MC Half Training Week 11

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Week 11 sort of got off on a good foot and then derailed quickly, running-wise.  However, I still managed to get some good distance covered AND enjoyed myself.

Wednesday I met up with Dan and his cousin Phil after work to do the 5 mile loop through Valley Forge Park.  I anticipated a nice, easy evening run.  My mistake was inviting the guys, because we paced a lot faster than I was hoping to do.  I did manage to stay with them for 90% of the run.

run15apr15I’ll take an 8:15 pace with decent hills any day.

Thursday is where I made the big mistake of the week.  I’ve been extremely happy having a friend like Samantha to make training plans for weight lifting for me.  I did pretty well this winter with a 12 week circuit plan, but I wanted to get back to the original 4 week plan.  My thoughts were do that plan for a month, then go back to the 12 week one.  Rotation should keep my muscles guessing and I got excited about the idea.  On Tuesday I made it to the gym during lunch to do chest/triceps work, and then Thursday is when I planned to do legs/butt/core.  I have been neglecting my legs a little at the gym and I know that’s the key to keeping my speed.  Unfortunately, spending several weeks off from squats then returning to them even with a much lower weight was not my best idea.  I got to the gym at lunch and did those, some KB swings, and a few other exercises.  I felt good.  Post-work, I felt a little sore but still went to run club for six miles.

run16apr15The run started off great, and then mile by mile my legs got increasingly heavy and unhappy with me.  I finished out the run, enjoyed a small beer with some friends, then went home.  I realized I needed to do some serious recovery or I would be hobbling for-ev-er.  So, I sucked it up and poured myself a cold bath for the first time.  I kept the water a little below 60 and stayed in for 20 min.

IMAG2593The verdict?  It wasn’t so bad after the first few minutes passed!  I am super late to the “ice bath party” but I think this is going to become a part of my routine when I do stupid things like run 11 mi and lift in a 36 hour time frame.  And also for training for the double half marathon weekend I have in July.

Sadly, the soreness was lessened but not enough for me to feel okay to do any long run this weekend.  I have outdoor soccer tomorrow morning and then indoor playoffs later in the day.  I need my legs fully healed.  So, instead of running, I took advantage of the gorgeous day and went to Lowes for a couple items…

IMAG2605It’s never just a few things, is it?  Lowes shopping is the Target shopping of your 30s where you plan to spend $10 and end up spending 10x that.  But, a few hours later the front yard area looked nicer, I threw down some wildflower seeds in a bare spot we cleaned up near the back porch, and have some other ideas brewing for the rest of the outside.  Week 11 didn’t end up quite as I planned, but I have a feeling week 12 will more than make up for it.  ;)


Back On My Feet 5 Miler 2015 Recap

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It’s race recap time!  On Friday last week I went into the city to pick up my packet (and a handy RUN215 wristband) from Philadelphia Runner in Center City.  I scored with a parking spot on 17th street, quickly got my gear, then noticed a Federal Donuts location was right on my walk back to my car.  I just had to grab a chocolate glazed donut for the drive back in lots of rush hour traffic.  Magical.

IMAG2527I spent the evening pretty much relaxing on the couch after setting out my race gear.  I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything for dinner, but needed to get something.  Wawa to the rescue.  I got one of the bowls:  mashed potatoes, mac&cheese, buffalo chicken.  I am disgusting.  It was stupid delicious though, trust me.


Bedtime came fast and I was off to dreamland before the early wakeup at 6am.  I made it into the city (downing a bagel with PB and a 5-hour Engery along the way) with ease, parked right off Spring Garden, and then walked to the start to check my gear and shiver with the other runners.

2015bomf1I’m in the RUN ALL DAY tank.  And errrr, ignore the watermark…. yeah.  Anyway.  At 8AM the race was on and I was cruising around a 7:00.  I had my Garmin on, but with the overpasses you run under during the race, it got super wonky at about 2 miles in and I’m just going to go by race splits.  So mile 1-1.5 takes you out along West River Drive.  I skipped the first water stop because I was still trying to feel my hands.

