The Mountains, Long Runs, and Training Lately

Happy Monday!

I’m finally back in Mass and will finally be in one place for longer than 2 weeks, yay!! Last week, I had another work trip, this time to Wintergreen, VA.

 

Wintergreen VASuch a BEAUTIFUL place. I always thought of myself as more of an ocean fan, but the mountains might be moving up in my book. 🙂

I managed a quick 3-miler in one morning before work, but it had a decent amount of walking because of this elevation –

Elevation ProfileWoof, that is a lot of climbing when your typical route is around 60 feet of elevation gain! I was dying, but the views made it totally worth it.

Wintergreen, VAI got back home early Friday afternoon and was able to squeeze in a pretty decent cross-training session in the glorious air-conditioning of the gym. Boston has been in a bit of a heat wave – 90 degrees and humid, bleck. You know it’s bad when you’re going to the gym just to get out of the heat. 🙂

Saturday, I got in a sweaty 6 miles in the morning, but temps were already in the mid-70s by the time I got out the door.

2 Generations RunningTrying to smile while dying from too much sun/humidity. I had the bike path pretty much all to myself, apart from the end of my run when I discovered a 5k was being held on my route and I found myself in the back of their pack. Probably a good thing I didn’t know they were going to be there or else I would have wanted to race it, but my plan called for easy miles.

I only have 5 weeks till my mom and I run our next half – the Hobble Creek Half Marathon, which I would love to try to race (and possibly PR) if possible. I know a lot of factors will impact this – including elevation, weather, and how tired/beat up I’m feeling from working a race the week before, so my plan is to stay flexible with my goal. I don’t need a repeat of Delaware. I am planning on doing the speed work and long runs to give me the best shot at a new PR though, should everything play out in my favor.

Given that, Sunday featured a long run of 10 sweaty, but beautiful miles along the Charles.

 

2 Generations RunningSweaty but feelin’ the positive vibes (and negative splits – I was able to pick up the pace a bit on the last 4 miles!)

There’s nothing like running in Boston –

Boston RunningThese views and so many runners out and about! There’s something about struggling through the heat with a bunch of strangers doing the same thing that just makes it better. 🙂

The rest of the weekend was spent desperately trying to stay cool and lounging around in my new favorite post-run tank top courtesy of Sarah Marie Design Studio.

Sarah Marie Design Studio Tank TopLOVE THIS SHIRT! ❤

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Is it miserably hot where you are right now too? What were you up to this weekend? 


Happy Friday (and the Giveaway Winner!)

Happy Friday everyone!

I am super excited to announce the winner of the Massage Envy gift card is… Jeffrey! Congrats Jeffrey, there’s a free massage coming your way!

Happy DanceI hope you’ve all had a good week. Mine has been a little insane. Between training for Delaware, traveling for work, and impending deadlines,  to say I’ve been slightly stressed this week would be an understatement.

But at least it’s the weekend now. 🙂

I finally got back into the swing of my regular running routine this week, starting with 3 miles on Monday, 4 miles + strides on Tuesday, and 7 miles on Wednesday. You know what made me SUPER excited about these runs though?

Running along the CharlesThe warmth + sunlight late into the afternoon/evening! The picture above is probably from around 6 pm and it looks like broad daylight!!!! I might be a little too excited about this.

I stayed after work on Tuesday and Wednesday and ran along the Charles, which was gorgeous and such a nice change of pace from all the treadmill miles I’ve logged recently. There were so many runners out, many of them wearing Boston Marathon jackets. There are also banners on some of the streetlights now advertising the race. You can tell the city is beginning to feel the marathon fever.

SunsetI love running along the Charles. The only thing that bummed me out about these runs in the city was that my GPS watch was never able to find signal with all the tall buildings and I don’t think MapMyRun was very accurate, so I’m not entirely sure what my paces were. Not a huge deal, but I like to at least know that I’m running fast if it feels like a challenge.

This weekend, I’ve got another 20 miler on the agenda. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not really dreading it either. After last week, I know I can do it. Right now, I feel like I need to work on dialing back into my goal marathon pace. I was doing really well during the first half of the training block, but I feel like I’ve lost some of that speed since my work travel kicked in. I want to get back to the feeling I had when I ran Augusta – like I can crank out the miles and just pick up speed as I go along.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beginnings of spring!

