April 23, 2017 | Alexandria, VA | Time: 1:32:29
Another new PR!!!! Finally busted my 5 year old PR at this distance.
I wasn't sure how this race was going to go to be perfectly honest. I had been training since February for my A Goal: 1:30:00. And while I fell a little short I'm totally happy with a new PR considering how I felt earlier in the week.
After crushing it in Boston I noticed my right hip was a little tender. I took it easy on my Wednesday run and it seemed ok but on Friday I was just supposed to do a 3 mile shakeout but it hurt so bad that I quit at 2. I figured better to rest it as I had put in the work at that point. So icing and heating and aleeve were my friends. I was crashing with JJ (who I convinced to run as well) and we kept it pretty low-key. The weather helped as it rained all day Saturday. We worked on a puzzle (perfect rainy day activity) and ate healthy the whole time. :) I got my flat runner together that night and then crashed.
We were hoping it wouldn't rain but that it wouldn't be humid and muggy either. Turns out we got perfect weather. Started in the high 40s and stayed in the low 50s with overcast skies the whole time. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I think this is partially why I was able to get through it and PR.
Mile 1-3 9:11, 9:17, 9:24
I went out a little quick but we were on really nice downhill for about the first mile. Then I slowed myself down to make sure I would have enough in the tank for the rest. The first few miles my hip felt ok and so I just kept moving myself forward.
Miles 4-5 9:28, 9:36
It was hillier in this section and I was really worried I had pushed to much at the start. My hip had started to have a dull ache and I just though 'run the mile you're in' and if I had to walk I would. Again just kept on moving forward until crossing the 5 Mile mat.
Miles 6-7 8:57, 9:03
We went through a nice flat/downhill area and I was feeling ok so I started to push a little. My original plan (before the hip drama) had been to take the first 3 at 9:30, middle 4 at 9:00, and close the final 3 at 8:30. So since things were feeling alright I pushed a little here.
Mile 8 9:19
Did not like this mile. My hip was really hurting at this point and I was feeling defeated. All that work and once again injured. UGH!!! So I just made a promise to myself to get through the race and then I'd take a break, figure out what was going on... if I could just finish.
Mile 9: 9:03
More downhill thankfully and I was able to pick back up a little speed but really I was just trying to finish at this point. It wasn't until the end of the mile that I realized if I could pick it up a little more I could still PR!
Mile 10: 8:43
I knew my A goal was out the window but the realization that I could still get away with my B goal even with the hip problem was so joyful that it pushed me to crank it even harder towards the finish. Now you can see the finish line about a half mile from it (cruel) but I just kept moving forward (almost there, almost there) until I crossed the line beating my old PR by 1:15.
That beer never tasted so good. :) Was incredibly proud of myself for leaving it all out there. Taking the week off is the best choice while I rest this cranky hip. I know 1:30 is in me and I think I could have done it if I wasn't hurting. So hopefully that goal will be crushed very very soon.
Thanks GW Parkway and Pacers for a fun race!
4/15-4/18, 2017 - BOSTON, MA
So in my last post I raved about the BAA 5K and my new PR but the real reason we were in Boston was for Jon's Dad. He had qualified back in Nov 2015 to run Boston again... at the age of 62. CRAZY. Of course I was probably more excited than everyone else to be in town for one of the world's greatest road races.
On Friday morning, Jon took me to the airport for my 10am flight. I was connecting in NYC and then on to Boston. My flights were pretty uneventful and I was actually surprised to see a marathon runner aboard. In NYC the nice terminal was awesome and I was able to get the salad bar for lunch. PERFECT. Once I got to Boston I had been instructed to take the Blue Line to the Aquarium stop. It was easy to navigate- bus to train station- buy Charlie Pass- and then hop on the train for literally two stops. Then boom I was at our hotel. Marriot Longwharf. Super nice and a great place to get to everything. Jon's family had been visiting a friend (they arrived that morning) but met up with me at the hotel. Our rooms weren't quite ready so everyone headed over to the bar to relax. I wanted to run well so was holding off on the local beers until AFTER the race. Finally we were able to get into our rooms, I unpacked, relaxed a bit and then made dinner plans with Ethan. He's living in RI these days and drove up to see me while I was 'close.'
