Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 8

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 5 miles outdoor run

Wednesday- 7 miles run – 1 mi warm-up, 4 x 1 mi repeats at 5k pace(8:15 min/mi) with 3 min recovery jogs, 1 mi cool-down

Thursday – 1/2 mi warm-up jog/walk, 20 min of stairs, 1/2 mi cool down jog/walk

There is a set of long stairs near my apartment, 100 steps to be exact. Such a great, quick, sweaty workout!

Friday – 3 miles run

Saturday – 20 miles long run

This run was just the kind of run I needed. Those 20 miles certainly were not easy, but it was exactly what I needed. I’ve been struggling with my runs for quite some time– both mentally and physically.

I signed up for a Nike Run Club 9 miler. Since the run started at 8:04am, I knew I wanted to get in as many miles as I could before. Early running = cooler temps and less sun.

I woke up at 5 and ate a plain DD bagel with a smear of Skippy’s peanut butter. By 6am Alex and I were off running towards Grove Street Path to get 2 miles in. After a quick train ride to WTC, we ran 7.3 miles towards the Brooklyn Bridge towards Prospect Park and down Flatbush til we reached the Nike store just in time to refill our water bottles and start on our 9 mile group run.

NRC led us down towards Brighton Beach with a water break around the 4.5 mi mark. Having water/gatorade/gu stops during long hot runs is a life saver! Towards mile 8, it started to feel really hot and there wasn’t much shade, but luckily the pacers helped keep our group motivated. By the time we made it back to the Nike Flatbush store, I was at 18.5 miles. I grabbed some water and Gatorade inside to cool down and then went back outside to do two large loops to finish.

Twenty freaking miles! It was the first long run in a long time where I felt strong and like running this marathon was possible. It was such a good confidence boaster.

Things that I think helped:

  • Running with NRC. I can never say enough good things about NRC since my first run with them last year. It’s such a badass group of individuals that help the miles really fly by.
  • I kept hydrated during the run. I filled up a water bottle with a mix of gatorade and water. I must have drank atleast 60-70 oz of fluid during those 3.5 hours.
  • I ate 1.5 Gus. I probably should have ate more, but I was drinking so much gatorade/water mix that I was afraid of everything sloshing around in there
  • Running somewhere new distracted me. I had no idea where I was or where I was going so I knew I couldn’t just stop, walk, and lose my group.

I’m hoping my runners high from Saturday will carry me through the rest of training. Onto week 9!

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Chicago Marathon Week 7 Recap

I’m officially halfway through marathon training and I feel it. My body is feeling tired, but that comes with the increase in mileage. With every hot, humid run I feel myself overcome with doubt. Can I really do this? How did I do this last year? I feel like I’m barely moving. Why is the air so thick? I just want to stop. Should I stop?  I try to remember that once fall comes around and those crisper morning temps hit, I’ll find my stride again and all those hard, slow summer runs will have been worth it.

My week in running wasn’t perfect, but I’m proud I powered through it.

  • Monday- 4 miles easy
  • Tuesday- 6 miles pyramid run. Start with 1.25 miles warm-up. The following at half-marathon pace with 1 min recovery: 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 4 min, 5 min, 4 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min. Finish with a  1 mile cool-down
  • Wednesday- Rest
  • Thursday- 3 miles easy (outdoors)
  • Friday- 60 min tennis
  • Saturday- 14 miles at Citi’s summer streets. The first half of this run was amazing! There was ample cloud coverage/shade with a nice breeze, but then the rain came. It wasn’t a pleasant sun shower. It was a heavy downpour with whipping fat drops. It lasted for more than 30 minutes and once it ended the sun came out in full force. As I was running I could feel the rain evaporating from the street. I was not a happy camper. I was supposed to do 18, but I was soaked and cranky and over it.
  • Sunday – Rest

Total Mileage: 27 miles

Week 8, I’m ready for you!