Spring RunningIf you run in an urban area, do you ever have issues with your GPS watch? Are certain watches better at finding signal than others? Are you loving the extra daylight as much as I am??


Delaware Marathon Training: End of Week 1

How would I sum up the first week of marathon training in a nutshell?

Marathon Training GIF | 2 Generations RunningI’m feeling great at the end of this first week, but I know there are still 15 weeks to go, so I probably shouldn’t start counting my chickens before they hatch just yet. 🙂 I successfully modified my plan to get my long run in without getting derailed by winter storm Jonas, though Boston was barely hit in comparison to the DC folks! We probably got 3-4″, but hey, after last year, we were due for a break!

2 Generations Running. Snowfall over my head.Last year’s snow… Saying a prayer that snow drifts are not taller than me this winter.

Anyways, here’s how the first week of training shaped up for me.

Monday – And the first day of marathon training began with NO running. Womp womp. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day though and I had the day off from work so I had time to get a nice cross-training session in. I started with a 22 minute abs and obliques video (Fitnessblender) and then headed over to the gym for about 40 minutes of upper-body work.

Tuesday – 6 miles easy. We had a serious cold spell last week with highs for the day in the 20s (so it was around 7 degrees in the morning when I got up.) Definitely treadmill weather. I woke up at 5:10 so that I could have a quick cup of coffee before getting my butt to the gym by 5:40. I know there are going to be a lot of these early mornings during the next 16 weeks and while the initial getting out of bed part sucks, I don’t mind it so much when I’m at the gym surrounded by all the other early birds. Plus, I love being able to come home and just relax after work and not have to worry about getting my run in.

I ended up averaging around 9:25/mile on this run and I played with the pace and elevation over the course of the 6 miles to keep my mind from going numb. First run of the training cycle complete!

Wednesday – 4 mile hill repeats (again on the treadmill) at an average of 9:22/mile. Once I had warmed up, I cranked the elevation up to 4.0 (sometimes 4.5 for the last bit) and held that for 2 minutes. Then, I’d drop the elevation down to .5 to simulate the downhill and would recover for around .2 of a mile (I picked this recovery distance kind of randomly because I usually felt good enough to for another repeat by then). I increased the pace over the course of the 4 miles, but capped it at 8:57 since this was not supposed to be a speed workout.

If anyone has any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill, I’d love to hear them! An elevation of 4.0 felt challenging, but I’m honestly not sure what that would translate to as a hill in real life. I don’t want to slack off on these hill repeat workouts!

Thursday – Much needed rest/core work day. By Thursday, I think the early mornings had caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED. I was still going to bed around my regular time, but by getting up so early, I was getting almost 2 hours fewer sleep each day. I’m definitely going to need to work on getting to bed earlier as the weeks progress. I called it quits after doing the 22 minute abs/obliques workout again and went to bed by 9:30.

Sleepy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill again. I warmed up for the first mile and a half or so and then alternated between 8:40 and 8:34/mile for the rest of the miles before going into cooldown mode for the last mile.

Saturday – The long run!!!! 🙂 Maybe it’s just the excitement of finally training for a big race again but I was really looking forward to this 9-miler. Despite the brisk temps and impending snowfall, I headed into Boston so I could run this one along the Charles again. I guess this run was technically closer to 10 miles since I jogged the half mile to and from the subway stop!

Running in Boston | 2 Generations RunningIt was cold, cloudy, and windy as hell. And there were still a ton of runners out getting their miles in before the snow, which was so awesome and motivating to see. Even though I was technically running by myself, it felt nice to have the company of other “crazies” out on the path and it helped me push myself through the cold and the wind. I was shooting for a pace around 8:42/mile, but that didn’t exactly happen – I ended up averaging 8:51/mile. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be thrilled with that, but I know this was a result of the god awful headwind I encountered on many of the miles.

