Monday, May 23, 2016

Erie Marathon Training Recap: 16 Weeks Till Race Day!

I am so used to writing Boston Marathon Training Recap, that my fingers didn't even know how to type Erie Marathon. I have had Boston on the brain for so long...

Last week started the first week of marathon training and it felt super low key. This is a good thing :) 
I feel like I am just easing my way into a good groove, a nice sustainable rhythm while juggling life.

No doctor's appointment is complete without a lollipop! 

Mom's life!

Wednesday was the first workout with a longer speed element to it and it felt good to get my legs moving. 2 miles to warm up, 4 mile progression tempo starting at mid 7 minute pace and ending at low seven. I realize I read the workout incorrectly and did not end up doing a progression workout. The bright side was that I got a somewhat speedy 4 miles in, and looking forward to getting faster in the coming months :)

Friday evening we took the kiddos to their very first track meet! We drove to Occidental College (near Pasadena) for the Hoka One One Middle Distance meet. The track meets leading up to the Olympic Trials are always super exciting and we had a lot of fun cheering with the Oiselle women!
So neat to watch the women race - the majority came in just over 15 minutes. One of the most impressive moments was watching the last woman come in - she didn't give up even though everyone else was finished. She finished in just over 16 minutes, which is still incredibly fast! A good lesson for kids - even if you are in last place, you run strong till the end. Never give up. Finish what you started.

Explaining the women's 5,000 to my kiddos

I think it's safe to say that we love running!

Saturday night we had a date night! We went to a movie (has anyone seen Money Monster? It was pretty good) and later realized we should just go to dinner on our date night - more time to really talk. Which goes to show life isn't perfect, you just have fun and hang on for the ride. #lifelessons

Date night

Sunday I ran an early morning 13 mile run with some super star runners and we had a great time together. Blessed to run with these awesome athletes!

Good times on the run!!

Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday May 16th - 6 easy miles

Tuesday May 17th - 6 easy miles

Wednesday May 18th - 8.8 miles; 2.2 mile warm up, - 4 mile tempo: 7:02, 7:03, 6:59, 7:06 - 2.6 mile cool down.

Thursday May 19th - 6 easy miles

Friday May 20th - REST DAY

Saturday May 21st - 5 easy treadmill miles

Sunday May 22nd - 13 easy paced miles (8:14 pace)

Dynamic stretching every day before I run, stretching and core work at night. Weights 3 times this week, including Iron Strength for Runner's DVD.

Need to focus on: Getting in the pool this week!!!

Total miles for the week: 44.8

I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week!

When is the last time you've been to a track meet? 

What movies have you seen lately?



Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This was the fastest and slowest week all at the same time - do you ever have that feeling?

Here is what I am loving this week!

1. THIS swimsuit from Oiselle! I just got it and I LOVE it. I can't wait to wear it all summer!!

2.  THIS article on running in Los Angeles. Here's the deal ---> I was born and raised as a young child in the the Midwest. When we moved to LA (well, we moved to a suburb 30 minutes north) I was a sophomore in high school, and I thought I would hate it here. There are so many preconceived notions of Los Angeles, but let me tell you - it's an awesome place to run and be an athlete. Additionally, there are so many hidden gems in this city to discover and it's a wonderful place to live and play. I truly love it here. 
Let me know if you ever come to LA - I know so many amazing places to run!

3. I couldn't resist buying GP's latest cookbook. I really like it! Great, easy recipes and beautiful photos...

I had a chance to make one of the salads last week and it did not disappoint!!

4. Really loving my Saucony Ride 8 running shoes! I ran in Saucony in high school and college. I switched to Brooks after college and have only run in Brooks since - until now. I decided to give these a whirl...

5.  You have to read THIS article about the awesome mother runner Stephanie Bruce and her journey to make it to Rio - all while raising two babies. Good stuff.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Happiness is running life!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Life Lately + 18 Weeks!!

Life lately has been filled with my family and lots of rest. It's been good for me, good for my soul.
This time of the year is always crazy busy with packing every possible school event into the schedule before summer break.
It's been an awesome school year and I am holding onto my five year old daughter's last weeks of Kindergarten. Where did the time go? I am not ready for her to be a first grader yet, but I also know she must fly, spread her wings and move to a new phase. Josh is finishing up third grade and yet he is still my baby. I am feeling so thankful that he is allowing it - the snuggles, cuddles and extra long hugs. I love that he is nine, but not too cool for school to hold his Mom's hand down the block (that happened today when I picked him up from a birthday party and I couldn't have been more joyful.).
My youngest is almost finished with her first year in preschool and she is so full of life - wearing a tiara to school, dancing around the house and loudly never hesitating to tell us her opinion (we hear you sweetheart).

These weeks of running easy breezy have been so wonderful. I feel (pretty much) recovered from Boston and I haven't had an agenda - just running in the sun, appreciating the smell of jasmine everywhere and drinking in nature like never before. I am noticing everything - the blue jay on my trail run, the extra daylight we are getting in the evenings... such fun days.

