Anyone else want to join me at the Newport 10k?

I’m excited to have announce that I’m teaming up with the Newport 10k as an official blog partner!

I had to look back at my records to find the last 10k I ran and I realized it’s been years! Both the 5k and 10k intimidate me a bit with the faster paces that you have to hold onto.  I make myself do some 5ks because, well, they’re over faster.

But the 10k is an awesome distance and I had promised myself I’d do a few in 2017.  So I was excited when Newport reached out about running their race on Saturday, May 6th.

It’s flat and fast, and if you’re anywhere near NYC, it’s a must! It runs along the Hudson River Waterfront Parkway with some amazing views of the NYC skyline.

I loved running the half here in the fall and am excited to head back for a shorter race.  As it gets closer, I’ll share some 10k specific training tips and my own race experience afterwards, of course.

Join me?

When’s the last time you’ve run a 10k? Do you have one on your 2017 calendar?

Is anyone else signed up for the Newport 10k or considering it? I’d love to meet up before or after!

Race Strategy for the NYC Half Marathon

The NYC half is now just 11 days away.  Over the weekend, I ran 6 miles of the half marathon course through Central Park and was reminded that this is not the easiest course.  So I’m doubting myself a little bit but hoping to run strong regardless.

For Tuesdays on the run, the topic is how we put together a race strategy, so let’s talk about that today.

1. Study the course map

I always begin by knowing the course well.  If I can run it (like I did this weekend) that’s ideal, but if not, races almost always have a map and description of the race course.  Many half and full marathons also include an elevation profile so you can get a sense of where the hills are and plan accordingly.

For the NYC half, the first half has the majority of the hills as it looks the outer part of Central park.  The second half is much flatter.  With this in mind, I know I need to start conservatively and not worry when I see some slower mile splits up those tough hills.

Ideally, the plan is to keep something in the tank and negative split the second half.

2. Assess your training

One of the best ways to assess your fitness is with a shorter tune up race before race day.  For the half, a 10k is an ideal distance to get a sense of your abilities.  However, there are many other ways to track your progress as I discussed in this article.

I like to compare current training cycles to previous training cycles and look at similar workouts like tempo runs, 2 x 2 mile workouts, or overall weekly mileage.  I also tally up how many miles I ran at near goal race pace or faster than goal race pace for a confidence booster.

My current training cycle has been just slightly stronger than my fall cycle, which gives me a good indicator that a half marathon pr is possible.

3. Consider the weather

Unfortunately, even with a perfect training cycle and pr-friendly course, anything can happen on race day.  The weather can slow us down if it’s too hot or too cold, so that’s also something to consider.  Runner’s Connect has a temperature calculator to give you a sense of how much a given temperature might impact your effort.

4.  Stick to the plan!

Once you have a good idea of what your body should be capable of, you want to start there or just slightly slower and ease into the pace.  Starting too fast will burn through too much fuel and lactate acid and force you to slow down at the end.  Starting too slowly could mean you miss minutes that you can’t make up later.  But starting conservatively yet with focus ensures your splits will be as even as possible and gives you a good shot at a negative split.

Based on my training, I know that a 7:02-7:10 pace is doable.  With the hills, I’m hoping to average closer to 7:10 for the first half and then finish with an average closer to 7:00 for the second half.  But of course, anything can happen!

I have one more tough workout tomorrow, and then it’s time to taper for the next week!

How do you plan out your racing strategy?

Have you had a race experience that was altered by the weather?

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

 

Two weeks to half (training recap) + meal planning

Happy Sunday! It’s crazy how drastically the weather can change in a week.  Last weekend, I tossed off layers until I was down to a tank.  Yesterday, I had on 2 long sleeved shirts and a jacket, running socks and compression socks, tights and my wigwam, hat and gloves.  With the wind, the feel like temp was in the teens. So cold!

I’m crossing my fingers that race day is a mild 40 degrees.  And toes.

The recap:

Sunday:  5 recovery with the MRTT ladies (probably 10 ave)

Monday:  am Barre; pm 10 mile tempo in 1:15 (8:38, 7:29, 7:16, 7:13, 7:11, 7:16, 7:15, 7:08, 7:04, 9:15 cool down) – this was the confidence boosting run I said I needed last week! I was planning to do my tempo on Wednesday, but my legs were ready to go so I went with it and did my 8 at near half marathon pace.  I felt amazing! Those runs don’t come very often.  I hope it’s a good sign for race day!

