4 miles of Track and Half Marathons are Hard


This week was another week at the grind.  I felt good the entire week.  My training schedule has become routine but I think that’s a good thing.  I have talked a lot about staying consistent with my training.


Lately both Monday and Tuesday have been easy runs. For about half the runs I don’t use Garmin or time the run. I just do what feels the best.  It’s the main reason I run similar if not the same loop.  When I run the same loop, I know how far I’ve run and don’t have to worry about time.

Workout Wednesday (this week): 

4×1 mile repeats with 2 minutes rest (6:05, 6:11, 6:16, 6:14)

I felt pretty good during the entire workout. I will say mile repeats are hard! This week I added an extra mile to my workout. Obviously that gives me a total of a 4 mile workout versus 3 total miles of hard running. I actually felt like I had more in the gas tank at the end of the workout. I will hold my workouts to 4 miles until I inch closer to the 6 mile pace.

I have been focusing on the home stretch because I know that’s where my racing lacks.  I don’t have the power or endurance to kick it home.  In each run (easy run or workout), I spend the last quarter of a mile picking it up.  My hope is that it will increase my turnover! In the last two weeks I’ve felt the benefit of that.

This week I ran easy on Thursday too.  I took Friday off since my race was today. Sunday races throw me off, however, many of my upcoming races are on Sunday so I better get used to it.

Saturday I ran easy with Tim. We’ve been getting a lot of running in together. We ran then immediately drove down to Virginia Beach. By we drove, I mean he drove.

Post track workout: adorable...
Post track workout: adorable…

Then today I raced the RnR Half Marathon. As many long time readers know, I ran this race two years ago before moving. The interesting aspect about the race two years ago was I had been hit by a cyclist who broke my arm!

Today was about as I expected. I haven’t RACED a half marathon since April 2014. I ran both Harbor Lights in November and Shamrock (1:33 in much better temperatures) but both were around injuries. I haven’t raced a half since I blew up at the New Jersey half marathon.

Today I ran the RnR half in 1:31.50. I’m very pleased with that. I haven’t been doing half marathon specific work. I’ve run several long runs between 13-15 miles. RnR Va Beach is always a hot and humid race. Today the weather was 80+ degrees with 90% humidity! When I ran 2 years ago I was in the best shape of my life and ran a 1:28 so I’m proud of this!

Via instagram

Mileage: 70
Workout miles: 17
Thoughts: I am really happy with these week.  It’s making me hungry to continue training because I know I’m slowly but surely improving and getting back to my fitness of 2 years ago.

Next week: I desperately need an easier week so that is what I’m doing!

Anyways enough rambling, I’ll have a race recap up sometime this week. Unlike 5ks, half marathons leave me laying on the couch all day and catching up on the social medias.

I hope everyone has a happy Labor Day Weekend.  

Questions for you:
What is the hottest race you’ve ever done?

RnR VA Beach (either 2013 or this year) or the Save the Alamo half in 2013

How was your week of training?

Real Wedding Updates

I guess I can finally update the wedding news.  Tim and I now have a date!  We will be getting married April 12, 2015 in Norfolk, VA.

When one of my best friends, Theresa, sent me photos of an absolute stunning venue down there….I just knew that was the venue for me.  Unfotatenly after multiple emails and a phone call or two, I was unable to get into contact with anyone.  I thought maybe they were closed for good.

So two weeks ago Tim and I decided to look at other venues.  They were okay but as I said previously said they weren’t for me.  I wanted something big and open and they were closed and dark.  Not dark in a bad way but darker than I wanted.  Since one of the venues was close to my dream venue I walked over and looked from the outside in.  My dream venue was closed but I knew just looking at the venue it was the one for me.

The only good thing about that wedding venue tour day (aside from knowing the previous two were not for me) was that I met and loved our wedding planner Hannah.  She is down to earth, casual, relaxed and was already willing to help.

And help she did.  She was able to get more information about the venue I wanted as well as other comprable and most similar options. 

So last week I (Tim was away) went and toured the venue of my dreams.  I loved it.  I loved everything about it and there was nothing I didn’t like.  After finding a date in our range we committed to it.  So we do have a venue and a date.

So now we currently have:

Date: April 12, 2015

A venue in Norfolk, VA

Photographer: Justice Photography (They took some photos of me last January and I loved them).

A Wedding Planner: Hannah Hildabrandt Events

A Rough Outline of a Guest List (100-130 guests)

I guess you could say it’s coming along quite nicely and I’m actually excited to keep planning.   I’m not excited to try on wedding dress…maybe I’ll just wear runderwear.

Questions for you:

If you are married, how many people did you have at your wedding?

In one sentence tell your dream wedding.

Mine is in a big open facility facing the water.

