It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

6 miles easy / no Garmin

Happy September 1st!  September is my favorite month of the year (with October being a close second).  I love Fall and the whole back-to-school season.  I’m obviously not a teacher…or a parent 😉  I never dreaded going back to school either when I was younger.  Nerd.

If you sense a list coming, you know me too well!  Here’s why I love Fall…

  • perfect running weather (this is almost too obvious to even list)
  • running in shorts and a long-sleeve DRI-fit shirt
  • sweaters (and my beloved Uggs – I don’t care if they are no longer in style)
  • enjoying my coffee without sweating to death (dislike iced coffee)
  • on that same note, hot chocolate
  • pumpkins and mums
  • Halloween candy
  • dressing up Hawk in a ridiculous costume for Halloween

Officer Hawk

  • Fall races (I have lots of them planned)
  • keeping the windows open and allowing fresh air to come in
  • perfect sleeping weather
AND…I have a marathon in 10 days!  A perfect way to ring in Fall!  I got an email from the race yesterday saying “it is on as scheduled”. Apparently there were questions about whether the race would go on due to Irene.  The thought of it NOT happening never crossed my mind but it does explain all the “lehigh marathon and hurricane irene” blog searches.

What’s your favorite season?  Why?  

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote)!


Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 13 Recap

5 miles easy / 47:25 / 9:29 avg pace
*Done at the crack of dawn (5:15AM), thankfully with my neighbor.  If I were alone, I would have waited for some sunlight (no worries Mom and Dad).

Week 13 can be dubbed the “lazy” week.  I began my taper with respect to overall mileage but I still had a 22-miler to do.  I only planned to run 44 miles with 22 of them being a long run.  So I only ran 4 days and took almost as many rest days.  But it’s taper time, right?

MON:  rest
TUE:  7 speed
WED:  7 easy
THU:  rest
FRI:  22 awesome miles!
SAT:  8 tempo easy (had to fit this in pre-Irene and my legs were in no shape for tempo miles)
SUN:  rest (although I had fully intended to go to yoga but the studio was closed for the hurricane)

I have an unrelated question that I’d love feedback on:  when you read blogs, do you prefer quality over quantity?  Say a blogger were to only post 3 days per week but they were more high quality posts…would you prefer that over more “simple” posts every day?  Do you like when bloggers are on a schedule (i.e., post every Mon/Wed/Fri) or it doesn’t matter?  

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote)!

what we want vs. what we have

6 miles speed
*6 x 800m at 10K pace.  It was freezing this morning!  OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but it felt amazing out.  I cannot wait for Fall running weather.   

Don’t we always want what we don’t have?  Aren’t we supposed to be grateful for what we have and make the most of it?  Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream or make a list.  Here are some of my current “wants”.

Want:  bangs
What I Have:  curly hair
Yeah, there’s no mixing the two.  Kinda like oil and water.   I would also like to run my fingers through my hair on occasion but they would get stuck.  Actually, I love my curly hair (I never straighten it) because it’s different and, most of the time, pretty low maintenance.

Want:  long, lean legs
What I Have:  short, muscular legs
So my legs will never look like Kara Goucher’s.  But they power me through marathons and totally came through on last week’s 22-miler.  This might be the worst picture ever, by the way.

Want:  a career involving running (talking, writing, blogging, and most of all, coaching)
What I Have: a job
I’m fortunate enough to even have a job but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain!  I’ll get to the running career someday…baby steps.  At least I’m lucky enough to spend a good deal of time outside my job coaching.  That’s where my passion lies and that’s what I will do someday…for a job and career.

Want:  a pair of TOMS wedges
What I Have:  not a pair of TOMS wedges
This isn’t the best “I want vs. I have” but I’ve been eyeing these shoes up for awhile.  And then Holly had a pair on at the HLS and raved about how comfortable they are.


Want:  to run the Boston Marathon in 2012
What I Have:  a slim-to-none and crappy chance of even registering
So this is my biggest want, obviously.  If When I qualify on 9/11/11, it won’t be by more than 5 minutes (i.e., 3:40 or sub-3:40), which is the rumored time you might need in order to get priority registration.  I could worry about that now or I could put that energy into qualifying and leave the stuff that is out of my hands to fate.

Now it’s your turn.  Give me a current “want” vs. “have”…or two!

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote)!

