Running Goals for 2018 (and beyond)

Does anyone else LOVE setting goals? I am a list-maker and goal-lover for sure. But sometimes, it can be scary to put goals down on paper. I also find that with running, it’s hard to put my finger on goals that don’t involve picking a distance and running it faster than last time. However, I have some big exciting things coming up so without further ado, here are the running goals that are on the horizon for me:

  1. Run a strong, smart Boston: I worked my butt off to BQ and my #1 goal for Boston is to enjoy the experience. I am going to train hard for a 3:25 marathon, but if I don’t get good weather (and given the past couple of years in Boston, I don’t expect to) or my training gets thrown off when I’m on my honeymoon, then I’m going to run for fun and just enjoy the experience. More here!
  2. Complete my first 50k: I’ve been toying around with the idea of a 50k for the past couple of years, and am signed up for my first in May. Similar to my “plan B” for Boston, my goal for this is to complete the race feeling strong and happy. I’m so excited to have a crew of buddies to run with for this one!
  3. Break 20 minutes in the 5k: After coming SO close to hitting a sub-20 a few weeks back, I know for sure I’m ready for this one. Pacer friends, please text me to apply.
  4. Set a big marathon PR: While I’m incredibly proud of my BQ at Sugarloaf this year, I think I’m capable of running a fair amount faster than 3:28 at the full marathon distance. When I put my half marathon PR (1:34:19) into a pace calculator (I like this one), my predicted marathon time is in the 3:16 range–and this nets out anecdotally as well in terms of what I’ve seen others run. I am by no means an experienced marathoner and I have yet to run 26.2 in the cooler weather my body loves, but I think I owe it to myself to really work for a big PR. As I mentioned, Boston isn’t going to be the right race for this, but I’m considering running CIM this coming December! My marathon buddy Denise is off to Cali, so it seems like the perfect reason to head out there for a visit. Plus, I’ve heard a million and one amazing things about the race.
  5. Break 1:32 in the half: I’ve mentioned this a bunch, but I freaking love the half marathon!! It’s just the best race distance. I brought my PR down from 1:36:55 to 1:34:19 this fall and while it was a fantastic race, I do think I have more in me. If I can run a sub-1:32, I can time qualify into the NYC marathon. I don’t for sure know if this will happen in 2018, but I think this is a realistic goal for me. Plus, I loved the NYC marathon, although since it was my first, it would be nice to run it again now that I know what the heck I’m doing.
  6. Run as a pacer: I would love to be a pace group leader for a half marathon–I think it would be such a cool experience and way to give back to the running community. I applied to be a pacer for the Old Port Half Marathon in June, and I’m crossing my fingers and toes I am chosen!

Some of these will definitely happen in 2018 and some may not, but they’re all super exciting! What big running goals do you have for 2018 and beyond?

Advertisements

Boston marathon training: week 8

The theme of this week was: hooray for the cutback!! I definitely was feeling the accumulated stress of 3 weeks in a row at close to 50 miles, so was glad to be taking it a bit easier. I had some residual tightness in my right hip after last week’s 16 miler, so this couldn’t have been better timing. Monday I kicked things off with 6 really easy miles at 9:30 pace, keeping it light so my hip could loosen up. After some quality time with my foam roller Tuesday’s marathon pace run felt pretty good. I haven’t been running with headphones much recently, but I was definitely glad to have a little music to pump me up for this one! Tuesday was also the hubby’s birthday so we celebrated with delicious tacos and this amazing flourless chocolate cake. SO good.

Wednesday was a bonus “rest” day, so I put in a couple of sets of strength work but avoided the temptation to sneak in an extra easy run. I think these cutback weeks are super valuable and I’m trying to trust the plan as much as possible. Wednesday night we had a team event with a dietetic intern at the hospital–definitely covering the basics, but she did an awesome job and it was cool to be reminded about how much diet affects training. I really like this graphic as a simple way to think about fueling (more info here!)Thursday was a beautiful 6 miles, the first 3 with a colleague who’s also training for Boston. Friday J and I went to a yoga class together and did some nice shoulder opening work–definitely something I don’t focus on enough!

