Return To Running: Week Thirteen

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 7.35.25 PM

Week thirteen was another good week of running. Felt great during my workouts and capped the week off with a lovely outdoor long run. Finally, a glimpse of spring!

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Temps got cold again (was a real feel of 9F). Ran on the Alter G at Finish Line PT before my one-hour maintenance session. Ran warmup and cool down at reduced body weight (80%), and ran tempo miles at 100% weight to get a better feel of the effort. Run felt great; pace was comfortable and controlled.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Mirage 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 2 mi @ 7:05-7:10; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.2 mi – 49:06 – 7:55 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) 7:03
    • (2) 7:03
    • (cd) 1.83 mi – 15:00 – 8:13 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Another cold day, another run on the treadmill. This time, the Woodway. Kept the pace easy and felt like I could run for hours.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Mirage 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min easy
  • Actual = 6.00 mi – 52:00 – 8:40 min/mi avg pace

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Run: Intervals.

Ran 800s on the Alter G . Like Monday, did warmup and cool down at 80% body weight. Ran intervals and rest intervals at 100% body weight. This workout felt good.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15-20 min wu; drills; 4 x 800 @ 3:25 (2:00 RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 6.56 mi – 51:36 – 7:51 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (2) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (3) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (4) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.23 – 10:00 – 8:06 min/mi

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Run: Long.

Finally an outdoor run. Huzzah! Gorgeous morning in the park.  Ran to Central Park, did a full loop, a reservoir loop, a lower loop and back. So many people out there running and biking. Thought for sure I’d see someone I knew, and was happy to catch Abby as we were running opposite directions on the west side.

Felt great on this run, and reveled in the fact it was shorts shorts shorts weather!

Looking at the splits, post-run, pretty sure you can guess which mile was Harlem Hill.

Conditions: Sun – 40F – felt like 40F – 46% humidity – 7 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 hr 20 min – 1 hr 25 min run
  • Actual = 10.36 mi – 1:24:53 – 8:11 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:32; (2) 8:10; (3) 8:09; (4) 8:10; (5) 8:25; (6) 8:14; (7) 8:17; (8) 8:01; (9) 8:03; (10) 8:03; (11) 7:34 for .36 mi

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   3 hrs 57 mins
  •   29.12 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Twelve

995847_10152258468669933_2051922988_n

Week twelve was a week of regrouping and getting back on schedule. I ran the workouts I missed the previous week and nailed them all. The return to a schedule felt good, though the broken heart and grief naturally persist. It’s completely confounding and somewhat miraculous how one can function in that conflicting state.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Two-mile tempo in the park on a gorgeous, clear (but windy!) winter day. Finished my second tempo mile on a nice downhill. Felt good.

Conditions: Sun – 36F – feels like 26F – 31% humidity – 17 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 2 mi @ 7:15-7:20; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.20 mi – 48:10 – 7:46 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.44 mi – 20:00 – 8:11 min/mi avg pace
    • (1) 7:13
    • (2) 7:05
    • (cd) 1.76 mi – 13:52 – 7:52 min/mi avg pace

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Oh my word, it felt colder than anticipated. Hit the park at night for some easy miles. Took a bit to warm up, and even then, legs still felt relatively stiff. I felt cold even at the end of the run, and the wind was the absolute kicker.

Conditions: Cloudy/Evening – 30F – feels like 21F – 37% humidity – 10 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min easy
  • Actual = 5.94 mi – 49:49 – 8:23 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:17; (2) 8:30; (3) 8:21; (4) 8:23; (5) 8:12; (6) 8:03 for .94 mi

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Run: Intervals.

Real feel of 17F meant I took my speed work to the treadmill. Did a session of 1 x 1 mile, followed by 4 x 200 meters.

Paces got the heart rate up, but were comfortably achievable.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; drills; 1×1 mi @ sub-7:00; 4 x 200 m @ ~ :47 (1:00 RI); 10-15 min cd.
  • Actual = 5.66 mi – 43:58 – 7:46 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace
    • (1) 1.00 mi – 6:54
    • (2) .12 mi – 00:46 – 6:31 min/mi
    • (3) .12 mi – 00:46 – 6:31 min/mi
    • (4) .12 mi – 00:46 – 6:31 min/mi
    • (5) .12 mi – 00:46 – 6:31 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.88 mi – 15:00 – 8:00 min/mi avg pace

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Run: Long.

Met up with Granato Racing teammate, Chris, for a long run through Central Park. Beautiful morning for a change – cold but sunny and lovely.

Pace was very comfortable and dropped easily for a fast finish mile, per plan.

First double-digit run since October 2013. Finished with energy to spare and legs felt great!

Conditions: Sun – 32F – feels like 24F – 46% humidity – 10 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1hr 15 min with one mile fast finish
  • Actual = 10.00 mi – 1:22:20 – 8:14 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:37; (2) 8:07; (3) 8:30; (4) 8:27; (5) 8:13; (6) 8:26; (7) 8:14; (8) 8:24; (9)7:52 (10) 7:23

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   3 hrs 44 mins
  •   27.80 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Eleven

2014-02-21 14.03.38-2

Week eleven was one of utter heartbreak. I lost a family member to cancer early Tuesday morning. The week consisted of emergency travel on Monday for what turned out to be quiet and unexpected goodbyes; and the aftermath of learning to cope with acute loss. Though exhausted, I ran to clear my head.

Monday

Off.

Tuesday

Off. 

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Four treadmill miles. It was all I had energy for, but needed to run.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Mirage 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Actual = 4.00 mi – 32:51 – 8:13 min/mi

Thursday

Off.

Friday

Run: Easy.

Ran just to run in the city, before heading back to family for the weekend.

Incredibly foggy Central Park matched my mood. Negative split.

Conditions: Fog – 42 F – feels like 35F – 82% humidity – 12 mph winds

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Actual = 5.41 mi – 43:48 – 8:06 min/mi
  • Splits (1) 9:15; (2) 8:03; (3) 7:54; (4) 7:47; (5) 7:45; (6) 7:24 for .41 mi

Saturday

Off.

Sunday

Off.

Weekly Totals

  •   1 hrs 16 mins
  •   9.41 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Ten

2014-02-14 13.43.00-2

Week ten started off sluggish (a preceding  weekend of whirlwind travel can have that effect). Regardless, my workouts were within my target paces, and felt much better Tuesday onward. At least I had a few shots to run outside. Capped the week off by *watching* running at the Millrose Games!

Monday

Run: Tempo.

