Training Week: 1 [32.1 miles]

This week I planned to have more recovery days.  I’ve had about 6 weeks of increasing mileage and solid running so I was way overdue.   There are various ways to cut miles out.  I’ve done shortening each run and I’ve also taken more rest days.  I’m not sure which one actually makes me feel more recovered.  This week I opted for more rest days and took 3 (versus 1).  In a month or so, I’ll try cutting miles out of my run and seeing how I feel.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run
Wedensday: Rest
Thursday: 12.1 mile run
Friday: Rest (and run away from customers on Black Friday…just kidding)
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: 10 mile run
Total: 28


I have recovered well from my half marathon last weekend.  I’m surprised and expected to be sore for a couple of weeks.  Each run felt pretty easy and relaxed.

On Thursday  I had one of those runs where I felt extremely good, so I kept running…and running and running…When I finished my run I realized I had run just over 12 miles.  Was that the smartest thing of me?  No, probably not but I felt good.  My foot didn’t hurt, my lungs didn’t hurt and it was just a great run.  Then on Thursday I was sore.

sore as shit

I recovered pretty well and finished out the week strong.  Ha but I certainly rested on Friday.  It blew my mind I ran like that almost every day.  Hopefully eventually I’ll be able to get back into that fitness.

one day difference

Plans and upcoming plans:

I’m going to begin getting back into training (which is why I named this post “training week”).

I feel like I’m at the point to consistently train for something (what is that something?).

I’m at the point where I want to begin adding shorter races (5-10ks) into my schedule.  I want to run faster and begin improving my fitness. I mean who doesn’t want to get back into shape?

Next week I’m going to hopefully run between 40-45 miles.  I can feel my endurance coming back but my speed is not there at all.  I’ve slowly started looking at races in the local South Jersey area.  If you are local Jersey/Philly let me know what you are doing in the next couple of months.

Questions for you:

What kind of run/workout did you do on Thanksgiving?

Have you ever had a run that you felt like you could just keep going? 


Stratford Diner

Stratford Diner (Stratford, NJ)

Last week Christine and I had a second diner date. It must mean she isn’t tired of exploring diners with me, right? Christine has quickly become one of my favorite people to meet up with. On an impressive note, she just rocked her Philly half marathon PRing and breaking the 2-hour barrier (by 3 minutes!).

Christine and I
Christine and I

Anyways we met at the Stratford Diner in Stratford, NJ. It’s not easy to miss the Stratford a Diner. The bold (life-size) sign makes it nearly impossible. I had driven by several times and added it on my to-do list a while back (probably due to the giant sign).

Stratford Diner Atmosphere: A
The outside atmosphere of the Stratford Diner is adorable. I need to take a photo in from of the life-size diner sign.

The inside of the Stratford Diner is equally festive. They were all decorated for Thanksgiving (as seen by this turkey on our booth).

Stratford Diner Turke

Something I’ve wanted to include is the atmosphere of the staff in general. The Stratford diner had one of the friendly staff of a restaurant I’ve been too. The hostess (possibly the manager) was amiable as well as our waitress. I think the employees can make or break your dining experience.

Stratford Diner Coffee: A
. I don’t know what kind of coffee the Stratford Diner was brewing, but it was my FAVORITE diner coffee to date. Everything from the coffee to the whipped cream was great. They had won me over in the course of two minutes.

Stratford Diner Coffee

Stratford Diner Food: A
The Stratford diner has a big menu. They have all the traditional diner favorites from breakfast to sandwiches to a great seafood and pita section.

I ordered a traditional Greek salad with chicken. Something I enjoyed about this salad (besides how big it was) was it came with sardines and chicken. Sardines are something I’ve been enjoying lately. It was one of my favorite salads to date.

Stratford Salad

Stratford Diner Dessert: A
We didn’t come to the Stratford Diner looking for dessert but ended up walking past the bakery (and it looked enticing). While they didn’t have red velvet cake, they did have death by chocolate. It was delicious. We split a piece, and the waitress was nice enough to cut it in half for us. The frosting was really rich, and the cake was dense. I would order it again.

Stratford Diner Cake

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
The Stratford diner was excellent, and somewhere I would go again. While I expected it to be good, I was not prepared for how good it was. The Stratford Diner is roughly 5 miles from exit 29 on 295 and 4 miles from exit three on the turnpike).

Questions for you:
Have you ever had an exceptionally positive experience due to the restaurant staff?
What is your favorite cake?

Black Friday at Sears

Black Friday is an emotional time of year.  I would know I’ve gone Black Friday Shopping the last 5 years.  In all honesty I don’t ever get the best deals and I don’t camp out overnight but I love the thrill of getting a deal (Does that make me sound like a shopping addict?).

I found the article: 15 Emotional Stages of Black Friday Shopping LOLZ worthy and true (Probably because they had the Tyra Banks snap and wave).

