New Bedford Half Race Recap + Week 7

Hello hello! I’m lounging at home celebrating a very successful tune-up half marathon today–and my second to last race before Sugarloaf. I signed up for this half back in December after hearing great things about it. It checks all my boxes: semi-local, sizable but not too big, and some hills but nothing crazy. All week the weather reports said it was going to be snowing, so I was excited to see the report change to no snow… but 38 degrees with wind gusts up to 40 MPH… ugh.

Despite the conditions, I really loved this race and would totally do it again! J and I drove down at a very reasonable hour since this race starts at 11 am (amazing). Packet pickup was quick and easy, parking was free and also super smooth, and I was running a warmup by 10:40. Coach Laura and I had discussed a conservative race strategy for me to hit a solid sub-1:40 time–not necessarily a PR, but a fitness check just about 8 weeks out from my goal race. I easily slotted myself in just in front of the 8 min/mile corral and took off into a doozie of a headwind, holding the pace back to tick off some comfortable miles in the 7:35-7:45 range for miles 1-4. This worked out perfectly since the the first few miles of this course are quite hilly.

By mile 5 I was feeling really strong, and I kicked it up to a 7:20 pace–definitely bolstered after seeing J cheering like a maniac at the mile marker. The crowd had thinned out a bit and the wind had mercifully died down, so miles 5-9 felt pretty breezy at a 7:20 pace. Just as I was letting the glimmer of PR hope sneak into my mind, BAM! We hit the portion of the race along the water and the wind picked up like crazy–almost to this level, no joke. I threw my gloves back on, gritted my teeth (literally, the wind was blowing a bunch of sand and dirt into our eyes and mouths), and pushed my way through miles 10 and 11, hitting my slowest mile of the race (8:04). While the headwinds gusted for the remainder of the race, we turned off the water and they were a little bit less intense. I picked it back up and almost managed to negative split the last three miles, other than a little slowdown due to the sizable hill at mile 12 (YUP). I hit the last .1 at 5:50 pace and finished in 1:39:11, well below my goal of 1:40 and my second-fastest half to date! I finished feeling really strong–my legs actually had some juice left in them, but I was done having my breath knocked out of me by the wind. J and I grabbed some much-needed coffee and lunch at one of my old haunts–I used to work in the area and it was super fun to be back. Overall, this was a fun, competitive, and well-executed race. Highly recommend!

Backing up a bit, this week was a bit of a cutback week so I could do a mini-taper for the race. We had a fairly dramatic snow/ice storm on Tuesday, so it was perfect timing to be holding back a bit. I did a treadmill class Tuesday morning instead of running outside, and luckily by Thursday and Friday it was doable to get back out on the roads. Spring, I will say–I am so, SO ready for you. Feel free to come any time you want!!

Week 7: 35.3 total miles

  • Monday: 6.6 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 5 miles with hills and intervals at HHRC
  • Wednesday: 60 minute yoga class + strength circuit
  • Thursday: 5 easy
  • Friday: 5.4 easy
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Race! 13.1!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Sugarloaf marathon week 6: more weather woes

Well, as you might have guessed from the title of this post–winter is back with a vengeance in Boston. I had a fantastic week of training and was super stoked to hit my first 40+ mile week, but mother nature sure didn’t make it easy. This was actually my second-highest weekly mileage ever–and it didn’t even feel that hard!! Hurrah for training and especially hurrah for wise coaching 🙂

I started things off with a nice long recovery run before hitting the track for probably the last time in a little while. I love Nike’s track workouts but they’re a little bit shorter and faster (ha) than the speedwork I should be doing for marathon training–my workouts should be geared more towards stuff like tempos and mile repeats. Wednesday I did my banded strength routine and then went to my favorite yoga class for a much-needed sweaty stretch session.

Thursday morning I had tempo miles on the books–and I did NOT want to get my butt out of bed. But I did, and it was pretty great. The only runs you regret are the ones you don’t do, right? I had 5 miles at half MGP, and while the first one felt pretty intense, the rest really flowed and ended up being even faster than expected. It was definitely the confidence boost I needed before I race this coming weekend.