Saturday was the big day of the week–it was a tough workout, and it was Denise’s last long run in Boston before she leaves us for Cali. She’s an awesome training buddy and I’m going to miss her but am so excited for her (she got a job at Facebook) and can’t wait to have her back for Boston! ICYMI, we qualified together at the Sugarloaf Marathon. And I’m thinking pretty seriously about heading out for CIM in December… anyone have tips??

Anywho, Saturday we hit the Boston course for a tough long run/workout–4 easy miles, 4 miles of 90 second intervals at 10k pace (6:50-7:00) with 90 second jog recoveries, 2 miles easy, 2 MGP to finish up. It was a doozy, especially with 627 feet of elevation gain, but great to suffer through it together. And today I got my easy run in with J to wrap up the week.

I’m excited to get back into the hard stuff this week–it’s gonna be a big one!!

Week 7: 37.4 miles

  • Monday: 6.6 super easy miles
  • Tuesday: 1 up, 6 at MGP (7:33, 7:33, 7:37, 7:41, 7:36, 7:31), 1 down for 8 total
  • Wednesday: Mini band + core exercises
  • Thursday: 6 easy
  • Friday: 75 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Saturday: 4 up, 10 x 90 seconds at 10k, 2 easy, 2 MGP for 12.5 total
  • Sunday: 4.2 easy

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

Boston marathon training: week 7

Week 7–here we go! This one had some off moments but overall I made all of my training happen and ran outside every day, which makes me super happy. Monday was 7 miles with some snow flurries I wasn’t expecting, but it made for pretty scenery. Tuesday I had a track workout on the books so was excited to join the HHRC crew. This was a fun one–400s with 5 minute tempos alternating HMGP and MGP in between. It definitely kicked my butt but I was happy I went, as always. It’s really motivating to have pacers to chase and buddies to run with.

Wednesday a storm had been predicted but it wasn’t nearly as bad as they made it out to be. I kept it really slow and easy for a morning 4 miler and headed to the yoga studio after work for some much-needed hip opening. Thursday the roads were fairly icy and I had a rough start to my run, ending up on a slippery path and having to dive inside for a bathroom stop after the first mile. I picked it back up though and found a better spot, and ended up running some paces that made me really happy (7:08 for the first 2 miles and 7:07 for the second set, goal was between 7:05 and 7:15). Friday was a much-needed rest day before Saturday’s 16 miler.

Friday night I didn’t sleep super well, but I got up and managed to meet up with my run crew for a spin along the Charles River. It was nice and warm–high 30s to low 40s–but windy, and I was SO glad to have my girls with me. We were having such a good time running and chatting we didn’t even realize nobody had brought a phone for our post-run selfie! Luckily we were reconvening later on for game night and drinks, so we got our shot in then. Next week is Denise’s last long run before she moves to Cali, so we’re getting as much quality time in as possible.

The rest of the weekend was filled with the women’s march, brunch, and house hunting–J and I are saving our pennies and hope to buy something in the next year or so. Today was warm enough for short sleeves, so I had to head out for a 5 mile easy run. I totally overdressed but loved being out in the sun. This January thaw is a-ok by me!

Week 7: 46.8

  • Monday: 7 easy miles
  • Tuesday: Track! 4×400 at 10k, 5 min tempo, 3×400 at 5k, 5 min tempo, 2×400 at mile for 7 total
  • Wednesday: 4 snowy recovery miles, 75 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: Tempo! 2 up, 2×2 at HMGP, 1 down for 7.4 total
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 16 miles
  • Sunday: 5 easy

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

Boston marathon training: week 6

Man oh man, it’s hard to believe I’m already on week 6! This was a pretty textbook good training week–I completed every workout as planned and felt strong and solid as I inch up towards 50 miles. Monday morning I was up bright and early for hill repeats, which were at 5k effort up and jogging down. I really like these workouts because they force you to measure pace by effort vs. by the numbers–although I feel like my favorite hill is a little too “easy” for these workouts? Hard to tell! Either way, I’m huffing and puffing by the top 🙂

