Friday, June 29, 2012

Training Tips: Marathon

So, you're thinking about running a marathon? Well, you've come to the right blog today! So far we've read training tips about trying new distances, running a 5k, a 10k race recap, and running a half marathon. Now, it's the big one! 26.2! I'm so excited to share this guest post. Jocelyn is a great runner who also happens to be from my beloved state of Connecticut! She has some great tips for runners considering going the distance for a full marathon. Get ready to want to start looking for fall marathons pronto! Enjoy!

Name:  Jocelyn
Twitter Name: @enthusiasticrun        

When was the first time you ran this distance?
The first time I ran a marathon was the NYC Marathon in 2010.  I signed up to run for Autism Speaks in June of 2010, a week after I finished my first half marathon.  By the way, the half marathon was my 2nd time running over 8 miles.  YIKES.  So I was NOT much of a “runner” when I decided to run my first full marathon.  

What was the good?
Oddly enough, training was the good part of my first marathon.  I loved waking up every weekend for my long run.  

What was the bad?
Not going to lie, the marathon wasn’t wonderful.  I walk/ran most of the last six miles.  I don’t think I was prepared for how mentally tough 26.2 miles was going to be.

What was the ugly?
Training for a marathon is very time consuming so be prepared to give up some of your other activities.  I don’t think it’s an “ugly” part of training, but it’s something that everyone should be aware of.  

Now that you've ran this distance more than once, what are your top three pieces of advice?

1.  Find Running Friends.  A big difference between running my 1st vs. my 2nd marathon was that I trained with friends during long runs my second time around.  I think that running with friends can help improve your running times, give you more confidence, and also be more fun!
2.  Get a Running Coach.  I know to some people this might seem silly, but I highly recommend getting a Running Coach if you have a goal time that you would like to achieve.  I think there is a big misconception that Running Coaches are expensive (and some definitely are!), but I think you can always find a Coach in your price range.
3.  Figure out what works early on.  For the last two marathons I have waited until the last month to figure out my fueling plan, and my outfit.  When in reality I probably should have been working on this four months earlier.

What, if any, training plans did you follow? 
Hal Hidgon Beginner MarathonTraining Plan worked well for my 1st marathon.  

How do you fuel?
I drink Nuun after before and after every long run.  I usually eat a Picky Bar before a run.  During a run, I only eat Clif Shots in Mocha flavor.

What was your favorite race at this distance?
Definitely the Half Marathon.  It’s less intimidating than a Full Marathon, but it still gives me the distance where I feel like I accomplished something.

What is your mantra, or a quote for inspiration?
“Never Quit Something You Start”.  My parents always used to say this to me growing up when I wanted to quit a team.  And I have to say that I have never, ever quit a team or a race, so the lesson obviously stuck with me.

Please add anything you feel is important to let people know about this distance: 
Be prepared to want to run a 2nd marathon after your 1st!  You will definitely catch the running bug.

Thanks, Jocelyn! #ctforlife! What great advice. I agree on the fueling, outfits etc. I had my fueling plan down by August and my outfit picked in September for a November marathon. If you're looking for a great running coach, this is Jocelyn's amazing coach and this is a local NYC coach who's pretty spectacular

Have you run a marathon before? Are you thinking about it? Which one was your favorite? Any other advice? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

128 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

School's....out....for summer!

It's TRUE! IT FINALLY HAPPENED! Yesterday was the last day of school. Yesterday was the last day of kids asking "Mrs. Miller you can tie my shoes?" or "Mrs. Miller I can use the bathroom please?" And my responding "Can you? Well, let's try this: May I use the bathroom, please?" Aw. Kiddos. As an ESL teacher, I was so proud of my student's progress this year. This was my first year in kindergarten, and seeing kids who literally spoke ZERO English, and now speaking forcefully in sentences is incredible! What a job. What a life. 

Unfortunately, I won't be working summer school this summer. I am sad about this. I enjoyed doing it last year, and of course the extra money was a great perk. I have a side job "personally training" someone; aka showing them around the gym and power walking with them a couple of times a week. Therefore, my summer is suddenly WIDE open with possibility. These possibilities include running with some people I rarely get to run with (If you're reading this, that just might mean YOU!), cross training seriously (Instead of 20 panicked minutes of swimming in the morning, I can spend a leisurely hour lap swimming!), posting meaningful health and fitness blogs, and getting my house insanely clean and organized. 