I have been cooking interesting dishes and enjoying wine and chocolate. On Saturday, I woke up at 5:30 am, ran 12 miles (the longest since Boston), went to two basketball games for my kids, had a quick in person catch up with one of my dearest friends, and we all landed back home in the early afternoon pretty exhausted. The kids puttered in their rooms and Jerold and I had delectable salads and WINE at 3 PM. We talked and laughed together and had so much fun.

Life is fun right now and I love acknowledging that.

I also know that I love my running and I knew that soon I would want to think about the next step. What now? I didn't have a master race calendar for the year - I was so focused on rehab, getting strong again and running Boston that I just couldn't think much beyond April. Now I feel ready. My goals are still important and I want to have fun challenging myself with running and racing.

After a LOT of thought about which race I would like to tackle next, I have made a decision. I have to say - it wasn't a quick and easy decision! I knew that late summer, early fall would be a good timeline to prepare for another marathon. I thought about location, weather, race courses and more. I also decided that I will run Boston in 2017 (yay!), so a fall marathon would have to fit around that as well. One last factor for me was, if I couldn't find a race on the West Coast that appealed to me, then I wanted to pick something near my family - specifically my Dad. The hope was to have him come to the race or me to go and see him after the race.


I have decided to run the Erie Marathon in Erie, PA on Sunday September 11th! I know, right? Totally the opposite of the West Coast... I have signed up for the race and I am really excited about it. The timing gives me 18 weeks to train, which seems pretty short in a sense (probably because I had such a super long base period and then training for Boston), but I know I have plenty of time to train well for it. Lake Erie looks like a beautiful location and it is only four hours from where I was born and raised (Dayton, Ohio) until the middle of high school. The course consists of two loops around Lake Erie Presque Isle Park and it is one of the top courses in the country to qualify for Boston ---> which means it is a fast course. I feel confident that I will be prepared to run well there.

I am also excited to get even stronger and adding in some elements to my training that I didn't do for Boston. I will be swimming as a form of cross training - I'd like to shoot for once or twice a week. I know I will have to write it down and really push myself to get it done. I think once I get going, it'll be part of my routine. Jerold wants to swim more also, so we are going to try and do it together - maybe even with the kiddos and take turns. It's all about flexibility when it comes to training and parenting. Second, I am going to up the ante on strength training and commit to popping in the Iron Strength for Runners (have you tried it? It's intense!) and doing it twice a week at least. Third - I will keep chipping away at the hills and putting in more and more time on the trails, which I have been doing a lot lately. The hills are going to make me stronger and of course that is great! 

So - here I go! Another marathon training cycle that starts, um - RIGHT NOW. I ran 43.5 miles last week, so that is a good start. I am still extremely diligent on doing the PT exercises every day - have to keep strengthening those glutes and hips! Oh, and I am also going to try doing some new yoga poses (now I do pigeon, legs up the wall, child's pose, tree pose and happy baby. I need to broaden my horizon).

Next step is to find some fun races to fit in with my training this summer. A half marathon for sure and I'd like to race a 5K & a 10K - it's been awhile!

What races do you have planned this summer?

Anyone starting a new marathon training cycle?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Staying Safe On The Trails: 6 Tips For Trail Running

As the weather gets warmer, more runners are heading to the trails for their runs. I can't begin to tell you how much I love trail running! There is such an abundance of beauty out on the trails - an amazing variety of trees, wildflowers and wildlife (butterflies, a bluejay, lizards and jackrabbits are some of the wonderful creatures I saw on my last trail run).
Trail running is a great way to give your legs a break from concrete and asphalt and I love the peace and quiet that a trail run provides - zero cars and fewer people.

Running lots of hills on trail runs are one of the ways that I get stronger as a runner. Hills bring out your inner bad ass and make you a tougher, better runner. I love conquering a difficult hill - especially as I go back and run it over and over - and know that, if I can beat this hill, I'm ready for anything.

1. Tell someone where you are going

Text or leave a note for your spouse, friend, family member or neighbor with your trail route, time you left and what time you plan on returning.
This is such a great way for someone to track your whereabouts and to contact you if you aren't back at the designated time.

Nature's beauty

2. Bring your cell phone (+ ID and pepper spray!)

Some runners don't like to carry a cell phone, but it's a good idea to carry one on a trail run. You are in a (much) less populated area and it's critical to have some type of communication if the need arises.

3. Trust your instincts

Our instincts are such a great defense. If your gut tells you something isn't right, LISTEN to it. 
It can be anything from a person you see ahead that doesn't seem quite right or gives you a funny feeling, to hearing a rustle in the brush that doesn't add up to a squirrel. You can always turn around and add onto your run in the opposite direction. It's better to be safe than sorry.

4. Avoid dawn and dusk trail running

Large wildlife - coyotes, mountain lions and bears, tend to come out during these early morning or late evening hours.

Mountain lions and bears... oh my...

5. Pay attention to your footing

Running on a trail brings rocks, snakes, branches and exposed roots. Your attention is going to be focused on the ground a lot. Let go of your GPS watch, leave your headphones at home, and focus on the road ahead.

This brings me joy and a lot of sweat!

6. Run with a friend or a group

At the end of the day, there is safety in numbers. Try and run with at least one other person.

How often do you run on trails?

What do you do to stay safe on the trail?

Happiness Is Running Life!