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Cape May 10k (41:07)

Cape May 10k (41:07)

A 41:07 is a great 10k time, but it’s not a great 10k time for me.  In fact, I ran a 38:13 10k during the April Fools Half Marathon and ran almost 20 seconds per faster in the Broad Street 10 miler last weekend.  Not great races come with the territory and not every race is going to be “the best ever”.  I wouldn’t use the term bad because I started and finished injury free. A race I left inured, I would call bad.

Anyway, my husband and I left the house around 5:30 am on Saturday.  When we left, it was a torrential downpour.  The roads were flooded, and it looked like it would be one of the most challenging races ever.

Last year, a storm had passed through during the race, and it was so unseasonable the weather channel was down filming Cape May.  I knew there was very little that would cancel the race.

As we were driving down, the weather cleared up.  It was extremely windy along the shore but at least not raining.

We got to the race around 7, signed up and went on a short warmup.  I saw a few people I knew got to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The 5k and 10k went off together.  During the first mile, I knew I didn’t feel good.

It wasn’t the feeling where things would get better.  I didn’t feel good, and I knew I wouldn’t during the entire race. I was more tired and sore then I had been all week.  I knew the next few miles were not going to be fun and spoiler: they weren’t!

I hit the first mile in 6:18 but I knew we had a tailwind.  I didn’t know much about the course, but since it went along the shore, I assumed it would be windy. I ran the second mile alone and it was into the headwind.  I heard my watch beep and I looked down to a 6:46.  At that point, I knew there was no point in stressing about time, and I just needed to get through the race.

We ran into a straight headwind for the third mile.  I was running alone and into 35 mph headwind.  It felt magnified since we were right along the water.  I hit mile 3 in 6:58.  It was slower than most, if not all, of my half marathon miles in 2018.

After reaching the halfway point, I told myself “just a 5k left”.  We turned around mile 4 and headed back towards the start.  This time we had a tailwind for a mile, and I ran a 6:36.  I should tell you I felt magically better, but I felt no different than when I ran the first half of the race.

Around mile 5, the bottom of my feet started to burn.  It is a sensation I haven’t had in a very long time and typically happens with trainers, not flats.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I told myself, if it gets worse you will stop and NGAF that you “had a mile to go”.

The final mile went along the boardwalk.  My feet hurt, but they weren’t getting worse.   Around mile 5.5, you could see the finish, and I just wanted to be done.  My friend and local, Grace, passed me around 5.5 like I was standing still.  It was the only person I ran “with” for the last 5 miles.

I crossed the finish in 41:07.  On a “bad day,” I had wanted to run around 40 minutes, but I didn’t meet that goal.  The minute I stopped, my feet hurt.

A lot.

It wasn’t a bone or tendon hurt, but the bottom of my feet just burned.  I had to sit down for a second.  I quickly took off my shoes only to realize I never put on my racing flats.  I had worn a pair of trainers that had 500 miles on them.  I remember putting them in the donation pile at home, but I had taken them out to “wear casually”.  No wonder my feet hurt.  I had essentially run with no cushion on the pavement for 6.2 miles.

Ultimately from wearing the wrong shoes, I lost both of my middle toenails.  I’m embarrassed it happened, but oh well.  With or without my racing shoes, it wasn’t my day.  I wasn’t feeling great and it was also windy. I’m not happy with my time, but I’m happy I’m healthy.  Not every race will be your best. I’m not devastated because it’s unhealthy to think you’ll feel perfect every day.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite racing shoe?

For 10ks I like the Saucony Type A.

Do you like the 10k?  What are some 10k tips you have?

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The Point Diner (Fairview)

The Point Diner (Fairview)

Recently I went to the Point Diner in Fairview, NJ.  I was in the area, and it looked like a great diner. Not to be confused with the Point 40 Diner in Monroeville.

the point diner fairview nj

Atmosphere: B
When I arrived around noon, it wasn’t crowded, in fact, there were only a few other parties in the restaurant.  The hostess put me in the corner which was okay, but I felt as though it was kind of weird and isolating.

