Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Spin Playlist

What a fun spin class this morning!  Great energy!

We Are Family           Sister Sledge                          3:37   Warm up
It’s Raining Men        The Weather Girls                3:34   Drills, pedal strokes
Macho Man                The Village People                3:28   1st build, increase every 30”
Applause                     Lady Gaga                              3:32    Faster with 30” jumps
Spiderwebs                 No Doubt                               4:28    2nd build, faster during chorus
We R Who We R        Ke$ha                                     3:27    Mix of seated/standing climb
SexyBack                     Justin Timberlake               4:03    20” jumps/10” jumps
Supermassive Black Hole     Muse                          3:32    Recovery and start next climb
Enter Sandman         Metallica                                 5:32    60-80rpm, seated/standing
Monster Mash           Bobby “Boris” Pickett          3:19    Standing Climb
Some Nights               Fun.                                         4:37     Rolling hills to the finish
Love Somebody         Maroon 5                                3:49    Cool down
Millenium                   Robbie Williams                   4:06    Stretch

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Race Report: CCM Relay

The CCR Flyers were back in action yesterday at the Cape Cod Marathon Relay!

Leg 1 – 3.05 miles – Me (22:14, 7:10s)
Leg 2 – 6.15 miles – Drew
Leg 3 – 5.7 miles – Tiffany
Leg 4 – 6.0 miles – Me (44:41, 7:25s)
Leg 5 – 5.7 miles – Eric C

We finished in 3:15:13.  It averages out to 7:27 miles. 
9th overall out of 189 teams.
3rd of 110 teams in the Mixed Open division.
I'm so proud of my teammates!

Sidenote: The Sippewissett hills was one of the hardest six miles I have ever run.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


He did it!!!

Overall, my dad had a great day.  Pretty consistent pace.  He stuck with Chris almost the whole way.  They worked together slowing each other down and keeping each other company.  It was awesome to see.

Congratulations!  Welcome to the 13.1 Club!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Daddo’s Journey to a Half Marathon

Timeline of Events in Daddo's Running Career:

10/7/12 - Watched daughter run the Chicago Marathon

10/9/12 (approx.) - Got off the couch

11/18/12 - Went to the track and ran a mile

3/24/13 - Ran a 5k

Summer 2013 - Ran the Falmouth Road Race course

Up next:

Cape Cod Marathon Half TOMORROW!!!!!  13.1 He's ready!  Good luck!  You can do it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Race Nutrition

“Would homemade mac and cheese be a good thing to eat the night before my race?”

Above is a text from my dad.  He is new to running and is signed up for his first half marathon this upcoming weekend.  My dad has always been fairly athletic but for some reason when it comes to running he asks the weirdest, common sense questions.  Another one that stick in my head, “Are those GU things supposed to help you run better?”

I’m getting off track here.  I am not a nutritionist but here are 5 tips I gave my dad about race nutrition based on my own road racing experience:

Tip #1 - Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

When in training, you should be drinking more water than normal.  A general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces.  In the days leading up to a big race, continue with the same hydration plan.  Drinking extra water could actually lead to drinking too much water, which can dilute your electrolytes and have a negative effect on the body and your performance.  Plan on drinking about 16 ounces 2 hours before your race to allow adequate time to process the excess fluids and drink a small amount of water right before the start.

Tip #2 - Eat a good meal the night before.

The typical pre-race dinner is pasta.  Nothing fancy.  Noodles, tomato sauce, maybe some meat and a salad.  I would not recommend homemade mac and cheese the night before.  Why?  It’s heavy.  And a lot of cheese.  Stay away from too much dairy.  Another tip: stick to regular pasta noodles.  This is one of the only times I will say avoid whole grain and the kind with extra fiber added.

Tip #3 - Don’t try anything new race morning.

Stick with what you know.  Experiment with your pre-long run meals early on in your training to see what works for you.  My go to race morning breakfast is a banana, granola bar, and Greek yogurt.  If you don’t usually drink coffee before a morning run, I wouldn’t recommend downing a cup on your way to the start line.  Train your body to run and train your body to eat.

Tip #4 - Practice your race fueling.

