Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Back to zero.

My running had been going so well and then -- justlikethat -- it all went downhill.

The day before Thanksgiving, we drove to Long Island. We got caught in the bad snowstorm that hit upstate NY that week and our usually 3 hour drive became 4.5 hours. During the stressful ride, I felt my right hamstring tighten up. For the last hour or so of the trip, it was hurting in that dull, achey, tight way that I really, really should have listened to.

The next day, I went out for a run with my young niece who was also in town, up from Virginia. A little over 3 miles into our run, I had to stop. I felt searing pain at the top of my hamstring/my glute. I hoped, hoped, hoped it just needed a little stretch. So I stretched gently and then started to run again -- only I couldn't.

I couldn't run at all. I had a flashback to last spring when I'd torn those muscles in my left hip/glute. And how loooooong it took to heal and for me to get back to running.

I wanted to cry. But I didn't. Instead, Maggie and I walked back to my sister-in-law's house (well, I kinda hobbled, she walked with her nice brisk I-could-totally-be-running-now stride).

And I haven't run since.

We did, however, enjoy seeing so much of the family over the holiday.

My mother-in-law in the middle with several of her grandchildren.

My mother-in-law in the middle with 6 of her kids and their spouses/partners.

Now, I'm walking a little, riding the bike, getting back to the weight-lifting I neglected during marathon training. I am not running at all for the rest of the year. My hope is that this intentional rest, along with frequent applications of lemongrass oil and Deep Blue rub, and much-needed sessions with my chiropractor, will help my leg heal completely and I'll be back running with no problems at the beginning of 2015!

Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, happy December, everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Well, after a good long post-marathon break, I'm slowly getting my mileage back up to where I'd like it to be. Not because I'm training for anything. Just because I feel better when I'm running a certain amount each week.

Last week, I hit it. I ran 25 miles. Oh, how wonderful it was.

Sure, I started the week running in shorts and ended running in winter tights (and gloves, ear-warming headband, heavy running jacket . . . ) but, hey. Weather is weather and you can't control it. All I can control is how I respond to it.

And I responded by enjoying it all. Every mile of the 25!

I'm back. Running and loving it.


This week I'm hoping for more of the same! Cold weather forecast be damned ;-)

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The truth.

I have been trying to write up a race report for the Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon that I ran three (!!!) weeks ago.

I just haven't been able to do it. I've started. I've stopped. I've gone on and on about this and that and I haven't been able to publish anything.

Why? Because it hasn't been real. It has been "my race report with a positive spin on it" and that just hasn't been cutting it this time.

You see, I'm disappointed. I was disappointed and, quite honestly, I still am.

I wanted to run under 3:55 and qualify for Boston. I wanted it so bad. I believed I could do it. And for about 21 miles I was on my way. I was doing it. And then I wasn't.

Sure, my calf cramped and that sucked. But you know what sucked even more? The fact that after I stopped and stretched and massaged my calf, I gave up.

I saw the pace group getting farther and farther away from me and instead of bucking up and trying to slowly gain back my time, I let it all go. I didn't have any push in me. For the last five miles of the race I walked a lot. I gave up on 3:55 and when I realized I'd have to really get it together to even break 4 hours, I gave up on that, too.

I just gave up.

And that is the huge disappointment.  I totally let myself down. And I feel like I let down every person who supported me and wished me well as I trained and trained for this marathon. It is a crummy feeling to have and one I need to work out if I want to go after something big again.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not all doom and gloom about my running.

I ran a freaking marathon, after all! And, my finish time of 4:05:04 was still really good. I know that. I simply wish I didn't have the breakdown. I wish I had enough mental toughness to achieve my goal.

It was still a good day. And I am grateful to my friends and family for coming out and cheering me on. Even though I didn't do what I set out to do, I finished. And there is something to be said for that!

With three of my faves -- Janis, Bridget, me, Elisa.

With my family!
So, that's the story of my marathon as I see it right now. I'll be back, I'm sure. I'm running a little -- took 10 days off and now I'm getting out for 3-5 miles here and there. I'd like to just run and take it easy for a month or so and see where I end up. That's just where I am right now.

Funny, writing about how I really feel about this marathon has already made me feel a little better!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my wah-wah race non-report!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marathon goals.