This tempo was somewhat meh. It didn’t feel awful and it wasn’t euphoric. The treadmill felt alright, but I probably should’ve opted to go outside. Wish the bridle path was clear so I could get a good workout in without fully pounding my feet on the pavement for an hour.

I also think it was somewhat related to a busy (but fun) weekend in Boston, from which I haven’t fully recovered (not enough sleep, drinking, travel – but hey – fun!).

Normally I like to hit the lower range of my prescribed paces but today held it right under the upper limit.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 2 mi @ 7:15-7:20; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.15 mi – 49:38 – 8:04 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) 7:19
    • (2) 7:19
    • (cd) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:27 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Felt 100 times better on this run than yesterday’s. Proving I was still worn out from the weekend.

Sweaty Alter-G run in shorts. Winter, I’m hell-bent on ignoring you.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Mirage 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 5.33 mi – 45:00 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Run: 400m Intervals.

Treadmill 400s. Went well! They were toasty warm and lovely compared to the crappy weather outside.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 5 min drills; 6-7 x 400m @ 1:42-1:45 (1:15 RI); 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.95 mi – 55:32 – 7:59 min/mi
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace
    • (1) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44 min/mi
    • (2) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (3) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (4) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (5) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (6) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (7) .25 mi – 1:41 – 6:44
    • (cd) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace

Friday

Run: Long. (Scheduled: Rest Day.)

Needed to move my long run up a day. After yesterday’s snow, today was gorgeous (38F and sunny). Went to the park in shorts (makes me so happy) and knocked out my longest run in months.

Felt overdressed in the sun until I hit a wall of wind. It was on the upper east side of the park, Harlem Hill, and further west near the Hudson.

A. Wall. Of. Headwind.

Ran into Ali and Amanda at mile 5. Ran with them on Harlem Hill and back to Time Warner Center, through mile 8. Finished on my own, jumping the massive puddles at the intersections.

Conditions: Sun – 38F – felt like 29F – 55% humidity – 20 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1hr 15 min
  • Actual = 9.20 mi – 1:19:58 – 8:41 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits: (1) 9:09; (2) 8:11; (3) 8:07; (4) 8:00; (5) 8:51; (6) 9:27; (7) 9:04; (8) 8:53; (9) 8:26; (10) 8:49 for .20 mi

Saturday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: Run – Long.)

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   3 hrs 50 mins
  •   27.63 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Nine

2014-02-05 12.04.03-2

Week nine was full of treadmill running. Alter G. Woodway. You get to know the difference in treadmills when you’ve been using them for weeks on end. With the bridle path an icy mess, and trying to limit the amount of pounding my foot takes on the road, it’s been interesting doing every type of running workout on the ‘mill. Saving grace? I know a lot of you are having the same experience. We are not alone.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Another snow storm hitting the city meant I took my tempo indoors on Finish Line’s Alter G. Great, sweaty run while watching the snow come down.

Happy to see Coach dropping my training paces now. Feels good.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 1 mi @ 7:15-7:20; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 5.17 mi – 42:13 – 8:09 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) 7:13
    • (2) 1.80 mi – 15:00 – 8:20 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Ran on the AlterG since sidewalks and roads were icy. Eighty percent body weight for 45 min. Felt good.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 5.40 mi – 45:00 – 8:20 min/mi avg pace

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Run: 800m Intervals.

Did intervals on the treadmill and am very happy with how these felt. Building back up in 800s and dropping pace gradually.

First run in a new pair of Saucony Mirage 3, and they felt great. Though, Coach reminded me to get at least 20-30 miles of easy running in these before using them for speed work again.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Mirage 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; drills; 3-4×800 @ 3:25 (2:00 walking RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 5.84 mi – 46:36 – 7:58 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (2) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (3) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (4) .5 mi – 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.18 mi – 10:00 – 8:27 min/mi

Friday

Run: Long. (Scheduled: Rest Day.)

Ran on the Woodway, as I was time-crunched to get this workout done. Was scheduled to run Saturday, but moved it up a day since I was traveling to Boston.

Felt fine and kept pace very easy.

Conditions: Overcast – 33F – feels like 26F – 45% humidity – 5 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 70 min
  • Actual = 8.11 mi – 1:10 – 8:37 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 7.50 mi – 65:00 – 8:40 min/mi
    • (2) .61 mi – 5:00 – 8:13 min/mi

Saturday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: Run – Long.)

Sunday

Cross-Train: Spin. (Scheduled: Rest Day.)

Traveled back from Boston early in the morning. Rested up in the afternoon and decided to do a very easy, low resistance spin session in the evening to shake the legs out.

Maintained cadence of 95+ rpm.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 12 mi – 45:00

Weekly Totals

  •   4 hrs 08 mins
  •   24.52 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Eight

2014-01-31 13.31.25

Week eight was a great running week, for me. Mileage is continuing to build back steadily. Got a few runs in outside, which felt fantastic after so many frigid days and treadmill workouts. A return to the Central Park hills felt much better than last week, proving the body generally does, in fact, remember what it needs to do once it’s given a reminder!

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Took advantage of warmer temps and did a tempo run commute to physical therapy appointment. Ran West Side Highway bike path after minor detour. Thank you, construction. Now I can check balance-beaming my way along the WSH in the middle of traffic off my life’s to-do list.

This run felt fantastic. Coach wanted me to hold pace at 7:30, which was more than comfortable. Realized I was running closer to upper 6/low 7 at first, and pulled back.

Cut the cool down short by a few minutes as I didn’t want to be late for PT. Alison worked a few knots out of my right calf from Saturday’s hills and today’s run.

Conditions: Overcast – 41F – feels like 33F – 50% humidity – 9 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 1 mi @7:30; 10 min cd
  • Actual = 4.44 mi – 35:48 – 8:03 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.43 mi – 19:59 – 8:13 min/mi
    • (1) 7:25
    • (cd) 1.01 mi – 8:24 – 8:20 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Freezing outside, again. Hopped on the Woodway and did 40 minutes at a very easy pace.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 40 min easy
  • Actual = 4.61 mi – 40:00 – 8:40 min/mi

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Run: Speed.

Hit up the Woodway (again, again, again…) for 1x1mi workout. Coach said to go sub-7:10 pace on this and I did without discomfort. Felt good.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 5 min drills; 1 x 1mi @ sub-7:10; 10-15 min cd
  • Actual = 4.53 mi – 37:04 – 8:10 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.75 mi – 15:00 – 8:34 min/mi
    • (1) 7:04
    • (cd) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:17 min/mi

Friday

Run: Long. (Scheduled: 45-min Spin.)

