Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Roundup 9.21-9.27

A great week of running started off with a CCR group run where I ran 5 miles with Tiff followed by a Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale.  Yum!  Tuesday night was the last night of the 5 mile loop of the year at Run Club and we ran our final 2 miles in the dark.  (Good thing I brought my headlamp!)  I didn’t feel great on Thursday and only rode for half of spin class and skipped my Friday run.  Saturday I dropped G off with my dad and mama joined me on the bike on my long run around Falmouth.

Highlight of the Week: An old friend was in town and treated me to a pedicure and pumpkin spice latte on Saturday!  Later that day the fam took a trip to Somerset Creamery for possibly my last waffle cone of the season.  Perfect kickoff to marathon training!

Upcoming events:

·      4 weeks until the Cape Cod Half!
·      16 weeks until the Houston Marathon!

Monday 9.21.15
CCR Running Team Group Run! 5.12 miles with Tiff (46:42)
20,632 steps

Tuesday 9.22.15
0.5 miles with G (6:03)
Marathon Sports Run Club! 5.07 miles (45:27)
Taught spin class. The playlist: Here Comes the Sun Spin Playlist
10 push ups
16,761 steps – Fitbit dead 9:45am-5:30pm on what would have been a mega day!

Wednesday 9.23.15
Long walk with Linda & G (2 miles, 45 minutes)
14,780 steps

Doggies are allowed back on Cape Cod beaches!

Thursday 9.24.15
2.06 miles with G (21:10)
Taught spin class. The playlist: Rock This Town Spin Playlist
13,819 steps

Friday 9.25.15
0.5 miles with G (4:43)
11,466 steps

Saturday 9.26.15
7 miles (56:27)
24,167 steps

Sunday 9.27.15
Burdenko H2O
11,011 steps

This week’s mileage: 20 miles
September Totals: 78 miles
2015 Totals: 408 miles

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekly Roundup 9.14-9.20

It was a good week highlighted by Friday’s 5 mile run around Osterville followed by a Lond Pond walk with my mom and the pup on National RUN@WORK Day!

1 week until Houston training begins!

Upcoming events:

·      5 weeks until the Cape Cod Half!
·      17 weeks until the Houston Marathon!

Monday 9.14.15
2 miles with G (20:08)
3 miles (23:30)
20,353 steps

Tuesday 9.15.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: I Like to Move It Spin Playlist
10 push ups
11,284 steps

Wednesday 9.16.15
11,818 steps

Thursday 9.17.15
3 miles (24:28)
Taught spin class. The playlist: Somethin’ Bad Spin Playlist
Power Water
10 push ups
19,711 steps

Friday 9.18.15
5 miles (38:49)
Long walk around Long Pond with Linda & G (3 miles, 60 minutes)
22,741 steps

Saturday 9.19.15
7 miles (54:40)
15x lunges
30 squats
22,611 steps

Sunday 9.20.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Troublemaker Spin Playlist
Burdenko H2O
TBD steps

This week’s mileage: 20 miles
September Totals: 58 miles
2015 Totals: 388 miles

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My Approach to Houston

Houston Marathon training begins next Monday!  I am both excited and terrified to get started with the 16-week training plan I mapped out for myself.

My first and only marathon was in October 2012.  I had all summer and early fall to train.  Houston will be different.  I’m a couple years older and training will be during the fall, the start of winter and through the holidays.  Generally a low mileage runner, I was a bit aggressive with my last marathon in terms of my mileage during training (I was running 5 days a week, my highest mileage week was 50 miles) yet I slowed myself down in both training and on race day to be confident I would finish.  January 2016, I have a time goal in mind.  I set myself up with a 4x per week plan with an option of a 5th day but I am going to increase my long run speed and focus on some mid-week workouts and strides to work on turnover.

Challenges I will face along the way…

The Weather
Let’s face it: I’m a wimp in the cold.  December will be my toughest and most important month of training so fingers crossed for decent weather.
[Related post: Winter Running 101]

Daylight Savings November 1, 2015
Last year I did not run during the winter months because I’d rush home from work to fight daylight and walk Georgie before it got dark out.  I will have to get into a routine and plan to fit in my running AND walk the dog after work.  Although not a fan of the dark, I’d feel much safer walking the dog in the dark than running alone in the dark.  This may also mean more morning walks and lunch break activities or some nighttime treadmill sessions… GROSS!
[Related post: Running Safety]

“Dog Miles” with Georgie
If you’ve been following along with my weekly roundups, I have been training Georgie to run with me.  She has gradually increased her mileage and although very inconsistent, I can usually get her to run 1-2 miles with me.  She trots along at a 9-10 minute pace per mile, stops a lot and often refuses to go any further but we’re working on that.  I’m really hoping I can count on her to join me on some of my easy 3-4 mile runs—or at least for the first or second half of my runs.

