NJ Marathon: Goals and Race Prep!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the New Jersey marathon 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!

Everything for the last 4 months has been about this race. I’m so ready for Sunday! I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days trying to think of realistic goals…

I’ve been so emotional over the past two days. This marathon is just for me. In October, I ran side by side with someone and it greatly changed my experience. I made the mistake of not taping both of my knees and my ITB locked up. I adjusted and proudly finished, but it wasn’t what I imagined after a great training cycle.

Outfit: There will be a “Flat Sam”, but help me pick my skirt! Seriously – I can’t decide!

Race plan: 60:30 run/walk intervals, around a 12:00/mi pace for the first 5 miles, to make sure I don’t go out too fast. After 5 miles, I’ll switch to 90:30 run/walk intervals. Typically my “easy” pace with 90:30 intervals is around an 11:30. I plan to hold this until half-way, when I’ll speed up to a pace I feel I can hold. Every one of my long runs was a negative split, and I’m gunning for that again. I feel so confident after two-three hours now. Plus, I’ve promised myself that if I run a negative split, I’m buying myself this….

Image credit: Sarah Marie Design Studio

Time goals: In my heart, I truly think I can, and want to go after a sub 5:00:00. However, the fear of hitting “the wall” and failing pushes me back (I didn’t really hit a “wall” in my first 26.2). However, if it is an absolutely perfect day, I think I have the ability to do it. I know with my whole being that I have a 5:15 in me – none of my long runs (60:30 intervals) have been with slower than a 12:00/mi avg, and I’ll be running 90:30 intervals instead of 60:30 for a majority of the race.

C Goal: PR (current PR: 5:32:17)

B Goal: 5:15:00

A Goal: 5:10:00

A+ Goal: Anything with a 4 in front of it!


While I have races planned for the summer, I’m already struggling with thinking that my next marathon isn’t until the Goofy Challenge in January 2018! I really do love training for a marathon – the long runs are my only time I let myself “slow down” (HA!) during the week.

But really, I’m just hoping for a fun, successful, positive race experience come Sunday. I’m excited for a little road trip out of town, and to explore a new place. And for extreme bagels and blackjack on Monday. #allthebagels

If you’ve run multiple marathons, how did your time differ between races 1 and 2?

Skirt advice, anyone?



NJ Marathon Training: Week 17

The first week of my taper for the NJ Marathon is done, and now comes the worst part. The week of so little running before the whole shebang. The week of incessantly checking the weather. Days of making packing lists. I’m so excited that Marathon Week is here, but I’m not ready for it to be (almost) over!

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Monday: 13.5 miles (counted in Week 16‘s mileage).

Tuesday5 miles of recovery – a steady progression run. I planned to keep all of my miles in the 12’s, but the last two snuck into the 11’s. It was a perfect day for a run.

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Wednesday: Rest – I was supposed to go to yoga after school, but I went to meet our new roommate before seeing Boston! (So many feels!!)

Thursday: 3.1 miles steady and easy around my neighborhood. It’s crazy how about a year ago, the hills near my place killed me, and now they don’t phase me at all.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 6 miles. I planned for 8, but randomly met someone on the trail and ran with her. It was a great change of pace. We ran a bit faster than I planned, which had me doing 4 MGP miles. I felt great after and don’t think the harder effort run really affected my taper much.

Sunday: 3.1 miles at the Columbia 5K. Seeing as I didn’t personally take a single picture, there won’t be a recap aside from this: I indulged too much the night before, almost didn’t go/run, kept it slow for the first 2.5 miles, then felt good enough for a hard effort to the finish. Despite the headache, it was a good confidence booster to keep my cool at the starting line of a race.

When iCloud and Google Photos aren’t working, you get a post-run picture.

Week 17 mileage: 17.2 (30.7 M-F if you count Monday – which “week wise” I put in Week 17).

Seeing as how I still racked up a good amount of miles last week, this week is really going to be painful before Sunday. My plans are 2-3 miles on Tuesday, yoga at work on Wednesday, and 2-3 miles on Friday morning. I’m looking forward to sleeping in more during the mornings but I already dread how antsy I’ll feel in a few days. Nonetheless, I’m feeling great, and I can’t wait to share my goals for this race!

What are some of your taper tips and tricks?

Marathon Training Must-Haves

This Winter/early Spring, I definitely had my go-to’s during my training runs – before during and after. This routine helped me be less anxious and more confident when hitting the roads.


Pre-run fuel: Generation UCan – I started drinking about one scoop of this with 8ish ounces of water last summer. I can drink it right before a run and it fuels me without causing cramps. I can’t imagine going back to running longer distances without it!