During a half marathon, I take GU at miles 3 and 8.  This is what I am used to and this is what I like.  If you practice with GU and you find out the race is offering Powerbar gel packets, either bring your own or buy some Powerbar gel packet to test out during some of your long runs.  I always bring my own.  Some races don’t offer it early on in the race and by the time I’d get to their GU stop, it’d be too late.  Check the labels.  Some flavors have no caffeine, others have 2x caffeine.  The double caffeine was a nightmare for me.  Ask my friend Lizzie.  And a note to my dad: GU isn’t supposed to make you run “better,” it helps feed your muscles and body the proper nutrients it needs to keep performing.
When it comes to race hydration, the best advice I got when I ran my first marathon was to stop at every single water station.  Even if you’re not thirsty, you’re body will thank you later.  I don’t stop at nearly as much during a half marathon.  My hydration during shorter races greatly depends on the weather, humidity, and how I’m feeling.

Tip #5 - Replenish after the race.

When you cross the finish line, it’s easy to start celebrating and forget about what your body just went though.  After a race, your muscles are depleted and need refueling.  Drink lots of water and a sports drink with electrolytes.  Your body needs protein and carbs.  Chocolate milk is an excellent choice.  You can also get protein and carbs from food such as a yogurt and a bagel.  Eggs and toast.  A protein shake and a granola bar.  Take care of yourself after the race and you will thank yourself later on in the recovery process.

That’s all for today.  Good luck!

Friday, October 18, 2013


It was a day of recharging physically and mentally.

Sarah & I were up at 5am to race to Welfleet to catch the sunrise.  It started out very cloudy and a bit drizzly but the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful dunes hike.

While in Welfleet, we stopped at the boulangerie for croissants and tartlettes before heading to the Chatham Bars Inn for 60 minute massages.

Perfect day.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"I've learned that..."

"I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement.  It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."

~John Hanc

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"It's important to remember..."

"It's important to remember that each foot strike carries you forward, not backward.  And every time you put on your running shoes you are different in some way than you were the day before."

~John 'The Penguin' Bingham, Going with the Flow, The Penguin Chronicles Archive

Monday, October 7, 2013

One Year Later

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I ran the Chicago Marathon.

In 2012, I began running April 1st before committing to a 16-week marathon training schedule.  Last summer I was focused.  I ran a lot, ate a lot, and slept a lot.  One of the hardest things I've done in my life.

So worth it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: It’s the Real Deal

What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, DOMS is a dull, aching sensation over a trained muscle group that begins the day following exercise.  DOMS peaks about 48 hours after exercise and usually takes several days to resolve.

DOMS related pain is usually due to muscle fiber damage.  The extent of inflammations and muscle damage depends on the intensity, volume, and type of activity.  One other major factor is the current exercise level and training status of the individual.


·      Muscular stiffness
·      Tenderness
·      Swelling
·      Limited range of motion (due to edema or pain)
·      Low grade ache to severe pain

DOMS vs. Injuries

Acute injuries will be felt during or just after an exercise session.  Pain is usually sudden and can be easily localized.  For acute injuries try RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) and/or see your primary care physician.


Treatment for DOMS is very limited but there are some things you can do to help aid recovery after a hard workout or race:

·      Keep Moving – The longer you sit, the stiffer you get!  Go for a walk or just get up and move to keep the blood flowing to those unhappy muscles.

·      Aquatic Exercise – Try Burdenko!  The pool is an excellent way to recover.  Escape from gravity to increase flexibility and eliminate soreness.

·      Stretch – Don’t forget to stretch!  It’s easy to forget with all post-race festivities but try to get in a cool down jog followed by static stretches of all major muscle groups.

·      Foam Roll – It’s a love/hate relationship.  If you can’t afford a post-race massage, foam rolling is a great alternative.  Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique to help increase flexibility and range of motion leading to faster recovery.

·      Ice Baths – Another love/hate relationship.  A 10 minutes ice bath in 50-60 degree water has been said to reduce inflammation and help flush the metabolic waste out of your muscles.

·      Compression Socks – I am a huge believer in compression socks.  I wear them for all my long runs and races but they also aid recovery post-race by increasing blood flow to the muscles and reducing lactic acid buildup.

·      Hydrate – Just because the big race is over, doesn’t mean you can stop drinking your water.  Keep those muscles happy by continuing to hydrate!

·      Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drug – I do not like taking anything for pain but this is an option.  Make sure to follow directions on the bottle and never take with alcohol!

DOMS is very common after trying a new activity or pushing your body to new limits.  Recovery is very important after a hard workout or race.  Also, warm up and cool down properly to avoid finding yourself in physical therapy!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Report: Rock & Roll Providence 2013

It’s taken a few days for this race to sink in and get my post-race thoughts together.

