Archive for July, 2019

This week I got back on the training bandwagon. I did my Thursday run on Friday due to work obligations. It was the usual drills and race rehearsal segment. I struggled a bit with pace on the race rehearsal portion – not sure why – but pulled it off in the end. I don’t think the point is to sprint the last few run segments to “catch up” to my desired pace but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sunday was my 15 mile long run. This is the longest I’ve run since January, 2018 so I was curious to see how it would go. I “carbo loaded” the night before by eating spicy chicken wings. And while I worried that I would pay a terrible price for my choice, it ended up being fine. I did a decent job of hydrating on Saturday in preparation for a long hot run on Sunday and that definitely helped.

I set the alarm for 6:15am and was on the trail by just after 7am. In a perfect world I would have started earlier but chronic exhaustion isn’t good for running either. My assignment was to walk the first 4 miles so I took my UCan with me during the walk portion and then dropped the empty container back at the car. I knew that with walking 4 miles, my overall pace would be slow so I kept the mentality that pace doesn’t matter on long runs and that I need to just keep it slow. I think that really helped me mentally and then physically when the day started to warm up.

Although the South County Trail goes on for miles and miles, there is a long uphill stretch somewhere between miles 3 and 4. With me being on call this weekend, it seemed like the perfect excuse to do shorter out and backs and try to avoid the hill as much as possible. I did walk the hill during the walking-only segment but then turned around early into the hill on the final segment. I somehow completely miscalculated my distances because I hit the 15 mile mark at least 1/3 mile before getting back to my car. I did walk that last bit – not sure how long it was because I forgot to stop my watch before driving home. When my watch beeped for mile 16, I realized my error and got a good chuckle over the fact that I had “run” (or driven?) a fast final mile!

During the run/walk segment my paces were very steady between 13 min/mile and 13:35 min/mile. There was one slow mile in there because I had to stop to pee (the trail was super busy with cyclists so I needed to find a hidden spot in the woods without getting poison ivy so I lost some time looking for the perfect place). The temperature was well into the 80’s before I finished but a combination of good hydration, pace management, good fueling, and steady salt intake made it a decent run. My last 2 miles were the fastest which was probably a combination of a downhill finish with just wanting to get the darn thing over with. Overall I’m thrilled with how it went.

Today’s run was tough. A late night emergency on Sunday night followed by a long day on my feet at work yesterday meant that I was exhausted this morning. It was also super hot and humid, even at 6:30am. I did only the “mandatory” parts of my race rehearsal run and left off the optional additional 10 minutes. I managed to hit my pace but my legs felt a bit dead and my energy levels weren’t great. Even so, done is done.

I’ve managed to maintain my weight loss between 3-4 lbs but haven’t really lost any additional weight. I’m not complaining because we spent Rich’s birthday on Friday exploring the craft beer scene in Brooklyn and eating yummy barbecue food. Not exactly low cal. I’m almost surprised I didn’t gain weight but maybe the extensive walking around Brooklyn offset some of the high calorie intact. I’ve been listening to the Weighty Matters episodes of the Another Mother Runner podcast and found them inspiring and helpful. I’m going to try to incorporate some of the tips into my life – not only focusing less on what I don’t like about my current weight but also trying to eat less packaged foods and making sure I eat consistently throughout the day so I don’t get super hungry and eat junk.  Here’s a link to the website with the podcasts:


With the exception of this morning’s run, this week was Hades hot. Thursday I foolishly thought that the rain would make my run bearable. Nope. It just meant that the humidity was 100%. Or maybe 110% because it was so uncomfortable that I think it was working 10% harder for the air to hold even more moisture. I did my cadence drills and acceleration-gliders ok but I struggled with my pacing on the race rehearsal segment. The first mile was at 12 min/mile pace instead of the 11:35 min/mile pace that I’m aiming to achieve. The last bit was at pace but that was only about a 1/4 of a mile. You know it’s humid when you take a cold shower and you’re still sweating….

Worse yet was my Saturday long run. The goal was 8 x 800m at 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. I survived the 15 min warm up and ran the first three 800s with 60/30 intervals at desired pace. It was SO hot and humid that I cut back to 30/15 intervals for the next three 800s. Still managed to hit my pace. By now it was 85F and humid and it was only 8:30am. I started my 7th interval and just felt yucky. I decided that hitting two more intervals wasn’t worth risking heat disease and I decided to just walk home from there. Yuck. Yuck. And more yuck. Considering that we had a dangerous heat wave this past weekend, I’m pleased that I managed even 6 of the speed intervals.

