Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Winter’s winding down…

I can’t believe winter training is over already! Despite the cold and the blizzard it went by so quickly…

Tonight was our final workout and it was a perfect night for it. We got to celebrate the great races and PRs of those who ran at Rock ‘n Roll DC this past weekend (Jennie slashed 3 minutes off of hers!) and got to see the sunset from the track for the first time since the fall.

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Tonight we did 400s at 15 sec faster than HM pace and 800s alternating between HM race pace and 15 sec faster than race pace – and my 800s averaged 8:59 🙂 Even though my HM goal pace is only 10:00… whoops! It felt surprisingly good to push even though I was expecting a bit of an easier evening. Rebecca pushed me and I’m glad she did. You don’t get better by staying in your comfort zone 🙂

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Foggy Run

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Sometimes quiet solitude is exactly what one needs.

Despite the fog and, later, chilly rain, it was an unseasonably warm night – perfect for a track workout. As soon as I got home from work, I changed and ran right back out the door – it was one of those times where I just felt like I needed to run. No reason other than it was too perfect out to pass up a run.

I spent half an hour running by myself in the dark, focusing on my form, and only being interrupted by the sounds of my breathing, my feet skimming along the rubber track, rush hour traffic barely crawling along the highway next to the track, and the occasional fire engine off in the distance. It was exactly the kind of run I needed.


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Running in the Rain

It’s funny how something so simple can completely change your day.

Yesterday was a shitty day, for a whole host of reasons. I’ll spare the details (they’re really not all that interesting), but it ended wonderfully.

To try and console myself midday, I turned to a shit ton of sugar. Hey, sugar = carbs, right? Just go with it. At least it was fuel for my track session.

judgmental bitch.

judgmental bitch.

I got to the track extra early – the traffic gods were on my side – said hello to everyone (it’s one of the few times the HM and FM groups have been at the same place at the same time this summer), but mostly kept to myself and waited for our session to get underway. It was sunny and hot, but not humid, when I got there. Not too shabby for the first week of August.

Our workout was simple: 2 miles at HM pace, 5 min of recovery, and 2 miles at 10k pace. I ran the first two or so laps with a guy who has been battling injury, which worked out surprisingly well because it kept me from going out too quick. He fell off after the second or third lap, and I ran the rest of the workout by myself. Usually I prefer to run track workouts with someone, but this was the perfect workout and the perfect night to just run by myself and get lost in the zone.

My target for the HM segment was 10:15 pace, and a 9:45 pace for the 10k segment. And dammit if I wasn’t on target! With negative splits, to boot! *happy dance*

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I was feeling damn good at the end of the session, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Throughout the workout, the clouds moved in, providing us a rare bit of shade on an otherwise scorching track. Just as I was finishing up my cool down, I felt a few little drops of rain. Not surprising – they were calling for scattered showers. I walked out from the track to start my easy jog back, and a few more drops came down; then a few giant, cold drops plunked down on my head. Another 20 seconds – the deluge. It was like being at Brooklyn all over again.

For about 7 minutes it poured so hard I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but I couldn’t help but smile the entire jog back to the car 🙂 The rain came down so hard that the road began flooding – a perfect excuse to aim my brand new shoes for each and every puddle 🙂

It’s amazing how something as simple as an awesome workout, running in the rain, and splashing in puddles can completely turn around an otherwise craptacular day 🙂

Mother Nature was quite accommodating, though – the rain stopped just as I got back to my car.

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Summer Running

Since the weekend, much of the east coast has been slogged in under some miserably hot, humid air. It’s funny how even a slight uptick in the heat and/or humidity – no less both – can make an easy run feel anything but.

Last week was a cutback for me and my group. We had built up for 4 long runs, and the easier week was certainly welcomed by all. Because of the pressure in my tibia, I had taken all last week off. My PT cleared me to run this weekend – if any only if there was no pain. So Saturday morning I woke up at 4:55am, not quite so bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, and took my new shoes out for a spin. The trail was unusually packed for that time of morning, but I suspect that’s because it was almost exactly 3 months until race day! I’m sure lots of people were starting their 12-week training programs, while others were trying to get in the miles before the temps rose too far.

