Sunday, March 31, 2013

Taper Time!

No Matter What

All the hard work is in. Now I get to cut back on the mileage. This is the time where foam rolling, chair  and self massages, and epsom salt baths are in order. No crazy Crossfit workouts. For the next three weeks, I'll start to visualize running the Boston Marathon. The book "26 Miles To Boston" is helping me picture the course with a bit of marathon history. So far, the description given to me by one of my high school distance coaches, Tim Keegan, is right on.

I was also forced to run on the treadmill on the weekdays due to the gym floor at the Y, which is below the track, being sanded and resurfaced. I really don't care for the treadmill but I sucked it up and got the work done. No matter what, I am grateful to be able to run again. I am grateful that the inflammation in my foot is gone. I really believe it was God's way of slowing me down or forcing me to take a week off from running. I strongly believe that I will do great on April 15th. But, as an athlete, I know that anything can happen on race day. It's all going to depend on the weather and how I physically feel that day.

Tuesday, I picked up from where I left off prior to being injured. I ran ten minutes easy to begin. Then I inserted 3x1600 meters at a 7:47min/mi. I completed the session with an easy pace run. 1 hr and 10 minute run= 7miles. I felt pretty good.

Wednesday, was a big day. I had my second and final fundraiser. I decided to take a rest day. I needed to relax for the night's event, but I was also feeling a bit sore from the running session on Tuesday. What a great night! I roughly made $900 for DFMC. I am so grateful to my friends and family for showing me so much love. The Comedy Works in Albany, NY rocked! What a great place to go and enjoy some great talented comedians.

I woke up Thursday morning exhausted. I got myself in gear and headed to the YMCA to run. I began my treadmill run with an easy 10 minute mile for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, I turned up the pace to an 8 minute mile pace for 30 minutes. I was supposed to run the last half of the session for 40 minutes, but my legs felt tired. My body felt tired. So, I cut the session 10 minutes short. I felt so guilty for cutting it short but I had to go with how my body was feeling at that time. I have to keep reminding myself that you become stronger when you get the proper rest and recovery. Not when you are actually doing the workout. The workout breaks your muscles down. Rest and recovery build them back up stronger.

Another rest day on Friday.

I got my first taper miles in on Saturday morning. I ran for 2 hours or 13.25 at 9:03 minute mile. I did pretty good keeping my pace between 9 and 9 1/2 minute mile pace. Pace is going to make or break me during the marathon. I know if I go out to fast, I am going to have a miserable race. If I take control of my pace and don't let it control me, I will feel fantastic and have an awesome race. Or at least I hope so. Saturday's run was great. The sun felt great on my face. Running in the sun = a very happy me. I never imagined running and enjoying any distance races EVER. I just ran a half-marathon at an easy pace! 9:03 avg pace is an easy pace?? This didn't happen over night. I've been working on it for several years. From sprinter to distance runner. Never imagined that happening. The only thing that bothered me a bit on Saturday was my sore muscles. I have to make sure I have NO sore muscles when I toe the starting line on April 15th.

With only 14 days left until the Boston Marathon, I have raised over $7100! Thank you to all that have donated. If you would like to support my run and cause please visit my personal web page at:

Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Back on Track!

This past week I got back on track with my training, but not before I paid my orthopedic a visit. I already saw my podiatrist and he said all was fine with my foot. The podiatrist cleared me to run but told me the best thing to do was rest. Seeking a second opinion, the orthopedic said the exact same thing. Nothing was torn nor broken BUT I shouldn't run until the pain was gone. I saw the orthopedic on Monday morning and that night, the pain was totally gone! Tuesday I woke up and the pain was still gone, but I still didn't run. I decided to have a few pain-free days before I started running again. This didn't mean that I wouldn't get my sweat on. I jumped on the stationary bicycle and rode for 60 minutes. Oh, how I wanted to go on the track and run... but I knew it wasn't a good idea, so I didn't.

Wednesday, I did some cross training. My foot felt great still! I planned on running Thursday.