Ethan's an old friend from grad school days who is probably on this blog back in race recaps or other DC debauchery. It had been probably 2 years since we'd seen each other but it felt like old times as soon as we were together again. He met me in the hotel lobby and then we wandered through the markets looking for a good dinner spot. The Bostonia Tavern was a couple of blocks away and seemed like a great bet for food. Plus we were able to get seated with no wait. (WINNING) After some tasty food and lots of conversation we decided to walk around for a bit. Lots of exploring by the wharf area. Was awesome to catch up and spend the evening laughing our heads off. Nice to be around a friend again- it gets pretty isolated down here in Blacksburg. Anyway we had a great time and he decided he might come meet up with me for my long run on Sunday. About that time Jon's family was coming back from dinner too and we all retired for the night pretty early. :)
Saturday morning was all BAA5K, still excited about that PR and the whole experience. Jon's mom ran well too! So a good morning for all. Then we headed back to the hotel for showers, and to meet up with Jon as his plane was coming in that morning. Once he was there and unpacked we headed over to Quincy Markets to grab lunch. I stuffed my face with pesto mac and cheese. SO GOOD. Then it was expo time!! I LOVE expos so even though I was done with my running events for the weekend I still had a blast walking around all the booths. I was good and only purchased a spi-belt and one sparkly soul headband. I did try lots of free samples, drink the free beer and enjoy myself a ton.
We headed back to the hotel afterwards- stopped by the bar for a drink- and then rested a bit until it was time for Mexican dinner! We got to walk past an awesome Boston Strong sign, along the water, and then across one of the bridges to the restaurant. Margaritas, guacamole and tacos were on point :D. It was another early night thankfully as I had to get up at 5:30 to get my long run in before Easter brunch.
I was pretty sure I was going to be running alone because 6am was pretty early but Ethan came through for me and joined me for 7.25 miles of fun. We saw an awesome sunrise and explored lots of downtown Boston. Love running WITH people. Something I never get to do anymore but always jump the chance when I can. I said goodbye to Ethan with the hope that it wouldn't be another 2 years before we saw each other again. And then it was time to shower and Easter brunch!
We headed over to Northside Grill (one of the only spots available for reservation) and stuff our faces we did. There was so much food but it was all sooooo good. I had an omelet that came with delicious breakfast potatoes and a sweet corn muffin. I couldn't even finish it there was so much. I was so thankful I had run before this feast! Afterwards we wandered over by the water, sang a few Easter hymns, and then went for a walk to see Jon's cousin Ryan's new place. It was up on Beacon Hill. And since the weather was so nice it was a perfect day to walk. Of course by the time we made it there it ended up being a little much for Jon's dad's knee. Back by train and to the bar! We had a Duck Boat tour scheduled for the afternoon which was pretty fun. We headed near where I had run that morning and then into the river for a bit. The breeze was nice and it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Then it was time for dinner. The plan was to drop in to one of the many Italian places but after walking around for a bit and having no luck we opted for an american restaurant that served pasta. I had a salad - it was delicious and I needed something light and healthy after all the heavy food we'd been eating. Then we headed back to the hotel, wished Ralph good luck and turned in for the night.
We were up early to eat breakfast and see Ralph off. Then was spent the morning watching some of the marathon coverage before Jon and I headed to the train to go spectate on the course. We had planned to go as far as we could (Mile 17) which was a great spot actually. Just past the half marathon and right before the onslaught of the hills. We got a nice shady spot and then cheered our hearts out. I got to see the elites fly by and then so many Oiselle women crushing it out there. Jon's family joined us about an hour later. We were all tracking Ralph, making sure he was doing ok. In case I didn't mention it earlier in the post- he had been having knee issues with a torn meniscus and we weren't sure how the race was going to go. So everyone was there cheering and waiting. We had a cowbell, some clappers, we snacked on pretzels and water and waited. And then suddenly he was there- crushing it. Making great time despite the heat, wind and his injury. We screamed so loud and I took a bunch of photos. Then we hopped back on the train to get to Mile 25.
