Week 8 Recap


8 miles easy


9:37 avg pace

I was excited to get up early for an easy run!  Easy runs remind me of why I love running so much.  You don’t have to worry about split or interval times; you just run.  There’s no pressure, just total freedom.  It was a beautiful morning and I ran without my iPod just to soak it all in.  Ahhhhh 🙂

Gotta make this post short and sweet since I’m meeting my friends for brunch.  We are trying to get back on our brunch schedule after a short hiatus.  I love brunch with the girls.  So much fun!

NJ Marathon Week 8 Recap
MON:  6 miles speed (and I became a believer in speed work)
TUE:  rest
WED:  8 miles tempo
THU:  13 miles long
FRI:  yoga
SAT:  rest (ultimate lazy day)
SUN:  8 miles easy

Total of 35 miles for the week.  My mileage was lower this week since it’s a drop-back week.

Off to brunch…have a great Sunday!



Friday Favorites


60 min yoga

I went to RYAH for their lunchtime vinyasa class today.  I walked in, rolled out my mat, and glanced up at the teacher.  NO!  Remember the mm hmm lady?  Well I totally forgot she teaches the Friday lunch class.  D’oh!  Thankfully she kept her “mm hmms” to a minimum.

Time for Friday Favorites – Music Edition!

Pearl Jam
Love, love, love Pearl Jam…and have since high school.  I’ve seen them close to 20 times.  No lie.  When they come to Philly (or in the surrounding area) I often go to at least 2 shows.  I’m in the fan club (super fan!) so I’m eligible for pre-sale tickets and can get some pretty good seats.  And don’t get me started on Eddie Vedder.  Saw him solo = amazing show!

At the Tower Theater - June 2009

For a really long time, I didn’t like any other bands.  I would just listen to Pearl Jam.  I’m making more of an effort these days to listen to the radio so I’m “in the know” musically.  I rely on my friends Michelle and Trish to tell me what is “cool”.  I don’t know what songs Katy Perry sings and I only know a few Lady Gaga songs (and this is all because of Michelle and Trish).  Matt says I haven’t updated my iPod since 2005!

A few months ago I found a band (well Matt started listening to them first) that I love almost as much as Pearl Jam (no worries Eddie, you’ll always be number 1)…the Airborne Toxic Event!

Airborne Toxic Event
This band has been around for awhile but, as I already stated, I’m a little slow in the music arena.  I cannot get enough of them!  Matt and I went to the Keswick Theater last June to see them and they were incredible.  I have been looking all over for a chance to see them again and found out they are playing at the Trocadero in May.  YEAH!  Actually, Matt was going to surprise me with tickets but I heard about it on the radio and ruined the surprise.  BOO!

I don’t have a 3rd favorite band…yet.  Maybe after I listen to the radio some more I’ll find one…

Have a great Friday!




Impromptu Long Run


13 miles


8:55 avg pace

So what prompted me to knock out 13 miles after work on a Thursday?!  Let me walk you through the inner dialogue I had with myself this morning (don’t be scared)…

OK, long run on Friday morning.  Need to check weather.  Crap, 100% chance of rain all day and lots of wind.  Well maybe I can run 13 miles on the treadmill?  Oh that will really suck.  I could barely stand 8 miles on Wednesday.

I can’t move the run to Saturday morning since I’m going to Sarah and Aidan’s basketball games (my niece and nephew).  I could run after the games but I know that will set me up for a bad run.

I could do it really early on Sunday morning and come home, shower super quick, and head to brunch (I have plans to go to brunch with my friends).  But I want to sleep in on Sunday…

WAIT.  I can do it today after work.  13 miles is practically a short run these days.  Weather is perfect too.

And there you have it.  Please tell me other people think this much about their running schedule!

I had a really good run.  Which was surprising, given my dislike for running after work.  My training plan called for 9:00 average pace but I really wanted to keep it under 9:00.  I’m pleased 🙂

This is a drop-week in my training plan, meaning my long run (and thus overall mileage) is decreased to allow my legs to rest.  The intensity is still there – I still had a speed and tempo run this week – but the mileage is lower.  It’s very similar to tapering before a race.  But it’s back to business on Monday.

For the rest of the night, I’ll be doing this:

Matt took this picture after the Philly Rock n’ Roll Half last September.  You would have thought Hawk ran the race too!

Happy Birthday Hawk

Today Hawk is 1 year old!  Here are some pics from his birthday celebration.  It was crazy, let me tell ya.  He’s partied out.

It's my birthday and I do not look happy about it

My birthday present - a SJU collar (my namesake)

Can I eat this?

Sniffing my birthday cookie

No more pictures, please. Let me enjoy my cookie.

Check Me Out!

Today I was featured on Healthy Living Blogs’ “Workout Wednesday”!  Check it out here.  Pretty cool 🙂

The timing is actually funny since I wrote about how I may be a believer in speed work after all this week (read about it here). 

Tempo Wednesday


8 miles tempo


8:52 avg pace

I woke up at 5:00AM not really wanting to do this workout.  Most of that had to do with running on the treadmill.  I’m so over it at this point and can’t wait to get back to running outside in the mornings. 

1 mile warm-up, 3 miles @ 8:24 pace, 3 miles @ GMP (8:45 pace), 1 mile cool-down

I’m glad it’s done and out of the way because….

today is Mr. Hawk’s birthday!  Our little furball is turning 1!  We have some birthday activities planned tonight so I’ll be back later to post some pictures.