Thursdays are usually marathon pace days on the track. It was difficult to imagine that I could hold a fast pace for 80 minutes since I missed a whole week of training. I told myself, "just do what you can and if you have to slow down, then so be it." I felt great and managed to hold pace for the entire session. It was also a great opportunity for me to run in the gear I'm going to wear during the marathon.

Training in race day gear

Of course, I paid for it on Friday and Saturday. My foot wasn't the issue any longer. On Friday, I was sore from Thursday's track session. I decided to do nothing on Friday. That being said, I knew Saturday would be difficult; the day I ran my third and final 20 miler.

During my 20 miler on Saturday, I prayed that my foot wouldn't act up. And, it didn't. The only issues I had on the run was the soreness from Thursday's marathon pace session. My muscles got so tight. Especially my hamstrings. I knew it wasn't my lack of hydration or fueling. I should have ran on Sunday instead. I should have allowed my muscles to recover from Thursday's workout. Still, I managed to average 8:45 minute-miles for 20 miles. Finishing my last 20 miler in 2:55:16!

Physically and mentally, I am so ready for the Boston Marathon. Now all I have to do is stay healthy for the next two weeks. Staying healthy will be key to getting to the starting line. Once I'm at the starting line there will be no stopping me. I will fight to finish.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A week of Cross Training

Cross training was not the way I wanted to start my training week. But, that's exactly what happened. I had this nagging ache/pain right where the fibula attaches to the ligaments of my foot. Why does this have to happen to me just five weeks until the Boston Marathon? I've poured my heart and soul into the marathon training. I've made sure to take care of my body before, during and after ALL of my runs. So why??

I completed a fifty minute workout on the stationary bicycle on Tuesday and Thursday with no complaints. Still... I'd rather be running. More than anything, having to substitute my runs became a mental game. One that I don't like to play. It feels as if I'm losing endurance every day that I don't run. I'm sure that is not the case, but my mind doesn't know this. This isn't the first time I've had to take a break during training for a marathon. But, still, it plays a mind blowing head game with me.

On Wednesday, I decided to pay the podiatrist a visit. My right foot is still achy so I must rule out any real injury. All is well! The doctor took an X-ray and there were no broken bones nor torn ligaments. He cleared me to run but advised me to rest. So, I decided to rest my foot.

Skipping my long run on Sunday was depressing for me. I am hopeful that my foot will be better in time for Boston. I will be in Boston no matter what. And, I will toe that starting line. It will probably not be my best performance but I will finish.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feeling strong!

I started my week on Tuesday with a speed workout on the track. I had my doubts because I ran a fast 16 miles the Sunday before. The total workout lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. It started with an easy pace for 10 minutes, then followed by 4x1200 meters with a 400 meter job in between. The rest of the time was done at an easy pace to complete the session. I did it! I didn't feel too beat up from the fast 16 miles.

Wednesdays are tough for me because I stay home. So between the speed work on Tuesday and marathon pace on Thursday, it's getting easier to convince myself to take an additional day off. But, I wouldn't allow that little voice in my head to tell me not to get up and move. I decided it was a good yoga day. My body needed that.

Every Thursday is marathon pace. It started with an easy pace for the first 25 minutes, followed by 60 minutes at marathon pace. Every week, the easy pace at the beginning of the session has progressively gone down while the marathon pace time has gone up. I am so amazed at what my body is capable of doing. I shouldn't be surprised, though. For the past nine weeks, I've been building up my endurance and speed. I guess the amazing part is seeing the progress that I'm making.

On Friday, my foot was achy. Actually, my foot hasn't felt right since Tuesday night. It felt as if I sprained it. But when and how?? The aching was off and on. There was no swelling and my foot did not hurt to the touch. It wasn't a constant ache or pain, so I stayed cognizant of it, but kept on my running schedule. It was a cross training day, so I decided to take the day off from running. This is always the time in my training where I become worried about injury due to the intensity of the training.

My ankle felt pretty good on Saturday. I cycled on the stationary bicycle for 30 minutes. I followed it with a made up workout of 10 Burpees, 20 push presses, 10 push ups, and 1 minute planks for 3 rounds. After, my ankle still felt pretty good.