Tuesday: 30 minute easy walk + 30 minute easy spin

Wednesday: 7.5 easy am (8:45 ave) + 3 easy pm (9:00 ave)

Thursday: Boot camp – I am loving this class!

Friday: 15 long run with 3 at tempo (7:13, 6:59, 6:45) and 2 at tempo (7:11, 6:53) … I ran a hilly 3.5 miles to start and did the tempo portion on a flat stretch, then finished with more hills.  I was spent at the end of this, but surprised with my tempo paces and feeling strong.

Saturday:  8 slow and easy with a running client in Central Park (12ish pace)…. She has run the NYC half a few times and showed me the first half of the course.  It’s a bit hillier than I expected… eek! But the second half is mostly flat.  I’m glad I got to see (and run) the hills so I can better mentally prepare myself.

For today, I’m hoping to get in a short strength workout and maybe a few easy miles later.

Meal planning:

Sunday: Roast chicken and veggies with brown rice

Monday: Leftover chicken in Broccoli Curry Rice Noodle Soup

Tuesday:  Tempeh and veggie stir fry

Wednesday: Veggie Frittata with hub’s sourdough bread

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Grilled Tuna Tostadas with Black Bean Mango Salsa <– how amazing do these sound?

Saturday: Out!

I’m loving the runner’s reset … I feel back in control of prepping foods, choosing good balanced meals and fueling my workouts well, which is sometimes hard in peak training.  One week down, two to go!

Have you run (or raced) in Central Park?

When’s the last time you had a surprisingly good run?

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

Running for fitness vs Running to race

Every time I take a little step back from running (as I did mid February) it forces me to recognize (again) that running is a central piece of my life, for better or worse.

And suddenly I feel like a ‘normal’ person… waking up and starting my day without a run, having more time to sleep in, maybe squeezing in a spin class or 30 minute strength session – but with zero stress about if/how/when my run will happen.  It’s kind of nice!

And I’m reminded, again, that to run for the sake of fitness and good health, 30 minutes is really all you need.  However, I love running with the end goal of new race records- not overall health.  Is that okay? Is that something I should be doing year after year?

I recognize that “runners” can be a little bit crazy in pursuit of our goals.

Here’s an overview of the difference between running for fitness vs racing:

Running for fitness:

  • 30 minutes 3 days per week is sufficient for heart health, bone health and cardiovascular improvement
  • Injury is rare as the body is not overtaxed and as plenty of time for proper recovery
  • Moderate exercise balances hormones
  • Metabolism is balanced
  • Healthy weight is easier to maintain
  • Hunger is regulated
  • Sleep is improved
  • Immunity is improved

Running to race or really push the limits:

  • Often requires at least an hour per day, with one or two days off or cross training
  • Injury is more common as the body is frequently overtaxed
  • Hormones are more likely to be out of balance, particularly estrogen which can be suppressed
  • Metabolism is more likely to be out of balance and confused if diet is not a careful consideration
  • Healthy weight can be harder to maintain (too much weight loss for some, weight gain for others)
  • Hunger can be hard to regulate, especially for endurance athletes
  • Sleep can be improved but can also be lacking as sleep needs continue to increase
  • Immunity is hampered

With my rational brain, I can see that less running and more cross training has more benefits for my health.  With my emotional brain, I want to push my limits for a few years and see what I’m capable of!

Is one better than the other? When I’m injured I start to think I’m crazy for ever pushing so hard! But when I’m in the middle of it there is nothing more fun and satisfying!

The aches and pains pop up for a reason – to ensure we are taking care of our bodies and not crossing the line into poor health when what we’re doing should be good for our bodies.

Bottom line: If you’re not pushing yourself and running as much as the “crazy” runners, be confident in what you’re doing- it is (in many cases) better for you! You should never feel “less than” for not running crazy amounts of miles.

If you are an endurance athlete, continue to pay careful attention to all of your bodies signs so you can do so in a safe and healthy way.  If you ever get to a point when it’s no longer giving you the same amount of joy, back off and know that your body will get just as many benefits (and likely more) from doing a little bit less!

Do you consider yourself running for run or running to race?

Is it hard for you to remember that less can be more? Do you ever feel like you’re never doing enough?
I find social media often tries to tell me I’m not doing enough.  I’m content with my training and am able to (mostly) ignore those messages, but they’re intense!

