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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?   

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Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)

The Air Force Half Marathon this year was hot, very hot.  So hot, they drew a black flag and canceled the race around 11-11:30.  I’ve never partaken in a race that has happened, but with so many half marathons, I guess there is a first for everything.

First and foremost, the aid during the race was immaculate, and you couldn’t ask for better support. There were personnel almost every ¼ mile and aid stations every 1.5.  That was never the issue.  The issue was at race start it was already well above 70 and very humid. When I finished the race around 10 is, it was a feels like temp of 88. Last year, I ran a 1:27.28 in better weather but wasn’t in as good of shape.

I know I’m in better fitness than a 1:31, but you have to race for the day which includes how your body feels, the weather, and the course (Two weeks ago, I ran the Boothbay half in 1:29.50 on a much harder course).  To be honest, I never felt great, and the race turned into a longer workout/run.  That’s okay, and I am proud of this finish like any other race I’ve done.

My husband and I drove from NJ to central PA on Thursday (My in-laws live there).  We picked up my father in law and drove the last 6 hours to Dayton, Ohio. Driving that far the day before a race is not my favorite thing to do but with work schedules that’s how the cookie crumbles.  We got to the expo late, didn’t get to stay long, and booked it just before 6, so we wouldn’t get stuck on closed roads due to the 5k.  Everything about the night and morning felt rushed.

The following morning was just as chaotic, and there was an accident in front of the base. The roads were closed, and we made it with just under an hour to spare. Walking the 1.5 miles to the start was enough of a warmup, and I could already feel how hot it was.

The Race:

At the start, I chatted with a few various people.  The race went off at 8:30 and I just ran my own race.  The Air Force half is interesting because it consists of a lot of people who have never run a half marathon but have some sort of military/Air Force connection. I am always happy for them, but it also doesn’t have a corral system, so the first mile is often jam-packed with people who have taken the race out too fast.  Then they quickly realize they have another 12 miles to go.

I hit the mile in 6:59 and I knew immediately it would not be the race I wanted. I wasn’t upset and just ran for the day.

The next two miles went by without any real interest.  I chatted with a few people including a pilot from Illinois, a college ROTC kid running his first half, and retired military officer. It made time go by faster and by the time I knew it, I was at mile 3.

Between mile 3-4, I saw a few C-17s taking off at an adjacent runway. They were planes that had been moved due to the Hurricane Florance.  Not a planned race thing, but a lot were taking off throughout the race.  It made for fun, and interesting scenery. I passed one female in that time. I had no idea where I was in placing, and it didn’t really matter to me either.

Around mile 5, the race started to get hot. I take Gatorade, every time it’s offered in 10+ mile races. At the race, I took at least 2 gatorade cups and water at each stop. It definitely kept me hydrated.

Air force marathon dayton ohio

From 5-6, I just wanted to make it halfway. Around this point, the flags went from yellow to red which was indicated at an aid station. I knew it was getting worse and I was already completely sweating through my clothing.

We trucked along, and by the time I knew it, we were at mile 7.  I was talking to a guy going to UVA just bantering about random stuff.  If there is one thing I do, is talk. I always warn people and if someone doesn’t want to talk, I won’t keep doing it.

At the Air Force Half, mile 8, begins the harder portions of the course.  For the most part, the first 7 miles are relatively flat, with a few turns, and hills but nothing crazy.  Then mile 8 and beyond are rolling hills and running up overpasses.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I knew I was pushing myself, but I wasn’t pushing myself to the limit of when I PRed in February. I had plenty left in my tank for hills and for finishing strong, and I was going too.  Up the hills, down the hills, I went the same pace and still averaged about 7:00 minutes.

I passed another female who had passed me earlier, on the overpass at mile 8. The next two miles were spent trucking along alone, and focusing on mile 10. Mile 10 was when I planned to just go.

At mile 10, a hand crank passed me.  I caught a few people walking up the hills between 10-11.  I wasn’t as fatigued as if it was a hard race and I was just trucking along and running faster than the first miles. I ran mile 10 in 6:50 and even with the hills, I was pleased.  I guess the gatorades hit me late.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

The next mile, I ran alone and just focused on people in front. I wanted to catch every person I could see because it gave me something to think about.  That was my goal to keep my brain engaged with the race. It hot and I needed something. I grabbed water and just trucked along. I high fived a little kid.  I was surprised that I ran the next mile in 6:42.