Today was a bit cooler and raining. Flash flood warning raining. Which just makes me feel like a bada$$ for getting out there. I managed to hit my race rehearsal segments ok today and felt pretty good the whole way.

This weekend I have 15 miles on the schedule. My penance for not getting through my 13 miler is that I have to walk the first 4 miles of my long run and then run/walk the last 11 miles. That just makes the whole darn thing take longer but it’ll get me back on track with my distance. And overall I’d say my training cycle is on target.

In terms of weight loss…. I’m down at least 3 lbs maybe closer to 4 lbs depending on the day. I haven’t been super careful with my eating – Sunday was apparently ice cream day and I definitely ate some ice cream! I can feel the difference even if it isn’t a big number so that motivates me to keep going.

This past week didn’t go exactly how it was supposed to go. Tuesday race rehearsal run went great but I somehow hit the register button for a Thursday evening 5k instead of running my drill workout. I found out about the race on the Friday before. Twice a month I see patients at an off-site owned by a large multi-specialty practice in the area. I saw a flyer in the break room inviting everyone to join the 5k fun run as part of the team. The team captain sits in the office next to mine and has become a friend. She encouraged me to join the fun. I didn’t hit the register button until Tuesday and even though my registration seemed to go through, I noticed that the online registration deadline had been 24 hours earlier.

The race was held Thursday evening at SUNY Purchase. I ran two 5ks here last summer but this one was starting on the opposite side of campus. The 5ks run on the perimeter road around campus with the biggest negative being the hills. Lots and lots of hills. Thursday was a challenging day at work and I was pretty emotionally drained by the time I got home. I had about 10 minutes to change into race clothes before heading out the door. (I forgot my run/walk timer at home but figured out how to set it up on my watch.) My kids had volunteered to come cheer me on but after seeing the heavy rain outside, they declined. Rich came along as a fabulous one-man cheering squad.

This was a large corporate event with many tables set up for different teams. Not surprisingly my registration didn’t work but I was able to register for free on-site. They spelled my name wrong and didn’t even ask my age but I had a chip-timed bib and was ready to roll. I even got a team baseball hat to wear (big mistake – it was already warm out!) It was hot, humid, and very, very wet.

The race was advertised as a corporate fun run/walk so I started in the middle of the pack. I had my timer set for 30/30 intervals but planned to mostly use 60/30s. The first mile was the longest uphill of the race (it was mile 3 when I had previously run at SUNY Purchase) so I was optimistic that I would have more downhills in the later parts of the race. I didn’t have much of a goal but was hoping for sub-11 minute miles. I used some 30/30 intervals on the uphills and 90/30 or so on the downhills. Mile one was my fastest at 10:21. I was surprised that the hills continued throughout the race as that was not my recollection of this course. Mile 2 was 10:56 and Mile 3 was 11:35. I definitely suffered on the uphills during that 3rd mile! My official finish time was 33:52 (10:54 min/mile average pace). That’s only about 1 minutes slower than my fastest 5k in 2018 when I was actually training for a 5k. Still hoping to get down below 30 minutes at some point but I was very pleased with my performance. After a tough day at work, tough running conditions with the humidity and rain, and a hilly 5k course, I felt like I had done a pretty good job.

My long run this weekend was deferred until today (Tuesday) because we spent a fantastic weekend in Burlington, VT. Every July we pick a place to explore and especially to check out the craft beer scene. Burlington was a great choice and a place I would happily return to visit again and again. We had a jam-packed weekend of fun which didn’t include any running. I honestly didn’t even pack my running clothes.

Today I was supposed to run 13 miles. Which didn’t happen. My daughter had an 8:20am endodontist appointment, I had a 10am work meeting, a 1pm lecture to give, and a 3pm video appointment. I did wake up at 5:20am and got 7.33 miles done. Not 13 miles. But not nothing. I’m sad that I missed an important run but I know that I’m early enough in the training cycle to get back on track. I realized that my plan to run 13 miles after the endodontist wouldn’t have been realistic anyway given that it was 90F today. Not nice for a long run. Sometimes life just happens.

Despite a crazy weekend of fun, I’m still down 3 lbs from my starting point. I’m getting back on track with my training. And I’m ready to keep moving forward.

The theme for this past week of training can be summed up by the word HOT. I’ve never been great at running in warm weather and I can certainly say that I have not acclimated to the heat yet. Disney’s Marathon Weekend can sometimes be hot and sometimes be cold and even sometimes be just right. But it’s hard to control for that when I’m training in the heat now and will likely be training in the cold right before the race. Which means I have to adjust to whatever the current conditions are and move on…. Or move forward….

