12-07-2016

StrideBox Review & Unboxing

So far so good with my daily vlogging (though it’s only been 3 days haha). On today’s vlog, I opened up 2 StrideBox boxes, showed the different products inside and shared my thoughts.

Disclosure: Stridebox sent me these boxes to try out and review.

Check out my StrideBox review and what came in my boxes! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

StrideBox is a monthly subscription box for runners. I wasn’t sure what kind of products would come in each box or if it would actually be of interest to me as a runner, but I was pleasantly surprised! I actually can’t wait to try a bunch of these products, especially Tailwind. I’ve heard so many great things about it.

Here’s my vlog from yesterday and more specifics on StrideBox if you’re interested:

If you don’t have time to watch, here are my quick thoughts:

  • Most of the products are really helpful or beneficial to runners. Some I thought were a little random (calcium + magnesium supplement or this special tea) BUT it is still relevant to runners.
  • This is a great way to get supplements or fuel to try out. I’ve tried SO many different things when it comes to fuel (and finally found one I love – GenUCAN), so if you’re like me, this is a good way to get monthly samples and figure out what works for you. My 2 boxes had Accel gel, Tailwind and Sport Beans in them – a good variation to test out.
  • If you’re like me and notice packaging, the packaging is awesome! I love the little inspirational sticker (where can I put these??) and the card at the bottom of the box that shares a workout and recipe.

Have you tried StrideBox? What other monthly subscription boxes do you order?

PS – Here’s my first Vlogmas video in case you missed it :-)

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11-22-2016

NYC Marathon Quick Recap (Stay Tuned For Full Recap!)

I  apologize – I have been totally MIA here since the marathon. I kept meaning to do a full recap post, but I have a lot of video footage to go through, so I have yet to do a full recap :) I will try to have it up next week, so stay tuned!

But I wanted to do a quick recap to go over some main points from the marathon (if anyone cares haha).

The main point I want to talk about is that this was my best marathon ever. I felt great. I have never felt so good. Although my time doesn’t reflect it (no PR and I’ll get into why in the next post), I felt amazing and look back on this marathon and wish I could run it again, solely because I had so much fun.

My nutrition and hydration were on point – thanks GenUCAN! I really don’t know what to say other than I haven’t felt this good in any long distance race, or finished feeling this good. Like I said, I’ll get into more details in the actual recap.

I think I just said “great” and “good” a million times but not sure how else to describe it :)

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Thank you to everyone for your comments and tips throughout my training. I finished this training cycle feeling excited to continue running, as opposed to feeling like I’m done with running for a while. I’m considering signing up for NYC Half or a spring half, and getting back into real running next week.

I’ll have a real recap up next week. I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving! Any good Black Friday deals I should know about?

11-04-2016

Last Minute NYC Marathon Thoughts + Vlogs

I’m really confused by my feelings (or lack thereof). So we went to the expo yesterday and it was awesome, but still not feeling much. I mean I sometimes get pangs of nervousness, but overall am not feeling like I will be running 26.2 on Sunday. Which I can’t tell if it’s a good thing or a bad thing…maybe I can trick my mind into thinking it’s just another long run ;)

We are running the race with one of my mom’s friends, and it’s her first marathon. She’s starting to get really nervous, doubting her training and if she did enough, and called my mom to tell her she’s feeling pain in her ankle from a previous injury. I called her to reassure her it’s all totally normal and that those phantom pains are normal too. Who can relate??

Earlier this week I started getting a sore throat and was freaking out a little. Started taking Zicam and everything…thankfully it went away.

Anyway, race weekend is HERE people!! I filmed 2 vlogs if you want to check them out. One is from our last little workout earlier this week and one was from yesterday at the expo.

Here are some thoughts and things I’m repeating to myself that might help other marathoners:

  • No matter what, I will have fun. We’re running through NYC! The 5 boroughs! The spectators are amazing and I can’t wait to run through the crowds.
  • I need to trust my training. I did the best I could do. As my physical therapist said, “Could we always do better? Of course,” but we did the best that we could this time around, and it will have to be enough. 
  • This is an amazing experience and I will make sure to soak it all in. Whether you’re running NYCM or any other marathon, it is a unique experience and we have to enjoy it. We get so caught up in pace, time, gels, fuel belts, gadgets…we forget that we trained to run 26.2 miles, and that your body is strong and capable of that feat.

Who else is running Sunday? What wave? See you at the finish line!!!

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11-01-2016

New York City Marathon Training Recap

Guys…it’s here. It’s week 20 of training and 5 days until the marathon. Just writing that sentence is giving me butterflies. I’m so nervous!!

