Monday, August 24, 2015

South Lakes 10k (and post injury running)

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I ran the Potomac River Running - South Lakes 10k this past weekend (here's my post from last year about it). Last year I talked about getting out of my training comfort zone, and since then I have LOVED adding races at a tempo pace after long runs. I think it's what really helped me push at the end of my marathon and go sub 4! But a little of something is a good thing, but as I learned early this summer, too much can be bad. Very bad.

I had a pretty great late spring race season, but I was feeling like I had lost some of my top speed, having not PRed in a shorter distance race in YEARS! With that feeling, I just kept focusing on my long runs and sticking to my training plan. I ran exactly 100 miles in May, followed that up with 113 miles in June, consistently sticking to my training plan during vacation, but July is when everything all went down. First, on July 1 I felt amazing and ended up running 7 miles at a great, quick pace on my own when I only had 4 planned. I ended up running every day that week, ending on Friday with a long run of 10.7 miles. The next day, on July 4th, Reid and ran our annual 5k together (PRR's Firecracker 5k, with Lauren again!), and I wasn't feeling fast at all. The plan was that we were just going to run by feel, I even joked that there was no way I was going to PR. However, I did PR (and Reid and I got our couple PR) with a time of 24:18.

Riding the high of beating my 28 year old self by 13 seconds, I pushed through and ran near daily at faster paces than I had ever trained at. It was stupid, because what started as a mildly sore hip/adductor, turned in to me barely being able to walk. I kept running for 2 more weeks, took a week off (without skipping my long runs), tried to return to running, did PT, all with no improvement. It took taking a full 19 days off from running (and PT) to even feel a little bit better. So while everyone else was inching up in their marathon training mileage, I was resting and recovering.

The Wednesday before the SL 10k, I did an easy 5 miler with the Mom's Run This Town (MRTT) Reston/Herndon girls. It was a painful first mile, but all in all, I felt pretty okay afterwards. Then I ran again on Saturday with my TNT marathon girls, it was a down mileage week, so a good one for me to jump back in on. Again, my first mile felt tight and sore, but as I warmed up, my stride felt more natural than it had in WEEKS! It was incredible! I also had Penny with me, so I had something other than my pain to think about. I ended up running around a 10:30 pace for most miles with Lauren, Erin, and the pups (Penny and Lycan). But I still wasn't sure how my 10k would go coming back from an injury and running long the day before.

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Just like in 2014, I woke up a little stiff and sore from the previous day's run. I still had a little of the injury pain, but all in all, it seemed to really be getting better from getting back to running! I got ready for the race and stretched out by waking over to get my packet with Penny about an hour before race time. Then I foam rolled until Amanda came over so that we could head to the start. We met up with Crescent in the pace corrals, and I thought had decided to start together, but it didn't really happen like that. Apparently Amanda and Crescent did run for a bit together, but split off after a few minutes.

I could only think about two things during the first mile of the race. 1)Just get through this mile and loosen up and all of this will feel better and 2) this feels so hard for going this slow.

Luckily, just as I'd hoped, as the race went on, the miles got easier. I had planned on running 90:30 second intervals, but it just felt hard on tired legs, so around mile 1.5, I switched to 60:30. I stuck with that until the big hill just before the 4th mile marker, where I switched again to 45:30, what I had run the day before, but I also continued to run the course and felt tired, but okay. Right around mile 4 I decided that I would just try to finish the race comfortably, running the intervals hard and pushing my walk through every walk break, the way I would at the end of a long run. I let go of the idea that I would run a fast race, thinking that if I could just run steady, I would be under 55 minutes.

South Lakes 10K 8-23-15-0681
South Lakes 10K 8-23-15-0890
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Turns out that as hard as it felt, it was worth it because I still managed an 8:35 average pace (even though mile 1 was around 9:30!) and came in at 53:21. It certainly wasn't my best 10k, but also wasn't my worst. And considering I am coming back off of a pretty painful injury and nearly 3 weeks of rest, I'll take it!

Here's hoping that as I can learn from my mistakes and be a little smarter about the rest of my marathon training this season! But at least I learned that even in a little bit of pain, I should be able to do my other double long run/race weekends that I have planned this September. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't at least complete them, let alone run some with some speed.

Along with a lot of racing and running this fall, I am also considering spending more time on my businesses, my photography, and this blog. September is going to be a hard month, but I think writing about it and sharing the day to day will be helpful for me. But who knows, maybe my next post will be in October, when I write about my fifth marathon. :)

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Friday, June 5, 2015

how to start running (Month Zero)

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"Step one, start running. Step two... there is no step two." - Barney Stinson

Somehow I became a known as a running coach. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that I naturally want to organize people and plan things, and that when I am interested in something, I tend to want to learn a lot about it. But its become more that just planning group runs for my friends. I've now stepped into developing training plans for people outside of my circle and virtually coaching friends long distance friends!

Let me introduce you to Lauren, who's blog can be found here: http://livingeachdaybygrace.com/. Lauren and I are friends through Beautycounter and we began talking about fitness and running and our other passions, and Lauren said that she wanted to become a runner, but didn't think she could. Of course, I believe that everyone can run, so I convinced her to do a little blogsperiment with me, where I coach her virtually and we both post how the training/coaching is going!

