

I think it’s finally hitting me that while I didn’t run the time I wanted at the Half at the Hamptons, my fitness is still 1000 times improved since before I was working with my coach. Do I have a new PR yet? No, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a faster runner than when I began this whole process. My workout this past weekend wasn’t anything too crazy as we’re still building things back up, but the goal was a 2-mile warm-up followed by 3 x 1 mile at 8:01 pace with 60 second recoveries followed by a 2-mile cooldown.

Half Marathon TrainingPost run playtime w/ Brady.

I ended up running a 7:58, 7:48, and 7:44 for my goal pace miles and I felt solid. I know it’s not always a good idea to run faster than target paces, but in this case, my legs felt good. I could tell I was working, but it didn’t feel crazy fast like these paces used to so I decided to go with it. Like I said, this wasn’t one of the harder workouts, but it’s something I know I would have struggled with in 2016.

So my goal throughout April and into May is to continue to trust the process and to have faith in myself. Who knows what will happen on race day. It could be 80 degrees and humid. But I can’t control the weather, so no point worrying about it. For now, I’ll continue to focus on the workouts and getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

How was your weekend? Anyone else going to be in town for the Boston Marathon this week?


The Next Race

First off, a HUGE congrats to all the runners who completed the Boston Marathon on Monday! Running 26.2 miles is hard enough as it is, and add in today’s warm temps and wind, and it takes it to a whole new level. You are all the embodiment of Boston Strong. ♥

The Boston Marathon | 2 Generations RunningI made my way over to the finish from my office around 12:30 in the afternoon. It was chaotic and a little bit stressful dealing with all the crowds. Nevertheless, I found myself feeling inspired and more determined than ever to run Boston. The whole experience has me even more excited to run Delaware in a few weeks too! I have a good feeling about this marathon. 🙂 I think you could say I have a touch of Marathon Fever.

But after Delaware, I’m really looking forward to putting in some work in the shorter distances – meaning half marathon and under. I mayyyyyyy even already have a race planned – the Runners World Classic Half Marathon in North Andover, Mass! Ahh, I’m so excited!!

So how the heck did I end up signed up for another half marathon before I have even run my full marathon? Well, you may have noticed a new logo on the sidebar of my blog – I am now a Bibrave Pro ambassador! Bibrave.com is a website that runners can use to review races – and to check out a race they are considering signing up for. Basically, it’s the Yelp of the running world. I’ve been writing reviews of my races for years now, so I recently started putting my reviews on Bibrave. Considering that my job involves planning races, I think I have a pretty good perspective on what it takes to plan a great event. 😉

Through my ambassadorship, I get to try out different races and running products, and the Runners World Classic will be my first one! I LOVED the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon when I ran it 2 years ago and I’m psyched to be doing another Runners World event. The cool thing is that it’s not just a race – they have a 5k and 10k in addition to the half, as well as a full day’s worth of seminars on different running topics. For a whole weekend, you can 100% immerse yourself in running. In case you need one more reason to register, Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon, will also be directing this event. Can you tell I’m geeking out right now?!

FangirlingIt’s only 2 months post-marathon, so it might not realistically give me enough time to recover and then train for a half marathon PR – but I might give it a shot anyway. I ran a 1:45 in Augusta, but I can feel that 1:40 calling my name! Even if it doesn’t happen at this race, that’s what I’m hoping to work on this summer.

This weekend will be another crazy work trip for me (which means tons of time on my feet, but no running unfortunately). Once I’m back, there will be nothing between me and running Delaware. I’m stoked.

Did you watch the Boston Marathon? Do you have any races planned for the summer yet? Want to come run the Runner’s World Classic with me??? 🙂


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. 


The Boston Marathon is Almost Here!!!

Yes, the Boston Marathon is on Monday and I am so excited, you’d think I was actually running it! 🙂

Run BostonI love that I’m lucky enough to live and work in the city that hosts the most iconic marathon in the whole world. Last year, I got to work and help with the planning of the expo for the Boston Marathon, as part of an internship I was doing. It was so cool experiencing things from the inside, and this year, I’m looking forward to attending the expo just for fun!

Boston Marathon ExpoI’ve seen a decent number of expos by this point, but the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo puts them all to shame. The atmosphere just crackles with love for running at this event.

