Friday, August 30, 2013


Happy Friday all! Thanks for putting up with my excessive excitement yesterday, as you're reading this I am city hopping on planes while traveling to Virginia Beach for the weekend.

Anyways, today's agenda here in my little corner of the world is Foodie Penpals! I have been reading people's reveal posts each month, and thinking....I need to try that! So this was my first month, and I was really excited to be getting a package from Nicole.

Nicole was sure to ask the things I liked, don't like and what I am looking for. I told her I have a busy schedule so quick and easy things are important to me. She did an awesome job sending me new things to try that are great for my "on the go" lifestyle.

These snacks were great, loved the mixture of crunchy with sweet! I already found a few places I can get these locally as well!
I love soup for lunch at work so this was perfect! Soup packets, all you have to do is add the water and it had lots of flavor compared to some other packet soups.
These were probably my favorite, which was good because she sent 2 packs. They are so simple, only a few ingredients but a great salty snack to munch on. They taste just like the crispy things you get at Asian restaurants... please tell me you know what I am talking about?

Nicole was also sweet enough to send me a recipe for a "Cherry Cake", I haven't had a chance to make it yet but I will let you all know how it goes when I get a chance!

You can also check out the items I sent to Lindsay over at Lean Green Bean.

I really liked this whole experience, I got to try some new things as well as get a chance to chat with some new people.  I highly recommend trying it out!

It's not too late to join for the next month! Head over to Lindsay's page and sign up, it's a fun new experience and definitely helps you stop outside the box with your food :) It's so easy too, you get paired with someone to send a box of goodies to and someone sends you one- wait for the package, enjoy, and then write a post about it at the end of the month!

What did you get from your Foodie Penpal this month?

Have you ever tried any of these items?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm so excited & I just can't hide it!

I have the next 5 days off of work, and my excitement level about some upcoming things is making it hard to put my feelings into words, so instead...enjoy the GIF's :)

1. Three letters for you: PSL

2. Tomorrow morning I will be on a plane to see ->>> THIS GIRL
3. Saturday, said girl and I will be reunited with ->>>THIS GIRL
4. Sunday: Rock N' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, this will be my first RNR race, and by far the largest half marathon I have done. Also planning on getting to meet up with some awesome people at the race like Kristy!
5. I'm going to have ABS OF STEEL very soon, sneezing a million times a day from allergies is really giving me an added core workout! 
6. My Birthday is next week, which means I am one year closer to getting out of this brutal 25-29 age group, bitchesbefast
7. Back in March I started my journey towards being an ACE certified personal trainer. It's a side gig for me, but something that I am passionate about and can't wait to do more with. The other night I took my CPR/AED Certification which allowed me to schedule my actual ACE CPT exam: December 2nd is the day! Seems like a ways off, but considering I am studying for 2 big exams (ACE CPT and then my Series 7 Stockbroker exam for work): time to study is important. The end is in sight though, only a few more months of long studying hours for multiple exams....

8. J and I's wedding is a year from next week! HOLY COW, where has the past year gone!? My dad is JUST like Steve Martin in FOB!


9. My sister, her hubby and their little man are moving this weekend. Instead of being 2.5 hours away, they will be 20 minutes away.... I'm pretty sure I will be borrowing my nephew from her frequently....Best cure for any form of baby fever: borrow a baby, snuggle up to him and play with him, then give him back at the end of the day (this will really come in handy when I want to annoy my sister when he gets a little older....load him with sugar before sending him back to her)

10. My next marathon is 38 days away. It will be my 6th marathon and it falls on the 6th of October (nerd alert, 6th on the 6th makes my OCD happy.) I'm not ready for it to be here, I have a few more weeks of solid training but I AM getting excited...I want a PR and I am going to go for it! Sub -3:20 or bust! I'm pretty sure when I get that PR I am going to be so excited I cross the finish line running like Phoebe.

11. Boston Registration information was finally released!- Registration opens 9/9/13- I can register on the third day based on my qualifying time... this is going to be me while I wait for confirmation email...

What are you excited about right now?

Who else will be attempting to register for Boston?

Do you have friends that live far away, how often do you see them?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wineglass Training Week 5 (with a side of RICE).

Quick Run-Down

Monday: Unplanned Rest Day
Tuesday: Track workout [8.25 miles total]
Wednesday: 4 mile easy run
Thursday: 12.2 miles
Friday: 4 mile easy run
Saturday: RICE
Sunday: 20.25 mile long run, 

Total Run Miles: 49
Total Cross Training Time: 0 (yes.0)

I said after last week that I wanted to try and push myself more. This was the week for it, it was a more aggressive week than I have been doing lately. Track workout, mid-week long run, and a 20 miler on the weekend...3 key workouts (in addition to 2 recovery runs).

