07-11-2013

Why I Needed A Break From Running

I love running. I do. But after the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I needed a break from running.

Towards the end of half-marathon training, I wasn’t looking forward to runs anymore. It was more of a task than fun, and that’s how I knew. I wanted the half to be over so I could take a break and go back to lifting. I knew I needed to start marathon training towards the end of July…and I could have and probably should have kept running a little bit to keep my base, but I just needed to get away from it.

I love running and I want to feel excited for runs, and I just wasn’t there anymore. So I took a month and a half off and did other things, like cardio/strength workouts that focused on different forms of cardio, like burpees (hate). I loved seeing my improvement in lifting and reps.

Then, once I picked out my half marathon training plan, I started getting excited about running again…and all of a sudden, I couldn’t wait for training to start again!

I’m only in week 2 of training but I am excited for each run so far. My goal is to PR at the New York City Marathon, so that will fuel my runs as well.

I definitely needed that time away from running to feel this excitement again. Because, honestly, after the half I was like ugh I have to start MARATHON training now?!?

Isn’t it funny how it almost sounds like a relationship? ;)

Marathon Training

Speaking of marathon training. I started my day off with an easy 3 mile run today. Well, it was certainly at an easy pace (slow) but it did not feel easy considering it was 80% humidity. WHYYYY??? Can this go away anytime soon? I had to stop and walk a few times because I just felt so out of breath, but I felt good finishing the run. I also ran in my Pro Compression socks for the first time…not bad! And I love this color…and I swear I didn’t mean to match my outfit :)

Then I made myself a nice breakfast…egg white scramble with mushrooms topped with salsa, and an apple with almond butter. Yum!

This is the first week I will be running Thursday-Sunday! Hopefully it goes well and my body adjusts to running in the heat.

Have you ever needed a break from running? Or any sport? Or can you run all year round?

 

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05-23-2013

Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

Ok, I have finally gotten around to writing this recap! Let’s just jump right into it.

So we woke up at 4 am on Saturday morning, which was the earliest I have ever been up for a race. I went to sleep at 9:30 the night before, but was tossing and turning a lot thinking about this race. Do you get actual sleep before race day?

My dad drove us in and we got there around 6:15. Here’s the pretty sunrise we saw on our way in:

We used the restrooms and then basically just hung out in our corral. I really liked that each corral had their own set of bathrooms. It didn’t get too packed or have crazy lines which I was expecting if they just had a long row of them outside of the corrals for everyone.

Our corral was set to start at 7:30 am. As the time got closer, I got more and more nervous. Not necessarily because I wanted to PR (which I did) but because I just wanted to finish and not have to stop because of shin pain.

At 7:30 we were off, and the first 3 miles were great. We felt good. and from what I remember our splits were:

Mile 1: 10:15

Mile 2: 9:18

Mile 3: 9:25

My plan was to do the first 5 in 9:30 pace then pick it up to 9:20 pace. Well, I thought I could do this during the first 4-5 miles. Then Prospect Park happened.

I was expecting hills, and I train on hills but for some reason these hills just really slowed me down. One in particular was super long, like probably half a mile (maybe a little less). Once we got out of Prospect Park we were at Mile 7 and it was pretty much flat but the damage was done. I was beat, it was hot and humid, and I was sweating A LOT aka losing a lot of water and salt.

photo 3

Running in the park

photo 2

Finally leaving the park onto Ocean Parkway

Isn’t my shirt drenched with sweat so attractive? :-p The humidity definitely started slowing me down. I was glad we were on the parkway heading straight to Coney Island, but personally, I thought it was pretty boring. It seemed as if it lasted forever. But, at the same time, the miles did tick by quickly. I don’t know how to explain it haha. I was glad that we were at Mile 7 after the hilly park, because if it was Mile 4 or something I would definitely feel defeated.

Anyway, so yeah the parkway stretch was boring. At mile 9 we had to stop and walk to fuel and just take a break. My mom’s knee was bothering her as well. Once we started running I made a pact with myself that I would run until the next mile, then walk a short break, then run to the next mile again. I kept telling myself it was just a treadmill working. Just hold on for a few more minutes then you get a break.

At mile 11 I knew we had only 2 more miles. I WANTED to run the whole way but I just couldn’t catch my breath with the humidity. What is so frustrating about this race was that my legs and shins felt great. But I just couldn’t get my breathing right. Also, at Mile 8ish we knew we wouldn’t hit our time goal of around 2:05. I would be happy with anything around our original half marathon time. At Mile 11, I really thought we’d finish 2:15.