Last week we ran 26 total miles. We had a longer tempo run (7.5 miles total) and a shorter tempo run (6 miles total). Today we have our last speed workout (1ks) and then it’s all downhill from there. If you’re wondering why repeat 1Ks the week of the marathon, don’t worry, I found out from Jason himself. Here’s his answer:

The week of the marathon is all about eliminating fatigue and maintaining fitness. So I included one workout at AT pace to maintain fitness, but kept the volume of the workout low so it doesn’t cause any fatigue.

Then I asked, why 1Ks as opposed to 400s? His answer was simple: 400s at threshold pace would be too easy. Which is true…400s at 9:50 pace would probably feel super easy…not that I would mind ;)

Oh, who’s Jason? Well, for the past 20 weeks I have been following the intermediate plan in the Running a Marathon For Dummies book by Jason Karp. It honestly doesn’t feel like 20 weeks have gone by. Here are some thoughts I have about training and the plan.

My Training

  • I think I am ready – but I will always doubt myself no matter what. But in looking at my training for the 2013 NYC Marathon (recap), we ran as much if not a little bit more. Our weekly averages were probably around 35-40 miles. I don’t think we ever skipped a long run, tempo run or speed workout (though we might skipped an easy run here or there). I’m trying to tell myself that I AM ready…we did the training. But I’m still doubting myself and thinking, “Did we do enough??”
  • I’ve never gotten through a full training plan without skipping multiple runs due to shin pain. In 2013 I couldn’t run the last 3 weeks of training because of major shin pain.  This time around, I am running mostly pain free! I have been going to physical therapy for the past 2-3 months, and got custom orthotics. Why didn’t I get those sooner???
  • I stuck to 18 miles being my longest run. I liked that when I used Hansons Marathon Method they explained that the long run shouldn’t be longer than 3 hours. We did a few 16 milers that took us 3 hours, and one 18 miler (3:20ish). I agree with their premise that anything longer than that takes a toll on your recovery and body. HOWEVER, this works for Hansons because they have another longer run during the week (8-12 milers). We didn’t go that long during the week but had regular 7-8 milers…so we’ll see.
  • Jason’s plan had tempo runs behind run at threshold pace or 10 seconds faster (as opposed to running goal marathon pace). This really challenged us and pushed us but I think it will mentally help because we’ve been training at 9:50-10:00/mile pace, and are goal is at least a 4:45 marathon which is 10:52 pace. So it SHOULD be doable :)

Running a Marathon For Dummies Training Plan Review | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Running a Marathon For Dummies Training Plan

  • This plan starts at 4-5 days of running, and ramps up to 6 days of running. Although 6 days of running can be mentally tough, the last time I PRed was when I was running 6 days. This plan is a gradual build up of miles and intensity. I remember in the first few weeks of training I could barely run 2 continous miles at threshold pace (9:50) and now we ran 7-8 continous miles at that pace. The book does a good job of building you up, and of explaining the science behind everything.
  • While the name says “Dummies,” it provides very detailed plans for beginners, intermediates and advanced runners. Like I mentioned above, everything is explained throroughly as well.
  • If you start a plan and aren’t at the level it’s at (i.e. first week was 10 miles but I started at 7-8 miles), you can adjust it. I spoke directly with Jason about this. The key is to build up your time running every week. So if you can’t do 2-3 continous miles at a certain pace, start with 5 minutes, take a break, repeat. Then next week, 6-7 minutes, take a break, repeat. Does that make sense? That made workouts much more doable for me and also helped with not forcing my body to do something it wasn’t ready to do yet. I remember in the beginning we had 1K repeats and it felt IMPOSSIBLE. So I shortened it to 800 meters and built up to the 1Ks (which we ended up doing 8 of a few weeks ago no problem). 
  • If you are looking for a custom plan, Jason also offers customized training plans

Marathon Goals

Ok time to talk goals…

  • Realistic goal: 4:45. My mom and I have talked about our goals and we would be happy wtih 4:45. We think this is doable, and would be a 5 minute PR. Our easy run pace is 11:15-11:30ish, so I think a 10:52 average pace should be doable…right?? :-P
  • Ultimate, awesome, rock my socks off goal: 4:30. If we got anywhere near the 4:30s, we’d be ecstatic. However, that is a 10:20ish pace…and I’m not sure we can hold that the whole way. SO we’re starting with the 4:45 pace group and seeing where things take us.

I’m so nervous guys!! I was talking to my friend about all of this (she’s a therapist and is working in sports therapy too) and she was asking me why I put so much pressure on myself and time goals. I should view it as a fun experience, and run for fun. But I just can’t stop thinking this way! I want to PR. I just feel like, if I don’t OR if I have a horrible race, what were those 20 weeks of training and sacrifice all for?? Can anyone relate to this sentiment or have advice?? 