I would say it was being at the expo last year that really planted the seed of someday running Boston in my mind. Before, it just seemed like an abstract concept – a race that was for people wayyy faster than I could ever hope to be. But I love that the sport of running has this race that the everyday runner can aspire to. It’s pretty unique. For most other sports, there really isn’t much to strive for if you aren’t at a professional level. Less than a millionth of a percent of people get to go to the Olympics (Seriously. I looked it up.) As impossible as the Boston qualifying standards seem sometimes, the odds are obviously way better than the a millionth of a percent. So what I’m getting at with this rambling post is that, we as runners are lucky. There are a lot of amazing things about the sport – and Boston is one of them. It’s not just a marathon. It’s a goal that thousands of people are striving for at any given time. The journey of achieving that BQ is an odyssey for every runner who sets their sights on Boston. Personally, I know I am only at the beginning of this odyssey. It could take me a long, long time and cost me toenails, blisters, and many aching muscles to ever achieve this goal (and that’s assuming I’m one of the lucky ones who actually does manage to BQ).

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Boston Marathon Expo | 2 Generations RunningBest of luck to all the runners who will be taking on Boston next Monday! Congrats on all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears you poured into your training. 

 


Marathon Fever

So, I hinted in previous posts that I was wrestling with a difficult running decision lately – to run a spring marathon or not to run a spring marathon. That is the question.

Well, I think this past weekend may have been a turning point (and not just for me). Let me back up a little first though. Saturday, I decided to go out and run long again after my success running 9 miles at the Mill Cities Relay last week.

Mill Cities Relay 2015 Race ReccapI decided to aim for 9 miles again, and I threw in a few challenging hill repeats along the way. My average pace was generally around 8:30/mile, with some slower splits on the miles with the hills and on my warm-up/cool-down miles, so I was pretty pleased with the effort. I’m still slightly in shock that I’m in a place where I can run sub-9 minute miles consistently over a long run. Part of me wants to keep building on this and see just how far I can get. And then part of me says, But what about the snow/ice/freezing temps that have GOT TO BE coming eventually? So, that’s been the root of my indecision I guess – the practical part of my brain arguing with the crazy idealist in me.

After my morning run on Saturday, I went home so that I could go to our running club’s holiday brunch run the next day. It’s always a well-attended event because this is when our club awards 2 runners waivers for entry into the Boston Marathon (the BAA sends our club 2 entries as a thank you for promoting running in the New England area.) You have to apply for the waivers and my mom and I had not applied, so we knew we weren’t going to get it, but we still wanted to go and support the club. Watching the waivers being awarded got me really excited. And now, I have to admit something (even though it’s kind of terrifying) – I really want to run the Boston Marathon someday. (and I want to do it by qualifying.)

Boston Marathon My mom’s marathon time at Baystate this fall was great – she beat her previous time by 30 minutes, and now she is only 16 minutes off the BQ time needed for her age group. I KNOW with the right conditions she can get it. I’ve only run the one marathon (the Rochester Marathon), and my time there is WAY OFF where it would have to be for me to qualify for Boston.

Rochester Marathon | 2 Generations RunningBut, I really don’t think that first marathon reflects where I’m at with running now. When I ran my first marathon, I was coming off an injury and I was just not running the paces that I’ve routinely been hitting lately. If Baystate is any indication, I think I could go sub-4 in a marathon now. And maybe, (and that’s a very strong maybe) with the right course and conditions, I could qualify for Boston. I know some runners work on this goal their whole life and don’t qualify, and so it’s incredibly nerve wracking to admit that this is something I want. But I also like a challenge. I’ve never been the type of person to just enjoy coasting by. And since I’ve moved to the Boston area, it just feels like fate. How can I live in the city that hosts the world’s premiere marathon, and NOT at least try to run it?

So, I *think* my mom and I will be signing up for a spring marathon. We’ve been scouting some potential options and looking for where we can get some new states crossed off. Nothing is finalized, but I think we both caught the marathon fever this weekend. One thing’s for sure, if we do end up registering for a spring marathon, you’ll be hearing about it on the blog!

Good thing I asked for a thousand running-related gifts for Christmas.

How was your weekend? Have you ever had a HUGE goal that you didn’t know whether you would actually be able to achieve?