Friday I shook my legs out and unfortunately started the process of freaking out about my long run Saturday. I had 17 on the books and a couple of my pals had 18 and 20, so we joined a group bright and early for a bus ride from downtown Boston out to Ashland, which is at mile 3 of the marathon route. It was really, really, really cold, with “real feels” below 0 degrees for the entire run. I wanted to take it really easy but we ended up running a little bit faster than goal pace, mostly just to keep warm! Word to the wise–gels turn into chews at sub-zero temperatures…

I was super grateful for the company on this run, and even more grateful for the free burrito bowl at the end! My 17 miles turned into a strong 18, and I’m feeling even more confident that I’m on track to meet my goals. The rest of the weekend consisted of an annual bonfire party with friends and lots of cooking and blizzard prep–we’re slated to get 16″ tomorrow. Here’s hoping it clears up for my half marathon next Sunday…

Week 6: 43.2 total miles

  • Monday: 7.1 recovery
  • Tuesday: Track attack! 5 miles total, workout was 6:45 avg. (details here)
  • Wednesday: Strength circuit and 90 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: Tempo tempo tempo–1 up, 5 at half MGP (7:30, 7:28, 7:26, 7:11, 7:22), 1 down
  • Friday: 5.7 easy
  • Saturday: 18.3 freezing miles!
  • Sunday: Rest 🙂 + mobility and corework

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Sugarloaf marathon training: week 5

Hey y’all! Coming in a little bit later than I had planned with this week’s recap. I’m on break from school this week (meaning I’m *just* working 8:30-5, so relaxing) and honestly am having a little bit of trouble making myself do anything in particular. I very much thrive off of being busy, which is why I love training for races, but sometimes I can swing over in the other direction when I need a break. Luckily this was actually a great week of training, despite my laziness!

I kicked things off with my usual Charles River loop and caught an incredible sunset. I love that as the days get longer I get these amazing city views and sunsets on my after-work runs. And while I’m generally a morning runner, I love having the flexibility to run after work if it works better for my schedule that day.

Tuesday I tackled a fun but challenging tempo workout. Coach Laura has been putting a number of half marathon paced tempos into my plan as I gear up for the New Bedford half in a couple of weeks, and I felt really strong during this one, hitting below my goal pace for all of my tempo miles. I am not necessarily aiming to PR at New Bedford (honestly, if my PR from the Cambridge half is my forever PR I’d be pretty damn happy), but I would like to break 1:40, which would mean an average of about 7:37/mile. We’ll see how things go!

Wednesday I nailed my goal from last week of committing to strength training with a tough 20 minute workout using resistance bands to add some intensity. These little suckers don’t look like much but the really up the ante in terms of basic strength moves like clamshells and leg raises! I also got a massage on Wednesday and definitely need to keep up with the at-home rolling to keep my back nice and loose.

Thursday and Friday were fairly uneventful, although it was really nice to run with J on Friday after work! He’s running the 15k at Sugarloaf (and he’s gonna CRUSH it)–it’s so cool to see him learning to like running and I’m hoping we can keep running together at least once a week during training.

One week apart. WTF?

In a crazy change of events from last weekend’s 70 degree run, this weekend was FRIGID, with temps in the teens. I procrastinated and pushed my long run off on Saturday but Sunday wasn’t much better–the wind was howling and the real feel was 1 degree when I started! I got through it, though, and nailed all my paces (see details below). I need to work on starting out slower during these kinds of workouts, because I was cooked by the end of 14 miles.

This week I’m STOKED for a 17 mile long run (yes, you read that right) because I’m heading out with friends to do our run as a point-to-point on the Boston course thanks to this cool free event hosted by Boston Road Runners! Boston runners, check it out 🙂

Week 5: 37 total miles

  • Monday: 5.4 easy miles
  • Tempo Tuesday: 1 up, 2 miles @half MGP (7:30, 7:19), 3 minutes easy, 2 miles at half MGP (7:23, 7:24), cooldown
  • Wednesday: 20 minute banded strength circuit (similar here), 60 minute massage!
  • Thursday: 5.1 easy hilly miles
  • Friday: 60 minute yoga class, 5.6 easy miles with J
  • Saturday:Rest
  • Sunday: 14 hard miles! Workout was 6 up, 4 miles of 1 minute at half MGP/1 minute recoveries, 2 miles easy, and 2 miles fast finish.

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Sugarloaf marathon training recap: week 4

img_1598Wow–what a week! I was feeling a little bit down after last week’s treadmill slogs, but this week perked me right back up with some beautiful (albeit really scarily warm) weather. I busted out the shorts multiple times and even got TAN LINES on Saturday. Yikes, people–how is this February??