At some point in marathon training you hit a wall, not a brick wall and not even the wall that you may feel between miles 20-26.2. You hit a wall that you are just plain old tired, that you want to nap every second you are awake. That was this week for me. It may have something to do with the fact that I have been getting up earlier much more regularly or it could just be the training. Either way, I have been sucking down caffeine like its my job this week, and catching up on my sleep this weekend.

I have an "issue" (not to be confused with an injury) right now. Friday I was planning on cross training after work, instead opted for a 4 mile easy run. I came back to a swollen and painful ankle. I was immediately a drama queen about it but then snapped out of it and told myself to start RICE. [no, not Chinese food....Rest.Ice.Compression.Elevation]

 I kept my feet up the rest of the night Friday (even at the baseball game, no one was sitting in front of us), and slept in compression socks.

Saturday morning I cheered my man on at the Rochester Tri (his first tri of the year after having 2 knee surgeries(3rd surgery this fall), I was one proud fiance cheering him on). After getting home around 12:30.....I put my damn feet up, wrapped my ankle in ice pack and proceeded to be lazy as all hell (a few episodes of burn notice, and a long nap) for the rest of the afternoon. At first I was bummed about needing to take a day off (I had a bike ride and some cross training planned), but slowly I realized my body needed the sleep and rest.

After taking it super easy Friday night and Saturday, I told myself not to make any definitive decisions on my 20 miler until I got up and saw how I felt this morning. I slept in which was great for my body, crappy for the temperature outside. I put the wrap on my ankle and decided to try the run, and bail if I needed. I didn't start until 10 AM so I knew it was going to get hot, and quick. I changed my route to hit less pavement. About half of the 20 miles was on grass, flat trail, and crushed stone. It forced me to run in places I don't like (the canal path is my nemesis) but I know that a little less pounding was key for getting the miles in. First 20 miler of the training cycle done, I swear the first always feels like the hardest. Longest run since Cleveland, and I definitely felt it. Good news, the ankle held up pretty well and didn't hurt more than any other part of my body (my legs were shot at the end). I was a good girl and did 2, yes 2 ice baths after my long run.
I got off the pavement for at least half of the run, which got me a little dirty--oh well! 

It was a hard week running, but I got all my workouts in and I'm happy for that.

I got 0, yes 0 minutes of cross training in this week. After a boatload of it last week it was weird to go to nothing- but it just didn't happen. Monday I took an unplanned rest day from cross training because I was just plain old tired, and the rest of the week it just didn't work and obviously didn't cross train this weekend with my foot, it needed rest (and despite what some think, cross training is NOT rest).

Am I concerned about my ankle? Yes. I'd be lying if I said it was nothing. But I am trying to be smart about it: anti-inflammatory, ice, compression, elevating it, and resting. Was it smart to still do my 20 miler today? Maybe, maybe not. I promised myself I would stop if I felt any pain, and I didn't...therefore I didn't stop. I had to make a decision and I'm sure some will criticize whether I should have ran or not, but I did what I could and we will see how it plays out. I plan on playing this week by year and doing what I need to do to get to the start line as healthy as possible.

Next week
Supposed to be another higher mileage week, with some active cross training. Again, going to play it by year and see how I am feeling.

Leave Friday for vacation, and supposed to do RNR Virginia Beach Half-Marathon on Sunday.

Do you believe in RICE?

Rest versus Cross training....are you like me and believe there IS a difference?

While training for a race (any distance) do you tend to see a week or 2 in middle of training where you have significant fatigue? 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Final Days of Summer...

I feel like just yesterday I was sitting here writing about my summer goals, and what's next for me. Nope, definitely wasn't yesterday. Now I'm sitting here thinking about how I am going to catch my breath the next few weeks with all I have going on.

It's weird to think, summer really doesn't end until middle of September- but to most, summer ends after Labor day. Despite the fact that I don't have school this fall, summer still feels like it will be ending in a week and a half. Probably because my birthday always signaled end of new year beginning of another in more ways than one.

A Week from today I will be on a plane to see this girl  >>Hollie<<, spend a weekend with her and >>Heather<<. A few days of friends, fun, racing, and the beach- I'm pretty sure there is no better way to spend my "last weekend of summer". Be prepared for the awesomeness that will come out of this epic reunion.

Between now and that plane ride though, is a mess of things that need to get done. Lots of running (this week and next week are some of my peak mileage weeks), lots of cleaning and packing, CPR/AED course, work, studying,  some appointments, and obviously spending some time with my man before leaving for 5 days.

Things are not going to slow down until after the marathon in 44 days (eek!), but there are a lot of great things happening between now and then so I'm not complaining. Although being able to take a nap during the day once in a while would be helpful.

Time to take a peek at my summer goals and see where I stand so far, I know I have accomplished some goals but I also know that my work is not ever....This summer has been a roller coaster in so many ways, but I'd like to think that it's ending on a high note.

How are your summer goals shaping up?