Hurricane Irene

We survived Hurricane Irene!  It wasn’t much of a hurricane by the time it hit Philly.  Other than lots of rain, the wind wasn’t too bad.  Luckily, we didn’t lose power or suffer any water damage to our house.  I can’t say the same for my beloved running trail.  It was swallowed up by the Schuylkill River.  Hawk and I went on a little walk yesterday to survey the damage first-hand (I’m a bad blogger and didn’t bring my camera).  Yikes!  I feel terrible for the people that live around there; they had to evacuate.  So I should quit my complaining about finding an alternate running route for the next few days.

I dubbed this past weekend my “getting caught up on life” weekend.  If I’m gonna be stuck inside, why not tackle my to-do list?  On the top of my list was cleaning out my closet and finally hanging this up…

I love it.  It got this back in December and picked out the perfect spot for it (yes, my closet – it’s a large walk-in and I figured it would be out of the way).  I hung half marathons on the end and marathons in the middle.  That’s a lot of races!

My favorite medal would have to be the NJ Marathon.  Pretty classy for Jersey (I kid, I kid).

Hawk didn’t seem too perturbed about the hurricane.

Matt had just finished a day of painting and laid on the floor to take a nap. Hawk couldn't resist.

Matt and I were well stocked with essentials.

Aforementioned painting took place in the kitchen, hence no outlet covers.

We tried to watch the movie True Grit but could not get over Jeff Bridges talking out the side of his mouth.  We literally could not understand a word he said and turned off the movie.  House Hunters was way better anyway.

In running news, I moved my tempo run to Saturday because of the hurricane and ended up doing an easy run.  My legs were NOT in the mood for more MP miles the day after a 22-miler.  So I kept it easy and my super Type A self didn’t seem to mind.  Imagine that.

If you were trapped in the house this weekend because of Irene what did you do?  
Do you watch House Hunters or (even better) House Hunters International?  We are obsessed. 

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote)!

22 Miles, Take 5 (aka Dress Rehearsal)

22 miles / 3:07 / 8:30 avg pace
*Since I like to be exact and precise, I need to point out that my average pace is 4 seconds below goal marathon pace!  4 seconds isn’t much but I’ll take it! 

And with that I’m DONE!  It’s taper time!

every time i say taper time, i think of MC hammer

Since I’m on an endorphin-high and thoughts are still going through my head a mile a minute, let’s stick with bullet points for today.

  • My goal was to keep my splits even from the get-go.  Instead of taking a few miles to warm-up and then picking it up during the middle of the run to make up time, I aimed for 8:30 splits.  This helped tremendously.  My energy level was consistent throughout the entire run.  In fact, from mile 15 on all my splits were 8:30 or under, with the exception of my last mile (8:45 – huge hill).
  • It was humid.  Not crazy humid but 93% at the start.
  • I ignored my (negative) thoughts during this run.  Let me explain.  I know at a certain point my brain is going to say “you cannot maintain this pace, you are nuts, you need to slow down, you are tired”.  And most of the time I listen and obey when I still have gas in the tank.  Today I only listened to my body and my Garmin and I was fine.  I didn’t slow down and I wasn’t tired.  I definitely had gas left for 4 more miles.  Don’t get me wrong, BQing is going to be hard but I think I can do it.
  • I passed a guy wearing a CamelBak on a hill.  Even though it was a guy and I passed him on a hill, I didn’t feel very bad ass AT ALL.  To me, the CamelBak wearers are ultramarathoners and he probably thinks my 22 miler is a walk in the park.  Us marathoners only carry handheld water bottles 😉
  • A guy on a bike asked me what time it was.  I’m sure he saw the Garmin on my wrist a mile away and he stupidly thought that the watch could tell time.  It displays 4 things at a time but time isn’t one of them.  I told him my watch “doesn’t do time” and he probably thought I was nuts…or extremely lazy (sidenote:  I do know where the time is on my Garmin but that would involve slowing down and switching screens which I didn’t have time for today).
Almost forgot…here are some post-LR pics!

22, obviously

too tired to hold my head up straight

Have a great weekend everyone!
Question:  Is Hurricane Irene ruining your long run or race plans this weekend?  I was supposed to do a tempo run on Sunday but may have to switch it to Saturday or brave the TM on Sunday (oh the horror)!

Please keep voting throughout the weekend for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger(click here to vote)!

