Workouts, Puppies, and Home for Christmas

This shortened work week has been a good one so far, but I am eager to get home for Christmas!

Workouts this week include:

  • 7 miles on Tuesday
  • Speed workout today- 2-mile warm-up, followed by 3x1200m @10K pace 400m recovery, 2x400m @ 5K pace 400m recovery, and a 2-mile cool-down. I found the speed work to be challenging, especially after the 20 miler this weekend and two additional runs.
  • 8 miles tomorrow at home (in shorts and a tank, as it may be almost 70 degrees in the Boston area!!)
  • 18 miles at some point this weekend. I am very thankful that the weather has been record-breaking warm here in New England—it has made this training cycle much easier so far!

IMG_1574Another shot of Boston common- in December!

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A Long Run and a Short Week!

Welcome to Christmas week! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Happy to report that my 20 mile run on Saturday morning went well! It was a sunny but chilly morning, about 30 degrees with the wind. I felt prepared in my layers, including Brooks running tights, long sleeve and Brooks shell, and gloves. I fueled with Honey Stinger chews right before the run and had an entire packet throughout the run, as well as a vanilla bean GU (my new favorite flavor!). I could have taken one more GU, but felt that my nutrition worked well overall. I also ran with my handheld water bottle.

IMG_1563Passing through Boston Common on the long run!

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Interview With 26-Time Marathoner!

Happy weekend readers! Thank you for all of your comments Thursday and Friday—I have randomly selected the winner of the SPIbelt Giveaway (congrats Seana!). There will be more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned! I truly appreciate you guys checking in to JRW :)

Highlights of this weekend include:

  • 20 mile marathon training run this morning (wish me luck!)
  • Seeing the new Star Wars movie 
  • Spending time with some amazing friends at a holiday party!

I’ll check back with you after I get through it all! In the meantime, I am grabbing some gloves, honey stingers, ipod, Spibelt, several layers of clothing, and my Brooks shoes, and heading out the door on my run!

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Currently Loving…

1.      Netflix show “Master of None” with Aziz Ansari. Must watch if you are in the mood for a good laugh (who isn’t?!). They say that this show is the modern “Seinfeld” and seeing that I can easily relate to many of the issues brought up in the show, I agree! From dating disasters, to debates on the appropriate text message responses, to issues with friends and family—this show is relatable and outstanding.

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Long Run & Family Fun

Welcome to Monday, readers!

Yesterday’s long run went well overall. It was in the upper 30’s when I first left home, and reached the low 40s towards the end of the run. I wore tights, a long sleeve shirt, and light running jacket with thin gloves. About an hour into the run I started to feel warm, but once the wind blew I cooled off again, so it was one of those confusing running days in terms of attire. Taking off the gloves helped.

Even though it was cold outside, I was happy I carried water with me. I went through an entire bottle by the end of 16 miles since the water fountains are finally shut off. The first 8 miles were roughly a 9 minute mile pace, but I had to pick up the pace in the last 8 as I was running late. Miles 12, 13, and 14 were supposed to be at marathon pace (8-8:10 minute miles), but I ran the following splits: 8:20, 8:12, and 8:07. Last mile was a cool down. My legs weren’t able to move faster in the first MP mile, but luckily I was able to speed it up in the second two miles. I will just have to practice this again!

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Holidays, Turkey Trots, and Treadmills

Living in Boston during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, has always been special. I grew up in a town not far from where the Pilgrims landed and founded Plymouth Plantation, so I can’t think of a better place to be to celebrate this holiday!

IMG_1140.JPGOne of my favorite places to run in my home town!

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday to begin with: the time spent with family and friends, the delicious food and dessert we all eat, the non-commercialization of the holiday makes it top of my list.  Christmas is a close second, but probably because it extends throughout the entire month of December!

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Windy Saturday in Boston!

I am so saddened for Paris and my heart goes out to the innocent lives that have been lost for no reason.

Despite the heartbreaking news overseas, I hope your weekend has been a good one so far! Mine started off with some much needed time with friends. Pizza, wine, blasting Adele’s “Hello”, and chocolate cake were all involved. My Boston girlfriends and I gather at least once a month for “wine night”, but this time we let the guys join. We didn’t mind it too much. :)

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Boston was the windy city today (Sorry, Chicago), but I felt prepared for the cold during my 14 miler this morning. Long sleeve, long pants, vest, and gloves were all essential. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to layer up so much for a run! It felt nice.