What signals the end of the summer for you?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to the track, & Watch out for Flying Pigs

Happy Wednesday, half way through the week already....I'll take it.

Last night I did something I haven't done in a long time..... I went to the track.
I legitimately had to go back through my RunningAHEAD log to see when the last time was. Somehow I managed to go 9 months without going to the track? 

As someone who practically used to live on the track in high school and college, this is shocking to me. I really need to make more time to do it, because oddly enough it still feels like home to me. 

I wasn't 100% sure how this workout was going to go, seeing as it had been a while since I did legit track workout and because I am carrying about 5-6 pounds of water weight on me right now (last week stomach issues, this week lady issues...can a girl catch a freakin' break?)

  I even contemplated changing the workout, but I ended up sticking with it because I told you guys I really need to start pushing myself. The plan was warm-up, 5 X 1000m and the cool-down.

I warmed up around the track in my Kinvara's, leg's were feeling a little heavy but loosened a bit with each lap. I quickly changed my shoes (Into my A5's) and started before I could talk myself out of it. Before I knew it, I had done 3/5 of the intervals and time was flying....something I always loved about being at the track was that I was always able to zone out and the workouts flew by.

1. 4:00 (6:26 pace)
2. 3:59 (6:19 pace)
3. 4:00 (6:26 pace)
4. 3:52 (6:13 pace)
5. 3:45 (6:02 pace)
According to the plan, the splits should have been closer to those last 2. I don't know if I just wasn't pushing enough for the first few or that my legs weren't loosened up enough yet...either way, there is room for improvement. 

I finished the 1000's and for some reason decided I wanted to push it a little more so I threw in 4 X 400m just for kicks. After the first one I was kicking myself because I was tired and hungry, but I told myself I had to do 4. 

1. 86 (5:44 pace)
2. 85 (5:40 pace)
3. 80 (5:20 pace)
4. 81 (5:24 pace)
Considering I did the 1000's before this, and that it wasn't originally part of the workout I was pretty happy with these....I just had to force myself NOT to think about what I used to run the 400 in during HS and College (that was one of my main events), because believe me...this is slow compared to that. I miss that speed some days, but then again....I love the distance runner that I have turned into. 

In other news, please watch out for Flying pigs today...

I ran this morning...4 easy shake-out/recovery miles...
and was finished before 7 AM. 
I've been pretty open on here about how I am not a morning person and I struggle getting up early. The last 3 weeks I have actually been getting up earlier and it's actually been getting easier.  

I haven't been working out before work during the week(except today), I have just been going into the office early but it's still a big improvement for me. 

I mean, even on the weekends I have been getting up better in the mornings....
Saturday I actually got up with my alarm, and went and got my 16 miles in... I remember texting back and forth with Hollie in late morning and she asked me when I was going to run...and I was like "well, I already did" ..her response was "wow.dang" (even she knows that was big for me).

I know some of you are serious morning people, and I have always been envious of it....I feel more productive getting up earlier and as I said before, it's slowly becoming easier. Maybe it's a sign of getting older, older you get the earlier you get up right? My birthday is 2 weeks from today, maybe my body's birthday present to myself is "Happy Birthday, you are now officially a morning person! You can now get out of bed in the morning without 234789 alarms." Maybe, maybe not

[Side note: before y'all think I have been sleeping until 11 AM every day or something before this, that's not the case. I'm really only getting up 30-60 minutes earlier than before, depending on the day.]

Where is your favorite place to run, or where you are most comfortable running?
(Roads, trails, Gym, treadmill, track)
Track is still my home, you can't spend as much time there as I used to and not have it feel like home. Other than that I would say the roads have definitely become a home to me.

Morning people out there: 
Have you ALWAYS been one, or did you become one?

What time do you get up on weekdays? Weekends?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wineglass Training: 4 down

Quick Run-Down
Monday: 45 minutes bike, 15 minutes core/strength, 15 minutes elliptical, 41 minutes walking
Tuesday: 45 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes core, 30 minutes bike
Wednesday: craptastic 7.2 mile run
Thursday: 8.11 mile progression run
Friday: 30 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes core, 30 minutes bike
Saturday: 16.2 mile run, 30 minutes bike
Sunday: 1.75 mile hike, 4 mile run

Total Run Miles: 35.5
Total Cross Training Time: 276 minutes 

This week went close to planned but was a little short on my running miles due to serious stomach issues mid-week. I don't feel bad about it, I had WAY more cross training in this week than last.

As for the stomach stuff, let's just say I'm very glad I think it's getting better. Wednesday's 9 miler turned into 7 (with 4 stops, yes 4.), and that made me shorten Thursday's from 12 to 8 just to try and ease into things. I have a sneaky suspicion a big part of it is I have not been hydrating enough, but I am keeping a close eye on nutrition for a while until it's all sorted out.

