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October Training

October Training

Wow. October has been here and gone. Every month is the same story, and it feels like months and years are flying by.  I knew October would be very busy and it didn’t disappoint that between races and overall life busy.  Now I’m here just a few short days before my third marathon.

Anyway,

Miles Run: Around 250
Range of Paces: 6:06-10:35-untimed
Longest Run: 20 miles
Shortest Run: 1 mile 
Workouts: 5
Rest Days: 5
Races: 3
Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:30.03)
Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Thoughts:

The month flew by, and it feels like just yesterday I was back home in VA…but it wasn’t it was nearly a month ago. This training cycle has not progressed as I would have liked.

I would have like to be fitter at the end of the month and have logged at least a 1:26 half marathon but that never came. Weather is a factor, but my body just isn’t cooperating with running fast.  My miles were quality miles, and I am happy with my effort level, but like anything, it can be hard not to compare to other years where I’ve run significantly faster by now.

Next month will log a lot of rest days. After NYCM, I don’t know the next time I’ll run again will be. I am taking 2 weeks off, maybe more.  My body will need a good recharge to look towards the next race (I don’t have anything planned). How is that for vague?

In all, I’m happy with my month. You can’t force progression and for me, it’s coming much slower this year.  I’m healthy and that is always my ultimate goal. You can’t progress if you aren’t healthy.

Posts from the Month:

Shoe Reviews:

Nike Pegasus Turbo
Hoka One One Cavu
New Balance 1400 

Running Related:

Are Racing Flats Right For You?
Some Runs are Terrible

Other:

Adding Collegen to Oatmeal
Vital Proteins Gelatin

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

After a big race, how do you recover? 

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Training and Taper

Training and Taper

Last week was fine. It wasn’t a fantastic training week, but it wasn’t bad. It was…meh.

First, it was my first week of taper.  I am not someone who really hates taper.  The rest and relaxation is usually welcomed. This year it most certainly is. I wish I could say I feel “awesome” going into race week but I don’t. The more time and energy, I’ve invested in a marathon training cycle, the more I don’t know if the race distance is for me.

Baring nothing serious (knock on wood), I’ll still toe the line. I’m healthy but I don’t know if my heart is really into marathoning. I wanted to give myself the benefit of the doubt, but a week out from the race I just don’t know.  I can’t put my finger on why I feel this way. It’s almost if I feel like a dull crayon. I can still write, but not as precisely as a sharp one.  I can still run, but not as fast as previous half marathon cycles.

Anyway, my blog is just me and my thoughts.  The closer I get to NYCM, the more I realize it’s here and not going anywhere. I’m excited about the experience, to do the expo, to see friends, but I’m not as excited to run 26.2 miles.

I’m hoping I’m not creeping up on a burnout but I also know after I run 26.2 miles on Sunday…I’m taking a 2 weeks ago or until I want to run.

Anyway:

Monday: Easy 20 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 12 mile run with 6 at
Total:

Thoughts:

Wednesday: 12x400s:

It was hard to get out the door because of how windy it was. Once I did, I felt fine.  I had to remind myself, NYCM is windy and there is no hiding from the wind on those bridges.

Sunday Long Run:

It felt weird “just” doing 12 miles.  I ran 3 miles easy, 6 miles averaging 6:50 pace, then 3 miles easy. As I mentioned on Instagram, I didn’t feel great. Holding that pace for 6 miles while “not feeling great” is a good sign, but the marathon is a few more than 6 miles.

On to Next Week:

I am both excited and not excited to run NY…

I am excited…

Because I have put in hard work to be there.  I know I will have an incredible and unforgettable experience.

I am not excited…

Because right now I feel like garbage.  I know “blah blah blah…taper will make you feel better”, but it’s been mentally difficult to compare myself to the fitness I was in past falls. The past few years I’ve run at least a 1:25 at this point, and it’s been more mentally tough than usual.  My goal has always been to start and finish healthy.

I’m also not excited to go up to the expo on Friday. I live over 90 minutes away from NY, so trains are the best option. I’m not savvy with trains and getting from the train station of NJ to Penn station.

Anyway, not quite the training log I wanted to write.  I’ll probably write another more detailed post about my thoughts of the marathon, as the day looms closer. I know once the gun goes off, I’ll have an incredible time but getting there and feeling good seems both overwhelming and questionable right now.

This coming week, work is busy, and life is busy.  It makes taper come at the perfect time.  For instance, I am going to the expo on Friday, have to be back in NJ Friday night, and then staying in NYC Saturday to Sunday.

