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?

201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

I know what you’re thinking, and the diner was not named after Chobani yogurt!  Just kidding.  While driving down to Charlottesville, VA last month I opted to go to Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant in Pennsville, NJ.  It’s about 10 minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  I hadn’t heard of Chobani’s until I made a stop at the Salem Oak Diner and saw it on my way.  All I thought was, YES another easy stop when going south (either to my hometown of Chesapeake, VA) or just south.

Atmosphere: B
Chobani’s is a well-maintained diner.  When you arrive, there are plenty of booths and tables.  They have plenty of desserts and do serve alcohol.  When I arrived, I was seated quickly.  There weren’t that many people in the restaurant.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there was nothing unique or unusual.  The waitress refilled it once.  I could have used more, but it was probably better since I was on the road.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Food: A
I wasn’t sure what to expect for Chobani’s because there isn’t a lot of information online.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they had 5 options to choose from or 10,000.  Chobani’s has a massive menu, and you won’t find anything missing.  Chobani’s has plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  There are specials too.  There about 15 different salads to choose from if you want a healthier route.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

I decided to order a cheesesteak which came with fries and soup.  The cheesesteak was massive and had plenty of meat.  The french fries were excellent.  They weren’t great but not bad either.  Even though it was 95 degrees out, my chicken noodle soup was good as well.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

In all the food was good, and I would order it again.

Service: B

The waitress was extremely nice but the food took a lot longer to come to out than anticipated.  Since there weren’t many people in the restaurant, I expected it be a little faster.  Other than that, the waitress was friendly.

Cost: $
For my coffee and meal, the cost was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I was pleasantly surprised with Chobani’s and liked it a lot.  If you’re looking for a quick stop near the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Chobani’s is a good one.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: B
Cost: $10-15

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Overall: A

Questions for you:
Have you been surprised by a restaurant?
Do you typically look up restaurants online?
I wanted to know more about the diner, beforehand but I couldn’t find anything online.

 

Training: 7 States, 6 Days

Training: 7 States, 6 Days

Last week was spent recovering from the Under Armour 25k, as it should be!  As most people know through ole’ Instagram by now, I’ve spent the last 10 days out of my house either traveling to Colorado, seeing family or Virginia, or this weekend going to the Taylor Swift Concert in North Jersey.  I won’t lie, it has been one of the best and most fun weeks I’ve had all year. However, my focus hasn’t been running.

This was a great week to have a running down week, since I needed it anyway, after the trail race.  I do firmly believe taking both the previous Sunday and Monday off and not doing any workouts (minus the long run), has kept me healthy.  I have recovered well from it and so far no issues.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Easy 30 minutes
Wednesday: Easy run with my husband/father in law (Charlottesville)
Thursday: Easy run with my husband/father in law (Charlottesville)
Friday: Easy 60 min run at my house
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes at Overpeck Park (North Jersey)
Sunday: 15 miles/7 miles fast finish
Total:  

Thoughts:

I always enjoy going to visit my husband’s grandparents in the Charlottesville area.  The time there was both relaxed and peaceful.  I was lucky to share two runs with my husband and father in law which was nice.  I am always thankful I can share runs with a lot of my family (father, father in law, brother, husband).

After Charlottesville, we stayed back in South Jersey and headed to North Jersey for the Taylor Swift concert.  It was a great concert, and she performs live well, but I only got 6 hours of sleep into Saturday.  I know, not sleeping is a weak point of mine, and I don’t function well without it.  Lack of sleep can be a huge trigger for both my anxiety or migraines (not the only one but it can be).  Despite not getting much sleep, we ended up running at Overpeck park (where the Irish Festival 5k was last month) and having a good run.

Later in the day, we walked over the George Washington Bridge!  I’ve run over several of the NYC Bridges during the marathon but I’ve never walked over the George Washington.

From Saturday to Sunday, I got nearly 11 hours of sleep which was perfect.  I was needed it and felt much more recharged!

