November Training

November was a good month in the sense that I made it through the month both healthy and injury free. I just cranked through runs and workouts and hoped for the best.

Mileage: 250 miles
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: Philadelphia Half Marathon
Days off: 3
Workouts:5
Races:
Run the Bridge 10k (38:58)
Haddonfield Road Race 2X5k (20:48, 19:20)
Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)
Medford Turkey Trot (18:30)

Run the Bridge 10k me running

Random Thoughts of the Month: 

Last month, I ran fewer miles but more frequently. Instead of running 90 minutes most days, I ran 60-80 more frequently. I also ran a lot more workouts and didn’t race twice in a weekend.  It’s been a change for my running but I’m enjoying it, plus less time running means more time interneting…(kidding).

My body is taking the time to absorb the workouts and mileage.  Any change in workouts generally happens that way. Last November and December, I distinctly remember being in a running rut and plateau.  It wasn’t until January 1st (when I PRed wearing a prom dress) that I broke out of that.

Philadelphia half marathon was definitely a letdown.  I thought I might be in PRing shape, but that didn’t happen for a number of reasons.  The short story is that it wasn’t my day.

medford-lakes-turkey-trot

A few days later I ran my third fastest 5k at the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot.  I know my fitness is there, but I haven’t tapered or prepared for a PR.  I’m running the Dallas Half Marathon in 10 days, so I’m hoping to end 2016 with one last solid race effort under my belt.

What’s next? Through December, I’ll continue trucking along.  I’m going to run hard at Dallas and see where I’m at.  In October, I ran the Runners World Half in  1:24.17 so I would like to hope I’m faster than that now.

Running Related Posts:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review
The Importance of Rotating Shoes
If I Only Had One Running Related Outfit
How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
Do you have any December plans?

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad race at the Philadelphia Half Marathon. While yes, the course was challenging my personal bad race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.  While it stinks, I race so frequently to let one bad race ruin my day.

After thinking out loud and moving forward, I had a great Turkey Trot last week.  Like anything, you must take the good with the bad.

So what can you do after a bad race?

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Find the Positives:

When I finished the Philadelphia half marathon, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful, but I’m injury free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great but I finished healthy.  After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work.  I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of unenjoyment were only a small fraction of my day.

The entire race was miserable, my mental attitude was not great but I finished the race healthy.  After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work.  I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of morning unenjoyment was only a small fraction of my day.

It’s important to look at the positives of your race.  Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Was it faster than last year?  Could you smile afterwards and have a good day?

Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:

Immediately after Philadelphia, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.  Even if my training log, I said I didn’t have a reason of why the race went poorly.  Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons Philadelphia was not a great race for me. I hadn’t eaten well, slept well and my body was adjusting to new workouts.  Not to mention the course itself was a tough course.  None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t”.

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition or sleep patterns.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.  Set your sights on a new race or goal.

Maybe a marathon burnt you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

For me personally, while there were plenty of half marathons sooner, I decided to wait a few weeks and still focus on Dallas half. Instead of needing redemption, it’s important to wait and get full recovery.

Questions for you:

How do you get over a bad race?

What has been your least enjoyable race?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot 5k (18:30)

On Thanksgiving, I ran the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot.  I ran it last year and enjoyed the course.  Plus the race organizers are friendly, so I wanted to come back.  Until recently there wasn’t a “big” South Jersey Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

This year the Medford Lakes turkey trot had about 1000 people.  Medford is one of my favorite New Jersey towns, slightly woodsy and probably filled with plenty of wild turkeys…perfect for the day.

My husband and I arrived around 7:30 for the race at 8:30.  To my surprise, I achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in racing history.  Somehow in the 1000 person race, I was number 1.  This is a race number that will be on the fridge for a very long time.  Even though I was tired from the Philly half, it’s hard to be sad when you are race number 1.

medford lakes turkey trot
Image from Simply Photography

We warmed up, easily got to the bathroom and made it to the start line by 8:30.  Before we knew it, we were off.  I never saw my husband after the gun went off.  During the first quarter mile, I found myself as 10th women overall.  I thought, woah this year got competitive.  I said I would be happy under 19, but my dream goal was 18:35 (6 min pace).  Last year I ran a great race of 18:48.

We hit the first mile in 5:56.  It was a little bit faster than I anticipated and I wondered, would I regress and positive split? I was fourth women at that point and was running with a pack of males.

During the second mile, I kept waiting for my husband to pass me.  I knew he was in much better fitness, so it was troubling he hadn’t run past me.

I began running closely to the third place women.  My legs didn’t feel bad, but I could feel the Philly half in my legs too.  I felt as if I was working hard but still had gas left in the tank. I hoped I would be able to hold under 6:15 for the last two miles and told myself I would be happy with that.  I crossed mile 2 in 6:02 and found myself as second women overall.

I could see the first place women about 15 seconds in front.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her but it gave me something to focus on.  As we winded through the woods, I found myself running alone.  Someone chanted: way to go number 1.  I wasn’t first but it was motivating.  I became more confident and I was able to crank another 6-minute mile.  We made the last turn and I crossed the third mile in 6:00 exactly.

The last .1, I just focused on the end and crossed in 18:30 by the chip time.  At the very last second, I saw my husband, and I realized he was over and done.  He ran a 17:15 which is his fastest since joining the Air Force 5 years ago.  He had been in the lead pack the entire time which is why I never saw him.  Honestly, I’m more excited for him than me.

tim-and-i-turkey-trot

Thoughts:
I’m happy with my race, especially after Philly.  It’s my fastest 5k post injury, so I can’t complain about that.  In fact looking back it’s one of my fastest 5ks in 2016.  The only two 5ks I’ve run faster have both been PRs (at the time).
The Resolution Run (18:22) in a prom dress
My Current PR: The Flower Show 5k (18:13)

Questions for you:
Did you run a Turkey Trot?
How was your Thanksgiving?