Life Lately

The past month has been an exciting one for me. There have been lots of traveling and long weekend getaways. Paired with spending time with family and friends have made for a busy past month. Not to mention it’s birthday season. I celebrated Alex’s birthday this past weekend, I turned 30 on the July 30th and then also slew of friends celebrated their 30th birthdays as well within a week of mine. I must really love Leos!

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my birthday morning spent at Magic Gardens in Philly

So I haven’t been logging my training for the Chicago Marathon as I had wanted. I started strong and documented my first two weeks and the past month fell by the wayside. I kept thinking I was going to just write a recap, but it just never happened. I just logged my workouts into my excel sheet instead and called it a day.

In all honesty, I’ve been more lax with training than ever before. I’ve already missed 4 runs, which isn’t bad figuring I typically run 4x a week. 85% of training runs completed? I’ll take it! I still have two more months to go and so long as I get through 90% of the training runs I’ll be happy. I thought skipping an easy run or moving around my training runs would have made me panic, but it turns out I’m okay with it. I’m not going to win the race or even looking to BQ. Life happens!

After a few weeks spent indulging and not running so much, it feels harder to get back into the swing of things. Eating and being lazy sounds much more appealing. I’m still dreaming of eating these stuffed strawberries and creme french toast I ate twice during this past week. I wish I could eat these everyday…

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What is your favorite breakfast food?  I like having separate savory and sweet breakfasts. Usually Alex and I will split an omelet/eggs and order a stack of pancakes, french toast or waffle to finish the meal with.

Anyone else in a running funk?

Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Weeks 1 & 2

And just like that I’m already into week 3 of marathon training! Here is a quick recap of the first two weeks of training.

Week 1: 20.5 miles total

  • Monday – 3 miles easy (10:39 min/mi) + NTC The MaestroIMG_1042

Alex was still recovering from his cold so we took a few walk breaks which was fine. The humid weather was rough especially since I haven’t really run outdoors probably since the Brooklyn Half. Afterwards I did a NTC mobility workout inspired by Roger Federer. I was watching Wimbledon that morning and thought, why not?

  • Tuesday – 8 miles cycling commute to and from work. The cars were especially kind to me that day.

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  • Wednesday – 5.5 miles run with 2 x 1 mi repeats at 5k pace (avg pace 9:28 min/mi ) – Run was good, but had to get used to running faster again. I’m hoping to PR in a 5k in August so these mile repeats are clutch.
  • Thursday– rest day
  • Friday– 3 miles easy (10:02 min/mi)

Ran to the newly opened Wonder Bagels in the Heights. It’s as if the carboloading gods have answered my prayers!!

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  • Saturday– 9 miles (9:52 min/mi)

The forecast said thunder and the Wimbledon women’s final was on television so I went to the gym and ran all 9 miles on the treadmill. I loved it because I was so distracted and into the match that time flew by.

  • Sunday– 70 min tennis  at Berry Lane Park

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Berry Lane Park had just recently opened in Jersey City in the West Side and I was so excited to check it out. Government money well spent because the park is gorgeous! Full court basketball, tennis courts, splash pad, large jungle gym, exercise area, turf field, and soon-to-be skate park. I’m hoping it benefits the surrounding area significantly since so much attention has been put towards downtown JC.

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There was no wait for a court on a Sunday morning which is crazy around these parts. Go to the other tennis courts in JC at 8am and you’ll be waiting for at least an hour. Unfortunately the court wasn’t constructed properly and has a significant slant to it. Great for water drainage, but terrible for actually playing. Regardless, I’ll still come back. The other park goers were so friendly and I’d love to take advantage of the splash pad and turf field one day.

Week 2: 21.5 miles total

  • Monday – 3 miles easy (10:18 min/mi) + NTC Endurance Breaker
  • Tuesday- NTC Controlled Blast + 60 min tennis
  • Wednesday – 5 miles easy + 6 x 100m strides
  • Thursday- Rest
  • Friday- 3 miles easy (10:19 min/mi)
  • Saturday – 10 miles long run (NYRR CF Run to Breathe 4M) – (avg: 10:07 min/mi)

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I ran from Port Authority to Central Park to drop off my bag (~2 miles) and then ran another 2 miles before the start. My four mile prior to the start averaged around 10:40 min/mi. It was already so hot and humid before the race that I had no expectations for the race except just to finish.