Sport shield: Similar to Body Glide, this clear liquid rolls on wherever you need to help with chafing and blisters. My lower back is a rough spot for me, so I make sure to apply it before every long run!


NutritionGu has been a go-to of mine for a couple of years, and now I’ve added Clif Shot Blocks into the mix to add some variety. Both are typically easy on the stomach, keep providing energy, and aren’t completely disgusting.

Balega socks: Out of all of my different running apparel, these socks are always on. I’ve mostly phased out my Pro Compression socks while running, but I still wear the sleeves. Balega recently released a sock with compression and I can’t wait to try it!

Hoka One One Arahi: I’ve been wearing the Clifton’s for about a year, and still wear them for some runs. For long runs I’ve completely switched to the Arahi that I got at Rock N Roll DC. I love the support it gives me while also having the cushioning.

Hydration essentials: I’ve been running with a Nathan Hydration pack for a while, but for the marathon I’ll be using this Amphipod handheld bottle. I love my pack, but it was very hot during the MCM. This is the third 16-20 oz. handheld I’ve tried, and I absolutely love it. My phone fits in the pocket and I forget it’s there!


Potato Chips and Sugar Wafers: I’m not kidding you, keep sugar wafers in the car for after your longest training runs. I DARE YOU. They help me get to lunch without completely bottoming out. Potato chips are salty and fatty and delicious. A bag of Utz chips will be in my gear check bag for the New Jersey Marathon!

Ultimate recovery: Bath bombs (from Lush) and epsom salts in a warm both, my Roll Recovery torture device, and a nice nap help me rejuvenate after a long run. Unlike my last training cycle, I’m pretty dead after my long runs and I can’t function until after I have a short nap.

Slurpees/Icees: These have simply been my go-to lately, whenever. Having one after my 20 miler last weekend was THE BEST.

New Jersey Marathon Training: Week 16 + Monday

Week 16 of training is complete and there are now just 12 days between me and my second marathon! Watching the Boston Marathon yesterday was so inspiring. While I am nowhere near chasing a BQ, I am chasing my own unicorn and can’t wait to have my turn to get to the starting line!

For my first week of tapering, I took the mileage down a bit, but not too much. Most of my runs felt great, aside from the very end of my long run.

Monday: This was the first rest day in a while that I was emotionally/mentally dying to get out for a run! But alas, I was good

Tuesday: 1.7 mi. Anxiety plagued me all day, to the point where I almost bailed on Girls on the Run. I ended up being with girls who were walking more, but it felt great when I was able to motivate them to try to run more. I’m happy I went, but I missed a run after due to prepping for my mom’s visit.

Wednesday: 5.14 mi at an easy pace. It felt so wonderful to run a few minutes later and not have to wear my headlamp!

A fresh pair of Balegas makes for a great run!

Thursday: 4.26 mi. I planned for them to be at marathon pace, but it ended up being a strong progression run with my fastest “training run” pace of this cycle.

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 5 miles super easy (avg. HR – 140). I was bored stiff, but I knew I needed to keep this run easy!

Sunday: Rest day — I planned to run but Jake and I were out late and I really just wanted to be home with him and make breakfast. Sooooo after I drank my UCan I just went back to bed. Whoops.

+1 Monday:   13.5 miles. I am on Spring Break through today, so I had Monday to run! I felt great until mile 12, when I started feeling horrible. I bonked for the first time in a long while, and I’m not quite sure what went wrong. My run turned from 15 miles into 13.5 and I felt so relieved when I got back to Jake’s without passing out/vomming.

Because my phone won’t upload my skyline photo you get this…

Weekly (+Monday) Total: 29.6 mi

This week I’ll be dropping the miles even more, and I know I’ll start to go a little crazy! I’m starting to think more about my concrete goals, and finding it in myself to believe that I can achieve them. I signed up for a 5K, as my friend is an ambassador. The participant list and expected finish times is posted, and there’s only one other girl in my age group at this time with a similar “expected time”. So I’m very tempted to race-race even though it’s just a week out from my race. We’ll see what happens!

New Jersey Marathon Training: Week 15

After 20 miles on Sunday morning, I am now in the taper zone! I don’t remember feeling this excited during my last training cycle. However, these next three weeks are stacked. I’m behind on paperwork at work (LOL I’m always behind on paperwork), my mom is visiting, and I need to apply for (summer/new) jobs. So, the taper is hitting at a great time and our trip to the Jersey Shore will be a nice little reward for getting through it all.

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My “peak” week wasn’t perfect, with an unplanned rest day due to some elevated anxiety. All in all, it was decent.

Monday: Rest dayyyy

Tuesday: 4.5 miles super easy/easy in the morning, 1.5 miles at Girls on the Run.

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One day. Two skirts. Love.

