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.

Before

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!

During

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!

After

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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March 2017 + NJ Marathon Training week 14

Happy April, everyone! I’m so happy that spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming and I’m finally starting to feel more like myself again. I haven’t done this in a while, but let’s look back at the last month of running, because it was a good one!

March 2017

Highlights: A new 5K PR, growing confidence

Low-lights: An 18-miler turned 6

Races: Rock N Roll DC, Shamrock 5K,  Baltimore Road Runner’s Club St. Patrick’s Day 5k

Miles run: 125.1


This past week was a bit of a step back week. I had a half marathon scheduled as a long run, and did a couple of shorter runs. All in all it was a great week and I’m ready to head into my “peak week” of training for the New Jersey Marathon!

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Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 4.75 miles total – 1 at Girls on the Run, 3.75 Easy-Moderate effort at home. My left foot and ankle were bothering me a bit, but I survived. Also bodyweight exercises while watching tv.

Wednesday: 5.95 miles, half on my own, half with Jake. I ran without scheduled intervals and felt good until when I tripped and fell!

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Thursday: 3 miles super easy to recover from the last couple days of harder (for me) runs. I contemplated a rest day, but I really wanted to reach 125 for the month!

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 13.1 miles at the Oldfield’s Half Marathon – recap coming up soon!

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Sunday: 13.5 mile bike ride to give my legs some needed downtime after that half

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Running miles: 26.8 miles

Ready for one last big week before it’s TAPER TIME! Less than 4 weeks to go – the countdown is on!

 

New Jersey Marathon Training: Week 13

Another week has passed in marathon training land! This is the week where I really started to get excited for running the marathon, despite running only three days. Emotionally (and work-wise) I was up and down this week, but the running was great!

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Seeing as I only ran 3 days (whoops), I’ll save you all the rest days.

Tuesday: 4 miles, slow. My body was.not.moving. I know it was just my body’s way of telling me it wasn’t quite ready to run after the 18 miler. Thankfully my heart rate stayed low enough that it was a recovery run.

Thursday: 6.1 miles. 1 mile wu, then alternating miles of mod/hard (close to HMP) effort and 1 interval hard/1 interval easy. Intervals were 90:30, which I plan to run in the marathon. Then one mile of an attempted cool down – which I’m still not very good at.

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Saturday: 20 miles, with a 9 minute negative split. I was in a great place for this whole run and felt so much better than last week’s 18 miler. It was a great confidence booster and I felt like I could have kept going at the end. But I won’t lie – a 30 degree swing in the temperature added some difficulty and laying on some ice at the end felt wonderful.

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Sunday: Some simple strength with Jake while watching the Walking Dead. I was surprisingly sore from Saturday and after we got back from running errands I wasn’t in the mood to leave him to run. 19 zombies killed in one scene = a LOT of jump squats.

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I hope to get in a solid 3 runs this week before a half marathon on Saturday and hopefully a recovery run on Sunday. 2 “races” (that aren’t being “raced”) before the big dance!

How did your long run go this weekend? 

Are you one for an ice bath after a long run? I’m not normally, but that snow/ice felt good!