Tag Archive | running plan

Start Strong to Finish Strong

I am going to run a Half Marathon.

I am going to run the NYC NYRR Half Marathon.

Of course, i will be running it in my town and not the streets of NYC. I am running another virtual race. It is what I do now. It is what we all do now. Ok, not all but I need to train for something. I need motivation. I need something. And while virtual races do not have the pull as in person, this time it is going to be different…… I hope.

I have a novel approach to this half marathon. One that I haven’t done with any of my “recent” events. I haven’t used this approach in years. Here we go………… I want to go into this race the old fashioned way. I want to go into it confidently. I want to go into it ready. Most of all……….

I want to go into it trained.

Now this is not to say that I didn’t train for previous events. You know back in the day when there were in person events. I did. I did……… Right up until I didn’t.

I stopped trying. I stopped pushing. I did the bare minimum that I needed to do to get me to the finish line. Maybe even less than the bare minimum too.

Now I want to get to the finish line not with a struggle. Not with and excuse. Not with baggage. I want to go back to the days of feeling confident in my training. Feeling confident in my ablilities. Knowing that I am ready to tackle the miles before me. In order to trust the training, there must be actual training.

I want to go back to the mantra….


Some where along the line I forgot that in order to finish strong, you must also start strong. And so it begins….

8 Weeks and here we go…. Starting strong to finish strong.

Friday Five – 5 Reasons to have a Running Coach

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme is a Free Friday.

I went with 5 Things I Like about Having a Running Coach.

For those that have been here, you might remember that I recently started with a Running Coach.    Yes, I still feel funny saying it and somehow I even felt a little bit of a fraud like who am I to have a Running Coach.   Then I remind myself that I’m me and that not only can I have one, but so can anyone.   She is my running personal trainer and I deserve one.


1.   I no longer need to spend countless hours trolling to find the right plan to follow and then let wondering if it is the right one for me.   Caolan sends me a plan customized for me and my goals.   It is not a one stop shopping plan.  It’s a what does Christine need to do plan.

2.   I am learning.   Yes, I’ve read books, blogs, and talked to other runners before but somehow this is different.   Since I’ve been working with her I feel like I have learned so much.   If there is something in my plan that I don’t understand why she wants me to do it a certain way all I have to do is ask.    She then explains her reasoning, what she is looking for me to get out of it, and why she thinks its an important part of my training.

Case in point – Monday’s are the days that I normally do my long runs.   On the schedule for next week, she wants me to do my 9 miles with no fuel making sure to have my recovery drink ASAP when done.   This seemed strange to me, so I asked.   She then explained that ” Doing long runs at an aerobic pace without fuel forces your body to rely on fat for fuel rather than (limited) glycogen. This only works at an aerobic pace where you can actually rely on fat. At faster paces we must use glycogen (which is why races and tempos must be with fuel).”   She also suggested it is good for mental training and some other stuff.  Her explanation made sense to me and maybe it’s a good thing to try to tap into my fat as I do have some to spare:)

**edited to add that she further explained this is not done for weight loss but that it does encourage fat metabolism which most of us can tap into.

3.   I don’t have to think anymore about “What I should do today?”   I already know.   It’s actually helps me plan out my week and is a real time saver too:)

4.   It’s keeping me on target while training smarter not harder.    The first thing she had me do is slow down my everyday aerobic runs as I was running them close to a minute too fast.   I used to do most of my runs at a 10:20 pace or faster.    She has slowed me down to at least as she calls it a 11+ and many and 11++.    My post half recovery run was done at an 11+++ which was lovely.   So now most of my runs are at and 11:20 pace.    You wouldn’t think a minute makes that much of a difference, but it does.


5.  It is giving me confidence as I gear up to start my MCM training that I will be able to meet my goal.   Caolan knows my goal is to finish MCM strong.   I’m not going in this to be fast and in our conversations we are thinking possibly a 4:30ish time or that’s what she thinks.   That is 15 minutes faster than Philly, but I must remind myself that I jumped into Philly last minute without a lot of “real” marathon training.  I will trust her and the process and see where it takes me.    More important to me though is to run the whole race unless a planned walk is built into it.   I walked at the end of Philly (unplanned) and for some reason it bugs me.   I know that MCM ends on a hill or there is a hill very close to the end.   I want to go into this with the confidence that when I get there I will still be running.

