Monday, February 23, 2015

Boston Marathon: Week 8

8 weeks down, 8 weeks to go! The Boston Marathon will be here before we know it and hopefully after the snow melts.

Here are some highlights from this week of training: 

MONDAY: 1 mile warmup, 16 x 400 at 5k pace, 1 mile cooldown on the treadmill - worked my way down from 8:10 pace to 7:35 pace. cRazY! 

TUESDAY: 4 mile easy run

WEDNESDAY: Rest Day with the afternoon spent at Bittersweet Company. It was February school vacation week in MA, so it was nice having a quiet week with time to do work and relax for a lil' bit. 

THURSDAY:  6.5 mile run on yucky roads but a steady pace at 5:15am in the morning. Yes, that's right. My alarm was set for 4AM. 

FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Weekend in Killington with MarathonMike! We remembered how to ski after a few runs down the mountain. We loved it and were thrilled that we survived with no injuries. Also, good cross-training! 

SUNDAY: 16 mile long run on wet roads and some SUN! Tried out my new CamelBak Dart and I loved it. I don't like the packs around my waist, so this is going to be great for long training runs. 


TOTAL: 32.5 miles 

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hi there! It's been a while.

Since I last wrote in, uh, July... a lot has happened! Here's a quick recap...

MarathonMike and I escaped to Nantucket for a weekend getaway in August. We were both training for races in October, so we got to enjoy some beautiful sights around the island on our long runs. 

My big race in the fall was the Hartford Marathon and it was an incredible day. I was full of emotions at the start of the race -- excited, nervous, happy, thankful -- as I remembered the training runs and the people that helped me get to the starting line. I don't think I can start a marathon without being a little choked up. 

It rained and poured the  e n t i r e  time. We waited in the car as long as we could to avoid getting soaked before the race even started.

Luckily, I had the help and support of my Uncle TomR who rode his bike along the course. When I'd catch up to him, I'd pass him a soaking wet layer of clothing and he'd give me words of encouragement. He got the short end of the stick on that one. Having MarathonMike and Uncle TomR beside me as I was finishing my final miles was priceless. I'll never forget that.

My goal was to finish under 4 hours, so I joined the 4 hour pace group and that was so, so helpful. Before the race, I pictured me finding the pace group and chatting it up with my new Marathon BFF, whoever that lucky person might be. Instead, I'm happy to report that I didn't waste any energy talking to the people around me (I know, how rude!) and instead I just focused on staying with the group, no matter what. It worked and I got a 10 minute PR! 

THEN! In November, I received an invitational entry for THE Boston Marathon from the Hopkinton Running Club. THRILLED! EXCITED! ALL OF THE ABOVE! 

I've been using the Believe Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas to document my training. The book is inspiring and I have to say, writing it down, pen to paper, is so motivating and rewarding. 

One of the first training races I did was the Boston Prep 16 Miler in Derry, NH with some buddies from the HRC. It was a big jump early on in my mileage, but the challenge was worth it. I was happy with my time of 2:22:20 (8:54/mile pace), especially since the hills were totally unforgiving. 

Well, that's about it from the last 6 months. Now it's time to focus on the last half of my training for Boston! 

Up next, Stu's 30K

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Destination Run - Spokane, WA

Oh my goodness! Summer is going way. too. FAST!

Even with all of our weekend adventures this summer, I am happy to report that I haven't missed a long run! I've adjusted some mid-week runs here and there to accommodate my schedule, but the ones that count (long runs) have been going very well. 

After our visit to Penn State, we traveled to Spokane for a family wedding! It was my first time to WA and after a brief layover in Seattle, MarathonMike and I agreed that we want to go back! Don't be fooled. It wasn't the airport that got us, even though it was very nice. The views flying in were amazing and we want to check it all out someday. 

We got in on a Thursday and traveled to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho with our cousins for dinner. Cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants surrounding a beautiful lake. Highly recommend Crafted Tap House + Kitchen for drinks and dinner. Delicious! 

Most of the family was arriving on Friday, so Friday morning was the perfect time to go out for a long run. Our hotel was in a busier part of Spokane, so I apologize, but I don't have any pictures from my run because it was mostly sidewalks and road construction. Since I wasn't familiar with the area, I picked out a 3 mile loop from the hotel and ran it 4 times for 12 miles. Before our trip, running in MA was hot, sticky, and just plain awful. It was so refreshing to run in the cool, dry morning air. Great run, for sure!

