Great Bear 5k race recap (and my week!)

I’m so happy to be back writing a race recap! This was a particularly fun and meaningful one, and not just because it was my first race and by far my fastest run post-injury. J and my mom and dad and I all ran the Needham Great Bear 5k, which has raised over $100k for prostate cancer research. It’s organized by a friend of my dad’s from college. And, it was my dad’s first organized 5k since the 80s!!

This morning we all piled into the car for a quick and easy ride to the start. The race started and ended at a local middle school, and bib pickup and bathroom stops were a breeze. We took a half mile jog up and down the street, and then easily lined up in the corrals, which were informally marked out by pace. J and I started together between the 7 and 8 minute corrals, figuring we’d see how we were feeling (he ran 10 miles yesterday!)

Once the race started, the first mile was relatively quick, coming in at 6:58. I was feeling good despite the heavy, humid air, so I kept it up for a 7:01 in the second mile. I then turned a corner into a solid uphill climb for the third mile, and I held the effort steady and managed to pass a few folks at a 7:33 pace. Turning into the finishing chute I gave it my all but didn’t have too much in me, so I let the other woman nearby kick it ahead of my across the finish line. I was breathing hard and heavy by the end, but ran the .1 at a 5:44 pace. It felt so amazing to run hard again, and I’m so proud of my 22:20 on basically no speed training!

After I finished J and my dad finished pretty soon after. My dad ran just over 30 minutes, and placed a strong second in his age group! My mom power walked it in and then we stopped by the awards table–I was pretty shocked to have taken home 1st in my age group! Pre-injury I was hoping to crack top 3 women at the race, and I ended up 7th, which I’m more than happy with. After some post-race snacks (lots of fresh fruit and gf options!) and photo ops, of course, we were on our way.

This was such a fun and rewarding morning, and the details were seamless. The course was easy to follow and 3.1 miles on the nose, the volunteers were helpful and friendly, and the trophies were a super nice touch. Plus, there were tons of kids and parents running together, which is the cutest! Does anyone else love small local races??

See below for the recap of the rest of my week! I don’t have a ton to say other than I’m feeling much better and stronger, and trying to ramp up carefully with lots of cross training. Onwards and upwards!

Weekly totals: 15.2 miles

  • Monday: PT (lots of hips)
  • Tuesday: 3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 4.2 miles
  • Wednesday:AM-3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 3.8 miles, PM-75 minute hot yoga class
  • Thursday: 25 minutes on the elliptical + lifting, core, and PT exercises
  • Friday: Trial 5k with no stops! 3.5 miles total
  • Saturday: 75 minute hot yoga class
  • Sunday: Great Bear 5k! 3.6 miles total

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

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Weekly recap: recovery and the return to running

Hello there, long lost blog friends! I’m here to report that things are finally turning around for me and I’m so excited to back writing a weekly recap. I’ll be the first to admit that after the marathon I was in a pretty dark place and I chose to stay away from the running world (both online and IRL for a few weeks). It didn’t help that I was in a fair amount of pain–for the couple of weeks after the marathon even walking around was painful, in a sharp, uncomfortable way, not in a “hurts so good” way. Here’s the quick and dirty on what’s been going down in terms of recovery:

So… what the heck happened? It’s still a little bit of a mystery, but after lots of conversations with my amazing PT (more on that below), we think it was a bit of a perfect storm (pun very much intended). The weather conditions had me leaning a bit more than usual into some bad habits, namely over-relying on my quads and underutilizing my posterior chain muscles (glutes and hamstrings). Basically, a lurking injury that I has been doing a really good job avoiding flared up, likely due to the fact that I was running with terrible form on unsteady footing with cold muscles for 2+ hours. Bam, tendinitis in both knees. Fun, right?

Yikes. What are you doing about it? Oh man, this was a journey. After a LOT of time on the phone fighting with my doctor’s office (and being told by an awful orthopedist that there was nothing I could do except take 3-4 weeks completely off, no PT necessary), I argued my way into getting a PT referral. Thank goodness! I ended up at Joint Ventures PT, and my new bestie Garrett and I took an in-depth look at my stance and mechanics to determine best next steps. We’ve been working hard twice a week to strengthen and activate my glutes and hammies, and I’m graduating to just once a week pretty soon.

