This Runner's Trials

NYCM training: week 8

Posted by runnerstrials

First thing is first – IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!

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Which may seem like it has no relevance to NYCM training, but it does. Football season = Fall and Fall = when my marathon is, so I’m starting to freak out. I’m halfway through training and I only have five real weeks left before my taper. One of those weeks is a half marathon, meaning I only have four real long runs left. It’s all starting to feel so real now!

Anyway, backing up this this week, it was a cutback week. I had no long run and was supposed to take it easy, but I raced two 5ks instead. Oops. I kept my overall weekly mileage low, though, so I am feeling refreshed. It was really nice to not have to set my alarm at 4:00 a.m. any mornings to squeeze my long run in before someone’s second breakfast of the day. That is one thing I won’t miss about marathon training!

Here’s how this week was supposed to look:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
7mi easy Spin 7mi easy Spin 7mi easy Spin OFF

And what really went down:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
2mi warm-up + 5k race in 22:01 7mi progression run 30min spin + 30 min TRX 7mi at 8:55 OFF 1mi warm-up + 5k race in 21:35 60min spin

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Some notes:

  • I’m over the heat and humidity. The past two weeks have been the most miserable of the summer – I hear it’s been like this all over the country, too. Yuck, yuck, yuck! Considering the humidity and how hilly both of my 5k courses were – my Fitbit said they were both 17 flights of stairs – I’m proud of my times. (Here’s the recap from the first 5k and the second will come later this week.) Even though 5ks are my least favorite distance, I really want to race a flat one so I can PR. Obviously a PR wouldn’t be a given, but you know what I mean. I’m going to put those dreams on hold though until after NYCM. Next year Jeff is going to get most of the training time (we alternate training for big races), so it’ll be the ideal time for me to focus on 5ks! #sub21orbust
  • My progression run on Tuesday felt great. My splits were 10:03/ 9:04/ 8:55/ 8:32/ 8:07/ 7:56/ 7:46. I’m going to try to run more runs like this (but without as drastic of a drop in pace), particularly long runs, to better prep for the feeling on race day.
  • I’m still in love with TRX. I’m going to take the combo spin/TRX class for the rest of training since it hurts so good.

Thank you all so much for your fuel recommendations! I totally forgot about Sharkies and Chomps and am going to experiment with them on this week’s 18-miler.

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Labor Day Funk Run 2014 race recap

Posted by runnerstrials

This past Sunday night, my husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I were sitting around my inlaws’ table chatting about running. I had 800m repeats on the docket for the next morning and was trying to convince someone to join me at the track at 5:30 a.m.

Somehow we got on the subject of 10ks and I realized I’ve only ever raced two 10ks. Crazy! Then Laura remembered that there was a race in my inlaws’ town the next morning, and she thought there was a 10k option. That sounded so tempting! Racing a 10k would essentially be the same thing as 9x 800m, right?

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Except there was no 10k option for the Labor Day Funk Run this year, only a 5k. None of us had any interest in running the 5k until we realized the top male and female would each receive $100 cash. We looked at the participant list and saw there were only 80 runners registered. We may or may not have spent the next half hour Googling a lot of the registered runners’ previous race times.  <--- I can’t believe I just admitted that publicly! #stalker

We decided that my brother-in-law and I each had a shot at winning (cheers for small races), and my husband and sister-in-law would probably place, too. The registration fee was steep – $30 each – but if two of us took home $100, it’d be worth it. Right?

Wow, that was the longest intro to a race ever! But that’s the story of how I ended up running a 5k on Labor Day. I literally had no plans of doing so until 12 hours beforehand.

We arrived at registration at 7:00 a.m. -- an hour before the start – and I immediately regretted my decision to race and skip my planned workout. I’m just not used to running when the sun is out! All summer, the heat and humidity haven’t bothered me one bit because I start my runs by 5:30 or 6 a.m.

And then I saw her. The girl who would beat me. At small races, I can always pick out the women who are around my pace or faster than me. (The other two women I was concerned about came in 3rd and 4th.)

Even though I knew I essentially had no shot of winning, I wanted to race well. I did an easy 2 mile warm-up and felt pretty good, despite the heat. I ran part of the course and saw that it’d be hilly, but it was similar to the hills that I was used to at home, so I wasn’t worried.

