Solid Training

Welp 6 weeks after the Shamrock Half- I’ve had a great, solid 6 weeks of half marathon training. It’s been the most amazing 6 weeks of running I’ve ever had. Really though, ever. Not every run was picture perfect, in fact there were some pretty crappy ones, but for the most part it was awesome. I’m finally feeling like I’m getting somewhere with my running. Before I found a coach to help me I really wasn’t getting anywhere with training. Not that I was doing poorly, but if you want to see big improvements, you have to do the speedwork to get there and I really had not one clue what to do. And speed work was what I did..only to find out that Fartleks are one of my favorite runs to do. It was fun to feel that speed come back to my legs, and actually feel like I was getting somewhere.

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Although I might look decent here, I felt like death. First race post injury. BLEH.

After being hurt all winter, AND the completely craptastic weather I was just so ready to kick my training into high gear. So, during training I worked on being positive and not skipping on the little things like lunges and squats, yoga, and foam rolling. Things that skipping probably go me hurt in the first place…I luckily made it through this training unscathed! Phew.

Even better yet, looking back at this training cycle was fun, especially when comparing times to my last half training, and more importantly my current PR’s training (from Rehoboth). Most all of my training times have been MUCH improved, so this is getting me pretty excited. I’m hoping this Saturday when I line up for the Island 2 Island Half marathon, I can feel calm and ready to run my heart out. It will be fun no matter what cause I’ll get to hang out with Nikki and her bae! Which is always a good time. :)

Soon after I’ll be in the city of bridges running the Pittsburgh Half the following weekend!

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Race week always feels crazy long, so i’m excited to race this Saturday!

  • What are you looking forward to this week? :) 

 

 

Head Games

We are our own worst critic. Why is this?

I know personally, this is one of my biggest short comings. I am incredibly hard on myself. I don’t express it out loud often, but I know deep down sometimes I’m holding myself back with this negativity.

I’m not sure if it is growing up being an athlete and constantly striving for perfection..(speaking in team sports language) the perfect shot, goal..the perfect dodge, the perfect pass… You are always striving for these things. While this can absolutely be a great thing..obviously striving for perfection instills work ethic and goal setting, which I believe in immensely. But when does that go to far? Too far inside our heads, that we can’t allow ourselves to be proud of ourselves for tiny accomplishments?

For the past month or so I’ve been working hard in my own head to give myself the credit I deserveguess that sounds selfish- BUT really, when is the last time you did that for yourself!? Really ask yourself that question and be honest. I know as I was getting back into running again in February, I was down on myself, getting frustrated and just all-around BLAH about running. We all go through that sometimes, but when I started to be positive and just be happy to run things changed, moods shifted, and everything got better. Funny how those things go hand-in-hand, eh?

So really- Were you down because you ran a crappy pace on your run? STOP IT. You ran- BE PROUD OF YOURSELF, DANG IT.  Others would kill to be running the exact pace that you ran. I understand this is probably harder for those who have extensive running background and maybe are at the top of running spectrum…but really, don’t be so hard on yourself!

You are not perfect. Sometimes your run will be crap. It will not all be perfect. In fact, who is perfect? Stop being hard on yourself, and be happy you have this able body and are moving.

Something I’ve been doing for myself that I’ll share with you:

Write down 3 things you are currently proud of:

1. I finished Shamrock Half marathon. It was my absolute slowest half yet- but I DID IT. After 6 weeks of NO running in December & January. Boom.

2. I have had one great training week hitting paces that Im not sure I thought I could ever, for my next half all because I’ve started to give myself “positive self-talk” before, during, and after every. single. run. 

3. With my work schedule, I was able to fit in every run that I needed to, even when I was tired, didn’t feel like it and every time I did after- I felt great and it was worth the cold weather and wind. I ran 10 miles in crap weather, and even had tempo miles that I crushed.

Looking at this list, it makes me think, dang! you did some great things for yourself over the past few weeks…and guess what? I’ve seen GREAT improvements in my running over the past few weeks. If I keep this going- who is really going to stop you? The only person that can hold you back in your head is yourself, and what is that worth? Nothing. Don’t’ beat yourself up.

Half of this was a ran to myself, and to anyone else feeling down in the dumps…So go on, write down your positive things. Repeat a mantra in your head and go out and DO IT. I promise you positivity is going to change your outlook on everything.

 

Oh, hey!