To rewind a bit, I kicked things off Monday morning with an easy spin around my favorite loop on the Charles. Tuesday I skipped some short/speedy stuff at track for a more marathon-specific tempo workout that was a 1 mile warmup and 6 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP). The target range was 7:55-8:05, and I ended up running a 7:49 average–it felt SO amazing to be back out on the roads at a challenging but comfortable pace! I think I needed this confidence boost after having to cut my speedwork short on the dang dreadmill last week.

img_1618After a tough hip-focused yoga class Wednesday and some recovery miles Thursday, I hit up November Project on Friday with J for a hill workout. We did “full frontal” hill repeats on Summit Ave, which is a .4 mile hill that varies from a 7-8% to a 16-17% incline. This hill is KILLER–in just 4 hill repeats, I climbed 735 feet. For reference, I will climb 942 feet during the entire 26.2 miles at Sugarloaf. I was proud of myself for running the entire time, but I was feeling this in my hip flexors like whoa. Also, I swear that Jeremy is the one who enjoys this torture! I just automatically revert to a corny peace sign pose when faced with a camera. *facepalm*

Saturday I had 16 easy miles on the books, and I knew I was going to need some company to get through it. So J and I met my brother Ari the first 6 miles together, then Ari and I ran the next 8, and I finished up the final couple by myself. The weather was really hot (close to 70 degrees) and I was drained by the end of the run. It’s good to get used to all kinds of weather conditions–you never know what you’ll get on race day!

My goal for the next couple of weeks is to commit to strength training and taking a full rest day once a week. We’ll see how I do! Full recap below:

“Holy moly why is it so hot??”

Week 4: 38.5 total miles

  • Monday: 5.8 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 1 up, 6 miles at MGP
  • Wednesday: Yoga class
  • Thursday: 4.2 easy
  • Friday: 5.4 miles of hills
  • Saturday: 16 miles
  • Sunday: Rest!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Week 3 training recap + ski weekend!

img_1542Greetings from the end of the first “real” week of marathon training. This was a tough week to start–the weather was a mix of cold temps, slush, snow, and rain, which made the sidewalks pretty treacherous. I don’t know if it’s just me but solo treadmill miles are my least favorite thing. The paces feel SO much harder inside than outside, and I just don’t enjoy it anywhere near as much. I was incredibly happy to finally get back outside on Friday and Saturday. This coming week is going to be crazy warm (64 on Thursday???) so I might even get to break out the shorts!

This felt like the first week I’m really digging into marathon training–my long run was the most I’ve run at once since Chicago, and I did my first real tempo workout in addition to track. I’m also starting to test out some fueling strategies and work on my recovery and cross-training to stay healthy and injury-free. I just got a set of resistance bands, so I’m excited to add those to the routine.

img_2263Saturday I met up with Alexa for 14 miles, which we kept at a pretty easy pace and chatted the whole way. After a quick shower I hopped in the car and headed up to Jackson, NH for a ski weekend with my J, my parents, and my brother. I grew up cross-country skiing and Jackson is one of my favorite places to do it–the trails are varied, fun, and really well maintained, and the scenery can’t be beat. The added bonus was that all of the gross weather down in Boston was snow up north, so the base depths are within 2-3 feet. Plus, the weather was in the 40s-50s so we didn’t even have to worry about bundling up! Saturday we only skied for a couple of hours but it was the perfect easy shakeout for my stiff legs. After a fabulous dinner at Saalt we turned in pretty early.

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out for a 16k jaunt. The warm temps made for some really slow snow, but we took our time and enjoyed the scenery, including a requisite stop at the Cocoa Cabin (yup, the BEST). There were a few raindrops along the way but it cleared right up and turned out to be a beautiful and fun day.


Week 3: 34.1 miles total

  • Monday: 5.5 “easy” treadmill miles
  • Tuesday: Track–Strava got all confused but the details are here (in the description). 5.6 total miles
  • Wednesday: 60 minute yoga, strength training routine (clamshells, squats, etc.)
  • Thursday: 5 miles of tempo intervals (2x 10 minutes at 7:10-7:20 pace) on the dreadmill
  • Friday: 4 easy (outside!!)
  • Saturday: 14 miles + skiing
  • Sunday: Skiing!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Why I’m NOT #sheddingforthewedding

Not my actual dress. But it was a contender :)
Not my actual dress. But it was a contender 🙂

When I was looking for wedding dresses, I had just run the Chicago Marathon and was feeling pretty fab in everything I tried on. When it came down to it, I had to choose between two sizes for the dress–one that would be pretty big but with lots of extra room, and one that fit with just a bit of room to spare. While I knew I was at my racing weight, I chose the smaller size–not because I plan on any crazy body transformation but because I know myself well enough to know that my weight will stay within a reasonable range of where I was at that time.