What about running? Obviously, the questions of the month! Basically, the first thing on the docket was to get the inflammation in my knees to calm the heck down–so nothing super impactful, lots of ibuprofen and ice and rest as needed. And lots of PT exercises, strength work, and cross training (hello elliptical…) My first run back was some very timid walk/run intervals on May 5, almost 3 weeks after the marathon. It went pretty well, so I’ve graduated to 2 minutes on/1 minute off run/walk intervals and today’s run was pretty much pain-free! I’ve found that letting myself run at the paces that feel natural to me works better than forcing myself to go extra slow, since it keeps my stride more natural.

With that, here’s this week’s recap! You’ll see there’s a mix of running and cross-training with lots of PT in there. I’m trying to be patient and do this right, but suffice it to say I am JAZZED to be back at it. Injuries and DNFs are really, really hard, but I’m hoping I’ll come out of this a stronger runner.

Weekly totals: 10.6 miles

  • Monday: 1 minute walk/1 minute run intervals for 2.5 miles
  • Tuesday: AM–40 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes lifting and PT exercises, PM–75 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Wednesday: PT (lots of hips)
  • Thursday: 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 3.3 miles
  • Friday: PT (lots of core)
  • Saturday: 75 minute hot yoga class
  • Sunday: 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals at a push pace for 4.7 miles total

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

The Boston Marathon that broke my heart

Yesterday, at my first-ever Boston Marathon, I withdrew from the race at mile 22. I was soaked to the bone, shaking from the cold, and dealing with shooting knee pain that left me barely able to walk, let alone run. The wound is fresh and I’m sure it won’t ever fully heal. While I’m disappointed, I don’t have any doubt that I made the right choice. I let my brain win out over my stubborn heart.

I had the typical weekend leading up to Boston–trying hard to rest up while being tempted by all of the running fun to be had around the city. I met up with the Oiselle gang to spectate the 5k, visited all the pop-up shops and spent too much money, and took a million photos at the finish line. As the weather reports got worse and worse, I spent hours going back and forth on outfit choices–not daring to believe that a trash bag would end up being the smartest way to go. Something felt off for me all weekend. It’s hard to say what it was, but it never felt like I was really about to run Boston. As it turns out, my gut was right.

Monday morning my running partner Denise and I woke up to frigid temps and whipping winds. Undeterred, we donned our throwaway layers and heavy-duty trash bags before getting a ride downtown to the busses that would take us to athlete’s village. The start area was chaotic and muddy–the huge tents were strewn with mylar sheets and heaps of discarded shoes and clothing. I had a wristband for my charity team that was supposed to get me into a heated indoor space, but no one knew where to tell us to go. Undeterred, we used the facilities and squatted on an old shower curtain while we pulled on our dry socks and shoes with shaking hands. My best-laid plans of warming up, carefully hydrating, and leisurely eating my last pre-race snacks quickly went by the wayside and we strained to listen for the announcement that it was our turn to join the parade of figures in ponchos trudging to the start.

At the start line in suburban Hopkinton, I had a decision to make–either stick with Denise, who had no time goals and wanted to run for fun, or to push for the 3:25 I had trained for. As the first gust of wind whipped the rain into our eyes, I told Denise I would stick with her and we would get through it together. The first few miles we kept our spirits up, dancing along with the music being blasted from inside homes and under tents along the way. The crowds were thin but enthusiastic, screaming encouragement from the sidelines. We made a few bathroom stops but kept up a fairly steady pace as the rain pounded down, soaking through every layer.

We stopped into a med tent in Wellesley when my mittens had gotten so heavy and cold that I couldn’t move my fingers, and a helpful doctor worked my numb fingers into a pair of rubber surgical gloves. At mile 13 I saw Jeremy and gratefully accepted the poncho he had ready and waiting. Just after that, we got a huge lift in Wellesley when we heard that Desi won! What a gutsy and well-deserved win from one of my favorite runners!

