NCR Marathon Training Week 9: HALFWAY THERE!

Between the more relaxed approach I’m taking this time and the fact that I jumped in a few weeks late, this  training cycle is FLYING. Because I’ve already done this twice, it’s kind of nice to not feel crushing dread when looking forward to my bigger long runs. I will say that I have 16 miles scheduled for this weekend and I’m NOT looking forward to that because


Hashtag OHHELLNO. Even without the hurricane hitting yet, the forecast for Saturday morning is sideways rain and 30 MPH winds. I always said I’d never run that long on a treadmill again, but I think I’m going to have to make an exception.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is a recap of what happened last week even though I am already well into week 10:

Monday, September 21: I had a very bad day and sometimes when I have a very bad day, I don’t exercise which is counter-intuitive because exercise always makes me feel better. Hal Higdon would have told me to rest anyway, so I did.

Tuesday, September 22: 5 miles in the rain in the early morning washed away some of my anxiety. Then later in the evening I went to spin class and after that I felt about a billion times better about life in general.

Wednesday, September 23: 7 miles on the treadmill at marathon pace and then in the evening I went on an easy 10 mile bike ride with the Dude and his friend.

Thursday, September 24: With the NCR Half marathon coming up and two days where I had done doubles behind me, I decided to take two rest days beforehand to give my legs a break. Does 20K+ steps count as a rest day? Probably not.



IMG_1457\ IMG_1436

The Dude and I spent the day in NYC visiting the 9/11 Memorial and being a couple of tourists. I hadn’t been up to visit the city for a decade. It was really the best day.

Friday, September 25: I actually rested. It’s amazing how tired your legs can feel just from walking around all day!

Saturday, September 26: NCR HALF! Recap here. It’s nearly a week later and I’m still on cloud 9.

Sunday, September 27: My legs didn’t feel nearly as bad as I expected them to post-race and the weather was absolutely gorgeous so I headed to the trail with my bike for a 25 mile ride.

One of my favorite parts of this day was that the NCR 20 Miler was happening on the trail and headed south as I was going north. I love being a cheerleader and I was able to encourage the runners as I passed them. I kind of wish I would have volunteered at a water stop or something.

Total Miles: 25+
Grade: A

I guess my biggest focus for the rest of this week should be staying dry? Ugh this weather stinks!

How is your training going? Any good runs in the rain lately?



An unexpected PR on a perfect fall morning! {NCR Half Marathon Race Recap}

You know what’s cool about today for me? It’s the 2 year anniversary of when I ran 13.1 miles for the very first time. And now today I get to recap my new half marathon PR! 


My very first half marathon in 2013!

Earlier this year I started setting some goals for myself for the fall. These goals did NOT include running a marathon, but rather focusing on shorter distances. Ultimately I wanted to do more halfs and possibly run myself a new PR. My best time of 1:45:27 happened last September at the NCR Half Marathon, a small race that is part of my run club’s Grand Prix Series. I also did not intend to compete in the Grand Prix Series this year, but now that I have 3 of the 4 necessary races under my belt…hey why not.

This year the NCR Half just so happened to fall on the day when my training schedule told me that my long run should be a very convenient 13.1 miles. And even better? The race is on the very same trail as the upcoming marathon so I would be able to practice on familiar terrain.

100 people showed up to run on Saturday morning and as usual I loved seeing some familiar faces, especially my friend Michelle who I’ve been doing my long runs with lately. The Baltimore Road Runners are a fun and welcoming group and the weather was absolute fall perfection. In my tank top and shorts I was more than a little bit chilly as we walked to the start, but after jogging around for a half mile I felt warmer and knew I’d be comfortable for the race. It was set to start at 8am and right around that time we all lined up on the trail facing north. The course is a double out and back, which I remember really disliking the idea of last year, but it ended up not being so bad.

PR thoughts had been in the back of my mind, but during the first several miles they all went out the window. I wasn’t feeling particularly well and even though I was coming off a couple days of rest my legs felt like lead. I even debated calling it quits when I got back to the start. In hindsight, I should have considered that it just takes me a lot longer to warm up now that my long runs are getting into the mid-teens. By the time I was three miles in and nearing the first turn around, my energy level had started to improve.