Has it really been over 4 months since i’ve been here? Oops. didn’t mean for that to happen again.

Drew recently asked me why don’t you blog anymore? Well..I’ll make the typical excuse and just say I’ve been busy..really busy(the good kind)! and the time I’ve had to myself, the last thing I felt like doing was blogging. I have rather spent what little downtime I’ve had hanging out with Drew and getting to relax. Between 2 (sometimes 3!) jobs and long hours, that little free time is my savior. I spent the winter (wait..still feels like winter with 6 inches of snow on the ground on March 26th) months coaching JV girls basketball, which was a really fun time for me, I had a great team that was pretty successful. Now in the spring I’m helping out with girls lacrosse..meaning I don’t have to be there ALL the time and can get a little bit more time to myself. Thank goodness :) Working, training for half marathons and wedding planning can get exhausting!

Recently I got to attend a big Oiselle team meet up at Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. It was a GREAT time and I hope to meet up with teammates again soon. It was actually one of my worst races, but am happy to have ran it considering all of January into February I wasn’t running because of stupid runner’s knee. I seem to have done some rehabbing to fix the problem but it stinks trying to get back in shape after coming off an awesome PR race in December.

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King Neptune on the boardwalk

That being said, Shamrock is an AWESOME race and I would love to continue to do this race. Its only a 2 and half hour drive from where we live and a great weekend getaway for us. We stayed right on the beach and got to witness gorgeous sunrises!

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From our hotel room

 

Although I was dying at the end. Drew was able to capture a decent picture, the boardwalk is a great cheer zone that really makes you sprint it in!

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Photo Credit to Drew and his fancy new camera

Next up for me right now is training for the Island to Island Half Marathon thats local to me…and Nikki is running it too! It is a nice flat course which will mimic most of the training I get to do considering living by the beach doesn’t give many options of hills to run on.

The following week I’ll be headed to Pittsburgh to run the half marathon there as well. Yes, a week apart…do I know what I’m getting myself into? Probably not, but we are going to see how that goes :)

Enough about me, how have you all been…although I might not have commented, I’ve definitely been reading your blogs! Maybe I’ll update you on wedding plans soon :)

What’s next?

 

I feel like I’m still riding pretty high from that PR… it’s satisfying to work towards a goal and get what you want.

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And what’s up now?

REST.

I’ll be taking a tiny break from consistent running for now. As I’ve done training fairly solidly since August, this is when I feel like taking some time away to let my body take a little time off from running is okay. There’s no need to burn myself out… cause soon enough I’ll be training again. :) I may meet my running group for a group run when I feel like it, but for now everything will be no pressure runs.

Truthfully, I miss strength training more consistently and taking classes like Body Pump. My work schedule, running, and those classes conflicted each other a lot, so I may have more time to do that now.

My next half I’ll be training for is the Shamrock Half in Virginia Beach March 16th! I’m pretty excited to train for this one since it will be a race where a bunch of Oiselle Teammates will be meeting up as well. :-)

After that I have my eye on some races and will throw some 5k’s in there when I get a chance.  but nothing is for sure yet. Some possible ideas are Pittsburgh Half in May and a local half marathon in Ocean City.

  • Do you like to take solid breaks from consistent training/workouts?
  • What’s on your spring schedule?

 

 

No Limits

“There are no limits on what you can do today”

That is what I repeated in my head for The Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon on Saturday. My mantra for the day. (PS this is a SUPER long post so you might want to have some time on your hands if you really want to read it.)

BUUUUT first let me back up, from the beginning- because at 6:45am on race day I was having a complete meltdown. Yikes- it wasn’t pretty, but unfortunately it happened. But maybe fortunately as it may have helped fuel the fire for the day.

My day began at 4:45am as the race was at 7am and we have a 45 minute drive to get there. It was cold, rainy, and windy out. (oh yay!) I had looked up where to pick up my bib the night before and we drove off. As we got to Rehoboth Beach, we found the first parking we could since we weren’t really sure how’d that go. Drew parked and I ran out to where packet pickup was said to be, planning on coming back to the car… but SURPRISE! It wasn’t there.

I was with another group of people who also figured that out at the same time as me. We were told it was down at the start line- (would have been nice to know!) Unfortunately, this was far from where I was now and as I started to walk I realized time was short and I became super stressed. I followed the crown quickly realizing I was probably a good half a mile from the start!! I couldn’t get Drew to bring me cause of how the roads were blocked off and I was already on my way. Another non-helpful thing was that it was before the sun came up so it was dark everywhere. I felt like a chicken with my head cut off.