Surf N Santa 10 Miler (1:10.46)

Surf N Santa 10 Miler (1:10.46)

The Surf N Santa has since been shortened to a 5-mile race on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Now it’s the Surf N Santa 5 Miler presented by Bon Secours in Motion. Plus there is the Holiday Lights Merry Mile. Packet Pickup is easy at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and The Post Race party at the Surf N Santa has Samuel Adams.  Any race by J&A is well put together and I like the holiday themed Surf N Santa. 

I woke up Saturday morning, ready to run the Surf N Santa. The only starting line I had run across lately was the virtual one on the elliptical.  I wasn’t excited for the Surf N Santa, nor was I excited for the amount of pain I knew I would feel during the race.  I had run one 10 mile run since the marathon and barely made it through.  Barely.   The reason I was excited for this race what that it signifies I  am ready to start a new training cycle.

So when I woke up and saw it was pouring rain I was more than thrilled. I mean, who doesn’t love racing in 40 degree pouring rain?  I actually didn’t care, either way, I was just happy the Surf N Santa wasn’t canceled.

I got to the Virginia Beach Convention Center an hour early and had no interest in going back outside or warming up.  After the New York City Marathon, I haven’t been running much (the only other 10 miles I did was a couple of weeks ago.  I felt like death and it ended up with a pulled muscle).  I didn’t want to push my luck.  I also wasn’t overly concerned with my time and wanted to keep warm instead.  In the convention center, I had the honor to meet David (one of the co-founders of Runchat on twitter!)…After basically meeting an internet celebrity, I decided I should probably delayer and head to the Surf N Santa starting line.


When Surf N Santa started, it was overwhelming.  Since the 10 miler and 5k shared a start, there were a lot of people around.  I tried to remind myself not to take it out quickly because I do not have endurance right now. It would hurt.  That was unnecessary.

Mile 1 of the Surf N Santa hurt.  Mile 2 also hurt.  Mile 3 of the Surf N Santa 10 miler and 5k wrapped back around the center (for the 5kers to finish) and I debated doing the 5k…but I didn’t.  I saw the leaders going the opposite way and just pushed on.  (In summary miles 1-3 were thinking why on earth did I think this was a good idea).

Miles 3 and 4 of the Surf N Santa were just spent thinking about how mile 5 was on the boardwalk and going to be windy.  The race went 37 blocks on the boardwalk going into the 30 mph wind (in the rain).  I knew the weather would be miserable because it was cold, raining and I’m not in shape.  It wasn’t a surprise when it was miserable.  I don’t have a great turn of events or story about how I pushed through at the Surf N Santa.  It seemed like the longest part of the Surf N Santa and I just put my head down and went.

Around mile 6 of the Surf N Santa, my hat blew off, but I was lucky a kind gentleman from behind me picked it up and passed it to me.  I cannot thank him off for that or I would have been running off to the beach trying to catch the darn thing.  We ended up running the rest of the Surf N Santa together for the rest of the race, which was nice.

For all the wind we saw in the previous miles, we saw no backwind going in the opposite direction for miles 8 and 9 of the Surf N Santa because the buildings blocked it.

At mile 9 of the Surf N Santa, I realized I was hovering around a 7-minute pace so I decided to just pain train it as hard as I could to finish.  It was stupid because I should have realized I do not have the endurance to pain train an entire mile.  I should have started surging at 9.5.  Regardless mile 10 of the Surf N Santa was the worst mile but when I ran into the convention center, my spirits were lifted.

I don't normally race in hats either but it keeps rain out of my eyes. (I wear contacts)
I don’t usually race in hats either, but it keeps rain out of my eyes. (I wear contacts)

The Surf N Santa finished inside of the Virginia Beach Convention Center, which I thought was pretty cool.

All in all, the Surf N Santa was a great race and I’m happy I drove back to do it.  I always appreciate all J&A Races and I think Jerry and Amy do a great job. The Surf N Santa is no exception and a well put together and fun race. It gave me more motivation to start consistently training again.  Was I expecting a PR at the Surf N Santa?  No of course not.

I wouldn’t expect a PR in that weather if I was training.  I expected to finish the Surf N Santa and have a great time. I love J&A races in VA Beach because they are always a lot of fun and always worth the drive down.  (YAY for Shamrock in March!).

 I finished 8th female overall at the Surf N Santa and 1st in my age group.  (Which the 20-24 age group had less competition then most)

Also this is the first race ever I have worn shorts (Oiselle Rogas). I left my runderwear at home in Jersey but I didn’t get chafing and it wasn’t a big deal.  (though I still prefer runderwear).

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

What is your least favorite racing conditions?  Have you run the Surf N Santa? 

Dad and I have determined we hate the wind.

ECSC 8k (30:45)

Last weekend I ran and PRed in the ECSC 8k by over a minute.  Even though the events afterwords were unfortunate, I still had a great race and I did want to write a recap.