My third marathon is this Sunday. Sunday! That's right around the corner.

I've trained well for this race, which is good because I have some goals that I would really like to achieve. But I also had that hip injury flare up on me at the end of my training and, I have to admit, that is getting in my head a little bit.

I am doing my best to shake any doubts out of my head. I ran 4 miles yesterday at an easy pace and  when I looked at my watch after the run I was happy to see my pace was well under my goal pace.

And what is my marathon goal pace, anyway? Well friends, it is a pace that would give me a new PR. It is a pace that would qualify me for Boston. It is 8:55.

8:55 per mile. For 26.2 miles.

That's all.

8:55 per mile would have me crossing the finish line in 3:54. A 3:54 marathon would qualify me for Boston (my BQ time is 3:55:00). I believe I can do it.

Why? Well, to start, I put my recent (ish) half marathon time into a few race prediction calculators. Here's what they predicted for my marathon time:

Calculator #1: 3:50:33
Calculator #2: 3:54:14
Calculator #3: 3:52:04
Calculator #4: 3:54:02

My training for this marathon has been better than my training for that half marathon. So that's a factor. Another factor in my favor is that the race takes place on my home turf. I know the course. I can sleep in my own bed the night before the race.

As long as I keep myself in check over the first half of the course, I believe I can run 3:54. I know it will be hard. I know I will want to stop in those last miles. I also know my body can handle way more than my mind gives it credit for.

I'm excited for Sunday. And nervous, sure. I've gone after big times before and missed them. But I've also gone after fast times and surprised myself by running faster.

I just have to see what race day will bring.

If you have good vibes to spare, send them my way! I'll be going after that 3:54 -- running my little heart out for sure!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for stopping by :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September recap.

September was quite the month with some really solid runs and then, well, then it petered out.

Overall, the month was a win. But I had to scrap a planned 14-miler at the end of the month and take three full days off of running because my wonky hip decided to flare up.

Grrrr . . . 

So, the month ended a bit down, but not completely. After the rest and loading up with my favorite Deep Blue Rub, I bounced right back. I started October with two joyful runs! Pain free!!


The month in numbers:

Running (miles): 123.1
Races: 0
Cross-training: some rehab on the hip and a realization that I have not been doing enough pre-hab!

This week, I am NOT going to let my mind obsess about missing my last long run last week.

Instead, I will obsess about the race day weather. Seems appropriate!

Oh . . . yeah! Looking good!! Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From worst to best.

Two weeks ago I ran that horrible 20-miler. It was tough -- for many reasons. The two biggest reasons were the humidity and my stomach cramping issues. After that run, I wondered (several times) if I was meant for the marathon at all, let alone a marathon with a time goal.

I wondered and every time I did, I told myself that, yes, I'm meant for it. Now is the time to go for it. Go for that marathon PR. I mean, why not? Right? Right.

So I forged ahead and have had some rocking runs since.

Sunday's 22 mile run was the best yet.

I ran with people I've never run with before: Catherine, Rachel and Jen. Catherine was with us for about 5 miles and then looped back to finish with 14. Rachel, Jen and I continued on. We started in one county, crossed the bridge over the river, and ran on into another county. High adventure for this happy runner!

Mile 1: 10:03
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:16
Mile 5: 9:51
Mile 6: 10:20
Mile 7: 9:53
Mile 8: 9:46
Mile 9: 9:41
Mile 10: 9:38

After 10 miles, we popped into a 5K in Washington Park. It was such an odd thing to do, but it worked. It got us to pick up our pace on tiring legs. It also forced us to hold back, because we knew we'd have 9 miles left to run after the 5K.

The 5K:
Mile 11: 8:39
Mile 12: 7:52
Mile 13: 8:01

After the race: Me, Jen, Rachel. Yes, I was wearing gloves. My hands were freezing on Sunday!

We ran together for the race, finished, and ran back to where we'd started. We went a different route back to the start, which happened to be super-duper hilly. But, no matter. We conquered those hills!

Mile 14: 10:40
Mile 15: 11:25
Mile 16: 10:43
Mile 17: 10:24
Mile 18: 11:31
Mile 19: 10:16

With 3 miles to go, something happened to me. My body just needed to go. I felt myself pick up the pace a little and I went with it. I worried for about half a second that I would not be able to hold on to the pace, but deep-down I knew I could.