 

 

A confidence boosting run + 3 things I’m doing every night to stay healthy

How are we already wrapping up another month?!

February had highs and lows in training… a pull back week or two in the middle from pushing too hard (low) and then a solid weekend of running with a surprisingly strong 8 miles of tempo work yesterday (high).

So I’m back to feeling like maybe there is some hope for this half in 3 weeks.  My husband commented that my life has much higher highs and lower lows than his, thanks to running. Ha! Definitely some truth to that!

I’ve been taking all the preventative care pieces very seriously… no more aches or pains!

Here are the three things that I’m doing every. single. night.

  1. Icing.  Typically I only ice my shin when it’s starting to feel tender, but I’ve continued to ice after every single run to boost recovery.  So far so good!
  2. Rolling.  I know how important it is, but honestly, I was lucky to do it once a week.  Now I’m doing a 5 -7 minute roll out every evening… my chiropractor taught me a simple roll starting with the back and glutes, and then one leg at a time for hamstrings, calves, and quads.  It really only takes a few rolls on each body part- 5 minutes total!
  3. Yoga:  I am so NOT a yoga girl- terribly unbendy and inflexible.  But I’m started doing a simple sequence (again 5 minutes, that’s it!) I typically run through downward dog, cobra and do a few hip stretches and warrrior holds.  I don’t know if I’m even naming everything correctly, but it’s a nice way to stretch out and get some deep breathing in.

For Tuesdays on the run, we were asked to grade ourselves on our month.  It wasn’t exactly what I hoped but February is finishing strong and with these new habits in place, I’m giving it an A!

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

 

Half workouts (3 weeks to go) + Meal Planning for Runner’s Reset

Another gorgeous weekend! We’re soaking up as much outdoor time as we can before winter comes back with a vengeance.

All systems are go this week with training but I feel out of shape having backed off for a week or two of training… I know it’s mental, but isn’t it crazy how that can happen? I need a good confidence building tempo run this week before the race.

The recap:

Sunday: 10 easy with the MRTT ladies

Monday: Barre (am) and a 7 mile trail run in the afternoon- one of the days where it hit the 50s!

Tuesday: 45 minute spin class + short evening walk

Wednesday: 9.2 easy miles with my running friend (9:10 ave)

Thursday: am 4 miles with 1 mile warm up and 4 x 800m (6:30 pace with 100m recoveries) before boot camp class at the gym; pm another 3 miles with a client (11-12 pace)

Friday: off!

Saturday:  13 long run and my body was tired! The first ten were averaging 8:30 pace, the final 3 I picked it up for a fast finish (7:34, 7:15, 7:01) … the 7 minute mile felt much harder than it should have.  But when I got home, the girls were playing outside and ran with me to finish a short cool down.  They boosted my spirits!

We also took a 2 mile walk to the park, Dunkin Donuts, and back before lunch and I was spent and ready for a nap!

Sunday: planning 5 recovery miles this morning

Tomorrow kicks off the 21 day runner’s reset! There are no restrictions or strict rules- but the goal is to bring our macros into better balance with mostly real foods.  We’re also incorporating 2-3 strength workouts each week.  Dinners are pretty similar to what I usually make.

Meal planning:

Sunday: Turkey chili with butternut squash

Monday: Grilled salmon with acorn squash and grilled veggies

Tuesday:  Crock pot black beans and rice

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Crock pot salsa chicken with corn tortillas, avocado, scallion and feta

Friday: Edamame pasta with leftover chicken, broccoli and nutritional yeast

Saturday: Out!

Now into peak training week… I’m ready!

Have you felt like your easy pace is harder than usual after a week or two off?

Any tips for race day confidence?

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

Do you set a mileage goal for the year?

Do you set a mileage goal for the entire year?

I’ve watched friends set goals to run the year in mileage or hit 1,000 miles or 2,000 miles but I’ve never set one for myself so I decided to change that this year.

I always track my mileage in my training log, but didn’t have an easy way to tally up the miles for the year as not everything was on my Garmin, and I never got in the habit of using Strava or other programs.

So this year, I decided to track my yearly mileage as well and I joined the Run the Year challenge to hit 2017 miles in 2017.

So far, it’s been a mixed experience.

The good: I love adding my miles to their tracking and seeing the instant tallys per week, month and year.  I’m all about the data!