Posts from the Week:

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

Questions of the day:

What is your favorite race distance? 

What was your best workout this week?

Will you be at NY, let me know! 

Are Racing Flats Right For You?

Are Racing Flats Right For You?

A topic that gets asked frequently is, if racing flats are a smart choice for runners. First, for those who aren’t familiar, every elite runner wears a different shoe to race and train.  I am fairly confident in that.  Most elite runners have a plethora of shoes anyway.

Even most sub-elite runners race in a different shoe than they train.  I wouldn’t call myself “sub-elite,” but I race and train in different shoes. I work in a running store, so I’m able to see new shoes as they come out and evaluate what is best for me.

Most people can benefit from racing in a lighter shoe.  That being said, it is not right for everyone, and if you are injury prone, it’s important to consider that.

So can wearing racing flats help you even if you’re not “winning races”?

The easy and quick answer is probably yes.

But Why?

Racing Flats are Lighter:

Less weight, to an extent, can improve efficiency. Racing flats generally weigh anywhere between 5-7 ounces while trainers weigh anywhere from 8-12.  While a difference in ounces doesn’t seem like a lot, it is.  Think about it, you are carrying yourself over thousands of strides. Those ounces add up.

Feelin’ Faster:

Running is a huge mental game. If you feel faster, you will probably run faster.  Personally, it doesn’t matter the race distance, if I’m in my flats, I feel a lot faster than if I’m in my trainers.

With Advantages, there are also Disadvantages:

Increased injury risk:

Trainers weigh more because there is more shoe and more cushion.  When you race in a flat, you are running closer to the ground, and your body is taking more of an impact. Without the extra cushion, you’re more at risk for stress-related injuries like a stress fracture.  On another note, that is why I’ve gone to training in very high cushioned shoes.

More Time to Recover:

After a running in a flat, it will likely take you longer to recover. You have more stress on your body, and typically racing flats are a lower heel to toe drop than a trainer.  This means there is more stress on your calves as well as feet.

How to Get Started in Flats:

I advise anyone to get fitted at a running store for a pair of flats that feel comfortable. They won’t feel plush like a trainer, but you will able to explore differences in flats. Most racing flats run tighter and narrow so you might be a different size than your regular shoe.

Take Your Time:

You should ABSOLUTELY NEVER go from running everything in a trainer, to running a race in a flat.  You set yourself up for a serious injury.  Take your time to adjust to the shoe.  I always recommend running a mile in them.  Then doing a workout in them.  Finally jump into a 5k, then longer.  Take time to work into a shoe.  Sure, you might be lucky and get away with jumping into a race, but you also might break something.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding if you want to try a racing flat:

  • Are you healthy? If you already have an injury, racing in a flat is going to make you more injured.
  • You must carefully work into them. You cannot go from running in a trainer to racing a distance event in a flat.  Take them out and run a mile (yes just 1).  Then work into a 5k and to the distance of your choice. I usually do at least a workout in them before taking them to a race. Toing the line in a brand new flat (including the Nike 4%( might result in a big injury or issue.

Finally like trainers, flats are all different:

If you are training for a 5k, you might use a separate flat than a marathon.  Not all flats are good for everything. Here are a few flats that might be good for you:

10k and below:

  • Saucony Type A
  • Nike Lt Racer
  • New Balance 1400
  • On Cloud X

10+ miles:

  • Nike Zoom Fly or Nike 4%
  • New Balance 1400
  • On Cloud X
  • Brooks Pure Flow or Pure Cadence
  • Hoka Cavu or Hoka Tracer

In general, the shorter the race, the more you can “get away with”. In shorter races, shoes can be lighter with less support. With longer races and more time on your feet, you need more shoe (or as I like to say: “more cushion for the pushin”.

 

Questions for you:

Do you race in flats? Which flats do you use? 

Some Runs are Terrible

Some Runs are Terrible

I’ve typed and retyped this post a dozen times.  I think it needs to be said, and throughout the last few days, I tried to find a more “tactful” way to say it.  Keeping it short, like the brief person I am here it goes:

We all have bad runs and races. Get over yourself.

Most people that know me in person know that running is and never will be everything for me.  I highly doubt I will be making the Olympics in anything and running is just that…a hobby.  Not every run is perfect, pleasant, and glamorous.  That holds true for everyone from professionals to those just starting out.  I’ve tanked multiple runs and races then put it in the rearview.  Of course, not everyone copes the same way but if running is “your lives purpose” please find some more things that fulfill you.