Sunday run day! 20 miles or 3 hours and 10 minutes, whichever came first. Just after 7 am, I set out on my journey. Unlike the last few weekend runs, it was not snowing, raining or gloomy. The sun was out! That alone made me such a happy person. I decided that when I reached the end of Phillips Rd at route 9/20, I would double back. Route 9/20 has been a mess with the snow and dirtiness. Along my journey I felt good. My pace: mile 1( 8:57), mile 2 (8:56), mile 3 (8:55), mile 4 (8:37), mile 5 (8:25), mile 6 (8:24), mile 7 (8:27), mile 8 (8:43), mile 9 (8:44), mile 10 (8:42), mile 11 (8:30), mile 12 (8:47), mile 13 (8:58), mile14 (8:52), mile 15 (8:49), mile 16 (8:33), mile 17 (9:27), mile 18 (9:27), mile 19 (9:40), mile 20 (10:02). Not bad, I felt strong until my ankle pain grew stronger and stronger. I refused to stop running. It hurt but not enough to stop me. Of course I paid for it after, but that didn't matter. I mentally fought through those last miles and that's what I will do on marathon Monday... fight! Time for some much deserved and needed rest.

Ready for Boston

A bit swollen after 20

Monday, March 4, 2013

Six Weeks Left Until Boston!

On Tuesday, my week started with a one hour and fifteen minute track workout. It consisted of a 10 minute easy run, followed by 5x800 meters with a 400 meter jog in between. The rest of the time was completed at an easy pace. I was so relieved to be able to complete this session. I had my doubts that I could finish it. After running twenty miles on Sunday, I wasn't sure my body was recovered enough to do a speed workout. But, to my surprise, I felt good. My body is adapting and responding positively to the speed workouts.

Tapout XT workout on Wednesday! I just love this type of cross training. It is a total body workout without putting any stress on my running muscles. I know I am a better runner because I work those non-running muscles. Sometimes, I'm not sure how I have the energy to do it. Honestly, my mind tries to convince me to take a rest day rather than a cross training day. But, I fight that little voice in my head. Especially if my body feels recovered.

Thirty Five minute easy run followed by a fifty minute marathon pace on Thursday. Thursdays are starting to get very tough. Mentally tough. The indoor track for marathon pacing is getting to me. It's not the ideal place to do such a run, but I have no other options. Suck it up, buttercup, I am happy to be able to run. Knowing this makes it a bit easier to deal with it.

Friday, for some reason, I felt stressed and unhappy. A good crossfit type of day. It was just what I needed. Five rounds of 3 rope ascending, 10 knees to elbows, 21 lunges w/ 45lb plate over head and 400 meter run. Five rounds of this equaled 12 reps of rope ascending, 50 reps of knees to elbows, 105 reps of lunges and 1.25 mile run! Yup, I loved it on Friday and paid for it on Saturday.

So on Saturday, I felt the affects of Off White. Which was the name of the workout I completed on Friday. Some foam rolling and message was it for that day.

March 1st! Which means spring is around the corner. So why is it that mother nature waits for the weekend to snow?! I get my runs done... but cut me a break! I know I shouldn't complain, I do live in the Northeast. And, we all know that it can snow in March, April, and even May. Plain and simple, just run!

I went off on a 2 hr and 30 minute run or 16 miles, which ever came first. It snowed the entire time on my run. I could see the sun behind the clouds, but it was not going to make an appearance. The clouds were way too thick. My thighs were still a bit sore from Friday's cruel crossfit workout, but still not sore enough to keep me from my long run. There was light snow and visibility wasn't too bad. I decided to run out and back. The last few long runs I've done were loops which have put me out on route 9&20. Route 9&20 sucks to run on in the winter. Throughout the run, I hit some good hills. What I liked the most about this run is that I hit hills in the beginning, middle and at the end of my run. That keeps my quads alert, in check and challenged. I think I was trying to outrun the snow and the wind. I finished 16 miles in 2 hours 19 minutes and 4 seconds. 8:42 minute mile pace. The fastest 16 training miles every! I am so ready for Boston.

No matter the weather...

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