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My legs felt like lead and I wasn’t checking my watch. I was  surprised when I ended up finishing the 4M race at 9:34 min/mi pace. Definitely faster that I had thought! I drank and walked through every water stop and sprinkler station which helped cool me down. Afterwards I ran another 2 miles around the southern loop of Central Park to finish with 10 miles of the day.

I wanted to also note that every day I will still take a long walk after dinner with Alex. We end up walking somewhere between 1-2 miles. It has sometimes become extended thanks to Pokemon Go and trying to catch them all!


 

Who else has been playing Pokemon Go?  

What ways help you beat the Northeast summer heat?

 

 

Friday Favorites: Workout Edition

Earlier this week I received my 14 week training plan for the Chicago Marathon! It feels like I just finished running the Brooklyn Half.. In just three weeks I’ll be starting another training cycle. I am praying to the running and weather gods for a successful marathon training cycle.

I’m so thankful for the six week break between training cycles. I struggled so much through BK Half training that I really wanted to take the time to recharge and feel refreshed going into my next cycle. So far it’s been amazing!

I may not be the leanest or most fit, but I genuinely enjoy staying active. Those endorphins do wonders! Also, I’ve realized during my time off how nice it is to have some variety with my workouts and not stress over sticking to a plan. This week for my Friday Favorites I wanted to share my current 5 favorite workouts!

Mile High Run Club. 

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Thanks again Nike Run Club for partnering with MHRC for providing me with what is typically a $32 class for FREE. I love a good tempo/speed workout and when I don’t even have to plan or think about it its even better. Paired with the best old school hip hop jams, dim mood lighting, and a killer instructor (Hi Jess!) it’s magical.

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Opposed to running outdoors with a pace group, everyone of different speeds come together and run on treadmills. You set your own speed and still feel like you’re running in a pack/suffering together. Even if you can’t make it to MHRC, Nike Run Club coach Jess posts the workout every Tuesday morning on her instagram.

Tennis

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This is an oldie, but a goody. I’ve played tennis since I was 11 years old and it never gets old. I often joke with Alex that one of my goals in life is to be that retired couple that just hits clean long rallies when we’re in our 60s or 70s. I usually get in two 90 minute sessions a week. That lateral movement and sprints are no joke.

BodyPump

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Lifting has never been my thing. Mostly because I don’t like to plan my attack. I know I should lift weights more frequently, but after a run I’m so tired that I end up only doing maybe 5 or 6 moves that target one or two body parts.

When I was in Rutgers, they offered this Les Mills BodyPump at the rec center and I loved it. The music, the energy, and mostly how time always passed so quickly. Luckily BodyPump is now available at NYSC in northern NJ and NYC. I try to go to at least twice a week and it’s just as good as I remember.Sore for days!

Walking

 It’s such an underrated form of exercise.I love walking and try to always take advantage of it while the weather is nice. I usually do 2 dedicated walks a day. One during half of my lunch for roughly 30 minutes and then a long night walk pre and/or post dinner with Alex.

I love both walks. The first because it gives me time to rethink and refocus before I have to go back to power through the rest of my work day. My walk with Alex is my favorite. We get to catch up on each other’s day and explore our ever changing neighborhood.

Climbing

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If you want a full body workout, climb! I wish there was a climbing gym closer to me or I was lead climbing certified so I could climb outdoors. The heights exhilarate me and I love the feeling of falling. It not only challenges me physically, but mentally as well.


What are some fitness activities you are currently enjoying?

Favorite way to enjoy down time between training cycles?

AirBnB Brooklyn Half 2016 Race Recap

I love the half-marathon distance– it’s the perfect mix of speed and endurance. In my opinion, there is no better half marathon than NYRR Brooklyn Half. I love it so much that it was my third year in a row that I ran it and hope to run it again in the future so long that it doesn’t turn into a lottery (the race sold out in 45 minutes!)

