09-21-2016

Week 12 – NYC Marathon Training

Oops, skipped a weekly recap on the blog. And a little late with this one but oh well :-)

Kinda freaking out that there is only 7 weeks left of training…but feeling pretty decent…idk how I feel about my training so far!! Here’s what we did last week:

Monday: 7.5 miles total (1K repeats workout). We did 1.3 miles as a warmup, then 8x1K repeats at a little faster than tempo pace. We were shooting for 6 min. per 1K. We were in the 5:52-6:09 range. Then 1.3 miles for cooldown. Felt really good and had a great view.

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on


Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 16 mile long run. Finally was in the 11′s for my average pace (and last few miles in the 10s). All summer I’ve been struggling on my long runs because of the heat and humidity, and running in the 12s. Can’t wait for it to get cooler so running is comfortable again. Finished with 3 miles on the treadmill, with the last mile in about 8 min. Felt like I could have kept going!

Friday: 4 mile recovery run. Was a little sore, so ran reaalllyyy slow. Didn’t even wear a watch.

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: 6.5 miles easy pace. Love the days where you feel like you could keep going. I initially figured I’d run 4 miles (really did NOT want to run), but then started and felt good. I was like, ok I’ll do 5. Kept feeling good. I was like ok might as well keep going lol. Did 6.5 to complete 37 miles for the week.

TOTAL: 37 MILEs

Highest mileage of training so far. I have 7 weeks left, and I really want to hit 50 miles if possible. When do you plan your “peak weeks?” Like right before the taper?

PS – I think I’m going to enter the lottery for NYC Half…1) who is entering and 2) who has ran it? what did you think of the course??

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09-06-2016

Week 10 – NYC Marathon Training

Half way through marathon training! Woooo!

But first, some big news…

14211944_10106785862204629_5347970681507876830_nDan and I got engaged! Still can’t really believe it. Like I don’t feel different, but not in that “I don’t feel any different because we’ve been dating for a while” way, but in the “I don’t feel any different because this feels surreal” way lol. I think it will really hit me once we start planning. I have plans this weekend to hang out with my girl friends and look through bridal magazines lol…that will feel weird for sure!! I just can’t believe it all. It was the perfect weekend down the shore and we’re so happy Hurricane Hermine didn’t come to fruition here in NJ.

Anyway, here’s what went down last week in training:

Monday: 6 mile tempo run. This was after a weekend of not much sleep, so I knew it’d be tough. My mom crushed it as usual, and I did 4.6 miles total at tempo EFFORT. Tempo pace should have been 9:50-10:00, but that day I ran 10:30 average. 

Tuesday: 6 miles. Recovery pace. 

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 10 miles. This was totally unexpected. I was really bummed when I woke up because I felt pretty sick. I even called out of work because I just wanted to sleep and feel better. I was bummed because this was the day we were supposed to run 15 miles. I knew I had to run no matter what, so I told my mom let’s go do our 1K repeats on the road and at least get 5 miles in. Well, we did a 2.5 mile warm-up, started the workout, I did an extra rep because I felt so good, and then looked at my watch and saw we only had to do 3.5 miles more to get to 10 miles! So I said let’s just keep going. Felt great that day and glad we were able to do 10. Honestly, we could have probably done closer to 15, but since we didn’t think it was going to be a long run, we didn’t bring any water or fuel. 

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Friday: 3 recovery miles on my own before our first XC meet.

Saturday: My favorite race of the year – 5th Avenue Mile! I got to run in the media heat again this year which was really cool. My mom’s race was at 10:40 and mine was at 11:45. We both ran 2 miles before our races, then the race, then 1 mile after. Original plan was to do 8 miles total (we did 4) but my legs were SHOT after the race and my mom got a call from a client who needed her help. This was what ruined our 40 mile week :-( But ran the mile in 7:44. Not my best, but felt good to just go all out…well, good and hurt lol. Oh and I also met Carmy of Carmyy.com! But of course we forgot to take a selfie!

