Post-Marathon Funk

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Well hello there. Anyone still here? Despite my best intentions to keep this blog going following a race, I always end up slipping away from blogging. But, with only 6 days left to sneak in a November recap I realized it was time to buckle down and blog. After running the Baystate Marathon and reaching my goal, I admit to feeling a bit lost with what to do next. Running is very much a goal oriented hobby for me. That’s just what is enticing to me about it, and since Baystate I haven’t been able to latch on to a motivating running goal. There have been a few ideas – PR’ing in the half, PR’ing in a full, finding a difficult/scenic/interesting/something course, running a 50k, etc – but none have really taken root. So while nothing has been getting my running mojo going, Helly has been SMASHING every PR around! She had a spectacular sub-4 performance at the NYC Marathon and then followed it up with a new 5k and half marathon PR! If you want to be inspired and motivated do yourself a favor and check her out.

The one thing that does get me off the couch and onto the road (or most likely, treadmill) is I am thisclose to hitting 1,500 miles for the year! So while I have actually been running, it’s certainly hasn’t been any type of running to write home, or on a blog, about. The majority of my running has been 5 mile, easy paced treadmill runs while I try to, unsuccessfully, zone out and not countdown the 45-ish minutes this takes. To help break up the monotony I’ve tried to add back in some Tuesday speed work and Thursday tempos. This usually equates to 400m-800m repeats at slower than 5k pace and 1.5-3 miles at marathon pace.

The one real running accomplishment since I last blogged was running a Thanksgiving day 5k. It’s the same race I ran last year and again I loved how easy it is to get to, to park, and getting to run on completely closed roads. The donuts and hot chocolate at the end are also a major perk. My running blah’s were in full effect that morning and instead of running there to warm up as I had planned, I ended up driving and doing a shorter warm up when I arrived. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to try to run fast or easy so I ended up lining up about half way back. After about the first mile, which I spent desperately trying to get around large groups of walkers, I realized I’m too competitive to just run for fun and started to put some effort. I ended up finishing in 23:06 (7:26 pace) which is just 9 seconds off my 5k PR. I was pleasantly surprised to see I was still able to pick up the pace after mostly foregoing any speed work since October.

So now it’s time to start thinking about 2017 goals. After the New Year I hope to find a race, find a goal, and set up a training plan. And, of course, to start blogging again!

Happy Holidays!

 

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Boston Marathon Inspiration & Catch Up

Somewhere over the last two weeks my motivation has started to sag. Between never ending sicknesses, some serious stuff going on with someone close to us (how’s that for vague blogging?!), and an injury my husband suffered, it’s been difficult to want to run, let alone to want to write about running. But this long weekend is the Boston Marathon weekend and it is impossible to live so close to Boston and not feel the energy surrounding the race!
IMG_8317-524x393The “No Stopping” signs are already up, my Instagram and Facebook are filled with pictures at the Expo, and I’ve downloaded the app to track numerous friends and bloggers who are running. Despite the excitement of surrounding the marathon, it was forever changed by the bombings that took place in 2013. The weather this weeked has been incredibly gorgeous – sunny, blue skies, warm air – just like it was on Marathon Monday in 2013. It’s impossible to think about the race and not also think about the people whose lives were affected and those who lost their lives.

There was a doctor, Natalie Stavas, who was running with her dad when the bombs
went off. When she realized what happened she sprinted towards where the explosions occurred to help people who were wounded. I saw that she is running again this year. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dancer whose leg was amputated below the knee after the bombing is also running this year. These two women were interviewed extensively after the bombings and I had so much admiration for their courage. I have them in my tracking app and hope to be able to cheer them on as they run by. There’s also a local woman, Carol Chaoui, who is battling two different kinds of Stage 4 cancer and is running the race. She’s someone I have consistently seen out running since I started training for my first marathon 3 years ago and helps put on the Turkey Trot that I ran in November. When I saw her face featured in a Runner’s World article on my Facebook feed, I was shocked to see the accompanying headline. To see her out running and pass her on the street you would never guess that she is battling two Stage 4 cancers. There are so many incredible and inspiring people who take part in the race and make it such an amazing race to spectate. Even if you never run the race yourself, I highly recommend spectating along the course! It’s an energy unlike any other.

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Road closings and lines of port-a-potties – a sure sign of the Boston Marathon!

Last year’s Boston Marathon inspired me to enter the Chicago Marathon lottery and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get back to running on a regular basis. A year later and I feel like I’m not just getting out there and logging the miles, but (mostly) loving running again. Hopefully this year’s race will have the same motivational impact as I finish out the last 6 weeks of training for my half marathon.

Weekly Training Recap: April 4 – 17

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FullSizeRender-29At this point I don’t remember too much of the details of each run, but there’s the data if you’re interested. I’d had a weird niggle in my ankle/heel so I was trying to rest it as much as possible and ran mostly easy paced runs for the week. L was still sick so I was running mostly on the treadmill and getting caught up on Making of a Murder on Netflix.  My husband worked from home one day so I was able to run my tempo run outside and it felt much better than my previous one. Bonus: I didn’t get the same brutal headache afterwards that followed my last tempo run.

 

 

Weekly Mileage: 33.3

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This week I had a mini panic that my race is actually coming up quickly, and that I need to really be getting all my workouts in. Up until now there’s been a feeling of the race being far enough off to catch up on missed workouts. Not so much anymore. I was mostly-ish successful. After running a new 5k PR in March I adjusted my training paces. This week was the first time I had to run a tempo run at the new pace on the treadmill and 6M at sub-8 min miles seemed scary to me. So I decided to go with 8:07 pace and it actually felt really doable and just slightly easier than tempo pace should. I did skip one of the tempo miles since I ran this one at the gym and was running out of time that L could stay in kid’s care. My long run this weekend was an angry run. I don’t know why I was in such a bad mood, but I think the anxiety and tiredness from what’s been going on caught up to me. I also ran at noon so it was super busy on the roads and every texting/aggressive/just not paying attention driver annoyed me. At mile 9 I turned off the main roads and the newfound quiet instantly put me at peace – and my endorphins were starting to kick in – so at least the last mile was a calm, zen, happy place mile! FullSizeRender-30.jpg

Weekly Mileage: 35.35

To all those running Boston this weekend – good luck and enjoy! Anyone else spectating? And happy running to all others too! 🙂