To fully understand where I am coming from, let’s backtrack a few months.  Back in April I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC.  I took a significant amount of time off after fall road racing, helped open a new fitness facility, and spent a week in Paris before I even ran a step in March.  My training consisted of 8 weeks of running 4-5 days per week and spinning 2-3 times per week.  No speed work at all.  Just run and spin.

I went to DC with no expectations.  I signed up to keep me motivated throughout the winter and for that fancy Tiffany’s necklace.  My real goal for 2013 was Rock and Roll Providence where I wanted to break 1:40.  My previous PR was 1:41:10.

After a miserable day of very little eating, very little drinking, and a ton of walking in DC, I went to bed with the hopes that my family would sleep through our alarms and I would miss the race.

Well, the alarms woke us up and it turned out to be an awesome day.  My goal at the start line was to stay as relaxed as possible through ten miles then whatever happens from there happens.  I felt very comfortable.  Was running way better than I expected and around ten I decided to pick up the pace a bit.  The last 3 miles became tough.  My glutes started cramping and we come out of the tunnel at mile 11 and see the finish line only to run a mile away from it then loop back.

I toughed it out and finished in 1:39:21.  Such a surprise.  My parents were all over the city cheering me on.  I got a high five from Shalane Flanagan at the finish line and there was an ROTC guy in a tuxedo waiting to give me my Tiffany’s necklace.  Pretty cool.

Fast forward to September.

Training was going great.  I mapped out a 12 week plan for myself which included one long run, one speed workout, and 3 easy/normal runs throughout the week.  I did everything I was supposed to.  Worked out about 6 weeks in a row with my Strength & Conditioning coach.  Physically I felt amazing.  Mentally I was burnt out.

I was so mentally not ready for this race that I was actually making myself sick.

But you never know what will happen when the gun goes off.

I decided to take a similar approach to DC.  Stay as relaxed as possible through ten then reassess and commit.  In DC I averaged 7:34s so I was shooting for 7:30s in Providence.  More specifically my plan became: 745s for the first three miles, 7:30s until ten, then 7:15s or whatever I had left to finish strong.

Mile 1- 7:29
It was pretty chilly out at the start.  I wore arm warmers and gloves.   Sarah and I saw Joe and Kathy before the race then almost missed the start waiting in line for the porta potties.

Mile 2- 7:39
I saw my split for the first mile and slowed down a bit and tried to settle into a rhythm.

Mile 3- 7:29
Still relaxed.

Mile 4- 7:30
I started to warm up and ditched my gloves, had a GU, and tackled a nasty hill at 4.5mi.

Mile 5- 7:34
I almost missed Katrina!  Ahh!  Thank you for getting up early to see me run by!

Mile 6- 7:14
I made some friends during this mile.  We talked about the hills and Cape Cod.  I told them about how my dad was running his first half marathon next month.  They were impressed.  I am proud.
Mile 7- 7:18
This mile started with that steep downhill I remembered so well that looped around by the water.  I experience some hip pain on that downhill and some glute cramping immediately after.  It was very foggy and really cool looking out over the water.  I started doubting myself and wondering if that 7:14 was possible to maintain.  My thoughts turned into reminiscing about this road two years ago in the rain…

Mile 8- 7:16
GU #2.  During that last downhill I jammed my right big toe into my sneakers.  At mile 8 it was quite painful.  I tried to wiggle my toes around a bit and started to change my stride but the pain was still there.
Mile 9- 7:20
Don’t remember much about this mile…

Mile 10- 7:14
…this one either.

Mile 11- 7:02
After ten, I felt good (other than that toe) and just wanted to finish.  At 11.5 we went over a bridge passing the runners at the 10 mile mark.  I was desperately looking for Joe or Kathy or someone to yell “Go Jen!”

Mile 12- 6:58
My calves were tightening up and I began to fear the worse.  I thought back to the conversation I had with Kathy about why I wear compression socks and started doubting my choice to skip them today.

Mile 13- 6:52
The only thing left was to round the corner and go up the hill to the finish!

13.1- I finished in 1:35:27!  I can’t even believe it.  I thought I could maybe run 1:38 but 1:35/1:36/1:37 never crossed my mind.

What’s next?  That’s something I need to figure out.  In the meantime, I plan to take at least a week (maybe two) off.  I need a break.  And my toe needs to stop throbbing!