Other than Wednesdays really crappy run(pun intended)- the week went pretty smoothly. I stuck to my plan for cross training (actually added some) and was a lot more diligent about getting my core work in. The added cross training has really helped me get more time in without the added stress on the body. 
I mentioned last week I MIGHT change the plan and do my 20 this week instead- but I ended up sticking with the 16 mainly because coffee got in the way. I did my run out by Lake Ontario so I could watch friends finish a 10 mile race. I got 16 in, and then was able to see everyone finish. We chatted and then I smelled coffee (not to mention I was up at 6...on a Saturday), and decided the 20 could wait until next weekend as planned. Priorities people
Saturday night we had a big dinner with John's family as he had some relatives in from out of state. Big dinner with 2 glasses of wine (and early wake-up, with 16 miles) made for early bedtime...we camped in a tent and I tell you what...I slept better than I have in weeks. Since I wrote that post on sleep, I've really tried to be better about getting quality sleep- body needs time to rest and heal!

Sunday was a fun active day, it was also one of the first days in a long time John and I actually got the whole day together just us. We went hiking near some waterfalls, and I tell you what we got a workout in. There are 2 main water falls but there is a third if you are daring enough to climb up the second one. When I say climb up I mean, ropes, grabbing rocks, holding your breath and praying you don't fall. It was only a 1.75 mile hike round trip but definitely got some core work in balancing on rocks and logs, and upper body workout pulling yourself up to climb things.

What's Next: 
This week will include a mixture of things. More cross training, track intervals, and my first 20 miler of this training cycle. Hopefully my stomach cooperates this week and I can actually get my mileage up (good thing about this past week was that it was supposed to be a step back week so the missing miles didn't do much). 

It's time to stop babying myself, I need to push myself more and I am ready for that. I was asked this week what is holding me back from getting the times that I want, and the first thing that came to mind was myself. I get nervous adding mileage because I fear injury and other things that can come. But the thing is, I am not going to get where I want to be (particularly that A-goal that I keep locked up in Pandora's box) unless I start stepping out of my comfort zone more. This means pushing (cautiously) with my mileage, and getting more pace specific workouts in. So in terms of Wineglass Marathon training, that means it's time to start chugging training. Glass of miles after glass of workouts.

What was your best/worst run of the week?

What do you think holds you back? 
Is it you, or someone/something?

Friday, August 16, 2013

I'm asking for YOUR help :)

This week has been a roller coaster for sure, but the weekend is almost here! I have some things to look forward to which makes it even better. (a solo long run to clear my head, dinner with J's family, and a day just the 2 of us Sunday that he is planning....) 
This will be me leaving work later today....

Anyways, moving on.

Today's post is going to be a little different than normal...
I'm asking for YOUR help in 2 different ways--
Answering some questions, and donating to a charity for a family member-

I am working on a few posts and have a few questions for you...
you can leave your responses in comments, or email them to me at

1. What is your favorite bar (protein bar, granola bar, etc.)?
(Specific brand or flavor if you have one)

2. If you could have a dream house made for you, 
as an athlete what would a few of your 'features' be? 
(I.e. no stairs, because we all know they suck after leg workouts)

3. What are a few of your "Bucket List" Races (any distance)?

4. Thoughts on Women's only gyms? races?

5. Something you fear? (rational or irrational)
This can be related to life in general, running, triathlons, whatever--

6. If someone were to walk in your house- how would they know a runner/triathlete/athlete lived there?

I love helping charities by volunteering or donating, but this one is especially close to my heart. My brother in law (sisters hubby) has Cystic Fibrosis, it's a genetic respiratory disease (specifically of the secretory glands). He was diagnosed later in life than most (it's typically found in kids), but still faces the same issues. Not only does this disease affect quality of life, it affects length of life-- too many leaving us way too soon.

This disease will affect him as well as many others for the rest of their lives. A 'side effect' of the disease is fertility issues. You know my adorable nephew I love to brag about? He's our miracle baby. They had to go through genetic testing, and 4 rounds of IVF before they finally got this precious little man...

 My brother in law took up cycling a few years ago, because it was a way for him to get active, which essentially helps keep him healthier and the disease easier to manage. Each year he participates in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundations 'Cycle for Life', a charity bike ride that raises money for CF research. 

I'd like to take a moment and pass this link on- if you are able to spare a few dollars for a great cause, I promise you it's going to a good place. The annual ride is this weekend and Justin is geared up and ready for it, you can support him but using this link here:
(If you do donate please leave a note saying "Laura's Blog" or something of the sort so he knows how you found the page- this way we know how to get in touch to thank people)


If you want another great cause to help out: Katie is raising money for Chron's & Colitis, a cause dear to her as her fiance battles this disease. Katie is an absolute sweetheart and I was glad to donate to her cause, if you would like to as well -you can find her fundraising page here:


Thanks for your help! Have a great weekend!

okay, one last question for you...
What are YOU looking forward to this weekend?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bergen Road Race Recap

A brief background on my history with this race- I signed up for it in 2011 not knowing what I was getting myself into. I had found it as a small town 5k and figured might be a good race, seeing as people love to talk about it. I was shocked to get to the start line that year, "Why do all these people have their names printed on their bibs?". I had no idea it was not only a small town race to benefit charities, but the 5k championships for USATF Niagara. I ran 19:16 that year only weeks after breaking 20, I was enthralled by the caliber of athletes I was surrounded by, I couldn't help but be inspired. 