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on


Sunday: 4 miles. Did 3 miles on the elliptical because of shin pain, then 1 mile on the treadmill. Little did I know that while I was doing this in our hotel gym, Dan was on the phone with my dad talking about proposing!

TOTAL MILES: 33

Goal this week is to get as close to 40, if not surpass it. But it will be a busy week with the big news, visiting family and friends, and our first Rutgers football game Saturday. Will do my best!! :)

For my engaged & married peeps, did you feel in shock when it happened? Because I still don’t feel this is real life haha. How long before you started the actual planning process? What season did you get married? So many questions!

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08-29-2016

Week 9 – NYC Marathon Training

Last week was a solid week of training. I can only hope this week goes as well! Ever have weeks where you just feel crappy on EVERY run and want to give up? Then weeks where you feel amazing and want to keep running? Oh the highs and lows of marathon training ;)

Here’s how the week went down:

Monday: Easy run – 4.5 miles. Just our usual loop in town.

Tuesday:

Wednesday: Tempo run – 6.5 miles total. We decided to do part of the workout during a 5K race (The NJ Trail Series which we love). We did a 1.5 mile warm-up, then 1 mile at tempo pace on our own before the 5K, then 5K at tempo pace, then 1 mile cooldown. Felt good!

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Thursday: Off. Shouldn’t have taken off but was tired from the previous workout and we had to do our long run Friday, so figured rest couldn’t hurt.

Friday: 13 miles. Of course it was the hottest day of the week, but this was the only day I could get it done. I was going down the shore for the weekend, plus I prefer doing my long runs during the week as opposed to weekend mornings. We took it really slow because of the heat, and left water on the course, so we were drinking water every 2-3 miles. Those water stops did add an extra 15 minutes to our total time…but it was needed. I’ve seen people online talk about how you shouldn’t stop that much during runs because it will affect your training but I’d rather stop for a minute or 2 to get water and hydrate. What do you all think?

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

TOTAL MILES: 29. Total time: 5:40…up 20 minutes from last week and with one day less of running! Hoping to hit high 30s if not 40 this week.

Shins have been feeling good, and physical therapy is really helping. So gotta keep trucking along until November!

I’m running 5th Avenue Mile this weekend, who else is?? See ya there!

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08-22-2016

Week 8 – NYC Marathon Training

We are back from Rio! We got back last week from our South America trip (Paraguay to visit family then Rio for the Olympics). Overall, it was an amazing trip. Will post a full recap of it later this week.

Today, I wanted to talk about how marathon training is going so far. Last week was week 8 (wow) and I’d say training is mediocre. We were away fro 2 weeks so the training didn’t go as planned. It’s tough because in Paraguay, every day was packed with visiting family. Our entire family is in Paraguay, so when we go, we try to see as many people as possible.

Also, it’s not safe to run on the roads in Paraguay, which makes it even harder to run because we have to drive 30-40 minutes to the park. So unfortunately, we didn’t get any long runs in during that time, and probably only ran 2-3 times each week.

So last week was our first week back, and although the plan said to shoot for 14-15 miles, we have only ran up to 10, so I said let’s stick to 10 miles to get back into the flow of things. We still have 10 weeks left so I’m hoping we still have time to build up to those long runs and be fine. Here’s how last week looked:

MONDAY - Off. This was the day we got back from Rio. That 9.5 hour overnight flight is killer.

TUESDAY - 3 miles. Went on a 2 mile out and back, but then walked the last mile with my mom. It was super hot and humid, and being our first run back, I felt super out of shape haha. So we took it easy.

WEDNESDAY – AM 2 miles with  my XC team. PM 5 miles on the track. We did a 1.5 mile warmup, then 5×1000 meter repeats, then a short cooldown. Felt pretty good actually. 

THURSDAY - 4.5 miles, out and back, easy pace.