The bad: I think having this extra mileage goal has encouraged me to push the mileage up when my body wasn’t really ready for it- leading to the shin stress I dealt with last week.

That seems to be behind me now, so I have to be a little smarter and not let the tallys get me too excited! Ironically, because I bumped up mileage in January I am now behind for February since I had to back off for a week or two.

Going forward, I’m going to need to be a little more conservative.

2017 miles in a year breaks down to 38.78 miles per week.  So we’ll see how this goes!

Do you track your mileage by week, month or year? Or all three?

Is anyone else part of the run the year challenge?

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Week of workouts and Utah Valley race winner

Hi friends!

How was your weekend? The weather was unbelievable and my parents took the girls for the weekend.  The plan was to paint the kitchen but as the weekend got closer, I realized I really wanted to have a weekend to play too.  So I painted Thursday and Friday and hubs helped me Friday night.  That meant all we had left was the trim Saturday morning.

We spent the rest of Saturday in NYC- walking the city, getting dinner and catching an improv comedy show.  So fun! After my run Sunday morning, we went out for brunch, did a short hike, got naps and then finished putting the kitchen back together.  It was busy, but productive- with lots of fun thrown in.  My favorite kind of weekend!

Training recap

After a conservative week, I’m happy to say that I had no issues on my long run yesterday so it’s back to regular training this week.  I might skip the speed intervals- I want to get the miles in but not risk angering my shin again.

Monday:  1 hour spin

Tuesday:  Boot camp + 25 minutes easy spin

Wednesday:  4 easy miles + 30 minute spin

Thursday:  25 minute strength circuit (arms/core) + painting!

Friday:  7 miles (2 mile warm up, 5 miles of intervals on the Alter G- 1 minute at 6:40, 1 minute at 6:00, 2 minutes at 5:27 repeated x 6) … it’s crazy how much faster you can run on these!

Saturday:  painting + 6 miles of walking NYC

Sunday:  10 mile run with the MRTT group + 3 mile hike

Not a typical training week but I’m not too far off my training plan.  Just four weeks until the NYC half! I’m not feeling as confident as I hoped to be at this point, but I also have the second half in April which may become more of my goal race.

Utah Valley winner! 

I wish I could pass out a free entry to everyone who entered… this sounds like such an amazing race!

The winner is Cody… congrats!!

Did you have the warmer weather this weekend too? Did you get to enjoy it?

What would you do if you had to back off training for two weeks? Do you think I should adjust my goals and make the April race a goal race instead?

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

What’s Your Ayurvedic Type?

I reached week 8 in my 12 week health coaching program with a client this week which is when we discuss Ayurvedic body types.

I find all of the individualized body type information so fascinating.  It helps me make sense of why and how we all have different dietary needs.

I love the Blood type info to identify who does best with meat and who does best without (most women I work with have already determined where they fall by listening to their bodies).

I love the metabolic type quiz for determining insulin sensitivity, carbohydrate needs and appropriate macronutrient balances.

I love the personality quiz and love language quizzes for insight into personality needs.

And I love how the Ayurvedic types give further clarity to all of the above. I don’t think any one of these has all of the answers, but by layering them we can get a pretty good idea of the food, exercise and lifestyle needs of each person.

In our discussion of each type, I was reminded again of how solidly I fit as a Pitta/Summer type! It’s like I’m reading a description of myself! Here’s a bit of the overview for Pitta:

ELEMENT fire and water
BODY TYPE medium body frame, well-proportioned, prone toward muscularity, easily overheated
CHARACTERISTICS
type A personalities, compelled to accomplish things, focused, organized, never misses meals and can be cranky if a meal is skipped (has a strong metabolism), workaholic, doesn’t do well in hot, humid climates, sassy, creates problems that don’t really exist when feeling too balanced, needs to eat often
SIGNS OF BALANCE productive, get-it-done person, organized, has a capacity to work until they drop, energized, enthusiastic, quick but sharper than Vata
SIGNS OF IMBALANCE easily agitated under stress, irritable, overly competitive and other heat-associated conditions, diarrhea, skin rashes, burning eyes, increased appetite, perspiration, over-working
ORGANS TO NOURISH liver, gallbladder, spleen, small intestine, blood, eyes
FOODS TO REDUCE excessive spices that are too heating, red meat
FOODS TO INCREASE sweet and bitter foods, cooling and astringent, sweet-tasting spices (cardamom, fennel), protein
BENEFICIAL peppermint tea, fresh lime, lighter proteins (chicken and fish), dark leafy greens (bitter and cooling), sweet vegetables, calming and relaxing physical exercise, Pilates, gentle relationships

Type A, get it done, work until you drop? Yep! Doesn’t do well in heat, easily agitated under stress, over-working when out of balance? So true.

