NYCM Training: Peak Week

NYCM Training: Peak Week

I seemed to bounce back well from my half last weekend.  It was nice to get quality miles in with just a few weeks before New York.  This was my peak weak for the race, and it was my most productive week of training.  So that’s a win in itself.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 miles (6:17, 6:15, 6:18) with a 1-mile jog in between (total miles with warmup/cooldown 10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Heroes to Hero 5k (19:12) with warm up/cool down 9 miles
Sunday: 20 mile Long Run with Skip
Total: 59 miles


This is what you could consider my “peak” week.  I could use an extra few training weeks to make me feel “more confident” but a good friend of mine, reminded me all distance runners say they could use a few more weeks.  I would like another 2 weeks to add one more 20 milers in but that time doesn’t exist.

I mentioned, on my Crawlin’ Crab race recap, but I have a lot of lingering doubts for the marathon.  My primary goal is to start and finish another marathon healthy.

Many people have told me “sub 3” is easily attainable, but if it were easy, I would have done it.  My last 3 half marathons have all been around 1:30 which shows I’m not ready to maintain that for a 3:00 marathon. Yes, the weather has been a factor in all three, but it isn’t a factor that is going to allow me to run the same pace for 26.2 miles on a harder course. New York is a hard course, and my goal still remains to start and finish the marathon healthy.

I won’t say it’s hard to blog, it isn’t, but it’s been hard to explain to people I just want to finish a marathon healthy.  That isn’t something that comes easy to me. Finishing another marathon with any time, or pace would be awesome.

Workout Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 1-mile jog in between.

The workout went well.  I wanted to get something faster on my legs and decided mile repeats were good.  The two marathons I did train for, I didn’t do much speed. I didn’t many races either, and I know that is why I showed up stale to both races.

Heroes to Hero 5k: 19:12

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My goal was to keep improving.  Last year, I ran an 18:41 and I knew I wasn’t there.  It was raining during the race, and it was cold enough, with a slight headwind, that I found my Goretex jacket to work well.  Since it’s a point to point 5k, we got more headwind then not.  That’s okay, and I enjoy the course because it’s fun to “race somewhere.” I ran 6:16, 6:15, 6:06.  It’s the second negative split 5k I’ve had in a long time, which isn’t usual. I wish it had an extra mile because I was catching the 2nd place woman.

Long Run:

Last week was my first and only long, easy, run.  I was excited to go out with good friend Skip, who is training for the Richmond full.

Next week, I’ll be running the Atlantic City half.  As of now, it looks similar to the April Fools conditions of rainy and windy, but we will see by Sunday.  I would like to see where I’m at fitness wise (not in the heat) so it will be a welcomed change after extremely hot races.

Posts from the Week:

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30.02)

Hoka One One Cavu

Some Runs are Terrible

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

What is your favorite and least favorite weather to race in? 


Hoka One One Cavu

Hoka One One Cavu

The Hoka Cavu is a new model from Hoka.  It’s one of their lightest models that can be used for racing, training, or workouts.  It’s quickly become one of my more favorite running shoes.

If you are looking for a “beginner” Hoka shoe, the Cavu, as well as the Clifton 5 and Mach, are good options depending on your foot type.

The Hoka One One Cavu has a broad range of use.  It can be used for daily runs, to workouts, and races.  I don’t think I would use it as my go-to 5k shoe, but it’s a solid marathon shoe.

In February, Hoka launched three new lighter models in their “Profly line.”  It included the Cavu, Mach, and Evelon. The Cavu is designed to be the fastest of the shoes.  I’ve used it for both workouts and daily runs, and I prefer it for workouts.

Hoka one one cavu shoe review


Like many running shoes now, the Cavu has an all mesh upper.  This makes the fit better for someone with wider feet or someone with bunions.  It fits very similar to the Mach, but with the seamless mesh, fits wider feet. I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and the size 10.5 has fit fine.