I came back to the race last year after recovering from a broken foot, I knew I wasn't going to PR but I also knew that this race was what I needed. I needed to be around all those amazing athletes, I needed to push myself and this is the best 5k in the area to do that. For the first time since the accident (foot), I went under 20 again.

I'm at the point where it isn't even a question if I am going to do this race. It's a $15 buy in if you register early, you get the perks of small town race, but the competition and adrenaline as if it were so much more. This has to be one of the only small town races that a third of the field runs sub 20. Even if you aren't at that level, people love doing this race because you can't come to this race and be surrounded by those athletes, and not walk away motivated or inspired. Put it this way, you don't see many (if any) fuel belts at this 5k. Take a peek at their "All-time list", insane for a random small-town race. 

Okay done with memory lane- on to this year.

There was obviously a big lead up to this race for me,
 after I opened myself up in that post last week.

I got to the race pretty early, I did't want to feel rushed getting ready and warming up. As I was about to go warm-up, I ran into Joe which was nice because we did our warm-up run together. We chatted, and talked about how anything can happen- but  was going to do what I could to get that PR. I changed my shoes into my flats and made my way to the start. Even though this is my 3rd year doing this race, I still get goosebumps at this start line(one of the VERY few races that does that to me).

I managed to tie my Garmin on with a hair tie (MacGyver has nothing on me!), and prayed it would hold charge long enough for the race. [I've been putting off getting a new one, can't decide what I want]. I needed it though, because I wanted to know my splits to be able to pace myself. It's hard not to go too fast this first mile, because everyone just takes off like a bat out of hell. I did pretty well holding myself back, and brought in the first mile at a 6:10. I was feeling really good and just told myself to hold that pace, that's what I needed to PR. 

About a mile and a half in I saw my friend and her daughter cheering and I smiled and ran towards them giving high-fives. This was a good boost at the mid point to keep me smiling. After that my legs kind of started to tell me they were tired, and I fought back and said NO. I ran my second mile in 6:05, take that you silly legs

My 3rd mile was my slowest, but it didn't matter...I pushed through (not as strong of a final kick as normal) and was able to see the clock turn to 19:00...I knew at that point it wasn't going to take me 16 second to cross the line...

I crossed in 19:09, a 7 second PR :) I worked hard for it and got what I wanted but I definitely still have the drive inside for more (cue the Rolling Stones "I can't get no...satisfaction"). Don't get me wrong I am REALLY happy with my fast time and shiny new PR, but it's in my nature to always push for more and this is no exception.

I had a solid race, consistent paces and I ran smart.

I didn't have as much of a push as I'd like- 
this is due to the fact that I haven't been speed training, and I plan on changing this.

I have sub-19 in me for sure, no doubts about it....
When? I don't know (marathon training is priority right now)

Thank goodness, FINALLY a new PR. Definitely celebrated this long overdue victory.

The gear for the day (Saucony) Spark bra, Hydralite tank top, shorts, Kinvara socks, Kinvara 4s (warm up/cool down), and Type A5 racing flats.

Is there a local race that you HAVE to do?

Are you good about cooling down after races?
I actually did on this day, but I can be bad about not doing it a lot of times.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Three's a party: Wineglass Training

This week was all about mixing things up and having some fun. So I partied every night and drank myself into oblivion. Okay- not really. BUT-- I did have a fun week running 2 races, and running with partners a few times as well. When all is said and done, I'm pretty happy with this week. 

Quick Rundown
Monday: 3.3 mile trail race (recap)
Tuesday: 10.04 mile run
Wednesday: 45 minutes elliptical
Thursday: 7 mile run with a friend
Friday:  Rest
Saturday: 3.6 mile w/u-c/d run, 3.1 mile race, 40 minutes bike
Sunday: 18 mile run with Heather

Total Running Miles: 45
Total Cross Training: 85 minutes

Seeing as my goal was fun this week, I can safely say that I met that goal. Between the trail race Monday with John and friends, running with my friend Ben on Thursday, Racing a 5k Saturday (recap to come soon!), Working out with John, and doing my long with Heather to end the week---there was a whole lot of fun going on (and that doesn't even include the other fun that was non-workout related)

I don't normally run with people that often, running is my "me"time. BUT this week was exactly what I needed--less stress! It's weird looking at my week and seeing I only ran solo once (definitely not the norm!)

