20 Miles, Take 3

7/29/11
20 miles / 2:53 / 8:39 avg pace

Oh happy day! No work, a 20-miler, and a weekend away make for a good Friday.

The weather cooperated somewhat so I was able to finally push the pace.  I’m getting sick of LSD runs.

Splits:
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And some post-run pictures. Yes, I do tend to wear the same clothes each week.  I was trying for a jump pose but that’s impossible to do with a self-timer so instead you get a bunch of missed jumps.

Gotta run (ha)…I need to drop Hawk off for the weekend and finish packing for Baltimore. Get ready for another wedding recap on Monday!

Happy Wedding Eve, Amanda!  I cannot wait 🙂

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Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 8 Recap

7/27/11
7 miles easy / 1:05 / 9:17 avg pace

I am more than halfway done this training cycle.  Makes me excited and nervous at the same time.   I hate to complain about the heat again, but it’s really starting to do a number on my confidence.  I know that I can’t do anything about my pace when the humidity is off the charts but I was moving along so well!  I was feeling good, handling more mileage, pulling through on speed work, running (near) marathon pace on long runs and then BAM.  Everything came to a halt.  So. frustrating.

Let’s review…

MON: 7 speed
TUE:  11 easy (7 AM and 4 PM)
WED:  rest
THU:  8 easy
FRI:  17 long
SAT:  10 tempo, MP, MP intervals
SUN:  rest / 20 min yoga video

Highlights ~
1.  Monday’s speed work, before the heat wave kicked in.  This was a tough workout and I was very pleased with my times.
2.  53 miles for the week!
3.  My ability to remain standing during Friday’s 17-miler.  I’m not kidding!  And Operation Hydration was a success!

And the not so good ~
1.   Sunday’s run.  Oh this sucked.  Supposed to be a tempo run (3 miles at 7:44 pace).  There was no way I could sustain that in the heat so I planned on doing a MP tempo.  Riiight, scratch that too.  Apparently MP was too much.  So instead I would run MP for a mile, then recover for a mile, then repeat.  Pathetic.  The heat was a big factor but I was incredibly exhausted from Friday’s run and my legs felt like lead.  I have never been so happy to finish a run.

Onto more positive stuff, I am so looking forward to the weekend!  We are heading to Baltimore for my friend Amanda’s wedding.  I even have Friday off.  I’m squeezing all my runs in Monday to Friday this week so I can take 2 rest (hungover) days this weekend.

Since it is hump day, what are your plans for the weekend?  Any long runs planned?

7 Links

7/26/11
8 miles tempo / 1:08 / 8:30 avg pace
*Tempo miles:  7:45, 8:00, 8:00, 7:54, 8:00.  This heat is going to kill me.   

Aron tagged me to participate in the 7 Links post circling blogland right now.  Here goes!

My Most Beautiful Post

I generally shy away from the mushy gushy but I guess my What Is A Runner post would be the most beautiful?

My Most Popular Post

This is easy.  It would definitely be my Weight Gain and Marathon Training post.  It gets a few views each day.  And then people proceed to check out my pictures to get a good glimpse of me!

My Most Controversial Post

Since this is a running blog, topics don’t get too heated.   This wasn’t controversial on my end but my Weight Gain and Marathon Training post was mentioned as what not to do on (what I consider) a pro-anorexia blog.  So disturbing.  These girls were using running as a way to lose weight quickly without much eating.  Needless to say, my post on gaining weight was probably horrifying to them.  The blogger went so far as to say “I don’t want to be like this girl…”  That girl being me and my sweet tooth!

My Most Helpful Post

I think that would be My Advice For Newbie Runners.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

I wouldn’t say this was super successful but I didn’t think anyone would comment when I posted about my Running Pet Peeves.  Ha!  The comments were hysterical.  Apparently, I’m not alone!

A Post I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved

This wasn’t a fantastic post or anything but I was a relatively new blogger and wrote a post called One Year Older, One Year Wiser back in February.  I got 3 comments…from close friends!

A Post I’m Most Proud Of

It wasn’t the post I was proud of but the race results from my Memorial Day 5K (5th Overall Female & 3rd in Age Group).  I hate 5Ks (I’m not fast), it was hot, I ran terribly, and – for the first time ever – I placed in a race!

Now I am supposed to tag 5 people to participate in 7 Links.  Tag you’re it…

Claire at the fight and flight response
Cindi at Runnin’ From The Law
Keri at The Blue-Eyed Runner
Rachel at Run Around My Blog
Holly at Pink Runner

2 Years

7/25/11
7 miles speed work

Today is our 2-year wedding anniversary!  We are celebrating tonight with pizza and beer.  I’m a cheap date.  We did class-it-up by going out to dinner on Saturday night.