Headwind GIF | 2 Generations RunningThat’s what it was like, but running. The wind was actually whipping tears from my eyes. I’m sure it looked like I was having a blast 😉 Those super windy miles ranged from 8:51 – 8:59/mile, but that pace was HARD. When I had the tailwind, I easily ran 8:24 – 8:40/mile. So not exactly what I had hoped for, but I know there will be other long runs to push the pace on where I won’t feel like I’m fighting a tornado.

Adding to all the fun, I took out my phone around mile 8.5 to take a picture or two… and my phone died immediately after the one photo. After that, I just wanted to be done. I quickly finished the last half mile and then headed to a grocery store right next to the subway stop because all I could think about during the run was hot, delicious pancakes. I picked up a gluten-free mix and some syrup and I was on my way!

PancakesBest decision ever. I spent the rest of the day in my compression sleeves and sweats, doing a little laundry and a lot of relaxing.

Sunday – 6 miles, 4 (ish) at marathon pace. I woke up to tons of sunshine and 4 inches of perfect white snow. It was beautiful out, but I didn’t feel like dealing with snow in my sneakers for 6 miles, so I headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill. I warmed up for the first mile, then paused a minute to stretch before diving into the tempo section of this run. I gradually increased the pace from 8:57 down to 8:05/mile over the 2nd mile, then held that pace for 4 miles before slowing down again for my final cooldown mile. I am finding that breaking the run into sections (warm-up, cooldown, actual workout) really helps the workouts seem shorter and mentally easier.

I did a short round of arms and abs after this before calling it a day.

Total Mileage: 31

Motivation Levels: Sky High

And my mantra for this week –

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough | 2 Generations RunningI’m excited for week 2 of marathon training and for the fact that I have a half marathon to race in 1 month!!! I have strong feelings that Augusta could be a new PR for me in the half because of my increased focus on pace during my training runs.

Any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill? How was your week? Are you buried in snow from Jonas????


I think I’m in Love…

This whole week was pretty solid in terms of workouts, but Saturday’s run was my FAVORITE.

Running Along the Charles in Boston | 2 Generations RunningProbably because I finally got to run with my favorite running partner again!

Boston Running | 2 Generations RunningSquinty, sweaty and happy!

My mom drove up to visit me Saturday morning all suited up to go for a run. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and in the mid-40’s and we made the short subway ride into Boston to run along the Charles River. I had run there a few times after work with my coworkers, but those runs were always relatively quick, so I was excited to explore the area more with my mom.

Running Along the Charles River, Boston | 2 Generations RunningThere were tons of runners out on the trail, and the pictures prove why! These views were GORGEOUS, and the trails were long with plenty of mileage for whatever distance you could possibly want to run. We got to run past so many parts of Boston that I had never really checked out before, including the Boston University campus and the Museum of Science. My mom and I happily chatted the whole time we ran, discussing everything from the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend to marathon training to my job. The 8 miles we ran just ticked by until we finally realized we were HUNGRY and ready to go out and find some lunch.

Running along the Charles River, Boston | 2 Generations RunningWe ended up in the Beacon Hill area, which is a totally gorgeous part of Boston with cobblestone streets, plenty of cute shops, and little restaurants and bakeries. Unfortunately, it was also right around noon, so every restaurant we went into was mobbed.

Hungry GIFAfter going into 3-4 different places, we FINALLY found one with open tables and an appealing menu (of course, now I can’t remember what it was called for the life of me.)

The service was a little slow (definitely seemed like they were understaffed for a Saturday afternoon), but we finally got our order – grilled cheese sandwiches, a Greek salad to share, a glass of chocolate milk (for me), and 2 FANTASTIC lattes. Everything was so good! Although, I’m pretty sure food always tastes better after a run. 😉

We explored a little bit more, walking through the Boston Public Garden and then through Downtown Crossing, where we grabbed a couple of pastries to go to have with coffee back at my apartment.

Overall, it was the perfect day and my mom and I decided that it was so fun that we may have to make it a monthly occurrence. 🙂 Of course, if Boston’s winter is anything like it was last year, then that might be a little bit challenging (or a lot.) But, I am just going to cross my fingers and pray that it’s not that bad this year because I think I’m in love with running in Boston.

How was your weekend? Are you as excited as I am for Thanksgiving???