Have you ever had a Running Coach?


I wrote about this is my Blog Post Dreaming The Dream Until I can’t Dream It Anymore.   I’m not your typical runner.   I don’t have the runner’s body (what ever that is).   I wasn’t athletic ever, but I’ve become a runner along the way.  I have a passion for it.   I have a need for it.   I love to share it.   So I think to myself, why couldn’t I win to be on the cover of Runner’s World.   Wouldn’t it be cool if just your average running mom made the cover?    So, please vote for me here.

Prepare for Everything, Still have Nothing.

Sometimes the best laid plans still fall short.   You think you’ve got it all together only to realize that you haven’t got a clue.   That was kind of how this weekends run started out.   As I said to Dawn on the way there, ” Things always work out the way they are supposed to.   Even if that’s not how you planned it.”

This past weekend was another 9 plus 1 run in the city.    In the past, there have been a group of us who would drive in together.   Usually, the driver is someone who is familiar with getting in and out of the city.   Someone who knows the lay of the land if you will.    But this weekend the clown car was unavailable which meant that my cohort in crime and I had to get there and back on our own.   Now I am not afraid to drive anywhere solo.   I’ve even driven my kids to Florida and back.  I’m also contemplating taking them to Texas this summer.   Doesn’t bother me at all.   The difference is that this is usually on my schedule and usually there isn’t an event starting at a specific time such as was happening on Saturday.   Still we were confident in our ability to get there and meet up with another Mama runner.

We knew that since it was an 8:00 AM start time that once again we would need to leave before the sun.    All was set.   Clothes laid out.   Bag with Bib all packed.  Garmin loaded with street near the entrance of the Park.   We were good to go!   Then I realize that the Garmin wants to take me a totally foreign way.   When going into the City, I would normally take the tunnel, but for some reason my Garmin wanted to take me over one of the bridges.   She kept leading me astray.   I was getting annoyed with her and myself for not waiting till we got to the City to listen to her.   Time was ticking.   It was closer than we would have liked, but we did get there with a little bit of time to spare.

Besides the Garmin issue though, we realized that we did not have pins for our Bibs.   I didn’t think to check the bag for them as they are usually there.   I also thought that I had my handy dandy safety pin bracelet in my running bag.   Nope, not this time as I needed it.    Luckily I had a belt in my bag to use and Dawn did have one pin.   Still it put a crinkle in things and added some unneeded stress.

Once we get to the streets close to the park entrance, it is time to find the perfect parking spot.  Of course, it is a Saturday morning in NYC and there are no spots.   We are running out of time to look for one, so we end up just pulling into a parking garage.    Things to remember when parking your car in a garage for a race:

1.  You do not have the luxury of going through your running bag to calmly get your sh*t together.

2.  You do not have time to put your compression socks on.

3.  You will forget your arm sleeves that you end up not needing but still.

4.  You will also forget your hair band, but end up liking your hair down in your pictures anyway.

5.   You will feel a little panicked and out of sorts literally jumping out of your car and not taking a moment

6.  It all works out in the end.

7.  You arrive at your corral with literally only a few minutes to spare.   Giving you time to think about removing your throw away shirt.

Now one of the reasons that I wanted to do this run besides needing it for the 9 plus 1 is that it sounded like a fun event and it was.  It was the kickoff to Scottish Week.   There were bagpipers along the course, lots of people running in kilts, and just a gorgeous day.   I, shockingly, was one of those people running in a kilt.   Although mine was more of a tutu than an actual kilt.   I wanted to be fun.  I wanted to have fun.    I wasn’t in it for a PR (personal record).  I’ve actually only run one other 10K and that was when I was training very heavily for the Hat Trick.   This was going to just be a race to get me a check mark and for some fun.

A funny thing happened along the way though.