All in all traveling to two spots was pretty easy and at Mile 25 (Citgo sign) we were able to wiggle in as people left to get right on the rail by the time Ralph came by. Still cruising! Afterwards getting to the family area took more time than anything else but finally we found him and took lots of pictures. We made the slow walk back to the hotel so he could work his legs out, had some celebratory beers and then headed up to our rooms to rest and change clothes for dinner. We also had a snack in the concierge lounge because why not?! Then seafood dinner. Conveniently across from our hotel. Yummy shrimp and tasty beer to close out the day. Back at the hotel, Jon and I packed up everything and then went to sleep. We had to get up super early to make our 7am flight home.
Boston you were great! I hope to one day come back and run you myself!!
Saturday, April 15, 2017 | Boston, MA | TIME: 26:16
Wahoo! A new PR!!!
Now I've been working pretty diligently on my training plan for the 10 miler I have this weekend and it was really nice to see that work pay off at last Saturday's 5K. I wasn't sure I could pull it off considering my previous PR I achieved on a mostly downhill course. But I put on my powersuit, started in a much earlier corral (thank you Courtney!), and crushed it out there.
That morning was breezy (58 degrees) and very sunny. I had laid out my flat runner the night before committing to wearing the 3/4 team crop. I'm not the tiniest runner but I decided I didn't care I wanted to #rockthecrop and I figured if anything could get me a new PR it would be the confidence from wearing that beauty. Jon's mom and I were running while the rest of his family cheered us on. We were all in town because Jon's dad qualified to run the marathon at age 62!!! So I mean we all had to come right?! It's Boston!!
Anyway we got over to Boston Common that morning, picked up our t-shirts (which by the way I fit into an XS- I'm definitely not that size- sorry to all the actual tiny people out there!!), and visited the potties a few times before lining up in the start corrals. I'm so used to running races alone that I had forgotten how nice it is to have someone watching- to hold your stuff and of course cheer you on! Jon's mom and I split ways- she headed back to the 11:00 min group and I went up to the 7:00min group. I was definitely not going to run that fast but had been warned that with self seeding it would be really crowded at the start.
The first wave (and elites) led off and then a few minutes later my wave headed through the start line. And yes crowded was an understatement. At first I got trapped behind walkers... really?!?! walkers- in the 7:00min group. UGH!!! So my first half mile pacing wasn't the best as I was trying to dodge around people but then I was able to settle into a brisk but manageable pace.
I do think I kicked it a little hard for that last half of the first mile because my pace still averaged out at 8:21. And I'm pretty sure I was 9:30 in the beginning... oops! The course was nice and flat with only a little down and up hill under the overpass to transition us onto the marathon course. Of course even the slightest bit of elevation change slowed me a little bringing in my second mile at 8:30.
The last mile was awesome though. We got to take the famed "right on Hereford, left on Boylston" and then run right through the marathon finish line. I have to say I'm not sure I've smiled so much during a 5K before. Even though I was pushing myself pretty fast something about that finish line just makes you want to smile. It was glorious. Then it was about a half mile more to get back to the commons and through the finish!
Now I should also mention my other favorite part (besides the marathon finish) was hearing all the 'Go Oiselle" calls from my teammates!!! I rarely get to run with people cheering for me and hearing this so many times during the race definitely made me push even harder toward the finish. Especially the really loud group right before the finish- you all rock and thank you for making me feel awesome as I rounded the corner and grabbed a new PR!
Mile 3 came out to 8:22 and then :56 for the point one. Such a fun race! I'm not sure when I'll be back to Boston but this will hold as my favorite race for quite some time. I had a blast!!!
