Training: Recovery and Grilled Cheeses

Training: Recovery and Grilled Cheeses

Last week was spent recovering, traveling, and relaxing.  While Phoenix Half Marathon was a PR, it is only the beginning of the Spring.  I’m hoping to continue to run well.  I will have a few cutback weeks throughout the Spring to make sure I don’t make the mistake of last year with burn out. 

Monday: 45 minutes easy/short hike through White Tank Mountains
Tuesday; 45 minutes easy
Wednesday: 12×400 averaging 86/Deep Tissue Massage
Thursday: 30 minutes easy
Friday; Rest
Saturday: 60 minutes easy
Sunday:  Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Run 4 m 24:30 (10 miles total)


I spent a lot of time relaxing in Phoenix as well as indulging in food after the race.  I do think that helped recover faster.  I’m definitely not “fully recovered” but I do feel as though I am recovering well.

Workout Wednesday: 12X400s (400 jog recovery)

Averaging 86 seconds and last 400 84 seconds

Lately, I’ve been doing workouts on the roads.  First, it’s hard to find an available track.  Second, I race on the roads, not on a track.  I could go a few seconds faster on the track, but I also enjoy doing workouts on the roads too.

I felt good during the workout and having good weather certainly helped.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Run: 24:30

I’ve run the race in both 2016 and 2017 and this was my slowest year.  The race itself is in a park on a trail.  We got a huge storm on Friday that took down a lot of trees but luckily the course was clear.  It was windy but no headwind or tailwind.  The crosswind just felt as though you were one step away from blowing into the canal.  My calve were still sore and recovering from my deep tissue massage and I did not feel the greatest.  That being said, I’m happy with my time.



Posts from the Week:

February Training

Phoenix Half

Hiking Jokey Hollow (Morristown, NJ)

Questions for you:

How do you recover from races?

Do you get deep tissue massages?  How frequently?


Training: Treadmills, Rest, and Cold

Training: Treadmills, Rest, and Cold

I thought last week would bring a race but the cold weather ended up changing it.  Sunday morning the windchill was -2 and to be honest, that just didn’t appeal to me. Plus my brother was in town for the weekend, so I wanted to enjoy time with him.

Will I ever race again?

To be continued…

Monday: Easy treadmill run 60 minutes
Tuesday: 10 mile run in Chambersburg with my father in law
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday Easy 60 minute run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minute  run
Sunday: 2X3 miles

Where to start?

I spent most of the time running indoors, and I’m okay with that.  The weather this week was bitter cold, and while I do enjoy running outside in the teens and sometimes the single digits, sub-zero degrees don’t appeal to me.



I had a workout planned that day, but I just felt groggy and tired.  Both mentally and physically I wasn’t there, so I scrapped it.  I don’t have any regret of that choice.

Sunday: 2X3 miles (1-mile jog in between)
(6:36, 6:31, 6:27)
(6:31, 6:27, 6:25)

The workout itself felt good. I didn’t feel as though I was working at maximum effort which made me excited.  I think I could have pushed it faster or longer, but this felt appropriate to stay healthy and based on previous workouts.


The week wasn’t ideal, but I’ve decided in 2018 to limit my complaining about the weather.  It sounds trivial, but you can’t control what mother nature brings, just how you respond.

Posts from the week:

December Training Log

Tips for Morning Workouts

Questions for you:

How has your weather been lately?

What is your favorite treadmill workout?

Workouts: 400s and Tempos

Workouts: 400s and Tempos

Depending on what you celebrated, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Last weeks training went well.  While I haven’t raced in almost a month and I’m continuing that trend.  As of now, New Years looks like it could be another dicey weather day in NJ…will I ever run a race again…that is the question.

Monday: Easy 60 mins
Tuesday: Easy 60 mins
Wednesday: 12X400s
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 75 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 14 miles/7 at 6:59 pace

Easy runs were just that, easy. Even in the rain, or colder weather, I’ve been trying to get outside.

Wednesday: 12X400

I got greedy for these 400s.  I thought I had crushing workouts so I would continue to crush these but I didn’t.  I took the workout out faster than I could hold on too.  Once I dialed it back, I was able to make the intervals which was most important.  Fitness is a slow build, not a fast one.

12x400s at 5:53 pace and I could only complete 6 out of 12
Instead of giving up, I picked myself up and ran the last 6 around 6 min pace. I would have loved to nail my workout, but I didn’t. Not every workout will go smoothly, and it’s always humbling when they don’t. It’s what makes PRs feel so great.