RANDOM NOTE: There were NYPD officers around Mile 10 who were cheering on runners and yelling out, “DO NOT WALK. YOU WILL GET A SUMMONS.” That gave me a little pick me up. I love spectators.

So then we finally made it to Mile 12. There were a ton of spectators on the road entering Coney Island which really helped me speed up a little bit and not walk at all in the last mile. I saw the sign that said, “800 Meters To Go” and was pumped. I thought, ok just 2 laps on the track. I can do this. I always break things down into laps on a track when my mind needs a little help.

Then, I saw the ramp up to the boardwalk. SO CLOSE! This is another complaint, however. The ramp was not big enough for how many runners there were, so we had to all slow down A LOT. Like, almost walking. I got to the top and my mom and I sprinted as hard as we could to the finish. We also FINALLY remembered to raise our arms up for a posed finish picture. In the 3 halfs and 1 full we have done, we always have forgotten to do this.

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 10.34.06 AM

And then, we finished! My mom’s stopwatch said 2:11 and I was honestly shocked. I thought we finished around 2:15 because of how our pace slowed. Our official finishing time was 2:10:56 which was basically our 1st half marathon time from 2011, which was also way flatter (2:10:58). I’ll take it!

So happy to be done!

We got our medals then kept walking. My dad and brother were at the finish and took a lot of photo and video of us. I love when our family comes to support us!

photo 1The good thing about the day was that it was cloudy the whole time. The bad thing was the 70% humidity. But what can you do, race day is always a toss up of whether you will get perfect conditions or not.

We had to leave right after the race so we didn’t get to experience any of Coney Island. Sad. I put on my new compression socks by 110% and iced in the car. I will be writing a review on this product very soon!

I had a few stomach cramps for a few hours after the race, but made sure to get in some protein in the car and ate some eggs. Other than that I couldn’t really eat until dinner that night.

But good news, very little shin pain after! In fact, my legs were just stiff and tight. I took a 4 hour nap while having my legs raised that helped too :)

The next day, I was a little bit sore but not much, and the third day I was perfectly fine! Best I have felt after a half marathon. So, at least my body has gotten used to the long distances!

So that’s pretty much it! I would rate this race a B. The route wasn’t anything to write home about, but the finish on Coney Island was pretty cool. I was disappointed with my time, but then realized, hey, my body just ran 13.1 miles and feels mostly fine after. I need to give myself credit. Plus, I didn’t even get my worst time ever which was what I was expecting.

Overall, it was a good day, and I’m happy I felt so good afterwards, as opposed to how horrible I felt after NYC Marathon.

Who else ran Brooklyn? What were your thoughts on the course? In general, are you disappointed when you don’t hit a time goal?

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05-15-2013

Busy, Busy, Week

Hi everyone…sorry to be MIA! I know today I usually post my “Health/Fitness Links” but I have been so busy. I was at a digital summit all day yesterday with my sister, so I had no time to write anything. I will be in NYC again tomorrow, have a reception Friday, my HALF MARATHON Saturday (!!), and graduation Sunday.

Needless to say, I will be happy when this week is over lol.

Here’s a pic of us from yesterday…it was a great day and we learned so much to start expanding and improving our business!

I will be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week, I promise!

Plus, I’m sure I will write a nervous post leading up to my race ;)

Have a great week!

 

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05-13-2013

Motivational Monday!

Officially done with grad school! This is my first week with no class and no more internships. I’m working at school over the summer anyway, while trying to launch my business, but it will be nice to have this week off.

Though, it won’t actually be off. I’m going to NYC today to meet with the CEO and founder of a large social media marketing firm (ahh! what questions should I ask?!), then Tuesday I’m going to the Westchester Digital Summit with my sister, Wednesday I am doing a photo shoot with one of my clients, Thursday I need to go to Brooklyn to pick up my bib for the Brooklyn Half, Friday is a senior reception at Rutgers, Saturday is my half marathon, and Sunday is my graduation! JEEZ. I’ll have to make sure to get plenty of sleep!

Anyways, yesterday I took my first real yoga class! It was a Lululemon community class but it was great. I definitlely want to do that more often. This class is what led to my quote below (and stay tuned for my yoga class review later today!) :

This is such an important thing to remember. We are all busy, and stressed sometimes, but it’s important to remember to take time out to relax, and also to notice the beauty around you.

