Charles St 12 miler training: 8/14 – 8/20/17

Happy Monday everyone! I’m taking a much needed rest day today after two good days of running over the weekend. And who is going to take in the Eclipse? It’s supposed to rain here during the eclipse, but I’ll likely watch on TV (to save my eyes – don’t have glasses), and take in the light changes around me before going to work!

This was my last big week of training before starting to simmer down for the Charles Street 12. I feel much better prepared for this race then when I ran it 3 (?!?!) years ago.

Charles Street 12 Miler

Monday: Rest day (Always. But not for much longer…)

Tuesday: 7 miles easy (on the treadmill). I hadn’t been on the treadmill in months and actually didn’t mind it!

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Wednesday: 5.7 miles at November Project. Ran the 5:30 workout HARD, and got a PR for that specific workout, then ran the 6:30 session with a friend. It was a day where I could truly see improvement and I felt so proud of myself. However, I ran out of water and it was hot/humid, and I spent the rest of the day in a dehydrated stupor.

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Normally make it to #7, made it through exercise 10. (15 of a # exercise, then alternating laps/1/2 set of stairs)

Thursday: 25 minutes of strength work, but no run. It was really hot once again, and I wasn’t quite feeling recovered from the day before.

Friday: Rest day – my typical second rest day, I failed at getting up to run. Once again, it was blistering hot. I did walk at least 3 miles in DC that afternoon.

Saturday: 12 miles on the second half of the Charles Street 12 course.  Ran 6 miles uphill to where I stopped during my last course run, and 6 miles back down. The hills were hard, but definitely didn’t kill me. I was planning for 14, but by the time I got back to the harbor, it was a real feel of 90 and I was feeling pretty dehydrated again (despite drinking Nuun and almost my whole hydration pack of water). 2 miles isn’t worth getting sick.

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Sunday: 5.86 miles at a local run-club 10K. I almost didn’t go, as I felt horrible the night before (dehydration, probs). But it was in the low 60’s and I couldn’t pass that up. The course was short, but I was proud of a race pace/intervals effort (120:30) and had an average pace of 9:54. My 2 minute running intervals were consistently run in the high 8’s/low 9’s. Once again, progress.

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Total miles: 30.6

This is no more miles than the last two weeks, but I did miss one run. My legs are feeling great after a hard month of training. Just two more weeks until this race, and then training for the Goofy Challenge officially begins!

Do you have any upcoming races?

How are you handling this heat? It hasn’t affected me too much this summer, but this week was rough.

Do you have special Eclipse plans?

Maryland Sprint Duathlon: Race Recap

About a month ago, I completed my first true multi-sport event! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to recapping it, because I had a great experience and it definitely made me hungry to do more multi-sport events.

Despite my success, I honestly almost didn’t even go to this race.  I hadn’t gotten on my bike as much as I hoped/planned. I was planning to do this with a friend, and when I found out that week that she wasn’t going to go, I was crushed. I was bummed and very anxious about something going wrong and me being all alone. Topping this off with Jake not wanting to go (he doesn’t love spectating and hates early mornings…), I was going into the morning with a negative attitude.

Pre-Race: I left around 5:00 to get to the start with plenty of time to rack my bike and prepare. My biggest worry about the morning was forgetting my bike. I remembered it, so the day was obviously a success. I arrived at 5:45, and was pretty much set up by 6:15 for the 7:00 start. Two girls parked next to my car were having bike troubles, so I helped and we got to talking. Finds out they were first-timers as well, and one of the girls is also training for Goofy! It lifted my spirits to make some new friends. An instagram follower also said hello in the “corral”, which gave me some mojo back as well.

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Sriracha jersey!