You enter the base of Wright Patterson at mile 12.  You can see the finish line in the distance and know you still have an entire mile to go. For some reason, I thought “so many women were on my tail”, and I sprinted like I had one race for the rest of my life.  (Probably because in 2017, I was outkicked in races 5-6 times…many for wins).  I passed no less than 5 men in the final mile, and they were probably like…WTF.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I ran the last mile in 6:36 and finished in 1:31.12. I was pleased with my time for the day. While yes, I know I’m in better shape than a 1:31 and I would have loved the opportunity to race that, it wasn’t the day and the day will come.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I like the Air Force half, not just because my husband is in the Air Force, but I do think it’s a good course and has a good support.  Now that the new refueler, the KC-46 (which replaces my husband’s plane, the KC-10…one day), is going to be the plane of next year…I feel like we have to go back to 2019. 😉

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

What is one race you enjoy doing?

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

I thought by now, we would be dealing with colder weather and I would be making some hot, pumpkin spice, beverage…but here we are!  An 80 degree September day!  I’m still drinking smoothies after runs, but the fact that I’m drinking a recovery smoothie is something I’m proud of already.

As many people know by now, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador. As an ambassador, I get to try products and authentically post about them.  I’m not being paid, but if Vital Proteins and Collagen has helped me, it will more than likely help someone else too.

You can learn more about the benefits of Collagen here.

Each month I try and post a recipe I’ve been personally using.  Some I hesitate to call “recipes” because they are: add these things and put into a blender.  Maybe I should say, I try and post “flavor combinations”.

With the heat, I’m still enjoying smoothies.  This month I’ve been enjoying the Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Whey.

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteinsI’ve made a smoothie after each run or workout to recover faster and honestly, I have been!  After runs, workouts, and races, this smoothie is the first thing I’ve had.

I’ve mentioned before in passing, but I’m not a peanut butter, “diehard”.  I like nut butter, but I don’t go through them weekly.   I’ve been including them into my diet to both up calories and to include more “healthy fats” in my diet.  I find adding some almonds and nut butter (whatever I have on hand) keeps me fuller for longer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Scoops Banana Cinnamon Whey Vital Protein
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond or Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds

Add ice and blend.

So that the smoothie isn’t “protein-rich” or “fat rich,” I also added oatmeal which actually blends well and I’m proud of how it turned out.  I like the Vital Proteins Why because it contains protein which I’ve found to help recover faster.

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteins

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin

Recipes:

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Questions for you:

Are you good about consuming calories after a run?

What is your smoothie recipe?

A Summer of Fun

A Summer of Fun

I can’t believe the “technical” summer is almost over.  I had one of the best summers I’ve had in a long time.

Not running wise, but life wise.  For many years post-college, I’ve looked back and said: eh what did I “really” do over the summer?

It’s usually the same: See a few friends? Go to the beach a few times? I always say I’ll do more things, but for whatever reason, I don’t.  Of course, like most adults, I have a job and other responsibilities, but I made time for things when I could.

This summer I made it a priority to get out of my house and do things.  On days I was off from work, I traveled somewhere new.  I didn’t spend oodles of money going across the country every day I was off work, but I did take time to explore various parts of the state, and see family and friends, and explore.

I was lucky to go to all of these states including new to me: New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.

States I Went to this summer

I didn’t plan the summer to be like that, and if you had asked me in May my plans, I wouldn’t have had much.

The highlight was definitely for my 28th birthday, I decided to run the Copper Mountain 25k Trail Race.  Trails aren’t something I train a lot on, but I wanted to test myself and just do things I’ve never done before. I definitely don’t regret it, and it was one of the best parts of my summer!  I highly recommend the Under Armour Copper Mountain race!

I liked running on the trails so much, I went to Killington to run the 25k there too.  It was a whole different beast to conquer, but I’m glad I did.  I found Vermont to be far more challenging and technical than Copper Mountain, but it taught me: I can do hard things.

Those were my only two races in July and August.  It’s crazy to think, it was the healthiest summer I’ve had but the least amount I’ve raced.  I don’t regret that, and I enjoyed both races.

I feel like my summer can be broken into two sections:

June versus July and August.