The last 10 days have been incredible, but I know the next few weeks will be busy.  I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine!

Posts from the Week:

Copper Mountain 25k

Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Questions for you:

Do you workout while traveling?

Do you prefer to workout alone or with someone? 

Training Last Week: Working and Running at 12000 Feet

Training Last Week: Working and Running at 12000 Feet

So much to unpack from last week and weekend.  To say it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in awhile is an understatement.  I don’t even know where to start.  Training last week was good.  Even though I positive split like a boss, I had a decent “first workout back,”,  Then as most people know, over the weekend I ran the hardest running race I’ve done.  Can’t get much better than that!

Monday: 20 minutes easy
Tuesday: 60 minutes easy
Wednesday: 12X400 road/90 seconds rest (average 6:10)
Thursday: Am 30 minutes easy/PM: 2 miles Colorado
Friday: 45 minutes easy Colorado
Saturday: UnderArmour Copper Mountain Trail 25k (2:58)
Sunday: Rest and travel home

Thoughts:

There isn’t much to unpack there.  All of my runs were just that, easy.  I don’t have too much exciting about them because there wasn’t too much excitement that happened.  I ran easy.  My easy 2 miles in Colorado was a 2 mile (26-minute run) through the trails we were going to be running.  Running those miles, made me wonder, how the heck I would finish the trail race.

12X400 Workout:

The workout started well, and the first 6 averaged around 6 minute pace.  The second 6, however, just felt like a brick hit me and I couldn’t get my feet to move any faster.  I didn’t hurt injury-wise, but it was a reality check that I haven’t been doing speed the last few months so I won’t go as fast as when I was.  The second 6 averaged about 6:20 which with some work I hope I can progress faster than that again.

Copper Mountain Trail Race (2:58)

The Copper Mountain Trail Race was one of the best races I could hope for. I was running an intense trail race in Colorado, something I’ve never done, at an altitude I’ve never done.  I haven’t felt that nervous for a race since my first marathon, the NYCM.  I had no idea what to expect, and my only goal was to finish.  Making it to the top, I didn’t feel sick at 12000 feet of altitude, but to be honest, I think it’s because I hydrated well and took my time.  My slowest miles were definitely in the beginning.  They weren’t the hardest climbs, but I didn’t want to take it too fast.

The hardest parts (for me) were actually the technical downhill climbs towards the bottom.  Because I run (and walk) on my toes, my calves are far stronger than other areas of my legs.  I got passed by far more people on the downhill (maybe about 10 or so?).  I am very proud of my finish.  I had no idea what to expect and had zero expectations.  I could have finished in 4:29 (the cut off was 4:30) or the time I did and feel happy about it.  I’ll have a full recap soon.

The next week will be a lot of TLC.  I would like to get in a workout, I will be traveling again for a big family big birthday.  Probably no races next weekend, as I am going to the Taylor Swift concert ha!

Posts from the Week:

Today is My Birthday

Hiking Indian Wells State Park

Questions for you:

What has been your hardest race to date?

What is the highest elevation you’ve ever run? 

Four State Vacation

It’s taken over a month to finally recap my entire vacation.  I still have a few lingering diner reviews left, but with one phase of life over and the next moving forward, I figured it would be best to wrap finally wrap the trip up.

As I mentioned a month ago, my husband and I had no plans when we went out there.  We booked two plane tickets and a rental car.  We had no hotels booked, no plans of which towns and cities we would see, but figured we would wing it.  We didn’t imagine we would drive to four different states and put over 2600 miles on our car…but we did.

road trip through colorado

So where to begin?

We flew into Denver.

We stayed for a few days in Denver.  We explored the city a bit, and went for a few gorgeous runs.  We also got to see my good friend Kevin and his wife which I haen’t seen in a while.  

While in Denver, we drove up and went hiking at Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder.  We went to a few diners including Sams 3 which was on the Food Network as well as the brand new Snooze Cafe.

