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Book It 5k Race Recap

Book It 5k Race Recap

Last weekend, I ran my first 5k since June. Now that I’ve begun marathon training I won’t be tapering for many, if any, 5ks.  Since I haven’t been racing anything short, I had no idea what to expect.  Somewhere in the 20-21 minute range seemed about appropriate.  The course was short, and I ran roughly that pace.

I ran the Book It 5k much faster last year and enjoyed it because I got to see many of my friends and it is always a good time. Plus, I use the library frequently, so it seemed like a good idea.

I arrived to start around 7:45 am talked to a few friends, and then ran about 3 miles to warm up. I didn’t feel good, and my legs felt both stiff and sore. It felt like fatigue had caught up to me. I knew it wouldn’t be a miracle fast time, but I had to race with how I felt.

cherry hill book it 5k

We lined up along the grass, and I chatted with several friends.  By the time I knew it, we were off.  It starts on the grass.  Luckily there weren’t many geese in the way like last year.

As got off the grass I looked up to see I was about fifth or sixth place.  There was a young, 8-year-old female in front of me, as well as several friends.  Around the half mile, I settled into 3rd place, where I stayed the entire time (right behind a man pushing a stroller…who has also beat me pushing a double stroller).  I hit the first mile in 6:21 and all I could think was…how the heck am I going to keep this up?

The second mile happened without much of note.  It felt like it was barely moving. I wanted the race to be over.  I hit the second mile in 6:29.  I was shocked because it felt like I was crawling. My legs haven’t been that stiff while racing in a while, but I wasn’t surprised and thankful it wasn’t mile 2 of a half marathon or marathon.

cherry hill book it 5k

The last mile just hurt. I was sore, tired, and just wanted the race to be over. I felt as though the young girl was going to catch me.  Honestly, if she did it wouldn’t have bothered me either.  We ran back over the field, and I ran to the finish line.

I finished the race in 18:24 and I think it was somewhere around 2.5 short.  I’m guessing I would have run about 20 minutes or so.

cherry hill book it 5k

I feel good about that, and it’s about the same pace I stopped racing 5ks at. I didn’t feel great, and I know with a few more 5ks and speed under my belt, I’ll be able to hone in on some faster races.

I do plan to run several 5ks through marathon training. Racing frequently keeps me from feeling stale like I did before NYCM the first time.  Plus, it’s a great way to see friends. It’s hard to believe I ran multiple half marathons faster than this in the Spring, but it gives something to work towards.

Questions for you:

What is the sorest you’ve felt during a race?

What is your favorite book?

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NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

This was the first week that the weather felt as though it broke. It’s been so hot the last few weeks, so it was nice for better weather. Unfortunately, towards the end of the week life, fatigue, and everything else caught up with me. I was left both exhausted and tired. No big deal and I was still able to get quality races and long runs in.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800s with 800 jog between (total 12 miles)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Book It 5k (2.9-3 miles) average 6:30 pace (total 9 miles)
Sunday: Long Run (18 miles)
Total: 58.5 miles

As I mentioned last week, when I run easy runs for an hour, I just average them to be 6.5 miles. They might be 6.1 or 6.8, but it doesn’t really matter. I just run easy, and the pace isn’t that important to me.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800 with 800 jog in between

I wanted to switch it up from doing 400s so ran 800s.  I do all of my workouts on roads.  It was perfect weather, and while I didn’t feel great, I didn’t feel terrible either.  I was happy with the workout, and with a warmup and cooldown, I ended up with about 12 miles for the day.

Book It 5k:

The Book It 5k is out of the Cherry Hill Library. It’s a great cause, and I enjoyed it last year.

The course was short, and I didn’t feel great but was able to run about 6:30 miles. I think I would have probably finished around 20 minutes which untapered is where I thought I would be. It was my first 5k since June, and I have forgotten how painful they are.  It’s hard to get a good idea of where I am fitness wise with the 5k because that course was short, I felt like garbage, and it was a mix of terrain.

cherry hill book it 5k

I look forward to doing more 5ks under my belt. I probably won’t taper for many, if any, but they will be good workouts.

