Training Check-in – Week 7

 

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Is it just me or does anyone else feel like these weeks are just flying by? As of today, there are 76 days until the Philadelphia Half – on the one hand, still a lot of time, but given the way these days are flying by, it will be here before I know it!

So week 7 is in the books and I’m very happy to report it was a much better week! Here’s how things shook out:

Monday:  Leg and core work.

Tuesday:  6 miles on a hilly loop followed by a massage!

Wednesday:  After a 2 week break, my Pilates Barre class is back!

Thursday:  Returned to hill repeats – 6 miles total.

Friday:   I was definitely feeling the effects of those hill repeats, so I decided to skip my scheduled cross-training.

Saturday: 9 miles. The heat and humidity was just crazy – it was like running in a furnace! Knowing that this was going to be a tough run, I decided to go Galloway and switched to run/walk intervals after the first couple of miles. I’d never tried doing intervals like that so I just kind of played with the length of the run intervals –  it was a nice distraction from the heat, helped me to keep a consistent pace and to finish fairly strong.

Sunday:  Much needed rest day.

All-in-all a pretty solid week. My challenge since I started this training cycle has been to put two solid weeks together. So my goal for this week is simple – keep up the forward momentum!

How did week go for you?  Have you ever tried the Galloway Method?

 

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Friday Five – Race Memories

Linking up with the fun ladies of the DC Trifecta again this Friday. Today’s theme – Race Memories…so come take a little walk down memory lane with me!

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Boston’s Run to Remember — My first half marathon! Without a doubt, this will go down as one of my all time favorite race experiences! My whole family turned out in force all along the course to support me, and my husband surprised me by ordering matching shirts for everyone. Best cheer squad ever. I smiled the whole race! (Recap HERE)IMG_0717

 

 

 

 

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Philadelphia Half Marathon — This was the first time I’d traveled to a race. I just loved everything about this race experience – as you can see from this picture 🙂 Loved the course and the crowd support — so much so that I’m going back this November! (Recap HERE)

 

ZOOMA Cape Cod Half — What made this race fun was all about the people! I was a race ambassador and the other ambassadors were a great group of ladies to get to know. Also got to meet Sarah & Dimity of Another Mother Runner fame. But best of all it was a fun girls weekend with my running buddy E – we both PR’d and had a blast together! (Recap HERE)

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The Time I Played Race DirectorYep one of my favorite race memories is of a race I didn’t even run. A couple of years ago I took on the crazy, stressful and very rewarding task of being race director for the local 5K and kids’ fun runs to benefit my sons’ school. I was both thrilled and exhausted by the time the day was done, and I had developed a serious appreciation for all that goes into race planning. A very worthwhile experience and while everyone can’t play race director, I seriously encourage every runner to volunteer at a race at least once! (Recap HERE)

My Son’s 1st 5K — For those of you who’ve been around here for a while I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this one on the list of my top race memories! Nothing better than watching your child push themselves to reach a goal…and being asked to come along for the ride 🙂 (Recap HERE)  picmonkey_image (5)

Be sure to check out the link-up with Cynthia, Courtney & Mar — I’m looking forward to reading about everyone’s memories!

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My fall race schedule

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After mentioning that I was getting ready to start my fall training soon, I got several emails and twitter inquiries about which races I was doing – so I thought I’d share my fall race schedule here!

October:

Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon — advertised as “flat and fast” with beer and lobster rolls served at the post race party – what’s not to love? This one’s been on my N.E. must-run list for a while.

Tufts 10K — This one’s going to be a “wait and see” since it’s a week after Smuttynose – but I love this event and I haven’t run it in a couple of years. There are always a few friends running so I’m going to try to keep this day open and if the legs feel go enough I can always register on race day.

Canton Fall Classic — The starting line is literally 2 miles from my house and the course covers streets I run on a regular basis. It’s a great local race and it’s always fun to see so many familiar faces!

November:

Philadelphia Half Marathon — I ran Philly in 2011 and by half way through the race I knew I wanted to come back (you can check out the recap HERE)! I loved the course, the great crowd support and the 3+ minute PR I snagged — I’m hoping lightening will strike twice as this is my goal race of the fall.

December:

I’m sure there will be some fun 5K requiring Santa garb 🙂

I’d like to slip in something during September to kind of track how my training’s going – but I’m going to wait to see what Coach Bennett has to say on that.

The fall should be a lot of fun – can’t wait!

What have you got planned?

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Somebody’s been race shopping

I’ve been eyeing these races for a while and now I’ve finally pulled the trigger: loco_smuttyrock PM14_Banner BAA10K banner Two half marathons and a 10K! 