Mile 20: 9:48
Mile 21: 8:47
Mile 22: 9:18

And I did. I ran such a solid last few miles. It felt awesome!!!


Actually, the whole run felt awesome. I loved the company and our pacing and I really enjoyed the mid-run race break.

Solid Sunday 22-miler = total confidence. 

Now, my taper is right around the corner. I'm ready!

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August recap.

Training got real in August.

My long runs were longer and my overall mileage climbed higher than it has been in years. I committed to running more in the morning and that's what I did. I had an awesome race/long run in mid-August and ran some strong workouts. I also had just about the crappiest long run ever -- Sunday's 20-miler.

Sure, I got it done. But, man-oh-man if it wasn't hard.

I don't know exactly what it was that caused my problems, all I know is that the run did not work for me. I cramped after eating my energy chews and felt like I was going to throw up for most of the rest of the run. It really kinda sucked.

And it totally messed with my head. You know, in that why-on-earth-am-I-even-thinking-about-running-another-marathon kind of way.

I need a strong rebound run this week to help me get back on track!

While I work on making that happen, here's a look at my month in miles:

Running (miles): 143.1
Races: 1 -- the Clove Run
Cross training: ha!

And now it is September. The month of back to school. The month of soccer all the time. The month of peak training AND the beginning of my taper. The month before the marathon.


Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yasso 800s in the mix.

After focusing on marathon goal pace miles for the last few weeks, I decided I would run Yasso 800s yesterday. I wanted to test myself with some speedwork to kick off the week. My plan was to run 8 Yasso 800s, which requires me to run them at my goal marathon time, converted to minutes. So, 3:50-ish (my goal is 3:52).

If you're not familiar with Yasso 800s, here's a page that explains how they work.

I warmed up for about 3/4 of a mile and then took off running. I ran each 800 with a rest lap in between, where I jogged 400. Here's what my laps looked like:

Lap 1: 3:47 
Lap 2: 3:45 
Lap 3: 3:42 
Lap 4: 3:45 
Lap 5: 3:42 
Lap 6: 3:46
Lap 7: 3:48 
Lap 8: 3:41 

No 3:50s, but I was able to hold on. I mean, look at that 8th lap compared to the 1st -- 6 seconds faster! And I wasn't dying at all during these intervals. In fact, I felt really good. Really strong. I almost added on two more laps. But then I reminded myself to stick to my plan. No need to go all crazy with the Yassos!

That workout was a win. Now, I'm shifting my focus to my 20-miler for this weekend. I don't know where or when I'll do this run but I fully admit that I am already getting excited for it! 

Thanks for stopping by -- have a good week!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Clove Run 10 Mile Race Report.

Saturday was the day of two runs. My main goal was my 18 mile marathon training run. But it also happened to be the day of the Clove Run, a local 10-mile race that I've run for the past few years. I really enjoy the race and was even the top female finisher back in 2011.

This year, I decided to sandwich the race in the middle of my 18-miler. I figured it would be a good opportunity to test out my marathon goal pace over an extended run. Plus, I'd get to run 18 miles in a race atmosphere.

I started out by running 2 miles by myself and then hooked up with Elisa and Bridget for a mile. Bridget had already run 4 miles by herself (she was sandwiching the race in the middle of her 16-miler) so she left us and Elisa and I ran one more mile before the race started. I quickly changed out of my super-sweaty shirt and headed to the start line.

I had a plan. I wanted to run at a steady pace, but walk the two major hills. My marathon goal pace is 8:51 so I was hoping to stick close to that for the entire race. I know myself, however, so I know that I don't always start out slow enough in my races. I tend to bolt out of the gate. On Saturday, though, I kept it in check.

Mile 1: 8:40
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:29

I kept telling myself to slow down but I also tried really hard to only look at my watch at the mile markers. I wanted to run by feel as much as possible.

Those first 6 miles flew by -- surprisingly.

Mile 4: 8:36
Mile 5: 8:15
Mile 6: 8:31

There's no marker for Mile 6, but there is one for the 10K, which comes right before the first big hill. Because I had been feeling so good, I almost decided to run up the whole hill. But my plan was to walk at a certain point, so walk I did! My hip thanked me for it.