The only piece that surprises me is my apparent need for calming, relaxing exercise like yoga or Pilates.  I usually crave heart-pounding, sweaty exercise but it makes sense that I need to mellow myself out sometimes too.

I’m going to work on slowing myself down each day for deep breathing and a few yoga stretches.  I know I need it!

In the Runner’s Reset, we’ll incorporate some of the individualized body type quizzes to help you identify what’s best for YOU!

Have you ever done an Aryuvedic type quiz or another body type quiz that was talking directly to you? You can read more about Ayurvedic types here.

Do you have a good sense of what your body needs?

3 Things Injuries Have Taught Me

Hi friends! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Houston was fun (though hot!) but it’s good to be home again too.

Despite the title I’m not injured… but since my mile repeats last week my shin/calf has been feeling a little “off” and as you know, I am super conservative these days when I have any messages from my body.  I have learned the hard way what running through pain can do (lots of time off !!) and I’d like to prevent that.

So even though I had no pain running yesterday, I still “feel” it talking to me throughout the day and I decided to do extra cross training this week in place of my runs for a few more days.  This means yes, I’ll likely lose a bit of running fitness but overall it’s a trade off I’m willing to make.

It struck me that this decision came so much easier than it has in the past.  I think it’s because running injuries have taught me three things:

1. The earlier you stop running, the better!

This is obvious but most of us try to pretend like we’re fine and power on through our workouts until it’s too late and then we can be sidelined for weeks or more.  Ever since dealing with a stress fracture 4 years ago, I’m determined not to run through pain.

Yes, I may lose a bit of fitness in 5 days off but most of the time those few days are enough to heal a small discomfort.  If I don’t let the stress from that workout heal, I’m going to keep riding that fine line of injury until boom! I’m out for 8 weeks.  And clearly being out for 8 weeks has a much more dramatic impact on fitness than 5 days.

For others who might battle the shin splint/ stress reaction issues that I do, I found this article really interesting.  He argues exactly what I’ve found- that many shin issues fall on a spectrum (not you do or do not have a stress reaction) and can often be resolved in 4 days as opposed to needing weeks off IF they are dealt with immediately.

2. Each time I take time off from running, I’m less stressed about it

Let’s be honest, it’s never easy to stop training!

We stress about losing fitness, missing key workouts, missing our race goals after so much hard work and sweat behind us, over eating junk to squelch our misery, etc.

And it’s not like it’s ever an easy decision.  But that first time was by far the worst!! I went through all the grief stages- and simultaneously felt guilty for grieving over something so silly as not being able to run.

Now, I still get bummed by the idea but I have perspective.  I know that taking time off is and healing will make me stronger.

Because in the recovery process comes healing, and in the healing process, our bones, tendons and ligaments are actually strengthening themselves to be ready for that level of stress next time.

This is why I used to get hurt every time I ran more than 30 miles in a week.  But over time, I was able to push that injury line back to 35, 40, 45 and 50.  But if I do it too quickly or with too many speed workouts, my physical body let’s me know it needs extra time to catch up to what my cardiovascular system is doing.

3. I know it will be okay

I know that I will run again.  I know that I will run hard workouts again.  I know that I can come back and still get pr’s and hit new race goals.  AND I know that my body will be stronger for taking the time to rest.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy to watch everyone in my Instagram feed nailing their workouts and hitting peak mileage, but I can bring myself back to my reality and be happy for the training success other’s are having.

I’m doing what’s right for my body.  It would be awesome if my body would let me run 60 miles with tough tempo and speed workouts without any niggles or aches or pains. But we’re all different!

My body is not bio-mechanically perfect.  I will never be an elite runner.  My identity is not tied to my running (as much as it can feel that way near race day!)

If I never run again, it will all be okay.  But thankfully I know I have many miles and races ahead of me, as soon as my body gives me the green light to keep pushing hard!

 

Have you had to make the hard decision whether to run through an ache or pain or push through your training?

If you’ve been injured, did you find it got easier going forward to listen to your body and back off when you needed to?

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.