Seacoast Half Marathon Race Recap (new PR!)

 

Happy Monday, friends! Greetings from the happy end of another training cycle. This past weekend J and I ran the Seacoast Half Marathon in Portsmouth, NH–my 13th and his 1st. This race ticked all the boxes of a goal race for me. It’s on the smaller side, it’s reasonably priced, the scenery is gorgeous, and it’s somewhere new but still within a couple hours of home. We decided to “splurge” and spend credit card points on a hotel the night before–Portsmouth is just over an hour from home, but staying up there made for a much more relaxed race morning. An added bonus was that we got to have dinner with some good friends who live in the area on Saturday night. We ended up at Street, which was awesome. I had my traditional pre-race burger and a side of yucca fries, which were AMAZING. I definitely want to go back to Street some time to try out their cocktails and some of the more interesting dishes 😉

Saturday night I had a fair amount of trouble falling asleep, which is typical for me before races. Luckily I had gotten a great night of sleep on Friday night, so I knew I’d be fine for the race. Saturday morning we had breakfast and coffee in our hotel room before heading just a few miles down the road to Portsmouth High School, where the race starts. We easily parked right by the school and grabbed our race bibs and shirts fairly quickly. There wasn’t a secure bag check for this race, but we were able to leave our coats in the school’s cafeteria and just left our valuables in the car. It was chilly, with temps around 30 degrees at the start of the race, so I opted for tights, a warm base layer, gloves, and a buff. I probably slightly overdressed but I hate being cold at the beginning of races! I ended up taking off my gloves and buff by mile 3 😉

After a couple of rounds waiting in the porto potty lines and a very quick warmup jog, we headed up towards the race start. I wished J good luck and scooted up to the 7:30 pacer. Thanks to my race plan from Coach Laura, I knew race starts downhill and I wanted to make a very concerted effort to hold the pace back. The first two miles were light and easy.

  • Mile 1: 7:20
  • Mile 2: 7:24

By mile 3, I felt good and wanted to pick it up to closer to my goal pace (around 7:10-7:15). My goal was to feel comfortable and steady for the middle miles of the race, while actively conserving energy to be able to pick up the pace near the end.

  • Mile 3: 7:06
  • Mile 4: 7:08
  • Mile 5: 7:18
  • Mile 6: 7:08
  • Mile 7: 7:04
  • Mile 8: 6:56
  • Mile 9: 7:11
  • Mile 10: 7:10

I had accidentally set my watch with the automatic mile split setting off, so I could only see my overall average pace for the race. This turned out to be super helpful–my focus was just on pushing hard enough to inch my average pace slowly down instead of re-calibrating my effort every mile. I had tucked into a fairly steady group and I decided to stick with them through mile 10. The scenery during this section was gorgeous–lots of quaint old houses and sweeping views of the coastline. I made sure to grab a cup at each water stop and slowly sipped a Gu starting around mile 7.5. At mile 10, I could tell I still had some juice left in my legs, so I started picking folks off as I nudged the pace up.

  • Mile 11: 7:00
  • Mile 12: 6:51
  • Mile 13: 6:55
  • .2: 6:15

At mile 13 I was feeling strong, having picked off a couple of other female runners–at that point I knew there weren’t many more ahead of me. I hit the steepest hill of the race at this point, but I gritted my teeth and pushed my way up, knowing the finish line was around the corner. I totally channeled my inner Shalene Flanagan and let loose a “F*$& yeah!” as I crossed the finish line with the pace clock still at 1:34:XX. My official finish time was 1:34:19, which was good for 11th female finisher, 4th in my age group, and 52nd overall. My goals for the race were:

  • A Goal: Sub-1:35
  • B Goal: PR (Sub-1:36:55)
  • C Goal: Sub 1:40

So, I was pretty happy with where I ended up. Jeremy ran an incredible first sub 2 hour half, and is already talking about signing up for his next one. I’ve created a monster!! It was really fun to get to watch him finish for once.