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Run 1 – 2 miles, 19:36: The age group women took off and I got in a little pack with the three ladies I had met lining up. I felt great for the first mile, while already facing rolling hills. Any 2 mile run to me feels pretty uneventful. I ran straight for about 1.25 miles before taking a short walk break. A lady told me I was a good pacer, but there was a lot of race left on a warm, humid morning. (Garmin stats: 2.09 mi, 19:43, 9:39 avg)

Transition 1, 2:05: I came into transition and walked to my bike to lower my heart rate a little. The other girls I ran around were out well before me, but I didn’t want to do something stupid like forget my helmet or glasses.

Bike – 13 miles, 56:49: The bike is where I felt awesome in this race. Within a mile of leaving the transition area, I passed the group of ladies I was running with, that left on their bikes before me. This portion of the race was hills hills hillsbut I feel I held my own. I was passed by quite a few people with tri bikes on the downhills and flats, but kept my own on the hills, and even passed others. Realistically, I was just proud to make it up the hills without walking my bike. I had a couple of Chomps around mile 10 just to keep my sugar/salt levels up, because I was soaked with sweat. I came up the last mile passing people finishing their run feeling great. Despite being passing quite a few people at the beginning, more ladies with more lighter/aerodynamic bikes passed me. (Garmin stats: 13.43 mi, 56:32, 14.3 mph)

Transition 2 – 1:43: I dismounted my bike and ran it to the rack. I was feeling pumped and was afraid my legs would cramp up if I moved too slowly. My main goal was to actually remember to take my helmet off – success. Helmet off, hat on – the sun came out and it was HOT.

Run 2 – 2 miles, 22:53: There was a water stop right outside of transition, so I grabbed one and dumped it over my head to cool down because I was definitely starting to feel overheated. It was a stupid idea because then I had sweat in my eyes! Uck. I spent the run doing unstructured run/walk intervals, based on what I could see ahead of me. I was not fast, but did the best I could with my legs definitely not feeling loose. I passed a few people, and was passed by just 1. While I walked a bit more than I would have hoped, I finished with a big smile on my face! (Garmin stats: 2.09 mi, 22:54, 10:59 avg)

Finish: My overall finish time was 1:43:04 for 44th out of 80 women. I went in with a goal of 2 hours (I was nervous for the hills!) and a reach goal of 1:50, so I was stoked! Not only did I make my goals, but I came in 3rd in my age group.

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Kickstand club!

I quickly replenished myself with gatorade, water, and some oranges. RipIt (who put on the race)  has had chips at other races of theirs that I’d run, and I was sad there weren’t any after this race. I’ve gotten to love Fritos after a race! I met up with the two girls I had met to congratulate them hear about their experiences. After the awards ceremony, I headed home to nap and enjoy my personal victory of getting out there when I really didn’t want to (and we went to a pool party – cheers!)

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Omg I won something – AND it holds a beer!

In the end, I was obviously really happy that I sucked it up and went to this race. I had a great experience and felt good with my performance, despite training not going as well as I hoped. I’ve ruled out another one for this year, but next summer I’d definitely come back to this race, or even try a Tri!

NOW it’s time for me to go run. Confession…I’ve sucked at getting up for runs all summer. Like, really bad. While I’m working now, my hours are later in the day, which has not helped me get up any earlier…So it’s a lunchtime run for me today.

Charles St 12 miler training: 8/7-8/14

Another week down and August is still going strong. I hit 700 miles for the year this week, which is a milestone I was hoping to meet by the end of July, but I’ll be able to catch up. Two-30 mile weeks in a row and I’m feeling pretty good (despite a desperate need to roll more!)

8/7: Rest day

8/8: 5 miles easy effort. Tried to make it a little more of a “super easy” effort, but humidity and hills killed that.

8/9: 2.5 miles easy effort around the Inner Harbor, and 2.28 miles at November Project. No “double” today as I slept for an extra half an hour! (Seeing as the workout wasn’t super cardio based, I’m happy with my decision)

8/10: Rest day – I had planned my speed work for Thursday, but I slept through my alarms. SHOCKER. Gotta switch up those alarm tones again…

8/11: 4.5 miles of speed work. 1 mi wu/cd (+ a little more), 8 x 400 with 1:00 walking recovery. Hit all of my paces with two of them being a few seconds fast. The last one felt hard, but I got it done. I’m loving some structured challenges each week.

