Changing Things Up

8 miles (4 at tempo) / 1:09 / 8:37 avg pace
2 miles @ 7:44 — 8:02, 7:39
2 miles @ MP — 8:42, 8:32


“If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same results”.  So very true when it comes to training for a marathon.  So what will I do differently with this training cycle?  For starters, it’ll be more challenging.  I’m still using the FIRST training plan with the following modifications:

Increase overall mileage
Since NJM was only a month ago I still have a good base built up and plan to build on top of that (starting at ~40 miles per week and going from there).  I’d like to max out at 60 mpw, but not sure if that is possible.  We’ll see.  So in addition to 3 hard runs (speed, tempo, long), I’ll be adding 2 easy runs to get my miles in.

Switching between hill repeats and track workouts
When I trained for Steamtown, I did lots of hilly runs and I felt so strong.  For NJM, I concentrated on flat and fast.  Both worked well for me but I want to combine the two for the Leigh Valley Marathon.  I need speed in order to BQ and I need hill repeats so I can maintain my marathon pace over hills.  So one week I’ll hit the track for intervals and the next week I’ll hit the hills for repeats.

Trail running
Since 12 miles of the Leigh Valley Marathon will be on a trail, I need to be able to maintain a fast pace on gravely terrain.  I’m going to try and do my tempo runs on a trail.

Still aiming for yoga at least once a week and maybe (gasp!) some strength training.

Long runs – some fast and some slow
Usually I do my long runs pretty close to my goal marathon pace.  I still plan on doing some of them but I also plan on slowing down my pace every now and then.   

Hopefully all of this will lead me to a BQ in September!


5th Overall Female & 3rd in Age Group!

Today marks Day 1 of training for marathon #9 – the Leigh Valley Marathon.  To be honest, I’m kinda lost without a training plan so I’m happy to jump right back into it.

I planned to do my speed work today just to get it over and done with.  So I looked at my plan:  3×1600 at 7:11 pace (with a 1 min rest interval between mile repeats).  Ugh.  I hate mile repeats.  And why bother with a 1 min rest interval?  That’s such a tease!

That’s when I decided on doing a 5K.  Why not?  It’ll be the same as doing my prescribed speed work, minus the rest interval.  And…misery loves company.

So there I was signing up on race day at the Lansdowne Memorial Day 5K Race, going against every non-spontaneous bone in my body.  I haven’t raced a 5K since 2007 and I think I ran an even 24:00 back then.

Conditions:  Hot and sunny

Course:  Hilly

My legs felt sluggish from the get go.  So I just tried to maintain a 7:30 pace, even though it was no where near the 7:11 pace I was supposed to run.  Some very kind neighbors had their sprinklers on so occasionally I’d get a brief break from the heat.  My goal for this race was to place in the top 3 for my age group.

Around mile 2.5 a volunteer told the girl ahead of me that she was the 4th overall female.  I couldn’t believe it…I was the 5th overall female?!?!  Get out!  But I was running so slow?!  I guess the heat was getting to everyone.

But I wasn’t in the clear yet.  I had a woman hot on my tail.  After mile 2.5 she pulled a little ahead of me.  There was no way in hell I was going to let her take 5th overall female away from me.  I let her go ahead but stayed just enough behind her so she couldn’t hear my panting.  I wanted her to think I was further behind her.  When I could see the finish line I made my move and sprinted right past her.  It’s a good thing I did – she was 37 and in my age group!!

Official results:
23:22 (7:32 avg pace)
5/172 – overall female
3/44 – 30 to 39 age group 

I got a medal!

Team Run The Long Road 5K

I know many of you were just dying to know what I had planned on Saturday 😉  Well, the wait is over…

For the past few months, I have been training my friends Trish and Heather for their first 5K.  They chose a small (or so we thought) 5K in Medford, NJ.  Trish and Heather trained their butts off through the winter and could not have been more excited for their first race.  Word got out to other friends and family about the race and before I knew it, we had a Team Run The Long Road!

I cannot express in words how happy and excited I was to have an entire team of runners (some newbies and some veterans) together on a beautiful Saturday morning.  This is exactly why I’m a running coach.  I love to see beginners fall in love with running and push themselves to run further then they ever could have imagined.  I always say that the world would be such a nicer place if everyone ran.  Mushy, I know, but so true.

Of course we ordered Team RTLR shirts for the occasion.  I have to say a very special thank you to Sandy (Trish’s co-worker) who designed a RTLR logo for our shirts.  She is ridiculously talented and the logo looked amazing.  That’s the Philly skyline in the background!

Team RTLR:  Amanda (a Main), Catherine (niece), Karyn (sister), Desiree (sister-in-law), Heather (a Main), Trish (a Main), Aidan (nephew), and Sarah (niece).

Back view:

And look who made a surprise appearance?!  Mom and Dad Run the Long Road!

I must say that I had the BEST running partner for the 5K…my 10-year-old niece Sarah.  This was her first 5K!

Me with the soon-to-be 5Kers, Trish and Heather.

Getting ready to line up…

And we’re off!  I carried my camera and was able to get some action shots of Sarah.

It was a hot and sunny day but everyone did great!  Sarah and I ran a 28:19.  I was so impressed…she’s only 10!  Trish and Heather did a fantastic job.  They did a practice run on the race course about a month ago and managed to shave 5 minutes off that time.  5 minutes on a hot day?!?!  Amazing.  Way to go girls!

Go Team RTLR…we did it!

The first time 5Kers.  I know they were all thinking, “when’s the next race?” 🙂

And….I just happened to see Carl Lewis!  Pretty cool, right?  I had to wait in line with a bunch of kids and may of had to throw an elbow or two to get ahead but he autographed my bib and posed for a picture.