The happiness carried us down into Newton, where I handed my soaked gloves off to my dad and trucked up the first of the Newton hills. Then out of nowhere, I felt a sharp, stabbing pain under both kneecaps. I gritted my teeth and trailed behind Denise before finally admitting to her that I needed to stop and see what was going on. Being the amazing friend she is, she immediately hooked her arm under mine and we hobbled together to the med tent at mile 20. The tent was teeming with runners convulsing from cold, their heads bowed under heat sheets and blankets. After manipulating my legs and seeing my grimace, the doc in the tent quickly concluded that it was likely patellar tendonitis, and handed off what he said was his first ice pack of the day. Denise was insistent that she wanted to stay with me, but I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to make it and told her she needed to finish the race.

Alone in the tent, I put my head between my knees and sobbed–through the haze of tears, promising the volunteers that I wasn’t sobbing from the pain in my knees. It wasn’t the first round of tears and it won’t be the last. After 15 minutes of ice I was numb enough to give it one last shot, even though my gut was telling me it wasn’t smart. I knew my friend Bry would be volunteering at mile 21, and by the time I hobbled up to her, we both knew my day was over. She walked me to a church nearby that was open as a warming station for volunteers, and with wet and trembling fingers I called my dad to get a ride home.

I am still in the midst of processing everything that happened. I pride myself on being fairly in tune with my body, and as I sit here icing my tender, swollen knees I am 100% certain that I made the right choice to stop. In fact, 23 elite runners made the same choice. I have had a fairly charmed running journey up to this point, and there were always going to be bumps along the road. I’m not sure what exactly caused the knee issue, but I’m sure it has a lot to do with 2+ hours of running hunched over against the rain and wind on slippery and unstable surfaces. That was the single hardest run of my life and I’m proud to have made it as far as I did. I’m not yet a Boston Marathon finisher, but I will be. Congratulations to everyone who gutted it out to the finish yesterday–you all are beyond amazing!

The list of thank you’s is too long to include here, but it’s coming. Huge VIP shout outs to Denise, Bry, Jeremy, my parents, and everyone who reached out yesterday. I have the most fantastic support system.

Because I take my advice from the best, I will keep showing up. I will finish the race. Thanks for being here–the journey is far from over.

Leah

Boston training: week 18 (ONE WEEK!!!)

Greetings from taper town! This was a bit of a ho-hum week of training, but I’m going with the adage that a mediocre taper can lead to a great race. Things overall just feel a bit heavy and tired, but I think cutting back even more next week will give me the pep and zing I need on race day.

Workouts: Both my HMGP miles and my MGP miles this week felt harder than usual. I did them without music and hit my paces, but it took effort to get there. I ran the MGP workout way too fast and my stomach was not cooperative, so my goal for this week is to run my marathon pace miles at true marathon pace and to let them feel easy breezy.

Skiing: Since spring doesn’t seem to be arriving any time soon in Boston, we made our way up to Vermont for a day of xc skiing on Saturday. It was such a pleasure! The conditions were near-perfect (I kept having to remind myself it was really April 7th), and it felt good to take a breath and be out in the woods.

Long run: Since Jeremy is ramping up for the Old Port Half Marathon in June, he agreed to join me for my for 10 miler. It was so nice being able to share my last long run with him! He is totally embracing this crazy running thing… my bad 😉 It was his longest run since the fall and he rocked it!

Be Race Ready workshop: On Sunday, I did a restorative yoga/mental race prep workshop with one of my favorite marathoners/yoga teachers, the lovely Cara Gilman. It was a great opportunity to breathe, relax, and practice some meditative strategies for race week and race day.

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll be back later in the week with a gratitude-filled post about the people who have influenced me most in my running. If you need me, I’ll be resting up and chowing down on my favorite marathon lasagna from Run Fast Eat Slow. One week to go!