I only got about half of my planned cross training time in this week- I'm not going to stress about it because I had some awesome runs, and that is more important. BUT I want to focus on sticking to my goals this week for running AND cross training/core work.

John and I got to workout together twice this week- Monday's trail race, and Saturday he ran on treadmill while I biked next to him. I'm really happy his knees are on the road to recovery from surgeries, definitely nice to be able to do more active things together again.

3 weeks until Hollie, Heather and I are all together and get to meet up with Kristy and co. as well....let us know if you are running Rock and Roll Virginia Beach! :) This is one of my really happy thoughts!

Some Scenes:
Our group at the mud run

Kicking my feet up after my 10 mile run on Tuesday

Celebratory Guinness Saturday night- if you follow me on twitter/IG you know why I was.
..if not you'll find out in a few days :)

After 18 miles relaxed by the lake, and apparently turned into a lobster without realizing until I got home.
What's Next:
This coming weeks mileage will most likely end up being the same as this weeks- which is good...steady!

In order to make sure I get my core workouts in and cross training as's SCHEDULED in the calendar at set times. Making it like a meeting I can't miss!

I may or may not do my first 20 of this training cycle this week- it's supposed to be the following week, but based on schedules and such it might be smarter to do it this week. We will see!

I had my fun week---time to get to business this week. Focus on what I NEED to do, and focus on the basics to make sure this foundation I have built stays strong.

How was your week?

Best run/Worst Run?

How often do you run with others?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Throwback Thursday: From my first 5k, to running sub-20

Special Edition of "Throwback Thursday" for ya....a little about how I got started running distance (I was a track athlete in high school and college, so when I started 5k's in 2009, that WAS distance) and more about my journey to getting a sub-20 5k---FYI this is gonna get wordy.

I expressed frustration after my last 5k a few weeks ago, I ran a 19:42 (who complains about that?) and just felt defeated. There was a few years that I would have KILLED for that time. This made me really sit back and think about my first 5k and my journey to getting below 20.

 I ran my first ever 5k in August of 2009. I had been really sick and in the hospital for a while earlier that year(& 4 surgeries...scars to show it), and when I was out and recovering--walking was even a challenge. So once I started getting better, I walked a lot, and slowly threw in some running. I had been a "runner" my whole life competing in track and field- but never in distance. A friend asked me to run a 5k, I said okay and I "trained" for a few weeks. I ended up winning the race for women (it was REALLY small, no chip timing or anything) [I think my time was 23:XX?] but I as hooked... I said "I want to do another" and registered to do one in October.

Life got busy as I was still recovering (I lost a LOT of weight while I was in the hospital sick, I came home at 89 the age of 21---no it wasn't an E.D., my body was weak from all the medications, surgeries and not having an appetite), because I needed to gain weight still I had family and friends giving me LOTS of food, cookie care name it.
For the first time in my life I DIDN"T have chipmunk cheeks, I loved that.....
BUT I hated being so frail and weak and helpless. I hated what being sick had done to me physically and emotionally. Which is why when I was asked to run a 5k after recovering, I jumped at the chance to move and get stronger- and it was a chance to compete. I missed the thrill of competition from high school and more importantly college track. I wanted that rush again.
 I went back to college in the fall and got busy and working out took a back seat. Add stress, lack of exercise, and lots of cookies...the weight was getting put on quick, my body was changing. I was signed up to run a 5k in October and had maybe only run a few miles since the last one. I didn't want to bail on it- so I ran anyways.I ran a 25:39 and had to walk multiple times. 
I can laugh at this now. But not then. It may not look that bad, and NO I know I wasn't obese- but this is the heaviest and most out of shape I have ever been, I carried it in my hips and stomach mostly. Hence the belly popping out from the tank. 

I ran another 5k a few weeks later and ran a 26:XX and was walking even more. The time wasn't my problem- my issue was how heavy I felt, and how out of shape I was...I couldn't run 3 miles without walking. My family happened to be at that race, which made it worse....everyone could see I wasn't the athlete I used to be in college.

The weekend after that I went out drinking with some friends for a going away party, the following day I saw photos my friend posted on facebook of the group of us...and that's when it really hit me.  I needed to change. I didn't feel happy or healthy and I knew I was headed down a steep slope. I was at my highest weight ever by 20+ pounds. No that's not cause for concern for most, and no I'm not trying to say I have some fabulous weight loss story- that isn't it....this is just where it all began in my "running life" I was a "track athlete" in high school and college--this is the story where I became a "runner"

I became a member at a gym near the college I was going to, and I worked out every morning before class. Within a few weeks I had dropped quite a bit of weight and was MUCH healthier overall. Not only was I healthier  I was happier. I started running more and I was loving it. I ran a unofficial 5K in March of 2010 in 20:55 (Looking back I think this was a false short course). This is where my obsession of sub-20 began.

Somehow I got it in my head I NEEDED to run sub-20.