The Point Diner has an outdoor patio which makes it unique.  Inside there is a full-length bar, small dessert case, and plenty of booths and tables.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but I could have used more.  Being in the corner, I think the waitress forgot about my table often.  I liked the coffee, and it was hot and fresh.

the point diner fairview nj

Food: B
The Point Diner has everything you want or need in a diner.  They have a lot more breakfast specials that many diners including more omelets, eggs, and french toast.  The Nutella french toast sounded intriguing.  They also have plenty of lunch and dinner options too.

the point diner fairview nj

I decided to order the steak benedict which was good.  Often times diner steak is rubbery, but the steak at the Point Diner was good.  The meal came with hash browns which tasted like regular hashbrowns.

Dessert: A
I decided to get a split cookie to go.  The cookie was good. I ate it about halfway through my hike at the Palisades.  If the cookie tasted lousy midway through a hike, you know it was terrible to start with.

the point diner fairview nj

Service: B
While the waitress was friendly, I felt as though sitting in the back made her overlook our table frequently.  I could have used more drink refills.  I was surprised about the length of time it took for food to come with how quiet the restaurant was too.

Price: $
For my breakfast, coffee, and cookie the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Point Diner and would go back.  I thought I was a good diner and in the top half of diners I’ve been too.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: A
Service: B
Cost: $10-23
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Where is the best restaurant steak you’ve had?

Last Minute Broad Street Run Tips

Last Minute Broad Street Run Tips

The Broad Street Run in Philadelphia is one of my favorite races.  I’ve run in 2014, 2015, and 2016.  Last year, I was burned out and spectated, but I do plan to run again this year.  Spectating always brings a new perspective to a race, so it was fun to join my mother in law, as well as thousands cheering along the way.  The 10-mile race itself is enormous.  Thinking out loud, 40,000+ people packed into 10 miles is a lot different than 50,000 packed into 26.2 like the NYCM.

Many locals asked if I could put together a few tips about racing.

Last Minute Broad Street Run Tips

Tips for the Philadelphia Broad Street Run:

Get to the Race Early:

This could be a tip for any race.  Of course, you don’t want to miss your goal race!   The race begins at 8 a.m. for the red coral.  The corrals go off about 5-10 minutes apart, so most people don’t leave right at 8 am.

The transportation situation is honestly one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the entire race.  If you are traveling to the start alone, it’s easiest to park at the Citizens bank stadium lots and either take the Septa line or one of the bases.  There are PLENTY of subways to get all racers to the starting line.  Parking is not a big deal because of all the lots, but I cannot stress how important it is to get there early.

Subway trains begin running at 5:30 a.m. They will even run direct express trains.  If you are coming from Center City board the Walnut/Locust stop.

When I mentioned early, it is best to board a train around 6:00 a.m.  It does take about 35 minutes for trains to reach the start with stops, and there will be lines for rest rooms once you are there,

Don’t Forget Race Day Essentials.

I feel like this is always good advice but don’t forget everything you need.  If doing a flat lay on Instagram helps you remember, then, by all means, do it.  I think I need to go that route because I always forget something to local races.

Bring a Throwaway Top:

This year the weather is looking good, and maybe rainy, but it does get cold if you are waiting around in line.  In 2016, it was 40 degrees and pouring rain, and it was awful to wait around!  All discarded clothing is donated so you won’t feel bad.  With the current weather predicted, light rain and 50s I’ll wear a light jacket to at least throw away.

Unless you are in the Red corral or an Elite, you Don’t Start directly at 8 am:

Broad Street divides runners into corrals based on speed. The time between each corral is about 5-10 minutes so plan accordingly. Even though you may not start at 8 am, the roads are closed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get to the start the later it gets.

If you have spectators watching, know Where They Are:

On a beautiful day, thousands of people spectate. It can be difficult to find your family or friends if they tell you somewhere around mile 7 or 8 (or wherever).

Stay hydrated

With 40,000 people running the water stations get crowded, and most people stop to walk.  Pay attention and don’t fall (believe me a tailbone injury is not fun). Around the water, stations are slippery and sticky from hydration, Gatorade, and GU.

Plan your water breaks, and you can find a list of stops here.

Don’t Stop at the Navy Yard:

Many people think the gates at the Navy yard is the finish.  It’s not, and you have about a quarter of a mile to go.  The quarter of a mile feels like forever but you’re almost done.  If you are a spectator, refrain from saying “almost done”.

