Boston Marathon Training Begins

Summer weather has arrived in New England! It caught me off guard and I had to quickly dig out the sealed summer gear and restock on sunscreen and glide.

8 miles in 80 degrees on Friday, 6 miles in 90 degrees yesterday. These views yesterday made the miles fly by.

It was so fun to run along the Charles with a friend this weekend. Back to where my running journey started many years ago!

During these first few training runs, I reflected on the tremendous generosity of my community with regards to my Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Cancer fundraiser for the marathon. I mentioned this in the previous post, but my goal is to raise $8,000 to help support innovative pediatric cancer treatment and research at Mass General. This is the first time I am raising money for a charity and it’s been an inspiring experience so far. I am now working on some events over the summer (some virtual, some in person) to carry me through to the finish line of my fundraising goal.

Crossing the yellow-painted finish line at the Boston Marathon will certainly carry a little more weight this year as I think about Mass General and patients in need.

Before that, there are months of training ahead! My training will kick off with a couple months of base building before I move on to more specific marathon training as we approach October 11th. I am following this general plan, made by my coach!

I am looking for some local races to build up to this summer. It looks like our town’s local 4th of July road race will be on so I am looking forward to that. With Massachusetts opening more fully later this month, I am optimistic to find a few more races. More on that in a future post! In the meantime, I will be here running solo miles, stroller miles, or hopefully some miles with new running friends around here.

Thanks for following along!

What are you currently training for?

Anyone running Boston this year?

Where is your favorite place to run? Mine is still the Esplanade- so many fun memories with lots of different people!

Wasatch Marathon Recap + Some Exciting News!

My lungs and legs are feeling back to normal after running the Revel Wasatch marathon in Utah last Friday. It was my first marathon since before I was pregnant with my first baby and a memorable adventure after the past year of COVID!

One of my best friends lives in Utah now and I wanted to visit her this spring with another friend (girls’ trip?! Another world ago!!) depending on how things were going with the pandemic/vaccinations. I noticed that this race was being held at the end of April in the Park City area, so I signed up. As the race date approached, I felt comfortable with the decision to go and was thankful that I had several months of training under my belt. I got my Johnson & Johnson vaccine three weeks before the race.

I started the Wasatch training block in January and built up to an average of about 40-45 miles per week, running about 5 days a week consistently. I didn’t include much speedwork but focused on consistent, hour+ long runs each day with several 16 milers and one 20 miler. This was my first time training consistently since having two babies and I was proud of the progress I made from couch to full. At the beginning of the cycle, it was hard to wrap my head around training for an unknown goal as spring 2021 races had been questionable. But 2021 had been off to a positive start with the Inauguration and encouraging vaccine rollout which had an impact on my personal goals.

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I generally felt prepared for the race but ultimately found the Wasatch course to be tough. It had striking downhills followed by flats/small hills at elevation. The first flatlander-running-in-Utah mistake was staying in Park City the night before the race. While the location is beautiful and fun, I felt the high altitude of 7,000+ feet as soon as we arrived. I probably drank 6-7 Nalgene bottles of water/some with Nuun electrolytes throughout the day which helped. The race started at 6:40am on Friday, and we were shuttled from Heber City at the foot of Park City to the top of the Wasatch mountains early that morning. It was a beautiful starting location!

There was a staggered start with a mask requirement and just like that we were off! It felt GOOD to be back at race, simply surreal! I couldn’t stop smiling. The first 2.7 miles were uphill at about 8,000 feet and I went out easy, and after that I started to check off mile by mile all while taking in the gorgeous surrounding landscape. The ticking off miles came to a halt around mile 18 when the course leveled off and there were some long stretches of “false flats” as I call them (my husband always laughs but they are so real!). I was thankful for my sunglasses and the extensive amount of glide I had applied that morning. No issues there!

I was proud of my fueling throughout my race (thanks for the reminders, coach!!) and don’t think my sluggish last 6 miles were due to issues with that. I ended up carrying water due to the infrequent water stops and chowed down 2 Honeystinger gels and 3 packets of Honeystinger chews (sorted them in individual plastic bags- thanks Lisa and Julie!!) over the course of the 26.2. In my handheld I had put my favorite nuun mix to start and when that ran out I mixed Powerade and water from aid stations. I ended up taking in a LOT of liquid but it all felt fine.

It was amazing to see Kimiko and Annie at the finish line and I won’t ever forget this first post-pandemic race. It was a dream come true!!