I'll start the summer with a story I've been meaning to write about. My after school students know the tell tale signs of when Mrs. Miller is running home from work: no work bag (Friend brings it home), iPhone is in an arm band case, GPS watch gets placed by a window 15 minutes before class ends etc. They began questioning me about how my watch works, how far I run, how long it takes me, and a million other questions. I began sharing one photo a day from a run or of Lambeau Puppy as an incentive for good behavior. One student in particular, who has had very difficult circumstances and as a result is very challenging for every teacher they have been with, took particular interest in my running. I run by their house on my usual runmmute route, and they were always playing soccer and would say "Hi Mrs. Miller!" It always pushed me. 

My last run home from work was special. This aforementioned student saw all the telltale signs; watch, iPhone case, no bag. They asked, "Are you running home Mrs. Miller?" I responded that I was because it was finally cool enough to be safe to run home. I dismissed the students, changed, and left school with several coworkers wishing me well, encouraging me, and making me smile. I rounded the corner, started my watch, and began my runmmute. About halfway down the block, I saw that student waiting on their bike. As I approached, we did the usual hellos, but this time was different. This time, they began riding their bike along side me to the end of the block. This was maybe one minute's worth of running. When we came to the end of the block I said, "Now be careful, don't ride in the street. Have a great day." The student responded, "Ok Mrs. Miller. Have a good run home." It melted my heart. It was said with such conviction. I'll keep that moment with me for the rest of the summer. I hope I made a positive difference in their life, and I hope that someday they will find something, whether biking, running, or soccer, that will do for them what running does for me. 

What are your summer plans?! Do you live in NYC? Let's yoga! Let's run! Are you interested in Kettle bells?! If you don't live in NYC, I'd love to hear your summer plans too! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

129 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Glad Game Monday XIV

Wait, Mrs. Miller, you're not out of school yet?! No! Today was, however, my last MONDAY. Ugh. I can't wait to be done! The end of the year usually flies by with a million things left to do, but this year has dragged. on. endlessly! So, it's time to be glad that it's Monday, glad that the thunderstorms have come and gone, glad for so many good things despite the annoying distractions along the way! 

I'm glad that the last day of school is Wednesday. Good. Glad we got that out of the way.

I'm glad that the Target Dollar Section exists. Seriously, look at this glasses! Also, aren't my nieces the most gorgeous girls EVER!?

I'm glad we spent the weekend in CONNECTICUT! Sun kissed, baby kisses, well fed, running, sigh. It was magical.

I'm glad I ran 10 miles! I was thinking of running 10 miles since I had run an awesome 8 miles last weekend, but alas, I had forgotten my electrolyte pills AND my gel. If you know me, I don't deviate from my fueling plan at. all. ever. My stomach doesn't like it and, well, like most runners I can be a bit of a mental case! Unfortunately mommy made lasagna for dinner Saturday night, along with some AWESOME Italian bread from the local bakery...and, well, carb load = long run! I ran 5 miles to Walgreens and snagged what I deemed the best fuel I could find:

I'm glad that my 10 mile run went SPLENDIDLY. I did get a bit nauseous after eating this bar, but overall it did the job. I ran 10 miles at a 10:17 pace, which included a hill that is a full 1/2 mile long (I clocked it), which caused said nausea and made me walk a few times to breath deep. Overall it was an incredible run. I credit this run to A) lower temps (It was at the most 70), B) no crosswalks (Sunday traffic is QUIET in CT!) and C) my #UXF class making me push so hard I want to throw up, then keep going. As usual, 10 miles is my favorite distance. 

I'm glad that my parents have a pool! Sunday was my first run with pool recovery. Ah-MAHZING.

I'm glad I had the best countdown to jump into the pool from 13! They're the best backwards counters I know:

I'm glad I have sisters. It may get a bit crazy with all the girls running around, but boy do we have fun. I loved spending time with two of my sisters, including Mrs. Waite who abandoned me on the East Coast for some place called, what was it, California? Anyway, all four sisters will be together this weekend. Mayhem will ensue. Get ready CT, get ready. #CTforlife

What are you glad about this stormy Monday? Did you survive a weekend of BBQs? Shop till you drop? Enjoy a nice quiet run that went perfectly?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

131 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!! 