Monday night we had our official kickoff for my charity team for Boston! ICYMI, I’m running Boston for the Bowdoin Street Health Center Healthy Champions program, which brings health and wellness programming to kids in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. (I would LOVE for you to learn more about this amazing program and consider supporting me here!) It was really fun to meet the other runners and to hear about the incredible work our fundraising will support. Plus, I snagged my official Boston jacket–can’t wait to rock this guy after the race!

Tuesday the weather had finally cleared up so I opted for an outdoor run–it was definitely slushy and there were lots of puddles, but it felt amazing to be comfortable outside. Wednesday I stuck to the the mill and did 3 easy miles–during which I checked the clock about every 30 seconds. UGH. I did get a nice little strength circuit in with some solid corework, so that was a plus. In the evening I got a much-needed massage–I carry a lot of tension in my upper body when I run, and it was painful but great to get it worked out. Thursday was a fun tempo (outdoors again, yay!) with MGP miles. I kept the pace in check on these and was really comfortable between a 7:40 and 7:45 pace–right on track for race day. Those mid-week 9 milers are tough but necessary! Friday was a rest day (and a cocktails with friends day–hurrah).

Saturday the weather was a little crazy–starting in the 60s and ending in the 30s during a 2 hour run! It was awesome to run with my pal Denise–she’s moving to Cali and I want to get in as many long runs as possible. Luckily she’ll be back for Boston–we ran Sugarloaf together and she’s the best marathon buddy. This morning I was moving slow after we went out to a fun concert, but J and I got out for some chilly but nice recovery miles together.

Onwards to another cold week–hopefully no more snow any time super soon!

Week 5: 45.9

  • Monday: Hill workout! 10 x 60 second hill repeats for 6.5 miles total
  • Tuesday: 7 easy miles
  • Wednesday: 3 recovery dreadmill miles, mini band strength circuit
  • Thursday: Tempo! 2 up, 6 MGP, 1 down for 9 total
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 15 hilly easy-paced miles
  • Sunday: 5 easy

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

Boston marathon training: week 5

Greetings from the tundra! I am so, so glad the cold snap is ending this week–this was a tough one with temps in the single digits and a 14 inch dump of snow on Thursday. We definitely have stretches like this most winters in MA, but this one was early and it was HARSH. I was glad that I was able to stick to the plan this week and really pleased to see my first 40+ mile week since October.

Basically, this was a week of taking advantage of whatever indoor or daytime miles I could snag. On New Year’s Day J and I managed to get a run in together–I love when we can coordinate our easy runs and pass the time chatting. Tuesday I gratefully hit up my favorite morning track workout, and Wednesday I squeezed in a run commute on a busy day. Sidenote–I have a 2.5 mile run to and from work and would love to use that to my advantage more often. Does anyone have tips on run commuting? Tips on backpacks that don’t bug the heck out of you?

Thursday was the big blizzard (or the “bomb cyclone”) so I was all set to head to the gym in the morning until I discovered that it hadn’t started snowing yet! So I suited up and got my run done just as the flakes were really starting to fly. It was a little bit rough with the wind, but kind of magical to be out there in part of the storm.  Our local yoga studio was open all day, so J and I took a trudge through the snow for a nice warm class. Luckily I had Friday off anyway, but the frigid temps Saturday morning sent me indoors for my long run. I ended up taking two back-to-back classes at Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s Run Studio–it’s definitely still treadmill running, but way more entertaining than toughing it out alone. Boston folks, I highly recommend checking these guys out if you need an indoor option for your runs! I even ran into a couple of Oiselle teammates, which is always a nice surprise.