2015bomf22015bomf3I always make weird faces…

The second mile includes a wonderful hill which felt a lot tougher this year than last year.  Sore legs?  I’m not sure.  I crested at the top and tried to just truck it along to the upcoming downhill.  That part of the race felt REALLY good.  I was now pretty warm and wished I had a pocket to stash my gloves.  We hit the bottom of the downhill then you do a small turnaround to head back on West River towards the finish by the Art Museum.  This is about 3.1 miles in and clocks a split for you.  My split time:  21:37.  I ran a sub-22 5K during this race.  WHAT?!  I’m not sure where the hell that came from, but it was pretty much struggle bus to the end (I averaged an 8:04 on the last 1.9 miles).  I was exceptionally happy to hit the finish and ended up with an overall time of 36:55!  A new fricken PR!  2:32 faster than the Frostbite 5 Miler and 3:01 faster than the race last year!  I ended up finishing 1 spot lower in my age group though.  I guess a lot of faster people showed up.

Post race I met up with tons of RUN215ers and we ventured over to Bishop’s Collar for a few post-race beers.  Before 11am.  Because runners.

IMAG2535Victory tasted pretty sweet though.  Or hoppy, I guess.

I finally made my way back home and proceeded to continue to be disgusting with a delicious Five Guys Burger followed up by Aki snuggles.


IMAG2542Successful Saturday (or Caturday if you will)?  I’d say so.  This race is a complete blast.  Not only are the organizers some of the most genuine, nicest people ever, you get to support such a great organization and that gives you tons of good feels.  At least it did for me.  I’ve now got a new 5K goal for the Out & Back Party Run, sub 22min.  Considering this race is significantly flatter, I honestly think I can do it.  Up next is the Hot Chocolate 15K this Saturday, which if I can hold my pace I had in the BOMF, I may have a shot at an age group placing?  We’ll have to see!  :D

MC Half Training Week 7

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I don’t think I am going to make my goal of running 80 miles this month.  I’m a little bummed about it, but I also didn’t anticipate having a date with the norovirus for three days and then tweaking my hip a little after soccer last Sunday (I took rest days Wed – Fri to recover, all is good now!).

So here’s what training went like for week 7.  It was actually a productive one in spite of the three rest days!

Monday – 4.35 easy miles.  I felt a bit sluggish on this run.  It was harder to keep my pace well enough below 10 min miles.  But, four miles is four miles and I got it done.

run16mar15Tuesday – 2.60 miles of sprints.  Dan is preparing for his referee fitness test and wanted to do a test-run of the intervals he needs to do.  You run 150 m fast (around a 6:15ish pace) in 35 seconds, then recover 50 m in 40 secs (~17 min mile).  Repeat that for 20 times and you’re done.  My splits of course were not set right, so it looked like I averaged close to 10 min miles, but according to Dan I passed the FIFA Women’s fitness test.  So that’s good!

Wednesday – Friday – I was feeling achy and tight in my calves, plus my left hip felt a bit wonky since Sunday night’s soccer game.  I decided to just relax and rest for a few days, especially since I had covered a little under 15 miles since Sunday.

Saturday – 4.01 faster miles.  With the snow on Friday, and then the melting warmup that followed the next day, I wanted to get out and run.  I did an easy loop through my neighborhood, but had a lot of energy from resting the past few days.  My splits were much nicer this run compared to Monday!

run21mar15Sunday – 8.2 miles for the long run.  One thing I definitely try not to skimp on during training is the long run.  Even if I miss some speedwork or an easy run, it’s really important to me to get out and do this.  I texted with my older sister for some motivation then went out for a neighborhood jog.  I averaged a 9:10 overall which is on target with my training plan.  I felt a little sore after so I made a date with the foam roller and the Tiger Tail and the soreness was gone fairly quickly.  I also had indoor soccer later which wasn’t the best of games, but we’re still in the top three for the rankings.

run22mar15Total Miles for Week 7:  19.16!