After taking the requisite photos we grabbed some post-race snacks (there was everything from pizza to a Mexican rice dish to squash soup and apple cider!) and then went back to our hotel for a hot tub dip and shower before tucking in at one of our favorite brunch spots, The Friendly Toast. Pro tip–they have an app you can use to skip the wait–our table was ready less than 10 minutes after we arrived! SO necessary.

Overall, this was a fantastic race for me–I felt well-trained, I raced hard and smart, and the course and weather were perfect. I also LOVE the half distance–it’s absolutely where I excel and I think where I still have the most room to grow (looking you, NYC marathon qualifying times!) I have a lot more to say about this training cycle but I’m incredibly happy to have PRed the 5k, 10k, and half this fall! I owe a big debt of gratitude to Coach Laura, who wrote the custom training plan that got me to my goals. More to come on what went well and what’s next–for now, I’m ready for a few sweet weeks of easy running and lots of yoga before Boston training kicks into gear.

Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women Race Recap (new PR!)

Hello from the land where it’s finally feeling like fall! I went for a run this morning and it was in the 40s, which I LOVED. For this post, however, I’m going to rewind a bit back to Monday when the weather was decidedly less nice for running. I had been carefully watching the weather all weekend since I knew we were going to be getting some aftereffects of Hurricane Nate. Luckily, race day came and it wasn’t pouring rain, but it was nearly 100% humidity and in the 70s–unfortunately similar to the weather for my last 10k.

I was pretty nervous heading into race day, both because I was shooting for a PR and because I was spearheading my first meeting for the Oiselle Volee. I got to the race nice and early and despite not having received my bib in the mail, I got a new one assigned super easily. Even with the cloudy skies, there was lots of energy around the expo and among the runners! I met up with a nice crew of the Oiselle ladies and got to see some old friends and meet new ones as we chatted and took a warmup jog around Boston Common. We breezed through the portopotty lines and my teammate Sarah and I lined up at the 7 minute mile corral.

This race usually draws a pretty impressive crowd of elites, but even so we were right up at the front of the pack to start the race off. I wasn’t really feeling the heat for the first couple of miles and ticked off some hard but sustainable paces at 6:52, 6:52, and 6:58 for the first three miles. While the front of the field got spread out pretty quickly, the course loops back on itself so I got to exchange lots of cheers with friends as we ran along Memorial Drive in Cambridge. I love this race because women are so supportive of one another! Everyone was encouraging and positive even as we were passing each other. Once we crossed back over the Mass Ave Bridge, the heat and humidity had caught up with me and I was starting to drag. I got a big boost from my teammates cowbelling and then another push as I ran past J, who had come down to cheer me on.

I decided that I was going to push as much as I could, ignoring my watch, and aim for a strong finish. I let the pace slip a bit but was able to pick it back up to a 6:43 pace down the very long finishing chute. My final time was 43:39, which is an 18 second PR over the Beach to Beacon 10k! This brought me in 42nd overall (out of 2,699 finishers) and 9th in my age group. It definitely was a little bit behind the time I trained for–my recent 5k results predict closer to a 42:XX 10k–but with the tough conditions, I’m super proud of my time.

After grabbing a bag of snacks and some water, I hung out with the girls and cheered on the rest of the finishers–including my mom! She ran this race in its inaugural year 41 years ago, and this year I got to jump in and cross the finish line with her. It was such a special moment for us to have together. I wrapped up the day with some much-needed lunch nearby with the crew.

Overall, I had an amazing time and am super proud of my mom and my teammates and friends for their strong finishes! Despite the race shirts being a bit underwhelming this year (cotton instead of dry-fit) I would absolutely run this race again and am super grateful to have had my entry comped by the race organizers. I’m looking forward to my next race, which will be my attempt to surpass my half marathon PR from this time last year. Happy fall running!

Race Recap: Oktoberfest 5k (new PR!)