...131 is kind of my lucky was my store number in a retail store and my id number in a restaurant...just saying!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Training Tips: Half Marathon

Happy Weekend!!! I hope you are all beating the heat AND massive thunderstorms if you're in the northeast! Today will be another GREAT installment in the guest post training tips series! So far great bloggers have posted about training for new distances, 5k's, and, well, I skipped 10k's, so check out my 10k race report as a poor replacement ;-). Maybe that will happen soon, but apparently I messed up my requests to fellow bloggers. End of the school year madness. So, if you're thinking about running a half marathon, check out my friend Leticia's advice. She is such an inspiration! She has lost 90lbs and is a fit and fab runner. I'm so glad I have gotten to meet this lovely lady!!! Enjoy!

Name: Leticia Ana
Twitter Name: LAMhookem

Distance to be discussed: 13.1

What distances have you trained for? I've trained for and completed 4 half marathons. My first was last September where I ran the Rock and Roll Philly Half. I ran Rock and Roll DC in March, More/Fitness in April, and the Brooklyn Half this May. In July I begin training for my very first marathon: the NYC Marathon in November. 

What is your favorite training distance? I love running 10-13 miles. 

What are your top training recommendations? Embrace the long run, it's the most important run of the week. Don't try to be a hero, instead find a comfortable pace and keep it till the final 2-3 miles and turn it up to race pace. Also, take the rest days. They are vital! 

What, if any, training plans did you follow? For my first half I trained with Hal Higdon's Novice Plan and followed it to a T. Since then I have obtained a running coach who formulates my running plan. 

How do you fuel? In a half marathon: I eat 4/5 GU Chomps 15-20 minutes before the race begins. I take an Accel Gel around mile 8, and one at mile 12 if I feel like I need it. My favorite kind is Strawberry Kiwi, no caffeine. 

What was your favorite place to train? Central Park. It's tough, but the hills will help you be ready for any course you will encounter. 

What is your mantra, or a quote for inspiration? Find your strong. No excuses. 

Please add anything you feel is important to let people know how they can get started running and training: Anyone can do this! In the spring of 2010 I ran my first mile on the treadmill and never dreamed that I'd be a runner today. There will be good and bad days in your training days, but take them as they come and never give up. Don't compare your accomplishments to others, there will always be someone who is faster than you... and usually someone slower. Run for you, find your happy place, and finish strong. 

THANK YOU, LETICIA! I agree, anyone can do this! Leticia went from running a mile on the treadmill to becoming a strong, confident, flourishing runner! If you're thinking about running a half marathon, set the goal and go for it! It is recommended that you be able to run for about 60 minutes before you begin safely training to avoid stress/overuse injuries. Build up to that and go from there! For more information on half marathons, visit some of my favorite sites: and

What is your best 13.1 advice?! Putting body glide everywhere?! Mixing in cross training? Selecting the perfect playlist to pump up your runs?! TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

134 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glad Game Monday XIII

IT WAS MY LAST MONDAY OF SCHOOL WITH STUDENTS! And boy, did the 5th graders let me know it. They upped their usual shenanigans, and I just about lost my marbles. Had to do some deep breathing, and remind myself that I could choose to be GLAD instead of, well, MAD! 

So, let's throw away Monday's blah's and get GLAD with it!

I'm glad I have four full days left with students, two professional development days, and one final half day to wrap up the school year! I like countdowns. For all you teachers who blog and thought you got out late, YOU DID NOT. Next Wednesday is the light at the end of this dark, albeit tear laden, tunnel.

I'm glad I get to see E Baby2 THIS WEEKEND! Look at her super model ways!

I'm glad I get to see E Baby1 THIS WEEKEND! Look at HIS super model ways! ;-)

I'm glad I have a running buddy in my hood. Stephanie PUSHED me in a great 8 mile run Sunday with a 10:11 pace. We even conquered hills instead of avoiding I wanted. I'm so proud of that pace, especially when it got a bit warm since we went midday! Truly a beautiful run, on a beautiful day, with a beautiful person!!!

I'm glad I got to see my college buddy! Ms. Shong is my senior year roommate and I love her. She left me for the midwest...God knows why!....and her visits always put a smile on my face. Lambeau puppy was SO happy to see her too! I'm also glad we met the NICEST family on the subway ride home. Turns out they live a few blocks from my school, and were a wonderful example of an awesome family in this crazy city!

I'm glad I made it out for a three mile run this morning. Despite Lambeau puppy trying to thwart it with ADORABLE snuggles and cuddles, I dragged myself out there!