Sunday: 14 miles with 7 miles at 6:59

I ran 2-mile warmup, 7 miles at 6:59, and 5 miles after.  In the middle fast miles, I definitely felt as though I was pushing the pace.  It didn’t feel comfortable but it didn’t feel terribly difficult either. I was pleased with the workout.

The last month has felt like a slow grind.  I don’t feel as “sharp” as when I’m frequently racing, but I do know I’m fit.

Posts from the Week:
Hiking Ramapo State Forest
2017 Running Recap

 Questions for you:
How were your holidays?
What was your best workout of the week?

How to Build Back Mental Confidence

How to Build Back Mental Confidence

Running is 1% physically and 99% mental.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there is a lot of mental component to the sport (or any sport really).  As most people know, most of 2016 and 2017 were not my years for running.  I set two of my favorite distance PRS (5k and 13.1) in January and February of 2016.  After that, I haven’t PRed.  

So here I am almost 2 years later, with no PRs.  I’ve been trotting along with running.  I’ve taken extended breaks from both injury (last year I fractured my heal) as well as just plain mental burnout.  So I haven’t run for 2 years straight, but I have trained and gone through training cycles.

I can’t quite say my mental game is exactly where it should be, but it’s getting a lot better.  As I get back into fitness during the last few months, I’ve pretty much run with no worry about pace or distance unless I’ve raced.  I wrote more about that here.

Half of my training miles have been above 9 minutes, and I haven’t worried about it.  I’ve run and gone about my day.  Right now, I have a solid foundation and base.  I know my base miles have set my body up to begin doing more speed workouts and hone in on speed.  I will get there.  Who knows how long it will take but running is lifelong!  I would rather not rush anything and burn out…again.

Most importantly though, running without time and pace has given me a huge mental break.  Once again, I feel happy with running.  Thinking out loud, I don’t feel like it’s forced or dread getting out there.

So How do you Build Back Mental Confidence?

For me, mental confidence takes a lot more time to develop than physical speed and endurance.  Here are a few techniques I’ve used.

  • Stop Negative Self Talk: If you think you’ll run like garbage, you probably will. Last year, I thought I would run like garbage at the Philadelphia marathon…and…I did!
  • Stop Comparing: This means stop comparing yourself to others and to yourself. Now that Instagram running is “so big”, it’s easy to look at someone and be like…how do they run fast all of the time.  But just worry about yourself (or don’t worry about all)…and I’m too old school for Strava, so I’ll let you remove comparison traps there for yourself.
  • Set Smaller Goals to Achieve Your Bigger Ones: For me, I set a smaller goal to get back out there. Then another goal to do a few 5k, then a half and then begin honing in on speed.  You don’t need to set a huge goal of PRing when you aren’t running or dropping an hour from your marathon.  Set a bite-sized goal and move forward.
  • Visualize: I cannot emphasize this enough but visualizing running and doing well will help tremendously.  My college swim coach had us visualize swimming well at conferences, and I always felt more confident after that.

It’s always important to remember that running is lifelong.  There are races any weekend you want, and if you don’t feel mentally right, you should work on that first.

Questions for you:

How do you stay mentally strong with any sport?  

What are some mental techniques you use?

Training: Traveling and Hot Half Marathon

Training: Traveling and Hot Half Marathon

Last week was quite the interesting week.  Yay for some sort of excitement of training right?

As most people know from Instagram, I ran the Crawlin Crab half marathon.  I’ll go into more detail, but it wasn’t on my radar this year until last week.  I’ve always wanted to do it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: East 45 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:32.30)+2 miles

Total: 50-53 miles

My weekday runs were just that, easy, and uneventful.  If I had known that I would be running a half that Sunday, I would have probably run less each day or had an extra rest day because the half added a lot more mileage to my week.

Crawlin’ Crab 13.1: 1:32.30

On paper, this looks like a personal worst.  It’s over 5 minutes slower than what I ran just three weeks ago at the Air Force Half on an easier course.  However, at the start, the weather was 75 degrees and 95% humidity.  I felt as though I was swimming.

As I mentioned, I didn’t plan to run the Crawlin’ Crab, but when my husband’s plans changed, I was left with a weekend with nothing to do so I drove back to hometown to see my parents.  I had always wanted to do Crawlin’ Crab, so I toed the line of the half.  Having the hardest week, thus far in my training, plus the weather, made it easy to determine it wouldn’t be a fast race for me.  Everyone suffered from the weather, and even though I was swimming, I placed 4th female and 9th overall.

In all, I’m happy with the week of training.  It’s not what I expected, but the Crawlin Crab felt more like a workout versus a hard race.   I was more happy to meet my goal of having fun and seeing several friends.