At the top of the hill, there is a family that has a water stop for the runners and they were so incredibly nice! I stopped, took my gel (honey stinger) and some water, chatted with the kind family, and then ran on.

As nice as that stop was, though, it might not have been worth it. That gel did me wrong. Or maybe it was the stopping? Or combination? Something was not right because a few minutes after taking the gel I got a cramp and it stuck with me for pretty much the rest of the race. Boo!

Mile 7: 9:24
Mile 8: 8:05
Mile 9: 8:29

And then there was the last mile. Ah, yes. The last mile with that hill. I walked it all. See, the hill comes at a point in the race when you've already run 9+ miles. Who wants to run up a steep hill at that point? Not me, that's for sure.

So, I walked and then tried my best to pull out a strong finish.

Mile 10: 10:14

I ended up finishing is 1:27:19 -- an 8:45 pace overall and good enough for 3rd place in my age group!

Not too shabby!

After finishing, I continued running for 4 more (slow) miles. The cool part of running those miles was that I also got to listen to my aunt's band that was providing post-race entertainment! Pretty awesome!

In the end, I ran 18 miles with 10 of them just under marathon goal pace. I learned that I do well with nuun in my water, but still need to figure out mid-race fuel. The gels really don't work for me. I re-confirmed that my Injinji toe socks rock for long runs. Same goes for my awesome favorite running skirt.

I wish I had some race day pictures but, alas, that didn't happen!

All-in-all, a good day of running! I'm glad I ran the Clove Run -- one of my favorite races -- as part of my 18-miler. Breaking the miles up like I did (4/10/4) made them relatively easy!

Sunday was a nice little recovery run and now, today, I will rest! Hope you had a great weekend -- thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


We've been doing a bit of celebrating here in Happy Runner-ville.

First, Owen and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday. We had a great day together. We went to Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course during the day and then out for a delicious dinner that evening. Lots of fun!

Check out that wobbly bridge behind us! It was way up high -- and way wobbly!

Then, on Saturday, we had a surprise 60th birthday party for my aunt at my house. It was a huge success -- she was surprised and so, so happy. Just perfect. Another day of fun!!

We took a break from the party to get a group shot of the family.

To top it all off, on Sunday I ran 10 solo miles and they went way better than I expected. I call that something to celebrate!

Felt great!
All good stuff, for sure. This week is shaping up to be a good one, too. Just not full of celebrations, but still full of fun. I'm going to be disappointed when this summer ends!

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Going early, going long.

Some days, I don't even know who I am.

Some days, it seems, I'm an early morning runner. That is not me. Not at all.

Except for when I am training for a marathon. In the middle of the summer. Then, apparently, I turn into that strange being that is the early morning runner.

And I don't mind it -- mostly. So odd, right?

Now, I usually do all of my long runs in the morning and some other runs as well. But when I've done those long runs, they've been at fairly civilized times. 7:30, perhaps. Or 8:00. Times that allow me to sleep until at least 7. Nothing crazy.

On Friday, though, I had 16 miles on the schedule and one of my running pals had to get in to work after the run. So we needed to get out early. Which meant I woke up in the 5s!


But I did it. 16 hilly, early-morning miles. Done. The first 10 miles were with Bridget and Elisa and they were full of conversation. The last 6 miles were done alone. Miles 11-14 were run right around marathon goal pace (8:51).

The last two miles were run right around barely running pace. I was dragging. With a mile and a half to go, I wanted to scrap the whole thing. Not just the run but the whole marathon training.

I gave myself a virtual slap upside the head, got back in the game and ran on. I finished the whole 16  miles. And the benefit of starting so early? I still had the whole day ahead of me.

Then, on Tuesday, I got up in the 5s again! This time, to meet a neighbor for an easy run.

We ran a little less than 4 miles together and I ran a mile on my own. I hadn't run with my neighbor since before my half marathon in May so it was good to catch up. Even if it did mean seeing these numbers on the clock when I woke up:

Who am I?

Still the same happy runner, for sure. Just with the renewed ability to bust out some miles early in the morning!

That's what marathon training does, I guess!

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July recap.

First, thanks for your comments on marathon pace runs. I'm making a few tweaks to my training plan and I'll be incorporating fast finish (marathon pace) long runs into the mix. I feel good about it.