Coming 'atcha with another delightful recipe from Run Fast Eat Slow. If you know me well you know I have quite the sweet tooth. I can demolish anything that's chocolate and peanut butter. (Reese's you've been warned). So when I looked through the sweet section of the book I knew I wanted to give these a try. Plus everyone had been raving about them - so no brainer.
They don't have eggs (which I also appreciate) so the batter is up for grabs too! They recommend in the book to let it refridgerate overnight but I've put them in the oven after whipping up the batter and they taste great. So if you're impatient (like me) and don't want to wait no problem! Look below for the full recipe and instructions. :)
Run: 94.55 miles
Spin: 118.61 miles
4.5 hrs of Arms
4.5 hrs of Buns
4 hrs of Core
4.5 hrs of Legs
2 hrs of Yoga
Wow! Will you look at those March numbers?!?! I'm feeling so much stronger these days. I've made sure to stick to my strict schedule of every-other-day running to get my ankle back on track and I do feel like it is really working for me.
As I'm moving into the last couple of weeks of my training cycle for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler I'm incredibly grateful to my body for not getting injured! Strength training and yoga and things I neglected in every other training cycle I've done. I also only did the spin bike when injured so this entire cycle has been a new and positive experience!
I've continued on the 10% rule for my running, gradually increasing as the weeks have gone on. WK1: 18miles, WK2: 20miles, WK3: 22miles and Wk4: 24miles. April just started toward the end of the week but I just came in at 26.5 this past weekend. WHOA. I'm feeling really good about my pacing and speed work. I've tried to make sure I take my recovery runs nice and slow (very hard for me) and then I have more power and strength when it comes to my speed work. As my mileage has increased my bed times have definitely been earlier- you try fitting in an 8 mile run and an arm workout before getting to work at 8am!! Hello 4:30am- nice to meet you. Some adjustments for sure but I'm happy with my progress and am planning to finish out this cycle strong!
So all things good in March! Really looking forward to what April will bring. I have 3 races on the calendar: BAA 5K with Jon's family and many of the Oiselle team as part of the Boston Marathon weekend [SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS], my planned race: GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (going for a 1:30:00 goal!) and then the Highlander 8K with my SW VA local birds. Going to be a great month for sure!!
March 25, 2017 - Roanoke, VA Tailchaser 5K
This was my first time volunteering at a race. What sparked the signup? The NC Volee instagram challenge I'm taking part in this year. As an honorary NC team member I get to participate AND the March challenge was to volunteer for a race!
I scoured our local race calendars and found one in Roanoke volunteering with Fleet Feet Sports. What I didn't realize until I got there was that it was a benefit race for the SPCA and lots of doggies would be running too! The perfect volunteer opportunity.
I received my instructions on Friday and was up bright and early Saturday morning to get my own workouts in before jumping on the road to help setup before race time. I had never been to the Roanoke Greenway area but it is really nice! There are some cute restaurants and the river is really pretty- I hope to go back for some runs and brunching very very soon!
Upon arrival to the area I discovered the road into the greenway area was already closed off (although I found out later that is just a suggestion) but I found a place to park near where other runners were parking and then headed off on foot to the water stop. Had to walk about a mile, but again it was really pretty and the weather was just perfect on Saturday.
When I arrived the main setup was already done by the Fleet Feet coordinator so I was on water cup duty. Fill 1/2 way for easy drinking and repeat! There was also a kiddie pool filled with water for all the dogs to drink from. And I got a snazzy neon yellow volunteer shirt for the day!
The race started at 10am and about 10mins later the runners started filing by. Of course the front runners were not interested in water but then there were lots of walkers and folks running with dogs. It was pretty warm at the sun was out in full force so at our spot (about halfway) those puppies were happy to see some water... some even jumped in the pool!
Overall this was a great experience and I hope that I can help out and volunteer at more races in the future. So thank you to this instagram challenge for making me sign up!!