FRIDAY - 10 mile long run. UGH this run. From the beginning I knew it was going to be an off day. Isn’t that the worst when you’re at mile 1 or 2 of a long run and already feel like crap?

I tried GENUCAN before the run, and then had a DOUBLE side cramp for the whole 10 miles. I had to stop and walk a bunch. It was awful and the slowest run. But I’m glad I finished because I thought about qutiting at 3 miles, 5 miles, and 7 miles lol. But I figured I had nothing to do that night anyway so I could go slow, plus we had a wedding the next day so it was the only day I could get it done.

Has anyone tried GENUCAN and have tips? I’m going to try it one more time during this week’s long run. Hoping it goes better. I feel like I just never feel good on long runs. I absolutely dread long runs, and they make me question why I signed up for a marathon haha.

SATURDAY - 4 miles, recovery run.

TOTAL MILES: 28.5 miles

How do you all usually fuel for long runs? I have tried gels but feel like I still don’t have sufficient energy towards the end. GenUCAN gives me good energy but the cramp issue is annoying. Hmm…

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07-30-2016

I’m Heading To Rio!

Things might be a big quiet here for the next 2 weeks – my family and I are heading to Paraguay to visit my family, and then spending 4 days in Rio during the Olympics! I’m so pumped minus all the Zika talk, dangers etc. But we were there for the World Cup amidst similar conditions and had a great time. We’ve been to South America every 2-3 years since I was young…it’s all about being smart and aware of your surroundings.

Anyway, hopefully we have a great and safe trip. I will be spending my birthday watching track and field in the Olympic stadium! Best birthday ever ;)

I can’t wait to see the sights again:

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I’d love to go back to Christ the Redeemer to see the sunset, but so far we don’t have a set itinerary other than the track meet and some beach volleyball.

I will be posting on instagram and snapchat, so if you want to follow along, feel free to follow me! I’m @pattyrivas13 on both :)

Hopefully I am able to still get my runs in during this time…but we’ll have to see what the situation is in terms of where to run along with where it’s safe to run.

Stay tuned!

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07-27-2016

NYC Marathon Long Training Run Recap

Last weekend, my mom and I did the NYRR NYC Marathon Long Training Run in Central Park. I really did not want to wake up at 4:30 AM to get into the city by 6:30AM, but really had no choice since the temps were going to be HOT that day. Whether I ran there or alone, I’d have to be up early, so I figured might as well go run with everyone else training for NYCM. Plus, NYRR sets up water stations every mile, along with Gatorade and gels. They also had sprinklers every mile which were a lifesaver!

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Up early enough to see the sunrise over NYC.

We got there around 6:30 and parked, though funny story…I bought a pre-paid pass for a parking deck using the app SpotHero. Since my brain was clearly not awake yet, I ended up parking in the wrong deck (same street), so had to pay twice basically. SIGH.

Anyway, we got there with plenty of time to use the bathrooms, pick up our bibs and hang out for a bit. Usually we get there right on time and are rushing everywhere.

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The run was split up into pace groups. We decided to stick with the 12:00/mile pace group to start, because of the heat, and see how things went from there.

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My watch, my mom’s watch and her friend’s watch all said we were running at 10:30 pace in that first mile which was odd but we felt good so I went with it. We were ahead of the 12:00/mile pacer in the first mile, and then eventually my pace evened out to about 11:25 per mile. I just went slow and made sure I was feeling comfortable. I put in my music to just zone out.

I walked through every water stop each mile, then continued on, which didn’t affect my average pace at all. Does anyone do this in marathons? Stop and walk at water stops? Or do you drink while running?

After the first 6 mile loop it was starting to get hot but I still felt good. I did something I have never tried before – I dumped water down my neck and back…and it felt great! I’ve never tried that because I’ve been afraid of chafing. I know many suggest it to cool down but I already sweat enough as it is so throwing water on myself and making my clothes literally soaking wet seems uncomfortable. But it did the trick. I felt fine, heat wise, until about 9 miles (2 miles to go).