Second, July rocked.

It did. I ran more than I've run in over a year. And I ran strong. I'm so pleased.

Here's the breakdown:

Running (miles):113.8
Races: 0
Cross training: not much

Wow. Over 100 miles for the month! That's great for me. I've been serious about rest and recovery, knowing full-well what happens when I skimp on those, so getting up over 100 miles and feeling so strong is a sign, to me, that my training is going well. Hooray!

I welcome what is to come in August!

Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marathon Pacing.

I'm having trouble. You see, I have a goal for my upcoming marathon. I'd like to PR. And if I do, I will likely be able to qualify for Boston.

My current marathon PR is 3:56:37. My Boston qualifying time is 3:55:00.

All I need is to cut two minutes off my time and I'll qualify. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll get in. To get in, I'm pretty sure I'll need to run a good bit faster than my qualifying time.

So, I have this goal. Yes, to PR. But, also to get in to Boston. I'd like to run under 3:52 for the marathon in October.

To do that, I need to run 8:51 miles. And here we get to my problem.

I can run that pace, easy-peasy. My half-marathon pace is faster than that so I know I can do it. The trick, of course, is holding the pace over 26.2 miles.

So I've been running marathon pace miles in my training. Well, I've been trying to. And I've been failing. I'm running them too fast, which won't do me any good in the marathon.

I need to get comfortable with 8:51 per mile. That's it. I don't need to get comfortable with 8:19 per mile or 8:37 per mile. I just need to glide through my miles at 8:51.

Yesterday was my third marathon pace workout. I warmed up for a mile and then ran 3 miles, targeting 8:51. Instead, I ran:

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 8:37

Consistent, I guess, so maybe I should be pleased with my fairly even pacing? Or maybe I should go ahead and try again next week!

In other news, yesterday's run put me over 100 miles for July. That's the first time I've broken 100 miles since last September. And while I do not want to jinx myself, I'm feeling really good about how my training is going! My long runs are increasing steadily and well. My easy runs feel good.

If I can just start to nail these marathon pace runs, I'll feel even better!!

Any tips for perfecting marathon pace? I'd love to hear them!!

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Marathon training progress.

This is how we train for a marathon around here.

Old school training plans. Pen-and-paper style. (Graph paper, no less.)

Long runs. Slow-and-easy style. (With friends! The best way.)

Marathon pace runs. Solo style. (Overall pace of 8:38 -- right on target.)

This weekend I've got 14 miles on the schedule and they will be solo miles. I'm a wee bit nervous because 14 is the longest I've run in, well, in probably about a year. I didn't run anything over 13.2 in my half-marathon training this spring. I know I ran 14 once for my half-marathon training last fall, but that's it.

We'll see how this goes. If I take it slow and easy, I should be fine. Fingers crossed -- wish me luck!!!

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone. And have a good weekend!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ready . . . set . . . train!

After a low-mileage June, July has brought a big change: Marathon training!

I'm registered for the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon in October and training started in full-force yesterday with a solo 10-mile run.

It was a hilly, humid run but I managed to finish strong, with a 9:30 pace overall.

It was a little weird to be running alone, but also just what I needed. I recently started a doTerra essential oils business and my mind has been racing. I love the oils and love the opportunity -- but there is still so much to learn and I have all these plans and sometimes my head spins from it all. Out on the run, I was able to really clear my thoughts.

Runs like that are good for the ol' confidence. I feel like I am prepared to start marathon training now that I have 10 miles run and done.

As far as my schedule goes . . . it is a work-in-progress. I have all of my long runs mapped out but I still need to plan my speed work and fill-in the days for my easy runs and cross-training. I'll work that out over the next few days. No worries there.

Now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. I hope you're having a great one!

Monday, June 30, 2014

June recap.

June was one of those months for me. When I was in the thick of it, I didn't feel like writing about it, because I tend to feel like the more life you give anything bad, the worse it is.

Now that the month is over, I can say that it was a bit of a stressful one, full of both good and bad stress. Like regular life, right?

Anyway, June started great -- Conal turned 7 and that was a happy, happy day. But then, well, yuck. A few days later, a huge casserole pan filled with baked macaroni and cheese fell on my right big toe -- from a high shelf in the refrigerator.

