Last week’s workouts

Fall has finally arrived!

It was a choppy week here in terms of training.  Last weekend, we were all fighting off some sort of sickness and Monday’s run wasn’t great.  I rested on Tuesday and eased back in on Wednesday. By the end of the week, I felt more like myself.

I still need to decide what exactly it is that I’m working toward! I’m considering the Richmond half or a local Brooklyn half.

Training last week:

Monday: 6 easy (9:25) still not feeling 100%

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday:  5 easy (9:22 ave)

Thursday:  6 miles with 10 x 400m near goal 5k pace (6:18) with 1 minute walk recoveries + wall sit, shoulder press, upright rows and kettle bell swings

Friday:  4 mile stroller walk with a stop at a park

Saturday: 13.1 with 2 easy, 10 progressing from 7:15 to 6:50, 1 cool down

Sunday: 5 very easy miles (10:15 ave) with the Moms Run This Town crew

For the meal plan this week…

  • roast chicken + chicken noodle soup
  • homemade sushi
  • chicken fajitas with guacamole
  • homemade pizza

Did you get cool fall weather this weekend?

What soups or stews do you look forward to in the fall?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run

Flopped Workouts and Finding a new Half Marathon

Hey friends!

It’s been an interesting week.  How are you?

I had a packed week of juggling all the usual things, just more of them! Family events, new nutrition and run clients, organizing the Scholastic book fair coming up, hosting friends this weekend and speaking at an event… by the time we got to Saturday morning, my run felt awful.

By Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and exhausted.  I very rarely get sick so I knew I had pushed myself a little too hard this week.  At least it helped me understand why my run was so rough!

I rested Sunday but Monday morning was another flopped run that just didn’t feel good.  It happens.

In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and sign up for the Run Rise Retreat meet up and the Seacoast half marathon… and discovered it had sold out! Sigh.

This fall has not gone according to plan with my running, but sometimes that’s how it goes.  I’m used to having a plan.  It’s natural that sometimes my plans will fall apart.

So maybe I just turn this into my season of 5ks that I was saying I wanted to do? I might still find a half to jump into but it’s all good.

So tell me about a time when you had a run that flopped for you?

Or an entire running season? 🙂


6 Tips for Race Week Eats + a Pre Race Meal Plan

Race season is upon us.

My Instagram is filled with countdowns to race day! So many marathons are right around the corner: Steamtown, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, MCM… not to mention the hundreds of half marathons, 10ks and 5ks in every state!

The training is done.  Now the last big piece within your control is nutrition.

How much should you eat when you are tapering? Should you carb load? How many carbs are enough? What’s too much?

Obviously, it varies greatly from person to person but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Most of your week going into the marathon should look very similar to what you normally do– breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few snacks, letting your hunger guide you. You may eat slightly less while you taper, but you may not.

Personally, I always found my appetite was about the same in the taper as during training! That is okay.

2. About 3-4 days out from the race, begin to lower your fat intake and replace it with additional carbohydrates.  The protein can remain the same or can decrease slightly.  You will need the additional carbs for energy race morning and they are more easily accessible than fat for quick energy (ie, feeling that ‘pop’ in your legs).

3. Focus on quality and quantity of carbohydrates at the dinner two nights out.  These are the carbs that will be available race morning.  For example, if your race is a Sunday, consider Friday evening your ‘carb loading’ dinner. Easily digested carbs such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice or even bread are all good choices.

4. You do not need to go crazy carb-loading! Eat about the amount you normally would, maybe slightly more, but make a larger percentage of it from carbohydrates.  Cut back on fats and raw veggies.

5. The day before the race, eat simple foods that your body digests well and avoid new or spicy foods.  Also avoid anything fermented that might stir up your system: kombucha, sauerkraut, or spicy sauces as well as heavy creams or too much cheese.

6. Race morning, give your body 2+ hours to digest simple carbs plus a big of protein such as a banana with peanut butter for a shorter race or a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts and honey for a larger race.