The BK half is so well organized! With over 27,000 runners you wouldn’t know it. They have well marked corals, plenty of porta potties, easy bag check, and water stations while waiting for the start. During the race there were water and gatorade at every mile and powerball gels around mile 8. I love the race course since its a point to point. Besides the hills in Prospect Park and the incline to get onto the boardwalk the race is flat.

I went into the race feeling really unsure. They say trust the raining, but it’s hard to do it when training hasn’t been going as well as you would like. So what’s a girl to do? Run it anyway and hope for the best! Here is a quick recap.

How I Fueled:

  • Pre-Race Dinner: Spaghetti, Italian Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Garlic Bread
  • Pre-Race Breakfast: Dunkin Donuts plain bagel with a smear of Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter, 20 oz of water, and a bite of a banana
  • Race Fuel :
    • Water/Gatorade Mixed at miles: 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
    • ½ Gu Chocolate Outrage Gel at Mile 6

What I Wore:

35466576_race_0.05012023924820119.displayShorts: Brooks Running (similar) | Tank: Nike | Sneakers: Brooks Running Defyance 7s (newer model) | Hat: Nike | Sports Bra: C9 for Target (similar) | Socks: Nike | Watch: Garmin

Lowlights:

  • Even though I ate my breakfast 2 hours before the start, I could still feel it sitting in my stomach for the first hour of the race. It’s not a great feeling.
  • Mile 6, I ate half a chocolate outrage Gu and drank water and my stomach let me know it did not agree. Thinking it was a blip, I tried eating a small bite again around mile 7. I knew immediately Gu wasn’t going to agree with me that day.
  • Mile 8-9: what I thought was 100% upper quad that I strained 2 weeks prior screamed at me somewhere between miles 8 and 9 and continued to nag me throughout the race. Instead of pushing hard for a sub-2, I pulled back. I did not want to injure myself anymore and be sidelined longer just to get a PR
  • Mile 12 where I was so excited to see Coney Island then my thighs began chaffing hard. I’ve never chafed during a race. I felt like someone was taking a knife and cutting my inner thighs with every step I took.

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Highlights:

  • Being in the first coral of wave 2. It was glorious being able to not have to fight to get some room or weave through as many people. GLORIOUS!
  • Getting to go in a clean porta potty. Such a simple pleasure in life.
  • It ended up being in the high 50s with little wind = perfect running weather
  • There was Gatorade and water at every mile stop thank God! Without being able to eat Gu, being able to get some sort of fuel in me was better than nothing
  • Feeling generally strong for the first half of the race. The hills at Prospect Park were hard, but it was over before I knew it.
  • Course support! So many people came out to cheer all the runners on. I love me a clever sign!
  • Seeing Alex at the finish line. He crushed it and finished in 1:56:37!
  • Being able to run my favorite half-marathon and get a course PR at 2:01:47!
  • Eating Nathan’s hot dogs, fries and onion rings with Alex on a curb post-race

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Final Thoughts:

I thought I would have been disappointed with my time, but I knew I ran the best race I could. Between my uncooperative stomach and my nagging upper thigh, I’m so proud of my time. That sub-2 is just waiting for me.

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Now I’ve got a month before I start training for the BofA Chicago Marathon. I plan to still update my weekly workouts, but there will definitely be more lifting, tennis, swimming and other activities I enjoy other than running. Stay tuned!


Anyone else run the BK Half? Thoughts?

How do you fuel yourself during races?

Week 7: BK Half Training and UAE 10k Recap

Finally a good week of running! It’s about time.

Monday– 4 miles easy @ 10:13 min/mi

Tuesday– rest

Wednesday– 7 miles speed run (2 mi warm-up, 3 x 1 mile repeats at 8:15 min/mi with 3-4 min recovery jogs, 1 mi cool-down)

Thursday– 3.1 miles easy @ 10:22 min/mi

Friday– 20 min yoga

Saturday– 8 miles – 1.8 miles warm-up + NYRR UAE 10k at 9:10 min/mi

Sunday– 3.25 miles easy @ 10:42 min/mi

Total Mileage: 25.35

On Saturday, I ran my 6th NYRR race of the year, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k– it was my last long run before the half. I warmed up by running from Port Authority to Columbus Circle. I dropped off my bag and used the restroom at the NYSC by Columbus Circle (note to self: do this more often because a clean indoor restroom > porta potty life) and then ran over to the start line.

