Running/Training Reboot & New Races

Between a cold, dreary winter and my work schedule, I definitely fell off with my training. I still ran the races I signed up for in January, March and April AND finished, but they were rough!

Then, my “good foot” started getting pains, and for a while my podiatrist and I suspected a stress fracture (MRI was negative, thankfully!). In retrospect, there’s a good chance that that happened because I ran/walked several half marathons and a Ragnar Relay back-to-back without proper training before or in between.

So, I needed a REBOOT!

Running

I’m running short distances once a week in May just to “warm” myself up for the REBOOT that starts in June. In June, I’m starting a 13-week half marathon training plan. Realistically, I can only squeeze two runs in each week, so that will have to do for now — especially since I need to use the third day for cross-training (trying to learn from where I went wrong in my last training program).training

Strength

In addition the new training plan, I am also adding Orange Theory Fitness sessions to the mix starting June 1st. In the meantime, I’ve been doing total body barbell workouts at home 1-2 times a week in May.

Diet/Weight Loss

I’ve also put on about 50-60 pounds since I broke my foot 4 years ago, and I’m sure that that’s also hindering my running progress. I read in a few places that a runner cuts 2 seconds off of their mile time for every pound lost. That means, in theory, if I dropped 40 pounds, I’d shave 17+ minutes off of my total half marathon time (not including any improvement in time from training). So, I’m motivated to get this done.

LINK: Will I run faster if I lose weight?

Today makes day 10 of following a ketogenic diet – low carbs, moderate protein, high (good) fat. It has been interesting cooking  3 meals a day every day and experimenting with new recipes. I’ve been to the grocery store almost every other day to pick up new ingredients. But, I am trying to avoid eating out for the next 30 days while I’m home (I have some upcoming travel where that will be unavoidable).

Here are some of the low-carb meals I’ve prepared so far:

Races

Of course, what’s training without races?!

I canceled the races I had planned from mid-May until Labor Day so I can focus on training properly, getting stronger, getting lighter and coming back with a bang in September. I have to pay again, but the Popular Brooklyn Half will give me a guaranteed entry for next year. It was for the better.

I DID sign up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathons in both Virginia Beach (9/2/2018) and Los Angeles (10/28/2018). Wanna join me? Use Code RNRBRP2018 to get $15 OFF!

Disclaimer: I received free entries to the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach and Rock N Roll Los Angeles races as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I am amped about both locations (each beautiful at that time of year), and I can’t wait to make some progress with the new training and weight loss. Wish me luck, and follow the journey!

Race Recap: Rock N Roll Half Marathon Washington, DC 2018

I did it! Here’s a recap of my first Rock N Roll race, and my first half marathon post-injury…

I flew down this past Friday for the Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon. Registration was super easy, and despite the crowd of people, there wasn’t a line to pick up my bib. (Although, I was a bit annoyed that there was no mailing option for the bibs).

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The Expo itself was neat, and the cash registers for race gear moved pretty quickly. There were booths to help us figure out transportation issues on race day, which was helpful. Being a St. Jude Hero for this race, I also visited the St. Jude booth. But, despite being exhausted, with all of the cool vendors, it did what it was supposed to do — it got me hyped for the race the next day. I spent the rest of the day resting up for the race and “carb-loading” (as if I needed an excuse to eat carbs!).

On race day, I had a cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese, a green tea and tons of water with Nuun in it. So, of course, by the time I got to the race I needed to find the port-o-potty lines, which were amazingly long!

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Then, we were off! Since my training lagged a bit during the winter months, I decided to run-walk this race. I used Runkeeper to set up a workout where it prompted me to run 0.5 mile then walk 0.5 mile, repeated 13 times, with a cool down for the last 0.1 mile. It worked well! I was able to play my own playlist on Amazon Music, but the Runkeeper prompts interrupted with updates when it was time to switch, and again at 30-minute intervals.

Miles 1-5 felt great, but around mile 6, there was a really steep hill, aka the Blue Mile, that was decorated with photos of military service men and women who lost their lives while serving. Near the middle of the mile, just as it got pretty steep, there were people holding flags cheering us on to push through. I must admit, I walked a little longer than 0.5 mile after that hill, but I didn’t fall too far behind.

Around Mile 9 or 10, I met a woman who was running her first half marathon. We began chatting and pushed each other through to the end. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the 20K sign (“That’s 0.7 more miles to go!”). I felt so good when we ran across the finish line, high-fived and hugged. I MADE IT!

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My longtime friend Rashonda came and met me near the finish line. Of course, we went to eat afterwards and I replenished my carbs burned with a nice Apple Tartini and a glass of wine!

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I got super stiff after the race, but it only lasted for 2 days this time… better than after the 10K... and a 2-hour massage on Monday took the last of the soreness away. Next up: Rutgers Half!

Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago: Race Recap

I did it! My first 5k in years and my fastest 5k since the fracture/injury.

I couldn’t make to the Expo, so I had my packet mailed to me ahead of time (I actually heard the Expo was smaller this year compared to years prior). So, I still got to lay out my #FlatJane the night before, complete with my bib:

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On race day, finding the corrals was a bit confusing. But, the race itself ran smoothly. The announcer said there were 45,000 runners between the 15k and the 5K!  (I did the 5K). LOTS of runners, a bit crowded… Definitely chilly!

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It was below 40 degrees this morning in Chicago, and my poor Garmin watch literally froze. So I just ran not knowing time, pace or distance. I felt good though. No pain.