To make it even easier, I put together a 7 day race week guide for you with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks including a grocery list and all the recipes.  Fun, right?

To check it out, you can grab yours here.

How do you eat the week of a race?

Do you have a favorite pre-race meal?

PS- I started a free 90/10 clean eating community where we support each other in making progress in healthy eating (but without perfection).  I’d love to see you inside!


I’m linking up with Marcia’s healthy slice and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesday on the run and Running on Happy, Coach Debbie Runs, Train with Marc for Coaches corner.


Week of workouts

Beautiful fall weather has arrived!

We got outside most of Saturday with the girls morning activities (soccer and Girls on the Run) and then went apple picking all afternoon.

The NJ farms are a bit of a touristy destination for NYC so it was a little crazier than I would have liked, but in the end, it all worked out. The kids didn’t notice the long lines and we came home with our 20 pounds of apples, which I turned into apple crisp and apple oatmeal muffins for a potluck on Sunday.  Chunky applesauce is coming up next.

It was also perfect running weather.  My miles are creeping back up, but with the 14 I did on Saturday I feel like the full marathon is not in the cards for this fall and I am totally fine with that.

I’ve learned that the internal motivation or drive has to be high to go through all of marathon training, and I’m neutral on the topic.  So a year of pulling back to the half distance (or even shorter) seems like the right move.

Training last week:

Monday: 13 easy (8:45 pace) … this was supposed to be 10, but I was feeling good and wanted to test out my knee beyond ten miles to see how it felt… happy knee!

Tuesday: 30 minute spin (easy) + strength at home

Wednesday:  7 miles with 4 x 1 mile cut down from half pace to 10k pace (7:04, 6:36, 6:53, 6:40) … not exactly a progression, but this was a humid 70 degrees so I was happy with those paces

Thursday:  6 easy miles (9:15 pace)

Friday:  20 minute short strength workout – not ideal before a long run, but I had planned to get to the pool to swim and couldn’t fit it in, so I did what I could!

Saturday: 14.25 total miles split between 6 miles steady near tempo (7:20 ave), 3 with a local athlete including her mile time trial that she rocked!, and the final 6 with a few 2-3 minute pick ups (6:29–> 6:14)

Sunday: 5 very easy miles (10 ave) bringing back the Moms Run This Town crew

How did you enjoy the fall weekend?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run

Another 5k + winging it this season

Last weekend I was in PA for a baby shower and decided to run another 5k Saturday morning.  I’d love a cool, flat 5k but it was not in the cards.  The sun came out strong as we lined up.

But the course was fun, and it was a more competitive group than the last two I ran, so I had several runners to chase and ran a bit stronger- around 20:39, by my watch. I’ll take that!

I’ve had fun winging it lately.  I didn’t run the half marathon that was on my calendar early September, and since then I’ve been doing what I feel like… running a few 5ks for fun with no real plan for the fall.

I did test out my grumpy knee with a longer run yesterday (13) and it was fine, so although I’ve lost a few weeks of training, I’d still like to fit in one or two halfs this fall.

It looks like the marathon will likely have to wait for another season.  I’m okay with that.  I ran fall and spring marathons last year which is more than usual for me, so I’m due for a cut back season soon.  There is a marathon I had my eye on for November but the farthest I’ve run is 16 so it’s probably not going to happen!

I’m considering the Rise, Run Retreat meet up with Lindsey Hein early November, combined with the Seacoast half.  Is anyone else planning to be there?

I may also run the Jersey Shore half by the shore in two weeks for fun. Just rolling with this fall and we’ll see what happens!

Have you run the Seacoast half or Jersey Shore half? Thoughts?

Have you had a season of winging it?


Another 5k, a Fall Reset Challenge and What’s Next

Happy Monday!

Well, my fall is not going exactly as planned and that is okay.  I was training for the Newport half marathon yesterday but made a last minute switch to a local 5k for two reasons.

One, because my knee has been a little cranky when I do anything over ten and I didn’t want to risk making it an issue.  And two, because I fall apart in the heat and humidity and it was another rough day with full sun and I know myself well- I fall apart in those conditions.