Thursday Ramblings

My Garmin Does What?!
So last week I wrote about pace smoothing on my Garmin 305. I’m still a bit peeved that my (instant) pace jumps around so much, even when I have it set to the “most” smooth. So I did a little research and found that lap pace is more accurate (i.e., your average pace within that lap/mile). This wasn’t a huge shock…I have heard of this before. But the huge light bulb moment was when I realized you could customize your display! For real?! I had this watch for 2 years and I’m just realizing this now? I cannot wait to try this out on tomorrow’s LR. I customized it to have distance, time, (instant) pace, and lap pace. I do like having (instant) pace on there to ensure I don’t go out too fast, even if it is a little off.  By the way, I re-set my pace smoothing to “least”.

who knew? i didn't.

Grrrr, Brooks Adrenaline GTS
Dear Brooks, I’m a devoted wearer of your Adrenaline GTS shoe and have been so for the past 10 years.  But why oh why did you decide to use these fancy shoelaces that clearly are not functional.  I always double knot my laces and during 3 of my last 4 runs these stupid laces have come undone (this has NEVER happened with any of my prior Adrenalines).  I cannot afford to waste time during my marathon retying my shoes!!!  Yes, they are a cute purple color but they suck.  Please go back to the boring old white laces that stay knotted.

is this how i have to tie my shoes so they don't come undone?


Keep On Voting
Thank you for voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards! Keep those votes coming (you can vote once per day here). Many of you asked if I know what place I am in. I don’t 😦  Very little information was given and I assume I won’t know anything until September 9 when the contest ends.

Question:  Do you wear Brooks Adrenaline GTS?  Did you notice anything funny with the laces?  I’m going to have to swap out these fancy laces with an old pair for my marathon.  

What does your Garmin display look like?  Did you customize it?

Bloggers That Inspire

7 miles easy / no Garmin

During my long run on Sunday, I was thinking about all the blogs that I read (mentally going through my Google Reader) and how inspiring many of these bloggers are.  Long run = lots of time to think.  Anyhow, I thought it would make a great post:  bloggers that inspire (me).  Let’s spread some blogger love…

Kara and Alyssa
These girls are ultramarathoners.  They are both currently training for a 50-miler (yes, you read that correctly – not 50K – because they have been there, done that – but 50 miles).  That’s like finishing a marathon and then turning around and running back to the start line.  Impressive.  I have to mention that Kara has a 1-year old and does two-a-days to get her miles in while Alyssa dabbles in triathlons on the weekends.   I definitely see ultras in my future and I would love to run one with these ladies!

Jen’s blog was one of the first I ever read and PBR is still one of my favorites.   Jen is a yoga teacher, BodyPump instructor, and newly crowned certified personal trainer.  Her teaching schedule each week makes me dizzy and yet she still finds time to fit in her own workouts. Oh…and she has amazing arms!  I keeping thinking that if I go to a BodyPump class (and then be consistent with it – that’s key), my arms will look like hers!

I feel like Cindi is my running twin, except that she logs an impressive amount of miles.  For her last marathon, she logged 70 mile weeks!  70 miles?!  And throw in a pilates class or two.  She also works full-time and has 2 kids.  Impressive.

Lauren has a marathon PR I can only dream about (3:18).  In addition to being a super speedy runner, Lauren writes great blog posts.  I have serious creative writing envy every time I read her posts.  And she’s running the Hood to Coast relay this weekend with Team Nuun (her team name is After-NUUN DeLight)!

Rachel had a baby 2 months ago and is already signed up for her first half marathon post-baby (if fact, she’s already training).  Not only did Rachel run throughout her entire pregnancy, she ran 2-5Ks right before she gave birth (as in, the week of).  She’s also a Girls On The Run coach.  Impressive!

Which bloggers inspire you?  Make sure you leave the name of their blog (and URL) so we can all check them out!

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 12 Recap

7 miles speed
*10 x 400m.  The last time I did this workout (12 x 400m) I averaged 1:36 and ended with up with a sore hamstring for the remainder of the week (due to overstriding).  I held back today and averaged 1:50.  Much slower but I have a happy hamstring!  Although I did run the last repeat in 1:34 just to make sure I still had it in me 😉

Let’s recap week 12…

MON: 7 miles easy
TUE:  11 miles tempo
WED:  7 miles speed
THU:  6 3 miles easy (thunderstorm)
FRI:  9 miles easy
SAT:  rest/HLS
SUN:  15 miles long

A total of 52 miles for the week.  After Thursday’s derailed run, I was hell-bent on getting my 55 miles in.  That feeling faded quickly when life and the weekend got in the way.  So I maxed out at 52/53 miles this training cycle.  My intention was to max out at 60 but my legs had other plans.  There is a reason why the FIRST training plan focuses on low mileage.  It’s difficult to run hard 3 days, add in 2 easy 8-milers, and repeat week after week.