Had to move Saturday’s long run to today. Run wound up being fueled by fight or flight adrenaline. Came within inches of being hit by an SUV at a Central Park West intersection. Driver wasn’t paying attention as he turned, while I had the light to cross.

Shook me up and after a few minutes decided to keep running.

Attempted the bridle path, but it was still icy. Ran the full loop in the park and a bit more, instead. Felt much better back on the hills than I did last Saturday. More like my old self.

Conditions: Overcast – 33F – feels like 26F – 45% humidity – 5 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min
  • Actual = 7.21 mi – 59:08 – 8:12 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:54; (2) 8:04; (3) 8:04; (4) 8:18; (5) 8:08; (6) 7:55; (7) 7:50; (8) 8:09 for .21 mi

Saturday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: Run – Long.)

Sunday

Cross-Train: Spin. (Scheduled: Rest Day.)

Hit the gym to do Friday’s easy spin session. Kept the resistance light and the turnover high to shake out the legs.

Gym was crowded tonight. I presume everyone’s burning off their chips and beer, pre-Super Bowl.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 13.50 mi – 45:00

Weekly Totals

  •   5 hrs 37 mins (includes PT)
  •   20.79 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Monthly Mileage: January 2014

jan-mileage

Building mileage back up.

Monthly Mileage: December 2013

dec-mileage

This was my monthly mileage for December, and first full month back to running post-stress fracture.

* Somehow, I forgot to post this.

Return To Running: Week Seven

2014-01-24 17.47.29

Week seven was a big thumbs up in my book! Mileage is building back up slowly, and pace is coming down. I had a full schedule of physical therapy, cross-training, back-to-back runs, a tempo, and intervals. Braved the cold on Saturday for my “long” run, and even though the hills reminded me I’ve work to do, I have absolutely no complaints about where I stand right now. I’m feeling good and my body is bouncing back quickly. Onward.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Booked the Alter-G at Finish Line, and did an easy one-mile tempo before PT. Ran at 75% body weight and felt great.

If only I could use this miracle of cloud-meets-sauna of an Alter-G outside! Can we mobilize it?

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 1 mi @ 7:30; 10-15 min cd
  • Actual = 4.05 mi – 32:30 – 8:01 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.83 mi – 15:00 – 8:13 min/mi avg pace
    • (1) 7:30 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.22 mi – 10:00 – 8:13 min/mi avg pace

Tuesday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: 30-min Easy Run.)

Wasn’t able to get run in today. Moved to Wednesday.

Wednesday

2-Workout Day. (Scheduled: 45-min Spin.)

Run: Easy.

Moved Tuesday’s easy run to today. Again, booked the Alter-G before my PT session. Unfortunately, was a few minutes late getting into the ‘mill so only did 25 of 30 scheduled minutes at 75% body weight.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 30 min easy
  • Actual = 3.04 mi – 25:00 – 8:13 min/mi avg pace

Cross-Train: Spin.

Went and did a double workout today, feeling good after my morning run & PT. I did 45 min easy – lower resistance, higher cadence (around 105 rpm). Done.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 45 min easy

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Run: Intervals.

First crack back at intervals! Huzzah!

Weather wasn’t great and bridle path was an icy mess. Opted to do 800m repeats on the Woodway treadmill. Eased into intervals to be conservative, so I wouldn’t go flying face-down off the belt.

Success all around. For the first intervals since October 2013, the pace felt manageable.

Since I was on the treadmill, I didn’t record the time/distance of rest intervals.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 3 x 800m @ 3:30 (2:00 walking RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 4.42 mi – 35:33 – 8:02 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 1.75 mi – 15:00 – 8:34 min/mi
    • (1) .50 mi – 3:33 – 7:08 min/mi
    • (2) .50 mi – 3:31 – 7:03 min/mi
    • (3) .50 mi – 3:29 – 6:58 min/mi
    • (cd) – 1.17 mi – 10:00 – 8:34 min/mi

Saturday

Run: Long.

First time running outside in a couple weeks. Between the cold and ending a 3-month hiatus from Central Park’s rolling hills, it was a wakeup call. The 16mph headwind on the west side was fun, too. Can you guess those miles?

No complaints. It’s a starting point for rebuilding endurance.

Thankfully, met up with Amanda, who’s Boston Marathon-training. Her company made the time fly faster than my legs!

Conditions: 21F – felt like 9F – 39% humidity – 16 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min easy
  • Actual = 7.15 mi – 59:64 – 8:21 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:17; (2) 8:19; (3) 8:18; (4) 8:09; (5) 8:24; (6) 8:34; (7) 8:20

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   3 hrs 18 mins
  •   18.66 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Six

2014-01-13 14.23.09-1

Week six was a milestone week, post-injury, for two reasons: 1) return of the tempo run (hooray!); and 2) first back-to-back runs since October ’13 (huzzah!). Feeling good, moving forward, getting stronger and going longer.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

First attempt at a gentle tempo run. Coach said one mile no faster than 7:30 pace. Ran on the bridle path and took advantage of the gorgeous, mild weather.

Felt great. Had to hold back to stay on-target with pace.

Conditions: Partly Cloudy – 49F – feels like 45F – 61% humidity – 8 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 1 mi @ 7:30; 10-15 min cd
  • Actual = 4.25 mi – 35:15 – 8:06 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.81 mi – 14:59 – 8:16 min/mi avg pace
    • (1) 1.00 mi – 7:27 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.55 mi – 12:46 – 8:14 min/mi avg pace

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

First back-to-back run since Oct ’13. Took advantage of the mild weather again and hit the bridle path for an easy 30-ish minute run. Felt good and no noticeable pain or concern about having two runs in a row, post-injury.

Again, nice negative split. Always makes me happy to see that.

Conditions: Conditions = Light rain – 48F – feels like 44F – 86% humidity – 5 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 30 min easy
  • Actual = 3.36 mi – 27:37 – 8:13 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:22
    • (2) 8:13
    • (3) 8:08
    • (4) 8:01 for .36 mi

Wednesday

Cross-train: Spin.

Was crunched for time, so got on the bike and did 40 out of 45 minutes on my schedule.

Easy pace, especially since this was after physical therapy. Shakeout for the legs and keep cadence at 105-ish rpm.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 9.44 mi – 40 min

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Run: Easy.