Then I realized as the leaders were passing me going in the opposite direction that I was the second female. I got way excited and as a result mile 4 was my fastest at 7:25. After that I had to remind myself to rein it in because I still had a long way to go.

From mile 4 until mile 11 I was feeling pretty great. When I race I like to pick out another runner up ahead, pace with them awhile, and then try to pass them because it gives me something to focus on when I’m getting tired. No one had passed me so I knew I was still the second place woman, but this was reinforced by several people who screamed it at me as they passed me going the other way. Even though I already knew, it still gave me a boost to hear it.

There were plenty of water stops with friendly volunteers, but I hadn’t stopped at any of them until mile 12 when I was suddenly very exhausted. I drank about 3/4 of the cup and dumped the rest of it over my head; it was freezing cold and helped a TON. The trail was crowded with people out enjoying their mornings, but there wasn’t anyone from the race that I could follow for the last couple miles; the guy who finished in front of me was like 2 minutes ahead. Because I run that part of the course all the time and know it like the back of my hand, I entertained myself by running from one landmark to the next. When a familiar bend in the trail appeared up ahead, I knew I was almost done and when the red, digital readout of the clock appeared I literally said “OH THANK GOD” and sprinted as fast as I could to the finish on tired legs.


So I PRed by nearly 2 minutes, held on to second place and first in my AG which is great for the Grand Prix Series, but then this is also the first time I’ve run a half marathon with my average pace under 8 minutes. I don’t know which of these things is most exciting for me. All of them, I guess.

After sharing high fives and congrats with some of the guys who had finished at around the same time as I did, I visited the table that was set up with snacks and drinks. I helped myself to Gatorade and water and then there was also bagels, cookies and bananas which I appreciate for other people, but can’t eat without dire consequences. I had a lunch date and couldn’t hang out long, but it was nice to catch up with friends and cheer for other runners crossing the finish line.

Such a great day. :)

How do you pass the time on long runs? Did you run or race last weekend? How is your fall season going?



My Little Sporty Spice

Fall is officially here—well tomorrow anyway—and right along with it is the start of Betty’s first and hopefully not last t-ball season! She had her first practice/game on Sunday and it was adorable and hilarious to watch.

Also I use the word “game” loosely because after all these kids are 3 years old. Not a whole lot of organization yet.

We arrived to the field promptly at 1pm and Betty was outfitted in a hat and a reversible x-small baseball jersey with a #9 on the back that still managed to be a maxi dress on her. I noticed right away that my little ladybug would be the only girl, not just on her team, but on ALL the teams. I felt proud. Betty, of course, couldn’t have cared less.


OMG I die.

The kids were taken away for their practice and I was held with the other families for a WAY too long meeting. I was only half paying attention because I was distracted by Betty as she screamed at me from across the field, but I’m pretty sure the gist of the meeting was to not act like psycho sports parent.

Finally we were freed to go watch our children from the sidelines and after about 5 minutes I volunteered to stand on second base and give some direction because the coach was clearly overwhelmed. The practice lasted a half hour and then it was time for the game!

There were 8 kids on each team. The game consisted of each team going through their lineup to bat and advance one base at a time while the other team stood in the field with their tiny baseball gloves going after whatever ball was hit out to them. It was more than a little disorganized, but SO freaking cute. The best part was watching Betty bat in a giant red helmet. She was SO EXCITED to bat.


SHE HIT IT! And she was pretty great at running the bases too. Being the only girl out there, I got the feeling she was a crowd favorite.

After all the kids had their turns each team lined up to high five each other. And of course some adorable high fives for fellow team members too.


I am so proud of my girl! She has asked me about a hundred times when she gets to go back and play again so I think it’s safe to say she enjoyed herself too.

If you have kids, do they play any sports? When did they start? If you don’t have children, what sports did you play growing up?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday. <3