That afternoon, MarathonMike and I traveled to downtown Spokane and walked all around Riverfront Park. Beautiful place with space to relax, walk, run, or bike. Plus, there was a merry-go-round, children's amusement park, a fountain, and a really cool running sculpture that celebrates the Bloomsday Run. So glad we got to see this part of Spokane! 

Of course, the whole point of our visit to Spokane was to celebrate the wedding of our cousin Ben to his beautiful bride, Katy. The ceremony was outdoors along the Little Spokane River with a barn reception and Huckleberry Pie for dessert. So much fun! And here's proof that MarathonMike and I clean up well. At least, I think so! 

Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am! Even if it is going fast! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Destination Run - State College, PA

Happy belated 4th of July! 

MarathonMike and I traveled to State College to spend the holiday weekend with PSU friends from our college days. We got to town in time for the amazing fireworks display. Seriously, it's so good they show it on the TV! 

Waiting for the fireworks

The big "event" of the weekend was a bike ride for the boys and a run for the girls. This was great for me, because I needed to do 11 miles. Oh, did I mention? I signed up for the Hartford Marathon! So, a run in and around State College was exactly what I wanted to do! 

I did a couple miles on the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail... 

... a few miles along the golf course... 

... past beautiful Old Main...

... all the way over to the stadium... 

... with the big finish at the Creamery! Yum! 

We like to travel to State College about once a year. My last destination run on campus was two years ago, just before I started to train for my first marathon. Now, I'm training for #3! Unbelievable. 

Looking forward to more destination runs this summer! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Race Report - Ashland Trail Race 5K

Way, way back in June, I ran the Ashland Trail Race 5K at Ashland State Park. It was a beautiful day and a super fun experience. 

When I signed up for this race, I didn't know what to expect or what it would be like to actually run on trails. To me, trails were for hiking. And that alone can be challenging! Fortunately, my attempt at "running" on the trails was a success. Here's why: 

1. I did not trip. 
2. I did not get lost. 
3. I finished.


What's fun about running on trails is that you feel like you're on a mission. Like you're being chased. And the last thing you want to do is be tricked by the evil roots and rocks trying to take you down. You see, that's the difference between MarathonMike and I. When he runs on trails in the woods, it feels, and I quote, "Like you're running through the woods." Probably explains why he's much faster than weirdos like me... 

But, hey, I had fun! And I liked a new off-road running experience. It's good to mix it up every once in awhile. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Running on Trails

I have absolutely enjoyed the last few weeks of running. No schedule, no training plan. Slow, easy pace runs with good company. In fact, I've been adventurous for a change. I've ventured off the road and onto the trails. 

This weekend, I am running the 5K at the Ashland Trail Race. I'm excited and nervous. I've been joking about trying to win "Most Polite Runner" if there was such a thing. "No, please, go ahead. After you!" I don't want to trip or fall or worse, cause someone else to take a spill. How embarrassing would that be? I've been practicing short distances on the trails nearby and today I ran 3 miles completely on trails at Caryl Park and Noanet Woodlands. Another perk from the trails? Beautiful views you can't see from the road! 


MarathonMike asked me if I will keep running on trails after the race this weekend. Definitely if it gives me an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes like these ones! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Race Report - Newport 10 Miler

Last weekend, I ran the Newport 10 Miler!

I really enjoyed this race and would highly recommend it to fellow runners! The course had some rolling hills, but nothing that was killer or anything like the hills around Hopkinton. (Thank you, Ash Street!) The views were great along the ocean with gentle breezes pushing us along. Near the end, we ran down a wide avenue with mansions on either side. Wonder what it would be like to live there... A girl can dream. The race started at Fort Adams State Park and ended with the finish inside the fort. That was pretty cool! In fact, the race began with the shooting of a canon. Not this one, though.  

I wasn't sure how this race would go for me. About 2 weeks ago, I was really sick. I missed a week and a half of running and was still dealing with a little cough as the race approached. I decided to shoot for 8:30/mile to 8:40/mile pace, knowing that I should be able to go a little faster than my half marathon pace. Thanks to my trusty Garmin, I kept an eye on my pace and adjusted when I started out a little too fast. I finished my first 10 miler with a time of 1:25:02! Yeah! 

Not that long ago, I was trying so hard to run an 8:30/mile pace for a 5K. Now, I can run that pace for 10 miles. That's what I love about running: When you really keep up and keep at it, you can make huge improvements. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, but rather to encourage any novice runner or walker to not give up. Keep going, one step at a time. 

Running this race got me excited to run a fall marathon! Now comes the hard part: choosing a race. I'm considering Hartford, Philly and a few others. Any suggestions? 
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