I'm glad I tried a GREEN MONSTER SHAKE today...TWICE! I'm addicted! I go on tangents and tend to go through eating spurts, but seriously, this is yummy. I made a shake this morning that consisted of:
2 cups spinach
1/2 banana
2 tsp cocoa
1 tbs peanut butter
1 scoop Hammer Recoverite
1 scoop shakeology boost

Since I liked it so much, I had one for dinner!

2 cups of spinach
1/2 banana
1 tsp cocoa
1 cup of blueberries
1 scoop shakeology boost

What are YOU glad about?! Did you sleep in this weekend? Did you PDR? Did you avoid getting a sunburn? Did you eat the best meal ever?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

138 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear UXF Class, I can't move my arms: Circuit Class Edition

It was a runmute day!!! I was so excited! 4 miles home, pretty fast despite hitting every other crosswalk, and pumping music a la Mr. Miller's playlist. When I got home I was starving and tired, so I ate dinner and took a quick nap...bad move. I woke up 8 minutes before my class tonight! This is the price of doing an afternoon run on a technical two a day. Ugh.

Tonight's UXF class was circuits focusing on ARMS. My weakness. Seriously. Push ups. Pull ups. Rope waving (?), kettle bells...and this:

It finally happened! I hit the tire. Ropes and tire in one night? It's a Biggest Loser last workout dream-mare come true. It was so challenging. There were six stations and you had to keep count from station to station how many reps you did and add on, aka the circuits were a cumulative total.. It was tricky just to keep count!!! Below are my counts:

1) 230
2) 278
3) 266

I can't feel my arms!!! I don't know how I'm going to wash my hair! Ah! However, we all know that it hurts so good. I'm glad I pushed through. Fun fact: I can't jump rope to save my life. I get a good clip then I trip. Must be my clumsy ways at it again. 

Late night workout classes are tricky. I thought I'd be tired, but I get revved up once I'm there. However, I am energetic when I get home, keeping me up later than normal. Also, I am STARVING. I try to eat at 5:30pm so I don't get an upset stomach or heartburn for the 8pm class, but I end up ravenous when I get home. I talked with the trainer and, go figure, I should eat lean protein. The best I could muster this evening was two eggs with salsa and a Fage yogurt. 

Do you workout at night? Any tips or secrets to success? Do you eat before, after, or both? Do you find it hard to go to sleep? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Glad Game Monday XII

Glad? Today? I don't feel like it. The past couple of days have had STUPID things happening. In about 24 hours I was frustrated by a ton of little things collapsing together to put me in a mood. Ever felt like that? Here are a few examples:

My car got hit by an MTA (Public) bus. It was stupid, totally the bus driver's fault, but now we have to battle with the city to get the damage taken care of without making our insurance go up etc. We also had 3 EXTREMELY close calls with idiot drivers after this incident. Including getting out and yelling at one to get off her phone.

Then I got into a scuffle with a chair. Clearly the chair won. And I almost fainted. In front of fifth graders. Can you believe only ONE student out of 28 asked me if I was ok?!

Alright, enough Debbie Downer (Insert sound effect). Time to GET glad. It may be Monday, I may have a dented bumper, there may be a toe nail hanging on for dear life because I can't stand to even look at it, but hey, let's try to be glad about some good stuff!

I'm glad I'm seeing my E babies in less than two weeks. They moved to California. "Come back from California...all  us here in Astoria are starved for your attention..." (Lyrics by Copeland. Astoria reference by ME!)

I'm glad Mr. Miller suggested and perfectly executed a three mile run yesterday. He's doing great toward his health and fitness goals. I love my Boyz in the hood! Matching sweats! 

I'm glad that summer is close. They're coming. They're COMING!

I'm glad I decided to slave over spaghetti squash. It may be a labor of love, but it is healthy and delicious. I put ground turkey sauteed in tomato sauce and a teensy bit of sprinkled mozz cheese. YUM. Added bonus: I have enough for at least three more meals!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Race Report: NYRR Women's Mini 10k

A great 10k Complete! I originally signed up to do this race with a friend from Connecticut who had to back out. As fate would have it, Ms. Kiernan was taken with race fever at my post 13.1 brunch that she signed up for the Mini 10k. At the brunch table. 