Ran on the Alter G for 35 min before my physical therapy session. Did 75% body weight and 8:06 pace. Then jumped on the regular treadmill for the remaining 10 minutes of my workout after PT, same pace.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 5.56 mi – 45:00 – 8:06 min/mi pace

Saturday

Rest Day.

Sunday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: 45-min spin.)

Was slated to spin, but personal schedule took over. Became a rest day instead.

Weekly Totals

  •   2 hrs 32 mins
  •   13.17 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Motivation: Keep Moving Forward

I’m fortunate to know many amazing people – hard workers with big goals, loyal to their dreams and their friends.

Yet, none of us are without our personal challenges. We each encounter obstacles that bully us into questioning our instincts. Sometimes we’re shoved hard enough to want to quit. But we don’t.

As I have reminded myself, we each have the power to make our lives what we wish. For those of you feeling tested, doubtful, or berated, remember:

“Your playing small does not serve the world…

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson

Show yourself how great you are.

LV

 

I Am Woman, Fight For A Cure

logo_mwoy

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

It is with gratitude and honor that I announce my candidacy for the 2014 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year.

The LLS Man & Woman of the Year is a national 10-week campaign –  from March to June – that focuses on raising funds for the fight against blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Since 1998, the campaign has raised more than $100 million and last year, 781 candidates across the country raised an astounding $22.9 million in ten weeks!

I have often said, “It takes a team,” and this is no exception. Join me as I commit to the fight against blood cancer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The reality is we are hard-pressed to find someone whose life has not been impacted by cancer – whether it is ourself, a family member or friend, a loved one, neighbor, colleague – the list goes on.

Together, we can support the advances that bring our world closer to a cure.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more information about my campaign and my reasons for running. For now, pledge to stand with me as we fight to kick blood cancer to the curb!

Return To Running: Week Five

2014-01-10 11.01.42-1

Week five saw a lot of indoor running on the Alter G because of bitter cold temperatures in the northeast. It was also the week of my longest continuous run since Chicago Marathon, and the much-anticipated return of (easy) intervals. Progress!

Monday

Run: Easy Intervals.

The morning started at 50F, steadily dropped throughout the day. By the afternoon, it was colder but enjoyable. Broke out the shorts while I could.

Hit the bridle path for some “tentative surges,” as Coach Kevin called them. Surge comfortably but not an all-out effort. However, my Garmin calls them intervals, and I like the sound of that better!

Felt great. Was a fantastic, muddy run. Happy to see consistent intervals with a nice negative split.

Conditions: Overcast – 37F – feels like 28F – 62% humidity – 14 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 3 x 2:00 surges (3:00 jogging RI)
  • Actual = 3.70 mi – 30:16 – 8:10 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.81 mi – 15:15 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) .27 mi – 2:00 – 7:24 min/mi
    • (3) .35 mi – 3:00 – 8:35 min/mi
    • (4) .27 mi – 2:00 – 7:24 min/mi
    • (5) .35 mi – 3:00 – 8:35 min/mi
    • (6) .28 mi – 2:00 – 7:10 min/mi
    • (7) .37 mi – 3:00 – 8:08 min/mi

Tuesday

Cross-train: Spin.

On a day when it was 5F, felt like -15F, was happy to have a spin session on the schedule. Easy, steady spin with a bit higher resistance. Maintained 100+ rpm cadence.

Take that you nasty, freezing cold-ass weather.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45-min easy spin
  • Actual = 12.08 mi – 45:00

Wednesday

Run: Easy Intervals.

Still so cold outside, so hit the Alter G after physical therapy at Finish Line PT.

Same workout as Monday, but run at 75% body weight. Allowed me to run slightly faster paces at same effort.

Started breaking in a new pair of Saucony Ride 6.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet) mixed with coffee

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 3 x 2:00 (3:00 jogging RI)
  • Actual = 3.72 mi – 30:00 – 8:03 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) .28 mi – 2:00 – 7:13 min/mi
    • (2) .36 mi – 3:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (3) .28 mi – 2:00 – 7:13 min/mi
    • (4) .36 mi – 3:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (5) .29 mi – 2:00 – 6:58 min/mi
    • (6) .37 mi – 3:00 – 8:13 min/mi

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Run: Easy. (Scheduled: 45-min spin)

Was heading out of town on the weekend for a little R&R. So moved Saturday’s run to Friday. Again, ran on the Alter G before physical therapy at Finish Line.

Plan called for 45-min easy with a fast finish. Ran at 75% body weight and knocked the pace down two times during the workout.

Felt great.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 6

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 5.67 mi – 45:00 – 7:56 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 3.75 mi – 30:00 – 8:00 min/mi
    • (2) 1.27 mi – 10:00 – 7:53 min/mi
    • (3) 0.64 mi – 5:00 – 7:47 min/mi

Saturday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: 45-min Run)

Did this run on Friday, instead.

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   2 hrs 30 mins
  •   13.09 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Four

2014-01-04 12.46.34-2

Week four was another week of juggling workouts; but, happy to see my runs gradually getting longer. Still pain-free!

Monday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: 30-min run)

Was not able to get my run in today, per schedule.

Tuesday

Run: 30-min Run. (Scheduled: 45-60 min spin w/ surges)

Was scheduled to spin. Since I wasn’t able to get my run done on Monday, switched to a run day.

Broke the run into two parts, due to my personal schedule:

  • Alter G treadmill run after physical therapy at 75% body weight = 2.45 mi – 20:00 – 8:09 min/mi pace
  • Midnight run in Central Park = 1.54 mi – 13:35 – 8:49 min/mi pace

Conditions: Outdoor portion = cold!

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 30-min run
  • Actual = 3.99 mi – 33:35 – 8:25 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = See above.

Wednesday

Run: 30-min Run.

Was so happy to meet up with Dee in the morning to welcome the new year! Did a slow, easy run on the bridle path and caught up with each other.

Cold and windy, but the time flew in good company.

Longest continuous run since Chicago Marathon. Also, my new Garmin thinks I ran a 5K PR this morning (not by far). But if it insists I ran both a distance and 5K PR on 1/1/14, let’s go ahead and call it the year of PRs!

Conditions: Sun – 27F – felt like 19F – 44% humidity – 6 mph winds

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 30-min run
  • Actual = 3.95 mi – 36.02 – 9:07 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 9:20; (2) 9:11; (3) 8:57; (4) 8:32

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Rest Day. (Scheduled: 30-min run)

Saturday

Cross-train: 45-60 min Spin.

Run: 30-min Run with Surges.