Oh man. Remember that time I had a blog? I’ve been in total lala land the past few weeks as I moved, got married, turned 30, and oh yeah… officially got accepted into the 2018 Boston Marathon!! I also ran my first mile race and set a crazy (to me) flashy new PR of 6:06. Recap of that to come soon. But first, let’s go back to yesterday’s 5K!

Back in July I ran my first trail race and and inadvertently won an Instagram contest the organizers were running, which got me a free entry to one of their other races this fall. I followed my running bestie Alexa’s advice and signed up for their Oktoberfest 5k race. The timing wasn’t ideal, as this Saturday was Yom Kippur (a Jewish holiday that involves a 25 hour fast), but I figured I would run it for fun. Like the Cambridge Half Marathon, the bib pickup and post-race party for this race are in the parking garage of the Cambridgeside Galleria, which is a local shopping mall. The logistics were super smooth, and within 15 minutes or so I was running a couple of gentle miles to warm up. I felt fairly good and the weather was perfect–in the mid 50s and sunny. Alexa and I decided we would start together and see how we felt, and after surveying the crowd we had a good feeling we could stick near the front.

We started out mile 1 pretty fast, clocking a 6:32, but both were feeling comfortable and were able to chat and laugh a little bit. Mile 2 the sun was feeling much warmer than it had at the start and we let the pace slip, clocking a 6:51. The crowd was fairly thin and I hadn’t seen many women ahead of us, so I picked it back up and aimed to pick off a few people leading into the finish. I could definitely tell that I had slightly under-hydrated and probably overeaten a little bit, so I was pretty much pushing at my max without much left for a final kick. We turned the corner towards the finishing chute, which was fairly long, and I watched a couple of ladies fly by as I gutted it out over the finish line. My final time by the numbers looked like:

  • Official finishing time of 20:34
  • 116th overall (out of 2,346)
  • 12th female finisher (out of 1,200)
  • What would have been 3rd in my AG (no AG awards for this race, of course)

Since this is my first race of my 30s, I was a little bummed the results aren’t officially broken out by age, but I’m super proud of my finish. This was a strong PR over my last 5k, when I ran 20:59. After the race Alexa and I grabbed a couple of drinks and toasted to her wedding (1 week to go!!) with her hubby-to-be. We scooted out to get on with our days before the party really got rolling, but I bet things got pretty wild since every runner gets up to 5 free drinks! Overall, this was a really fun morning and it definitely leaves me with a little bit of curiosity about how close I would be to breaking that 20 minute barrier if I really put my mind to it. Next week, it’s onwards and upwards to the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women, and hopefully a strong 10k PR. Bostonians, registration is still open and you don’t want to miss this race–it’s truly one of my all-time favorites!

Tufts Health 10k [discount code!] + an exciting announcement

I have a couple of big ones coming your way today, my friends. First, I am so excited about this year’s Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women! Like pretty much everyone else who has run this race before, it is one of my all-time favorite events in Boston. Why?

  • It starts and ends at the Boston Common, and features a flat, fast course.
  • It’s just so darn pretty, going up through Back Bay and then out along the Charles River for some skyline views before looping back.
  • It’s geared towards women, so it has the loveliest, most supportive atmosphere I’ve ever experienced.
  • Great snacks and swag! And of course the shirts actually fit because they’re made for women 🙂
  • It’s in early October (Columbus day), which means perfect race day weather and pretty foliage to boot.

I haven’t been around for the past couple of years’ events because I’ve been running fall marathons, so I jumped at the chance to sign up for this year’s event as soon as registration opened. And I pretty much leapt at the chance to help promote the event! If you use this link to register before 9/15, you’ll get 10% off your registration. Share it with your friends!

The other exciting piece of news (drumroll please) is that I’m going to be one of the new Oiselle Volée leaders for the MA/RI team!! This team has quickly stolen my heart and been such a fun way to meet and connect with a badass group of lady runners. In case you’re wondering, Oiselle is a kickass women’s running brand (click here to save $20 on your first order from them–you won’t regret it). The Volée is… well, I’m going to steal some language here because I can’t explain it any better than this:  “a global community made up of women with diverse running backgrounds and competitive goals.  We work hard to raise the bar in terms of how women support other women, fostering strength and leadership – not just through healthy competition, but in daily actions big and small. Our mission is to continue to build our sisterhood: one that is strong, supportive, passionate, and all in on a woman-up world.”

You can learn more about the team and when it next opens up for new members here. While I’m not jumping fully into things as much as I’d like to until after my wedding (14 days!), I’m so excited and honored to be taking things up a notch and assuming a leadership role in the running community. It has given me so much, and I’m honored to be able to give something back.

That’s all for now! Things will be pretty quiet over here until after the wedding. After which there will be pictures and lots of happy, calm, married bliss 🙂

Disclaimers: My 10k race registration and Volée membership have been graciously comped–but of course, all opinions are my own.

 

Race recap: Beach 2 Beach 10k

Hey there blog friends! I’m emerging from the depths of wedding planning mania to recap the second race of my “one race a month” summer/fall series (first installment here)–the Beach 2 Beacon 10k! I managed to get a bib to this iconic and uber popular Maine race from a Oiselle friend–normally you have to register RIGHT when the window opens, or you can get a bib through the lottery. Either way, this race has been on my bucket list and I knew we were going to be in town anyway for wedding stuff, so it worked out perfectly.

I drove up to Portland on Friday morning, arriving just in time to meet up with my mom for my wedding hair and makeup trial (with the fantastic Stacia, if anyone is looking). It was really fun to see everything come together and to get totally glam for a day, especially because I don’t wear much makeup IRL. We then did some other wedding errands and picked up J before driving down to Cape Elizabeth (just south of Portland) to get my race bib. Beach 2 Beacon is pretty massive, with over 8,000 people registered, so the expo was a little hectic but a lot of fun. There were plenty of freebies and cool local Maine companies represented. My favorite find was fARTlek jewelry, which makes designs based on race courses. I’m definitely considering treating myself to a Boston necklace this spring!!

From there, we took a couple of quick photos at the Portland Headlight, where the race finish line is. Jeremy and I then dropped my mom off at the bus station and went out for our 5 year anniversary dinner at Street and Co. We had an amazing meal to celebrate a big week: I finished my last MBA course and J passed his last architecture licencing exam! Definitely worth a decadent seafood meal. I’d highly recommend checking out Street and Co. if you’re in the area. Bonus that they were super accommodating on the gluten free front 🙂

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning after a just ok night’s sleep at an Airbnb in South Portland. The race logistics are kind of insane (it’s a point-to-point course with no parking allowed at the finish) so we decided to drive to one of the satellite parking lots. From there, I hit the porto potties and took an easy shuttle to the start, while J took off for a 5 mile jog to meet me at the finish. The shuttles dropped us off on a rural road surrounded by farmland, and I was able to get in a bit of a warmup jog up and down the fields. The start was self-seeded so I slotted myself into the 7 minute mile corral. My A-goal was to run sub 7s, netting out to about a 42-43 minute 10k. I wanted to be fairly cautious because it was an unfamiliar course and especially because it was close to 100% humidity–not anyone’s favorite race conditions. My B-goal was any time under 44 minutes. I was glad I had that all in mind because the course was much hillier than I expected–rolling hills the whole time with a major climb near the finish.

I ticked off the first mile a bit fast (oops) on a slight downhill. The next couple of miles felt fairly steady at 6:54 and 7:08. I grabbed a couple of quick sips of water and pushed through a 7:00 and a 7:04. Then, the hill hit. Mile 5 was a steep climb into Fort Williams Park, and a much slower 7:24. I gritted my teeth and picked up the pace to a 6:20 for the final .2 sprint to the finish. My final time was 43:57, just about a 7 minute average pace and 23rd in my division.

Overall, this was a fun and challenging race that definitely got me out of my comfort zone! I hadn’t run a 10k since 2014, when I ran the Tufts 10k in 49:46. This was also the last race I’ll run before my 30th birthday, and I’d say it was a perfect wrap to a crazy running decade. I would love to try this course again on a sunny day to catch all the ocean views 🙂 I also think this would be an incredible race to spectate–so many elites run! I’m a little bummed I missed watching Shalene, but oh well.

The rest of the weekend we spent running around at camp and doing wedding stuff like maniacs! The big day is 33 days away and we’re feeling good–there’s definitely still a lot to do, but it’s all good and exciting stuff. Stay tuned for a couple of really, REALLY exciting running-related announcements in the next few days–I have big news to share!

Leah

My summer/fall race plans!

Oh hey long lost friends! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to drum up the motivation to write, but I think July is my month to get back on my game in lots of ways–running, training, and blogging. I’ve been easing back into a steady running schedule over the past few weeks, trying to run 3-4 times per week with one longer run and one speed session. This kind of schedule works really well for me when I’m not marathon training, especially because it allows lots of space for yoga and hiking. I’m feeling the itch to kick it up a notch, though, so without further ado… here are my summer/fall race plans!

 

  • VERTS Sasquatch Sprint Trail Race July 8th: This will be my first official trail race and I’m stoked! It’s really just for fun and to have something to get me back into racing mode. J and I are doing this one together, too, which is awesome.
  • Beach to Beacon 10k August 4th: Total bucket list alert right here!! One of my Oiselle friends lucked into a bib for this notoriously hard-to-get-into race and I happened to be able to snap it up from her. It’s an iconic New England race founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson and I’m thrilled to have the chance to run it. Plus, it’ll be my first 10k since 2014 so it’ll be an adventure seeing what I can do at that distance.
  • My wedding Sunday 9/10! Saturday 9/9 we’re holding an easy wedding 5k so I’m counting it on here. Pretty big deal, I’d say 🙂
  • Fall Classic 5k September 18th: I had to throw a 5k into my plans, so this will be a little post-wedding treat (ha). I have raced this course twice, so this will be an effort to PR. I’m hoping that actually training for shorter/speedier stuff will give me a boost in my time. I would love to break 20 minutes in the 5k at some point, so we’ll see how this one goes.
  • Tufts Women’s 10k October 9th: My aforementioned last 10k in 2014 was this race, and it’s still one of my faves! The course is fast and I adore racing against other women.
  • NH Seacoast Half Marathon November 12th: This will be my goal race of the cycle–I’ve got my eyes on the prize for a big half marathon PR. This race checks all my boxes–small, scenic, and not too far away. Plus, this will be J’s first half!

So! There it is–one race a month from now until November. I think it’ll be a nice mix of different distances and big goal races mixed in with “just for fun” races. Given how all over the place this schedule is, I chose to have Coach Laura write me a custom training plan instead of writing one myself. I’m still a little overwhelmed with school (one more course left!!) and wedding planning, so having someone I trust write me a plan made the most sense for me right now. I also have trouble planning out speedwork for myself, so I’m hopeful that having a couple of harder workouts built in every week will help me get ready to push my paces for some big PRs in the shorter distances.

Happy almost fourth, everyone! We’ll be up in Maine through Monday and then back in Boston for the fireworks on Tuesday. Here’s hoping for great weather!!

What recovery looks like and final race thoughts

There were also cookies. Lots of cookies.

Well hello there, running friends! I am back at it after a full week off of running and was literally giddy to be running again. Here’s a quick peek at what my last 10 days have looked like:

  • Sunday: 26.2!
  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Rest. And a massage!
  • Friday: Slow yoga with deep relaxation
  • Saturday: Long walk in the park with J
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 30 minute easy run
  • Tuesday: 40 minute easy run
  • Wednesday: 60 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: 30 minute run
We went for a WALK, not a run. It was weird.

I’m sure you’re sensing a theme here–lots and lots of rest! This is probably the longest I’ve gone without working out in a couple of years and I know I needed it. Even though I felt fairly good after the race, my knees are still not back to 100%, likely due to the accumulated stress from all the downhill pounding. I’m a little bit mad at myself for not taking the active parts of recovery more seriously, but when my first jog back didn’t feel great I jumped back into icing and foam rolling twice a day, which has helped a ton. J and I went out for 40 minutes on Tuesday and once we got warmed up, I felt great and couldn’t stop smiling because I was so dang happy to be back at it.

I’M BACK.

I haven’t fully formulated my comeback strategy, but we’re toying around with the idea of running the Shipyard Old Port Half in July in Portland, ME. I had a great race there last year and I think it would be such a fun course for J’s first half. Now that he has been fully indoctrinated, we’re looking at potentially doing a race in New Zealand when we go there for our honeymoon next February/March–how cool would that be?? Any tips, anyone?

Anywho, after Chicago I graded myself on how I did in terms of my race goals and I thought it would be fun to revisit my “what I would do differently” post and do the same for this race. Here are the goals I set for myself:

  • Run a small race: A! Sugarloaf had 1600 total runners. Can’t get much smaller than that.
  • Focus on race strategy and nutrition: A! I didn’t want to share it beforehand for purely superstitious reasons, but I did have a very specific race plan that I worked on with Coach Laura. And I wrote it out in color because I am a nerd.
  • Consider investing in coaching: A! ICYMI, more on my coaching thoughts here.
  • Raise the mileage, not just the number of running days: A! My mileage this training cycle peaked at 56 miles/week, whereas my Chicago training peeked around 44 miles/week. Adding those additional miles (all EASY and slow) I think really helped me to learn to run on tired legs.

    More rose and champagne, please!

So what else? Well, life is pretty darn exciting these days. This weekend I’m heading to NYC for my bachelorette party with all of my favorite people. Next weekend I’m going to a Oiselle women’s running camp in New Hampshire. I’m less than two months away from finishing up my MBA and in 101 days I get to marry my best friend in my favorite place in the world. So–running is going to be around, with lots of other stuff, and I just can’t wait.

 

Sugarloaf marathon week 14: the taper begins

Greetings from the first week of taper mania! I have to say that despite the mileage going down, this week didn’t feel particularly easy. I think that has something to do with the fact that it was a really busy week outside of running. I always make a concerted effort to see friends once classes wrap up for the semester, but I’m very guilty of making plans every night and burning myself out. I’m also feeling a few of the mental demons sneaking their way in, so I want to really cement my mantras and mental strategies during these final two weeks before race day. Here are my goals for the taper:

  • Run my marathon pace runs at MGP, not faster.
  • Carb load in a smart, gradual way and take it easy with the sugar and vino.
  • Really give myself a mental break and take time to chill the eff out.

On the logistical front, I started rotating in a lighter pair of sneakers that I plan to use on race day–and they feel great! I usually run in Asics GT 2000 4 and my newer shoes are the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. I have done speedwork and racing in the Wave Rider 18 and these are a great new version. I have super narrow feet, especially in the midfoot/heel, so my sneaker options are limited to those that come in a 2A width. If there are any other tiny footed people out there looking for shoe options, these two work well in rotation for me. I plan to get about 50 miles in on the Wave Riders before race day. I did spend a silly amount of timing deciding whether or not to return a pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33s–does anyone have thoughts on these?? I’m all ears!

Also, Denise and I are planning to run Sugarloaf together! We run really similar paces and are totally in sync with our race strategies, so I think it will be great to aim to stick together–of course with the caveat that we’ll both need to run our own races and do what we need to do to take care of ourselves day-of. We ran a really strong long run together on Sunday so I’m very confident about our plan. I am starting to think throgh nutrition planning and race strategy also–more to come on those 🙂

Week 14: 45.3 miles total

  • Monday: 6 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 4 “watchless” easy miles, banded strength circuit
  • Wednesday: 8 MGP miles, fast finish
  • Thursday: 6 easy
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: 10 easy, 6 MGP for 16 total at 8:20 average

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).