8/12: 4 miles of crap. Seriously. It was supposed to rain so I ruled out the November Project Ravens stadium workout. Turns out, it didn’t rain, but it was seriously swampy. Slept in a little so I got a late start; pair that with tired legs and it’s a calling for a really crappy run. Went out for 6, cut it so Sunday would be successful.

8/13: 12 miles of wonderfulness. It was cooler and the dew point dropped, making the air feel so much better. Managed a big negative split and 4 of the last 5 miles were sub 11:00. I’m cool with it. For next week’s long run I’ll run the other half of the Charles Street 12 course!

Trivia playoffs after running long(er) = splurging for lunch!

Total miles: 30.28

I was aiming for 32-33, but with a run cut short and never knowing exactly how many miles I’ll log on an NP morning, it’s cool. I’m just happy to be back in the 30 mile range! Ready for a bigger week this week before starting to taper a little for the Charles Street 12 miler.

Charles St 12 miler training: 7/31-8/6

Last week, I shared that I’d no longer be participating in the Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half marathon. For a few days after I made that decision, I felt lost, especially with some other race plans for the end of the year crashing down as well. But then I signed up for the Baltimore Running Festival’s BaltiMORON-A-Thon (5K and 13.1 in the same morning) and felt slightly more excited and motivated. But before that comes the Charles Street 12 miler.

Charles Street 12 Miler

I’m taking it as a blessing that this can now be a race that I focus more on. I ran the 12 miler three years ago as my first distance race once I started to run again. It was a complete failure and I finished with a measly time of 2:35. I learned so much that day, especially now that I look back on it. I’m happy that I’ve been working on a half marathon training program that is more speed based than what I’ve done before, so not only can I set a course/12 mile PR come September 2nd, but I can also put up a time I”m more proud of.

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This was utterly and entirely fake. I was doing 13-14min miles at this point.

The training I’ve been following for the last month or so is a slightly modified Hal Higdon Half Marathon Intermediate 2 plan. I’ll be following it until this race, have a couple of “down” weeks, then start Goofy Challenge training. I’ve made some weekday runs longer to increase mileage, as well as switch an easy run out with November Project. I’ve also continued my Galloway intervals. I have been doing most long runs at a 90:30 walk/run interval, do speed/tempo workouts either based on distance or at a 120:30 interval, and easy runs at a 60:30. My tempo, race pace, and long run paces were calculated using the McMillan calculator for a 2:08 half marathon goal (which I’ll share more about when I can…)

I slightly recapped July last week, but this was the first week in a few weeks that everything got done.

Monday: No running, “deck of cards” strength workout that got me supah sweaty

Tuesday: 6 miles – an easy day was scheduled, but I ran great doing 60:30’s in a light rain, and picked the pace up. I thought I was only going to have time for 4, but it took forever for Jake to get home from his new job, so I ran around in circles while waiting for him.

Wednesday: 5 miles for a November Project double. The workout was fun and cardio based. I ran fast (for me) doing suicides, and decided to count this as my speed work day, because I definitely did just that.

Photo cred: Gio Vargas

Thursday: Rest – it wasn’t planned, but I slept through my 5 alarms, and didn’t have time due to plans and work, then storms.

Friday: 4 miles super easy (60:30 intervals). It’s never easy to keep my HR in my SEE zone when I run around my house due to the hills but I do my best!

Saturday: 5 miles – 1 mi wu/cd (60:30 intervals), 3 miles at 120:30 intervals, nearing goal half marathon race pace (9:46). I definitely didn’t hit the 9:46, but was in the low 10’s and would have been closer if I had rethought my route. Speedy run on the Inner Harbor Promenade at 6pm on a Saturday? Bad idea.

