Tag Archives: Training

A New Training Focus

I normally spend my time pining after the next race, obsessing over the next training plan. I go from one race to the next whether its a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon focus. I love planning out my race schedule and aligning my training plans to go with them. Sometimes that training focus is on building a base; many times my training focus has been on simply working the plan–tempos, speedwork, hills, LSDs. Being pregnant doesn’t really lend itself to having a “traditional” training focus. I won’t be focusing on speed or logging big mile weeks. And I won’t be training for any particular race (though there are a few on the schedule). Continue reading

The Art & Science of Race Selection

I spend a lot of my time while running thinking about racing. Even when I’m not training for a specific race, I’m thinking about racing. I think about the “perfect” race. I think about what it would take to win a race (in my age group). I think about races of different distances and set crazy stretch goals for them quickly followed by aggressive goals and truly realistic goals. When I went about thinking about my race plan for 2014 I realized there is probably an art and science to race selection. Continue reading

The Winter Mileage Decline

In November I ran two half marathons, one of which was an awesome PR. I had a couple shorter runs on the calendar for the rest of the year–a Turkey Trot and the Baltimore Celtic Solstice 5-miler to be exact–so nothing that required me to really keep up my mileage. Like every year before, I (still) have all intentions of doing more strength training this winter while maintaining a base. The problem is that I’m not positive I know what mileage counts as a “base” nor do I know yet what to try and maintain as I haven’t nailed down my 2014 race plans yet. And so, I have fallen into the trap of the winter mileage decline.

Continue reading

From Painful to Pain-Free

I am very pleased to report that I’ve been running pain-free for about four weeks. I give enormous credit to Doyle & Taylor Physical Therapy in Annapolis and also have to admit that a reduced weekly running schedule (3 days) combined with diligent strength exercises and stretching have allowed me to resolve the sources of my hip pain. I’m not entirely convinced the pain is gone for good but I am most definitely back to my normal running pace, comfort level and optimism. Continue reading

Hip Pain: It Came Out of Nowhere

I was on my second to last long run before the Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon, 13 miles. It was early on an August Saturday morning so not too hot and I was doing well with my LSD pace. All of a sudden, on the flat stretch of my local trail with about 2 miles left to go, my left hip seemed to twerk out from under me. I felt a stabbing pain in my hip that seemed to shoot around my glute and hamstring area. I slowed down a little. The pain kept on. I limped and hopped and kicked my legs up behind me to try and shake it out but the pain persisted. I did something I never do and stopped and stretched. Stopping seemed to make it worse and after a brief stretch I powered through the painful final stretch home. Continue reading

Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon | BQ Attempt #1

bigcottonwood (7)The Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon in Salt Lake City was my first attempt to run a Boston qualifying race and my sixth marathon. I spent 13 weeks training for this race and had months of previous training and races under my belt. The big thing I was never sure I could properly train for was the significant amount of downhills at this race…18-20 miles of downhill to be exact with the final miles on a relatively flat grade. I also had never traveled this far for a race before so there were some additional prep and logistics to take into account. There were a lot of lessons learned at this race and while there are some things I would do differently, I think one sign of a good race is knowing that I would do it again. To quote a phrase of my old boss, “last line first.” I was running this race with the hopes of qualifying for the 30-34 age group 2014 Boston Marathon. I came in 42 seconds shy of a BQ and finished in 3:35:42. Now for the details! Continue reading

My BQ Quest

bos_a_starting_line_d1_576I started this post called “My BQ Quest” back in March of 2011 and did nothing other than enter the title in my drafts folder. Now, September 2013, I’m finally filling in the story.

In March 2011 I ran my third and fastest marathon finishing in 3:45. Weeks after that race I watched the Boston Marathon and started to think about training for a BQ race. I was 10 minutes off from the 30-34 age group qualifying time and the goosebumps I’ve always gotten watching the Boston Marathon started to sync up with an obsession that one day perhaps I could run the race. But I never told anyone that’s what I wanted to do. I hadn’t made the obsession real because I hadn’t said it out loud. And I hadn’t said it out loud because I lacked the confidence that I could actually run a qualifying time. Continue reading

The Race is the Reward | Charles Street 12 Success

Race morning in Baltimore

I’ve had this thought in my head for some time now: the race is the reward. I’m not sure too many people would argue this. While I genuinely do love training, the race is the payoff. I love everything about a race from the general camaraderie of runners to the contagious enthusiasm at the start line to the post-race satisfaction of having finished. But my recent results from the inaugural Charles Street 12-Miler in Baltimore have me on such a high that this post is now very timely. Continue reading

Time for New Shoes: Nike Zoom Vomeros…Again

nike_vomeros_2013 (4)For as many things as I think I do right as a runner, there are some best practices that I somehow seem to neglect. Sufficient stretching is one area where I do not practice what I preach. (Strength training is another; I simply don’t do it.) And, as I discovered recently, replacing running shoes in a timely manner is yet a third running best practice that I let go by the wayside. Many, many times I have told new runners and fellow runners about the importance of not only having shoes that are fit to your feet and running style but that are also not past their prime. Running in shoes that are past their mileage expiration date is a great way to potentially get injured. I’m not saying that worn shoes will cause injury, but I do think they could contribute to otherwise avoidable aches and pains. Continue reading

Too Hot for 20

Today I was supposed to run 20 miles. When I looked at the hourly weather report last night, it was to be 81 degrees at 6 a.m. and up to 90+ a heat index of over 100 by 9 a.m. I hoped to be home by then. I left the house at 5:52 and within my first steps I felt dehydrated. By the first half mile my four frozen water bottles were thawing out. And within the first three miles I had decided I would reevaluate my run at a certain point in my route at which I could return home early or stick it out for 20 miles. Continue reading