Made this a double workout for the missed run on Friday. 

Kept the spin session easy – lower resistance, higher leg turnover (100+ rpm cadence). Followed with 30-min easy on the treadmill. To cover the surges during my run, I followed a pre-programmed treadmill course with rotating elevation profiles.

Feeling fine – pain-free, no soreness next day.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe and Saucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

Spin -

  • Plan = 45-60 min easy spin
  • Actual = 13.00 mi – 45:00

Run -

  • Plan = 30 min run with surges
  • Actual = 3.55 mi – 30:00 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   2 hrs 24 mins
  •   11.49 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Three

2013-12-27 14.06.38-2

Week three required a little bit of juggling workouts to fit with my personal schedule. But, I’m happy to have a week that more closely resembles what I’m used to – five workouts including running and spinning. Not to mention I’m elated to be running pain-free while slowly rebuilding mileage.

Monday

Run: Easy. (Scheduled: 45-min Easy Spin)

Scheduled for an easy spin session; instead, needed to switch workout to a run.

Felt fantastic – no pain, and happy easy pace is quickly returning to where it used to be during Chicago Marathon training.

Plan called for a run on either a dirt path or the Alter-G treadmill. Ran over to Central Park, onto the bridle path, and back home.

Did PT-recommended hip flexor stretches after.

ConditionsSun – 34F – felt like 27F – 54% humidity – 15 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min run on dirt path or alter G
  • Actual = 2.54 mi – 21:01 – 8:16 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:11; (2) 8:20; (3) 8:14 for .54 mi

Tuesday

Cross-Train: Spin. (Scheduled: 20-min Run on Dirt or Alter-G)

Today’s schedule called for a 20-min easy run. However, I had to switch the workout to evening. Did the spin session that was originally scheduled for Monday instead.

Kept the effort easy, and threw in a couple sprints to make it interesting. Maintained 93+ rpm cadence.

Did PT-recommended hip flexor stretches after.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45-min easy spin
  • Actual = 13.75 mi w/ surges – 45:00
  • Splits = N/A

Wednesday

Rest Day.

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Run: Easy.

Again, comfortable pace and no foot pain at all.

Easy run over to Central Park and the bridle path. Beautiful winter day with cool air and clear skies. Finally dropped a negative split…been a while since I’d seen one of those!

Conditions: Sun - 37F – felt like 31F – 41% humidity – 8 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min run
  • Actual = 2.61 mi – 22:05 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:37; (2) 8:31; (3) 8:05 for .61 mi

Saturday

Run: Easy.

Scheduled for a 25-min easy run on dirt or Alter-G treadmill.

Happy to be sounding like a broken record: no pain, great run!

Weather was fantastic – late December in NYC and 46F. Shorts, shorts, shorts!!!

Hit the bridle path, which was a muddy mess. Made for great fun as I blasted through the puddles and enjoyed the moment. Also, ran another nice little negative split.

Did PT-recommended hip flexor stretches after.

Conditions: Sun – 46F – feels like 41F – 36% humidity – 13 mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 25 min easy on dirt path
  • Actual = 3.07 mi – 25:06 – 8:10 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:31; (2) 8:05; (3) 7:59

Sunday

Cross-train: Spin.

Did a 45-minute easy spin session after meeting up with Robin, Neal, Elyssa, Amy, and Kelsey for breakfast.

Maintained cadence around 105+ rpm.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Breakfast/Coffee

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45-min easy spin
  • Actual = 13.22 mi – 45:00
  • Splits = N/A

Weekly Totals

  •   2 hrs 38 mins
  •   8.22 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

Return To Running: Week Two

2013-12-16 10.00.13-1

Week two included some treadmill running, one gorgeous outdoor run, and physical therapy.

Monday

Run: Easy.

Plan called for a 2-mile run with a 5-min walking break in between miles. Since I was at Finish Line PT, snagged some time running on the Alter G treadmill. First time running on this, and it’s quite an experience. Can see how the air chamber actually encourages better form as you really need to engage that forward lean to stay rooted on the belt.

Ran at 75% body weight for two miles. Did not take the 5-min walk break as the run felt comfortable and easy.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 mi easy; 5-min walking RI; 1 mi easy
  • Actual = 2 mi – 16:53 – 8:27 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = N/A

Tuesday

Cross-Train: Spin.

45-min easy spin session.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy spin
  • Actual = 45 min easy spin
  • Splits = N/A

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Ran on the treadmill after physical therapy again. This time, used the regular treadmill. Finish Line PT’s treadmill is calibrated better than any Equinox treadmill I’ve been on lately. An easy 8:30 pace felt like an actual 8:30 pace. Not like in the gym, where I grapple with a 9-min/mi feeling like a sprint.

Started a little slower than 8:30 and reduced to 8:20 for mile 2. Did not take the 5-min walk break.

Felt great, no pain.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 mi easy; 5-min walking RI; 1 mi easy
  • Actual = 2 mi – 17:05 – 8:32 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = N/A

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Rest Day.

Sunday

Run: Easy.

Easy evening run in this beautiful, mild weather. Was elated to run in shorts and a singlet in late December!

Run felt fantastic.

Conditions:  Evening – 64F – felt like 64F – 70% humidity – 7mph winds

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 mi easy; 5 min walking RI; 1 mi easy; 5 min walking RI; 1 mi easy
  • Actual = (Running) 3 mi – 24:39 – 8:13 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits (Running) = (1) 8:00; (2) 8:18; (3) 8:21
  • Total activity w/ walking breaks = 3.56 mi – 34:54 – 9:47 min/mi avg pace

Weekly Totals

  •   1 hrs 53 mins
  •   7 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

The Breaks: Moving Beyond Injury

2013-12-06 16.31.54

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

Oprah Winfrey

~

Two weeks ago, I returned to Dr. Geller, the orthopedic podiatrist who’s been treating my most-recent stress fracture. He x-rayed the site of the injury, and gave me the green light – healed! You can see it in the middle metatarsal: a faint, swirly milky way of new bone. I can finally put seven weeks of recovery behind me. Now, it’s time for next steps.

Since this stress fracture is a repeat injury – second instance on same foot, different metatarsal – Dr. Geller has me undergoing a number of evaluations to determine the cause(s). Between a DEXA bone scan to determine bone mineral density, blood work, and a gait evaluation with a physical therapist – some answers are to be had.