Sunday morning was freezing again, but I waited it out and managed to get my run done outdoors before J and I took advantage of the snow for a little bit of XC skiing. I even strapped on my skate skis from high school and took them for a spin–what a humbling experience! Skate skiing is super, duper hard but really fun–highly recommended for a good challenge 🙂

I can’t wait to hit the roads this week as the temps soar to the 30s and 40s–bring on the heat wave!!

Week 5: 42.4 miles

  • Monday: 6 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 1200, 800, 400 x 3 (track workout) for 8 total
  • Wednesday: 2.5 recovery miles (run commute)
  • Thursday: 6.8 easy pre-blizzard miles, 90 minute vinyasa yoga
    Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 14 treadmill miles
  • Sunday: 4.6 easy and 5 miles of XC skiing

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

Boston marathon training: weeks 3 and 4

Well, I think I can sum up the past two weeks as one super solid week of training and then a black hole of Christmas plus a stomach bug plus insanely cold weather. My plan was to amp up the mileage just a bit each week this month, and all was going swimmingly for week 3! I had a really strong week of workouts and totally felt like I was getting into the groove of training–I even actually did my strength work and yoga 🙂 I also saw probably the most gorgeous sunrise I’ve seen while running! I did obviously miss my recap during the holiday craziness, but that was bound to happen.

After some Christmas festivities with J’s family we continued our Christmas tradition of going skiing on Xmas day, and we were treated to a full-on powder day–my fellow New Englanders know this is a rare treat. It’s definitely a lot more work to ski in powder–my quads were feelin’ it! When we got home I went to bed feeling a little off, and woke up to a full-blown case of norovirus. I was basically immobile for the next couple of days, and couldn’t stomach a full meal until Thursday.

I definitely beat myself up at first about missing runs, but quickly let it go–these things happen, and there literally wasn’t any way I was going to move away from the couch at that point. Luckily by Thursday I was back on my game, so I hit the treadmill to test things out and then Friday managed to get outside. Of course, the temps in Boston have been insane this week–in the single digits with crazy wind chill factors. So that wasn’t ideal. I toyed around with the idea of doing Saturday’s long run indoors but managed to convince Alexa to head out to Newton with me for a spin on the marathon course. Despite the cold temps and some super icy sidewalks, we got it done–although I was absolutely dragging by the end. It was one of the hardest runs I’ve done in a long time, but it’s worth it to make the extra effort to get out of the house.

The rest of the weekend we spent relaxing and celebrating 2018 with friends. This was a pretty phenomenal year both for me as a runner (PRs galore + my first BQ) and personally (finishing my MBA and getting married). I can’t wait to really dig into the meat of training–check back soon for a post on my 2018 goals!

Week 3: 37 miles

  • Monday: 5 easy + strides, banded strength circuit
  • Tuesday: 1600, 1200, 800, 400 (track workout) for 6 total
  • Wednesday: 3 easy + 90 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: 5 mile progression run
  • Friday: Long run workout! 6 easy, 4 MGP, 3 strong for 13 total
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: 4 easy

Week 3: 22.6

  • Monday: Downhill skiing at Waterville–powder day!
  • Tuesday: Stomach bug–zero.
  • Wednesday: More stomach bug–zero.
  • Thursday: 5 dreadmill miles
  • Friday: 5 mile progression run
  • Saturday: 12.5 mile (hilly) long run
  • Sunday: Banded strength circuit, ankle PT, and stretching

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin).

Boston Marathon Training: Week 2

Woo hoo, week two! No matter how long I take off between training cycles, I’m always a little overwhelmed/super impressed with myself that I’ve been able to do as much as I have. Getting back into training during the holiday season is definitely tough–and this week was no exception. Also, this was the first week I had to contend with icy roads and truly cold temperatures. So–here we go!

Monday I kicked things off with an easy-paced run–being super careful to shuffle around the patches of black ice on the paths and sidewalks. Tuesday I was grateful to be back indoors with my track crew–local folks, you can learn more about these workouts here! Wednesday was a very welcome yoga class (I love warmer classes in the winter) and Thursday was a TOUGH hill workout. I definitely don’t do hill sprints enough and this one was a killer. I’m glad I did it though, because it warmed me right up and it was the first time I did a weekday workout over 7 miles in 6 weeks! Back at it for sure.

