Posts Tagged "running"

Now that’s more like it!

I desperately needed this long run. The training season has been short and late, with very few actual training sessions. Between two of my grandparents dying, work travels and obligations, weird but escalating stomach ailments, and a winter that just won’t quit — it’s been a rough start to this year.

After this sunny run home from work, I’m feeling so much better now and almost ready for the Broad Street Run in 13 days.

Today was absolutely gorgeous AND it was Boston Marathon Monday. This inspired me to take risks and give it my all. Kept it in the low-to-mid 9s for most of the run, and pushed through my ever-present stomach pain.

Miles 6 and 7 are slow because I got stopped at so many lights and sidewalk traffic, but otherwise there was no walking. Today was also slightly different because I wore older New Balance shoes instead of my favorite Nikes, and reverted to listening to music. The music helped; the shoes hurt.

My goal for this year was to break 90 minutes, shaving off 7:37 from last year. Maybe still possible? Doubtful. Based on all of this year’s setbacks if I beat last year’s PR by even one minute I’ll be happy. Still plenty of time to refine before the big race…and the two races that follow: the ODDyssey Half and TriRock Olympic Relay!

Just finished my third Phillies 5k, joined by Mikey, Jess and Kevin!

With everything going on in my personal life, I’m so pleased to have taken the time for this race today. I ran happily, on light legs, with my family on my mind with each step. It was a chilly morning that suddenly became sunny and beautiful toward the end — exactly what I needed this weekend.

I maintained right around a 9 minute pace during this race, and carried nothing but my Garmin Forerunner 10. It’s been an adjustment, trying to run without music or my phone, but I do feel lighter and like I pay less attention to my pace or distance this way. 

This is an expensive 5k, but I love seeing so many friends here each year. It holds a special place in my heart as being the first race I did back in 2012 — I remember being very nervous and unsure whether I could even finish a 5k. Also severely under-dressed for the below freezing weather.

This year was somewhere in the low 50s at the startEveryone in our group was able to achieve our individual different goals (finish and not walk, maintain a specific pace, PR, etc), which rarely happens but is wonderful when it does. And Mikey did that annoying thing where he doesn’t train at all and then does a fantastic job anyway, finishing about a minute faster than last year’s time. Grrrrr. Now on to brunch!

Finish: 27:47, 8:50/mile pace

See also: Phillies 5k race recaps in 2012 and 2013

[I wrote this post on the subway heading home from the race and come back to add more details later. Time management!]

Insanely beautiful work by Brian DiCola at NoKaOi in Philadelphia. So psyched to have my European Starling complete! My gift to myself for completing a marathon and a life dream.

Where people run in Philadelphia: a beautiful map using Runkeeper data.

Check out FlowingData for more maps of running routes across America.

Quick recap: 2013 Activity Totals and Races

Putting this down for posterity, since it’s too late to do a full year in review like I used to. In 2011 and 2012, I wrote some emotionally revealing and detailed posts about life’s ups and downs. 2013 was more goal oriented, and as I’ve already said, I’m quite proud of how things turned out. 

Now 22 days into 2014, I’m working on my goals bit by bit. Very little running has happened thus far, but I’m honestly pleased to give myself time to rest and enjoy other activities like yoga, weightlifting, or spinning. My diet has fully shifted to the “Vegan Before 6” philosophy and I’m enjoying that fun challenge every day.

So while I won’t do a full recap like previous years, I do find it helpful to look at my activity totals and see if I can top it.

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So here’s what happened last year:

  • January: 13.3 miles of running. No races, and I had no access to a gym for that time. Very sedentary (and cold) month. Tried a low carb diet.
  • February: 12.5 miles of running. Ran the Feel the Love 5k in 28:35. After losing a bit of weight by dieting, went back up to 141 lbs. Tried out a bunch of gyms, including Lithe Method, Unite Fitness, Sweat, yoga at City Fitness, and dance classes at Studio 1831.
  • March: 27.2 miles of running, 21 cycling. Started Broad Street training, joined a gym, and discovered Flywheel. Ran the Phillies 5k in 29:45. Ran Philly Runner’s Urban Scramble.
  • April: 44.4 miles running, 43.4 cycling, 9.4 walking. Completed the Zombie Run, Gener8tion 8k, and Run for Jake 5k. Started working part-time at a gym. Joined Philadelphia Runner’s Run for Boston event and cried in public.
  • May: 33.6 miles of running. New PR at the Broad Street Run, 1:37:55! Participated in Philly Runner’s Urban Scramble again. Hit my first weight goal of 135 lbs.
  • June: 51.9 miles running, 22.5 cycling, 3.9 walking. Completed ODDyssey Half Marathon in 2:20:26, Midsummer Night 5k in 30:23. Marathon training starts. Starting teaching a Couch to 5k class twice per week.
  • July:  54.5 miles running, 4 miles walking. Marathon training. Completed a 4th of July 5k in 29:49. Got injured. Ate “vegan before 6” diet.
  • August: 30 miles running, 91.4 cycling. No races. Forced to take it easy. Twice-weekly PT due to knee injury.
  • September: 60.7 miles running, 2.4 walking. Completed Run for Our Troops 5k and Quad XC 5k on the same day! Got a new PR with 27:06. Got back on the marathon training grind with a few new long runs.
  • October: 47.3 miles running, 20.8 cycling. Finished my first 26.2, Steamtown Marathon in 5:00:04. Finally hit 130 lbs. Went to California and ran with my fiancé through Downtown Disney LIKE A BOSS.
  • November: 43.5 miles running, 2 miles walking, 3 miles hiking. Completed my first race since the marathon: Run the Bridge 10k in 58:44. Continued a tradition of running home from work in West Philly as a way to get in my long runs. 
  • December: 60.6 miles running, 50.1 miles cycling. Completed the Schuylkill River Loop Run (8.4 miles) with my fiancé in 1:34:42. Holiday weight gain wasn’t too bad, but I managed to get back down under 130 lbs by the end of the year. Had a blast running the last half of the Rocky 50k; next year I’m aiming to do the whole thing! 

Those numbers are just the things tracked on Runkeeper. That doesn’t take into account all the weightlifting, yoga, and other fun activities like burlesque dancing classes and cross-training. But it does give me something to build off of this year. Cool stuff!

Readers, what are you up to? What have you been most proud of at the start of 2014? What did you accomplish in 2013 that you’d like to try again?

Looking Ahead, and Reflecting on Falling Short

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Last year I set my mind to accomplish some majorly ambitious goals.

After 2012’s challenging year — in which I ran my first half marathon, got engaged, and overcame depression — I set out to tackle 2013 with intensity and daring. I had plans to run my first marathon, clock 500 miles in a year, and expand my horizons through travel, books and movies.

However, I fell short of some of my milestones. I ran 480 miles out of a planned 500, watched 64 new movies out of 100, and came within shouting distance of my 5k goal (but again, didn’t hit it).

But I’m not upset in the least. 

In terms of fitness this year, I worked harder, ran further, biked faster and trained smarter than I ever had before. Without trying to brag, I’m happy that managed to complete fourteen official races, hit several PRs, overcame an injury that sidelined me for most of the summer, and eventually crossed the finish line of my first marathon.

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As the year came to a close, I realized that I needed to make peace with myself and my limitations. And I need to restore some balance.

Running is a magnificent activity, but over-reaching and over-training takes the fun out of it. At the end of the year, I could have easily reached my mileage goal but also wanted to branch out; that meant swapping a long run for a spin class with friends, or taking time to enjoy yoga again.

I needed a reminder to be kind to my body and my self, and accept that it’s ok to grow as quickly or gradually as I want.

So here’s what I have planned for this upcoming year. Goals, not resolutions. Progress, not perfection.

2014 Goals:

  • Clock more miles than I did last year. That means 480+ miles of running and 250+ of biking.
  • Spend a full year adhering to Mark Bittman’s “Vegan Before 6" philosophy.
  • Officially PR my half marathon (reach goal: get in under 2 hours)
  • Improve my design and marketing skills by practicing and taking an online course or two
  • Giving another try to watching 100 new-to-me movies
  • Give back to my community.
  • Be more kind to myself. Stop being so critical or self-doubting.
  • Be a good wife. Every day forever.

What are your goals? How are they coming along so far?

GPOY when it’s below freezing and I have to do my mileage on a treadmill. 

GPOY when it’s below freezing and I have to do my mileage on a treadmill. 

(Source: fit-fab-fun, via healthybohemian)