Long Run: 18 miles
2 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:07).
4 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:05).
4 miles easy.

I would have liked to have been closer to 7 for harder effort, however, I racing the day before that didn’t happen.  I’m happy with the long run and realistically, my goal is to stay healthy from start to finish of the race. It was raining but it felt a lot better than the heat.

Thoughts:  

In all, I’m happy with my week.  I’ll probably plan to have something similar next week.  I don’t plan to do a lot of 20+ mile runs as I don’t want to get injured.  I will do at least 2 more 20 mile runs but I have no plans to run much longer than that (if longer at all).

Posts from the Week:

Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter races or longer?

How was your week of training?   

I Have a Fall Goal Race

And it’s the New York City Marathon…

Sometimes I start to type a post but leave my computer without saving or creating a “publish date”.  Then once my computer goes into hibernate, it posts automatically.  So sorry if you saw this on Tuesday (along with 3 other posts).

Anyway, for the last few weeks I’ve tried to figure out how I wanted to type it out… The race itself, is only 6 weeks away but it isn’t as if I haven’t begun preparing. I ran 20 for the Boothbay Half and I’ve run a few 16-18 mile runs in the last 2 months.

I don’t want to be too prepared but I do want to finish healthy.  I’ve made the mistake of being overprepared which is probably how I tweaked my butt for my last marathon 3.5 years ago. Right now, I strongly believe if I went to run a marathon this weekend, I could finish.

If you are a long time reader, you might know I’ve done two marathons:

My first was New York in 2013.  I ran a 3:17 after moving across the country. I had never run a marathon and had no idea what to expect.

My second was Phoenix in 2015 and I ran a  3:14.59.  I had great training but the week before I tweaked my butt and kind of hobbled to the finish line.  I never walked but it was a positive split and unenjoyable.  I still PRed but Phoenix is a much faster, net downhill course, and I’m far prouder of my race in New York. After that, I decided marathoning wasn’t for me so I took a break.   I raced 5ks, PRed in halves and have enjoyed the shorter and faster stuff.

So this whole marathon thing probably comes as a shock to you.   If you have read training logs with a microscope recently, it might not be “as surprising” (but who does that LOL).  No one runs 17 or 20 miles for fun. Some of my close friends have known for a couple of weeks.  I haven’t hidden it from anyone who asks in person but I’ve been waiting until everything has been finalized.

NYCM is a lottery system and I’m long past the lottery…So how did it happen?

First, I was never in the lottery. About a month ago, I was talking to my boss and store owner at work.  (I work in a run specialty store.)  He was getting ready for a marathon so we were just discussing marathons. I mentioned I wanted to run New York eventually again but couldn’t commit to lottery deadline.  Due to the military life, I don’t really think I will ever be able to commit to a big lottery system without the risk of losing a ton of money.  I’ve risked it and lost and risked it and been fine.  NYCM or big marathons is a lot of money to gamble with. In fact, the first time I ran NYCM, was a week after I moved from Texas back to the East Coast. (Which was 100% not planned).

My boss said he might be able to get a bib for a brand rep and I said I wouldn’t turn it down if he did.  A few days later, he called and said if I wanted to run NYCM, he had a bib for me. It took me a second to even process it. Me? Marathon? I mean…I said I wanted to run it again didn’t I? I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Whether it’s moving, job, running, or even kid I don’t think there will ever be an ideal time. So I said yes.

After running two trail races and being on my feet longer than ever before (longer than either marathon), I thought another marathon was doable.  Right now, the only marathon I wanted to do again was New York.

Sure I could run another marathon like the Philadelphia or more likely Richmond but New York still intrigues me.  I don’t want to run a marathon for the sake of “running a marathon”.  I don’t need to feel cool, or a real runner, by running marathons each year.  I feel as real of a runner when I slog through a 3-mile training run as a finishing a marathon.