Anyway…we’re heading to the expo on Thursday, so if anyone else will be there, let me know!

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10-25-2016

Week 18 – NYC Marathon Training

Ok, I know, I said I would hit peak mileage last week, but I’ll be honest, it didn’t happen.

The previous week was our highest at 43. I wanted last week to be higher, but a lot of things happened. I figure, 3 weeks out, “the hay is in the barn” anyway, like my old XC coach used to say.

Dan and I had our engagement party this past Saturday, so Saturday all day was spent running around and setting up, and Sunday was spent on the couch exhausted from the party :) I was able to run 7 miles Friday morning with my XC team. But it was all fine with me – we had an amazing engagement party and sometimes some things take precedence over running, right?

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Here’s the rest of the week:

Monday: 5 easy miles.

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 12 mile long run, with last 2 miles at tempo pace. We felt really good! Lately, I’ve been feeling rough in the first few miles of a long run…I don’t get in the groove until about mile 4-5…can anyone else relate?

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Thursday: 6 recovery miles

Friday: 7 miles – a little faster than easy pace. Felt great!

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILES: 30

Like I said, not as high as I wanted, but still decent…and with 3 weeks to go, I think it’ll be fine. Now moving into taper time!

How long is your taper usually? Think I’m going to go with about 10 days.

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10-17-2016

Week 17 – NYC Marathon Training

So close to the big day! We had a great week of training last week, and although I wanted to hit 45-46 miles, we still hit our highest weekly mileage ever (43). Shooting for 47,48,49-ish this week…then it’s taper time!

Here’s last week’s training:

Monday: 7 miles. We did 1K repeats at VO2max pace (8:50-9:00/mile for us), so with warm up and cool down it was 7 miles total.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 14 miles. We felt sluggish and off from the start but just didn’t care about pace. We did 12.5 outside, then finished on the treadmill since it got dark. I always like to practice finishing fast and hope I have that energy at mile 26.1! :) Here’s a pic from our run:

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Thursday: 5 miles. Easy, recovery pace.

Friday: 5 AM miles. Good thing I ran in the AM because I was planning on just doing 2-3 AM miles then 5-6 in the evening. I didn’t end up having time in the afternoon, so glad I decided to keep running in the AM while my team practiced.

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Saturday: 9 total miles, 7 miles at tempo pace. We felt great. I always struggle with tempo runs, but completed this one with an average 9:50/mile pace. Our plan has us running tempos a bit faster than marathon pace, so hopefully marathon pace (10:40ish) will feel easy!

Sunday: 3 miles. Meant to do 5 but my shin was hurting and 5 days in a row of running took it’s toll. Took it slow and walked when I needed to. 

TOTAL MILES: 43

Despite being in week 17 and being in the peak of training, I surprisingly feel very good! I got new orthotics from a podiatrist that have really been helping, and I don’t know why I waited so long to get them.

Have you gotten custom orthotics?

How many days in a row can you run before feeling pain or tired?

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10-05-2016

Week 14 – NYC Marathon Training

I actually think I messed up the weeks and last week might be week 15, but for the sake of the blog, let’s stay in order :-P

Last week of training went decent. After my long run (18 miles woo!) my shin pain got worse. So this week I took off Monday and Tuesday to give my shin a rest….hopefully I can complete all runs this week and hit 46-48 next week, then pe8? ak at 50. But we shall see.

Here’s last week’s training:

Monday:  Easy 4 miles

Tuesday: 8.3 miles, 5 at tempo pace. Was around 10:00/ mile. But I don’t know. My mom’s watch said like 10:10-10:15, and my Strava app said 9:48 average pace…soooo…I’ll take the 9:48? ;) I love this trail!

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 18 miles! Longest run yet and felt great. Just took it easy. Ran the last mile on the treadmill because it got slow, and so I did that at a faster pace. I HOPE I can speed up in the last miles of the marathon like I’ve been practicing.

 

A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on


Friday: 0.5 miles. Yes, a half mile. I got out a half mile and had to turn back and walk a half mile home because my left shin was hurting with every step. Figured let’s just stop and walk back…not worth it.

Saturday: 5.5 miles. Was nervous whether I’d be able to do this or have to take the weekend off because of my shin. But my team had a XC meet out in PA, and while they did their walk-thru and warm-up, I ran myself.

Sunday: 3 miles.

TOTAL MILES: 38.8 miles

Disappointed because I wanted to hit 45 miles, but what can you do. Hoping my tempo run today goes well and with not much pain!

Do you have any nagging pains or injuries? I have literally had this shin issues since high school. My PT says it’s just from not addressing these biomechanical issues since then, but it’s fixable. I hope!

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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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