The race goes along with the East Coast Surfing Championships which are held at VA Beach every August.  Therefore last weekend the beach was much more crowded and parking was a lot harder to come by.  After finally finding a garage to park in, I was able to get my standard 2 mile warmup.

It was a smaller race start then I’m used too and didn’t see a lot of my friends there.  I tried to line up pretty close to the start since it wasn’t a mat start either.  Once we actually started I got into my normal groove.  I didn’t feel awesome but I didn’t feel awful either.

For the first mile I was caught up in the crowd.  There were a lot of people who took it out extremely fast and I had them pushing me.  The course was a straight flat road down and back. There are no hills at VA Beach and the only turn was the turn coming back. There was a lot of wind in one direction though.  During the first mile I was second female overall. (5:48)

I was about 50 feet behind the first female so I really locked her into my sights and tried to push to catch her.  We ended up running the second mile together.  During the second mile, a van backed onto the race course but luckily for us they were a bit further away so it didn’t interfere.  Mile 2 was a little bit of a blur (6:25).

The third mile included a round about turn and onto the boardwalk.  By this point, I had tried to pick it up.  Since we were going the opposite direction the wind was at our back.  I turned to the person next to me and said it should be pretty quick for the second half and it was like instanegative split.  A lot of the ECSC surfers were out cheering which made it pretty cool (6:16).

Mile 4, I started to just feel dead and was trying to hang on for dear life.  It was a pretty hard mile for me.  Since I’m not used to racing 8ks (I’ve done 3), it just felt like an extended 5k.  Two extra bonus miles (6:13).

There were a lot of tourists on the boardwalk for the last mile but I was able to get by them without any falls.  During the last mile, I had felt the other female behind me and she was gaining.  I tried to pick it up too but it was extremely painful.  I was really giving this race everything I had.  I really wanted to hold on for dear life and moved my legs as fast as they would go.  I knew I wasn’t going to have a good kick if it came down to the last 100 meters.  I barely stayed in front of her but if the race had been another .100 meters (If that) I can almost guarantee you she would have passed me (6:03).

Final thoughts on the race:

I honestly don’t know.  This was a great race for me but I don’t have a lot of positive or negative thoughts about the race itself.  I raced my hardest and PRed.  It was a completely flat and fast course (not counting the wind).

Questions for you:

Have you ever been surfing?

What is your least favorite aspect of a course?  (if it’s hilly, lots of turns …ect).

Fractured Elbow and Training

Nine weeks to go for the New York City marathon and I manage to get a fractured elbow but at least it isn’t a stress fracture in my leg.  Right now I cannot tell you whether I’ll be running with a cast or not.  I have a nondisplaced radial head in my elbow.  Basically that means that there is a small crack in my elbow.  What does that mean for me personally?  My elbow hurts a lot and I’m currently taking 800 mg IB.  I have not taken the Vicodin that they also prescribed for intense pain because I’m not in that much pain.

After a great 8k race for me (30:45), I headed down the VA Beach side walk to cool down.  I ran out 1.5 miles and while running back a cyclist on a beach cruiser came out of a parking lot and hit me.  I immediately fell to the ground directly on my elbow.  I didn’t hear a crack or break and it felt like I had hit my funny bone.  The cyclist did not stop and muttered sorry as I was still laying on the ground. 

After getting up I noticed my knee, shoulder and elbow were bleeding profusely.  I was able to run back where I met my dad and started talking to him and washed up.  During my run back my arm felt “funny” but it didn’t feel awful.  (I think I still had a lot of adrenaline pumping through) but as we headed home it started to get progressively worse and by the time we were home, in my gut I knew it was broken. 

After getting x-rays at the hospital, they told me I had a nondisplaced radial head fracture in my elbow.  They put a soft cast on it and said it would be 4-6 weeks for it to fully heal.  I asked what this meant for running, for work, my move, ect.

Considering I cannot lift anything heavy right now (or do anything weight baring) I took a leave of absence at work.  (my last day should have been this coming Friday but now I’m done for good).  Packing will be tougher because I have a lot of heavy boxes to lift.

The question I have gotten the most is how is the going to affect my training?

Honestly  I don’t know yet.  I don’t have an injury that affects my legs.  I might try running but I’m going to be extremely careful and see where it takes me.  If it hurts, I won’t do it.  If that means giving up the NYC marathon, I’ll be heartbroken but that is what I’ll have to do.  Six weeks away is the first week of October and seasoned marathoners could probably get away with training for a marathon in a month.  I’m  not a seasoned marathoner.  Long story short, I have no idea where my training is going.  I am trying to be positive, I truly am, but it seems like I cannot catch a break.  I worked my butt off this summer creating a base and staying injury free.

There isn’t much I can do and feeling sorry for myself and making myself more miserable will just make the situation worse so with that I’ll attempt to stay busy in my last week in VA.  Hopefully that might include a run or two but I couldn’t tell you.


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