So much pain, bruising, swelling. I thought my fall marathon plans would have to be put on hold. But, a week of total rest from running (and as much keeping off the foot as I could), plus some icing, elevating, and rubbing it with healing essential oils, and my toe is more or less OK. Meaning, I can run on it with not much more pain than I'm used to.

Then my little guy got Lyme disease. Grrrr . . .

Totally threw me for a loop. But, I know that it was caught early so he shouldn't have any lasting problems.

Unfortunately, it happened right in the midst of another medical issue that he had. I won't go into all the details but my poor little guy has been to so many doctor and specialist appointments in the past two months -- but this past Friday he had an exploratory procedure that gave us really good news!

I'm so lucky that he's a happy patient!

Such relief!

June wasn't all gloomy, however. Niall finished his first year of preschool and had a sweet moving up ceremony.

Moving up!

And then we had a rocking trip to Long Beach Island, where I got in some great runs and the whole family relaxed and enjoyed the beach.

My boys at the beach!

Here's what the month looked like, mileage-wise:

Running (miles): 57.6
Races: 0
Cross-training: plenty of crossfit and (here's a new one for me!) bike riding

So that was June. I finished up the month by starting marathon training. It will heat up over the summer and I. Am. Ready.

Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Let's remember the Run to Remember.

So, it has been, I don't know, over 3 weeks since I ran Boston's Run to Remember half marathon. Not a big deal, really, but odd for me because I like to write race reports somewhat soon after the actual races. By now, this race report is old, old news.

I guess my reporting is going the way that my training and eventual racing did.

Ah, yes. The race.

Well, let me start by saying I learned a few things about myself while running 13.1 miles in Boston. For starters, I now know that I can be one heck of a head-case during a race. Seriously. I also now know that I need to have a race goal. Doesn't have to be a stretch goal or anything aggressive. I just need a goal -- or else I turn into that head-case I mentioned.

Anyway -- race weekend started great. I went over to Boston with friends -- rode with Elisa and then Janis, Bridget, Kara and Caitlin followed us.

Janis, Elisa, me, Bridget, Kara, Caitlin.

After a few wrong turns, we made it to the expo for packet pickup. We picked up our packets, took some goofy pics, and bought t-shirts. Because that's what you when you're away for a race. Buy t-shirts.

At the Expo!

After the expo we checked-in at the hotel, hung out a bit and decided to walk over to Boston Common. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to stretch our legs on the walk and to do a little people watching.

Why on earth did we all have to put our hands on the frog?
Then, we went to dinner. We found a restaurant within walking distance and had delicious meals. Unfortunately, when we went to walk back to hotel, it was raining. What's a little rain, we asked ourselves. We're tough . . .

So we walked on. And then it started to pour. 

So we walked faster. It poured harder.

We then ran down the streets -- finding an awning, huddling under it, running on. We were drenched. Saturday night fun for the half-marathoners!
Under one of the many awnings that provided cover as we made our way back to the hotel in the pouring rain.

Sunday morning came wicked early and before I knew it we were piling into a (too small) cab on our way to the race. The Run to Remember was the largest race I've ever run. I think they said there were about 12,000 people registered for the half and the 5-mile races.

I lined up at the 8:30 pace flag. I felt so unsettled because, as I said, I had no goal. I knew that my training was not nearly strong enough to beat my PR (1:46:12) that I ran in October. And I pretty much knew that it would be hard for me to finish under 1:50. Truthfully, I wanted to. But, I told myself that anything under 1:55 would be fine. I'd be happy. Just run your own race. Run strong. Run smart.

Running through the streets of Boston was great. The first mile was tough because it was so packed. Then, I noticed I was pushing too hard so my second mile was too fast.

At some point, I went bonkers in my own head. I was having a tough time. I couldn't push the pace at all. It was a struggle run 8:30 miles. And it got in my head. By about halfway through the race, all I could think was, if running this half is this hard, how am I ever to run a marathon at an 8:45 pace? I can't do it. I might as well change my registration now and save myself tons of tears later.

Looking back, I have to wonder why my thoughts went from the present -- half-marathon in May -- to the far-away future -- marathon in October. It was not good thinking. It was defeatist and it slowed me down and made the race harder than it had to be.