For me I never struggled with waking up early.  I always had coffee ready to go.  I struggled with the overhwleming crowds and people running around.  As someone who suffered from social anxiety and chalustrophia, having people running around screaming for deals.  After I went I felt oddly accomplished that I had been out there (and it was probably only 8 am).

This year however, I am on the other side and working on Black Friday.  Since I work at a running store, we aren’t as busy as Sears is but we will be busy.  I should do a 15 Emotional stages of Working on Black Friday.

This year Sears has everything you could possibly need or want, making it a great stop.  Sears will open 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day and have over 1,000 doorbuster deals.  1000 deals of 1000 items!. While you are letting our turkey digest, you have the option to head into a Sears and shop.

One item I’m eyeballing myself is the Sears NordicTrack® C900i Treadmill;that will be 800 dollars off.  I don’t need a treadmill at my house but it’s a great treadmill and the price is inexpensive (700 dollars for a nice treadmill is a great price).

sears treadmill

Anyways partnering with Sears for the Holidays, they asked to talk more about Black Friday shopping and my personal Christmas list.

Something I am personally asking for is a new coffee maker.  My coffee pot has lasted me since sophomore year of college (I know you are probably as shocked as I am).  It is starting to fall apart so I’ve been searching around for a nice coffee maker.

I had no idea that some coffee makers cost over 850 dollars.  I would prefer to buy 850 gas station coffees for that price.  I wanted something that I had the option to brew a lot or a little.  One of my housemates had this one, so I decided this one would be awesome.

sears coffee pot

As I said a few posts about, Tim really enjoys getting his tools at Sears.  There are a few appliances I have my eyes on for him such as Craftsman Home Series 3-Drawer Project Center.  I’ll probably get the red because that matches our house.  (Just kidding, I’ll get him whichever one he wants LOL).

Finally all Sears deals at your local Sears can be seen at so you can figure out your plan.  (If you are anything like LOLZ then you thrive on planning).

Deals at all Sears: 

  • 55% off Kenmore 3.9 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer – White & Kenmore 7.0 cu. ft. Electric Dryer w/ Wrinkle Guard – White; sale priced at $799.98 for the set; regular price $899.99 each
  • Save $100 on the RCA 40” Class 1080p HDTV; sale price $249.99, regularly priced at $349.99; plus members get $50 back in points
  • Jeans for her and him – sale price $14.99 Canyon River Blues® and Roebuck & Co.®, regularly priced $30.00-$40.00
  • All DieHard® work boots – sale price $49.99, regularly $65.00-$110.00
  • Save $50, plus a Free Craftsman® drill when you purchase the ; sale priced $99.99, regular price $149.99
  • Save $800 on the NordicTrack® C900i Treadmill; sale price $699.99; regular price $1,499.99
  • Buy four Sears RoadHandler tires and get up to $150 in value, including an $80 mail-in rebate via an American Express award card when you use a qualifying Sears card plus a $70 Sears Award card

LD_Sears 11.27.14 Super Tab w/Lip Thanks-609 WP 703054 P ST1_¥

All thoughts are my own.  I have partnered with Sears this Holiday season.

Questions for you:

Are you going Black Friday Shopping?  When do you do the majority of your Holiday shopping? 

What is on your personal Christmas List? 

Harbor Lights Half Marathon (1:44.18)

I do a lot of dumb things.

I tweet when my phone is on 1% battery life…I wear cotton t shirts when I run…

I do half marathons as my long runs 6 weeks after beginning to run…at least I didn’t wear racing flats.

I did all three on Sunday. 

I signed up for the Inaugural Harbor Lights Half Marathon a while ago.  It is a new half marathon put on by J&A (the same race company that won race directors of the year and put on the Shamrock half marathon).   They do such a good job with races that I was devastated when I thought my stress fracture would take me out of this race too (I could argue more devastated than missing my full marathon).

Since we were down in VA anyways, I decided to run the Harbor Lights Half Marathon and see where my foot and my mental state was.  I had no idea.  I knew it wasn’t the best or smartest plan.  I didn’t expect to run a 1:30 half marathon or have an incredible PRing story.  I focused on keeping it smart. I just wanted to run a great race with some of my friends. After wedding cake testing the night before I had my fair share of sugar.  I consider that my carb and sugar loading.  I have no regrets!  I also wore my current  training shoes (Asics Nimbus).

Fast forward to the race start:  

I had no inclination to warm up before the race and I just chatted to friends.  I ran into my good high school friend Lauren and we chatted for a bit.  When I lined up for the start my watch would no sync.  I just gave up and decided to run the race.  It didn’t phase me or upset me at all that my watch didn’t work.

Lauren and I
Lauren and I

I started with the 1:45 pacers and as you can see stayed with the 1:45 pacers.  During the last half mile I decided to see what I had left in my tank (which was basically nothing).  I ended up about 30 seconds in front of the 1:45 pacers.

My reach goal for this race was a 1:45 but my ultimate goal was to finish injury free. 