With each piece of the puzzle comes a better understanding of why I came away injured during the Chicago Marathon. Since the tests are still ongoing, I’ll wait to put all the information together. I realize my experience is not uncommon. Hopefully the information I share at some point will be useful to someone in the same situation.

In the meantime, I’m undergoing physical therapy at Finish Line PT to help retrain and strengthen the supporting muscles – especially in my right foot/leg.

Initially I felt discouraged to find myself sidelined a second time. Eventually, I accepted the repeat injury as a cry from my body that something needed to be addressed now. As I begin to understand the larger picture around this small stress fracture, I see that this is a valuable learning experience. Hopefully all the information and therapy will become the foundation for a faster, stronger spring season…and running career, in general.

 

Return To Running: Week One

2013-12-04 13.55.12

Week one marked my return to Coach Kevin’s running workouts! I was officially cleared to run on December 6, so back up we start! I’ve also embarked on Physical Therapy to help rehab my foot and correct my running form moving forward. It’s humbling to start up again running a mile at a time, but I’ve said it before: even a mile is solid ground from which to propel forward. New goals await, as does some healthy running.

Monday

Run: Easy.

Scheduled to run one mile on soft surface. Instead, had a photo shoot for Fitness Magazine, which required some easy running back and forth. Was outside in the cold/rain for a good 30-40 minutes. Figured that covered the effort of a one-mile run.

Conditions: Rain – 30(ish)F

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 4

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 mi easy
  • Actual = Easy jogging back & forth over short distance (~ 30 min)
  • Splits = N/A

Tuesday

Cross-Train: Spin

Blatantly misinterpreted Kevin’s workout instructions. Subtle difference made for a very different workout than intended. Resulted in what Kevin claimed “must have been a hellacious workout.”

Believe instructions actually indicated 4 or 5 intervals of :45-1:00 surges, with a 3-min easy rest between each. Instead, I thought he meant 4 intervals of 4-min or 5-min surges with the last minute of each surge even faster. So, that’s what I did. Regardless, it was a great workout.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 4-5 x :45-1:00 harder (3:00 RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 57 min = 15 min wu; 4 x 5-min surge w/ 1:00 harder (3:00 RI); 10 min cd
  • Splits = N/A

Wednesday

Physical Therapy: Initial Evaluation.

Met with Alison, the Physical Therapist at Finish Line PT, who is helping rehab my foot after stress fracture recovery. She did some balance and form assessments during a 1-hour evaluation.

Focused on stretching my calves and hip flexors, and some form corrections concerning my right foot.

Thursday

Run: Easy.

Kevin has me doing my return-to-running workouts on soft surfaces (i.e. a dirt path or trail). The temperatures have been cold, which is normally fine for my running. But the nearest dirt path is at least a 10-minute walk away from home. Not far, but in the cold, I would be walking more than running. So, I opted for another soft surface: the treadmill. Believe me, it’s not my favorite option, but lets me get the job done. Kept the treadmill pace very easy.

Did the hip flexor and calf stretches that Alison - Physical Therapist from Finish Line PT - recommended before run.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 10 min easy on dirt path
  • Actual = 1.13 mi – 10:00 – 8:50 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = N/A

Friday

Cross-Train: Spinning

Moved workout to Saturday due to personal schedule.

Saturday

Two-workout day.

Cross-Train: Spinning

This was Friday’s workout, moved to Saturday. Did 45 min easy spin, concentrating on keeping RPM at 90. Did a few surges from 20-seconds to 1:00. Nothing crazy – relatively low resistance – just to get cadence up.

Shoe: Shimano Cycling Shoe

Run: Easy.

Easy 10-15 min run on treadmill following spin session. With the snow, wasn’t worth testing a newly healed stress fracture on some slick ground. Again, kept treadmill pace very easy.

Did the hip flexor and calf stretches that Alison - Physical Therapist from Finish Line PT - recommended after run.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 10-15 min easy on dirt path
  • Actual = 1.67 mi – 15:00 – 9:00 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = N/A

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •   3 hrs 37mins
  •    2.8 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

What’s Next: 2014 Spring Season

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

Walter Elliot

~

After the Chicago Marathon, and while my stress fracture healed, I began to wonder: what’s next. With every marathon I’d run, I immediately had the next 26.2 lined up. Until Chicago. Not only did I not have the next race in mind, suddenly, I found myself wondering if a spring marathon was even in the cards. There were several factors influencing the decision.

Which Race?

I spent some time researching spring marathons. I polled long-distance runners: what’s your favorite (fast) spring marathon course? The recommendations came, one after the other. There were plenty from which to choose. I could stay local, or travel across the country again. The options didn’t stop there. If I was willing to travel internationally, there was the London Marathon. Yet, none of the races were striking a chord with me. I waited for that gut reaction to scream: THIS IS IT! Surprisingly, that feeling didn’t surface.

I could name quite a few fall marathons I’d love to run. However, for the spring, I felt aimless. While I had been “there” for Chicago – all the physical and mental components prepped and primed to race – my injury had unexpectedly diverted me. 

This time, I found myself facing a different internal debate.

What Distance?

The debate I found myself having was if I even wanted to race a spring marathon. Yes, I still have unrealized goals – a 3:23 (or faster) finish time and a Boston Qualifier. I haven’t abandoned those dreams. They’re still quite important to me. But, that internal voice for which I awaited spoke up, and I decided to listen. What felt right for me, this time, was to forgo the marathon for a season. The path suddenly diverged from that steady marathon course. What I saw instead was a short distance away, a much shorter distance.

The decision: spend the spring training for short distance races (5k, 10k) to get faster and stronger. 

The Reasoning

For a few years, several running coach friends had suggested this approach. I always politely listened, and decidedly ignored their advice. They’d said take a season off from the marathon to build speed. “Oh, okay. I’ll think about it,” was my typical reaction. Suddenly, I saw the validity of their recommendations in context of the larger picture. Now it made sense.

After five marathons, I could clearly see the obstacles I kept facing in pursuit of a faster finishing time. These obstructions – Injuries (piriformis syndrome and two instances of stress fractures) and mental blocks – were very real. My first DNF (Did Not Finish) in Chicago was a wakeup call. It was an event drastic enough to make me take a step back to reevaluate.

The reason I’ve finally decided to heed the call of shorter distance racing is simple: it’s an investment in my running career, and it’s a component to help me achieve my long-distance goals.  I’m not giving up on the marathon. Those goals are very much alive. But, I’ve decided to take a different path to get there.