If you treat a bad run like the end of the world, you need to find more hobbies.  If you treat anything like “the end of the world,” you need to find more hobbies.

me running west point

Here are a few tips to get over a bad race:

Let Yourself Be Sad:

You are allowed to be sad about a bad run but there is a difference between sad and devastated. We all know, you have put time into the training and race. Being sad is normal, but overthinking it and wasting excess time and energy is not.  Instead of focusing on the race, think about your training and what you accomplished during the training cycle.  It’s not as if your training went out the window because you didn’t achieve your “A” goal.

Be Objective:
Did you sleep in during long runs?  Did you miss runs or workouts?  Were you sick? Was the weather bad?

The number of people who justified their slower Boston performances this year was alarming.  We know it was monsooning…you don’t have to explain why you missed your goals…(I have raced many half marathons in the same conditions and been over 10 minutes slower).  As that Frozen Lady Says: Let it Go

The more you think about it, the more upset you get. This is true of anything from bad breakups to sports.

Learn Something:
Did you learn something from the race or the training cycle?  When I missed my Phoenix Marathon goal (by…a lot), I learned a lot about myself while training.  I need speed work, racing, and also at the time marathon training was not right for me.

There is Always Another Race:
Always keep this is mind.  Running is booming and there will be another race.  That probably wasn’t your last race ever. Take time to regroup and move to the next goal.  If you trurly hated the race, and don’t want to run anymore…don’t.  Take time away and focus on things you do want to do.

You shouldn’t ever put all of your eggs in one basket whether it’s running, sport, or even job-related. Bad races happen to everyone and they are part of the sport. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about them.

Question for you: How do you get over a bad workout, run, or race?

 

Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Another Week of Training is done.

This week, went better than last week which gave me more confidence. Many people have said: “you’re in shape” and while I am in shape, I’m not in PRing shape, and there is a difference.  In perfect weather, I could probably run a 1:25 half marathon right now, but my PR is 1:22.  A fast time, but I’m not at the peak of my fitness.  That doesn’t matter much as I haven’t had perfect weather for any long race so far…heck I haven’t even had “good” weather.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes/Hike 4 miles
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s averaging 5:58 pace (total mileage 10)
Thursday: Easy 70 minutes with Alexis
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30.02) + 7 miles for 20 miles
Total: 55isb miles

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, I don’t feel at the height or peak of my fitness and I’m okay with that. My goal for the marathon is to start and finish healthy and I have to keep that in mind. I told a few friends, I would rather be undertrained than over. Overtrained is what burned me out and probably hurt both marathons last time.

This tweet made me feel, a little better. That’s how I feel now,.  I don’t feel ready to run or race a marathon.  I hope the next 3 weeks will fine-tune training and get me there.

My easy runs were untimed and easy, and it was nice to get some miles in with my coworker and friend Alexis.

Wednesday: 12x400s (averaging 5:58 pace) with 400 jog in between

I was actually surprised I was moving this fast because I didn’t feel like it when running. I said on Instagram, but I’ve felt strong but not sharp.  I’m hoping to get more speed on my legs during my marathon training. I’ve felt my best, running-wise when I raced my fastest 5k in 2016.

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon: 1:30.02

Last year, at Crawlin Crab, it was about the same conditions.  I ended up tanking around mile 9, and shuffling home.  This year, the goal was not to do that and I didn’t.  I ran a consistent race ranging in pace from 6:44-6:58.  It was mid to high 70s, humid, and the course has zero shade or breeze.  The day was tough but I made the best of it. I would have loved to get an actual base of where I am fitness wise, but, you must race for the day and who knows…NYCM could be the same conditions.

Next Week:

I’ll continue running and racing and see how it goes from there. My next, and last half, is tentatively the Atlantic City half marathon on October 21st. I hope the weather will be decent, not even perfect, just not extremely hot and humid. I am confident, I’ll be able to finish the marathon but I don’t feel as fit as when I was running last fall into the Spring.

Posts from the Week:
Vital Proteins Gelatin
New Balance 1400 Shoe Review
September Training:
The Dragon Run (19:28)

Questions for you:
How do you recover from training?
Would you rather run in extreme cold or heat?

Vital Proteins Gelatin

Vital Proteins Gelatin

About a month ago, I wrote about the differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin.  I wanted to try Gelatin, but to be honest, I didn’t know where to start.

I didn’t know the differences myself.  As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador so in exchange for a couple of products each month, I get to try new products.  I’m not being paid to promote the products.