So what’s next?! Something really really exciting!!! On October 11th this year, I will be running the in-person 2021 Boston Marathon!!! I am running as part of the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Cancer Team. My goal is to raise $8,000 which will provide critical funding to help MGH fight childhood cancer. After the difficult year we have had with COVID, I have decided to run for a purpose and organization that is close to my heart. I will be blogging about this experience throughout my fundraising and training. Thank you so much for following along, friends!! Thank you for any support you are able to offer, and for being part of my team!

https://www.givengain.com/ap/jane-mellors-lebel-raising-funds-for-massachusetts-general-hospital/

xo Jane

Heat Wave’s Coming & Some Updates!

Hello from the South Shore, MA! We’ve had a busy spring and summer so far with a big move to the ‘burbs from Boston. I am still mourning the move from my favorite city, but we aren’t too far and I am happy to have more space. We are finally all settled into the new house after two months of updates and are getting into a routine. Mark had his first lawn mowing experience yesterday after a nearly two decade hiatus. The suburban life is definitely growing on us!

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Meanwhile I am scouting out running routes and new running partners (already missing the C-town crew of course, but I will be back in!) in my new town. As the temps have risen a bit and we prepare for a heat wave (talking 96+ degrees which is SO HOT for MASS!), I joined the local planet fitness gym and have also supplemented with OrangeTheory. I am a little late to the game with OT, but it’s such a good workout. Just so much data- almost overwhelming, but I know that it’s addicting and fun. I can still feel my arms from last week’s workout as I haven’t lifted anything more than my 25 lbs one year old in months. I love the rowing machine aspect of OT as well- something totally different in which I am developing my skills.

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New Bedford Half Recap

This past weekend on St. Patrick’s day, I ran a half marathon in New Bedford, MA. It was a great race overall and I was happy with my execution and time, even despite the grueling hills at the beginning and end and a pesky headwind throughout!

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My training up to the race was pretty solid. I have been working with coaches Julie and Lisa who had me on a high mileage half marathon program as I train towards my goal race, a full marathon in June. I built up to 17 miles and was feeling strong on race morning. A few weeks ago, I ran my first postpartum half in Hyannis with friends. The windy, icy, monsoon rain conditions were not ideal, but it was a perfect race experience because I learned so much (again!) about pacing, fueling, incorporating music. Basically, I did everything wrong at Hyannis half, so I was excited to turn this around at Sunday’s race.

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Baby and Races Update

Happy New Year, over a month in! If blogging is a resolution, then I have already fallen off the bandwagon. But I’m hoping to pick it up more regularly since I love this outlet.

So much has happened in the past 12 months- too many details to divulge, but the most important update is that I had a baby in July! Baby Grant is now almost 7 months old, so we are beyond the fourth (even fifth?) trimester and on to enjoying life with a hastily developing little boy.

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Namaste in 2018

Hi everyone, it’s been awhile! I hope we can reconnect like old friends, where it seems like no time ever has passed when you reunite. 2018 has been a busy year so far and has taken us through several snow storms and balmy days (west coasters and southerners, 50 degrees is warm for Boston!), exciting and strange movies (calling out “Shape of Water” here), a soul-gripping Patriots football game (sorry Jaguars fans), and a quick Florida getaway to see my parents.

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Staying Fit While Traveling

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week full of Halloween treats. I haven’t checked in since Marine Corps Marathon on October 22nd, but just wanted to say that it was one of my most memorable races to date for several reasons. Stay tuned for a recap and some takeaways from the day!

In other news, Mark and I are in the middle of planning our next getaway- thinking of heading to South America! I have always been intrigued by that part of the world, as I grew up hearing my mom’s travel adventures from when she explored the region when she was about my age. While away, I’d like to keep up my fitness as much as possible but know how tough it can be while on vacation.

With the desire to just lay back and relax for the duration of your stay combined with the temptation of on-the-go treats, it’s sometimes a challenge to keep up with fitness.  Here are some quick tips I have learned over time to keep motivated and focused during your travels.

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Tips for Staying Hydrated

Thanks to Melissa McDonough, RD, CSSD and Coaches Julie & Lisa @ Run Farther and Faster for providing much of this content.

Summer running means sweat, slower paces, and serious tans (please apply sunblock before heading out the door!). Just because it’s hot outside, doesn’t mean you need to scrap your run. Appropriate hydration techniques will help get you through those sizzling days.

Dehydration can lead to serious complications, so staying hydrated should be a main focus for runners and non-runners alike. Depending on the climate, you should aim to get about 2 to 4 L of water throughout each day – approximately 8 to 16 cups.  You may need to modify your total fluid intake each day depending on how active you are, or for factors such as gender, weight, age, heat, humidity and altitude.

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Colorado Adventures & Happy 4th

Happy Independence Day! We are having a great time here in Colorado- thank you for all of the recs! Hard to fit it all in, but we are doing our best :)

I wanted to stop by and wish you a great holiday wherever you are! Also congrats to the Jaybird sport winner! Hope you enjoy the headphones as much as I do! Stay tuned for additional Giveaways.