Somehow I thought it would make me better.
Somehow I thought it would take away the anxiety I had from being sick.
Somehow I thought it would make me feel like an athlete again- something I missed dearly.
I don't know why it started but it did, and took off like a wildfire.
It was all I could think about, all I could talk about.
When in reality- I had no business with a goal like this...
without having smaller goals as well.

In 2010 I ran 10-15 5k's with the fastest official one being a little over 21.
All were between 21-23, which is fast- but I wasn't close to breaking 20 fast.
1-3 minutes in a 5k....that's up to a minute a mile...
I was frustrated and could not celebrate the little victories because I was SO focused on a big one.
(this is why I am such a promoter of setting multiple goals these days) I'd post my results on Daily mile and they pretty much always said how "bummed I was" when in reality I should have been happy with how I was doing. Why none of my Daily Mile friends never slapped me for being an idiot is beyond me. 

Fact is, I wasn't ready to run sub-20.
Fact is, I wasn't working hard enough or smart enough.
I didn't deserve that that time. Not one bit.

Fall of 2010 I started getting more serious with running, I was running more often and I was actually "training" for things. I started making a point to getting educated about running and training, and I started putting in work. I did 2 halves in spring of 2010 and in late fall I decided to set aside my sub-20 goal and start focusing on distance, I figured if I can't get speed maybe I'd be good at slower and longer. (that's what she said?)

I shifted gears in beginning of 2011 as I was training for my first marathon. But because I was actually training for something, I was running more and therefore I saw times going down.
 Imagine that, if you run more and work harder you get faster--weird. 

I think my frustration in 2011 to break 20 was even worse than 2010 because I was in WAY better shape and I was much closer to breaking 20. Most of my times were actually between 20-21 so I had made good progress.

I ran more, I trained harder, and I kept myself motivated.I was getting in way better shape (as you can see compared to the 2009 shot).

At the Medved ALS 5k on Father's Day in 2011, I ran. 20:00.
You wanna talk frustration... nothing beat that disappointment.
I was SO mad. My dad actually came to a race for once, and I promised him I would break 20.
1 second, 1 measly second. 

On July 4, 2011 I finally broke 20.
It was at the Brighton 5k and I don't have any photos or anything to show it. But I did it. 
HOLY COW I did it. 
(I promptly threw up after, that was cute.)
A few weeks later I ran a 19:53 and I was just as happy. Another sub-20!

A few weeks after that I ran a 20:14 and 20:05. 
I was mad, back over 20.
Again, unrealistic thinking that I would ALWAYS be under that "barrier".
Why the hell was a mad about those times, that's fast!

Then... oh then.... I did the Bergen Race in August of 2011. 
A little over a month after initially breaking 20....
I don't know where it came from.
It's a fast course, but more than that... there are fast people there.
I am not just talking "fast" I'm talking this is the USATF Niagara 5k Championship fast.
Surrounded by all those amazing runners really inspired me.
That race is still my PR.

Why am I frustrated with that?
Well for starters that was 2 years ago.
More importantly though...
I can say this next statement... without hesitation
I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life right now.
I feel strong and confident and have worked way harder in this past year alone than I did all through high school and college sports and beyond combined!

In April of last year I broke my foot, and luckily recovered months later (with LOTS of patience)
I worked really hard and I definitely struggled at times. Since then I have trained my heart out... earning a BQ (2x) and PR'd in most distances...except the 5k. 
 I had to work to get those PR's, and work to get back under 20.
I ran have ran sub 20 plenty of times since last year coming off a broken foot, but it took time to get back there.  This year alone all but 1 have been under 20. and 2 of them were extremely close to PR's....close but yet so far away.

So for those of you who wanna say I'm fast, you're right. I won't deny that.
For those of you who wanna say I didn't work to get where I're 100% wrong.
I've worked really hard, and had to educate myself, push myself, train myself and more than anything I had to believe in myself. I don't care how cheesy that sounds- it's true.
The fact that I am willing to admit that I am in great shape right now, is a step

Goals are so important, but you can't let them be the only thing that is driving you. 
I thought about this a lot when I wrote that post about my first 5's really cool to look back and see where we were and where we are now. Celebrate the little things. 
 This weekend I am running that same course that holds such significant meaning to me.
That course holds my current PR, which is 2 years old.
That course was the first time I went under 20 last year after my broken foot.
With any luck, that course will hold my 3 year streak--and a shiny new PR.

I'm not naive. There is definitely a chance to get that PR on Saturday, but I also know that there is a chance I wont. I could have an off day, it could be super humid like my last race and I struggle to breathe, it could be a number of things and I know that. I know I have it in me though, maybe it will happen and maybe it wont. 5k's are hard to predict, every second counts and every step makes a difference. But one thing is for sure, I'm enjoying reminiscing about all the hard work that has gotten me through the last few years. I'm grateful for my goals and my drive and the people who have helped me along the way.