Vital proteins beef gelatin

First, What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a substance derived from collagen. As I’ve written about before, Collagen is well known for its hair, nail, and skin benefits.  Gelatin is also just as good for those.  Gelatin also has about the same amount of protein. So it’s a great addition to smoothies after a workout.

In food, collagen is found mostly in tougher cuts of beef that contain a lot of connective tissue. Typically these are pieces we don’t use.

Most people don’t eat animal skin or tendons raw.  When you cook collagen, it transforms into gelatin.

In short, Gelatin is the cooked form of Collagen.

The properties of both gelatin and collagen are slightly different, but the health benefits are the same.

Gelatin produces a “gel” effect in foods.

Vital proteins beef gelatin

Collagen Peptides are better mixed into foods because they don’t turn to gel.

I currently use the Flavorless Beef Gelatin Powder. Many people have asked, but it truly has no flavor. I’ve mixed it with sweet drinks and never had an issue.

What is Gelatin better for?

It’s better than Collagen Peptides for a few things:

  • Homemade jello or jello type desserts
  • Homemade marshmallows (I’ve wanted to make this)
  • Thickening smoothies, sauces, and soup.

 One thing that Gelatin has that regular Collagen peptides do not is more of an effect on overall “gut health.”  Gelatin fills the holes of the stomach lining and reduces inflammation. It also increases the amount of gastric acid in the gut.  Gastric Acid is used to digest protein.

Hopefully, that helps with Gelatin. I would love to hear how you’re using collagen or a recipe for Gelatin you have!

Thank you Vital Proteins for keeping me as an ambassador.

Questions for you:

Have you tried cooking with gelatin?

Do you have any easy recipes?

On Cloudace Shoe Review

On Cloudace Shoe Review

The Cloudace is a brand new, highly cushioned shoe from ON.  As most readers and followers know by now, I prefer a well-cushioned shoe for training.  The more cushion, the better.  When On created the On Cloudace, I knew it would be a shoe I would eventually try.

If you are someone who is injury prone or likes a well-cushioned shoe, the On Cloudace is going to be a good fit for you.

If you have never run in ON before, they will feel different.  I’ve run in the ON Cloudflow and the ON Cloud Surfer before. On claims it’s cushioning that doesn’t change or break your stride but supports you how you need it.

On Cloudace shoe review

The “Clouds” at the bottom of any of their shoes are adaptable and cushion both horizontal and vertical forces.  This means it will feel soft but also responsive. When you strike, the Cloud technology lock and form a supportive foundation.  For the most part, I’ve always felt that in each model I’ve run in.

Watching videos of this visibly happening is cool. I actually appreciate brands you can see their technology.

Fit:

Like many running shoes, there are no seams in the upper.  Usually, in women’s sizes, I wear between 10-11 wide.

On doesn’t make wides at this point, so I chose a 10.5.  It fits well, but given the option, I would have preferred a 10.5 wide.  Other than that, it fits fine, and I haven’t had any issues with needing a different size.

If you have bunions or extremely wide forefront, your feet might not fit well into On.

On Cloudace shoe review

Ride:

To date, the Cloudace is one of the stiffest shoes I’ve tried.  You can feel it’s that it’s maximum cushioned shoe without feeling weighed down.  Like mentioned, it’s supported where I personally need it.

The Cloudace itself is stable and responsive. With the weight, that is rare for shoes.  When I tried it on, I wasn’t sure how responsive it would actually be.  Would my foot melt into the cushion?  Would I be able to run “fast” in the shoe?

I’ve done a few short workouts in it, and I have run about the same pace.  I’ve also done a few easy runs in it and felt good.  For me, it will fit in nicely as a recovery run shoe.  I can run fast, but I prefer other shoes to run fast in.  Having such a wide range for a shoe is rare. If you’ve never worn On before, you’ll notice the “Clouds” at the bottom of the shoe.

On Cloudace shoe review

If you have ever run in Newton or adidas, you might appreciate On, because they do feel fairly similar. (I ran through 17 pairs of 4 lug Newton Gravities many years ago).

The only, drawback of the Cloudace is the price point.  While most shoes that are of similar cushioning level are between $140-$160, the On Cloudace comes in at $200.  It’s definitely one of my most expensive running shoes but I’m hoping it will be more durable than many others.  So far I’ve put about 100 miles on the shoe and it could easily be mistaken as brand new.

Current Shoes I’m running in:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080

Recovery Runs: Hoka One One Clifton 5, On Cloudace

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

Questions for you:

Have you tried On?

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