Running Routes & Training Partners
Since buying a house and moving, I haven't fallen in love with running in my new town.  I also won't have the luxury of having my mom and dad readily available to accompany me on the bike during all my long runs.  I love my old running routes and hoping to still going back to their house and run a lot of my weekend long runs.  (One good thing about fall and winter running, I won't have to get up at the crack of dawn to run!)  I also have new running friends with great routes (thanks Wendy & Amanda!) and weekly Run Club runs to look forward to.

Spin Classes
Since my last marathon, I became a Certified Spinning Instructor and currently teaching 3 classes per week—which falls on my usual days off from running.  When I’m teaching, it’s not for my own workout but I am working pretty hard.   I may have to scale back on my work in class so that I can keep up with the demands of training.  Don’t worry my spinners, this shouldn’t affect your workout!  I’m pretty good at faking it!  :)
[Related post: Spinning & Running]

My Work Schedule
My work schedule is consistent, yet not.  Training for Chicago, I worked Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm.  Keeping a training schedule was easy.  My days off from running were always Tuesdays and Fridays.  Now my schedule is all over the place—couple days early, one day late shift, one day long day.  I am typically off on Fridays and Saturdays (long run Saturdays!) but I am occasionally training clients outside of my work hours and switching up days/times depending on staff availability.

Am I up for the challenge?  Absolutely.  Bring it on.


Friday, September 18, 2015

The 2012 Chicago Marathon in Pictures

Flashback Friday.  Today on Run Jen Run, I’m looking back at some of my favorite pictures from my first marathon.

 Sign by Joslin & Jen

Sign by Amy                                               Sign by Paul

26.2 miles!

Post-Race Deep Dish PIZZA!!!

The BEST Cheerleaders!
   121 days until #2!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Roundup 9.7-9.13

Ahh I can’t believe Labor Day was Monday!  The week started out hot and humid but ended feeling like FALL.  UGH.  Overall I had a good week of running and I got in what was probably my longest run of the year—11 miles with Wendy and Amanda (Amanda ran 18!)—and felt really good.

2 weeks until Houston training begins!

Upcoming events:

·      6 weeks until the Cape Cod Half!
·      18 weeks until the Houston Marathon!

Monday 9.7.15
Happy Labor Day!
6 miles (46:31)
3x 1’ planks
18,712 steps

Tuesday 9.8.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Working for the Weekend Spin Playlist
13,928 steps

Wednesday 9.9.15
1 mile with training client Trish (10:18)
2.1 miles with G (21:45)
2 miles (15:41)
50 squats
20,063 steps

Thursday 9.10.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Working for the Weekend Spin Playlist
Power Water
12,257 steps

Friday 9.11.15
3 miles (24:44)
16,592 steps

Saturday 9.12.15
11.25 miles with Wendy & Amanda (1:49:34)
31,205 steps

Sunday 9.13.15
NFL Sundays are back!!
Taught spin class. The playlist: Welcome to the Big Show Spin Playlist
Burdenko H2O
11,757 steps

This week’s mileage: 25 miles
September Totals: 38 miles
2015 Totals: 368 miles

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My First Half: Atlantic City 2009

After my long run this morning (11 miles with Wendy & Amanda!), I sat down on my back porch with a 2015 Falmouth Road Race mug filled with coffee and started flipping though a magazine.  I came across an ad for the Atlantic City Marathon and did a little reminiscing.  That was my first half—and really what I consider my first road race.

Back in high school I ran all 3 seasons of cross country, indoor and outdoor track.  I even spent the summer before my senior year training and competing in Junior Olympics.  (I made it to the finals at Nationals in Miami.  So fun!)  After that, I was burnt out and barely put on running shoes during my 4 years of undergrad.  It was to the point where I told my coworkers at the road race that I had retired from the sport.

I went back to running in grad school while I was living in Buffalo but it wasn’t until my move to Philadelphia for a fall internship that I really began to fall in love with training and running again.