Okay full out panic-This is when I RAN my way to the start and also realized the line was CRAZY LONG. I somehow finally called out my bib number, grabbed it and sprinted my butt off to get to back to Drew where all of my things were. (Oh, and let’s not forget it was wet and slippery and I had a nice fall in a parking lot first.) As soon as I saw Drew I burst into tears, opened the car door threw my warm clothing off, found my fuel, iPod, and Picky Bar. All as I’m hyperventilating trying to talk to Drew, saying things like I had to go to the bathroom (I REALLY did), I hadn’t eaten yet …all between blubbers. Thankfully, he calmly came over pinned my bib on me and made me get in the car. He drove me as far as we could go and parked and got me to the start which was now 3 minutes from race time… Phew. One giant relief.

(oh, Drew I love you- you know that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!)

Anyways- I retold that story because now it makes me laugh. At the time I saw my PR Goal race slipping out of my hands and I was freaking out. However, it may have helped me. Now that I made it to the start after a disastrous beginning, I was absolutely determined that I was going to do it. If I made it to that start line, then it was meant to be. I’ve never had such focus and determination going into a race- and here it was. Time to actually get it done.

When the race started I tried to zone out all the other people…I hate getting caught up in excitement and running too fast. Coach Jill told me to hover around a 10 minute pace. Surprisingly enough- I did a good job at not starting out too fast. I definitely had started too fast in all my other races and it killed me in the end.

This was my main plan from Coach, starting out a bit slower and working my way down.

5K in 31:10 (10:02 pace)
10K in 1:01.45 (9:56 pace)
15K in 1:32 (9:52 pace)
10M in 1:38.30 (9:51 pace)
12M in 1:57.30 (9:48 pace)
13.1 in 2:08.45 (9:49 pace average)

The race went straight out to a park road and then had a turnaround point. I was surprised at how good I was feeling… I hadn’t started out too fast and was feeling clam and ready.

Mile 1: 10:02, Mile 2: 9:49, Mile 3: 9:57

The next few miles were on the streets through the Rehoboth community, we had a good amount of people out on the course cheering even for it being a small local race. I again, felt really good. The miles were unbelievably clicking away.

Mile 4: 10:00, Mile 5: 9:55, Mile 6: 9:58

Mile 6 started to lead in to a state park where it became a bit of a cross country race. The cinder trail became a mud pit in some places and there were large puddles to dodge. This was hard because the trail wasn’t wide and the half marathoners had not split off from the marathoners yet. The trail was packed and at times I was kind of stuck by people I couldn’t get around. I was a little frustrated but when I saw a gap, I would burst through trying to shake some of the people.

 

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There’s me in the trails- running near some tall guy

Those were definitely the miles I was stuck. At that 10 mile point there was finally a split between the marathoners and us and the crowd thinned out. We turned around and went back through the trail as the marathoners went straight. Now I was going through the trail with plenty of room to myself. Now that I was at Mile 10, this was it- this was USED to be- the time my knees would ache, my legs would start to feel heavy and I would totally bonk. But they didn’t!  I was making pretty perfect time, and I knew I could do it. I too realized that my watch was off from the course’s markings, I was ahead of them- so if I really wanted that 2:10- I was going to have to HURRY!

Mile 10: 9:57, Mile 11 9:48, Mile 12: 9:46

Here it was the last mile and change for the PR. I put the jets on for that last mile, at this point I was almost numb, floating along, my legs were just going.

Mile 13: 9:27 

Unfortunately I was still further along according to my watch than I was, so I could tell the finish line wasn’t as close as I wanted it to be… I struggled in that last mile but I just made my legs go as fast as I could. I couldn’t believe that I was actually sprinting in to a half finish line feeling okay.

Last .23 according to my Garmin: 1:54

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My Garmin marked me as having run my 13:1 in 2:09:36

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Photo Credit to Drew!

Overall 13.23 Miles for a 9:53/m avg. 

PRETTY DANG PROUD of that. My first half where my miles averaged under 10 minute miles.

I finally saw the finish line at 13.23 and looked down to see a beautiful 2:10:45 on my watch!

PR CITY!

Drew came to greet me with a big hug. First words out of my mouth were, I worked my @$$ off that entire time! 