Pick a Meeting Spot at the Navy Yard:

Last year, we spent nearly 90 minutes trying to meet up with my father in law.  The end can be a “dead zone” for cell service so find a spot to meet people.  Make sure you have established this beforehand.  There is a map of the finish line area here.

After the Race, you Will Walk:

You don’t finish right at your car and typically, I’ve had to walk between 1-2 miles to get back.  No big deal, but be prepared.  I remember after finishing the NYCM several years ago, my body could not handle walking the amount afterwards.  In 2016, you were walking around the Navy Yard in the pouring rain.

Finally, of Course, Have Fun:

It’s running!  Unless you are competing for prize money and racing Broad Street is your job, make sure to have fun.  At the end of the day, it’s one of the most iconic races and the most iconic in Philadelphia.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run Broad Street?

What is the biggest race you’ve run?

Training: Achy Bums and Easy Weeks

Training: Achy Bums and Easy Weeks

Last week, I took it much easier for a few reasons.  As most people know, I fell at the April Fools half marathon a week ago.  While it was still a good race, it left my tailbone sore.  It’s not broken but it does ache.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 20 minute run
Wednesday: 30 minute run
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 6 mile tempo run (10 miles total)

Thoughts:

I was signed up to do a 5 mile race this weekend that I DNSed.  To be honest, I have no doubt I could have finished well.  The weather was ideal to run but I didn’t want to push my tailbone too quickly.  I am disappointed, however, I think I made the smarter decision.

I did a 6-mile tempo instead.  My miles ranged from 6:55-7:12.  It was nice for something a bit faster.

 

Tailbone Issue:

It’s a hard problem to explain.  My tailbone aches, especially when I sit.  In fact, my doctor told me standing actually puts far less pressure on it and the more I stand the better…I am not standing 24 hours a day.  I bought a donut pillow to sit on which removes the pressure off of my butt too.  I can walk and run normally (my gait does change at all), but I can feel the ache whether I’m running or not.

I’m hoping to jump into a local race next week to get some speed before Broad Street.  The last month hasn’t gone, “exactly” how I would like.  I’m in shape, but I’m not in the same shape as when I set my half marathon PR.  I’m fine with that.  The next few months, I want to stay healthy and work on shorter distances anyway.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Massages for Runners

April Fools Half Marathon

Questions for you:

Have you ever fallen on your tailbone?

How was your week of training?

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

Recently, I decided to add another shoe into my rotation.  I haven’t run in ON for a couple of years, but I thought it would be fun to add.  The Cloudflow is a lightweight neutral shoe.  The Swiss company, ON, is known for their looks of a running shoe and they impress many.

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Upper Info

The brand, ON, is narrow with all of their shoes.  I would personally benefit from them making a wider last. However, the Cloudflow fits comfortably.  Typically I wear size 10-11 wide shoes, and a 10is fine.  Despite being more narrow, the Cloudflow does fit more true to size than many brands.

The upper itself is seamless and moves with your foot.  It accommodates wider widths as well as bunions well.  In all, it’s not a bad fit.

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Ride:

I like the brand, ON, because their technology in shoes is noticeable and apparent. The sole uses a “Cloud-Tec sole,” which uses 18 individual “clouds” to displace pressure.  Since the “clouds” are hallow, the shoe is very light.

A few things about the “Cloud-Tec” sole that makes me hesitant:

  • It collects rocks. If you run on gravel, dirt, or even road, you will probably collect a few at the bottom.
  • It doesn’t grip well to ice or in inclement conditions.

I’ve run a few workouts as well as 10 miles, and they’ve been fine in those situations.Personally, I do like the Cloudflow but prefer it for ideal conditions or the treadmill.  I find it best suited there.  For me, this is an excellent shoe for longer workouts or faster workouts.  I’ve used it for everything from a 6-mile tempo to a 10-mile easy run, and I think the best place in my rotation is tempo runs.  It feels more connected to the ground than many brands.

ON Cloudflow Conclusions

I like the ON Cloudflow, and I believe it has a place in my rotation.  I think it’s a good lightweight shoe.  It reminds me a lot of lighter adidas shoes.