That is when it felt like it just got HOT. With one mile to go I was taking a few walk breaks and my mom was like come on, only one mile left. With a half mile to go, this woman running with her stroller passed me and I tried to stay with her (which I did for like 2 minutes LOL). When my watch hit 9.8, I sped up with what I could…plus I just wanted to get to that water table which also had Gatorade and cold, wet sponges.

We finished the 11 miles in 2:05 according to my watch. Goal was 12-13 miles but the course actually shut down right when we crossed due to the heat. But I’ll take it!

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The funny thing is, I was pretty nervous about this run. The night before I could NOT SLEEP AT ALL which is SO FRUSTRATING. I legit wanted to scream. I went to bed at 10:30 and didn’t actually fall asleep until around 2 AM. Awesome. 

I woke up at 4:30 and was thinking, “How am I going to run 11 miles on 2 hours of sleep?” But did some googling on my drive to the run and made myself feel better by reading about how one night of bad sleep won’t affect you TOO much.

Well, I’d say it didn’t really affect me thankfully. I felt good and kept a steady pace throughout. I actually ran 10 miles yesterday and ran it much slower…finished in the same time, but 1 mile less. So you really never know when you’ll have a good day or a bad day, but it’s all part of the training process!

Next week I plan on recapping my marathon training based on the week…this week is week 6 already!

How do you cool off when it’s super hot out and you NEED to get your long run in?

Has anyone ever changed shirts in the middle of a marathon because I am seriously considering that lol – my shirts are soaked within the first hour…blegh.

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07-21-2016

Back To The Real World + Marathon Training Update

Hi all! I’ve been MIA because of a few different projects and because I was in Myrtle Beach for the past 10 days. Now I’m back in NJ and feeling that post-vacation sadness :-(

I seriously love Myrtle Beach, and Dan and I have been going every summer for the past few years (minus one summer I believe). He is convinced of moving there but we’ll see if that ever actually happens haha.

I did run while on vacation and stuck to my marathon training plan, so that’s a definite win! The downside is some days I was S-L-O-W because of the heat and humidity (we’re talking like 13-14 miles per minute) but what can you do. Thankfully those were my  “easy” days so I didn’t care much. Plus, it was just as hot if not hotter (and more humid) here in NJ, so no matter what, I wouldn’t have escaped it.

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

This picture was from my first day of running and I was absolutely drenched. Was not acclimated to the heat at all yet. I ran inside in their fitness center before going outside which was a good idea because I don’t think I would have been able to do 6 miles total outside.

I loved my little running route from the resort, and one day I stumbled upon these beautiful, oceanfront mansions. A plot of land was listed for sale for 2 million so I don’t even want to know what a house costs ;) I would do my usual shady route and then end with stretching by the beach:

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Before I get more into my marathon training can we talk about jet-skiing for a second?

Dan and I did a 3 hour jet-ski tour that took us out to the ocean to see dolphins (pretty cool). It was my first time driving a jet ski alone and I was terrified. The tour group would be waaaaaay ahead of me and would have to wait for me…one couple asked Dan if my jet ski had engine troubles LOL. So embarrassing.

But no joke, I was so scared. I couldn’t get the hang of going over the wakes of other boats on the waterway, and then once we got into the ocean it was even scarier. The guide had to come back and be like “You need to go at least 20 and you’ll have more control.” Again, LOL.

I was SO tense throughout, gripping that thing for dear life with my arms and legs, that the next day I could barely move because my muscles and lower back were so sore. I think next time I’d prefer to rent a jet ski on my own so I can go my own pace rather than trying to stay with a group :-P

Marathon Training So Far

We are already in week 5!! Can’t believe it. My mom and I are doing the NYRR Long Training Run in Central Park this Saturday (anyone else?) and running 12-13 miles. She leaves for Paraguay this Sunday so next week I need to run 14 miles alone…anyone need a long run buddy??!