I May Be A Believer After All…


6 miles speed

I get nervous every time I do speed work.  I worry that I won’t hit my splits and that I’ll never get faster.  I tell myself that I’m built for endurance, NOT speed.  I’ve said numerous times that I was on the fence as to whether speed work makes a difference.  I’m giving it a real, fair try this training cycle to see what happens.  In the past, speed work has been very taxing on my body.  I tend to take longer to recover and often my tempo and long runs suffer because of it.  I was just reading in Brad Hudson’s Run Faster that runners whose strength is speed generally recover faster from speed work and runners whose strength is endurance (me!) recover faster from longer runs.  The converse is also true which explains my prolonged recovery after speed work and my speedy recovery after 20-milers.

Today’s speed work called for 6×800 at 3:33 (7:06 pace).  I did 5×800 (the 6th one so wasn’t happening…I was exhausted).  My spilts:  3:34, 3:34, 3:33, 3:32, 3:32!  Woohoo!  Why was I so happy?  Let me explain:

1.  I have never done 800s this fast before.  I generally hover around the 3:40 range.  I was surprised I was so consistent too.

2.  For the past 7 weeks, I’ve been doing speed work on the treadmill because of the weather.  Today I went to the track (yeah!) but I was concerned about my ability to adequately pace myself.  It’s so much easier on the treadmill – just set the pace and stick to it.  The track is much harder.

3.  I did a 20-miler 2 days ago!  Now I’m wondering what my splits would be with fresh, rested legs!

So maybe all this speed nonsense is helping?!  Could it be that I’m a believer in speed work?  Nine more weeks of speed work plus a little bit of confidence in myself and who knows what’ll happen?

I’ll leave you with this picture from SF (technically Stinson Beach, CA).  This is how I felt after my run today…

Can you tell I was a cheerleader?


I Love Yoga and Week 7 Recap

This morning I went to the wonderful Candace’s vinyasa class at RYAH.  I feel amazing; like I never ran 20 miles yesterday.  I did lots of stretching and tiger tailing post-run and chugged some chocolate milk within a half hour of finishing.  I think the combination of those things plus yoga are responsible for me feeling so good.

Anyhow, here’s how week 7 of NJ Marathon training shaped up:

MON:  rest (flew back from SF)
TUE:  5 miles speed
WED:  7 miles tempo
THU:  rest
FRI:  6 miles easy
SAT:  20 miles
SUN:  75 min yoga and 3 miles easy (just to put me at 41 miles for the week!)

41 miles this week.  Finally.  Seems like it took me forever to get to 40 miles.  I’m generally happy with the FIRST training plan because I only do quality runs and my legs are fresher overall compared to previous training cycles.  I just can’t shake the low mileage thing.  I need to get over this.  I’m happy with where I am and should focus on that.  I feel stronger and faster than I did last training cycle.  I need to believe in the training, believe in the training…

20 Miles – Take 2


20 miles


9:15 avg pace (damn you wind)

Lesson learned:  don’t run 20 miles when there is a wind advisory.  When I checked weather.com last night, it said 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph.  Hmmm.  I really wanted to get this done on Saturday and not push the run to Sunday so I figured it would be a training in mental toughness.  Oh it was.  I threw all hopes of maintaining a consistent pace out the window and just tried to run along with and against the wind.  At certain points I must have looked like the biggest jackass because the gusts were so severe my running slowed to a crawl (I seriously thought I was going to levitate).

That was me...minus the palm trees


Two things made this run bearable:  (1) it’s not that cold so the wind wasn’t that biting, straight-to-your-bones feeling and (2) my neighbor, “Maximus“, joined me for the first 8 miles!

I won’t bore you with splits.  To be honest, I’m exhausted and don’t feel like retrieving them.  Let’s just say that eastbound was great (wind at my back) and westbound was a nightmare.

I’m looking forward to hanging in tonight with Matt and Hawk and watching Friday Night Lights.  A beer or two may be consumed.  And lots of carbs.

Have a great weekend everyone!

PS:  Wanted to give a shout-out to my friend Anne who just completed her first race this morning, the Frostbite 5 Miler.  She did awesome, despite all the wind.  Apparently power lines were down and they had to re-route the course.  She ran a great race…I’m very proud of her!

Friday Favorites


6 miles easy


9:21 avg pace

I should have kept my pace in the 9:30 to 9:45 range since I have a 20-miler tomorrow.  But I couldn’t contain my excitement – it’s warm out!  Feels like I brought some San Fran weather back home with me!

It’s time for Friday Favorites!  I want to preface my favorite things by saying these are the first 3 things that came to mind.   So that explains the randomness…

Friday Night Lights
Matt and I just started watching this through Netflix.  So, so good.  We are almost finished with Season 1 and I can’t get enough.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like it since I’m not a fan of football but it’s so well written and the characters are great.

Flip Flops and Uggs
For me, these are all the shoes I need.  Oh, and my 20 pairs of running shoes.  I have some weird feet.  They don’t look weird but they don’t fit into shoes well.  Shoe shopping is not fun for me.  I can go into DSW and try on tons of shoes and walk out with nothing.  So I stick to my flips in the summer and my Uggs in the winter.  You should see me in heels…I feel like a kid playing dress-up.

Not-so-weird-looking feet

Green Beans
I told you my favorite things were random.  I love me some green beans.  Probably my favorite veggie.  No butter or olive oil necessary, just some salt.  Side note:  since I sweat like a guy when I run (oh so hot), I salt everything.  Today I had green beans and brown rice for lunch.  I would have taken a picture (a la food blogger) but I devoured it.

TGIF!  I’m seeing Black Swan tonight with my friend Michelle.  From what I hear, it’s pretty messed up which is perfect for me and Michelle.  She shares my like of sick and twisted things.


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