It's crazy that I am putting so much stock into a 5k, that really doesn't matter.
I'm not training for a 5k right now, I'm training for a marathon PR
But hey, crazier things have happened while training for a marathon.

At the end of the day the times don't matter. What matters is I keep trying and I keep pushing myself, because not giving up matters more than any time ever will. Those times I have worked for don't mean anything to anyone but me- it doesn't pay my bills, it doesn't get me special treatment, it doesn't make me a celebrity--and I don't expect it to. All it means is, I'm a girl who has worked really hard to prove it to herself that she can do these things, and keep pushing to new limits.

What got you into running? 
Do you remember your first race?

Do you have an old PR that's nagging you?

What drives you?
Pushing myself to new limits, keeps me going every single day.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boston (NY) Trail race/Mud run Recap

Let the record show that on August 5th, 2013...I survived a trail race.

My first trail race was in 2010, where my ankle decided it wanted to roll itself like 23047230 times over the course of the race.....leaving me with a pretty ugly looking bruise and swollen ankle for a few weeks. Since then I have maybe rain trails 10 or so times and have refused to race on them. Facts are facts: I am a clutz, I trip over my own feet, and I fall....a lot.

I agreed to do this short trail run last night, advertised as a "mud run", knowing that I wasn't going to go all out....I didn't want to bust an ankle, or get all beat up--I'm a girl on a mission, and injuries don't suit that mission. John and I had friends that would be there, and it seemed like something fun to do on a random Monday night in the middle of nowhere.

It's a true no-frills race: no restrooms, no food (well, they did end up having ice cream...), bib was smaller than a note card and hand-written, start line was a rope on the ground, $20 entry fee that didn't break the bank....

Liz and I before the race
Last year I found some +Saucony trail running shoes on sale and bought them. Weird, I'm not a trail runner but for some reason couldn't say no...they were a steal. Well I finally got to use them last night, and I tell ya what- it made a huge difference. As a girl who has never ran in trail shoes (always just used old higher mileage shoes), I now appreciate the stability and benefits of trail shoes. Don't read this as I am going to start running trails all the time, because that just won't happen. Just because I didn't fall and injure myself or die last night doesn't mean it wouldn't happen next time! But I might be open to running them once in a while.

Girls raced at 6:30 and boys at 7:20. This was kind of nice because the guys could watch our stuff, and cheer us in and then we could do the same (read: we finished first, therefore Liz and I could have a beer while waiting for the guys).

Okay the actual race:
I started kinda fast, but was quickly reminded that I did 16 the day prior. I told myself to just relax and have fun with it. When I came up on the first mud puddle, stepped in and stepped out.....without my shoe. Yep- I'm THAT girl. Lost my shoe in the first mud pit. I quickly grabbed it and went on my way (ignoring all the little high school girls laughing at me).

I got passed a lot on the front end of the course. It was actually pretty easy to avoid the mud, at least most of the time. I wasn't wearing a watch so I had no clue how fast I was going or how far in I was. About what I assume to be half way through we ran on a path next to the road....that horses walk in. It wasn't about dodging the giant "plops", but dodging the giant divots the horses had made. I must have felt my ankle roll over 5 times. I slowed down a little and a few young girls passed me but I wasn't going to risk injury.

After going back into the woods I actually felt a lot better. I was passing people (those high school girls that were making fun of me earlier, they were left in the dust). There were more hills on the back end and I actually managed pretty well and never walked.  I noticed more and more people fading and at this point I was grateful for my ability to pace and finish strong. I ended up finishing in 7th and Liz took 6th. Placing or timing was never a goal going into this, but it certainly was a nice plus.

It's advertised as a 6k(3.72 miles) race but everyone I knew there wearing a Garmin had closer to 3.2-3.5 miles. So I'm recording my time in the middle.. I'm saying I did 3.3 miles in 25:05 (7:37 pace). I'm definitely happy with that pace, in general AND for trails. I'll be 100% honest in saying I avoided most of the mud (there wasn't THAT much though... especially on the back end of the course) which helped me go quicker.
Post Race: Liz and I finished close together which was nice, we quickly found the guys as they were getting ready to run. We assessed our "mud levels", took pride in beating majority of the high school girls there (honestly, the majority of the girls field with high school XC runners), and promptly cracked open a beer. Our work was done.

We won mugs as both of us took our age groups, and both got cheers for going up with beer and ice cream in hand to get the awards...double fisting at it's finest.

We hung out while the boys ran, cheered them all in (John ran his first race since the surgeries earlier this year! He did great!), and then went back to our friends house for pizza, beer, and snacks. It was definitely a much needed night of fun with good company after a hard week last week.

Have to ever done a trail race?

Do you fear getting injured doing trail races or obstacle races?
(yesssss, very much so...I have had multiple injuries due to trails, but I am trying to step out of my comfort zone more and try new things again)

Favorite Beer?
(Stouts and porters for this little lady!)

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