My marathon group, along with the half marathon group and 12 miler group were there, running all sorts of different distances. I had originally intended to do 10 miles, but Jennie said she was only doing 8, which sounded like a brilliant plan.

The new shoes gave me some troubles in the first few miles, causing an old shin splint to flare up for the first time in several years – but there was no bone pain, so I kept going. We were holding a 10:40-ish pace, which would normally be perfectly comfortable, but the humidity was so oppressive I just couldn’t hold that for the duration. I felt so silly asking Jennie if we can slow down at mile 3, but I just knew there was no way that I could maintain that.

When we got to the first water stop at 3.3 miles, I was soaking wet. We stopped in the shade for a few to grab a drink and cool down a bit, then headed on our way. We stopped again at the same spot on the return trip. I had brought a gu with me but decided against using it. I could’ve used the electrolytes in it, but I also wanted to do a bit of a modified depletion run (modified because I did have a small brekkie before the run). It was definitely one of the tougher runs of my life, averaging only 11:04 and having to walk for a few in mile 6, but we got it done.

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As hot as Saturday was, my friend Lauren was a total beast and ran the New York City Triathlon on Sunday – a day which was probably even hotter and more humid. It was her first triathlon and she totally rocked it!

My mom’s new 11k training group also started Sunday and she went out there and totally killed it in conditions that left me sitting indoors all day. Woohoo!!

bikram runningAlthough the temps were technically lower yesterday, it didn’t feel any less oppressive out there. My group was running a ladder workout at a local high school. Unlike our usual track, though, it actually had a little bit of shade on it (hallelujah!). Of course the night we’re supposed to be running specific paces, I left my Garmin at home. Ugh. But it was okay. The distances were set and I just decided to run by perceived effort, which was probably a better idea anyway given the sweltering conditions. It was hard, no doubt, but we did awesome. I can feel it in my glutes today 🙂

In between each ladder segment we ran 400 m recovery – and in between every ladder step and recovery lap I stopped and drank water. I was a little concerned about the dreaded sloshing, but it was so hot I was practically sweating it out before it hit my stomach…

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Luckily last night some storms came through (just after I got into my car!) and cleared out the oppressive humidity – it should be a good week for running! Tonight’s plan is cross training and strength while watching the Tour de France (so sad about Tejay… he was doing so amazingly well), and tomorrow I’m going to take another new pair of shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire) out for a spin to see if maybe they’ll do the trick.


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I’m Back!

And just in time for National Running Day 😉

national-running-dayLast night I went out for my first run since Brooklyn – and, naturally, it rained. It was an unseasonably cold 59 and drizzly, but it still felt amazing to be out there.

The track has never been something that I thought I’d enjoy, but yesterday it was just calling my name. I truly never thought I’d crave the track!

I did a nice easy warmup mile, followed by a cruising-pace ladder workout. The plan was to run easy, just to get back into the groove of things, but apparently my legs had other plans! Every repeat was under 9:30 pace, with most closer to 9:00 – and my 1600 repeat was my fastest at 8:40! Go figure 😛

All in all I got in a very satisfying 5.75 miles. Not too shabby!

Plans for marking national running day are still in the air, but I’ll find time to do something today 🙂

Why do you run? 

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I also run because I love the feeling of accomplishment – both short term and long term! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I’d be training for a marathon. Running has taught me that nearly anything is possible, if only you’re willing to work your ass off for it.

How are you celebrating National Running Day? 


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Cold Night at the Track

I truly never thought I’d be excited about or calling 30 degrees warm, but it was a good night to be at the track.

We did 3×1200 repeats at tempo pace. Based on last year’s race results, that should be somewhere around a 10:00 min mile.

Well, it was supposed to be at tempo pace. Apparently I still suck at pacing.

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The difference in the net time per repeat and the pace was because I started out in lane 6, then moved to lane 3-4, and ended in lane 2.