Philly was a great city but the internship wasn’t quite what I expected.  I didn’t have any friends.  My host family became a little less inviting.  Instead of spending hours at Rita’s Water Ice or spending money that I didn’t have at the King of Prussia Mall (if you’ve never been, it’s A-MAZING), I started running.

One of my professors allowed me to earn Sports Law credits while living and interning in Philly and at the time my friend Christa was working toward her PhD in Economics.  We talked a lot online and over the phone during those 4 months.  We also complained a lot and decided we needed to tackle something outside of school together—a half marathon.

We picked Atlantic City.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  I guess the timing was right.  The race was mid-November and we were able to get in some solid training.  (I can’t find my training log as I’d be curious to see exactly what kind of mileage I was doing!)  Atlantic City was only about a half hour/hour away from where I was living and she was willing to make the drive to come visit.  Marky hooked us up with a hotel room and we were super excited to spend a weekend away.

A Nor’Easter the week of the race almost prevented us from running!  Christa’s flight was cancelled and I’m pretty sure she ended up driving down.  Only a day or two before the race the boardwalk was flooded which is the majority of the race course!


Somehow we made it to Atlantic City, checked into our hotel, picked up our numbers at the expo, ate a free meal at the pasta supper, and explored a little of the city.  Two things I can remember.  Our giant lava cake we had for dessert the night before our race and the hundreds of homeless people and stray cats hanging out on the boardwalk.

The race was a lot of fun.  We ran together for about 12.5 miles.  Christa was a sprinter in high school and a competitive 400m hurdler in college.  She started having a mental battle with herself as we got closer to the finish and told me to leave her behind.  She walked a couple steps and ended up finishing only a few seconds behind me.  

We did it!  Something we never thought we’d ever do.  13.1 miles.  We were so proud of ourselves.  My official finish time was 1:49:10 (8:20 pace).  Since then I have ran 3 more half marathons and brought my PR down to 1:35:17 (7:16 pace).  The training and race renewed my motivation and love for the sport that continues with me today.

Do you remember your first half marathon?  Did you have any doubts at the start line?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Working for the Weekend Spin Playlist

New playlist in honor of Labor Day weekend!

"It's not work if you love what you do..."

9 To 5 - Dolly Parton                                                                   3:00  Warm up
Working for the Weekend - Loverboy                                   3:41  80 rpm
Takin' Care Of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive     4:49  70 rpm
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones              3:44  Alt seated/standing climb
Mo Money, Mo Problems - The Notorious B.I.G.                 3:41  80-100
Independent Women - Destiny's Child                                 3:41  Build
Work Work - Britney Spears                                                    4:08  Alt seated/standing climb
Time of Our Lives - Pitbull & Ne-Yo                                        3:49  Recovery/standing flat
Just Got Paid - 'N Sync                                                                4:10  Standing climb
GDFR - Flo Rida                                                                            3:10  80-100
Shut Up and Dance - WALK THE MOON                               3:18  Standing climb
Rock This Town - Stray Cats                                                     2:38  All downhill sprints
Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line                                              3:05  Cool down
All Summer Long - Kid Rock                                                    4:58  Stretch

Monday, September 7, 2015

Run Jen Run’s Pet Peeves #19-20

ICYMI – You can read Pet Peeves #1-4 here, #5-9 here and #10-18 here.


Doubting the distance of a race course.
My GPS watch at the Tufts 10k
I’ve been seeing this a lot lately and this really bugs me.  Have you ever crossed the finish line of a 5k and your GPS watch reads 5.2 miles?  Or you run your first half marathon in 13.15 miles?  Do not blame the race course!  If a course is USATF certified, it is in fact a true race distance even if your GPS watch reads otherwise.  A.) GPS watches are not 100% accurate (see below) and B.) Courses are measured by the tangents or the shortest route from Point A to Point B.  That extra 0.1 miles could be that you took a wide turn or zig-zagged in the middle of the road or because or veered off at a water stop.  In the next couple of months you’ll see the New York Marathon & Marathon Olympic Trials on TV.  Watch the elites as the pack moves as one from one side of the road to the other as they approach different turns.  In a big race, the roads are often crowded making it impossible for the non-elites to run the tangents but do your best and run smart.  Look ahead at what’s coming on the course and make decisions based on the turns and traffic flow of the other runners.  And please, don’t complain on social media about a USATF certified course being too long!


