Monday, July 30, 2012

NYRR Long Training Run #1 - 18 Inspirational Miles!

Most inspirational run in ages...

You Are Your Best Investment

Become Your Dream

I love street art, I love running so when you mix those two inside one hell of an 18 mile run only good things are bound to happen, right?!?!

De La Vega

This is the second time I have run 18 miles in Central Park and both times were super humid.  This time around though I was better prepared and had an easier go of it.  For the most part I kept up with the 10:00 pace group which worked out, I never lost sight of my group but my average pace was 10:24, which for 18 hot, hilly miles I'll take (also better than last year which was a 10:43 pace).

I ran 3 loops (plus some): loop 1 was 6 miles, loops 2 and 3 were 5 miles each, with each loop ending at 102nd street where NYRR had set up refueling stations. The coolest part though was the De La Vega street art right around what I'm guessing was the Met.

The first piece of art I ran over was the phrase "you are your best investment" and how true is that! Especially when I've been struggling with food and running and almost wanting to give up and just eat pizza all day long.  But nope, I took that as a sign and it became my mantra for the rest of the day.  I have one shot at living my best life and becoming my dream, so I better take advantage now!

Form there I saw 2 more pieces, "Become Your Dream" and the fish bowl drawing. Both were fun and totally helped make my run all the more interesting.  I love running the park and especially running with different people.  I ran sans headphones and had a few smallish conversations with a few other runners, but for the most part we all just smiled and waved and silently keep each other going.  I had added on 2 miles to the last loop and passed one of my fellow pack runners, it was obvious he was going for 20 so I gave him an encouraging wahoo and he forged on with a big smile. I always say this, but it makes me so proud to be a part of the running community, I don't have to know you, but I know you, ya know :)

Afterward I chatted with another lady from my group who was training for her first marathon and then ran into some Massapequa Road Runner friends.  All in all it was a great day.

I got home around 1:00 and layed low then headed out to grab a new dress for dinner with my girls.  I also had a chocolate cookie but I am making it a point to be on my best sugar free behavior this week. Yesterday I was tired but I got in a very short elliptical session at the gym and hung out in the hot tub for a bit then off to the boy's sisters house at the beach for a big famly celebration (have I ever mentioned that he is one of 8 kids...and that I'm an only?  I think he wishes that he was an only, his family events are HUGE!). It was a perfect end to a loooong weekend, fun, beach family and food!  I'm a lucky girl!

Deck view


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Giving It My All

I'm sort of a half-asser when it comes to things, I will cut corners, procrastinate....waste time on FB. Little by slowly though I have begun to reverse that part of my personality.  I wouldn't say I'm becoming your typical type-a, perfectionist Virgo (I mean, I am on the cusp) but I'm getting there and it feels pretty good!

Last night I had a 6 mile speedwork run on the schedule.  In lives past I would just run 6 miles, dismissing the speedwork part. Or I would head for the hills, (not these hills) which to me counts and definitely shows progress but last night I decided to give it my all.  Never mind that giving it my all was still a few miles short...point is, I banged out the speedwork and I'm really proud of myself!

The prescribed plan was 6 miles, including warmup with 3 x 1600 in 8:47 w/800 jogs and a cool down. This seemed hard, I hate hard.  I knew I had to do the speedwork part, but 1600's!!?!?!  Yes, Liz, 1600's. I was super pressed for time as I had a date with my parents for a ball game which was a Father's Day gift so I had to get creative and figure out what would benifit me the 1600's it was.

I ran a half mile to the track (warmup) then dove right in to the hard stuff. I hit my numbers, with an average pace of 8:41 but I am now the new positive split queen.  First mile was 8:22 with a quick jog to my water bottle then right back at it for I think a second mile of 8:30 followed by another quick jog to my water bottle followed by a much slower 3rd mile which was closer to 8:48.  I followed all of that with a half mile slow jog around the track and walked home.

It was hard, I was breathing like a freak and scared the really freaky guy out there with my loud wheezing/gasping thing but I did it.  It would have been so much easier for me to just run 4 miles and call it a day, but I tackled the hard stuff, I gave it my all and I finished stronger and prouder than when I first started.

If I want to meet my marathon goals (4:20 - 4:30 finish) then I have to do work, give it my all and not cut corners!  The cool thing is I'm getting there, progress not perfection!