I skipped the strength plan for last week but will be hitting the weights again now.  My plan for Monday is to do chest/triceps then run 3.2 miles to celebrate my 32nd birthday today just the soccer later because it’s my birthday and I’ll be lazy if I want to.

Eight Miles in Valley Forge

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Happy Sunday!  Today I decided to change things up for my long run and venture to Valley Forge National Historic Park to get my eight miles in.  It was overcast and a little breezy, but it didn’t seem too bad.  Once I got parked at the visitor center and on my way, the wind picked up a LOT.  The path leading away from the center was just exposed to hard whipping winds.  I kept plodding along and found that once I got to the lower valleys of the park, the path was nicely protected from the wind and it was really pleasant out.  Still, I made sure to wear gloves which was a good idea.  During my run, I tried to snap some pics of the area.  Unfortunately, everything looks very dead and bare, no real signs of springtime growth yet.

IMAG2438There was a Revolutionary War reenactment/tour going on.

IMAG2439Quite barren looking around mile 2/3.

IMAG2440To get as many miles in without doing the much longer loop of the park, I ended up running past Valley Forge Farm, which I had no idea existed (I live under a rock, clearly).  A little ways ahead was a covered bridge I wanted to check out, but there was a lot of traffic going by and no foot path, so I bagged that idea and doubled back to the main part of the park and continued on.

I ended up getting back to the visitor center with about 1.75 miles to go, so I ran back on the super windy path towards the big monument in the park.  You could see how hard the wind was pummeling the flag flying by the structure.

IMAG2441IMAG2442IMAG2443IMAG2444I passed the same reenactment for a third time (I don’t think anyone noticed) and ta da, long run complete!

IMAG2445I felt really good during the whole run.  Valley Forge Park is a nice challenge because there are some decent hills scattered throughout, so you really get a workout running them.

map15mar15elev15mar15run15mar15All but three of my splits were sub-9:00, which made me pretty happy.  I am feeling very strong in my training so far and am optimistic this is going to result in some good race times in the next couple months!

Track Thursday

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In the past few years I have been running, speed-work has always been something I did on the treadmill (unless I counted soccer games that week).  For the first time, I went to a high school track to take care of my workout.  I know, I know.  Where have I been for the last whatever many years of running?


Dan wanted to do some intervals, but found he was still not 100% to run after recovering from the stomach virus I shared with him (whoops).  He told me to just do my own thing and I decided to tackle the four mile speed-work run on my schedule:

4 Mi: Warm, 2 x 1600 in 7:21 w/ 800 jogs, Cool.

Track translation:  two loops moderate warmup pace (0 – 0.5 mi), four loops hard (0.5 – 1.5 mi), two loops recover (1.5 – 2 mi), four loops hard (2 – 3 mi), two loops recover (3 – 3.5 mi), two loops cooldown (3.5 – 4 mi).

In hindsight, it would have been better to have my Garmin set to 0.5 mi splits instead of the normal 1 mi splits.  Oh well.  I was pretty happy with how my workout turned out.  I had thought that if I wasn’t forcing myself to be at a certain speed for the entire 1600m, a la treadmill, I wouldn’t be able to hold the pace.  Turns out I’m actually just fine holding a faster pace, and often was a little faster than needed.  I consider that a bonus.  Here is the split grab from my Garmin Connect upload:

run12mar15Again, the 0.5 mi breakdown would have been better, but keeping an overall 8:00 pace sounds pretty okay to me.  I felt REALLY good after that run.

I think I’m going to have to add in more track workouts in the future, because that was seriously a lot of fun to try!  And now I can join the rest of the runners who have known this was a thing for ages.