The 5k was the right choice! I was still melting and thankful that I was only racing 3 miles.  I wasn’t exactly ‘racing’- it was closer to my tempo pace, but a good workout.  And I came in first woman and won a gift card to my favorite local running store, so that’s fun!

I finished with another 5-6 miles home (plus a 2 mile warm up) for 11 for the day.  My knee was grumpy around 10-11 so I’m thankful I wasn’t pushing it for 13.

Now I’m looking for a half in October or November instead and trying to piece my fall together.  A local NJ race would be ideal and there are several I’ve never run before so we’ll see how my knee comes along this week.

I’m also leading my annual September reset next Monday! Many of you have joined me in the past and I always find that September is a good time to reset back to real food and cut the sugar for a bit.

We’ll do 7 days of healthy food- I put together a new guide with delicious recipes, a meal plan and grocery list.  We’ll kick off next Monday!

Details to join us are here.

What’s next for you?

Do you run better in the cold or heat?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.

5k Race Recap + Training Updates

Hello from the middle of a long weekend!

Last week we crammed in our last days at the pool, the zoo, getting out to local parks, play dates and last minute school shopping.  The girls had a good first day of school on Thursday and now they are off today and tomorrow so we’re not quite into a new routine yet.

I mentioned that my knee was a little cranky after my 16 mile run a week ago so this past week included more cross training (swimming, pool running) and rest days.  I tested out the knee on Wednesday and felt good and ran again on Thursday.

On Saturday, I hopped into a local 5k with one of my run clients.  It was the first 5k she had done in years but she decided to run her own race and encouraged me to do my own thing as well.

It was nice going into a race with zero expectations.  And then my watch died (a new one is on it’s way!) so I ran without data.  The combination of the two (no pressure + no immediate pace feedback) made it a really enjoyable race.

The race had some challenging inclines (challenging for 5k race pace) so I focused on keeping a steady effort and passing people.

By mile one, I was first woman and focused on holding my place and passing a few more men.  I held onto a challenging pace but waited to really push until the last 400 meters when I turned the corner and saw the finish line.

I came in first woman and fourth overall! I jogged back to find Kirsten and ran in the last 400m or so with her as well (she did awesome, btw!)

Although I had no data, her watch said 3.19 miles and the clock was getting ready to turn to 21 minutes as I finished so I ran somewhere around a 6:30- 6:35 pace and am really happy with that.

I also got to bring this gigantic trophy home to show the girls!

It’s funny- the half is next weekend but I’m suddenly in the mood to find more 5ks and just spend a season racing 5ks.  I’ve been saying that for years and then always add a half or full to the season and that becomes my focus instead.

So help me remember that for this spring- just 5ks, and maybe a 10k.  I’m looking forward to finding some flat courses and seeing what I can do!

Have you ever jumped into a local race at the last minute?

What’s the race distance you tend to train for most often?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.

Two weeks to Newport Liberty Half (Training) + Garmin decisions

Some weeks, there is nothing confidence boosting about your runs or workouts.

We all love to feel strong and nail the paces but then there are weeks when it’s a struggle.

My runs felt hard this week, but that is part of training too.  It’s also time for me to take a cut back week, and with the half now just two weeks away, I’m ready to cut things back this week and next.

Training last week:

Monday: 40 minutes strength training at the gym + 25 minute swim

Tuesday: 9.5-10 miles with 3 @ 6:53, 2 @ 6:50, 2 @ 6:49 with 2 minute standing rests… it was another especially warm and humid day so this was on the treadmill at the gym, but the only reason I hit the paces was because the treadmill forced me to hang on.  I really wasn’t feeling it!