How often do you take the time to notice “this wonderful world?”

 

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05-09-2013

Half-Marathon Training Update

So yesterday I had a long-ish run as I have begun my taper this week before the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18.

It was…ok. My mom and I got it done but it was a struggle. First of all, it was super humid. Second of all, my shins were both really hurting with each step. She didn’t feel great either and just wasn’t the best day for either of us.

We knew as soon as we started it would be hard. Our breathing as heavier because of the humidity, and after 1 mile I knew I’d have to stop and stretch my calves/Achilles a few times because of my shins. I just keep thinking to myself, “It’s only 7 miles. I can hang on for 5…then I just need to add on 2 more miles.”

We did a hilly route to prepare for the Prospect Park hills of Brooklyn…although most of our runs are hilly anyway because I live in a hilly area. Random question but does anyone feel like running on rolling hills is actually easier than running on flat ground? No? Just me? I love hills!

Anyway, we did stop a few times to walk and catch our break…and sure it was slower than usual but we felt great once we were done. It was good to finish and know you didn’t quit even though you wanted to at various points. We even ran the last mile faster than the rest.

Shins are definitely sore today so I need to ice them once I am home. I even wore my compression sleeves to work.

Pleeeeaaaassseeeee let my shin pain go away before the half marathon.

Is anyone else running the Brooklyn Half Marathon? Have you done it before?

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04-25-2013

Last 10 Miler Before the Brooklyn Half!!

I can’t believe this was me and my mom’s last double digit run before the half. It was a really good run overall, and I felt really strong. My coach said to do 5 miles normal pace, 3 miles at 9:15-9:30 pace, and 2 miles normal as cooldown. Because of how I spread my water on the course, I ended up doing 6 miles normal, then started the 3 miles.

I thought the 3 miles at that pace (which is around my half marathon goal pace) was going to be tough. After all, last week I did 2 miles at 9-9:15 pace and I could barely finish the second mile, I was dead! Surprisingly, the 3 miles yesterday felt fine. It was “comfortably hard.” I even did the third mile in 9:06! I felt like I was cruising.

Here are the splits…I’m happy we did kind of a progressive run too because we kept getting a little faster:

It was pretty warm out and my water bottle with my Nuun was leaking so I had to drop it. I was nervous because I was sweating a lot but I ended up being fine with my Honey Stingers and just water. Though once I got home I had a ton of salt on my face, and was so sweaty!

Hot right? I hate that I sweat so much and my mom barely sweats!

Anyway, I had a nice long stretch post run while I drank a recovery protein shake. Then relaxed and watched 90210 with my sister before going to bed. Feeling great today!

I just hope I feel strong on race day like I did yesterday, and have no issues with my shins or calves!

The half is May 18, and I’m 3 weeks out…I really hope I’m not “peaking early” or anything like that. What do you guys think??

 

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04-22-2013

Miles for Matheny 5K Recap

Yesterday, I started the day off by going to the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon in the morning. My half marathon training group was running and I wanted to go support them. It was great being a spectator for once and taking the race in!

It was on the chillier side but a great day for racing all around. I left early then headed back home to start warming up for my 5K which was at noon. My mom and I did some dynamic warm up drills, and jogged the 1 mile to the park where the starting line was. It’s so convenient having a 5K right in your town!

The course has 2 major hills and a few small ones, so it’s tough. I finished in 27:26, which isn’t my best and I really wanted to PR but you can’t always get your best time! Overall, I felt really strong and my pacing was even, so I am happy with that. Plus, I did get 2nd in my age group!

Mom and me at the finish.

 

It was a great day, and at least it wasn’t rainy like it was last year! This race always has great post-race food so we had a bagel, then headed over to the lunch tent where there were a ton of burgers, hot dogs and desserts. Yum!

Afterwards, we did a cooldown mile back home. I was exhausted and ended up taking a 2 hour nap as soon as I got home. Those post-race naps are the best!

My next race is this upcoming weekend. It will be me and my mom’s first NYRR race of the year – a 4 mile run in Central Park to raise money and awareness for lung cancer. My running coach had me doing a 4 mile tempo run this week, so I figured I’d sign up for a race to make it seem easier/give me more motivation.

Less than 1 month until a) the Brooklyn Half Marathon and b) I graduate with my Master’s degree!!!!

What spring races are you doing this year?

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