It was a great way to kick-off Memorial Day weekend!  I’m so proud of my team.  Thanks girls for making it a wonderful day!

Friday Favorites: Ireland


9 miles


8:47 avg pace

Anyone else ridiculously happy for a 3-day weekend?  I need a vacation.  Ha ha, just kidding.  I have something fun planned for Saturday!  That’s all I’m going to say.  I want to keep you in suspense 😉

I plan to bore you with more pictures from Ireland.  Here goes…

Pub Crawling
It’s no secret that Matt and I like beer.  But we also like to hop from bar to bar.  When we go on vacation, we always investigate where the good bars are and try to make our own bar crawl.  Ireland is the perfect place for pub crawling.  I swear pubs out number people in some places!  Here are a few of our favorites.

This little town is a few hours southwest of Dublin.  Matt and I passed through here on our way to Kinsale.  We loved it and wished we would have stayed the night (hate when that happens!).  It’s a small town but not too small and so quaint.

Temple Bar
I saved the best for last.  Our most fun night was at the Temple Bar in Dublin.  We stumbled in here thinking it would be super touristy and we would stay for just 1 pint.  It wasn’t that touristy at all (sidenote:  Matt and I hate to look like tourists on vacation.  Sometimes it’s inevitable but we try to avoid it at all costs).  We saw 2 guys setting up their guitars (and banjo!) and waited for them to begin.  Thank god we did because they were incredible.  So, so talented.  They had everyone in the bar up on their feet.  I even bought their CD during a break, which is something I never do.  They are called All Folked Up (interesting) and I can’t find any website for them other than some YouTube videos.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!  Stay tuned for my recap of Saturday fun!

Back In The Swing Of Things…


4 miles


8:20 avg pace

Today it’s back to work and back to normal.  No more travelling around Ireland, driving on the other side of the road, pints (lots of pints), and sightseeing.  As much as I love to travel, it’s so nice to return home and get back to your old routine.

The past week and a half were much needed in terms of running.  It forced me to take a physical break and, as a result, my legs feel amazingly refreshed.  More importantly, I needed a mental break.  Sounds cheesy but I feel renewed and very eager to start training again on Monday.  I’m dying to jump back into it and plan on working harder than I ever have before.

Coming home was easy knowing this black furball was waiting for us…

Hurry up and take the picture

I refuse to be photographed anymore

I need a haircut...a new summer 'do

Running in Galway

Greetings from Galway!  We got here yesterday and I managed 2-30 minute runs so far!  Between being on the go and drinking every night, I’m surprised I was able to muster the energy for a run 😉

A little glimpse of what we did last night (or every night for that matter)…

And some pictures from my run this morning…

We come home tomorrow.  We’re sad to leave but looking forward to seeing Hawk, relaxing over Memorial Day weekend, and getting back to running (that’s me, not Matt).  Hawk doesn’t seem to miss us too much.  He’s staying with Aunt Karyn (my sister) and Aunt Des (my sister-in-law).  As you can see, he makes himself at home!

Hawk with his cousin Casey

Cliffs of Moher

Matt and I are staying the night in a small town called Doolin, on the western coast of Ireland.  It’s very small and very quaint.  As I type, I’m overlooking green hills and I can see cows not too far away.  Very different from Philly!  Here’s our view from the window.

Today we went to the Cliffs of Moher.  It was absolutely beautiful!

Running in Kinsale


30 min run in Kinsale

I was finally able to run this morning!  We have been on the go since Tuesday and there has been very little time to run.  We spent last night in Kinsale, on the southern coast of Ireland.  It’s a sleepy, little beach town.

I was experiencing some major running withdrawal!  I was only able to fit in 30 minutes but I feel so much better.  Ireland has the most perfect running weather.

Pictures from my run…

Along the pier


Not so pretty

Heartbreak Hill?

It was ridiculously steep...I could barely run back down.

Lots of colors

We are off to Kenmare soon to tour the Ring of Kerry!  Have a great weekend!

Queen Elizabeth II Sighting!

Last night Matt and I were walking around Dublin (pub crawling and getting lost) and we came across a huge group of people behind a barricade.  The Queen was supposed to be out of Dublin by Wednesday but her itinerary was kept hush hush for security reasons.  Matt and I weasel our way to the front and find out everyone is waiting for the Queen to drive by!  Oh my god, talk about timing!

So here’s a picture of the Queen driving by in a Range Rover giving her royal wave.  She’s in the backseat.  So cool, right?!

Greetings from Dublin!


Today is our last day in Dublin and we’ve been on the go since landing on Tuesday morning.  Tomorrow we head south to Kinsale and then onto Kenmare and the Ring of Kerry.

  • We really like Dublin (especially at night!) and the people here could not be any nicer.
  • Queen Elizabeth II was here on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was a BIG deal.  Lots of closures and delays everywhere.  On Tuesday we basically walked all around Dublin…or at least where we could get to.
  • On Wednesday we headed south of Dublin along the coast to Bray, Dalkey, and Killiney.
  • I swear we walked close to 10 miles on Wednesday.  It was crazy.  I have a new respect for people who walk marathons.
  • On Wednesday night we went to the championship game of the UEFA Europa League (soccer).  Matt purchased tickets about a month ago and he was sooo excited about it.  Our seats were about 15 rows away from the field!
We went to lots of pubs…
We climbed to the top of Bray Head (see the big mountain in the distance?).  And then the view from the top.
At the Guinness factory…
At the UEFA Europa League match…
That’s all for now!  See ya in a few days!
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