The week before race day is many ways the most critical part of training. It is the final opportunity to stay healthy, make smart diet choices, get plenty of rest, follow the last days of tapering in the training plan, mentally prepare for running 26.2, and depending on where the race is, to handle getting race day gear prepped in advance. The things that happen on the week leading up to race day can certainly affect race performance. Continue reading
About a year ago this time I made the realization that there would never be a “right time” to start a family and told my husband I was ready to try. This was significant because in March of 2011 I had run a PR marathon and was mentally and physically preparing to try for a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) at the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I was pretty sure that if we got pregnant before that marathon I would have to change my goals and expectations. And that is exactly what happened. Continue reading
My husband and I were arguing one night about the reality of my being able to train for a 26.2 once we had our baby. The issue is not so much whether I am capable of training to run the marathon distance but whether or not we can figure out the family balance. I would like to be able to train with the support of my husband and ensure the new baby is not neglected. Details and marital differences aside, his opinion was that 13.1 is a perfectly reasonable distance to manage as a family and he ultimately asked, “what is it about 26.2?”
I swear I was fast. At least, for me, in my age group, for my distances. I spent a good chunk of time and effort working on speed and got to a very comfortable place this year where my ‘slow, easy’ run was at 8:40, my 5k pace was near 7 minutes and my other mid-distances paces hovered somewhere between 8:00-8:15/mile. But alas, I seem to have regressed back to a 9 minute pace and just logged a long run averaging 9:15/mile. This rut, if that is what it is, is both frustrating and enlightening.
When I found the Lower Potomac River Marathon online the first thing I did was email the race director to make sure there was still room in the field. She wrote me back almost immediately confirming they still had space and I was quickly hitting ‘submit’ on Active.com. This event was featured in the March issue of Runner’s World and in the part where they write ‘why run it’ the answer is “for the simple things.” And they are spot on with that reason. Continue reading
A sure sign that spring is here is when weekends start filling up with races. In my case, it just so happened that I had back-to-back races in one weekend. I have had weekends where each weekend I’m racing but never before I had done one event on Saturday immediately followed by an event on Sunday. Though this was not my original intention, I’ll start off by saying that it resulted in two PRs so I’m not complaining! How did this happen and what were the races you wonder? Continue reading
In any race I always make a point of saying ‘thank you’ to the volunteers. Volunteers are critical for making a race successful and for making the runner’s experience positive. They provide everything from security to safety to organization, signage and the all-important water stop. A couple years ago I volunteered for the Zooma Half Marathon in Annapolis and worked the gear check station which was a great orientation to the ‘behind-the-scenes’ component of an event. Now I can say I have been on the other side of the cup having completed my first water stop volunteer experience.
One of the things I love about distance training is the tipping point when all of a sudden what were once long runs become short runs. I tend to spend 2-3 months each winter rebuilding my base and my benchmark is always 6 miles. I always want to get to the point where I can comfortably run 6 miles and then I like to get to the point where I can run 6 miles slightly faster than my easy pace. It takes a long time for 6 miles to become easy, let alone fast. But, every season when I hit the tipping point I will find myself running with a goofy grin on my face. Because once 6 miles becomes the short run, soon 8 and then 10 miles also become short. Continue reading
When I first started doing running races, I raced to participate, to experience the race, and that was about it. Let me first say that there is absolutely nothing wrong in racing with that mindset. My perception of racing started to change as I learned more about running, form, training techniques and drills, and my own potential. My perception of races also started to change the first time I adopted a real training plan which was for my first half marathon in October 2008.
I distinctly recall that race being the first time I set a hard goal that I hoped to achieve. For that run my goal was to finish under two hours, which I just barely did. That race pretty much set the tone for how I’ve been running, training, and racing which is goal-oriented. Continue reading
I believe one of the first 5K races I ever did was freshman or sophomore year at college. It was probably the farthest I’d ever run and I’m positive I didn’t train. After that first 5K I continued to run, added longer distances to my work-outs, and found myself signing up for 10Ks, 10-milers, and finally half and full marathons. Now after a nine year hiatus from 5K races I’ve done two in three weeks and am loving the 5k race! Continue reading