My wedding was by far the best day of my life.  Matt and I dated for 10 years before we got married so this was a long time coming.  It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.  Here are some highlights with lots of pictures…

Obviously, marrying Matt was THE highlight.  These are 2 of my favorite pictures from our wedding.

My wonderful bridesmaids.

Walking down the aisle with my Dad (photo from a friend).

Getting our pictures taken at St. Joe’s (where Matt and I met).

Of course the cake was a highlight!  Our wedding cake was from Bredenbeck’s and it was absolutely delicious.  Still delicious after 1 year in the freezer too!

Having the St. Joe’s Hawk (mascot) at our cocktail hour.

Busting out a Thriller dance at the wedding.  Oh yes we did.  We = me/bridesmaids/friends.  Matt opted out 😉

Dancing (and drinking) with friends and family.  Funny side note:  Matt and I warned our reception place about the massive amounts of Miller Lite that would be consumed.  We asked them to not run out of ML.  They politely laughed and said it wouldn’t happen.  At the end of the night, Matt caught them running in 6-packs of ML and throwing them in ice.  So technically we didn’t run out but they did have to scramble at the last minute and buy more!!

*All pictures courtesy of Sean Marshall Lin (the best wedding photographer around).  

Operation Hydration

7/22/11
17 miles / 2:46 / 9:46 avg pace

Stats
5:15AM start time temp – feels like 88 degrees
8:00AM finish time temp – feels like 98 degrees
Humidity 0, Kristy 1

I’m calling Operation Hydration a success!  I feel great!  Dang it was hot though.  Definitely the most oppressive conditions I ever ran in. Some thoughts…

  • Eating salt (yes, straight salt) was a lifesaver today.  I noticed an immediate improvement vs. 2 weeks ago.  I really believe it’s why I feel so good right now – no headache, no nausea, no quad soreness.  Note:  white, powdery-looking substance in a baggie that you eat with your pinky and then stash in your sports bra looks super shady.
  • I also drank Gatorade and I think that helped too, but to a lesser extent than the salt.
  • My shorts were completely soaked by mile 7!
  • I noticed a sloshing sound in my shoes around mile 10 and realized it was sweat.  So. Gross.
  • Thank god for a canopy of shade once the sun came up.  This was also a lifesaver.  The sun would have done me in for sure.
  • Although my pace was slow, I’m amazed that my body was able to run 17 miles!  I was supposed to run 18 but reached my car at 17 and decided to screw the last mile.
A hot mess picture.  There wasn’t 1 inch of me that was dry.
Have a good weekend!  Stay cool!

Random Thursday

7/21/11
8 miles easy / 1:17 / 9:37 avg pace

Time for some random thoughts!

  • Check out my post on the Lunch Break Blog (thanks Mike for letting me ramble about running on your blog!).
  • I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous about the heat and tomorrow’s long run. Obviously this will be a LSD run and the perfect opportunity to test Operation Hydration!  If I can refrain from entering “stage 2” dehydration on the hottest day of the year, I’ll consider it a success.
  • Blog search term that completely cracked me up this week:  how did Kara Goucher get pregnant? Well…
  • This is more of a rant. I do my easy runs on a popular paved bike trail; usually early weekday mornings. Last week I had to do an easy 10-miler on Saturday and, even though I knew what I was in for, I was still annoyed. The trial was occupied by about 90% bikers (yes, I know they are called “cyclists” but I still say bikers) and 10% runners. The trial is roughly 6 feet wide. Know where I’m going with this? Groups of men (Lance wannabes) going way too fast, families of four going way too slow, and tons of unnecessary “on your left” calls.  Since I generally don’t bust out figure 8s when running, why is it necessary to (often scream) “on your left” when I’m clearly hugging the right, running solo, and in a straight line?  I understand and expect a verbal warning to be given under certain circumstances (say, approaching an intersection or a group of runners) but not all. the. time.  And don’t even get me started on the bikers who use bells…
Do bikers bother you on a run?  
Do you have any funny blog search terms to share?

Two-A-Days

Let’s talk two-a-days, doing doubles, or whatever you wanna call them!

I was supposed to run with a running group last night but the person I was going to meet couldn’t make it.  I know from last week’s run that they only do about 4 miles and it’s at a slower pace.  I was prepared this week to add an additional AM run to get more miles in.  Both of these runs being easy, of course.  I ended up doing 4 miles at night on my own (it was ungodly hot), bringing yesterday’s total to 11.  I’m not a fan of two-a-days – I don’t think they are necessary.

Here’s what Advanced Marathoning has to say about two-a-days:

  • As you increase your mileage in preparation for a marathon, you should resist the urge to switch from single to double runs. 
  • Marathon training focuses on endurance-based adaptions such as depleting your glycogen reserves to provide a stimulus for your body to store more glycogen and training your muscles to ulitize more fat at a given speed.  You’ll provide a greater stimulus for these adaptions through a single 12-mile run, rather than a 7-miler and a 5-miler done at the same pace. 