Progression (I’ve decided to just keep the last 5 weeks to keep it less cluttered):
Week 6: 45 miles (1 workout)
Week 7: 40 miles (13.1 miles workout)
Week 8: 43-45 miles (2 workouts: 1 race/1 tempo)
Week 9: 41-43 miles (2 races)
Week 10: 50- 53 miles (13.1 miles workout)

Posts of the Week:
September Training
Why I Don’t Post Paces Online

Questions for you:
Did you race this weekend?  There were a lot of good ones!
What was your best workout?

Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me

Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me

As the fall rolls in (if you’re on the east coast, not so much fall weather), more people take to running outside.  As much as I do enjoy the summer for “real life,” it’s more enjoyable to run in the fall.

Many magazines, including Runners World, host a “running streak” between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I know plenty of people who have run months or even years of streaking.  I, however, am far too injury prone for that. However, if a streak is what helps motivate people and get people out the door, I’m all for it.  Thinking out loud, I’m all for doing what works for you, keeps you happy and is healthy.

But What is a Running Streak?

A run streak is simply running every single day.  Some people say a mile every day is sufficient.  Some people say more than that.

What are Benefits of “Streaking”?

More Motivation to Run:

It’s hard to stop once you get past 1…2…3…days…then somehow you find yourself at 100 and who wants to break that? 

You Build a Base:

By streaking, you’ll probably run more miles, and your general fitness will improve. Like any training and fitness plan, you’ll have high points of feeling on top of the world, and low points and plateaus.

So there are many different clear positives of streaking! You build more mileage and endurance and possibly get stronger and faster.  What type of runner doesn’t want to get stronger and faster? 

So Why isn’t a Streak Something I’m Interested In?

I’m injury prone.   I’ve come to a point with my running that I need to take a rest day fairly often. I run higher mileage and race a lot. Personally, this causes me to not only need but WANT more rest days. I take anywhere from 4-8 rest days a month.  I like those rest days.

But to honest, even when I’m running lower mileage, a rest day is something I want.  You don’t lose fitness from a rest day or even a rest week.

Sometimes sipping coffee during my typical run time is all I want to do.

For instance, a couple of Thursdays ago I woke up and felt unexpectedly sore. I didn’t plan to rest, but I knew it was the best option. I couldn’t even imagine running a quarter of a mile, let alone 1. So I rested.  I drank coffee, read blogs, and went about my day.

If I were attempting a streak, I would have still gone for a run.  That one mile would have done nothing for me fitness wise, but, I probably would have been sorer the following days.

Keep in mind, there is a perfect training plan for everyone. There is no single plan great for everyone.

Some people thrive on running streaks!

Other people like myself, don’t!

The beauty of running is there are so many paths to fitness once you cross your own personal start line.

In summary, running streaks have their positives and negatives. They are beneficial for some and not for others. Similar to running shoes, it depends on the person, the lifestyle, and the goals to whether a running streak will work for you. Either way, it’s important to have some sort of activity throughout the year.

Related Posts:

How to Race Well in Unfavorable Conditions
Importance of Deep Tissue Massages
How Social Media Skewed My Thoughts of Running Fast
Sometimes Running Sucks
Steps to Increase Your Mileage and Stay Injury Free
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running
How Easy is it to Get Out of Running Shape?
Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Questions for you: 
Have you ever done a running streak?
How many rest days do you like weekly?

Techniques to Help Recover Faster:

Techniques to Help Recover Faster:

Last week was my longest half marathon in a while and I’ve been spending a lot more time on recovery.  Plus, as I continue to build mileage, I’ve been focusing more on recovery too.  Most people know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not focusing on recovery.  At this point, I don’t even try too.

Someone once told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  Thinking out loud, now I apply them every time I have an injury scare.  Believe me, I’ve gone to my PT convinced I have a stress fracture, only for him to say…no your leg is just tight.

Here are a Few Techniques to Help Recover Faster:


We all know you should but how many people actually stretch after runs or night.  Probably not many of us.


I’m a big fan of ART.  It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster.  I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.  If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that).  They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

Upping my Protein:

I’m not saying I have steak every meal but adding extra protein: including more eggs, greek yogurt, and lean meat has helped muscles recover faster.  I’m not a nutritionist or dietician and don’t claim to be, I’ve just found it’s been working.


This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows the muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.

Rest and Easy Runs:

This week most of my easy runs have been in the 9-10 minute pace which is fine.  There is no point in racing training runs, that is when injuries are caused.  If you struggle with not being able to run slower, I highly recommend leaving the watch at home.

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time.  Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Related Posts:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

Question for you: How do you recover from hard workouts? Any tips?

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