So why New York?

New York is a brutal course.  It’s hilly, often times windy, and you have to be up before the light to get to the start.  Like the trail races, it’s not easy.  The crowd, the people, and the experience make it worth it.  I loved my experience at NYCM in 2013.

Running the NYCM 2013

That is why like the trail races:

My only goal is to start and finish the marathon healthy.

Since marathoning, I’ve run PRs in every distance. I’ve run a 1:22 half and I’ve run a 1:22 half in Carlsbad, CA as well.  That equates to well below a 3-hour marathon but I’m not a marathon expert or pro.  After taking over 3 years away from marathoning, I’m treating this as my first one all over.

I will, however, be in the sub-elite corral.

It’s crazy but it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity. I might be running most of the race alone, or I might spend the entire race getting passed but I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll get the chance again. Heck, I might even come in as the very last sub-elite finisher and you know what?  I’m okay with that because someone has to be!

I have no shame if I’m the very last person in the corral. I’ll be lining up behind the elite men (not with the elite women who go off much earlier LOL).

This is the first time I’ve been excited to run a marathon since Phoenix. I wouldn’t involve myself in something running related, I’m not excited to do.  2018 has brought a lot of: OMG, I never thought I would be doing this races…but here we are.

Questions for you:

Have you run NYCM before? Will you be there? 

Training Last Week: Hot..and also Hot

Training Last Week: Hot..and also Hot

Last week was a good training week.  I had a good workout and a solid race at the Air Force Half Marathon for the conditions given.  New Jersey was hot again last year, and it’s been hard to crave anything pumpkin when it’s also 90 degrees outside.  That being said, you can’t control the weather and only adjust.

Monday: 6.5 miles easy with Alana (8:32 pace)
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 1 mile jog in between (total miles 10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes
Total: 49.1

Thoughts:

My easy runs were easy, as usual.  On Monday, I ran with a friend, Alana, who was in town.  She has run under 3 hours in the marathon and is a bit faster than me.  I didn’t charge my watch, but she said we ran 6.5 miles at 8:32 pace.  It was faster than I would typically do an easy run alone, and I enjoyed catching up.

The rest of my runs were easy.  Both Friday and Sunday were in central PA, which is far more hilly than NJ.

In case, you were curious, all of my hour runs to be 6.5 miles. (It might be 6.2 or maybe 7 depending on the day…but the minimal difference all evens out and doesn’t matter).

Wednesday: 3X1 mile averaging 6:20 pace (6:18, 6:20, 6:21). (2 miles warm up/cool down)

The weather on Wednesday was hot, and the humidity was 100%.  With weather that hot, and humid, I wanted to stay local and close to water.  I did mile repeats, with a mile jog around a nice loop.

Before the workout started, I had written it off that it would be “bad.”  Once I actually got into it, the weather wasn’t too terrible, and I was able to do what I wanted.

Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)

I had bigger goals for the race, and I had hoped to run faster than last years 1:27.28.  However, immediately when running, I realized how hot and humid it was, and that time was not going to happen.  I know I’m in better shape than 1:31, however, you must race for the day.  When the feels like temp are in the high 80s, and the course has no shade, you have to be smart with how you run to make it to the finish line.

Anyway, I’ll have a longer recap, but the shorter recap is I ran around 7-minute pace for the first 10 miles.  That is what felt good in the weather and on the course.  Around mile 10, I decided to hammer down the last 3 miles and ran 6:50, 6:42, 6:36.  The last half of the course is harder than the first, so I know my effort was there.  I didn’t warm up or cool down because you walk about 1.5 miles to the actual race start and it’s hard to do a warmup on the base itself (there isn’t a heck of a lot of room…I also just didn’t feel like it).

Around 11-11:30, a black flag was drawn due to heat and weather and many people were bussed off the course, unable to finish because it was dangerous.  (Black flags mean the weather is dangerous).