Hoka one one cavu shoe review


The Hoka One One Cavu is designed to be a fast shoe.  Personally, it’s too much shoe for me on race day. However, it’s a lot less shoe than the Clifton or Bondi.  If you train in the Clifton, both the Cavu or even Mach are shoes to look at one race day.

All three of the Hoka “Profly shoes” use new “Profly” technology.

What is that? It is designed with a softer heel for shock absorption and a firmer forefoot for propulsion and energy return. The Cavu has a much softer heel. However, the forefront is firm.  It’s a much more responsive shoe than the Clifton and even the Mach.  Like any Hoka model, it still uses the “rocker” technology that you feel like you are being propelled forward.

Keep in mind, how you run will play a significant effect on how you feel the technology in the shoe.  That isn’t a bad thing but those who run on the forefront might feel a firmer shoe, and those towards the heel will feel a softer version.

Hoka one one cavu shoe review

Hoka One One Cavu Conclusion:

In all, I think the Hoka Cavu is a great choice for workouts, and I enjoy it.  In fact, right now it’s one of my staple shoes, and I find myself wanting to run it more often than not.  In fact, I believe I have already put over 150 miles in them. It is light and durable and a great racing shoe for anyone already using a substantial Hoka model.

Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin, New Balance 1080, On Cloudace

Workouts: New Balance 1400, Nike Fly

Races: Nike Fly, Nike LT Racer

Questions for you:

What shoe do you race in?

What is your favorite running shoe? 

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? 

August Training

August Training

August flew by.

The summer flew by, but I’ll have a post about that another day.

August was a great month, and I enjoyed my life both training and not training.  Even staying healthy, I raced less than I have most Augusts.  In fact, I didn’t do a road race in almost 2 months!  I’ll have a summer recap post in the next few weeks, but August capped off one of the best summers I’ve had in a very long time.  Why?  Because I chose to make it the best.  Instead of doing the same things, I chose to experience things I never have.

Miles Run: Around 215
Range of Paces: 6:05-18:00-untimed
Underarmour Killington 25k
Rest Days: 8
Shortest Run: 30 minutes
Longest Run: 17 miles (longest time on my feet Killington 25k)


It still feels surreal that August is now over.   To be honest, August didn’t really go as I had planned at all.  I was hoping to do more races, specifically 5ks but I didn’t do any.  Every Friday I went to bed thinking, this will be the weekend I race but every weekend something popped up.  It’s not a big deal, but I have no idea where my speed is right now.  I would like to hope for around 20 minutes or so. Now that I’ve run a hard half marathon in about 1:30, the internet tells me I’m more like in 19:24 shape (I just plugged it into the McMillian Calculator).

I was happy, I was able to fit the Killington 25k into my life.  It was a quick but nice breath of fresh air.  This past August was the healthiest I’ve been for several Augusts so I can’t complain too much.  It’s been difficult for me to juggle personal life (military life), with my own running but I’ve come to terms with that is ok.

I’m currently in the process of adding several races to my fall schedule.  Some of my favorite and several new races too.  I don’t know how long we will live on the East Coast for (I love New Jersey) so I would like to enjoy a few new to me races, and get back to a few, this fall.  I’ve slowly started to accommodate getting back to running longer road races.  Running a 3-hour trail race “just to finish” is very different than racing a road race to aim for a PR. To get back there, I have to put the time, effort, and of course the mental drive too.

Posts from the Month:


Underarmour Horizon BPF Trail Running Shoe Review
Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review
UnderArmour Sonic HOVR Shoe Review
New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review


Hiking Shark River Park
Walk Out a Mile and It Down Pours


Running Isn’t Everything
Why You Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes
Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Running Shoes

Questions for you:

How was your training in August?

Are you training for anything in the fall? 

Training: Down Week and half marathon

Training: Down Week and half marathon

We all need a rest week.  It’s a week easier said than done but one of the most important weeks for training.  From Sunday-Saturday was mine.  I fully rested Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Coming off Killington trail 25k, I knew I needed it. Secondly, I ran the Boothbay half marathon just 8 days later which is a relatively high injury risk due to lack of time.  More about that in a bit.