Next, we headed out West towards Utah.  My good friend Janae had said there were a fun 5k/13.1 and we thought…why not.  It’s only about 400 miles, right?  Plus, we would see what we would see.

Earlier in the year one of my closest friends, Angela, moved to Colorado (from South Jersey). The route to Utah went right through her town which we had been planning to do anyway.  We stayed the night at Angela and her husband’s house, went for a gorgeous run, and of course at her local diner: The New Castle Diner.

Then we continued towards Utah.  It was a scenic and beautiful drive.  Most of the time we didn’t have cell service which was actually nice.  No internet, blogging, or Facebooking.  Just the road and rocks on either side.

We got into Provo late that night, found a nice hotel near the race.  Since there was a half marathon, packet pickup was the night before at the mall.  We overheard some locals talking about the “lazy people” doing the 5k…YAY for being lazy.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

The race itself was tough.  NJ is at sea level, Utah is 4000-5000 above (I can’t remember).  There was also a massive hill at the end of the race, and I finished in 19:40 dry heaving the whole way.  You can read more about the Haunted Half 5k here.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

No, seriously it was painful

Janae, who just had her baby, finished and placed in her age group.  It was great to hang out, and the morning was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.   Another state I’ve raced in, not that I’m even sure how many that is.

After the race in Utah, we drove South.  We stayed the night, woke up the next morning and explored both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Both were beautiful, and we could have spent days, weeks, and probably months in either.  I hope one day to get back and spend more time and each.  Both have half and full marathons too, which would be fun to run if we trained appropriately (IE: at elevation).  Judging from the 5k, it might be awhile. We went to Meme’s cafe for lunch in Zion, which was an “interesting” experience.

After that, we stayed overnight and headed down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  We were only a few hours away, and I’ve always wanted to see it.  A few hours away is a lot closer than NJ, so we decided to just drive down there.  It was absolutely breathtaking!

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We've always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon…so we did.

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After the Grand Canyon, we progressed east towards Colorado.  We wanted to make a stop at the Four Corners: where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet.  It’s a bucket list item, just to say you did.  It wasn’t too crowded when we got there.  You can stand in all Four Corners or lay there…

For the next couple of days, we just enjoyed the drive, view, and hanging out.  We saw a lot of cute towns.  We drove through Uncompahgre National Forest and over a terrifying mountain pass in which it was snowing.  We decided to stop and take a photo at the top.  It was one of the most incredible views of the trip.

Afterwards, we headed to Tim’s relative’s house in Montrose, Colorado.  It was nice to see family, and they took us for a 10+ mile four wheeling expedition up a mountain.  I’ve never been four wheeling before, so it was a brand new but so much fun experience.  The mountain in the background is actually the mountain we drove over and took the photo (above).

After an enjoyable visit in Montrose, we headed back towards Denver.  We stopped in Colorado Springs for a couple of days.  Initially, we wanted to go walk around the Air Force Academy, but there were essential meetings, and we weren’t allowed on.  We should have started our trip that way!  We decided to hike the Seven Bridges Trail (yes, you cross 7 bridges) as well as the Grey Back Peak Trail.

We also stopped (of course) at the King Chef Diner which was featured on the Food Network.  If you’ve never been, you have to go.  It is definitely one of my favorite diners that I’ve been too, including in NJ!   There are two locations but we chose the 13 seat, small purple castle.

They are most known for their Burritos.  Even with running and hiking, I left full.

King Chef Diner Colorado Springs

Finally, we wrapped our way back to Denver, and it was time to go.  At the airport, I ended up getting food poisoning which I’m still dealing with but that is a blog post for another day.

In summary:

12 Days
4 states
Over 100 miles run
Highest elevation 11000
Lowest elevation 3200
Temperatures between 28-80 degrees
And 2600 miles driven (on the dot)

I had one of the best trips of my life, and it was nice to spend time with my husband before he deployed.  One day we want to do something similar again, but going North to Montana and that way.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been on a road trip?

What is your favorite vacation?

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