Friday was an unintentional rest day–the real feel was in the single digits in the morning so I planned to run home from work instead, and then promptly forgot my sports bra. Sigh. We hosted a small holiday gathering that night so it probably worked out for the best–I love hosting but it definitely stresses me out! I made a gluten free carrot cake (from this cookbook) and this mulled wine in the slow cooker. We also had candy cane brownies, chocolate mousse, and eggnog–a true treat feast! The next morning I was moving a little bit slower than usual so ended up being a little bit late for a group long run, but got to pound out a solid 12 miler with my girls. Sunday was going to be a rest day, but since I skipped Friday J and I braved the cold for a few miles together. I love when we can catch up on the run, and was glad I had company for this one.

Oh! Another exciting piece of news–I got chosen to be a 2018 Nuun ambassador! I’ve never been a brand ambassador before so this should be really fun. I love Nuun products and can’t wait to see what this new opportunity brings 🙂

Week 2: 33.6 miles

  • Monday: 4 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 12 x 400 track workout
  • Wednesday: 90 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: hill workout! 12 x 90 second hill sprint at 10k effort, 4 x 30 second hill sprints at mile effort, easy recoveries down the hill
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 12 mile long run
  • Sunday: 5.3 easy

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

My year in running, 2017

Hey there friends! It’s mid-December and high time to do some reflecting on the past year. It’s been a wild freaking ride, and I accomplished things I didn’t think were ever possible for me. I could probably ramble on forever, but instead I’m linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC for her Year of Running 2017 linkup.

  • Best race experience: This is a hard one! I raced a ton this year, setting PRs in the 5k, 5 mile, 10k, half, and full distances (yowza). I think overall I’d have to go with the Sugarloaf Marathon–from start to finish, it was a dream race experience and I’m so proud of all of the hard work it took to nail my first BQ.
  • Best run: I’d have to say the 5k we did as part of our wedding weekend–it was incredible to have so many of my favorite people in my favorite place being good sports about participating in my favorite activity.
  • Best new piece of running gear: This is another tricky one! I didn’t invest in a ton of gear this year, but I did find a new pair of everyday running shoes I love–the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. I was fitted for a stability shoe when I was training for my first marathon and I don’t think I actually needed that much cushion, so these are a perfect balance for me–not too heavy, and they wear like a dream. Plus they come in widths, for anyone else who has crazy teeny/narrow feet. 
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: Take your easy runs EASY. I think this made the biggest difference in my marathon training this year.
  • Most inspirational runner: I’m going to cheat here and call out all of the amazing Oiselle ladies I’ve connected with this year–you guys inspire me every single day, and I’m so grateful to have you as my #sistersinsport.
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: I think I probably have to pick this one from Sugarloaf–I couldn’t wipe that shit-eating grin off my face for most of the day. It was just the best.
  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: I loved the Prospect Park Turkey Trot and am 110% sure I’ll be back next year, with lots of family members in tow! Plus, it was the first time I ever placed in a race, so that was a pretty surreal accomplishment.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Strong. Fast. Confident.

Boston Marathon training begins: week 1 recap!

Well, well, well–here we are, back again for a new series of weekly training recaps as I gear up for Boston 2018! I wrote these recaps during my training for Chicago and Sugarloaf, and it was a fun way to connect with other runners and to keep a journal of my training. This time, I’m starting super early since I’m being very particular about building a strong base for my training.

My goals for this first week were to run at least 30 miles across 5 days, which I did easily. I am following a generic plan from Coach Dan until my custom plan from Coach Laura starts in January (more thoughts on coaching are here–please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions at all!!) This week included two abbreviated speed sessions, one of which I did with the Heartbreak Hill Running Company crew in the South End. It was a super short workout since a lot of folks were tapering for a 5k this weekend, but it was nice to get moving around a track again. I’m generally not an evening workout person, but I like having this option on Thursdays to get through the darker days.