2009 on the left, 2017 on the right.

By way of background…. body image is obviously a huge issue and I’ve had my struggles with it, especially before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2009 and before my love affair with running really took off in 2012. Junior year of college I was carrying around 12 extra pounds–which was a fair amount on my 4’11” petite frame. While I’m grateful that my lifestyle now keeps me at a healthier weight, I’m sure that I’ll never have rock solid abs or cellulite-free thighs. And I am SO ok with that–I love to exercise but not to excess, and I love to eat but try to eat nourishing foods most of the time. I also unapologetically have dessert every night, and that’s not ending any time soon 🙂

I’ve seen a pretty crazy number of friends and bloggers take on intense fitness challenges and strict diets before their weddings. This drives me bananas for several reasons. First, if you lose a ton of weight before your wedding you will look like a different person in the pictures!! I find this so bizarre–I wouldn’t want pictures all over my house of an unrealistic version of myself. Second, who the eff cares how much you weigh on your wedding day, other than you?

Pre-wedding fitness!
Pre-wedding fitness!

You will be surrounded by people who love you, you’ll have a professional photographer who will make sure you look fab, and what makes you the most beautiful is being happy and healthy and confident. Also, wedding planning is stressful enough. If you’re always freaking out about dieting, you’ll be adding unnecessary stress.

I actually think everyone should have some kind of a fitness plan during wedding planning–because it reduces stress and helps make sure you fit it into your schedule. But just like with any fitness plan, make it enjoyable and sustainable. Jeremy and I added in a fun twist where we challenged each other to try something we’ve never done before–I had to do a November Project stadium workout and he has to run a 10k. Even better–he’s running a 15k (overachiever much?) when I run Sugarloaf in May!

Stepping off my soapbox now. I can’t wait to get married in 206 days and to enjoy lots of treats and lots of running between now and then!

Sugarloaf Marathon, here I come! #bqorbust

Save the date sneaky peek

Hey friends! I’m back with a wee little update on my 2017 goals, which have changed a fair amount since I last posted about them. First and foremost, I did some hard thinking/planning and decided that if I want to run a marathon in the next year or two, this spring is really the best time–since fall 2017 and spring 2018 are both out due to my wedding and honeymoon (I know, rough life!)

So of course, the next step was to figure out which marathon to run! I did a lot of reflecting after both New York and Chicago, and I knew this time around I wanted something small and not too far away. I immediately thought of the Sugarloaf Marathon, which was where my brother ran his first BQ in 2014. I actually ran the 15k that year and loved it, which is a good sign since it’s last 9 miles of the marathon course. Sugarloaf known as a fast net downhill race and a great place to BQ. Plus, it’s within driving distance and near our cabin (where J and I are getting married in September). It’s also in May in Maine, which usually brings some nice cool weather. Sold, sold, sold!


The other thing I’ve been threatening to do for a while is to bite the bullet and hire a running coach to help me reach my goals. I did some poking around online and ended up entering a giveaway for a 2 week coaching trial from Laura over at This Runner’s Recipes. I’ve been reading her blog for years and I think she provides some of the smartest, sanest, most well-researched running advice out there. Plus, she ran an incredibly well-executed BQ marathon at CIM this December–basically, she ran the race I hoped to run in Chicago.

When I didn’t win the giveaway, Laura offered a free coaching trial anyway and I loved it. I’ll go in-depth in another post, but having a coach has been fantastic–it takes all of the guesswork and planning out of marathon training! I know the plan I’m following makes sense for my background and my goals. Laura has been really flexible in incorporating my group runs and races into my plan. Here’s a quick overview of what the last few weeks have looked like–not sure if I’m going to officially call it marathon training just yet, but I’m easing into ramped up mileage and getting ready for my half in March.

Learning to SLOW DOWN.