The goal was to run it at half-marathon goal pace, which for me is 9:00 min/mi. The combination of the rolling hills of the park and the already warm temps (it was 68 degrees and 70% humidity) made me unsure if I was going to be able to do it, but I wanted to give it my best.

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elevation chart for UAE 10k

My mile splits were:

1 – 9:14 – congested start: weaving through people, getting stepped on/stepping on people, and feeling everyone’s collective body heat because everyone is on top of one another

2- 8:42  –  mostly downhill

3- 8:39- course starts clearing a bit thanks to Harlem Hill and some downhill

4- 9:32 – upper quad starts to tense and of course it’s all uphill, ugh…

5- 9:03

6- 9:00

0.33 – 2:44 – thank God I’m done

Until the 5k mark I felt fine, but then I started to feel my upper quad start tightening and I felt like I was overheating. At every water stop I took in water or Gatorade and then pour a cup of water all over myself.

By the time I saw the six mile marker, I was overly excited and starting to turn over my legs faster only to see the 200m sign and realized I still needed another push, but I had nothing left. I’m just happy I didn’t walk across the finish. I crossed in 56:55. I didn’t hit my goal pace, but being able to run by feel in the heat and hills is a win for me.

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Now there is less than 6 days between me and the Brooklyn half. Will I get the sub-2:00 I’ve been dreaming of for the past year? Who knows, but I’m gonna try!


Anyone else race this weekend?

 

 

Week 6: BK Half Training Recap

This is the first week where I’ve completely failed at keeping up with training with only completing 2 out of 5 runs. If you’ve been following my training you know that I’ve been struggling both mentally and physically. After weeks of pushing forward regardless of how crappy I felt, I decided to take a few days off in an effort to recharge. When I said last week I was going to focus on recovery, I took it very seriously.

This is how my week looked like:

Monday – rest

Tuesday- rest

Wednesday- rest

Thursday- 12 miles at 9:57 min/mi

Friday- rest

Saturday- rest

Sunday- Japan Run as One 4M at 9:19 min/mi

Total Miles: 16

The two runs I definitely needed to do this week was my long run and my hard run. I woke at at 5am to run the 12 miles at the gym before work to ensure my workout got done and it went well. I felt good so I took it as a win. However later in the day, I pulled something in my upper right quad as I was walking around work in heels while carrying something. I iced, stretched, and rested the best I could. I didn’t want to push it so I nixed the tempo run.

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The goal of the Japan Run for me was just to run at a comfortable pace. I ran with my garmin, but didn’t look at it throughout the race so I could just run by feel. Around mile 1.5, I started to feel my quad ache again so I backed off a bit. Little did I realize I finished in 37:14. I didn’t see that coming especially since I had little hopes because it was pouring and I wasn’t sure how my body would cooperate. I wish the weather would have cooperated because I wanted to take my picture with Hello Kitty, but standing in wet clothes in the cold wasn’t going to happen.

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This week I’m going to focus on fueling and nutrition. I’ve been eating like garbage and I want to clean up my diet a bit. Fueling my runs on burgers + fries ( Friday night dinner from Five Guys as seen below), cookies, ice cream, and pizza isn’t helping my cause. I’ll still eat it, but probably more in moderation.

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BK Half Training Week 5 Recap

I don’t feel ready to run Brooklyn. This training cycle has been weird. I thought at some point I would start hitting my stride or my body would respond better to the increased speeds, but it hasn’t. Every hard, tempo run makes me feel defeated as I find myself stopping midway. I stopped lifting this week hoping that would help, but nothing changed. With only three weeks left, I’m just trying to stay positive.