So here we are, Lauren has done her VERY FIRST RUN outside in 13 years (read about it here)! She and Kristin's (from my TNT team) friend, Nicole, are following the same beginning running plan that I developed for a February half marathon goal. This is a plan that ANYONE, and ANY fitness level can start, because they can sub in the runs for walks in this month. It's just about getting moving on a regular basis. And of course, I have to give props to Jeff Galloway, since he is how I discovered the magic of the run/walk/run method!

So if you have never run a step before in your life, give this plan a shot! This is Month Zero, the month before you start training for your first race. If you already have some fitness, check out my 6 weeks to your first race plan here.

month zero

Tips and Tricks to starting out:
  • get fitted at a running store for the right shoes
  • make sure you have a good, supportive sports bra
  • track your workouts - how long, how far, how they felt
  • follow your plan, even when you don't feel like it (you will always feel better after a run)
  • adjust your plan when you have to - sometimes you have to skip a work out, just move on and keep going!
  • get an accountability partner - a friend to run with you or at least to check in with!
  • have fun!


Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 4 Miler

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Just like last year, I celebrated my birthday by running my first race as a new age (still in the same age group, thank goodness!). Amanda and I ran together because I "wanted to take it easy" but then I ended up pacing her through a descending mile workout!

I had run 12.1 miles with Allison and Lauren the day before using a 1:1 interval, but keeping a 10:17 average pace, so I felt pretty spent starting out. Amanda and I started with a 10:15, dropped to a 9:12, followed that with a 8:53, and ended with an 8:36 doing a 2 min run:30 second interval with some course based running (walking up hills and running more on flats and down hills). I am slowly teaching Amanda that fast running, though hard, is a lot of fun!

And again, Potomac River Running put on a GREAT race! I can't say enough times how wonderful their races are. They are so well organized that they are the perfect race for beginners and race junkies (like myself) a like! Plus, free, awesome photos from their flickr page!

Mother's Day 4 Miler 5-10-15-3840
Mother's Day 4 Miler 5-10-15-3843
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As you can see, a bunch of the girls from our running group participated on Mother's Day Sunday - me, Amanda, Allison, and Kristin. Emily was also there, but for the life of me, I can't find her photo on the flickr site! This happened during the Run Your Heart Out 5k too!!

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Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Gwen Stefani taught me to spell bananas. No joke, I'm not sure I actually knew how to spell the word banana before Holla Back Girl, but now I will never forget. Seriously though, my banana bread is BANANAS!!! It was seriously soooo good! Maybe it's because I haven't really had banana bread since getting diagnosed with celiac back in early 2012... but that can't be totally it, because I know my last banana bread was from Starbucks, they, my friends, have PERFECTED banana bread. Non-celiac friends, please, go eat some Starbucks banana bread for me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recovery Weekend

Recovery weekendRecovery weekend

The weekend after the Rock'n'Roll Raleigh 1/2 Marathon was a somewhat forced recovery weekend! I ran on Friday night with Allison (her blog is Life's a Bowl) before heading out with Reid to meet up with Josh and Jenny for dinner. Allison was trying to finish up her miles in her half marathon training plan before heading out of town for the weekend. It was the perfect (although hot) way to start my evening!

On Saturday morning we headed out for a quick little recovery run before I had to head out for Amanda and Hilary's birthday wine tour and then to an intersquad swim meet.

Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rock'n'Roll Raleigh 2015

Rock'n'Roll Raleigh http://restonstyle.com

I was a little nervous about running the Rock'n'Roll Raleigh after what I witnessed there last year. But I was so excited to sign up for a race and run with Leeanne and Danielle, that I figured I would just push any apprehension aside and go for it. Boy am I glad that I did! Not only was the race really great (although it felt hard with all of my slower running in 2015 compared to 2014), I had such a great time hanging out with Leeanne all weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rock'n'Roll DC 2015

Rock n roll dc 1/2 marathon http://restonstyle.com

What's wrong with this photo? Well, it was taken through a ziplock bag because the Ron'n'Roll DC (formerly USA) half marathon was the RAINIEST race I have ever run!! Talk about #badASS! So it was super rainy and pretty darn cold, BUT it'd didn't stop Amanda from clocking in at 2:08:47 an over 20 minute PR!! (her previous actually being from the 2012 MCM split at 2:23 something, and before that from the worst race on the planet earth - the VA Wine Country Half Marathon of 2:29:22)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Reston 10 Miler

Reston 10 Miler

#Badass is the hashtag of our runs for the month of March! On March 1, Amanda, Meg, Joanna, Kristin, Crescent (though I can't find any pics of her!), and I all ran the Reston 10 Miler. The forecast called for a lot freezing rain and snow, but luckily it was just "pretty to run through" snow!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

For the Love of it 10k

For the love of it

On Valentine's Day I ran the first "For the Love of it 10K" with Crescent and Kristin. It was a GREAT race!! They ran it on the same course as the South Lakes 10k - on the road and not too hilly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Run Your Heart Out 5k - 2015

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I almost want to call this post "running fast isn't easy" because while I was pacing Amanda, she said a few times that it felt hard. :) But let's rewind first to how we got to hard running in the first place!

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