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Happy, Happy, Happy!!!!

If you can say that you give nothing more that day, than it is a good day.

What was even better about this day was that I got to meet a few Oiselle team members! I met Mary:

PS-Mary, was 3rd woman overall! Running a 1:28, amaze-balls time!

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And I got to me Jess and Elizabeth! Who were really fun to chat with.

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Good times were had by all. Besides the mess in the beginning. I loved this race. Every single aspect about the course and community. The food was nice after wards- there was TONS of beer. I highly recommend it if you’re into a small town race vibe! Rehoboth Beach is a really cute town too.

There you have it. No more words for me. Still on runner’s high! :)

It’s only a day away…

So here’s the thing.. Tomorrow’s half marathon: it’s probably going to rain. Wait no, it’s definitely going to rain. And probably be pretty windy. Although living on the shore, weather can change so quickly..maybe for the better, but maybe for the worse. (Fingers crossed for the better.)

Things might get interesting- I’ve never run further than a few miles in straight rain and my long runs have been in pleasant weather. I also chafe pretty easily even when not completely soaked so looks like I’ll be putting a tub of Vaseline on before hand as well. All that being said, I’m still ready to really rock this race no matter what. I’ve literally been SO antsy all week and just want it to be here.

If you care, I’ve set up twitter to hopefully tweet my progress along the way. So you may be able to stalk me follow along here.

Today will involve rolling out my calves, hydrating, putting my feet up and getting to bed super early.

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My black Friday steals!

I have a really early start tomorrow since this is a 7am race and I’m driving the 50 minutes there the morning of. (Who decides that’s a good idea for a December race?? I mean the sun comes up at 7:05!) BUT anyways- I’ll definitely be bringing a garbage bag!

Whatever will be, will be! :-)

I’m So Ready

I’m so ready to crush this half marathon on Saturday. I realize this is a bold statement. But hey- I’ve never been so ready for a race in my life. As I said, I’ve taken a different approach to training and actually worked my butt off to get to this race. I have a goal in mind, and if I can help it, it will be accomplished.

I’ve fartlek-ed, I’ve tempo-ed, I’ve done a long run every weekend. Another results that I was hoping happened too, I PR’ed this past week at a 5k Turkey Trot by 45 seconds, in freezing WINDY weather. New 5k PR 25:47..a nice confidence booster the weekend before the half marathon. Just what I needed to solidify that the hard work paid off.

Could I have found a more flattering picture of myself? No. I think not.

Could I have found a more flattering picture of myself? No. I think not.

That being said, IF I don’t get my goal, I may be dissapointed, however, I’m already proud of myself for all that I have done this fall.. and I KNOW that it will happen someday.

For the rest of the week, the plan is to do a few short runs, get the kinks out of my calves that are bugging me and rest and just trust in my training.

Hopefully on Saturday, I show up with some major run-tude. :)

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That’s the plan.

A Different Approach

So I’ve taken some time away..again. ha, well I’m right in the middle of basketball preseason, and I’m having a lot of fun coaching, but like I said- BUSY BUSY!

I said I would update you on my new take of training.

Currently I’m training for the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon on December 7th! It’s only 18 days away now and the past 3 weeks I’ve been working really hard, upped my milage, added fartlek, tempos, and long runs in. Why? Because I went ahead and got myself a run coach!

Why a run coach? Easy, I needed help. After 3 half marathons where my times were literally almost identical (and not where I wanted them to be) I decided it was about time that I actually found someone who knew 10x’s more about running than I do. This isn’t too hard to do consider everything I’ve learned about running I know has been self-taught and I have no background or experience in running at all.

I hired fellow Oiselle birdie, Jill to help get me sorted out. (And shes fantastic and so helpful and let’s me email her whenever I need :) )

My first steps:

1. More mileage (less 3 milers, more 5-7 milers)

2. Run longer runs slower, and shorter/medium runs faster. 

3. Add speedwork (fartleks, tempos)

At most before this plan I probably ran 18-22 miles a week. Most mornings I ran were 3 milers with a long run on the weekend. I just recently finished my highest mileage this week by doing a total of 29 miles. Not much to some, but to me… AMAZING! I can’t even tell you how good I felt during my 10 miles this weekend, which is a big shock to me because my normal 10 mile training runs are grueling and are a big mental challenge for me. This week I have a TOUGH 12 miler coming up, but I’m feeling like I can do it no problem.