AT&T Back On My Feet 5 Miler Giveaway

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I’m really excited to host a giveaway again this year for the AT&T Back On My Feet 5 Miler!  I hosted a giveaway last year and ran the race, you can see my recap of the event here.  This year there are some new changes and I am happy to be giving away not one, but TWO free race entries!

Before I get into the new things about the race, here are the general stats:

Date: Saturday March 28, 2015
Time:  8:00 AM
Location:  Schuylkill Trail Connector by the Philadelphia Art Museum

Back on My Feet is committed to building a stronger and healthier community. The AT&T Back on My Feet 5-Miler helps to provide support to our services to improve the self-sufficiency of those experiencing homelessness. All proceeds from the race will benefit the local BoMF Philadelphia Chapter.

The 5 mile race takes you out on an out and back from the Art Museum area.  There is most definitely a hill, those of you who run the Philadelphia Half Marathon and Marathon will know this hill very well (it’s the same around mile 9/10).  It’s doable, I promise!

And now the new stuff!  Aside from the regular race, there is also a Kids’ 100m Race that starts at 7:30 AM.  Registration for the kids’ event is $10.  There is also going to be a shoe drive collection at the race, so if you’ve been looking to get rid of some gently worn sneakers, this is a good chance.  And rally your friends to help out because the largest individual donation of shoes gets the donor a free pair of Mizuno running shoes!

Also new are the packet pick-up locations.  Packets can be acquired at the Center City and University City locations of Philadelphia Runner on Friday March 27th from 11am – 7pm.  There is still packet pickup prior to the race start on Saturday.

If you’re going to be in the Philadelphia area the weekend of the 28th and are looking for a good test of how your spring training has been going (especially for the Broad Street Run) this is a great race to run!  The atmosphere is amazing, the camaraderie of the runners electric, and you’re supporting an amazing organization that started right here in Philadelphia.

I am really amped to be giving away two entries into this race!

Ways to Enter:

  • Like the Back On My Feet 5 Miler facebook page to get all the info and updates about the race.  Leave a comment stating you did this.
  • Follow the Back On My Feet 5 Miler race on Twitter and leave a comment.
  • Tweet about the giveaway using the following and leave a comment below linking your tweet:  “I want to win a FREE entry to the @BoMF5Miler from @phillynerdgirl!”
  • Leave a comment about what race you are most looking forward to this spring!  :)

The more entries you do the more chance you have of winning one or possibly two of the free spots for the race!  Just remember to leave a comment for each entry you do!  I will be using the number generator to select the winning comments.  I will announce the winner on Wednesday March 18 at 5PM (Eastern time).  Good luck and happy running!! :)

MC Half Training Week 3

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Or as I will call it, the week that wasn’t.  Aside from my two indoor soccer games on Tuesday and Sunday, I got a lunch time run in of 4 miles on Thursday and then that was it for my running.  I’m chalking it up to the fact I was just really poor at time management and fortunately, it’s only week three.  Week four is off to a much better start.

I hauled ass at work yesterday and managed to get home while the sun was still out.  Shocking.  I had planned to do a usual gym run plus weights, but then when I wrapped up at the office I really wanted to get outside.  So, I layered up, turned on the tunes, and set out for an easy-paced jaunt around the neighborhood.

run23feb15The easy pace turned more into a negative splits run.  I was trucking down the last 0.2 miles because a really good song came on.  It felt really good to get outside in the fresh air, even if it was only 20 degrees or so.  Funny enough I am finding I don’t mind running outside in the cold so much as long as my hands are warm.  The first mile it took a bit for them to warm up (even with gloves on), but after that I felt completely into the temps.  It also helped there was a nice sunset going on.

#scenesfrommyrun caught a pretty sunset 👍

A photo posted by Krissie J (@phillynerdgirl) on

I have my first race of 2015 (finally) this Saturday.  My last 5 miler I managed to hold about a 7:59/8:00 pace.  I’m hoping maybe to hit 7:50, but we’ll see.  The legs are feeling good so I’m hopeful.  :)