Week 5 looked like the following:

Monday – rest

Tuesday– 4 miles @ 10:34 min/mi

Wednesday– 6 miles @ 10:14 min/mi

Thursday-4 miles @ 10:13 min/mi

Friday– rest

Saturday– 8 miles tempo with 6 miles at 9:00, 8:55, 9:00, 8:53, 9:00, 8:50 >> after mile 4, I felt nauseous and thought I might pass out. Wish I had Gatorade.

Sunday– Mane Stream 5k @ 9:38 min/mi -> Ran this with Alex and my friends Raj and Prema. To all of our surprise, we all placed! So proud of R and P because it was their first 5k and they did amazing! Even though there was a small running field, it’s still such a big deal to place. Go us!

Total Mileage: ~25.1 miles

This week I want to focus on recovery. Refueling myself properly after running, stretching/foam rolling, and getting more sleep. I’m hoping that will help my body with the higher demands.


What are you focusing on this week?

 

Recaps: Run As One 4M + BK Training Week 4

Four down, nine to go! It’s been nice to use these qualifying races for the 2017 NYC Marathon as part of my training plan. These are technically supposed to be my recovery runs. For the most part I try to run them at a comfortable pace.

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post-race awards and raffle

I got to Central Park around 8:10am and headed straight for the porta potties. I learned my lesson from the last race and knew the last thing I wanted to do was to use the gross restroom mid-run. Afterwards I checked in my bag and headed for the start just in time for the first wave/corral to go through at 8:30am.

NYRR was still attempting to stagger the start. When I got to the corrals, I couldn’t tell what corral to actually get in. The volunteers weren’t moving each coral forward like they did last week, but instead it was a free for all. I saw so many people in later corrals mixed with earlier corrals.

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post-race, patiently hoping our number gets called to win ipads

For the first mile, I was dodging and trying to weave through people running or walking abreast. My legs felt heavy, but it’s probably because I didn’t warm up. I reminded myself to just keep pushing forward.

I wish I could say at some point, it became less crowded, but it didn’t. Somewhere between miles 2 to 3 during the long hill, a dude elbowed me in my chest as he tried to pass me and failed to even acknowledge me. Painful and rude!

Even though most of the 4 mile races follow this same route around Central Park, I never get tired of the finish. It’s a pretty sweet downhill you worked hard for during the previous miles filled with rolling hills. That last mile allows you to regain your breath, increase your cadence and fly to the finish line.

My splits were the following:

mile 1- 9:23

mile 2- 9:17

mile 3- 9:25  <- hill

mile 4-8:50

mile 4.07- 0:28s

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I finished in 37:23 with averages to 9:23 min/miles. Not a bad way to end week 4 of half marathon training! The rest of my week looked like the following:

Monday – 4 miles easy and Lauren Gleisberg’s Shoulder/Glutes Workout

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watching the Boston Marathon and lifting = multi-tasking

Tuesday – 30 min walk and lots of stretching and foam rolling

Wednesday – 7 miles tempo run with 5 miles at 8:42 min/mi

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post-run suckiness

This run sucked so badly. I was able to keep a 8:42 min/mi pace for the first 2.5 tempo miles, but after that my stomach did not agree. I ate a huge bowl of cantaloupe 2 hours before figuring it was enough time to digest it. However, it was just sloshing around in there and I started to feel nauseous. I finished the last 2.5 tempo miles around 9:00 min/mi. Better than nothing, right?

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refueled by cooking up some yellow Thai curry with shrimp

Thursday – 3 miles easy

Friday – 11 miles long run

It was super muggy and according to the forecast, it was set to thunder, so I ran these on the treadmill while watching television.  Having entertainment and water/Gatorade/gu without having to carry anything is always a win in my books

treadmill-11mi.I was meeting friends for dinner later that night and wanted to enjoy every bite of delicious food and imbibe in sangria without worrying about the run I would have need to do early the next morning. It was a great decision!

Saturday – rest day

Sunday – Run as One 4M

Total Mileage:  29 miles


How do you deal with not so great runs?