The race started and we were off.

harbor lights half marathon start

The first mile I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I didn’t have any pain but the race in general it was overwhelming.  I haven’t participated in a race since the one mile race in early August.  In reality I haven’t raced anything on the road since the Pineland Striders 10k in June (and honestly that wasn’t a great race either!).  I have to trace back to the Broad Street 10 miler to find a race I’m happy with.  So long story short, it was overwhelming to be participate in a half marathon.  Even if I wasn’t “racing” or any peak fitness, I found it overwhelming.  I was nervous for what was to come.  I wasn’t worried I would rebreak my metatarsal but it was a general anxiousness.

I found the 3-5 miles to go by relatively quickly.  The pacers, group and I bantered about life and running.  I’ve run with pace groups a few times (not recently) and always found them to be more chatty.  I am a runner who likes to chat while racing so this was nice!  Just after mile 5, one of the pacers said “Only 1 hour to go”.  My feet and legs were feeling decent but I was pretty out of breath.   At that point I wasn’t sure I would be able to stick with the 1:45 pacers the entire race.

I could tell I have a lot of fitness to go.  It is a fitness I know I will regain with time.

We kept a nice even 8 minute pace and hit the 10k around 49:30.  Several of our pack left and surged around the 10k point.  I began to feel more confident around the 10k.

For me it was time to focus on mile 9.  Mile 9 had the infamous Bakers Crust tarts.  For some reason I was the first person who took a tart in the entire race!  Over 200 runners had already gone by but I was the first tart collector!  If I had been racing for a PR I would not have taken a tart but since I was running to run…I took a chocolate tart.  Another reason I was living life on the edge I guess.  Eating tarts in the middle of a run…just because.

It was delicious.  I should have taken a photo of the tart table…but I was running.

The last four miles were the most painful.  I had missed the mile 9 marker so when we hit mile 10 I was pleasantly surprised.  I thought I was just being a baby.

Sometimes I run while I'm sleeping.
Sometimes I run while I’m sleeping.

Mile 11 I began to feel tired.  I knew I only had 2 miles to but it felt like forever.  Mile 10-11 always feels like the slowest mile of a half marathon.  This was no different.  This race had a lot of turns which made me nervous for my stress fracture.  The turns and cobblestone from mile 11 to the end made me the most nervous of any section of the race.  I always worry that a sudden turn will just cause the bone to snap (a pretty irrational fear).  Edit to add: Two days later I feel completely injury free.

At mile 12.5, I just pushed it into overdrive and finished.  I felt accomplished at the end.  I ended up finishing in 1:44.18 and third in my age group.  I was happy (and surprised) with that.  I know I have a long ways to go but I’m motivated to do it.

This was 15 minutes later after laying on the ground.
This was 15 minutes later after laying on the ground.

I really enjoyed the Harbor Lights Half Marathon and it’s a race I would love to do again.  This race was a big stepping stone for me because it was my first run (at all) faster than about 9 minute pace.  It was my longest run and it was my first race back.  I am glad to be injury free and racing again.  The rest of the week is recovery (and turkey eating) then time to begin to regaining fitness.

DadLOLZ and I post race.
DadLOLZ and I post race.

Questions for you:

Do you run races as long runs?

Have you ever run with a pace group?

36 Miles and Cake

I’ll be the first to say this week hasn’t been the best week training wise or nutritionally for me.  Not that I’m going crazy (for nutrition) but with traveling down to VA (wedding planning), cake testing and eating on the go I found myself feeling the effects of that.  I’ve actually eaten in restaurants more than at home this week.  We all have those weeks and there is no need to stress.

I got another deep tissue massage on Tuesday which ended everything I wanted to do regarding consistency.   Would I say I’m bummed?  Of course I’m bummed, my only goal was to stay consistent and I didn’t do that.  But I know I one week won’t make or break me so I’m moving forward.  I needed the deep tissue massage more than I needed to run on Tuesday (That’s obvious).

I’m planning on running (not racing at all) the Harbor Lights Half Marathon as my long run.  Since this will be my longest run if I feel any weird pains, aches or of that nature I will stop.  It’s also a stretch from my longest run last weekend.  My only goal is to have fun with my friends down here and enjoy it.  I didn’t come to Virginia to run this race but it happened to work out that way.

Monday: 5.85 miles
Tuesday: Off deep tissue massage
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 7.25 miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 5.3
Sunday: Harbor Lights Half Marathon (1:44)
Total: 36 miles


As far as training goes, I have one less mile than last week (as well as one less running day).  My training was not where I wanted but I expected to have some no progress weeks.  I don’t consider it a failure by any means but it’s not a week that I say I made a lot of progress.

So in summary, this week was more of a “stand still week” versus “increase mileage” week.

Next week I plan to take a down or rest week.  I’m going to let my body rest, recover and absorb the mileage I’ve put in the last month.  After that I’ll get back to staying consistent with my mileage.

Question for you: Have you ever done a race as a long run?

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