Here is what this week is looking like for me:

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While normally, I’ve never been big on training plans, having this plan has really motivated me to get out of bed sooner and get out the door to accomplish the 6 milers before work, instead of the usual 3. I’ve actually figured out how to run a tempo run! Sometime I’ve never accomplished before.

So there you have it. The new plan. The different approach. And all for…. hopefully a shiny new PR :-) Oh and if you’re really wondering I am shooting to break 2:10 in my half. There I said it. I wrote it down and now it’s real. YIKES :-D

Hello…?

Um hello. I guess it’s been a while. But surely, I did not fall off the face of the earth. I did however fall off the blogging earth for quite some time. Truthfully- I just got Busy. REALLY REALLY busy. way back when, in August/September, I got 2 new jobs (good jobs!) and started coaching high school field hockey. All of these things were great, but at times I was fitting in half marathon training, working, coaching, and sometimes working again at night time til 11pm (which is not good since I would prefer to be asleep at 10:00). So blogging hit the back burner for a little while. Truthfully, it was the last thing I wanted to do most of these days so I just didn’t.

I’m not going to say it will be any better from here on out. After field hockey ended I had a brief week of some extra free time last week, and then I just started coaching high school basketball as well. Anyways, I’ve had an awesome fall, let me fill you in on some if it :-)

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Lots of Fall Running!

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Drew and I at our school- He’s the athletic trainer :-) Getting ready for a game!

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Ran a half marathon with some friends (and 1 maid of honor)

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Drew was in charge of the camera..obvs. 

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got our engagement photos done! this is on a preview- will share more of them when we get them :-)

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Besides the half marathon, I was celebrating my 25th birthday and Drew and I’s 3rd anniversary all in that weekend. It was a great time!

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Last week we went to Eagles vs. Giants game- my first pro football game!

That’s all for now.. I obviously have tons more to tell…including some big changes in training, and my next half marathon race..chasing down a goal! :-)

Wedding Wednesday

Wedding WednesdayIt’s been so long since I’ve done a Wedding Post, and it’s about time I update you all on how the process is going. Let’s see everything I’ve gotten done so far. We are so close to being 10 months away from the big day! Can’t believe how fast time goes.

Here’s a list of what we have so far…

Just one of the gorgeous views :) Thats the lake in the bottom corner

Just one of the gorgeous views of our venue!

    • Photographer - Booked! We are getting engagement photos done in October! Can’t wait to use this prop.

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    • DJ- I just recently got this figured out but am pretty sure it’s pretty set. So happy to be working with them! :) We are having fun looking at music right now, picking out first dance music, and also ceremony music. We probably won’t use any sort of traditional “wedding music”
    • Said yes to the Dress! Just waiting for it to come in now
    • We have our wedding officiant, who seems awesome!
    • Colors/theme - Mostly Purple with some red accents (flowers and things)
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    • Men’s formalwear will look something similar to this:
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It’s going to be hot, so we are going with the minimal, plus I think it will go with our overall laid back ceremony and reception. Tuxes will be too much for this outdoor/country-ish wedding

What we need to work on:

  • Wedding Menu/Cake decisions (Although I think we know we will just do a small cake for us to cut and then cupcakes)
  • Hotel bags (things for out of towers- possibly doing this)
  • Invitations/ Save the dates (after our pictures!)
  • Set timeline for the Wedding Day
  • Need to pick out bridesmaid dresses, but I am thinking of these: (minus the big hats haha) They are in infinity wrap dresses that you can tie a bunch of different ways up top so the girls can wear whatever is comfortable.
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    • Our entire Wedding Party still needs to be set. I have two of my bridesmaids- just waiting on Drew….
    • Honeymoon -What, where, when, or even IF we are going??
    • Wedding bands- mine is picked out already to match my engagement ring but Drew needs to pick his out.
    • Registry- We are thinking of doing a honeymoon registry or something not as traditional as a normal house stuff registry. We both already have a bunch of things since we live with each other already. The only thing I must have is a Kitchen Aid mixer :)

     

All in all the wedding planning so far has been completely relaxed… I am so glad that we are having a pretty long engagement. Some people thought were were crazy for waiting “so long” but I’m glad I don’t feel like I’m in such a rush to get everything decided and done. Being engaged is a fun part, and I’m glad it wasn’t rushed! :)