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Week in Review: 8.4 to 8.11

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There’s no place like home. (Parent’s back yard)

This week presented several challenging workouts: last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday’s workouts were high intensity in short period of time, whereas Thursday, Saturday and Sunday’s workouts were lengthy but at a low intensity.

For some reason life got really busy this week.

Time for proper recovery (ice, elevate, foam roller and the occasional nap) was limited as I interviewed for (and got) a part-time job at a local running store (can we say- employee discount?? wahoo!), started physical therapy on my right knee (runner’s knee, whomp, whomp) and traveled home to Jersey for my best friend’s bridal shower. Somehow managed to squeeze in 40+ miles, but I promise you that I’m human and this week hurt- a lot!

 

Monday

60 min lift with a personal trainer.

After Sunday’s 5k, I should have taken it easy, but being a glutton for punishment, I decided to have a trainer friend work me out in the weight room. She had me do a painfully awesome number of weighted squats and lunges (amongst other torturous plyometric drills and planks off the bosu). I couldn’t walk right until Thursday!! Ouch!

 

Tuesday

Heart Rate Testing (60 minutes)  – run about 5 miles

Essentially I was put on a treadmill and ran at progressively faster paces until I couldn’t go any faster. The point of the exercise was to establish my official heart rate zones that I will use while training for the marathon. This was another awesomely painful experience!!  Stay tuned for a post about this experience later this week.

 

Wednesday

3 mile run at 10 min/mi pace (137 HR) on treadmill

60 min physical therapy

 

Thursday

8.1 mi run at 8:22 pace (67 min; 155 HR) in pouring rain. (LOVED this run!)

 

Friday

45 min quick lift before O, Lilly and I drove down to Morris County, New Jersey (home). Since my legs were fried from earlier this week, I split the lift between core work and upper body/back.

 

We arrived at my sister’s place in Randolph, NJ Friday afternoon and we were greeted by Bella the bulldog. She’s in to short interval, high-intensity workouts; think plyometric drills with Cheerios as an incentive. She needs to keep her physique in check- obviously.

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Bella, also known as Turkey… I can’t remember why.

Saturday

10.25 mi run at 8:12 pace (84 min; 159 HR)

This was my first run with my brother-in-law, Nate. He is an incredibly speedy trail runner who swears by his minimalist shoes. No HR monitor. Not concerned about pacing or time. No music. For him running is just him and the road. I have a lot to learn from Nate.

Nate took me on my first trail run on the portions of Patriot’s Path that run through Randolph, NJ. While the first part of the run was extremely hilly (and somewhat rocky), the trail evened out and we ended the run with a lap around Shongum Lake.

Our splits were as follows: 8:44, 9:05, 9:09, 8:22, 8:01, 7:31, 7:56, 7:42, 7:42, 7:36.

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Ran 10 miles for some Turkey kisses!!

Sunday

15.2 mi run, 8:35 pace (130 min, 153 HR)

I say this every long run, but the goal was survival, NOT speed! I tried to manage my pace to ensure that I could finish strong. I was nervous about following up Saturday’s 10 miles with Sunday’s 15, but surprisingly I felt awesome during the run- no knee pain or tired legs- yes! I think that slowing my pace down was key to feeling good on this run!

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I ran all over my childhood town, Mendham. I ran by the Mendham reservoir, the Pub, the Hilltop Church, down Corey Lane, RT 24, snuck a peak at my middle school and then finish the run at my parent’s house. Naturally all I could think of during the last two miles was doing a celebratory cannon ball into my parent’s pool! Wahoo!

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Total Miles: 41.55

Quote of the Week

This interaction occurred on Tuesday between myself and the man who did my heart rate testing.

HR Tester: I assessed your form when you were running. You’re a bit of a heavy runner. You need to lean forward a bit more when you run. You need to hinge from your shoulders, and keep a 90 degree angle at your elbow. You have “wings” when you run and need to tuck your elbows back a bit more. I don’t know what this (opens and closes his hand into fist repetitively) is, but don’t do it- keep your hands in a loose fist. Otherwise, your form looks good.

Me: (sarcasm) So basically you’re telling me- besides how I look when I run- I look good.

HR tester: Exactly.

Me: Awesome.

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Marathon Training Plan

I am officially registered to run the NYC Marathon!! It’s time to put in the work and get serious about training!

When I found out that running NYC was a slight possibility (back in May) I started researching training plans. While there are tons of free marathon training plans out there, I had difficulty finding a detailed plan that suited my athletic profile: a person who regularly runs 30 miles+/week, lifts, and has a (relatively) competitive goal time in mind.

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The shoes that will carry me all 26.2 miles: My Brooks Adrenalines.