Training: Easy Runs and a Turkey Trot

Training Last Week:

Short Version: In summary last week, I recovered from the Philadelphia half and had a quality week of training.

Monday: Easy 75 minutes/Deep Tissue Massage
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 80 minutes
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (18:30)
Friday: Easy 75 minutes
Saturday: Easy 10
 Sunday: Easy 70
 Total:  64 miles

All of my easy runs were easy and I enjoyed Monday-Wednesday better than I enjoyed racing the Philadelphia half.  I bounced back mentally and physically from the race.  My friend, Montana, was back in town for Thanksgiving so I was able to run with her on Saturday.

Montana and I

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (18:30):

I didn’t feel 100% during the race.  My legs still had the Philadelphia half on them but they didn’t feel bad either. My mile splits were a consistent 5:56, 6:02, 6:00. My hopeful goal was to be under 19 but my dream goal was to run 18:35 (6 min pace).  I’m happy I achieved that and it was a great race for me.

I didn’t know how the race would go.  Last year, I ran an 18:48 and was ecstatic (also after running Philly).  My hopeful goal was to be under 19 but my dream goal was to run 18:35 (6 min pace).  I’m happy I achieved that and it was a great race for me.  It’s actually my third fastest 5k ever (behind the Resolution Run 18:22 and the Flower Show 5k)

I’m happy with how the week went.  With the exception of the Turkey Trot, it was a boring week.

Running related posts:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review
Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)

Questions for you:
How was your Thanksgiving week?
What was your favorite workout last week?

Golden Eagle Diner (Levittown, PA)

A few weeks ago, I went to the Golden Eagle Diner in Levittown, PA.  It’s only about a half an hour away and while it doesn’t count towards my New Jersey Diner total, it’s still local to me.  I had heard the Golden Eagle Diner was a good diner.  I had a free evening so I thought, why not head up there?

In summary, I wish I hadn’t. 

Atmosphere: A 

The Golden Eagle Diner does have one thing going for it and that’s the atmosphere.  The diner has huge windows, plenty of parking and the inside has interesting and unique tables. We sat in a cute booth.

Coffee: C 

There was nothing or unique about the coffee and it was room temperature.  It wasn’t the worst coffee I’ve had but it was closer to the bottom.Golden Eagle Diner

Service: B 

The waitress was nice.  She took our orders but it felt as if she was avoiding our table.  There were only two other parties in the restaurant so it wasn’t crowded.  She only came over to our table to bring the drinks and then the food.

Food: D 

The Golden Eagle diner has all of the typical “diner” options.  I ordered a burger.  The waitress asked if I wanted Cole slaw and a pickle.  I said yes, little did I know the Cole slaw and pickle would be an extra $2 charge.  I don’t love cole slaw enough to order it as an extra side. I’ve never been to a restaurant that charged for Cole slaw.  The burger itself was clearly a frozen patty that they overcooked. Nothing from anyone’s meal looked fresh.  It was fairly obvious everything was frozen and then cooked in the microwave.  It’s hard to truly mess up a burger but they came close.  It was edible but it wasn’t great.  Golden Eagle Diner

The food was in the worst five restaurants I’ve been too. 

Cost: $$

For my coffee, burger and extra Cole slaw it was $20.  It wasn’t worth it at all.

Overall thoughts/Would I come Back? 

This was one of the worst diners I’ve been too and I probably won’t be back.  I never say never but there would have to be a very good reason for me to go…

Questions for you: 

What was the last restaurant you’ve been disappointed in? 

Do you like Cole Slaw? 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with friends and family.  If you are running a Turkey Trot, good luck with that too!

If you are running a Turkey Trot, good luck with that too!

thanksgiving meme

I’ll be spending Thanksgiving running a local turkey trot and cooking a turkey again with my husband.  Last year we wrapped ours in bacon but we shall see what we decide this year.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Boy is that a long shoe name?

New Balance is one of the few brands I don’t have much experience with running.  I’ve walked around in both the 880 and the 1080 but never run in either. To be honest, the Fresh Foam Zante caught my eye when it came out in Rose Gold. I finally decided to give New Balance a fair shot in my rotation.

New Balance is not paying me, and I purchased these shoes.  Remember what works for me might not work for you.

Related Shoe Posts:
Why Running Shoe Reviews Are Mostly Worthless
Five Secrets to Buying Running Shoes
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
The Importance of Rotating Running Shoes

The Fit:  These days, I have been favoring a size ten wide.  Many people associate New Balance with wider shoes. However, many of their current styles are no wider than other brands.

img_1310

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante fits more narrow than many current New Balance models.  I typically wear a size ten wide, and I found 10.5 to be the best fit.  

The Ride: The Fresh Foam Zante uses the newest material from New Balance…you guessed it, Fresh Foam…

The New Balance Fresh Foam is lightweight but soft.  It’s a softer brand and also a lot less cushion than I’m used too.   The technology in the foam makes this one of the softer shoes I’ve tried.

The sole of the shoe is flat.  This allows the shoe to be useful for speed or racing because you are lower to the ground. Even with more contact, your feet are supported.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review

For me, I’m using the Zante for speed work and shorter runs.  It doesn’t have enough cushion that I would be comfortable doing a long run in.

Summary: I like the shoe, and it’s a great lightweight or racing option.  It’s not a shoe that I would train heavy miles in but it’s ideal for racing or speed work.

Similar Models: Brooks Launch, Saucony Kinvara, Nike Pegasus

My Current Rotation:
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 8
Brooks Launch

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Do you have different shoes for different runs? (You should)