It was probably a bit harder than I should have been doing – I could feel my mouth getting thick with lactic acid and had to walk at least a portion of each recovery lap – but overall it felt surprisingly good. It didn’t feel like an 8:20 pace. I don’t think I could’ve kept it up for 2-3 miles nonstop, but it’s nice to feel like I’m heading in the right direction. Maybe that sub-30:00 5k is in my future after all…

My knees felt surprisingly good considering how awful they look. I took an extra day of rest yesterday because they were still achey and stiff, which seems to have been a good call. My achilles was still tight but didn’t give me any trouble on the run (wish I could say the same about afterwards, however).

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On the bright side – we’re in the home stretch to spring! No, not because of some grumpy rodent – because daylight saving time starts in just over a month!! We spring forward here in the States on March 8th!! *happy dance* Although I’m really rooting for the warmth of spring, I’ll happily accept more daylight hours as a consolation prize.


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Winter Weather Blues

I finally made peace with the cold. I have lots of warm layers to bundle up in when it’s cold, vaseline for my face, mittens large enough for a small animal to live in… But this snow/sleet/ice nonsense is for the birds!

Last weekend I was supposed to run 8 miles, which worked out perfectly because the RR club had an 8 mile race planned for Sunday! So rather than running with my training group on Saturday, I planned to run on Sunday. I got up, got dressed, rolled out, and headed out at 7:45am. I stopped in town at 8:00am to use the restroom before heading to the start area (there are no bathrooms there and I do not squat in bushes) and just happened to check my phone – to find out that the race had been cancelled, along with tons of warnings to stay home because of ice.

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Ice? What ice? It wasn’t even raining where I was. Well, if you saw the news last weekend, you know what ice. I turned around and headed home (barely hit any ice but it was apparently a nightmare everywhere else – glad I stopped and checked my phone or else I would’ve been stranded like so many people were). No long run for me.

Tuesday I got out for a great track session, but because I had tweaked my achilles a bit at last week’s track session, I took it easy and just did the minimum workout. Either way, it was a great workout – each of my 800s was below an 8:30 pace!! Holy moley! And I thought I had held back my pace, too…

Today I decided to go out for an easy run because *dun dun dunnn* more snow is coming in tonight! One of my mom’s coworkers said the trail was fine, but he must’ve been there before Wednesday afternoon’s snow moved in because the trail was anything but fine! *sadface* I made it .2 mi before I decided it was just going to be a slushy, slippery, frustrating act in futility.

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THANKFULLY, though, my Yaktrax came today!! Not in time to get my run in, but I can’t wait to try them out on Sunday! We’re supposed to get some snow and ice overnight (in fact, it just started snowing), so I’m probably not going to make it to my group run tomorrow morning. At this point, it’s just easier to plan on a Sunday run. I’ve been wanting to get a pair for a while because once it snows, the trail tends to stay snowy/icy until spring, but have been dragging my feet. Well, I have two half marathon coming up and I’m not going to be unprepared because of my own stubbornness.

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I am so ridiculously excited to try them out! I’m hoping these work well on the packed slush/snow on the trail.

If you noticed, I mentioned above that I have TWO half marathons coming up. Yep! I got into the Brooklyn Half Marathon!! It sold out in less than 8 hours this year, so I’m super glad I got in. Registering via NYRR was super easy – I’d definitely consider doing more of their races if I lived closer (and if train tickets weren’t so expensive).

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I’ve never (knowingly) been to Brooklyn before, so I’m really looking forward to not only racing in a new location, but seeing a whole new place! The race ends on the boardwalk at Coney Island, so I’m really hoping for good weather so I can check out Coney Island after the race.

And in other good news – I booked my trip to Florida!! Ahh, warm, sunny Florida 😎 Being the total nerd that I am, I have already mapped out runs and created route sheets for my stay… and I promise, I won’t complain about the heat or humidity.

How is winter treating you this year?? 

Are you getting all of your runs in? 

What are you doing to make winter running more bearable/feasible?