Other shoes in my rotation:

Easy/Long Runs: Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Mach, Saucony Ride

Workouts: Nike Zoom Fly, ON Cloudflow

Races: Saucony Type A, Nike Zoom fly

Questions for you:

Have you tried ON Running shoes?

What is your current favorite shoe?

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Over the last few months, my running has gone well.  I PRed in the Phoenix Half marathon and ran one of my best executed races at the Shamrock Half marathon.  Running felt great, until it didn’t.

First, my body was tired at the Adrenaline 5k.  Then I felt exhausted after the Phillies 5k the week after.  My body caught up with me, and by last Monday I was exhausted.

My college coach once said: rest weeks save seasons.

But, I didn’t listen to it last year when I had similar red flags.  In all, it turned into burnout, and I took most of spring and summer off.  Had I taken a week or two off, I might have been in a different spot last year.

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Why Are Rest Weeks Beneficial?

If you don’t recover from hard races, workout, or runs, you won’t get faster.  Let’s be honest though, and that is much easier said than done.

Training for anything is exhausting. Each week, you head out the door on tired legs preparing for one race. If you don’t train enough, you could end up short of your goal or even injured.  However, if you train too hard, you could find yourself with an injury or fatigued during the race start.  The exact feeling I had at the Atlantic City half marathon last year.

So What are Some Signs You Should Take a Rest Week?

You Haven’t Taken a Rest Week Recently:

Well isn’t that easy?  If you haven’t had a rest week in a while, consider adding one to your training.  Even if you feel “good,” extra rest doesn’t hurt anyone.

You’re Exhausted:

Exhaustion is not just physical fatigue but mental too. It’s something I started to experience and what led to my few days off last week.  It’s the feeling of “blah” that makes you feel like you don’t want to be out there.

A Few Ways to Stop a Burn Out:

First, stop running.  It won’t help the situation.

  • Find another hobby: For me,  running is fun, but I enjoy many other things include hiking and painting.  Find another hobby that you enjoy and to fill your time.
  • Massages: For me, I find deep tissue massages, Graston, and ART to be the best.
  • Cross Train: It’s not my first recommendation, as I do believe people occasionally need full rest but if you find yourself much happier cross training, do that instead.

Burn out happens to most people.  I’ve learned the hard way, that running through it won’t help the matter.  In short, most solutions are simple: take some time off.  For some people it takes a few days, for some, it’s a few months.  Like an injury, if you catch it earlier before later, you’ll be much better off.

You don’t gain fitness in a few days, and you don’t lose either.

Questions for you: Have you ever burned out from something?  How did you get through it?

Training: Rest is also Training

Training: Rest is also Training

I had all of the intentions to run through the week, but then I felt like garbage.  On Monday I woke up sore, burned out, and not wanting to run.

So I didn’t.  I had the day off, and I decided to make a quick trip up to North Jersey and go hiking outside.  It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to be outside, but I didn’t want to run.  The hike was challenging but fun and I’m glad I enjoyed that.  While yes, running is my “primary workout activity,” it’s not the only thing I enjoy.  I enjoy hiking every bit as much as running.

hiking the palisades

The rest of the week I had no interest to run.  Each morning, I woke up and felt blah.  By Friday I thought I might go for a run but gave it another day.  My college coach once said: days off, saves months off.  I do believe if I hadn’t given myself a few days off, nothing would have changed.  My mentality is completely different from last week.

On Saturday, I ran a short run and I felt good.  It was the first time I actually wanted to get out there.  Things are not perfect, and I do feel as though my muscles need a lot of care.  I don’t feel bad, or sore, but my legs are tight.

Monday: Hiking the Palisades
Tuesday; Rest
Wednesday; Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday; Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Easy 30 minutes

The goal until the April Fools Half marathon is to focus on recovery and rest.  I would love to get a workout that makes me confident in running again, but I don’t want to overdo anything.  Making it to the start and finish line is the most important to me.

I feel as though I’m progressing in the right direction with running, but I still have longer to go.

Posts of the Week:

Hiking the Palisades

Phillies 5k (19:07) 

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt burned out with running?  How do you get through it?

How was your Easter?

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