I started June off with a bang.  Together with my parents, we visited one of my brothers in Newport, Rhode Island while he was in school for the Navy.  Since he is stationed overseas in Spain, I haven’t seen him as much the last few years, so it was awesome.

I also ran the Newport 10 miler in about 64 minutes which I was pleased with.

The rest of June was relatively quiet, but I ran the Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 miler in Atlantic City. I was able to hold it together and win, even with the final few strides on the sand.

Then July Came:

My husband wanted to pick up car parts in Connecticut.  I had nothing to do, so I decided to go with him. We made it a weekend adventure and ran (can you believe?) my only 5k road race of both June and July.  We also hiked in Connecticut too. On the way home, I hit my 200th diner.  Despite it not being great, 200 in 4 years is neat.  Will I make it to 300?  Who knows. Here is a recap of the best/worst in 200 so far.

The month of July itself, was actually quiet except for celebrating my 28th birthday at Copper Mountain 25k in Colorado.  I ran and tested myself with one of the hardest races I’ve done (I do think Killington is harder).

Finally August:

I thought August would be a quieter month but it wasn’t at all.  The first couple of weeks of August were.  Then I went to Killington, Vermont and ran the hardest race I’ve done.  Killington was special to me for many reasons.  The biggest was, I got to see two of my closest friends from college, my freshman year roommate, Kierstin, as well as someone who helped convince me to start running, Justin.

Running in Vermont taught me I could do long races where I’m on my feet over 3 hours. It was the longest time I’ve been on my feet as well as the hardest race I’ve done.

On Labor Day weekend, my husband and I decided to drive back to the Northeast.  I haven’t spent much time in New England until this summer!  We had planned to go to Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine. That was definitely overzealous for us looking back.  We are the type of couple not to have an itinerary and plan as we go (like we did when we went out west last year).  We decided midway through to skip Boston and save it for a trip in itself.

I ran the Boothbay Half Marathon in 1:29.50 which I’m proud of.  It was a hilly, hard, and hot day. I’m proud of how I ran with how difficult of conditions it was.

And now here we are!

Mid Septemeber and heading into the fall.  I believe fall will be just as great but in different ways.  I have no idea how long we will stay in New Jersey, and I want to make the best of everything while I’m here.  I’ve started increasing mileage and training again.  I do have a few races I’m sorting out, and once I figure that out, I’ll, share. For now, I’m heading to Dayton, Ohio this weekend for the Air Force half marathon again.

Questions for you:

How was your summer?

What is one spot you’ve wanted to go but never have? 

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? 

Why Collagen Post Run?

Why Collagen Post Run?

As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  I’ve enjoyed Vital Proteins far before becoming an ambassador, and I’ve found Vital Proteins to drastically improve my skin, hair, nails, as well as help me recover from workouts.

In exchange for a couple of products each month, I write benefits for me or share recipes.  I’ve been making the same smoothies through the summer because I prefer a smoothie after a hot summer run.  First, I’m not a doctor or dietician so works for me may not work for you!

me vital proteins

I thought I would share, Why Take Collagen? 

Many people might not know, but Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.  It is the primary building block of bones, joints, and connective tissue.  I had no idea until doing research last year.

Most natural forms of collagen come from animal rich, fatty products such as animal organs and bones. Most people don’t chomp on animal bones so it can be difficult to get natural collagen.

Collagen is actually crucial in muscle growth as well. Collagen is found in connective tissue. Connective tissues are in almost everything including muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.

Aging as well as continuous stress (hello running) will cause degrading and loss of collagen.  So even if you’re sedentary, as you age you lose collagen.

So How Does Collagen Help Recover from Workouts?

First, Collagen Promotes a Healthy Response to Inflammation: 

Runners are putting stress on their bodies. It doesn’t matter if you are running 10 miles a day or 2. Stress causes inflammation. After a hard workout, you damage the muscle, and collagen will help create a healthy response to repair the muscle to build stronger! If your body continues to break down the muscle, you will find yourself injured.

Second, Collagen can Help Reduce Injury to the Ligaments and Tendons:

Did you know ligaments are made up almost entirely of collagen? I didn’t know until recently! Ligaments are actually strands of fibrous connective tissue comprised almost exclusively of collagen.

Consuming collagen helps to optimize the rebuilding of ligaments when they are strained!

Third, Joint Health:

If you have ever told a “nonrunner” that you run chances are they will talk about it being bad for your knees or joints. Running does put pressure and strain on your joints.