We’ve been following Dr. Jason Karp’s plan from his Running a Marathon For Dummies book (which is very informative btw). I love…well, love and hate, the tempo runs. Tempo runs are my weakness, and we’ve been doing a lot of tempo paced runs and mile repeats at tempo pace, which is exactly what I need to get better at. I can do track workouts and 400 repeats no problem, but running a set pace that is challenging for a continous amount of miles is so hard for me.

While in Myrtle Beach, I did 2.5 miles (with 2 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool down), and my goal for next week is to get 3 miles. Jason and I also talked about how time based vs. mile based training might work better for me, but I’ll write more about that next week.

I’m feeling strong so far, and despite not having a CRAZY base, having at least a base of 15-20 miles per week has really helped me.  I want this NYC Marathon to be a great experience, and to hopefully PR. I don’t want it to be like Chicago, where I was majorly struggling due to heat and held my mom back.

Starting next week I will do weekly recaps again of my training so I can connect with more runners – I love reading everyone’s weekly recaps and feeling like we’re all in this together :-)

Who else has started their marathon training?

I never do long runs alone so I’m kinda scared for next week…what are your long run tips to not get bored or get through it?

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06-23-2016

My Marathon Training Plan

So it’s finally here…time to train for the NYC Marathon. This week is week 1. I was going to do a 16 or 18 week plan, but then read about the benefits of a 20 week plan. Like having more time to gradually build up and also more flexbility if you miss some runs due to unforseen circumstances. So I decided to do the 20 week intermediate plan from Running a Marathon For Dummies by Jason Karp.

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(Bought these books together and highly recommend Champion’s Mind too.)

I have chatted with Jason a few times previously and that’s how I learned of his book. I was debating between this plan and Hansons. I have used Hansons before (2011 NYC Marathon) which lead to a PR, but I wanted to try something new AND believe this plan might better suit my weaknesses.

For instance, tempo runs and long runs are very challenging for me. I dread them. Track workouts are no big deal. I love them and while they can be hard, I never doubt that I will be able to do it (unlike tempos and long runs).

This plan has a heavy emphasis on tempo runs and intervals, and then in the later weeks starts adding VO2 Max intervals as well. The intermediate plan peaks aaround 50 MPW I believe. The book also offers a beginner and advanced plan. Here’s a shot of one of the training plan pages (this is the advanced plan)

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This is the first time I’m going into a plan with somewhat of a base. While I was only running 15-20 miles per week, I’ve been consistent with that and my cycling classes since January, so I am WAY fitter than any other time I have started a plan (aka at 0 miles per week lol).

The first track/tempo interval workout this week was:

  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 3×1 mile at threshold pace (for me, 10 min./mile but I ended up doing 9:30ish pace because I had read the wrong pace chart lol)
  • 1 mile cool-down

I actually did 1 mile warm-up + 1 lap cooldown because of time constraints. 

But I actually felt really good. It was a big challenging but doable. I honestly doubted myself going into the run – I figured I’d do 1 rep of the mile then have to drop down to 400s or something. Because 1) it was super hot and 2) I haven’t done mile repeats in years probably. No joke. And this is in week ONE! 

I am feeling good though – I know it’s only week 1 of 20, and I know it’s only one track workout, but I think it bodes well that I was able to finish mile repeats strong and on pace. I actually progressively ran faster too. So here’s to hoping it continues and I can FINALLY get a marathon PR, since Chicago was such a disaster.

I will be interviewing Dr. Jason Karp, the author of this plan, soon, so stay tuned for more info from him. And if you have any specific questions about running and marathon training, leave them below so I can send them to him!

SIDENOTE: If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably already seen this, but my mom and I finally started a running group! We met this other guy through a friend, who is connected with Asuncion Runners in Paraguay (my native country). So we decided to do a New Jersey chapter of that group. It’s not only Paraguays, but also from other countries. I’ve talked with my mom forever about starting a running group for the Latinos in the area. Many are new to running and just need some guidance and support from others – which is exactly what our group aims to offer. We are running our first 5K together this Saturday! 