Thursday’s run is usually a warm up followed by drills – cadence drills and acceleration gliders – followed by an optional race rehearsal run and then the cool down. Since I was fortunate enough to sleep late on July 4th, that meant running in the heat of the day. With a peak temperature in the 90’s, even starting at 10:30am was way too late. I decided to play it smart and skip the optional part of the run (which is the faster part, too) and only do the bare minimum. It was hot, humid, and uncomfortable but I made it through.

My weekend long run was 6 x 800m repeats. 15 minutes warm up/15 minute cool down with six 800m repeats at a pace 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. For my current pace each 800m should take me about 5:30. We got up early on Sunday to get our training done and it certainly helped. It was super humid but not as hot and I NAILED all 6 repeats. I was faster than my needed pace even on the last one and felt really good about it. Some minimal leg tiredness afterwards and maybe a hint of hamstring soreness but mostly all good.

Today’s run was done in the late afternoon heat, on the treadmill, and was less than ideal. But I still did it. Consistency counts for something. I’m also down about 3 lbs from my starting weight (my daily weight fluctuates so I’m being cautious with my weight assessments). I’m also doing much better with my water drinking these days – probably because it’s so HOT that I’m actually thirsty all the time…

I somehow signed up for a Thursday evening 5k this week. Not looking to set any speed records but hoping to have fun and enjoy the race experience. I also had to move my weekend long run to next Tuesday due to super fun weekend plans. It’ll be a little tricky to fit in 13 miles on a week day but I’m determined to make it work. And so I will. It might be hot and ugly and involve a lot of walking if I have to start later in the day.

Overall I’m really pleased with how my training cycle is going so far and hoping to keep up the strong work.


Goofy Training Week 1

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve run in a runDisney event and the same amount of time since I’ve run a race longer than a 10k. My training for my last Goofy weekend was erratic at best and I fell apart in the later miles of the marathon. Although I finished the race, I was pretty disappointed in my preparation and performance. My running over the last several years has been inconsistent and I started this training cycle about 20 lbs overweight and not very fit. I’m definitely motivated to train by having races on my schedule but I’ve mostly stuck to 5ks over the last 2 years.  RunDisney was my initial inspiration to run races and so it seems fitting that runDisney should be the thing that gets me going again.

After several years of running multiple runDisney events each year, running and racing have taken a back seat to life. Since I have never earned even a dollar for running, my job and my family have both taken priority over fitness. Needing to lose a few pounds and wanting to get back into peak condition are now more important than ever and I’m hoping that having Goofy on my schedule will keep my honest. I love running at Disney – even after having had so many opportunities to do so – and so I was thrilled when Rich suggested that we look at the runDisney race calendar and pick a race weekend. I knew that many of our running friends would be there in January and the anniversary Goofy medal made it the ideal race weekend for me.

Immediately after signing up for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, I sign up for the Chris Twiggs Customized Training Plan. I have had good luck with Galloway training in the past and had done e-coaching with Jeff Galloway several times. E-coaching had gotten so popular that the price has increased beyond what I’m willing to pay. The Chris Twiggs program is offered through the Galloway website with many of the same advantages. It’s Galloway training customized to my individual needs (for example I have no long runs during a 10 day stretch in September when I’m in France) and can be changed to accommodate vacation or additional races. Part of the customized training program is an optional weekly video chat sessions with Chris. It’s an opportunity to check in with him and problem solve but also an opportunity to connect with other runners and learn from their experiences. I am definitely a social runner so I’m enjoy these sessions. I’m currently in week 6 of my customized training plan even though this week is technically the first week of Goofy training.

Because I haven’t run any longer distances in 18 months, I need a decent proof-of-time race before October. I am currently training for a time goal Half Marathon in late September to hopefully get me into a decent starting corral in January. I’m not necessarily looking to PR – did I mention 20 lbs overweight and not in peak physical condition? – but I’m hoping for something in the two and half hour range. That won’t put me in an early corral but should keep me out of the back. I’m not looking to run Goofy for time but I want to be fit enough that I can enjoy every minute of it without worrying that I’ll run out of steam. So I’m trying to take my training seriously and stay accountable.

In the last 6 weeks I’ve manage to lose 2 lbs and my longest run has been 11 miles. I’ve only missed 2 runs when I was out of town at a wedding and have completed all of my other miles. I’ve taken a few seconds off my magic mile and I’m working on heat acclimation. I’m pretty pleased with how this training cycle is going and I’m committed to staying committed.