Week 18: 34.3 miles

  • Monday: 2×2 at HMGP for 6 total
  • Tuesday: 4 recovery
  • Wednesday: 10 at MGP
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: XC skiing!
  • Sunday: AM: 10 easy with J, PM: yoga and meditation workshop

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

Boston marathon training: week 17

First taper week is done done done! This was a super duper busy week/weekend, so I was grateful to be able to carve out time to get all of my workouts in. Monday started with easy miles, and then Tuesday I ran a really strong workout. I’m taking advantage of the lighter evenings to do some of my harder runs later in the day–much as I love to get my runs out of the way in the morning, I definitely do better when I’m fueled and rested. I hit the first set of these half marathon paced miles at a 6:58 average and the second set at a 6:50 average. I felt so strong and steady during this workout–which was definitely the high point of the week.

Wednesday I was supposed to have an easy run but my stomach was really off, so I gave myself an early day off. Thursday I was still feeling a little funky by I got through my 6 easy miles. Friday I forced myself to get my run in early, and then I descended into holiday madness for the rest of the weekend. Friday night was the first Passover seder at our house, Saturday we went to the second seder at a friend’s house, and Sunday was Easter brunch in NH with Jeremy’s family. It was all so fun, but the heavy, salty food and copious amounts of sugar and wine made my Saturday and Sunday runs feel like garbage. I did my long run with my brother and the last 6 miles at MGP were a little bit slower than I was hoping for, but again, chalking that up to not setting my body up for success.

I’m SO ready to head into the taper and get this show on the road! I generally cut back on the booze and sugar in the two weeks before a marathon, so that should help get everything into ship shape for marathon Monday. Commence all of the weather stalking…

Week 17: 42.8 miles

  • Monday: 4 easy
  • Tuesday: 2×3 at HMGP for 8.2 total
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: 6 easy
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: 10 easy, 6 MGP for 16.4 total
  • Sunday: 4 easy

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

Boston marathon training: weeks 15 and 16

Well, well, well–back to weekly recaps after a little bit of a break! As I mentioned in my race recap, I’m home from an incredible 3 week honeymoon and diving right into the peak weeks of marathon training. I was pretty nervous to pick right up where I left off with training after running infrequently on our trip, but the past couple of weeks have been good and I’m actually feeling way less fatigued than I normally would at this stage of training. I’m recapping a funny half week together with this week, where I reached my peak mileage both for this training cycle and my highest mileage ever!

Backing it up to last week, we got home from NZ on Wednesday night and I had taken Thursday off to rest and recuperate. I slept, did laundry, and also hit up a yoga class to stretch out from the 29 hour trip. And I did my first workout back, which was a full hour at marathon pace. I was worried this one might not be in the cards after such a long travel day, but I got it done. Friday I was happy to rest, and Saturday I met up with my Oiselle friend Sarah for a bus ride to Hopkinton to tackle the first 22 miles of the Boston course. I can’t say this was easy, especially as we treated ourselves to a little Heartbreak Hill action after mile 20, but it was great practice for Boston. Sarah has run Boston multiple times and had great tips for race day (she is training for London where she’ll get her six star medal–so impressive!) We did have a tailwind for this run and it was amazingly helpful. I would like to order another for race day, please!

Sunday I wrapped up the weekend with an easy recovery run with J, and then Monday I split my easy miles into two runs since I had gotten a crappy night of sleep. Tuesday was just a fabulous run! I felt like I was finally 100% back in my groove–it was one of those “I could have run forever” nights. However, it was followed by a really tough workout the next day–3×2 miles at HMGP. I got it done, wrapping the last set up at 6:59 pace, but it hurt.

The next day I had planned to run with my brother, and I pushed the mileage a bit beyond what was planned since I wanted to hit 60 miles for the week. My brother has an amazing sense of direction (it’s an occupational asset) so we ran a fun route, including running through the middle of a train station. I think people thought we were sprinting for a train 🙂 It was fun to run with him, especially since we’re both gearing up for Boston. Friday was off, and then Saturday was the big “last long run!”