Week 1: 31 miles

  • Monday: 3.5 recovery miles + strides
  • Tuesday: Track workout (details here), 6.4 miles total
  • Wednesday + Thursday: Rest (fighting off a cold, boo)
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: 10 easy
  • Sunday: 5 mile race (7 total with warmup, race recap here)

Week 2: Cutback week! Lots of easy miles, 30 total

  • Monday: 60 minutes of yoga and 3 very slow recovery miles
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 5.6 easyimg_1521
  • Thursday: 4 easy
  • Friday: 4.3 treadmill miles on “rolling hills”
  • Saturday: 13 slushy, cold miles
  • Sunday: 90 minute yoga

I’m hoping to get back into my weekly marathon training updates–I really enjoy reading everyone else’s and hope mine are helpful too. It’s going to be so fun to jump back into some really strategic training and finally get that BQ I know I’m ready for! Round 3 here we GO!!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup!

Race Recap: Super Sunday 5 Miler

img_1499Hello from Boston, where everyone is freaking out about the Patriots. I’m not much of a football fan but it’s fun to be a part of the triumphant atmosphere around the city. Plus, this year I got to spend the morning racing–way more up my alley! I found out about the Super Sunday 5 Miler from friends and thought it would be a good opportunity to lay it all out there and get a read on where my fitness is at after base building for most of December and January. I had an easy 10 miler on Saturday, which I worked super hard to keep slow (not easy) in order to save my legs for Sunday morning.

Crowds on crowds on crowds

J and I drove over to the race and Alexa had grabbed us our bibs, so she and I went out for a 2 mile warm-up jog while J stashed our bags. It was COLD–in the mid 20s and feeling even colder with the gusty winds, so the warm-up was key just in terms of keeping the feeling in our fingers and toes. Afterwards we gingerly ditched our outer layers and did some dynamic drills before heading to the start. We all crammed into the starting area and true to form for these shorter races, the start was a mess–we loaded in the corrals and then had to turn around completely, so the speedsters were in the back and the more causal runners were in the front. Ooops! I ended up jammed in with some November Project folks who kept the mood light and positive with a little customary bounce.

Given the line-up snafu, the first mile of the race was a little bit disheartening with runners passing me left and right. I meant to hold back during this mile, but I ended up at 6:46–a little fast. img_1500The cold, wind, and slight hills definitely slowed me down, but I was able to keep pace with one of the guys I had started with (nice job Malcolm!!) and stay in the 6:40s-6:50s for the next few miles. By mile 5 I was feeling pretty cooked–my goal was to leave it all out on the course and I knew I had. I pushed the pace a bit and tried to pick off runners as I could, but the 5k course had rejoined at that point and it was tough to choose who pace with. My customary final kick didn’t materialize, but I did pick up a 6:29 final mile for a 34:24 finish–average pace of 6:45/mile. While that wasn’t a PR, I think for the conditions it was a strong performance. (The last 5 miler I did was actually on a notoriously short course, so according to Strava my average pace for that one was 6:57/mile–so sort of a PR??)img_1501

As some of you saw on Instagram, I’m officially back in marathon training mode! At 31 miles, this was my longest training week since November and it felt AWESOME. With the help of a coach, I’m headed for the Sugarloaf Marathon on May 21st. Can’t wait to tell you more on all of this in an upcoming post!!

Happy day to all of the Pats fans (and to the Falcons fans and basically everyone else–sorry?) I’ll be back soon to dive into my marathon plans and goals for #bqorbust round two!

Linking up with Tuesdays on the run 🙂

NYE and 2017 running goals (part 1)

img_1251Happy 2017!! I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday. I started the day off with a killer workout with Alexa, who is already kicking major butt with her Boston Marathon training (she’s running for an amazing org working to end sexual violence–more here!) We did 11 miles total–3 to warm up, 4 interval miles with 3 minutes at 7:20ish pace and 2 minutes at 8:20ish pace, and 4 to cool down…. all of this on the infamous Newton hills. More details and splits are here, but suffice it to say that we earned our champagne!

J and I spent the evening with lots of friends (and FOUR adorable dogs) and partied way past our bedtimes. It was a great night/weekend/end to the holiday season. Leaving the larger world for just a sec, I can’t wait for 2017. It will be the year I turn 30, finish my MBA, and of course, marry my best friend. img_1275I’ve also been thinking a lot about my running goals for the year. Laura over at This Runner’s Recipes (highly recommend her blog) wrote a great post about goal setting, which inspired me to think about the year in chunks rather than as one long slog. I’m a really different runner than I was 6 months ago, so it really resonates with me to set goals more often than every 12 months.

One big piece of this year’s goal-setting is thinking about whether/when I want to run a full marathon. I am going to leave this one up in the air for now, although there is a real possibility I will not be running a full marathon this year. While the master plan is still to 1. get my BQ, 2. run Boston, 3. maybe retire from marathoning, I know this year is going to be really busy so we’ll see what form this takes.