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My runner friend (she is an incredible ultra-marathoner, but is between training cycles) joined me for the first half of the run. Was great to catch up, as always, and the first half flew by! We ran along the Charles, and managed to stay on the ground even though the winds were gusting up to 25 mph.

Given the conditions, my coaches wanted me to run “by feel” rather than time, and that’s exactly what I did. I averaged about 9 minute miles in this long run. My coaches also wanted me to test out my fueling during this run, and I took down a chocolate GU at 8 miles. I felt strong the rest of the run so didn’t feel the need to take a second GU. I think I will try the honey chews soon- I’d like to experiment with a few different fueling regimens the next time around.

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The run was followed by lunch at Whole Foods, hot shower and tons of stretching. Will most likely veg out to Friday Night lights and maybe a Star Wars movie to prep for the new one that is coming out next month. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!

IMG_0910Windy, cold day in Boston. #winteriscoming

Any races/runs for you today or tomorrow?

First full week of workouts and why I have a coach

Marathon training requires workouts most days of the week. In an ideal world, I would run around 11am, but my full time job doesn’t allow for that kind of flexibility! While I’d love to consistently get up early and run before work, I sometimes find running later in the day works better for me. My workouts happen before or after work depending on the day’s schedule (or my mood!).

IMG_0977State House all lit up- running through Boston after dark isn’t the worst thing!

Still, I prioritize getting my runs in each day, so my post-work plans determine the timing of my workout. Last night I fit my coaches’ prescribed 7 miles/stride-outs in after work, whereas this morning, I woke up early and ran my 6 miles with speed work and strength routine before work. These were both great ways to end/start my days.

I mentioned in a previous post that I worked with a coach for the first time while training for Big Cottonwood marathon. My coach at the time helped me build up my speed and endurance to a place where I could run my fastest marathon- my ultimate goal. Since this experience, I have been hooked on the idea of having a coach, but decided to switch to another coaching program, Run Farther and Faster. My new coaches Julie and Lisa have been fantastic, and I am really looking forward to working with them as I train for my next couple of marathons, including my goal race: Phoenix.

IMG_0976Another night shot of this beautiful city where old & new seem to blend well together

A few reasons why I enjoy working with a coach:

  • Coaches do the hard part by creating a training plan based on your level of fitness, using their expertise.
  • Coaches push you to work harder and help you push to your potential, particularly because of the accountability factor. I find that when I self-report versus reporting to a coach, I tend to make more excuses for cutting corners, etc.
  • This is an obvious reason, but coaches can be supportive, encouraging, and provide you with feedback to all of your questions and concerns- I enjoy receiving feedback from experts in the field!

These are just some of the reasons why I have chosen to work with a coach in my next training cycle.  Have you worked with a coach?

What does your week look like in terms of workouts?

5k on a Sunday

I ran a 5k this morning (Boston River Run). It was a great race, a benefit for the Andrew Graham Semper Fi Fund, a scholarship at Bunker Hill CC.

IMG_0943More beautiful Boston foliage!

The race was held along the Charles River in Boston- couldn’t have been more convenient to get to!

FullSizeRenderGetting ready to run!

Some thoughts about running a 3.1 mile race:

  1. Even though the distance is much shorter than a marathon, the race is a challenge of it’s own. Shorter distance = faster pace. It was a good way for me to start to introduce speedwork into my routine- lots more of that to come over the next few months! I was happy with my overall pace for this race, although next time I will try to push a little harder.
  2. A race is a race- no matter the distance. It’s still an accomplishment and leaves you with positive feelings once you cross the finish line.
  3. You can still learn from a 5k distance- even more so since I haven’t run that distance in awhile. It was chilly this morning but I ended up being overdressed. I was a little overheated by the end.

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Pre-race shot

The race left me excited to run another, perhaps my town’s turkey trot in a few weeks?!

After a large post-race brunch with friends (fellow runners, including a friend who ran her first race today!!), I am vegging/watching the Patriots/enjoying the rest of the day off before a busy week ahead. Hope you all have a great Sunday! 

Nice fall Saturday in Boston!

Hello Saturday! Hope your weekend is off to a great start.

Last night I saw “The Martian” with friends and I highly recommend it. It would be amazing to experience being in outer space- but it could be very lonely out there! I won’t say anything more to spoil the movie- but just see it if you haven’t!

I had 12 miles on the schedule to run today but was only able to get in a few miles in this morning as I had to get to a brunch to celebrate a close friend. Splitting up runs is not something I normally do- but it is better than nothing. I had another time constraint in the evening, so knew I’d only have a short window of time in the afternoon to run the second set of miles.