Mr. Miller was kind enough to drive myself and a fellow Astorian and blogger to midtown. We arrived around 7:05am, and I opted to wait for my friend Ms. Kiernan, joined by her friend Ms. Knese. By the time we met, it was almost 7:30am and we had to walk to the start. We didn't get there until 7:40am, and we took a couple of minutes to stretch after warming up with some powering walking. And by power walking, I mean that these girls were much taller than *I* so I was power walking! We took the time for some pre-race photos:

Mistake: Not getting to our corral in time. I had put 9:35 as my pace because that was my previous pace three years ago...yea 10k, it's been a while. The Ms. K's had put 10:00, so we would have decent corral placement. Alas, I wasn't watching the time close enough, and it was 6 minutes until the start, and we hadn't even started walking to the corral. I didn't know if they'd let us in, so we started from the back. Where people walk. And only walk. And get mad when you try to run.

Still, we executed race plan success! The plan was two easy miles to warm up, then to vamp it up in the last four miles. The beginning miles of weaving continually messed up our times, which were in the high ten's. After that we consistently had miles in the low 9's that felt easy despite hills, heat, and fatigue. 

The Ms. K's ROCKED! They ended up being 15 seconds ahead of me because they are FABULOUS runners. I was losing my will to run fast toward the end. I forgot to check the fluid station map, and there were only three. I'm used to drinking every mile, and with the humidity I think I was being affected. 

Finish time: 1:02:12, 10:01 pace. Garmin said 1:02:12 for 6.34 miles 9:50 pace. Whatev!

The best part about this race: YOU GET A MEDAL! Also, a close second to getting a medal: YOU GET A POPSICLE! With a joke! Not many 10k's that I know of give out medals AND popsicles. Score Mini 10k, SCORE.

Popsicle joke: What kind of pet does a miner have? Answer at the end of the post. 

Overall, the race went well.  I was proud of sticking to my race plan and having negative splits every. single. mile! I would be interested to see how I would do if I did a bit more speed work. No PR, but proud to have run a strong race.

I'm SO proud of the Ms. K's! They were fantastic. I loved running with them. Ms. Kiernan has signed up for the Hamptons half marathon, which I will be coaching her through. Rumor has it Ms. Knese is considering this adventure as well...stay tuned!

Did you race this weekend? Mini 10k? Half Marathon? Tough Mudder? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

146 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Answer: a GOLDfish

Friday, June 8, 2012

Training Tips: Trying New Distances

Happy Friday, everyone! We have an amazing guest post on training from my girl, Megan at Watch Mego Run! If you're thinking of tackling a new distance, whether a 5k, 5 miler, 10k, or 1/2 marathon, read this "Runner of All Trades" guest post!

Name: Megan O
Twitter Name: @watchmegorun

Distance to be discussed: TRAINING!

What distances have you trained for? Everything from 5k to marathon (and the random weird distances in between)

What is your favorite distance? Depends on my mood!  I like 15k's because they are rare and they feel kind of long without also feeling like death.  

Now that you've trained for these distances more than once, what are your top training recommendations? (Answer or add all that are applicable)

5k: don't go out too fast the first mile.  It's short, so go fast, but not so fast that you'll die by mile 3.

5 miles: I've only done this race distance once.  I'm still trying to figure it out.   I treat it similar to a 10k though.  If you trick yourself into thinking you're doing 6.2, you'll feel really happy when you hit mile 4 and realize you only have another mile.  That way your legs can kick it up a notch for that last one too.   
10k: This distance is so so tricky. I know so many people who struggle with it.  It's not considered long, but it's hard to run it "fast", whatever your fast may be.   I took almost 8 whole minutes off my time between my first 10k and my second 10k and they were only 4 months apart.  I realized I was trying so hard to run hard the whole time and was slowing down so much by the end.  Now, I start slow the first mile.  I often alternate and do a slower mile, then faster, slower again, then faster.  Treating it like a tempo run also works. I've also wanted to try treating it like two 5ks.  One as a training run at a semi-fast easy pace, then race the last 3.1, that way I think my legs will really hold up until the end.   I really like the 10k distance because I've seen the most improvement in minutes in it.   I know I can be faster though, so there's always more to learn.  They get easier to train for, the longer distances you do.  

1/2 Marathon: I didn't follow a true training plan until my first half.  I loosely followed a plan by hal higdon and met by goal time by doing so.  I highly suggest looking into a training plan for your first half.  It helped me so much and made the distance seem less daunting.   Besides that - hydrate often and find a fuel that works for you - otherwise, you'll never survive those 13.1 miles.  