Also....speedwork, 1 word or 2?  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sweet 16

I promise this is going to be about running and not my fat ass, but I ate like a beast this weekend so I can't really complain that the scale didn't move this morning, even though I burned 1,800 calories on my 16 miler! Waaaa!

Love how I look all sweet while the boy is on beast mode...

Now that that is out of the way, let's talk running!

Saturday was my first Chicago training run where the temps were actually bearable and it wasn't crazy humid.  I though I had died and gone to running heaven! Running Partner and I decided to run the Massapequa Preserve which is such a great place to run.  I love the energy and seeing tons of people, which in a way reminds me of the vibe when I run in Central Park (but on a waaaay smaller scale).  I ran into some Team and Training friends as well as my old running club peeps which is always nice.  I love that I belong to a running community!

No long run is ever easy, but it was amazing how much better I felt compared the last few weeks.  Even though we headed out late (around 7:30) it was comfortable for pretty much the whole 16 miles, it also helped that the preserve is mostly shaded.  We took 2 gel breaks and one bathroom break at the polo fields so I could harass/beg bikers for some anti-chafe cream/chamois butter - my arm was chafing soooo bad and I knew at the point it would only get worse and that I needed to put something on it stat! Once that was out of the way we headed back. I definitely slowed down for my last 2 miles, but my average pace was 10:04 not including breaks.  Slow and steady, but doable.

I needed a good run.  Now I need a good week with food.  Crossing fingers.

Last night with sore legs I ran the Summer Run Series Belmont 5k...nothing special, I think I finished in 30 minutes.  This is a bitch of a crowded race, 1500+ people on a verry narrow course, but for me the Summer Runs are more about seeing people than racing.

This week I have a 6 miler than an 18 miler which I'm running in Central Park. I may add on a 4th short run and either yoga or spin depending on the gym sitch...looong story which I will save for another post.

Also, on a side note this is my 300th post!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Morning, Morning!

With temps expected to hit above 100 and a possible never ending work day ahead of me I somehow managed to get out of bed and on the road by 6:30am.  Unheard of for me midweek and I'm so, so happy I woke the hell up!  I'm not sure why mornings are so hard for me, last summer I did practically all my runs before work, this summer not so much. 

The one thing I need to figure out though is the bathroom.  I was dying and then thought of fav blogger Ali and was like how the heck does she run with Crohn's???  Probably TMI, but why does running make me poop! And then feel all crampy?  Uggh.  Let's just say the first three miles were not so great but I made up for it on the second 3.

GI issues aside it was a good run and a new route for me, still an out and back (which I love) but going in the opposite direction from where I norally run.

It was hot and I took it slow but I got' er done.  Now let's see if I can keep this up and make it to 6am swim tomorrow!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lessons from Chicago Marathon training Cycle #1

Happy Monday to all you Monday lovers out there (yes, I am one of them)!

Sat was the end of training cycle #1, which OMG was hot and not easy! But every 4 weeks I get a little reprieve from the big, bad long runs and get to run a "short" long which was totally welcomed as it was yet again soupy and gross out.  I ran with the my old coach and the crew in the trails which I don't always love but was ok with.  Got through my 7 miles without seeing any snakes and saw some friends so it was a good time.

These next four weeks are going to be hard and long (twss) and I'm really trying hard not to psych myself out. I'm looking at 16, 18, 20 then back down to 8.  Yikes! I know I can do it, but I have to really be focused which for me is the real hard part.

For the most part I need to continue to focus on my food - limiting sugar which I think hurt me this first cycle, continue meal planning and grilling and focusing on whole foods.  It's more about the nutrition that the miles, ironically.  Uggh, why I can't I be the one runner in the world who can eat crap and run fast?  Training wise I need to add in some yoga, remember when I did that yoga challenge (don't worry, I sorta forgot too)?  Ya, need to get back to that! My biggest lesson is clearly that my running depends on what I eat, so Chips Ahoy's and icream is on the outs (although I am allowing myself Saturday's to indulge a little).

I'm hoping cycle 2 is a little easier and less humid, but I know and I will continue to say that these are training runs, they can't, wont and don't have to be good runs, they are all good as long as I can safely start and finish.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Am a Running God!