Relying too heavily on your GPS watch.
I admit it, I can be one of these people.  I cannot stop running at 3.9 miles or 4.1 miles.  It has to be 4.0 miles.  This isn’t totally what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the people that are so focused on pace and distance that it’s actually distracting their run.  It’s kind of funny when I’m out running with a group of people and someone asks what pace does your watch say.  My Nike GPS might say 8:00 while Garmin #1 says 8:15 and Garmin #2 says 8:20.  I personally know my watches “current pace” is usually 10-15 seconds faster than what it will read at the mile split.  I plan my workouts and pacing around that.  I don’t stress over the inaccuracy.  (I DID get annoyed when I lost satellite signal at mile 5 of the Chicago Marathon though!)  I said it before: GPS watches are not 100% accurate.  A GPS watch tracks your run by a series of dots that sync up with satellites miles and miles away and those dots have a 10 foot margin of error.  I recently heard that the faster you ran, the more accurate they are—but I didn’t find any data on that.  But anyways, a 10 foot margin of error.  That’s big!  Especially if it’s a 10 foot margin of error for a 26.2 mile distance!  GPS watches can be an excellent training tool but don’t let distances or current pace distract you from what you are actually out there doing—running!

To be continued...

Weekly Roundup 8.31-9.6

Another pretty solid week of base training.  I started the week knowing I had 4 weeks left of fun running before marathon training begins.  The goal for these 4 weeks is to be consistent and log about 20-25 miles each week until “Day 1” on September 28th.  I fell a little short when I decided not to run by myself on Saturday but no stress.

Last week I was lucky to have company on every single run!  On Monday when I was all alone, I just went for it.  Wasn’t paying attention to my pace and just ran.  I cruised through 4 miles and other than a brief incident with a Golden Retriever, I felt great.
[Related post: Weekly Roundup 8.24-8.30]

ICYMI I posted this on my Facebook page
Rant of the Day: Dogs belong on a leash!
I was cruising along when an off leash dog started sprinting towards me. The owner yelled, "don't worry, he's harmless" but guess what, I had to go from 7 min pace to a complete stop and the dog continued at me full speed into my shins. I'm happy your dog didn't "harm" me but what if I didn't stop... one of us would have ended up hurt!
No apologies from the owner either. Thanks asshole.

Speaking of dogs, I got to run a lot with Georgie this week!  I even tested her speed out a little bit running 1:58 for the last quarter mile home.  She had a couple good miles with NO STOPPING!  This is huge!  Then she ended the week with a 2 miler with a million stops.  #divapup – We also got to try out a new hands-free leash this week.  I broke down and invested in the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner.  My favorite part is the “traffic loop” so I can pull Georgie close when we see another dog—or even worse, a biker—coming near.  So far so good!

Georgie Pre-Run vs. Post-Run

Another highlight was 2 runs with my Marathon Sports friends.  Tuesday marked my 10th group run of 2015 (I’m actually embarrassed it took me this long!) so I got a $25 gift certificate to the store!  I’m currently eyeing a super cool Cape Cod Marathon Sports sweatshirt.  Friday was the final Pub Run of the season, which is always a good time even though we weren't allowed to run with watches!  Adidas sponsored the run so I got to try on a pair of shoes with the Boost technology.

Upcoming events:

·      7 weeks until the Cape Cod Half!
·      19 weeks until the Houston Marathon!

Monday 8.31.15
1 mile with G (10:08)
4 miles (30:41)
17,198 steps

Tuesday 9.1.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Lose Control Spin Playlist
Marathon Sports Run Club! 5 miles with Jason & Danielle (44:09)
22,292 steps

Wednesday 9.2.15
11,269 steps

Thursday 9.3.15
1 mile with G (9:11)
0.25 miles with G (1:58)
Taught spin class. The playlist: Jumpin’, Jumpin’ Spin Playlist
Power Water
15,454 steps

Friday 9.4.15
1.72 miles with G (24:32)
Marathon Sports Pub Run! 3.1-ish miles (16:24)
Mini home workout #2
·      20 squats
·      10x lunges
·      20 squats
·      10x lunges
·      10 push ups
·      10 tricep dips
18,863 steps

Saturday 9.5.15
2 miles with G (18:00)
10,531 steps

Sunday 9.6.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: The Heart of Rock & Roll Spin Playlist
Burdenko H2O
9,947 steps

This week’s mileage: 18 miles
August Totals: 62 miles
September Totals: 13 miles
2015 Totals: 343 miles