I gave this decision some time to sit in my brain. I wanted to ensure it wasn’t a whim, that I wasn’t switching focus simply because I felt discouraged. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I’m fiercely determined to become a faster, stronger runner. If it means taking a season away from long distance, so be it. I’m willing to do this to run healthy and get faster.

The Reassurance

When I finally conferred with Kevin about my wishes, he supported. What he said went along the lines of:

  • This will give us ample time to safely build back up to the marathon, post-injury.
  • The shorter races will give a more complete running picture and help us gauge my potential.
  • It will provide valuable race experience.
  • It will help me increase my speed.
  • It will help condition my body to fight through pain.
  • It will give me an opportunity to learn new race strategies.
  • All the above will only help provide a stronger base for a faster fall marathon.

What Now?

My conversation with Kevin bolstered my excitement. With my Coach’s encouragement, I’m ready to cocentrate on building back up safely and to start training. This short-term change in focus is what I need: it’s a fresh perspective and a new challenge. I’ve never properly trained for a 5k or 10k. Actually, minus one 5K I ran as a benchmark for Chicago Marathon training, I’ve never earnestly raced these distances.

My paces had gotten much faster during marathon training. If I can do that while preparing for long-distance, what exactly awaits when I specifically train for these shorter distances? I’m excited to find out!

Now, time to ease back into running and find some goal races for the calendar.

Looking ahead, moving onward, getting faster.

Monthly Mileage: November 2013

nov-mileage

That’s what recovery from a stress fracture looks like!

Giving Thanks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

~

Yes, it’s indeed time to make some decisions about spring goals. As I look forward, I’d also like to express my profound and heartfelt appreciation to those who support me. Their continued encouragement is not only amazing, but also inspiring and reassuring. They’ve stood with me while I’ve pushed my personal boundaries, and they’ve stayed by my side when I’ve stumbled. That says a lot. “No (wo)man is an island, entire of itself.” I’m fortunate to be in the company of these kickass people!

Kevin Granato

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With Granato Racing coach, Kevin Granato, in Eugene, OR

Kevin’s the man behind Granato Racing, and the one who builds me up to my race paces. When we first started working together, he insisted on “trust and patience.” Putting my trust in Kevin has been a wise decision. The working relationship you have with a coach is crucial to how far you can progress together. I’ve relinquished some of my Type A control in training and have put the reins in Kevin’s hands. The guy has made me faster and stronger in such a short amount of time. More than I ever expected. He’s supportive, responsive, and calls me out on my bullshit when I start to go rogue on my paces. Exactly what I need! I’m looking forward to seeing where we go next.

Jason Hamera

Jason Hamera, personal trainer and badass Taekwondo black belt

Jason Hamera, personal trainer and badass Taekwondo black belt

Jason’s the personal trainer who whips my muscles into shape to support my quest for a faster marathon. He makes me work each week through body weight exercises, agility drills, plyometrics, and good old classic weightlifting. He “trains me like an athlete” to get stronger, focusing on correcting some physical imbalances. As a black belt in Taekwondo, the guy knows a thing or two about suffering through training to achieve a goal. He offers great advice, unwavering support, and much-needed humor. He always knows when his workouts are successfully pushing me to new limits: I stop bantering and go quiet. The tell-tale sign he’s making me work hard.

Generation UCAN

Generation UCAN

#UCAN break your personal barriers

Generation UCAN – the product itself – transformed how I feel on my runs. People look at me in disbelief (and maybe hope?) when I tell them two packets of UCAN pre-run keeps me fueled for 22-mile runs! However, it’s absolutely true. I wouldn’t tout the quality of a product in which I didn’t believe. What’s even better are the amazing people behind the company. They’ve partnered with me since I trained for the Eugene Marathon. You can find me hanging with these great people at various race expos, explaining there’s a better way to fuel for your athletic endeavors. Any day I get to work with the UCAN crew is a fun, happy, and well-fueled day!

Saucony

#FindYourStrong: Saucony NYC Viziglow Kinvara 4

#FindYourStrong: Saucony NYC Viziglow Kinvara 4

Likewise for another amazing product in which I believe: Saucony! Their shoes have been an elemental factor in bettering my runs. I rotate between three models of Sauconys during training: Ride (for easy/recovery runs), Kinvara (for tempo & long runs, and long-distance races), Type A (for speed work and short-distance races). Their shoes fit my feet well – and I wish I could wear the Type A for every. single. run. (I don’t, though.) The people at Saucony have been great helping me select the proper shoes in which to train. Their mission is to not only create the best running shoes, but to actually inspire people to run. I admit, any time I lace up a pair of Sauconys to run, I know it’s going to make my day feel better. I appreciate all the thumbs up they’ve given me as I constantly work to find my strong.

Granato Racing Teammates

#GranatoRacing

#GranatoRacing

Kevin’s crew of Granato Racing runners is a fast and friendly bunch. I love being part of a team, spread out nationally, who train and run hard. They’re also just really awesome people! Teammates Chanthana and Tim took such great care of me as I arrived to run the Chicago Marathon. They seriously went above and beyond making everything stress-free on race weekend. I’ve had so much fun cheering for my teammates as they’ve run incredible races this year. Not only do #IheartKG, but I adore the #GranatoRacing team. You guys fuel my fire!

Family and Family of Friends

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Good Friends and Good Cheer

What a fortunate problem to have: there are too many of you to name individually! Yet, I appreciate the support I’m lucky to receive from both family and friends. This running quest has been, for me, a personal one that many times is about much more than running. It’s been a gateway for personal empowerment and improvement. From the friend I’ve known since I was seven years old, to recent friends, to the incredible online community of runners I’ve met, I’m forever grateful for the encouragement you endlessly offer. Many of you have seen me from my first race at 11-min/mi pace, to recently watching me bust big-time trying to run a 3:23 marathon. Point is, whether that first race or the most recent, the love and support has been equal. The advice, the listening, the kinds words when I succeed and when I’m injured…it all charges me up for the next time I run. There has been no kind sentiment that’s gone unnoticed.

Thanks!

To all of you, I say: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to running many more (faster!) miles with you by my side!

Closing The Chicago Chapter

ownchicago“Each goal achieved is equally a dream destroyed.”
Reinhold Messner
~

Thank you kindly for the introduction, Reinhold. I should add: my marathon dream is still very much intact. The Chicago Marathon was a beautiful race on a day made for marathoning. The conditions were ideal, and I lined up feeling confident. My mind was there, as were my lungs and heart. I stockpiled determination, and trusted my training. Why, then, did my body not cooperate?