I know many have said it, but running with a group really does make runs go by faster and it’s nice to have that camaraderie. I’ve been named the official Coach of the group ;)

Do you have a running group? How did you meet them/join them?

What training plan are you following at the moment?

Leave your running questions below so I can share with Dr. Jason Karp!

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05-18-2016

Running In Paris (Or At Least Trying To)

I haven’t been blogging as much lately, so not sure if I’ve mentioned this (if you follow me on instagram you have probably seen it) but I’m heading to Paris and Nice with my mom and sister tomorrow!!

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This has been on my bucket list since middle school. I took French in middle school and high school and always dreamed of going to France. Paris has been my number 1 dream location forever. I just can’t believe we are actually going!

We’ll also be hitting up Nice in the south of France to see Coldplay there. They are my sister’s absolute favorite band, so I got us tickets when they first came out as a graduation gift. 

I would love your help in planning our itinerary! Honestly, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been able to give it much thought. But we do know we want to see the obvious: Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc De Triomphe, and the Louvre. I would love to have time to go to Mont St. Michelle, but it’s about a two hour drive…so we’ll see.

Honestly, I am a bit nervous for the trip. I’m nervous about 1) flying over the Atlantic the whole time lol and 2) just general nervousness about the state of the world at the moment, and alerts for traveling to Europe. But my sister and others have said to think positive and not let fear dictacte what I do. So I’m trying to just not think about it.

Anyway, my mom and I DO plan on running while there. We need to continue our base building plan in order to start marathon training in July strong. So I found a few routes online and on Strava I figured I’d share in case anyone else ever is looking for places to run in Paris. Below are a few resources!

Running in Paris? Here are some running route suggestions! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

The Tuileries Gardens, next to the Louvre and encircled by a 1.1-mile path, are a prime Right Bank running locale. Two spots outside central Paris good for hill work are Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Parc Montsouris, another Hemingway favorite.

I can’t wait to explore the city!

Please do leave any suggestions or recommendations for places to eat and things to do :)

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04-21-2016

Fixing My Running Gait

I think I have finally figured out my shin splint issue. I posted about it last night on instagram, and I will just re-post what I wrote so I don’t have to write it all over again ;) Here’s the photo plus caption below:

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Caption:

After watching myself on video, I realized my running form seemed off. I did some research and discovered I have major crossover gait. Take a look at my right leg in the left photo. My feet crossover as I run which leads to me landing basically on a straight line. After reading on Runner’s Connect and watching videos on YouTube by The Gait Guys, I discovered that this is due to glute medius/hip weakness and core weakness. Which is not a surprise to me bc I rarely work on either of these things.

So today I practiced running “wider” and a few drills from the Gait Guys (which is the right photo where you can see a difference). And I need to do a lot of clamshells, glute medius strengthening and core work. My goal is to try to correct this as much as possible before NYC Marathon training starts in July.

Has anyone dealt with crossover gait before or have tips? Or have you tried adjusting your running form in the past? Any insight is much appreciated!

Here are the articles and videos I am referencing if you’re interested:

After watching videos of myself running, it makes sense. I  mean, obviously who knows if that is the main problem, but judging by that harsh angle in the photo above (left vs. “correcting” version on the right), I’m sure that contributes to my shin pain.

This all started after my yoga class last week where the instructor pointed out my hip weaknesses and issues. So I started digging deeper. The Gait Guys say that it takes about 12 weeks to fix running gait issues, so my goal is to really work on this before starting NYC Marathon training. 

I know I need to do more hip strengthening and core workouts. This has always been my weak link because I hate doing both of those haha. But I need to fix my shin issues. 

Has anyone experienced or fixed cross-over gait, or any other running form issue?

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