I'm over there today!

Today I'm guest-blogging over at Hungry, Healthy, Happy - big thanks to Melissa who runs a great blog about fitness, food, and fun. Go check it out!


What's next

After giving myself a rigidly enforced week off after  the NYC Half, I finally ventured out for a 3 mile run with my completely awesome birthday present (the Soleus GPS 2.0 watch I had been lusting after ever since the 1.0 came out). It was.... less than stellar. But that's ok, because I was kind of a fail in the recovery department this week. But this post isn't about my crappy first run back, it's about what I have planned for the next 11 weeks.

First and foremost, I have 10 weeks (and 6 days) until the NYRR Women's Mini 10k on June 9th. This race will commemorate my 1 year runniversary, and my goal is a sub 1:00 (hour, not minute) 10K. That's 6.2 miles at a 9:40 pace. To make a comparison, on June 11th, 2011, I did 1.75 miles at approximately 1 minute run/1 minute walk and thought I was going to die. Just looking at that on the screen blows my mind a little bit, partly because I've come such a long way, and partly because I can't believe I was so out of shape.

So, because I need to see it in print to keep me accountable, and because I'm a little bit excited to shake things up a bit, here's what I have going on for my first training venture on my own.

I live across the street from a really nice track, which I have no excuse for not utilizing more. My neighborhood also is terribly lacking in interesting running routes, so I think a little change will be good. Here's what I have in mind for the next few weeks:


  • Stadium running once a week
  • 400s/800s once a week
  • 2x30 second plank once a day(maybe work up to a minute each on these? 30 seconds seems kind of wussy, but I can be a little bit of a wuss when it comes to any sort of strength training. I hate it.)
  • tackle the Inwood hill monster once a week (I live on a very hilly street, un-affectionately known as the "hill monster")
  • get in a Saturday long run of min. 6-8 miles each week
  • get in 2 yoga/pilates classes a week (and conquer my fear of yoga, get some sort of balance, and strength my apparently very weak quads)
  • find my handheld weights and figure out something to do regularly with them (this may or may not happen unless I'm doing some sort of track workout holding weights and I'm not sure that's even safe.) 

Eventually I will figure out what tempo/fartlek (hahaha...fart) runs are and do those. But right now, baby steps.

Now that I know I can run 13.1 miles without suffering a heart attack, it's time to make some improvements on my form. This is where I fell apart on the half last week the most, and it resulted in a fun little injury known as posterior tibial tendonitis.

  • focus on shorter strides & stronger arm swings, especially on hills
  • figure out whether I need different shoes. Right now I'm in a neutral shoe, but my right foot tends to flatten out as I get tired. I'm not sure how much of this is my form falling apart from fatigue and how much of it would be helped with some sort of stability shoe. I'm hoping to make a trip to Jackrabbit sometime in the next couple of weeks and talk to the people there. My gut says I would benefit from a stability shoe, but I've been told by a couple of running shops I'm ok in a neutral shoe. I think I will probably end up doing shorter/track runs in my current shoes (Brooks Defyance) and maybe pick up a pair with reinforced arch support for longer runs. 
  • keep a general focus on my form. I'm pretty good about this now, so no reason to stop.
  • Saturday April 7th - Scotland Run 10k (NYRR)
  • Saturday May 12th - Healthy Kidney 10k (NYRR)
  • Thursday May 31st - Wall Street 3 miler (NYRR)
  • Saturday June 9th - Mini 10k (NYRR)
  • Saturday June 23, Pride 5 mile (NYRR)
This will put me at 7 out of 9 races needed for my 9+1 automatic bid to the 2013 NYC Marathon. I may or may not run on May 12th, because I will be going into my last week of final exams for law school. Additionally, I will be sitting for the NYS bar exam at the end of July, so I'm not planning on doing anything other than workouts for my sanity (and a few weekend fun races) until that's over. But once I finish with the bar, I'm planning on doing at least one fall half-marathon. Right now, I'm debating between:
  • Hamptons half marathon (Sept. 29th on Long Island)
  • Grete's Great Gallop (Sept. 29th in Central Park)
  • Diva Half Marathon (Oct 7th on Long Island)
  • Jersey Shore half marathon (and fist-pumping/name Snooki's baby competition - date TBD, New Jersey)
  • Wineglass half marathon (upstate NY)
  • Woodrow Wilson Half marathon (Oct 7th in DC/MD/VA)
  • Shades of Death Half (Oct. 7th in NJ - I pretty much would do this one and the leaf peeper half just because I love the names)
  • Hartford Half Marathon (Oct. 13th in CT) 
  • Leaf Peeper half (Oct. 21st in Upstate NY)
And a couple more in NY and NJ that would be relatively close. Anyone have any experience or recommendations with any of these races? Any other fall half marathons that I should know about?


365 days

Today I turn 27 years old. To say that the past 365 (366? Leap Year? I don't know.) days have been life-changing would be an understatement.

You see, last year, I gave myself a very unusual 26th birthday present. I wanted to give myself the gift of health. I have a sweet tooth the likes of which is rarely seen (random fact: I also still have a baby tooth! I think that's the sweet tooth.) and committed to 1 month of healthy eating. Not necessarily to lose weight, although that was the end result, but to begin a new road in which I respected and cared for my body a heck of a lot more than I was doing. 