I will say a few things about the race itself, every single aid station had the flag marking (I distinctly remember when it went from yellow to red), and there was EMT or personnel at least every ¼ of a mile. There were plenty of aid stations as well as well.  It was just a hot day on a course with no shade.

While I would have liked to be faster at the half, I am proud of how I ran in the weather. You can’t control weather and racing is about running smart.  Whether it means racing in the conditions, pacing yourself appropriately, or whatever.

Posts from the Week:

Summer Recap

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced in an extremely hot race?

What is your favorite half marathon ever?

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

The Brooks Levitate 2 is the newest version of the Brooks Levitate.  I ran in the original Levitate, and while it wasn’t my favorite shoe, it also wasn’t my least favorite shoe.  The Levitate 2 was updated early.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

At work, when people ask: “was my shoe completely redesigned from the last version,” usually the answer is no.  In this case, the Levitate to Levitate 2 has seen drastic differences.  Everything from the upper and lacing system to the heel collar is different.

The shoe is marketed for tempo runs and daily to long runs (so basically most things).  Personally, I’ll keep it to easy recovery runs.

Please keep in mind, what works for me might not work for you.  We all have different feet.

See: Why you Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes or How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes.

Brooks Levitate 2 Upper:

The upper is all on one seam which makes it great for anyone with a wider forefoot or bunion.  There are fewer seams to rub. There is enough structure to the upper that your feet feel secure and like it’s not free-floating around in space.  I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 seems to work well (as usual for most Brooks shoes).

One thing, I must mention is the extreme heel collar of the shoe.  The Brooks Levitate 2 comes up higher than any other trainer out there right now. I dislike it. It is the first shoe to ever irritate my ankle and even give me a heel blister. I’ve run through over 100 pairs of shoes in my running career and never gotten a blister on my heel.  There is a first time for everything.  Once it healed, I was fine, but I hope this doesn’t start a trend for Brooks.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

Brooks Levitate Ride:

The Brooks Levitate 2 is one of the heaviest shoes out there.  I’m not sure, why so many bloggers continue to talk about how “light the shoe is” but the fact of the shoe is it’s heavy. The women’s size 8 weighs 9.7 compared ounces compared to the Brooks Ghost of 8.4.

Of the Brooks shoes, the Levitate is by far the firmest and poppy design. It’s far more responsive than both the Ghost and the Glycerin.  You feel the ground a lot more.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

One thing I found was you do slide more when the pavement is wet.  It’s not my first choice to run on a rainy day.

Other than that, I found the shoe to be responsive as advertised but I did feel like I had a Sherman tank underneath my foot.

Brooks Levitate 2 Conclusions

Like the Brooks Levitate, this wasn’t my favorite shoe.  Although, it’s much lower on my like list and I think the original Levitate was much better.

The positives are there is plenty of firm cushion in the shoe, and it fits well.  The negatives are the heel collar, the grip on a rainy day, and then the weight (a shoe I felt noticeably dragged down). I’ll keep the shoe for easy runs but won’t do anything more in it.

Shoes in my Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080, Underarmour Sonic, Hoka Clifton 5,

Workouts: Nike Fly, New Balance 1400, Nike LT Racer

Races: Nike Fly, Nike Lt Racer

Trails: Underarmour Horizon BPF

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Brooks Levitate 2?  I’m curious to hear others!

What is your favorite shoe? 

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Last week was all about recovering from the Boothbay Half Marathon, getting in miles, and building back fitness.  I contemplated running a race, but I didn’t feel like running a 5k in the pouring rain and after a late night.

I still managed to get workouts in and good workouts at that.

Monday: 4-5 Mile Hike through Wells State Park (Mass)
Tuesday: 60-minute easy run
Wednesday: 12X400 (averaging 6:00 min pace)/400 jog between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute easy run
Saturday: 60-minute easy run
Sunday: 17 miles with 8 at 6:58 pace

Thoughts:

As most people know, my easy runs are just that, easy.  Boring but an essential part of training.  I don’t typically bring a watch, and I could run 12-minute miles for all I know.