The last long run is a really special day in Boston–most folks grab a bus out to mile 5 and run the last 20 miles of the course. All of the charities and sponsors are out, there are cops to help direct traffic, and it feels like a big party. This year was no exception, and I started the morning with my OG gals Alexa and Danielle. My plan was to run the first 10 easy and the last 10 at MGP (7:40-7:50). We all stuck together at a slightly fast pace until the Newton Hills, when we split up. I totally locked into what felt comfortable and was able to pick it up and get faster up and over the hills, wrapping up 21 miles at a 7:55 average. This was one of my best long runs to date and a HUGE confidence builder going into Boston! Sunday I followed that up with an easy recovery spin and a short yoga class. I’ll leave it there since this is already a novel, but more honeymoon pics are coming soon!

Week 15: 37 miles

  • Monday: 3 hour hike down a mountain
  • Tuesday: Driving around New Zealand
  • Wednesday: Flights on flights on flights
  • Thursday: 90 minute AM yoga; 1 up, 1 hour at MGP for 9.4 total
  • Friday: Rest day!
  • Saturday: 22 mile long run
  • Sunday: 5.5 mile recovery run

Week 16: 61.5 miles

  • Monday: 4.5 miles AM, 3.5 miles PM
  • Tuesday: 7 easy
  • Wednesday: 3×2 miles at HMGP for 10 total
  • Thursday: AM mini band work + core, PM 11 miles
  • Friday: Rest day, best day
  • Saturday: 21 miles (10 easy, 10 MGP + fast finish)
  • Sunday: 60 minute vinyasa yoga AM, 5 easy miles PM

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

Race recap: Motatapu Miner’s Trail 15k

When J and I officially settled on our honeymoon dates in New Zealand, one of the first things I did was start searching for races happening while we were there. I knew that having a race on the books would be a good way to keep up my Boston training, and racing internationally seemed like a unique experience to add to our action-packed trip. I certainly wasn’t looking for a trail race (after spraining my ankle during my first trail race attempt), but the Macpac Motatapu fit into our schedule and looked like a ton of fun. The event has a pretty amazing number of options: an 8k, a 15k, a trail marathon, an ultra, a tri, and a bike race. We opted for the 15k–it looked tough enough given the elevation gain (see below!)

5 Unique events in beautiful Motatapu, Queenstown New Zealand.The morning of the race we plugged the race address into Google Maps and for the first and only time on our trip, got ourselves completely lost down a dirt road to nowhere. After a few minutes of frustration we turned around and took a much more legitimate road the the race start in Arrowtown, which is outside of Queenstown NZ. The signage around parking was a little bit unclear but there was space on the side streets, so we found a spot and rushed over to the bib pickup.

As with everything in NZ, it was super low-key and organized, so within a couple of minutes we were all set and ready to go. They were really nice about taking our jackets at the bag check–the morning was super chilly but it warmed up fast. The restroom lines were also a breeze–the event starts were staggered and ours was one of the smaller ones, so it felt a bit empty in the start area.

When the start time came around we seeded ourselves into informal corrals, which were then set off in staggered waves. This was really easy and helpful to keep the narrower parts of the course from getting too crowded. The most surprising thing at the start was that almost everyone had a hydration pack on–which seemed a little excessive for a 15k with two water stops–but it was a tough course so I could see why a slower runner would want their own fuel! J and I were more than fine sharing my handheld bottle, though.

The race started up a steep pitch on dirt roads. It was hard to not run the whole way up but I insisted on some fast hiking to conserve energy (which paid off for sure!) Everyone was chatting and encouraging each other, and by the first water stop I was down to a tank and shorts. We stopped to use the “loo” since we knew it was the only option and took off again, continuing the climb as we looped through open pastures and up along golden ridges. The vistas were gorgeous but I definitely had to keep my focus on my feet–trails are tough! We wended our way up to the highest point on mostly single track, which sometimes was so narrow that runners couldn’t pass one another. J and I took turns leading, but at this point were had a good crew around us to keep pace with.