IMG_0909Boston has some beautiful running paths!

It was another beautiful fall day in Boston- would love the temperatures to just stay put for while!

IMG_0913Heading towards the Charles for a run- suddenly the scene seems more winter-like!

I’m taking it easy tonight because I’m running a 5k tomorrow morning. I haven’t run a race at that distance in awhile and I’m looking forward to it!

Anyone else racing tomorrow? Good luck!

Almost the weekend and marathon training begins!

Happy Friday! Last night was a gorgeous evening in Boston- can’t believe how warm the weather has been!

657Drone over my favorite city. Thanks @imnotquitejack!

I decided to take a “rest day” from running and instead did some stretching (mainly using the foam roller) on top of a 7 minute workout. I love this short workout because it targets all areas of the body and enables you to get a little sweat in only a few minutes. Check it out if you haven’t already (link here)!

With my alarm set for 6am this morning, I headed out for a quick morning run before work. It was another unseasonably warm day and I was able to head out in a tank and shorts, with compression socks.

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Foam rolling is my heaven and hell!

Saturday marks my first day of training for Phoenix marathon at the end of February. I recently chose this marathon as my next target for a Boston qualifier, given the fast and flat course (with the exception of a large hill at miles 4.5-6!), the positive reviews from other runners about the course and race logistics, and because I wanted to run a race in a new state! Phoenix marathon will be my 10th state– I am super excited to explore that area of the country through running. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to head to AZ in the middle of a Boston winter :)

IMG_0898That time I went to AZ for work and it was 100 degrees– hopefully it will be a bit milder in February! 

My training cycle will start with a 12 mile run on Saturday, followed by a 5k fun race on Sunday. I will be taking it relatively easy for the rest of November as I continue to recover from Marine Corps Marathon. Longer runs and more intense speed work will start in December. Have a great Friday and start to your weekend! Happy running!

Happy Thursday and Some Treadmill Tips

Happy Thursday guys! Thank you so much for checking in to my new blog. I am very excited about it and appreciate any feedback you have.

Boston has had some great weather recently, so I have kept my runs and workouts outside- even in the dark after work-hours. But as I start to train for my next marathon (Phoenix Marathon in February- post coming on that soon!), I am anticipating some treadmill runs in the future as we head into winter. I like to run outside as much as possible, but there are some winter weather days that are simply safer to be inside.

317Let’s face it- not all of our outdoor workouts can be met with a gorgeous hot sunset over the Charles River.

Here are a few treadmill tips that I have learned through trial and error over the years:

  1. Dress for warm temps- shorts and tank are recommended for sweaty treadmill runs.
  2. Bring everything you need so it is easily accessible during a run/less tempting to stop. This includes water, GUs/other fuel, headphones, ipod/iphone (to watch movies/listen to music/stream Netflix/text friends that you’re treadmill running in order to make you feel hardcore), and a towel.
  3. As suggested above, bring your iphone/ipad for distraction. I stream the Netflix app on my iphone- might not work for everyone, but it is a great distraction for me. Nothing like binge watching Lost, Sex and the City, or Friday Night Lights to get me through a long treadmill run!
  4. Even though you might have a goal of running “X” miles, play with different speeds or inclines on treadmill- it will also be a good distraction. Note that the incline should normally be set at 1% to simulate outdoor running. I like to mix up my treadmill runs by running 30 seconds to a minute at a certain speed or incline, then increasing this speed or incline in the next 30 seconds, and repeat until you’re running uncomfortably fast. Staying on autopilot mode/never changing things up can make treadmill running boring very quickly.
  5. Treadmills can be handy for hill training- uphill or downhill. A previous marathon I ran, Big Cottonwood Canyon in UT, was a steep downhill course for the first 19 miles (followed by a very unfortunate uphill). Given that I was training in Boston as opposed to the mountains in Utah, I knew that training solely on flat terrain wouldn’t cut it for this race. So I did several runs inside on a treadmill with a downhill decline. This wasn’t an exact replication of the trail, but the constant downhill did help somewhat. The same can go for uphill terrains. Play around with the incline/decline function to mix things up!
  6. Similar to running outside, remember to warm up and stretch appropriately prior to treadmill running. Warm-up can include a few minutes of walking or slow jogging.

656Boston sans snow

What are your favorite treadmill tips?

photo for blog

Running outside with friends always beats inside- but I’ll take the treadmill over ice!