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.

Bib pickup and pre-race organization was smooth- everything was stationed at the New Bedford YMCA. Thankfully my parents were able to babysit this time. We had an easy time getting to the race and parking before 11am gun time. I ran 2 warmup miles earlier and was ready to race!

I went out conservatively for the first couple of miles @~8:00/mile pace. There were a couple of big hills towards the beginning, but the remainder of the course (apart from mile 12!) was flat. I split the race into three sections and aimed to run the first 2 five mile sections in about 39 minutes each. Ultimately my conservative start led to a negative split in the second half, which has taken a lot of practice to be able to execute.

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I ate half of a honey stinger waffle 20 minutes before the start and two GUs throughout (chocolate will always be my favorite). I decided to “enjoy” each GU sparingly and took a little at a time, and I think that plan went well. In my next half (first weekend in April) or in a training run, I may try for additional GUs but I was nervous to take in too much this time.

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One thing I nailed during this race compared to others was running the tangents. I stuck to the middle of the course and ran an even 13.1 on my watch (which happens rarely!). I think I am getting better at that aspect of the race. I also tried to draft when I could in the windier sections, and that helped a little although it didn’t seem like anyone was running my exact pace.

My “A” goal was sub-1:43, a 7:50 pace and ultimately I ran a 1:41, about a 7:45 minute pace. I was thrilled to hit my goal!

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This week is low mileage with some rest days and easy runs enjoying the slightly warmer weather in Boston. Here are some views of a recent run through the North End. I never take Boston’s historic beauty for granted!

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I am happy for the mental and physical break until next week. It will be a fun one with a mom’s group spin class and celebrating Mark’s birthday. After next weekend, we are 11 weeks away from my goal marathon in Seattle. I didn’t think I’d be able to stay motivated to train all winter, but it has helped to find other running buddies, add in some goal halfs in new and interesting places, and just try to enjoy the process of getting back in to shape and work towards something you want so badly.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

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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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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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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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Coaching and Celebrations

Happy Friday! It has been a busy week (a busy month really!) and I finally had some time to sit down and write a post. Last night a group of us celebrated my friend’s birthday and we started talking about how excited we were for a big blizzard to hit Boston…in retrospect, I wouldn’t go that far, but I think we are all ready for a change of seasons to the beautiful fall!

Here are some updates on my life over the past couple of weeks:

-Most excitingly and relevant to running: last weekend I took the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) coaching certification course. The two 8-hour day course was held outside of Minneapolis, MN (the New England courses for the year were filled within minutes!), and was worth every penny. Even if I never coach, I learned a great deal to inform my own training. Official coaching certification happens after I pass a 100 question exam and become CPR and First Aid certified, so hopefully I can call myself “Coach Jane” soon!

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I was very impressed with the scientifically-based running agenda and loved our instructor, Cari Setzler. Cari is a competitive runner herself, an RRCA certified coach, a writer for Women’s Running Magazine, and on top of that- a Veterinarian. She kept the class entertained with her funny and engaging style. Fellow classmates had a variety of running interests- some were specializing in 5k distances and enjoyed working with young runners while others were passionate about the ultra-distance and wanted to increase their knowledge of the sport. It was so interesting hearing their stories, and we all enjoyed talking about running non-stop. I hope to keep in touch with some of these fellow runners! Stay tuned for another post with more details on my experience and the course itself.  For now, I have to get back to working on the exam!

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