Once the downhill started we really had to keep our eyes down on our feet–the trails were a bit slick and super narrow, with some areas that had rope holds for balance. We locked into a few other runners and one of the Kiwis warned us that the much-anticipated river crossing was coming up. We were feeling good with 2k left and excited to laugh and splash our way across the shallows to the finish.

Well, we were dead wrong–the course looped us back and forth across the same river ELEVEN times! At some points the freezing cold glacial water was almost up to my waist. I do have to say I think this was a little unnecessary–no one loves soaking wet feet and we got the point after one or two times. But we took it in stride and ran it into the finish, ending well under our goal of 2 hours.

Post-race we hightailed it to a local brunch spot and grabbed some well-deserved mimosas–there were lots of vendors at the post race area but everything cost money (including the massage tent!), so we figured we’d rather sit and eat. It felt great to warm up and dry off in the sunshine.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I’m definitely looking forward to more trail races in my future–including my first ultra in just a couple of months. I’ll have at least another post or two about our New Zealand trip in the coming weeks–please let me know if there’s anything you’re curious to learn more about!

Do you prefer roads or trails? Have you ever raced internationally?

Race recap: Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler

This past weekend, my running buddy Alexa and I ran the Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler. When I registered for Boston, I knew I wanted to do either this race or Eastern States, and MV won out since it would force me to get up to a 20 mile long run in before leaving for my honeymoon. TL;DR–this was a fantastic, well-run event and just the loveliest way to get a hard training run in!

Alexa and I headed down to Falmouth on Friday night, and stayed with my cousins before heading to the ferry terminal in Wood’s Hole nice and early. We ended up getting on the later of the two recommended ferries, which meant we had time to enjoy coffee at Pie in the Sky, a must-visit! We bought our tickets early and sauntered onto the ferry, which was comfortable and not too crowded. We even made some awesome ferry friends who were running the relay!

After a nice chat we made sure to use the boat’s bathrooms and walked off the gangway directly into the registration area. The bib pickup and bag drop were smooth and easy, and we were able to stay warm indoors at the ferry terminal, chatting with various running friends up until the race start.

After a loud gunshot blast, we were off! The first 10 miles of the race were beyond gorgeous–we were running along the shore on flat roads and paths, with amazing views of the ocean and the seaside homes. The weather was fabulous–in the upper 30s, sunny, and not too windy–and the first 10 miles were easy breezy. We treated this as a long run, not a true race, stopping to take water and fuel when we needed.

After the 10 mile mark we ramped it up for the first of three sets of MGP miles–just as the course got hilly and stayed that way until the end. We cranked it through three miles in the 7:30s and then hung together until mile 15, when I was feeling good enough to speed ahead. The only downside of the small race size was that I was pretty much alone for this last chunk–but the water stop volunteers and cops were awesome and I kicked it into high gear for the last three miles–7:38, 7:57, and 7:10. Overall, I finished at around an 8:10 average (according to my watch), feeling fairly strong and happy. 

Alexa was there soon afterwards and we grabbed a quick bite at the post-race gathering (they had Mexican food and hot chocolate!) We made a quick run to the shuttle though when we realized we could make the early ferry back to the Cape. We had a quick and comfy ride back to the terminal, and then we settled onto the ferry for some well-deserved post-race beers. Back in Falmouth we grabbed some stellar grub at Anejo, and we drove the 90 minutes back to Boston and were home by 6:30.

We had just the best mini racecation, and I would recommend the 20 miler to anyone who is training for a spring marathon. The relay looked super fun for anyone who isn’t (it’s 2 10 mile legs). Next race recap will be coming at you from my first international race in NEW ZEALAND, mate!