Finally, it was time to start. The first mile felt great! The speedy girl took off and I never saw her again, but I was in second place from the first half mile on. When my watched beeped 6:43 after the first mile, I felt awesome. My 5k PR pace is 6:57 and I had a feeling I’d PR, which I didn’t expect.

And then I fell apart. There were more hills and less shade in mile 2, and I just couldn’t hold it together. I was so mad at myself for going out so fast and getting my hopes up. Rookie mistake. Mile 2: 7:00.

I made it my goal to run mile 3 faster than mile 2. I tried thinking of every inspiring running mantra I know “you’re stronger than you think”, “you can do anything for a mile”. “it’s your choice to finish strong.” But none of them worked. I completely blew up on the final hill, and decided that 5ks are the worst race distance ever. Mile 3: 7:18.

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I crossed the finish line in 22:01 – 29 seconds off a PR. I was pretty proud of my time because my PR is 3 years old. I was not happy with how I ran the race, though, but it was a good learning experience. I have another 5k on Saturday and my only goal is to run the race smart. These days I care more about how I feel during a race than the time on the clock. I feel a lot better about myself when I negative split rather than positive split!

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I came in second place overall and while I didn’t receive the $100 cash prize, I did earn a $50 gift card to a running store! Sweet! Plus, I also received free Chick-fil-a lunch and an awesome framed record.

My brother-in-law came in third overall, and my sister-in-law and husband both snagged first place in their age groups!

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No one set any speed records, but we each earned a fancy Funk Run record! It was a lot of fun racing with my family. We need to do more races together – preferably with more than 12 hours lead time!

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NYCM training: week 7

Posted by runnerstrials

Hi, happy Labor day! I hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend – and no one is working!

I cannot believe I’m almost halfway done with training for NYCM. I definitely feel like I’m in marathon training mode now. I get nervous before long runs, say I’m “only” running 5 miles on easy days, and my legs feel the tolls of training whenever I walk down stairs. I’m loving it, though!


Smiling after a long run. Who am I?

Here’s how this week was supposed to look:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
5mi easy +

3mi stroller

Spin 6mi tempo w/ 4mi at 7:55 Spin + 3mi stroller OFF 16mi Spin


And what really happened:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
5mi at 8:30 +

3mi double stroller at 9:40

45 min Spin 7mi with 5 tempo at 7:32 45min TRX 16mi at 9:12 pace OFF 3mi at 8:55 + swim


I once again switched up my workouts like crazy. I’m just not good at sticking with a training plan! Well, I guess I keep up training but I tweak the prescribed workouts every single week. It’s just hard to predict how you’ll feel and where you’ll be – we visited my inlaws this weekend – so far in advance. Here’s some notes from the week:

  • After being in NJ for 3 weeks and not running many hills, my double stroller run kicked my butt. I lost track of how many times I walked. I’m including weekly stroller runs from here on out because they’re such a good workout.
  • I added wrong on my tempo run when I was going out so I ended up extending it by an extra mile. My pace was much faster than where I intended it to be, but when I originally planned for these target paces, I was just coming back from pregnancy. The 7:30ish ballpark feels like where I should be doing my tempo runs – the pace was challenging but not too hard.
  • The TRX class made me feel like the most out of shape person ever. My abs are still sore, and I can’t roll over in the middle of the night without cringing. What an amazing workout!
  • My long run was fastish finish. I ran the first few miles extra slow -- 10+ minute/miles – and ran the last 6 miles at 8:30- 8:45 pace. I was surprised by how good this felt! I’m also nervous. I haven’t had a bad long run this round of training yet, so I’m due!
  • I swam for the first time since I was pregnant with Hadley. It was so hard but so relaxing at the same time. You can’t beat swimming in the lake!


There was also plenty of this type of training happening this weekend.

Can you guys do me a favor and share your favorite long run fuel choices? I’ve been doing Gu (+ Gatorade) and I’ve been dreading opening up the Gu every time. The 16-miler was the first time I’ve needed 2 Gus in training and I couldn’t imagine taking another 1, 2, or 3 during the marathon. I think I need to experiment with other fuel options. Thanks so much!

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