New year. Same swishy ponytail.

In the meantime, I will most definitely be running and chasing some BIG goals–here are my goals for the first four-ish months of 2017!

  1. PR the half: My 1:36:55 finish at the Cambridge Half Marathon this fall really cemented something I already knew–I LOVE the half distance and have real capacity to improve at it. I am running the New Bedford Half in March and I would love to set a new PR at that race with an A goal of breaking 1:35.
  2. Break 20 minutes in the 5K: This goal is a little bit murkier for me, but I do think that I have capacity to improve at shorter distances now that I have a stronger base of speedwork under my belt. Tentatively, I am looking at the BAA 5k which takes place during Boston Marathon weekend in April. I have absolutely no idea what a 5k training plan even looks like, though, which is why my next goal is to…
  3. Hire a coach: One thing I hear time and time again is that the best way to make real leaps is to hire a coach. My tentative thought is to use a service like Runner’s Connect, although I’ve thought about hiring an individual coach to map out a plan for me. I don’t think I’m ready to commit just yet to a full-on coaching program (like this one or this one) but any advice is very, very welcome!!

Also, somewhat related–I just joined Classpass for the next few months to have additional indoor workout options. Let me know if you have any particular recommendations for places to check out!

Happy 2017 and HAPPY RUNNING! Linking up with Tuesdays on the run!

Year of running 2016

img_1131Hey all! What a doozie of a year–as a human and am American, I’m pretty ready to forget about 2016, but as a runner it’s been a pretty cool year. I’m linking up with the lovely Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC to do a recap of my year of running. Read on below!

  • Best race experience: I absolutely loved this year’s Cambridge Half Marathon. I put so little pressure on myself for this race and I truly blew my own mind by finishing in 1:36:55, which is a 7:24 average pace. Everything just felt right, and after missing my BQ goal in Chicago, this race reminded me of just how far I’ve come this year.
  • Best run: This is incredibly broad, but I’ve had so much fun learning about speedwork at my Tuesday track workouts with Nike Boston. Plus, the (free!) incredible professional photos are pretty darn cool.
  • Best new piece of running gear: I finally upgraded my Garmin this year and am pretty much obsessed with all of the new features and the much more user-friendly display of the Forerunner 220. It’s a little big for my teeny tiny wrist, but other than that I give it two thumbs up. The one GPS wish I have on my wish list is figuring out how to get my watch to time indoor track workouts–does anyone know how to do this with a regular Garmin??
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: You don’t have to run, you GET to run.
  • img_0070Most inspirational runner: I pick two! My buddies Danielle and Alexa were absolutely incredible training partners for Chicago. I’m constantly inspired by their tenacity and positivity. This has been a fantastic year of growth in terms of my running circles, and I’m so glad to have more running friends in my life to push me, inspire me, and open my eyes to all kinds of new things!
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This is actually a really hard choice, since I finally figured out how not to look like I’m dying in race photos, but truly the pictures from track are the ones that make me feel fit, fierce, and powerful. img_9913
  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: I had so much fun at the Harpoon 5 miler–it was my first race ever hitting 6:xx splits and it’s such a nice race distance–long enough that you really get to feel warmed up but short enough to push the pace pretty hard the whole time. Plus, this was J’s first race beyond a 5k, so that was a cool experience to share together. And, all of the cider afterward 🙂 I definitely hope to sign up for this race again next year!
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Discovery, challenge, and strength! I set PRs at every race distance I tackled this year and found out I’m capable of way more than I ever dreamed:

5K: Previous PR 29:08 (9:22 pace), 2016 PR 21:59 (6:45 pace)

5M: Previous PR 42:39 (8:31 pace), 2016 PR 34:09 (6:49 pace)

Half Marathon: Previous PR 1:46:29 (8:07 pace), 2016 PR 1:36:55 (7:24 pace)

Marathon: Previous PR 4:05:54 (9:23 pace), 2016 PR 3:36:03 (8:14 pace)

new-bed-halfAnd a little future planning nugget–I signed up for my first race of 2017! I’m going to be running the New Bedford Half Marathon on March 19th. I really love the half marathon distance and I think with some targeted training I have the capacity to cut my time down even further. Back soon with some training updates, but in the meantime, let’s all be glad the shitstorm of 2016 is over and cross our fingers for a better new year.