A friend suggested that I check our Your26.2, a subsidiary of QT2 Systems (a competitive triathlon coaching program). All of the coaches at Your26.2 are seasoned marathoners who train the elite tri-athletes who compete in (and often win) Ironman competitions. Whoa!

Your26.2 provides FREE marathon training plans for four different levels of athletes: Couch to marathon, beginner, experienced, and elite. While they offer one-on-one coaching services I will be flying solo and am following the plan for the experienced runner (err- I’ll do my best).

 

Weeks 1-11

(I am currently on the last two days of week 10: Looks like I have an 85 min run tomorrow and a 120 min run on Sunday- gulp!)

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Weeks 12-22

training plan 1

 

Your26.2’s unique approach to marathon training is based on keeping their runner’s injury free!! They focus on run frequency versus run duration. Instead of doing 22 and 24 mile training runs, which may result in injury, Your26.2’s plan has its athletes run more frequently at slightly shorter distances. While most training plans have runners do only one long run a week (that peaks around 22-24 miles), Your26.2’s plan has you split the long run over two days to cover longer distance over two runs (peaks at about 12 miles on a Saturday and 18 on Sunday). It is believed that breaking up the runs in this fashion will give the body time to repair, thus keeping runners injury-free (sounds good to me!).

 

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Training:
Some runs are harder than others,
but you just keep on running!

My training plan is quickly becoming my grubby security blanket that never leaves my side; from gym bag to diaper bag to my nightstand, we’re always together. I trust that following this training plan will help me access my athletic potential through training runs and ultimately competitively race at NYC in November!

My training plan represents my hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties about race day all rolled up into two overly-creased pieces of paper.

Following this plan makes me feel confident that I will be able to bring it in all five boroughs come race day!

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South Shore YMCA Y5K

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On Sunday August 4th I ran in th local YMCA’s 5k!

I spent the week before this race on vacation in France where I consumed an unearthly amount of croissants, cheese, potatoes, ice cream and French fries! While I did run on vacation I was pretty sure that no amount of running could combat the amount of deliciously greasy food I consumed. Either way, race day had come and it was time to put it all out there on the table-  the good, the bad and the ugly.

Lilly and I arrived early so I could drop her off at the Y’s babysitting center, pick up my bib, and spend some quality time nervously pacing the halls! (My husband, O, was in NJ this weekend and couldn’t make it to the race :().

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The Race

The race organizer said, GO!, I clicked start my Garmin, then pressed play on my iPod and was off! I must have missed the button because the music wasn’t playing- oh snap! There was no time to stop and correct my mistake, I had a race to run! And that’s how I decided that this would be my first time racing without music.

Even though I started off in first for about a half mile a younger girl quickly passed me by. She was running at about a 6:20 pace and her stride appeared effortless. She donned a hot pink shirt and had her hair pulled back into a long braid; obviously her race nickname was “Mrs. Pink Braid.” I spent the majority of the race thinking, “Must pass Pink Braid! Come on legs, move faster!”

Since it was such a small race there were few, if any, spectators to cheer the runners on. However, since the race route was an out and back, runners- being simply awesome people- cheered each other along the route. When I turned to begin the return route I was gleefully surprised by the support I received from other runners who were still on their way out. You can catch her!… She’s not that fast!! …Get it girl!!… Run hard! I couldn’t help but smile the entire return trip, even though I could barely breathe and was sweating croissant butter.

I chased Mrs. Pink Braid for the entire race but with each passing mile the gap between us continued to widen. The race ended with a lap around the track; as I entered the track I saw Mrs. Pink Braid cross the finish and glanced at the clock- some time in the 19’s. My previous 5k time was 21:31… it immediately occurred to me that a PR might be possible.

I pushed as hard as I could during that lap and finished with an official time of 20:58!! I could not be happier! My splits for each mile were: 6:39, 6:55, 6:56.

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Post race stretching and snack with Lilly!

 

First was not in the cards for this race- and that’s A-ok with me. It’s one of the things I love about running- there is always someone faster to chase! Someone to motivate you to go harder and faster than you could ever imagine.

 

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A huge thanks to the ladies from A Healthy Balance and Brown Family Chiropractic of Quincy, MA for stretching out my horribly tight hamstrings after the race!

 

Even though it ended up being a small race the support from other runners, the community feel and the PR made for a fun, memorable day! Lilly and I hung out for a little while, chatted with the other runners and enjoyed the summer sun. A perfect Sunday morning– I only wish my husband could have been there!

 

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She’s actually running towards me in an attack stance saying “on-guard!” #qualityparenting

Another 5k come and gone! Next up: Providence Half Marathon on September 29th!!