That was one year ago. In that year, I have lost 40 pounds and finished a marathon. On June 11, 2011, I went to my first practice with Team in Training in Central Park. I couldn't run a continuous mile and had committed to finishing a marathon in under 6 hours. 

I just want to sit down!
Full disclosure - I'm writing this post a few days early (March 13th) because I have a heck of a weekend coming up, not in the least the NYC Half Marathon. I've been nervous about the race - nervous about the points where it will get hard. The times where it will get real and I'm really really really going to want to stop. But regardless of my time, it will be a Personal Record for me in innumerable ways. I will celebrate the completion of my 26th year with another amazing accomplishment that one year ago, no one, including myself, thought I could do. 

Crybaby :)
This is my second half marathon - the first one I completed was in the fall of 2008, and I did the least possible amount of training to be able to finish. And while I finished, it wasn't something I was particularly proud of. I had shied away from so much of the training, afraid that if I pushed myself I would find myself unknown territory. I was scared of stepping up to the line with a dream and a goal and a fire in my gut, knowing full well that there was a chance that I would disappoint myself. I lived a lot of my life that way, and this past year has been a journey through that unknown reality once you push past your comfort zone and start to realize that your limits aren't even close to what you thought they could possibly be. 

So, to conclude, I'm offering up some terrible race pictures to the birthday gods to remind myself that we DO get better as we get older.
November 2011
October 2008
July 2011


NYC Half Marathon 2012

What a great way to finish year 26!

Made my goal (under 2:30) and my reach goal (under 2:20) with a PR of 2:19.5 and had a great time, minus the last two miles which were sheer and utter torture....but even those ended eventually =)



My brother has a dog named Mel Gibson.
This is Mel Gibson. He's part greyhound, part german shepherd, 100% awkward.
He's a pretty funny dog, and loves my brother. Every time Mel gets nervous (as dogs are wont to do) my brother yells at him "OH MEL YOU'RE SO NERRRRRRRRRRVYYYYYYYYYYY" and Mel perks up, runs over to my brother, and goes nuts, completely forgetting what it was that had him concerned.

I realize this story has no point other than to explain the title of this entry, but every time I get nervous, I think of Mel, getting all NERRRVYYY and it makes me feel better. Also, I realized that people like blogs with weirdo dogs, and it doesn't get much better than a dog named Mel Gibson, does it? 

And now for something completely different: 
If you've seen this, you just earned 10 points.
I have the NYC half coming up on Sunday. I'm psyched. I'm nervous. I'm hoping I stretch as much as I need to this week. I'm also turning 27 on Monday, so if anyone wants to make happy birthday signs and/or get me flowers and balloons and make a big deal about my birthday at the race finish, please feel free. I've got a great goal in mind, and I am starting to get antsy to get out and race. It clearly shows, as this is quite possibly the worst blog post I've ever written. Oh well. 

Send me good race vibes! And good school vibes, so I can make it through the week without losing my mind.


PR and stretching buddies

Coogan's Shamrock, Salsa and Blues 5K - 29.58!!!

PR by something in the neighborhood of 10 minutes and made my goal of finishing under 30 minutes. By two entire seconds - I like to keep things interesting and clearly wanted to do the last .1 in a dead sprint(ish).

After eating a delicious green bagel, I came home to my stretching buddy:

Next up, the NYC half in two weeks!

Then I may return to the land of speedwork and some strength training, now that I've proven to myself I'm actually capable of running reasonable distances without walk breaks. I think I'll try to shoot for a sub-60-minute 10k by the mini in June!


June Races

Just signed up for the NYRR Mini 10K!

I'm so excited - this will mark my 1 year run-iversary!

Who else is signed up?


Pacing and Racing

Last weekend I finished my 12 mile dress rehearsal run for the NYC Half marathon, which is - gulp - 18 days away. It went so well, just like my 20 mile dress rehearsal for the marathon. That makes me a little nervous, because I think my 20 miler went significantly better than my actual marathon, and so I'm a little worried that the 12 miler might not be indicative of how I can actually perform on race day. I finished 12.13 miles in 2 hours and 12 minutes, so a 10:53 average pace. I did feel like I could have pushed a little harder at the end, but the people I was with were struggling, so I hung back to get them through. That put me at just over 50 miles (53.65, to be exact) for the month of February. I'd like to see my monthly mileage get up to 60 by the summer.

So... pacing. I have done all of my long runs under an 11:00/mile pace, which according to the Runner's World pace calculator for my best 4 mile time (40.13) should be more like my tempo run pace, and my long runs should be closer to 12 minute miles. The thing is, I feel like that's my comfortable speed. When I get a chance to do speedwork, those paces are more appropriately on target, but should I be doing my long runs slower? And what if I don't want to? On the plus side, my predicted finish time for the half, according to the pace thingey is in the neighborhood of 2:21! My reach goal is to finish under 2:20. I know I can get under 2:25, and my totally-doable-no-worries goal is to be under 2:30.

And racing. I'm doing the Coogans 5K with NYRR on Sunday and am starting to get really excited. I would love to finish under 30:00 for a 5k (for the first time ever) but really, I'm just looking to get a sense of how I feel pushing myself without having anything hurt. I know those hills pretty well, and the last time I did this race, I finished in 42:06, so at the very least I'll be looking at setting the PR bar just a bit higher for myself. And if I don't make that sub-30, I'll be back out on the track in April and working on some speedwork to get there.