Here are some Colorado highlights so far:

We spent our first full day going all around Denver. We hit up the Denver Botanic garden: so beautiful, even in a sweltering hot day. Hello dry heat!

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New Favorite Gear: Jaybird Headphones GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday! This week was a busy one, but I managed to get in some exercise at the end of the work day several times. I’m still trying to figure out my next goal (potentially thinking a bit too much about it these days). While I figure out my next steps in running, I’m still enjoying the summery Boston scenes on my runs.

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Canyon City Marathon Review

Happy weekend! Hope yours is off to a great start. I’m heading out on my favorite running path in a few minutes but wanted to stop by to write about one of my previous races since some of you are working towards a BQ!

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Last November, I ran the Canyon City marathon just northeast of Los Angeles (Azusa, CA to be exact). Mark had a work trip in Palm Springs and asked if I wanted to join. Without hesitation I said yes and naturally proceeded to research the local races being held that weekend.  This REVEL series marathon and half marathon were on the list, and situated between LA and Palm Springs, so we signed up!

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Real Talk on Running Goals

Goals: the destination of a journey. They should be measurable, observable, the desired result. I always have work goals and several personal and fitness-related goals in my mind at a given time. But these days, following Boston and my first trail ultra, I am feeling a bit unsettled in my fitness plans.  Adding to the lack of running ambitions and motivation has been the post-marriage mentality of ambition fatigue. Mark and I have really enjoyed the last couple of months (and hopefully many more years of happiness to come), but I think that it’s time for some goal setting.

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Boston Marathon 2017 Recap: I’m Overdue!

Hope you had a great weekend! Boston is looking good these days.

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It’s been about two months since Boston marathon, so I thought it was time for a recap! Sorry for the delay, but it was only for good reasons. Boston was actually sandwiched between my wedding and honeymoon in Nepal! After another busy month, I’ve finally had time to put the pen to the paper and reflect on the incredible race.

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The Best Podcasts to Get You Through a Run (or life) 2.0

Hope you’re having a great week! I’m happy to be a little more active on the blog. Last year, I published a list of podcasts as an alternative to music on the run. Since there have been so many good podcasts in my queue lately, I have been meaning to generate a new list. No matter what mood you’re in, there is a podcast for you!

Here are some podcasts – going beyond running & fitness this time — that I am currently obsessed with:

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Lessons Learned From My First 50K

Summer is off to a bang up here in Boston. The 95 degree heat we felt earlier this week followed a few days in the 40s and 50s last week. Leave it to New England to have crazy weather!

Last Saturday, June 10th, I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge in Central Massachusetts. It was my first 50k and ultramarathon, a distance I never thought I would be able to run.  After signing up for the race months ago in the midst of Boston marathon training, the reality of the ultra distance didn’t hit me until the eve of the race. At that point, I was decidedly too stubborn to back out (that, combined with a little pressure from others :)). Plus, I had signed up with an encouraging friend (thanks Amber!), so it was the best opportunity to check this one off.

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Austin Half Marathon Recap

Mark and I spent President’s Day weekend in Austin, TX and we both ran the half marathon on Sunday February 19th. I really enjoyed the race, despite the heat, humidity, and hills, which were a far cry from February in Boston. This race was perfect for my training for the Boston marathon, which seems to be creeping up quickly!

We stayed at a hotel close to the race start, which was very convenient for the 7am start time. I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill to warm up and meet my required long run distance, then I woke Mark up and we were off!

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Wineglass Marathon Recap

Two weekends ago, I ran Wineglass marathon held in beautiful Corning, New York. It was my 18th marathon in my 11th state. I didn’t run my fastest time (3:54), but it was a beautiful race and a fun weekend with friends. My friend Molly also ran the marathon, and had a great race- having her there capped off the experience!

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England Adventure- Part 2

Hope you’re having a great week! I can’t believe that we are almost through September. After starting a new job last week, I haven’t had much down time to blog or even run much!

My last post described part of Mark and my trip to England, so here’s part 2! Stay tuned for some running updates — RRCA coaching and Boston Marathon entry — soon.

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As far as England, one of our days was spent exploring the Cotswolds, a picturesque section of western England full of “chocolate-box” villages, thatched roof cottages and historical British homes.

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England Adventure- Part 1

Mark and I spent last week across the Atlantic with his grandparents and their British friends in Southwest England. We had a great time in this mostly rural part of the country. So much fun in fact, that I couldn’t fit it all into one post!

On our first real day in England, we got to see Stonehenge, Britain’s most iconic archeological site. I won’t go into the details on the history and landscape (that’s what Google.com and guidebooks are for)- but I will say that this 5,000-year-old structure is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the UK. 

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