Sunday: 10 miles on the first half of the Charles St 12 course. Last time these hills killed me, so I wanted to reaquaint myself with them. Realistically, they’re not that bad at all. Ran 60:30 on the first 5 to keep my HR low, then 90:30 on the way back. My heart rate stayed at a decent level with the longer intervals.

Total miles: 30. <– First 30 mile week since April!! Today’s a rest day and I feel great aside from some tightness in my glutes that I need to work on.

Have you ever had a season when your race plans just seem to fail you?

July Recap

1Happy Monday! July is just about over, and it was a crazy one. The month was filled with a lot of happenings, and I can’t really think of any negative ones. I’ll take that as a success. The last week has brought a lot of excitement and realizations, and I’m excited for what’s to come.

Traveling…We (Jake and I) started the month in Ocean City, MD, spent a long weekend in New Hampshire, spent a day in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and finished with another week in Ocean City, MD. I loved bringing him home to meet the family, sitting on the beach, meeting his extended family, jet-skiing for the first time, and even catching a wild looking fish.

At the top of Cannon Mountain, NH

Jobs: I finally recieved my speech-language pathologist credentials that I spent last year earning. Both Jake and I landed new jobs this month, and we both start today! I’m excited to be starting at a private clinic, hopefully with a whole lot less paperwork and stress than I was dealing with in the school. After the school year starts, I’ll also be working mornings in a Head Start (federally funded pre-school). I’m hoping this is a step in the right direction towards finding a spot in my career field that I enjoy more.

Running: I ended July at 85 miles, 15 miles short of my 100 mile goal. I missed 5 runs: 3 at the beach (2 due to too much fun the night before (oops), and one due to really just liking my bed),one due to needing a rest day after a race, and also one due to a huge calf cramp that happened as I woke up and went downstairs. While I got my other runs in, it was a struggle. I’m lacking on the motivation, which I think is due to Goofy being so.far.away. I’m bummed about not running a fall full. While I have races coming up, I’m not truly excited for anything. Last year, training for my first marathon was so exciting, and now I feel like I’m just moving through the motions.

I also completed 3 races:

Towson 4 on the 4th: 39:46, 6 second course PR

Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon

Maryland Sprint Duathlon: 1:43. 3rd place in AG! Planning to recap this at some point….

 

I’m excited for August and hopefully getting my running motivation back. I’m beginning to plan my trips to Nevada/Arizona for the Run Laughlin 13.1, and to Disney for the Goofy Challenge! With the new job, I’ll be working Sundays once September hits, so unfortunately, I’ve written off the Rock N Roll Philly Half. I only paid $50 to register, and I really don’t want to use a day off for that so early in my employment. However, I’m excited to work towards a course/12 miler PR at the Charles Street 12 on Labor Day Weekend!

Pre-Goofy Diet Clean-Up: Featuring Luvo!

Disclaimer: I received Luvo Frozen Meals 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!

As summer has hit I am getting back into a more solid running routine, building up a solid base for Goofy Challenge 2018 training. While gaining back the weight I lost before the NJ Marathon isn’t my sole motivation, I’ve been working hard to clean up my diet while I have extra time home to make more meals. While I still have kept my favorites in my diet (CHEESE) I’m also making more healthy swaps to add in more nutrients into my life.

1. More vegetables, and more of them FRESH! Cucumbers and peppers as snacks, eggplant parmesean, salads with lettuce from my garden, and brussels sprouts. Seriously, where have these been all of my life? They’re great fresh, but since I’m on a summer budget I’m a fan of the $0.99 bag of frozen baby brussels from Trader Joe’s. I love pairing some with a Luvo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese bowl.

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2. Frequent shopping trips: Frequent, small shopping trips allow me to get more fresh food and also explore the area stores. There are so many grocery stores around me, and each one carries a different variety of Luvo meals. Wegmans is my favorite for, as they carry the Luvo Bowls, but I also like the Orange Mango Chicken that I found at a Giant food store. They also have a fantastic bakery and fun produce section.