Training

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The man behind my paces: Kevin Granato

My training for this race had been a welcomed challenge. Under coach Kevin’s guidance, I increased my mileage and speed. I got stronger and faster than I expected. We’d set a high-level goal at the start of Chicago training: sub-3:40. That would take care of my Boston Qualifier. In the weeks that followed, I took the BQ pressure off the table. I told myself: just train the way you’re told, and run your time. Boston will simply be a by-product achievement. Until then, don’t think of it. Throughout training, Kevin kept refining my target paces. When I received my final race goal the week before Chicago, there was no panic or doubt. I trained for this. All I needed to do was execute.

Target Paces

Miles 1-13 = 7:50 – 7:55 min/mi
Miles 13-18 = 7:40 – 7:50 min/mi
Miles 18-26 = 7:40 or below, or maintain

Race Goal

3:23

Race Day

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#OwnChicago

On race morning, I slipped to the front of my corral. I could see the start line, meters ahead, and felt at ease. My mind was calm and well-prepared. This was a significant change from how I’d felt during Eugene Marathon, where negative thoughts derailed me at mile 19.

For Chicago, I trained mentally as much as physically. To push through hard workouts, I pictured that finish line. Muhammad Ali’s words swirled through my head, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” I embraced the challenges of training, and used it to harden my resolve.

When it came time to race, I wanted to focus on several factors:

  • Pace – know the plan and stick with it.
  • Form – relax, especially in my arms and shoulders, despite fatigue.
  • Nutrition – fuel with UCAN at set intervals to maintain even energy.
  • Push – accept the inevitable pain, and hustle through it.

I was quite pleased with my pacing. Trying to maintain 8:10 min/mi pace felt challenging six months earlier. Suddenly running sub-8 minute miles (7:50-7:40 range) felt comfortable. My breathing was even and I was in-control. With the race broken into three segments (see Target Paces, above), I aimed to stay close to the prescribed pace ranges.

According to my Garmin, I was there. I conscientiously held myself back in the first 13 miles. My pace felt easy as I stayed present in the moment. I was excited to see friends and fellow Granato Racing teammates cheering along the course; with each adrenaline rush they provided, I quickly returned my focus to the race.

My plan was to fuel with pre-mixed UCAN gel packets at three points during the race: miles 8, 15, and 22. I’d drank two chocolate protein-enhanced packets of UCAN 30 minutes before the start. The gel packets (cleverly stored in small resealable bags secured from The Container Store, per Brian’s suggestion) were tucked into the waist band of my race briefs and one in my sports bra. At mile 8, I easily consumed a gel and continued on.

As mile 13 approached, I lowered my pace. Kevin was along the course – near mile 13 – to check on me. I gave him a big thumbs-up. I felt great and was moving right along.

After seeing Kevin, I rounded a left turn along the course. This is when my race began to unravel. A sharp pain flared up in my right foot at the 14-mile mark. I could feel it radiating from the top, middle. This was familiar and discouraging territory – having experienced similar during the Pensacola Marathon. I grappled with staying on-schedule. I fueled again at mile 15 and tried to maintain pace, but the pain worsened with each foot fall. Within the span of a mile, compensating for the pain had completely compromised my gait. At mile 16, I pulled off the course at the medical tent.

Medics massaged, wrapped, and iced my foot. They were compassionate and worked as quickly as possible. They eventually gave me the option of running to the next aid station, two miles further, to test my foot. I decided to try: I didn’t want to drop out of the race. With my right shoe back in place, I ran two steps out of the aid station and knew I was done. There was no way for me to endure the impact of running on the injury. I limped back to the aid station cot. I watched runners journey onward as a medic registered me for the bus back to the start village.

Despite intense disappointment, I felt oddly at peace with the unfortunate outcome of this race. Even if I could have hobbled my way through the last ten miles, that was not my goal. I didn’t want to simply finish another marathon. My goal was to get that 3:23-range finish time for which I’d trained. There was no point furthering the injury when my race-day opportunity had pulled off the course with me at mile 16.

Actual Pace

  • (1) 7:32* (signal interference in underpass)
  • (2) 7:40** for 373 ft (hit lap button on Garmin to gauge actual pace)
  • (3) 7:54
  • (4) 7:39
  • (5) 7:47
  • (6) 7:48
  • (7) 7:50
  • (8) 7:40
  • 
(9) 7:49
  • 
(10) 7:49
  • (11) 7:45
  • 
(12) 7:48
  • (13) 7:47
  • 
(14) 7:41* (this is actually mile 13, since I hit the lap rest at mile 2)
  • (15) 7:44
  • 
(16) 7:51 * (mile 15 – foot pain, but still running)
  • 
(17) 9:46 * (mile 16 – dropped out
)

Speaking to other runners who’d also dropped from the race helped provide perspective. Injury and having to drop out of a race sometimes come with the territory. It can happen to novice and veteran runners alike, and the rest of us in-between. Many times, the injury could be much, much worse. I couldn’t change the outcome of my marathon that day; instead, I decided to focus on some much needed mental and physical recovery time.

The bus dropped us off at the baggage area to retrieve our checked bags. Heat sheet in place – but lacking both a finishing time and finisher’s medal – race volunteers working the table congratulated me. “Thanks very much, but I didn’t finish.” The man behind the table smiled warmly, “Oh, I’m sorry. But, at least you tried. That matters.”

With that, the chapter closed.

Aftermath

Familiar Territory: The Walking Boot

Familiar Territory: The Walking Boot

People say, “Go big, or go home.” I suppose a World Majors Marathon was a stage large enough to experience my first DNF or, Did Not Finish. I see it as a rite of passage, in a way. It’s just not a pleasant one.

When I returned to New York City, I sought a foot and ankle specialist with a sports focus. An MRI confirmed: stress fracture at the base of the third metatarsal in my right foot.  The doctor ordered a battery of other tests, including blood work and a bone density evaluation. All results are unknown at the time of this publication.

The immediate goal is to determine the root cause of two stress fractures within a year, and prevent them moving forward. Since I intend to keep running – and training hard – it’s time to figure out what I need to run healthy from here on out.

In The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch said, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” No, I may not have smashed my goal in Chicago, but I sure as hell gained some valuable experience.

With Chanthana and Lauren, immediately post-DNF

With Chanthana and Lauren, immediately post-DNF

Granto Racing After Party: with Kevin and Tim

Granato Racing After Party: with Kevin and Tim

Me and Tim with the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso - Chicago Marathon Expo

With Tim and the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso

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