Wednesday: Impromptu rest day spent researching trips for the day after school ends….

Thursday: 7 miles of a speed workout. 1 mi wu (60:30), 5 mi of intervals – 2 x 9:00 mi/range, 1 x 8:00 mi/range, 1 easy (90:30), then 1 mi cd (90:30).

Friday: Rest day. Jake and I walked about 3 miles at night to check out Light City!


Saturday: 7 miles running – .7 miles to the race and 6.3 for the Sole of the City 10K. There may not be a race recap for this one so here it is – ran 5ish miles slow and was out of my mind bored, sped up and ran my last mile in 8:00 and passed at least 150 people. #seeyabye (yes I tried to count). Fun course, though! Ended up walking another 3ish miles that morning.

Congrats to Beth on her PR (on a long course)! Also love seeing AK and UT!

Sunday: 20 miles. Not my greatest 20 miler, which sucked because I looked forward to it all week. I struggled with quickly rising heat (40 degree difference from start to finish), and a lot of self doubt. I fought a headache the entire way and spent the last 5 miles telling myself I wasn’t going to pass out. Nevertheless, I got it done.

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Weekly miles: 40.2

Training miles so far: 386.28. While training isn’t completely bummed yet, I’m already self-conscious about my mileage this time around is so much lower than for Marine Corps, and I’ve seriously slacked with NP this winter as well. While fast race times and long run paces make me feel confidence that I am in shape enough to succeed come race day, I hope my body will perform at its best.

Now it’s time to peel back a bit and take care of my body (and mind) as race day approaches!

What’s your next race? Any taper tips? This is only my second “real” taper.

I’m linking up with Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC for her Training Recap linkup. Check out how other runners are training this Spring!

Currently: April 2017

For the past few months I’ve been writing only about running and limiting personal stuff on here. I guess that’s what happens when you get a job and truly enter the “real world”. But I’ve been craving a “currently” post because I’m simply loving so many new things lately!

Snacks: I’m all about the healthier snack options lately. Especially Krave Jerkey, Moon Cheese, and Halo Top.

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Not the kale chips. Those were gross – I’ll stick to making my own…

Movies: I watched the Jurassic Park movies for the first time a few weeks ago. How did I live 25 years before seeing these?

DrinksI’m getting back into tea. I go in streaks with it. Now that it’s time I cut back on the alcohol before the marathon, tea’s my at-home drink of choice!

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Baseball: My favorite professional sport is BACK! Sadly, adulting meant no Opening Day for me today, but I can’t wait to get to some games with Jake soon!

JakeOs 1

Beer: What, did you think I ‘m totally done with beer? Not til the week of the race. The Terrapin Hi 5 (grapefruit) IPA has been fueling me at trivia the past few weeks. So. Good.

TV: Dancing is back, Dancing is back! I sadly can’t watch it on Mondays because I’m a good roommate and I’m sharing the TV, but thank god for my brother’s Hulu subscription so I can watch it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Me time: Bath bombs have become my lifeee! I love a good bath with a bomb, epsom salts, a glass of wine, and the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. #thelife.


What are some of your April “currentlies”?

NJ Marathon – See you at the Shore!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the New Jersey Marathon 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!”

Okay…so maybe I’m not yet actually “ready”, but I have spent the better part of the last week truly getting excited for this race. When I first announced this race, I was happy for the experience to run the New Jersey Marathon, but I didn’t have any emotions connected to it. Now that I’m almost done the bulk of my training, my heart is completely in for these 26.2 miles that will go down in 26 days and here are some reasons why!

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Image: NJ Marathon instagram
  1. I love how the NJ Marathon has such a great online presence to hype us runners up for the race. Their Instagram and Facebook  pages are fantastic! It kicks me back in gear on those days where I don’t feel like training.
  2. It’s on the Jersey Shore! I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore and I can’t wait to run in a new place. I’m hoping the water views will keep me entertained during the last 10 miles!
  3. This race is a flat one! While I don’t totally mind hills in a race, I’m hoping this will make for a PR course (not that I haven’t put in the work for a PR!).
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    Some bumps, but really not much gain/loss in terms of feet.

    4. Aid stations every 1.5 miles! I bring my own hydration, but it will be nice to be more comfortable running with a bottle instead of my hydration pack – I think that played a part to overheating during my last marathon.

    5. The Bagel Nook! Have you SEEN the videos of the Flaming Hot Cheetos Bagels on Facebook? The bakery is only 20 minutes from where I’m staying and one of those is totally MINE the morning after the race.

Doesn’t this sound absolutely wonderful? You can run too! There is a marathon, half marathon, and a relay! There is also a 5k the day before. Sign up and save with my code!