I think my credit card needs a rest!  burningcard

Have you ever gone on race buying binge?

Will you be at any of these races?

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Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap

What a great experience! I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of the Philly half – and not just because I got a PR of 3 1/2 minutes! But because I ran a strong race, I learned a lot and I was able to soak in the great crowds vibe, to be in the moment and enjoy the day!

Pre-Race:

With our boys safely tucked away with family, J and I flew down to Philly on Saturday. Thanks to the flight delay (seriously, US Air is a hot mess!), we didn’t get to our hotel until about 2:30. The hotel staff was super nice and was handing out gift bags to guests who were racing, which looked like pretty much the whole hotel! We quickly dumped our stuff and headed to the expo. There were so many people it was crazy! I got my number, shirt and swag bag and milled around for a bit. But by this point I was desperately hungry so we headed to the Reading Terminal Market (huge indoor marketplace) for a late lunch. We then decided to go check out the starting line and see just how long it would take us to walk there from our hotel. I have to say it wasn’t until I saw the corrals set up that it started to hit me just how many runners there would be. This was by far going to be the biggest race I had ever run in – that thought was both exciting and intimidating!

By the time we wondered around for a bit and then headed back to the hotel, the thought of sitting in a restaurant for dinner was really unappealing – I was toast! So J canceled the reservations and we opted for Subway and putting our feet up in front of the TV. I got my gear laid out, took one last look at the course map and one last review of the race plan the awesome XL at Taking It On put together for me (she seriously rocks!). I set 3 alarms (yes I’m that Type A) and was out cold by 9:30.

Race Day:

I was up by 4 and we were out of the hotel by 5:45. It was the funniest sight, all these people dressed in various forms of throw-away garb, tramping through the streets at pre-dawn. We made our way to the corral, hit the porta potties, chatted up people in line and took a short warm up run. It was already low 50s so I decided to pass off all of my throw-away stuff to J before leaving him to weave my way through the corral. As I listened to the National Anthem I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was so calm. I was just so excited to be there and I was ready to run!

The hardest part was waiting for our corral to move to the start (we went off 26 minutes after!). Given the size of the group, I really wanted to be towards the front to avoid as much weaving as possible. By the time we got to the start I had only one row of runners in front of me and I got a high-five and “Good Luck” from Mayor Nutter. We counted down and were off. I knew I would see J just after the first mile marker and again around 5. My legs felt fresh and while I knew I was going faster than I had planned, I was feeling good and was almost afraid to break my rhythm.

The first few miles seem to fly by – I was just rocking to my tunes and enjoying spectator signs. Before I knew it, we were at 5 miles and then I spotted J – he yelled that I was looking strong and I remember yelling back that I felt great. The spectators along Chestnut Street were 3-deep and really into it! Shortly after I hit the 10k mat, I walked briefly to take a couple of Chomps, get some water and rip off my KT Tape that had been flapping around my left leg (clearly gotta work on my taping skills!). I took the hill between 7 and 8 fairly well. The steeper hill between  9 and 10 was much tougher but overall I was still feeling strong.

When I checked my Garmin at 10 I knew I was in a great position. As I closed in on the 11 mile marker, my left leg announced that it was done – it felt like my leg seized up – I  couldn’t even tell what gave way first. It was just like the whole leg decided “Hell no  – we’re done with this!” I started bargaining with myself “OK just a short walk break then finish this thing,” but the other side of me was screaming “Don’t stop, you’re on pace!” I slowed to a walk and my leg really started to tighten up – OK, not good, keep moving. I passed the 12 mile marker, just willing my leg to cooperate for one more mile. Then on the bridge overhead, among a rowdy bunch of spectators was J. I could hear him yelling that I was almost there and to keep going, that I could do this. I allowed myself one last glance at my Garmin – I knew 2:30 was slipping away, but in that moment I told myself it was ok, now it was just a matter of how big a PR I could get. The crowd of spectators in that final stretch was a fantastic sight and I threw everything I had left into the final 3/4 of a mile to the finish.

I was ecstatic when I finished: Chip time – 2:31:40! As I got my heat blanket and medal you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I had run the race I wanted to and had a lot of fun doing it. While I hadn’t hit my biggest time goal, I had gotten a lot more out of my left leg than I expected and a PR! And, I know that when the time comes for my next race, not only can I hit 2:30, I can get below it!

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Goals for the Philly Half

Why is it that a race can seem so far off when you register and then bam before you know it’s a little more than a day away and you find yourself wishing you had more time?