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I started out feeling great until at least the half-way point. When I started feeling a bit winded, I slowed down a little. There were some walkers in wave 1 that you had to weave around, but it was manageable. That small incline just before the last 1/4 mile of the race was a struggle, but not too bad.

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Post-race, the band was fun. I thought the lines to get our hot chocolate would be mayhem with so many runners, but it was organized by line number and I had no wait! And even though I’m not a big chocolate fan, the finisher’s mugs were yummy!

I would definitely recommend this race.

Week 8 Recap

Monday

I did this week’s long run on Monday as a solo morning run: 4 miles straight without walking (my longest distance during this training so far!), complete with 2 inclines on each of the 3 laps. My “bad” foot did go numb from mile 2.7 to 3.9 then the tingling just disappeared. Weird. Still feeling proud of myself for getting to mile 4. The weather was nice and cool, which helped.

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Tuesday & Wednesday –  Rest days. Mostly because I worked back-to-back 13-hour shifts.

Thursday

A quick 2-mile run at home on the dreadmill while watching Grey’s Anatomy, after my 3 back-to-back 13-hr shifts. Another run was scheduled at 8am the next morning, plus my foot went numb, so I didn’t wanna overdo it.

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Friday

Sluggish morning run. I was so beat, but we did it! My foot also went numb again for the last mile which is getting annoying. But hey, it’s another 3 miles in the bank. Not stressing over one tough run.

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Then, later that day, I headed to the airport for my trip to the Bay Area.

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Saturday & Sunday

Having a ball so far in California… lots of good eats. Saturday was Sam’s Chowder House (beautiful views of Half Moon Bay) and today, we went to Brenda’s French soul food restaurant. I skipped my hills workout today after we walked nearly 4 miles up and down San Francisco’s hills (my Garmin says it was the equivalent of climbing 28 flights of stairs). I’ll make it up tomorrow (Monday).

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Dessert at Sam’s Chowder House

Week 6 & Week 7 recaps

Week 6 Recap

After the 5k run on Wednesday, the 20th (see the post here), I finished off the week with two additional runs.

Thursday

I had a nice afternoon solo run. I was scheduled for 2.75 miles, but I took a pee break after the first 4 minutes and my Garmin can’t pause. So, it’s broken into 2 entries! I kept an average pace of sub-12, complete with a few inclines… and I didn’t feel like I was gonna die! #Progress Maybe I took today’s shirt literally. 🙂

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Friday

A short Happy Friday run with a running girlfriend: 2 miles. I’m getting faster!

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Week 7 Recap

At the beginning of week 7, I took a brief hiatus to recharge and vacation in Atlanta. So, I only got 2 runs in before the end of the week.

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Monday-Thursday (Atlanta)

I also took a break from low-carb on my getaway, and enjoyed some good eats! In particular, some great seafood gumbo at Pappdeaux’s and the best strawberry cheesecake at Sage Woodfire Tavern!

 

Friday

My first full day back in NJ, we did a slow and easy 5K distance, catching up on life.

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Saturday

After a lot of self pep talking this morning, I got out on the track for 5 miles of speed work with run-walk intervals. My overall pace was faster than my normal running time (including walk breaks), which shows me that I could probably be running faster.

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Up to 5k distance & mug recipes

Despite not getting much quality sleep last night — my Garmin says I got 48 minutes of deep sleep and 5 hours of light sleep — I pushed myself to meet up with a girlfriend to run 3.1 miles at Liberty State Park this morning. This was the fastest pace (12:38min/mile) I’ve held for more than a mile off-treadmill in the past 6 weeks!

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The skyline was still beautiful today, even with the overcast. But, I could’ve done without side-stepping the geese poop on the trail!

I’ve also become interested in these microwave mug recipes I’ve been seeing lately. I tried this one recently, but made a few tweaks to keep it low-carb. I used low-carb wheat bread, and regular eggs (I didn’t have egg whites). I also skipped the banana (carbs!), so I topped it with strawberries and blueberries. It came out pretty yummy!

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Florida Day 7: my first Fartlek & my alma mater

Today, I ran my first Fartlek (if you don’t know what a Fartlek is, read this).

Also, dictionary.com says:

fart·lek ˈfärtlək/ noun
  1. a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are continually varied to eliminate boredom and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.

Today’s Fartlek was a basic one:
1-min easy run, 1-min hard run
2-min easy run, 2-min hard run
3-min easy run, 3-min hard run
then repeat x 1.

I have to admit — it was really tough toward the end. My after face tells the story:

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As you can see from my pace chart below (Look at that heart rate climbing!), in the second half, my hard runs weren’t very fast, and my easy runs were almost walking. I hit my second wind at the 20-minute mark and tried to kick it up again for that last hard run. But, I have to admit, I was wiped afterwards.

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Maybe it was the weekend at the amusement parks, or the heat and humidity on the run, but as soon as I got back to the house, I knocked out for at least an hour — in my running clothes. I don’t even remember laying down or falling asleep!

I did regain consciousness eventually, and kiddo & I drove to my alma mater and copped an NSU window decal. Hard to believe I finished medical school almost 11 years ago.

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We stopped for lunch down the street at one of my fast food favorites from when I lived down here: Pollo Tropical. The salad greens were a bit dry, and corn does have some carbs (I gave my roll to kiddo), but I enjoyed it.

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Now, kiddo and I are waiting for our delayed flight to take off. I enjoyed my time with my friends and godchildren, and sad for it to end, but it will be good to get back home as well.

Wheels up soon…

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