Since my tibia fracture in 2011, I’ve never really had the issue of going “too fast” for easy days.  Running easy doesn’t bother me.

I’ve actually recovered well from the Boothbay half last weekend.  Some races seem to take forever to recover, but for whatever reason, I’ve recovered well from Boothbay.  I think partially because while I tried my hardest for the day, under different circumstances, my legs could have run faster, so they feel like they did a workout not my fastest half marathon ever.

Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6-minute pace with 400 jog in between

This is my favorite workout, and that’s why I like to do it.  Right now, if I feel up to getting a workout in, it is typically this one.  It’s one I can set in my GPS watch, and it will beep when it’s time to run fast or run easy.  I do it on the roads because that is typically where I race. I won’t do the workout on back to back weeks, but I haven’t been doing a workout every week either.

On to the workout itself, it was extremely hot that day, and I was shocked at how fast I went.  I was not expecting to average 6 min miles in 80+ degrees.  I felt good about that.

Sunday:  17 mile with 8 at 6:58 pace

I wanted to get a good tempo/long run in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying my long runs and running a workout in them.   The weather last Sunday was balmy. It was low 60s and pouring rain the entire time. I started off easy but as I continued to run, I felt better and my last mile was 6:46. I’ll take that weather over the 80 degrees for running (not for anything else ha ha).  I’m proud of the run and I couldn’t have asked for a better workout.

Next Week:

The upcoming week is busy preparing for my husband’s deployment.  It’s sad but it’s part of the life. Then next Weekend I’m off to Dayton, OH to run the Air Force half marathon. I ran it last year and I enjoyed myself.  (My husband competed for the MAJCOM challenge for the Air Force…this year he is not and probably going to run the race with his dad).  My goal for the race is to be a little faster than Boothbay depending on the weather.

Posts for the Week:

August Training

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon Recap (1:29.50)

Why Collagen Post Run?

Questions for you:

How was the weather where you are?

What is your favorite type of weather to race in? 

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon (1:29.50)

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon (1:29.50)

The Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon was the toughest half marathon I’ve run for a lot of reasons.  There was no major event that made it tough but a lot of small things.  Before I dive into a recap this is what made the race tough for me personally:

  • The Elevation profile. Yes, I’ve climbed mountains, but there was not a section of the race that was flat.  It was either steep or downhill. Boothbay harborfest half marathon
  • There were sections of trails that I wasn’t expecting. With a minute to go, the race director announced: “Not sure if this is the map, but there is some trail to the course.  Watch out for loose rock”.  I can handle trail, but I wasn’t expecting it, and it was probably some sort of cross country course we ran on.
  • There was no Gatorade and minimal water stops (some not even manned). I don’t take gels during a half, but I do take Gatorade at every stop. In the heat, I needed Gatorade.
  • The roads were not closed (in either direction), and around mile 7 I was clipped by a car. I didn’t get hurt, or even fall, but it knocked the wind out of my sails. We also had to go around vehicles.  The roads are 35-50 mph roads and should be closed. Sure it makes the race more expensive, but it was dangerous.  I will pay more, knowing that I’m safer.

That being said it sounds negative and I’m not.  It’s just factors that affected me.  I would probably do the race again if I were in the area. I’m both happy and proud of my time. 

 So where to start?  If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I pretty much live videoed most of it.  From finding the start to after the finish.

The race started at 8 am.  We walked from the school to the start which was maybe about a quarter of a mile.  It wasn’t chipped timed, and the race director made sure to let us know! I lined up and noticed several people who seemed like they would be fast.  They were.

During the first mile, I ran with a few people including another female.  There was one female out ahead, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her.  Even though it was only the “first mile” she was booking.  Around .5, we turned and went towards East Boothbay.  I had gotten dinner in East Boothbay the night before and had actually mentioned, wow it’s hilly here.  We climbed, and it was a very steep climb.  My legs were not happy.  I ran a 6:58 and thought I would be ecstatic if that was my overall pace.