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Luvo Bowls and Wegman’s cheese bread. HEAVEN.

3. More salads – During the school year I went in and out of “salad mode”. I like to have a big salad for lunch many days – it fills me up, but yet I don’t feel like a bloated mess when I head to the pool. Don’t think I’ve let go of my ranch habit yet, though.

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Post November Project double “feast”

4. Trying new things – Seeing new Luvo meals forces me to try new things. Like the Orange Chicken Luvo meal I mentioned. I am not a mango person, and rarely have kale (I’m trying to eat more of it!). While it wasn’t my favorite (I’d love it, sans mango), I realized that I don’t mind edamame and kale mixed in with other things.

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Source: Luvo website. Look at those stats!

5. Simple exchanges – Coffee is now made with a smidge of sugar in the raw and half and half rather than the sugary artificially flavored creamer. I’m eating more veggies as sides instead of pasta sides. I even made myself order whole grain pasta at Olive Garden last night (I used to do this all the time but have gotten away from it!)

I’m excited to be making these small changes, along with others. Keeping Luvo meals on hand, instead of my old Lean Cuisines (that would only keep me full for like, an hour!) is definitely helping me get closer to some overall health goals.

Thanks again to Bib Rave for giving me the opportuinity to test out Luvo meals once again. Do you love running and related products? Apply to be a Bib Rave Pro and drop my name, as summer applications are open!

Race Recap: 2017 Old Port Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Old Port Half 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!

This past weekend, I completed my 16th half marathon! I have been looking forward to this race since December, and planned my summer trip home to New Hampshire around the race. I had high hopes for my performance, and while I fell short, I still really enjoyed the race.

Friday: Jake and I flew down Thursday and spent most of Friday in New Hampshire. I did a short 2 mile shakeout on Friday and felt pretty good. After dinner with my family, we headed up to Portland to meet my mom and brother. We had a room at a Days Inn in South Portland, about 10 minutes away from the start. My brother, Jake, and I had a late-night snack/drink at Sea Dog Brewing, which was wonderful.

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Packet pick up: My mom got to Portland early enough to pick up packets and swag for the three of us. She had an easy time, aside from the volunteers saying I hadn’t ordered a shirt (which was not included in race registration). Thankfully after sending over a copy of my receipt, she was able to get my shirt. I also got a hat and a beer glass with my registration.

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Pre-race: We left our hotel just after 6 to head to the start. We faced some slight traffic getting off the highway and were finally parked about 6:30, just a couple of blocks from the half marathon start. While my brother suited up in his fire gear, Jake and I ran down to the bathrooms. There were so many and hardly any lines. I realized I forgot to put on sunscreen so I sent Jake to the 5K shuttle while I ran back to the car to sunscreen up. I made it back to the start for 6:50 to stretch after my running warm up. There were two waves of runners, and I was obviously in the second (slower) wave.

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Game plan: While looking forward to this race, I thought I had a solid chance to PR on this course, if the conditions were right. It was 62 with 93% humidity at the start, which definitely isn’t ideal. The course involves two major hills, but is flat otherwise. Unfortunately I woke up with cramps (woman problems). I decided to start conservatively and not die on the hills, before hopefully speeding up. Even if I couldn’t PR, I was confident I could run a sub-2:15 while doing 120:30 run/walk intervals.

Miles 1-5: I started out conservatively for a “race”, but not ready to keep steady splits. After a mile I got sucked in around the 2:20 pace group, which was very large and spread out. I battled them for about a mile and a half before finally passing them. We’d go back and forth for a while, but the group broke apart after the first hill. Speaking of the first hill, it was a good half a mile, and pretty steep. I made it up without altering my intervals and/or slowing, which I was proud of. The course flattened out before heading on a short, steep downhill back towards the start. Splits: 10:54, :31, :51, :08, 9:57.