The race started.   It was packed.   Packed.  Packed. Packed.   Dawn had decided that she was going to run with the other MRTT Mama and go for a potential PR.   I had decided that I was just going to see how I felt and go with the flow.   I’ve still been fighting these pesky foot issues and really haven’t been giving it my all.   Race starts and we begin the bob and weave.    We end up splitting up as we were in a huge field of other runners.   Just keeping running.   I just kept telling myself it was only 6 miles.    A nice training run.   I go out fairly strong.   Experience a little foot discomfort, but nothing I haven’t felt before.   Then one mile down.   Then another.   By mile three, I’m realizing that I’m making good time.   By mile five, I realize that I could potentially PR which at this point I think would be cool.   By mile six, I know I’m going to be close.   I actually walked for a bit before someone with a Scottish accent, said something to me about keep going.   So I ran some more.   I finished.

Official Time 57:08

Previous 10K 57:19

Whew, that was close!

Then again, this wasn’t part of the plan, but it was a very nice bonus!

Moral of the story, sometimes you just have to roll with life.   You can plan all you want.   You can think you’ve got it all under your control, but the truth of the matter is that the best things in life happen when your not.


Always tutu!

Scotland 10K

Can’t Do It All!


You don’t have to be an elite athlete to be serious about your training.   Even a Stay at Home Baking Mama can be serious about her training.   No, I do not expect EVER to run at the top of the Pack.  I’m happy with the back of the Middle:)  What I do expect is to run the best race that I, personally, can run.   In order to do that, I have to be serious and dedicated to the training at my level which isn’t always easy…

You want to be able to do it all.   Be the Best Mom, volunteer for your kids activities, bake some cakes, clean your house.  get the laundry done, make healthy dinners, cross train, get some sleep, and also have a life.    I’ll be honest.   It isn’t easy.   I’ll be even more honest.   It can’t be done at least all at the same time.   Something has to give.  That’s just the way life is or at least the life of the Mama in this house.

In looking at my training schedule through the weekend, I realized that I have the following:

Friday:  5 Miles

Saturday:  7 Miles with repeats @ 10K page

Sunday:  10 LSD

Also in this time frame, I have to decorate a two tiered cake in a circus theme, I’ve got to get J1 (Big Guy) up and out for a Boy Scout Hike, J2 (Middle Son) to a soccer game, J3 (Little Guy) has to go to Goalie Training, host a meeting at my house, maybe sneak in some family time,  as always pick up the house and some other things too!

During a run this week, I was running with two other running Mamma’s and I found out something interesting.   We all said that we make sure that our running doesn’t effect the men in the house.  Why is that?   I’m not sure, but it seems a common theme.    I know my Dear Hubby works very long hard hours and he really doesn’t ask for much.    He just needs some quiet fishing time on his days off and maybe a nice dinner now and then.   He has never told me I couldn’t do a race.   He has never told me that I couldn’t go for a run, bike ride, or gym.   He has never been anything but quietly supportive of all that I do.   So it’s not him.   It’s me.   Why?    Is it that 1970’s mentality that is still coming through?

I think for me (and I’m only speaking for me) part of it is the Mom complex.   If something needs to get done, Mom generally does it.  I’m getting better about having J1 & J2 help with some things, but the whole reason I am a stay at home Mom is so that I can take care of things around here.  I just didn’t know how many hours that require and how much scheduling goes into it!   But I am getting better. Kind of.   I am learning to say no things and juggle time.  Sort of.  I’m also learning that I don’t need to do it all.  Some things really can wait.

This morning I was stressing myself out trying to figure out how I was going to squeeze in a run, Crossfit,  some household chores, and bake a cake all before school got out.   I realized that just by taking Crossift out of the equation it removed a big portion of the  stress.   Am I sad that I couldn’t go?   Of course, but in the whole scheme of things it was an unnecessary stress for today.    I need start looking at the big picture.   Yes, I’m sorry that I couldn’t go, but once race season is over I’ll get back into my gym routine.

So the lesson for today is………   Look at your day that is stressing you out and see what you can change to lift some of your burden off.

Now I’m off for my big stress reliever AKA my run:)

How to you do it all and handle the stress???????