When I first started training for Philly, I had in the back of my mind a goal of running 2:30 or better – recognizing that a 5 min PR would be quite an accomplishment. But this training’s been really up and down — I have either felt very strong or concerned that my left ITB/knee would completely derail my even getting to the starting line. Now with Sunday just around the corner I can’t say I’ve completely let go of a time goal, but I’ve got other goals as well:

  • Start Slow and Build — I need to learn from my first 2 halfs and not go out too fast. This is really hard for me cause I get so caught up in the moment!
  • Attack the Hills– I’ve been working on attacking hills in my training runs vs. just surviving them.
  • Run a Strong Final 5k — I’d like to have enough left in the tank when I get to the 10 mile marker to really be able to push hard over the last few miles.
  • Win the Mental Battle — This is a 3-parter: 1) not let every twinge from my left leg cause a panic; 2) use the mantras and other mind tricks I came up with over my last few long runs to help when it gets hard out there; and 3) don’t second-guessing myself and trust my training.
  • Time goals — This is a 3-parter as well, in order: 1) Beat my time in Providence, 2) PR and 3) hit 2:30

And, it should go without saying that the overall goal is to go out there and have a good time! OK Philly here I come!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend
– especially to my fellow bloggers heading to Philly!
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5 weeks and counting

Wrapped up week 9 of my half training with a return to double digits on Saturday’s long run. It’s been 4 weeks since my left ITB has been willing to go that far so I’m very happy all body parts cooperated!

Just 5 weeks left to go until Philly – 5 weeks to test the legs, hit my target paces, get focused and keep the IT in a cooperative state (read: roll, ice, rest, repeat!).

The plan for this week:

Monday — Easy run (3 or 4) and Yoga
Tuesday — Track work (mile repeats…did you just hear me groan?!)
Wednesday — Recovery (3) and Strength work
Thursday —  Tempo run (6)
Friday — Rest
Saturday — Long run (11)

Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend – it’s been great reading your race reports! Definitely inspiring!

Have a Great Week!
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Week 2 Begins & Gotein Winners

So week 1 of Philly training is complete – it was a little all over the place as I making tweaks. After checking out the boys’ school schedule, adding more hill and speed work, and taking into account a couple of 10ks I hope to run, I think I’ve got a plan that will work.

On the decks for this week:

Monday:          Yoga

Tuesday:          Hill repeats (6)

Wednesday:     Easy run (3) plus Strength work

Thursday:         Tempo run (5)

Friday:               Rest

Saturday:          Pilates Reformer

Sunday:             Long run (8 or 9)

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Gotein Giveaway Winners!

With the help of Random.org, the winners are Danielle (DEM) and Jenna Z! Congrats ladies! Shoot me at email at runningwithattitude (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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Friday Five

  • It’s funny sometimes where and how you can connect with another runner — yesterday I was having my refrigerator fixed again (that’s a whole other story!) and after the repairman had explained to me what the problem was, he then paused and said “So how’d you do?” I, of course, had no idea what he was talking about then he pointed to our whiteboard calendar hanging on the wall and said “The Rock n Roll – how was it?” Turns out he’s a runner and had wanted to run that race but had a conflict! We proceeded to spend the rest of the time while he was fixing the fridge talking about running and local races. He was a great guy with funny running stories – and best of all the parts were under warranty so it didn’t cost me anything!
  • After some tweaking, I think I have my training plan for Philly figured out. I used Smart Coach for my last two races, but when I looked at the plan it gave me this time it just felt like too much of the same. So after poking around and some Twitter conversations, I’ve modified the plan using some elements of Hal Higdon’s Advanced Half Training plan. My revised plan includes more speedwork throughout the entire training cycle and also incorporates more hill work in the first few weeks — both are areas I really want to improve on.
  •  My core work challenge continues. To be honest, I’ve missed a day here and there but overall I’m much more mindful about trying to get some core work in (at least planks) – I think it will pay off for me over time.
  • This has been a l-o-n-g week! For no particular reason, it just seems like for the first time all summer it has taken forever to get to Friday — anyone else feel like that?
Have a great weekend!
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On the Streets of Philadelphia

I’ve decided to go for my 3rd half this year and just registered for the Philadelphia Half Marathon!

As you know I’ve been debating taking on a 3rd for a while now but J had urged me to wait until after Providence to see how I felt before pulling out the credit card again. Well the truth is I knew about mid-way through running Providence that I would be doing this again. And by the time I was sitting at home that night with ice on my leg, I was 100% certain I wanted to get one more in before the year’s end.

So…here we go again…Philly here I come!

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