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From the top of the second hill

 

Miles 6-10: I was stoked to see a sub-10 mile, but I knew I had to reign it in for the hill that was coming at mile 6. I managed to make it almost all the way up the hill without extra walking, but eventually gave in. I was moving so slowly, and figured if I had any hope of speeding up, I should conserve the energy. The climb was relentless, but the views at the top were so worth it. The terrain rolled a bit for about a mile, before coming back down to the “Back Cove” path. This is where I planned to speed back up, but I was failing at doing so. By this time it had heated up and there was no shade on the Back Cove path. The water stations started to hand out icy towels, which were AMAZING, but they could only help so much.

I felt strong until mile 8, then I started to fade, and fast. The 2:20 group passed me once more, and I knew I wasn’t going to be catching up. My cramps were getting worse and my legs just didn’t have speed in them. Splits: 10:56, ;55, :23, 11:26, 11:47.

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Photo credit: Maine Magazine

Miles 11-13: Once I started running miles in the 11’s, I knew even a sub 2:20 was not happening. I knew I had a long day ahead of me after the race, so instead of kill myself, I switched down to 60:30 intervals. Despite this, I struggled to keep a decent pace. I was feeling hot, but really felt defeated more than anything. Nonetheless, I was enjoying the views, aside from mile 11.5 where we passed a sewage plant that was disgusting. Just plain disgusting. But if that was the worst part of the course, so be it.

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I walked much more than I would have liked the last mile and a half. I was just bummed. I wanted to put up a time so badly – for my family that I came to see, my mom who was going to be at the finish, and for my boyfriend and brother who ran. Nonetheless, I finished, uninjured. Slow, but uninjured. I had a tough time for a few minutes, but felt better after sitting in the shade with an icy towel. Splits: 12:37, :54, :53, 2:38 (.22).

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Not the prettiest picture, but it’s representative of my race.

Official finish time: 2:29:08. My second slowest (road) half, I believe. (Falling a month after my slowest. Great.)

Post-race: My brother had to bring part of his fire suit back to his station, so Jake and I headed to the finish area for a quick beer. The runner’s food tent was a bit disappointing, where I was only allowed one orange piece. I only eat oranges after a race, so I would have been happy with a couple more. There were three beer options, and I stuck with one I was familiar with, the Shipyard Summer Ale. It was so refreshing! We drank our beers quickly, on the ground, because all of the seats in the shaded tent were taken or being used as foot-rests. We enjoyed the band for a bit, and then headed for pizza because we wanted to get back to the hotel to shower before check-out. They were OUT of pizza. Yes, I’m slow, but the pizza was a big draw for the race and for them to be out was a big bummer. The volunteers said there would be more, but had no time estimate, so we left. Thankfully, there was a family party later that day and we had LOBSTER.

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Also, I can’t forget to share that Jake finished in 31:43 (I don’t think he’s run since APRIL) and my brother walked the 5K in his fire gear in 51 minutes.

Take-aways: 

All around, this was a good race. The volunteers were fantastic, the course was flat with two challenging hills, and the icy cold towels in the later miles are a game changer!

For me, this race kind of put me in my place and made me remember things I learned last year. It hit home how much fitness I’ve lost since the marathon. My training has been so inconsistent, and 9 weeks out from the marathon was too long to use that fitness and rest period to my advantage. A good thing was seeing how long I could keep up sub 11 minute miles while running 120:30 intervals. This was new territory for me, and a goal for Goofy 2018 is to run both races at that interval. I stayed in sub-11 territory for 8 miles, and made it to mile 10 before changing my intervals.

In terms of mentality, it was a struggle at the end, for the first time in a while. I think those last miles would have been different if I hadn’t gone out with time goals. If I had gone out with the sole goal of fun, I wonder how my race really would have gone. When I go in with looser, effort based goals, I end up more pleased with myself and with significantly better times. I know I have more to give, and Saturday just wasn’t my day.

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For a more “technical” review, check out my review on Bib Rave!