Photo Credit: Maryann Harkins via

This is one of the many hills that I DOMINATED last night!  Feels so great to be back on that course!  If there is one thing I know, hill training works.  Not only do they make you stronger and faster but the hills have magcal powers that can turn you into a running god (ok, maybe in my own mind, but still!).

Finally after a 2 month hiatus I got back to the Hills.  It was a great run, always humbling, those bad boys are LARGE.  I've had some crappy hot and humid training runs so I needed a good hill run to remind me that runs are supposed to be challenging and that I can and do have good runs from time to time.

I'm not sure of my splits but I kept my pace steady, only walked up one very steep section and basically kicked ass.  I'm a happy runner girl today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Hot and Humid Training Week!

I don't know about you , but I normally LOVE Monday's, love getting back into a routine, gearing up for my week, I'm usually gung ho and positive about the days to come....  Umm, so not the case today.  This morning I already ate 3 homemade chocolate chip cookies and am dreading my to do list. I think the sugar warped my brain.

I'm officially not going to complain this whole post, but I have to get Saturday's long run out of the way.  It sucked.  It was hotter and more humid than last week and we left an hour earlier (6am).  I wanted to cry at mile 13 and completely bag the last mile (I did manage that last mile and it really sucked).  My underarm chaffed so bad that it woke me up in the middle of the night and my clothes were so soaked through that my shorts almost fell off.  All in all it was a stellar run :0 Yup, I said stellar, and oddly enough I mean stellar.

Despite all the challenges I managed to push through.  We took 3 breaks to refuel, go to the bathroom and cool down.  Normally I hate that and it makes me feel like I cheated.  But I'm also getting smarter and I know when to slow it down today as to not overheat and end up dead, ya know? I did turn off my Garmin on the beaks, so keep that in mind, but my average pace was 10:07 per mile and my miles were pretty consistent. Overall it sucked, no doubt, but I also got some mental strength training which will help in the long run (Ha pun!).  

I can officially say Chicago Marathon training week 3 is officially OVA.  Let's hope the rest of my training either gets easier or isn't so freaking hot and humid!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mizuno Mezamashii - Say What?

I'm a sucker for good marketing, I'm a marketer my profession so when a campaign interests me I tend to get all excited.  Interestingly enough I haven't blogged much about work stuff, or advertising I like...I mainly bore you guys with running/food/boy stuff. 

I recently came across the Mizuno Mezamashii Run Project which at first confused me, but then I actually paid attention and got pretty into it.  Definetly check it out and sign up, it's free and if you get chosen you get free cool is that?? 

I'm secretly hoping I get chosen, I need new sneaks, my Asics aren't cutting it anymore and I've wanted to try Mizuno's for awhile now (shameless plug...pick me!!!!!).

Anyway, back to the weirdly named project - it's all about brilliant running, or that one run that makes you say THANK YOU BABY JESUS, I HEART RUNNING.  (yes, all in caps, just like that).  We've all had those runs, the ones that make you really, really love getting up at the crack of dawn, in the heat, snow, rain, ice, ect, just to log a few miles.  The one run that carries you through a tough week....I love those and OMG I NEED a brilliant run this weekend!  I'm looking at another super hot 14 miler and I'm scared....95 degrees and high humidity....again!  But I'll push though, I'm a runner!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Heat and Humudty, You Have Been Missed!

If I could have run naked on Saturday, I gladly would have.  It was brutal and I wanted to go home as soon as I started...but like all good marathoners in training I kept on and finished my 12 mile run in the blazing heat and humidity.  It's so odd to me how dedicated I am.  It also helped that I was running with running partner. 

I officially made it through my first 2 weeks of Chicago training.  I'm feeling good, even though I gained 2 pounds which is a bummer but was to be expected with all the crap I have consumed (3 words: 7-11 sausage biscuit....I know...). I'm feeling back on track so that's good. 

I'm excited for my training, even though I feel like this year is more aggressive than last.  I'm not working with a coach, so running partner and I grabbed a plan for the internet and are plugging along.  She's a pro, so I'm not worried.  It still feels aggressive though, at least mileage wise.  Out of curiosity I'm going to have to go back and look at my old logs to see what the heck I was running last year. 

This week's long run is a 14 miler...praying to the running gods for less humidity.  I would like to not feel like death every step of the way...but I do know that training runs don't all have to be good, they're training only counts on the big day, and even if I screw that up at least I made it to the start.  See, positivity all around!