Collagen is one of the building blocks of the cartilage found in joints  Cartiledge is the which is the tissue that protects your joints.

Fourth, Bone Health:

Runners put a lot of stress on their bones. I am no stranger to bone injuries, and it’s important to keep your bones healthy.  Along with Collagen, I also take a Calcium and Vitamin D supplement.

Anyway, calcium is not the only component to build strong bones.  What most people don’t know is that collagen makes up about 1/3 of bone.  It is the protein that gives bone their flexibility.

Finally, the Protein:

I’m not one to say high protein all of the time.  I think protein has its place in someone’s diet just like both carbohydrates or fat.  (As a public health major in college, I have taken several courses in health and nutrition).  It is vital to get food after a run or workout.  I used to be not great at doing so.  It wasn’t that I avoided it, it was more that I was running late and didn’t put in the time or effort.

Depending on the time of the year I like to make smoothies or add to my coffee. Right now I’ve been making this smoothie after a run which has worked out well.

These are just a few reasons I take Vital Proteins directly after a run.  Since I’ve been using Vital Proteins, I’ve found myself to be recovering faster after hard workouts or races.

Thank you to Vital Proteins for allowing me to be a brand ambassador! 

Other Collagen Posts You Might be Interested In: 
Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin
Top Benefits of Collagen
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Questions for you:
Do you have anything post workout?
Have you tried Collagen before? 

Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin

Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin

As most people know by, now, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  In exchange for a few posts a month, I get to try different Vital Proteins.  I’m not paid to post about them, but I appreciate the opportunity to work with a brand I’ve seen so much success with even before I was an ambassador!

One of the most common questions I’ve received is the differences between Collagen Peptides and Collagen Gelatin.  Sometimes you will see gelatin and collagen used interchangeably.  Both come from the same sources like bones or tissues, but they’re not the same thing.

Vital proteins collagen gelatin

An easy way to remember the difference between collagen and gelatin is how they’re processed. The processing method is what gives collagen and gelatin different texture.

What are the Similarities?

Both collagen and gelatin come from the same sources.  This means they have identical amino acid profiles.  Both have many benefits, including supporting joints, improving sleep, and even anti-inflammatory.  They both strengthen hair, skin, and nails, and even help digestion.  You can see a full list of benefits here.

What is Gelatin?

I personally have less experience with gelatin, but this month I decided to try the beef gelatin.  I didn’t realize (because I didn’t read) that it was unflavored so I thought it would taste like beef! It’s 100% flavorless, colorless, and odorless.

Vital proteins collagen gelatin

Gelatin is collagen that is boiled and dried.  It appears just like collagen peptide powder.  However, when it’s mixed with hot liquids, it turns to jello like substance.  It’s useful for thickening smoothies and can be made into homemade gummy bears (something I’m trying to do now).

Gelatin is Better for Your Gut:

If you started taking Vital Proteins and Collagen for gut and intestine issues, gelatin is better than peptides for your gut.  Gelatin is a thick gel that coats the stomach is slower to digest than regular collagen.

Digestive Health:

Because Gelatin is a gel-like texture, it absorbs water and helps keep the intestinal tract moving.  In turn, this can help relieve issues like bloating and constipation.  Gelatin can also help improve digestion and nutrient absorption.

But What are the Side Effects?

When first adding gelatin to a diet, some people may also experience side effects with digestion such as gas and bloating. Like anything, it’s important to add slowly and start with a serving each day.  You don’t start running high mileage after a break, and you don’t need to go crazy with collagen either.

So What is Best for You?  Gelatin or Collagen?

There really isn’t a “wrong” choice, and it all depends on what you need.  It comes down to how you want to use the product and what kind of texture and consistency you’re looking for.

Collagen Peptides are faster dissolving.  They both also dissolve in hot or cold liquids.  The collagen peptides can be used in more of a variety of foods or drinks.

Gelatin must be added to a hot substance to fully dissolve and become “jello.”  The health benefit of gelatin is taking longer to digest in the body and coating the intestine.  It’s better for someone with a leaky gut.

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Recovering with Collagen Protein
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Thank you to Vital Proteins for your support!

Questions for you:

Have you used collagen?  Have you used gelatin? 

Have you ever made homemade jello or gummies?

This is something I’m perfecting now and hopefully I’ll have a post about it soon.

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