Not having a goal also contributed to my nutty thinking. Sure, I lined up at the 8:30 pace flag but I also had a thought that I might be able to go faster. I ran a 48:56 10K two weeks before the half-marathon so I kinda thought I might be able to go under 1:50. But my training had been all over the place so I just wasn't confident. And I had no plan.

Wah, wah, wah.

In the end, I crossed the line in 1:51:18. It was a tough 1:51. Mentally, very tough.

I wasn't disappointed in my time but I was really disappointed in my mental attitude while I was running and how I let myself think such negative thoughts over and over and over again during the race. It was unlike me and it was not good!

What was good, however, was watching Kara finish her first half marathon. After grabbing some refreshments, I made my way up to the meeting spot and eventually met up with the rest of my friends. We were able to watch Kara run to the finish and I cheered for her with all my might. It was terrific! She did great.

So did everyone else! Caitlin ran her first half-marathon, too, but I didn't get to see her finish. Overall, it was a great time.


After the race, we cleaned up, put on our new t-shirts, and headed out to stuff our faces with lots of yummy, greasy food! Post-race food is the best.

And then we headed home and race weekend was over. But, no worries, we're already planning the next one!

Here's a look at my mile splits:

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 7:46
Mile 3: 7:59
Mile 4: 8:15
Mile 5: 8:01
Mile 6: 8:20
Mile 7: 8:31
Mile 8: 8:20
Mile 9: 8:25
Mile 10: 8:21
Mile 11: 8:35
Mile 12: 8:45
Mile 13: 8:18
last .1: 8:03 pace

OK, so, those aren't bad splits, which makes my negative thoughts during the race even worse. Well, I guess I know what I have to work on this summer! My mental game. For sure.

Overall time: 1:51:18
Overall pace: 8:30
Age group place (female, 40-49): 89 out of 828

Thanks for sticking around and reading my long race report! If you have any tried-and-true tips for improving your mental game, hit me up. I can use all the help I can get!

In the meantime, have a great day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Helloooooo, taper!

Saturday was my last long run before the Run to Remember half marathon in Boston later this month.

It was an odd run. Not my greatest run but, believe me, not my worst. It was, however, a run that made me feel like I am ready for the race.

I got up ridiculously early in order to meet Janis and Bridget and start our run at 6:30. It was warm and humid. Then it started to rain a little. We ran 3 miles, complained about the crummy weather, then circled back to Janis' car and changed some of our gear.

Then we met up with Elisa for 9-10 more miles.

It continued to be warm. And humid. And to start-and-stop with the rain.

At mile 8, I had to run off by myself. It was just one of those runs. My feet were hurting and I felt like I needed to run faster to give them a bit of a break. Weird, I know. But that's just the way it is.

I ran the next 4 miles by myself and felt so strong! After running the 12 miles, I turned and met up with Elisa and Janis and then ran on to finish up with Bridget. In all, I ran 13 miles:

13 miles at a 9:30 pace. I'll take it.

Now, I am relishing my taper! On Sunday I ran and easy 4.5 miles with a new running friend (who lives right in my neighborhood -- lucky me!!) and today I ran another easy 4.5 miles by myself. This weekend I'll run a short long run (6 miles? 8 miles?) and take it easy. At some point, I'll figure out exactly what my race plan is (I have some thoughts but I'm not there yet).

Until then, I'll enjoy my taper.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Stonyfield yogurt pouches.

I am a fan of organic yogurt for my boys and have long purchased Stonyfield Organic products for them. They love the squeezers for lunch boxes, and I get the quarts for them to eat by the bowlful at home. Sometimes, when I'm feeling zany, I buy the little smoothie bottles. Man, oh man, do they love it when I do.

Now, they want the pouches. I was given the opportunity to try out Stonyfield Organics new yogurt pouches and . . . CONTINUE READING ---------------->

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Spring Runoff 10K.

So far, this here month of May is shaping up to be a good one.

On Saturday, I ran a 10K. Not a goal race, not even a race I'd been planning to run. Just a 10K that had been on my mind for a bit and that I decided earlier in the week to run.

I went to the race with Bridget and Janis and we met up with Kara at the registration table and set out to run 2 miles before the race started. We did -- but those 2+ miles were goofy. We ran with our goody bags back to Bridget's car. Break. Then we ran for about a mile until we hit the bathrooms. Another break. Then we ran toward Kara's car -- only we couldn't get there because we went the wrong way and it ended up that there were train tracks in our way and we had no interest in jumping them! So, another break.

Finally, we hit the starting line warmed-up from our almost 2.5 miles.

I said good luck to my friends and kept my eye out for my cousin, Kate. I found her and her boyfriend, Felix, and their friend Kyla just before the race started. After the start, I ran with Felix for about a minute before he sped off (and finished in a wicked fast 45:14 -- 7th overall!).

Look at me, hanging with the 20-somethings --

Me, Kate, Kyla, Felix
I had it in my mind that I would try to run 8 minute miles and that I would restrain myself and run a slower first half than second.

Now, if you've ever read one of my race reports, you know that I am just about the worst race starter there is. I start too fast. Pretty much every single time I race. Seriously.

On Saturday, though, I paced myself and ran a smart, strong, solid race. Check out the splits for my first 3 miles:

Mile 1: 8:00
Mile 2: 7:50
Mile 3: 7:51

The race was an out-and-back course, going out for a 5K and then turning around at a cone and going back to the finish for 5K. At the turn-around, a nice volunteer yelled out our 5K splits. Mine was 24:39.

Heading back, I got to see all my friends who were racing and give them some high-5s. It was so invigorating! I think that boost helped me run a faster second half. Well, that and holding myself back for those first miles.

Here are the rest of my mile splits:

Mile 4: 7:45
Mile 5: 7:46
Mile 6: 7:47
last .2: 7:43 pace

Hello, negative splits! I love it.

My friend Elisa made me smile with about a half mile to go.
It was a great race. I felt like I was definitely pushing myself, but also running well within my capabilities. The only downer was that my wonky pelvis couldn't contain itself and I felt discomfort in my right hip and hamstring for most of the race. Not cool.

I didn't dwell too much on that because I was busy cheering enthusiastically for my friends and family as they crossed the finish line!

Strong Running Mamas! Jennifer, Janis, me, Kara, Bridget, Elisa

Bridget, Janis and I had to book-it home so we took off before wishing friends -- including our best cheerleader, Elisa -- good luck in the 5K. And then we took our racers' highs out into the world of baseball games and birthday parties. You know, the regular weekend mom stuff!

Here are my race stats:

Overall time: 48:56
Overall pace: 7:53
Age group (F 40-49): 1 out of 15
Overall female: 5 out of 76
Overall place: 15 out of 127

Oh! That's right, I was first in my age group. How's that for a good race?

Now, I'm feeling all kinds of ready for the half-marathon. Just 3 weeks to go!

Thanks for stopping by -- and have a great week!

Friday, May 2, 2014

April miles bring May smiles.

At least that's what I hope.

My mileage was up a bit in April, with several quality long runs. I ran 12 miles by myself at 9:30 pace, 13.2 with friends at 10:20 pace, 10 miles by myself at 9:17 pace, and another 10 miles (7.5 with Bridget and 2.5 by myself) at 9:11 pace.

Solid runs.

Unfortunately, I have not run fast really at all since the Runnin' of the Green race in March. Which probably means that the race I'm popping into tomorrow won't be a PR. And I'm OK with that.

You read that right: I'm popping into a race! I'm running a 10K tomorrow morning and my PR for that distance, set November 2011, is 47:38 (7:40 pace). Man, I used to have some speed!

No matter, I'm not gunning for that time tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'd like to run 8 minute miles, or just under 50 minutes for the full 10K. We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, let's look at what happened last month.

April stats:

Running (miles):  87.3
Races: 0
Cross-training (sessions): 12

No, that's not what was on the schedule (I was planning for more miles) but that's OK. I'm still battling an injury and had to scrap a few runs but, overall, I feel good about how I ran last month.

My hope is that my slowly increasing mileage and longer long runs will mean a decent time in my half-marathon at the end of May. Because, yup, May is race month!! Woo-hoo!

I have about a week left of training before I start my taper for the half-marathon. I'd like this last week to be strong, starting with tomorrow's race.

Now, I'm off to enjoy the weekend. Hope yours is a good one!!

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