Wednesday:  6 easy miles (9:45- 10 pace)

Thursday:  6 easy miles (am) + another 45 minutes (pm) – no time to finish my run this morning so I split it into two, and actually really enjoyed running in the evening as the day was cooling off rather than heating up, and I got to drive to a nearby trail to mix things up

Friday:  rest

Saturday: 16.5 miles including two pit stops- I never felt good, and I chose a hillier route which my knees didn’t appreciate by the end so rather than my planned fast finish, I kept it all easy (8:40s overall ave)

Sunday: 2 easy miles to test out my knee- it isn’t 100% so I’ll take another day or two easy this week in the pool before running again

I’m also researching my next Garmin, as my old watch needs replacing for many reasons.  I’m leaning toward the Forerunner 235 but will take any suggestions – what do you love?

Do you get discouraged by “off” weeks or keep on rolling because they are just part of training?

Do you have a running watch you love and recommend?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.

My Favorite Running Podcasts

What podcasts are you listening to lately?

My list keeps growing, and I find myself fitting them in whenever I can… on the treadmill, in the car or in the kitchen.  I’m always looking for more but most of the time my focus is on the running related podcasts.

These are a few of my current favorites, in no particular order:

Strength Running with Jason Fitzgerald: This is an excellent podcast for expanding your knowledge of running with featured experts in many fields and inspiring guests. Jason has a rich running background and, as a coach, is careful to add value through his podcasts for those looking to improve as a runner.

Rambling Runner with Matt Chittim: Matt is a super likeable guy and interviews everyday runners.  I love that I get to hear from many fellow runners that I follow and admire on Instagram who are not elite or famous outside of the amateur running circles.

I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hein: Lindsey and I started blogging around the same time so it’s been really fun to watch her journey to the podcast and see it grow! She has a fun, conversational style and interviews many well established and successful runners.  I come away inspired and love how she weaves some of her own story and family life into the sessions.  She is relatable as a mom of (now) four and runner with goals to continue to improve.

Run Faster Podcast with Jay Johnson: I really enjoy Jay’s coaching approach and have incorporated many of his coaching theories and tips into my work with my running clients. He has a practical, injury prevention focus with thoughtful, useful info.

The Morning Shakeout with Mario Fraioli: An excellent interviewer and fun guests, Mario is an accomplished runner, writer and coach.  The most recent podcast with Kara was one of my favorites!

Running for Real with Tina Muir: Tina was also a fellow blogger who I knew (and met at the Run, Rise, Retreat) and enjoyed listening to her podcast at Runner’s Connect and again now as she branched out on her own. She finds a diverse and interesting group of professionals (and amateurs) to interview, very often with key take home points around the mental or lifestyle aspects of running.

What are some of your favorite podcasts, running or otherwise?

Where are you most often listening to podcasts?

3 Weeks to Newport Liberty Half (Training Recap)

Hi friends!

We’re back from our travels- camping with friends in upstate NY and the beach in Delaware with my parents and siblings and their kids.  We lucked out with great weather and happy kids, definitely a win all around!

And now we’re down to our last week of summer before school starts next week, and just 3 weeks to my first fall half.  Here’s how training broke down last week:

Monday: 10 miles with 3 x 2 at 6:50-6:55 pace through some of the old routes I used to run in Ithaca, but better now that they connected the waterfront trail

Tuesday: 4 mile hike at Treman State Park

Wednesday:  9-10 easy around Ithaca and met the family at the Ithaca Bakery for breakfast!

Thursday:  rest and travel day

Friday:  10 with a 2 mile warm up, 8 x 200m with 200 recoveries, 1 mile (6:29), 800m (6:05 pace), 400m (5:55 pace) and 200m (5:30 pace) with a 2 mile cool down

Saturday: 6.5 miles by the bay, the first 3 with my husband (9:30 pace) and second 3 on my own (8:10 pace)

Sunday: 4 quick miles before another day at the beach (7:39 ave)

We are equally worn out and refreshed from vacation- isn’t that how it works? I have piles of laundry to catch up on today, piles of emails to reply to, piles of stuff to unpack and sort through, and a nice big to do list for the week as I get back into the swing of nutrition and running coaching!

Do you find vacation to be restorative or exhausting?

Do you ever run with your significant other?

I’m linking up with Wendy and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.