Monday: Rest+ ART with Dr. Craig of Dr. Kemonosh
Tuesday: Easy 30 minutes
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Boothbay Half Marathon+ 7 mile for a total of 20 miles


The easy runs were just that, easy.  They were uneventful, and the humidity made it tough to get any sort of speed.  I was happy to plan a rest day last week because the weather was so hot.
I took water with me for the 60-minute runs, and I’m glad I did. I was never a NUUN fan until this year, but I find if I add twice the amount suggested, they taste ok…just don’t do that with the caffeine ones ha!

I’ve posted about ART and getting Graston before.  Usually, when I’m in the thick of training for something but my good friend Dr. Craig was able to fit me into an appointment (I’m not sponsored and pay full price like everyone else…they do take some insurances if you’re local though). 

Boothbay Half: (1:29.50)

Typically I go down and run the RnR half marathon in my hometown of Virginia Beach, but this year my husband and I decided to go to Maine.  I don’t know how long we will live on the east coast for, maybe several years maybe not, and Maine has always been on my bucket list. (He gets to fly to Bangor on occasion).  So we decided to drive up to Maine while stopping in Massachusetts and New Hampshire too.

The Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon was a no-frills race.  It was $55, and they didn’t close down roads plus there were parts on trail.  The race director says at the start of the race: “Not sure if this is mentioned on the course map but there are parts on trail so please watch out for loose rock.”  I was not expecting that at all!  There weren’t t-shirts but I was surprised to see medals!

Boothbay harborfest half marathon

I didn’t know how I would recover if we would even get to Maine, but I did want to get a good gauge of my fitness.  I knew of the race, but didn’t really make any commitment to thinking of running until just a few days out.  The course itself is very hilly and I found it to be the hardest half marathon I’ve done.  It was almost never flat.

I am extremely pleased with the race and I finished with another 7 miles to make it 20 miles of hills, a distance on terrain I never get where I live in NJ.  (There are sections of NJ that are hilly but they are further away).


The week was what I needed both mentally and physically.  The recovery in the middle kept me from not hurting myself.  I do believe if I jumped right back into training, I would have injured myself.  A lesson it’s taken me a few injuries and years to learn.

Posts from the Week:

 Underarmour Killington 25k Race Recap

Underarmour Horizon BPF Trail Running Shoe Review

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Maine?

What did you do over Labor Day? 

Training: Workouts and Trails

Training: Workouts and Trails

Another week of training down?

I received constructive feedback about how boring my training logs had become.  When the majority of your blog is about running, I guess that is never good.   So I thought I would dive more in depth into my logs each week.  I don’t get paid to blog about my training but if it helps someone else then fabulous.  Or if you’re like me, and nosy, than also equally as fabulous.  I’m not a coach and not being coached.

One reason I have blogged less and less about training is that a lot of people don’t read posts. With the rise of instagram runners, a lot of blogs including my personal favorites have died off.  We all have lives and like I said on Wednesday, it doesn’t bother me but I don’t ever plan to become an instagrammer that writes a novel with each photo.   That being said, I have nothing to hide and as someone who works in run specialty, I do know half of my readers are people I “know in real life” so lying and hiding life would be weird.

On another running note, I will say I have decided on a fall race and once I have things set in stone I will share.

Monday: Easy 3 miles running
Tuesday: 10 Miles easy with Alexis
Wednesday: 3X1 mile 6:30 pace (warmup 2/cool down 2)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes running
Saturday: Killington 25k (3:20)
Sunday: Rest

Easy Runs:

I run easy and usually either run without a watch on a route I already know (such as 3 miles).  I just put it on timer mode and run for X amount of minutes.  I have no idea pace or distance on the timed runs, but I typically average the miles to be about 9 minute miles.  They are usually boring, uneventful, and I just leave and go for run.