But my legs feel rested and ready for my 22-miler on Friday.  I can’t wait.  I always treat the last “long” run of a training cycle like a dress rehearsal for race day.  I’ll wear the same clothes…and maybe even the same socks and hair bands if I have a particularly good run.  I guess I’m superstitious?!

Question – do you treat your last long run (before the taper) like a dress rehearsal for the big day?  Or do you just go with the flow?  

A long run, HLS, and a delayed hangover

8/21/11 (Sunday)
15 miles / 2:13 / 8:52 avg pace

Let’s recap this weekend in reverse…

Long Run
My long run was supposed to be done on Friday but with all the thunderstorms we’ve been having I was terrified of getting caught in one (especially after Meggie commented that she knew 2 people that have been struck by lightning).  So I stuck close to home and did 9 easy miles.  I rested on Saturday and did the LR on Sunday.  I am so happy to begin my pseudo-taper this week (decreasing my overall mileage).  All I have is 22 miles on Friday and then I’ll be in full blown taper mode!

So this weekend I attend the Healthy Living Summit (HLS).  Don’t worry, I’m not going into a detailed description of the entire weekend.  I decided to attend since it was in Philly and I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet other bloggers, although my blog is a running blog rather than a food blog.  I do think I promote a healthy (balanced) lifestyle and I hope my blog inspires people to run but I’m definitely not a foodie.  I don’t really get excited about food and I could easily live off pizza, cereal, peanut butter, and green beans (such an odd combo, I know).  My diet is more carb heavy than most (good carbs, of course) but I’m also running a lot.  I left HLS feeling like all I eat is crap!  Ha!  I admit I could add more veggies and fruit to my diet but I just don’t think I could get on the tempeh band wagon.  It’s just not for me…and that’s OK 🙂

The sessions were very informative and I had a great time hanging out with Holly and Alli.  Am I happy that I went?  Absolutely!

Friday night was the HLS cocktail party at Reading Terminal Market.  It was so awesome to be at RTM when it’s empty and have the entire place to ourselves (it’s generally packed with people).  We were provided with 2 drink coupons which I promptly exchanged for beer.  We had 2 choices for beer (sadly no Miller Lite) and we made a wise choice and went with Kenzinger.  It was yummy.  So yummy that me, Holly, and Alli went back for many more.   Followed by a round of beers at the hotel bar.  Followed by late night pizza delivered to the lobby.  We laughed at how we made HLS unhealthy.

my partners in crime

On Saturday I woke up surprisingly not hungover and was pretty pleased with myself (remember, I drink Miller Lite, which is like drinking water).  And then around 2pm it hit me…the delayed hangover.  Ugh, I HATE the delayed hangover.  You get this false sense of phew I made it only to get slapped in the face with a hangover 10x worse.


you are evil


I came home Saturday night and went to bed at 8:30.  I was amazed I was able to get up and run 15 on Sunday morning.

Ever experience the delayed hangover?  

Please keep those votes coming!  Make sure you vote for RTLR in CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards!  Click here to vote.

Derailed Run

6 3 miles easy / no Garmin

I stepped out the door a little before 6AM and thought it looked a little darker than usual.  And everything had this yellow hue to it.  Odd, but I kept running.  Then I noticed some lightening but no thunder.  Possible heat lightening?  Although it hasn’t been too warm here.  I continue my run but I’m a little nervous since it’s starting to get darker and darker.  I’ll pretty much run in anything but thunder and lightening are a deal breaker.

Then I start making deals.  Just a little bit further and then turn around.  That will be 3 miles.  You most likely won’t get hit by lightening. What are the chances?  Then I start recalculating my weekly mileage in my head, trying to see where I can make up these 3 miles.   Ugh, Sunday’s easy run is going to be a long one.

Then the thunder and wind pick up and it begins to rain.  I hightail it home to avoid a lengthy blow dry if my hair gets too wet.  Mon, Wed, and Thu (the days I go into the office) are shower-and-throw-your-sweaty-hair-in-a-ponytail days.

Have you ever been caught running in a thunderstorm?  I did a few years ago and I was about 2 miles from home.  It was pretty scary.  

Ever rock the sweaty ponytail look?  I could trademark it.

Make sure you vote for RTLR in CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards!  Click here to vote.


%d bloggers like this: