Portland Marathon Training – Week 16

Portland Training:  Week in Review:

  • Sunday – The Giant Race Half – 13:1 Miles
  • Monday – Bikram Yoga – 90 minutes
  • Tuesday – Track Workout – 7.5 miles
    • 3 mile warm-up
    • 400m @ 5k Pace, 200m recovery, 600m @5k, 400m recovery -x4 = 4 miles
    • 0.5 mile cooldown
  • Wednesday – 45 minute spin class and weight workout
  • Thursday – 5 mile run
  • Friday – OFF
  • Saturday 20 Miles

Total Miles – 45.5 Miles

45 miles – wow!  That is one of the highest mileage weeks I have run in a long time.  It was mostly due to the fact that I raced on Sunday so I did my long run Sunday instead of Saturday last week.  I was worried how my track workout would go on Tuesday after racing Sunday but I actually felt super strong.  We even ran our last 600m interval faster than the previous 3!  Spin on Wednesday morning was a bit rough to get going.  I didn’t have much recovery time between track and spinning (as in only 11 hours) so my legs were tired for the first 10 minutes.  Once I was warmed up though, I felt good and got a nice workout in.  I took my run on Thursday morning easy in prep for my 20 miler on Saturday am.

My long run on Saturday actually got off to an interesting start.  I was supposed to run at 6:30 with the early group to get 6 miles in before the 7:45 scheduled long run.  I actually had planned on arriving at 6am to get 2-3 in before the long run.  I had plans to camp for the night about an hour north of SF on Saturday and I was anxious to get up there.  I figured the earlier I could run, the sooner I would make it up to meet my friends.  My friends had gone up on Friday night but I had to stay back and get my run in Saturday am.  My plan to run early and get to camping earlier failed.  I accidentally set my “weekday” alarm and my alarm never went off on Saturday morning.  I woke up at 6:20 in a complete panic.  I actually was out of my house in 15 minutes (thank goodness I had everything ready to go the night before) and made it to the run for 7am.  I was able to get 4.5 miles in before the big run started so I was only about 1.5 miles behind the rest of the gang.

Hog Island Oysters!

Hog Island Oysters!

The first part of the run went well.  I had a strong first 8 miles and started to feel a bit tired at 10.  I knew that wasn’t good with another 10 ahead of me.  I kept pushing though and did okay through mile 15.  After that I was really getting tired.  I was actually only scheduled to run 16 this week but my family will be in town next weekend and I didn’t want to have to run 20 miles while they were here so I swapped the weeks.  I knew why I was only supposed to run 16, once I hit 16 I was ready to be done!  Our big group had broken off so it was just me and another guy so we were on our own.  He was awesome and helped me get to 20, he took it easy with me and kept chatting.  (He was only doing 16 so he was in much better shape than me)  Long story, I finished.  It HURT when I stopped running and walked to my car.  I did a bunch of stretching but was actually really hurting on my drive home.  I managed to find time to take an ice back, hydrate, eat and take some Aleve and by the time I was out the door for camping I felt much better.  I forgot how much those 20 mile runs take out of you and certainly can hurt.  I have 3 more to go, I am just hoping that this will all pay off in Portland!

I spent the rest of the weekend camping in Olema which is up near Point Reyes.  It was really fun!  It basically was a relaxing weekend with no plans and outside of the city.  My friends and I went up to Hog Island and got 2 dozen oysters.  I’m not a big oyster person but decided to give them another go seeing as they couldn’t get any fresher!  We had a bunch raw and cooked some as well.  I actually really enjoyed the raw ones!  They were salty which tasted so delicious after running 20 miles.  We also had cheese and crackers and made burgers for dinner.  Of course we complimented all that with some adult beverages!  It was a very nice and relaxing evening sitting around a camp fire.

Our Campsite!

Our Campsite!

Today we hung out in the sun at the campground until about 2pm.  Living in SF in the summer can really get to you.  We have no summer.  It’s cold and foggy every day so spending time in 70+ degrees in the sun was a real treat!  It was a great weekend!


Fantastic Fall 2012

It’s been awhile since I’ve written.  Life is just to fun these days to post all the time!  I do like to write on occasion though to document new races and new personal bests!  It was a great fall racing season for me.  I set 3 new Personal Record’s and completed my first International Distance Triathlon!   Although I took the Fall off from Marathons I ran 5 Half Marathons between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  It was a busy fall!

Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving I ran the Fisher Cats Turkey Trot with Dad.  The race was a 5k and my Dad was determined to go out and do his best.  I on the other hand wasn’t feeling super motivated, I was just happy to be out for a run before eating all day. The race started at 9am which was awesome cause we got to sleep in a bit.  We were down by the start around 8:25 and decided to do a warm-up mile together.  The warm-up was ROUGH for me.  Maybe it was the cold?  I haven’t run in 30 degrees in over a year (since last Thanksgiving).  Based on the warm-up I was just aiming to finish in under 25 minutes.

We headed for the start and shortly after we were off!  I took off at a 6:40 pace which I knew I could keep but tried to hold on to for as long as I could.  (So much for not pushing myself, right?)  After heading up a pretty solid hill I finished Mile 1 around 7:20.  I got a little nervous that I was going to really fail the last mile but I kept pushing aiming for a 7:45 pace on Mile 2.  My goal was now to beat under 24 minutes.  Mile 2 had a nice downhill and then flat so I ended up running a 7:25.  At this point I knew that I would be close to my person best a 23:22 so I decided to keep pushing and see what I could.  The last half mile was rough but I kept pushing.  The race ends on the NH Fisher Cats field so you run around the warning track finishing on the 3rd base line.  When I entered the stadium I could see my Dad ahead and heard them call his name at the finish, I was only about 30 seconds behind.  I kept pushing and finished in 22:58 (7:30 pace), a new personal best by 25 seconds!  I can’t lie, pushing that hard made the run suck from start to finish but it was awesome after!  My dad finished in 22:27 his best time in the last few years!


Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Earlier in November I had to travel down to Orlando for a work conference.  It happened to end right before the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon which is my cousin Heather’s favorite Disney race.  It seemed like fate that my trade show ended two days before so I had to stay and run!  My co-worker joined my Thursday afternoon and Friday for two days of Disney fun!  Heather also joined us on Friday and we squeezed in 3 parks in one day!  Saturday was race day.  We took it easy that day checking into the Yacht Club Hotel and lounging by the pool.  We had lunch and relaxed with my cousin Heather’s friend Annette and Brian.  Annette was running the half with us that evening.  We headed back to our room around 4pm and laid around in bed for a few hours.  Around 6:30 it was time to get ready and head to the shuttle busses for the start line.

We were at the start line plenty early so we sat around eating a snack and contemplating just skipping the race.  🙂  It’s really hard to START running at 10pm.  We wanted to just go to Epcot and have fun!  We eventually got ourselves together, checked out gear, used the restroom and lined up.  I was in Coral A and Heather and Annette were right behind me in Corral B.  I had no intentions on running a fast race, I just wanted to enjoy it but the other half of me just wanted to finish quick so  I could have fun!  The race itself was really fun, we went through Animal Kingdom  Hollywood Studios and finished through Epcot!  I ended up running a 1:52:22!  I was very happy with that!

Before the race - notice the fluorescent theme?

Before the race – notice the fluorescent theme?



Love Disney Medals!

After the finish line they have changing tents set up so you can change into dry clothes and head off to enjoy the post race party at Epcot.  I finished first so I took a few minutes to sit and stretch, then I changed, collected my post-race beer (love when they have those!) and headed into the park!  I rode Spaceship Earth and Soarin while waiting for the girls.  We met up right in front of the World Showcase and went off to enjoy some food and drinks!  We had a fun evening closing down the park at the Rose & Crown Pub!

BAA Half Marathon

In October while on a work trip to Boston I ran the BAA Half Marathon with my Dad, Aunt Marie and cousin Greg.  I ran this race in 2010 with my friend Meredith while training for our first marathon.  It’s a great well-organized race but definitely a challenging course!  This race was my Aunt Marie’s first half marathon!  My family spent the night in Boston before the race so we could sleep in a bit later.  We had a nice day on Saturday sightseeing and having dinner in the North End.

My Dad and I met my Aunt and cousin at UMASS Boston to ride the shuttles together to the start of the race.  We got a bit of a late start so we arrived at the start just in time!  We headed for our place in line.  My Dad and I decided to run together, I was going to try to help him get to a new PR.  We had a great first half of the race, but most of it was downhill.   I knew that the second half was going to be tough.  By mile 8/9 I was really starting to struggle.  I knew it wasn’t going to be my day.  I kept trying to keep up with my Dad and help pace us but I was struggling.  I finally convinced him to leave me at Mile 9.5ish and he did.  I eventually caught back up with him around mile 11 but couldn’t stay with him long.  I was STRUGGLING.  It was one of the worst races I had run in a long time.  I finished in 1:55:51.  My dad finished about a minute before me but unfortunately missed his PR but just a bit.  We collected all of our gear at the finish and headed to finish line to watch my Aunt Marie finish.  She ran a great first half and finished strong.  I love watching people finish a half marathon for the first time, it’s always so inspiring.  Congrats to Aunt Marie on her first Half Marathon!


Giants Half Marathon

In September I ran the Giants Half Marathon in SF.  I was excited for this race because I was in great running shape and it was a flat course.  I had a feeling that a new personal best was in my grip so I went into this race with a PR in mind.  The race starts right outside of AT&T park and also offers a 10k and 5k.  My cousin Michaela was running the 10k so we went to the race together, started together and ended up running almost the first 3 miles together.  I also found a bunch of girls in my running club who run around my pace at the start so I decided to try to stick with them.  Michaela and I ended up pushing each other running the first 3 miles at an 8:16 pace.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep that pace up but each mile I kept surprising myself.  At Miles 9 and 10 I slowed to an 8:30 pace but then I ran into the 1:50 pace group I knew that if kept up with them the last 3 miles that I would finish under a 1:50 and finally beat my goal of a sub 1:50 half!  I’m so glad I ran into the pace group, the leader kept really pushing me and kept me going.  I ran the last 3 miles at an 8:18 pace and was really starting to hurt.  At mile 12.9 the pacer reminded us we only had .2 miles left which is equal to two city blocks.  I was so close to my best I had to keep pushing and that reminder really helped me!  I finished at 1:49:14 according to my watch!  (My online time says 1:48:47 – I’m not sure why the 30 sec discrepancy)  I was so excited!  My running club friend, Laura, was right behind me and she had set a new PR as well!  The race finishes in the outfield of AT&T park so we took some pictures and took in the scene of hanging out on the field of AT&T park.  It was a great race and I’m looking forward to it again next year!


Disneyland Half Marathon

Over labor day weekend I went down to Disneyland and ran the Half Marathon for the second year in a row.  I was joined by my cousin Heather and her college friends Leah, Annette, and Jamie, Leah’s friend Sue and Alaska friends Annie & Martha!  We all arrived at various times on Saturday morning and met at our hotel.  In early afternoon we headed over to the Expo to collect our numbers and swag.  After that we headed for the parks.  We had twilight tickets for Saturday night and headed over to Disneyland.  We got in a bunch of rides and had dinner at “Pasta in the Park”.  After our carbo loading we did a few more rides and headed back to the hotel for bed.

The Disney races always start bright and early.  The Disneyland half is no exception.  The race started at 5:45am.  I can’t remember exactly what time we were up but it was long before any of us wanted to be up.  We took shuttles over to the Parks and walked to the start.  We did our usual routine of bathroom, bag check and head for the corrals.  I started in Corral A and was not feeling that race.  I was exhausted at the start.  I remember getting to Mile 4 and thinking, I just want to stop running and take a nap.  Never the less, I found the energy and kept pushing an 8:25ish pace.  The excited part of the race was that we got to run through the new Cars Land in California Adventure. It was so cute and entertaining!  We then headed through Disneyland and then onto the streets of Anaheim.  The next big landmark was Anaheim Angels Stadium.  As we were approaching around mile 8.5 I was really loosing steam.  I was ready to slow my pace and just focus on finishing   It was just then that my friend Katie from the year before came up from behind, recognized me and pushed me again!  She got me into the park the and then I told her to head off without me but to wait for me at the finish because I wouldn’t be far behind.  I kept up my pace and finished in 1:51:55.  I was really happy with that time, anything under 1:52 makes me happy and I was just under!  I found Katie at the finish and we chatted.


Disneyland Race friend Katie!

I headed towards our designated meeting area and one by one the other girls arrived.  We sat around and chatted as we waited for everyone.  Most of us collected our “Coast to Coast” medals at Disneyland.  You earn one of those medals for running a Half or Marathon on the East Coast and West Coast.  We took a million pictures of our bling.  It was a fun morning.

Heather & I with our Marathon, Disneyland Half and Coast to Coast Medals!

Heather & I with our Marathon, Disneyland Half and Coast to Coast Medals!


Post race we headed for the pool for lunch and relaxation.  We showered and headed to California Adventure around 4pm and had a great afternoon/evening in the park.  Of course we finished off the night with drinks in Downtown Disney.  Monday we all went our own ways throughout the day but we had a great girls weekend and were all sad to see it end. The Disneyland Half is my favorite race.  I really love it.  I think we’ll all be back next year, fingers crossed!

That sums up 2012 racing!  (Finally)  I set a 5k, 3.5 Miler, Half Marathon and Marathon personal best!  I’m hoping to get better at blogging agin in 2013 so I won’t have to do major posts like this anymore!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Running!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (belated). Yesterday I ran 15 miles and then met my cousin out for her Birthday! Happy Bday Hilary! It was a fun filled afternoon!

Just wanted to wish Good Luck to…
  • My cousin Heather running the NYC Half this morning
  • George a friend from college running his first marathon in LA
  • Anna running the St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Southie (totally wish I was in Southie this weekend
And Congrats to Kelly for an awesome half down in Atlanta this morning !
Hope everyone has a great weekend and happy running!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas!  Mine was great, busy but great!  I spent lots of time with family and friends and now I’m off to Boston for 2 days to spend more time with friends!

Snickers aka "pup" in her new Christmas Collar from Laura Bass Cote!

I flew home from San Francisco bright and early on Thursday morning and arrived in Boston at 2:30pm.  My sister picked me up in Boston and brought a surprise, my little pup, Snickers.  (She’s not actually a pup – she’s 11 years old but we call her “pup”)  That kicked off a weekend of family and eating.  Friday night we went for Mexican as a family.  This is a newer family tradition but it’s fun.  Saturday my Dad and I went to spin at 8:30am at his gym and I did a total of 1 hour 45 min on the bike.  I have issues again with my feet so I skipped the 12 mile run and substituted spinning instead.  It was a good workout and felt good to burn a lot of calories before all the Christmas eating.   We met my mom and sister for Breakfast after!

My new running Garmin and Yoga Matt strap

Christmas Eve we go to church at 4pm and then head to my Grandparents house for our Christmas with my Dad’s side.  We had a great evening with lots of gifts and good conversation.  Of course we had a delicious dinner as well.  My grandparents gave me a Running Garmin for Christmas!  I’m so excited, I’ve been running long distance for well over 2 years now and have never had one.  I have been using MapMyRun on my phone which works pretty good but it will be nice not have to bring my phone out on my runs now!  The Garmin also has a heart rate monitor which I have already used in two spin classes – I love having that as well!

I finished out Christmas Eve at my best friend Laura’s family Christmas Eve party.  It was great seeing her and her family before she heads off to Europe where her and her husband will be working for the next two years!

Sunday morning we celebrated Christmas with my immediate family.  I got some new running clothes including a pair of Lululemon pants!  (My first pair)  I’m excited to give them a try.  I also got an adorable 26.2 ornament from parents!  It’s a tradition to collect ornaments in our family for significant events or places we visit. It’s always fun to put up my tree and relive my vacations and some of my great accomplishments.  Can’t wait to hang this one up!  We spent the afternoon at my mom’s family’s Christmas.  It was another great and fun Christmas!

26.2 Runner Girl Ornament

The rest of the week I’ll be visiting friends in Boston and some more family before we head down to Sunny warm Florida for the Walt Disney World Marathon!  Can’t wait!

Hope everyone had a great Holiday!

My tree in SF!

Hyannis Half Marathon

I had a wonderful weekend of new friends, old friends and of course running!  This weekend I ran in the Hyannis Half Marathon with my running partner in crime, Meredith.  It turned out to be a busy weekend but actually felt quite relaxing.  Friday night it was drinks and a movie – The King’s Speech (great movie).  Saturday an old friend’s Bridal Shower in Manchester and then down to Cape Cod with Meredith for our race!

I picked up Meredith around 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon and we headed down to the Cape.  We arrived in Hyannis around 4pm and picked-up our numbers at the Expo.  We were then off to Chatham to her parents house to spend the  night.  Her parents actually surprised us and came down for the night and it was great seeing them.  I love

Long Sleeve Shirt and Bib

Meredith’s parents!  We stopped at the fish market for a piece of delicious swordfish which Mr. Renke grilled for us.  We had wine (limited amount) and apps with her parents in front of a roaring fire.  (Again Mr. Renke’s doing)  It was a blast.  Around 8:30 we headed to the TV room to watch a few episodes of Sex and the City.  By 9:45 Meredith and I headed to bed.

Up early on Saturday to begin the usual pre-race routine or long run routine.  Dress, breakfast (English muffin with PB&J), stretching and foam rolling for my IT Band, and finally sneakers on.

Ready to hit the road!

We arrived in Hyannis around 9am and drove around a bit to look for parking but finally found a stop.  It was snowing when we arrived.  Meredith thought she lost her bib at our first Dunkin Donuts pre-race bathroom stop so we had a minor freak out in the car.  (Although she was way calmer than I would have been)  She found it!  (It’s funny now, not then)  We headed for Dunkin Donuts (round 2) to use the bathroom one last time (avoiding port-a-potties) and then off to the start.  We planned it perfect.  We arrived at the start line at 9:50am so we only had to stand in the cold and snow for 10 minutes.  I snapped a few photos of us waiting to start for your enjoyment. (I run with my iPhone – my dad likes to track my long runs/races and it’s fun because he send encouraging texts!)

Starting Line!

Meredith prepping for the start!

Having fun while waiting!

So biggest lesson of the day – we went out too fast!  Our first mile was timed at 8:25 (fast but not awful).  Mile 2 – 8:11 – yikes!  That’s really fast for us.  Miles 3-4 were around 8:30 and then we decided to slow down to an 8:40 pace so I stopped focusing on the splits.  It snowed from Miles 1-5.  It was pretty at first but then it was blowing into my eyes and it became a lot less pretty.  At Mile 5 we stopped and ate our Gu.  Well, walked but pretty much stopped.  (Another lesson learned)  It altered between snow and rain from miles 5-9 or so.  The race was described as “flat” but it was actually more of a steady incline the whole way.  Not a hill, but slight incline and it starts to wear on you.  I was tired after our first 4 mile sprint.  The quick start also really irritated my right IT Band.  I’ve had issues with my left in the past and had it treated but now my right one is acting up.  It causes knee pain.  The pain started around Mile 6 and continued through the rest of the race.  I pushed through, but it hurt.  (Not a good thing) Miles 9-10.5ish were along  a Main road.  They blocked off a narrow area for the runners and traffic was going by as we ran.  I don’t like races like that.  It was time for GU at mile 10 so we were running, watching cars and eating our GU.  Not fun.  We also didn’t have a water stop until Mile 11 and it’s hard to eat GU without water.  I really don’t remember Mile 11-13 – I don’t think I ever do.  All I could do was think about finishing.  We definitely picked up our pace again and pushed through the last two miles quickly.  (Not sure of our splits) We were greeted at the very end by Meredith’s parents, it was so fun to see them and have them cheer us on through the finish.

We finished with the exact same time – 1:56:00.  By far not our best time.  However, we stopped at two or three water stops and I had to stretch twice for my knee so Meredith slowed down.  We estimate we stopped for 2-3 minutes total so I think we did beat our PR but neither one of us stopped our watches and regardless it wouldn’t have been official.   A part of me wanted to beat my BAA Half time from October (1:54:06) but given the weather conditions, my knee pain and the fact that we stopped a few times, I think it was a great and hard race.  We didn’t stop for water or GU in October but since we have been training for the marathon with L street we have been stopping for water and stretching during our long runs.  Next time, we’ll try to remember not to stop at the water stations.  🙂

Frozen but done another 13.1! (Our 4th Half Together - go us!)

The medals were really nice!  They had a dune scene on the ribbon, very Cape Cod and very nice!

Meredith’s parents treated us to awesome sandwiches from a local restaurant in Chatham, we showered and headed home.  I was exhausted and enjoyed my evening on the couch, doing nothing!

I made it to spin during lunch today – my legs feel great but my foot is sore.  I’m going to avoid running until it’s better.  I have to be ready to go for my 20 mile run on the Marathon course.  I’m also calling to see if I can get into PT tomorrow for my knee.  I need to be ready to go for Marathon Monday!

Congrats to “Princess Heather” for finishing her 3rd Half Marathon and “Princess Annette” for finishing her first Half Marathon at the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday!

Saturday Spin

So I spent 2 hours on the bike yesterday simulating a 12-13 mile run.  It wasn’t very fun.  I like spinning but 2 hours straight is a lot.  I got to the gym at 8:45 and headed for the spin room.  I was about to get in about 40 minutes of spinning on my own before class started at 9:30.  My plan was to spin before class, take class and then finish up on my own.  I pretty much kept it simple before and after just riding a stead pace and working endurance.  Class was tough after 40 minutes on the bike, lot of sprints, hill climbs and even worse, hill climbs with sprints.  After class I was already pretty tired but I still had 45 minutes to go.  I managed to pull through it and finished strong at 1 hour 57 minutes.  (I had to catch the bus home) Overall a good workout, but I struggled through it.  I was glad to have that done.

After a quick shower and lunch I was off to visit some friends in the burbs.  I met Samuel Bartlet who was born on 1/29/11.  I didn’t take any pictures of him while I was there but I stole one from my friend Lyndsey’s facebook page.  He is adorable!  He slept in my arms for an hour.  So cute.  I really enjoyed visiting with Lyndsey and Sam and they’ll be there cheering me on April 18th!

My friend Jules from my Wilde Agency days lived about 10 minutes down the road from Lyndsey so I headed over to meet her son Danny.  He’s almost 1 and I hadn’t met him yet.  He’s so adorable.  Big chubby cheeks and  a great little personality.  It was great seeing Jules and finally meeting Danny.

I headed to my friend Kelly’s house after that.  I figured why not make the rounds while I was out that way?  Kelly’s mom had made a delicious turkey dinner for the fam so I enjoyed some leftovers.  Her butternut squash is to die for.  After a glass or two of wine I decided to just stay out in Medway.  The prospect of driving home and looking for parking in snow infested Southie just didn’t sound appealing.  I had a wonderful time with the Dubrawski family playing games and chatting.

Overall it was a wonderful Saturday.  I love getting up and having a good workout before enjoying the rest of the day with friends and family.