Comin' atcha with another delicious recipe from Run Fast Eat Slow. It has been my go to cookbook these last couple of weeks. We've tried out a few of the recipes but I hope to slowly work my way through most of it.
I was looking for something easy to eat for lunch this week. I've been eating salads with baked chicken which while healthy isn't really filling (even when you have a superhero muffin for dessert.) So I opted to try these breakfast burritos (with a few changes for me). I made a batch for the week on Sunday (super convenient) then I just zap one a couple of minutes in the microwave at work and voila instant deliciousness. And filling! And healthy! Trifecta of happiness.
I received Run Fast Eat Slow for xmas from my BFF and BRF, Kristi. I have to admit it's set on my cookbook shelf for a bit as the spring semester has been a little crazy! But finally I pulled it down a week or so ago to try out some recipes. For a first go I thought I'd try the famed superhero muffins. Everyone's been raving about them on IG so they must be food right??
OMG amazing. You would have no idea these are packed full of veggies. They are so tasty even the hubs was scarfing them down. I'll leave the recipe below (the version I made) for anyone who hasn't tried them yet (although I think I was in the minority of not giving them a try). SO GOOD.
Blacksburg, VA - March 4, 2017
Well it took awhile but I finally got a successful meetup set with the ladies in SW VA! I reached out in late fall about trying to get together and it took until March to find a working date but we finally made it happen!
There are 5 of us now in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area and so I was itching to get everyone together. I've found the 'team' feels more real when you can interact with people in real life. Social media is great but yeah IRL WAY BETTER.
We had scheduled to do a 3-4 mile on the Huckleberry Trail and then go to brunch afterwards. Of course that morning dawned ridiculously chilly so 3 miles it was. Brigitte, Krysten and I started out at the Rec Center in Christiansburg and ran just over a mile and a half before flipping around and heading back. We, of course, took some action shots for photographic evidence. I mean does it even happen if it's not on Insta?
Then we jumped in our cars and headed into Blacksburg to Lefty's for brunch. Sally met up with us for the eating. She is currently injured and not running while her docs figure out what's going on with her knee.
It took us a bit to order (too much talking going on) but then we all dug into delicious breakfasts. Lots of Oiselle and running talk, and general introductions getting to know each other a bit better. It's so nice to have these ladies in the area- I'm hopeful we can keep growing the team presence here.
We finished up brunch with the promise of our next meetup. Highlander 8K in Radford at the end of April. Hopefully Sally will be well and we'll be able to get Maria to join us too!
3.5hrs of Arms
4hrs of Buns
4.5hrs of Core
4hrs of Legs
2hrs of Yoga
As part of the #WinWithOne challenge with Oiselle for February I made myself promise to keep up with my strength workouts while I increased my mileage... and I did awesome. I am trying SO HARD to stay injury free this year that spinning and strength are a HUGE part of my overall plan. Obviously I want to get the miles in but I want to do that safely and without pain.
I've been following the 10% increase rule for running which meant my February weeks were: WK1 - 13, WK2 - 14, WK3 - 15, and WK4 - 16.5. This was also the beginning of my training for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler. So now on WK5 as we close out February and slide into March I'm looking at a weekly mileage of 18. It feels good to be logging some longer runs but I also feel so much stronger thanks to the strength work.
My goal was to do at least one strength workout a day (combined with either spin or a run). It has meant some lifestyle changes for me as well. I find myself going to sleep between 9 and 10pm as I have a few days a week where I'm getting up at 4:30am. Now if you had told me even last year that I would be getting up at 4:30 to workout I would have laughed in your face. But something about this approach and plan has made me commit to the change and I'm loving it.
Another added bonus: I'm toning up a decent amount which makes my clothes fit even better. No real plan to lose weight- more interested in eating healthy and getting stronger- but the change is still nice. I function so much better on quality foods, sleep and exercise.
May March be just as fruitful as I climb in mileage to 26.5 for the week. I also hope to continue with all my strength workouts and remain injury free!
2017: BestYearYet. :)