This weekend was a busy one! I got in a nice, relaxed 10 miler in the snowbefore heading to my local yoga studio for my initial work-study training. I’m hoping to take on a weekly shift to get more connected with the community and to save myself some $$ on my yoga habit. Then I hit up two holiday parties, spending most of the evening with the Oiselle gals! It was a lot of fun, as always–and now I’m seriously considering running CIM next December. Anyone else looking at it? It’s only $99 if you register now… crazy. Also crazy–the elite field for Boston this year is freaking STACKED. Hype hype hype!

I wrapped things up on Sunday with a much needed rest day (after one too many glasses of vino–oops) and a friend’s baby shower. I can’t wait to meet her little guy! Happy week one to anyone else running Boston–I look forward to keeping these updates going as training progresses!

Week 1: 31 miles

  • Monday: 5 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 12 x 1 minute at 10k pace, 5.3 miles total
  • Wednesday: 90 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: Short speed workout–4×200, 4×150
  • Friday: 6.4 miles easy
  • Saturday: 10.2 mile long run
  • Sunday: Rest dayyyy

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

Winter Classic 5k Recap–new PR (so close!)

I’m back again with one last race recap of 2017 (I promise!) and I have to admit, I did not want to run this one. I definitely overbooked myself this fall on the racing front and was just feeling very blah overall this week–a little bit frustrated professionally, and annoyed I had missed a few runs/workouts due to poor planning. I was excited for a morning with the Oiselle gals but just not geared up for the 5k.

Putting my best foot forward, I started race morning with a light breakfast and then an easy warmup jog, during which I learned my speedy friend Cait and I were feeling equally ambivalent about the race. However, it was a clear and cold morning–similar to last year, which was a great race for me. As Cait and I shed our layers she asked me what I was thinking for pace, and I mentioned maybe trying to run a tempo a bit faster than my half marathon pace (7 min/mile-ish). She asked what I thought about 6:40s, and of course (as I am very susceptible to running peer pressure) I told her I’d give it a whirl.

We started up near-ish to the front of the corrals and took the announcer’s advice to “go go go!” The first mile started a little bit slow as we worked our way around some slower runners to settle into the pack. We hit the first full mile split at 6:34–right on track. I barely looked at my watch during this race, keeping the effort hard but steady and pacing along with Cait. The second mile started to feel pretty tough–there’s a slight but steady uphill at this point, and my nose was pretty stuffed up from the cold. I got a little lift from seeing a friend in the pack and getting some cheers from the girls spectating. Cait and I checked in with each other to make sure the pace was ok, and then pushed through the second mile at a 6:29. I knew at this point I was going to hang on as best I could, gutting it out to the finish. We could tell there weren’t many women ahead of us so we picked off a few in the last quarter mile or so, hitting mile 3 at a 6:22 pace and then sprinting it in at  5:20 pace for the .1.

I wasn’t quite sure where we had ended up, but was THRILLED when both of our watches both said 19:59!! It turns out my official time was 20:01, which is a little bit frustrating, but either way it’s a huge 33 second PR for me–and close enough to a sub-20. Running a 19:XX 5k has been a dream goal of mine for a long time, and considering I wasn’t even going to run hard I’m super proud of my time. I came in as 13th female (out of 934), 75th overall (out of 1766), and 3rd in my age group. Big, huge THANK YOU to Cait for pacing me to a time I didn’t think was possible!! Chase your fast friends, guys–it’s the best way to get faster yourself.

We ended the morning with a quick stop by the post-race party (it was COLD) and then a fun coffee meetup with the team. Big props to the Cambridge Classic folks for a well-organized race, as always! I like that this one brings out both the folks who want to run/race hard and the folks who want to wear funny costumes and party afterwards. And everyone in between 🙂

Back soon with a recap of the first official week of Boston training! I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.