The next mile was me running alone on the trails.  It was nice because they were narrow and I had no interest in running fast surrounded by others, through trails with lots of loose rocks.

Despite being on the trail, I ran a 6:35 and 6:46 mile.  I think it was because those were probably the flattest miles we had during the entire race. There were by no means flat, but they were flatter.

Around mile 4, I realized how much fluid I was losing through sweat.  I rely on Gatorade or on course drinks during races.  If I had known there was zero fuel with electrolytes and minimal stops, I think I would have brought a gel.

We turned a corner and headed the way we came and over the pedestrian walkway bridge.  The same bridge I had taken a photo with my race bib the day before. They didn’t close the bridge, and we were caught weaving in and out of people just enjoying the harbor.  The second water stop came, but there were no trashcans. The woman just said to hold onto the cup until I found a trashcan.

Luckily there was a trashcan shortly up the road. After the bridge came a steep incline onto the streets of Boothbay.  The roads were not closed and not flat either.  I ran the next couple of miles in 6:44 and 6:46. I was pleasantly surprised because they weren’t easy miles and I was already overheating.

Mile 6-7 is where everything happened.  There was a massive climb that I started very heavy breathing. I knew my body was beginning to overheat and at that point, I nearly mentally gave up. I know people say that, but if we close to start, I would have just called it a day.  Luckily at the top, we had about a tenth of a mile of flat.  I caught my breath, and it was all I needed.  I ran mile 6 in 7:20 and one of my slowest half marathon miles in a while.

Then between mile 7-8, a car mirror clipped my arm.  The roads weren’t closed, but I also wasn’t running in the middle of the road.  The road itself was going somewhere between 30-40 mph. Between the two miles, it was enough to knock the wind out of my sails. I didn’t fall or even stop, but mentally I was like: WTF am I even doing here.

Once I reached mile 8, I knew the race was over halfway done. That always mentally makes me feel better. I focused on making it to mile 10. The next two miles went by without anything significant.  There were rolling hills, weaving in out and cars, and hoping I was going the right way.  For being a small race and running about 7 miles alone, it was well marked, and I never found myself wondering: am I going the right way?

I reached mile 10 around 1:08 and told myself, okay Hollie, you might be able to break 1:30 if you work it.  I didn’t really know what kind of hills the next 5k would bring.

I grabbed water from an unmanned tabled and just trucked along. I ran mile 10 in 6:55 and began counting down the miles.  My body was tired.  I could feel the effects of the heat and lack of anything with substance.  I told myself I had 20 minutes left in me.

Mile 11 seemed to go by without any incident either and all of a sudden I found myself at mile 12.  I thought about racing the RnR VA Beach where you turn the corner at mile 12 and can see the finish line for nearly a mile. You are running in the humidity staring at the finish line. I pictured myself doing that.  I was a little dazed because when I actually paid attention to the race I was in, I realized we were climbing the longest hill of the entire race. Who designed that!?

After that, we turned onto a gravel trail and headed towards the finish line. By 12.75, I was just focused on me and finishing. I knew the finish line was on the wide open field and I began mentally preparing myself to watch my footing.  I would jog it in if it meant not hurting myself.

My husband was on the field cheering, and I finished up.  I probably had more left to “sprint it in” but it wasn’t worth it to me, and I focused on my footing in the field.

I saw the clock ticking away and my official time was 1:29.50.  I didn’t stop my watch until a few seconds later.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with my race and my effort.  It was a tough day on a tough course, and I couldn’t be more pleased.  As I mentioned, I have typically run RnR Va Beach at the end of the summer anywhere between 1:28-1:31 and I strongly believe my effort on this course was a little quicker than that range.

tim and i

Questions for you:

What is your favorite half marathon?

How did you celebrate Labor Day Weekend? 

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