What, if any, training plans did you follow? I've only ever followed plans by hal higdon and have glanced around at others.  I have nothing against other plans, I just always like his best.   

How do you fuel?  Before runs, I often stick to bars: luna bars or larabars.   Sometimes a banana or pb toast.  During runs I use GU and honey stinger chews.  

What was your favorite place to train? I don't go to a ton of different places to train, but my local park has some pretty scenery, which helps.  If I could, I'd love to train by the water all the time.  So peaceful!

What is your mantra, or a quote for inspiration? "You're stronger than you think"  

Please add anything you feel is important to let people know how they can get started running and training: Don't get frustrated.  Everyone starts somewhere.  There's no shame in walking or going slow.  Eventually you take less walk breaks and even if you never get faster, you'll be able to go longer and it will feel easier.   Just get out there and run, the rest will come to you in time : ) 

Thank you, Megan! This was an awesome post. Get out there and train, runners!

What advice would you give about training? Share you mantra! Share your fuel supplies! Share your favorite distance! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

10k Race Plan

Who is running the Women's Mini 10k?! I am! I am! I checked my only 10k race, the Mini 10k in 2009, and I'm proud to say my time was 59:27! I was thinking about my goals for this race, which I am running and coaching my friend Ms. Kiernan through, and I thought "A sub 1:00 is easy enough." Apparently I've been there done that! Ms. Kiernan, you better lace up and come ready to run. She's also 6 inches taller than me, so I think that SHE will give me a run for my money!

A detriment to fast running: I'm trying out a new fitness class tonight. I'm going with a fabulous blogger who had a giveaway that I won. Needless to say, this class is going to use some sleepy muscles that need to be awakened, which may cause a good way. Hopefully I'll recover by Saturday!

This is the second packet pickup that Lambeau Puppy has come to! He loves going on the train in his little bag, peeking his head out to people watch. We walked around the Upper East Side and met such cute poochies. NYRR even had doggy treats for him! Swag for all, swag for all. 

Ms. Kiernan and I LOVE the cloth swag bags!!! Hello adorable lunch bag! Lara bars, Mini 10k hair ties, sun screen, good stuff. Loved seeing Sparkly Soul there with their fabulous hair bands. 

Are YOU running the Women's Mini 10k this weekend?! Racing anywhere else? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy national running day!!!

I hope you get out there and run a block, 10 minutes, a mile, or 5!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Glad Game Monday XI

HELLO! Greetings at the start of a new week! Can you believe it is JUNE?! June 4?! Oh, since you asked, 17 days of school left, 3 are Professional development days with NO students, two are half days, so really, 12 more full school days. The end is near. I can almost taste it. I'm glad about that and a bunch of other cool Connecticut stuff, so let's choose to be glad on a day that is normally BLAH! (Especially with this awkward NYC cold/humid/raining/sunny/rainingsunny/weird weather! 

I'm glad I got to meet an awesome Chicago blogger Friday night! We met up in front of the New York Public Library (Sex in the City II anyone?!), and I had a fabulous time meeting cool Chicago people. Fun fact: She is a teacher, and saw a student who had graduated 6 years ago. Gotta love NYC! Come back soon, Meghan! 

I'm glad that the love of my life turned 2!!! Little Baby E2 turned the big, well, 2! I love her. Those blue eyes, that blond hair, gets this aunty every time!

I'm glad my friend got MARRIED this weekend!!! Congrats to Mrs. Lavespere! I've known her since she was born (I was 2, and totally with it).

I'm glad I got to see old friends. This is the bride's sister, Ms. Mullen, who I've known since BIRTH. She was 2 months when I was born. Totally with it. Do you see that mischievous look in our eyes?...

I'm glad there were props for mischief. Yes, there was gardening to be done. In dresses. At a wedding. Our mothers were eye rolling. Some things never change....

 I'm glad the weather held out! It was a beautiful evening, I wish I had taken more pictures of the vintage style and tent...more pictures later this week. I said "I hope you're putting this on Pinterest!" The bride replied, "I got all my ideas from Pinterest! Hence, my first Pinterest wedding. Isn't Mr. Miller backyard ADORABLE!?

I'm glad for UNIQUE guest books! Our photo was taken on some sort of Fuji Polaroid type film, and then we placed it in the guest book and wrote our congratulatory message. SUCH a unique idea! We literally look like we're in frames. So funny.