Boston marathon training: week 11

This was a huge and hugely successful week of training! First, this will be my last weekly update until mid-March–J and I are heading to New Zealand for our honeymoon on Wednesday and I’ll be mostly offline while I’m there. Follow me over on Instagram to see live updates from our adventures. I’ll definitely be running and hiking, but with no particular mileage goals. I want to fully embrace the experience 🙂

Back to week 11–I started the week off with 7 easy, creaky miles. Having switched my rest day from Sunday to Friday, I find Mondays are a little tough since I’m dealing with some residual soreness from my long runs. All the more reason to keep things nice and easy. Tuesday was my one big workout of the week and I was excited to be able to save it for the evening–I have trained myself to be a morning runner, but I definitely can dig deeper when I’m not running on empty. The first set of the 3×2 mile workout felt a little rough at a 7:09 pace, but the second one was steadier at 7:06 and the third I felt like I really locked onto the pace, and averaged a 6:54 🙂 The sunset didn’t hurt either!

Wednesday was recovery, and then Thursday I had a longer easy run (and another gorgeous view of the city). I did my core and strength work and really focused on form–man it was tough! It’s not fun but so good to get it done.

Friday was a much-needed rest day while Alexa and I hit the road to the Cape before Saturday’s Martha’s Vineyard 2o miler. I’ll have a recap up in the next couple of days, but we had a blast! It was an incredibly well-organized event on a gorgeous day (mid-30s and sunny). Despite a hilly second half, it was a perfect way to get my first 20 miler of this cycle done. Today I enjoyed the gorgeous snow from an overnight storm and J and I did a morning yoga class–a great start to working out the kinks. This afternoon once most of the snow had melted away I did my recovery run. Onto two more days of work before we jet off–can’t wait!!!

Week 11: 52.2 miles

  • Monday: 7 easy
  • Tuesday: 3×2 miles at HMGP for 9 total
  • Wednesday: 3.6 recovery miles
  • Thursday: 8.3 easy miles, mini band work + core
  • Friday: Rest day!
  • Saturday: 20 mile race
  • Sunday: 60 minute yoga, 4.1 recovery miles

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

Race recap: Super Sunday 5 miler

Throwing it back to a few weeks ago, I had a fun morning at the Super Sunday 5 miler! I ran this race last year and struggled through it, but ended up with a time I was really proud of. I then had an amazing 5 miler over Thanksgiving, so I didn’t set a time goal, but figured as per usual that I would take it hard but keep the pace under control.

I got to the race nice and early with J, since we knew we had a big Oiselle group meeting up with us. The check-in was smooth and we shivered our way to our “VIP” team tent–which was way colder than the big heated tent where check-in was. I did a quick warmup with Kate, Sarah, and Alexa before grabbing the girls we could find for a team picture. Things had gotten a bit chaotic at that point–turns out the computer systems were down so all check-in was being done by hand. This actually ended up delaying the race start by close to 20 minutes, which wasn’t super fun on a windy, cold day. By the time we lined up in the corrals I was ready to run fast and be done.

I started out pushing past some of the slower runners before settling into the pack. I ran by feel as I didn’t have my mile splits on and barely looked at my watch this whole race–which definitely worked for me! The first mile felt fairly strong so I held steady through the second and third miles, trying to be really true to how I felt versus basing my pace on anyone else. I kept my sights on Sarah, one of my speedy teammates (in the shorts), and by mile 4 or so I had her and another Oiselle gal, Katie, in my sights (red capris).

Around then a spectator yelled “you’re almost there–empty the tank!” and I hit it! Unfortunately we still had a mile to go and the finishing chute for the race is super long, so getting through to the finish was a slog, but I managed to hit a 6:31 pace. Overall, my splits were 6:40, 6:37, 6:31, 6:37, and 6:31–nice and steady! And I managed a 20 second PR with a 33:12 finish, which got me 27th woman and 5th in my AG. It was a competitive field out there.

After the race we hit up the after party, which was a bit of a mess–a couple of the beer tents weren’t open, and there wasn’t any cider or any food for a gluten free lady. And only one of the heaters in the tent was working… and my results came out wrong, so I had to get them fixed.

However, there was an AMAZING cover band so we stayed for a bit before scooting off to eat and change into dry clothes. Despite the hiccups before and after, the race itself was spot-on–the course was fast, well-marked and staffed, and 5 miles on the nose. It’s a great way to spend the morning of Superbowl Sunday, and we’ll definitely be back next year!