Wednesday: 3X1 mile (averaging 6:30 pace) with ½ mile jog (no stopping)

I would have liked this workout to be closer to 6:15 pace but my body didn’t have it.  I could tell I was tired but I had read something Sara Hall posted about: it wasn’t the easy workouts that made us stronger but the hard workouts that we didn’t feel great.  I’m not  taking stop breaks and just jogging through (very easy) because I do plan to build fitness for longer races (IE: not a 5 or 10k).

To be clear, I didn’t feel “injury bad” but more just tired, and my legs were heavy.  We all have those days and it’s nothing to cry or be ashamed about. The weather was more humid than it has been but I was happy to get the workout done.  Of course, it stinks for a workout not to go perfectly, but I’m not devastated.

While 400s are still just my favorite workout, I don’t want to find myself too stale by doing them all of the time.  I am the person that could do the same workout week after week and not get bored of it.  Swimming the mile in college gave me the “ability” to stay mindless…but I know it’s important to mix it up.

Killington 25k: (3:20):

Killington is known as the “Beast of the East” and I can see why.  I was over 20 minutes slower at Killington than running the 25k in Colorado at 9000 feet of elevation.  The terrain is much different and there is no way to compare.  It was the physical task I’ve ever done and the terrain was either 40% incline or decline.  There were sections of the race that became “only” 20% incline and I thought I was getting a nice break.

underarmour killington elevation chart

I am a terrible downhill runner.  It’s something I know I could get better with practice, but right now it’s very weak for me.  I was passed by dozens of people on downhills, only to pass them on the uphill.  Trail running has taught me, if I ran a “just uphill race”, I would probably do pretty good at it.  For me, the hardest part was going down a short decline around 13.5 that we ended up running through almost knee deep mud.  Luckily, I didn’t injure myself but I can tell you…my quads are very very sore.

I am proud of my accomplishment.  I run, walked, crawled, jogged, climbed, to the finish line and I couldn’t have asked anymore from myself.  Running the two trail races has taught me a lot about myself and I am so glad I decided to run both this year!

Posts from the Week:

Getting Lost at Shark River Park

Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin

Running Isn’t Everything

Questions for you:

What is the hardest race you’ve run?

Do you have any fall goal races?

Training: Cranking Along and Another Trail Race

Training: Cranking Along and Another Trail Race

Another week of summer down. It’s hard to believe we are now entering “late August” and the fall looms right around the corner.  Anyway, last week was similar to the previous few.  I rested, I ran, and running was once again not a priority.  That being said, I had two of my best workouts of the summer.  Even though I haven’t been my racing, my fitness is coming back.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 17 miles


The humidity has wiped me out!  Yes, it’s summer so it’s hot but I’ve found myself wanting more rest days than usual.

Wednesday: 12X400s (average 5:58 pace) with 400 recovery

I have been trying to do workouts more over the last few months.  Some weeks, it works out and some it does not, but I am trying to be as consistent as both my body and schedule allow.  I pleasantly surprised myself and had a great workout.  I felt strong the entire time, and it’s by far my fastest workout since early Spring.

Sunday: 17 miles Progression

I’ve been enjoying runs that start off easier and I slowly pick it up.  The first half was around 8-8:15 pace and I slowly worked down with my last mile at 6:42.  I felt good the entire time.  I haven’t run 17 miles in almost 2 years (I’ve run a total of 17 miles but not 17 miles).


Next Week I’m going up to Killington, Vermont to run the Underarmour 25k.  It’s part of the race series that I ran Colorado last month.  Even though the elevation is much lower, I’ve heard this is the hardest and most steep, technical of the races, so my goal is to finish.

I’m looking forward to skipping town for the weekend (although it looks like I might do that for a few weekends coming up).

This summer has been great and I’ve given myself the freedom to do whatever I’ve wanted.

Rest for no other reason than I don’t want to run?

Run a trail race?

Workout when I feel like it?

I am looking forward to the busyness and routine that the fall brings but the Summer has been one to remember.

Posts from the Week:

Why you Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes
Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review
Walk a Mile and it Down Pours

Questions for you:
Have you ever done a trail race?
Are you training for anything?

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