I'm glad I conquered a 5 mile tempo run Sunday. Connecticut has its perks, including ice bathing in a not yet warm pool! I averaged a 9:49 pace, which for me is speedy. This Saturday is the NYRR Women's Mini10k, and I have a feeling my first time friend who I am coaching, Ms. Kiernan, is going to want to go FAST. Today my hamstring is tweaked (Maybe the insanity workout I did Saturday???) So I'm resting. I rest today to run tomorrow. 

I'm glad I saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW! As we got back to our place last night, this was a BEAUTIFUL sight to behold...and I didn't even see that it was a double rainbow until I Instagram'ed the darn thing! I love rainbows. God's promise to never flood the earth again.

152 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Training tips: 5 K

Happy Friday readers and runners! I'm excited to be starting a new series in the month of June. Yes, it's June. This month is very busy with end of the school year details, graduations, family visits, etc, so I thought it would be a great time to get some guest posts going! I've been getting a lot of questions about running different distances, so this month will be filled with training tips for running a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, and ULTRA marathon (I'll be taking notes on that one especially!). For more information on running a 5k, check out Runners World's 5k training page.

So, readers, allow me to introduce Sarah. We met on Twitter, and she's got some FABULOUS advice on running a 5k!

 Name:  Sarah Oskey-Morrison
Twitter Name: SarahOskey

Distance to be discussed:  5K

When was the first time you ran this distance?
My first 5K was in October of 2008.  I ran a local breast cancer awareness 5K for Zonta.

What was the good?
It was amazing to realize I was capable of running a 5K, in fact, I even came in third in my age group and got a medal J. 

What was the bad?
The bad part was that I hadn’t done it sooner.  I’d always disliked running and been scared of races.

What was the ugly?
I did have an overwhelming feeling that I needed to vomit at the end, but it passed.

Now that you've ran this distance more than once, what are your top three pieces of advice?
1.       Practice
2.       Know yourself
3.       Don’t stress

What, if any, training plans did you follow?
Honestly, I just started running.  I’ve never put any pressure on myself to run at a certain pace or run a certain distance.  I run because I enjoy it, it helps me relax and feel good about myself.  But if you’re someone who likes to train and are starting from nothing spend at least a month prior training.
Week One: start with jog/walk intervals for 20 minutes.  Walk a minute, jog a minute.
Week Two: progress your intervals to jog for 2:30 and walk for 45 seconds
Week Three: Push yourself to jog for at least 10 minutes, take a walk break and repeat again
Week Four: Try to jog at least 2.5 miles
Take it easy a couple of days before the race
*this is a sample training program, adjust as needed

How do you fuel?
As you begin to run you’ll know how soon before a run, and what kind of foods feel good in your stomach before your sneakers hit the ground.  I generally have a small meal and lots of water beforehand.  I love English muffins with PB and a tomato on the side.

What was your favorite race at this distance?
My favorite 5K was the fourth of July one in my town of Alpena, Michigan.  My friend who is not a big fan of running did it with me and I stayed with her the whole time.  She pushed herself and I was so proud.  I didn’t care about my time, I cared about motivating her!

What is your mantra, or a quote for inspiration?
"Run into peace."--Meister Eckhart, 14th century philosopher

Please add anything you feel is important to let people know about this distance:
Top 3 pieces of advice:
  1. Being prepared for anything new in your life is good.  Ninety-nine percent of the time when you give some thought, practice and preparation to a big event you’re more successful.  So get out and do some practice runs before the big race.  You’ll feel more confident in your abilities and know what to expect, for things as simple as what shoes to wear and what leggings don’t chafe. 
  2. Know what you want to get out of your 5K.  Are you competitive or are you just excited to get involved?  If you are competitive you’ll want to figure out how fast you need to run your miles to be able to meet your overall time goal.  If you’re just excited to run, chill out and enjoy the sights, energy and excitement from the other runners around you.  Personally, that is my favorite part!
  3. Don’t stress about your 5K.  I see so many people get nervous about running in general and that frustrates me because to me, running is about relaxing and feeling good about yourself.  Just focus on what you can do.  If you can jog five minutes and then need a walking break do it.  Remember, running doesn’t mean fast, contrary to popular belief.  Running means something different to everyone.  Be proud that you are doing a 5K and simply do the best you can do at that moment.
Thanks Sarah, this was a great post!!!

What about you? Have you run a 5k? Hate the distance? Love it? Have some more advice? TELL ME ABOUT IT!