Sugarloaf training: week 13 (peak week!)

Y’all–peak week is over and the mini-taper officially begins!! I’m so, so proud to have gotten though four 50+ mile weeks in a row, topping out at 214 miles for the month of April. I’m also grateful for the lovely comments last week about not getting too caught up in the numbers. While this wasn’t quite my highest mileage week of training, I know I nailed both of my key workouts and kept the easy miles nice and easy. In fact, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my “20 miler” was actually 19.58 miles. Who cares?? GPS watches are never 100% accurate and that extra .42 miles running up and down my block wouldn’t have added anything to my training.

The week started out pretty misty and rainy, which I actually kind of love. I turned off my podcast during an easy, foggy run just to spend some time in the mist and the quiet. I nailed a hard workout on Tuesday with two sets of 3 miles at HMGP–it felt really hard, but good, to see 7:28 for the first set and 7:23 for the second set! This week also had a bunch of easy/recovery miles, which I happily took extra easy given the tough workouts that were sprinkled in there. I especially loved that J and I managed to fit in a recovery run together on Wednesday–he’s killing his 15k training and mentioned that he might even consider a half soon!! Proud fiance alert!

Once the week cleared up it got really warm, so I pushed my long run from Saturday to Sunday and opted for a yoga class instead. I really miss my practice when I’m marathon training and can’t fit it in–I was soaked and sore from this one but it felt soooo good to get back to it. Sunday my girl Alexa was BACK and like a true badass, she joined me for 14 of my 20 mile workout–which included 2×3 sets of MGP miles. I’m so proud of her for running a strong Boston despite the weather, and love having her back on runs.

If you missed it, I wrote a post this week about working on my mental game with “I am, I can, I will statements”–it’s an amazing technique and really helped me get through the last set of MGP miles on my long run today. T-minus 3 weeks from today I’ll be done with Sugarloaf–I’m so excited to put all this hard work to the test!!

Week 13: 55.1 miles total

  • Monday: 8 easy
  • Tuesday: 2×3 miles at HMGP, 8.5 total
  • Wednesday: 4.8 recovery miles with J
  • Thursday: 8.1 easy
  • Friday: 6 easy
  • Saturday: 90 minute sweaty yoga
  • Sunday: 20 (well, 19.58) mile long run! 8 up, 3×3 miles at MGP, 1.5 down

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).

TOL: I can, I will, I am

I have probably mentioned my fangirldom for Tina Muir here on the blog before. If you haven’t, I highly encourage you to check out her new venture at http://www.tinamuir.com–where you can learn more about her Running for Real podcast. One of the latest episodes features Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, who is an expert on the psychology of success. You can listen to the episode here.

Strike a (power) pose!

One of the mental strategies Cindra suggested really resonated with me–so much so that I shut off the podcast and spent most of my run quietly thinking about it. The strategy uses the power of statements starting with “I can, I am, and I will.” Sometimes I find mental tools a little bit too murky and hard to implement, but I love how this frame allows you to be so positive and forthright. I decided to take a stab at my own “I can, I am, and I will” statements below:

I can:

  • I can do hard things
  • I can persist despite discomfort
  • I can run fast
  • I can finish strong

I am:

  • I am ready for this
  • I am fast
  • I am strong
  • I am confident

I will:

  • I will trust my training
  • I will follow my race plan in order to be able to finish strong
  • I will do the best that I can on race day
  • I will be proud of my accomplishments, BQ or no BQ

I would love to hear your thoughts! What “I can, I am, I will” statements would you make? Any other mental strategies you use for running/racing?

Linking up with Running with Spoons!