I wasn’t even going to paraphrase because it was so well said!  I 100% agree with Pete Pfitzinger.  Imagine splitting your 20-mile long run into 10 and 10?!  Bottom line:  It’s not the same and you will not reap the same benefits!

Another reason to forego two-a-days?  Double the number of showers and gross, sweaty laundry!

While I would have preferred to run 11 miles (at once) yesterday morning, I made the best of the situation.  This running group isn’t permanent and, as long as the two-a-day is 2 easy runs, I’m OK with it for the short term.

Have you ever done two-a-days when training for a race?  Like ’em or hate ’em? 

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 7 Recap

7/19/11
7 miles easy / 1:04 / 9:09 avg pace

Am I really on Week 8 already?! Time is flying by and race day will be here before I know it. I just got the butterflies/nervous feeling typing that! No matter how many marathons you run, the nerves are always there. Especially when you want need to BQ. No pressure though 😉

Week 7 was so-so. I wanted to keep my mileage at 50 but couldn’t due to my left quad soreness (resulting from dehydration on a long run). My quad felt fine by Tuesday but I didn’t want to push it. So no speed work for the week but I did have a good (short) long run and a good tempo run, so I can’t complain.

MON:  8 easy
TUE:  4 easy with a running club (details to come…)
WED:  8 tempo
THU:  rest
FRI:  13 long
SAT:  10 easy
SUN:  rest

A total of 43 miles for the week. I’m planning on 54 miles this week. It’s supposed to 100 degrees on Friday with crazy humidity. This will be a good test for Operation Hydration. I’m going to carry salt packets with me on my long run to see if they help and drink more water than I usually do all week. I’m not afraid of hydrating too much (fun fact: I check the color of my pee all the time). I know my body and if you saw how much I sweat, I think you would agree! On that gross note, I’m outta here!

Lululemon R&D Party

7/18/11
7 miles
*2 x (6x400m in 1:42).  This is a tough workout.  Avg pace for the first set was 1:36, and second set, 1:37.  I was happy to be able to consistently beat a 1:42 on each lap.  

Last night I attended the Lululemon R&D Party at the new King of Prussia store.  The KOP store just opened and the party celebrated its opening and also honored their R&D members.  They really went all out — food, candy, beer, wine, and lots of interesting people to meet.

The KOP store front.  Taken from both angles because it’s awesome.

The food spread.

The even better candy spread.  Practically all of my favorites lined up in a row!

I got the opportunity to meet the rest of the KOP staff and some amazing R&D members.  I love talking with people who turned their passion into their career (something I will do some day…soon!).  Since I started my running coach business just a few months ago, I’m still very much a newbie with the whole starting-your-own-business thing.  I got the opportunity to talk with some knowledgeable people and got some great advice.  Oh, and lots of running talk too!

The best part of the night?  My photo shoot!  Yes, photo shoot.  Lululemon had a photographer set up outside the store to take action shots of the R&D members.

I got to run (more like skip) across the white background and tried my best to exude care-free running.  At first, I felt like a complete dork.  The other R&D members were doing cool yoga poses and here I was skipping and trying to look normal.  But if you know me, you know I love a good photo shoot so I eventually warmed up and found my groove.  I promise to post the pictures as soon as I have them.  I cannot wait to see how they turned out.

Thank you Lululemon KOP for a fabulous night!

A Short Long Run

7/15/11
13 miles / 1:52 / 8:39 avg pace

After doing a few weeks of 18 and 20 mile runs, I’m not sure I can even count today as a long run.  I have to admit, it was a nice break to only have to run 13 miles!

My neighbor, Maximus (his alias), joined me for the first 10 miles.  He also ran the first 10 with me last week (the hot and nauseating run).   I’m generally a solo runner but it’s nice to have a running buddy sometimes to make the miles fly by.

Today I stuck to my hilly loop.  Generally I start and finish on the hilly loop but cross the scary bridge to get some middle flat miles in. Remember this scary bridge?

Me and the bridge made amends after my bloody 15-miler that resulted in a stitch.  I’m still terrified of falling so I try to avoid crossing it if I can.  I just didn’t see the point today so I got a double dose of hill work.

Onto the details.  Splits…

image

And elevation.  OK, it doesn’t look that hilly but trust me there are some tough ones in there, namely after miles 4 and 9.

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Do you like hills?  Would you prefer a hilly race or a flat race?  If it’s a shorter distance race, I obviously prefer flat but for a marathon, some hills are preferable.  NJM was pancake flat and I feel like I fatigued faster since I was constantly using the same muscles over and over.  

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